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Finally I’ve worked out how the species will exit this world.  Forget all the usual suspects (epidemic/ global warming/ tsunami/ asteroid/ nuclear catastrophe…), this one is a lot simpler and already well advanced.  Mental illness.  Of just the people you know, who hasn’t taken anti-depressants?  Suffers from an eating disorder?  Is addicted?  Why would a staggering 2 billion (that’s a quarter of us) want to watch the latest sick-fest Royal Wedding?  Follow sport (rather than do it)?  Waste their hard-earned money playing (and this seems to be the very last word to choose for a scam that doesn’t actually pay out) the Lottery?  Vote?  And finally, believe in a god (three-quarters of all the people on the planet, including most world leaders, do).

No, the numbers tell the story, we are a species that is doomed, past its sell-by-date, lost all sense of what it means to be alive, and in a last-ditch (Pincher Martin) attempt to survive are frantically latching on to whatever lifebelt is offered, even though it is hopeless and thrown by those who simply want to exploit the situation, for none of the above is benign.  The pharmaceutical industry can’t believe our gullibility.  The spotless Royal Family likewise (that the great british taxpayer felt honoured to foot their £32 million nuptial bill).  And sport, what is it other than an excellent tool for social control and making money?  Government?  No need, I hope, to point out the inherent corruption in that Royal subterfuge.  And religion, well if you can’t see the glaringly obvious in that one you are already beyond hope.

The vultures are already picking at our flesh, very soon though just bones will remain, as evidence that we ever existed at all.

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Since the 1970s, there have been new isms appearing (or morphing) regularly, each claiming to be the ultimate answer to a sustainable future.  tiptoe™ is the latest, except unlike its predecessors, adopts a rather different approach.
Gone are all the: manuals, courses, levels of accreditation, international convergences, blitzes, magazines, websites/ social media/ and apps, videos & podcasts, impenetrable vocabulary, and of course boundless opportunities for shopping/ travel.
tiptoe™ is also totally free.
As well as doing what it claims.  Yes.  The others felt right, their marketing continually reinforced that message, and probably hundreds of thousands of lives have changed for the better (I know mine has), as well as a lot of money made.  But when you add up the real ecological benefits, to the planet/ the ecology, what we’ve actually done is made things a hell of a lot worse.  And this shouldn’t come as a surprise really when you think about.  Not when you consider the focus until now has solely been on how to make our lives better.  That and spending money on doing it.  Never has it been about all the other species/ habitats/ natural resources.  And what does money always do?  It kills.  With no eco or ethical exceptions.  tiptoe™ doesn’t.
tiptoe™ is about each of us taking on board our personal responsibility for all the effects/ impact our lives have on the planet.  Ergo: thinking about the consequences, not leaving it to others to do that, learning to walk a lot more lightly on the planet (in every sense of the word).
tiptoe™ for me (as I mentioned in the previous blog) came about after deciding to give up on motorised tools when working with the land, forcing me to get physically a lot closer to the soil, for the first time witnessing what an amazing diverse and healing force nature really is, especially when left to its own devices. Ceaselessly and selflessly working to ensure all life on our planet continues and evolves.
I realised Nature really does know best, and this will always be the case.  So if we really want to do something positive then the focus should be on letting it get on with that, without interference.  Make it socially unacceptable to earn and spend money just because we can or want, likewise reproducing.  I know this is the same old thing I keep hammering on about time and time again, but if that bores or annoys you then it is because you still don’t want to accept that all species life (even a rock) has the same rights to a life as we do.  When you can, the world will be a much nicer place.

 

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For me, reading has always been the principle influence in shaping my path through life.  As well as for relaxing.

This week, at the same time as a new film version of FARENHEIT 451 is announced, I discover another classic to add to the pantheon – AN ENGLISH GUIDE TO BIRDWATCHING by Nicholas Royle.

This is a rather different tome though (to the others, see the BOOKS page on my site).  Instead of focusing on just one subject or issue, the author has managed to step back far enough to take all the interconnecting parts, in this case what the hell has gone wrong with our species, and at the same time come up with not only suggestions as to what needs to be done to put things right, but that actually could work.  I won’t spoil things by saying any more, but it is so simple I wonder why no-one has thought like this before.

 

Perhaps living on the doorstep to LEWES (East Sussex) has helped, the living embodiment of our current collective fantasy as to what should be reality (check out a copy of VIVA LEWES to get an idea of what a really weird place this is).  Whatever, if you only read one book this year, this should be it, you will not be disappointed.

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…a unique opportunity to rent one of the most famous alternative (cob & strawbale) houses in Spain.

It’s architect & builders, Rob Alcock & family, are taking a two-year sabbatical from the hectic life which has preoccupied them for the last ten years, and looking for someone to take over running the place in their absence.  This four-bedroomed/ 3 bathroom/ 200m2 home, with organic garden (0.8ha), and small guest cabin, is near the coast in Cantabria, Northern Spain.

Full details can be found on their site: http://abrazohouse.org/en/the-place/buildings/abrazo-house/

Or contact Rob directly: ralcock@euskaltel.es

 

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… no this is not about a new religion, though if it were I’d probably get several thousand offers instantly from potential acolytes.  What is it about our species?  We live in a time where we are supposedly at our most evolved, and the majority (I’m thinking here at least 90%, though probably higher) are totally serious about believing in stuff that obviously doesn’t exist.  Meanwhile it is virtually impossible to interest even a handful in that which does?

No, this is all to do with my developing philosophy about how we should treat the planet from now on, by leaving it totally alone, doing nothing, withdrawing en masse to one tiny area, and leaving the rest for nature to repair as it alone knows best.  Instead of blindly following all these crazy human-centric eco pyramid schemes that keep popping up, all claiming to serve nature’s best interests, but really just about those who benefit, appealing to our egos more than anything else.  Or, trusting in science, who are even more to blame for getting us into this mess.

Admittedly it is really hard to simply, do nothing.  We are after all the one species which prefers order over chaos, so the social pressure of being the sole garden in a street which looks like a jungle would be intense, in fact the neighbours would probably apply to the council for some kind of cleansing ordinance.  But this is what we actually have to do.  If you were to look down right now from above, at what we have done, this intense patchwork of individual artificial gardens/ fields, surrounded by similar unnatural roads and buildings, then compare it to the same view as if we had never existed, you’d see immediately this isn’t right.  What we have created here is inherently selfish, and that’s because we find it impossible to share the planet with all the other species on equal terms.  Reality is where everything co-exists sustainably, plus continuous new life forms and diversification, not hard-wiring and raping the entire place with concrete and tarmac, even if we currently like to coin our latest gardening/ farming efforts organic and sustainable.

One way to appreciate the rightness of doing nothing is what I have coined kneeling therapy.  This grew out of two things.  First was a spinal hernia, which forced me to garden from this position, and from there, a whole new perspective, the gradual appreciation that using tractors/ rotavators/ brush-cutters/ or even a hoe, means you can’t see or appreciate what incredible damage we are inflicting on the precious world at soil level (imagine it microscopically).  But is it actually possible?  The garden here at El Pocito is 25,000 square metres, that’s an awful amount for one person to get round.  Yet for the last five years this is exactly what I have managed (on top of everything else).  What’s more, working this way has created miracles where all the previous systems failed.  Using nothing more than fingers and a pair of secateurs.  How?  Nature is continuously renewing and updating itself.  By not disturbing this work thousands of new trees have automatically appeared, along with annuals and perennials too, some having laid dormant for decades, others brought in by other creatures.  They are also a lot hardier and resistant to bought seed and plants.  What is happening now would not been possible had I followed any of the conventional or even alternative methods we have come up with.  I know this, because I’ve attempted them all.  But best of all it fits in perfectly with my other philosophy, of sustainability, living without the need for money, because it costs virtually nothing.  Especially compared to what otherwise would be a vast outlay in time/ money/ and personnel to create the same result.  Plus there is also the added bonus of a very relaxing exercise (my back has never been better), and the intense pleasure of watching nature at work repairing our arrogant mistakes.

Ideally of course I’d rather do nothing, why bother.  But I feel guilt at what has been done before so want to try and put right some of the mistakes of previous tenants, albeit treading oh so lightly on the fragile soil.  Why not have a go too?  I guarantee you’ll be surprised at how pointless any other form of gardening (even the most esoteric) seems in comparison.

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…when our precious planet is on the brink of ecological meltdown, choose between ignoring our personal responsibility for inflicting unnecessary pain/ murder/ and extinction upon an infinite number of other species (vegans included), or taking the much simple and painless step, of…

… making it socially unacceptable to have children?

In just the last fifty years (a period of time so short it is virtually impossible to measure against the time our species has existed) we have managed to double our global population and simultaneously destroy almost all other forms of life, including the basic raw materials for life, on a planet where everything is finite.  This reign of terror is also speeding up, which means it is likely our population will double again even quicker.  Virtually everyone reading this will therefore witness the last days of our species.

Our only hope is to reverse this trend.  Either by doing nothing, let Nature unleash the virus/ global catastrophe which wipes us out, or taking the positive step, by accepting and promoting the irresponsibility of having children, through education/ media/ and social pressure.  Starting with the example of the membership of those at the forefront of environmental and moral awareness (religions/ permaculture teachers/ environmental organisations/ green politicians).  A hell of a lot more effective than anything they’ve managed so far with rhetoric/ campaigns/ and projects.

At the same time governments (and businesses) should also:

End fertility treatment.

End child benefits and maternity/ paternity leave.

End free and reduced rates for children.

End free education, instead extend the student loan scheme to include all education.

Make more public spaces and transport child-free.

End VAT exemption on products for children.

End all other tax breaks for children.

Offer incentives for sterilization.

What do you think?  That what we each crave is more important than the survival of everyone/ everything else on this precious planet?

(Inspiration for this came from Roger Deakin’s WILDWOOD, with grateful thanks to Dennis & Jessica who sent me a copy)

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…water, water, water, everywhere, yet apparently still not enough.  Call me old-fashioned, but surely this kind of inane comment is for the blithering stupid.  Of course there is enough, most of the planet is water.  What is wrong is we are using far too much of it.  So why can’t those who rule-over-us tackle that, instead of causing alarm and imposing hosepipe bans?  Why?  Because they are making more money by not doing anything.

Relatively speaking, lets say before the Industrial Revolution for example, before we set about destroying all the natural and finite resources of our planet, consumption per person was tiny.  A few litres a day for hydration and cooking (all of which was easily recyclable), anything else the same.

Today is another story though.  First, there are a hell of a lot more of us than then (just two hundred years ago), and this is increasing by the second, exponentially.  Second, we each use a lot more water, mostly for ridiculously pointless activities (daily bath/ shower + dishwasher + washing machine + flush toilet/ bidet + cleaning the car + swimming pool + et al).  Third, and in ways that make it impossible to treat afterwards.  Contaminated with deadly chemical products and our own excrement, which then are sent untreated to pollute rivers, the sea, and finally our pure source of water.  Fourth, and most scary of all, industry uses more than all of use combined, to make yet more pointless stuff (which we now feel we can’t live without), the waste from which is definitely beyond redemption.

All our water currently comes from reservoirs and springs (underground reservoirs).  Which being a specific surface area and depth can only catch and hold a finite amount of water, regardless of how much rain there is.  The current system is very old, it wasn’t designed to meet the demand now being placed upon it (nor the treatment centres).  And while the obvious solution would be to build more, promote personal rainwater harvesting, and find new ways to treat contamination, this is the wrong route to take.  Why?  Because we’re not responsible enough.  Water is the most important resource on the planet (after oxygen).  If we really want to protect that, what little is left, then we have to act more sensibly.  Which means at the very least each household and business being allotted a sustainable quota per month, which if exceeded the supply is cut off.  Also, all waste water, like other forms of household/ industrial recycling, has to be treated separately rather than mixed together.

None of this is rocket science, it is simply common sense.