With Russian and Ukrainian energy and food exports under threat, the world is stumbling towards a global food catastrophe. Not only are food exports by Russia and Ukraine blocked or destroyed, productive capacity around the world is eroded by higher input costs (fertilizer and energy) caused by the war.
Reportedly, farmers are leaving some of their fields fallow as the cost to grow food has risen to unmanageable levels, due to fertilizer and fuel prices. If this weren’t bad enough, droughts and heat domes in various regions of the world could lower crop yields like they did last year.
This means less food for many – if not all – regions of the world, plus widespread food price inflation.
This will cause extreme social strain worldwide, but certain regions could experience complete social breakdown, leading to mass migration. Particular areas at risk include North Africa, from which millions of migrants could travel to Europe in search of food. This will completely destabilize European society.
In North America, higher prices are likely to lead to political turnover, almost guaranteeing the GOP takes the house and senate in 2022 and the Whitehouse in 2024. Inflation could also further tear apart a divided populous, as people lash out against scapegoats.
This has to be part of the Russia’s war plan. It inflicts so much pain on NATO countries that it could compel them to concede to Putin’s wishes. After all, the main reason Ukraine is still standing is because of NATO arms and intelligence. Food shortages and skyrocketing inflation, brought on by blockades of Ukrainian and Russian exports, would put Russia in a position of relative bargaining power. It’s perverse but possible.
I hope I’m wrong about major food shortages and ballooning food insecurity. But even if there’s only a 10% chance I’m right, it should prompt personal action. My suggestion: grow some food. Invest some time, energy and money into learning the skill starting today.
I certainly don’t expect anyone to become totally self sufficient. But if we all grew 10-20% of our caloric requirements at home, a huge amount of pressure would be released from the global food system.