[permaculture] ecogeddon, something to think about

Carolyn Anderson cschampagne at gmail.com
Tue Oct 24 19:36:24 EDT 2017

Wow!  Your community sounds a lot like ours.  We're also pretty isolated
here, although Asheville has become a destination city, which is hurting
more than it's helping.
I really like the idea of gathering to celebrate victories.  That could be
something that will bring folks to the table.  I will change course now to
focus on that and introduce more opportunities for people to get involved
with a vision in mind of a positive outcome that they can see .  I guess
working from the ground up (literally) takes that slow and steady wins the
race approach. I get so passionate about the urgent need for action, and
it's hard to see how the slow way can win this race.  The resistance is
like running into a hurricane.  Just standing up sometimes feels hard, much
less moving forward.  And still, we persist!

This has been so helpful, Diane. Thank you so much.  I hope others on the
list benefit from our conversation too.

Take care,

On Tue, Oct 24, 2017 at 5:26 PM, Diane Frances <diane.frances at verizon.net>

> Persist! This is a very rural area of central NY, small towns surrounded
> by family farms in NE Delaware County. We are just regular folk doing the
> work I sent along. There is an active Transition group here, recently
> installed 2 electric car chargers, runs Repair Café events and just did a
> screening of Tomorrow. Side by side with Roundup-ready corn fed dairy.
> We're about 3 hours from NYC and smack in the middle of the NYC watershed
> so it is a very diverse community in seemingly constant transition -
> 7+generation families and transplants from all over the world figuring out
> how to be in community together. Even agriculture is transitioning - from
> traditional dairy to grass fed beef, artisanal cheese, lots of organic -
> thanks to being in the watershed we have a natural if sometimes challenging
> connection to people and markets who are helping to shape the transition to
> more organic, more renewables. It is a slow and sometimes contentious and
> often frustrating process yet through gatherings such as our monthly
> community soup supper Soup's On! we are building bridges, understanding,
> trust. Hang in there Carolyn, it's worth it! You are in the "slow and
> steady wins the race phase" which requires patience and persistence, and
> regular activities that mark out and celebrate progress so people remain
> connected and committed when it seems like no progress is being made. There
> is always progress; every conversation moves the ball forward in ways you
> can't always see in the moment. Trust and keep going! d
> -----Original Message----- From: Carolyn Anderson
> Sent: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 1:46 PM
> To: permaculture
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] ecogeddon, something to think about
> Dear Diane,
> this is such a beautiful thing!  How big is this community? Are there
> organized activist groups involved?  I started the WNC Renewables Coalition
> here in Asheville now comprising about 18 previously siloed environmental
> groups working toward 100% renewable energy here in Asheville.   We're very
> young and still growing and learning about how to support each other;
> hoping to plan a group action/event/something for the spring that will
> empower our voice. Something like that tends to bring in new people and
> energize those who have dropped out.
> I'll admit that patience is not my best virtue. I'm a woman of action.  If
> something needs doing, I roll up my sleeves and get it done. It's hard for
> me to just allow the time folks need to understand and face the realities
> of the urgency of our work.  Last spring I took on leadership of the
> Indivisible Environment team, and it was on fire originally.  People
> flooded to our actions and events.  Now it's hard to even get them to come
> to the lovely, inspiring, uplifting film "Tomorrow" (I recommend it for
> your group as a cozy activity for a chilly fall gathering.).  I will try
> harder to be patient, and to reach out gently, and to share good news (I do
> do that) whenever it comes through.
> Thanks for your kind guidance.  And still I persist.....
> Carolyn
> On Tue, Oct 24, 2017 at 12:35 PM, Diane Frances <diane.frances at verizon.net
> >
> wrote:
> Try to be patient Carol (yes I know how urgent it really is but it takes
>> time for each person to understand and digest the enormity of what is
>> happening, and then be able to actually face it and then be able to
>> overcome all the separateness of decades of living in American culture and
>> begin to work together). What you are doing is beautiful, important, and
>> happening in communities all across the globe. List serves like this one
>> help us learn what others are doing, share ideas, slowly build the
>> movement
>> you are craving. We all need to keep at it, encourage each other, link
>> together. The main stream press doesn't often cover this good work so we
>> need to find channels for sharing and connecting - I use Facebook a lot.
>> Attached is something a group of us is working on in the Western Catskills
>> of NY, there are others who held a women's march and have created projects
>> and teams nearby, good things and good connections are happening. It is
>> essential to accept what people can give, even if it is less that what you
>> wish, and to be encouraging and to be hopeful. We each respond to pressure
>> in different ways but it mostly takes the form of retreat. Try your best
>> to
>> be inviting, inclusive, to work with the few who are self-energized to
>> attract those who respond best when asked to come along and to help. Most
>> people like to help - ask them to help and you will be amazed what shows
>> up.
>> -----Original Message----- From: Carolyn Anderson
>> Sent: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 9:52 AM
>> To: permaculture
>> Subject: Re: [permaculture] ecogeddon, something to think about
>> I lead, and am part of, several environmental activist groups in Asheville
>> NC. The.people who were intensely passionate about making change last
>> Spring when we organized the Women's March and the Climate March, and we
>> grew in number by 20 fold, have had so many gut punches since ast then,
>> that they have mostly retreated to their comfortable lives, bolted the
>> door
>> to news such as this and no longer even come to meetings.
>> I feel the need for decisive and dramatic action to reverse this death
>> spiral we're on, but am at a loss as to how to re-inspire the passion they
>> felt last Spring.
>> There are small things happening.locally, but I can't get them to throw
>> off
>> the covers and leap out of bed into any actions beyond that. Does anyone
>> else experience this? If so, can you share ideas for inspiring action
>> that.would "go viral" and start a worlwlde movement? Our 'Save the Bees'
>> group is down to about 6 people. Nothing will come of that. We need 60
>> million people to make a lot of noise and make dramatic demands. Any help
>> or suggestions for actio in this group could be really important for
>> getting something like that started. I can organize if we have
>> something.to
>> organize around.
>> Thanks,
>> Carolyn Anderson
>> On Oct 24, 2017 4:09 AM, "Lawrence London" <lfljvenaura at gmail.com> wrote:
>> [saw less than 25 bees so far this 2017] [put Bayer and Monsanto out of
>>> business]
>>> Insectageddon - monbiot.com <http://www.monbiot.com>
>>> ------------------------------
>>> Insectageddon <http://www.monbiot.com/2017/10/23/insectageddon/>
>>> Posted: 23 Oct 2017 04:25 AM PDT
>>> The scale and speed of environmental collapse is beyond imagination.
>>> By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 20th October 2017
>>> Which of these would you name as the world’s most pressing environmental
>>> issue? Climate breakdown, air pollution, water loss, plastic waste or
>>> urban
>>> expansion? My answer is none of the above. Almost incredibly, I believe
>>> that climate breakdown takes third place, behind two issues that receive
>>> only a fraction of the attention.
>>> This is not to downgrade the danger presented by global heating – on the
>>> contrary, it presents an existential threat. It is simply that I have
>>> come
>>> to realise that two other issues have such huge and immediate impacts
>>> that
>>> they push even this great predicament into third place.
>>> One is industrial fishing, which, all over the blue planet, is now
>>> causing
>>> systemic ecological collapse. The other is the erasure of non-human life
>>> from the land
>>> <https://theconversation.com/how-changing-your-diet-could-
>>> save-animals-from-extinction-81061>
>>> by farming.
>>> And perhaps not only non-human life. According to the UN Food and
>>> Agriculture Organisation, at current rates of soil loss
>>> <https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/25/
>>> treating-soil-like-dirt-fatal-mistake-human-life>,
>>> driven largely by poor farming practice, we have just 60 years of
>>> harvests
>>> left
>>> <https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/only-60-years-of-
>>> farming-left-if-soil-degradation-continues/>.
>>> And this is before the Global Land Outlook report
>>> <https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/12/third-
>>> of-earths-soil-acutely-degraded-due-to-agriculture-study>,
>>> published in September, found that productivity is already declining on
>>> 20%
>>> of the world’s cropland.
>>> The impact on wildlife of changes in farming practice (and the expansion
>>> of
>>> the farmed area) is so rapid and severe that it is hard to get your head
>>> round the scale of what is happening. A study published this week
>>> <http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal
>>> .pone.0185809
>>> >
>>> in the journal Plos One reveals that flying insects surveyed on nature
>>> reserves in Germany have declined by 76% in 27 years. The most likely
>>> cause
>>> <https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/18/
>>> warning-of-ecological-armageddon-after-dramatic-plunge-in-
>>> insect-numbers>
>>> of this Insectageddon is that the land surrounding those reserves has
>>> become hostile to them: the volume of pesticides and the destruction of
>>> habitat have turned farmland into a wildlife desert.
>>> It is remarkable that we need to rely on a study in Germany to see what
>>> is
>>> likely to have been happening worldwide: long-term surveys of this kind
>>> simply do not exist elsewhere. This failure reflects distorted priorities
>>> in the funding of science. There is no end of grants for research on how
>>> to
>>> kill insects, but hardly any money for discovering what the impacts of
>>> this
>>> killing might be. Instead, the work has been left – as in the German case
>>>>>> to recordings by amateur naturalists.
>>> But anyone of my generation (ie in the second bloom of youth) can see and
>>> feel the change. We remember the “moth snowstorm” that filled the
>>> headlight
>>> beams of our parents’ cars on summer nights (memorialised in Michael
>>> McCarthy’s lovely book of that name
>>> <https://www.hodder.co.uk/books/detail.page?isbn=9781444792775>). Every
>>> year I collected dozens of species of caterpillars and watched them grow
>>> and pupate and hatch. This year I tried to find some caterpillars for my
>>> children to raise. I spent the whole summer looking and, aside from the
>>> cabbage whites on our broccoli plants, found nothing in the wild but one
>>> garden tiger larva. Yes, one caterpillar in one year. I could scarcely
>>> believe what I was seeing – or rather, not seeing.
>>> Insects, of course, are critical to the survival of the rest of the
>>> living
>>> world. Knowing what we now know, there is nothing surprising about the
>>> calamitous
>>> decline of insect-eating birds <http://www.ace-eco.org/vol5/iss2/art1/>.
>>> Those flying insects – not just bees and hoverflies but species of many
>>> different families – are the pollinators without which a vast tract of
>>> the
>>> plant kingdom, both wild and cultivated, cannot survive. The wonders of
>>> the
>>> living planet are vanishing before our eyes.
>>> Well, I hear you say, we have to feed the world. Yes, but not this way.
>>> As
>>> a
>>> UN report published in March explained
>>> <http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/dpage_e.aspx?si=A/HRC/34/48>, the notion
>>> that pesticide use is essential for feeding a growing population is a
>>> myth.
>>> A recent study in Nature Plants
>>> <http://www.nature.com/articles/nplants20178> reveals that most farms
>>> would
>>> increase production if they cut their use of pesticides. A study in the
>>> journal Arthropod-Plant Interactions
>>> <https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11829-017-9527-3> shows that
>>> the more neonicotinoid pesticides were used to treat rapeseed crops, the
>>> more their yield declines. Why? Because the pesticides harm or kill the
>>> pollinators on which the crop depends.
>>> Farmers and governments have been comprehensively conned by the global
>>> pesticide industry. It has ensured its products should not be properly
>>> regulated or even, in real-world conditions, properly assessed
>>> <http://science.sciencemag.org/content/357/6357/1232.full>. A massive
>>> media
>>> onslaught by this industry has bamboozled us all about its utility and
>>> its
>>> impacts on the health of both human beings and the natural world.
>>> The profits of these companies depend on ecocide. Do we allow them to
>>> hold
>>> the world to ransom, or do we acknowledge that the survival of the living
>>> world is more important than returns to their shareholders? At the
>>> moment,
>>> shareholder value comes first. And it will count for nothing when we have
>>> lost the living systems on which our survival depends.
>>> To save ourselves and the rest of the living world, here’s what we need
>>> to
>>> do:
>>> 1. We need a global treaty to regulate pesticides, and put the
>>> manufacturers back in their box.
>>> 2. We need environmental impact assessments for the farming and fishing
>>> industries. It is amazing that, while these sectors present the greatest
>>> threats to the living world, they are, uniquely in many nations, not
>>> subject to such oversight.
>>> 3. We need firm rules based on the outcomes of these assessments,
>>> obliging
>>> those who use the land to protect and restore the ecosystems on which we
>>> all depend.
>>> 4. We need to reduce the amount of land used by farming, while sustaining
>>> the production of food. The most obvious way is greatly to reduce our use
>>> of livestock
>>> <https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/04/
>>> livestock-farming-artificial-meat-industry-animals>:
>>> many of the crops we grow and all of the grazing land we use are deployed
>>> to feed them. One study in Britain
>>> <http://www.thelandmagazine.org.uk/sites/default/files/
>>> can_britain_feed_itself.pdf>
>>> suggests that, if we stopped using animal products, everyone in Britain
>>> could be fed on just 3m of our 18.5m hectares of current farmland (or on
>>> 7m
>>> hectares if all our farming were organic). This would allow us to create
>>> huge wildlife and soil refuges: an investment against a terrifying
>>> future.
>>> 5. We should stop using land that should be growing food for people to
>>> grow maize
>>> for biogas
>>> <https://www.theguardian.com/environment/georgemonbiot/
>>> 2014/mar/14/uk-ban-maize-biogas>
>>> and fuel for cars.
>>> Then, at least, nature and people would have some respite from the global
>>> onslaught. And, I hope, a chance of getting through the century.
>>> www.monbiot.com
>>> --
>>> Lawrence F. London, Jr.
>>> lfljvenaura at gmail.com
>>> Avant Geared
>>> avantgeard at gmail.com
>>> <lfljvenaura at gmail.com>https://sites.google.com/site/avantgeared
>>> https://plus.google.com/u/0/+Avantgeared
>>> Avant: culturally or stylistically advanced Geared: one outfitted with
>>> proper gear
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> --
> Carolyn Anderson Design
> 828-803-2941
> cschampagne at gmail.com
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Carolyn Anderson Design
cschampagne at gmail.com

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