Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor August 25, 2012
Although recorded back in May, for International Permaculture Day (see here and here), I found out about the interview below only yesterday. In the interview, PRI PDC Teacher, Rhamis Kent, talks to renowned environmental filmmaker, John D. Liu, whose fantastic work we’ve featured on this site multiple times (here, here, here and here for example). John covers a lot of ground in the 90-minute discussion, sharing, amongst many other things, the great need for systemic socioeconomic and political change. John explains, as regular readers know I have myself many, many times before, how permaculturists can be a big part of the solution, but that unless the system itself changes, the ability to practice permaculture will remain a pipe dream for most.
The video is a little choppy in a few places, but still very watchable. It’s well worth taking the time to hear what John has to share from his very broad experience.
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Land, Rehabilitation, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor August 13, 2012
Those who watched The Man Who Stopped the Desert (trailer here), will want to follow up with this short video — What Yacouba did next….
Yacouba Sawadogo has learnt something we all need to realise — that we can be a positive element on this planet, through observation and working with natural systems. The methods Yacouba utilises could, if taken up with widespread enthusiasm, re-green the entire Sahel — and arid regions worldwide. These techniques are not complicated. Indeed, any permaculturist with a rudimentary understanding of soil science will appreciate the logic behind them. Only recently, after 30 years of stubborn perseverance, Yacouba is now getting some funding to enable him to train farmers in his local region. Let’s hope Yacouba finally reaches a tipping point in his soil-revitalising outreach.Comments (8)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Comedy Break, Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, Society, Village Development, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor August 9, 2012
The upsidedownness of our world really gets to me. The people doing the most critical work (like producing food and clothing) get paid the least, and the people busy producing crap we don’t really need at all get paid much more, and by an order of magnitude. Worse, the people who produce nothing at all, but just shift numbers around on a screen, capitalising on the work of the afore-mentioned two groups, get paid exponentially more again.
Warning: Don’t play if you don’t appreciate bad language!
Somewhere along the line we’ve lost perspective. We’ve lost our sense of wonder, our recognition of the ‘magic’ of the world we live in — that all the best things in life are actually free — instead overlaying an entirely human intervention called ‘the economy’, or ‘the system’:Comments (37)
Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, GMOs, General, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor July 24, 2012
National Food Plan, Green Paper
The Australian federal government has issued a green paper on a National Food Plan for public consultation, which will include a series of public meetings in various places over the next several weeks, until September 30, 2012.
This is an excellent opportunity for permaculturists, localvores, agro-ecologists, etc., to get their message across and help ensure that it’s not just the big corporations who shape Australia’s food future (to their own disastrous ends).
Inset, at right, is the full Green Paper, and here is a summary. You’ll see that the focus is on dollars and exports, rather than sustainable peak-oil-generation resilience.
Please share this page, and encourage as many lucid souls as you can to get involved and breathe some sanity into Australia’s food future.Comments (6)
I’ve often seen people sign off their emails with "Peace, love and permaculture". Central to permaculture concepts is an anti-war message. Sustainable prosperity can equal peace. This video, complete with cameo appearances from Geoff Lawton and snippets of our DVDs, tells us that more and more people see this connection.
You can read the ‘Not in our name’ speech here.Comments (2)
Courses/Workshops — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor July 23, 2012
One of the students, Craig Broughton, put together this nice little photo collage of the last Internship at the PRI’s Zaytuna Farm in northern NSW, Australia.
Consumerism, Eco-Villages, Economics, Education, General, Society, Village Development, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor July 20, 2012
We’ve mentioned the re-ruralisation movement happening in debt-ridden Greece before, and here’s a video by German TV on the topic.
For decades people, worldwide, have been flowing from the countryside in to the cities.Comments (9)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Consumerism, Economics, Financial Management, Food Shortages, People Systems, Society, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor July 19, 2012
The precariousness of the economy is becoming increasingly apparent to the masses. Indeed, every day more and more people are falling below the bread line, or are spending sleepless nights wondering how to extricate themselves from the situations they find themselves in. In some ways, this is good — being short-sighted creatures, we don’t seem to be able to conversate on issues, even if critically important, if we don’t realise their direct implications for ourselves personally. Actually, I somewhat take that back. We truly do, as a race, have a powerful capacity to empathise with others, despite not being in their shoes, but the system we’ve wrapped ourselves up in has separated us all out, disconnecting and isolating us from almost everyone but our closest friends and family, and, to a large extent, often even those. This atomisation, and the empathy-eradication program that accompanies it, means that broadscale collaborative discussion on the great need for a widespread socio-political-economic transitional overhaul will never get beyond niche blog posts and private conversations, unless more and more people start to feel the pinch and wake up.
We do seem to be, slowly, reaching this point.Comments (6)
Community Projects, Eco-Villages, Seeds, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor July 10, 2012
Current evidence indicates that New Zealand may well be "the youngest country on earth". Possible fellow competitors for this claim are Greenland, Iceland and Madagascar. All of these landscapes were so isolated they managed to avoid human settlement until relatively recent times. But these entrants in the competition look to be a couple of centuries behind — all being settled prior to 1000AD, unlike New Zealand, which is believed to have had no human presence prior to 1200AD.
With campaigns and videos like the one at top, New Zealand has managed to generate a kind of green aura around itself. Stunning Lord of the Rings landscapes, pristine snow-capped mountain ranges, dripping forests, clean rivers and an outdoor lifestyle to kill for, all spring to mind amongst millions of people worldwide who have never been there, but dream of going. It is a gorgeous country, to be sure, but that’s not the whole story….Comments (3)
Conferences, Presentations/Demonstrations — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor July 9, 2012
On March 31, in Ajman, United Arab Emirates, Geoff Lawton gave a TEDx presentation. This has just been uploaded to YouTube:
For more background on some of the before/after images used, please see:
- Hope for a New Era: Before/After Examples of Permaculture Earth Restoration – Solving Our Problems From the Ground Up
- Zaytuna Farm Video Tour (Apr/May 2012) – Ten Years of (R)Evolutionary Design
- Greening the Desert II
Biodiversity, Biofuels, Consumerism, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor July 4, 2012
I thought I’d add to George Monbiot’s recent post highlighting moves to persevere with fossil fuels by sharing a little piece on how feeding our oil addiction is taking us to ever-dirtier lows.Comments (12)
Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Presentations/Demonstrations — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor June 29, 2012
Permaculture in New Zealand (PiNZ) have put out their latest newsletter, and this one gives a good report on the activities and outcomes of the 11th Australasian Permaculture Conference (APC11) held in Turangi, in New Zealand’s North Island.
Download the newsletter here (1.1mb PDF).
I attended myself, and recorded a few of the talks. In case you missed them, I’ll list them below:
- APC11 Presentation: Susan Krumdieck – Sustainable Transport and Urban Design
- APC11 Presentation: Permaculture Disaster Response to Japan’s 2011 Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Disaster, by Toru Sakawa
- APC11 Presentation: Albert Bates on Biochar
- APC11 Presentation: Regenerative Agriculture, A Case Study – by Dan Palmer
And the second embedded video in the following post is another:Comments (0)
Hope for a New Era: Before/After Examples of Permaculture Earth Restoration – Solving Our Problems From the Ground Up
Aid Projects, Alternatives to Political Systems, Biodiversity, Community Projects, Conferences, Consumerism, Deforestation, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Plant Systems, Population, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Trees, Urban Projects, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor June 28, 2012
If you aren’t in a reading mood, and/or just came to look at the before/after photographs, click here to jump down the page.
Loess Plateau, Early September, 1995
Loess Plateau, Early September, 2009
Rio+20 has been and gone, and, in the big scheme of things, has achieved little, or worse. With this post I’d like to take the opportunity to jot down some thoughts, and images, that might help us shake off disappointment, disillusionment and despair, and give us something we can all consider, adjust and rally around. Our ‘leaders’ are taking us ‘down the garden path’, but, unfortunately, in the proverbial, rather than literal, sense. It’s truly time to forge new beginnings, create new economies, and to prioritise natural and social capital with the goal of restoring ecological and social health.Comments (15)
Biodiversity, Fish, Global Warming/Climate Change, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor June 13, 2012
Take a fish’s eye view of the world. It’s both beautiful and fascinating. You’ll be peering under the waves to look at the least understood part of our world, the ocean and its hidden mysteries. In this video, you’re looking at the basis of your own existence….
PRI Networking, the Value of Collaboration, and the Development of More PRI Education/Demonstration Projects
Aid Projects, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Consumerism, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Networking Sites, People Systems, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor June 12, 2012
Do we segregate…?
Photos © Craig Mackintosh
Most of us are by now wholly cognizant of the fact that the global response to long-brewing trouble has been well short of timely or appropriate. The world as a whole, if I were to be brutally honest, is taking three steps backwards for every few inches it moves forwards. Wonderful moves towards sustainability are daily dwarfed by industrial and individualistic efforts in the opposite direction. There are, indeed, wondrous examples and tantalisingly positive suggestions and ambitions shining like little beacons of hope from various quarters worldwide, but most of the world’s population experience these as mere pleasant, but out of reach, distractions from their daily quest to survive. Whether it’s ’survival’ in the very real sense, scratching for food, water and firewood, or in the modernist sense of retaining some degree of sanity after too many hours at an unsatisfying and unnatural job (that’s only endured due to previous purchases ‘the system’ has pressured us into), either way there are too few people either willing or able to venture out of their very real personal worlds to run with concepts far removed from their daily lives.
In the permaculture camp, however, a great deal of positive work is being trialled and actioned, often independently, and, as such, painfully unnoticed.
Getting it noticed is a central part of the PRI’s work….Comments (12)