2030 and all that

I have not gone blog AWOL, but have been pondering, pondering.

In the year 2034 my story, The Gatherers Trilogy begins. Four years before that, in 2030, I am told, in a UN document, that 5 billion people will live in cities around the world. This is bogglesome information, really. I can’t quite make things work in favour of any who find themselves within the city gates, so to speak.

In the beginning of the story, I talk about terrible smog conditions, air pollution, poverty, sickness and starvation, but only to show a marked contrast between the cities and the wonderful place my main characters choose to live in.
Talk about a fantasy, there they are able to grow and raise all their own food and barter away the extra, and the quality is great and extremely varied, while in our real world, city housing has sprawled over the best agricultural land, which means that food has to be acquired from a distance, often a great distance, and can only be bought at a high price.

What’s it to be? $50.00 per plate of fish and chips, or lasagna or whatever takes your fancy! That figure is probably too low for 2034!
Remember when air was clean and sex was dirty! Remember also when pure butter was 25 cents a lb., ground beef 55 cents a lb., beans and spaghetti were 12 cans for 1 dollar, and bread was 12 loaves for $1.25 on Saturdays!

Let’s forget about transportation and the like for the moment and deal with our ability to feed ourselves. If eating only happened once a week, say, like a snake does, then perhaps we might limp by, but most people manage one meal a day, and many aren’t satisfied with three. Enjoy the privilege while it lasts.

Obviously cities should have been built with plans in place to set aside land to grow food on. It’s an old idea, well established throughout the world, when there was a strong relationship between town and country. I was looking at a current satellite map of Southern Italy, and every square inch that doesn’t have a house on it is farmed in some way or other. Probably a small town you say, and indeed this is true, but the projection for 2030 also predicts that the small towns and villages will experience staggering increases in population.

It seems that you may have a place to live or a garden, but not both, for removal of arable land to build homes upon means there will be no way to grow food locally.

We are living in some sort of large mental bubble that allows us to believe that all is well, that food will continue to be trucked in, that it will be good and fresh, not genetically modified, not picked before ripening to allow for travel time, not full of foreign bacteria which our bodies can’t cope with, not sprayed with pesticide to prevent the bugs, and that it will be affordable and available to all.

This blog is for the young folk; the oldies already know that there is something rotten in the state of Denmark.
Get out there, young ones, and learn as many ways as you can to produce food. Traditional is good, but so will be the modern and esoteric.

The problem lies in trying to believe that 7 billion people can have a decent life. Wish it for them, but it can’t happen if development continues on the present course. Actually it doesn’t happen now. Poverty is rampant, disease and distress simply horrible, and too many people daily live a life of misery.

Maybe we will have to cash in all our chips and accept a completely new start.
The Gatherers Trilogy calls for it; it seems the only workable way.

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