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Jan 31, 2023

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Shauna - Mon, Jan 20, 2014, 10:03 P
" is David Holmgren in 1994, concluding an essay titled “Energy and Permaculture“:

To summarize…

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (in that order).
Grow a garden and eat what it produces.
Avoid imported resources where possible.
Use labor and skill in preference to materials and technology.
Design, build, and purchase for durability and repairability.
Use resources for their greatest potential use (e.g. electricity for tools and lighting,
food scraps for animal feed).
Use renewable resources wherever possible even if local environmental costs appear higher (e.g. wood rather than electricity for fuel and timber rather than steel for construction).
Use non-renewable and embodied energies primarily to establish sustainable systems
(e.g. passive solar housing, food gardens, water storage, forests).
When using high technology (e.g. computers) avoid using state of the art equipment.
Avoid debt and long-distance commuting.
Reduce taxation by earning less.
Develop a home-based lifestyle, be domestically responsible.

And here is part of his introduction in last month’s Crash On Demand:

My argument is essentially that radical, but achievable, behaviour change from dependent consumers to responsible self-reliant producers (by some relatively small minority of the global middle class) has a chance of stopping the juggernaut of consumer capitalism from driving the world over the climate change cliff. It maybe a slim chance, but a better bet than current herculean efforts to get the elites to pull the right policy levers; whether by sweet promises of green tech profits or alternatively threats from mass movements shouting for less consumption.

It’s the same strategy advocated in both papers: Move from being “dependent consumers to responsible self-reliant producers.” The only thing that has changed is that he’s now also saying, (I’m paraphrasing), “by the way, engaging in this behavior just might help crash the system a little bit sooner.” It seems to me that this invitation is designed to bring into the permaculture fold the environmental activists that are already attempting to avert climate catastrophe by ever more defiant or desperate means – from McKibben campaigning against private oil companies (see my post here) to Klein calling for revolt (see my post here) to Jensen who claims that “the task of an activist is to confront and take down systems of oppressive power.” (see my post here).

Holmgren writes, “disillusioned social and political activists are just starting to recognize Permaculture as a potentially effective pathway for social change as 20th century style mass movements seem to have lost their potency.”

Their methods are not showing to be effective, whereas the Permaculture/Transition approach will not only put them and their community in a more secure position, it just might also “have a chance of stopping the juggernaut of consumer capitalism from driving the world over the climate change cliff.” " excerpt from article by David MacLeod

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