Saturday, November 21, 2009

If Nothing Else, Save Farming

It’s probably too late to prepare for peak oil, but we can at least try to salvage food production.

By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 16th November 2009

I don’t know when global oil supplies will start to decline. I do know that another resource has already peaked and gone into freefall: the credibility of the body that’s meant to assess them. Last week two whistleblowers from the International Energy Agency alleged that it has deliberately upgraded its estimate of the world’s oil supplies in order not to frighten the markets. Three days later, a paper published by researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden showed that the IEA’s forecasts must be wrong, because it assumes a rate of extraction that appears to be impossible. The agency’s assessment of the state of global oil supplies is beginning to look as reliable as Mr Greenspan’s blandishments about the health of the financial markets. Read entire article here.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Eviction of the Bird Lady

Most of us have been exposed to the dry refrain of the repetitively chanted statistics associated with the foreclosure crisis. Here is a snapshot of the reality of the crisis that millions are currently facing.

Written by Miki Aberle

The bird lady...bless her heart. She flagged me down after I was done running - she seemed about as out of breath as I was, and when she apologized for not having on a bra in her dishevelment, I told her it was okay because I had on two (true story). This was my attempt to make her smile because I've never seen anyone look so desperately sweet; (nearly) all of her belongings were strewn throughout her front yard and driveway - all except the iron-wired bird cages and wooden perches...

Apparently Paula, whose name I later learned, was being evicted according to the man with a badge standing in the midst of this woman's shattered life. She couldn't have been under 60 years-old. Everything had to be out of the house within the next hour if she wanted a chance of keeping it. The help she had earlier said they'd be back and failed to return, so she tirelessly drug everything she could out of what used to be her home.

The PT Cruiser in the driveway was momentarily acting as shelter to four tropical birds while their dismantled cage parts were scattered in various areas of the second floor of Paula's previous dwelling. She didn't have the strength to carry them down the stairs, which is where Miki comes in.

One by one I carried cage parts and what seemed like actual trees down the stairs, pretending to care for it all like I knew Paula did; if not, this 45 minute chore could have been strategically handled in much less time, and while the man with the badge watched me struggle and told me he was "sorry but couldn't help," I knew Paula was watching me too. I didn't want her to feel like yet another person didn't respect or care about what used to be her life.

Maybe that's why she told me I was an angel and should have my wings...(apparently she's into things that fly).

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