Another example here of how government controls lead to more government controls which lead to ... well, read on:
In the last year, the price of wheat has tripled, corn doubled, and rice almost doubled. As prices soared, food riots have broken out in about 20 poor countries including Yemen, Haiti, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, and Mexico. In response some countries, such as India, Pakistan Egypt and Vietnam, are banning the export of grains and imposing food price controls.
Are rising food prices the result of the economic dynamism of China and India, in which newly prosperous consumers are demanding more food—especially more meat?
No, they aren't, as Reason's Ronald Bailey demonstrates . They're proof that the effects of global warming are already upon us. To be specific, the effect of government overreaction to warmist nonsense is already upon us.
If surging demand is not the problem, what is? In three words: stupid energy policies [from which New Zealand isn't immune, and from which we'll be paying the price directly this winter] ...
Even worse is the bioethanol craze. Politicians in both the United States and the European Union are mandating that vast quantities of food be turned into fuel as they chase the chimera of "energy independence"... The result of these mandates is that about 100 million tons of grain will be transformed this year into fuel, drawing down global grain stocks to their lowest levels in decades. Keep in mind that 100 million tons of grain is enough to feed nearly 450 million people for a year.
But it won't be feeding them, will it. Instead, their demand to be fed-- and in the case of third world populations the demand for grain is demand for the very stuff of life itself -- is being turned into higher and ever higher prices.
[Dennis Avery from the Hudson Institute is right to conclude:] "Biofuels are purely and simply the biggest Green mistake we've ever made and we're still making it."