My website has a FAQ (frequently asked questions page) which I’ve now updated with a new section, The World and Our Future.
I get a fair number of question regarding my thoughts on this subject. Sometimes I point them to the blog or the old forum, other times I don’t say much. Scaring people isn’t particularly productive, and I’ve learned over time that you pretty much have to let people figure things out for themselves, it’s the only way they’ll develop a vested interest.
So anyway, here’s what I wrote as an addendum to the FAQ:
The World & Our Future
Q: Why is shipping so expensive? Do you know the reason for this?
A: Its because of the high price of oil. The U.S. imports over 80% of it’s oil now. The commerical shipping companies like UPS, FedEx and Oak Harbor Freight have all been scrambling to cover their shipping expenses with the higher price of oil. Last year, there were over two dozen rate changes, where in years past, it was a single change, once per year. And we are expecting this to get a LOT worse. Oil is very volatile and projections are for much higher oil prices, much higher then you can even imagine. The world is running out of oil, we’ve researched this extensively and it’s real. We’re all going to be paying far higher prices soon.
Q: What can I do about the high cost of shipping? Anything at all?
A: No, not really. We have a saying that’s proven true for over twelve years we’ve been in business. “It won’t be any cheaper then it is today”. Shipping costs are just going to get worse, a lot worse. Food is a great investment right now because it’s cheap and the shipping is still affordable. But in ten years, what will food cost? What will shipping costs be? We only know for certain that both food and shipping will be much higher. With food that can last 30 years then, it makes good sense to buy today while it is still affordable.
What most people don’t know is how dependent modern agriculture is on oil (and it’s price). All modern agriculture requires huge quantities of oil to grow (fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides) and to be processed (tractors, harvestors, trucks, shipment and distribution and factory plants). Without oil, there simply will be no food for over 85% of the population. The U.S. is eventually looking at massive starvation because of this problem. No nationwide initiative, including alternative energy has even remotely come close to solving this problem. In reality, it is a world-wide problem and the future world will have a massive population die-off because of it.
Q: Are you serious?
A: Very. We have looked into this issue extensively. Our planet is in severe population-overshoot which has only been possible by the availability of cheap, portable energy. No “alternative energy” exists that can replace oil. A single barrel of oil represents 400,000 years of “sunshine” and we burn it up in a nanosecond. The U.S. is using 8 million barrels of oil per day, and that figure is rising. Resource wars will be commonplace as the world fights over the remaining oil supplies. It’s already a matter of life or death and it will only worsen. The world will be a dramatically different place in a few decades as global starvation affects every country on earth.
Q: If this is for real, why isn’t something being done about this?
A: Actually, a lot is being done. Recall the resource wars? That is already happening. Drilling for new energy supplies is occurring all over the world, but all major finds have long since peaked in 1979. It now take almost five barrels of oil to even find one barrel, and this ratio is rising. The obvious outcome of this is going to be a complete crash of our oil-soaked civilization. Governments around the world are well aware of the problem, despite their denials. You can see the evidence of this in their plans for conquest, trade agreements, oil exploration, pipelines and many other factors. They’re also trying desperately hard not to panic the population. We think this is disengenous.
Q: What can I do about this? Anything?
A: Get ready. Learn to live with less. Consume less and conserve more. Realize that the modern world is going to come to an end, rapidly. Learn to be self-sufficient, at least to some degree. And teach your children to do better then we did. It will be the young generation alive today that will suffer the most and be the hardest hit, because they simply do not know how to live without cheap energy, cheap transportation and cheap food. We expect millions to die because of this. Entire nations will be displaced because of shortages of food and water. The ability of the world to feed 7 billion humans is now in serious question.
Q: Where can I learn more?
A: There are a number of sites online that cover these issues extensively. Our own blog, “Sustainable Living & Common Sense” is one place, although we do cover many other issues including the environment. Life After The Oil Crash is another, and Die Off. Peak Oil is yet another and contains many forums and discussions.
Q: Dare I ask? Is there anything else I should know?
A: Yes, there’s quite a bit more. Peak energy (same thing as peak oil in reality) isn’t the only pressing issue. A global race is underway to find an alternative energy source in time before the oil and coal runs out. The widely reported claim that coal will last 400 years is completely bogus. At our present rates of consumption, it will last less then 45 years. Other sources of alternative energy like methane hydrates, hydrogen, solar or wind power are technologies that have very low EROI (energy returned on energy invested) ratios and don’t even come remotely close to replacing the energy found in a single barrel of oil. A great many claims of a promised “technofix” to solve our energy requirements are totally bogus and empty promises. So far, nothing has been developed to solve these issues.
Global climate change is also causing severe havoc around the world and will worsen very soon. Already countries like Australia are having severe water shortages and will be shutting off the water supply to their farmers. Many countries throughout Africa are in severe drought. Global climate change means severely impacted agriculture (food) and even rising sea levels. Nearly 1 billion people will be affected by rising sea levels alone, islands are already being evacuated in low-land countries. The displaced population of hundreds of millions will also affect North America.
Global climate change means many things, but most importantly, it will affect food, disease and immigration. There is a absolutely huge and hidden danger of the Siberian permafrost suddenly melting. This will release billions of tons of methane into the atmosphere all at once (in a matter of weeks) and could cause a runaway greenhouse affect. In the space of a single year, our planet could become nearly uninhabitable for most of the surface of the earth.
On top of this, there are severe environmental degradation issues now being reported around the world. 85% of the world’s reefs are collapsing. 90% of the world fisheries are in severe decline. The ocean is the main protein source for billions of people, and with the oceans in collapse, they will face starvation. Toxic pollution, dumping, overfishing and ocean temperature changes have caused these problems. The world’s plankton is at the bottom of the food change, but there are now hundreds of “dead zones” in the oceans where absolutely nothing lives, and the plankton are in severe decline worldwide.
Q: Why haven’t I heard about these things? Are you just trying to scare me?
A: Not at all. Food is an integral part of our environment and is directly affected by climate and energy. It’s simply reasonable to understand how food production will be affected by what is now happening throughout the world. Population is also a factor.
Our world is changing. We didn’t create this news, we’re simply reporting what is being told around the world. If you’ve not heard of these things, it is because the U.S. media has been ordered to be silent about it. There are now thousands of claims by scientist that their research work, funding and reports have been suppressed by the White House. And what does make it to the news is greatly watered down and even disparaged by media pundits and commentators. The reality is, we don’t believe the government wants you to know what is going on because it would cause too much panic and people would instantly demand what they simply cannot have (solutions). The reality is, there are no solutions, and no government, no politician wants to be put into such a position.
The “answer” is simpler then anyone can imagine. Humans will adapt to a much smaller world, because it’s their only choice. Everything will become localized, transportation will be very limited and jobs, food and consumer goods will be severely affected. Entire nations will be relocated causing massive immigration problems. Disease will be rampant as temperature changes affect things like dengue fever and malaria and bird flu. Population die-off will occur because of disease and food shortages. Eventually, the surviving world will “adjust” to “less” of everything. Civilization will halt it’s present course of advancement to a large degree (all which depends on vast quantities of cheap energy and a available labor pool). Life as we know it will be over, probably forever. Those surviving will learn to live with less and will become much more self-sufficient then they are today. The most affected will be the young generation alive today, and their future children.
In approximently two generations, the present day world will be largely “forgotten” because those who live then will have never known the abundance, prosperity and easy living world that we have had up until now. Our era is about over. We’ve foolishly built our civilization on something that couldn’t last. This has happened many times throughout human history, hundreds of times in fact. Civilizations come and go and ours will be no different. The hard part for us alive today, is figuring out how to survive the next fifty years. It won’t be easy and will become increasing difficult. Eventually, die-off and climate change will force the answers out of us. Those of us that survive will teach our children how to live in the new world. Nobody really knows what that world will be like, but we do know it will be much different then what we have today. Our world consumed it’s resource base too fast and it was bound to crash because of it. We’re all about to find out what this will really mean.