Have commodities and mining reached bottom?

With the slowdown in China’s economy (the world’s biggest consumer of raw materials) the recent boom in commodities and mining companies has turned into “the worst commodities rout in two decades”. Glencore, a mining and commodity trading company with 2014 revenues of $221bn has just had its debt downgraded by Standard & Poor to one […]

Food production shocks ‘will happen more often because of extreme weather’

A new report forecasts that shocks to food production (reductions of 5%-7%) will be three times more likely by 2040, because of increases in extreme weather brought about by climate change. As a result, the position of people in developing countries will be “almost untenable” position, with the USA and UK “very much exposed” to […]

Water shortages looming

“We’re going to run out of water long before we run out of oil,” says Peter Brabeck, chairman of Nestlé. In the first instalment of a series on the threat of water scarcity, the Financial Times describes the impact on companies. “We have a water crisis because we make wrong water-management decisions. Climate change will further affect […]

Bad news, good news…

Two stories here, one describing the problem, one addressing part of the solution. First, a new study by Nasa shows yet again that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades, just as many previous empires and civilisations have done. Echoing Jared Diamond (TED talk here, synopsis here) they find the key factors driving the risk of […]