Our livilihoods

Think of an apple. You may get it from a grocery store, farmer's market, neighbor, or tree on your property. If from the store, how much energy (most likely oil) did it take for the apple to get there? If from the market, how far did it travel? If from you neighbor, how is your relationship? If from your yard, how have you cared for the apple tree? Right now is a good time to take stock of all our "apple trees". Make sure there are plenty of nutrients in the soil, abundant water and sunlight, and plenty of different insect lovers to cull the competitors for the fruit we love. Our yard stretches around the earth now. Some parts we still value and care for so that we can grow healthy food there and drink from the clean water, other parts are behind the hedges--hidden from our view. That's where we keep the burn barrel, the old paint and oil cans, the broken car rusting in the shade. This is our global economy.

Now, the places we value in our yard are preserved as parks like George Washington National Forest. They are the banana plantations in Central America, the lettuce fields in California, the beef cattle ranches in Brazil. And we forget our yard to watch the money grow. We create new ways to get more money by gambling on the rate of change in the growth of the old money. And so on.

Then, in the backyard, behind the hedge, the shade tree dies and we can again see the car rusting there. The hedge then dies and we see the old paint cans and the oil.Then, the apple tree dies and we can only think of an apple.

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