Living in Bomb Time — 21
Here’s an example of a sudden agricultural output failure.
People tell me constantly what a “Doomer” I am. Here on Medium I am regarded as a “crank” by the more mainstream climate writers. My recent prediction (On Politics, War by Other Means — 03) that we are about to have a massive “Climate Shock”, one that’s going to cause waves of global famines killing around one billion people over the next five years, has probably reduced my status to “crazy crank”.
If you are reading my pieces, you either disagree with that judgement or find my lunacy entertaining. Either way, here’s something that should make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Consider it the first domino in the cascade of agricultural failures that are going to play out over the next 5 years.
Oat production crashed 40% in the US last year.
Canada, a major exporter of oats to the U.S., also had a miserable year, with the smallest crop since 2010. What caused it?
Drought conditions last year pushed North American oat harvests to near record low levels. Right now the American West is experiencing the worst drought in at least 1,200 years. The drought, which began in 2000, had previously been considered the worst in 500 years.
Then it dramatically accelerated in 2021, when about two-thirds of the American West was in extreme drought conditions. Now it’s the worst drought in 1,200 years. Since the 900’s. When droughts caused the collapse of the Pueblo cultures and the Maya.
That’s what kind of droughts we are talking about.
Droughts have consequences
U.S. oat production declined 39% last year from 2020, with harvested acreage at a record low 650 thousand acres, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Canada, a major U.S. oat supplier, saw its smallest oat crop since 2010, according to Agriculture Canada.