MKM says the floods are swelling food prices at a bad time for Chinese consumers: there have been increases already and in addition, food prices spiked up in the region about 70% over the weekend alone. This is temporary but there will be lingering effects. (To what extent might the aging of dams and levies be to blame in China?) Some of the newer dams seem to be doing ok, even though older dams haven't. but another big problem that China faces is the deforestation and overuse of agricultural land, so the land is exhausted. So there are problems of extreme drought and then floods when rains do come. (How is the government reacting at this point?) The official reports claim the government is right on it. but 2008 is a year when the Chinese government can't catch a break between protests and environmental disasters. Some superstitious Chinese have mysterious explanations for the disasters.