In recent weeks, I’ve been reflecting on aquaponics – and its impact on my life.
I wrote the Urban Aquaponics Manual back in 2007 – and then revised it three times – and I’ve been endeavouring to roll out the 4th Edition for several years…but I struggle to make the time to complete the work.
I’ve designed and built a dozen systems…and I currently have my latest creation ready to go…but I lack the motivation to even find the fish and start it up.
I’ve spent about 13 years on various discussion forum and Facebook groups and that has brought me into contact with the full spectrum of humanity ranging from the delightful to the absolute arsehole…and I’m tired.
Part of my problem with aquaponics has to do with my introduction, in 2014, to iAVs…the method that best demonstrates what integrated aquaculture looks is really about.
Suffice to say, I’ve been at the aquaponics crossroads for some time…but the disenchantment has peaked in the past couple of weeks.
About a week ago, Permaculturist David the Good released a YouTube video called “The Aquaponics Delusion – Why Aquaponic Gardening Doesn’t Make Sense” in which he canvassed his concerns with aquaponics. The ensuing reaction from elements of the aquaponics community caused David to pull the video but the gist of his argument can be found in this article.
While article had some shortcomings, enough of it resonated with me that it became the straw that finally broke the aquaponics camel’s back.
My problem with aquaponics is exacerbated by other personal issues. Suffice to say, I have too many projects – and too little time – to the point where I’m not achieving anything except to frustrate myself and others.
As things stand, right now, I’ll be selling my latest (unused) recirculating aquaculture system. I’ll also be calling a halt to the rollout of the 4th Edition of the Urban Aquaponics Manual…at least until I’ve cleared the backlog.
I’m not abandoning integrated aquaculture…simply changing direction.
My recent hospitalisation achieved two things. Firstly, it served as a timely intervention for what might otherwise have been a life-threatening situation – and it provided the opportunity to think about things.
Since this is not the first time that Mother Nature has reminded me that she recycles redundant organisms, I viewed my enforced break as an opportunity to pause and reflect on how I was doing in my quest for happiness through simple living and self-reliance. Given my circumstances (I’m 66 years old and I’ve dodged two bullets), it’s not unreasonable that such reflection eventually settles on the question of time.
To say that one’s own time is finite, is a blinding flash of the obvious. Much less obvious for most of us, however, is the question of time as it relates to the planet…or, more specifically, the amount of time that the planet can continue to support its most troublesome organism…the human race.
Scientists are divided into two camps on this question. First, there are those who don’t talk about it out of fear of the professional consequences. Then there’s the second group…the scientists who believe that human habitation of the planet is at imminent peril. The only thing that divides this group is not if…but rather when.
At the other end of the apocalyptic spectrum is Guy MacPherson who says that human extinction is likely by around 2030. Other scientists have a more optimistic outlook. For example, a History Channel documentary titled “Two Degrees: The Point of No Return” predicts that the world will start to really feel the effects of climate change by 2052…with the “end of days” happening in around 2117.
Regardless of where you’re placed on the spectrum, there’s no denying that it’s getting hotter and that this will have serious consquences for humanity.
MacPherson’s strategy for dealing with this?
“I recommend living fully. I recommend living with intention. I recommend living urgently, with death in mind. I recommend the pursuit of excellence. I recommend the pursuit of love.”
While I don’t know who’s right in this debate (although the emerging evidence seems to support the “apocalyptic ecologists”) I’m drawn to MacPherson’s strategy for dealing with the crisis.
Even if we assume that he’s wrong about the whole human extinction thing (much less the timing), his prescription is a sound one for humans living in troubled times.
My approach will be to hope for the best while acting for the worst.
You’re welcome to put your views…and offer suggestions…and you can do this by joining us over at Have More For Less.