• In Soil We Trust?

    by  • May 14, 2012 • Uncategorized

    Woody Tasch is launching the Soil Trust this year, which is “a philanthropic investment pool designed to pave the way for a million people to invest 1% of their assets in local food systems,”

    Philanthropic investing sounds like jumbo shrimp. It’s a joke in a phrase. But Woody is truly hoping to get investors fired up about investing in local food and in soil restoration.

    “To awaken biophilia (the love humans hold for the natural world) in the heart and mind of the 21st century investor,” seems like a stretch. The people I’ve known who have investment portfolios tend to have a schizophrenic view of themselves and the world. On one hand they need to “make a killing” in business, but when they have twinges of regret they go to Buddhist temples to feel better about themselves. It’s a cycle of spiritual profit. They invest, making money mowing down rain forests or taking advantage of people. Then they put some beads on a wrist and talk about “karma”. It makes them feel better to think that people who are poor, beaten down, oppressed or disadvantaged are so because of “their own karma”. And then, free of obligation to help the less fortunate with “their own karma”, (that would be interfering with their OWN paths to enlightenment) the business killers put on ties and go back to their money and make more killings. I saw a movie once about a serial killer who went to confession regularly to absolve himself so he could kill over and over again and still get into heaven. Whether it’s the Ohm or the Hail Mary, somebody will give you beads.

    I’m not optimistic about an awakening of biophilia in the people who need the awakening the most. But I am very hopeful about biophiles who get fed up with opportunistic and predatory behavior and who take up pitchforks, or even verbal pitchforks, against it.

    That’s called instant karma.