Sunday, March 28, 2010

Local systems

Decentralization is a major idea in lots of environmental thought. It can be traced back at least to 1973 and Schumacher's classic work Small Is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered. But, as local food producers are discovering, it isn't sufficient to localize one element of the system, you have to decentralize the whole system. The NYTimes has an interesting article illustrating the problem: small farmers are cutting back on the production of locally raised meat because they are unable to access slaughterhouses.

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