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Does Going "Green" Mean Going Hungry? 04/25/2008

Going Green, But Hungry

Rice shortages in Asia are causing concern around the world.

It's one of the pillars of my book The Absolutes: People matter most. Unfortunately, people are being sacrificed at the altar of environmentalism as the high cost of oil and the shift to corn as biofuel are beginning to impact food supplies worldwide. Poor people get hit first, which has sparked riots in Haiti, Egypt, Peru, Mexico, Senegal, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Indonesia and several other countries.

The rising cost of oil has led to higher prices across the board. The World Bank estimates food prices have increased by an average of 83% in the past three years and warns that over 100 million people could be thrust into poverty as a result. Yet America, which typically exports tons of food each year, will not drill for oil in the wastelands of Alaska, off the shores of our beaches or other oil-rich areas where environmental concerns prevent development. This fact, combined with an overall increase in consumption in developing countries, helps push food prices up. Environmental activists prevail and the poor suffer.

The recent emphasis on biofuels, which use corn as an alternative to oil, has led farmers to dedicate their crops to the more lucrative fuels, such as ethanol, instead of supplying food to the world. Farmers are also shifting their crops to corn instead of other staples, like wheat, which worsens the situation. For the first time ever, the United States is importing wheat. The price of bread and every other wheat-based food will soon rise.

The UN's special rapporteur on the right to food, Jean Ziegler, also named biofuels as a culprit in the mounting food shortage. "This is silent mass murder," he said. Again, ideological idolatry causes others to suffer.

The Finance Minister of India recently noted that "greed [is] overtaking the common good of the world." As the founder of an organization that helps feed hundreds of thousands of people on the verge of starvation, this worldwide trend is very disturbing. I am all for conservation and decreased pollution, but when the lives of people are put at risk because, in part, of a debatable "global warming" movement, I draw the line.

When influential people like CNN founder and president Ted Turner bemoan overpopulation by saying, "if there were fewer people they'd be using less stuff," then push a radical environmental policy that puts peoples lives at risk, it troubles me beyond words. We cannot purport to save the earth at the expense of human life. Turner appears anxious for population control through increased abortions and an extreme emphasis on "green" that results in starvation. Here again we see Romans 1:22 revealed for all to see, "Professing to be wise, they became fools."

Since much of the crisis comes from political action, we must pressure politicians to put humanity first. We must elect officials who understand that people matter most and will not bend to extreme activist groups that care less about the lives of the poor than their left-wing ideology. Legitimate environmental concerns can be addressed without starving innocent people.

My wife Betty and I will continue to help people in dire need and encourage other caring people to join with us. No one can solve this problem alone. Everyone needs to get involved in some way to save the lives of others and help change the suicidal policies of foolish politicians and extremists. I cannot say it enough: People matter most! It's time for everyone to get the message even when facing serious challenges.


Author: James Robison

Word Count: 585

About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, a Christian media ministry and mission relief organization. He and his wife, Betty, host of the television program Life Today; He has authored numerous books, including The Soul of a Nation, The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope and True Prosperity.

Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at jamesrobison.net . Photo available upon request. Reprint rights granted with attribution for complete, unedited article. Revisions allowed only with approval.