Could Food Shortages Bring Down Civilization?

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kahibe's picture
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Joined: Nov 29 2008
Posts: 22
Could Food Shortages Bring Down Civilization?


  • Food scarcity and the resulting higher food prices are pushing poor countries into chaos.
  • Such “failed states” can export disease, terrorism, illicit drugs, weapons and refugees.
  • Water shortages, soil losses and rising temperatures from global warming are placing severe limits on food production.
  • Without massive and rapid intervention to address these three environmental factors, the author argues, a series of government collapses could threaten the world order.
Gungnir's picture
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Joined: Mar 2 2009
Posts: 643
Re: Could Food Shortages Bring Down Civilization?

In a nutshell Yes.

I don't think that anyone here will argue.

Aaron M's picture
Aaron M
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Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2373
Re: Could Food Shortages Bring Down Civilization?


I think we have similar minds - the threads that catch your interest catch mine as well.

Undoubtably, I think shortage of food and a breakdown in distribution is the most likely cause for a collapse of civilization.

Other factors can be mitigated, blunted and smoothed over, but you can't convince people they're not starving.

ERoEI could have a dramatic impact on this, but apart from that, I'm not sure what else could shut down distribution.

Maybe a plague.



BSV's picture
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 26 2009
Posts: 170
Re: Could Food Shortages Bring Down Civilization?

You are all just filled with good cheer! Why don't we just do the best we can and hope for the best! What will happen, will happen. Let us prepare. Let us alert our friends and those acquaintances who will listen. Beyond that, there is not much we can do. Let us be content with that.

rowmat's picture
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Joined: Nov 15 2008
Posts: 358
Re: Could Food Shortages Bring Down Civilization?

Well to add to the 'good cheer' if this swine flu outbreak turned into a global pandemic, making several hundred million sick without necessarily even killing a high percentage of the population, we would run and of food and nearly everything else within a few weeks.

Actually probably faster once news of the pandemic broke as people would simply panic buy.

People who are very ill in bed don't plow fields, plant crops, transport goods or people, manage businesses or mismanage governments, provide health care, teach, construct, co-ordinate or much else.

In our age of fast global transportation a pandemic could spread rapidly and exponentially within in weeks.

If this scenario played out starting right now the SWHTF within just 2-3 weeks.

'Food' for thought may end up being the only food you have!!

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