Remember the first time you got a chance to play around with a computer connected to the Internet? That shrill cheap beep beep beep of the modem ("Modem? What is a modem? Explain why I need a modem?") that made it possible to read websites and get your own email account? Remember how slow it was?
I remember "error" messages as I was trying to print things out about how Monsanto and Bayer were taking over seed companies in the US and Europe, or how Codex Alimentarius would discuss food additives that hadn't been properly assessed by independent researchers. Or how TRIPS of the WTO would change the way farmers dealt with their crops, how Monsanto's (and USDA's) "Terminator" GMOs - that would only live for one single season, and then, to the joy of their creator and his wallet, the sterile offspring was designed to not yield a seed that could produce another seed - would feed us all, except farming doesn't work like that, and farmers in Asia and all over the world started using the Internet to protest...
And I remember spending a lot of time waiting... And their websites would appear... And I remember the excitement of connecting with people around the world, food activists who wrote about current events that wasn't yet on the TV news or in the papers. And I met some of you at big conferences: Thanks.
Fast forward to 2009.
We need a "New operating system for post-peak oil age," says the good people here at the UN University in Tokyo.
("Operating System? What is an OS? Explain why I need an OS?")
Imagine no Internet. No blogs, no Twitter, no error messages. No way to communicate like this. Imagine if our world was still running on modem speed. Well, in a certain sense, it is, if you use a car (alone) to commute to work every day, and if you think you can depend on cheap energy to get cheap food to your supermarket and convenience store, to feed you and your family.
The world in 2009 is still addicted to oil and nuclear fuels for economic activities - Japan in particular is importing food in the same way as it did back in the happy days of the 1980s and 1990s, when the Middle East - where most of the oil is - was not as complicated.
I talk about some of these things in my book, such as chisan-chishou (local food production for local consumption), food mileage, climate change, peak oil, Japan's low food sovereignity, organic, additives, GMOs - and this thing - my book! - wow - is actually selling rather well.
Japan, a place I now call my home, needs a new Operating System for the post-peak oil age, to quickly replace the shrill cheap beep beep beep of the industry and the politicians and the media, all hand-in-glove. And, I really do think there are some really great people here who can go ahead and do it. How to upgrade the OS?
New operating system for post-peak oil age
Japan to suffer huge climate costs
Blogs I Like
- Ad B: Japan Navigator
- Adventures of a (Swedish) Salariman in Tokyo
- Amy: Blue Lotus
- Boing Boing: Wonderful Things
- Brendan: UNU OurWorld 2.0
- Hiroko & Rick: Itadakimasu
- Jared B: Tokyo Green Space
- Joan: Popcorn Homestead
- Jon: Toshogu or As I See Japan... From L.A.
- Justin B: The Rational Pessimist (Climate & Risk)
- Kat: Food Adventures in Japan
- Ken: KenElwood in semi-rural Japan
- Mari: Watashi to Tokyo
- MTC: Shisaku
- Otakimura: In The Pines
- P: Pacific Islander
- Peko Peko: Kyoto Foodie
- Richard H: Spike Japan
- Risa & Kirk: Savory Japan
- Robert: Pure Land Mountain
- Shizuoka Gourmet
- Ten Thousand Things
- Tom: Kitchen Garden in Japan
Links I Like
- News: About Sweden in English
- News: BBC
- News: Der Spiegel (Germany) in English
- News: Deutche Welle
- News: FT Asia (UK, EU)
- News: Kyoto Journal (Japan)
- News: NHK World Society & Others (Japan)
- News: People's Daily (China)
- News: Telegraph (UK)
- News: The Local (Sweden)
- News: Yomiuri Online (Japan)
- News: Yonhap (Korea)
- NGOs/News: Organic Consumers Association (US)
- NGOs: Amnesty
- NGOs: Consumers Union (US) Food
- NGOs: Consumers Union of Japan
- NGOs: Greenpeace
- NGOs: Greenz.jp
- NGOs: Japan for Sustainability
- NGOs: Japan Organic Agriculture Association
- NGOs: Japan Vegetarian Society
- Shops: Alishan Organic Center
- Shops: Eco to Waza (GreenJapan)
- Shops: Warabe Mura
- Stuff: Japan Probe