How long would it take for a nation like Britain to descend into anarchy if its oil supplies were cut off? According to Lord Cameron of Dillington, a farmer who was the first head of the Countryside Agency, it would only take three days.
Britain’s Daily Mail describes Cameron’s predicted scenario this way:
Imagine a sudden shutdown of oil supplies; a sudden collapse in the petrol that streams steadily through the pumps and so into the engines of the lorries which deliver our food around the country, stocking up the supermarket shelves as soon as any item runs out.
If the trucks stopped moving, we’d start to worry and we’d head out to the shops, stocking up our larders. By the end of Day One, if there was still no petrol, the shelves would be looking pretty thin. Imagine, then, Day Two: your fourth, fifth and sixth meal. We’d be in a panic. Day three: still no petrol.
What then? With hunger pangs kicking in, and no notion of how long it might take for the supermarkets to restock, how long before those who hadn’t stocked up began stealing from their neighbors? Or looting what they could get their hands on?
There might be 11 million gardeners in Britain, but your delicious summer peas won’t go far when your kids are hungry and the baked beans have run out.
It was Lord Cameron’s estimation that it would take just nine meals—three full days without food on supermarket shelves—before law and order started to break down, and British streets descended into chaos.
For those who still might argue that chaos and starvation are crises that could never strike a country like Britain, the Daily Mail article points out that a similar scenario has already played out in a major American city.
A far-fetched warning for a First World nation like Britain? Hardly. Because that’s exactly what happened in the U.S. in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. People looted in order to feed themselves and their families.
If a similar tragedy was to befall Britain, we are fooling ourselves if we imagine we would not witness similar scenes of crime and disorder.
Well, today Britain is facing a very real crisis. Granted, it is not the threat of a sudden, terrifying phenomenon such as the hurricane that struck New Orleans. But in its capacity to cause widespread hardship and deprivation nationwide, it is every bit as daunting.
The article also shows how reliant modern food production is on oil:
Production methods are now such that 95 percent of all the food we eat in the world today is oil-dependent.
The “black gold” is embedded in our complex global food systems, in its fertilizers, the mechanization necessary for its production, its transportation and its packaging.
For example, to farm a single cow and deliver it to market requires the equivalent of six barrels of oil—enough to drive a car from New York to L.A.
Unbelievable? One analysis of the fodder pellets which are fed to the vast majority of beef cows to supplement their grazing found that they were made up of ingredients that had originated in six different countries. Think of the fuel required to transport that lot around the world.
“Suddenly,” the Mail concludes, “that warning of being ‘nine meals from anarchy’ no longer seems such a distant or improbable threat.”
Food riots are spreading like a communicable disease from nation to nation. It may not be long until the food shortages of the Third World reach First World nations like America and Britain. To understand why these shortages are coming upon the world and what you can do to protect yourself and your family, read “Are You Watching the Food Riots?” by Joel Hilliker. ▪