I found hope for the future

I watched a TED talk this morning. It was sent to me from a site I receive regular emails from, The Permaculture Research Institute of Australia and I’ve come across some interesting articles covering a very wide range of topics, all related to permaculture and sustainability and gardening/agriculture or the environment in general. Many of the articles don’t appeal or I don’t find relevant for where we are at personally, which is not to say they’re not brilliant. But this one, appealed for some reason. I’ve been recommended TED talks in the past and I’ve come across some fascinating talks, from the value of silence to ways to combat climate change. You can follow the link to see others on topics of your choosing and listen to some remarkable speakers. πŸ™‚ This particular TED talk talks about dessertification, the process by which grassland is turned into dessert, a HUGE problem around our world. I’ve been saving this one up for a few days until I had the bandwidth available which, now that we have phone and internet connected (HOORAY) I now have access to the needed bandwidth (it’s not huge but it’s more than I was prepared to use on my pre-paid Β internet dongle doovy. πŸ™‚

This speaker, Allan Savory, brought me to despair with his words but finished off on such a huge high note that I was in tears and applauding along with the rest of the audience. I think my kids thought I was nuts (I think they really KNOW I’m nuts to be honest πŸ˜‰ ) and I wanted to share his words with you. There are some that are a little scary and some that are heartbreaking. He has been to the depths and risen to the dizzying heights in his research and I think he may have found the way to literally save our planet if those to whom this is directly relevant see and hear and follow. So, once you’ve watched this, if you believe and agree, please forward it on, share it around and encourage people to see and listen.

The link is here.

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25 thoughts on “I found hope for the future

  1. LyndaD says:

    Thanks for the link Jesse. That was an eye opener. I bet the people in the high country would like to use this as evidence to maintain the grazing rights for the cattle. Yep, Australia didnt look so good did it. Is anyone here paying attention to this science?

    • Australia didn’t look good at all. One thing though that has me thinking about dessertification and his means to help repair it is the rainfall aspect. I think the way it works maybe is that poop absorbs water as it’s cellulose and fibre (it does the same thing in our bowels) and that water in the layer of poop on the ground provides a small portion of longer term water for a small plant. The plant in turn provides more food for the animals, providing more poop and hence more water and thus feeding the cycle. Also, the trampled and pooped and weed on grass acts further as a layer of mulch which will then increase the water retaining effect of the soil, just like in our gardens and so the cycle continues. The next step in reversing dessertification which would naturally happen in the wild is that the trees begin to move back in. I saw a program gods only knows how many years ago now, that said the first trees to move in are the cottonwoods. They’re related to Poplar trees and now I can understand why cottonwoods are important in this case. They send out roots looking for more water and also to propogate. This in turn stabilises the soil further, drops leaf litter in Autumn, further mulching and enriching the soil, encouraging the following trees and so on. Reverse 1 aspect and we can begin t reverse the rest. BUT I do wonder how the droughts we are having would affect this process.

  2. narf77 says:

    I think you have to be aware of the doom and gloom but choose to bypass it and find ways to facilitate change. It’s really up to all of us to do it, to have hope for the future. I follow a blog called “Dessertification” that shares all sorts of positive work being done on claiming back the desserts and arid lands from the brink. Bill Mollison himself started out with tackling dessertification as one of his chief concerns back in the day. We can, and we will prevail Jess…I think you get a bit bogged down in the big picture sometimes and it’s easy to end up like a rabbit in the headlights with the massive scope that we are all facing to just clear up a portion of what we have done to this earth BUT cope and survive we will. Start on your own little sphere of influence. If everyone did that, there wouldn’t be a problem. Cheers for the linky. I follow Permaculture research as well but didn’t check this out. Have you seen the Todmordon talk about the total turn around of a small village that was peddling backwards and that is now thriving? You have to balance out all of that negative stuff you are feeding your mind with positivity because what you shove into your mind is converted into who you are. No bunkum…shove a bit of death metal, some crap tv and a pile of fast food into yourself for a couple of days and tell me how you feel then! I don’t suggest trying this folks, you might end up in a very dark place!

    • I’ve had a lifetime of negative thoughts, negative thought processes and depression filled mind so thinking positively all the time still comes hard some days. Generally speaking I’m pretty positive about it all but I am also a pretty emotional person so I tend to ride the peaks and troughs of a talk like this or movies etc. I get very caught up in media and laugh and cry through films and books and in this case, TED talks. I don’t let it get me down though. I think our planet is a heavily screwed up place but the reality is that, although one person can make a difference, I am also only 1 person and by recognising that I am learning my limitations. I can and do vote with my wallet, I can and do vote at federal, state and council elections (a privilege we are lucky to have, not the chore I have always felt it to be) and I try to live a life that teaches my children the values I believe in and believe will set them up for a lifestyle that can be sustained after the end of easy cheap fuel.
      Dessertification isn’t an issue most home gardeners will face unless they live in areas already widely affected by it but landholders, graziers and crop farmers in all likelihood have or will come across it although maybe not too much yet in your neck of the woods. πŸ™‚
      The main reason I shared this was the intense rush of hope that flooded my body like an opiate when he said that by reversing dessertification we were also able to sequester carbon safely back in the ground. That is a HUGE thing and will, if done on a large enough scale, help to slow, halt or even (in our craziest and most hopeful of dreams) reverse climate change. It’s the hope I wanted to share. The hope that it IS possible. It is attainable. And it is ok to dream this big too. πŸ˜€

      • narf77 says:

        Too true Jess and we all need to remember that there IS hope. Too many people end up scared and doing nothing because they think “why bother? Nothing that “I” do is going to make a difference anyway? Completely not realising that we all have a small part to play. Dessertification is a big threat in arid places like Australia. We really need to be learning to live within our water means to keep living the way that we do on this big brown country. Permaculture principals and agroforestry are really the answers and as Aussies we need to learn our limitations when it comes to consumerism and water consumption. Glad this made you feel positive by the way :). I, too, am overly emotional and cry when a flag is raised and the national anthem of ANY country is played (“WAHHH Dubrovnia’s national anthem is playing!”…) I don’t think it’s a weakness although sometimes it certainly feels like it. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve and get carried away by cause and effect sometimes BUT the more you live simply and close to the ground the more you appear to be able to filter out the bampf and find your little place of happiness (in the sun at the moment!). :). I tried to send you a link this morning for a recipe for fermented carrot juice (Indian Style) but it got sent back. Have you changed your server? Anyhoo, let me know if you want it and I can put it on your blog πŸ™‚

        • Try sending it again, Nothing has changed. πŸ™‚ Not sure I’d give it a go (I don’t overly like carrots to begin with) but I’d love a read.
          Bertha is an unhappy camper at the moment. She’s been sorely neglected and has gone a little anaerobic in the fridge with insufficient food. She’s been fed and is on for a bench session before another feed in an hour or so. I’m also hoping to make pizza so she’d better get her butt into gear or it’s yeasty base. 😦
          I find that every so often I do get overwhelmed by the level of mess we’ve got poor Gaia into but I’m not a multi-billionaire, I’m not a super power or mover. I’m just little old me and I’m happy to BE just little old me. I am doing my best to do my bit and I know that if we all do our little bit (starting small with a bit of our bit is good) then one day the big coal plants will find that they sell insufficient power to pay for 1 man and a spade to dig a bit of coal from the ground and they will close down. Companies that import and sell cheaply paid made in China rubbish sourced from slave labour and unsustainably farmed resources will lose their market and slave labour will no longer be profitable. Things do change and little things can and frequently do snowball into big things and bring about immense changes. Sadly it’s often the big things that galvanise us into action (The Westgate bridge collapse prompted big changes in workplace safety laws for example) but like drips of water gather together, if all we eco-drips πŸ˜‰ stick together we can and will become one big eco river to wash away unsustainable practices. πŸ™‚

          • narf77 says:

            All of we tiny little eco drips can become one massive snotty nose for the polluting powers! I like it…it has a sticky resonation πŸ˜‰ and as anyone who is anyone knows, you can’t sure the common cold…it keeps coming back again, and again, and again…thats us, the tiny little eco droplets of change πŸ™‚

            • Hmmm, I was thinking a drip of water. Not sure I like being a drip of snot but hey, as you say, colds are infectious so maybe we can infect the planet with our own greenness (as opposed to green snot). Bleuch! πŸ˜€

              • narf77 says:

                Everything has its good and bad points and to a lot of mainstreamers we rabid hippies are a rough approximation of bogeys ;). We are like little nasal drips that just won’t go away. I am proud to be a small nasal secretion on the face of the earth because it is a cleansing thing and I would rather be cleansing snot than bowel choking appathy! πŸ˜‰ Hey this comment stream is getting disgusting isn’t it? You never know where a stream of thought will go πŸ˜‰

                • It sure is getting that way. Lol. And I agree with you whole heartedly. And yes, I am awake at 4am. Although not yet up and at em. The wonders of iPhone technology and the WordPress App. πŸ™‚

                  • narf77 says:

                    Hey, join the crows! I am getting so many comments from we early morning confraturnity of sisters who have discovered the magical predawn hours that I am starting to think I was late to the event! πŸ˜‰ Hope you have a wonderful day over there :). I am learning to adapt to the heat…I am just pretending that I am visiting W.A. for a while ;). Pity my sister keeps bragging about the rain they are getting over there (sigh…)

                    • I rolled over and went back to sleep. Just awake again now and wishing I HAD got up before. Feeling very sandy eyed and fuzzy brained.

                    • narf77 says:

                      crunchy eyes go away once you get up (well stumble to the kitchen and pour yourself a cup of tea…aren’t they song lyrics?!!! I am not kidding…I think they are!) and who needs eyes when you have a HUGE monitor/tv as your early morning light source πŸ˜‰

                    • Laptop. Not huge. Had dates to munch. Sugar helping. Still feel blah. LONG very hot night. 28C inside our house right now.

                    • narf77 says:

                      Ditto on the heat…woke up all night (even though I went to bed at 8pm) with a hot dog panting on my legs :(…almost as bad as hot children! If I remember correctly, kids don’t pant! You feel like you are waking up after a bender ;). So glad we live next to the river, it keeps our temperatures somewhat cool and poor Launceston will be sweltering overnight. Dead still, no breeze to carry cool air from the river and my daughters will be no doubt nude!

                    • Stripped down is the only way to sleep in stinking heat. Your dogs might pant but I have a small child who, whenever it gets hot, wants his very own drinks system to lie still and be available all night long. 😦 He woke at 3:30 and I got him back into bed just before 4 after a feed and a bottle. Hence why I was awake at 4am when I heard your first comment come through. πŸ™‚

                    • narf77 says:

                      And to think, I do it by choice! The day is coming… πŸ˜‰

  3. Linne says:

    I just have to say that I LOVE you guys; don’t ever give up! Please!! Lots of my generation saw that big picture and were overwhelmed; also the difficulties that arise when one tries to effect change can be pretty discouraging. But DO keep going. I strongly believe that we need to “Think Global, Act Local”. I’ve never had it so together that I made a big difference, but I still tried in my own small way. I raised my kids outside the system as much as possible, but did not isolate them. (they might disagree with me on this, and I would do some things differently if I had a chance to do it all over again, but it’s all hindsight now)

    I, too, vote religiously and I do feel it’s an honour and a privilege. If I feel there is no-one to vote FOR, I simply vote AGAINST! I have suggested to many people that instead of not voting, they make themselves heard by voting for the Greens (my choice), but even the Pot Party or the Rhino Party will get you heard (and in my not so humble opinion, it would serve the Rhinos right if they did get elected!).

    Overall, we can always vote with our money, too. It’s getting difficult here in Canada as our national chains have pretty much been wiped out, thanks to a few governments that cared more about the financial bottom line (especially for themselves) and completely disregarded the human bottom line (closely allied, of course, with the ecological bottom line). So I shop at a USofA chain store when I need something that otherwise I would have to bus across town to find. I hate it, though. And I won’t give them free advertising even in a negative way by using their name online. My wee rebellion . . .

    I won’t have a chance to listen to the TED talk, at least not for several days now, but am very interested. So thanks for the link. Desertification is a huge issue and has been for hundreds of years. The Sahara desert once was the breadbasket of the world. They CAN be brought back, though, and I find hope knowing that some people are working to do that.

    I had to smile at your descriptions of yourselves, both of you; I’m also emotional, tear up at other countries’ national anthems, and all that. But why not? We need more right-brainers around! I hate seeing how a certain group of people think that we are no different from machines. Have you noticed that we are no longer ‘people’?? Instead, we are ‘producers’ and then, naturally, ‘consumers’. That type of thinking assumes the earth is a giant factory and that people are only replaceable cogs. I, on the other hand, believe (know, really!) that the earth is a living, breathing organism. We need to start acting on that knowledge soon and I love ‘meeting’ people like yourselves who ARE acting on it. I know there are lots more out there. I was happy to learn of the Tiny House movement and the Lammas movement in Wales; you may find this link interesting:
    http://www.simondale.net/house/essay.htm
    It led me to the Lammas information and more.

    Also, if you are feeling pretty down (and I’m a very up and down sort myself, so I get it), try these sites: http://www.calm.com and http://www.duirwaigh.com (at this last site, scroll down ’til you see the framed picture containing a video link to “A Knock at the Door” and click on either the word link to the right or on the right arrow within the frame itself. I hope it delights you as much as it did me. Have a hankie close by . . .

    Anyway, have what I call a cup of KOKO: Keep On Keeping On!
    Every small positive thing we do, from our thoughts to our actions, counts in the grand scheme of things and we need to remember that. I visit your blogs nearly every day, as you both give me that gentle push; that reassurance that the following generations care and are acting (not everyone, but that’s ok, overall, change will come).

    Have a great week, both of you (and anyone reading this!). ~ Linne

    • Voting in Australia is actually compulsory. Once you turn 18 you need to register to vote and you must vote or you will be fined. I too vote for the “they have no chance of winning but they’d be better than Big Moron A or Big Moron B the 2 leaders of our major parties. I usually vote now in the direction of the Greens but not exclusively. It really depends on which idiot leading which party I hate more. I vote against more than I vote for. I don’t believe many of them deserve my vote to be honest.
      I think voting with our money is probably more powerful that politics to be honest. Look at how things changed with caged and free-range eggs. Ok, so free-range doesn’t mean all that much and the conditions aren’t all that flash but they ARE a damned sight better than the cages that used to be accepted as normal. Money voting DOES make a difference. I try to avoid the supermarkets too but at least we have an IGA here in Ballan. Independent Grocers of Australia are much better than the other 2 monopolies, although by no means perfect. I also try to choose products from labels I am comfortable or at least less uncomfortable supporting.
      You are spot on with the terminology. I’d never thought of that to be honest. When did I stop being a person with thoughts and choices and rights and end up just a consumer like every other consumer, to be cajoled into spending, to be enticed with advertising?! Well now, I am a producer myself, still a consumer and also on occasion a middle man (I have shared seeds and rocket from my garden so far). Bollox to The Man!
      I’ve opened the links you’ve shared and the waves are very soothing in the background here. I’ve seen the low impact woodland house before and I simply adore it even though it’s not my style. I much prefer the Brittany House they built on Grand Designs. You can find it on YouTube.
      I love your KOKO. Muh nicer than the usual HTFU (scuse the language implied). Like the tortoise from the hare and the tortoise fame, there is nothing to be done some days but to put one foot in front of the other and, as you say, keep on keeping on.
      Enjoy your week too Linne. πŸ™‚

  4. Linne says:

    Reblogged this on A Random Harvest and commented:
    Here’s another re-blog; also necessary for informed thought and action. ~ Linne

  5. Linne says:

    Hi, my friend! I have re-blogged two of your posts. If you’d rather I did not, please let me know. I think that what you have to say is worth thinking about and I hope to add your voice to an even wider audience.
    ~ Linne

    • It’s not my voice I want to see out there but the greater message. I am absolutely humbled and very honoured that you’ve reblogged my posts. As you say though, if we can get the message out to a wider audience, however it’s done (apart from sitting there saying I told you so when it all collapses that is) then that is good. Again, thank you

  6. Linne says:

    You are more than welcome! I re-blogged one of your posts before and another of my online friends (Kriscinda from Heavy Metal Homesteading) loved your ‘rabidlittlehippy’ name! (as well as the post, of course) My intention is also to spread the word. We are a lot of yeast granules, in my opinion, and of course yeast works best when mixed in with a bunch of flour, not left in a mucky heap of only wet yeast. But it can be lonely, being yeast . . . hence the wonders of the blogosphere . . . now we connect, all over the world, and together we leaven the whole mass of flour. Well, that’s my imagery, anyway. πŸ™‚

    Blogging is the best thing I ever ‘discovered’!

    Well, I’m off to spend the night at my Aunty’s downstairs, so this won’t be as long as usual πŸ˜›

    And I don’t mind the ‘implied language’. I save some words for ‘special’, if you know what I mean; that way they have more impact.

    Have a great day; I expect you and Narf are up n about by now. ~ Linne

  7. […] love when I come across an inspiring Ted talk. I’ve shared in the past about reversing desertification in one of the most inspirational Ted talks I have seen to date. I came across the name of Joost […]

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