It has been a time of much reading and thinking for me lately, I am going through something of a rebirth. Perhaps it is turning 50, or maybe it is a shift in my cosmic alignment. Am I just growing up? Anyway, 2013 for me has been a year of letting go of my past and learning to live in the present. Trust me, making soap is something you want to be present while doing 🙂
Some books that have rocked my world: Jeff Rubin’s “Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller”. It fascinates me to see that we were saying the same thing in 2009, namely that peak fossil fuels and climate change between them are going to change the economy as we know it, especially food and energy prices. Rubin predicts an end to a globalized agricultural system because rising oil prices are going to force us to eat local produce. Which would be an entirely good thing, I say. He also points out that this system which exploits the cheap labour of the South to export to the North is going to grind to a halt as rising freight costs outweigh comparative advantage. Again, living as I do in the Western Cape where our high quality textile industry was systematically destroyed by cheap Chinese imports, I cannot think this a bad thing either. I just wish our renewable energy ‘experts’ were to give this some thought. This whole debate about whether we should manufacture our own solar panels or not makes no sense unless we factor in the effect of peak fossil fuels. Duh. But it is surprising how many “green energy’ people fail to factor in the full economic picture. We preach but we don’t always practice, it seems. That is why it was such a revelation to read Rubin. Like Jeremy Grantham, this is an investment banker who speaks from experience. I love it when the money people and the deep ecology feminists agree!!!
Vandana Shiva’s latest “Making Peace With Mother Earth” was also a spiritual awakening. Like Wangari Mathai was so fond of doing, Vandana Shiva brings us back over and over again to governance issues. She makes the point that the most effective way to protect the environment in India has been to organize the indigenous peoples whose land is being threatened. It makes me think more around indigenous issues right here at home. If Shiva is right then the the empowerment of the Khoesan is at heart a ‘green issue.
Workwise, I have been busy, together with a bunch of other lovely people we just put together a civil society energy plan. It was great fun. You can read more about it at http://irp2.wordpress.com/smart
Bringing all these strands together is the big news on the Khoelife front. My most amazing friend Dawn Bosman, a woman of grace, beauty charm and intelligence (Yup, the full package, people) has joined me to handle the sales and marketing! And we are opening our first stall!! Yes!!!
You will find us in the Village Market @ Cape Quarter ( http://www.capequarter.co.za/Villagemarket ) every Wednesday and Sunday from 10.00 – 15.00, starting this weekend 16 June. So celebrating Youth Month by changing and growing seems most appropriate.
But don’t worry, nobody is depriving you of soap! Those of you who are unlucky enough to not live in Cape Town can still order by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org