Mar megint elmelaztam. Sajnos nem tudok leszokni errol a karos
szenvedelyemrol. Melazasom eredmenye az alabbi eszmefutatas:
Velemenyem szerint az emberi technologiai civilizacio iranya az elvegzett
munka hatekonysaganak novelese. Az elvegzett munka hatekonysagat pedig a
munkafazis minel rovidebb idon beluli elvegzesekent lehetne definialni.
Tehat minel gyorsabban elvegezni egy feladatot, vagy egysegnyi ido alatt
(pl. munkanap) minek tobb munkat elvegezni. Ez pedig nem kepzelheto el
energia befektetes nelkul. Minel rovidebb ido alatt akarunk valamit
elvegezni, annal tobb energia kell hozza. Kerdes, hogy van-e valami fizikai
torveny, mely leirja az ido es energia kapcsolatat. Szerintem az eisteini
hires egyenlet ( E=m*c2) ezt is megteszi. Merthogy a c nem mas, mint a feny
terjedesi sebessege. A sebesseg pedig nem mas, mint az egysegnyi ido alatt
megtett ut hossza (s/t). Tehat E= m* s2/t2. Ha megvizslatjuk ezt az
egyenletet latszik, hogy az ido forditottan aranyos az energiaval, igaz nem
linearisan, hanem egy gyok fuggveny szerint (t= gyok alatt:m*s2/E).
Szerintem ez az egyenlet azt irja le, amit eddig is tudtunk, hogy ha valamit
minel rovidebb ido alatt akarunk megtenni, ahhoz egyre tobb energia kell.
Most mar csak az a kerdes honnan szarmazik az energia. Alapvetoen ket
helyrol: az ember sajat energia forrasabol vagy termeszeti energia forrasbol.
Civilizacionk kezdeten az emberi energia allt a fo helyen. Ez igaz az
osember gyujtogeto, vadaszo tarsadalmara (ahol sajat izomerejet hasznalta
fel a munkavegzes soran) is a rabszolgatarto tarsadalmakra is, csak itt mas
ember energiajat ( a rabszolgaet) hasznaltak fel. Aztan jott egy kisebb
technologiai forradalom, mikor a termeszet megujulo energia forrasait
hasznositottak elodeink (szel es vizimalom). Vegul pedig az angol ipari
forradlom utan a meg-nem-ujulo energia forrasok kerultek eloterbe (szen,
olaj es vegul nuklearis energai). Vagyis az emberi eroforrastol fokozatosan
tolodott a hangsuly a termeszetes energia hodozok iranyaba az emberi
civilizacio fejlodese soran. Hogy ennek mi az oka? Talan az ember eredendo
lustasaga. Mindezek egyben azt is jelentettek, hogy az a keves befektett
emberi energia igen felertekelodott.
Namost a fenntarthato fejlodes elmelete kimondja, hogy a fejlodesnek nem
lehet gatat szabni. Ami azt jelenti, hogy mindent meg gyorsabban akarunk
megcsinalni. Ennek iskola peldaja az informatikai szektor fejlodese (egyre
gyorsabb is gyorsabb szamitogepek latnak napvilagot). Ez pedig egyre tobb es
tobb energiat fog igenyelni a fenti levezetes alapjan.
Ebbol pedig - szerintem - logikusan az kovetkezik , hogy a fejlodes es az
energiatakarekossag egymasnak ellentmondo fogalmak.
Kerdes: tenyleg igy van, vagy valahol logikai hibat vetettem? Remelem, hogy
az utobbi az igaz.
CSA FARMS CAN HELP OUR HEALTH, OUR LAND, AND OUR FARMERS
On average, 65 cents out of every dollar you spend for food at the supermarket
go for packaging, delivery and marketing. Thirty cents go to chemical
companies that make fertilizers, pesticides and genetically altered organisms.
That leaves five cents for the farmer.
If you wonder why farms are failing (over 20,000 a year go under in the U.S.),
that's why. If you wonder why your food seems more like something factory-made
than something fresh, alive, healthful or cared for, that's also why.
Our big-time food system, based on chemicals, supermarkets, and industrial
farms, undermines rural economies, the environment, and our health. I dropped
out of it long ago; I haven't been in a supermarket in months. Yes, that is
possible; lots of people do it. If they want the best, the freshest, the most
trustworthy food, they raise it themselves or they buy it at a local coop, a
farmers' market, or a CSA.
Only the last of those options needs explanation. CSA stands for
"community-supported agriculture," a name that explains nothing. Most farmers
haven't got a marketing bone in their body, or they'd invent a better term --
"subscription farm" or "partnership farm" or maybe "rent-a-farm."
Here's how it works. You sign up with a local farm (even in urban areas there
can be local farms -- I know of great CSAs in New York, Santa Barbara and
Vienna), paying for a whole season in advance or in regular installments. Once
a week you get a load of fresh-picked goodies, whatever is ripe. Around here
that means lettuce, spinach, scallions and baby beets in June; zucchini, green
beans, chard, broccoli and carrots in July; all the above plus tomatoes, cukes
and sweet corn in August and September; and in October the storage crops --
potatoes, leeks, pumpkins, cabbage, onions. Many CSA farms add flowers and
The farmers know in advance how much to plant; they also get paid up front, so
they can afford the seed and tools to get going. They share risk and luck with
the customers; if the early lettuce freezes, everyone has to wait for the
second planting; if there's a great year for melons, everyone gets extra
melons. Since most CSA farmers plant dozens of crops, the deliveries tend to
be lush every week. Even with no pesticides crop failures are rare.
The customers get produce the day it's picked, not stuff that has been shipped
thousands of miles. They know how it is grown; many pick it up right at the
farm. They know the farmers. They can ask questions and provide feedback.
Hey, how about more fresh dill? And a tad less zucchini?
I think the health, freshness, and taste advantages are the big ones, but it's
also notable that a CSA can split most of the 95 cents that go to marketing and
chemicals between the customer and the farmer. A study of three CSAs in
Massachusetts showed their customers getting veggies at half the supermarket
price. You buy for less; your local farmers get more.
I'm coming to know intimately how CSAs work, because last year one started up
across the road from me. Stephen Leslie and Kerry Gawalt plowed up an acre of
bottomland, took soil tests, worked in manure, and brought in a state inspector
who went over the history of the land and their growing plan and gave them an
organic certification. They offered shares at $200 for a small share (about
right for a couple), $300 for a medium, $400 for a large. It was their sixth
year of CSA farming, but their first in this location. They signed up 18
Then I got to watch the scramble. First there was the planting and weeding,
done according to an elaborate schedule tuned to keep yummy things ripening
every week for five months. While replanting and weeding went on, the picking
began. Can you imagine picking a week's veggies for 18 families all at once,
starting at dawn to catch them cool? And washing and sorting? And packing (in
plastic, returnable tubs)?
In addition to farm pickups, Kerry and Stephen offered two drop-off points in
nearby towns. I volunteered to deliver on my way to work, so every Tuesday
morning I loaded my car with tubs of vegetables, herbs, flowers, often with
suggested recipes tucked in the side. (Not everyone knows what to do with
arugula, celeriac, tatsoi, collards, or rutabaga. And everyone needs zucchini
recipes.) The filled tubs were works of art. I felt joyous, delivering them
to the subscribers.
Kerry and Stephen felt joyous too, producing all that good food in a way that
built up the land. On their acre they turned out more than enough for their
shareholders, so they also sold at farmers' markets and to the local food coop.
(I got to see the wastefulness of the farmers' market, when they returned with
wilted, unsold greens that had to be fed to the chickens. The chickens were
happy, though.) They didn't make much for their half-year of hard work, but it
was enough to keep them going. Their customers' enthusiastic reactions gave
them the courage to add another acre this year. Just this week they took out
their Norwegian Fjord horses Mari and Cassima and tilled and seeded 240 feet
each of spinach and peas.
I don't know how long our industrial food system, dependent on long-distance
shipping, cheap oil, big machines, poisonous chemicals, loud marketing and
underpaid migrant labor will last. I do know what could replace it: CSAs and
local markets. We'll probably always trade maple syrup and apples for oranges
and winter lettuce, but we'll eat foods more in season; we'll understand how
the seasons work. Our food will be fresher, tastier, cheaper, and healthier,
and our small farmers will stay in business.
If that's a future you like, you don't have to wait for it.
(To request a list of CSA farms in your state, call 1-800-516-7797. For a list
of all New England CSA farms, plus some good articles about and by CSA farmers,
send $12 to Steve Gilman, CSA Farm Network, 130 Ruckytucks Road, Stillwater NY
12170 and ask for "Volume II")
(For the Valley News -- local CSA farms are:
Cedar Mountain Farm, Stephen Leslie and Kerry Gawalt, Plainfield NH,
Luna Bleu Farm, Tim Sanford and Suzanne Long, South Royalton VT, 802-763-7981.
Tanyard Farm, Bill and Jinny Cleland, West Hartford VT, 802-295-7827.
Sunset Arches Farm, Mary and Mark Anderson, Canaan NH, 603-523-9154.)
(Donella H. Meadows is an adjunct professor of environmental studies at