Category Archives: Overpopulation

Seven Billion by Halloween and the Future of Food

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Some demographer wag has estimated that when the kiddies are in costume looking for tricks or candy treats this coming Monday on Halloween Night there will be born a future little “Halloweener” somewhere on this planet that will break the population sound barrier, as it were. He or she will push the pedal to the metal or our apocalyptically quickening times to a speed of “Mac 7” – as in Seven billion people sucking out the dwindling resources of this ecologically overwhelmed planet. The “trick” will be, how we can “treat a sustainable future for that child where his or her belly will be nourished with food and his or her body will receive fresh water and adequate clothing. Will his or her mind be educated properly or dulled by disease and famine? Will his or her hopelessness be the seed of anger and desperation as they enter their teens and twenties. Will their anger be harnessed by a hundred Hitler’s in a near future world that descends into fascism to stem the emergency of breakdowns in global food, water and hope for the swelling multitudes of Earth?

The prophetic collective message from Nostradamus to the biblical seers, from native visions to Vedic, Islamic and Buddhist visions of the future bodes ominous. In effect, they all mostly support Nostradamus’ famous warning in Century 1 Quatrain 67 of his 1550s magnum-prognosticating opus, Les Propheties:

La grand famine que ie sens approcher,
Souuent tourner, puis estre vniuerselle:
Si grande & longue qu’un viendra arracher,
Du bois racine, & l’enfant de mammelle.

The great famine which I sense approaching,
Will often turn (up in various places) then become universal:
It will be so vast and long lasting,
That (people) grab roots from the trees and children from the breast.

This is a “real” Halloween horror story an awakening of human intelligence can forestall.

Today I am posting my 16 March 2011 interview for Raw It was written days after the great Japanese quake and tsunami shattered, then flooded out of existence, thousands of acres of Japanese farmlands along with claiming nearly 30,000 victims. The Fukushima nuclear reactor crisis further tainted surviving agricultural lands and put into doubt the fishing grounds off the northeast coast of the main (Honshu) Island in the Japanese archipelago.

Much of the farmlands of Queensland Australia had already been flooded by cyclones of record-breaking size and ferocity in January 2011. Central China’s winter grain crop had also failed due to bad weather.

Soon after Japan lost much of its agricultural crops near Sendai to the tsunami, the supercharged, globally warming spring rains and deadly tornado season flooded the Mississippi and Missouri river systems in the American bread basket states that are pivotal for feeding the planet. Hundreds of thousands of acres of corn and wheat fields were drowned along with many other foodstuffs.

Summer came, burned, and desiccated the peanut, corn and wheat crops of Texas to the tune of a five billion dollar loss. Then came the typhoons in Asia inundating the rice fields from Southeast China to the Philippines and Vietnam. Then came a monsoon torrent that by itself, and without cyclonic storms, drowned the crops of eastern India and nearly all of Thailand in the worst monsoon floods of a half-century. As I write this, the deluge has run down the rivers into Thailand’s capital. Bangkok streets are underwater.

The impact on rising food prices and threats of famine for 2012 is a major theme in my upcoming e-book Predictions for 2012. These fundamental problems arising from food either being drowned or destroyed by a more violent climate or food surviving the onslaught becoming too expensive for the vast majority of its seven billion people has pretty much fallen off the radar of ratings and interest of the mainstream corporate news. Certainly, other stories concern us now: the loss of American leadership and credibility in finding economic solutions to its debt problems. After Greece a deepening EU banking crisis concerning Italy and Spain all point to a slide back into double-digit recession by the end of this year or early in 2012. The year 2011 keeps pace as the year of 12 disasters with yet another deadly major quake, magnitude 7.2, this time in Van, Turkey.

Yet, worldwide food prices continue to rise, because of historic flooding and droughts in the precious cornucopia of wheat and cornfields in Australia, Southeast Asia, South Asia and North America. The impact of all this strikes like a hammer on the alarm bell of population passing beyond sustainable levels this Halloween. That night we dress up as ghosts and play act scaring and being scared; yet, Halloween 2011 will mark something really scary. Tens of millions of those in costume playing skeletal ghosts today could become skeletal ghosts of famine by the tens of millions, perhaps billions, in the coming decades.

This milestone of 7 billion consumers was on my mind when back on March 16, I typed my response to Ingrid Weithers-Barati’s questions for our Raw Epicurean interview. It contains my oracle’s original take on the threat and solutions. I think it is best timed to share these passages with you again, on the eve of Halloween’s seven billionth child.


INGRID (Weithers-Barati): I read your January 31st post “Revolution in Egypt: From Food to Global Fuel Crisis”. You mentioned David Brinkley and his thought on future food crisis. Great article.

Thank you.

INGRID: Picking up where we left off just over a year ago, and all that has happened since then with big agribusiness via senate passing bills, pesticides, and genetically engineered “food”, it seems our current food system is leading us down a dangerous path toward an emergency with food sustainability and security. I wonder are we already there?

We are already there; however, not primarily for the reasons you cited above. These are peripheral to the fundamental problem: we cannot sustain our current growing food demand on a dwindling and rapidly degrading agricultural supply.

The FAO estimates the world will need to produce 70 percent more food by 2050. The miraculous expansion of our crop yields in the last 50 years came from technological advances in what has been hailed as a Green Revolution in food production.

This near-miraculous advance in harvest volume could match our multiplying billions up to our entry into the 21st century. It could absorb our hunger demand at least to sustain a population of 5 billion in the late 1980s jumping to 6 billion in 1999, jumping again in the current year of 2011 to 7 billion.

If you would permit me to take a simile about food sustainability down an unorthodox path, the Green Revolution’s advances could absorb our hunger like the Ganges River in India famously absorbs human and industrial pollution. It has been scientifically proven that the Ganges with its loamy mud bottom is particularly unique in its ability to bear, filter out and purify itself of the burden of human and industrial waste. This fact may be one of the objective reasons why many tens of millions who live upon its crowded banks believe the water of the Ganges is “holy.”

With the turn of the century, something changed. The holy Ganges’ “hole” in which people dumped their filth and forgot it, ignoring the consequences of what happens downstream, has reached a critical mass of mess. Now large sections of the river are dead, other sections dry out for part of the year from over water use.

Food is like a river pouring out of the cornucopia made from our technological advances in agriculture. Around the same time the Ganges started going fowl, the river of food sustenance could no longer absorb our growing dump-and-forget of our hunger demands upon it. Our cornucopia cannot increase the flow. Our current understanding of how to increase crop yields can no longer satiate our growing number of hungry mouths to feed. People expect technology to refresh the Cornucopia, make it larger. Each person looking primarily to his or her own immediate sustenance only. They throw hunger into the river, letting the threat of an oncoming global famine “flow”, as it were, down a river of denial.

I understand that describing human hunger as a form of pollution is unusual, but new ages require new definitions from which new solutions can be created. The unconsciousness of our voracious appetite is a kind of pollution that is inhuman. It is fine for an animal not burdened with sentience to mechanically, instinctively eat and breed to abandon because natural forces beyond its mindless control will cull and decimate the species through the destruction of the range it creates, automatically restoring balance.

The bark beetle mindlessly destroys its forest resource. Lightning strikes, and the forest with the host of beetles is burnt down. The beetle population is decimated and new forest growth begins unhindered.

Instinct, then, is just a cog in Mother Nature’s unconscious balancing mechanism. Yet, this lingering habit of instinct, which is perfectly natural for an unconscious animal, carried over to human beings is perverse, because humans are gifted with a sentience that could understand what animals cannot. They can perceive the need to manage their population so that it grows in balance with the resources available.

A human behaving like a bark beetle, mindlessly populating and devouring its range to the point of crisis, thus setting itself for natural decimation cannot call him or herself, fully human. On the one hand we take too much of its water and on the other our genetic tampering could make the river of our food flow sterile by disrupting the fertility of seeds in unknown ways. We are spoilers of that river; carelessly dumping our hunger demand into the river of food production is like an inhuman act of pollution, like a beetle destroying the forest. The beetle cannot help itself. The human potentially can. That is why I am calling this human abuse today something more than exhausting or mutating a resource river of sustenance. It is pollutingly ugly, because it is animal-like, un-thought out, unintelligent.

Act like a bark beetle or a rat and you will die like bark beetles and rats, humanity.

Use that big brain, and you will not die like rats. You will live like human beings, aware of yourselves and your place as guardians and sustainers of balance in Mother Nature’s world.

Voracious appetite is animal.

Harmony is a human trait.


In these times of quickening history, I invite you to join my  free newsletter list.

For those, right now, who wish to move beyond being scared of the future, I invite you to read my take on Osho’s Noah’s Ark of Consciousness Prophecy. Only by encountering and understanding our fears can a seed of harmony, a human trait, give birth to a fearless future.

John Hogue
(26 October 2011)

Books by John Hogue

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