Note: This is an autopost that was scheduled a year in advance. Usual disclaimer: Unless I add an update to it, I am probably not alive on publication date.
September 10, 2012: We Are Now One Year Away From Global Riots, Complex Systems Theorists Say
Pretty simple. Black dots are the food prices, red lines are the riots. In other words, whenever the UN’s food price index, which measures the monthly change in the price of a basket of food commodities, climbs above 210, the conditions ripen for social unrest around the world. CSI doesn’t claim that any breach of 210 immediately leads to riots, obviously; just that the probability that riots will erupt grows much greater. For billions of people around the world, food comprises up to 80% of routine expenses (for rich-world people like you and I, it’s like 15%). When prices jump, people can’t afford anything else; or even food itself. And if you can’t eat—or worse, your family can’t eat—you fight.
Since 2008, I have seen food prices at least triple.
A lot of this increase has been hidden by careful sales. Yet the fact that packaging has shrunk dramatically for the “same price” is obvious to anyone who pays any damned attention in the supermarket. How the hell do they expect people to be able to eat?
September 11, 2013: 9/11 on TV prevented me from updating this post before it was published. No food riots yet. But prices continue to go up and packages continue to shrink. How long can this madness continue?