Saturday, 10 January 2015

THE LAND; Now distributed by the Greenhorns

Good news for farmers in the US who miss the old ZINE information culture for radical farmers. The Greenhorns will now be the distributors of England's, farmer-made, 'The Land' Magazine in the US.

Demands to "make poverty history", and the responses from those in power, revolve around money: less debt, freer and fairer trade, more aid. Rarely will you hear someone with access to a microphone mouth the word "land".

That is because economists define wealth and justice in terms of access to the market. Politicians echo the economists because the more dependent that people become upon the market, the more securely they can be roped into the fiscal and political hierarchy. Access to land is not simply a threat to land-owning √©lites — it is a threat to the religion of unlimited economic growth and the power structure that depends upon it.

The market (however attractive it may appear) is built on promises: the only source of wealth is the earth. Anyone who has land has access to energy, water, nourishment, shelter, healing, wisdom, ancestors and a grave. Ivan Illich spoke of "a society of convivial tools that allows men to achieve purposes with energy fully under their control". The ultimate convivial tool, the mother of all the others, is the earth.

Yet the earth is more than a tool cupboard, for although the earth gives, it dictates its terms; and its terms alter from place to place. So it is that agriculture begets human culture; and cultural diversity, like biological diversity, flowers in obedience to the conditions that the earth imposes. The first and inevitable effect of the global market is to uproot and destroy land-based human cultures. The final and inevitable achievement of a rootless global market will be to destroy itself.

In a shrunken world, taxed to keep the wheels of industry accelerating, land and its resources are increasingly contested. Six billion people compete to acquire land for a variety of conflicting uses: land for food, for water, for energy, for timber, for carbon sinks, for housing, for wildlife, for recreation, for investment. The politics of land — who owns it, who controls it and who has access to it — are more important than ever, though you might not think so from a superficial reading of government policy and the media. The purpose of this magazine is to focus attention back onto the politics of land.

Rome fell; the Soviet Empire collapsed; the stars and stripes are fading in the west. Nothing is forever in history, except geography. Capitalism is a confidence trick, a dazzling edifice built on paper promises. It may stand longer than some of us anticipate, but when it crumbles, the land will remain.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

More than science; Excerpt from a Essay on Human Ecology

Paraphrased from Ethan Niederer's Essay on Human Ecology, College of the Atlantic 2003.

Human ecology is the cataphatic, love mystic saying "this, this, this" and "yes, yes".
Human ecology's primary direction comes from its practitioners. With great stock in and passion for the work they feel is profound and important. 
Human ecology sees that the world is beautiful. Human ecologist work to be awake to it and to be in fully in it; to disregard the apophatic, neti neti "not this, not this" in favor of positive action, to honor and enjoy the sweetness of this life. 

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Hmong ethnobotany and conservation in Laos

A participatory ethnobotany study with indigenous Hmong elders on spiritual-cultural practices and livelihood uses of plants and their conservation suggests that the traditional cultural uses for plants may be a mechanism for the conservation of biodiversity in the rapidly deteriorating forests of Luang Prabang in the Lao People's Democratic Republic.

Hmong ethnobotany and conservation in Laos

Tshawb nrhiav nroj tsuag tau muaj kev koom tes nrog cov kws tshuaj ntsuab Hmoob nyob rau zos Long Lan, Xeev Luang prabang, Los Tsuas Teb chaws tau pib tshawb los rau ntawm lub xyoo 2012 thiab 2013. Nrhiav txog lub laj lim thiab tswv yim ntawm cov laus neeg nyob zos Long Lan thiab cov zos nyob ib puag ncig twb yog ib qhov sij hawm muaj txiaj ntsig tau paub txog txoj kev cai coj siv nroj tsuag thiab pov hwm nyob nrog lub neej. Tau paub txog ntawm 74 hom tau muaj 49 yam (nroj tsuag) twb tau muab sau zoo, qhov nov muaj 25 yam tshuaj ntsuab (17 yam yog cov muaj hnub nyooj ntev thiab 8 yam yog cov muaj hnub nyooj luv), 20 yam yog cov ua ntoo, 17 yam yog cov nroj, 10 yam yog cov hmab, thiab 2 yam yog suab. Muab xam tau pom txog nroj tsuag muaj txiaj ntsig zoo heev rau ntawm txoj kev siv yoom thiab pov hwm nyob nrog lub neej. Qhov tshawb rhiav no tau ceeb toom txog tias txoj kev siv yoom nroj tsuag raws li
txoj cai Hmoob coj yog ib txoj cai zoo rau ntawm kev pov hwm hav zoov hav tsuag rau qhov hav zoov niaj hnub no raug luaj ntov nyob rau xeev Luang prabang, los Tsuas Teb.