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Julian Rose’s new book

Q&A with Author, Activist and Organic Farming Pioneer Julian Rose

Note: Julian Rose’s new book Overcoming the Robotic Mind – Why Humanity Must Come Through is available through Dixi Books HERE.

Q: Our planet is turning into a place that cannot be lived in any more at a very fast pace. Does your book put forward an exit plan for humanity that stands right on the edge of the cliff?

A: My book lays out a ground-plan for root and branch reform in all the  key areas that affect our daily lives. It also exposes what forces are at  work in bringing our planet to the cliff edge. Without knowing this one cannot come up with a solution on how to overcome apocalyptic events. Humanity is in possession of an extraordinary creative power which remains largely untapped; a power which has been deliberately repressed by a very small minority of global control agents.

Q: Before the very last step over the cliff, do you believe that humanity can save itself as well as the other living creatures?

A: Yes, certainly. Humanity is being pushed into a corner – a very toxic one. But the vast majority of people on this planet are essentially good, honest humans. The task we have is to free ourselves from thoughtless slavery to the political status quo, all around the World. A slavery which  we are all complicit in by continuing to conform to a deeply destructive false agenda. In my writing I call for people to come together to break the chains of our conformist passivity and to build a new society. The animal/ plant kingdom is suffering deeply from the same ‘top-down’ repression, of course. It too will be liberated when those who lead show that they are in possession of something we call wisdom. Then they will understand the necessity of working with the forces of nature and not against them.

Q: Your own life story outlines an individual experience on changing lifestyle, can you tell us a bit more about it?

A: Well, it’s a long and rather dramatic story, but trying to encapsulate it in short, I would say that I came here with a mission. Born into an aristocratic family with a landed Estate and finding that the central role of my life is to make this Estate reflect a different value system than the stereo typical ‘class’ structured one of colonial Britain. When you own land, the first thing one needs to do is ensure it is treated responsibly. If one owns cottages, they should be used to house those who take a responsible attitude to the land and ecology (farming and forestry)  in which they are working. It goes on from there, layer by layer, so that eventually the elite image which still surrounds most Country Estates, is transformed into a blueprint for an extended family living and working together in a manner which allows them to express their creativity and for the place in which they are working to express its creativity too. It is a socio-economic experiment which brings into focus the necessity to find a balance between the need to build an active working economy and at the same time give birth to a socio-spiritual community. A community that, bit by bit, forms the basis for sustaining the day to day working life of the Estate – and shares responsibility for its future. It is a life time work.

Q: You  have brought your own lifestyle first to Poland than to various other communities. Also you have become a source of inspiration in many countries. Could you please tell us more about this?

A: I have a great respect for the peasantry and their deep knowledge of  the land and how to sustain it with the minimum of outside inputs. I came  to Poland on the invitation of Jadwiga Lopata, a respected environmentalist in her Country, in the year 2000. She asked me to become a co-director of the newly inaugurated International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside. I felt an intense need to warn Polish farmers (there were 2 million at that time) of the dangers of following the monocultural Western agrochemical route of food production proposed by the European Union. Most particularly, to start with, the necessity of  saying NO to GMO. It has been a long battle, but we have succeeded in preventing GMO getting in to Poland and have awoken people to the irreplaceable value of the mixed family farm as the foundation of national food security. Through my writing it has been possible to put forward new visions of a way forward for humanity, largely based on my own experiences on the land as an organic farmer and – at an earlier point in my life – in the arts.

Q: In the light of these experiences, which parts of the world or countries do you believe should urgently change their lifestyles?

A: The change would be welcome from any country. However, the responsibility for the mess this planet finds itself in has most to do with the West, and particularly the USA. Due to acquiring an unreasonable proportion of economic wealth through military conquest and then employing this wealth to try and dominate world affairs, the West has set a very irresponsible and dangerous model for other nations to ‘aspire to’. It is now the case that just eight multimillionaires own the same wealth as half the world’s population. Such gross inequality is the surest sign yet   that the world is on the brink of a multi-layered crisis. It is, in fact, a  spiritual crisis. A crisis of rampant greed and pathological self  interest, over natural generosity and manifest compassion.

Q: The responsibility for ecological problems has been knocked back and forth like a tennis ball between Northern and Southern hemispheres for years. For that reason, the real problem remains obscured. How do you interpret that?

A: At the heart of this North/South dilemma lies a historical ambition to conquer. That ambition is evident in the Old Testament and is refuted in  the New Testament. However, in spite of being part of the credo of Christianity, the practice of ‘love thy neighbor’ has never taken root. In fact Christian aspiration is still expressed in the lines of a famous hymn which states “Onward Christian soldiers marching as to war” and reflects the decimation carried out in the name of Jesus by the Northern Crusader armies of the 12th and 11th centuries. From this we can see how the fanatical dogma surrounding ‘religion’ has played a key role in dividing   and conquering – and with this comes the ecological biases that have   their roots in what are held to be ‘superior and inferior’ guardianships of planetary diversity. Until mankind can get beyond the primitive impulse to ‘control’ rather than ‘respect’ nature and human kind, the ecological solution cannot be resolved.

Q: What you think about young people who are under the age of around thirty, are you pessimist or optimist in this sense?

A: I am ambivalent concerning optimism or pessimism with regard to young people today. We are witnessing a rejection of some of the values that were held to be important by older people – and that is common to recent centuries of what is sometimes called ‘progress’. However, in the majority of cases, we are not yet seeing a replacement of those values by something imaginative and progressive. There is, in the West, a strong narcissistic sense of values in what has been termed the ‘me me society’.   I do not lay the blame for this on youth, but more on the behavior patterns set by their parents. The materialistic expectations and aspirations of parents have set the tone. I see great potential in the young of today, but it needs harnessing – ideally in land-based projects, adventurous natural health explorations and strongly led political exposes.

The chief danger lies in becoming over engrossed in Wifi technologies, smartphones and robotics. This virtual reality world – which is designed to ‘do your thinking for you’ – can numb humanity into perpetual slavery to an authoritarian central control system. It is why I have called my new book Overcoming The Robotic Mind – Why Humanity Must Come Through.

Q: There is a stronger fight for defending life in various countries outside of Europe, what do you think about this?

A: I suggest that those still living closer to the soil have retained a stronger will to fight their expulsion from the land, as well as to protect the ecological diversity that sustains them. There are many examples. In India there is now a significant rebellion against GMO and monocultural farming practices introduced by the West. Communities all over the world are waking-up to the sources of their top down exploitation, epitomized by neoliberal Western capitalism and its Goldman Sachs style banker elite. The serious alternative news feed now available on the internet has played a big part in encouraging a process of growing awareness.

Q: How can all these interactions in this field become stronger and more fruitful?

A: By people refusing to bend to the will of the central control system (status quo), and by taking back their destinies into their own hands and working them out at the local level. At the same time, exposing the horrors of mistreatment that are perpetrated by governments as well as supra national powers like the European Union. It is a dual process. Individuals have to see through ‘government’ and form bottom-up people led movements that will usurp the power help by the ruling cabals. It is about the most exciting challenge that one could face!

Q: Recently, more and more leaders in Europe are coming to power who deny climate change, do not believe in democracy and keep a distance towards human rights. Do you think this is a temporary situation? How do you interpret that?

A: I would say that it is a further expression of an age old attempt to  create a caste-iron position of ‘leaders’- and of slaves who serve those leaders. The ‘leaders’ can only achieve their goals by cultivating a ruthless disinterest in humanity as a whole – which of course includes the animal and plant kingdom. War, aggression and dominance are fascistic traits. That is what we are witnessing coming back into the foreground within governments and the corporations that fund and control them.

It is a long planned for attempt by the 0.5% power elite to wrest absolute control over all aspects of planetary life. It is closely affiliated with Masonic and Satanic practices.

It will be temporary if people rise up in unison and reject this horror show. It will become worse if they don’t and will lead to a cyborgian age more automated and sterile than that predicted by Orwell and Huxley more than half a century ago.

‘Our life in our hands’ is an aspiration that must now become a reality. But  it will need to be informed by a deeply spiritual form of passion for all that  is beautiful, brave and of collective importance for all of humanity, regardless of race, religion or color.

 

 

 

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News from FEASTA – founded by Richard Douthwaite

 

Caroline Whyte, who has been involved with Feasta since 2002, studied ecological economics at Mälardalen University in Sweden.

Browsing the site today I was reminded that the subject of her masters thesis was the relationship between central banking and sustainability  She notes:

“Back when I did a masters thesis on central banking and sustainability in 2006, there was very little official recognition on the part of any government or central bank that private banks are directly responsible for money creation – although the Swedish central banker I interviewed for my research acknowledged it immediately when it came up, and if you looked hard enough you could already find references to it elsewhere too”.

Early in December a mailing brought news of a groundbreaking evening on soil & climate action, at Cloughjordan ecovillage in Tipperary (below), with delicious food from ‘said soil’ and a call to action on the dancefloor. There was also art, live music, poetry and DJs as part of the Global Green Christmas Party and World Soils Day. Dr. Ollie Moore, who manages Cloughjordan’s community farm was in discussion with UCD & Friends of the Earth’s Cara Augustenborg.

 

Another discovery on FEASTA’s website was Mike Sandler’s article Climate dividends and the Yellow Vests – extract below:

Climate dividends, which return money from a carbon price back to people, provide a direct solution to the yellow vests concerns, while putting income inequality on equal footing with climate concerns.  They would counteract the regressive impacts of diesel fuel charges, and send money to the very people who need it most.

The yellow vests undoubtedly want a livable planet for their children.  Climate dividends can help change the perception that addressing climate change will be costly to working class people.

Canada is starting to look at dividends as part of their carbon pricing strategy. Perhaps Prime Minister Justin Trudeau could make a call to President Macron and suggest offering climate dividends to the yellow vests.

Climate dividends is a simple solution (based on more complex economics, but let’s leave that for later), and the benefit to the public is that, when paired with an economywide cap, it will reduce emissions, return money to households, and provide a start to a universal basic income.

The main obstacle facing climate dividends is that many politicians are less motivated to give the money back to people, when they could instead spend the money on big projects (such as high-speed rail in California)

Climate dividends could be the solutions the yellow vests are looking for.  Will Macron or others recognize it in time?

 

 

 

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News of Christine Parkinson – and teenagers from Kampala and Mumbai

Reviews of the book which Christine recently finished writing: “Three Generations Left? Human Activity and the Destruction of the Planet” are coming in. We direct readers to the latest one which was written by Caroline Whyte and first published on the FEASTA website,

Christine’s book outlines how so-called progress has combined with a host of other factors, including free trade, a market economy, population increase and the development of a super-rich minority owning most of the wealth of the planet, to bring about global warming and climate change which could lead to a loss of many species and mass human extinction before the end of this century. (Right: book signing at seminar)

It is also constructive – see some proposals published on the West Midlands New Economics website which are to be structured and extended.

Young readers in Uganda and India

Her target audience is aged 15-18 and any adult new to the subject. The writer was struck by the reaction of a teenage visitor from Mumbai (left) when given a copy recently. He looked delighted and not only gave thanks, but after leafing through the book repeated them far more emphatically.

When Charles in Uganda (below) was 15 he wrote about the drama project he founded, focussing on corruption: “You see a change maker doesn’t need to sit and keep quiet when there is an enemy ruining people that is why I never gave up with Drama project because I believe it create changes in this country and all over the world  . . . It hurts me so much when I see some NGOs have stopped to offer their aid to this country because of the rampant growing of a big-headed corruption in this country Uganda and maybe in some other countries also. So you find that the people deep in the villages are the one to suffer – and they suffer a lot.”

Recently Charles – now 19 – who has obtained good exam results, ‘topping’ his schoolmates in economics, history and literature – made a video with the primary purpose of seeking help with fees to enable him to attend university. Like all the young people on the Butterfly Project, he is from one of the poorest of families in his area.

After introducing himself, he refers to the way in which Christine’s book inspired him and strengthened his desire to study economics at university, an education which would enable him to work to address the gap between rich and poor. He speaks of reading about the way economic activity can affect our environment and social lives and of the modern economics in her book – free of greed and selfishness (perhaps referring to New Economics – NEF?)

He ends by saying that he seeks education to fit him to create change in his community.

A UNA reviewer called Christine’s book a wake-up call: “A succession of well-researched and wide-ranging facts substantiate its warning. She addresses readers who are likely to remain sceptical of her predictions, piling fact upon fact, ending with the entreaty, “Look at the evidence”. However sceptical the reader may be, a close consideration of the evidence set out by Dr Parkinson must surely cause such a reader to reconsider his or her opinion”.

Full details about the book, and many articles of interest, may be seen on Christine’s website.

 

 

 

 

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News from John Bunzl: The Simpol Solution – solving global problems could be easier than we think.

John writes:

simpol2-solutionClimate change, mass migration, unfettered corporate power, religious fanaticism, inequality, the rise of the far right . . . Individually these problems are tough enough; combined, they’re surely insurmountable. Or are they? 

The Simpol Solution explains why our efforts to deal with these issues are failing and proposes new ways of thinking that can help us tackle them. Drawing on a multinational movement already gaining momentum among politicians and academics, this game-changing book proposes a solution which shows that solving global problems could be closer than we think. 

The Simpol Solution takes a welcome fresh look at political/economic reality and clearly explains the psychology behind why we need new eyes to see how we might force politicians to change the world on our behalf.’ Joris Luyendijk, author, journalist and talk-show host

‘I nodded until I got a crick in my neck. I haven’t read a book for years that I agreed with so deeply and so consistently – nor felt so keenly that these are messages the world needs to hear.’ Simon Anholt, founder, the Good Country Index

simpol-text

The Simpol Solution shows the real possibilities of a worldcentric paradigm shift, transcending from a competitive to a cooperative evolution and mode of consciousness. A real pleasure to read and a potential political pathbreaker.’ Professor Ugo Mattei, University of California

‘A courageous and urgently needed book.’ Ervin Laszlo, author, philosopher and evolutionary systems theorist

Published by: Peter Owen Publishers, London & Chicago www.peterowen.com. Keep up with all the latest on the book at http://www.simpol.org/index.php?id=545

John Bunzl – Founder & Trustee

International Simultaneous Policy Organisation (ISPO)

http://www.simpol.org

Blog: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/john-bunzl/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/johnbunzl

YouTube: http://www.simpol.org/index.php?id=19

 

 

 

John Bunzl asks ‘When will we take globalisation seriously?’

As James Robertson summarises in his latest newsletter, John Bunzl opens with a reassurance:

john-bunzl-agm-13“Don’t worry, Trump won’t be able to put much of his extremist rhetoric into practice.

“There are too many checks and balances in the U.S. political system. Both Congress and the Senate may be under Republican control, but the Republican Party is far from synonymous with Trump. And in a highly interdependent world our political leaders don’t have nearly as much power as we think.

Reassurance then gives way as we, the ‘Broad Middle’, are arraigned:

“No, the real danger now is not Trump, Brexit or the rise of the Far Right but the failure of the rest of us – the Broad Middle, as we might call ourselves – to take globalization seriously. The widespread distrust of the political mainstream may be stoked by immigration, unemployment and wealth inequality, but the deeper driver of all these issues is actually globalization. Or, to be more precise, unregulated globalization”.

He then quotes Gordon Brown’s analysis following the Brexit result: “The elephant in the room is globalisation – the speed, scope and scale of the seismic shifts in our global economy. And the most obvious manifestation of the world we have lost is the hollowing out of our industrial towns as a result of the collapse of manufacturing in the face of Asian competition. These towns are home to a disproportionate share of the semi-skilled workers who feel on the wrong side of globalisation and who opted to vote leave. Unable to see how globalisation can be tamed in their interests, they have, not surprisingly, become recruits to an anti-globalisation movement whose lightning rod is migration.”

And asserts that the deeper driver of all these issues is actually unregulated globalisation, itemising a few of the international agreements and regulations needed if the global economy is to work for all:

  • Binding agreements on climate change,
  • on raising fair taxes on the rich and the multi-national corporate tax avoiders
  • and re-distributing the revenue generated to poorer nations, allowing their peoples to make a decent living at home instead of having to migrate.

He says that instead of focusing on these objectives we’ve allowed ourselves to be distracted by all manner of other peripheral concerns. While we, citizens, have immersed ourselves in identity politics, anti-war protesting, and the like, mainstream politicians have been treading water, unable to see the new globalized reality through their out-dated national glasses.

Only when we focus on binding global agreements will we be taking globalization seriously. For only then can we make common cause with the poor and the disaffected middle classes who should be supporting us but who, because of our distraction, have instead been lured to the political extremes.

That doesn’t mean a global government, only global cooperation

simpol-coverHis new book, The Simpol Solution, written with Nick Duffell, sets out the process by which the Broad Middle can make binding global agreements happen and make them stick. Noam Chomsky said , “It’s ambitious and provocative. Can it work? Certainly worth a serious try”.

And Simon Anholt commented, “I nodded until I got a crick in my neck. I haven’t read a book for years that I agreed with so deeply and so consistently – nor felt so keenly that these are messages the world needs to hear. The clarity, simplicity and profound importance of this book are beyond question. Please read it, and please encourage others to do the same.”

 

Read the full article here: www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/john-bunzl/donald-trump_b_12879498.html

 

 

 

Environmental news from networkers involved with CERE, FEASTA and LOCAL FUTURES

Rashneh, Helena and Richard all met in 2000 at a gathering we held near Bromsgrove.

rashneh csr video

rashneh csr2 logoToday we received a link to a video which we heartily recommend. In it,  networker Rashneh Pardiwala, co-founder of CERE, was interviewed by Pooja Damadia of CSR Journal which seeks to publicise news of good corporate practice. It may be seen here http://thecsrjournal.in/it-is-better-to-abide-by-the-laws-than-trying-ways-to-circumvent-them-dr-rashneh-pardiwala-cere/.

One telling point made was that urban areas benefited from electricity generated in rural Dahanu, whereas Dahanu itself, ironically, is subject to frequent power cuts.

caroline 2 feasta

rashneh feasta coverCaroline Whyte now links us with the work of our networker, the late Richard Douthwaite, co-founder of FEASTA, whose books included The Growth Illusion and recently we received the information-packed annual report for 2014 & 2015. There is even more on their website: http://www.feasta.org/.

The material on fracking, climate change, basic income and monetary reform will be of interest to many outside our network and will be recommended to them. There was reference to the work on biochar which many visitors continue to discover on this website linked with the name of James Bruges. See http://www.feasta.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/2014-15_annual_report_feasta.pdf

rashneh helena

Finally we recommend Helena Norberg-Hodge’s truly excellent TedX talk on localisation. See also the website of Local Futures.

Both video presentations prompt the wish for all New Era networkers to present their case in this way and make it available on Youtube. Does anyone know what costs are involved?