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World Food Price Crisis -
Genocidal UK, EU, US
Biofuel Perversion Threatens Billions

By Dr Gideon Polya

31 March, 2008

The world is facing a global food crisis, or more specifically a biofuel-fuelled world food price crisis that is threatening the very lives of billions of people according to the Chief Scientific Adviser of the British Government and fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), Professor John Beddington FRS (see:
). This is compounded by the mounting negative effects on agricultural productivity from global warming that according to top UK climate scientist Professor James Lovelock FRS will kill over 6 billion people this century if greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution is not properly addressed (see:

In the post-colonial era the West washed its hands of any responsibility for the Developing World and proceeded to saddle Africa and Asia with huge debts and more recently the burden of “globalization”. The “aid” that it offered to the Developing World was falsely regarded as an altruistic offering rather than as meeting an obligation to former subjects and fellow passengers on Spaceship Earth. The consequence has been that in the period 1950-2005 a total of 1.3 billion people died avoidably in the World from deprivation and deprivation-exacerbated disease. 1.2 billion of these avoidable deaths (excess deaths, deaths that should not have happened) occurred in the non-European World (see “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: and ).

There is no such “ambiguity” in Western responsibility for the global warming of our “common Planet” due to greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution of our “common atmosphere” and for the effects on “common global food prices” of the Biofuel Perversion (using food to drive Western cars and trucks in a starving, globalized world). The huge shift to biofuel crops by the West is helping to drive up food prices to catastrophic levels.

The New York Times has recently reported that “rising prices and a growing fear of scarcity have prompted some of the world’s largest rice producers to announce drastic limits on the amount of rice they export. The price of rice, a staple in the diets of nearly half the world’s population, has almost doubled on international markets in the last three months. That has pinched the budgets of millions of poor Asians and raised fears of civil unrest” (New York Times, March 29, 2008 “High rice cost raising fears of Asia unrest”:

There have been food riots over food prices recently in Guinea, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Senegal, Uzbekistan and Yemen. Rice export bans by rice-exporting nations (Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Egypt and India) have raised world rice prices even more (see:
) .

These food price rises are fuelled by the huge US and indeed Western (UK, EU) biofuel diversion plus GHG pollution-driven climate change (impacting on drought e.g. in Australia and Canada), weather (e.g. too much rain in the US), hedging investor speculation and diversion of food for livestock production for “rich” people who can afford it.

For an ALARMING graph of world food and wheat prices in recent years see the following report by Australian economists showing that the price of wheat in US dollars has DOUBLED in the last year:
. Part of this is due to the falling value of the US dollar but the alarming message is clear. The price of a wheat flour-based “roti” in Pakistan has doubled in the last year and food scarcity is of major concern to the UN and UN Agencies such as FAO (see “2008 – the Year of Global Food Crisis”:
) .

Already about 44,000 people die avoidably each day from deprivation and deprivation-exacerbated disease. My ultimate conclusion in my huge analysis of this continuing catastrophe (see “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: and ) is that this global avoidable mortality holocaust is fundamentally due to a dreadful quartet of violence (translated into hegemony), deprivation, disease and LYING.

The LYING is by commission and by omission and perpetrated by the West. This Western lying - and in particular holocaust-ignoring - essentially means that “history ignored yields history repeated” even as history is being made (for a recent illustrated essay on this see ““Four Seasons” painting, Easter & Holocaust. History ignored yields history repeated”: ). This is cogently illustrated below – the horrendous man-made famine in British ruled Bengal in 1943-1945 when the price of rice quadrupled has been largely wiped from British history but is now looming AGAIN on a potentially 100-fold greater scale for the Developing World.

Over 60 years ago 6-7 million people perished in Bengal and in the neighboring provinces of Bihar, Orissa and Assam in 1943-1945 when the price of rice doubled and then finally quadrupled - those living on the edge who could not afford to buy food simply perished under the merciless scorched earth policy of the racist British colonial administration of British-occupied India (see a recent BBC broadcast involving myself, Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen, Dr Sanjoy Bhattacharya and other scholars on the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine:

I first learned about the “forgotten” WW2 Bengal Famine a dozen years ago from the film “Distant Thunder” by the outstanding film-maker Satyajit Ray which concludes with the estimate that 5 million people had died – a number commensurate with the number of people who died in the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million) (a catastrophe of which everyone is well aware).

Profoundly upset by this catastrophe and the fact that this enormous man-made atrocity has been deliberately deleted from British history, I researched, published and broadcast about this catastrophe (e.g. see “The Forgotten Holocaust - The 1943/44 Bengal Famine”:
and "Bengali Famine”:

In 1998 I published a highly-documented book entitled “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability”: . The message of this book was that “history ignored yields history repeated”. My book pleaded for global action to contain GHG pollution-driven climate change that threatens Bangladesh and other mega-delta countries with catastrophic inundation as well as decreased agricultural productivity due to drought and elevated temperature.

My message was ignored. Indeed a decade later the recent Bali Conference on global warming (December 2007) was deliberately wrecked by the world’s worst per capita GHG polluters (the US, Canada and Australia) (see:

A combination of the obscene Western biofuel diversion of food plus CO2 pollution-driven climate change (drought, decreased agricultural productivity), Asia giant food purchase competition in a globalized market, diversion of grain for livestock production and investor hedging speculation has catastrophically increased the price of grain and food (the wheat price has doubled in the last year and the price of rice has tripled in 3 months).

According to the 2007 IPCC Synthesis report, unaddressed CO2 pollution and global warming will have a devastating effect on global malnutrition and poverty (see: According the Professor David Pimentel (2004) of Cornell University, New York, global malnutrition and poverty will be an “unimaginable” problem by 2054 (see:
), already pollution of the soil, water and air kills about 40% of the world’s population and 57% of the world’s population of 6.5 billion is already malnourished (see:
). 16 million people ALREADY die avoidably each year from deprivation - we are seeing the horrendous commencement of a likely re-run on a 100-fold grater scale of the "forgotten" , man-made WW2 Bengali Holocaust (see ).

A final irony of this catastrophe is that the proposition that biofuels represent a “green” solution to fossil fuel burning and the “peak oil” phenomenon (we are running out of oil and the price of crude oil has now exceeded UA$100 per barrel) is FALSE. Recent US research by Fargione and co-workers and published in the prestigious scientific journal Science (see:
) has shown that diversion of land to growing biofuel crops can produce an enormous “CO2 debt” from use of machinery, fertilizers, release of carbon from the soil and loss of CO2 sequestration by trees and other plants. In their own words:

“Increasing energy use, climate change, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuels make switching to low-carbon fuels a high priority. Biofuels are a potential low-carbon energy source, but whether biofuels offer carbon savings depends on how they are produced. Converting rainforests, peatlands, savannas, or grasslands to produce food crop–based biofuels in Brazil, Southeast Asia, and the United States creates a "biofuel carbon debt" by releasing 17 to 420 times more CO2 than the annual greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions that these biofuels would provide by displacing fossil fuels. In contrast, biofuels made from waste biomass or from biomass grown on degraded and abandoned agricultural lands planted with perennials incur little or no carbon debt and can offer immediate and sustained GHG advantages.”

In summary, current global biofuel production is an obscene perversion that is a major source of greenhouse gas GHG) pollution and is helping to drive up world food prices with the looming prospect of global famine. Biofuel diversion (e.g. for canola oil- or palm oil-derived biodiesel and grain- or sugar-derived ethanol) is threatening world food production, driving up food prices and the threatening the lives of billions of people. The major Developed World GHG culprits on a per capita GHG pollution basis are the US, Canada and Australia. The US (currently using 15% of grain for biofuel), Australia (the world’s biggest sugar producer), Brazil, the UK and the EU are among the worst biofuel culprits.

What can decent people do? We must (a) INFORM others about this looming catastrophe; (b) OPPOSE the genocidal US, UK, EU biofuel perversion; and (c) DEMAND declaration of a global climate state of emergency and URGENT application of Sanctions, Boycotts, Green Tariffs and Reparations to climate criminal and biofuel-complicit nations (such as the US and its lackey Australia) to stop the global food crisis and halt the food price-driven Third World Genocide.

Dr Gideon Polya published some 130 works in a 4 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London, 2003). He has just published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: ). In 2008 he has been teaching Biochemistry to university Agricultural Science students and also delivering a course on “Risk Management, Science and Denial”: .

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