Appalachian Project Powerpoint


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Appalachian Project Powerpoint

  1. 1. Sustainability in Appalachian Economy and Agriculture
  2. 2. • A sustainable Appalachian region in 2039 would be very different from the one which exists in today’s society. One of the major differences would be felt economically. In order to keep a sustainable economy in the region the current economic situation needs to be diversified. The region has relied on coal revenue for over one hundred years. The institution that has been instilled into the minds of people of the region is a great thing when coal is in high demand. But the major question is: What will the people of Appalachia rely upon if there is a movement away from traditional coal powered electricity to greener forms of energy? If this happens too fast there will be an unsustainable state developing in Appalachia.
  3. 3. • How will Appalachia transform to this movement to greener forms of energy? First the region must begin to develop their own forms of alternative energy. Forms of energy that will be possible in the region are solar power, and wind power. The central Appalachian region will need to invest heavily in these new forms of energy to slowly move away from the institutionalized use of coal. Dependence on coal is currently extremely high, and the region must be slowly removed from their dependence on the resource. Coal will not last forever in the region, and thus will not be a smart choice in a sustainable Appalachia.
  4. 4. Regaining Jobs • The jobs lost in the coal industry will not have an effect on the economy of the region because the jobs lost here will be converted into jobs gained in the alternative energies that will take the place of coal in the region. The new greener policies of the nation will force these policies into effect. With more national attention on the region because of its vast coal extraction, it will be harder for coal companies to resist the change to alternative forms of energy.
  5. 5. Big Spending is Key to Sustainability • The current trend in the economy of the nation is big spending to try and get the economy back on track. This is because of the current recession, which will change over the course of the next thirty years into a more conservative, but still high spending projects, especially in the Appalachian region. The high spending will be mostly because of the change in the national policy of the movement towards greener forms of energy, and the costs from pulling away from coal. This spending of federal tax money in the Appalachian region is essential to creating a sustainable Appalachia within the next thirty years. • The big spending trend in the Appalachian region will bring the region down in the first decade. During this time President Barack Obama is reelected for a second term, and more regulations are sent down by the EPA. Because of these regulations and the push by the President for greener forms of energy, the region suffers during this first decade. In other words it will get better before it gets worse (greener energy policies lead to unemployment and a rise in the poverty rate of the region). This suffering will bring about the changes that need to happen in order to create a sustainable Appalachian region. Because of this suffering former coal companies in order to sustain themselves create jobs in other forms of energy, thus helping to reduce unemployment. The energy companies evolve to sustain themselves and doing so thus sustaining the region itself.
  6. 6. No More Spec Buildings? • The current trend of Spec buildings being built at every slight chance of a company coming to the region will stop. There will be no need in hoping for jobs to come to the region because the new movement toward a greener Appalachia will form more jobs, and more entrepreneurs in the region. The entrepreneurs will begin to build up their own energy companies, and they will also begin to invest heavily on local agriculture. These new investors in the region will help people to see that they will be able to make it on their own, and not have to rely on someone to come in and save them
  7. 7. Mountain Top Removal Legislation • The old Mountain Top removal sites will continue to be used, although it is risky to build on these sites because of the weakness of the soil and the possible collapse of the ground beneath them. There will be no more ads in the papers or on T.V. about how the TVA is using the reclaimed land for farming and raising animals, because these are unrealistic goals. It will take many years for the soil to grow to the state in which it can be farmed and animals can graze upon it again. The land that has been used for strip mining will be tested and we will be trying new ways to use old strip mine land for agriculture or recreation. • With the new movement toward greener forms of energy the national legislation will put into place policies that will get rid of mountaintop removal in all unwanted forms. Only the landowners will be able to surface mine the land, no exceptions to the rules. The national government will make up for its lack of enforcement in the past half century by making strict punishments for the people who do resist and continue to use surface mining operations where they are not authorized to do so. The old policies of just letting it slide because the coal companies gave contributions to political campaigns will be stopped because of the real threat of government intervention. This will bring back accountability to Appalachian politicians.
  8. 8. National Parks • One easy way to improve and sustain the Appalachian economy is to set up more national parks in wilderness areas. Wilderness brings people to the area, and brings in money because of the people coming to the area for travel, and also from the people who come to the area to live there. These wilderness areas would be set up in central Appalachia, mostly in eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia. People in the region will visit these new parks to recreate. People will participate in hiking, fishing, hunting, climbing, etc. all of which will force them to spend money in the area for food and drinks, which stimulates the Appalachian economy. Another good aspect of recreational parks is that they do not need to be built; they are part of the environment. Besides the benches and any playgrounds they are already ready to be a park. Using old mountain top removal sites for these parks would be a great way to use the land that can no longer be used for agricultural.
  9. 9. Systems Thinking Analysis • One of the worst economic problems that could develop an unsustainable future for the Appalachian region is the lack of adequate jobs. The lack of adequate jobs problem sets up a perfect shifting the burden scenario. A shifting the burden scenario occurs when a symptomatic “short term” solution is used to fix a problem symptom. The symptomatic solution is reducing the ability of people to see and use the fundamental solution (the real answer to the problem) because of side effects of the continual use of the symptomatic solution. In this certain situation the symptomatic solution would be the building of spec buildings, and the hope of someone to come and save the people of Appalachia by giving them jobs. This solution of spec buildings only reduces the ability to see the fundamental solution, education and job training. The side effect of the symptomatic solution in this circumstance is dependency; the dependency on the fact that there will always be someone to come save the people. This dependency reinforces the symptomatic solution, which reduces the “need” for the fundamental solution. To stop this process, and create a more sustainable Appalachia we must slowly pull away from the symptomatic solution, and begin to put the fundamental solution into place (for more info on shifting the burden and this circumstance in particular, see documents attached). This is where the leverage in this diagram lies; strengthening the fundamental solution, while at the same time weakening the symptomatic solution.
  10. 10. Systems Thinking Shifting the Burden Symptomatic Solution Problem Symptom Side Effect Fundamental Solution
  11. 11. Systems Thinking Diagram Building of Spec Buildings, Bringing Hope to the Region. Lack of Adequate Jobs Dependency Education and Job Training
  12. 12. Application of Systems Thinking • Using the systems thinking analysis talked about above, Appalachia over the course of the next thirty years will be able to create a stable economy. The economy that does develop out of this strategy will be much more stable than an economy like the one that has existed and has relied on coal for over one hundred years. The cause for the reliance on other people, and the problem which has led to this systems maps creation happened because of hope. When Appalachia was down economically in the past, coal has come back and has given everyone in the region jobs. Now every time Appalachia goes through a shortage of jobs, and a rise in unemployment the people of the region expect someone to come back and save them again just like the coal industry had in the past. • If these particular cautions, and suggestions from the systems thinking diagram are taken seriously in the central Appalachian region, the economic stability of the region will stay intact. These suggestions will only strengthen the regions hidden ability to persevere economically. The reliance on coal will slowly decrease as new and more rewarding alternative energies develop in the region, and create many jobs for the area. One thing that should be obvious from the discussion above is to realize that the Appalachian economy is not a separate entity. The problems that are affecting the Appalachian region are affecting other regions as well. The change in National energy policies is what affects the Appalachian coal industries, not Appalachian energy policies.
  13. 13. Agriculture • A major appeal of the region of Appalachia is the vastly diverse agriculture that can be grown there. The ground in this region can be used to grow cash crops such as tobacco, and can be used to grow foods for the whole family such as corn and tomatoes. During the next thirty years the agriculture of the Appalachian region will change, though not too drastically. The region is already full of farmers markets and local farmers selling the crops that their family will not use to receive cash. The region will slowly begin to develop more local markets that produce goods for their communities first, then the region as a whole.
  14. 14. New System for Agriculture of the Region • More organizations such as the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project will develop. The organizations will put forth efforts to keep the region nourished. The group’s goals will be to expand community based food systems. These food systems are locally owned and operated and most importantly promote healthy foods. The region will no longer be subject to just fast food commercials on T.V., in the next five to ten years there is a push towards healthier more organic foods in the Appalachian region. The farmers in the region will flourish because the people will want to buy locally produced food. By the time the year 2039 rolls around, the farmers of the region will still appear the same, but the system behind them will be completely reworked to support more locally run organizations and markets.
  15. 15. Learning the Ways • Farming and agriculture will be taught in schools in the region. It will be taught that without these farmers in the region who sell their crops locally there would be a much higher price tag on the food that they eat for dinner every night. The new group’s will run workshops to show people who just want to be able to produce food in their own garden how to do it efficiently and safely. These workshops will provide people of the region with enough knowledge of the soil and crops for them to produce their own food if needed, and teach their children and family the knowledge that they have learned in these workshops.
  16. 16. Community Supported Agriculture • During the next decade, due to the end of the economic recession and the push for greener forms of energy the people of the region will suffer. The region is already the poorest in the country. During this first decade it will be hard for people to get the right kind of nourishment that they need to survive. CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture) will raise awareness about these undernourished families. More organizations will form during this time period to grow food and send it to the people of the region. CSA’s help the local agricultural economy by buying into these local producers, and they help to bring back small farms to produce for their own families as well as their own income. The overall goal of these organizations will be to slowly begin to rebuild the Appalachian food system. With the CSA’s organizations help the people of the region will get through the hard times of the first decade, and will be able to become stronger economically and agriculturally because of the hardships that they have suffered. The CSA’s will give people the food that they cannot get to until the region gets out of the condition that it is currently in. • The movement toward more locally owned and operated farms will produce a much more sustainable Appalachian region. The locally produced farms will still be connected to the national and global economy for income purposes, but locally they will produce the produce that the area needs to survive on their own if they needed to. The great thing about locally produced food in the Appalachian region is that the people in the region have a high demand for local food. This trend of wanting locally food is also a national trend according to research done by the Appalachian Sustainable Agricultural Project. The study also showed that people are willing to pay more for locally grown food than for the non-locally grown food that they are used to getting.
  17. 17. Global Local • The way to make the Agriculture of the Appalachian region better would be to get the restaurants and supermarkets in the region to also carry only the locally produced goods in the region. Unfortunately this is not a realistic goal for a sustainable Appalachia in thirty years. The transitions needed to get to this state would affect far more people far more drastically. The middle ground is where the region is heading towards in the next thirty years. Locally produced foods are slowly starting to take the place of the nationally produced foods at supermarkets and restaurants, but overall the major corporations such as Tyson are still king of food in the region.
  18. 18. Bringing it All Together • The Appalachian region will get great economic benefits from the movement in the agricultural sector. Locally produced goods will cost more, but will also bring bigger benefits to the community where the products are grown. Because of the major corporation’s presence still in the area, more non-profit organizations such as the Appalachian Sustainable Agricultural Project will start to get people to grow more locally, moving the region forward even after this thirty year time period. This will be a slow but steady process moving Appalachia forward agriculturally. When these goals are met, Appalachian will have a more stable agricultural sector, with less people moving out of the region and more farmers wanting to move into the area.
  19. 19. Sources • • • • • • strong-economy-in.html