Wendell Berry said there are really only two systems in the word, the agrarian and the industrial. About 250 years ago, industrialism was born with the invention of a particular machine – the steam engine – and a particular philosophy – capitalism. And from that time on, the relationship between the old world and the new one has been one of conquest of the agrarian world by the industrial world. But because of peak oil (and a future peak for natural gas, coal, and uranium) in combination with accelerating climate change, industrialism will be relatively short lived. I do not see this as a complete tragedy – the world we have created is violent, with extreme inequity and poverty, and destructive of what many agrarians hold dear – clean water, fertile soils, clear skies, wilderness, and animals of all kinds.
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