Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Tue, Jun 29 2004

In The Not-Fair Department

Once again, while the rest of us pour oursevles into our writings with honesty and integrity, a writer gets attention because he lied to his readers.
I love fiction, but only when I know I'm writing fiction and you know you're reading fiction. Maybe that's why I haven't gotten my fifteen minutes of fame yet. I believe integrity counts. If I ever do get fifteen minutes, I want them to be something I earned honestly and can be proud of. If you catch me even looking like I'm thinking of doing it any other way, let me know immediately, won't you?

posted at: 16:32 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

Oil And Rice

A lot of the hunger in the world is not a supply problem. It's a political problem. But if the projections hold true on declining rice yields due to global warming, that could change.

The UN has designated 2004 as the International Year of Rice. Those little grains are the staple (and in some cases, only) food for most of our planet. When floods or other disasters strike, humanitarian organizations often arrive with rice and fresh water as emergency rations. But rice only grows well in certain regions. If we lose those regions without finding new ones with a suitable climate and terrain, we have a big problem on our hands. And if you think aid in the form of rice only goes to "other countries", consider the folks in Seattle, who do an annual Walk-a-thon that raises funds for a local Asian food bank. Last year 19,000 pounds of rice were given out by the food bank, in that area alone. The walk-a-thon raises money to keep the whole food distribution going for residents at, or below, poverty level. But you can only buy rice if someone is able to grow rice.

Here's where rice grows. I wonder if we'll be able to develop new areas for ricelands fast enough, as old ones become less productive due to climate changes. If we want to keep eating on this planet, we'd better be looking at making adjustments right now.

Have you noticed that the political aspects of hunger never seem to raise as much anger as the political aspects of oil? Of course, oil produces energy for machines that process and preserve food for storage. And oil fuels vehicles that take food where it's needed, or at least to places where people have money to pay for it. If everyone could get oil, maybe everyone could eat, as it stands now. But what if climate changes meant no one could eat and everyone could still get oil? Starving people don't have much energy to fight with, do they? We've all seen the sad videos of people lying on the ground waiting to die from hunger and malnutrition.

What if rice (or crops in general), and not oil, suddenly became the most important commodity on the planet? Would the political climate change along with the atmospheric one? We might find out. The hard way.

posted at: 08:00 | category: /Food | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
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