[permaculture] Global Food Supply Near the Breaking Point

jamie souscayrous at wanadoo.fr
Thu May 18 14:47:10 EDT 2006


Hello Toby, Martin Luther King had a dream (as did Martin Luther of course)
and his dream, while still not fully achieved (how many generations does
such a change take after all?), is becoming a reality. Walter Mitty had many
dreams but I don't recall which, if any, became reality.

Fukuoka has a dream that we all become quarter acre farmers. Pol Pot had a
dream of returning people forcibly to the land, which became nightmare
reality.

Marx dreamt of a Utopia after the revolution and in the Zhaungzi a man
dreams he is a butterfly only to awake to wonder if now he is a butterfly
dreaming he is a man.

Dreams are curious things, they are like seeds; sometimes they fall on stony
ground and sometimes on fertile earth.

I'm glad we agree that we can produce more food than we now do. As to the
timeframe of change? Perhaps it is not plants that need oil to grow but
cities? If this were true then wouldn't every city dweller soon start
dreaming of rural life as urban life changes after oil?

Change happens because it does. No theory can ever account for every change,
therefore, we should never plan to let billions die now to avoid the
theoretical death of further billions dying in the future. My dream is to do
nothing, it is the dream I caught from Fukuoka and I'm perfectly happy to go
off and cultivate my quarter acre.

In 30 years, in 100 years, perhaps we will all need to grow our own food,
but, then again, perhaps not. I simply don't know. What I do know is that my
wish to farm naturally has nothing to do with the theory 'Peak Oil' or
'DieOff', but has everything to do with my sheer wonder at the earth.

Perhaps you will be surprised at the ability of humans to adapt. Isn't every
moment an adaptation to the ever-changing world around us?

Jamie
Souscayrous







-----Original Message-----
From: permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of Toby
Hemenway
Sent: Thursday, May 18, 2006 7:20 PM
To: permaculture list
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Global Food Supply Near the Breaking Point


On 5/18/06 9:46 AM, "jamie" <souscayrous at wanadoo.fr> wrote:

 > farming naturally (using hand tools) is 50-100 times more energy
> efficient than modern mechanized agriculture. The end of oil is the end of
> oil but it is not the end of food.

Jamie,

Natural Farming/Hazelip/permaculture techniques could probably feed 6-9
billion. But I can't imagine that happening in time. Right now, billions are
fed by industrial mega-farms using huge tractors, etc, etc. All that fossil
fuel would need to be replaced by human labor. To convert those billions of
acres into natural farms means moving hundreds of millions of people out of
the world's cities and onto the land, redistributing most of the
privately-owned corporate land on the planet, building a hundred million new
houses for all of those new farmers, and so forth. I am not optimistic about
getting that done in a generation or two. It's a lovely, lovely dream that I
earnestly hope for instead of the Malthusian nightmare. But I fear it will
remain a dream, regardless of how many of us here hold it in our minds and
work toward it with our hands.

Toby
www.patternliteracy.com




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