Pathway to Prosperity

Written by: Terry Link

Primary Source: Possibilitator

One of my favorite thinkers/doers in the world today is British science writer and now activist, Colin Tudge.

Image result for colin tudge

In a recent blog post on Groundhogs’ Day, Tudge comes out to show us there is a sane way out of the madness of  what he calls Neoliberal-Industrial (NI) agriculture “The Keys Ideas of Enlightened Agriculture”. In his straight forward way Tudge pulls it all together showing how making the right changes in our food system will bring us closer to the society well-being we yearn for.Tudge thinks big and connected, but also observes the little points in between. And he does it with a verve that is compelling in its own way.

He offers three key ‘nuts and bolts’ principles of Enlightened Agriculture:

  • Agroecology
  • Food Sovereignty
  • Economic Democracy

But he offers so much more in this approximately ten page essay. What resonates with me most is the wholeness of both his analysis and his solution. And he’s not sitting on the sidelines waiting for someone else to lead the way. He has started in his native British home what he calls:

How soon we see our own Colleges of Agriculture become enlightened is a good question, not that there aren’t many in those colleges that are doing their part to bring us back down to earth. MSU’s Student Organic Farm being just one example.

I also finished this morning Randall Amster’s Peace Ecology ( Paradigm Publishers, 2015).

Amster is professor and president of the United States Peace and Justice Studies Association. Like Tudge, but looking through a different lens, he shines the light on the connections between peace and our relationship with nature. Extending the importance of the human-human relationship to the human-nature relationship, he offers another path towards prosperity and away from the violence that seems to permeate the world we share.

In reviewing recently some old files from our local Peace Education Center (PEC), I was truck by the broad array of issues the PEC had been involved in since it’s beginnings more than four decades ago.

I also noted that some of the same folks who were there at the beginning have not turned their backs on those idealistic efforts to build a better world to hand off to our children and grandchildren. My hats off to those to push on regardless.

As the late, great Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai said in her acceptance speech for the award.

“In the course of history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground. A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other. That time is now. Those of us who have been privileged to receive education, skills, and experiences and even power must be role models for the next generation of leadership.”

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Terry Link
Terry Link is a retired MSU librarian, former founding director of the MSU Office of Campus Sustainability, and co-founder and former chair of the American Library Association’s Task Force on the Environment. He recently served as associate editor for the two-volume encyclopedia, Achieving Sustainability: Visions, Principles, and Practices(Gale/Cengage 2014). He has also served as executive director of a regional food bank and as a county commissioner. Currently he is president of Starting Now, LLC, a sustainability consulting firm, a Senior Fellow for the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development and serves on numerous non-profit organization boards.
Terry Link

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