Monday 17 July 2017

Scare Stories

There have been two stories in the media that have excited the various pundits who try to control our thinking. The more important is the person to play the role of "Dr. Who" in the coming series.

Apparently, it is no longer the sort of chap you would never invite to a party but an active female who reminds you of the Head Cook in the school kitchens only wearing trousers. When it first started in November 1963 after a few minutes we decided it wasn't for us.

The lesser story is that we are all going to starve if we do not stay in the EU. Committees and commentators are queuing up to say that food supplies would become insecure, unsafe and increasingly expensive if British exit succeeded. Around thirty years ago I recall seminars and lectures saying the same about food supplies.

Only they were not discussing it in terms of Europe, in or out, but trying to tell us that something was happening which if it went on would be as bad, if not worse, than a nuclear world war or a collapse of major states for economic reasons usually related to monetary and debt problems.

At that time they were careful to stick to the numbers and implications to avoid issues of race, culture and others which would mean that the real threat was relegated in other conflicts of ideas. Simply, there were few places in the world where the population was becoming relatively static or reducing.

Most were others where populations were either still growing steadily at relatively predictable rates and others where growth was rapid and there were uncertainties as to what would happen when food supplies became inadequate or failed. This last group was largely composed of the poorest states with least economic growth or potential.

Their concern was that there had to be a point when humanity had demanded so much of the Earth's resources that no more increase was possible. The lessons of history were that there had been many times when one area or another could no longer feed the people dependent on it.

This had been largely countered in the mid 20th Century when progress in transport, storage, technology of food and management of the land enabled increases of supply. So when I was born into a UK population of around 40 million emigration was regarded as essential to the future and this was reinforced by war and its aftermath. Now I am in a population of 65 million where immigration is said to be essential for economic reasons.

But the Greens tell us that time is running out for Earth and its ability to feed us . There are scientists who claim that the larger crops arising from the way the land is worked mean that there is a limit to how many more the land can produce and before that decreases will begin and in parts of the world are already evident.

In short food supplies are destined to become insecure, unsafe and increasingly expensive whatever happens and on a world basis. The Brexit issue is only at the margin and requires us to trust Brussels to manage it properly.

Those areas that suffer worst will become the ones from which large scale population transfers occur to other places, any places which have basic food. This has happened in the past in many places and in the Atlantic Isles in recent centuries. It happened in Germany in the late 1940's. We forget this too easily.

Back in the 1940's we knew a man with a van who now and again on his work travels would go out to farms to buy potatoes for cash, no questions asked. They did cost more, but we were never short of spuds.

1 comment:

  1. Round here there are people who could benefit from diminished food supplies.