Written By: - Date published: 11:16 am, March 6th, 2011 - 79 comments
Peak oil, peak food, peak metals, climate change. By over-exploiting the world, we have enjoyed tremendous improvements in the standard of living. And now the payback is coming. We’re clearly on a downward economic slope. Things have been going backwards for 3 years and the outlook is worse, not better. But it’s not the end of the world.
Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, March 2nd, 2011 - 42 comments
To get enough oil for global demand requires expensive technologies, and expending more energy. If the price is too low those investments won’t be feasible, meaning not enough production. But too high and the world can’t afford it and we enter global recession. The ‘goldilocks’ in the middle is shrinking, to a knife edge. It’s the same story with food and metals.
Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, February 28th, 2011 - 19 comments
Concurrently Christchurch’s second big quake, the effects of two other shocks are beginning to ripple through our country. Food prices are putting basics out of reach and this week will see another big petrol price hike. All three of these shocks will require us to pool our resources and redirect them to rebuilding resiliently.
Written By: - Date published: 11:43 pm, February 14th, 2011 - 51 comments
Look at the international media these days and what do we see? Oil prices rising due to peak oil. Extreme weather events due to climate change. Rising food prices due to peak oil increasing production costs, climate change destroying crops and resource depletion. And, in the most exposed countries, governments falling in revolution.
Written By: - Date published: 1:45 pm, February 11th, 2011 - 46 comments
Unprecedented protests have forced Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak to say he won’t stand at the next election and extracted concessions from the regime. So why don’t the protesters go home and wait until the elections in September? Because they know nothing will change if Mubarak is allowed to hang on, and the regime’s revenge will be brutal.
Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, January 24th, 2011 - 42 comments
Higher commodity and food prices, we are told are a Good Thing. Our exporters (ie. Fonterra and foreign oil companies) get more money. But we consumers have to pay more to by the same products, so are we better off? And what about the poor saps overseas who are paying more for less, or the really poor saps who are priced out of the market?
Written By: - Date published: 7:10 am, January 7th, 2011 - 66 comments
With oil heading back to $100+ a barrel, food prices are also rising. That makes sense, fuel and fertiliser from oil are major food production costs. The global food price index is now higher than it was in 2008. In New Zealand, we’re supposed to celebrate high food prices but the reality is it means starvation and social unrest around the world.