Monday, December 15, 2008

The World is One Big Field

Fallowing is the farming practice of allowing fields to regenerate after a period of production - not planting particular fields for a season.

I recently ran across an interesting article that suggests we need to allow the world to fallow: Fear of fallowing: The specter of a no-growth world.

This article uses the example of Newfoundland fisheries to demonstrate the concept of fallowing: Newfoundland's fish catch is now restricted by what the fish population can support, rather than the tools of the fishermen: it has reached stasis.

The author believes that fallowing/allowing stasis should be done with all natural resources. This theory is economically unpopular, as fallowing reduces growth as it has been historically known. The author argues that we should "view progress as the creation of efficiency rather than wealth."

Interesting concepts. What do you think?

Image source: ESRI


Anonymous said...

As a gardener, I'm into intercropping, not fallowing. Letting fields lie fallow is a huge source of erosion and nutrient loss. Some people use the term to refer to growing a covercrop, but even covercropping should involve some sort of harvest of useful materials. Sorry, to quibble with your analogy, but people have much more advanced techniques for managing land than they do fisheries. (For instance, aquaculture uses techniques long since out of favor in terraculture.) I'm not enthusiastic about the idea of copying fishery techniques for use on land.

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