Alternatives to deal with yesterday's post about the end of the
world....same author and some fine links/references.
Things will change and here are ways to cope with change
Charlie, risen above the median line today........who wonders where
tomorrow will find me.
Excerpt, from the end of the article........good read, long.
The Revolution That Is Arising From The Earth
By William M. H. Kötke
13 September, 2007
The immediate world problem is the net deficit of the earths’
fertility. This is solved by self-sufficient communities. The eco
villages which are being formed around the world are pointed toward
self-sufficiency. Eco villages grew, in part, out of the intentional
community movement that began to swell in the late nineteen sixties. As
the global recognition of the plight of the earth’s life grew, so did
the eco village movement.
The “live in balance with nature” phrase does not necessarily mean
adopting a loin cloth and eating roots and berries. The fact is that
there are far too few roots and berries left. We can although, create
ways of living that are self-sufficient and that do pay obeisance to
the successful million year history of our species.
Of course there are many “eco villages” in various cultures around the
world that are still near self-sufficiency but the new eco village
movement within the machine of industrial society is significant. We in
industrial civilization are culturally conditioned to associate power
with wealth. In reality, from top to bottom, our daily lives are
governed by huge mass institutions over which we have little or no
control. All our survival systems are controlled by mass institutions.
We have little fundamental control of our lives. Our picture of
“freedom” is to have enough money to do “whatever we want”. But this is
not real power on the planet earth. Being able to create one’s
habitation, feed oneself through one’s own efforts and live in a real
human community that serves the developmental needs of each individual
and the community is real power.
The eco village movement is a follow-on to the resources developed by
the “alternative community” activists. These resources are many. They
involve alternative medicine as an alternative to industrial medicine.
Herbalism, aromatherapy, chiropractic, body work ,which is often called
energy medicine, acupuncture, nutrition and many others are resources
that are popular. Gender equality is a very strong theme. Grassroots,
consensus government is seen as real democracy. In the realm of
habitation local materials such as straw bale, cob, adobe and other
alternatives to industrial construction are emphasized. This is usually
combined with passive or active solar advantages in addition to water
harvesting systems. Various alternative energy systems have been
The pleasure of providing one’s food has gone beyond the European row
crop system to the far more sophisticated Permaculture
www.permacultureactivist.net . The practice of permacultue has spread
world-wide. In some aspects Permaculture is a way of designing (or
planting) one’s area and watershed with a high diversity of human and
ecologically useful species that all fit together into plant
communities. It is based in perennial plants, does not turn the soil on
the broadscale and through its diversity provides a healthy, balanced
diet. Permaculture can restore soil fertility while providing more food
per acre than can industrial agriculture. This comparison is somewhat
unfair to the industrial system which grows monocrops on vast areas
with the purpose of sucking up soil fertility by the use of annual
plants for profit. Its purpose is not to feed people, but to force
surpluses from the earth for profit. Permaculture on the other hand
does not produce massive surpluses of monocrops, its purpose is to feed
people. It can although, produce specialty crops for the local famers
markets or village barter centers.
People leaving the disintegrating human culture of industrial society
have experimented with many social forms. Celibacy, monogamy and group
marriage are possibilities. Ritual and the creation of traditions are
important. The content of our daily lives are important. How we relate
to each other and how we relate to the youth are important. In
community there are mentors for the youth, uncles, aunts, elders. In
the impoverished human culture of industrial society the young are
deposited in front of a television and then when they are a little
older they are stuffed into a mass educational institution preparing
them to become another industrial cipher.
In traditional cultures of our species, the youth were taught how to be
human. This is artfully shown in the book, Seven Arrows, by Hyemeyohsts
Storm from the Cheyenne culture of the North American Great Plains. An
African couple, both who came from a small, traditional village in
Ghana have been valuable resources for the intentional community
movement. Sobonfu E. Some www.sobonfu.com and her husband Malidoma
Patrice Some www.malidoma.com help us understand what life-centered,
human village life is like.
People are returning to the land and community in many forms. The
direction is set and there are many paths. One unique path is a method
using traditional capitalist techniques to reach that goal.
Globalecovillage www.globalecovillage.com led by Biosphere II architect
Phil Hawes has created a stock company listed on Wall Street to reach
that goal of designed eco villages.
The elephant in the room is the Global Ecovillage Network
http://gen.ecovillage.org/ that involves tens of thousands of villages.
This is a world-wide network of eco villages that shows that rather
than having to adopt a loin cloth, the ancient human values of our
species can be established at the next higher turn of the spiral with
eco villages all over the world connected and communicating over the
internet like a global mind. A small solar panel or a micro hydro, a
telephone connected to a satellite and there you have it. The eco
village is not a retreat backwards into some kind of insignificance.
The burgeoning movement is shown by a statement from the Global
Ecovillage Network (GEN). “Network members include large networks like
Sarvodaya (11,000 sustainable villages in Sri Lanka); EcoYoff and
Colufifa (350 villages in Senegal); the Ladakh project on the Tibetian
plateau; ecotowns like Auroville in South India, the Federation of
Damanhur in Italy and Nimbin in Australia; small rural ecovillages like
Gaia Asociación in Argentina and Huehuecoyotl, Mexico; urban
rejuvenation projects like Los Angeles EcoVillage and Christiania in
Copenhagen; permaculture design sites such as Crystal Waters,
Australia, Cochabamba, Bolivia and Barus, Brazil; and educational
centres such as Findhorn in Scotland, Centre for Alternative Technology
in Wales, Earthlands in Massachusetts, and many more.” In the U.S.
there are presently eighty-three villages affiliated with the network.
One can imagine the creative ideas that flow between all of these
GEN is divided into three areas: GEN - Europe and Africa
http://www.gen-europe.org/ , GEN - Oceania and Asia
http://genoa.ecovillage.org/ , and the Eco Village Network of the
Americas http://gen.ecovillage.org .
The worm has turned. In former decades revolutionaries vied to grab the
industrial power of the elites in order to redistribute wealth. Now we
have seen what the “wealth” of the industrialist/banker has done to the
earth and our future. Now we in the culturally poor but “wealthy”
societies are looking to the “richness” of a new kind of human culture
that cannot be directed but can only grow out of the base.
The base is in motion. The earth is speaking. Those involved with
infinite demands upon finite resources will not survive but the earth
will survive along with those children embedded within her.
William H. Kötke, author of Garden Planet: The Present Phase Change of
the Human Species, available at www.gardenplanetbook.com Amazon, Barnes
and Noble and retail bookstores. He is also the author of the
out-of-print, underground classic, The Final Empire: The Collapse of
Civilization and the Seed of the Future, which may be downloaded for
free at www.rainbowbody.net/Finalempire/index.html