[Homestead] Teamsters endorse Obama
Clansgian at wmconnect.com
Clansgian at wmconnect.com
Sat Feb 23 09:43:25 EST 2008
> >I need facts on that. Food stability and security is greater when the
> >source is spread more broadly. Think garden failure. Think the great
> >potato failure in Europe. If we choose to rail at globalism we might
> >start with out recent ancestors who left their caves and huts and
> >crossed an ocean.
Gene, all that global food is being moved about with oil. In fact almost all
of it is being grown with oil (and natural gas). Already I'm monitoring the
stories of food panic in remote places of the world (Nepal, Pakistan,
Zimbabwe) openly blamed on the price of fuel. On the same trip to get the oranges, I
noticed that the produce stand had thier 50lb sacks of seed potatoes in stock
and so I inquired the price, glad to hear that they are about the same price
as last year. But the proprietor's face darkened and he said, "Yes, but the
fertilizer for them has gone from $3.25 a fifty-weight last year to $7.75 this
year!" More than double. I don't use it, of course, being content with a
modest yield of potatoes using only compost and manure. But the implication is
Someone I know who owns a riding stable opined that even if the weather this
year is perfect (far from likely, more's the pity), hay will still be scarce
and expensive. Her reasoning is that the lush yields of hay from three
cuttings around here comes from generous application of nitrogen fertilizer and with
said fertilizer so expensive, less will be bought and used, and what is used
will produce expensive hay.
It's true that you can grow hay and pasture here just with the animal manure
generated (which is what we do), but the yield is modest. It is not worth it
to bale the hay for sale from such a field. To do that one must apply
chemical nitrogen fertilizer (and lime and phosphorus) which will triple and
quadruple the yield.
I mention these things to illustrate that the whole idea of spreading food
production around the world is directly depending on cheap oil and natural gas,
which, it seems, is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.
> >Homesteading barely
> >works for a very small number. It is impossible on a national scale.
It works for us small in number because of our very modest lifestyles. It
would make a very good discussion on this list to examine the notion that it is
impossible on a national scale. But agribusiness as we know it will come to
an end with the end of cheap fossil fuel. If indeed homesteading, or something
very like it, is impossible, then that is the same thing as saying that
living will be impossible as well.
> >Take a deep breath and inspect your computer for country of manufacture.
That's an often used red herring. That is, if we were all localists or
regionalists, where would we get computers from? Well, the computer on which I am
typing right now is six or seven years old and shows no signs right now of
abating. I notice that the whole outfit in the Mart now of days, flat monitor,
printer, everything, is less than $300. And, if need be I could do without it
altogether or go to the library and use the computer.
But the glass of milk I had this morning was only a few hours old. Likewise
the eggs. I'll need more of them tomorrow and I can't do without them (or
That is, I don't mind that computers depend on world commerce and oil. It's
a good use for them just like it's a good use of them to bring tea and oranges
within my reach. I enjoy them but do not depend on them.
Computers and oranges vs. milk and eggs are two different worlds. </HTML>
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