An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of September 14, 2007
issued from Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve Headquarters in
Jalpan, Querétaro, MÉXICO

PIG FEED, QUELITE & MAGIC

Victor's expensive pig-feed represents a working-out of the Globalization Paradigm while the above-mentioned Quelite growing in the cornfield with squash and beans represents the Diversity/Sustainability Paradigm.

I know that in some places people are going into organic farming, communities of vegetarians are forming, and the back-to-Earth cachet sells items in malls. Still, it's clear that in relative terms nearly everywhere the Globalization Paradigm is supplanting the Diversity/Sustainability Paradigm.

Why is that? Who made the decision that it's better to fill WalMart with items made in China instead of locally produced items?

Of course, no one made these decisions. It just works out that plastic bowls made in China and shipped to the US are cheaper than those made in local shops, and US corn is cheaper in Mexico than Mexican corn.

However, the Globalization Paradigm is not sustainable. Globalization provides dividends in the short term because it continually shifts the costs of environmental protection to other countries, and takes advantage of lower wages in other countries. Years ago my mother lost her factory job in Kentucky when the factory she worked in moved to Mexico. Now many Mexican factories are moving to China.

The end result of this process is an Earth where every region has had its air, water and soil ravaged. The end result is that traditional societies with enduring values and customs are replaced with populations in which unfulfilled individuals spend nearly all their time trying to acquire more money, more possessions, and more indulgences of their appetites -- all activities that degrade and destroy the biosphere even further.

The processes in which Globalization is rooted are natural. It's natural for a biological organism to gather and consume resources, thinking mainly of its own comfort and security. It's Darwinian "survival-of- the-fittest" for business people to spend their money so that it benefits themselves without regard for their actions. When George Bush attacked oil-rich Iraq, it was natural.

It takes something magical to stop biological organisms from behaving naturally. But, magic is hard. Before the magic of profound insights occurs, one needs solid information about the surrounding world. However, information is precious, and the world is full of smoke and mirrors. Before the magic of love and compassion can occur one must have feelings for many things, yet having feelings means being vulnerable. Before the magic of any profound and fundamental change in a human can take place there must be a spiritual awakening, but awakening takes effort, and it's easier to embrace pre-packaged religions.

Still, the Diversity/Sustainability Paradigm will keep us and the Earth alive, while the Globalization Paradigm offers a recipe for planetary death.

All we can do is to hope for magic.

The blossoming of Nature around us all the time offers the paradigm for the kind of magic we need.

For, Nature extravagantly creates diversity, even though She'd need to invest much fewer resources maintaining a deserted Universe. She is always experimental and gushy with enthusiasm, even though universal non-action would be less trouble. She could have everything uniform and neat but, instead, at all corners of the Universe and in every dimension, we espy Nature lustily transcending Herself, practicing every kind of magic. Facebook Icon.