Anton Smedshaug's Definitive Guide To The Oil-Driven Food Crisis

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One of the best presentations at last week’s peak oil conference in Chicago was given by Norwegian agronomist Anton Smedshaug.

Smedshaug showed how the Malthusian food crisis of the nineteenth century was averted by increased crop yields and a transportation revolution.

As fuel prices increase, however, food supply will be limited to what’s local. Moreover, governments will be forced to commit land to biofuel production, food production will diminished.

GET READY! We're going back to a pre-industrial food paradigm

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HISTORY LESSON: European wheat prices soared with population until the transport revolution

In the modern era, wheat prices have been falling and falling

These American farmers were supplying wheat to the world

Thanks to transportation, everyone was supplied with food

And Malthus was wrong! Increased crop yields and transportation meant that everyone could eat

The modern world was shaped by the food revolution

We thought we could feed all of Africa!

America was feeding the world!

But recently prices have increased, despite increasing production

Leading to crisis

And revolution

Here are the challenges facing food supply

Here are the limitations

Countries are squabbling over farmland

Population is booming in food-scare areas

As people get richer, demand for commodities like pig meat soars

And now the oil crisis

Countries are forced to use grain for fuel, not food

And now climate change, which will reduce crop yields

Enter the water crisis

Are we entering a new biological regime?

Back to the future

Countries must choose between biofuel and food security

Even as oil prices create a renewed demand for ag produce

We are currently playing weather lotto with the food supply

A crash is imminent

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