Interview at Grist with Radio Ecoshock’s Alex Smith

Sylvia Feldman

From Sylvia Feldman:

Thought that this interview (Eco-shocking the Airwaves) might be of interest:

…Q. How does economic contraction fit into your view of the overall challenges we face?

A. The West has wasted its productive resources on McMansions, oversized vehicles, and phony banking scams. We should have built high-speed rail, a new energy grid, and established local foodsheds for security. Now it looks like we won’t even be able to repair the ongoing damage from climate-induced storms, much less start large projects

The good news is that economic insecurity is driving Western citizens to question everything. People are choosing self-sufficiency out of self-defense, joining initiatives like the Transition movement.

Q. What do you recommend people do to be ready for the changes on the horizon?

A. Number one is to realize big government is not going to save you, and big corporations will just make it all worse. Knowing that, we have to rebuild family networks, and start new community action groups for survival in very difficult economic times, and in an unstable climate.

At a personal level, I recommend that a year’s supply of food be stored away, just as the Mormons used to do. That’s because industrial agriculture is unstable and unsafe. So is the economy. Freaky weather may wipe out crops, and ever-rising energy prices will translate into higher food prices. If you have a food buffer, that gives you and yours extra time to adapt, or move if you have to.

Learn how to can and dry food when the harvest comes in. You save a bundle, and get the best food. But individualism won’t make it in the longer run. We do this together, or fail.

Q. What gives you hope?

A. Seeing people get off the couch, away from TV dreams, and into the streets. Electronic life is really anti-life. We have serious things to do. Consider donating your TV time to a local charity, a Transition group, local politics, protests, or whatever moves you. We need to get going.

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