This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Monday, February 7, 2011

World Food Prices Hit Record High--This is Not Good

Among the complex of causes of the protests in the Middle East, the rising cost of food has played an important, even if unheralded role. 

On a day of bloody confrontation in Egypt, where protesters are demanding an end to the 30-year rule of Hosni Mubarak, the WFP's [UN World Food Program] Sheeran said the world was now in an era where it had to be very serious about food supply.
"If people don't have enough to eat they only have three options: they can revolt, they can migrate or they can die. We need a better action plan," she said.
As Paul Krugman points out in a NYT Op-Ed piece today, the single most important cause of the rise of food prices is the "supply problem" created by bad weather that has ruined crops. But, the evidence is mounting that the bad weather is symptomatic of global climate change and we really have not adjusted to that fact. As I keep reminding you, we are expecting an additional two billion people at the table three or four decades from now, and the food situation is only going to get more troublesome.

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