With so much attention in the media regarding climate change, the presidential election, high oil prices, high gold prices, the US recession and falling stock prices, a lot of people have not been awakened to another pressing and scary trend: the extreme rise in the world’s food prices. Just like climate change and increased pollution, food prices will affect everyone, but the people they will affect most are those without disposable income. Lower income groups in rich countries, and the entire populations of poor ones will be unable to buy their way out of this trap. Paul Krugman’s (no relation to me) article in the NYTimes today is the type of thing we are going to be seeing a lot more of these days. It’s sad, and this crisis is really going to be affecting people now. A vast number of people will find themselves on a much steeper slope into poverty, with one more heavy weight dragging down the quality of their lives. Now that we’ve been whipped up into a fervor around climate change, it’s time to start whipping up that same fervor around food prices. Both are huge systemic problems and both require a lot of our attention right now.
Food Crisis Article in NYTApril 7, 2008