LOSING THE PLOT
In modern economic terms, Land as a function of production sits under the heading Capital – no longer important enough to have its own heading.
At Calnan Flack we believe that this is a BIG MISTAKE.
Land is its OWN factor of production.
In fact it is the ONLY Factor that MUST be included in any productive activity. NOTHING can be built, produced, serviced, invented, applied etc without the crucial ingredient of LAND!
But unlike ANY other input, it has NO substitute.
You can substitute Saccharin for sugar, steel for timber, Uber for taxis- But you can’t substitute for Land.
Try making a chair without access to land?
Try taking an XRay or checking Facebook without access to land – it can’t be done.
You have to stand somewhere taking up some real estate. The XRay machine must have a location, the workshop where the chair is constructed has a whereabouts and the timber must grow in a forest somewhere.
Land is the most essential component to ALL productive activities.
But what happens when we run out of land or when access to land is restricted or so highly valued, that we cannot afford it?
Where do the people go?
We all have an affinity with land. “Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust”
According to the World Population Clock (http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/) there are nearly 7.7Billion people living on earth today.
According to PRB the total number of people that have ever lived on earth is about 108Billion people.
But where do all these people go once they pass away?
For thousands of years different cultures have respected their dead through burials which is often seen as a necessary step for the deceased to enter the afterlife or to give back to the cycle of life.
Its thought that the Neanderthals were the first human species to intentionally bury their dead. They did so by digging shallow graves with stone tools and animal bones laying the departed to rest.
Variants of this ancient ritual have been undertaken by man ever since – nearly always leaving the body in peace, resting horizontal to the ground.
Kathryn Emery (PhD in Mortuary Archaeology) tell us that an “Upright burial is unusual” and this makes sense – while land is plentiful. But as cities become more and more cramped and the locational cost of land continues to ever skyrocket – where can we lay our dead?
Ever heard of the Big Cemetery?
Australia is known for our BIG Stuff. The Big Pineapple. The Big Merino. The Big Red Bucket. But who has heard of the Big Cemetery?
See Australia, or more specifically NSW, is home to the Largest Cemetery in the Southern Hemisphere.
Covering a massive 314 hectares or 780 acres, 130 times the size of the MCG, Rookwood Cemetery (officially named Rookwood Necropolis) is a heritage-listed cemetery and thought to be the world’s largest remaining operating cemetery from the Victorian era.
Figures from December 2014 indicate that there had been 915,000 people buried or cremated there.
But you think Rookwood is BIG? Take a look at Wadi Al-Salam Cemetery. Its over 1,500 Acres, was established in the 7th Century and more than 10 million people have been buried there.
Known as the “Valley of Peace”, Wadi Al-Salam is the biggest cemetery in the world and covers almost an unbelievable 15% of the city Najaf in Iraq. Its hard to appreciate the magnitude and this drone gives some suggestion as to its sheer size.
The Graveyards Full?
But what happens when the Grave Yards are Full?
Australia has had some epic inventions that have changed the way the world functions. Think Google Maps courtesy of the Rasmussen brothers, or William Brain who in 1889 patented the Electric Drill or in 1966 when Angoves Wines invented the Plastic Wine Cask much to the delight and sufferance of many a poor uni student…
Henry George showed us just how important Land is. He taught us that humans’ relentless drive for technological improvements just makes us more productive and more profitable; all of which will flow back into the land price.
This will mean that Land will be used for its most productive and hence profitable purpose.
And this is exactly the outcome George Lines founder of Upright Burials – like EVERY inventor before him – will ensure. Increasing the productive use of land.
George has turned his hand to the Cemetery business – changing 1,000s of years of tradition. Innovation is the key here to George’s Upright Burials.
In an effort to better utilise land, George is suggesting that a vertical burial is a “Simple, natural, economical burial alternative”.
Upright Burials is Australia’s first ever vertical burial ground where the dead are stood to rest. Consuming about a third of the size of a conventional burial plot it’s a novel idea, maybe with some merit.
But what it really shows is that as humans, our relentless pursuit of advancement will see us overcome any hurdle placed in front of us. We just have to have enough incentive to solve the problem at hand or see the opportunity being presented. The Growlers put it nicely in their song “Graveyard’s Full” when they said.
The graveyard’s full
We’re running out of earth
But we can use the bones
To build another church….