Sustaining the Bull

Talking up sustainable is very fashionable.
As a buzzword it is easy to slip into any sentence.

... everyone does it and everyone assumes they know what things should be considered as sustainable, and what things should not.

But just ask them to define sustainability, or search it up on the internet, and you'll get all kinds of rhetoric about the environment and how we have to look after it - in the midst of our business (mostly as usual). Appealing as that sounds it is too general and convenient to be useful. In reality the environment will continue anyway, no matter what gets done to it. Suggestions of this kind leave the fox still in charge of the hen-house.
Smarter definitions shift the emphasis to an ecological argument, and there we begin to encounter the conflict between sustainability and economic pursuit. How much disruption is too much? How do we distinguish the disease from its symptoms?

The truth is a battleground of lies:

Nowhere is this more true that than when it comes to the kinds of economic pillage and plundering that relies upon people's ignorance. The larger the pursuit the easier it is to build a buffer of deceit and confusion around it.
Throughout the 60s to 90s the Left counteracted the Right with the story of ‘labour’. It had unions to demand better conditions for the working class. Since then however that particular spring of inspiration has all but dried up and the Right has saturated every corner of the world and our lives with its neoliberal agenda.
To counteract the Right, and it must be counteracted, the Left must now drill a deeper well for its core truth: it must sharpen up and make the story of ‘sustainability’ its own. That story it should be noted, won’t just restrain the Right but by becoming a science it will contain it entirely.

The window of opportunity for doing this is being closed, as fast as people's indifference and confusion permits. Maybe just two generations remain, depending on how fast A-I (artificial intelligence) spreads across the workplace. Eventually UBI[ 2 ] (universal basic income) will be accepted as necessary and thereafter personal financial independence will dwindle, followed by reduced property ownership.
This is not conjecture, it is all set out in the UN's own Agenda 2030 [ 1 } documentation.
What is not specified however is the means to be used for managing the milieu in such a world. Considering the means by which that agenda is being manifested, it would be naive to imagine that it won't continue in much the same manner: media propaganda, violence, oppression, and starvation.

Global vs. local, as a strategy:

The SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and the Agenda 2030 strategies, like their parent apparent (the United Nations), are seductive in rhetoric but flawed at the fundamental core of their philosophic/ spiritual conception. The counter-strategy is going to require people to work together in new ways: to form self-organising, cooperative-supporting, agrarian-based local-regional economies founded upon the axioms of true sustainability.

To bring that story to the untroubled masses and help them to make it their own is a difficult task. To advance that process the Landbase Project was conceived.

The Landbase Project:

A rural training centre for running live-in courses based on the observation that a growing number of people are, or would do given the opportunity, moving from the city to a more rural living circumstance.
This project is still in the planning stages. Courses will cover training in the structure of sustainability, involvement in practical aspects of self-provisioning, and access to related resources and support.
To be kept up to date please click ☐ Landbase when registering for our (occasional) newsletter, Landsakes!

Defining sustainability

Sustainability is not a goal in life, it is the form of life itself.

For more in-depth on the background issues, please read our feature article: What is Sustainability?

See also:

  1. Welcome to 2030
  2. What is the Precariat
  3. The Abundance Manifesto
  4. What is Sustainability

Sign for Climate Justice

From the Action Network ...


December (2018) government delegates from around the world will meet to decide how to implement the UN Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The meeting’s outcomes will affect billions of people.

The New Standard for Human Rights

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants

(25.10.18): The UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other People working in Rural Areas was presented in the UN headquarters to the 'Third Committee of the General Assembly'. This comes after nearly two decades of consultations and negotiations led by millions of peasants, pastoralists, artisanal fisher folk, agricultural workers and indigenous peoples’ organisations ... and with the support of CETIM and FIAN International.

UPDATE: (19.11.18)

The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) of the UN General Assembly has voted in favour of the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas, through the Resolution no. A/C.3/73/L.30 - [119 for :: 7 against]


The Declaration, now finally ratification, supports the development and implementation of socioeconomic policies that improve our food and agriculture system. It will also pave the way for the creation of public policies in favour of peasants and rural workers in countries where such policies do not exist.

The vast majority of the world's citizens support the Declaration. The European Economic and Social Committee has shown its support, and the European Parliament voted a resolution asking EU states to back the project. On 2nd October in France, the National Advisory Committee on Human Rights urged the French government, in an advisory opinion, to back the text. The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has also expressed its support to the Declaration and so has the former rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier de Schutter as well as his successor, Hilal Elver.

It is estimated that of out of 820 million people suffering from hunger (2018 UN figure), 80% live in rural areas. These people are particularly vulnerable and discriminated against,. They suffer forced expulsions and lack access to essential resources: land, seeds, loans, education, justice and basic services. Yet, on average, small food producers contribute 70% of the world’s food, with this figure rising to more than 80% in so-called developing countries.

Source: Time to Mobilise   #peasantsrightsnow

The current draft of the declaration was finalised in April 2018. A process that began over 10 years ago. Thereafter, the text was tabled for final voting and adoption at the UN General Assembly in September 2018. Ratification is expected by mid next year.


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New Zealand didn't bother turning up for this one.

16th October, 2018

International Day of Action for the Food Sovereignty of Peoples and Against Multinationals

Peasants' seeds are a heritage of peoples in the service of humanity. They are the basis of global food production and they enable peasants to produce and a healthy and diversified food supply.

The world's seeds are threatened by the seed policies of rich countries, free trade agreements and agribusiness. Under the pretext of "improving" seed productivity, agribusiness has created a neo-liberal seed system that has homogenised, impoverished and monopolised seeds, causing the loss of three-quarters of seed diversity and annihilating a diversity that it took people – thanks to the work of peasants – 10000 years to generate.
Three companies, Monsanto-Bayer, Syngenta-ChemChina and Dupont-Dow, control more than 50% of the world's commercial seeds – usually GM seeds claimed to resist herbicides and deter insects. Under the impetus of the WTO, the World Bank and the IMF, and through free trade agreements and laws protecting seed and breeders' rights, such as UPOV standards, this seed system only allows the circulation of its own seeds, criminalising the saving, exchange, donation and sale of local farmer seeds.

The situation is such that farmers have lost a lot of their heritage seeds, are put in prison for the defense and exchange of their seed heritage, and risk raids and seizure of their seeds. Biodiversity is destroyed by the use of chemical fertilisers, hybrid seeds and genetically modified organisms developed by multinational companies. \Everywhere citizens have difficulty accessing healthy, diversified and healthy food.

All over the world, La Via Campesina and its member organisations are stepping up their efforts in training, education, mutual support and seed exchange. We fight for national laws and international treaties to guarantee the rights of farmers to save, use, exchange, sell and protect their seeds against biopiracy and genetic contamination, we write books on the history of seeds, carry out studies and mapping. We also found agro-ecology schools and organize peasant' seed exchange fairs. We exercise our right of self-determination to select the seed varieties we want to plant and reject economically, ecologically and culturally dangerous varieties. These are rights affirmed by the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and by the United Nations Declaration on Peasants' Rights which has just been adopted by the Human Rights Council in Geneva. It is also the only way to ensure healthy food for citizens, the preservation of biodiversity and the achievement of food sovereignty.

No government measure can limit the collective rights of farmers to use, exchange and sell their OWN seeds.
Free seed exchange between farmers should NOT be subject to restriction.

“Adopt a Seed”

We call on every peasant, peasant family or community to engage in the adoption of a variety of plant or animal seeds, to become the guardian of this seed, ensuring its propagation, reproduction and distribution and to engage in the collective defense of their rights to use, exchange, sell and protect them. In this way, we will create a large network of peasant seeds to save those that have become rare and extend production towards the food sovereignty of peoples.
By adopting a seed, peasant families preserve their identity and territory and affirm their peasant way of life. They claim the historical memory and ancestral culture of seed management, promoting an urban and rural ecological agriculture that reproduces the miracle of more seeds and food of better quality, taste and nutritional value.

Land Rights Regulations

Land Deals

Indigenous land rights are increasingly under threat

The soaring demand for food, fuel and other commodities is cranking up pressure on land, but the sector remains largely unregulated internationally.

Increasingly, secret deals are struck between governments and investors, and communities robbed of land that’s rightfully theirs.

Imagine waking up one day to be told that the land that your family has lived on for generations has been leased to developers. You have to be out by the time the bulldozers arrive next week. You can’t see the documents behind the deal, and you won’t be getting compensation. And if you don’t go quietly, soldiers will make you wish you had.

This type of “land grab” is happening more and more often across the developing world, as investors scramble to acquire cheap land for everything from food to biofuel plantations to mining. As much as 54 million hectares has already changed hands in land deals over the last decade, or is under negotiation. And this figure is set to grow as population growth, consumption and financial speculation drive demand upwards.

With strong rules to protect communities and environment, these investments could stimulate development in some of the poorest parts of the world. But the market is moving much faster than regulators can, leaving behind a murky trade controlled by powerful and often corrupt elites.

Land deals are often done in secret, without consulting those most affected. Environmental damage and human rights are paid lip service at best, and more often completely ignored. Communities can’t find out who has been given their land or see the contracts, so they don’t know what it is worth or who to blame for taking it.

Global Witness is investigating the impact of large-scale land concessions on rural communities and the environment, and is pushing for solutions to fix the system at the national and international levels. Our Dealing with Disclosure report, for example, sets out practical steps for governments and companies to make land deals fair and open. We also work with rural communities in a number of countries to help stand up for and strengthen their rights to their land.

Land grabs are closer than you think. Holes in international law mean we have very little way of ensuring that our supply chains and savings don’t link us to land that has been illegally or violently taken.

Source: Global Witness campaign (May, 2018)
Report: Dealing with Disclosure – setting out in detail what governments, companies and citizens can do to ensure against the negative impacts of secretive land deals.

Abundance Manifesto

Abundance and Sustainability

A radical approach to activism

Using sustainability as a keyhole to the future, the Abundance Manifesto proposes that the fulfillment of the great goal of Peace and Prosperity is assured when enough of us start by living now the same manifesto that must needs sustain it at fulfillment.

This will take a new kind of citizen, a new kind of food system, and a new understanding of the principles of sustainability – all interlocked as a framework of mutual responsibility, and self-organisation through principled critique.

It suggests that we need to consider how to shift the axis around which the process of environmental destruction actually revolves...

Trapped here in this bankosphere which requires that we must pay to live, the urgency of scarcity is a treadmill that drives our felt need to ‘get ahead’. And so we deny ourselves the garden of life by destroying it.

The Abundance Manifesto is neither politics nor religion. It is a self-critical tool that can be applied to all agendas. It encourages social morality as personal self-interest through rational reflection rather than as anticipation of karmic consequence in the near- or here-after, nor the usual moralisms.

It proposes that everything necessary for peaceful prosperity; social justice; food security; personal health and happiness is embodied here in the following enquiry

What are the things I can do, which no matter how much I continue doing them, and however many others do the same, the benefits only increase for everyone, indefinitely?

That is an idea that needs thinking about.
Read the full article here

2.0 GM Campaign

Urgent international action required to prevent release of risky technologies

It's looking as if Australia might have the dubious distinction of being the first country in the world to deregulate the use of new GM techniques such as CRISPR and RNA interference in animals, crops and microbes.

In recent years large agrochemical companies such as Dow, Syngenta, Bayer and Monsanto and other players have been investing in a suite of risky new genetic modification (GM) techniques, which industry refers to collectively as ‘New Plant Breeding Techniques’. Industry is arguing that these techniques are much more precise than older genetic engineering techniques – or even that they are not really genetic engineering at all – in order to attempt to circumvent regulation and public resistance to GMOs.

If we allow this to happen, products from these new GM techniques will enter our food chain and our environment with no safety testing and no labelling. The risks are enormous and the results could be catastrophic.

The Australia/New Zealand food regulator FSANZ has released a discussion paper on this: Review of new breeding technologies

Friends of the Earth Australia has an online submission tool. Whichever country you live in, please use it to send a comment (points are suggested for your emails) and promote this action through your networks. Since Australia is a major food exporter we are all going to wind up eating this stuff if it is deregulated. Go to: Demand all GM food be assessed for safety

In your campaign email you might like to refer the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility's statement on new GM techniques, which concludes that they "should be strictly regulated as GMOs":


EFSA’s Pesticides Unit

Has updated its risk assessments of three neonicotinoids (Mar'18)

Most uses of neonicotinoid pesticides represent a risk to wild bees and honeybees, according to assessments published today by the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority).

These new conclusions update those published in 2013, after which the European Commission imposed controls on use of the three neonicotinoids – clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam – that are currently subject to restrictions in the EU because of the threat they pose to bees.

For the new assessments, which this time cover wild bees – bumblebees and solitary bees – as well as honeybees, EFSA’s Pesticides Unit carried out an extensive data collection exercise, including a systematic literature review, to gather all the scientific evidence published since the previous evaluations.

In New Zealand honey is harvested by and large from hill country and bush, rather than croplands. NZ beekeepers have not been that concerned about neonic pesticides: their interests being unlikely to extend to the fate of bumble- and native bees.
The NZ-EPA in 2103 approved an application for an insecticide that contains bifenthrin and imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid, but in 2014 it refused an application to import Ortus, an insecticide containing thiamethoxam, because of its threat to bees.

As early as 2013 Placemakers and The Warehouse opted to not sell these products to the public. Now Palmers, Oderings and Kings are also under pressure to take neonics off the shelf.

JOIN the CAMPAIGN

in Australia every major retailer has ALREADY agreed to phase out neonics like Confidor by the end of 2018.

InPower Recharging

The Heart of the Matter

An organisation-wide update, 17 February 2018.

For background see: Inpower

We realise that there are rumours that InPower is dormant, or has even ‘gone away’, due to the seeming inactivity. This is FAR from the truth. We have been working hard to prepare for a major promotional push of the Notice of Liability (NoL) process. This preparation had to go back to starting with a proper foundation, in order to “build the house on the rock” so that WHEN the storm comes, it will stand. Last summer when we released the NoL and simultaneously did promotional pieces with Dr. Mercola and other groups, we were overwhelmed by the response. This showed that we were not prepared for what will be coming.

But in that influx of responses, some very astute and capable people joined the movement, and have stayed. We have gone through a re-structuring of the leadership of InPower Movement, in obedience to Divine order, to get the correct people into positions to build ‘the house’ so that it can accomplish all that needs to happen. To this end, we temporarily stopped all promotions and interviews, until we could get in proper order.
From the outside it may look like we’ve gone silent or gone away, but know that WE ARE HERE. Since getting in order, and without any promo, the movement is picking up momentum, like a locomotive, and groups are joining every week across North America, and now also overseas.

Brazilian landless workers’ movement, children and food sovereignty

Brazil’s Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) is organised around three main objectives : Struggles for land, agrarian reform and for socialism. They have organised on several fronts; namely production, health, youth, culture, education and human rights.

The participation of their children, the so-called “Sem-Terrinha” (Landless Children), within the MST organisation has been around since the beginning in the first land occupations.

Over time MST has developed activities with children as protagonists, such as: children’s “cirandas” (pedagogical spaces for development and care; gatherings of the “Sem-Terrinha”; the Journey of Struggles for rural schools, as well as publications such as the “Sem-Terrinha” newspaper and the “Sem Terrinha” Magazine.

The most recent experience with the “Sem Terrinha” has been the Cultural Journey …Healthy Eating: A Right of All. This Journey was started in 2015 and is at the heart of the debate on Popular Agrarian Reform. It involves children and adolescents in rural schools and encampment schools throughout the country. The main objectives of the Journey are:

  1. To strengthen and disseminate different experiences from different regions on healthy eating and its relation with Popular Agrarian Reform ;
  2. To work together with families on the issue of food and food production in both settlements and encampments ;
  3. To contribute to the food education of landless families and to the general struggle for the right to adequate food free of pesticides ;
  4. To strengthen initiatives to reorganise school canteens ;
  5. To study and debate the relations between healthy eating, food sovereignty, agro-ecology, peasant agriculture and Popular Agrarian Reform ;
  6. To introduce, in elementary schools, the debate on agroecology and on practices of ecological agriculture ;
  7. To resume the debate on how the link between education, socially productive work and educational content needs to be guaranteed.

During the Journey hundreds of activities have been carried out throughout the country – specific studies in schools on eating habits and food history, understanding what is produced in local settlements, research into agro-eco-systems, workshops related to local cooking, field practices and agro-ecology experiences.

The founding elements of MST’s struggles were also present during the activities of the Journey, i.e. there were theatrical interventions, awareness campaigns, public hearings, marches seeking to denounce the use of pesticides and of transgenic seeds, as well as the monopoly and food standardization that has been imposed by transnational corporations and agribusiness.

During the Journey itself, substantial changes took place in the schools where the debate was promoted, abolishing the use of soft drinks and processed foods from school meals, introducing agro-ecological food produced in the settlements, starting vegetable gardens to supply schools and initiating a native seed bank.

Eating is a political act !

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