Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Clinton & Obama Should Make World Food Crisis A Campaign Issue

Rising prices for wheat and rice have created a food crisis in much of the world.

People cannot afford the food they need to eat. Here is an Economist story on this subject. 

Below is an excerpt from the Economist article—

Last year wheat prices rose 77% and rice 16%. These were some of the sharpest rises in food prices ever. But this year the speed of change has accelerated. Since January, rice prices have soared 141%; the price of one variety of wheat shot up 25% in a day. Some 40km outside Abidjan, Mariam Kone, who grows sweet potatoes, okra and maize but feeds her family on imported rice, laments: “Rice is very expensive, but we don’t know why.”

The prices mainly reflect changes in demand—not problems of supply, such as harvest failure. The changes include the gentle upward pressure from people in China and India eating more grain and meat as they grow rich and the sudden, voracious appetites of western biofuels programmes, which convert cereals into fuel. This year the share of the maize (corn) crop going into ethanol in America has risen and the European Union is implementing its own biofuels targets. To make matters worse, more febrile behaviour seems to be influencing markets: export quotas by large grain producers, rumours of panic-buying by grain importers, money from hedge funds looking for new markets.

Here is a New York Times story on the topic which discusses the global implications of the crisis.

Given that a portion of the crisis has to do with biofuel demand in the United States, and given that we are all connected in this world, it would be good to hear Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama address this subject as an important campaign subject. 

It’s easy to say that we won’t have cowboy foreign policy any more. Let’s back up these words with a genuine outreach to people suffering in the world.   

April 21, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , | 4 Comments

Back Up And Running With A Picture Of A Tree

The blog was down for two days because of some connection problems with my internet service.  These issues seemed to be an extension of problems I had last week. 

To celebrate the end of almost 36 hours of darkness–except for my ability to speak to others, read books, write letters, and let people into traffic—I am running a nice picture of a tree. 

You would think I would run a spring-like picture of a tree since this is spring and I’m back up and running. But death is part of life and look how nice this tree looks as it sheds leaves for winter.

I took this picture last Thanksgiving just outside the city limits of Cincinnati.

On a fully unrelated subject, my good friend and fellow blogger Jobsanger has written a post on the election of a new left-wing president in Paraguay. This ends the 60 year rule of the Colorado party in that nation. I had intended to write about this subject, but Jobsanger covers it well in his post.  

April 21, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Cincinnati, Politics | , , , , | 2 Comments