The New Land Rush
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It is clear that the geopolitics of food scarcity has undergone a major shift. Land is the new gold, and mining it for export food, extracting its water to incorporate into crops, and taking advantage of cheap labor and lax environmental laws are now, as Brown puts it, “integral parts of a global power struggle for food security.”
When people are hungry enough, they are likely to choose the risk of revolution over the certainty of starvation. Governments that are unable to secure affordable food for their people are vulnerable to the kind of social unrest that has long been part of history’s hunger not only for food, but also for justice.
Terry J. Allen is a senior editor at In These Timeswhose work has appeared in The Boston Globe, Harper’s, The American Prospect, New Scientist, and Salon. Excerpted from In These Times (Sept. 2011), a nonprofit magazine teeming with progressive debate, commentary, and investigative journalism. www.inthesetimes.com
Have something to say? Send a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. This article first appeared in the January-February 2012 issue of Utne Reader.
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