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Archive for the ‘agriculture’ Category

This article is another opportunity to understand that Nature is not just an industrial feed stock but intelligent sentient life just like us.

Internalizing this objective fact makes us develop an emotional connection with life no different than what we have for our fellow human beings and our pets. Empathy, affection and a sense of care are the emotions that build up such connection.

It is this emotional awakening that will eventually help us recover our lost link to the natural world. Until such emotional re-connection can take place we will not be able to achieve the shift in our perception of reality and our overall attitude toward ourselves and nature required to make our existence sustainable on Earth.

Art can greatly enhance and expedite this indispensable psychological and cultural process. That is the core objective of my current work in art, psychology and sustainability.

Amazon-Rainforest-Deforestation-1024x440

Amazon rainforest deforestation. Photo: worldwildlife.org

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Have shallow ecology, the fragmentation and inefficiency of market driven sustainability and overall green washing turn you into an skeptic?

I do not blame you. You can however survive such skepticism: going to the essence and the origin of sustainability: DEEP ECOLOGY. I will be writing more on this subject on my next blogs.

The_Earth_seen_from_Apollo_17

Titled ‘Blue Marble’ the photograph above taken from Apollo 17 was one the first shots capturing the whole planet from space. These powerful pictures helped coalesce the modern environmental movement as it conveyed the fragility of Planet Earth. Today ‘Blue Marble’ is one of the symbols of Deep Ecology.

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I have a favorite  metaphor to convey the complexity of the global sustainability challenges and more importantly, the need to address the most critical challenges and the risk for our efforts to be in vain if we fail to prioritize those critical conditions.  We need to think of our planet as a patient brought to the hospital after a car accident.  She has scratches, bruises and internal bleeding. Any doctor would prioritize the internal bleeding over the injuries on her skin. The bleeding can be lethal where as the remaining injuries may just cause pain and other less critical conditions.

Despite my respect and recognition of anyone who is engaged in sustainability, I cannot ignore the pressing need to systemically evaluate the crises which threaten our world today.  There is an imperative to discern the critical conditions that pose the greatest risks from those other conditions that will just make our existence more challenging.  Interestingly enough the most serious conditions are often more difficult to see by society due to their complex and systemic risk nature.

Let’s just look at the difference between the need to reduce green house emissions and energy consumption in a modern city in the developed world like Chicago versus the need to stop the deforestation of the Amazon rain forest.  The  Amazon is one of the Earth’s ‘lungs’ without which carbon accumulation in the atmosphere may become a runaway phenomenon posing a major risk to all life in this planet.  Such scenario would dwarf any urgency to green out Chicago. The Amazon’s as other tropical rain forest deforestation, is driven by demands for farming, ranching and logging.  The complexity is obvious when we learn how corporate interests, government policy, social inequity and even consumer trends such as the popularity of beef are intrinsically linked in the problem.

This is the reason why I am forced to think globally when it comes to sustainability no matter how much green allegiance I may have for my town or region. And this is also why I rather focus on understanding the complex interaction between our multiple global crises and threats, instead of just taking the much less emotionally and intellectually challenging approach of  focusing on just one technology, policy or locale. In my opinion this is the same reductionist attitude that created the unsustianable industrial paradigm responsible for the anthropogenic global planetary crises.

Probably the oldest industry which has contributed in a major way to a compounded environmental crisis is agriculture.  I invite you to read my latest article on the dangerous threats agriculture poses and a technology based solution already designed to mitigate them.  The links to my article published on Examiner.com are: part one and part two.

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