Good Food For Everyone by " target="_blank">Colin Tudge
If we expect our system to change of its own accord, we are badly mistaken. We need to be the change we wish to see. Want a world with love? Be love. Want a clean environment? Start in your home, your backyard and your community. Legislation isn't going to do it. Even if we legislated change through protests, voting, etc.; the fact is, we will be giving power back to the powers-that-be. If we think that by voting and getting legislation passed to make corporations behave themselves; it isn't going to happen. Yes, there might be progress for a little while. But as the various revolutions throughout the past 6 to 7,000 years (well, especially the past 2 -- 300) reveal, we most often are confronted with a "meet the new boss; same as the old boss" scenario. Just think of the anti-war protests in the 60's. Yes, we left Vietnam. BUT, how many wars have we been in since"and how many more are we contemplating starting?
Sure, they'll assuage us to avoid appearing as tyrannical as they really are. We are the frogs in their boiling pot. Oh yes, they'll turn down the heat for a while (lower the price of auto fuel, for instance) but then start raising it again, knowing that our tolerance point keeps rising until we are unconscious or dead. As for the frogs, so for the coolies! (At least that's what their linear cause and effect mind-set teaches them. If it works in the lab, it will work on a larger scale"there's no real difference, they believe, between the frogs and the excess people now overpopulating a planet that belongs to the cognoscenti.) Obama may even refuse to let the Keystone pipeline cross the border, if we scream our pain and our Mother's pain loudly enough. That's wonderful; it truly is. But it is not the end of oil's destruction of our lives and home planet. Not by far! Not so long as we support the oil companies with investments and purchases.
The words of Dylan's "Blowing in the Wind" echo in my mind: "How many times can a man turn his head and pretend that he just doesn't see?"
How many times indeed! This head isn't turning anymore; is yours?
We have to take the power in our own hands. By this I don't mean a revolution. Revolutions as they are practiced only bring more of the same. Look at Turkey. What I do mean is that we need to begin to provide for ourselves in our homes, yards, and communities. Thus, even if we stay in the role of consumer, we must: (a) make wiser choices about where our food comes from; AND (b) become aware of how the various things we use are manufactured, raised, and transported. We must begin to develop an awareness of the "embedded energy" it took to create what we purchase. The choices we make may be the difference between a habitable planet for future generations and potential extinction for the human race. We could disappear into oblivion right alongside the thousands of species that are going extinct today, due to OUR behavior in a consumerist culture overseen by corporations.
This new revolution (renaissance of good old human common sense) is reflected in movements such as permaculture and transition town. It is also immanent in magazines such as "Modern Farmer." This magazine's print edition has attracted "a global following."
Modern Farmer is benefiting from what the New York Times reports are "the first signs of growth in the total number of farms since World War II." The magazine also reportedly attracts healthy financial support from advertisers eager to sell trucks, tractors, work clothes and other labor equipment (reference below).
While oftentimes our media, both traditional and nontraditional (e.g., OpEd) focus on politicians, foreign policy, and monetary concerns on a global scale, there are movements afoot that are localized, in which people within their communities are taking charge in all arenas of their lives from food to relationships to spirituality. (See, for instance, the communities of Pari and Tamera referred to in my earlier articles.) For these people, it's not about the politicians and their bosses. Nor is it about the corporations and banks that own them. It is about the ordinary guys and gals acting at the local level and then sharing their experience at the global level.
My own writings for OpEd are oftentimes an attempt to help people understand that real change is going to happen on personal, family and community philosophical levels within all domains, such as food, clothing, shelter, economics, relationships, spirituality and community. I do this work alongside my wife on an online radio show called Envision This! The point to this show is to ultimately reveal a web, invisible to most, regarding this subtle movement in multiple dimensions across the world. This web reveals a world of empowerment of the individual in relation to the rest of Nature. This web will, we pray, provide our safety net when the bottom falls out from under the current unsustainable s***stem.
This empowerment embraces all: people, communities, and, ultimately, Nature Herself. Nature has been raped and abused for the past several thousand years....just as our environment, women, children and men have been raped by educational, familial, and societal institutions. We call for an end to mountaintop removal, forest devastation, and acidic oceans eating away at their coral. We are helping one another to reclaim our intrinsic power"power to which we have been blinded by the dazzle of neon lights, belittling advertisements, and institutional propaganda that passes for education and progress.
Two people who are out to heal this scenario are Colin and Ruth Tudge. Colin and Ruth advocate for an "Agrarian Renaissance." Renaissance has an evolutionary quality to it the revolution doesn't. It speaks of building on the ancient wisdom of humankind, building upon foundational truths. Colin is a biologist and a writer. He is a co-founder of the Campaign for Real Farming, the Oxford Real Farming Conference, and is seeking to establish the College for Enlightened Agriculture at Schumacher College. He champions "Farming that is expressly designed to provide everyone, everywhere, and forever with food of the highest standard, nutritionally and gastronomically, without wrecking the rest of the world." This is not some pie-in-the-sky, idealistic pipe-dream for him. It's backed up by rigorous research and deep experience.
In an article posted on his website, Colin land blasts the arrogance of many contemporary scientists who feel they can conquer Nature:
But of all humanity's conceits, the idea that we can understand nature, and indeed that we can "conquer" it, or that that is a good idea, is perhaps the most ludicrous and chilling of all. Those who understand most of how life works are the ones who realize how little we know.
Wisdom appears to embrace those who are humble.