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Global Rioting Potential? The looming meltdown.

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posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 03:16 AM
Things just may have gotten a whole lot worse...

Jump in rice price fuels fears of unrest

Rice prices jumped 30 per cent to an all-time high on Thursday, raising fears of fresh outbreaks of social unrest across Asia where the grain is a staple food for more than 2.5bn people.

The increase came after Egypt, a leading exporter, imposed a formal ban on selling rice abroad to keep local prices down, and the Philippines announced plans for a major purchase of the grain in the international market to boost supplies. Global rice stocks are at their lowest since 1976.

While prices of wheat, corn and other agricultural commodities have surged since late 2006, the increase in rice prices only started in January.


The article continues:

The Egyptian export ban formalises a previously poorly enforced curb and follows similar restrictions imposed by Vietnam and India, the world’s second- and third-largest exporters. Cambodia, a small seller, also on Thursday announced an export ban.

These foreign sales restrictions have removed about a third of the rice traded in the international market.


Rice prices have doubled since January...

Here's a look at what the production has looked like relative to prices:

You'll note, the chart ends in 2007.

The following article was also published in December of 2007:

According to director general of the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the world is already eating more rice than is harvested annually and stocks are at their lowest levels since the early to mid-1970s, when food shortages triggered famine in some Asian countries.

Nearly half the planet's 6.6 billion people depend on rice to survive and demand for the grain is expected to increase 50 % by 2030. Average rice prices have nearly doubled to around $325 PMT in the past six years.


So, prices have doubled in the previous six years, and nearly doubled again in the past two months, with a single 30% jump in one day!


The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) issued a statement last week indicating "surging demand from explosive economic growth in China and India, the world's principal rice producers and consumers, have drained global stocks."

They continue:

...apart from climate changes, the recent supply shocks are being compounded by longer-term pressures as more and more land is being converted for houses and factories, while water is diverted for industrial use.

According to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, total global rice stocks are estimated to be near 75 million metric tons. (Link.)

See also,

'Worrisome signs' for global rice crop

Global rice ending stocks continue to fall

And there is already trouble in the streets...

Grain prices soar globally: Rice shortages are appearing across Asia. In Egypt, the Army is now baking bread to curb food riots.

Bangkok, Thailand - - Rice farmers here are staying awake in shifts at night to guard their fields from thieves. In Peru, shortages of wheat flour are prompting the military to make bread with potato flour, a native crop. In Egypt, Cameroon, and Burkina Faso food riots have broken out in the past week.

“It has reached a critical stage where you do have food riots in a dozen countries or some related disturbance,” Danny Leipziger, the World Bank’s Vice President for poverty reduction and economic management.

Philippine communist rebels vow to step up attacks amid looming food crisis

And this may just be the start:

Rice prices become a ticking time bomb for Asian countries

Fears of unrest rise across Asia as rice price surges 30% in a day

Rising rice prices spark concerns across Asia

Thailand braces for rice crisis

Already we have riots, hoarding, panic: the sign of things to come?

THE soaring price of rice and dwindling stockpiles of Asia's basic food are causing anxiety across the region. In particular the Philippines, a big, hungry country which cannot grow enough to feed itself, could be in trouble. The front pages of Manila's newspapers scream about a “rice crisis”, as politicians float drastic solutions, such as forcing the country's 100 leading firms to take up rice farming.


See also, Food Prices Soaring Worldwide

How Food Shortages Provoke Economic Nationalism: Tight food supplies threaten civil order but governmental responses have not helped

High grain prices having far-reaching impact

This isn't looking very good, now is it?

Look at this too (written just five months ago): US Food Riots Much Closer Than You Think.

The implications of this growing crisis are indeed disturbing.

Slow train wreck anyone?

...maybe not so slow.

[edit on 28-3-2008 by loam]

posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 08:35 AM
Here is what China is doing this morning:

Beijing to spend more on agriculture to curb inflation:
The central government decides to pay farmers more money to encourage them to improve basic food production. This in turn is raising fears about social unrest across the country.

Authorities have frozen retail prices of rice, cooking oil and other goods in an effort to rein in food costs that jumped 23.3 per cent year on year last month. But analysts warned that holding down prices paid to farmers would discourage them from raising production and easing shortages blamed for the increases.


Prices started to rise sharply in just two weeks last year as the mainland ran short of grain and pork, the country's staple meat.

The jump in food costs hit ordinary Chinese hard in a society where families spend up to half their incomes on food, creating panic and violent protests across the country.


posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 11:13 AM
To further corroberate this point (great post btw Loam), Time Magazine, in November of 2007 published an article, based on reports by the UN FAO (Food and Agrcultural Organization) which then, underscored the need for action and it's possible consequences:

Is the world headed for a food crisis? India, Mexico and Yemen have seen food riots this year. Argentines boycotted tomatoes during the country's recent presidential elections when the vegetable became more expensive than meat; and in Italy, shoppers organized a one-day boycott of pasta to protest rising prices. In late October, the Russian government, hoping to ease tensions ahead of parliamentary elections early next year, announced a price freeze for milk, bread and other foods through the end of January.

To qualify their position, the FAO noted:

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) reported last week that, at nearly $100 a barrel, the price of oil has sent the cost of food imports skyrocketing this year. Add in escalating crop prices, the FAO warned, and a direct consequence could soon be an increase in global hunger — and, as a consequence, increased social unrest. Faced with internal rumblings, "politicians tend to act to protect their own nationals rather than for the good of all," says Ali Ghurkan, a Rome-based FAO analyst who co-authored the report. Because of the lack of international cooperation, he adds, "Worldwide markets get tighter and the pain only lasts longer."

Even in November, they realized that Food was obviously going to be a huge problem based on the cost to actually import/export/transport, and that food reserves were at a 35 year low, underscoring that no easy or quick fix was in sight:

What's more, worldwide food reserves are at their lowest in 35 years, so prices are likely to stay high for the foreseeable future. "Past shocks have quickly dissipated, but that's not likely to be the case this time," says Ghurkan. "Supply and demand have become unbalanced, and... can't be fixed quickly."

And, when you throw in the fact that the ability to actually have a reserve has a percentage being redirected toward alternate fuels:

With one-quarter of the U.S. corn harvest in 2007 diverted towards biofuel production, the attendant rise in cereal prices has already had an impact on the cost and availability of food. Critics worry that the gold rush toward biofuels is taking away food from the hungry. Jean Ziegler, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on The Right to Food, recently described it as a "crime against humanity" to convert food crops to fuel, calling for a five-year moratorium on biofuel production.

Time Magazine Article Source

You could certainly have a recipe for disaster when those that are hungry decide to fight to feed their families is far superior to driving their BMW's


posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 01:15 PM
Very well done Loam.. an interesting problem..

It will be interesting to see if in the Mid West we have yet another horrid summer.. crops dried out and died in their fields as cities put restrictions on water as reservoirs ran dangerously low.

I don't think America is in any danger just yet.. we already produce well over what we need.. a drop would only lower it to what we need..

posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 02:26 PM
The Western World will not see riots, but I would not rule out rioting breaking out across the developing/third World (which has already happened).

The UN had to cut it's food aid due to shortages, you'd better pray a famine does not break out in Africa because we will not be able to do anything to help them. That scenario is much worse than rioting.

Sadly, we could end up seeing a huge drop in the World population in the next 10 years because of this food shortage.

posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 04:01 PM
reply to post by infinite

Then one must ask ones self. Is that a bad thing?


Is it? Though.. it won't be an equal lowering of population.. as it is agreed the Western World will not see these problems.

However, according to TIMES on CNN, more and more people are resorting to food banks and soup kitchens..

The fast rising population now using these institutions for the first time is the Middle class family. Frightening indeed.. homelessness and unemployment as well are rising.. steadily.. so perhaps we have a false sense of security..

posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 04:28 PM
I don't think that most people realize the depth of this situation. I feel people think the end of society will come from aliens, global war, or something out of context like that. The truth is much starker than that. Most people in this country couldn't survive any kind of food shortage, their vastly over weight body's can't sustain loss of girth like that. On top of that everyone in this country has a gun(including me) which means that we'll be carrying those to the food lines.

Global food sources are already low, considering all the rioting. I hope most of will be waking up soon to the reality of what's on but as most of us ATS nuts already know, they won't. So, stock up on beans folks, this next 5 years are going to be the wildest in all of recorded history!

posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 04:42 PM
I can imagine the Chinese invade our country to get our food to feed their billion people. Its like our own oil field equivalent.

posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 04:49 PM
Good post and thread. But i think the world wont be rioting just over food. I think the world has had enough of alot of things , for example in the UK, we have rising house prices, below infaltion pay rises and many people facing rising household bills and no money in the bank. People are going to lose tempers very soon. On top of that you have rising fuel prices. I think the credit crunch whihc we are seeing not just in the UK but across the Pond is a timebomb waiting to explode. Ordinary people are soon going to be saying enough is enough and riot. After all here in the UK the last serious riot was back in the early 1990s with the Poll Tax riots and in Liverpool, Mnachester, Bradford and many northern cities in the late 1980s we had riots caused by povery and unemployment also not helped by criminal gangs exploiting the situation. So as you can see it has happened and it will happen again.

I think the trigger will be the expected Human Rights protests during the Olympics in China. And Tibet. They will be the harbringers of world discontent. Governments of the world take note!

posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 05:48 PM

Originally posted by infinite
The Western World will not see riots

I'm not so sure of that.

For example:

Food Prices Soaring Worldwide

But food protests now crop up even in Italy.

See also:

European unions plan protest over living costs

With the crisis affecting nearly all grains, this could quickly spiral out of control.

posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 05:55 PM
reply to post by deltaboy


Then one must ask ones self. Is that a bad thing?

I hate to say, but you will agree with me, this what happens when you have an over populated world with limited resources and a weak infrastructure to deal with it.

posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 06:12 PM
I like to pick up a little extra every time I go shopping. Cans of beans , bags of rice and flour. These are just for the pantry. I also have been buying more compact frozen foods like spinach and collard greens.
I am going to double the size of my vegetable garden this year and learn to can or else dehydrate a ton of veggies. We may not go into a total meltdown but if prices spike for a few months I will be able to ride it out. I assume the food prices will start fluctuating like gas prices if not worse.
I have also been looking into growing my own sprouts. They store dry and then you just sprout as needed giving you vital fresh vegetables in a rough time.

We will end up better for having gone through all this turmoil brought on by the greed and indifference of our misguided leaders and ancestors.

posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 06:30 PM
I'm training myself; like the farmer did with his cow. He trained it not
to eat any more. He said: " I would have trained it not to drink any more
too"; but it up and died on me!

posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 06:44 PM
One of the very interesting and never-studied aspects of the war between North Vietnam and South Vietnam is that for a series of years the rice harvest in North Vietnam failed, but there was abundant rice in South Viet Nam.

Hunger makes for war.

posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 08:56 PM
I'll tell you what.You don't want a confrontation with an angry,hungry man who's trying to feed 3 kids and a wife. I'll start eating people. LOL.

All seriousness though,if we start facing a food crisis you can gaurauntee it will be nothing like gas/oil. A starving person will kill to eat. Back to our primitive instincts and as herbalapoch stated: many people are strapping guns so I can easily see it getting out of control.

Would you let your kids starve. As inhumane as it may sound,my family has to eat no matter what.Lets pray the Lord sheds his grace and mercy on us and we need to stop taking these things for granted.

posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 10:09 PM
What is going on with this world?

Food crisis now?

So we have peak oil, stock market crisis, a housing crisis, and now a food crisis?

And I've probably left out a bunch of other crisis' we're having.
2008 the year of the crisis anyone?

I know here in Australia we are currently in the longest drought in our nations history. Its REALLY bad.
The Govt has had to step in on multiple levels from setting up mental health centers in district area's for suicidal farmers, and special funds to keep the one's who are suffering most afloat.
Which in turn has absolutely hammered food prices here. In the space of a month, ALL essential services prices have risen. Gas, electricity and of coarse water bills have all risen dramatically. All due to the drought. Watching news stories of thousands of sheep and cattle either already dead from starvation or being shot and then bulldozer into large pits and set on fire. Simply because there is NO grain, grass or stock with which to feed them.

Australia is a leading exporter in many foods, considering our vast land mass.
But this drought, the worst in our nations history has really taken its toll on exports and prices in our own markets.

posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 11:14 PM
reply to post by Rockpuck

That is the truth. We absolutly do have a false sense of security and it should never be taken lightly.

posted on Mar, 29 2008 @ 12:17 AM
reply to post by 19DCW71

actually .....

history tells us men will sooner keel over dead, along side their starving children before they make a peep.

the White Boys of Ireland where about as radical as they got during the worst famine in modern Western history..

Essentially nothing more then a scare tactic against local land owners.. nothing came of it, and most members died, along with their families.. plenty of groups got the weapons, got the funding, but did noting.

Mostly because the rich where complacent, and the poor died.

No.. a hungry man is a weak man. nothing more, nothing less.

posted on Mar, 29 2008 @ 01:32 AM
My first thought was to get into the rice farming business, not a global rioting meltdown. Be thankful we don't live in a planned economy. Supply and demand, people.

posted on Mar, 29 2008 @ 10:52 AM

Originally posted by Rockpuck
reply to post by 19DCW71

actually .....

history tells us men will sooner keel over dead, along side their starving children before they make a peep.

the White Boys of Ireland where about as radical as they got during the worst famine in modern Western history..

Essentially nothing more then a scare tactic against local land owners.. nothing came of it, and most members died, along with their families.. plenty of groups got the weapons, got the funding, but did noting.

Mostly because the rich where complacent, and the poor died.

No.. a hungry man is a weak man. nothing more, nothing less.

Well i can see your point so I will take thet as a lesson and learn from history.Not to let myself becom hungry and weak.Now that I have the knowledge,all I have to do is apply it and that shouldn't be to hard considering todays media.You can't even fart w'out the world knowing it. So at the first signs of any problems, I apply my lesson.

I also wouldn't expect anyone to do anything anyway.This whole country is trained and conformed to the laws of this world. I follow my own beliefs and ideal,so I don't act as the masses.I follow my instinct, intuition and my Holy Spirit. Besides if it is the will of The God I believe in, then no man can stop his fate and I'll aceopt it,like it or not.

No.. a hungry man is a weak man. nothing more, nothing less.

I have to disagree. A hungry man is a man who in desperation WILL take measures to not be a starving man.

A starving man is a weak man.Nothing more nothing less..

[edit on 29-3-2008 by 19DCW71]

[edit on 29-3-2008 by 19DCW71]

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