This is the World Organic News for the week ending 6th of April 2020.
Jon Moore reporting!
Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil!
Folks we are in a battle, more than that we are in a war. Opportunity often comes disguised as adversity.
The long decades of struggle against pollution, against Monsanto, against fossil fuels and the mindless idea of continual consumption could be coming to an end. I do NOT see the suffering of this time, the infected and the deceased as a positive. I sit in empathy with Mrs World Organic News as she weeps during news reports covering death tolls and abandoned nursing homes and the incompetence of some responses. I am livid at the mindless bullshit spreading across social media. Let me put that clearly.
The scientific community, the epidemiologists in particular, have been warning of a novel virus erupting through the human population since the 1918 influenza pandemic. We have been both lucky and saved by dedicated medical practitioners during earlier events. The Hong Kong flu of the 1960s, SARS and MERS earlier this century are such examples.
Early cover ups and attempts to hide reality aside, this was always coming. We are fortunate as a species the SARS CoV2, the virus which causes the condition COVID-19, has a relatively low mortality rate. The possibility of a novel infection with a 60% mortality rate remains a realistic proposition.
Things are bad, they could be far worse. The measures instituted across much of the world: Social isolation, ramping up of medical capacity and that old fashioned thing our grandparents, maybe great grandparents for some of my listeners, knew well, hand washing are the evidence based responses we have at the present. These things are working, however slowly they appear to be. The current situation has shown us a couple of things.
Firstly, the long, long supply chains in the developed world, many of which trace to the People’s Republic of China and secondly the realisation that many people have no idea how to grow even a small amount of their own food.
I’m not sure if you’ve seen them but there are satellite images of the reduction in air pollution during the periods of lock down. There are images of the canals of Venice being crystal clear and wildlife returning. We have a glimpse into a renewable energy future.
People, under the understandable fear of unemployment, are cutting back on anything that’s not a necessity. That same fear has seen runs of toilet paper, flour, rice and dairy products. If you live in an apartment, this makes some sense. Hell, if you live in a house with available land, this makes sense. But there are things we can all do for some degree of self sufficiency. My favourite seed supplier, Eden Seeds, has suspended taking any new orders while they work through a 5000 order backlog. They hope to be caught up by Easter, next weekend.
The world has significantly changed for many. That seeds are being ordered does not mean people will be able grow their own food. They should be applauded for trying to and they should be supported.
Now that’s where we all come in. We, as in me and you my listeners. We all have some ability, some knowledge. We can and I would argue must be the leaders at this time. I don’t mean Stalin like but more a leading hand type leader. How? I’ve thought about this for many hours this last month. I think we have a couple of ways we can lead this new back to the land movement. Especially as this is happening in people’s backyards.
I’m sure most of you will know my favourite Bill Mollison quote: If only 10% of us move from consumption to production in our own backyards, we can change the world. Or something like that.
So how do we do this? We start growing our own food, however much of that we can, and, and this is critical, we document it. By words, by pics, by audio, by video, by creating courses, by whatever means I haven’t included in that list. This is how we help the people of this world, how we help ourselves, how we help each other. We don’t have to be next door to each other to make a difference but I see neighbours looking after each other. As we are scattered around the world, we can change the whole planet.
By doing so we have the chance to bed down this way of feeding ourselves, our families and our neighbours and to punch a huge, permanent hole in global emissions that this situation has created to build long term change for the better. The danger is, like after WW2, the victory gardens were abandoned as a reminder of suffering and hard times and were replaced by the great ramp up in developed world consumption.
If we sell gardening, no-dig gardening, now, we can change the world, one cabbage at a time, as the old World Organic News “About” page used to say.
If you or someone you know would benefit from learning how to no-dig garden, you can send them to WorldOrganicNews.com for a free copy of my No-Dig Gardening Book.
If someone needs a little more than that I published a video based course on Udemy last week. With Udemy’s practice of rolling, continual discounts, no one should pay much more than $10, EUR 10 or whatever your local currency is for any course on Udemy. There’s a link in the show notes. Getting to Udemy through that link means they don’t snaffle half the price out of my pocket. Thanks in advance.
You can also send people to Episode 207 where I discuss growing a quick response garden to get you growing swiftly.
Remember in this painful time, if we put in the ground work now, we can all:
Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil!
Thank you all for listening and I’ll be back next week.
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