The two most important commodities known to man both face severe supply issues in the immediate future, oil and water.
The world peaked in oil discoveries in 1964, a year that saw nearly 500 billion barrels of oil discovered, in 2011, it had fallen to below 100 billion barrels. Of the world’s four super-giant oil fields, three are officially in decline: Mexico’s Cantarell, Russia’s Samotlor, and Kuwait’s Burgan. The fourth is also in decline, however Saudi Arabia officially denies these claims but we know through Wiki-Leaks that this is indeed the case. We also know through history that all oil fields do peak in production, it is also evident in nation states. For example, the U.S. peaked in discoveries in 1930, 40 years later the U.S. peaked in production at 11.3 million barrels per day. Today we average less than 8 million barrels per day. Despite all of our new technologies, we are discovering less oil and extracting less from previous discoveries that were reliable producers. The world we were all raised in saw an increase in the urbanization of the entire world, to match that we also saw an increase in oil production. In 1965 the world produced 32 million barrels of oil per day, in 1980 that number had almost doubled to 62 million barrels. However, if you look at the last 7 years, since 2005, the world has peaked in production, a plateau has clearly formed, and as a result we have seen the price of oil rise as high as $146 per barrel. From 1869 to 1969 oil averaged less than $2, in the 1990’s it was in the $20 range; today oil is around $100 per barrel. A higher oil price effects the transportation of goods, services, and the extraction of other commodities. PeakResources.org believes oil more than anything else will radically change the way we live over the coming decade.
The access to clean drinking water is also a crisis that is a matter of when, not if. According to UNICEF, at least 2.6 billion people lack adequate sanitation, while 1.1 billion people live without clean drinking water period. Water is the key component in all of our lives no matter where we live, not only for human use, but for energy, industry, agriculture, and livestock. PeakResources.org is certain we will see water wars by the end of this decade, over 260 river basins are shared by two or more countries and most of these rivers are without defined legal or institutional arrangements. Consider the Aral Sea for example, located in central Asia with Kazakhstan in the North and Uzbekistan in the South. The name Aral Sea is actually translated into “Sea of Islands,” referring to 1,534 islands that once existed. As you can see from the pictures below, the Aral Sea is now down to 10% of its original size.
The same thing is happening in the Parana La Plata, Jordan, and the Danube regions. Areas that were once flourishing are now turning into deserts. Consider the Colorado River, a river that used to run into the Pacific; by the time the water fills the pools of Vegas, irrigates, and provides good drinking water to the West, not a single drop makes it to the ocean today. The world’s largest body of fresh water, the Ogallala Aquifer, an underground lake that extends from Colorado to South Dakota going all the way down to the Texas Pan handle with a range of 50-300 feet deep, is the fresh water resource that has made America’s plains the “bread basket” of the world. The average depth used to be 240 feet, today, its average depth is 80 feet. Second to oil, access to clean water will radically change our world. Fresh water for our agriculture will drive up food prices and may even cause food shortages.
The end of cheap resources is here, even if all other commodities were rich and plentiful, we have to consider the new cost of liquid energy in order to extract and transport them. We have to look at the cost of irrigating our food, the logistics of watering our urbanized lifestyles.
Our goal is to help as many people as possible become aware of the disaster we are rapidly approaching with the end of cheap resources. In our opinion, the wealth of most Americans could get wiped out during the next decade due to commodity inflation. Focusing on your real purchasing power, altering your lifestyle, and investing in the future is an opportunity that you just can’t afford to miss.
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