THE REGENERATIVE HOUR: An economist’s call for naturism

Naturism. There’s a long article on Wikipedia about naturism. Because apparently ‘naturism’ is another word for ‘nudism’ – meaning “a cultural movement practising nudity”.

There’s a couple of other articles, though, that explain that naturism can also be referring to ‘worshipping of nature’, or religious practices that focus on nature.

The other day we received an email which suggested a new meaning to the word naturism.

Jim Sampson is a 73-year-old retired economist, and a business entrepreneur, who has also written two novels that dramatise the catastrophic consequences of climate breakdown. His fiction novel ’The apocalypse rising’ was published 11 years ago, in 2009. Before that, he published ‘The genesis enigma’ in 2006.

Recently, Jim completed writing a 56-page document, entitled ‘Naturism’, where he suggests “a framework for solutions to the climate crisis”.

He says, humanity needs to shift its thinking towards naturism because, as he writes, it is going to “take a change in human thinking to get a change in human behaviour”.

“Human luxury has to go. Mother Nature can’t afford it.”

Jim Sampson

“We have lost track of our relationship with nature, and our relationship with each other,” he says. So he calls for a “single, unified and global voice” which will unmask the complex causes – the human behavioural causes – behind manmade climate change

In his email to us, Jim writes that he hopes that the term Naturism can serve “as an apt rallying call for urgent action and accord to rectify those human behavioural causes.”    

When I read that, I thought: We have to call Jim and have a chat about this – because, who is Jim Sampson, and where is he coming from with all of these ideas?

“What we really need is naturism. Because if we don’t adhere to what Mother Nature is saying to us, we’re gone. We’ll be gone like the dinasaurs. (…) Our problem today is that we are ‘carbon heads’. We have lost track of our relationship with nature, and our relationship with each other. Now, each of us are competitive to each other, and nature is an inconvenience. It is a reason to have an umbrella – and that’s all. We have got to change that.”

Jim Sampson

→ Jim Sampson’s 56-page document ‘Naturism – a framework for a comprehensive solution to manmade climate change’

2009-article about Jim Sampson’s second novel. Click on image to enlarge

To believe or not to believe

What if we take Jim on his word? That naturism really is the way forward – and that currently, as Jim says, “we have lost track of our relationship with nature, and our relationship with each other…”

Charles Eisenstein has some advice for us, in that respect in a talk he posted on youtube last week. About belief. “Belief is a collective function,” he argues, in our emerging story of inter-being:

“We are really in it together,” says Charles Eisenstein. And his right there. Many others have said the same.

“We have so much to do. And we must do it together.”
~ Pope Francis, in the film ‘A Man of His Word’

You can meet Charles Eisenstein at the three-day ideas festival in Byron Bay on 20 March. That is an event which “Showcases and amplifies strategies for reclaiming local economies for the benefit of people and planet.”

→ More about the event on neweconomy.org.au

Population growth
In The Regenerative Hour interview, Jim Samson talks a lot about population growth, and I think we should also hear what Charles Eisenstein has to say about that topic, after he researched into the topic for his latest book, “Climate: A New Story”


In The Regenerative Hour, Eisenstein’s contemplations are followed by an excerpt from a video the American senator Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, which was posted on Youtube last year in April: ‘A Message From the Future’

Alexandria is right: our leaders, our politicians, are not into visualising for us, painting the picture of where we could get to if we really pulled ourselves together, if we joined forces and said, ‘Let’s do this now’… ‘Let’s lead the way’.

We lack not just imagination, but courage to believe that it is really possible that we can do this. That when enough of us come together, we can create that world where we don’t pollute the air and destroy our eco-systems, and where people are actually punished if they do it. That Naturism, or the Ecological Civilisation, or the Great Transformation, or Green Rebellion, or whatever we like to call it, that this is completely within reach, simply because the alternative – the world our current politicians are offering us – looks more like Black Summer after Black Summer and a very bleak future.

People want climate action – its no longer “the people” who are asleep at the wheel. It is the politicians and the media.

People are ready to move further and faster on the decarbonisation of society than what we are seeing from our leaders, who receive funding from the fossil fuel industry. Which is something we so far have just accepted that they do.

It’s high time for new young politicial candidates to enter the stage, and for the rest of us to come together under a new banner. Naturism, Earthism, or #AllForClimate – whatever we want to call it. As we enter this unchartered land, and those huge unprecendented, groundbreaking challenges… we’ll only be successful if we come together, learn to work together, and vote for those who get all of this.


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

“Part of living ecologically is understanding that we’re all in this together, and that each one of us is a vital and irreplaceable part of the wonderful, grand, messy, beautiful whole that is nature.”
~ Tim Hollo, The Green Institute

Dougald Hine posted on youtube in November last year – in a video he called, “Is there hope”:

“If there is any hope worth having, in a time when we are rightly haunted by the thought of an ‘uninhabitable Earth’, then I don’t believe it lies in the triumph of reason, nor in the recovery of an imagined past. If I have any clue where it lies, I’d say it’s in the difficult work of learning to feel and think together again; to come down off the high and lonely horses that some of us were taught to ride, to recognise how much has been missing from our maps, how much has gone unseen in our worldviews.”
~ Dougald Hine, 28 November 2019


Much more about nature in The Regenerative Hour no 2

→ Forbes – 8 March 2020:
Reinventing Industry And Technology To Regenerate Nature
“Could we pay off our trillion-ton carbon debt? Yes, definitely … use your skills and go do it.” A conversation with Tom Chi, brilliant and celebrated Ex-Google exec, on reinventing industry, technology and society amidst the climate crisis.”


JP Morgan economists warn climate crisis is threat to human race

Leaked report for world’s major fossil fuel financier says Earth is on unsustainable trajectory, reported The Guardian on 22 February 2020.

The world’s largest financier of fossil fuels has warned clients that the climate crisis threatens the survival of humanity and that the planet is on an unsustainable trajectory, according to a leaked document.

The JP Morgan report on the economic risks of human-caused global heating said climate policy had to change or else the world faced irreversible consequences.

The investment bank says climate change “reflects a global market failure in the sense that producers and consumers of CO2 emissions do not pay for the climate damage that results.” To reverse this, it highlights the need for a global carbon tax but cautions that it is “not going to happen anytime soon” because of concerns about jobs and competitiveness. The authors say it is “likely the [climate] situation will continue to deteriorate, possibly more so than in any of the IPCC’s scenarios”.

→ Continue reading the article in The Guardian

“There is growing evidence that Earth’s systems are heading towards climate “tipping points” beyond which change becomes abrupt and unstoppable. But another tipping point is already being crossed – humanity’s capacity to adapt to a warmer world.”
~ John Quiggin, Professor, School of Economics, The University of Queensland

→ The Conversation AU – 29 January 2020:
Humans are good at thinking their way out of problems – but climate change is outfoxing us
“Australian winemakers have lost smoke-tainted crops and political leaders apparently cannot solve the Murray Darling crisis. Perhaps climate change is getting the better of us.”

Luxury and wealth = increased carbon footprint

A Danish study has shown that for every AUS$20,000 our personal annual income increases, our carbon footprint increases by approximately 1.3 tonnes.

The survey shows that the most affluent often also are those who fly the most, drive the most kilometres by car, have the largest and most energy-consuming homes and spend the most money on consumption such as electronics, clothing, furniture, cosmetics, entertainment and restaurant visits.

Furthermore, the study shows that a smaller proportion of Danes, about seven percent of the adult population, have a CO2 footprint, which is more than twice the size of the average. This group of Danes has a consumption which places a burden on nature’s resources corresponding to between 24 and 110 tonnes of CO2 per person per year.

The group’s carbon footprint is so high that it raises the national carbon footprint by about 18 percent.

The higher carbon footprint is primarily due to the fact that they travel more by air, fossil-fueled cars or fast ferries. In addition, the group consumes significantly more of virtually all types of material goods than the average.

The group consists predominantly of wealthy people, one third of whom have an annual household income of more than $200,000. In other words, it is a group of people who probably will not have great difficulty of paying even relatively large carbon taxes on their (over)consumption of transport and material goods.

The three Danish researchers published their results in an article in the newspaper Information. They wrote that when the most affluent have the largest carbon footprint, it means that a CO2-based tax on our consumption will affect them more than low-income people. In other words, in this case, environmental and social justice work hand in hand.


Australia responsible for five per cent
of world’s climate disruption

By Dr Gideon Polya, Melbourne

The Australian Coalition Government’s backing of new coal mines, new gas exploitation, new highways, two new gas-fired power stations, and possibly new coal-fired power stations flies in the face of science and of an ever-worsening climate emergency reflected in catastrophic bushfires and apocalyptic wild life loss.

Natural gas is 85 per cent methane (CH4). It leaks and has a global warming potential which is 105 times that of the same mass of carbon dioxide (CO2) on a 20 year time frame with aerosol impacts included.

Such considerations reveal that Australia ranks #3 in the world for annual per capita greenhouse gas pollution, and with 0.33 per cent of the world population has revised annual domestic greenhouse gas emissions that are 2.5 per cent of the world’s emissions.

Australia’s annual domestic plus exported greenhouse gas emissions are 5.4 per cent of the world’s annual greenhouse gas pollution.

The Australian Government’s recent one-off AUS$2 billion investment for gas exploitation in New South Wales will add an estimated carbon debt of $2 billion per year, $20 billion per decade.

Natural gas is not “relatively low in emissions” as asserted by the Australian Government’s chief science advisor because

(a) combustion of 1 tonne of CH4 (85% of natural gas) yields 2.75 tonne CO2 as compared to combustion of 1 tonne of carbon (about 90% of coal) yielding 3.7 tonne CO2, and

(b) depending upon the degree of systemic gas leakage, gas burning can actually be much dirtier greenhouse gas-wise than coal burning, e.g. at 2.6% leakage (circa the US EPA’s average) greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas use are two times that from coal use.

At a damage-related carbon price of US$200 per tonne CO2-e, the world’s inescapable carbon debt is $200-250 trillion and increasing at $13 trillion per year, and Australia’s carbon debt is $5 trillion, increasing at about $700 billion annually.

For under-30 year-old Australians, the country’s carbon debt increases annually at AUS$109,000 per head per year.

→ Countercurrents – 18 February 2020:
Methane leakage makes Australia a world leading per capita greenhouse gas polluter

Speak out for nature

Australia faces unprecedented environmental challenges. Australia’s key environmental indicators continue to decline. Some of the persistent problems include a decline in biodiversity, degradation of productive rural land, intensification of development along coastlines and in sprawling cities, and the emerging impacts of climate change. These problems are in addition to the past damage that needs to be repaired.

→ Click here to sign ACFs petition: Speak out for nature

Given the need to address systematically, effectively and creatively Australia’s ecological challenges, it is time to consider the need for more effective environmental laws. APEEL has developed a blueprint for the next generation of Australian environmental laws with the aim of ensuring a healthy, functioning and resilient environment for generations to come. APEEL’s Blueprint is the culmination of several years’ work and builds on the Panel’s earlier Technical Paper series.

Blueprint for the Next Generation of Australian Environmental Law

Consciousness versus catastrophe

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