Is human society collapsing because we don’t recognize the work and intelligence of other species?

By Didi Pershouse
With the Regenerative Economy Collaborative


Just up the road from here, essential workers are building a series of small dams to prevent flooding in the towns downstream from me. They are using a technology that allows fish to travel upstream, filters out pollutants from the water flowing through, and captures eroding soil from nearby farms. Over time, the dams will naturally disintegrate in a random series, leaving behind fertile soil already seeded with plants to provide a large “soil sponge” that can capture rain without need for further dams. …

As we begin to fathom the interconnectedness of life, the doctor’s mandate “first, do no harm,” becomes a much more complex task.

Matheus Ferrero via Unsplash

Editor’s note: This story was first published on the Post Growth Institute’s blog in 2013, when many of the ideas featured were ahead of their time.

People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health, and are treated by the health industry, which pays no attention to food. -Wendell Berry

In the mornings before work, I jump in the river, and walk barefoot back to my clinic, looking for wild edibles and medicinal plants along the way. I live in my clinic these days. I moved in to save money when gas prices spiked, and the…

It is rare to find a single leverage point to effect change and create multiple benefits to the world around us. The “soil sponge,” lowly as it sounds, might just be that perfect leverage point for effective community investment, because it is the basic infrastructure that makes life on land possible.

When the soil sponge fails on a small scale, local farms and small ecosystems collapse. When it fails on a large scale, whole regions and societies collapse. Yet when the soil sponge is intact and healthy, multiple beneficial feedback loops kick into high gear. Regions that regenerate the health…

Didi Pershouse

Author of the Ecology of Care: Medicine, Agriculture, Money, and the Quiet Power of Human and Microbial Communities. Founder of Land and Leadership Initiative.

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