… a series of poor harvests in the area led to soaring bread prices, provoking food riots…. A worker’s daily bread took 97% of his income…. With bread prices at record levels, hungry mobs attacked the gates … where customs collected taxes on incoming grain convoys. They raided every possible source of arms, ending up with capturing the Bastille prison.
Oh, sorry, that was 1789. No worries, then. Not like that lead to a violent revolution or anything.
Anyway, the Washington Post has a terrific front-page article, “The New Economics of Hunger: A brutal convergence of events has hit an unprepared global market, and grain prices are sky high. The world’s poor suffer most,” which is the first in a series.
No, national and global mandates for biofuels (= bad energy policy) aren’t the only reason for this emerging catastrophe. Obviously, high oil prices (= bad energy policy) play a role. And then there are those poor harvests in places like Australia due to climate change (= bad energy policy). OK — the last one was kind of a stretch, given that the amount of climate change to date was probably all but inevitable. But my point is that if we don’t drastically reverse our self-destructive energy policies soon, things are going to get much worse….
We have mandates for far more biofuels (see “The Fuel on the Hill — The Corn Supremacy), and we are going to see much higher energy prices (see “Peak Oil? Bring it on!“) and much worse global drought and desertification (see The Century of Drought“).
What they heck are people supposed to eat then — Biofuels? Apparently that’s what politicians in this country and Europe think. Heck, in a Friday article, “IEA warns against retreat on biofuels,” the International Energy Agency, based in Paris, ironically enough, has this to stay: