How to Feed Everyone No Matter What
My name is Unicole Unicron and I am a cult leader. The main tenants of UNICULT are that we are ALL ONE and that none can thrive while any other suffers. My ideological focus on community, technology, and solutions make it very easy for me to present what I call a Unitopian future, even when we are faced with doomsday scenarios as potential realities. The problem I will be solving today is how to feed everyone in the event that we experience a global crisis in which there is a sudden reduction in agriculture. Fear and worry are useless in almost every situation as there are solutions to every problem.
According to the United Nation’s 2013 report “Wake Up Before It Is Too Late”, global agriculture needs to rapidly shift from “conventional, monoculture-based … production towards mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems.” It goes on to emphasize the importance of small farms, soil quality, and democratizing the food supply. While many people have already been aware of the unsustainability of big agriculture, the capitalist viewpoint with money as the only end-goal has led us into a destructive paradigm, especially with regards to an undeniably warming planet.
The unpredictability of this global-warming shift is perhaps the most pressing concern. How fast will the ice caps melt? How will temperature be affected? Will it rise suddenly? How can we deal with unpredictable seasons when our food has biologically adapted to predictable seasons? Though these questions may cause fear to rise within the reader, the solution is actually very simple in idea, and only somewhat complex in practice. It involves the utilization of metadata, community, and a shifting labor landscape. I will go into detail how these three things can and will protect us from any major agricultural catastrophes.
Primarily, there needs to be collaboration across the world and a strong sense of community to form around food production. In the past, this kind of endeavor would have been near impossible, taking extreme communication and collaboration resources, but today, I can get a hundred people from around the world to like my selfie. The internet has connected us with such ease and already provided huge interlocking pockets of subcultures and communities. Considering how easily certain seemingly meaningless trends go viral, the event of emergency or threat of starvation would require a quick call-to-action where motivation to form communities around the cause would be pretty much effortless. The more infrastructure we can put into place for these communities to start forming, the easier it will be when and if anyone begins to suffer from lack of resources.
A paradigm shift within the conceptualization of the self within the community is essential; The old, capitalist, greed-based realities are no longer useful to us for any reason whatsoever, except to sustain those systems for those people who are still deeply emotionally attached to them. The number of people who are emotionally attached to greed-based systems will dwindle rapidly in the next few years as solutions for a more joyous and abundant reality are presented and accepted. Actionable options include changing your own reality and entertaining more societally-supportive frameworks for community. Creating, consuming, and promoting medias which support these realities are essential. Then, in living, speaking about, and promoting via education, these alternative lifestyles will become popularized, desired, and integrated.
Part of this paradigm shift includes allowing more automation and robotic innovation to replace traditional jobs. Along with the paradigm shift, this technological revolution already is changing the labor landscape. This relates to food, not in the sense that we should be allowing robots to be responsible for all of food production, but more in the sense that we then can be freed to have a closer relationship to the creation and growth of the things which we consume.
I am suggesting a closer relationship to the earth and to our food production in the sense that many of us are freed from our daily grind, paid universal wages, and then given time to spend reconnecting to the earth. Enabling and subsidizing small community farmers will decrease fossil fuel waste and tighten distribution channels. It will also encourage more diversity among crops. This diversity, as emphasized by the United Nations report, is essential for creating a thriving and dependable food supply. Along with embracing the replacement of factory workers, store clerks, warehouse associates, data managers, etc with automation, I also encourage embracing automation within small-scale agriculture. I will elaborate on this in a moment.
I won’t go into the issues of large scale, government-subsidized monoculture because I believe it is by this point an obviously deeply flawed system. But moving towards small-scale farming and encouraging more “average” people to work with their hands in the earth will solve not only our food issues, but many mental illnesses as well. This connection with our food and with the earth will help us heal as individuals, as a community, and will help the earth itself heal because, as I said in the first sentence of this document, we are ALL ONE. This includes the earth. When the earth suffers, we suffer. When we thrive, the earth thrives. And part of thriving for us, is to have love at the center of our realities rather than something false like money.
Assuming the inevitability of this paradigm shift based on technological improvements within automation, the creation and connection of global subcultures via the internet, and the wide-spread awareness of the unsustainable nature of unethical capitalism, we can now move on to practical solutions for growing food in a changing climate and protecting theoretical environmentally-affected refugees. For the following solutions to be successfully implemented, a singular entity such as UNICULT, a government, or other benevolent organization will be responsible for resource organization, research implementation, quick-response innovation, and materials distribution. The funding for this should come from taxes, the rich, or some other form of global wealth which should already be shared equally anyway.
One, metadata via user and sensor input. Collect metadata from app-users across the global landscape. Collect metadata from soil, air, water, thermometers, etc. Any relevant data should be captured, uploaded, and digitally compared and cross-referenced. This includes plant health, success, and failures, rainfall, temperature, and weather trends.
Two, cross-comparative algorithms and successful information distribution. UNICULT, or another benevolent organization should have some of the best data scientists writing top-notch programs for analyzing weather patterns, comparing plant help, and offering case-by-case solutions for user-initiated actions i.e. what the small community farmer should do to optimize crops in the most sustainable way. All gardening and farming books should be placed in the public domain with appropriate compensation to the authors and well-organized forums should be implemented to encourage discussion of techniques. UNICULT or another benevolent organization should highlight and promote those techniques which make the most sense and which are in alignment with the highest benefit for ALL.
Three, community connection and input. As metadata is tracked and analyzed, users in close proximity and even users different regions with similar climates should be notified of one another and connected. The information exchanged between these users should be easily accessible to anyone else who happens to experience a similar bout of the same climate, weather pattern, soil configuration, etc.
Four, sustainable building information and distribution. Prefabricated earth-ships, simple-to-follow plans, and sustainable materials research should be widely distributed to anyone in need. With the inevitable community-based mindset we are moving into, the desire to help one another will be at the forefront. With sufficient resources, help to anyone can be extended without causing anyone else lack. This mindset and approach will help any environmental-catastrophe refugees relocate and live comfortably in a more sustainable region.
Technological inevitability will prepare us for any situation. Research and implementation of data-collection apps and environmental sensors will help us initiate the most useful assistance to small-scale farmers as their need for this support increases with the global temperatures.
The social paradigm shift away from unethical capitalism as having value and instead towards love and connectedness can be implemented more quickly by promoting leaders and celebrities who popularize such beliefs. Of course, my goal is to be such a person, but the more people who realize and popularize these now-considered “strange” ideas, the easier and safer humanity will be in the long run and in face of any disaster.
In conclusion, technology and compassion will easily save us if we can only shift our attention towards these things. This shift in attention can come now out of joy, or it can come later, out of lack. Either way, I’m not worried.
Originally written and submitted as an entry to the “Food System Shock” essay contest.