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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Economia

A place of refuge
Risa continues to walk in an effort to stay out of trouble (with her waistline, among other things) and write (she's working on a treeplanter's memoir). She has tickets for a journey home, though, things in Florida being as they are, she doesn't know for how long.

Beloved is holding down the fort with help, but the farm, except for the poultry, isn't making it onto a lot of the chore lists -- tomato vines, cornstalks, sunchoke and sunflower stalks are still standing, and the potatoes haven't been lifted. Also, Risa's wholesale food club has had to skip two months.

While zooming around on errands in (alas, the shame) an SUV, Risa's hungry eyes seek out evidence of agriculture and simplicity, and she's not finding much. Here's a hayfield near Satsuma:


While looking it over, she mused on agricultural culture, so to speak: the round bales give evidence of the presence of one or more very large balers, which are a sign of dependence on petroleum-based (and coal-fired or nuclear electricity-based) industries and transportation, with paved roads and all that goes with that. So, it's thought of as a bucolic rural scene, but in terms of the drain-down of resources and the production of pollutants, this might as well be downtown New York City.

On the phone to her son last night, she shared some of her thoughts, remembering an article she had seen about Europe's economic unravelings -- that the troubles are erupting in those countries that basically have no oil of their own, but whose citizens want the same lifestyle as those of countries that do have oil.

In a country, or world, in which one expects to live within one's means, transportation (and much labor) may tend to look like this:

Vietnam Diary
Just so we know where we stand. Most people in the world actually live this way, though advertising and other media are clamoring to give them aspiration they, and we, would have been better off without. There is the checkbook you're used to balancing, and there is the one which throws in the ignored costs. Your ultimate banker is Mother Nature.

And your grandkids are gonna need a helluva bailout.

Son listens to the rant, then points out: "In the country you get to do a lot of cool stuff but you make a lot of carbon emissions coming into town. Me, I'm rice and veggies and a bicycle. Middle class lifestyle on next to nothing, just for not having a car."

"Yes," says Risa, " well, somebody has to practice what I preach."

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