Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Peak Oil and Peak Food

In 1964 M. King Hubert predicted that oil production would peak around the year 2000 and then decline. Well folks after much hand wringing by governments and environmentalists, peak oil just didn't happen. Due to new technologies North Dakota is now competing with Saudi Arabia for world oil dominance. The US has become a net exporter of oil in the last five years. This has slowed the massive transfer of wealth to empires in the middle east, I'd much rather contribute my petroleum dollars to the good old boys in North Dakota.

So why was the peak oil demand so far off?

Technology: Deep drilling, off shore drilling and fracking increased known reserves. Technology can always move the peak.

Demand: In 2015 the world is awash in oil because supply is way more than demand. So prices are tumbling. We paid $1.75 at the pump here in Rochester, MN this week. Last week we paid $1.55 in Iowa (their taxes are lower) when we got Jenna from college for the holidays.

So what are the implications for agriculture? Some would tell you that we must reduce world population, before we run out of energy (mostly oil) or we can't feed everyone. But that only applies if you use the farming practices of the West that are highly dependent on (expensive) cheap oil and Western technologies.

I can show you how to grow calories 8X to 20X more efficiently than Western agriculture. While building soil and being highly efficient with water use. This requires some hand labor, which is in great abundance in other parts of the world. With these methods we could increase the carrying capacity of the worlds agricultural soils several fold.

To do this we have to think differently. There are answers to feed the world. Some of these ideas are explained elsewhere on our web site. But generally we don't want to hear them, because it breaks our paradigm. There are some entrenched energy, agribusiness and governmental interests that would have to change. This change will come slowly, if at all.

In the mean time we will enjoy our cheap energy and likely will push the issues to the next generation to solve. 

Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun...ditto.

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