Where will it end?

On Monday, when I went to pick up my new chickens, I drove through an area I hadn’t been through for some years.

Last time I went through there, it was all farm land; acres and acres of green fields. Now, there are huge housing estates everywhere and judging by the signs, more to come. It’s notable as one of Melbourne’s main growth corridors.

I was appalled by what I saw. Row upon row of small house blocks (less than the usual quarter-acre by the look), each sporting a huge two-storey  McMansion monstrosity, fence to fence.

Front gardens were non-existent. I’d imagine the back gardens were the same. Google Earth would probably show the ubiquitous swimming pool in many of them. No room to grow anything but the smallest amount of food. Each home dependent on the car and on fossil fuels for its daily requirements.

How will these places cope with a future in which oil supplies are declining? I suspect not a single resident of any of these new housing estates has heard of ‘peak oil’ or given any thought to its consequences. And there’s no way you could tell them about it; no way you could get them to understand that their way of life has no future. Anyone who knew and understood, simply would not be buying into an area like that.

Those areas were probably some of outer Melbourne’s best remaining farmland. Now all gone. Covered in concrete and bricks, piddling little lawns, cacti and white pebbles.

It’s a disaster. Governments of the day should be held accountable for allowing it to happen.

All the focus is on climate change  nowadays. Peak oil will hit the world first and hit so much harder.

4 Responses to “Where will it end?”

  1. simply.belinda Says:

    We have family out at Pakenham Upper and watching the change, march up to and well past, this area over the last 10 years has been downright depressing. As you said, no awareness and little capacity to adapt even once change becomes inevitable.

    It makes me glad I live where I do, but at the same time freaks me out because I have quite a good idea just how important this ex farm area could have been to feeding people in the future.

    Kind Regards


  2. Scarecrow Says:

    The same thing is happening around Adelaide! They go on about how environmentally friendly the new housing areas are with solar hotwater on the roof of every house and the storm water recycled into wetlands but there is no room to grow food.

    The maddening part is that these new housing areas are being built on what used to be prime market garden land.

    I found it ironic that your post appeared in my blog reader at the same time as another from Temperate Climate Permaculture all about the “Tiny House” movement overseas.


  3. The F. Relic Says:

    Being ex-Melbourne for almost 6 years now, I probably see the changes more than even you do, and wonder where it will all end. But if that is all that is being built for the masses, what choice do the people have? They can’t all afford to go and build their ideal homes on a block big enough to grow food or swing a cat or even have enough space for the kids to play….and if they could, it would probably be even further out in the country, which means they’d be even more dependant on petrol-swilling vehicles to get to and from!

    All land also has a previous use, be it forest or farm. If they cut down the bush to build more houses, or take up good farm land, (we with houses already) scream either way. But ”I’m okay Jack,” we already have our big-block houses, where once was bush or farm!!

    As I see it, it’s a no-win situation until the Government decides to take the bull by the horns and set in place the laws that should govern, how and where houses are built and set up decent public transport systems to service them and to deal with the forth-coming problems.

    The real answer has always been…..too many people!

    Bring on the famines and cataclysmic earthquakes and the tsunami’s and cyclones and nuclear melt-downs and HIV-aids and….hang on a mo, am I being too cynical and cold here?


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Hi F. Relic. No, not too cynical or cold, just realistic. But wishing to ‘bring it on’ probably won’t make you many friends, either.

      It really is a no-win situation for humanity, or rather for this particular culture—what has been called by Derrick Jensen in his excellent book of the same name, The Culture of Make-Believe.

      Our present culture lives by the maxim “the world belongs to Man and Man’s job is to dominate and rule it”. Unless we walk away from that idea, and soon, we will eventually destroy ourselves.

      It’s not rocket science, just simple ecology.


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