Based on the permaculture research I have done for this study, I have identified several specific practical actions that the average person can work towards taking in their own home and workplace, things that would work to take the proverbial ball out of the Promethean court and instead help in exemplifying something more of a horizontal Orphic dispensation:
* Stop flushing fertility (human faeces and urine) down the toilet immediately. Find a way to get it composted and return the compost to the system, along with all of the organic materials produced in the household. * Catch rainwater off the roof and store it in tanks or barrels. Accordingly, use water sparingly, changing the frequency of showers, baths, and clothes-washing. * Use ecologically friendly soaps for washing, and return the water into the garden. * Plant trees wherever and whenever possible, both indigenous and fruit-bearing trees. * Grow some food, at whatever scale is manageable. * Purchase a small solar-power system and monitor how much electricity is generated with it, and how quickly a person uses the electricity, adjusting power-usage in an attempt to match the power-output of the small solar-power system. * Purchase food grown locally, with the least amount of packaging instead of gratuitously packaged food, and insist ‘in-store’ that food packaging is reduced. * Stop purchasing new things, and instead ‘up-cycle’ wherever possible. * Build a ‘solar cooker’ and install a solar water-heating system (as simple as a coil of black pipe on the roof), and align cooking and hot water needs with the cycle of the sun.
Apart from the practical actions just suggested, I will now refer to some general practices that can cultivate an inherent respect for nature:
* Spend some time each day ‘simply being’, without distractions such as entertainment, not doing anything involving practical outcomes. * Prioritise spending some time (as one’s schedule allows) outdoors in a natural place, observing nature. * Limit exposure to the mass media, social media, and advertising. * Observe non-human life without judging or analysing it. * Exercise thrift.
I am not suggesting that these actions will solve the problems of ecology I have identified in this study, but certainly the steps are ones that a person can easily take without relying on a large-scale system change. Remember, I have shown in this study that a large-scale system change is unlikely to occur considering that the system at large, ACID, the Promethean ‘writ large’, perpetuates itself while marginalising alternatives (or ‘changes’) to it. A person wishing to take action must therefore do so oneself, seeking guidance from other individuals who have dared to take actions toward implementing alternatives. I have offered some suggestions in this section that may be helpful as the initial steps in proactively retaliating against the Promethean, and in nurturing the Orphic, but certainly much more is needed from a very large per cent of the human population if we are to prevent ecocide “in pleasant ways of our own choice” (Diamond 2005:498). If, however, the human race cannot collectively step up to the challenge of radically altering the Promethean dispensation of ACID, then in implementing the small steps I have suggested, people will at least be afforded one small measure of self-reliance when the system changes “in unpleasant ways not of our choice” (Ibid).
Finally, I suggest active and outright rejection (as far as possible) of purely Capitalist attitudes and agendas, as well as active and outright rejection of those aspects of Christianity, Science, Technology, and Democracy that exhibit purely Promethean attitudes. Capitalism, also known and the ‘free-market’, must be rejected entirely, because as Jensen and McBay (quoted in Foster, Clark, and York 2010:1) state: “Industrial capitalism can never be sustainable. It has always destroyed the land upon which it depends for raw materials, and it always will. Until there is no land (or water, or air) for it to exploit. Or until, and this is obviously the far better option, there is no industrial capitalism”. Christianity, Science, Technology, and Democracy, on the other hand, are not necessarily inherently Promethean (as shown by St Francis of Assisi’s embrace of all creatures and things in nature as ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ in the late 12th and early 13th centuries), but as I have shown in this study, they have historically unfolded in their almost exclusively Promethean formats. This active rejection is motivated by the awareness that to not reject the listed shapers of discourse (i.e. Business as usual) is to ‘drive the final nail into the coffin of life’: as Foster, Clark and York (2010:14) point out, “We are at red alert status. If business as usual continues, the world is headed within the next few decades for major tipping points along with irreversible environmental degradation, threatening much of humanity. Biodiversity loss at current and projected rates could result in the loss of upward of a third of all living species this century”. If one wishes to lessen the severity of the crisis, one must act immediately, and one’s actions must occur beyond the realm of the Promethean, which entails a rejection of it and the dominant shapers of discourse that are a result of it and simultaneously perpetuate it.