In the US, agriculture is directly responsible for well over 10 percent
of all national energy consumption. Over 400 gallons of oil equivalent
are expended to feed each American each year. About a third of that
amount goes toward fertilizer production, 20 percent to operate
machinery, 16 percent for transportation, 13 percent for irrigation, 8
percent for livestock raising, (not including the feed), and 5 percent
for pesticide production. This does not include energy costs for
packaging, refrigeration, transportation to retailers, or cooking.
woah. 400 gallons per person per year?!
Cuban authorities responded by breaking up large state-owned farms,
offering land to farming families, and encouraging the formation of
small agricultural co-ops. Cuban farmers began employing oxen as a
replacement for the tractors they could no longer afford to fuel. Cuban
scientists began investigating biological methods of pest control and
soil fertility enhancement. The government sponsored widespread
education in organic food production, and the Cuban people adopted a
mostly vegetarian diet out of necessity. Salaries for agricultural
workers were raised, in many cases to above the levels of urban office
workers. Urban gardens were encouraged in parking lots and on public
lands, and thousands of rooftop gardens appeared. Small food animals
such as chickens and rabbits began to be raised on rooftops as well.
Ok, but at gun-point, right?
Governments must also provide incentives for people to return to an
OK fine, but do we have to “return” to an agricultural life? I'd like to think that there is another answer out there that does not use so much fossil fuels, but doesn' mean we have to walk around behind an oxe again.