Thursday, 3 April 2014

Should The Greedy Control Our Food??

    It is obvious that climate change is happening, floods, droughts, extreme storms, along with rising temperatures is no longer a prediction, it is here and now. Of course, as is always the case in this capitalist world, when things go wrong it is always the poor and the low waged that pay the highest price. The adverse conditions are creating havoc with our agriculture, which transfers into higher prices for our food. It is symbolic of the insanity of this greed driven capitalist system, that as food prices are rising across the planet, and people can't afford the food the help to grow, or serve in restaurants, governments across the world are dismantling social services.

     One problem that we don't hear much about is the drought in California. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 67% of the state of California is classified as “extreme”, a further 9% is “exceptional”, this means wells running dry, no where for cattle to graze, forcing farmers to sell off their livestock, creating a shortage of dairy produce, glut of meat and then a shortage meat. Some scientists claim that 2013/14 is the driest season for 434 years. California is the top agriculture producer in the U.S. And one of the largest in the world, producing beef, dairy produce, wine, and some of the largest fruit and vegetable crops.

      Why should we worry if California goes dry? Well America is a large, rich and powerful country, when it runs out of food, it starts to suck in more from an already suffering world, creating greater shortages and higher prices. Europe is not exempt from the effects of climate change, scientist state that in southern Europe, from southern France through Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and to the Balkans, stream and river minimum flow could fall by as much as 40% and in periods of drought that could increase to 80%. This of course would result in food shortages in this area, being exacerbated by the the mighty dollar sucking in food from this and other areas.

      It is also very obvious that if we continue to let “market forces” sort things out, a group of rich people will make a killing from the food crisis, the rich will feed very well indeed, as they usually do, and the poor will go hungry and increase in numbers. Tackling climate change is only one part of the solution, but is to little avail if we don't sort out the system of distribution of the world's food. At the present the food is there to see to our needs, the problem is who owns it, and who decides its distribution method. The “market” is no more than a euphemism for a “bunch of greedy rich bastards”, do we really want them to be in control of OUR survival? 

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