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Samsø Energy Academy
In 1997 Samsø became known as Denmark’s Renewable Energy Island and over the course of 10 years, the Island of Samsø transformed its energy supply to become carbon neutral through the use of renewable energy. We are now heading towards phasing out the use of fossil fuels by 2030.
Since 2007 Samsø Energy Academy has provided a place for learning about and dealing with the consequences of climate change. We have connected to individuals, tribes, island communities and nations around the world to learn more about these consequences, and create initiatives that expand our capacity to deal with them.
Like everyone else working with the consequences of climate change, from individual environmental activist to the 193 nation leaders committing to reaching the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, we find ourself in a transition phase. We enter into this transition with a clear understanding of the need for action, yet only vague ideas of exactly what to do.
Our ambition and intention at the Energy Academy is to lead the way; we aim to be a living lab for exploring the sustainable transition. The location and size of the island, with its 3,676 year round residents, is not a limitation. Instead, Samsø provides clarity that furthers the understanding of common sense,
so sustainable transition can be used and applied regionally, nationally and internationally.
We have experienced on Samsø and around the world how problems and solutions are both technical and social, local and global, private and financial. Therefore we take inspiration from the 17 SDGs to define three areas of focus for this publication: People,
Planet and Prosperity. We want to share excerpts from our history and thoughts, and invite you to take part in our transition process. Hopefully this book will lead you to collaborate with us and help expand our collective capacity to deal with the consequences of climate change.
ACTIVISM – A TERM UNDERGOING CHANGE
Once, activism was a matter of life and death. To us, there is no single explanation that frames the phenomenon sufficiently but it has undergone change. Approaching the term from the perspective of people, activism is local communities creating movement in order to change certain conditions for a better here and now. In that case activism might be a fundamentally necessary action. In the West, we have large global organisations that work with activism as a part of their DNA. Greenpeace is an example of a more organised form of global activism. They act to create global attention and change concerning issues that have major consequences for the present and for the future.
When discussing activism in a larger perspective, one must ask
the questions: what is good for the individual, how do we measure it and how many can we can affect? The perspective of people’s wellbeing becomes a matter of economy, balance sheets and national budgets. In our current calculation models, activism can be an independent economy that takes care of the relations between ecosystems to maintain balance. How does GDP take responsibility for how we take care of each other and how much are our relations worth? What comes first, people or economy? If all stakeholders are not activists, who then will speak for the people who are not the powerful, the economically strong or the politically organised?
Still many people, communities and nations around the world are ruled by riots and war. The basic conditions of life and political stability is absent. Corruption, pollution and crime is out of control and we urgently need people to get together and act. In this light
it is especially uplifting that all the world’s 193 nations have committed to the 17 SDGs. Now the question is whether or not
the existing institutions are able to reach the 159 targets. Here, activism is a force that can change things on a global scale.
Change is difficult to achieve. It does not rely only upon technical preconditions, but also on social and economic ones. Despite many attempts to create change, it happens slowly and one step at a time. We need to develop technological and economically sustainable alternatives to our systems. Yet in order to break free of the drift and bring about change for the better, it is necessary for people to act.
THE FUTURE OF ACTIVISM DEPENDS ON ART, LOCAL OWNERSHIP AND A WHOLE NEW LANGUAGE
I am always thirsty on falafel bar
I refuse to buy water bottles and I am not allowed tap water. Then I was standing by the counter with a zucchini in my hand, only me and you, it and I
but I couldn’t feel it
because it was wrapped in plastic
green skin my skin
I asked the boy
Who are you protecting us from?
(Translation of excerpt from “Undergangsfortælling i kollektiv tone” by Other Story and Goodiepal & Pals)
On the 23rd of March 2018, Founder of Other Story Madeleine Kate McGowan, went on stage in Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen and read from the poem “Undergangsfortælling i
kollektiv tone”. It was during the filmfestival CPH:DOX and she was not alone: with her were the artist collective Goodiepal & Pals, and her colleagues from the film project Other Story. During the reading they all moved around and interacted with the audience. The performance sprung from a shared document that has been co-written from all corners of the Earth, about the anxiety and frustration that climate and immigration challenges cause every day.
The Other Story project was created to inspire, and as a reaction to how the media is neglecting their responsibility to tell edifying stories about the world we live in. They are rather focusing on opposing views and creating conflict. Other Story organise in traveling groups going around the world to tell the good stories they encounter. Madeleine Kate McGowan explains:
»We know we are all hypocrites. No one can live a CO-neutral life, and we try to display our vulnerability by translating the struggle into performance and activism that creates empathy, involves people, shows respect. Artistically, we explore the language of limitation. What happens when you cannot travel
by airplane but have to take the train, what happens when you cannot eat meat? We see an interesting potential in the spatial things that happen when you can no longer respond to your desires. We try to transform the uncomfortable distancing from climate sin, to something positive.«
HOW DO WE CALL THE CIVIL SOCIETY TO ACTIVISM?
John Holten Andersen, professor at DTU, co-founder of the environmental organisation NOAH:
»The environmental movement has for too many years been way too technocratic, and has made all matters a question of complex, technical and bureaucratic details, that the general population haven’t been able to relate to. Environment and climate have become something for specialists speaking in technical terms and calculating on wildly abstract numbers. It is so far from what we otherwise sense and experience. That is why we now find ourselves in a situation where we do not have the same support from the public as we did 20-30 years back.
We have to return to a more immediate language that addresses what we see, smell, sense and hear. The technocratic language makes officials able to sit and communicate with each other
across the globe, but it has also fragmented the environmental movement. But as soon as you meet people face to face in a concrete, local context, the context will speak for itself, because you cannot abstract sensed relativity. This is why activism must be brought to life through the powers of local engagement, exactly like the environmental movement had in the beginning – with concrete, palpable projects, like Samsøe’s conversion to sustainable energy island. And then it is essential to be backed up by the cultural life. To reestablish activism is also to reestablish the artistic environment.«
Connie Hedegaard, former European Commissioner for Climate Action:
»There is a growing discontent with the fact that the green agenda is not getting sufficient attention in the public political debate. Therein is the key to mobilising people again, because a paradigm shift is on the rise, also with the young, who make food waste campaigns, join shared economies and ask their professors for more about alternative economic models in the curriculum.«
Frede Hvelplund, professor at Aalborg University, Sustainable Energy Planning Research Group:
»The fight for the environment is no relay race, where we just pass the baton to the young. The problem is so comprehensive that all generations have to work together, because we need the young and the more experienced. We need an intergenerational collaboration, because there is not time for every new generation to reinvent the wheel.«
The work of Samsø Energy Academy is an exploration of how climate change affects our life on Samsø and in the rest of the world. What consequences do an unstable climate have for nature? What will it mean if we collectively and drastically change our behaviour in order to reduce our carbon footprint?
For ten years much of the Energy Academy’s work has been monitored and measured by our partners from the University
of Aalborg. Rigorous data collection and analysis have provided us with valuable insights on how initiatives have sparked action, and how actions have made every inhabitant of Samsø CO2- neutral. This data does not tell the whole story, yet it provides a crucial link for the activism on Samsø to serve an alternative to the status quo, to the market forces of energy infrastructure and governance of society.
CORE MEANS HEART
Professor Ole Fogh Kirkeby talks about how projects, when they are developing and growing, tend to move so far away from the starting point that you forget their core meaning. A good way to rediscover the anchor place of things is through language.
The word corecomes from Indo-European and means heart. Many European languages is from the Indo-European family, and you can see that core and heart are related when you place the French word for heart – coeur – together with core.
From here, the word has evolved and removed itself from its original meaning by becoming analogous, that is, has been used
in new ways. Back in the old days, it was believed that the human spirit and intuition were emanating from the heart. In other words, the heart was any person’s core.
THE ROAD TO A FOSSIL FREE ISLAND
A core narrative is something that brings together the essence of a place. The sum of the history, culture and knowledge of a place. A core narrative is necessary for everyone who has a message and a goal. A core narrative is more than just a story. It is an anchorage that enables a common starting point.
At the Energy Academy, we gather the essence of Samsø as of today and show the direction of the island’s further journey. After 20 busy years, we are now in a ford crossing and are about to create our new core narrative, and find out how we create tomorrow’s modern island community. It is about digging all the way into the DNA and history of Samsø, and make it act as a
compass on the way to the ambitions of 2030 and Samsø version 3.0 – a fossil free island.
Samsø has changed: The offshore wind turbines are no longer in the hands of the community, and the technology, which has driven the renewable energy on this Island, is becoming obsolete. Nevertheless, we believe that we can continue to tell the same success story
of Samsø. A healthy society is in sync with reality. History has shown us that it can be dangerous to continue down the same path without stopping and putting one’s ear to the ground. It is obvious to use fossil-free island as a benchmark in the new core narrative of Samsø – it is a project that can cement the success story of Samsø as pertinent and groundbreaking.
But what potentials and obstacles stand in the way? And does it make sense to have a 2030 deadline? We have invited planning engineer Per Alex Sørensen and politician Jens Joel to give their opinion on the matter.
DENMARK’S LIVING LAB FOR THE INCONVENIENT WORK
Per Alex Sørensen has helped the plans behind the island’s transition since Samsø began the Renewable Energy Island project in 1997, and is also behind the municipal plan for Samsø as a fossil- free island. He says:
»If Samsø really succeeds in becoming fossil-free by 2030, the island will be the first community in the world to achieve that goal. Furthermore, it will have an effect on Samsø’s branding and
image. People will come to visit to learn from us, and it will create employment and massive, positive attention.«
An area where Samsø is truly able to do something unique towards 2030, is to expand the sustainability idea to not only embrace sustainability in regard to energy supply, but also to do it in such
a way that circular economy and sustainable food production are included in the transition.
Politician Jens Joel is the climate spokesperson for the Social Democratic Party and has, as an East Jutlander, grown up with Samsø as part of his self-image. He sat at the table when the government’s energy agreement came into place June 2018 and insisted on the grant that was to give Samsø Energy Academy the resources and work stability to achieve the island’s goal of becoming fossil-free in 2030.
Jens Joel sees several important potentials in the project:
»To become fossil-free on a national level in 2050 – something we proposed to move to 2045 – we first and foremost need a small scale ‘Living Lab’ like Samsø to show us the way. It is a huge
task where you need to go into depth with many tedious details, but I see the greatest potential in the integration of systems and collaboration between municipalities, utilities and farmers. These are issues that are being dealt with throughout the world. If Samsø succeeds in finding a way here, we have come far. We want to create coherent solutions and innovative collaborations across the board.«
DOES IT MAKE SENSE TO HAVE A DEADLINE STANDING FLASHING ON THE HORIZON?
Ever since Samsø embarked on the Renewable Energy Island project in 1997, the island has been working towards a deadline. Samsø had 10 years to become self-sufficient with renewable energy and the goal was already reached in 2005. With the ambition to become fossil- free in 2030, another timeline is taking shape on the wide horizon surrounding the island. But is it not too rigid to have to work towards another deadline? And if the technology is challenging, is it at all realistic to create a fossil-free society 20 years earlier than the rest of Denmark? Fortunately, Per Alex Sørensen is optimistic.
»The timeline up to 2030 is certainly realistic and has a great psychological effect. The year is neither too far away nor too close. If the project’s deadline was postponed to 2050, one would think, ‘there is plenty of time’, or, ‘I won’t be part of this anyway’. It is important to be ambitious and set a concrete goal. As a planner, I am fully aware that plans are constantly changing and should be adjusted accordingly. That kind of openness and flexibility must always be present in such an elongated and complex process, but in no way does that mean that the end goal can be delayed. You get nothing out of that. To have something realistic and urgent in common makes all the difference.«
Jens Joel believes that the timeline should be seen in relation to Samsø’s size and experience. If Denmark wants to hold onto their hopes of achieving its fossil-free ambition in 2050, it should have an example to draw experience from:
»If anyone can do that by 2030, it is Samsø. You’ve done it before and you are already up and running. You already have the necessary structures embedded, which the rest of us still need to incorporate on a national level: The readiness of conversation, the space to let everyone speak, the courage to take risks. It is
not without reason that I am talking about social skills here. Technology is definitely helpful and important, but even the smartest machine falls short without the support of
COMMUNITY AT THE CORE
The Danish words for grain and creativity (korn and kreativitet, red.) also originate from the same group of words as core. It is related
to that of what is expanding, growing, but also strengthening; the solidary, the warm and the loving. The key for us is our centre, our community and love. If the loving, intuitive and creative flow from the core of our narrative, we believe that we can adapt and change the way we live. We believe that we can live in camaraderie with the planet and sustain a long and prosperous relationship between the planet and its inhabitants.
The world is in imbalance. The temperature is rising. The world community is concerned. Too much COis emitted. Plans to transform our ways of producing and consuming energy are analysed and synthesised to reduce emissions. The world needs solutions.
In 2013, Samsø in collaboration with professor at Aalborg University Søren Nors Nielsen and professor emeritus at Copenhagen University Sven Erik Jørgensen and with the support of the VELUX FONDEN, made carbon accounts. The accounts show that Samsø is able to sequester almost 40,000 tonnes of carbon per year.
Plants use COto create the building blocks and energy for biological growth and turnover. As humans, we trade with the world we are a part of. We export carbon via the production of food and processed goods binding carbon. We also import goods and services containing carbon, yet by the end of the year when we calculate the trade balance ratio, the whole island of Samsø sequesters more carbon than we emit.
The health of the soil largely depends on how much biomass/ carbon is bound in it and especially in the topmost cultivated layer. The soil’s ability to bind water and nutrients increases as the amount of carbon increases. Carbon saves agriculture from purchasing expensive fertilisers, and it provides healthier plants and better yields.
The concept of negative carbon emission is pretty abstract for most people. As private citizens, we can hardly grasp or measure our carbon balance and we can’t convert it into a recognisable
market value. However, as an island, a community and a collective, the profits start to become evident. Sequestering carbon enables positive figures on the financial bottom line and a better condition for the soil. The carbon accounts are a tool available for designing, planning, managing carbon emissions and binding. It helps us take the right decisions to create and sustain a CO-neutral
society. It was a great step for Samsø to become COnegative, a step towards a CO-neutral world.
EVERYTHING EXISTS BEFORE IT TAKES SHAPE
Danish filmmaker and good friend of the Energy Academy, Peter Engberg, says his life is filled with examples of synchronicity – situations he could never have planned in advance. He believes
it is important to mention this because we today face enormous environmental, psychological and spiritual challenges that we cannot control or comprehend logically. He encounters more and more people around the world who have felt this coherence of things, and have started to enter the collective field of consciousness in the search of solutions that could never be created alone.
But what is the collective consciousness field? Let’s say you decide to write a book or build a house or paint a picture. Now you have decided, but where is the decision? Can it be seen? Measured? Weighed? No, what Peter Engberg believes is that the decision is planted in the collective field of consciousness, and one day it can manifest itself in the physical world. Everything exists somewhere before it takes shape. Just like a giant oak tree is found inside a small acorn. But if you cut through the acorn and look for the oak tree, you cannot see it. It cannot be measured. And still the tree exists in the acorn.
We are talking about another field – the field that the poet Rumi describes:
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When we begin to get to know the field through direct experience and start embodying it and owning it rather than imagining it, we also begin to develop more confidence that it can happen again, and this process becomes self-reinforcing. The more confidence there is, the easier it becomes to experience the field directly itself, which in turn develops more confidence.
When Peter Engberg interviewed astronaut Edgar Mitchell for one of his films, Mitchell told Peter Engberg how it had changed his life completely to see the Earth from space, the blue planet – where everything is connected. Not only in theory, but in reality.
One of our pioneers, the cell biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton, invites
us to see how we are much more connected than we can imagine
– just like any cell in your body right now is connected to each other without you being aware of it. He has demonstrated how our thoughts can shape our genes. A rapidly growing number of people feel that the old paradigm is collapsing, but a new one is about
to be born. The media do not talk much about it, they are mostly focused on negative news, and that is why Peter Engberg wants to use the film media to tell another story, something that can bring hope and make us believe that we can actually change the world to one that is more in sync with the planet which we are totally dependent upon.
Time has come to focus on what connects us – rather than what sets us apart. Our thoughts about each other and about our future are like seeds that can sprout into something truly immense. Once we thought the Earth was flat. Then some pioneers challenged this world view and today we think differently. It requires enormous force for a rocket to release itself from the Earth’s gravity field. Likewise, it requires our full focus and willingness to let go of our
old assumptions about what is real and what is possible. But when we do it together, we gain access to completely different resources.
Those resources are without limits, Peter Engberg says. They connect us all – because they exist in us all. It is up to us. The invitation to discover it and take ownership lies in every breath. But it requires letting go of the thought of what is possible in this life.
To breathe in and to breathe out. To hold on and to let go.
OWNERSHIP IS COLLECTIVE
To make a pioneer project like the one at the Energy Academy prosper, it is essential that its participants take ownership over
the higher purpose. Ownership should not be understood as the physical ownership over things. It is abstract. It is ownership over innovation, over the transition. Ownership is an evolutionary leap. Ownership is about people sharing a common vision for the future. No ownership means no common ground – no common ground means no change.
The natural resources that Samsø has managed to use in the transition to renewable energy, have always existed in the island’s landscape: the breeze across the open heath, the water at the shores, the rich soil in the south and the heat from the sun baking on crops. We take all of these things for granted, but sometimes forget that they have carried an unused potential through the millennia.
Samsø has since the last ice age been the island of gatherings; a place where things happened. In this play we invite you on a poetic journey back to that time, when the people of Samsø praised the 7 power centres of the island. While the elements through time have accumulated a wealth of physical resources on the island, it is the presents job to rediscover them, and release their potential.
Samsø’s past goes so far back that so little is written down about it, rather it has been sung from mouth to mouth. Passing the songs on allowed the people to move into the 7 dimensions of the island, which was the key to discovering the temples that Samsø’s diverse nature represents.
However, in the present we are unfamiliar with these songs and how to become an initiated user of the 7 dimensions. Without a relationship to the pact between the landscapes and the promise of the elements, we can no longer exist.
That which is written here and now has been sung through generations, and is woven by wisdom and sound long before we could read and write, turn on the light or tap, and before we could get in the car and drive to the city, or fly off in a plane across continents.
We find our way into an organ; the heart. Pulses and currents lead us to a withered meadow. The sound of flower seeds rustling, tunefully and urgent.
We have arrived in the year 2800 B.C.
We stand planted in the centre of the North, where the gates of the Landscape Temple’s many dimensions are opening. Here, you shall search and meet the trees, beaches, hills, swamps, fjords, the peninsula and the lowland. You shall discover animals, organisms, bacteria and humans ingeniously orchestrated in an abundance of appointments. All these phenomena are held together by energies mastered by the elements water, fire, air and earth. The Landscape Temple lies in the eye of the storm, and around it approaches 22 villages, that define the energy and life of the Landscape Temple.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
NOT JUST FOR HUNTING
My little hunger is approaching, my stomach is calling for food. Suddenly it feels like I am surrounded by animals that keep an eye on me and upon my every move. It is like being caught in the rush of a flock of starlings, or the lurch of a shoal of herring. My stomach moves severely. Sending me signals in morse code: hunger – hungerhungerhunger – hunger.
The stomach is moving.
I lift my face up and I see the seven most remarkable celestial bodies: the Sun, the Moon, Mercury,
Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn. While the discovery is investigated, I feel warmth on my right cheek, out of the corner of my eye I see a man wearing a feather boa the size of a heron.
Sings. We are the gate that takes life – my name is for your gain, you call me Enid. My people and I ruled the 6th dimension in the Sacral Chakra Brundby, Pillemark, Permelille.
The King of Hunt, Enid, puts two pheasants in the hands of the Samsing and points to the bonfire.
Guardian of the Sacral Chakra Guardian of the Heart Chakra Guardian of the Third Eye Chakra Guardian of the Crown Chakra Guardian of the Throat Chakra Guardian of the Solar Plexus Chakra Guardian of the Root Chakra Communications Manager, SEA Danish author
EVERYTHING WE DID, WE CAN SEE
IN THE DARK, WE CAN SEE
Tor Samsing Malene
Tor Nørretranders lives in Stauns. The place is named The Bay of Love, in Lars Muhls book, Hjertets Stilhed.
Our consciousness is limited to the number 7. We can hold 7 different words, numbers, concepts, sounds, feelings, impressions or thoughts in our consciousness simultaneously. *
With two pheasants, the crackling of the bonfire, the stars above, a feeling of hunger and my presence in the Landscape Temple, I discover that the consequence can cost me my life.
Hunger reminds me that I, together with my great grandmother a long time ago, was trained in the greek alphabet. Many years later I gave shape to a snake in clay that was raku burned for the exhibition OMEGA, where the wise-men of Earth were united in the original unity.
I am the Queen of Narration, Fagrill. I guard the 5th dimension in the Heart Chakra and the experience of the past. Everything we did, we can see. I am appointed by Østerby, Torup, Onsbjerg, Langemark and Stavns. In the name of love, I do good, I can make your heart stand still if you wish to see your heart.
The bonfire has burned out and the stars are gone.
I cannot see my hand in front of me. In the dark I feel the pheasants are lifted from my hands, and we begin to walk. I surrender to that which leads the way. I feel only the surface under me change in structure and in sound. Steps and breaths are the conversation.
Silence before the interruption is called ‘Shibumi’ in the Japanese culture.
What use is that here and now while I follow with my heart’s ability to see the handover of the queen of narration Fragrill?
The interruption comes from a cloudy sky, with a clear voice growing from the dark.
Like a mantra. I am appointed King of the 7th dimension, the Crown Chakra. My name is Tormen and I reign from scalp to face. I am the King of Issehoved, Ballebjerg, Kolsør Hage and Møgelskår. Fast gets our attention, slow has the power. That is why the dark is everybody’s depth and here you can learn to see.
* Nørretranders, Tor (2015) Mærk verden : en beretning om bevidsthed. København, Gyldendal 46
WE MAKE ALL THINGS GROW
WATER AND WET IS OURS IN BLUE
I sense a gentle hand on my forehead, while the Earth
is spinning and the Sun sheds the first light. There she stands, a body with leeks wrapped around the feet, carrots dancing around the waist and asparagus covering torso and neck, on top a crown of sprouting potatoes.
I am Queen Redag, guardian of the Third Eye Chakra, the 2nd dimension and appointed by the tribe of Nordby and Mårup. My hands make all things grow, your third eye shall be adorned. Before this day is over, you will be closer to your hunger. Remember: eat slowly from the table of life, you are now a bigger part of the Landscape Temple’s 7 dimensions. Before the dark sets in, you will have passed through the 7 gates and will be inaugurated and can call yourself human.
I am blinded by the sun and losing my orientation. I have to hurry and speed up in order to hit omega. The essential 3 dimensions will release me and make me ready.
The boat King Aril, the leader of Langør, Sælvig, Toftebjerg, Alstrup, is standing upon the shore. His big hand holding the railing of a boat, rising and falling with the breath of the ocean, kept in motion by the wind. The movement draws the Samsing closer.
My shoes are painted blue and drips water of wet.
Aril lowers both oars like extensions of his arms, and starts to row rhythmically while the sun lifts itself further as the day develops.
Blue is good and blue is the origin of all things. We cannot lift life without water and wet. This is why you have to learn how sustainable, lasting systems have the structure that makes them adaptable and robust. Fast interrupts, slowcontinues. The water is the beginning and the end.
With this sentence, Aril hits the new shore and the crossing is over. Sailors know that the 7th wave on the ocean is always the biggest.
WE ILLUMINATE AND BLIND
ALL THAT SMELLS IS OURS
I have come to the hamlet that goes by the name of Ballen. My stomach contracts and it feels like an anchor is stuck in my solar plexus. The nausea is sent with the speed of a comet and hits my mouth, while my body is tying itself up. Ergo: my body is afraid, I have lost my self-control.
The Sun Queen Josan, appointed by Ballen and Tranebjerg, overtakes the movement of the water and with the strength of the sun, she sees the Samsing burning in the heat.
My body takes a picture with a wish of becoming a bigger part of the landscape. The Sun Queen’s beam stands bright and clear, with the chemical composition for developing photography, so the pictures on my retina and my skin can become resistant to light. I
sail out to lose sight of land for all time, the way is illuminated and blinding.
I am the guardian of the Root Chakra, the Landscape Temple’s 1st dimension, here is the gate to alpha and omega. My name: Saukl, appointed by Brattingsborg, Kolby Kås, Ørby, Hårdmark, ruler of waste.
Everything is a circuit, and all that smells is related
and alive, reshaping into useful energy for all. When disregarding the circuit of the water, all other circuits are driven and sustained by living creatures, in complicated, entwined networks.
You have to learn to smell and be attracted to the smell of an oak leaf being eaten by a cockchafer, eaten by rooks and predators of the 1st order, eaten by martens and predators of the 2nd order. Underway they drop waste such as leaves, bark, root tips, hides, feathers and faeces. Sooner or later they die, decompose and are eaten by saprophytic bacteria eaten by amoebas, eaten by earthworm in a connected circuit.
It is chemical energy bound in the organic carbon compounds, that makes the food chains capable of sustaining the circuits. When you are interested in the matter, you often forget that energy is just as essential for life. The Energy Academy has for 21 years worked with the energy of the 7 dimensions, and has gone
through the gate to the wisdom about what enables life of planet Earth. But there is another dimension. The 8th dimension. The evolutionary upgrade: humans. When the human is introduced into the equation it becomes complex. The human affects nature.
If we put the 8 on the side we get ∞ – the infinity symbol.
There is not only one truth, there are many. We have
to move from the absolute to infinity. We must change the way we are present on Earth, and dissolve our views on being human. We need to question what is possible rather than give answers. We must navigate with
the infinity symbol, develop new senses, develop our intuition.
My body is animated by what I surround myself with.
We open up towards several ways of looking at existence. Welcome to a new type of longing, a new way of life. Welcome to the Energy Academy.
ASCENT OF THE MIGHTY TRIDENT
Outside the Energy Academy, a large trident in stainless steel stands at the tip of a raw soil semicircle and points towards the sky.
It was made by artist Jens Settergren in close collaboration with the local arts council and the Energy Academy. The artist himself writes the following about his work:
“The piece initiates a number of imagery about energy, technology and nature, as well as the human interaction with these. It deals with energy as a concept. What do we imagine when we talk about energy, and how do we visualise energy?”
It is based on the well-known USB icon, which is to be found on much of the technological equipment we surround ourselves with in our everyday life – an icon, many probably do not wonder so much about. However, the icon has an interesting story. It was developed with the starting point of the Roman god Neptune’s mighty trident. Neptune is the god of the sea, and his trident has the ability to create new water masses and earthquakes. It is a true symbol of the power to control the natural environment.
Humans have gained the capacity to harness and utilise the energy of the mighty trident to control our environment. The trident makes us reflect about this ability, about the consequences of climate change and how we can use our capacity to learn and act to create a sustainable transition.
At the Energy Academy we are working to deal with the consequences of what we as a collective have done with this power. For 21 years the citizens of Samsø have worked to use the energy for good, for creating a 100% self-sustained, renewable energy supply. The energy has not been in the hands of individuals, nor
isolated to a sector, an organisation, group or specific technology. Like the USB, initiatives that drive the sustainable transition are not specific to one platform, technology, culture, or way of working. Dealing with the consequences of climate change is nuanced and
it is about dealing with people, planet and prosperity. Individuals and communities provide energy and matter to the sustainable transition when people become patient leaders, when we become companions of the planet and when we collectively take ownership of the development process towards prosperity.
Ascent of the Mighty Trident, 2018