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7513Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Driven to Despair a cool PBS Special

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  • Cara Lin Bridgman
    Nov 1, 2008
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      David Chase wrote:
      > People are not necessarily cheap. I'd like to think that there is a
      > better use for them than just providing the brute force to haul stuff
      > around.


      Of course it's nice to think there's something better for people to do,
      but is there? Before oil and before oil peaked, most of the world was
      using brute force to haul things around. In third world countries,
      that's still the main method. Brute force is also the main method for
      plowing, hauling water, harvesting, and all the other activities that go
      around farming for food. How many girls in Africa cannot go to school
      because their families have decided that it is better for them to spend
      their days hauling water? If they don't haul water, who will?

      When I was growing up in Taiwan and Bangladesh, our taxis were pedicabs.
      Those guys did nothing but haul people around--long enough distances
      for 20 minutes to an hour or more and for only a 25 cents, if that. If
      they could move up to a motorized pedicab (used in Taiwan for a few
      years before transitioning to cars) or a baby taxi (3-wheeled grease
      trap still common in Bangladesh and India) or even a regular 4-wheeled
      taxi, they did. If they couldn't, then they used brute force until they
      ran out of steam--rather like cart horses...

      Unfortunately, with peak oil, people are probably going to return to
      being the cheapest thing around--there's a lot of us and we all need
      food, clothing, and housing. I'll never forget the story of the Russian
      general who had his infantry march across a field of land mines because
      people are cheaper and easier to replace than tanks.

      The movie 'The Power of Community' about Cuba's experience with peak
      oil, points out that each Cuban lost an average of 20 lbs. That's not
      just because of food scarcity--they all went back to brute-force
      transport: walking and riding bikes.

      CL
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