Things are far worse than you are being told. Over the past few months, I have been carefully documenting facts that show that global food production is going to be way down in 2022. Unfortunately, most people out there don’t seem to understand that the food that isn’t being grown in 2022 won’t be on our store shelves in 2023. We are potentially facing an absolutely unprecedented worldwide food crisis next year, but the vast majority of the population doesn’t seem very alarmed about this. So I would encourage you to help me get this warning out by sharing this list with as many people as you possibly can. As you will see below, we now have so many data points that it is impossible to deny what is coming.
The following is a list of 33 things we know about the coming food shortages…
#1 The hard red winter wheat crop in the United States this year “was the smallest since 1963”. But in 1963, there were only 182 million people living in this nation. Today, our population has grown to 329 million.
#2 It is being projected that the rice harvest in California will be “half what it would be in a normal year”.
#3 The U.S. tomato harvest will come in at just 10.5 million tons in 2022. That is over a million tons lower than a normal year.
#4 This will be the worst U.S. corn harvest in at least a decade.
#5 Year-to-date shipments of carrots in the United States are down 45 percent.
#6 Year-to-date shipments of sweet corn in the United States are down 20 percent.
#7 Year-to-date shipments of sweet potatoes in the United States are down 13 percent.
#8 Year-to-date shipments of celery in the United States are down 11 percent.
#9 Total peach production in the U.S. is down 15 percent from last year.
#10 Almost three-fourths of all U.S. farmers say that this year’s drought is hurting their harvests.
#11 Thanks to the endless drought, the total number of cattle in Oregon is down 41 percent.
#12 Thanks to the endless drought, the total number of cattle in New Mexico is down 43 percent.
#13 Thanks to the endless drought, the total number of cattle in Texas is down 50 percent.
#14 One beef producer in Oklahoma is now predicting that ground beef “could eventually top $50 per pound”.
#15 At least 40 percent of the United States has been suffering from drought conditions for 101 consecutive weeks.
#16 Overall, this is the worst multi-year megadrought in the United States in 1,200 years.
#17 Europe is currently experiencing the worst drought that it has seen in 500 years. In some parts of central Europe, river levels have fallen so low that “hunger stones” are being revealed for the first time in centuries.
#18 Corn production for the entire EU could be down by as much as one-fifth in 2022.
#19 We are being warned that there will be crop losses in France of up to 35 percent.
#20 It is being projected that crop losses in some areas of the UK could be as high as 50 percent.
#21 It is being reported that there will be crop losses “of up to 50 percent” in some parts of Germany.
#22 Some farmers in Italy have already lost “up to 80% of their harvest”.
#23 Agricultural production in Somalia will be down about 80 percent this year.
#24 In eastern Africa, the endless drought has already resulted in the deaths of at least seven million animals.
#25 In China, they are facing the worst drought that they have ever experienced in recorded history.
#26 India normally accounts for 40 percent of the global rice trade, but we are being warned that production in that country will be way down in 2022 due to “considerable rainfall deficits in key rice producing states”.
#27 A third of the entire nation of Pakistan was under water after recent floods absolutely devastated that nation, and agricultural areas were hit particularly hard. As a result, the vast majority of the crops in the country have been “washed away”…
It has also been estimated that roughly 65 per cent of the country’s food basket — particularly crops like rice, cotton, wheat and onion — have been washed away.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, in an interview to CGTN earlier this week, offered an even starker outlook by saying that “about 80 to 90 per cent” of the country’s crops have been damaged by the floods.
#28 The prices of some fertilizers have tripled since 2021, while the prices of some other fertilizers have actually quadrupled.
#29 One payment company is reporting that the number of Americans using their app to take out short-term loans for groceries has risen by 95 percent.
#30 Demand at U.S. food banks is now even worse than it was during the height of the COVID pandemic.
#31 The World Health Organization is telling us that millions of people in Africa are now potentially facing a very real possibility of starving to death.
#32 According to the World Food Program, 828 million people around the world go to bed hungry each night. Needless to say, that number will soon be much higher.
#33 UN Secretary General António Guterres has publicly stated that he believes that it is likely that there will be “multiple famines” in 2023.
As global food supplies get tighter and tighter, so will the risk of civil unrest.
In fact, this has already been happening…
The risk of civil unrest has surged this year in more than half of the world’s countries, signaling a coming period of heightened global instability fueled by inflation, war, and shortages of essentials, a new analysis says.
According to Verisk Maplecroft, a UK-based risk consulting and intelligence firm, 101 of the 198 countries tracked on its Civil Unrest Index saw an increase in their risk of civil unrest between the second and third quarters of this year.
In recent weeks, we have seen absolutely massive protests in cities all over the planet.
But conditions aren’t even that bad yet.
So what will things be like in 2023 when it finally becomes exceedingly clear that there simply will not be enough food for everyone?
Wealthy countries will have the resources to buy up much of what is available on the market, and that means that many poor countries will deeply suffer.
If everything that you have read in this article sounds familiar, that is because we have been warned for years that such conditions were coming.
In 2023, there will be famines and civil unrest all over the globe.
This is not a drill. An extremely serious global food crisis has already begun, and I would encourage you to get prepared for what is ahead while you still can.
by Christopher Roach
Beginning in the 1980s, the American economy underwent substantial changes. Just as the earlier age of industrialization had transformed a rural and agriculture economy into an urban one focused on manufacturing, the industrial age gave way to the information age, with a greater priority for tasks like management, information processing, and finance. The workforce and concentrations of wealth followed suit, with finance and high-tech companies displacing the old industrial giants with their assembly lines and armies of workers.
Bill Clinton and Thomas Friedman told us that this was the way of the future and the path to prosperity. In the 1990s and 2000s, the GDP suggested they were right, as American companies focused on the higher-paying decision making and information management functions, while leaving less profitable, labor-intensive functions like manufacturing to others, particularly China.
This all seemed to work, until it didn’t.
COVID and Russian Sanctions Reveal the Fragility Caused By Outsourcing
COVID revealed how extended, China-dependent supply lines meant that more and more products were unavailable and could not be augmented by nonexistent domestic producers during a disruption. In parallel with the supply chain crisis came the Ukraine War and the boomerang effect of severe sanctions imposed on Russia. These effects are even more severe in Europe, which tried to sanction Russia while being highly dependent on Russian energy supplies.
At the beginning of the war, Europe and America treated Russia like a bit player, who would fold quickly under the sanctions’ weight. Commentators mocked Russia, saying its economy was no bigger than Italy’s, ignoring the huge differences between them in purchasing-power parity. Using crude GDP figures, they said Russia was merely a gas station with an army.
If this is true, then Europe is a car-maker with neither an army nor a domestic energy supply. Russia has absolutely essential supplies that Europe cannot easily replace, which has fueled a rally in the Russian ruble. It turns out the more traditional, “industrial age” Russian economy, which is focused on things like food, fertilizer, oil, natural gas, and making tanks, was better prepared than Europe’s economy for a war.
TikTok videos and artillery shells, while both contributing to the GDP, have quite different values once the bullets start flying.
The Information Age At War
As with the information age’s economic cheerleaders, military theorists in the West have also been seduced by the promises of modern technology and information systems. As the economy moved from one focused on high-value production to the management of information, the Defense Department and its top theorists imagined that warfighting would follow a similar evolution.
This anticipated shift had various labels, including the “Revolution in Military Affairs,” “digital dominance” and “fourth generation warfare.” The experts predicted that a high-tech military that detected, decided, and communicated the fastest would dominate the battlefield disproportionate to numbers of personnel, equipment, and firepower.
As with the real economy, the major premise had some flaws. Even in the information age, it turns out, things still need to be made and consumed—whether those things be cars, phones, or food. The often highly technical work of producing these necessities still must be done somewhere, frequently in China. This practice of outsourcing renders information age economies, like our own, vulnerable and dependent, even though self-sufficiency is particularly important in times of war.
Just as an economy needs raw materials and manufacturing, in warfare, communications are not self-sufficient; they must be in the service of delivering firepower. In other words, there still must be tanks and planes and artillery and men with guns to exploit the information being communicated.
While American military procurement has focused on various high-tech information systems, along with similarly sophisticated sensors and communication equipment, the force itself, though shockingly expensive, has also become very small. It is doubtful that the United States and NATO have the industrial capacity or sufficient stocks of weapons to fight a war of attrition with an industrial power, such as China or Russia. Our forces still use 40 year-old tanks, have spent a small fortune to field a new utility vehicle, and we are spending more for less capable ships. Our computers may be top notch, but weapons, numbers, and firepower are equally important.
A good example of the mistaken focus on technology and hubristic theories of future warfare is the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). It was supposed to be modular and fitted with the latest sensors and computer systems, but the design severely neglected firepower. Following directions from the Navy, it has minimal organic anti-air capability and no vertical launch missile systems.
In the end, the LCS was a very expensive patrol boat with a very short range and little more than a 57mm gun in the way of offensive armament. All the information dominance in the world would not make the LCS a match against modern warships with their over-the-horizon weapons systems, or even old ones, like the retired Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates.
NATO is Losing Its Proxy War Because It Neglected Its Defense Industrial Capacity
While the United States and NATO were trying to make a Ukrainian Army in their image, NATO patrons found comparatively few artillery shells, armored vehicles, or other resources in their warehouses to supply the Ukrainians. Ukraine’s president has repeatedly begged for more, but the West lacks the stores or the industrial capacity to fulfill these requests. It turns out much of the $30 billion that was promised to Ukraine was actually a payoff to defense contractors, who will have to replenish the meager and diminished Western stocks of high-tech missiles and weapon systems being quickly used up by Ukraine.
Before the conflict began, many criticized Russia’s military as outdated, with its large reserves of mothballed equipment and mountains of munitions in storage. But it appears that their approach has certain advantages and may prove prescient. While their strategy and tactics may be ugly and slow, they are slowly grinding down the Ukrainian military and gaining territory, and the Russians have the men, matériel, and a seemingly endless supply of artillery shells to continue.
Western experts, including retired U.S. Army Europe commander Ben Hodges, mistakenly predicted that Russia would run out of shells and missiles back in April or May. But here we are in July, and the Russians are apparently firing 50,000 shells or more per day in comparison to the Ukrainians’ 5,000. At the same time, Russian Kalibr missiles continue to hit sensitive targets deep within Ukraine. It looks like Russia has worked out its logistics problems.
Neither the Ukraine War, nor the recent conflicts involving ISIS, al Qaeda, and the Iraqis, resemble in any significant way the sanitized, information-dominated warfare projected by the theorists. America’s wars in the Middle East ended up being infantry-centric low intensity conflicts, where high levels of manpower may have helped, but were unavailable from the all-volunteer military. The Ukraine conflict appears to be a slightly more mobile version of World War I, with a heavy emphasis on attrition and firepower, after some initial, ham-handed efforts at “shock and awe” by the Russians.
The actual wars taking place require different technologies, skills, and equipment than those being developed to serve the projected revolution in military affairs. As the military is gearing up for “great power competition,” our leaders do not appear to be sufficiently sensitive to the lessons of very recent wars, the risks of nuclear escalation in any conflict with China or Russia, or the need for numbers, mass, and industrial power if, by some miracle, a “near peer” conflict remains conventional.
The whole tone of the discussion is reminiscent of the discredited predictions after World War II and the Gulf War that conventional warfare was basically over, and future war would be a “push button” affair.
Models vs. Reality
Excessive devotion to a theoretical model can distract one from what is visible before one’s eyes. During the height of the COVID pandemic, modelers insisted on the need for masks and lockdowns, even though both had no strong empirical foundation. As the masked and the locked-down had similar outcomes as everyone else, the advice of the theorists did not change, other than to become more shrill and insistent.
While I have been highly critical of America’s and NATO’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict, it still pains me to see our military weakened by a combination of bad ideas and faddish ideology. American military power is an important component of maintaining American independence.
The lessons of the Russia-Ukraine War are still emerging, but it appears likely, as with information-age predictions on the economy, that traditional “industrial age” skills, weapons, and preparations will prove to have an enduring place in warfare. National economic strength is the necessary foundation of military power. But what kind of economic strength?
Domestic industrial capacity, abundant supplies, sufficient manpower, reserves of raw materials, and a streamlined procurement system will prove to be more decisive than high tech communications and information systems in any future war, just as they are now proving decisive in Ukraine.
Without sufficient industrial capacity and firepower, high tech information systems merely communicate the obvious: you are going to lose.
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Christopher Roach is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness and an attorney in private practice based in Florida. He is a double graduate of the University of Chicago and has previously been published by The Federalist, Takimag, Chronicles, the Washington Legal Foundation, the Marine Corps Gazette, and the Orlando Sentinel. The views presented are solely his own.
Photo “Xi Jinping” by kremlin.ru. CC BY 4.0.
Wife Suzi and I were chatting the other day about someone in the industry who got a new job. She said, “Nah, he won’t make it, he’s not a Gunist.” I paused, thinking, “I don’t think I’ve ever heard that word, but it’s a good one.”
“So,” I said, “what’s a Gunist?” Suzi has been around our industry for quite some time. I was curious to know what insight she had on the matter.
“Oh, you know, someone like you. Somebody who’s lived it, breathed it, grew up with it, reads those boring books you read about old English guns, proof marks, all that reloading stuff, works on guns in the garage for hours at a time, you know — gun stuff. If I need to know something about guns, I ask you and you just about always know at least something about it. He’s not like that and doesn’t understand who we are, or how we think. Just because he can sell refrigerators, doesn’t mean he can work in our industry selling gun stuff.”
And it dawned on me, she was right.
In the “old” days, say, 20 or 30 years ago, the vast majority of executive level types in the biz were gun guys, or as Suzi says, “Gunists.” They had grown up shooting, hunting, collecting and more than likely, working in our industry. They understood their customers — because they were their customers. Fast-forward 20 or 30 years and in today’s “corporatized” companies, there is a tendency to think, “Well, if they can sell widgets, or tractors or used cars, they can sell guns.” But almost always it ends up not to be the case at all. There are exceptions, but not many.
The really bad thing is some of those who get brought into our industry have tended to bounce from company to company, wrecking havoc, getting fired, getting golden handshakes, only to turn up again in some executive position. It’s like, once you get a union card, you can get a job no matter what. “Hey, he was the VP of marketing there, so he could be the VP of marketing here,” sort of thinking. Not.
If you’re a “Gunist” and reading this now, you are probably aware of some pretty silly new products that have been introduced over the past 10 years or so. After a jaunt to SHOT Show, I have often come away thinking, “Did anyone who was an actual shooter even look at that product before they introduced it?” And the scary thing, is sometimes I find out that actually, no … nobody who was an actual shooter had looked at it before the VP of Sales (formerly a VP of sales at Enron or something and a definite non-shooter) simply ordered it launched and their Madison Ave. marketing firm did it. Then we usually witness what we call “the big silence” as people don’t buy whatever “it” is.
Of course, then that VP ends up at some other unsuspecting company and does the same thing. Repeat ad-nauseam. All of which is fine if all I’m going to do is complain about it. So let’s not just complain and wring our hands and repeat woe-is-me chants. What can we do about it?
Actually, it’s easy. Make yourself known. If (fill in the blank here) company announces, introduces or tries to sell you on a product that’s stupid — tell them. Pick up the phone, drop them an e-mail, fill out the survey, whatever it takes. Just say, “Hey, I don’t mean to be ugly, but that new digital/hi-tech/battery-powered/operator-based/polymer/CR123/lavender-laser/Kydex-wrapped widget, is … um … stupid. Don’t waste your money on it, because I won’t waste my money on it either. And besides, you shoulda’ asked a Gunist before you did it in the first place.”
Of course, some of those marketing disasters have served to make our industry interesting at times. I’ve still never actually seen a magazine for a Bren Ten 10mm auto. Can you say “Rogak P-18” auto pistol? Even the term “Short Magnum” may go the way of the Do-Do bird. And just because you can make it out of polymer, doesn’t mean you actually should. Well, at least then it could be recycled into those little booze bottles you get on airplanes.
So let’s cross our Gunist fingers and hope the industry looks harder for executives who know the difference between a .22 Hornet and a .22 LR, have some 1950s Gun Digests laying around that are well-thumbed, and are really sorry they can’t make the meeting on Wednesday because it’s dove season opener. Please?
Monument to the Warsaw Uprising
I stood on a balcony in Warsaw this past week to gaze at the Vistula River. The Vistula runs wide and deep, the guardian of Warsaw from the east. Poland has seen existential threats from all directions. In the 20th century, the danger came from Germany to the west and from Russia to the east. Poland was once an empire, but for much of its recent history, it has been a victim. And the Vistula is where we must remember an episode that may not have resulted in the most Polish deaths but that nonetheless exemplifies the brutality and betrayal that was visited upon the country not so long ago.
In 1945, Germany was collapsing. A quasi-government in Poland called the Lublin Committee was emerging from the ashes, preparing to build a free Polish government and allow Poland to take control of its destiny. The future of Poland had been discussed extensively at the meetings of the big three – Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin. Roosevelt and Churchill favored the Lublin Committee. Stalin was appalled. For Stalin, a pro-Soviet or at least a Soviet-controlled Poland was essential. Then as today, the Russian objective was strategic depth. Moscow had nearly fallen to the Germans, saved only by winter and distance. Controlling Poland was a simple matter of safety. Moscow therefore wanted the Lublin Committee replaced by a communist government under Russian control.
Roosevelt and Churchill opposed this, but they had a different sense of Stalin and how to handle him. Churchill saw Stalin as the moral and strategic danger to their plan to spread liberal democracy to the east. Roosevelt believed that whatever Stalin might be, he had to be persuaded that the Lublin Committee would not pose a threat to Russia. Roosevelt believed deeply in the power of personal relations to the point that it might overwhelm geopolitical imperatives. I don’t think he was naïve, but he believed Stalin had the upper hand militarily and that the only viable option was trying to convince him that the U.S. and Britain had no bad intentions. What was benign to them was a mortal threat to Stalin. Even so, Stalin indicated vaguely that the Lublin Committee would be respected.
During World War II, as the Russians approached Warsaw from the east, the Polish Home Army, a resistance force inside Warsaw, rose up against the Germans. At this moment, Stalin halted the Russian advance. His explanation was that Russian forces needed to regroup and be resupplied. Warsaw was Stalin’s for the taking. Some reorganization might have been needed, but the Russian army stopped for weeks. The Germans carried out the slaughter they were famous for, decimating the Home Army and allowing Russia to enter Warsaw as the only force capable of governing. The Lublin Committee was brushed aside, and a communist party subservient to Russia was imposed, remaining in power until the Soviet Union fell. In other words, Stalin stopped to give Hitler time to slaughter Stalin’s Polish enemies, and once completed, Stalin advanced into a devastated city.
This is where the Cold War began. Stalin did not trust Churchill or Roosevelt. In his view, Russia paid the price for crushing Hitler – in spite of the fact that he had allied with Hitler to invade and divide Poland in 1939. Roosevelt believed he could forge personal trust with Stalin to avoid conflict, which was perhaps the only course possible since a Western military insertion into Poland was impossible. The deep doubts about Russia were frozen into a long-term distrust and created 46 years of conflict.
When I stepped out on that balcony in Warsaw, a cocktail in hand, I did not know that this was the river behind which Stalin halted, and to my rear was the city where he welcomed Hitler’s slaughter of the Poles. I saw a deep and deceptively calm river but could not see the blood that had been spilled to assure Russia’s strategic depth. The irony was that I was in Warsaw to address the strategic challenge posed in 2022 by Russia in Ukraine, the massive Polish effort to sustain the Ukrainian resistance, and my own country’s presence in Poland, supplying weapons to Ukraine and with the 82nd airborne deployed.
Russia continues to seek strategic depth all these years later, and continues the contest it began on the banks of the Vistula. Russia lost Poland, and now it’s fighting a war to take hold of Ukraine. It no longer has a Germany to do its dirty work. But it is important we remember the manner in which Russia pursues imperatives: What Moscow must have generates its operating principles. It cannot give up the search for strategic depth, nor can it obtain it without the ruthlessness reality demands. But history has a great sense of humor and demands patience. How much patience Ukraine can muster is, of course, unclear. How many times Russia must play the same game is even more so.