This should be of interest to my friends, colleagues and compatriots involved in the social justice movement.
Author predictions suggest that if something is not done to stabilize food prices by August 2013 we are looking at full global revolt.
But what’s interesting about this analysis is that Lagi and co say that high food prices don’t necessarily trigger riots themselves, they simply create the conditions in which social unrest can flourish. “These observations are consistent with a hypothesis that high global food prices are a precipitating condition for social unrest,” say Lagi and co.
The authors wrote to the US Government last year alarmed that food prices had reached one of those tipping points. As the review of the article notes that was December 13th, 2010. Four days later Mohamed Bouazizi immolated himself in Tunisia starting off the Arab Spring.
The authors note two particular causes of the increase – speculation by traders (this was a problem in the 1980s when the Sahel Famine of Live Aid fame came about), and corn conversions to ethanol. These two pet projects of the oil dependent west are causing enormous strain on the world’s poor.
It seems the material conditions for revolution really do emerge from the prevailing social conditions.
You can get the full document here.
via The Cause Of Riots And The Price of Food | technologyreview.com