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  • Randall Solomon

The risk climate change poses to the basic global economic system and to food security.

You plan for your future, for your children’s future. You send your kids to the best schools. You spend time and money on estate planning for them. But are you giving adequate thought to planning for your future if the entire system struggles or fails?


We live in a time when numerous unsustainable trends have the potential to cause a major crash of the global economy upon which we rely for food, medical care, shelter, and for the things that make life worth living.


The last six years are now the hottest six years on record, with 2020 tied with 2016 as the hottest year ever recorded. There were record fires, record storms, record diseases...and despite the COVID lockdown, greenhouse gas emissions continued to rise. Governments around the world are showing no signs of being up to the historic challenge of staving off climate change or the broader crisis of unsustainable trends.


Most people think about global warming in terms of sea level rise, melting glaciers, or wildfires. They don’t consider the risk climate change poses to the basic global economic system and to food security. According to The Center for Strategic and International Studies, climate change is driving extreme heat, unpredictable rainfall, soil degradation, and new patterns of crop disease that pose potentially existential economic, political, and social outcomes for humanity.


Frankly, climate change is only exacerbating an already tenuous system. The modern agricultural and food system is unsustainable and complex, depending on massive inputs of fossil fuels, and reliant on a global logistics system transporting equipment, supplies, chemicals, and the food itself across vast distances. Because of erosion caused by conventional farming, nearly half of the world’s most productive soil has disappeared in the last 150 years, threatening crop yields and contributing to nutrient pollution and dead zones. In the US alone, soil on cropland is eroding 10 times faster than it can be replenished.


The system is unhealthful, unethical, and ultimately unstable. If that system were to break down, for even a short time, the consequences would be catastrophic.


After Hurricane Sandy in 2012, many people were shocked to learn that grocery stores only have about 3 days worth of food. In a major system breakdown, new food supplies might not come for weeks or years. Sandy was a relatively small disturbance, impacting a small part of the world. But it was a small taste of how things can be when the system breaks down.


Thankfully, the idea of eating local and sustainably is catching on in many circles. In fact, there is much to be hopeful about in the broader world of sustainability. Dramatic growth in renewable energy and the use of electric vehicles are two highlights. Polls show that in the US and globally, support for addressing unsustainable trends is at an all-time high. Perhaps the tide is turning, but it is clearly not turning fast enough as the actual indicators continue in the wrong direction: greenhouse gas emissions, waste produced, materials consumed, soil and natural land destroyed, toxins emitted, social inequities...all continue to get worse despite increases in public concern. There is no reason to assume that “everything will work out”, or that there won’t at least be rough patches along the way. Just as an example, while local food may be catching on, even trendy, in an emergency local production does not come remotely close to satisfying the needs of the hungry cities and suburbs of the US and the world.


Merriwood Sustainable Community is a rare opportunity for those with clear vision, and the means to act on it. Merriwood is a place that will make an active contribution to fighting climate change and model sustainable living. It will also provide a metaphorical insurance policy - through its farm, it’s onsite renewable energy, and many other sustainability features - that will enable its members to survive, and thrive, no matter what happens in the future. In good times, Merriwood is there to provide your family with beautiful memorable experiences…. coffee by a misty lake, tire swings, farm to table meals, resident artist talks, crop harvest, lamb’s birth, day fresh eggs, wilderness excursions, bonfires with loved ones and neighbors. And in the most challenging times, Merriwood’s assets are there to provide your family with the means to survive. Merriwood will be there for good times and healthful living, for riding out the occasional rough patches in comfort and style, or for going fully off-grid and self-supporting if needed.


We all have an obligation to humanity to do everything we can to put the world on a sustainable course. But we also have an obligation to protect our families in case things don’t work out. Merriwood puts both of these values into action in a welcoming and vibrant community. When times are good, it’s drinks at the lodge and farm-to-table food every day. If things go south, it’s drinks at the lodge and farm-to-table food every day.


There are only 44 spots available to the public in Merriwood. And when they are gone, they are gone. If you think you are a fit for this unique community, reserve your spot today.


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Merriwood Sustainable Community

Merriwood is a place beyond the edge of the paved world, where people can unwind with comfort and security. Merriwood is a planned lakefront community with a working farm, lodge, wellness center,  and other unique sustainability and resiliency assets.

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