Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sriram Savarkar getting a few facts right

I dont know who Sriram Savarkar is.. but I have been getting many forwarded emails and I have found them to be balanced and appropriate. Today I wanted to post this in reply to a comment on my blog. I believe Bush and Rice have not been fair in their judgements.

With thanks to Sriram Savarkar..

George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice are not exactly renowned for their understanding and knowledge of economics.

They do not also have a reputation of being overly sensitive to the needs and aspirations of the world's two most populous countries that together account for 40 per cent of the planet's population.

In terms of sheer crassness, however, the recent pronouncements of the two most powerful individuals in the economically most powerful nation on why food prices are rising all over the world, are difficult to beat. Bush has achieved what would seem impossible to many — he has united India's fractious political class that has, with one voice, condemned what he and his deputy have claimed.

Irrefutable facts from a wide range of sources convincingly contradict the argument that high demand for food in China and India is responsible for the recent surge in international prices of wheat, rice, corn and a range of other foods.

Data released by the Food and Agricultural Organization indicate that consumption of cereals in India and China has grown by an average of between 1.8 per cent and 2.2 per cent each year over the last two years whereas the corresponding proportion for the US is nearly 12 per cent.

There is no dearth of information to indicate that huge swathes of cultivable land in America that grows cereals — eaten by animals if not by human beings — have been diverted to produce bio-fuels.

The rise in demand for biofuels is a direct result of the rise in world prices of crude oil that are (at least, in part) a consequence of the US intervention in Iraq and before that, in Afghanistan.
Who remembers that the world price of crude oil was less than $ 25 a barrel in March 2003 when US troops entered Baghdad, against $ 115 a barrel today?

Never before in the history of mankind has the planet's energy security been so closely linked with its food security.

Inequalities in consumption levels are stark.

Pets in America receive more nutrition than a sixth of humankind.
Each cow in Europe receives more government subsidy than what at least a billion people each live on.
The difference between the US and India is that while in India one out of four people don't get enough to eat, in America, two out of three are overweight.

Bush's views could have been not just dismissed contemptuously but ignored altogether — if only he was not the President of the US.


  1. hk - i had written about the facts of the situation, did u hv a look? Ethanol and bush are only a small part of it..

  2. Enjoyed reading/following your page.Please keep it coming. Cheers!


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