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Our planet is an island oasis in an infinite universe, uniquely formed to support millions of life-forms, the many species of plants and animals, bacteria, insects, fish and human beings.  The necessary ingredients for continued life are an oxygen atmosphere, fertile soil, sun, and water.  To hold these sacred is to guarantee the continuance of life.  From these basic sources come energy and food.  All living things require both for sustenance. Whether you believe in God or not, these simple scientific facts are irrefutable. They do not run contrary to any religious belief. How our world was formed and when it was formed is of no consequence to our continued survival, completely irrelevant to resolving the problems that face the planet in order to support continued life.

The globe today is divided into countries, each governed in a different way, each with independent needs and goals.  Over millennia their borders have been defined by geographic features like land mass, oceans, rivers, and mountains as well as arbitrary lines drawn on a map, creating many separate tribes, societies, and cultures, originally defined largely by commonalities like language, religion, and race. But as all these cultures have one thing in common, the need to continue to live, they formed many complex relationships to meet their needs: management of their native resources, laws governing their society, a moral code supported by religion and trade with their neighbors.  All these were instituted to manage life. A society lacking resources and trade and further lacking an inclusive moral code and protective laws would seek to fill the deficit needed for sustained life through aggression, taking what was needed from a neighboring society through war, taking the lives of others.

The practice of preserving the life of a tribe at the expense of the reduction of the life of another tribe continues today, even though all religions regard human life as sacred. Other life forms are not regarded in the same way.  Plants and animals, the earth itself do not get the same consideration.  Why is that?  Perhaps it is because humans are widely believed to have a soul.  Just what is a soul?  Perhaps it is nothing more than consciousness.  Our bodies are shells filled with life for the duration of our consciousness.  When we die, we are no longer conscious and it is said that our soul has left our bodies.  The big conundrum is “where did it go?”  Is there a place where souls, formless beings, reside together and are segregated into separate locations according to the activities of the soul during the time it inhabited and acted through a human shell? Heaven and Hell, Purgatory and Limbo–all religions have beliefs resulting in rules that determine the proper behavior and practices to establish the outcome for a soul. Principal among these is “Thou shalt not kill.”

In every age, and especially now in the age of globalism, we must respect this one commonality.  We must respect all life.  While it may be argued that plant life does not have consciousness, clearly animals do.  They are conscious beings that live by instinct, unrestricted by religious or social laws.  Yet, they like us must act out of a need for survival.  Religions do not regard them as having souls because unlike humans, they do not exercise “free will” and therefore, their actions cannot be regarded as sinful. When an animal kills another animal for food, it is a simple matter of survival. While they can meet their own needs for food under the right circumstances, they are unable to control the other factors that continue to support the life forms they must consume to live.  They cannot alter the content of the atmosphere, the energy of the sun, the availability of water. They are as much a part of global interconnectivity as are we, but with one glaring exception—we are uniquely positioned to be able to do something about it. Like them, we consume other life forms, be it plant or animal.  The continuance of these life forms and ours is dependent on the continuance of the earth as we know it.  Instead of “Make America Great Again” our very consciousness requires that we think differently in order to survive. We must “Make Our Planet Great Again,” protect and restore its health.


We don’t need another smart phone. We need a smarter conversation.  Mobilized is building an empowering constructive solutions-based journalism network from the ground up. While most news is the story of disease and dysfunction, we believe that media can empower, inspire, inform, educate and enable healthier outcomes for us all.

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It matters not whether global warming and climate change are man-made.  Whatever the cause, we know with certainty that it is possible to exert a positive effect on the increasing deterioration of the very resources required for life.  It’s common sense that we not pollute our air, our water, and our soil.  It is common sense that we do not deplete our natural energy resources like oil and gas.  They are finite.  The competition for the control of existing energy resources creates conflict and war and creates massive shifts in wealth from one society to another, further enhancing the imbalance between both nations and social classes at a time we need to unite to survive.

One obstacle to this unification is religious fanaticism.  Religions that have a central tenant of revenge and punishment will by definition perpetuate hate, maintain anger and require destructive, often the violent action of its members.  In smaller tribes, this results in terrorism. In larger tribes, it requires controlling the society by controlling the government.  It affects every aspect of every policy: economic, trade, immigration, the environment, consumer protection, education, energy, social, medical, law enforcement, military planning, equal civil rights, veteran’s rights, the climate, taxation, and monetary policy.  All must be considered holistically in regard to how each policy serves to support life. Policies that protect or promote one tribe over another must not be allowed to stand.

To eliminate regulations protecting the environment is to attack all life on the planet. Regulations that allow for the pollution of air and water, or allow for more poisonous insecticides to be used in farming may result in short-term economic gains for specifically targeted industries and their investors, the 1%, but is short-sighted and unsustainable. The so-called trickle-down effect is the bait used to secure the compliance of the other 99% in securing their own destruction.  Trickle-down should be rebranded hand-me-down, as these dollars are like tired and worn out clothes handed down by an older sibling to a younger brother or sister. “Fresh” dollars should be used for all, not the few, to secure our sustainable future, investing in energy like solar, wind and new technologies for alternative fuel. No, hand-me-down dollars have little value and like worn-out clothes are short lived.

 

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Right to Repair Bill Introduced in Congress

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Hot on the heels of last week’s victory in the New York state senate, the fight for Right to Repair comes to the US Congress. Today, Congressman Joe Morelle (D-NY) introduced the first broad federal Right to Repair bill: the Fair Repair Act.

“As electronics become integrated into more and more products in our lives, Right to Repair is increasingly important to all Americans,” said Kyle Wiens, iFixit CEO. Lawmakers everywhere are realizing the need to protect our Right to Repair—along with progress in the EU and Australia, 27 US states introduced Right to Repair legislation this year, a record number.

“Every year I’ve worked on Right to Repair, it’s gotten bigger, as more and more people want to see independent repair protected,” said Gay Gordon-Byrne, Executive Director of Repair.org. Rep. Joe Morelle has been a champion for much of that journey, sponsoring legislation while in the Statehouse in Albany starting in 2015. Everywhere you go, people just want to be able to choose for themselves how to fix their stuff. You’d think manufacturers would wise up.”

Congressman Joe Morelle’s federal bill would require manufacturers to provide device owners and independent repair businesses with access to the parts, tools, and information they need to fix electronic devices.

“For too long, large corporations have hindered the progress of small business owners and everyday Americans by preventing them from the right to repair their own equipment,” said Congressman Morelle. “It’s long past time to level the playing field, which is why I’m so proud to introduce the Fair Repair Act and put the power back in the hands of consumers. This common-sense legislation will help make technology repairs more accessible and affordable for items from cell phones to laptops to farm equipment, finally giving individuals the autonomy they deserve.”

“Right to Repair just makes sense,” said Nathan Proctor, U.S. PIRG Senior Right to Repair Campaign Director. “It saves money and it keeps electronics in use and off the scrap heap. It helps farmers keep equipment in the field and out of the dealership. No matter how many lobbyists Apple, Microsoft or John Deere and the rest of the manufacturers throw at us, Right to Repair keeps pushing ahead, thanks to champions like Rep. Joe Morelle.”

“At iFixit, we believe that big tech companies shouldn’t get to dictate how we use the things we own or keep us from fixing our stuff.” said iFixit’s US Policy Lead, Kerry Maeve Sheehan. “We applaud Congressman Morelle for taking the fight for Right to Repair to Congress and standing up for farmers, independent repair shops, and consumers nationwide.”

We’re pleased to see Congress taking these problems seriously. In addition to supporting Congressman Morelle’s Fair Repair Act, we urge Congress to pass much-needed reforms to Section 1201 of the Copyright Act, to clarify that circumventing software locks to repair devices is always legal, and to expressly support the Federal Trade Commission’s authority to tackle unfair, deceptive, and anti-competitive repair restrictions.

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For a healthier planet, management must change

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Our environment sustains all life. Both human and wildlife. When habitat degrades, the lives of all that depend on it also deteriorate: poor land = poor people and social breakdown.By Sarah Savory, Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe (like many other countries in arid areas with seasonal rainfall) we are facing the many symptoms and signs of our country’s advancing desertification: ever-increasing droughts, floods, wildfires, poverty, poaching, social breakdown, violence, mass emigration to cities, biodiversity loss and climate change. No economy can survive if we destroy our soil – the only economy that can ultimately sustain any community, or nation, is based on the photosynthetic process — green plants growing on regenerating soil.


So, if we wanted to find out the optimum way to manage our wildlife, people and economy, logically, shouldn’t we be looking at our National Parks for the best examples of what we can do for our environment? Because in national parks, we not only have the best management the world knows, we don’t have any of the issues that are normally blamed for causing desertification: ignorance, greed, corruption, corporations, livestock, coal, oil, etc. Let’s do that now…the following are all photos taken in our national parks (the first 3 were taken in May right after the rainy season when they should still be looking their best!)

As you can see from those photos, some of the worst biodiversity loss and land degradation we have in Zimbabwe is occurring IN our National Parks. But, as I pointed out, those have been run using the best management known to us and have been protected and conserved for decades. We’ve clearly been missing something…

The above 8 pictures are a mixture of National Parks and Communal Land…can you tell which is which?

We are seeing this land degradation both inside and out of our Parks because there is an over-arching and common cause of desertification that nobody has understood, or been able to successfully address, until recently.

We spend our lives blaming resources for causing the damage (coal, oil, livestock, elephants, etc) but resources are natural, so how could they possibly be to blame? Only our management of them can be causing the problem.

ALL tool using animals (including humans) automatically use a genetically embedded management framework…and every single management decision made is in order to meet an objective, a need, or to address a problem. And those decisions are made with exactly the same framework, or thought process and for exactly the same reasons, whether it is an animal or a human.

For example, a hungry otter has an objective: he wants to break open a clamshell because he needs to eat. He uses a simple tool (technology, in the form of a stone) to do so. He does this based on past experience or what he learned from his mother.

Or, the president of the United States has an objective: to put a man on the moon within a decade. He and his team use the same tool (technology, but various and more sophisticated forms of it) and base their choices on past experience, research, expert advice, and so on. It’s the same process, or framework, in both cases, only the degree of sophistication has varied.

A screen shot taken from a short video clip we took with a film crew last month, of 4 different areas, all near to each other: you will clearly see the terrible desertification in both National Parks and nearby Communal Land. In comparison, you will see a vast difference on Dibangombe, the Africa Centre For Holistic Management (our learning centre, which is only 30km from Victoria Falls.) This habitat is being regenerated for all life by simply managing holistically. Every year on this land, despite the worsening droughts, the biodiversity increases and the land and wildlife flourish.
All this footage was taken in the same area, at the same time, with the same climate, the same soils, the same wildlife and the same humans.
But different management.

To this day, this decision making process works just fine for the otter. But imagine that one day, the otter invents a machine that can crack open 1,000 clam shells a day and that all the other otters suddenly stop doing what otters are designed to do and just come to him to get their clams. They still use the decision making process but everything else has changed…that tiny advance in technology would have inadvertently set off a complex chain reaction through the whole ecosystem and there would soon be catastrophic environmental knock-on effects because the balance of the ecosystem has been upset. The ecosystem will keep trying to adjust to this change but eventually it will start to collapse. Imagine the otter started charging for the clams. Now, with every decision the otters make, in order to make sure their ecosystem didn’t collapse, they would need to be simultaneously addressing the social, environmental and economic aspects of their actions. Their management would have to evolve with the change.

This is exactly what happened to humans…As soon as our technology advanced, our management should have evolved to accommodate for it. But it didn’t.

Our natural world is rapidly collapsing all around us and we have ended up constantly chasing our tails and dealing with the symptoms and complications we’ve created. While there have been thousands of books written over the years on different types of management, if you dig a little deeper and ‘peel the onion’ the same genetically embedded framework is still inadvertently being used.

In the last 400 years, our technology has advanced faster than in all of the two hundred thousand or so years of modern human existence. Over those same few centuries, you can now see why the health of our planet has entered a breathtaking decline.  We now have the knowledge to change that…

No matter what we are managing, we cannot ever escape an inevitable web of social, economic and environmental complexity, so, in order to truly address any issue, the people and the finances have to be addressed simultaneously, not just the land itself. Isolating one particular part of the problem, or singling out a species and trying to manage it successfully, is no different from trying to isolate and manage the hydrogen in water.

With this knowledge, the Holistic Management Framework was developed. And, incredibly, it all started here in Zimbabwe, by my father, Allan Savory, an independent Zimbabwean scientist. This new decision making process ensures that no matter what we are managing, we focus on the root cause of any problem. It also makes sure that all our decisions are socially or culturally sound, economically viable and ecologically regenerative by using 7 simple filtering checks. And, it introduces us to a new, biological tool: animal impact and movement, that can be used to help us reverse desertification and regenerate our land and rivers.

This framework has received world-wide acclaim and is now being mirrored in forty three Holistic Management hubs on six continents, including the first university-led hub in the USA.

Now we can begin to understand that most of the problems we are facing in Zimbabwe today are simply symptoms of reductionist management.

Imagine that one day, someone starts to beat you really hard over the head, once a day, every day, with a cricket bat. It really hurts, and instead of trying to take the bat away from them, you just take a dispirin to deal with the headache it’s caused and carry on.

After a week, the pain will be getting much worse and the dispirin will no longer be strong enough, so you’d need a new painkiller. The stopain comes out. After a while, stopain won’t be enough, so you turn to Brufen. And so it goes on. Yet the blows continue.

Eventually, your organs will be struggling from all the medication and you’ll end up in hospital with very serious complications. The best doctors and specialists in the world are called in at great expense and they rush around treating all your worsening, and now life-threatening, symptoms. None of them can understand why you aren’t getting better – they’ve used the best medicines and procedures known. It’s because everyone is so focused on your symptoms, that nobody has looked up and seen the person standing behind you with the cricket bat.

It sounds silly when I put it like that, doesn’t it? But that is exactly what we are doing.

Our planet is in that hospital with life threatening complications, with Governments, Organisations and individuals doing their best, spending millions of dollars, often using expert advice, to find out how to treat the patient, but nobody has realised that they are only treating symptoms. Nobody has noticed the guy standing there with the bat.

The holistic management framework stops the blows to the head. As soon as we do that and the cause is being treated, all the symptoms will automatically begin to heal and fall away.

I am going to show you a screen shot taken from a short video clip we took with a film crew last month, of 4 different areas, all near to each other: you will clearly see the terrible desertification in both National Parks and nearby Communal Land. In comparison, you will see a vast difference on Dibangombe, the Africa Centre For Holistic Management (our learning centre, which is only 30km from Victoria Falls.) This habitat is being regenerated for all life by simply managing holistically. Every year on this land, despite the worsening droughts, the biodiversity increases and the land and wildlife flourish.

All this footage was taken in the same area, at the same time, with the same climate, the same soils, the same wildlife and the same humans.

But different management.

These pictures were taken on the same day on land only 30km apart in February 2018, The 2 photos on the left are Zambezi National Park and the photo on the right is Africa Centre for Holistic Management (Dibangombe)

The great news is that we can turn it all around and we don’t have the thousands of different problems we all think we do. We only have to adjust one thing. Our management.

It’s time for us to evolve from using our outdated, reductionist management framework. We need to adapt to a new way of thinking and  apply this paradigm-shifting decision  making framework so that we can all work together towards regenerating our Zimbabwe.

Culturally. Socially. Economically. Environmentally. For for our people and for our wildlife.

Let’s start by stopping the blows to the head!

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Free to Download Fight the Fire: Green New Deals and Global Climate Jobs

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Fight the Fire

Fight The Fire Book Cover

OUT NOW!

“The most compelling and concise guide to averting climate breakdown.” – Brendan Montague, editor, The Ecologist.

Download Jonathan Neale’s Fight the Fire from The Ecologist for free now.

The Ecologist has published Fight the Fire for free so that it is accessible to all.

We would like to thank our readers for donating £1,000 to cover some of the costs of publishing and promoting this book.

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