As I read this thread I see that Paul is saying that he wants to take a rest from the fray and he wants others to shoulder the responsibility he has been carrying. Many people do not hear this message. They are encouraging Paul not to give up.
I feel that I am shouldering some of this responsibility.
If you would please watch this video from Toby Hemingway you will understand the paradigm shift that Toby has long been describing.
this is a keystone video. the solution that he recommends is horticulture or I will call it ecosystem gardening to not confuse it with the science of the current horticulture. . there are 3 ways that I know of to quickly grow an ecosystem 1) with a lot of mulch, no bare soil, no tilling and cover crops, 2) holistic management including ruminant rotational grazing or 3) microbe inoculations. see on facebook microbe teas, a quick way to regenerate soil as well as a story of microbes how they can accomplish seeming miracles on Permies site.
I was feeling a lot like Paul is feeling. Not because I have made anywhere near the contribution that Paul has, and not because I have spent anywhere near the time and effort that he has. More because I am a woman and like most women, I need to see that my contribution is not only needed but being received. I am wired to need feedback to know that I am on the right course. In Toby’s video he describes that a major problem with agriculture (or industrial agriculture as I will call it) is that it takes 100 or more years to see how the soil has been decimated. Actually to deplete the soil so much that farming is no longer possible. In tropical countries it only takes 20 years to decimate the soil. So this need of mine and other women for feedback can be a very good thing. If in a mothering roll, the child does not respond, we know to change what we are doing.
I am spending this winter on the East Coast because Adam Sachs from Bio4Climate had seen my crowdfunder on facebook and wanted me to speak at the Bio4Climate conference where he is bringing practioners together with scientists who want to find solutions for our planet. I might not have come except that Didi Pershouse who wrote
The Ecology of Care: Medicine, Agriculture, Money, and the Quiet Power of Human and Microbial Communities.
invited me to attend a workshop with a famous microbiologist Walter Jehne where we would brainstorm on solutions with a lot of movers and shakers. Feeling myself surrounded by 30 other people who are as committed as I am to simple solutions is giving me the foundation to continue my work. I have seen that using microbes in ecosystem gardening covers at least 10,000 acres in the New England area and if we enlarge that to include holistic management, then we are probably up to 200,000 acres minimum in the U.S.. Around the world there are at least 5000 holistic management type sites some of them with 50,000 acres. Holistic grazing has been reversing desertification and alleviating drought wherever it is practiced correctly with concomitant humus and ecosystem regeneration. Whoopee there is hope for our future, especially if these small and large scale solutions can continue to grow. It is starting to sound like we will reach the turning point soon.
Because of my presentation at the Bio4Climate conference I have made connections with many women running organizations in this area including SustainableBrattleboro, BioConcordcan, Sustainable Arlington, etc. They are adding to their current projects a movement to convert their lawns to natives and perennials. the BioConcordCan group calls their project YIMBY. Yes in My Back Yard. They want to create humus as quickly as possible as they have been hard hit by drought and uderstand that the carbon in the humus can hold up to 250,000 gallons of water per acre and thus the beginning of the solution for drought and desertification. I am working with a team here to write a manual for how to do this, hoping that this will take off around the country. With 41.5 million acres of lawns this can make a significant difference.
These technics have the benefit of reversing desertification, and alleviating drought because they allow the water to go into the soil, (as opposed to running off it) filling the deep aquifers and drastically slowing the water returning to the sea that is causing increased rises in the ocean levels. With the addition of trees there is bacteria from the trees which seeds the clouds causing rain in that area, which can mean that the water does not return to the ocean for 10 years.
I believe that everyone of us (people) including every bacteria, every plant, every animal have something to contribute to what Paul calls simple solutions. We all need to let the creativity that Toby says is the heart of an ecosystem gardening practice (love and abundance vs. fear and scarcity) to fill us with the contributions that we can make. Our creative contribution leads to our own health as well as that of the planet.