Now, only a small proportion of people on this Earth live within her carrying capacity. And most of those aspire not to. Only a tinier proportion of those people actually aspire to live within the planet’s means, and these are generally native people. A scattering of native tribes around the world have survived intact because they have, unlike us in the west, continued to take care of the earth in a way that doesn’t damage her or deplete her.
Last week new calculations from nef (the new economics foundation) revealed that on Easter Sunday this year, 12 April, the UK in effect stopped relying on its own natural resources to support itself and started to 'live off' the rest of the world. This day creeps earlier each year. It’s worth taking some time to ponder what this means, especially to other human beings. There is simply less to go around because of the choices I make.
It’s not a question of feeling guilty; that’s just a waste of time. It’s a matter of taking positive, effective action. That will mean something different for each one of us, and in the years to come we'll be learning what that means. For we are entering a time of Earth Care and Earth Repair, the age of Ecology. Every single choice we make about what we eat, how we travel, how we share with each other, allows us to start to practice Earth Repair, from this moment. We have a huge amount of power of choice; far more than we have been led to believe. As the song goes, Her sacred ground we walk upon, with every step we take.
As the sap rises, I’m currently deepening my understanding of Earth Repair on my new allotment. I’ve been a permaculturalist for 15 years, but I’m now learning from the greatest teacher of all, our Mother. And just like the happy man in this video, I’m finding that the rewards are many.