Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cars or food. Choose. Now.

Peak soil: industrial civilisation is on the verge of eating itself | Nafeez Ahmed | Environment | "Last week, a new World Bank report examining five different food commodities - corn, wheat, rice, soybean, and palm oil - confirmed that oil prices are the biggest contributor to rising food prices. The report, based on a logarithm designed to determine the impact of any given factor through regression analysis, concluded that oil prices were even more significant than the ratio of available world food stocks relative to consumption levels, or commodity speculation. The Bank thus recommends controlling oil price movements as a key to tempering food price inflation.

The oil-food price link comes as no surprise. A University of Michigan study points out that every major point in the industrial food system - chemical fertilisers, pesticides, farm machinery, food processing, packaging and transportation - is dependent on high oil and gas inputs. Indeed, 19% of the fossil fuels that prop up the American economy go to the food system, second only to cars."

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