Food riots (food prices).

With close to 7 billion people on the planet, we are getting more and more hard pressed to produce enough food to feed everybody.

A good resource about global food production is Lester R. Brown's book: "Plan B" (available for free at http://www.earth-policy.org/). Brown has been closely following the amount of food reserves on the planet. He also warned that even the slightest warming of the planet could have a dramatic effect on the harvest, because it would affect the ability of the wheat to germinate. Indeed, as predicted, the harvest has been very poor each of the last few years. [I hear that Ukraine's 2007 harvest was particularly bad. Ukraine is a global top food producer.]

Lester Brown has been warning us that the population will be finding out about the impeding ecological crisis at the checkout counter. He was right, and his prediction is hapenning right now, with Food Riots Breaking Out Across the Planet:

So far, the riots have been largely in developing countries around the world.  The Wall Street Journal reports today (hat tip to Bonddad) that the World Bank estimates that the cost of food has risen 83% over the last 3 years.

Here's a timeline of food riots since 2007:

January 2007 - Mexico riot over the increasing price of tortillas.

September 2007 - Indians in West Bengal riot over food shortages and public corruption.

February 2008 - Cameroons angry over high fuel and food prices.

February 2008 - Protesters in Burkina Fasso attacked government offices and burned, shops, cars and petrol stations.

Marchh 2008 - Senegalese citizens are beaten following protests against the high cost of living.

April 2008 - Haitians riot over rising food prices.

April 2008 - Yemenis riot as the price of wheat has doubled since February, while rice and vegetable oil have gone up 20%.

April 2008 - Egyptians riot over the price of bread.

Is the U.S.immune to the conditions that cause food riots?  In March, Kossak bink documented soaring wheat prices, which are now showing up in price hikes at bakeries in Michigan, pizzerias in New York, and beer just about everywhere.  Milk prices are up 26 percent and egg prices are up 40 percent.