Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Biomimic's Worldview

Described as both a science and an art, the field of Biomimicry offers much more than practices and processes for the innovation of a sustainable global human community. The shift to relating to Nature as our Model, Mentor and Measure offers us something we really need right now - the choice of a new, sane and hopeful worldview.

Biomimics are changing the way we do things by asking questions about how Nature does things, and then emulating the genius of Life's designs. It's hard to argue with the rationale - Life has 3.8 billion years of experience of sorting out what works and what doesn't, what lasts and what doesn't.

In contrast, the human species has had much less than even one blip's worth of experience in finding sustainable solutions to Life's challenges on Earth. The human 'genius' that we've become so enamoured with is ridiculous in comparison. In the face of a teeming mass of sustainability problems, we might well find that investing our energies in the myriad of well-proven, long-term solutions offered by Nature is a chance to make the first monumental display of our actual intelligence.

As we learn of more and more ways that Biomimicry is being used to develop new, sustainable human products, processes and systems, we are also gaining insight into the Biomimic's worldview. It is a substantial shift from the stress and pessimism of delusion into the calm, optimism of reality. It provides us with a new story of ourselves and our place in the Community of Life on Earth.

With Nature in the respected role of Model, Mentor and Measure we align ourselves with the truth that we are but one, short-lived species amongst multi-millions, over billions of years. It calls on us to reassess our fond perceptions of our "success" as a species. It gives us another perspective on the attitude that just because, for a nanosecond in the history of Life on Earth, we colonized just about everywhere and held the fate of so many other species in our hands, that we are extraordinarily powerful. Extraordinarily stupid might be closer to the mark!

At this point, all our technological genius has failed to make us independent of arable soil, fresh water and clean air. In fact, our technologies have increased our dependence on Earth by fostering addictions to other non-renewable, finite resources such as oil; all the while severely depleting and degrading the stocks of land, water and air. We are as deeply embedded in the biosphere as we have ever been. Like any other species, if we push past Nature's limits we will fail.

In an illuminating conversation with founder of the Biomimicry Institute, Janine Benyus, which can be found here - she talks about the need for our species to evolve from a pioneering, weed-like niche to filling the ecological role of a mature, hardwood forest. Key to this will be our capacity to respectfully adhere to Life's Principles in everything that we do from now on.

Eco-literacy underpins our success in creating a sustainable world. We have to understand how Life works before we can know our limits. When we live within Nature's limits we will shift harmoniously into optimising our eco-system by being a participant in creating conditions conducive to more Life. Biomimicry invites us as individuals to get out into Nature, to start learning, and be inspired...

Find out more about Biomimicry at:

Read: Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature by Janine Benyus

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Let Beauty speak for itself

Let your love of Beauty

be absolutely innocent and silent

Let your awe

be a strong, honest, grave and unknown prayer

for Beauty's own Eternity

For the sake of nothing at all

But Beauty

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Our Goose

Our Goose

On top of the ridge
overlooking the road
From the sheer height
of a stark old pine tree
Against the sharpness
of today’s blue sky

The Egyptian Goose stands alone
on a thick black branch
honking for its mate…

In our sheltered valley garden
we can hear it loudly
and know
it’s inevitable
goose shape

On the road
a smash of feathers
and bloody speed

The rising sun
turns the leaves gold
the shell of a Cicada
clings to the Comfrey
as if we could heal Change

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Knowing Your Name

This is a photo of the blossoming of South African tree, Dais cotinifolia, the Pompon tree, in the southern Summer of 2010...

I have been reading Richard Loev's great book, The Last Child in the Woods. He recorded a quote of a child who went on a Nature walk and learnt the names of trees and plants and birds that had always been around him, but he didn't know. The boy said that after learning the names he felt like he had made new friends, for Life...

This ancedote made me smile. For surely, every gardener, bird-watcher, Earth-activist and naturalist has experienced this very same thing. When we know the name of another living thing - something changes for the better, forever...

Our experience of the community of Life expands and enhances with every new friend that we make. Our capacity for knowing names/making friends is infinite -an abundance that could surely banish the loneliness of the world, for Life...

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Good Start

I never imagined
the possibility
of the passion
of reptiles...

But I saw it -
in its glory
and its ridiculousness...
Funny and sweet,
intense and hopeful...
Rude, uncomfortable,
and powerful...


not at all different
from us warm-blooded animals...

Life begetting Life...

Thank goodness!