Monday, April 14, 2008

Deja Vu and the Food Riots

For all current and previous students of World History, here's an article that should remind you of the circumstances of the French Revolution. Due to rapidly increasing prices for grain in the world, and the fact that many poor people around the globe can't afford to buy enough of it to feed themselves and their families, riots are breaking out in many locations. Read the article at the link below:

Then address ne or more of the following questions:

Do you agree that the high demand for corn to make ethanol is creating a corn shortage that's driving up the price of grain generally, or is something else going on to cause such steep price increases? If so, should we stop making ethanol, and in turn, continue to burn fossil fuels (i.e., oil) that may contribute significantly to global warming?

Is it the responsibility of governments around the world, and in particular the United States (the richest nation on earth), to provide money to people who are rioting over high grain prices because their children have no food? (Government students, think of this in terms of our discussion of political realism vs. moral idealism.)