But if abundant low-carbon energy doesn’t immediately materialise, or if it’s used to grow the human economy and its footprint, then Monbiot’s farmfree solutionism offers no solutions to real present predicaments.
If George gets his way and they ban woodstoves, that’s a red line for me. I’ll continue harvesting my firewood and burning it in my stove until they drag me away.
I’m going to continue my present mini-theme concerning emerging class conflicts around agrarian localism with a few words about current antipathies between farmers and ‘experts’.
So the challenge is to defend distributed property, commons, kinship, human neighbourliness and renewable local agrarianism against the blank certainties of new-old Marxist categories of class struggle.
Hopefully my writing and maybe even my speaking might convince a few waverers from getting hoodwinked by some of the more preposterous ecomodernist claims, but mostly I’m happy to preach to the converted…
I’ve come to think that, unfortunately, small farm societies emerging contingently in some of the margins of a collapsing urban-industrial world system and shining a light to the future is about as good a prospect as we can realistically now hope for.
There will be no food factories on a dead planet, and there will be no low-carbon manufactured food in a fossil-fuelled energy system.
The case for manufactured protein is sometimes made on the grounds that its bacterially based processes are more energy efficient than plant photosynthesis. But it’s a misleading claim given the energy costs of producing the generated electricity and industrial plant needed in the manufactured route.
How do those raised in a culture of separation from nature, with abundant exosomatic energy from fossil fuels and vast transportation networks, develop the knowledge, skills, and new culture that draws from the past while preparing for a very different future? Chris Smaje helps us out.
My book is a polemical critique of George Monbiot’s book, Regenesis. In it, I make the case for agrarian localism in the face of his derision for the same.
My fear is that our societies aren’t going to give up on the hope of a 100% renewable transition, meaning – unfortunately – that the likeliest future we face is the hard path to agrarian localism.
Perhaps incorrectly, or even arrogantly, I’m anticipating that my soon-to-be-published book Saying NO to a Farm-Free Future might elicit pushback from those unconvinced by its arguments for agrarian localism.