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View Diary: Climate Change Denialism -- A view from the top of the food chain (71 comments)

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  •  Are our comforts really civilized? (6+ / 0-)

    Or are they simply mass produced for our convenience?

    When you talk about "a healthy protein-rich diet, which was grown, harvested, transported, delivered, and cold stored with carbon fueled machines", it sounds more like a manufacturing process than the hunting and gathering that spurred human evolution.  A lot of that food is not really civilized at all.  Moon pies and an RC cola seem to me a lot less civilized or healthy than stir-fried vegetables and some herbal tea which come straight from the kitchen garden.

    Our food doesn't have to be so wasteful of energy inputs; modern 'civilization' has made it that way.  An orange-cranberry muffin with a cup of fair trade Ethiopian coffee sounds like a civilized comfort, but it comes with a steep energy price.  Oranges and cranberries don't grow within hundreds of miles of each other, hence the need for an elaborate transportation infrastructure.

    Kitchen gardens can cut down on the energy inputs, while at the same time improving the taste and quality of the food.  I harvested the last of the tomatoes and eggplants from my garden last week, and am looking forward to the change to winter vegetables in the coming weeks.  I have all manner of turnips, beets, lettuce, kale, celery, and onions that have only required compost in the way of carbon inputs.

    But we will probably go on, oblivious to the need to change, until it is forced upon us.  Then we will have to discover the value of locally produced food.

    •  I've run into problems with this approach (21+ / 0-)

      As part of my carbon-footprint makeover I have tried to produce as much of my own food as possible. Also done all the right things in terms of making my own compost, keeping seeds, etc.
      What has begun to happen in the last three or four growing seasons is the plants are being heavily stressed by the very climate change we are trying to mitigate. A March heat wave created vectors for dozens of species of pests not indigenous to my area to invade and destroy crops well before harvest; there are virtually no bats left in the Northeast to control their numbers, and the birds haven't figured out if these new bugs are edible or not (in the case of the stinkbug infestation, they aren't.) My maple sap run ended a month early, and was quite poor. Fluctuating temps from 80 to 40 back to 80 over a ten day span stunted many plants. Extended rain events swamped some, and led to fungus problems like Septoria leaf spot all summer. Increasingly common "freak" storms like Irene flattened tall and fragile plants. Potatoes rotted in the ground, the dearth of bees kept my peas and many other plants from producing...it goes on and on.

      Granted, I am a 'hobbyist' gardener, but external factors like I've described cannot be surmounted by more professional farming via anything short of building massive greenhouses, and that is worse.
      My experience is not unique. This is beginning to snowball faster than the approach of peak oil. I think we are already past the point of peak food.

      Stand for something, or you'll fall for anything - Malcolm X via Skindred

      by kamarvt on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 06:36:18 AM PST

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      •  I've noticed the same thing (16+ / 0-)

        And I'm far south of you in Georgia.  

        The predictions that climate change modelers make about more dry spells and deluges? Normally in Georgia we are supposed to get around 4" of rain a month.  Since May, each month has been under 2" except for August, when we got 12".  I point this out to all the nay-sayers that deny that our climate is changing.

        Adaptation is going to strain our collective resources.  Water management is going to become a very important issue.  Last year Nebraska was inundated with a more than 100-year flood; this year it is in severe drought.  Farming and gardening is difficult even when the weather cooperates. It's next to impossible when it doesn't.

      •  Same thing here in the UK (9+ / 0-)

        A lot of my plants drowned. Even the seed producers that had plants in polytunnels had severe problems with the lack of light. I'm trying to hold over some plants inside to get a jump on next year, but it's difficult and would be impossible without light or heat.
        A good book to read about someone trying to survive off the land in marginal conditions is Halldór Laxness' brilliant Independent People. Nonetheless, I do agree that we should all do what we can. I'll be trying to grow food again next year with fingers crossed, and buying the rest of what I need from neighbours and other local farmers.

        "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

        by northsylvania on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:36:54 AM PST

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