Check out this interview with Kerry Trueman over at Organic Consumers Association
about why JHK almost became Vegan and some typically irascible observations about our western car crazed culture. Here's an excerpt;
" JHK: Americans eat so many meals in cars because: 1) The infrastructure of daily life is engineered for extreme car dependency, and 2) because the paucity of decent quality public space and so-called third places (gathering places) for the working classes (and lower) -- and remember, it is the working classes and poor who are way disproportionately obese. The people portrayed in Vanity Fair magazine are not fat. I suspect that the amount of time Americans spend in their cars is roughly proportionate to the amount of time French people spend at the table.
Fast food is not a new phenomenon in the USA, however. Frances Trollope's sensational travel book of the 1830s, The Domestic Manners of the Americans dwells on the horrifying spectacle of our hotel dining rooms, where people bolted their food with disgusting manners. Americans have been in a tearing rush for 200 years.
KT: In The Long Emergency, published in 2005, you predicted with astounding accuracy how the subprime mortgage meltdown would unfold. Your latest novel, World Made By Hand, takes place in the near future after a massive flu outbreak that originated in Mexico. Um, what should we start worrying about next?
JHK: Worry about the "recovery" that never comes and the insidious collapse of our institutions and arrangements that will proceed from this. Worry about lost incomes and vocations that will never come back (e.g. marketing exec for Target, Inc.) and the need to find new ways to be useful to your fellow human beings (and incidentally perhaps earn a living). Worry about finding a community to live in that is cohesive enough to stave off anarchy at the local level. Worry about building the best garden you can and making good compost. Worry about how difficult it is to learn how to play a musical instrument at age 47.
KT: You recently wrote "there's no way we can continue the petro-agriculture system of farming and the Cheez Doodle and Pepsi Cola diet that it services. The public is absolutely zombified in the face of this problem -- perhaps a result of the diet itself." OK, so how will we stock our post-peak-oil pantries? Do we really need to start hoarding rice and beans?
JHK: Get some kind of a hand-cranked home grain mill. Personally, I think it is indeed a good idea to lay in a supply of beans, lentils, rice, oats, other grains and don't forget salt, boullion (soups can sustain us with any number of ingredients), dried onion flakes, spices (chilies and curries especially). Our just-in-time, three-day's-worth-of-inventory supermarket system is very susceptible to disruption. And we're very far from establishing workable local food networks in this country.
The fragility of petro-ag is being aggravated by the collapse of bank lending now. Farmers need borrowed money desperately. Capital is as important an "input" as methane-based fertilizers. I think we could see problems with food production and distribution anytime from here on.
KT: You're an avid gardener -- do you grow much of your own food? Do you worry that you'll have to guard your greens with a gun if our collapsing economy sends the mall rats outdoors to forage after the food courts run out of pretzel nuggets?
JHK: I don't grow any grains. I have successfully grown potatoes, but won't this year (I'm renting my current house and its accompanying property). This year, I'll be planting mostly leafy greens -- collards, kale, chard, lettuces, plus some peppers and tomatoes (pure frivolity). It is not hard to imagine that food theft will become a problem. The trouble, though, is that the sort of people liable to do the thieving are exactly those with the poorest skills in cooking. You have to know what to do with kale to make it worth stealing. It may be more like kitchen theft: "... what's that you got on the stove, pal?"
What have you done today to lower your impact?
We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.
- ► 2012 (12)
- ► 2011 (60)
- ► 2010 (159)
- Peak Oil explained in video
- Foraging in Bermuda - Surinam Cherry
- Richard Heinberg on Resilient Communities-Part One...
- Richard Heinberg on Resilient Communities-Part Two...
- Richard Heinberg on Resilient Communities-Part Thr...
- Richard Heinberg on Resilient Communities-Part Fou...
- Richard Heinberg on Resilient Communities-Part Fiv...
- Richard Heinberg on Resilient Communities-Part Six...
- Sustainability or Resilience?
- Not every barrel of oil is alike.
- Zero Carbon Britain
- Wales, the greenest country on earth?
- Get Former Monsanto Lobbyist off of the Food safet...
- Peak Oil update
- Expecting Grandchildren?
- The Powerdown Show
- Can Genetically modified crops feed the World?
- Energy Payback on Solar Panels
- Non GMO when buying dairy
- The Story of Stuff
- Are you ready to take the No GMO Challenge?
- How CEO's get more pay.
- Moral Offsets for climate destroying behaviours?
- Transition - 400 fruit trees in Kilkenney
- NPR allows Monsanto propaganda on it's programs
- James Howard Kuntsler OCA interview
- New Urbanism vs. Suburbanism
- Smart Grid basics
- Climate Change: Dire Consequences for California's...
- Food Choices and Health
- Ventilation and indoor air quality
- From defunct playset to resilience boosting raised...
- Eat cheaply, eat nutritiously and sustainably.
- The difference between just growing your own and d...
- Fear and loathing fighting Big Dirty Coal
- In Transition -From Oil Dependency to Local Resili...
- Planted your garden yet?
- Americans support regulating Greenhouse Gases
- ▼ May (38)