The human element

It is time to take stock of what we have wrought. We live in a modern age that has hugely vacated the role of stewards of the land. At least that is true for the developed West and is rapidly becoming true for the rest of the world. I personally think that this is a mistake that will come back to haunt us.

The force multiplier effect of cheap energy has allowed high volume industrial farming to prosper, but it has been at the expense of a loss of available labor for seasonal agricultural work that should be the full responsibility of the community.

What has happened is that the sale of an hour of time has taken precedence over social responsibility and economic responsibility. This is the cause of most of the unnatural distortions developed in our civilization.

We can look back into the archaic agricultural world we came out off and see examples of best practice, perhaps setting an utopian ideal. We also see plenty of examples of bad practice. Utopia only worked for a couple of months of the year.

Most importantly, everyone's labor was available to some extent for the communal good. It was not every day. But in an agricultural economy, it was there when it was needed. A member of the community owed that community a certain amount of labor each year.

I am saying, however, that a person who has learned to contribute his labor to the maintenance of the agricultural economy and the community will also honor it. This needs to be encouraged. The desire is there. It needs to be channeled.

Right now our available methods for channeling human effort in the community are weak and and in the urban environment terribly insufficient. If anything selfishness is promoted. That is wrong since it is hardly necessary.

The principle reason that I bring this up is that the solution of the global CO2 crisis properly demands a culture of active woodlot management. That finally requires ongoing human involvement in the physical maintenance. Best practice calls for the mixed planting of trees, the clearing of excessive brush and dead wood on an ongoing basis and the harvesting of crops.
And someone should feel it is his responsibility to inspect each tree for health from time to time. After all, most tree pests can be controlled by the simple expedient of pruning them in time.

Right now, both the community and the farmer has abandoned vast tracts of so called waste land. To some degree this can be partially fixed with money and mostly a mono culture approach. It would be much better if willing human labor were readily available to help maximize the performance of the model wood lot.

No comments:

Post a Comment