A 2023 preface to DEEP GREEN book

February 2023.

How time flies. I first published this book DEEP GREEN in August 2017, during a hurricane evacuation. I wrote about climate change and weather extremes in my book at that time. Now, how many floods and droughts and hurricanes and snow-pocalypses have we had since 2017? Can any of us keep track?

Starting in 2020, we’ve also had a worldwide pandemic. In DEEP GREEN, I talk about how I used to wish the governments of the world would get together and launch a green mobilization, uniting us all against our common enemy: the destruction of our home planet — the forests and rivers; the oceans and mountains; the life support system we all depend on.

But I didn’t and don’t envision governments getting organized to unite us all against this common enemy of ecocide. So I decided to write a book for all of us everyday people to do our own, voluntary mobilization. A grassroots green mobilization!

During the Covid shutdowns, we ended up having an unintentional green mobilization, when governments shut down most air travel and manufacturing, as well as commuting to offices and what they considered nonessential businesses. Within weeks, the shutdown had a noticeable beneficial impact on ecosystems all over the world. Clearer water; cleaner air; birds and wildlife appearing in our yards and parks. (Dolphins returning to Venice!)

The pandemic shutdowns also had far-reaching beneficial impacts socially and economically (not to deny the widespread economic hardships). Many people realized they liked staying home; getting to meet their neighbors; spending more time with their children and families.

Even after the world started to “open back up,” many people chose to keep staying home and to have micro businesses instead of going back to the office, even if it meant accepting a significant reduction in income. Many people also chose to embark on education and training for jobs that were more in line with their inner sense of purpose. All of this can continue! Along these lines, DEEP GREEN is as much a practical manual about how to get your household costs under control so you can have occupational freedom, as it is about how we can get our eco-footprint in line with our planet’s carrying capacity. In fact the two go hand in hand.

If we could do this kind of government-prompted mobilization for a pandemic, maybe we, everyday people, could do it for Mother Earth too. Our daily actions add up fast to make a big difference.

And once again, if governments can’t or won’t unite us in the task of saving our home planet from destruction, we ourselves can. You and I, voluntarily. Where we spend our money, or don’t, and what we spend it on, or not, matters.

I envision a world of mutual aid and cooperation: us all supporting each other instead of being at the mercy of energy megacorporations, big banks, and other distant impersonal institutions that don’t have our best interest at heart.

DEEP GREEN started out as a manual for eco-friendly living, but I soon realized it was many other things as well. A guide to empowering local businesses. A guide to addressing extreme wealth inequality and taking back control of our household finances. A guide to disengaging from hyperconsumerism. A guide to building community resilience. And maybe most of all, a guide to each of us attaining creative and occupational freedom; living in accordance with our highest dreams and sense of inner purpose.

At the root, DEEP GREEN is about all of us having more peace and joy in our lives, while taking better care of ourselves and each other.

Important note: There is no such thing as environmental sustainability without social justice and economic equity. We learned this in my permaculture design classes, but the paradigm shift many of us experienced in the classroom can get suppressed by the dominant paradigm. The only way to be truly in harmony with Mother Earth is to decolonize our minds. Consumer culture and unbridled capitalism are subsets of colonizer culture (also known as white supremacy culture). As I embarked on my path of antiracism studies in the summer of 2019, I began to understand that dismantling white supremacy culture is the only way to really be green.