A Londoner, in a panic over global warming and peak oil, considers leaving the city:
A few weeks ago, the climate activist and inventor Dave Wilks told me he’d hit on a new way to describe the warming of our atmosphere: it’s equivalent to nearly five Hiroshima bombs exploding per second, he said, and the rate is rising exponentially. I’ve also spoken to experts who believe there’s another threat facing us, no less significant than global warming: the end of oil. Our lives depend on ever-increasing amounts of cheap energy, and synthetic petroleum byproducts, and when oil production peaks we’re in trouble. Some believe that will happen as early as 2010.
In the 1970s, families abandoned the UK because they feared being wiped out by Russian nukes. That dreaded event didn’t happen but I’m aware of two such families, in the Bahamas and Australia, who don’t regret moving out. And it seems to me that the combined threat of climate change and “peak oil” is more menacing.
In fact, I’m starting to wonder about getting out of here – taking my wife and daughter from London before the trouble starts. In this I take my lead from the biblical patriarch Lot, whom Genesis records as having sensibly quit Sodom before it started to rain fire and brimstone; but also from the environmentalist George Monbiot, who turned his back on Oxford last year in favour of rural Wales.
Not to worry, Cuba has a solution:
The Power of Community is about what happened to Cuba after Soviet oil supplies dried up and the US embargo curtailed other imports. It shows how Cubans gradually turned from reliance on carbon-intensive agriculture: urban spaces were cultivated, from window boxes to wasteland. The transition took years and Cubans had to forgo the equivalent of a meal a day – but, by the end, even people in cities were producing half their annual fruit and vegetable needs.
I hope you watched the video posted below, it explains how a presumably educated person can be so dumb. My mother and grandmother grew vegetables in the city, everyone did, they were called Victory Gardens:
Victory gardens were vegetable gardens planted during the world wars to ensure an adequate food supply for civilians and troops. Government agencies, private foundations, businesses, schools, and seed companies all worked together to provide land, instruction, and seeds for individuals and communities to grow food.
From California to Florida, Americans plowed backyards, vacant lots, parks, baseball fields, and schoolyards to set out gardens. Children and adults fertilized, planted, weeded, and watered in order to harvest an abundance of vegetables.
Colorful posters and regular feature articles in newspapers and magazines helped to get the word out and encouraged people to stick with it. The goal was to produce enough fresh vegetables through the summer for the immediate family and neighbors. Any excess produce was canned and preserved for the winter and early spring until next year’s victory garden produce was ripe.
Throughout the World War II years, millions of victory gardens in all shapes and sizes–from window boxes to community plots–produced abundant food for the folks at home. While the gardens themselves are now gone, posters, seed packets and catalogs, booklets, photos and films, newspaper articles and diaries, and people’s memories still remain to tell us the story of victory gardens.
Pre-castro Cubans, just like the rest of the world, knew how to garden, and did so. What next, news that Cuba’s discovered wind power?