According to Peter Zeihan, the geopolitical strategist who has predicted global chaos in the wake of the collapse of the post-WWII multi-lateral world, it is now clear that the least understood component of global trade is agricultural production and its delicate and highly unstable distribution chain. As global systems are now at risk, a huge plurality of the world population has no idea that famine could visit in the coming decades.
These systems rely on 1. low cost credit and financing (or free flow of cheap capital for farming), 2. low cost energy inputs (farms use fuels, fertilizers – relies petrochemicals to produce), and 3. smooth, free, scheduled and protected international movement of grains and foods (the finished products of agriculture, shipping lanes must be free and open).
When these three parts of the system are injected with chaos that results in credit and energy shortages, this delicate system breaks down.
Example – every drop of Saudi oil that goes to Japan, China and Germany has been directly or indirectly protected by the US 5th fleet since 1945. As does every ton of food imported into Saudi Arabia. However, US Navy escorts are being pulled out as this video is published. What happens when the US is not standing between Saudi Arabia and its arch-nemesis Iran?
How did we get here?
Over the past 75 years the United States has been fully invested in the post-WWII Bretton-Woods System that has ensured credit and finance, as well as both energy and food security. This allowed for free movement of commodities as well as finished products to all destinations around the world – and this system is still in place.
In the 2012 book entitled Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World, by Ian Bremmer described the breakdown of G20, G7, NATO, World Bank, the European Union, WTO and all of the multi-lateral trade organizations that were built from 1944 to 1948 by the US and Europeans to manage a post-WWII world.
And now recently the US has announced that it was getting out of the global management business which means the world will return to pre-WWII systems of every country for itself.
And as this system breaks down, the world starts to realize that over 4 billion people on the planet rely on external sources to feed themselves.
In the future with global constrained access, with more difficult maritime situations with less financial capability there are only six places in the world that can actually expand output of agricultural products. These will be the clear winners.
The US and Canada, Myanmar, Australia, New Zealand, as well as France and Argentina. These countries have the lowest production costs in the world, as well as unfettered access to energy and global transport systems. These will be the exporters of calories to the over 70 countries who cannot feed themselves.
But we must understand that countries like Venezuela, Algeria, Libya, Somalia, Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, and another 70 countries in Africa and the Middle East that import between 25% and 75% of their calories are looking at a challenging and very frightening future.
In a world without order, in a world without easy transport and a world without easy finance, these are the countries that will see a 35% reduction in their ability to grow crops to feed themselves thus making them even more reliant on the 6 major agricultural safe zones on the planet.
As hard as it is to say, the next 10 years could be the start of a major geopoltical catastrophe as at least 70 countries around the world will not easily be able to feed themselves.
So when so-called experts say that the world population will expand to 10 billion, and that places such as Africa and the Middle East will continue to explode demographically endlessly, these people are not considering that the world will not be able to feed 10 billion or even 8 billion inhabitants in the future.
Global population is not going to explode. Finance and energy will be the barrier.
It is very possible that the Middle East, North Africa and the African continent may again suffer famine on a biblical scale.
A fragmented world,war and food disruptions were the norm for 2,000 years until 1945. The current world of order, GDP exCpansion and population growth are what is truly abnormal from an historical standpoint. The world may be reverting back to a time when chaos was the norm and food supplies were far more unstable.
Rather than the New World Order our planet is returning to the Old World Disorder.