A Confluence Of Catastrophes
A world on fire
THE COMING FOOD SUPPLY CRISIS
Warning sounds abound among news outlets about the upcoming food crisis. The war in Ukraine is adding fuel to this fire. The most significant reason humanity is facing this food crisis is global warming. Severe droughts in Brazil and other parts around the globe are leading factors in what is sure to soon be a global food crisis.
Brazil is the number one producer of soybeans and the number three producer of corn in the world. For the last two years, they have been in the worst drought the country has seen in decades. Most of the soybean and corn crops are used as feed for chickens, cattle, and pigs.
THE MEAT WE EAT.
There is a wonderful interview here with Daniel Aminetzah, leader of McKinsey’s Chemicals and Agriculture Practices, and his partner Nicolas Denis. They do a deep dive into what will be likely scenarios for the food supply chain in the coming years. Any rational reader should be alarmed by the information they provide. Take the time to read this. Be prepared.
“Despite efforts to strengthen the global food supply, and the overall resiliency we’ve seen in the past couple of years, we are quite concerned. The world, to some extent, seems unprepared for the crisis unfolding now. One exception is China, which has significantly increased its strategic reserve by over 70 percent since 2008. But many other markets in the world are not at the same level of readiness.” — Daniel Aminetzah
THE COMING SUPPLY CHAIN CRISIS
What compounds the upcoming food shortage is an already failing supply chain crisis. We are already feeling the effects of this in the rising costs of goods every time we go grocery shopping. Not to mention rental price increases, home price increases, and retail price increases across the board. And let me tell you, folks. You ain’t seen nothing yet.
While doing research for this article I came across a wonderfully informative article by Will Knight on the website Wired.com. I highly recommend you take the time to read it here. The following quote by Mr. Knight highlights the confluence of the supply chain and food supply crises.
“Many of the global economic ripple effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine won’t be felt for weeks or even months. Russia is, for instance, one of the world’s largest exporters of fertilizer, accounting for about 14 percent of the global supply. Fertilizer prices, which were already trending upward, are now 40 percent higher than they were prior to the Ukraine invasion, and will likely rise further as the global supply chain struggles to adjust to yet more disruption — which in turn will place further pressure on food production across the world.”
ECONOMIC CONCERNS APPROACHING A CRISIS?
On April 14, 2022, Kristalina Georgieva, IMF (International Monetary Fund) Managing Director in Washington, DC gave a speech titled Facing Crisis Upon Crisis: How the World Can Respond. You can read and listen to it here. In the quote below she is referring to a very possible monetary crisis.
“The economic consequences from the war (Ukraine) spread fast and far, to neighbors and beyond, hitting hardest the world’s most vulnerable people. Hundreds of millions of families were already struggling with lower incomes and higher energy and food prices. The war has made this much worse and threatens to further increase inequality.
And for the first time in many years, inflation has become a clear and present danger for many countries around the world. This is a massive setback for the global recovery. In economic terms, growth is down and inflation is up. In human terms, people’s incomes are down and hardship is up .
These double crises — pandemic and war — and our ability to deal with them, are further complicated by another growing risk: fragmentation of the world economy into geopolitical blocs — with different trade and technology standards, payment systems, and reserve currencies.
Such a tectonic shift would incur painful adjustment costs. Supply chains, R&D, and production networks would be broken and need to be rebuilt. Poor countries and poor people will bear the brunt of these dislocations.
This fragmentation of global governance is perhaps the most serious challenge to the rules-based framework that has governed international and economic relations for more than 75 years and helped deliver significant improvements in living standards across the globe.
It is already impairing our capacity to work together on the two crises we face. And it could leave us wholly unable to meet other global challenges — such as the existential threat of climate change.
It is a consequential moment for the international community.
The actions we take now, together, will determine our future in fundamental ways. It reminds me of Bretton Woods in 1944 when, in the dark shadow of war, leaders came together to envision a brighter world. It was a moment of unprecedented courage and cooperation.
We need that spirit today, as we face bigger challenges and more difficult choices.” — Kristalina Georgieva
I wrote this in the hope that an American audience may read it and learn something about the world beyond their borders. The average American has very little global knowledge or awareness. Too many get their news from a Facebook post whose message is questionable ALL THE TIME.
Things aren’t rosy folks. We live in an interconnected world and what happens on the other side of the globe affects us as well. I still believe America has the know-how, skills, and business acumen to affect positive change for the world.
What it lacks are leaders who can’t seem to realize what is good for us now just may be our downfall in the long run. The only thing preying on their minds is how to get elected.
At any cost. And what is the cost? Stripping the rights of millions of Americans to control their own bodies. Corrupting the most American right we all share. The right to vote. The American dream is becoming a nightmare for many. When the world needs us more than ever.
Hang on to your hats. Have an escape plan. The world is on fire.
© 2022 Joe Merkle All rights reserved.
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