Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Biofuels, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Nuclear, Peak Oil, Society.

This video is hands down the best I’ve seen yet at covering all the bases of our present converging dilemmas in one quick (35 minute) hit. Over the years I’ve presented all of the issues covered in this video — hitting them from various angles and in different ways to try to drive the point home — but it’s excruciatingly difficult to cover each element sufficiently whilst giving the casual or intermittant reader a full overview simultaneously. The excellent use of imagery has enabled the creators of this little video to touch on each subject whilst joining up all those dots into the fuller picture.

I’d encourage you to watch, and share widely. When sharing, you might want to do it by way of linking to this blog post, as I’ll put below a smattering of articles on these topics which some may look to for more details after watching:

Further Reading:

22 Responses to “There’s No Tomorrow (Video)”

  1. Peter Brandis

    As you say, a great overview of the many and varied issues we now face. It would be an interesting intro to permaculture courses – with a discussion following.

    Reply
  2. Øyvind Holmstad

    I just read a letter from Wendell Berry, here are some words of encouraging in these times:

    “In fact, Madhu, what we both want to happen—a counter movement to greed and waste and the dominance of corporations—is already happening. It is happening simply because a lot of people have seen things needing to be done and are doing them. They are at work without grants, without official instruction or permission, and mostly unnoticed by the politicians and the news industry. Eventually this movement will have political powers which will be in some ways regrettable. I hope it will have the sense and strength to remain locally oriented, and to resist the simplification and corruption that will come with power.” – Wendell Berry

    See: http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/beyond-prisons/a-quieter-life-now

    Reply
  3. Jason Gerhardt

    Though this is one of the better concise overviews of the issues we face, considering that this might reach large audiences I think many will choose to just die instead. The solutions proposed are certainly uninspiring: a life of heavy manual labor, growing all your own food, etc, oh, and by the way, even that won’t save you, but it might help you adapt.

    I am confident through permaculture design, we can (and already have) come up with much more interesting alternatives! More and more I’m convinced that reaching out via fear factor of the future is no way to approach creative adaptation to change. I think films like this should come with a warning label like they have on cigarette packs: “Watching this film can cause long-term depression and can lead to seriously poor decision making.”

    Our future will certainly be more varied than anyone can imagine, and not likely in easily predictable ways. As permaculturist Larry Santoyo might say (with a hefty dose of sarcasm), “build your doomstead now”! Or alternatively, take a stroll in a food forest and think of applying the pattern of exponential growth to that kind of system.

    Reply
  4. Øyvind Holmstad

    @Jason, I think it was David Holmgren that first came up with the “holy grail” of permaculture: http://www.rivendellvillage.org/Essence_of_Permaculture.pdf

    “Self-maintaining systems are the ‘holy grail’ of permaculture, and can be seen in designs for forest gardens, in which work is minimised by planting ground covers to reduce weeds, nitrogen fixers to replace fertilisers and perennial and self-seeding plants to reduce annual plantings.”

    I think that the closer you live to equator, the better chance you have to approach to this “holy grail”.

    Anyway, we must convince the world about that the “holy grail” of permaculture is a much better option than the “holy grail” of eternal growth!

    Reply
  5. Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor

    Jason. There’s a few things I’d like to respond to your comment. But, before I do, it might help if you can think about the following:

    Do you realise that there are many people in the world who, if you were to enthusiastically tell them about food forests and so on, you would be just depressing them (they might “choose to die”, as you said). Can you tell me what kind of people these might be?

    Reply
  6. Jason Gerhardt

    Craig,
    Perhaps my comment wasn’t written very clearly, my apologies. I am saying if you choose to repeatedly talk about the manifold crises that we face, economic collapse, peak everything, etc, and then end with saying we will have to go back to a life of heavy manual labor, growing all our own food, etc (as the video suggests), you would be sorely mistaken if many, many people of the modern age wouldn’t just choose to give up. In my opinion the “peak everything” crowd is not very related to permaculture design as all they have been doing is going on and on for years about how badly we’re screwed. Oyvind, I would NOT put David Holmgren in this category as he is obviously solution focused and quite inspiring. Permaculture design is not about heavy manual labor and everyone growing all their own food.

    Permaculture design offers a very different perspective that is more positivistic and creative. Honestly, I am baffled how many permies have succumbed to the “peak everything” mindset. I am suggesting through good design we can focus on positive responses to changing conditions, rather than bludgeoning people with fear factor information.

    My stance is that it doesn’t matter that everything is peaking. I got into permaculture because it makes sense, not because I feared for my future. I would be doing what I am doing with or without peak oil. I honestly didn’t hear about peak oil until after I took my first PDC. Many more in the 80′s and 90′s did the same.

    I practice permaculture design because it is rooted in common sense, observable facts, and solutions. I think we will have much more success adapting to change and inspiring people to use permaculture design if we aren’t so paranoid about the future.

    I am not suggesting making videos about how food forests will save the world either. I’d rather build them and take those who are interested on a walking tour and let them love it of their own volition, like millions do everyday around the world in botanical gardens. I have no need to try and reach the masses or knock on closed doors about permaculture, or anything for that matter.

    Permaculture is not a bomb-shelter, fill-the-ark type strategy. It’s a ‘let’s create a paradise, so who’s in?’ strategy.

    I am commenting about my frustration with segments of the permaculture movement being obsessed with peak everything information and fear-based inspiration. The peak everything-ers are out there doing their thing, which is fine and good, I just don’t see what that has to do with good ol’ permaculture design.

    Reply
  7. Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor

    Jason, don’t worry, I understood you the first time. And, in many respects I completely agree with you.

    Can I again ask you to answer my question? And, it’s not a trick question. I ask this question first, before I say some other things, only to get you thinking about the answer to this question, after which I can better explain (and you may, after such thinking, be in a better position to understand/appreciate what I have to say next).

    If it helps, I can change the question slightly, based on your last email:

    “Do you realise that there are many people in the world who, if you were to enthusiastically tell them “let’s create a paradise together” you would be just depressing them (they might “choose to die”, as you said). Can you tell me what kind of people these might be?”

    Don’t worry, I’m not trying to be difficult or antagonistic. I just know from previous experience that if I just put all my thoughts down in one hit, it’ll get responded to in a cherry-picked manner, and so might be a fruitless effort, and I need to get you thinking about what kind of people might get totally depressed by you/me telling them of all the positive potential of permaculture. I can assure you there are a lot of them, and I’d like to know if you can think who these people might be.

    Reply
  8. Jason Gerhardt

    Craig, cool, I’m not worried a bit. This feels like jeopardy. I suggested who they were in my last response as “people of the modern age”. Answer: Who is, people who are perfectly happy how things are and will fight with all their might to keep things going in the direction they have been for the last 60ish years?

    If my guess is wrong, just give me the answer:)

    Reply
  9. Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor

    Jason, thanks for playing :)

    I’ll give you the answer illustratively. This is just one example of many you could note around the world.

    Where I live, for example, there are tens of thousands (actually, probably hundreds of thousands) of people who live in communist-era apartment buildings. This means, if you were in their situation, you could be living on the 5th or 8th floor, with absolutely no access to land. Chances are reasonable that you might have a handkerchief sized balcony though (and it might even be with the right aspect, maybe).

    In this situation, you might be working 8 or 12 hours per day, and at the end of the financial year, despite having lived very frugally (as people here are accustomed to doing), you will not be any better off than when the year commenced.

    You might get a few jars of preserved plum jam from your aging grandmother who lives in a village.

    If you’re in this situation, and I come to you to excitedly tell you about all the things we can accomplish with permaculture, there’s a distinct possibility that you will not only get depressed, but that you’ll also punch me in the face. The reason is that it’s a pipe dream for you, and that as much as you’d love to realise this dream, it’s so completely out of reach you would just stare at me with astonished disbelief that I could be so ignorant.

    You’re trapped in a work, eat, sleep cycle you can only dream of escaping from.

    Now, there is hope. There are areas between the apartment buildings, for example, that are small, oft-shady, green areas. These have the potential of being utilised, if even just for a few months of the year. But how to accomplish this? The only way, if you want to stay out of jail, is to get your local officials behind the idea. And the only way to do that, is to get your fellow, neighbouring apartment dwellers behind the idea as well, so as to knock on the door of your local official en masse.

    How do you accomplish this?

    I think you know the answer. You use material like the video above to get people to understand where we’re heading. People don’t thirst for solutions, if they don’t realise there’s a problem, or if they don’t realise the severity of the problem. You’re not going to study steady-state economics, for example, if you have no idea there’s something wrong with our present economic system. Once they do realise the problem, the next hardest thing is to gain the critical mass in interest that can leverage your own feelings of determination – and that can only happen by waking others up as well.

    There is a reason why most PDCs begin with the topic of: “Evidence that we need to act.” Except, in a PDC situation, you don’t need to spend much time on it, as the people in attendance obviously have some realisation of the issues we’re facing, or they wouldn’t be sitting there in the first place.

    I’m guessing you grew up in an English speaking country, and quite possibly (compared to much of the world) with a reasonable level of comfort and wealth. Permaculture took your interest, and you embraced it, and, significantly, you were in a position to embrace it. But, we all need to recognise that there are people existing in vastly different circumstances to your own. I guess I have had some advantage in that I’ve lived and worked in many countries and circumstances, so have learned not to have such a black and white view on many issues.

    Additionally, I say you grew up in an English speaking country because much of the material that you take for granted, and which (from your expressing above) you don’t want to hear any more, has been freely available to you. You’ve heard it all before. Please consider that despite this website being written in English, it is read by people from all over the world, geographically, and linguistically, and that the material you’re tired of hearing about is still unknown to a very large percentage of the world’s population. (Indeed, I’m confident that even in the USA where you’re from, that there are yet millions and millions of people who either know nothing of peak oil, or they think it’s a ‘conspiracy theory’, or they dangerously underestimate its relevance to their lives.)

    The video above, for example, will be picked up by readers in other countries and translated into their local tongue. Example:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo-2QL3hSLU

    There are millions and millions and millions of people around the world who have absolutely no knowledge of peak oil or its implications. For me it would be a gross dereliction of duty for me not to tell the truth about where we stand in history. You might personally not need to hear it, but there are millions more who do yet.

    I guess the biggest point I want to make is that I’ve found permaculture, to a large degree, is only for rich people – or only for those with land. At least, that’s the case, if sites like this must only talk about practical permaculture application without also sharing tools people can use to wake others up and get them involved. More than half the world’s population live in cities today. Of those, a large percentage live in tenements of some sort or another. Creating a more equitable world, and getting people back onto the land, requires a major systemic shift in our economic/social and political structures. This will never happen unless a critical mass of people who really understand what’s going on, put all the pieces of information together (the truth – made up of ‘positive’ and ‘negative’), and work together to find solutions to that reality.

    As a commenter mentioned above, the video at top would be a useful way to begin, for example, a PDC. If you’re going to cover ‘evidence to act’, as PDC teachers do, then this could be a good tool to accomplish that. If you’re going to go to a high school class of Russian students, for example, with the goal of sharing lots of positive permaculture goodness, you could begin with the video above, and then move on to talk about permaculture concepts and benefits, and then (be sure!) move to ideas of how they, despite 99% of them having absolutely no access to land, could find the willpower to start a movement to liberate land in the commons for food production, etc.

    This kind of revolutionary land liberation work is going to be crucially important over the next decade and beyond. It’s going to happen, one way or another. It’s my hope it’ll happen without bloodshed, and this is why I work to try to wake people up, as if they wake up now, there’s a greater chance that the necessary transition will occur peacefully.

    Additonally, I will never accept criticism for telling the truth, even if it’s a hard truth. To take a contemporary example, if you’re my bank manager and I’m significantly overspending and you can see I’m making a beeline to bankruptcy, the very best thing for you to do is to contact me and tell me like it is. If you pander about nervous to give me the full low-down, and instead start making ‘positive suggestions’ about better ways to manage my finances, instead of shouting “WTF are you doing!?!”, I may not take your advice as seriously as I should. And later, when I’m on the street, I’ll regret that, and even be furious with you for not spelling it out more plainly.

    Jason, don’t be so quick to think of people as children who need to be ‘socially engineered’ into ‘positive action’. People are not stupid, and they’re not normally prone to jumping off bridges. My goal is to give as much useful information as possible to enable people to make more historically appropriate decisions – or the best decisions they can, based in their varied circumstances.

    To close, please note that on this site I always try my best to have a mix of different flavours for different people. Some posts are light and fluffy, for those who have a short attention span. Some are deep and meaningful. Some are practically instructive. Some are more academic. Some are positive and inspiring. Some are factual. But, in concert, they are ensuring that the odds of me reaching someone every day is higher than if I focus on only one particular ‘genre’ of material. Diversity is stability.

    When far more people are lucidly aware of the material found in such videos as the above, I’ll gladly stop posting them. Until then, please ignore them, and read instead those that fit your personality and circumstances, and recognise that this site is not only for Jason Gerhardt, USA resident.

    For every person who arrived at permaculture the way you did, there’s another who had to arrive another way, and there are dozens more just dreaming they could do what you are.

    Reply
  10. Jason Gerhardt

    Hi Craig, I am a bit baffled how you interpreted my comment into something so negative to go on to question my worldview, what I have experienced in life, and where I come from.

    You have a very limited conception of what constitutes me. I would never assume to know who you are based on your writings and contribution here, so don’t attempt that for me. Based on the assumptions in what you wrote, I can assure you, you have NO IDEA. And I can understand where you are coming from: though it is tempting to make assumptions right back, I will refrain. I respect much of the permaculture work that you do, that’s all I factually know of you.

    My only intention was to express my understanding of permaculture, and was completely unaware that alternative opinions weren’t welcome on your site and that I should censor my readership. I have an inkling that you really don’t mean to suggest that, but that is certainly how it sounds based on what you wrote. I will zip it from here on out when I have something to share that is counter-perspective (though I firmly believe if everyone did that we would be dumbing-down permaculture design). I’m not sure that the readers of your site, wherever they are from, need to be protected from counter-perspectives, but you can decide as you wish. Keep in mind feedback comes in many colors and stripes; if you don’t want it, then disable the comments.

    Just so you know, there are many, many credible permaculturalists who will have counter-perspectives to a lot of what gets posted on the PRI website. It is a healthy thing; I trust you know that. When you title your website “permaculturenews.com” you should expect that not every permie will agree with what gets posted, because you will naturally have a blend of folks who are new to permaculture and folks who have been in permaculture for 20 or more years.

    My purpose in commenting on this article was to offer my perspective on the recent and overwhelming influx of peak everythingism overlayed onto permaculture design, not on what and how you should post on your site. Of course the crisis we face is important information to share! I have no doubt about that. I only have doubt as to how long that thread stays in permaculture design, and how relevant it is once someone is already into permaculture. Many who come to permaculture are in crisis everyday, they don’t actually need more bad news. Sure, awareness of peak everything is good for course registration and business, but it is not a permaculture educators job to belabor the process. It is actually our job to quickly steer people that come to permaculture into a solutions orientation. Just as we say leave your beliefs and spirituality at the door of the classroom, the same should be said of the massive hook of doomsdayism. That’s all I’m saying.

    I am much more interested in the quality of permaculture design over time than in the quantity of those reached.

    I’m sorry you feel sometimes that permaculture is only for the rich or those with land. Just remember permaculture is about design, not gardening.

    Reply
  11. Carolyn Payne

    Thanks for sharing this with us Craig, it looks like a very handy resource to have on hand, especially when I often find it difficult to dispel the myths around energy substitutes.
    Jason, I think you underestimate the power of the human will to live, find some refugees or internally displaced people, or even those who are dispossessed after a life of relative affluence, they all have the overwhelming desire to live. Even if that life is just another hour or another day. People grip on to their life by their fingernails if they have to, we see it everywhere, always have done and always will.
    Lets hope we can help everyone find the remedies and solutions contained in Permaculture design.
    And Craig, your long answer for Jason highlights again the huge job, and the massive effort (and personally, the strain) of bringing awareness of the issues and the accompanying solutions to the vast population on this planet.
    I am endeavoring to start a transition movement in my town of 1000 people, I feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility to do this, and at the same time I am loath to break the bad news to everyone, the undeniable truth that the growth culture will end in our lifetime.
    Thanks for all your hard work Craig.

    Reply
  12. Sabrina Surving

    I start watching this video yesterday, and now can’t find it to continue. Anyone know if there is another way to see it besides this page???? Help I was really loving it, just so simply put, I would love to share it,

    Reply
  13. Chris McLeod

    Hi Craig,

    I endorse your opinion expressed above and also note that Jason ended up in a personal attack rather than addressing the very interesting points that you raised. People that have not travelled to developing countries believe that everyone lives like Westerners!

    There is also another strange meme raised here that I’ve never understood. It is that growing your own food is hard labour. The strange thing is that whilst at times it is hard labour, it is not unrelenting hard labour. Truly if you were to compare working as an employee versus growing your own food, you would quickly notice that growing your own food provides lots of free time in which to do other things, like writing articles!

    It was often remarked in early European Australian history that the Aboriginals couldn’t understand why we spent so many hours working. I’m pretty sure that I’ve read historical accounts that for the 90% of people on the land, whilst they worked hard at times, there was plenty of time off.

    Regards

    Chris

    Reply
  14. Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor

    Thanks for the comments Carolyn and Chris.

    Sabrina – I’m not sure what the issue is. The video is still at top, and works fine.

    Jason – of course you’re welcome to express your views. That’s what the site is for. But, of course, I must also be allowed to express my views, no? I just happen to disagree with some of the things you’ve expressed. I’m not sure why your latest comment goes on and on about closing down comments, contra opinions, etc. Please read my comment above again – I was not attacking you or anything like that. I was simply trying to illustrate why I have put the video at top on this site, in response to your initial expressions of dissatisfaction that it was there (and your commenting on other posts in a similar vein).

    This conversation began because you landed here and expressed frustration about the material at top. You don’t want to see it. It’d be great if you can appreciate that, as editor, it’s very frustrating when people make negative comments about material you provide (and which I don’t force anyone to watch/read) – particularly when you know that material is very useful for a lot of people! I’m taking the time to comment in the hope of helping you to see that whilst the material at top might not be useful for you, it can be very useful for others. It was my hope you would appreciate that my work on this site targets not only Jason Gerhardt, but many others in varied situations worldwide.

    The material is not an end in itself, but rather, it’s a tool, that can be utilised as part of an educational design to bring about change of perspective and change in action. This is the point I was trying to make, and hoping you would concede. It looks like I’ve failed miserably.

    Jason, peak oil topics are not a ‘recent influx’ into permaculture. Indeed, the permaculture movement got started partly as a spin-off to the 1970s oil crisis, and it has been an educational tool for the movement ever since.

    Of course the crisis we face is important information to share! I have no doubt about that.

    Ok, thanks. I’ll be positive and take that as a concession. Appreciated.

    I only have doubt as to how long that thread stays in permaculture design, and how relevant it is once someone is already into permaculture. Many who come to permaculture are in crisis everyday, they don’t actually need more bad news. Sure, awareness of peak everything is good for course registration and business, but it is not a permaculture educators job to belabor the process. It is actually our job to quickly steer people that come to permaculture into a solutions orientation. Just as we say leave your beliefs and spirituality at the door of the classroom, the same should be said of the massive hook of doomsdayism. That’s all I’m saying.

    While I agree with much of the above paragraph, it does tell me you’re operating on a false assumption about who this site is intended for. Please note that this site is intended to be a ‘shop front’ for permaculture. That means that all kinds of people are walking past the front window (this site), and we’re trying to invite them in. Many know nothing of permaculture, or why they should be interested in it….

    If you want a cosy corner that’s just for permies, go to our forums:

    http://forums.permaculturenews.org/

    The ‘shop front’ will continue to be a mix of inspirational stories, reports, technical implementations, etc., and it will also continue to include material under the categories of ‘reasons to act’, or ‘why permaculture?’. I’m taking the time to drive this point home to you, in the hope that next time around I won’t have to see you drop negativity on my conscientious efforts.

    I’m sorry you feel sometimes that permaculture is only for the rich or those with land. Just remember permaculture is about design, not gardening.

    That’s my point exactly Jason. The people I described in my previous comment are unable to design their garden. They don’t have one. What they can do is utilise material like I’ve provided at top, and use it in conjunction with other material to wake people around them up, inspire them, and get them motivated to change circumstances for the better. i.e. the material is, as I expressed earlier in this comment, an educational design tool. It is an important-to-know part of the zig-saw puzzle we call the present day, whether you see it or not.

    Reply
  15. Jason Gerhardt

    Craig, relax, you are interpreting my words way beyond the actual comment. I didn’t say I disagree with you posting the video or that it is not important to share that information. It’s not about you or the way you run the site. As I have said many times before, you do a great service running this site (read this sentence three more times). You will run the site as you see fit with all the information you have about who is accessing it, I haven’t questioned that and I don’t pretend to know how to run this site better than you. I simply wanted to provide my perspective. I’m not looking for a “cosy” place either, why would I engage here if I were? Discomfort is an opportunity in my view, which is why I made my first post, to see how many were willing to consider a different perspective, and to consider where both perspectives might lead us. Clearly I struck a nerve, which is not a bad thing in my view.

    If I am criticizing anything, it is the video, not you. It is frustrating, when educational materials go on and on about a problem and spend 1 minute at the end on the solutions.

    What frankly pissed me off about your 3rd comment is the repeated assumptions you made about me as an individual based on where I live. None of it was factual except I am a USA resident; good luck extrapolating from there with any level of accuracy. USA residents aren’t as ignorant as your comments make us seem.

    I see your points clear as day, I never had any doubt about them. My intention was to attempt to open the conversation into a wider arena, but that is obviously closed territory here. I’m not even saying my ideas are really that different from yours or that yours are wrong, again, just wanted to see how many were willing to consider another way of looking at it. I value an open mind as the best tool of any designer.

    Lastly, my view is that “peak oil” is more of an inspiration to adopting permaculture than it is a part of permaculture. I don’t think we disagree there either. Again, this is not about how you run the site, but about opening the conversation wider. I give up on that for this issue here. Thanks for the dialogue, Craig. There are no hard feelings on my end (unless you maintain acting like you know me on a deeper level than you do). ;)

    Reply
  16. Øyvind Holmstad

    @ Jason, there are plenty of films on the solution, I can recommend three splendid ones:

    - Bill Mollison – Global Gardener 1 – In the tropics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxJDCy9BjFQ&feature=player_embedded

    - Bill Mollison – Global Gardener 2 – Dry lands: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LE5KGJlqUSI&feature=player_embedded

    - Bill Mollison – Global Gardener 3 – Cool climates: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8NT1smJoWY&feature=player_embedded

    Personally I didn’t find the movie depressing, I found it fun and inspiring. But if you like to stuck with the solutions only, that’s very ok! Still I think a lot of people need to be shaken some to awaken from our society’s suppressed “cognitive dissonance”.

    Reply
  17. Lumbuck Thornton

    I was very impressed, but as with “An Inconvenient Truth”, there needs to be a sequal showing how things changed after…..

    There is a real danger that the escape options and positive outcomes. I certainly see this effecting younger generations who want to do everything right at primary school and then turn into environmental disasters as teenagers.

    It certainly makes things very clear and something I might push to get shown to decision makers in my community but after screening it we need to have some other local projects ready to propose (sourced from this wonderful editorial and the forums as well as local initiatives).

    It would be interesting to survey the readership or visitorship to find out how many users of this site…. grow their own food, have a compost heap, have land etc, only get to use permaculture professionally as a problem solving tool….

    I get the impression many of us would prefer to be doing more permaculture but are held back… time to start tackling this.
    I want to be able to do permaculture in my lunch and tea breaks and before and after work at work… one day !

    Reply
  18. Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor

    Hi Jason

    Thanks for your latest comment. Perhaps I did read more into your comments than was there. I certainly, and sincerely, apologise if that was the case. I’ve had a few commenters in the past continually complain when they see certain posts that don’t fit their view, or their needs, and based on a few comments on different posts I felt you might be heading in the same direction, and so made my initial comment to try to ‘head you off at the pass’, by explaining that there is ‘design’ behind what I post. I agree with you that peak oil is not a ‘part’ of permaculture, but that it is, as you say, ‘inspiration to adopt’, or ‘reasons to act’, and my point was that it can be a very useful tool to this end.

    I also agree that too many videos don’t cover the solutions well. Unfortunately the world is full of specialists! But, the video is a great lead-in to get people in a frame of mind where they’re hungry for answers.

    Another example of videos ending badly is this one:

    http://permaculturenews.org/2009/06/21/home/

    See the last paragraph of my intro to that ‘Home’ video. They cover the problems well, but when it came to the section on solutions, they had a smattering of feel-good surface fixes – like pictures of a wind farm off Denmark, etc. Given the scale of the issues they showcased over most of the video, the ‘solutions’ were both insufficient and superficial – far from systemic.

    Thankfully there are other videos to follow with that give people a sense of inspiration and positive purpose:

    http://permaculturenews.org/2010/10/01/loess-plateau-revisited-and-other-examples-of-earth-healing/

    http://permaculturenews.org/2010/09/21/farmer-managed-natural-regeneration-video/

    http://permaculturenews.org/2009/12/11/greening-the-desert-ii-final/

    http://permaculturenews.org/2011/09/29/from-the-mara-soil-a-film-about-simple-and-natural-solutions-to-poverty-hunger-and-disease/

    etc.

    Again, these last few videos only ‘gel’ with people who are already aware of the significance of these solutions – i.e. if you watch them without an awareness of the converging issues we’re now facing, then these inspirational videos might not maintain your interest at all, and you may just switch to your favourite sitcom instead!

    In regards to making assumptions, I think you may also be reading too much into what I wrote :) I know you live in the U.S., so that’s not an assumption. The only other thing I mentioned was your having a ‘reasonable level of comfort and wealth’, but please note the ‘(compared to much of the world)’. If you have a computer, a bank account and sufficient food, then you are ‘wealthy’ (in monetary terms) compared to most of the world’s population. It was not a dig at you – how could it be, as I fit in this category also!

    In response to my initial question about ‘what kind of people’ might get depressed by seeing positive presentations of permaculture goodness, you responded with “people who are perfectly happy how things are”, and I just wanted to express, as I subsequently did, that there’s a massive section of the world’s population who will get both excited by permaculture and frustrated at the same time, due to their seeming inability to do anything with it. I guess I’d just like readers to recognise that when seemingly ‘bad news’ gets posted, that it can serve a tremendous purpose to help such ‘inspired but constrained’ people wake the people around them, so they can act in concert to change their circumstances and to put themselves into a position where they’re actually ‘able to act’.

    I certainly was not seeking to give any negative impressions about USA residents! I’ve lived there myself, and still have family there. The same I wrote can be said about other countries in the ‘North’ (Australia, NZ, UK, etc. etc.). Perhaps I’ve misinterpreted your comments, but I’ve seen a lot of commenters complaining whenever the material posted steps outside of a very narrow view on permaculture – and often their view is that we should only talk about plant guilds, earthworks and compost methods – as they fail to recognise that major cultural/socio-economic-political shifts are needed to help get people into a position where they can actually use that practical information. The reality is that the percentage of people able to actually utilise that kind of information is shrinking by the year, and rapidly, due to our current invisible structures, and the forced urbanisation madness they incentivise.

    http://permaculturenews.org/2008/08/09/orchestrating-famine-a-must-read-backgrounder-on-the-food-crisis/

    Well, again, if I’ve misread your purposes for commenting, I do apologise. I guess it just sounded like echos of previous comments I’ve had which took up too much of my time, and so I sought to ‘nip it in the bud’.

    Thanks for all that you do in the world.

    Peace! :)

    Reply
  19. Jason Gerhardt

    Thanks Craig! We’ve both spent too much time reading too much into each others comments :) I know we both have more important work to do than bickering too!

    Know that I have no intention of becoming a negative commenter. I try to leave more positive comments than critical ones. My first comment to this video came off more critical than I meant it too at that, which mushroomed it way out of proportion. I don’t usually have enough time to watch the videos that get posted on the site, perhaps it is unfortunate that I had 30 spare minutes for this one :)

    My apologies for reading too much into your comments too.

    Know that I sincerely value the work you do as well!

    Reply

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