So “John and Jane Middleclass” Can Live Closer to Starbucks, We Are Destroying Viable Farm Land
The world has been shrinking since 1492 and it is getting smaller all the time. This beautiful and exotic space craft which we lovingly call Earth is a finite quantity. That is, we know exactly where it starts and stops. (With the exception of those who believe a large cave system filled with giants is located near the south pole). There is also a quasi-finite number of people this vehicle can support, and that number is ever diminishing as new “cookie cutter mansions” spring up all around us as though urban sprawl is a competitive sport.
The modern shopping mall has gone from a large number of stores connected by a common, air conditioned corridor to a sprawling acreage eating “community” connected by immense parking lots. (The newest malls could hold the old ones in their parking areas).
Famine is a very real natural occurrence, it can also be induced by human activity. Sooner or later we, the humans aboard planet Earth, have to start deciding how we are going to use the limited amount of viable soil available to us. This is not as easy as it may seem, and is filled with numerous obstacles. It is also very simple, either we take the measures necessary to end the paving of the world’s farm land or we starve ourselves out.
It is easy to understand why humanity has been based along the world’s water ways in the past. But this is the second millennium and if we foresee a third then there has got to be a change in our habitation pattern.
I often see programming on T.V., which depicts the starving people of Africa, and I feel for these poor souls. Yet, I cannot help noticing that as the camera pans out the village is on the banks of a river.
If the town where moved off of the flood plain and into the desert, perhaps these people could start feeding themselves again. I not a farmer, but it seems to me that if you are starving then perhaps you should not build your house on the only patch of ground where grass grows.
Cities throughout the Middle East are growing and sprawling every day. How insane will these people become when they are unable to eat? Just as insane as Western Europeans were when they headed off on the first Holy Crusade? Yes!! It has already begun. Middle Eastern people are not Jihadists because they have a cheeseburger and Coke, they are Jihadists because, as in Afghanistan, they are eating bread made from crickets.
Malnourished populations have a multitude of ailments which only compound their ability to succeed. Who cares about reading, writing and arithmetic when you haven’t even had a bite of cricket bread in a week? Nobody does.
There are voices in business that claim sending population swells to areas that are less then “pristine”, which are often removed from industry, is counter-intuitive. However, industry will follow business no matter where it goes, and once it does we can attempt to reclaim some of the land once owned by industry. (I would much rather see that new Toyota plant being built in the desert than covering up what used to be a thousand acre farm).
There will be the naturalists who decry the taking of delicate Eco-systems. The extinction of many rare and exotic species is a potentiality as large populations move into areas that have no agricultural value. This is unfortunate, but we need to come first.
The cold hard fact of the matter is, I want to live in as peaceful a world as possible, and if that means that several species of desert creatures become extinct as a result, well then so be it. We, as a race, have wiped out numerous species, for no logical reason, without so much as a “Goodnight and good luck”.
There have been many speculations about the world’s next ‘World War’ being fought over fresh water. This is a serious issue, just look at the feuds between California, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico over water rights. What happens when it is Iran, Pakistan and India? (Three nuclear powered nations who rarely see eye to eye).
There is no need to speculate about humanity’s willingness to go to war for food, it is a recurring theme. Even at the basest levels, humans will fight one another over food. How many “bullies” are stereotypically portrayed in movies walking through the cafeteria at lunch and taking food off of other student’s plates? It is the classic depiction.
Although cultural myth, Marie Antoinette’s fabled words,”Let them eat cake”, set in motion the liberation of her head. A starving population is a mob ready to follow who ever has a crust of bread.
Farm land around the world is being plowed under and filled with urban zones. These urban centers are completely dependent on farmers and farm land. This vicious cycle cannot be sustained.
Moving our cities and metropolitan areas to deserts or to other non-agricultural areas is a difficult sell for sure, but it is certainly better than starvation. It is also a more economical move because the cost of trying to convert land not meant for agriculture would be astronomical.
With our current level of technology we can easily climate control the new housing created in these regions. Not to mention, more and more people are moving toward working at home because of computers and the Internet.
The time is now to consider tomorrow.