My consulting clients often ask me me for predictions. “What’s your timeframe, Mister Rawles?” I hear that in almost every consulting call. My clients ask: “When will the US economy crater?” I tell them that is impossible to predict, because there are so many variables and interdependencies, and because the markets are so heavily manipulated. They also ask me: Is the H1N1 Flu sure to mutate in to a more virulent strain, and if so, when?” I answer: “That is impossible to predict.” I’m also often quizzed about the Ug-99 wheat fungus (aka “Durable Wheat Rust”, or simply “the stem rust”). Clearly, it is advancing , but without a specific timeframe. Scientists are now calling the advance of Ug-99 around the globe “inevitable”. My greatest fear is that instead of just being spread gradually by the wind, the stem rust will make “leaps”, via the cargo holds of ships, and hence end up in the world’s “bread baskets”: Australia, the Ukraine, the US, and Canada. In the long run, containment is seen as almost impossible. Thusfar, attempts to create a rust-resistant wheat variety have been thwarted by the rust’s rapid mutation rate.
Let’s look at some numbers: 20% of the calories consumed by the human population of our planet currently comes from wheat. That means that there will likely be a caloric shortfall for a number of years–until either wheat fields are re-planted in some different crop, or until a viable rust-resistant wheat variety is developed.
I encourage readers to study the Ug-99 threat, and think through its implications on a macro (global) scale. Then think through the implications of a wheat famine at a personal level. Where will you and your family get your daily bread? Have you stored up for seven lean years?
I cannot more strongly urge SurvivalBlog readers: Get your food storage squared away, immediately. Supplies are plentiful now, and prices are still reasonable. But the threats that we are facing are numerous, large, and all too likely. And, of these, UG-99 is almost a certainty in the next decade, and it will directly affect the global food supply. Stop dawdling and get ready. You owe it to your family to do the best that you can to prepare.
In a recent exchange of correspondence abut Ug-99 with reader Jim M., he wrote: “I think stored food should be viewed more as a supplement, especially wheat in view of UG-99. Alternative sources of complex carbohydrates should be sought by preppers. Other grain seed should be planted and replenished by those with land and climate to do so: oats, barley, rye, spelt, millet, maize, quinoa. A few thousand square feet of each suitable grain type would provide continuous seed viability as well as training for larger-scale crops and harvests in the future. Starchy tubers could also figure greatly in extending long-term food stores. Anyone with even a sunny balcony should be able to grow their own potatoes for instance and there are plenty of other tubers they can try.”
Preparedness is keyed to trends and to the emergence of general threats, not specific dates. It has not been since Y2K that we’ve had specific date target. And that was clearly an exception to the general rule. Perhaps we’ll someday read about a large asteroid with a predicted earth-crossing orbit (like Apophis), and have a multi-year countdown to disaster. But otherwise,we just have to be ready at all times for a variety of potential situations.