We have some great victories to celebrate this week: Princesvlei is saved! This treasured ecosystem, important to folk of various faiths, will not be turned into yet another shopping mall. Thanks to all of us who helped prevent this plan from the 1999 council from becoming a reality, not forgetting the late Father John Oliver. This is a true reflection of what can happen if we work together for good – active citizens with local authorities. Working in separate pockets can cost us our civilisation. This is the ego that must be released if we are to transform the structure of our society fast enough. Radical collaboration is my motto for the year. How are we going to construct that?
The Kriel power station in Mphumalanga will not be granted a special permit to be allowed to pollute the environment willy nilly, no sir! This is a major breakthrough, as we investigated this week how coal fired power stations impact on the health of humans and the environment. Our astute student from Marion Island, Allen Tshautshau, shares those facts with us. Who knows who all is suffering from these consequences today, suffering in silence?
The local farmers are harvesting! On this auspicious day a group of local and visiting Climate Leaders were in our element, learning in the vineyards from the pioneer and founder of the only certified biodynamic wine farm in SA, Johan Reyneke. This was the first of my Organic Farm tours – contact me if you’d like to join us for the next. I love the way Johan always starts with the soil – the soul of the biodynamic farm.
Organic matter boosts resistance to disease
We admire the dark earth he scoops out with his hands: “If you can get the organic matter in your soil up to 5%, it increases your vine’s resistance to disease threefold, without any human help.”
The parallels with the human body don’t escape me. Eat more fresh organic foods and our resistance to disease shoots up too. And our carbon footprint drops down. Apart from the use of fossil fuels for electricity and transport, supporting industrial agriculture is our third largest sin in terms of contributing towards the unfolding climate crises.
So how do you get humus? You need organic material and you need microbes. Allowing and encouraging biodiversity in the vineyard. A lot of what you see here are grass species high in silica, rye, oats, etc. So too is the essence of our country mired in biodiversity – seemingly disparate peoples who each contribute essential ingredients to the soul of our nation, supported by the earth we depend on. Tolerance and justice being the guide posts for an equitable future, or any future at all. Poverty and ignorance our common enemies.
Diverse people need transformative dialogues
We need transformative dialogues to bridge the divides which still separate us. A wide variety of people sitting together, listening to each other, moving in and through the emotional field towards resolutions. The goal is the healing of our past and the mobilisation of active citizenship. We form such dialogue circles and I facilitate those free of charge. All we now need is for you to create such an event at your home or work. Let’s do this together?
This leads me to the bad news – the report released by NASA scientists this week where a collaboration of mathematical, natural and social scientists predict the very probable end to our civilisation within decades. Of course denialists and ostriches are on the attack, but this rests firmly on the shoulders of our unfolding climate knowledge as well as the Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change’s report released in Paris this week.
How does that land for you? What is the emotion? We cannot solve our problems by remaining in the intellectual realm; we need to move into feelings. This is for me the missing element in the climate discourse – no number of hard facts will actually sufficiently mobilise us unless we feel the impact on the heart level. We cannot possibly think, write, or even talk the world better. Only if we move towards our essence will we make the shift towards a new world, where we feel the unity with all humans and all species. By returning the honour between us, and respecting our common humanity, the impossible can become a reality.
Let’s not be paralysed by fear, or despair. Embracing e-motion mobilises us towards action. New action. Way out action even. What we now know for sure is that the old ways don’t work. The very structure of our modern society has been proven fatally flawed. If you are still unsure what to do, speak up, be in touch. This is our opportunity to rise to the occasion and create the true community we always wanted.
By Elma Pollard