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This might mean that those living less sustainably may have to pay more. From an externalities point of view, this might be a good thing.



> This might mean that those living less sustainably may have to pay more.

I would strongly urge you to be careful with this language. Don't be so quick to assume folks living rural/suburban lifestyles are living any less sustainably.

These folks are what make city living possible in the first place. And city folk have plenty of huge-CO2-footprint problems of their own that everyone conveniently forgets, because it isn't literally dumping gasoline into an automobile.


> I would strongly urge you to be careful with this language. Don't be so quick to assume folks living rural/suburban lifestyles are living any less sustainably.

If they aren't, they don't have anything to worry about when very unsustainable practices are abolished.

> These folks are what make city living possible in the first place.

A minority are, and they'll have to charge more for those services.

> And city folk have plenty of huge-CO2-footprint problems of their own that everyone conveniently forgets, because it isn't literally dumping gasoline into an automobile.

What are some examples of those city-specific CO2 problems?


> Don't be so quick to assume folks living rural/suburban lifestyles are living any less sustainably.

I wasn't thinking only of carbon footprint, but also of things like electricity and water hookups. The cost to provide basic utilities in rural areas has to be a lot higher per capita than in the city.


The vast majority of those living outside of major cities are those growing food or working in key resource industries like lumber and mining. Those that are not in those industries are in supporting industries like grocery stores and barbers.

More and more people are losing farms that have been in their families for generations. The average farmer is a grandfather/grandmother and trends show no sign of shifting towards a younger demographic. Younger people see working on the farm as an economic risk. Increasing taxes on rural folks would be a massive mistake. Mark my words, by 2040 farmers will be rare if nothing changes and the price of food will sky rocket not from climate change but from lack of a labor force.

Or are you saying that the added emissions from living outside of a city are not worth undertaking because we just don't need those resources? That's nonsensical.


"The vast majority of those living outside of major cities are those growing food or working in key resource industries like lumber and mining."

This isn't remotely true. The overwhelming bulk of people living outside of major cities simply live outside of major cities. In the United States some 4 million people own or work on farms. 60 million people live in rural locations. I highly doubt the other 56 million are in forestry and mining.

Some people live in rural places for no particular reason than that's where they like to live. I live in a rural location, and I certainly don't gnash and gnaw about how everyone is going to starve unless I have a black-soot belching F350. I can actually imagine a world where I can live sustainably as well.


The number of farmers is decreasing not because it is harder to be a farmer, but because farming is becoming more efficient and mechanized. Food is not becoming more expensive relative to everything else, it is becoming cheaper.

Rural communities are being hit because the amount of labor in key resource industries keeps going down. So kids move to the city where they can find a future, and so on. It’s been like that for a couple of hundred years.

Cities will continue to subsidize rural areas with their taxes as a result. Less density means infrastructure is used less efficiently, and so need significant transfers of wealth from the cities to keep being viable. That is probably unavoidable, but the cities can also subsidize rural areas in leveraging EVs as well.


> The number of farmers is decreasing not because it is harder to be a farmer, but because farming is becoming more efficient and mechanized.

Yes, but if the children of farmers have left and aren't going to take on their parents' industry, what happens when they truly can't do it anymore? The machines don't run the farm, yet, they only make running it more efficient and easy. You still have to know what to do, and go out and get it done, and this isn't something that people can just pick up in a day.

If the natural apprenticeship mechanism that used to provide for this has been broken, what's going to replace it?


Technology progresses, the amount of labor needed to run a farm decreases. Not all the kids are leaving, just lost of them. Also, the farms are increasingly becoming corporations rather than family affairs anyways, they do find people to hire if they pay enough. Otherwise, they just reduce labor needs by mechanizing.


The real kick in the pants is that when you can get away with half as many farmers, because of improvements in agricultural technology, you can only support half as many grocery stores, doctors, gas stations and the like. The empty spaces get emptier, and less comfortable.


I'm not too worried about farms. Governments haven't had a problem with massive agriculture subsidies and I doubt that will change. Labor costs on farms may skyrocket but that will also throw fuel on the mechanization fire.

Food is cheap right now in part because of exploitation of labor. We probably should be paying more for our food.




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