ZeroHedge has some scary charts showing the demand for food is rising inexorably (as is the demand for fuel) but at the same time supply is falling rapidly as the availability of arable land per capita plunges.
The result in that food prices are rising
If the food supply is declining for an increasing population, forcing up prices during a relatively warm period, what will happen when the next grand minimum arrives?
That will be the scariest of all divergences. Increasing demand when the climate is curtailing production.
Historically grand minimums have resulted in colder and stormy weather, reducing the length of the growing season with late spring frosts and early fall frosts. The result is a shorter growing season for some areas, in other cases the historical crops cannot be grown at all. For example, Canada’s grain growing areas will move south with every degree decline in the global temperature as shown in the this David Archibald graphic.
In my estimate, this is the scariest of all divergences, yet our political leaders are preparing for a warming climate and are demanding that we burn critical food sources in our vehicles. This is unsustainable stupidity!
Washington — The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday rejected a request from eight governors and nearly 200 members of Congress to waive requirements for the use of corn-based ethanol in gasoline, after last summer’s severe drought wilted much of the nation’s corn crop.
The move is a victory for corn farmers who have seen corn prices jump 400 percent in recent years. But it is a loss for pork and beef producers who say the diversion of corn to ethanol raises feed prices and ultimately prices at the supermarket.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121117/AUTO01/211170359#ixzz2CUoT5FvH
Russ wrote, “If the food supply is declining for an increasing population, forcing up prices during a relatively warm period, what will happen when the next grand minimum arrives?” Your chart shows fairly stable food prices up until about 2007-2008 which is when E-10 took off with the elimination of MTBE in gasoline as an oxygenate. So if you consider that 40% of the US corn crop is going to ethanol production, Brazil is making the stuff out of sugar cane, and palm oil and rape seed oil are being produced in other parts of the world, the proper question to ask is how many people will need to starve to death before food crops and arable land are no longer diverted to our gas tanks? If I were a betting man, I speculate the body count will have to be in the millions before these insane renewable fuel and bio-fuel mandates are changed.
Agree, million will die before there is a rebellion against this stupidity!
I find it interesting/unnerving that food supply dropped once oil prices got high enough to drop demand. Supports the link between the food we eat and the amount of oil needed to produce it.
Interesting observation that needs some more study.