Category Archives: Sustainablity

Getting close and personal with nature

Nature is often full of adventures and surprises.

Two of the wild animals waiting to surprise you in nature.

Two of the wild animals waiting to surprise you in nature.

This morning a cat sits expectantly for treats.  I am clumsy and a rain shower of treats hits the cat, which flees.  I take a few treats in hand to restore my relationship with the fearful cat, I walk into a spiderweb I did not see; the upset spider is hanging from my face.  The cat will not touch the treats.  Sometimes my interactions with nature and animals goes badly wrong.

When I go camping, the problem at this moment is slugs and snails.  In the darkness I have to check for the slimy creatures in case they have invaded my tent, it is something I dislike sharing my sleeping bag with a slug.

As humanity expands, the wild lands of nature become smaller, so nature and humanity come face to face.  Humanity needs a new understanding of respect and harmony in a world where city and wild nature overlap.  Three stories in the media today highlights the problems of humanity and nature colliding.  You think it an ordinary day, you go to work and find a wild elk looking at you in the corridor. A normal day fetching water, you end in a 30 minute battle fending off a hungry leopard with a spade. Your mother-in-law is coming to stay, you enter the spare room to prepare the bed, a horror story greets you when you find 5000 wasps have made a claim to the bed as their nest.

One thing I am certain of is that in nature nothing is ever dull.

Becoming individually responsible

Liberty comes with responsibility.

I found this large puffball fungus in Colchester which are often only found by chance.

I found this large puffball fungus in Colchester which are often only found by chance.

I support individuality, but individuals in expressing their individuality do so with responsibility if it impacts other people and this planet.  I came across a spider and its web in my garden, I took another route so to avoid harming the web; this in my opinion is a good example of individuals acting responsibly.

An irresponsible plane passenger nearly killed a child who lives near my town of Colchester by eating peanuts despite multiple warnings not to do so.  In the media report the child had a severe allergy to nuts so that even their smell would cause a life threatening reaction.  At least three clear warnings were given on the aircraft to all passengers to not eat nuts, but this passenger knowingly refused to heed the warnings, nearly killing the child.

The weather in Colchester has encouraged a large number of edible puffballs to grow three months early in a certain place.  The puffballs look like large white soccer balls, one that I foraged last year to eat.  To my dismay people are kicking these puffballs to pieces for a few moments of mindless entertainment.  The responsible individual would give the puffballs a purpose either by foraging them for food, or allowing them to follow through their life cycle to seed themselves.

My view on charity giving

Sadly people are taking advantage of people’s good intentions.

The ancient workhouses of the UK were charities for the poor who were notorious for starving their "inmates" whilst the administrators grew fat on charitable donations.

The ancient workhouses of the UK were charities for the poor who were notorious for starving their “inmates” whilst the administrators grew fat on charitable donations.  Dickens Oliver Twist story exposed the scandal.

In the Colchester square the smiling face offers a leaflet, “for you!” he says.  I take the leaflet, but it is held tightly, wheeling me in to the grinning face like a fish.  The charity salesperson is selling a worthy charity called the World Wildlife Fund.

Welcome to cynical capitalism, salespeople as predators on the good intentions of human beings for emotive causes.  Should I donate to the charity via these salespeople they will keep 90% of the donation, the charity will get practically nothing.  I politely tell them I am not interested, I stay silent about where I would like to shove their leaflet, which they keep.

Anything of a charitable nature is via my business, which as its CEO I am the ultimate decision maker.  For legal and business reasons I have policies and processes in place to assist in the decision-making, activity and recording of charitable donations.  I have a localism policy which means the donation must relate to something in Colchester; the donation must benefit the business in some manner such as its brand or products; the donation must translate into a tangible result such as the planting of trees; the donation must meet values such as sustainability, liberty and opportunity policies.

One charity I might consider partnering with in the form of corporate sponsorship is the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), which has broadened its scope to dealing with other wildlife and the land.  The RSPB runs many nature reserves around the UK including a small nature reserve near Colchester. This potential charity donation ticks all the boxes such as localism, sustainability and branding, so this is where I might donate to.

I argue that people need to become wise to the fund-raising activities for charities, checking that donations are properly used and administrative costs are low.

The rise of localism

Globalism and central control is coming to an end.

Bees are localised, sustainable and self reliant, something humanity will learn the hard way.

Bees are localised, sustainable and self-reliant, something humanity will learn the hard way.

The first of a series of debates on Scottish independence from the UK took place yesterday, the vote for independence takes place next month.  The campaign for Scottish independence is part of a larger paradigm shift away from globalism to localism around the world.  Cornwall, Wales, Mercia, Yorkshire and Wessex are all campaigning for independence in the UK.  Even in my town of Colchester we want to take back control of highways from external authorities.

The European elections this year resulted in a surge in anti-EU nationalistic parties doing well.  UKIP which wants the UK to leave the EU was the clear winner in the UK in the European elections.  The UN is increasingly seen as ineffective in the face of international crisis, often used by a few powerful nations, and ignored by practically everyone.  Israel recently expressed the contempt nations now have for the UN by bombing UN schools in Gaza.

The USSR has broken up into small nations, as has Yugoslavia.  Sudan split into two and Georgia into three nations.  There is talk of California in the USA breaking into six states, and a growing but still small movements for other states breaking away from the Union altogether.  The fighting in East Ukraine is as much about local Russians wanting to determine their own future as the international games of chess between the superpowers.

Flanders is seeking to break from Belgium; Catalonia and the Basque Country want to break from Spain; the city of Venice wants to break from Italy; Quebec is looking to break from Canada; Kurdistan and many other Peoples are seeking to form their own nation states out of the chaos of Iraq, Syria and Libya.

New forms of local currency such as the Totnes pound and electronic currencies such as Bitcoin challenge the bankers. Until recently my local council Essex Council was talking about creating its own bank for local people.  Corporates such as Starbucks are considering creating their own currencies, in effect becoming their own banks.  Multiple non-banking payment systems such as PayPal are now part of internet commerce.  In the face of sanctions Russia has created their own version of VISA for citizens to pay their bills.

The internet has helped to break up the power of information monopolies where the citizen blogger is as effective as a journalist in the New York Times.  The internet places greater power in the hands of the individual on the local level.

Water, energy, food and debt are the four great forces now driving the world politically, economically and socially.  The many chasing a diminishing amount of resources drives people to fight or conserve their resources.  Huge growing public and private debt is destroying nation states, driving the momentum to think local rather than global.  The Greek economic crisis drove local people back to the land, to become self-sufficient, and create systems of trade outside of the global financial system.

I support localism, and I designed my business with localism in mind.  The growing international crisis will force people to become local, sustainable and self-reliant.  As the money runs out nations, communities and individuals will quickly learn that it is down to themselves to live or die.

Happy Autumn 2014

The first day of autumn passed with sunburn and lightning.

An apple on a tree in my garden, part of nature's autumn bounty.

An apple on a tree in my garden, these are huge apples, part of the autumn bounty of nature.

The Celts call the festival of autumn Lughnasadh, named after the Celtic archetype Lugh, associated with the sun and lightning, which the first day of August gave to me – sunburn and sleeping in a lightning storm.

The fruit is abundant and came out early this year, free and wild, from plums to blackberries.  Like all the wildlife I have been enjoying a banquet feast of healthy fruit straight off the tree, no need to pay £$£$ to a food store for tasteless chemically treated fruit.

August they say will be one of the hottest months on record in Britain, and I predict heavy rainstorms, spectacular lightning storms and high temperatures.  This is the time I am glad I will be out camping in a tent at night.

Harmony of the opposites

War is the manifestation of two opposites.

The bee and flower are a perfect example of harmony through opposites.

The bee and flower are a perfect example of harmony of the opposites.

I define war as the manifestation of two opposites.  If you move you encounter opposition of air resistance and gravity, this opposition is war.  You might comment that there is difference between a bomb blowing up people and you facing the wind as you walk to work; they are the same because there are oppositions in play.

Heraclitus considers that the patterns that repeat over time are “common” and it is worth basing our ideas, attitudes and behaviors on what is common than the children’s toys of blind opinion.  In nature war is common, and in human society war is also common.

All things in nature are good, only humanity breaks nature into subjective judgements of good and bad.  Fire is neither good nor bad, but it is common and will either provide you with warmth on a cold day, or burn you to death in a house fire.  War is common, being the manifestation of opposites your heart muscles work in opposition to each other so that you might live, but an opposition of a bullet to the heart would kill you.

Harmony is the result of those that work with the common in nature.  When you face the opposition of winter you put on warm clothes, when you face the opposition of summer, you put on less clothes.  The difference between human species and other living things in nature is that we choose to hold opinions and follow strategies in direct opposition to the common patterns of nature.  There is no harmony for the fool who goes naked in a winter snow storm.

To work with war in order to achieve harmony, the first action is to drop blind subjective opinions that war is good or bad.  War is as common as fire and should be treated as a force in nature like fire and breathing.  All living things excluding humanity treat war as common and work with the oppositions of war along the path of least resistance towards a harmony.

Humanity is the fool for creating needless war.  If I believed and acted upon the idea I could get all I wanted by stealing it, I would create a great deal of war from those I stole from.  If I trade for anything I needed then there would be less war.  In situations of war the wise employ strategies that work with the oppositions, I was a fool when camping in a storm, and nearly died under a falling tree.

In closing I shall comment briefly on the example of the recent fighting between Israel and Palestine.  One of the complex reasons for this oppositions resulting in war is the unity of opposites where each side seeks to deny the existence of the other, so that an existential crisis arises where a side is forced to fight or end in oblivion.  When two sides share the same existential space where neither can withdraw to another space, the strategy is either going to be total genocide of one side or be doomed to failure, thus the path of least resistance must be something other than bombs and bullets to achieve a harmony between two opposing sides.  If two sides of the heart can find a harmony in the opposites thus creating life to the whole, so there is a hidden answer in the current opposition between Israel and Palestine, but only the wise will see it.

Harmony, War, Peace

Harmony is good, war is necessary, peace is delusion.

This stump is all that is left of my soul mate the "Castle Tree" that had survived lightning strikes but a storm last year killed it.  When it fell I gathered the last acorns about its fallen branches and planted them from which eight beautiful children are growing under my care. In nature there is no peace, just war, and out of war harmony.

This stump is all that is left of my soul mate the “Castle Tree” that had survived lightning strikes, but a storm last year killed it. When it fell I gathered the last acorns about its fallen branches and planted them, from which eight beautiful children are growing under my care. In nature there is no peace, just war, and out of war, harmony.

In a series of posts I am going to explore my viewpoint: harmony is ideal; war is natural and necessary; peace is bad and delusional.  This viewpoint is controversial whenever I raise it in either my own posts or comments on other people’s blogs because modern society has become conditioned to see war as bad and peace as good.  It is the causes of war, rather than the wild beast that is war which is the problem, since war is a force attempting to resolve two opposing points of view, an opposition that arises out of greed, the need to control and human hubris.

I was thinking about my initial post on this subject of harmony, war and peace last night in my tent, then a buzzing came into my ear, a mosquito.  I turned on my torch to begin battle with the mosquito and revealed in the darkness a huge spider that looked like the only venomous spider in Britain, called a false black widow watching above me.  I was not prepared to share my tent with this spider for health and safety reasons, so I went to a great deal of trouble to catch and then release the spider alive far from my tent.  I never found the mosquito.

Nature teaches you the hard way to fight and struggle.  By the nature of who we were the spider and I could not share the same space safely, so war was a natural and necessary outcome, peace was a delusion.  I fought the spider and captured it, there is a state of harmony when I let the spider go safely somewhere else.

Hippy universal love is an illusion in nature, for it will force you into situations to fight.  On another night there was a mosquito in my tent, one that by its nature wanted to harm me, and in that battle I killed it.  In caring for my oak saplings I face tough choices when caterpillars attack them: I could not let them kill my oak saplings; was it unfair to let the caterpillars starve to death or be the agent to allowing them to infect other trees?; could I risk giving them to the birds as food with the possibility they could navigate back to my oak saplings? I killed them. The screaming buzz of a hoverfly caught in a life-death battle with a spider next to me; I set my heart to stone; in matters that I have no direct involvement I do not play god; the life of one creature means the death of the other.  This is how it is in nature.