Apparently the green movement is killing people.

Or how Kiwiblog stopped fearing the truth and just chose lunacy.

A recent trend at Kiwiblog has included posting almost daily (if not more) on the ills of the greens and the green movement in general. This of course brings out all of the loonies who think, just because they say so, it’s the truth. Take for instance this comment by a relatively frequent blogger;

“If anyone is responsible for people starving it is not the great right wing conspiracy, but Greenpeace, the Green Party and the rest of the rabib left wing mob.”

See if that were only true, I’d be questioning my convictions, but the problem is that it’s so far removed from the problem, even the issue, that it’s just ideological dumping or a most boring and hideous nature. The problem is that quite possibly 99% of the folk over at Kiwiblog would agree with him/her.

We were further told that leave the greens out of this and GE will solve the worlds foot crisis. Again the tentative grip on reality that this theory holds is at best fantastical.

There is no doubt that there is a world food crisis, you can hardly escape it. Unfortunately all we on the west have to do to deal with it, is budget better and stomach the rising prices. Those whom this affects most directly are struggling with the most basic of lifes functions, to eat.

This isn’t some cheap ‘wack a green’ issue that can be solved by Genetically Modifying crops to withstand draught or pests. This problem is as much a problem with the worlds economy and the absolutely staggering negative impact on the environment and stomachs caused by the craze for biofuels.

Here’s some contributing facts, in no particular order. (Much of this information is gleaned from the IMF’s report on the food crisis).

Take an example (similar that which we are experiencing in NZ), the rise of biofuels and land conversion. How can it be the fault of the greens that land is being consumed at almost incomprehensible rates and used for the production of corn to appease the US consumption of biofuels. An announcement by the US Agricultural Secretary that their policy on this agricultural shift will not change, saw the immediate and rapid rise of the stocks of the biofuel companies – literally as he spoke. How is this born out in real terms, this from the Gurardian;

“This means one in 20 of all cereal grains produced in the world this year will end up in the petrol tank of US cars”

Quite literally without the US demand for biofuels, world production of grains would exceed demand, as it has more or less every year in modern times until this year. But this isn’t just diverting grain away from the tables of the poor, it’s also driving up the price through simple market forces, up 70% in the past year. This isn’t the consequence of a green ‘lock down’, it’s a car driven market factor.

Add to that the changing diets of the worlds large populations. the consumption of meat in China has more than doubled in 10 years, and unlike NZ, the majority of that beef is fed grain. The same grain that is being bought and sold on the open commodity markets, competing with ethanol conversion refineries in the US.

But go on beat a greenie up, when the price of fertiliser has increased 70% in the last year, not to mention a 30% increase in fuel to run farms. Add to that massive speculative trading in agricultural commodities has grown dramatically. Four years ago $10-15billion USD was speculated on the worlds agricultural markets, this year that has increased to $150bn.

Why is it that all of this is coming to a head when the world seemingly has all but stopped caring about agricultural aid “In 1986, 20% of foreign aid spent by rich countries was devoted to agriculture in the developing world. By 2006, that share had shrunk to less than 3%.” (Guardian)

Some reading.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/may/27/food.internationalaidanddevelopment1

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/06/rome_food_crisis_summit_on_the.html

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/05/26/eco.food.ap/index.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/09/opinion/09mon1.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/30/business/worldbusiness/30food.html?fta=y

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article3811604.ece

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080609.RREGULY09/TPStory/?query=food+crisis

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