On Bill Gates, trains and fertilizers

by Brewster Kneen | 8 Jun 2011

How to read the newspaper

Two articles on the same page of the Globe&Mail Report on Business: One says that Bill Gates now owns slightly more than 10% of Canadian National Railway, one of two major haulers of potash from the mines of Saskatchewan to the West Coast ports for delivery around the world (Canadian Pacific being the other)

The second article says “Potash Corp reaps benefits of rising demand for fertilizer”. As the article describes it, “growing populations in emerging countries [emerging – what a curious term – emerging from what into what?] such as China and India drive increased food production. Further fuelling demand is the effect of rising incomes in emerging regions. A growing middle class is changing its diet, shifting to greater meat consumption” reaching 63kg per person by 2025 according to one report. (Reminds me of an Ag Canada report back in the late 70s that projected beef consumption as rising to something like 220 lbs per capita. Apparently the authors never stopped to ask themselves if they were going to ever eat that much beef, much less every baby). The article then quotes some ‘expert’ saying, “this rapid change in dietary habits is putting significant pressure on feed grain producers as they attempt to keep up with demand for livestock. This is translating into a sustained increase in demand for fertilizers.” – GM, 25/4/11

And as we pointed out above, CN, 10% owned by Bill Gates will be a major beneficiary of this scenario. This is the same Bill Gates who is trying to command a new Green Revolution for Africa (AGRA). It all goes round and round for those on top.

Ram's Horn, No. 281, May 2011.

Author: Brewster Kneen
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