Between book plugging and job hunting I’ve had little time to absorb information this week. However, a few things stood out. I’m tempted to say the mouse that shot out of the kindling I used to light the wood-burner a few minutes ago and that I’ve set the humane trap to catch… Or the record renewable energy figures from the 3rd quarter in the UK (but I will do a detailed blog on these in 2013). Or the fact that Climate change has not been mentioned in the US Presidential debates at all, but how much oil can be ripped out the ground has (boy are they in for a shock).
No the stand out thing this week has to be “land grabbing”, which was my TEARFUND prayer item on Wednesday. This is the horrible practise of large companies or even sovereign wealth funds i.e. countries such as Saudi Arabia, buying (acquiring would be a better word) vast quantities of land in developing countries for food security reasons. In actions analogous to the clearances in Scotland and enclosure acts in England indigenous people who have no formal means of proving ownership are kicked off. The land is switched to high intensity monoculture with all the environmental problems that entails. The food is then shipped back to the mother country. There is one interesting point about all this, some countries recognise food security as a issue, which many in rich Western countries don’t.
This idea is not going to work. Firstly, as oil prices and therefore food prices rise the owners will have to protect their food by force against a rising population around their land. Second, as fuel prices rise the practicalities of shipping food long distances will not add up and we will have to grow much more food close to home. In the meanwhile is a grave injustice. Oxfam have a petition, see our Facebook page for details.
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