Healing the Planet and Helping Its Inhabitants

Posted to Subscribers on 13 November 2019


After indulging in philosophical issues, I want to get my feet back on the ground. Mercury is retrograde. Some repetition is to be expected but also things that are in need of repair or attention can be addressed. Today, I want to give a few examples of how dedicated individuals are making a difference. You probably know that I have been following certain issues rather closely so while there are without doubt countless other worthy projects, here are some almost spectacular ones.

The Ocean Cleanup

This venture was spearheaded by a young Dutchman whose inventions are making a difference. Boyan Slat began with a project to clean up the plastic in the ocean. He is not the only one concerned with this huge issue, but his operation goes well beyond a grassroots approach. Essentially, he has created a floating apparatus to collect plastic and begin the recycling process. With this immense success under his belt, he has analyzed how plastic gets into the ocean. There are over a hundred thousand rivers emptying into oceans but 1000 of them account for 80% of plastic waste. He tells his story his own way. If I comment too much, I will steal some of the drama. It is therefore better to keep you in suspense so you can see for yourself how effective his work is.


Ocean Plastic Interceptor


Plastic to Oil

Quite a few years ago, I recommended a video of about a relatively small machine that converts plastic back to oil. Akinori Ito's idea was that every school, church, office complex, mall, community center, and so on and so forth could take in plastic waste and sell the oil back to members and patrons to cover the cost of purchase and maintenance of the machine. You can see their machinery here, but there are now many other companies offering similar products.


Other Plastic Updates

Just as important as clean up, there are several companies that are recycling plastic using the materials to build boats, apparel and backpacks, solar devices, roads, and no doubt much more, even substitutes for Styrofoam cups.


Like plastic, there are many people working on the broader issue of soil productivity, aridness, agricultural technology, nutrient density of food, and even the sociological issues surrounding loss of income from land that is no longer productive. Many people have been dislocated due to hardships and below subsistence existence. This often results in migration and loss of traditional attachments. It is probably also fueling discontent and therefore also violence and instability.

There are many people involved in the reversal of desertification so my list will not be complete at all. My interest in this began a long time ago with rain making technology and devices to desalinate water so it could be used on land. I was working on this in the mid-sixties when just out of grad school. The more personal and human issues surrounding how stress affects global peace and stability was nudged by James DeMeo, a major force in this field; but when it comes to agriculture, I think Geoff Lawton's project in Jordan set the tone for what is possible though some of his work came later than that of Fukuoka-sensei, my personal hero. By planting trees and other crops where it is convenient for humans, we ignored Nature and Masanobu Fukuoka showed how to observe Nature and garden and farm cooperatively so as to be in balance with a force stronger than ourselves. While each successor has added to the body of knowledge now available, there are fundamental guides to planting in a manner that assures water retention, avoiding leaving lands dormant and exposed to the elements, and moving herds so that they do not turn grasslands to dust. Those are the basics but there are so many parts to this, including, for instance, how to build roads and cities without destroying aquifers.

Allan Savory is the proponent of changing our concepts of ranching: https://tinyurl.com/o6p7wbj.

John Liu is an excellent documentary film maker who has given us visual proof that large scale analyses of ecosystems followed by huge undertakings can reverse desertification, restore productivity, and create both comfort and safety. Where there is erosion, life become precarious for wildlife and people both in the arid places as well as elsewhere because those areas are subject to flooding and many more hazards, not to mention overcrowding due to migration.

Renewal of the Spirit

As a follow up to my various essays on creating harmony, I would like to recommend this incredible TED talk:




Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2019



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