[permaculture] ecogeddon, something to think about

Gene Monaco efmonaco at comcast.net
Wed Oct 25 09:14:37 EDT 2017

Let me offer my 2 cents on this ...
Activism is important, and somebody needs to do it; but not everybody.  It's important to live, by example, examples of sustainability.  I say examples, because on earth, right now, in this culture, that’s the best we can do.  No matter how sustainable one might think one is, others can always point to areas where we are not.  So, at some point, loud, in-your-face activism hits diminishing returns and becomes counterproductive.  
I'm reminded of the teaching of the 4 stages of evolution that include unconscious incompetence, conscious incompetence, conscious competence, and unconscious competence, which lead to a continuous expansion of awareness where the process repeats itself.  It is often started by activism, which creates an IMPACT to move one from unconscious incompetence (you don't know that you don't know) to conscious incompetence (you realize that you don't know).  This is the role of the activist.  
To move to the next stage, conscious competence (where you can do it if you focus and work at it), it takes education and TRAINING.  You gotta learn.  Then, through PRACTICE, one can become unconsciously competent.
So, don't get frustrated because activism, aimed at the unconscious incompetent, doesn't yield conscious competence right away.  It takes time, and as was said below, it does occur, albeit at a pace that is difficult to see; but not impossible.  Follow your heart and be at peace.

-----Original Message-----
From: permaculture [mailto:permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Carolyn Anderson
Sent: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 7:36 PM
To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Subject: Re: [permaculture] ecogeddon, something to think about

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 
> 7+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 
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> --
> Carolyn Anderson Design
> 828-803-2941
> cschampagne at gmail.com
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