Analysts Warn We’re Running Out of Resources Needed to Sustain Life on Our Planet

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Author of Be Ready for Anything and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course

Have you ever heard of Earth Overshoot Day? No? Neither had I. It’s the day each year that we use up the resources that can be renewed within that year. This year, it was on August 1st, so for the rest of the year, we’re living on borrowed resources.

It reminds me of the economy and quantitative easing. There’s only so far we can push it until there’s nothing left from which to borrow. While the analysts say this is all related to climate change, a theory that many find dubious, one thing is absolutely certain – they’re right about the looming shortage of resources. And a lot of it is because Westerners are so incredibly wasteful as a society.


Look at water, for example. Droughts have stricken us here in parts of the United States for years, and blogger Michael Snyder has suggested it could quickly lead to a return to Dustbowl conditions similar to those of the 1930s. South Africa has barely managed to push back Day Zero, the day in which Cape Town runs completely out of water, using stringent rationing methods.

Even parts of the US that aren’t in drought conditions are seeing frequent water crises, with algae blooms, toxic run-off, chemical spills, and tainted municipal water. Doesn’t it seem to you that these things are happening a lot more often?

The global water shortage is coming fast.

 At this point, approximately 40 percent of the entire population of the planet has little or no access to clean water, and it is being projected that by 2025 two-thirds of humanity will live in “water-stressed” areas. But most Americans are not too concerned about all of this because they assume that North America has more fresh water than anyone else does. And actually they would be right about that, but the truth is that even North America is rapidly running out of water and it is going to change all of our lives. Today, the most important underground water source in America, the Ogallala Aquifer, is rapidly running dry. The most important lake in the western United States, Lake Mead, is rapidly running dry. The most important river in the western United States, the Colorado River, is rapidly running dry.(source)

By 2030, the UN predicts that 24 million to 700 million people will be displaced because of water shortages. This means that in those areas that DO have water, the resource will be spread thin and suddenly they’ll have shortages too.

Let’s face it – if we run out of water, people start dying, and quickly. There will be famine because crops won’t be able to grow. People will drink questionable water because they’re dying of thirst, and then they’ll die of a waterborne illness instead.

But water isn’t the only thing that we’re using faster than can be replenished.


A huge part of the issue with looming food shortages is the shocking amount of waste. 33% of the food produced worldwide is wasted, and a whopping 50% of the food in the US is lost. (Shockingly, a great deal of it is simply thrown away because it’s “ugly.”)In North America and Europe, it boils down to more than 250 pounds of food wasted by every man, woman, and child each year. Rich countries like the US literally throw away more food annually than is produced in poor parts of the world like the entire sub-Saharan area of Africa.

Even if just one-fourth of the food currently lost or wasted globally could be saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people in the world. (source)

In developing countries, 40% of the waste occurs at harvest and in processing plants, while in countries that are industrialized, like the use, more than 40% of the waste occurs at retail stores and once consumers bring the food home.


We are draining resources so quickly that the BP website warns that we can only get 50 more years at our current rate of oil production.

Oil reserves include field condensate and natural gas liquids as well as crude oil. This inclusive approach helps to develop consistency with the oil production numbers published in the Review, which also include these categories of oil.

Liquid hydrocarbon fuels from non-hydrocarbon sources, such as ethanol from corn or sugar or synthetic oil derived from natural gas (so-called GTL or gas-to-liquids), are not included in either the reserves or production series…

…In the absence of replenishment by successful exploration or reserves growth, so-called ‘reserves replacement’, proved reserves would tend to decline over time as production depleted the existing reserve base. However, the tendency has been for proved reserves at the aggregate level to increase over time as reported discoveries, extensions and improved recovery have exceeded production. (source)

We are dependent on gasoline for just about everything from producing food to transporting goods to getting to work and bringing it all home. Not only that, but oil is also essential for energy. No, our electrical plants aren’t fueled by oil – coal and natural gas are responsible for one-third each of the power used in the United States, while nuclear and hydropower make up the rest. But coal and gas rely on transportation, and in a world without a steady supply of oil, things could start to get ugly all around.

In the event that oil disappears altogether, nations such as Algeria, Venezuela and Nigeria, with no plans to diversify away from fossil fuel production as the core of the national economy, will be left rudderless.

OPEC leader Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies have spent the past few decades investing their oil profits in massive sovereign wealth funds prepped for a “rainy day” in the desert. These states will be able to exploit the savings to keep it together as they spearhead internal economic revolutions without oil.

All of this does not even include the tribulations that will test the officials of China and India – two of the world’s fastest developing economies with the heaviest energy needs. (source)

That’s a doomsday scenario that many people have never even conceived in their wildest imaginings.

Everyone is blaming climate change.

Of course, in the mainstream, everyone is blaming climate change for all of these potential shortages. This article is not a debate about whether or not human-caused climate change exists. It is about the consequences of the human actions of a consumeristic society. With an ever-growing population and a culture of wastefulness, there’s only so long that the planet can support life in its current manner.

One of the world’s largest banks, HSBC, warns that we are truly not prepared for what is to come.

“In our opinion, these findings and events show that many businesses and governments are not adequately prepared for climate impacts, nor are they using natural resources efficiently,” the HSBC analysts said in the note…

…According to HSBC, extreme events have severe economic and social costs.

“In our view, adaptation will move further up the agenda with a growing focus on the social consequences,” the analysts said. (source)

What can we do?

We can’t change the world, but we can be responsible for our own actions. Preppers, survivalists, and homesteaders tend to be excellent stewards of the earth. We raise a great deal of our own food. We support local economies. We learn to live in harmony with nature. We waste very little. For the most part, we don’t tend to indulge frivolously in wasteful consumer spending.

Elon Musk is convinced we need to head out to space and terraform Mars, but maybe it isn’t too late here on Planet Earth.

Perhaps this is a good time to find things in common with people who are somewhat on the same page, even if they are on that page for different reasons. We, as preppers, practice sustainability as a part of personal survival, while others practice it as a part of what they see as a global responsibility. Maybe we can set our philosophical differences aside and work together to reduce the terrible habits that have brought the world to the edge of doomsday.

Hat Tip to Diane K.
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Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • I am not sure how you “unlearn” wastefulness in this culture apart from some disaster occurring. As a prepper, homesteader etc. this worries me less than most however it gets my dander up at the complete lack of stewardship happening around me.
    There is so much being had at the gov’t “teat” and so many of those folks really don’t need the help but they expect it. Don’t get me wrong-there are those who need a helping hand at times and I have absolutely no issues with that but this whole “welfare” thing has gotten way out of hand!
    There are a lot of things wrong in this country. People have chosen to be led by a corrupt gov’t instead of thinking for themselves and learning how to take care of themselves. So many don’t even want to sweat anymore! Give them a chair and a computer and that’s all they want with a paycheck of course!
    I could go on forever but I am gonna stop here.
    This is a great warning to be aware of what is happening currently and do what you can to NOT contribute to the downfall that is coming in so many ways.

    • The ‘so called analysts’ don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground. I guess they are over educated experts…….LOL……..

      Nice write up.

  • Thomas Malthus was wrong.
    Paul Erlich was wrong and lost a bet–Ehrlich_wager
    It was also supposed to be “Peak Oil” two decades ago, now we export.

    People who claim we are all going to die when we run out of resources are always wrong.

    And there are serious real threats like drug-resistant bacteria, now in the STD pandemic. The GMO monoculture is one mutated fungus away from massive crop failures. The Just In Time mentatlity won’t work if there is a disruption of any kind – it happens with each flood or hurricane. Then there’s the debt bubble that gets bigger and will be proporionately worse when it collapses.

    But worry about some theoretical resource shortage.

  • Use water to have a green lawn and trees in your yard so you can sell the house later…. Look at Las Vegas… What a waste of water… The human race will never learn.

  • we export coal and natural gas that we will need in the future. not very bright, but enriches big corporations today. we import oil for fuel from countries who don’t like us and definitely don’t give us a “friends and family” discount. some countries won’t sell to us at all. we send our young people to fight and die over resources.
    use less this year! declare one day a week as a “no car day”. ride public transportation or car pool or ride a bike once a week. do errands on the way home from work rather than as a separate trip. turn the thermostat down 3 degrees in winter and up 3 degrees in summer. use heavy curtains to keep heat or cool where you want it. insulate your hme and your body. use gray water. shower with a bucket and use the water on your plants. plant a tree outside your window. when you replace appliances, get the smallest feasible unit and get energy star or better. mend and repair instead of buying new. next year, add to what you are doing! third year…!!!
    using a sustainable amount of resources is what we should be doing as preppers, as homesteaders, as caretakers of our home planet.
    not to say we do everything right–because we don’t–but we have been paring resource use for some years now while SAVING LOTS OF MONEY. we currently drive a total of 5000 miles per year, have a $14 electric bill this month and use just over half of the average amount of water in our district (and we raise a fruit and veg garden). we have increased our skills in cooking, preserving, gardening, animal husbandry, home repair, barter, and have developed networks of like minded folks thru community volunteer work (which includes sharing our skills).

  • One of my biggest gripes, and I have plenty, is the urge of developers to place golf courses and upper end communities on lakes. The off of fertilizers on the golf courses and from the septic systems into the lakes results in an algae filled lake. Eventually all aquatic life ceases and the lake even becomes unfit for recreation. One lake in particular here in SC is Lake Greenwood. Swim in it at your risk. The various doctors in the city of Greenwood treat ear infections all summer for people foolish enough to swim in the soupy green muck.
    We as prepper’s can impact this. We can attend every meeting of the various councils to protest development of the land directly on the lakes. They should all be set back and leave enough surface land to act as an absorbent barrier to the run off. If not, the results can be photoed over Lake Greenwood. And that is just in SC.

    • Or we could just do away with golf courses & save the water to keep them green. The same for sprawling cemeteries & the mansions with acres of “lawn” belonging to the mega-rich, along with their swimming pools where nobody swims.

  • Daisy, you are correct that many Americans are very wasteful, especially those that don’t have to labor for their food and water. I bet that more than half of Americans don’t even know where their water supply comes from; they think the city grows it for them.

    Family farms and ranches rarely waste anything, let alone water. I harvest my animals and garden produce and everything gets used. Even the weeds from my garden and yard are mixed in with animal feed. What I don’t eat or preserve, the cats, dogs, rabbits, pigs, ducks and/or chickens get, in that order. My neighbors bring their non-eaten vege cast offs (peelings, cores, rinds, bread, etc.) for my animals and I give them fresh eggs.

    Large corporations farm hundreds of thousands of acres using spray irrigation of GMO plants and wasting huge amounts of water while dumping tons of harmful chemicals which leach into the ground. Huge processing plants foul the air, contaminate ground water and spread diseases more easily than smaller businesses, but yet people buy those products.

    In Europe it is customary to go every day to the market for fresh food. Originally folks did not have convenience of large refrigerators to store food for more than a day or two, but now it is more a social tradition in Europe. In Asia, it is still customary to shop daily at the fresh market. In the smaller villages, the families produce most of their own food and then barter and trade for what they need. In China, India and other similar countries, the ground and water is so contaminated with chemical poisons that only the poor will eat local foods. The rich buy American and European food items which are flown in and sold special stores.

    Maybe people will change their wasteful ways when food, water and fuel become so expensive they will become precious and valued.

  • Oh, goody! Maybe some of those “Friends of Earth” will kill themselves to save the planet, and not coincidentally, leave more for the rest of us who don’t believe any of this bullshit.

  • I buy none of this chicken little crying. If it was true, we would actually be doing something about it. California has sky high water rates, we steal water from Northern California and the Central Valley to send to Los Angeles and San Diego, and San Francisco. Yet………not ONE water desalinization plant on any of our 2600 miles coastline (counting all of the eddys, bays, etc.) Obviously no politician or the Sierra Club has a problem with water thievery.
    We have had a continuous war on poverty since 1964 and the Great Society. Trillions of dollars spent on Section 8 housing, senior housing, food stamps, EBT cards, etc. And yet…………we continue to import poverty on a daily basis by allowing illegals with multiple children and no education to land on our shores: not just Mexico-all nations of Africa, many island nations, etc. Try sending them back and hear the howling of injustice and “fairness”.
    I have heard cries of peak oil since I was in high school. Yet, the car continues to be the cheapest, safest, and most convenient way for all of us to function. And certainly, a politician would NEVER give up his/her taxpayer funded and insured vehicle!
    Food in a refrigerator in Des Moines can only help a resident in Des Moines. I don’t care how many starving people there are in Zimbawe, you cannot send over ripe melons on the next cargo jet. The government has gone out of its way to discourage and intimidate citizens from helping feed the homeless and the seniors. Don’t believe me? Check out the list of qualifications for a food bank or donation center. So obviously, it’s okay for people to be hungry.
    I’m done with high holy do gooders like the Sierra Club, World Health Organization, World Wildlife Fund, ad nauseum and their constant carping. They are like NATO: it is fun to clap each other on the back for a job well done at a high salary while enjoying free dinners and open bar. We need to get back to churches doing public works, politicians actually trying to solve the country’s problems, and citizens being more self reliant. I’m burned out-but rant over.

  • Whether the numbers are correct or not means nothing to me. I alone can not make a dent in them. I live in the desert, and we’re getting much rain than 15 years ago. I know, because I’m using more water from the water system than rain! It’s a no brainer to me. The reports are scientists collect info that is shared, it’s just their opinion and it most likely better than my uninformed opinion. At least with this info we have another scenario to understand and possibly deal with. I’m doing all that ican to limit was. That’s all that I can do. I cannot expect anything from anyone else. Only me!

  • Oil is abiotic, the planet produces it for whatever reason
    but it is not fossil fuel as in made of dead plants & animals.

    There has never been enough dead things to produce the
    billions of barrels of oil that has already been pumped and used
    and from so deep in the earth ?? just a popular lie “fossil fuel”

    The fossil fuel idea is beyond stupid, no idea why is was pushed and promoted.
    There will always be oil, might not be a lot but it will be there for people to fight over,

  • Whenever I hear about I hear about a “global water shortage”, I have to ask “Where has all the water gone?” Every drop of water on the planet has been here since the beginning of time. The water in my iced tea once passed through the kidneys of a dinosaur. The water exists somewhere, because very little of it is escaping into outer space. So what’s all this about a shortage? The water may be contaminated or polluted, but that can be rectified by filtration and other forms of processing. So if there’s a global water shortage, how are the sea levels rising to threaten all those tiny islands in the middle of nowhere?

    Also with food. We were supposed to be experiencing huge die-offs from starvation due to over population, decades ago. But technology has kept that from ever being an issue.

    As to oil, we were supposed to be running out of it in the 70s. Yet more oil is discovered all the time. Venezuela, which the largest proven oil reserves in the world is currently producing hardly any because of the corrupt and inefficient government. And we were told that the Bakken oilfield is richer the the Saudi reserves. And how many years has the world been feeding of of them?

    Like the Man-made global warming / Climate change-disruption hoax, it appear that with every hysterical end of the world, apocalyptic prediction that the dope smoking Earth Firsters come up with there seems to be a solution waiting to be discovered.

  • very good article Daisy. My awareness came from the Ford foundation study in the 70’s and the King report. When Earth Day started in the mid 70’s I had been in the professional field of environmental protection for about 6 years. We as a society have bursts of concern followed by lapses blindness. Those of us who were fortunate enough to have parents who lived through the Great Depression live a life of conservation and reuse and are truly offended by the wasteful consumerism rampant in our society today. Which I think is a reflection or reaction to their desire to achieve happiness by buying things and being part of the in group in whatever consumerism fad that comes along.

  • Amazing, the sheer amount of ignorance and denialism found among the comments here regarding our current plight. So we’re not running short on anything, we can still continue indefinitely on our sorry path, and so on. Yeah, right.

    Seems human intelligence is also becoming an increasingly scarce resource.

  • At work yesterday I went to fill my empty tea bottle with water, and a coworker asked me what I was doing. I replied filling this with water so I can drink it? So he jokingly said I was wasting water and helping to ruin the earth. I said you know you can’t waste water right?

    He said how do you mean? I said this same water has been water since creation, and this same water was drunk by dinosaurs, caesars, Jesus, every plant and animal ever passed this same water through their systems. Well, maybe not every water molecule passed thru messiah, caesar, 0bama, you get the idea.

    He was like wtf! I said think about it, we, like billions of people and animals before us, eliminate water, it goes back to the rivers and streams and makes its way to the ocean and it evaporates into clouds and then rains back on the ground, it’s a natural cycle and it can’t be stopped. Anyone who tells you otherwise is misleading you. Sure there are places where water is scarce, take Vegas for example, or all those nations where the sand people live in the middle east, they need to conserve water as their local ecosystem is desert and thus lacking water, but water is never lost.

    That being said, you don’t want to drink water that has been used to cool nuclear reactors or been used in manufacturing, refining, and mining and so on unless it has gone through the earth and had contaminants filtered out by evaporation back into the clouds. Speaking of bad water, Fukushima is leaching radioactive water into the Pacific and this may become an extinction level event as the years go on. I’m reminded here of the part of the bible where it says that a third of the living thins in the ocean died.

    Also, the cia and other experts have touted peak oil, that we’d be out of food by now, and of course the expert owl gorythm said the cities would be flooded by globular warmins by now. Experts I say! We can trust them.

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