What is Regeneration
Life Centric Design
Our three apple trees have produced another bumper crop of delicious cookers. As in other years, far more than we can use - estimated at over 1000kg! - so most have been shared through our community surplus fruit and veg stands in the local town. Many though are left here on the ground, providing autumnal feed to birds, chickens, and butterflies and through earthworms and other ‘bugs’, the soil.
Of late though, it has been the turn of the Blackbird and Thrush to move in on flock, with feeding parties that start before dawn and continue way into dusk under the Cold full moon. Fattening up in anticipation of a cold period, which has now arrived. Even today with the temperature down to -4.5, I started counting the blackbirds and stopped at four and twenty.
This avian gathering has come to the attention of other bird species - we have more Magpies and Jays than the usual resident 2 pairs, Rooks drop in to see what’s happening but don't hang around much. And then, in a heartbeat, the whole area clears as the pair of local fell buzzards circle and mew overhead, or the Sparrowhawk glides over.
In October we had a similar treat, staying in a crofting community in Assynt in the North of Scotland. A school of whitebait have become resident / trapped within Lochinver Bay, apparently as a result of warming seas and changing climate. The sea surface above the shoal broils in a real feeding frenzy of gulls and seals. Well, the gulls had the feeding frenzy, the seals just lounged, bloated and occasionally mustered enough effort to grab another feed. Another of nature's regeneration cycles on display.
Just off Lochinver bay is the town EV charging station, which had to be, at that time, the best station ever … park up, recharge the EV and ourselves through connection with nature! Whilst enjoying the famous Lochinver Pies!
All this illustrates the regeneration cycles of nature and life that continue, often without our notice. Until we take time to observe and be in the moment. Eutierria - an expression coined by Glen Allbretch - to describe the sense of awareness of nature's connectedness and our place within it.
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe. - John Muir
George Monbiot in his latest book Regenesis has a mesmerising account of life in our soils. Regenesis is an intelligent, deeply researched passion piece that ranges from microbiology to social justice by way of apple trees and GM wheat. (Guardian)
What Is Regeneration?
Film director Damon Gameau has released a beautiful, powerful, must-share, short film featuring Jeff Bridges and regeneration thinkers including Paul Hawken, George Monbiot, Kate Raworth and Damion that explores and expresses the many concepts of regeneration - but all with the common aim of creating conditions conducive for life to thrive.
"What is Regeneration?" is a 5-minute short film and a rousing call to action to join a global movement of Regenerators who are working to heal our ecosystem. Join Us.
Increasingly we need to be asking. Is this what I do, that we are doing degenerative or regenerative, does it harm or heal, is it conducive to life? Are we too deep into the weeds of problem-solving (problems we haven’t solved for decades) that we are missing nature's potential? MB
- Carbon Brief
Carbon Brief has conducted a wide-ranging assessment of priority issues for various parties attending the COP15 summit. The findings are presented in an interactive and live feed here.
- UK Coal
Whilst the world stage in Montreal continues to address nature and biodiversity loss, of which a key component is extractives, the UK gave the go-ahead to a new coal mine in Cumbria. Giving what many reported as a green light (really???) Gove is either sticking a finger up at Montreal or oblivious to the discussions there.
Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion “This government has backed a climate-busting, backwards-looking, business-wrecking, stranded asset coalmine. This mine is a climate crime against humanity – and such a reckless desire to dig up our dirty fossil fuel past will be challenged every step of the way.”
‘Extractivism’ is destroying nature: to tackle it Cop15 must go beyond simple targets (Guardian)
- Trees to Energy
the Treehugger blog covers the farce of us in the UK importing timber from the USA and elsewhere - shipping around the world just to covert to energy at Drax. We have a carbon crisis now, and the atmosphere doesn't care if the emissions come from trees or coal—they still count against the carbon budget. Planting a tree to suck it back up over the next 40 years won't change that.
- Life-Centric Design
Shifting from human-centric to life-centric approaches and thinking is well covered in this important RSA blog by Roberta Iley. Time for building design to drop the human-centric mantra and move to a life-centric, nature-positive paradigm.
reflecting on our mission to support resilient, regenerative and rebalanced futures, it is a good moment to consider how we embed (Design for Life) capabilities in a way that goes beyond reinforcing a human-centric paradigm to help connect us to a regenerative, life-centric paradigm.
The built environment's main sustainability standards generally remain function and human-centric, in the less-than-sustainable only reducing impact field of thought. And in this light can be seen as degenerative, or at best generative.
One standard that sets itself apart from this is the Living Building Challenge, which through its connected petals and imperatives leads buildings to be part of living systems and nature positive.
Our next Zoom session on the 13th of December is with zR friend and pollinator Luis Heurtas sharing insights on the journey from LEED to Living Buildings. Details and Registration here
And a reminder of the Regen/Notes Chat - a substack chat forum exclusive for subscribers to Regen Notes.
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Eutierria: “a good and positive feeling of oneness with the earth and its life forces.” It arises when “the human-nature relationship is spontaneous and mutually enriching (symbiotic).”  (The prefix eu comes from the Greek word for “good”; the root tierra means Earth.) https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-green-mind/201607/eutierria-becoming-one-nature