DUTCH woman Moze Jacobs read a retelling of Deidre Of The Sorrows when she was 16, and still living in Holland. She felt the landscape in the story and the mythical desolation made her cry. From then she dreamed of living in Ireland.
When she settled permanently near Clonakilty in 1997, Moze played saxophone in DeBarra’s in Clonakilty every Sunday. Working as a freelance writer, journalist and translator allowed her the freedom to move countries. Her partner also worked freelance as a composer and sound artist. The internet was developing and this made sourcing translation work much easier.
Since childhood, Moze has always been interested in nature. As a journalist, she wrote ecological articles for Dutch magazine Art Of Nature.
When life became busy with children, she didn’t continue her journalistic career. She did write poetry but as a newcomer in a new country, she found it difficult to find an audience.
Nowadays she no longer feels so much of an outsider. What Moze says was probably a small step for Clonakilty library was a big step for her.
The library organised a workshop with poet James Harpur which she attended. From there she joined the library writers group and found people on a common wavelength. She says it is one of the places where people dare to be more personal. She would recommend anyone to do it.
Out of the library writers group, the Debarra’s Spoken Word monthly meetings opened up another platform for Moze to meet like-minded people. In 2019, as part of the Spoken Word meetings, interested people gathered to plan activities for Heritage Week.
Separately, Save Our Skibbereeen formed to object to a plastics factory locating in the town. Moze knew some of the organisers and thus became involved. Through SOS, she met, Fiona Hayes which led her to the awareness of ecocide. Around this time, Ireland announced a climate and biodiversity crisis.
Moze describes ecocide as coined from the term genocide, which is the illegal killing of humans. The late American Polly Higgins campaigned to make it illegal to kill nature. For example, the CEO of a logging company could be prosecuted for the killing of a rain forest. There is still a long way to go in that campaign.
An inaugural meeting of an environment group was organised in Clonakilty involving people who wanted to take direct action to protect the planet.
The issues included banning the use of pesticides, growing more flowers for bees, and stopping the use of palm oil.
Moze says that nature is ‘not considered when making economic decisions, it doesn’t matter what you do to nature so long as you’re making money. We get our food from the rich bio diverse forest. If one source runs out, we just use another. But the soil is depleted. Driven by Big Money farmers are encouraged to buy in, fertilizers and chemicals rather than allowing the soil to regenerate naturally.
“People are getting cancer from the use of the pesticide Round Up, in America, where the company are battling against paying compensation to the sufferers, just like the big tobacco companies battled against compensating smokers 30 years ago.”
Having read about Doughnut Economics, Moze became interested in the concept that economic growth is not eternal. Doughnut Economics encourages companies to rethink their mission statement so that they serve communities and protect nature. People want enough nature, healthy food and to be able to walk around in safety; meaningful work at a decent wage; affordable housing, health care and education. The need for community is very evident in the current pandemic.
Doughnut economics is about networking. The West Cork Doughnut Economy Network is part of the IDEN Irish Doughnut Economy Network.
Moze says: “Look at every product we buy and see if it harms the planet. If we lose biodiversity, we will end up in wasteland. We need to be able to buy healthy food locally and at cheaper prices. The problem is not nature, the problem is how people interact with nature. We need to adopt the slogan ‘Think Global Act Local’.”
Moze adds that Doughnut Economics is about taking a ‘selfie’ of our communities, looking at what’s good, celebrating it and devising ways to add to and improve it.
She cites SOS as an example; an orchard will be planted in a meadow behind Field’s Super Value in Skibbereen, sponsored by the group. There are plans to develop a Greenway from Skibbereen to Baltimore which complements the Blueway along the river Ilen.
There are many good things happening around West Cork and in Ireland generally.
Moze says: “Doughnut Economics intertwines with these existing groups, all working to prevent climate chaos with genuine people who all want the same thing. People interested in community are interested in the environment.”
Writer Moze Jacob also collaborated on a sci-fi, non-fiction, graphic novel. She wrote the words and worked remotely with a Dutch illustrator. See www.amazon.co.uk/Terra-Titan- Graphic-Novel-CD for more
West Cork Doughnut Economy Network will have a public launch event on February 24 at 8pm.
It will take place on Zoom to allow for visitors from across the region / Cork city / elsewhere.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to receive an invitation or phone 0871034610