Here’s a very thought-provoking article from Michael Lardelli at Energy Bulletin. Where will the food to feed a city come from when fossil fuels are no more? At the moment access to cheap oil (soon to become more expensive), means we can access food from far and wide. That situation can’t continue for much longer. Why aren’t we planning for it?
Lardelli says, “at an absolute theoretical minimum, a city of 1 million people would require over 400 tonnes of food per day”. When you think of it in those terms the implications of the decline in global oil supply are staggering. Where will our food come from without the transport that gets it to us?
I used to think a city like Melbourne would be able to provide all the food it needs from within the city boundaries, if it really tried. Think of all the gardens, naturestrips, parks and sports grounds that could be (and would have to be) used. Think of all the potentially productive land now covered in useless mown grass.
Now I’m not so sure.
Even if it could happen in theory, it needs to be planned for, as Lardelli says. And how many people are ‘peak oil’ aware enough to be deliberately planning for self-sufficiency. Very few, in my experience.
I know how hard it is. I tried to make a couple of neighbours aware of the peak oil issue; tried to encourage them to start growing food. It was a disaster. I was well and truly put down; told it was all a lot of crap and they had better things to do. So much for awareness raising. I won’t ever attempt it with anybody else.
It needs a major interruption (even just a temporary one) to our oil supply and hence our food supply, to wake people up.
Governments know about the oil supply decline, but they’re not informing the people; not forward planning for it. Just trying to fit more and more people into cities that eventually won’t be able to feed themselves.