Your crystal ball says what?
In the GM bailout thread, the topic veered to predicting the future. Would the big 3 survive?
That got me thinking to where I might be in 5 years viz-a-viz living carfree.
* My entire family has turned largely to public transportation and cycling. We still have a car which we can't sell.
* I still work, but my annual hours work out to about 25 hours a week.
* I have improved my garden to the point that it provides about 50% of the vegetables I eat.
* I have replaced my gas furnace with a geothermal outfit.
What does your crystal ball say?
Smaller, local farming and communities
I think we will begin to see a return to smaller local farms and less industrialized agriculture, as a result of of a warming climate, water and energy shortages, and soil degradation. Small mixed-use farms allow crop rotation and are much kinder to the earth than mechanized mono-culture farms. They also use less fossil fuels as input, producing far fewer carbon emissions.
Personally, within 5 years I hope to be building a small passive solar cabin on 5-10 tillable acres in northern Calif or southern Oregon. I have wanted to build a small "net zero energy" home for almost 10 years now but other priorities keep getting in the way (like work and aging parents).
I have also considered purchasing a small farm somewhere in the Willamette Valley which could be restored and would undoubtedly be a good plan for the future. It would allow me to grow some of my food on part of it and sublease the rest. Or start a small co-op.
I do believe there will be big changes for all of us over the next five years. Some that we can't anticipate, due to world events. There will likely be a lot of stress also, as happens with systemic change, but I see it as a necessary process if we are to make our way forward.