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Breadline Cairo : Democracy’s Challenge

Well, Mubarak’s made an exit – and real Egyptian democracy can begin – as long as the army don’t get crowd control ideas above their station and the old elites don’t interfere with the process of free and fair elections.

But democracy is not going to solve the problem of the price of bread.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20082-can-complexity-theory-explain-egypts-crisis.html
https://climateprogress.org/2011/02/09/un-food-agency-severe-drought-threatens-wheat-crop-china-food-security/
https://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/damian-carrington-blog/2011/jan/28/climate-change-food-bubble
https://climateprogress.org/2011/02/07/economist-krugman-high-cost-of-food-extreme-weather-climate-change-tunisia-egypt/
https://climateprogress.org/2011/02/04/contribution-of-high-food-prices-to-mideast-unrest/

Climate Change plays a part in creating scarcity and irregularity in crop production :-

https://www.usda.gov/oce/commodity/wasde/latest.pdf

But it’s what happens next that’s the killer :-

https://www.wdm.org.uk/stop-bankers-betting-food/what-problem

“Food Speculation : What is the problem? : Banks, hedge funds and pension funds are betting on food prices in the financial markets, causing drastic price swings in staple foods such as wheat, maize and soy…”

https://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-how-goldman-gambled-on-starvation-2016088.html

“By now, you probably think your opinion of Goldman Sachs and its swarm of Wall Street allies has rock-bottomed at raw loathing. You’re wrong. There’s more. It turns out that the most destructive of all their recent acts has barely been discussed at all. Here’s the rest. This is the story of how some of the richest people in the world – Goldman, Deutsche Bank, the traders at Merrill Lynch, and more – have caused the starvation of some of the poorest people in the world. It starts with an apparent mystery. At the end of 2006, food prices across the world started to rise, suddenly and stratospherically. Within a year, the price of wheat had shot up by 80 per cent, maize by 90 per cent, rice by 320 per cent. In a global jolt of hunger, 200 million people – mostly children – couldn’t afford to get food any more, and sank into malnutrition or starvation. There were riots in more than 30 countries, and at least one government was violently overthrown. Then, in spring 2008, prices just as mysteriously fell back to their previous level…”

https://www.thisislondon.co.uk/lifestyle/article-23921754-the-men-who-ate-the-world-why-foodstuffs-have-shot-up-in-price.do

“The hedge fund guy sitting beside me was asked about his next plan for global domination. He’d done houses and gold – what was the new new thing? “Food,” he said between mouthfuls of lobster. “We’re piling into food. Weather’s getting weird, so there’ll be crop failures. There won’t be enough to go around.”…”

Many blessings for your newly-born democracy, Egypt, and we hope you can win the fight to secure affordable food, too.

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