"FOOD riots in developing countries will spread unless world leaders take major steps to reduce prices for the poor, the head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warned yesterday. World cereal production will rise, but record prices are unlikely to fall, forcing poorer countries’ food import bills up 56 per cent and hungry people on to the streets, the FAO’s director-general, Jacques Diouf, said.“The reality is that people are dying already in the riots,” he told a news conference. "They are dying because of their reaction to the situation and if we don’t take the necessary action there is certainly the possibility that they might die of starvation. Naturally, people won’t be sitting dying of starvation, they will react.“Increased food demand from richer consumers in the growing economies of China and India, the use of biofuels to combat global warming, global food stocks at 25-year lows and market speculation are all blamed for pushing the price of wheat, maize and rice to record highs.”
It seems that as we buzz about in our SUV’s pursuing our daily activities and consuming fuel at a furious rate, riots are breaking out in Egypt, Indonesia, Haiti and other places where the cost of a daily ration has doubled. It’s occurred to me that, in some ways, our way of life, our over-consumption, our very wealth and selfish, self-centered perspective is helping to kill people around the globe. Of course, as you read the article, you’ll see it’s not just us, it’s also the rapid emergence of a new middle class in China and India. But it’s also the switching of production from cereals to bio-fuel crops.
There seems to be nothing that I or anyone else can do on a personal level to abate this suffering. Our wishes are confounded by corrupt foriegn governments and the puny choices offered up as governmental leaders in our own country.
But, today I read in my Meditations, (The Word Among Us), “With the Holy Spirit in you, your prayers can change the world - securing blessings for leaders, disrupting evil plots, reducing suffering, bringing healing.”
Let us pray…daily!