The Olduvai Theory

“””The measuring of industrial civilisation by a single ratio – world annual energy use to population”””
( http://www.wolfatthedoor.org.uk/)

Even if the dates are out of whack, the reverb on understanding the image below might get your attention.

Personally, I differ from this website on reverting to the stone age, there’s enough junk around for everyone to make electricity with a magnet, some copper wire and a bicycle. And humans sleep, so just 24/7 industrial scale projects are in jeopardy. Fast transportation will be replaced by sailboats again. Thus in a crisis making industrial projects more local and human scale to the point of a village specialist like the tailor, doctor and blacksmith etc. What’s old is new again. A modern pioneering age?

Also we are the best educated civilization ever. When we realize too late and wake up from the oil dreamworld we will need to work together as a world and it is here that I’m more hopeful.

But this diagram, if reflective of what awaits us all, means to test us.

energy-vs-population

ref: http://dieoff.org/page224_files/image008.jpg
ref: http://watd.wuthering-heights.co.uk/MiscImages/olduvai.gif

Note 1: (1930) the beginning of Industrial Civilisation
Note 2: (1979) all time peak of world energy production per capita
Note 3: (1999) the end of cheap oil
Note 4: (2000) eruption of violence in the Middle East
Note 5: (2006) all-time peak in world oil production
Note 6: 2008 :: OPEC crossover when more than 50% of oil comes from the OPEC nations
Note 7: (2012) permanent blackouts spread worldwide
Note 8: (2030) world energy production falls to 1930 level

Responses

  1. Southern Ontario is ideally suited to handle energy scaricty. Yes we have coal and natural gas, so aren’t getting away from it, but with lots of hydroelectric and nuclear power, we may not hit the potential blackout level of most parts of Canada or US states. Quebec would equally be buffeted by declines to some degree.

    Hence electrification will rise

  2. Not really sure why you would believe that Southern Ontario would be better suited to handle any energy shortage better that any other part of the world as without a viable petroleum supply and associated industry there will be no coal based, nuclear or hydro systems. I have yet to see an agricultural cropping system that is capable of feeding large numbers of people without a large number of petroleum based inputs. I suppose the critical point to this email is to say that if you were viable after the collapse of any section of the energy sector then you had better be prepared to have those who do not have fighting you for what you do have.

  3. Thanks for the comment.

    Well, the issues of transport and food production are certainly there as they are for anyone, but Ontario in particular as well as northern US states are surrounded by Great Lakes of drinkable water and has a river system that was used before and will be again. The shake out will be mostly realizing that the just-in-time delivery system is over, not our ability to change and adapt.

    As such I do not contend that there will be overwhelming violence as there is a common need to help each other in a crisis. We’re not a gun culture and although circumstances might change, starting out that way may also be an advantage to the initial discussions. Also we pay taxes so there is a general feeling for the gov’t to do something first, citizens last.

    As a fear to that there will be a greater sense of duty and security but it can’t be oppressive if solutions, and failures, are going to be tried. It’s not hopeless.

    Nuclear, hydroelectricity in particular will be around for a while. The wires will still be standing. Industrial demand will crater, and the nuclear baseload will have to go somewhere. Maybe electric tractors who knows. Possible.

    Without all the food exports going and without all the food imports coming, we’ll still end up with a lot of food. Transport and farming of food will be the main ration. We’re already phasing out coal and those same plants can use biogas (municipal waste) to generate more electricity. I’m interested in bio-char, as it does not produce as much pollution but reuses carbon instead.

    Lots to do and consider versus freaking out. (I’m not the type). With a new purpose and connection to people is a way out. It can be 21st century thinking with 1980’s then 50’s energy levels.

    bio-polymers (potato, beets etc) instead of raw plastic, electric transport grid instead of driving. Biking and trains. Lots and lots of things that are practical and not doomer gloomer.

    One caveat though; Large systems will become smaller systems using more people and fewer machines. There will still be machines but used less often. It will just end up like that at some point. Some balance of capability versus need.

    Trying to save large systems from their inevitable failure is a sure way to waste time. Better to build a re-localized system of networks and smaller connections, even like the 1980s. Thus stronger resilience and greater flexibility allowing for failure.

  4. We live in a rural area of south eastern Australia and the outlook we have here is totally different from yours.

    What worries us is that most of the crops that are grown here are fed to animals and yet to grow them they take vast amounts of energy. If that source of energy ceased to be there would be not only a lack of crops grown but the transport system would grind to a halt. Once that happens people starve. Not only in this country but in others as we export to countries where there are people already going hungry.

    You mentioned the just-in-time delivery system. It was interesting during the Iceland volcano eruption that because some planes stopped flying there were shutdowns in manufacturing plants in several countries because parts made in other countries were not able to reach their destination at specified times.

    Our food supply system operates just like the just-in-time delivery system. The flour mills purchase enough grain to keep them operating for a specified amount of time and then they order more from the growers agents or farmers. If the train or trucks are held up then a shortage occurs in the supermarkets. No matter what the farmer grows timing of transport from the farm to the factory, from the factory to the warehouse, from the warehouse to the supermarket is carried out on either a daily or weekly basis.

    When the price of petroleum products went up here some time ago (it has since fallen) there were truck owners and operators that could not afford to operate without a back load and because of this some goods were late getting to their destination. It does not take much to alter the entire transport systems way of thinking.

    Several grain harvests ago one major oil company forgot to ramp up diesel production for the extra needs of the harvest and some farmers only received ten percent of their requirements which slowed them down for several days until new stocks were sourced.

    There are too many people in out societies that do not grow any of their own food requirements and also many that do not keep an emergency supply on hand. Stop the energy supply here for three days and the supermarkets will empty. Stop the energy supply for six days and people begin to go hungry. Stop the energy supplies in the middle of winter and people, particularly the frail start to die in a very short space of time and panic would set in.

    We have seen that when any sort of disaster hits there are those in the community that will take from others regardless of their needs and once there is no more to take they start to destroy.

    In Greece several moths ago when the austerity measures were announced riots broke out and people destroyed parts of the infrastructure that they depended on for their “normal” lives.

    Violence will created to such a degree in some area as once the water is turned off and the food runs out primeval urges will take over. I am not sure of the exact ratio but I would say that three quarters of Australia’s population lives in the cities and only a small portion of them have access to any sort of energy other than what they get when they flick a switch and their water would arrive at the turn of a tap. These same people would have no room to grow food and a good percentage would not know where to start with basic survival skills if they ventured outside of the urban fringe.

    Once bodies start to pile up on the streets and the police and other services are hampered in their work by the lack of energy and other resources we will be in trouble. Deep trouble.

  5. Well, there are certainly concerns of logistic breakdown and I’ve witnessed a few here too. CN Rail had a strike a few years ago during a fire at an oil refinery, thus cities in Western Canada were faced with fuel shortages. It cleared up, but it showed just how loose the system is. One thing may not be enough, but combine two, and it’s shut off.

    But again unless the drop off of energy is severe there is time enough to focus on re-localizing food resilience now. Eating more grain directly for one. Eating less meat. I would imagine there are transition towns in Australia that are not waiting for Godot but acting on improvements. I’d suggest seeking them out but rather than focusing on just advocacy, to make sure they’re doing the little things. Otherwise start a group. It’s certainly far from hopeless at this point, but starting even gingerly, some action will get it rolling.

    The lack of local freshwater will be key for many areas not near drinkable sources. I had read of Sydney’s water problems.

    A Vancouver company has a process that uses 80% less energy in turning salt water into fresh. If you follow chemistry enough, you have four pools of salt water in a diamond shape separated by permeable layers that only allow certain ions through. The first pool is supersaturated with salt, (done from evaporation from concentrated sunlight), and the next pool thanks to the permeable layer is oversaturated with sodium ions, and another with chloride ions. The fourth saltwater pool is the one that becomes freshwater. Now then, because the oversaturated sodium ion pool sucks the chloride ions out to be in balance, and the oversaturated chloride ion pool sucks out the excess sodium ions, thus leaving a freshwater pool. Pretty neat.

    I have links here to the Kinsale Energy Descent Action Plan ( http://transitionculture.org/2005/11/24/kinsale-energy-descent-action-plan/ ) as well as the transition town movement ( this might help get you started: http://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2010-06-11/better-growth-released-australian-conservation-foundation ).

    Rather than waiting for problems best to work with like-minded people now and getting into groups. The politicians will not act, but they will follow if they are to represent and be elected again if the group is large enough. If these next three years are important, building those connections and more importantly, starting local community gardens will make all the difference.

    Once again the perchance to violence I don’t expect. When we had a blackout here in 2003, it was a 5 day party not a riot. Everyone was wandering around. Neighbours began actually talking to one another, and discovered that people are generally okay. Some guy was playing a guitar and a bunch of us were sitting around chatting. Food was unavailable so we shared. Tap water is at least clean. Restaurants had to cook everything at once because refrigeration was gone. When the lights came back on, so did our cocoons unfortunately.

    With the lights on all the time it’s easier to have a larger community. However we lack the accountability to respond to change. By having a base of like-minded people they can work more easily and be less discouraged by those who are oblivious. Allows for reinforcement of a real democracy. Actually I think I just envy your proportional representation and voting laws 😉 Canada is still first-past-the-post and we are unable to get dynamic politics here.

    When a problem is severe enough that has an unknown outcome I believe people work together. If enough work together then they can handle the rabble who work against them. It just takes a critical mass. Most riots are not full of engineers, doctors and the people that actually run society. It will be those with skills that will be sought out. Be one of those. Find a skill that would be useful.

    So I’d suggest joining a critical mass. In a re-localized town system (whatever shape it takes either free for all or groups of 1000 people in a network of bases etc), the police then can more easily manage versus larger cities.

    Geothermal is a big opportunity and so is bio-char. Actually the science paper I read on bio-char was from Australia, so there is a lot of things going on there if you look around a little.

    As for geothermal, you only need to dig about 5m down to get sufficient cooler temperatures to cover air conditioning costs. And that’s anywhere. We can work to reduce much of our energy waste now, so that we are saving from declines.

    Taking the time to have purposeful projects then help create other projects. This then reaches a goal of resilience because it doesn’t look so far away once begun.

    As a part of my action plan, I have applied and been accepted to Systems Design Engineering at U of Waterloo here. This puts me into a community of like minded people and focused on applying solutions.

    I can then advocate for small changes and bit by bit if reasonable enough I can help. Towns are easier I think.

    Help burst that bubble of being oblivious, I highly recommend Arithmetic Population and Energy as seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-QA2rkpBSY

    Working for a steady-state town is really the first step. Without population control there is no energy control.

  6. personally I’m interested in the energy picture, but lately also… shoes! We all get them from China or some other sweat shop and yet pay $60-$100 for them. All shipped to us overseas, all trucked to us etc. If we used local materials and they were built to last then that same $100 would be locally economic. Thus adding to resilience while reducing energy requirements. It’s silly that we don’t make them ourselves anymore. I remember cobblers as a kid but they are long gone. Why repair if you can get new for less?

    So a return of local shoes would help a bit. And bit by bit, in other ways in other issues we can convert much of what we waste into saved energy overall. So as the declines then set in, we are already prepared against them because we went local. This also tends to lead to local currency issues but I have a whole post on that already.

  7. I looked at the links and have to agree with the people who advocate the use of firearms to protect themselves as like them I also agree that once energy becomes scarce there are going to be vast numbers of people who will be without food.

    I agree with the ideas you put forward of joining groups and starting community gardens.

    We have been members of such groups and most of them failed after relatively short periods of time as most people are capable of talking the talk but they are not able to walk the walk. Statistics show us that between 93 to 98 percent of groups fail within ten to fifteen years because peoples standing of living alter, their needs for such a group diminish for a number of reasons or they feel that other members of the group are taking it in another direction etc.

    I source wheat (variety Rosella) from a biodynamic farmer and I get wheat from another farmer (variety Yitpi) and my wife puts some of it through the grain mill and makes all of our bread from the whole grain flour an uses it for the rest of her other baking needs. We use two different varieties of wheat because they have different characteristics.

    A friend was interested in getting grain from us so I got some for her, She also gave us the names of several other people who were/are keen on grinding their own grain. Sounded like we had the beginnings of another self interest group. But, when she came to collect the ten kilos of grain we had sourced for her she told us she could not possibly take that much at one time as she had nowhere to store it. We get about two tonnes of wheat a year of which about 60 to 80 kilograms is used for bread and other baking and the rest is used to feed our selection of poultry.

    If someone wants to partake in a grain cooperative and cannot find the room to store a bucket of it then I do not want to either be the supplier or an agent for a supplier.

    When we moved to this area I approached a local group that obtains funding from federal, state and local governments about getting a community garden established. Yes I could do it as long as I did all of the work and was prepared to supply the needy with the vegetables when they matured. The welfare system in this country is such that if you do not want to work all you have to do is hold out your hand and either a government agency or welfare organisation will put something in it for you.

    What I am attaining to is that we have tried groups of a number of groups, clubs and other organisations and in the all it comes down to the fact that there are only several of the members that do most of the work and the other members usually turn up for the benefits.

    True self sufficiency is a myth. I have a garden but I do not make my own tools.

    Our vegetable garden supplies us with most of our vegetables and our orchard supplies us with fruit of many varieties for about seven to eight months of the year.

    We are part of a group of people that is rare, as I believe that less than one family in 100 in this country would supply even 50 percent of their annual vegetable needs.

    Our garden still has energy inputs even though most of the work is done by hand. Our main direct use of energy is for pumping water in the summer months as the temperature here gets up in the the high 40’s centigrade. Our lowest temperature so far this winter has been minus four centigrade.

    Other energy inputs come about in the garden tools, netting etc.

    Anyway back to my main point. Take away any main energy supply for any length of time and society starts to break down. The longer you take the supply away the more people suffer and the longer it will take to get that society up and running again.

    Take away electricity and the water supply fails, as do the banks which means no money in circulation or banking services to the supermarkets etcetera, etcetera.

    Take away the supply of petroleum products and food stops being distributed, people cannot get to and from work, trains stop running, planes stop flying etcetera, etcetera, and to top it off the electricity supply fails as the maintenance crews cannot get to repair faults in the system, blah, blah, blah.

    We cannot feed the worlds current population with petroleum products. It is just not possible. We cannot replace our current petroleum dependancy with any other form of energy that is capable of feeding the same amount of people that petroleum products do. In the past several years there has been a push in some countries toward oil seed crops for the bio fuels industries. In several of those countries they are now unable to supply their own grain needs.

    From a farmers point of view it is more profitable growing energy that food. Fact.

    We are not doing too bad for a blog that had two years between responses.

  8. Yes I’d agree with group fatigue. The key is finding like minded people with small goals but specific ones. I think some kind of general group administration package should be made up such that people can screen viable candidates rather than just take anyone. I think this type of customer service isn’t thought out generally by a group at first and can help alleviate the mismatching. Rather than turn down interested people however, you can use them in a different manner. “Failure IS an option”, and in learning from what didn’t work you can pick out a new group system that does.

    So in this case I’d recommend there being different types of member, the benefit-only member who pays a fee, and the partner-member who is actually helping in production. It need not get more complicated than that. The fee for the benefit-member could also be in the form of local currency (services or tools) to help the project. That itself creates little networks of connections between supplies and goals since its focus is not on production but to get members prepared.

    With defined membership roles you are more likely to get the interest you want without distraction while building up a membership base that can eventually move from benefit-only to partnership. There might even be a desired ratio meaning that you can’t take on more benefit-members until you have more partners. This keeps the group self regulating and math based.

    For the general result to be so cataclysmic requires everything going at once, and I don’t see how that could happen instantly. With rolling issues though that creates opportunity to be ready rather than just wait for it.

    I’d have to say that water and electricity will be last to go and only if there is a major system failure. Ontario and Quebec have lots of hydroelectricity and nuclear, let alone the coal, natural gas etc. These are not likely to suddenly turn off, and not all at once. The nuclear and hydro in particular will be around far beyond petroleum. Niagara Falls is still going to flow.
    If the needed workers need to live near the plants for maintenance that will be a natural development. Even if there is an eventual reduction there is a transition period and it would be years.

    Transportation is oil based and it will be transport systems that will go first, with anything connected to it suffering. Any attempts to merge transportation into the electricity grid (not battery powered, but grid connected vehicles)
    will be better use of time and appropriate use of energy.

    Trolley buses converted to delivery vehicles would be grid connected, independent of international oil, and focus on a realistic urban design. Living near food etc. But for the able, biking is actually worthwhile. Sure, the parts will wear out but again not all at once so there is transitional systems that will work in a pinch which will highlight were the needs are and what areas are on a needs-only production basis.

    Like not eating meat so often. The amount of water, energy and feed going into just meat production alone is enough to feed a person for a year. Like in this case, transitions to a lower energy system mean longer periods of primary resources not less.

    This should be a comfort and quite opposite to the despair that people attribute to such events. We will have excess food in the beginning, not declines. Then we don’t have to grow as much grain since it’s purpose will be people, not as much mass meat production. More people will have to farm that’s true, but since the math changes again it’s not the same yield.
    All I see is benefit.

    Eventually I see this as steps moving downwards, rather than a cliff as shown in the diagram and this is an important distinction. Yes it moves down, but at each stage we have to update our systems to compensate. Also at each step we become closer to primary sources of energy, food and resources. Since we have our own bodily efficiency, this means more sources are personally available as industries drop off and not fewer resources (as noted above). Those sources are not being converted and will need to be re-purposed. This increases as we go downwards. Ironic. I hope that bursts a bubble of fear and replaces it with ideas of opportunity!

    Whether we realize it or not, without a total shutdown, this must be the result of down-stepping challenges once people get into the swing of things. Another reason why the violence won’t last as people instead take to it like an adventure tour. And we’re all invited 😉 We might not get the epiphany of a downscaled system now, but once we do, we’ll wonder what all the fuss was about. Violence can thus be tempered with a new world of opportunities. Another score.

    I see the 21 century as grid connected electric vehicles, railways, trolleys etc, with bikes and walking within a more realistic urban design relatively close to food production and industry. Kind of like a modern pioneer age. As we fall down the steps we are not going to hit a barbaric lifestyle, that’s too much hyperbole. More like 1940s with 2010 knowledge. Again, with more primary sources the more we fall there will be a balance to keep society running, albeit in a new configuration. Thus it can’t be below early 20th century.

    We’ll even go to sleep at night and wake up during the day. What an idea.

    We have enough junk lying around. Re-purposing it with bicycles as generators to limited generation as need-be is certainly there.

    We’re not going to be saving islands of industry or individualism for a while though. It will only be when the demands for action are greater than our personal islands that there be enough interest for determined action. The first step will be a shock, but it will get people motivated before then next step down. It may be acrimonious but it will work itself out.

    Until then, I’d only ask to put your pessimism in check if just a bit, and keep up the positive actions. It will come soon enough. But no sooner.

    When we unplug long enough there will be plenty of help.

  9. We seem to have gotten a little sidetracked from the original post I replied to and it is probably my fault for digressing.

    If people in most parts of the world are about to suffer long term energy scarcity and even a very small percentage of them believe that your part of the world is not, then you and your way of life is in jeopardy.

    There is a country to the immediate south of you and if the political leaders there need what you have then I firmly believe they will have no hesitation in doing what they have done in other parts of the world in their insatiable quest for energy.

    Not only are we looking at a decline in energy but here goes some food for thought about peak water.

    Ground water has receded in most areas of Australia (more than 30 metres in some areas) to such an extent that we could average it out to at least one metre of missing water across the continent. For the sake of the argument let’s say that Australia’s surface area is 9,000,000 square kilometres. One metre of missing ground water across that area adds up to 9,000 cubic kilometres of water. We know that vast quantities of ground water are also missing from Canada, China, India and the United States. The five named countries have a surface area of about 40,000,000 square kilometres which gives us 40,000 cubic kilometres of missing ground water. If the water is not in the ground or in the skies it must be in the oceans. That amount of water in the oceans is enough to make their levels rise one third of a metre. Forget about the ice caps melting and drowning low lying islands. Cheaply produced petrol powered pumps made in China and India are not only helping poor farmers make a living in feeding ever growing populations but they are also destroying the carrying capacities of the arable land by turning them into dust bowls and salt pans. Europe, Africa and Asia also have missing ground water. Do the math.

    Between one half and point six of one percent of the earth’s total water is potable. As the population increases the amount of available potable water decreases per individual. If you look back in history you will find that some of the greatest civilisations failed because the water sources they relied on failed.

    If in any way shape or form about you being invaded for your energy you can rest assured if you have water and the rest of the earths population does not then you will cease to exist.

  10. if we are to be invaded for our energy they are in for a surprise as such energy is local-only and not transferable unlike liquid fuels. In order to use electricity you’d have to live here. Also as geothermal and such thermal characteristics increase that will be more the case not less, so that’s energy security not insecurity.

    • I am not sure if your neighbours would care about not being able to transport your energy across the existing border as they would just move the line on the map.

      In the relatively short period of time since I last replied to this site Australia has suffered several natural disasters resulting in substantial crop failures and the destruction of many homes and businesses.

      At the present time there are many people, including myself, who do not believe that enough money has been set aside by either the state or federal governments to cover the costs of getting infrastructure or housing reestablished.

      In the shire I live in the total rate base is about eleven million dollars and yet there is about fifteen million dollars worth of flood damage to the road network. No big deal for those of us who were not effected directly by the floods but there are some people who will continue to suffer for several years.

      Here in the state of Victoria we still have people living in caravans and other temporary accommodation two years after the devastating Black Saturday bush fires. This is an appalling situation in a country such as Australia as we are supposed to be a ‘Lucky Country’.

      The following is from a website pertaining to those fires.

      On Feb. 7, 2009, a day that was dubbed “Black Saturday” in Australia, deadly bushfires swept through the southern state of Victoria, leaving 173 people dead and 500 injured. In addition, more than 2,000 homes were destroyed, and experts estimated that the number of affected wildlife (killed or injured) could climb well into the millions.

      Looking at the world oil prices I would say that it is inevitable that we are going to see a rise in oil this year and that will have a major influence on any reconstruction work that is carried out in relation to the long term rehabilitation of destroyed communities and homes.

  11. Well it’s 2013 and time for an update. World still chugging along, at or around 89 billion barrels a day in production. Regular crude being offset by fracking and other short term production. Re-elected Obama government about to consider increased pipelines from Alberta to American refineries. This was suspended due to aquifer concerns in Nebraska but with a new Secretary of State Kerry we’ll see if it gets approved again or not. At any rate we’ll see how long it lasts or if it’s just for Chinese export to pay down their massive trillions in debt.

    @Bazza if you’re around feel free to comment on Australia. Hope you’re doing okay.

    Australia undergoing major fires right now in their summer. Their weather service had to add two more colour levels to their maps because the temperature heat intensity was not being indicated. The picture of the family huddled by a dock while the land is in a fog of bright yellow air is not going to be forgotten anytime soon. Like the demise of world energy, the demise of Sydney as also been postulated yet it’s still there and so is the world. The factors in the premise still remain however so perhaps predictions are good as warnings not for warranties.

    The premise of energy scarcity and failed cities due to climate change or resource depletion still remains since there are no local alternatives addressing their issues. We’re still no closer to an urban scale that doesn’t require petroleum powered transportation. Condos continue to surround Toronto downtown and the Skydome (I’ll never call it Rogers Centre) is now almost entirely obscured. Gardner expressway coming to the end of its life and needs to come down or be repaired. Engineering says the city has six years. City dithering remains. Sigh.

    While the Olduvia Theory image at the top of this thread will now need to be remade, perhaps we’re merely riding the slant further along. The underlying issues didn’t go away. The least of which is that the oil fracking has production that is exhausted very quickly.

    I was not successful in my return to school action plan. Got to university twice with a co-op in between. University was fun and I enjoyed learning. However have to retrain the brain a bit more and save up some money for another attempt in 2014. If I’m lucky the world can keep sputtering along and I’ll get myself into an educational environment again.

  12. Fires are a problem here and so far we have been lucky that they have not taken hold in our area.

    In 2012 in our area we received 300 millimetres of rain less than in 2011 and because of this we are now having issues growing some of the vegetable and fruit crops that we normally have in abundance at this time of the year.

    Global waring, climate change, call it what you will but the climate is definitely changing and for many of us we are going to have to alter the way and timing we grow some of our crops.

    I have been looking at wicking beds for some time now and I will give several of them a trial this coming season. Plenty of information on the web about them and some great success stories. I had a hydroponic system for a number of years but dismantled it two years ago because the amount of inputs and time did not equate to better quantities or quality in relation to the crops gown in soil in the neighbouring beds.

    I read an interesting article several days ago which stated that we are not just facing peak oil and water but we are also facing peak soil. I forget the figures quoted but for every tonne of crop produced we lose x amount of soil and whether that is because of contamination, salinity, erosion or the encroachment of suburbia it does not matter as it takes a lot of time to produce soils suitable for growing crops.

    As the world population increases the means for feeding the increasing numbers decreases. I see that this year there is going to be less food in reserve per person than at any time in the past.

    I also note that there are some people in the United Stated being sued for growing vegetables on their suburban blocks. Only in America!

    Oil and its byproducts do not make the news here as much as they have in the past because of the high Australian dollar but if it was to fall to 85 cents US then petrol and diesel would go from the present $1.50 a litre (approx in our area) to around $2.00 a litre. Many people would like to see the dollar drop to 65 cents which sounds great for the exporters and primary producers but it would mean that all imports would increase in price placing strains on governments, (local, state and federal) and family budgets.

    2013 is shaping to be an interesting year and it would not surprise me that if one economy trips then others will follow.

    Eat well, sleep well and and minimise your debt to the government!


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