By Gwen Garcelon, adapted from her remarks at the Aspen Earth Day Science March, April 22, 2017.
We are in the midst of a global food supply “predicament” due to the impacts of a rapidly changing climate. Very conservative research shows yield declines of up to 19 percent by midcentury and 63 percent by the end of the century in the Midwest. And this doesn’t take into account the collapse of yields in other areas of the world upon which we are now dependent, because in Colorado we only source a mere 1% of our food supply locally.
This is all happening, and it’s based on very real scientific data.
But the tricky thing about science is that it is evolving along with our ability to measure and describe our reality. We used to believe that using leeches to draw blood from the sick would heal them. We used to believe that the sun revolved around the Earth. And for 300 years, since Newton, we have believed in a paradigm of cause and effect – and if we use that paradigm of science now, to try and figure out a way out of our climate predicament, we might as well stop right now.
Last year, Dr. Kevin Anderson, deputy director of the Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research (the UK’s premier climate modeling institution), said that our future is essentially not possible. He says we are almost guaranteed to go to four degrees Celsius warming and perhaps beyond that by 2050 (four degrees is “beyond the point at which agriculture, the ecosystem, and industrial civilization can survive”).
And there are many other scientists who are using that worldview, and creating extremely well-researched models that show that human life on this planet will not be possible in 10 years.
I have a hard time accepting that (as I’m sure you do) and I’ll tell you why. It has to do with our still beginner’s understanding of Quantum Physics and its whole new way of measuring and understanding our reality. We’ve come to understand, and even be able to measure, the incredible power of our minds to effect matter. For example, researches have proven the effects of prayer between control groups of people who don’t know each other and don’t even reside on the same continent. Bell’s Theorem has been demonstrated with dna taken from a donor and separated by miles from the donor. When the donor experiences a strong emotion the dna exhibits that emotion simultaneously, by its coil contracting or relaxing.
So quantum science describes our reality as inherently connected – where change anywhere is change everywhere. This, and something Einstein said, are what can give us a way forward in the midst of the seemingly impossible challenges we face. Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”
If our thoughts, emotions, and imagination can affect the material world, and can actually cause it to evolve, then we have an extraordinary superpower at our disposal. At this time on the planet, human consciousness is THE most powerful evolutionary force.
What does this have to do with global food collapse and the need to localize our food supply?
We can use our superpower to very proactively begin to imagine a world that is honoring of the natural world that birthed us, and that has sustained us and made our very existence possible. We can imagine, and plan, and plant agriculturally centered communities, that have us reclaim our relationship to our food. We can grow what is natural to the ecosystem where we reside – growing what honors that ecosystem – the water, air, and other life forms in it. Because as our quantum understanding of the world shows us, we are not separate beings. We are inherently collaborative and cooperative members of One interconnected universal whole. By localizing our food supply, and reconnecting to the land and to each other – which happens naturally through the collaboration necessary for a local food system – we can live a new future into being.