Welcome all to my new blog on which I intend to focus attention, and encourage your participation and widespread discussion, on one issue vital to humanity’s future on this planet.
A great many issues face us – drugs, poverty, violence, religious fanaticism, terrorism, poaching to extinction of rhino, pangolins and other animals, increasing droughts and floods, global finance driving environmental destruction, agriculture producing twenty times more dead eroding soil than food needed every year, dissatisfaction with governance, income distribution, environmental refugees, drowning migrants trying to reach Europe, new diseases – being only a short list.
As we deal with these issues we are all in the same boat – regardless of race, colour, religion, political persuasion, wealth or poverty, gender or nationality. Team humanity huddled together in the same boat in an already turbulent sea with an enormous tsunami bearing down on us as we frantically try to deal with the many leaks in our boat.
Millions of caring people, more intelligent than I, as well as organizations, philanthropic funders, governments and international agencies are doing their best to address all of these and other issues.
Using the analogy of the many problems facing humanity as leaks in our boat is vivid for me. Fifty nine years ago I was crossing Sumbu bay in Lake Tanganyika in a small wooden plank boat, with my wife, two game scouts and our nanny holding our baby son. A storm arose but was of no concern although our boat leaked between its aged planks and the scouts leisurely bailed water. Suddenly the incoming water increased. With all the baggage no large leak could be found. While I controlled the boat in the rising wind, waves and spray and the nanny held the baby, the scouts and my wife bailed frantically using everything available. Finally and in desperation for our lives I beached our sinking boat. A large knot in the wood had popped out at the nanny’s feet and only she could see the new leak and water pouring in. Not understanding such things she had huddled petrified holding our baby. She had only to put her bare foot on the hole, but simply did not see the importance of that leak, when all along we had been bailing water from many leaks. I see exactly the same situation today with humanity in one sinking boat bailing water from thousands of leaks, while failing to see the one leak at our feet controlling our fate.
The leak at our feet is reductionist management in a holistically functioning world. Put a bare foot on this leak and our boat will keep afloat with almost all other leaks fading away or becoming manageable. Why? Because almost every problem we are addressing is a symptom of present management and policies. For example, society and thus all institutions, blames climate change almost entirely on fossil fuels and livestock. Resources cannot cause a problem. Reductionist management deciding how they are used is the problem.
I will use my blog to try to clarify, simplify and explain to the best of my ability what I believe offers true hope for future generations in the few years I might still enjoy. Anyone Googling my name will find many who are critical of Holistic Management and my TED talk on global desertification and it’s remedy. None of my well-meaning critics made any effort to study anything I have written or said over the past sixty years spent struggling to first understand, and then find a way that people could solve problems our management is causing. So, I invite all and especially critics to feel free to participate, discuss and help put a foot on the leak sinking team humanity’s boat.
The one resource we do not enjoy in abundance is “time” making it essential to focus on what matters most and speak up. I publically pledge that should anyone – from pastoralist, farmer, student to Nobel Laureate in any field point out flaws in either the science or the logic behind managing holistically, or identify a larger leak in our boat, I will be the first to acknowledge and follow their lead. I look forward to your participation in any way you can as I post items to create awareness and encourage discussion and trust what we learn together will be of help to everyone dealing with the many other leaks in our boat.