Posts Tagged ‘small scale’

People matter very much, so let us get back to small units of activity

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Systems, technology and finance are driving the world forward. Everything is centralised, large scale, impersonal, owned by a few, ordinary people are becoming underlings. This force seems irresisistible, it is perhaps forcing us into a permanent situation.

Production in all fields of endeavour like industry, agriculture, transportation seen in isolation is doing fine with bigger and bigger units, bigger profits, cheaper and better products, great innovation. The forces underlying this trend are nowhere near their limits – there will be much more of the same, much, much more.

We must adress one serious issue of this development, and that is that humans are suffering in many ways. In spite of the economic growth we have had, the working conditions for people involved are bad. There are supreme stresses and demands on people, like never before in history, and the sum of workplace conditions have become inhuman. These stresses are not physical, they are mental. Your independence is gone, you are being bossed around. This happens in spite of the high standard of living we have achieved in many places.

We must stop and think hard about the effect this high tech race is having on us, and really work out how it can be stopped.  If we do no not do that we will end up like microchipped zombies without any control of our own life.

The social side of our lives is also strongly affected, and the result could be a society where we all are locked into a netbased, fully chipped system where all units – both people and things are fully integrated and fully controlled.

Is it too late?

No, definitely not as we are still able to decide our own future. The emptiness of our present secular technical civilisation is increasingly evident, and the craving for a holistic materialistic and spiritual civilisation is already growing strongly.

We also need a new economics that include spirit and conscience, moral purpose and the meaning of life so that there is a real possibility of fostering high grade behaviour among people.

The other side of the coin is the lack of sustainability. Our methods of production for industrial goods, food, chemicals, transport, radiation, waste, emissions, pollution … are clearly not sustainable, and will have to be changed. The use of energy is clearly too high. The spending of nonrenewable resources is not sustainable, and will have to be modified. There is also constant fighting for resources of all kinds.

The social consequences are negative as stressful work all day is the norm in order to uphold consumption. The social connections of most people are being broken, and it is now all about work, consumption and pleasure. This life is not interesting enough in the long run, so people spice it up with entertainment and drugs.

This must change. We shall not cut back, but change our ways so that we widely enrich ourselves and have peace in a sustainable world.

The subject of quality of life is the essence of the future. Consumption must be built up for poor people, but others must now consider a change in their ways. We must find the sustainable levels, the spiritual and moral qualities we need to build a better and permanent future.

The central point of it all is our use of fuel to propel our activity where sustainable methods must be found.

We wish to enter a world of permanent economics, and to do that we must find ways that do not destroy our societies and our people, and do not lead to enormous concentrations of capital and equality. The key is wide or best full participation by all people.

To achieve this machines and equipment must be cheap so that everybody can afford them, suitable for small scale application and compatible with mans creative needs. Small scale activity is the key to our future.

So engineers and inventors should design machines that makes this possible so that – in turn – people can do worthwhile work on their own or as part of a local small cooperative. They may thus be independent of bosses and working for the local market. They would also be able to free themselves from the hassle of consumerism with advertising and buying pressure. This would also mean decentralisation of economic power, and a better democracy.

Society would be transformed too with less forced urbanisation, less crime and violence.

The present development of ever bigger machines, more and more concentrations of capital are forcing us into a society no one really wants.

So we put ourselves back on the road to a positive future where people are independent, mainly manage their own activity,  are creative, live in good places, have time for more than labor.

The development we see can be changed if we first put our minds to it, start in a small way and then build up the pressure based on the results we will see.

Growing food: What would nature do?

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Food production in the western world – and increasingly in other parts of the world – is industrialized. We use chemicals on a massive scale to produce food, industrial techniques are the norm. We rely heavily on chemicals to get the job done. The saying is that yield is high, prices are low. But the drawbacks are becoming obvious and some major qualities are obviously left out. Chemical agriculture has failed and must be replaced by better solutions.

The drawbacks are there for all to see: local communities are destroyed, plant diversity is reduced, the environment suffers, food quality is questioned, transport costs are high, human health is not so good, GM plants with unknown qualities, chemicals are entering the environment, the soil is damaged.

We must rebuild respect for the land and natural processes. The natural rhytms of the world – birds, fish, the growing season.

We want a healthy harvest from environmentally friendly agriculture. This means natural fertilizers and disease and bug control methods, composting, no chemicals, rich biodiversity, good rich soil, equipment that do not harm the environment. A low maintenance landscape should also be the norm. The underground ecosystem and soil should be tested and kept in good order. We should invite helpful plants, insects and organisms to obtain organic pest control and good growth. Composting could produce methane for production of energy.

Plants should be chosen wisely so that they fit the environment, they should be rich in nutrients and taste, keep their freshness and look good.

These principles should be applied to farms, gardens, backyards, rooftops, verandas, urban areas and all.

The percentage of local organic produce is low in most countries, but encouraging signs are present. Interest is growing as the understanding of the problem grows.

A basic local supply is desirable for many reasons: local control, knowledge of what you eat, less transport, fresher food…. Use of local wisdom and experience should be encouraged, so that local conditions and plants are well taken care of.

Plants could also be used to feed animals in a small scale production.

Yield and cost are important factors, and evaluation of these factors will enter into the broad picture. The negative factors of chemical production must be measured.

Authorities must find their place in this new picture as new and more modern methods are introduced. These principles mean small scale  production, but the advantages could far outweigh possible increased costs.

Education must find its place: courses, books, DVDs, seminars, articles, organizations…..

No need to destroy the environment and make people ill – the solutions can be worked out when the principles are right.