We live on a truly extraordinary and wonderful world, which has evolved over four billion years to be what it is. We have so much to be grateful for, whether its families, friends, delightful food, enriching conversations, gardens, plants and the incredible natural world. When we give ourselves time to get out into nature how can we be anything but grateful for the frost on cobwebs, lichen on trees or a beautiful sunset?
Yet despite this and our innate knowing how special the natural world is, mankind faces a crisis of an unprecedented scale. We have to face the shocking truth that we are systematically destroying the capability of our planet to sustain life and that we are part of life and therefore also threatened.
Beyond the environment the economic and political systems are locked in an unhealthy relationship of growth and power which is becoming increasingly evident as totally unsustainable.
At the Fold we believe it is our responsibility to challenge and reconsider our lifestyles and relationships and co-create resilient sustainable communities. “Business as usual” is not an option.
Mankind is facing the potential of an unprecedented multiple crisis that includes:
Population – currently growing at a rate of one billion people every twelve years. The fastest rate ever.
Biodiversity & extinction – we are living amidst the greatest mass extinction of species since that of the dinosaur’s 65 million years ago and the main cause is human activity. The UN reports that one million species are at risk of extinction, that nature is being destroyed at a rate hundreds of times faster than the average over the past 10 million years. The biomass of wild mammals has fallen by 82%, natural ecosystems have lost about half their area. Comparing species in our ecology to rivets holding together an aeroplane – how many rivets can the plane lose before it crashes?
Oceans – their ecological limits are now near or past tipping points, species and ecosystem collapse is imminent.
Forests – over half of the worlds forests have been lost in the last eight thousand years with most of that occurring in the 20th Century. Deforestation is like cutting out our lungs.
Water – ground aquifer water is being pumped out in many areas faster than it is being replenished causing aquifer depletion. Great rivers like the Colorado, Yellow River and Nile no longer run to the sea all year round.
Agriculture and Soil – Loss of topsoil and organic matter together with soil degradation mean food security will be seriously challenged. Industrial Agribusiness has resorted to horrific means to produce cheap meat at horrendous costs in animal welfare.
Consumption – As a race we are consuming in vast quantities. We have more than any of our predecessors. Yet we are no happier and depression rates have reached epidemic proportions. Our addiction to consumption has serious consequences.
Resources – More have been consumed and more have become depleted over the last fifty years than in all of our time on earth. Many mineral resources such as phosphates for fertilisers are becoming scarce and will soon be in short supply.
Climate Change – CO2 levels are the highest for 42,000 years and the earth’s atmosphere is warming at the fastest rate in recorded history. This trend is projected to further change weather systems significantly and damage forests, marine ecosystems & agriculture. Food security is already being affected and likely to become very serious. Human communities are also threatened by significant sea level rise and erratic weather. A rise in temperature means irreversible climate change, uncertainty of the stability of Antarctic ice causing sea level rise of around five metres, Siberian permafrost melting and catastrophic weather systems leading to insurmountable food production problems and the inevitable breakdown of society as we know it. We don’t know what the tipping point is with regards temperature but we know that we are close to it.
Ancient sunlight & its peak – We are rapidly squandering the precious resource of Ancient sunlight that we have inherited and whilst Peak oil is being nudged off a little with the discovery of large reserves off Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico and Africa, it is still likely to be reached within a decade. Only history will decide when peak oil has happened and its impact on energy prices. They will certainly go up!
Plastics – Plastic is everywhere. Useful and convenient, it’s also a massive pollution problem, especially in our oceans. A truckload of plastic enters the ocean every single minute and UK supermarkets produce 800,000 tonnes every year. Turtles and seabirds become ensnared in discarded plastics, and tiny microplastics are eaten by everything. We need to solve this problem at the source and produce less plastic in the first place.
Plastics in our waste streams are breaking down into tiny particles, or microplastics causing potentially catastrophic consequences for human health and our aquatic systems.
Economy – Our politicians and corporate business run the economy with the hope that it will grow for ever despite the finite nature of our planet. To prop up this paradigm most money is now in the precarious computer driven financial markets rather than the real world of trade.
Politics – Our political system is inextricably linked through lobbying to the Industrial growth society of corporate business to feed its addiction.
We are at a crossroads, a knife-edge or ecological tipping point, and can choose which way to go. There appear to be three possibilities:
1. We continue with ‘Business as Usual’ blind to what we are doing and hope that a miracle or a technological fix will sort everything out. This is looking ever less likely and there are fundamental problems as why this is the case
2. We live into the disastrous possibilities that business as usual is creating, sometimes called the ‘Great Unravelling’ and the consequences of the crisis in terms of societal breakdown.
3. We choose this time as an opportunity to transition to a life sustaining society, we might call this the ‘Great Turning’ to the Ecozoic age.
We are the generation with the information and science at our fingertips. Our actions and activities now will decide the fate of our world and that of our children and their children.
It is our choice which of the 3 stories we want to get behind. We can choose where we put our attention. There is no guarantee which story will unfold. Uncertainty is the only certainty!
THREE WAYS WE CAN ALL SUPPORT POSITIVE CHANGE:
1. Standing up and saying no when we see things happening that we know in our hearts are not right
2. Creating and supporting new organisations and ways of doing things that are more ethically sound. This may simply be a decision to buy as much as possible from local sustainable sources and minimising purchases from non-ethical and multinational corporate organisations. Be conscious of where and how we spend and invest our money. It makes a real difference.
3. Being part of the current paradigm shift and evolution of consciousness which can be seen as a convergence of science and spirituality; a deepening of ourselves as a human beings undertaking inner work that enables us to be the change we want to see in the world.
Moving from a worldview based on classical reductionist science where everything is understood by knowing what it is made of and power is considered to be held by individuals including political parties resulting in a ‘power over’ world view to one based on Quantum science and Systems Theory where everything is understood to be in relationship and interrelated, that nothing can be done in isolation and that the relationship between the parts is key. This is a win win world where the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
For thousands of years we have been developing more and more sophisticated ways of making, doing, working and living. Our material world is full of creature comforts and sophistication. Yet as a race we are no happier we are actually more stressed and diseased. As we wake to the errors of our ways we must challenge many of our core beliefs.
Now is the time to take stock and find a new, elegant and simpler way forward. To look inwards with our ingenuity and engineering skills to where the key to our happiness truly lies rather than outwards to the myth of the material consumer-based world. Making use of the wisdom from indigenous peoples, eastern philosophy and the best modern therapeutic practices we can reengineer and transform our lives into new possibilities that can live in harmony with each other and this our beautiful mother earth.
Business as usual is suffocating us and we have to find another way. The Fold is an organisation and organism intent on this transitional transformation to a new way.
Come and join us
TRENDS IN ‘WAYS OF BEING’ FOR POSITIVE CHANGE:
- From power over to power with
- From I can’t to we can
- Despair to hope
- What I am made of to what I am part of
- Ego to eco
- Linear to cyclical
- From blame to compassion
- From top down to bottom up
- From male orientation to male female balance
- Maximisation to optimisation
- Scarcity to abundance thinking
- From defence to trust and emergence
- Moving from what can I gain to what can I give
- From what to how
- Living into elegant simplicity