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Food Riots are the True Face of Climate Change

In September 2010, in the African nation of Mozambique, a riot ensued between police and protesters enraged by a 30 percent increase in the price of bread. Thirteen people died and hundreds were wounded.

This is just one instance exemplifying the need for policy makers to address food security issues particularly in the face of climate change. Lest not forget the global food crisis of 2008, when countries around the world saw angry protests in the streets over the rising prices of basic food items.

Indeed, current and projected climate changes will disrupt crop growth and water availability, affecting the world’s food supply, with wide-ranging policy implications for land use planning, water conservation, agricultural policy, public health, and ecosystem management.

On January 5, 2011, the Globe & Mail published an article called “Soaring Global Food Prices Spark Fears of Social Unrest”, noting that the high oil prices that triggered rising prices in past years are not the culprit this time; rather, weather is to blame. Grain crops in Australia, Canada, Russia and Ukraine have been affected by flooding, while dry weather in Argentina, a major soybean producer, has impacted production there.

Beginning in April 2011, ACT will be actively pursuing this issue, and policies that can help, in its next session: Climate Change Adaptation and Crops & Food Supply.

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