I want to continue my discussion on failed states, Egypt, Kenya and what it’ll mean for many of us and our futures. In this regard, I found another very interesting post from a blog that I regularly read called Zerohedge.com. The post was on Egypt, but it wasn’t confined to Egypt. It really was a post about economics and the mathematical facts, which now exist in many countries and which are going to lead to future problems.
Let us begin with some facts on Egypt and why (if Mubarak had been paying attention to them, he would have seen this uprising coming)
The relentless math:
Population 1960: 27.8 million
Population 2008: 81.7 million
Current population growth rate: 2% per annum (a 35-year doubling rate)
Population in 2046 after another doubling: 164 million
Rainfall average over whole country: ~ 2 inches per year
Highest rainfall region: Alexandria, 7.9 inches per year
Arable land (almost entirely in the Nile Valley): 3%
Arable land per capita: 0.04 Ha (400 m2)
Arable land per capita in 2043: 0.02 Ha
Food imports: 40% of requirements
Grain imports: 60% of requirements
Net oil exports: Began falling in 1997, went negative in 2007
Now, substitute any of the above numbers for a country near you and you’ll be able to honestly see what is eventually going to happen. According to the blog post above, …“Any country that has to import both oil and food is living on borrowed time.” They also added water to that list. If a country finds itself experiencing consistent water shortages, it’s got a problem.
I’ve been following a lot of Kenyan politicians on Twitter and I’m always amused when their followers fall for the rubbish they spew. I’m going to pick on Martha Karua because I think that out of all of the politicians, she is the most honest and I do believe that she genuinely wants change, but based on her tweets, I can tell that she has yet to acknowledge this issue of the relentless math. It’s all about democracy and constitutional law and promulgation and all that nonsense, but even if you have all those things, if the math doesn’t add up in terms of resources and population, trouble will eventually hit your shores.
The blog post ends with this warning:
“The future of Egypt will be shaped by these few biophysical facts — a relentless form of math that is hardly unique to Egypt, by the way — and it matters very little who is in power. Given the choice, I would not want to live there, nor in any other country that has fostered or permitted such reckless population growth beyond what the country itself can sustain.”
So, how are you going to protect your business or financial future against this relentless math?