Culture Change: You. Will. Not. Be. Able. To. Get. Food.

Climate Change / Peak Oil

Ugh and Ugh. A article that points out that the Peak Oil situation combined with the observed undergoing climate change may be creating a much more immediately dire situation together than on their own. Maybe not so quickly in the developed world as in the developing, but according to the article it’s a matter of time. (Says your writer who lives in the US’s 5th largest city, in the middle of huge desert.)

“You. Will. Not. Be. Able. To. Get. Food. Need this be spelled out any more plainly? It is time to consider that the stage has been set for petroleum-induced famine.

We have ‘innocently’ accommodated rising population with greater and greater food production via technology and the profit motive. But now we have run out of room to grow, as biotechnology, for example, has severe limitations — major ones being petroleum dependence and topsoil loss. The biggest wild card for our existence is climate change, as we see with floods and other extreme weather affecting our food supply.

We are headed for massive shortages of food and other essentials, mainly brought about by the depletion of geological fossil reserves of cheap energy and water. The situation is demonstrated regularly with easy arithmetic based on statistical indicators from the United Nations, Worldwatch Institute, World Resources Institute, Earth Policy Institute, and numerous governments. Usually the full force of the message is offset by predictions of huge rises in future human population growth that are simple extrapolations of historical trends.”

Read the full article here.

Hat tip to the Oil Drum for the pointer.

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...


  1. Yes, I was going to post this one, too.
    We’ve really GOT to start paying some attention to this stuff, and stop fixating on irrelevancies (like GAFCON and Hillary Clinton and whatever).

  2. Amen and Amen bls. Hopefully once the GAFCON news cycle is over, we can all turn our attention to the real issues.
    I’m very worried about the effect this oil shortage is having on fertilizer production. So many of the farmers I’ve met in Africa (especially Swaziland) have moved away from traditional organic farming models and switched to petro-chemical based fertilizer. Many of the big farms there simply aren’t possible without the chemicals. And yet those big farms provide just about the only cash export that the people in that country have.

  3. I am glad you are writing about this too. I lived in Phoenix (Ahwatukee) for one year and always thought Phoenix would be hit very hard by peak energy, particularly if it coincides with peak water and the depletion of the aquifers in the Southwest.
    At the same time, your unique climate could really benefit you if solar and wind are widely developed. It will be interesting to see what happens. In any case, I would reckon that Phoenix will become a much more compact and dense city that it is now.

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