The New Indigenous Knowledge Series ~ authored in Clatskanie, Oregon

“…the great resource was never the timber itself but the ecosystem with its soils and functionality that held the long term value.” Symbioticfuture~2015

The New Indigenous Knowledge Series ~ authored in Clatskanie, Oregon:

Part one: Water security in the greater Clatskanie Region

Coupling rich soils to mega-ecology was truly the sponge with no equal that sustained the loop of a temperate rainforest and its streams and rivers through a desert-dry summer of nearly 4 months. Symbioticfuture~2015

In the small talk of the bank lobby, stirred the issue of rain. One said we need it; another was annoyed. One woman confidently asserted that: “We need snowpack in the mountains”. The latter is a widely accepted part of the one size fits all knowledge subscription. Is it relevant? Is it knowledge? Do we need snow pack in our local Coastal Columbia region’s mountains? Why don’t we ask Jeff VanNatta up at the top of Apiary, where the Clatskanie River originates above camp Wilkerson around Bunker Hill, or Bill Church out Beaver Springs where Beaver Creek grows from originating trickles, or we can go to the clear-cut Mist Mountain to see the new gullies that represent the beginnings of Conyers creek. Do our rivers sustain throughout the summers on snowpack and glaciers?

Actually, our streams and rivers are a mighty effort of billions of sustaining trickles through and from the seldom appreciated volcanic soils that are layered across our tiny mountains in a 2 to 6 foot thick sponge. It is more complicated than that looking back to the historic medley of forests and damp meadows that once contained 1000 or more tons of Carbon per acre. Coupling rich soils to mega ecology was truly the sponge with no equal that sustained the loop of a temperate rainforest and its streams and rivers through a desert-dry summer of nearly 4 months. The world ain’t that way anymore, at least not our little patch of the world. But what can we do?

Coupling rich soils to mega-ecology was truly the sponge with no equal that sustained the loop of a temperate rainforest and its streams and rivers through a desert-dry summer of nearly 4 months. Symbioticfuture~2015

___________End of Part-One___________

The New Indigenous Knowledge Series ~ authored in Clatskanie, Oregon:

Part Two: Analysis of our mountain soils (The basics)

Water storage and feed back is the story of bounty and the local mystery of strong soils, geology, and dynamic ecology as a single symbiotic resource for the greater prosperity. Symbioticfuture~2015

Three primary soils dominate our mountains synergizing with ecology to eke a full years service from seasonal rains. What should we know about them?

Goble Silt Loam is a light rich fertile volcanic 2 to 4 feet of topsoil on top of hard silt pan that sometimes turns to what locals call soapstone. Goble Silt Loam has an average moist bulk density (weight/Volume dry) [1]of 0.85 to 0.95 g/cm2 with exceptional water and organic matter holding capacity do to its structural characteristics and synergism with ecology.

Anunde Silt Loam is prevalent with over 5 feet of topsoil often on sand, siltstone or rock outcrops. Anunde has a moist bulk density (weight/Volume dry) of 0.70 to 0.85 g/cm2 also with exceptional water and organic matter holding capacity do to its structural characteristics and exceptional synergism with ecology.

Tolke Silt Loam (same story), is nearly identical to Anunda often more than 5 feet deep and has a moist bulk density (weight/Volume dry) of 0.70 to 0.85 g/cm2 also with exceptional water and organic matter holding capacity do to its structural characteristics and synergism with ecology.

For reference, sub-soils like those under Goble silt loams 2 to 4 foot surface have a moist bulk density (weight/Volume dry) of 1.60-1.80 g/cm2 indicating near zero water storage/slow-release potential. This is over twice the dry weight per volume of the volcanic topsoils! That translates to no place to store water, and no place to tuck the rains into the structure of the mountains.

Water holding capacities are a straightforward mathematical metric. They fill in pieces of the hydrology puzzle; it’s the mystery of how our tiny snow free mountains could feed water flows consistently through the desert-dry 4 month summer. Each of the soils had a primordial forest/meadow layer that could hold 0.30-0.60 inches/inch. The mineral soil components—excluding organic matter—are listed below:

Goble Silt Loam: 2 to 4 feet holds 0.19-0.21 inches/inch[2]. The stable subsoil under the light topsoil is water restrictive, holding—0.04-0.06 inches/inch (zilch).

Anunde and Tolke had the same primordial forest top layer, followed by 4 to 6 feet of volcanic soil with an exceptionally high 0.25-0.35 inches/inch which is as high as any mineral soils in the world for soil water holding capacity. It is well above the best mineral soils of the Willamette Valley, the Palouse, or the Great plains for water holding capacity.

Clatskanie’s rolling to steep mountains with zero snow-pack or glacier feed and heights usually well below 2000 feet receive near zero rainfall from mid-June to Mid-September. They have a hydrologic complexity based on the very specific soil and ecology of our micro-region that under heavy industrial pressures is subject to our stewardship integrity and our local understanding.

What fed our temperate rain forests, springs, and Salmon streams in the past? It was not snowpack, and certainly not glaciers. It starts with our exceptional light fluffy volcanic topsoils that coated our mountains. Even more so, it was the life in the soil that churned through and filled it with Organic Matter and space to draw in and store water. Organic Matter was in the form of living, dying and decaying cycles of soil microbial ecology (the tiny creatures and organisms), soil mycology (fungus/mushroom related), and the flora and fauna (plants and animals) of the forest. Studies of existing ancient forests (old growth) have found 1000 tons per acre of terrestrial Carbon (life in cycle) contained in the former system vs. today’s typical max of 150 tons/acre in what may seem like a “massive” 2nd growth forest 60 to 80 years old. This 1000 tons/acre was in the form of dynamic soil ecology, plants and animals and it built a terrestrial residence for water storage that stretched from ridge to ridge across our rolling mountain-scape. Water storage and feed back is the story of bounty and the local mystery of strong soils, geology, and dynamic ecology as a single symbiotic resource for the greater prosperity.

The forests and meadows of old flat-out absorbed water including a preponderance of the 60 inches that fell in the long winter months. It is the soil and ecological resource that maintained reliable flows of water in the increasingly dry summers and prevented large scale flooding in fall, winter, and spring. Therefore in fact, the great resource was never the timber itself but the ecosystem with its soils and functionality that held the long term value.

Water storage and feed back is the story of bounty and the local mystery of strong soils, geology, and dynamic ecology as a single symbiotic resource for the greater prosperity. Symbioticfuture~2015

___________End of Part-Two___________

The New Indigenous Knowledge Series ~ authored in Clatskanie, Oregon:

Part Three: A history lived once

In the greater balance sheet, our region, our people, and our wildlife were hustled for all but the clothes on their backs and the strength to rebuild. Symbioticfuture~2015

Around the 1920’s, forests were rapidly cleared around Clatskanie, Oregon and Skamokawa, Washington to enrich the wealth of the Simon Benson family and, build the city of San Diego, and to fund the Benson family philanthropic legacy. The generous donations scattered our region’s wealth variously between San Diego, Portland, and beyond never looking back to Clatskanie or considering the ecosystem that had been devastated as a gift to far-off lands. Our forefathers learned to work enriching another land and another non-resident family’s legacy and stretched and sweated to feed and educate their families.

In the greater balance sheet, our region, our people, and our wildlife were hustled for all but the clothes on their backs and the strength to rebuild. Once the forests and meadows were gone and 1000 tons of Carbon and life per acre with them, nature began to eke out an existence again to preserve our rivers, replenish the wildlife, and feed the springs and streams with clean year round flows of water. The wild regrowth also replenished a hold on the soil, the true gold of our region, and safeguarded it from degradation and loss to erosion. Alder and maple partnered with 1000 others pioneering to rebuild soil fertility and it was off again to a bright and glorious someday-majesty. The rivers still ran full and the salmon survived.

Sadly the ecosystems and the soils as their mantle of sustenance were not recognized, respected, or stewarded for a future better than the day. Look at the pictures from that day of the bare mountains of stumps and slash behind the fancy and simple wooden houses and you may be thankful that we at least have our trees. We may not have our forests, but we do have our trees. Every cycle the trees grow shorter, every cycle the soil is lost and compressed and the forest organism dies deeper as the soil washes downward. Every cycle of cutting, the Carbon and nutrients in the system—no, not those of plants only; all the nutrients of biology and life—diminish and the soil runs away to rivers…to the sea.

The forests from then until now—2015—were managed for wood production through a forestry system that was not locally relevant to the holistic well being or our local society. Having started with some of the most exceptional soils and ecosystems in the world we have yet to look respectfully on or seek to understand them and how our stewardship of them affects our future, massively.

In the greater balance sheet, our region, our people, and our wildlife were hustled for all but the clothes on their backs and the strength to rebuild. Symbioticfuture~2015

___________End of Part-Three___________


The New Indigenous Knowledge Series ~ authored in Clatskanie, Oregon:

Part Four: Estimating Soil Losses

…the average annual rate of soil erosion in the Palouse River Basin was 9.2 tons per acre (tons/acre) of available cropland, or about 14 tons/acre of cultivated cropland (USDA, 1978)…”US Geological Survey Report

Locally relevant studies do not really document the soil losses in the greater Clatskanie region. However our landscape is at least as severe as the rolling Palouse of Eastern Washington. We are steeper, we get 3 times as much rain, and our soils are 1/3rd lighter, more erodible, and easier for water to carry away.

We have data on the Palouse:

“Since the Palouse River Basin was first farmed in the late 1800s, soil erosion resulting from runoff water has been an ongoing problem. The erosion problem became particularly acute in the early 1900s when steep lands once used for hay and pasture were converted to grain production. It is estimated that 40 percent of the rich Palouse soils have been lost to erosion (Pimentel and others, 1995).

A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) study reported that from 1939 through 1977, the average annual rate of soil erosion in the Palouse River Basin was 9.2 tons per acre (tons/acre) of available cropland, or about 14 tons/acre of cultivated cropland (USDA, 1978).” US Geological Survey Report: http://wa.water.usgs.gov/pubs/fs/fs069-98/

Ours region is a similar story. Massive unaccounted soil loss is the norm. I think we have a sufficient case to start a discussion on. It’s time to re-examine the practices of leveling ecosystems from entire slopes, mountain tops, and valleys, the practice of piling and burning the debris, and as much or more than the others, the dispersal of cancer, bio-disruptive, and multi-disease/syndrome vectoring chemicals across the regional landscapes in the form of Herbicides. Herbicides hamper the ability for natural systems to restore the vulnerable soil and environment and they pollute the ecology and introduce dangerous impurities into pure systems. Their use in our watersheds and sustaining mountains is the foolishness of our youth; and its time for us to grow up and to call a spade a spade.

…the average annual rate of soil erosion in the Palouse River Basin was 9.2 tons per acre (tons/acre) of available cropland, or about 14 tons/acre of cultivated cropland (USDA, 1978)…” US Geological Survey Report

___________End of Part-Four___________

The New Indigenous Knowledge Series ~ authored in Clatskanie, Oregon:

Part Five: The story of Herbicides in the mountains:

The Herbicides used are being applied to the forest life that remains to inoculate the recovering ecosystems of our mountains and our sustaining watershed. Symbioticfuture~2015

It’s time to re-examine the practices of leveling ecosystems from entire slopes, mountain tops, and valleys, the practice of piling and burning the debris, and as much or more than the others, the dispersal of cancer, bio-disruptive, and multi-disease/syndrome vectoring chemicals across the regional landscapes in the form of Herbicides. Herbicides hamper the ability for natural systems to restore the vulnerable soil and environment and they pollute the ecology and introduce dangerous impurities into pure systems. Their use in our watersheds and sustaining mountains is the foolishness of our youth; and its time for us to grow up and call a spade a spade.

Science and common sense on the Herbicide issue:

2,4-D, Glyphosate, Triclopyr, Garlon 4, and other common forestry herbicides are now commonly used in our area. All are biologically and soil active with more questions than answers in terms of effects. They are spread indiscriminately or semi-discriminately with helicopters over entire landscapes, steep slopes, and even year round and seasonal streams. Pollution from their use can be documented, shall I say, any day of the week, yet it continues. Two months ago the Oregonian reported on the issue of forestry’s deep pockets resulting in an ongoing landslide of wealth consolidation at the expense of the local environment, water systems, wildlife and communities. It has gone so far that Oregon is losing federal stewardship funding do to lack of action to confront big money interests. We are losing our own tax dollars earmarked for our stewardship of our resource in exchange for efficiency of plunder feeding outside financial streams.

Herbicides, emphatically, do end up in streams and rivers, in people’s drinking-water-springs, and certainly some fraction stays long term in the local environment.

The Herbicides used are being applied to the forest life that remains to inoculate the recovering ecosystems of our mountains and our sustaining watershed. They are all that are left to rebuild a semblance of soil and fertility again for future generations.

Soil microbial ecology and chemistry are of within my specialty of study. I have a minor degree in Soil Science and worked for several years in analytical chemistry and a couple more with the USDA agricultural research Service Weed Science Department in and around hundreds of herbicides and other pesticides.

Many of the Herbicides are touted as rapidly degraded after application, but this is in terms of half-life with lesser residues and harmful breakdown products persisting often for decades. By example 2,4-D, like the others is extremely persistent in the environment when leached into the deeper profiles or when taken up in non-target plants, wood char, or in soil organic matter. When applied for the first time to a land area, it measurably changes the soil microbiology for decades. In fact, when it is first applied it has been shown to break down slowly until the soil microbiology shifts to the organisms that are best suited toward its presence including those that break it down. One collateral effect is greater disease pressure in soil and loss of function. In a present case-study its wide scale use in the Willamette Valley in some cases has disabled lands for the now popular and profitable Viticulture—vineyards. If a person goes away, they are gone. If a chemical goes away it is altogether different in complex ecology, hence the measurement of half-life over a long term degradation cycle that in complex ecology is impossible to predict.

The Herbicides used are being applied to the forest life that remains to inoculate the recovering ecosystems of our mountains and our sustaining watershed. Symbioticfuture~2015

___________End of Part-Five___________

This was a perspective presented by HUB-Clatskanie as part of the local knowledge discussion. We are working to build the level of locally specific knowledge and its accuracy and relevance to living splendidly in this place with long term prosperity. Land ownership changes as time rolls on, but the mandate and rewards of stewardship always fall on the resident local community.

~ As always, Agoecology for a SymbioticFuture!

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[1] “Moist bulk density is the weight of soil (oven-dry) per unit volume. Volume is measured when the soil is at field moisture capacity, that is, the moisture content at 1/3- or 1/10-bar (33kPa or 10kPa) moisture tension. Weight is determined after the soil is dried at 105 degrees C. In the table, the estimated moist bulk density of each soil horizon is expressed in grams per cubic centimeter of soil material that is less than 2 millimeters in diameter. Bulk density data are used to compute linear extensibility, shrink-swell potential, available water capacity, total pore space, and other soil properties. The moist bulk density of a soil indicates the pore space available for water and roots. Depending on soil texture, a bulk density of more than 1.4 can restrict water storage and root penetration. Moist bulk density is influenced by texture, kind of clay, content of organic matter, and soil structure.”Source: USDA NRCS.

[2] “Available water capacity refers to the quantity of water that the soil is capable of storing for use by plants. The capacity for water storage is given in inches of water per inch of soil for each soil layer. The capacity varies, depending on soil properties that affect retention of water. The most important properties are the content of organic matter, soil texture, bulk density, and soil structure. Available water capacity is an important factor in the choice of plants or crops to be grown and in the design and management of irrigation systems. Available water capacity is not an estimate of the quantity of water actually available to plants at any given time.” Source: USDA NRCS.

Agroecology as the Holistic Ecology of People and Planet

Dandylions

Resources were wrongly defined by the past several generations of our leaders and prominent men and women.

What we have been led to see as resources for our prosperity are often either pieces of an ecosystem, geological support for ecosystems, or the temporary non-renewable excess created by ecosystems. The engine of renewable and the keystone resource is clearly the intact ecosystem. This is what differentiates our planet and mystifies science as a beneficial but so far inadequate tool. Ecosystems are the resource that sustainably produce millions of useful deliverables from the most intricate of chemicals to the most robust of building materials and everything in between that pertains to our prosperity. It is through our contribution to the ecosystem that we, like other creatures can drive specific deliverables to excess for our use. Our work in natural systems is not as grunt laborers producing the amount of product relevant to the amount of energy we put forth, that would be more like the drudgery of our “modern” system. Our work instead is relevantly soft intelligent labor in the ebb and flow of an already functional and energy multiplicative system. When we design production, we should design in the biomimicry style, not for our standard 20% to 90% efficient system, but for 250-1000% efficient multifunctional symbiotic systems that benefit the whole at the expense of the sun.

Ecosystems are always local, though undeniably linked globally. Rain, snow, wind, fire, cloud cover, ocean currents, waves, mineral collections, plant growth and the link to food for most species, sea level rise and fall, water traveling back to mountain tops and then flowing down again in rivers and streams is all solar effect with an occasional or locally understood geothermal input. Ecosystems function on the global circulation of solar energy effects, but they function as autonomous and unique local units that fit local specifics.

People belong in all ecosystems to which they find a productive symbiotic contribution that allows for their own prosperity to benefit the prosperity of the whole. The higher the diversity of species finding a productive niche in the ecosystem balance the more productive, elegant, and durable the system. People are not an exception. Local knowledge and local connection is the meaning of indigenous. Local knowledge lost is a catastrophic loss. The ideal imperative of our time is re-indigenization and empowerment of durable, happy, and productive local cultures.

Renewed and redesigned cultures need to be generationally knowledge multiplying. We should not amplify differences and generational gaps, and we should understand the natural flow of knowledge and where it is typically lost. Our information systems, as the libraries of old, are not a replacement for generationally multiplying knowledge. Our info-tech. tools are a catalogue of knowledge that, though not necessarily locally relevant, can function as a builder’s toolbox in trial, error, adventure, and brilliance. Another tool is our tie to other individuals and communities around the globe; still another our science and systems of huge productivity turned rabid. We are in a position to build the greatest local civilization ever and we are the local communities that span the width and depth of the globe.

Ecology functions on excess energy flows not energy creation. The ecosystem is an energy capture, cycle, and upscale system for multiplying usable product exponentially through the diverse soft labor of millions of willing creatures, each for their own good and, by apparent design, for the good of the whole.

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Keywords:

Key words of the Revolution: symbiotic future, symbioticfuture, occupy conscience, occupyconscience, hubwild, farmhub, integrity, permaculture, organic farming, regrarian, farm, agriculture, regenerative agriculture, biochar, agrochar, resource conservation, revolution, activism, activist, bushcraft, greenhouse, survival, diplomacy, wild, nature, mother nature, wildness, spirit, spiritual, mother earth, ecology, eco, environment, self sufficiency, conscious, empowerment, civil disobedience, passive resistance, peace, love, compassion, non-violence, resistance, resist oppression, community, local, locovore, foodie, slow food, coexist, diversity, purity, holiness, values, ideals, idealism, purity, wisdom, soul, wholesome, goodness, good, revolution, earth, subsistence, bioneer, bio-neer, ted, tedx, ecopreneur, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial, innovation, politics, democracy, socialism, capitalism, communism, leadership, eldership, elder, dynamic governance, social governance, matrix management, biology, chemistry, physics, science, homeschooling, free range, free-range, freerange, green, algae, energy, biomass, biofuel, biodiesel, police, cops excessive force, brutality, censorship, suppression, oppression, justice, injustice, Ferguson, Missouri, Independence, 3-balance, 3 balance, grassroots gumption, Corporatocracy, handbook, Hack, hack, empathy, social, environmentalism, 3-inbalance, 3 imbalance, elitist, hoogaculture, hugelkultur, politek, hooga culture, aeroponic, aero, techno, tekno, aqua, aquaculture, hydroponic, aeroponic, aquaculture, biodynamic, biometric, silvaculture, silva culture, agro ecology, agroecology, socio-agroecology, Definitions section Brainstorm (work in progress) Enrep / Entreps: Warm fuzzy way to say Entrepreneur/Entrepreneurs Grassroots philosophy: Alcohol-ism Money-holism Capital-ism a-political a-spiritual New age Meditation Prayer Yoga Worship Mystic Primordial Primal

Poverty, Bill and Melinda Gates Ignorance, Davos 2015, and Big Money Has a Plan!

imperialism P1010256 Caution! This is a MAD AS HELL post. Poverty has been a rallying cry for developers, Multinational Investment, and top down control to monetize the developing nations “for their good”. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is strongly self funding through investment promoting multinational profiteers that they are partnering with. Some of the Investment “Leverage” includes: Chemical based rather than agroecology based Agriculture, Seed patenting/GMO companies such as Monsanto, Pharmaceutical companies who make cut-rate vaccines by antiquated but highly profitable methods using nerve toxic and immune suppressive Mercury unnecessarily to reduce production costs, large scale agribusiness such as Cargill corporation who stands in place for massive gain in the partnership which is also supported by G8-Nation hi-pressure agreements to take indigenous lands for sell-off to massive internationally owned and operated farms, and partnerships with banking slated to add half a billion people to a fees based cell phone banking scheme when they did not previously use banking at all. These investments drive mega-industrial prosperity and wealth generation enabling the continuance of the “growth mantra” success with the implied goal that it will also provide a platform to bring developing nations into “our way of living” aka alleviated poverty. This can all be rationally linked to a quasi-evolutionary perspective of the peoples of the world that defines indigenous lifestyle as “poor” or by implication of past terminology, less evolved. Arguably alleviation of poverty equates to the modern politically correct version of “the white man’s burden.” If this is exaggerated, at the very least we can all smell a lot of BS in the modern jargon and push of big money to “Re-Conquer Africa” for peace. Remember that at the same time a few Western journalists involved in a war of words and cartoons with ISIS and Al Qaeda got shot by the same group, innocent people who were not pestering anyone were killed in mass in Nigeria by Boko Haram and it barely made the news. Rationally, this equates to lower value people vs higher value people as also exemplified in the covert and open war policies creating “collateral damage” and attitudes dramatized in the recent “Sniper” film which shows the precursor to super and secret drone based warfare. Obviously, the western world having ravaged the resources of Africa while discounting the human value after slavery was abolished has found a way to monetize them again.ameri racism The “Lesser Peoples” viewpoint is referred to with words like the poor, those without electricity, those without washing machines, and those without easy access to modern medical services. Poverty is described in the West by the future system that the “lesser peoples” are being primed to live in when “the future” catches up to them. It is a future that masses who grew up in it are trying desperately to change and that has the entire world in an environmental and social degradation spiral victimized by the mandate that for the system to work it must grow endlessly. Those nations being captured in the name of poverty, are needed to continue the “growth” to keep the system paying dividends for those invested in it, employing those employed by it,  and feeding those fed by it. Poverty’s simplified working definition is: Not invested in, Employed by, or Fed by the Multi-national Economic Industrial Politic.popular-evolution-chart   As the article below accentuates, there really is rampant poverty in Africa and reliance on the system that has been created by outside interests. The West has created the poverty seen in Africa and grown wealthy and powerful in the process. The West is now a country-less Ideological Multinational Economy purging money to the top through pipe dreams of the poor and middle class with upper middle class sitting fat and happy on their dairy airs spending rampantly to further amplify the upward drift. Now as was rabidly discussed in Davos 2015 World Economic Forum, the flows are slated to slow down if we don’t come up with a hell of a lot more human resources to fuel the machine. We were drawing so little blood from the vast peoples of Africa (partly because of the poverty we imposed on them) that they can damn well step it up and do their part by doubling or tripling the contribution to the world economy! The cries for alleviation of poverty are translated “Let the African Blood flow West again!” Roy Sesana 2005The stench of it all happening again to an entire continent of some of the world’s brightest people makes those with their heads above the clouds nauseous and angry; but the answers are not in the fight, but in the wise struggle of solidarity for knowledge and local empowerment. Still, let the African people save themselves from a second round in a battle that is not their own! The excerpt follows:

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Here is an excerpt of an excellent article:

WRITTEN BY Martin Kirk Joe Brewer and Jason Hickel

POVERTY FACT #1: POVERTY IS MADE BY PEOPLE. IT IS NOT JUST PART OF NATURE

Greece provides a clear and present example of this. Under EU-imposed austerity put in place in hopes of stabilizing the economy—which, among other things, slashed spending on social services, laid off tens of thousands of government workers, raised taxes across the board and and cut the minimum wage—unemployment shot up from 8% in 2008 to 28% in 2014, while wages plummeted. A humanitarian catastrophe followed, with hospital closures, lack of medicines, andwidespread homelessness. Now 44% of Greeks live below the poverty line, up from 20% in 2008. Even middle class citizens have been forced to resort to soup kitchens. Similar stories can be told about Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, England, and even the United States. No one is under the illusion that any of this is a natural phenomenon, which is why people are starting to vote for dramatic change. Sam DCruz via Shutterstock The Greek experience isn’t uncommon; it’s just that it has until recently been uncommon in the West. People across the global South have been on the receiving end of such policies for decades. In the past it was called “structural adjustment” and was spearheaded by the IMF andWorld Bank, with devastating consequences. They argued that, through aggressively pro-business measures like privatizing essential services and structuring economies so that debtors are paid off before the population is taken care of, they could kick start economies. Today, we call that agenda “austerity.” The effects are the same. Richard Cavalleri via Shutterstock Poverty doesn’t just exist; it is created. So when the Gates treat it like a naturally occurring problem—by leaving out any mention of what’s causing the problems in the first place and instead focusing exclusively on new technical interventions and big bets for the future—they’re telling a story without any of the main characters present. It would be like a football coach saying that understanding what helped the team win or lose last week, or the ongoing fitness of the players doesn’t matter; we just need better technology and a bigger crowd of supporters this week. In other words, it helps makes small technical interventions sound adequate when they are not. POVERTY FACT #2: HISTORY MATTERS In order to understand the causes of poverty we have to understand history. Before the 1500s, there was no discernible difference between the West and the rest of the world in terms of human development. The impoverishment of the global South began first with the plunder of Latin America, followed by the Atlantic slave trade, then the British colonization of Asia and the European scramble for Africa. This architecture of wealth extraction was essential to Western development. Later, neoliberal policies—like the deregulation of capital markets, privatization of essential services, elimination of social and environmental protections, and a constant downward pressure on both corporate taxation and workers wages—were imposed across the global South, mostly by way of western-supported dictators and the structural adjustment we mentioned above. This turned into the biggest single cause of poverty in the 20th century, because it created both the incentives and the systems required—like tax havens—for wealth and power to be centralized in the hands of the elite. Today, the process of wealth extraction continues in the form of tax evasion, land grabs, debt service, and trade agreements rigged in the interests of the rich, a reverse flow of wealth that vastly outstrips the aid (the epitome of a small, technical fix) that trickles in the other direction. Gil.K via Shutterstock It is no surprise, then, that the fortunes of rich countries and poor countries continue to diverge. Or that the richest 1% have managed toaccumulate more wealth than the rest of the world’s population combined. By leaving this history out of their grand story of poverty, Mr. and Mrs. Gates are either saying it isn’t true, or it doesn’t matter. POVERTY FACT #3: THE “GOOD NEWS” STORY IS PREMISED ON FALSE ACCOUNTING The “good news” narrative that the Gates rely on asserts that humanity is making remarkable progress against global poverty. People who hold this view insist that aggregate wealth is a legitimate proxy for well-being. Thus, because global GDP has grown an astonishing 635% since 1980, we have never been better off overall. Close on the heels of this come claims that the number of people in extreme poverty is declining so dramatically that we should all believe that it will soon—i.e. by 2030—be eradicated. The World Bank, the governments of wealthy countries, and the UN Millennium Campaign all agree on this narrative. Relax, they tell us. The world is getting better, thanks to the spread of free market capitalism and western aid. Yavuz Sariyildiz via Shutterstock It is a comforting story but unfortunately it is just not true. For a start, it all rests on The World Bank’s $1.25-a-day poverty line, which is insultingly low. The UN body UNCTAD has pointed out that anyone living on less than $5 a day is unable to achieve “a standard of living adequate for health and wellbeing”: the inalienable right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. If you use that figure, a soul-scorching 5.1 billion people, or 80% of humanity, are living in those conditions today. POVERTY FACT #4: POWER MATTERS All of this is about politics and power. It’s a well-established truth that those with the money make the rules, usually in ways that serve their own interests. This is why 93 cents of every $1 made since the 2008 crash has gone to the 1%. The Gates want us to believe that it’s possible to solve poverty without challenging the forms of power that caused it in the first place. It sounds nice, especially for rich people, but it’s a fairy tale. Solving poverty will require a fundamental reorganization of power away from the oligarchy and toward real, meaningful democracy. Any plan to end poverty that doesn’t put this front and center isn’t really a plan at all. By relying on cherry-picked evidence, the Gates promote a rosy picture of recent progress in order to make the case for more of the same into the future. In other words, they want us to accept that more unregulated neoliberal capitalism is the answer. No need for better, more representative politics, more sustainable economic models, or constraints on corporate control of national and international governance. Solving poverty will require a fundamental reorganization of power away from the oligarchy. There are plenty of alternatives. A movement is underway to create genuinely new economic thinking—one that is based in the rigorous sciences of human social systems and complexity research. It has been quietly taking form for decades in various academic departments. Groups like the Santa Fe Institute and Institute for New Economic Thinking have vigilantly explored the need to incorporate real human nature with a grounding in systems thinking to create effective social policies. We might have had to settle for small technical fixes 30 years ago. In 2015, we certainly don’t. So much more is now known about the structural causes of poverty that it is possible to get at the real roots of the problem. Doing so will require that a lot more people know the facts about poverty creation, something we hope Bill and Melinda Gates also learn as they continue to grapple with this thorny problem along with the rest of us.

Agroecology vs. Antibiotic Resistance plus real answers of Grassroots Gumption

Audreys new Pictures 1170

All photos are in Clatskanie, Oregon. The Sheep pictures were on Stewardship Farm and the Cattle on River Run Farm, a supplier for the first conclusive fats profile testing done by Utah State University. The same meat from River Run Farm also won number one ranking for flavor and tenderness both by Gourmet Magazine and by New York Times food writer Alice Waters in blind taste tests compared to the supposed best beef in the nation. River Run Farm meat was always certified organic and 100% grass fed from birth.

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/about-us/#.VNlhuubF9VQ

“FDA policies: The main topic of conversation in the U.S. was FDA’s Guidance for Industry #213, which asks animal pharmaceutical companies to remove growth-promotion claims from medically important antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals, and the agency’s proposed rule implementing the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD), which aims to ensure that the products can no longer be used without veterinary oversight.”

Here is a topic that complicates grassroots Healthcare and confuses the entire industry while building a market for new product launches by Big Pharmaceutical companies. It also promotes feeding non-food to livestock to produce non-healthy meat and milk.

When antibiotics runoff their patent times, big Pharma then markets them as cheap “growth-promotion” food additives for “synthetic” meat production using the living breathing creature factories (CAFO’s). They still work when the patent runs out, but by using them at sub-therapeutic dosage in mass feeding operations they naturalize the bacterial adaptation to where the antibiotics no longer work as medicine. They continue to work as growth promotion something like this: By negating the natural digestion and providing predigested concentrated nutrition the livestock put their energy into meat production and not into their natural systems. Over time even the livestock are selected and adapted for faster growth under these conditions and we lose the genetics to thrive naturally without the antibiotics and on natural feeds. Meanwhile the antibiotics are made useless as medicine.

At the time that medicine becomes affordable; through mass low dosage feeding they strip the usability out of the antibiotic by building up resistance in microbes that inevitably travel on food to the width and depth of the nation driving the desperate need for the newly patented products. The new products can then be sold at exorbitant prices since all the old products have been strategically fizzled out. It complicates and monetizes healthcare, and it turns millions of living creatures into virtual meat/milk production lab rats on synthetic diets that would kill non-medicated creatures. The livestock genetics steers toward adaptability to synthetic production and away from natural feed where the creature actually has a life in their short turnover cycle.

The second loss comes in a huge shift in nutritional and healthful qualities in the meat and milk that have been emphatically proven beginning with studies at Utah State University comparing grass fed meat fat profiles to “conventional”, than in England comparing dairy product fat profiles of grass fed to “conventional”. Studies have continued to show the same results. Grass fed fats are healthful similar to fish oils, while “conventional” are anti-health causing clogged arteries and other artery and heart issues along with related deficiency related symptoms. There are multiple other factors toward cancer increase vs. cancer prevention, the onset of Beef and milk allergies where organic grass-fed flies under the immune system radar—no-allergy. Sometimes the allergies develop because of the messed up product and produce lifelong allergies as the body adapts a no entry policy that cannot be reversed. Mess up natural foods to make an investors buck so you can pay the buck and then pay a 2nd and third time when your health suffers and when you have to pay more for the medicines needed for healthcare. Someone has a strong business plan and someone does not. Can you guess who?

The Answer to our Troubles is MODERATION:

An appropriate number of naturally grazed livestock can be part of a land and soil restoration plan. Alan Savory Institute has some proven but contentious ideas that he has used successfully for over 30 years to restore degraded African Savanna lands through strategic grazing in large numbers. Everything in Balance is the key. Currently overgrazing continues to cause degradation and desertification. That is non-strategic grazing. Additionally, soils are being destroyed in a super naturally-inefficient system of conventional ag producing ingredients for concentrated feeds. This is followed by Confined Animal Feeding Operations mixing and feeding a worldwide derivative of concentrates. The return of fossil and human savvy input per energy nutrition/health output is arguably horrendous—holistically speaking—and the loss of nature balancing habitat that would enable chemical free agriculture systems to begin again is worse. Worst of all is the soil loss, aquifer depletion/pollution, and toxic soil mixed runoff.

The answer is as it always was: MODERATION and naturally beneficial systems through agroecology. The two can holistically restore human health, productive land area, species diversity and sustainable health, and increase food production and energy input to output return through increased land area with productive soils and an increase in the number of people proudly involved in the agriculture. No, not more migrant workers, more vested local stewards loving and caring for the land while proudly producing food, fiber, and biomass. We need to be eating less but more healthful meat in healthful and natural moderation and growing food in an appropriate mix of less intensive to more intensive depending on the biome and on a larger mosaic of land where the farmer is also nurturing and contributing to the natural ecology and is reversing degradation and desertification. The answer is no to more productive land being cleared of forest or converted from grassland. Instead, restore degraded lands, reverse desertification. Produce more food on more acreage with a net beneficial footprint toward the total ecology with humans as part of the whole! Let’s get to work.

Addendum:

If Tech is your passion, there is room for all. See my post below that I wrote about this article: “Precision ag applied through Organic Ag”

Robotic or remote control can be equipped with mapping sensors and makes small scale more efficient…

Weedmaster-–-Methanol-Fuel-Cell-Powered-Chem-free-Weeding

Precision agriculture joined to organic agriculture achieves a natural double win combination.

Agroecology takes it a step further to marry them to total ecological vitality and balance with the human community’s prosperity that is associated to the land under management.

Vineyard Robot VineRobot essentially a remote control wheel barrow equipped with multiple mapping and map linked sensors along with optics for recognition. Again, more precision for less cost and footprint on smaller stewardship farms

Precision agriculture is precise and complete water and nutrition in real time to achieve custom crop growth characteristics and to maximize the basic 5 methods of weed and pest management. Organic agriculture is holistic soil ecology management to maximize soil health and nutrient cycling achieving disease suppression in soil through natural resilience and natural health. Sometimes the balanced soil ecology needs to be tailored to the crop through specific fertilization routines, bio-fumigation plow down and the well structured crop rotation. Other techniques such as catch crop rows to draw away insects, barrier crops to shield from drift in pests, or scent masking rows to reduce pressures can be accommodated by precision agriculture for maximum production of multiple crop species in a single field. Precision ag can also dry out or de-fertilize individual rows for effective multi-species management. It is a complete system relevant to 2015.

Enjoy all your options, but keep the MODERATION!

Roy Sesana – First People of the Kalahari, Botswana ~ 2005

Roy Sesana 2005

“My name is Roy Sesana; I am a Gana Bushman from the Kalahari in what is now called Botswana. In my language, my name is ‘Tobee’ and our land is ‘T//amm’. We have been there longer than any people has been anywhere.

When I was young, I went to work in a mine. I put off my skins and wore clothes. But I went home after a while. Does that make me less Bushman? I don’t think so.

I am a leader. When I was a boy we did not need leaders and we lived well. Now we need them because our land is being stolen and we must struggle to survive. It doesn’t mean I tell people what to do, it’s the other way around: they tell me what I have to do to help them.

I cannot read. You wanted me to write this speech, so my friends helped, but I cannot read words – I’m sorry! But I do know how to read the land and the animals. All our children could. If they didn’t, they would have all died long ago.

I know many who can read words and many, like me, who can only read the land. Both are important. We are not backward or less intelligent: we live in exactly the same up-to-date year as you. I was going to say we all live under the same stars, but no, they’re different, and there are many more in the Kalahari. The sun and moon are the same.

I grew up a hunter. All our boys and men were hunters. Hunting is going and talking to the animals. You don’t steal. You go and ask. You set a trap or go with bow or spear. It can take days. You track the antelope. He knows you are there, he knows he has to give you his strength. But he runs and you have to run. As you run, you become like him. It can last hours and exhaust you both. You talk to him and look into his eyes. And then he knows he must give you his strength so your children can live.

When I first hunted, I was not allowed to eat. Pieces of the steenbok were burnt with some roots and spread on my body. This is how I learned. It’s not the same way you learn, but it works well.

The farmer says he is more advanced than the backward hunter, but I don’t believe him. His herds give no more food than ours. The antelope are not our slaves, they do not wear bells on their necks and they can run faster than the lazy cow or the herder. We run through life together.

When I wear the antelope horns, it helps me talk to my ancestors and they help me. The ancestors are so important: we would not be alive without them. Everyone knows this in their heart, but some have forgotten. Would any of us be here without our ancestors? I don’t think so.

I was trained as a healer. You have to read the plants and the sand. You have to dig the roots and become fit. You put some of the root back for tomorrow, so one day your grandchildren can find it and eat. You learn what the land tells you.

When the old die, we bury them and they become ancestors. When there is sickness, we dance and we talk to them; they speak through my blood. I touch the sick person and can find the illness and heal it.

We are the ancestors of our grandchildren’s children. We look after them, just as our ancestors look after us. We aren’t here for ourselves. We are here for each other and for the children of our grandchildren.

Why am I here? Because my people love their land, and without it we are dying. Many years ago, the president of Botswana said we could live on our ancestral land forever. We never needed anyone to tell us that. Of course we can live where God created us! But the next president said we must move and began forcing us away.

They said we had to go because of diamonds. Then they said we were killing too many animals: but that’s not true. They say many things which aren’t true. They said we had to move so the government could develop us. The president says unless we change we will perish like the dodo. I didn’t know what a dodo was. But I found out: it was a bird which was wiped out by settlers. The president was right. They are killing us by forcing us off our land. We have been tortured and shot at. They arrested me and beat me.

Thank you for the Right Livelihood Award. It is global recognition of our struggle and will raise our voice throughout the world. When I heard I had won I had just been let out of prison. They say I am a criminal, as I stand here today.

I say what kind of development is it when the people live shorter lives than before? They catch HIV/AIDS. Our children are beaten in school and won’t go there. Some become prostitutes. They are not allowed to hunt. They fight because they are bored and get drunk. They are starting to commit suicide. We never saw that before. It hurts to say this. Is this ‘development’?

We are not primitive. We live differently to you, but we do not live exactly like our grandparents did, nor do you. Were your ancestors ‘primitive’? I don’t think so. We respect our ancestors. We love our children. This is the same for all people.

We now have to stop the government stealing our land: without it we will die.

If anyone has read a lot of books and thinks I am primitive because I have not read even one, then he should throw away those books and get one which says we are all brothers and sisters under God and we too have a right to live.

That is all. Thank you.”

Roy Sesana – First People of the Kalahari, Botswana

Roy Sesana

Creating food democracy in a hostile system

“… 5% to 50% happens like this: Local create a simple written pledge for a newly spawned local producers collective relating to non-use of synthetic chemistries and biologies (non-naturally occurring). Add the non-use of feed antibiotics, synthetic parasite controls, or hormones to stimulate production or growth.

Keep the pledge directly related to purity of food and not about “organic agriculture”. Let each farmer differentiate his name by his methods of production. This means locally you have a basic level bar to found the agriculture on that is production of pure wholesome food without putting un-natural synthetics into the environment. That is a springboard into permaculture, precision agriculture, organic soil management, and general agroecology.

In the producers collective develop a contrived economy of scale including shared labor, shared delivery trucks, shared marketing for direct to store and restaurant and CSA sales, but keep the product attached to farm name (traceability and farmer to consumer connection). Manage GAP and Modernization Act related protocols by collectively staying 10 steps ahead keeping it relevant to local and to true food safety. Work into the Act over time the monitoring for zero tolerance of pesticides and GMO’s in the local market.

Meanwhile let the big organic ag megaliths continue to produce pure non-local food to fill in the gaps while local ramps up. In the end all locale’s will be producing the bulk of their food and will be aware and buy the non-local primarily from organic producers. Conventional will try to pull their cards, but in the end poison free food that nurtures the environment can be had for all for real costs of production plus a margin associated to an economy of scale achieved by the collective.”

clatsk from mt

Voting Rights Extended to age 13…(super short)

I said shockingly: “Let’s now move for the full voting rights down to age 13.” I mean it and can support it. In short form, following is a key concept in empowering democracy.

Start by extending full voting rights down to age 13 in an unprecedented move to reach a societal artery vested in the future. Let’s further link full retirement acceptance to loss of voting right. The idea is to change the dynamic of how we perceive our contribution to the whole. Retirement should not only be acceptance of reliance on the system, but also on the younger people that make up that system.

Youngers are the vested builders of civilization. Elders are the equippers of the youngers and selfishness must end. Dependance on the youngers, at least politically, will tie the generational gap together again in the long run, without which we cannot build enduring civilization.

Elders should have amassed respectability and great wisdom. If they have, losing their voting rights will not affect their influence. If they have grown to retirement age without amassing respectability, their loss of influence is no loss to the whole.

Empowering the Revolution

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