Solutions for Self-Reliance

What Superweeds can Teach You

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Spending time in your garden is more than just a hobby (although you can have fun doing it).

It’s a vote. A vote with your hands for a world that makes sense.

Here’s a good example of why this vote will help you in a big way: Superweeds

Amaranthus hybridus 01

Superweeds, like Pigweed seen to the right, are going to make food much more expensive over the next couple of years.

Here’s some background on why.

A superweed is a weed that developed resistance to a herbicide called Roundup.

Roundup is used by farmers just about everywhere.   It’s being used so much that about 90 percent of the soybeans and 70 percent of the corn and cotton  grown in the US have been genetically modified to tolerate high dosages of Roundup to kill weeds more effectively.

However, something went wrong with that plan.  The same genetic modifications that made useful crops immune to Roundup have migrated into the genetic code of the weeds that were sprayed with it.  Now, 20 species of weeds across 12 million acres of farmland (about 8% of all US farmland) are resistant to Roundup.  Further, given current rates of growth, most of US farmland will have them too in five years.

What does this mean?  Killing weeds has become very hard, nearly overnight.  There isn’t any easy method for removing weeds and the costs of doing so are much higher than what they were previously.   The bottom line is that the price of food will go up, and up, and up as these superweeds spread.

We will see more failures like this in the near future.

Why?

Central planning simply doesn’t work with systems this large and complex since you can’t predict outcomes with any certainty.  The Soviets found this out twenty years ago.  We see it in finance as the Federal Reserve and the other big banks continue to dance with global financial panic.  We see it in agriculture as Monsanto and its government support system drives into uncharted territory with genetically modified foods.

So as these attempts at omniscient global engineering fail, what should we do?

We should produce more of the food, as well as everything we think is important, at a human scale.

Human scale means that the decision making used can be fully understood by normal human beings.  A decision making process that makes sense.

We’ve been making decisions at this level for hundreds of thousands of years, and it works. In contrast, our knowledge of what works at the global super-system level is nearly zilch.

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