Thursday, May 22, 2008

Prognosticating recap

The news the past couple of days has included a few articles about some farmers in Tennessee who have switched to mule-power for their farming needs. A Google news search for '+farmer +mules' yields 49 news results. I wonder how many news results there will be for those search terms in two months, after oil hits $200/barrel.

Farmer Trades Tractor For Mule Power
"McMinnville, Tenn. - A Middle Tennessee farmer is trading his tractor for another form of horsepower. Warren County farmer Danny Raymond recently bought two mules, Molly and Dolly. The mules will help rake hay, mow, and cultivate corn. Raymond said high fuel prices forced him to make the switch. "Oh it's been really tough. I mean you got your gas prices," he said. "Then gas prices cause the price of fertilizer to go up. It just makes more sense," he said about switching to mule power."

Searching for '+farmer +horses +plow' yields 12 news results. Here is one:

Horses help local farmers cut costs

"Jeff Johns had the horses. He had land that needed to be plowed. And he had worries that rising fuel costs would eat into his already thin profit margin. So he's doing what farmers did long before the tractor came along -- he's using his two draft horses to power a plow. And he's loving every minute of it."
Exactly two months ago I posted a blog entry that noted indicators of an imminent unraveling of the normal cycle of things. The bank insolvency issue (not a problem that has gone away just because it's sunk off the news cycles), higher fuel costs, increasingly staggered food and commodity deliveries...will all accelerate in the coming months. Eventually, there will be a break point, I'd written, when those who failed to spot the inevitable and did not turn to simpler ways will be down on their luck, while the Amish will be in ascendancy. Why? Because we do not know how to generate our own power, live without electricity, farm using simple methods (successful farming means not going hungry), make soap, dip candles, kill a hog, or perform a myriad of other hand tasks. But the Amish do. They always have. For the Amish, no-technology and fuel free farming has been the only way. Who ya gonna call...when the grocery store is empty and we can't get a 1400 mile salad any more? The Amish/Mennonite community farmer's market, and other Christian-community living farms, that's who.

I wrote:
March 22, 2008:
"The US is now the world's largest debtor nation, and for a country with the world's largest economy, if (when) we default, the world economy comes with it. The cycle of things will stop. I don't know how to build a home, make a tool, grow some food, coordinate with my neighbors, create fire, or use a horse for transportation. But the Amish do."

Listen to the Watchman:

Ezekiel 33:3-6
If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;
Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.

Jeremiah 51
12Set up the standard upon the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set up the watchmen, prepare the ambushes:

The day of the Lord will soon come. Selah


Christie said...

Have you read Cormac McCarthy's The Road? Ever since I finished it I've been having these dreams about waking up and realizing Henry and I are the only ones left in the city. This reoccurring dream changes only in my response to being alone with baby. One dream, I immediately start working on securing my safety at my house. Another dream, I hit the grocery store to stock up food. It's crazy. Here's hoping we can get this turned around so something devastating doesn't happen.

Elizabeth Prata said...

I'm sorry for your dreams! They must be disconcerting to say the least, now that you're a mother with a baby to protect. That changes everything, doesn't it?

I have not read Cormac McCarthy, though I like his brand of writing. Visiting West Texas for a few weeks, particularly Big Bend National Park, was like *living* a Cormac McCarthy book, though!

I think we are on the cusp of it being almost too late to turn tings around. Man, this crazy weather!!