Food and climate change

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Hristo Botev
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Re: Food and climate change

Post by Hristo Botev »

Alphaville wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:32 pm
yeah that looks reminiscent of many “residential neighborhoods” in many cities of the world. sure you have your peace and quiet but it’s not segregating people out by making it impossible to live there without a car. which then traps you in a car. and of course they don’t build sidewalks on purpose.
Why does that trap you in your car? Is that a typo? And re sidewalks, this is a question for an urban planner, but my understanding of "no sidewalks" in a dense residential neighborhood (streetcar suburb) is that it encourages people to walk/bike in the road, which tends to slow traffic down. I think it's like the helmet vs. no helmet bicycle thing that DW and I used to argue about (we don't anymore, my bike accident head trauma meant she won the argument): drivers subconsciously drive more carefully around cyclists who aren't wearing a helmet, because the allusion of protection (helmet/sidewalk) is removed.
Alphaville wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:32 pm
yessss. but it does matter—it matters at the personal level. choices aggregate, and people copy trends. more affluent people consuming less is a good example for others. besides, your personal rewards are yours to enjoy.
I get that it matters at the collective level; in a vote with your feet kind of way. But, referring back to that Granola Shotgun article I posted earlier (and in the vein of the Strong Towns kinda mindset), you'll likely have more success at both an individual and a collective level if you just focus on improving the place where Fortuna has planted you.
Alphaville wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:32 pm
similarly also consider re: your truck behemoth from the other thread, that the embedded energy of the vehicle might be greater than its fuel use. so selling it to buy a new prius might be worse not better. best thing you can do probably is to drive it as little as possible, but drive it into the ground. 300k miles at 3k miles per year is 100 years :D
That was the logic I used when I convinced myself it wasn't an absolute travesty to buy the truck: we only have 1 car anyway; we don't drive much, at least during the week; if you're going to have 1 car, may as well be a Swiss Army/Jack-of-all trades kinda vehicle. Regardless, the truck isn't going anywhere; though I might be the only man in America who gives a double take when a used Prius V drives by.
Last edited by Hristo Botev on Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Alphaville
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Re: Food and climate change

Post by Alphaville »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:47 pm
Here's where I'm starting to go (and this is NOT directed at you, to be clear; it's directed at ME): I think from a society perspective there's something wrong about a society that encourages people to relocate to a new city/town "for work" (or, for that matter, for advanced degrees);
yeah, i hear ya, i see the point of this.

but... here my thoughts on this

we had to leave to pursue jobs because we were trapped in a homesteading situation.

we tried jobs from the homestead at first, which would have been ideal because we had free housing, but the jobs were crap and took and emotional/mental toll. we’re “sensitive people.”

now in a city it’ not perfect but things are good and peaceful and whole and (knock on wood) things are starting to kick into gear for us (knock knoc knock on wood) and there’s a sense of meaning and purpose (knock on wood) with what we do,

network effects matter, places matter. just the other day i was watching a documentary about laurel canyon and its place in music in the late 60s/early 70s: the concentration of those people in that scene had its effects.

and when you look at it from the hunter-gatherer perspective, we’re nomads, we move out of africa chasing who knows what.

settlers only came later. and when the settlers crowded out the place, people went elsewhere (we came here as nomads!)

i’d like to have been born in the perfect place for me so that i would never have to leave. but sometimes the only way to improve your situation is to escape north korea :lol:

Alphaville
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Re: Food and climate change

Post by Alphaville »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:05 pm
though I might be the only man in America who gives a double take when a used Prius V drives by.
nah dude, there’s 2 of us :lol:

Hristo Botev
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Re: Food and climate change

Post by Hristo Botev »

Alphaville wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:06 pm
we had to leave to pursue jobs because we were trapped in a homesteading situation.
. . .

i’d like to have been born in the perfect place for me so that i would never have to leave. but sometimes the only way to improve your situation is to escape north korea :lol:
That's what I meant about it not being directed at you. It's an overall cultural thing that "getting out" means succeeding. I'm of course not saying people shouldn't leave bad or even not particularly great situations; but I do think the general "getting out"/"moving up" mindset is wrapped up with the overall destructive consumerist culture: places are commodities; people are commodities; "communities" are commodities (from anecdotal experience, you can "buy" community by getting your kids into this school, or soccer program, or aftercare program, etc.). But treating people and places and communities as commodities is to objectify those things/people; and that's a way of thinking that's just as inauthentic as standing in line for the newest iphone or whatever because what that iphone "says" about you. (Again, not directing this at you; this is me trying to work that stuff out for myself.)
Last edited by Hristo Botev on Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

chenda
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Re: Food and climate change

Post by chenda »

Alphaville wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:09 pm
i looked! and wow. looks made for cars. if younwanted to get some ice cream... how far did you have to go?
You're only 5 - 10 mins walk from shops and all amenities, its a typical 1930s suburb and its pretty easy to avoid needing a car. (Its also a bit meh...but it ticks most of the boxes and central London is quite accessible on train or bus)

Alphaville
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Re: Food and climate change

Post by Alphaville »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:13 pm
That's what I meant about it not being direct at you. It's an overall cultural thing that "getting out" means succeeding. I'm of course not saying people shouldn't leave bad or even not particularly great situations; but I do think the general "getting out"/"moving up" mindset is wrapped up with the overall destructive consumerist culture: places are commodities; people are commodities; "communities" are commodities (from anecdotal experience, you can "buy" community by getting your kids into this school, or soccer program, or aftercare program, etc.).
yes there is that, and i got that it wasn’t directed at me.

but really, moving out/up is a story as old as time. going back doesn’ always work out. it’s even in the gospels you’re familiar with: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?s ... ersion=NIV

my wife and i tried the wendel berry thing, we went back to the land tried to heal the scars and all that stuff, but we found such intertia and stubbornness in the community, it was like swimming in quicksand. and we had not accummulated resources and power to call any shots. we had our own fence but we didn’t control trash burns, water pollution, overgrazing, crime, and other stuff around us.

so we got burned out and left and didn’t look back. the young people leave too because there’s nothing there for them.

speaking of not looking back... https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lot's_wife :D

hahahah yeah we’re not looking back.

this is a better network.
chenda wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:14 pm
You're only 5 - 10 mins walk from shops and all amenities, its a typical 1930s suburb and its pretty easy to avoid needing a car. (Its also a bit meh...but it ticks most of the boxes and central London is quite accessible on train or bus)
ah, nice! sounds like a pleasant place to grow up.
Last edited by Alphaville on Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Food and climate change

Post by Hristo Botev »

white belt wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:02 pm
This all makes perfect sense to me; which is why I'm realizing I need to just focus in on where I'm at. There're a lot of very good reasons I'm living where I'm living, and I shouldn't just discard all of those reasons because I don't think it's 100% ideal from a CC/eco-friendly standpoint. That said, JMG makes some pretty good arguments that when the SHTF, it might be better to be living in a more urban setting with some really tight community networks very close by.

Re Rob Greenfield, however, I think some of his first videos were about his eco-friendly apartment (though, admittedly, I think it was in San Diego and not in a high rise).

Hristo Botev
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Re: Food and climate change

Post by Hristo Botev »

Alphaville wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:25 pm
my wife and i tried the wendel berry thing, we went back to the land tried to heal the scars and all that stuff, but we found such intertia and stubbornness in the community, it was like swimming in quicksand. and we had not accummulated resources and power to call any shots. we had our own fence but we didn’t control trash burns, water pollution, overgrazing, crime, and other stuff around us.
But that's what I mean; doing the Wendell Berry thing doesn't necessarily mean picking up everything and moving from Greenwich Village to a farm in Kentucky, or wherever. That's what he did, but he is FROM Kentucky and something like a 5th generation farmer. He was returning "home" (even if not to the literal home he'd grown up in), to a community and to a land he knew. I'm endeavoring to do the Wendell Berry thing where my feet are planted, which happens to be in a streetcar suburb outside a major metro area, hundreds of miles from my hometown. Because there is work to do here.

Alphaville
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Re: Food and climate change

Post by Alphaville »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:48 pm
but he is FROM Kentucky
yeah my wife is from the place we went back to (that’s how i ended up in this state)

they’ve been there for ages.

she had left for college then work experience.

always dreamed of the place

she doesn’t wanna go back now :lol:

-

i mean, we’ll visit, or take some time off there, but to live— nope. not no more.

(unless shf scenario forces us)

-

wait, you’re a nomad too! of course you don’t have to move forever... you’re in a good place so planting roots works

Western Red Cedar
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Re: Food and climate change

Post by Western Red Cedar »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 12:50 pm
I realize I'm really, really late to this party. I'm mostly a novice to these ideas so forgive me. Having read through most of the posts, maybe I missed it, but I haven't seen references to ruminantes like cattle, bison, sheep grazing on lands that are otherwise unarable. Having spent a lot of time moving across the open interior of the US, there are vast quantities of semi-desert or mountainous regions that are either not fit or extremely difficult to utilize for food production. Yet I see these animals out there grazing.
About a century ago the US government developed federal policies to support cattle even though bison are naturally compatible with much of the western US. The irony of this is that Bison tend to be healthier for human consumption and have a much smaller environmental footprint. Ted Turner is using his retirement and fortune to restore huge swaths of habitat for bison:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtkftPELtTw

Looking at the issue globally, you see a lot of cultures that rely on goats for one of their main sources of protein. Goats can thrive in a number of harsh environments.

Sadly, deforestation in developing countries for grazing somewhat mirrors the poor decisions we made to alter the environment to support the cattle industry more than a century ago. I'm not opposed to the cattle industry per se, but we shouldn't really be supporting crops and livestock in places that don't make sense (like growing cotton in the desert):

https://projects.propublica.org/killing ... ght-crisis

Hristo Botev
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Re: Food and climate change

Post by Hristo Botev »

Alphaville wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:51 pm
wait, you’re a nomad too! of course you don’t have to move forever... you’re in a good place so planting roots works
My point is that any place along the way would have been just as good to plant roots, and perhaps better, than where we ended up; but we just had a different mindset back then. That's not always going to be true for everyone (clearly it wasn't for you guys); but we're not staying put now in some Goldilocks porridge analogy: "this place is just right." We're staying put because we know that every time we've moved we've had to start over in a way that is counterproductive to creating real, authentic community ties. DW and I moved around a lot as kids to, but she did it as a military brat, which has its own built-in community notwithstanding (or because of) the constant moves (similar to the expat community). But my moving around was different, and though I think it made me resilient socially, I certainly know I missed out on making some deeper connections. And for anyone struggling with figuring out "what's the meaning of all of this anyway," those deeper connections are important.

Western Red Cedar
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Re: Food and climate change

Post by Western Red Cedar »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:47 pm
Here's where I'm starting to go (and this is NOT directed at you, to be clear; it's directed at ME): I think from a society perspective there's something wrong about a society that encourages people to relocate to a new city/town "for work" (or, for that matter, for advanced degrees); it's a job/career-centric mindset as opposed to a mindset that is more centered on family/place/community.
I think this is spot on. We've created an economic system that strongly incentivizes mass migration. As a result, we pay five figures a year for someone else to watch our kids while grandparents sit at home in another city.

One of the side benefits of focusing on urban agriculture or purchasing directly from farmers is that you build a community based around one of our most fundamental interests - food.

This is why urban farming or permaculture is a central part of my future ERE lifestyle/strategy. It hits on so many priorities for me - climate change, time in nature, building community, staying active, cutting costs, improving health, and continuous learning.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Food and climate change

Post by Hristo Botev »

@WRC: Interesting, during COVID, at least twice we were able to get farmshare baskets BECAUSE we'd built those connections way before COVID. Not surprisingly, a lot of the farmshare/csa orgs were overrun early on during the lockdown (suddenly farmshare veggie/fruit/cheese/eggs prices didn't seem quite so pricey). Those are the kinds of connections you lose when you pick up and move every time a new job with a bigger paycheck in a new city comes along. Also interestingly, among professional friends with little kids, I know a handful of families that in fact returned home so that they could get help from parents and extended families, because they could work virtually, but they couldn't work virtually if they also had to assist their kids with virtual schooling, and the virtual learning "pods" were filling up quick and expensive. Roots matter.

ETA: I currently live in a pretty transient city (though not as transient as DC), and among my 2 different groups of male friends, there's only 1 guy who was actually born, raised, and educated here (he went away for college, but came back immediately). And we have this fun game we play that, instead of 7 degrees of Kevin Bacon, it's 2 degrees of [insert name of friend who is from here]--because it seems he knows EVERYONE. And granted, this particular guy is someone folks tend to look up to and seek out and remember, and he's been involved in a couple businesses that get him face time with lots of interesting folks, but really what's going on is that he just has a much stronger link to our city and the various communities that make up the city than the rest of us. And those links matter, in every which way that things can matter.

Alphaville
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Re: Food and climate change

Post by Alphaville »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 5:09 pm
My point is that any place along the way would have been just as good to plant roots, and perhaps better, than where we ended up; but we just had a different mindset back then. [...] those deeper connections are important.
ooooh, right, right, i get what you’re saying now.

yeah, for me dc was the place to be, and i would have stayed there gladly. real estate going nuts was an incentive to leave, but the real issue was that my wife felt homesick and didn’t have deep roots in dc (but she was starting to grow a network.)

anyway, so that whole “return to the land” failed, and we’re in a city now, but we’ve remained in her home state. we’re not “gone” really, and except for the pandemic we could still visit.

before moving here we did look at going back to the dc area, but we realized that we had missed the train we were on so many years ago. we still have friends there, we keep in touch, but it’s not the same. and we have family in this state, and new friends, plus we have developed connections in our years together here.

so we’re in a different housing situation, but we’re in the same networks... we’re just in a better node in those networks, if that makes sense?

of course, “woulda coulda shoulda” dc. would it have been better? maybe... but it’s pointless to wonder now.

tldr; i second doing the best with what you’ve got at hand before you try to go elsewhere.

Alphaville
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Re: Food and climate change

Post by Alphaville »

anyway, back to the food subject: i need to develop some deeper connections to agricultural networks in my area. we have a food co-op, we have farmers markets, we have csas, we have millennia of agriculture, we have good breweries, we don’t have a terribly great food scene for my standards, but we have something great to build on.

funny thing is i didn’t have much access to food growers when i was rural here. a lot of rural places are actual food deserts, and the “supermarket” is just a place full of sugar and processed food. ever done groceries at the family dollar? :lol:
Last edited by Alphaville on Tue Dec 01, 2020 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

chenda
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Re: Food and climate change

Post by chenda »

Back in the 1980s in Hampshire we had a lot of farm shops selling local produce, and people used them. The rise of the big supermarkets in the 90s seemed to have killed a lot of them off, but they have started to revive somewhat in recent years, often via home delivery. Covid seems to have increased their business significantly, and some locally supplied cafes and restaurants switched to local delivery of fresh stuff during lockdown. Admittedly its predominantly
aimed towards an affluent market, but it is vaguely reassuring there are local alternatives. I imagine you need a urban base sufficiently big to make it worthwhile, but not so big the farms are too far away.

Western Red Cedar
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Re: Food and climate change

Post by Western Red Cedar »

@HB - I appreciated the Wendell Berry link. He seems to address the mass migration issue from a rural perspective and it seems a major factor in terms of rural decline in parts of the US. I grew up in a rural environment and there was certainly a strong desire for most kids to move out to better themselves.

I've noticed a shift in some of the rural areas that I work in, and even a bit of a migration back to rural areas that JS mentioned in the granola shotgun article. It sounds like you are pretty keyed into land use and planning issues. Here is an interesting report from the State of Utah on the rural decline if you want to dig into it some more:

http://www.ruralplanning.org/assets/zer ... per-lq.pdf

Alphaville
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Re: Food and climate change

Post by Alphaville »

Western Red Cedar wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 6:35 pm
I grew up in a rural environment and there was certainly a strong desire for most kids to move out to better themselves.
That’s because the old people refused to create opportunities for a rural future :lol:

(Well that’s my experience anyway. There is a lack of opportunity in places the young abandon. I blame it on lack of vision on the part of the old: “this is the way we’ve always done it.” Mmm, yeah, it’s failing.)

which relates to:
chenda wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 6:34 pm
but they have started to revive somewhat in recent years, often via home delivery. [...] . Admittedly its predominantly
aimed towards an affluent market, but it is vaguely reassuring there are local alternatives.
I posted a link about the resurgence of heirloom corn in Mexico after two waves of industrial damage. Not sure if you saw. But anyway, in the article, one of the entrepreneurs working with heirloom corn laments that their product is not available to blue collar folk—it goes to restaurants and the affluent. But it helps support the actual peasants without commodifying their production.

Anyway, if you missed the first time, it’s here: https://www.afar.com/magazine/how-heirl ... exico-city

white belt
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Re: Food and climate change

Post by white belt »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:39 pm
This all makes perfect sense to me; which is why I'm realizing I need to just focus in on where I'm at. There're a lot of very good reasons I'm living where I'm living, and I shouldn't just discard all of those reasons because I don't think it's 100% ideal from a CC/eco-friendly standpoint. That said, JMG makes some pretty good arguments that when the SHTF, it might be better to be living in a more urban setting with some really tight community networks very close by.

Re Rob Greenfield, however, I think some of his first videos were about his eco-friendly apartment (though, admittedly, I think it was in San Diego and not in a high rise).
It's true that Rob Greenfield posted a video of how to live more eco-friendly in an apartment in San Diego, but it was a house with a few roommates. I actually like that he posted that older video because it shows a natural Wheaton level transition that took place over the years. My speculative guess is at some point he left that apartment because he wanted more control of his inputs/outputs, which is much easier to manage in a tiny house/RV than a rented house.

I know I sound like a broken record, but I would highly recommend David Holmgren's RetroSuburbia. The electronic version is available for as cheap as a $1 donation. The focus is entirely on retrofitting an existing suburban lifestyle to be more eco-friendly. I admit it is more of a reference/text book because it covers so many different ideas, but I think it's a good starting point for what is possible without having to move to a new place.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Food and climate change

Post by Hristo Botev »

Does it translate to an American audience?

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