In my search to answer the question, "how do we fix this?" I came upon the little known area of monetary policy which looks at how money is actually created in the first place - not loaned or spent, how money is 'born'. It is here that we find the answer to the systemic drivers which are plummeting our world and our communites into peril. From the ever increasing need to turn more and more of earth's resources in to 'stuff and junk', to the crippling effects of compound interest and debt billed on the 'creation' of money when private banks create it out of thin air (essentially) and lend it into the money system.
I came to the USA to work on monetary policy reform with Stephen Zarlenga at the American Monetary Institute, after hearing him speak at a Forum for Stable Currencies meeting at the House of Lords in London. I quit my job in The City and came to the US to help make headway for six months. My second week working with AMI, I met a Congressman, Dennis Kucinich, at a meeting in his office on monetary policy. The second time we met we were engaged and three months later married. So much for a 6 month stay!
We worked together with legislative counsel for 5 years through the banking crisis to create landmark legislation which provides the path forward to eradicate national debt and create a full employment economy in the USA. The NEED Act - The National Emergency Employment Defense Act - was introduced in 2011 but sadly, with Dennis out of office there is no Congressional champion now - but there needs to be!
For more information visit the American Monetary Institute's website
Watch Money As Debt for a basic introduction on the topic
Read Stephen Zarlenga's book, The Lost Science of Money
Please share information with your Member of Congress and community.
Food, Regenerative Agriculture & Climate
As an advocate/activist, I believe food is the most wonderful issue to work on as the results are immediate! Whether you care about personal health, public health, the environment, climate, animal welfare, ... food and the way we produce food is the answer.
Industrial animal agriculture is the largest single contributing factor to climate change. In the US alone we kill approxomately 1 million animals per hour for food and yet animal products greatly contribute to the onset of a myriad of diseases. It takes around 7 lbs of grain (cows should be eating grass but don't in the industrial system) to make 1 lb of ground beef. Imagine how many people could be fed with that grain directly.
Further, industrial 'conventional' and 'GMO' agriculture practices are responsible for the dumping of hundreds of millions of pounds of fossil fuel-based toxic chemicals into the environment. GMOs have brought into question not only ethics, but very serious environmental implications such as weeds and pests that are now tolerant to the pesticides partnered with 'pesticide-resistant' GMO technology and growing methods. An estimated 80 million acres of American cropland is now blighted with herbicide resistant weeds - the trend is a great danger to future food security. Pesticides are in our air, water, land and bodies, and companies like Dow and Monsanto are pushing for the use of stronger more toxic chemicals, such as 2,4-D (a major component of Agent Orange) to mitigate the effects of the pest resistance we are now experiencing. The chemical war with nature is officially on.
Industrial agriculture is incredibly resource dependent and with peak oil and peak water, the system simply won't be able to continue to function far into the future. True costs of this system are not calculated in the price we pay for food now. Government subsidies and the externalization of costs (such as ground water pollution, eroding public health and soil depletion) work together in a grand deception. We need to transition to methods which work with living systems and boost bountiful crops through utilizing biology, rather than simply relying upon toxic chemicals.
The power of regenerative organic agriculture has been demonstrated in study after study which finds found its yields higher, greater tolerance to climatic shifts, higher drought tolerance, with a potential to restore soil and water health. And why should we care about soil health? It is one of our most powerful tools to sequester atmospheric carbon. Healthy soils retain more water. They mitigate against severe flooding and drought. Soil is our future!
Each time we eat we are choosing to support a system. In our choice of agricultural production methods, we can support one which either helps our future, or one which undermines it. The same is true of our actual dietary choices we make. The healthiest diet is one rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, low in animal products. This is better for the environment, our health and of course animals. I'm a vegan because I care for animals and for the future of our planet. Additionally, a vegan diet helps to prevent and reverse a range of non-communicable diseases including heart disease, high blood pressure, cholesterol, type II diabetes. Each time we eat, we are either feeding disease, or fighting it.
Organic agriculture should be the baseline for our food system. The implimentation of organic standards should be integrated to include local sources, animal welfare, biodiversity, appropriate scale of farms and production facilities and workers rights.
The gold standard of food choices: locally grown, certified organic 'whole' food (wholegrains, nuts, beans, fruit and vegetables - not processed food). Eat a diet rich in plants. Every day, try to eat across the rainbow. Each fruit and vegetable colour provides different nutrients. You will feel healthier. The planet will be healthier.
For more information on...
Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change visit the Rodale Institute
Food and agriculture issues and ways you can get active: Center for Food Safety
Prevention and Reversal of disease through a vegan diet visit PCRM
Enroll on PCRM's 21-day vegan kickstart
LOOK DEEP INTO NATURE
and you will understand
2010 - present
2010 - present