The River of Activism—the good work to protect, honor, and nurture our planet is growing stronger each day as it courses throughout the world. It is the stream of thoughts, concepts, and actions illuminating Mother Nature’s authority on all living things—an awakening we term the Second Industrial Revolution.
Yet, as I mentioned in last week’s Forward Thinking, its exciting good works and the hope and inspiration it brings, remains largely unseen by the masses due to our media’s preoccupation with showing us only the doom and gloom of environmental and social distress occurring worldwide—in large part because of the mistakes and short sightedness still in operation from the First Industrial Revolution.
We, at BioImmersion, tuned into this inspiring River of Hope a few years ago and it became the motivation for our newsletter Forward Thinking—to bring you on board and into this vital stream of thought and action. It is the reason we broadened our mission statement to reflect on and be apart of the broader issues affecting our life.
Working Together: Environmental protection and economic growth go hand-in-hand with good economic policies and advanced technologies to achieve a sustainable economy, environmental quality and social equity.
Sustainable economy, environmental quality and social equity are the clear goals to be attained in this revolution and working together is critical for its attainment.
One of the seminal thinkers for this moment is the Swedish oncologist, Karl-Henrik Robert MD, who realized that industrial toxins were killing his young patients. He developed The Natural Step (TNS). It proposes four conditions that must be met if a society is to achieve environmental health and sustainability.
The Natural Step:
- Bring as little material as possible from underneath the Earth’s crust to the surface because much of it is poisonous to life.
- Do not subject natural systems to overly large concentrations of any of the materials that they produce.
- The Earth’s natural systems must not be systematically depleted through over-harvesting, displacement, or other manipulation.
- Without social justice and fair and equitable distribution of resources, there can be no such thing as sustainability.
Let’s take a closer look at this Swedish doctor and scientist: First, through excerpts from an interview by YES! executive editor Sarah van Gelder and second, via some amazing video clips regarding this process and movement that is happening in 25,000 businesses all over the world.
The YES! interview:
Sarah: How did you go from being a doctor to taking on this large question of sustainability?
Karl: My epiphany came one day when I was studying cells from cancer patients. It hit me that cells are the unifying unit of all living things… Since politicians and business people also are constituted of cells, I had a feeling that a broad understanding of these cells might help us reach a consensus on the basic requirements for the continuation of life.
Most people are not aware that it took living cells about 3.5 billion years to transform the virgin soup of the atmosphere- which was a toxic, chaotic mixture of sulfurous compounds, methane, carbon dioxide, and other substances- into the conditions that could support complex life.
In just the last decades humans have reversed this trend. First we found concentrated energy like fossil fuels and nuclear power. As a result, we can create such a high throughput of resources that natural processes no longer have the time to process the waste and build new resources.
Dispersed junk is increasing in the system as we lose soils, forests, and species. So we have reversed evolution. The Earth is running back towards the chaotic state it came from at a tremendous speed. [We have called this De-Evolution].
The green movement attacks business, and business reacts defensively. So much of the debate focuses on the details- so much is like monkeys chattering among the leaves of the tree while the trunk and roots die… I thought we could go beyond that stalemate if we could begin to build a consensus based on much more solid, comprehensive thinking.
I had a daydream that I could write a consensus statement with other scientists about the conditions that are essential to life… It took 21 iterations to reach a consensus among this group of 50 ecologist, chemists, physicists, and medical doctors… I was able to raise funds to mail this consensus statement as a booklet with an audio cassette to all 4.3 million household in Sweden. This statement describes how badly we are performing with respect to the natural systems around us and how dangerous the situation is… This was the start of The Natural Step.
We will soon be 10 billion people on Earth- at the same time as we are running out of forests, crop land, and fisheries. We need more and more resource input for the same crop or timber yield. At the same time, pollution is increasing systematically and we have induced climate change. All that together creates a resource funnel… By decreasing your dependence on activities that violate the system conditions, you move towards the opening of the resource funnel. You can do this through step by step reducing your dependence on:
- Heavy metals and fossil fuels that dissipate into the environment (Condition #1).
- Persistent unnatural compounds like bromine—organic anti-flammables or persistent pesticides (Condition #2).
- Wood and food from ecologically maltreated land and materials that require long-distance transportation (Condition #3).
- Wasting resources (Condition #4).
Any organization that directs its investments towards the opening of the funnel through complying with these system conditions will do better in business than their ignorant competitors. This is due to inevitable changes at the wall of the funnel in the form of increased costs for resources, waste management, insurance, loans, international business agreements, taxes, and public fear. In addition, there is the question of competition from those who direct their investments more skillfully towards the opening of the funnel—thus avoiding those costs—and sooner or later getting rewarded by their customers.
Businesses, NGOs, academic institutions, communities and countries are taking up The Natural Step. The clips belower will give you hope.
Two great clips to watch.
Is this not absolutely exciting and something we can all put our action into? So elegant, straight forward, simple.
Life is about pathways of communication. Certainly, metabolic pathways govern the physiology of our body, and without their ability to function fully we can attain no lasting health. Organic whole food eaten on a regular basis with minimal processing gives our body what it nesds to express its full genetic potential. In next weeks Forward Thinking we will devote our discussion to this topic.
The Last Quiz Answer: For me, I love the big cats. But what about the creature above? What is it? If you guess it correctly, we’ll send you one free Therapeutic Food of your choice. It kind of has a Halloween aura to it, don’t you think? In the spirit of Halloween over the next several weeks I will give you some goolishy interesting creatures to guess the identity of.