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PaulS's picture

Can we feed ourselves?

Here are some extracts from this report

Can Totnes and District Feed Itself?
Exploring the practicalities of food relocalisation.
By Rob Hopkins, Mark Thurstain-Goodwin and Simon Fairlie

(couldn't have put it better myself!):

The global economy is entering a world where, as a report commissioned by the US Department of Energy
predicted in 2005, “liquid fuel prices and price volatility will increase dramatically”, and the high prices of July
2008 (over $147 a barrel2) are predicted by many to be just the first of many such surges, attributed by some
as being one of the principal causes of the current economic downturn (Rubin 2009). Christophe de Margerie,
CEO of Total, stated recently that the economic downturn means that world oil production will be unable to
exceed 89 million barrels a day (Hoyos 2009), and a growing number of observers argue that July 2008’s price
spike coincided with the the peak in world oil production (Oil Drum 2009).

Francisco Blanch of Merrill Lynch was recently reported as saying that oil companies must find another Saudi
Arabia every two years just to maintain current production levels. Referring to the July 2008 price spike, he
recently said “the commodity supercycle is not over, just resting” (The Economist 2009: 76). It is clear that the
next 10-15 years will see increasing price volatility, and possible interruptions to supplies of the liquid fuels
that make our current economic model viable. Being oil dependent is already becoming a high risk strategy,
for individuals, businesses and whole economies.

2 Seeley, T. (2008) U.S. Regulator `Closely Monitoring' Nymex Oil Prices (Update1). Oil
touched a record $147.27 a barrel on July 11 2008.
3 An argument also made in more depth in Public Interest Research Centre. (2008) Climate Safety: in case of
emergenc .