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• Sunday, March 24th, 2013

ValhallaThis local inspiration combines some excellent ideas. Hopefully, there is synergy in the combination and their vision can be achieved.

However, the Valhalla “movement” appears high on marketing, youth, style and organic weed. When I contacted them to offer my services to help teach them Aquaponics  (something people in the U.S. are paying me to do), I received a polite, “Thanks, but no thanks. We got that covered.”

So much for the “come join the movement” hype.

Every generation believes that it holds the answers to our societal ills and that they are uniquely modern and equipped with new technology to solve our pressing environmental and social problems. This is one of the benefits of youth.

Ideas spring with great life force when we are young. But ideas are a dime a dozen, we eventually learn. And execution is what separates the dreamers from the real sustainable builders of the future who are able to create replicable  models to be used by others.

I hope their enthusiasm and idealism can carry the day, but history tells a different story about communes, outside of the Kibutz model in Israel which was born out war and the need to defend land.

The 1960′s communes taught us that the real world of life is socially complex and needs more than just the fantasy of new technology creating a better life without conflict or injustice. Further, it has to be rooted in the here and and now rather than built on the hopes of a new tomorrow.

Our lives will be transformed, I firmly believe, on the existing infrastructure and built environment of today. The world does not need to be re-built, but rather retro-fitted to our new ideas and values that reflect cooperation and sustainability.

To create a new way of living and a new world does not call for breaking away from the existing world. Quite the opposite, it requires a deepening involvement with the world as it is, no matter how flawed. Because if they succeed, they have transformed the lives of only the people who manage to move and live there. What about the millions of other people who are stuck in the old cities, stuck in the old buildings, stuck in the old jobs? What is to come of them?

Please comment if you disagree.

Source: The Valhalla Movement

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4 Responses

  1. 1
    Jennifer Lynn Walker 

    Love it!!!!

  2. The idea is that we will document everything so that nobody is left behind and that the world around us will be retrofitted into being more sustainably minded – but to do such we got to make sustainability mainstream – rebrand it as cool and not some failed hippie ideal

    As for the aquaponics – don’t know who told you thanks but no thanks – but they were right we do have it covered – would love to hear your ideas nonetheless :D

  3. Marc,
    I don’t have any ideas. As I stated already, ideas are cheap. I have purpose and skills which I hope are reflected in this Blog.

    Sustainability is not a choice, like a lifestyle choice, as if doing this will help my life at the margins where people might like me better. Thus, there is no need to “rebrand it as cool “.

    In fact, sustainability is very serious. It is the difference between life and death, freedom and oppression. Either one chooses life or one chooses death and destruction. That is the stark truth. This isn’t like choosing a style of jeans to wear out on the weekends, or choosing to be an artist.

    When sustainability is appreciated as “cool”, it completely misses the dire needs facing us. Focus on needs rather than wants and you will then start to understand the meaning of valuable contribution. Valhalla is not addressing any true needs, yet.

  4. 4
    Mic Ronalds 

    Marc, our current society is so inherently flawed…, the consumer based society of low quality products transported from half way around the world taking money out of local economies. Earthships do represent one excellent model of the end point of where we have to go. I applaud their initiative, however as you stated execution is key. Leadership and devotion is required to move sustainable solutions to the forefront. If we experience any natural disasters, war, long term power loss , the city centres as designed today and the inhabitants are sure to suffer. Imaging living on the 20th floor for more than a week with no power ,no elevators etc. That is just one example. Creativity and teamwork will bring other new sustainable solutions to the forefront.

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