Buckminster Fuller’s work described the trim tab on the rudder of a large
vessel. While the large rudder is well known for steering the ship, less
known is the role of the mini-rudder installed on the large one. Only a
slight movement of the tiny trim tab can change the direction of the giant
ocean-going vessel, even in rough seas. What is our trim tab?
Thomas Berry’s three suggested rights of Nature are the ability of each to live, have habitat, and fulfill their role in the ongoing evolutionary process. I continue
to find hope that mainstream U.S. culture will embrace a trim tab like the Rights of Nature to turn away from the unfortunate and unforgiving legacy of the 15th century papal bulls in our constitution and national behavior. To learn more about Rights of Nature, follow http://www.celdf.org and http://www.bron.org – and about the papal bulls,
Unfortunately, our current pattern of governance drives the ship of state
into a monstrous sandbar. We could visualize that sandbar as formed by
the two-thirds of the planet’s topsoil that ill-informed agricultural practices
have driven off the continents into the sea.
Vastly diverse communities in themselves, healthy soils are home to tiny creatures whose combined mass is greater than the mass of all animal life on Earth. Chemical intensive tillage practices began before humans knew the role of millions of tiny farmers under the ground. Instead of killing them, we need to feed them! Their role is to communicate with the roots of plants, bartering nutrients from rocks for sugars and lipids, together making up what the Bible calls “the fat of the land.” You can experience
that fat yourself, if you are lucky to be near enough to healthy soil to scoop up its black-cottage-cheese texture full of earthworms. Healthy soil absorbs and cycles carbon as well as water and protects the farmer (and our bodies) from unhealthy chemicals. So much more to learn!