Quinn Earth Child: Radical sustainability in suburbia

THE REGENERATIVE HOUR: Can we turn the 2020s into ‘The Regenerative Decade’? In this series of interviews about what that would imply, we talk ecology, deep adaptation, grief, compassion and passion, connecting with nature, resilience, revitalisation, restoration, revolution… – the bigger picture, in other words.

“A dance between hope and grief”

In the 23rd Regenerative Hour, Mik meets the 23-year-old artist, musician and environmental consultant Quinn Earth Child at his home in the suburb Norlane in northern Geelong.

On his latest EP, ‘Cinnamon Dream Boat’, Quinn explores five “solistalgic indie folk-landscapes” – songs which he says arose from a childhood contemplating the threats of civilisation to their environment. Accompanied by Quinn’s illustrations these tracks are, as described on the EP cover, “a dance between hope and grief”.

Quinn explains how his surname Earth Child came about, how has become inspired to work as a permaculture teacher, about the concept of ‘permablitz’, and about the work his is doing together with groups such as The Farm Next Door and Transition Norlane.

→ Quinn Earth Child’s Facebook page and Instagram page

→ Listen to Quinn’s music on his Bandcamp page

“Start where you are, use what you have, and do what you can… Pick up a shovel – and let’s start working towards the future we want to see in everything we do.”


Transition Streets

Transition Streets is a project that gives you the chance to connect with neighbours and discuss ways to reduce your carbon emissions while also reducing costs in relation to Food, Energy, Transport, Water and Waste. As well as having fun and developing some lasting connections in your own neighbourhood.

If you like the idea of starting such a group, you might like to work through the workbook first to have some idea what it is like, and what you are inviting others to do.

So – we invite you to join an online pilot Transition Streets group starting on Monday 29 June 2020 8pm AEST (6pm WA)  Please register here:

If you can’t make it this Monday you can still register for later sessions.

You can read more on https://transitionaustralia.net/event/transition-streets-online-pilot-group/
and here: https://transitionaustralia.net/resource-library/transition-streets/

Local Futures

Local Futures was founded by Helena Norberg-Hodge on a vision to build strong local economies and communities. The organisation recently launched a successful World Localization Day.
In a recent newsletter, Norberg-Hodge writes:

“The world is facing a convergence of crises – from COVID-19, poverty and climate change, to the breakdown of democracy and an epidemic of depression. For over four decades, Local Futures has been examining how these issues are symptoms of the same illness:  an economic system that’s influencing every aspect of our lives.

The good news is that the path to a better future is already being forged. People are coming to recognize that connection, both to others and to Nature herself, is the wellspring of human happiness. And every day, new inspiring initiatives are springing up that offer the potential to rebuild that sense of connection.

I’d like to show you how you can be part of this movement towards bringing humanity and happiness back into the economy. In this email, you’ll get an overview of Local Futures’ work and our current projects. Look for another email from us next week, where we’ll delve deeper into the problems with globalization and begin outlining in more detail our roadmap towards a better, more local, future.

About Us
For over four decades, Local Futures has been raising awareness of the destructive effects of economic globalization, while promoting local economies as a strategic solution to our social, ecological, and spiritual crises.

Localization is a process of economic decentralization that enables communities, regions and nations to take more control over their own affairs. It does not mean encouraging every community to be entirely self-reliant; it simply means shortening the distance between producers and consumers wherever possible, and striking a healthier balance between local markets and a monopoly-dominated global market.

We’ve produced books, award-winning films, and other materials, and organized hundreds of activist-oriented conferences and workshops worldwide.
Read more about us and our work.

Highlighted resources
Watch our award-winning documentary ‘The Economics of Happiness’ for free on the Films for Action website.

With so many people stuck inside due to the coronavirus, we are inviting everyone to watch The Economics of Happiness for free, through our friends at the website Films for Action.

“What’s our favorite documentary of all time? The one film we wish everyone could see? Hands down, this is it. It is truly one of the most important and useful films for inspiring change that has been made in a generation.”

Planet Local Short Film SeriesWe’ve compiled a collection of outstanding short films from across the web that feature local food and farming projects, with a particular focus on projects started by young people. We divided the films into 7 categories – below you can find links to two of them.

Our recent blog posts
Adopt a Local Business – ‘Many of us show our compassion and generosity through acts of adoption. Adopt a tree, adopt a baby giraffe, adopt a schoolchild, etc. For the last two weeks, my partner Audrey and I adopted a lovely four-legged pooch named Annie. Her “person,” a close friend, had to travel to Western Massachusetts to be with her dying mother. I’m not exactly a dog person – I didn’t grow up with dogs, and throughout my adult life my travel schedule has made me reluctant even to adopt a cactus…’

“The streets of Jayanagar, a residential area in Bengaluru, are strewn with spring flowers. Yellow copper pods, lilac crape myrtles, pink-and-white honges and orange gulmohurs blaze overhead and underfoot; vitality and senescence mirroring each other. The normally hard surfaces – kerb, pavement, road and concrete – are softened by fallen petals and the duff of stamens from rain trees…”
~ Locking Down Leviathan

Post-pandemic development: a Ladakhi perspective – ‘A week before the announcement of the Janata [public] Curfew slated for March 22, 2020, I spoke with a 43-year-old close relative in her village in Leh, Ladakh, by phone from Delhi. Around that time, the news of rising infections from the novel coronavirus coming in from China, Italy and Iran were ominous. Ladakh had been reporting positive cases since March 6…’

Connect with us
There are a number of online platforms where you can connect with us and with others helping to support local economies.

On Facebook, we regularly share articles that give a unique and eye-opening perspective on the world around us. Please follow us and share your thoughts on anything that inspires you.

On our Youtube channel, you can find a number of inspiring videos, including talks from our recent conferences.

Twitter and Instagram are also great places to find inspiration and news from the localization movement. We want these platforms to be open spaces – so please share your own thoughts and ideas!

Finally, we encourage you to join The International Alliance for Localization (IAL) — a cross-cultural network of thinkers, activists, and NGOs dedicated to exploring new visions of development and progress. People and groups from 58 different countries have joined the IAL to date. We’d love to have you on board.
~ Helena Norberg-Hodge
Local Futures

Climate grief: Stories of active hope

Social worker Lucy Van Sambeek has started a ‘Facing the Climate Crisis’ project, because she is concerned about the rising incidence of mental health problems and distress linked to climate change. Through sharing stories of strength, her intention is to spread hope to those that feel powerless about influencing the situation, paralysed by anxiety, depression or grief, or have difficulty visualising a positive future.

→ Learn more about the project on www.metaphoricallyspeaking.com.au

Courage of your conviction

“If effective global action on climate change fails, I fear the challenge would be beyond contemporary Australia. I fear that things would fall apart.”
~ Ross Garnaut, research fellow in economics at the University of Melbourne, author of ‘Superpower — Australia’s Low-Carbon Opportunity’

→ The Sydney Morning Herald – 22 June 2020:
Australian politics is becoming a sick, inside joke
“There are two ways to lose the country – all at once or bit by bit. Morrison’s approach may yet achieve both.”

“It’s time to get over it.”

“We are afraid that the luxurious, biggest ever made, unsinkable ship that we are all travelling on, could hit an iceberg and go down. We want to cast around for something to hold onto so maybe we can stay afloat. We latch onto lifeline stories, and try to figure out
should we just stay where we are or run?

These fears of the unknown generate the perfect environment for “saviour thinking”.

Any aware person can make the connections between their access to on-demand electricity, coal, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. So we want to grasp at the solutions. Any person with a computer can search the internet and pick up the storyline that wind and solar are green and renewable and thus are the saviour energy technologies. You can buy solar panels, small wind turbines, batteries and inverters and gain control of your energy supply, and that seems like a great thing.

Corporations, ironically including fossil fuel extractors, promise to supply us with saviour technology solutions. Flamboyant CEO’s pump out weekly social media hits of inspiring and exciting EV and battery and distributed energy technology promises. Mysterious media outlets generate a continuous stream of vacuous brightly coloured clickbait about hydrogen, fuel cells and capturing CO2 from the air and turning it into fuel.

You may have well-justified fears of climate change disasters, or the failure of power grids and petrol stations, and the disappearance of cheap and abundant energy. You may be managing that fear by hoping that there are saviour technologies and hero CEO’s.

But it is time to get over it.

Here are the steps for getting control of your fears by learning.”

1.    Learn about what life was like in your town and your line of work in 1910 by reading a book, going to your library archives, watching a movie.

2.    Learn to distinguish between essential, necessary and optional goods and activities.

3.    Learn about how you use energy in your home (read your meters), transport (read your odometer) and energy intensive products (read labels).

4.    Learn to downshift – do a downshift week for your food shopping, travel without fossil fuel, and use 80% less electricity

5.    Learn from the COVID-19 lockdown what the future will be like beyond cars and mass consumption, nonessential travel and recreational shopping.

6.    Learn that you, and all of us as humans, have a superpower called adaptability. The more you learn about in steps 1-5, the more adaptive capacity you are building. Learn that you don’t need green saviour technologies in this time of transition to low carbon. You need adaptive capacity.

~ Susan Krumdieck

“While I’m designing urban/rural priorities, I sometimes dream of sudden (non-violent) revolution happening to embed social and environmental justice as our norms. That’d be nice wouldn’t it… And then I remember slow change is also good change. So here’s to one more backyard stepping up to increase its health, fun and food production.

Because while our politicians twiddle their thumbs, we can get the revolution started in own brains, backyards and communities.” ☺
~ Good Life Permaculture

Voices for Greta

Step into the climatesafety bunker – our carbon clarity & clearing house

Are we ready to shift our mindset and choose a different future?

I am. If you are too, let’s meet. And I don’t mean physically, for now, but in The Tunnel – the digital tunnel.

We have a members’ area on climatesafety.info which is growing little by little. Its a space for figuring out how we can act as individuals and as a community in a climate emergency.

The choices we make right now matter. Words matter. Have a positive think about how you will step in and become part of a regenerative and transformative renewal. It’s all happening in The Tunnel. What we need to do, is get ready for the action, once we come out on the other side.
~ Mik Aidt

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

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→ See more Regenerative Hours from The Sustainable Hour team