The Reality Report interviews David Holmgren. David co-invented permaculture over 30 years ago and has been a practitioner and teacher ever since, both at his home in Australia and as a consultant around world. In 2002 he published the book Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability that reviewed permaculture in the context of peak energy. More recently, David created a web site called Future Scenarios, see www.futurescenarios.org. This interview is based on that web site and was recorded on July 14, 2008.

The complete interview is nearly two hours long and is therefore broken into two segments. The first installment (link) discussed a broad view of history as related to ecology, energy and societal complexity. The development of permaculture in the context of 1970s economic woes was reviewed. David explains why he created FutureScenarios.org as an alternative to the predominant beliefs in either business as usual or a smooth steady state transition towards “sustainability,” as well as the simplistic notion of a “Mad Max” type collapse.

This second installment covers four “energy descent” scenario groups that correspond to potential variation in the severity of both peak oil and climate change. Scenarios are also viewed as choices, with certain factors, such as social scale and resource availability, influencing the descent path.