Cheap oil made us the first society in history that had no need for neighbors; we can acquire anything we want or need on our own. That's about to change, argues Bill McKibben, as the forces of peak oil and climate change will require that we get to know one another again.
"The Transition Town movement began in England and has spread to North America and Asia; in one city after another, people are building barter networks, expanding community gardens. And they've paid equal, or even greater, attention to suburbia; in the developed world, after all, that's where most people live. Across the country communities have begun to transform themselves.
Often a farmers' market is the catalyst -- not just because people find that they like local produce, but because they actually meet each other again. It shouldn't surprise us that farmers' markets are the fastest-growing part of our food economy; they are simply the way that humans have always shopped, acquiring gossip and good cheer along with calories."