Saturday, January 08, 2005

A boot to the head

Spiritual Night Landscape (c) James Howard Kunstler

My previous post cast a positive light on peak energy aftermath. Fred Kirschenmann and people like him inject hope into our coming culture changes, and hope is desperately needed.

At the same time, I think a boot to the head, or a taste of yang to balance Fred's yin would be appropriate here. And I'll pull it out of Jim Kunstler's The ClusterFuck Nation Manifesto :

The downscaling of agriculture presents some obvious problems. Farms take years to establish. The knowledge for running diverse, small-scale farms becomes a little more lost every day as elderly farmers die and the culture of farming dies with them. The end of the cheap oil economy may bring dysfunction so swiftly to our current arrangements that we will not have time to make an orderly transition

This is absolutely correct. Time is the key variable here. Can we pull off the transition? The situation is made more complicated by the fact that industrial farming is damaging the land.

From that angle, maybe we don't want all our ducks in a row. Perhaps it would be best if peak oil happens this year, as Deffeyes predicts, so we have land left to do our farming on.

We don't want the same stupid look on our faces the Sumerians had when their canals filled with salt.


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