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Slow Money – Investing in Things Closer to Home

Slow Money – Investing in Things Closer to Home
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Woody TaschNOTE: This is a guest blog post from Woody Tasch, Founder and Chairman of Slow Money and author of Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms and Fertility Mattered.

I sometimes wonder whether the “numb” in numbers was just waiting for the 21st century. As in what my friend Lee said to me over breakfast the other day, after a cursory discussion about the week’s stock market turbulence, “I try to keep up, but it’s pretty mind numbing.”

Within a few minutes of that remark, the following sentence came from the radio, “Investors are struggling to make sense of this week’s volatility.”

Wild gyrations in the Dow. Jobless claims. The national debt. The price of gold. The price of oil. Retail sales. The body count from Afghanistan. Yen to the dollar. The number of cities each day in August that had their hottest day on record. $24 billion (McDonalds’ 2010 revenue). 1,100 (McDonalds locations in China). One every 18 hours (number of Yum! Brands restaurants — KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, A&W — opening in China). One-fifth (per capita water consumption in China compared to that in the U.S.). 19,000 (average earthworm population per acre in Boone County, Iowa). 1.9 million (average earthworm population per acre on Thompson Farm, an organic farm in Boone County, Iowa). 5.79 billion (record number of NYSE shares traded on August 16, 2011). Three trillion (annual Ogalalla aquifer overdraft, in gallons). 2.7 (average annual rate of depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer, in feet per year). 200 (average thickness of the Ogallala Aquifer, in feet). Number of years until the Ogallala Aquifer is completely depleted (do the math).

So, how’s that morning coffee going down?

These are, certainly, mind-numbing numbers. They are the numbers that shout the Big Story of the 21st century: mankind heading towards a global population of 10 billion and the global economy growing from $60 trillion per year to who knows what, and everywhere we look stresses and strains on political, economic, cultural and ecological systems.

Behind the Big Story of these shouting numbers, however, is a Small Story that is sneaking onto the corner of our computer screens. Or, should we say, sneaking into a corner of the hearts and minds of thousands of folks.

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54 comments

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8:33PM PDT on May 26, 2012

thank you

5:57AM PST on Nov 16, 2011

What youare doing is great and I even think this can be real ay out of the difficulties we now face globally

7:55AM PST on Nov 9, 2011

very nice article

11:29AM PST on Nov 7, 2011

I'm a big local gal. Years ago I remember a story about "Trickle up", where people in poverty were given seed money to start a little business and it so made sense. This is the same idea and I hope people really continue to do that.

Whenever I have a choice I go local and it makes such a difference in so many ways.

8:34AM PST on Nov 7, 2011

Thank you Emily-

Thank you June T. It is surprising how few people understand how shopping locally matters. I am pleased that you support smaller businesses too; some will become bigger businesses and create jobs for people in your community - I know you get that. Thanks again!

6:33AM PST on Nov 6, 2011

Thanks for sharing

11:49PM PDT on Nov 5, 2011

Thank you for putting the global situation in light, using numbers. I am mathematically challenged, yet I can see that this all adds up to a big mess.

7:49AM PDT on Nov 4, 2011

Thanks for sharing. It's nice to know there are people out there who are at least trying!

7:46AM PDT on Nov 4, 2011

Thanks.

6:37AM PDT on Nov 4, 2011

Andrew C.

but there are people who want what this topic is about, and a vegan world. and want people to see all animals as equal and protected from ill. from a catipiller eating your tomatos to a deer who can feed you for months.

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