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The Famine Thread

The Famine Thread

Unread postby dohboi » Fri 08 Jul 2011, 23:49:32

As Food Prices Hover at Historic Highs, Extreme Weather and Asian Demand are Poised to Boost Prices Even Higher
After peaking in February, food prices have stayed at historic highs. Food prices are climbing back to historic levels, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) reports. Prices increased by 1.3% in June due to worries over bad sugar harvests from “a spell of two months without rain.”

Food prices are poised to increase:
Goldman Sachs said it expected further increases in a wide range of commodity prices this year and into 2012 – in food, as well as energy and metals – on the back of strong demand from Asia.

However, Goldman is confident that now is a good time to get back into commodities. “We expect this [Asian] demand growth will be sufficient to tighten key commodity markets over the next six to 12 months, particularly for those markets where supply constraints will become binding even on slower economic growth,” said Jeffrey Currie, Goldman’s global head of commodities research.

In other words, expect more food shortages and high prices. This is good for investors, but bad for the world’s poorest people. The World Bank estimates that these record highs are pushing tens of millions more people into poverty:

In addition to poor people being less able to afford a good meal, more people are now poor because of higher food prices. Since last June, an additional 44 million people became extremely poor, living under US$1.25 a day. And we now calculate that a further 10% increase in global prices could drive an additional 10 million people to poverty, while a 30% food price hike could lead to 34 million more poor.

Food prices having been spiking in an upward trend since 2008. Around the world, crops are failing as extreme weather events like droughts and floods threaten farmers, many of whom are in the poorest countries

http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/07/08/264044/food-prices-extreme-weather-asian-demand/

These price run ups were a major factor driving the "Arab Spring." The Arab world went from about 70 million in 1950 to something over a third of a billion today. Much of the area they in habit is essentially desert. Most are poor, using over half of their total income to buy food. When the price of food doubles or more than doubles, they are completely priced out of that 'market.' Most that had been feeding their people on oil revenues are past peak, with ELM, nearing the point of zero net exports. How this doesn't become the mother of all clusterfs in the very near term is beyond me.

Meanwhile, a devastating two year drought in the horn of Africa is causing widespread famine now.
http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/07/05/260744/worst-food-crisis-of-the-21st-century-driven-by-worst-drought-in-60-years-in-east-africa-as-climate-change-makes-reduced-rainfall-a-chronic-problem/
Malthus, meet MENA and East Africa. (And much of South Asia does not seem far behind.)
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Re: The Famine Thread (including food prices, etc...)

Unread postby lowem » Sat 09 Jul 2011, 05:22:22

Good work.

Link to the earlier thread on the global food crisis back in 2008 :
The Spreading Food Crisis Thread (U.S. & World) Archived
Live quotes - oil/gold/silver
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Re: The Famine Thread (including food prices, etc...)

Unread postby dohboi » Sat 09 Jul 2011, 10:24:15

Thanks, low. I looked back a few pages of it, but I guess I didn't go back far enough.

Sad that it is now so relevant.
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Re: The Famine Thread (including food prices, etc...)

Unread postby AgentR11 » Sat 09 Jul 2011, 12:55:51

Need more Ethanol!!!
Burn baby Burn.
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Re: The Famine Thread (including food prices, etc...)

Unread postby dohboi » Sun 10 Jul 2011, 10:55:40

Some one working in the area was just on NPR saying that this is the worst famine relief workers have ever seen in East Africa, and there have been plenty of famines there.http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=137742800&m=137742777
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Re: The Famine Thread (including food prices, etc...)

Unread postby Pretorian » Sun 10 Jul 2011, 12:30:36

I wonder how many they think will die from this one. They should make them fight for free food in a pit, and sell subscriptions and/or advertisement space accordingly. The winner gets to feed his family. With his opponent's body! See, it's a double whammy, no need for shipping or anything, they have it all right there. Then send in the bald fat guy from Bizarre Foods for another special.
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Re: The Famine Thread (including food prices, etc...)

Unread postby DomusAlbion » Sun 10 Jul 2011, 22:18:34

See, here everyone was having a nice, polite conversation about famine in the MENA & East Africa area and Pretorian has to come along and spoil it all by saying something stupid like cannibalism. :evil:
"Modern Agriculture is the use of land to convert petroleum into food."
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Re: The Famine Thread (including food prices, etc...)

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Mon 11 Jul 2011, 01:40:40

Food Price Spike John Baez
July 9, 2011
Back in 2007, food prices surged. Millions went hungry, and there were riots from Egypt to Haiti and Cameroon to Bangladesh. In 2008 they dropped, but starting at the beginning of 2009 they’ve been going up, and now they’re staying high:
Image
This graph shows the “food price index”, which is a weighted average of food commodity prices. The exact formula seems to be a carefully guarded secret… well, at least they don’t make it easy to find!

Here’s a more long-term picture:
Image
What’s been happening since 2000? You can blame the rising world population, but that’s not something that suddenly hit us at the turn of the century. People point to many causes, including:

1) A growing middle class in India and China, eating more—including more meat, which pushes up grain prices. For example, according to the Economist, the average Chinese consumer ate 20 kilograms of meat in 1985, but 50 kilos of the stuff in 2007. If you consider the population of China, that’s a lot more meat!

2) The use of grain and other foodstuffs for biofuels, heavily subsidized by some governments like the US, has increased competition for grain and, perhaps worse, created a tighter link between oil prices and food prices. If the price of oil goes up, gasoline costs more, so people can charge more for ethanol, so grain prices go up!
...
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Re: The Famine Thread (including food prices, etc...)

Unread postby Pretorian » Mon 11 Jul 2011, 06:50:26

DomusAlbion wrote:See, here everyone was having a nice, polite conversation about famine in the MENA & East Africa area and Pretorian has to come along and spoil it all by saying something stupid like cannibalism. :evil:


You've hurt my feelings! What exactly did I say that was stupid? Cannibalism is a common interaction within up to 90% of all animal kingdom. It is also nearly obligatory feature of any more or less decent famine in human society. If there is no cannibalism, there is no famine, end of story. Food shortage, may be. Not famine.
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Re: The Famine Thread (including food prices, etc...)

Unread postby Pretorian » Mon 11 Jul 2011, 15:22:32

dohboi wrote:A perfect tautology leaving you immune from any pesky contradictory facts.



What contradictory facts? The fact is that people eat people when they are really hungry. At least a certain percentage does, if that makes your liberal soul feel better. Just like they do when there is no famine at all-- either out of curiosity, viciousness, or greed ( meat is expensive in many areas). And the hungrier the people, the higher is that percentage.
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Re: The Famine Thread (including food prices, etc...)

Unread postby Pretorian » Mon 11 Jul 2011, 16:42:47

I watched most of that video btw, and there indeed some skinny people there ( an old dude and a few kids). I wonder if there is a reason I never see young skinny adults ? I mean why women at least that are holding allegedly their own skeleton babies look just fine?

Now here is a real pearl for American taxpayers, came from a handsomely funded by them female from Washington DC:

" What does an international community OWE this particular part of Africa that is so little to blame for the problem of climate change, is it enough simply give aid and to work on resilience, or should we be talking about something, ehh, perhaps more ambitious, like ehh, opening up our borders, and allowing, ehh, some, some immigration from these parts of the world to, to countries that are most responsible for the climate crisis"
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Re: The Famine Thread (including food prices, etc...)

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 11 Jul 2011, 17:56:22

Keep in mind that those who get out are the relatively healthy ones. Even with that, about half the kids coming in are at the lowest level of nutrition, and they are dying at a rate of about five a day--note the scene where the woman is mourning by on of a large number of small mounds=graves.

Perhaps you were suggesting that the young adults looked better than some others because they had been snacking on soilent green???

Yep, that gal really laid it out. CC has rendered their land uninhabitable. We have been the main contributors of CC causing GHGs for the last few decades, while they contributed hardly anything.

Justice suggests that we take some responsibility.

But neither Tea Partiers, nor the repugs they support (nor, these days, about anyone else) are about justice or responsibility. Just imagine how apesh!t these nimrods would go if Obama even suggested mass immigration from his pappa's old backyard!!??

They remind me of nothing so much as the old Frank Zappa line (from a very different context):

"Scab of a nation, driven insane."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ouc0jaGIH4A
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Re: The Famine Thread (including food prices, etc...)

Unread postby Pretorian » Mon 11 Jul 2011, 19:21:00

dohboi wrote:Yep, that gal really laid it out. CC has rendered their land uninhabitable. We have been the main contributors of CC causing GHGs for the last few decades, while they contributed hardly anything.

Justice suggests that we take some responsibility.


So you suggesting that Ethiopia breeding itself from 20 mln in 1960 to current 84 mln, Somali breeding itself from 2.8m to 10mln, Kenya breeding from 8 mln to 40 mln had nothing to do with rendering their land uninhabitable? Or perhaps USA spoonfeeding them for 50 years is to blame? What about pollution that US contributed by growing food to feed every useless a-hole in the world for the last god knows how many years-- is it deducted from American sins at least pollution-wise?



dohboi wrote:But neither Tea Partiers, nor the repugs they support (nor, these days, about anyone else) are about justice or responsibility. Just imagine how apesh!t these nimrods would go if Obama even suggested mass immigration from his pappa's old backyard!!??

They remind me of nothing so much as the old Frank Zappa line (from a very different context):

"Scab of a nation, driven insane."


I hope it is not a subtle suggestion that the Democrats are all about justice and responsibility. Yeah, they don't give a shit about votes, about power and free money, it's freedom for enslaved and water for the thirsty that they seek. World have not seen more selfless human beings , it looks like.
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Re: The Famine Thread (including food prices, etc...)

Unread postby Pretorian » Mon 11 Jul 2011, 19:36:57

By the way population of Djibouti grew almost 12 times in the last 50 years. If it's not time to pay the piper, then when is it?
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Re: The Famine Thread (including food prices, etc...)

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 11 Jul 2011, 19:55:33

Nope, no love lost on most dems. And of course, population is always a factor. That is why MENA and South Asia are likely to be the next places for famine. But the extent of this drought is a result of GW. That was not caused by the locals, as they burnt essentially no ff per person, particularly compared to the US.

And 'spoonfeeding'?? Your ideology is showing.

The west, of course, raped and pillaged the third world for centuries. Only a rabid ideologue would not understand this. But we already know you're one of those.
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Re: The Famine Thread (including food prices, etc...)

Unread postby Fishman » Mon 11 Jul 2011, 21:02:31

Yea Pretorian, just imagine how that population would have grown if we had not been raping and pillaging them so much.
"CC has rendered their land uninhabitable" What an incredibly naive statement. The horn of Africa is part of the "sub saharan". You know, that big desert. Their local climate has fluctuating between adequate and dry as a "desert" for hundreds if not thousands of years. Gosh, wonder why folks laugh at the global change religion.
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Re: The Famine Thread (including food prices, etc...)

Unread postby dolanbaker » Mon 11 Jul 2011, 21:41:01

pstarr wrote:as per the chart above. Food is made with petroleum. Petroleum prices increase so food prices increase. But then petroleum prices decline and food prices remain high? Not enough fuel for irrigation and tractors.

Peak oil==starvation


One thing that sticks out on that longterm chart is the cost of food before WWI, a time when almost all agriculture was manual work.
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Re: The Famine Thread (including food prices, etc...)

Unread postby Pretorian » Mon 11 Jul 2011, 21:56:31

dohboi wrote:
And 'spoonfeeding'?? Your ideology is showing.

The west, of course, raped and pillaged the third world for centuries. Only a rabid ideologue would not understand this. But we already know you're one of those.


Aside of third world non-existing until 1940s/1950s or so, and "the west" never being a political or any other kind of entity, what that got to do with anything, even if true? Are you suggesting that children should be paying for crimes of their fathers? Would you support inclusion of this into a Penal Code as well?
I know one dude who was born in USA as well as his parents, but all 4 grands were from Ethiopia and Sudan. Is he guilty of American crimes enough to pay for these new immigrants as well?
What about slavery reparations? What is your take on those?
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