by Bruce Darrell, from Fleeing Vesuvius. This paper describes practices for ensuring that we can continue to feed ourselves adequately in the future, with a focus on the need to ensure that the soil contains an optimal mix of nutrients. Very few soils have a perfect balance of minerals. As a result, their fertility is limited and the crops grown on them cannot provide all the nutrients people need. As people can get food from elsewhere at present, these local deficiencies do not matter too much. But this situation is likely to change.
The report Tipping Point: Near-Term Systemic Implications of a Peak in Global Oil Production, by David Korowicz of Feasta and the Risk/Resilience Network, is now available for download. The report argues that the defining dynamic of our civilisation is the withdrawal of energy from a complex and integrated system adapted only to growing. A managed “de-growth” is impossible; what is required is rapid emergency planning coupled with a plan for longer-term adaptation.
Bruce Darrell thinks that a secure food supply is an essential part of the response to the climate, energy, economic and health crises. As state planning for such a supply has been grossly inadequate, he detailed the key actions that we need to take at a personal, community and regional level to compensate.
Bruce Darrell gave a talk on food systems in which he surveyed the effects of strategic global influences on the future of our food supply. (His talk replaced that of Kate Bailey, who was unable to travel to attend the conference).