A good article in the NY Times today http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/20/opinion/20budiansky.html.
The “buy local” movement, which is very popular here in San Francisco, never really sat well with me. Not that there is anything wrong with that per se, but it is often over sold as a solution to the problems of energy scarcity and environment damage. My background in economics gave me the hunch that “The best way to make the most of these truly precious resources of land, favorable climates and human labor is to grow lettuce, oranges, wheat, peppers, bananas, whatever, in the places where they grow best and with the most efficient technologies.”
I had been hesitant to push back without any real facts or figures, but will not hold back any more. I’m glad to see a well thought out, researched and written article on the topic.