Eco Tipping Point

Thirty six people squeezed into out Retreat House and were fed with delicious food cooked by a great team - it was the annual Houseparty for Voyagers. The subject of the Teaching Day was 'The Eco Tipping Point and our Way of Life.' I kicked it off with two lectures. In the Celtic tradition we take the four elements seriously. So I zoomed in on the four elements in order to grasp something of the planet's malaise.Here are a few highlights.

EARTH

There are three great stretches of rain forest left in the world: the Amazon, the Central African and the SE Asian rain forests. These have huge long-term value for the planet. Scientists variously estimate that between 50% to 90% of all living species find their homes in tropical rain forests. When a rainstorm above the Amazon ceases clouds of moisture rise from the trees to form new rain clouds that the wind blows west to provide rain elsewhere. We depend upon these forests for rain.

Yet every minute a section of forest the size of three football pitches is cut down in the Amazon alone. This inflicts a deadly wound to the integrity of the earth's web of life. Scientists estimate that recuperation might take 100 million years. Before deforestation soil erosion was 0.3 tons per hectare per year; after deforestation the rate rises to 90 tons per hectare.

What can we do? Recycle paper. Buy trees in a rain forest through a charity that buys forest zones so that multi-nationals can't. Support email petitions asking governments to regulate against, name and shame multi-national companies into ceasing such destruction.

If you wish to read about tissues that focus around the other three elements please download the talks from the web site.

Posted at 04:26am on 1st February 2010
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