Going on Instinct

I apologize for neglecting my blog. I have been busy trying to put my money where my mouth is. The permaculture thing…I think even permacultaralists find that too limiting. In theory it embodies a form of agriculture that is more romantic than practical in most applications.

Whatever form it takes for the would-be gardener, farmer, entrepreneur…the bottom line is the sense we can not sustain our current practices or our current lifestyle and that change must come. Change in the shape of reorganizing our priorities, finding a way to make time for our families and pleasures despite the pressures and questioning what is dished out by marketing campaigns, the media and our government.

The new climate change report will be swept under the carpet until we really face the reality of it and it is not an “if” but a “when”. It has already started with escalating energy costs and you may choose to believe there is a shortage because of low reserves or market speculation and civil unrest; but the truth is, they are way ahead of all of us at predicting usage, and civil unrest will always be the end result, not the driving factor of energy consumption.

The fear mongers are out there espousing the evils of Monsanto, genetically modified produce and livestock; flashing horrific videos of cattle being bludgeoned, newborn chicks being tossed out in garbage bags and demonizing fast food corporations. Shock and awe techniques because the science may not be there to make the case. But the science wasn’t there for the damage we were doing to our planet either. Now it is. And yet it slips quietly onto page 12 of the lifestyle section while the media focuses it’s eye on the more tangible; the more here and now and that makes it not a fact – not real anymore and most of us want to sleep at night.

So are they fear mongers? Sometimes we just know when something is bad. We don’t need science to tell us. Maybe, just maybe we know instinctively when we shouldn’t eat something, or we shouldn’t hunt all our food to the point of extinction. Sometimes all we have to go on is instinct.

Case in point: A farmer friend stopped to question the company applying sludge to the neighbours farm. They have low laying acreage adjacent and after a previous application, that acreage was orange the following year and remains relatively unproductive since. The friend asked if they were supposed to maintain a certain distance from property lines. She received a defensive, bullying response. Obviously employees who are trying to earn a living and tired of being attacked. Just like the owners of the land who can’t afford the high cost of commercial fertilizers and choose to ignore the controversy over sludge application because they can’t afford to be informed.

So there is the crux of the matter. Everyone lives to their means and if you try to take those means away you will meet with resistance. Understandably so. The answer does not lay in convincing anyone of the folly of their ways. Not the politicians, the farmers, the corporations or the consumers. It will come down to supply and demand. Only as individuals, whether you call it permaculture, living off the grid, environmentalism, treehugging, self sustainability; or whatever label that fits, in whatever form or fashion – each of us, choosing to make a difference through less consumption, less wanting, providing more for ourselves and having less of a carbon footprint – THAT is what will ultimately make the difference.

This is one time we can’t make a change as a group but as a group of individuals… we have yet to realize our power.

 

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June 23, 2014 · 12:38 am

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