Um ano de perigos
Angel Boligan, «El Universal»
Michael T. Klare escreve que a subida que se está a verificar nas matérias-primas e produtos alimentares, aos quais se podem aliar fenómenos climáticos extremos, podem ameaçar a estabilidade de muitas regiões e inclusive a própria estabilidade mundial. Com os preços dos produtos alimentares nos máximos de 2008, ano em que se registaram tumultos em vários países do mundo, o Professor Klare é da opinião que 2011 poderá será um ano crítico; os aumentos de preços, tempestades, secas, cheias e outros fenómenos inesperados poderão deteriorar o tecido da sociedade mundial, semeando o caos e gerando instabilidade política:
[…] Soaring food prices are being driven as well by speculative investments and the rising price of oil. Partly in response to the diminishing value of the dollar, some investors are sinking their money into food futures (along with gold and silver) as a speculative hedge. At the same time, the price of oil is edging toward the $100 mark, making it increasingly profitable for farmers to switch from growing corn for human consumption to growing it for the manufacture of ethanol, which in turn reduces the amount of farm acreage devoted to staples. Oil would have to fall below $50 per barrel to make the cultivation of corn as a food product competitive with ethanol production — and that’s not likely to happen. So even if more corn is produced this year, less will be available for food purposes and the price of what remains is bound to rise. […]
Rising food prices leading to riots, protests, and revolts, mounting oil prices, mammoth worldwide unemployment, and a collapsed recovery — it looks like the perfect set of preconditions for a global tsunami of instability and turmoil. Events in Algeria and Tunisia give us just an inkling of what this maelstrom might look like, but where and how it will next erupt, and in what form, is anyone’s guess. A single guarantee: we haven’t seen the last of resource revolts which, in the coming years, could reach an intensity we scarcely imagine today.
Luojie, «China Daily»