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Thread: Warfare: Food Supply/Access

  1. #141
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Rising food prices are tightening the squeeze on populations already struggling to buy adequate food, demanding radical reform of the global food system, Oxfam has warned. By 2030, the average cost of key crops could increase by between 120% and 180%, the charity forecasts.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-13597657
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  2. #142
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    Default Drought in China

    David,
    Sorry, my old Mac won't accommodate the new FlashPlayer which is needed to see your BBC video.

    Adam,
    I agree, we seem headed for a major supply & price squeeze with droughts in UK and mainland Europe, Russia and especially western China:
    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/busines...t_12597124.htm

    Add in wet conditions in southern Quebec, central Manitoba and Missouri/Mississippi watersheds, and we may have a very significant supply problem by October.

    - rick

  3. #143
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    Default IISS report on climate change & security

    Rick,

    Catching up, an IISS event in February 2011 'The IISS Transatlantic Dialogue on Climate Change and Security: Final Report':http://www.iiss.org/events-calendar/...-final-report/

    Hour long podcast and a link to a PDF of the report.
    davidbfpo

  4. #144
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Agriculture is topping the G-20 agenda for the first time as agriculture ministers from the world's largest economies gather in Paris beginning Wednesday. Ever since a dramatic spike in world food prices in 2008 sparked panic and deadly riots in countries across three continents, agriculture and food security have become issues of global, political importance. And crop shortages this year have some experts already predicting another rise in grain prices like that of 2008.
    http://www.npr.org/2011/06/22/137324...full-attention
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  5. #145
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    Default Grantham's warnings re resources & food supply

    Jeremy Grantham is the Chief Investment Strategist (and co-founder) of GMO, a major asset management firm.
    In April he published an excellent analysis of Peak Oil in GMO Quarterly (19 pgs):
    http://www.gmo.com/websitecontent/JGLetterALL_1Q11.pdf

    This week Part 2 of Resource Limitations was released which focuses on agri-food (15 pgs):
    http://www.gmo.com/websitecontent/JG...ions2_2Q11.pdf

    Grantham's expressions of concern are particularly helpful since they come from a respected veteran analyst within the financial community.

  6. #146
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    Somalia is entering into an old, yet still unique (considering the state of the warring factions there) phase with the current drought.

    A lot of bell-ringing was going on today on CNN.

    Having spent a tour there, I am not so sure the US needs to get itself tied up into a knot over trying to push aid in there. A huge package of give and take needs to be thought through and applied before fools rush in.

  7. #147
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Nations will cut off rivers to prevent their enemies having access to water downstream, terrorists will blow up dams, and states that cannot provide water for their citizens will collapse. This is the future - as painted by a top US security report.

    #The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the organization that oversees US intelligence agencies such as the CIA and FBI, was commissioned by President Barack Obama to examine the impact of water scarcity worldwide on US security.

    And while the prospect of “water wars” has been touted for decades, it may start to become reality within a decade. The ODNI predicts that by 2040 water demand will outstrip current supply by 40 per cent.
    https://rt.com/news/water-conflict-t...sm-rivers-239/
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  8. #148
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Water & Conflict

    AdamG,

    One example of the issue of water resources is the SWJ article in 2011 'Nile Basin Conflict: Perspectives on Water Sharing, Food Shortages, Civil Wars and Terrorism':http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/nil...-and-terrorism

    I thought the issue of water had its own thread, no on a quick search.
    davidbfpo

  9. #149
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    David,

    Water in the Middle East, was a start here at SWC
    Sapere Aude

  10. #150
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    Default Futuristic.....

    Just spent the last two days getting my head bombarded with new research angles and areas of interest....

    Graphene filters for water.
    Graphene supercapacitors for energy storage.
    Red wine induced iron-based superconductors.
    LED (light-emitting diode) technology which emits more light energy than it consumes in electrical energy - basically a functional "Optical heat pump".
    Home 3-D printing (Additive manufacturing).
    Home CNC workstations/Visual open source based CNC programming.
    Algae based wastewater treatment (not for energy like TOTUS wants, but for far more practical and immediately useful applications).

    But the really interesting 'key' was that we always ended up comming back to "Water" over and over and over. And this wasn't a bunch of 'enviro wacko' types at all - maybe 1 or 2 at most in the group.

    Old rule: You can live a while without food - but you can't live a day without water.

  11. #151
    Council Member Surferbeetle's Avatar
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    Hey Watcher,

    You might like:

    Water, the epic struggle for wealth, power, and civilization by Steven Solomon

    Salt, a world history by Mark Kurlansky

    ...and perhaps for a bit of light reading

    Wastewater Engineering, Treatment & Reuse, by Metcalf and Eddy

    Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) Operation in Wastewater Treatment Plants, WEF & ASCE

    So are ya a surface water (downstream) or groundwater recipient?
    Sapere Aude

  12. #152
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    Here, it's being a groundwater recipient. Sanitary District water source for potable water, deep aquifer (about 1300 ft.) source. For around here, that's a deep well.

    If I go east about 25-30 miles, it's surface water (Chicagoland area; DuPage Water Commission) from Lake Michigan.

    Oh, and I forgot one item to add to my list - kept coming up as part of the discussions. The Khan Academy. If you don't know what it is, here's a short link (Hint: The future of education). Link To Talk About Khan Academy
    Last edited by Watcher In The Middle; 03-25-2012 at 01:56 PM. Reason: Bad Spelling

  13. #153
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    We are currently using fresh water at a rate beyond that at which it is being produced. This is only possible as we are draining fossil water aquifers to make up the difference. The scale of this problem is being masked by a one-time increase in glacial flows into the rivers whose basins’ provide the food for a large chunk of the worlds populations. These include the Mekong, Ganges, Yellow, Yangtze and Brahmaputra all of whom rely on the Himalaya/Tibetan Plateau for seasonal stabilisation. Current estimates put China’s 2030 water need at 25% above supply (and 20% is so polluted it not even suitable for agricultural use) and for India this becomes 50% and India is already very reliant on its non renewable aquifers.

    Also for further reading you could try
    Charting our water future (A McKinsey Institute report on water to 2030 with some solutions) http://www.mckinsey.com/App_Media/Re...Report_001.pdf

  14. #154
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Keep going - easy on the water

    I think water supply deserves a separate thread, because of it's strategic and impact in specific geographical areas. Maybe this week I shall look around this thread.
    davidbfpo

  15. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJackson View Post
    We are currently using fresh water at a rate beyond that at which it is being produced.

    Two remarks;

    a) it may be correct English, but "produced" is not really a good choice of words.

    b) Water is a local, at most regional (along rivers or in water pipeline projects as known in Libya) resource.

    An important consequence is that the solutions/adaptions need to be local or at most regional.

    This is similar to the firewood sustainability problem, which can best be addressed on the local level.

    Desertification and soil erosion problems are usually regional as well and require local (in)action.



    Global(-sounding) discussions on subjects like these are not worthwhile in my opinion.

  16. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    b) Water is a local, at most regional (along rivers or in water pipeline projects as known in Libya) resource.

    An important consequence is that the solutions/adaptions need to be local or at most regional.
    Arbitrary lines on maps have a history of causing problems....

    Local boundaries are often a political definition, while the concept of drainage basins and aquifers are technical definitions. Rarely do their boundaries conicide. Effective problem solvers have to balance political, economic, and technical concerns in order to find lasting solutions...

    Drainage basin by wikipedia

    A drainage basin (also known as a watershed) is an extent or an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow or ice converges to a single point, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another waterbody, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean. In closed drainage basins the water converges to a single point inside the basin, known as a sink, which may be a permanent lake, dry lake, or a point where surface water is lost underground.[1] The drainage basin includes both the streams and rivers that convey the water as well as the land surfaces from which water drains into those channels, and is separated from adjacent basins by a drainage divide.[2]
    Aquifer by wikipedia

    An aquifer is a wet underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, or silt) from which groundwater can be usefully extracted using a water well. The study of water flow in aquifers and the characterization of aquifers is called hydrogeology. Related terms include aquitard, which is a bed of low permeability along an aquifer,[1] and aquiclude (or aquifuge), which is a solid, impermeable area underlying or overlying an aquifer. If the impermeable area overlies the aquifer pressure could cause it to become a confined aquifer.
    Sapere Aude

  17. #157
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    I won't quibble about the 'produce' but I was referring to planetary fresh water production when I wrote it (or at least the precipitation that falls on the land). The paragraph was taken from a post on another site which has quite a lot more information about the planet's water situation. In post 3 at the link I have included a graph, from the above linked report, which shows almost no countries are expected to be in credit by 2030. As watcher said "And this wasn't a bunch of 'enviro wacko' types at all" This report was commissioned by the likes of Nestle, Coca-Cola, Standard Chartered and similar 'greenies'. I agree that the problems are local but the problem is all the local problems have now 'keyholed' into a global one.
    Over 50% of the worlds fresh water is now used for agriculture and over 50% of the worlds food comes from irrigated crops.
    The planet has a lot of water but only 0.03% is accessible to terrestrial plants and animals.
    More data, and more links, at the link (posts 3, 5 & 8 are most relevant to water others cover population and more general resource depletion)

    Edit:
    I was looking at the World Economic Forum 'Global Risks Report 2012' and noted an interesting change. The report collates risk data and graphs risks by plotting 'event likelihood' against 'event impact'. If you look at page 12 you will see another graph giving the top five risks for each of the last 6 years. This year 'water supply crisis' has appeared for the first time and is placed No.2 by impact and No.5 by likelihood. Another first time entry is 'food crisis' at No.3 by impact.

    Fuel, food and water are in fact, to a degree, interchangeable in that fuel can be used to make fertilisers (5% of all natural gas goes into ammonia for nitrates) which with water can be used to grow plants for food or bio-fuels with which you can desalinate sea water or make fertiliser etc.
    Last edited by JJackson; 03-25-2012 at 10:09 PM.

  18. #158
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    Just got hit upside the head by a 'wise olde owl' (no, not Ken - different 'wise olde owl'). One who is a forth generation farmer overseeing the running of a very large operation.

    We were talking 'Commodities' (in general), and impacts of what we are seeing in the marketplace - copper, oil, metals of all types, grains, etc. He told me to really pay attention to Soybeans going forward, because they have pretty much decoupled from the other grains (like corn, wheat, etc.).

    This is going to have some interesting side effects. South American (Brazil & Argentina) soybean production is down, and initial US reports are that farmers are actually planning on planting lower soybean acreage than last year. We'll see. Have my doubts based on current bean prices.

    Here's an interesting table:
    World Supply & Demand Table

    Btw, there are differences in production numbers. The 2009 numbers for the US soybean production was 91.4 mil metric tons, from a different source. The link is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soybean

    We produce 600% more than what China produces, about 60% more than what Brazil produces, and about 295% more than what Argentina produces.

    And as a little aside, Argentina, with their expropriation of YPF, the Argentine petroleum company majority owned by Repsol (a Spanish firm), has just made their ability to export Soybeans much more difficult. You will likely see an army of lawyers at work claiming that all sales are actually being made by the Argentine government, and the proceeds from those sales could be held up in court as payment for the expropriation of YPF. Fun times!

    As a point, if there is a soybean supply squeeze on both the #2 and #3 soybean suppliers, basic food prices in China are likely to increase. And rising food prices in China can create instability.

    And China's trade surplus with the US has been shrinking, and they are not buying Treasuries anymore.

    This is going to get interesting.

  19. #159
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Moderator at work

    I have re-opened this closed thread, to enable the next post. This thread started in 2008 and the last post was in 2012. It had 158 posts and 47,868 views.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-27-2017 at 01:34 PM.
    davidbfpo

  20. #160
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Transforming food systems in a global context

    Found a link to this 2014 podcast by Professor Paul Rogers, from Bradford University, whose approach to security is different: Human Security and it is a broad brush analysis - which includes the role of food.
    Link:http://www.tansey.org.uk/news/PRtalk.html

    Food production and climate change starts at 14:54. To be fair the more I listen, it is interesting and just about fits here!

    Since 2012 there have been a small number of posts on the purchase, development and sometimes using imported labour on agricultural land. IIRC with China and Saudi Arabia to the fore.
    davidbfpo

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