Climate change a cause of Arab spring and more to come . . .

In his New York Times column today, Thomas L Friedman attributes climate change and the collapse of the world’s food crops, particularly wheat, as a major cause of civil unrest, particularly in the Middle East and specifically as a cause of the “Arab spring”:

“Consider this: The world’s top nine wheat-importers are in the Middle East: “Seven had political protests resulting in civilian deaths in 2011,” said Sternberg. “Households in the countries that experience political unrest spend, on average, more than 35 percent of their income on food supplies,” compared with less than 10 percent in developed countries.

Everything is linked: Chinese drought and Russian bushfires produced wheat shortages leading to higher bread prices fueling protests in Tahrir Square. Sternberg calls it the globalization of “hazard.”.

This is where we are:

  • No one has saved a planet before;
  • Some of us – greenies, in particular, narcissists and attention-seekers – profess to have solutions which are no more than untried experiments;
  • We’ve changed the climate on our planet  so we can’t grow enough food for our ever-increasing human animal numbers;
  • When we can’t get enough food to live we attack the systems of government and order which we blame for the lack of food;
  • Our systems of government are unable to stop the damage we’re doing to our climate, to increase the amount of food we grow, nor solve ever-increasing droughts and floods;
  • Mainstream media and politicians lack the courage, wit and passion to tell these truths to us all.

Ahhhh . . . .

I write this as the unseasonable rain sings on my iron roof filling my rain tank, my bees have retired for the night to their hive, and my chooks to their straw floored hutch.  The figs flower for the first time on my young fig tree, and the tree tomatoes, too, for the first time on the Tamarillo in our road gardens.

And that’s enough; that’s all we need.

Such a simple story to tell, and be part of here where we grow food in our road gardens.

Thank you Mr Friedman, thank you rain, bees, trees, tank and chookies (Pesky and Cleo).

Til next time, may the food be at your place, in your garden and out on your road’s ‘nature’ strip.


2 Responses to “Climate change a cause of Arab spring and more to come . . .”
  1. ibika says:

    a jet setting sustainability consultant that is.. flying around australia and the globe!!..

  2. ibika says:

    as always..thanks for sharing this sir michael..
    was wondering.. apart from developing local and sustainable/ethical food sytems what would be the top 5 changes that one and society would need to make to even begin thinking about sustainability?.
    I always think back to your epithany around your food consumption after you had done the “sustainable house” and you realised the food was a bigger impact.. and also that bathurst burr post you did a while back around the strange occurence of “sustainability’ experts flying all around the world for conferences and consulting work.. amassing gigantic carbon footprints in the process while prescribing to others how 2 be sustainable!! ha ha.. we humans are funny.. I used to be one of them 2!!

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  • Michael Mobbs

    Michael is a former Environmental Lawyer who is uniquely placed to consult in four main areas:

    • Sustainability Coach and Speaker,
    • Sustainable Urban Farm Design greening, watering and cooling the cityscape, roads, parks, suburbs,
    • Major Projects Consultant Commercial and Industrial,
    • Residential Sustainability Consultant.
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