Museletter

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For twenty years, Richard Heinberg’s Museletter has offered a monthly exploration of current events and the world of  ideas.  Covering such topics as geopolitics, energy depletion, civilization and its unintended consequences, economics from a contrarian perspective, and suggestions for how to weather the coming energy and economic transition, Richard’s essays are informed by a wide-ranging, inter-disciplinary study of history and culture.

Current subscribers include well-known authors and university professors, as well as a broad assortment of intellectual mavericks and free-thinkers. The Museletter has been included in Utne’s annual list of best alternative newsletters and has been nominated for an alternative press award.

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  • http://www.subtleenergies.com/plant-lynx.htm Barry Carter

    Dear Richard,

    Here is my response to your 2007 article “What will we eat as the oil runs out?”:

    Garden Life on Earth

    Most people have a favorite disaster scenario. Some favor global warming, others favor peak oil. Financial collapse is the favorite of many people but geological cataclysm is favored by others. Regardless of which disaster you may favor, the most immediate problem that develops as a result of any disaster will be related to food shortages. Already it is estimated that one billion people are starving on earth.

    Most disasters reduce food production or availability. Climate change causes flooding, drought and unseasonable freezes which all reduce food production. Peak oil reduces the availability of petro chemicals for fertilizer and pesticides as well as the fuel to transport food for long distances. Financial collapse makes it more difficult for everyone to produce and purchase food. Geological cataclysm can even cause an ex-president to apologize for policies that reduced the local food supply in Haiti in favor of imported rice from the USA.

    Even social disasters are most likely to cause suffering through starvation. When the structures we have built to serve us loose their way and begin to believe that we are here to serve them, they try to monopolize our sources of supply. Whether these are corporate structures, government structures, belief structures or religious structures does not change this pattern.

    Regardless of one’s favorite disaster scenario, certain things can be helpful for the people in our communities. Here are some things that I think we all need:

    Clean air to breathe.
    Clean water to drink and bathe in.
    Nutritious food to eat.
    Energy for heating, cooling, lighting, transportation and communication.
    Materials for making and modifying the structures we live in and the clothing we wear.
    Good health.

    Since many people cannot do a lot in their daily lives to insure that they have:

    Clean air to breathe.
    Clean water to drink and bathe in.
    Energy for heating, cooling, lighting, transportation and communication.
    Materials for making and modifying the structures we live in and the clothing we wear.

    I think it is most worthwhile to focus on doing what I can to insure that my local community has:

    Nutritious food to eat.
    Good health.

    In service to these goals, I have been gardening organically for the last forty years. I believe that the more available this kind of info is, to the people on the ground, the more all will benefit.

    I am also engaged in a related area of “grassroots” research. Several hundred non-academic researchers around the world are exploring the agricultural and social implications of some newly rediscovered minerals that significantly improve the growth, taste and nutrition of food grown in soils where they are applied. We have accumulated many reports of significantly increased plant productivity, nutrition, freeze tolerance and drought tolerance.

    These minerals can be concentrated using simple kitchen chemistry on sea water or rock source materials. (Anyone with access to fire and salt water can concentrate them.) They can also be concentrated from the air or from fresh water using simple mechanical “traps”. You will find a number of links to pages which describe the results of using these minerals for plant growth at:

    http://www.subtleenergies.com/plant-lynx.htm

    The simplest method for concentrating these minerals from sea water is also described on the page above and other open-source methods are linked.

    I think that it is also helpful to realize that growing soil increases carbon sequestration and that the use of these minerals with keyline plowing has doubled productive soil depth in one year.

    The best way to guard our life on Earth may be to garden locally.

    With kindest regards,
    Barry Carter
    bcarter@igc.org