America is caught up in the strangest epidemic humanity has ever seen: obesity. It’s mind-boggling. After millions of years of struggling alongside our fellow animals, suddenly we have such an abundance of calories that we are struggling to LOSE weight. I am not an expert but am fairly certain that no generation in the history of Earth has this been a concern.
Like most human problems, it’s being used by the heartless to mock its victims.
This epidemic won’t last very long. The Earth’s atmosphere is warming faster than any natural climate change that has every occurred in the history of life. Only giant meteors have changed our climate faster than it’s happening now. Coastal cities are being inundated and breadbaskets are turning to deserts. Food shortages are intensifying wars in the Middle East.
The Middle East used to be one of the most fertile places on this planet. Its descent into desert is also a man-made disaster. Farmers plowing causes just a little soil to rinse away every year, soil that was built by forests. No farmer is willing to turn their fields back over to woods; it would be the end of their living.
Modern farming has sped soil loss and degradation. Farms that were perfectly fertile just two generations ago are now salted wastelands.
In 50 years, we won’t have an obesity epidemic anymore. Writers will compare worldwide famines with the zombie literature of the 2000’s and 2010’s. Hoards of starving people will come after the well-fed. Desperate to live, they will thoughtlessly steal food from people who have worked hard to survive their own disasters.
Or, we can change. Permaculturists, local foodists, all the people who value conservative agriculture that preserves ante-industrial methods of maintaining fertile soil, these people might save us all.
In 50 years, I will either be 96 years old or dead. If I’m alive, I hope I will also be well and kept my wits. And I hope I’ll have decades of helping people develop their suburban plots, their grandmother’s old gardens, their potted plants into sources of food and medicine.