The intersections between food and politics, population and agriculture, economics and climate are incredibly complex, and very hard to sort out. The truth is that while we all know nothing good will come of them, the exact implications are complex to model. But there is something else truly critical missing from the models – any understanding of how energy and food prices have become so tightly intertwined, and what peak oil will do to these models.Of course, there's a growing contingent of people who say "peak oil is dead". On one hand, peak oil is only potentially dead because people are apparently willing to make their environment toxic to get more fuel; on the other hand, the peak is still imminent if you look at things in a way that makes sense:
The Death of Peak Oil [The Oil Drum] Sorry, you just need to read the whole thing. And please have a look at the comments, too.
Maybe It’s Time to Offend a Few Folks [SteadyState.org]
My message is clear: I recommend one child per couple to lower the population, avert future famines, and avoid wars over water. If that sounds radical, then maybe it is time for radicalism. In a culture that bemoans a falling fertility rate because it will damage the economy — instead of praising smaller families because it means less crowding, more nature and better quality of life for all — there is great need for more voices of sanity. Voices like Edward Abbey who said, “Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”Study: Belief in Free-Market Economics Linked to Distrust of Science [GlobalPossibilities via AlterNet]
Lewandowsky and his colleagues’ research also found supporters of right-wing economics tend to reject “other established scientific findings, such as the fact that HIV causes AIDs and that smoking causes lung cancer.” Additionally, researchers found a strong link between climate change deniers and conspiracists in general, such as the 9/11 “truthers” movement and those who believe NASA staged the Apollo 11 moon landing.In short, they're fucking loons. The problem is that 37% of Americans are, apparently, fucking loons. You've seen this same rough figure -- about a third -- come up in a variety of situations where Americans are being fucking loons. For example, one third of Americans want Christianity as the official religion. I guess I should clarify that I'm talking about the USA in particular because A) obviously, that's where I am, and B) the USA is still dictating policy for the world, or at least having a dramatic amount of influence over policy.
“Human Beings Have No Right to Water” [GlobalPossibilities.org]
Water, [CEO of Nestle] Brabeck correctly pointed out, “is of course the most important raw material we have today in the world,” but added: “It’s a question of whether we should privatize the normal water supply for the population. And there are two different opinions on the matter. The one opinion, which I think is extreme, is represented by the NGOs, who bang on about declaring water a public right.” Brabeck elaborated on this “extreme” view: “That means that as a human being you should have a right to water. That’s an extreme solution.” The other view, and thus, the “less extreme” view, he explained, “says that water is a foodstuff like any other, and like any other foodstuff it should have a market value. Personally I believe it’s better to give a foodstuff a value so that we’re all aware that it has its price, and then that one should take specific measures for the part of the population that has no access to this water, and there are many different possibilities there.”Which reminds me of this:
…Actually, the more I reflect on it, the clearer I see the logic, the rationale, behind the bankers’ and the capitalists’ push for privatization. It is not just more profits they are after, not just share price or corporate valuation; no! They are after mass extermination, genocide on a grand scale – of the world’s needy, the under-funded, the unwanted, the uncivilized, the savages and the barbarians, the commies and the Islamists, in short, elimination of all of the Others.And this: What If A Collapse Happened And Nobody Noticed?
The big boyz have seen all the data and crunched all the numbers, and it is clear to them – the earth is running out of resources, Mars is -50 C all of the time, and we can no longer afford to carry all of this excess baggage here on the planet — all of these miserable, thankless, do-nothing mouths to feed. So the plan is brilliant. You reduce the number from 7+ billion by at least 33% without firing one shot. You simply privatize all natural resources and then price access so that the bottom third of the globe’s population cannot afford it. And so, they die; it will be the biggest die-off of the Anthropocene epoch…