Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Suburbia's imminent demise?

While many are convinced that America's strip malls and big box stores will soon be a thing of the past, a far greater swath of our compatriots seem to have no clue what's in store for us in the coming decades. This is particularly concerning given that just a year ago the nation experienced the immense pain $4-per-gallon gas brought us. It's hard to believe that more communities are not taking drastic action to live more locally again. Just today as I waited in line at a local bank I overheard a patron ask the manager if the bank was moving to a new location next to the recently erected Walmart and Lowes stores. To my dismay, the manager confirmed that this was indeed the plan. As it now stands, the bank is a corner stone of a small downtown area that has been slowly reinvigorated over the past decade. Oh well, they'll be back soon.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Corporate farming threatens U.S. food security

After reading James Kunstler's latest post (http://kunstler.com/index.html), I couldn't help thinking about how the U.S. is going to feed its population once Peak Oil puts the kabosh on the country's factory food system, which is in a far more precarious state than many realize. According to the USDA, today less than 1% of the U.S. population claims farming as an occupation (and about 2% actually live on farms, compared with 25% in 1930). As if this weren't bad enough, fewer than 50,000 of the 2.2 million U.S. farms account for 50% of all food production! Taken together with the challenges of genetically modified seed stock, biodiversity loss and climate change, the corporatization of farming has dire implications for food security and food sovereignty in the U.S.

Time to plant a garden!