Oct 092016
 

We are humans. All our friends, mentors and family are. And we are here, dominating this planet. If we never developed, would other intelligent species took over the planet one day? Could dolphins, elephants, crows, chimps, dogs or perhaps rats give rise to a new civilization? Would they be “gentler” with the Nature and each other than we have been? We can not know at the moment.

For all our sins, we are the only force so far which could potentially save life from a global disaster like an asteroid strike.

Wishing for our civilization to disappear, I think, is an immature way of thinking happening sometime withing environmentally aware community. I too might have been like this – when I was ten.

In the book “Ecovillage at Ithaca” (a useful record of an ecovillage development and a part of my ever growinglist of potentially useful books for creating new ways of living)

Liz Walker starts with describing her young son’s attitude, his wish for humans to “just die of” because of species disappearing at an incredible rate. She herself, although shocked, could see his point, as “at the beginning of the 21st century, we face a world that is falling apart at the seams“…

Is it? Or we humans just intrinsically like tragedy, our media picks up on this and paint us a, alas, desirable picture of “our world … drenched in the blood of seemingly endless warfare” and “miserable living conditions for much of the world’s population“.

If we wont to build a real better future, we have to deal with facts, not the ever-changing media theater. Violence, disease and poverty are the enemies of our future. What has been happening to them?

First, I would recommend the well known Steven Pinker’s book

where he meticulously proves the diminishing of violence through the history and talks about the reasons for this.

Here you can find the data on the global decrease of poverty.

Historical data shows that global life expectancy has increased drastically over the last couple of centuries, with substantial long-run improvements in all countries around the world” – according to Esteban Ortiz-Ospina and Max Roser. Is this data good? Let me know if you find otherwise.

Life is wonderful. One of its miracles is the ability to recover. There have been a series of devastating mass extinctions throughout the geologic history of our planet.  In some cases up to 60 percent of species were gone. Of course, it took Nature from 20 to 100 million years to recover the biodiversity (see


for more information). We may argue, that the life would never evolve to be so inventive and resilient if not for those extinction events, but we don’t need another one. According to WWF at the moment we might be loosing between 0.01 and 0.1 percent of all species per year which is 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate. We took over the planet, this changed all the ecosystems… Bit since we realised what is happening we ought to change. It could be that the knowledge itself makes it impossible for humanity to avoid the coming change.

Living this change, this is the purpose of the Good New Town project. It has to have solid foundation: verifiable data. Doom and gloom might induce some people to act – for a while. Only complete honesty can sustain the movement.

So let’s question every piece of information coming to us, examine the evidence and try to accept the world as it is.

Originally posted at http://goodnewtown.uk/wishing-humans-dead/

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 October 9, 2016  Posted by at 08:18 Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , ,  No Responses »
Oct 042016
 

Here’s my contribution to the debate

Many small scale experiments for a more resilient future

Now that we have an opportunity to rethink the future of agriculture, land management and the life of rural communities in Wales, let people to experiment and to find out what will work. There is no need to play havoc with all of the rural economy at once but please allow innovation and initiative on a small scale, as long as there is no clear and obvious risk to people, animals and the environment. There must be people willing to experiment, creating all sorts of new businesses, eco-villages, homesteads and seasteads, various intentional communities. Give them a good fighting chance then take evidence-based decisions, not affected by fads or overrated opinions of the most vocal of lobbies. Even then, no government should ever place all eggs in the same basket (be this sheep farming or timber). Diversity in business models and lifestyles improves the resilience of any economy just like biodiversity helps ecosystems to survive changes and hard times.

Why the contribution is important

Presently there are lots of things going wrong with our lives. Our towns are surrounded by countryside but people may feel very distant from it. The farmland creates backdrop to their lives but is inaccessible due to lack of footpaths, public transport and human connection to the farming community, lack of internet – and lack of interest too. This is not a healthy relationship. The people are suffering, stuck to cities and towns with ridiculously small gardens and manicured parks. People need real nature and countryside for mental and physical health. People need fresh quality food, need connection to the land and to the community. So, we need our intelligence to develop a way of living in harmony with nature, surrounded by nature everywhere where we are. I am thinking in the direction of sustainable small scale farming, food forests, “garden cities”, decentralisation, edible landscapes, living roofs and walls, passive houses, forest farming, green burial sites, silvopasture, permaculture, aquaponics, real community gardens serving real communities, etc. – whatever works. I believe human activity and flourishing could be conducted within a healthy ecosystem made of us, our stuff, wide variety of plants and animals.

I am an artist and a geographer interested in creating a prototype semi-rural intentional community (an eco-village, an eco-block or an eco-neighborhood), an ongoing experiment for a better way of living, more sufficient and efficient, closer to Nature, working with the help from newest technology. An open lab of an honest, creative and compassionate life, strong friendly community, better health and well-being. Doing research into reintroducing wildlife, into more efficient food production and waste recycling systems, into automation, working on the new ways to get energy, new building methods, new educational systems, restoring useful agricultural and building practices from the past, and so on. People of various interests and abilities creating better lives for themselves, their friends, neighbours and families, ultimately, for the whole Earth. In the world obsessed with divisions this should be a place of honest enquiry, free of prejudices and any party rhetoric.

What we need is relaxing of planing permissions and other regulations for experimental / alternative communities, eco-villages, or self-built houses; we need land and we need grants. It is vitally important that public money won’t go to some smoke screen / green wash projects for clever bureaucrats but to real people building real future. There also should not be any exploitation of vulnerable and gullible “volunteers”, like in some modern social enterprises. People who will be living and working in those future communities are also the best candidates for building them.

The wast green spaces of Wales are treasures. We have a chance to make them also different to all other rural parts of the world in being a magnet for innovation and future-friendly experiment, brain-and skill- gain rather than drain, place for openness and cooperation, honest work for common good.

If you are interested in participating, please join the New Good Town project athttp://goodnewtown.uk/ and our Facebook page athttps://www.facebook.com/groups/goodnewtown/

by AlexandraCook on October 04, 2016 at 11:27AM

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Oct 032016
 

When you dream big it is so difficult to find a way to start small. Is it really necessary? Is it just shortchanging yourself? Is it fooling yourself with false business?

If in you mind you see something which can change the whole world for better, how do you design the baby steps?

With the Good New Town project as a way to redesign so many aspects of our lives I am thinking a calendar, blogging, social media, a simulation game (?), a book, and relatively small scale local projects which will raise awareness and draw in the like minded. Watch this space.

Any other suggestions?

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 October 3, 2016  Posted by at 08:36 Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , ,  No Responses »

Sep 022015
 

Summer memories & my Good New Town, Ecovillage, project: Raspberries, : Easy to grow fruit – need restraint rather than support. Dead old branches support the new ones then feed nutrients back to the soil – IMHO there’s no need to remove them as some gardeners do. Just create some access paths to collect berries. Best eaten fresh when they ripe every day. The bushes won’t stay productive at the same place as the nutrients will deplete from the soil so the plants will naturally “migrate” through the Garden, … Gardening, Permaculture, Permacultura, Growing Food, Wild Food, Fruit by Alexandra Cook on EyeEm

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Jun 292015
 

Some thoughts on articles like that:

Environment-friendly  people are often against long distance travel and trade. Yet the planet wide “ecological” thinking IS the product of globalisation. Trade, travel and communications give us better understanding, stimulate exchange of goods and ideas instead of fighting or ignoring each other. Isolationism would shrink our vision. 

As somebody who never had a car (but has relatives abroad and likes exploring the planet), I see ecologically-minded people driving a lot, to conferences or meetings, or just to work. Yet Findhorn isn’t good enough because they “tend to fly as often as the ordinary Westerner” (What about Japanese?)  People seem to contradict themselves. Sometime, possibly, trying  to prove themselves.  If one don’t mind quitting travel he or she may advocate for everybody to do so. But not the car as this would be too much of a sacrifice, personally.  If one doesn’t like meat she or he may declare that everyone should became vegetarians. Prediction of the future is not a precise science, so they all may find data or articles supporting their particular view. I am not saying it always happens this way, at least not consciously.

Is there also a danger that if people repeat their favourite end to the world prophecy (or the collapse of the civilization prediction) they start to wish for it just to be able to say “I’ve told you so”? And aren’t examples from around the world show us that when “everything collapses” it’s not peaceful  preppers / ecovillage folk who wins but whoever has more guns?

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Jun 292015
 

Some thoughts on articles like that:

Environment-friendly  people are often against long distance travel and trade. Yet the planet wide “ecological” thinking IS the product of globalisation. Trade, travel and communications give us better understanding, stimulate exchange of goods and ideas instead of fighting or ignoring each other. Isolationism would shrink our vision. 

As somebody who never had a car (but has relatives abroad and likes exploring the planet), I see ecologically-minded people driving a lot, to conferences or meetings, or just to work. Yet Findhorn isn’t good enough because they “tend to fly as often as the ordinary Westerner” (What about Japanese?)  People seem to contradict themselves. Sometime, possibly, trying  to prove themselves.  If one don’t mind quitting travel he or she may advocate for everybody to do so. But not the car as this would be too much of a sacrifice, personally.  If one doesn’t like meat she or he may declare that everyone should became vegetarians. Prediction of the future is not a precise science, so they all may find data or articles supporting their particular view. I am not saying it always happens this way, at least not consciously.

Is there also a danger that if people repeat their favourite end to the world prophecy (or the collapse of the civilization prediction) they start to wish for it just to be able to say “I’ve told you so”? And aren’t examples from around the world show us that when “everything collapses” it’s not peaceful  preppers / ecovillage folk who wins but whoever has more guns?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubetumblrinstagramflickrfoursquare