A few months ago a web posting was forwarded to me with the ominous sounding link biodynamicshoax.wordpress.com. Started by Stuart Smith, it is a series of articles and commentaries about the pseudo-science, superstition and ritualistic behavior behind biodynamics. It is “affectionately” titled “Biodynamics is a Hoax.”

It is true that many who practice biodynamic farming or grape growing claim to have attained important benefits. However, the problem is that results are seldom replicable and almost always confounded.  We don’t know if the benefits are the result of the sometimes bizarre and ritualistic behaviors or the often meticulous practices and attention that often accompany biodynamic farming.

For the record, we don’t believe there is anything inherently wrong with rituals unless they cause harm or blind us to truth. Does the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team win because they perform a traditional Maori Haka before the start of each international match, or because they are usually the most fiercely conditioned, talented, formidable force on the playing field?

Few would disagree that performing this ritual achieves an important psychological advantage and emotional lift for those performing it.  But despite a winning record approaching 80%, even the most ardent supporter would be reluctant to argue that performing the Haka causes victories

Unfortunately, when it comes to some environmental practices, this is exactly the kind of proof offered by proponents. Even most of the pseudo scientists amongst us know not to confuse “correlation” with “causation”.  But never, and I mean NEVER, point this out to a zealot.

The truth is most environmental programmes (Sustainability, Biodynamic, Carbon Neutral, Organic, Eco-Friendly, etc.) place greater emphasis on administration and record keeping than sound environmental practices.

Fundamentally sensible philosophies, with perhaps a few exceptions, have morphed into out-of-control administrative super structures, virtual Black Holes of paperwork. Not even light can escape.  The painful truth is that most environmental programmes themselves are not sustainable, wasting precious time, killing trees, consuming fossil fuels and destroying not only the morale of those genuinely trying to comply, but sometimes even their will to live.

Perhaps we should all band together and agree to adopt the E.O.B. program (short for Ecodynamic, Organistainable, Biocarbonfriendly) and follow its’ four principles:

  1. Recycling is good.
  2. Wasting stuff is bad.
  3. Don’t do anything your mother would not approve.
  4. Paperwork is for sissies.

And the certification process would be simple.  Sign an electronic form stating that you promise to abide by these principles forever. For a modest fee you will receive a signed certificate prominently featuring the EOB Certification symbol – a carbon atom intertwined with grape vines superimposed over a crystal clear water droplet with two cow horns protruding from either side, with the Sun, the Moon and Uranus arrayed around the outside and a happy face on the Moon.

And by the way, the funds would have to be transferred electronically and the certificate would be sent by email. You will have to print it out on your own recycled, dried fig leaf, cow manure impregnated paper.