Wednesday, January 21, 2009

the coming social shift.

Brought to you by Clusterfuck Nation, the blog:

"The "change" we face in agriculture dwarfs even the death throes of Happy Motoring (and is not unrelated to it either). A lot of people are likely to starve in America if we don't get our act together pronto in terms of how we produce the food we eat. Petro-agribusiness faces a set of disturbances that are certain to induce food shortages. Again, the Peak Oil specter looms in the background, for soil "inputs" and diesel power to run that system. But all of a sudden even that problem appears a lesser danger than the gross failure of capital finance now underway -- and petro-agriculture's chief external input is credit. Credit may be in extremely short supply this year, and hence crops may be in short supply as we turn the corner into spring and summer. Just as in the case of WalMart versus Main Street, the reform of farming in America is one of those "changes" much larger than most of us imagine. I'd go so far to say that a large proportion of young people now in college will find themselves not working in office cubicles, but in some way or other in farming or the "value-added" activities connected to it." -- jim kunstler 1-19-09

This is a severe scenario, I admit. But assuming for a moment that some version of it is true -- the result being that more of us inhabit the countryside, adding value to natural materials, and producing healthy local food. Suppose fewer of us make a living sitting at a desk all day, and more of us actually make our living by being good stewards of our collective land base. Is that a bad thing? I embrace this future.


Maddio said...

I concur! As we speak, I am applying for jobs in the agriculture/viniculture world. Tired of wasting my days away at a desk in cubeland, I have made a life choice to make a career out of my passion for wine. And to be honest, desk jobs are going by the wayside with tens of thousands of layoffs happening on a daily basis. And with Obama's plan to rebuild America's infrastructure, more and more of our citizens will be back to working with their hands, instead of leading the sedentary lifestyles they had as finance brokers. I think it will do our society and generation a lot of good, honestly!

PS. Doing a little you have any info on the Great Barrier Reef? I'm looking for anything pertaining to global warming, ecology, overfishing,'s for a project. :) Thanks so much!

Ryan Crocker said...

Hey Maddie,

It sounds like we are thinking along the same lines -- I'm planning to move back home to Texas this summer, and I hope to find an apprenticeship on an organic farm somewhere in central Texas. I agree that building a more productive economy is the way forward for America. It is clearly the only future that makes any sense (the consumer economy is dying an ugly death). However, I'm not sure that Obama's plan to give our highways a facelift goes far enough. It will take a much larger investment in new transportation infrastructure (such as electrified rail for freight and passengers) and reform of ag. subsidies, among other things to make a big difference. But the good news is that we seem to have a president with a conscience for once. Events are in the driver seat right now, and I have confidence in Obama's leadership and the resilience of the American people.

ps--don't know much about how global warming might affect the Great Barrier Reef, but I would love to hear what you find. I know Australia is sort of ground zero for climate change though. The Murray river basin is drying up, and farmers are being forced to abandon their land because of extreme drought.