Tuesday, May 30

a sign

An encouraging sign of the Great Turning (see previous post) from a municipal standpoint came on April 11, 2006 when San Francisco became the first city in the United Sates to pass a Peak Oil Resolution. Read more

Passed by unanimous vote, the resolution acknowledges the threats posed by peak oil and calls for the establishment of a citywide study to assess San Francisco's vulnerability to peak oil. The results of the study will indicate possible policies the city may adopt to reduce the impacts of energy supply disruptions and price shocks on San Francisco.


Monday, May 29

The Great Turning

The day started well, and got better.

A book by David C. Korten and subtitled: From Empire to Earth Community was delivered by my friendly courier this morning while talking with Laurence about creative means of increasing our ability to care for our land and use it with greater sensitivity and wisdom. I went out into the sunny afternoon and dived in - it was deeper than I could have hoped for.

The opening of the book has a seemingly endless stream of praise and a small number of the names I recognise are amongst my most respected thinkers. That was before I got to the author's acknowledgements, which lets you know, in no uncertain terms, the extent of the research and the breadth of diverse opinions which have informed his writing.

I'll leave you with the opening page of the Foreword, preceded as it is by a quote attributed to Joanna Macy, then you decide whether this is one for your local library.

Future generations, if there is a livable world for them, will look back at the epochal transistion we are making to a life-sustaining society. And they well call this the time of the Great Turning.
- Joanna Macy -

By what name will our children and our children's children call our time? Will they speak in anger and frustration of the time of the Great Unravelling, when profligate consumption led to an accelerating wave of collapsing environmental system, violent competition for what remained of the planets resources, a dramatic dieback of the Human population, and a fragmentation of those who remained into warring fiefdoms ruled by ruthless local lords?

Or will they look back in joyful celebration on the noble time of the Great Turning, when their forebears turned crisis into opportunity, embraced the higher-order potential of their human nature, learned to live in creative partnership with one another and the living Earth, and brought forth a new era of human possibility?

It is the premise of The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community that we humans stand at a defining moment that presents us with an irrevocable choice. Our collective response will determine how our time is remembered for so long as the human species survives. In the days now at hand, we must each be clear that every individual and collective choice we make is a vote for the future we of this time will bequeath to the generations that follow. The Great Turning is not a prophecy; it is a possibility.

Another excellent review

Sunday, May 28

two solutions films

The Power of Community
On the Transition Culture blog was an announcement about a new and uplifting film: The Power of Community, which explores what happened to Cuba when their oil supply disappeared, almost overnight, with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989. Read more about The Power of Community here:

Transition Culture blog
The Community Solution

Fuelling the Future
Last year there was a two day conference held in Kinsale (County Cork, Ireland) who produced the Energy Descent Plan.

The conference addressed not only the issue of peak oil but also a range of solutions to it, from natural building and local food production to renewable energy and local economics. The weekend was a huge success and has done much to promote discussion around the issue of peak oil in Ireland.

Speakers included Richard Heinberg, Colin Campbell, David Holmgren and Richard Douthwaite. Fuelling the Future has just released a 2-disc DVD set of the conference featuring all the main speakers.
Read more about
Fuelling the Future here:

Energy Bulletin - a great resource in itself
Association for the study of Peak Oil and Gas - Ireland

I am ordering copies of both of these films and look forward to a couple of nights of viewing at the Waiheke Community Cinema.

You will also find some more solutions films here.

Friday, May 26

we, the unauthorised

There's a film out there that is spreading like wildfire across the internet. The film takes difficult geo-political subject matter and makes them accessible - especially to a youthful audience. To give credit to the web site which has been promoting this film, I have copied the following words and links from their site:

We is a fast-paced 64 minute documentary that covers the world politics of power, war, corporations, deception and exploitation.

It visualizes the words of Arundhati Roy, specifically her famous Come September speech, where she spoke on such things as the war on terror, corporate globalization, justice and the growing civil unrest. Witty, moving, alarming and quite a lesson in history.

We is almost in the style of a music video, featuring the contemporary music of Lush, Curve, Love & Rockets, Boards of Canada, Nine Inch Nails, Dead Can Dance, Amon Tobin, Massive Attack, Totoise, Telepop, Placebo and Faithless. The music serves as wonderful background for the words of Ms. Roy and images of humanity in the world we live all in today.

We is a completely free documentary, created (and released) anonymously. There are many ways to download and view it.

You can watch a low-res 12 min clip of the film here - this clip displays a number of excellent web site addresses at the end:

The time has come, the Walrus said
Maybe things will become worse,
then better.

an inconvenient truth

There's a new film out - a major motion picture by all accounts on a subject that dares to address global warming. It states very clearly that Global Warming is man made and that we can have some impact on it. Al Gore is putting his weight behind this issue, with a sense of humour thrown in for good measure. Happy to see he didn't just roll over after the debacle called a democratic election.

Monday, May 22

how to cook a frog

I'm sorry.

I mean after such beautiful kayaking photos I feel cruel laying this one on you. But let's keep a sense of humour and not get too serious about this - after all it's in a far away country isn't it? And it's just one small part of that country (the state of Virginia), isn't it?

Without doubt, if I lived there, I (and many of you) would fit several of these defenitions of a terrorist, as outlined in a manual that was released by the state authorities at the end of March...

The manual encourages people to report any suspicious activity to an authority figure. Thanks to the writer of suddenly.everything.sucks blog, where you can read more on this.


Cleveland Women Arrested And Charged With Two Felonies Related To Putting Up Anti-Bush Posters
Carol Fisher is being held indefinitely in a surprise May 9 court hearing, becoming another political prisoner held illegally for speaking out against Bush.
Read more


Guys, I hate to have to tell you this ..but America did not Survive this administration, with three years to go, a deficit over 9 trillion, a media that is asleep at the switch, its over!! As a financial advisor for a major institution, I can tell you simply...we are all done. We are well on our way to a police state. It is my belief that Bush will never give up power... I may sound like a conspiracy nut but I think some "terrorist attack" will have the result of suspended elections and ..well you can guess the rest.. My advice to all of my clients is this ...GET A PASSPORT AND GET IT NOW ...SEEK PLACES THAT WILL ALLOW YOU TO LIVE IN PEACE AND WITH MINIMUM SAVINGS. CHECK THE PHILLIPINES...LOOK AROUND BECAUSE WE WILL HAVE TO ESCAPE SOON...WE ARE LIKE THE JEWS IN GERMANY...THE SMART ONES KNEW WHEN TO GE OUT ...THE ONES THAT STAYED WENT UP IN SMOKE LIKE WE WILL SOON!!!! STAY ALERT!!! The page where this comment is posted is very long and full of disturbing images.


From "The 48 Laws of Power" by Graham Greene
"What happened was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to be governed by surprise, to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believe that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security. . . To live in the process is absolutely not to notice it -- please try to believe me -- unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us ever had occasion to develop.

Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, 'regretted. '. . . Believe me this is true. Each act, each occasion is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join you in resisting somehow. . . Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. . . You remember everything now, and your heart breaks. Too late. You are compromised beyond repair. - German professor describing the arrival of Nazism to American journalist Milton Mayer Read more

who grows your food?

Joel believes that the only meaningful guarantee of integrity is when buyers and sellers can look one another in the eye...

Joel, who describes himself as a “Christian-libertarian-environmentalist-lunatic farmer,” speaks of his farming as his “ministry,” and certainly his 1,000 or so regular customers hear plenty of preaching. Each spring he sends out a long, feisty, single-spaced letter that could convince even a fast-food junkie that buying a pastured broiler from Polyface Farm qualifies as an act of social, environmental, nutritional, and political redemption.

“Greetings from the non-bar code people,” began one recent missive, before launching into a high-flying jeremiad against our disconnected “multi-national global corporate techno-glitzy food system” with its “industrial fecal factory concentration camp farms.” (The dangerous pileup of modifiers is a hallmark of Joel’s rhetorical style.)

Like any good jeremiad, this one eventually transits from despair to hope, noting that the “yearning in the human soul to smell a flower, pet a pig and enjoy food with a face is stronger now than anytime in history,” before moving into a matter-of-fact discussion of this year’s prices and the paramount importance of sending in your order blanks and showing up to collect your chickens on time. For the whole story

Saturday, May 20


I listened to the full 45 minute audio of this one night while camping on the beach during my kayak journey around Waiheke. This is near the end of the interview, which covers a lot of climate change and peak oil issues from a well-researched scientist who has turned his energy to localisation projects in Willits California. Which also happens to be the home of John Jeavons of bio growintensive.

Global Public Media:
Tell me your vision for Willits 2020.

Jason Bradford: Yes, 2020 vision for Willits. These are my hopes and dreams. I'm going to start with food. We have about forty community-supported farms out in the valley. These farms employ so many people, they're working at these farms and they're good jobs, dependable jobs, I mean everyone needs food. Job security is there. They are also the sort of jobs that put people in touch with the rhythms of nature, the natural cycles. They're interesting jobs because we're not growing mono-crop agriculture. We've got all the grains, we're growing rye and wheat and barley and oats and winter beans and all the different vegetables you can imagine. And so learning about this, getting in touch with these wonderful creatures, raising chickens, I mean the animals are just so interesting.

That I think is the basis. And imagine how interesting it is for kids to be raised in an environment where they see where their food comes from, you have harvest festivals. The kids may be out at school during the time when there's planting or harvesting and the community comes to gather around that.

And then you have the local manufacturing that supports all this. So again the young people, maybe the middle age folks who have lost their jobs if the manufacturing base has been eroded here, they are so needed. We say share your knowledge. Or even the older folks here who remember what life was like before the big roads came in. How did you guys live here? How did you get along? What sort of community events went on? There's a whole culture, there was a loss essentially related to the rhythms of life surrounding harvest and planting and preserving and the changing of the seasons, and people having to interact with each other to get what they need.

Right now you can be on the Internet and you can say ship me the food, ship me my clothes, ship me my entertainment. I don't need anybody. That sense of isolation both from other people in your community and from the nature that sustains you is just appalling, and you wonder why kids don't know what their place is in this world. You wonder why adults have depression problems, obesity problems and all kinds of problems with over consumption and materialism, they're trying to find some pleasure in life.

My vision of the future is that that's not an issue. Life itself and the way we live it is something that is so satisfying, so that's what we can do.

Go here for full transcript

And here for Audio and video of this

Friday, May 19

kayak journey

Wow! How to describe it? The weather was perfect and the constantly changing scenery was stunning. These three pics on this page were taken within a few hours of each other on the same morning.

It was a lone three day and three night clockwise trip around Waiheke Island. Camping on the beaches at Hooks Bay, North of Orapiu, and South of Church Bay. It was cool at nights, but a reasonable sleeping bag and a woolly hat took care of that. Carrying everything I needed offered a chance to reflect on needs and wants. I had been wanting to do this trip ever since arriving on Waiheke four years ago, and it was only a couple of weeks ago that I committed to doing it.

Gifts of fish, Penguins, sunsets, moonrises, misty mornings, campfires and lots of time to reflect on life choices.

During the days I was reading from The Healing Wisdom of Africa, and at night when it got dark, I listened to some audio files (yes, I took my iPod). One was called Target Africa and described the oil exploitation which is being carried on in Sub-Saharan Africa by the US oil companies, fully supported by the US military who have established their bases there already, and are doing military exercises in the country. Having just recently returned from a brief trip to Zimbabwe which I am incredibly grateful for, I wept to feel the opposites of these two sources of information about the same country - one expressing heart and passion and wisdom, and the other brute force and powerful self-interest and ignorance.

Another audio file I listened to was about localisation (as a response to climate change and peak oil), and I have written a little about this here. This one gave me more hope for the possibility that we can and will (some are starting to) re-structure our society along lines that assume more responsibility for our impacts, and supplying much more of our basic needs through local food and manufacturing initiatives.

Just out from Rocky Bay was this scene. It had me gasping with delight at the beauty of this island and its surrounds. It was the ultimate contrast to the large sponge-sized globs of detergent-based(?) foam and other signs of human waste that we pour into our oceans, and which I had paddled through the day before.

I can imagine doing this trip again, but next time with some friends.

Tuesday, May 16

bottom up

I have been proposing for some time that the solutions are going to have to come from the bottom and filter up - demanding governments change things for us is an assumption of weakness and gives our power away. Kim and I witnessed this in Africa, and the signs are that the "leaders" of our great nations are for the most part, in an unseemly hurry to aquire as much wealth and power as they can to secure their own sorry backsides against the future challenges.

This morning while browsing some of the blogs I visit regularly, I came across this.

Global Public Sees Global Warming Threat

A new poll of adults in 30 countries finds that 65 percent think global warming is a very serious problem, while 25 percent call it somewhat serious. Clearly global citizenry is more in touch with climate science and ecological change than their leaders. It is unconscionable that world governments are failing to lead.

Not only should the U.S. be condemned (though they and Australia are the worst offenders); but the response from Canada, Europe, Japan, China and India has also been tepid and irresponsible.

The possibility of a bottom up climate revolution should not be discarded given this significant level of concern - particularly as the crisis continues to turn deadly. Now it remains to be seen what those expressing concern
would be willing to forgo to address the climate crisis.

Monday, May 15

needs and wants

As with all worthwhile journeys, this one began before pushing off from the shore - prompting questions and pushing at the borders of my comfort zone. The journey started as a vague dream some years ago, and then last week became a clear intention.

I was intending to leave this morning, but weather and a trip to the hospital for Kim's youngest child Hope, who has been suffering a viral attack for over a week, meant I had a little more time to pack the kayak properly, and double check I had all the essentials.

Our society is driven by a propaganda machine promoting every kind of consumption, and promising pleasure, fulfillment, and happiness through acquisition of external objects. But we are consuming the very planet we rely on for the survival of ourselves, and the generations that follow.
We are living through the 6th greatest extinction in history and it has been caused by our culture.

Making mental lists, and adding things that I might need, I noticed the assumptions I make. I have slowly been regaining my perspective and learning to discriminate between needs and wants, impulses and desires - somehow this trip is a chance to reflect on life's basic needs and consider what is sustainable?
  • What do I need to keep dry and warm? How much food do I need? What kind of food? What clothing? What kind of shelter?
Fears seem closely related to wants and needs. As I packed the kayak this afternoon I became aware of some subtle fears and what-if's. The unknowns can bring up fear, a useful survival mechanism to be sure. What if the wind comes up and blows me offshore? What if I hurt myself while out there alone? Then there are the lesser fears of simply being uncomfortable, of being cold, or wet, or having to sleep on a hard rocky beach, of being hungry.

It seems that it would be simpler to stay put in my warm and dry home on the hill, but I am prompted by an impulse similar to my friend's motto:
"make change your friend," along with a desire to take some retreat time before our baby arrives in a few weeks.

I may get to push off tomorrow morning on the high tide.

Sunday, May 14

your human life purpose

About a year ago I came across the second book by Robert A. Monroe - Far Journeys.

It is an account of his out-of-body journeys over several decades, and the experience of others he has worked with in the research institute setup for the purpose of studying these astral travel phenomena.

A few days ago I re-read one particular piece of wisdom which he recounts thus:

The major underlying cause of human worry relates to the Law of Change. All human conflict relates to this law. Some worry that change will take place, others that it will not. Wars are fought to resist change or to accelerate it. At the individual level, this translates into various forms of indecision. Fear enters into the pattern, fear of the consequences of any decision or action . . . . . . To move away from the null point of indecision, take the position that any action or decision is better than none at all... To get the process underway without trauma, perform the following:
  • Make up an A list. Place on this list all of your worries, anxieties, and concerns about which you can do absolutely nothing. You cannot do anything about tomorrow's weather conditions...

  • Make up a B list. Place on this list all of your worries, anxieties, and concerns about which you can do something today, things you can respond to with action, large or small.

  • Make up a C list. Place on this list all of your needs, hopes, and desires, large or small, which have yet to be fulfilled.

Today perform the following functions:
  1. Take the A list and destroy it, and in doing so, dismiss all items contained therein from your consciousness.

  2. Take the B list and take some action, however large or small, to begin the resolution of each item contained therein. Several may be concluded immediately and thus can be released and dismissed from your consciousness. Others will be reduced in pressure because the flow has begun, a decision has been made.

  3. Take at least one item on the C list and perform one act, large or small, that moves you in the direction of such goal.

    Perform this entire process each day until you have no A list, no B list and all of your energy and consciousness are devoted to items on your C list.

    You will then complete serenely your human life purpose.
--- 0 ---

On my C list this week was the desire to complete a round Waiheke kayak journey. With Kim only 10 weeks away from her due date I figured it was now or... so I am off tomorrow. I have allowed four nights of camping on the beaches to complete it.

Wednesday, May 10

converging paths

The Healing Wisdom of Africa
Finding Life Purpose Through Nature, Ritual, and Community
by Malidoma Patrice Some

Today, while most people in the West enjoy material affluence, villagers in Africa suffer hunger and poverty. But here, perhaps, is a case where the material and the spiritual are working independently toward the same end.

Africa's material scarcity may be symptomatic of a deeper global problem pertaining to soul and Spirit.

While the Third world is experiencing the immediacy of the people's need for healing in the area of physical hunger, the West is awakening to a spiritual hunger so dramatic as to be almost frightening. Like the famished cows in the Pharoah's dream, the modern psyche dangles and zig zags this way and that with a mighty intent to devour anything that smells ancient and spiritual.

The converging paths of these two worlds may ultimately enable material abundance to silence the Third World's cries for nourishment and the cries of the Westerner's hungering soul.

Monday, May 8

world's biggest gas station

In the Chaos of Iraq,
One Project Is on Target:
A Giant US Embassy

By Daniel McGrory - The Times on Line UK, Wedneday 03 May 2006

The question puzzles and enrages a city: how is it that the Americans cannot keep the electricity running in Baghdad for more than a couple of hours a day, yet still manage to build themselves the biggest embassy on Earth? ...

...While families in the capital suffer electricity cuts, queue all day to fuel their cars and wait for water pipes to be connected, the US mission due to open in June next year will have its own power and water plants to cater for a population the size of a small town.

...Officially, the design of the compound is supposed to be a secret, but you cannot hide the giant construction cranes and the concrete contours of the 21 buildings...

...The heavily guarded 42-hectare (104-acre) site - which will have a 15ft thick perimeter wall...

...After roughing it in Saddam's abandoned palaces, diplomats should have every comfort in their new home. There will be impressive residences for the Ambassador and his deputy, six apartments for senior officials, and two huge office blocks for 8,000 staff...

...[not surprisingly] Iraqi politicians opposed to the US presence protest that the scale of the project suggests that America retains long-term ambitions here.

bird flu

The Greatness of a nation and its moral progress shows in the way it treats its animals - Ghandi

Do you know that 'bird flu' was discovered in Vietnam 9 years ago?

Do you know that so far only 113 people in the whole
have died through their association with infected birds?

Do you know that EVERY DAY in the U.S. ALONE, more than 1,400 Americans die from Heart Disease?

Do you know that it was the Americans who alerted us to the efficacy of the human antiviral TAMIFLU as a preventative.

Do you know that TAMIFLU barely alleviates some symptoms of the common flu?

Do you know that its efficacy against the common flu is questioned by a great
part of the scientific community?

Do you know that against a SUPPOSED mutant virus such as H5N1, TAMIFLU barely alleviates the illness?

Do you know who markets TAMIFLU?
Do you know who bought the patent for TAMIFLU from ROCHE LABORATORIES in 1996?
Do you know who was the then president of GILEAD SCIENCES INC. and remains a major shareholder to this day?
  • Answer: DONALD RUMSFELD, the present Secretary of Defence of the USA.
Do you know that the base of TAMIFLU is crushed aniseed?

Do you know who controls 90% of the world's production of this tree?

  • Answer: ROCHE.
Do you know that sales of TAMIFLU were over $254 million in 2004 and more than $1000 million in 2005?

Do you know how many more millions ROCHE can earn in the coming months
if the business of fear continues?

So the summary of the story is as follows:
  • Bush's friends decide that the medicine TAMIFLU is the solution for a pandemic that has not yet occurred and that has caused a hundred deaths worldwide in 9 years. This medicine doesn't so much as cure the common flu.
  • In normal conditions the virus does not affect humans.
  • Rumsfeld sold the patent for TAMIFLU to ROCHE for which they paid him a fortune.
  • Roche acquires 90% of the global production of crushed aniseed, the base for the antivirus.
  • The governments of the entire world threaten a pandemic and then buy industrial quantities of the product from Roche.
  • So we end up paying for medicine while Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush do the business.

Related posts:

Thursday, May 4

who writes this stuff

When Kim read out the headline below I stopped - so it's THE pandemic now, it's no longer "a possible pandemic." It's sad to read this stuff, because it shouts of treason and greed, domination and control.

The shining light in all of it has to be from visionary's like
Elisabet Sahtouris. Click here to download and listen to her evolutionary biology perspective on our present moment in history.

Here's some clips from the article in the Times:

Inside The White House Plan for the Pandemic
By MIKE ALLEN/WASHINGTON Posted Wednesday, May. 03, 2006

Don’t count on just vaccines, or only the feds. A White House report establishing a national response to a global disease outbreak, including bird flu, warns that state and local law enforcement may have to enforce isolation or even quarantine procedures in certain cases to try to contain the pandemic.

Such measures, which would be undertaken with the help of the National Guard, illustrates the profound potential consequences of a severe flu pandemic, which could require medical care for a substantial percentage of the world’s population, close schools and businesses and disrupt government services when they are needed most.
"Our efforts require the participation of, and coordination by, all levels of government and segments of society," President George W. Bush writes in a letter at the start of the report, adding that the nation has already "taken a series of historic steps to address the pandemic threat."

The red, white and blue, 227-page report is partly a plan for other plans, encouraging businesses and state and local governments to prepare for a flu pandemic just as they would for a terrorist attack or natural disaster, and not rely on the federal government to do everything. Amid increasing reports of bird flu in Asia . . . [see actual figures below]
The report, aiming for a tone that is realistic but not alarmist [wow, I would hate to read their alarmist version] . . .

Administration officials, backed by experts, have decided against sealing borders with Canada and Mexico in the event of an outbreak. The report says that "would likely delay but not stop the spread of influenza to the United States, and would have significant negative social, economic and foreign policy consequences." . . . . Still, for all its detail, the report is a reminder that the nation, as Bush is fond of saying in the context of terrorism, "safer, but not yet safe."

27 April 2006

Total number of cases includes number of deaths.
WHO reports only laboratory-confirmed cases.

For another view on bird flu and how to read between the lines of the press follow the links from this post.

the working day gets longer

God Bless America

It's great how they are telling us that we are better off.
I really must believe it as I know they wouldn't lie.
And who am I to disbelieve and who am I to scoff?
Though the working day gets longer and the pile of bills more high.

It's really, really wonderful how big cars buy you love.
I certainly believe this as I saw it on TV.
So I went to get a humvee with a girl a girl draped on the bonnet
But the man in the humvee shop said, "There's no guarantee."

It's really, really great how all of us are in the pink.
My wife just had a heart attack, there isn't time to pee
And I'm feeling rather nauseous and don't know what to think.
But that's OK. They've got my soul so they can think for me.

It's really, really wonderful. It's really, really great.
I'm living out my dream. Oh boy, I'm just the luckiest guy.
My wife is dead. My kids are doing drugs. I've put on weight.
So let me yell once more, "God bless America!" and die.

Michael Burton
2nd May 2006

Wednesday, May 3

a day in the life

It was a beautiful sunny day yesterday, and I spent most of it turning soil into new garden beds. I used the double dig method described by John Jeavons, then sowed them with Mustard seed, and a row of Pea and Broad Bean seedlings.

I thought I had done enough, but when I went down to the beach for a cool refreshing swim I discovered 5 dead Penguins (probably the result of the storm on the weekend), and had to dig over another patch, which became the Penguin bed.

Today I transfered some of the Lettuce, Brocolli and Red Cabbage seedlings from the soil cubes, into pots. Very satisfying.

What a gift to be able to live in such a place that puts on displays like this at the end of a day.

Monday, May 1

global warming


If you don't have one already, there's no better time than the present to start your own vegetable garden, whether it's on your own land or in a local community plot.

According to the latest data from the US Department of Agriculture, the level of home food production is at its lowest point in US history. With the average food traveling more than 1500 miles from farm to fork, the environmental impact of big agribusiness foods is at an all time high.
  • To back this up, John Jeavons suggests that in the US only one person in 500 is a farmer producing food. What are the consequences of this? When so few people know how to grow food, and then only doing so supported by the phenomenal usage of fossil fuels?

Concerned about global warming and peak oil? Consider the fact that it takes 400 calories of fossil fuels to transport a single 5 calorie strawberry from California to East Coast supermarkets. What's more, that flavorless non-organic strawberry was grown with methyl bromide, a carcinogenic and ozone depleting pesticide.

In contrast, a perennial patch of strawberries in your yard grows back on its own every year, requires no fossil fuels and no pesticides, and tastes a whole lot better. The environmental benefits of growing some of your own food are staggering. The Organic Consumers Association is developing a new campaign to help turn every thumb into a Green thumb.

oil and recession

"Peak Oil will occur when half of all the oil has been pulled from the ground. After that, oil will become increasingly scarce, and increasingly expensive, over time. When oil becomes expensive the economy goes into recession until it becomes cheap again. Peak Oil means that oil will only get more expensive, forever.

Many people who know what they're talking about think we are at Peak right now."

This succinct description of peak oil and the consequences came from this Adaptation site which also runs a blog, that looks very interesting and practical.

I got onto the Adaption blog via this morning's post on Dave's How to Save the World blog, in which he describes very well, some different views on what will happen in society when the biggest economy in the world eventually declines into the next great depression.

My response to sensing this has been to learn to grow food and help other people do likewise. If you don't have food security, then neither do I. And from what I am reading now, it seems that with logical changes in diet and bio intensive gardening we can grow enough for all of us and in a time frame that will allow us plenty of opportunity to do other things. This is not a descent into some cold dark cave man scenario where we spend all our time "struggling to survive" - it is a sideways step to participation in, and deeper appreciation of, our proper place in the natural world.