Aligning our ecosystem toward an ecology of one, honoring the land in a regenerative way, from hand and human power.
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Today's human-built ecology is so far separated from the earth’s ecology that it is impossible for sustainability—let alone environmental and social well-being—to be achieved within it.
In stark contrast to this human-built “ecology of separation,” the wider natural world operates in what might be called an “Ecology of One,” an ecology with parts so closely intertwined and interdependent that sustainability and environmental well-being are integral to its functioning.
it is good to know that science and religion have such wisdom in their view.
Even so, an Ecology of One is not about science or religion any more than it’s about politics or economics; it is about knowing the connections between ourselves and nature by cultivating deeper, more empathic relationships in every corner of our lives and in every interaction—from the way we buy food to the way we operate our businesses—and allowing these relationships to inform how we go about living our lives.
An Ecology of One is based on relationships. From farmers to urban designers to politicians, the individuals who work with an Ecology of One mindset work to cultivate personal, empathic relationships with the environment and the people in their profession and life.
The case of Natural Farming gives perhaps one of the best examples of this mindset in practice. Originating in Japan in the early 1950s with plant biologist Masanobu Fukuoka, and spreading worldwide after the publication of his seminal book “One Straw Revolution” in English, this way of growing food is not about method, but about a way of thinking of ourselves and our relationship to nature. Natural Farming is based largely on a farmer’s personal knowledge of and relationship with the land, allowing most any given ecosystem to thrive on its own without the need for external inputs like fertilizers and pesticides. Today, a new generation of Natural Farmers in Japan and elsewhere not only understand that they live and grow food and sell food within a web of relationships, but also makes explicit efforts to bring empathy to each of these relationships—with the soil, the food, the weeds, and even with the bugs that we often call “pests”.
An Ecology of One mindset has guided many of these real world farmers to move everything to hand-and-human power, no oil power, no chemicals of any kind, no fertilizers, no tilling of the soil, and most strikingly, an embracing of weeds and bugs with empathy instead of as enemies.
As you can imagine, for such a mindset to work, both the farmers and their customers need to be flexible enough to restructure the systems within which they produce, sell, and consume. Yet once they have done so, the results are nothing short of astounding: beautiful fields thriving with life, enriched ecosystems, sustainable local economies, and surprisingly bountiful harvests.
Is that harvest bountiful enough to feed a future population of 10-11 billion people?
Not only are small-scale, biodiverse farming methods enough to feed our expected peak population, but leading sustainability research and practice conducted over the past three-plus decades indicates that it is likely the only way to feed the world while maintaining a sustainable environmental balance.
In painting a picture of the current industrial system, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization gives us 60 years before industrial farming renders most land un-farmable, and The United Nations agrees with the small-scale, biodiverse, non-chemical model as a way to remedy this. In America, decades of research by the Rodale Institute argues for small-scale, “regenerative,” organic methods as the a way to feed the world and cut our CO<sup style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 75%; line-height: 0; position: relative; top: -0.5em; vertical-align: baseline;">2</sup> emissions to within recommended levels; and again, out in the field, millions of Regenerative Farmers, Natural Farmers, and Permaculturists are putting an Ecology of One mindset into real world practice, working today to feed much of the world in this way.
As Charles Eisenstein writes, the myth that we need industrial agriculture has been debunked, and the only ones who are holding firmly onto this myth are the industry giants who helped create it.
From this, we can take away a fact that seems astounding, but that is actually a simple ecological reality: we have the ability to grow food and feed the earth’s peak population with non-chemical, non-industrial, small-scale, regenerative methods of farming while also enriching the land and people around us.
We also have the ability to bring this mindset to other industries.
In a sense, the producers who work within an Ecology of One are able to do what so many prominent academics and economists and social theorists have so far been incapable of doing. These people are building new vehicles for commerce, new vehicles for economics, for social actions and interactions, and, of course, a new way of working all of these into a connected ecology of well-being for people and the environment.
We can make that choice today. We can accept and continue a life within an ecology of separation, or we can move, with each action we take, towards life in an Ecology of One.
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