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Monday, November 28, 2016

peak peak, article 2 of 2 today


PEAK PEAK

I’ve discussed the concept of Peak Oil here many times.  Most of you Beck Buckaroos start snoozing after you proclaim Fracking Oil will last near forever.  I mention Peak Silver, Peak Gold, Peak Phosphorus, Peak Iron Ore, Peak Coal, Peak Energy BTU, Peak Every Friggin Thing and you all look at me like I’m the retarded one.  I can’t keep drumming the same song into your head if you are unwilling to listen, granted, but I can keep talking about Peak Something else in the vain hope that one, you’ll eventually start listening and if not than two, I’ll at least irritate the crap out of you.  On this blog, I’d wager most of you are willing to plead for Peak Peak, but I shan’t.  Oh no.  Today, Peak Grain.  In 1986 the globe saw Peak Grain.  That was the point when the most grain per capita was harvested.  It was only gone down from there during the last thirty years.  No amount of artificial fertilizer, insecticides, GMO’s or clearing rain forests has boosted the figures.  And before you even say anything, no, nothing is going to reverse that figure.  I’ll slaughter all your sacred cows such as vegetarianism, eliminating ethanol, postponing the Green Revolution or reduced population pressure.

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First, how about a few worrisome figures.  I won’t say “frightening figures” because I’m sure that none of you will be moved by this article.  I’m really writing it for the one percent of my readers who will listen and act.  I’ve called the US population of survivalists at about 30k.  There might be more “preppers” but I’m sure that thirty thousand, the rough readership of Rawles, is about the number that will ever think about going past the thirty day food store litmus test.  Of that, I have 600 readers.  2% of serious survivalists even consider reading of a Malthusian Collapse.  How many do you think actually live away from crowds and have five years of food stores?  1% of the 2%?  Well, probably more like 2-5%.  But still pretty pathetic when you start guessing how many breeding pairs you need to get the population through a bottleneck event.  Anyway, in the 1960’s when Ehrlich was worried about global famine, the grain yield was 327 kilograms per capita.  The Peak in 1986 was 370 kg.  Today ( well, a few years ago-you never get right up to the date with these figures.  I believe they are from 2007 ) it is 350, a 6% decline from peak.  We don’t have too far to go to get back to the figures that panicked the author of The Population Bomb.

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Now, let me just say that obviously I love the good reverend Malthus.  He was a historian and a mathematician, not a huckster or panic-monger.  He wanted to avoid more famines as had been the norm.  He was just Doing Da Math-something that all the dingus lickers out there claim that the Gore Warming scientists have done, yet they along with everyone else discount anything Malthus ever said.  Ehrlich himself was a scientist and by most accounts a very good one.  But when he updated Malthus to account for contemporary population growth fueled by Oil Agriculture, he was spat upon, vilified and roundly dismissed ( those that do obviously believe oil will last forever ).  Malthus was only proven wrong by the introduction of coal and petroleum, and carbon fuels are a ONE OFF energy bonanza.  Which is ending.  Which has been ending.  Do you think it is much of a coincidence that Peak Energy per capita was 1979 and Peak Grain was a mere seven years later?  The Green Revolution in Ag is mostly powered by petroleum inputs ( not just the obvious tractors and fertilizers, but irrigation.  40% of our food is from irrigated crops.  Now take into account silted up dams and depleted reservoirs ).

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Everyone turning to vegetarianism?  Allow me to guffaw uproariously.  The Have’s NEVER decrease their consumption when others are dying in a famine.  They keep eating their middle class or higher diet.  In the 1940’s in Bengal during a widespread famine, those with the means kept eating normally.  Americans happily throw another steak on the BBQ as they read about famine in Africa.  The poor in America might not remember what meat for breakfast or lunch is like, but their richer countrymen can afford $1k a month insurance with $10k deductibles to treat themselves as their health deteriorates from a diet far too rich in protein.  More Chinese than ever ratchet up their beer and pork consumption as the Arab Spring saw riots from hunger ( itself caused, mostly, by US ethanol laws ).

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And do you really think we will stop throwing a third of our corn crop in our gas tanks?  Obammy The Nobel Peace Prize Winner never considered it.  Bush might have started the Mexican slide into a Failed State by stopping cheap corn subsidies once their main oil field started losing 8% production a year ( and they cut back on their oil imports to us ), but those teary soft hearted liberals had no problem keeping the poor in the middle east from getting cheap corn from us.  The world turns 8% of available farmland into fuel.  It isn’t just us.  Remember about that shrinking wealth pie?  Everyone is going to screw anyone in a mad desperate last ditch effort at grabbing the disappearing wealth.  Hence the Food To Fuel.  Nobody cares if others starve, as long as the money is rolling in.  As with the utopian call towards vegetarianism, so to the dream of less driving.  As far as population?  The only thing that has happened is that the increase in population has slightly decreased.  It is still an increase, just not as big of one.  It is STILL a Mathusian equation of population always outpacing food.  That is like saying one person starving at your dinning room table is far better than two.

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Grain is not diet.  Granted.  But the trend towards more people and less food is irrefutable.  Word to wise.

END

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9 comments:

  1. Not much point in me chiming in...I have before. We are looking at the perfect storm for higher grains prices. Maybe 2017 maybe 2018.

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    Replies
    1. Why not chime in? I forever beat the same drum, myself.

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  2. I wonder how the war on Round Up, will affect the price and production of wheat ? Once RU is no longer allowed. Currently used to not only keep weeds out, it also is sprayed on wheat fields to get the crop to uniformly die off for harvest. Thus the issue, because this introduces the chemical directly into the food chain. If this use is banned, as it should be ! The price of production will no doubt suffer a hike.
    There does seem to be a disconnect between population increases and the methods allowing increased production, such as chemicals and the use of GMO's. We seem to want our cake but don't want to pay the price to, eat it too.
    So there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that we are well past "Peak Wheat".

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    Replies
    1. Will RU be discountinued here? I have my doubts. Seems too entrenched and our politicians all bought and paid for.

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  3. A dingo that probably didn't eat a babyNovember 28, 2016 at 12:17 PM

    LOL - I have about 2 weeks stockpiled. It's canned food that's rotated.

    I have 3 months of toilet paper.

    Plenty of water

    At my current rate of range time (err, I can't afford to visit) I have forever amounts of ammunition (stockpiled years ago)

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  4. While peak grain is past. If 350 kg is accurate that's 770lb per person(I know a lot go to animal feed and fuel)it is only the grain component. Add other food products and we are safe production wise for a time. The problem is ground inputs and distribution. Peak everything else is what will make calories disappear. I see many perishable products becoming difficult and expensive to obtain (lettuce ,cheese ,meats) grain will always be the most plentiful and cheapest of calories to get. I find it funny grains are the one crop not suited for home production in most cases but the beans and green component are. One has only to look to Russia even in a partial collapse they kept grains flowing to stem off starvation and government overthrow at bay. As much as you hate gardening a stash of grain with a gorilla garden to supplement will go far. Distribution has always been the problem.

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    Replies
    1. Well, let's not forget sending our grain overseas to the highest bidder. I don't necessarily see an automatic rational FedGov response to food issues, just a continual focus on the corporations profits.

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    2. I recall reading in FerFals blog about the collapse of Argentina that people starved whilst corporations exported food produced in Argentina

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