BBC is reporting record high oil prices, quoting Goldman Sachs saying that the oil market may be in the early stages of a "super spike", which could push prices as high as $105 a barrel.
Twice as high as today? Four-five times as high as a few years ago? This has tremendous impact on our society, especially in countries like Japan, which is so dependent on oil imports for its economy.
Very little analysis, however, has been done to examine what will happen to food production, under such conditions. In fact, modern farming methods are terribly dependent on oil. Not only for the tractors and other machinery that each farmer use on a daily basis, but also for the massproduction of agricultural fertilizers and pesticides. The entire delivery system (to slaughter houses and factories, and finally to the supermarkets and back home to your kitchen) must also be re-examined.
What will happen when food prices for consumers go up dramatically, due to the higher oil price?
Countries in Asia are heavily dependent on imported foods. Also, animal feed is shipped from overseas at a high cost. When I see Japanese TV shows promoting beef consumption, I really wonder how such propaganda can be countered with better information.
Tony Boys is asking a pointed question in a recent essay, posted on his website: "Does mankind have the wisdom necessary to implement the historical lifestyle change... whereby populations would be consciously manitained at a level appropriate for the local natural conditions of soil, climate, flora and fauna?" His argument is well worth considering.
Even organic agriculture, with little use of fossile fuels, may not be able to sustain a global population of 7-8 billion meat-eating humans... It seems to me that this message is a political taboo that no government wants to share with citizens. In my view, the hardest lesson of all may be to turn society away from the current free-trade model, that encourages countries to increase its dependence on imports of foods.
Please click here for Tony Boys' essay (pdf)
Blogs I Like
- Ad B: Japan Navigator
- Adventures of a (Swedish) Salariman in Tokyo
- Amy: Blue Lotus
- Boing Boing: Wonderful Things
- Brendan: UNU OurWorld 2.0
- Hiroko & Rick: Itadakimasu
- Jared B: Tokyo Green Space
- Joan: Popcorn Homestead
- Jon: Toshogu or As I See Japan... From L.A.
- Justin B: The Rational Pessimist (Climate & Risk)
- Kat: Food Adventures in Japan
- Ken: KenElwood in semi-rural Japan
- Mari: Watashi to Tokyo
- MTC: Shisaku
- Otakimura: In The Pines
- P: Pacific Islander
- Peko Peko: Kyoto Foodie
- Richard H: Spike Japan
- Risa & Kirk: Savory Japan
- Robert: Pure Land Mountain
- Shizuoka Gourmet
- Ten Thousand Things
- Tom: Kitchen Garden in Japan
Links I Like
- News: About Sweden in English
- News: BBC
- News: Der Spiegel (Germany) in English
- News: Deutche Welle
- News: FT Asia (UK, EU)
- News: Kyoto Journal (Japan)
- News: NHK World Society & Others (Japan)
- News: People's Daily (China)
- News: Telegraph (UK)
- News: The Local (Sweden)
- News: Yomiuri Online (Japan)
- News: Yonhap (Korea)
- NGOs/News: Organic Consumers Association (US)
- NGOs: Amnesty
- NGOs: Consumers Union (US) Food
- NGOs: Consumers Union of Japan
- NGOs: Greenpeace
- NGOs: Greenz.jp
- NGOs: Japan for Sustainability
- NGOs: Japan Organic Agriculture Association
- NGOs: Japan Vegetarian Society
- Shops: Alishan Organic Center
- Shops: Eco to Waza (GreenJapan)
- Shops: Warabe Mura
- Stuff: Japan Probe