Via: Carolyn Baker
Our remote ancestors succeeded for eons of time in their biological adaptation to the life of the earth, and now if the species is to survive, we must create adaptation at the next turn of the spiral. We can’t go back to wearing loincloths and eating roots and berries. The game animals are gone and the roots and berries are covered by towns. We will have to create a culture that facilitates the growth of life rather than its extirpation.
Human cultures are normally formed over long periods of time by the conditioning of the young through the generations. We do not have that luxury of time. Presently, we have tremendous amounts of information from many cultures which we can synthesize and use for ideas in creating new social institutions. We see over the past centuries a wide diversity of colonies and intentionally created communities that demonstrate creating new human culture is possible.
At the beginning of the 21st. Century the choice to live in a self-sufficient community, self-sufficient watershed, and self-sufficient bioregion, is both a survival solution and a choice to create a new reality of cultural and ecological restoration.
Given that civilization has seriously overshot its resource base and has no future, we need a new idea. Every member of the species taking biological responsibility for their existence on this planet is a new idea. If humans were becoming more responsible, we collectively could sponsor experimental self-sufficient communities in many of the earth’s bioregions. These communities would be experimental in the sense that the central question of “living in balance with nature,” would be addressed. We civilized are not skilled at this and experiments by different cultures in different ecological regions would move us forward.
These would be legitimate “growth” communities concentrating on the growth of living things rather than the growth of money and power over other people. If groups begin at the top of watersheds, commencing ecological restoration and slowly spread downward the test would be that clean water and air come from those areas.
Given the principle of the growth of life, ecological restoration would be the focus. Permaculture, which would grow more food per acre than the industrial system, while restoring the soil, would be used in areas near the habitation. The habitations would be hand-made from local materials.
Though this seems a tall order there are seed communities around the planet now doing this successfully (www.gaia.org). At the end of its time the old oak tree begins to disintegrate; as it does, an acorn sprouts. Our task is to encourage the sprout and to allow the old oak its passing.
Wm. H. Kötke is widely traveled and published. His most recent book, prior to Planet Garden, was the underground classic, The Final Empire: The Collapse of Civilization and the Seed of the Future. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.