Over the course of his fifteen-year tenure as a senior executive with the Louis Dreyfus Group, Simon Rich had an opportunity to observe a troubling trend firsthand--the increasingly unsustainable dependence of the global agricultural sector on fossil fuels coupled with the inevitable depletion of global petroleum reserves. Louis Dreyfus holds a major position in global oil seeds, cereals, cotton and orange juice processing and merchandising, and is active in the global petroleum, natural gas, and electricity sectors as both a producer and merchant. As a matter of course, the company monitors global supply and demand for energy and foodstuffs on virtually a real-time basis. Global food prices and the price of natural gas and oil have been ever more closely correlated in an era when petroleum products have become a critical component of food production and transport. But in the late 1990s, that correlation became a heightened cause for concern as energy analysts throughout the world and within Louis Dreyfus began to warn of the phenomenon of peak oil.