Monday, August 27, 2012

Grantham, Dystopia and the Coming Food Crisis (Energy Bulletin)

Jeremy Grantham on ‘Welcome to Dystopia’: We Are ‘Entering A Long-Term And Politically Dangerous Food Crisis’
by Joe Romm

Summary of the Summary: We are five years into a severe global food crisis that is very unlikely to go away. It will threaten poor countries with increased malnutrition and starvation and even collapse. Resource squabbles and waves of food-induced migration will threaten global stability and global growth. This threat is badly underestimated by almost everybody and all institutions with the possible exception of some military establishments.

The yield per acre for wheat in England, France, and Germany and the yield for rice in Japan. These top-producing countries for the two most important cereals for direct human consumption have failed in the last 10 or more years to increase productivity.

Uber-hedge fund manager Jeremy Grantham has released another important discussion. Grantham, a self-described “die hard contrarian,” is one of the few leading financial figures who gets both global warming and growing food insecurity, two cornerstones of Climate Progress analysis.

I’m going to excerpt his analysis, which comprises the entire quarterly newsletter from the former Chairman and now Chief Investment Strategist of GMO Capital, which has more than $100 billion in assets under management. Grantham’s work makes very clear that the global economy is a Ponzi scheme.

In Grantham’s blunt 2Q 2010 letter (see “Grantham: Everything You Need to Know About Global Warming in 5 Minutes“), he wrote “Global warming will be the most important investment issue for the foreseeable future.” Then in his January 2011 newsletter he wrote about “Things that Really Matter in 2011 and Beyond”: “Global warming causing destabilized weather patterns, adding to agricultural price pressures.” Later that year, he wrote another blunt analysis “Time to Wake Up: Days of Abundant Resources and Falling Prices Are Over Forever.”


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