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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hunter Gatherers, Agriculture, And Global Warming

Hunter Gatherers
Hunter Gatherers image found at Progress Daily
Progress Daily has a snippet of an article that dismisses the hunter gatherer life, feting agriculture as the saviour of mankind. It states "facts" about the HG lifestyle that contradict anything I've ever learned about it. But since it is a courtesy to them after I borrowed their image for this post (I love the shopping carts), and also it's rather good sportsmanship to offer an opposing view, I provide this link so you can "go read the whole thing."


I've long felt that agriculture is the "original sin" of mankind, in that this is the first (and truly necessary) step for human populations to grow out of local resources. In the early days, this "merely" caused all sorts of wars and mayhem, and here we are at our twilight, contemplating the fact that there ain't nowhere else to go anymore. We're pretty much churning on all cylinders now, global resource-wise, with a population bursting at the outer edges of sustainability. (OK, that last bit was a bit of snark - we crossed that line at least 60-70 years ago, if not sooner).

But let's just leave my moralizin' aside for the moment. Let's give equal sustainability and quality-of-life points to both agricultural- and HG-based societies. Hell, I'll even let you dreamers out there claim superior points for your beloved Agriculture. I want to look around for a moment and assess what's going on.

Global Warming (which Tom Friedman characterized as being more correctly called "Global Weirding" in a rare moment of insight), is starting to show some serious messing with the seasons. We can expect this to get even "weirder" as the consequences of our carbon crimes continue to lurch things around.

At what point does agriculture become economically infeasible when the ancient reliability of the growing season disappears? Even the periodic fluctuations in our traditionally "normal" growing seasons have given farmers the vapors - spawning things like virgin sacrifice and the Farmer's Almanac - can you imagine the task farming will become when planting a crop is essentially a toss of the dice? Or to look at it another way, won't randomly successful "harvests" look exactly like gathering?


Perhaps this is the perfectly appropriate dessert for misusing the Earth's resources. We don't even have to bother to learn about intelligent and sustainable resource practices.

Mother simply decrees, "Go back to hunting and gathering, assholes."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Things To Come

Bank Window Smashed
Bank Window Smashed
Update: Due to the recent rash of window smashing at Democratic Party offices, I would like to apologize for my unfortunate "schadenfreudelicious" snark. It's not funny.

Well, lookee here.

Arrived at my bus stop this morning, on my way to make some "World's Greatest Hamburger(s)", and was presented with this schadenfreudelicious tableau. This is a window at the Chase bank branch office, on 39th & Hawthorne.

Someone or two or three gifted the bank with a brick (you can see it at the bottom of the window, on the inside.) Spray painted on the wall of the bank was this little greeting card (I paraphrase because my bus arrived before I could snap a pic of that):

Police protect the rich, we can take care of ourselves.

Oh, boy. And so it begins.