So can a permaculture perspective add insight and a model of adaptive change in the context of the current crisis? I believe applying permaculture ethics and design principles to how we live can reduce our vulnerabilities to shocks from whatever quarter…
Permaculture, I’ve learned, is not only a method but a philosophy, one that emphasizes the relationships among all the elements of the environment rather than its individual parts in isolation. The opposite is big-farm monoculture.
Perhaps in the years and decades to come the meaning of what is happening will dawn on those whose world is collapsing and conditions will mature sufficiently for sweeping political changes. In the meantime permacultural designs of local cultivation space and residential areas, ways to create soils, grow trees that absorb carbon, re-discover new forms of living and organising may become possible providing an example to those who have otherwise lost just about everything and who are seeking to find a way to start again…..
Think of the presence of leaf cutter ants as being an indicator of an ecosystem out of balance, of being a cure for damaged soils.
…one way to think of permaculture is: whole systems thinking applied to design.
I’m not surprised that Permaculture hasn’t caught on with mainstream food growers.
Finance, even in its most high-tech formulations, is rooted in ecological systems.
Over three decades I have received many requests to travel across Australia and across the world to speak at a conference, teach a course or participate in some worthy event related to permaculture. My reluctance to travel long distances for short stays has meant I have had to turned down many of these invitations. In more recent years the reactions of invitees has moved from incredulity to understanding, and even admiration, as a small but growing list of public figures are choosing not to travel by air to highlight the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
What I am aiming to explore in this post is the pattern of the pulse – a pattern that seems to occur in all natural systems. I want to look at how it has flowed through human history in the form of energy production and consumption, and how it relates to a number of my interests.
How can we solve a problem (in a garden, say), with permaculture tools, by decomposing the problem and coming up with a set of interlocking pieces that solves it? Framing the problem in this way is very much applying an engineering mindset, something that might irk those who insist on thinking holistically about any and all ecological settings. (And I can relate to that sentiment, because too much has been done in engineering and science more broadly to stop holistic thinking and to employ scientific reductionism in its place.)