Vandana Shiva: Soil Not Oil

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[Quotes & Insights #16]

(I’ve been reading Soil Not Oil by the always thoughtful and inspiring Vandana Shiva. Here are five passages I copied down while reading. -IA)

(p. 4) The dominant model of development and globalization is inherently violent. By bringing back dignified work based on land, and livelihoods. By bringing back dignified work based on human energy and ‘living energies we can mitigate climate change and make a transition to a society beyond oil, while ensuring food security and good food for all.

We must, therefore:

  • Power down energy and resource consumption
  • Power up creative, productive human energy and collective democratic energy to make the necessary transition

(p. 6) Strategies that affirm the rights of the poor to their land and livelihoods are also strategies that reduce our dependence on oil. They help mitigate climate change and help us adapt to climate chaos. Addressing issues of poverty, equity, and justice on a small and finite planet simultaneously addresses peak oil and climate catastrophe.

(p. 38-9) No society can become a post-food society. … Fertile land is a very precious and very scarce resource .. It needs to be protected and conserved as an asset of the farmers and as a national heritage to be passed on to future generations. It cannot be destroyed for the passing wave of short-term greed and speculation driving the corporate land grab. Climate change and peak oil should wake us up to the consequences of destroying our local food economies.

(p. 78) Industrial biofuels … are the foods of the poor transformed into heat, electricity, and fuel for the rich.

(p. 113) Industrial agriculture focuses on producing a single crop that can be globally traded as a commodity. The focus on “yield” of individual commodities creates what I have called a “monoculture of the mind.” … The loss of diverse outputs is never taken into account by the one-dimensional calculus of productivity.