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Program Information
 Steppin' Out of Babylon 
 William H. Kotke
 Sue Supriano  
 For non-profit use only.
Kotke continues the themes explored in Program 1 ... discussing how it is crucial to get back in balance with the earth and restore self-sufficient human communities ...
William H. Kotke is the author of The Final Empire, The Collapse of Civilization and the Seed of the Future and Garden Planet: The Present Phase Change of The Human Species, available in paperback and electronic form.

These writings can be found on the internet at and

In this interview Kotke repeats from Program 1 that "civilization" (also called "empire") has swelled the social body by sucking the fertility out of the topsoil and causing the loss of our earth's fertility and therefore our ability to feed ourselves. Just in the 25 years from 1975 to 2000 we lost one fifth of the world'™s topsoil. (See the summary from William Kotke 1 for more info.) If we look back over 6000 years of this type of exploitation of our environment we see that we have lost the diversity we need. Presently the basic commercial crops in the world are only ten species which include rice, corn and potatoes. This is because, even though we can get more protein out of an acre of cattails than out of an acre of potatoes, we stick to potatoes and those other nine crops since they are best suited for the mechanical production and harvesting of our industrial societies. What we're dealing with now is the final throws of this culture'”exploding population, growing consumption of materials, dwindling resources and a dying planet. Kotke thinks there will be a massive die off of the human population.

He also thinks that we are much more capable as humans than as we have been defined by the emperors and if we develop ourselves psychically and spiritually we can deal with a lot more than we're used to thinking we can. We are limited by our view that only industrial society will work and can't imagine ourselves living differently. It is crucial to get back in balance with the earth and restore self-sufficient human communities. Actually we can have food and shelter and a system that will give us what we need and a future on this planet. Totally self-sufficient villages are an answer. We already know about "permaculture design", which produces more per acre than industrial farming while rebuilding the soil, etc ...

Kotke believes that water is a living thing and we will learn again to communicate with nonhuman beings who will help us. This is our natural way. He also believes that soon, when we see dramatic changes, we'll become more cooperative. Already, permaculture has spread to Africa, Latin America and all over the world. Norway has given land to develop in a permaculture way. Auroville in India has raised the water table up to six feet in some areas through teaching villagers how to plant trees, use water catchment, swales, etc. so water runs into soil instead of evaporating. There is much we can be doing!


 WilliamKotke2 Download Program Podcast
00:28:09 English 2007-10-14
 Eugene, OR
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