Oil for food program

One of the aspects of the rising price of fossil fuels that I haven't seen written about much is the fact that chemical fertilizer is largely made from natural gas. That's going to put pressure on food prices--and it suggests a natural end to the green revolution, even if that end is some time away.

The New York Times has an article on that subject today. Rising demand for grain, especially to produce the meat demanded by newly richer Asians, is bumping up against short-term inelasticity of supply. Obviously, that's going to feed back into food prices.

I wonder if it won't also start feeding back into clothing prices--cotton is an extremely nitrogen hungry plant. And I believe that most synthetic fibers are also derived from fossil fuels.

When I think of the oil economy, I usually think of innovations in transportation, or electric power. I rarely consider how much oil has freed us from the basic concern about eating and putting clothes on our back.