Peak Oil, Climate Change and the threat to food security | Watts Up With That?

[Editor Note:  This is a long and important post by David Archibald at WUWT.  I will be posting some of the graphics under the Wheat Tab above next week with my comments.]

WUWT Guest post by David Archibald

In May, WUWT kindly hosted a post with slides from a presentation I gave to the Institute of World Politics in Washington. Following are some further slides from a presentation I gave during the week to the triennial Nuffield Conference in Perth, Australia.

Figure 1: US Wheat and Corn prices 1916 – 2011 in 2011 constant dollars

Grain prices fell 70% in constant dollar terms from the Korean War to the end of the 20th century. In 2008, energy-related inputs relative to total operating expenses were about 60% for both wheat and corn. A $200 per barrel oil price will raise operating costs by 60% from the 2008 level. A similar price response was experienced during the First Oil Shock of 1973. This time the price increase will be permanent.

via Watts Up With That?.


2 thoughts on “Peak Oil, Climate Change and the threat to food security | Watts Up With That?

  1. Russ Steele September 5, 2013 / 3:34 pm

    Really, the worst drought in history? The Ring of Fire needs to do some fact checking.

    “Texas was a land known for its repeated dry spells, but it had never seen anything like the drought of the 1950s. From 1950 to 1957, Texas baked under the most severe drought in recorded history. The total rainfall was off by 40%, and excessive high summer temperatures made the situation that much worse. In one year, 1952, Lubbock did not record even a trace of rain for the entire year. . . . The drought devastated Texas agriculture and greatly affected lakes and reservoirs. For example, Lake Dallas fell to an astounding 11% of capacity.”

    Source: Texas State Library & State Archives

    This was 50 years ago.

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