Modernization’s dry spell

Anthony Chua

Seeing the long queues of poor Filipinos to avail cheap NFA rice amidst the country’s burgeoning rice crisis any kababayan can easily attribute the crisis solely to the inadequacy of the current administration in managing the economy. Well, we can’t blame Juan dela Cruz. Due to their limited access to the bigger picture, they can only see the most controversial and the most popular. Only few of them know that there’s more than meets the eyes.

In fairness with the Arroyo administration, the present rice and food crisis is a global phenomenon shared and braced by people all over the world and not just a national issue. In fact, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization recently urged world leaders to attend an “emergency” summit on June addressing the worsening global food shortage. This is in response to the riots in Africa and Haiti, and to the strikes and protests in different parts in Asia due to the rise in food prices and its dwindling supply. At least the Philippine government is spared from an angry Pinoy mob, for now (as of press time).

The UN body identified the world’s unquenchable thirst for “an easier and more prosperous life” through industrialization and modernization as the culprit. For example, the economic growth of the recently sleeping giants, China and India, urge a sizable part of their populations—combined, make up a third of the world’s—to throng in their megacities. Result: lesser farm and livestock workers plus increased food consumption due to the stress and pressures urban life equals formula for global food shortage.

The world is already reaping a deadly fruit of modernization: global warming. This natural phenomenon has been creating chaos in world climate and ecosystem. Now we are witnessing yet another result of mankind’s drive for a “better” life: a global misdistribution of workforce.

Now that the Kyoto Protocol has been enacted and a food summit of world leaders is set, the present generation awaits and prays for the positive effects of the efforts made by our leaders to curb global warming and food shortage. Meanwhile, all of us should collaborate and contribute in stopping modernization’s dry spell from turning mankind’s dream of a better life into a global nightmare.

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