Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Driven to Despair a cool PBS Special
- On 2008-11-03, at 4:25 PM, Emily Wigley wrote:
> This is such an interesting thread!If you can find a copy at your local library, there is a book,
> My horses can be thought of as terribly inefficient! :-) Five of
> the equines in my stable work for their keep as school horses, so I
> usually think of them as business expenses/business partners, but
> thinking about them as vehicles is very interesting. They weigh
> between 750 and 1400 lbs., and they can carry approximately 20% of
> their own weight.
> Their fuel efficiency and waste production is really strange: 1000#
> horse requires 20# roughage (hay or good pasture)/day, and results in
> 50# of waste (manure)/day. But the waste can be repurposed as we all
> know, so maybe it's not a bad equation. And the horse could feasibly
> work the land that grows its own food (hay field) and can be used for
> several hours/day for transportation.
Food, Energy and Society, by Pimentel and Pimentel, and they
talk about not just how much energy it takes to produce food,
but how it varies with production methods. In particular,
the energy needed to produce a bushel of corn varies quite a
bit depending upon how you grow it; in the US, we get quite
a few bushels per acre of land, but not so many if you measure
it by the energy required.
If your livestock is fed corn grown in the US energy-intensive
way, you might have a problem (from an efficiency point of view),
or you might not. Horses are vegetarians, so even if they eat
energy-expensive US corn, they're still only eating corn. We
humans tend to eat all sort of things (like meat) that is much more
energy intensive than corn. And, of course, your horses get some
of their energy from grass, and that's almost unbeatable from
a system-efficiency point of view.
Problem is, if everyone tried to keep horses, it might not fit,
and we would need transportation systems to bring the hay to the
horses and the horse byproducts away from the horses.
- Hi EmilyI tried to reply to your personal email to me, but it bounced as your IP blocked it...so here's my responce:I am aware of Michael Pollan's work, and have explored a lot of similar ideas.
As a Permaculture gardener/designer/assistant teacher, I know the very best knowledge/wisdom lies with the remnants of indigenous cultures, and Permaculture's attempts to revive that knowledge. That our local indigenous people (Maori) are very interested in Permaculture, is a joy! As David Holmgren says (as one of the co-orignators of Permaculture) "all we're trying to do is get people back in touch with that peasant groundedness, that 'common sense' about how to live sustainably in place", and pass it on to future generations of all life in good condition!Horses will be part of the future mix for transport systems, as will oxen as seen in the Peak Oil doco "The Power Of Community"http://www.powerofcommunity.org/cm/index.php .....and of course bicycles, especially Xtracycles!I passed on some articles to a friend (see the links below) and he completely freaked out. He's now really keen it get his garden really firing, make sure his bicycles are functional, and I'm working on him to get involved with our local Transition Town group...community is the only real "solution"...we'll have pull togeather to survive.RegardsTedNelson, New Zealandhttp://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=a7AhRhE4NJlM&refer=home
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