Saturday, 29 January 2011

Hot spots

Having had a look at what Al Jazeera have been covering, it's interesting to see an overall pattern of effective revolts going on throughout the Middle East. Egypt of course is the biggie in the news, but Tunisia hasn't gone away, Jordan has a similar situation to Egypt, Lebanon and Yemen. Iran has been hanging political activists, and recent upheaval has left the Algerians considering a reshuffle and cutting food prices. A political ripple effect looks to be shaking up the entire region. Red underlined countries on the map indicate significant social and political unrest pushed by food shortages. The major riot flashpoints in the region appear to be driven more by hunger than politics. Although Iraq looks like an undeclared war between Sunni and Shia.

Re Egypt; Mubarak's wife and his two sons have jumped ship for London. The odds are that he will follow shortly. The people he has announced in his new government appear to be US-Friendly not because the USA needs stability to preserve the regions oil, but probably because the region needs US food exports. Certain nations have already begun stockpiling.

The riots don't surprise me. Poor grain harvests from Russia, Australia and Canada this year. Food production is being sidelined for so called 'eco-friendly' (although not really) biofuels. Agricultural runoff from the intensive agriculture to produce biofuels damages coral reefs and increases toxic plankton blooms amongst other things. Yet we in the developed west are constantly being urged to become more 'sustainable', based on the fantasy that by reducing our output of food and energy we would somehow be doing the Earth a favour.

Looks like a lot of these 'Green' policies are actually unsustainable, as the current problems amply demonstrate.

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