Super Blood Wolf Moon

 

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‘Lunar Eclipse 21/01/2019’ by John Press Chair of East Essex Astronomy Club 

I had a dream last night: I was tasked with capturing a wild black beast that was inside a suburban home. I stood outside the porch of the house with a small dog – as it had been determined that the dog’s presence would calm the beast. I opened the porch door and Continue reading “Super Blood Wolf Moon”

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High (Tide) and Dry

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Environment Agency publicity

It’s now ten days since I wrote to my District Councillors (Peter Elliott and Ron Pratt) asking why Maldon District Council has no current Environment and Climate Change Strategy despite the Climate Emergency and I’m still waiting for a reply. I recognise that they may be busy, that it’s not a salaried role and their time may be stretched, so I think I’ll give them a month before I follow up with another letter seeking an update on progress. I’m also thinking about other ways I can raise this issue – ask the leader of the opposition on the council to raise it?, seek recognition at the town council level? Again, learning how local politics works is proving to be a case of just try stuff.

The urgency of the emergency was brought home last week with Continue reading “High (Tide) and Dry”

Bioregional Economy

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Isabel Carlisle introduces the panel for ‘Bioregions: a powerful way to reconnect people to land’

Yesterday I attended the Oxford Real Farming Conference, primarily to attend the session on bioregions which featured a panel chaired by Isabel Carlisle of the Bioregional Learning Centre and included Green Party MEP Molly Scott Cato,  the writer John Thackara, and my friend Andy Goldring – the Permaculture Association CEO. I’ll try and capture more of what I learned in a subsequent post, but hearing Molly Scott Cato speak reminded me that I had reviewed her book The Bioregional Economy; Land, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for Permaculture Magazine back in October 2014, but that they never ended up publishing it.

Here’s that review: Continue reading “Bioregional Economy”

Community Wealth Building

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This morning I’ve been thinking about the ‘Preston Model’ and how this model of ‘new municipalism’ might inform bioregional praxis – with special attention to how it might work out here on the Dengie. In my workshop on bioregionalism at the UK Permaculture Convergence in September  I briefly mentioned the Preston Model as a possible technique that might emerge as appropriate from a bioregional design and now seems a good time to think some more about that. I’m generally not keen on beginning with a technique and working backwards but going through some survey and analysis of the local economy with the model in mind may help reveal aspects that would otherwise be unapparent. Continue reading “Community Wealth Building”

Climate Emergency

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On 8th December I posted on social media about trying to find a point of agency in the face of the wicked problem of climate change – partly re-energised by the Extinction Rebellion actions:

‘I’ve never been a member of a political party, I’ve always been against it on the basis that joining a political party seemed to indicate you supported implicitly everything their representatives ended up saying or doing, no matter how idiotic, and even the barmiest parts of their manifestos. No thanks, I favoured the Groucho Marxist position. Continue reading “Climate Emergency”

Bioregioning: Ed Tyler

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Ed Tyler’s Bioregional Food Mapping Session at the National Permaculture Diploma Gathering November 2011

Permaculturalist Ed Tyler has been exploring bioregional action and thought up on his own peninsula in Kintyre. With the name of his blog he has coined a new word for the re-inhabitation lexicon: bioregioning.

He goes on to define the word on the blog About page.

Bioregioning: from verb “to bioregion”; act of bringing your bioregion into existence through:-

 grounding, connecting, celebrating, belonging

This usefully re-positions what can easily become a philosophic exercise in just thinking about bioregions into an action focussed process in manifesting bioregions.

He continues by inviting us to engage with some activities he associated with bioregioning, which I clumsily summarise as:

  • Wander
  • Garden
  • Make connections with nature
  • Make connections with neighbours
  • Celebrate

But it’s really worth reading Tyler’s longer form descriptions. Similarly he lists what Bioregioning involves:

  • slowing down, looking and feeling inward and outward to the land, water, creatures and people around you
  • making music, clothes, buildings, sculptures, relationships, furniture, poems, paintings and other necessities from locally available materials
  • cycling and sharing resources, money and energy within your region
  • growing and eating locally sourced, seasonally abundant, food
  • networking and collaborating with each other to build diverse communities and ecologies

I think that his simple rendering of bioregioning provides a good pointer towards ‘next steps’ after I complete the Bioregional Quiz questions (that’s right, I’ve not forgotten about these!)

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Some of Ed Tyler’s bioregional mapping

 

Get out of Debt!

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My ecological footprint across biomes, calculated in 2013

Back in the middle of the first decade of the C21st, Essex County Council briefly ran a website http://www.agreeneressex.net/ with a purpose to ‘take sustainability on’ in Essex. That link is dead, and many of the plans it presented are also lifeless now,  but some of the site remains preserved here at the Internet Archive for review.

Around 2006 the site reported on Essex’s environmental footprint, highlighting that if all the populations of the world consumed natural resources as we do in Essex, we would require 2.9 planets to sustain it. It doesn’t source its calculation, but the number is broadly in line with the UK’s environmental footprint around the same period as reported by the World Wide Fund for Nature in Ecological footprint of British city residents.  Continue reading “Get out of Debt!”

Greenhouse Britain

 

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A witch conjures a storm and brings terror to the seas, woodcut from ‘Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus’, (1555)

The next report from the  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is due late in 2019. The lag time between data gathering and data publication, plus the need for an agreed consensus amidst the contributors have conspired in previous editions to present overly optimistic scenarios, it’s now widely recognised that they’ve routinely underestimated the rate of global warming. A recent study suggests that we might see 1.5 metres of sea-level rise before 2100: ‘Revised median RSL [relative sea-level] projections for a high-emissions future would, without protective measures, by 2100 submerge land currently home to more than 153 million people’. If we don’t avoid those high-emissions scenarios we’re also locking in greater future sea-level rises as Antarctica and Greenland give up their land-based ice to the sea.

A look over the Dengie’s sea walls at high tide and imagining another 150cm of water is a sobering matter – factor in the conditions that caused the spate of inundations referred to in a previous post and you can see we have a problem. Continue reading “Greenhouse Britain”

Managed Retreat

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Anglia (2013) by Claire White

My work on bioregional thinking for the Atlantic Archipelago began with Managed Retreat a magazine considering the English orient which includes work relating to the Dengie. You can read Issue 1 below:

A limited number of printed copies of the newspaper format edition are still available for £5 each. If you would like one please use: https://www.paypal.me/JPTaylor/5