How civilisation terrorises the Earth

How civilisation terrorises the Earth

Mark Boyle is a permaculturalist, an activist and a writer (amongst many other things). One of his most notable achievements was living for 3 years without money (ie he personally had no cash, savings or bank cards), the result of which was a book ‘The Moneyless Man’.


So what led Mark to do this radical act? After his business degree, he moved from Ireland to the UK and worked with an organic food company. During this time he came to realise that “money creates a kind of disconnection between us and our actions”, which in turn led him into his experiment in living without money.

Once the press got hold of his story, there were many who criticised him for the fact that although he personally had no money, people were giving him stuff that initially had to be bought and earned. Those people significantly miss the point about what Boyle was trying to achieve, which is less about not having money and more about understanding and being responsble for it’s connections.

Anyway, I digress slightly. I just wanted to give you a bit of background on him in case you didn’t know who he was…

Today, Mark posted the following on his Facebook page (he’s now returned to Ireland, and although not moneyless any more, he used royalties from book sales etc to set up a ‘freeconomy’ which includes a free pub!

Amidst our anger about the brutality and violence of ISIS, we seem to forget that to the millions of other species on Earth, Industrial Civilisation must feel like ISIS on steroids.

I don’t say this to be dramatic or controversial, or to in any way make light of the horrors inflicted by ISIS (and the US, UK, French governments etc.), but simply to help us retain some perspective about the way of life we seem so eager to want to protect.

Some animals we cage so tightly they can barely move — billions never breathe fresh air or see natural daylight before they’re slaughtered. Our precious way of life drives tens of thousands of wild, free creatures into extinction every year. Through our ecologically-idiotic agricultural practices we make deserts and monocultures out of once fertile soils and diverse landscapes, killing the uncountable life-forms that once lived within them. We’ve bottom-trawled the oceans to the point where marine populations are outright collapsing, and ecological systems with it. To forests and rainforests, we are butchers who know no limit to our violence. From the perspective of the rest of the community of Life, ISIS are pussycats in comparison.

Somehow we cannot seem to see this. We never see our own violence and brutality, only that of other people, and only when it is done to things that lie within our parameters for moral consideration. Because our civilised world is so manicured, hiding the systemic hyper-violence it depends on behind closed doors, we think we live peaceful, nonviolent lives. But we don’t. We need to start being honest about this.

And he’s right. ‘We’ can’t seem to see what we are doing to the Earth and all her inhabitants, whether they be animals, trees or simply the land itself. This is the land that provides us with everything we should need, but not everything we greed.

Every day, we bring ourselves closer and closer to that tipping point (some say we are already there) from which it becomes impossible to rescue the situation for humans. The Earth will survive beyond humanity, but along the way, we create so much suffering.

[Image credit: Wikipedia]

Mark’s Facebook page:


Your own personal tipping point

“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”
~ Albert Einstein

Everybody has a ‘tipping point’, don’t they?

You know, that point where an issue becomes so important that you have to do something. That point where you can no longer talk about it, blog about it, be concerned about it, sign petitions about it, but you actually do something.

I guess throughout your life, you may have various tipping points; the point when you can no longer resist asking someone out on a date, or when you end a friendship because they keep stepping over the line too often, or when a job becomes too much grind, that you decide you have to leave and get another – life is full of tipping points, some small and some big.

But what about when the tipping point is really big? Our governments continue to espouse economic growth as the panacea to all crises, and now we’re told that large ‘green’ projects and infrastructure need the economic growth so we can ‘afford’ them, as if they are some kind of luxury. Banks have been creating money from debt at an alarming pace over the past 20 years, and it’s come back to bite them (and us) on the bum, but still we are told growth is key, and growth will only come from increased money supply, and that will come from debt, and so the spiral continues!

And with the growth we apparently need, will come even more environmental destruction, more pollution, more inequality. Yet by being in the ‘system’, am I not encouraging this cycle to continue?

I think my own personal tipping point is very close. I don’t know where it will take me, but me, and many more people need to be going there.

For some inspiration, take a look at this great blog. The lady who writes it, returned from London to her native Ireland and bought a small cottage in 3 acres in an inexpensive part of Ireland – I realise not everyone can afford to do this, but what she has done with the land and the way she’s virtually cut herself off from the money system is an inspiration: