Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
get over our arrogant repugnance to germs, bugs, and vermin and get used to living with
creepy-crawlies, as there are no synthetic antibiotics, miticides, dewormers, or even
mechanical rat traps in Mother Nature's dwelling place that we call “Earth.”
Third, in returning to Mother Nature's fold, we humans, having abandoned such
human technologies as irrigation, plant breeding, animal husbandry, central heat-
ing, air conditioning, long distance transport, refrigeration, and other means of pres-
ervation of foodstuffs, would have to relocate to our natural geographical regions
and reoccupy our “natural” niches. Naked humans are not naturally adapted to
survive in high latitudes or deserts, so we'd have to pack ourselves into those few
temperate areas with mild winters and sufficient fresh water. Say goodbye to Canada
and Chicago as well as most of California, China, and Europe. The ones remaining
behind perish.
Fourth, far more humans would have to return to basic agrarian lifestyles. Not that
there's anything wrong with a more simple existence; farming can be a highly satisfy-
ing and rewarding vocation. But too many urbanites have a dreamy romantic vision
of farming; they are often the ones espousing a return to “traditional” or natural
farming. But the reality is more sanguine—just ask any of the farmers surviving the
dust bowl of the “dirty thirties” just how romantic pre-industrial agriculture actu-
ally is. Even with modern technologies, farming is invariably hard work and often
financially unrewarding and frustrating. As Dwight Eisenhower noted, “Farming
looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the
corn field.”
There's also a difference between making a conscious decision to practice to
work the land and an involuntary directive forcing people to become farm labor-
ers. During China's cultural revolution of the late twentieth century, now invari-
ably considered a resounding failure, millions of urban Chinese were forced out of
the cities and back to the farm, where they were largely unhappy and unenthusi-
astic, unmotivated, and unproductive workers. But that was predictable and even
expected. Traditional, nonindustrial agriculture is labor intensive, and a return to
traditional farming will necessitate more human labor. A hundred years ago, about
one-third of the US population labored on US farms (
gan/timeline/farmers_land.htm) . Today, only 2 percent of the US population lives
on a farm and only about half of those claim farming as their occupation ( http:// ). A  return to “traditional”
farming in the USA means roughly three out of ten humans currently working else-
where will be required to move to a farm and labor there. Volunteers are preferable,
of course, as they are more motivated and more efficient workers. But those who
voluntarily choose farming are already doing it; they are accounted within the 2 per-
cent of the American population now farming. Who gets to choose and send the
three out of ten unwilling workers?
Fifth, those espousing a return to natural or traditional lifestyles presume those
lifestyles to be natural, stable, sustainable, and equitable. They are not. They may
have been at one time, many years ago, but again the reality of the current human
Search WWH ::

Custom Search