Over at UN Dispatch, Mark Leon Goldberg has an interesting post on how world food prices, which reached an all-time high in December and could be at a similar level for January, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), are a contributing factor in the protests in Tunisia, Egypt and beyond. As Goldberg explains:
So what does this chart have to do with the riots in Egypt? Several commentators have noted that the high price of food staples contributed to the overall feeling of discontent in Tunisia. There have already been protests over the sharp increase in food prices in Jordan earlier this month. Reading the writing on the wall, the Algerian government even put in a huge rush order of wheat.This is not to say this is the cause of the civil unrest in Egypt today. But these questions of political economy really cannot be ignored when trying to understand the protests across the Middle East and North Africa. If this trend in the Food Prices Index continues, it is not unreasonable to expect that civil unrest will spread to several other countries.
And at Climate Progress, Joe Romm has an interesting piece looking at how this rise in food prices is connected to climate change.