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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…)
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…)
The 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.