It has been a while since I have written a blog and I’m not sure my brain is working properly to come up with anything decent today, but I figure I might as well try. Something that I have been thinking about lately is what is going to happen when oil starts dwindling; when it gets so expensive that the average non millionaire cannot afford to have a car or heat their home, and the prices of simple things like eggs and bread get so high that they become luxuries. Most of us don’t think about this, but just try to think about the last time you ate or drank anything that wasn’t totally reliant on someone else. Some mega-farm somewhere grows food, it is then packaged in a factory, put on a truck, and delivered to your local super market where you buy it and cook it. (This is also true when it comes to clothing and clean water, but that’s for another blog). What if there was an oil shortage or the truckers went on strike. The average place (and that’s to say nothing of a metropolis like NYC or dry areas like the southwest) would be able to have food for three days, should it not be able to be delivered. Then what? If tomorrow you went to the grocery store or a favorite restaurant and they either didn’t have anything left or were selling a dozen eggs for $50, what would you do?
Although I am not a huge fan of the NY Times or Paul Krugman, he wrote something interesting the other day about the lack of food. It seems that more and more people in developing countries are finally starting to get money and therefore have the ability to eat like Westerners; which means more things like steak and burgers. It takes 700 calories worth of animal feed to produce 100 calories worth of beef for us to eat. There are also droughts in giant food producing countries like Australia and a lot of fields are being used for corn to produce ethanol. Also, since we have gotten almost completely away from the mom and pop farms where the work is done almost entirely by hand or hand operated tools (unless you happen to be Amish, in which case you’re probably not reading this) there is a lot of oil used simply to plant crops. We are producing less food, to produce that food is become more and more expensive and to deliver that food is becoming more and more expensive. While all this is happening, most people’s salaries have either remained stagnant or not kept up at all with inflation.
I have no idea what the solution will be, I do not know nearly enough about this. However, there are people who do, there is plenty of information out there about all of this and I plan on finding out for myself. I plan on working on a farm this summer just in case. I plan on – if I can ever manage to save any money – buying a little bit of land (each person only needs a half an acre) and trying to figure out how to support myself. I suggest that – along with cutting back on meat and buying locally grown food in season – we all take steps towards this end. Maybe I’m crazy, maybe this will never happen, maybe everything will end up being fine, but I’m not taking the risk.