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As oil prices rise, your asparagus gets tougher

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Chris Dorst / Charleston Gazette / AP / File

(Read caption) Asparagus from the Ware Farm located near West Hamlin, W.Va., is shown in this April 23, 2011 file photo. If oil prices rise high enough, will we be more likely to eat fresh, locally grown vegetables?

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Well-traveled asparagus…and the US in recession…

Markets were closed in the US yesterday. We didn’t bother to look at what happened outside the US.

We were tired. After traveling to China, Switzerland, England and France…we had run out of gas.

But yesterday, Memorial Day in the USA, gave us a time to fill up the tank.

First, we fired up the lawnmower. Then, we got the weed whacker working. Next, it was time to start the tractor, attach the bush-hog, and begin cutting the fields.

Each of these devices requires oil and gasoline. So, we thought again about how our standard of living depends on the black goo… And we began to think of what would happen if the average suburbanite in Shanghai or Beijing also began to mow his lawn on weekends.

This is hardly a novel thought. Economists have been writing about it for many years. The emerging markets are bound to use more energy. And the price of energy is more than likely to go up.

Standards of living in the emerging world are bound to go up too as people put a little more energy into their lives. They will inevitably benefit from more locomotion and refrigeration. Maybe they will soon be using leaf blowers too.

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