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Leyland Motors

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  1. Speculating on oil prices tricky stuff.Transport systems comments illuminating so far but perhaps showing how difficult it is to plan for and anticipate future logistics, as energy costs rise. We don't seem however to be able to reconcile the problems with food production due to our ignorance of inputs required and cultural resistance to taking the issues seriously.Lots of precendents here.......(see Jared Diamond for homework) Production=energy in rather more than the land available. Oil prices may reflect this rather quicker than concerns about tat from here, there and everywhere.Even if some peak oilers seem zealous there seems more effort gone in by peak oil theorists than most and more pointers here than elsewhere.Dull old soil can't be squeezed indefinitely with cheap oil inputs,it looks tired now without much likehood of the necessary rest and recovery(+reconstruction).
  2. He's very good in the "End of Suburbia" film(although perhaps less impressive on 2000 tec non-meltdown. Still the best effort for me in unpicking the history and fragility of modern urban living.
  3. Thanks for all these,all useful. We're actually commercial growers so can defend W.Wales on the dreary weather issues.Generally coastal areas are relatively dry and often have above average light levels. They tend to avoid the extremes of temperature seen in recent years. On higher land of course rainfall and light can be frustrating,although no barrier to sensible reforestation strategies. Incomers tend to be a bit sparse on climatic realities.Soil(the greatest rural resource of all....)often a bit heavy on the clay fraction but with some patches of sand and lighter ground Eg north of Cardigan. The economies of smaller towns are intriguing.Money arriving with new buyers as has been pointed out finances building contractors.How much money continues to arrive from outside employment and how globalised activity filters down to towns such as Cardigan must be difficult to measure.However coastal parts of all of the UK have remained popular so far despite often having few local jobs.My instinct is that longer term the logistics of connurbations are more challenging than say market towns or large villages.Good infrastructure but scary population numbers(even vote Dave Attenborough thinks so now). Towns with a food producing hinterland and some resources Eg forestry or quarrying have traditionally been resilient centres.As energy continues the inevitable climb to scarcer and dearer the type of settlement that proves desirable with some quality of life may be some of the backwaters of today. Perhaps we should do a poll of top Welsh towns of tomorrow(and why)?
  4. Beyond ghost stories,landslips from 25 years ago and moved county boundaries any useful insights? Is the local economy really being propped up by continuing incomer cash?
  5. Farmland in NI can be a frustrating topic,but you are right to be looking at it.Energy and food both supply and price are not going down beyond short term fluctuation. Prices in Co.Down an area with some of the most fertile and Atlantic warmed land have been high,in fact higher than comparable land even in S.Lincs! Relatively little appears on the market and there is not necessarily much more being traded with neighbours. Prices of £10,000/acre don't stack up with current commercial returns/usage although hopes for more dubious property opportunities won't go away from many farming families. More than anything however there seems a laudable aim to hang on to land and to value it as an asset for family security.NI has relatively small farm size and relatively resilient farmers with broad skill base(not vegetables mind).In many ways it it the best prepared,or could be,for lower input farming.The areas dry enough for grain production are lowish but for forestry/biomass great potential. Shipping and imported food costs may well impact faster than Tesco and other leeches ability to drive producers down. If there is any independent retail left to get to the public with then producers may be better placed than mainland UK. Good luck.
  6. A tractor thread?......at last/can we? When the world/the plants/the weather/£ printing/land prices/second homes get too much David Brown votes here please,proper gears,hydraulics,etc
  7. Getting to this a bit late but some thoughts; Remineralising an interesting subject although generally plenty of minerals around its just getting them in place that's expensive. Deep ploughing(4 foot)as for some forestry stuff expensive because of energy/hp power required. Reintroducing biological life usually the big one.Either slowly by building uporganic matter and letting micro-organisms reappear or faster by composting whats available locally and applying.See CMC composting or work by Steiner people(sound weird sometimes but experts on composting processes and often the best commercial veg growers) . Much green waste material is OK for adding organic matter but weak on nutrients.While almost a waste product in many areas it can still prove prohibitive to transport and apply. The cultural challenge is dealing with our shit.We don't want to talk about sewage but most of phosphate and nitrate slipping off to sea...... Seperation from industrial contaminents and dealing with hormones not insurmountable. As gas made nitrate returns to an upward trajectory the search for solutions to maintain yields will gain prominence.Unfortunately slippery Benn speaking from no-soil Planet Thanet last week suggests Defra view remains head down sailing on.
  8. Firm belief in technological innovation may well be how some 16th century Easter Islanders felt. Lots of Soviets and those on the left have also held similar dogmatic views, before similar outcomes.Jared Diamond better than most tells us the many histories that prompt some humility rather than more gung ho. Optimism and dynamism in research and planning for survival and quality of life are indeed important but not blinding to a wider view I hope. Try looking at a graph mapping population from around 1850 to the present alongside oil production.It's a sobering image that does not remotely suggest the research timescales that miracle technological moments might require. Denial and avoidance of factual financial stuff allowed neo-labour to balloon house and asset values to little critique. Its not an approach I think we should support if self-preservation is the aim.
  9. Any insights from anyone on horsiculture and its reduction? Horse numbers pre crash allegedly twice that of 1970s and not a bad indicator of prosperity. While owners reluctant to give up presumably fewer new horses being bought and therefore paddocks and sub 5 acre parcels falling in amenity value. Is this a parallel with second homes situation where there is still insufficient pressure on so far to force sales. Also interested in any insights on land for camping and camping barns,holidays with a future and a present seemingly. Planning P. as part of farm diversification might be possible more than a brand new venture? Harvey Smith
  10. Food has undoubtably been at its lowest prices ever in recent times and now will continue to rise. The price of labour intensive crops have the unfortunate potential to have the labour cost squeezed Eg Apple picking where no real mechanical gains likely but arable crops are reliant on capital intensive big machines and cheap nitrate, and to some extent phosphate and other soil additions. While the cost of the latter has fluctuated of late their availability=gas/oil price. Arable crops are what feed the big populations like the UK's 70 million but seem only able to get dearer. Deteriorating soil fertility/quality has some recognition in the EU, and now UK, soil strategy but is not generally recognised as an inevitable factor in rising costs/prices. Attempts to offer GM plants to squeeze more yield confuses those who assume the soil can yield regardless of how its fertility is achieved or maintained. Potential food production and the cost of, with sun powered fields, ie clover type rotations, and expensive machinery(20%+ in 12 months) is one of the big questions of our time. It is not at all clear whether rising energy costs will act to concentrate farmland into larger holdings and ownership or will drive scale down, From the field........
  11. The back to the land mood across bits of the nation is encouraging but it is early days.When food has had another year or two to continue its inevitable return to its early 1970s percentage of household expenditure(20%+)and beyond then more issues will emerge. One are the land pockets on urban fringes much speculated upon over the last decade but now of steeply falling value. If they start to be forced back on to the market cheaply, particularly as horseyculture fades,then this will be timely. The(empty) big shed foundations on top of grade 1 soil may however be more problematic........
  12. Go Kurt. Good insulation,south facing windows,solar thermal and high efficiency wood stoves can make a significant impact on UK energy load. See www.coedcae.co.uk/light_my_fire.html for balanced discussion on problems of integrating solar and a woodstove to a hot water tank.Perfectly possible but the level of the industry and practioners in the UK show the laissez-faire approach so far. We need to get better quickly. More stuff on here too www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/newforum/ Happy braising
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