Joseph Stiglitz (born February 9, 1943) is a professor at Columbia University. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001 and was a former Senior Vice President and Cheief Economist of the World Bank (see:
Jospeh Stiglitz on the food and fuel price rise crisis (2008): "Two factors set off today's crisis: the Iraq war contributed to the run-up in oil prices, including through increased instability in the Middle East, the low-cost provider of oil, while biofuels have meant that food and energy markets are increasingly integrated. Although the focus on renewable energy sources is welcome, policies that distort food supply are not. America's subsidies for corn-based ethanol contribute more to the coffers of ethanol producers than they do to curtailing global warming. Huge agriculture subsidies in the US and the European Union have weakened agriculture in the developing world, where too little international assistance was directed at improving agriculture productivity. Development aid for agriculture has fallen from a high of 17% of total aid to just 3% today, with some international donors demanding that fertiliser subsidies be eliminated, making it even more difficult for cash-strapped farmers to compete. Rich countries must reduce, if not eliminate, distortional agriculture and energy policies, and help those in the poorest countries improve their capacity to produce food. But this is just a start: we have treated our most precious resources – clean water and air – as if they were free. Only new patterns of consumption and production – a new economic model – can address that most fundamental resource problem. " .
.Jospeh Stiglitz, "Scarcity in an age of plenty", Guardian, Comment is Free, 15 June 2008: