Positive action to encourage positive change
With total ecological collapse imminent (species are dying, landscapes are turning to dust etc) it is important that we the people take positive action for change. It is great that we have had so many protests lately to bring the problem of climate change to the forefront. More and more people are becoming aware. Unfortunately, most people do not think they can change anything, let alone play a part in mitigating climate change. But we can!
Climate change is man made. Even if you are a climate change denier, you can see the pollution in the air, you can understand that the global oxygen levels are declining steadily, and you have experienced at least one extreme weather event by now. I do not wish to go into an argument on what is causing climate change, it doesn’t matter whether it is Carbon Dioxide, thinning of the ozone layer or a decrease in cloud cover, all of these are the results of human actions.
For decades, if not centuries, we have been clearing treed areas and forests to make room for grazing, build cities and other settlements and plant monoculture crops. We are in effect cutting out the lungs of the planet. As well as cutting out the lungs, we are polluting the lifeblood (waterways), and destroying the skin (soil biota).
We need to start looking at our planet as a living being, which by all means she is. We are part of this planet, this planet is not just our home, it is part of us and we are part of her. We are deeply connected. When you hear the saying “as without so within”, you need only look at the polluting we are doing and the human diseases appearing over the past 20-30 years. Gut diseases have increased exponentially, 20 – 30 years ago you rarely heard about Celiac disease, irritable bowel, Crohn’s, diverticulitis and leaky gut. Now, most people you meet have a gut issue. It all has to do with bacteria. The bacteria in our gut is suffering, depleted and sick. So what is happening “without”? Look at our soil biota. Unfortunately we have no documentation about soil from the time when soil was still healthy. But scientists and researchers are finding that soil life is decreasing and is especially low in conventionally farmed, monoculture agriculture. Soil life is high in areas of great diversity. Diversity builds resilience and good bacterial activity. This also holds true for eating habits. Restrictions of certain foods or food groups can decrease bacterial activity in the gut, followed by food sensitivities and allergies which is then followed by auto-immune disease or gut issues.
Seeing the relation between what happens on the planet and what happens within us can make us realise how closely we are connected to this planet. This planet, our home, our mother, our nurturer. There is no planet B. We are part of this beautiful planet and all that dwells on and in it. When the planet is healthy and we look after her with respect and care, she will look after us. Healthy soil biota will create healthy gut biota. Biodiversity of species on the planet will improve biodiversity of species on and inside us, creating more resilience to dis-ease in both the planet’s systems and our own. It will also help mitigate the heating of the planet.
We have drastically decreased the biodiversity on the planet. It is time for us to undo the damage we have done by creating diverse ecosystems again, promoting soil health and soil biota diversity as well as encouraging the return of various plant and animal species. Practices such as regenerative agriculture, permaculture, syntropic gardening, agroforestry and all those other regenerative practices that have different labels all achieve the same thing: healthy diverse ecosystems. We need everyone to adopt regenerative practices and become involved in healing this ecosystem that we are completely dependent on: earth. The time for arguing about whether there is a problem and for arguing about solutions to the problem is now over. The easiest, cheapest and most effective solution is staring us in the face: we have to regenerate diverse ecosystems in order to restore our planet not just to her previous beauty but also to her previous health. This will also mean that we will have to limit or completely stop our consumption.
Our urge to consume products which are usually not essential to our life, and our urge to create monetary wealth are behind the depletion of resources and the decline of biodiversity of our planet’s ecosystems. Humans only really need a few things: shelter, clean air, clean water, clean and nutrient rich food and community. Everything else is unnecessary (some clothes may be nice, but we can make our own with locally available resources, or use and re-use the trillions of clothes already made in the world).
We have to re-define wealth. Wealth is having the 5 things I just mentioned. We do not need anything else. Our entire economic system is based on the eternal consumption of stuff. We need to turn it around so that our economy is based on the health of our immediate ecosystems. We put value on material things that in the greater picture do not mean anything and do not create a future for our children and our children’s children. Ecosystem Economy would be based on the amount of healthy food and water your ecosystem creates, the natural air purification it performs and the health of the community that lives off the ecosystem in question. It is a completely different way of looking at economics. I am not an economist, but I do know that an economic system that relies on eternal growth is doomed to fail.
Eternal growth means that ultimately there will only be one company left. It is the nature of public companies that its share holders want to see more profits every year. This can only be achieved if the company: 1. produces more or 2. takes over other companies. If we look at big corporations today, we see that they own a number of other companies which trade under different names. Companies are merging and being bought out, largely without the knowledge of the general public. In the end we will be buying everything from the same company, which spells disaster for the environment and our communities as there will be little oversight.
We have had the wake up call, people are becoming aware of the issues, but awareness is not enough! We have to start taking positive action and start looking at re-defining wealth on a global scale. We have to start creating diverse, sustainable ecosystems with us as an integral part. Earth is still our paradise, we just have to help her to heal the damage we have done. The solutions are there, we do not need to wait for new technology, it is simple. We have to start planting, re-foresting, re-generating biodiversity around us, in order to create a healthy planet, healthy people and a healthy economy based on true wealth, not man made wealth. We the people have that power, we just need to take action!