News of the Day
I want to feature an article that came to my attention this morning courtesy of News.com.au (not usually one of my regular or recommended news sources, but we all have our good days) via AFSA, the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance. The AFSA comment on this is:
A fairly alarmist NewsCorp story but it brings into focus why food sovereignty – for all countries of our region and globally – is a much better way to go than food dependency, which is what ‘free trade’ is creating.
There are two things to which I want to give expression here.
The article itself.
This article, under the title ‘World food production report has serious implications for Australia’s security‘, I deem to be one of the most important I have read in recent times even though its source may be less than impeccable, coming from the NewsCorp stable of Rupert Murdoch.
Because news has such a short life cycle and this article is likely to disappear within a short time, for posterity I will try to summarise and provide links to supporting papers quoted in the article.
The world is beginning to struggle to feed itself both because of falling agricultural yields around the world and a rapidly increasing population. For those interested in scientific data, the following report is referenced: Yield Trends Are Insufficient to Double Global Crop Production by 2050.
Unrest, to say the least, is forecast for our region, where tensions are already growing and there is some likelihood of local wars erupting in the coming decades.
Retired Major General John Harley is quoted as saying to The Australian earlier this week: “There is the potential for significant food shortages in our region by 2025,”. It is also noted that Australia is facing the concept of becoming a net food importer, something that we have never before needed to contemplate.
Here are some quotes from the article, which may be taken as NewsCorp alarmism but which I take very seriously:
“Shortages and rising prices may create a double whammy: Average families struggling to put food on the table, while at the same time government is forced to cut back on social welfare programs,” Dr Ganguly said.
“Growing anger may spill over onto our streets, leading to law and order problems. In the worst case scenario, food riots may break out, undermining Australian internal security and domestic stability.
“We need to focus our attention on increasing food production; in short, domestic food production simply must keep pace with the food requirements of a growing population.”
I personally think that we should not ignore or dismiss these things lightly.
The article includes a publicity photo for the remarkable Australian book based film of 2010 ‘Tomorrow When The War Began‘. This movie was in my view, while ostensibly being merely a teen-flick, a much underrated highly prescient, predictive and, it has to be said, very enjoyable work of entertainment. Even for a senior citizen like myself.
I have even bought and downloaded the movie to my computer so that I may watch it whenever or show it privately to others. This story is from the first of a series of young teen books by Australian writer John Marsden. Note to self: Must buy the books or read for free online.
A brief synopsis of the story could go like this, which is entirely my own words:
A group of seven Australian teenagers arrange a weekend of camping in a remote area. While there they see a huge number of unknown aircraft flying overhead. Curious, they head for home only to discover that the nation has been invaded and largely taken over, with little in the way of resistance, by an unnamed foreign power which turns out to be of vaguely asian origin (you don’t actually see much of their appearance, just the face of one very young dead soldier, because they are helmeted and goggled as active military tend to be these days and could really have been of any nationality). The rest of the movie consists of their exploits to rescue one of their number who is trapped and in danger of being captured by the enemy followed by their brave mission to blow up a key bridge to slow down the movements of the foreign troops.
The reason that I found this movie so captivating was that I had realised for some time that such a scenario is entirely possible and even likely to eventuate at some stage in the type of world situation that we are living through today.
Does it not make sense that foreign investors in our land, when situations become desperate, such as the food shortages predicted by the article referenced above, that they will want to claim access to their vested interests here as security of resources for their own people. In reality there is little that we could do, notwithstanding our famed military skills, to prevent such a well planned and executed invasion of our shores by any of our neighbouring nations or even by our current allies.
A scary thought.