Food & Energy Crisis

Food & Energy Crisis
By Shubber Abbas

You’re driving home from work and you notice your vehicle is almost out of gas. You stop by the nearest gas station only to find out it has been shut down due to empty reserves. You then remember another station just a few hundred meters down the road and breathe a sigh of relief. As you turn in, you realize this one is closed too. Eventually, you come to the conclusion that every station in the world has run out of gas. You have been thinking about switching over to alternate means of fuel such as ethanol or hydrogen, but realize all of that is only possible if there is oil to create and maintain it. You start to panic and curse under your breath that you should have gotten one of those new electric hybrids.

The above scenario, exactly that way or not, is going to happen. Eventually, all the fossil fuels on earth will run out. “If oil production remains constant until it’s gone, there is enough to last 42 years. Oil wells produce less as they become depleted which will make it impossible to keep production constant. Similarly, there is enough natural gas to last 61 years and there is enough coal to last 133 years.”[1] What this means is that we as a human race, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity, will have to find another means of energy to fuel our ever-growing need to expand and conquer. If we start planning now, we do have the resources and technology to maintain ourselves in the future.

Alternate sources of energy have always been in use before the industrial revolution. Water mills, wind mills, and natural physical energy such as gravity. A more modern form of renewable power is solar energy. The sun is an almost endless amount of this type. It produces about 4 million tons of light energy per second[2], yet on a global scale, we’re not even tapping into one ten thousandths the amount that is possible. Another source of renewable modern energy is wind power. As of January of this year, 2010, wind power supplied about 1.1% of Canada’s total electricity demand, with 99 farms, for a total of 3294MW. Thankfully, The Canadian Wind Energy Association has come up with a proposal for reaching about 55 000 MW by 2025; this would sustain about 20% of the country’s total energy demand.

As the race for more energy begins, another problem crops up. The global food crisis. When you look in the local grocery stores nowadays, you seem to find fruits and vegetables from all over the world. Do you ever consider how that certain banana, watermelon, mango or strawberry came to sit on the shelf in your grocery store? The soil was plowed. The seeds were planted. The chemicals were sprayed. The fruits were collected and shipped across the world. And every machine in each of those steps runs on   oil.

As an avid backyard tomato grower in my childhood, I find it extremely stupid that all of this is happening when we can grow our own, organic, fresh fruits and vegetables locally.  It is so much cheaper to produce, and not as hard as you might think:

Plant seeds –> let it rain –> ??? –> PROFIT!

So when the oil runs out, we will have to grow our own foods to sustain ourselves. A classic example of this was when the Soviet Union stopped exporting oil to Cuba. Tragedy, right? Wrong. What the Cuban government told its people was that they should grab any sort of arable land that is available and start growing. After minor hardships, the Cuban people were eating better than ever before!4[3] They were growing free food. If we take this lesson into consideration, the only way to continue producing food is if we go back to the good ol’ fashioned pull-the-plow-by-a-cow method.

As Henry David Thoreau once said, “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” This means that as we might start off with a bit of hard ship in the beginning, we will naturally adapt and be free of our current state of corruption.  This doesn’t just apply to fruits and vegetables; this also goes for live crop, such as sheep, cow and chickens. Our Prophets (Peace be upon them) were the ultimate examples for us, as a great many of them were shepherds.

What do you think you can do about this inevitability? For starters, you could purchase a solar panel.  Maybe start running things off of that and look into other such forms to keep your energy use as minimal as possible, if not off the grid totally.

  • You don’t need overpriced pieces of cloth sewn together by child workers to keep yourself looking nice
  • Don’t drive those huge behemoths as Hummer’s, Ford 150’s, Trucks, etc
  • Use public transit
  • Start your own backyard garden with tomatoes, mint, and strawberries. This way you won’t have to buy them. Easily grown plants are plants grown easily

This is just a small section of how we’re trapped by our so called ‘democratically’ elected prime ministers and presidents. Start thinking for yourself, and don’t believe everything you hear.


[1] http://planetforlife.com/

[2] http://helios.gsfc.nasa.gov/qa_sun.html#sunenergymass

[3] Joseph, Peter. Zeitgeist II – The Addendum, 2008