Reply To: 26.5.2014 Ancient Futures

Author Replies # Posted on May 28, 2014 at 12:37

Reply to Anna from Maria
I find Anna’s reply and view very interesting, but it was not really a reply to my question, which was about small scale/local production versus organization and management for sustainable utilization of resources in megacities. I did not readl all the chapters in Helena’s book, but my reflections come mainly from the video that we saw.
Scientists from different disciplines believe that more and more people will move from the countryside to find their livelihood in big cities. This is of course what Helena finds very disconcerting. She argues very strongly for local farming and production of food, but really does not say how the logistics should be managed. I think there are different rules for different farmers markets regarding distance between production and sales market, and for demand on ecological farming. At least in Sweden, some of the farmers drive 250 km to sell their products. How close is local? What about farming communities far from the opportunity to get fish, various kinds of grains etc.? To my mind it would be very backward to say that people should only live of what you can grow themselves more or less. However, I do not advocate that everybody should have the right of all types of exotic fruits and vegetables all year round.
What I was thinking of with my question was that issues of logistics and transports need to be solved even with small scale production, when people live more spread out, rather than closer together, as in cities. Experts, scientists, laymen and other people involved in the civic society have good opportunities to meet, discuss and exchange ideas in megacities where education and research institutions are concentrated. Furthermore, food need to be stored in different ways; apples are for example very sensitive to shocks, certain products need to kept cold etc. Helena does not give any idea about what to do to work out these important questions as rational as possible. I very much would have liked her talk also about these issues. Still, I think her work and information about her experience is very important and open the eyes for other ways to think and act. A balanced combination of old and new experiences and knowledge could hopefully make a difference for the future.