[permaculture] Is permaculture easy? (was Peak Oil)

Toby Hemenway toby at patternliteracy.com
Wed Jul 25 11:51:41 EDT 2007

Marjory  wrote:
> The US became a NET IMPORTER of food in 2005.  Please see 
> http://www.agonist.org/node/10568/print for the full article.
Nope, the US is still a net food exporter. The article cited was a 
prediction from a left-wing website, and it didn't come true. Gotta 
watch those predictions! The real numbers, from the USDA are:

2005 Agricultural exports, in billions:  $63.18  Imports: $59.3
2006 Exports: $70.9   Imports: $65.3
2007 through May, Exports: $33.0  Imports: $30.3
Source: USDA Economic Research Service,

But I'm well aware that the US has a very stupid food system. No denying 
> There have been studies done for the local Austin area which indicated that 
> providing the caloric needs for that city will be very, very, very, very 
> difficult. 
It would be nice to see a citation. The Cornell study I cited was at

> "there are not enough farmers 
> in the entire DFW (Dallas Fort Worth) area to meet the needs of even one 
> elementary school cafeteria"
That's very sad. Several schools in Portland have regular days in which 
most of the cafeteria food comes from the school garden; we don't even 
need to go to one of the many  local farms.

But regardless, I've always thought that building large cities in the 
desert is stupid. Dallas-Fort Worth is a nightmare, as are Phoenix, 
Tucson,. Las Vegas, etc.  Humans have created large settlements in 
desert regions before, but I do think the SW US has overdone it 
substantially. I can see why if you lived in a desert megalopolis you'd 
be pretty worried.


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