Thursday, March 24, 2005

Earth Regeneration: its about the soil!

I just finished a two day intro to permaculture course from the solar living center in Hopland and I am so jazzed. I was one of the oldest people in the course--most of the folks were under 30--many from all over the world, mostly the western U.S. I have come to believe that the permaculture skills and philosopies will be critical for survival (both physically and spiritually) in the years ahead. For the young, corporate jobs will become more scarce--and far less satisfying. We learned skills--NOT just for sustainability, but for regenerating our soils and our depleted Earth.

I came across this quote that makes so much sense to me in the space I am in right now:
"The ultimate end to a growth economy is the same as an analagous growth: cancer. But for national economies, the victims are nature, soils, forests, people, water, and quality of life. There is one, and only one, solution,and we have almost no time to try it. We must turn all our resources to repairing the natural world,and train all our young people to help. They want to. We need to give them this last chance to create forests, soils, clean waters, clean energies, secure communities, stable regions,and to know how to do it from hands-on experience" --Bill Mollison
The sacredness of preparing the beds and creating the soil for life became SO apparent. At our place in Upper Lake, I am finding that my two resources that most matter are (1) time and (2) soil. I am just beginning the soil-building and permaculture process here... and have such a long way to go for the place to be thriving and healthy and teaming with lush and abundant food. I find that the act of engaging in this process is centering spiritually and creates tremendous hope and transformation of spirit. Earth can regenerate, Earth can heal, and I can be a part of it.

I have decided to get educated. The courses I am taking will lead to a "Permaculture Certificate," which will enable me to teach others. Permaculture is based upon 3 ethics: (1) Earth Care--the land, soil, water and wildlife (2) People Care--Care for oneself and others and (3) Return the Surplus (Take only your fair share)

Isn't that the heart of my spirituality? Isn't that the center of the action I am destined to engage in? The energy I feel toward this is tremendous.

Friday, March 18, 2005

It has begun

Peak Oil is here, my friends. What are YOU going to do about it? For yourself? For your family? For your community? The longer you take to decide, the worse it will be (for all three). One piece of advice: Trade in that Hummer. Now.

The next two decades will be profound. We will see price increase in things involving energy and fuel. Imports will be more expensive over time. Even the price drops won't last long...the change we predicted in the 70's has begun.

I've been on the lookout for the signs that The Peak is here.... the earliest manifestations of Peak Oil are: (1) wars over who controls oil infrastructure, (2) prices of energy (primarily oil) steadily rising, (3) increasing spot shortages of energy and reports of inaccurate oil reserves; and (4) energy investment firms no longer finance energy projects if the fuel supply is not secured.

Here are a couple of recent articles that ought to give you pause:

Running on Empty

Oil Boosts Import Prices

There is plenty to do. I wish I had started a decade or two ago. To begin, you might go to and join a Peak Oil Awareness group in your community. Or start one. Get the DVD: The End of Suburbia. You can get your own copy via the Post Carbon Institute. I've taken these steps myself. Plus I am working to change my life to a less energy-intensive one. Your actions will depend a great deal upon where (and how) you live. My plan is outlined in my January blog: Peak Oil and Local Soul . Oh, and I just ordered a Pruis.

If you want more information on this, feel free to contact me. There is plenty that can be done to prepare, but we need to start now. The next step is up to you.

Monday, March 7, 2005

Turkeys in Spring

Each morning for the past week and a half, wild turkeys have graced the orchard. The males puff up and spead their tales in their spring ritual. Turkeys really do gobble gobble, by the way.

Yesterday, I counted 72 turkeys. Even though they have shown up here every day this week, it seems so magical each time they appear. I hear them calling again at dusk, but see them only in the morning. Once the morning dew evaporates, the turkeys head for the hills.

Thursday, March 3, 2005

Lake County Community Sustainability

Just after the election, I decided to sponsor a "Meet-up" in this local area to meet folks that cared about peace and community democracy. I had no purpose in mind and no agenda really, I just wanted to meet some local people and personally avoid spiraling into despair after this last election. We had our third monthly meeting last night and I showed the movie: The End of Suburbia. This movie talks about the profound impact of reaching Peak Oil production on our North American way of life.

After the movie, we talked about the advantages we have here in Lake County as Peak Oil manifests itself in the economy and food/energy/oil prices: where locally grown food and local economies are significant advantages as oil becomes too expensive to use. Some acknowledged that focusing on local economy and sustainability is one of the best strategies to promote Peace and to counteract the politics of empire.

I was amazed by what happened. This group somehow magically coalesced into something exciting and energizing. The result of the meeting was that we decided to become a forum for furthering the discussion of local sustainability. Many shared an interest in sustainable practices: alternative energy, locally grown food (or growing your own), biodiesel, limiting consumption of goods etc.

We decided to rename the group from Community Democracy to something that is more non-partison The best I could come up with is "Lake County Community Sustainability Group" (any ideas?) The purpose of our group is to share ideas and experiences, and to promote actions and policies, related to preparing ourselves local community for life after Peak Oil.

Wow, I am jazzed by this.