The Food Ceiling

The Green movement and their Environmental friends are forever banging on about the cost to the Planet of the continual use and extraction of the fossil fuels oil and gas for the production of energy to keep us warm and mechanically mobile. God forbid that you use the word “Fracking”, you may be turned into a pillar of salt! Well, I guess I do have a little sympathy with some of this argument as in the West we have definitely become very wasteful of these precious and finite resources.

There may however be a more worrying shortage on the horizon and that will be food. The real ceiling may be the world`s ability to feed its ever growing population. Today there is apparently in excess of three billion acres of productive land. This is enough to feed around nine billion people if they are all of the grazing and vegetarian variety. However if they are disciples of the American eat meat and waste food habit, this number drops to below three billion. You see the problem. Somebody is going to go hungry. The people from the Developing Nations are growing richer and are demanding to eat more meat. Certainly more land will come under cultivation and this along with genetic engineering will address some of this problem, but at the end of the day the demand for fertilisers will soar and fertilisers are a by- product from oil. Therefore a new source of energy must be found to drive the cars and planes and also light and heat the world in order to preserve fossil fuels for food production. This energy could be generated from nuclear fusion, neutrino capture, graphite materials, renewables or other exotic ways yet to be discovered.
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It is said that in the next few years we will see Russia head up the oil- producing league table followed by America and then Mexico with the Middle Eastern countries trailing behind. This totally will change the political scene and may also reduce the American desire to go to war to “protect its` interests”. This will also have a knock -on effect on the Arms Industry which will really take some ironing out.

From the Saltydog point of view it raises the chance of investing into Mexico, the Biotech Industries and Agriculture funds. It will be interesting to see if these areas come to the forefront of our numbers either in the Unit Trusts or the ETFs. So yet again it is a question of watch this space.

Of course the food and population problems could be resolved if the meat eaters decide to eat the vegetarians.