Category Archives: Julian Rose
Readers not already on James Robertson’s massive mailing list are advised to consider signing up to receive his Newsletter which has a wide overview of current issues, drawing on a range of sources and reaching people in many different countries. Here are a few extracts from Newsletter No. 58 – August 2017
FACING THE FUTURE
Viral essay: The Uninhabitable Earth. “It is, I promise, worse than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible, even within the lifetime of a teenager today. And yet the swelling seas — and the cities they will drown — have so dominated the picture of global warming, and so overwhelmed our capacity for climate panic, that they have occluded our perception of other threats, many much closer at hand. Rising oceans are bad, in fact very bad; but fleeing the coastline will not be enough.”
See David Wallace-Wells at www.ecologise.in/2017/07/15/viral-essay-uninhabitable-earth.
WE THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD MUST ACT, IF OUR LEADERS WON’T
14 years have passed since the British Astronomer Royal, Sir Martin Rees, offered us Our final century. “I think the odds are no better than 50/50 that our present civilisation will survive to the end of the present century”. See www.news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/uk2000/newsmakers/ 2976279.stm. If the leaders of our countries pay no attention to those warnings, we the people of the Earth must respond.
EXAMPLES OF PEOPLE RESPONDING INCLUDED:
- The Ecological Land Co-operative works towards a living, working countryside (Ed: co-founder Shaun Chamberlin). “Our mission is to provide affordable opportunities for ecological land-based businesses in the UK. We support rural regeneration by developing affordable sites for farming, forestry and other rural enterprises which are viable and ecologically beneficial”. Their current 2017-2020 Business Plan sets out more about their work. See www.ecologicalland.coop.
- The Farmer Is The Future, by Julian Rose. See www.notthembutus.wordpress.com/discussion-papers/the-future-is-the-farmer-julian-rose.
- Localise West Midlands works towards local supply chains, money flow, ownership and power for a more just and sustainable economy. Its joint co-ordinator is Karen Leach. This not-for-personal-profit thinktank, campaign group and consultancy exists to promote the environmental, social and economic benefits of:
Local trading, using local businesses, materials and supply chains
Linking local needs to local resources
Development of community and local capacity
Decentralisation of appropriate democratic and economic power
Provision of services tailored to meet local needs.
And finally: The overwhelming negatives of the Hinkley Point deal.
“The Chinese and French have made British consumers the equivalent of a gargantuan payday loan. The case for the project, says the NAO, was “marginal” and the deal “not value for money”. That is auditor-speak for crazy.” See www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/23/hinkley-point-cancel-theresa-may-hs2.
“We launched our new video series at Petersham Nurseries Restaurant, London, featuring Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Mark Hix, Amelia Freer and a host of other celebrated chefs, and the farmers who provide their pork.
“The videos champion high animal welfare British farming and urge us all to join the #TurnYourNoseUp at pig factories campaign. Could you taste the difference between pork from a high welfare farm, and pork from a factory farm? Mark Hix, Damian Clisby & James Golding hosted our event to showcase the difference.”
“We screened the second episode of our ‘Rooting For Real Farms’ series at the event. Watch it here: farmsnotfactories.org/rooting-for-real-farms/ep-2. In this video we meet Harry Boglione, a passionate advocate of Slow Food and sustainable living and owner of Haye Farm Devon, which he founded in 2014 after escaping London with partner, Emily. The now fully organic mixed farm supplies pigs, chickens, rabbits, ducks and seasonal vegetables to Petersham Nurseries, as well as other renowned London restaurants. Harry set up the 66 acre farm with no formal training and rears Oxford Sandy and Black and Gloucester Old Spot pigs. He believes the way to achieve sustainability is by “doing a bit of everything”, adding, “I am yet to give a pig antibiotics, they are incredibly resilient creatures so if you’ve got to give them antibiotics your doing something incredibly wrong. Not only is it cruel but its not healthy, and its not sustainable”.
“Animal factories cram pigs into such overcrowded and unhealthy conditions that they need to be routinely dosed with antibiotics just to keep them alive. The sheds become a breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, bringing us ever closer to the time when antibiotics no longer work as a cure for animal or human diseases. By only buying pork with high welfare labels we can close pig factories. It’s that simple!”
Tracy urges readers to share the video on social media channels.
Julian Rose sends news of the Belweder Declaration
“We, the undersigned, believe that industrial methods of food production constitute a very serious threat to the Polish people and the Polish countryside, and therefore we URGE the President and the Polish Government to respect the voice of the majority of their electorate and immediately implement the postulates of the BELWEDER DECLARATION: ‘The Charter of Real Farming and Real Food’ “
Its demands make many valuable points, including:
The need to recognise the key role of small and medium farms in the protection and preservation of food sovereignty that is essential for the basic supply of food for the nation.
The removal of restrictions concerning the possibility to buy a full range of products from local farmers by shops, schools, restaurants and other institutions.
Support for the processing of foods on farms and the use of renewable energy sources.
Implementation of an immediate ban on the sales, cultivation and production of GMOs, as well as an effective strategy for the production of GMO-free Polish animal feeds.
The introduction of organic farming methods into schools’ and universities’ curriculums as one of the main directions and not just an alternative to industrial methods of food production.
We urge the President and the Polish Government to stop promoting the current agricultural policy based on highly chemical, industrial farming that can lead hundreds of thousands farmers to bankruptcy, soils to degradation and the country to food catastrophe.
After reading Ian Potter’s downbeat dairy news posted on the Political Concern website, Julian Rose writes by email:
“Ian is an enduring stalwart of the dairy industry. I bought and sold quota through him back in the 1990’s. His prognosis is all too true, it is indeed the supermarket and the global marketing casino that continue to ensure that the price of milk is subject to the roller-coaster ride it has become tragically accustomed to. A roller-coaster which continually forces dairy farming onto its knees.
But at the other end of the spectrum, as Tom Levitt also points out, a revival is taking place of the small herd supplying fresh, local and mostly unpasteurised milk direct to the public – micro-dairying:
“Unlike the product we pick off the shelf in the supermarket, the milk from micro-dairies is invariably unhomogenised. It is often still pasteurised to kill harmful bacteria, but even the semi-skimmed varieties are sold with the almost forgotten creamy top.
“The difference in the quality of milk, when the focus is on producing quality over quantity, is remarkable and it feels strange to call what we produce and what you pull off the supermarket shelves, by the same word – milk,’ says Josh Healy, who runs North Aston Dairy, a 19-cow herd in Oxfordshire, providing organic milk twice a week for 250 local customers”.
Julian ends: “There could hardly be a more contrasting scenario within the world of dairy farming. I believe that the brighter future might belong to the ‘micro-dairy’ practitioners. Not least because their product is about as close as one can get to ‘real food’, whereas the process of ‘denaturing’, performed on milk from wholesale suppliers destined for supermarkets, is wholly destructive of all the most valuable elements of this once excellent food.
“Ultimately the buyer will come to recognize this difference”.
The old model, which is still being forced along the aging and unbending tracks of tunnel vision determinism, teaches that ‘economic growth’ is the be-all and end-all of planetary prosperity.
Never mind that it is quite literally ‘costing the Earth’ – and will require another five Earth’s if all seven billion citizens are to achieve the supposed goal of attaining a ‘standard of living’ equal to that of post-industrial countries like Northern Europe.
The best way to visualise the activity of a marketplace which deals in finite planetary resources as though they were infinite, is a man in a tree steadily sawing off the branch he is sitting on. And yes, he’s three quarters of the way through that branch at the time of going to press.
But there is another paradigm pushing its way up through the morass of discarded steel and concrete which constitute the scrap heap earth economic order; and that is an altogether different baby, with its roots in pre- industrial revolution practices where the land and its resources were regarded with respect and awe, and held to be essential to the health and well-being of all who engaged with them.
Here, manual dexterity and a pedigree in good land husbandry were the hallmarks of sustainable living and the guarantee of good food on the table as well as a robust weatherproof home. The simple values adopted by countryside communities were largely sacrosanct because they were closely associated with life and death, for the whole family. One lived close to the ground and got to know that ground intimately as a result. Mistreat it, and one blew one’s life line to security and prosperity.
Stand these two models side by side – and reflect on which is the more responsible template for the survival of planet Earth, its flora, fauna and human inhabitants.
Those who hold that the status quo still provides the solution for an expanding global population, should do a bit of serious homework. They should consider the fact that 40% of the World’s best farmland has been rendered incapable of growing food, due to around 100 years of absolute exploitation of the soil by large scale, monocultural farming practices and the profligate application of millions of tons of toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers; all of which deplete the life force of that most valuable of all resources: the top twelve centimetres of soil which all cultivated edible plants depend upon for their nourishment.
The true cost of industrial agriculture and the global market place it supplies, is not reflected in the price one pays for one’s food.
That remains a hidden cost which governments and corporations keep firmly under wraps, lest the truth should emerge about the mining operations that are taking place under the pretext of ‘efficient modern farming’. In the UK, some 60 tons of topsoil per hectare are lost from arable land every year – and bear in mind that it took millions of years for nature to build that topsoil. How could mankind have become so blindly profligate?
I have spent the last forty years nurturing back to life soils depleted by a reliance upon toxic substitutes to time honoured natural soil building methods known to all true stewards of the land. In the process I found that a living soil produces living food, and that living food only retains its life giving energies when sold and consumed within the immediate proximity of the place of production. This is the secret of abundant health: in soil, plant animal and man.
It stands in supreme contrast with the lifeless, denatured fake food which some 75% of the supermarket addicted population of Europe – and 98% of the USA – depend upon for their daily depleted diets. So called ‘food’, which has travelled an average of more than 7,000 kilometres before arriving on the neon lit plastic shelves of your nearest superstore. A starkly powerful symbol of factory style mass production and the globalization of the food chain.
Emergent also, will be advanced renewable energy technologies that enable individuals and whole villages to go ‘off-grid’, thereby avoiding slavish reliance upon vast corporations. The same applies to materials for house building. Most will be drawn from natural resources like clay and straw, hemp, rammed earth and wood from sustainably managed forests.
In case readers should think I’m talking about some futuristic utopia, let it be known that models filling this description are already in operation all over the world. In the UK, alternative currencies are gathering momentum. The Bristol Pound, which is supported by the mayor, operates in over 100 small community oriented businesses in the City. The Lewes and Totnes Pounds have been part of community life for more than 20 years, and such creative alternatives to mainstream trading are springing up in London, Liverpool and many other towns and cities throughout Europe.
We are, by necessity, returning to our roots, and all those who can read the writing on the wall, should set their sights on getting re-earthed before the fault lines of change finally swallow-up the outmoded and dysfunctional practices of yesteryear.
Julian Rose is an early pioneer of UK organic agriculture, a writer, activist and President of The International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside. He is author of two acclaimed books: ‘Changing Course for Life’ and ‘In Defence of Life’ which can be purchased by going to www.changingcourseforlife.info Further information about Julian’s unusual life and work is also available on this site.