It’s been a few days since I arrived back in Nelson, South Island, New Zealand, crossing the finish line of ‘Trumped by Nature’. The final leg took three days from the time I arrived in Auckland until I climbed on board Allone in Nelson! I was finally back on the home I’d left just over three months ago! I’d achieved the ‘Trumped by Nature’ goal, and proved to myself that I could overcome the ecologically disastrous convenience of flying between continents. I’d tested and successfully found a way to live my adventure lifestyle on Nature’s side of The Chasm.
Arriving in Nelson, brought from Start to End, the whole Journey into vivid context. Wow, what a Journey this has been, very intense, so diverse, and yet also very, very sobering and challenging! A total of 31 000 kilometres travelled, and all of it only on the surface of Nature’s amazing Planet. I know this may sound like me trying to make something of nothing, but for me who travelled every metre of this path, I can honestly say that once again surface travel has put the size of ‘our’ small planet into real context for me.
I sense when flying it is all about the destination, and one loses the feel for the planet and it vast and dominant ocean component. This trip has made me wonder whether through the convenience of flying and not experiencing the vastness and intimacy of the oceans, our individual ‘Environmental Identities’, has been deformed as we have almost become to believe that the planet is only about the continents? The land, with these ‘inconvenient oceans’ in between where most ‘humans don’t go’. The oceans make up a whacking 70% of the surface of the earth, and how many of ‘us’ ever get to feel this vastness, experience its many moods, and then incorporate it in our picture of what the Earth and Nature really are to us….?
Whether we consciously recognise it or not, we all have a picture of what Nature and The Planet mean to us, and this forms our unique ‘Environmental Identity‘ which then sets how we contextualise One Point Zero in our lives.
We all know that the forests play a huge role in absorbing billions of tons of greenhouse gases, in their natural photosynthesis process, but I wonder how many know that the vast oceans absorb some 40-50% of human greenhouse gases. The Southern Ocean and cold water around Antarctica is like the planets heart ocean heart, one that’s drives the major ocean current system of the world. These currents are interlinked with the weather and so yet again we see that this wholeness on Nature and how it’s is all one diverse and complex, yet self-regulating system. There are no sovereign boundaries, providing portioned kingdoms, for domination or exclusion. There is just a diverse, interlinked and co-dependent one-ness, and Nature makes it all work together as One.
Maybe there are lessons for humans in that oneness, and the un-naturalness of self-determining nations who disregard this fundamental rule of One-ness, and ‘One Point Six and ever Increasing‘ results?
The Harsh Reality of the Adventure
My time on the vast Pacific ocean, and the contrast with my time in the different vastness of the USA as a nation of portioned humans, has made me reflect deeply on The Chasm and human role in the initial fracture of our Relationship with Nature.
I left Nelson three months ago as an adventurer with passion and positive expectations of having ‘some impact’ with my message. I passionately believed that One Point Zero was a concept that had the potential to unite a fractured humanity, and bring focus to our long fractured relationship with Nature. Yes, I was just teeny weeny, Howard setting out on mission impossible, and in acknowledging that I also thought I had realistic expectations of the enormity of my challenge ahead.
Upfront I knew this would be a mission of ‘tough love’ for society, the inconvenient truths are beyond inconvenient they are verging on The Criminal Truths! I threw caution to the wind, and chose to take the inevitable icy headwinds right on the nose, and see whether my beliefs and values would be strong enough to pull me through? In many ways this was going to be an exploration of the courage and moral fibre of the Human spirit, both mine and that of the society I would encounter! Wow, this has been extreme, and I thought the North Pole was challenging!
Well, yes I succeeded in my personal goal of ‘Trumped by Nature‘, but the being able to make a ‘wee impact’, I have to say I feel shocked, verging on being demoralised, but at least still not broken! Ha-ha! (See my ‘Broken Spirit strategy’ here) The exploring was of itself hugely valuable: Being able to get right inside society and then stand outside and reflect on the enormity of The Chasm that exists was something that presents a truly daunting picture of reality. One that I have to say I feel like running away from myself! Sadly for me, what I see is almost all are ‘running away’ from the picture, and burying themselves in their own safe portioned world. This is not criticism nor judgement, just the reality of a challenging situation.
I was also ‘Alone’ Out there!
In all my 31 000 kilometres I did not come across one ‘person of relatively high wealth’, who was ‘One Point Zero friendly’…… ! Not one! (By relatively high wealth I mean someone who is in the top 1% on the Wealth Gap scale) In San Diego I had the privilege of reconnecting with a head of a Christian community for an affluent county. I asked him if he knew of any ‘1%-ers’ who had decided ‘enough was enough’, and was not trying to create more wealth to have and spend more, but had stopped and was trying to live the simple, One Point Zero type life? Having met him a few years before we had a very open reconnect chat, and in his genuine ‘mind racking’ I saw his desire to want to help me: But he concluded: “Howard, I’m at a loss, I can’t think of one person I know. Sorry!” He confirmed there were many he knew who met the ‘relatively wealthy’ criteria, but “No None passed the other criteria”! This was very hard hitting to me, and made me question my alone ‘stupidity’..?
I met Amish people who in their sustainability, simple life bliss, didn’t even know One Point Zero was an issue, and so it was great to just end it before it started: “Don’t worry about it, you guys are already on Nature’s side of The Chasm!”
I also met many who weren’t in that 1%, ‘relatively wealthy’ demographic who were already embracing a simple life and personal sustainability goal. Often it was driven by economic need, which then fuelled a sustainability passion. Some weren’t aware of the problem, but were eager to learn more and I could see genuine concern and a desire to take some personal responsibility in sharing the load. With almost all these wonderful people, when I shared the One Point Zero concept they really latched on to the ‘neatness’ of One Point Zero as a moral and ethical, based measure of human belonging. In many of these discussions I saw lights switch on inside and the motive moved from a noble responsible citizen one, to a more transcendental meaning one. It was exciting to be part of these discussions and to feel the power of the One Point Zero.
One Point Zero Stood The Test!
The most amazing positive in all this challenging upstream flow, was that One Point Zero and my belief in its value to Society came through even stronger than when I left Nelson. This is a powerful concept that provides an opportunity for bringing humanity together. That’s not me, or my website, etc, this is about the concept that is built on the Global Footprint Network’s Ecological Sustainability, intellectual property. Packaging it in a One Point Zero goal, provides the sound ethical and moral basis for our earthly human existence and our relationship within Nature, and that is where I see the huge void in Society today.
From all the feedback I have received I sense there are those who understand clearly the One Point Zero concept, and its context with Ecological Capacity and Ecological Footprint, and how they are linked. Others seem to be unsure of how this all fits with Carbon emissions, Global Warming etc…. I can see how it can be confusing and I’d suggest a visit to the Global Footprint Network’s site will be well rewarded, and convince you that there is just one way of looking at real sustainability and what it means to you and I.
So there we go, ‘Trumped by Nature‘ is completed, however the blogs on this site will continue, with my sharing of my perspectives, highlighting worldwide initiatives that support or undermine a path towards a One Point Zero vision.
I have obtained huge insights on where best I can contribute. So pop by the website once a week, and I’ll try keep you engaged as I adapt the One Point Zero journey to accommodate the huge insights and impact of the past three months. I’m also hoping to get out a monthly One Point Zero e-zine that will keep you updated on developments.
Lastly: I hope you enjoyed being part of the last 3 months? I would value any comments and feedback you may have, as I’m busy deciding on how best to progress the journey! Coments can either be sent ublicly on the site, or confidentially to me at: email@example.com