This quote from Homer’s Odyssey felt to me to be the right epigram for the conclusion of my freely available, epic, nonfiction saga: Odyssey of the 8th Fire.
…and never stop at all.
The precautionary principle is a simple, common-sense ethical guideline that is a core part of ecology and agroecology. It’s so fundamental to sustainability, and so uncommon in our government today, that it’s worth reaffirming.
The precautionary principle holds that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment that sustains our life, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those promoting the product or the action…
…We’d be wise to bypass government failure to act, and do the uncommon thing, as the late humorist Will Rogers (1879-1935) put it: act with common sense. Act personally, swiftly, and strategically. There are a 1,001 things individuals, families, neighborhoods, and communities can do. Get your search engine going, and then act. The vast archives of Mother Earth News, and the Pathways resource page open up some of the possibilities…
The rest of my blog post is available on Mother Earth News.
Note: My new book is set for publication November 1, 2019
Farms, Food and Our Future
It’s up to you. It’s up to me. It’s up to everyone who has a stake in a stable climate, ample food and fiber, and shelter from the storms — the increasingly savage storms that are Earth’s new normal. We’ve got some mysteries to unravel.
If you are depending on the life-support basics listed above, then answer this: Why did the US Agriculture Department (USDA) attempt to bury America’s action plan for conducting science into climate change so that farmers could be empowered with facts to respond wisely to what’s happening in the world?
The critical 33-page USDA action plan, paid for with our tax dollars, was stuffed somewhere in a bureaucratic closet never to be allowed into public light of day. But thanks to a courageous whistleblower and reporter, the plan was leaked to Politico. As plainly stated, the plan outlines how scientific research can help farmers to understand, to adapt to, and to minimize the increasingly disruptive impact of climate change.
I must concede that “why did the USDA bury the report?” is a dull question to frame as a mystery. At least part of the answer is as plain and pitiful as a flooded farm field…
Read the rest of my blog post on Mother Earth News.
Classical Considerations: Musings prompted by the late Harvard Master John H. Finley, Jr. is available as a Soul*Sparks book available via this link on amazon.com
In early July, just as the United Nations (UN) was releasing stun-level, scientific reports about climate changes, food disruptions, and accelerated extinctions, meteorologists reported that the preceding month, June 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth. They also reported that for the first time ever in recorded history temperatures in Anchorage, Alaska soared into the 90s, while rising up to 115 degrees F in Paris, France.
As baldly stated in one of the UN reports from the Human Rights Office, if we maintain our economic and agricultural course we are headed for deeper disaster. Going forward on a status quo pathway will have a mighty impact not just on some remote places featured on TV news, but on our backyards, pantries, refrigerators, supermarkets, and our overall way of life. We are, as the report put it, “sleepwalking into catastrophe.”
Note well these parts of the report: Climate change also threatens basic human rights, and democracy itself. Within the next 10 years or so, the report states, climate change will cast tens of millions more human beings into poverty, hunger, and displacement from their homelands…
…Agroecology: A Righteous Response
Although mass media paid minimal attention, on July 5, 2019 The UN’s Committee on World Food Security (CFS) released a notable report, Agroecological and other innovative approaches for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition.
The CFS report offers detail on the global food system, which they regard as perched precariously at a crossroads. The report concludes that the food system needs a profound transformation at all levels, including the local level. We face complex, “multidimensional challenges…
…In a paper published in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community, Professor William E. Rees writes: “Based on current trends, the most food-secure populations by the second half of the 21st century will be those populations that have deliberately chosen and planned to re-localize as much of their own food systems as possible.”
My complete blog post is on Mother Earth News…
One sultry September about four decades ago, after having been prepared for the quest by true and knowledgeable friends, I sat on a New Hampshire mountaintop for four days and four nights.
Setting out on this first, formal quest, I held wild hopes for metaphysical marvels: clouds parting, maybe, angel voices, maybe, messengers arriving from celestial realms to deliver golden scrolls of wisdom, maybe. Make it so! Something spectacular!
But nothing mysterious or majestic happened at all. As far as I could tell, over those four sunsets and sunrises there was not as much as a quirk in the quantum field. Not that first year.
But that first time something key did unfold…
The rest of my blog post is live now at Mother Earth News.
The way we tend the land that produces our food, and the way we eat, are the key factors in our physical, moral, and spiritual survival and evolution.
My recognition of this fundamental fact is, of course, shared by many people. Among those who see this reality, and who can give the situation eloquent expression, is Jean-Paul Courtens of Roxbury Farm in Kinderhook, NY.
As it happens, CSA and biodynamic farmer Courtens has recently become a grandfather. He mentioned that happy fact publicly in March when he spoke at Dartmouth College as part of the Real Organic Project’s symposium. And then he dug deep into the subject.
A video of his 15-minute talk is available through my full blog on this topic at Mother Earth News. I highly recommend watching and learning…
Deep Agroecology now available for pre-order
Publication date August 1, 2019
As of today – Earth Day 2019 – my new book Deep Agroecology: Farms, Food, and Our Future is available for pre-order.
According with the spirit of Earth Day, we are publishing Deep Agroecology in service to the perennial ideals of healthy, and fulfilled lives for one and all on our home planet, Earth.
A quarter of a century ago, I had the privilege of serving as National Coordinator for Earth Day USA. I partnered with the Seventh Generation Fund to help bring the Council Circles project to hundreds of North American communities. This year I’m happy to mark the day with announcement of a book that once again brings a council circle of wise voices together to offer native and agrarian wisdom ways forward for human beings and for our earth.
The way we tend the land that produces our food, and the way we eat, are the key factors in our physical, moral, and spiritual survival and development in this tumultuous era.
Elizabeth Wolf, my wife and partner, has played an indispensable role in bringing this book to life in a powerful and elegant way. I’ve dedicated the work to her, with love and appreciation.
EBOOK COPY – You may pre-order the eBook version of Deep Agroecology now at this link. Please note that the actual publication and shipping date is August 1, 2019.
SIGNED COPY – August 1 is also the publication date for the print edition. If you’d like to pre-order a copy of the print edition of Deep Agroecology personally inscribed to you by the author, please click on the Buy Now link below, which will take you to PayPal. The cost of the signed print book is $25 plus tax, inclusive of handling and shipping.