February 24, 2017
Hello SCI Activists,
Scientists discovered 7 Earth-like planets this week, but this doesn’t change the fact that we need to take care of our planet first! It might feel better to have a hint of plan(et) B, but do we really want to see things get so bad here?
So instead, remember that the Earth is hiring and it certainly has a job for you to. Next let’s look at farming as a way to empower people, from army veterans looking for a meaningful ways to continue their service to women, who make up the majority of farmers in the world, but are often overlooked in the policy development.
The Earth is hiring!
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the reality of climate change impacts, overconsumption, modern slavery, racism, social exclusion, poverty, sickness, gender discrimination, hate speech...? The list of things that are scary and seem impossible to fix is long. But you are an SCI activist, so there must be something that drives your optimism, which gives you the power to act for a better world.
Do you ever wonder what that force is? What keeps you going, despite the fact that media reports about one disaster after another? Think about your unique place in the universe of solutions. "You Are Brilliant, and the Earth is Hiring” (Yes! Magazine) said Paul Hawkens to students graduating from University of Portland. But everybody, not only university graduates, has the power to gasp at the miracle of life and do their part to restore it. Even if the odds seem to be against us.
Is there a plan(et) B?
"The more you look for planets like Earth, the more you appreciate our own planet”, says Lucianne Walkowicz in her short TED Talk. Once we look closer at conditions on other celestial bodies, we can begin to understand what a miracle our Earth is. So yeah, before we get excited about colonising a backup planet, let’s take preservation of Earth’s resources a priority. “Let’s not use Mars as a backup planet” | TED Talk (5:50 min)
Engaging army veterans through farming
An army veteran and his wife started an organic farm business to find meaning outside of military service. Additionally their farm offers a 6-weeks long course on agriculture and marketing, which is mainly targeted at serving and former soldiers like Colin, the founder. "It is a way to continue his service," says Colin's wife.
Many of the 450 graduates actually go on to find employment in farming, exchanging rifles for shovels, clipboards and laptop screens. “Sustainable Agriculture Institute arms veterans with tools to become farmers of the future” | Resilience.org
Farmer Field Schools for women farmers
Most farmers in the world are female. Typically women need to combine agricultural work with other household chores, which puts more burden on them than on the male farmers. However still there is little recognition of this difference among decisionmakers.
Farmer Field School system tries to incorporate these challenges in their programmed. FFS provides space for farmers to learn, experiment and adapt their practices to the changing climate. Present in 90 countries it has reached 4 million individuals. Maybe there is a programme near you and you can approach them to cooperate in your next workcamp? “Farmer Field Schools Help Women Lead on Climate Change” (Inter Press Service)