Friday, April 04, 2008

The end of the cheap takeaway?

Think it will never happen? Think again, as it looks more than likely given that the cost of rice, the staple diet of some 3 billion inhabitants of our little lump of planetary rock, has jumped from $580 per ton to $760 per ton in a matter of a few weeks. A ~30% increase in price simply cannot be absorbed by most outlets, and on top of ever increasing energy bills, huge rises in transportation costs, we should all be prepared to spend a fair bit more than we have been used to on our Saturday night 'special fried rice' and curry sauce.

But the full story, and its potential impact worldwide, from the Toronto Star, seems to have escaped most of the world's meejah. (Well, ours are far more heated up about plastic bag bans, council taxes, the credit crunch, MP's expenses, some head honcho from F1 who has supposedly been enjoying himself a little too much, and what's happening in Eastenders!)

For poverty stricken people in parts of Asia (a large proportion of that 3 billion souls), where 50% to 70% of their tiny subsistence income goes on food, the situation looks dire. And given that demand is ever increasing, with transport and energy costs doing the same, and with an extra 70 million mouths to feed on our planet each year (now that's what I call a damned scary fact!), the long term outlook appears grim.

And wheat and corn prices are still rising too. Maybe I should bring my forecast of the £5 loaf by 2015 forward a few years?


Yes, another category. I think it is time to bring all the various international attempts at 'doing' 'something' under one umbrella. Kyoto, Bali, etc.

I just hope I don't depress myself. The chronological list as it evolves will be interesting I guess.

Guardian - The road from Kyoto - Or... no way to run a planet (other than down)

CATEGORY - CSS (Carbon Capture & Sequestration)

This has cropped up enough now to warrant its own category. I am sure there will be more to come.

Guardian - Carbon ambivalent - Some facts of note. And the main piece rather highlights a major problem in that 'green' groups are arguing, which doesn't play well with public, put plays very well into the hands of those of a more statist mindset. The thread comments also pretty soon dissolve into 'tis/'tisn't CC arguments, though some 'optimists' have noticed that it's not being called 'global warming' any more. I wish I got paid more for my consults. With a cold snap this weekend advised, it would not have been a great way to phrase our funky weather patterns.