Tuesday, April 22, 2008

An Open Letter to My Congressional Representatives Regarding the Global Food Crisis

More on the food crisis here.

Since we're discussing the food shortage, take a few minutes to play the Free Rice game.

Senator Alexander/Senator Corker/Representative Cooper:

Rising food prices and a shortage of basic foods such as rice have led to a global food crisis. Many nations are increasingly unable to meet their citizens' food needs. In nations such as Ethiopia, Indonesia, Italy, and Yemen, the food shortage has sparked violent protests. If the United States and the international community does not address this crisis, further violence and starvation will ensue.

Considering this global crisis, I encourage you to keep the following questions and concerns in mind when voting on legislation that could have an impact on food production and distribution:

  • How does our treatment of the environment affect food production? How might greenhouse gas emissions and air, water, and soil pollution be contributing to the food crisis? I would ask that you keep in mind the global food shortage whenever you consider legislation related to the environment.

  • How might our commitment to ethanol production be contributing to the food shortage? By devoting so much agricultural land to energy rather than food are we contributing to the problem? What effect might large-scale ethanol production have on food prices? Since ethanol is only one of many renewable energy options, and since some contend that increased ethanol use will actually have a detrimental effect on the environment, rethinking our commitment to ethanol as an energy source may be in order.

  • How can we, the United States, use our natural and human resources to help meet the developing world's food needs? How can we make better use of farmland and subsidies to provide a variety of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables to the people who need them most?

Thank you for your consideration,
Josh Tinley


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