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2022 | The Year of Soylent Green
Albert Goldson Albert Goldson
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: New York, NY
Friday, March 25, 2022


 “Life Imitating Art”

The disturbinglyprescient dystopian movies of the 20th century that indicated aspecific year on mankind’s downfall has reinforced the adage, “Life imitatingart.” Most notably is the 49th anniversary of the release of the sci-fi,cult classic Soylent Green (1973) whose back-story uncomfortably parallels thepresent-day dilemmas that could lead us on a downward slide to the film’s dystopianDante’s inferno. Shockingly the film’s promotional posters prominently indicatethe year “2022” in which this dystopian chaos takes place.

The plot focuses onNYC, as a microcosm of the dark futuristic underworld in which the world hasdescended: a massive Hooverville of 40 million mostly unemployed and homeless citizens,following irreversible manmade global ecological mismanagement and intense foodinsecurity that has triggered autocratic governments’ endless efforts tocontain the daily civil unrest.

Although we haven’treached such a dire predicament as depicted in the movie, every component is akey ingredient to a potential toxic storm. Although each of these toxic elementsby itself cannot trigger a global meltdown, the inter-connectedness to other similarelements can be devastating as visually demonstrated in this video entitled domino chain reaction,geometric growth.


Governmental and transnational,mega-corporation leadership, the global public-private partnership cabal, has unnecessarilybrought the world to the edge of the next Great Depression. What was onceimpossible is now plausible – and perhaps at this point inevitable.

The Slippery Slope tothe Road to Perdition

The slippery slope to economicArmageddon has been greased by Covid-19, its subsequent lockdowns, millions ofdeaths and economic destruction. The recent Russo-Ukraine war has severed thepipeline that furnishes 30% of the world’s grain exports and is an accelerant toextreme food insecurity and perhaps mass famine. Compounding this dilemma isthe present-day historic droughts in China, Middle East, Brazil and the US.

From a globalperspective the following chart entitled The World Map ofDrought Riskprovided by the Aqueduct by World Resources Institute, indicates the risk,not actual present-day, of drought. Ukraine, Europe’s breadbasket, which hasbeen a giant with bumper harvests for many years, has suffered severe droughtsin the past and may be “due” for one in the future.

This study examined thefactors of “drought intensity, water stress,drought vulnerability, population, crop and livestock density.” Furthermore, thestudy emphasizes that droughts are different from “water-stressed” regions whichmeasures suitable water for the population including drinking water. For thisreason Europe has a lower water-stressed risk than Africa, Asia and the MiddleEast whose problems include poor water quality.

With respect to droughtrisk in the US, the following chart entitled Persistent DroughtAffects More Than Half of US provided by the US Drought Monitor byUSDA/NOAA/University of Nebraska indicates a disturbing trend of increasingactual drought conditions.

For the past severalyears these longer in duration conditions have resulted in increasingly moreintense and widespread wildfires and lower reservoir reserves caused by climatechange even in areas that historically aren’t often affected by such conditionssuch as the Pacific Northwest.

The following chart entitled Where Water Stress Will Be Highest by 2040 provided by the World Resources Institute via The EconomistIntelligence Unit, is a long-range projection of water-stress risk based onrecent trends.

For example in the first drought chart the US is rated a“low to medium” risk for drought specifically for 2019, the progressivelydegraded situation for the period 2018-2021 and a “high” rating for thelong-term projection 2021 to 2040.

Food Insecurity andGlobal Calamity

The fusion of climatechange and war has severe impacts on agriculture that will inevitably lead to considerablyless crop yields. For this reason this will result in outright food shortages andsubsequently civil unrest and perhaps civil wars.

Food is becoming increasinglyunaffordable as indicated by the disturbing trend in the following chartentitled Global Food PricesSurgeprovided by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Underscoring theurgency of this trend, the FAO reported that February 2022 food prices were atits highest point since they began collecting data three decades ago.

In thedeveloped world 15% of household income is allocated to food while it’s 50% inundeveloped countries. The citizenry in the developed world has the ability toallocate more monies for food while those in undeveloped countries mayliterally starve. Sadly this is the best case scenario. Should food becomescarce and unaffordable, civil unrest and even civil war could breakdemocracies and turn autocracies into failed states.

The following chartentitled The Link BetweenSoaring Food Prices and Political Instability provided by the UN Food AgricultureOrganization strongly underscore this trend.

According to ArifHusain, chief economist at the World Food Program, an arm of the UN, in theWall Street Journal article entitled Ukraine War’s SpilloverSwamps Poor Countries Still Reeling From Covid-19, “In 2008 a spike infood prices caused riots in 48 countries.”

Arab Spring II OnSteroids

The most recent large-scaleprotest against higher food prices was the Arab Spring in the early 2010s whichroiled the region. Because of the criticality of Russian and Ukrainian grainexports to highly import dependent, poor countries in the Middle East, NorthAfrica and sub-Sahara Africa, the explosive inflation and shortage offertilizer and pesticides, agrarian manpower shortages for planting &harvesting, adverse meteorological conditions and on-going supply chainchallenges can trigger a geopolitical firestorm with civil unrest occurring simultaneouslyin dozens of countries globally.

The Great GlobalMigration

The aforementioned conditionscould trigger the mass migration of citizens from poor countries to relative richerones that would dwarf those migrations of the past decades. The destinationcountry citizenry will already be suffering from food insecurity and will hardlybe welcoming to the starving newcomers. Competition for scarce essentialresources will be violently fierce.

The following chartentitled Climate Change, theGreat Displacerprovided by the World Bank, indicates internal climate migrants.

Prescient Perspectives

During the early months ofthe global lockdown my article on food security was published two years ago,almost to the day, on April 2, 2020 with Seeking Alpha, a financialcrowd-sourcing website, entitled article Global Food Insecurity. Despite the enormousuncertainty as to the duration of the lockdown and how the world would emergeafterwards, my perspectives two years ago were spot-on in identifying the implacableheadwinds we face today.

Domestic DystopianDangers

The run on the bankswill not be financial rather on the food banks as more citizens will be unableor unwilling to pay for exorbitant food prices and the meager existing inventory.Similar to the riots and organized street gang robberies of luxury shops in2021, the same will occur with bodegas, supermarkets and even cold storagefacilities. These gangs will be far more dangerous to confront because food isa survival item and probably more valuable and quicker to sell on the blackmarket than a luxury designer garment.

Already present-daysmall groups are tailing individuals after food shopping and robbing them oftheir food and valuables in home invasions.

Expect a boom in hiredsecurity for these venues. Food banks will struggle to purchase increasinglycostly basic foods for the community, but will not have the resources to hiresecurity to protect their inventory. Furthermore, food banks like manyindustries are struggling to attract volunteers to manage these facilitiesresulting in fewer day and hours of operation in the community.


We’re in a present-dayprecursor to a Soylent Green world in which all the components in the sci-fi,cinematic cult classic are in place.

It will be far moredangerous world than the present-day violent crime spike that’s occurring inhigh and low income communities throughout the country. For this reason oneshould become an ardent prepper in acquiring as much culinary provisions asaffordable and space allows. Though some might consider this method borderlinepathological, when food is scarce and very expensive, having sufficientprovisions already in your abode is priceless.


©Copyright 2022 Cerulean Council LLC

TheCerulean Council is a NYC-based think-tank that provides prescient,beyond-the-horizon, contrarian perspectives and risk assessments ongeopolitical dynamics and global urban security.


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