Saturday, December 1, 2007

consciousnesscare earthholding network

[This was written on 12/1, not posted until 12/2. There are things wrong with this, and I've moved on or left this, in a way, without sending this to anyone.]

About a year ago I posted on "community land trust cities" and "Community Land Trusts (CLTs) for San Diego - reading group".

I've gotten back on that track, and have a more specific idea.

Let's begin buying (or saving or fundraising to buy) urban property to be part of a landholding that will be managed based on earthcare values.

How this might work:

(1) Get a group of people committed to managing urban land use based on earthcare values.

(2) Figure out the nature of the legal entity that can hold the land. This may be a community land trust.

(3) Plan how best to begin so that the landholding can grow to contain more and more urban property over the years.

(3.5) Consider how the process can be a model for others.

As a part of this I also see:

(4) Getting more people living near each other who can support each other in being politically involved in guiding land use throughout the county.

Needs this addresses:

(1) Instead of paying rent to landlords who do not share our interests, we can, over the years, channel more and more of our money in ways consistent with earthcare.

(2) Instead of accumulating cash in banks and investments which may not share our interests, we can channel surpluses into earthcare landholding.

(3) We can build physical community through the landholding.

Potential participants:

(1) People like me who have been in contraction (pardon the new-age vocab) against American culture, many who have a lot of privilege, but who have been at a loss for how to positively participate in what they have been seeing as a culture of death.

On that note, we can make it possible for war tax resisters (low income approach) to participate in the landholding.

(2) People who have been more or less OK functioning in society as it is--having careers, children, saving money, but who see participation in the landholding as a way to channel more of their life energy in a positive direction.

For example, someone in that situation may succeed in owning property and permaculturizing it. However, their effort only lasts as long as they own that property, and they remain concerned about that property's resale value. Furthermore, they are limited by various regulations from being as sustainable as they would like.

For this group, we could establish a non-non-profit land trust (high incomes may prevent the 501c3 status), but the advantages could include being more certain than they would otherwise be that the land will continue to be managed consistent with their ideals.

They could also benefit from shared equity arrangements and from participating in a community working to improve building codes/land use regs/zoning.

(3) People who want to own their own place in areas where housing prices are exorbitant given their incomes. A community land trust can be used to accept money and land (often from the city or from developers who are required to mitigate effects of other developments) and offer housing on a shared-equity basis: owners own the buildings but not the land. The difference here is, we can (I'm guessing) put certain limits on how the land is used.

In my dream-world this might include no car use by owners (and many other great things).

Some are not eager to assist in enabling more people to move to the US, which is seen as enabling the immigrants to live a more destructive lifestyle. And, I have noticed, even some low-income type community land trusts seem to be helping people live the basic American we'd-consume-three-planets-if-everyone-lived-like-this dream.

We should be able to combine the principles of the Small House Movement with permaculture with transportation activism to create urban housing in which:

(1) No cars are used for transportation. (The issue with cars is the resources--space, materials, life-energy--devoted to auto-based transport systems, and the kind of urban environments and experience that that resource use generates.)

(2) Much of the water, power, food used by the household is collected or generated on site.

(3) Little to no waste trash, water, sewage leaves the site--it is all used in resource production on site.

(4) The amount of resources used to support residents' lifeways could also be used sustainably by others around the world.


In effect, we would be creating a small government that guides land use on the land in the land holding--a mini-government that exists within the larger government of the city, county, state, country, world.


I imagine creating a very general guiding vision at first such as:

"residents seek to live consistent with earthcare principles"

And with that create a model that could be used in more restrictive ways if that became desirable.

If ten years down the road the resource use of residents of the landholding was not much different from standard San Diego resources use circa 2007, a more restrictive guideline could be adopted.


I titled this "_consciousnesscare_ earthholding network," because there is an element of me getting to the point of writing up this idea that goes beyond (or that comes before, or that "transcends and includes") earthcare.

You may remember that I got to meditating and considering joining monasteries earlier this year.

Some current results from that process are:

I learned that more and more people are coming to understand enlightenment along the lines of "bringing the divine into matter" or into life. This is not a view of enlightenment as a state of non-dual awareness that you sit in indefinitely. Rather, meditative states and stillness are part of the process of being able to act in the world.

In addition, finding one can be content, joyful, aware, engaged, just sitting still can lead to security and freedom: I could renounce everything, if I thought it would serve.

The lack I've been addressing in my searching has been: lack of an address of the deeper meaning in life beyond earthcare, lack of an address of treating ourselves and other _humans_ with awareness and care, and lack of an address of the nature and possibility of ongoing personal and organizational development.

While I don't want to be attached to a part of this idea that turns off people who would otherwise want to help, I am attached to having something like a focus on "consciousnesscare" somewhere in there--because that may help us care for each other as we seek to better care for the earth.


Further reading, other influences.

Lincoln Inst.


George criticism

Understanding the effect of economics on land use.


dryland gardening. . ., soilandhealth. . .

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