Comments on: The Food Crisis Getting Worse - Fast! http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/01/the-food-crisis-getting-worse-fast/ Sharon Astyk's Ruminations on an Ambiguous Future Thu, 04 Dec 2008 02:17:29 +0000 #?v=2.3.2 By: Beach Boy http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/01/the-food-crisis-getting-worse-fast/#comment-4149 Beach Boy Wed, 02 Apr 2008 22:04:47 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/01/the-food-crisis-getting-worse-fast/#comment-4149 Heads up! A mainstream economist has just noticed this issue: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/02/grains-gone-wild/ "The financial crisis gets most of the attention from the business press — but in terms of sheer human impact, the current food crisis may well be a bigger deal." Perfect opportunity to help him understand it better. Particularly the link between Hubbert's Peak of oil production + growing oil demand = rising oil prices => more incentive to divert agricultural feedstock into biofuels. Heads up! A mainstream economist has just noticed this issue:

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/02/grains-gone-wild/

“The financial crisis gets most of the attention from the business press — but in terms of sheer human impact, the current food crisis may well be a bigger deal.”

Perfect opportunity to help him understand it better. Particularly the link between Hubbert’s Peak of oil production + growing oil demand = rising oil prices => more incentive to divert agricultural feedstock into biofuels.

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By: Robin http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/01/the-food-crisis-getting-worse-fast/#comment-4148 Robin Wed, 02 Apr 2008 21:59:28 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/01/the-food-crisis-getting-worse-fast/#comment-4148 It looks like Gene Lodgson is going to revise his book, so it might be awhile before it comes out again. I am looking forward eagerly to the new edition. The older version of his book can be downloaded here: www.soilandhealth.org for a small donation or even free if you really need it. Look under the Personal Sovereignty Library. This site has many amazing out of print guides to living the way we will be soon. Enjoy -Robin It looks like Gene Lodgson is going to revise his book, so it might be awhile before it comes out again. I am looking forward eagerly to the new edition. The older version of his book can be downloaded here:

http://www.soilandhealth.org

for a small donation or even free if you really need it. Look under the Personal Sovereignty Library.

This site has many amazing out of print guides to living the way we will be soon.

Enjoy

-Robin

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By: MEA http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/01/the-food-crisis-getting-worse-fast/#comment-4143 MEA Wed, 02 Apr 2008 13:07:17 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/01/the-food-crisis-getting-worse-fast/#comment-4143 You can always tell when my mother and I are worried about the state of the world: we find a bit more fabric, make a few bags for the MCC, and send off school or health (or, if we are feeling generous, newborn) kits. We've made 17 since last Sunday, and I'm scouring freecycle for more fabric. Suddenly, I can't find plastic rulers in the dollar stores. Have we hit peak plastic rulers? You can always tell when my mother and I are worried about the state of the world: we find a bit more fabric, make a few bags for the MCC, and send off school or health (or, if we are feeling generous, newborn) kits. We’ve made 17 since last Sunday, and I’m scouring freecycle for more fabric.

Suddenly, I can’t find plastic rulers in the dollar stores. Have we hit peak plastic rulers?

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By: Sharon http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/01/the-food-crisis-getting-worse-fast/#comment-4140 Sharon Wed, 02 Apr 2008 12:38:49 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/01/the-food-crisis-getting-worse-fast/#comment-4140 Elna, I'm hoping we can stop the biofuel madness and keep the US exporting grains for some time to come - in fact, my guess it that the US may have to - because our grain exports may turn out to be the only thing of value we have left. But I don't know if we can do it in time. Anon - that is a scary place to be. My own strategy for dealing with panic is to work - I write, I grow food, I volunteer. I think that may be the way to do this, to get out of panic mode. Richard Heinberg once said that people who sit in front of a computer tracking the bad news are miserable, but the people who know and understand the bad news, but are out in the community getting their hands dirty, they go around with smiles on their faces. That may be a slight exaggeration when talking about any individual person, but I think it is absolutely true - the cure for this is to find your part of the this work - whatever it is - and to do it, while also doing what you can for your family and community. The reality is that we're rather like the last fairy godmothers to come to the Christening - we can't take the curse away, we can only soften it a little. But thousands and millions of people softening - well, that's something big. Its ok to be scared and upset - that's part of the process. Sharon Elna, I’m hoping we can stop the biofuel madness and keep the US exporting grains for some time to come - in fact, my guess it that the US may have to - because our grain exports may turn out to be the only thing of value we have left. But I don’t know if we can do it in time.

Anon - that is a scary place to be. My own strategy for dealing with panic is to work - I write, I grow food, I volunteer. I think that may be the way to do this, to get out of panic mode. Richard Heinberg once said that people who sit in front of a computer tracking the bad news are miserable, but the people who know and understand the bad news, but are out in the community getting their hands dirty, they go around with smiles on their faces. That may be a slight exaggeration when talking about any individual person, but I think it is absolutely true - the cure for this is to find your part of the this work - whatever it is - and to do it, while also doing what you can for your family and community. The reality is that we’re rather like the last fairy godmothers to come to the Christening - we can’t take the curse away, we can only soften it a little. But thousands and millions of people softening - well, that’s something big.

Its ok to be scared and upset - that’s part of the process.

Sharon

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By: elna http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/01/the-food-crisis-getting-worse-fast/#comment-4136 elna Wed, 02 Apr 2008 08:48:12 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/01/the-food-crisis-getting-worse-fast/#comment-4136 As a 3rd world citizen (South Africa) its very sobering to see you (1st world citizens) so worried about the world we live in. When America stops its grain exports we will take the brunt. As one of two leading countries in Africa we are seen as the answer to good life. With a 30 - 50 % unemployment rate (as usual depending on which politician you listen to) we already have a lot of hungry people. My friends from town doesnt see farm life as the 'thing to do'. I listen to them and pray in my heart that I will have enough food to help them out. With my two Jerseys, free range chickens and couple of Boer goats I believe I've got it made. My veggie is getting into shape. It is such a relieve to find other "weirddo worry-heads" like me!! As a 3rd world citizen (South Africa) its very sobering to see you (1st world citizens) so worried about the world we live in. When America stops its grain exports we will take the brunt. As one of two leading countries in Africa we are seen as the answer to good life. With a 30 - 50 % unemployment rate (as usual depending on which politician you listen to) we already have a lot of hungry people. My friends from town doesnt see farm life as the ‘thing to do’. I listen to them and pray in my heart that I will have enough food to help them out. With my two Jerseys, free range chickens and couple of Boer goats I believe I’ve got it made. My veggie is getting into shape. It is such a relieve to find other “weirddo worry-heads” like me!!

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By: Idaho Locavore http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/01/the-food-crisis-getting-worse-fast/#comment-4123 Idaho Locavore Wed, 02 Apr 2008 01:20:17 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/01/the-food-crisis-getting-worse-fast/#comment-4123 Anon, "Efforts like recycling and compacting seem so minuscule in the grander scheme, and my political and economic power nil." Well, it depends on why you are recycling. If you are recycling because you hope it will change global warming then you're probably right - it's a minuscule change and not likely to have much noticeable effect because most of the rest of the world isn't going to join you and there are some who believe that it's too late to do much to prevent it anyway. However, if you are recycling and doing what you can to live a simpler, more sustainable life now because that's how you think you should live in the face of the challenges we're facing as a species, then no - that is not a small thing. At the very least, it's a step towards learning how to live a better, less wasteful life and that kind of change has value - and power - in and of itself. Anon,

“Efforts like recycling and compacting seem so minuscule in the grander scheme, and my political and economic power nil.”

Well, it depends on why you are recycling. If you are recycling because you hope it will change global warming then you’re probably right - it’s a minuscule change and not likely to have much noticeable effect because most of the rest of the world isn’t going to join you and there are some who believe that it’s too late to do much to prevent it anyway.

However, if you are recycling and doing what you can to live a simpler, more sustainable life now because that’s how you think you should live in the face of the challenges we’re facing as a species, then no - that is not a small thing. At the very least, it’s a step towards learning how to live a better, less wasteful life and that kind of change has value - and power - in and of itself.

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By: Anon. http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/01/the-food-crisis-getting-worse-fast/#comment-4118 Anon. Tue, 01 Apr 2008 23:26:29 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/01/the-food-crisis-getting-worse-fast/#comment-4118 I've been feeling more and more worried lately and more and more helpless with no money to buy a home or land for any garden more substantial than my pots of herbs. I watched a 9-min excerpt from the documentary What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEi01NO6bzE) and it sums up all the fears that I can never really turn off (and added one! I'd never thought of the potential problem of coastal nuclear plants/waste when sea levels rise). This blog is inspiring and the most balanced, honest perspective on these issues I've yet to find, but honestly, I don't even know what else to do. Efforts like recycling and compacting seem so minuscule in the grander scheme, and my political and economic power nil. I’ve been feeling more and more worried lately and more and more helpless with no money to buy a home or land for any garden more substantial than my pots of herbs.

I watched a 9-min excerpt from the documentary What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEi01NO6bzE) and it sums up all the fears that I can never really turn off (and added one! I’d never thought of the potential problem of coastal nuclear plants/waste when sea levels rise).

This blog is inspiring and the most balanced, honest perspective on these issues I’ve yet to find, but honestly, I don’t even know what else to do. Efforts like recycling and compacting seem so minuscule in the grander scheme, and my political and economic power nil.

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By: Iowan http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/01/the-food-crisis-getting-worse-fast/#comment-4116 Iowan Tue, 01 Apr 2008 21:48:12 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/01/the-food-crisis-getting-worse-fast/#comment-4116 It's going to get worse with corn: Farmers Expected to Plant Less Corn By MARY CLARE JALONICK WASHINGTON (AP) — Farmers are expected to plant less corn this year, which could mean continuing higher costs for consumers at the grocery store. Corn prices have skyrocketed in recent years, helped by the burgeoning ethanol industry, which turns the crop into fuel, and rising worldwide demand for food. The higher prices have hurt poultry, beef and pork companies, who use corn to feed their animals. It’s going to get worse with corn:

Farmers Expected to Plant Less Corn

By MARY CLARE JALONICK

WASHINGTON (AP) — Farmers are expected to plant less corn this year, which could mean continuing higher costs for consumers at the grocery store.

Corn prices have skyrocketed in recent years, helped by the burgeoning ethanol industry, which turns the crop into fuel, and rising worldwide demand for food. The higher prices have hurt poultry, beef and pork companies, who use corn to feed their animals.

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By: sgl http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/01/the-food-crisis-getting-worse-fast/#comment-4113 sgl Tue, 01 Apr 2008 21:35:22 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/01/the-food-crisis-getting-worse-fast/#comment-4113 MEA: "For a long time, men have talking about 'supporting or providing for their families.' Has this changed, or it is now the making money is equated with supporting" I don't think it's just men, I think it's men and women that have equated spending money with "security." Part of the housing bubble was driven by this, and I believe a fair amount of that was driven by women, not men. See for example this blog entry here, (http://seattlebubble.com/blog/2007/08/22/suzanne-researched-this-part-2/) about the housing ad "Suzanne researched this" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ubsd-tWYmZw) I can imaging this was repeated many times across the US, and I imagine the marital stress escalating now that the housing bubble is obvious and the reluctant partner is getting angry. I've also seen on bearish financial forums, where they were well aware 5 yrs ago that housing was in a bubble, a decent number of posts lamenting not being able to convince the wife that buying a house right now wasn't the wisest thing to do. (Mostly in FL & CA and similar bubbly areas, not in the midwest.) This may not be so pronounced among the readership of this blog, but among the general population I think it's quite strong. --sgl MEA: “For a long time, men have talking about ’supporting or providing for their families.’ Has this changed, or it is now the making money is equated with supporting”

I don’t think it’s just men, I think it’s men and women that have equated spending money with “security.” Part of the housing bubble was driven by this, and I believe a fair amount of that was driven by women, not men. See for example this blog entry here, (http://seattlebubble.com/blog/2007/08/22/suzanne-researched-this-part-2/) about the housing ad “Suzanne researched this” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ubsd-tWYmZw) I can imaging this was repeated many times across the US, and I imagine the marital stress escalating now that the housing bubble is obvious and the reluctant partner is getting angry. I’ve also seen on bearish financial forums, where they were well aware 5 yrs ago that housing was in a bubble, a decent number of posts lamenting not being able to convince the wife that buying a house right now wasn’t the wisest thing to do. (Mostly in FL & CA and similar bubbly areas, not in the midwest.)

This may not be so pronounced among the readership of this blog, but among the general population I think it’s quite strong.

–sgl

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By: Sharon http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/01/the-food-crisis-getting-worse-fast/#comment-4109 Sharon Tue, 01 Apr 2008 20:12:23 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/01/the-food-crisis-getting-worse-fast/#comment-4109 I hope our horizons aren't shrinking - but I think as long as we're disempowered in a host of ways, we may have our biggest impact on very local scales. ;-). Sharon I hope our horizons aren’t shrinking - but I think as long as we’re disempowered in a host of ways, we may have our biggest impact on very local scales. ;-).

Sharon

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