Thursday, May 22, 2008
The Way Of The Future?
High gas prices drive farmer to switch to mules
2 hours ago
MCMINNVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — High gas prices have driven a Warren County farmer and his sons to hitch a tractor rake to a pair of mules to gather hay from their fields. T.R. Raymond bought Dolly and Molly at the Dixon mule sale last year. Son Danny Raymond trained them and also modified the tractor rake so the mules could pull it.
T.R. Raymond says the mules are slower than a petroleum-powered tractor, but there are benefits.
"This fuel's so high, you can't afford it," he said. "We can feed these mules cheaper than we can buy fuel. That's the truth."
And Danny Raymond says he just likes using the mules around the farm.
"We've been using them quite a bit," he said.
Brother Robert Raymond added, "It's the way of the future."
(D.R.): Ok,ok, I know I sound like a "Doom-and-gloomer", but there could be something liberating and environmentaly sound about the so-called "Energy Crisis".
James Howard Kunstler calls it "The end of suburbia". Notice how Robert Raymond in the Mule article above says it's "The way of the future".
In his writing, Kunstler states that the farm belt, which has been generally abandoned in recent American history, will again be re-populated with a new "back to the land" movement. A side benifit of this movement in today's times is that the ethnic composition of rural America will become much more diverse, changing voting demographics and other issues.
We now know that energy prices, much like the housing bubble and current grain prices, are a direct result of market manipulation of investment speculators. Unbridled supercapitalism is cannibilizing itself, and fueling "resource wars".
The only thing we really have control over is where we put our money. If I become even more disenchanted with the path our country is on, I can pull my money out of the bank and stash it somewhere. That is the only thing the establishment fears; a run on the banks.
My parents talked about how during World War Two, EVERYTHING was recycled, and many families had "Victory Cardens". If there is a "back-to-the-land" movement, it may change and improve the way we relate to our neighbors and force a more collective bonding among people. Everything would become "Local", and people will remember where their food comes from.
But it's going to take some major re-thinking.
Here's a trailer for Kunstler's documentary - "The End Of Suburbia":
(UPDATE): check out this article that says to get ready for $12-$15 per-gallon gas.