Thursday, October 23, 2008

Obama and the Big Picture

As the DOW tanks, so do commodity prices. If you're a starving Egyptian (remember the food riots this past summer?), that's good news. Food prices are also linked to oil prices directly, though. An acre sowed with nitrogen-based fertilizer will produce six times the amount of food that an acre without it will. And nitrogen-based fertilizer is an oil product. Since the globe is dependent on nitrogen-fertile soil, as oil prices go, so go commodity prices. It's therefore heartening to know that Obama is at least aware of this stuff:
"the fact that our entire agricultural system is built on cheap oil. As a consequence, our agriculture sector actually is contributing more greenhouse gases than our transportation sector. And in the mean time, it's creating monocultures that are vulnerable to national security threats, are now vulnerable to sky-high food prices or crashes in food prices, huge swings in commodity prices, and are partly responsible for the explosion in our healthcare costs because they're contributing to type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease, obesity, all the things that are driving our huge explosion in healthcare costs."
More here.