A doomers guide to the future?

How will oil depletion affect the way we live? What will the economic impact be? How will agriculture change? Will we thrive or merely survive?

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kenneal - lagger
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A doomers guide to the future?

Post by kenneal - lagger »

This article is a doomer's guide to loss of food production in a future of depleted oil supplies.
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woodburner
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Re: A doomers guide to the future?

Post by woodburner »

kenneal - lagger wrote:This article is a doomer's guide to loss of food production in a future of depleted oil supplies.
Obviously unnecessarily pessimistic :wink:, as there are those who believe that "technology" will find a way to overcome the problem. Not only from Lincolnshire residents, but one of the comments from the blog,
I can believe that perhaps the US and other rich countries can step in and do something for a limited period -
perhaps correct if the period is a week or so.
To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with. Cass Sunstein
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Post by clv101 »

For example, if all of the world’s arable land were distributed evenly, in the absence of mechanized agriculture each person on the planet would still have an inadequate amount of farmland for survival: distribution would have accomplished very little.
This is an interesting comment. We know that small, mixed, labour intensive agriculture is more is more productive per unit area than large scale industrial agriculture. The chalange is how to get the 10-20 fold increase in farm labour.

This is a good point:
All over the world, there are forgotten pockets of habitable land, much of it abandoned in the modern transition to urbanization, for the ironic reason that city dwellers regarded rural life as too difficult, as they traded their peasant smocks for factory overalls. There are still areas of the planet’s surface that are sparsely occupied although they are habitable or could be made so, to the extent that many rural areas have had a decline in population that is absolute, i.e. not merely relative to another place or time.
Apparently Ukraine has vast, untapped agricultural potential.
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Post by PS_RalphW »

Article in the Guardian today reports that half of all US food produce is dumped

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... es-perfect

although it says there is no clear accounting. In the medium term there will be enough fossil fuel to maintain the food supply in the first world at least. The problems that lead to mass starvation will be political, social and economic.
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Post by woodburner »

clv101 wrote:
For example, if all of the world’s arable land were distributed evenly, in the absence of mechanized agriculture each person on the planet would still have an inadequate amount of farmland for survival: distribution would have accomplished very little.
This is an interesting comment. We know that small, mixed, labour intensive agriculture is more is more productive per unit area than large scale industrial agriculture. The chalange is how to get the 10-20 fold increase in farm labour.

This is a good point:
All over the world, there are forgotten pockets of habitable land, much of it abandoned in the modern transition to urbanization, for the ironic reason that city dwellers regarded rural life as too difficult, as they traded their peasant smocks for factory overalls. There are still areas of the planet’s surface that are sparsely occupied although they are habitable or could be made so, to the extent that many rural areas have had a decline in population that is absolute, i.e. not merely relative to another place or time.
Apparently Ukraine has vast, untapped agricultural potential.
That's typical isn't it? Label every patch of ground as "habitable" or "untapped agricultural potential" or some other equally ignorant description, then go and muck it up as we have with everywhere we've been. What about leaving it to the other species inhabiting the planet, and dealing with the real problem which is how to drastically reduce the human population. That way we don't have this pathetic call for "more food to feed a growing population".

I will say it as many others have, THERE ARE TOO MANY PEOPLE ON THE PLANET!!!!!!!!!
To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with. Cass Sunstein
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Post by Blue Peter »

clv101 wrote: Apparently Ukraine has vast, untapped agricultural potential.
Ah, Lebensraum, you say! :wink:


Peter.
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Post by vtsnowedin »

I notice that in spite of all the climate change etc. that the world is looking at a record wheat harvest this year so large that there are insufficient storage facilities to store it all. Much of the excess will be stored on the ground in large plastic bags.
Can small agriculture done with hand labor really produce more then mechanized AG? I doubt it given the high yields the Mechs. are getting and the amount of land small AG loses to pathways and other living space taken up by the laborers.
Big AG uses fields measured in square miles without a foot print or any other nonproductive square yard anywhere in the field.
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Post by woodburner »

But you don't have to waste it for something as mundane as food (it is a bad food for humans anyway). You can ferment it, turn it into ethanol and run cars on it, then you can get more oil out of the ground to turn into diesel to run tractors and grow some more, but you only just get a little bit more for fuel out than you have to put in. Never mind though, you've destroyed a bit more habitat while you're doing it.
To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with. Cass Sunstein
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

This article from Agrimony.com shows that there is/was a surplus but only by a minuscule amount and after some years of deficit, meaning reserves would have been depleted. I read that the surplus had reduced from 56 days supply to 26 days. We're only days away from grain shortages so we might have had the biblical seven good years but what if we get seven bad years? We would be going hungry within a couple of months of the start of the bad years.
The United Nations has, for the second time, revised world grain estimates made only a month ago, forecasting that production will, after all, return to surplus in 2011-12.

The UN's food agency, the Food and Agriculture Organization, lifted by 11m tonnes to a record 2.31bn tonnes its forecast for world cereals production in 2011-12.

The change, attributed to last month's swings in US government forecasts of domestic crops, near-reversed a FAO downgrade made two weeks ago.

And it took production back above consumption, meaning world grain inventories are now expected to rebuild by 6m tonnes over the season.
This years harvest isn't in yet and a lot can happen between now and then. The thunderstorms and rain we are having in the UK could trash our harvest in a week and it's the same everywhere.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

Don't forget, VT, that the longer the boom the wider the tyres. There might not be footfall in the crop but there are still more destructive wheelings!
Action is the antidote to despair - Joan Baez
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Post by vtsnowedin »

kenneal - lagger wrote:This article from Agrimony.com shows that there is/was a surplus but only by a minuscule amount and after some years of deficit, meaning reserves would have been depleted. I read that the surplus had reduced from 56 days supply to 26 days. We're only days away from grain shortages so we might have had the biblical seven good years but what if we get seven bad years? We would be going hungry within a couple of months of the start of the bad years.
The United Nations has, for the second time, revised world grain estimates made only a month ago, forecasting that production will, after all, return to surplus in 2011-12.

The UN's food agency, the Food and Agriculture Organization, lifted by 11m tonnes to a record 2.31bn tonnes its forecast for world cereals production in 2011-12.

The change, attributed to last month's swings in US government forecasts of domestic crops, near-reversed a FAO downgrade made two weeks ago.

And it took production back above consumption, meaning world grain inventories are now expected to rebuild by 6m tonnes over the season.
This years harvest isn't in yet and a lot can happen between now and then. The thunderstorms and rain we are having in the UK could trash our harvest in a week and it's the same everywhere.
You are quoting stats that are four years old. I'm talking about the latest crop estimate which is revised ether weekly or monthly. They are already harvesting winter wheat from Texas to Kansas and that harvest is already at the elevator ( grain storage facility to you non farm people).
It's a glut! of grain. :wink:
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Post by woodburner »

More donuts for the already overweight then :wink:
To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with. Cass Sunstein
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

You're a bit in front of the European harvest, VT, and that could go wrong. There's more to the world than the US!
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Post by woodburner »

What good a harvest when compared to this
To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with. Cass Sunstein
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Post by emordnilap »

woodburner wrote:What good a harvest when compared to this
Good. The earlier we use up resources, the sooner the planet can get rid of us.
I experience pleasure and pains, and pursue goals in service of them, so I cannot reasonably deny the right of other sentient agents to do the same - Steven Pinker
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