I've posted warnings from Michael Yon in these pages over the past few months, warning of what he terms PANFAWAR (Pandemic, Famine, War) and its consequences. More and more knowledgeable people are picking up on the same clues he's seeing, and coming to agree with him. Most recently, he stated flatly:
Famines always create enormous HOP: Human Osmotic Pressure.
OGUS — Occupation Government United States — is down here in Panama increasing the migration flow to the United States. As the other continents go into famine, millions of people will dump through this artery to America. During famine. This is an act of war by OGUS.
There's more at the link.
I've seen what Yon calls "Human Osmotic Pressure" in action in the Third World, and I agree with him: it's an inevitable consequence of societal disruption, whatever the cause. It's already happening in the Horn of Africa, and spreading from there to central Africa, as a drought-caused famine dries up local food supplies. The loss of Ukrainian and Russian grain means those dried-up supplies are suddenly far more difficult (and expensive) to replace - impossibly so, for poorer countries.
Now politicians in Europe are beginning to sit up and take notice. For example:
Italian League party leader Matteo Salvini has warned that if the war in Ukraine does not end soon, chronic food shortages will cause an immigration wave that will lead to 20 million African migrants trying to enter Europe.
If Ukrainian grain supplies continue to be impacted, Salvini cautions, “Significant hunger is expected on the African continent, which will be a humanitarian, then a social, and finally an Italian problem.”
“Without peace there will be famine in the autumn and 20 million Africans will be ready to go,” he added.
Again, more at the link.
The Conversation points out that the loss of Ukrainian and Russian grain production will have crippling consequences.
Ukraine produced about 80 MMT of grain (a category that includes wheat, corn and barley) in 2021, and is expected to harvest less than half of that this year. A shortfall of 40 MMT is enough missing calories that a country like the UK could only make it up by having everyone stop eating for three years. That’s the thing about tonnes of grain: a million here and a million there and pretty soon you’ve got a real issue on your plate.
The total world production of cereals is about 2,200 MMT per year, which is quite a bit more than is needed to feed the caloric needs of every person on Earth. Those 2.2 trillion kilos of cereals would be over 7 quadrillion calories if they went straight into human mouths, which is 20% more than the 5.8 quadrillion calories that the nearly 8 billion humans need to survive the year.
. . .
The international cereals market remains stubbornly international, and there is no such thing as a problem that belongs completely to someone else. People in France or Italy were never expecting to have any Ukrainian wheat shipped to them, but they are now competing against Egyptians and Moroccans who are now suddenly looking for new sources of bread.
The Conversation claimed that Indian wheat exports would help make up for the shortfall. Unfortunately, Indian production won't be available:
India has banned exports of wheat effective immediately, citing a risk to its food security, partly due to the war in Ukraine.
. . .
India ... had set a goal of exporting 10 million tons of the grain in 2022-23, looking to capitalize on the global disruptions to wheat supplies from the war and find new markets for its wheat in Europe, Africa and Asia.
Much of that would have gone to other developing countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.
India isn't the only nation blocking export of foodstuffs; it's a growing phenomenon, and it's affecting more and more food-importing countries. Iran appears to be the latest country to see internal unrest as a result of food shortages and rising prices.
Protests over soaring food prices continued in several cities in Iran on Saturday, according to postings on social media, while an Iranian lawmaker told local media one person was killed in a demonstration in the south-west.
The protests were triggered last week by a cut in state subsidies for imported wheat that caused price hikes of as much as 300% for a variety of flour-based staples. The government of President Ebrahim Raisi also raised prices of basic goods such as cooking oil and dairy products.
We're seeing the effects of these shortages on our own grocery shelves as well. Shortage of supplies, a lack of choice, and product substitution (buying what's available, instead of getting what we really want) are going to become the norm for almost all of us this year. (Old NFO blogged this morning about an issue we encountered during breakfast on Sunday. When restaurant chains start holding back on basic commodities like this, you know it's getting bad.)
We've already seen riots over food price and availability (as well as other problems) in Sri Lanka, Peru and other nations. We're going to see a lot more of them around the world as the grain shortage bites harder and harder. As things get worse, more and more people are going to decide that they have no hope where they are; so they're going to take to their feet, and any other transport they can get hold of, and make their way to richer countries, where they hope to find food for today and a better tomorrow.
We're going to see refugee flows that make our current southern border problems look trivial by comparison. They're going to affect every First World nation, and most likely all Second World countries as well - and, as Michael Yon correctly points out (see above), the powers that be in the United States are going to use the crisis for all they're worth, in an open attempt to swamp existing Americans beneath a tidal wave of illegal aliens. If we let that happen, our constitutional republic will be gone beyond redemption, rescue or recall.