Starfish and Moral Imperatives

In a recent post, Ed over at The Slow Cook brought my attention back to an issue that most of us have know to be brewing as soon as we starting to do the math of the Great Ethanol Push. Basically there really isn’t enough farm land now for the world population, despite the arguments to the contrary, and converting ever increasing amounts of crop land to put fuel in Excursions is an idea bound to send someone to Hell

The “Crime Against humanity” comment was a month ago, and the FAO started backpedaling within days, but now the  truth is out. The poorest of the poor are much, much worse off thanks to Bush’s ill conceived push to use corn and wheat to make fuel to greenwash GM’s Hummers rather than make hard descions (some call it “leadership”) and push for efficiency and Real Change.

In the mean time, our soft drinks and McBurgers will go up some in price, but millions will find it even harder to feed their children. Triage appears to be beginning, and the debate about local food production is rapidly becoming less academic in the face of Moral Imperatives.

Even in my darkest moments, I never thought it would cause huge impacts within the first year after Bush stated that Ethanol was our Savior. Suddenly my debate between which of the plots I am considering on using for my market garden seems incredibly arrogant. Here I am with enough access, resources, and leisure time to debate where I want to grow my surplus food.

The mission is now changing. If I can get enough helpers, it will now be about how much we can grow in the county. Not on my one 1/4 acre, but on dozens. Every pound of food we produce locally makes a difference. This was a 5 year goal. It just got bumped.

One of the favorite stories I tell my children seems appropriate:

Once upon a time, a boy found starfish washed up on the beach after a big storm. He began throwing them back into the ocean, one by one. His grandfather told him that there were too many, that he could never make a difference. The boy calmly threw another into the ocean and said, “I made a difference for that one.”

I can’t save the world… but I can try. Always for me, the best antidote to despair is action. Food Banks here in America are also going empty. Hunger is hunger.

Be the Change.


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