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The Math That Predicted The Revolutions Sweeping The Globe
Motherboard ^ | February 19, 2014

Posted on 02/24/2014 10:13:24 PM PST by JerseyanExile

It's happening in Ukraine, Venezuela, Thailand, Bosnia, Syria, and beyond. Revolutions, unrest, and riots are sweeping the globe. The near-simultaneous eruption of violent protest can seem random and chaotic; inevitable symptoms of an unstable world. But there's at least one common thread between the disparate nations, cultures, and people in conflict, one element that has demonstrably proven to make these uprisings more likely: high global food prices.

Just over a year ago, complex systems theorists at the New England Complex Systems Institute warned us that if food prices continued to climb, so too would the likelihood that there would be riots across the globe. Sure enough, we're seeing them now. The paper's author, Yaneer Bar-Yam, charted the rise in the FAO food price index—a measure the UN uses to map the cost of food over time—and found that whenever it rose above 210, riots broke out worldwide. It happened in 2008 after the economic collapse, and again in 2011, when a Tunisian street vendor who could no longer feed his family set himself on fire in protest.

Bar-Yam built a model with the data, which then predicted that something like the Arab Spring would ensue just weeks before it did. Four days before Mohammed Bouazizi's self-immolation helped ignite the revolution that would spread across the region, NECSI submitted a government report that highlighted the risk that rising food prices posed to global stability. Now, the model has once again proven prescient—2013 saw the third-highest food prices on record, and that's when the seeds for the conflicts across the world were sown.

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(Excerpt) Read more at motherboard.vice.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: agriculture; bosnia; food; foodprices; havesvshavenots; hokum; malthusianwetdream; opec; redistribution; revolutionarywave; syria; thailand; ukraine; venezuela; whinewhinewhinewhine; yaneerbaryam

1 posted on 02/24/2014 10:13:25 PM PST by JerseyanExile
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To: JerseyanExile

intriguing

thanks for posting this


2 posted on 02/24/2014 10:16:20 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: The Comedian

A ping in hopes that you still lurk...


3 posted on 02/24/2014 10:22:30 PM PST by null and void (<--- unwilling cattle-car passenger on the bullet train to serfdom)
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To: JerseyanExile

Huh.

Never thought of this as a trigger.


4 posted on 02/24/2014 10:37:25 PM PST by Grimmy (equivocation is but the first step along the road to capitulation)
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To: All
If 210 is the tigger number, we are starting the year off close -


5 posted on 02/24/2014 11:08:25 PM PST by az_gila
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To: JerseyanExile

Few things will trigger people who otherwise are docile
to turn violent than the pangs of hunger.....unless it is
the look of hunger in the eyes of their children.


6 posted on 02/24/2014 11:10:30 PM PST by nvscanman
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To: JerseyanExile

Is the US next?


7 posted on 02/24/2014 11:27:04 PM PST by Impy (RED=COMMUNIST, NOT REPUBLICAN)
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To: JerseyanExile

Ping


8 posted on 02/24/2014 11:30:33 PM PST by IChing
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To: JerseyanExile

Rev. 6:6


9 posted on 02/24/2014 11:44:07 PM PST by Varsity Flight (Extortion-Care is the Government Work-Camp: Arbeitsziehungslager)
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To: JerseyanExile

I’ve seen this before — it could be a spurious correlation, not causation, of course. Lots of other factors rising or falling at the same time as food prices.


10 posted on 02/24/2014 11:56:26 PM PST by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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Anything that disrupts supplying the necessities is a catalyst.


11 posted on 02/25/2014 12:30:07 AM PST by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: JerseyanExile

So, if correct, China, Russia, Arabia, N. Korea, Cuba, etc. — all hostile third world countries that are historically susceptible to this kind of unrest anyway, and that have been conspiring to weaken and destabilize us for decades — have only to experience a spike in domestic food prices and tyrants’ heads begin rolling around like someone just smashed the gum ball machine?

This is easy. Not a lot of troops needed. It’s not rocket science. So why are we sending them food aid? And as for sabotaging their food production... You kidding me? You hardly have to lift your pinky and N. Korea goes down. Our opponent in this battle is half a dozen one-legged men in a dark alley. True, nothing’s going to happen while the Kenyan’s president. But he’s not going to be president forever.


12 posted on 02/25/2014 12:49:41 AM PST by LibWhacker
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To: Gene Eric

Bush’s fault.

I recall reading about this years ago, with the various stimulus packages and U.S. money printing schemes. Increased false wealth in the U.S. causes an increase in prices in America, and thus the world. Of course it doesn’t need to be just fake wealth - but this time it is.

I’ll view it as an unintended consequence, but I’m sure many others will see the hands of George Soros behind it. And who knows.....?


13 posted on 02/25/2014 12:50:11 AM PST by 21twelve (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2185147/posts 2013 is 1933 REBORN)
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To: JerseyanExile

A real Hari Seldon?


14 posted on 02/25/2014 12:53:31 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: JerseyanExile

I’d love to see some analysis of the effect of ethanol requirements in gasoline (a hidden corn subsidy) on food prices linked to this.


15 posted on 02/25/2014 12:57:48 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: 21twelve

Domestic strife...

As a nation, we’re completely autonomous, and that’s what the Marxists fear the most.

The only thing disrupting the flow of goods between one and his neighbor is the other neighbor that works for the govt.


16 posted on 02/25/2014 12:57:53 AM PST by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: LibWhacker

I’m not sure upsetting China would be good - they have plenty of our own money to get back at us economically. And same goes with Arabia with oil. I suppose Russia takes care of Cuba. Does China still take care of N. Korea?

Thinking about Russia, I wonder if they can afford to have poor relations with an independent Ukraine - being the “Breadbasket of Europe” that it is.

And don’t forget America. Spiraling health insurance costs, increased unemployment, fewer benefits, increased food costs, major drought to make food prices even higher. But hey - the stock market is at record highs so all is good! (Until it isn’t.)


17 posted on 02/25/2014 12:58:22 AM PST by 21twelve (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2185147/posts 2013 is 1933 REBORN)
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To: FreedomPoster

See my previous post regarding drought. Not only does the corn ethanol take away acreage from food crops, it uses WAY more water than crops like wheat, beans, etc.

Oh - I also saw a paper (from Berkely???? of all places iirc), that the breakdown of the corn as a fuel releases some other chemical combination that is 100 times worse as a “greenhouse gas” than the oil that it is replacing!


18 posted on 02/25/2014 1:03:23 AM PST by 21twelve (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2185147/posts 2013 is 1933 REBORN)
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To: 21twelve

For all their nuts, Berkeley has real hard Science types. A friend I went to college with got his Chemistry PhD there, and he’s the real deal, and very much not a Leftist.


19 posted on 02/25/2014 1:08:16 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: FreedomPoster

http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/02/13/3769036/making-ethanol-is-wasting-californias.html

Here’s the article I saw regarding drought and ethanol.

924 gallons of water to make 1 LITER of ethanol! (UC Berkley)

According to the EPA!!: Corn Ethanol releases more greenhouse gases than petroleum production.

In 2012, animal feed prices (largest cost of animal production for meat, milk, etc.) was up 32%.

But hey, if we can save just ONE polar bear - it’s worth it. (Personally, I think the seals need a better media Rep.)


20 posted on 02/25/2014 1:10:39 AM PST by 21twelve (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2185147/posts 2013 is 1933 REBORN)
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To: Grimmy

“Never thought of this as a trigger.”
***************

Madame - the peasants are angry as they have no bread.

“Let them eat cake”.


21 posted on 02/25/2014 1:12:00 AM PST by 21twelve (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2185147/posts 2013 is 1933 REBORN)
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To: steve86

Not discounting the food prices, however, the common thread I see from 2008 on is obama.


22 posted on 02/25/2014 1:25:27 AM PST by AllAmericanGirl44
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To: JerseyanExile; All
Read and weep: http://freebeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/20130911_OurCoolingClimateCapitolHill16thSeptember2013.pdf

and: “The official view in Norway is in contrast to what the people experience because of cooling weather: Late spring gives flooding and avalanches when late snow-melting in the mountains. Water pipes freeze because of early and deep frost in the winter. Insect populations down 40% in 5 years because of cool and wet summers. This of cause is bad for pollination of fruit and berries. The grain harvest in Norway this summer is down 18% from average the last 5 years, despite increase in area and better seeds. But officially it is getting warmer.”

Norway is not known as a major wheat producer...but it's production is in decline because of colder weather


23 posted on 02/25/2014 2:35:14 AM PST by spokeshave (OMG.......Schadenfreude overload is not covered under Obamacare :-()
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To: spokeshave

And for what reason are we to “weep”?


24 posted on 02/25/2014 2:39:00 AM PST by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: Gene Eric
"This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow,and our planet began to heal.

Welcome King Barack "Canute" Obama the Great.....

...Obama issues an Executive Order to the Sun...

....to increase it's magnetic field....

and make a good crop of sunspots before elections in 2016....

(PhysOrg.com) -- Sunspot formation is triggered by a magnetic field, which scientists say is steadily declining. They predict that by 2016 there may be no remaining sunspots, and the sun may stay spotless for several decades.

The last time the sunspots disappeared altogether was in the 17th and 18th century, and coincided with a lengthy cool period on the planet known as the Little Ice Age....and lasted 400 years.

Good luck surviving with no electricity and GE modified seeds.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news203746768.html#jCp also


25 posted on 02/25/2014 2:40:39 AM PST by spokeshave (OMG.......Schadenfreude overload is not covered under Obamacare :-()
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To: Grimmy

‘Twas famous during the French Revolution.
“Why are the French people revolting?”
“It is because they have no bread.”
“Well, let them eat cake.”

The aristocracy in France was clueless then.
Many in Washington still believe that propping up the price of corn today (the most affordable of grains) is a good thing.


26 posted on 02/25/2014 2:43:09 AM PST by Qout
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To: spokeshave

Given our agricultural propensity, I foresee a way out of our debt.

BTW, thanks for the illustrative post!


27 posted on 02/25/2014 2:47:01 AM PST by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: JerseyanExile

Just another thing the elite politicians exempt themselves from - we pay for their food, so who cares what it costs?


28 posted on 02/25/2014 2:49:38 AM PST by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: Impy

Cut functionality of EBT cards for a week and you will see how fast this spreads to the US.


29 posted on 02/25/2014 3:41:53 AM PST by Former Proud Canadian (Cruz/Palin 2016)
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To: Gene Eric
In the 21st century people forget what is really needed for survival. Without water and food human beings die. It's that simple. Energy allows you to produced more food, move it to cities, and process it. It also allows you to move and purify water.

Countries with poor water resources cannot sustain large populations. China comes to mind.

Fun fact, 20% of the world's fresh water resides in the Great Lakes.

30 posted on 02/25/2014 3:50:25 AM PST by Former Proud Canadian (Cruz/Palin 2016)
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To: Former Proud Canadian
Countries with poor water resources cannot sustain large populations. China comes to mind.

China's "re-unification" with Tibet gave the direct access to the Himilayan glaciers. They'll divert that water for the own population and the fresh water it supplied to surrounding coutries will start to dry up.

31 posted on 02/25/2014 4:02:21 AM PST by tacticalogic
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To: Impy

Our food prices have fallen by 30% in the last 40 years. As a result, the US has the lowest food prices in the world, and the lowest food prices in the history of the world.

Here Are The Countries That Spend The Most On Food;
http://www.businessinsider.com/countries-that-spend-the-most-on-food-2014-2#ixzz2uKxDwBAg


32 posted on 02/25/2014 4:40:37 AM PST by Balding_Eagle (Over production, one of the top 5 worries for the American Farmer every year.)
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To: FreedomPoster; 21twelve

“I’d love to see some analysis of the effect of ethanol requirements in gasoline (a hidden corn subsidy) on food prices linked to this.”

No matter the effect, we still have the lowest priced food in the history of the world: http://www.businessinsider.com/countries-that-spend-the-most-on-food-2014-2#ixzz2uKxDwBAg


33 posted on 02/25/2014 4:45:56 AM PST by Balding_Eagle (Over production, one of the top 5 worries for the American Farmer every year.)
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To: Balding_Eagle

We affect prices in the rest of the world with our brain dead energy policy / corn subsidy. Our policy creates some of this unrest.


34 posted on 02/25/2014 4:54:58 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: Balding_Eagle

We affect prices in the rest of the world with our brain dead energy policy / corn subsidy. Our policy creates some of this unrest.


35 posted on 02/25/2014 4:54:58 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: FreedomPoster
We affect prices in the rest of the world with our brain dead energy policy / corn subsidy. Our policy creates some of this unrest.

That's a good thing.

36 posted on 02/25/2014 4:57:27 AM PST by Balding_Eagle (Over production, one of the top 5 worries for the American Farmer every year.)
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To: Balding_Eagle

I’ll have to disagree. Burning food and creating a subsidy while arguably increasing human misery is rarely good policy in my book. You’ll have to work much harder than you have to convince me otherwise in this case.


37 posted on 02/25/2014 5:02:01 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: LibWhacker

But he’s not going to be president forever.

***
Define “forever”....


38 posted on 02/25/2014 5:08:21 AM PST by Bigg Red (O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! Ps 8)
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To: FreedomPoster

For more than 50 year the American Farmer has shown the rest of the world how to grow so much food that they not only could easily feed all their people, but they could have enough left over that they could burn their foodstuffs to heat their homes.

We’ve proven the above by example, all the while lowering our food prices by 30% over the past 40 years.

The rest of the world has told us to stuff it, THEY know better than we do.

There is a price for stupidity and stubbornness, let the bastards starve to death. And don’t bother us for any more free food. We want to burn it to fuel our cars and heat our homes. The rest can rot in the fields.


39 posted on 02/25/2014 5:09:15 AM PST by Balding_Eagle (Over production, one of the top 5 worries for the American Farmer every year.)
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To: JerseyanExile
"Everything now is very sensitive to what will happen with the ethanol mandate," Bar-Yam tells me.

If we continue to burn the food, the cities will follow.

40 posted on 02/25/2014 5:11:02 AM PST by Constitutionalist Conservative (I'm a constitutionalist, not a libertarian. Huge difference.)
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To: spokeshave
Welcome King Barack "Canute" Obama the Great.....

Point of order. King Canute did not attempt to command the ocean tides out of arrogance. His display was to show that a King had no power against the glory and power of God.

41 posted on 02/25/2014 6:56:53 AM PST by IYAS9YAS (Has anyone seen my tagline? It was here yesterday. I seem to have misplaced it.)
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To: JerseyanExile

I don’t think food prices are the cause, just the effect. That doesn’t mean watching food prices isn’t helpful, they are, it just means we need to look at the triggers of rising food prices.


42 posted on 02/25/2014 7:03:09 AM PST by CodeToad (Keeping whites from talking about blacks is verbal segregation!)
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To: tacticalogic

Perhaps. They are going to need something. They are probably one bad dry season away from starvation and thirst.


43 posted on 02/25/2014 7:05:58 AM PST by Former Proud Canadian (Cruz/Palin 2016)
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To: CodeToad; JerseyanExile
"I don't think food prices are the cause"

You can lay this out on top of the world price of oil and it looks exactly the same. Food production depends on energy. More in some places and less in other places.

Droughts and floods also come into play. The 2010 spike on the graph was caused by the Russian drought and Putin stopping wheat exports.

Some nations have a lot of sustenance farming or labor intensive farming and they have chronic output problems that are made worse by having to import grains.

At the CIA world Factbook, under the economic section, a(all) nations labor supply is characterized and those nations in which a high proportion of the labor supply is in farming, will always have ag output problems. Mexico has been trying to privatize their huge system of ag collectives(Ejidos) since they signed NAFTA.

In the US, only a very small percentage work in ag but we have a lot of part time farmers with regular jobs.

Today there are 7 billion, 9 billion in 2050, and 11 billion in 2100.

Give me an order of those grasshoppers sauteed in garlic butter

44 posted on 02/25/2014 9:41:52 AM PST by Ben Ficklin
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To: Grimmy

“Never thought of this as a trigger.”

It might be the trigger, but a lot of other poor economic and political decisions loaded the gun. When government corruption and policies create the situation where the people can’t afford, or even find, food, then logically, the gun will go off.

I’m sure that there are other correlations that fit just as well.


45 posted on 02/25/2014 10:34:53 AM PST by VanShuyten ("a shadow...draped nobly in the folds of a gorgeous eloquence.")
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To: Ben Ficklin

Excellent correlation: Food to energy. Energy can be linked to primarily politics.


46 posted on 02/25/2014 12:18:30 PM PST by CodeToad (Keeping whites from talking about blacks is verbal segregation!)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...
It's more "haves vs have-nots" BS.
Just over a year ago, complex systems theorists at the New England Complex Systems Institute warned us that if food prices continued to climb, so too would the likelihood that there would be riots across the globe. Sure enough, we're seeing them now. The paper's author, Yaneer Bar-Yam, charted the rise in the FAO food price index—a measure the UN uses to map the cost of food over time—and found that whenever it rose above 210, riots broke out worldwide. It happened in 2008 after the economic collapse, and again in 2011, when a Tunisian street vendor who could no longer feed his family set himself on fire in protest.
That's rich -- the 2008 economic collapse. IOW, it's Bush's fault? No wait -- it's gotta be corn ethanol! /s
47 posted on 02/25/2014 6:07:34 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: Gene Eric

The problem for us may become a shorter growing season; to wet/ waiting for thaw before planting and early rains/ freezing conditions at harvest. There are alternative varieties for a shorter growing season, but the yields are much lower.


48 posted on 02/25/2014 10:09:35 PM PST by Ozark Tom
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