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New Research: Local Food Price Spikes Increase Likelihood of Unrest

 

Protesters marching in Cairo, "Bread, Freedom, Social Justice By, Mariam Soliman from Cairo, Egypt

Protesters marching in Cairo, “Bread, Freedom, Social Justice By, Mariam Soliman from Cairo, Egypt

This is a cross-post by Todd G. Smith via New Security Beat (see the original post for some great questions in the comments section).

From the Roman poet Juvenal’s observations about bread and circuses to Marie Antoinette’s proclamation, “let them eat cake!” the link between food and political stability is well established in pop culture. In academic and policy circles, however, it’s a source of considerable debate.

Since 2008, when the FAO Food Price Index spiked to previously unseen levels, reports of so-called “food riots” have become common. In 2011, researchers at the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) released a short paper presenting a compelling correlation between spikes in the FAO Food Price Index in 2008 (and again in 2011) and media reports of food riots across the Middle East and North Africa. (more…)

Brazil: Water Woes, Climate Change and Security

Brazil_dry earth in Ibirapuera Park Sao PauloBy Lieutenant Commander Oliver-Leighton Barrett, United States Navy (Ret)
Senior Research Fellow, the Center for Climate and Security

In restaurants across South America’s largest and most populous city, Sao Paulo, customers are being served drinks and meals on plastic cups and plates. The reason? A severe shortage of clean water, exacerbated by drought, means there’s no water for washing dishes. A burgeoning urban population and the effects of climate change are likely to exacerbate Brazil’s water woes. And given Brazil’s evolving role on the international stage, as an agricultural giant and a standard-bearer for a group of emerging economies, this will have both domestic and international security implications. (more…)

Message to Davos: Climate Change Risk Assessments Need to Go Big

World_Economic_Forum_-_World_Economic_Forum_Annual_Meeting_Davos_2005A version of this article also appeared on the Reuters Foundation news service, AlertNet

Climate change is on the agenda at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos this year. This is good news for those concerned about the unprecedented risks climate change poses to society. (more…)

Security and Sustainability Forum Event: International Food Security

drought-affected farmland Colorado_2012The Security and Sustainability Forum and the National Council on Science and the Environment are holding an interesting webinar discussion tomorrow on international food security, hosted by Dr. Marcus King of George Washington University (and Advisory Board member here at CCS) and moderated by Dr. Elizabeth Chalecki of the Stimson Center. The session is part of the monthly “Environmental Security Scenario Series.” The webinar begins at 1:15pm Eastern. Click here to register.

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