For the first time in history the mind of man was really attempting to control his destiny.
Hitherto usage, tradition, external necessity, accident had furnished the unchallenged framework within which he had devised his explanations and his consolations. He had resisted any clear knowledge of his own nature and romanced about his destiny. He had evaded responsibility for his stresses and disasters by putting his faith in over-ruling gods; he had clung to arbitrary rules of conduct against all reason, and he had persecuted and sought to destroy every sceptical thinker, every heretical experimentalist in conduct, who disturbed the equanimity of his submission.
He preferred familiar miseries to the mental torture of novel effort.
H.G.Wells, The Shape of Things to Come
The Soil Association annual conference (9/10 Feb, Manchester) this year addresses ‘the vital role that food can play in making us healthier, more connected to our communities, reducing our carbon footprint, and supporting local and national economies.’
Of course this is nothing new. (Well, perhaps the carbon footprint part is new, but even that is just efficient good sense aligned to contemporary motivating forces.) It’s what the Soil Association and intelligent people everywhere have always been saying.
But now it is being said more and more plainly that not only should it be done, it has to be done.
We’ll keep writing here how the collected great minds and experience of the conference think it’s going to happen.
First published on the Soil Association website, 7th Feb 2011