P. 1


|Views: 81|Likes:
Published by James Corre

More info:

Published by: James Corre on Jan 20, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





at the heart of earth, art and spirit

November/December 2007 No.245

£4.95 US$9.75


at the heart of earth, art and spirit

Resurgence Trust is a registered educational charity (charity number 1120414). The magazine and its associated network of individuals and groups are dedicated to the service of the soil, soul and society. Our aim is to help create a world based on justice, equity and respect for all beings.

EDITORIAL AND ADVERTISING OFFICE: Ford House, Hartland, Bideford, Devon EX39 6EE, UK Tel: + 44 (0) 127 44129 Fax: + 44 (0) 127 44120 info@resurgence.org Editors: Satish kumar Lorna Howarth Sophie Poklewski koziell Art Editor: John Lane Poetry Editor: Peter Abbs Design: David Baker Sub-editor: Helen Banks Editorial Assistant: Jo Oland Associate Editors: Herbert Girardet, Hazel Henderson, Rebecca Hossack, David kingsley, June Mitchell, Nick Robins, Jonathan Robinson, James and Margaret Sainsbury, Andrew Simms Advisory Panel: Ramesh Agrawal, Rosie Boycott, Ros Coward, Oliver James, Philip Marsden, Geoff Mulgan, Jonathon Porritt, Gordon Roddick, William Sieghart Office Manager: Lynn Batten Website Editor: Angie Burke Website Manager: Steve Hammett Advertising Manager: Gwydion Batten Advertising Sales: Andrea Thomas: Tel: + 44 (0)1491 814 andrea@resurgence.org PA to Satish Kumar: Juliette Collins Events Manager: Peter Lang Tel: + 44 (0) 20 8809 291 peterlang@resurgence.org

SUBSCRIPTION OFFICE: Jeanette Gill, Rocksea Farmhouse, St Mabyn, Bodmin, Cornwall PL30 3BR, UK Tel: + 44 (0) 1208 841824 Fax: + 44 (0) 1208 84125 subscribe@resurgence.org Subscription Rates: UK: direct debit £25 cheque £0 Overseas: Airmail £40 Surface mail £5 DISTRIBUTORS: USA: kent News Company 1402 Avenue B, Scottsbluff, NE 91 Tel: +1 08 5 2225 rmckinney@kentnews.com UK: Jeanette Gill, Rocksea Farmhouse, St Mabyn, Bodmin, Cornwall PL0 BR, Uk Tel: + 44 (0) 1208 841824 Fax: + 44 (0) 1208 84125 subscribe@resurgence.org Patrons: Claire and Roger Ash-Wheeler, Anthony and Carole Bamford, Roger Franklin, kim Samuel-Johnson, Doug Tompkins, Michael Watt, Louise White Life Subscribers: klaas and Lise Berkeley, Peter and Mimi Buckley, Mary Davidson, John Doyle, Rosemary Fitzpatrick, Hermann Graf-Hatzfelt, Brenda Lealman, Michael Livni, Mrs O. Oppenheimer, John Pontin, Colin Redpath, Gabriel Scally Penelope Schmidt, Philip Strong Sustainer Subscriber: Gillian Thirlwell

SUBSCRIPTION AGENTS: USA: Walt Blackford, Resurgence US, PO Box 404, Freeland, WA 98249 Airmail: US$7, Surface: US$ Australia: Tasmanian Environment Centre, 102 Bathurst St., Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 7000 Tel: 0 24 55 Fax: 0 24 554 The Ethos Foundation, 7 Bibaringa Close, Beechmont, Qld 4211, Australia, Tel: 07 55 4 info@ethosfoundation.org Airmail: A$97, Surface: A$84 Japan: Fair Trade Company/Global Village 2F, 2-1-29 Jiyugaoka, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan 152-005 Tel: + 81  571 71 Fax: + 81  571 77 planning@globalvillage.or.jp Airmail: ¥9588, Surface: ¥890 New Zealand: Doug Green, PO Box 1100, Hastings, New Zealand Tel: + 4 870 4194 words@xtra.co.nz Airmail: NZ$108, Surface: NZ$95 South Africa: Howard Dobson, SEEDS, 1 Willow Road, Constantia 780, Cape Town, South Africa Tel: + 27 2 1794 18 howdy@mweb.co.za Airmail: R55, Surface: R487 Printer: kingfisher Print, Totnes, Devon ISSN 0034-5970 Printed on Evolution paper: 75% recycled fiber/25% FSC certified virgin pulp, and soya-based inks.

82 Resurgence No. 245 November/December 2007


Bringing beauty into public spaces.
Anita’s own life reflected this message: her creativity gave rise to one of the most innovative, precedent-setting companies of the 20th century, which raised the bar for ethical and corporate social responsibility. One of the many joys of being in Anita’s company were her incredible flights of imagination: she had the ability to easily deconstruct a particular problem or issue and come up with the most astonishing solutions – ones that at first seemed unrealistic or even downright crazy, but that turned out to be ground-breaking and visionary. To Anita, nothing was impossible. She was able to ‘think outside the box’ and challenged ‘authority’ at all levels. If she was told that something could not be done, in her unique way and with colourful language she would ask, “Why the hell not?” And she would go and do it. Anita Roddick intuitively understood that humanity will never be able to solve the many problems it faces with the same mindset that created them. She knew that imagination is the key to a sustainable, equitable future on this planet and that beauty is the key to a joyful and creative life. Her article in this issue is, sadly, the last she will write for Resurgence. We will Anita Roddick PHOTOGRAPH: ADRIAN BROOkS/PA WIRE/PA PHOTOS sorely miss her voice of wisdom and her rebellious spirit. So, it is fitting that her last testament should be a call to beauty: that in order T IS WITH a great sense of loss that we dedifor life to be joyful and meaningful, it should also cate this issue of Resurgence to our dear friend be beautiful. Anita raged against the ugliness of and long-time supporter Anita Roddick, who industrial society both physically and spiritually and died unexpectedly on 10th September 2007. It was it was her wish that humanity should seek out and Anita who had the idea for this issue’s feature on celebrate the beauty that is life. ‘The Moral Economy’. She talked to us at length about the need to evolve as individuals and societies to embrace a new set of values – those that respect THE RESURGENCE TEAM creativity, imagination and beauty.



Resurgence No. 245 November/December 2007 

27 POVERTY AND THE MORAL ECONOMY ANITA RODDICK’S LAST TESTAMENT: CURRENCY OF IMAGINATION BILL BRYSON • WANGARI MAATHAI PETER RANDALL-PAGE WOLFGANG SACHS • ANDREW SIMMS EMPOWERMENT WANGARI MAATHAI Social justice and sustainability are prerequisites for peace. UK SANDy BROWN A fluid.95 US$9. REGULARS 3 BEAUTY & IMAGINATION TRIBUTE TO ANITA RODDICk 16 A CHERISHED LAND BILL BRySON A pledge to safeguard England’s national heritage. sculpture by Emily Young. unpredictable process. most recently Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book LINDA SCOTT is a freelance illustrator 44 PATTERN AND METAPHOR LORNA HOWARTH The sculpture of Peter Randall-Page. from Time in the Stone. 2007. 4 Resurgence No. war and climate change. ILLUSTRATORS NOMA BAR illustrates for The Guardian CLIFFORD HARPER is a militant anarchist MATT kENyON illustrates for The Guardian TRUDA LANE is an artist living in North Devon AxEL SCHEFFLER illustrates children’s books.com 30 ECONOMICS OF HAPPINESS HELENA NORBERG-HODGE Community is a key ingredient for health and wellbeing. sculpture by Antony Gormley PHOTOGRAPH: HARRyMOON/istockphoto.245 £4. 50 SENSIBLE SOLUTIONS OLIVER TICkELL UNDERCURRENTS 38 LOWER CARBON.245 November/December 2007 at the heart of earth. we need a new currency. HIGHER QUALITY POORAN DESAI How will low-carbon lifestyles work? 52 TURNING POINT CAROLE BAMFORD 54 GARDENING BRIGITTE NORLAND 40 GLOBO-PETRO-COPS TONy CLARkE Oil. Another Place. . K E Y N OT E S 10 ECOCIDE PETER BUNyARD Mitigating climate change through rainforest protection. 245 November/December 2007 .CONTENTS F RO N T L I N E 6 7 8 A DROP TO DRINK KEEPING IT LOCAL FASCINATING FUNGI ENERGY LESSONS CARBON DIET No. 34 NATURAL ECONOMY MIGUEL MENDONÇA Addressing climate change by working with Nature. . 13 THE TYRANNY OF URGENCY CARLO PETRINI Gastronomy and ecological wisdom. 32 EARTH I LOVE SATISH kUMAR Nature is the real source of our wealth. art and spirit THE MORAL ECONOMY 22 MORAL COMPASS ANDREW SIMMS What is the economy for. published by Tacit Hill Editions. 48 SLOW TRAVEL BARBARA HADDRILL 18 NONVIOLENCE JACk SANTA BARBARA Strengthening effectiveness through shared values. 56 LETTERS TO THE EDITORS T H E A RT S 42 POETRY FIONA SAMPSON The new eco-poets.75 24 CURRENCY OF THE IMAGINATION ANITA RODDICk To restore beauty in our economy. 47 MARBLING June. 9 GREEN MARKETING WASTE NOT . and how do we know if it is succeeding? November/December 2007 No.

www. by subscribing to the Friends of Resurgence email newsletter. There is also a fascinating article called ‘Beauty and the Bomb’ by Christopher Powici that discusses our perception of landscape and how what we find beautiful is not always natural. 245 November/December 2007 5 .org and how it is actually degrading rather than enhancing the quality of food. a delve into innovation in the food industry Resurgence No. Deborah Ravetz dicusses the work of artist Sylvia von Hartmann in her article ‘A Cause for Celebration’. are available for download from our website at a special price. book reviews.htm Resurgence Newsletter Receive regular updates from Resurgence with information on articles. www. 2007. from Journey Through The British Isles by Harry Cory Wright. To view the current newsletter and sign up visit www.org/sales/download. PLEASE SEE PAGE 82 www.org/selection. ISBN 978-1-8589-4367-1 FOR CONTACT INFORMATION FOR RESURGENCE OFFICES AND AGENTS.REVIEWS 58 IN MY OWN WORDS Fair Future WOLFGANG SACHS 61 AGRICULTURE OF NONSENSE COLIN TUDGE reviews A History of World Agriculture 65 THINKING DIFFERENTLY MARy TASkER reviews Visionaries of the 20th Century 62 UNDER STRESS LORNA HOWARTH reviews The Upside of Down 66 FOOD AT ITS FULLEST PETER kINDERSLEy reviews Slow Food Nation 59 MONOPOLISING ADVANTAGE DAVID BOyLE reviews Tescopoly 63 WHOLE PLANET RE-THINK HORATIO MORPURGO reviews Earthy Realism 67 WE ARE ARCHITECTS OF AN EMPTY HOUSE PETER ABBS reviews North Flight 60 LESSONS FROM THE PAST DAN GRACE reviews A New Green History of the World 64 GIVING NATURE ITS DUE EDMUND O’SULLIVAN reviews Nature’s Due 68 CLASSIFIED ADVERTS 70 DISPLAY ADVERTS Mawddach Estuary.resurgence. published by Merrell.resurgence. UK. and many of our back issues (some now out of print). There you will find a piece by John Moat called ‘Clayman’ on the surreal and inspiring work of artist Andrew Wood.org/selection Online Issues PDF files of our current issue.resurgence. news and events. Last but not least is Karen Rideout’s ‘Food for Thought’.resurgence.resurgence.org/friends Editors’ Selection To read a selection of articles that didn’t make it into the magazine this issue. Then. visit www.

F R O N T L I N E NEWS FROM THE GRASSROOTS Researched and edited by Paul kingsnorth for water and sanitation. in four chosen pilot areas. 245 November/December 2007 . where fresh-water shortages are a major problem. seeing them as less important than other services such as health and education. There is still a long way to go. “The best way to achieve these global targets is to bring them down to local government level. Most people walk miles to collect dirty. Bernice lives in the Afram Plains in east Ghana.” says Emmanuel Addai of WaterAid Ghana. More than 9 million people have no access to safe drinking water in Ghana. the final results are then collated and analysed. safe water. and algae congregates on the surface. trachoma and typhoid. if any. It also assigned a dangerously low budget Bernice and her daughter carry murky water many miles PHOTOGRAPH: kATE ESCHELBy  Resurgence No. the world’s largest artificial lake. Bare tree stumps protrude starkly out of the lake. bilharzia. making their local councils more accountable. Citizen Action meetings are then held. Despite these hurdles the LMDGI has been so successful that Ghana’s central authority in charge of rural water and sanitation is to extend it beyond the pilot areas. With thanks to Kate Eschelby for this article. rather than looking at the specific needs of different regions. Communities first fill out questionnaires detailing what. Lake Volta. and traditionally relying on NGOs to provide them. standing knee deep they collect the day’s rations. For a long time. the Local Millennium Development Goal Initiative (LMDGI). needs are defined by the communities themselves. even remote ones. But now things are beginning to change.” says Gladys Ankuvie. It will now be used nationally to plan water and sanitation services. water and sanitation provisions they have. where people discuss the services supplied to them. This methodology has been carried out in all the villages. Ghana’s central government planned water and sanitation for the country as a whole. “We finally have a voice. BERNICE LIFTS THE bucket of murky water onto her young daughter’s head. Under the new scheme. from Samankwae village. Her reaction is typical. one of the few sources of water in Ghana PHOTOGRAPH: kATE ESCHELBy GHANA A DROP TO DRINK Citizen action for clean. A new scheme. including Ghana. but at last people in Ghana are beginning to control their own fate – or at least what they drink. The idea is simple: search for the solution within local communities. is currently being implemented in six West African countries. with thousands suffering waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea. guinea worm disease. untreated water from Lake Volta.


Community currencies can be used to sideline corporate monopolies. FOR yEARS, THE march of the megastores and the corporate behemoths across the American landscape has been seen as unstoppable. Wal-Mart, Starbucks and the rest have killed thousands of small shops and sucked the life out of communities with their below-cost pricing and ruthless targeting of competitors. But in recent years some of those communities have been developing innovative ways of fighting back. One of them is the Southern Berkshire region of Massachusetts, which has been making headlines all over the world in recent months with its innovative local currency, BerkShares.

With enthusiastic support from local businesses, banks and citizens, BerkShares is helping to strengthen the ties of community, and hold back the tide of corporate ‘box stores’. BerkShares began life in 200, when local people got together with the local E. F. Schumacher society to develop a local currency that could be used for local services, and exchanged for dollars. BerkShares Inc., a non-profit organisation, works with the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, participating local banks, local businesses, and local NGOs and charities, with the aim of maximising local trade in local businesses. If local currencies seem like a new idea, they are anything but. In the early 19th century they were widely used across the USA. Today, as the dollar loses its value and people lose faith in the corporate economy, they are enjoying a resurgence. BerkShares can be bought at local

banks with dollars, and spent at participating local businesses, which give customers using them a 10% discount. All the BerkShares spent remain within the local community and benefit the local businesses that accept them. The people who use this currency make a conscious commitment to buy local first. ”I just love the feel of using a local currency,” says Trice Atchison, a local teacher. “It keeps the profit within the community.” Her attitude is typical of the growing number of people using the currency: there are 844,000 BerkShares in circulation, and 280 participating businesses, and the numbers are growing. So popular are they that local banks are considering installing cash machines to dispense them, and issuing debit cards. Pk For more information visit www.berkshares.org


Cleaning up contamination created by the petroleum industry. OVER FORTy yEARS of oil extraction in the Ecuadorian Amazon have created what may well be the worst oil-related disaster on the planet. The incidence of cancer and other illnesses is among the highest in the world. It has been likened to an ‘Environmental Chernobyl’ – and is all the more disastrous for being so under-reported and little known in the wider world. The highly toxic river water contains a mixture of petroleum, heavy metals and radioactive substances, all created by oil firms over decades of destructive extraction. At present, Texaco is being sued by 0,000 local people over the toxic wasteland it left behind during its twenty years of oil exploitation in the region. Cleaning up this pollution will be an enormous task, but it may be helped by a newly developed technique known as mycorestoration, a permaculture technique which uses Nature to clean up what industry has messed up.

The Ecuadorian Amazon has been severely polluted by waste from Texaco oil production

Mycorestoration involves the detoxification of contaminated soil and water through the use of fungi. Published data from multiple experiments has demonstrated its efficacy. Fungi growing on contaminated soil have shown an extraordinary capacity to metabolise petroleum and other industrial pollution. The method is incredibly simple. It involves filling burlap bags with substances such as woodchips, straw or coffee grounds and placing inside them cardboard lined with mushroom spawn. The bags are then laid on the affected area. The fungi is able to break down hydrogen and carbon and absorb concentrated amounts of heavy metals. The soil can then be turned into mushroom compost and used to grow hardwood trees, which will absorb the heavy metals. If the trial is successful, it could lead to

much wider use of this pioneering natural technology. The oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) has been found to be the best at breaking down hydrocarbons and a number of other pollutants. A native fungus in the Amazon is also being cultivated for the Amazon Mycoremediation Project, which is run by an international group of scientists, teachers, activists and researchers. This pilot project will include the cultivation and inoculation of a native mushroom species at three contaminated sites within the region. It will be the first time mycorestoration has been used in the Amazon. Further information: www.cloudforest.org/Solution_to_the_Pollution or www.eyesofgaia.com With thanks to Nicola Peel for this article.

Resurgence No. 245 November/December 2007 7

sounds a bit too much like hard work, the school also has its own composting area, its own orchard, and a greywater collection system to refill its wildlife pond, providing ample opportunities for the children to gain a hands-on understanding of ecology. “We are proud that we go to a school which is trying to save the planet,” say the pupils. Meanwhile, over in Cheshire, Woodheys primary school is equally enthusiastic. The school aims to reduce its carbon footprint through energy audits, installing photovoltaics and energy monitoring systems, and Pupils from Seaton primary school, Devon feeding their wormery COURTESy: ANDy AITCHSON/ashdenawards.org rethinking the travel of its pupils and teachers. The year Six Energy Team reads the meit. The school is pioneering a range Uk ters which tell the school how much of renewable energy technologies. It energy it uses, and reports back to has a wind turbine and photovoltaic the eco-school council. Every year, panels on the school roof. These money is invested in new energy-relink to display meters in the school Students lead the way with their ducing technologies. Every corridor hall that show the pupils how much eco-clubs and eco-councils. and class now has energy-efficient electricity their school is using every lights and energy is taught throughday. The swimming pool gets its heat out the curriculum, with a special WHILE POLITICIANS AND environfrom solar panels. Meanwhile, the focus on the connections between mentalists exhort us to live more pupils themselves take part actively the big issues and the everyday lives sustainably, to think about climate in monitoring and reducing their of the pupils. change, to reduce our energy use impact on the environment. Pupils Both schools have made such an and our waste, it seems that the next are employed as energy agents, and impact that they were finalists in generation is already way ahead. Two make up an eco-club, which reports this year’s Ashden Awards, which primary schools, in different parts of to the school assemblies. promote the best energy efficiency Britain, show how young children There is an energy task force, projects in the country. are already acting to create a greener which promotes cycling and walking future. to school and studies of weather, Further information: The motto of Seaton primary climate change and energy use, www.seatonprimary.co.uk and school in Devon is ‘Caring now for linked to lessons about personal www.woodheys.trafford.sch.uk the future’, and it tries to live up to behaviour in everyday life. If that all



Calculating your daily ecological footprint. TROUBLED By THE lack of accuracy of some of the ‘carbon calculators’ currently used by people to calculate their contribution to climate change, British computer expert James Smith

has invented the Carbon Diet. The new website – which he calls “a carbon calculator on steroids” – is an interactive carbon calculator. Rather than providing a single yearly figure for carbon use, the Carbon Diet calculates your daily footprint, which you keep up to date by entering data on a regular basis. This allows you to see exactly how your footprint varies based on your activities. The site also suggests customised actions you can take to

improve your footprint. As well as using the carbontracking features of the site, you can also make your profile public, add ‘friends’, and join ‘groups’, which enables you to compare yourself with people you know or with whom you share a certain interest. This could turn out to be the Facebook of climate change. Pk To use the Carbon Diet, go to www.carbondiet.org

8 Resurgence No. 245 November/December 2007


Turning sustainable behaviour from a chore to a pleasure. THERE IS A rising tide of green consciousness which means people are at the point where they are ready to be tipped into behaviour change. Research shows that in the Uk alone there are about 40 million people who are ready to adopt a sustainable lifestyle. But the problem is that there is a gap between their intention and their action.

In a way, this gap can be seen as a failure of ‘green marketing’. There has been a conspicuous lack of rigorous thinking about how to connect with people and get them to change their behaviour. The campaigns seem to be either too preachy or too complicated. So, why not reframe the problem of adopting a sustainable lifestyle and make it something people actually want to do rather than feel they ought to do? Green Thing is a new online marketing effort to make this shift. In Africa there’s an innovation called the PlayPump. This children’s merry-go-round is attached to a water pump and storage tank that provide essential clean drinking water to children and families. As the children play, the water is pumped

and a serious environmental problem is effortlessly solved by imagination and delight. Green Thing works in the same way, turning sustainable behaviour from a chore into a pleasure. Green Thing makes it as easy as possible for people to take themselves on a deeper journey of understanding by offering environmental explanation at a pace and a depth that every person is comfortable with. Green Thing then suggests and facilitates more meaningful ways you can change your lifestyle. To take part, visit www.dothegreenthing.com With thanks to Andy Hobsbawm for this article.


Transforming food waste into biogas. INDIA HAS LONG had a tradition of throwing waste food onto the roadsides for animals to eat. In small rural villages this was often a sensible thing to do, but in today’s towns and cities it is causing a real problem. Scavenging dogs, rats and crows, and the foul smells generated by rotting food are proving a serious health hazard. Because the climate in India is so warm, the health problems are exacerbated. But the warm climate, which makes the food rot more quickly, also provides an opportunity for a more environmentally sound solution to the problem of food waste. BIOTECH India, an NGO based in kerala, has found a way to transform food waste into biogas. Crucially, it does so at a small-scale local level which benefits ordinary people. BIOTECH makes various sizes and types of biogas plant, ranging from large ones for schools, hostels and local councils to small household plants. The prefabricated parts enable the plants to be constructed simply and quickly, and 12,000 of them have already been installed in households in the

Biogas plant supplied by BIOTECH at Panavila Muslim Working Women’s Hostel,Trivandrum COURTESy: ashdenawards.org state. Householders and local community leaders are clamouring for more, as the project removes food waste and health risks from the streets and provides clean, cheap energy. The residue from the plants is even used as a fertiliser, ensuring that, as in natural systems, nothing is wasted. So successful has the project been that BIOTECH India was an international finalist in this year’s Ashden Awards for sustainable energy solutions. Pk Visit: www.ashdenawards.org/ finalists_2007

Resurgence No. 245 November/December 2007 9

We are now playing with technologies to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases. will have minimal impact on a process that surely is governed and powered by the Sun. with our chainsaws. modifying the amount of heat stored at the Earth’s surface. life gives us a relatively stable climate. but we have crudely deemed that disrupting and tearing up ecosystems. take the easy way out and leave life out of the equation! yes. I N THE DEBATE about global warming. we will install thousands upon thousands of wind machines.K E Y N O T E S C L I M AT E C H A N G E P E T E R B U N YA R D ECOCIDE Forest clearance for ranching. as a result of burning fossilised life — we have not just omitted life’s current role in forming climate. 245 November/December 2007 . then protecting rainforests and other ecosystems around the world is of paramount importance. JR. Roraima State. In its totality and working together through complex and symbiotic relationships. would be able to alter and regulate climate. We will dump carbon dioxide from power stations in spent oil wells. Amazon PHOTOGRAPH: JOHN MAIER. therefore. on account of the difficulty of putting precise numbers to life’s role in generating climate. in our obsession with greenhousegas emissions — ironically. say the climate change cynics. Gaia is always in the process of modifying conditions at the Earth’s surface. we forget at our peril the role of ecosystems in giving us a climate we can live with. 10 Resurgence No. How absurd. to imagine that life. which. How inadequate. from bacteria to the massive whale or towering redwood trees. are the great majority of climate models. regulating the clouds that bring rain to the continents. and bringing about temperature regulation as an emergent property of the intertwined system of life and its local environment./STILL PICTURES If we are truly concerned about climate change. yet a better scientific understanding of the power of that veneer of life to alter everything has put the ball firmly back in the court of human responsibility for global warming and climate change. Life co-evolving with our planet over thousands of millions of years has created an environment apt for millions upon millions of species. and changing the colour of the Earth so that it differentially absorbs energy from the Sun or reflects it back into space. bull- dozers and monoculture agro-industry. as no more than a puny veneer on the Earth’s surface.

the idea that ‘bioPHOTOGRAPH: © AMAZON-IMAGES/ALAMy fuels’ are ‘green’. The list goes on. of course. And. and 20% in hectares of forests destroyed to make the USA by 2020 will consume a sixth of the world’s cropland. just as President Bush has said. Putumayo and Caquetá in the Cordilleras of the Andes – rivers that in coming together form the largest single transport of fresh water in the world. we will build nuclear power stations to generate electricity. governments are complicit in the process. in the mad rush to make money out of climate change. sucks in gases from the destruction of tropical the mighty trade winds that traverse rainforest. while sowing it with genetically modified crops and pouring on poisons to wipe out any living opposition to their scheme of absolute domination. the land mass of an India? WE HAVE FORGOTTEN the role of ecosystems and the incalculable services that they provide. fuelled by the condensation by putting the stuff in the fuel tanks of water vapour which the forest has of our cars. we will cover roofs with photovoltaics that capture sunlight and convert it to electricity. as have Malaysia and Paraguay. and not least. would take generations America. or way for the ‘green’ fuels of the future. soya and not least African Oil Palm (Elaeis guineensis). they gives thirty times more energy per hectare than US maize – to make up. How unbelievably selfish and stupid we are to permit the dismantling of the world’s great tropical forests. If it were not for the evapotranspiration from the trees. Indeed. Brazil is adding sugar cane to soya as an Amazonian crop. we must keep the global system running. so that we don’t have to alter one jot our consumer aspirations. if ever. with the plan to sow 0. Convection ever anol requires an investment of energy upwards of the air mass over the Amathat is 70% more than can be gained zon Basin. Overall. as they are consumed. assisted by an illegal militia or even by the army? How many of those who have stayed to work the plantations have found their health ruined because of the massive use of agrotoxins? How many forests have been eliminated from the face of the Earth so that we can run our cars on ‘green’ fuels? And what has happened to soils.000 hectares alongside the BR-17 road in Acre. rivers and indeed climate as a result of planting crops that are tailor-made to respond to agrochemicals? Cumulus storm cloud over the Amazon River.We are talking of tens of millions of fuel substitution for petroleum products in Europe. And the more we rape and pillage. by the agro-multinationals. Africa or Southeast Asia. How many tens of thousands of farmers and their families have had their lands wrenched from them and have lost their livelihoods and means of support? How many have been murdered for resisting the corrupt practices of governments. pick up volumes and volumes of water. which. with their suite of chemicals. The use of maize in the important than the mighty rainforests United States for the production of ethof the Amazon Basin. And while those winds are upon generations of oil palm – which passing over the tropical Atlantic. is getting in on the act. The release of greenhouse pumped into the atmosphere. with all the emissions being reabsorbed conveniently back into the system? In other words. Indonesia alone has destroyed the majority of its biodiverse-rich forests to make way for plantations of oil palm. We are now in the hands of massive agro-industrial enterprises that gobble up land as fast as they can. Let technology do the work. too. Fuelled by cheap petroleum we have destroyed a staggering proportion of the world’s tropical forests in the fifty years since the end of the Second World War. 245 November/December 2007 11 . will probably prove the last straw for our beleaguered planet. just enough to keep moist the rainforests over a stretch of more than 4.000 kilometres and to form the grand rivers. Meanwhile. Bush has belatedly realised that his ‘head in the sand’ policies have left the United States out of the loop. And how on Earth can we justify that the 10% of bio. Colombia. we will construct tidal turbines and wave machines. Even the idea of rocketing up a reflective shield to send the Sun’s rays harmlessly out to space has been mooted yet again in the United States. in our scrabble for energy. some 200 tonnes of carbon the ocean between Africa and South per hectare. Peru In fact. Napo.some on hill tops. whether in South America. we are talking of tens of millions of hectares of forests destroyed to make way for the ‘green’ fuels of the future. the more we discover the extraordinary role that tropical forests play in determining climate. with more and more elaborate and high-tech ways to prevent CO2 from floating dangerously into the atmosphere. And how virtuous is the project of transforming chaotic Nature into a production line for ‘green’ biofuels. through carbon dealing and giving multinational agribusiness full rein. and not least their role in giving us a liveable climate. And. What hubris! The very production of biofuels. for there’s money to be made – bags of it.000 square kilometres a year going up in smoke. The Amazon Basin is now being invaded. such as Madeira. by managing life we are managing the planet. benign fuels is for the most part the biggest Nowhere on Earth can be more deceit ever. the same drop of water from the ocean Resurgence No. forests further to the west of the air circulation system would never receive sufficient rain to enable them to survive. as never before. Just the sort of thing that technomaniacs love. get replaced by new growth of the same energy crop. At all costs. with an average 20. from a suite of different crops that range from maize and rapeseed to sugar cane. some out at sea.

Brazil PHOTOGRAPH: RICARDO FUNARI/STILL PICTURES 12 Resurgence No.000 million tonnes of water are evaporated and transpired every day over the 5 million square kilometres of the Legal Amazon of Brazil. a fact that few. if any of the Argentinian landowners – increasingly engaged in producing soya for agro fuels – are aware of. the largest hydroelectric dam in the world. thousands of miles away from the Amazon Basin. In blaming greenhouse gases emitted from our factories. electricity production. the rainforests of the Amazon are effectively managing their local climate. Peter Bunyard is Science Editor of the Ecologist. until the entire system collapses. The deforestation now taking place over the Amazon Basin is an act of global ecocide. is therefore an essential part of the air circulation system. Some 20. we could find the impact of global warming far worse than anticipated in the latest report of the International Panel on Climate Change. THE UNAVOIDABLE CONCLUSION is that. The boost to global warming will make irrelevant our efforts. Trying to match biofuel production with our current and projected use of fossil fuels will be the death of us all. near Santarem. through the kyoto Protocol. 245 November/December 2007 . Clouds begin to form and convection upwards again takes place. involving the transfer via water vapour of forty times more energy than is currently used by all humans on the planet. The Brazilian climatologist Antonio Nobre estimates that the energy required to bring about that evapotranspiration is equivalent to the summed output of Itaipu. its ability to recycle essential rain becomes more and more threatened. Consequently. Deforestation for agribusiness. for as the forest is cut back. to the more temperate parts of the planet. Rain now falls and the forest receives its essential watering. With that collapse the atmosphere will be filled with the greenhouse gases from the destruction and decay of the vegetation and we will have lost forever an essential energy pump and deliverer of water over most of the South American continent. as a gigantic. we are neglecting at our peril the role that the Amazon and other rainforests play. It should be of no surprise that our climate is being profoundly affected by what we are doing to the Amazon.K E Y N O T E S may therefore get recycled six or more times as the air mass passes over the rainforest towards the Andes. Such a powerful process. for a period of 15 years.000-million-tonne flush of water each day into the Atlantic Ocean via the Amazon River. The forest. But more foliage also translates into more transpiration. unless the world acts swiftly to prevent further deforestation in the Amazon. And it is that system which takes the latent energy inherent in water vapour out and away from the Amazon Basin to the higher latitudes. to reduce carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. by which water is drawn up from the roots and passes out of the stomata in the leaves in the form of water vapour. drawing in humid air over the equatorial line. Para State. irreplaceable water pump. an amount that exceeds the 17. by intensifying the rate of evapotranspiration. The rainforests of the Amazon also react to the penetrating sunshine of their summer by increasing their foliage to benefit from enhanced photosynthesis. transportation systems. has consequences for climate all over the globe. agriculture and non-sustainable consumer lifestyle as a cause of climate change. The destruction of ecosystems for biofuel production is not the solution: it has become the problem. gets no less than half of its rain courtesy of the rainforest. Argentina.

as he explained to me: “It’s not worth it: the Dutch ones are cheaper and nobody buys ours any longer. I HAPPENED to be travelling. passing via Bra. scented.G A S T RO N O M Y • C A R L O P E T R I N I THE TYRANNY OF URGENCY Amaranth is a crop of South American origin which can be harvested for its grain. the small provincial town where I live and where the international movement Slow Food is based. the peperonata served was awful – completely tasteless. I drove on down the road towards Bra. Only here and there do you still find a few surviving greenhouses where food is grown. The square peppers of Asti. The art of eco-gastronomy can help to restore this wisdom. It’s hard work producing them and it’s all wasted effort. a wonderful variety of pepper now on the verge of extinction. and perfect for export – but utterly tasteless. Southern Piedmont has always been an agricultural region. a common Italian dish whose Piedmont version is traditionally made with the ‘square’ peppers of Asti. but more recently the area has seen the introduction of small industries and the emergence of burgeoning international tourism. Along the road – if you make just the smallest of detours – the concentration of excellent restaurants and traditional osterie serving local cuisine is far higher than in any other part of Italy. who confirmed that it was indeed here that those magnificent vegetables had been grown. To my great disappointment. The chef’s skills were not in doubt. Resigned to the fact that the wonderful peperonata had gone forever. especially as the slowness of the road always gives plenty of time to meditate at length on ‘development’ and its effects. then?” I asked.E C O . My friend told me that he no longer used the same ingredients as those of the peperonata that echoed in my gustatory-olfactory memory. “Tulip bulbs! And after we’ve grown the bulbs. a traditional recipe distorted out of all recognition.” “What do you grow now. completely overturning the two agricultural traditions that had once firmly embedded them in their original ecosystems. It was here that I began to learn about gastronomy. nutrition. It is a depressing experience to drive through such squalid surroundings. a fleshy. I stopped at a place called Costigliole d’Asti: surely this was where they used to grow those square Asti peppers? What could be under those nylon sheets now? I met a farmer. we have lost so much traditional knowledge regarding taste. I wanted to have a helping of this speciality to refresh myself after the tiring journey. It runs alongside a string of factories. Passing along one of the stretches of road where there are still some greenhouses. products that were the symbols of two different regions being grown more than a thousand kilometres away from their respective homes. But to return to that day in 199: on my way home. 245 Novemb er/December 2007 1 . or its leaves can be eaten as a green vegetable PHOTOGRAPH:ANTONIA REEVE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARy In our headlong rush towards development at any cost. But not any more. using hybrid varieties that were visually striking with their garish colours. had almost ceased to be grown locally. because they had been supplanted by peppers imported from Holland that were cheaper. but by its gastronomy too. He smiled. I had come up against one of the paradoxes of agro-industry and its interaction with globalisation: peppers crossing frontiers and travelling over mountains in exchange for tulips. suburban shopping centres and big-box stores that are among the worst architectural horrors that could possibly be imagined. I stopped at a restaurant owned by a friend whom I hadn’t seen for several years and who was renowned for his peperonata. and goodness knows how much pollution from fertilisers and pesticides and from exhaust fumes discharged into the air by container trucks and other vehicles going back and forth across Europe. That day for me was the official starting date of eco-gastronomy: where produce must be grown in a I N 199. The highway that runs across this countryside. so I asked for an explanation for this great deterioration in flavour. drawn not just by the beauty of southern Piedmont’s hilly landscape. part of my training as a gastronome to the chefs and farmers of this area. grown with intensive farming methods. we send them to Holland where they bring them into bloom. has become a striking symbol of the ‘affluence’ that has transformed the land of my birth. tasty variety. as well as being notorious for its inadequacies as a thoroughfare. biodiversity and agriculture. along the highway that links Cuneo with Asti. and I owe a crucial Resurgence No. as I often do.” I was dumbfounded.

I went on a trip to Mexico. it has become extremely serious water shortage) as well as havrare. a country and a culture of which I am very fond and which I had not visited for some time. As far as corn is concerned. Hybrid corn threatens the not only does the plant need very little very basis of traditional Mexican cuiwater to complete its productive cycle. it has made Mexican gastronomy one of the most complex in the world. was the once enabled it to subsist on the freely basis of the Aztec diet. but was available fruits of nature. such as amawithin two generations the local population ranth. of the more than 1. DURING THE SUMMER of 2001. the commercialisation of seeds. making it difficult for remaining farmers to avoid being drawn into the vicious circle imposed by multinationals (i. almost 80% have been patented by US multinationals searching for new hybrids. together with beans had lost all the traditional knowledge that had and corn. for poorer taste. skilfully cooked by the women and rich in flavours which vary according to the type of corn used. San Cristobal de Las Casas. fertilisers and pesticides). The spread of Industrial agriculture and modernisation has the intensive cultivation of corn has wiped the slate clean. resulting in a reduced agricultural workforce. many parts of Mexico suffer from a As a result. formed over thousands of years. made with corn soaked but it also constitutes an ideal supple- culture of its traditional knowledge. but its primary effect had been to impose methods of industrial farming. which were always based on local products. all it took was the threatened other introduction of a few cultivatable varieties and vegetable species too.e. banned by the first colonisers because placed by those very same US hybrids. This food.000 indigenous varieties that evolved over the centuries in perfect harmony with the various Mexican ecosystems. The small-scale family-based subsistence farming they practised was no longer profitable: the neighbouring United States had created illusions with the glitter of its products and stimulated new needs. and this is a pity. and who were now clogging up the suburbs of the capital in the hope of making a living. 245 November/December 2007 . where I saw the extreme poverty endured by millions of people who had left the countryside after selling off what little land they possessed. gradually forgotten by the local ing a far lower nutritional value and farming cultures. it was assumed to be associated with which need much more water (and the rituals these civilisations practised. sine: tortillas. Mexico PHOTOGRAPH: MICHELE FALZONE/JAI/CORBIS sustainable way and biodiversity and local traditions of cuisine and production must be preserved even if it costs more. Chiapas Province. These local varieties have then been gradually re- 14 Resurgence No.K E Y N O T E S San Juan Chamula market. This gastronomic richness should not be underestimated: together with the infinite variety of traditional Indian cuisines. I stayed for a while in the Federal District of the immense Mexico City. and stripping a farming in water with a little lime – a homemade product.

Their house was modest. is gradually supplanting corn tortillas in the everyday diet of the poorer sectors of society. The two women stopped by the side of the short path down which we were walking. all it took was the introduction of a few cultivatable varieties that do not actually thrive in this increasingly arid environment. Why?” replied the woman of the house. but she had no idea how to cook them. and within two generations the local population had lost all the traditional knowledge that had once enabled it to subsist on the freely available fruits of Nature. but they were very dignified and expressed satisfaction at having found a plant. a recipe. Industrial agriculture and modernisation have wiped the slate clean. the house was completely surrounded by weeds. that was easier to grow and more profitable than corn. “No. I visited a tiny family-run farm to see a small amaranth allotment and to hear from the farmers themselves what they thought of the project. “It’s excellent for making caldos (soups and broth) and it’s very nutritious and tasty too. which denies and conceals the complexity of the world and of the relations and interdependencies that characterise it. to a model of development that is incompatible with the needs of the planet. they’re traditional to your people. where the desert is inexorably advancing. fragments of Coca-Cola bottles. an ancient wisdom. The little amaranth field was close to the farm buildings. The attention of the women (both of them cooks. Quantity is the main if not the sole criterion for judging human activities. Jérôme Bindé of UNESCO says. 2006. in fact. So. The Quali project combines with an ingenious plan to regenerate the water supply using some clever methods devised by the ancient inhabitants of this area. Gastronomes should know about agriculture because we want to know about food and we want to support agricultural methods that preserve biodiversity and the associated tastes and knowledge. as we have until now. creating many nutritional problems in a country where white bread made from wheat had never formed part of the traditional diet. and as we walked back to the farmhouse after viewing those colourful plants. Pan Bimbo. but very different from one another) was attracted to one of these leafy weeds. amaranth. Mexico PHOTOGRAPH: PETER MENZEL/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARy Resurgence No. THE SIDE-EFFECTS of the processes of industrialisation are clear in the poverty of those marginalised by ‘development’. The gastronome should have an environmental conscience and be well informed. “This is a wonderful herb! But I’m sure you know it. The recipes I discovered during my research originate from this very area. for without it we will be deceived in every way possible. The poverty of the family we met was unmistakable. ISBN 0 8478-2945-6. don’t you?” De’Angeli asked. Carlo Petrini is Founder of the Slow Food movement. and economics prevails over culture. and empty Pan Bimbo wrappers. Her house was surrounded by these freely growing herbs which over the centuries her ancestors had learned to use for nutritional and medicinal purposes. through the media and in politics.com Examples of native maize varieties grown in Oaxaca State. some of my own colleagues.slowfood. the best-known brand of bread produced by the Mexican food industry. I overheard an interesting conversation between De’Angeli and the wife of the farmer who was our host. 244 September/October 2007 15 . and Alicia De’Angeli. from respect for the environment. published by Rizzoli. the ecosystems and the rhythms of Nature to respect for human dignity. There were ‘weeds’ all along the path. With me went the directors of Quali. The aim is to make a significant improvement to everybody’s quality of life without having to submit. The crucial point now is no longer the quantity of food that is produced.” The perplexity of this farmer’s wife was shyly expressed on her face as she asked how to make soup with the plant. It is impossible to discuss food without discussing agriculture – all gastronomes should be aware of this. “The times we are living in today are entirely dominated by what I call ‘the tyranny of urgency’ … financially.” Our societies live in a kind of ‘instantaneanism’. she didn’t even know they were edible. had disappeared from local culture and made life even more difficult in this region where the temptation to sell your field and move to Mexico City or to take a job in the nearby maquiladoras making jeans for US firms is stronger than anywhere else in the country. a well-known Mexico City chef and an expert on native Mexican cuisine. the children played on a small threshing floor strewn with disused tools. in fact. Profit prevails over politics.ment to the country-dwellers’ diet. Extracts from Slow Food Nation by Carlo Petrini. A simple form of gastronomic knowledge. but its complex quality: a concept that ranges from the question of taste to that of variety. www. that summer I went to Tehuacán in the state of Puebla to learn more about an excellent project – winner of the Slow Food Award for the Defence of Biodiversity – to reintroduce amaranth to one of the poorest areas in Mexico. Food and its production must regain the central place that they deserve among human activities and we must re-examine the criteria that guide our actions.

So it’s rare and dangerously finite and every bit of it should be cherished. It’s all lovely. I know of no landscape anywhere that is more universally appreciated. Day 67. ISBN 978-1-8589-4367-1. S OMETHING I HAVE often wondered is why you don’t make the whole of England a National Park. The miracle. is that on the whole it is. are the yorkshire Dales superior to the Durham Dales? Why is the New Forest worthy of exalted status but glorious Dorset is not? It’s preposterous really to say that some parts are better or more important than others. or so I gather – can call itself Great Britain.com C O N S E RVAT I O N • B I L L B RY S O N A CHERISHED LAND As new President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). People feel a closeness to it. the countryside remains one of this country’s supreme achievements. The landscape almost everywhere is eminently accessible. Bill Bryson pledges to safeguard our national heritage. than the countryside of England.K E Y N O T E S Holly and beech.journeythroughthebritishisles. more artfully worked. Here walking in the country is the most natural thing in the world – so natural that it is dangerously easy to take it for granted. published by Merrell. an affinity. that I don’t think they experience elsewhere. 25th May. where I come from. If you suggested to people in Iowa. And there’s not much of it. UK. 245 November/December 2007 . Of all the surface area of the Earth. more lovely to behold. after all. they would think you were mad. that you spend a day walking across farmland. and all that could be made better. from Journey Through The British Isles by Harry Cory Wright. only a tiny fragment – 0. In what way.07 pm. Because the countryside is so generally fine and looks so deceptively timeless. Herefordshire. it’s easy to think of it as somehow fixed and immutable and safely 1 Resurgence No. www. more comfortable to be in. 6. more visited and walked across and gazed upon. For all the pressures on rural England. 2007.017409% . in my view.Wye Valley.

should be pushing forcefully for the To me. 100 or so Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Trying to limit the growth of they are just quietly fading away. when the landscape is stunning it’s because Nature made it that way.cpre. But I am The first is litter and fly-tipping. the mathematics of the restoration and renewed planting of British landscape is wonderfully simple and compelling. one acre for each of us. What makes this country superlative is the things that people have done for it. when it’s stunning it is.000 miles of high-voltage power lines in this country. Wherever you turn in Britain you are confronted with wondrous and interesting things – 19. Italy 4%. To me. tricity companies were being privatised. They are what define the and more people to share less and less English landscape. it would take you fiftyfour years to see them all. It would be a venerated relic. determined to try! this is something of an obsession of mine. Isn’t that an amazing fact? If you decided to visit one every day. Creating an enchantest amount in Europe. people would travel hundreds of miles to see it. What’s more. THERE ARE THREE matters that I inOf course. in effect it would take you fifty-four years to ten people lose their acres. over 4.org. in my view. of course.uk you have wandered onto a set from War of the Worlds. I hate it fully about planting things. most In 198. adding a little touch of nobility and grandeur to the landscape. for 900 years.000 recorded archaeological sites. It was planted by a niece of William the Conqueror in the second half of the 11th century. Westminster Abbey.permanent. Second. marching ranks Bryson’s inaugural speech as Presiof pylons are way too common in the dent of the Campaign to Protect Rural countryside. have a huge amount to learn. Bill Bryson is author of many books. number three: trees. Finally. it is easy to think of it as riageways and other roads. woodland.500 listed bridges. There are more listed churches in Britain than there are petrol stations. keeping it is the real has more. only four are natural formations. I think there ought to be. Even Cyprus ing landscape is of course only part of the achievement. we look after what has been created Britain has just 12% – the fourth lowfor us already. Being surrounded by for woodland creation in England. treasured by a few aging parishioners and one overweight American. The Uk has less forest cover than almost any country in Europe.000 miles of public footpaths. I am new to all this and tend to pursue as President of CPRE. suade yourself that it can be nibbled And while we are talking meaningaway at without serious loss. All the rest are monuments and landscapes built by humans.000 miles of hedgerows. as the governtrick. fourteen National Parks. France has 28%.000 ancient parish churches in Britain. I think we when people think like that. forests. pylons and overhead This is an edited version of Bill wires generally. but it is also a great danger. Germany Beachy Head PHOTOGRAPH: HARRy CORy WRIGHT Resurgence No. Britain has There are more listed churches in about 0 million acres of land and about 0 million people. 7. site to build a superstore. so they would all be buried now. and inexcusably alien and England (CPRE). Too often when you go into the mation about the work of CPRE see countryside you end up feeling as if www. For more inforugly. and beauty is a delight and a privilege. I think we essentially inexhaustible and to pershould be pushing forcefully for that. In fact. And here it is just an anonymous country church. And it is almost entirely humanmade. you can never have too many trees.000 Sites of Special Scientific Interest. It has been standing there. Altogether there are 20. is awaiting very large swathes of the countryside. There are 8. In Britain. which looks like any other. If this church were in Iowa. lot more thoughtful and vigorous When you have such an abundance of landscaping of motorways. there is a hedge called Judith’s Hedge. 100. there are no specific targets in this country.000 miles of cable every year. more often than not. So it is older than Windsor Castle. you can’t move ten feet in this country without bumping up against some striking reminder of a long and productive past. and use other people’s acres. Sweden almost 70%. That’s really quite interesting. By developing countryside you force more hedgerows.000 war memorials. york Minster – older than most of the buildings in Great Britain. and otherwise almost entirely unnoticed because it is just one of 59 ancient parish churches in Norfolk alone. ment minister responsible cheerfully you hardly need me to tell you how conceded in a parliamentary answer lucky you are to have what you have recently. and everywhere space. Where I come from. That’s Britain than there are petrol stations. 250. 00. though it is very ancient – even more ancient than people often realise. we would be able to bury 1. . such a sumptuous diversity of history Well. Of Britain’s twenty-seven World Heritage Sites. dual cargreat things. at the time the elecrecently A Walk in the Woods. But in fact Judith’s Hedge is very venerable indeed. To enjoy the countryside they must go see them all. I find that a literally fantastic statement. 245 November/December 2007 17 .000 scheduled ancient monuments. It’s common at all – and this is the fate that I fear sense. it is none of these things. in my view. The Economist magazine calculated that if all the electricity-generating companies were required to devote one half of one per cent of their turnover to burying overhead cables. All that posterity asks of us is that 2%. And I think there ought to be a of course. Even closer to home for me – indeed just beyond my bedroom window – is a handsome church tower that was built at about the same time. Not far from where I live in East Anglia. Every time you give up ten acres of greenfield If you decided to visit one every day. Evendevelopment in the countryside isn’t tually you end up with no hedgerows Nimbyism. because people made it that way.

K E Y N O T E S VA L U E S • J A C K S A N TA B A R B A R A NONVIOLENCE Recognising this core value could strengthen the effectiveness of non-governmental organisations. 2007. sculpture by Emily Young. The Scryer. published by Tacit Hill Editions. ISBN 978-0955476600 18 Resurgence No. 245 November/December 2007 . from Time in the Stone. UK.

and elicit collaboration and co-ordination. both in terms As the living world depends on currently unconnected movements come of avoiding harm and enhancing the the non-living world around it. environmental causes. hunger. Jack Santa Barbara is Director of the Sustainable Extending the concept of nonviodemocratic and economic reforms. When we realise other form of structural violence is Unfortunately. murder and sexual living things depend on is thus a form ment united by a core value. disey. regardless of whether or Might it be that many progressive not such harm is intentional. racism. My proposition is that when various and in its broadest sense. shared vision. of violence. By co-ordinating our economic growth and globalisation to by this perspective on violence is nonviolent strategies. It is both a goal and a means surely a form of structural violence. A global stories. us to design common strategies that are include the belief system that allows The range of issues encompassed more effective. are not understood as examples of vioenergies. Scale Project. understanding of that the unequal distribution of energy committed by the World Trade Organithe violence inherent in such realities is as unjust as the distribution of monzation when it prohibits nations from as poverty. often these ‘problems of the human of achieving that goal. Anquences of ‘business as usual’. sources of violence. Thought of applies to every living thing. When they are not in balquire or involve uniformity of focus. of violence. more death and destruction than wise be because they have not articulated Sharing a core value can go direct physical violence. as examples of harms done by shining light. Not only WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES it make? movements around the world are less human rights but the right of all livShould all these movements refocus effective than they might otherwise ing beings to live unharmed have to their efforts on nonviolence and abanbe because they have not articulated a become a core value and a common don the particular issues they care common core value that unites them? aspiration of us all if we are to come as about? Nonviolence might be such a core close as humanly possible to our ideal No. we collectively be regarded as more important than broad indeed. human rights. then it bers but the essence of such of people and the planet. providing a sense of thriving of living things is thus a form but a few of these struggles. our interand extinction in far too many examconflict groups have engaged in joint governmental bodies. value. Our media may focus on these ments that cover the planet. overintervention. Examples maladies on themselves. influence how various parts of a caused by the normal operations broad-based movement co-ordiof the structures of our society. but also structural and the core value does is to bring unity cultural violence. but in the common as a core value that underlies many of unique way its nature directs. All too violence. to each strength lies not in the numin this way. sexism. interferes with ‘free’ trade. nonviolence can be viewed creature which seeks to thrive in the bers alone. then it could can understand the importance of new and creative opportunities emerge. generate energy and violence. racism. of beliefs that lead to the imposition justice. It provides us not Poverty per se should be considered a condition’ or ‘costs of doing business’ only with a guiding light to direct our form of structural violence. but often they do little to exThe wellbeing of all (sarvodaya) is a trade system which destroys local food pose the underlying structural and way of expressing the essence of nonproduction and cultural practices is cultural violence they represent. energy such as the structural adjustment proindustrial infrastructures. pendencies between the animate and and varied. and they certainly do not reThis sense of nonviolence involves uninanimate. diversity of activities is an essential not just the direct physical violence thrive. There have been our businesses. consumption. resulting in their decline many examples where peace and our government institutions. we to appreciate a shared core value.enthusiasm. In derstanding violence in all its forms: ance. it becomes and peace groups as the roles of oil grammes of the World Bank or the harder to ignore these violent conseand other fossil fuels are emerging as International Monetary Fund. Vioate of the Centre for Peace Studies. we make yet another connection for legislating for the protection of workers ease and environmental degradation is the network of the nonviolent moveor the environment if such legislation scant. genocide. this is not what I am suggesting. We are just beginning to see the coand political systems and by policies mining and forestry and expansion of ordination of environmental. member of Transcend. These forms of violence can be as deadly as direct Progressive movements around the world in this diversity. of this core value. If nonviolence is understood of nonviolence. Any huthese movements. 245 November/December 2007 19 . but also with pathways to that Cultural violence involves those lence. or the set cerned with peace and conflict. sexism. is the poverty created by economic of human activities such as ‘free’ trade. Too often a shared value and vision among many force the direct and structural violence we blame the victims as bringing these progressive movements is that it helps that occurs in our society. and actually account for are less effective than they might other. it is difficult for the living to fact. One example ples. It links movements conbecome a force more powerful than if maintaining climate stability. our banks. Disrupting the balance which component of a broadly based moveof war. and many more. As we learn more about the impact campaigns with social justice groups. social we act alone. yet the concepts of values around which many people man action that interferes with the nonviolence are rarely referred to in all align themselves. nate their activities. our media. McMaster step in broadening our understanding lence of one form or another underlies University. serve as a core value for a wide range the delicate interactions and interdeThe benefits of a core value can be many of seemingly unconnected movements. and Associlence beyond humans is an important civil liberties. then general wellbeing of all. What abuse. If we understand Resurgence No. or as unfortunate consequences of ‘progress’.T HERE IS STRENGTH in numall of these challenges to the wellbeing wellbeing in terms of thriving. Another practical result of pervasive systems of beliefs which reinour mainstream institutions. poverty and of democracy on a nation by military development. beyond the conceptual level and Structural violence is the harm a common core value that unites them.

245 November/December 2007 .T H E M K ERYANL O E C O N O M Y O T E S 20 Resurgence No.

THE MORAL ECONOMY Forty years ago. ILLUSTRATIONS: NOMA BAR Resurgence No. F. 245 November/December 2007 21 . ecological and ethical principles. Forty years later. Schumacher published his well-known essay Buddhist Economics. In this feature. E. authors challenge the paradigm of value-free economics. By ‘Buddhist’ he meant that economics should be based on moral. the modern ‘free market’ economy still lacks a moral compass.

THEN. HOW. During the 1980s. keynes called the struggle to meet basic human needs – from every $100 worth of global economic growth. mergers and daily acts of buying and selling. in effect. The contrarian levy has broken along with numerous river banks. The global economy is the sum of W MORAL COMPASS What is the economy for. It measures neither our wit nor our courage. it “does not allow for the health of our children. live on the equivalent of US$2 per day or less. but a long gaze at the global economy leads inexorably to the conclusion that today we face a crisis of amorality.. To many this is a great success of wealth creation. but similarly we cannot dismiss the hardship that results from a level of income that. neither our wisdom nor our learning.T H E M K ERYANL O E C O N O M Y O T E S NEW ECONOMICS • ANDREW SIMMS AITING LISTS FOR the ultra-rich queuing to buy petrol-hungry super-cars are getting longer. at the same time as guiding us towards a solution to the ‘economic problem’? One problem is that we still use road signs to find our way that were long ago discredited – such as measures of economic growth like Gross National Product (GNP). It seems that. but these never seem to get beyond a small percentage of the overall market. the quality of their education. and ethical investment funds to put our savings into. ‘Capable of knowing right and wrong’ is one of several definitions the dictionary gives for the term ‘moral’. We have now a good choice of fairly traded goods in shops. Perversely. For example. aren’t they?” But a constant flow of new findings on the science of climate change has eroded residual doubts about the causes of global warming.7 billion people. it measures everything. And the share of the world’s poor in the benefits of global economic growth has dwindled. would be the equivalent of surviving on the minimum wage and having sole responsibility to support an extended family of at least eighteen other people. Four decades ago. is it possible to even make sensible or useful generalisations? The economy is a mixed and messy place. 245 November/December 2007 . so has the amount of money being invested in the City of London to further exploit fossil fuels. driven in the city. IN a world of abiding deprivation and in an age increasingly defined by climate change. if endured in the Uk. and who oppose fuel taxes. rather than a ‘trickle down’. people who favour conspicuous consumption might make. the so-called lost decade of tackling the ‘economic problem’ – what the great economist J. the frustrated plutocrat who might have to wait five years to become the proud owner of a Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé. in short. Because of that. US politician Robert kennedy dismissed the use of GNP to set our priorities because. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages. in the real world of human hardship and environmental degradation. as much as immorality. M. a sort of ‘flood up’ of wealth from poor to rich. We can say that money should not be the measure of all things. A little less than half of the world’s population. rooted in fossil-fuel energy use and broader consumption patterns. subject to fuzzy but real environmental limits. Pity. except that 22 Resurgence No. contracts. “But the poor are still getting something. outcomes matter as much as intentions. So. At the very same time. as well as of sometimes truly saintly enterprises. It’s made up of you and me. It’s possible to imagine the excuses that. haggles. Second. or the joy of their play. but a decade later that had shrunk to just $0. buyouts. as concern about climate change has risen to record levels. can the economy be moral? Can it distinguish between right and wrong? More than that. a bewilderingly large number of around 2. It now takes around $1 worth of global growth to generate a single dollar of poverty reduction for people living below $1 a day. because. you sometimes have to step back several paces to understand their full consequences. two questions: first. we face the prospect of potentially imminent and irreversible global warming. were it not for the inconvenient fact that we live on an island planet.0. There was. it will manage just twelve miles on a gallon of petrol. and how do we know if it is succeeding? countless deals.000 and. left to itself. he said.20 found its way to people living below the absolute poverty line. around $2. should we measure the performance of the economy? What could provide us with some kind of moral compass capable of respecting the biosphere upon which we depend. In a warming world the frequency and intensity of extreme events like the summer 2007 Uk floods is likely to increase. such as.. Just listen to the people who argue that we should build more airports. for a moment. is it wrong for the global economy to push the world toward catastrophic climate change because so many of the things it depends upon require fossil fuels? Some do not think so. it means that for the poor to get slightly less poor. the economy can only be moral at the margins. Bad enough. the rich have to get very much richer. is it wrong that the global economy leaves nearly half of the world’s population in a level of poverty so deep that even meeting basic needs becomes impossible? If these are wrong. of sometimes outright criminality. the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It may be pedantic to say so. The car costs US$412.

Sweden and Norway join Iceland at the top of the table. In practice we need to assess the efficiency with which we turn fundamental inputs into the economy. If we call it a moral compass we will not be out of step with the founding father of modern economics. Standard. Better news comes from finding that across Europe. No single measure can capture all these factors in detail. 245 November/December 2007 2 . comparable international data now exist for these factors. less carbon efficient at delivering wellbeing for their citizens in terms of life expectancy and satisfaction. who. It would be both ironic and basically wrong to allow a system that often takes his name in vain to separate and immure us from our moral selves. into desirable and meaningful human outcomes – such as relatively long and satisfied lives. people have a good idea of their overall wellbeing. down to just the one that we actually have. people report comparable levels of wellbeing whether their lifestyles are high-consuming and very resource intensive. and a surprising and worrying picture emerges.ILLUSTRATION: NOMA BAR which makes life worthwhile. That would at least give us a meaningful picture that we could learn from of whether things are getting better or worse. The range of levels is enormous. as a whole. when asked in the right way. such as the natural resources from our overstretched biosphere. 2007). It was Smith. Europe is less carbon efficient now than it was in 191. Andrew Simms is policy director of nef (the New Economics Foundation) and author of Ecological Debt (Pluto. and nations that most closely follow the Anglo-Saxon economic model showed up as the least efficient. 2005) and Tescopoly (Constable & Robinson. for most countries. knowledge-driven. arguing that people are deeply. depression and suicide. there is no reason why a comprehensive reduction in consumption should negatively affect quality of life or life satisfaction. in 1759 wrote a book called The Theory of the Moral Sentiments. Their combination of strong social policies and extensive use of renewable energy demonstrates that living within our environmental means doesn’t mean sacrificing human wellbeing. This could be a message of liberation to policy-makers previously too terrified to tackle demand management. resource-light service economies. Scandinavian countries turn out to be the most efficient. Adam Smith. Apply this analysis to Europe. and even more so within the Uk. the Uk has a lot of room for improvement. after all. Interestingly. Although a transition would need to be carefully handled. For all the talk of successful.” A new approach that is more in tune with our times is long overdue. But there are a few important things that it is vital we do measure. In other words. the core European nations have become. or are low consuming and leave a much smaller ecological footprint. these corre- late very closely with a wide range of other quantitative data. IF WE ARE to chart a course for the economy so that it can navigate the inseparable challenges of environmental sustainability and human need. Combining life expectancy and satisfaction produces perhaps the most fundamental indicator of human wellbeing: what academics refer to as ‘happy-life-years’. innately moral. while some doubt the robustness of new measures of human life satisfaction. It came a poor twenty-first out of the thirty countries analysed. including on health. for example. a new compass specifically designed for the task is necessary. Politicians should no longer be afraid of policies to reduce demand. Resurgence No. They achieve the highest levels of wellbeing in Europe at relatively low environmental cost. yet research shows that people are just as likely to lead satisfied lives whether their levels are at the top of the consumption scale or the bottom. Domestically. from lifestyles that if followed by the whole world’s population would imply the need for the resources of six and a half planets like Earth.

245 November/December 2007 . Barcelona PHOTOGRAPH: GRÄFENHAIN GÜNTER/SIME 24 Resurgence No.T H E M K ERYANL O E C O N O M Y O T E S Sculpture with mosaic by Gaudí at Güell Park.

But the side of globalisation peddled by the WTO. and I was in the city. I grabbed the environmentalist Paul Hawken and found we were both temporarily blinded. One day. equally. Seattle came to mean something else to me. together with thousands of others. pepper spray. colour and music. The next day I was witnessing scenes I had never encountered before. we know that people thrive on love and intimacy within the family. is that only money and power matter – and that. and without visible badges or forms of identification. where the opening ceremonies were supposed to be held. although the WTO delegates had been prevented from entering the Convention Centre and the Paramount Theater. They like a sense of occasion because they can sell greeting cards. Tibetan monks. It was the end of November 1999. Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs suggests that we grow from the fulfilling of basic needs – food and warmth – to find fulfilment in sharing. clergy. It has even been suggested that the consumer society keeps everyone in perpetual infancy because. and the sense of carnival. the exercise of both will filter down and help the poorest people of the world. It doesn’t care whether we buy in beau- Resurgence No. costumes. There was also a great deal of blood on the streets of Seattle. fizzy drinks and gifts.000 sea turtles. in our cities and in our lives we need a new currency. Being in Seattle. or where we have less influence in our political institutions. if we ever became satisfied with our material lives. we will be unhappy. There was tear gas everywhere. of people taking their own initiative. IN THE yEARS that followed. The consumer society provides little of either. I realised I was probably the only CEO on that side of the police cordons. even medical staff. and trust and care within the community. I realised also that the people behind that kind of globalisation would really stop at nothing to impose their will on the world. and to find joy in the community and creativity. unappreciated. trying to find vinegar and water for my smarting eyes. I T IS NEARLy a decade since I was tear-gassed in a Seattle street – a strange situation for the chief executive officer (CEO) of one of the biggest retailers in the world. What seemed particularly unjust was that. full body armour and jackboots. made me horribly aware of this rogue globalisation and what it meant. imagination and fun. fancy dress. and often it may be more obvious to us what makes us unhappy than what makes us happy. there was no property destruction or violence before this.E C O N O M I C S O F B E A U T Y • A N I TA R O D D I C K CURRENCY OF THE IMAGINATION In order to restore beauty in our economy. choking on the smell of cayenne pepper that sticks to everything. Scrambling for safety as the pepper spray hit us. Because there is more than one kind of globalisation. we would cease to play the game of expanding desires that keeps the perpetual economy going. there were 00 children dressed as turtles. and that made me feel worried – not for me but for the business world. If we feel isolated. they tend to be afraid of this creative power that people have. a reference to the WTO decision that it was illegal to discriminate against shrimps caught in nets that also drown 150. It was the turtles. I mean that I am still overwhelmingly in favour of a sense of the planet that is aware of the multiplicity of cultures and respects them. But. joy. It was unnerving watching tear gas and rubber bullets used against students. for what proved to be the failed summit of the World Trade Organization (WTO). and they share the fear that governments have always had of what they call ‘the mob’. but to humanise that vision of raw power with creativity. or simply unloved. somehow. On the other hand. I am in favour of such global solidarity. when life and society make no sense. But it is more complicated than that: the evidence suggests that we are more miserable when we live in a society where there is a huge gap between the rich and the poor. The whole experience of being tear-gassed in Seattle changed my life. as far as I know. Consumerism prevents the possibility of fulfilling those higher needs. It was a valiant attempt. Being a successful entrepreneur is about imagining the world differently. For another thing. with gas masks. then something is wrong. and taken to a whole new level since by the Bush administration. Most corporations are in two minds about the whole idea of carnival. their professors. of people taking their own decisions. or doing almost anything in the street except shopping or commuting to work. 245 November/December 25 . For one thing. The sheer joy of it. not just to seize the streets in a crude pretence at power. insecure materially and socially. can see into the dark corners and reveal the cruelties going on there – can even do something about them. even in sacrifice. People have a range of needs to live a reasonable life. if the only ones who succeed in doing so side with the powerful. rubber bullets fired point blank into crowds of demonstrators. Neither of those is necessary in itself for people to lead fulfilled lives. colour and a sense of occasion are vital and – most of all – so is beauty. with burning faces. stumbling between other protesters as we searched for water. and police looking like stormtroopers.

M K ERYANL O E C O N O M Y O T E S Cambridge Arts Theatre and married a ballerina. ment. for a moNor is it just the buildings. he and what they aspire to do. community and creativity. I thought then. public squares and fields. in many ways it drives them out by the deliberate manipulation of debt. which emphasises beauty. Nor is be to draft a new law for billboards. huond item on the agenda would ho.T H E tiful or ugly surroundings. I remember travelling by tube keynes was an economist with a Anita Roddick was Founder of The Body Shop from Victoria recently. creating dialogue those puritans who think that shopArt Car Days. using regeneration money that remains an unpaid debt long after the new bastilles have crumbled away. because After that. someone hijacked the loudArts Council. Also in degraded sites. helping to draw forth the urged politicians and economists to stories. muters burst out laughing. We will succeed community. doing reclamation art projects change the world. www. and if they are not they don’t That should take the first few days. let alone America or Asia. Then there the work of the younger artists who I have spent a quarter of a centuwould be legislation to allow Italian are trying to make art change the ry trying to use retailing as a lever to Pavement Art Day. remain successful for long. But beautifying our in grass. SO LET’S IMAGINE. and it was economic success. working in ping should be beneath the notice of your car any way you wanted – covered foster homes. most recently the train. He launched the and author of many books. when people could world. and trees and plants which are a vital imagine that I have been sworn human need. ho. tion.com. ist at all. an annual carnival of The Iron Man sculpture by Antony Gormley. We will succeed to the extent to formation. What we the traditional notion of public art sites. poured money into the Take It Personally. and looked there a trade-off between beauty and They would no longer be allowed to at reactions from others. Few aspects of the global economy provide beauty or community and. as be that the job wouldn’t just be minister of public space. us here. Artists seem much more which we encourage human connecaware of what it means to work in the THE ECONOMIST JOHN Maynard tion and conversation. you can expect me. providing for these vital human needs requires another kind of economy altogether. wit and art rather an amazing transformation: places on the planet are mostly beauwould be allowed. to fun: it would be really inexpenargue in the Cabinet that the amsive.Birmingham’s Victoria Square PHOTOGRAPH: BRITAINONVIEW/JEAN BROOkS ent means. when you could decorate between polarised groups. that beauty is the central It is the litter and pollution and plank in the government’s new the inhuman absence of green manifesto. I have seen death row art: prison recognise art or beauty. hey 2 Resurgence No. my work as minister of state carnival. Let’s go further. Why is it that our in as a government minister political masters and business charged with responsibility for leaders believe that the poor public space! The first thing I uniquely need nothing green or would discover once I was benatural in their lives? hind my Whitehall desk would So. designing flags and puppets. The most successful sell products. it’s off to work we go…!” Comman warmth and imagination. who were working to create a sense of shopping: consumerism will not help In fact. civilised people. next to a telephone box in different currency and a differbeauty which could turn the world upside down. the community of commuters finally tiful. In a speech human stories about people and places art where the artist plays the role of a to the Irish government in 19. It is an objective that requires human ingenuity. Often it is ugliness that has been deliberately designed as a concrete monstrosity. facilitator. The first thing I would do bition of beautification means a is organise a Day of Common different measure of success. and as I entered deep interest in art. and I think now. raise their ambition.anitaroddick. so I am not one of paint and decorate the pavement. will need is a new currency altogether: – some discreet object made without that they are an energetic future for art we will succeed or fail according to much consideration for a particular that is helping to knit art and life back how much imagination is in circulaplace – is already undergoing a transtogether again. On the other hand. it’s a matter of getting theftAs minister in charge of public people want to live there and invest in and waterproof pianos to arrive in space. worse. We might take his word for this. or covered in cake. and spend the Sometimes you barely need an artmoney on beauty. public space is not primarily about glass. At the Battle of Seattle. only poetry. which is as powerful a motivator as any invented in human history. yet a short walk through the outer estates of many of the greatest cities in Europe. Retail-led regeneration will would be made much easier because dropping banners from impossible need beautifying in itself. betrays the hideous ugliness that we expect large groups of the world’s population to live in. speaker system and sang. 245 November/December 2007 . a Delight. “Hey. I would put myself alongside places that make them feel alive. The sec. or emblazoned with coloured it was exactly those groups that I met. increasingly in prisons keynes talked about the hideous waste also to the extent to which we spend or schools or among homeless peoof an economic system that could not the small change of imagination – the ple. having fun.

and that they can be solved by us if we can empower ourselves and believe in ourselves. they had to understand that they needed to take care of their environment. Why were the women poor in a country which has so much to offer? In the course of time I came to realise that poverty is a symptom and a result of injustices. I worked with women because it is they who fetch firewood. they can easily succumb and make little efforts to challenge systems that deliberately impoverish them. occupation. that perhaps we cannot eliminate poverty altogether. That is what slavery. Social justice and sustainability are prerequisites for peace. We all depend on a healthy environment. colonialism. which I observed both during my childhood and while working at the University of Nairobi and the National Council of Women of kenya. They kept high-breed dairy animals and were governed by their own. who can escape into urban areas in search of jobs and opportunities. those in power invent excuses to justify the causes of poverty. soil erosion. Therefore caring for the environment is a survival imperative. However. communities compete for the same scarce resources. look for water and food and feed the family. it was a major challenge to help them understand that the degradation of the environment was a symptom and that they needed to know the cause. because we made tree planting an income-generating activity. we discovered that it was often the poor women who came to work with us. I was perplexed by the rapid impoverishment of our people at a time when they were supposed to have developed both during and after the colonial era. that we are often the cause of many of our problems. As the environment degrades.D E V E L O P M E N T • WA N G A R I M A AT H A I FOUNDED THE Green Belt Movement thirty years ago to respond to environmental challenges. IN THE COURSE of my work with the Green Belt Movement I came to realise that poor people tend to over-use and degrade their environment. I was thinking about the environment and I did not make the connection between environmental degradation and poverty. Identifying the causes of the problems women faced became an important part of our work. After all. and often conflict and wars ensue. lack of clean drinking water. I POVERTY AND EMPOWERMENT There can be no peace on Earth while millions of people are trapped in poverty and the natural environment is destroyed by the economics of greed. However. These challenges included loss of indigenous forests and local biodiversity. This process became an important part of our work and we called it ‘civic and environmental education’. dictatorships and other unjust forms of governance are about. a degraded environment does not support livelihoods. It is the women who are left to deal with an environment no longer able to sustain livelihoods. We needed to go through this process for the participants to understand that many of the problems we face in our communities are a result of our not taking appropriate action. I made the linkage between sustainable management of resources and con- Resurgence No. Because I had grown up in the same countryside. it is important to have a holistic approach to our work. Some have said that the poor will always be with us. 245 November/December 2007 27 . I came to realise that poverty is human-made. When I started environmental work I was not thinking of poverty. not only because of the financial incentives but also because it was in their interest to do so. What problems do we face in our community? 2. malnutrition and lack of firewood. A degraded environment is more visible to the women than to the men. which become entrenched in the governance systems we adopt. Often. oppress and humiliate those who are perceived to be weak and vulnerable. They create governance systems that exclude. What we know for sure is that we can greatly reduce dehumanising poverty that denies human beings a sense of self-respect and dignity. I quickly realised that the rural women I was working with were talking about basic rights and those without such rights are the poor. As we spent time with women in the rural areas. One of the most important responsibilities we have is to empower victims of such injustices so that eventually they can liberate themselves. Unless the victims of such systems understand why they are so governed. coffee and other crops not grown by African farmers. apartheid. Unfortunately. during the post-colonial period they could grow tea. I realised that to live in a clean and healthy environment ought to be a human right. Where do these problems come from? . To do so. exploit. That is why in the Green Belt Movement we take care of the environment and we also deal with governance issues. We would have seminars where we would ask ourselves the following questions: 1. with human rights and with the issues of equitable distribution of resources. What are their solutions? Even when it became clear that women needed to establish tree nurseries and plant trees on their farms to address their problems.

I also became curious about why people living on fertile lands such as I knew in kenya. It was then that I realised that while governments have a responsibility to take care of the commons such as forests. sunshine. justice. they can decide not to share them as if they own them. They mismanage resources and in the process cause much poverty and suffering. We should find it unacceptable that dehumanising poverty is so prevalent. The poor may not have contributed much towards cli- 28 Resurgence No. water. I am privileged to hold the award. prolonged droughts and desertification processes will get worse. wars and displacements will increase as resources degrade and become scarcer and no longer able to sustain livelihoods. wildlife. and citizens should hold them accountable and punish them at the ballot box. rivers. forests. Leaders who know that their citizens cannot hold them accountable tend to be irresponsible. where there is so much wealth of gold. rainfall patterns will change and crop failures will be more frequent. respect for human rights and the rule of law. But that assumes these citizens live in democracies. especially through education. until a critical mass of Africans are sufficiently empowered. equity and peace. They stop being custodians and become exploiters. This is true both in the rich industrialised countries and in the developing and non-industrialised economies. In many parts of the world econom- ic and political systems are inherently unjust and ensure that there is an everincreasing number of poor people and an ever-increasing gap between them and the rich. the resources in Africa will continue to benefit few while poverty continues to be the dominant feature. Without such a system people will continue to compete over scarce resources and go to war for them.T H E M K ERYANL O E C O N O M Y O T E S Women from the Green Belt Movement tend tree nurseries throughout Kenya PHOTOGRAPH: GREEN BELT MOVEMENT flict by observing the tribal clashes at home. to hold their political and business leaders responsible and accountable. I can talk about my experience in Africa where the majority of the poor are found. good governance. surrounded by forested mountains and with plenty of rainfall. land and horticultural products? Why are her people so poor? They are poor simply because of injustice and inequitable distribution of wealth. THE CHALLENGES ARE likely to get worse as a result of climate change. allow me to draw your attention to the historic decision by the Norwegian Nobel Committee to give the Nobel Peace Prize to me in 2004 and recognise the need to make the connections between a sustainable environment. 245 November/December 2007 . In fighting poverty it is essential to empower communities. oil. Also. would complain about resources that should have been bountiful. they are no longer being responsible custodians. but I know that this was in recognition of all people and organisations who work for peace by working for sustainable management of natural resources. It is suggested that weather patterns will be less predictable. The Nobel Committee wanted to emphasise that we need to work for political and economic systems of governance that help to preempt the many causes of conflicts and wars. only informed and empowered citizens can hold their leaders accountable. How can we explain such poverty in a region so endowed with men and women who work very hard. It is also more prevalent in countries where societies are perceived to be multi-ethnic. Under such difficulties the fate of the poor will only worsen. In my opinion. Conflicts. diamonds. abuse power and abuse their citizens. When governments fail to protect such commons and instead start privatising them. At this point. mountains and to protect such important resources from exploitation. especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

Then on the sixth day. Wangari Maathai is the founder of The Green Belt movement in Kenya and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. with the percentage of development aid and other promises made to help countries meet the Millennium Development Goals. If He had made a mistake. dejected. which recently allocated £50 million (US$100 million) to a kitty for the Congo forest. had very low self-esteem and was unwell. We will have to implement a more sustainable way of managing natural resources. with the issues of fair trade. in His infinite wisdom. As they approached. the beggar felt his limbs get strong. because people did not usually talk to him. We appeal to governments to protect forests and trees. As we work for the poor we need to be inspired by Peter and John.mate change but they will suffer most. no longer dehumanised. not coins. I am a Goodwill Ambassador for the Congo Basin Forest ecosystem. God created everything on the first five days. But Peter and John decided to empower him: to give him back his sense of dignity and self-respect. I am working with governments in the Central Africa region to conserve and protect this forest. hid his face and stretched his hand for alms. a more equitable way of sharing them. He rose up and walked forward. we would have been dead on Tuesday because we would not have survived. including those far away from their countries. self-effacing. It is also for this reason that we appeal to the G8 countries to do everything they can to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. I am deeply concerned about the protection of forests and habitats. they encountered a beggar who was crippled since birth. but the environment does not need us. The beggar did not even dare to look up at the people from whom he was begging. That means we move from treating the symptoms to eliminating the root causes of poverty. 2004. To really help them we need to empower them so that they no longer need our aid. in their kindness. “Look up!” That must have been a bit startling for the beggar. humiliated. He was too ashamed of his status. Edited extracts from a talk given to the 18th General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis in Vatican City in June 2007. We will have to develop a governance system that respects human rights and the rule of law. but what we have we give to you. “Silver and gold we have none. With a light touch. Remember the story of Peter and John who went to the synagogue for prayer. 245 November/December 2007 29 . In the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Everything created before us was essential for our survival! We ought to be humbled by the fact that we need the environment to survive. a system that embraces diversity and gives a voice to the minorities and the vulnerable. They are very important for the world’s climate. He had a new sense of self-confidence and pride. had given him a few coins but had never thought of alternatives to alms. rise up and walk!” And much to his surprise. The Bible says that he bowed his head. Peter and John. It is a wonderful parable for our time. He was an empowered man: no longer a beggar. according to the Book of Genesis. upon seeing him in that dehumanised and humiliated state. Peter went on. and created humans on Monday. I often remind people that. There must have been many worshippers who. The beggar had all the symptoms of a disempowered person: he was poor. but wholeness and confidence. Green Belt women singing and dancing PHOTOGRAPH: GREEN BELT MOVEMENT Resurgence No. decided to give him. which along with the Amazon forest and the forests of Southeast Asia is the major lungs of the planet. We need them to provide leadership and encourage other governments like India and China to prepare for a carbon-neutral economy. And so Peter said. We have addressed them before on behalf of the poor regarding unpayable and illegitimate debts. Now he could go and take care of himself with dignity and self-respect. No longer in need of alms. He created the human species. In this connection I thank the British Government.

because of its environmental costs. distant corporations. Since that time I have been promoting the rebuilding of community and local economies as the foundation of an Economics of Happiness. TODAy. Almost universally. but also for increased stress.T H E M K ERYANL O E C O N O M Y O T E S LOCALISING • HELENA NORBERG-HODGE T ECONOMICS OF HAPPINESS Community is a key ingredient for health and wellbeing. When I first arrived in Ladakh. acquisitiveness and competition are innate to the human condition. everything from their food and clothing to their houses and language seemed inferior. Economic localisation means bringing economic activity closer to home – supporting local economies and communities rather than huge. particularly in the young. thereby fuelling still more frantic consumption in a vicious cycle. Australia. then it becomes clear that the steps we need to take to heal the planet are the same as those needed to heal ourselves: both require reducing the scale of the economy – in other words localising rather than continuing to globalise economic activity. This translates into greater social cohesion: a recent study found that shoppers at farmers’ markets had ten times more conversations than people in supermarkets. and unhappy. to Western education and other trappings of the ‘development’ process. localisation means a smaller gap between rich and poor. What we fail to consider are the billions of dollars spent by marketeers. or ‘Little Tibet’.” But the reality is that consumption leads to greater competition and envy. Why is this happening? Too often these signs of breakdown are seen as ‘normal’: we assume that depression is a universal affliction. Their sense of self-worth was deep and solid. heard. The young were particularly affected. the Indian government abruptly opened Ladakh to imported food and consumer goods. blonde – provided by the media. The use of a dangerous skin-lightening cream 0 Resurgence No. and has the potential to spread like wildfire. Instead of a global economy based on sweatshops in the South. an economic model based on endless consumption is unsustainable. And community is a key ingredient in happiness. most believe that making the changes necessary to save the environment will entail great sacrifice. In this way. My sense from interviewing people in four continents is that this realisation is already growing. I have studied this process in numerous other cultures around the world and discovered that we are all victims of these same psychological pressures. For political reasons. Suddenly. to tourism and the global media. anxiety and social breakdown. there is now what is described as an epidemic of depression. working in the fields and providing for one’s own needs seemed backward and primitive. a growing proportion of young girls are so deeply insecure about their appearance that they fall victim to anorexia and bulimia. Once we realise that oil-dependent global growth is responsible not only for climate change and other environmental crises. including the US. that children are by nature insecure about their appearance. But because there is far less understanding of the social and psychological costs of the consumer culture. advertising and fleeting encounters with tourists had an immediate and profound impact on the Ladakhis. Witnessing the impact of the modern world on an ancient culture gave me insights into how economic globalisation creates feelings of inadequacy and inferiority. the global consumer culture taps into the fundamental human need for love and twists it into insatiable greed. France and Japan. and a handful of billionaire elites in both. research confirms that feeling connect- HIRTy-THREE yEARS ago. that greed. it was still largely unaffected by either colonialism or the global economy. and closer contact between producers and consumers. leaving children more isolated. stressed-out two-income families in the North. I watched as a culture that had been sealed off from the rest of the world was suddenly thrown open to economic development. MORE AND more people are waking up to the fact that. The Ladakhis were the most contented and happy people I had ever encountered. smiles and laughter were their constant companions. it is estimated that one million youths refuse to leave their bedrooms – sometimes for decades – in a phenomenon known as hikikomori. Sanitised and glamourised images of the urban consumer culture created the illusion that people outside Ladakh enjoyed infinite wealth and leisure. in 1975. the Uk. Then. the most fashionable jeans. and how those psychological pressures are helping to spread the global consumer culture. insecure. Romanticised impressions of the West gleaned from media. the latest toys and gadgets. both geographically and culturally. 245 November/December 2007 . quickly succumbing to a sense of insecurity and self-rejection. targeting children as young as two. In virtually every industrialised country. In the US. or undergo expensive cosmetic surgery. called Fair and Lovely became widespread. urban. the underlying message is. appreciated and loved you must have the right running shoes. the region had been isolated for many centuries. symbolising the newly created need to imitate the distant role models – Western. a region high on the Tibetan plateau. As global media reach into the most remote parts of the planet. “If you want to be seen. In Japan. By contrast. with a goal of instilling the belief that material possessions will ensure them the love and appreciation they crave.

isec. the foundations of sustainability and happiness. A deep connection with Nature is similarly fundamental to our wellbeing. These are real role models. “the way forward is actually quite simple: it’s more time with each other. 245 November/December 2007 1 . for example. “I’ve lived in this community over thirtyfive years and people I’d never met came up and talked to me when we started this project. and at worst. It’s just getting back to that foundation of connection again. The therapeutic benefits of contact with Nature. of learning about who we are in relation to parents. community-based economies are also crucial for the wellbeing of our children. Gobi desert. through localisation. on the other hand. says. like farmers’ markets. meanwhile. editor of Kindred magazine. and bringing with them a sense of wellbeing. www. A recent Uk study showed that 90% of people suffering from depression experience an increase in self-esteem after a walk in a park.uk Resurgence No. one of America’s most blighted cities. The choice is ours.org. told us. Mongolia PHOTOGRAPH: kONSTANTIN MIkHAILOV/NATURE PICTURE LIBRARy ed to others is a fundamental human need. Or. more time in collective situations that give us a sense of community. Helena Norberg-Hodge is a pioneer of the international localisation movement and founder of ISEC – the International Society for Ecology and Culture. Recent childhood development research demonstrates the importance. Local. which at the very least will create greater human suffering and environmental problems. Author Richard Louv has even coined the expression ‘nature-deficit disorder’ to describe what is happening to children deprived of contact with the living world. siblings. unlike the artificial stereotypes found in the media. We can continue down the path of economic globalisation. 44% feel a decrease in self-esteem and 22% feel more depressed. We found that it reconnects us with the people around us – it makes community a reality.” Global warming and the end of cheap oil demand a fundamental shift in the way that we live.Satellite dish outside traditional ger. DESPITE THE ENORMITy of the crises we face. As kali Wendorf. and the larger community. are becoming ever more clear. or developing a relationship with the corner shop where you get your fruits and vegetables. After a visit to a shopping centre. A young man who started an urban garden in Detroit. turning towards more community-based. It’s not going back to the Stone Age. Considering that over 1 million prescriptions for antidepressants were handed out in the Uk last year. providing them with living role models and a healthy sense of identity. threatens our very survival. more time in Nature. localised economies represents a powerful solution multiplier.” Another young gardener in Detroit put it this way: “Everything just feels better to people when there is something growing. this is a crucial finding. we can begin to rebuild our communities and local economies.” Efforts to localise economies are happening at the grassroots all over the world. in the early years of life.

Technological solutions have to be balanced by psychological transformation. ‘nativity’ and ‘nature’ all come from the same word. but now we are in a world of species-ism where we think that the human species is special and that humans are in charge of everything. This change of worldview as well as a change of heart has to come about from the bottom up. the land and the rivers: we have a relationship with them. We used to own slaves but now we own Nature. but the reality is that the world will never be free of global warming unless people change their relationship with the Earth. IN THE WESTERN world we follow fashions. Unless we can change this idea and make a fundamental shift from ownership of Nature to a relationship with Nature. and that is that your agenda on nuclear war is driven by fear. But matter is no matter unless it has spirit. not ownership. we have managed to change this idea and now we know you cannot own your wife. but global warming is not the problem – it is a symptom of the problem and we need to go deeper than just talking about treating the symptoms. The Buddha was an environmentalist 2. he sat under F WE WANT to bring about a transformation in the way our society is run and in our attitudes to other living things on the Earth we need to differentiate between the problem and its symptoms. Even if we change from burning fossil fuels to generating power in other ways – whether wind power. Nature has no rights and we can claim possession of natural things wherever and whenever we want. The idea. As I pointed out to Bertrand Russell. The human community is part of the Earth community.” The same is happening with the mounting public awareness of climate change: it is driven by fear – fear of the loss of the consumerist way of life and of our material possessions. If we think we can control the rivers. we do not own the trees. prevalent in modern economics.” In the same way sustainability is also a way of life – it is not something we do just to save our possessions. A human body is made up of a head. Similarly. We treat them and use them as we like. for example. but it does not go deep enough into the reasons underlying the position we now find ourselves in – how did we manage to reach the stage where we are sawing off the tree the branch upon which we are sitting? The answer is that we have lost the idea of the spirit and we have just concentrated on matter. the super species in charge of the Earth. love of communities. from the grassroots. the land and the animals are our slaves. Over the years we have tried to rid ourselves of many of the ‘-isms’. In the last few hundred years a number of Western philosophers and scientists such as Descartes and Newton looked upon the Earth as an object of human dominance. We have to build a people’s movement to create a culture of ecology. We can live in an illusion thinking that governments should do something about global warming. There was also a time when people owned slaves and wealth was measured by the number of slaves in a household. Matter on its own is useless. we refer to ‘native Africans’. There was a time when men thought they could own women. 245 November/December 2007 . world. “Peace is a way of life – peace does not come from fear of nuclear weapons.T H E M K ERYANL O E C O N O M Y O T E S S P I R I T U A L E C O N O M Y • S AT I S H K U M A R I EARTH I LOVE Nature is the real source of our wealth. But the moment we have a different worldview and we see Nature not as dead matter but as a living thing. you are my inspiration but I have one problem with your philosophy.00 years ago before there was any global warming. nationalism and sexism. such as imperialism. we have become wedded to the religion of materialism. but it is of no use without the human spirit. love of people. We have to move away from the mindset of fear. at the moment everybody is talking about global warming. that we human beings own Nature and can therefore treat her as we like is fundamentally flawed. then all our efforts towards sustainability are just an illusion. meaning those who are born and live in Africa. “Lord Russell. We have come to believe that humans are the master race. solar generation. We need to accept the intrinsic value of all life – human life as well as other-than-human life. ‘Natal’. We need to make a quantum leap from an anthropocentric worldview to a geocentric worldview. it is a relationship. I said. For example. Sir Nicholas Stern has written a 00-page review on climate change. ‘native’. global warming is not going to go away. love of the Earth and love of Nature. When I met Bertrand Russell (then aged 92). In fact humans are also an integral part of Nature. It is fear that is driving much of the environmental movement. It is a characteristic of modern times to look at how to treat the symptoms rather than tackling the real reasons why we are changing the whole atmosphere that sustains us. Economy has to operate in harmony with ecology. But the idea still remains that the forests. There is a big difference between ownership and relationship. We are guests of the Earth and we should be the friends of the Earth. In the 190s the fashion was to talk about nuclear war. arms and legs. nuclear energy or using biofuels – all we are doing is treating the symptoms. We are part of Nature and not owners of Nature. Our environmentalism should be inspired by love of life. suddenly we are in a deep relationship with the natural 2 Resurgence No. As long as this mindset – this anthropocentric view – continues. the body serves no purpose unless it has a spirit to bring it to life. the animals and the rainforest based on the ideas of separation from and ownership of Nature. global warming will never come to an end. and the current fashion is to talk about climate change. The Latin word natalis means ‘born’ and is the root of the word ‘nature’ and words relating to the birth of humans such as ‘prenatal’ and ‘postnatal’. Then we recognise that Nature rights are equal to human rights. We put animals into factory farms and cages.

Economics of course has its place. Everyone. Resurgence No. Global warming is caused by the dominance of economics and by globalisation. They have not learnt to love the Earth. “We must have love for the tree. The middle way is the ideal to aim for. which is “Earth I love. They are enthralled by the mantra “economic growth. And what happens to the trillions of dollars that economic growth has created? We see it spent on war or the weapons needed for war. equity and equanimity is the spiritual economy. rather. A state of balance. how are we going to manage it? Therefore ecology comes first. we cannot solve a problem with the same mindset that caused it in the first place. Earth I celebrate. they are consumed by the idea that climate change will provide them with new business opportunities for economic growth. 2002. published by CEMEX. we also have to make wealth history. “How can I use the tree for my profit – how can I make money out of it or how can I build my house or make my furniture with it?” For the Buddha. I prefer my mantra. where there are no extremes of wealth and poverty. The endless talk about global warming is distracting us from the real issue. Tasmania. but it must be kept in its place and not be allowed to dominate.Waterfall Valley. economic growth. ISBN 9686397698 a tree seeking enlightenment and said. Money is not real wealth. but for Western civilisation it is just an object. The world’s approach to climate change is all about treating the symptoms. the tree was sacred: it had intrinsic value. In a spiritual economy the relationship between every living plant and creature is part of a delicate balance. Once we realise the subservient place of economics to ecology then global warming will go away. Earth I enjoy.95. care for her and preserve her as privileged members of life on Earth. Satish Kumar is Editor of Resurgence. caring for the Earth is our prime responsibility. Global warming or no global warming. We need to aim for something better than endless economic growth – a growth which is soulless and leads to ecological destruction. Ecos is the Greek word for ‘home’. is jumping onto this bandwagon. economic growth”. SPIRITUAL ECONOMy TEACHES us to have no fear and to celebrate the Earth – that is the reason we are environmen- talists. Money beyond a certain limit can be a burden. If we truly want to make poverty history. published by Green Books at £9. instead we think.Snow gum. Once we have this reverence for the Earth then all our economic systems will naturally be sustainable. As Einstein told us. If we don’t know our planet home.” But nowadays we don’t sit under the tree. logos means ‘knowledge’. 245 November/December 2007  . We do not want to save the Earth because of our fear of global warming but because of our love for the Earth.” And to enjoy the gifts of the Earth we must look after her. for without them to condition the soil there would be no food – so we have to respect worms. poverty and exploitation. from Wilderness. especially politicians and business leaders. worse. it can bring unhappiness and. because as long as there are wealthy people there will be poor people. The Earth is the true source of our wealth. worms are sacred. and nomos means ‘management’. His new book is Spiritual Compass: Three Qualities of Life.

around forty-five countries. ‘breeder plants’. the democratisamillion. and a seemingly eternal wait for binding international agreements. more to generate electricity from FITs do more than any other policy some sources. thus ensurrenewables. it is exciting say that it is almost a national sport to to know that people are moving tosee how little energy citizens can take wards it already. Germany in particular has demonstrated such initiative in many areas. an effect which has still to being emitted in 2005. Political power is generally more restricted the higher one goes. other countries are not only good at spotting problems and finding bold. this Today. Because the future value of the certificates the utilities. thereby reducing inputs of fossil fuels and nuclear. from the utilities. German governments have been developing and fine-tuning legislation to facilitate the transition. which can be sold how little energy citizens can take from for extra income. The conso impressive. a panoply of meek targets with weak enforcement. It costs be grasped by the public. has not gone unnoticed by the constates and provinces are using FITs to ventional energy industry. and no wonder. usually for 20 years. This extra cost makes feed-in law at the dawn of the 1990s. Because Germany’s energy demand has remained fairly flat. Finally. Despite various periods ventional industry advocates a system similar to the Uk’s Renewables Obligation. Thus. including the most crucial: energy. and indeed people this is an inevitable step. renewable energy producers. win-win-win solutions – they also have the will to manoeuvre them through parliament and into law. dominated by large energy companies. Although be fed into the grid. 245 November/December 2007 . and avoid costly third-paring profitability. Therefore. so local initiatives commonly prevail where there is good organisation. there are some governments that buck the trend. which obliges utilities to purchase electricity from NATURAL ECONOMY Addressing climate change by working with Nature. realising that it could have a significant when the statistics from Germany are effect on its market share. complex system. and hence cost. innovative responses at the local level. there has thus far been a largely inverse relationship between political power and action taken.and industry-friendly market mechanisms. as it is linked to the future market price. It is a feed-in tariff (FIT). Needless to say. the use of renewables has achieved a net reduction in national CO2 emissions. where renewableGermany has set no limit to the energy-powered factories produce amount of renewable energy that can renewable-energy products. This lowers investment mind. and in 2007 4 Resurgence No. It has to be acknowledged that much of the success in achieving these goals is because of government power-sharing with the Green Party. It is in fact committed to phasing out nuclear energy. We will soon have widespread risk. so FITs scientifically to promote cheap building-integrated calculate a tariff for each. is unknown. although this is being hotly debated once more by those with vested interests. towards a quarter of a million people. This Germany has set no limit to the uses a market-based model amount of renewable energy that can be called a ‘quota’ system. the duration is ty financing arrangements. the international response has been an unending string of ineffective conferences. Its annual turnover is around £14. The effect is to produce a market compared to a few thousand in the Uk. Most citizens want exciting. Although in the Uk this may be somewhat hard to grasp.5 which excludes independent power billion. However. the uncertainty created attracts extra risk of slow economic growth and recespricing in the financing of renewable sion since the introduction of the first energy projects. investors know producers. Faced with unthinkable calamity for all life. and retrofitted with energy efficiency in for how long. sustained which excludes all but the most detergrowth in the sector. Since 1990. which sets an amount of generation fed into the grid. It now employs mined and credit-worthy investors. a raft of business. the Transition Towns initiative shows great promise. it a more expensive. which has help establish or develop their domesrelentlessly attacked the law since first tic renewables market. It has consistently supported renewable energy and has made excellent gains in increasing the share of it in the national energy mix.T H E M O R A L E C O N O M Y ENERGY • MIGUEL MENDONÇA I N THE RECENT history of anthropogenic climate change. for example. between can and should become net energy all of these guarantees. especially if designed or exactly what their return will be. Buildings set. Renewable energy in Germany tion and true decentralisation of energy saved 8 million tonnes of CO2 from is thwarted. while the Uk’s is around £280 producers. and producers that it is almost a national sport to see receive ‘green certificates’ for their energy. and indeed people say to be achieved. Germany has enjoyed strong. Their Renewable Energy Law of 2000 is probably the most effective and costeffective law yet devised to support the deployment of renewable energy.

each urban area had its own landfill site – totalling around 50. With so many good FIT systems emerging. ZIESE/STILL PICTURES around 12.000 across the country. This was cut to below 2. the USA and now China are also top manufacturers in this field. refuse workers and civil servants. with 27 million tonnes annually going into the ground – 7 million more than in any other EU member state. They have now been joined by Slovenia. Everything after that date will be recycled. Spain has a very good FIT system also. Japan. or copying from Nature’s behaviour and systems. Nature tends to avoid waste. or incinerated for energy production. Whole ‘eco-industrial parks’ have been set up on this basis. Despite common issues around dioxins produced in incineration.5% of electricity consumption comes from renewables. Climate protection is well served by Resurgence No. OTHER policies and practices are promoting more sus- tainable industrial practices. while the Uk’s figures are closer to 22%. where the waste materials from one industry become feedstocks for another. This is despite the introduction of a landfill tax in 199. Product responsibility is one of the centrepieces of the act. The waste management sector in Germany now employs more than 250. Recover’ successfully became the operating concept in this area. have a long life and are repair-friendly as well as capable of being recycled and disposed of in the safest possible way. IN ADDITION. including technical. Domestic recycling rates in Germany are currently over 50%. administrative. The Uk is still the biggest landfiller in Europe. Reuse. and strict operational regulations were introduced. is one of the most important for us to perfect. energy security and job creation. such as ‘industrial symbiosis’ approaches. This ‘biomimicry’ approach.000 people. Germany plans to send no more waste to landfill by 2020. and is creating a massive industry of its own. Germany is now world leader for installed capacity of solar photovoltaics. conserve energy and live within its means. Colleges run waste management courses and there is even special training for professions in the waste disposal sector. which hosts biannual workshops to exchange information and experience on FITs. and is shown to create the preconditions for waste avoidance. and is leading the way in other solar technologies. political and other matters. Before Germany took serious steps in this field.View of the hydro-electric power station Hohenstein.000 by the millennium. In the continued absence of an international renewable energy agency. The 199 Closed Substance Cycle and Waste Management Act is a major step towards closed-loop recycling and building a ‘circular economy’. the industry is finally getting the good run that its benefits warrant. including engineers. Ruhr Valley. such partnerships are a necessity. The act promotes the development of products which are of multiple use. 245 November/December 2007 5 . Germany PHOTOGRAPH: S. It joined with Germany to create the international Feed-in Cooperation. which include environmental protection. Spain. Annual turnover in the sector now exceeds €50 billion. legislative. The waste hierarchy approach of ‘Reduce. it is highly likely that solutions will be in place for such issues. German waste management legislation is also excellent.

The German car industry is leading the fight against improved emission standards in the EU. and there is still no speed limit on all German motorways. 245 November/December 2007 . The process of taking this vital responsibility presents an opportunity to make the transition to a safe. they will have to improve their standards. Innovative policy and technological solutions can only carry us so far. is clear in his message that environmental protection will not impinge upon the ‘aspirations’ of citizens. The results are clear in terms of the country’s economic development path and the level of public awareness and support. There is also a strong law governing emissions from power plants and factories. Germany PHOTOGRAPH: LUFTBILD BERTRAM/STILL PICTURES this proactive approach to waste management. THE GERMAN WAy has been to inno- vate in policy: to take leadership. just.000 barrels of oil per day were made. The environment minister. When the US imposed the 55mph speed limit in 1974. tempts to block innovation.T H E M O R A L E C O N O M Y Photovoltaics installations. But this path is still based on the same economic growth imperatives as everyone else’s. and around a dozen more cities are expected to join the scheme. including transport. savings of 255. becoming more stringent and taking more cars off the roads. the German goal is that by 2020 each unit of gross domestic product (GDP) will require half the energy that it consumed in 1990. If they want to sell a wide range of commuter vehicles for use in the major cities. writer and campaigner for the World Future Council. annual greenhouse-gas emissions from waste management have been reduced by 0 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. This simple mechanism gets around the political impasse created when industry at- When the US imposed the 55mph speed limit in 1974. Sigmar Gabriel. Doing things irresponsibly and unsustainably is simply not an option for life on Earth. Shell Solar System. This entry limitation will move up a class in a few years. yet wholesale systemic change is not an option favoured by Germany or any other country. and addresses both demand and supply sides. Berlin is to introduce a system which allows only vehicles of a low emission class to enter the area of the city surrounded by the subway. growth of GDP is critical. We need to address the full range of climate change factors at all levels. savings of 255. there are some things the Germans do not do so well – yet. Clean and alternative fuels have been promoted successfully and ground-level ozone has been targeted through reducing the precursor substances that cause it.000 barrels of oil per day were made. The drive is still towards the consumerist model. Since the early 1990s. Air pollution is addressed in Germany through several measures. The new national plan covers every sector. Miguel Mendonça is a researcher. housing and industry. Bavaria. and/or forcing car manufacturers to rethink their opposition to improved emission standards.  Resurgence No. However. He is the author of Feed-in Tariffs: Accelerating the Deployment of Renewable Energy. On energy-efficiency measures. sustainable world.

245 November/December 2007 7 .000 for not rearing fifty pigs. WHO IS IN FARMING at the moment. If I get £3. as dictated by the EU under the Common Agricultural Policy. so please send any information you have on that too.000 from the Rural Payments Agency for not rearing pigs. I will just as gladly not rear porkers. until this year – when he received a cheque for not rearing any. As I become more expert in not rearing pigs. I would now like to join the “not rearing pigs” business. Are there any advantages in not rearing rare breeds such as Saddlebacks or Gloucester Old Spots. say.Dear Secretary of State. That is. I would prefer not to rear bacon pigs. but if this is not the type you want not rearing. which will mean about £240. or are there too many people already not rearing these? As I see it. In view of the above you will realise that I will be totally unemployed. the hardest part of this programme will be keeping an accurate record of how many pigs I haven’t reared. Will I qualify for payments for not growing cereals to not feed the pigs I don’t rear? I am also considering the “not milking cows” business.000 pigs not reared in my second year. In your opinion. perhaps increasing to. and which is the best breed of pigs not to rear? I want to be sure I approach this endeavour in keeping with all government policies. I shall of course be voting for your party at the next general election. 40. He has been rearing pigs for forty years or so. holding myself down to about 4. will I get £6. I plan to be more ambitious. recently received a cheque for £3.000 for the first year. for which I should expect about £2. Are there any Government or Local Authority courses on this? My friend is very satisfied with this business. Emailed by an anonymous Resurgence reader ILLUSTRATIONS: AxEL SCHEFFLER Resurgence No.000 for not rearing 100? I plan to operate on a small scale at first. and the most he ever made on them was £1. what is the best kind of farm not to rear pigs on. Incidentally.422 in 1968.000 tonnes of cereals.000 pigs not raised. I understand that you also pay farmers for not growing crops.4 million from your department. I wonder if I would be eligible to receive tradable carbon credits for all these pigs not producing harmful and polluting methane gases? Another point: these pigs that I plan not to rear will not eat 2. MY FRIEND. and will therefore qualify for unemployment benefits.

However. for example. all the evidence suggests we should be thinking about low. BioRegional coined zero carbon in the context of a ‘Zsquared Zero Carbon Zero Waste community’ concept.000 home). These initiatives are not yet part of a holistic and coherent framework to create a truly sustainable future. 245 November/December 2007 . be very good reasons why no other country was doing this! For example. the construction industry is absorbing the implications of two new documents from the government department Communities and Local Government (CLG). nor do they address how different aspects of our lives contribute to total greenhouse-house gas emissions. are all currently using different definitions of zero carbon – so confusion currently reigns. will stamp duty need to be paid if the renewable energy technology is installed but doesn’t work or is not maintained? It is also an economically regressive measure. Rumour has it that the Treasury did not want many homes to be stamp duty exempt. the net carbon emission from all energy use in the home (heating. so as not to affect government revenue streams. THE AVERAGE PERSON in the Uk is responsible for about twelve tonnes of CO2 emissions. goods and services imported from overseas. processing and distribution of our food. Instead we must build places where it is easy to lead an eco-friendly lifestyle: places where it is easy to walk and cycle. organic produce. where.000 saving on a £500. in that purchasers of ‘affordable’ homes will not benefit. whereas buyers of expensive homes will reap the greatest benefit (a £15. using fossil fuels only for back-up. 1% and 18% respectively. we are led to a fundamentally more holistic. Preceding these organisations’ use of the term. northwest of Cambridge. and even smaller as our winters become warmer. whereas electrical appliances.and zero-carbon lifestyles. There may. (More significant in terms of space heating is what we do with our older housing stock. 4%. If we consider other greenhouse gases such as nitrous oxide and methane. HIGHER QUALITY The two documents from CLG build on increasing government activity to improve environmental standards in our homes.000 homes to be zero carbon. over a year. not just zerocarbon homes. this raises a number of questions. and not just carbon dioxide. BioRegional defined zero carbon as buildings run on a combination of on-site and new installed renewable capacity off-site. As I write this article. but an increasing amount is embodied in food. The first is Building a Greener Future which proposes that the Uk achieve zero carbon for all new homes by 201 – meaning that. This sits in the context of Treasury policy that. T HE Uk GOVERNMENT NOW does seem to be serious about promoting environmentally friendly homes – in particular zero-carbon homes. is for new towns of at least 5. seasonal. The ambition of the current Minister for Housing. CLG. since no stamp duty is paid on homes under £125. although it is worth going beyond current building regulations with the thermal performance of our homes. the majority is released by burning fossil fuels in the Uk. for example.U N D E R C U R R E N T S ENERGY POORAN DESAI LOWER C ARBON. Therefore. people-centred and economically rational approach. For a person living in a home built to current building regulations. as much as a third of our impact comes from the production. Does this mean we can now leave it all to government? Unfortunately not. There are other more mundane issues. How should we define a zero-carbon home? Should we try to generate all our heat and power from renewable energy onsite? What policy measures should we be supporting? And with space heating now only about % of the carbon emissions of a person living in a new home. sales of new zero-carbon homes will be exempt from stamp duty. The second document is CLG’s Ecotowns prospectus. Over the past five years the government has promoted the Building Research Establishment’s EcoHomes system which this year has been replaced by the government’s own Code for Sustainable Homes. new and old. in Devon. coherent. The rate of house building is such that by 2050 as many as a third of houses in existence in the Uk will have been built between now and then.000. When we take lifestyles as our starting point. simple insulation will save considerable carbon. however. It won’t in itself save much carbon. A more coherent approach might Eco-towns and zero-carbon homes will work only within the context of a low-carbon lifestyle. hot water and appliances) will be zero.000 to 20. waste and personal transport account for %. Energy Performance Certificates are becoming mandatory as part of the Home Information Pack on sales of all homes. the Treasury and the Greater London Authority. where it is easy to recycle and where we have ready access to local. 8 Resurgence No. and Cranbrook. The announcement in autumn 200 of a stamp duty exemption on zero-carbon homes was unexpected but received a lot of attention with the claim from the government that no other country was doing this. for a limited period. The government is prepared to use the far-reaching powers of the New Towns Act 1981 to ensure that eco-towns can go ahead even against local opposition. yvette Cooper. and fortunately it also means we can create places that are more humane and offer a higher quality of life. places that are far less car dependent. All these lifestyle issues must be integral if we are going to make a real difference. the carbon savings will be relatively small. hot water. heating now accounts for only about % of carbon emissions. Two eco-towns have been identified already: Northstowe.) We cannot think simply in terms of building new eco-homes.

(The main inefficiencies in our energy supply arise from wasting the by-product heat from electricity production in conventional coal. Photovoltaic panels generate electricity reliably and with low maintenance.Computer graphic of ‘One Planet Living’ community due to start construction in Brighton shortly COURTESy: CREST NICHOLSON BIOREGIONAL QUINTAIN have been to introduce measures to promote energy efficiency and renewables in a way that would apply to both new and existing housing. long-term maintenance and operation. If we want wind energy. rather than an ideological one. and ensuring that home owners who are generating renewable energy can feed it into the grid at decent prices. but if you follow recommended servicing with a yearly call-out charge at an optimistic £100 per time. A coherent set of measures could include removing VAT on energy efficiency and renewable products whilst increasing VAT on inefficient products and nonrenewables. wide uptake is unlikely even if capital cost is written off completely.5– 9%. are likely to remain) expensive for the amount of energy they generate. using solar thermal panels and wood-heating systems). Even though we will lose some energy in transmitting the electricity through our high-voltage grid. which means supplying renewable energy through a balanced combination of on-site and off-site renewables. and our government. to zero carbon. Pooran Desai is Sustainability Director of ecoproperty development company BioRegional Quintain Ltd. www. A move to a future basically free from dependence on fossil fuels will require us to live in zero-carbon homes. The Treasury definition of zero carbon currently requires the home to generate all heat and power from renewables on-site. particularly for heating and hot water (for example. yet remain (and. but there will still be a fundamental role for larger-scale power generation which itself must be low-carbon. There are as yet no tried and tested small-scale biomass heatand-power plants. we probably need to erect big turbines in windy locations. Building-mounted wind turbines may end up generating £0 of electricity per year. We. for the medium term.com Resurgence No. must take a considered and rational approach. There is a role for on-site renewable energy generation. gas and nuclear plants. pure losses from transmission are only 7.bioregional-quintain. Personally I am very far from being convinced of its value as a general policy – even though it retains its place in green aspiration and ideology. requiring energy supply companies to generate more from renewables.) IN A SUSTAINABLE future we will see more local energy production (so-called embedded generation). when it comes to electricity generation there remain major issues with initial cost. However. We must also recognise that zero-carbon homes will have limited impact on our emissions of greenhouse gases unless we take a holistic approach based on our lifestyles as a whole. 244 September/October 2007 9 . Wind energy generated is proportional to the square of the diameter of the blades and the cube of wind speed: a turbine with twice the diameter in a location with twice the average wind speed will generate sixty-four times as much energy. oil.

To serve its rapidly growing industrial production needs. in Eurasia (kazakhstan and Azerbaijan). there are at least five major theatres of geo-political confrontation which could. Bush’s presidency. while China has allied with Venezuela. leading globo-petro-cop. Thailand. as the world’s industrial powers struggle for control over increasingly scarce and expensive petroleum resources on the planet. in Asia-Pacific (Australia. Burma and Bangladesh). China and India have military and political accords with Iran. China now has to import 45% of its oil from abroad. the US has become the A Oil is not only causing global warming. Meanwhile. Ecuador and Brazil). the Pentagon itself has become the world’s number one institutional oil consumer. Washington has 725 military bases in 12 countries. by the invasion of Iraq to gain control of that country’s lucrative oil reserves. it is also the cause of global wars. As a result. Globally speaking. symbolised. By establishing its military bases in strategic locations. Cuba. both Iran and Asia are in conflict with the US. the US now imports 58% of its oil needs. In recent years. Currently. determining the routing of oil export pipelines and exercising undisputed control over the sea lanes through which the world’s oil is shipped. Angola. As the world’s largest consumer of petroleum. Recent doctrines of national security have made it quite clear that protecting US interests means securing control over oil and other vital resources around the world. the bonus prize is Iraq which has abundant sources of highquality oil that is cheap to produce. the global stage is being set for a new wave of political struggles and potential wars over the control of oil. the US further solidifies its control by making strategic investments in oil-rich countries and regions on a geopolitical basis. erupt into regional if not global oil wars: Persian Gulf Region: Although Saudi Arabia remains the leading oil supplier in the Persian Gulf. Vietnam. there is a tendency to ignore the geo-political realities of rising militarism in response to peak oil conditions. But now the US is being challenged by China and. Through this kind of military reach. China has signed oil contracts with countries in five key regions: in the Middle East (Iran and Syria). the US is also able to prop up unsavoury client regimes with armaments and credits in order to gain access to oil supply chains. Indonesia. During George W. Peru. in effect. to some extent. while India imports 70%. the centre of this new wave of militarisation is the United States. Indeed. in Africa (Sudan. At present. and in Latin America (Venezuela. adding the Iraq war plus new weapons technology expenditures. the annual total is nearing the one trillion dollar mark. of course. India and Russia. in terms of controlling global oil supply lines. We need to free ourselves from oil dependency to save the Earth and save ourselves.U N D E R C U R R E N T S A R M S R AC E • TO N Y C L A R K E GLOBO-PETRO-COPS US army tanks at the Germersheim Army Depot in Germany. a clearing house for surplus and obsolete military equipment PHOTOGRAPH: LEIF SkOOGFORS/CORBIS S ECOLOGICAL AND social movements gear-up for the ‘great transition’ demanded by the new age of climate change. US military spending has skyrocketed 75% to the point where. In effect. Moreover. accounting for 85% of all US federal government consumption. 245 November/December 2007 . the US is able to secure control over global oil supplies. Nigeria and Tunisia). while marginalising those countries that stand in the way. only seventeen of the eighty po- 40 Resurgence No. At the same time.

most scientific efforts are driven by large military research and development budgets. while China. China has been making significant inroads. oil contracts between China and Iraq were suddenly cancelled.The Djibouti base itself is known to be part of the Trans-Sahara Counter-Terrorism Initiative. On borrowing dollars from China to offset the other hand. In this way.polarisinstitute. In any case. While Venezuela continues to supply oil to the US. Paraguay and Ecuador which are strategic locations for monitoring what’s going on in the rest of the continent. along with nearly a doubling of production. Currently the labs are working on the Reliable Replacement Warhead. the US has established an alliance involving Japan. the US intends to encircle both Russia and China with regional pro-American regimes in this part of Eurasia. to survive the challenges of climate The Gwadar port in Pakistan. On the one hand. The great irony is that the economies of both the US and China are inextricably Only seventeen of the eighty potential dependent on one another. In order to protect its oil interests in Nigeria and Chad. Its funds for doing this come through the US Department of Energy. the US has established a military base in Djibouti. Thailand and Cambodia. a new hydrogen bomb that the Bush administration hopes will replace every nuclear weapon in the US. Meanwhile. the its oil shipments. According to Lemarchand.tential oilfields of Iraq have been tapped for production to date. for exchange will be affected by what these ample. in turn. Backing different pipeline routes. There is a close relationship between research and development funding and the exponential growth of the lethality of weaponry. Caspian Sea Region: The rich oil and gas reserves of Central Asia have become a major hotspot as the US. www. the US and China have been competing for control over vital oil supply routes in the Asia-Pacific region. The management of the nuclear weapons laboratories by the University of California is just the tip of the iceberg of military involvement with universities around the world. www. notably Venezuela. is protected by a large US military base located in Incirlik. with up to 75% repatriation of profits to the parent companies. Russia and China scramble to gain control of the region’s resources and pipeline routes. including Bangla‘great transition’ needed for the planet desh. in turn.wagingpeace. provides China with a strategic globo-petro-cops do in response to the transit terminal for its oil imports but realities of peak oil. the US Navy carried out its sell its mass-produced goods while the most extensive military operations in US has become highly dependent on the region since the Vietnam War. Too often military funding is the only source of funding available for academic researchers.org Resurgence No. Today. we can expect to see increasing conflict of interest between the US and China. In the same region. Scientists may not be concerned with or even know the reasons why their basic research is being funded by military sources. Sudan and Chad have become battlegrounds for the control of oil by global powers. therefore. Australia and possibly India. South China Sea: At the same time. The US. Burma. Venezuela has also courted Beijing by inviting Chinese oil companies to explore its oilfields and by enabling the construction of a pipeline for oil shipments via Columbia that allows China to bypass the Panama Canal. arms deals and long-term oil supply contracts. During the 20th century the lethality (maximum number of casualties per hour that a weapon can generate) grew from about 100 at the beginning of the century to about 6 billion at the end of the century. economy. but the work of the nuclear weapons laboratories is largely secret and military in nature. thereby heightening tensions among these powers in the region. China depends a korea. is now Sudan’s number one arms supplier. China has countered its massive trade imbalance. great deal on the huge US market to In 200. The University of California is an example of a university providing research and development for military purposes. It provides management and oversight to the US nuclear weapons laboratories. Whether with what has been called its ‘string this economic interdependency will of pearls’ strategy which involves a be sufficient to prevent the outbreak series of alliances with countries that of oil wars between these two powhave harbours along the sea route of ers remains to be seen. As an export-oriented oilfields of Iraq have been tapped to date. Mauritania and Morocco. David Krieger is President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. To protect its oil and related interests. The lethality growth of weapons in the 20th century was 60 million. Mali. Bolivia and Ecuador. each of these three big powers is vying for support from regional governments and pitting one against the other. West-Central Africa: Similarly. Iraq’s still-to-be-ratified oil law calls for the granting of fifteen-totwenty-year concessions to the big US and Uk petroleum corporations. When the US and the Uk seized control of Iraq’s oilfields through the 200 invasion. counCanada. is promoting the Baku-Tibilisi-Ceyhan pipeline which is designed to bypass both Russia and Iran in order to transport oil out of Azerbaijan to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan which. also allows China to monitor US naval operations in the region. The driving of academic research and development by military budgets is becoming pervasive at universities throughout the world. Washington has well-established military bases in countries like Columbia. WEAPONS ACADEMY DAVID KRIEGER ACCORDING TO Professor Guillermo Lemarchand from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. and now encompasses the population of the planet. 245 November/December 2007 41 . both China and India have deepened their military co-operation with Iran in the form of joint exercises. the US military assigns officers to practically all areas of the world to seek out scientific researchers who may be helpful in furthering US military purposes. Columbia. Chad. and a leader in the global effort to abolish nuclear weapons. Upper Latin America: Although the US has long considered Latin America to be in its political orbit. growing tensions between Caracas and Washington have tempered relations in the region. South tries like Nigeria. Sudan has become China’s largest oil supplier. for example. the US maintains its strategic interests in all of the continent’s oil-producing countries. involving troops from a variety of neighbouring African countries including Algeria.org IN THE GLOBAL struggle for control over depleting oil reserves. Tony Clarke is President of the Polaris Institute.

Deeper into the silence we notice the flutter of dropping needles soft as feathers from the sky. Ecological awareness demands a profound attention. 2005. before language. in whose poems Scottish landscapes are informed by traditional understandings. which sinks past surface appearances towards an understanding of the world around us in something like its own terms. yet something is always present on days like this and sometimes I think I know them: blood-kin. Welsh editor Robert Minhinnick. and a pause in which we sense a presence. unpublished work. a warmth in my legs and arms like the pull of the dead going before me. where we begin to see ourselves as part of the forest. They could easily be joined by. from grass-light to rain. Alongside anecdote and humour. with sickles and baling twine. the thought emerging like a white doe who keeps a shy distance. for example.99) 42 Resurgence No. As it approaches its centenary.00) . they are never the dead I remember. touched with the black of a motionless elsewhere: snaking through weeds or spotting the windows like rain. at home in the heart of the grove. Pascale Petit latest book: The Huntress (Seren. or alone. These days they come more often. those faint Super 8s of women in gabardines and coloured gloves turning to ghosts in the snow-light for one more parting. A DAWN TRAIL Each day we come earlier. the Australian ecoactivist John kinsella. celebrations of sexuality and of urban cool. crossing a line from grass-light to summer rain.T H E A R T S Guest Editor: Fiona Sampson www. insight. £9.uk Poetry POETRY REVIEW AND THE NEW ECO-POETS The poetic mainstream is changing.org. walking in pairs. KIN I was just coming up from the meadow. 2007. three influential eco-poets share new. before the human tongue took root.poetryreview. searching for that hush no freeway hum will shatter. when the morning wind blows all sound into the next creek and even our footsteps are muffled by a soundproof carpet. 245 November/December 2007 or stooping in under a tree for a moment’s shelter. a new sensibility is revealing itself. Here. What fills the place left by superficial appearance is often meaning. £7. resonant and bright. Poetry Review is using its position to encourage this quiet revolution. John Burnside latest book: Gift Songs (Cape. or Robin Robertson.

it will rain until the world is purged.carcanet.99) Poet and editor Fiona Sampson’s new books. it swamps the furnaces of landmills and seamills. £11. 2007. it takes the high ground in squalls. clouds like anvils. Carcanet. Common Prayer (poetry. 245 November/December 2007 4 . 2007. it batters thresholds. an opera-libretto on the subject of global warming. It cancels a mile of cliffs. 2007.ILLUSTRATION: TRUDA LANE THE FLOOD A night of rain. purple-edged. A sudden rush of rainfall swills the foreshore and fills the hoop of the sky so that it mells with the sea.uk) and On Listening (essays. Salt. reflect her interests in ecology and the meaningful landscape. Resurgence No. From The Hoop of the World. £9. black at the centre. Already it seems to shrill in the yard-pump and the well. it blots out sails. Listen – the sound of the rain is endless bells. The downpour drills the sodden upland and spills into the bowl of the valley. £14. it clambers over sills. and then a day of rain.com). and still rain so that nothing remains but the nub of field and fell and water does whatever it will.95: www. The world will be waterfalls till Doomsday breaks. Already it beats underground. If this is the end of the world. David Harsent latest book: Selected Poems 1969–2005 (Faber.95: www. hanging in rails over the blackened hills.saltpublishing.co.

Cornwall PHOTOGRAPH: BEN FOSTER 44 Resurgence No. 245 November/December 2007 .T H E T H E A R T S A R T S Seed. sculpture by Peter Randall-Page in The Core at the Eden Project.

to the extent that all of his work is based on the study of natural forms and patterns. Metaphor is absolutely critical for me in art. botanical forms and they wanted a new. There is lots of talk about collaborations between art and architecture. and they went away and did some more number-crunching and came back about a week later. But pattern and decoration are two different things and pattern isn’t decoration. He believes we are built P for pattern recognition. Seed. In that sense it’s a metaphor. But it’s not just a question of the objective observation of Nature: it’s actually about how the things we see in Nature impact on our subjective minds. The whole thing with the spiral phyllotaxis pattern. a kind of add-on.” As time has gone on Peter has become more and more interested in the underlying principles that determine the incredible variety of natural form. is the culmination of his life’s work. “I’m not trying to kid anyone that it’s anything other than stone. 245 November/December 2007 45 . Members of the Eden Project team approached him initially because they were interested in his work with organic. daisies and the leaves of plants. and said. in this case. Peter Randall-Page’s iconic new sculpture at the Eden Project in Cornwall. fir cones. The most obvious place you’ll see this spiral phyllotaxis pattern is in the arrangement of seeds in the head of a sunflower.” SEED IS PETER’S latest and perhaps most celebrated sculpture. which was quite a difficult proposition given that the geodesic biomes themselves are so iconic and so sculptural. iconic sculpture for the project. in snail shells and in galaxies. and wondered whether that could possibly form the basis of the roof structure. They’d used a kind of geometry that was much more regular – so there were the same number of spiral elements and the same curvature in each direction and actually that isn’t what is found in Nature. “So we went back and spent some time with the engineers and explained this to them. “People think of pattern as a superficial thing. I think all art relies on the idea of metaphor.” Peter is also very interested in volumetric sculpture and the relationship between what you see on the outside and what that implies about the interior. The only brief from Eden was that they wanted a building which was like a tree – a pretty unusual brief for an architect to get! “The challenge was to make a contemporary building where we actually used plant imagery and form. He is immersed in and inspired by Nature. We know it’s not true but it can inform one about truth. From a very early age he was interested in the “amazing perfection of the way things grow and the patterns in Nature. to allow their imagination to go beyond the surface and to be drawn into this dark mass of volume inside. His understanding has come from direct observation of the natural world – looking at things and seeing how they fit together. it’s almost as if there’s a ‘pattern book’ of Nature.’ Which actually isn’t that surprising in a sense because it’s to do with the economical packing structure preferred by Nature!” One of the most remarkable things about this whole project for Peter was actually researching these principles Resurgence No. ETER RANDALL-PAGE lives and works in an idyllic. collaborative working and the juxtaposition between inner and outer form. to imply internal dynamics that we know aren’t really happening. there was great chemistry between us right from the beginning and I was involved absolutely at the very first stage. Those same numerical patterns also exist in the arrangement of pine cones. but in my experience there is very seldom a real collaboration. but when we looked at what they’d been designing. When you start examining and studying these principles. it is the truthful lie. for example in the way water moves. Then. “As well as being visually interesting patterns. It embodies his interest in pattern. Hewn out of a single piece of Cornish granite. Looking at them. you lose something essential. they hadn’t been using the kind of geometry that is genuinely found in Nature. none of which I felt very comfortable about because of the scale of the biomes. they decided to build a new education building and – in a quite unusual move on their part – asked me if I would work with the architect Jolyon Brewis on the whole concept and design of the building. and plant growth. If you lose that and art becomes too literal. Art is metaphor. they are also mathematically significant. We gave the idea to the engineers and they said it wouldn’t work. “I played around with a few ideas. They had in mind a free-standing piece somewhere on the site. and Nature’s efficient way of ‘packing’ form.” Peter’s appreciation of the principles of mathematics and geometry is brought to life through his sculptures. they relate to the golden proportion and the Fibonacci sequence in ways that one would never expect. Pattern is incredibly profound and everything we see around us consists of various patterns. the Fibonacci numbers and the golden proportion is much more complex than that and it’s not something that engineers usually come across. including art installations. unspoilt valley on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon. very excited. But. ‘This is the most brilliant structural principle. we love to find pattern and we get great pleasure from pattern. one sees the sheer beauty in mathematics.PATTERN AND METAPHOR S C U L P T U R E • L O R N A H O WA RT H Seed. I’m simply inviting the viewer to suspend their disbelief. is based on a particularly interesting geometric principle that underpins botany. His latest sculpture. its sheer mass and scale single it out as a new monolith for our time. like a pattern overlaid on something else. In seemingly disparate contexts you’ll find the same spiral forms. I started to think about the spiral phyllotaxis pattern found in plant growth.

But the inspiring thing that’s happened in the past decade or so has been Peter’s collaboration with other people – musicians. on what makes human beings tick and how we feel things. The world is full of interpretation boards and signage these days and I think it’s really. I’d hate there to be any signs or anything interpretive within the Seed chamber. It’s not a matter of having an experience in your life and then thinking. solar-plexus experience of being within a contained space with something of enormous mass.” BEING A SCULPTOR is quite a solitary experience. Obviously Seed is different. where an apple completely fills a room. a lot of people find it easy to think when they go for a walk. for example. Drawing and carving. For a long time Peter had been interested in the idea of making a sculpture within a specially designed chamber. writers and. It wouldn’t be the same if it was a hollow object. a bit of your consciousness is busy with this very repetitive physical activity. but a much larger object within a building. architects and engineers. like the Magritte painting The Listening Room. poets. reacting and appraising. in a strange way you can make decisions and be aware and alert enough to follow your instinct – a sensitivity that leads to something else. The nature of the geometry of this building means that it has a central ‘core’. But it has that same sort of impact. Stone-carving frees his mind to think. or made from more than one piece of stone. the building eventually became know as The Core. Then. ‘Oh.’ It doesn’t work like that.” Peter Randall-Page’s website is at www. Indeed.” PETER RANDALL-PAGE believes that art should be part of everyday life and not just confined to a gallery. I’d done some drawings of bell-shaped chambers. I remember having those feelings when I was a child. A lot of the work he’s done in the past has been not only to do with making an object but also making a space for the object. That makes for a much more intimate and personal encounter. Very much an Alice in Won- derland-type experience: that slightly surreal. which would have been built around a very large carved stone. “When you’re working physically and you’re hammering. A viewer would enter this space and there would be natural light from above which would bring out the relief carving on the stone but would be contained within a very limited space with this very large volume of stone. They’re to do with people’s feelings about their place and their role in that place. Whilst carving. Lorna Howarth is Co-editor of Resurgence. or hub. for me. ultimately. There is something about that reciprocal relationship between place and humanity that is incredibly optimistic. “There is something powerful about having a big mass confined in a space. I do use that technology as well. when there are so many amazing technologies and ways of working. drawing and modelling I find I am constantly reacting and appraising. which I wouldn’t be able to do by just sitting down and trying to come up with an idea. and then finding that that they could be transferred to a real building. Carving in stone is a way he deals with those subjective experiences. and for a long time Peter worked pretty much on his own. or when the body is busy with a physical activity.T H E A R T S “I know for a fact that an awful lot of people think that it’s a very bizarre thing to carve stone in the 21st century. It gives a sense that it is possible for human beings to have a sympathetic relationship with our environment and one that celebrates it. Because carving is a visual and tactile media you can’t dream it up in words or thought: you actually have to do it. A split boulder with carved surfaces set on the lake shore marking one hundred years of the National Trust. very visceral. Peter’s interest in stone goes much deeper. “I’ve done quite a lot of things in niches where objects are contained within a specific space. This becomes a kind of dialogue which is quite un-selfconscious. feeling that my body was filling the whole room. sculpture by Peter Randall-Page PHOTOGRAPH: BRITAINONVIEW/VAL CORBETT in his own private practice for years.com With thanks to Jo Oland for help with this article. “These are objects that people have taken trouble to make and that aren’t necessarily functional. That was one of the things I was really excited about. I showed these drawings to Jolyon and we started to think of the central space in The Core as being a chamber specifically designed to house a large symbolic seed sculpture – almost like a seed within a pod. For instance. But working with stone keeps me in touch with Earth and a state of mind that enables me to find form. lying in bed with my eyes closed going to sleep at night. it isn’t a wayside shrine. a bit like bottle-kilns.peterrandall-page. He’s concerned with how the experience of Nature and the world impacts subjectively on us. the experience of walking in Europe in the mountains and finding little things that people have made like little wayside shrines or little gods of place is a very positive experience. I’ll make a sculpture about that. “For me. It’s getting yourself in the right headspace and frame of mind so you can actually allow things that you have experienced to float up to the surface of your consciousness. that the whole roof emanates from. 4 Resurgence No. really important to come across things that are slightly enigmatic and that don’t have a great big explanation about who made them and what it means and when it was done and what it’s made of. somehow fuses thought and action in the working process. 245 November/December 2007 .

it takes time to fully connect with the possibilities and understand the reactions and so it is only near the end that she gets into her stride and is happy with the marbled papers produced. she uses those slices to build up gentle simple dishes which have deep rhythmic folds in them. which made the process more widely known and thus encouraged more people to make marbled papers. The whole process was a secret for over a thousand years and was in danger of dying out until an Englishman in the 1890s wrote a book about it. where one family has been continuously marbling paper for fifty-five generations. They have marbled paper covers. I have often wondered how it is done. Then. she has spent years experimenting adding different materials to various clays to see what happens. it is in the bark of trees. unpredictable process. swirling and whirling and circling. you fill a sink with water.com Sandy Brown is a ceramicist who lives in North Devon. Her books are exquisite. and drop paint into it so that globules of colour float on the top. looking for curiously coloured dust. She spends hours playing in this way and gently laying the paper on top of the coloured water to pick up the patterns. I can let you into the secret. The colours blend and merge yet still remain separate. of the shape of colours and how they relate to each other. It is only naturally occuring oxides. iron oxide makes a rich rusty brown. she is a floating-water artist who says she works “with blobs”. you could disappear into another universe. It really is an inherent means of expression which humans have. That’s it. the colour is the pot. The thing potters love is that only natural materials that occur in the ground can be used to make clays and glazes: all modern technology and plastics and chemicals are no use. Another is Grizel Luttman-Johnson who did the colours in the image on this page. you can do only one: it is a monoprint. If you wish you can take a feather or a thin needle or a multi-toothed comb and gently swirl it about the surface so that the colours fold into each other. really. There are today many practitioners of paper marbling including one artist who throws black sumi ink into a river and then lays huge sheets of paper on top of it to pick up the moving patterns. They build up laminated layers of these coloured clays. The characteristic of this way of making pots is that the colour of course is there on the inside and the outside. She usually discards the first three-quarters in each session. the glaze and body are one. rich green. suddenly old marbled papers look modern. by cutting and slicing to reveal the coloured layers. Ancient diaries of my childhood had simple endpapers with lines which look like those on medieval slipware platters. and now that I know. she drops oil and watercolours into water and loves watching the reactions. Dorothy Feibleman’s work can be seen at www. really. looking at one now it strikes me that one of the main attractions is the fluidity of the patterns. 245 November/December 2007 47 . So you have to connect with the Earth and sometimes have to go out foraging and digging. it’s there in the way butter and oil mix. Marbled paper itself goes back nearly a thousand years. It can be done with clay too. handmade paper pages. in stone walls and in the beautiful mother-of-pearl shells she uses to make the buttons for her books. E one colour can repel or attract another. Dorothy Feibleman is especially known for her soft folded forms in which she prepares several layers of coloured clays: laminating. and copper rust can give a deep. POTTERS HAVE ALWAyS loved the way that you can play with the colours of different clays. There are examples in the British Museum from two and three hundred years ago which anticipated our understanding of the formal development of an abstract visual language. There is the whole culture of marbled end-papers in books. minerals. No glaze is needed.mobilia-gallery. and are bound with plaited red thread. of the rhythm of lines. one of the attractions is that I would love to design some marbled end-papers for it. and mother-of-pearl buttons. The inside is the outside. In Japanese there is a word for folding marbled clays: neri-komi. rocks and stones that will withstand the heat of the fire. and is thought to have originated in Japan. Feibleman has developed some striking colours in her clay. Sometimes paints react against each other and split into many tiny droplets. It draws you into its pool. there are several potters worldwide who make their life’s work marbling clay. VERy SO OFTEN someone says to me that I should write a book about my work and I must admit that apart from the challenge of sorting out my life and times. there is the sense of balance of a mass of colour against drips. Galileo’s books had marbled end-papers. Now that abstract painting is in vogue. Grizel Luttman-Johnson can be contacted on 01237 441761. the layers can then be folded over onto each other and sliced like bread to show the colours inside.C R A F T • S A N DY B R O W N MARBLING A fluid. Marbling by Grizel Luttman-Johnson PHOTOGRAPH: SANDy BROWN Resurgence No. when you have a pattern you like you gently lay some paper down on top and it picks the colours up. Potters add cobalt oxide to a white clay to give a grey-blue colour. And now she says she sees marbled patterns in everything: while she is cooking. which is what Feibleman does. The coloured slices can then be set into a mould to form the vessel.

The fish tasted delicious. We weren’t allowed off the train but could buy from sellers through the window. I T WAS SATURDAy 9th September 200 and after only three hours’ sleep I awoke to see the early morning sun rising over the lake through salmon-pink skies. who were travelling together. so I hoped to buy some fish from the lake. managing to achieve his dream with the aid of a nurse. I shared the fish. first with a beau- tiful man who was partially sighted. if a bit salty. Here there was a buzzing atmosphere too. Soon enough we were stopping at another station. Baikal.R E G U L A R S S L O W T R AV E L • B A R B A R A H A D D R I L L JOURNEYING AFAR It is possible to travel from Europe to Australia without flying – an adventure that values the journey as much as the destination. I also shared my fish with Michal from Poland and Joel from France. We discussed our feelings about the 48 Resurgence No. I noticed a few fishing boats as silhouettes on the canvas and began to wonder what sort of life it was to be an artisan fisherman here in the heart of Siberia on the world’s deepest lake. in old age. 245 November/December 2007 ILLUSTRATION: AxEL SCHEFFLER . I was beginning to feel quite hungry as my supply of food bought in Moscow was dwindling. The light was clear and the water still and calm. as everyone was busily snapping photos and talking about the lake. He had wanted to travel on the iconic Trans-Siberian railway all his life and was finally. He was so happy to be alive and was having a fantastic time even though he was missing out on some of the views. We had our fill and I decided to take the rest of the fish to offer to some of my new friends two carriages down. Michal had also been saving for this adventure for a long time and seemed to share something of my philosophy on life. Everyone enjoyed the spectacle of three inept and halfasleep Europeans trying to buy from three babushkas all shouting together in Russian and waving their strings of smoked fish around.

genuine friend. What Australia and landed on her soil that I would people have travelled on? A raft knew this journey was possible. This was where my adventure began.All legs of the slow journey produced ship and support. all well-dressed businessmen who were After forty days my journey was nearly fascinated that I was travelling alone. other. I was glad salt. that something would go felt if I had been here 40. trains and boats. I had a smart cabin with a babs2brisbane. I slowly chat. Since then we had both gone out into the world and found our separate paths. I was going to travel through fifteen countries and use buses.com double bed. much less carbon when compared to the The evening slowly progressed. There positively and openly. Helen had been an important part of my life when we lived and shared four years at university in Leeds. A yEAR AND a half ago my friend Helen asked me to be one of her bridesmaids. The three men in my cabin were I could see land. and maybe I was naive but I hadn’t fail. This trip that was so much about the destination was increasingly becoming just as much about the journey. Slowly I pieced it together and became increasingly excited about my plan. too. stunning Vietnamese countryside but I grabbed it on the first ring and pass by. This few hours’ sleep while the party carjourney has changed my life in many ried on. In turquoise seas. Barbara Haddrill currently lives and works in On this early morning. All legs of the slow journey produced much less carbon. when humans first discovered the awful decision and either take a plane dry and dusty continent now known as or miss the big day. and it was Australia. throughout the journey that I wouldn’t I was wondering how I would have make it. and settled it as home. Their lives were now entwined and they were getting married at their new home in Brisbane. We had left Hanoi station late the previous night and en- joyed another relaxing night asleep. but 8.000 to go. I worked out the carbon emissions for a return flight to Brisbane and compared it to an equivalent journey made over land and sea. made of timber and coconut leaves? I have seen a lot that has made me Maybe a canoe hollowed from tree afraid for the future of the planet and I bark? How did they steer? Did they am even more determined to play my have paddles? Did they know where part in mitigating climate change and they were going? protecting the beautiful Earth which I Things were very different for me.0AM ON Tuesday 10th October know now it is possible to do it whilst I was lying in bed but could not sleep. the MV Theodor Storm. I was well aware of the terrible impact aeroplanes have on the environment. I had seven weeks instead of a twentyfour hour flight.blogspot. We were carrying 18. My initial nerves had gone now. I hadn’t Machynlleth and is writing a book about her seen land for six days and I had had no travels. and two koreans who were very opened the curtain. Ironically it has actually made me more interested in travelling as I AT 4. Over 2. and what a sight smiley but spoke little English. was so red. kept hopping out at stations to buy more delicacies: grapefruit-like fruit which we ate dipped in was a lot of love and smiling. There is something special about having time to talk to people and share life stories. tle old me. By taking a plane to Australia I would be contradicting all my efforts to reduce my carbon footprint and live in harmony with Nature.journey and he commented. widening my view of the world. I over and I had succeeded in the chalsuppose our cultures were very differlenge where many thought I would ent. an en suite bathroom. ways. Somehow I had made it half-way across Europe on a coach to Moscow and now I had travelled across a lot of Russia and was heading towards Mongolia. AT 9PM ON Sunday 17th September I was travelling on a different train. I had travelled from my home in felt scared and I had been safe on the Wales to Australia without using an journey so far. I was here: I had made it. I leapt out of bed. “I like the space: it’s so empty”. as the sun was starting The food was tasty enough and it gave to push up over the edge of this vast our cabin a chance to get to know each continent. The difference was massive. limiting my environmental impact and I will remember this moment forever. My journey was only eight days old and I had come so far. There were only a few his deep Russian accent he told me we other foreigners on the train: a Scottish were close to land. My three new friends equivalent plane journey. Instead of landing straight down in Australia. The hard part was to find the transport to take me on this epic adventure. I was working at the Centre for Alternative Technology. man who had been studying in SingaThe curtain was so thick that it was pore but didn’t really seem to want to still pitch black in the room. Lush mountainsides dropped heard the familiar and friendly voice down to small idyllic bays lipped by of one of my new officer friends. and a large desk to sit at and ponder. Finally I made my way to the top to have made the trip and to have stuck bunk which was my bed and caught a to my ideals against many odds.559 tonnes of containers and had For more details about the journey nine officers and sixteen crew plus litor to contact Barbara visit www. met my eyes! It was the most beautiful We had been provided with two sunrise I have ever seen. 245 November/December 2007 49 . Resurgence No. Helen had travelled abroad and met an Australian named Steve. I felt slightly bewildered and very the day watching the magnificently excited. I jumped as the phone rang. It wasn’t until I saw Australia. trying to grow vegetables and take time to spend with friends playing music and exploring the great outdoors. have had the privilege to see so much I was travelling on a huge cargo ship. I believe coming together to share food like this is important. but overall my philosophy was THE WEDDING WAS a beautiful day: a to approach everyone and everything simple ceremony on the beach. sensible about what I wore and where I went. The horizon meals courtesy of the train operator. Of course I had been aeroplane. through Vietnam. I spent sel. of. So far I had been rewarded with a lot of kindness. I had moved to Wales and had been living remotely and simply in a small caravan on a farm.000 years wrong and I would have to make the ago.000 miles covered already. It is one that brings a smile to my face There was always the worry and a tear to my eye. I smiled to myself because all around me people were happy and I was happy – really and truly happy. contact with the world outside the vesrocking to the lull of the train.

wheat and other grains from various sources. Similar figures apply to soya oil from South American forests. Even if 100% of the US’s corn crop were devoted to bioethanol production. To paraphrase. And that is before counting the social cost of biofuel production. This is presumably what Gordon Brown was thinking when he declared that from 2008. to biodiversity and to human needs. Pimentel calculates. fermentation. corn. corn-based bioethanol is completely barmy. We need to halt the headlong rush towards biofuels at any cost. and evaluate what really works for humanity energy cost of fertilisers. As David Pimentel of Cornell University demonstrates in his article ‘Corn Ethanol and the Disadvantages of Biofuel Production’. driving countless wildlife species into extinction. which palm oil could be established. and 10% by 2020. The governments of the USA. distillation and industrial plant is included. Thousands of square kilometres of rainforest are burnt to make way for plantations every year. fuels derived from plant or even animal matter. And their cultivation should sequester CO2 from the atmosphere in soils and biomass. So we will have to import most of it. they do not add to global warming. Brazil and many other countries are aiming for similar targets. That is to say. So. Biofuels seem like a good idea because they are apparently ‘carbon neutral’. producing inedible but oily seeds sands of people from their lands. where murderous such as Jatropha – a shrub capable of paramilitary groups operating with growing on arid. the Uk cannot satisfy more than a tiny fraction of its biofuel from homegrown crops. is Brown’s drive for biofuels as good as it looks? The answer is a regretful but resounding “No!” As a small country with a lot of cars. There are millions of hecrises – price rises which have a distares of degraded land in the tropics on proportionate impact on poor people. biofuels are to provide 5. all Uk fuel suppliers must get 2. the carbon dioxide emitted when they are burnt is only carbon dioxide that has already been absorbed by the growing crop. bioethanol demands an energy input representing 149% of its energy content. The key criteria are that the biofuels should. infertile soils across the support of government and biofuel the tropics without fertilisers or pesticompanies are displacing tens of thoucides. tractor fuel. over their entire life cycle. environmental and climate implications have been fully explored.R E G U L A R S SENSIBLE SOLUTIONS • OLIVER TICKELL I T SEEMS LIkE a good idea to run our cars and other vehicles on ‘biofuels’– that is. Palm oil plantation in Malaysia PHOTOGRAPH: OSCAR P. These will 50 Resurgence No. It is also singularly unhelpful as regards global warming: to save one tonne of fossil CO2 emissions with oil-palm biodiesel means emitting as much as eleven times more from forest and peatland destruction. or that is unsuitable for food crops – or else be derived from wastes. The demand for biofuels is already creatpromote biofuels until their social. contribute positively to climate.5% of their fuel from plants. The speculative gains to be made from the present problem being that it is biofuel have also encouraged powerful cheaper to plant oil palm in virgin foragribusiness operators to drive subsistest. Consequently. This will also give time for companies to develop the promised ‘second generation’ biofuels made from wood and cellulosic crop wastes rather than foodstuffs. and under current market conditions this will mean buying palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia. They should be grown on land that has been degraded or abandoned. when the BIOFUELS Biofuels have advantages and disadvantages. SIAGIAN It certainly should be possible for biofuels to be ing global food shortages and price sustainable. palm and soya oil from South America. it would still only satisfy % of the US’s demand for gasoline. Each of these has its problems. and postpone the Uk/EU measures to in Andhra Pradesh. the argument goes. 244 September/October 2007 .75% of transport fuel by 2010. rather than releasing it. Growing palm oil to put into our fuel tanks is now the major driver of this environmental tragedy. rising to 5% in 2010. In the Far East. and ethanol fermented and distilled from sugar cane. untold human suffering. creating plantations onto degraded lands. using the income from timber sales ence farmers with insecure land title to finance the operation. Plantations have already been established on SO WHAT CAN we do? First we must the fringes of the Sahara in Mali. Bioethanol has different but equally severe downsides. And we need to define binding sustainability criteria to apply to biofuels under the Uk/EU regulations. A discrimiand indigenous people off their lands nating biofuel market would direct the to make way for plantations. oil palm is a major cause of deforestation. ideal for biofuel production. India. They should provide livelihoods for poor people and respect their land rights. One such hotWe also need to use novel plants spot is Colombia. In the EU as a whole.

Manufacturers must therefore be compelled to double – or better – the efficiency of their cars over the coming decade. OF course. SIAGIAN the waste oil from its 1. anoth- come into production in the next few years. estisamphire. of Gasrec. combined with an increased role for plant biomass – such as forestry waste.200 Uk outlets to fuel its fleet of 155 vehicles. and estimates that it will save over  million litres of waste cooking oil from landfill every year.uk and www. purpose-grown willow and poplar. 245 November/December 2007 51 . Resurgence No. Others are pinning their hopes on ‘seawater farms’ established along arid tropical coastlines (of which the world has some 40.org. cycle more and use more buses and trains. and jatropha enthusiasts hope that the product will be able to compete with palm oil on price alone. ample McDonald’s has begun to use For lower mileage vehicles.000km) growing a mix of ‘halophyte’ (salt tolerant) species from shrimp to mangrove timber and er approach suggests itself: a move to electric propulsion. than any conceivable biofuel programme. Almost all the technological advances in engine design of the last twenty years have gone into making cars heavier and capable of more thrusting acceleration. and Miscanthus grass – for electricity generation. wetlands. this to Baja California. to be converted to run on methane Within the Uk one promising – something which could make good source of environmentally friendly sense for heavily used commercial vebiodiesel is waste cooking oil. we need to use cars less and to walk more. not to with oil-palm biodiesel means emitting mention sewage – indeed. Mexico. which collects used oil from Oxford college kitchens. as much as eleven times more from forest almost anything biodegradable. For exhicles. Some species of samphire mates that every tonne of food waste (Salicornia) produce fatty seeds from can produce 50kg of methane which which an oil suitable for both food and can then be compressed for automotive use. but all food waste.Palm nuts harvested and ready for processing PHOTOGRAPH: OSCAR P. ABOVE ALL.org/news Oliver Tickell writes and campaigns on health and environmental issues. This will produce far greater benefits. Richard Lilleystone and peatland destruction. and with none of the collateral human and environmental impacts. a samphire native diesel requirement.biofuelwatch. while efficiency has stagnated. far faster. are currently being established at Bahía kino. For more information please visit: www. a company specialising in composting for methane production. Plantations waste biomass to replace 20% of its of Salicornia biglovii.000 hectares. Ordinary drivers can also buy biodiesel processed from waste cooking oil from small companies such as Golden Fuels. Of course. Thus the Uk generates sufficient biodiesel can be extracted. This resource is relatively small but it deserves to be fully utilised. And it’s not just waste oil To save one tonne of fossil CO2 emissions that can be used for biofuel. But there is another priority that should come before all of these: making our vehicles more efficient in the first place. would mean that many vehicles curwithin a mixed seawater farm that may rently running on diesel would have ultimately grow to 0.

we make a stand against degraded. hygiene – were needed. Here we introduce Carole Bamford. and not the mass-produced market. This in turn helps the wider rural communities. and who make informed decisions about sustainable lifestyles. T In this. thereby offering people a means of making a living with pride 52 Resurgence No. It was like an unexpected but overwhelming homecoming: I experienced a sense of intense recognition. Now we connect with those who have a passionate aspiration towards joined-up thinking about food and farming. organic food. nutritionally starved food. craft-oriented ‘village economy’ that is practised there. chairs. and at Daylesford in Gloucestershire. we adopted the government school in Jharsaintli. the bread you eat may have been made from flour that has been grown in our organic fields. That was over twenty years ago. It has been my visual stimulation and spiritual inspiration – and has been my teacher. Here was the answer to what I had felt myself over many years – the urgent need to be sure that we safeguard our children’s futures. but there is another strand of inspiration – another bough of the tree – that I draw on which initially taught me to value the important work of the artisan: whether this be the tailor. Early on in my life I travelled extensively in India and was introduced to the practices of yoga and meditation – as well as to the human-scale. by feeding them real. Kneading bread made with organic flour from Daylesford farm COURTESy: DAyLESFORD ORGANIC WENTy yEARS AGO. the farmer or the vintner. wholesome. It was my moment of epiphany – an inspiration that has informed my work ever since. Here were individuals striving against industrial farming who paid real respect to the land and wanted to grow food in harmony with it. are twin boughs of the same tree. We aim to work with the individual. we try to produce food and other products that embody this integrity. it took some effort to persuade those who worked on our conventionally run farms in Staffordshire. computer skills. At Bamford and at Daylesford Organic. As a passionate nomad. we tell the stories of individuals working in the ‘mainstream’ of life who experience a moment of epiphany and change their lives. Bamford and Daylesford Organic. I return as often as I can and I have made it a particular point of our company business that we seek out artisans wherever they are. and the vegetables and fruit are from our organic kitchen garden.R E G U L A R S TURNING POINT C A RO L E B A M F O R D ARTISAN ECONOMY The products we make and buy reflect our deepest values. at our peril. On the farm. our occasional ‘Turning Point’ column. India has been of enormous importance in my life and my businesses. we search for original artisans who promote these values and who are dedicated to preserving traditional techniques. the cheese and milk come from our dairy herd. and help them to preserve and promote their precious skills by trading fairly and justly with them. and that we break the link between the health of the soil. who embrace a more holistic. providing me with an endless series of lessons about life. First and foremost we acknowledge that these businesses are sustained by artisans: people with special skills who have come together because they share our commitment to promoting better ways of living and working. I believe that the products we make reflect not only our aesthetics. and the lives and health of those who live upon it. we sponsor literacy projects. They are physical manifestations of what I believe: that we are all guardians of the soil itself. where the basics – teachers. desks. but our deepest values. For example. My two linked businesses. we stand against the loss of originality and individuality that comes with the industrialisation of the once precious traditional way of life. 245 November/December 2007 . As a businesswoman. In our Bamford ranges. I walked into one of England’s most prestigious agricultural shows and discovered some stands occupied by organic farmers. founder of Daylesford Organic. language learning. it means we are able to give something back to India for all her inspiration. organic and human-scale approach to their work. that it was right to go organic. At Daylesford. against depleting the soil. and the marvellous craftworks that are so much part of Indian life. THIS SENSE OF holistic responsibility is at the heart of my businesses. After my moment of revelation. the baker.

We don’t wish to grow so big that we lose the core values inspired and sustained by India. socially outcast. In Lucknow. and powerless. and infrastructure – and a school for women. down to its very roots – the soil. 245 November/December 2007 5 . Resurgence No. and we work together on the marketing and distribution. Carole Bamford is a wife. we aspire to support those who promote sustainability in agriculture. and in the boardroom. We work with them to produce stitching and embroidery for items they can sell. it’s all exciting work in progress and something that my customers participate in indirectly. we shall remain firmly human-scale and family-oriented. on the land. and our organic khãdi cotton. we are in the process of creating the Daylesford Foundation. in manufacture. a better quality of life. In Ambi village near Pune. she practises her holistic philosophy at home. independence. a farmer and an award-winning businesswoman. many are widowed. a library and kindergarten. health. which will be dedicated to supporting the precious skills of the artisan. a mother of three. To that end. and the freedom to interpret and express themselves in their own work. THE TURNING POINT in my life has led me to work with wonderful communities of people who recognise real wealth: that Nature and human relationships are the things of true value. the school now boasts a range of classes and skills. I have also established a trust which has adopted the village of Ladiapur – embracing schooling.We have designed a series of baby clothes. in individual communities – and who need help to create things of real value and permanence in a transient and industrialised world. Patrick Holden of the Soil Association. and of course. However ambitious we might be. kurtis and dresses using their exquisite white stitch on white cloth. Having these skills gives them dignity. Vandana Shiva – have all shown the way. Through our businesses we try to support the underlying networks that protect and nurture these relationships. At the Daylesford Foundation. With health. The women come from all castes and religions. The people I most admire – such as Carlo Petrini of Slow Food.Daylesford Organic shop interior COURTESy: DAyLESFORD ORGANIC and self-expression. the marvellous pioneer of bio-dynamics Giulia Maria Crespi. we are working with a charity that supports women to relearn the fascinating skills of traditional embroidery. hygiene and drainage programmes and income-generating skill development.

A hardy plant himself. A WONDERFUL GARDEN can be created in any environment. ‘Fireworks’. Martin sees his own skills now as grower and gardener developing naturally from his experiences to date. but a good aspect. Martin is no ordinary enthusiast. 245 November/December 2007 . has inspired Martin’s gardening: planting to create and sustain habitats for plant communities. flowers and the insects and birds that feed on them. Just below the house Martin has imported stones of different sizes. which is now disappearing beneath the largeleaved Vitis coignetiae and climbers of Himalayan origin. Once the nursery proved itself as a going concern Sue and Martin were able to build a house which nestles discreetly to one side of the plot. Here Martin grows Salvia uliginosa. not the lines of the house. where Martin discovered an understanding of good ecological practice in marginal farming of the dry grasslands. Verbascum olympicum and Verbena bonariensis. full-blown garden Martin and Sue’s field was being transformed into a magical space. artist Susan Proud. he hitched from Egypt down the Nile and then across East Africa. to create paths and a thick mulch over the heavy clay soil. rejects from a local quarry. Walking among them gives a sense of their structure as well as the pleasure of scents. All the herbaceous planting is left to stand until the very end of February for wildlife habitat: many species provide seed for small birds. the Martin’s skill is founded on his readiness to observe and remember. weather. but also for a deepening ecological awareness. Martin keeps 54 Resurgence No. created over the last twenty years by Martin Hughes-Jones and his partner. improving drainage and creating a habitat for herbaceous perennials. Without excess moisture and shelter they grow with firm stems. even in the wet summer of 2007. He allows biennials to self-seed here: Oenothera biennis (evening primrose). Stauntonia hexophylla and Clematis armandii. Martin lives in shorts for ten months of the year. witness to his vigilant weeding. Each year it throws up strong stems twelve feet high with enormous palmate leaves. wildlife and the myriad transitory beauties of shifting seasons. Short-term jobs in farming led him to try the same further afield. The garden lies in a small triangular field bounded on one side by a deeply cut lane and on the other by a stream. and it is suitably accompanied by banana palms and cannas. walking along part of Lake Nyasa to take up a post in Malawi. and an elegant Solidago variety. and his nursery and garden campaign not just for environmental gardening. and one marvel lies close to us. soil and climate are a great start. Caribbean. creating a tropical effect. beautiful and enlightening.R E G U L A R S The first hoar frost on Dipsacus inermis at Holbrook Garden PHOTOGRAPH: MARTIN HUGHES-JONES GARDENING • BRIGITTE NORLAND LIVING LIBRARY Allowing plants themselves to be advocates of an ecological understanding. A reedbed for sewage treatment was also set up. When that job fell through. but beyond that the garden took its shape from the lie of the land. Below the stone garden Martin has planted Paulownia tomentosa. later. kept coppiced. savouring the whole experience of the outdoors. removing the need for staking. While I struggled with an old. a post in neighbouring Zimbabwe came up. a marshy sage from Uruguay. The experience of diversity in growing environments and their relationship to soil and climate in Africa and. and even the occasional thistle. Devon provides these in good measure. many growing to head height. He has long been committed to a greener way of life.

part of the initiative of the National Society for the Protection of Plants and Gardens to ensure that garden plants are kept going in a living library. are perfect for Holbrook’s good clay soil. as opposed to a garden that is simply an extension of the house as dining room and dormitory. Beyond is a spring meadow. which are greatest in the stone garden and smallest where there is cover of vegetation. Further up the garden a path dips towards the stream. 245 November/December 2007 55 . tomatoes and brassicas. such as strawberries. vigorous and easy. including a handsome kashmiri cypress grown from seed. and how you can work with all those elements. Along the lane a native hedge is kept loosely pruned. Towards the bottom of the garden. still in leaf in the wet July of 2007. Here he keeps brambles.holbrookgarden. soil condition. The garden’s southerly aspect is significant even in a semi-maritime climate: frost rolls off the hill. Martin allows the plants themselves to be the advocates of an ecological understanding. In the centre of the garden a warm and sunny spot provides Martin and Sue with a vegetable plot and the polytunnel for those crops that need protection from wildlife or weather. in which the human happily participates. damaging emerging shoots. the real herb robert. Heleniums. creating plenty of stock to pass on. Many tree seeds need repeated. where native planting under tall ash and alder gives stillness and a view into the shade of the stream.com and www. of consumer style as a poor substitute for living and working connected to your place on the Earth. gathering information while planting intuitively. no saccharine fantasy but dominated by glorious stands of Filipendula rubra ‘Venusta’. Under the cypress. Most herbaceous plants benefit from lifting and splitting at regular intervals. whereas in the dips angled into the north and east – my own garden included – it hangs about. For more information please visit www. noting the temperature fluctuations.climate records in more than one spot in the garden. nettles and docks at bay. a giant rosy meadowsweet. bring flowers in all shades of red and gold from late June to October. whole branches are thinned out and laid in as dry cover at the base.uk Brigitte Norland lives and gardens in Devon.co. accompanied by Achillea and Astrantia. Growing for his market. managed to create colonies of fritillary and Primula species. This eventually rots down. and. now planted up as a wet garden. At Holbrook the assets of the garden are skilfully enhanced to create a radiant diversity. A visit to Holbrook will enable you to take stock of your own garden in terms of light and shade. drainage and moisture levels. exposure or shelter. MARTIN ALSO kEEPS the national collection of Heleniums. scattering it about. Martin has developed woodland planting. growing along the base of a low beech hedge. Here Martin and I found ourselves discussing the at-home feeling of a vegetable garden. perhaps because blackbirds enjoy foraging in it. The run-off from watering the nursery is usefully collected into one area. all individually known. he is establishing colonies of our native Deschampsia caespitosa (tufted hair-grass) and Anemone nemorosa (wood anemone). Garden and nursery work together: visitors see plants growing in their preferred conditions and stand a better chance of growing them successfully themselves. The nursery offers hundreds of herbaceous plants and shrubs. as well as the seemingly innocuous hybrid of herb robert which creates cover for other colonisers. alternating exposure to chilling and warming and these Martin keeps in small plastic bags by the door of his shed where he will see the first signs of sprouting. now sporting a splendid girth. Snakeshead fritillaries in a wet meadow area PHOTOGRAPH: MARTIN HUGHES-JONES Resurgence No. Martin makes his own compost but also makes good use of the village compost scheme. flourishes elsewhere as does wood avens (Geranium urbanum).samshrub. On the way back to the house is a pink garden. Martin’s skill is founded on his readiness to observe and remember. he finds that most people use it more to deposit their prunings and mowings than to collect the valuable mulch created. adjacent to the reedbed. Geranium robertianum. the process of sustaining life and livelihood fully evident. a little like a perennial sunflower. creating a humus-rich soil.

are doomed to suffer the same fate as the West. As a species we have become dependent on intelligence. that just might make people in general sit up and start to think and feel for themselves. “Nature does all things spontaneously. James describes this as mental illness.” This approach allows Chopra to set aside also the entire historical record of God as the main cause of unnecessary suffering. but I think he got it slightly wrong. and a world more reverential towards nature. The late kurt Vonnegut believed that humanity’s evolutionary flaw was that it had become too intelligent. one might just as well speak of the ‘All’ or of ‘Nature’: “I don’t mean a personal God. with 2. By extending our understanding of Nature to include All (everything that exists outside us and within us) we can abolish the supernatural altogether.R E G U L A R S L E T T E R S TO T H E E D I TO R S DECONSTRUCTING THE DELUSION Dear Editors IT SEEMS TO me that Deepak Chopra’s attack on Richard Dawkins in your last two issues (Resurgence 24 and 244) is very weak. because it is too late to make any appreciable difference. at a time when science struggles to explain all. what does he think is to be gained by retaining the discredited and divisive word “God” (or its equivalent in other languages) at all? We already have a perfectly adequate word: ‘Nature’. We should all announce. There is one last thing that people who have been activists could try. Realistically. without the meddling of the gods. was worthy of New Labour (Resurgence 24). together. someone to whom science was not relevant. and misleading to those readers who have not read The God Delusion. or any God with a human face. Lancashire GROWING FAITH Dear Editors RECEIVING RESURGENCE 242 in the post from my mother in Devon and opening straight at Deepak Chopra’s article (‘Deconstructing Dawkins’) was yet further confirmation that science is far from being able to explain all. Intelligent beings do not wreck their own life-support systems. We are like the cartoon character that wanders off the edge of the cliff: the only reason we stay suspended in mid-air is that we haven’t yet realised that we must fall. Since Chopra admits that he can make his case for God only by dissociating himself from all specific creeds and religious practices. It is terrifying. Dave Bradney Ceredigion. we don’t have room to print them all. Set aside all images of God. or a mythic one. Have you not noticed that every new symptom of the impending collapse is met with more scapegoating and displacement activity? The deckchairs on the Titanic just get rearranged faster and in more elaborate patterns. Chopra suddenly states that “Dawkins is absolutely right to declare a requiem service over the God of organised religion and to warn us about the dangers of superstition. As Lucretius wrote over 2. Consider other nations currently ‘developing’ at frightening speed: China and India. 245 November/December 2007 . whereas in fact Dawkins has several pages with lengthy quotations in support of Einstein’s position on God. Reading the New Testament had me in tears due to the way humankind treated Jesus.000 years ago. ignoring most of Dawkins’ reasoning. Sadly. when they are all in fact dealt with at length in The God Delusion. why is everything else Chopra says entirely hostile? The God Chopra is defending is a sanitised God with so few attributes that. I still have a passion for science but one that now runs alongside my growing faith. “Set aside the God Dawkins is writing about. given the anti-scientific context. and in the process have set in train suffering on a colossal scale within their own countries and their neighbours’. and pseudo-science. with enormously rich and colourful cultures. Chopra accuses Dawkins of entirely dismissing Einstein. Wales INDUSTRIALISED ILLNESS Dear Editors OLIVER JAMES’ ‘AFFLUENZA’ (Resurgence 242) beautifully exposes the illness currently afflicting the industrialised world. there is not the slightest chance that any of the measures you espouse might be happening soon on a global scale. And by not defining the word ‘progress’ Chopra encourages his readers to assume. Readers who would like to continue this debate are invited to do so via our Gaia’s Café Readers’ Forum at www. resurgence.org/gaiascafe SPINNING OVER THE EDGE Dear Editors yOUR HEROIC ATTEMPT to spin the end of the world. by rebranding the point of no return as “the point of return”. cooperative and compassionate world. the God actually believed in by the vast majority of believers. The fact that I came across a carrier bag on the train two months ago which contained Dawkins’ novel was one in a long list of events that opened my eyes and heart to what has actually created life and watches over it. Least of all the “profound introspection” into the human psyche. for Dawkins.” Keith Sagar Clitheroe. This he conspicuously fails to do. Chopra announces that he intends to argue against Dawkins “point by point”. but we have not been able to develop it quickly enough. Dawkins obviously has a lot to offer science and religion and I would say he is here to test people’s faith. and making his own points as if they were points Dawkins had overlooked or evaded. that we are stopping. by herself. as the prime motive for conflict and atrocity. These two countries. but it will not stop there. that he means by it the accumulation of scientific knowledge and development of technological skills. since he says “whether we call it God or something else is irrelevant” and “It’s not necessary to use that word”. For example. Lee White Southend-on-Sea. But what Dawkins is actually discussing is moral progress.” Since this covers about 90% of Dawkins’ purpose in the book. Chopra claims that. In the middle of the second of his two long pieces. “God is at worst a superstition that blocks progress. I studied science at university and had no interest in religion until I realised I had unanswered questions. progress towards a more peaceful. and instead maybe organise a ‘Wake for the Planet’. In fact Dawkins has much more weighty charges than this to bring against God.” and that religion is a “reactionary resistance to progress”. Essex Editors’ Note: We are still receiving many letters from readers about Deepak Chopra’s articles.” He might just as well say. dogma. If we withdraw our reassuring clamour for change. as Chopra admits.4% of the United States suffering in the last twelve months. Tibet’s religion and beautifully colourful and peaceful people are suffering dreadful- 5 Resurgence No.

What is our motivation? Can we start to ask what the plant needs instead? Then. does not keep the rain or bugs out. I work in a garden where the owner had never seen the fruit or flower of her strawberry tree due to the handyman’s hedge-trimmer. Worst of all. Sarah Lane Bolventor Cornwall The Editors welcome concise letters from readers commenting on articles published in Resurgence. Devon. Norland is far from that.org Letters may be edited for reasons of space or clarity. 245 November/December 2007 57 . is not beautiful. Hartland. with great attention placed on each plant’s natural (i. James’ splendid article should be made essential reading in all national and local government offices. but I am choosing to let you know that I share your philosophy and belief that money does not represent true economy. It is symbolic and in and of itself has no value. Resurgence No. asking.ILLUSTRATION: LINDA SCOTT ly because of China’s so-called progress. quince or medlar instead? Masanobu Fukuoka has an excellent chapter on pruning in one of his books: he makes the point that you cannot prune a tree unless you know its natural shape. All our cultivated apple trees are pruned in the nursery. does not keep people warm. Plants flower and fruit “outrageously” due to stress (from pruning) because they feel they are going to die. Another good book to read is Julian Barnard’s Form and Function in which he describes the different plants that make up the Bach flower remedies. the absence of money generates fear: people experience fear in the absence of something that in itself has no true value! How horrifying! I believe that consciousness and a return to true economy can heal the planet. It cannot be eaten. Bideford. is not nice to snuggle up with. Ivy Michelle Berg USA. and has no value as medicine. If your fig tree doesn’t fruit. “What do I want?” Brigitte begins by speaking of looking at a plant’s “innate shape and beauty” but within a few paragraphs she is happily cutting here and there from a completely anthropocentric viewpoint. editorial@resurgence. dare I say. Ford House. yet I feel we still need more reluctance to impose our will on a plant. Money is a tool used to take a sense of true economy away from individuals. Ex9 EE. unpruned) form – its “gesture”. all because of mass consumerism. Send your letters to The Editors. It is time this worldwide scandal was exposed. secateurs in hand. Wiltshire FALSE ECONOMY Dear Editors I AM NOT certain I have a specific comment or request. Resurgence. is not very entertaining to watch. by email GRAND GESTURE Dear Editors IN RESPONSE TO Brigitte Norland’s article on pruning.e. we will be on the path to becoming true gardeners. But people continue to suffer. may I offer the following: with all the talk of awakening awareness of nature it seems sad that people still walk into the garden. Hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers have been forced from their land as India builds more and more dams to fuel its industrial base – a fact that is rarely reported in mainstream media. David Harvey Chippenham. wouldn’t it be better to plant a native greengage.

As the resource crunch intensifies. Petrol in the pumps becomes without ecology. now and in the foreseeable exceptional conditions. therefore. production and consumption tion with more powerful ones. ermen return home with empty nets. forfor affluence and oligarchy or for sufests and the atmosphere belong? How ficiency and equity. be purchased at considerable prices. for the wealth of fossil and renewable raw materials at Europe’s disposal in the 19th and 20th centuries is no longer available. T HE RISE OF Europe to world dominance in the 19th century has aroused the curiosity of historians for a long time. it cannot be future.B O O K S I N M Y OW N WO R D S • WO L F G A N G S AC H S ECOLOGY IS JUSTICE IS SECURITY It will not be possible to develop successful economics in the 21st century. are neither easily accessible nor transferred to the world at large. Wal-Mart prepares to open its first outlet in Shanghai high-rise housing. chemical PHOTOGRAPH: EPA/CORBIS agriculture or a meat-based food system could be spread across the globe. set out to systematically utilise coal for industrial processes. therefore. there will be no equity ablaze. It will. quired for democratising these models At any rate. He wondered how England had suceeded in moving ahead of China. more expensive. it cannot be repeated everywhere and at any time. Put more generally. and provide material. the of Nature as it is a choice which sepagreater is the threat to weaker nations rates the elitist from the democrat. Europe’s development path turns out to be a special case. raw materials have to of wealth globally would be too vast. rivers. wealth has grown out of historically Resources. access to fossil resources from the crust of the Earth and to biotic resources from (ex-)colonies was essential to the rise of the Euro-Atlantic civilisation. the constraints were left behind and the English economy was able to take off. for instance. Against this backdrop. notwithstanding the fact that China had been on a level of development comparable to England as recently as around 1750. In hindsight. Development. Why was Europe able to leap ahead of the rest of the world? kenneth Pomeranz of the University of California at Los Angeles has advanced an ‘environmental’ hypothesis. Security and Global Justice. Fossil resources. It will barely because the prevailing styles of probe possible to have success in the 21st duction and consumption cannot be century on the basis of the utopias of generalised. regions become arid as water reserves dry up. be other words. supply fuel. at the end of the 18th century both China and England were constrained in their economic development by the scarcity of land available to grow food. in cheaply available. 245 November/December 2007 . too expensive. But it was only England that succeeded in overcoming this limitation. the choice between destructive entitled to take for its own wellbeing. and too damaging for or the inner parts of a country have local ecosystems and the biosphere. to be turned into colonies – as can Since the Euro-Atlantic model of be observed in today’s Brazil or India. and carbon substituted for wood. Social peace often breaks down even 58 Resurgence No. it is unwise to look at the industrial patterns of production and consumption as the standard for equity and wellbeing. According to his studies. wellbeing take hold. it is structurally incapaa hopeless endeavour to bring prosble of justice. In and groups to lose out in the competiany case. the automobile society. conflicts will flare up in many places and make the world as a whole more inflammable. Industrial society would not exist in today’s shape had not resources been mobilised from both the depth of geological time and the expanse of geographical space. patterns will not be capable of jusResource conflicts are fuel for mitice unless they are resource-light and nor and major confrontations. and sustainable models of wealth is without restricting the rights of othnot so much a choice which separates ers? The more the carrying capacity of the exploiter of Nature from the lover ecosystems approaches its limits. Either wellof the world’s peoples by imitating the being remains confined to a minority Euro-Atlantic example. one can either opt To whom do oil reserves. just as there are no colonies left jfkdjfkdjfkkdk before environmental peace is seriously disturbed. As foreign land replaced domestic land. above all. The resources reto take biotic resources from. or sustainable models of the 19th century. far from being just a portunity for sufficient prosperity for bio-physical fact. Seen from this much is a nation – or a social class – angle. It is difficult to see how. published by Zed Books. the price of Wolfgang Sachs is co-author of Fair Future: Reimported grain skyrockets. apart from destabilising the Earth’s climate. Since both affluence and equity often the cause of social explosions. and fishsource Conflicts. ecological limits are all. are gradually running short. For England was able to tap into new stocks of resources: it began to massively import agricultural goods from North America. perity and wellbeing to the majority is moving into a dilemma. opening the opHowever. In the may set villages or whole countries 21st century. and. based on the 19th century model. which compatible with living systems. cannot be attained.

UK. Simms manages to combine controlled anger at the rise of supermarket monopolies with a personal approach to confronting the monster. local Resurgence No. to earn enough points to get one of the much-heralded computers for your David Boyle worries that soon we will have little or no choice about where we shop. but there are 25 million of them in wallets and purses out there across the Uk. Tesco’s semi-monopolistic position allows it to dictate terms to its suppliers. which is getting on for half the population. He has a talent for the pert and provocative metaphor. which magazines they buy. So if anyone tells you Tesco’s massive expansion is just about supply and demand. addresses and mobile phone numbers. but also their socio-economic profiles. and a fascinating experience it was. all suffer from allowing supermarket chains to take too great a control over our lives. having read Andrew Simms’ scintillating critique of the mega-chain store. One of the fascinating revelations in the book is just how much data they keep on the 10 million people who are actively using their cards. Tescopoly: How One Shop Came Out on Top and Why it Matters Andrew Simms Constable & Robinson. you have to spend a quarter of a million pounds with Tesco. £7. I have to declare an interest reviewing the book. The report Clone Town Britain may not have rescued our high streets from homogenisation. David Boyle is a fellow of the New Economics Foundation and author of Blondel’s Song and Authenticity. to insist on contracts that require payment in ninety days – rather than the normal thirty-day periods normal for its smaller competitors. Nor is the book just about Tesco.com I DON’T POSSESS a Tesco Clubcard. It isn’t just that everywhere looks the same. the diversity of landscape. but it did introduce into the language a potent phrase that has a momentum of its own. where they shop and when.99 school. The result is that Tesco funds its expansion with what is in effect a £2 billion interest-free loan equal to its entire stock. 245 November/December 2007 59 . the combination of land banks.uk An endless row of shopping carts PHOTOGRAPH: MILAN kLUSACEk/istockphoto. I worked with the author at the New Economics Foundation on the Clone Town campaign. But what the Tescopoly book reveals is the dangers beyond that of our lax competition regulation. Community pharmacies. Nor is it much benefit. one fact rose rather horrifyingly to the top.co. It is also a tremendously important one. It taught me also to think a little differently about the original purpose of free trade – and how we face a situation soon. I will certainly not be adding a Clubcard to my collection. and a range of other details about purchases and habits. whether they have pets. Its evident success must be making the Tesco board quake in their technocratic boots. Even more disturbing is the prospect of the government’s plans to link biometric data on their ID cards with the supermarket data on all of us. I’m not exactly unusual in this. any kind of agriculture but massive agri-business. revealing and thought-provoking book. Their names. What it taught me was partly that supermarket homogenisation leads to human homogenisation if we let it. The result is a witty. The mere expression ‘clone town’ seems to carry within it the determination that something should be done. where we will have little or no choice about where we shop. Now. But what I most took from the book was how the trick has been played. I feel less enthusiastic about spending money with them. Simms reveals that. if we are not careful. When I did look. either. For that reason. I can think of no higher praise for Tescopoly than saying that it is a supremely dangerous book. It’s strange. www. but the devastating effect on the diversity of so many other areas of life. 2007. of course. One reason I don’t have one is that I never shop there. remind them of this – how monopoly gives staggering economic advantages over anyone who dares compete.david-boyle. road haulage and fearsome technocratic and virtual just-in-time systems. which brands they are particularly loyal to. because supermarkets are so much part of modern life – rather like banks – that we rarely if ever think to look at their inner workings. Privacy this isn’t.MONOPOLISING ADVANTAGE bookshops. A riposte in The Guardian shows that Tesco is still squirming about his metaphor of an invasive species like Japanese knotweed. When I discern that the organisation I am giving my custom to aspires to world domination.

freemarket economics and increasing levels of pollution. Ponting’s phrase to describe the biggest crisis facing us now: global warming. Ponting asks exactly Dan Grace explores the history of our interaction with the environment. The erection of these sculptures. A New Green History of the World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilisations Clive Ponting Vintage Books. Although more are fed and live a life of comfort than ever before.99 why this transition occurred. Ponting says. The “First Great Transition” in human living patterns towards agriculture was. resources and food as ‘property’” marked humanity’s shift from hunting and gathering to a sedentary way of life. But this was not the case. political. Total deforestation caused massive environmental degradation. leading to the development of one of the most complex of Polynesian societies. this is only achieved on a highly unequal basis. Examining the roots of economic globalisation. Clive Ponting signposts major social. He concludes that it was a very gradual shift that once made was impossible to reverse. sadly. Ponting also introduces another key theme here: inequality. and the lessons to be learned. the damage was irreversible. UK. demonstrating how they have laid the foundation for our current problems. Ponting explains how the advent of modern agriculture and massive energy use has only resulted in a change in the scale of the problem. South Pacific PHOTOGRAPH: JOHN SNELGROVE 0 Resurgence No. This society took its most visible form in the construction of massive stone heads. as a result of environmental conditions allowing only certain crops to be grown. 2007. the reader is treated to a panoramic view of the history of humanity’s interaction with the environment. Stone heads on Easter Island. By 100. in addition to producing the conditions for inequality. agriculture meant more work. will we listen now? Dan Grace is a freelance writer and researcher. Historical collapses of large-scale complex societies came about as the agricultural base could not support the superstructure built on it. and that became a political and economic necessity. he is merely a strand in it. The final third of the book documents these last 200 years of human history. he does to himself.R E V I E W S LESSONS FROM THE PAST T HIS BOOk OPENS with the parable of Easter Island. Ponting describes how the ability of certain nations to control an increasing share of the world’s resources. For the first time there was a surplus of food. It all feels worrying familiar. a period dominated by famine and disease. were left with a great deal of leisure time. economic and environmental shifts in our history. only for a privileged few. approximately 1. In this reissued and substantially rewritten book. Bringing us right up to date.” They didn’t listen then. this enabled the development of hierarchy. It is the tale of a society with limited resources to supply all of its demands and of a population that ultimately had no practical means of escape when times became hard. and must have realised that it had no means of escape. led to large-scale deforestation. “the foundation for all later social and political change”. the rise of the city. who is said to have written to the President of the United States in 1854 to protest the treatment of Native Americans by white settlers: “Man does not weave the web of life. This opening of “the way to seeing land. The most important consequence of this is the “threat to global systems”. With the advent of agriculture we enter humanity’s “Long Struggle”. Ponting quotes Chief Seattle of the Squamish tribe. which must have seen that it had limited resources. Along the way. leading ultimately to the downfall of that society. £8. Ponting’s “Second Great Transition” concerns our shift to the modern industrial world built on massive use of fossil fuels. yet continued to use up what was available – to the point of collapse. 245 November/December 2007 . combined with other more mundane reasons such as clearance for agriculture and building materials. His stark warning is that the breakdown of our civilisation is entirely possible. this book also catalogues the economic and political underpinnings of this destruction. On an island one could circumnavigate in a day it seems in retrospect that it should have been easy to link the destruction of the forest with the inhabitants’ survival. spurred on by economic and political pressures. often for a worse diet. It is the story of a people who. has resulted in the end of the Long Struggle – but. Whatever he does to the web.000 years after the island was first settled. A comprehensive account of humanity’s devastating effect on the environment. Increasing temperatures will put even greater stress on an already overstretched agricultural system. and so some members of the human community were not directly involved in providing for themselves. It is shot through with the urgency of our need to reject anthropocentric ideas of progress.

with labour stripped to the bone and then stripped again. as Henry Ford put it. including farming.terrifying young MBA once said to me. who don’t know any history at all. Colin Tudge’s latest book. and that it is and must be a craft. in short. Secondly. and biotech. It is the greatest folly to suppose that we can conquer Nature and impose our own rules on the fabric of the world. they perceive. Such maintenance required two kinds of input. We could feed the present  billion. That is what all farming is about: cultivating special fields with whatever power is available and bringing fertility in from outside. and then the scythe (developed first in Gaul. Of course we can improve on traditional practice with sciencebased technology but we sweep the craft aside at our peril. £22. then the stable. heavy engineering. and this they did first with spades and hoes. Resurgence No. A History of World Agriculture Marcel Mazoyer and Laurence Roudart Earthscan. and in wide use in the 11th century). but largely because the people with the most power do not understand agriculture. UK.000 years ago. it was not cheap enough for agriculture until the Middle Ages. who pre-dated the Neolithic Revolution of 10. as we learnt in school. this they did mainly in periods of fallow between the arable cultivations. Traditional practice on the whole is sound. Slash-and-burn became bona fide agriculture when the farmers stayed to maintain the spaces they had cleared as permanent. But on the whole we have not built on our heritage. grew crops in forest clearings and then. to the drum of biology. but between the 11th and 1th centuries. or turn-ploughs. that history is bunk. the farmers had to cultivate the soil to make it receptive to seeds. Food just wouldn’t be the nonsense to creep in: the idea.99. and then with primitive ploughs. perforce. moved on. then by now humanity could be set fair. The big advances here were the wheeled cart. or in the Green Revolution of the 190s and 1970s. If we had built conscientiously on that medieval achievement.95 bring in the manure in large quantities – invented at least 5. 2006. Marcel Mazoyer and Laurence Roudart show the nonsense of these ideas – though they are the ideas that run the modern world.000 years ago by a very long stretch. Probably we should not reject any technology a priori. ancient farmers (like modern farmers) needed to maintain the fertility of the ploughed ager. That’s it. which in turn enabled them to grow more crops – balancing one against the other. as has become the modern political-commercial-scientific myth. No wonder the world is in a mess.AGRICULTURE OF NONSENSE T HE WORLD IS in such a mess for all kinds of reason. which enabled them to Colin Tudge explains why the world is in such a mess. craft-based farming as an anachronism to be swept aside as soon as modernity can gain a foothold. 245 November/December 2007 1 7 pt7 pt7 pt ILLUSTRATION: CLIFFORD HARPER . that the world began in 1980. and precious little real biology. is now available from Pari Publishing at £9. around the 1st century CE. with enough money behind it. and the Europeans followed – perhaps independently – in the 1st century CE. They see traditional. This they did by raising livestock in the semi-cultivated land all around – pastures – and then importing their dung. which enabled them to keep all the a problem. enhancing the craft and then adding science appropriately. The greatest agricultural revolution. First. They do not perceive that it is at the core of all human life. and modernity. should be a game of money. that the maximisation of disposable wealth is necessary and sufficient. arable fields for crops – fields known as the ager (hence ‘agriculture’). when the residual fertility was exhausted. but nonetheless are deemed to know best. is qualitatively different from all that went before. precisely because it must march. that farming should be conceived as a high-tech industry like everything else – industrial chemistry. was not in the 17th and 18th centuries. We have allowed animals and their dung in one place. Science has sometimes been used appropriately to enhance the craft. that high tech. Feeding People is Easy. can achieve everything. as a bright-eyed. and the 9 billion of 2050. Thus the modern organic movement has helped to develop nitrogen fixation and biological pest control. Three-year rotations – two years’ crops to one of fallow – were practised by the 1th century. that the role of science is to sweep traditional practice aside. that everything. and so on for the next million years – for the United Nations tells us that 9 billion is as big as the population will get. marching not to the crude rules of wild Nature and of bumbling tradition. that the whole show is best left in the hands of men and women in striped suits and lab coats. Then in the 7th century BCE the Chinese developed true ploughs. but to the precise and rational directives of science and the global free market. which enabled farmers to cut hay for winter feed and so keep more livestock. The very first slash-and-burn farmers.

and because the system is less interconnected and rigid. environmental stress. We have to achieve what he calls “catagenesis”: the creative renewal of our technologies. as in ancient Lorna Howarth concurs that through destruction comes creation. collapse. He discusses how forests have long been an indicator of the health of society. we must boost the resilience of critical systems like energy and food supply networks and prepare to turn breakdown to our advantage. According to Thomas Homer-Dixon. it has developed a technology that could be the foundation for extremely rapid problem-solving on a planetary scale. five tectonic stresses are accumulating beneath the surface of our societies. civilisations are destroyed. we need to cultivate a prospective mind to cope better with change. They must implicitly recognise the laws of thermodynamics. as we tend to see our problems in isolation. It is the convergence of these stresses that’s especially treacherous and makes synchronous failure of global systems a real possibility. We don’t usually think in terms of convergence. should we stick with the ‘business-as-usual’ paradigm. three-quarters of the way through. There are also two ‘multipliers’ that give extra force to these stresses: speed. They are population stress. again.Alice Bailey. I flicked through the final quarter of the book to find it mostly taken up with footnotes! Despite this focus on ‘Down’. economic or ecological system in its growth phase. The Upside of Down: Catastrophe. the sharper. I picked up this book because of its title. Forest fire. of the deepest principles guiding humankind’s diverse civilisations – but our values must be compatible with the exigencies of the natural world we live in and depend on. for radically new forms of democratic decisionmaking and. The author believes our one big saviour is the World Wide Web. When forests are destroyed. but what happens when several stresses come together at the same time? What happens if the world has to deal with a sudden shift in climate that sharply cuts food production in Europe and Asia. The endless material growth of our economies is fundamentally inconsistent with these physical facts of life. He draws on the collapse of ancient Rome to clarify many of his points. hoping to find out what the “upside of down” could be and expecting to find solutions to our global predicament. as Homer-Dixon believes we are about our parlous state. a severe oil price increase that sends economies tumbling around the world. harder and more destructive its ultimate breakdown will be. 245 November/December 2007 . yet forests have another trait we could learn from: all healthy forests have an adaptive cycle of growth. regeneration and. it’s far more resilient to sudden shock. growth. and a string of major terrorist attacks on several Western capital cities? It would be a body-blow to world order. climate stress and economic stress. It is our imagination that has created the world we live in and it is only by thinking imaginatively that we will resolve our critical situation. simultaneously around the world. £15. Homer-Dixon argues that we need to develop a “prospective mind” where we are comfortable with constant change. and global connectivity. whereby damage or shock in one part of the system can cascade to all other parts of the system. As imaginative as we are asked to be in envisioning the future.00 “Only after destruction comes creation.” . we must take four actions: we must reduce the force of the underlying tectonic stresses to lower the risk of synchronous failure. UK. Alas. the dangers of certain kinds of connectivity. Social breakdown will become steadily more likely as our world’s accumulating tectonic stresses combine simultaneously and their synergistic impact is magnified. the book is a fascinating read. institutions. Spain PHOTOGRAPH: IVAN QUINTERO/EPA/CORBIS Rome. I began to wonder where the ‘Upside’ was. radical surprise and even breakdown. most fundamentally. for the conversation we must have to prepare for breakdown. Lorna Howarth is Co-editor of Resurgence. and societies. A salient point for economists is that the longer we sustain a social. Collapse liberates the ecosystem’s enormous potential for creativity and allows for novel and unpredictable recombination. Homer-Dixon examines in concise detail each one of these tectonic stresses and how it is likely that simultaneous breakdown will actually happen. The immense destruction that collapse triggers is both frightening and creative. and the nonlinear behaviour of natural systems like the climate. Most importantly. but recently we’ve seen an explosion of distributed and collaborative problem-solving on the web using various ‘open-source’ approaches. Creativity and the Renewal of Civilisation Thomas Homer-Dixon Souvenir Press. but Homer-Dixon ultimately leaves it up to us to re-imagine our world. 2 Resurgence No. So far.R E V I E W S UNDER STRESS B EING AN OPTIMIST. energy stress. If we’re going to have the best chance of following a different and positive path. But he is adamant that events don’t have to turn out as he envisages. Homer-Dixon suggests that humankind is on the cusp of a new ‘Axial Age’ – a transformation. Homer-Dixon has been with his possible breakdown scenarios. Just when humanity faces some of the biggest challenges in its history. energy’s role in our survival. 2007. the media in all its forms needs to focus on imagining positive change. we’ve barely tapped this potential. we can’t think about the various paths that we might take into the future. but as a global society we haven’t learned the lessons of the Roman empire. When we’re in denial.

And if the scientific and visionary aspects of Gaia have tended to give Westerners “a terrible squint”. our whole image of ourselves has been thrown into confusion. Horatio Morpurgo writes for New Internationalist and Le Monde Diplomatique among others – about how a culturally and politically joinedup version of environmentalism might work. Our behaviour in the mass remains largely unaffected. to which the slogans of competing factions are worse than unhelpful. solutions to an intractable problem on an East African reserve are teased out by conservationist Susan Canney. modern tourism. history and local politics. Humbly. the bacteria might say. Instead of this Horatio Morpurgo looks past the rhetoric on global warming. Anne Primavesi examines Jewish insight into solidarity with the other and the Christian meanings of forgiveness. almost all of which were unknown to science”. threaten an impasse. UK & USA. Given the urgency of the situation. not yet another summary of a summary of the fourth IPCC report. Gaian thought seems here to imply grounding live problems in their immediate physical and cultural context. And the acceptance of that reality now is in one sense hardly reassuring.95/$17. Here they are painstakingly re-exam- ined as related elements in a system. 245 November/December 2007  . True. with our staggering ignorance of what we are wrecking in the name of mahogany garden benches. “We have thought of ourselves”. John Mead reminds us in an essay collected here. 2007. And it is a theme of ‘only connect’ which holds these essays together. It goes direct to experienced specialists from the widest possible range of disciplines.” This ‘confusion’ will be resolved as much by looking within spiritually as by scientific observation. this book opts for cutting out the journalistic middleman. modern physics has long dealt in “various kinds of forces and fields and in webs of connection rather than in separate items to be connected”. one of its lead authors. Biology is now following suit. personal or historical. What application might either or both of these have in the abusive relationship modern humanity has established with the biosphere? David Midgley explores Buddhist ideas of how new beginnings. but then neither. to see if light from whatever angle can be shed on how Gaia Theory might find a wider. and do it fast enough to make a difference? “The Gaian worldview will not spread far under current conditions” is the bleak opening sentence of John Turnbull’s analysis here. rather than reducing them to bones of academic or political contention. Earthy Realism: The Meaning of Gaia Mary Midgley (ed. Competing imperatives – population growth. the mainstream debate had still not accepted climate change as a reality. So any lingering doubters on human agency in climate change will find. White daisies inspired the Gaian ‘Daisyworld’ theory PHOTOGRAPH: ANDREA kRAUSE/istockphoto. DNA finger-printing techniques recently investigated “bacteria on the leaves of three species of trees in a Brazilian tropical forest”.) Imprint Academic. Any journalist or politician worth his or her salt can dash off a declaration of noble Gaian intent before breakfast. As Mary Midgley puts it in her introduction. of how vested interests and economic ideology interact at the personal as well as at the corporate level. and deeper. Stephan Harding meanwhile looks at Jung’s “four ways of knowing” in a new context. £8. rainfall levels. between modern human consciousness and the planet which gave it birth. as we start to see the damage we have unconsciously been doing to the world.90 week’s shock story about the degradation of ecosystems. Elsewhere. to replace the current state of war. And so in matters of self-knowledge we go to our contemporary experience and the best of modern psychiatry as to insights arrived at centuries ago by the mystics. about all the invisible creatures which become extinct as their environments are destroyed. “as…active beings detached from the rest of nature and licensed to use it as we please… Now. this book is meant to help fix it. but a thoughtful piece by Richard Betts. are brought about by that kind of prayerfulness which is at one with the will to live. there is an essay by biologist David Wilkinson about micro-organisms.WHOLE PLANET RE-THINK A S RECENTLy AS 2005. since the scientific revolution. again most un-newsworthily.com Resurgence No. Genuine science goes to the microbe on the leaf as to the elephant on the savannah. acceptance. pastoralism – within parameters such as soil type. His theme is our complicity in the public sphere through the assumptions we don’t question in the private one. The results “implied that there were several hundred bacterial species on these leaves. do we. To do all these together is what we are now called to – a Gaian catholicity by which our civilisation might establish a kind of covenant. bacteria don’t exactly invite the ‘flagship species’ treatment. The question remains: and? Or: how do we translate these evermore alarming data into a new register of thinking and feeling.

Imagine new technologies tions of the world must be a mixture look at the process thinking of a disbased on holistic science that are more of the abstract and the concrete. what he brings particularly to this mind/body. This also more inclusive Earth context. He is the author of many books. paradigm find a contemporary scientist who change. from Architecture: living on this Earth. and means revisioning our legal instituIn opposition to a framework that of control and participation. In Brian takes the reader on a journey of Goodwin’s recent work Nature’s discovery through cultural hisDue: Healing Our Fragmented Culture we tory. UK. evolutionary tive to the outcomes of modern biology and a new field called bitechnological interventions. UK. In his final Goodwin’s critical eye covers chapter. modern systems thebrings a deeply critical perspecory. The mind must be considered to constraints of the mechanistic reducsupporting this complex paradigmatic be part of the natural world. a vast range of outcomes of obhe explores the pathways of jective technological science. participant-observer relationship rathhis personal learning journey over a A recent example might be the artists’ er than a detached viewpoint separated period of five years as both a teacher initiative that led to the shutting down from the natural world. £14. He is attempting a shift in Associate Director of the Transformative Learnsystem where life processes are not the emphasis of science away from the ing Centre at the Ontario Institute for Studies reducible to components and where dichotomies of the modern Cartesian in Education. in community relations. For humans. of quantity and quality. in habitat. scientific history. The natural world deep foundational issues on how we Envision the beginnings of holistic must be known and revealed in all are educating ourselves in the conecological design. and descripCollege. It reads like a primer for thinking that views the enterprise the Great Work. Speaking tions of jurisprudence. win does not use the word ‘sacred’ but on a dynamic open systems framework F 4 Resurgence No.99 broader cultural and historical context our place in Nature as part of a comwe are involved in deeply dysfuncplex web of life. The reader of this book gets to for an hour. Our transformation in which we may deeply disordered technological participate to bring a radical shift interventions are experienced as a in focus leading to sustainable global crisis in health. logic must be both/and natural world that fosters a ‘feeling’ of rather than either/or. as humans. dynamic interaction. culture. the scope and magnitude of this and cultural destruction and in ISBN 3-7913-3527-8 venture toward sustainability. of art that transforms our relations with it. we will be able to experience Floris Books. atticipant in the deep creative unfolding enjoys the excitement of tempting to separate ourselves processes of the universe. chaos theory. Organicity must the organicity within all aspects of the Edmund O’Sullivan is Professor Emeritus and be reintroduced within a postmodern ‘web of life’. with tinguished biologist who is forging a fully ecological within the web of life. we experience a deeper apFragmented Culture deepen the chasm of alienation of the preciation of all aspects of reality. It changing the very climate of the involves the work of forging a planet. We are now Goodwin’s book holds in it the excitement of new beginencountering a host of critical nings. In moving self from a larger inclusion in Nature into the participatory processes of the Nature’s Due: Healing Our and the universe we have proceeded to universe. and a movethat is organic and holistic and in the es from our separation of Nature and ment towards natural design. and integrative process. It has a breathof modern technological science taking range of scholarship that as deeply problematic. from the organic processes of the natthis opens our horizons to the revelaural world. 2007. All of this and more arisholistic science. Rome and Paris (intuition) must be valued. 2006. forges a different attitude towards the practises. new beginnings. Goodwin as both scientist and educator. shift. Nature’s Due shares communities toward sustainable living. in the sense of a temporary world. As Brian Goodwin human from the natural world. species A ‘biomorphic’ extension to a house in Sweden. and the tionism of modern science. 245 November/December 2007 . published by Prestel. In the humans. By separating the human tory mysteries of Nature. a new art. The range of presents a more holistic interpretation win maintains that the direction of these concerns constitutes the ‘Great bringing facts and values together in the modern scientific enterprise raises Work’ of the 21st century. love in all our relations. He outlines Nature by Philip Jodidio. subject/object relationIn Nature’s Due we see an eminent emerging literature is an ethos of care ships must be aspects of the same scientific scholar and mentor who for the natural world that offers. qualitative description being valued on learning journey toward a transformed While Goodwin is one of a distinan equal plane as quantitative descripvision of science that goes beyond the guished and diverse group of scholars tion. Goodsystem to a postmodern science based including Transformative Learning. Goodour educational systems. ‘Living the Great Work’. Nature is considered to be alive.R E V I E W S GIVING NATURE ITS DUE OR WELL OVER three centuries he locates the human world as a parEdmund O’Sullivan we have been. The tacit unand a learner in the holistic science of all public lighting including historic conscious dimensions of the mind Master’s programme at Schumacher monuments in London. Finally. ological hermeneutics. economics and separates values and facts. tional endeavours.

But the current crisis in Western society cries out for new ways of thinking and of doing – in fact. however. 2006. anti-consumerism and anti-globalisation. now you have to think in a different way. the message is that learning by doing. has been compiled by Satish kumar – himself a visionary – and Freddie Whitefield. What unite this diversity and bring the whole volume together into a coherent whole are the shared themes of systems thinking. Visionaries of the order of Gandhi and Martin Luther king are side by side with Bob Dylan and D. learning through Nature and learning with hand. The trials to the human condition that climate change and social collapse may bring during this century will necessarily force new ways of thinking and doing. Surprisingly. Maurice Ash and Patrick Geddes. More positively and more hopefully we need to turn to education. This visually beautiful book. embracing visionaries from both East and West and from Africa. Resurgence No. 95 tainably within the living community of Earth is the outcome of the total integration of thought. 245 November/December 2007 5 PHOTOGRAPH: COURTESy GREEN BOOkS . “What all myths have to deal with is a transformation of consciousness. you have been thinking one way. sustainability and hope during a war-torn century.THINKING DIFFERENTLY T O ENCAPSULATE IN one volume the lives and ideas of 100 ‘movers and shakers’ of the 20th century and present them free of sound bite and superficiality is a remarkable achievement. £14. through “trials and revelations”. non-anthropocentrism. not one of the 100 men and women included in Visionaries is described as an educator – although it could be argued that all have education at the heart of their work in the sense of preserving the future of humanity – and the work of a visionary environmental educator such as David Orr is omitted.” But how can this come about? Campbell says. Where. We have been talking about paradigm shifts for forty years. heart and brain should be at the heart of all educational experience. human-scale communities. This may be so. social and spiritual – who have been chosen are men and women who have profoundly influenced the ethos of Resurgence and have kept alive the message of nonviolence. The visionaries of the 21st century may have to grapple with a different set of ground rules – as has always been the case! Mary Tasker is a teacher and chairperson of Human Scale Education. Joseph Campbell. in the ideas of Peter kropotkin. A holistic worldview is fundamental. for example. As we read in the article by Noel Charlton on Gregory Bateson. since Thomas kuhn’s concept became known. Ecological visionaries include Ted Hughes and Wangari Maathai. for visionaries – now. H. Such a transformation in the way we think is tantamount to a paradigm shift and it is impossible to be a regular reader of Resurgence and not grasp that this is what the magazine consistently calls for. the ‘systemic wisdom’ that enables human beings to live sus- Mary Tasker wonders how far the insights and achievements of the 20th-century visionaries will resonate with the new century. David Bohm and Vandana Shiva. Not just ‘schooling’ but education in its widest sense of enabling everyone to live responsibly and co-operatively in the natural world. the radical US psychoanalyst who is one of this book’s social visionaries. sustainable living. published by Green Books. UK. is quoted as saying. education is referred to as. The task of an educational visionary of today is to translate these ideas to meet the changed realities of the 21st century. and each double-page article has been written by a regular contributor to Resurgence. small. The range of thinkers and activists is hugely eclectic and diverse. Visionaries of the 20th Century: A Resurgence Anthology Edited by Satish kumar and Freddie Whitefield Green Books. Lawrence. The visionaries – categorised as ecological.

‘efficient’ farmers who export and often leave their own communities short of food or. Unfortunately organics is being industrialised – fast becoming big business. it does deal with all the terrible ecological. Peter Kindersley owns. Clean. The Slow Food Movement is the only organisation that talks about food first. So I am with Petrini one hundred per cent and will continue to actively support his movement while looking forward to the day when this mental ‘bubble’ humanity has got itself into will finally burst. that “Eating is an agricultural act. Giant puffball – Langermannia gigantea PHOTOGRAPH: TESSA TRAEGER  Resurgence No. Petrini writes eloquently about this and its importance today – it is not just the extinction of wild species. but it also touches something much more fundamental to us all – the experience of food in its fullest sense. houses are now being built without proper kitchens! Why has the last fifty years given rise to such pollution. We must campaign against this perversion of our real human nature. In this book Petrini stresses the importance of gastronomy – being a ‘gastronome’– a follower of the ‘laws of the stomach’– as a way forward. 2007. but to my mind it goes straight to the heart of the matter. and Fair’. And yet the WTO will do nothing to help – its interest is with large-scale. political and industrial threats that face the production of good sustainable food.50 we need to realise. We must become ‘co-producers’ with farmers. This goes on the world over – organics is a ‘barrier to trade’. starving. while denying any form of public good. USA. So Slow Food has a real and increasingly pressing mission to protect our food culture and the small producers who have created and brought such riches to us over the centuries. we now pay others to do it – we are becoming skill-less. Petrini has subtitled his book ‘Why Our Food Should Be Good. fruits and livestock. socialism has been completely marginalised and care of our fellow human is dwarfed by greed. and Fair Carlo Petrini Rizzoli. with his family. What sets it apart is his emphasis on the pleasure of food. worse still. Where we once all took care of ourselves. $22. Apparently. publisher of nonfiction books for adults and children. who were preparing to lobby the World Trade Organization (WTO). 245 November/December 2007 .” Or.R E V I E W S FOOD AT ITS FULLEST I N 200 Carlo Petrini stunned a meeting of the Commission on the Future of Food. My concern with the organic movement is its focus on farming and processing rather than the result – food. environmental. completely dependent on the technocratic machine to supply our needs. Slow Food Nation: Why Our Food Should Be Good. some people may find this too simplistic a statement. but the extinction of our diverse food cultures that is at stake. He believes that food forms part of our cultural identity and must not be reduced to an industrial process that threatens our very existence. “Tell me what you eat and I’ll tell you who you are” – probably not good news for most of us! Petrini develops many themes in this book – it is comprehensive in its coverage of the issues. yes. He said that pleasure “is a human right” and that food is a basic physiological pleasure – every time we eat we experience pleasure! And this is what is unique about this book. Sheepdrove Organic Farm and Neal’s Yard Remedies. mend or make anything. Peter Kindersley agrees that food is part of our cultural identity and must not be reduced by industrialised processes. not just in this country but worldwide. This produces a ‘tyranny’ that excludes small growers who cannot afford it. certification is about money and more regulation. The grower is organic but cannot afford certification. loss of biodiversity. as Wendell Berry says. He founded Dorling Kindersley. In the end it is only our love of food that will defend biodiversity and our traditional vegetables. Progress relies on our de-skilling. So the hotel sources from South Africa. There is a small kenyan grower situated close to a large international hotel. distressing poverty. Clean. as Brillat-Savarin says. which collude to monetise every activity in the name of greater efficiency and so-called liberalised trade through the WTO. and everincreasing levels of obesity and cancer at a time of the greatest wealth and technological innovation that the world has ever known? I feel great shame that we live in a ‘bubble’ where any type of public good is shunned. Food has become a commodity business ruled by a technocratic dictatorship sponsored by governments and big business. leading to a world in which we no longer have to cook. as the WTO would say.

The wind crackles gold flags. The flight north promised by the title is a flight into “the arctic absolutes”. Of Wycherley’s eco-retellings the most resonant is ‘Darwin Waits for his Wife’. We are architects of an empty house. Darwin’s predicament here seems to have become ours. It is a revolution that would have us heed – and as a matter of the greatest urgency – the connections and continuities between human life and natural life and to grasp their radical interdependence. It is the voyage of the author’s spirit. has to confront the lashing austerities of Iceland: Hail draws white lines across my spirit. The three criss-crossing threads of the geographic.95 Here energy and myth come together. a literary cartography in operation. Sleipnir’s mane. of gleaming ice and dark magma. over-population and the grim depletion of natural resources. respecting his wife’s Christian piety – is caught with considerable pathos: Dear God. Shetland and Iceland. During the day objects stand out with a gleaming blade-like intensity. Thiassi’s wings. Concentrated into five sparse lyrical stanzas. lappets streaming. The current revolution. Against the emerging catastrophe. The poem that expresses this involvement most memorably is ‘Fire Child’. into a broader poetic commitment – into a sensitive engagement both with the living minutiae of Nature and with the primordial forces underlying their articulation. into a day landscape of arctic flora. but events orphan me. £8. also. In a memorable stanza she writes: I touch history: taste loss. where she was born. the literary-historic and the intimate autobiographical make this volume a complex achievement. but are made to soar in the incomparable manner of good poetry: through the vibrations of honed cadence and the unexpected meetings of deep metaphor. It deserves to be widely read. UK. North Flight Lynne Wycherley Shoestring Press. moss. And there is a third level to the journey north. to secure a sense of fusion between the passing personal and the deep impersonal. In this subtle poem the plight of Darwin – unable to believe in God. I wait for Baldur to stir in the sun. were committed to re-affirming an essential communion between the spirit of human life and the innate tendency towards form in Nature. while at night they possess a saga-like mystery and are often lit up by the primitive power of flame. Galle. into the wider world of Orkney. and more significantly. stage by stage. geese. North Flight is a compelling contribution to eco-poetry. Emma. has recently been published by Salt. in their own distinctive ways. however.George Mackay Brown. mute ghost: I would not Give Him up. There is. The Flowering of Flint. As with all revolutions. with great economic imagination. Resurgence No. into a night sky of sharply edged stars. Shattered. Sri Lanka PHOTOGRAPH: ROB SWAN the large ecological concerns are not stated in a abstract conceptual manner for the mind to reason with. the new eco-aesthetics cries out for a new covenant with Nature. It plots the life of the volcano Surtsey alongside the life of the poet.WE ARE ARCHITECTS OF AN EMPTY HOUSE W E ARE IN the middle of an aesthetic revolution. terns … all the minutiae such lives stand on – and above all. Peter Abbs is Poetry Editor of Resurgence and Research Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Sussex. The dedication reads as follows: “I dedicate this book to the biota of the north isles – lichens. suffering the death of his most loved daughter. In this way the poems bypass casual speculation and penetrate deep into the imagination. now making its way through all the arts. The poems.” The orientation is as unambiguous as it is marvellous. also. insects. is conspicuously a response to the cataclysmic prospects we face before the unholy trinity of global warming. The book records with eloquence an ecological way of being within the encompassing biosphere. I see Annie: her face is closed. 245 November/December 2007 7 . as they do later. explore the lives of other eco-poets: John Clare (particularly in relationship to his late journey north out of London). It concerns the relationship of the arts to the biosphere. There can be no doubt that Lynne Wycherley’s new volume of poems is written out of this impending sense of ecological disaster. this one is rooted in past movements – especially Romanticism – and such towering historic figures as Goethe. flames’ mutations flung against the black. when the sparks climbing the air enter “Heimdall or a quantum god”.This level is deeply autobiographical. blue hare. Shetland and Iceland but. In ‘Ship Burning’ the energy of fire is expressed like this: The carved head cuts the night. numb. escaping the emotional pain of his life at kelmscott. The journey north is not confined. the whales. between temporal identity and primordial Nature. it is one of the most striking eco-autobiographies I have read. Wordsworth and Ruskin who. There is a short narrative poem about Morris’ journey north in 1871 where the poet. Edwin Muir and William Morris. grasses. to the literal geographical north – to Orkney. into “a place of hard purity”. His selected poems. whimbrels. I am lonelier than you know. 2006. believing in the beauty of evolution. Sandwhales extinct. Peter Abbs welcomes an inspiring volume of eco-poetry. and what is so satisfying is that Lone whimbrel on rocky outcrop. not only out from the Fenlands.

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->