In his book, Last Light, Alex Scarrow describes a scenario in which all of the oil ports worldwide are destroyed within days/hours of each other. Understanding that this means they will be depending on their meager reserves, the British Prime Minister is advised to go on national television and let the people know the situation, which is, essentially, we only have enough oil and enough supplies for about three days.
Not surprisingly, panic ensues, and it's that panicked reaction - not the actual loss of oil worldwide - that causes the societal breakdown Scarrow describes through the rest of the novel.
I read that WalMart's CEO announced there was going to be a price hike, and apparently it's going to be a doozy; word is being leaked that we can expect 10-20% on most things and up to 50% on others. The article (not the one linked) related that these price spikes would occur in May, but maybe sooner. For those who depend on Wal-Mart for their food, and trust that Wal-Mart's CEO knows of what he speaks, how much different will the general atmosphere be over the next few weeks? How frenzied can we expect buyers to be? I wonder how many empty shelves I will see at the grocery store next time I go.
This news won't really change how I shop, because we've been shopping with just this sort of mindset for years. We've been anticipating (and watching) price spikes for a long time and have taken steps to buffer ourselves from the worst of it, but I think, even with all of our preparing, we're not really prepared for what the reality will be like.
I will say that the package I received recently will go a long way toward making me feel more secure: .
But even that had some concern with it. I waited too late to place my order, and they'd already sold out of one of the seed varieties I had ordered. It was definitely one of those "Oh, crap" moments when I realized how very fragile our system is. Maybe it will be okay. I mean, I have another variety of that particular plant for my garden, but what if I didn't? What if I were dependent on that one variety ... and I couldn't get the seeds? How can they run out of seeds anyway? I mean, who would ever suspect that we couldn't just get all of the seeds we want whenever we want them? Who would have ever thought that what was listed in their catalog may no longer be available? That just doesn't happen ... right?
This year has been a real eye-opener for Deus Ex Machina and me. I really hope that we've learned our lesson about being complacent, and the real need to plan ahead and be prepared - even just for every day stuff, like firewood to heat our house and wanting to plant San Marzano tomatoes.