#103 forces of nature

 Volcano eruption in Chile, South America.




Volcanic ash spilled over to neighboring Argentina (below)






Cyclone Nargis swept through Irrawaddy Delta, Myanmar on Saturday, 3rd 4th May leaving hundreds several thousands or tens of thousands? dead and tens or hundreds of thousands homeless…trees uprooted, roofs of building blown away, lamp posts fallen…no electricity and water.

Will this flood deepen rice grain crisis further?  


Video footage on the force of cyclone: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/7385157.stm (update 6th May)


And then read:

As many as 25 tornadoes may have cut through stretches of Oklahoma, Arkansas, eastern Kansas and western Missouri, Greg Carbin, a meteorologist for the national Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, told the Associated Press news agency.


Man might fight over territorial rights but the forces of mother nature is one power man cannot overcome or avoid.


#98 global rice grain crisis

I’m boggled at the escalating increase in the price of grains, especially rice. The poor in countries like Haiti, Philippines, Bangladesh and others took to the streets in protests and violence…

Due to climate change, for instance, drought in Australia but what about other rice growing countries?

An assumption that the rise of India and China economically, people will consume more rice.

I believe the more wealthy a country, the more meat consumed and less rice.

It’s the poor that will consume more rice. Is this a case when the poor can afford to eat a little more that has excerbated the present condition…certainly not!

I can understand the reason for grains like corn due to biofuels…but rice?

I grew up wondering about excess grains produced in the US being dumped rather than feed the poor in parts of the world — and told this was one way to stabilise the price of grain internationally!  

Is this the result of hoarding in some countries that produce such and many nationals hoping for commodity price to increase to make their millions? Will the bubble burst eventually as suggested by some pundits?


I remember the days I envied our neighboring countries like Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, IndoChina (Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos), Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Philippines, Indonesia — these were the rice-bowl nations.

I was fascinated and loved the sights of rice fields — often times wishing I was there. I knew it was hard work…from the little chorus we sang — “planting rice is no fun…bent from morn till the set of sun…cannot sit even for a little while…”

I envied because Singapore was not blessed with fertile soil to plant or land space. We were the tiny dot which could not even be seen on the world map.

Unfortunately over the years, these very countries had gone through political setbacks and strifes…where politicians lined their own pockets instead of building the nation for the people.

Many of the resources and assets the nation was endowed were not fully utilised.

Today, the price of rice has rocketed sky high. Why? Who sets the price of rice? Is this the result of manipulation in the international commodity market?

News aired there is shortage of rice in Thailand due to climate change?!

Planting rice requires time…this cannot be produced overnight unlike processed foods or manufacturing commodities…

Rice, the carbohydrate-complex, is the staple food…especially for the poor in Asia. This is consumed at least twice a day. Without rice, this means hunger and without hope; in severe situation, death. Rice is life. The poor can only afford to buy so much each time and if there is no rice available to buy when needed…hell breaks loose!