Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Silent Tsunami of Hunger

We tend to think ANY biofuel research is great but fact is the push to use corn and grain for ethanol and biofuel research is taking corn out of bellys and into cars and research labs and we're beginning to see the effects on prices and food shortages from pantrys in US to WFP that serves millions of poor people worldwide. 2 U.S. Presidential candidates- McCain and Clinton- used to address the downfalls of using corn for biofuels- it does not solve our dependency on oil, it burns through faster than oil, and worse- it still pollutes the air in addition to causing unreasonable subsidies that upset the world commodoties markets. Now both of the Candidates have flip flopped due to the failings of the electorate process of American elections as they bow to "Ethanol states" praising the benefits of Ethanol. The farm bill is about to pass and we all have a moral obligation to pay attention and speak up to ensure that the same more more aid is given where it is needed-with commodities and policy reform to stop giving million dollar (and up) farms government kick backs we can solve the problem fast without tax cuts but more importantly we can put food back in the hands of those who desperately need it and focus on more dramatic changes in green solutions that create jobs AND help Mother Earth without upsetting the worlds supply of food. This article illustrates the crisis before us now of how delicate this situation is- including the now growing affect of "unpredictable weather conditions"-- Jill

'Silent tsunami' of hunger threatens
Ration cards among solutions offered

LONDON -- Ration cards. Genetically modified crops. The end of pile-it-high, sell-it-cheap supermarkets.

These possible solutions to the first global food crisis since the Second World War -- which the World Food Program says already threatens 20 million of the poorest children -- are complex and controversial. And they may not even solve the problem as demand continues to soar.

A "silent tsunami" of hunger is sweeping the world's most desperate countries, said Josette Sheeran, the WFP's executive director, speaking yesterday at a London summit on the crisis.

The skyrocketing cost of food staples, stoked by rising fuel prices, unpredictable weather and demand from India and China, has already sparked sometimes violent protests across the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.

The price of rice has more than doubled in the last five weeks, she said. The World Bank estimates food prices have risen by 83 per cent in three years.

"What we are seeing now is affecting more people on every continent," Sheeran said.

Hosting talks with Sheeran, legislators and experts, British Prime Gordon Brown said the spiralling prices threaten to plunge millions back into poverty and reverse progress on alleviating misery in the developing world.

"Tackling hunger is a moral challenge to each of us and it is also a threat to the political and economic stability of nations," Brown said.

Malaysia's embattled prime minister is already under pressure over the price increases and has launched a major rice-growing project. Indonesia's government needed to revise its annual budget to respond.

Unrest over the food crisis has led to deaths in Cameroon and Haiti, cost Haitian Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis his job, and caused hungry textile workers to clash with police in Bangladesh.

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said more protests in other developing countries appear likely. "We are going through a very serious crisis and we are going to see lots of food strikes and demonstrations," Annan said in Geneva.

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