I read and watch quite a lot of sustainability related content. There’s an incredible amount of really great information and thinking out there once you start looking. But I figured there’s not much point keeping all this to myself. That’s why I have decided to occasionally share some of the articles, videos and podcasts I have found the most interesting, insightful or entertaining.
How language shapes our approach to farming
The idea of running a small sustainable farm can seem quaint and romantic, but tough if you have to make a living from it. Let alone feeding large populations. His writing is thought provoking, especially when it comes to matters of stewardship of the land and scale.
One of his articles from earlier this year goes into the relationship of language and how it shapes our worldviews and sense of place.
People ask with the best of intentions for book recommendations on indigenous agriculture, failing to realize that the nucleus of our sustainability ethic is in how we look at the world, not in specific planting or husbandry techniques A person can take indigenous methods and with the wrong worldview, destroy the whole world.Chris Newman, Indigenous Agriculture: It’s Not the How, It’s the Why
So, instead of giving recommendations about indigenous agriculture, he recommends books that teach how to speak the language of sustainability instead.
Feeding the world with organic farming
Jamie Durie’s Groundswell is a content platform dedicated to connect people with environmental issues – and projects that aim to tackle them.
In this episode, he explores the work of Australian Organic Food Co. The video shows how partnerships between primary producers and food manufacturers can reduce food waste and address issues in the organic agriculture supply chain.
One of my key takeaways from the show was also that Australia has a real opportunity to become a leader at regenerative organic agriculture at scale. That is if we dare to tread our own path!
George Monbiot debunks Michael Moore’s Planet of the Humans
Climate scientists have condemned Michael Moore’s latest documentary Planet of the Humans for being misleading and damaging to the movement. But there are much bigger issues with this film.
In this video, Guardian columnist and author George Monbiot explains why the documentary maker’s focus on overpopulation as the main underlying issue of the climate crisis is factually wrong and racist.
It’s an important watch at any time, but seems even more urgent against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter protest.
Whatever you make of the documentary, this short video is an important reminder of the importance of inclusiveness and cultural diversity in the environmental movement. And that the fight for social justice and a sustainable future must go hand in hand.
Jonathan Franzen goes to Antarctica
A few years back, novelist and essayist Jonathan Franzen took a luxury cruise to Antarctica. Once back home, he wrote The End Of The End Of The World for The New Yorker.
It’s a long read that defies any strict categorisation. The essay is one part memoir for his uncle, one part travel feature from the perspective of an enthusiastic birder who often prefers standing in the freezing cold on the observation deck to the company of his fellow travellers. And then there are Franzen’s dry and factual observations about the likely fate of Antarctica in a rapidly heating climate.
His writing is melancholy and funny, pessimistic and life-affirming at the same time. I have read the piece now at least three times and always discover something else.