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Its no secret anymore to most folks, we're in the midst of record breaking temperatures and drought conditions. The county I live in right now in Indiana just had a state of emergency declared, along with thousands of other counties across the US.

Many other Kossacks have already dutifully pointed to the correct culprit here, that being global warming so really I do not plan to rehash out those points. No this diary is going to be another facet on why it is so important we elect President Obama for another four years. It's something that could have very long lasting impacts on the direction this world takes.

Join me over the burnt corn husk for more

The diary was inspired by a recent one on the spotlight... CORN

In that diary the writer correctly predicted some of the conditions we can expect for food prices here in the states. That if conditions persist we stand to lose a substantial amount of our crop this year to heat and drought conditions. I won't rehash here, suffice to say the writer pretty accurately nails how important corn is to our modern society.

No, this diary is about the implications of losing such a large amount of what amounts to a staple crop for this nation and the world at large.

Corn is important, as the diary pointed out, but it is also equally important to the rest of the world. Indeed it may actually be MORE important to the rest of the world than many might realize. You see, corn amounts for nearly two thirds of the grain trade in the entire world. Yes, take that in for a second...two thirds.

Now lets throw some numbers at ya, all these are available on the USDA's website by the way.

The US leads the corn export and trade market with our current share at around 60% of the total world trade. Meaning that the two thirds grain market up there? Yes we own 60% of that. In the year 2008 we maxed out at close to 61 million metric tons of various corn product exported by the United States.

I'll give you a moment to get your jaw off the floor.....Suffice to say, that's A LOT of corn. Now realize that this year of that say 61 million metric tons, this year we are on track to loose 18 to 20 metric tons of it. Go on, pick up that jaw and lets continue.

The closest trade competitor for corn in the world market is China, and even then their trade on corn is often sometimes wonky with them actually IMPORTING corn at times. This is because of China's wonky government control on production which sometimes means they let their fields lay fallow. This year they look to have a very bountiful corn harvest, but because they had a winter wheat blight, expect exports to fall. Even then, market experts are expecting another year where yellow maize tops the markets for import in China.

In any event, because the US literally dominates the market for corn in the world it means that the world corn prices are set mostly...by us. Our supply and demand set the prevailing market prices. Also because it is traded on the dollar, it often means that via exchange rates, a corn producer in say, Argentina, has to not only compete with demand in the states but also exchange rates between currencies to export their corn should they want to sell on the world market.

Add into that equation trade agreements, duties, tariffs, etc.. very often what happens is that to sell on the world market many global corn producers would have to sell at a loss, so they lower production and keep sales domestic at times, or at times like in Russia during the fall of the Soviet Union they just let the fields lay fallow and only grow what is necessary to survive personally. One need only look at how NAFTA literally gutted the Mexican agriculture market to see how trade agreements can have wide impacts on market shifts.

I tend to get long winded, so I'll try and wrap it up and get to the point of the diary.

So who buys our corn?

The big buyers are important, but what is more important is to take a look at the third column. Scroll down the list and look for the negatives, specifically look for those -100% markers. Notice some names?

Libya
Tunisia
Syria
Tanzania

Peruse the list some more and look for some more of those negative numbers, you'll see many countries which often have out reaching humanitarian programs into African nations. Much of the down trending is due to the economic collapse as a whole, but realize that as markets and economies rebound the total amount will never recover to previous levels because well, corn is just going to cost more.

Here, contemplate this, prices are going up on corn.. Futures are on the rise upwards of 30% and it looks like it may go higher. In fact, expect price world wide to spike as the full brunt and effect this US drought has wrought becomes apparent.

So pivot slightly. Many of you have already recognized where I am going with this, but I feel it necessary to really nail it home.

We just witnessed some of the most amazing things in the middle east recently, the Arab Spring. However there are dark clouds on the horizon regarding food supply. Many of these nations are struggling to get back on their feet and provide for their people. Imagine having to live with bread at 10 dollars a loaf instead of the normal 3, now imagine waking up with the promise to return to normal only to find out that the bread only came down to 6 dollars a loaf.

Food is intrinsically linked to unrest, we know this. Typically however the US has been able to buffer the market and stabilize prices because of our bountiful harvest. This year is not going to be one of those years, and it comes at a moment in our world history where the world is literally topsy turvy. With the middle east still in turmoil, African nations suffering droughts and lost crops, and now the US most likely unable to buffer the market...well its like I said above.

Get Ready For A Wild Ride

And for conclusion of this diary?

With all this unrest, with all these possible conflicts and hot spots growing around the world...who would you rather have as president?

Yeah, exactly.

12:42 PM PT: Took a break from being Cinderfella (on my knees scrubbing the kitchen floor today) and saw this on the spotlight. Thank you Rangers. One thing I wanted to point out as pointed out in comments below, this drought does not even begin to assess the possible dangers we may be facing to summer crops but also winter crops like wheat. The wheat grown in this nation is a staple food item of many third world nations.

Wild ride indeed, but as kamarvt noted below "A wild ride, indeed, but not a thrilling one."

Originally posted to Hoosier Progressive on Fri Jul 13, 2012 at 09:04 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Glad to see this site ahead of the story as usual (27+ / 0-)

    it is getting awfully late in the year. Those crops are NOT going to recover. The corn crop is going to take a huge hit. And as the movie King Corn (highly recommend watching) and the latest diary CORN pointed out, it is a huge part of the economy. The price of beef is already insane. What is interesting is that I have been seeing the price of butter going wayyy down. Chicken seems to be holding stable to a bit lower here in CA. I was really suprised to find lamb steaks on sale for 2.99 a lb this week. My advice to kossacks with freezers - shop the sales and stock up. I think food prices are going to go crazy if we have corn crop losses of the magnitude that it is looking like.

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Fri Jul 13, 2012 at 09:21:21 PM PDT

    •  There are also a TON of unknowns so far (17+ / 0-)

      China looks like they will eat their own dog food so to speak and Russia numbers are an unknown. So there is some waiting help in the wings that might occur...unlikely but still.

      And with the huge dry shift unless the weather changes and changes soon, we may be looking at disrupts for the fall wheat harvest as well. And if that happens, holy hell its going to get expensive to eat.

      Thanks for reading and the comment, I think people are to laser focused on the domestic when this is going to have far reaching effects on the world wide condition.

      --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

      by idbecrazyif on Fri Jul 13, 2012 at 09:28:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (9+ / 0-)

      NPR Thursday said that the price of beef will drop a lot as cattle are slaughtered before they lose condition from rationed feed.

      Weathering Michigan's recessions since the '70s.

      by jennifree2bme on Fri Jul 13, 2012 at 09:57:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is correct, expect wonky pricing for the next (11+ / 0-)

        three months.

        Meat prices are going to be weird for the next quarter as livestock is slaughtered early or in advance of what they know is a coming shortage of feed or higher feed prices.

        Now, fast forward to Sept? Yeah, beef is going to be pretty damn high compared to now.

        --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

        by idbecrazyif on Fri Jul 13, 2012 at 10:03:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  All I know is that it is ridiculous right now. And (8+ / 0-)

          that is OK, should not be eating it anyway. DH's R BFF has been raising our meat for the last few years. So far, 2 beef, 3 pigs and a lamb. Last beef was slaughtered 2010 - we are almost out of beef but with the price of the steer and the feed, we have collectively been putting it off. And then my diagnosis with type ii diabetes - should not be eating beef anyway. (it is amazing how bad beef is on your blood sugar). We did a pig this year. I think lambs are in the future for next spring. If you have not tried it, lamb stew meat makes the BEST tacos. Just trim off the fat first.

          if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

          by mrsgoo on Fri Jul 13, 2012 at 10:22:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We've been doing turkey for the most part (8+ / 0-)

            It had the added benefit that the excess parts get depolymerized into oil.

            Even then we try to minimize our 'meat' intake and try to increase our protein intake through eggs and veggies.

            --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

            by idbecrazyif on Fri Jul 13, 2012 at 10:30:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Fish and salad. But I must admit, I went off the (8+ / 0-)

              rails for potatoes the other day and made a potato salad. It IS summer after all! As I told my Dr. - it isn't cheap eating healthy. A bag of potatoes goes a long way. Freakin' ground turkey is 5 bucks a pound out here. Ain't doing it. Can't make me. I'm real down with the buck a pound chicken!

              if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

              by mrsgoo on Fri Jul 13, 2012 at 11:46:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  So interesting the regional pricing (6+ / 0-)

                Chicken here is boneless skinless breasts around 3.99 pound while I can get ground turkey frozen for 1.89 a pound.

                Most people lose that perspective, on how much location matters. We're lucky that there are some major turkey farms near us, which reduces prices considerably.

                .....idk either way I think we may end up eventually looking towards insects for our protein intake.

                --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

                by idbecrazyif on Fri Jul 13, 2012 at 11:54:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  fer f's sake we're not far from foster farms - (5+ / 0-)

                  turlock. CSU there is called Turkey Tech. Makes NO sense we pay 5 bucks a pound for ground turkey here. I think it's coz they can get away with it more than anything. And with that I'm going to bed. Nighty Night!

                  if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

                  by mrsgoo on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 12:28:38 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  if you can, plant the ones with "legs" ("eyes") (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tobendaro

                I had an extra squash hill in the garden back in late April, so I stuck an old Russet in the ground.
                Last week I pulled out over 6# of the best damn potatoes I've ever eaten, including 3 that weighted in over a pound apiece.

                Class war has consequences, and we are living them.

                by kamarvt on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 11:22:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Careful with the cheap chicken. (3+ / 0-)

            A friend sent me this link today about cheap chickens and women at risk for UTIs. I don't eat much chicken or beef lately, or even most fish. I think sheep, duck and venison, along with some trout a farmer I trust up the road raises are the new normal.

            "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

            by northsylvania on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:01:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  oats, oats, oats! (11+ / 0-)

      They're high in protein, they have complex carbohydrates.  

      Oatmeal is one of the least expensive breakfasts in town.  

      Oat flour can be mixed into recipes calling for wheat flour: experiment by slightly increasing the amount each time to see how much wheat flour you can save.  

      Oats and oat flour can be used as a major component of veggie burger patties.

      Oats are almost taste-neutral so you can add whatever sweeteners or spices may be appropriate for what you're making.  

      While everyone else is on the corn rollercoaster or fretting about soy, you can chug along on oats and miss much of the "excitement."  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Fri Jul 13, 2012 at 11:31:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  what G2G said (0+ / 0-)

        And I'd add buckwheat, millet, barley, quinoa, rye and kamut as well.
        Or if in the tropics, beaucoup yams, breadfruit, taro, sweet potatoes, amaranth, plantains and brown rice too!

        why? just kos..... *just cause*

        by melo on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 06:24:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The price of feed corn will go up too. While chick (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Siri, tonyahky, Only Needs a Beat

      en may be low now it is bound to go up. Frequently meat producers butcher more of the animals to get them off the feed line and out other water usage. Butter mya go back up as there is more movement into that product...

      Corn affects everything because it is used for everything. Literally! I have been collecting info on what it is in because I have severe problems with it... I have had to shift to making my own in most foods. It is like asking what isn't made in China in your home? Corn feeds meat animals, is in most products used on hair, skin and make-up and is a filler in most pills. It is even used in clothing and other woven materials. Ethanol is produced from corn.

      Prices in products not obviously using corn will be coming up too. Especially as the speculators get in on the feeding off of disaster.

      How can you tell when Rmoney is lying? His lips are moving. Fear is the Mind Killer

      by boophus on Fri Jul 13, 2012 at 11:33:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What's most infuriating is the ethanol (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SuWho, nchristine

        with a corn shortage looming we're still subsidizing corn ethanol, which wastes a food source to produce fuel that lowers your car's mpg.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:31:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Were you in Elkhart County during the 1988 (5+ / 0-)

    drought?  How did that episode compare to this one?

    Where are we, now that we need us most?

    by Frank Knarf on Fri Jul 13, 2012 at 09:31:15 PM PDT

  •  Driving from Texxas to Indiana this week, there is (7+ / 0-)

    no denying crops are in trouble all across the grain belt.  We've had serious droughts in specific areas before, but this crop damage is so wide-spread, there is no way to help ourselves out of it, I'm afraid.

  •  Like you, I was impressed by "CORN" (6+ / 0-)

    and went searching on some links that were offered.

    I studied. A lot. I did not come away feeling very fuzzy. Thanks for a good exposition Main Street and the kitchen table can understand. And, perhaps, maybe just do something about--even if only for their own family.

    Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
    Economic
    Left/Right: -7.75
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

    by Bud Fields on Fri Jul 13, 2012 at 10:10:15 PM PDT

  •  Global warming is clearing its throat (13+ / 0-)

    When it starts singing it may be too late.

    We need an awakening in DC and everywhere.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Fri Jul 13, 2012 at 10:16:01 PM PDT

  •  let's not forget the other end of the pipeline: (17+ / 0-)

    Population.

    Earth can sustainably support about 3 billion humans, less if climate change passes a significant tipping point.  

    We're at 7 billion and counting.  

    Animals multiply up to the limit of their food supply and then have "dieoffs."  We're supposed to be smarter than other animals.

    Melinda Gates recently broke the blockade on this issue, by donating a huge sum of money to worldwide family planning, and stating that she's a faithful Catholic who disagrees with the Church about birth control.  She deserves a medal for that.

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Fri Jul 13, 2012 at 11:36:12 PM PDT

    •  Another question is what is the carrying capacity (3+ / 0-)

      of North America or the US in particular, both with and without petroleum (or imports/exports). I'm not saying we should be stingy, but it needs to consider all the constraints.

      -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

      by JPax on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 01:48:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes, absolutely. (6+ / 0-)

        The ecological footprint of the average American is equivalent to that of ten average Chinese.  

        Thus our 350 million Americans are equivalent to 3.5 billion Chinese.  

        The sustainable average consumption level for Earth with 3 billion humans, is somewhere between Eastern and Western Europe.    That's about half the consumption level of Americans at this time.

        So realistically the sustainable population for the US is somewhere between 35 million and 175 million, but certainly not 350 million.

        And the policy solutions to that are:

        1)  Reduce our ecological impact per capita to somewhere between Eastern and Western Europe.  This entails the usual combination of energy efficiency, increased product life-cycles, cutbacks in wasteful consumption habits, and so on.  

        2)  Incentivize single-child families to bring down native-born population rapidly.  This can be done via tax incentives, educational incentives, and universal access to family planning.  (Those who don't believe in contraception can start practicing "abstinence education for adults.")

        3)  Maintain a level of immigration sufficient to maintain cultural vitality.  This will slow our population decline somewhat but is necessary to prevent cultural stagnation.

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 02:53:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You will run up against the brickwall of (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean, JPax, SuWho

          movements like Quiverfull.

          However I do agree with you.

        •  Not sure that answers the question. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nchristine

          Comparisons with Chinese don't help me much because the Chinese footprint is in flux as is their level of technology and by itself means nothing to me since I have not the relevant data from which to extrapolate meaning from your statement. It also doesn't address the local production capacity of NA and it doesn't address the variables of using local petroleum or alternative energies and none at all.

          I know our usage is high, but what is the carrying capacity of this particular agricultural area in and of itself, not as a function of a percentage of the world.

          Some people are saying we should grow all food locally, so that would mean not much would be exported to other parts of the world. Do you expect we'd have surplus food and/or should burn carbon to transport it overseas in your future scenario?

          -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

          by JPax on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 11:57:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  We do have Corn stockpiles... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bumbi, Only Needs a Beat

    But according to Bloomberg, they're lower than they has been in 8 years (some reports say 37 years, since 1974)

    -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

    by JPax on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 01:41:25 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for this diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bumbi, Only Needs a Beat

    I have never never never understood why futures forecasters missed the seriously mild midwest winter we just went through, when fielding the price on corn.

    It gives a lovely light.

    by CayceP on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 06:25:51 AM PDT

  •  Richard Clarke : Biggest threat to our country ? (6+ / 0-)

    Reporter:  to Richard Clarke:  "What's the biggest threat to our country?"
    Richard Clark : "Global Warming"
    Reporter: "Do you think the President is dealing with global warming?"
    Richard Clarke: "Oh, I think we just lost that chance"  "It's too late now"

    This was after Gore lost to Bush.

    " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

    by EarTo44 on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 06:29:55 AM PDT

  •  It's all interconnected (6+ / 0-)

    Our world is a vast celtic knot of inter-dependencies.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 06:38:06 AM PDT

  •  Interesting: no one's mentioning Soylent Green. (5+ / 0-)

    The back story is so apropos.

    Corporatism has fucked the planet, gotten rich off the consumption of the billions, used up all the available resources, to the point that even the vast productivity of the ocean (making edible algae, the "Soylent"stuff before the Great Fail had them turn to recycling "people" through the algae vats) is gone.

    A Soylent exec gets murdered, because he has had a fit of conscience and is about to spread the word, the details, of what his high-living buddies are hiding, as they live out their lives in such splendor and ease and luxury as the remaining energies and wealth of the planet allows. Knowing, as they do, that they have murdered our island home, which like a lot of large critters is taking a little while to die. But the Soylent execs know they are able to keep the lid on for a while yet, keep getting their rocks off and savoring all the residual pleasures while the masses slowly absorb themselves.

    And like our current crop of kleptocrats, intent on personal pleasure and power, and who gives a shit about anything bigger than one's own ego and personal satisfaction, they know they are taking part in a gang rape so huge that there's no way they can be stopped.

    You don't see it much any more, but for a while people writing and thinking about what's going on used to highlight a Wall Street commonplace, that old "So what? I'll be gone, you'll be gone!" smuggery that to me, at least, captures everything that is deadly and futile and sorrowful about the whole chain of extraction and consumption and indulgence that has made the few very merry at the total expense of the many.

    These are people who fear no consequences. They know they will only live a relatively few years on the time-curve of the Great Decline. they have their security forces, their safe retreats, their residual garden spots to run to, safe from extradition and prosecution because of all the prep work they have done, plowing the ground of politics and finance to be sure the weeds of corruption and guile choke off any chance of retribution and restitution. They will live in pleasure, even if "things get very bad," because the Fall will not be uniformly quick across the planet. And they will eventually die, comfortably and well cared for by their "people" (who, in order to gain their own little share of the remaining Goodness, and in the hope that they too might join the 0.0001% by some "success," will happily wipe their drool and their asses, wax their Ferraris and mega-yachts, and administer kindly medications and therapies to ease their passing.) Die, in peace and quiet, immunized to any consequences.

    What are we, the rest of us, going to do? "We" have grown too big for our range, most of us have been living off the rapine ourselves, and are to varying degrees complicit in the assault. What are we going to do with respect to the worst of these our fellow critters, the poisoners and thieves and cutthroats? Find their graves or ashes, dig them up and dishonor them?

    "Soylent Green is People!!!" the horror, the horror...

    "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

    by jm214 on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 07:36:13 AM PDT

    •  Wall-E is the kinder, gentler version. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SuWho, nchristine

      But what's going to happen is that water is going to be an issue before anything else.  There will be resource wars and guess who's going to win?

      Newt Gingrich, during the primaries, on releasing Rmoney's tax returns: "If there's anything in there that's going to help us lose the election, we should know it before the nomination, and if there's nothing in there, why not release it?"

      by Back In Blue on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 06:14:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This could bring the ethanol industry to its knees (4+ / 0-)
  •  White and red wheat... (5+ / 0-)

    The price of white wheat will also probably go through the roof, as what's grown in the USA is already sold mostly to Third World countries, and I suspect it will be used as a stopgap survival grain wherever possible.

    Red wheat I don't know so much about as to whether the USA exports as proportionate an amount to the Third World.  It typically has a higher protein/nutritional content, but that also means that it's typically more expensive.

    On a side note, I've just returned from visiting relatives in Indiana and Illinois.  Corn was definitely growing poorly in some parts, but not throughout.  South of Indianapolis looked very bad, though Boone County, where my parents live, was horrible.  Local reports were in the news about feeding whatever survived in stunted fields to cows because it wouldn't be worth trying to sell on commodities markets.  And a couple of relatives were telling me how farmers were going to be praying a lot that their soybean crop would carry them through the worst this go-round.

    (Which leads me to wonder if processed soybeans could also be pressed into service as a survival food...)

    My two bits....

    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.

    by Palamedes on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:52:03 AM PDT

  •  Arab Spring (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, idbecrazyif, SuWho

    many don't remember it was the price of food skyrocketing that sparked the Arab Spring.
    Yes, the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi was the immediate catalyst, but it happened in an environment of desperation brought on by food prices and shortages.

    More than "learning to live with less" or finding creative ways to buy that $10 or $6 loaf of bread, many more people will be staring starvation in the face as this pattern intensifies. This will not be a phenomenon limited to the Arab or African nations, either. There will be more people than ever with literally nothing to lose, and that is never a good thing, even if it means toppling some abhorrent dictators.
    A wild ride, indeed, but not a thrilling one.

    Class war has consequences, and we are living them.

    by kamarvt on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 11:34:17 AM PDT

    •  I totally agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kamarvt, SuWho
      This will not be a phenomenon limited to the Arab or African nations, either. There will be more people than ever with literally nothing to lose, and that is never a good thing, even if it means toppling some abhorrent dictators.
      If this season happens to be an anomaly and say growing season recovers next year then current food stores will buffer the famines to some degree.

      But fancy this, the US has a poor corn crop coming and conditions continue as is and we reap a poor wheat harvest. That will lead to even worse conditions world wide.

      Now imagine that we have a warm summer again, with continued dry periods.....

      Definitely not thrilling, scary maybe.

      --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

      by idbecrazyif on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 12:50:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Looks like a boatload of rain in Iowa and Illinois (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    idbecrazyif

    today, crossing into Indiana right about now.

    Too little too late for some of the crop, I guess, but it's something...

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 12:57:02 PM PDT

  •  And this is all before we really factor in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SuWho

    the inevitable rise in sea levels-- has anyone stopped to think about the increased salinity of coastal areas that are dependent on rice harvests? How many people depend on that?

    It's going to get nasty indeed.

  •  good diary (0+ / 0-)

    thanks for the tip of the hat, and more importantly for going into so much more depth than I did.

  •  Cursed are the foresighted (0+ / 0-)

    What does a person do over the 20-30 years between realizing a massive debacle is on the horizon and the time it finally hits?

    The heat won't be the beast that culls some 3 to 4 billion humans from the global population. It will be those old Four Horsemen, with Famine and War leading the charge.

    So what's the answer? I don't know. But I do think it is easier for me w/o any kids or even nieces and nephews. Why do I care when GOP Joe and his four kids live in denial?
    I'm out of answers today.

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