You may not have been aware that climate change is affecting your health, unless you happen to live in a disaster-ravages local or in a pollution-ridden Chinese city. Here is a new infographic, from 350.org, that will give you the latest info. Check it out….
I think that after years of NAFTA, many of us 99%-ers would agree that the current level of globalization hasn’t been too good for us. In addition to excess cheap stuff, we have gotten loss of too many US jobs, ridiculous levels of consumerism, increased global warming, and the like.
Now, here is the next big thing…the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). I don’t know about you, but it has been my experience that shipping stuff around the world is a bad thing.
What do you think?
Now, I’m not saying that all international trade is bad. Quite the contrary, international trade is essential to provide products and raw materials from far-away lands that we cannot produce ourselves. That kind of “foreign trade” has been around for thousands of years.
But, why do we ship frozen whole chicken to China to be butchered, processed, repackaged and then shipped back across the ocean to us? (It’s making my more-expensive local pasture-grown chicken look very tasty right about now.)
I have been thinking about this issue for a while, and there are a few ways to combat the problems associated with globalization.
First and foremost, get everyone educated. Cut education is short-sighted, and just plain crazy! We can’t compete with the rest of the world if we are ignorant.
At a minimum, everyone needs:
- Good Reading/Writing Skills: Since English is the international language, everyone should be able to read, write and speak English well. Communication is critical to getting anything done these days. If you can’t communicate, you’re down the tubes. Many non-English-speaking countries have already figured this out and require their citizens to learn English as their international auxiliary language. It’s time that we recognize that many US natives stink at English, and get all of our people trained up.
- Basic Math Skills: Given how many cashiers can’t figure out how to make change on their own, we seem to be falling down badly on this front.
- Basic Science/Computer Skills: We live in a highly scientifically-dependent, computerized world. If you don’t have a basic understanding of science, computers, etc., you will have difficulty understanding what’s happening around you and making informed decisions. Also, it may be very difficult to get a job.
- Basic Life Skills: Seems like people grow up not knowing how to do some of the basic things in life, such as interacting politely with one another, cooking non-microwave foods, cleaning their house and clothes, balancing their check book, how to schedule your time, how to get to work on time, and the like. When I was growing up, a lot of people make fun of high school Home-Ec. I certainly learned how to cook, sew and clean (as well as a bunch of other stuff that I won’t list) at home, so Home-Ec was a waste of an hour. But it seems that a large portion of our population has grown up in front of the computer/TV eating processed foods. If we get back to the basic, we all will do better.
Second, we need even more education…we need serious re-training of workers who lack the skills listed above. Twenty years ago, it might have been fine to not do so hot in science or math, or even English, and to get a factory or construction job. That doesn’t work so well today, because now even factory and construction jobs often require a solid foundation of reading, writing, math, science and computer use skills. Many older workers, even those 30- and above, don’t have the skills they need to get a job and make a livable wage. It’s time to make sure they get the education they need to do today’s jobs.
Third, we need to use common sense and make good choices. While it might be cheaper to ship stuff back and forth across the world (right now), it’s just plain stupid. It’s also short-sighted and has long-term costs that we might not see today (like increased global warming due to burning the fuel required to move the cargo ship across the Pacific Ocean).
There are many other things we can do, to combat the problem associated with Globalization. Most of the solutions that I can think of are rather long-term in nature.
What do you think we should do?
I received an e-mail from Interweave, with their Back Friday specials. Here they are:
We have a backyard chestnut tree. It’s not a particularly pretty tree and makes unbelievably spiny seed pods (see above) with spines that can go through your shoes and leather gloves. The pods are kind of funny things. At first they are round and green. I think they kind of look like hedgehogs. In the Fall, the pods begin to dry, and once they reach a certain level of dryness, they spring open. Once the pod opens, the nut simply rolls out. I often find chestnuts at the bottom of the hill, as they generally roll some distance from the open pods.
Last year, I collected a lot of the nuts, thinking that we could add them to Thanksgiving dinner. Unfortunately, there weren’t enough fully grown nuts. A few of the nuts were plumped up, like the ones you see in the grocery store. But, most of the nuts were small and shriveled, like the ones above. This year, we had a very poor crop, and I haven’t bothered with them.
In any case, it is difficult to get many good nuts, since the dogs and squirrels eat most of them.
We are contemplating buying this house from our landlord, in the Spring. If we do buy it, this tree will be the first to go. The pods are almost impossible to get out of the grass, due to the spines, and the tree shades most of the garden.
Saw this video this morning. These would be terrific Halloween costumes.
Oh wait! This is real.
Thank You, Nuclear Industry!
I’m really happy that the Earth is getting fried…. (not really, but I am really frustrated and alarmed).
I suppose this is just another reason that the world is going to Hell in a hand-basket; yet another reason not to watch the news.
To be honest, I hadn’t really paid much attention to this problem. For example, I should read all of the Sustainability Action Network‘s newsletter that shows up in my in-box every week. They have pretty good summaries of the status of the Fukushima Disaster. But I don’t. I tend to concentrate on local stories.
Looking at the map, above, I was shocked. I guess I should be paying attention….not that I can do anything about it.
If I had investments, I would be sure to divest of nuclear, oil, coal and gas power plants, and invest in renewables…but I don’t. Maybe you do and you can?
Here’s a really good article about this, just in case you want to know more.
Fall/Winter Gardens: “Indoors”???
To get ready for the Fall and Winter, I transplanted the warm-climate perennials into pots, and moved them into our so-called sun room (1). You might be able to pick out my pencil plant. It is now in my upstairs office. I also have a lot of herbs in pots (2), and moved them into the sun room.
I also have a small Meyer lemon tree that needs to be moved inside, but it will be OK until it freezes. I really don’t like having citrus inside, since it seems to secrete some sort of sticky oil that gets all over what it around it, and is difficult to clean up.
I have five artichokes growing (3) and (4). They were in the garden. But, since they are perennial Mediterranean plants, I dug them up and transplanted them into pots. Three of the five plants turned out to be severely shaded by the chestnut tree, and didn’t grow very much. Right now, they are all in large nursery pots. I plan to transplant them into 20-gallon dirt bags in the Spring. Since these can’t tolerate the cold, I am contemplating moving the artichokes to the basement (with grow lights). But, so far, they seem to be doing well in the sun room.
Now that Fall has truly arrived, I have been busy preparing my gardens for the cold weather. One of the first things I did was rip out the currant bushes and transplanted all of the chard one of my raised garden boxes (#1, left) and kale and cabbage into the other (#1, right). The chard has been growing for about 4-weeks in their new location, and they seem to be really happy (#2). The bugs have died off (finally) with the colder weather, so the kale and cabbages are starting to come back. This weekend, I will put floating row covers over the chard and kale, to give them a little protection, even though they don’t seem to need it.
It turned out that the currants weren’t one of the kinds that produce eating currants, and I want to make currant jam. So, I’ll plant some new currants in the Spring (in Smart Pots or Dirt Bag reusable pots).
I transplanted two of my aronia bushes from 5-gallon pots into 20-gallon dirt bags (#3). I really like the dirt bags because they have heavy-duty strap handles that do all the way under the bag. The dirt bags seem a little thicker too, but I’m not sure that they really are thicker. The handles will make it much easier to relocate the aronias next Summer.
Last weekend, Mr. PR and I went to the Mother Earth News Fair in Lawrence, KS. I was terrific, and while I was there I got to discuss my aronias with a member of the Midwest Aronia Association. It turns out that aronias produce fruit on new wood, so I need to prune my aronias pretty severely. Since the plants are a few years old, they should produce lots of new growth with berries in the Spring. Yay!
I also transplanted most of my perennial plants into pots, and moved them into the so-called sun porch (see Part 2, coming soon). As you can see in Fig. #4, I transplanted one of my rhubarbs into a 20-gallon dirt pot. I also transplanted the Egyptian walking onions into a smart pot. I received the walking onions in June (#5) during the Lawrence Food Garden Tour this past June.
In Part 2, I will discuss the plants I moved from the garden into the sun room/porch.
Did you ever consider that these guys are the robber barons of our day? I think they surely are, since they wield so much power and are diligently working against the little guy, like you and me.
I mean, come on! Recent events remind me of the 1800′s, prior to Upton Sinclair writing The Jungle and before labor unions forced an end to child labor and got us safer work conditions, a 5-day work week, better pay, etc.
But, we can have power if we band together through organizations that fight for us.
Independence Days Activities:
1. Plant Something
2. Harvest Something
3. Preserve Something
4. Waste Not
5. Want Not
6. Eat The Food
7. Build Community Food Systems
8. Skill Up
- How Climate Change Damages Your Health December 12, 2013
- Three Ways to Combat Trans-Pacific Partnership Problems December 6, 2013
- Interweave Store Black Friday Discounts November 27, 2013
- Our Backyard Chestnut Tree November 22, 2013
- Collapse Halloween Costumes October 31, 2013
- Review and Giveaway: The Homesteading Handbook: A Back to Basics Guide to Growing Your Own Food, Canning, Keeping Chickens, Generating Your Own Energy, Crafting, Herbal Medicine, and More, by Abigail R. Gehring October 2, 2011
- Warnings of Economic Collapse and 13-Things You Can Do to Prepare October 21, 2011
- On Losing Medical Insurance December 1, 2011
- Lactofermented Pickles: Part 1 of 3 August 13, 2011
- Starting Sourdough Starter: New England Sourdough Stater from Cultures For Health November 19, 2011
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