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The New York Times reports this morning that “six long years of drought have taken a toll, reducing Australia’s rice crop by 98 percent,” and that “the collapse of Australia’s rice production is one of several factors contributing to a doubling of rice prices in the last three months — increases that have led the world’s largest exporters to restrict exports severely, spurred panicked hoarding in Hong Kong and the Philippines, and set off violent protests in countries including Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, Indonesia, Italy, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, the Philippines, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Yemen.

“Drought affects every agricultural industry based here, not just rice (but) the drought’s effect on rice has produced the greatest impact on the rest of the world, so far. It is one factor contributing to skyrocketing prices, and many scientists believe it is among the earliest signs that a warming planet is starting to affect food production.”

KC's View:
One of the interesting problems that this article posits is that if indeed global warming is having a discernible impact on food production, this is just the beginning…and that in fairly short order, these problems will not be just agricultural and economic, but also political, with the haves being pitted against the have-nots in a world of dwindling food supplies.

It all begins to sound like a science fiction movie come to life, and will make at least some of us wonder what kind of world we are leaving to our children and our children’s children. There will be others, of course, who will believe such worries are the stuff of Chicken Little.

I’m afraid that on this one, I side with the pessimists.