"In a world without leaders
Who'd make people starve?
The world that we'd be saving
Would always be ours."
-The Offspring, "Kill the President"
When you're spending 3.5 hours round trip on a bus-Skytrain-bus commute to and from work, and you're not nodding off or napping, you start thinking about stuff.
Like, what would happen if all of our borders were completely closed up? I mean, like all of 'em? Who would have the best chance at survival? Who would thrive? Who would die? What would be left of the economies?
In a world where the gap between the haves and the have-nots gets progressively larger, one could logically say that a small handful of haves are getting richer at the expense of the have-nots. It sorta reminds me of that experiment where you take two balloons and have them hooked up to the same straw. If one balloon is larger than the other, then it'll suck up all the air from the smaller balloon.
You look at America, which sucks down 25% of the world's oil supplies, produces 25% of the world's pollution, yet has less than 5% of the world's population. The American economy is entirely dependent on foreign oil and would suffer a spontaneous crash if the price of oil becomes too much. Because shareholders and CEOs just want to increase their bottom lines, they outsource all their manufacturing jobs to foreign countries. So, if you shut all that down, what happens? Probably a lot of people would starve or die of thirst, as many midwest states have problems supplying their people with water.
Canada happens to be a net exporter of oil, which means it produces more than it uses. So, if our borders were shut down, what would happen to us? Well, we do have a burgeoning marijuana market, so at least we'll have some fun while the economy implodes because we don't know what to do with all that extra lumber or oil. Either that, or Alberta becomes an independent country or the capital of Canada, take your pick.
Could this happen? Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba was in really rough shape, as they couldn't trade out their sugar to their former allies and America put a trade embargo on them. So, after the initial shock, they were forced to grow their own food again, without the use of pesticides or fertilizers. Sure, a lot of people got really skinny really fast, but after they re-embraced organic farming, things got back to "normal", or at least to some certain sense of balance. (link: "The Cuba Diet").
It gives me some level of hope for when stuff does start getting really rough.
Maybe I should start doing something a little more productive with my time on public transit.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005