Reflections by Comrade Fidel
THE SERIOUS FOOD CRISIS
Just 11 days ago, on January
“The worst is that to a large degree the solutions shall depend upon the richest and most developed countries, the countries that shall reach a situation which they are really in no condition to face unless the world they have been trying to mould…”
“I am not speaking about wars, whose risks and consequences have been transmitted by wise and brilliant people, including many Americans.”
“I am referring to the food crisis originating in the economic facts and the climatic changes that are apparently now irreversible as a consequence of the actions of man, but which, at any rate, human minds are under the obligation to face in a hurry.”
“The problems have suddenly taken shape now, through the phenomena that are being repeated on every continent: heat waves, forest fires, losses of harvests in Russia, with many victims; climate changes in China, excessive rainfalls or droughts, progressive losses of water reserves in the Himalayas threatening India, China, Pakistan and other countries; excessive rainfall in Australia that have flooded almost a million square kilometers; unusually harsh and unseasonable cold waves in Europe that have considerable impact on agriculture; droughts in Canada; unusual cold waves there and in the US.”
also mentioned the unprecedented rains in
In that Reflection I informed that “productions of wheat, soy, corn, rice and other numerous grains and legumes that make up the food base of the world – whose population today according to calculations totals almost 6.9 billion inhabitants, now coming close to the new figure of 7billion, and where more than one billion are suffering from hunger and malnutrition – are being seriously affected by climate changes, creating a very serious problem in the world.”
On Saturday, January 29 the daily Internet news bulletin that I receive reproduced an article by Lester R. Brown, which was posted on “Via Organica” Website, dated January 10 and whose content, in my view, must be widely spread.
author is the most prestigious and prize-winning
“As the new year begins, the price of wheat is setting an all-time high…”
“…the world population has nearly doubled since 1970; we are still adding 80 million people each year. Tonight, there will be 219,000 additional mouths to feed at the dinner table, and many of them will be greeted with empty plates. Another 219,000 will join us tomorrow night. At some point, this relentless growth begins to tax both the skills of farmers and the limits of the earth's land and water resources.
“The rise in meat, milk, and egg consumption in fast-growing developing countries has no precedent.
“…a doubling in the
annual growth in world grain consumption from an average of 21 million tons per
year in 1990-2005 to 41 million tons per year in 2005-2010. Most of this huge jump is attributable to
the orgy of investment in ethanol distilleries in the
“While the annual demand growth for grain
was doubling, new constraints were emerging on the supply side, even as
longstanding ones such as soil erosion intensified. An estimated one third of
the world's cropland is losing topsoil faster than new soil is forming through
natural processes—and thus is losing its inherent productivity. Two huge dust bowls are forming, one across northwest
“Satellite images show a steady flow of dust storms leaving these regions, each one typically carrying millions of tons of precious topsoil.
“Meanwhile aquifer depletion is fast shrinking the amount of irrigated area in many parts of the world; this relatively recent phenomenon is driven by the large-scale use of mechanical pumps to exploit underground water. Today, half the world's people live in countries where water tables are falling as overpumping depletes aquifers. Once an aquifer is depleted, pumping is necessarily reduced to the rate of recharge unless it is a fossil (nonreplenishable) aquifer, in which case pumping ends altogether. But sooner or later, falling water tables translate into rising food prices.
“Irrigated area is shrinking
“The Arab Middle East is the first geographic region where spreading water shortages are shrinking the grain harvest. But the really big water deficits are in India, where the World Bank numbers indicate that 175 million people are being fed with grain that is produced by overpumping […]In the United States, the world's other leading grain producer, irrigated area is shrinking in key agricultural states such as California and Texas.
“The rising temperature is also making it more difficult to expand the world grain harvest fast enough to keep up with the record pace of demand. Crop ecologists have their own rule of thumb: For each 1 degree Celsius rise in temperature above the optimum during the growing season, we can expect a 10 percent decline in grain yields.
“Another emerging trend that threatens food security is the melting of mountain glaciers. This is of particular concern in the Himalayas and on the Tibetan plateau, where the ice melt from glaciers helps sustain not only the major rivers of Asia during the dry season, such as the Indus, Ganges, Mekong, Yangtze, and Yellow rivers, but also the irrigation systems dependent on these rivers. Without this ice melt, the grain harvest would drop precipitously and prices would rise accordingly.
“And finally, over the longer
term, melting ice sheets in
“The unrest of these past few weeks is just the beginning. It is no longer conflict between heavily armed superpowers, but rather spreading food shortages and rising food prices—and the political turmoil this would lead to—that threatens our global future. Unless governments quickly redefine security and shift expenditures from military uses to investing in climate change mitigation, water efficiency, soil conservation, and population stabilization, the world will in all likelihood be facing a future with both more climate instability and food price volatility. If business as usual continues, food prices will only trend upward.
The current world order was
imposed by the
Obama has no way to manage the
madhouse that they have created. A few days ago, the government crumbled in
A large aircraft carrier and a
nuclear submarine, escorted by US and Israeli warships, crossed the
The famous meeting in Davos, which just concluded, became a
But there is no need to worry
about at all; the
Fidel Castro Ruz
Enero 30 de 2011
6 y 23 p.m.