THE REGENERATIVE HOUR: Back to the earth

In the lead up to our collective entrance into what we suggest could be termed ‘The Regenerative Decade’, we open a new series of talks about regeneration, climate restoration, ecology, connecting with nature, deep adaptation, grief, compassion and passion, resilience – and solutions.

Welcome to the regenerative journey!

Our first guest in this new series of ‘Regenerative Hours’ is Mark Dekker for a talk about deep adaptation, and what this expression really means in our local context. 

We also listen to two youtube-videos, ‘How to create an abundant economy’ narrated by Charles Eisenstein and produced by Sustainable Human, the video ‘Because the Future is Organic’ by the Rodale Institute, and Dr Rupert Read‘s ‘The Uncertain Situation We Are In | Extinction Rebellion’. You can see the videos below.

For the Australians: Before you let your garden overgrow as the Danish professor, check with your local fire brigades, and watch out before you have a clean up of “snake infested” area. Remember fire controls could be in place.

“We are all in this together.”
~ Mark Dekker, permaculturalist

Servants of life: Finding the people who care

Mark’s remark on climate solutions and deep adaptation

“We need to do with less,” says Mark. “And that is where we can all make those individual decisions to do with less. There is no substitute for that. We can also sequester carbon. There are ways and means to do that, but it is going to take a global effort – whether that is sequestering carbon with the use of rock minerals, no till, and biochar in our vegetable systems, properly grazed livestock through holistic management strategies, implemented through the likes of sustainable livestock management, who were inspired by Alan Savery’s work at the Savery Institute – they are sequestering carbon on the grasslands. And the world is covered in grassland and savanahs. That is going to take a war effort, but from that we can sequester six gigatonnes a year.

And that’s even getting to the point of [putting] ten per cent of carbon in the soil. It has just got to stay there. And with no till systems it will stay there. If you have got that healthy ten per cent carbon in the soil, with your rock minerals and biochar and no tilling, it is a no brainer – but is going to take a war effort. For example, on the topic of ‘a war effort’, we could see GM and Ford building electric cars and e-bicycles. We have seen this before in the Second World War: The whole of America’s industrial complex was turned upside down and created a war machine. So instead of creating that, how about we create some life?

We can do it. I have great faith in humanity, and there are a lot of good people, even in politics, that are trying to lead the way, and they are doing a fantastic job. And there is a lot of leaders in our communities, and it is just about actually linking with those people. I think that is what deep adoptation means. It’s like: finding the people who care, and just hang out with those, and have some good yarns, and have some fun. Have some joy along the way.”

“If we’re to survive in the far-less-hospitable world that two centuries of institutionalised greed, selfishness and short-sightedness have bequeathed us, it will only be together. It will only be by using the coming years to cultivate resilient, cohesive, cooperative, equitable communities, embedded in the natural world.”
~ Tim Hollo

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Truth force

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The Extinction Rebellion podcast explores regenerative culture

“What is ‘regenerative culture’, and how can it be of use to rebels worldwide?”

Joanna Macy is a teacher and writer on issues of environmental justice, Deep Ecology, and Buddhist practice, as well as the root teacher of the Work that Reconnects. An anthology on the impact of her work around the world will be published in April 2020 under the title A Wild Love for the World: Joanna Macy and the Work of our Time.

The Extinction Rebellion podcast is presented by Jessica Townsend
Episode 5 – Regenerative Culture, Joanna Macy

. . .

A lens on Macy’s wisdom on the great drama of our time

“A Buddhist philosopher of ecology, Joanna Macy says we are at a pivotal moment in history with the possibility to unravel or create a life-sustaining human society. Now entering her 90s, Macy has lived adventurously by any definition. She worked with the CIA in Cold War Europe and the Peace Corps in post-colonial India and was an early environmental activist. She brings a poetic and spiritual sensibility to her work that’s reflected in her translations of the early-20th-century poet Rainer Maria Rilke. We take that poetry as a lens on her wisdom on the great dramas of our time: ecological, political, personal.”

→ On Being podcast with Krista Tippett: Joanna Macy: A Wild Love for the World

“Stop the car and get out”

“There is research showing that climate change is happening faster than we thought. We’re in a car hurtling towards the edge of a cliff, we’ve got our foot on the accelerator, and we’re just talking to each other, faffing about. If anything, some of us are even putting the foot further down. What we need to do is stop the car and get out. That has become increasingly clear to me in the last couple of years, which is why I’ve made changes to my own lifestyle.”
~ Daniel Masoliver, features writer at The Guardian

→ Mark also mentions: Singing Frog Farm – a no-till, ecologically beneficial, highly intensive vegetable farm in California.

The Sustainable Hour on 6 September 2017

Regenerative agriculture

Regenerative agriculture is a conservation and rehabilitation approach to food and farming systems. It focuses on topsoil regeneration, increasing biodiversity, improving the water cycle, enhancing ecosystem services, supporting biosequestration, increasing resilience to climate change, and strengthening the health and vitality of farm soil. Practices include, recycling as much farm waste as possible, and adding composted material from sources outside the farm.

Regenerative agriculture on small farms and gardens is often based on ideologies like permaculture, agroecology, agroforestryrestoration ecologykeyline design and holistic management. Large farms tend to be less ideology driven, and often use “no-till” and/or “reduced till” practices.

On a regenerative farm, yield should increase over time. As the topsoil deepens, production may increase and less external compost inputs are required. Actual output is dependent on the nutritional value of the composting materials, and the structure and content of the soil

→ Source: Wikipedia

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Book: Designing regenerative cultures

This book from 2016 is promoted as a ‘whole Earth catalog’ for the 21st century: “an impressive and wide-ranging analysis of what’s wrong with our societies, organizations, ideologies, worldviews and cultures – and how to put them right.”

The book asks how can we collaborate in the creation of diverse regenerative cultures adapted to the unique biocultural conditions of place? How can we create conditions conducive to life?

‘Designing regenerative cultures’ covers the finance system, agriculture, design, ecology, economy, sustainability, organisations and society at large. In it, Daniel Wahl explores ways in which we can reframe and understand the crises that we currently face and explores how we can live our way into the future.

“Moving from patterns of thinking and believing to our practice of education, design and community living, he systematically shows how we can stop chasing the mirage of certainty and control in a complex and unpredictable world.”

Read more

Handbook on ‘climate change empowerment’

Psychologist and researcher Dr Susie Burke prepared a handbook for the Australian Psychological Society about how to establish a practical and reassuring framework for thinking, feeling and acting on climate change – the Climate Change Empowerment Handbook.

→ You can download the handbook from

What does the phrase ‘deep adaptation’ mean?

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We at The Sustainable Hour would like to pay our respect to the traditional custodians of the land on which we are broadcasting, the Wathaurong People, and pay our respect to their elders, past, present and future.

The traditional owners lived in harmony with the environment and with the climate for hundreds of generations. It is not clear – yet – that as European settlers we have demonstrated that we can live in harmony for hundreds of generations, but it is clear that we can learn from the indigenous, traditional owners of this land.

When we talk about the future, it means extending our respect to those children not yet born, the generations of the future – remembering the old saying that…

The decisions currently being made around Australia to ignore climate change are being made by those who won’t be around by the time the worst effects hit home. How utterly disgusting, disrespectful and unfair is that?

The Sustainable Hour
The Sustainable Hour

Sharing solutions that make the climate safer and our cities more liveable

“The most important word in today’s world is ‘together’.”
~ Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary-General

→ See more Regenerative Hours