Does our planet really need a major restoration initiative toward renewing its life support capacity? Consider that by 1961, food systems sequestered 27% of the world’s biocapacity, but today they capture 40% of global biological productivity. At least 10% percent of all fossil fuel use globally goes to agricultural conversion of wild lands to tilled land, ongoing tillage, water pumping, manufacture of agrichemicals, and food transport. If these activities in the food system can be redesigned to consume far less fossil fuel and fossil groundwater, humankind’s total carbon and water footprints can be significantly reduced and climate change slowed or reversed.
Restoration does not mean going back, but going forward. As Kathleen Dean Moore wrote in Great Tide Rising, “Our challenge is not only resilience, which is the power to rebound (re- “back” + salire “to jump, leap”). Our challenge is also what we might call presilience, the courage to take this great, stumbling leap into a world unlike any we have ever seen, knowing that we will not be back.”
We envision means to creatively deal with the nexus of water, food and energy issues now affecting their daily lives, issues that are being exacerbated by climate change. Our intuition is that once again in human history, necessity will be the mother of innovation, spawning community-based solutions on the margins of society that will be later be adopted and adapted by much of humanity. Innovation nearly always happens on the margin, not in the mainstream. Since the “main stream” is drying up; we need to learn how to better harvest “the rain of innovation” wherever it falls on the face of this earth!
Brother Coyote, OEF