ECOLOGICAL LITERACY is a vital aspect of applied theology and of our witness.
Eco-literacy demands that we consider ecological systems and an awareness of how society operates within natural imperatives as an educational staple. In a seminal book Ecological Literacy (1992) David Orr explains that by failing to include ecological perspectives in education, students are taught that ecology is unimportant. The concept of ‘ecological or systemic literacy’ defined in the 1990s created a new emphasis on the need for education to impart an understanding the interdependences between natural processes and human ways of living. A new value entered education; the “well-being of the earth”.
Sustainability- or better – replenishability is a qualitative and quantitative condition; demonstrating the human capacity to survive over time. It is qualitative in that we want well-being as well as survival and well-being is hard to measure. But it is also quantitative in that natural capital and ecological carrying capacity can now be measured with foot printing tools. It’s a biological and ecological imperative for human society to exist within the carrying capacity of the ecosystem. Ecological literacy provides the basis for integrated thinking about sustainability or replenishability . It supports the frame of mind, ethic, and the type of practice that will support the kind of thinking that prioritizes ecological imperatives. Ecological literacy – the understanding of the principles of organization that ecosystems have evolved to sustain the web of life – is the first step on the road to sustainability. The second step is the move towards eco-design. We need to apply our ecological knowledge to the fundamental redesign of our technologies and social institutions, so as to bridge the current gap between human design and the ecological sustainable systems of nature. Fritjof Capra (2003)
To achieve replenishability we must dig deeply into the roots of our cultural assumptions and rework the flawed conceptual apparatus that is ecological illiterate. Our society has created industries, processes, programs and institutions that are destroying the ecosystem’s ability to support life. This unsustainable and reckless action is the direct result of a lack of ecological understanding and a lack of agency. Ecological literacy aims to replace fragmentary thinking with new cognitive and social capacities necessary for the design of sustainable ways of living.
and this response added its relevance as developed by one of our associates in Canada – with influence now spreading widely……………..
Richard Nelson writes : I am grateful that you keep me in the loop with the thoughtful discussions and actions of the CCJM in London. With this reply I am also sharing your news and information with friends in Canada and New Zealand (Adam Greenwell).
In the spring of 2013 I shared with you my first draft of my White Paper “closing the hunger gap” that was written to elucidate the massively transformative purpose of our emergent POD Enterprise Network, PODnet, as a global cooperative organization. The SolaRoof collaborative community, working together and adopting the framework of our Creative Commons Public License 3.0 during 2014 has mobilized a few PODpioneers who are co-creating the AgriPOD as a solution to the man-made Food+Energy+Water (FEW) scarcity crisis. Our purpose is to build communities with #FEW4All and to put into practice and propagate this solution worldwide abundance of the FEW essentials for human health and wellbeing. On Earth Day 2015, with the Icelandic PODnet community we have now launched our campaign to startup our global COOP and we invite everyone, everywhere to become aware of our mission and to enlist as CoMissioners, as PODpioneers and founders of PODworks cooperatives, with the goal of registration of our COOP organization that welcomes all people as members or, “PODners”, who want to eat local fresh food that is secure and safe, natural and nutritious and produced without synthetic fuel or fertilizer and with zero of GHG emissions or water polluting effluents.
I would like to share with you this feedback on item 5 of CCMJ’s ANNUAL APPRAISAL 2014/5 report:
In your section 5 ECOLOGICAL LITERACY – I would love to see your report provide a reference to PODnet and “closing the hunger gap” as a development of significant relevance. In reference to your important recognition of the need to move beyond the notion of a “calculated sustainability”, I concur that there is a risk that such “regulation” of damaging, polluting human activity may consign our living earth to a state of “palliative care” that could stave off the “end of life as we know it” that would result from a serious “overshoot” of carrying capacity, causing ecosystems collapse. This regulated “sustainability” would result in a condition of subsistence of life on earth, in the same way that the people are allowed to subsist in a state of universal subjugation and exploitation. There would be no thriving of Nature and no happiness or true freedom for the many, while the concentration of wealth and power into the hands of the few would continue unabated with ongoing climate and conflict disasters.
You suggest the idea of replenishment, which is certainly a more positive concept of sustainability. I would like to ask people caring deeply about future generations, and especially the Christian community hearing the Creator’s call to stewardship, to consider the increasing importance of this word: regeneration. When we stop thinking of nature as a thing or machine and look into the symbiotic interrelationships of the 5 kingdoms of Creation that enable life to grow and propagate, then we discover the principles of closed ecological life support systems and from such regenerative ecosystems knowledge we may learn to develop a CoCreative capacity to bring fish (animals), plants, algae, fungi and bacteria together within “closed ecological environments” (CEE) that abundantly provide all essentials for human life support. This is the way forward to abundant living for all, since Space Program research has already confirmed that not more than 50 M2 is needed (anywhere on earth) for abundant and unending provision (without cost of consumption of any man-made inputs) of nutritious food, clean energy and pure water. Our AgriPOD puts these principles into practice with the SolaRoof inventions to enable the low-cost construction of the transparent building envelope and allowing the building itself to behave like a living system that works in synergy with the contained ecosystems.
In this new ecological architecture life comes “indoors”; the barriers come down to enable the human family to establish a new close connection with the whole of life. The “passive” architecture of the past era of scarcity and conflict would be transformed to the dynamic, alive and regenerative with the application of the SolaRoof paradigm. Hard, impermeable walls and tall towers that exclude and isolate people inside from actual and perceived risks from outside the boundaries of a community. Our walled and fenced communities protect people from risks and conflict in a culture where fear has a hold on the urban population who suffer with stress and illness by reason of our separation from Nature, the source of wellness and harmony.
We have been starving from lack of nutrients and subtle natural environmental factors that, when missing and substituted with synthetic analogues in our built environment and in our “factory food”, then lead to the atrophy of the natural vitality of the human body, mind and spirit. It is thus imperative that people rapidly become aware of the dangers to our families and to all of humanity that is ever more urgent because of the acceleration of global urbanization. The exile of the people from their lands feeds urbanization, with people forced into confinement or incarceration, unemployment or servitude in a System that is dehumanizing and destroying culture and the fabric of family and community life. In the slums and wards of “low cost housing” the populations are confined, educated and conditioned to exploitation and lives of helpless consumer dependency to a degree that has never been known in the long history of a civilization built on the power of the few over the many. People are now literally hungry for change; for a way out; and fortunately we have a powerful vision for real change with PODnet that makes a beginning with a disruptive innovation for secure, safe and affordable local food for all. Be the change; be PODpioneers!