According to a recent article on CNN.com, "world food prices have risen by 40% globally since mid-2007". This is stark news. In Dr. Webber's we have discussed on several occasions that more than the effects of supply and demand has been pressing the markets. We have talked about the fact that at times when gasoline and other transportation fuels are at a high, we can also note that supply at the point of production has changed very little.
In fact, I've written about this very subject. Now this "mysterious hand", one that is not of the marketplace, is shaking our proverbial cornucopia. Are supplies so limited? Are we kidding ourselves in thinking that supplies are what we think they are and maybe prices really are rising do to confounding shortages? I don't really think so. But let's say it did what would happen? Where will it all lead and what will we do?
The Mayans had a similar problem before their civilization fell. They ran out of food and instead of dealing with the problems at the source, the local chieftans resorted to human sacrifice and rallying for war. The jungle swallowed up the pyramids and those people were forgotten. When thinking about this historical folly, I can't help but feel like it lends us no help here. I feel that way because I don't know what to think of all of the information that we have. We hear that supplies are pretty good (not much better or worse than ever), we hear that demands are somewhat increased but not outrageous. Some point to the refineries as a problems. Others point to political unrest in many nations, but what is really rocking this cradle? Do we have the food to feed everyone or not? Is greed driving markets mad? Is it fear? Or does the media lie?
Whatever the case, its time that we take hold of the situation. Whether its global warming or oil shortages or starvation or greed, it's time for all of us to collect the problems; become aware of the needs; and start marching forward towards solutions. How long will the nations watch and wait?