Dr. Vandana Shiva

Topics: World population, Agriculture, Famine Pages: 2 (758 words) Published: November 13, 2008
Dr. Vandana Shiva
“When the U.S. sneezes, the world experiences influenza” The lecture by Dr. Vandana Shiva on the global food crisis was an insightful presentation of Dr. Shiva’s overall knowledge of globalizations failures in social responsibility. She began with several facts supporting her theories against current practices that drive the economic instability of the world food supply. She also explained the causes of the events in which 40 countries around the world faced rioting due to escalating food prices. Economically, the 75% rise in food prices around the world can be directly attributed to the U.S. demand for biofuels. Because of U.S. government mandates on ethanol and biodiesel, and the inability of America to domestically meet that demand, essential foodstuffs are being bought up around the world for higher prices then those who need it can afford. The situation is so bad, she describes, that 93% of food requirements to create biofuel must come from sources outside the United States. Furthermore, biofuels require more energy input from fossil fuels then they provide so the ecological argument for them is fundamentally flawed. Another problem Dr. Shiva addresses relating to the changing effects of globalization on food, pertains to the stance the U.S. has taken on global food markets since the cold war. Government policy towards communism in developing nations worked on the idea that a rich populous would be less likely to adopt communism. In adapting this policy, the U.S. government promoted intensive agriculture that utilized fertilizers and the growth of crops that were globally traded commodities. This lowered the diversity and sustainability of regional crops and dropped the output of foodstuffs per acre. Farmers now needed to buy nitrogen fertilizer for the crops they were getting paid to grow, which they could barely do as prices were set to be profitable to the commodity markets. This has resulted in a dramatic shift, according to Dr....
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