I've been wanting to include this quote from Derrick Jensen for a while. It's a pretty important quote in my opinion, and one that encapsulates my particular goals and feelings.
"If you've gotten this far in this book, if you're anything but entirely insensate, we probably agree that civilization is going to crash, whether or not we help bring it about. If you don't agree with this, we probably have nothing to say to each other. We probably also agree that the crash will be messy. We agree further that since industrial civilization is systematically dismantling the ecological infrastructure of the planet, the sooner that civilization comes down (whether or not we help it to crash) the more life will remain afterwards to support both humans and non-humans.
If you agree with all this, and if you don't want to dirty your spirituality and your conscience with the physical work of helping to bring down civilization, and if your primary concern really is with the well-being of those humans who will be alive during and immediately after the crash, then given (and I repeat this point to emphasize it) that civilization is going to come down anyway, YOU need to start preparing people for the crash. Instead of coming to my talks and attacking me for stating the obvious, go dig up asphalt in vacant parking lots to convert them into neighborhood gardens. Go teach people how to identify local edible plants, even in the city. Especially in the city, so the people won't starve when the proverbial shit hits the fan and they can no longer head off to Albertson's for groceries. Set up committees to eliminate or, if appropriate, channel the additional violence that might break out. We need it all. We need people to take out dams, and we need people to knock out electrical infrastructures. We need people to protest and to chain themselves to trees. We also need people working to make sure as many people as possible are equipped to deal with the fallout when the collapse comes. We need people teaching others what plants to eat, what plants are natural antibiotics. We need people teaching others how to purify water, how to build shelters. All of this can look like supporting traditional local knowledge. It can look like starting rooftop gardens. It can look like planting local varieties of medicinal herbs. And it can look like teaching people how to sing.
The truth is that while I do not believe that designing groovy eco-villages will bring down civilization, when the crash comes I'm sure to be first in line knocking on their doors asking for food...
Do what you love, do what you can, do what best serves your landbase.
To be truly effective, acts of survival and livelihood need to grow from particular landbases where they'll thrive. People need to enter into conversation with each piece of earth, and all its human and non-human inhabitants. That doesn't mean, of course, that we can't share ideas or that one water-purification technique won't be useful in many different locations; it does mean that people in those places need to decide for themselves what'll work. Most important of all the water in each place needs to be asked and allowed to decide for itself."