The outcome of Copenhagen is depressing if you only look at what happened at the official summit, and persist in the belief that those guys are “world leaders”. They are not: they are followers, guardians of a dying regime. So don’t look at them. Hundreds of thousand of groups are already busy, in countless ways, preparing their communities for the changes and shocks to come. Elements of an alternative global framework have started to emerge. Several hundred of these groups helped draft a ‘People’s Declaration’ from Klimaforum09 entitled System change – not climate change. It’s a much better read.
Meanwhile, I thought it would be both festive and restorative to share with you the following 19 highlights of our 2009 re-localisation efforts at Doors HQ here in France.
1) KvR developed a killer grape syrup recipe (= off-grid sugar)
2) Off-grid shoe polish (= keeping up appearances as the consequences of peak oil unfold)
3) We take delivery of Excalibur ( = yes, the SUV of fruit-drying machines)
4) Scrubbies for cleaning pots, baths etc ( = upcycled from plastic bags, in part penance for (3))
5) Post-peak-oil fire lighters (upcycled from an unpleasant vat of goo; these turn out to be more expensive than supermarket fire lighters so will not be repeated)
6) Almond milk (= source emits no methane; but not ideal for cappuccinos)
7) Facial scrub – almond, lavender, tea-tree (= only tested on humans)
8) Sambal (= off-grid heat source)
9) Home-made (by Yuka) willow basket containing mussel shells that are crushed and then fed to chickens (= low transport-intensity animal feed)
10) Our first chickens (there used to be one more but a dog called Sarah, who we rescued from the dog pound, to be a friend for Dora, ate it (the chicken) so we sent Sarah back to the slammer). The bottom-right chicken is a designer-one with fancy leg feathers; the others, being street-chix, give her a hard time.
11) The chickens earn their keep (= meaningful work in local economy)
12) We learned how construct a bio-intensive, multi-layered, four-year-cycle planting bed under the instruction of a noted agro-ecologist, Robert Morez [= knowledge from different parts of Africa, combined and adapted for a different context]
13) Cherries from market [top] and our own red berries [below] ( = reasons to be cheerful while planet burns)
14) Our first saurkraut being compressed in brown pot (= zero-energy food storage)
15) The curtain was three euros in our street market (= saves heat whilst watching Grand Designs)
16) We learn how to prepare a duck (= collaborative dis-intermediation of food chain)
17) JT starts podcasting career, slowly; This was for BBC Radio 4, really. (= reduced travel emissions once minor technical glitches are resolved).
18) Dora has last of her six showers per year; yes, we heard too, the ecological footprint of a large dog is the same as driving a V8 SUV 10,000km – but we offset that against the fact that she is our role-model for low-water-use hygiene concept
19) Wood cave (= FRC-certified wood and thus off-grid to a degree; although yes, it was chopped by a large diesel-powered machine at the yard and delivered in a truck…)
20) Bubble-glazing. Instructions: cut-to-fit; spray with water; bubbles face inwards. Done.