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Why We’re in the Current Food Crisis — And Who Could Fix It | Hunger Pains | GZERO Media

Why we're in the current food crisis — and who could fix it

Sylvain Charlebois knows a thing or two about food. He's a professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, and tweets as @FoodProfessor. So, what does he think about the current global food crisis?

It started two years ago, when COVID disrupted supply chains, but the acute shortages that are driving up prices are more recent, he explained in a conversation for GZERO with Diana Fox Carney, Senior Advisor at Eurasia Group.

Why? Charlebois cites climate issues that hurt inventories, higher shipping costs due to the COVID hangover of weakened supply chains, Russia's war in Ukraine pushing prices up across the board, and "nationalistic hoarding" of staples by certain countries.

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Introducing GZERO's Coverage on Hunger Pains: The Growing Global Food Crisis | GZERO Media

Introducing GZERO's coverage on Hunger Pains: the growing global food crisis

The world is on the brink of a crisis that could push more than a billion people towards starvation. A crisis that could upend governments, roil global markets, and rattle households around the world.

The pandemic has scrambled food supply chains, raising costs for everyone. Droughts and floods tied to climate change have hampered harvests around the world. And Russia’s war with Ukraine has made it all worse.

Today, the world faces the sharpest “hunger pains” since the end of World War 2.

GZERO Media’s special coverage of the ongoing food crisis takes you deeper into the story.

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Models of oil barrels and a pump jack are displayed in front of a rising stock graph

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

What We're Watching: Soaring oil prices, inching towards an Iran nuclear deal

Rising energy crisis? Barely a week after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, energy prices are going up faster than most experts predicted. Brent oil rose above $119 a barrel on Thursday, while Dutch natural gas futures — the benchmark for Europe — were trading at the equivalent of $360 per crude barrel. What’s more, prices are already soaring before Western sanctions have targeted Russian oil and gas, which could provoke Moscow into cutting off supplies to Europe. Why is this happening? Demand for Russian commodities has plummeted over fears that the next wave of sanctions will include energy. This week, the US and 30 other countries announced the release of 60 million barrels of oil from their strategic reserves to stop the bleeding, but that won’t be enough if the Russians turn off the tap. Will the Europeans continue supporting tough sanctions when their citizens start complaining about the cost of electricity bills and gas at the pump?

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Ian Bremmer Explains: How Did We Get to Today's Supply Chain Mess? | GZERO World

How did we get to today's supply chain mess?

The supply chain mess is hitting all of us. Inflation is now the highest it's been in over 30 years.

The costs of food, gas and housing are going through the roof. What's more, almost everything made outside of America is now in short supply — like semiconductors for our cars.

Why is this happening? A lot of it has to do with the pandemic. Asian factories had to shut down or thought there would be less demand for their stuff. So did shipping companies. But then online shopping surged, and now there's a lot of pent-up demand to spend all the cash we saved during COVID.

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The Shipping Container Shortage That’s Wreaking Havoc on the Global Supply Chain | GZERO World

The shipping container shortage that’s wreaking havoc on the global supply chain

Spare a thought for the poor shipping container, responsible for most of the world's trade. It's had a rough year that started with the gargantuan Ever Given getting stuck in the Suez Canal.

Now the Suez traffic jam has gone global.

When the pandemic started, everyone needed COVID supplies from China. Chinese factories couldn't keep up with soaring demand from Western nations, and empty containers started to pile up in faraway ports.

Sending one of these ships from Shanghai to Los Angeles has jumped more than ten-fold from $2,000 to $25,000.

And as demand increases even more, the problem is getting worse — a vicious cycle with no end in sight just as the holidays approach.

Watch this episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: Inflation nation: What's driving US prices higher?

Subscribe to GZERO on YouTube to be the first to see new episodes of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: http://bit.ly/2TxCVnY

World Leaders Pledge To End Deforestation by 2030 | US Election Day | World In 60s | GZERO Media

Leaders at COP26 pledge to end deforestation by 2030; US election day bets

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week with a look at world leaders' deforestation pledge, US election outlooks, and China's "zero COVID" policy.

World leaders are pledging to end deforestation by 2030. What are the updates on COP26?

Well, that is one of the wins. It's the same pledge, but more countries are on board. The Russians, the Chinese, others that weren't before, and also, we're seeing movement on methane reduction pledges. Not as significant in amount as carbon dioxide emissions, but more dangerous in terms of impact on global warming. But the big issue, of course, is that still on carbon into the atmosphere, much lower coordination than you desperately need between north and south, rich and poor, Americans and Chinese. We are very far from where we want to be on that, and there, COP26 is a disappointment.

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Understanding the UK’s Gas Shortage | GZERO World

Understanding the UK’s gas shortage

As the UK prepares to host COP26, Britons have cut back on fossil fuels... out of necessity. For weeks, they've been lining up at gas stations, sometimes fighting at the pump not because there's not enough fuel but rather due to a shortage of truck drivers to deliver it. Yet another unintended consequence of Brexit, which has caused many EU truckers to leave the UK and makes it harder for Great Britain to get fuel from mainland Europe.

Watch this episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: Surviving a warming planet


Ari Winkleman

The Graphic Truth: Will US kids get their toys on time?

This year, American kids who've asked Santa for L.O.L. Surprise! dolls, Nerf blasters, or classic Legos may be disappointed. The delivery of these and other in-demand toys could be delayed due to pandemic-related supply chain disruptions that are still hitting US businesses and consumers hard. Container vessels loaded with precious cargo are waiting days to enter busy US ports, while within the country truck drivers are working flat out to meet soaring demand for goods of all kinds. Products are getting wildly expensive or arriving late. Here's a snapshot of the problem, showing longer delivery times, skyrocketing freight and shipping costs, and trucker employment.

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