Love vs. Fear

Imagine if we could help someone change their life for the better permanently, in under three years. Or imagine being in direct contact with the people on the ground, turning their semi-desert home back to an abundant food forest using permaculture, perhaps even going over and helping out…. Imagine being able to offer advice and expertise, or just encouragement and support, while a family solves their problems. No middlemen, no expenses taken out, no bureaucracy. If only!

After spending some years and a lot of money (to me) trying to set up a conventional non-profit to promote permaculture, I came across an alarming and incredible statistic, one which caused me to reappraise everything I was doing and start something else. According to statista.com, in the USA alone, non-profits reported expenses of 1.89 trillion U.S. dollars in 2009. I wanted to be sure, because sometimes a billion is a hundred million, instead of a thousand million (presumably to distinguish top millionaires from the riffraff). But that’s not the case here. A trillion is a one followed by 12 zeros, so in 2009, US non-profits’ expenses were 1,890,000,000,000 dollars.

And that’s just the USA. We could safely double it for worldwide non-profits, and still be well below the actual figure. To be conservative, let’s say 3 trillion of our dollars each year goes on the kinds of projects that non-profits are allowed to do (essentially, making the world a better place). Think what you could do with just one million dollars. Now think of that times three million! Or imagine if three million people went out into the world, each with a million dollars to spend on projects beneficial to the community. Every year!

 

Read the rest at permaculturenews.org

Non-native species – introduce with care!

We tend to get carried away, impressed by our knowledge, while forgetting that what we don’t know is vastly greater than what we do. We introduce non-native species to an area because, in another part of the world, they do something we like. What’s quoted below is from the book “The Vegetarian Myth” by Lierre Keith. She goes into great detail about the lives of plants and this gives us an insight into just how ignorant we are about the intricacies of ecosystems.

We have to understand that the permaculture designs we make are but a pale imitation of the real world; a vastly simplified system designed to provide food for us. We should approach this with humility and care. The quotes within the text are from a book called “The Lost Language of Plants” by Stephen Harrod Buhner.

Buhner talks about archipelagoes of plant communities, groupings of intercommunicating plants around a dominant or keystone species, usually a tree. These archipelagoes form in response to mysterious and unpredictable cues, and often announce the wholesale movement of ecosystems. The process begins with an outrider or pioneer plant, who literally prepares the soil for its cohorts. When the soil is ready, the nurse plant sends out the chemical message: join me. What happens next is astounding.  Continue reading “Non-native species – introduce with care!”

Great Success for First Nations in Kenya

African Union Comes Out in Support of Ogiek Land Rights

The Ogiek, the meanwhile world-famous honey-hunters of the Mau forest in Kenya, booked another success in their struggle for survival and the rights to their forest homeland.

The African Court of Human and People’s Rights of the African Union (AU), following the line of arguments presented by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, ordered the Government of the Republic of Kenya to immediately halt any eviction of Ogiek from their ancestral forests, which the Ogiek had protected since times immemorial. It were the Ogiek who preserved the old growth forest of indigenous trees, resisted against the colonial plantations of non-indigenous species and thereby maintained the capacity of the Mau Forest Range as one of the five major water towers of Kenya until today.

In their struggle for recognition, natural forest- and watershed-protection and the rights to their territory ECOTERRA Intl. stood since 1992 besides the Ogiek, one of the five aboriginal peoples of Kenya (see http://www.ogiek.org).

Continue reading “Great Success for First Nations in Kenya”

CEO of CARE Joining the Board of Coca-Cola

[Is it really surprising when we allow our ‘charities’ to be run exactly like mega-corporations, with exactly the same value system and skills needed to run them ‘properly’?]

In its continuing frenzy to silence potential critics, Coca-Cola issued a press release recently that announced the following:

Helene D. Gayle, M.D., M.P.H., has been nominated to stand for election to the Company’s Board of Directors at its Annual Meeting of Shareowners in April.Dr. Gayle, 57, is President and CEO of CARE USA, a leading international humanitarian organization whose poverty fighting programs reached approximately 122 million people last year in 84 countries.

Why in the world would Dr. Gayle want to sit on the Coca-Cola Board of Directors when Coca-Cola’s export of non-nutritious, sugary drinks to the world’s poorest countries is causing a new set of chronic health problems for those living in poverty — including obesity, heart disease, diabetes and dental caries (cavities)? The U.S. is already dealing with the phenomenon of food insecure families suffering from obesity, thanks in good part to overconsumption of cheap soft drinks that are heavily marketed in our poorest communities.

Surely Dr. Gayle must have seen this startling statistic: For each additional sugary drink a child consumes per day, his or her risk of obesity increases by an astonishing 60 percent.* That applies to children living in poverty as well.

Full article at civileats.com

archived as pdf: CARE_CEO_Joining_Board_of_CocaCola