Image for post
Image for post

I want to talk to all of you today about the humans that survived the current planetary predicament. How did they organize their lives? What was the key to their success? It is no secret that we are in the midst of a severe period of ecological collapse. The exploding human population lay flat on its growth curve for hundreds of thousands of years until the invention of industrial agriculture. Then it shot skyward in an exponential arc corresponding with the rapid depletion of intact ecosystems, healthy environments, and stored materials across the Earth. …


Image for post
Image for post

I would like to share a little glimpse into how we are weaving regenerative practices into our lives while becoming more resilient in the midst of planetary turmoil as people all over the world struggle to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic.

In the image above, our three year old daughter Elise is pulling our new compost bucket up the hill to where our food scraps become part of the formation process for soils in the community food forest.

We live in Barichara, Colombia where six hectares have been set aside as a public park where reforestation has been underway for more than a decade. …


Image for post
Image for post

We are all at risk with the Coronavirus. It cannot be contained at this point in time — though there is still much that can be done to slow its spread with social distancing and quarantines to avoid overwhelming our health care systems. The fact of the matter is (a) all of us are pretty likely to catch it; and (b) some of us will not survive.

My question in this essay is “What if there was a mechanism for regenerating the Earth that could make these deaths meaningful?”


Image for post
Image for post

It is starting to feel like a specific kind of cascading collapse may be upon us.

As the Coronavirus spreads virally, the gutted social supports left in the 40 year wake of Neoliberal Capitalism are causing many people to lose their jobs; need to find ways to take care of their kids while continuing to work; and generally be on their own to fight for survival.

The population overshoot enabled by the Green Revolution and fossil fuels has created a globalized consumer market economy that degraded many landscapes and polluted nearly everything.

The nation states of the world are proving to be ill-equipped to deal with our incredibly complex challenges. Corporate media is thoroughly useless. A larger bank heist than that of 2009 was enacted over the weekend and most people don’t even know it (with $1.5 trillion handed from taxpayers in the US to obscenely wealthy people who hoard endlessly). …


Image for post
Image for post

Say hello to Alejandra and Esteban.

They are friends we have made in the three months living here in Barichara. Yesterday we were invited to dine with them — together with three generations of family members and other friends — feeling welcomed and vibrant as human beings.

My family came to Colombia on a quest to discover how to live regeneratively. We want to raise our daughter Elise in an indigenous pattern of deep nature immersion, multi-language and multi-culture perspectives, and supported fully by the nurturance of healthy parents who role-model a life worth living.

We also want to raise Elise immersed in large-scale landscape restoration projects. Here in Barichara there is a plateau of deforested land where fifteen tributaries used to drain into the Barichara River. More than three decades ago, the soon to be extinct biome known as a tropical dry forest was cut away for the growth and sale of tobacco. This destroyed the regional hydrology and pushed the rivers underground. …


Image for post
Image for post

Our family arrived in the town of Barichara in Colombia’s northern Andes Mountains with the intention of learning how to live a regenerative life while raising our three-year-old daughter. We know that the Earth is in overshoot-and-collapse. We are deeply aware of the challenges humanity must navigate in the coming century. And we want to be part of the healing that our planet so desperately needs.

We were welcomed by a host family — Felipe and Alejandra along with their three young kids — who were about to begin a summer school for children based on the principles of deep ecology. Our daughter Elise joined the boisterous group of twelve kids ranging in age from three to seven on a walking journey around the ecological corridor surrounding this town with its population of 7000 people. …


Image for post
Image for post

I would like to share a reflection on this very thoughtful article by my friend Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed summarizing the science of collapse as it relates to the current globalized civilization.

For starters, let me say that I find resonance with nearly all that he says and that I encourage others to read it carefully and reflect upon how deeply you might radically change your lifestyle in service to Earth regeneration.

Where I find issue with his assessment is the thing I’d like to share — as I hope it will shed new light on this discourse and contribute in a small way to bringing it into greater coherence. …


Image for post
Image for post

When studying the cultural evolution of societies, there is an interesting pattern that arises — that doesn’t get nearly the attention that it deserves. Notice how all historical civilizations have collapsed. There is no evidence that any have proven to be sustainable.

What does this tell us about our planetary predicament? For starters we might ask if this is an exhaustive list of human cultures. …


Image for post
Image for post

The Earth has an innate capacity to support life. The seeds of regeneration for this special planet lay dormant in its pathway of cosmological development that included being at just the right distance from the Sun, having a companion Moon to mix the oceans, and other key factors that gave rise to complex life.

Among its many life systems has been the emergence of a peculiar mammal with distinctive cultural abilities — including the innate capacities to redirect evolutionary energies away from other species to feed itself. …


Image for post
Image for post

The Earth is in overshoot-and-collapse. There are deep systemic threats for the future of humanity. And we have a child who turns three years old in January. How are we supposed to live as a family? This is the learning journey we have been on for the last year.

We got rid of nearly all our possessions and moved to Costa Rica — joining an effort to regenerate entire bioregions that was preparing to launch there. This gave us an amazing opportunity to immerse our daughter, Elise, in a biodiversity hotspot on the edge of the famous Monteverde Cloud Forest. …

About

Joe Brewer

I am a change strategist working on behalf of humanity, and also a complexity researcher, cognitive scientist, and evangelist for the field of culture design.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store