Paul's Internet Landfill/ 2021/ Supply Chains

Supply Chains

Prices have gone up at the grocery store. Onions and potatoes are more expensive. Even the discount "seconds" potatoes have increased from $1.50 per bag to $1.75.

California is in for a big drought this year. There is less snowpack on the mountains, which indicates another dry year for the state. Who knows what drought and fire will do to food prices? If California produce prices skyrocket then demand for local food will go up too.

I went to Black Arrow Cycles to find a bike tire, and they only had expensive ones. They had put an order in for reasonably-priced tires last year, but they didn't expect it to arrive for two or three months. It isn't just Black Arrow; there are reported shortages of bike parts all over.

On the KWTechs slack people are complaining that the cost of plywood and lumber has gone up dramatically.

On the Pine64 blog the founder was saying that one component of its Qwartz64 board had increased in price by 850%, and that he expected supply problems and dramatically-increasing prices for the forseeable future. In addition there is a new cryptocurrency called Chiacoin which uses up hard drives to show proof of space, so the price of SSD storage might go up dramatically too.

A pipeline in the USA was hit by a ransomware attack Enbridge Line 5 pipeline in Canada is in trouble -- a court in Michigan ordered it shut down. That could cut off our oil supply too. Pipelines sometimes leak and they are expensive infrastructure to support fossil fuel production, but they are still the cheapest and least environmentally-destructive way to move those fossil fuels around.

Petrol prices are currently at $1.30/L, which is not the highest I have seen but higher than I have seen for a few years. Although I do not own a motor vehicle I depend on transport trucks to get my food and essential goods.

To my eyes these all seem like supply chains are breaking down, but other systems are also spiking the cost of living.

Housing prices are skyrocketing just as if we were in a bubble, but maybe that has more to do with low interest rates and less to do with supply. The supply of affordable housing is evaporating, though.

In addition, all levels of governments are hemorrhaging money. At some points the bills will become due. Federal governments can print more money if they want (at the cost of inflation), but provincial and municipal governments cannot.

If 2020 was the year of COVID, 2021 may well be the year of inflation. As prices rise it will become more expensive to live, and my savings will be worth less and less. I am not in imminent danger but I am getting increasingly concerned about how I will get by in the medium term. If/when I lose my housing things will get catastrophic.

COVID has something to do with some of these price spikes, but I do not think it is the whole story. Climate change is rearing its ugly head. Our monetary system may be utterly broken. As usual, grinding the economy to a halt to protect people from some virus is just making the fault lines more apparent.

Isn't much of this what I wanted? Didn't I want less fossil fuel, reduced manufacturing? Have I not predicted dire consequences of climate change for two decades? Have I not frequently wished to bring the whole corrupt system crashing down, shaking my fist at capitalism? I should have been more careful what I wished for, because it looks like we are all getting it.