24 Jul '11, 11am

Packing heat: Why violence boils over on a warming planet

Packing heat: Why violence boils over on a warming planet

The Arab Spring, I've been arguing, is in part triggered by climate change. The question is why now, right? Egypt lived for 30 years under this kleptocratic police state. Why didn't they rebel last year, or two years from now? One thing that happened was grain prices almost doubled last year: Corn prices went up by 91 percent, wheat prices went up by 83 percent. The corn prices were affected by flooding in Canada, the U.S., and Australia. The Black Sea drought -- the worst drought that the former Soviet Union has seen in a hundred years -- affected grain crops in the Ukraine, Russia, and Kazakhstan very badly. The largest wheat exporter in the world, Russia, declared a total ban on wheat exports. The largest wheat importer in the world is Egypt. Food inflation was running at 20 percent. The average Egyptian spends 40 percent of their income on food. These rebellions are al...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/climate-change/2011-07-24-packing-he...

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