Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Food shortage starts to bite...

... I see Australia's wheat harvest looks set to fall short again, despite the recent rains (click here). As we know, this translates into higher food prices, which in turn leads to much grumbling from those of us in the West who still can't make the connection between the high quality of life we lead compared to billions elsewhere. But before loudly proclaiming about the scandal of high food prices, meaning you might have to ration what you buy (thereby cutting into the surplus of food you throw away every single week), consider this: the UN has talked about having to cut back on its Food Aid programmes (see here), which means some people won't even get enough food to survive.

If the mathematics don't already make themselves clear to you: we in the West cannot continue to live such opulent, wasteful lives. People in China and India - which totalled together dwarf the numbers living in the West - want our standard of living, and who are we to deny them that? But as they consume more, so prices - oil, food and so on - will rise. Now is the time to start cutting back, otherwise when this crisis really starts to bite you'll be in no position to cope. Still, sooner or later the human race is going to either have to level out or start dropping in numbers - and while a lot of those numbers will be lost among peoples who have the misfortune to live in impoverished areas of the world, forgive me if I don't extend my tears to those of us in the west who prove unable to adapt when reality bites really hard.

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