Everywhere you look today the mainstream news is talking about shortages. Authorities all over the globe are boldly proclaiming that the world is rapidly running out of food, water and oil. So are these doomsayers right? Well, it must be noted that some of the most famous "prophets of doom" of the past several decades have seen their predictions fail spectacularly. For example, in his infamous 1968 book entitled "The Population Bomb", Paul Ehrlich made the following statement: "I don't see how India could possibly feed two hundred million more people by 1980." Well, India is now feeding well over twice the number of people than they had when Ehrlich originally wrote his book. But that doesn't mean that major shortages won't happen in the future. It just means that we should be careful not to look incredibly ridiculous like Ehrlich did. The truth is that there are good reasons why we should be watching global supplies of food, water and oil very closely. Life as we know it would cease to exist if we had severe shortages of any of them.
So will we actually be facing serious shortages of food, water or oil in the coming years?
Well, let's take a look at oil first.
Right now oil is absolutely essential to almost everything that we do. We require oil to drive our cars, we require oil to produce our food, a large percentage of our homes use energy that is derived from oil and most of what we buy at the stores comes in packaging that is made up at least partly of oil.
So if we run out of oil that is going to be a really huge deal.
So are we going to run out of oil?
Well, right now advocates of the "peak oil" hypothesis are getting a lot of attention in the mainstream media.
Basically the idea behind "peak oil" is that the world has reached (or almost reached) the maximum amount of oil that it can produce and that from here on out the amount of oil that will be produced will begin to decline. Meanwhile, the demand for oil is only going to continue to increase.
So is there evidence that this is actually happening?
Well, it depends on who you ask. But what is undeniable is that there are some very powerful interests that are doing their best to hype a coming oil shortage.
In recently released report entitled "Signals & Signposts", Shell Oil warns that global demand for energy is going to be three times as large in 2050 as it was in 2000.
So where will all of that extra energy come from?
Can the world possibly produce two or three times as much oil as it does today?
The Shell Oil report forecasts that the global supply of oil will continue to rise but that the rise in supply will not be fast enough to keep up with the rise in demand. According to Shell, this is going to cause rapidly rising oil prices which will cause the gross domestic products of all nations to fall.
So just how high could oil prices go?
Well, the truth is that the price of oil is very highly manipulated. The market for oil is not exactly what you would call a "free market".
However, it is alarming that almost everyone is forecasting much higher oil prices at this point.
For example, Weeden & Co. oil analyst Charles Maxwell recently stated that he believes that the price of oil will eventually hit $300 a barrel by the end of this decade.
If that were to happen, it would be absolutely disastrous for the global economy. Yeah, those in the oil industry would make a killing, but for the rest of the world it would be a complete and utter nightmare.
Unfortunately, what most Americans don't understand is that there are lots of alternative energy technologies out there that have been repressed by the big oil companies and by the big oil producing nations because they threaten hundreds of billions of dollars in profits.
For example, did you know that it is possible to run a car entirely on water? One Japanese company hopes to start mass marketing them....
But I wouldn't count on seeing water-powered cars sold on every street corner any time soon. Why? Because of greed.
Our entire system of energy is based on making as much money as possible for those who have all the oil.
So if the world has a shortage of energy in the coming years, it is not because that is how it inevitably had to be.
Rather, it will be all about pure, unadulterated greed.
There are plenty of alternative energy technologies out there that are incredibly promising, but those that are getting incredibly wealthy off of our oil-based society are not going to quietly step aside for the good of mankind.
So what about food?
Is the world running out of food?
Well, as we have seen so many times in the past, the earth can support far more people than most of the "experts" ever imagined.
In fact, if weather patterns were perfectly stable and we removed human greed out of the picture, the earth could most likely support a whole lot more people.
Unfortunately, weather patterns are becoming increasingly bizarre and human greed is always a problem.
In particular, this year extreme weather all over the globe is causing many to be concerned that we may soon see some very serious foodshortages. In Australia and Brazil, flooding of Biblical proportions has absolutely devastated crops. Some of China's most important agricultural areas are experiencing the worst droughts that they have seen in 200 years. Authorities are warning that two-thirds of China's wheat crop could be in danger. A recent cold snap that hit northern Mexico wiped out entire harvests and has sent prices for many fresh produce items in the United States soaring.
But these bizarre weather patterns will hopefully settle down eventually.
What is of even greater concern is that we have been seeing a long-term trend of rapidly rising food prices over the last couple of years that is putting an extreme amount of strain on the 3 billion people in the world that are trying to survive on the equivalent of 2 dollars or less per day.
Most Americans can still handle rising food prices, but for millions upon millions of poor people all over the world a significant increase in the cost of food can mean the difference between life and death.
That is why the sudden rise in price of so many agricultural commodities is so disturbing. Just consider some of the shocking price increases that we have seen over the past year or two....
*The price of corn has doubled over the last six months and recently hit a new all-time high.
*The price of wheat has more than doubled over the past year and hit a 30-month high on Monday.
*The price of soybeans is up about 50% since last June.
*The price of cotton has more than doubled over the past year.
*The commodity price of orange juice has doubled since 2009.
*The price of sugar is the highest it has been in 30 years.
If prices continue to go up like this we are going to see a lot more food riots all over the globe.
But perhaps that is what those in positions of power actually want. The truth is that the global elite don't always have the best interests of the rest of us at heart.
So what about water?
Is the world running out of water?
Well, yes, many areas of the world are rapidly running out of fresh water and this is perhaps one of the biggest problems we are facing.
Without oil, most of us could survive for quite some time.
Without food, most of us could survive for a number of weeks.
Without water, most of us would die within a matter of days.
Fortunately North America still has a decent supply of fresh water, but as I have written about previously, in many areas of the globe the situation is quickly becoming absolutely dire....
*Worldwide demand for fresh water tripled during the last century, and is now doubling every 21 years.
*According to USAID, one-third of all humans will face severe or chronic water shortages by the year 2025.
*Of the 60 million people added to the world's cities every year, the vast majority of them live in impoverished slums and shanty-towns with no sanitation facilities whatsoever.
*It is estimated that 75 percent of India's surface water is now contaminated by human and agricultural waste.
*Not only that, but according to a UN study on sanitation, far more people in India have access to a mobile phone than to a toilet.
*In northern China, the water table is dropping one meter per year due to overpumping.
*But there are few places where the water shortage is as severe as it is in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia had been producing enough wheat to be self-sufficient for most of the past 30 years, but in 2008 authorities there realized that the non-replenishable aquifer they had been pumping for irrigation purposes was nearly depleted. So in response Saudi Arabia made the decision to reduce their wheat harvest by one-eighth every year thereafter. Wheat production in Saudi Arabia is scheduled to cease entirely in 2016.
In some of the most populated areas of the planet the water situation can only be described as catastrophic.
For example, did you know that a new desert the size of Rhode Island is created in China because of drought every single year?
Did you know that in China 80% of the major rivers are so polluted that they don't support aquatic life at all?
Did you know that the women of South Africa collectively walk the equivalent distance to the moon and back 16 times a day for water?
Thankfully the water situation in the United States has not gotten that bad yet, but the truth is that even we could be facing serious water shortages in the years ahead.
According to a recent report released by the Natural Resources Defense Council, more than one-third of all counties in the lower 48 states will likely be facing very serious water shortages by the year 2050.
So, yes, there are some really good reasons to be concerned about earth's dwindling resources.
If the global elite were not so incredibly greedy and if we managed our planet better we would not have problems to this degree.
But here we are.
So what is the solution?
Well, it would be really great if the global elite would just share some of their wealth. A study by the World Institute for Development Economics Research discovered that the bottom half of the world population owns approximately 1 percent of all global wealth.
But the global elite aren't about to change the rules of the global economy. After all, they spent a whole lot of time and effort rigging the game so that virtually all wealth eventually gets funneled into their hands.
Rather, most among the global elite seem to believe that radical population control is the answer.
After all, they argue, if there are half as many people around then we will only be using half as many resources, right?
Well, as alluring as that may sound, the truth is that the world has always had a huge problem with poverty. Even when the global population was down around 100 million people there was rampant poverty.
The number of people is not the problem.
The problem is the insatiable greed of the elite.
The global elite have systematically exploited the poor all over the planet, they have gobbled up the resources of the world wherever they have found them and now they are hoarding their wealth as millions upon millions suffer desperately.
Well, in the end the global elite will have to answer to a higher power. In the book of James it talks about those who hoard wealth on this earth....
Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.
According to the most recent "Global Wealth Report" by Credit Suisse, the wealthiest 0.5% control over 35% of the wealth of the world.
That qualifies as hoarding wealth.
Other estimates put the concentration of wealth at the very top of the food chain much higher than that.
But sadly, the problem of greed is not going to be solved any time soon.
Global supplies of food and fresh water are going to continue to diminish.
The world economy is going to continue to become increasingly unstable.
If it was always your desire to live in "interesting times", then you are about to get your wish. Things are about to get extremely "interesting" on this planet.