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."
Hunter Gatherers image found at Progress Daily
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."