FROM THE GROUND UP A NEWSLETTER and a networking tool for all communities committed to direct and immediate action to stabilize the climate changes now occurring through neighborhood composting, urban farming and cooperative economies. EARTHSEASON: PROSPECTUS AND SCHOOL CATALOGUE EDITION EMPLOYING A HOW-TO-DO-IT APPROACH Originally published by Friends of EARTHSEASON, P. O. Box 132, Gonzales, 93926, Salinas Valley, California, U.S. A., 1986 Re-published by Friend of EARTHSEASON, 824 Sixth St., Apt 110, Nelson, B. C. V1L 2Z2, Canada. My Phone Number is: 250-999-6836 …………………..p two…………… OVERVIEW PERSPECTIVE Levels I.
……………………………..page three…………………….. DETAILED PERSPECTIVE Nature and Function of Levels
Cosmological view. Historical perspective of planetary evolution and humankind’s role in the context of the CO2 shift. Soil nutrients and glacial cycles interaction is the macroscale, where urban farming sustained by recycling organic and biological wastes is the analogue on the human scale (melascale). Transnational
EARTHSEASON: A FRAMEWORK FOR AN ACTION PLAN THE PATH TO PEACE AND SAFETY THROUGH BIOSPHERE BASED ECONOMICS. A Proposed General Systems Applied Research Project to Reverse the Trend of the Level of Atmospheric CO2 Through Full Spectrum, Applied Source Point Recycling and Synergized by Serial Conference Call Radio Broadcasts. III.
Social Organization Decentralist •
Re-inhabit your living space by redirecting your personal energy. Disconnect sink DRAIN, re-plumb for greywater to your/our garden. Re-direct sewage sludges to afforestation/reforestation areas, Re-direct compostable food waste to a neighborhood owned and operated compost pile and related systems technologies. Re-examine habits and practices in light if seven generations value criteria for new values for attitude and worldview.
• • •
Bioregional • All other levels are harmonized by activity related to conserving or building soil and soil fertility through EARTHSEASON Schools. •
EARTHSEASON for Turtle Islanders, or How to Recycle Beyond War.
V. Links for Cooperation •
Cities participate in sustainability efforts using “Recycle Radio”: The Link for an Integrated Management Program
Neighborhoods…systems coordination by neighborhood economic planning boards (EARTHSEASON Stewards) (see ‘Working papers”)
VII Individual …Person/Planet Empowerment…Biological Responsibility through the biological self recognition of the nutritional value of one’s body waste in the global mineral/element and nutrient cycles. • Participation in EARTHSEASON Schools applied source point recycling using G.R.E.E.N.S. Radio. There is an extant written business plan (“Working papers”: on diskette – Mac or I.B.M. •
FROM NEIGHBORS TO NEIGHBORHOOD NATIONS Purpose, goals and objectives; To consciously restructure the daily habits of our lifestyle. To Learn and Do what’s necessary to survive in a world and on a planet that requires reflection and action from the ethic ‘do to yourself, others and nature as they do unto you.’
To Share and Communicate the loving wisdom our daily lives unfolds to us in order that we can learn together what ingredients nature uses to nourish and nurture herself. Then we can act meaningfully to co-evolve on this planetary spaceship assisting ourselves and the biosphere to integrate towards our next stable phase of functioning.
DETAILS FOR EACH LEVEL 1. COSMOLOGICAL VIEW. (Excerpt) ONLY ONE PLANET, The Care and Maintenance of a Small Planet, by Barbara Ward and Rene Dubos. An Unofficial Report Commissioned by the SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. Prepared with the assistance of a 152 member Committee of Corresponding Consultants in 58 Countries. Published by W. W. Norton & Co., N.Y. [ p. xiii Introduction] “The U.N. Conference on the Human Environment Comes therefore at
a very critical time. Now that mankind is in the process of completing the colonization of the planet, learning to manage it intelligently is an urgent imperative. Man must accept responsability for the stewardship of the earth. the word ‘stewardship’ implies, of course, management for the sake of someone else. Depending upon their scientific, social, philosophical and religious attitudes, environmentalists have somewhat different views as to what the nature of the party for whom they should act as stewards. But in practice the charge of the U. N. to the Conference was clearly to define what should be done to maintain earth as a place suitable for human life not only now, but also for future generations. “The depletion of natural resources is, of course, one of the chief reasons to support future human civilizations. Concern about future supplies of natural is so widespread and so deep that one of our consultants, from a highly industrialized affluent European country, went as far as suggesting that mankind must begin very soon to retreat from industrialization and to focus on the development of more efficient agricultural techniques.”! [emphasis added] Chapter 4 THE ALPHABET OF TIME. “The fundamental point in the relationship is, quite simply, the ability of the planet to develop in slow stages mechanisms which protect it from the destructiveness of solar radiation, yet enable it to use its life-giving energy. Billenia after billenia, there poured down on the earth through unimpeded space a whole spectrum of solar radiations up to frequencies of 10 x22 cycles per second, capable of destroying any form of life. But progressively defenses and mediations arose to permit the emergence on a lifeless planet of the covering of living things for which the Soviet physicist Vladimir Ivanovitch Vernadsky invented the word biosphere. “The first protection came from water. In the searing heat of the still molten globe, water, which turns to vapor at 212 degrees F., hung round the earth in layer of impenetrable cloud. Underneath, as the earth’s heat receded at uneven speeds, its core remained molten while exterior crusts crumpled and folded and tore apart in tremendous gulfs and upthrusts of rock. As the process of cooling went on, the cloud above turned from vapor to water. The rains began to fall. They fell for years, for centuries, for millennia in a continuous, global downpour, filling the crevices and the gulfs. They covered the lower lands. They climbed up mountains. They all but filled the Southern Hemisphere. The oceans were born and became the cradle of life. “The next stage of development follows the ending of the rains, some three billion years ago. As the water sloshed about on the earth’s unstable and volcanic surface, the crumbling and eroding rock brought down a “soup” of chemicals into the oceans. When played on by electrical discharges and by the sun’s relentless radiation, these chemicals began to form complex molecules. Carbon, with its four bonding points, was particularly receptive and today there are over two thousand organic compounds containing carbon. There is no life without it.
“In recent decades, scientists have bombarded chemical mixtures having some similarities with the assumed composition of the oceans’ primitive “soup” and have thus produced a few of the organic molecules found in the building blocks of life. But, just as the origins of life remain mysterious, so does its forward movement. What is certain is that life might have remained at a very primitive stage if a new kind of shield had not begun to build up. The starting point was the release from the planet of a protective atmosphere, containing oxygen and ozone, which intervened between the waters and the sun’s lethal radiations. Below this shield, a new life-expanding process, photosynthesis, began to enable living things – bacteria, algae – to use the sub’s radiance for the creation of organic matter and for the release of more oxygen. “Photosynthesis is, at bottom, an incredibly elaborate transformation of light energy into carbohydrates (for sugar), which is the food of all living things. In this process within the bacteria, chlorophyll – a molecule made up of carbon, hydrogen, magnesium, and nitrogen – releases energy when it is struck by the sun’s rays. With this energy, it absorbs and breaks up water molecules, combines their hydrogen with carbon and other chemicals to produce sugar and lets the oxygen off into the atmosphere. This process is much more elaborate than the workings of a modern petrochemical complex. It takes place in a group of cells not a billionth of an inch across. At the same time, in a balancing process of respiration, the tiny sea plants begin to pull in oxygen, push out carbon dioxide, and produce as an end product, water and usable energy. Thus the substances which were drawn in at the beginning of photosynthesis, waster and carbon, are released at the end of it, and the oxygen which has been released is reabsorbed. On these two great cycles – the carbon cycle and the oxygen cycle, together with the lesser inputs of nitrogen, sulphur, and phophorus – depends the whole breathing life of Earth’s plants and animals. [emphasis added ]. The living cells capable of such prodigies of chemical transformation had obviously evolved far beyond simple fission practiced by the type of primitive bacteria fossilized in so-called Figtree formation in South Aftrica some 3 billion years ago. A billion years later, fossils representing their successors turn up in eastern California. Among them were algaelike organisms now giving evidence of a nucleus in the core of the cell. For the next billion years, in warm, sheltered coastal waters and estuaries they increased, through photosynthesis, the release of oxygen. Today, a full quarter of all oxygen we breathe is produced by the infinitesimal phytoplankton lying on the seas precisely at the point where air and water meet. And, where all too often, mammoth tankers empty their oily bilge. “Living cells, meanwhile, were evolving by responding to the new opportunities. The finding of a new fossil, the so-called spriggina, in the Ediacara Hills in Australia, indicates that some 700 million years ago there were living things with more than one cell – the first evidence of the metazoan, a class to which all elaborate organisms belong. Again we do not know how the greater complexities of organization began and evolved. Indeed, only in the last twenty years have we learned how the genes, through the double helix of their DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), transfer to cells the precise instructions for their organic life. This is just as true for man as for the simplest bacteria. The human body consists of some 600,000 billion cells which reproduce themselves, interact, fend
off insults, and respond to the opportunities of their daily environment under the precise instructions of their own DNA. “The first primitive cells probably evolved under the protection of water, at a time when volcanoes and earthquakes were still shaking the earth, still sloshing oceans over the land and back into the abyss. But this random process is precisely what seems to have prepared the next great surge of life. Eventually some sea planks contrived to take to the rock. The most primitive land plant, the Cooksonia, is found in a fossil dating from about 450 million years. More and more plants covered the rocky surfaces and animals probably followed. Fish became amphibians with leg-like fins to help them stump across the sea-washed mud of lakes and estuaries. Gills turned to lungs as they learned to breathe oxygen. About 350 million years ago the landward movement of living things becomes a flood. Plants begin to cover the rocky surfaces of the earth with the new green of breathing leaves and set in motion the planet-wide processes of processes of photosynthesis and transpiration. Some three-quarters of the atmosphere’s essential oxygen came to be recycled through the plants, providing breathable air for all the planet’s creatures. “As vegetation spread to hot equatorial regions or to the more temperate zones of the north and the south, trees and plants adapted themselves to the changing climates and began to form what are now called biomes – such typical patterns of vegetation as the evergreens of the north, the eucalyptus of Australia, the palm trees of the tropics. The roots of plants, progressively disintegrating the rock, added to the erosion of the ages and helped to build up the thin and precious envelope of soil which sustains all plant growth and hence all forms of life. Some types of soil bacteria fixed the air’s nitrogen, which provided nutrients for the plants and contributed to the rungs of the DNA ladder in all living things. The circulation of nitrogen through air, soil and living things is but one example of the many natural cycles of elements which are essential to the economy of the biosphere. In fact, all nutrients continuously re-circulate through the planet’s natural divisions – atmosphere or air, the hydrosphere or the waters, the lithosphere, which is the rock. “Wherever the air and water and rock meet, living things establish their home. The biosphere goes not much higher than 17,000 feet into the air. It rarely reaches much further than 10,000feet in the ocean. Apart from deep drilled mines and wells, the usable part of the lithosphere is represented by a few feet of soil. But this relatively tiny fraction of the planet can support life only by engaging continuous interchanges between its three vaster partners. “All living things have to be adapted to their surroundings in order to survive and reproduce their kind. Natural selection is the fundamental mechanism of this adaptation. But this phrase gives little idea of the infinite variety of stratagems by which living things come to occupy different niches and to produce the incredible variety of shapes, colors, movements, patterns of courtship, of escape, and challenge which make up the richness of the biosphere.
“Natural selection involves, of course, conflicts for limited amounts of food and space. Competition in this sense exists all over nature. But it is not so sheerly ferocious as some nineteenth-century thinkers made it out to be after the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. Prudence, cooperation, indifference, parasitism all play a part. Groups of animals may act together to protest each other. One thinks of the little circle of quails sitting tail to tail at night ready to fly off together in a bomblike explosion of squawks and feathers at the least sign of danger. In the herd or pack, animals rarely attack each other under natural conditions and often evolve common techniques for securing food or protecting each other. Stable environmental relationships imply an interconnected variety of food chains and food webs, which contribute, as it were, the grids of energy upon which survival depends. A typical food chain is a sort of pyramid. At the bottom are the plants, which use minerals from the soil and energy from sunlight to produce their own tissues. Then come the herbivorous animals, which feed on the plants. Then the flesh-eating animals or carnivores, which are fewer in number than the herbivores. Finally there is man, the most successful hunter (or predator) of them all. From the original emergence of plant and animal down to the present day, this energy chain of food-giving and food-getting has not changed in its essentials. A typical chain in a forest comprises a multitude of nuts falling from the trees and feeding smaller multitude of squirrels; they in turn are eaten by a much smaller number of foxes; at the head of the chain the human hunter now shoots the fox which he once ate. The excreta from the animals fall to the forest floor, feed the microbes which create the humus from which the trees grow which produce the nuts. Forests have a great variety of such chains, and, in a mature forest – a so-called climax ecosystem – all the various food chains are self-sustaining. In theory, the climax ecosystem can thus live its life of gently rapacious vitality for millennia. The forest is only an illustration of one of nature’s infinitely various food chains, each with its own composition and complexity. Chains interconnect with each other to form webs which include the widest variety of plants and animals. Some chains can extend across continents, for example through the birds which are a part of them. There is still some uncertainty as to the mode of transport of DDT, but it is a striking manifestation of the interrelatedness of things on a global scale that this insecticide, used in temperate and tropical countries, has turned up in the fatty tissue of penguins. Although ecosystems can be extremely stable, many are vulnerable. Ecological balance does exist in a climax area, but one violent windstorm or volcanic eruption can destroy in a matter of minutes the equilibrium of centuries. Moreover, the disturbance need not be on this shattering scale. The sudden removal of one small component in a food chain may cause others to starve. The ecology of a freshwater trout stream running clear through woods and meadows can be disturbed by an insecticide that kills the fishes’ standard diet, or an effluent that stimulates the algal growth. As a result, the rainbow trout vanish, the mudfish remain. Delicate flowers bloom no longer, only reeds and sedge.
An extreme form of ecological shock occurs when there is a breakdown of the natural mechanisms built into nature for self-protection and self-renewal. Then the lemmings surge to uncontrollable numbers, water hyacinths invade and choke the reservoirs and waterways, rabbits nibble the Australian sheep out of grass, coypus break loose and burrow through dams and drainage ditches. Again and again, this type of upheaval follows the sudden introduction of some new factor – biological species or chemical – which has no established links with existing patterns. Long before man’s hominid predecessor brought to bear on the earth skilled hands, a versatile body, and an inquiring mind, the natural world was already incredibly complex and rich in animal and plant species with their songs, colors, scents – but also with their pitfalls and challenges. This is the complex kind of world in which there occurred, approximately 100,000 years ago, the unexplained and unparalleled enlargement of the human brain, which resulted in Homo sapiens, thus bringing into play on earth a type of force different in kind from other natural forces, a creature within the natural system but capable of seeing his place within it and even entertaining the illusion that he could manipulate, command, and conquer it wholly for his own designs. XXX These excerpts were selected to provide images that could help the reader understand more fully one’s role and function in nature, this author believes that our biological functions, esp. our liquid and solid wastes must be re-examined.
THE FOREST AND THE SEA: A Look at the Economy of Nature and the Ecology of Man. Marston Bates. Vintage Books 1960. “The question ought to be, not “what good is it?” but “what is its role in the economy of nature?” I like that phrase “the economy of nature” though there is a special word for the study of the interrelations of living things, ecology. Both words come from the Greek ‘oikos’, meaning household; both can have narrow and special meanings, but both can also be used broadly. Economics can be thought of as the ecology of man, ecology as the study of the economy of nature. This is one aspect of biology, one aspect of the study of life. It is thus also one aspect of science.” “Life in both the forest and the sea is distributed in horizontal layers. The analogy, once thought of, was easily developed. The vocabulary for life in the sea could be transferred to the forest. In the treetops we were in what marine students call the pelagic zone – the zone of active synthesis, where sunlight provides the energy to keep the whole complicated biological community going. Below, we had been in the benthos, the bottom zone, where organisms live entirely on second hand materials that drift down from above – on fallen leaves, on fallen fruits, on roots and logs. Only a few special kinds of green plants were able to grow in the rather dim light that reached the forest floor. “Man’s point of view is curiously different in the forest and in the sea. In the forest he is a bottom animal, in the sea a surface animal. To study the forest, man must climb; to study the sea, dive. I often thought about the differences as I struggled with the
problem of understanding the Villavicencio forest, and in later years, as I swam around reefs in the Pacific or in the West Indies. Man is a land animal; it seems probable that much of his evolution took place in the tropical forest, or in regions where forest was giving way to open grasslands. Yet it seems to me that in some ways modern, scientific man has learned to cope with the sea better than the forest.” p. 20-21 “The living world of the biosphere, the thin continuous film on the surface of our planet, is held there because only at the surface are the chemical and physical conditions appropriate for life’s development. The film of living things is thickest in the seas, because it is now clear that some forms of life have been able to penetrate to even greatest depths of the oceans. On land, however, the film is very thin indeed, confined to the few feet of surface soil which air and water can penetrate and, essentially, to the height above the soil reached by the tallest trees.” p. 29 “Interdependence thus underlies the community idea both with man and nature.” p. 141 “If we look at any community, we can group the organisms that make it up into three broad categories: the producers, the consumers and the decomposers.” p. 147 “The food chains – the ways of passing around the carbon supply – are endlessly diverse in any community. The patterns become so complicated that it is probably better to think of food “webs” [neighborhoods, RB] rather than food “chains”. But the chain is more easily visualized – even if oversimplified. We can think of chains like grassgrasshoppers-frogs-snakes-hawks. The grasshopper, the frog, the snake, or the hawk may die from some intervening cause and its body material be returned to the soil by the decomposers. Or the grass may die and be decomposed without passing through any animal at all. The decomposers – mostly microbes and fungi – are always with us, playing their component materials, so that the chemical cycles can start all over again. [ The reader is referred to THE SURVIVAL OF CIVILIZATION, by J. Hamaker and Don Weaver, available from Don Weaver, 138 Valdeflores Dr. Burlingame, CA 94010, for an understanding of the carbon and nitrogen cycles.] “The animals that live directly off of the plants are generally very small and very numerous. (p. 148-9) The British ecologist Charles Elton has called them “key industry animals” because all of the rest of the complicated animal economy depends on them. In the sea (and in fresh water) the producers are generally microscopic organisms, floating on the surface, plankton’ and the key industry animals are either microscopic or very tiny, also forming part of the drifting plankton. On land, the producers are mostly ferns and seed plants, and the key industry animals are the hordes of many kinds of insects that live directly on the leaves of these plants. (especially earthworms). See also ‘The Missing Links Between Plant Roots and Colloidal Soil Particles’, Gernot Graefe, Austria. (It is noteworthy that earthworms eat fallen leaves so there is no damage to the living plant.)
“Damage from parasites and disease is the normal, the common situation in nature. Health, in the sense of freedom from parasitism, it is unusual for an individual or a species. On the other hand, catastrophic situations, situations in which a population is threatened with severe damage or with extinction (epidemic situations) are also unusual. I t seems to me, thinking over my experience and reading, that catastrophic situations resulting from parasitism almost always turn in one way or another on human interference with the balance of the biological community. Yet catastrophic situations have, time after time, developed in relation to human activities. Epidemics, in human experience are far from usual. Why is this? “One could answer in general terms by saying that man, as a animal species, has embarked on an unusual enterprise, so that it is not surprising that it should involve unusual consequences. The whole course of man’s cultural development turns on shifting the balance of nature, and I don’t think anyone is going to propose that we go back to the prehuman state of being, just another rather uncommon species of primate, living in a nicely adjusted equilibrium with the forest. But we might as well try to understand what we are doing – and to try to circumvent catastrophes.(emphasis added) [It is with cognizance of this ‘fact of life’ that our near future MUST include an EARTHSEASON PROGRAM THAT FULFILLS THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE CRISIS CHALLENGE BOTH TEMPORALLY, BY RE-ESTABLISHING SEASONS BY DEEP GREEN HUMIFICATION/COMPOSTING, AFFORESTATION AND USING ALCOHOL FUELS, AND SPATIALLY THROUGH 20 MILLION NEIGHBORHOODS] p. 167-8 “Then we came to man and his place in this system of life. We could have left man out, playing the ecological game of “let’s pretend man doesn’t exist.” But this seems as unfair as the corresponding game of the economists, “let’s pretend nature doesn’t exist. The economy of nature and the ecology of man are inseparable and attempts to separate them are more than misleading, they are dangerous. [emphasis added]. Man’s destiny is tied to nature’s destiny and the arrogance of the engineering mind does not change this. Man may be a very peculiar animal, but he is still a part of the system of nature. p. 247. “When some thinker does come forth to provide us with a rationale for conduct, he will have to consider not only the problems of man’s conduct with his fellow men, but also of man’s conduct towards nature. Life is a unity; the biosphere is a complex network of interrelations among all the host of living things. Man, in gaining the godlike quality of awareness, has also acquired a godlike responsibility. The questions of the nature of his relationships with the birds and the beasts, with the trees of the forests and the fish of the seas, become ethical questions; questions of what is good and right not only for man himself, but for the living world as a whole. In the words of Aldo Leopold, “we need to develop an ecological conscience.” p. 257. “Ethical, esthetic and utilitarian reasons thus all support the attempt to conserve the diversity of nature. It is morally the right thing to do; it will provide, for future generations, a richer and more satisfying experience than would otherwise be possible;
and it provides a much needed insurance against ecological catastrophe. “Unless one merely thinks man was intended to be an all-conquering and sterilizing power in the world,” Charles Elton has remarked, “there must be some general basis for understanding what it is best to do. Thus, man is looking for some wise principle of co-existence between man and nature, even if it be a modified kind of man and a modified kind of nature. This is what I understand by CONSERVATION (underline). p. 262.
COSMOLOGICAL VIEW – [transition paragraph for context] Excerpts from THE STATE OF THE WORLD, 1987. [In the context of the document (Catalogue-Handbook), the following excerpt will present the growth and role of cities] A-1 ASSESSING THE FUTURE OF URBANIZATION, Lester R. Brown and Jodi Jacobson. p.39. “Urbanization has three demographic components: migration, natural increase (the excess of births over deaths) and reclassification of rural areas to cities….At the current growth rate of 2.5 percent yearly – half again as fast as total population – the number of people living in cities throughout the world will double in the next 28 years. Nearly nine tenths of this growth will occur in the Third World, where the annual urban growth rate is 3.5% - more than triple that of the industrial world. A-2 URBAN ENERGY NEEDS The energy required to satisfy food needs also increases in urban settings. Not only is the supply line longer for cities, frequently extending across national borders, but food shipped long distances needs more processing and packaging. Fruits, vegetables, and livestock products often require refrigerated transport if they are to be edible when they reach a city. Of the total energy used in the food system of the United States, a highly urbanized society, one-third is used in the production of food, one-third in transporting, processing and distributing item and one-third in preparing it. A-3 FEEDING CITIES When agriculture began, world population probably did not exceed 15 million, no more than live in Greater London or Mexico City today. The first cities were fed with grain surpluses produced in the immediately surrounding countryside, since the lack of efficient transportation prevented long distance movement of food.
A-4 FEEDING CITIES As China worked toward national self-sufficiency in cereals, some of its major cities were seeking self-sufficiency in the production of perishables, particularly fresh vegetables. To reach this goal, Shanghai, a city of 11 million, extended its boundaries into the surrounding countryside, increasing the city area to some 6,000 square kilometers. This shift of nearby land to city management greatly facilitated the recycling of nutrients in human wastes. As of 1986, shanghai was self-sufficient in vegetables and produced most of its grain and a good part of its pork and poultry. Vegetables consumed in Shanghai typically travel less than 10 kilometers from the fields in which they are are produced, often reaching the market within hours of being harvested. Hong Kong, a city of 5 million occupying an area of just over 1,000 square kilometers, has a highly sophisticated urban agriculture system, which provides 45% of its fresh vegetables. It produces 15% of its own pork by feeding the pigs with indigenous food waste, including some 130,000 tons per year from restaurants and food processing plants, and with imported feed-stuffs. Relying on imported feed, the city also produces 60% of its live poultry supply. Some 31% of Hong Kongâ€™s agricultural land , are commonly fertilized with pig and poultry manure and yield 25-74 tons per hectare, depending on the particular species and practice used. In the industrial West, European cities have traditionally emphasized urban community gardens. After the oil price hikes of the seventies, many American cities also launched urban community gardening projects, offering undeveloped land to inner-city residents. State governments, particularly in the Northeast, have organized farmerâ€™s markets in cities, producing a direct link between local farmers and consumers. [Make a point of the attitude shift that is required to support recycling and subsequently composting, vermicomposting and remineralization, the attitude change will at the same time include the shift for the individual from being primarily a consumer to one which is both a consumer and producer (of raw material for soil fertility techniques used by members of his/her neighborhood who are vermicomposting.)]. Popular with urban dwellers, they are a valuable adjunct to the more traditional roadside stands in heavily populated areas. A-6 The most effective urban food self-sufficiency efforts are those where city governments orchestrate land use, nutrient recycling, and marketing as in Shanghai. Increased local production of perishable vegetables facilitates the recycling of nutrients from waste and yields fresh produce at attractive prices. Another bonus is that shorter supply lines reduce dependency on energy-intensive transportation. A-7 NUTRIENT RECYCLING Closing nutrient cycles is thus one of the building blocks of ecologically sustainable cities.
A-8 Municipalities that recycle organic wastes can simultaneously save money, land and fresh water for other uses. Recycling treated sewage onto farms surrounding cities also enhances urban self-sufficiency, as indicated earlier.
B-1 STABILIZING CHEMICAL CYCLES Preserving forests and planting trees can do much to minimize the threat of climate change. The clearing and burning of tropical forests adds perhaps 20% to the amount of carbon released to the atmosphere each year through fossil fuel combustion. Trees also remove carbon dioxide from the air during photosynthesis, so increasing global forest cover would help stabilize atmospheric CO2 levels. In mid 1985, a promising development emerged with the unveiling of an ambitious tropical forest protection plan. Designed by an international task force coordinated by the World Resources Institute of Washington, D.C. and supported by leading aid agencies, it calls for investments totaling $8 billion over five years in tree planting projects and efforts to arrest deforestation.
C-1 DESIGNING SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIES The efficiency with which nations produce food and consume energy provides a useful indicator of their progress toward sustainability. [Widespread recognition of this nest excerpt could bring about the necessary attitude and value change as pre-conditions for maintaining sustainability. Equity Questions in Sustainable Economics “…puts forward two criteria for choice of investment or consumption as being particularly valuable: the net present value criterion and the conservation criterion. The former represents efficiency and merely says the investment has to be a good one, one that maximizes output while minimizing the cost of inputs. Under the theory of sustainability, it is a condition that can be met, however, only as long as the conservation criterion is met. That is, the use of agricultural land can be maximized as long as the productivity of the resource can be maintained. Toward a Balance Higher prices alert resource consumers to the cost of overconsumption; they transmit critical information between the environment and the economy.
CHARTING A SUSTAINABLE COURSE by Lester R. Brown and Edward C. Wolf “Overall, we are locked in a race,” observed biologist E.O Wilson of Harvard University at the 1986 National Forum on Biodiversity in Washington, D.C. The race as he sees it, pits humanities ability to gather information about the earth’s rich evolutionary inheritance of plant and animal life against the uncontrolled degradation of tropical
environments, which threatens an episode of extinction as large as any in the planet’s history. [ emphasis added ] Michael McElory, Director of Harvard’s Center for Earth and Planetary Physics, is one of the creators of a new branch of atmospheric science that investigates the global atmosphere as a single system. McElory and his colleagues hope that this research will yield insights that allow humanity to manage, rather than submit to, a changing climate. “There is not longer any doubt that we are in a high-stakes race with the pace of atmospheric change,” wrote Jonathon Leonard, profiling McElory’s work. The steps required to adjust to such change may be drastic; unfortunately, the enormous gaps in our understanding of atmospheric processes make it difficult to know exactly what to do. This counterpoint of urgency and uncertainty will dominate human affairs as the twentieth century draws to a close. D-3 The Scientific Challenge…. A turning point could be reached when institutions more concerned with world wide economic advance than with narrow definitions of national security recognize the contribution that the Global Change study could make to their work. The World Bank, for example, plans to use satellite remote sensing to create a global data base on environmental trends in the Third World. The pace at which climate change unfolds as a result of greenhouse gas warming has obvious implications for Bankfinanced investments in drinking water supply, irrigation, and rural development. The modest cost of a Global Change program could be considered a down payment toward more sustainable development in the twenty-first century.” D-4 “….Ample reason already exists to move ahead on at least three broad fronts. An international commitment to complete demographic transition, restrain carbon emissions, and launch a second energy revolution that could provide a yardstick by which world wide progress toward sustainability might be measures. [Sustainability for each person requires a personal composting effort from everyone. RSB] D-5
BALANCING THE CARBON EQUATION
Restoring equilibrium to the global carbon cycle is both imperative and achievable. In the United States, Congress in effect endorsed a major carbon storage program with passage of the Food Security Act of 1985. The aim is to plant grass and trees on 45 million acres (18 million hectares) of highly erodible cropland, designated as a conservation reserve. Farmers are paid to enroll erosion-prone land in the reserve. Although unusually high crop subsidies in 1986 slowed the sign-up, more normal market conditions will make the reserve an attractive economic option. Most of the land is likely to be seeded to grass, but an estimated 5 million acres will be planted to trees. Both grass and trees will store more carbon than crop land that is plowed each year.
CENTER OF DECISION
A sustainable future calls upon us simultaneously to arrest the carbon dioxide buildup, protect the ozone layer, restore forests and soils, stop population growth, boost energy efficiency, and develop renewable energy sources. No generation has ever faced such a complex set of issues requiring immediate attention. Preceeding generations have always been concerned about the future, but we are the first to be faced with decisions that will determine whether the earth our children inherit will be habitable. The course corrections needed to restore a worldwide improvement in the human condition have no precedent. And they may not be possible if the militarization that is hampering international cooperation and preempting leadership time, fiscal resources and scientific personnel continues. Anyone contemplating the scale of the needed adjustments is drawn inescapably to one principle conclusion: The time has come to make peace with each other so that we can make peace with the earth. ----------------------“Cheap oil pushed back resource constraints in every continent. By the same token, as we’ve already seen, when oil reserves start to dwindle this process will be reversed and increasing pressure will be put on basic biological systems.” Seeing
Green, Jonathon Porrit, p.46. “Ordinary life for most people is regulated by the rules of work and rewards of work which pattern each day and week and season. Once cast out of that routine, people are cast out of the regulatory framework that it imposes. Work and rewards of work underpin stability of other institutions as well.” Poor Peoples Movements”, F.F. Piven and R.A. Cloward, Vintafe Press, 1977. If the philosophy of the G.A.I.N. (workfare program in California) effort is to eliminate social welfare programs then one possible response is to provide a framework through recycling organic wastes (composting in the banner framework of EARTHSEASON) that requires the fundamental shift in values orientation. Economics that include the value of the environment through composting could restructure ‘the way of doing business’. This exemplifies the validity of Schumaker’s Small is Beautiful thesis. Cultural evolution – hunting and gathering Domesticating species for food Jethro Tull, father of sedentary agriculture, Machines and monocropping, beginning to use fossil fuels Urban farming -Intermediate Technology, a.k.a. ‘appropriate technology’. Compostable solid waste = raw material for natural fertilizer. Looking deeper it represents disguised soil fertility. What does soil fertility mean in the context of a global environment in the later stages of crisis? It is a means to restore wasted capital (soil fertility loss and erosion) to become a variation from the conventional form of income.
This income is essentially the basis for sustainability of the environment particularly where soil forms the basis of agriculture and ecosystems services through clean water and clean air.
LEVEL II TRANSNATIONAL
A GENERAL SYSTEMS APPLIED RESEARCH PROJECT TO REVERSE THE TREND OF THE LEVEL OF ATMOSPHERIC CO2 THROUGH FULL SPECTRUM. SOURCE POINT RECYCLING AND SYNERGIZED BY SERIAL CONFERENCE CALL BROADCASTS. A. B. C. D. E. F.
Introduction to Context Introduction to Concept Plan Concept System Strategy of Recycling Organic Wastes Toward Stabilizing the Carbon Cycle.
A. Introduction to Context Dear Reader, I am writing this to share with you a vision and understanding Iâ€™ve arrived at after having researched and contemplated applied source point recycling since
1979 and with the intention of convincing you to participate in an imperative, cooperative, collective and comprehensive program. The implications of ACTUALLY DOING IT in urban centers and of closing the energy loops that pass through ALL OF OUR INHABITED BUILDINGS give us some astonishing insights and lead us to some profound conclusions. In 1979, I had just completed 18 months of travel around the U.S. with John Henry Payne, descendant of Tom Paine, the founder of the GREENPEACE concept and organization as well as the conceptual originator of the U.N. Peacekeeping Force. John Henry is a remarkable teacher, guide, companion and friend. Among other values nourished in me by him was his profound understanding of the living values contained in the interdependence of intact ecosystems. John is quarterbreed Cree and an internationally recognized medicine man. When I met him, he had traveled around the world four times promoting PEACE through his ideas, stories, chants, rituals, conversation, advice and exhortation. His thematic message: “Green is for PEACE, and GREENPEACE is for WORLD PEACE. The green refers to trees and plankton and other chlorophyll generators. The Greenpeace goal John Henry visualized then was to organize broad participation hands-on conservation programs of tree planting, reorganizing land ownership/land use values, and for us to understand that by doing this we would have a way to co-evolve with the planet, stabilize global climate and thus create the conditions to reduce regional food imbalances which he sees as one of the fundamental causes of war. An essential idea I gleaned from him is PEACE IS NOT JUST STOPPING WARS BUT IT HAS AN ECONOMICS SUPPORTING IT! Our economic calculations must be based on the finite matter and energy budget of the biosphere rather than the current conventional economics characterized by profit at any cost and NOT accounting for production by-products of wastes. The ‘problem of production with it’s working principle of ‘profit at any cost’ without calculating the capital cost of non-replaceable raw resource and internalizing the avoided costs of waste disposal, air and water pollution is now clearly an untenable and unsustainable practice. Just as the worldview in which the philosophical basis of conventional economics must be reframed so a PEACE ECONOMICS can be derived from the Humanist tradition and provide a valid philosophical basis for a sustainable biosphere oriented energy budget. ( see The Challenge of Humanist
Economics, by Lux and Lutz.) I believe there is a generally held conception that once land loses its fertility and may even become desert-like, that’s it for the land. It’s no good any more for growing vegetables or fruit bearing trees. I held this understanding before meeting John Henry. I learned from him that infertile soil can be reclaimed by composting of organic wastes including our own body wastes
on the land with traditional forest management practices. When an area has fruit trees planted and interspersed with other trees and crops, (agro-forestry), it will PROVIDE CONDITIONS FOR STABLE LOCAL ECOSYSTEMS and have a supportive and beneficial influence on the REGIONAL climate. The notion that “soil is a regional component that one can hold in one’s hand” was sparked from one of the many profoundly insightful statements made by Gernot Graefe, Ph.D. in his paper, “The Missing links Between Plant Roots and
Colloidal Soil Particles”. “Soil as a regional component carries the potential for regulation and improvement of the biosphere. Therefore it is so important !” [ insert THE TOUCH TEST FOR YOUR SOIL – from The Farallones Integral Design Urban House. ] [ insert HOW TO USE THE TEXTURAL DIAGRAM OF SOIL CLASSIFICATION] John Henry readily acknowledged that our annual global inventory of chlorophyll sources were noticeably and rapidly diminishing. Hearing this fact, in the context of many months of discussion, I understood John’s mission. As John was both my spiritual guide and mentor at the time, my mission vision became clearer. With this opportunity to introduce you to EARTHSEASON, I intend to provide clear images for each of us to be able to USE as OUR vision NOW. The values we have previously given preference for must be recognized as shortsighted and against both a sustainable economy and a sustainable climate. This perspective is put forward to support the view that broad based participation in SOURCE POINT recycle in urban centers in the form of EARTHSEASON system when operating internationally has the achievable potential to shift the locus of our food supply from rural areas to urban centers using available labor, accessible spaces, abandoned factories, roof-top greenhouses etc. As Dr. Graefe puts it, “achieving new forms of integration with the ecosystemal environment”. This approach has several advantages that mitigate some of the disadvantages with our current practices and addresses negative environmental conditions created from same. For EARTHSEASON and its programmatic element, EARTHSEASON SCHOOLS, respond as ‘this new form of integration, it will principally require two dynamic factors to both occur. They are broad based participation and coordinated cooperation. PARTICIPATORY DIRECT APPLIED COOPERATIVE EDUCATION FROM INDIVIDUALS AND THEIR NEIGHBORS, DOING WITH THEIR RESOURCES ON HAND AND AT HAND AT HOME AND THEIR DAILY NEEDS AND HABITS – Food waste, ‘septage’ and greywater.
Further, that the “delivery” vehicle, a series of “phone-in” participation radio programs is direct, interactive and applied education. Radio “delivering” the education is appropriate for the Information Age. The widely recognized disadvantages of the currently dominant agricultural practice of chemical intensive monocropping generates socially and environmentally unacceptable levels of groundwater pollution, consequent environmental degradation and a reduction in soil fertility to the point of soil loss through widespread erosion. Lester R. Brown and Jodi Jacobson assessing the future of urbanization in STATE OF THE WORLD, 1987, stated that “As China worked toward national self-sufficiency in cereals, some of its major cities were seeking self-sufficiency in the production of perishables, particularly fresh vegetables. To reach this goal, Shanghai, a city of 11 million, extended its boundaries into the surrounding countyside, increasing the city management greatly facilitated the recycling of nutrients in human wastes. As of 1986, Shanghai was self-sufficient in vegetables and produced most of its grain and a good part of its pork and poultry. Vegetables consumed in Shanghai typically travel less than 10 kilometers from the fields in which they are produced, often reaching the market within hours of being harvested. (p.A-4) After traveling with John Henry, I settled down in Santa Cruz, CA. Shortly thereafter I started conceptualizing the EARTHSEASON system TO TRANSFORM ORGANIC WASTES AND WATER FROM ALL INHABITED BUILDINGS INTO USABLE RESOURCES FOR GROWING FOOD. It was obvious to me to me that hunger in cities didn’t have to continue if the resources to grow vegetables already exist in cities. Currently with most of the population living in cities, it seems logical to grow produce in cities. After 2 years of research into appropriate technology and sewage treatment systems, their history, technology, etc., I could visualize a system that satisfied my criteria. Those criteria are: 1. that to the maximum extent possible all of the compostable portion of the organic waste in the “generic” urban solid waste energy stream, be transformed into usable raw resources for growing food, 2. that the system function on the level of the individual, small groups and neighborhoods, 3. that the system have the least number of components and be effort and energy efficient , 4. that the components can be made operational and functional using human-scale technology, and least demanding of materials and energy.
And so, sometime around the autumn equinox in 1982, Andrew Junker, a Systems Analyst and Human Factors Engineer from Yellow Springs, Ohio, graciously shared 11 days with me ‘performing a systems energy analysis for the closed loop energy cycle’. From then, I could refer to as the EARTHSEASON Flow Diagram of Integrated Component Relationships from Applied Source Point Recycling, or more simply the EARTHSEASON System. [insert diagram, APPENDIX D fig.#1] Shortly after completing the systems analysis I asked a friend, the late Fred Wood, Ph.D., to do another evaluation, this time for ‘feasability and fit’. Dr. Wood retired from I.B.M. San Jose, CA where he headed I. B. M.’s Advanced Systems Development Division for 35 years. He was a General Systems Analyst for most of his adult life. His evaluation made two points. The EARTHSEASON System needs committed people for it to work and that if trees are added to the concept, the Local/Global aspect would be enhanced. Adding soil remineralization to the composting component using ground glacial river rock dust would make the system even more ‘complete’. Accepting his recommendations changed the shape of the project and made a critical link. Now, conceptually, EARTHSEASON could undergird the international response urgently required in the global climate change that is well underway. Fred has been researching the range of global crises and their time to go critical. He is a charter director of The Earth Regeneration Society that integrates basic research from all of the 26 scientific disciplines required for our understanding of the CO2 increase and its role in the global climate. I asked Fred to provide an outline of how the glacial cycles ( Ice Ages ) relates to the present problem with the climate change. The following is what he provided. It helps to understand the significance of what Gernot Graefe says in his paper, “The Missing Links Between Plant Roots and Colloidal Soil Particles.” [insert a hypertext link], an except of which follows what Dr Wood provided.
NATURAL RECYCLING OF NUTRITIVE MINERALS ON THE PLANET. “The human population on Earth is now 5 billion compared to 500 million in 1650 at the beginning of the industrial revolution, and 150 million in 200 B.C. before the rise of the Roman Empire(1,2). The planet has natural cycling and
recycling systems to restore nutritional minerals to the earth for reasonable population levels. Twenty-two minerals are identified by nutritional science as essential to human health(3), yet there are indications that many of the other 66 elements in montmorillonite are particularly significant in respect to the ‘clay theory of the origin of life” in which two dimensional clay crystalline structure preceeded the development of DNA genetic coding in the evolution of life. (5) The presence of montmorillonite clay in the food chain ensures that trace minerals specified by the genetic code are available. The presence of these required trace minerals make possible the correct reconstruction of living cells in the form specified by the genetic code as can be seen in the metabolic processes on the BIOCHEMICAL PATHWAYS Chart. ??? The annual cycle of flooding of river deltas brings fresh minerals to the soil through the deposited silt to provide for adequate supplies of food with proper minerals. When the world population was below 200million the natural river deltas were adequate for the world food needs. As the world population increased, more and more forests were cut down for farming. The deforestation allowed the carbon dioxide to increase. Now after 10,800 years of vigorous plant, animal and human growth and diversity, and soil erosion and burning of fossil fuels, the rise in CO2 gives the signal for the return to glaciation. During previous periods of polar cap glacial advance of 70,00 to 120,000 years [Recall Dr. Graefe’s point ‘earthworms in the EARTHSEASON System.] At the start of the glaciation, where we are now , the reduced crop growing season causes food shortage leading to mass starvation. The annual replenishment of minerals in the main river delta regions by the seasonal overflow of rivers maintains a base for growing of food for a reduced number of humans during the 70,000 to 120,000 year polar cap glacial advance period” The following excerpts reveal Dr. Graefe’s comprehension of the role of soil in localbioregional and global climate change/stability. “Global phenomena, e.g. world climate, represents dangers, but their specific interactions with each region show a spectrum of regional phenomena, from destruction to beneficial effects. Basically the thin layer of soil represents a level for exchange and buffering which is much more important for the ecological balance than is acknowledged yey. Therefore a realistic assessment for soil potential and soil value for the ecosystem as well as for global phenomena, e.g., world climate, will be necessary. Soil was the life giving element for the blooming human population, but the ignorance of man as to his efficiency to preserve existence on the globe has caused a vacuum which should now be filled quickly by Systems Sciences. “When ecosystems get out of balance we should take this as an indication that links are missing e.g. earthworms which mix organic substances with minerals and produce clay-humus complex; or mykorriza fungi which build bridges between plant roots and colloidal soil particles are no longer part of the system. Where on steep slopes
soil is evidently starting to slide the ‘danger is caused by absence of networking for the soil by closely interacting with the mycorhiza.’ Due to the high rate of anthropogenic influences, the number of links which undergo disturbances or destruction is ever rising and in all probability will rise even more unless we sharpen our knowledge of the system as a whole; up to now natural science has not given the necessary credit to the importance of soil networks for the ecosystem. These networks should now be acknowledged as an existentially important part of General Systems Research, including the feedback of quality to the development of world-climate (see below, Guidelines from Observations and Reasoning on the role of “quality” to the development of world climate), soil erosion and yields as well as longevity of forest soils and farmlands. In order to direct man’s “dualistic vitality” not into doubling steps of reproduction but into achieving new forms of integration with the ecosystemal environment. Pressure of selection confronts him with population densities and the degenerating effects of the industrial system (on) the ecosystem. At this point General Systems Research could show that this integration, i. e. alleviation of problems, will lead us back to the soil.” III SOCIAL ORGANIZATION NETWORKING, By…………….and……………. “To paraphrase Jefferson’s view: every generation has the right and the duty to reassess and re-agree [emphasis added] upon the perceived laws of nature by which its world view is governed. We believe that the way to our vision of a peaceful and humane planet will be by means of a substantial reordering of our shared worldview, of our basic assumptions and values. Only if millions of people, in their daily lives and work, use a worldview to create new approaches and new solutions, will we survive and evolve.” Pallas Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, is said to have sprung fully armed and fully grown from the brow of Zeus. Proponents of gradual change have sometimes used this myth to disparage proponents of radical change, arguing that Athena’s story is surely a myth, because, they assert, change starts gradually and accumulates, rather than appearing full-blown overnight. Yet there is an important truth in the Athena story that is particularly applicable to changes in politics, economics, and ways of knowing. Gradualists are correct in stating that social change starts with brief flickers and flashes of anomalies, exceptions, crises and lonely protesting voices that slowly gather strength and influence, but when the shift to a new worldview comes, it does so swiftly and suddenly. Since most people are blind to the precursors of fundamental change, the new wisdom will seem to burst forth suddenly, fully formed and ready to address the myriad crises of the present. In our present collective drama, this moment has not yet occurred, nor is it preordained in our script of the future. None of us need be reminded of the gloomy forecasts for tomorrow’s social health and personal welfare and for the planet’s headlong plunge toward ecological catastrophe. Nor can we deny the dominant American sentiment as expressed by Ronald Reagan’s remarkable electoral landslide in 1980. However,
scattered among the daily doomsday reports, there are unmistakable signals of hidden trends that suggest the possibility of a future large scale shift in world views.” “One chronicler of these social signals is Alvin Toffler, who asserts that the industrial worldview reached its zenith in the mid- 1950’s and that a “third wave” of human civilization has been building for the past 25 years. That is, right now the world is undergoing a transformation as significant as the shifts from hunting to agriculture at the dawn of human civilization (“first wave”) and from agriculture to industry four centuries ago (“second wave”). Toffler characterizes the “hidden code” of industrial-age thought in terms of six assumptions: Standardization Specialization Synchronization Concentration Maximization Centralization “As an astute reporter of ‘the future right under our noses’, Toffler describes the emerging third wave of civilization in terms that complement the waning industrial assumptions. Decentralized structures are replacing centralized forms, values of appropriateness are challenging maximization, power and resources are being dispersed to counter concentration, flexible time patterns are encroaching on the linear synchronization of tasks, autonomy and self-reliance are breaking the narrow bonds of specialization, and creative processes expressing uniqueness are contrasting with the frozen ruts of standardization.” “Another signal of change has been documented by John Naisbitt, of the polling firm Yankelovitch, Skelly and White, who monitored reports of social changes in 200 U.S. newspapers in the belief that widespread indicators of change would be reflected in local behavior. Emerging trends he identified include (in order) FROM Industrial Society Centralization Party Politics Machines Racism/sexism Top-down Management Equal Education/Health Bigness Company Board of Directors Representative Democracy TO Information Society Decentralization Issue Politics
Human Technology Equality Bottom-up Management Equal Access to Capital Appropriate Scale Independent Board Participatory Democracy “As though to underline the meaning of the most widely reported trend, the shift from an industrial to an information society, we ran across Naisbitt’s report while using our computer to browse through the “Community News Conference” of the Electronic Informatio Exchange System (see chapter 7, Learning). “In its “Values and Lifestyles” study for corporate clients, SRI International reports that there is a clear shift of values taking place in a small but key segment of the population (this according to an article in the charter issue of Leading Edge Bulletin, itself a harbinger of change as the follow-up newsletter to Marilyn Ferguson’s popular book The Aquarian Conspiracy. Summarizing trends in terms of evolving symbols of success, the article reports that, for a significant group of people, values are shifting “from quantity to quality, from the group to the individual, from abundance toward sufficiency and from waste toward conservation.” Past symbols: unlisted phone number, Swiss bank account, connections with celebrities, deskless office, second and third home, rare foreign car, being a vice president, being published, frequent unpredictable world travel. Future symbols: free time any time,, recognition as a creative person, oneness of work and play, rewarded less by money than by honor and affection, major social commitments, easy laughter and embarrassed tears, wide-ranging interests and actions, philosophical independence, loving, being in touch with oneself. To these reports of change percolating beneath the crumbling façade of the industrial worldview can be added our own study of networks. Networks are not only the carriers of a new paradigm, they are a reflection of it: a segmented, nonhierarchical, fuzzy, value-identified form of organization that is emerging at every social level from neighborhood to globe. The vast, vibrant still-inchoate meta-network of people and organizations we are calling ANOTHER AMERICA is coalescing in every area of personal and social life, motivated by and bonding through shared values. Nascent therein is a great power for change.” III SOCIAL ORGANIZATION. Excerpts from New Age Politics: Healing Self and Society – The Emerging New Alternative to Marxism and Liberalism [available through White Cap Books, 2229 Jefferson Avenue, West Vancouver, B.C., V7V 2A9.] insert a link
“Institutions are what their perceivers wish them to be. Their life in the psyches of the community id their main source of power (and) stability…when sufficient numbers of the community begin to think differently, those institutions lose their power and stability…p 19-20 “Later we would come to actively dislike the natural world. According to Joel Kovel, a psycho-historian, this dislike began when we learned to dislike our feces (for as we become more ‘civilized’ we learned to practice some pretty wicked versions of toilet training); but it quickly and inevitably spread outward to all natural things.” P.26 “Tri-level analysis (see below) tells us that the minds and hearts of people were the determining factors in history, and that governments, economics, and so on, were not so determining. Does this make our history [or future] read any differently? p.39 “Because it’s so pervasive and runs deep, the Prison isn’t immediately obvious to everyone. In order to see through to it, it helps to keep in mind a method that I call ‘trilevel analysis’. I call it that because it looks at the world on three levels at once. The first is concerned with the passing events of daily life; the second, with economic and political power; and the third, with the Prison itself (and with the world view that it spawns…) ….In political theory, New Age authors and activists distinguish among ‘reform’, ‘revolution’ and ‘transformation’…. Willis Harman, of the Stanford Research Institute, says that there are three levels on which we can ‘view society’s problems’: (1) the level of symptoms – e.g. poverty, crime racism, pollution, inflation; (2) the level of basic institutions – built-in distributions of economic and political power; and (3) the level of cultural premises, dominant values, and our image [underline] of ourselves (i.e. our basic world-view) p. 38 “Marshall Sakhlins, an economic anthropologist, says that we’re basically meaning-seeking beings and that we turn even the things we need to do into a vehicle for the expression of our search for meaning [underline]. In this view culture is the sum of our efforts to find out about ourselves and to realize our selves – even when we’re engaging in directly economic activities, our search for meaning remains primary [underline]. What is distinctive about human culture is not that it must conform to material constraints but it does so according to a definite symbolic scheme which is never the only one possible.’[emphasis added] p.40 “It isn’t even speed per se that’s the problem, but the fact that we can’t escape from it, or from its effects, if we want to be part of our society.” p. 48 (A) “Third, modern medical practice saps our will to master the arts of suffering and dying, and encourages instead merely an obsessive desire to ‘kill’ any kind of discomfort or pain. ‘This progressive flattening out of personal, virtuous performance,’ writes Illich constitutes a new goal which has never before been a guideline for social life.” p. 48 (b)
“Universal compulsory schooling makes it nearly impossible for us to educate ourselves outside of the school system. And partly for that very reason, universal compulsory schooling teaches us what educators John Holt and Ivan Illich call ‘the hidden curriculum’. The hidden curriculum, says Holt, consists of having the power to compel children to attend, to tell them what to learn, and grade rank, and label them.’ The hidden curriculum consists of the things schools teach whether the curriculum is designed to make us good North Americans or good communists or whether the teacher is strict or kind….” “… and real life is a struggle, a zero-sum game, where no one can win without someone else, or everyone else, losing. All these messages can be seen as parts of a single message – ‘learning is a commodity, it is not something that we do.’ p. 48 (c) (d).
Published on Aug 12, 2012
Published on Aug 12, 2012
Richard Bennett Integrated Species Organic Management Consultants 250-999-6836