Central Victorian Ecology

News and Views on Nature- Doug Ralph

Leave a comment



Colin Tudge is delighted with three small words of harmony. Soil, Soul, Society by Satish Kumar. Leaping Hare Press, 2013. ISBN: 9781782400448
Satish Kumar’s title – Soil, Soul, Society – could hardly be more sparse; yet it represents, he says, a “distillation” of his own lifetime’s thinking and that of his heroes – and the three small words are all we really need to put the world to rights. For our aim should be – should it not? – to create harmony in the world; and this must be achieved at three levels. As individuals and as a species we need to move away from our anthropocentricity – for “humans have come to believe that they are separate from Nature and above Nature” – and to see ourselves once more as part of Nature; and this is the notion symbolised by ‘soil’. Continue reading

Leave a comment


Something is amiss and we can’t quite put our finger on what. It seems that the further our society progresses, the more disenfranchised we feel. The hyper-connectivity of social media (which has its own potential) leaves us cold and over-informed, saturated with unwanted information and more aware than ever of the injustices of the world. It seems that the more virtually connected we get, the more disconnected we become, both from each other but also from our communities. I believe that a necessary backlash to this trend is a large-scale reconnection with nature that has the ability to transcend previous environmental movements and reshape our world. Moreover, I believe this undercurrent is gaining momentum and influencing every element of our lives. It’s a revolution of belonging. Continue reading

Leave a comment

“So many indigenous people have said to me that the fundamental difference between Western and indigenous ways of being is that even the most open-minded westerners generally view listening to the natural world as a metaphor, as opposed to the way the world really is. Trees and rocks and rivers really do have things to say to us.”

―Derrick Jensen, What We Leave Behind

Leave a comment

OASES-transformative learning for sustainable living

Individuals come to OASES to gain a better understanding of their relationship with the world and how to live truly sustainable lives. Additionally all types of organisations support OASES, companies, public authorities and not-for-profit groups. They send their staff to develop the talent to create better more sustainable outcomes in their businesses and communities. No matter what their age or background, people find OASES an inspiration and a pathway to a more sustainable and satisfying way of life. http://www.oases.edu.au/

Leave a comment


Gerry Gill explains how this map has captured his interest and how it and other objects and documents held in collections around the state can be used to tell stories that are relevant to our imagined future. The map can locate human stories of Aborigines, Europeans, both colonial and contemporary into the stories of the land told over geological time.


Leave a comment

What is Ecopoetry?

Revenge of the Blue Fin Dave Cooper

How can today’s poets respond to the natural world without referencing the devastation that the industrial growth economy and war have inflicted on it? What insights into new ways of relating with our planet and other species can be gained from non-Western cultures, or indeed from our own fragmented animistic tradition? And how do today’s ecologically-minded thinkers – from fields such as ecopsychology, radical feminism and eco-anarchism – influence the way we view the natural world and the complex web of relationships that shape it?

Ecopoetry raises and explores these and other ethical questions, and encompasses both spiritual practice and political activism. In this essay I explore four major themes that I identify in my own work and that of other ecopoets; these are (RE)CONNECTION, WITNESSING, RESISTANCE and VISIONING. Although I’ve numbered each section, there is no intended hierarchy – and in many ways the strands merge and shape each other. Each is a portal through which ecopoetry can be approached and developed as a practice.

I should add that this survey is by no means definitive. Although ecopoetry finds its lineage through the Romantic tradition back to the earliest human cultures on Earth, it is a mode of expression which emerges most fully in the twentieth century. Ecopoetry has secured its deepest roots in the U.S., probably because of the Beat movement, which has had such a powerful influence on the American cultural scene. In the U.K. ecopoetry has been slower to emerge – not because there was none being written, but perhaps because of a wariness/rejection within the mainstream literary scene of writing that had overtly political and/or spiritual dimensions.

In recent years anthologies such as Earth Shattering edited by Neil Astley, Earth Songs, edited by Peter Abbs, and Soul of the Earth, edited by Jay Ramsay, have done much to introduce a range of ecopoetry to new readers. Thankfully at last, with the broader political and cultural shifts at work in the second decade of the twenty-first century, ecopoetry is beginning to be recognised as an essential mode of expression both within the Green Movement and in literary circles. Continue reading