Why the price of 'peak oil' is famine

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by slots, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. slots

    slots Monkey+++

    Here's an interesting article. It shows how the problems we face today are all inter-related. I've heard folk mention the term "peak everything". The more I read the more I'm sure its true.. It may hit poorer countries first, but we all will feel the pain sooner or later.
    The small section with regards to China I found interesting "China is terrified of the current situation. It has real physical shortages".

    It would be foolhardy and very shortsighted for China to hurt the USA economically. They probably have more to lose than the US has..

    The perfect storm is brewing.

    Vulnerable regions of the world face the risk of famine over the next three years as rising energy costs spill over into a food crunch, according to US investment bank Goldman Sachs.

    "We've never been at a point in commodities where we are today," said Jeff Currie, the bank's commodity chief and closely watched oil guru.

    Global oil output has been stagnant for four years, failing to keep up with rampant demand from Asia and the Mid-East. China's imports rose 14pc last year. Biofuels from grain, oil seed and sugar are plugging the gap, but drawing away food supplies at a time when the world is adding more than 70m mouths to feed a year.

    "Markets are as tight as a drum and now the US has hit the stimulus button," said Mr Currie in his 2008 outlook. "We have never seen this before when commodity prices were already at record highs. Over the next 18 to 36 months we are probably going into crisis mode across the commodity complex.

    "The key is going to be agriculture. China is terrified of the current situation. It has real physical shortages," he said, referencing China still having memories of starvation in the 1960s seared in its collective mind.

    While the US housing crash poses some threat to the price of metals and energy, the effect has largely occurred already. The slide in crude prices over the past month may have been caused by funds liquidating derivatives contracts to cover other demands rather than by recession fears. Goldman Sachs forecasts that oil will be priced at $105 a barrel by the end of 2008.

    The current "supercycle" is a break with history because energy and food have "converged" in price and can increasingly be switched from one use to another.

    Corn can be used for ethanol in cars and power plants, for plastics, as well as in baking tortillas. Natural gas can be made into fertiliser for food output. "Peak Oil" is morphing into "Peak Food".

    Land use for biofuels has shot up from 12m to more than 80m hectares worldwide over six years. Biofuel provides 3pc of global energy needs, which will rise to an estimated 10.6pc by 2030.

    In a pure market, sugar cane would be the only viable biofuel with a cost of $35 a barrel (oil equivalent). The others are sugar beet ($103), corn ($81), wheat ($145), rapeseed ($209), soybean ($232), cellulose ($305).

    Subsidies drive the business. The US offers tax relief of $1 a gallon for biodiesel. The EU has a 10pc biofuel target by 2010.

    Graphic showing increase in land given over to biofuels


    The crop switch comes just as China and India make the leap to an animal-based diet, replicating the pattern seen in Japan and Korea, where people raised their protein intake nine-fold as they became rich. It takes 8.3 grams of soya or corn feed to produce a 1g weight gain in cattle - compared with 3.1g for pigs, 2g for chicken and 1.5g for fish.

    Mr Currie said investment cycles in energy typically last about 10 to 12 years as producers struggle to catch up with demand. However, this cycle has been short-circuited by politicians after barely six years.

    "The political environment is extremely hostile. The world is looking like the 17th century under mercantilism when countries saw economics as a zero-sum game. They exported as much as they could to get gold, and erected enormous barriers. China looks like that, so does Russia, the Mid-East and most of Africa and Latin America," he said.

    While the West has much of the skill for developing energy projects, it is blocked by nationalist petro-states from investing directly.

  2. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    From what I read, the world population was a fairly steady 500 million for many centuries before oil......cheap oil based energy brought about the current population of 12 times that ( about 6+ billion ) thru improved agriculture outputs and standards of living.....on the backside of cheap energy, it stands to reason the planet won't be able to afford that current population in it's current lifestyle.....for many is already pretty glum.....

    See this for what folks spend on food around the planet


    The ones in Chad is where we are headed after peak oil IF we manage to maintain the current population......and that isn't going to be politically acceptable to the countries that aren't there now......look for more resource wars to follow.....and they'll get bigger than the current annexation project in the Middle East.
  3. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Interesting $341 a week???? steady delivery fast food? Found the typical "we suck" comments posted,I stopped registering on sites just to comment on random idiots(so I'll just spew here [troll]) you're welcome...:

    "Wow...I wish I lived in a couple countries other than the US...sure looks like they have some good healthy food for cheap!!! Except for Chad....They sure look happy with what they got!!!! lol."

    ┬╗Typical liberal (hate america crap) SO STOP WISHING AND MOVE!; food may be going up nobodybut chooses to eat(not eat?) like "chadeans !
    All in all
    I do believe Food and especially potable water will be "where its at" for the next couple of decades at least....
  4. the dog

    the dog Monkey+++

    yes food will go up and isoging up.a local farmer ehre sut had is spring pasture/hay fields limed and fertilized.19-19-19 by the ton is $585.this puts 10-10-10 a ton at around $300.so thsi will cause the price of hay...meat to go up.or atlest the cost of raiseing it.if it is not passed on then the farmer may go out of buisness.i know lots of farmers say they are jsut going to let here farmers grow up do to fert and fuel costs.can you imagine putting $1000's on a hay field and then spending $3.00 a gallon for diesel fuel to run equipment...and then someasking for $2 a bakle hay......aint no way.hay has to be in the $5 to $7 range to break even.then what happens if a drought hits??? all the cost of fert gone.this is and will casue trouble.

    i have to say i like the mogolian folks food the best.meat..meat....lol...the american folks look nothing like waht i buy or eat.the comment about packafgeing is interesting...what are you going tot do with it.put all in a sack and carry it home.....lol...people are so dumb sometimes.i think the packageing is a waste....BUT..what else are you going to do with it.walk down the street with a leg of lamb over your shoulder......lol..it wouldnt bother me..but peta would freak out.they get upset over the critters used for clothes...one way around packageing...grow and kill your own.but if you have more htan you can deal with you have to package it yourself...so you back in the boat again.i package alot of my food and it is expensive to do....be it canning....freezeing in vacum bags or freezer paper.it all costs to live and it is jsut going to get higher . i eat deer,turkey,bear,rabbits,turtles,catfish from the wild.
  5. atheo

    atheo Monkey++

    "While the US housing crash poses some threat to the price of metals and energy, the effect has largely occurred already."

    Do these people have a crystal ball? They expect their readers to simply accept this silly assertion, given with no support whatsoever.
    Oil prices have collapsed by 15% in just one month and they are calling a bottom?
    It's not peak oil that is driving food prices higher. Without the Bush mandate, the ethanol boom would have never begun. The telegraph is deflecting blame.
    Oil production levels are determined by political and business considerations, not geological limitations that are at least a century off. The present OPEC decision to cut production prooves this.
    Finally, they claim that the "West" would expand production if only "petro states" would allow them to do so. Really? How is it that Brasil's Petrobras is the global leader in offshore and the extremely promising deep water exploration and development? Why has the US not begun ramping up it's oil shale development, it has more oil than all the Middle East that can be produced at $80/barrel.
  6. BigO01

    BigO01 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    People get so wrapped up in buying the big businesses BS line they forget reality .

    There is NO gas shortage or Peak oil crap , common sense dictates that if we were honestly on collision course with running out of oil the governments and big companies would be 1) rationing gasoline and 2) going full steam ahead with things like electric cars .

    Don't you think that the big companies have people all over the place including on web forums like this one spoon feeding the public their BS ?

    As far as a food shortage goes just think on a few facts .

    It isn't what producing the food costs that hurts it is what the end retailer sells it for , in other words how much does the ass clown sitting in his office make every year .

    Just a few years ago pork prices were at record levels at the retail level , yet pork farmers were going out of business in record numbers all at the same time because they weren't getting paid enough per hog to survive .

    As far as agriculture goes our government still subsidizes farming just to keep their heads above water while prices in the stores rise to ridiculous levels .

    The Government still pays people with I believe it is 5 or more acres of land NOT to farm on it because if they did the excess crop would cause prices to fall killing the commercial farmers who produce the worlds food .

    The Why to all of this is simple they have to take care of their corporate Buddy's who line their pockets with kickbacks just like Bush took care of his oil Pals the past 8 years .

    Think about it gasoline never rose more than maybe 10 cents a gallon per year for decades and they made billions every year . Then here comes Bush and gas was about $1.12 when Clinton left office yet because of his personal connections and investments in the industry gasoline has more than tripled in price under Bush .

    Now if there were really a problem and he was any kind of decent President he would have frozen prices by executive order as Carter did in the 70's when they cooked up this artificial gas shortage scheme .

    In California they had a zero emissions plan in place and 3 major manufactures produced cars that were capable of a 60 mile range before the batteries needed recharging .

    Instead of working on improving these they took the cars away from the people who had them and destroyed every single car , and all of this was in the first few years of the new century meaning the early 2000 years now 8 years ago .

    Why ? Because the big shot on the committee just happen to be on the board of companies backing the Hydrogen cell technology , so he killed the zero emissions thing and took a payoff .

    If the situation were so dire wouldn't they have stayed on course and produced better electric cars with more efficient batteries and a longer range ? Think what 5 more years might have done for the efficiency of them .

    I mean after all we are talking about not only running out of oil but the whole greenhouse gas/global warming thing .

    No , they have done nothing but create artificial problems to panic the public and raise prices so they can pad there their pockets with Billions more .

    Notice all the PR projects with television commercials from major chemical companies assuring us that they are "Protecting the future" .

    O yes you can sure bet their protecting the future , the future of their profits that is .
  7. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    I believe minute man ( our resident "plant"([beat]) for the oil industry would beg to differ) but I wouldn't be so bold as to speak to his "issue"
    I AGREE GM "SCROOD THE POOCH" KILLING THE EV1, It was good enough for me. I am a proponent of electrics and can't help but believe they killed it because the induction electric motors have three moving parts , the armature which rides in two roller bearings;( no cams,belts valves, oil and filters to change and hundreds of thousands of service hours.Mrgood wrench couldn't afford to buy his own product, withoutall that parts markup coming back into the company..Not to mention no gasoline tank.
  8. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    Yep I would like to see how MM respons to this. Seeing he is in the industrie and says it is for real. He has always backed what he says with insider info. I believed it before I started reading the things that he writes but now I think it is the most likely thing to cause a TEOTWAWNI situation.

  9. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Believe, not believe, your choice, as it should be. If you believe, take the appropriate measures to prepare for it. If you don't believe, don't prepare, it's all ok with the rest of us. If the believers are right, then the non believers should have something to barter with. If the non believers are right, then the believers will have expended unnecessary effort. This site exists to provide a forum for all to present their views, and for others to take the views into their thinking and planning.

    I believe. I am not yet ready, but headed that way. [boozingbuddies]
  10. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Thanks for reminding us GH of the "proper attitude"around the fire; things have become rather adversarial around here lately.(Unfortunately I'm guilty too of going "ad hominem"lately).
    I don't believe everything Alex Jones puts out but I think its important enough to offer stuff up for consumption... dip your spoon into the community pot, take a taste,if it tastes good to you; fill your bowl, if its not to your liking , more for the rest of us... :).
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    :lol: There have been some stews I've sniffed but didn't want to sip -- [rofllmao] [yukface]
  12. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    your choice; go to bed hungry ifin' you want...
    momma's not gonna open awhole fresh can of whoopa$$ just for you...
  13. slots

    slots Monkey+++

    Probably dipping my toes in far too deep here, but...

    If I post on a subject related to peak oil, then I would assume those who believe in the theory would comment on the issue. For those who disagree it seems a bit of a non-starter. The subject is irrelevant.

    The debate about whether peak oil exsists was never the issue in this thread, it assumes you agree with the concept to begin with.

    I don't comment on the rights and wrongs of gun control on a thread that deals with with comparisions of hunting weapons or bullet calibers. Everyone assumes the right of gun ownership is a given.

    So please, can we stick to the peak oil = famine concept, and not argue on whether the underlying issues involved are valid or not. Anything else makes a nonsense the post and does nothing for reasoned debate.

    It seems fair to me.

  14. hartage

    hartage Monkey+++

    I believe one of the major factors in killing the ev1 would be lack of support infastructure. To be able to move enough power to propel the mass of a car requries class 3 circuits. Car mechanics are not trained for that. Class 3 electricians are not trained to work on cars. Besides the circuits required to regulate power inside electric cars go quite beyond what electricians train for and dive deeply into electrical engineering.

    Electric cars will require a whole new field of professionals. Current mechanics and electricians lack too much. Current EE (electrical engineer) cost way too much.

    I'm pretty sure hybrids are very modulearized. If something goes wrong you just yank the whole module out and replace. This makes them very expensive to repair.

    I'm curious how the economics of ownership will play out. When current hybrid car owners down the road gets a nasty surprise at how expensive their hybrids are to fix. Will electric cars and hybrids succesfully build support infrastructure to repair at costs near gasoline? Or will they die on the vine like the EV1 did ?
  15. hartage

    hartage Monkey+++

    Oh yeah, peak oil...... I agree 100% Food or tv's and everything in between to process, package, transport to consumer all takes energy. The more energy goes up the more costs go up. At some point those at the bottom will find it impossible to afford to buy imported food. If local grown food is insufficient then people will die. Kind of a very simple concept to understand.
  16. BigO01

    BigO01 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Well guys the way I see it is look at the total picture if this were all true .

    IF we are at peak oil now or will be in the next say 20-50 years the government would be scrambling to come up with alternatives and right now .

    Once it hits then it only stands to reason that a decline will soon follow and there will be honest shortages .

    People aren't going to calmly starve or live in the streets because they can't keep the job they have because they aren't allowed enough gasoline to get there every day . They aren't going to calmly sit in traffic while their ration of gasoline burns up because the Police can't clear an accident off of the road in a timely manner .

    Riots and civil unrest has become so common it hardly turns a head anymore and if this all happens people won't calmly stand in line for food rations either .

    This isn't the 1920's folks morals went out the window a LONG LONG time ago .

    If this hits and the government hasn't already set in place changes to allow people to travel and do so within in their budgets we will truly all get a TEOTWAWNI beyond our imaginations .

    Are we going to return to horse n buggy ?

    Don't think so , few have a yard big enough to keep the animals and then of course in the cities how will this be reconciled with all of the health codes ?

    We could take advantage of things like Bicycles in good weather and this was suggested in the 70's , my local newspaper even had many columns on this including new designs with canopy's so you would stay dry in the rain extending their usefulness .

    They even talked to state government members and they were going to put special bike lanes in the works that ran parallel to our roads . Since this oddly coincided with the heath craze many people were actually quite excited about it as they could peddle there way to work and back get exercise and save money all at once . It Never happened .

    We have already discussed the electric car option which would be the best so let me share a few more thoughts on it .

    They claim the limited range kills that option but why weren't they designed to recharge as they move ? While the tires and axles are turning why didn't the design them to recharge the battery ? Why didn't they make the roof a solar panel ? Cars have grills used to catch airflow and cool the radiator and even heat n cool the passenger compartment , why didn't they use small turbines to recharge via additional alternators ?

    We all know that once the vehicle is started the alternator supplies the electrical power it needs , why can't additional ones or just one more robust one resupply the battery that the car now runs on ?

    Heck think about it why , once the engine starts cant the design include an additional pulley from which a belt then turns a generator to resupply the battery ? Even if it doesn't completely resupply it , it would extend the range the car would operate .

    Couldn't they have had two batteries one that is being used to operate the vehicle and one that is being recharged as the vehicle runs via any or all of the mentioned sources and when one hits a certain charge point they switch ?

    Sure we could be talking about a complete redesign of what we think of what a car will look like but who cares ?

    Heck we could all go to driving something like a mini SUV to have room to accommodate all of this .

    Personally I think Tango hit it dead on , they were killed because they didn't support all of the cottage industries that come with the typical automobile plain and simple .
  17. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    I have a two year electromechanical degree from a local tech college I studied industrial controls ,general motor control pneumatics and hydraulics,'veworked on 480 3threephase. I feel I am qualifie.d ( in the military i did component level troubleshooting repair and calibration of test gear.)The average tech, won't be opening up the motor speed controller to replace circuit board components.the people who had these loved them.

    Theywere charged at home with a heavy duty charger with an induction connection( a paddle on the charger cable slipped into a slot in the car clean, and safe). GM took them back and crushed every single one. I buy ford .
  18. hartage

    hartage Monkey+++

    Go get a prius then stick the larger battery kit that people stick on them. 30 mile range with electric alone. That runs out gas motor kicks in and charges while you continue to drive. http://www.calcars.org/priusplus.html The fun does not have to stop with the EV1.
  19. hartage

    hartage Monkey+++

    Thats just it. Meaning to repair you must replace a whole module. Without the ability to open it up a $50 repair and a $10,000 repair are one and the same. (whole module replacement). The cost to repair would be beyond reach to most.
  20. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    To answer your question you are describing a perpetual motion machine: You cannot hook a generator up to a motor and run it on its own power.
    all you can do is increase th efficiency of using the energy you produce.newer electrics use "regenerative braking"as the drive motors are spun by the forward inertia they create power like a generator(back emf)the drag helps slow thewheels. newer cars feed that back into the batteries.So they last longer.

    Energy is a zero sum game.

    The internal combustion engine creates mega horsepower from releasing the chemical bonds of the gasoline molecule. The massive chemical energy storded in petroleum IS the KEY to understanding the whole peak oil scenario:

    push your suv 13miles at 60mph by yourself. that's how much ENERGY is available in a single gallon of gasoline. Nothing on this earth short of nuclear fission or fusion releases that much energy. ethanol will not; to run a car on straight ethanol you can half the miles/gallon( the energy is about half that of straight gasoline.) To run a vehicle on straight alcohol you need to double the size of the fuel line(deliver twice the volume of fuel).Once the petroleum goes we will not fly these jetliners you simply can't pack enough other fuels onto an airframe.
    IIrc and I don't have a link the military is specing multifuel humvees capable of using nat'l gas
    and hybrid humvees.They are thinking ahead.
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