面包和痛击布什

伦敦——我为布什总统感到有点遗憾。无论他在其他方面有多么大的失败,他在为贫困国家提供援助、特别是医疗援助方面表现算得上是可圈可点。一个有代表性的例子是,不久前他宣布大幅提高美国的粮食援助——这对饥肠辘辘的穷人和美国的农场主来讲都是件好事。

与其他某些国家相比,美国对全球粮食危机所做的反应更为迅速。在经历了30多年的持续下降之后,粮食价格不久前大幅飙升。《经济学家》杂志的粮食价格指数已经上涨到了1845年创立以后的最高水平。正如历史上曾经反复发生的那样,飞速上涨的粮价和粮食供应短缺导致在从孟加拉到玻利维亚的大片土地上发生暴动。面包一词在埃及语中写作“aish”,这个词还有另外一个意思就是生命。正是对生命的威胁迫使许多人走上街头。

让我为布什感到些许遗憾的是对他声明的反应。布什谈到了粮食短缺和价格飞涨的原因。但他并没有详细探讨美国如何在高额补贴下把玉米转化为生物能源。气候变化在他的声明中也没有得到特别的体现,尽管有许多专家认为这或许是导致摧毁澳大利亚小麦和印尼、马来西亚植物油生产的水旱灾害发生的根源。

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