Sunday, June 28, 2020

Financing the Gossamer Web of Life Instead of the WWW. of Technology

"Gossamer" is something super fine and delicate — like a spider web or the material of a wedding veil. The original gossamer, from which these meanings come from, is the fine, filmy substance spiders excrete to weave their webs. Biodiversity is gossamer-like, wings and leaves of a fabric  so sheer as to be almost see-through.

Sprayed reeds led to grass-sick land

You might ask where is the money going to come from to support this emerging social economy, carbon tax on top of everything else? No! Focusing on tax is always going to be seen as punitive for us, here in the country, where we need our cars and to manage an acre or few acres of land. Think instead of how many incentives are on their way; solvent businesses, rewards for protecting our environment and future, democracy, fairness, food sovereignty and a tangible rise in our quality of life.   

Making sheltered growing spaces = microclimates supporting avocado, olive and orange trees as well as seed beds for the usual suspects kale, beetroot, edible pansies, cauliflower, chard and beyond. 

Yes, there is about to be more money for sustainable and social projects. Crucial services that had to fundraise before will now get the stable funding they need. How though? System change isn’t only about implementing positive initiatives. It requires also that destructive practices stop and this will be surprisingly lucrative. For example, if the bill is passed to ban hare coursing, the public money that went to the Greyhound Board can also be ring-fenced for Ireland’s recovery. Think about the EU subsidies that farmers must pay out mainly for veterinary pharmaceuticals and agricultural chemical companies. Imagine that the farmers get to keep that money and produce clean food; high welfare, free range, organic becomes the norm. Imagine, no imports being allowed that would undermine our producers. 

Diversify so that there is always something in flower for the pollinators and making a 4-seasons harvest possible

It is a win win win; Our health improves, the hare and other wildlife re-establish themselves, biodiversity comes back to keep the crops pollinating, even the worms, our master composters, return. On what authority do I speak? I have completed Masters studies in Business and Education but most applicable of all was the Master Composters training I did with Carlow County Council, run by Stop Food Waste. Soil supports 95% of our food production and yet it amounts to less than a coat of paint in thickness if spread around the whole planet. This film of 2018 shows what happens when drought or other severe weather events, over-grazing and chemical practices demonstrate how the living soil is not invincible. 

There are many subsidies that have come to our attention and therefore to our public representatives’ attention. With the majority of people unanimously behind them, we now have a critical mass in government to decide that those misdirected subsidies and monies lost through tax breaks, for destructive industries, should be used to support social and environmental enterprises instead. This money can be ring-fenced too like carbon tax to ensure it goes to good use. 

For the first time in Ireland’s history and maybe it’s the same for all countries, we can legislate for both nature and nurture. Our nature drives us to adapt for survival. It turns out that it’s our ability to nurture rather than exploit that may yet achieve it.  

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