“Civilization and anarchy are only seven meals apart”
— Spanish proverb
Instability is a positive feedback loop driven by weather, energy and food prices, currency fluctuations, repression, and demography.
Adverse weather conditions, in tandem with high energy prices and a weak U.S. dollar, can increase discontent in countries with repressive regimes and youth bulges. What is transpiring in the Middle East today seems to follow this pattern.
The problem with positive feedback loops is that they feed on themselves and spiral out of control. For instance, high energy prices contribute to high food prices. High food prices in energy-rich countries with repressive governments and youth bulges, lead to unrest. This unrest spooks global energy markets leading to further energy price appreciation. This price appreciation again feeds the cycle ad infinitum.
Try not to miss your next meal…