Rapid changes are taking place across the globe from population booms and environmental changes that are and will continue to affect us as humans. If you can imagine, the world is nearing the highest population yet for our race: nearly 7 billion.
This astronomical number is going to put some our resources on a collision course for higher prices to meet the demand of some of our supplies. Those very things will be the ones we’ve taken for granted for so long, believing they would be there for all our lives and that of our children, such as food, water, and medications. With these resources depleting at an enormous rate, we may find ourselves in a pickle of a position with producing these goods for everyone. As the world shifts towards such turmoil, it’s taken longer for those in first world nations to understand and accept these changes.
Areas like China are seeing a population boom in regards to their upper-class citizens as the world’s foremost manufacturing industries make their homes here. As this class grows and produces more children to add to our huge population, we’ll be seeing an even higher demand for everyday products. As the demand overwhelms the dwindling supply, we are seeing some serious price increases for these items, including the five discussed below:
Mexico’s native agave fruit is the birthing place for tequila and its scarcity is being felt by all. This plant isn’t for the faint of heart when it comes to growing and producing the fruit for the purpose of creating tequila. Even if the plant does succeed in growing to maturity, it can’t be processed into alcohol through the distillation process until its 12th year. As the years have come and gone and decimated crops over the years, it’s not looking good overall for the continued growth of agave plants since their numbers are rapidly dwindling due to these climatic and environmental changes. With fewer viable plants for the distilling process, the amount of tequila being produced is dwindling as well. As the demand for this product remains the same and the supply decreases, prices will increase to encourage only those who can truly afford it to buy it.
Made from the beans of a cocoa plant, chocolate’s history is a vast one as it made its way slowly through Europe by the Spanish conquistadores who conquered much of Central America. This intoxicatingly addictive goodness has become a mainstay in much of the world and across many nations. Despite its popularization, these beans are much like those of the agave plant, having the same troubles with the changing of environmental factors. Needing hot climates to grow into mature crops, these crops still need more time than most to reach maturity for harvesting, roughly five years. As the world continues to change, it’s been found that the only place for true growth is in one location of Africa, using laborers reminiscent of early slaves in several countries. As real chocolate becomes more scarce, the prices will likely rise to pay for the shipment and production of it.
3. Sweet Light Crude oil
Petroleum is one of the biggest expenditures that most consumers have in their lives since it breaks down into oil and gasoline along with other products depending on its extraction and refining processes. Sweet light crude oil is the least expensive one for extracting and refining. However, there is now a huge environmental and geological cost to the enormous amount of extractions done for this petroleum type. In order to find the deepest deposits of this crude oil, many drilling companies have begun practices of fracking, or blowing up rocks, to start an earthquake that pushes the petroleum to the surface. This type of extraction is the most cost effective measure available to drilling companies compared to safer routes. With the slowly dwindling stores of this crude oil, companies will soon have to raise the prices of their quality product or lessen the quality for consumers to purchase.
With only a small selection of successfully grown grapes for the production of both red and white wines among others, the world is seeing a shortage of production for this good for trading and consumption purposes. As the supply continues to dwindle below the already shortage of 300 million cases a year, the ability to place more wine into reserves has also begun to dwindle, which is being felt around the world. With a drop of 5% per year of the last few years across the globe (Europe is closer to 10%), there has also been an increase of the same percentage for consumption, a problem that will eventually result in a complete loss of the reserves stored.
5. Fresh Water
With our bodies comprised of 70% water, having a steady supply is necessary to our survival. The rarity of fresh water is becoming a problem that we’ll soon have to address if we want to keep our race alive. However, despite the changes in the environment and in time, we are in denial of an actual problem even with it staring us straight in the face. For example, California has been enduring one of their longest droughts in history with such a shortage that its very survival is in question. Water is a huge investment for many financial firms since the growing scarcity will only make the prices skyrocket in the years to come with major conflicts arising over the dwindling supply.
Not taking care of the problems we’ve been facing over the past several years has put us in a perilous position that could cost not only our generation, but generations to come a short supply of these goods at extremely high costs.