Energy starvation: the West goes hungry to keep the lights on

Flat White

Flat White

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Flat White

19 February 2023

6:24 PM

Mainstream and government-based publications have been running concerning headlines in recent months regarding food insecurity in Western nations – including the EU, America, the UK, and Australia.

CNBC published an article on their Davos special titled, Families will skip meals to deal with the cost-of-living crisis, UN special advocate says, with a key points listed as:

‘An increase of food prices of the magnitude that we’re seeing, of energy prices, basically will mean that a lot of families are going to have from three or two meals a day to have one meal a day,’ – Queen Maxima of the Netherlands.


‘According to the World Bank’s latest Commodity Markets Outlook report, energy prices in 2022 are expected to rise by over 50 per cent, while wheat prices are forecast to soar by more than 40 per cent.’

Detailed as a significant part of the reason for rising food prices was the banning of synthetic fertiliser – a move almost certainly linked to the United Nations and WEF demands for a mass transition from cheap commercial fertilisers to ‘organic’ fertilisers. The adoption of this policy by former green poster child Sri Lanka sent the nation into an economic black hole where kids have left school to find work in order to feed their starving families. ‘…when you don’t have fertilisers, you cannot increase your yield … therefore you’re going to see less produce coming out of Africa … you’re going to have less food,’ said one of the speakers. Very progressive.

The Daily Mail, on October 4, 2022, said, One third of inflation-ravaged US households are skipping meals or cutting portion sizes, and two thirds are strapped for cash, a survey says ahead of midterm elections, with Louisiana and Oklahoma the worst hit. The ‘land of the free’ might soon be the ‘land of the hungry’ if the Democrats keep on with their current politics. Groceries are up 13.5 per cent, rent 6.7 per cent, fuel 25.6 per cent, and electricity 15.8 per cent – a nightmare for poor families. To cope, they are withdrawing from the retail and hospitality market – consumer behaviour that will result in the closure of more businesses and price hikes for the remaining ones, triggering an endless cycle. Others are turning off their heating or avoiding showers – this, in a first world nation. For those comfy in their Western safe space who believe that starvation and misery cannot climb the walls of a ‘progressive society’, it might be worth flicking through a history book and taking a look at the Great Depression. Every nation can starve if its leaders make mistakes.

The BBC has been following a similar trend in the UK with Cost of living: GP concerns over rise in signs of malnutrition (mostly found in Scotland, where their First Minister spectacularly resigned last week),Cost of living: Rise in Britons saying they skip meals or go hungry,and Cost of living: I avoid meals so my daughter can eatwhich covered a Centrepoint youth homelessness report that found ‘177 or 2,000 people aged 16-25 that they surveyed had often gone without food in order to feed someone else’. In Britain, food shortages are particularly infuriating, given they are in large part manufactured by regional councils (run by ex-city lefties) that have all-but legislated food growers out of business so that these selfish individuals can sit in their (soon-to-close) local cafes and enjoy the unadulterated cow-free rolling hills of the British countryside. Those hills will be covered in weeds because there’s no one left to tend to them. Britain could feed itself, but it would rather pursue Net Zero right to the grave of its children.

While those articles could be seen as focusing on a minority of Brits that are always struggling, other surveys found that food insecurity is creeping into previously stable sections of society, indicating that poverty is spreading. Millions of families skipping meals amid cost of living crisis, Which? Finds wrote the Independent. Unsurprisingly, it is the food eco-warriors hate that is being pushed out of reach for families: mince, chicken, eggs, milk, cheese… According to the report, half are trading these healthy items for pre-packaged crap because it is cheaper, which must be music to the ears of big food producers shaking hands in the back rooms of the World Economic Forum. One father said, ‘I sometimes go without eating as I prioritise food for my son. I’ve lost a lot of weight since April.’ The Guardian ran several articles on the same theme, including one from October 2022, Millions forced to skip meals as UK cost of living crisis deepenswhich correctly pins at least some of the blame on the Covid lockdowns. They state that ‘nearly 10 million adults and 4 million children [were] unable to eat regular meals last month, prompting calls for stronger measures to protect vulnerable households’. It’s a shame it didn’t prompt calls to outlaw lockdowns and scrap Net Zero policies.

There were some slightly unusual takes, including The Sunday Times in December of 2022 which oddly proclaimed, ‘intermittent fasting feels wrong when millions skip meals to pay bills’. These journalists know that people have always been starving in the world – right? Overfed people willingly cutting back on food is not a comment on global food shortages any more than wealthy kids taking extra courses at school while some countries have a teacher shortage. They are unrelated.

Before anyone comes up with the accusation that this is all ‘right-wing cookery’, the ABC ran an article citing none other than ACTU Secretary Sally McManus titled 1 in 4 Australians skipping meals due to cost, which was based on polling done by the ACTU. The ACTU unhelpfully blamed businesses for refusing to pay people more – the same businesses that are suffering through the an economic crises on the back of state-mandated closures. They have begun closing their doors and sacking staff, lacking the deep pockets of the unions. The unions have questions to answer for on this front, given the over-regulation of business at their demand has made it a pain in the neck to hire staff. ‘Why bother?’ is the increasing response from fed up employers.

Wacoss printed an article on December 9, 2022, Research shows struggling Western Australians skipping meals to pay utility bills. This research came out of the Understanding Utility Hardship report which – once you get through the obligatory ‘acknowledgment of country’ – found that residents of one of the most energy-rich areas in the world are choosing between food and energy bills. Instead of recommending a return to cheap, reliable energy – their solution is to make the taxpayer open their wallets – spreading the poverty around instead of solving the problem. This thinking might have something to do with the Wacross mission statement to ‘create an inclusive, just, and equitable society’ that ‘advocates for social and economic change to improve the wellbeing of Western Australians’. Others may see this is banging one’s head against the wall and then complaining about the dent instead of using the door.

In short, there is ample evidence that societies that used to want for nothing are going hungry to keep the lights on – or sitting in the cold and dark to put an extra meal on the table.

When this was raised, plenty of commentators – including conservatives who should know better – joked about how a bit of starvation would be ‘good’ for nations who were statistically overweight. Wishing starvation on people because you don’t like their life choices is sinister enough, let alone the reality that those who are starving are likely to be already on the bone working three jobs.

It’s the wrong argument anyway. As a society, we should take pride in creating a civilisation where even people on the lowest wage can comfortably afford food, shelter, and power. That is the mark of a first world nation. If they cannot eat, we are no longer a successful country. Our quality of life has shifted and instead of rising up in outrage against our prime ministers and presidents who have caused this situation through selfish political and corporate endeavours, we’re laughing at the less fortunate as if it serves them right for having that extra bagel in the Covid years.

There is no excuse for a resource-rich country like Australia to have a situation where families cannot afford to turn their air conditioners on.

These are political errors and they will only be fixed when the political class is rightly blamed for them. Journalists need to stop letting the Minister for Energy point the finger vaguely at the Russia-Ukraine war and instead explain why we’re proceeding to shut down baseload power stations while the regulator is screeching about an imminent national grid collapse.

Remember the slogans held by all our pampered and well-fed children? ‘Don’t be a fossil fool!!!’ they begged, while taking Instagram selfies. It might be a different story in 2030 when their parents have sold the house due to crippling interest rates, downgraded the kids to a Nokia, taken them out of their private schools to slum it with the state school kids, and deleted their UberEats app. Suddenly they have to walk everywhere and put on a jumper when it gets cold.

Australia tossed fossil fuels in the bin, and society is following closely behind. If anything, we are cheering on the apocalypse. It will be no good blaming the kids for emotionally manipulating adults into the decision. Adults are meant to know better, so where have they all gone?

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Published by Nelle

I am interested in writing short stories for my pleasure and my family's but although I have published four family books I will not go down that path again but still want what I write out there so I will see how this goes

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