Why I run this site
Colin Austin 4 June 2013
Thanks Marianne for the jog
I have just received an email from Marianne Kambouridis
in Ballarat telling me about the great work she is doing on
sustainability in her school.
This has prompted me to write down what I believe, what I am
trying to achieve and how you can support my aims.
I suffer from a medical condition called
grandfathers syndrome this means that instead of going out, spending
the last of my money and generally having a good time, like a normal
sensible person, I think about what life my grandchildren will have
and in turn their grandchildren.
The current population of the world is seven
billion, by the time my grandchildren are mature it will have risen
to nine billion. But
more important the world will have changed dramatically, presently
the bulk of the people live in the developing countries living very
modest life styles, in my grandchildren’s life time they will enjoy
greater purchasing power and wealth than we currently do living in
the affluent west.
Our capitalist system has certainly proven
highly effective in increasing our wealth but only looks at short
term profits and does not take into account the longer term effects
or the cost to the natural environment on which we all depend for
our food, clothing, shelter and equally important access to enjoy
the wonders of the natural environment.
What can I and you do?
It is up to people, you me and the rest to look
after the future for our grandchildren.
But what can I and you actually do that will have a real
effect. I can do
nothing about the wars and conflicts which stem from the
inequalities of the world or the unfortunate prejudices of
But I am an engineer, for many years I had a
successful career in science, technology and innovation so I know
how the process of innovation works - but now I am old and no longer
work creating innovative products for profit or commercial gain. But
for all my life I have had an interest in growing plants and the
essential role that soil and water play - may be because Hitler took
a personal dislike to me and when he tried to bomb me to death and
missed he tried to starve me into submission.
Growing food to me is normal.
Soil and water
So I have used my experience of the process of
science and innovation to develop better technologies for soil and
water. For decades I have worked on ways to regenerate degraded
soils and use water more effectively. Wicking beds and now my
biopacks to regenerate soil are the latest in my innovations. This
development is not just a hobby for an old man, neither are they a
business in the sense that they cost rather than create money - at
least for me - but I hope there is a wider benefit for people around
In my life time our ability to produce products
has increased beyond believe, due to a combination of science,
technology and the capitalist system.
We are better of beyond the beliefs of my childhood. We are
currently watching a dramatic global change as technology spreads to
the majority of the world’s populations in the developing countries.
Thankfully this is raising their living standards but is leading to
an unprecedented pressure on our natural resources on which we all
Unfortunately western Governments work on the
belief that the profit motive by itself will resolve these
environmental challenges and all they have to do is sit back and
manipulate the financial system remotely. You only have to look at
the economic situation in the economies of Europe and the US to see
the limitations of this philosophy. Whatever your politics you would
have to admit that China’s policy of interacting with the private
sector in a more pragmatic way has been more successful.
Soil carbon is the second largest carbon sink
after the ocean. Soil
could absorb fifty years of man-made emissions giving us time to
develop and implement new energy technologies while providing a more
secure food supply, (see my books Resolving climate change vol 1,2
and 3). This is not going to happen by itself but needs Governments
to become actively involved.
But having the affliction of grandfather’s
syndrome I believe that these technologies of soil and water can
play an important role in making a better life for future
generations. So I run my website, publish my newsletter and help
columns and generally spread the information and try and also try
and persuade the Governments of the importance of soil carbon.
You can help by spreading the word, telling your friends in
person, or using the amazing power of the internet.
I believe that everyone has a right to a
healthy diet, there is no way that I should be making money from
people, (or people working trying to help people), who lack
financial resources, to enjoy a healthy diet. Any technology or
information I have I make available to them for free with no
suggestion of payment.
But from time to time I write articles or
booklets on my activities and I invite people who are enjoying an
affluent life style to make a contribution (typically $5 per item).
This will never make me rich but it does help with my costs
of research, experimentation and education.
I am also a human being with normal emotions
and it does give me encouragement to feel that there are people out
there who appreciate what I am trying to do and help me overcome the
frustrations of dealing with
Governments on soil carbon.
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