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Rafe Champion guest post. Advance warning of a global food crisis

This is a remarkably prescient piece on the fourth quarter of 2020 written by Goehring & Rozencwajg Natural Resource Investors. Don’t ask me how to pronounce their names. The really interesting part is about food rather than energy.

There is a lot of dense information about the impediments to the green transition and the first part is a warning to green investors who are flooding the market to get on the bandwagon of the “great opportunities” that abound. They conclude from their research that green schemes will generally lose money and waste a great deal of investment without making a dent on the level of emissions.

As to the food crisis: on page 12. “For four years global agriculture has sat on a knife edge” with a series of good seasons and bumper crops but at the same time grain inventories have been run down to a point where any hitch in supply could precipitate fears of famine and social unrest in developing nations that are at the pointy end of the food supply chain. There was news of droughts in some major cereal providers and cold weather in other places disrupting harvests.

They expect to see global cooling and this will be a shock for food production after a remarkable streak of 40 years with generally excelling growing seasons apart from occasional droughts and floods that did not disturb the favourable trends in production (whether due to warming or just better farming practices.)

This report appeared before there was any sign of the Ukraine invasion that has two devastating strikes on the food supply: first curtailing production from the rich farmlands of the Ukraine and second, triggering a potentially catastrophic increase in the cost of fertilizer (hence reduced supply and more expensive food) caused by the inflated cost of gas.

Interesting times indeed. People, at least in poor nations, will soon have more serious things to fret about than climate change.

9.7 out of 10 based on 65 ratings

122 comments to Rafe Champion guest post. Advance warning of a global food crisis

  • #
    Kim

    I’ve been prepping for quite a while. Food: Created a storage room – larder – and have been stocking it with long life food. Water: We use rain water so it was just a matter of bullet proofing that. Will need to be able to power the pumps off grid though. Electricity: Some off grid power at the moment but that needs to be greatly expanded. Solar water heating in summer and wood in winter. Autumn and spring relies more on the grid. Communications: Pretty much sorted. We have both on grid and off grid supplies.

    My biggest concerns are the geopolitical situation – the worst scenarios. If there was a nuclear war that would make life very difficult. Surviving that is a large priority.

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    • #
      Kim

      PS: There are many low energy, high self sufficiency techniques for rural people to survive from a century ago. Flour is very important and useful. It needs to be securely stored (likewise rice) – critter proofed. That means keeping the mice and the skinks away. Glass and plastic airtight jars are a solution. Fruit can be combined with flour, sugar, eggs, dairy – milk & butter – to make deserts. Apple peelers and corers can be easily and cheaply bought. Tins are a good way of storing food – veggies and meat. Bagged basics such as beans last a long time. Milk and egg powder and long life milk help. Extra flavouring, herbs, spices, almond meal, pea flour all helps. Bread is easy to make at home – 10 mins to put the ingredients into the bread maker. Eggs – chooks. Potatoes are a good staple but need to be grown (or bought in when needed) – not stored. Pizzas are easy to make – 50/50 flour and natural Greek yoghurt (which can be made at home). Fruit can be sliced and dried.

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      • #
        Ted1

        We’ll have to learn how to manage the insect pests. Weevils &c.

        And, if you intend to store food, do that first. Don’t wait to find the stuff you stored away six months ago has already been eaten by insects.

        20

      • #
        Hasbeen

        If the stuff really hits the fan I have river frontage, solar pumps & good black soil flats. However I am only 80 kilometers from Brisbane. I very much doubt I would get to eat much of anything I produced, before the city folk came & took it.

        In a true armageddon I think one would have to be a long way from a city, or large town to have any chance of becoming self sufficient.

        60

      • #
        wet mountains

        Hardtack, ships biscuits.

        10

    • #
      Mantaray Yunupingu

      Much as I enjoy fretting about impending Armageddon I’ve been sorely disappointed by this latest one. “We’s all gonna starve we tell’s ya!” is just one more fizzer it seems….

      So, I go hiking once, often twice, a year and take mostly dry non-perishables since they are lightest and longest lasting. This means rice, pasta, cous cous, instant noodles, dried mash potato, oats (and other breakfast cereals). Sometimes dried meats and fish I dehydrate myself. Occasionally dried beans and pulses etc (which take much much more preparation). To keep it palatable I also take dried sauces, soups and so forth (parmesan is something you other hikers may not have considered).

      As a result of doing this so often, I am very clued-up on prices. And what I KNOW is that all that stuff is dirt cheap, and barely moving in price. There are no shortages whatsoever.

      WHEN will the deprivation and the price rises kick in? When will I be unable to buy the food for my trips?

      Should I stop clutching the pearls, gnashing the teeth etc until something actually happens, or is it better to wring the hands in anticipation of how awful it’s gonna be? Anyone got some sage advice?

      BTW: Disaster flicks have always been my fav, so I’m ready to tremble in fear if that’s what it takes. Just loved the movie “2012” and am fully psyched up to start shrieking at the drop of a hat once again. NO FOOD….Reeeeeeeeee!

      51

      • #
        Sambar

        There is a HUGE difference between “food shortages” and “food availability” and it all depends on how wealthy you our your country is. Currently in my house there is a shortage of eye fillet of beef, $60.00 per kg is beyound my meagre means however there is a fair supply of fillet of venison, current cost is a bit of a walk a lound noise and a fair bit of work. Now not everyone likes venison, so those that don’t have a food shortage, those that do eat quite well. My very beautiful Itallian brother in law could convert anything into a delicious meal, BUT you need to overcome your prejudices. The things so often thrown away are excellent food just get it through your head its O.K.
        Ever had fried chicken intestines? I have, but these days they are thrown away. The brother in law and I used to sit in the bullrushes at dusk and shoot dozens of starlings, these would be collected and wind up in the pot, delicious. Pigs would go through the process with the only thing thrown away being the gut content, everything else would be consumed. Remember ox tail soup, not any more. Used to be a staple when I was a kid. We eat the dandilions in our house, just bloody weeds you say, we say free veggies.
        All sorts of mushrooms, and life is good. A good imagination and a small dabble of hunger and the range of available foods expands exponentially.

        120

        • #
          Bushkid

          An amazing array of what we call weeds are actually good tucker, high in nutrition, and some have very useful medicinal properties as well. Native plants tend to be high in vitamins, Vic C in particular, which is interesting. I reckon many of the weeds that are shunned were brought here specifically because of their usefulness, but that usefulness has been lost in the tidal wave of synthesised medications that have replaced them. You can’t patent a natural living thing, so the knowledge fades.

          I’m happy to say my gardening habits, which suburban gardeners would call haphazard at best and pearl-clutchingly dreadful at worst, have created a very edible garden without even trying! That’s besides the things I grow deliberately. Well, the “weeds” are now grown deliberately too.

          60

    • #

      I have several ceramic breadcrocks stuffed with packets of flour, soup mix grains and onions. Mouse proof, dry and sit on the floor under cabinets, easy storage. A kind of survival root cellar like in the old days.

      If you have a garden (or terrace) plant survival vegetables and parsley and maybe keep rabbits. A female goat would add to food security if practical… They eat sticks and other wayside vegetation, can be tethered on wasteland and you can learn to make goat cheese.

      30

  • #
    R.B.

    Why don’t we have a massive fertiliser manufacturing industry. It hardly takes any Labour. Its all energy that we can supply in bucket loads – to other countries.

    220

    • #
      Kim

      We have the energy and raw materials it’s just the will and money that are needed. Australia is currently in a good – fairly secure – position as far as fertiliser is concerned but that could, of course, change.

      80

    • #
      Ronin

      “Why don’t we have a massive fertiliser manufacturing industry. ”

      Simple answer, it’s tied up in some of our ‘free trade deals’, they buy our stuff, we buy theirs, fertiliser etc.

      100

      • #
        Chris

        Actually , Andrew Forrest is involved with an ammonia project ( NH3) to produce fertiliser in the NW of WA and in Queensland.

        11

        • #
          Graeme#4

          There is a fertiliser manufacturer in the Pilbara where there is plenty of cheap gas available.

          20

    • #
      b.nice

      Orica produces fertiliser on Kooragang Is. in Newcastle

      https://www.orica.com/Products-Services/agriculture

      10

      • #
        Philip

        Yes but Aus largely imports its fertilizer. I can’t recall the proportion.

        30

      • #
        Sambar

        Orica used to produce lots of good old Nitrate of Ammonia as fertiliser, cheap and very effective. Now its pretty well limited to mining explosives. Exactly the same stuff completely different application.

        50

        • #
          Leo G

          Exactly the same stuff completely different application.

          Rather like phosphates- used to produce fertilisers and explosives. Orica and Incitec seem to be specialists in materials with the same dual purpose.

          10

      • #
        Ronin

        Incitec produce a range of fertilisers at their plant on Gibson Is on the Brisbane R.
        It’s future is in doubt because of the high cost of natural gas.

        20

        • #
          Geoff Sherrington

          Ronin,
          I worked there about 1968 when they were setting up and starting urea production. Geoff S

          20

    • #
      David Maddison

      I remember when Australia used to mine phosphate fertiliser from Nauru and basically shipped the entire top several metres of the island back to Australia.

      Nauru made a fortune from this and then blew the lot on poor investments and have nothing to show for it today. They no longer even own the office building in Melbourne known as Nauru House.

      70

      • #
        Geoff Sherrington

        David,
        The fertilizer was mined out. The Australian Mining Industry Council annaul national seminar about 1978 IIRC foresaw this and had a day long think tank to see what could be done. Top suggestion was not very good – start an international casino. Nobody could suggest more productive outcomes. Geoff S

        40

  • #
    KP

    “They expect to see global cooling”

    Hush! Wash your mouth out! That idea must never get out to the plebs, they are still debating how much extra food production will come from global warming, which everyone knows is real!

    Cooling will be drier, which is bad for Aussie. The current rebound from the drought is just amazing at the moment, but these are probably the good 3 years before we start back into the next dry cycle and have cooling exacerbate it.

    150

  • #
    David Maddison

    Have you noticed in the US a lot of mysterious fires and other major malfunctions at large food processing plants?

    Some say conspiracy, others, the usual suspects, say “nothing to see here”.

    https://www.westernstandard.news/news/exclusive-food-shortages-magnified-by-string-of-destroyed-food-processing-facilities/article_c5e4d4c3-325f-56b4-9089-8b8a69fe7d1f.html

    EXCLUSIVE: Food shortages magnified by string of destroyed food processing facilities

    SEE LINK FOR REST

    150

    • #
      Chris

      Also, pigs are being slaughtered -swine flu. Deer are being shot – wasting disease, and a poultry producer burned a shed with 3.2 million chooks inside – bird flu.

      70

    • #
      Philip

      So if conspiracy, what is in it for the evil doers ? To stricken supply of food, how do they benefit ?

      This is the question people ask themselves when confronted with these ideas, and they cant think of an answer and so dismiss them as nonsense.

      03

      • #
        Rob JM

        All part of the great reset/2030 globalist agenda. In order to justify raising interest rates (the reaping phase), pop the bubble, buy up the distressed assets and install themselves as overlords, they need inflation as the cause. It seems that supply side destruction is doing the trick. Hence Ukraine and anything else that creates shortage artificial shortage.

        70

      • #
        Honk R Smith

        Elon Musk recently said something like “progressives hate everyone, including themselves.”
        Funny, because it’s true.
        Anti-humanism is the both expressed conscious motivation (for the extremists), but the unexpressed sub-conscious motivation for broad swaths of the worldwide public leadership class.
        This psychological result is the product of runaway material affluence.
        Many urban dwellers can now have prepared food delivered to their door in a box minutes after requesting it on their cell phones.
        In between class based Twitter tirades against the very people that produce that magically appearing meal.
        (I offer Justin Trudeau’s reaction to the Truckers, and Joe Biden’s labeling MAGA an extremist movement.)

        “So if conspiracy, what is in it for the evil doers?”

        A subconscious relief of self hatred, like cutting, drug abuse, or dangerous promiscuous sex.
        Hunter Biden is the poster child for this.
        The damaged poor live in tents encampments in LA, the damaged wealthy discover art and immediately start selling it for tens of thousands of $, get high paying jobs in non-profit orgs, elected, or appointed. (Think heads of disinformation boards that sing show tunes. Or former male ‘Women of the Year’.)
        The trick is to have a mental disorder popular in the right circles.

        We will have a election cycle here in the US, where no Democratic politician will be able to define a ‘woman’ without committing career suicide.

        Motivation?
        Conspiracy?
        Ask Carl Jung.

        These are folk that believe nature is pure, and humanity is unnatural.
        This they may actually admit.
        The logical conclusion of that belief, they can not.

        60

        • #
          PeterPetrum

          We will have a election cycle here in the US, where no Democratic politician will be able to define a ‘woman’ without committing career suicide.

          They are doing that now with the SCOTUS leak on abortion. All of a sudden the Democrats know that only WOMEN have babies and only women should be allowed to murder them before (or just after) birth.

          00

      • #
        Tel

        To stricken supply of food, how do they benefit ?

        Malthusian fruit loops, trying to make the Club of Rome prophecies come true.

        Their simulation was called “World3” and it predicted that human flourishing would hit resource limits, pollution would become unbearable, crops would fail, supposedly the food should already be running out.

        Since none of what they predicted actually happened … we have acolytes determined to engineer it to happen … then they can blame everything else but not themselves. Then do the classic trick of pretending to know how to fix the problem they just created.

        20

      • #
        Lawrie

        Same as with electricity; control the generation and hence the supply. Control food production and you can control the population unless you are Marie Antoinette. The bogan plebs living in the country have all the benefits when it comes to survival, resilience, self reliance and normally a disdain for authority. Oh they also have community spirit which most city folk do not have. Reminds me of the historic stories of settlement as settlers moved westward. Oh and keep that old CWA cookbook. CWA = Country Women’s Association for our overseas visitors. It is 100 years old this year.

        30

        • #
          Kneel

          “Control food production and you can control the population…”

          It’s a very, very dangerous path to go down.
          As history amply demonstrates, when food becomes scarce, revolution is not far away – when the average person expends >40% of their budget on food, that’s a trigger point.
          But we should be OK – when even homeless people are obese, we don’t have a food supply issue. Yet.

          10

    • #
      William Astley

      David,
      It looks as if there is plan to cause food shortages in the US. China is acting like they are preparing their country for the release of more deadly viruses. China is now construction thousands of permanent virus testing facilities in every Chinese cities with the capability of testing the entire population of a city in days and isolating those who test positive. The objective of covid zero is to prepare for a very deadly new contagious virus which humanity does not have immunity for.

      It is odd that multiple airplanes are crashing into US food storage and food processing plants in the same month. If you were a pilot in a failing plane would you crash it into a building?

      It is odd that the food processing plants and food storage plant fires are occurring week after week. Too bad the US Home Land security and the FBI are concentrating on disinformation, hiding scandals, and ignoring the Southern Border issue.

      “A massive fire on Monday night destroyed parts of the Azure Standard Headquarters in Oregon, a company that self-describes as “the USA’s largest independent food distributor.”

      The company said, “basically any liquid product,” such as honey, oil, and vinegar, will be out of stock due to the fire, as reported by Vision Times.

      The company also said it lost its fruit packing and carob product facility in the blaze, but said the effects will be minimal as fruit harvesting season hasn’t started yet.

      Last Thursday, firefighters contended with a massive blaze at Taylor Farms packaged salad plant in Salinas, Calif. — a key agricultural region 177 km south of San Francisco. The fire broke out late Wednesday night, as reported by KTLA.

      That same day, an airplane crashed into Idaho’s Gem State Processing facility — a plant said to process 18,000 acres worth of potatoes each year. The pilot of the plane did not survive, however, no employees were injured, reportedVision Times.

      On April 13, firefighters from several departments in Maine helped battle a massive fire that destroyed East Conway Beef & Pork butcher shop and meat market in Center Conway, N.H.”

      30

      • #
        William Astley

        David,
        I think you have found something important.

        Here is a list of more mysterious fires that have happened in the US and Canada, this year. It is odd that major food processing plants are suddenly have explosions and major fires. This type of sabotage requires years of preparation and money/technical help for the saboteur to enable them to cause explosions and fires.

        This does not look like a ‘coincidence’. Unfortunately Canada is too busy investigating the Trucker Anti RNA vaccine protestors and the US (FBI and CIA) are busy with helping the Democratic party prepare for the great reset.

        https://www.westernstandard.news/news/exclusive-food-shortages-magnified-by-string-of-destroyed-food-processing-facilities/article_c5e4d4c3-325f-56b4-9089-8b8a69fe7d1f.html

        “The Penobscot McCrum potato processing facility in Belfast, Maine, was also destroyed by fire in March. Officials believe a deep-fryer was behind the fire, as reported by ABC affiliate WMTW News 8.
        -In Canada, fire crews and paramedics responded after an explosion at the Centre de valorisation de l’aliment de l’Estrie, an industrial food preparation and processing facility in Sherbrooke, Que. Five people were injured in the March explosion that turned into a major fire.

        -And, in late March, a fire at the Maricopa Food Pantry, a food bank in Arizona, saw 50,000 pounds worth of food burn up and yet another blaze at the Texas-based Rio Fresh severely damaged the onion processing facility.

        -In February, a portion of Wisconsin River Meats was destroyed by fire, according to Channel 3000 News. The Mauston-based company said the “old portion” of its plant was a total loss from the fire.

        -Another fire in February, sparked by a boiler explosion at a potato chip plant south of Hermiston, Ore., sent several people to hospital with minor injuries. The Shearer’s Food plant, as reported by The Oregonian, supplies much of the Western US with potato and corn chips.

        -A third fire in February caused the Louis Dreyfus Company’s Claypool, Ind., soybean processing and biodiesel plant — the largest fully integrated soybean processing plant in the US — to suspend production. Thankfully no injuries were reported.

        -A blaze at a poultry processing plant in the Hamilton region of Ontario in January caused extensive damage, but caused no injuries. The multiple-alarm fire, as reported by Global News, will cost millions in repairs.”

        30

        • #
          philemon

          Another take: https://boriquagato.substack.com/p/conspiracy-theorizing-about-food

          It could be an over-hyped statistical anomaly. Also could be related to Covid restrictions causing extra shifts, lack of regular maintenance and other fun stuff. Also, reading in the comments at least one of the plane crashes merely took out some trucks in a parking lot.

          20

          • #
            William Astley

            I hear what you are saying philemon.

            I believe the escalation is going to continue. Let’s have this discussion when there are food shortages worldwide. Food shortages create panic in the general population. The high cost of natural gas world wide and the high cost of borrowing money is going to cause food shortages, in addition to the loss of the Ukraine harvests. China has secured both energy and food in preparation for what is going to happen.

            I am keeping an open mind as to the reason why major food US and Canadian plants had explosions and fires. The US agencies (like Homeland Security, FBI, CIA) have all been taken over by Democratic appointed people who have very specific mandates. We can therefore not necessarily trust all US investigations.

            ‘Protestors’ are now ‘protesting’ outside US supreme court judges homes. The US Federal government is not defending its highest court from violent protest. The US now at a Federal level is almost 100% politically controlled.

            https://timcast.com/news/strange-trend-of-food-processing-plants-fires-manifests-across-the-us/

            The trend continues: on March 16, a massive fire wiped out much of a Walmart fulfillment center in Plainfield, Indiana. The event was severe enough to warrant the ATF to investigate.
            Another incident occurred on April 11, at New Hampshire’s East Conway Beef and Pork, when a fire so large broke out that it took respondents 16 hours to extinguish.
            At least 16 such disasters have taken place at food processing facilities nationwide. While most of the incidents have shown no foul play after investigation, the trend presents a curious string of events across the country.

            The fires began showing up regularly in the news after a fire closed a Tyson Foods meat processing plant in Kansas in 2019. The location was a primary beef processing location for the company and the U.S. supply chain, providing about 6% of U.S. beef.

            The fire in Georgia barely had a minor impact on the food supply chain nationwide. But, in September, a fire at JBS USA, a meat processing facility in Nebraska, threatened the meat supply for the entire nation profoundly. The plant reportedly processes about 5% of the nation’s beef, and closure would directly impact the supply chain.

            20

            • #
              philemon

              “‘Protestors’ are now ‘protesting’ outside US supreme court judges homes. The US Federal government is not defending its highest court from violent protest. The US now at a Federal level is almost 100% politically controlled.”

              Only in Maryland. The Supremes in Virginia had state-troopers for protection. Youngkin?

              Anyway, there were only 50-100 “protesters”, and how much you wanna bet the Supremes have security details anyway?

              Kabuki.

              00

          • #
            Kneel

            “It could be an over-hyped statistical anomaly.”

            Could also be a reaction to supply chain issues – if you can’t get product in or out, no cash flow and no profit.
            An auspicious fire or other disaster, and “insurance to the rescue”, you are not expected to be making money while you are rebuilding, and hopefully by the time all is back in working order, supply chain is fixed and you can start making money again.

            00

  • #
    John Connor II

    As I’ve posted – it’s an orchestrated event. It’s orchestrated by our generous benefactors at the WEF and their disposable global puppets known as politicians. However it’s further compounded by natural climate change, increasingly low temperatures and increasing severe weather events especially flooding.
    Ultimately we’re all facing a perfect storm of socio-economic, financial, agricultural and climatic events that no-one can avoid and is looming large.
    The mindless masses oblivious to reality at every level deriving their information from a 20-something blonde bit on the nightly tv news regurgitating a sanitised handed script whilst simultaneously piling lemming-like into the superheated bubble known as real-estate will get WIPED OUT.
    The informed ones (well provisioned and debt free) probably won’t.
    There’s a large range of factors to consider in assessing your survival starting with all I just mentioned, and it would require a dedicated thread to cover them. Obtaining VERY reliable information is #1 which is why I’m well ahead of the game.

    A simple question – if you lost your income source(s) today how long could you maintain your lifestyle without assistance?
    THAT is your “survival score”.
    Not good eh 😉

    140

  • #
    Neville

    I agree we’ve turned the tables on the stupid Malthusians for a long time, but whether we can repeat the last 50 years of increasing Human population ( over 4 billion to 8 bn by 2023)) plus incredible increase in life expectancy, plus the huge increase in food production is a big ask.
    But if we stop using FOSSIL FUELs it will be a mission impossible and even the dopey EU are starting to wake up after Putkin’s mad gamble in Ukraine.
    And even stupid Boris is now yapping about a number of new Nuclear power stns ASAP and ditto Macron in France.
    Certainly we don’t need a huge increase in population again, but it’s just a pity that African countries are very young and that’s where most of the increase is now projected to come from by 2050 and 2100.

    80

  • #
    Ronin

    I hear on their abc this morning on Australia All Over there’s a big push to value add to our wool clip instead of just bagging the greasy wool and leaving to others to make money off it, site to be out near Blackall, should employ about 277 continuously.

    100

    • #
      David Maddison

      But will it actually happen?

      70

      • #
        Sambar

        No its an election promise. In my over 60 years of voting in elections NOTHING promised at election time that has made my life easier. Every state election regardless of party has always promised better medicine, better schools, better law and order. Still waiting. Federal governments promise jobs, defence, free stuff just ask, still waiting.

        80

      • #
        Ronin

        Maybe not, they have to battle the Palletchook govt, the greenies and assorted other roadblocks.

        11

    • #
      Kim

      Value adding comes much better from boutiques – different and innovative designs, different market places etc. A common manufacturing facility is mostly not a problem however Soviet style manufacturing needs to be avoided. It needs to be nimble and responsive.

      70

    • #
      Dennis

      It is extremely frustrating for me that Australia has lost so many manufacturing sector businesses since the UN Lima Protocol was signed by Whitlam Labor during 1975, and many other UN based impositions that are effectively economic vandalism in Australia but growth of economic prosperity in UN designated “developing nations”, like China.

      However, cautiously, I believe that the present Federal Government and maybe some State Governments have realised how important to national security manufacturing industry really is.

      But will they have the intestinal fortitude to at long last say NO to the UN and remove treaties and agreements with the UN that undermine sovereignty here?

      It was pleasing that at COP26 in 2021 Australia refused demands to stop coal mining and to increase Paris Agreement emissions target, and lower the target date from 2030 to 2025.

      Net zero emissions agreement was rejected too, but “an aspiration goal” based on development of new technology and without damaging the economy was provided instead as a mission statement. This indicates that our Federal leaders are trying to get around the international and UN based politics of climate hoax.

      I was offered the opportunity with a public company board of directors support for a management buyout of the manufacturing company that I managed, profit before tax three times industry average according to Dunn & Bradstreet’s Guide. My business plan indicated that imports and government regulations compliance costs, industrial relations and other factors would eventually cause closure of the factories in Australia, and the costs would wipe out profits after financing costs to purchase the business. And the business plan was accurate, about 10 years later the foreign owners closed the factories and began importing and warehousing products.

      We all know the politics and crony capitalist wealth creation schemes based on the UN climate hoax, and that the transition to renewable energy is not going to end well as now being experienced in the Northern Hemisphere, that electric vehicles are not yet developed to be a cost effective and practical replacement for internal combustion engine vehicles, etc.

      The sooner our governments admit this the better off we will be.

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    • #
      Philip

      Australia is a high wage nation ( that’s why everyone wants to come here). This always effects production here. And now we are adding high energy costs to the equation. You’d have to be mad wouldn’t you ?

      180

      • #
        Dennis

        I don’t believe the situation is helped when the decision makers in State Parliaments in particular being the source of planning approvals and development application approvals, and being responsible for supply of electricity (and water etc), are accountants and lawyers.

        One of the few engineers, Minister for Resources in the Federal Government, Keith Pitt MP, has from time time expressed his frustrations regarding these decisions like so called renewable energy from wind and solar being cheap and capable of replacing power stations.

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      • #
        Klem

        High energy costs drive up the cost of everything, necessitating even higher wages. This would make people want to come to Oz even more, would it not?

        10

    • #

      There is a museum at the closed old wool scour at Blackall. Worth a visit. They used to produce electricity from the hot ground water there long a go. When I visited the museum there they were restoring the power generstion. The old scour csn be run with steam but mostly the scour now has electric motors to show how it worked. Lanolin was a byproduct from the scour.

      20

  • #
    David Maddison

    They conclude from their research that green schemes will generally lose money and waste a great deal of investment

    Not in Australia. Owners of “green” scams…err…I mean schemes… generally have a taxpayer-backed guaranteed income for life. They can’t lose.

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  • #
    Serge Wright

    There is no doubt that we are on the cusp of the most serious threat to mankind since the great war and possibly far greater. Global population has been rising steadily over the past 50 years in developing countries and that’s happened because of modern farming practices which use hydrogen based fertiliser, derived mainly from natural gas. Now that FF production is being wound back in the west in the name of ideology, the problem has been brought to a head, with insufficient gas available and a resulting price explosion. The new green farming method being pushed has already been tried in Sri Lanka with devastating effects and yet green groups are pushing this immoral population reduction policy in the name of saving the planet with even more vigour.

    My only question – is this being done deliberately ???

    It appears this is the case and the USA is the main culprit, halting more FF exploration on government lands and closing the Keystone pipeline at a time when we need more FF energy, not less. It seems that we’re being pushed into a scenario of mass starvation which will lead to global anarchy as history demonstrates. Even down here we have green advocates calling for the halt of our FF exports if the government changes and in the full knowledge of what this will do in the current energy crisis climate. What we face today is the greatest moral challenge of our time and yet we have those that claim to be the champions of morality calling for a policy of death. Go figure ???

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      David Maddison

      I love how all the scams tie together.

      Traditionally, hydrogen from natural gas is combined with nitrogen from air to make nitrogen-based fertiliser based on ammonium nitrate and urea. Good, cheap, effective fertiliser.

      Now the “green” scammers come in and wish to use hydrogen from “green hydrogen” to make said fertiliser, no doubt at huge expense.

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    Dennis

    I watched an interview yesterday on television news with an Australian who has been growing crops in the Ukraine for many years, and continues farming as the invasion continues.

    He said that he has sufficient diesel fuel to continue planting crops but he doubts that there will be diesel for harvesting time if the invasion continues. There was also mention of farmers in Russia in a similar predicament.

    And that a world wide shortage of food supplies is building up.

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    Dennis

    Right now and continuing for several months or longer the Building & Construction industry in Australia has been short of materials, especially imported materials.

    To add to the problem there is also a shortage of skilled and unskilled people, the Federal Government has been recruiting foreigners to train as apprentices before the pandemic began at the start of 2020, and qualified trades people, not only building industry, for example diesel mechanics are also in short supply across the whole economy.

    Australian farmers cannot find seasonal workers in required numbers as crop yields increase, the backpacker tourists are no longer here in large numbers and the Federal Government is recruiting workers to come to Australia issued with a work visa.

    Unemployment ( no change to how the statistics are compiled) is at a very long time low while economic growth is now 3.5% GDP, the OECD is predicting 4.1% for Australia in the near future. Economic growth is of course another indicator of prosperity and related need for skilled and unskilled workers. The pandemic recession is over and as a direct result of Federal economic stimulus funding, supporting employers and employees during State Government lockdowns for example, has paid off well and truly.

    I do not expect a food crisis in Australia, but obviously food prices will continue to rise based on many factors including transport and farming fuel costs.

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      Kim

      Add to that the WA gov wanting to shut down the native forest industry. All they end up doing is offshoring all the environmental concerns.

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        Dennis

        I remember during the 1980s when Bunnings WA Timber Mills were preparing to harvest Pine plantations south of Perth along the side of the highway that Bunnings planted just after WW2 for future timber supply purposes.

        The Greens were up in arms protesting about an old growth forest being vandalised.

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      Ronin

      And finding apprentices will become ever harder as schools are only turning out greentards and sexually confused idiots.

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      James Murphy

      I had a discussion at work the other day. We buy canisters of calibration gas (various mixes of hydrocarbons) for use with gas chromatographs and mass spectrometers. The canisters are all about 1L in size, and are made of aluminium. Now, apparently, the supplier is having problems getting hold of the canisters, and, while other suppliers of calibration gas exist, they all use canisters from the same manufacturer. Reportedly, it’s because of a shortage of aluminium…

      We also have Dell as a supplier of computers, and they are saying there’s a 3-6 month wait on the supply of basic business-level laptops, longer for servers. Other electronics and electrical component suppliers are also unable to fill orders in any reasonable timeframe, with really common parts on backorder for the last 6 months, and no clear delivery date.

      I know standard computer hardware has been in high demand and short supply for a while now (CPUs and GPUs), but these other shortages are somewhat strange. A shortage of aluminium??

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    John Connor II

    Election 2022: Australia’s CPI records biggest YoY food price jump in more than decade

    Households are feeling the brunt of price increases, with non-discretionary inflation, including food, gasoline, housing, and health care. Other grocery prices, such as non-durable household products, which include toilet paper and paper towels, rose in the March quarter.

    According to Michael Harvey, Senior Analyst at Rabobank, consumers should brace themselves for further food price increases in the coming months as higher transportation costs, supply chain disruptions, and other increased input costs work their way through the system.

    https://dynamicbusiness.com/topics/news/australias-cpi-records-biggest-yoy-food-price-jump-in-more-than-decade.html

    Reiterates what I said a while back about the agricultural catch-22.
    Food prices will continue to rise sharply, major shortages and manufacturer failures will increase, consumer spending will crash thereby further consolidating the crisis. The self-eating snake…

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    No no no people, this famine will never happen.

    Y’see, we’re all being forced encouraged to move to electric vehicles.

    Hmm! ….. Don’t quite see the link yet?

    Well all those billions of tonnes of corn diverted to making Ethanol won’t be needed any more, so it can again be used as food production for those Developing Countries.

    Problem solved eh!

    Tony.

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      Dennis

      It’s hard to imagine why consumers cannot see the future of electric vehicles recharged mainly from fossil fuelled power station generated electricity.

      And for only a one hundred per cent premium price compared to a comparable old fashioned internal combustion engine vehicle.

      And most people don’t drive far so range should not be a consideration, saving the planet is surely much more important?

      And who needs be driving and getting “coal rolled” by the fumes spewing from an ICE vehicle?

      Coal rolled? Fumes spewing?

      I thought EV was the coal to roll fuel source?

      /sarc.

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    Mark Allinson

    One potential problem of having a large emergency food supply is having to defend it in times of stress against hungry, unreasonable neighbours.

    When folks miss a few days of eating they are likely to act irrationally, and if they know there’s a good food supply at your place, guess where they’ll be headed with their reduced moral restraints.

    I have no doubt the shortages are all intended, just as the Covid responses were intentionally destructive.

    The anti-life globalist Left have the reins of the world at the moment and they are desperate to reduce as much of the world’s population as possible.

    And what “climate change” policies, killer vaxxes and food shortages can’t destroy, a nuclear war will finish off.

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      Philip

      You really believe people want to orchestrate the death of people by limiting food as a central plan ? And then they carry it out ?

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        Mark Allinson

        Have a search for “Holodomor” and Mao’s starvation ops – it’s a standard practice of Leftist collectivists

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          Philip

          Holodomor was more the soviets feeding the factory workers over the regions as they thought factories were more vital to future economy, Mao yeah sure. But he had a hell of a lot of direct power. Im not sure its directly transferable to this. But agreed, the leftist minds doesn’t mind killing to achieve their end, I couldn’t agree more.

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        Tel

        Wouldn’t be the first time.

        Do you remember the starving Biafrans in the late 1960’s? That was the result of Nigerian blockade, during the civil war, ultimately resulting in Nigerian victory and control of the key oil producing regions.

        The original strategic purpose of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War was to destroy crops and force capitulation of the Vietnamese due to food shortages.

        Heck, go one step earlier and look at the British naval blockade or Germany during WWI, which was to limit resources … but inside Germany it was known as the “starvation blockade”. Even after Germany surrendered, the blockade continued as a punitive measure during 1919.

        Go another step back and consider British burning of crops during the Boer War … the original implementation of the “Scorched Earth” strategy.

        How about the Middle East? Look up the Saudi bombing of Yemen and deliberate targeting of water supply (pumping and filtration stations) as well as ports, food stores, and any other lines of supply. They have had famine and cholera on and off since 2016 … didn’t hear that on the news?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Famine_in_Yemen_%282016%E2%80%93present%29

        Yeah, I really believe that people would do what it takes to win, and this quote explains why …

        History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.

        — Winston Churchill

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      James Murphy

      You can evidently force a population to endure a lot of unpopular and unwelcome things, as long as they feel like they have some sort of food security and choice…

      I’ve worked in remote locations, and seen it first hand – if the food is not liked, or if there is a perception that there isn’t enough of it, then morale plummets.

      One particular oil company in Australia decided that they did not need to resupply the (offshore) rig because they were very close to the end of a drilling campaign. Thus, the catering company fell back on a lot of frozen foods, and deep-fried stuff. It took a day or 2 and most people were really unhappy with what they were getting. Sure, it was not rationed, and we were certainly not starving, but not having access to anything resembling “fresh” food, and having little else to occupy their time between shifts, really changed the atmosphere on the rig very very fast. It also changed very fast the other way when the oil company relented, and allowed more supplies to be delivered.

      This, and a couple of other incidents seen first hand, makes me think that there is no faster way to upset people than to limit access to, or to provide poor quality food.

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      • #
        another ian

        That well known phrasing –

        “Who called the cook a bastard?”

        “Who called the bastard a cook”

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    • #
      Ronin

      “Biden official says food shortages will push farmers to green energy.’
      Pushing farmers to use green energy will cause food shortages,
      There, fixed it for you.

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    Philip

    Sri Lanka is the greatest story at the moment. They banned chemical fertilizer, on some green based agenda I assume, and the country has hunger riots within 12 months. The organic farming is great on a tv documentary or some hippy’s instagram page, but that’s about it.

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    • #
      PeterS

      I suppose next stop is to ban farmers. I’m sure those following the “save the planet by going green” agenda will want that but in the process sending millions to their death through starvation. Clearly some following that agenda are pure evil. Their leaders certainly are.

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    • #

      You need to look at Sri Lanka a bit more carefully than you obviously have.

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    Graeme No.3

    There is one pressing problem for Australia, and that is a shortage or diesel fuel, especially for trucks.
    We have limited stocks and current “policy” is to get rid of our oil production (our oil is paraffinic suiting diesel) and shutting down our refineries, making us dependent on imports. Meanwhile diesel use will increase in Europe as they too have been getting rid of their oil industry, and will need oil this coming winter for heating and electricity generation in the absence or russian gas. Also transport as more and more electric buses go up in flames.
    A medium term solution is to build a plant in Victoria to convert brown coal into hydrogen and CO, and using the Fischer-Tropf process manufacture diesel fuel as has been done for over 80 years. Other potential products include hydrogen for fertiliser manufacture and assorted chemicals ( chemical production was mostly from coal up until 1951).
    Also we could use those known reserves of natural gas in Gippsland and produce petrol (via methanol as per that NZ plant in the 1980’s).
    The greatest drawback is the Victorian Premier who bans everything he doesn’t like – which seems to be all and anything to Australia’s benefit.

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    • #
      Dennis

      The Federal Government started a rescue plan for the remaining oil refineries not long ago as part of their security for Australia programme that included purchasing a huge amount of US oil now stored in the US until new storage facilities are built in Australia.

      Separately, new fuel storage near Darwin NT is being constructed and another at the RAAF Tindal Base near Katherine NT, including lengthening runways to handle the largest USAF long range bombers.

      However this article on oil refinery business in Australia is interesting background;

      https://rogermontgomery.com/why-our-oil-refineries-are-shutting-down/

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      • #
        Ronin

        There’s only two large ones left and the Brisbane one is approaching 60 years old for the main plant.

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        Graeme No.3

        Dennis:
        Those “reserves” are in the USA and what if they become inaccessible? What if kleptomaniac Brandon decides to “release” them for USA domestic purposes (like an up-coming election defeat)?
        Besides, if he replaces that stock with Venezuelan HEAVY crude we would need major up-grades to our refineries to process that

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      • #
        Geoff Sherrington

        Dennis,

        A year ago I touched on aspects of the Australian oil industry at WUWT.

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/04/19/listen-to-hard-science-reject-pop-science-to-lessen-global-catastrophe-risk/

        Geoff S

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      • #
        KP

        “purchasing a huge amount of US oil now stored in the US until new storage facilities are built in Australia.’

        haha..! What do you think Biden was releasing to keep their petrol under $1/litre!!

        “new fuel storage near Darwin NT is being constructed and another at the RAAF Tindal Base near Katherine NT,”

        Yep, and you’ll never see any of it, it will be for

        “the largest USAF long range bombers.”

        America will treat us just like Ukraine, they will fight China to the last Australian! They will do nothing to help us unless it helps America first, just like in WW2.

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    • #
      Hasbeen

      WE have huge shale oil resources in Oz. The Rundle shale oil project proved it could be harvested economically when oil prices were low. The oil companies wouldn’t take it as they wanted to get out of refining in Oz.

      It is time we told all oil sellers that only oil refined in Oz will be permitted to be sold in Oz.

      This is a major security question, as we would be starved into surrender with not a shot fired, if our fuel tanker supply were interdicted for just 5 weeks.

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      James Murphy

      The Victoristan regime has decided that they stopped onshore gas exploration and development for various reasons that were not related to political ideology, and has been back up and running for almost a year now. In other news, 2+2 = 5.

      see here:
      https://earthresources.vic.gov.au/projects/onshore-conventional-gas-restart

      “…In 2012, an administrative moratorium was placed on all onshore gas exploration and development in Victoria. This was in response to community concerns and meant a temporary hold on onshore gas exploration permits and retention leases, and a suspension on approving any new applications while the moratorium was in place…”

      and here:
      “…In July 2021, the Onshore Conventional Gas sector restarted…”

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    • #
      Tel

      … current “policy” is to get rid of our oil production (our oil is paraffinic suiting diesel) and shutting down our refineries …

      So they have been using the standard policy, as nearly every industry in Australia then — if in doubt shut it down.

      We will be a nation driven by real estate sales, coffee shoppes, hairdresser and web developers.

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      • #
        Serp

        A nation with no reliable power supply won’t be supporting hairdressers and web developers; think stone age.

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    Rick

    Let’s hope that the first ones to starve to death are the idiots who are fretting about climate change.

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    • #
      yarpos

      odd thing to say

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      • #
        Hanrahan

        Think about it. The world farmers were able to feed the ballooning population when they had access to affordable energy.

        Now they can’t. [If the headline is correct]

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        • #

          Population increased a whopping 1.7x from 1970 to 2010 at a compounded rate of over 1.6% per year. But at the same time, agricultural output, i.e. crop yields of major crops, rice, corn, wheat, increased by 2.4x.

          In addition global starvation rates came down significantly, (despite HIV/Aids in Saharan Africa.) world average life expectancy increased from ~ 57 years to ~ 68 years, up by 13 years. Ol’king Cole was a merry ol’soul. So was free enterprise.

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        • #
          yarpos

          Thats a long extrapolation from wishing death on those with different views.

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          • #
            MP

            Sunday, “Thats a long extrapolation from wishing death on those with different views.”

            Saturday, “Perhaps those against euthenasia will step up and fund solutions to these individuals misery?

            Bit like how abortion absolutists are always there for the next 18 years funding and supporting an unwanted child.”

            Bump em off before they have developed views is best.

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            • #
              Ted1

              You are all looking at the wrong side of the picture. So called “developed” countries don’t breed.

              How many developed countries have a fertility rate above 1.6?

              Now that we have “same sex marriage” that fertility rate will fall further.

              There is a very real danger that there will be people dying two years from now in the famine that follows the war in Ukraine. But in 20 years the worry will be where to get workers.

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      Klem

      Maybe Rick, but the climate loons have likely already switched to eating grasshoppers and lawn clippings.

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    PeterS

    If riots by pro-choice supporters are any indication, imagine what it will be like when there are food shortages.
    The rioting that we warned you about has now begun

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    Jeremy Poynton

    Ha! Grain. No food shortages for us carnivores who eat and cook with only animal products. All our food is locally produced, with next to no food miles, and indeed, we know some of the farmers. So empty supermarkets are no problem to us, as we buy only from local butchers and farm shops.

    Try it, even just for a month. You’ll be amazed how much better you feel, and if you are overweight, weight will drop off you. I’m 6’6″ and was a steady 14 stone for years. Not overweight, but within g6 weeks of going carnivore, I had dropped to 12 1/2 to 12 3/4 stones and have stayed there ever since (some 18 months). Better, the fat you drop is all visceral fat. Think “fatty liver”. BMI between 20.5 and 21.

    Eat meat. Get fit.

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    • #
      Klem

      I have recently moved in that direction Jeremy. However I have had to disregard the presence of my mostly flat fiber-crushing teeth and my long digestive tract, both are signs of a non-carnivore evolution.

      I just don’t think we are designed for a permanent meat only diet.

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        MP

        So you just rip off chunks of meat and swallow do you. “my mostly flat fiber-crushing teeth” I use my mostly flat meat grinding teeth.

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      Rob JM

      It’s rough on the kidneys though. The key to good health is triggering your cellular rejuvenation pathways through either intense exercise or carb fasting 12-16 hours (Three times per week between them) The carnivore diet is triggering the fasting response at the expense of stressing the kidneys with toxic nitrogen breakdown products.

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      Tel

      Many animals are fattened up using grain feed. Thus higher grain prices must result in higher meat prices … at least in the longer term timeframe.

      I’m not sure about the animals near you … but what I do know is that when the price of meat goes up the local farmers will sell to the highest bidder, even if that results on all those animals being put on trucks and driven away some place else.

      It’s rare to find any farmer not in debt to the banks, and when interest rates rise they will have no choice but make the payments somehow.

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    Mike Jonas

    “People, at least in poor nations, will soon have more serious things to fret about than climate change.”? needs correction. Try:

    Everyone already has more serious things to fret about than climate change.

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    • #
      RexAlan

      ‘No Food on table… only one problem.
      Lots of food on table… many problems.’ Old Chinese saying

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    Shy Ted

    The elephant in the room is how and what are the elites going to eat. After decades quaffing Moet and eating foie gras at our expense there’s no way they are not looking after themselves. So, what are/will they be eating/drinking and where is it coming from? The “elites” to whom I refer don’t include useful idiots like Fitz and the BBC/MSM crew. None of us can live on bread alone.

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    b.nice

    Utah State Treasurer..

    ESG Is ‘Greatest Threat To Our Freedoms…Without Question’

    (ESG) = environmental, social and governance standards….. ie the leftist agenda.

    https://climatechangedispatch.com/utah-state-treasurer-esg-greatest-threat-freedoms-without-question/

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    • #
      Serp

      Two modern monsters ESG and SOGI imperil us as Scylla and Charybdis threatened ancient voyagers through the strait of Messina.

      The horror is that even as we shake ourselves free of today’s woke constraints new ones will be fashioned for us by the psychopathic leftards at the helm.

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    SMS

    Here in the U.S. we produce a lot of corn for ethanol. That ethanol is used as a component of our gasoline during the winter. We are receiving warnings that we are going into a food shortage, and this threat to poorer nations has been known since the start of the Ukrainian conflict. Because gasoline prices have risen due to the actions of the Democrats, Biden has ordered more land be given over to raising corn for ethanol to be used during the warmer summer months when it is least effective. Is this not madness?

    Australia, the U.S. and Canada should be raising and storing grains for the upcoming famines, not growing them for political purposes. We should treat this potential disaster like a war and working full time to meet this crisis. Biden and the democrats are morons. Everything they do has a political purpose only.

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      Kevin T Kilty

      Biden and the democrats are morons.

      I wish I had a thousand green thumbs for that. I know for certain no Federal Government Administration in my lifetime has displayed less capability and knowledge but greater confidence in themselves. It is a bad combination. I have modest confidence that Democrats are going to be facing a biblical reckoning at the ballot box this coming November, but faith in the rationality of my fellow citizens is faltering. Even where I live, in a state being punished in every conceivable way by this administration, and the costs plainly visible, I observe people gleeful and self-satisfied about how Biden is unifying our country and bringing us back from the financial ruin, and shame of Trump — beliefs that all run counter to official government statistics and recent history. No facts, just beliefs.

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    wet mountains

    Civilized people become uncivilized when they become hungry. People begin to notice healthy people when everyone else is thin/sickly. I am a “prepper, have been all my life!” All this was to be seen coming 50 years ago if your eyes were open. This will not come down to just having food to eat but keeping that food! Think of the Essex or Donner Party, or a Soccer team in the Andes. Hungry people quickly forget they are people. If you are not prepared to keep what you have stored, you will not have it long, nor your life.

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      PeterS

      Our governments made sure we can’t defend ourselves against such attackers when the time comes to keeping our food. So how do you propose we keep our food when we look healthy and others who are hungry are thin/sickly?

      “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” George Orwell.

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    Wet Mountains

    I don’t propose anything! Perhaps you could manage to look thin and sickly!

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    Don’t ask me how to pronounce their names.

    Are Audio versions of this blog a thing?

    00