Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Carbon Footprint

I’ve been thinking a little about what I view as the twin catastrophes facing us in the century we have just begun.  Maybe there are more than just two catastrophes we can expect, but I’m pretty convinced that “Peak Oil” and “Climate Change” will affect our lives in the upcoming years.

I don’t think I’ll go into an extended explanation or defense of these concepts here.  There are plenty of better resources out there if you search the subjects on the web.   That said, I have decided to focus on the following areas in which to make positive changes in our lifestyle.  We’ve decided to reduce our carbon footprint, build local community, be prepared, cut costs, increase income, prepare for climate changes, and prepare for peak oil.

I’ve done a little brainstorming in each of these categories.  There is certainly more that could be added, and I would love any input you all have.  It is important for me to say that I have come to the conclusion that “survivalism” is not the answer.  “Prepping” may be a part of the answer but there are multiple areas that I/we should be focusing on to ride out some of the changes I think are coming.  Most important among these is the development of resilient communities and becoming more interested in localization than on globalism.

With an eye to reducing our carbon footprint we have decided to make the following changes;

Eat local
Eat in season
Eat organic + small farm
Reducing driving to town
Live frugally
Reduce, re-use, recycle
Reduce the use of combustion engines on the farm
Avoid non-local food even if it’s organic
Eat non-gmo
Eat non-factory farmed meat
Avoid plastics
Eliminate waste of commodities
Grow our own food
Raise our own meat
Grow my own tobacco

Why all this focus on eating local?  Much of what we eat comes from industrial farms located far, far away from our homes.  Shipping food from around the country and even around the globe uses a tremendous amount of fossil fuel.  Furthermore, the industrial agriculture model requires the input of massive amount of fossil fuel in the form of petroleum based fertilizers and chemicals.  The additional use of internal combustion engines in the form of tractors and combines further adds to the problem.  In the future I believe there will no longer be sufficient oil to support this kind of agriculture.  Nor do I think there will be petroleum to transport the food it produces.  Therefore, we think it is prudent to curtail our dependence on non-local food sources.

Again, let me reiterate that we think survivalist plans are not the answer.  It is through resilient communities built with love that we will thrive in an uncertain future.

“Therefore do not be perturbed; remain calm so that you will be able to pray.  Above all, let your love for one another be constant, for love covers a multitude of sins.  Be mutually hospitable without complaining.  As generous distributors of God’s manifold grace, put your gifts at the service of one another, each in the measure he has received.”  1 Peter 4:7-4:10


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