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View Diary: The Plutocratization of Cities (51 comments)

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  •  Nature will counter it (1+ / 0-)
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    More specifically, climate change has a solution for the excesses of the rich.  

    There will come a day (could be pretty soon, looking at the extrapolations of when the Arctic Ice Cap melts) when the droughts and floods of today are memories of a milder climate.  Countries will ban the export of staple food items, like Russia did with wheat a couple years ago.  When food prices take another upward jump, it will set in motion the collapse of our global trade based economy.   Sending corn to China in exchange for some cheap plastic trinkets or cotton to Bangladesh to be made into towels and shipped back will no longer make sense. It will make more sense to hoard the food, save it in case next year's harvest is as abysmal as this year's.

    When climate change really starts playing havoc with agriculture, you are going to want to be living in a rural, food-exporting area, not some walled estate in a pricey downtown or an 'exclusive' beachfront resort (exclusive in quotes, because it will not exclude the rising oceans).  People that are hungry (1) hoard the food they do have and ration it our carefully and (2) will steal it if they see it being packed up for export (for example, attacks on grain shipments to England during the Irish Potato Famine).  

    The U.S. has a mixed outlook in this scenario; it is a big agricultural exporter, so we have built-in food security.  But you can bet that rich "owners" will want to collect a profit by exporting their property, leaving the poor "takers" to do just exactly that -- take it.  I suspect that when those days arrive, the phrase "to each according to his needs" will gain new found respect.

    Another factor to consider is that the US agricultural surplus is produced in no small part due to the import of large quantities of energy.  If energy imports stall out, quantity of food produced may drop in tandem.  At that time the price of an orange Lamborghini will drop in relation to a reliable diesel tractor with a cultipacker and a no-till planting hitch.

    How many potatoes and cabbages are grown in gated communities?

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