HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Environment & Energy » Environment & Energy (Group) » U.S. Drought already crea...

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 11:37 AM

U.S. Drought already creating global unrest

The U.S. is the world's largest exporter of corn and wheat, and 3rd largest exporter of soybeans. According to the Christian Science Monitor, food price increases due to the U.S. drought is already causing unrest in other parts of the world: "Take Indonesia, where soybeans are used to make tofu, the staple protein for the country's poor. There, soybean prices have risen 33 percent in the past month, and are already causing tensions. On July 26, there were clashes in Jakarta and other major cities in markets as a coalition of tofu producers sought to enforce a national production strike protesting against a 5 percent soybean import duty."


3 replies, 1317 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 04:01 PM

1. Some have linked the Arab Spring and unrest in W. Africa with the last crop price spike

We live in interesting times indeed.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to NickB79 (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 11:57 PM

3. So was the French Revolution, the 1848 Revolution and the 1917 and 1918 Russian and German Revolutio


1787 was the year of the Great Famine in France, 1789 was the start of the French Revolution.

Europe had four years of bad harvests between 1844 and 1848, then the revolt that end Monarchy once and for all in France (Unless you count Emperor Napoleon III as a Monarch, as opposed to an "Emperor". Germany saw the overthrow of Mitterrand and the near overthrow of the Prussian king.

In 1917, due to a shortage of food, Russian had two revolution, the second due more to the failure of the first to deliver "Peace and Food". In 1918, Germany demanded from the Communist rulers of Russia a massive shipment of food, which Lenin supplied, but it was not enough to stop the food shortage in Germany (And while Germany promised Austria some of the food, Austria received none. Barges on the Danube with Food loaded for Austria was taken over in Hungary do feed its people, this inability to ship food lead to the fall of the Austria-Hungary Emperor even before Austria and Hungary agreed to surrender to the Allies. Germany was in slightly better shape then Austria and Hungary, but not by much, the German Kaiser was overthrown and replaced by a Social Democratic President who then surrendered to the Allies so he could provide what forces he could to put down the Communist Revolt in Germany. The Situation in Europe was so bad Wilson had Herbert Hoover set up food relief shipments to ease the food shortage in Europe, more to stop Communist revolts that was spring up all over Europe due to the food crisis, then any other factor (Hoover would do it again after WWII).

More on the German Revolution 1918-1919, but it plays down the food crisis, but the reason the Navy mutiny was do to the lack of food and the poor quality of the food being supplied to the enlisted ranks, then any other factor. The Food Shortage is downplay in all of these reports, but it was the single biggest factor in why people participated in the revolt:


Germany in 1941-1945 did NOT suffer from any severe food shortage, the main reason no revolt against the Nazi occurred. Food Shortages only came to be as Germany lost Poland and France in the fall of 1944, thus no food shortage till the Spring of 1945, and by then the Russian, British and American forces were all over Germany (but the US ended up starving to death over 2000 German POWs in the 1945-1946 winter due to the severe food shortage in the post war era).

Reports on US Starving of German POWs (more due to a general lack of food, 1945-1948 then any other reason):

I do not trust the following cite, but it is an interesting read on the subject:

A response to the above cite, that shows how far from facts the report is:

People tend to forget that 1945-1948 was a difficult time for Europe, Eastern Europe, while under Soviet Occupation was undergoing revolution, sometimes under the Control of the Soviet Union, sometimes independent of it. The Communist parties of Greece, Italy and France were active, In Greece and Italy in revolt against the Nazis and then in Greece in Revolt against the Government supported by the US (and it appears popular support was for the Communists NOT the Government the US Supported, but Greece is a country you can only control if you have a fleet, a fact Stalin told the Communists of Greece, Bulgarian and Yugoslavia at the time as the reason they should STOP supporting the Civil War in Greece).

Charles De Gaulle only survived two years as President of France, 1944-1946, then he resigned to come back in the late 1950s. He resign for France was becoming ungovernable. The Fourth Republic started under De Gaulle in 1945, and ended when De Gaulle established the Fifth Republic in 1957.


Marx had a tendency to look for reasons for a revolution other then a food crisis, but most communists acknowledge food crisis is generally the immediate cause for a revolution. As long a people are being feed, they do not revolt, but once they see themselves and their children starving to death, then being killed in a revolt becomes a minor concern. A good way to look at this is the Irish famine (1845-1852). Irish revolts were common prior to the Famine, but had no real support among the peasants of Ireland, until the English refusal to do what was needed during the Irish famine. When the Irish famine first hit, the Prime Minister of England actually arranged for shipments of American Corn (Maize) to Ireland to ease the famine, but he lost his position the next year and the government elected preferred to appease the large land owners of Ireland who wanted to ship cattle for shipment to England as maximum prices, even as the Irish doing the work of taking care of the cattle were seeing their families starve to death.

Thus Ireland was the worse hit of the European nations hit by famine 1845-1848, lead to a revolt in 1848 (as the rest of Europe also went into revolt, with more success then in Ireland). Given that the towns and Cities were controlled by Protestants (Mostly Church of Ireland, a variation of the Church of England, Ulster on the other hand was Presbyterian and were treated not much better then the Catholics, but being more tied in with shipping had options for employment and thus food NOT available to the Catholics). The Irish Revolt of 1848 was put down, mostly because it had no center (i.e. something to rally around other then the lack of food). Famine does not lead to revolts, people are to busy trying to feed themselves in a famine. On the other hand a food shortage with a huge increase in Food Prices almost always brings on a revolution. The Irish famine was to severe for to long to produce a revolution (but set up generations of Irish who wanted to revolt against Britain). By the time the famine was over, the 1850s, so many of the young people of Ireland had immigrated elsewhere or died, thus no pool of people who were still hurting and as such willing to revolt(As the French had done in 1789, two years AFTER the Great famine of 1787, and the rest of Europe had done in 1848, as the food shortage in Europe bottomed out and the situation for Europeans outside of Ireland improved).

More on the Irish Famine:

Just comments that food shortages more then Famines lead to revolutions. Right now you are seeing a world wide food shortage and with that shortage increasing unrest. As prices go down a little bit, then a revolt will occur, as appears to be happening in Syria and what appeared to have happened in Tunisia and Egypt (Libya seems to have other causes. including that both Tunisia and Egypt had gone into revolt)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to phantom power (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 06:26 PM

2. So they threatened a strike against the tariff, but when it was lifted they struck anyway.


Protesting the increasing price of soybeans in the market. They figured if people with little money couldn't afford the tofu then no one should have any, to raise awareness.

Found another article, here,interesting quote:

""We stopped production today and will continue until Friday, even with the levy lifted," Sutaryo said.

"Tofu and tempeh are poor man's food. Poor people can't afford meat, and now if they can't afford tofu and tempeh too, what do they eat?" he said."

That was kinda cool to read.

Can you imagine "U.S. mfrs", say Libby's or Del Monte, or the commodities dealers who make billions from trading the food people need going on strike to protest the idea that it is getting too expensive for the person with low or no income?

Where's my "when pigs fly" graphic...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread