Episode-190- Is a Global Food Shortage Inevitable?

My view is yes, sooner or later it is inevitable due to declines in production and resources and expansion of population.  I also think we should not engage in alarmism at this point either.  Much like peak oil this is a real problem that will get worse but over a rather long period of time, not tomorrow morning.

Today we also briefly discuss the defection of Republican Arlen Spector and we do another swine flu (h1n1) update.

Tune in today to hear…

  • A news caster that should have his ass kicked
  • New swine flu cases in my back yard
  • Don’t take your kid to the doctor if they don’t have any symptoms just to be “checked out” DUH!
  • What we are learning about how people react in a SHTF right now
  • How Spector’s defection is meaningless
  • How politics is like pro wrestling – but it ain’t funny when it comes to our national leaders!
  • 6 of the last 9 years we have failed to meet demand with global grain capacity
  • What global trends are telling us about future food production expectations
  • Why grain is so important to the global food supply
  • Subsidiaries are not new, they are VERY old
  • Why food shortages can only lead to war sooner or later
  • 25% of US grain production will go to bio fuels in 2009
  • The grain used for biofuel could feed a half a billion people in India
  • Why we indeed may face water shortages soon – nothing to do with your Bermuda Grass
  • How we are depleting fossil aquifers
  • The powder keg of the US, Western Europe, India, Russia and China
  • How individual agriculture is the answer, large scale farms can not grow food that way

Resources for Today’s Show

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16 Responses to Episode-190- Is a Global Food Shortage Inevitable?

  1. Jack, world population is 6.7 billion

    Toyota\’s alternative fuel manager has a warning about ethanol: \"If we replaced 30% of the nation\’s gasoline with ethanol the amount of water required for irrigation and process water would be the same as goes over Niagra Falls each year.\"
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2201199802681775303

  2. Jack,
    I’m curious about your thoughts concerning composting. For those of us who need to build up our soil, who are possibly using table scraps from “commercial” or non-organic food stores.

    Do you think that there is a problem using non-organic food “scraps” in a compost for your “organic” garden? Is this a “no-no” or do you think the chemical content is so small that it won’t be a problem.

    Now, I know that this might seem overly picky, but it just struck my brain that way.

    Thanks for your time.

  3. 1st, sorry for the punctuation/sentence structure in previous post.

    2nd, regarding population/family size, I am actually for larger families. My thought is that no one knows if Social Security or a system of nursing homes will be around in the future.

    Having a larger family may help you when you get older. If nothing else, you will have someone to look out for you (if you raised them to look out for family).

    Besides, trying to depend upon a retirement or the government might be a very bad bet. Consider the loss of retirement that some have experienced recently. (It didn’t have to be Bernie Madoff; the stock market could just take a bad turn.)

    Family members might be all that’s there to take care of you IF certain systems/institutions go away or a former employer/business partner/bank runs off with your money.

    Now, I’m not saying that people should have a tribe, but 2 to 4 kids can’t hurt (if you can afford it). I look at extra, well raised children as a back-up plan.

  4. Start saving for a one-year food supply minimum and even more food and water if you live in California.

  5. BREAKING NEWS at 2109 GMT:
    All nations to activate pandemic plans
    WHO Raised to LEVEL 5
    ALL CITIZENS avdised to be extra care with cleaning

  6. Nancy pelosi on Arlen Specter switching parties:

    “Very exciting, very exciting for the American people, because now we can get things done without explaining process,” Pelosi told CNN’s Candy Crowley.

    Kinda scary stuff.

    heres the full article

    http://briefingroom.thehill.com/2009/04/28/pelosi-now-we-dont-have-to-explain-process/

  7. Hey former Marine greetings….and that is the good and bad of things….i’ve noticed that not all military gear is the best for the type of prepping that i’m doing. Gearing up for war appears to be totally different from whats needed for long term survival. with that in mind, the number and variety of sellers seems to be growing everyday and i don’t know whats good, whats trash and inbetween. can you provide a list of the brand name gear that you have that cuts the mustard? thanks!

  8. jack is right grow your own food. get some rabbits and a few chickens. these animals give you high quality compost and food. brazilian rabbits will live perfectly on garden scraps and lawn clippings. if you can produce 80% of your food and buy whole grains to fill out your pantry. you will be better off for the exercise of gardening, money savings on groceries, and cut your dependanse on global food production.

  9. Regulating the population sounds too much like eugenics to me.

  10. Dr. Horrible

    Jack, you might want to do some research on birth rates. The US is actually above (2.1335 births per woman) replacement rate (2.1 BpW), which makes it the exception in the industrialized world.

    Japan, Europe, Russia – they’re all dying out. For example, Russia’s population by the end of this century will be a third of its 1990 number. China’s one child policy coupled with the heavy skew of males has kneecapped their growth, though starting at 1b people means it’s going to be a while before they’re tiny. Even India’s fertility rate has crashed down to around 3.3 BpW in recent years.

    In addition, these nations’ population’s mean and median ages are getting higher by the day. Couple fewer children with generous welfare states and you’ve got a demographic bomb.

    Europe’s tried to solve this with mass immigration. After all, most of the growth still taking place is in third world countries, especially Islamic ones. It’s not exactly working out for them as they planned, though.

    There are several books on demography and its impacts that make good reading. Mark Steyn’s “America Alone” is probably the most readable.

  11. Modern Survival

    @Dr. Horrible,

    Your numbers are accurate but as I said if you take out the contribution of immigrants (with much higher birth rates then the norm) the US is flat on growth.

    You are also right about Europe, it seems their immigrants are not reproducing. My belief is that it is mostly the Hispanic population that is driving reproduction, fueled by the strong family bond and Catholic background that is ingrained in that demographic.

    Please understand I am not putting down that group in any way, just stating that facts that Hispanic Catholics tend to have larger then normal families. There is a LOT I admire about the Hispanic family unit and the loyalty they show to each other.

  12. Good show. One additional point regarding biofuels – I don’t know of any that are not net energy loosers. If you do an energy balance on fuel expended in the planting, tending, harvesting, and processing required to convert the biomass into useable fuel you have already used more fuel than you’re getting out of whatever volume of biofuel you’re producing.

    So, not only does it make no sense from a food production standpoint, but there is no economic justification either. The only reason we (USA) is producing the volume of biofuel we are today is due to the government-backed incentives and subsidies to do so. There are some algae-based systems that folks claim are not net energy loosers, but those folks usually don’t take the volume of palatable, often specially treated, water required into account.

  13. All governments that are experiencing population drops are concerned and are desperately trying to encourage higher birth rates.

  14. Hey Jack, Great show. You got me wondering though. If the “fossil Aquifers” are dropping, and they are what supply the water to the Hot Springs. When they fall too low, will that extra heat they drain off the Magma hot points re-ignite those old volcanoes?

  15. Jack – great work as always…
    Your so spot on with so many topics but how do you not think that 200 years of modern man moving soil and geologic carbon into the atmosphere hasn’t changed it? Humans are probably a big part of a climate that always has and always will change rapidly over time. Your blasting of the oversimplified global warming approach is great, but trashing the evidence behind humanity’s role in it is pretty misplaced. I couldn’t agree with you more on all of your other opinions and again, thanks for helping get the word out about the important stuff.
    Best,
    Ben

  16. Modern Survival

    @Ben, So you are saying as we look at all the evidence from science not just the stuff Al Gore wants to show us and start to see holes from in all the theory and stats. As we have watched the temps cool now for 7 years in a row almost back to where they were before the rise in the 90s. Now that even the hard core Global Warming people have switched to climate change to cover their ass. After all that,

    You fall back to well with everything man has done it must be true? I think you should go back to 5th grade science and review the scientific method.

    Man has done plenty of polluting in the last 100 years and the earth is worse for it. There are plenty of toxins that could be curtailed (like the stuff we are spraying on our food or splicing into our food) but CO2 again let me simply point out of CO2 drops low enough all plant life DIES,

    Jack