In the last few years there have been a series of remarkable u-turns from the world’s top oil companies. Not long ago they were saying that man-made climate change was a myth and funding scientists who were prepared to agree with that. Now, however, they all say that climate change is taking place and that greenhouse gas emissions are at least partly responsible. Indeed, they are all spending millions to prove their green credentials by starting projects that will reduce emissions to some extent.
Peak Oil is another matter. Until now the message coming from the oil companies is that Peak Oil – the time when a peak in production is reached, followed by a decline in production in the face of increasing demand, causing severe shortages – is many decades in to the future. Recently though there are indications that at least one company has changed its mind.
In this week’s Time magazine, Christophe de Boisseson, CEO of the French oil giant Total, speaks openly about the nightmare scenario oil shortages that most energy firms prefer to avoid or deny. De Margerie says the possible effects on the world economy of dwindling oil supplies are so great that, “I am not prepared to shut my mouth.” Shortly after taking over at Total he jolted executives at a London conference by stating that the industry would be unlikely to produce more than 100 million barrels a day, far below the 120 million or so the International Energy Agency estimates the world could produce by 2030, and which will be needed for Asia’s galloping growth. De Margerie now says 90 million barrel a day is “optimistic.”
This is worrying for the health of the world economy, but for the future of food production it is devastating. Western agriculture is totally dependent on oil and the rest of the world is rapidly becoming so. It is expected that food production will need to double in the next 40 years as the population continues to rise and as more people demand a better diet. To increase food production using modern methods requires a corresponding increase in fossil energy inputs. A serious shortage would cause the farming industry to collapse.
The truth about our situation is so unpalatable that most people will prefer to not believe it, but it must be said. The carrying capacity of the Earth has been temporarily increased by the massive use of finite resources. When these resources become depleted, the Earth’s carrying capacity and therefore its population will be reduced – in other words mass starvation and we in the West are the most vulnerable.
With newspapers and T.V. full of trivia, it would seem that the public are not worried about the factors that will cause severe food shortages if urgent action is not taken. Climate change, peak oil, rapidly rising population, soil losses and water shortages are mentioned but there is not the demand for action that should be expected when the survival of our children is at stake.
The most likely explanation is that people feel powerless to do anything meaningful and also they do not want to risk actions that would reduce the fossil energy powered way of life we enjoy. So they put it out of mind or believe any sceptic that argues we have nothing to worry about.
So far as one of the peak food factors , climate change goes, it is frightening to read a book co-written by no less a figure than Sir David King, the previous chief scientific adviser to the U.K. government.
Sir David explains the situation in a way that is easy to understand and he is unequivocal.
For example, he says, “ Human activity is to blame for the rise in temperature over recent decades, and will be responsible for more changes in the future. There are plenty of areas for debate in the global warming story but this is not one of them. If anybody tells you differently they either have a vested interest in ignoring the scientific arguments or they are fools.”
Sir David believes that the only choice we have is to keep greenhouse gasses below 450 ppm CO2eq. He believes that that is still possible because many of the technologies that we will need are already available or are in the pipeline, but we will have to act fast.
The sad fact is that most governments agree with what him and other prominent scientists are saying, but there is no urgent action and critical years are going by.
Day of Reckoning is a romantic thriller that describes the real-life panic and world famine that will occur when food supplies are reduced. At present it is a novel, but the worrying truth is that it could easily become a reality.
Based on the findings of years of careful research, the novel shows how after a series of disasters America’s economy collapses and law and order breaks down. Farmers are unable to harvest their crops or plant for the following year; trucks can’t make food deliveries; ordinary citizens have no heating and are reduced to shopping with guns; and the old and weak begin to die of hypothermia.
At last, governments around the world accept something must be done about food security. But it is too late. Catastrophe seems inevitable. Thousands, if not millions will die around the globe…
Then the head of the CIA requests an urgent meeting. There is one man who just may be able to help.
The plan is to make all or parts of Day of Reckoning available as both a free podcast and download. Watch this space…
Imagine it’s the year 2025
People in New York and London are starving to death. There is anarchy on the streets of Paris and Rome. Millions in the Pacific and Asia are dying from flood and hurricane. Everywhere people FINALLY agree that something must be done about food security. But it is too late. 6 billion people will starve.
Famine in the West explains what needs to be done and why. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to safeguard the future of their children and grandchildren.
Written by a Yorkshire Farmer, this controversial new book describes how the West will soon depend on the Middle East and Russia for its food in the sense that the oil and gas so essential for food production will come from there.
- Jonathon Porritt and David Richardson quotes
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