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Old 14th November 2019, 03:28 PM   #1
Orphia Nay
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Food Distribution Post-Cold War, War, and International Borders

In our town (Australia), we have a 'choice' of 4 supermarkets. They pretty much sell all the same brands and products (except Aldi which produces similar products under its own brands).

I've often felt rather like the Russians in the pre-Berlin-Wall-fall days' propaganda where they were lined up waiting to buy the one shipment of a product.

"How the supermarket helped America win the cold war"

https://medium.com/s/freakonomicsrad...r-59c788def3eb

That article/podcast inspired me to put some thoughts I've been having in writing.

The planet now wastes 30% of the food produced on the planet, and we are at risk of losing 85% of local strains of food plants.

Seed banks are collecting heritage seeds, but need funding.

We have more food, less choice, more inequality, less good nutrition, more waste, less forest, more malnutrition and more under-nutrition.

Don't get me started on national borders and the damage they do to peace, the environment, health, equality and in general, the planet.

For about 6 months I've been a member of an "unpackaged" food collective (to use a "communist" term) which lets us split bulk amounts of different independently grown, sustainable, international and heritage foods.

Meanwhile, the supermarkets are selling more sustainable products, and less "unhealthy" or highly-processed foods.

As Bill Gates says, the world is getting better.

But it takes time to change distribution systems, habits, and land use and food production methods.

My pet peeve is international borders. As John Lennon sang and Yoko Ono wrote:

Imagine no countries
It isn't hard to do.

Bring on the NWO!!

Borders have always amused me. (Nobody stopped me, and now I'm on a roll.)

I was born in another state, I did my first 9 years of school there, but I've never lived there.

Yep, I crossed the border (and a time zone) every day I went to school and back.

Am I "South Australian" or "Victorian"?

My mother and her mother were born in China, but they're not "Chinese". Yet if they'd been born in America, they'd be "American".

Bizarre.

"In 2019, [The World Food Program] WFP is scaling up to provide 12 million people with monthly food assistance through direct food distributions or vouchers that people can use at retailers in areas where the markets are functioning. Each family of six gets a monthly ration of wheat flour, pulses, vegetable oil, sugar and salt."
https://www.wfp.org/countries/yemen

12 million people need to be given food in Yemen.

Meanwhile (trigger alert) (pun alert) guns are being sold and given to Yemenis.

Forests are being cut down in DRC, refugees are fleeing, Lake Chad and the Aral Sea are drastically smaller.

The Murray River in Australia is shrinking and we have droughts and bushfires before the southern summer has even begun.

I could go on, with more examples of over-consumption, overproduction, poor distribution, inappropriate land use, and excess waste due to state and international trade and border disputes.

Neighbours fear neighbours due to climate change, poverty, borders, food inequality.

We can see all this from maps and data. We can administrate this better with theoretical boundaries.

Will we really need physical international boundaries, if we can feed and shelter everyone, and everyone is thriving and peaceful?
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Old 14th November 2019, 03:47 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
Will we really need physical international boundaries, if we can feed and shelter everyone, and everyone is thriving and peaceful?
"If."

Less laconically, I think borders are like money and police: If we didn't have them, the first thing we'd do is invent them.

You're not trying to solve food distribution, you're trying to solve people.
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Old 14th November 2019, 04:36 PM   #3
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Well, not on a global level, but for example in Europe, isn't this the great benefit of the EU which people now take for granted? Food and other goods can now be distributed seamlessly from country to country within the EU.
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Old 14th November 2019, 04:39 PM   #4
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How's that working out, in the context of OrphiaNay's comments?
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Old 14th November 2019, 04:44 PM   #5
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At the same time we see separatist movements within EU countries, independence movements, people who want to withdraw from these sort of multinational organizations and limit immigration from the outside pushing in the opposite direction.

So I don't really know which side will win out in the long run but I think as long as life is better in some countries than in others, there will be people who want to migrate to where life is easier.
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Old 14th November 2019, 04:50 PM   #6
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Open borders strikes me as unworkable given human nature. Much like a no money society.

John Lennon sang about imagining no countries, this is true. I’m not sure how that reflects some underlying truth, though. It’s pure idealism and wouldn’t work.

Think about it. We all have a personal border: the place we live. I am confident in saying that very close to none of us open up our homes to anyone who needs a place to sleep and a bite to eat. We lock our doors and erect fences to keep people out. We protect our neighborhoods. We live in cities. Those cities are a part of a State/Province/whatever. People from one State tend to have a common idea about how to live: no income tax here, legal pot there, etc. We can’t even get all people in one nation to agree on the right way to live. Now imagine internationally. You think the Iranians, Russians, Chinese, etc are all going to agree with Western countries (or each other) about anything much at all?

Humans are tribal and aggressive. I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
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Old 14th November 2019, 05:02 PM   #7
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Of course we all know why the world food program is distributing emergency food aid to Yemen. It's because there's a war there. So many other problems would be relatively simple and straightforward to solve if only we could solve people.
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Old 14th November 2019, 05:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Skeptical Greg View Post
How's that working out, in the context of OrphiaNay's comments?
I've never been to Europe even as a tourist I'm afraid, but compared to the past I gather that life in Europe is much more peaceful now.
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Old 14th November 2019, 05:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Skeptical Greg View Post
How's that working out, in the context of OrphiaNay's comments?
Her comments seem a little too Manic Stream of Consciousness for any of the responses to work out well. Hopefully her followup post engages with one or more of the responses in a more focused manner.
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Old 14th November 2019, 08:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
"If."

Less laconically, I think borders are like money and police: If we didn't have them, the first thing we'd do is invent them.

You're not trying to solve food distribution, you're trying to solve people.
Nope.



Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Open borders strikes me as unworkable given human nature. Much like a no money society.

John Lennon sang about imagining no countries, this is true. I’m not sure how that reflects some underlying truth, though. It’s pure idealism and wouldn’t work.

Think about it. We all have a personal border: the place we live. I am confident in saying that very close to none of us open up our homes to anyone who needs a place to sleep and a bite to eat. We lock our doors and erect fences to keep people out. We protect our neighborhoods. We live in cities. Those cities are a part of a State/Province/whatever. People from one State tend to have a common idea about how to live: no income tax here, legal pot there, etc. We can’t even get all people in one nation to agree on the right way to live. Now imagine internationally. You think the Iranians, Russians, Chinese, etc are all going to agree with Western countries (or each other) about anything much at all?

Humans are tribal and aggressive. I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Utter myth.
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Old 14th November 2019, 08:54 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
Nope.









Utter myth.


Ok...which part is “utter myth?”
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Old 15th November 2019, 02:06 AM   #12
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The EU has been mentioned.

This summarises the pros and cons of China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) plan (trade/transport corridor connecting Asia, Europe, and Africa) already underway:

https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliam...45p/ChinasRoad

China and Europe and Australia and countries and/or regions in each have Circular Economy policies (recycling management strategies to stop the causes and effects of climate changes).

The cons of OBOR and climate change mitigation seem great if your formative years were pre-internet.

Now, technology and research lets administration of global land use and food distribution seem manageable.

Pre-Cold-War, and even now, we are influenced by ideas that treat up to a billion or so people as identical, as a monolithic entity to fear or ally with.

If that is OK, then why not 7 billion now, or 10 billion when population is predicted to peak and plateau?

I don’t have the answers but I’m enjoying the discussions and questions.
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Old 15th November 2019, 07:44 AM   #13
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Competition makes for a better live style. So far, countries have been competing for immigrants. Ever heard of a "brain drain"?

Diluting the social advantage of a country might seem to not matter- the average of the world is still the average of the world. But without the tribal competition, will the eagles that do soar bring up the average? Will eaglets be motivated to soar?

The problems and solutions both come from people.
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Old 15th November 2019, 07:58 AM   #14
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Modern technology has made the world much more interconnected and interdependent than at any previous time in history, thus it should be expected that the natural size of nations today should be bigger than in the past.

By "natural size" what I mean here is the size at which it is more efficient for different communities to come together into a single unit rather than stay separate. There are factors at play that tend to pull in both directions, but many of the factors that pull toward smaller size become less relevant as the flow of people, goods, and particularly information becomes easier, faster, and cheaper.

So, while I don't think we'll be getting rid of borders any time soon, I would expect groupings like the EU to become stronger (the current trend seen in Brexit, for example, is, I think an overcorrection to the speed of the process having been a little too fast), and some borders to become more porous over time.

For the sake of this question I see "a border" as a border between two nations, the border of one of those nations with another nation being a separate entity (with distinct policies). And there are of course many dimensions to the policies regarding that border. Trade is separate from immigration, and even some aspects of immigration policy are separate from other aspects. While I expect the general trend to move toward more openness, I also expect a relatively chaotic process.

I also expect that trend to stop when a new equilibrium is reached based on current technology (although further technological advancements would disturb that equilibrium and thus there may be no actual stop point).
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Old 15th November 2019, 07:59 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
Competition makes for a better live style. So far, countries have been competing for immigrants. Ever heard of a "brain drain"?

Diluting the social advantage of a country might seem to not matter- the average of the world is still the average of the world. But without the tribal competition, will the eagles that do soar bring up the average? Will eaglets be motivated to soar?

The problems and solutions both come from people.
People within countries compete with each other, and opening up opportunities for trade and migration should only make it easier for competition between regions to occur.
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Old 15th November 2019, 09:13 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
We lock our doors and erect fences to keep people out. We protect our neighborhoods. We live in cities. Those cities are a part of a State/Province/whatever.
Wasn't always like this. In Europe it used to be that there were walls around cities and the people within those cities couldn't lock their doors if they even had private spaces. Cities used to go to war against eachother. I'm sure people in those days couldn't imagine a world in which cities would one day have no visible borders at all and hundreds of thousands of people would be allowed in and out of cities freely everyday. It's funny how things that seem natural and obvious can change in a few hundred years.

In most countries, states and provinces have similarly frictionless borders, and when countries reach a level of prosperity and cooperation they tend to move in a similar direction (even if there is opposition to it). All while there is an increasing level of individualisation. I'd say keep the doors and fences, but let's get rid of the borders that were never that easy to defend anyway.
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Old 15th November 2019, 02:19 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Ok...which part is “utter myth?”

Both theprestige and xjx388 love the idea of homo homini lupus: That the competition that state and capital subject people to and thus cause is actually the realization of their own human nature. So even when people are poisoned by industry, it's because that's what they themselves require: They want to eat garbage! And when the state kills and maims, it's only because it has to. It's not (really) the state that's violent, it's human nature, so of course the state has to resort to a little violence now and then but only to keep the violent human wolves at bay.

Quote:
They attempt to make the obvious disadvantages of state actions acceptable by explaining the state as a necessary evil. The proof that the state is necessary because of human nature is part of the standard repertoire of every enlightened teacher and professor, who in this case cite the conflicts of a capitalistic society, for a change, instead of the lovable differences. This proof only works if one ignores the necessity to compete that the state imposes, along with all the economic peculiarities this involves, and declares that gratuitous mutual hostility is human nature. Man is a wolf to man, ergo some wolves have to make sure the other wolves keep quiet. This is supposed to be why it is necessary for the state to maintain order.

In everyday life, any criticism of the state’s actions which points to a discrepancy with one’s own interests is refuted simply by the remark that there must be order. Where would we end up if everything belonged to everyone? This expresses the willingness to contend against other individuals in pursuit of one’s own interest and at the same time to defend the limits that the political order forces on oneself and everyone else, a self-contradictory will which thrives in a democracy. It also flourishes in its fascist variation that disapproves of competitive self-interest, requiring in the name of true freedom that all individuals subordinate their endeavors entirely to the community.
The Democratic State (GegenStandpunkt)
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Old 15th November 2019, 05:28 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Earthborn View Post
Wasn't always like this. In Europe it used to be that there were walls around cities and the people within those cities couldn't lock their doors if they even had private spaces. Cities used to go to war against eachother. I'm sure people in those days couldn't imagine a world in which cities would one day have no visible borders at all and hundreds of thousands of people would be allowed in and out of cities freely everyday. It's funny how things that seem natural and obvious can change in a few hundred years.



In most countries, states and provinces have similarly frictionless borders, and when countries reach a level of prosperity and cooperation they tend to move in a similar direction (even if there is opposition to it). All while there is an increasing level of individualisation. I'd say keep the doors and fences, but let's get rid of the borders that were never that easy to defend anyway.


I think the problem with that is people tend to want more local control. I happen to live in a city which is part of a region made up of closely packed together cities: the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. I live in McAllen and if I drive 2 blocks from home, I’ll be in Edinburg. A few more blocks from that is Pharr, which blends into San Juan and Alamo. The other way is Mission. You can drive one street (Business 83), 46 miles or so, and pass from Mission through multiple cities all the way to Harlingen without noticing city borders. Completely frictionless.

Those municipalities retain their own governments. There has never been a move to consolidate that into one big government. We’d be the third or fourth largest city in Texas if we did. People like having local control over the rules where they live.

Texas is rather large as states go. If you can imagine Texas centered over France, it would include parts of the British Isles, Germany, Luxembourg and Italy. Imagine trying to unite those places under one set of laws. Obviously, the EU is a thing but Paris is a bit different than Milán which are both a bit different than London. Each of those localities has its own particular ordinances which reflect the views of those cities’ residents, ostensibly. They aren’t likely to agree on many things. France/England/Luxembourg/Germany are still individual countries with their own laws.

All this to reiterate that “Imagine no countries” is idealistic folly. We should strive for increased cooperation while recognizing that we will never have “One World,” in the sense of no borders.
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Old 15th November 2019, 06:28 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
In our town (Australia), we have a 'choice' of 4 supermarkets. They pretty much sell all the same brands and products (except Aldi which produces similar products under its own brands).

I've often felt rather like the Russians in the pre-Berlin-Wall-fall days' propaganda where they were lined up waiting to buy the one shipment of a product.
Get used to it. You aren't going to get more choices at the supermarket if a serious climate change agenda gets passed, you are going to get fewer, because the focus is going to be on local foods. After all, we can't spend carbon getting food halfway around the world.
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Old 15th November 2019, 06:36 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
I think the problem with that is people tend to want more local control. I happen to live in a city which is part of a region made up of closely packed together cities: the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. I live in McAllen and if I drive 2 blocks from home, I’ll be in Edinburg. A few more blocks from that is Pharr, which blends into San Juan and Alamo. The other way is Mission. You can drive one street (Business 83), 46 miles or so, and pass from Mission through multiple cities all the way to Harlingen without noticing city borders. Completely frictionless.

Those municipalities retain their own governments. There has never been a move to consolidate that into one big government. We’d be the third or fourth largest city in Texas if we did. People like having local control over the rules where they live.

Texas is rather large as states go. If you can imagine Texas centered over France, it would include parts of the British Isles, Germany, Luxembourg and Italy. Imagine trying to unite those places under one set of laws. Obviously, the EU is a thing but Paris is a bit different than Milán which are both a bit different than London. Each of those localities has its own particular ordinances which reflect the views of those cities’ residents, ostensibly. They aren’t likely to agree on many things. France/England/Luxembourg/Germany are still individual countries with their own laws.

All this to reiterate that “Imagine no countries” is idealistic folly. We should strive for increased cooperation while recognizing that we will never have “One World,” in the sense of no borders.
You're conflating local laws with borders though. You can freely move and trade between those cities you mention, even though each has control over local laws. This is because there is a higher authority (state and federal law) that specifically allows for and enables that free movement.

If you are arguing for the borders between countries becoming more akin to the borders within countries that exist between states or cities, then the above is well stated: local laws can be maintained to deal with local problems, maintain local customs, etc.

This is not to say that there is no reason to have international borders, just that the need for local laws isn't it. While I would very much like to see more international cooperation and free trade, as well as easier migration, completely getting rid of borders, even in the long term, would be crazy.
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Old 15th November 2019, 06:42 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Get used to it. You aren't going to get more choices at the supermarket if a serious climate change agenda gets passed, you are going to get fewer, because the focus is going to be on local foods. After all, we can't spend carbon getting food halfway around the world.
Yeah, this.

The idea that we have less choice at supermarkets now than in the past is crazy. When my parents were kids they ate canned fruits and jams in the winter. When I was a kid we got fruit year round, but the off season fruits were pretty limited in choice. Now you get pretty much whatever you want at any time of year, though of course the quality still varies.

What is probably true is that the total variety is less. So if you travelled from place to place you'd see mostly the same choices with less variety between places than in the past. But the variety available in any one spot is much greater than it used to be.
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Old 15th November 2019, 11:41 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Get used to it. You aren't going to get more choices at the supermarket if a serious climate change agenda gets passed, you are going to get fewer, because the focus is going to be on local foods. After all, we can't spend carbon getting food halfway around the world.
I have good news.

100% green aviation biofuels are already being used and in testing for commercial flights.

https://www.qantas.com/travel/airlin...fuel/global/en

And we already know about electric/green vehicles.

In addition, we're much better at knowing how to grow plants en masse in greenhouses and vertically, hydroponically, all sustainably.

Communication technology also means better knowledge dispersal of growing heritage seeds.

We will see MORE variety, and better distribution.
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Last edited by Orphia Nay; 15th November 2019 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 15th November 2019, 11:58 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
I have good news.

100% green aviation biofuels are already being used and in testing for commercial flights.

https://www.qantas.com/travel/airlin...fuel/global/en

And we already know about electric/green vehicles.

In addition, we're much better at knowing how to grow plants en masse in greenhouses and vertically, hydroponically, all sustainably.

Communication technology also means better knowledge dispersal of growing heritage seeds.

We will see MORE variety, and better distribution.
Sometimes I despair. I realize it is hard to sell green when it requires sacrifice, but the idea that this is going to be all gain, no pain, is just plain wrong. Your article link notes on the sustainable aviation fuel:

Quote:
The study, conducted with the support of the Federal Government, found that an aviation biofuel industry is technically viable but significant obstacles remain. Identifying natural oils as a proven source material, the study modelled a plant capable of producing 1.1 billion litres of renewable fuels, including jet fuel and diesel, per year using existing supply chain infrastructure.

Feedstock. The volume of sustainable natural oil feedstocks available at a competitive price in Australia is not sufficient to power a commercial scale biofuel plant.
Read that carefully. Even in Australia there's not enough of this natural oil to even make a commercial scale plant.
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Old 16th November 2019, 12:10 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Sometimes I despair. I realize it is hard to sell green when it requires sacrifice, but the idea that this is going to be all gain, no pain, is just plain wrong. Your article link notes on the sustainable aviation fuel:



Read that carefully. Even in Australia there's not enough of this natural oil to even make a commercial scale plant.
I almost never despair.

Even when people purposely delete bits they quote like this:

"This volume and price gap has potential to be filled by increased investment, research and development in production of emerging feedstocks such as algae and pongamia."


Furthermore, biofuel isn't the only green aviation option.

And not all food will need to be flown.
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Old 16th November 2019, 12:15 AM   #25
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Old 16th November 2019, 12:24 AM   #26
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I listened to an interview with Raj Patel* today. I don't remember hearing of him before - he was on a podcast I've been following for a while.


One idea (new to me) was "The Othering of Nature".

"Nature" somehow became positioned as an opposite to "Man".

Seems bizarre when you think about it.

I will have to look out for that more, now I've seen it.

He also talked about the island of Madeira, and its loss of forests, and its perhaps pivotal role in the rise in the sugar industry, slavery, and exploitation of "new countries" and resources by Europeans.



*
"Born to a mother from Kenya and a father from Fiji,[5][6][7] he grew up in Golders Green in north-west London where his family ran a corner shop.[8]

"Patel received a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE), from Oxford, and a master's degree from the London School of Economics, and gained his PhD in Development Sociology from Cornell University in 2002.[3][9]

"As part of his academic training, Patel worked at the World Bank, World Trade Organization and the United Nations.[3] He has since become an outspoken public critic of all of these organisations, and claims to have been tear-gassed on four continents protesting against his former employers.[3][5][10]"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raj_Patel
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Old 16th November 2019, 12:33 AM   #27
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Thanks for these great posts, Roboramma and EarthBorn:

Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Modern technology has made the world much more interconnected and interdependent than at any previous time in history, thus it should be expected that the natural size of nations today should be bigger than in the past.

By "natural size" what I mean here is the size at which it is more efficient for different communities to come together into a single unit rather than stay separate. There are factors at play that tend to pull in both directions, but many of the factors that pull toward smaller size become less relevant as the flow of people, goods, and particularly information becomes easier, faster, and cheaper.

So, while I don't think we'll be getting rid of borders any time soon, I would expect groupings like the EU to become stronger (the current trend seen in Brexit, for example, is, I think an overcorrection to the speed of the process having been a little too fast), and some borders to become more porous over time.

For the sake of this question I see "a border" as a border between two nations, the border of one of those nations with another nation being a separate entity (with distinct policies). And there are of course many dimensions to the policies regarding that border. Trade is separate from immigration, and even some aspects of immigration policy are separate from other aspects. While I expect the general trend to move toward more openness, I also expect a relatively chaotic process.

I also expect that trend to stop when a new equilibrium is reached based on current technology (although further technological advancements would disturb that equilibrium and thus there may be no actual stop point).
Originally Posted by Earthborn View Post
Wasn't always like this. In Europe it used to be that there were walls around cities and the people within those cities couldn't lock their doors if they even had private spaces. Cities used to go to war against eachother. I'm sure people in those days couldn't imagine a world in which cities would one day have no visible borders at all and hundreds of thousands of people would be allowed in and out of cities freely everyday. It's funny how things that seem natural and obvious can change in a few hundred years.

In most countries, states and provinces have similarly frictionless borders, and when countries reach a level of prosperity and cooperation they tend to move in a similar direction (even if there is opposition to it). All while there is an increasing level of individualisation. I'd say keep the doors and fences, but let's get rid of the borders that were never that easy to defend anyway.
Hehe, yep, agree totally.

I've been doing my daily drawings on similar themes...

Borders as lines of many plant beds/boxes; native wildlife/vegetation corridors between crops; chalk line markings like on sports fields.


We need theoretical administrative borders on maps to help with fair distribution/administration of all sorts of things, but I would love to see more physical borders opened.

Noting the fall of the Berlin Wall anniversary last month.

What other borders have fallen in the past couple of hundred years?
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Old 16th November 2019, 06:54 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
Furthermore, biofuel isn't the only green aviation option.

We could use hydrogen balloons - based on the exhaust from the lactose intolerant!
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Old 2nd December 2019, 01:42 AM   #29
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News on research on the distribution of food, and its fiscal and health cost:

The Lancet Global Health released this new study on November 7:

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/l...447-4/fulltext

Affordability of the EAT–Lancet reference diet: a global analysis


"The EAT–Lancet Commission drew on all available nutritional and environmental evidence to construct the first global benchmark diet capable of sustaining health and protecting the planet, but it did not assess dietary affordability. We used food price and household income data to estimate affordability of EAT–Lancet benchmark diets, as a first step to guiding interventions to improve diets around the world.
...
The most affordable EAT–Lancet diets cost a global median of US$2·84 per day (IQR 2·41–3·16) in 2011, of which the largest share was the cost of fruits and vegetables (31·2%), followed by legumes and nuts (18·7%), meat, eggs, and fish (15·2%), and dairy (13·2%). This diet costs a small fraction of average incomes in high-income countries but is not affordable for the world's poor. We estimated that the cost of an EAT–Lancet diet exceeded household per capita income for at least 1·58 billion people. The EAT–Lancet diet is also more expensive than the minimum cost of nutrient adequacy, on average, by a mean factor of 1·60 (IQR 1·41–1·78).


This (new) study (on cost) has several limitations. First, for each country, we provide only a lower bound on the cost of EAT–Lancet reference diets, based on the most affordable item in each food group. Even low-income consumers might choose a variety of more expensive foods in each group, consuming an EAT–Lancet reference diet that also meets other goals, such as speed and ease of preparation as well as cultural preferences. Second, our cost and affordability estimates are designed to provide national and global totals for the most recent available year, masking spatial heterogeneity within countries as well as variation over time. Cost-of-living differences are substantial between rural and urban areas,28 and are further complicated by differences in availability of different items.29 Households with their own farms, gardens, or livestock might access their own production some of the year, and seasonality plays an important role in food prices and availability for food buyers as well.30 A third kind of limitation concerns variation in nutritional needs because the EAT–Lancet reference diet and our cost of nutrient adequacy calculations pertain only to a typical adult woman, considers a limited set of nutrients, and overlooks differences in bioavailability across food groups. Demographically disaggregated analyses considering a wider set of nutrients and accounting for bioavailability would improve the quality of these dietary affordability metrics. Finally, the nutritional content is uncertain for each item for which a price is reported, and although our list of 744 distinct foods includes many diverse foods, other foods might exist that would be less costly than those for which prices are reported to the ICP. These limitations suggest the need for more in-depth analyses of dietary costs that capture differences in the affordability of an extensive range of foods measured across locations and over time, and with individuals with different calorie requirements.
Economic extensions to the EAT–Lancet research agenda can offer important insights into the specific interventions and systemic changes needed to improve diets. Even if many poor consumers were to aspire to consume healthier and more environmentally sustainable foods, income and price constraints frequently render this diet unaffordable. Measures to alleviate price and income constraints will be essential to bringing healthy and sustainable diets within reach of the world's poor."



(Nobody reads links, so I'm trying to post summaries of what might be the main queries.)
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Old 2nd December 2019, 01:45 AM   #30
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To clarify, the EAT-Lancet diet is the diet which has the maximum amount of meat the planet can afford to produce while still distributing it in amounts to feed everyone.

It's not the recommended diet for optimum heath - that has less meat. And now this shows it's also too expensive.

Sorry, guys! Don't shoot the messenger.
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Old 2nd December 2019, 03:11 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Yeah, this.

The idea that we have less choice at supermarkets now than in the past is crazy. When my parents were kids they ate canned fruits and jams in the winter. When I was a kid we got fruit year round, but the off season fruits were pretty limited in choice. Now you get pretty much whatever you want at any time of year, though of course the quality still varies.

What is probably true is that the total variety is less. So if you travelled from place to place you'd see mostly the same choices with less variety between places than in the past. But the variety available in any one spot is much greater than it used to be.
Well there's choice and there's choice.

There's a stark difference between the range of products available in a UK supermarket and, say, the range of products available in a really good fruit and vegetable market.

Supermarkets have definitely broadened the range of produce available year-round - the idea of fresh melons available in a provincial supermarket in February back in the 70's would have been fantasy.

Supermarkets have also narrowed the range of products available within a range. If you want carrots, you can get one, maybe two or three, varieties when there are literally dozens available. The thing is that supermarkets, not unreasonably, want products of a uniform quality and appearance at a competitive price so that some of the heritage varieties have gone by the wayside.

UK supermarkets in particular seem to have comparatively limited choice when it comes to perishable goods. When I've been to supermarkets in France, The Netherlands, Germany or Scandinavia, there seems to be more choice. Maybe that says more about the conservatism of the British consumer. If there was a large enough market for heritage produce, different types of fish or fresh cheese, I'm sure the supermarkets would try to satisfy that demand.
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Old 2nd December 2019, 03:13 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
What other borders have fallen in the past couple of hundred years?
The Schengen zone in the EU represents a significant diminution in national borders, whilst still preserving countries' identity and security.
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Old 2nd December 2019, 04:50 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Skeptical Greg View Post
How's that working out, in the context of OrphiaNay's comments?
Very well thanks.
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Old 2nd December 2019, 04:54 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
At the same time we see separatist movements within EU countries, independence movements, people who want to withdraw from these sort of multinational organizations
Actually we're not seeing this. We're seeing sub-national (an inexact term) agitation for autonomy/independence from the nation state but not from the supra-national EU. Support for exiting the EU has plummeted following the example of Britain's debacle.
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Old 2nd December 2019, 04:55 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Ok...which part is “utter myth?”
Well your claim that open borders are unworkable is drivel for a start.
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Old 2nd December 2019, 04:57 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Get used to it. You aren't going to get more choices at the supermarket if a serious climate change agenda gets passed, you are going to get fewer, because the focus is going to be on local foods. After all, we can't spend carbon getting food halfway around the world.
Good.
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Old 2nd December 2019, 04:58 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Sometimes I despair. I realize it is hard to sell green when it requires sacrifice, but the idea that this is going to be all gain, no pain, is just plain wrong. Your article link notes on the sustainable aviation fuel:



Read that carefully. Even in Australia there's not enough of this natural oil to even make a commercial scale plant.

There are other biofuel options, butanol for example.
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Old 2nd December 2019, 09:51 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
We have more food
Good.

Quote:
less choice
Not from what I see.

Quote:
more inequality
How is that measured? And is it even really a problem? Extreme poverty has been plummeting globally. Is inequality a bigger problem than poverty?

Quote:
less good nutrition
How is this measured? And is it the result of what's available, or what people choose?

Quote:
more waste
If there's more food, we should expect more waste. Seems like a symptom more than a problem.

Quote:
less forest
Depends where you are. I think Africa and South America have seen decreasing forest coverage. North America and Europe have significantly increased forest coverage over the last century.

Quote:
more malnutrition and more under-nutrition.
Not globally. So what are you referring to?

Quote:
Don't get me started on national borders and the damage they do to peace
National borders are how you maintain peace.

Quote:
My pet peeve is international borders. As John Lennon sang and Yoko Ono wrote:

Imagine no countries
It isn't hard to do.
It's not hard to imagine unicorns that **** rainbow ice cream either. And why would you look to Yoko Ono for insights on politics?

Quote:
I could go on, with more examples of over-consumption, overproduction, poor distribution, inappropriate land use, and excess waste due to state and international trade and border disputes.
Many of the problems you describe arise because borders are not being enforced in these areas.

Quote:
Will we really need physical international boundaries, if we can feed and shelter everyone, and everyone is thriving and peaceful?
If a frog had wings, would it bump its ass when it hopped?

We can speculate all we want to about how things would be different if things were different. But given that everyone isn't thriving and peaceful, yes, we need physical international boundaries. And it's a mistake to believe that everyone will become peaceful if only they manage to thrive. Here's a dirty little secret: most terrorists do not come from extreme poverty, but from the middle or upper class.
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Old 3rd December 2019, 01:53 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Good.



Not from what I see.



How is that measured? And is it even really a problem? Extreme poverty has been plummeting globally. Is inequality a bigger problem than poverty?



How is this measured? And is it the result of what's available, or what people choose?



If there's more food, we should expect more waste. Seems like a symptom more than a problem.



Depends where you are. I think Africa and South America have seen decreasing forest coverage. North America and Europe have significantly increased forest coverage over the last century.



Not globally. So what are you referring to?



National borders are how you maintain peace.



It's not hard to imagine unicorns that **** rainbow ice cream either. And why would you look to Yoko Ono for insights on politics?



Many of the problems you describe arise because borders are not being enforced in these areas.



If a frog had wings, would it bump its ass when it hopped?

We can speculate all we want to about how things would be different if things were different. But given that everyone isn't thriving and peaceful, yes, we need physical international boundaries. And it's a mistake to believe that everyone will become peaceful if only they manage to thrive. Here's a dirty little secret: most terrorists do not come from extreme poverty, but from the middle or upper class.
Hi Ziggurat.

Thanks for reading the OP.
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Old 3rd December 2019, 02:22 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Depends where you are. I think Africa and South America have seen decreasing forest coverage. North America and Europe have significantly increased forest coverage over the last century.
Any increase in forest coverage in North America and Europe is a drop in the ocean compared to the amount of tropical rain-forest being lost.

Quote:
Forested areas in Europe, North America, the Caucasus and Central Asia have been increasing steadily, growing by 25 million hectares over the past two decades
https://news.un.org/en/story/2011/03...mate-change-un

Quote:
The tropics lost 12 million hectares of tree cover in 2018, the fourth-highest annual loss since record-keeping began in 2001.
https://www.wri.org/blog/2019/04/wor...ests-last-year

Northern forest are also less effective as carbon traps/oxygen producers and don't support anything like the same biodiversity so whilst it's good that there may be more North American and European forests (compared to the low point, we're still a long way short of what was there before human exploitation), it's not a panacea.
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