Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thoughts After Meetings/Discussions Dealing with Conservation and Sustainable Community

From: Foods of the Americas Gathering
Our natural resource base and energy sources are finite. Thus there are limits on growth and consumption, ... and if we are going to truly consider quality life for all humans and associated life forms, we have already surpassed these limits. No amount of human creativity, planning, actions can really challenge this situation.

Therefore, the only solution is to lower inputs-throughputs-outputs for human systems, and conserve, conserve, conserve! Notions that we can continue to rampantly convert Nature & Land to artificial, and that this will be better for Life is "hubric" and without scientific basis.

"Wes Jackson's claim--that there is now and always be, a billionfold gap between our ignorance and our knowledge--reminds us that we are living in an immensely complex natural world. This, combined with the difficulties that we have created with our technology, makes one wonder if there is any reason for hope ... ." ... "... when we temper our optimistic view of the power of knowledge, we are left with a profound and necessary sense of humility and a great and well-grounded hope for the future."
From: Joe Marocco (2008) “Climate Change and the Limits of Knowledge” in The Virtues of Ignorance: Complexity, Sustainability, and the Limits of Knowledge Univ. of Kentucky Press

We really must lower inputs-throughputs-outputs of artificial energy flux & material flow in world systems and subsystems for them to be sustainable re quality life for humans and many other forms of life. We'll have to recognize this and deal with it as local and global "communities" if we are to have holistically resilient and healthful systems at all levels of biological hierarchy (cells, tissues, organs, body organ systems, individuals, population, community, ecosystem, ecosphere).

From: Food Council Meeting
Designated/anointed "Green"/"Sustainable" examples ("community" gardens, most conventional organic farms, magnet schools, health and wellness campuses, etc.) which are dependent on high inputs and are truly just "appendages" of a larger broken system, are not the answer for moving toward holistic, comprehensive sustainability involving conservation. Moreover, these so-called "Green"/Sustainable" "exemplars" may temporarily prop up very broken whole systems and delay real movement toward sustainability and long-term health at various systems levels.
We shouldn't halt: development of community gardens, organic farming, special schools trying to address specific "needs, various health and wellness efforts, etc. But we do need to overtly recognize their limitations and failings and work hard, agonize, and critically and creatively think about how we might muddle through the ecological mess we've created and truly work toward fixing it/cleaning it up.
High input-throughput-output artificial systems (which could be crudely determined by per capita consumption and population numbers) are the cause of the destruction of Nature and healthy life systems. No amount of human creativity (planning/design/implementation) can get around that fact. Therefore it is critical that we proceed cautiously and tentatively toward lower input-throughput-output systems.

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