Food troubles are here to stay

Another dimension of Israel. It’s hard to grasp the extent to which oil is a part of our lives until the reality starts to hit us in the face and pocketbooks. And even then, some of us still don’t grasp it, or don’t care because they’re fine now.

Christians, let’s use our greatest resource – the church – to start addressing some of the problems people – whether the average American, or those in Haiti or Indonesia or Israel – are running into and try our best to raise awareness and develop plans of action, because they’re going to get worse.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/980076.html

The government sends calming signals and says no dramatic shortages are expected. The Economist says do nothing, market forces will sort it all out. But as the global food-price crisis hit Israel this week, something told us we are not being told the whole story.

Around the world food prices are soaring. Since January 2006, the price of rice has risen by 217 percent. Wheat, corn and soybean prices have more than doubled, and in several countries, milk and meat prices have also doubled.

Food prices and falling wages have sparked riots in more than 30 countries from Bangladesh to Egypt to Haiti – where the prices of rice, beans, fruit and condensed milk have gone up 50 percent over a few months, while the price of fuel has tripled.

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Happy 2008 everybody!

The decade of our doom draws closer (half kidding. And the alliteration was just by happenstance).

In the meantime, I’ve been reading a book called “The Fourth Turning” by Strauss and Howe describing the cyclical pattern of history, roughly divided into 4 “quarters”: High, Awakening, Unraveling, and Crisis. They say with conviction that the US is approaching a Crisis in the next four years, and characterize US Turnings as roughly 70 years long. Great news, eh?

I’ll be praying for both me and all of you out there. May God be glorified through our lives in these tough times.

Financial News: Crisis soars as fraud and scandal collapse

The level of crisis in the securities and investment banking industry is at its highest since records began, according to the Financial News annual Crisis Index.

The unique Financial News family of indices measures references to collapse, crisis, fraud and scandal in articles in Financial News and on Financial News Online each year. To create each index, the frequency of mentions is rebased to 100 starting in 1998 to reflect the three-and-a-half fold increase in the number of articles published by Financial News in the past decade.

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Energy Crunch Threatens South American Nations

By now the talk about global warming on this site amounts to beating a dead horse, as the granting of the Nobel prize to Al Gore should demonstrate. Clearly, because we fail to take necessary action now as well as in the immediate (as in, the next 3-5 years) future, we are headed towards some catastrophic changes in the way the ecosphere functions to support our main life support systems. There are irreversible changes occurring all around the planet due to the chain of events started by industrialization, the least of which are the opening up of the Northwest passage, the melting of the Siberian permafrost (releasing massive amounts of methane, a far more potent source of pollution than carbon dioxide), rapid melting of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, and increases in chaotic weather (and I’m putting it mildly – like the recent 40 degree drop in temperature from 90 to 50 in the past few days here in Chicago), to name a few.

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Important distinctions between Y2K and Peak Oil

This post is actually a repost (without permission) of a thread I was reading on the Peak Oil discussion group, ROE2 (Running on Empty 2). Just another example of the great minds that are gathering to do something (hopefully) to have a positive impact for the future (of which I was again reminded by the weather abruptly turning cold here, and freezing as the result of trying to stay warm with only a small space heater and some winter clothes). Re: Y2K,was Re: Alternate Energies Posted by: “J libby” jlibby331

Thu Oct 19, 2006 4:35 pm (PST)

Y2K would never have been a civilization ending disaster. I suppose worse case scenario, it migh have caused a major recession, but we would have recovered qucikly. As mentioned here some time ago, I worked on banking software in the late 80s and we were making changes to software than. At that time, many programs couldn’t handle 30 year loans because of the 2 digit dates. But it certainly didn’t bring the mortgage loan business to a halt. Things that didn’t get fixed quick enough caused billing problems, but it all got worked out without causing major problems. The same would have been true of Y2K, if things weren’t fixed quick enough, there would be problems. But much effort and money were put into the problem by government and business to fix the problems. But they were known problems and people knew how to fix them. The media is what created the hype on Y2K. You don’t see that on PO. Continue reading

video: Fox News with Bill Clinton (Chris Wallace Interview)

US Conservatives really need to be educated on spin. It’s too bad for liberals, too, that lack of representation in the Senate and House has led to such sycophancy.

In any case, let’s hope the video stays for awhile before Fox takes it down:

Part I:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-649761639290777197&q=clinton+fox

Part II:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6620818158935418334&q=clinton+fox

[update: Google took it down. Probably due to Fox hounds (pun intended). Download the torrent here.]

Also at Crooks and Liars. Firefox users, I suggest DownloadHelper to rip the video.

Comments (on Part II) by the timestamp of this post included:

I love the smell of Fox napalmed in the morning.
posted 10 hours ago by Hillaryious

Clinton whipped Chris Wallace’s a**ssss!!!! Yeee haw!
posted 10 hours ago by Billdiggity

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Rich nations seek stable global path

The problem with economics educations these days is that the most important points – such as market failure (e.g., failure to account for the cost of polluting mutually beneficial community space) – become so marginalized they eventually become tossed by the roadside of free-marketeerism. [google: environmental economists]

And so we fall into the sheeple mentality where “our leaders” will do something about it. “Our leaders” will stand for us. “Our leaders” will protect us, etc.

Leaders can include all types of people, and they’re not necessarily evil. But when people such as the President or pastors are looked at as “lifelong” or even just “life” leaders, we’ve got a big problem.

That is why I write this blog. I want to challenge you to think independently, think logically (e.g., why trust the government vs. “just don’t trust the government”), and to seek God’s guidance and Jesus’ example in thinking correctly (or alternatively, with moral responsibility).

99.9% of our “leaders” lack this attitude, and that is why the continued exploitation of the poor, among many other injustices, will continue to the very end of the Age.

New York Times via International Herald Tribune.

By Steven R. Weisman The New York Times
SEPTEMBER 17, 2006

SINGAPORE Even before the conclusion of the annual gathering of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, a striking swing in the global order has been obvious. China and other fast-growing developing countries are demanding a bigger say in the aging institutions that superintend the world economy.

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