Category Archives: Carrying Capacity

Slow Money

Put your money where your food is, affirm the Slow Money Principles.

The Slow Money Principles

In order to enhance food security, food safety and food access; improve nutrition and health; promote cultural, ecological and economic diversity; and accelerate the transition from an economy based on extraction and consumption to an economy based on preservation and restoration, we do hereby affirm the following Principles:

I. We must bring money back down to earth.

II. There is such a thing as money that is too fast, companies that are too big, finance that is too complex. Therefore, we must slow our money down — not all of it, of course, but enough to matter.

III. The 20th Century was the era of Buy Low/Sell High and Wealth Now/Philanthropy Later—what one venture capitalist called “the largest legal accumulation of wealth in history.” The 21st Century will be the era of nurture capital, built around principles of carrying capacity, care of the commons, sense of place and non-violence.

IV. We must learn to invest as if food, farms and fertility mattered. We must connect investors to the places where they live, creating vital relationships and new sources of capital for small food enterprises.

V. Let us celebrate the new generation of entrepreneurs, consumers and investors who are showing the way from Making A Killing to Making a Living.

VI. Paul Newman said, “I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer who puts back into the soil what he takes out.” Recognizing the wisdom of these words, let us begin rebuilding our economy from the ground up, asking:

* What would the world be like if we invested 50% of our assets within 50 miles of where we live?
* What if there were a new generation of companies that gave away 50% of their profits?
* What if there were 50% more organic matter in our soil 50 years from now?

500,000 Barrels per Day?

This is more like a volcanic eruption of oil than a “spill” and much larger than we are lead to believe.  More…

This is not a system in stasis.  This is an out of control volcano of oil spewing up with 70,000 psi behind it, from a reservoir nearly the size of the Gulf, with an estimated trillions of barrels of oil and gas tucked away.  It is this deposit that has me reminding people of what the Shell geologist told me about the deposit. This was the quote, “Energy shortage…, Hell! We are afraid of running out of air to burn.” The deposit is very large. It covers an area off shore something like 25,000 square miles. Natural Gas and Oil is leaking out of the deposit as far inland as Central Alabama and way over into Florida and even over to Louisiana almost as far as Texas.

*
The oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico could be stopped with an underground nuclear blast, a Russian newspaper reports. (Slashdot; May 11, 2010)

What we are seeing now could be small compared to what may yet unfold if things break apart, as they can do under such circumstances.  If this thing blew, it could be like the Yellowstone Caldera, except from below a mile of sea, with a 1/4-mile opening, with up to 150,000 psi of oil and natural gas behind it.

Farming the Backyards of America

A business model that generates local food profits by farming the backyards of suburbia.  Follow link to story from the L.A. Times.

Companies are sprouting up across the country, offering help building and maintaining backyard vegetable gardens for those who lack the time — or green thumb — needed to keep the crops coming.

Farming the Backyards of Brooklyn

My mission is to be an instigator.  I just want to connect people that want to do these things.”  Stacy Murphy, Founder, BK Farmyards.

Peak Food?

Agriculture News predicts an Agricultural Apocalypse this year.  For the complete story go here.

We are facing a problem that literally has never been faced in human history. Surging population and food demand, food inflation, diminishing world food stocks, drought, flooding, cold, diminished credit, infestations, soil erosion, industrial farming, factory farm pollution, aquifers/wells going dry, relocation of produce for energy production are all slamming into a global financial and economic crisis. And in some places like the United States they don’t have enough farmers. Then on top of everything else we have desertification, which is one of the world’s most pressing environmental issues. New deserts are growing at a rate of 20,000 square miles (51,800 square kilometers) a year. Desertification leads to famine, mass starvation and human migration.
According to Eric de Carbonnel, “There is overwhelming, undeniable evidence that the world will run out of food next year. The 2010 Food Crisis is going to be different. It is the crisis that will make all doomsday scenarios come true. Early in 2009, the supply and demand in agricultural markets went badly out of balance. The world experienced a catastrophic fall in food production as a result of the financial crisis (low commodity prices and lack of credit) and adverse weather on a global scale. Normally food prices should have already shot higher months ago, leading to lower food consumption and bringing the global food supply/demand situation back into balance. This never happened because the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), instead of adjusting production estimates down to reflect decreased production, adjusted estimates upwards to match increasing demand from china. In this way, the USDA has brought supply and demand back into balance (on paper) and temporarily delayed a rise in food prices by ensuring a catastrophe in 2010.”

Will the Meek Inherit the Earth?

Excellent summary of current thinking and theories of societal collapse from the New Scientist.  For my own take on the subject go here(How to Avoid) and here(Laws of Collapse).

The Heart of Resilience

Is the search for sustainable dwelling a journey of the mind or of the heart?  Is it about tangible solutions like PV panels and wind turbines or a state being?  In my own journey I’ve come to distrust the use and abuse of the concept sustainable and move in the direction of ecological resilience.  In the process I’ve come to distrust government, corporations, political parties, broadcast media and even large scale top down environmental movements.  It’s clear to me that as resource limits push back on the myth of progress, that the laws of overshoot and collapse will change the course of human history and set us on a entirely new path.  Whether that path leads us in a positive or negative direction will be determined by the arc and development of our consciousness and not by politics and markets.   We face a choice between an awakening of who we are and our place in the earth’s ecosystem and business as usual.  Essentially a choice between love and fear.

The following peakmoment.tv interview with Bill Wilson is an example of choosing the former.