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The inflation riots have begun. Peru and Sri Lanka both are experiencing violence as inflation spirals the prices of basic necessities higher and higher.
We’ve been here before, and recently. The Arab Spring was a period of social unrest and riots in 2010 and 2011 that was triggered, in part, by spiking food costs.
As Alfred Henry Lewis said in 1906, “There are only nine meals between mankind and anarchy.”
But before pure anarchy comes, society experiences increasing unrest and the erosion of social bonds and niceties. That’s where we are now.
Food prices today are higher than they were in 2010, so the protests are not at all surprising. We can and should expect more of them.
Worse than that, however, is the prospect of actual famine and food shortages. I expect true famine to emerge by the end of this year, after the northern harvest fails to cover the basic needs of 8+ billion people.
This is yet another reason why you should plant a garden. As if you needed one more, right?
The reason for the glum outlook is not just the loss of Ukraine exports, and probable loss of the planting season for quite a large portion of the Ukraine, but because of the desperate global shortages of fertilizers which have become utterly essential to today’s crop yields.
In this lesson, we learn that converting biologically active and supportive soil into barren dirt was a terrible idea.
By 2030, it is projected that phosphate will reach peak output and then begin its long slow decline. What’s the world plan for this? There isn’t one. Again, this is why local, regenerative farming is so critical to undertake at this time.
Peru Violent Inflation Protests
FAO – Real food prices higher than in 2010
Phosphate mining unsustainable
Veritasium Youtube special on Potash
US Farming addicted to nitrogen and potassium (USGS historical charts)
Global grain trade stressed by Ukraine lack of exports