Monday, 28 May: Stayed at home all day until 5.00 writing up this diary. I meant to write it yesterday but didn’t and each morning I can’t seem to find the time to do it day by day. But at the moment the pressure for designing the Gold Label Collection is off because technical work has been delegated (It’s going to hit again soon.) And I like writing this diary. It marks the time so the days don’t all merge into one.
At 6.00 p.m., I joined Cynthia for a screening of “Seeds of Freedom”. The film exposes how GM seeds give monopoly of supply to a few giant companies, e.g. Monsanto. Traditional local food systems still feed 70% of the world population.
Anti-insecticides. At the end of World War II, the giant chemical companies who had developed poisons for weapons of mass destruction had the bright idea of converting it for use agriculturally. This went hand-in-hand with the development of monoculture, e.g. great fields of wheat for thousands of miles in which now there are not even worms.
There is more food security in tradition: seeds which have developed thousands of years of resilience to changing conditions and farmers with local knowledge, crops which adapt to the environment and diversity of crops, not just one; crops which do well on one man’s land may not do so well on that of his neighbour and vise versa.
Farmers who changed to GM seeds are locked in a spiral of dependence, increasing poverty and often ruin. Aphid repellent wheat sounds a good idea but it’s not; it results in super-bugs, monoculture with the risk of entire crop failure and having to buy your seeds for planting each year.
GM foods are promoted as providing future food security for the world’s vast population. There is no evidence for this and all the facts are against it.
Listening to one of the African speakers after the film, I began to get an idea from what she was saying that the farmers’ experience of thousands of years of adaptation to the environment had developed along with Gaia, in harmony with her self-regulating mechanism, so much so that even the human population had balanced its numbers. The population hadn’t died from famine or war but had perhaps regulated itself according to the total biodiversity. Perhaps the Industrial Revolution and Capitalist economy is the most inhuman possible model of existence and that is why it conforms to Malthus’ analysis. Perhaps population explosion is a result of aberrant human behaviour and not necessarily a rule of exponential mathematics. I think a more perfect future world could have cities that were linked to the countryside for local food supply by a community of varying functions working together for a common end – and that end would be artistic expression, giving culture to all and linked worldwide.
Tuesday, 29 May: Yoga. Shopping. I am a fan of George Monbiot, http://www.monbiot.com/. I had not met him before, but Cynthia and I wanted to talk to him and he very kindly came to see us. My idea was to talk to a few influential people, starting with George, so that we all frame our opinions in the context of climate change. Climate change is the greatest problem the human race has ever faced and every other problem is connected to it.
The media ignores this connection. Climate change is presented as one thing on a list of things to do. The public is confused by all these separate problems. So the first step depends on great communicators like George to keep the connection clear so that we get more and more people on side because they understand.
I WOULD LIKE MY MANTRA TO BECOME THE MANTRA.
$ Our crazy financial system – is the cause of Climate Change (C.C.). It is also the symptom and depends on: waste of natural resources/cheap labour/no work for most people/acceptance that money is debt – this debt (I.O.U.) will be paid by the present and future taxpayer. This system subsidizes the great monopolies. At present they rule the world. They are our financial masters (capitalism). Governments can’t do much to stop C.C. because they cling to the $ system that caused the problem in the first place.
Human rights – is connected because as our financial masters (supported by government) continue their ‘Business as Usual’ chaos and suffering increase. They have become, therefore, more restless and bolder in using the laws to protect themselves and against people. They don’t care if we know about the torture, the secret trials, the arrests without charges and the drones. The traditional media tells us more and more that we need it for our protection.
Human values – The way out of this is to fight for human values and call the bluff of massive debt in the form of abstract figures which the taxpayer will pay. They will never be paid.
According to the state we’re being dragged into, George would have expected thousands – millions – to be out on the street. My son, Joe, says that after the massive demonstration of two million to try to stop the war on Iraq and ignored by the Labour government, people have become too pissed off to bother. (Ignore the public and they’ll go away.) I also think that the 20th century trained us up to be consumers – we suck up and expect somebody else/the system to provide the solution.
When I told George about my neighbours facing eviction, he was really touched and shook his head despairingly at the short term thinking of councillors and bureaucrats. Perhaps we should go out on the streets as the whole thing ties in with being anti the austerity measures.
George has just finished his latest book – how by doing right in respect to Gaia she will repair the damage in a very short time, e.g. re-introducing a few wolves into Yellowstone Park has in eight years changed the behaviour of other animals and the vast park is back to what is was a long time ago; e.g. more whales = more fish. It sounds so exciting but like me you’re going to have to wait until next spring for the book to come out.
Wednesday, 30 May: Response to Chloe’s post / Worked on World’s End. 6.00 p.m. House of Lords event to mark the fifth anniversary of Cool Earth, to thank everyone for their donations and do a bit more fundraising. Matthew Owen told us what Cool Earth had accomplished so far – and what the plans are for the future – both short and long term.
When we arrived, the person getting out of the car in front of us was Pamela Anderson, a vision in one of our lace dresses. I was so confused – it was surreal; I wondered where I was. She had come to help us. Darling girl – I couldn’t get over it. We all gave speeches and had many photos taken; friends I hadn’t seen for ages were there. Pamela talked to everybody and had a tour of the House of Lords. Several people came to tell me what lovely people were there. I met Eliza Doolittle and we are going to visit the art galleries together. She was dressed to perfection, sexy and chic.
Johan Eliasch, the founder (along with Frank Field) of Cool Earth, invited some of us to dinner. Pamela is magic for me, she wrote in an email, “How I cherish the two of you (Andreas, too). And I really am impassioned about saving the world, spreading the word…I was up at 3.00 am…thinking about our dinner. Half afraid, half hopeful.” She is such a serious person who tries to learn everything she can. Her beloved grandfather was a Finn. She wrote, “He taught me about fairy tales, symbolism, alchemy and woods. He was a logger in Canada. The trees spoke to him.” He used to dance on the small circle cut off at the tops of trees 100 feet in the air.
I know she did a couple of interview the next morning before flying back to her lovely sons.
Thursday, 31 May: Spent all day with Tizer answering a backlog of requests and letters. Yoga evening class after which Andreas prepared a Nicoise salad for me and friend Alex.
Friday, 1 June: Worked with Andreas on Gold Label – one or two small decisions made. Interview with Tim Blank for “Interview” magazine.
Saturday, 2 – Tuesday, 5 June: On the train with Andreas – my son Joe’s place in Cornwall - to join my son Ben and Joe’s girlfriend Fay and friends. One trip to the beach – a bit cold to go in the water. You have to do it straight away. Joe went in. Spent most of my time reading in bed. Discussions but no new subject matter – just catching up. Sudoku: you get so you only want to do the really hard ones. Too much time spent. I’ve stopped. One day I might tell you about the 18th century Chinese masterpiece, “The Story of the Stone”. I feel I’ve led two lives, my own and the life of those in the book.