|UN warns food stocks dwindling rapidly|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Tuesday, 18 December 2007 11:38|
This link from my friend Barb. The head of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, has warned that world food supplies are diminishing rapidly and spiralling prices could mean that more people will face the threat of starvation in the future. Jacques Diouf says that a number of factors are contributing to the current food crisis. Severe flooding in Europe and China along with prolonged droughts in the US and Australia have caused global wheat stocks to drop by around 11% this year. The price of wheat has also risen 52% within the same time period. The surge in demand for bio-fuels, coupled with the natural growth in world population, has put additional strain on food supplies. According to this latest assessment, these environmental pressures on world food stocks are likely to remain with us for some time to come.
Quote: ""We're concerned that we are facing the perfect storm for the world's hungry," said Josette Sheeran, executive director of the World Food Program, in a telephone interview. She said that her agency's food procurement costs had gone up 50 percent in the past 5 years and that some poor people are being "priced out of the food market." To make matters worse, high oil prices have doubled shipping costs in the past year, putting enormous stress on poor nations that need to import food as well as the humanitarian agencies that provide it. "You can debate why this is all happening, but what's most important to us is that it's a long-term trend, reversing decades of decreasing food prices," Sheeran said.
The phrase "perfect storm" is a reference to a hurricane that had formed off the coast of Massachusetts on October 31st, 1991. The "perfect storm" was formed by three different weather fronts operating in the Atlantic ocean at that time. Hurricane Grace was beginning to die out in the Atlantic when energy from the Great Lakes and an old frontal system around New England combined with it, creating the strongest hurricane in recorded history. The new hurricane was never named by meteorologists, as they weren't sure whether to classify it under the name Grace or to give it an entirely new name. And so the name "perfect storm" or the "unnamed storm" has stuck. What is interesting about the "perfect storm" is that it hit the US on the same date the EuroMed conference was launched in Madrid. EuroMed is a framework for agreements between the EU and ten Mediterranean states. EuroMed is not a peace process in itself, but aims to resolve regional conflicts at the same time as providing political and economic reforms, helping to bring about stability. It was born out of the Oslo agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, and is thought of more as a means of supporting any real peace agreement that may come about in the future.
Quote: "After extensive consultations with Arab states, Israel and the Palestinians, the United States and the Soviet Union believe that an historic opportunity exists to advance the prospects for genuine peace throughout the region. The United States and the Soviet Union are prepared to assist the parties to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement, through direct negotiations along two tracks, between Israel and the Arab states, and between Israel and the Palestinians, based on United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. The objective of this process is real peace. Toward that end, the president of the U.S. and the president of the USSR invite you to a peace conference, which their countries will co-sponsor, followed immediately by direct negotiations. The conference will be convened in Madrid on October 30, 1991. President Bush and President Gorbachev request your acceptance of this invitation no later than 6 P.M. Washington time, October 23, 1991, in order to ensure proper organization and preparation of the conference.
And as President Bush Senior was in Europe pursuing peace between Israel and their Arab enemies, the "perfect storm" was unleashing its fury back home...
Quote: "Former President Bush's home in Kennebunkport, ME suffered damage as windows were blown out, water flooded the building, and some structural damage also occurred. Even inland areas suffered major damage. The Hudson, Hackensack, and Passaic Rivers all experienced tidal flooding, and high winds brought down utility poles, lines, tree limbs, and signs in several states. The most extensive damage occurred in New England where federal disaster areas were declared for seven counties in Massachusetts, five in Maine, and one in New Hampshire. Off Staten Island, two men were drowned when their boat capsized. Other fatalities occurred when a man fishing from a bridge was either blown or swept off in New York and a fisherman was swept off the rocks at Narrangansett, RI by heavy surf. Offshore, six lives were lost when the Andrea Gail, a swordfishing boat, sank. Total damage in the Halloween Storm, as it came to be known because of its date, was in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
If there are any lessons to be learned from the "perfect storm", it is this. For the nations of the world - don't get involved in dividing God's land. For the day is coming that the Lord will plead with the nations that have scattered His people and parted His land (Joel 3:2). And for mankind in general - repent and believe the Gospel. Just like Hurricane Grace in the Atlantic ocean in October 1991, God's period of grace for mankind will soon come to a close. Soon will come the "perfect storm" of God's judgement upon this world. As we saw with the Asian Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, the catastrophes that are coming upon the earth will be so devastating and so final, that it will become clear to all that it is God's judgement upon earth for its wickedness (Revelation 6:17). But God is a God of grace, and is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. God loved you so much that He sent His Son into this world, to die on the cross in your place. Jesus Christ bore the punishment due to you for your sins, just so that you might be forgiven and might not perish in the lake of fire. The Bible says all those who put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness from sins will be saved (Mark 2:10). Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation today.