Monday, March 14, 2011

So What Do We Do Now?

The world's going crazy... but here's a few ideas that can help us all whatever's round the corner:

Learn About Forest Gardening
If there's any single thing you can study that can help you to live more sustainably, almost wherever you are, it's Forest Gardening. Much of the Earth would revert to forest quite quickly if we left it alone. Forest Gardening shows us how to work with this natural process and steer it towards a stacked abundance of food, materials, medicinal herbs etc etc whether you have several acres of field to work with, a city garden or even just a nearby roundabout or wasteland on which to do a little guerrilla gardening. This way of managing land is abundant, drought resistant, pest and disease resistant, low maintenance, builds and conserves soils and builds bio-diversity. It's already helping people in Nepal, Africa, India, Jordan and many other countries. More about Forest Gardening on separate blog page here.

Prepare to Share
If Mankind has any future on the Earth, it's going to be based on co-operation not on competition. People say that human nature won't change but that's seems just like giving up to me. They can't have felt what it's like when people work together putting their hearts into a project and they can't have seen what can be achieved. So look into formal co-operatives for land and housing management or just get together with people locally to do stuff. See more about Co-ops here.

Get Better Access to Land
Where does your food come from? Here in Powys we produce just a tiny fraction, less than 5%, of the food we consume - how secure is that? Much of the land here is currently a sheep-grazed desert and many farmers are struggling to pay their increased input costs - so how do we make the transition to secure, locally grown, land friendly food? Well check out what can be achieved on an acre of ex-industrial wasteland here: Cwm Harry Community Garden.

Think about your Energy Use
How would it effect you if your fuel quadrupled in price? It's not that far-fetched; in 1973 a 4% drop in the production of oil lead to just that, a quadrupling of the oil price and general upheaval. If you're locked into using a lot of electricity, petrol and gas you're getting more and more vulnerable. We're dependent on oil/gas energy for our food (ten calories of fossil fuel used for every single food calorie) let alone water treatment and supply, travel, heating, pharmaceuticals, plastics etc etc. And is it right to be complicit in the support of regimes like Gaddahfi's or the rape of Nigeria anyway? How would you cope say you had a ration of just 10% of the fuel you use at the moment? By the way, is anyone still keen on building more nuclear power stations? George Monbiot hitting the nail on the head about oil and Saudi Arabia here.

And General Ideas
What else is going to be useful as and when the power down comes? Here's a few suggestions:
  • learn how to use hand tools
  • health: check out your local complementary therapists
  • grow some food - even if its just a few herbs in a window box to get you started
  • get frugal, get resilient
  • meet people, make friends and do stuff locally
  • look into the idea that a shift in global consciousness is coming - it's one of my big hope for the future - you're welcome to join in my group meditation, more about that here 

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