Program of NGO-meetings during COP15 included in this section "We have to reinvent ourselves at a species level". "We are not at collection of objects, but a communion of subjects". Thomas Berry
Special international issue: Creating Oneness
International Climate Edition No. 61-62 Dec. 2009
•Lifestyle Changes as Climate Strategy •Ecological/technical Projects and Ideas
•Redefining Economics: Creating Sustainable Abundance
LØSNET International Climate Edition No. 61-62 Dec. 2009
•Inner Climate Change
No. 61-62 Dec. 2009 International Climate Edition
DVD om økosamfund i DK
Editorial, by Kaj Hansen, Hildur Jackson and Mette Petersen
The Danish Spiritual Landscape, by Hildur Jackson and Rolf Jackson Save the World - a Message from Grace - Movement for a Free Earth, by Sabina Lichten fels, Dieter Duhm and Mara Vollmer Education: GEDS and the EDE - Gaia Education, the Cutting Edge ofSustainability Education, by May East Mind and Life Institute - Educating World Citizens for the 21th Century, collected from www.mindandlife.org by Kaj Hansen Changing Values: Gender Reconsiliation in South Africa, by William Keepin and Cynthia Brix, Satyana Institute and Judy Connors, Phaphama Initiatives
I. Defining the situation/problems in a holistic context
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Road to Redemption or Ruin, by Maurice Strong A Time to Act, by Ross Jackson Planetary Boundaries of 9 areas from prestigeous institutes, by Jørgen Steen Nielsen Poem by Rashmi
Inner Climate Change - Change of Values and Worldview
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The Carbon Board, by Ross Jackson ALBA - an Economic Cooperation Between 9 Economies in South America with Global Perspective, by Sven-Erik Simmonsen MERKUR - Cooperative Bank, by Lars Pehrson Cohousings, Ecovillages and "ollekoller" Create Local Abundance and Reduce CO2 Emis sion, by Hildur Jackson The Federation of Damanhur and the "Credito", by Esperide Ananas
Som I alle ved har vi arbejdet på dette projekt i 2 år fra vi startede med at sende spørgeskemaer ud og filme i efteråret 2007. Siden har vi optaget ca 51 timers film, som nu er klippet ned til 8 timers film. Filmene suppleres af dokumenter som I har sendt til os sammen med et omfattende billedmaterialle, som er sat sammen på forskellig vis, således at alt materialet nu er samlet i en box med 3 DVD'er med hvert deres specifikke indhold:
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II. Attempts at Partial Solutions
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Contact: Articles (and pictures) please as word-documents (or compatible) to Troels DillingHansen Bjedstrupvej 31 DK8660 Skanderborg Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.losnet.dk
Declining Global Population is an Insurance Policy! Sven Burmester by Hildur Jackson The Threat Matrix, by Albert Bates Can We Curb Global Warming with Renewable Energy? By Søren Skibstrup Eriksen, Da- nish Engineers solution, IDA www.futureclimate.info The Human Dimension- a Sustainable Approach to City Planning, by Jan Gehl and Bir gitte Bondesen Svarre The Copenhagen Call - Global Business solutions. From webpages Copenhagen Climate Council (Connie Hedegård) Changing Direction: Restoring Mother Earth by Hanne Marstrand Strong Manifesto on climate change and the future of food security Produced by The International Commission on the Future of Food and Agriculture Ecovillages and the transformation of values, by Jonathan Dawson Faith Leaders Address Climate Change, by Dena Merriam, GPIW
The Snail house at Fri and Fro (Photo: Lars Levin Andersen, Fri og Fro)
Harvesting Coal with a Stirling Motor and Digging it Down, by Lisa Abend and Thomas Harttung Opportunity Earth Democracy, about Vandana Shiva´s work, collected from www.vandanashiva Organic Solutions to Climate Change and Food Security: Shumei Natural Agricul ture, by Kristine Mayo Support to IRENA, the new government agency for renewable energy, by Preben Maegaard 100% renewable energy in Thisted, Denmark, by Preben Maegaard Cradel to Cradel - Industrial Revolution, Take Two, by Martin Fluri Climate Friendly Transportation in the Future, by Christian Ege Copenhagen as Example on Climate Town, by Thomas Christensen Transition Towns Movement, by Niels Johan Juhl-Nielsen and Erik Lemcke
Frontpageillustrations: Japanese art by Akira Takahashi expressing purification and oneness (please see opposite leave for explanation)
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III. How do we co-operate globally on all levels and sectors? Who are the agents of change? What is the vision?
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DVD1: med en længere film om LØS og en film om GEN, samling af alle tidligere udgivne LØSnet, bøger og andre vigtige, historiske dokumenter i PDF-format + lidt forskelligt. DVD2: 18 dokumentarfilm fra forskellige danske økosamfund, dækkende alle aspekter af de forskellige udgangspunkter og tilblivelsestidspunkter. Også her supplerer vi med jeres indsendte dokumenter, billedmateriale, som vi har sat sammen på forskellig måde. Bl.a. er de økosamfund som ikke er repræsenteret ved en film, blevet begavet med en powerpoint-præsentation. DVD3: 20 små dokumentarfilm om forskellige temaer indeholdt i bæredygtighedscirklen med interviews med personligheder fra vores bevægelse. Også her supperet med artikler og billedmateriale der refererer til de enkelte temaer.
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Økosamfund i Danmark 2009
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Reduction of CO2 from 3 different eco-villages in Denmark, by Kaj Hansen Lifestyle in the three ecovillages described by the members themselves: Hjortshøj Ecovillage, The Svanholm Collective and Munksøgård Conclusion: Lifestyle Change is the key "Friland" Recreating Inner and Outer Freedom, by Steen Møller to Hildur Jackson The Danish Ecovillage Fri and Fro and Sustainability, by Lars Levin Andersen Hertha - A Community Based on Inclusion, by Ole Uggerby Christiania - Current Situation Autum 2009, by Britta Lillesøe The Ecovillage of Sieben Linden - being the change we want to se in the World, by Kosha Joubert and Martin Stengel Mallorca goes Green, by Kerstin Salén The Kovcheg Ecovillage, by Fedor Lazutin and Dmitriy Vatolin
GEN’s new flyer with proposals for agreements, by Global Ecovillage Network Climate Forum’s proposal for declaration State of the World Forum takes on Global Leadership for 2020. Includes business and NGO´s, Jim Garrison by Daniel Wahl Dealing with Global Warming from a Higher Level of Thinking, by Ross Jackson Inner Climate Change, by Hildur Jackson Climate Change and Agriculture: Biodiverse Ecological Farming is the Answer, not Gene tic Engineering by Vandana Shiva A Call for True Leadership, by Rolf Jackson Activities during COP15 collected by Hildur Jackson and Troels Dilling-Hansen Climate Bottom Meeting – Windows of Hope, by Troels Dilling-Hansen
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Editors on this issue is shared between Hildur Jackson, Mette Petersen and Kaj Hansen
Lifestyle Change as Climate Strategy
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This issue is financially gracefully supported by: Gaia Trust and The Climate Bottom Meeting
Editorial, by Mette Petersen
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Coverillustration: Akira Takahashi presents this image to the world in order to purify the Earth. He has presented it to various sacred places. He asked the Konohana Family, an ecovillage in Japan to send it to suitable places over the 5 continents and receiving one we feel this is an appropriate way to spread it to more people all over the world here at the Climate Meeting in Copenhagen using it as a frontpage. In the picture, a Chinese phoenix that embraces the Earth also holds a similar Earth. A Chinese phoenix is a sacred bird that symbolizes peace, Happiness and Longevity.
LØSNET is a quarterly membership magazine for members of the Danish Association for Ecovillages (LØS), an association for social, ecological and spiritual communities rural and urban, and for all who work for sustainability.
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
Editorial By Mette Petersen, Fri and Fro ecovillage
This part of this magazine Creating Oneness will show examples of how people around the world are already creating sustainable solutions on lifestyles, world views & spirituality, business design, agriculture, and technical development. Within the last 50 years humankind has depleted Earth’s resources in such rapid speed that the changes in ecosystems, climate, animals and humans clearly has overtaken the changes that happened within the last 200,000 years of human existence. Humankind have proved to have the power to change Earth – but so far it has sadly been in a non-sustainable way. This is both frightening and promising: Just imagine how fast we could save and enjoy what is left of Earth’s resources if we used the creative potential and power of millions of human beings! The global crisis, having environmental, economical and social aspects, is complex on a scale that is difficult for us to imagine. Solutions cannot be found in one dimension only. We have to acknowledge that problems and possible solutions must be seen in the complex interactions among the four dimensions shown in the sustainability wheel produced by GEN and Gaia Education (see below).
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Four sections By organizing the articles according to the four sections of the Sustainability Wheel, we call attention to important areas of and possibilities for change: Social changes: We start by an article about how communities can reduce CO2 emissions. Kaj Hansen has been researching 3 Danish communities. Then follows stories of other communities, who have presentations at the NGO Forums. Ecological changes: Most of the public climate discussion focuses in this area. Agriculture is however often left out of public debate. We bring some articles on this and on certain aspects of renewable energy Economic changes: After the financial crisis a consensus arose that we needed to redefine economics and financial institutions. This realization is fading away. We give an overview of some changes and ideas which should be implemented Worldview: A worldview of oneness and interconnectedness is a prerequisite to build a new culture. We try to sketch how this may be learnt and taught We can make changes – let’s spread the good news and act upon it!
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
Lifestyle Change as Reduction of CO2 from 3 different eco-villages in Denmark by Kaj Hansen
New Study shows that Danish ecovillages have CO2 emissions 60% below the national average. Summary Measurements of CO2 emissions at three Danish ecovillages by environmental consultants Pöyry A/S earlier this year document that the their average CO2 emissions are a full 60% below the national average. The study is consistent with foreign studies which have shown that the “ecological footprints” of three ecovillages in the USA, Great Britain and Hungary were less than half of
their respective national averages. The Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), numbering thousands of ecovillages across the world, has long argued that lifestyle change is a key strategy in reducing pressure on the ecosystem without sacrificing quality of life. Now we have additional evidence. Background The ecovillage movement started in Denmark in 1991 and is growing steadily. Denmark has more ecovillages per capita than any other industrialized country, and was the first to form a national network in 1993. Ecovillages are small sustainable communities, both rural and urban, both North and South. Southern members of GEN are mostly traditional
villages, e.g. 15,000 in Sri Lanka. The Northern variety are mostly intentional communities built by ecovillage pioneers who, through personal commitment and with little encouragement from governments, are designing and building small sustainable communities and teaching about sustainable living in their regions. The three in this study include two of the oldest, Svanholm and Hjortshøj, and one of the newer, more “mainstream” ecovillages, Munksøgaard near Roskilde, which is currently the largest in Denmark with about 250 residents. Methods Pöyry AS was consultant to the Danish Climate Ministry “1 ton less” campaign, and has used the same calculation mo-
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
e as Climate Strategy del in this study. The report calculates only CO2 emissions. It does not consider other greenhouse gases. In addition, Pöyry looked at the effect of some special ecovillage CO2 emissions from: 1. Domestic production of organic vegetables, etc. on there own territories. 2. Organic products in general. 3. Water consumption and wastewater treatment. 4. The composting of organic waste from households The full report is posted on the website of the Association of Danish Ecovillages (LØS) at www.losnet.dk. “CO2 Emissions in Eco-villages”, Pöyry, July 2009. Results: Average Emissions A Dane emits on average 10 tones of CO2 per year, of which 3.8 tons are due to state and municipal works and the export of various goods. This means that every Dane is directly responsible for the remaining 6.2 tons. Emissions come from heating of homes, transportation, electricity consumption, water consumption and emissions associated with food and other consumables. Ecovillage Data The average resident of the three Danish ecovillages emits just 2.5 tons of CO2 per year - 60% less than the average Dane. See Figure 1 and Table 1. The difference lies primarily in that ecovillages: • typically use CO2-neutral heating (e.g. wood chips) • have reduced transportation • use primarily organic products 70% Less for Heating The Danish ecovillages’ home heating has no effect on CO2 accounts, since
they all use CO2-neutral heating. It should be noted that the average ecovillage resident uses only 1825 kWh per year for heating – 70% lower than the average Danish consumption of 5967 kWh per year. 37% Less CO2 from Electricity A Dane emits on average 0.95 tons CO2/ year due to electricity consumption. The Danish ecovillages in the study emitted just 0.60 ton CO2/year – 37% less. Svanholm’s CO2 emissions are zero because Svanholm produces all its electricity needs from its CO2-neutral wind turbine. 35% less CO2 from transportation The Danish ecovillages emitted only 35% of the Danish average CO2 due to transportation. The lower CO2 emissions in the ecovillages are due to less driving in private cars, greater use of public transportation and less air travel than the average Dane. 29% less CO2 from general consumption. On average, the ecovillages emitted 29% less CO2 from goods consumption, due to own food production, higher consumption of organic and eco-labeled products and more recycling than the average Dane. 12% less CO2 from water consumption On average, the ecovillages emitted 12% less CO2 due to water use. This in spite of the fact that Svanholm – the largest organic farm in Denmark with over 400 hectares – uses substantial water for its large scale agriculture. The other two ecovillages emitted 56% less CO2 than the Danish average.
CO2 Emissions from Ecovillages are probably even lower Additional factors, which were not included in this study, would probably increase the ecovillage deviation from the average Danish household even more, for example, the importance of organic food production and local production in general, which saves packaging and transportation. Nor did the study look at the importance of the materials life cycle. This means that some of the activities in the ecovillages are not yet sufficiently clarified, so here are obvious opportunities for further refinements. Another topic that has not been studied in this context, and which the ecovillages would like to have studied, is the difference between conventional and organic/biodynamic agriculture in Denmark. There are foreign studies on this issue showing that organic/biodynamic agriculture is more resistant to climate changes than conventional farming. Moreover, the reports indicate that there is more stored CO2 in the soil in organic/ biodynamic agriculture than in conventional. 1,2 (Please see references on page 9). There is a great need for incorporating such factors into the discussions of climate strategies. The Ecological Footprint The international focus right now is on green house gasses and the problem of climate change. But the environmental problem is broader and includes a general overloading of the ecosystem and irresponsible use of non-renewable resources. These other aspects must not be forgotten. There are a number of resource-saving measures in ecovillages, which have no effect on CO2 emissions,
Table 1, from “CO2 Emissions in Eco-villages”, Pöyry, July 2009. 5
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" yet reduce pressure on the ecosystem. It is important to point this out because we can focus so much on CO2 emissions that we forget about the use of resources. There is a method for measuring resource consumption, which is broader than estimates of CO2 emissions, namely the Ecological Footprint. For example, Findhorn Ecovillage in Scotland 3, Ecovillage at Ithaca, USA 4, and Eco-Valley Ecovillage in Hungary 5 have all been measured to have ecological footprints less than half their national averages.
Education in Sustainability But even the Ecological Footprint is not comprehensive enough. We should look at the efforts of sustainable development in the context of everything we deal with, in every part of living. This approach requires an increased focus on education in thinking sustainability in all aspects of life. For example, Gaia Education is an education initiative developed by an international team of ecovillage teachers that has contributed to this concept through the establishment of
two educational programs: (1) Gaia Education Design for Sustainability (GEDS) taught over the Internet together with the Open University of Catalonia in Barcelona, and (2) Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) a 4-week program taught all over the world in cooperation with the Global Ecovillage Network, endorsed by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research and an official contribution to the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 2005-2014 . 6
Lifestyle in the three ecovillages described by the members themselves Hjortshøj Ecovillage http://www.andelssamfundet.dk The Co-operative Community of Hjortshøj (AIH) near Aarhus has over 200 adults and children who have chosen to live in environmentally friendly houses. Hjortshøj is an emerging location for testing, knowledge and teaching of ecology and sustainable development, including construction, power generation, social development, culture, consumption, food, waste and wastewater management, business, economics and agriculture. Our goal is solidarity among fellow human beings, and responsibility in the handling of natural resources. We evolve in dynamic interaction with the surrounding community, including active dissemination and exchange of Hjorthøj skyline with cows (Photo: Kaj Hansen) experiences. Once a year, we have a vision meeting where we try to look into the future. Vision meetings provide time and space to exchange new ideas and look at the daily life in a larger perspective – this gives a boost to all of us. During a vision meeting there are often concrete new ideas, which can help to continue the ongoing development in the community. Initiatives in AIH, which reduce CO2 emissions include: • Approximately half of the houses have one or more walls made of the moraine clay on our site. If you compare with traditional bricks made of clay, we save 99% of the energy normally used. When the houses eventually will have to be demolished, the earth walls will still be part of the local soil – no construction waste from these walls. • The houses are largely insulated with “paper wool” , which is granulated recycled paper. Energy use for this type of insulation
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" is much lower than the energy used for the traditional melting of glass and minerals. The houses are also very well insulated. (including some that are 15 years old), which reduces heat consumption and hence CO2 emissions. • All heating of homes and water is done either by burning wood chips or through solar heating. Wood chips are burned in our own central wood chip stove, which is coupled to a Stirling engine, which optimizes efficiency by also producing electricity. • We have 1.5 hectares of vegetables and fruits. From here, approximately 100 persons have totally fresh, sun-ripened organic food without energy consumption for packaging and transportation. In our organic agriculture program, we also produce fertilizer, animal feed, meat and eggs for our own consumption. The proportion of each person’s consumption covered by locally produced commodities is voluntary and quite variable. • Biodynamic cultivation has clearly improved the structure of the soil, now containing a large carbon reservoir. The degree of tillage is very low, whereby both the release of CO2 and the much stronger greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide, is reduced significantly. Approximately one third of the agricultural land is used for multi-year willow, fruit trees and pastures, all of which build soil carbon. • A portion of the effluent from AIH is used as fertilizer for willow trees, thus binding CO2 by solar means, saving energy and eliminating the emission of nitrous oxide from basins as in conventional treatment. • We sort our waste into many categories, so a significant part is reused. It is very satisfying. Once systematized, it is no burden. • We have 2 jointly-owned cars at Hjortshøj. For some, it means that they do not need a car. For others it means the chance not to buy car no. 2. In both cases, it becomes clearer what the costs are. This promotes the use of bicycles and public transportation. • There are so many things to do in AIH that there is simply no one with weight problems. How about that for a new angle on lifestyle change!
The Svanholm Collective www.svanholm.dk In 1978, the 800 year-old Svanholm estate was acquired by a group of people with a dream to live a sustainable life in community. And the dream is still alive. Today, the 420 hectares are inhabited by 90 adults and 60 children. Together, we operate an organic farm and several businesses. We have a common purse, common meetings and a common kitchen, but no common dogma. We also have apartments and privacy. Community with a common Purse The collective is formally organized as a limited partnership in which all are members. The collective makes all major decisions at the monthly common meeting. Decisions can only be taken by consensus, not by voting. Svanholm cows on their way to the pastures after a long winter (Photo: Svanholm) Svanholm is based on an economic system whereby the broadest shoulders carry the greatest burden, but where the individual does have some financial flexibility – what we call an 80/20 joint economy. Each member can keep 20% of his/her gross salary for personal use. The remaining 80% goes to cover a range of common and fixed costs: taxes, rent, telephone, all meals, social care, pension contributions and more. Service provides leisure Time Nearly half of the adult members work outside the collective, as teachers, doctors, TV editors, forest workers, etc. The rest work in various forms of on-site production or in service groups such as; the Kitchen Group, which cooks the meals in the common kitchen, the Construction Group, which maintains the many old buildings, the Accounting Group, which manages finances, the Kindergarten Group, which takes care of the children, and the Cattle Group, which is in charge of the dairy, cows, etc., and, of course, the Organic Farming Group, which is responsible for agricultural production, packaging and sales. The many service groups perform tasks which would otherwise be performed by each person or family. This gives more leisure time to members.
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" Diversified farming Svanholm has historically prioritized diversified organic farming with traditional crops, forestry, sheep and dairy cows. In modern times it is more common to have monoculture production, but for Svanholm it has always been important to maintain the cycle between livestock and crop rotation, and also ensure an active life on the farm. Life on the estate Svanholm is a lively estate, unlike many other estates that are currently occupied by a small family or working as a corporate domicile. At Svanholm, people live in the many beautiful buildings, and are here around the clock, because many are working on-site. There are many children who live a free country life in a safe environment. Sustainability Pioneers Svanholm was a pioneer in developing a sustainable lifestyle and now has considerable experience in organic agriculture, climate-friendly food, organic milk production, wind power, CO2-neutral heating, sustainable construction, sustainable timber trade, organic vegetable packing and local democracy, governance and community. Svanholm has existed for more than 30 years, and has proved to be a sustainable and viable example of an alternative lifestyle in today’s Denmark. Svanholm is open to visitors by appointment. Contact Christina Jensen for more information. Please mail: christina@svanholm. dk. See more on www.svanholm.dk
Munksøgaard www.munksoegaard.dk 150 adults and 100 children live together in the ecological co-housing community of Munksøgaard in Denmark. The community is built on two fundamental values: environmental sustainability and spirit of community. The 100 living units in Munksøgaard are grouped into five distinct housing blocks, each of which contains 20 housing units. Three of these blocks comprise rental units, one is made up of cooperatively-owned units and in the third, units are privately owned. One of the three rental blocks is reserved for young people and one for senior citizens. Apartments range in size from 30 m2 to 200 m2. In addition to these private living spaces, each of the five housing blocks also has a common house. These various ownership arrangements ensure that low, medium and high-income families are all able to Campfire at Munksøgård (Photo: Munksøgård) live at Munksøgaard. We consider it especially important to the health and happiness of the community that it is open for all kinds of people. The one thing that unites us here at Munksøgaard is the desire to create a sustainable lifestyle: we share the goal of minimizing our ecological footprint on the Earth. In the planning of the project, we prioritized sustainable initiatives: • to keep our CO2 emissions low, we have a central heating system primarily using wood pellets. • the project is located close to public transportation • we have a car pool • we also have extensive watersaving initiatives, which include urine-separating toilets and a shared laundry that uses rainwater. But these technological initiatives are not sufficient for a sustainable reduction in our ecological impact: there is also a need to fundamentally change our lifestyles. We need to fly less, drive less, live in better insulated houses, and use less water. In order to guide us in improving our behaviour, we have decided to undertake ecological audits every year. And now we are taking part in this CO2 comparative study. What does the ecological audit show: Per capita, we use 62% of the water used in the average Danish household: savings in cold water accounts for most of this total. We use 25% less electricity than the average. CO2 emissions from our heating system and electricity consumption are 60% lower than the average. The calculations on transportation shows that people using the car pool drive much less than people driving in their own cars. Households owning their own cars drive almost as much as the average in Denmark compared to households only using the car pool - who drive only 5% as much as the Danish average.
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" Where appropriate, we encourage the introduction of new technology or a change in lifestyles to facilitate a reduction on emissions. By way of example, electricity consumption in our common houses tends to be relatively high, but we do not know which gadgets are responsible for the electricity consumption. We are currently studying this and will make the results available to the community in due course.
Conclusion: Lifestyle Change is the Key We are facing not just a climate crisis, an oil crisis, a food crisis, and a population crisis. We are facing a systemic crisis that is due to an unsustainable lifestyle. We need to reassess the way we live and work. We need to reassess whether ever-increasing growth and consumption is desirable, or even possible. We need to address all these problems in a holistic manner. If we are to avoid destructive climate changes, then our total greenhouse gas emissions (not just CO2 emissions) must be reduced to between 1 and 2 tons per person per year by 2050. 7 Ecovillagers have adopted a positive vision of the future based on a lifestyle in keeping with the concept of being an integral part of nature and having a responsibility to respect the need to live lightly on the Earth. Through personal commitment, they walk their talk. Ecovillages provide living examples of how we can live sustainably without overloading the ecosystem and without sacrificing any quality of life. To the contrary, ecovillagers all across the world claim they have a more satisfying lifestyle than their mainstream colleagues, not least the children. Just ask them! The ecovillage movement is now worldwide and is growing slowly but surely as more and more people become aware of the benefits of a change in lifestyle. Interested parties wanting to learn more or see for themselves should check out the Global Ecovillage Network and visit an ecovillage in their area. 8 References 1. “Mitigating Climate Change trough localized Organic Agriculture and Food Systems”, Institute of Science in Society, Report 31/1/08. http://www.i-sis.org.uk/mitigatingClimateChange.php 2. “Organic Farming and Climate Change”, International Trade Centre, UNCTAD / WTO, 2007. http: / / www.fibl-shop.org/shop/ pdf/mb-1500-climate-change.pdf 3. http://www.ecovillagefindhorn.org 4. http://ecovillageithaca.org 5. http://ecovalley.hu 6. www.gaiaeducation.net. 7. Synthesis report, Climate Change, Copenhagen 2009. www.climatecongress.ku.dk 8. gen.ecovillage.org Acknowledgements Thanks to Gaia Trust (www.gaia.org), whose grant made this project possible. Work on the collection of data and preparation of the study has been done by volunteers from the involved ecovillages and the Danish National Association of Ecovillages (LØS). Also, many thanks to Christina Adler Jensen for assistance with the writing and editing.
Looking for sustainability? Sofiebadet.dk open for visitors at COP 15, near Chr.havns Metro 9
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
“Friland” Recreating Inner and Outer Freedom Friland (Freeland) is one of the newest “ecovillage developments” in Denmark based on very simple principles. Steen Møller is here interviewed by Hildur Jackson. The idea inspired “Fri & Fro” (Free and Happy) on Zealand (see the next article), where the editor of this section Mette Petersen with family just moved into her new built house in Dec 2009
he principles of no loans, no garbage and no subsidy- these are the principles in a new Danish ecovillage project. Farmer Steen Moeller and TV producer Anton Gammelgaard, decided these to be the very simple and convincing principles in attracting people to a new project experimenting with redesigning our lifestyle. They wanted to signal les dependency on the market therefore no loans; and less dependency on the state therefore no subsidy/welfare benefits. No subsidy means that they not wanted to start any production or business based on subsidies. And if you accept the concept of waste and garbage you will have to think and act very ecologically. A fourth goal was to create local workplaces so that the village would be a place to live, not just sleep. They called the project Friland (Freeland). This would help recover some of the inner and outer freedom which seems to have been lost in our society at the same time as creating real sustainability. Together they found a municipality, which wanted them: Feldballe, a small village on Djursland, Jutland, the “nose” of Jutland in 2002. Loans create dependence Steen and Anton made a design for 12 building lots on 3 ha and set 1½ ha
aside for businesses. And they made up all the necessary rules for the project. A foundation owns the land and lends out the land. You cannot take loans in your land. If you do not take loans you will gain your liberty. “Loans make you dependent”, the philosophy goes. Each person was allowed to build 300m2 as they should also have room for workplaces. But what then when you want to sell? The selling prices are limited to 4200 DKK m2 up to 50 m2 and over 200 m2 you only get 2800 DKK m2. This is the prize you will evt. be allowed to get when selling the property. When the project finally started, Steen was totally exhausted. Anton convinced a national Danish TV station to build an experimental house and film the project for 3 years. Friland in 2009 Now, 7 years later, 28 houses have been built, 51 persons live on the land. 3 years ago another 11 lots were included in the village of Friland. 75% of the freelanders have their own workplace in the village. The Freelanders have stuck to their ideas: all houses have mainly been built for cash. Most of them are small. Many different ecological ideas are being te-
sted. You are struck by the imagination found in people. Why does modern life deprive people of the right to shape their immediate surroundings? Why is it not a human right to build your own house? How did industry, banks and politicians fool whole populations into accepting prefabrication, concrete, high risers, straight lines and a life in slavery? This is an experiment like so many others. All houses have their own wastewater treatment systems. Steen characterizes the place as one big experimenting ”garden plot”. The Raven. DR/TV: 40 TV productions The TV house: named the Raven after its shape has been the base for 40 TV productions by national Danish TV, followed by many Danes. Last summer they were all aired again. We have all followed on the TV screen how it was built and all the experiments done here. The structure is untreated whole lumber. Walls of strawbale and mud. Roofs of clam shells. 6 kinds of natural insulation are being tested- and all kinds are pedagogically being shown to visitors behind small glass windows- among other places in the walls of the separation loo. Walls are painted with natural materials. Floors of pressed straw painted/coated with linenoil. You feel really good sitting here. The Raven is placed right at the entrance of the village linking business area and living area. The house is gradually being taken over from the TV station by the freelanders for meetings and workshops. All the productions can still be seen in Danish on the www. DR2/Dk netpages. They also have an English section.
"Ravnen" (the Raven) an experimental house used by the inhabitants and DR for over 40 TV productions
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" Steen Møller ched greenhouse, where his waste pas- cucumbers, peppers, eggplants, wine Steen Møller was direct responsible for ses first through a trix tank and is then and figs. All are plants where crops do 4 programs: Steen and the Welfare. The gathered in a 17m3 facility, which is not get in contact with the soil to avoid whole project is a reflection on welfare made up by a PE-membrane with curved pathogens to spread. They cannot pass and wealth. Steen declares: I am very sides. The surface is covered with 20cm the roots of plants. So the problem of rich even if my yearly income is £ 7,000. of sand. Under the sand is a layer of 75 this system could be medicines, hormoIt is faster to bake a bread than to go cm shells of clamss which contain 85- nes and heavy metals, especially cadto the baker. His main attack in the pro- 90 % water. Walls of clay 1 meter apart mium which can be absorbed by plants. grams is on consumerism and work. I and 20cm thick go to the bottom of the It has to be researched. Instead of paying will never forget the to have his waste introductory proremoved and polgram where several lute nature he has solid establishment a production facifigures accused him lity with a value and the freelanders of 2-3.000 DKK. of being immoral and not paying The Future: their share of taxes Workshop for a (because they earn Better Life so little) to maintain Steen has spent the welfare state. many years as Steen with his unleader of a folk mistaken charisma highschool. And “explained“ so that since then he the viewer sat jumhas been living ping in the seat that from his lectures. the need for the welInstead of builfare would not arise ding yet another and that they were school he believes not against paying in experiments. taxes. And they did Young people and not want a poorer people with ideas life quality in order can come and to be able to pay Steen with his daugthter Liv in the greenhouse/wastewaterfacility (Photo: Hildur live with the freetaxes. Steen works Jackson) landers and test one day a week to out their ideas be earn his living by teaching, workshops system. The clay has a capillary effect, they of a practical or more social chaand consultancy. i.e. it “sucks” water when necessary. racter. The sand filter breaks the capillaries and 1 ton CO2 per year prevent bad odours and bacteria from 2003 His original idea of bringing down con- surfacing. Here Steen grows tomatoes, Friland were visited by 400 architectusumption by between 80 ral students from all over Europe. They and 90% has succeeded. He built the Ekon pavilion in 14 days while emits one ton CO2 a year, the young architects gathered to learn he believes. (It has not yet about ecological building in practice. been measured). His car runs on rapeseed oil from local 2004 farmers. But measuring CO2 150 strawbale builders from all over is not enough. Getting all the world came to learn how to build resources down 90% is nestrawbalehouses. cessary but difficult. Steen believes in using surplus energy from windmills to charge electric cars (even if batteries and accumulators use a lot of materials) but most of all he has confidence in Tata, Above: The exibitionhouse Ekon the Indian company who in a couple of build by 400 arcihitectural students years are building a car running on com- (Photo: Editor) Below: Solarhouse in Friland (Photo: pressed air. Editor) Wastewater He has now finished his house with atta-
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
The Danish Ecovillage Fri & Fro and Sustainability By Lars Levin Andersen, initiator of ecovillage Fri & Fro in Odsherred
How can I live in a way where I live in accordance with my values? What will it take to be a partner with nature rather than a parasite? How can I help to reverse an unsustainable development in relation to the environment, economy and community? How can I become rich in environmental friendliness and not an indebted luxury ecologist? ”I got one hand in my pocket and the other one making a peace sign.” This text I once saw on a postcard. You talk and talk and do nothing - and I talked and talked and then took a chance - jumped out in deep water, and I’m still in doubt
if it was a triple salto or a belly flop. My wife and I took the initiative to start the ecovillage Fri & Fro. It happened in 2002 after a construction course at the start of Ecovillage Friland in Jutland, which was broadcasted via the national Danish TV on sustainable lifestyles. Friland has influenced the growth of ecovillages and strawbale building in Denmark. Fri & Fro has arisen in the wake of Friland, and has tried to combine environmental friendliness with subsistency economy, individuality and an inclusive community. It is not easy and it has not been without tears and shattered dreams for the idea of Fri & Fro to grow into a place in reality. We had and still have many struggles and mudslinging on everything from the smallest things to the fundamental ideals that Fri & Fro stands for. Environmental friendliness How do we think environmental friendliness in Fri & Fro? You could ask all the 50 children and adults who lives here, and you would get many different answers. But what you see when you walk
through the 16 individual self-built houses and our common house is that the building materials com directly from the local nature, such as straw, clay, seashells and wood, and processed environmentally friendly materials, such as insulation from recycled paper and linen. We have a positive list of materials that can be used in our buildings. Most houses are well insulated and have CO2-neutral heating - solar and mass/ bio-ovens. We also have our own sewer system - a willow forrest for our wastewater, where the willows absorb water from the toilet, bath, dishwasher, etc., without leading anything out in nature. Our individual lots are of such size that we have the opportunity to make a large kitchen garden and be self sufficient. Most of us, however have started on the 4th year of building so many of the gardens appear as beautiful untouched nature. We sort our waste in many categories and our old clothes circulate in the ecovillage, so we often recycle instead of jumping completely on the consumption societys cattle wagon.
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" Low economy How do we conceive of a low impact economy in “Fri & Fro”? The basic idea is to keep the cost of construction down, so future residents will not have to sit in debt to the same degreeas the bubbling casino economy has required for the remainder of the housing market ,where house prices rise, fall, distort and create a host of social problems. What we have done to stem the tide of these things is to make a low fixed price for each square meter and price cieling for a house. We are not always agreeing on these principles, and so we spent a long time on a process which should have lead to a compromise. The willingness to compromise has not been big enough so our process stumbled just before the goal. It obviously affects the community negatively, but for some it has created a sense of relief because the ideals of a low impact economy is still intact.
Left: Children participating in the building at Fri og Fro Right: Children performing. Above right: The common house. Above: Football (Photos: Caroline Højland) Community How do we conceive of community in “Fri & Fro”? First we must define what a community is. It may be a chat over the hedge. It may be our monthly and less well-attended common meetings where decisions are made democratically by majority decisions. It may be the volunteer work weekends every two months. Community can also be commitment and loyalty to decisions. You find that in “Fri & Fro”. But we are also children of our time where the community has a lower priority than individual freedom. Sociologist Zygmunt Bauman describes
a growing trend in which the freedoms of the individual take liberties from the community. This also explains why the global climate agreement is emptied of content because of the freedoms that individual states takes where a good negotiation result is what is best for oneself instead of looking at the broader picture. Community vs. freedom of choices The Community feels like a limitation if you want freedom of choices on all levels. But in the depth a community is a space for learning and personal development where you can be a part of the solution and feel ownership.” Fri & Fro” also conficts arround individual freedom and collective ideals, rules and agreements that can be experienced as stiffness and being cooped up, but if we are to take concepts like ecovillages and sustainability seriously, we must establish some criteria - everything is not valid. We can’t make ecocvillages only by name. In my opinion, we are obliged to look critically at ecovillages, as we deepen rather than trivialize and dilute the idea of sustainable lifestyles. Would it not be easier without the ideals and rules of building materials, CO2neutral heating and sale prices? Yes, it would be easy and smooth, but it would not be okay and we must rise to be a part of something bigger.
Facts about ecovillage Fri & Fro Fri & Fro was initiated in 2002 and the land purchased in 2005. The area is 6.2 hectares with two small lakes. There are 16 households and a commen house. 50 people live in the ecovillage of which half are children. At the beginning we focused on building our low impact economy and sustainable houses. Fri & Fro is located in Zealand in the village Egebjerg, which has a small school, kindergarten and a convenience store. Address: Under Himlen (translated: Below Heaven), DK4500 Nykøbing Sj, Odsherred www.friogfro.dk
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
Hertha - A Community Based on Inclusion By Ole Uggerby
Hertha - is the name of a social community with 125 persons situated 20 km west of Aarhus, the 2nd largest city in Denmark. The foundation of the Community is ordinary people opting to live in a close and rewarding neighbourly relationship with mentally disabled adults – we call it inverted integration. This core activity with 25 mentally disabled adults - is organised as a private non-profit organisation with the task to provide home, work and individual development in an atmosphere of mutual respect and tolerance. This social inclusion has been practised now for 13 years. Sustainability in ecological and social terms t the Hertha Community we aim for sustainability in ecological behaviour as well as in social relationships. Ecological sustainability in Hertha can be seen in a number of initiatives both in the common and private context: buildings are made by ecological materials; the use of ecological paints, paper wool and straw for insulation; heating by mass stoves, wood burning stoves, natural gas as well as solar panels; foundations of clam shells in the straw houses; rain collection and recycling
of grey waste water; sorting of waste with a view to recycling. In all these areas there are ongoing initiatives to intensify further development. Biodynamic methods are practised in gardening and agriculture. This improves absorbtion of CO2 in the soil and, together with the use of preps, the build up of the humus is intensified. It provides a good quality of food, retains water and makes cultivation easier. By practising local production no transport is needed; most customers live within walking distance and a root cellar for storage uses very little energy. But - we do NOT intend to become self-sufficient! We want to be part of the global economy and the global division of labour. It is one of our fundamental views that the human being is the superior being in life on earth – so to say, the purpose of the earth. Today the earth and all of its living beings is in the hands of humanity. Therefore future community building must be based on solidarity and acceptance of all people. To become a sustainable society you must work continually to integrate everyone and recognise your responsibility for the whole. Inverted integration The concept of inverted integration is
the fundamental principle in the Hertha Community. Here the homes and the workshops for a group of adult, disabled persons were the first to be established. Secondly ‘normal’ people were invited to settle and live as neighbours to these activities. In turning the idea ’upside down’ it became the challenge of the normal people to integrate themselves into the activities of the disabled. There is no rule or standard for how to integrate. Each individual person chooses freely how far he or she can go based on own resources and position in life. So far 105 persons have chosen to become part of this neighbourhood. 30 persons are on a waiting list. Workshops The Hertha workshops include a farm with a dairy, nursery, bakery, shop, weavery, laundry and kitchen. Some of the products from these workshops supply both the 28 families inside Hertha and some customers outside the village (schools, institutions, shops and private persons). This is the work-place for 23 disabled persons together with 6 coworkers. Together they produce food of a very high quality for about DDK 1 million per year. The economic basis
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" Economy as we se it is an expression of the way we live our lives, the attitudes and opinions we hold, the diligence with which we work and the hopes that we have for the future. Money, and especially the way in which we spend it, is an expression of how we wish to apply our will. To us, economy should spring from cooperation between the manufacturer, the distributor and the consumer with the purpose of meeting the basic human requirements for housing, food, help for the weak etc. A fundamental aspect of economy is trust. The first million DDK came from 100 people who each gave DKK 10,000 on trust in the ideas presented by the group of pioneérs. With this capital, 22 ha of land was bought and the non-profit Village Foundation was established. Today this Foundation owns land and buildings for approximately DDK 40 million. Much of the Village Foundation’s money has been received as donations from private persons and foundations. So this community would never have come into being if it had not been for a large group of people and institutions who showed their trust and the will to donate money to an initiative of this kind. Some of the land has been sold for private housing.
Profits from the sale of these sites to private persons have gone, without any deductions, towards establishment of the sheltered workshops where the disabled adults have their work places. The activity of the homes and workshops for the disabled adults is financed through public payment for this kind of service and amounts to DDK 12 million per year. 25 co-workers earn their daily income by working here. Counscious breathing Any community which acts and works on the basis of a certain view on life runs the risk of becoming an isolated
organism and ending in self-sufficiency. One of the ways to avoid this is to be conscious of the breathing of the organism; whether there is harmony between inhalation and exhalation. In Hertha we try to achieve this through an ”exchange” of ideas, people and products in all areas. Every year we receive about 5000 visitors. There seems to be a serious interest in new forms of community building. Hertha Community is only one attempt. www.hertha.dk
Ole Uggerby is an architect and former coworker at Merkurbank for 13 years. One of three managers at the Hertha Workshops. LØS, The Danish Ecovillages Network for many years had its office at Hertha. Hertha won the second price in a Danish competition in 1998 for the best Sustainable Settlement for the 21st century Opposite page: Cows enjoying themselves in Hertha. Left: Activity in the bakery workshop. Above: Beet-lifting in Hertha. (Photos by Hertha)
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
Christiania Current Situation Autumn 2009 By Britta Lillesøe
Christiania - a 30-year-old community in an old military area in the center of Copenhagen. Christiania welcomes you to THE BOTTOM MEETING, WINDOWS OF HOPE. Christiania’s current situation Autumn 2009
he Danish Parliament passed a new Christiania-law in 2004 to regulate Christiania and reapply the preservation-law, the building-law and the planning-law, which under the former Christiania law were inoperative in order to enable Christiania’s self-governance. Christiania was required to become a formalized legal structure, and parts of Christiania were to be sold as private property. Christania therefore sued the government to have their right to live there recognized. 2 years of negotiation The common meeting of Christiania appointed a negotiation-group that should Wall painting in Christiania (Photo: Troels Dilling-Hansen)
work for a united Christiania and prevent a privatisation of the area. After 2 years of negotiations the result was brought to the common meeting of Christiania, which accepted the political compromise, but without dropping the case against the government, as demanded by the State. The question was to find a detailed resolution to the negotiated plan for both parties to agree uppon. Christiania had until July 1st 2008 to sort out the details. During this time, groups were working on issues such as finance, law, housing, planning etc. If the compromise didn’t prove acceptable to Christiania, the lawsuit would be dropped. Christiania couldn’t accept the offer from the government. So now the lawsuit is continuing. Christiania has sued the Danish Government regarding two legal issues: November ‘08: - The collective right to the whole area of Christiania. March ‘09: - The right of each individual resident at Christiania to live in and use the area. The official reply from the court regarding both of the above issues was given May 26th 2009. And it was negative. Therefore we have taken the legal case to the Supreme Court. The ruling should be given in November/December this year - or in the first part of 2010. GOOD to know... Yes - Christiania is an open recreational area and has always been open for everybody - welcome! Yes - Christiania pays rent to our common fund for the
right to use the area - an amount which is the same for everybody and goes to the self-governing and our 5 institutions, technical service, costs of maintenance etc. On top of that everybody, including the workshops, pay for utilities, heat, water, electricity and costs of maintenance to the houses etc. Nobody can profit when moving out of Christiania, as houses are not to be traded as commodities. Yes - Christiania pays a compensation for the lack of property tax income to the City of Copenhagen. Yes - Christiania did have agreements with the several parliaments about our rights of usage for the former military barracks and fortifications since 1972. No - there are no illegal houses inside Christiania. Christiania as an Agenda 21 Initiative - Setting an Example: (By Britta Lillesøe and Bente Hessellund The Network for the Preservation of Christiania as a Green Urban-biotope) Christiania and the Environment Environmentalism has been an integral part of Christiania from a time when few others understood the concept. A short time after the establishment of The Freetown, these thoughts, which have formed the foundation for one of Denmark’s most developed eco-communities, were incorporated into the Declaration of Goals, dated November 13th, 1971. This declaration states that: “…our collective endeavour must constantly prove that mental and physical pollution can be overcome.” In many areas, Christiania has been able to apply good intentions and knowledge to practical problems. Aside from improving the environment in Christiania, these solutions serve as an inspiration for the rest of Denmark. The recent proclamation of Christiania as an Agenda 21 initiative shows that Christiania is at the forefront with intentions and solutions that the Danish government envisions only as the future of environmental policy.
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" The Recycling Station Directly inside the entrance to Christiania there is a recycling station, which was established in cooperation with The Amager Incineration Plant. It serves both the Christiania community and the adjacent neighborhood, Christianshavn. Our ambitions are grand; we are aiming for 100% recycling of waste. The normal recycling centers in Copenhagen have a small area were you are permitted to exchange items with other recyclers, while this is strictly forbidden elsewhere at the center. This is not how things work at Christiania’s Reuse Station. Here people are encouraged to rummage through the delivered and sorted items and, if they wish, take what they can use, with the exception of hazardous wastes. This system functions well and without problems and should be introduced to the recycling centers in Copenhagen. Rainwater Collection Water is gathered from the roof of The Recycling Station, as well as from the roofs of many other buildings in The Free town, and is used to water lawns, flush toilets and more. Sewage Large areas of Christiania are so sparsely populated that installing a sewage system is uneconomical and impractical. We have therefore constructed water treatment systems at the most solitary
houses, using phytoremediation. Phytoremediation systems use beds of plants, separated from the surroundings with a watertight membrane. Wastewater trickles through the beds planted with reeds, and bacteria growing on their roots bind and process organic material in the wastewater. The plants absorb nutrients, nitrogen is released into the atmosphere (where it already constitutes 4/5 of the gasses), and carbon is stored in the plants. The nutrients are therefore prevented from entering the adjacent aquatic environment, which could cause a harmful algae bloom. Similar wastewater treatment systems could be successfully implemented in allotment gardens, at summerhouses, and in sparsely populated areas of Denmark. In Christiania you can see how they work. Composting Toilets We have also built composting toilets in areas without a sewage system, a solution the Danish Environmental Protection Agency has proposed for areas where urine and fecal matter cannot be led to a central treatment plant. This is a system that is rarely put to use, because chemical toilets and septic tank solutions are the most common, despite the fact that composting toilets are more environmentally sound when treated with the proper care. Used in the right way, composting toilets insure that im-
portant nutrients can flow in a biological cycle – and are therefore an example of ‘long-term sustainability’. In Christiania, you can try them! Composting In order to reduce the amount of waste, Christiania has introduced decentralized composting, that is, composting in every home. To ensure that composting is done correctly in homes where people aren’t informed about environmental technology, Christiania has created a so-called ‘odour-police’ that checks the compost bins regularly. If a problem is found, it is rectified by adding lime or a similar material to the bins, and the users are given further guidance if necessary. Energy and Centralized Heating Many of Christiania’s communal buildings are equipped with systems that reduce energy requirements, primarily solar collectors and solar panels. Christiania’s Bath House receives about half of its hot water from solar collectors in summer. There are also several family dwellings in Christiania that have solar heating. Since 2001, the Mælkevejens (MilkyPainted view of Christiania (Photo: Troels Dilling-Hansen)
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" way) area has been working on a communal heating system, which is well on its way to providing all the houses, clubs, and businesses in the area with ecologically sustainable heating. Heat is partially produced by a biomass oven and partially by solar heating systems on the buildings. In addition the area has invested in 61 windmill shares, and other energy saving practices (such as additional insulation). The Green Areas The presence of nature in Christiania is especially attractive for people in Copenhagen, and for the approximately one million tourists that visit Christiania each year. It is carefully managed by the Gardening Group, who, in cooperation with the local inhabitants, decides what precisely is to be done. This has resulted in a unique park unlike any managed by the City of Copenhagen. The natural areas of Christiania are enticing and a surprise waits around every bend. A Car-Free Neighbourhood Not only is Christiania, Copenhagen’s first car-free neighbourhood, with all the possibilities this entails to meet and play in the streets, it has also ended up giving us the "Christiania bike", which since 1984, has been used to transport goods, children, dogs, men, and women (including packages from Post Denmark). This piece of useful art has sprung from the creativity of Christianites and their desire for alternative expression. Probably Copenhagen is the largest city in the world where the most children are
transported to nursery and school in a bike carriage daily. Sustainable Building Building in Christiania is carried out according to principles of sustainability. In the ‘Green Hall’, which is one of Christiania’s businesses, you can purchase used building materials from demolitions all over the city. Buildings are often ‘doit-yourself’ or ‘community’ projects to keep costs down. Christiania’s Building Office, which originally developed these concepts, offers guidance and consulting on projects. The Recycling Station is naturally built from only recycled materials. Social Responsibility – “From Here to There” The environment is often defined as the sum of all factors that surround us, not just the ecological. In this regard, Christiania deserves special acclaim for the highly developed level of social responsibility that is found here. Social responsibility has been put into a system, in the form of “From Here to There” (Herfra og Videre), which is a social welfare service that has a unique cooperation with the City of Copenhagen’s Social Welfare Service, the employment center, the health care system, and Christiania’s own ‘Health House’, and sometimes other partners that are necessary to resolve often complex social problems. Culture with Room for All Culture is the cohesive force in Christiania. One of Christiania’s most special
qualities is the coexistence of affluent and disempowered inhabitants, which results in a distinctive culture where everyone feels comfortable expressing themselves. The community of Christiania has developed culture and rituals around Christmas, funerals, names, and much more. Not to mention Christiania’s notable meeting culture and participatory democracy, where everybody can join in. The Agenda Network consists of: The Association for the Beautification of the Capital, The Copenhagen Office of the Environment and Energy, The Environmental Movement NOAH, Green Families Copenhagen, The Agenda Center in Sundby, Milieupoint Inner City-Christianshavn, Green Agenda Christianshavn, Sophie’s Bath, The Samsø Office of the Environment and Energy, Christiania Cultural Association, Christiania’s Building Office, Christiania’s Gardening Group, Christiania’s Health House, Herfra og Videre, The Association for the Preservation and Development of Christiania’s Free Nature, Galloperiet - The Freetown’s Gallery of Art, and The Association for the Preperation of the Christiania Fund Contacts and Further Information: The Environmental Group NOAH c/o Bente Hessellund (00 45) 21 72 33 46 firstname.lastname@example.org Christiania Cultural Association c/o Britta Lillesøe (00 45) 20 64 08 34 email@example.com See www.christiania.org under ‘info om Christiania’ (info about Christiania) to find: The Status Report: Christiania at Work – From Vision to Reality (2003) A White Book in Colors (2005) The Christiania Development Plan (2006) Translated by: Peder Fischer-Griffiths.
Kindergarden at Christiania (Photo: Troels Dilling-Hansen)
LĂ˜SNETâ€ˆno. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
The Ecovillage of Sieben Linden Being the change we want to see in the world by Kosha Joubert & Martin Stengel
The Ecovillage of Sieben Linden carries the vision of creating a settlement for 250-300 people to model an ecologically and socially sustainable way of life. Sieben Linden was founded in 1997 (after a long period of preparation). Today, 12 years later, around 80 adults and 35 children live here. Hundreds of guests visit the village each year to attend workshops; thousands come for short visits. The village is located in the North-East of Germany, formerly part of the socialist democratic republic. While the population in this region is generally declining (as is the case of so many rural areas in Europe and worldwide), Sieben Linden is not able to absorb the amount of people that would like to join!
he village-community as a whole is where the broader vision is held and realised through our community infrastructure and educational and political work. On this level, decisions for the whole are made and a field of mutual support is built. On a second level, the more intense choices of every day life are made in Working with draft horses in the forest, in the gardens and for transportation (Photo: Siben Linden)
what we call neighbourhoods. Likeminded people get together in groups of 10-30 to design and realise their particular emphasis within the broader scope of our common search for a sustainable life style. There is richness in this diversity. The ecovillage is striving for self-sufficiency in all areas of life: nutrition, objects of everyday life, building, energy, self-administration and planning, but also social, medical, and educational facilities. We see ourselves as a centre for inspiration for the broader society. International networking Sieben Linden is one of the projects of the UN Decade for education for sustainability 2005–2014. The office of the Global Ecovillage Network Europe is currently located in Sieben Linden (in collaboration with Damanhur). We network with like-minded initiatives all around the globe. We are increasingly welcoming international guests, especially to the Ecovillage Design Education Course, but also to other courses on for instance ‘social tools for community building’ and ‘strawbale building’. Social Design In the social realm we distinguish between time and space for feeling, for
thinking and for organizing. We have: - Meetings for deep, emotional sharing with the aim of strengthening love, compassion and mutual trust. - Meetings for sharing of worldviews, spiritual paths and political thinking with the aim of growing in awareness and building a pool of common values. - Organizational meetings with the aim of realizing our dreams together. Whenever we neglect the first two, the third, organizational meetings, become very tedious. However, it needs a strong focus to hold enough time and space for deep emotional sharing and sharing of worldviews. Taking time off for inner processes seems like luxury to man y, even though we experienced again and again how it enhances our overall level of trust, joy, creativity and effectiveness as a community! One method we have found to be very helpful in building trust within our diversity is the Forum. We also work with the Way of Council, Dialogue, World-Cafe and Open Space. Twice a year the community meets for intensive periods with supervision from outside to look at deeper aspects of our being together.
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" of fantastic vegetables for us and our guests. A vegan diet is offered during all meals in community places. Nearly all cars are shared – all the same: living in a rural area entails more driving than living in an urban setting.
Teaching strawbale-construction during the Ecovillage Design Education. (Photo: Siben Linden) Decision-making Our decision-making procedures are based on consensus, based on the belief that each person holds a piece of the truth and that decisions become durable when supported by all. As our community grew, however, so much was happening in so many areas that we were overwhelmed. We ended up talking so much and doing so little … We redesigned our organizational structures so as to delegate as much decision-making power as trust allowed to subgroups (these work with consensus). Ideally, only more pertinent matters that concern us all now show up in our general meetings. Ecological Design ‘Treading softly on the earth’ and ‘luxurious simplicity’ have become our trademarks. We started off with a strong emphasis on the material and ecological aspects of sustainability. Natural building of dwelling houses with regional wood, clay from our grounds and organically grown straw bales is our speciality. Heating needs are only met by solar systems and by wood, mainly from our own woods. We are connected to the grid, generating about 85% of our electricity needs with photovoltaic systems. Drinking water is provided by two wells in the village, cleaned after use by planted sand filters (reed beds) and finally fed back into the ground by irrigating the gardens. The general use of compost toilets reduces the effort for wastewater treatment and provides additional fertilizer for planting trees. Several gardeners grow a great variety
CO2 75% below average An ecological footprint analysis involving Sieben Linden, that was done in 2003 by the university of Kassel, has shown that we are already well on our way: Our carbon footprint is around 73% below the German average in the areas of food, housing and transport. In the case of one of our strawbale houses the reduction was even 97%!!! (following another study done by the Technical University Berlin). Reducing our footprint and contribution to climate change does not lead to missing joy in life; instead there is a lingering luxury to living in a place that allows us to follow a socially rich and naturally wholesome lifestyle. Financial Design We founded a cooperative so that we own our 77 hectares of land, the general infrastructure and our community buildings collectively. To join, each adult member needs to buy a share of 12,300. The sharing of ownership and responsibility serves as a solid foundation for building community. Neighbourhood homes are financed through a building cooperative. We are individually responsible for our incomes, with quite some sharing and mutual support happening. Together, we run an educational association. People of all ages and walks of life come for shorter or longer periods to learn and share in our way of life, and often leave with fresh inspiration to walk their talk on sustainability in a more consistent way. At the same time, these guests bring valuable financial as-
sets to our small local economic system, which in turn, spurs development in the surrounding region. Worldview In Sieben Linden, there is a broad diversity of pathways in the spiritual realm, but all are connected to an underlying process of listening to and reconnecting with nature and spirit. Small groups meet for yoga and meditation in the morning, some have moved into deep ecology or shamanism, others walk the gardens and watch the night skies for contemplation. We have all taken a step and are willing to change our lifestyles in order to find an expression for our compassion for life on earth. At the same time, we are all children of a culture that seems bent on destruction. We carry residues of distrust and separation within us. This all is part of what we bring to a life in community and constantly need to transform together. Outlook Sieben Linden is not a model to be replicated. Instead, this community is constantly changing itself, adapting and rewriting its definition of self as we grow to see ourselves as an integral part of wider society instead of an alternative to it. However, the pattern language that we follow in our evolutionary process can be deeply inspiring, springing from love for life and a conscious choice to be transparent in our communication and to build trust with all beings. You are warmly invited to take a look at our website at www.oekodorf7linden.de and to come and visit! Opening of the yearly summercamp in Sieben Linden. (Photo: Siben Linden)
MALLORCA GOES GREEN By Kerstin Salén
Many Mallorcans understand that sustainability is crucial for the island and its future generations and therefore depending on mass-tourism is not a good idea. Although it has brought prosperity it is now showing an increasing cost considering the ecological footprint and overuse of the land for construction and transport.
limate chaos/change is a fact that we no longer have to doubt and now it’s a matter how we can adapt and what the basic formulas are for Mallorca to make a transition towards sustainability and zero emissions in the future. There is an awareness of the specific situation of vulnerability Mallorca is exposed to which serves as a good example for how climate-change (chaotic weather conditions destroying ports, marinas and beaches) will affect other islands in the Mediterranean and elsewhere where tourism is their main income. “Dreaming Mallorca” All this awareness and thinking brought about an initiative by a local activist group called “Dreaming Mallorca” to invite Satish Kumar, Schumacher College, England and Vandana Shiva, farming activist, India, Hildur and Ross Jackson, Gaia Trust, Denmark, Susan George from Attac in France and Herbert Girardet and José Bové, peasant-leader from France. All of them are international visionaries who came to brainstorm and create a think-tank together with local ecologist and civil groups, journalists, filmmakers and businesspeople from the tourist-trade in Oct 2008. The question was how to achieve a sustainable Mallorca for future generations. Current situation The current situation shows that 85% of Mallorca is depending on tourism for its economy. With the economical crisis in Spain and on the island is suffering
from, tourism has already diminished by 15%. 95% of the food is imported, has travelled far and depends on cheap transport to keep the prices down. The local agriculture has diminished drastically over the last 20 years and has gone from 125,000 farmers to only 6000 today. They are in great risk of extinction. Local fishing is also having a difficult time. Not so long ago, agriculture and fishing used to sustain the people of Mallorca.
Kerstin Unger Salén Kerstin Unger-Salén was born in Stockholm, Sweden and served as an elected member of the City Council of Stockholm for 11 years. She has studied social-anthropology, psychology, french, and philosophy at the University of Stockholm. She then became a painter and has been living on her farm on Mallorca for 23 years. She enjoys growing her own organic food and being as sustainable as possible. Her love for the earth and the surrounding natural beauty has influenced her decision to start “Mallorca goes green.” She has children and grandchildren also living here. Like others, she is deeply concerned by what is happening with climate change and the chaos it brings about. She feels now is the time to use her experience to try and safe-guard Mallorca for future generations.
Dependency on energy from outside is prominent, and electricity and desalinationplants on the island are fed by coal mainly. Access to water will be affected by climatechange. Renewable energy using latest technologies of how to convert sun and light into heat – and cooling systems and how to make energy/ electricity out of unusual sources will be crucial. The dependency on transport for the livelyhood of Mallorca is obvious, and it is well known that it contributes much of the emissions causing climate-change. Some definite changes have to take place. The action plan must consider a holistic and systemic approach, understanding that ecology, economy, and politics related to food sovereignty and cutting carbon emissions, are interconnected. Systemic thinking “Dreaming Mallorca” invited another inspiring person called Gunter Pauli(www. zeri.org) to visit on a later occasion. Gunter works with systemic thinking to Lots of Mallorca have been bought up by wealthy Europeans (Photo: Kerstin Salen)
create businesses based on zero emissions. He helped us to look at the physical existing realities, how discharges can be turned into assets without causing harm and how small agro-business can support the farmers and develop alternative income and creating new jobs. Local farming and traditional, ecological agriculture is an obvious way to reduce harmful emissions and create food independence. Biodiversity helps to reduce vulnerability and is vital for a healthy earth and for safe-guarding the local flavours of the island’s rich culinary traditions. The organisation “Slow-food” has a strong hold on the island and is working hard to retrieve local seeds and to fight GMO seeds.
this goal. Because Mallorca, just like the rest of Spain, is going through one of their worst economical crisis it has made it easier to talk about the need for change.
Awareness building Many ecological and civil groups know the importance of awareness buil- Old windmill in Mallorca (Photo: Kerstin Salén) ding, the need to educate and create consciousness amongst the people designing a su- Pilgrimage stainable future. An ecological movement called “MalEcovillages have a wealth of experi- lorca Goes Green”(www.mallorcagoesence to share and there is an organiza- reen.org) were present at the “Dreaming tion called Gaia Education supported by Mallorca seminar and inspired by Satish Gaia Trust that is instrumental towards Kumar (who made a pilgrimage for peace
in his youth) decided to organize a Pilgrimage October 2009. They invited the citizens to join their Pilgrimage, walking in honour of the land of Mallorca and its care-takers and raising the awareness for a sustainable agriculture. It was made in collaboration with the Farmers Union and at the end of the pilgrimage a manifest was handed over to the authorities. Obviously the call for a pilgrimage touched the heart of the Mallorcans and more than 800 people showed up. It became a celebration and spiritual connection with Mother Earth and a gesture of solidarity towards the farmers whose traditions have very much defined the culture of Mallorca. Encouraged by the success and the support they had from many local groups, “Mallorca Goes Green” will continue its work creating awareness of the importance of reducing the effects of climate change and encouraging the authorities to turn Mallorca into a good example off how going green helps the transition towards sustainability. They are just like many other activist groups on the island determined to make it happen.
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The Kovcheg E
When in the spring of 2001 a group of ecological enthusiasts addressed the head of the organizing, he (at first) did not understand what
By Fedor Lazutin and Dm Philosophy (by Fedor Lazutin) People in Russia traditionally have had a strong attraction to the earth and to nature. Even after the most powerful industrialization, technological progress, and the current ”market economy” this connection is not lost. Moreover, this attraction affects their reality - tens of millions of people in Russia have their small summer cottages and country houses with kitchen gardens and fruit gardens. Many of them for a short summer season work in parallel with their main job and grow a crop of vegetables and fruits, which is used during the entire year as food for the family. So it is not surprising in Russia with home made potatoes, carrots, all kinds of pickles and jams — all of excellent quality, grown with good compost and without any fertilizers and pesticides. Even large farms in Russia traditionally widely use organic and natural fertilizers. "It’s like old Russian community, but with modern technologies”. Therefore, when in the spring of 2001 a group of ecological enthusiasts addressed the head of the administration of Maloyaroslavets district in Kaluga region with the initiative of ecovillage organizing, he (at first) did not understand what they mean. ”We in fact have the “eco” all around! “You can buy a house in the village and live in wonderful ecological conditions, can’t you? And there were additional explanations: Plots should be larger, a hectare per family, where it’s possible to put a lot of variety of trees and shrubs, green hedge, big pond. Without all this things permaculture is not possible. In our ecovillage we have a requirement for permanent residency; there are general principles of both environmental and social issues. We want to be surrounded by like-minded people and implement community projects. ”Well, now it is become clear” – was the answer during our next visit – ”it’s like old Russian community, but with modern technologies”. We agreed with the analogy. As a result, the land for an ecovillage – former agricultural land – was given, and the project began.
People live very differently Our eco-village “Kovcheg” is not very strict. We do not have so many general rules and they are quite mild. Therefore people live very differently. Most aspire towards simplicity and minimalism - a small warm house made of natural materials (wood, clay and straw), furnace heating (wood from neighbouring forests), water from a spring or draw-well, composting toilets, a traditional Russian sauna. But also we have houses with all the ”urban” amenities, but relatively small. Some continue the previous job as distant workers (for example programmers, scientists and musicians), some develop a variety of projects in the ecovillage itself - food for sale, bee-keeping, handicrafts, woodworking. The normal natural state What unites us? Ideology, proximity, common projects, joint education of children, mutual aid, good neighbourly relations. We believe that life on ones own land - is the normal, natural state for humans, because only the land and the surrounding nature can directly, without intermediaries and complex technical systems, ensure our most important needs - water, air, food, warm and healthy housing. Such an environment gives better health, confidence in the future, strength and optimism. We support progress, but are against the harm of humans and nature. One good friend said once after one week in Kovcheg: ”It is strange to call you “downshifters” – this is obviously “upshifting” in comparison with city life.” And we fully agreed with this opinion! General description (by Dmitriy Vatolin) The Kovcheg ecovillage was established in 2001 year by a group of eco-life activists. We have registered officially 120 hectares (300 acres) of former agricultural field far from roads. About 400 hectares (1000 acres) of forest was around this field and a small river flows 50-100 meters from the north border of the ecovillage. It is located in the Kaluga region of Russia, 140 kilometers to the South-
west of Moscow. Our field was divided in 79 lots by 1 hectare; 8 hectares in the center was reserved for a common place, and wide roads inside were planned between lots and about 20 hectares are reserved around the perimeter. 40 families - 120 people We establish strict, but reasonable and attractive rules, so during these 8 years the community has grown very fast. Currently more then 40 families live in the ecovillage permanently including winter (this is about 120 people) and we built from scratch more than 100 mostly minimal and big houses (12-20 per year). 62 families have heated homes on their lots and the number of permanently living families increased every year. The first year a Community house (10x14 meters) was built on the common territory. This house essentially helps in ecovillage creation. It was used for common meetings, lectures of invited specialists, school, study of internal useful arts and creative work. The second floor was used as living place for those who built their private houses. Final signature from Vladimir Putin During these 8 years we have prepared documents for legal village creation on our land. In February 2009 we received regional approval and at the end of August 2009 the head of Government, Vladimir Putin signed the final document with our village name approval. Currently by federal law we can organize 1 km eco-protection area around eco-village (restricted hunting, restricted wood cutting etc). Also now for us it’s easy to legalize our work in the forest (forest clean up project) and other things. Main ideas The main ideas of our eco-village are very simple: • Every family or every member has its own piece of land (1 ha) on which they can create their Kin Domain. • On these lots, tens of thousands of trees and bushes have already been planted (at least 30% of lots are planted by trees – that is important for permacul-
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
administration of Maloyaroslavets district in Kaluga region with the initiative of ecovillage they meant. ”We in fact have the “eco” all around!
zutin and Dmitriy Vatolin ture). Every lot has many fruit-trees and an organic vegetable garden. • So every family has everything necessary to create happy simple life (own house, organic food, fresh air, pure water and clean environment – this makes this place ideal for our children – our future ). • Community decisions are made at meetings with 75% voting. • Cooperation makes our life easy, effective and environmentally friendly. • Different persons responsible for different tasks of community living: education, government relations, operation of machinery, snow removal, etc. Our requirement to the community members: • Permanent residence is required. • Organic gardening (no pesticides, no herbicides; permaculture or traditional agriculture are welcome). • No smoking, no alcohol. • Composting toilets. • No animals for meat, vegetarianism is welcome. • No fences between lots. Common projects We have several common projects where people join groups in the community to make something useful. For example we have sawmill workshop that is very useful in planking wood beams and timber as preparation for our houses. This workshop essentially help us to speed up the house building process. We get wood from forest cleanup project. Also we have a woodworking workshop with special processing machines like planer, milling machine, cutter machine and other special tools. Many wooden doors, windows, tables, benches, bookshelves and other wooden furniture were created there. Several joint draw-wells were created on the common territory. On members lots there are about 10 Russian baths (saunas), also near the river community a Russian bath was created for bathing in ice-holes during very healthy and wholesome bath procedures.
School In the year 2007 with a growing number of children we created a school with regular studies. A huge amount of energies was put into the school and it has become very attractive for children. For example even in a situation if they are sick they try to recover as fast as possible in order to return to school. In 2008 an additional 3 room extension to the community house was built especially for the school. We have tractor, excavator, lorry track and two private tractors. Such machinery is necessary, especially during winter, because without a tractor the first usable road begin 7 kilometers from the ecovillage. Now we try to make our road better with our machinery. The excavator is used to create ponds on the lots. About 10 ponds were already dug during the last 2 years and every year new ponds appear. Seminars During the last 3 years our ecovillage organized several 3-day seminars with experience sharing in several aspects of eco-life. The most popular seminar is “Our experience in eco-house construction”, the second one is “Our experience in natural bee-keeping” and the third one is “Our experience in eco-life”. More than 100 houses We have more than 100 houses under roof and most of them were created by our members. We had professional house builders in our community from the early beginning and many ecovillagers became professionals in this area later. We made succesfull experiments as well as many mistakes – very interesting experiences that we share. Our most interesting success is in light-adobe (straw+clay) house construction. We have 13 light-adobe houses now (and this text is being written in such a house). Also we have houses with many other types (round timber houses, square beam houses, frame-house with different insulating materials) and every lecture of seminar dealt with houses of corresponding types. Also now it’s possible to show houses at different stages of construction that is very useful for bet-
ter understanding. We create educational videos “Warm and non-expensive houses for permanent living from straw/clay” and “Warm square timber house construction”. Also our colleagues from other ecovillages created a long video “Kovcheg eco-house building seminar”. Natural Bee-keeping The main idea of the bee-keeping seminar is spreading our experience in natural bee-keeping. Natural means without sugar, without bee drugs (impossible practice for many modern beekeepers), with minimum interventions, with Central Russian bee variety and with new (or more correctly – old forgotten) beehives. Eco-life seminars describe different sides of our life. For example – organization of ecovillages (our ideas about successful eco-village creation), new educational approaches in school, home chil birth (15 children homeborn in Kovcheg), sustainable forest management. Also many other sides of eco-life are considered. We also have experience of one week seminar for group from Czech Republic that include topics from several seminars. During 3 years – in 2005, 2008 and 2009, Kovcheg organized meetings of living ecovillages. There were 12 ecovillages represented at the meeting in 2005 and about 5 were living, 17 ecovillages in 2008 (15 living) and 25 ecovillages in 2009 (24 living) from 6 ex-USSR countries and 60 people. Last two meetings were 4-days length, with many sections. From our site we provide about 20 hours of video with our experience in different areas for free. For free also is available the book “Joy of beekeeping” that was written in our eco-village by Fedor Lazutin (also possible to by publisher’s version of this book). There are many photos and papers about our life. Finally it’s reasonable to note, that there are no miracles happening in our ecovillage. We have some good results and good experience, but we also have many challenges. So let’s move forward in this lifetime to more stable and sustainable ways together! Backgroundphoto: from Kovcheg
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
Ecological / Techn Harvesting Coal with a Sterling Motor and Digging it Down By Lisa Abend and Thomas Harttung/ BARRITSKOV KAARE VIEMOSE FOR TIME Thomas Harttung was recently declared one of the environmental heroes of 2009 by Time Magazine
Those of us who have never used a wooden fruit crate for anything besides storing our record collections could take a lesson in repurposing from Thomas Harttung. From his farm in Barritskov, Denmark, the 48-year-old has built a sustainable empire around the humble box, using them to ship the chemical-free fruits and vegetables he sells, and then converting those same boxes into fuel to heat his farm operation. And fertilize its soil. And sequester its carbon.
hen Harttung started his company in 1999, he provided his 100 customers with regular deliveries of produce grown on his own small vegetable farm. Ten years later, Aarstiderne is the world’s largest box scheme, sending crates of produce to the doorsteps of 40,000 Danish subscribers, 6,000 Swedes and a handful of Germans each week. In the warm seasons about 30% of the lettuce and carrots and garlic and berries that fill those boxes comes from the farm that Harttung inherited from his parents. The rest come from other Danish growers, or — in the case of the oranges, bananas and year-round
tomatoes — small organic producers in Spain, Italy and France. To reduce carbon emissions, the company imposes a no-fly rule: all produce must travel by truck or boat. WHAT ON EARTH IS A STIRLING ENGINE ? By Thomas Harttung It is the small green contraption in the bottom right corner of the drawing. Robert Stirling, a Scottish priest (!)came up with the idea, patented it in 1816 (!!!) and developed various uses of the idea together with his brother James Stirling, who was an engineer. It was subsequently made almost obsolete by the combustion engine, but is now returning in force. It is run by a heat differential instead of an explosion (as in an internal combustion engine) and has been the “darling” of the scientific community for close to 200 years but a nightmare to put into commercial production. Now there is a breakthrough - and little Denmark happens to hold unique research and development capabilities in this area. At Barritskov we have had an extensive cooperation with a company called Stirling Denmark Limited, who commands a position in the absolute technological forefront of this field, also in global terms. The cooperation has actually 5 years old, so we pretty much know each other in and out, as they say in the valve industry …. We came across Stirling engine technology by accident 5 years ago - while we were looking for a replacement for a run-down wood chip burner on the farm. NOW WHAT ON EARTH IS SERENDIPITY? Serendipity describes the fact that one often finds something interesting while looking for something completely dif-
Thomas Hartung in front of the Sterling engine. (Photo: Barritskov) ferent ... For us at Barritskov it is a recurring phenomenon / problem. We have therefore established a development company called BlackCarbon. Its first task is to commercialize the overall idea and a specific patent that forms the basis of the new cogeneration/CHP plant. 100% heath self-sufficency The new CHP plant is designed to produce heat and power for Barritskov and Aarstiderne A/S on the basis of wood chip, straw and other biomass - and in addition produce a special, carbon rich char – which is the main component of Terra Preta. With the new cogeneration plant Barritskov and Aarstiderne will be 100% self-sufficient in heat and 60% in electricity - but the 60% is due only to the fact Aarstiderne grew more than expected the past 3 years. We expect during 2010 to expand the facility, so we will become 100% self-sufficient also in electricity too. BUT WHAT ON EARTH IS TERRA
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
echnical Solutions PRETA? Terra Preta is Portuguese for dark soil. But Terra Preta is not a natural state. Terra Preta is man-made. In the late 1950s a Dutch soil scientist called Wim Sombroek discovered some surprisingly fertile soils along the Amazon River in Brazil. Normally the Amazon basin is characterized by depleted and erosion prone soils. But it turned out that the Indian settlements along the river contained field plots, which consisted of a deep - dark in color - and very fertile soil. Hence the name Terra Preta. More detailed analysis - including carbon-14 dating - showed that those soils were thousands of years old - and that the black color was due to the soil contained a form of charcoal or coke. Since Wim Sombroek’s discovery a small but steadily growing congregation of anthropologists, edaphologists (soil chemists), geochemists (planet chemists), agronomists and environmentalists have studied the phenomenon. A serendipitous moment Barritskov was fortunate to run into these “char geeks” - or should we call them “characters” - some 3 years ago. Special thanks must be directed to Dr. Paul Hepperly from The Rodale Institute, who sowed the first seed in the midst of a discussion about something completely different. A serendipitous moment, so to speak. We were in the middle of commissioning a small CHP plant based on Stirling engine/gasification technology - but the meeting with the geeks gave the project a whole new dimension. Why is Terra Preta interesting in a Danish context - and indeed internationally? Terra Preta represents a biological form of CCS - Carbon Capture and Storage. Instead of intercepting CO2 in the top of the chimney stacks of central power plants – and then pumping it back into the ground - which in itself is quite energy-consuming - and count on the CO2 to stay down there - Terra Preta transforms biomass into “arch-carbon”, which in turn may be included in
the soil pool - without the risk of losing it again. Carbon storage Terra Preta thereby provides a storage of carbon, tested and proven over thousands of years - which is relatively lowtech - and which also has a dynamic element to its name. The fact is that soils which have been treated with char - or bio-char - which is the international designation - become more fertile - and have a better water-holding capacity - and thus they become capable of – hold your breath - sequestering even more carbon – thereby addressing climate change in their own right. OK FINE, BUT WHAT ON EARTH IS BIO-CHAR? Independently of each other 2 key figures in the international debate about climate change have stated that Biochar and hence Terra Preta – could be a crucial element in the combat against ever higher CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere: Professor Tim Flannery, Australia chair of The Copenhagen Climate Council - and Dr. Charles Hansen, chief climate scientist of NASA, the U.S. Space Agency. The last 2-3 generations of the Western world have a debt to posterity - to our descendants – of 100 gigatonnes of carbon in the atmosphere. This is the original sin of the industrial era, so to speak. Biochar - and hence Terra Preta - is a unique opportunity to pay that debt back - once and for all. All other CCS and similar initiatives have to do with reducing new emissions - thereby keeping the debt from increasing. Biochar is about taking CO2 out of the atmosphere and putting it back where it came from - creating new ground – literally speaking - for a more stable climate in the future and hence more promising living conditions for our children and grandchildren. At BlackCarbon, we believe that putting ourselves at the disposal of this idea is the right thing to do at this mo-
ment in time. Thomas Harttung Barritskov Barritskovvej 36, DK-7150 Barrit Denmark firstname.lastname@example.org . On Barritskov Barritskov www.barritskov.com is a family held, organic Farming and Forestry Estate on the east coast of Jutland Denmark. Aarstiderne A/S (The Seasons Ltd.) www.aarstiderne.com is a food company which delivers organic fresh produce, fruit and dry goods to more than 50,000 households in Denmark, Sweden and Germany - relying on seasonal local production combined with discretionary imports from organic producers from Europe and the wider world. The GreenCarbon Initiative www. greencarbon.dk is a company involved in the establishment of a methodology of managing farms and forests to sequester carbon while maintaining land productivity and biodiversity. BlackCarbon is a recently established R&D company, which seeks to develop and commercialize the idea of combining co-generation og heat and power with biochar production at micro scale (250-500 kW).
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
Join The Rockefeller Foundation, The World Bank, and IUCN in sponsoring “Earth’s Hope,” a video documentary that will be aired on The BBC World Service on November 27, 2009 and screened at the climate change summit in Copenhagen from 7 - 18 December. The film documents and dramatically demonstrates how large-scale ecosystem restoration can stabilize the changing climate, catalyze sustainable agriculture, and significantly reduce poverty. It is a story told on location of success and solution in the face of seemingly surmountable obstacles. Context For more than ten years, John Liu and his colleagues around the world have been identifying best practices and documenting effective methods for large-scale restoration of damaged or destroyed ecosystems. On the Loess Plateau an area the size of Belgium has been successfully restored over ten years. A barren, brown landscape, denuded and degraded, has been brought back to life; a people entrenched in back-breaking poverty now work, farm, herd, and live, in a functioning, green ecosystem where rainfall infiltrates, water is retained and crops are readied for export. Firmly rooted in science, and synthesizing knowledge and experience across myriad disciplines, this story has primarily been told – so far – through more than 170 direct presentations. From Kigali to London, from Addis Ababa to Paris, from Beijing to Bangkok we have spoken to bankers, students, presidents, journalists, and scientists. Now we will show the world – through the BBC World Service broadcast and the screening with world leaders in Copenhagen. Who’s Who The team we have assembled to tell this story is as diverse as the story is complex. Each of the project leaders briefly described below has extensive experience; combined, they bring decades of cross-cutting experience in film-making, environmental research, communications, media, and education. John Dennis Liu has been studying integrated poverty eradication and large-scale ecosystem rehabilitation since first visiting and filming China’s Loess Plateau in 1995. He has produced, written and directed many ecological films for the BBC, National Geographic and other networks including: “A Steppe Ahead”, “Line in the Sand”, “Because They’re Worth It”, “Jane Goodall – China Diary”, and “The Lessons of the Loess Plateau.” He lives and works in Beijing. Jeremy Bristow has directed many films on the environment for the BBC Natural History Unit including the recent climate change films with David Attenborough. He lives and works in the United Kingdom. Jonathan J. Halperin, Executive Director of the EEMPC is based in Washington, DC, and has more than 25 years of management, communications, research, and campaigning experience with nonprofit and commercial organizations such as SustainAbility, Resources for the Future, and FYI Resources for a Changing World. Sponsorship A small number of additional sponsors are sought to support current filming in China, Rwanda, and Turkey; video editing and production; development of aligned educational materials; preparation of non-English language versions; and to launch a paradigm shifting global discussion through the highly publicized screening in Copenhagen. Sponsorship requires a minimum investment of $50,000. Benefits Sponsors will be recognized on-air during the BBC World Service broadcast, in podium flags and related marketing and media materials in Copenhagen during the summit, and carried on all educational materials distributed globally. Sponsors will also be publicly thanked from the podium before an audience of global media in Copenhagen. Additionally, sponsors names and logos will appear on all national broadcasts beyond the BBC global broadcast, on DVD packaging, on webcasts, and on all web postings by affiliated organizations such as The World Bank, IUCN, and George Mason University. Contact Jonathan J. Halperin, Executive Director Environmental Education Media Project email@example.com jjhdcusa (skype) 1-202-422-6375 (mobile) +1-703-993-5057 (office) +1-301-951-0229 (fax)
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
KlimaForum: Sustainable Agriculture DGI-BYEN, Copenhagen
12 December 2009
I 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Organic Solutions to Climate
Change and Food Security
Changing weather patterns are already impacting agriculture in many parts of the world. As countries experience shifts in climate conditions, food security has become a matter of increasing concern. A major contributor to climate change is modern, industrial agriculture. The effort to reduce our carbon imprint must include a re-examination of agricultural methods as well as exploring new approaches to securing our food supply. This session will highlight the key role of community supported Organic/Natural Agriculture in feeding a growing population while mitigating climate change and natural resource depletion.
Speakers • Dr. Vandana Shiva, Leading environmentalist, ecologist, physicist, and activist (India) • Patrick Holden, Director, Soil Association (UK) • Alan Imai, Natural Agriculture Director, Shumei International (Japan) • Barbara Hachipuka Banda, Director, Mbabala Women Farmers’ Cooperative Union (Zambia)
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
Earth Democracy About Vandana Shiva’s work, taken from www.vandanashiva
Vandana Shiva coined the word “Earth democracy” with economist David Korten in opposition to “Empire” as the goal of local development for the good of people and Nature. Vandana Shiva born in 1952, Dehra Dun, Uttarakhand, India), is a trained-Physicist, philosopher, environmental activist, eco feminist and author of many books. Vandana is currently based in Delhi.
andna Shiva participated in the nonviolent Chipko movement during the 1970s. The movement, whose main participants were women, adopted the approach of forming human circles around trees to prevent their felling. She is one of the leaders of the International Forum on Globalization, (along with Jerry Mander, Edward
Goldsmith, Ralph Nader, Jeremy Rifkin, Helena Norberg-Hodge et al.), and a figure of the global solidarity movement known as the alter-globalization movement. She has argued for the wisdom of many traditional practices, as is evident from her interview in the book Vedic Ecology (by Ranchor Prime) that draws upon India’s Vedic heritage
Environment & Development Organization and the Third World Network. She is a councillor of the World Future Council
Activist in many countries Shiva has fought for changes in the practice and paradigms of agriculture and food. Intellectual property rights, biodiversity, biotechnology, bioethics, genetic engineering are among the fields where Shiva has contributed intellectually and through activist campaigns. She has assisted grassroots organizations of the Green movement in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Ireland, Switzerland and Austria with campaigns against genetic engineering. In 1982, she founded the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, which led to the creation of Navdanya. Her book, “Staying Alive” helped redefine perceptions of third world women. Shiva has also served as an adviser to governments in India and abroad as well as non governmental organisations, including the International Forum on Globalisation, the Women’s
Navdanya Navdanya is a network of seed keepers and organic producers spread across 16 states in India. Navdanya has helped set up 54 community seed banks across the country, trained over 500,000 farmers in seed sovereignty, food sovereignty and sustainable agriculture over the past two decades, and helped setup the largest direct marketing, fair trade organic network in the country. Navdanya has also set up a learning center, Bija Vidyapeeth (School of the Seed) on its biodiversity conservation and organic farm in Doon Valley, Uttranchal, north India. Vandana Shiva in Mallorca telling about local development in India (Photo: Hildur Jackson)
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" Hanne Strong, Helena Norberg-Hodge and Vananda Shiva at Findhorn 2002 (Photo: Hildur Jackson)
Navdanya is actively involved in the rejuvenation of indigenous knowledge and culture. It has created awareness on the hazards of genetic engineering, defended people’s knowledge from biopiracy and food rights in the face of globalisation and climate change. Navdanya is a women centred movement for the protection of biological and cultural diversity Bija Vidyapeeth - Earth University Bija Vidyapeeth was founded by leading environmental activists Satish Kumar and Vandana Shiva after the 2001, 9/11 attacks in New York. The school promotes a vision of holistic solutions rooted in deep ecology and democracy as an alternative to the current world order that is characterized by blind policies guided by greed, destruction and war. In a world dominated by greed and competition, speed and restlessness, pollution and ecological destruction, war and violence, Navdanya’s educational initiative Bija Vidyapeeth, in partnership with the Schumacher College in UK, offers a unique opportunity to explore and practise the art and science of sustainability based on ecological principles at the peaceful pollution-free setting of Navdanya’s organic farm in Doon Valley. The courses offered at Bija Vidyapeeth allow participants both literally and figuratively dig into the tenets of sustainability and deep democracy through interaction with the foremost intellectuals of our times, dedicated participants from all backgrounds and the surrounding biodiverse setting. The transformative courses and the enchanting ambience reinvigorate our vital link with nature and will cultivate contemplation, enquiry and dynamic action that will inspire participants for a lifetime. The rich biodiversity is the stage and the participants are the actors for the education in earth democracy where you will dialogue with leading thinkers and intellectuals while learning from nature and each other through communal living and engaging in actual practices of sustainability. Here, all participants learn and partake in cooking, gardening, composting, yoga and the arts, such as music and theater. Where relevant to the
course participants will also visit surrounding communities and sites through guided field trips. Navdanya’s biodiverse conservation and organic farm is nestled between the Himalayas, the Ganga and the Yamuna. The biodiverse and highly productive 8acre farm has rejuvenated the soil once
left barren and desertified by years of eucalyptus monoculture and now produces more than 600 varieties of plants, including 250 rice varieties, 30 wheat varieties, and diverse varieties of millet, pulses, oilseeds, vegetables and medicinal plants.
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LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
Organic Solutions to Climate Change and Food Security: Shumei Natural Agriculture By Kristine Mayo
A Philosophy of Harmony with the Earth. Natural Agriculture was developed in Japan in the early 20th century by Mokichi Okada, the founder of Shumei, to foster a renewed understanding of the harmony that exists among the natural elements of the earth. He conducted extensive research in the development of agricultural practices that would yield the most productive and beneficial results for nourishing the human body, mind and spirit. The practice of Natural Agriculture is based on a highly developed philosophy of life and is intimately tied to the physical and spiritual laws that govern the universe. It is more than a system of food production - it is a way of life.
he principle of Natural Agriculture is an overriding respect and concern for nature,- stated Mokichi Okada in his article, A Great Agricultural Revolu-
tion. The principle of respect for nature is based on the perception that consciousness guides all life processes. This consciousness extends to all that grows. Therefore, Natural Agriculture encourages minimum intervention and recognizes that plants, like other elements of nature, function best when left in their pure, natural state. Natural Agriculture does not add any foreign elements to the soil, because it recognizes that the addition of fertilizers inhibit the soil’s natural ability to enrich itself. Similarly, seeds are respected for their natural purity and are not manipulated for specified ends. Interconnection of all life Natural Agriculture sees greater benefit in supporting and working in partnership with the natural forces. It understands the interdependent relationship among all the elements involved in the natural
Shumai, Catskill Mountains, New York. (Photo: Kristine Mayo) growing process – light, soil and water – and it fosters a deep awareness of the contributions of each element. In today’s consumer society, people have lost the understanding of the interconnection of all life and thus have not understood how harming one part of an ecosystem will cause damage to another; and how the use of chemicals in food production will ultimately pollute waters and soil and destabilize the whole natural balance. The manipulation of nature in many modern agricultural practices has taken an enormous toll on human health and the well-being of the planet. Natural Agriculture seeks to restore the vital and sacred relationship between humankind and the environment.
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" The Relationship between Organic and Natural Agriculture Organic and Natural Agriculture have much in common. Both seek to safeguard human health and the health of the environment by avoiding the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Organic agriculture allows the use of organic additives, while Natural Agriculture does not utilize any organic additives, including manure. Leaves and grasses from the surrounding vicinity are used in Na-
balance within nature. Through the practice of Natural Agriculture, farmers and consumers of food develop a special relationship based on a support system of deep appreciation and gratitude. The exchange of gratitude is a key element to Natural Agriculture’s success. The farmer-consumer relationship is a vital link which, when fostered, can lead to a much healthier, more wholesome and aware way of living.
More than 100 Natural Agriculture farms Today, there are more than 100 Natural Agriculture farms throughout Japan, as well as in other parts of Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, North America and Latin America. Shumei and the Mbabala Women Farmers’ Cooperative Union Natural Agriculture project in rural Zambia was recognized by the United Nations as a ‘best practice’ for empowering women in sustainable agriculture. About Shumei International Shumei International is a Japanese based non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the happiness and wellbeing of individuals and to creating a more harmonious and sustainable world. Shumei believes that through a great collective effort we can transform this world into one of truth, beauty and virtue by practicing a reverence for nature in one’s daily life as expressed through Natural Agriculture and by cultivating an appreciation of beauty and the arts. For more information visit www.shumei-international.org
Natural Agriculture farm in Turkey. Natural Agriculture products grown without additives. (Photo: Kristine Mayo) tural Agriculture to keep the soil moist, soft and temperate, rather than as a nutrient. Also insects are not recognized as “pests” in this approach and Natural Agriculture promotes a comprehensive understanding of their role and how to maintain their balance. The Farmer-Consumer Relationship One of the goals of Natural Agriculture is to bring physical, mental, and spiritual benefit to people. Mokichi Okada perceived agriculture to be an art, created by the human hand and heart. The Natural Agriculture farmer is able to discern the beauty inherent in nature and the growing process and has a unique position in restoring and maintaining the
Addressing Climate Change: A Renewed Relationship with Nature Climate change and food security are issues of great concern. There is a clear need to move away from an oil-based economy and agricultural system, which demands a more sustainable system of food production. The deeper crisis we face is the consciousness in which we approach nature and food production. If we are to address this challenge successfully, we must form a spiritual collaboration between humankind and nature, and encourage communities and individuals to get involved once again in the sustainable production of food. We need to shift the focus of the growing of food from high profits, mass production and seeing food as a commodity to seeing it as a life sustaining resource. This is a critical step in renewing our relationship with nature.
Organic Solutions to Climate Change and Food Security - KlimaForum Panel Shumei International will hold a panel discussion from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm on 12 December 2009 at the klimaforum09 titled “Organic Solutions to Climate Change and Food Security”. Speakers include: Dr. Vandana Shiva, leading environmentalist, physicist, activist and author of many books including her most recent publication Soil Not Oil; Patrick Holden, Director of the Soil Association; Alan Imai, Director of Shumei Natural Agriculture; Barbara Hachipuka Banda, Director of the Mbabala Women Farmers’ Cooperative Union.
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
Support to IRENA, the new government agency for renewable energy By Preben Maegaard, director, Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy; chairman, WCRE (World Council for Renewable Energy).
The birth of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) clearly marks a hopeful foundation in the search for practical solutions to serious global problems such as climate change and energy security. The global community founded IRENA on 26th March 2009. With 137 member states by October 2009 IRENA already represents over three billion people, half of the global population; amongst them are 46 African, 36 European, 32 Asian, 14 American and 9 Australia/Oceania States.
Preben Maegaard with director general Hélène Pelosse and professor Ossman from Egypt (Photo: Preben Maegaard)
andated by these governments, IRENA aspires to become the main driving force for promoting a rapid transition towards the widespread and sustainable use of renewable energy on a global scale. Acting as the global voice for renewable energies, IRENA will provide practical advice and support for both industrialised and developing countries, thereby helping to improve frameworks and build up capacity. Moreover, the agency intends to facilitate access to all relevant information, including reliable data on the potentials for renewable energy, best practices, effective financial mechanisms, and state-ofthe-art technological expertise. Headquarter On IRENA’s second government session in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, which took place from 29-30 June 2009, Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, was designated as the headquarter. It was also decided that Bonn will host IRENA’s centre of innovation and technology and Vienna will become the agency’s liaison office for cooperation with other organisations. Moreover, the French candidate, Ms. Hélène Pelosse, was appointed to become the Director General of IRENA. As an International Governmental Organisation, IRENA will create a level playing field of the deployment of renewable energy everywhere in overcoming the persistent bias of international organizations and many NGO’s in favour of atomic and fossil energies. These agencies often ignore or underestimate
the full potential and manifold benefits of renewable energy. A clear signal Hélène Pelosse, Director-General of IRENA said during the Climate Week in New York in September 2009: “The establishment of IRENA by 136 states this year is a clear signal that countries worldwide ask for a bigger share of global renewable energy production - and not less. We need to increase the market share of the current 18 % worldwide, especially in developing countries. The potential in those countries is huge but financial mechanisms for an up-scale are sometimes difficult to obtain. IRENA will facilitate the access of those countries to appropriate financing for renewable energy. Only 100% renewable energy is clean Today’s claim of the IEA (International Energy Agency) to include nuclear and CCS projects in developing markets into the mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol is a step backwards. The discussion to include nuclear in the Clean Development Mechanism was dismissed in the past with a clear vote from delegates. The Clean Development Mechanism is not called clean for nothing – only 100% renewable energy is clean. CCS technology on the other hand is nothing but a fata morgana, technically feasible on a larger scale not before 2020. On the contrary, numerous examples around the world demonstrate that the use of renewable energy is a reality and will be our future: Almost 50% of Sweden’s overall energy consumption is coming from renewable sources. There are countless communities and cities in Germany and Denmark that are powered by 100% renewable energy. 2.5 million households in the developing world autonomously produce renewable energy with solar PV, turning their home into a small power plant……. And last but not least: by hosting IRENA’s headquarter in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, one of
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" the biggest oil producing countries in the world, has sent out a the strong message. We should not rely on energies of the past to power our future.” Nuclear power not renewable During a meeting in August with European NGO’s Hélène Pelosse told that IRENA wanted close ties with the EU stakeholders on how to cooperate in future. She asked committed people to come and support her in Abu Dhabi, to help and to promote the agency. Hélène Pelosse underlined that nuclear power is not renewable and that it has no place in IRENA. She knows that there is uneasiness and mistrust that, coming from the central French administration, she could be a spy for the nuclear power game. But she assured all this was not the case. Abu Dhabi was not her choice; France had been as naïve as Germany in the game about the headquarter. The move of President Sarkozy in summer 2009 to visit Abu Dhabi and to create the link with nuclear power deals versus support of IRENA location had hijacked many also in France and made manoeuvring difficult. She sees IRENA as advocacy for 100 % renewables. Hélène Pelosse is looking for recruitment of 50 % women in the top positions and in general seeks committed renewable energy people to join. Background of IRENA Energy is a basic human need. Without energy, everything would come to a standstill. The world community has long waited for an Agency that can advance and support the transition to a sustainable energy paradigm that addresses energy poverty and through innovation, non-commercial transfer of technology and practical strategies will ensure access to the energy services necessary for powering a brighter 21st century. A necessary factor in fostering human development and economic growth is a secure, affordable, reliable, clean, and sustainable energy supply. Mankind faces monumental challenges: global warming, the depletion of natural resources, explosions in population growth, increasing energy demand, rising energy prices and unequal distribution of energy sources. All of these factors contribute to the urgent need to transform the energy sector - which primarily relies on fossil fuels - to renewable energies and energy efficient measures. Renewable energy is the key solution to the challenges facing the world’s
energy future. The current use of renewable energy, however, is still limited in spite of its vast potential. The obstacles are manifold and include: lengthy permitting procedures, import tariffs and technical barriers, insecure financing of renewable energy projects, technology know-how oligopolies, unequal distribution of knowledge and insufficient awareness of the opportunities for renewable energy. This is where IRENA can play a role. A major task of the agency is to develop comprehensive solutions to the abovementioned challenges, such as fostering all types of renewable energy and to consider various renewable energy policies at the local, regional, and national levels. Origin of the idea The idea to establish IRENA can be traced back to Dr. Hermann Scheer. Over the last two decades, as Member of the German Parliament, president of EUROSOLAR and chair of the World Council for Renewable Energy, he has constantly argued for the establishment of a political institution in the form of an international governmental organization for renewable energy. With the decision to bring the IRENA concept to life, the governments of Germany, Denmark and Spain during 2008 jointly worked towards its establishment and have driven the idea forward during its last phase before the founding in January 2009. In an interview with Franz Alt, Hermann Scheer explains that IRENA will not act in a conflict-free sphere but rather in an environment that is dominated by the interests of the conventional energies. To stand her ground and to thrive, the new agency needs the support of all protagonists active in the field of renewable energy. IRENA must first overcome the underestimation of renewable energy. Second: Demonstrate that the complete energy needs everywhere can be satisfied by renewable energy and that this is no economic burden but rather an important economic chance. Third: Underline that renewables will trigger a new technological revolution.
main seat will be in the Masdar City, the world’s first zero-carbon, zero-waste city fully powered by renewable energy. The master plan of Masdar was made by Sir Norman Foster. It is an extraordinary endeavor that will attract the highest levels of international expertise, academics, commerce, and residents. Places of work and living will be integrated. By bringing together such resources, Masdar will provide services that will ultimately support sustainable development throughout Abu Dhabi, the region, and the country, as well as provide a functioning blueprint for the world. 1500 renewable energy related companies Under construction since 2008, Masdar City will be home to over 1,500 renewable energy related companies creating a technology cluster of renewable innovation - indeed, the city could become IRENA’s sought after conduit for knowledge transfer, providing a better understanding of financing needs and promoting faster development of integrated end-to-end solutions. When built Masdar, will have 90,000 inhabitants. This ultra-modern city placed in the middle of the desert will not have any conventional cars. IRENA’s headquarter building will be based on state-of-the-art architecture, design and technologies for energy efficiency and renewable energy generation. Masdar City is one of the flagship projects of the “One Planet Living™” programme - a global initiative launched by WWF (also known as the World Wide Fund for Nature and the World Wildlife Fund). One Planet Living™ aims to prove that it is possible to live within ecological limits and still improve the quality of people’s lives.
Preben with Hermann Sheer, president of EUROSOLAR (Photo: Preben Maegaard)
Masdar City IRENA’s future
LĂ˜SNETâ€ˆno. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
100% renewable energy in Thisted, Denmark By Preben Maegaard
The closer you get in Denmark to Preben Maegaard and the Nordic Folkecenter in Thy the more windmills. They call him Mr. Windmill. He is one of the pioneers. The Folkecenter has for 30 years been a research and demonstration centre for various kinds of renewable energy systems, including testing many models of wavepower. Trainees from all over the world - not least from the global South, have lived at the Folkecenter for a period and gone home and started companies. In Mali and Siberia they started Folkecenters. Some years ago he initiated an education in renewable energy which can be taken in 8 months at the Folkecenter or at 5 other similar institutions in different climatic zones. He has been lecturing all over the world. His wife Jane Kruse is a close partner in all this. Hildur Jackson
00% renewable energy for heat and power is realistic. The municipality of Thisted in Thy in Northwestern Denmark in 2007 received the European Solar Prize for its outstanding achievements with nearly 100% of the demand for collective heating now coming from straw, wood, geothermal and organic waste while renewables (wind 80%) deliver 100% of the demand for electricity. In Thisted are 250 windmills; selling electricity from wind and biogas has become an important source of income to the local farmers. On days with strong wind the wind turbines may even produce three times more than the actual consumption and the power quality still lives up to the highest standards. The local utility, Thy-Mors Energi has demonstrated real-time management of such big quantities of wind energy to visitors from all parts of the world. The surplus power on windy days is still being exported to the neighbouring regions but in the coming years a solution will be found to this. 80% of all space heating in Denmark is community district heating. Like in the rest of the country people in the towns and villages in Thy also get their heat from hot water pipelines in the streets. Till end of 2007 it was not possible due to taxation to use wind electricity in an economical manner for district heating, but following a de-
cision by the EU Commission use of wind power for heat has now become attractive. So now we talk about wind-heatand-power. While surplus electricity sometimes is sold at the European spot market for 0.01 EUR per kWh or even at a negative price it will at any time when used for heating have a value equivalent to the fuel that it replaces, 0.05 to 0.08 per kWh. The benefits of the new energy solutions are tremendous with increased employment, better environment, price stability, security of supply, independence of foreign fuels plus a fast growing new industrial sector with a gigantic export potential. But no renewable energy form can stand alone. Not least wind power has to be properly managed and combined with solar, easy-to-store biomass, and decentralized cogeneration (CHP - Combined Heat and Power) into fully autonomous intelligent energy systems. Energy from the wind, the sun and from biomass is so important in Denmark
LĂ˜SNETâ€ˆno. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" that it is realistic to phase out fossil fuels during the coming decades. Already back in the 1980s, renewable energy proved so promising that official plans to build atomic power plants was ultimately shelved. In order not to commit political suicide no Danish politician has since then proposed to re-introduce nuclear power. The future crucial discussion in the transition process is why should Denmark in future sell its peak production of clean energy at low prices on the European spot market and build expensive transmission lines when there are several ways to increase the domestic use of the surplus electricity that unavoidably appears especially in a small country with a high share of cogeneration and wind power. In a system like the Danish very often the need for heat and not for power has priority. It is as impossible to determine whether the wind or the heat generated power causes the power overflow as to separate the cream from the milk. On days with a high demand for heat combined with high wind, the CHPs and the wind turbines together sometimes feed much more power into the grid than needed by consumers. The challenge for the system operator is to optimize the available resources. While Europe as a whole has 10% of the efficient combined heat and power (CHP) in the energy system, the share in Denmark is 60%, the worldâ€™s highest, which at the same time represents not only the problem mentioned
but also its solution. Following the plans and visions of the national power system responsible, energinet.dk, supply and demand can be balanced simply by using on windy days the additional wind power in electric boilers at the combined heat and power stations that already have big hot water storage tanks. It will be possible to stop the gas engines at periods when the wind power is sufficient for both the supply of power and heat and with no conversion loss. Especially the gas based cogeneration in Denmark from around 600 decentralized CHP plants and more than 170 industrial auto producers can be stopped and started within seconds so they match ideally the renewable energy supply. This will create much better protection against national black-outs as well. Energinet. dk is presently dividing up the supply system in cells with 50 to 100,000 consumers in each primarily self-supplying cell based on local wind and CPH to take advantage of the decentralized and diversified structure. It will further allow much higher future shares of wind energy in the system because in a temperate climate the
Preben and Hermann Sheer in the Emirates 2009 (Photo: Preben Maegaard) demand for heat exceeds the need for electricity by a factor of two or so. With wind and solar as the primary sources of energy, biomass that is easy and cheap to store is the ideal back-up fuel. On the other hand biomass should not be combusted when wind and solar is sufficient. What can be better environmentally and economically than to use the abundant wind power in the big hot water reservoirs of the local district heating suppliers and thus save fossil fuel instead of exporting the surplus power to neighbouring countries at low spot market prices? By 2007 43% of the 36 TWh of electricity used in Denmark came from IPPs. Of the 43%, wind power accounted for 18-20% and local CHP around 25%. As a consequence the central power utilities (now owned by Vattenfall, DONG Energy and E.ON) had their share of the electricity market reduced to little over 50% of the domestic demand. It took only 10 years to dramatically shift almost half of the power production from inefficient, centralized, fossil fuel power supply to local, municipal or consumer-owned companies. Coincidently this is the amount of time it takes to
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" build one atomic power plant, or roughly 1200 MWel. Denmark has not and is not planning to build any atomic power plants; this very problematic source of supply was ultimately withdrawn from the energy plans in 1985. Is CHP renewable? CHP using natural gas in not renewable but local CHP creates the basis for a decentralized energy structure that later with modest investments can be changed to local renewable energy sources. Stationary gas engines can run on a variety of fuels which can be tailored to local fuel availability. These local supply sources can be: • Biodiesel • Plant oil • Biogas • Gasified biomass • Land fill gas • Solar thermal stations • Wind heat and power, WHP Advantages of local CHP
rigs, offshore oil platforms, and villages not served by the national power grid. 2. Community Autonomy: Having a local power and heat producer in the community provides the local community with autonomy giving the, “power to the people”. This enables the community to ensure that the power is developed in an appropriate manner. 3. The Ability to incorporate Renewable Energy in the Future: Having CHP with district heating opens opportunities to incorporate large fractions of renewable energy in the form of biogas, solar thermal heating, wind for heat, biomass gasification, plant oil based fuels and combustion of locally based biomass. 4. Scalability and Flexibility: Local CHP are scalable and flexile to operate. This makes it easy to increase capacity in the future and matches well with the incorporation of wind and solar power in the supply system. 5. High Efficiency: Stationary Gas CHP units boast an electrical efficiency of 42% and with heat recovery of the jacket water, exhaust, lube oil and turbo char-
Preben Maegaard and Danish Minister of Climate Connie Hedegaard (Photo: Hildur Jackson) Advantages of community based CHP units are vast, the main benefits being: 1. Reliability: Gas engines are extremely reliable as they are used in the harshest of conditions where reliability is of the utmost importance. Typically these gas engines are installed in transcontinental gas compressor stations, drilling
ger can achieve and overall efficiency of over 85% (power 42% plus heat 43%). 6. Cost Effective Heat and Power: With high total efficiencies and two energy products from the same fuel source, cost of power and heat can be reduced. As an example in 2007 Denmark according to Eurostat had the fifth lo-
west power prices (without taxes) for GWh-consumers in Europe with Sweden, Norway, France and Finland being lower. The ownership model behind two decades of success The absence of financial investors made the wind sector in Denmark unique compared to other countries. At the turn of the century, around 150,000 households were co-owners of a local windmill. The ownership model rather than the tariff scheme therefore was an integral part of the success of wind energy in Denmark. It was the key factor behind the high public acceptance that wind power projects enjoyed during that time. It also enabled a much faster deployment, since large numbers of people were involved in the sector that gave a tremendous goodwill. Acceptance and low costs by public ownership Renewable energy is still young; technology and tariff problems have found reasonable solutions but now we have to develop generally acceptable organisational structures for decentralised ownership for the common good as well. The ownership and operation of large wind turbines for community supply should be a service provided by the local public authorities; like the supply of water, central district heating, public transport and other parts of the public infrastructure. We can learn from the past 100 years of practice that the state should promote public regulation in favour of local and collective ownership of basic public services, such as energy. This noncapitalist approach is in line with the protection and promotion of the common good in most democratic societies. Considering the size of order and complexity of the transition to 100% RES-based energy system, and its urgency, it is only realistic for public administrations to undertake this task. Wind energy should be a part of the public planning with expropriation of the necessary areas for wind turbines, as it is done with power pylons, waterworks and similar areas of public interest. It is already standard practice to provide monetary compensation when areas are being designated for the common good; this should also be the case in the wind energy sector. Legislation must regulate that expropriated areas can only be used for locally public owned wind turbines. This would be a decisive contribution for attaining local acceptance and making
LĂ˜SNETâ€ˆno. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" wind energy more competitive. For instance, in Denmark it could lead to a 30% cost reduction. By making the establishment and operation of large wind turbines the responsibility of public supply companies, there will be significant savings due to cheaper locations for wind turbines, saved repowering fees and cheaper long term financing. This will make wind energy more attractive for the individual municipality as well as at a national level. This would also improve supply security, steady energy prices and secure the fulfilment of international agreements concerning CO2 reduction. Sites for windmills will always be scarce in our part of the world resulting in capitalized prices. Together the repowering certificates and access to a site, makes a commercial investment in a new big windmill in Denmark up to 50% costlier than in case it was installed for the common good of the community which means a non-commercial investment and ownership as part as the public infrastructure, which we find in many other sectors of society. In Scandinavia, common good ownership is dominating within the supply of water, district heating, public transport etc. whereas the windmill ownership until now was private investment, also in the form of cooperatives, guilds and whatever we call them. People invest in order to make a profit and therefore the so called wind cooperatives do not belong to the common good category. The common good solution should apply to wind power as well in order to obtain the necessary local public acceptance. The creation of a new class of privileged green investors will be prevented as well. So in order to avoid capitalization of the feed-in-tariffs
Coordinator of www.wwei.info
Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy Denmark tel (+45) 9795 6600 www.folkecenter.net
and a constant pressure from the investors to get improved tariffs, the best solution is to maintain the feed-in tariffs for common-good investments with compensation to the land owners similar to what is normal practise for power line compensation. Here capitalization is not possible. The income from the wind will this way become a community profit that can be used for various public purposes. Such income should go to a public pool for energy efficiency in public buildings, support to innovative solutions etc. This will also create much more goodwill and acceptance to wind power at the local level. In Denmark we now see heavy local protests against investors like we have seen it in UK for many years. Most projects were blocked by the local planning commissions and the same is now happening here. Earlier we did not have a NIMBY effect in Denmark; the solution is to give the power back to the people of the community and their elected representatives.
Renewable put into practice
Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy Denmark tel (+45) 9795 6600 www.folkecenter.net
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
Cradel to Cradel Industrial Revolution, Take Two By Martin Fluri, edited from Vanity Fair June 2008
On February 7, 1993, the architect William McDonough, a prophet of the sustainability and clean-technology movements, which set in motion many of the green design practices that are commonplace today, delivered a centennial sermon from the high altar of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, in New York City. The sermon, which laid the foundation for a lifelong crusade to do nothing less than right the wrongs of the Industrial Revolution, was titled “Design, Ecology, Ethics and the Making of Things.”
mist Michael Braungart on a Manhattan rooftop as he was opening an american branch of his company E.P.E.A. (the Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency). The chance encounter lit a spark that would lead to the drive toward a second industrial revolution and the birth of Cradle to Cradle. The day after they resumed their conversation in McDonough’s office. “He described the whole idea of materials that go back to soil and materials that go back to technology, and that’s when I said, ‘Oh, I see. Waste equals food,’” McDonough recalls. “Then we started talking about how this worked in the cosmos: that energy would come from the sun, that materials and chemistry would be seen as mass flows on the earth, and they had to be coherent. And we got so excited about it that we wanted to draw diagrams, and I didn’t have any flip charts or marker boards on the walls or anything. I was in my conference room. But when I draw and sketch architecture projects early, I have a big fat pencil, so I handed it to him and said, ‘Go ahead and draw.’ He started diagramming all of these scientific explanations of waste equals food on the wall, and I wish I had saved it, because it was really quite amazing. What he was talking about was mass-energy balance. If we combined
the chemistry that he was doing with the design that we were doing, we could Michael Braungart come upwith something new. Effectively, that’s when we started the whole concept of design chemistry. It was a eureka moment.”
An industrial miracle Their first collaboration on a product, in 1995, seems like a virtual industrial miracle. “We started the company to do textiles,” says McDonough. “A fabric company called Designtex, owned by Steelcase, was doing a portfolio series of fabrics, by Aldo Rossi, Richard Meier, Bob Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and me. And when I was asked to design what they looked like, I said, ‘Well, I’d have to design what it’s made out of. Not just what it looks like, but what it’s made from.’ So Susan Lyons, who was then the f we understand that design leads creative director for Designtex, got this to the manifestation of human inimmediately, and she selected a mill in tention, and if what we make with Switzerland as the most advanced texour hands is to be sacred and honor the tile mill that she could earth that gives us life, McDonough said that day, At Shaw´s Evergreen Nylon Recycling facility in Augusta, Georgia Nylon6 think of that could take “then the things we make carpets are recycled back into raw material used to make new carpets. on this assignment.” The McDonoughmust not only rise from www.mccookcarpetsplus.com/eco_friendly.php Braungart group tested the ground but return to all of the dye chemicals it, soil to soil, water to to determine if they water, so everything that caused cancer or other is received from the earth problems—birth defects, can be freely given back immune- system disrupwithout causing harm to tion, soil and water toxiany living system. This is city. They found that, ecology. This is good deof the 8,000 chemicals sign. It is of this we must used in the dyeing and now speak.” finishing process, only 38 met the protocol A chance encounter standards for human and This kind of “preaching” ecological safety. had even been foreign to But Braungart deterMcDonough himself just a mined that was enough. few years earlier. In 1991 With 38 chemicals, virtuhe met the German che-
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" ally any color could be produced, and costs associated with regulatory codes had been reduced, so the fabric’s price remained competitive. The human gains were even greater— health risks for mill workers and customers were greatly reduced.
to Cradle is daunting because this is an imperfect world, and we try to imagine the perfect to try to achieve the best possible.” Yet he and Braungart are pulling it off in measurable ways. Over the last decades, McDonough and Braungart have worked with an all-star list of companies, whose aggregate revenues exceed $1 trillion, including Philips, Google, G.E., Wallmart, Ford, British Petroleum, Nike, the Gap, Whole Foods, If you look at the first industrial revolution as a retroactive design assignment, it would be to design a system that puts billions of pounds of toxic waste into the air and the water, depletes our soils and washes toxins into the ocean or into the air, produces endocrine disrupters to affect our hormonal systems, creates and distributes carcinogens, causes climate change, and dumps plastics in the oceans. If this was the design assignment, we’re doing great. If it’s not the design assignment, then what is?
huge conventions called ‘Let’s Cradle.’ I guess when you become a verb you know you are getting somewhere.” Holland is the country most far ahead with Cradle to Cradle on a national scale. Whole new cities are being planned according to Cradle to Cradle principles, as is the transformation of entire regions and the government is supporting the Cradle to Cradle movements rapid expansion in industry and architecture with Environmental Minister Jacqueline Cramer taking the lead. And that is in spite of – or maybe rather because of - the unusual message Cradle to Cradle ads to the environmental debate.
Growth is good! “How many environmentalists do you know who say growth is good?,” McDonough asks. “We celebrate growth. William McDonough Abundance is something we want. Our idea is to make production so clean there’s nothing left to regulate.” This, he “When they tested the water leaving notes, is extremely appealing to people the plant, the Swiss inspectors thought of all political persuasions, from those their instruments were broken. It was as who love the environment to those who clean as the water coming in—which is want commerce free of regulation. Swiss drinking water. On top of that, the The metaphor he employs to make his trimmings from the fabric, which once point is the cherry tree. “Think of the were classified as hazardous waste and abundance of a cherry tree’s blossoms in could not be buried or burned in Swit- Herman Miller, the city of San Francisco, the spring,” he says. “We celebrate its zerland, were now contributed to the lo- the U.S. Postal Service, and a number abundance of blossoms. You don’t look cal gardening club and used as mulch for of Chinese municipalities. Buildings— at a cherry tree in the spring and go, the compost heap.” including a preliminary assignment from ‘Oh, my goodness. How many blossoms The miracle of the Swiss fabric has be- Google for its new corporate campus— does it take?’ It’s not very efficient. come the model for the Cradle to Cradle are being designed; products are being You know, thousands of blossoms, just Certification system, which M.B.D.C. made to Cradle to Cradle specifications; so that a couple of them can turn into established in 2005. To date, more than and conceptual master plans have been cherry trees, is not very efficient. But it’s 150 products, including a flush- able drawn up for cities, including six in highly effective. And effective, rather diaper insert from gDiapers, chairs from China alone. “The whole nation of Hol- than efficient, is what we want. Think Herman Miller, and even packaging from land is going crazy for Cradle to Cradle about efficiency versus effectiveness in the U.S. Postal Service, have received right now,” says McDonough. “They have another way. You don’t listen to Mozart the Cradle to Cradle seal of and think, How many Two Cradle to Cradle officechairs by supplier of office furniture Herman notes does it take? He approval. Miller consisting of 42 and 33% recycled material and themselves 96 could have hit the piano and 99% recyclable. (Ill. by Buisnessweek.com Sept. 19. 2007) Imagining the perfect with a two-by-four and In 2002, McDonough and got them all at once. Braungart co-authored Very efficient, but Cradle to Cradle, a bookwould we love it? length manifesto outlining the new paradigm A celebration of life for “remaking the way we The industrial revolumake things.” “Our goal is tion of 150 years ago very simple,” McDonough was not designed,” says. “It is to help create McDonough tells me. It a delightfully diverse, safe, evolved over decades healthy, and just world, as captains of industry with clean air, water, soil, and their technologists and power—economically, learned how to overequitably, ecologically, and power nature and forge elegantly enjoyed, period.” great machines to make He acknowledges, “Cradle standardized items of
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" consumption. “If you look at the first industrial revolution as a retroactive design assignment, it would be to design a system that puts billions of pounds of toxic waste into the air and the water, depletes our soils and washes toxins into the ocean or into the air, produces endocrine disrupters to affect our hormonal systems, creates and distributes carcinogens, causes climate change, and dumps plastics in the oceans. If this was the design assignment, we’re doing great. If it’s not the design assignment, then what is? And so instead of seeing what goes on today as inevitable, what we have to recognize is that it’s not possible any longer to say that it’s not part of our plan, because it’s part of our de facto plan. It’s the thing that’s happening because we have no other design. We need a new industrial revolution.” The three principles of Cradle to Cradle, McDonough says, are really very simple, even if they do require a radical change in the way the world operates. “(1) Waste equals food. So we eliminate the concept of waste. (2) Use current solar income. So rely on natural energy flows— also geothermal and wind— instead of unnatural energy flows. (3) Celebrate diversity. We want to see as many manifestations within the protocol as possible to celebrate human culture—natural culture. We want 400 kinds of French cheese, but we don’t want 400 kinds of French plastic. So within technology, we want coherency; within biology, we want diversity.” Beyond guilt management One of the things that is holding back the environmental movement and its proponents, says McDonough, is the collective burden of guilt about the ills of our society. “They say they want durable products that last a long time. Like a 25year car. I’ll tell you why that’s not good. That car will still be made with toxins in the adhesives, compound epoxies. O.K., it amortizes its damage over a longer period of time, but it’s still a car that is damaging. You also lose jobs, because people don’t buy enough cars. You are using outdated technology on the roads for a longer time.” The solution that he and Braungart suggest is a five- year car that allows for industry to “transform the technology at high speed toward the Cradle to Cradle concept. The five-year car is a car whose materials are all coherent and tagged. In fact, all materials in the car have ‘passports.’ So we know where they come from, and we know
where they’re going”—back to the automakers—“after five years of utility, so the car could be recycled and updated with the latest in safety and efficiency. All done with the same materials that you—in effect—lease from the auto company. They keep making the cars out of the same stuff.” In order to pull this off, McDonough says, “we need a huge amount of R&D – fast,” to produce gut remodeling of industry so that systems will become so well designed there is no need to restrain industry. “Regulation is a sign of design failure,” he insists. “A regulation is what we call a license to harm: a governmentissued permit to industry so that it can dispense destruction, sickness, and death at an acceptable rate. “I want things designed so well there is no need for regulations,” he continues. “How about cars that spew out good emissions? Factories that make clean water. Then growth is good. Then the question becomes: What do you want to grow?”
Questions to your product: Is it a biological or technical nutrient? Are materials recyclable? Do you have reverse logistics? Does your energy come from renewable sources? Is your water drinkable? Are you practicing social fairness? Cradle to Cradle in Denmark “We heard about what was happening in Holland, where a national Cradle to Cradle movement was taking form and we decided that the time had to be ripe in Denmark too”, explains Martin Fluri and Søren Lyngsgaard, founders of Vugge til Vugge Danmark (Cradle to Cradle Denmark). “We started going out to schools, the environmental groups of the political parties, the industry and anywhere else people wanted to listen to us and wherever we went the response was better than we had dared hoping for,” says Martin Fluri. Today Lyngsgaard and Fluri are working full time on creating Cradle to Cradle solutions in Denmark and recently they created a joint company with Michael Braungart and work closely together with William McDonough, the two founding fathers of Cradle to Cradle, to meet the
growing demands from companies, organizations and public institutions. “The greatest challenge for Cradle to Cradle to happen large scale in Denmark is in my opinion a certain kind of Danish self-satisfaction,” Fluri ponders. “It is a big task to follow through on implementing Cradle to Cradle for real and it takes a certain kind of boldness and leadership, that we are not so used to here in Denmark.” And he continues, “We have to take the lead and show the way forward for the rest of the world and take a stand for a truly positive vision for our common future – and in that process we will have to dispense our Danish sense of ‘we are already doing it’ kind of thing and let go of our cynicism for something truly new to emerge. We hope that the Danish leadership for COP15 will transform us into that kind of country, including a government who feels responsible for a truly sustainable world. It is a highly developed homogenous country like Denmark that is able to take Cradle to Cradle to the next level, nobody is better fit for this task than us.” And something is happening In the Environmental Ministry’s latest national waste strategy proposal, they have dedicated the first two pages solely to Cradle to Cradle as a strategy for managing products, resources and waste, and together with many other initiatives from both the public and private sector, Cradle to Cradle is getting firmly established in Denmark. Cradle to Cradle has also inspired a grassroots movement in Denmark, which just recently formed a legal entity under the name CradlePeople. It has around 300 members now and is growing rapidly. It is a network of primarily professionals, but also some students, who wants to create a forum for Cradle to Cradle projects and further the Cradle to Cradle vision in Denmark and abroad. During COP 15 the Cradle to Cradle movement is arranging several workshops and other initiatives as well as throwing a party at the alternative NGO Top Meeting to officially celebrate the formation of CradlePeople. See www.vuggetilvugge.dk and www.cradlepeople.dk
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
Rene råvarer. Intet andet.
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
Climate Friendly Transportation in the Future Christian Ege, The Danish Ecological Council
Transport is the sector with the fastest growing CO2-emissions. In Denmark CO2-emissions from other sectors have stabilised or decreased, while emissions from transport are still growing.
herefore transport contributes with a still larger share of the total CO2emissions; see Figure 1. At the same time the use of private cars causes severe problems with air pollution, noise, congestion – and even more severe: obesity and diseases linked to lack of physical activity. To change this picture it is necessary to: • Limit the use of private cars • Stimulate the use of cars with lower CO2-emissions. The first can be achieved by improving the public transport systems and the conditions for biking – and by stimulating citizens to live closer to their work Fig. 1: Transport share of Danish CO2 emissions 1980 - 2005 Source: www.vd.dk (Danish Road Agency)
place, do shopping closer to where they live etc. The second can, in the short term ,be done by stimulating the use of more fuel-efficient cars – and on a longer term basis by the use of electric cars. But if transport is to contribute to a sustainable climate policy, we must do both. We often hear that if we just use smart or electric cars we do not have to limit private cars – but this is not the case. If car traffic just continues growing, this will undermine the progress of fuel efficiency. Biking In Denmark we already bike more than in most other countries in the world. But we can go much further. We see a clear difference between cities and towns that Bicycle priority in Copenhagen (Photo: Jan Gehl) are aiming at a high share of biking and cities/towns that do not. In Copenhagen one third of the cycles, more people will bike – and the trips are made by bike, and the average number of bicycle accidents will decrecitizen goes almost 3 kilometres by bike ase, see Figure 2. Some people are afraid every day. In many towns it is only one of biking because of accidents. But the kilometre or less. Not all surroundings more people are biking, the fewer acare good for biking, and in the coun- cidents – because the cars will be aware tryside it is more expensive to build bi- of the bikes. Besides, it is important to king lanes compared to the number of be aware that speed limits for cars – and bicyclists. But often you will find that enforcement of these – are as important if if you improve the conditions for bi- as biking lanes.
35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10%
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" Bikes and public transport It is also important to be able to combine biking with the use of public transport. If you use your bike from your home to a trainstation and then another bike from the station to your work place, the total travelling time will often be competitive to the use of a private car. These options can be improved if employers offer bikes for their employees, to be used between train stations and work places.
fuel efficient cars – and from 2015 EU regulation will reduce the CO2emissions from new cars. But much more can be done. In the near future, electric cars will be much more convenient than today. But the use of electric vehicles is only advantageous if it is combined with a growing share of renewables in the production of electricity. If introduced in the right way, electric vehicles can be charged at night and pave the way for more wind power.
Fig. 2 Copenhagen 1990-2000 showed generally increase of cycling traffic, and at Instruments the same time a decrease of the number of serious accidents. From Cycling Politics But still you have to 2002-2012. Municipality of Copenhagen, Vej & Park, 2002 use economic instruments to limit the use of private cars. In Denmark, we have cing for heavy vehicles from 2011 and No taxes on international transport been successful compared to other coun- for private cars from 2015 – following a International aviation and shipping tries by having a high registration tax on similar decision in the Netherlands. But is outside the Kyoto agreement and new cars. Therefore we have fewer cars it is already clear that the time tables exempted from taxation. This can not per inhabitant than our neighbour coun- will not be met. Therefore we need an go on. International transportation of tries. But still, traffic and congestion in intermediate driving tax and congestion goods is so cheap that it is often profiand around cities is growing. Therefore tax around the large cities – as in Lon- table to transport goods from one part we need to introduce road pricing. The don, Stockholm etc. of the world to the other and back. We Danish government was against this, but From 2007 the Danish registration need taxes on international transport. in January 2009 the government joined tax was changed, so that cars with low But it must be introduced in a way that a broad agreement in the parliament, CO2-emissions have a lower tax. This has it will not prevent developing countries including the introduction of road pri- already changed the sales towards more from exporting their products to industrialized countries. These short elements show a vision of a future, where the transport sector is contributing to the prevention of climate change, where cities and towns are nice places to live in, without noise, congestion, and air pollution, and where we get our daily physical exercise in a nice way while transporting ourselves.
Bicycle lane in Copenhagen (Photo: Jan Gehl)
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
Copenhagen as Example of a Climate Town By Thomas A. Christensen, The Technical and Environmental Administration, City of Copenhagen
Copenhagen has a vision – Copenhagen will be the first carbon neutral capital in the world. In our Climate Plan we call it “Copenhagen Carbon Neutral by 2025”.
n August 2009, the City Council of Copenhagen approved the ambitious “Copenhagen Climate Plan”. The plan consists of 50 different initiatives, all aiming at reducing CO2 emissions from Copenhagen by 20 % by 2015 and the first steps towards becoming carbon neutral by 2025. All in all, these 50 initiatives will cut carbon emissions by 60 % by the 2025 vision and the rest will come from new initiatives which will either secure carbon uptake or replace carbon emission outside Copenhagen. These will be initiatives such as off-shore wind turbines, carbon capture and storage, geothermal heating and other upcoming technologies. The majority of the initiatives in the plan, centres on the citizens of Copen-
hagen. We will create a sustainable city that sets better standards for indoor and outdoor life, makes it easier to move about in the city, and improves air quality while at the same time reducing CO2 emissions. Six action areas The initiatives in the Climate Plan are grouped into 6 action areas: - Integrating climate into energy supply - Greener transportation - Low energy buildings - Copenhageners and climate - Climate in city development - Adapting to the weather of the future The initiatives are scheduled to start within the period of 2009-2015. We have already done a lot Copenhagen is not starting from scratch, in fact 98 % of the buildings in Copenhagen are connected to the district heating system and more than 30 % of the energy comes from carbon neutral sources, such as wind, biomass and waste incineration, a number which will be increased during the comming years. Copenhagen has a unique network of bicycle paths and an integrated transportation system, but
most important of all, we have engaged citizens that wish to do their part to contribute to a carbon neutral Copenhagen. However, with Copenhagen Climate Plan we have seized the opportunity to systematically work on reducing CO2 emissions and prepare the city for future climate changes. Most reduction from energy savings The goal is to reduce CO2 emissions with 20 % by 2015. Most of this reduction (75 %) will come from replacing coal, natural gas and oil with biomasses like wood and straw. Sustainable energy sources are far less sensitive to fluctuations on the market and a global rise in prices. Wind power to 25,000 households One of the initiatives in Copenhagen Climate Plan is to establish new wind turbines. The electricity generated from the wind turbines will be fed directly into the energy supply system, and thus further reducing the need for fossil fuels. Building wind turbines is nothing new in Denmark, but the city will challenge itself by establishing wind turbines both outside and within the city limits. The latter give Copenhageners a unique feeling, that a carbon neutral Copenhagen is not just a dream but something which can turn into reality in the future citizens and companies will get the opportunity to buy shares in the new turbines thus owning an actual part of the turbines. This, together with the visibility of the turbines on the city skyline, will help to create ownership to the vision of a carbon neutral Copenhagen. In 2012 we will erect the first fourteen wind turbines. These 3.6 MW turbines will stand 149 metres tall and will annually produce 116 GWh, which is equivalent to the energy consumption of 25,000 households. The wind turbines will contribute to the CO2 reduction Contemplating environmental friendly transportation? (Photo: Thomas A. Christensen)
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" with 60,000 tons a year. By erecting new wind turbines the share of wind power used to supply the city with electricity will increase from 13% to 18%. Besides erecting wind turbines on firm ground, we are currently working on offshore wind parks as well. Better conditions for bicyclists Copenhagen is a dense city and one of the easiest ways to get around is by bicycle. Currently 37% of Copenhageners go to work or school by bike. This is something we want to encrease even further, so that in 2015 half of Copenhageners will bike to work or school. This will not only reduce CO2 emissions but will add to the general health of the people living in the city. We are improving bike paths, building pedestrian and bicycle bridges and improving bicycle parking near train and bus stations – all to make it more attractive to choose the bike. Greener Transport 15 initiatives in the plan are aimed at the transportation system in order to reduce CO2 emissions and pollution and make Copenhagen more liveable. We are establishing environment zones, setting up stricter parking restrictions, and introducing intelligent transporttation systems which create a wave of green lights in traffic signals to the benefit of bicyclists and busses. We will reduce CO2 emissions from busses with 25 %. At the same time we are lobbying the Danish government to introduce congestion charges in Copenhagen. Pocket parks around the city Unfortunately reducing CO2 emissions will not prevent climate changes from coming and they will make their mark on Copenhagen over the next 100 years. Dry summers with intensive rain, wetter winters, higher temperatures and rising sea levels will be some of changes - and although we cannot foresee all the consequences the city needs to be prepared. However, climate adaptation can
and people living in other parts of the world. This is done in order to share experiences, get inspired by each other and to keep the climate change debate high on the agenda. 75 % of all greenhouse gasses comes from the cities in the world. Therefore Copenhagen will host a climate summit for mayors in December alongside the COP15. By doing this we will put cities at the top of the global climate agenda and send the message to the heads of state, the media and citizens that cities are already acting. Read about climate activities in Copenhagen at COP 15: www.kk.dk/english.
contribute to make Copenhagen an even better place to live. One of the initiatives in Copenhagen Climate Plan is to establish pocket parks around the city. Pocket parks are small green areas which both function as recreational areas and improve water absorption. We also want to establish green roofs and green walls to slow rainfall run-off, thus reducing the risk of flooding. Cities – a part of the solution In Copenhagen, we believe that cities are the most important allies to national governments when they try to reach new reduction targets. At the same time, Copenhagen sees itself as a part of the global society and therefore we feel a responsibility to reach out to other cities
Speak your mind on the World Climate Community As part of the contribution to COP15 the City of Copenhagen has created the World Climate Community, a global user-driven online platform for debate on climate and sustainability issues. The aim is to bring people, ideas, opinions and visions from all over the world together. The World Climate Community is open for everyone. Citizens, politicians, grassroots and NGOs around the world can participate in COP15 – and beyond. Join the debate - go to www.worldclimatecommunity.com and sign up. The Copenhagen Climate Plan also has a group on the platform. Please meet us there and let us know what you think. Read Copenhagen Climate Plan in English, Spanish, Chinese and Danish: www.kk.dk/climate
View from Amager Strandpark (beachpark at Amager) (Photo: Thomas A. Christensen)
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
Transition Towns Movement By Niels Johan Juhl-Nielsen and Erik Lemcke - Masters Candidates at The Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Roskilde University
Transition Towns: A grassroots initiative with focus on a positive vision of the future plus an emergency plan of action. Peak oil and global-warming are early warning signs. It is ultimately easier to ACT NOW rather than to wait until scarcity and extreme weather conditions become realities. The establishment of “resilient communities” opens up the possibility for sustainability as a substitute for free market mentalities in all areas, even in social relations.
n a number of Western countries, grassroots pioneers have taken local action by forming groups/communities, which have, as a first step, developed a local energy-saving action plan. In contrast to ecovillages, these groups are established in existing towns. The local population is directly involved by using social techniques such as “open space”. A common picture of the future for specific themes in social life (e.g. food security, energy security, transportation security, education, etc.) is worked through in a dialogue form, based on open questioning. Even if the methodology is the same, the groups and new communities will develop differently, depending on local conditions and personalities. Nevertheless, they are all inspired by the pioneer work achieved thus far in Kinsale (Ireland) and in Totnes (Devon, South England) since 2005. The concept The concept for Transition Towns was developed in Kinsale, Ireland by the professor of permaculture, Rob Hopkins, in cooperation with his students and coworkers. These concepts are available in The Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience (Green
Books 2008). Among other things, it describes a twelve-step program to local resilience. The book and the website The Handbook consists of a detailed introduction to concepts, such as resilience, peak oil and climate problems, but most of all, it is focused on how urban areas can ultimately become sustainable. Furthermore, it focuses on how citizens can become most involved and engaged in the development of the integrity of their own local area. Clearly, this is an example of a civil society, “bottom-up” movement. Through a well-developed website for the Transition Towns Initiative and many local Transition Town website, it is possible to get an overview of the movement as it stands right now. The Transition Towns movement stresses the necessity of local resilience (local resistance and community strength) in opposition to all other types of development, which lately have focused on increased integration and submission to global agreements. Background In the period leading up to the Climate Summit in Copenhagen, December 2009 (COP15), the business community, politicians and civil society are heavily debating what is needed in relation to the climate threats that we face. The majority of these debates are focused on CO2 emission levels. But for us the main question is, “Is an isolated focus on climate and CO2 emission, adequate to understand the major challenges faced by the global community?” Spotlight on peak oil With its spotlight on peak oil, the Transition Towns movement is consciously focused on challenges of the future, in ways which are practice and local resilience oriented. As early as 1972, the Club of Rome wrote in Limits to Growth, that planet Earth had natural restrictions related to material growth, with severe consequences for bio-diversity, pollution, population growth and CO2 emissions.
Up until 1972, all of our considerations on “development” had been related to only the social sphere, a subsystem that does not take natural resources into consideration. In 1972, the first Environmental Conference took place in Stockholm, Sweden. In 1987, “Our Common Future” (Brundtland) where “sustainability” was defined as a holistic concept, was published. In 1992 the United Nation’s “Rio Conference” approved five documents, which included a reformulation of the content of sustainability. Ecovillages gained experience As a forerunner of the Transition Towns movement, ecovillages gained experience and insight. Parallel with the development of ecovillages, the Club of Rome´s work, Limits to Growth, inspired the development of a “de-growth” movement. The “de-growth” movement has mainly been a scientific forum, which in March 2010 will have its second scientific conference. What Can be Done? The Handbook gives practical recommendations in 12 steps on how to start a Transition Town initiative in your own local area. For example: • lay the foundation for the work • organize a big launching event • form working groups • develop visible practical manifestations of the project • honour the elders • build a bridge to local government The 12 steps are the development of an energy descent action plan (EDAP), which encompasses a vision period of 20-25 years. Purpose The main purpose of a Transition Towns initiative is the following: • to realize a number of activities in the local communities, which increase the consciousness of the citizens in relation to climate problems, peak oil and local possibilities for creating local resilience • to awake the will to do something locally; to involve as many citizens as
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" possible in actively participating in the local community, making it more resilient, self-sustaining and resistant to the future challenges of climate change and limited resources • to develop a positive vision for a local self-sustainable future using a 20-25 year timeframe, using EDAP methodology which describes the steps necessary to achieve that future • to initiate an inclusive process in the civil society that builds bridges between the business community and municipal authorities • that the community’s EDAP is actively used in a constructive dialogue with municipal authorities as part of their planning in areas such as environmental development and technological development. Transition Towns Worldwide Luckily, there are many of us who believe that another, healthier world is possible, therefore Rob Hopkins’s ideas are quickly spreading all over the UK as well as the world at large. We can name, for example, Transition Town initiatives in the US, New Brazil - nightcity (Photo: Red)
Zealand, Australia, Italy and Germany. The latest Transition Town came onboard just last month, October 2009, in Sweden. There are around 250 cities getting started with Transition Town projects and more are on the way, also here in Denmark. References: http://www.transitiontowns.org/ The Danish TTinitiative: www. ne t v i b e s. c o m / TTiDK Transition Townsinitiatives during COP15: www.klimaforum09.dk De-growth-movement: www.degrowth.net
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
Economic Solutions - Creatin The Carbon Board Ross Jackson, Ph.D.
This is a continuation of Ross´ article "Dealing with Global Warming from a Higher Level of Thinking" (opposite part Page 8)
Introduction f the existing proposals mentioned in Part I, the Earth Atmospheric Trust and Kyoto2 are the two best. They both fulfil two important criteria that many of the other proposals do not, namely (1) a guarantee of success because they are both based on rationing of the total allowable fossil fuel burning each year in the descent period (2) They both are efficient in the sense of allowing competitive global auctions and trading of emission permits, which means that the companies that are best at developing products with low CO 2 emissions will get the business and the market share in their business sectors, for the benefit of the climate and every world citizen. Both schemes are ”cap and trade” systems, and thus consistent with the “Washington Declaration” of February, 2007, where the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Great Britain, China, India, Mexico and South Africa were all in principle agreement that the successor to
the Kyoto Protocol in 2012 should be a “cap and trade” system, which includes both industrialised and developing countries.1 So far so good. However, in spite of their many positive virtues, both schemes have, in my opinion, two weaknesses, which could be improved upon. Let us look at these. Who buys the permits? Both schemes suggest that primary producers should be included in the auctions (although Kyoto2 is not entirely clear on this point). However, we cannot have both the relatively few primary producers and their customers bidding on the same permissions. We have to make a choice, and the better choice by far is the customers—the introducers of fossil fuels into the economy (oil importers, power pants, refineries, etc.) because there are many more of them—many thousands in fact, which guarantees a competitive auction, greater liquidity, more stable market prices and less risk of manipulation and corrup-
tion. On the other hand there are not more than can easily be handled in a modern computer-based global trading operation. Who gets the income from permit sales? Both schemes suggest that some (EAT) or all (Kyoto2) of the revenues should be used for climate mitigation projects, such as research and technological innovation. I do not think this would be wise for three reasons. Firstly, it would not appeal sufficiently to the developing countries, nor would individual citizens anywhere feel a personal interest in the proposal. If the biosphere is truly a common good, then the revenues should go to the individual citizens. Remember that this plan is going to make almost all everyday products, particularly food and transport, more expensive. Individual citizens deserve some compensation for this to get them on board. Secondly, massive publicly sponsored R&D should not be necessary. Government subsidies are normally justified in important research areas that the private sector would not normally undertake itself. But the reason it would not in the past is that pricing in our traditional
LĂ˜SNETâ€ˆno. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
ating Sustainable Abundance economic system has never reflected the true environmental costs of production to society. With an effective climate agreement in place, the environmental costs of CO2 emissions will become part of the cost of doing business. Dealing with this new reality will become a matter for survival for private companies. They will invest in CO2 reduction or disappear, and without government help. Thirdly, an authoritarian regime making global decisions on climate mitigation projects would be a hornetsâ€™ nest of political positioning, special interests, horse trading and widespread feelings of anger and frustration. The nice thing about the two positive aspects of the two schemes mentioned above is that they circumvent the issue of political negotiations, positioning and special interests. Let us by all means not ruin this very positive characteristic by introducing new issues to haggle over. If an individual government wants to offer research subsidies, it can finance them by traditional means or new green taxes It is best to separate the financing of national environmental problems and the use of revenues from global CO2 permits, which concern the biosphere rights of all world citizens. If we modify these two schemes accordingly, we then have a new scheme, which for the sake of reference I will call The Carbon Board. The Carbon Board Scheme Permits to purchase CO2 -emitting fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, coal) are sold competitively and globally by The Carbon Board and only by The Carbon Board to companies functioning at the point of entry into the economic system (refineries, natural gas transport firms, coal processors, importers of fossil fuel directly from primary producers, etc.) In the USA alone, there are roughly 1400 such firms, 2 Thus a competitive price and sufficient liquidity is quite certain. These sales should take place well in advance of the year in question in order to facilitate company planning (starting minimum 18 months before). Permits once purchased could be sold
again through The Carbon Board as long as they were valid. This trading guarantees maximum efficiency, so permits go to the firms that are most CO2 efficient in every branch of business. In The Carbon Board scheme, the revenue received from permit sales is distributed equally to all world citizens in equal amounts, reflecting the principle that the atmosphere is a common good. This means, in effect, a transfer from the wealthier to the poorer countries. In addition, in the richer countries, it means a relatively larger payment to the poorest citizens, who typically have larger energy costs in percentage terms. Some such redistribution is necessary to get broad backing for any proposal. A general characteristic of this scheme is that there are many aspects which are subject to international and national negotiations, provided, of course, that the essential characteristics of the overall scheme remain intact. Control of The Carbon Board It is vital that The Carbon Board is beyond the influence of individual countries or commercial interests, and is responsible in effect to the entire global population of some 7 billion people. I would suggest that The Carbon Board directors be appointed by and be responsible to the General Assembly of the United Nations (not the Security Council, which represents narrower interests). The Role of Primary Producers The relationship with the primary produ-
cers is open to negotiation. They have an interest in not producing more than the agreed yearly quota as there would be no customers for excess production. But by how much should each producer reduce production? A reasonable solution would be for the primary producers to work closely with The Carbon Board, which would allocate quotas to the individual producers based on their production capacities and the total quota for the year. A reduction proportional to capacity would be a reasonable starting point. In any case, it is vital to monitor the primary producers to hinder development of a black market. There is room for some flexibility here, provided that total production is under control. A country that is a primary producer can not demand priority on its domestic production. All should be treated equally. Nor should a vertically integrated oil producer be allowed to favour its own refineries and daughter import companies, which must purchase permits in open competition with others. Permit Costs Paying for permits is essential for two reasons. One is to provide the income to satisfy the equity requirement. The other is to create the economic incentive for research and development that will lead to technologically more energy-efficient products. The authors of The Earth Atmospheric Trust scheme estimate that the cost of a permit will probably be in the range of $20 to $80 per ton CO2equivalent, corresponding to an income
Left: Power plant near Kalundborg (Photo: Allan Elm) Right: Glaciers melting
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" of $1000 billion to $4000 billion at current emission levels.3
tions here. For example, if a country’s government wanted more control over the process within its borders, it could set up a single account with The Carbon Board instead of individual accounts with its domestic fossil fuel introducers. Then the government could use whatever internal system it wished for distributing the permits that it purchased, provided the other components of the scheme were upheld. For example, if a particular country wished to use a “downstream” model or a carbon tax, this could be done. Some may see this as a positive way to involve individual citizens directly in the process or to satisfy other political goals. There would be extra administrative costs and some loss of efficiency globally, but it could work.
approve of the revenue distribution proposal for each country, and have the power to withhold funds in case of unsatisfactory terms or abuse of agreements.
Trading Permits It is important that a global market for on-line trading in permits administered Non-fuel emissions by The Carbon Board be established, The Kyoto2 scheme correctly notes the somewhat similar to a Central Bank curneed to deal with the non-fuel CO2 emisrency trading desk. The actors allowed to sions, such as deforestation and certain inbuy and sell permits to each other would dustrial processes such as the calcination be limited to a list of approved importers of lime in cement production. This should, and others who introduce fossil fuels into of course, be dealt with in any agreement. the economy. To minimize corruption However, the tools and organisation neand/or leakage, all transactions would be eded to control these kinds of emissions booked through The Carbon Board, which are quite different from The Carbon Board’s would maintain a stable and liquid marmain structure and operation. Therefore ket just as a Central Bank would do. the administrative agent could be either It is a question for discussion as to a special department of the Carbon Board whether permits should be valid for only or a separate but cooperating agency. The one year or whether they could be kept best solution for control of non-fuel CO2 for use in a later year. Auction expert emissions is subject to further study and Peter Cramton of the University of Ma- Fairness Issues negotiation and is beyond the scope of ryland recommends the latter,4 but such Based on the estimated range mentioned this article. a system could lead to substantial spe- above for sales of permits, this would curculation and hoarding, which would be rently amount to an income of $156-625 Is the Scheme Realistic? harmful to society, as prices for permits per person per year ($0.43-$1.71 per day). Based on the current dialogue in the inwill probably increase from year to year. For the poorest citizens in many developing ternational media, it seems unlikely that This issue requires any kind of ratiofurther analysis ning scheme will be and debate. adopted in CopenOnce all perhagen in December mits have been 2009. This is unsold, The Carbon derstandable from Board should a political point of again be the view as rationing middleman to link is normally underbuyers with pertaken only when mits to specific dictated by supprimary producers ply constraints. It of various categois more likely that ries of oil, natural some less painful gas and coal. In combination of vothis way, risk of luntary guidelines leakage or corrupand new technotion can be kept logy research and to a minimum and development will control of the pri- The author at Munksøgård explaining to Akimura from Kobunaki, Japan (Photo: Hildur be attempted first. mary producers’ Jackson) In this sense, The quotas is mainCarbon Board protained. The Carbon Board will at all times countries, this is very significant. The total posal, like all other rationing proposals, is know exactly where all used and unused amounts transferred to many poor coun- probably not realistic in the short run. permits are and what quotas remain avai- tries will be far greater than their current However, the long run is a different lable at each primary producer. foreign aid (ca $54 billion). This prospect story. If the above-mentioned scenario Individual companies will naturally will hopefully provide a sufficient incentive for a 2009 agreement is correct, then it pass on as much as possible of their ad- for all countries to accept the scheme. is highly likely that we will see continued ded costs to their downstream customers There is a risk of abuse in revenue distri- increases in CO2 emissions after 2012, or in competition with others sellers. Those bution. For example, a corrupt government in the least, too slow a decline to stop a companies that are quickest and cleve- might be attracted by the idea of keeping runaway global warming. The risk is that rest to innovate and save the most CO2 those very substantial funds for the local in a few years’ time, the world will find emissions will profit most. elite, or for the general treasury or for itself in an even deeper crisis, and the other pet projects. Therefore it is impera- political leadership will be pressured by National Variants tive that the Carbon Board, as protectors civil society to take truly effective acThere is a possibility of national varia- of the interests of 7 billion world citizens, tion. When that time comes, it may be
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" useful to have the outline of an effective solution in the drawer. In the long run, if we truly want to deal with the problem effectively, The Carbon Board scheme, or something very similar, will probably be necessary. What if Some Nations Will Not Participate? What if a substantial majority of nations are prepared to accept a scheme and others will not join, as was the case with the Kyoto Protocol? Nations that stay outside such a scheme are not only abdicating their moral responsibilities, but they are getting a competitive advantage in that they can produce goods cheaper without the cost of emission permits. Therefore, to level the playing field, the signatories could agree to place tariffs on any and all goods exported from those countries that do not join, thereby eliminating any competitive advantage. French president Nicolas Sarcozy raised this very possibility in the autumn of 2007.5 The point may be raised by some observers that such tariffs would be against the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which is absolutely correct. This observation ought to wake up a lot of people to the fact that the WTO rules are a major reason for the degradation of the environment in general and the climate in particular, because environmental costs such as CO2 emissions, are “externalized” from corporate balance sheets. These very real costs to society, which ought to be included in product prices, are currently passed on to the 7 billion taxpayers to deal with. References 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna_ Climate_Change_Talks_2007#February_2007_Washington_Declaration 2. Pete Cramton, “Tradeable Carbon Permit Auctions”, University of Maryland, (Energy Policy, 30, 333-3345, 2002); available at www.cramton.umd.edu. 3. Peter Barnes, Robert Costanza, Paul Hawken, David Orr, Elinor Ostrom, Alvaro Umaña, and Oran Young, “Creating an Earth Atmospheric Trust; A system to control climate change and reduce poverty”, (January 2008). See article on www.earthinc.org/ earth_atmospheric_trust.php 4. Se Peter Cramton article above. 5. “Climate Change: Sarkozy backs carbon tax, EU levy on non-Kyoto imports”, Agence France-Presse, (October 25, 2007).
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LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
ALBA - an Economic Cooperation Between 9 Economies in South America with Global Perspective ALBA – the Bolivarian Alternative for America – develops trade and cooperation based on solidarity and mutual benefit instead of neoliberal free-trade, social dumping and merciless competition. ALBA was started in 2004 by Venezuela and Cuba. Since then, seven more countries have joined ALBA, namely: Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines. By Sven-Erik Simonsen, Danish-Cuban Association
eoliberalism is being challenged. Nine countries in Latin America with 80 million inhabitants are part of a new cooperation under the name of ALBA. It is based on solidarity and cooperation instead of competition and self-interest People in the whole world sincerely hope that presidents and prime ministers will take the necessary decisions at the UN Climate Summit (COP-15) in Copen-
hagen this December. But all experience shows that the climate, the environment and the future cannot be entrusted to political leaders who are more concerned about business and profit than the future of the planet. Therefore, the political pressure must be put on political leaders. Grassroots and climate-activists must unite with the nations and peoples that fight for a better world based on social equality
and sustainable development. This is where ALBA becomes relevant. ALBA – the Bolivarian Alternative for America ALBA – the Bolivarian Alternative for America – develops trade and cooperation based on solidarity and mutual benefit instead of neoliberal free-trade, social dumping and merciless competition. ALBA was started in 2004 by Venezuela
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" and Cuba. Since then, seven more countries have joined ALBA, namely: Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines. Leaders from these nine ALBA-countries have solid recommendations and ideas about how we can create a better world and a sustainable future. Therefore, a number of Danish trade-unions, political parties and solidarity-organizations have invited the nine ALBA-leaders to speak at a popular mass-meeting in Copenhagen during the COP-15 Climate Summit. Among the richest parts of the world Latin America and the Caribbean are among the richest parts of the world, when it comes to natural resources. With a different political and economic order, these values could be extracted for the benefit of the peoples instead of filling the pockets of the rich in domestic and foreign capitals as has been the case for the last 500 years. Hunger, illnesses, poverty and underdevelopment can be changed to social progress, welfare and sustainable development. And this process has started. Its name is ALBA – The Bolivarian Alternative for America. Cooperation for social, economic and cultural development ALBA is not a trading bloc, but rather a form of Latin American economic and political cooperation for social, economic and cultural development. ALBA is based on four pillars: mutual benefit, cooperation, solidarity and respect for sovereignty. ALBA in an integrationproject, which rejects the logic of capitalism, the logic of profit, the logic of competition, and the logic of greed. This integration is defined by its social goals and it demands and presupposes the mobilization of popular support. Social projects Before ALBA was founded a number of social projects were already initiated; these are now being developed further. These social projects can only be fully and successfully implemented if the Family photo after the sixth ALBA-summit in Venezuela: From left: Ralph Gonsalves, Evo Morales, Raul Castro, Hugo Chávez, Baldwin Spencer, Daniel Ortega, Manuel Zelaya and to the right president Fernando Lugo from Paraguay who was an observer at the summit. Foto: ALBA
people embrace the idea and work hard to realize them. These projects include: literacy campaigns, vaccination campaigns, the organizing of a system of family doctors, popular universities, trade schools, alternative media, trade union cooperation, farmer cooperation, and networks to protect the natural resources, which the peoples of the hemisphere and their progressive governments are developing and spreading. 12 ideas and activities ALBA is a tool for liberation, which has developed rapidly in quantity and in quality over the first five years. It would take hundreds of pages to tell the whole story, but we can describe ALBA briefly with the following twelve ideas and activities: 1: Trade and investment are not goals in themselves, but must be viewed as tools for sustainable development. 2: Positive treatment can be established to counter differences in the level of development and economic strength among member countries. 3: Economic cooperation is more important than competition. 4: Special development plans to benefit the least developed countries in the region. Among this is the continental plan for literacy, the plan for universal health-services free of charge and improved access to higher education. 5: Funds will be allocated for emergency social assistance. 6: A development-plan for communication and transportation will be developed. 7: An action plan for sustainable development and rules for environmental protection will be developed. 8: Coordination of energy-policy has a high priority, so that a stable supply of energy is guaranteed (Petro-Caribe and Petro-America). 9: The strengthening of national and regional capital investment will reduce the dependence on foreign investment. 10: Protection and development of Latin American and Caribbean culture, including the culture of the indigenous populations (TeleSur, cultural funds, publishing houses…) 11: Protection of intellectual property rights and the cultural heritages of the countries from the greed of transnational companies. 12: Coordinate negotiations with other countries and international orga-
nizations and support the common struggle for democratization and transparency in international organizations – not least in The United Nations. The 7th ALBA-summit In late October this year, the leaders of the nine ALBA-countries met for the 7th ALBA-summit. On the agenda were monetary questions and climate change. They decided to issue a new common currency – the SUCRE – in 2010. Initially, the currency is expected to only be used in regional trade and economic transactions, but with the longer-term perspective of developing it into a real currency to be used internationally as a supplement to the US-dollar and other national currencies. The nine leaders decided to stand shoulder to shoulder in the climate negotiations in Copenhagen, in particular (1) to defend The Kyoto-protocol and its binding obligations for developed countries to reduce their emissions of CO2. (2) to demand economic compensation and technology transfer from rich to poor countries, as there is a climatedept to be paid, and (3) to not abandon the management of a new climate agreement to the mechanisms of the marked, which have so obviously failed. So just like the three musketeers, the nine ALBA-leaders say: “One for all and all for the climate”. www.alba-alternativ.com
Welcome to a popular mass-meeting Place: Valby Hallen, Julius Andersens Vej 3, København SV. Time: December 17 from 16:00 to 20:00 hours (4 pm. to 8 pm). Invited speakers: Evo Morales, Bolivia; Raul Castro, Cuba; Rafael Correa, Ecuador; Manuel Zelaya, Honduras; Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua; Hugo Chávez, Venezuela; Nicolas Liverpool, Dominica, Baldwin Spencer, Antigua and Ralph Gonsalves, Saint Vincent. Cultural program from Denmark, Europe and Latin America. Tickets 100 Danish Kroner. www.billetten.dk (ALBA-Folkemøde).
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
MERKUR - Cooperative Bank The crisis and the banks - a way out? Lars Pehrson, CEO, Merkur Cooperative Bank (Denmark), vice president of INAISE.
rom the fall of 2008 the world experienced the most dramatic financial turmoil since the great depression in the 1930’s. Some of the world’s largest economies had to save their banking industry through immense injections of government money, estimated to a total of 4,000,000,000,000 dollars (4,000 billion dollars), including USA, UK, France, Germany, Holland and others. Even here in Denmark the Government provided a guarantee for the banking sector, and forced sound banks to pay the losses in the broken banks. The amount provided exceedes any other single purpose, even the military! The financial meltdown seriously questioned important parts of the basic ideology behind modern capitalism and a lot of ordinary people felt extremely upset about the outrageous policies in the banks, most of all about the gigantic remunerations and bonuses. Back to business as usual Today, one year after the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, a lot of efforts have been made to restore the finance industry and to get things back to normal again. The discussion about a general and deep reform of the finan-
cial industry is still ongoing, but the commercial interest in “getting back to business as usual” is so enormous that a reform still seems to be far away. It is worth looking behind the events and to explore the background of the crisis. It is far too simple to describe the course of the meltdown as a result of some greedy manager’s speculation and a real estate bubble in the US. Market fundamentalism From the beginning of the 1980’s the idea of the market as the over all dominant factor for development started to become mainstream. “State regulation will only disturb the economy which through the forces of the market would be able to find a perfect balance itself”, was the idea. Economists like Milton Friedman were in the front. Politically, the process was promoted by persons like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher who started the process of removing all kind of regulations and barriers for business, with bank regulation as an important part. The market thinking started to invade all sectors, even public welfare such as education, research and health care – seen only as somebody who delivers “products” like
a factory. The market thinking became through the following decades dominant and could in the end hardly be questioned. It turned into a religion, became fundamentalism. Shareholder value In parallel, a particular way of thinking developed within business economies and management theory: The idea of “shareholder value”. This idea teaches us, that the only reason for a company to exist is to give maximum value to its owners, its shareholders. All other stakeholders – customers, suppliers, employees, the local society – are subordinated to the shareholders. The company does not anymore have a function or mission in society. Production started to be placed in cheaper countries with less regulation, in order to boost profits. But managers soon understood that earning profits only was a slow way to increase the value of a company’s shares. For shares listed on a stock exchange there were much more efficient ways. The key is to create positive expectations: The company announces that it bought a competitor, sold a division, has a promising product under development, fired 50,000 people – what ever. It all has the ability to create positive expectations – and share prices will rise, to the benefit of shareholders. And with the beginning of using share options as part of management remuneration, the director himself got the same interest: The higher the share price, the higher the personal salary. This was really a poisonous combination.
African woman employed by African Organic sorting ecologicial vanilla for among other a sustainable Christmas in Denmark (Photo Sven Jensen)
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" Banks – business or capital distribution? Now we come to the banks! A classical bank, like a saving bank in a village 100 years ago, was a core function in local society. It was established by the citizens in order to provide a safe way of saving money, and to recirculate the money into concrete lending, like building houses, establishing production etc. This was the function of the bank – the bank itself was not a business in itself but of course the management had to run the bank profitably. The profits stayed typically with the bank, as a reserve for risks and for future development. But over time, and especially from 1980’s onwards, the banks started to act more as businesses on their own. Especially the banks listed on the stock exchange took up the shareholder value idea and started to develop new types of business: financial transactions as a mean to increase income (for the bank). The banks were not anymore based on long term relationships with their clients and the surrounding society - they changed to a transaction based business model. The idea was to create as many transactions as possible, and to earn a spread on each. Currency trade, securities trade, selling the same properties again and again, even arranging Industrias Marfer is a Mozambian compagny which has got worldtradingcredit for export of FSC-certificed woods to Dalhoff, Hornemann & Larsen (DLH) in Denmark. Employee cutting wood. (Photo: Kirsten Arup)
transactions with entire companies like it is done in the private equity funds. Bankers did not anymore solve a task, they became sellers of “products”. These products developed into more and more complicated and artificially structured securities and in the end nobody knew what risk he had or where the risk was. This was the consequence of the market fundamentalism and the shareholder value principle – a 30-year development. Modern banks with a societal approach To link banks to a function in society is not new. But the idea has been reinvented from a new perspective: The idea of the sustainable society. From the 1970’s a number of banks were founded in order to promote this idea. These banks stick to basic banking: They take savings and provide loans. And they do so in order to meet real needs in society, needs defined in a long term sustainability context. They finance renewable energy, organic farming, ecovillages, eco-building, sustainable businesses, social purposes and even education and culture. They are based on a relationbased business model, contrary to the transaction-based model described above. From the 1990’s a new type of social banks were created: the Microfinance Banks. These banks are also relation based and have a clear mission in society: To eradicate poverty. These modern social banks have proved to have a remarkable crisis resistance: they were not involved in speculative activities or real estate
speculation and were therefore not hit by the first wave of losses. Because of their classical profile they were only funded by their own clients and did not suffer from the broken money markets. And perhaps most interesting: as a result of the crisis, they now receive an immense number of new clients: clients looking for a more transparent and down to earth approach to banking, where they know what their bank is doing with their money. This does not mean that the social banks do not feel the effects of the general economic downturn – they do. Also some of their clients run into problems because sales are decreasing etc. But the general policies of these banks keep them in the real economy, where needs always have to be met: Food, energy, housing etc. The basis for a new banking industry must be transparency, financing of real needs and no speculation! See examples on modern social banking and financing institutions on www.gabv. org (Global Alliance for Banking on Values) or www.inaise.org (International Association of Investors in the Social Economy)
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LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
Cohousings, Ecovillages and "Ollekoller" Create Local Abundance and Reduce CO2 Emission Co-housings and Ecovillages Create Local Abundance. Co-housing and ecovillages can be part of the solution to the global crisis facing us at this time. They can create sustainable abundance and an improved quality of life while using fewer resources. By Hildur Jackson
Danish newspaper article in 1969: “Children Need 100 Parents” inspired the first co-housing projects, and led to a movement which has since spread from Denmark to the whole world. The early pioneers experimented with how to live together and create a lifestyle for themselves and their children that would be more satisfying than living isolated in a sleepy suburb. The motive was primary social. My husband and I were part of this process and established Højtofte, a small co-housing project in a suburb of Copenhagen with just 6 families and 12 children. We lived there for 20 years, from about 1970, and were very satisfied with how it functioned, but moved on in 1991 to Thy in western Denmark to create an ecovillage, a more complex project with land, workplaces and daily meditation. We still meet with our co-housing friends from those days at the beginning of December each year - now including 28 grandchildren. Denmark now has around 350 cohousings, ecovillages and “ollekoller” (co-housings for the elderly). A Danish questionnaire recently showed that 25 % of the population over 50 years old would prefer to live in community rather than live isolated. That there are not many more co-housings is probably due to difficulty in finding land and the yearlong process of formulating and then building the co-housing. Once built, houses in co-housings sell quickly and at normal prices. What is a Co-housing? A Co-housing is a group of families, typically about 20-30, who live in a small
settlement, each with their own private home, usually in suburban areas. Cars are parked on the periphery and there are no fences or hedges between the homes, so children can play and move freely without danger. There is usually a common house with common facilities for all (meeting rooms, kitchen and dining facilities, office space, guest facilities, laundry, garden tools, etc). Many dine together once or twice a week, some more often. It varies a lot. In latter years, ecologi-
Sættedammen, the first Danish cohousingproject inspired from the article "Children need 100 parents" cal features have become more common, e.g. renewable energy, organic vegetable gardens, permaculture design, etc. In Denmark, unlike the USA, co-housings were never developer-led. They had no public support until recently for seniors, who are helped by a special law that allows cheaper loans and accepts denser housing than normal. Actually, many seniors say they would prefer a more varied age-group to include families with small children, but that option does not have public support yet. Co-housings are still mostly self-owned, but renting is found as well. The ecovillage concept evolved
in Denmark out of the co-housing concept. Where co-housings are primarily socially motivated, ecovillages include social, ecological and spiritual motives in various combinations. The also have more comprehensive goals (cultivating land, creating jobs, integrating handicapped, living a spiritual life, etc.) and are usually found in the countryside, with a few in the cities. In Denmark they are more mainstream than in most other countries, e.g. Munksøgaard near Roskilde. Modernisation of the welfare state The non-monetized sector of society has as many names as a beloved child: informal economy, subsistence economy, shadow economy, grey/black economy, sunshine economy and love economy. Increasingly it is being called civil society. Civil society is under serious pressure from business and governments. Do we want to reclaim more self-determination in our lives? Does the state/local government need and want to give back to the informal economy some currently public functions (e.g. schooling, care for the elderly, care for handicapped) that are becoming increasingly institutionalized and expensive? There is great potential for cooperation between existing municipalities and the evolving new kinds of settlements that could be more satisfying and lower cost for everyone. Local governments until now have ignored what is happening, although a few (e.g. Roskilde) have discovered that co-housing and ecovillage projects attract solid active citizens with good educations and good jobs, and are actively encouraging more to come. Other local government’s
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" should take note and support this development. Love economy In my part of the world (Denmark and Europe), half of the tasks of society were still in the love economy when I was a girl and a young woman. Women brought up children and looked after them fulltime, they took care of the old, they cooked, baked and preserved food, and they sowed and washed. Men built and repaired. Together they arranged celebrations. As women wanted to gain equality and independence they entered the labour market and many of these tasks were taken over by the formal economy. Today a much smaller number of such tasks is found in the informal economy, as the modern welfare state has taken over much responsibility. It has given the women some independence and freedom but also taken away freedom and self-determination for women, men and children. For elderly people it means that they are independent of their families but often isolated or put in homes for the elderly with strangers. Women are now paid for what they earlier did for free. They gained recog-
nition for their contribution to society while their children were placed in daycare of various kinds. Women, children, the weak and the elderly now have to follow rules and regulations imposed by local or national authorities. It is time to question whether we may have gone too far in eliminating the informal economy, especially as we enter a period with tremendous pressure on the costs of the welfare state. 21st century: Reclaiming the Informal Economy In many parts of the world the informal economy is still the main economy. People are growing their own crops and /or live from gathering and collecting food. The Masai , the Ladakhis, the Eskimos - most “Fourth World” People. Helena Norberg-Hodge brilliantly described what happens when the Western money culture is introduced to such economies in her book Ancient Futures—how greed and a feeling of being poor replace happiness when money and Western values are introduced. It is difficult to avoid the Money-fixated economic system that dominates international trade these days. In the kingdom of Bhutan, they have
introduced the concept of Gross National Happiness as an alternative to Gross National Product. They are working on formalizing and implementing the concept. Three major conferences have been held on the subject over the last few years to refine the concept. But Bhutan is a rare exception. Reclaiming Local Development Ecovillages and co-housing may in time be seen as a way of once again gaining more space for civil society in local communities. Local people can take back decisions concerning their local environment if they really want to. Local solutions can be an alternative to too much institutionalization, offering both women and men better conditions for raising children. Children do have a much better time in co-housings, where they can roam freely and safely. With friends close by, they learn democracy by participating in meetings and workdays and by cooking common meals. More and more young people today want to build their own homes and their own The Co-housing "Bakken" (Photo: Hildur Jackson)
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" energy and waste systems. They want to find solutions for the local neighbourhood, as it then strengthen cohesiveness and local capacity building. They want to build a local store and maybe school where what is taught stands for what they believe in. Many want to grow their own organic food as what can be bought in the supermarket is no longer fresh and local. Some may even want to create a local currency to keep the resources in the community in stead of seeing them disappear to the nearest financial centre. They all want to prevent the nature where they live from degrading and dying. In Thomas Berry’s words, they do not want to be a “collection of objects but a communion of subjects”. The same ideas are being tried all over the world in local communities – movements such as the Global Ecovillage Network and Transition Towns, and in individual projects (“climate towns” in Denmark; Sustainable Tompkins in New York State; Whidbey Island in Washington State; Dreaming Mallorca, Sustainable Samsø in Denmark) and in hundreds of other places wherever local groups organize .
-Growing vegetable, herbs, berries, fruits; having chickens, sheeps, some ponies or horses -Dining in the common house -Parties and a culture of celebration in the common house -Entertaining themselves -Maintenance -Mutual childcare -Choir, theatre, bridge, cooking clubs, etc -Education, seminars, guest talks, meetings -Saving on transportation -Guest facilities for visitors A few remarks to this hopefully selfexplanatory list: Anybody may grow food and have animals as a single family. However travelling becomes an issue. In a community there are always people to look after the
In co-housings and ecovillages you get it for free. Handymen are very popular and teach everybody to perform semi-professional work. The respect and admiration for handyman skills is being restored. Many co-housings and ecovillages have work days where everybody works together on some project, e.g. repairs and maintenance. All these activities create cohesiveness in the local community and real meaning in life. Going through this list you will realize that living in a co-housing or ecovillage means you can greatly expand your quality of life without additional costs - and at the same time diminish your “ecological footprint”.
Local Currencies in Ecovillages Many communities have introduced a local currency to make exchange/barter easier and to keep locally created wealth in the local community. If you join a food club you often pay the costs of buying the food. So money may be involved. But it is only a practical thing. In Denmark you are typically paying 20-30 kr. for a meal as opposed to paying 3-5 times that if you go to a Co-housing, Ecovilrestaurant. Ecovillages and the Wellages with many yefare State ars experience with Co-housings and their own successful ecovillages bring currencies include many tasks back to Eating together is an important part of co-housing. Here inhabitants of Munksøgård Damanhur, Italy; the informal eco- near Roskilde.(Photo: Troels Dilling-Hansen) Findhorn, Scotland; nomy, such as groand Ecovillage at wing food, creating Ithaca, New York local jobs, and building homes. In Ger- cats, birds, dogs, chickens or horses. Not State, USA. many, local currencies are helping many all people eat in common houses every regions survive the financial crisis. So for day. In Denmark, 1-3 days a week is Designing your Local Economy many people in co-housings and ecovilla- common. You also want time alone with Designing your local economy, including ges, the informal or love economy is thri- your family. And not all cooks are equally rules to resolve conflicts is an important ving, giving them an overall better life. good!! Most cooks do, however, put a lot task. Conflict may not be visible the same People in communities know what I am of energy into gaining respect for their way as houses and physical structures, talking about, but need to invent ways of cooking skills. and for that reason some call it the inner making this new lifestyle more visible to Having a common house saves a lot of design. But it may be just as important. the majority, and debate where we want money for bigger celebrations whether it Many ecovillages have developed quite to draw the line between the two kinds be in the family or for the whole group. sophisticated and widely recognized of economies in the future. Even the neighbours may want to rent it tools for resolving conflicts, for example, for weddings and such. Being celebrated the “forum” method of ZEGG, Germany. To The Love Economy of Co-housings and by a community is great fun. That the make the design visible and accountable Ecovillages same group celebrates together over ye- will help you realize that simple living Below are listed some of the activities, ars becomes a learning process of being can mean sustainable abundance and which are usually part of a co-housing or creative. Many families spend a lot on greater cohesiveness, with a reduction of ecovillage: entertainment and travels. Often it is CO2 emissions as a bonus. lack of possibility for local alternatives.
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THE FEDERATION OF DAMANHUR and the “CREDITO” By Esperide Ananas, October 2009
“Damanhur for me is a laboratory for the future. What we know for sure is that the future will not be like the past. We know that we can’t continue the same way as we have done before. Therefore we must try to set out new ways, so that we can live together without disadvantaging each other, living together in peace and harmony. In this I think that Damanhur is offering a very important contribution.” Ervin Laszlo, scientist and philosopher, founder of The Club of Budapest, and Worldshift 2012 Alliance.
he Federation of Damanhur is an ecosociety based upon ethical and spiritual values, on social commitment,
on volunteer work and solidarity. Its citizens apply these principles in order to realize their collective dream of a more sustainable and equitable world, built upon Peoples and Communities. The Federation comprises many different settlements extending over 1,200 acres of Piedmont’s pristine Valchiusella valley, in the foothills of the Italian Alps. Damanhur has a population of around a thousand citizens, with embassies and supporters in Italy, Europe, Japan and the United States and collaborates with international organizations engaged in the social, civil and spiritual development of our planet. Founded in 1975, the Federation has its own Constitution, a complementary currency system, businesses and services, a daily paper, art workshops, a research centre for medical and scientific applications, an open University, a school system (from nursery to middle school). The Federation is well-known around the world not least for its Temples of Humankind, a unique work of art carved by hand inside a mountain and dedicated to universal spirituality. In 2005 Damanhur was recognized with a United Nations Global Human Settlements Award for being a model for a sustainable future, and in 2008 it was commended for exemplifying the princip-
les of the Earth Charter. Since 1998 the Federation of Damanhur has been a full member of GEN Europe. GEN (Global EcoVillages Network). New forms of society are possible and practicable The experience of intentional communities like the Federation of Damanhur can provide useful insights and models toward the creation of urgent new policies, for a world governance capable of meeting the challenges humanity is facing as opportunities towards an environmentally responsible, pluralistic and more awakened world. Communities, in this sense, are human laboratories for the future, where new paradigms, systems and norms can be tested. From this experience, it is possible to distill elements and ideas that can be applied to society at large, towards the creation of a culture of peace. Intentional communities experiment with all aspects of life, especially in relation to new “human technologies”, ie the positive effects of chosen and shared social models in the creation of sustainable and happy societies. New forms of society are Earthspread - art from Temples of Humankind, the underground temple in Damanhur.
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" possible and practicable. They are the indispensable pathways to the creation of a new planetary balance in social, economic, human and cultural terms. Professor Paul Ray, sociologist and co-author of “The Cultural Creatives” taught a seminar at Damanhur in 2008 and at the end of his visit he declared: “The issue of our time is how can we try out new approaches to community that will actually work and spread. We desperately need at this time to have something that will actually work. So the real value of Damanhur is giving permission to people to try out a new world, to show that a new world is possible.”
considering overall health and happiness, the access to continuous education, artistic expression at all ages, the quality and quantity of meaningful exchanges among members; an harmonious relationship with the land; and the relevance of a spiritual dimension of life. Value is a sense of individual and collective fulfillment created by the practical realization of everybody’s dreams and ideals. For this reason, the philosophy of Damanhur is based upon positive thinking as an element capable of directing the best of people’s energies, tracing the road between their dreams and their human and spiritual growth. The story of Damanhur itself is a demonstration of this principle and every Damanhurian is committed to always thinking positively about the future, other people and themselves.
Revitalisation of a marginalized area Damanhur’s central settlements are located in a mountain valley that has greatly suffered from depopulation and abandonment, as a consequences of industrialization. In a recent declaration Mercedes Bresso, The “Credito”: Damanhur’s complemenPresident of the Region Piedmont has re- tary currency system cognized Damanhur’s effort in revitalizing Damanhur’s economic system is a mixture the valley: “Citizens belonging to Damanhur have been committing themselves in an exemplary way for more than thirty years to revitalize a marginalized area which has been deeply affected by the post-industrial depopulation effects. The results achieved by the Federation of Damanhur show that western world can experiment new social models aimed at the creation of an ecosustainable, innovative and fair society.” Credito - Damanhurian money (June 2009) In order to establish itself and of solidarity and free entrepreneurship, grow, Damanhur in its 35 years of history strongly rooted in the principle of creating has experimented with different economic collective wealth by sharing dreams, ideformulas, from a socialistic model in the als, resources and time. In the early ‘70’s, very first years, to the balance between in order to buy the land and start building solidarity and free entrepreneurship on the first homes, the founders of the Fedewhich it is based today. Among the diffe- ration pooled their personal savings. Soon rent tools created to support the commu- they found themselves short of cash, and nity’s local economy, system, particularly had to devise a new system in order to notable are the creation of an alternative create a sustainable, efficient and sound currency system; the valorization of “time” economic growth. It is so, that during as a means of exchange; and the commit- the early 80’s, a complementary currency ment to be of service to the community and system was introduced: the Credito. The society at large. The use of these instru- Credito – named as such to remind its ments is rooted in Damanhur’s definition users that any exchange should be based of development and value in Damanhur as on trust – is still fully operational inside the quality of life for members of all ages, the Federation, and for legal and tax pur-
poses its value now corresponds to that of the Euro. The Credito has always carried a high idealistic value: rather than considering money as an end in itself, it is simply a functional means of exchange supporting a local economy based upon solidarity and ecological values. Unlike common money, it has never been used to finance wars or speculation, and its value lies in its circulation, not in accumulation. It is a means to weave threads of relationship and support among the members of the system. With a collective, and courageous choice, Damanhurians agreed to use only Creditos for all transitions inside the community, and to commit to reduce external spending to the minimum indispensable. An ‘issuing authority’ was established, which issued new Creditos with a corresponding value in houses and land. This was – and is – guaranteed by real estate cooperatives of which citizens are members, and own shares in. Damanhurian citizens working outside the community, or with internal activities earning in Italian currency, were asked to regularly exchange part of their income into Creditos, and to use them in order to increase the value of the exchange system among citizens. At first this was not easy, as there was not much to spend Creditos on. The first crafts, services and laboratories then started to develop, to create an internal market that would make having the Credito system worthwhile, while at the same time making Damanhur more and more independent from external suppliers and goods. Almost 30 years later, today, many of the original workshops have disappeared because the relationship between cost and quality was not good enough, while others have become thriving co-ops that create products with high artistic value or provide highly skilled services. The dream: Credito as the common currency for eco-villages all over the world After the first phase, in which the Credito was used exclusively inside the Federation, its circulation expanded to other activities
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" in the valley and now also local stores and producers accept it. They can count on an assured market of Damanhurian and local buyers. In turn, buyers know that suppliers have agreed to share the ideals and values linked to this economic system. In order to ideally support the ethical value of the Credito, there are also centres and stores in other countries that now accept Damanhur’s complementary currency – even as far away as the U.S. One of the dreams of the Federation is that Credito will become a basis for a common currency for eco-villages all over the world, and create an independent and safe complementary network of exchange. Over the years, Creditos have been issued in paper, ceramics, silver, gold and other materials, with a well-defined artistic style linked to Damanhur’s tradition. The Creditos were re-styled in 1999, and in 2005 the 50 Creditos coin won a national prize for its artistic quality. Yin and Yang money Bernard Lietaer, economist, one of the creators of the Euro, and author of “The Mystery of Money” and “The Future of Money”, sees in local complementary currencies one of the most efficient solutions to the economic problems of our times. Lietaer underlines that in currencies there are also ‘Yin’ and ‘Yang’ types. Common money, like the dollar and the Euro are extremely yang. They have been created by hierarchical political systems and are based on scarcity; they generate interest and concentrate wealth in the very few. People compete for them and they represent a monopoly. On the contrary, community
based local currencies are based on the idea of distributed wealth and generate no interest. Our society is patriarchal and is therefore based on the yang system. All ancient matriarchal societies had two systems of currencies: a yang currency to be used with foreigners and a ying one for internal exchange. This type of system is what creates the idea of community. During the meeting “MONEY MOVES – away from Greed and Scarcity” held in Lebensgarten, an ecovillage near Hanover in Germany in
At the basis of Damanhur’s philosophy is the idea that every human being is here to give to others, that we all have the duty to share our talents and abilities with others to make the world a better place for future generations. Only in this way we can feel fulfilled as human beings July 2003, Lietaer declared: “In the West the only reality I’m aware of where a complete monetary system is working, is the Federation of Damanhur.” Today where the Credito system is well established and fully operational, the Federation has begun another important phase in the completion of its economic model and has established DES: a Mutual Credit Union. DES guarantees that the savings of its members will only be used for projects that sustain growth and
development and provides loans, both in Creditos and Euros to support companies in the making. Time and volunteer work The use of ‘time’ as a means of contributing to the development of common projects complements the idea of collective wealth promoted by Damanhur. Everyone places their skills at the disposal of others contributing several hours of devotional work every month for projects of collective importance - artistic projects, special tasks, projects with children -, or to the community at large - volunteer work in the Red Cross or Civil Protection, environmental organizations or other regional and national organizations. Solidarity and reciprocal help are fundamental in the everyday life of Damanhur. At the basis of Damanhur’s philosophy is the idea that every human being is here to give to others, that we all have the duty to share our talents and abilities with others to make the world a better place for future generations. Only in this way we can feel fulfilled as human beings. For this reason, besides paying Italian taxes, all Damanhurian citizens contribute economically to the development and the growth of the Federation with a small percentage of their income. These funds are then invested in the sectors of public interest such as the schools, the arts, the acquisition of new homes and territories. Real estate belongs to three co-ops, in which all Damanhurians hold shares.
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Inner Climate Change - Chang
The Danish Spiri tu
What is special about Denmark? What is it that makes Denmark different from other cou change and chan- ge By Hildur Jackson
he Danish society tops the ranks in international comparisons of happiness in the population and is one of the most competitive nations in the world according to the liberal weekly magazine ‘Monday Morning’. Danish schoolchildren like to go to school more than any other country in Europe and Danes generally have a great level of trust in life, workplaces and authorities. Even if the top wage groups easily pay more than 50% in taxes, Danes feel that they get value for the money and the high level of taxes therefore enjoys broad public support. What is special about Denmark? What is it that makes Denmark different from other countries and will we have something to offer to the world in relation to climate change and change of values? The whole world is coming to Copenhagen in December 2009 and this article attempts to outline what it is in Denmark’s spiritual history and cultural outlook that has made it possible to create an affluent and socially innovative society with the lowest wage-gap and the highest trust level in the world and hopefully a readiness for dealing with climate change.. Cultural Roots Prior to the Christianization of Denmark in the tenth century the Aser religion dominated in the region, telling of the stories of the Gods of Valhalla. As the Vikings crossed the seas and conquered foreign lands, they did so in the name of Odin, Thor, Loke and Freja who gave the names to the days of the week. The ‘Jelling Stones’ set in the middle tenth century is the most famous memorial from the Viking age. The stones say they were set by King Gorm the Old and
his son Harald ‘who won for himself all of Denmark and Norway and made the
UNESCO has declared the Jellinge Stones a World Heritage Danes Christian.’ As Christianity spread at the dawn of the eleventh century approximately four thousand village churches were built on the hilltops all over Denmark. They were impressive and beautiful and most remain in use today. Along with the more recently arrived windmills they create an indelible fingerprint on the natural landscape of Denmark. To build so many churches in such a short span of time is an amazing accomplishment and makes one wonder at the prowess of our forefathers. They must have had a strong faith and must have been a hardworking people. Birth of the Danish Identity The modern nation state of Denmark was born during the nineteenth century. A
pivotal event in the formation of the Danish identity was the devastating loss of large parts of southern Denmark to Germany in 1864, precipitated by political folly and military incompetence. This was the last in a series of territorial losses, beginning in the sixteenth century, that reduced Denmark from being a significant regional power, ruling parts of what is today Norway, Sweden and Northern Germany to its present day status as a minor country with a strategic location. ‘What is outwardly lost must be inwardly gained” captures a mentality predominant in this period and perhaps also born from the devastating loss in national pride and influence. The social and cultural innovations sparked by N.F.S. Grundtvig (1783–1872), who is by many considered a founding father of the Danish culture, captures the essence of this thinking, and managed to foster a cultural development that made the most of Denmark’s key resource – its people. This has birthed a national character with a strong focus on social justice, personal responsibility and an emphasis on the benefits of pooling resources to achieve common goals. One of the popular manifestations of this thinking is known as ‘the Law of Jante’ born in the 1933 novel ‘a Fugitive Crosses his Tracks.’ This law has Ten Commandments but can be summarized as: ‘Don’t think you’re anyone special or that you’re better than us.’ By some the law of Jante is considered the shadow side of the Danish national character, yet hidden inside this attitude lies a healthy revolt against illegitimate authority that perhaps more than anything characterizes the Dane. As a curious twist of fate, several spiritual dignitaries have prophesied that
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
ange of Values and Worldview
ri tual Landscape
her countries and will we have something to offer to the world in relation to climate han- ge of values?
and Rolf Jackson the nation of Jante will one day become the spiritual capital of the world. Amongst them are Babuji Maharaj the former president of the international spiritual movement Sahaj Marg (meaning the natural way), but also Dostoevsky and Rudolph Steiner alluded to Scandinavia as a place from which spiritual influence would radiate in the future. The legacy of Grundtvig There is no question that N.F.S. Grundtvig has had a profound impact on the Danish national character. To understand the Danes one must thus understand Grundtvig. Grundtvig reformed the Church, not the least through his poetry and songs which today constitute a central pillar of the Danish literary legacy. In the first half of the nineteenth century he transformed Christianity in Denmark from being guilt-ridden and self-righteous to a more light-hearted and nature-adoring approach to the Christ’s message of love – an approach which embraced a celebration of the divine feminine. In addition to his reformation of the Church, Grundtvig birthed a new view on education and cultural formation, where the emphasis was on enlightenment and teaching the students to think rather than normative exams and rote learning. Grundtvig also played a central role in the Danish Founding Assembly and proposed a free school law that remains valid. This law means that anybody can found a school, regardless of the ideological grounds, and receive 85% public funding. Grundtvig wrote profusely on the old Nordic beliefs, reconciling the emerging modernity with our ancient roots and insisted that we need ‘Freedom for Loke as
well as for Thor.’ This essentially means that we need to be tolerant and respect and appreciate our mutual differences. Martinus and Bohr As we move towards the dawn of the twentieth century, two influences stand out. One was the mystic Martinus (18901981), who taught a very advanced doctrine of cosmic creation. Another was
in the recipients mind. His depth of wisdom and the scope of cosmic realization embedded in his writings are comparable to that of Alice Bailey (1880-1949). His exceptional gift truly dawns upon one, when considering that while Alice Bailey ostensibly was a channel for an enlightened master (the master Djwahl Kuhl, also known as ‘the Tibetan’) Martinus wrote from his own personal experiences. This clearly distinguishes Martinus as a one of
Worldview – Image by Martinus depicting the symbolic structure of the universe Sculpture of the Christ created by Bertel Thorvaldsen, in the eighteen twenties. It is the altarpiece in the Copenhagen Cathedral, (The Church of Our Lady). It depicts Jesus as a welcoming teacher rather than a sacrificial lamb. Niels Bohr (1885-1962) who discovered the secrets of the Atom. The essence of Martinus’s teachings is perhaps best conveyed through the amazing cosmic symbols through which he sought to nurture the spark of cosmic awareness
the century’s greatest mystics. Although Martinus was a gifted mystic, he had a strong scientific bent. Niels Bohr, who was Martinus’s contemporary, was a gifted scientist, with a strong mystical inclination. In this sense the two great Danes can be seen as mirroring pillars of cosmic truth that incarnated almost simultaneously in Denmark. Niels Bohr is widely acknowledged as the father of Quantum Mechanics and led the international effort to reveal the secrets of the atom. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics today
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" constitute the central pillars of modern science. During the Second World War
Martinus had an enlightenment experience at age 31. Until his death in 1981 he kept writing books and educating an ever expanding group of people. His major works are: The Book of Life, Volume I-VII and The Eternal Worldview Vol I-IV Bohr participated in the ‘Manhatten Project’ that created the first nuclear bomb and liberated the energy of the atom for the first time in planetary history. It has been said (by the Tibetan) that the liberation of the atomic energy was a spiritual event whose influence extended far beyond the boundaries of the Earth, which puts the achievement into perspective. Recalling that matter is but spiritual energy in its densest state and spirit matter in its highest state it is tempting to speculate that the liberation of the atomic energy and the liberation of the spiritual light in mankind are subjectively related. Denmark may indeed have a unique role to play in this regard. New Spiritual Impulses During the last four decades, starting with the student uprising of 1968, the spiritual landscape in Denmark has changed considerably. To understand the present situation it is worthwhile to consider some of the major impulses. Amongst the most important influences in the sixties and seventies was the women’s liberation movement, known in Denmark as “The Redstockings”, “The Ecofeminists” and “The Flying Women” (symbolizing something in between witches and angels). The women’s liberation movement later merged with the experiments in hippie collectives and birthed the co-housing movement of the seventies and eighties. In the early nineties this movement matured into the ecovillage movement (www.ecovillage. org) and intentional community movement (www.ic.org). The communities thus represent a fusion of the spiritual tradition of the past with the social and
ecological needs of the present. During these decades society as a whole changed a lot. Gender roles have been redefined with men increasingly sharing the job of raising children while women have gradually achieved ever more powerful positions in business and politics. Part of the reason is that nurseries, kindergartens and youth clubs have been institutionalized to a degree where women can truly compete in the marketplace. Divorce rates are still high, but compared to many other countries, the level of trust between the sexes is generally high and awareness of the need
offers a depth of insight rivaling international celebrities such as Kevin Wilber and Eckhart Tolle. Founded in 1982, the “Growth Center” in Noerre Snede now consists of 60 associates, eight of them teachers, dedicated to pass on and expand the tradition begun by Jes Bertelsen. Recently children and adolescents have become focus areas in an attempt to develop ways to leverage the spiritual insights in the educational process. Fundamental values of this work are “based on democracy, an openness towards the Christian culture; gender equality combined with a scientific attitude”. Asger Lorentsen Another significant figure in the spiritual landscape of Denmark is Asger Lorentsen. Coming from a theosophical tradition he founded ‘the Golden Circle’ in 1996 and created the centre Birkemosegaard on Arresoenaes north of Copenhagen together with his wife Yvonne Wassini. Asger’s emphasis is on the deep heart mysteries and a significant lineage can
The ‘Gaia’ statuette by Henning Elving given to the ecovillage project ‘Fjordvang’ by workers. to address emotional issues, in order to achieve a successful cooperation in the family, is rising. Jes Bertelsen During the last three- four decades an important shift in the public perception of alternative medicine, psychotherapy and meditative practices has taken place. More than 20 educations in alternative health and therapies tell the story of this. Amongst the pioneers that have had a significant impact in this area are Jes Bertelsen (f. 1946) and the Spiritual Growth Center in Noerre Snede. Although
Jes Bertelsen at the Growth Center (Photo: Hildur Jackson) little known internationally he has written extensively on spiritual issues and
Asger Lorentsen from the Golden Circle be traced to St. Francis of Assisi. Asger has created a mystery school featuring a number of spiritual educations and has a large following all over Scandinavia. On the isle of Crete he has built a retreat and meditation centre that represents a reinvigoration of an ancient mystery school that once occupied the island. In a wider sense, the Golden Circle is a network of spiritually oriented people throughout the world who respond to the heart vibration of the New World Impulse which emanates from the Heart of the Sun. On their website (www. thegoldencircle.dk) they describe their purpose as (slightly edited): 1. To educate spiritually oriented people in modern theosophy, world service and spiritual transformation.
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" 2. To focalize downpourings from the Kingdom of God into humanity. 3. To share the outpourings of the Christ and thus partake in the healing and initiation of humanity. Sahaj Marg Sahaj Marg – meaning the Simple or Natural Way in Sanskrit – is a raja yoga system of spiritual training based on heartcentred meditation. Its motto: “Meditation for Human Integration” corresponds to its being found in ninety countries all over the world. The headquarter and Master is in Chennai, India, from where he travels constantly. The practice is founded on the principle that God pervades the heart of each
countries that have intermarried with Danes. Some Danes have met Buddhism when travelling and invited teachers to come. Ole Nydahl has become a teacher himself, and the visiting Lamas at Gomde Retreat Center on Djursland come back regularly, here Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche at Gomde, Djursland.
A few Buddhist Lamas, who fled Tibet have also ended up here, like Lakha Lama who is now married and has children with a Dane and manages a meditation hall in Copenhagen.
Parthasaralhi Rajagopalachari, Chari, master of Sahaj Marg
and every person. The goal of the practice is explicitly spiritual: attaining the ultimate goal of human existence, which is oneness with God. Just as a bird needs two wings to fly, a human being needs to attend to both material and spiritual aspects of life to rediscover his or her true essence. Ordinary life with its demands of family, relationships and work is a perfect environment for spiritual growth. Sahaj Marg blends spiritual practice with managing our everyday lives. However, despite the fact that Sahaj Marg fits well with the integrative visions of the ecovillage movement, growth in the Danish movement seems to be difficult by the antiauthoritarian tendencies in the Danish character. Buddhism Amongst new religious groups in Denmark Buddhism in particular can claim a large following. Most of them are, however, refugees from the Vietnam War or people from Thailand and other Asian
Other influences From the point of view of spiritual innovation, Jes Bertelsen and Asger Lorentsen are perhaps the most significant Danish figures in the recent decades. But many other influences have made a major impact. Branches of many international spiritual communities can be found in Denmark. There are the Brahma Kumaris, Theosophists, devotees of Osho, The Diamond Approach, Andrew Cohen and devotees of Sai Baba, The Art of Living and other Indian gurus to mention a few. Eckert Tolle and Dalai Lama have also been here several times and drawn large crowds. However, an interesting phenomenon unites all these groups, representing international organisations. To some degree it seems that the growth of these groups is stymied by a clash with a spirit of grass-root independence and antiauthoritarianism that is typical of Denmark. It means that the spiritual movements have less momentum here, than in some other countries, yet in the long run the movement may well prove to be more successful because it is more self-reliant. An important aspect of the multifarious spiritual landscape in Denmark is the variety and breadth of the movement. It consists of many small centres and communities, too numerous to mention, that have sprung up all over the country bringing the new impulses to
the people. It manifests as health fairs, spiritual communities, healing centres, psychotherapeutic practices, tantric training schools, centres of astrology, experiments with new teaching methods in public schools and spiritual educational offerings of all sorts. However, all these spiritual groups do not communicate or work together well. The reason is probably the absence of a great evocative vision that can unite the hearts of the spiritual inclined and mobilize them to act in unison. But perhaps a new global deal will do the trick and according to Jes Bertelsen they all evolve as a unified field on the spiritual level. Islam and cultural confrontation Amongst the spiritual influences in Denmark, Islam stands out because it has been so politicised. In recent years Muslims have been very visible in the media, not the least because of the many conflicts surrounding the infamous drawings of the prophet Mohammed that precipitated an international crisis in 2006. In a more peaceful vein, Muslims are now building mosques – with minarets to call for prayer. It must be recognized that the radical aspects of Islam, with its roots in social problems, has been severely exacerbated due to inflammatory rhetoric and political interests that thrive on maintaining and fuelling the underlying cultural dichotomies. Light, Love and Power On a different note the difficulties to achieve a measure of unity amongst the spiritual groups can be seen as a reflection of a fundamental schism between love, light and power. Although unified at the level of spirit, the three great pillars of spiritual creation conflict at the level of manifestation. This is related to the fact that creating is not possible without destroying and to most people destroying is generally seen as unkind and unloving although from a higher perspective it is necessary and unavoidable. From a spiritual perspective, the destruction of cultural forms and social structures that have become obsolete is as natural as the farmer ploughing his land in order to prepare for next year’s crop. For the plants occupying the land, it is obviously highly destructive, but for the farmer who knows the purpose of the ploughing, there is no question that it must be done. The tendency to hold on to habits of the past and beliefs and social customs
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" that we like, but no longer serve mankind, is a great and definite obstacle to spiritual progress. Without truly recognizing the grand design of which we are a part, it is difficult to evoke the necessary will to remove that which is obsolete. Recognizing this intrinsic difficulty is the first step to overcoming it.
• The ecovillage vision does this by creating a community that integrate the social, the ecological and the spiritual into a coherent whole. • The Solby vision does the same in a more abstract sense, when seeking to heal society through balancing love, light and power.
Divine Will This work is about creating a new order The fundamental challenge ahead can be in society and therefore intrinsically reconstrued as creating a natural and or- lated to the final aspect of the trinity: ganic synthesis between love, light and power (or will). The spiritual nature of power, manifesting as an illumined and this work may be difficult to discern sustainable world order that truly serves to some, because we are prejudiced to the needs of mankind and allows23-10-2009 the think of spirituality KlimaKonf-løs-særnummer.qxd 19:04 Page 1in terms of divine cosmic potential of mankind to unfold. light (the Buddha) or divine love (the When viewing the Danish scene from Christ). this perspective it is interesting to note However, as mankind awakens to its that, Jes Bertelsen’s emphasis has been cosmic destiny, it faces a completely on illumination, or divine light, whereas new challenge – mastering divine will. Asger Lorentsen’s emphasis has been on As mankind learns to master the third the downpourings of divine love. of the great divine powers (divine will) Recognizing the fundamental trinity it will unlock the secret of divine counderlying all of creation as light, love creation and the key to global peace and and power the first two forces (love and prosperity. light) are to some extent brought toRecognizing that divine will, manigether and synthesized in the work of fests though human will, just as divine the authors, which has taken the form love, manifest through human love, and of the ecovillage movement (Hildur) and divine light manifest through matter itthe related Solby vision (Rolf). self, this outlines an entirely new chalThis work seeks to integrate the three lenge for mankind. Creating integrative aspects into a single coherent unity. solutions, where a new social order,
sustainable production and spiritual attainment are seen as an undivided whole, requires a level of political sophistication and cultural innovation never seen before. Learning to master divine will, will probably be the key challenge in the coming Age of Aquarius. A Change of Climate This is the challenge facing us, and it is towards this challenge that the distinctive traits of Danish culture may have something unique to contribute. At the Copenhagen Climate Summit, mankind faces this intrinsic difficulty as it wrestles with the need to overcome old patterns of thinking and create a new global deal. Facing this challenge it is worth noting that the source of Danish happiness is definitely not the climate but rather our ability to laugh at life’s snags and celebrate our idiosyncrasies, despite the climate. So perhaps taking ourselves a little less seriously will help us all.
City of the Sun Since the dawn of time seekers of truth has sought to reveal divine glory and unveil the cosmic mysteries. Purity of heart, clarity of purpose and a desire to liberate all life, is required to brave the unseen waters and cross the burning ground. We welcome those who have what it takes to join us in our quest to create a new reality...
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Rolf Jackson (M.Sc.E) is co-founder of Bjergager Solby in Odense, Denmark. He is an author, educater and therapist offering trainings in inner growth and true leadership.
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LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
Save the World A Message from Grace Movement for a Free Earth Sabina Lichtenfels, Dieter Duhm and Mara Vollmer
Our planet is in big danger. The current civilization is running into a global catastrophe. But we see another possibility. Our planet was not born for death but for life, for love, for joy.
he great family of life is not born for mutual killing, but for cooperation and friendship between all beings, humans, animals, plants, rivers and seas. All beings are joined in the sacred matrix. Behind all the wars we see the real possibility to manifest this vision of peace, to change the apocalyptic time into a new age of trust and to turn the world of anxiety into a world of joy. We see a future where no child is abandoned by his parents, no woman is raped, no animal is killed because of its beautiful coat, no mother is weeping about her killed son and no son will go to war, because there is no war in the world any more. A new planetary Movement We see a growing number of pilgrims, coming from all continents and forming a new planetary Movement for a Free Earth. We see the stream of a different globalization. The globalization of peace. We see it like a dream, but it is reality, the real birth of a new reality. We see thousands of people coming over a hill. They
Young workers in Tamera. (Photo: Tamera)
are not bound to any nation, language, culture, religion or race, not to riches or possessions. They help in areas of misery, they visit holy sites and they are on the way to new anchorages and new communities. They encounter each other at camp fires, in barns or hostels, they sing international songs, share their bread and develop a new quality of hospitality and readiness to help. GRACE A lot of them wear a symbol to indicate their membership in the MOVEMENT FOR A FREE EARTH, sometimes simply called GRACE. They share some rules: truth, mutual support, help for all in misery, grace instead of revenge, no violence against
animals and “Be the change you want to see in the world.” This development is supported by the emergence of completely new centers spreading slowly across the Earth. We call them “healing biotopes” or “peace villages”. They serve the pilgrims both as hostels and as places in which to study and work . These centers are research-places for developing the technological, social and spiritual structures of a non-violent world society. The centers are aware of each other, they are on the same path and they definitely have taken on responsibility for the future of the planet. Together they form an international network called the “Global Campus”. We see the real worldwide beginning of a new culture, the dawn of an new era. Main lines We see some main lines of the new planetary movement developing:• Reconciliation and cooperation between humans and nature.• Deep reconciliation of the genders and the ending of the war of the sexes. Truth in sex and love. Coming together of free love and real partnership. (One of
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" the key sentences is: “There will be no peace on earth as long as there is war in love.”)• Reunion of the human and the divine world.• Remembering the sources of culture. Connection of ancient and indigenous wisdom with today´s knowledge and technology. Tamera One of the new planetary centers is Tamera in Portugal. Founded in 1995, it is now a peace research center with about 180 co-workers and young students. Here arises a specific living model in the form of a Solar Village, based on new energy systems combined with new systems for water and food. We are currently building a test-field for this planned Solar Village, where future possibilities for self-sufficient energy supply, water supply and food supply will be demonstrated by means of new solar technologies. This project is connected with a complex system of aquaculture and permaculture (Sepp Holzer). In October we will hold a meeting here for sponsors, at which the facilities can be examined. Global Grace Day There is also a noetic center for new age topics of arts, gospel, love, partnership, healing, global vision, and living in community. On November 9th we will celebrate, as every year, the Global Grace Day, which is joined by many groups at many places on Earth. We invite all who like these thoughts to take part as well. The youth center of Tamera has writ-
ten the “Manifesto of the Movement for a Free Earth”. There we read the following sentences: What we want is not to be normal but to be true. What we want is not to fight against the old system but to create a new system. What we want is the full liberation of love and sexuality from fear. What we want is to strengthen our will in the conscious decision to serve peace – outside and inside.(...) All of this will only succeed in the long term with a base of humanely functioning, grounded community. We cannot realise the highest goals if we are not able to found functioning communities which can survive. Ecological humanism needs new social structures. A new culture arises by reconnecting to the eternal laws of love and community. There are many ways to reach this goal, but there is only one key to open the gate: rediscovering trust. May we, the youth of all countries, step out of our pasts and enter into a new era of planetary thinking and planetary friendship. Let us join in faith, trust and alertness. Let us celebrate our growing planetary community.In the name of all children,in the name of love,for a future without war. Sabine Lichtenfels, Dr. Dieter Duhm and Mara Vollmer Tamera, July 2009 More information: Movement for a Free Earth • TameraMonte do Cerro • P-
7630 Colos, PortugalPh: +351-283 635 484 • Fax: +351-283 635 374 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • www.tamera.org http://www.global-grace-day.com http://www.grace-pilgrimage.com http://www.sabine-lichtenfels.com Diary of Sabine Lichtenfels: A Vision of a new Future PS: As a greeting and an inspiration we send you an excerpt from the diary of Sabine Lichtenfels (from October 11) where she gives an insight into her vision from the pilgrimage: “I received a vision of how the Movement for a Free Earth, accompanied by theater and music, will include many different people. I saw images in my mind how a new future will develop. How easy it will eventually be that humanity will switch from the matrix of destruction to the matrix of life and love. I could see it in front of my inner eyes how the new matrix would conquer the hearts. The insight that we were the ones who kept on the patterns of the breakdown and produced more and more movies of suffering. Enough, enough suffered, more and more people will say and step out of the systems of violence. Carefully and gently, without hatred, they will consider new systems of life. The many isolated people, single mothers, broken fa-
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" While walking I was very happy, something filled me with deep trust that it soon will be over, that the time of pain and separation of an insane humanity will end.” GLOBAL GRACE DAY November 9, 2008: Meditation by Sabine Lichtenfels Where there was pain, let healing awaken. Where there was anger, let the power for change emerge. Where there was fear, let safety and trust grow. Where there were enemies, let the awakening of mutual compassion begin. Where there was oppression, let freedom reign. Where nations were divided, let sympathy for planet earth lead to shared responsibility.
milies, will see very simply that they have followed a system of love which is not working any longer. A system which leads again and again to loneliness, fear and revenge. And they will discover new the natural system of community. The insight will grow that our deep nature is community, and that we belong to a unified family and that we hurt ourselves when we hurt each other. The discovery of community will be like the discovery of gold. People will see its immense value for life. And the discovery of love will spread like at other times the discovery of the theory of relativity. People will see that love is the only real survival principle. Very clear love will resurrect in our hearts with its own logic. The big and last word will be love. And love is more than a feeling. Love will direct mutual compassion, but also lead science to new paradigms. We will not be directed back to nature, but towards a new and deep insight of the character of nature and its high quality of consciousness. We will no longer be guided by the thought of separation like it was manifested in science, but a technology of love, cooperation and light will be developed. Eventually the solar age will begin, and a big joy will be initiated by the thought that there is enough energy for all of us. We don’t have to take something from somebody else away to be happy. The age of consumption will be finished by discovering that there is enough for everybody.
We have come as a reminder: If we want planet earth to survive, then all the walls of separation must fall, the walls between peoples, between Israel and Palestine, between Europe and Africa, between the so-called first and third world. And likewise with the walls that we have erected in our own psyches, the walls between the genders, and the walls between humans and all creatures. May all displaced people find a home. May the pure indigenous wisdom and source gain recognition and respect. May the people who are willing to risk their lives for truth and justice receive the protection they need. May the voice of justice and truth and compassion and solidarity with all beings be heard all over the world, and may it spread and become a powerful movement that stands for the protection for life and planet Earth. May the seed of peace communities blossom and may the first self-sufficient communities be a sign and show that it
is possible to develop societal systems which resonate with the universal laws of love and compassion, and of truth and abundance of life. May we become carriers of hope for all who come after us. May we set visible signs which show that the eternal life will win over all systems of wrong power, of destruction and exploitation. We have come as a reminder of the original beauty and truth of life: Every living being has a right to be free and to unfold, a right to love, and a right to genuine truth and trust. Let us set examples for overcoming violence wherever we are. Let us stand up for life and for love so that fear can vanish on earth. Let us form a worldwide circle of power to safeguard all creation. In the name of all those who had to give their lives, in the name of justice and truth, in the name of all that has skin and fur. In the name of all creatures, and in the name of GRACE and the movement for a free earth. May this prayer or something better come to be. Thank you and Amen. Photos from Tamera.
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
Gaia Education: GEDS and the EDE At the Cutting Edge of Sustainability Education By May East, Programme Director, Gaia Education
Gaia Education promotes an integral approach to education for sustainable development by developing curricula for sustainable community design. While drawing upon best practices within ecovillages worldwide, Gaia Education works in partnership with universities, ecovillages, government and non-government agencies and the United Nations.
aia Education was created over a series of meetings among experienced ecovillage educators with academic and professional backgrounds in a wide range of disciplines. The circle of sustainability educators decided to call itself the GEESE (Global Ecovillage Educators for Sustainable Earth)
to acknowledge the importance of collaboration and roving leadership as exhibited by the migration behaviour of a flock of geese. Gaia Education has its deep roots in the ecovillage movement. Its body of knowledge springs from the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry of ecovillages acting as laboratories of sustainable living. As life conditions change rapidly, knowledge needs refreshing constantly and it takes the organic nature of a network of ecovillage educators to own and refresh it with new experiences. EDE The first major achievement of the GEESE has been the development of the cutting-edge Ecovillage Design Education - the EDE, which draws from the experience and expertise of some of the most successful ecovillages and community projects across the world. The EDE has being taught in 21 countries in different stages of development, and applied equally to urban and to rural settings. It has been translated into English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Finnish, French and Japanese and since 2008 it has been ‘virtualized’ in a
8 months on-line programme offered to Spanish and English speaking students, in association with UOC - Open University of Catalonia. This living curriculum, broadly global in scope yet determinedly local in application, serves the purpose of educating for the transition to a comprehensive sustainable culture. It is systemically organized as a mandala of what is perceived to be the four primary, intrinsic dimensions of human experience: Ecological, Social, Economic, and Worldview. Each of these four dimensions, in turn, contains five modules each – thus twenty subject areas total. Introduced to United Nations The Ecovillage Design curriculum was officially introduced in 2005 to complement, correspond with, and assist in setting a standard for the United Nations ‘ “Decade of Education for Sustainable Development – UNDESD 2005-2014. Since then, aligned with the international efforts of the Decade, the EDE has been promoting a cross-cultural integration of the values inherent in sustainable development into all aspects of learning- learning to be, learning to know, learning to do, learning to live together, and learning to transform oneself and society. Honoring participatory approaches and multiple ways of knowing, over the years it has served individuals involved in building and sustaining communities, students and professionals in architectural, engineering and building careers, educators, social workers, permaculture and horticultural researchers, alternative technologists, business people interested in social enterprise, local and central government officers, members of NGOs and CBOs. Transition through sustainability education From the village council to the negoMay East and Kosha Jaubert in Bonn with Gaia Education. April 09. (Photo: Hildur Jackson)
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness" tiating table, this moment in history is calling forth the best and the strongest in each one of us. Together, we are reversing current trends of an unsustainable world. We are transcending and including the good, beautiful and truth of all cultures and ages. We are igniting the courage needed to dynamically cross the threshold of the untested feasibility of a sustainable 21st century. Gaia Education is one amongst thousands of institutions contributing for this transition through sustainability education. Join us in one of the 21 countries or expand Gaia Education work to your region!
From a Gaia Education meeting At Findhorn 2004 (Photo: Hildur Jackson)
Drawing on the experiences developed in a net-work of some of the most successful ecovillages and community projects across the Earth
Forthcoming Gaiaeducation Courses based on the Ecovillage Design Curriculum include
Israel: Kibbutz Lotan 21 December 2009 – 10 February 2010 22 February 2010 – 13 April 2010 19 April 2010 – 9 June 2010 www.kibbutzlotan.com/creativeEcology/ga Senegal: GEN-SEN January 2010 15 May – 15 June 2010 www.gensenegal.org Thailand: Wongsanit Ashram 18 January 2010 – 7 March 2010 www.sulak-sivaraksa.org Australia: Crystal Waters 30 March 2010 – 8 May 2010 www.ecologicalsolutions.com.au Brazil: Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre April 2010 – July 2010 www.gaiabrasil.net
Portugal: Tamera 3 May – 31 May 2010 www.tamera.org Germany: Sieben Linden 9 August 2010 – 8 September 2010 www.siebenlinden.de Philippines: Pintig Ecovillage 28 August 2010 – 25 September 2010 www.happyearth.info Scotland: Findhorn Foundation 2 October 2010 – 30 October 2010 www.findhorn.org
Learn how to design with experts from the bes t research & development centers for carbon-constrained lifes tyles! w w w.gaiaed ucation . net 73
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
Mind and Life Institute Educating World Citizens for the 21st Century This article is put together from information on the homepage of Mind and Life Institute by Kaj Hansen
How can our educational system evolve to meet the challenges of the 21st century? How will we educate people to be compassionate, competent, ethical, and engaged citizens in an increasingly complex and interconnected world?
he urgent challenges of a globalized and interdependent world demand a new vision of world citizenship that is not confined to national boundaries, but encompasses moral and ethical responsibilities to all humanity. The challenges of the global community in the 21st century in terms of the ecological crisis, economic interdependence, mass technology and widespread intercultural contact and migration require new forms of education that prepare young people to address and prosper within these unique challenges. Unprecedented levels of inter-cultural cooperation and goodwill will be required to effectively solve some of these challenges. Positive human qualities are based upon inherent dispositions As central cultural contexts of human development, schools can play a major role in cultivating so-called 21st century skills in young people – skills such as self-control, self-awareness and personal responsibility; conflict resolution, empathy and social responsibility; compassion, global awareness and universal responsibility. Such positive human qualities, we hypothesize, are based upon inherent dispositions of the child (towards affection and connection, em-
pathy, awareness, and curiosity) that, when cultivated through formal and sustained practice and supportive mentoring relationships with others, eventuate in more complex skills associated with the regulation of attention and emotion; the regulation of behavior in the direction of ethical ideals, and the cultivation of clear and veridical forms of awareness of oneself, others and the world around us. Families, schools, colleges and universities, as well as other social institutions that serve children, youth and emerging adults, can play essential roles in the cultivation of these 21st century skills and related positive qualities all across the first few decades of life. What do we know about the development of habits of the heart and mind that support healthy social emotional and attentional development generally,
and academic learning in particular, during infancy, early childhood, and the elementary, secondary and college years? What kinds of educational environments, teaching practices and curricular activities might cultivate these skills and positive qualities for students at different ages? How can we envision and create models of “contemplative parenting” and “contemplative communities of educational leadership, teaching and learning” that provide the social environments necessary to prepare a new generation of young people to meet the challenges of the 21st century? Mind and Life XIX Mind and Life XIX, “EducatingWorld Citizens for the 21st Century” on October
8-9, 2009 brought together worldrenowned scientists, educators, and contemplatives with the Dalai Lama presiding, to explore these issues and questions and what a new education paradigm might look like that can advance the development of “world citizens” and thereby meet the profound challenges of the 21st century skillfully, mindfully and compassionately. The Mind and Life Institute is offering a set of video DVDs of Educating World Citizens: Educators, Scientists and Contemplatives Dialogue on Cultivating a Healthy Mind, Brain and Heart conference proceedings. Please look at : www. mindandlife.org Mind and Life Institute: Vision To establish mutually respectful working collaboration and research partnerships between modern science and Buddhism — two of the world’s most fruitful traditions for understanding the nature of reality and promoting human well-being. Purpose To promote the creation of a contemplative, compassionate, and rigorous experimental and experiential science of the mind which could guide and inform medicine, neuroscience, psychology, education and human development. To contribute to the epistemological revolution which is taking place through modern physics as well as philosophy, in order to extend our understanding of knowledge to one that integrates the diverse dimensions of our world. Mission The Mind and Life Institute is dedicated to fostering dialogue and research at the highest possible level between modern science and the great living contemplative traditions, especially Buddhism. It builds on a deep commitment to the power and value of both of these ways of advancing knowledge and their potential to alleviate suffering.
LØSNET no. 61-62, December 2009 Special international edition, "Creating Oneness"
Changing Values: Gender Reconciliation in South Africa By William Keepin and Cynthia Brix, Satyana Institute and Judy Connors, Phaphama Initiatives
A new initiative in South Africa holds bright promise for reducing gender-based violence and uplifting social relations between women and men in South African society. The new project, called the “Gender Reconciliation Initiative,” facilitates deep healing and reconciliation between women and men in a society plagued by severe violence against women and girls.
ccording to United Nations statistics, South Africa has one of the world’s worst HIV/AIDS crises and one of the highest reported rates of violence against women. Young girls have been increasingly targeted for rape, partly fuelled by the erroneous notion that having sex with a virgin can cure AIDS. Gang rape is common, and some 40 percent of rapes are committed against girls aged 17 and younger. Another recent study found that on average, 80% of rural women are victims of domestic violence. To address these deplorable conditions, a pilot project in Gender Reconciliation has recently been launched for women and men in diverse sectors of South African society, in a collaborative project of the Satyana Institute in the USA and Phaphama Initiatives based in Johannesburg. Gender Reconciliation programs were field-tested in widely diverse sectors of the population, including Members of Parliament, mental health professionals, the South African Council of Churches, prisons, high schools, and non-governmental organizations. Healing and reconciliation The process of Gender Reconciliation brings women and men together to unravel pervasive social challenges relating to gender and sexuality. Refined over 15 years, the process creates a rare forum in which difficult gender issues are jointly confronted by women and men, and worked through to mutual resolu-
tion. Contrary to what many might expect, when women and men are supported in a skillful and appropriate context to embrace painful gender issues, the result is often powerful experiences of healing and reconciliation, which in turn enable them to move beyond habitual ways of relating to discover new forms of mutuality and harmony between the sexes. Key to the methodology of gender reconciliation is the application of non-sectarian spiritual wisdom and contemplative practices, which make the process effective across a broad spectrum of cultures and religions. Ceremonies and blessing Toward the end of the gender reconciliation process, participating women and men create spontaneous ceremonies of honoring and blessing for one another—to acknowledge the healing that has transpired, and express their mutual gratitude, respect, and love. As an example, in a six-day program organized for Members of Parliament--during which many poignant stories of abuse and violation had emerged--the men offered the following declaration in their closing ceremony to honor the women: Declaration to honor the women We have listened to your stories, and we have heard that many of our brothers have abused our intended roles of caring and protection— for their own selfish power, personal pleasure, and gain. The bonds of humanity have been broken. We acknowledge that we have shared in the unfair and unjust advantage that has upset the Creator’s intended balance of human relationships for love, companionship, and cooperation. We further acknowledge that we have been complicit in breaking the intended dream of equality. . . . So now we come forward to say to you: we are sorry. We affirm that we want to start anew. . . . And we ask, will you accept our offer to take responsibility, as we commit ourselves to live out—and challenge and support all men everywhere to live and work for—gender equality, and thereby seek reconciliation? The men concluded with a silent bow before the women. It was a profound moment to witness this group of male leaders in South Africa proclaim their deep commitment to transform gender injustice in this troubled society. The women were stunned; several wept. As the former Deputy Speaker
of Parliament, Nozizwe Madlala Routledge, observed afterward, “I have been looking for a long time to find a way to bring healing and reconciliation between women and men here in South Africa. This work is the answer. We need much more of this work in South Africa.” Potential to heal relationships The results of the first phase of the Gender Reconciliation Initiative are summarized by Judy Connors, director of Phaphama Iniatives: “It is clear from the success of these pilot programs that there is a great need to roll-out gender reconciliation work on a much broader scale in South Africa. Not only does this work have the potential to heal relationships between men and women, it also has the power to give rise to a new generation of adults who will be far better equipped to take up the privilege and responsibility of parenting their children in a way that honours and nurtures the self-actualisation of the next generation. This combination of healing and reconciliation on the one hand, with the growth of more effective, respectful and compassionate parenting skills on the other, is a powerful tool in the fight against HIV/AIDS; in fact, it is the only tool we have found that addresses the root causes of HIV/AIDS, rather than just treating the symptoms.” The Gender Reconciliation Initiative is changing foundational cultural values and fostering a powerful new form of social healing between women and men that is urgently needed not only in South Africa, but in many other nations as well. Satyana Institute and Phaphama Initiatives are moving forward to implement the second phase of the Gender Reconciliation Initiative: training a group of South African facilitators who will in turn implement the program widely within their consitentuencies throughout South Africa. Of course it will take much more than a single project to fully heal the traumas in this society. Nevertheless, just as the earlier Truth and Reconciliation Commission helped this young nation heal from the travesty of racial injustice, Gender Reconciliation is proving to be a powerful step forward on the path to eliminating gender-based violence and bringing a new harmony between women and men in the Rainbow Republic.