Without actually saying so, the first part of this article hinted at the inherent intelligence of our planet Earth. How it powerfully maintains and promotes equilibrium and biodiversity. And conversely it can very strongly eliminate factors that disturb the organic balance. That article suggests that our human species is disturbing this “organic balance” and the planet’s automatic reaction is to stop us. Our present (April 2020) predicament is like a taster that could ultimately lead to our extinction. Looking at what is happening now, this could happen frighteningly fast. [Sorry for skirting round certain words as many media are blocking articles containing these words; hint: they begin with the letter “c”]
Although all this sounds really gloomy, I believe that each of us can very effectively do something to help the situation.
What We Can Do
The first part of this section lists some of the human’s behaviour and actions that are causing us to appear as a pathological species on this planet. How the earth’s nature is to start to suppress us to re-balance its own the fauna and flora. Again what is happening now (present crisis) on this planet might just be a “taster”. Lets look at each item listed in the first part and what each of us can personally do to re-integrate us as part of the “good guys”.
Desertification and Farming Methods
You might think “I’m not a sodding(!) farmer so what’s that got to do with me?” Actually, you can do lots. About twenty years ago, “organic” (as per Soil Association, etc.) food started to appear in retail stores. This was very hard to get and expensive. I remember having to travel far to search for these organic foods. Nowadays, our increased awareness and demand has meant the supermarkets have to sell these higher quality foods. Supermarkets are a powerful dictator of how our farms are run and can make or break a farm. As consumers, this is our power; we affect how farming is done on a big scale through our buying choices.
The next essential step beyond organic is regenerative/sustainable farming. This massive change in how we farm will improve the ecological balance of all the Earth. Very, very surprisingly, using these methods actually reduces farming costs and improve profits for the farmers. It will reduce the need for GMO by eliminating the need for pesticides and herbicides. It will dramatically reduce our reliance on chemical fertilisers that is tainting our planet’s seas and soil. It will stop desertification in its tracks. As the name suggests, it will regenerate our planet big-time. Most importantly, eating food that is produced by this method will improve our general health and especially our immune system. We will be more resistant to future bacterial and viral mutations that will inevitably appear.
We have to use our buying power to search out the food that is regeneratively farmed. Use the internet (Google) to see which supermarkets and brands are moving towards this method. We can help by spreading the word to friends, family and social media. I’ve made it easier to share – scroll down past “Related Posts” at the end of this article and just click the social media icon you want to share with.
As an overwhelmingly large species on this planet, we have to adjust our food producing methods to ways that does not harm our own habitat and that of other species. The soil on our planet has fed billions of us for centuries. We need to start looking after this soil and respecting its needs.
Pollution and Waste
I am really pleased that mass media is giving air to how the human’s waste products are negatively impacting all creatures and their environment (and ours too). Here are a few more things we can do.
Again, as in the previous farming section, use the internet to research the supermarkets and brands that reduce and genuinely recycle waste. Writing letters to big companies might have an effect but even more so is to selectively buy and not buy produce based on the company’s actions. The consumer buying habits can really swing the big corporations and their policies.
In both cases, it will take some more time to do research. It need not be an extensive effort – just reading the product label is a start. Anyway, is it not worthwhile spending the effort to improve our planet and although sounding dramatic, save the human species?
This can be a contentious issue as everyone wants to have as many offspring as they choose. But consider this – what sort of world are you bringing your children into? I am not being a pessimist but it is a fact that the more of us there are, the more of earth’s resources we use up, the more waste we produce and the increased human density leads to quicker disease transmission. I am not advocating not reproducing but more of being more thoughtful when planning a family.
What about poorer countries? Education is the main answer. And a fairer distribution of wealth. What that means to the first-world people is to give priority to Fair Trade goods. And choose companies that lean towards a more balanced trade policy. When you give to charity, check out that the charity company is biased towards improving education. And dig deeper into the company’s activity to see if they are linked to the richer/more powerful elite of the country you are donating to. You would not want your money to just go to the higher echelons of the country.
It is most evident that people in the most wealthy countries wanting more and more material goods. This makes for exploitation of the workers in third-world. It also cause a massive growth in the polluting factories there. These use up limited Earth resources and add to the waste products that is choking the environment.
The solution is straightforward but it means changing our consumer mindset. Before buying a second, third or fourth TV/car/phone/etc., just ask how much you really need it. Also ask what you will use it for and be honest with yourself on why you are buying it. At the present time of writing, we are in “lockdown”, which makes having multiple cars rather pointless.
These are a few of the practical things we can do to move us towards being more harmonious with nature. Thus avoiding a planetary-wide reaction that can be very unpleasant for us humans.
What follows in the next section is as important as the actions described above – some will say even more important.
Change of Beliefs
The story we have been enacting so far as a culture is one of human supremacy over nature. We believe that we are the pinnacle of evolution, imagining that nature was put here somehow for us to conquer and rule over. This cultural myth is parochially driven and egocentric, and has led to the degradation of the environment and the exploitation of people.
I found the phrase above and thought how wonderfully it describe our outdated attitude to the world and ourselves. If you are the author of the text, please forgive me for using it as I did not have time to track you down and ask permission. I’ll add attribution if you like – just contact me.
This is the most tricky part of the article. Some people reading this will be “in the know” – they do not need convincing of what follows. For those who are not familiar with the ideas, please stay with me; sometimes new concepts are difficult. If you strongly disagree with what follows, please move on. As my teacher once said, heart-knowledge is received by heart transmission – mental discussion is irrelevant here.
The way to mending our relationship with the Earth is to change our attitude. Some time ago, a Professor Lovelock suggested the planet Earth is a living organism with its own innate balancing system and called it “Gaia”. Although scientist discarded the idea, I believe it has real relevance here to help our view of the planet. Our behaviour while living on Gaia is governed by how we see her. It is like if we are a guest at someone’s house, we would respect it if we wanted to continue living there. If we used everything the house provides without replacing what we used, then chucked our rubbish everywhere and abused the other residents, we will quickly be unwelcome in the property. Gaia has tolerated our loutish behaviour for a while, but there are signs that the human race is outstaying its welcome.
A change is coming in our attitudes (recycling, better farming and protecting other species), but it is slow and some communities are resisting the much needed change. As individuals, we can accelerate this change by a deeper connection with Gaia. Spending time in nature while contemplating how we are part of her will bring about powerful forces of change. The more of us that do this, the stronger will be the force of the change. Be assured that the energy created will also affect politicians and heads of big organisations. It is relatively not long ago that women not having the vote and animal cruelty was seen as OK. The viral crisis that is affecting us now will give decision makers an impetus to look more widely for solutions.
The gardeners and farmers among us can be a strong part of this too. Change your methods (if you have not done already) by researching the key-words/phrases like regenerative agriculture, no-dig, no-till, cover crops, living soil, holistic agriculture and holistic grazing. Think of your every action and how it will impact Gaia.
What I am saying is that by deepening our connection with the whole of Mother Earth in our minds and more importantly, in our hearts, changes will come quicker. We can all do this in our own ways. But whatever activity we are doing in nature, become consciously aware of the planet, of Gaia. Acknowledge how she supports us in many ways and send a thought of thanks to her. This is like a modern version of rituals that ancient communities used to practice. They know that their survival depends on their environment so they will have regular spiritual practices that include paying respect to mother nature.
Our survival is so intimately linked with our planet. Change our attitudes and beliefs and our species might be allowed to continue for future generations.
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