Friday, March 22, 2013

Coming Famines and Epidemics

In the past, everyone worried about how much oil or other forms of energy (primarily fossil fuels) would be available from the earth.  This is no longer a worry, but there is the question of whether the governments of the earth will allow us to have it.  The technology and known resources exist to sustain us for at least 40 years.  And at a pretty reasonable cost (not like we remember it, but not bad). 

The real problem will be food.

The world population has just hit the 7 billion person mark, up from 6 billion twelve years ago. The world adds 75 million each year.  Back around twelve years ago, someone asked me how many people I thought  the world could support, and I told them about 1 or 2 billion.  They said I was wrong, as the world already had 6 billion.  I just smiled at them and walked away.  I don't think they got it.  Our days were numbered, even then.  At this point, I think maybe 3 billion, but no where near 7 billion. Anyone remember "Soylant Green"?  Now would be a good time to take another look at that movie.  It isn't far off.

Currently there is plenty of food, and only scattered reports of famine along a line from Congo to Indonesia.  This could be deceptive, as there isn't much food in the pipeline and none in any kind of stockpile or warehousing system.   Some of the stuff I have studied says that when the stock levels (most of which is at distribution points or on trucks) drops below a critical point, where people will pay almost any price for it, the price spikes up rapidly.  It isn't a smooth curve, and before it gets critical, there is very little movement in price. (For more information, there is a link in the "link farm section of this blog.)

Another thing about higher population density is that epidemics will spread much more readily through densely populated areas.  This has happened before, with the loss of more than 25% of the world population in less than a century.  And that was without jet airplanes.  Today it could happen in just a couple years.

In the near future I hope to discuss the consequences and complications of high population densities across the planet, which I think will eventually culminate in the third and Fourth Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

The recent strain of influenza made its way through our population at a fairly high rate seems to be dying out. It spread at major epidemic levels that would have had schools closing during the 2009 pandemic. This level of spread normally goes on for a few weeks, until the number of easily infected people begins to be reduced.  Once there are fewer easy hosts, the epidemic dies out quickly.

In addition, there seems to be some evidence that there are more people, than in the past, who just don't react to the shots by building the expected level of immune response.  This is a disturbing trend, meaning that either the current vaccines are flawed, or like antibiotics, the end of the vaccine age is upon us. 

I wrote about the epidemic of 2009, as it spread into the US.  Within days and lasting for a few weeks there was panic and people would beg, borrow and steal to get the vaccine.  Two weeks later, as the news cycle progressed and people weren't dying in the streets, the panic turned almost instantly into complacency, and they couldn't even give the vaccine away.  The epidemic went on for a few more weeks after that, and even returned the following school year, but without the panic.  Of course, part of the problem was that media whipped the people into a panic.  Another part of the problem was that politicians were using the anxiety for their own political purposes.  (Don't believe in each other, or in God.   Believe in big government.)

One of the things that I said during that pandemic still is true:
There will be other pandemics, and some of the things that could be learned from this one could be useful in the next one.

First, you need to prepare for a pandemic before it gets much news attention. Maybe before the first case. Do the simple stuff, have some extra soap and other supplies on hand. Get in the habit of washing your hands every time you come into your house from any public place. 

Good links for background.
Current info for this article found here:

Then my older blog entries.
The May 4 2009 and October 25 2009 articles are especially good.

The May 4th artical links to this through the words "pandemic panic"

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