The Running Commentary

Fueled to starvation…..

corn fieldThis part of my Corporately Green category.  You may think that the corn field in this post of for food, it is not, this land has been deforested to make way for corn for ethanol purposes. Reading the Business Day today 16 April, an article regarding the soaring costs of food appeared, authored by Tony C Dreibus. A number of figures are quoted around the record prices that certain food commodities like rice and maize are reaching on the futures market.We are, and will continue to see our future and our children’s future in jeopardy, if we do not curb our drive to have what we want instead of living with what we need. Tony quotes maize prices having surged 57% in the past year alone. The impact of the bio fuel industry is certainly taking it’s toll.

This toll is going to be felt worst by the poorest countries and people that live within their borders. We need to reverse this urgently. In addition to the bio fuel impact, we are seeing the impact of global warming, with Tony raising the issue of higher rains in Arkansas (the largest rice growing state in the US) causing planting to be at 2% of the crop as opposed to 31% at this stage last year. This means less to harvest, demand going up, prices going up and people in poorer countries suffering as a result of governments exporting to chase the almighty dollar.

Having said that many governments are curbing their exports as they begin to face food shortages of their own. These shortages in turn leading to unrest as well as inflationary pressures as their own markets cannot meet demand.

My drive around this post are the pictures hitting the media, on a daily basis now of sick and starving people from around the world. We are fueling this with the demands we are placing on ever diminishing resources and if we do not stop this is will be too late.

Our foot print is growing, while available land in shrinking. If the predictions around global warming are to be believed, then it is only a matter of time before the land resource dwindles even further. This will place even more strain on the food resource.

As consumers out there we need to be holding ourselves to account moving away from blaming governments, we put them into power anyway, instead moving to question our own motivations. Hold onto things a little longer, thinking before we replace items, investing instead in things that are sustainable.

Thinking sustainably..

Mike • April 17, 2008

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