Blessed are the short-sighted, they shall become councillors

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by ho-hum, May 11, 2006.

  1. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Sorry, I am not a good writer at the best of times and this may be a bit hard to follow.



    I asked our local council here if I could plant a fruit forest on some of their land and them supply the water. Their questions were. I am trying reasonably hard to repeat the conversation as best I can.

    When I sat down with a couple representatives [i had already favourably canvassed two of them] the whole issue was recieved well. I have posted their questions followed by my answers.

    1. Wouldnt it compete with Woolworths Supermarket? ......[Hell yeah!!] No, Woolies supply very few tropical fruit as traditionally they dont travel well.
    2. We already have a lot of mango trees around town. .....Yes, but by the time they really get to producing they become 'too big' for a suburban yard and are cut down for woodchip as people get sick of falling fruit and fruit bats.
    3. Fruit trees use a lot of water.... [The council gets 'free' water from the mine for their parks and gardens] ....All trees produce 'fruit', its just that some of it is edible.
    4. The council has a policy of using 'water-wise trees'. [I havent seen any evidence of it - they certainly dont have any 'water-wise' lawns around.] The trees will be mulched and on drippers.
    5. The traditional aboriginal people may pick all the fruit. [HELL YEAH!!] And, that is a problem to whom?
    6. Who would police the orchard and decide who got what? [??] The point is to make fresh fruit available for anyone that wants to pick it.
    7. We already have a local banana farm..... Bananas are a type of grass and require a fair degree of management and would not be considered for inclusion in this project.
    8. We have already had a problem here with coconut palms..... Coconuts are a nut. I hadnt foreseen planting any coconuts or macadamias.
    9. What if someone falls out of a tree picking fruit? [Uh oh]The council will also have to check with our insurers. [Sounds like end of conversation] ......The council still has a number of coconut palms and a number of turpentine mangoes on public land. [At about this point I got no replies]

    By this time the conversation dissolved into 'trying to cut back on water use', ' really dont want to compete with Woolies' ' what if someone was allergic and we poisoned them' ' we do not have any spare land'. We would like to consider this some more.

    Past this point I actually took on a project, that whilst it gives me internet time, I do 70 hours a week - which is down from 84 hours. I was a bit shocked at the responses I got from people I thought were more progressive than that.

    Anyway, the community has no fruit forest but we do have a wonderful skateboard park on a piece of spare land I identified. It has trees and lawn and safety fences and lighting and drainage, a beautiful concrete thing that is covered in graffiti and it even gets used occassionally.

    BAH!!!

    floot
     
  2. Loris

    Loris Junior Member

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    Pop some trees in some of the gullies etc and for all they know, the flying foxes have dropped the seeds.
     
  3. Honeychrome

    Honeychrome Junior Member

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    If you were in the US you'd probably get labeled a 'Perma-terrorist' and thrown in jail for your suggestions!
     
  4. Loris

    Loris Junior Member

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    Do they really have perma terrorists and how is that defined? You are joking, aren't you?
     
  5. Richard on Maui

    Richard on Maui Junior Member

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    If at first you don't succeed, let all their tyres down while they're in the next meeting. Stupid bastards. They qualify for Uncle Bill's definition of evil: rigourously applied stupidity.
    Seriously Floot, good effort. I hope you do persevere and get through to these nongs. It would be a an improvement in the world.
     
  6. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Loris, 'perma-terrorist' is just a bit of fun.

    There may however be 'green guerillas' that do plant native seeds along roadsides and in parks.

    There are a number of E. species and pandanus that are springing up around our town. Also an E. phytocarpa[??] which is a slender tree to 30' that has the largest leaves of any gum tree and MASSIVE red flowers has appeared in parks and gardens here. :D :D :D The council are kindly looking after them. [They are native here but not common]

    Publicly, I have planted casuarinas, peanut trees and ipomea vine on the foreshore in 3 damaged areas and they are going beautifully.

    cheers

    floot
     
  7. Honeychrome

    Honeychrome Junior Member

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    I'm really only half joking. Industry and the hard right in the US have managed to coin 'eco-terrorist' in the media as a label for those who actively oppose their actions, so it's really only a matter of time until their marketing teams come up with a fear-mongering label for those who may decide to convert a lawn to an agriculturally producing design. Gotta give them credit, they are far sighted and quickly come up with snappy and negative labels to stick on those who stand in the way of their profits.

    We are in for a big fight. The ideas of self-sufficiency and sustainability in Permaculture are a threat to giant agribusiness and there is no way they will allow us to remove ourselves from their 'economy' (and provide and example of an alternative to others) without serious resistance. NAIS (in the US) and other legislative 'initiatives' are sure to be only the first skirmishes in a long battle. The corporate conception of 'freedom' is narrowly defined for the individual as the freedom to consume, not the freedom to produce.
     
  8. Alex M

    Alex M Junior Member

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    Honeychrome, I hear the religious right are identifying anyone connected with the environmental movement as nature-worshipping, therefore pagan, therefore satanic, therefore burnable. How bad is the situation over there, really? :twisted:

    Floot, go ahead and plant as many trees as you can. Is there any room left at the skate park? The kids might like the fruit. 8)
     
  9. Richard on Maui

    Richard on Maui Junior Member

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    Before September 11 2001, the number one security threat to the security of the United States of America, was presumed to be eco-terrorism. Punks blowing up SUV's and pouring sugar and dirt into gas tanks of heavy equipment, etc. God bless 'em!
     
  10. Alex M

    Alex M Junior Member

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    I heard recently that the only REAL security threat the US needed to worry about (until recently) was natural disaster - hurricanes in the east, quakes in the west - but since there's absolutely no way those two planes alone knocked down those three buildings in New York, the real security threat to the people of the United States of America, at the moment, is the cabal of mass-murdering criminals who are in control of the presidency. But that's still for the American people to deal with.

    In the mean time...... Maybe the people attacking earthmoving equipment would better expend their energy pushing to have those machines directed into large-scale permaculture earthworks, like the swales built under FDR's visionary programmes of the 1930s. :idea:
     
  11. Ryan

    Ryan Junior Member

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    You're right about that Alex. Those neo-nazi :evil: bastards stole two elections in a row and then faked a terrorist attack to strike fear into a whole nation, to start a never ending war and to dissmantle the US constitution. "War on Terror" is an oxymoron" as war is terror. They are the real terrorists. I knew from the day it happened that we were being lied to. I am rather concerned about living in a state (Florida) under the control of brother Jeb Bush. For those who have not heard or considered the tragic sham that was pulled off on 911, google "Loose Change" to watch an hour long documentary on all the inconsistancies of the official story (lie) It would not be so convincing had the video not shown testimony of fire fighters who were inside, who said there was dynamite loaded into the walls on the middle floors of the twin towers. They said there was drywall flying off the walls. And why did Building 7 mysteriously fall? No planes hit that building but it suffered the same fate as the two towers.
    The bottom line is that the powers that be do not want us to have the ability to conduct our lives in a healthy, peaceful, efficient manor. They are good at undermining what is best for the people they are supposed to be serving. Another world is possible...
     
  12. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    Who cares Floot, just sow your seeds anywhere you like. I Have just started
    (wider seed sowing area).Ill be trying to sow a few N F Ts also,and some decidous, as these trees are able to massivly increase leaf litter in mostcases
    adding,and saving many more times the nutrients then bare soil.

    If we wait for governments to do it,Well we might just be waiting awhile.

    Wonder if i should wear a monkey suit next time im sowing my seeds

    A Permiemonkey Going Bananas Growing Bananas.....Wonder if Eddie Mcguire will give me an advance....

    Terence
     
  13. Honeychrome

    Honeychrome Junior Member

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    There is an interesting exerpt from Michelle Goldberg's new book "Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism" up on Salon.com:
    https://www.salon.com/books/feature/2006/05/12/goldberg/
    Her take is that it is MUCH worse than we think. Much of the media is generated on the coasts of the US, and reflects the world-view dominant on the coasts... but in the meantime, mega churches are popping up all over like dandelions in the middle...

    Really this discussion probably belongs in another forum, but more and more it's becoming apparent that EVERYTHING is connected and it's important to try and get a handle on the forces and motivations behind it all. I'm still trying to get my head around the pro-corporation, anti-environmental bent of the American 'Christian Right'- it seems quite contrary to my understanding of the basics of christian teaching.

    Permaculture, self-sufficiency and sustainability is a route to decreased reliance on corporate structures for the necessities of life, and therein lies the danger. For all intents and purposes the regulatory authorities have been coopted by corporate power- and they are beginning to use them increasingy to regulate the individual- you can't have livestock, you can't have a garden, you can't dry your wash on a line in the back yard...

    Funny, as I'm writing this there's an interview with the actor Tony Hendra who played Ian Faith, the manager in Spinal Tap and has a new novel about radical Christian evangelism....

    OK, I've got to go read a few pages of Bill Mollison to recover..
     
  14. Richard on Maui

    Richard on Maui Junior Member

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    Well, one of Permaculture's strengths as a movement is that it is non centralised, grassroots based. A bit like the trouble I have with certain running grasses, if a government tried to stamp it out it would just keep popping its head up all over the place.
    But of course, there is no conspiracy just a bunch of idiots wanting to make money out of every exchange they have with anyone/anything, which gets back to Bill's definiton of evil as rigourously applied stupidity.
     
  15. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    You mentioned spreading grasses as a problem....

    Are you sugesting Round up as a Problem solver Rick

    Unfortunatly In a Democrasisized world.Its not our leaders(using term extreamly loosly here)

    Its the People who mark their Xs e or there numbers every 3 or 4 years that
    are the main cause....World Leaders are like kids with A D D.Leave em alone at your own risk..

    Appologising to AD sufferers

    Terence
     
  16. Alex M

    Alex M Junior Member

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    I don't think we're straying too far from Floot's original point. He's highlighted an important principle of permaculutre design, which is to observe patterns in nature (See chapter 4 of The Manual, on fractals). Floot's local council is only reflecting a pattern that has taken hold of our social structure.

    Looking at the underlying pattern of the Military Industrial Complex (and the religious "leaders" who serve it, eg Pat Robinson) what do you see? Forcable expropriation of natural and communal wealth - of life itself - for short term profit, using heavy machinery (eg. tractors, bulldozers, armored tanks, chainsaws, cannon, machine guns) and petrochemicals (eg. artificial fertilizers, biocides, agent orange, nerve gas, high explosives), orgainised on strict heirarchial lines (the managers, foreman, leading hands and machine operators of the factory system mimic military ranking), supported with mass indoctrination. It is a culture of death. And it's of a piece; industrial broadacre agriculture is inextricable from industrial broadacre war. Both demand ever-increasing consumption to fuel their insatiable engines.

    It IS insane, and it may yet be incurable.

    But in the Permaculture design course I attended (Melbourne, Sept '05) , Bill Mollison made a very important point. While talking about climate change and the general madness afflicting the world, he said not to expect Permaculture to change the world. He said that the world will change itself. He said, "Permaculture is a RESPONSE to those changes."

    The pattern that Permacultre establishes is the opposite of the one above, and after only a few decades, its benefits have been demonstrated in every climatic zone, possibly none more powerfully than in the work of Geoff and Nadia Lawton in Jordan.

    Most of us have probably focussed our efforts on food and shelter, but we know we can do much more with this system. The Manual (p6) says, "As the basis of permaculture is BENEFICIAL DESIGN, it can be added to all other ethical training and skills, and has the potential of taking a place in ALL HUMAN ENDEAVOURS." (my emphasis) Maybe now is the time to extend the reach of permaculture, and get more political.

    The enemy has demonstrated their power to fool most of the people most of the time, generating false crises to justify highly profitable military actions (not to mention the callous murder of thousands, including their own citizens) and by blindfolding the masses with fear, while plundering their wealth, and stripping away their rights. They seem all-powerful at the moment, having even undermined the 790 year old legal principle of habeus corpus, and justifying the official use of torture. Even the Australian government has given its secret police the power to summarily execute suspects, with impunity!

    But maybe, just maybe, if innocent citizens are arrested and branded as "terrorists" for doing nothing more than planting useful trees in the last, tiny patches of public open space, and home gardeners are harrassed by authorities for providing "unauthorised food" to their neighbours, some people might begin to awake from their electronic trance.

    The situation does look a little a grim at the moment, but permaculture is showing itself to be an approriate response, and is spreading rapidly, like a pioneer plant on a damaged landscape. A little "hopeful action" might go long way.
     
  17. Alex M

    Alex M Junior Member

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    "Bill's definiton of evil as rigourously applied stupidity."

    Good point, Richard. :D

    Maybe the situation isn't as serious as I sometimes think it is, and we can take a cue from Mel Brooks, and just laugh at the antics of the rich and powerful. :lol:
     
  18. Jim Bob

    Jim Bob Junior Member

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    I thought this site was called "permaculture" not "conspiracytheory.com". Leaving aside this stuff which has NOTHING TO DO WITH GROWING STUFF, the issue highlighted by the original post is a significant one.

    In history, positive change is rarely effected by political leaders. There are some outstanding examples, but in general for every good one they're followed by three or four bad ones who reverse or stifle their work.

    Political leadership, especially in a democracy, consists of constant compromise and deal-making. When making a compromise deal, it's easy to compromise your ideals. People who've made that their profession will necessarily have compromised ideals.

    A political leader also deals with other people with influence and power - corporations and religious leaders. These people are generally conservative or reactionary in outlook. "The world was so much better when..." They look back at some time they imagine gave their groups more influence, and more unfettered powers. When compromising with these sorts of people, your government will in time come to resemble them.

    And so the political leaders all become conservative or reactionary. Those who remain liberal in their ideas, and/or true to various principles upon which the particular country was founded, remain out of the actual power structure - like the independents in a parliament. They can keep their ideals because they never have to make any deals.

    Also as part of their compromises, they have to keep all manner of interests balanced, they can't afford to piss anyone off. Their focus is not on co-ordinated action towards a single defined goal, but simply on keeping all the plates spinning and none of them falling. This enhances their conservative or reactionary tendencies, because when the plates are all spinning, they don't want to try anything new and different.

    This is an issue of the way we choose our leaders, term limits and so on. But we can't really change that at the moment, so the fact remains that positive change will rarely come from political leadership. That's what history tells us. Political leadership traditionally restrains all change, positive or negative, so the best we can hope for is that they stay the fuck out of our way.

    Every action, good or bad, starts with a single person saying, "well, why don't we do so-and-so?" and a second person saying, "sounds good." It grows from there. Segregation was not ended in the United States because an elected political leader abolished it, it ended because one day a woman was tired from work, and simply couldn't be bothered getting up and moving from her seat. She said, "why should I have to move?" Then another person, MLK, said, "sounds good." And it grew from there. She was hardly the first black person to refuse to move from their seat on the bus, but she was the first whom the civil rights movement took and raised up as an inspiring example. And it moved on from there. Once segregation was obviously doomed and wouldn't be followed anymore, only then did the federal government step in to make sure it stayed ended. They followed, they did not lead.

    Political leaders rarely effect positive change in societies; they usually try to restrain or reverse it, and at best stand aside and refrain from holding it back. Indeed, especially in a democracy, they are not leaders, but followers. So for example you may ask why Dubya is not in favour of renewable energy. Well, do you imagine that anyone could get himself elected President by saying, "let's stop driving SUVs and eating so many burgers!"? The people desire to drive SUVs and eat burgers, and so your elected political followers follow that desire, and give you what you want, and invade Iraq to secure the oil supply.

    It's not really that complicated. Just make your desires known to your political leaders. They all have offices you can write to. So few people bother writing to them that when they get more than a few letters on any subject, they look into it and see what they can do.

    Remember: they follow, they don't lead. So you have to lead. Begin by living your life as you wish everyone else would. What, to you, would be the ideal world, given the constraints of nature? (i.e., not everyone can live like Bill Gates) How would people live?

    If we need inspring examples (like the woman who wouldn't leave her seat on the bus), I think we have them. For example, I believe it'd be nice for people to live in this place -

    [​IMG]

    rather than this place:-

    [​IMG]

    I doubt many people would disagree. Yet which building looks more like most inner-city apartment buildings? How do create such a world? Do we ask the government to legislate that everyone should have plants on their balcony? Or do we, instead, just put some on our own balcony, give a few small ones to our neighbours, and hope the idea spreads?

    Entire countries can reinvent themselves. The now-classic example is Cuba. In Soviet times, the commies had said, "it's better if each area specialises on its own strengths, that way we get the most production, and also the countries are all tied by trade and so no-one will ever have a war again." (Notice how the same idea comes up with capitalist globalism? Communism and our modern capitalism have the same aims, creepy eh?) So they said, "dear Cuba, you are a tropical country, so you should focus on growing sugar, we will supply you will all the fertiliser and fuel you need, and also food." Cuba did this, and everyone was prosperous. Then the USSR collapsed, and so did the whole European Communist bloc, and suddenly Cuba had a whole shitload of sugar and no food, and once the artificial fertiliser and pesticides ran out, they had no sugar, either. So Cuba tried to trade with the West to buy in fertilisers and pesticides, but the USA won't let anyone trade with them. What to do?

    They reinvented themselves. Food production started up again, and it was organic not because they believed in organic horticulture, but because they didn't have the chemicals to use. And food production happened in people's apartments and houses and in common plots near buildings... and now the people have better nutrition than they did before, and their neighbourhoods look nicer because of all the plants, and they're more comfortable to live in because plants moderate the temperature keeping it steady, and they've a greater sense of community because people in apartment buildings get together each week to tend their common fields.

    Now, old Castro didn't tell them to do this. He didn't want organic agriculture. Circumstances forced it upon the common people who... just coped. Once the political leaders stopped trying to manage the economy - like making everyone grow sugar with heaps of artificial crap on it - and just left people to it, people did a fucking good job. Once Castro saw which way his people were going, he followed. Yes, the Great Leader followed, and even changed the constitution to be more environmentally friendly.

    You can read about Cuba's efforts here, but the essential point in this respect is that positive change rarely comes from elected, or self-appointed, political leaders. The best you can hope is that at first they'll get the fuck out of your way, and after that they'll support your efforts. Did you ever meet a kid in school who would change teams if the other team started winning? That's what a politician is. So, whatever your way is, live it, try to spread it - and if it starts winning, the political leaders will follow along.

    Write to them, organise meetings with them if you can, but focus your efforts on living your life as you believe everyone should, and letting people know about it.

    I honestly think that it's not much use talking to political leaders, because really they're not leaders, they're followers. They'll be the last to offer positive change. Positive change begins at a humble level, not a top level. When segregation was abolished in the USA, it began in manual labour, then the army, then the navy, then the buses, and not until about 1970 was it abolished in law in fancy-shmancy country clubs; though of course it still exists in effect in many places, just as here in Australia Aboriginals were decreed human in 1967, but still live in horrendous impoverished conditions.

    Forget the councillors, they'll be no help. Just live as you think you should, and spread your ideas by word of mouth.
     
  19. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Lively discussion, good stuff.

    For those who have seen 'loose change' here is another look at the whole issue of 9/11 and its aftermath. Forget the first 5 minutes of fanfare.

    https://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6757267008400743688&q=Everybody's+

    Alex or Ryan [i forget]. I have asked on a couple of forums over a couple of years when will we have our first permie political candidate.

    Anyone who has followed the USA much will be aware of the massive impact Wal-Mart has had on the US countryside. Well our own Woolworths has a near identical business strategy that is targeting small rural centres with populations up to 5000 people. I havent seen this strategy written about but the evidence is out there. Maybe I notice it more in the developing north of australia. Woolies did also have a policy of buying locally where possible but this was dropped in favour of 'food safety' a few years ago.

    Personally, I see the rise and rise of supermarket chains to be a long term business cycle. Peak Oil will shake most of the leaves out of their tree.

    What really shits me off is how UGLY their blasted buildings and car parks are. Where are our town 'planners' when these developments are being considered?

    floot
     
  20. Alex M

    Alex M Junior Member

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    We actually agree with each other, Jim Bob. But I have to reiterate the point that I made: Permaculture is about more than just "growing stuff", and Floot's first post was about bureaucratic resistance to the will of the people to beneficially redesign their built environment. As for conspiracy theory, well. There's a difference between "aliens rule the world from a secret base on the dark side of the moon", and "how do you explain two planes crashing into two buildings, resulting in the very tidy collapse of three buildings, and the only physical evidence not vapourised in the ensuing inferno is the passport of one of the hijackers that miraculously fell to the ground unharmed, etc?". The first is - at best - an unsubstantiated claim, while the second is damn good question that demands an answer. But that is straying a little off-topic, except that it indicates that the political leadership of the US, if not much of world, is more out of control than it has been for a long time, and if they reflect the will of the people, or are somehow following us, then we're all up shit creek, and might as well hitch hike to the dark of the moon to seek asylum on that secret base! :evil:

    You are right, nothing is going to change until someone changes it, and if the only way to set that change in motion is to plant a tree or two close to where we live, then that's a jolly good place to start, coz they won't grow on the moon. :D
     

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