Spring: a time of year in which our spirits are so often lifted by the emergence of new life as the growing year tentatively unfurls. Whilst we are still experiencing some of the restrictions of lockdown and the reality of a pandemic, we might wonder what kind of world we may wish to create together as we potentially move out of this crisis. It may be that we are met with further challenges along the way and in all honesty none of us can say that we ‘know’ what the future holds for our health, humanity and the wider world of which we are a necessary part.
We do know that those who wield significant power and control on the world stage such as the World Economic Forum, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos to name a few are now focussing their sights on addressing climate change, offering their technological ‘solutions’ to this complex issue. This includes the promotion of adopting ‘gene editing’ another form of genetic modification and additional adaptations of the natural world. There are real risks with regards to a few individuals potentially claiming total control over our food supply which are carefully articulated and outlined by Dr Vandana Shiva in her recent book, Oneness vs the 1%. These measures also appear to be ways of attempting to maintain human survival and the current dominant system at the expense of all else. As so many of us grieve the loss of our living companions due to the Anthropocene extinction and biodiversity loss, do we really wish to continue on this trajectory of dominance and imposition over life?
As permaculture designers we know that there are myriad ways in which we can respond to the complexities of the issues we are facing. We are able to re-localise, share skills, develop ecological gardens and community growing spaces. We can support the work of our colleagues in the areas of regenerative agriculture, agroforestry and rewilding; engage with our creativity, the arts, emergent biological sciences and inspire each other with our visions of what might be possible. Will we choose a technocratic dystopia ultimately giving our power away to technology and the billionaire class or will we cooperate with each other to bring about other forms of innovation by connecting with our own power, abilities and creative potential? In the end it’s up to each of us to make this decision for ourselves.
If you are interested in being a part of an organic network of people who wish to bring about the latter, you are more than welcome to contact us, or even, just find others who share your vision with whom you can collaborate. As the Nobel Laureate and physical chemist, Ilya Prigogine once said, “When a system is far from equilibrium, small islands of coherence in a sea of chaos have the capacity to lift the system to a higher order.” Perhaps, in keeping with the season, it is time to Spring forth.