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What Low Oil Prices Really Mean

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Since the start of 2016, oil prices have swung between $27 and $42 per barrel, about a quarter of the 2008 peak crude oil price of $145. On February 16, oil ministers from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar, and Venezuela agreed to a tentative deal to freeze their production in an attempt to boost prices. This was a characteristic move. For decades, this is how the oil business has worked. Producers carefully control production to try to match supply to demand. But there’s a lag between these decisions and their effects, creating the boom and bust cycles so typical in the business.

In reaction to this freeze, oil prices not surprisingly jumped 5%. But the next day, they promptly fell back below $30. One week later, the oil minister of Iran, a country that had no intentions to join the freeze, and in fact still plans to double its oil production, called the freeze “a joke.”

Nobody really knows what oil prices will be in the future, but we think countries and companies should prepare for oil to hover around $50 per barrel for the foreseeable future. Historically this wouldn’t be shocking at all. In fact, today’s oil prices that we think of as low are actually near the real average price of a barrel of oil for the last 150 years: $35 (2014 US dollar reference year).

What is surprising though, is the fundamental shift we think is happening. The current low oil price environment is not an “oil bust” that will be followed by an “oil boom” in the near future. Instead, it looks as if we have entered a new normal of lower oil prices that will impact not just oil and gas producers but also every nation, company, and person depending on it.

This new normal is the result of the oil business being disrupted.

In the past, it was assumed that conventional oil reserves would be developed by national oil companies and major oil and gas companies to supply virtually all of the world’s oil demand. And it would take them as long as 5 to 10 years to explore, develop, and then bring production to market after investing billions of dollars into new fields. These are some of the basic assumptions behind the model that has guided the oil and gas industry for decades.

But during the past decade, American shale oil and gas producers pioneered a new business model that shattered the incumbents’ approach. U.S.-based shale oil producers have improved their drilling and fracturing technology, and they can ramp up production in an appraised field in as few as six months at a small fraction of the capital investment required by their conventional rivals. As a result, shale oil has soared from about 10% of total U.S. crude oil production to about 50%. That has enabled the U.S. oil industry as a whole to produce roughly 4 million more barrels of crude oil every day than it did in 2008, closing the gap between U.S. oil production and the world’s other two top producing countries, Russia and Saudi Arabia. In January this year, the U.S. lifted the 40-year-old ban on exporting American oil, and the maiden shipments are finding their way to global markets allowing U.S. oil producers to take advantage of markets that provide higher netbacks.

These “unconventional oil and gas producers” in the U.S. are acting as a quasi swing producer, the counterweight to traditional spare capacity held mostly by OPEC heavyweight Saudi Arabia. At the same time several other countries such as China and Argentina are beginning to develop their shale oil and gas resources by adopting the technology and business model as well as building an investment and supply chain ecosystem that supports this development. Saudi Arabia, with its excess capacity, used to be a swing producer that could bring production on- or offline to control market prices.

But now, that leverage is significantly reduced. If the price goes up, the disruptors can counteract the big producers’ decisions to cut production in a matter of months, rather than years. That’s why the big producers’ decision to freeze production in February — completely predictable according to the old industry business model — was problematic. If traditional producers freeze production and allow prices to go up, shale disruptors will become competitive and simply rush in to fill the void and eat up their market share.

So what could a decade of lower oil prices mean?

New challenges for producers

Depending on how nations react, a lower per-barrel oil price could result in a new balance of power in the oil industry. We recently conducted a study to test the impact of sustained $50 oil on oil-producing countries. The results showed that $50 oil puts some producing countries under considerable stress as they grapple with less oil revenue in their national budgets. Venezuela, Nigeria, Iraq, Iran, and Russia could be forced to address substantial budget deficits within the next five years.

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) producers such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Qatar have amassed considerable wealth during the past decade through cash reserves and sovereign wealth funds. But even these countries could come under stress in the next decade if they continue to follow their status quo.



As a result, some of those better-off-but-still-threatened nations are gearing up to make a break from their past practices. The U.S. shale revolution will be difficult to replicate, but traditional oil producers like Saudi Arabia are diversifying into shale-gas production and other forms of renewable energy so that they can diversify their energy mix and continue to export oil in spite of their soaring domestic demand for power.

Newcomers such as South Africa, China, and Argentina are also getting ready to attempt to develop their reserves in a bid for energy independence. Argentina, which is furthest along, holds about 801 trillion cubic feet of shale gas and 27 billion barrels of technically recoverable “tight” oil reserves. China holds an estimated 1,115 trillion cubic feet of shale gas and 32 billion barrels of oil equivalent. By comparison, the U.S. has 622 trillion cubic feet of shale gas and 78 billion barrels of “tight” oil, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

National oil companies and major oil and gas firms are also starting to change their ways. To compete with shale drillers, conventional oil players are improving their field productivity by focusing their resources on more easily recoverable reserves while integrating their technology, operations and organizations more closely.

Incumbent companies and the nations behind them should expect a rebalance. Countries deeply dependent on traditional oil must diversify their economies, and many have started. Same with the large oil companies. For example, Shell’s acquisition of British Gas makes it hard to even consider Shell a classic incumbent oil company anymore. Their strategy has clearly shifted.

New gains for consumers

At the other end of the spectrum, net oil importing nations are benefiting from a significant boost to their fiscal strength and current account balance. India’s fiscal deficit has improved since the country saved nearly $70 billion on importing crude and other petroleum products in 2015. The government was able to reduce petroleum subsidies and increase its excise duty on petrol and diesel, and can now redeploy that $70 billion into productive efforts.

Energy-intensive industries ranging from farming to airlines are also profiting. Thanks largely to the decline in energy prices, the US airline industry is enjoying operating margins above 15%, according to a recent economic analysis that our firm conducted. That’s a strong margin for any industry, but a particularly big deal for airlines that have struggled in years past to turn a profit at all.

One other interesting issue is what consistently affordable oil means for renewable energy. Many national policies and growth projections on increasing the use of renewables were made under the assumption of very expensive, depleting oil reserves. While this changes the value proposition of renewables and countries may be tempted to reassess their strategies, two trends continue to favor renewables: first, the continuous technological advancement and cost reduction in renewable sources such as solar and onshore wind keeps those sources of energy competitive; second, the commitments of both developed and developing countries to cut CO2 emissions during the recent COP21 summit in Paris would require a balanced energy mix that includes renewables.

We have entered an era of more affordable oil that is likely to last for the foreseeable future. In fact, the disruptive force of unconventional oil and gas has caused the world to shed its concern about “peak oil.” The focus is no longer on running out of fossil fuel in the foreseeable future, but rather who will control its future and how and when will the world transition away from it. The impact of this disruptive force on the earnings of companies that produce oil, and those that consume it, is likely to be substantial and sustained. Leaders of not just businesses, but also countries, must act now to make the best of what will soon be considered the new ways of doing things.


34 Comments on "What Low Oil Prices Really Mean"

  1. dissident on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 10:37 am 

    God what delusional rubbish. The 40% Russian central government revenue dependence on oil and gas exports enables a 13% flat income tax system and low VAT. The oil and gas industry account for under 14% of Russia’s GDP. Russia’s economy is already diversified and has no similarity to the “more robust” banana republic economy of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Lybia, etc.

    Using government tax revenue structure as the sole metric of economic diversification and development is beyond idiotic. Show us some real numbers you Harvard prats.

  2. GregT on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 11:03 am 

    “In fact, today’s oil prices that we think of as low are actually near the real average price of a barrel of oil for the last 150 years: $35 (2014 US dollar reference year).”

    Only if one includes oil prices during recessionary periods. During periods of strong economic performance, the real average price of oil is closer to $20/ bbl, or 1/2 of the prices that we see today.

  3. marmico on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 11:33 am 

    Only if one includes oil prices during recessionary periods. During periods of strong economic performance, the real average price of oil is closer to $20/ bbl, or 1/2 of the prices that we see today.


    People buy oil products not oil.

    In 1965 Joe Sixpack earned $2.65 per hour, leaded gasoline cost $0.31 per gallon and the average fuel efficiency (AFE) of the vehicle fleet was ~14 miles per gallon (mpg). Joe could travel 120 miles per hour of work.

    Fifty years later in 2015 Joe earned $21.04 per hour, unleaded gasoline cost $2.40 per gallon and the AFE was ~23 mpg. Joe could travel 200 miles per hour of work.

    On an hour worked baseline, gasoline was 65% more affordable per mile in 2015 than in 1965.

  4. PracticalMaina on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 12:06 pm 

    In 2015 Joe had to drive 3 hours via a highspeed highway that reduced his mpg, through what used to be his affordable housing but eminent domain decided we needed it for fossil fuel reliant infrastructure.
    Because rent is damn expensive now, along with the other things needed to live, healthcare food clean water.
    In 2015 Joe got to enjoy fracking in his backyard and a large percent of his peers having ptsd from oil wars.

  5. dave thompson on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 12:07 pm 

    Joe six pack earning 21.04 per hour? HA LOL and get real.

  6. marmico on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 1:05 pm 

    In 2015 Joe had to drive 3 hours…

    Bull shit. The average commute time increased from 21 minutes in 1980 to 25 minutes in 2011.

    See Figure 11-11 on page 13.

    In 2015 Joe got to enjoy fracking in his backyard..

    In 1965 Joe enjoyed a SuperFund site in his backyard. And if that wasn’t enough, he could sniff a tail pipe for lead.

  7. rockman on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 1:06 pm 

    “The current low oil price environment is not an “oil bust” that will be followed by an “oil boom” in the near future.” They seem to be implying that we’ve had “booms’ shortly after previous “busts”. Do they mean like the period from 1980 to 2006 was a short period of time? Yeah, right…only 26 YEARS. LOL.

    And inflation adjustments: oil had an average price between $25-$30 per bbl between 1985 and 2002. IOW oil was selling for a bit less during the 17 year period between the start and finish of the two booms. And note that the inflation adjusted price of oil fell to HALF THE CURRENT PRICE in 1997.

  8. rockman on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 1:09 pm 

    And: “In 2015 Joe got to enjoy fracking in his backyard.” The vast majority if those Joe’s were very happy to see wells frac’d on their properties due to the hundreds of $millions they received in royalty payments.

  9. Apneaman on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 1:10 pm 

    Looks like Jean six pack won’t be buying as many six packs.

    French unemployment hits new record

  10. PracticalMaina on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 1:12 pm 

    Marmico I just found 45 minutes from a survey of 2015 and spend 2600 a year. IE almost 18% of a full time workers income at the federal minimum wage, BEFORE deductions.

  11. Apneaman on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 1:13 pm 

    Japanese Joe six pack hurting too.

    Japan’s elderly turn to life of crime to ease cost of living

  12. PracticalMaina on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 1:14 pm 

    Yeah rockman, he bought a bunch of side by sides that broke down. Now he just has polluted water.

  13. PracticalMaina on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 1:25 pm 

    hundreds of millions divided by the thousands of recipients, a few hundred grand can buy a bunch of bottled water, till the price goes up…

    Marmico, that is quite the change in 4 years huh? Must have been those increased rents during the good ole “recovery” period.

  14. PracticalMaina on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 1:30 pm 

    Apneaman being elderly is the time to break the law, you get a life sentence, no big deal. Less likely to get raped while you are in to boot! Also much more likely to have the jury find you agreeable, especially if you are knitting or fussing with dentures while hearing the charges.

  15. Plantagenet on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 1:51 pm 

    Conventional oil production peaked in 2005. Yes, we enjoying low oil prices now during this oil glut thanks to US fracking, but the idea that we will see another 26-year-long period of sustained low oil prices assumes that conventional oil can continue current levels of production. But it can’t—-conventional oil production in KSA and elsewhere has mostly peaked and will soon start declining.


  16. HARM on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 2:14 pm 


    I wouldn’t be too sure on that imminent decline in oil+tight oil+frack oil. TPTB and –dare I say it– the Technology Genie have shown astonishing adaptability and resilience when it comes to keeping the FF party going (as if there’s a palatable alternative).

    Oil production keeps on going up, oil prices keep on going down, and despite the recurring problems caused by international finance the banking cartels (housing/student-loan/stock-market bubbles) they’ve prevented a global collapse up til now.

    Amazing how long the central bankers and assorted oligarchs have been able to play “kick the can”, isn’t it? Who’d a thunk that Cheney “we create our own reality” was right after all.

    Extend and pretend: 1
    Physical limits: 0

  17. geopressure on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 2:49 pm 

    Just another article aimed at making potential oil buyers believe that the upside is limited…

  18. geopressure on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 2:55 pm 

    The death of oil demand has been greatly exaggerated: Credit Suisse

  19. Harm on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 4:02 pm 

    You guys just didnt get the memo: we vastly underestimated the power of the status quo to maintain itsrlf indefinitely. There are physical limits to growth, yes, but we are stil far away from the unavoidable consequences of exceeding those limits. Other species are dying off at an appalling rate, yes, and its becoming harder and harder to exploit new resources, yes, but that means nothing to Joe Sixpack. As long as the cable TV is up, the Walmart is on easy reach, and the fridge is stocked with Cheez Doodles and cheap beer, thats all 99.9% of the people care about.

  20. Apneaman on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 5:21 pm 

    Harm, you are to easily impressed. Have you forgotten how close the entire global civilization came to going under just 8 years ago? Have you forgotten that the amount of bail outs and continuation of lying, cheating and ever more debt it took to keep it on it’s feet? WTF is so impressive about that? Everything has been hollowed out and for what? Another decade of pretending? Faith and fumes – that what the system is running on. I would have been impressed if TPTB attempted the hard thing – to fix the structural problems and manage the decent. I am not impressed with can kicking which is just another term for procrastination. Your bar is set very low.

  21. rockman on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 5:59 pm 

    PM – Apparently you’ve drunk gallons of the MSM frac’nv Koolaid. LOL. I’ve not a single story of anyone forced to buy bottle water due to frac’ng activity. Have you? Unlike the tens of thousands in that unfrac’d area of Michigan. I don’t think you have a clue about the power of Texas landowners over any industrial activity.

    What ever the average revenue it is. But I know several landowners that took in over $5 million each. I don’t think any of them would complain if they had to buy bottled water. But they don’t: still drinking from their wells.

    Which isn’t to say the oil patch has never polluted groundwater. It has. But the MSM has blown it way out of proportion. Unfortunately you and many ithersd don’t have analytical ability to work thru the facts on your own.

  22. HARM on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 7:04 pm 


    No I have not forgotten about the so called “banking crisis” 8 years ago.

    And now as I sit here on the U.S. west coast, I see a housing market that has now fully recover from (and exceeded) it’s previous bubbly highs, and showing zero signs of slowing down, thanks to the magic of ZIRP, NIRP, TALF, TARP, PPTP, HARP and a thousand other acronyms for “institutional fraud sanctioned by the U.S. government and central banks”.

    I also see the cost of a college education triple what it was 15 years, and student debt soaring like an American eagle (if DDT and other pesticides hadn’t killed most of them, that is). And yet it goes on.

    I see the cost of healthcare triple that of most other industrialized nations, 30 million (still) uninsured and a cost curve showing no signs of bending down, despite the “fix” that industry-friendly Obamacare promised. And yet it goes on.

    Cheney was (unfortunately) right when it comes to finance and the so called “economy”. It’s all smoke and mirrors now. Trying to debate the amount of fraud, lying and cheating “in” the economy is like trying to debate the amount of saltwater “in” the ocean. Fraud, lying and cheating IS the economy now! There is no “there” there.

    And now the really scary part…

    It seems to be working. The economy is now 100% B.S., and yet things continue to chug along as if nothing happened. As Kunstler is fond of saying, “we live in an age where anything goes and nothing matters.”

    We are kidding ourselves to keep on assuming that there really are such a thing as immutable Laws of Economics or Fair Market Value or even Sound Money (magic unicorns anyone?). And as long as we keep on fantasizing that markets are anything other than convenient fictions created to serve the .01%, we’ll keep on getting our predictions wrong. The oligarchs have up-ended all the “rules” (which were never set in stone to begin with) and have demonstrated they can keep on re-reprogramming the matrix indefinitely.

    The only limits to what the oligarchs can get away with are the laws of physics and hard nonrenewable resource limits such as Peak Oil, which hasn’t happened yet.

  23. makati1 on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 8:53 pm 

    HARM, TPTB have come up against “the limits” you talk about. There are no magical ‘saves’ this time and they know it. Hence the wars and chaos they are spreading in a last ditch attempt to have it all.

    Take away their printing presses and oil would be dead, along with most industry that makes your life easy. That time is coming as I am hearing the squeal of worn-out parts and smoke seeping from the cracks of their presses. Debt is killing capitalism and about time.

    Why do you think that many non-Western countries are hording gold by the thousands of tons? Because it is pretty and shiny? Nope. They see the end of fiat money coming and are preparing to go to a gold standard that will make them the new masters of finance.

    If the fiat system holds up for another few years, I will be surprised. I am preparing for that event. Are you?

  24. Daniel on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 9:57 pm 

    I have to agree with Harm…the PTB do a lot to manipulate the markets like never before….you…we….are told every day what the market is….it is not real…fiat is not real….it is what they tell us it is……I don’t know how long it goes on like this maybe it crashes tomorrow maybe it goes on another 25 years! We don’t have any other choice….I still prepare…buy silver….storing dried beans etc…but I think this thing can go on for a long time…how old will some of you be in 25 years…probably most on here will be dead from old age!!

  25. makati1 on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 10:10 pm 

    Daniel, 25 years? You are smokin’ some good stuff. 25 months, maybe. Or less.

    Do you really look around at what is happening in the US today? I mean really look at articles written by authors outside the US MSM Iron Curtain, not some bot from the Imperial Ministry of Propaganda. (IMP)

    The Us doesn’t have 25 years or even 25 months. It will likely explode before the elections if current events are any indication. And most of the world will applaud.

  26. makati1 on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 10:31 pm 

    “It is widely known that in the past 6 months there has been a loud debate about helicopter money, i.e., giving out ordinary people (bypassing the banks) money directly printed by the Fed. What is less known is that when it comes to the most despicable underbelly of American society, cash to the tune of $1000 per month is already being “helicoptered” to some of the most brazen criminals living in the US today with one simple condition: “don’t kill people.”

    And the worse thing is that this seems rational to the people paying it.


  27. Apneaman on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 11:04 pm 

    HARM, you’ve done a masterful job of convincing yourself. Wow all that based on a whole 8 years of not collapsing after almost collapsing. If they managed to not collapse in the last 8 then that automatically means it will all be held together until after you die. I’ve heard that “logic” before. TPTB are invincible!!!!!!

  28. Practicalmaina on Mon, 28th Mar 2016 11:08 pm 

    Rockman no click bait on MSN would ever be so criticAL of wall streets current bubble. Go laugh at deck hands dying on Deepwater horizon.

  29. Davy on Tue, 29th Mar 2016 6:57 am 

    Collapse is a process, situational, and place dependent. It could become a great event and that great event could happen anytime. You can look at it systematically as a whole global system. Yet, we also must look at it locally and individually. Collapse is rather broad in the macro to get specific about for the local.

    We currently see a widespread systematic decay of the global system. There are localized collapses going on. There are local’s teetering on the edge of collapse in all nations. The nations that are vital to the global system will likely be maintained by consensus and status quo. These are all the countries that really matter. If one or more of these were to collapse the global game is over. China, US, Europe, Russia, and oil critical states in the ME are a few examples.

    A process is time dependent and has converging and diverging characteristics. The converging characteristics would be problems and predicaments. We talk about these daily so no rehashing them needed. The diverging characteristics is the results of the converging characteristics. We see economic abandonment, dysfunctional networks, and irrational policy diverging from the normal and stable.

    Time frame must be looked at from different angles. Locals will be collapsing more frequently and in greater size. When does a local become an area or region? It is no longer local when you lose your place in it. We have very big locals now because of complexity and energy intensity. Those large locals are going to shrink quickly at some point. You would be wise to start that personal shrinking now. At the global level this collapse process may drag on for years. There is strong momentum from all nations being bought into the global network. This is a great ship that cannot be turned quickly which will influence timing.

    The biggest issue is we are in overshoot to normal pre-industrial carrying capacity less fossil fuels and social complexity. Stepping away from the global now will not support 7BIL people. What number can be supported without globalism is debatable but it is not 7BIL. You end globalism and you will also upset complexity which upsets complexity or in other worlds you create a snowball effect of decline and decay.

    Historic collapse is well understood but today we are in uncharted waters in the respect that we are now global and likely in overshoot by an order of magnitude. In other words we should be at 700MIL to 1BIL population postindustrial man. At some point in this collapse process we will be postindustrial.

    Economics is alive and strong despite its utter failure which is evident everywhere today. Economics believes in substitution and growth of technology and knowledge. It believes in ever greater efficiencies. Most modernists will acknowledge we are in a finite world but then they will talk about Mars and asteroids. They will talk about nanotechnology and artificial intelligence. Collapse is alive and well with economics and modernism but the denial and fantasy remain.

    We are clearly in diminishing returns with modernism. We are not making the big leaps and gains of the past at the same time that problems and predicaments are becoming too large to deal with. This is a certainly a collapse process. When we read short comments on collapse this just goes to show how little many understand about collapse. For many it is mad max and others denial of collapse. Collapse is somewhere in between and it will have an individual flavor. What is clear is the process has begun and it is accelerating.

  30. practicalMaina on Tue, 29th Mar 2016 11:28 am 

    Davy, why would shit be over if China had an economic break down, I understand there would be a lot of financial blood spilled worldwide, but I cannot think of one product I buy from China that is at all necessary to my life. (I shop at thrift stores, and I think stitching in general is moving from China to areas where the people can be even more oppressed.)
    I feel societal complexity and industrial ag lower the carrying capacity. It is not the end of fossil fuel availability for agro that will limit carrying capacity, but climate change caused by it.
    You say 7 Billion is not sustainable without industrial agro, then why as a country blessed with everything we need for ag, do we per capita require way more farmland than the rest of the world. The answers are numerous and some obvious, we waste a higher percentage of overall production, we eat the most beef. Others are not so obvious, when you have a six wheeled tractor driving in your farmland you lose a massive amount of usable soil to compaction, when you spray water on the top of a leaf (with a centerpost which also waste land for its wheel paths) during a sunny day it can focus light and cause damage, slowing the plants productivity. Chemical fertilizer and pesticides= a genocide on beneficial microorganisms.

  31. Davy on Tue, 29th Mar 2016 11:41 am 

    PM, China is the number 1 or 2 economy depending on definition in the global system. Take a significant portion of that production and consumption out of the global equation and get back to me with your answer.

    Please explain how you are going to feed the 7BIL without production agriculture and get back to me. I don’t have time to rehash the obvious.

  32. ghung on Tue, 29th Mar 2016 12:13 pm 

    Davy said; “Please explain how you are going to feed the 7BIL without production agriculture and get back to me.”

    Few people take into account just how much agriculture has changed in the last 100 years. A century ago, well over 25% of the US population was directly involved in food production. Less than 1.5% today. Perhaps some folks think that millions of people who make their livings in discretionary sectors (which will become unsupportable) will return to the land and start a massive distributed, local, non-industrial-based agricultural revolution. Of course, they’ll be competing for what little arable land and available water is left after most of those resources have been stripped clean of their ability to produce crops without industrial-scale inputs. Not to mention the learning/culture curve that must occur.

    How many will starve before enough develop the mindset required to produce even a fraction of their own food requirements? How many will learn to waste nothing; waste that is systemic and built into our current economic and social paradigm? Those who aren’t already walking that walk will likely prey on those who are, rather than become productive in sustainable ways. Their sense of entitlement is complete.

  33. practicalMaina on Tue, 29th Mar 2016 12:15 pm 

    We would spend less on defense? Would China send nukes because they had to stop importing lobsters threw air freight? I want to here what you think the doom would be of less trade coming out of China. I know then i couldn’t get a new iphone, o wait i will not be doing that, new sweatshop nikes, o not going to do that either. I have an american built rifle that is about twice my age, thats how I feed myself better food than our current system can at anywhere near an affordable price. take any large economy out and you get less production and consumption as well as cause adaptation.

    *without industrial agro which is the most wasteful type…fixed it.
    does any one of my points not make sense? Check out a book on square foot gardening, you probably already have so I am wondering what your concern about intensive permaculture is? Just a side note, the autocorrect does not recognize the word permaculture, it does aquaculture, the lack of knowledge on it is the main challenge i can see.. Monsanto and their cronies in our federal government pushing the lie that we cant feed the world without them, it is no different than Koch brothers convincing everyone renewable cant provide a sufficient standard of living. Its a bunch of BS.

  34. practicalMaina on Tue, 29th Mar 2016 12:21 pm 

    Ghung in my part of the country a century ago the number was much higher than 25%, it was above that in ww2 when you were considered an unpatriotic dick if you did not provide a majority of your family’s food from your own yard, the knowledge is very much there, everyone just needs to pick knowledge from the elders who knew how to survive without easy oil while they are still here. I was lucky to have realized this. As far as dead soil that is tough, not like we are going to allow the bison to roam again in order to built healthy soil.

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