The Stages of Ecolution
At the great EcoArts Australis 2nd National Conference, Catherine van Wilgenburg: gave an inspiring presentation entitled: ‘I have been transformed by this land’ …
the Ecolution of an artist’s practice.
Stages of an Ecolution:
2. Hope that we can make a change
3. Inspiration to act
4. Means to equip action
5. Empowerment to act
6. Feeling supported and being supportive to others
Firstly we need to become aware of the challenges to a clean our environment and stay informed of the facts. Planet earth will go on turning without us but humanity exists only whilst the conditions are right.
Clean air, clean drinking water, nutrients from healthy soil and genetic material are vital to our survival. Each time a species dies, our complex network of genetic resources dwindle.For many people today the news is depressing. Young people are turning away from news sources and focusing on entertainment. There is also a growing disconnect between consumers and nature. The city has pushed out the native forests and wildlife and it takes a special effort for people to find a connection with nature.
The task of educating people about the horrors of pollution is getting more difficult. When young people face the enormity of the build up of pollution from almost a decade of abuse, they feel overwhelmed. Often they succumb to a feeling of hopelessness and some think that by removing themselves from the world it will help the planet. Youth suicide due to environmental degradation is devastating for the whole community. Lets not leave young people feeling powerless, let’s equip and empower them.
Key advocates like Bob Brown understand the importance of staying optimistic. Optimism has more staying power than fear. Fear can overwhelm us but it usually fails to sustain a change. One of the most powerful tools to build our hope for the future is the immerse ourselves in nature. Go for a walk, climb a tree, nurture a plant, tend a beehive, photograph the birds, spot the butterflies.
When we are driven by our feelings and passions, we are strong and resilient. An honest understanding of our feelings does not change with periods of abundance and hard times. The setting of goals comes last.
Stuart Hill urges us to be driven by our ethics and values. Then get a good understanding of our feelings and passions. From this we collect ideas, create a vision, design our lifestyle, formulate action plans and get on with the daily task of activities.
We can build our skills and resources to make meaningful changes. Proven techniques are learning through immersion (eg. working on permaculture sites), courses, cultural change, education about life skills, reading up on permaculture and gathering experience on the ground.
A mentor guides inspired participants through the process of skill acquisition and research. No single course on its own can equip us. It can start the process but as we develop and find our niche, it is great to have a mentor or at least other study-buddies to enable discussion and sharing of ideas.
In this stage of the ecolution process individuals are skilled, armed with knowledge and enthusiastic about observing nature. The ecolution of a community, would have sharing at the heart of the solutions. There is great potential to collectively make significant changes. Community projects make the flavour of a community and can build empowerment. This includes community Radio stations, newsgroups, freecycle, clothes swap, and good old car-boot sales. The town of Tyalgum (which hosts one of the first permaculture sites) are going off grid by buying their own solar power.
6. Supported and Supportive
Collaboration is more powerful than competition. The biggest permaculture project in the world was self-funded and driven by collaboration. People saw what permaculture could do for them (more food and water) and they learnt from their neighbours and then began to develop communal resources including rehabilitated lands into forests.
The ecolution is cyclic. When there is a need for regeneration of our ecolution we can revisit the foundations of the development process. We can renew our awareness. Then building our hope knowing that previous hope was actioned upon and had a positive outcome.
We are here to serve you. Permaculture learning with mentorship.