Out of time meetings and a Technotrain.
There is nothing better than feeling in good company when doing what you do. If we talk about sustainability, there is nothing better than talking, discussing, thinking with others who are in the same frequency. People who embrace utopia as a flag, and act locally, then globally.
A couple of years ago I had the chance of travelling to New Zealand where I lived for a few months. My brother lives there and he consciously invested in me thinking differently. He certainly achieved his goal, by mixing my cultural world beyond the borders of the city I grew up. Inside the apartment, flat mates stayed for a month or two and then continued to walk. I could share experiences with people from Japan, Finland, England, Ireland, France, Canada, Germany, United States, Italy, Chile, Brazil and not regarding on any preconception about the country they came from, I was very passionate when realizing some common values among all of us. I could feel for the first time the human species, in direct symbiosis with the entire biosphere, wrapping the whole planet.
I was surprised listening to the same complaints on all the nonsense showed on TV, or thinking in ways of rethinking Education, all rusted and tired; or seeing how Art was now taken as an achievable way of life, and not a jump to the void… “taking your chances with what you really want to get out of life”.
And I though, I wondered… all these people, from so many places, in the same frequency, connected… They can change whatever they want! – Consumption habits, thoughts, ways of taking action, of deciding. All of these people, no matter how utopic it may sound, have the potential capacity of acting quickly, coordinately, and precisely… and so, they can change from the waste recollecting system to the SYSTEM itself.
Years later, from where I write to you now, Santa Rosa, La Pampa, mystic flatland, the same brainstorming is given. I find friends, who come from different parts of the province, with the same levels of indignation, and the same will of not being left unheard, of fighting (in a nonviolent manner, but from culture, from acting and thinking with our genius) to achieve a free of systemic lies society.
And we thought aloud, on how the big migrations from the fields to the cities changed everything for worse… cities are over populated given the fact that the lands are being owned by less and less people forcing communities lo leave. Social entropy has increased in our cities, making our metabolism more inefficient. As we are more and more people in this planet, there is more people consuming, moving, generating waste, in one same space getting more and more overpopulated, more contaminated more disorder, more uncontrollable entropy.
And this goes beyond our capital city in Buenos Aires, because it involves problems that transcend our national borders and are repeated in every single big city. The environmental problems transcend the National level. And that is why we thought, if the environmental problems transcend that which is national, for us, from here, we can only act locally, start finding local solutions (in the different educational, consumption, waste management, transport, taxes and fines levels) to manage our natural and cultural resources in symbiosis with our Planet.
And as a strategic plan for our entire country, a repopulation of the fields must exist, and give life back to those towns which were abandoned after the British train’s epoch. They’ve already taken our resources, on behalf of an invented market… and those trains which transported the people ride no more, and the people who loaded the wagons, and those who drove them, do not matter anymore…
Imagine repopulating those cities left apart by the system, but repopulating them with a sustainable planning, redesigning our towns with Bill Mollison’s permacultural view. Utopia, yes… But what a wonderful landscape!
In our country “a lot of the loans were destined to finance the trains which facilitated the exportation of our minerals and food. The railroads did not configure a net destined to join diverse regions among themselves, but connected the production centers with the ports. The design resembles the fingers of a stretched hand: in this way, the trains, so many times saluted as symbols of progress, stopped the formation and development of an inner market.” (Galeano, 1971)
And the detail of the gauge is amazing: the gauge of the railroad is the distance between both rails. In our country, each branch has a different gauge. The objective of this was thought forehand: all the trains must go to the port of Buenos Aires, and cannot do trips from one province to another one as they have different gauge.
All this brainstorming to show you one possible solution: in order to enhance our local market, we need to enhance the communication among our towns. In Argentina the Technotrain was invented, known here as the “train of the people”, which opens new doors for us to plan new futures. I invite you to read a short article about the Technotrain here.
We shall need to keep on looking for new ways of reinventing ourselves.
Galeano, E. 1971. “Las venas abiertas de América Latina” (The open veins of Latinamerica)). Siglo Veintiuno Editores. 1era ed. 10ma reimp. Buenos Aires. 2012.
And an excellent talk with Flora, Pelu, Gonza and Eze.