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monty
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17 Aug 2008, 9:03 pm

iamnotaparakeet wrote:
monty wrote:
No one says things have to be spread out, but they are. No change is going to occur overnight. But if things aren't spread out, will people have big enough yards to grow more than a token amount of their own food??


Thing is that we are miles apart from everything but we concentrate in small areas. I calculated that if you divided the amount of arable land amongst the total population, that each individual person could have half an acre to themselves. That's not even desert or forest, that the current farmland area. If people were to increase the space between eachother rather than huddle together as such, there would be plenty of land to work with.


Statistically, that may be true. But there are economies of scale for having one person specialize and grow lots of a particular crop.

Currently in parts of the midwest (highly productive agriculture), there may be one road every mile (Township/Section/Range lines) and one to four farm houses per square mile. In your scenario, it would take lots of additional road (that reduces farmland) and new houses (that cast lots of shade).

The average suburban lot around me is 1/4 acre, and I have half an acre. Suburban density (which is close to what you are proposing at 1/2 acre per person) doesn't seem like a good overall solution - not so different from what we have. If people want to buy a few acres and become more self-sufficient, more power to them. I am working towards that. But it often makes sense to specialize work and concentrate to some degree - maybe not to the degree that we see today.

After 9/11, I started talking about decentralizing - moving things to small and medium sized cities. Instead, we saw government grow in D.C. ... centralized, where it is more subject to attack. Amory Lovins talked about the difference between decentralized energy, and having a small number of very large power plants. He demonstrated that we would be better off with a larger number of energy sources.



Keith
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17 Aug 2008, 9:43 pm

I started life out on the roads with a bicycle. I learnt the rules of the road. I got my license and I still use the road the same way as I do as though I were on a bike.

Many cyclists have the habit of thinking, traffic lights and road markings do not apply to them, they are wrong. Jumping red lights, as they cross a road with a car that could wipe them out easily.

That got me thinking, with all the new cycle lanes being put up, so many are being wasted because cars now have to stop further back, I completely ignore them (unless there is a reason against this). They use double yellow lines as though they were a cycle path designated to them forcing them to be VERY close to the pavement. I used the rule of being about 1 metre away from it.

Didn't bother with safety gear, never have. Sometimes wear a seat-belt, hardly wore a cycle helmet. And yes, I've been involved in some bike crashes (pedestrian skimming, bus skimming) and wasn't wearing any safety gear. I've been involved in a couple crashes with cars - weren't wearing a seat-belt then either. One of them I was doing about 60Mph when I was turned 180 degrees. ( wasn't speeding )

Up-keep with a bike would be expensive as I am a power cyclist. Chain stretching, rear spindle bending, crank loosening. Would cost about the same price of a used old car for a decent one, except one being new. Both would need fuel, and I would be tired by the time I reached my destination - like I said - power cyclist and obsessed with getting up the gears quickly and efficiently.