Have you heard about the coming civil war? The inevitable end of the dollar? The food shortages? No? Then you haven't been to a town meeting in Volcan, in the Chiriqui highlands. It's one of those events where gringo expats, who can't live without being scared of something or someone, like to go to be reaffirmed in their irrational fears by their cult leaders. If you thought the Hawaiian shirt militia types on the Pacific coast were a bunch of fruitcakes, wait till you meet the batshit crazy gringos that make up the Volcan Brigades! Fasten your seat belts please, and put on the tinfoil hats!
Our curiosity was peaked by an invitation on the Yahoo "Gringos in David" forum posted by one Larry Scher (remember that name):
Our next speaker will be Larry Scher giving an update on gun control, both here and in the States. Come and learn the latest on what is happening in the States and in Panama. Do you think there is gun control in Panama? There is and it is very, very effective and subtle! How will the possibility of civil war or Marshall law in the States affect you in Panama? Learn the true reasons why the government wants the control and confiscation of guns.
Intrigued by this typical Panamanian subject, we kept our eyes open for news about how the town meeting had been. The location of the event was promising: Mana's restaurant in Volcan. The owner of that outfit, a Panamanian empresaurio, formed a group to rebuild the Volcan police station after it had been burned during last year's Ngobe protests against the theft of their natural resources, in which the police murdered various Ngobe people.
Ten days ago, in Volcan, one indigenous protester was clubbed to death by four masked men and another one was seriously injured. We wouldn't dare to suggest a connection of course. Just sayin'.
The meeting indeed took place, and the minutes were promptly posted on the same Yahoo forum, here. And we must all be grateful for those
gringo rednecks and fugitives and religious wingnuts upstanding expats for keeping the finger at the pulse of what might influence our lives here in our tiny peaceful nation. Because, according to what we read about the presentation by Larry Scher, things aren't looking so bright. There will be food shortages, the dollar will collapse, there will be civil war, inevitably, and all kinds of mayhem, because of unsustainable health care and education and of course the evil of gun control. Fear and loathing! And not even in the Chiriqui highlands will you be safe:
E. How does this affect us in Panama?
1. If there is a civil war in the U.S. it will shut the country down. Panama imports over 50% of its food. U.S. will not have ability to export food to Panama
Check your grocery store shelves here. How much food do you see imported from the States?
2. lack of food may bring added resentment against American's here.
3. Will affect our income and investments in the U.S.
Without Divine Intervention mankind cannot survive himself. There is a time coming soon when this will happen and there will then be the right kind of gun control.
There is a statue in front of the United Nations of a man beating his sword into a plowshare. It is too bad all nations do not do this.
Isa 2:4 - And He shall judge among the nations and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into plow shares and their spears into prunning hooks. Nation shall not life up sword against nation -- neither shall they learn war anymore.
Next to the questionable "facts" (Panama imports 50% of its food from the US? Really?), note the religious overtones. More about that in a minute.
Some members of the Yahoo board objected to this extreme right-wing nuttery, or even - good heavens! - made snide remarks about it. Luckily, however, these unruly elements were quickly put in their place by the group's moderator. Freedom for the right-wing fruitloopery, but not for comments on it, of course:
The posting of the minutes will continue if they are submitted. If the minutes of the meeting contain subject matter you don't agree with... hit the delete button and move on. People who have nothing better to do than post snide reply comments will be put on moderation.
That's the kind of language we need in these difficult times! Keep your disagreement on these war and peace gun issues to yourself, you pinkos!
Visionary guru Larry Scher has, of course, an impeccable track record in these type of affairs. Remember the famine that struck Volcan in 2011, as a result of the Global Food Shortages? Our Larry was on that, dear reader, saving innumerable lives with his sound advice during yet another town hall meeting:
Tomorrow at the town hall meeting in Volcan, I will talk about how this [global food shortage] will affect Panama. Even if you can't make it, please prepare. Time is running out to start storing food for the days ahead.
We all know what happened next. Hundreds died like dogs because they didn't listen to Larry Scher; an ugly sight that many remember even today. Mass graves had to be dug to bury the victims of the 2011 global food shortage famine in Volcan. Cholera and plagues broke out. Frogs fell from the sky. Only those who "stored food for the days ahead" are still among us. Don't most people usually have food for a couple of days in their fridge? Yes, of course, but that is not the point here, dear reader! This is about Larry's vision into the future and beyond!
So who is this great thinker and leader, Larry Scher? Well, we were a bit disappointed to learn that he might have ulterior motives. He may be trying for you to join some sort of cult, the "Shalom Assembly of Jahweh". We got that idea after reading in one of that group's publications:
Yahweh in Panama Elder Larry Scher has reported to us that the assembly in Panama is growing. Through elder Larry’s efforts the brethren have been actively learning about Yahweh and Yahshua’s Names, their plan of salvation, the Sabbath and the Feast days. Please keep brother Larry and the assembly that he is leading in your prayers.
Is "Yahweh" code-speak for "guns", then, brother Larry?
One thing is for sure, the Volcan Highlanders will no doubt lead the heroic fight for freedom and insanity come the inevitable civil war up North. Masses of expats will come down from the mountains to save the dollar, the constitution, and their guns. The Volcan Brigades will march on, through Central America and Mexico, climb that border wall and join the Confederation.
Or maybe they can help out another wacko religious wingnut in the process and join the war riding replica Lamborghini cars?
So, what do you think?
The question asks.
I wasn’t at the meeting..but had this meeting occurred 30 yrs ago, the topic may likely have been something to do with Amway..and the future it offered.
I long for the simplicity of those days sometimes.
I don’t say that lightly, I mean..things have to be looking pretty bad to say something like that..
Many are looking for the lifeboats Okke..and not all of them are wearing tinfoil hats.
So you emigrate to Volcan, a quiet and tranquil mountain village and then you start looking for a lifeboat by blabbering about gun control?
The Panamanian Government did put a stop to gun imports a few months back. Even if you have a license, it’s almost impossible to get a decent gun, especially a new one…
Maybe Elder larry wants to learn about the real Yahweh Ben Yahweh instead of his fake-ass yaweh impostor. http://www.yahwehbenyahweh.com/home.html
My Yahweh could kick your yahweh’s ass Larry. The fight wouldn’t even go 2 rounds.
Elder larry, why dont you shove your bible up your ass and take your paranoid skygod cult and your guns and go back to fucking your cousins in Alabama or wherever you’re from. Gringo nut jobs go home! ¡No los queremos! ¡No los necesitamos!
Same bright bulbs who hosted town meetings where guest speakers tried convince folks to put their money in certain credit unions? Yuppers. Same town hall meetings were people were recruited to take coffee and donuts to the local cops and sit up with them on their shifts? Yuppers. Same town hall meetings where they gleefully read and approved “an open letter to Cacique Sivia Carrera” condeming the Gnäbe Bugle for protesting the government intrusion into their comarca (hey! they did inconvenience the gringos in Volcan who could not safely drive to Price Smart in David)? Yuppers! Same folks who have group members who hoard animals, are devotees of one Bert Stubblebine (of the Men Who Stare at Goats fame and his non-practicing Doc Wife Rima who fled to Chile when their eco community scam went bust). Same folks who dine on beyond-organic food which is purchased from the chemical-soaked slopes of Cerro Punta and wash it down with a colloidial silver coctail and finish it off with an upper colonic? Yes, that would be some of the Volcan Vigilante Gang.
We all waited, trembling in fear over the holidays, guarding our freshly dug mounds of dirt which covered all our gold. Alas, the global financial shutdown did not happen. Any…day…now.
The Pacific Coast Hawaiian Shirt Noodle Heads have some competition. Intermural sports for knuckleheads.
You’ve started a war on the psych ward. Paranoids vs. Delusionals. Send the welcome wagon around with free
risperidone for the gringo expats.
To be sure, there are many decent gringos in the Volcan area who are good neighbors, who contribute to the community and conduct themselves with dignity. There is a Spay and Neuter clinic run by a gringa who spends out of her own pocket to keep the clinic afloat. Another gringa has a quilting program and teaches local women how to sew and make beautiful quilts for sale, providing them with their own income. Just a couple of examples; there are others who quietly go about being positive members of the community.
Unfortunately, it takes about 500 of the good and decent ex-pats who are involved in the community to offset just one of the crazed wingnuts who rant idiocy about taking on the armed forces (whether it’s the US Armed Forces or the Panameño National Police) with their 30 round magazine 9mm Ruger’s and that all Panameños are the devil in disguise because they have brown skin and you know that makes them the children of Satan. There is not question that there is a majority of ex-pats who are good people who do good works and love their panameño next door neighbors as they would love their next door neighbors if they were white. The problem is that there are not enough of these good ex-pats to off-set the bitter taste left in the mouths of Panameños by the loud mouth bigots. And please remember, it has only been 13 years that Panameños could go everywhere in their own country without being treated like criminals. So when anyone starts ranting about “hoochies” or “Dumb Panahoochies” or “Brown targets for target practice” (all of which I have heard first hand as a highly modified CZ Brat) it brings back nearly a century of colonialist occupation memories and the arrogant attitudes that went with that occupation. Which is why it takes so many “good” ex-pats to off-set one idiot.
Yes Jim. And the paranoia in some circles have reached a fevered pitch. What I find amazing is the level of tolerence some Panamanians have for such ugly behavior. And many fanning the flames have…you won’t believe this…something to sell.
The problem is also that the “good gringos” don’t speak up. I’ve experienced this time after time again when exposing rotten apples; they stay quiet because it disturbs their bubble of having bought into paradise, or they are afraid, or they don’t want the boat rocked because they’re too busy trying to climb in it. And thus they allow the inmates to run the asylum.
Editor: Mostly the “good gringos” don’t speak up about this kind of nonsense because they know that “time wounds all heels” and they decline to waste their time arguing with fanatics or get involved with them. The rest of us just go about our business trying to be good members of our community and helping however we can.
And while I have my own thoughts about the condition of the dollar and the US, I don’t need a group to whip me into a frenzy about it. I can make my own plans and decisions, thank you.
Rest assured, just because many of us “non converts” do not speak up, the inmates are NOT running the asylum.
I went to ONE of these meetings a long time ago and immediately decided it wasn’t for me. Afterward, though, one of the sub-leaders asked if I’d be willing to speak to the group about the spay/neuter program in Volcan. I agreed. Later, though, he told me that the supreme leader, William Lipton, thought the topic wasn’t “appropriate.” Huh? Since then, reading their announcements about the featured speakers, I surmise that their attendance is mainly for the purpose of selling services or goods…and I wonder if the esteemed “leaders” benefit from that in any way.
Yuppers Dottie. Reducing the number of diseased and homeless animals in Volcan takes a back seat to buying gold, hoarding food, and selling religion and guns. Dumbasses.
I was told by an old wise man many years ago that first is the spay neuter clinic, then the English newspaper, after that its time to get out……..Yes, he was right.
…Scuze me – “first is the spay neuter clinic, then the English newspaper, after that its time to get out”…for your information, the spay/neuter clinics are for the benefit of low-income Panamanians and many, many of them give profuse thanks and “many God bless you”for the clinics and for their ability to spay and neuter their dogs and cats by a competent vet at a cost they can afford (sometimes nothing).
Dottie, I have not met many Latinos that think it is morally acceptable to chop a dogs balls off or cut out a female animal’s reproductive system. maybe it’s the anti-birth-control Catholic dogma they’ve been exposed to their entire lives, or maybe its in some way connected to Latin machismo (as in, “how’d you like to have your balls cut off?”) , I dont really know, but most Latinos I know find what you do reprehensible.
Personally, I think what you do is a good thing, but remember you are in a different country and a different culture
If you buy this ebook, there is a story in there about expats who were doing the same and the resistance they met, because people believed that castrating dogs would make them gay.
gay as in happy?
Would having a gay dog threaten the masculinity of a Panamanian male?
Barry, Dottie has changed hearts and minds in the Volcan area. All but one of her volunteers for the clinic are Panamanians and the clinics are booked, often weeks in advance.
I haven’t met any Panamanians who think like you surmise (maybe elsewhere they do). Also, in the beginning we didn’t see many male dogs or cats at the clinics, but now we do. Little by little, more and more people are learning the benefits. Also, in the beginning we didn’t see many Panamanians express love for their pets. Now we do. Many have come to think of their pets as a beloved member of the family instead of just a “thing” without feelings or needs.
If everyone said, “This is a Latin (or wherever) culture so leave it the way it is and don’t try to work to better the community,” it would be a sad world. No one forces the Panamanians to bring their animals to the clinics; on the contrary, they are very grateful to have them available.
Speaking of cultural learnings, there used to be a lot more trash thrown around Volcan. But thanks to the efforts of the folks who work the recycling center, locals are beginning to learn, “Hey, my country is even more beautiful without having to look at garbage strewn everywhere.”
So just because a culture has been exposed to a certain way of thinking their entire lives doesn’t mean that they are adverse to changing their minds.
Less trash in Volcan? I just passed through there last week on the way to Rio Sereno. The white plastic bags hung on the trees and fences like endless white flags offering a million surrenders. Out of all the beautiful places in Panama I never understood why anyone would chose Volcan. It is flat,desolate, full of vacant lots and dilapidated shacks, scrubby stunted vegetation, windswept litter. A combination of suburban sprawl and
a landfill site. I suppose it has a view.
too funny JC, i remember being told the same thing years ago, maybe it was the same person.
You got to remember…you are in our territory, we are more, so if you try to play some redneck motherfuckin´games here, watch out, we´ll take the shit out of you fuckin gringo asshole.
You sound as crazy as the crazy Gringos. You’ll be in good company.
well, go lock inside your house and let these motherfuckers play their shit in our homeland, you can still be the same pendejo…
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You got the wrong Panamanian restauranteur organizing the rebuilding of the police station. It was the owner of Kid’s World, not Mana.
An interesting and amusing story, Okke.
But as always, a bit short in the veracity of facts department.
I’m sure that all of us living the western highlands will be looking forward to future reports about the Volcan Town Meetings 🙂
Any specific facts you wish to dispute?
Just for starters there is this:
“Ten days ago, in Volcan, one indigenous protester was clubbed to death by four masked men and another one was seriously injured.”
I think you may have your geography slightly confused.
It was actually the Volcan area, Cerro Punta. I linked to the original story. And nothing changes as to the validity of the article. Anything else? I mean, you said “for starters”, as if there’s more facts that I have wrong, so bring it on then!
Well yes, you did get that wrong.
And you also posted this:
“Intrigued by this typical Panamanian subject, we kept our eyes open for news about how the town meeting had been. The location of the event was promising: Mana’s restaurant in Volcan. The owner of that outfit, a Panamanian empresaurio, formed a group to rebuild the Volcan police station after it had been burned during last year’s Ngobe protests against the theft of their natural resources, in which the police murdered various people. The same empresaurio then announced that he and his little militia would not tolerate any more indigenous protests.”
There was indeed a public announcement of intolerance toward the Ngobe protests some months ago, but I do not believe that Jorge Cedeño had all that much, if anything, to do with it. I and a few others here in Volcan protested against the statements made at the time, and I really don’t think that phrases such as ” he and his little militia” do much, if anything, to serve the truth. But then again, I’ve come to believe that often your writing has more to do with style rather than substance. Entertaining , though.
Well, he DID announce that his group would not tolerate any further protests and he DID organize to repair that police station and these highlander expats DID write that open letter to Silvia Carrera and it WAS all organized in his restaurant.
I think you have your terminology all mixed up. Your real point is not my facts, but that you don’t agree with my opinions based on those facts. Which is okay, you don’t have to, but at least be honest about it.
Gordo your splitting hairs. Why don’t you just admit that you disagree with the article?
Did a letter get written yes, did Jorge Cedeno write it , No, Louis Howard ,the owner of Kids World wrote and published the letter claiming to speak for the various communities. Did we all agree with it, no.
Crazies, we have got them but get your facts straight. Your blatant lack of fact checking in your recent Volcan articles makes me wonder what else have you gotten wrong.
Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:08 pm |
This letter appeared the “Critica” newspaper on February 17, 2012 and can be
viewed on Facebook or Twitter in its original form– I have changed some of the
structures of the sentences and the words to make it easier to read. This was
changed and approved with the author of the letter Louis Howard
Respected Chief Carrera:
These first few lines are to say hello and wish you success in your delicate
The community of the Highlands, which includes Volcan, Cerro Punta, Caizan, Rio
Sereno, Cuesta de Piedra among others, wish to let you know that you deserve
respect as a foremost authority and a traditional Ngobe Bugle, that the Comcarca
is a region shared by all Panamanians and, as you know, Law No. 10 provides in
Article 1, “is created in accordance with the Constitution and national laws,
with a special political division in the territory of the Republic of Panama.
By this we mean that your struggle is ours too.
We have lived in peace, harmony and tolerance in conjunction with the Ngobe
Bugle community; we have been allies in everything related to agricultural
production, poultry, livestock, tourism and other job sources in our
We have always supported your causes because they have been grandfathered for
many years. Nevertheless, we cannot agree with the closure of roads and
vandalism that occurred during the last week’s protest as it resulted in the
interruption and work and the food chain in The Republic of Panama.
Our community has stood for many years as a tourist destination and these
demonstrations, non peaceful, have led to a deterioration to the point of losses
in agriculture, livestock and tourism. It has resulted in:
1. Vandalism and burning of the sub-national police station in Volcan, including
2. Vandalism and burning of the Judicial Investigation Directorate, including
all records of that agency.
3. Vandalism and burning of the Community Board Volcan Corregiduria, Agency
Volcan National Post and Telegraph resulting in the disappearance and loss of
all records, such as maps of the suburbs, records of child support.
These events have erased the history of Volcan and surrounding villages. There
was destructions of the SENACYP and library, theft of computers among other
Closing roads also affected the natives. We all need the economy and social
stability of Panama. It was jeopardized by the closure of roads. The benefit
of all people should always prevail in any fight.
We brothers, citizens of “High Ground” (Latinos and Ngobe Bugle) demand respect
for the right of free transit and respect for property both public and private.
Our security and physical integrity was in danger so we will always require
police presence in our communities. And incidentally, the country announced
that under the sole initiave of the community, the sub-police station Volcan was
reconstructed in four days. Finally we recognize that the whole province, the
Chirican, need to distribute our products because our economy is not self
We do not understand how a people as peaceful as the Ngobe Bugle have reached
such extremes of violence, however, also repudiate all government, the current
and prior, for the irresponsible exploitation of our natural resources with
proper consultations, and efficient ways profitable they have given in
concession leaving our present and future generations in danger with the
disappearance of our water resources and mining.
We recommend that the only way to resolve conflicts in this stage of our
republic is through consensual dialogue so that peace, harmony and tolerance
will prevail in our land without violence of any kind.
Goodbye to you sincerely,
The Community of “High Land” LHS
REPRESENTATION OF THE HIGHLANDS COMMUNITY.
Juan, I did not say he did write that letter; I said these highlanders did. YOU have your facts wrong. And with that, I’d like to add that this website is not Panama Forum nor any other Yahoo board where the little Reggies rule and people can drivel on forever about how I or Eric Jackson are “opinionated” or “have our facts wrong” or spout similar bullshit comparing this site with the scam promotions of Don Winner. It’s not my problem if you guys don’t know the difference between facts and opinion or between honesty and fraud, and this is not the place to show off such shortcomings.
I’d also like to know, those gringos who keep telling me that they didn’t agree with this, what did they do about it? Write a counter-letter? Write an open letter to Martinelli or the National Police, asking for restraint? Something else? Because I can’t help the impression that with their silence and passiveness, they have become accomplices.
I wrote a rebuttal which the Volcan Community Bulletin Board refused to post. They considered it “opinion” whereas The Louis Howard letter was “a letter”. In my letter I roundly criticised The Howard buffoon for publishing a letter which was clearly NOT the feelings of many, many citizens of Volcan and the surround area, both Panamanians and gringos. Howard fired up anti-indigenous sentiment and fear among the gringos most specifically, and very few, if any gringos stepped forward to dispute his letter.
Few if any had the balls to speak out about the letter and sentiments it put forth, being simply pleased to sit around and laugh at the ridiculous assholes who fell for the “police brigade sleepovers” and .the screeching town hall meetings where you could learn when it is appropriate to shoot someone in your yard and how to take your money out of Banco National and put it in those cozy credit unions. Oh, and buy stun guns and airhorms. I suspect they all were burying their gold and stockpiling food for when civil unrest tore the world apart, or the aliens arrived, whichever came first.
Here is the draft of the letter I wrote. As I recall, very few publically agreed with it.
My draft of a response:
I am proud and pleased to say that I while I live in this area, I AM NOT A MEMBER of the “HIGH LAND” community from whence this condescending letter and sentiments originated. While the writer claims to be understanding of the Ngabe community’s plight with regard to the current Constitutional abuses, and claims friendship and years of mutual “cooperation”, “peace, harmony and cooperation (you work for me for $1 an hour and I’ll gladly pay you); I wonder where is the letter to Sr. Martinelli and his government for not addressing this current crises long before it erupted? Where is the outrage from this benevolent community of HIGH LANDS over the decades of repression against the Gnabe? It seems the HIGHLANDS COMMUNITY isn’t outraged unless they are inconvenienced. And that outrage is misplaced.
I do not believe that the Ngabe were responsible for the burning and looting of government or municiple buildings in Volcan. If it is true that they were not responsible, this letter to Cacique Silvia Carrara is much more of an insult.
Nor do I believe that this letter represents the general consencous of the majority of the Panamanian citizens of the communities located in the western Highlands of Chiriqui.
The writer of the letter should not be allowed to group everyone living in the western Highland of Chiriqui in such a condescending statement because it is certainly not the sentiment of many, many Chiricanos. Certainly, most certainly, not mine. I wonder if the comments in the letter may have originated from a group of well-off individuals in Volcan who already have their piece of the pie, and are not concerned that others may be denied theirs, or that their concerns are not heard.
Mr. Howard is Panamanian. He has a greater ease of access to address his views via publications than a non-native Spanish speaker.
To address another point in these comments…Jorge of Mana allows any group wishing to have a meeting, a forum for that. Jorge appears to welcome any group who wishes to have luncheons or functions at his restaurant, no matter their political or social agenda. That is just my personal take on Mana.
Most of the meetings seem to be held at Kid’s World, Mr. Howards establishment which is a mainstay for hydroelectric company workers in the Western Chiriqui area. He has a great deal of business from them, and may we deduce…a huge interest in supporting their cause? Before that, meeting were held often at My Valley of the Moonies, hosted by Doctor Rima Laibow and General Bert Stubblebine. That venue closed some time ago when they fled to Chile because we are ALL doomed by radioactivity here in Panama.
And I just thought when all this shit was going on that I ain’t had this much fun since the hogs ate my little sister.
…to his very esteemed credit, Gordo publically denounced Howard letter. Thank you Gordo.
Why are the wing nuts here? Why don’t they go back if it’s so bad? Remember your famous Gringo teaching
“When in Rome do as the Romans” Your are the hypocrites supremo of all cultures.
You can get a jubilado discount for airfare one way BTW.
Most wise advice!
What terrible dumbasses those Volcan people must be. They must have been reading stupid stuff like this:
#1 According to the World Bank, 44 million people around the globe have been pushed into extreme poverty since last June because of rising food prices.
#2 The world is losing topsoil at an astounding rate. In fact, according to Lester Brown, “one third of the world’s cropland is losing topsoil faster than new soil is forming through natural processes”.
#3 Due to U.S. ethanol subsidies, almost a third of all corn grown in the United States is now used for fuel. This is putting a lot of stress on the price of corn.
#4 Due to a lack of water, some countries in the Middle East find themselves forced to almost totally rely on other nations for basic food staples. For example, it is being projected that there will be no more wheat production in Saudi Arabia by the year 2012.
#5 Water tables all over the globe are being depleted at an alarming rate due to “overpumping”. According to the World Bank, there are 130 million people in China and 175 million people in India that are being fed with grain with water that is being pumped out of aquifers faster than it can be replaced. So what happens once all of that water is gone?
#6 In the United States, the systematic depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer could eventually turn “America’s Breadbasket” back into the “Dust Bowl”.
#7 Diseases such as UG99 wheat rust are wiping out increasingly large segments of the world food supply.
#8 The tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis in Japan have rendered vast agricultural areas in that nation unusable. In fact, there are many that believe that eventually a significant portion of northern Japan will be considered to be uninhabitable. Not only that, many are now convinced that the Japanese economy, the third largest economy in the world, is likely to totally collapse as a result of all this.
#9 The price of oil may be the biggest factor on this list. The way that we produce our food is very heavily dependent on oil. The way that we transport our food is very heavily dependent on oil. When you have skyrocketing oil prices, our entire food production system becomes much more expensive. If the price of oil continues to stay high, we are going to see much higher food prices and some forms of food production will no longer make economic sense at all.
#10 At some point the world could experience a very serious fertilizer shortage. According to scientists with the Global Phosphorus Research Initiative, the world is not going to have enough phosphorous to meet agricultural demand in just 30 to 40 years.
#11 Food inflation is already devastating many economies around the globe. For example, India is dealing with an annual food inflation rate of 18 percent.
#12 According to the United Nations, the global price of food reached a new all-time high in February.
#13 According to the World Bank, the global price of food has risen 36% over the past 12 months.
#14 The commodity price of wheat has approximately doubled since last summer.
#15 The commodity price of corn has also about doubled since last summer.
#16 The commodity price of soybeans is up about 50% since last June.
#17 The commodity price of orange juice has doubled since 2009.
#18 There are about 3 billion people around the globe that live on the equivalent of 2 dollars a day or less and the world was already on the verge of economic disaster before this year even began.
#19 2011 has already been one of the craziest years since World War 2. Revolutions have swept across the Middle East, the United States has gotten involved in the civil war in Libya, Europe is on the verge of a financial meltdown and the U.S. dollar is dying. None of this is good news for global food production.
#20 There have been persistent rumors of shortages at some of the biggest suppliers of emergency food in the United States. The following is an excerpt from a recent “special alert” posted on Raiders News Network….
Look around you. Read the headlines. See the largest factories of food, potassium iodide, and other emergency product manufacturers literally closing their online stores and putting up signs like those on Mountain House’s Official Website and Thyrosafe’s Factory Webpage that explain, due to overwhelming demand, they are shutting down sales for the time being and hope to reopen someday.
So what does all of this mean?
It means that time is short.
Up to this point there hasn’t been much to get alarmed about. Food prices have started to rise, but the truth is that our stores are still packed to the rafters will gigantic amounts of relatively cheap food.
However, you would have to be an idiot not to see the warning signs. Just look at what happened in Japan after March 11th. Store shelves were cleared out almost instantly.
It isn’t going to happen today, and it probably isn’t going to happen tomorrow, but at some point a major league food crisis is going to strike.
Panama has a GDP of around $55 billion and imports of about $24 billion. Eight percent of imports are food, or about $2 billion.
“The Panamanian private sector has a strong preference for the American brand of food products,” said Arlene Villalaz, an agricultural specialist with Panama’s Foreign Agricultural Service.
The U.S. projects that it will experience an increase of agricultural exports to Panama by $2.2 billion by the time the new free trade agreement is fully implemented. I can’t find any hard figures, but by implication that would have Panama importing around $4 billion worth of U.S. food. Would that be 50%? I don’t know, but it is a hell of a lot.
Larry may be getting pretty good reception with that tin foil hat you conferred upon him.
A lot of this has no basis in fact whatsoever. Like the story about Japan.
That said, I do believe that the way we produce our food is not sustainable. But that should not be a reason to scare people into hoarding or gun nuttery or other such madness.
Food shortages? Not to worry too much. The average American could survive for two years just absorbing his beer belly. An adaptive trait, much like the hump of a camel, that will insure survival in adverse times. A civil war….Denny’s customers vs IHOP’s.
Harv, You stock up on your food. I’m going on the new Apocalypse Diet. I’m sure I’ll lose weight with those empty shelves, staying up all night guarding my Cheerios and chasing the marauding hoards away from my carrot patch.
Don’t forget the US civil war that will start because of all this!
I can’t help but hear these words in the voice of Mr. Burns from the Simpsons.