Soylent Green Metropolis

Los Angeles Mag, Oct 2009In the October, 2009 issue of Los Angeles Magazine, amongst the full page luxury car ads, guides to trendy clothing stores, restaurants, shopping in general, and Hollywood industry discussion, I was surprised to see “Homegrown” and “How to have a bumper crop right in your own backyard” on the cover.

The print edition has a section about gardeners of urban edible plants, a guide to nurseries hip to this new trend, and even a page about different types of chickens available for egg and/or meat production.

Who do they think they are? Mother Earth News?

The word “survive” is on the cover about The Big One, but not as dominant as “Survival” is on this month’s Popular Mechanics issue.

There are advocates of urbanism, such as the author of this “Green Metropolis” article in a different publication, who prefer dense highrise cities to living off suburban and rural land.

“. . .Manhattan was and remains a very good environmental model, with its highly efficient use of land and walkable neighborhoods. And that, if we could bring the per capita environmental footprint of America closer to that of Manhattan, we would be achieving a great green success.”

I wonder how green Manhattan looks if, due to hyperinflation, the water, power and waste management stops and there are serious food shortages? A couple months rent in the big city could buy an acre or two of rural land free and clear.

I’d bet crime and disease would spread more rapidly in a densely packed population than between self reliant off grid homesteads growing their own food, fuel and medicinal plants.

Would thousands of people in a skyscraper be able to get by as well on rooftop gardens and rainwater collectors? I doubt it.

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