THE BALANCE OF FACTS
THE BALANCE OF FACTS
THE BALANCE OF FACTS
THE BALANCE OF FACTS
The Dreamtime, or the Dreaming, portrays the Aboriginal beliefs in spiritual existence. According to the tribes that first settled down in the continent, the Dreaming's roots date all the way back to the very begging of the creation of the world. The meaning and ideology of the term is generally not so well-understood by non-indigenous people as it is referred to as part of the culture of one of the early nations, which differs from modern perceptions.
The Spirits were the creators of everything. They made the land and the seas, the rocks and the plants, the sky and the earth. They were the higher power and the Australian Aborigines spent their lifetimes honoring this power, which guided their path and shaped their way of thinking. Not only creators of everything, which could be seen as well as felt, the Spirits also gave the Aborigines the Dreaming.
The time when everything started existing according to the initial Australians, was called the Dreaming. This is the foundation of the continent's culture. The origin of the Dreaming goes way back - 65 000 years back in time to be exact. The Ancestors of the nation shaped the land, forming some parts of it as sacred. The Aborigines were very careful and overprotective of those places, strongly believing in their significance.
The Australian Aborigines are known to have believed that the world didn't have any shape and was therefore empty. Darkness dominated, and life was simply asleep, but this changed when the creation began happening. After the Dreaming and the influence of the Spirits, objects began taking shapes and came to be. They created the four elements: water, earth, air and fire, as well as all the planets, the Sun and the Moon. The Dreaming therefore is a continuous process, which never ended. It is a small cosmos on its own, unifying the past, present and the future into one.
The Australian Aborigines' home riches so many vivid areas of the continent, including Fraser Island, Tasmania, Palm Island, Groote Eylandt and Mornington Island. The Aborigines had very strong believes in relation to the powers of the land, claiming that they never owned it - it rather owned them. The only reason they were able to call it their home is because they were looking after it and the land was taking care of the people in return.
Equally important to the Dreaming was the tribes' understandings of the disappearance of the Spirits. There came a time, when the creators of everything vanished from sight. Some of them were thought to have started living in sacred places, which is why the Aborigines perceived their homeland to be so sacred. The ancestors of today's Australians used to believe that the creators started living in rocks, in water holes and some went up to the sky to guide the people from above and keep them safe. Others transformed completely, taking the forms of the rain, the lightnings and the thunderstorms so they could be part of peoples' life.
Among the hundred's different Aboriginal languages, there isn't a word to describe 'time', because to them this simply doesn't exist. Dreaming and Dreamtime are used to replace it and summarize the ideologies of the Aborigines about everything they knew, everything they could see, feel and experience. This is why the Dreaming has such a vivid, and overwhelming meaning and has survived the obstacles of time. For the past couple thousand years, the Dreaming has built a rich cultural heritage that can identify a whole nation.
Read more about the Land, its connection to people and the way it has been perceived from different generations in the very first print issue of ORIGIN. The Land Issue covers varied topics, most of which remain related to cultural aspects of the land and its importance.
A lot of people travel to explore places and learn about them which is the message that ORIGIN wants to spread. With traveling, however, comes certain responsibilities that we should all be aware of. Elephants riding has become a popular way to explore locations by land. People have been doing this as part of their trips, mostly to places such as Thailand, Nepal, Cambodia and other parts of Asia. It is a common thing to see in certain places in Africa as well. We investigated the activity to explain why it is wrong and riding elephants should be banned everywhere.
Our first print issue studies culture and traveling represented through the land. We explored various location around the globe and learned what makes the land so valuable, which nations cherish it and how it helps us establish an identity. Traveling is important to us but traveling responsibly and making an impact is what we feel proud to stand behind. This is why riding elephants as a way of amusement should be reconsidered.
Let’s talk about the details. Elephants are very caring and extremely intelligent animals. It is a well-known fact that they never forget anything. When kept in captivity instead of spending their life in the wild, elephants die younger. Unlike in other species, this is common for the gentle giants and is often a result for stress.
Many African cultures respect elephants, believing they symbolize strength, loyalty and power. However, power can be a very tender concept. Elephant used as a tourism tool suffer from great pain daily. Elephants can be hurt very severely from the weight of carrying people and a trainer on their backs. The reason for this is the design of their spines. They have sharp protrusions, extending upwards from their spine instead of having round spinal disks. The protrusions and the tissue that serves to protect them can be harmed easily from weight pressure. Once a damage to their spine has been made, there is no going back and sometimes the harm can be irreversible. While this can’t be physically seen, the harm that the chairs can do to the elephants’ skin is. It is often the case that the chairs and the weight on their back can damage the animal’s skin and cause pain to their body. The chair, called Howdah, that gets attached to their backs, rubs on their skin and can cause blisters, which can sometimes get infected.
The training that elephants are required to go through when in captivity sometimes adopts a traditional Thai ‘phajaan’ or ‘crush’ technique. Explaining the technique would compare it to the animals’ spirits constantly and continuously being broken by the means of torture and social isolation. This is done in order to tame them. Elephants are wild animals, this is their nature as they are born in such conditions. Making them safe and obedient around people requires them to go through such training. As horrible as it sounds, in some places young elephants are taken away from their mothers to be abused with nails, bull hooks and bamboo sticks to make them obey rules, given by people. The animals often lack sleep and are starved to become submissive.
Actions from such nature are cruel and harmful as the technique is used to crash the animals’ spirit. Once wild and free, elephants become a source of tourism and entertainment. Nobody, who cared about sustainable tourism should ever ride an elephant.
In a sense, elephants have a human soul. They socialise and feel everything – pain, happiness, grief, sadness etc. They spend their life building families and finding friends. The largest land animals are a gift from nature and it is our responsibility to take special care of them and make sure they live according to their nature. Many animals, who are kept in captivity, are forced to live in isolation and carry heavy loads all day long, which is a wrong way to treat them. Their strength and power shouldn’t be abused but treated gently and celebrated by people. Elephants require minimal care to stay happy and healthy, which comes from giving them freedom to behave naturally and socialise. It is our responsibility to be culturally aware while traveling and make sure to spread awareness about the problem.
You can read the rest of the article as published in the LAND issue.
THE KEY IS IN THE SOIL
Using the forces of nature and agriculture, we can reverse the effect of climate change - first we must look at the soil
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Jahz Gonzalez, Jed Owen, Yuliya Kosolapova, Kirill Pershin, Jessi Pena
12 October 2019
There is a specific balance required for the whole of nature to function so that its living creatures - all people, animal and plants - can co-exist together in harmony. If we assume that this balance works through a mechanism, it becomes easier to picture the way life works, binding every aspect of nature together. People need plants, plants need animals, animals need people and vice versa. Nature has crafted a system that allows for everything alive to survive, grow and evolve.
In the recent decades this balance has been put to a test and nature's stability has been somewhat shaken. Climate change has been happening for a long time. Like many naturally influenced processes, it begun before people started acknowledging, let alone acting on it. In recent years, it has come to the world's attention that there are damages people have caused as species, which enhance the process of climate change.
Now the time has come to act. Never has it been more vital that our efforts and resources are put into preserving nature. Climate change has already caused severe global damage including habitat loss, odd weather patterns across the globe and the extinction of entire ecosystems. The air we breathe, the nature we feed from and the animal kingdom we co-exist with are on the verge of forcefully adapting to unusual circumstances that could potentially lead to fatal damages.
Yet, there is a solution to this crisis. It can be found in the mechanism that connects us all. To restore the balance, we must look into how nature functions and how every species of plant, animals and people are able to live in symbiosis. We looked closely to find that the key to restoring the balance in nature could very likely be in the ground.
Combining agriculture with technology is the way forward. Adam Chappell and his brother grew up in a family that took care of 9,000-acre farm in Arkansas. They started noticing that pigweed had appeared across the crop fields, slowing down the growth of everything they were trying to produce. No matter their efforts, they couldn't fight off the pigweed and saw themselves standing at crossroads. Then Adam stumbled across a solution that entirely changed the way his family was farming and taking care of the fields.
Adam explains in an interview with National Geographic that he replaced herbicides with cereal rye. As soon as he started planting the rice, corn, soybeans and cotton with it, the soil seemed to have gain its strength back. Using this farming method, Adam is aiming to contribute to reversing the effect of climate change by using natural resources rather than waiting for the invention of a technological breakthrough to serve the same purpose.
THE SOIL BECOMES HEALTHY WHEN THERE IS MORE CARBON IN IT.
THE MORE CARBON IN THE SOIL, THE LESS CARBON DIOXIDE IN THE ATMOSPHERE.
CLIMATE CHANGE IN STATISTICS
1. THERE WAS A 60% DROP IN THE WILDLIFE IN JUST OVER 40 YEARS
WWF and the Zoological Society of London published a report stating that the amount of all mammals, fish, birds and reptiles declined between 1970 and 2014.
2. WARMER WEATHER
This June multiple countries from Europe to the US have reported record temperature increase. Heatwaves have occurred several times over the year. Winter is also getting warmer - statistics prove that this February certain areas in the UK were hotter compared to cities like Barcelona and Malibu at that time.
3. CLIMATE CHANGE IS THE 3RD BIGGEST FACTOR RESPONSIBLE FOR LOSS OF BIODIVERSITY
After exploitation of sea resources and abuse of the land, climate change next in line to be blamed for disturbing biodiversity.
4. DEFORESTATION HAS LED TO OVER 120 000 SQ KM LOSS OF TROPICAL FOREST IN THE LAST YEAR ALONE
Carbon takes decades, sometimes longer to be stored. Forest fires release it immediately back into the atmosphere. Only as much as 10% of the world's CO2 emissions were due to natural deforestation.
5. THE LEVELS OF CO2 IN THE ATMOSPHERE ARE HIGHER THAN THEY HAVE BEEN IN THE HISTORY OF HUMANKIND
The last time in history the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was this high, was over 3 million years ago. Half of all CO2 emissions were recorded in the last 4 decades.
THE CLIMATE IS REBELLING.
WE REBEL WITH IT.
HOW ADAM REVOLUTIONISED AGRICULTURE
About a fourth of the greenhouse gas emissions in the whole world originate from agriculture and land usage. Plants can reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere by making the soil absorb it. This is a win-win situation as it results in the soil gaining back its natural organic state. This way the soil gives healthier and richer harvest.
Given the amount of forest land that has been destroyed or damaged in the past few decades, humans must ensure to work towards restoring the balance in nature. Agriculture is a great way to start making up for what we have already lost. The Terraton Initiative agrees with this ideology, emphasising on its importance. The Institute has already started a movement, aspiring to deduct one trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by putting it in the ground to restore the carbon in the soil.
Farmers across the world have been influenced by this idea. Some of them already plant different types of flowers, such as tulips and sunflowers, across their crops to ensure they are strengthening the soil in an eco-friendly way.
Adam Chappell found a way to work alongside nature to heal what climate change is damaging. His vision is revolutionary in its simplicity. People can use nature's resources to bring more life to it. If such agricultural practices could be adopted by more farmers, the effect could reach a global scale. There is a total of 12 billion acres of farmland in the world - together the land can fight the climate dis-balance.
Photosynthesis is the magic that all plants possess. The sooner we start using nature and its resources to mend what has already been damaged, the less climate change will we face. When farmers stop using chemical pesticides and replace synthetic fertilizers and with cover crops, the soil begin growing healthier plants.
Although this process can be slow, considering that farmers are paid for the quantity of their produce, the practice is already working among some agriculture workers.
If the trend of enriching the soil in a natural way expands,
people could eliminate our carbon footprint on the planet in the near future.