Archive for the ‘recession’ Tag

20 Signs That A Horrific Global Food Crisis Is Coming

I am posting a re-post here. I would encourage you to do the same, because this information is worth spreading. I have acquired this list from M.D. Creekmore at The Survivalist Blog. Its original source is the Economic Collapse Blog.

  1. According to the World Bank, 44 million people around the globe have been pushed into extreme poverty since last June because of rising food prices. This was documented by The New York Times in February 2011.
  2.  The world is losing topsoil at an astounding rate.  In fact, according to Lester Brown in Foreign Policy, “one third of the world’s cropland is losing topsoil faster than new soil is forming through natural processes”.
  3. Due to U.S. ethanol subsidies, almost a third of all corn grown in the United States is now used for fuel.  This is putting a lot of stress on the price of corn.
  4. Due to a lack of water, some countries in the Middle East find themselves forced to almost totally rely on other nations for basic food staples.  For example, it is being projected that there will be no more wheat production in Saudi Arabia by the year 2012.
  5. Water tables all over the globe are being depleted at an alarming rate due to “overpumping”.  According to the World Bank, there are 130 million people in China and 175 million people in India that are being fed with grain with water that is being pumped out of aquifers faster than it can be replaced.  So what happens once all of that water is gone?
  6. In the United States, the systematic depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer could eventually turn “America’s Breadbasket” back into the “Dust Bowl.”
  7. Diseases such as UG99 Wheat Rust and Mad Soy Disease are wiping out increasingly large segments of the world food supply
  8. The tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis in Japan have rendered vast agricultural areas in that nation unusable.  In fact, there are many that believe that eventually a significant portion of northern Japan will be considered to be uninhabitable.  Not only that, many are now convinced that the Japanese economy, the third largest economy in the world, is likely to totally collapse as a result of all this.
  9. The price of oil may be the biggest factor on this list.  The way that we produce our food is very heavily dependent on oil.  The way that we transport our food is very heavily dependent on oil.  When you have skyrocketing oil prices, our entire food production system becomes much more expensive.  If the price of oil continues to stay high, we are going to see much higher food prices and some forms of food production will no longer make economic sense at all.
  10. At some point the world could experience a very serious fertilizer shortage.  According to scientists with the Global Phosphorus Research Initiative, the world is not going to have enough phosphorous to meet agricultural demand in just 30 to 40 years.
  11. Food inflation is already devastating many economies around the globe.  For example, India is dealing with an annual food inflation rate of 18 percent.
  12. According to the United Nations, the global price of food reached a new all-time high in February.
  13. According to the World Bank, the global price of food has risen 36% over the past 12 months.
  14. The commodity price of wheat has approximately doubled since last summer.
  15. The commodity price of corn has also about doubled since last summer.
  16. The commodity price of soybeans is up about 50% since last June.
  17. The commodity price of orange juice has doubled since 2009.
  18. There are about 3 billion people around the globe that live on the equivalent of 2 dollars a day or less and the world was already on the verge of economic disaster before this year even began.
  19. 2011 has already been one of the craziest years since World War 2.  Revolutions have swept across the Middle East, the United States has gotten involved in the civil war in Libya, Europe is on the verge of a financial meltdown and the U.S. dollar is dying.  None of this is good news for global food production.
  20. There have been persistent rumors of shortages at some of the biggest suppliers of emergency food in the United States.  The following is an excerpt from a recent “special alert” posted on Raiders News Network:

Look around you. Read the headlines. See the largest factories of food, potassium iodide, and other emergency product manufacturers literally closing their online stores and putting up signs like those on Mountain House’s Official Website and Thyrosafe’s Factory Webpage that explain, due to overwhelming demand, they are shutting down sales for the time being and hope to reopen someday.

It is true that most American believe that they will never have to go hungry. They believe that their grocery store shelves will always be stocked with affordable food and they will never have to provide for themselves. People believe this because ignorance is bliss. Please, don’t be ignorant. As always, I encourage you to be smart and be prepared.

Preparing for Life Without Oil

AP photo from Yahoo! News

By now, we’ve all seen the images from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The photographic proof of damage to the water and wildlife, such as this picture above of a barely recognizable bird on the coast of Louisiana, are truly gut wrenching. The most recent news from dailycamera.com states that within the next few months, the oil slick could reach the Atlantic, and the coastlines of North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia. 

Yet despite all of the heartbreaking photos of the unspeakable damage, you may be left thinking that the problem of the Gulf oil spill is one that is distant from you, and does not affect you directly. Unless you live in the south, you may feel far removed from this terrible made-made disaster and its repercussions. Even though these images are horrible, they don’t affect you directly, right? Wrong. Very wrong indeed. 

 

Regardless of where you live in the United States, even if you live hundreds of miles away from the Gulf coast, you are being affected by the oil spill. This disaster, which happened over a month ago and is still going strong, is proof of what many have already known for a long time: we are using (and losing) oil more quickly than our planet can replenish it. Quite simply, we are stripping the Earth of its supply. We hit our peak oil supply in 2008, and since then there has been nowhere to go but down. Quite simply, our need for energy supplies keeps growing higher and higher, and we do not have the ability to meet this need. 

So what happens when our oil is simply gone? As this article in the New York Times points out, it may mean food shortages, a collapse of the economy, and a breakdown of civil order. If you poo-poo the idea of “Peak Oil,” I would caution you to take a closer look at what it means first. You don’t have to be a survivalist like me to see that there is proof of it all around us.  Two members of Congress, one a Democrat and one a Republican, even formed the Congressional Peak Oil Caucus.

I know that over the past year or so, we’ve all been perched on the edge of our seats, waiting for the economy to make an astounding and triumphant comeback after its pitiful decline. But unfortunately this is not what’s on the way. Because of peak oil, instead what we’re in for is an economic decline that will include high(er) energy prices, and food shortages when lack of fuel causes food and supplies to not reach grocery stores. Common products such as plastics and petrochemicals will become much more expensive. Imagine how scarce good will be come when EVERYTHING that is transported to stores by diesel fuel or gasoline simply cannot be transported. 

 

Did you take a look at the previous link to the New York Times article? If not, do it now. It offers some valuable suggestions for how we can all be nest prepared for an energy crisis. Here are some suggestions of my own: 

  • Stock basic supplies and necessities.
  • If you have not already, plant your Survival Seed Bank now. A crisis garden is totally self sustaining and the best way to insure that you have a reliable food source.
  • Consider converting your stocks and investments into physical assets, such as gold and silver.
  • If you feel lost or overwhelmed, seek outside assistance, such courses through Post Peak Living.
  • Reduce your dependence on modern medicines. Instead, begin learning how to use natural remedies and cures. I would highly recommend planting a Survival Herb Bank. You can grow your own natural treatments for everything from diabetes to headaches.
  • Assemble an emergency preparedness kit, with items such as pocket knives, multi-tools, folding shovels, hatchets, saw blades, mess kits, compasses, an emergency water filter system, and LED flashlights.
  • Read up on how to live a self-sufficient lifestyle. Click here to see Enomni Massage Clinic’s suggestions for survivalist reading.

Food Crisis in 2010 is Undeniable

 

I came across this article today, and frankly, I am surprised that it has taken me a whole 4 months since its publication to share it with others: 2010 Food Crisis Means Financial Armageddon.

Follow the link above. Go one, read the article. And as you do, I will resist the extreme urge to say, “I told you so.”

You see, this article does a great job of pointing out what is overwhelmingly true: a food crisis in the very near future is UNDENIABLE. We’re not talking about something that could happen, just maybe, if conditions worsen. The fact of the matter is that conditions HAVE worsened and the time when you will need a sustainable means of feeding yourself and your family is here. It is now.

Here is one point that I think Mr. deCarbonnel does an exceptionally good job of explaining in his article:

  1. The USDA is concerned with how supply and demand looks on paper. Therefore, they price crops lower than what they should be, based on demand.
  2. Crop staples such as wheat, corn, and soybeans are harvested only once or twice a year. A desperate need for food does not allow them to be harvested more frequently. Food must be priced correctly to prevent overconsumption, and to in turn allow each crop to last until the next harvest.
  3. Because the USDA does not appropriately price these crop staples and others, we buy large amounts of crops for a low price. When we need to buy more before the next crop is harvested, what happens? There is nothing to buy. Incorrectly priced agricultural commodities leads to overconsumption and a depletion of commodities. 

Now, put this information together with the fact that nationwide bad weather coupled with global natural disasters have literally ruined crops all over the world. Stocked grocery store shelves aren’t really looking like such a sure bet, are they? I am sure Mr. deCarbonnel would agree, if you’re going to bet on anything, bet that you need to begin relying on your own sustainable food source.

Once you’ve read this whole article, I would imagine you may start to feel a little bit panicked. Don’t panic! But DO call yourself to action. Think above and beyond our society’s warped underestimate of risk. Be proactive, be prepared, and don’t delay.

Start Saving These Things Now

I have a tendency to hoard things. No, not like the show that recently premiered on TLC about people who never throw away a single thing, and let garbage fill up their homes. What I mean by “hoarding” is that I have a stockpile of things that I do not use in my everyday life now, but I know they will someday soon literally save my life, and the lives of my family. I keep what looks like barrels o’ junk, but are actually valuable resources that will allow me to maintain my garden during a crisis. I’ve been doing this for a good ten years now, but over the past couple years during the recession, my inclination has been to save even more, while spending hardly any money on these items.

I’ve created a stockpile of supplies that, when stores are closed and the nation’s food supply is null, I can use to tend and harvest my vegetables. So, in other words, these are things that YOU should start to hoard, too. None of them take up that much room. I keep all of my supplies in a couple open-headed straight sided 55 gallon plastic drums that I store in my tool shed. If you’ll be keeping your supplies outdoors rather than in a shed or garage, just make sure to get a rust proof drum, and seal it completely. In my plastic drums, I keep:

  1. A shovel. I have a basic spade made of metal.
  2. Plastic trash bags. I store the heavy clear plastic kind, as these tend to hold up well. You can store any kind of used or unused plastic bags. These can be used for a variety of purposes, one of which is making a solar water distiller to get fresh, clean drinking water.
  3. Scraps of tin, aluminum siding, and styrofoam. These can be used to direct rainwater onto your plants in your garden. They can also be used to create sunlight shades, or reflect additional light onto your plants.
  4. Bags of organic fertilizer. You don’t need fertilizer in order for your open pollinated seeds from your Survival Seed Bank to grow. But it sure won’t hurt your chances of a decent crop.
  5. Plastic buckets. Don’t save anything larger than what you can comfortably carry. When you have no running water, you will need to carry buckets of water from the closest lake or stream, or other natural water source, to your garden.
  6. A small garden rake, knife, and hoe. These are used to keep your soil healthy by tilling and fluffing it.
  7. Wire. Bits of metal wire, mesh wire, and basic bailing wire. This will protect my garden from rabbits, deer, and other veggie-munching critters. You can also use it to bind sticks and other natural elements together to make fences, or a trellis for tomatoes, squash, and other climbing plants to grow on.