Many reasons have been blamed for the explosion of political movement that is sweeping the Arab world. The political change in Tunisia and Egypt spreading to parts unknown (hopefully Libya and Yemen) can be said to have many root causes, first and foremost are the horrible human rights conditions and lack of political freedoms.
It actually seems to be the perfect political storm of the right age demographic in an oppressive regime with the right technology. 8-ball, corner pocket and it all comes tumbling down. One of those straws that broke this camel’s back must be declared as Climate Change. This a direct correlation between the effects of Climate Change and Political Unrest and the thing that we must understand is that this is just the beginning if trends don’t change.
The logic is that Climate Change causes adverse effects on crop production in the world. This causes the supply of food to decrease, this mixed with increased populations (demand) and fuel prices increase food prices significantly to the point where many in the world cannot afford food. In a world where you cannot find work, your government is oppressive and you cannot even afford food anymore even if you had a job, protest on a massive scale must occur.
While this has, in a way, happened before, if we remember riots from 2008, and how that got better, things are going to get much worse before they get better folks. We have to remember; these are the birth-pains of a better world. These instabilities in the oil rich nations and 3rd world nations are going to increase oil prices. This is going to make Wall Street fearful. This is going to increase other prices. Transportation will go up, food will go up, it will be scary. Just a few quotes;
- Large-scale crop failures are likely to become more common in the wake of climate change and lead to spiralling prices...Rising temperatures could trigger events such as the wheat crisis in Russia this summer which pushed up food prices, researchers from the Universities of Leeds, Exter and the Met Office said. ..Scientists warned that rising temperatures would make crops mature more quickly, reducing their yield, while extreme temperatures could also significantly reduce yields, according to the journal Environmental Research Letters.
- A recent report on climate change sees crop prices rising over the next 40 years as the globe heats up, according to an article published in the January issue of Food Nutrition & Science. Using computer modeling, researchers at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) assessed the harmful impact of climate change on food security through 2050... According to the report, climate change will cause lower rice yields all over the world in 2050. Overall, the report finds that between now and 2050, food prices could rise by 42 to 131% for maize, 17 to 67% for wheat, and 11 to 78% for rice, depending on the scenario.
- With climate change factored in, the increases in real prices by 2050 could range from 31 percent for rice in the most optimistic scenario, to 100 percent for corn in the most pessimistic. And IFPRI has estimated that such skyrocketing prices could boost the global population of undernourished children by 20 percent, by an additional 25 million children.
The oddest thing about the situation is that the riots are fueling the fire for the price increase. The market hates uncertainty and reacts poorly to political unrest. This causes prices to go up. In fact "Rice, wheat, corn and soybean futures gained in Chicago on speculation governments in emerging economies will boost imports after soaring food prices spurred protests in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Yemen. The unrest may worsen because grain hoarding “will intensify,” according to a report yesterday from New York-based Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Cocoa surged 10 percent, the most since September 2009, on signs supplies will be disrupted from the Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest grower."
Now, in the long run this means that hypothetically, once the riots subside, speculation will cause the prices to normalize eventually and food will become cheaper than it is now giving who ever gains controlled political clout and the credit for the lowering. This is, however a temporary thing. As population continues to rise, and global climates change, causing more and more difficulty to generate enough affordable food, something will eventually have to give to get us back to homeostasis and many fear that something will be massive population loss.