Abandon the Cities!

The revolutionary environmentalist, Anandi Sharan, argues that to meet 2050 zero carbon emissions the government must give each of us 1/2 an acre of land.

James Lovelock, the author of the Gaia theory, on his land – courtesy of Wikimedia commons

By Anandi Sharan

Political economy in developed countries has as its aim some version or the other of the betterment of the life of humans, be it through capitalism, humane socialism, humane communism or whatever, based on machines. The sticking point is that all the solutions offered by politics are industrial, but the official cross-party national policy objective in the UK is a net zero Green House Gas (GHG) society by 2050 and this requires us to live a non-industrial life.

There is only around half an acre of land per person in the UK. But this is more than enough though to live on and be happy and allow life to flourish. By 2050 there will have to be land redistribution to allow British citizens time to adapt to a net zero GHG emission society. Why is there no party alerting the public to this or planning for this?

The biosphere is intelligent and is urging each individual to grow forests to draw down carbon dioxide and provide shade and happiness. Another illustration of the intelligence of the biosphere is the growing canopy of green in the Arctic tundra and the algae in Antarctica that are drawing down carbon dioxide to stabilise temperatures, much like the biosphere did with the carpet of Azolla in the Arctic during Eocene. Other examples are the myriad facts and mysteries of life itself. Can humans honestly say that they came up with the notion of global warming without the prompting of the biosphere? Nature and humans are inextricably linked, and human intelligence is part of the greater intelligence of the whole.

By 2050 there will have to be land redistribution to allow British citizens time to adapt to a net zero GHG emission society. Why is there no party alerting the public to this or planning for this?

The problem is that scientists don’t believe that life is mysterious and eternal let alone intelligent. They believe life is no different from non-living things. Their shared holy grail is to prove that life emerged from non-life. Perhaps this explains why so many scientists seem to have gone crazy and are so willing to create technological systems that oppress living beings. Sadly all the political parties are willing to go along with this negative philosophy of anti-life.

At root, and perhaps you feel it too, many of us do, there is an underlying unease in the public with agricultural and industrial civilisation.

At root, and perhaps you feel it too, many of us do, there is an underlying unease in the public with agricultural and industrial civilisation. A worker who works in a forest is more likely than not to have some kind of indigenous belief system that puts the happiness of animals, and only then also of humans, at the heart of their world. Such people cannot really bear to harm life, because they see something sacred in it. We cannot quite put our finger on it but we know that our society is moving beyond both industry and industrial agriculture towards something new. It would be wise to acknowledge that that something is forests.

The Labour party came up as the party of the proletariat to demand a better deal from the capitalists. After the Chartists had made a beginning with the demand for the vote in the 19th century, the Labour Party took it further in the 20th century. By the 21st century, however, in my view, political parties in the developed countries are not in a position to influence their members at the fundamental level of personal beliefs that would make them happier citizens and better able to adapt to the political, social and economic implications of climate change.

Yet, in the UK national policy demands : individuals and society must adapt to live a net zero GHG life by 2050. Instead of working to help the public understand better the implication of this official goal and trajectory, the Labour Party like the other parties including the Green party bolster mistaken beliefs that are detrimental to life on earth and to the happiness of their citizens.

Nationalisation and the Green New Deal are the main bits of the manifesto of the Labour Party that try to confront the problem of global warming. These are rational and socially humane objectives. But voting even for this programme is always going to be a half-hearted.

Neither the Conservatives, the Labour party or even the Green party are able to address the general unease about our current direction of travel, or explain it. They are somehow just fumbling through it all, reacting to whatever comes up.

After 2050 it is lights out for the energy systems that made them possible. This reality should be much more seriously acknowledged.

In the end, the Green party is better than the others at addressing these issues. If one realises that a level of zero GHGs in 2050 is only thirty years away, why waste so much time and energy on industries that depend on burning fossil fuels to produce new kinds of machines that, in turn, depend on fossil fuels? Why this obsession with a ‘Green New Deal’ which is a proposal which will perpetuate this cycle.

So, my counter proposal to voting Labour is not to vote for the Communist Party as the green alternative. In the UK the Communist party directs its members to vote for Labour anyway. It is probably preferable to vote for the Greens, who are certainly on the right track. But they are not radical enough on the land question.

My suggestion is to also reject what is happening in all the developed countries where mainstream political discourse propagated by white collar workers and bolstered by the media encourages the majority in all parties to cling to their belief in machines, industry and industrial forms of agriculture. Industry and industrial agriculture have entered their final three decades.

After 2050 it is lights out for the energy systems that made them possible. This reality should be much more seriously acknowledged. Not doing so is a a cause of great confusion and unhappiness, across society, and across all the parties.The vision of happiness of all the political parties is (still) based on outdated notions of comfort, security, automation, escape from manual labour, fear of the forest, and so on. This clinging to the past is counterproductive. Even the Green party has visions of green growth and has not put forests centre stage.

The biosphere however is urging each one of us to grow forests to draw down carbon dioxide and provide shade and happiness, as indeed the biosphere is itself doing as we are witnessing in the Antarctic and in the Tundra.

By 2050 there will have to be land redistribution to allow the British/English to adapt to a net zero GHG emission society. We should urge the Green party leadership to alert the public to this and plan for this and campaign for this. Or is it going to happen organically, magically, through morphic resonance in the human species, or some other biological magic that as yet unknown scientists have faith in? All this while the political parties are looking in another direction?


Anandi Sharan

Anandi Sharan was born in Switzerland and educated at the University of
Cambridge. Anandi co-founded the Global Commons Institute along with Aubrey Meyer, Jim Berreen and Tony Cooper. She was active at the UNFCCC from 1991 to 2012 and got several CDM methodologies and projects projects approved and registered including for improved cookstoves, biogas, and forestry. Anandi lived in Karnataka villages for many years, and now lives in Bangalore where  she works on trying to find the best money system to help people adapt to climate change, especially in India.

Anandi Sharan
1 Kempapura Road
Bangalore 560024
Karnataka
India



Categories: Anandi Sharan, Ecology, Economics

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