Posted by: nickgerlich | June 10, 2008

The World Is Fat

A few years ago Thomas Friedman waxed poetic about the global marketplace, and how there is no longer a difference between Bangor and Bangalore. But that was before $4 gas and $135 oil.

Today, Friedman may need to be thinking about a re-write of his epic tome. Our ability to trade across the globe may be imperiled by hefty fuel costs. And even though we have grown fat in the luxury of imported (and often cheap) foreign goods, we may now be forced to grow thin by looking to produce everything locally.

GardeningIn the 1970s we lived through the Whip Inflation Now (WIN) campaign and Victory Gardens. In a history-repeats-itself kind of way (or perhaps even a curse), this may very well be the cure for our current problems.

National and local industry may have never had a better chance to reinvent itself than today. Think about it. All that merchandise lining the shelves of Wal-Mart required a lot of fuel to get them there, especially when you consider that most came from half-way around the world. And even those tasty peaches and nectarines we nibbled last December had to be flown here from Chile.

So imagine becoming a locavore and consuming only that which is produced locally. Outrageous? Ridiculous? Lifestyle-altering?

No, No, and Yes.

If we are unwilling and/or unable to cede fuel consumption in our own vehicles, then why not cede some of that used in other vehicles to bring us our daily consumables?

I have never been one to espouse economic jingoism, the seemingly patriotic urge to “Buy American” just because it is made here. But I can come closer to doing this when you seal it in the envelope of international politics, stamp it with cost savings for you and me, and address it to the OPEC nations currently sticking it to us.

Dr “Think Globally, Act Locally” Gerlich


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