(this scares the life out of me, that anyone would think this is a healthy place to live)
This page is in response to a publication entitled A DREAM OF A LOW CARBON FUTURE which was jointly funded/ published by the ENGINEERING AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCIL (EPSRC) and the UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS as a result of a postgraduate project which was aimed at imagining a sustainable Leeds in the near future. A tome that came with such a high level of authenticity you have to wonder why then it was so naive and full of gross errors, because there is no way any of these ideas could ever work.
But they are not alone. Every university teaches the same, all the state-funded bodies for the environment advise likewise/ all the eco pressure groups too/ plus there is a whole private industry out there each earning a very nice steady income out of running courses as well. So why is it we and they can’t see how wrong all this is?
The answer is actually really easy. The world we currently inhabit is in fact not the real one, but a chimera, a manscape, a manufactured/ man-made visual landscape that we’ve created and placed on top of the real/ natural one, in order to encompass all our needs for shelter/ work/ transport/ play/ etc. Even down to the type of flora and fauna that is allowed to exist there, within a selection of specific land-use labels, ie garden/ allotment/ croft/ smallholding/ wood/ farm/ moor/ nature reserve/ etc. This is where we spend all of lives. So for anyone trying to imagine any other kind of place it is obviously going to be really difficult, I’d say impossible, because even when we travel we tend only to visit similarly artificially designed environments.
However there is another kind of world out there. The bit we haven’t got round to landscaping yet, and which for want of a better word/ label represents our eco-system. Where until about 200 years ago was predominately covered by prehistoric tree canopy, under which lived an infinite number of other species (both flora & fauna), or ocean, and collectively representing what constitutes the heart and lungs that gives life to all on this planet. But increasingly is attracting the interest of those who serve us who live in the manscapes, to provide food and everything else. Stripping and mining the life out of the land and over-fishing the seas, until soon there will be nothing left of either but yet another toxic wasteland, rather like our current manscapes.
They don’t want us to know about any of this, but then nor do we want to know, as long as what we have currently continues to keep us content.
Which is not good news. Especially as our thirst for spending/ exploiting grows exponentially, as do our numbers.
So I thought I’d start making a list. Of all the things we need to think about and do, in order to stop the world being totally destroyed by ignorance and greed. And as I think of more I’ll add them too.
In no order of significance.
- LAND (and sea) USE. The planet is THE (not our) eco-system, nothing more. If we start to claim ownership of any of it, for our use, be it for homes/ roads/ buildings/ agriculture/ whatever, even ecologically sustainable projects, then we are removing it from that function, thus reducing its effectiveness. There is NO kind of use by us that constitutes ecological benefit. If we really want to do something positive we have to reduce our physical footprint on the planet. Either by living like aborigines, nomadically, or retreat to high-rise ghettoes.
- Is simply about feeding us, nothing more. You cannot have ecological/ sustainable agriculture. Fields are monoculture, grazing likewise, plus none of the indigenous plants nature needs ever get the chance to grow. We need to change our diet to one that does not interfere with the use of land by nature.
- PLANTING/ GARDENS/ MANSCAPE WILDLIFE. These are ALL artificial creations, serving no ecological benefit whatsoever, only to provide us with food and a habitat for the handful of species that have managed to evolve sufficiently surviving on our waste.
- Simply means taking nothing out and putting nothing in. Leaving alone.
- THE NOAH’S ARK/ ZOO mentality. Just because we happen to nurture one or two examples of a species (or have the seed) does not mean it is a part of the global ecology, nature decides where/ what/ how many it needs to function, not us.
- Is at the heart of ecological destruction. We have to stop using it. We have to stop making things from natural resources that cannot be replaced identically.
- No more taking the natural materials of this planet.
- Is one of the most essential elements of life on this planet, as well as most sensitive, as it is able to chelate toxicity from the smallest source then spread that damage until all the oceans are similarly polluted. Aquifers are the lifeblood for trees and other plants with deep root systems. We therefore must not take any more than what our bodies need (3 litres a day per person) then return it unpolluted.
- THE BIBLE. All cultures follow the same religious nonsense, that the earth was created for our sole use. This, as even Charles Darwin concludes in ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES, is because we have chosen to forgo an instinctive way of life for one of acquired habits instead. That is we prefer now to think, using logic of our own invention, to make up all the rules. We need to stop that and act again more instinctively, in tune with the greater whole.
- There is no such thing as renewable energy. All the materials used to create these sources need to come from somewhere, need to be maintained, have a limited lifespan.
to be continued…