It is nice to be right, but somehow a bit hollow, when you are right and seem powerless to watch powerful events unfold that will have powerful impacts on the lives of millions of people.
So, when the price of oil hit $100 per barrel, we watched to see the ripples. When it hit $115 per barrel, then $120 per barrel, we began to see the reports from around the world on skyrocketing food prices. Now oil men are talking about $200 per barrel oil, and $4 per gallon at the pump no longer seems far away (today reports showed regional averages of $3.60 to $3.80). So the $100 we predicted has now been surpassed, and so has the food shortages, and we will see $5 per gallon gas at the pump in 2008.
Today, there were reports about the global food dealers, such as Cargill, who are showing huge increases in profits. One food company reported profits up 1010%. (No typo, that is one thousand and ten percent). So the talks of oil company profiteering may be mild compared to the soon to be heard howls of food company profiteering, at the expense of empty stomachs of 100,000,000 people. Today, the government of India, angry at profiteering, actually banned “futures trading” on the Indian commodities market.
For sure agriculture is to again become a profitable industry, one where smart and hard working farmers can again enjoy healthy profits from their toil. That will be good for small towns in heartland America that have shown steady population losses for 30 years. Now we might expect to see prosperity in those places, albeit it will be at the expense of the city folk, who grow nothing, and import all the food and fiber they consume. So instead of being completely impotent, I do have a suggestion for action. One that most of my readers can do.
One of the major trends that I can see will be more food production in green houses and these green houses will concentrate in areas surrounding major cities. This should be a fast growing and very profitable industry. It has been said that a 10 acre tract that now will make its farmer $5000 per year, in standard crops such as cotton, Milo, or grazing grasses, will make $500,000 in controlled green house food production. To this end, I encourage you, to build a green house on your land. Even a small “backyard” sized greenhouse, can produce all the vegetables your family can eat, it will be healthy, taste better, and will save you thousands of dollars a year. Plus the exercise and personal satisfaction will be additional compensations.
Perhaps you will be one of the ones who will go to your greenhouse to meditate and relax after a stressful day, of watching the global energy and food markets go completely out of hand.
One bonus, if you can afford it. Put up a windmill to produce a little extra “free” power for your place. If enough of us do these two things, what a difference it could make. Consider there are 350,000,000 Americans, and perhaps 100,000,000 households. What if 10% put in greenhouses and a “family” windmill? That would be 10 million windmills and 10 million greenhouses. Why, what an impact upon the economy in the USA that would have! And say each greenhouse produces $4,000 worth of food, and $3,000 worth of energy per year. $7,000 x 10,000,000 = 70,000,000,000 (That my friend is an impact of SEVENTY BILLION DOLLARS).
SEVENTY BILLION DOLLARS OF MONEY, PRODUCED BY AMERICANS IN THEIR BACK YARDS.
Just think about it.