Background Information

Peak Oil

Perhaps more than climate change, Peak Oil will have a dramatic effect on the price of food.

People often think that when we eventually run out of oil, it will be like running out of petrol on a motorway.
One minute you are cruising at 70mph, and the next your are stopped.

It won't be like that.

So far in our history, the world has always had enough oil to meet the demand. Countries have artificially slowed production to maintain a steady growth in the price of oil.

Now we are at a point where it is clear that demand will vastly exceed supply and the price will rise dramatically. Experts talk of diesel at £1.50 a litre in 2015, and £10 a litre in 2020.

Oil is used to produce fertilisers, to power tractors, and to fuel the lorries, ships and planes that bring food to our supermarkets.

Food prices will go up, and people will start to think of ways to produce food without these "oil costs".

It will then become financially attractive for people to grow more of their own food, and farm owners will find there is a new demand for their produce because it can be supplied cheaply to local customers.

We have seen recently how fast financial markets can change. By contrast, food production cannot be increased overnight. Fruit trees take a few years. We need to start work now!

In 1989 Cuba lost its sole supply of oil when the Soviet Union collapsed
See how Cuba dealt with this problem 20 years ago

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