Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Permaculture Paradigm Shift

I admire permaculturalists for doing some of the most important work being done these days.

Over at Permaculture Reflections, Douglas Barnes has posted a discussion of the challenges he has encountered in sharing the permaculture message. Essentially, he has been surprised at the degree of animosity from people in the more affluent parts of the world:

What could possibly set someone off against a system that treats long-term sustainability as a serious endeavor and works to develop simple, affordable systems that lead us in that direction, I wondered.

By contrast, Barnes found that permaculture strategies were welcomed by other residents of the planet:

For the Third World, there are few illusions regarding their future. They know they are in trouble and the trouble will only increase without serious changes being made regarding the capture and storage of energy and resources. The Third World not only comes from poverty, they remain in poverty. The First World, however, has come out of poverty into a spurt of opulence. Once one acquires a taste of opulence, though, it is like a drug – hard to let go. And any suggestion that living high is no longer possible is met with lashing out similar to the confronted junkie.

Barnes concludes:

As the physicist cannot go back to the Ptolemaic model of the universe revolving around the Earth, the permaculturist cannot look at the status quo conceptual framework of industrial society as even remotely sensible. Change becomes a necessity, even if that threatens some.

The entire article is worth a careful read.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you, Gulahiya. I had to get these ideas off my chest, so I wrote this piece. I have come to terms with the situation, but I might as well be speaking another language when talking to people who are still in the old paradigm.