Fáilte, welcome to the blog from the ecovillage. I’m hoping to create a space here, both in English and in Irish, to comment on the world as it appears to me from Ireland’s only ecovillage, Cloughjordan in County Tipperary. Beidh mé ag cur in iúil smaointe agus tuairimí a ritheann chugam ó lá go lá nó chun macnamh a dhéanamh ar eachtraí ár linne de réir mar a tharlaíonn siad.


It is very important to clarify at the beginning that I am not speaking for or on behalf of the ecovillage. We are an intentional community and interact in a myriad of ways, but of course we don’t have a common view on almost anything, certainly not on the great issues of our times. So this may be a blog from the ecovillage, but it is most certainly not the ecovillage blog!


Does living in an ecovillage offer a distinctive viewing point on the world? An dtugann sé dúinn radharc faoi leith ar a bhfuil ag titim amach máguaird orainn? The best answer I can give to this question comes from a wonderful book I have just finished reading, Ecovillages by Professor Karen T. Litfin (Polity 2014). Prof. Litfin describes ecovillages as ‘living laboratories’ modeling in the most varied of ways some essential elements of the great transition towards a low-carbon society that is now the most urgent challenge facing humankind.


So as I look out across the world, I do so from within one of these living laboratories which may offer a distinctive standpoint for some reflections. I suppose only time – and the interest this blog generates – will tell how true this may be. I am interested to find out.


Mar sin, tugaim cuireadh duit, a léitheora, teacht liom ar an dturas seo. Díreóidh sé ar rud ar bith atá ag titim amach sa domhan nó ar bun-dhúsláin ár linne. It seems ever more clear to me that we are living at a time of great transition, with growing evidence that capitalism is in profound crisis, hopefully a crisis that is terminal, but with the contours of what might follow it only glimpsed in the vaguest of ways. It thus is a very very scary time but also a time of great promise. That promise can only be realised if it emerges out of the collective imaginaries and efforts of us the world’s citizens, and certainly not if we leave it up to the great corporations that today rule our world and our lives in the most intimate of ways.


Or to the political authorities who by and large serve the needs of those corporations over the needs of their citizens, especially the most vulnerable. This acute crisis of politics in today’s world will be a theme that I will return to again and again as it troubles me greatly.


I want this blog to be a space to free the imagination, to begin to identify the contours of the sort of society and system that may be in gestation to challenge the dominant model based on the power and needs of capital. I am convinced that we can never achieve a low-carbon society unless we develop a radically new social system, based on satisfying human need rather than individual greed, and based on a radical ethic of equality, both equality of respect and that almost completely forgotten social goal, equality of condition.


I see our ecovillage as one of the seeds of such a world, a tiny fragile seed to be sure, but a place nonetheless where we endeavour together to face the great challenges of our time and to build a society where the good life is possible for us all in a harmonious balance with the other species with whom we share this magnificently beautiful planet.


So, please join me on this adventure of discovery of a better future for humankind. Tagaigí liom agus fearaim fíor-chaoin fáilte romhaibh.