How to Foster Famine

“Famine is always just a season or two away. It bides its time, waiting for a failure in the complex carbon-fuelled agricultural, transport and storage network that supports every city.” – Viv Forbes

How to Foster Famine

“Greens are inviting famine, humanity’s ancient enemy, into our cities via the green door.” – Viv Forbes

By Viv Forbes
7 June 2018

Famine has haunted humans for most of their history.

In the days of the Pharaohs, whenever the Nile River failed to flood, Egypt starved. Joseph was called in and he organised stockpiling of grain for famine relief.

Even mighty Rome suffered famines – in 436 BC thousands of starving people threw themselves into the Tiber.

The cold Middle Ages in Europe were haunted by famines. In the 11th and 12th century, famines averaged one in 14 years. Even in England there were 22 recorded famines in the 13th century. In 1235, 20,000 people died in London and people ate horse flesh, bark and grass. There were great famines in India, Bengal, France, China and Russia.

Victims of the Great Famine of 1876–78 in India (British Royal Photography Services).

In more recent times, man-made famines were more common in the Comrade Societies – some wit once remarked that “Soviet agriculture has just suffered its 23rd consecutive year of unseasonal weather”. Some famines were deliberate policy such as Stalin’s liquidation of the Kulaks in 1918 and his starvation of Ukraine in the 1932-33, while other dictators like Mao in China and Pol Pot in Cambodia caused famine with destructive collectivist farm policies.

Famines eased in Europe and North America from about 1860, partly because crops improved with warmer weather and also because of the great increases in land opened up in the Americas for farming and grazing.

Biggest expansion in food production started with the steam engine

But the biggest expansion in food production started with the invention of the coal-powered steam engine – the iron and steel smelted with coal, and the engines, generators and machines powered by coal and then oil, created a food and population explosion.

First were the steam-powered traction engines which pumped water and pulled iron ploughs, planters, harvesters, freight wagons and forest logs. Millions of crop-eating draught horses and oxen went to the butchers and no longer consumed half of the farm crops produced.

Then hunters armed with carbon-powered gunpowder decimated the wild herds of bison, antelope and deer grazing the prairies of the Americas, replacing them with barbed wire and beef cattle. (Most people today probably disapprove of such species slaughter; but it happened, and the food produced on that land now supports farmers, towns and millions of people.)

The cumbersome steam tractors were replaced by internal combustion engines burning kerosene, petrol and diesel.

The model T utility and Fordson tractors created another farming revolution with more food produced with fewer food-consuming draft animals and farm labourers.

Fordson tractor (Wikipedia Commons)

Coal-powered trains and petrol-powered trucks and buses moved food, and motorised artillery, cavalry, baggage trains and ambulances moved armies. Millions of ever-hungry and ever-thirsty horses, mules and oxen were removed from the food and water queues.

The vast crop-lands which had been used to produce food for draft animals now produced meat, eggs, milk, butter and grains for humans.

Galvanised iron, steel and concrete (all made using two carbon emitting raw materials, coal and limestone) became invaluable for hay sheds, dairies, cold rooms and silos allowing farmers to store farm produce for droughts and winters.

Moving food quickly to where it is needed

Engines were soon powering refrigerated trucks, road trains, trains and ships that moved food quickly from farms, factories, abattoirs and mills to refrigerated storage in distant cities, thus greatly reducing the amount of food wasted. (But some stupid/green French politician wants an end to the internal combustion engine by 2040, and some foolish Australians want to put a carbon emissions tax on vehicles.)

The next revolution in food production was the discovery and manufacture of nitrate fertilisers and urea using the natural gases nitrogen, methane and carbon dioxide. These fertilisers, assisted by vast irrigation schemes, gave a huge boost to crop growth.

This stunning food revolution based on combustion engines, hydro-carbon fuels, natural gas fertilisers, irrigation and refrigeration has banished famine from the first world.

Famine is always just a season or two away

But every system has its limits. Famine is always just a season or two away. It bides its time, waiting for a failure in the complex carbon-fuelled agricultural, transport and storage network that supports every city.

When hunter-gatherers experienced food shortages, they followed the rains, scavenged for food and largely survived. When farmers and fences replaced hunter-gathers they cultivated large areas of land to grow grasses and grains for poultry, cattle, goats, sheep and pigs. This created a huge increase in food production, but it also tied the farmers to the land – when drought struck, they could not follow the storms.

As farming grew, so too did the dependent cities of factory workers, merchants, tax collectors, rulers, bureaucrats, policemen and soldiers, none of whom produced food. More recently this hungry overhead has been joined by a growing army of welfare and aid recipients, political immigrants and refugees. However, when drought or severe cold threatens the food supply, the cities cannot move away.

Just one thing is now required to create a modern famine – widespread crop failure.

What causes crop failures?

Unsuitable conditions in one or more of just three key atmospheric conditions: temperature (unseasonal frost, snow or heat); moisture (extreme floods or droughts); and carbon dioxide (too little to sustain healthy plant growth).

The Little Ice Age ended around the start of the 20th century. Today’s warm climate is very farm-friendly and tends to have most effect on the cold lands of the northern hemisphere, thus increasing the acreage and productivity of the vast crop lands there. Warmth also drives moisture and carbon dioxide plant food out of the oceans into the atmosphere, creating a much more crop-friendly environment. The extra moisture shows up as more precipitation and the extra carbon dioxide we see today makes plants grow faster and stronger. Extra warmth, moisture and carbon dioxide help greatly to increase crop yields and banish famine.

However, Earth’s climate is always changing, and there is significant evidence that we are past the warm peak of this climate cycle and are on the road to the next advance of the ice.

“Every source of climate information in the Northern Hemisphere shows that the Earth experienced the warmest climate of the last 100,000 years about 6,000 years ago and since then (especially over the past 4,000 years) the Northern Hemisphere has been experiencing a gradual cooling. That does not mean that each century is colder than the one before, but it means that each millennium is colder than the one before.”

John Kehr, “The Inconvenient Skeptic”

It is global cooling that poses a dire threat to world food supplies

All we hear from the climate industry and the dark green media are the claimed dangers of global warming. However it is global cooling that poses a dire threat to world food supplies.

First the frosts and snow come earlier and stay later – the growing season gets shorter. Then winter snow persists into summer, ice sheets and glaciers advance and boreal forests and tundra invade grasslands – the great northern crop lands are forced to move south. The cold also reduces evaporation from oceans, lakes and streams, thus reducing rainfall. Growing ice sheets cause falling sea levels, dewatering coastal fish farms and breeding grounds. And, in the final blow, cold oceans and lakes absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, further reducing plant growth. Icy eras reinforce all three crop destroyers: cold, drought and carbon-dioxide starvation.

In addition to climate dangers, foolish green zealots in the comfortable western democracies are also nibbling away at the area of land and sea allowed for harvesting food.

An anti-life campaign

They are also seeking global powers in an anti-life campaign to encourage global cooling by reducing the carbon dioxide content of Earth’s atmosphere. Luckily their costly anti-carbon goals will have no effect on the grand cycles of global climate, but they will harm the cost, capacity and reliability of our complex energy-dependent food production storage and distribution system.

The Green energy they idolise is intermittent and unreliable – it breeds network instability and power failures.

The fierce dog of famine is tethered outside the city gate

Our abundant supplies of reliable energy for the production, harvesting, transport, processing, storage and distribution of food have kept him at bay. But still he waits patiently for foolish politicians or dreadful weather to let him loose.

A natural disaster affecting key Asian oil refineries or a naval blockade of the fleet of tankers carrying petroleum products to Australia would stop road transport of food to Australian cities in a few days.

Just one decent regional blackout would empty supermarket shelves and create long queues at every service station; two frigid winters would see food prices soar; and a return of the Little Ice Age or worse will see starvation stalking the cities.

Greens are inviting famine, humanity’s ancient enemy, into our cities via the green door.

Viv Forbes
Washpool Qld Australia

Cartoon by permission of Steve Hunter

Further Reading:

Steam Traction Engines:

Climate change (they mean global warming) may increase arable land:

Climate Change (they mean global warming) should help corn production:

Speculative Climate Effects VS Indisputable Fossil Fuel Benefits:

Henry Hazlitt: “The Conquest of Poverty”

Cold caused the Permian Mass Extinction:

Green Europe may be on the Verge of Blackouts:

To The Horror Of Global Warming Alarmists, Global Cooling Is Here:

Speculative climate chaos v. indisputable fossil fuel benefits:

Wind Disappears in Britain Leaving Turbines at a Standstill

13 thoughts on “How to Foster Famine”

  1. I chuckle when people tell me they plan to grow a garden should things go bad.
    I’ve been gardening for 10 years now and I am not at all certain I could sustain myself and my family with our little plot.
    Not only that, the learning curve is very steep.
    Some things will just not grow in certain areas. For example, I cannot get russet potatoes to do anything but rot. Red potatoes, however, do great.
    Pole beans are useless around here. Snap pea,s though, do great.
    I would not have known these things without suffering many disheartening set backs.
    If a garden is part of your survival plan, plant it now and learn how to keep it.

    • excellent points. Also make sure to learn how to continue to grow your garden next year, from what you grow this year. How to collect seeds, etc to grow your crop again.

  2. I read it takes 9 calories of inedible energy to put one calorie of food on the table.

    The left wants higher energy taxes to “save the planet.”. The right wants the same to build infrastructure.

    We are ruled by people who hate us.

    • “We are ruled by people who hate us.” Thank you for that succinct truth.
      The left may want one thing and the right another, but what the rulers want is being implemented: ICLEI is the organization in charge of implementing Agenda 21 at the local level world-wide. In the US, as of 2011, 600 counties and cities had become members. Everywhere in the US are being built low income apts & condos. To wish for the privacy of a home & yard is to wish for the “unsustainable.”

      Please look at ICLEI on the net– especially their “agendas”, if you can get past the sickly sweet rhetoric.

  3. An excellent article & a perfect cartoon. Thank you.

    “Behind the Green Mask” is only 168 pages, yet it has explained to me perfectly the means by which Agenda 21 is already being imposed. I was easily able to confirm that it is happening here, in my small city.

    Reducing the use of the energy which multiplies the results of our labor is prerequisite to their excuse to herd us into smaller areas. They are already saying that services (like roads and electricity) cannot be supplied outside of certain areas. There are increased regulations against using your own rural property, more & more.

    Freeway offramps are being closed, and macadam is being torn up & replaced w gravel. The excuse: “Well, we can’t maintain it.”

  4. Agree with 99% but stop on the hating of horses n oxen;
    they ate then – and still do – the waste from the crops and grazed the weeds n fallowed paddocks. They earned their food n keep.
    The rich man’s carriage horses, and the king’s private stables, were a bigger drain as they did little work n did get grain feed.
    We might get more speed n volume carried by machinery, that’s true. However, the road’s volume simply replaced some of the grazed areas in volume I’d reckon.
    and horse upkeep is way less than a modern car with all the mech n fees to run the darn thing
    I appreciate the car n my tractor, don’t get me wrong. but if a cme hits bigtime, old dobbin might just be our bestest friend again;-)
    P.S. dobbins and diasys (Daisy the cow) exhaust feed back TO the land they they took it from. No machine can say that

  5. Very well thought out and researched. One point not covered was the role railroads played in ending famines in Europe. They enabled movement of foodstuffs from areas of surplus to areas with failled crops–something impossible for horse and oxen-powered wagons.

  6. So far people have had a rather pampered existence in first world countries in the post WW2 era generally speaking. Most people are not mentally equipped to handle hard times that afflict the majority. There has been for 2 to 4 generations plenty of food and water, decent shelter and clothing, medicare, education, transportation both public and personal. For most it has been pretty good and it has been very easy to imagine that it could go on forever as if as a species we are entitled to it. This is as we are about to find out folly and likely fatal for many. If you want to destroy someone in whole or in part you would start by getting them to believe something that isn’t true and leaves them in a situation where they can not adapt or save themselves.

  7. Australia has about one month of fuel reserves and is especially vulnerable because we never used our brains and switched to gas.

    Australia has little economic oil left – maybe with fracking this may not be true – but Australia has copious quantities of coal and gas with hundreds of wells drilled in the 70’s and 80’s just capped because there was no oil.

    If we hadn’t listened to globalisation economists we may have developed coal to oil technology and even switched internal combustion to gas.

    But we didn’t.

    However I suspect that whilst we are vulnerable, nowhere is really “safe” without their own oil supplies.

    If the worst were to happen I easily imagine international oil trade will cease – the producers will keep it themselves. Desert oil-rich countries probably won’t be able to trade for food if supplies drop and the food producing countries have to feed their own people.

    The US may be OK – who is going to deny food to an armed population ?

    • Somebody has to grow/produce that food. Farmers are taken for granted in the West, but there aren’t many left, and we are getting old. Here in southern Ontario, Canada, our provincial government has all but abandoned rural parts of the province.

  8. Quote:

    The Little Ice Age ended around the start of the 20th century. Today’s warm climate is very farm-friendly and tends to have most effect on the cold lands of the northern hemisphere,

    This is incorrect the LIA ended with the Daltion GSM 1790 to 1820.

    A cool period, not a GSM followed from 1890 to 1940 this was 5 similar output solar cycles called a Gliessberg period, these reoccur every 70 to 80 years the next from Geoff Sharps 200 year solar GSM predictor is showing a warmer Gliessberg period similar in energy output to SC20 for each cycle from 2078 to 2111.

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