Tuesday, August 28, 2007

sp!ked review of books | Towards an age of abundance:
"Imagine an egalitarian world in which all food is organic and local, the air is free of industrial pollution, and vigorous physical exertion is guaranteed. Sound idyllic? But hold on… Life expectancy is 30 at most; many children die at or soon after birth; life is constantly lived on the edge of starvation; there are no doctors or dentists or modern toilets. If it is egalitarian it is because everyone is dirt poor, and there is no industrial pollution because there are no factories. Food is organic because there are no pesticides or high technology farming methods. As a result, producing food means long hours of back-breaking physical work which may end up yielding little. There is – or at least was – such a place. It is called the past. And few of us, it seems, recognise the enormous benefits to humanity of escaping from it. On the contrary, there is a pervasive culture of complaint about the perils of affluence and a common tendency to romanticise the simple life."

Yes, there are extremes on all sides of every issue. Setting up straw men does nobody any good. There is plenty of room for reasonable middle ground. All I really want is for there to be some sort of oversight on the food markets to encourage reasonable growth, strive for sustainability and to try to reduce the use of industrial chemicals, recycled bio-mass and the like . I don't think that is an unreasonable, nor unprofitable idea. I want greed and profit to not be the be all and end all of food production.

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