For a hundred years or so we’ve been fighting over oil. The smart money ( here, for instance) says that soon more of us will be fighting over water. More countries, that is. Individuals, tribes, families, and regions have been fighting over water forever, some of the fighting pretty close to home, but the next long-term global conflict might be over rice.
In this El Nino year, rice harvests are expected to plummet in the four Asian countries 1 where 60% of the world’s rice is grown. Rice is the staple food of around 50% of the world’s population and provides something like 21% of the wold’s caloric energy. A rice shortage means increased hunger and increased hunger means trouble,
- That is, the monsoon countries of India, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam. ↩
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