Monday, March 06, 2006

How will the scarcity of oil and gas affect food production?

Food production is going to be an huge problem. As industrial
agriculture fails due to a shortage of oil- and gas-based inputs, we
will have to grow more of our food closer to where we live, and do it on
a smaller scale, like subsistence farmers. Agriculture may be the core
of the economy in the mid-twenty-first century, not information, not
state-of-the-art and not "services" like real estate sales. Farming.
This is no doubt a startling, radical idea, and it raises extremely
difficult questions about the reallocation of land and the nature of
work. The relentless subdividing of land in the late twentieth century
has destroyed the contiguity and integrity of the rural landscape in
most places. Food production will necessarily be much more physical and
manual than it has been for decades. We can anticipate the re-birth of a
native-born farm-laboring class. These masses of disentitled people may
enter into social relations with those who own land in exchange for food
and physical security. But their sense of grievance will remain fresh,
and if mistreated they may just claim that land.



  • A good starrt was made - but it did not go far enough - nor was it really quite long enough.

    The patchwork ownership of argricultural land is a big problem in Europe -especially France. In contrast large areas of mechanised farming in the USA MidWest caused enormous ecological problems early last century. (desertification). Farming is seriously capital intensive and hence make land reform policies difficult to successfully implement.

    By Anonymous Rich, at Saturday, March 18, 2006 1:07:00 am  

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