"Bah, humbug!" to city posts!

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Re: "Bah, humbug!" to city posts!

Postby martinjs » Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:39 pm

il padrone wrote:So folks down home in the country don't get electric power? Don't use gas? Don't use water?

Well wahoo, whadya know. Those cars driving 80kms to get a pack of ciggies and put down a few schooners must be all running on solar cells too I guess :?

:lol: :lol: :lol:


Water, we use water, my drinking water all comes as nature intended, from the sky. Catch it in the gutters and into a tank via gravity feed. Uses a lot less energy. As for Electricity, it comes from the country so natually we use it. :lol:
No denying the pull of the cities and they are here to stay. I really enjoy my stays in Melbourne when I visit, I personally just wouldn't live there again, been there, done that!

Not trying to start a city v country war of words. Just pointing out that by far the biggest user of resources in this world is the cities.
Surely we all agree there is far to much waste generated from all elements of society, but the biggest amount per head of population comes from the cities. Fact not fiction. :( but we are not innocent in the country, the one thing the cities have go over us is the recycling programs. I've talked to many who are disappointed we can't take our electronic waste to a special recycling centre.
Thinks are changing but still have a way to go.


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by BNA » Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:32 pm

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Re: "Bah, humbug!" to city posts!

Postby il padrone » Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:32 pm

martinjs wrote:Not trying to start a city v country war of words. Just pointing out that by far the biggest user of resources in this world is the cities.

Overall the biggest users of resources is people, mostly those from developed nations.

Not too sure about overall resource consumption, but when you look at energy consumption it is generally the densely populated cities that are consuming far less energy per capita than low density (eg. country) living. Transport (of all things) is a major part of this higher per capita energy use. It's all that driving about to get to town, to get to work and to visit friends. Most of the goods people rely on come from factories, warehouses or ports in..... cities. It may have been transported there from the country, then gets transported back as processed goods. A symptom of the specialisation of labour in our modern world. Whether you 'blame' the city or country people for this, I don't know :?

Don't like it? Go back to a peasant economy then.

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Re: "Bah, humbug!" to city posts!

Postby martinjs » Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:54 pm

Na, not likely, I love my tech, wouldn't be a computer tech otherwise. Just believe we can do it better and it must start in the cities. Mass production makes change possible but we've got to get people with vision. Not the clowns we have running our counties now.

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Re: "Bah, humbug!" to city posts!

Postby il padrone » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:37 pm

martinjs wrote:Just believe we can do it better and it must start in the cities. Mass production makes change possible

There's the rub. Mass production is a city thing....... relies on large specialised labour forces (still, even with robotics) and can only exist if there are mass markets, preferably global markets. Country living is all very fine as an ideal, but it's awfully hard to get away from the need for large urban centres in our global industrial world. And as I mentioned, urban living is generally more energy efficient, unless we go back to a form of peasant life where no-one ever travels much more than 20kms from their home (maybe 80-100 with a bike)
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Re: "Bah, humbug!" to city posts!

Postby RonK » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:38 pm

martinjs wrote:Were do you think the power comes from? and the food and the water?

Have a little chuckle to myself every time I see statements about how the country produces the food. This is of course self-evident, and equally self-evident is that the trucks, tractors and machinery, the fertilizers, the fuel, and most of the many other inputs that go into farm production are produced in the cities.

I worked for quite few years farming, dairying and raising beef cattle, and later as a council worker in a Queensland country town. It aways seemed to me quite ironic that the people had made a lifestyle choice to live in the country and swore they would never live in the city, but moaned endlessly about the perceived inequities suffered by the "man on the land".

Ultimately we all live in the same society, we are all consumers, and I don't believe for one minute that country folk use any less energy or generate any less waste than people who live in the city.

There are benefits to be enjoyed from both lifestyles, and there are certain times in life and career that the balance tips one way or the other.
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Re: "Bah, humbug!" to city posts!

Postby martinjs » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:32 am

RonK wrote:
martinjs wrote:Were do you think the power comes from? and the food and the water?

Have a little chuckle to myself every time I see statements about how the country produces the food. This is of course self-evident, and equally self-evident is that the trucks, tractors and machinery, the fertilizers, the fuel, and most of the many other inputs that go into farm production are produced in the cities.

I worked for quite few years farming, dairying and raising beef cattle, and later as a council worker in a Queensland country town. It aways seemed to me quite ironic that the people had made a lifestyle choice to live in the country and swore they would never live in the city, but moaned endlessly about the perceived inequities suffered by the "man on the land".

Ultimately we all live in the same society, we are all consumers, and I don't believe for one minute that country folk use any less energy or generate any less waste than people who live in the city.

There are benefits to be enjoyed from both lifestyles, and there are certain times in life and career that the balance tips one way or the other.


I wouldn't disagree with most of what you and Pete have said. Me I'm a little different than most as I grew up in a rural town that became a rural city then moved and work in Melbourne for just on 15 years. So I know the benefits and the down sides of both.

As a computer tech I could have looked forward to a high paying job in the city, but chose to move to a country area. I do see the downsides and the lack of services and they DO exist. I except that and now own a property that is no linked to town water so we rely on tank water for drinking and irrigation channels and the brown water for showering and washing clothes.

Would I change that?, Not bloody likely (although I do resent paying the amount of money I do for the privilege of having brown water to bath in, but that's another story).

As for energy use, I do think the cities (not necessarily the individuals) use more energy per person than country towns. The simple matter of buildings having lights on all day everyday, the fact of 24 hour shopping centres (we don't have that thankfully) massive sporting venues that are operating more and more at night. 24 hour this and that, surely you can't disagree with that?

I remember when I lived in Reservoir in Melbourne's northern suburbs, if I had the munchies at say 1.00am in the morning I had choice, supermarket, KFC or Macca's. Here we don't have that except I think on the weekends when the local macca's stays open all night. Do I miss it? not likely.

As already stated, there are positive things about the cities that us country people can learn from but the same is also possible. in reverse.

Why do you think I hang around this forum? I like hearing from the cities, I have family's in 3 of them after all.
I just feel that we have to be a bit more careful about growing our cities at all costs.

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Re: "Bah, humbug!" to city posts!

Postby il padrone » Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:55 pm

martinjs wrote:As for energy use, I do think the cities (not necessarily the individuals) use more energy per person than country towns. The simple matter of buildings having lights on all day everyday, the fact of 24 hour shopping centres (we don't have that thankfully) massive sporting venues that are operating more and more at night. 24 hour this and that, surely you can't disagree with that?

I don't accept that this is accurate at all. I don't know for sure what is more/less efficient, but evidence like the data here (admittedly US info) suggests otherwise.

Don't look at the very visible tall buildings with lights on, get aggregate data and calculate the per capita energy use. Everything I've studied on this topic over many years (I'm a geographer/economist) suggests that cities are overall more efficient per capita. As one person has said, desnsity brings efficiency.
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Re: "Bah, humbug!" to city posts!

Postby martinjs » Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:17 pm

il padrone wrote:
martinjs wrote:As for energy use, I do think the cities (not necessarily the individuals) use more energy per person than country towns. The simple matter of buildings having lights on all day everyday, the fact of 24 hour shopping centres (we don't have that thankfully) massive sporting venues that are operating more and more at night. 24 hour this and that, surely you can't disagree with that?

I don't accept that this is accurate at all. I don't know for sure what is more/less efficient, but evidence like the data here (admittedly US info) suggests otherwise.

Don't look at the very visible tall buildings with lights on, get aggregate data and calculate the per capita energy use. Everything I've studied on this topic over many years (I'm a geographer/economist) suggests that cities are overall more efficient per capita. As one person has said, desnsity brings efficiency.


Oh no, a number cruncher, that explains a lot. Nothing personal but I don't have a lot of faith in the economist part of you job. The world is run by number crunchers now days and just look at it. :lol:

Does that mean we should close down the farms and the mines and all move to the city? That might just be the answer to all our prays. :lol: :wink:

Lot of people in the remote areas are already very close to being fully self sufficient, ie solar energy, tanked water, grow most of their own food. That's the sort of energy efficiency we need, some overseas cities have started down that road but they are few and far between.

As for you claims well who knows, I find it hard to believe that cities that never stop are more energy efficient that small towns that turn most things off at night. But rather than go on in a never ending cycle of debate, I think it's better to agree to disagree.
Really don't want to turn this in to city v country. At this stage in our development both are necessary.

It is interesting to note that a lot of early civilisations actually collapsed and that one on the main causes was the cities got to big to support themselves. Hopefully technology can beat that otherwise we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes of the past.

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Re: "Bah, humbug!" to city posts!

Postby martinjs » Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:34 pm

It also just occurred to me, that if the cities are so bloody great, why is it that every weekend and especially the long weekends, is every road leading out of the cities packed bumper to bumper for hours. :lol: :P :P :P

Oh I remember those days, while first living in Melbourne my kids still lived in Bendigo, every weekend lots of traffic leading out of town. The long weekends were shockers, and then coming back in after the long weekends. Sometimes took 2 to 4 hours to cover the last 50k's.

Yes indeed those were the days. :P :P :P :P :P :P

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Re: "Bah, humbug!" to city posts!

Postby il padrone » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:24 pm

martinjs wrote:Oh no, a number cruncher, that explains a lot. Nothing personal but I don't have a lot of faith in the economist part of you job. The world is run by number crunchers now days and just look at it. :lol:

If you don't want to rely on data and number-crunching that's your choice. What is left? Blind faith? :o

martinjs wrote:Does that mean we should close down the farms and the mines and all move to the city? :wink:

Where-did-I-ever-say-this ??????

I'd appreciate you not putting words in my mouth.

martinjs wrote:It is interesting to note that a lot of early civilisations actually collapsed and that one on the main causes was the cities got to big to support themselves.

Can you cite me some references for this?
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Re: "Bah, humbug!" to city posts!

Postby martinjs » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:53 pm

il padrone wrote:
martinjs wrote:Oh no, a number cruncher, that explains a lot. Nothing personal but I don't have a lot of faith in the economist part of you job. The world is run by number crunchers now days and just look at it. :lol:

If you don't want to rely on data and number-crunching that's your choice. What is left? Blind faith? :o

martinjs wrote:Does that mean we should close down the farms and the mines and all move to the city? :wink:

Where-did-I-ever-say-this ??????

I'd appreciate you not putting words in my mouth.

martinjs wrote:It is interesting to note that a lot of early civilisations actually collapsed and that one on the main causes was the cities got to big to support themselves.

Can you cite me some references for this?


Nope, not blind faith, combination of numbers, common sense and some faith. Numbers by themselves can be misleading.

Sorry second point was meant to be a joke, wasn't for a minute trying to put words in your mouth.

Third point, sorry but I'm a big watcher of documentary's and remember this one coming up in particular more than once, I think the last one was a doco on the Aztec or the Inca's.
They concluded that the cities got so big and populating so large, that not only was the cities swallowing up the good agricultural land but the effort in carrying the food and supplies so far caused it to collapsed from the inside.

Although our methods are so much better there are similarities to what happened to them and what's happening to us. ie Cities and mines cutting into good Agricultural land and more and more stress on the transport system everyday.
I think (and hope) we have the maturity to work our way through the problems, but then I see our leaders and cringe.

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Re: "Bah, humbug!" to city posts!

Postby open roader » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Enlightening and entertaining debate gentlemen.....

The city / country relationship is largely symbiotic, both rely upon the other for sustainability ......... for better or worse.

I still say the countryside is the best place to ride a bike...... :D
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Re: "Bah, humbug!" to city posts!

Postby martinjs » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:46 pm

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-15/a ... th/3831396

Interesting article on ants hills and how they can only grow so big.
Some parallels in it regarding us human. Make of it as you will. :D

I concur, ridding in the country is better and I've done the both. Seems Pete too likes riding in the country based on his interesting post on his travels. Love to do some of those areas. :D

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