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September 11th 2010 ~ "farming really is an industry, much like car manufacturing or steel forging," says Jay Rayner. (And therefore doomed, say others)
Jay Rayner's article in Sunday's Observer is interesting - as are many readers' comments that follow it. He rightly notes that:
"...Our self-sufficiency has dropped in the past decade from north of 70% to around 60%, according to official figures. Many experts think it may actually be nearer to just 50%. We import 60% of our vegetables. If this drift continues, we will be left exposed to the sort of events that triggered the riots in Africa. .."but his answer is "...to embrace unashamedly industrial methods of farming".
There is much undeniable sense in the article - but where, alas, it falls on its face, is that it does not take into account that industrial methods of farming need cheap oil to plough and plant crops, to make fertiliser, to harvest and transport. Farming now can be defined as:
"the use of land to convert petroleum into food." And, like Professor Albert Bartlett who reminds us of this, we can see the end of the cheap petroleum. Even more urgent is the fact that we are already witnessing the catastrophic bursting of the global credit bubble - never adequately mentioned by the media or by governments. One fearless voice that does cut through the propaganda is that of Nicole Foss, co-editor of The Automatic Earth, where she writes under the name Stoneleigh. Her academic qualifications are impressive and include a BSc in biology from Carleton University in Canada (where she focused primarily on neuroscience and psychology), a post-graduate diploma in air and water pollution control, the common professional examination in law and an LLM in international law in development from the University of Warwick in the UK. She was granted the University Medal for the top science graduate in 1988 and the law school prize for the top law school graduate in 1997.Read or listen below.)
"Stoneleigh" is Nicole Foss. Her most
recent talk on the Californian radio show: Financial Sense Newshour