Ed Bilodeau

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This weblog had moved: http://www.coolweblog.com/bilodeau/

# Notice (Oct 19/05): So ends my stay here on Blogger. This morning Google implemented an anti-spam 'feature' that forces me to answer a challenge phrase when I want to post to my own blog. No notice of the change, nothing. Worse is that it doesn't even work! I type the phrase, submit, "An error occured", post deleted. Damn you, Google. Chances are I will revive my blog somewhere else, sometime soon. I'll post the new coordinates here as soon as they become available. (BTW, I'm unable to post anything to my RSS stream, so I'd appreciate it if readers could spread the word and ask people to take a look at this notice)

Update (Oct 19/05, ~noon): After a frustrating few hours (and not just trying out alternatives to Blogger), I've decided that this is a good time to take a break from all this. A day? A week? Who knows. But I need to step away from it before I pass a heavy magnet over the whole mess.

Update 2: According to this post, the reason I'm seeing the CAPTCHA (challenge phrase) is that Blogger has classified my blog as spam. Thanks. User for five years and now I'm spam. I searched the Blogger site, but there is no mention of how to get the spam flag turned off. There is also no way of contacting anyone at Blogger. Wow. Spam they say I am, so spam I must be. Maybe it is time to take a break.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Long Emergency and long supply chains : James Howard Kunstler paints a bleak picture of the looming energy crisis, one that, according to the author, we should begin to see the effects of in the next few years. Worth reading all the way through. Here's something that caught my attention since it connects to something else I've been thinking about.
"The circumstances of the Long Emergency will require us to downscale and re-scale virtually everything we do and how we do it, from the kind of communities we physically inhabit to the way we grow our food to the way we work and trade the products of our work. Our lives will become profoundly and intensely local. Daily life will be far less about mobility and much more about staying where you are. Anything organized on the large scale, whether it is government or a corporate business enterprise such as Wal-Mart, will wither as the cheap energy props that support bigness fall away. The turbulence of the Long Emergency will produce a lot of economic losers, and many of these will be members of an angry and aggrieved former middle class."

Back in November, I bought myself a pair of deerskin gloves. I bought them through L.L.Bean because I wasn't able to find gloves of similar quality for a comparible price here in Montreal. The deerskin is from the US. The gloves were assembled, however, in China. That they were cheaper then any locally produced good points to both the incredibly low wages that the workers in China must be paid, as well as the incredible efficiency in the supply chain that brought those gloves to my door.

The wages are what they are. But as Kunstler points out, as the fuel costs of the supply chain begin to shoot up, these kinds of products will need to be sourced locally. Or rather, there will be no point in sourcing the goods offshore. The price of the products will go up. Hopefully, though, that salary will be paid locally rather then across the planet.

The Long Emergency point to a major change coming our way. There will be disruptions and a certain degree of crisis. I hope that we will collectively see the change as a challenge, as an opportunity to do things differently, to do things better, in a way that is more humane and respectful of our environment(s).

The article is an excerpt from Kunstler's upcoming book of the same name, which I indend on reading (as soon as our library gets a copy!).