category: eco-philosophy inspirations
found via tree hugger!
“From tiny houses, tool libraries to downloadable design, integrating the concepts of open source sharing, collaborative consumption and “building tiny” into our lives is something that we know is better for the planet. From Wisconsin comes the Little Free Library, an amazing little social enterprise that has all of these elements, aiming to build a network of tiny, community libraries the world over — no library card needed.”
Love these in every way possible!
Drilling holes into lumber gives bees an opportunity to live in cells, as they do in beehives. The goal, according to Denizen Works principal Murray Kerr, was to create installations that “are a cross between graffiti and community service, creating small moments of interest in the city.”
This is apparently a short of a longer 3D documentary feature, the first in a collaboration of Louie Schwartzberg of Blacklight films (Movingart.tv) and Paul Stamets of Fungi Perfecti (fungi.com). omg, where can i go see it?! thanks bioneers for the head’s up!
i think i found this via tree hugger somehow!
what an amazing place this would be to visit!
wesley the owl is a fascinating book! half the time i thought the author/scientist was insane for keeping and raising a barn owl for 19 years. she had to kill at least 6 mice per day to feed him, could only sleep a few hours at a time, and deal with him having sex with her arm?! are you kidding me?!
the other half of the time reading this book i’d be enthralled with the author’s insights into owl behavior, made possible only by living and being intimately involved with one for 19 years.
i mean, how can you not love the idea of “open source collaboration?” along with others through social media, britta riley developed and perfected the window farms garden system. you can buy the group’s beautifully-made ready-made kit, or download free plans to build your own from soda bottles.
images from my autumn days here in portland interspersed with excerpts from the kickoff talk of the latest bioneers conference. ideas that are difficult and overwhelming to think about, yet constantly inspiring and ever more prescient every day. just like life.
the nature of nature is change, but sometimes it hurdles into fast forward tripping radical shifts. scientists call it “nature’s regime shift.” for the first time people are causing it on a planetary scale and it can be irreversible, at least on a human timeframe. when people talk about saving the earth, we would better frame it as saving ourselves.
every major empire over the past several hundred years has undergone a predictable cycle of collapse. the hallmarks are always the same: the financialization of the economy, moving from manufacturing to speculation, very high levels of debt, extreme economic inequality, and costly military over reaching.
every empire has had an idiosyncratic ability to exploit a particular energy source that propelled it’s rise to economic power. no empire has been able to manage the transition to the next energy source. the climate imperative today is to transition off of fossil fuels worldwide and it requires the most complex collaboration and urgent passage in the history of human civilization. nothing like it has ever been done.
as paul gilding writes in the great disruption, the science says we physically entered a period of great change, a synchronized yet related crash of the economy and the ecosystem. the great disruption will ultimately take society into a higher evolutionary state. we have the opportunity to build a society that represents our highest capacities, that works with rather than against nature. this crisis presents what may be a once-in-a-civilization opportunity. the severity of the crisis will drive a global response thats mammoth in scale and speed including the biggest economic and industrial transformation in history. the sooner we shift, the more options and the less pain we’ll have.
from chaos theory to the gaia hypothesis, a new cosmology is unfolding. in this paradigm the earth does not revolve around us… to move from breakdown to breakthrough we’re entering into the age of nature. this revolution from the heart of nature leads with a basic shift in our relationship with nature from resource and object to mentor, model and partner.
as janine benyus points out, “nature’s done everything we want to do without mining the past, polluting the planet, or mortgaging the future. the principles appear simple: nature runs on current sunlight, nature banks on diversity, nature rewards cooperation, nature builds from the bottom up, nature recycles everything, life creates conditions conducive to life.
nature also has a profound capacity for healing. the age of nature calls for a new social contract of interdependence. taking care of nature means taking care of people, taking care of people means taking care of nature.
when huge shocks transform the landscape, structures and institutions crumble releasing tremendous amounts of bound-up energy and resources for renewal and reorganization. novelty emerges. it’s a period of creativity, freedom and transformation. these times belong to those who learn, innovate and adapt. the name of the game is resilience… the heart of resilience is diversity. resilience teaches us. decentralized systems create backups and redundancy.
check out what every household in portland received this week! as someone who’s unsuccessfully tried various composting systems with apathetic housemates, i’m thrilled! trash day and composting just got easier.
above is the start of an art piece i made especially for old faithful beach cottage, in exchange for my week’s stay there on the coast last week. do you have a west coast cabin on the coast or in the woods and would like some custom artwork for it’s walls? i’d love to do similar projects!
would you like to see the completed piece above, and experience old faithful yourself? maura, the cabin’s owner, welcomes guests on airbnb.com and is also interested in creative barters such as massages, artwork, etc.
last week while away, i also read voluntary simplicity by duane elgin. not as poetic as the practice of the wild, but just as informative. it was also a kick to read while immersed in a lovingly restored cabin with just the basics, 1950′s-era style. the kitchen above was my favorite room, and the one where i spent the most time. below are some quote from the first chapter of voluntary simplicity and old faithful’s awesome simple kitchen, and surrounds.
“voluntary simplicity involves both inner and outer condition. it means singleness of purpose, sincerity and honesty within, a well a avoidance of exterior clutter, of many possessions irrelevant to the chief purpose of life. it means an ordering and guiding of our energy and our desires, a partial restraint in some directions in order to secure greater abundance of life in other directions. it involves a deliberate organization of life for a purpose. of course, as different people have different purposes in life, what is relevant to the purpose of one person might not be relevant to the purpose of another.” – richard gregg
some people tend to equate simple living with a life characterized by poverty, antagonism to progress, rural living, and the denial of beauty. it is important to acknowledge these misconceptions so that we can move beyond them.
an ecological approach to living invites us to continuously balance two aspects of life – maintaining ourselves [creating a workable existence], and surpassing ourselves [creating a meaningful existence].
the many expressions of simpler living, both inner and outer, indicate that this is much more than a superficial change in the *style* of life. a “style” change refers generally to an exterior change, such as a new fad or fashion. simplicity goes far deeper and involves a change in our *way* of life.
simpler ways of living in the ecological era will result in changes as great as the transition from the agrarian era to the industrial era. in an interdependent, ecologically conscious world every aspect of life will be touched and changed: consumption levels and patterns, living and working environments, political attitudes and processes, international ethics and relations, the uses of mass media, education and many more.
to live *peacefully*, we must live within a reasonable degree of *equity*, or fairness, for it is unrealistic to think that, in a communications-rich world, a billion or more persons will accept living in absolute poverty while another billion live in conspicuous excess. only with greater fairness in the consumption of the world’s resources can we love peacefully, and thereby live sustainably, as a human family. without a revolution in fairness, the world will find itself in chronic conflict over dwindling resources, and this in turn will make it impossible to achieve the level of cooperation necessary to solve problems.
the character of a whole society is the cumulative result of the countless small actions, ay in and day out, of millions of persons. small changes that may seem unimportant in isolation are of transformative significance when adopted by an entire society.
just before leaving portland i stopped off at the library to pick up the newest stack of books being held for me. well. if the practice of the wild wasn’t just the perfect thing to read this week while i’ve sequestered myself in a cabin on the coast!
gary snyder expertly weaves together several holistic belief systems, nature, culture, history and points us all towards a path of a sustainable way of living based on a deep understanding of your current bio-region, where ever it may be, and how it interconnects with other bio-regions.
stunning. just about every paragraph leaves me breathless. and in need of a nap. or a walk. here are some photos of this morning’s fog-drenched walk and passages from the practice of the wild‘s first essay, the etiquette of freedom.
the world is nature, and in the long run inevitably wild, because the wild, as the process and essence of nature, is also an ordering of impermanence… it has always been part of basic human experience to live in a culture of wilderness. there has been no wilderness without some kind of human presence for several hundred thousand years. nature is not a place to visit, it is home - and within that home territory there are more familiar and less familiar places. often there are areas that are difficult and remote, but all are known and even named.
wilderness is a place where the wild potential is fully expressed, a diversity of living and non-living beings flourishing according to their own sorts of order…when an ecosystem is fully functioning, all the members are present at the assembly… human beings came out of that, and to consider the possibility of reactivating membership in the Assembly of All Beings is in no way regressive.
wilderness may temporarily dwindle, but wildness won’t go away. a ghost wilderness hovers around the entire planet: the millions of tiny seeds of the original vegetation are hiding in the mud on the foot of an arctic tern… these seeds are each uniquely adapted to a specific soil or circumstance, each with its own little form and fluff, ready to float, freeze or be swallowed, always preserving the germ.
i grew up on a small farm… so i had the good fortune of seeing the human and animal as in the same realm. but many people who have been hearing this [people are animals] since childhood have not absorbed the implications of it. they would like to feel they might be something better than animals. that’s understandable: other animals might feel they are something different than “just animals” too. but we must contemplate the shared ground of our common biological being before emphasizing the differences.
most of humanity – foragers, peasants, artisans… have understood the play of the real world with all it’s suffering [and] through the celebration of the gift-exchange quality of our give-and-take. “what a big potlatch we are all members of!” to acknowledge that each of us at the table will eventually be part of the meal is not just being “realistic.” it is allowing the sacred to enter and accepting the sacramental aspect of our shaky temporary personal being.
practically speaking, a life that is vowed to simplicity, appropriate boldness, good humor, gratitude, unstinting work and play, and lots of walking brings us close to the actually existing world and its wholeness.
well, there ya go! the cafe down the road apiece from the cabin has a great wifi connection, but they’ll be closed the next two days. so this is the last you’ll hear from me until then!