It really is time to do more about food (and liberty)

It really is time to do more about food. As most governments aren’t acting, we can look to our own organisations, local councils and groups of neighbours to do more – and build from there. My new paper on the trends driving the breakdown of the global food system explains why. Endorsing the paper, the Contributing Lead Author for the UN Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction, Scott Williams, notes:

“We are conditioned to fear disorientation and seek safety in certainty and solutions regardless of the information available to us. Breaking that protective screen, this paper adds to the weight of analysis that the collapse of food systems and societies more broadly is inevitable. But how we are in relationship with these changes is not fixed even if, as this paper argues, we are stuck. Perhaps what this paper is calling for is the spaciousness to ask new questions, to challenge habits and myths, that may then shift perceptions. Consequently, we could be in relationship differently with the inevitability of collapse, and sense the possibilities that are perceivable with renewed care, compassion and generosity to ourselves and to all life.”

I hope the paper might help inform the evolution of environmental activism. Co-founder, Extinction Rebellion, Clare Farrell, notes:

“The fragility of our systems is underexplored and we need to pay attention to warnings from integrative analyses like this paper. And then act like never before, with fierce resistance on behalf of life itself.” 

The paper on food system breakdown is a preprint of a chapter in my forthcoming book Breaking Together (with Goodworks, TSI). To get notified of when and how receive a free epub version of the book, subscribe to my blog.

I will launch the book at the Glastonbury Deep Adaptation event, with Satish Kumar, Gail Bradbrook, Skeena Rathor, Rachel Donald and Indra Donfrancesco on June 18th in the UK. Information and tickets: I am looking forward to some evening festivities and a leisurely hangout the day after – so if you are in the UK this summer, please consider joining us. The day before I will be somewhere in the audience at the Schumacher Institute event in Bristol, entitled Small is the Future. Satish will be at both events… if you aren’t aware of his latest work, I recommend seeing this Q&A I hosted with him recently.

I’ve recently turned 50, and am aware of how younger generations must live through the mess that scholars like me have the strange privilege of analysing. Therefore, I encourage you to join me in supporting, in a material way, initiatives amongst young people that get to the root of the current predicament.

One such initiative is now linking communities worldwide that are in active resistance to exploitation by global capitalism, and focuses on transforming the miseducation that enables such exploitation. Participants are committing to lifelong learning circles, before going into active support of communities in resistance. Termed ‘Planet Repairs Action Learning Education Revolution’ (PRALER), the initiative involves youth leaders who played key roles in establishing XR Youth and other campaigns.

In this set up phase, they need some funds to support infrastructure and printing costs as well as immediate needs of communities in resistance, such as access to technology for the global/local (glocal) connections to happen, and community legal training. As academics benefit from the current systems of education, including the training of people to succeed within exploitative systems, supporting PRALER through funds is, perhaps, the least we could do. Please join me in making monthly contributions to their crowd funder, because it really is time to do more about liberty too: 

All funds raised are being managed by the PRALER Fund Governance Circle, with support and oversight from the ‘Being the Change’ Affinity Network of Extinction Rebellion, which has emerged from the International Solidarity Network of XR (XRISN). Beyond financial support, there will be many ways to input into their efforts at emancipatory community-based education. To discover more, hear updates from via @PRALER_News;;; and also consider signing their Glocal Declaration