[Vision2020] Farming/ was Sen Schroeder

Garrett Clevenger garrettmc at verizon.net
Thu Feb 19 18:29:16 PST 2009


Sorry to cause confusion. My antipathy towards Hawkins and my promotion of sustainable farming is consistent with my view that we are responsible for the future we create, and that future should be one of wise use of resources so that our grand kids aren't paying for our mistakes.

Perhaps I'm biased and only want to protect my industry, and see Hawkins as a threat to that. However, I believe your view that our local water is near limitless is wrong. The fact that the aquifer is dropping a foot and a half a year should make everyone concerned about how much water is actually accessible, and about how we use that water.

Water is a necessity and should not be squandered. The fact that Hawkins will be using 1 to 2 percent of Moscow's current water use seems highly extravagant, just to build a mega-mall, especially considering we could be using that water for another necessity, food.

One of the biggest impacts we have is how we get food. Do you grow it using synthetic chemicals? Do you have to transport it halfway around the planet? Since everybody has to eat, one of the biggest ways to reduce our impact is to buy food grown that has the least impact as possible, ie buy local organically grown food. Everybody can make that choice, but the limiting factor is supply.

You increase the supply, the cost goes down, like you state for Hawkins. Perhaps they will have lower prices than currently found in the area. But the opportunity costs associated with building this mega-mall seems worth considering if using this land and water just to save a few bucks here and there is the best use of resources. Also, considering the unraveling of our economy, now is an ideal time to insure we are creating a sustainable future.

As a business owner, I realize Hawkins may help facilitate 3rd parties to create wealth. But that's different than directly creating wealth compared with industries that actually produces a tangible asset. I doubt, though, that most things bought at Hawkins will be used in that regard. More than likely, it will be households buying things for their own personal consumption.

The way things are today, if you need something, you can order it on-line and have it delivered. Business don't need to have Hawkins in order to survive. I am not anti-growth or anti-business, but I do think we need to be realistic about the types of ventures we can sustain. 

I never said I want to produce jobs that don't use water as you state I did. I believe a sustainable future is dependent on creating vibrant local economies, ones that produces as many of the commodities consumed in the region as possible. Obviously that takes water. If Hawkins is promoting that philosophy, more power to them, but I don't think that is their intent.

If people really want the amenities of a city, they should move to a city, rather than expect the rest of us to subsidize the development of an out of scale mega-mall.

I grew up in LA, and chose to settle down in a small town to get away from the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle. So I also see Hawkins as a threat to the quality of life the Palouse has to offer. I don't need the things you list to survive or make me happy. In fact, being flooded with them only makes me frustrated, especially knowing that they are a symbol of unsustainable consumerism that threatens our grand kids future.

Thanks for reading and take care,


--- On Wed, 2/18/09, Donovan Arnold <donovanjarnold2005 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> From: Donovan Arnold <donovanjarnold2005 at yahoo.com>
> Subject: Re: [Vision2020] Farming/ was Sen Schroeder
> To: vision2020 at moscow.com, garrettmc at verizon.net
> Date: Wednesday, February 18, 2009, 7:35 PM
> Garrett,
> You are confusing to me. If you want to produce jobs that
> don't use water, growing crops that use lots of water
> instead of very little seems like it will have an opposite
> effect. 
> If you believe we have a limited water supply, then the
> farms you are talking about will also be unsustainable. 
>  It makes more economical sense to grow the crops here
> that are easy to grow, sell them on the market, and then buy
> at the supermarket the crops we cannot grow cheaply or that
> would consume our limited supply of water. 
> I disagree that retail stores don't produce wealth.
> Retail stores are distribution centers. Distribution is a
> necessary step in the production and use of all services and
> goods. Retail stores not only allows people to find the
> goods and services they need, so they don't have to go
> to all the different states and China to get what they need,
> but it also eliminates waste by determining how many of an
> item is needed. This way we don't send too many pairs of
> jeans to Lewiston and not enough shoes to Moscow. 
> Second, these retail stores provide services that others
> need to run their businesses. Any hunting guide needs
> outdoor supplies. A restaurant needs food, plates, and other
> services. Businesses need paper, notebooks, and office
> supplies. All of these things are provided by retail
> services. 
> You ask what we don't have in Moscow. We actually have
> very little in terms of what is actually possible to have.
> And what we do have is limited in quantity and the price is
> higher as well. The fewer of an item you have, the more it
> costs, and the more it costs the less wealth you have to buy
> what you need.
> Can you find these items in Moscow, Garrett?
> A 2001 Viper 
> A inflatable bath pillow for $1 or less
> A brand-new 42 inch 1080p Flatscreen television for under
> $650?
> A Loon Lake by Scotty Coffee Cup
> A 2 liter Diet Mountain Dew bottle for less than a $1?
> How about a Spiderman reversible jacket with four pocket on
> the outside and one on the inside and a hoody?
> I bet you cannot find those in Moscow, but can find in many
> of cities.
> You also have to look at diversity. Your suggestion, that
> we all be farmers, is great if you are capable or good at
> farming. But there would be an awful lot of wasted talent if
> the only thing you had available was farming. Diversity of
> jobs is good. A diverse economy is good. 
> Best Regards,
> Donovan
> --- On Wed, 2/18/09, Garrett Clevenger
> <garrettmc at verizon.net> wrote:
> From: Garrett Clevenger <garrettmc at verizon.net>
> Subject: [Vision2020] Farming/ was Sen Schroeder
> To: vision2020 at moscow.com
> Date: Wednesday, February 18, 2009, 5:38 PM
> I should have been clearer about the type of farming
> I'm advocating.
> Obviously the Palouse, which has some of the most fertile
> soil in the world, has
> a lot of large farms, which mostly grow wheat that is
> mostly exported to join
> the unsustainable global economy. They don't need to
> irrigate because there
> is enough precipitation to grow these dry-land crops. One
> person can farm
> 100's of acres in this type of farming.
> On our farm, we grew about 35 crops last summer on a
> quarter of an acre. This
> food was consumed locally. Many other crops could be grown
> here, mostly
> dependent on irrigation. These are higher value crops than
> the larger farmers
> grow, and it is labor intensive farming.
> We will double in size next summer and I will hire a worker
> to help. It's a
> lot of work, but very rewarding.
> If we had $100 million to invest, we'd build
> greenhouses, and plant
> orchards, vineyards, berries and hops, among the other
> veggies we now grow, all
> of which would be consumed in the region. We wouldn't
> need a miracle crop,
> only access to water.
> If we had the 200 acres Hawkins will gobble up, we'd be
> able to grow a lot
> more food and provide a lot of jobs which actually creates
> wealth, rather than
> redistributing it as retail and service does.
> Hawkins is a national drain since more than likely most of
> the goods sold
> won't be made in the US. The money spent at Hawkins may
> fund some jobs, but
> a significant portion of that money will be shipped
> overseas to invest in other
> countries. That is short-sighted.
> The only miracle I see needed in this conversation is one
> that will dig us out
> of the hole our fragmenting economy and ecosystems are
> leading us into. You can
> keep dumping trillions of dollars to rescue the economy and
>  keep wasting
> precious limited resources to build your mega-mall, but
> that is no guarantee our
> grandchildren will be better off. It seems we're
> actually leaving more of a
> mess our insatiable lifestyle is creating for them to clean
> up, which is
> completely selfish and irresponsible.
> I'm curious, what goods will Hawkins offer that you
> can't find
> elsewhere in Moscow? What will you buy at this mega-mall
> that is so crucial to
> your well-being? Is that really worth the large footprint
> this mega-mall will
> create?
> Garrett Clevenger
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