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

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 that we know about and I probably didn’t even read the section on The Coming Global Agricultural Crisis (page 16) when I saved the reference.

“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.

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May 7, 2022 at 08:25PM

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