The Need to Change Our Framework
The need for a Holistic Management Framework has long been obscured because of the successes we have achieved without one. We've been able to develop increasingly sophisticated forms of technology to exploit the Earth's resources to make life more comfortable, but we haven't been able to do so without damaging our environment at the same time. The juxtaposition of societal progress while extracting from our environment is the most glaring example of how we're using a genetically embedded framework to make decisions.
Over the decades agriculture as a whole has transitioned from a soil-maintaining enterprise to a soil-depleting enterprise based on chemical inputs, with the result that we are losing our ability to feed a growing population of nearly nine billion people. Farmers have become increasingly dependent on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, which kill soil organisms and poisons waterways. And anytime soil is exposed - through plowing or harvesting crops and clearing or burning residue - soil organisms die and thus the soil does too, releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. When paired with the unsustainable techniques used for factory farming pigs, poultry, and cattle, it becomes apparent that modern agriculture is contributing to both desertification and climate change.
Setting aside the urgency of climate change for a moment, consider the economic importance of establishing sound and sustainable agriculture. Historically, our civilization gained the ability to prosper through the practices that we used agriculturally. The domestication of crop and livestock allowed farmers to create surpluses which freed people to pursue the activities that allowed us to establish resilient communities. Agriculture was the cornerstone of economy. But as importance of sustaining our economy grew we began the practices that undermined the resource that sustained our growth: the environment.
Now, more than ever, we need to make decisions that simultaneously consider economic, social, and environmental realities both short and long-term. The Holistic Management Framework helps us accomplish this.
By first defining your context, and then checking your actions against your context we can address the undesired outcomes of our agricultural, or any other, problem by ensuring that we're maintaining a holistic view of the decisions that we make.