PDM Study - Chapter 1

Discussion in 'Permaculture Groups, Contacts Activities Anounceme' started by 9anda1f, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,046
    Likes Received:
    199
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    E Washington, USA
    Climate:
    Semi-Arid Shrub Steppe (BsK)
    Chapter 1 is Bill's "Introduction" piece and there are MANY important thoughts about the "why" of Permaculture, beginning with Permaculture Design Philosophy.

    One of his basic points in this initial section (which leads to "Ethics") is that of achieving and maintaining awareness of one's basic, underlying "stance" or approach to life within the world we find ourselves, and he gives a few examples of perspectives that are in alignment with his thinking.

    Two highlighted passages:

    Some discussion points?
    1) What do you see as the conscious role of human beings with respect to the planet the live upon?
    2) What might be some goals of humanity when looking towards a responsible future?

    Feel free to chime in with your own thoughts and discussions!
     
  2. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It's almost sad that the 'prime directive' needs to be stated. We should be educating our kids from day one that this is how you live your life, reminding ourselves of it daily, requiring our leaders to live up to it.

    My conscious choice is to live a 'small' life, consuming less than those around me, but filling my life with abundance that flows from sources not linked to a global (exploitative) market.
     
  3. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,046
    Likes Received:
    199
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    E Washington, USA
    Climate:
    Semi-Arid Shrub Steppe (BsK)
    Our societies (especially western societies) are in a large part obsessed with competition. From sports to politics to the workplace and even our school systems, the drive to compete is instilled incessantly over our lifetimes. "If you're not the winner, then you're a loser" is a meme that's at the core of our very existence and drives our choices in life at many levels.

    But Bill makes a point: Cooperation is the very basis of existing life systems!

    A twisted interpretation of Darwin is "survival of the fittest" which is then interpreted to a competitive slant, but the actual idea is "survival of the most fitted" meaning those best adapted to their immediate environments.

    Young trees within a grove do not "compete" to get to the sunlight, rather those most genetically "fit" are able to grow more quickly and their lesser fit neighbors die back yielding room and biomatter to the forest's floor. Trees just do what they do. There is no "compete" between trees. This goes on not only within species but between species, and Bill's observation is that nature itself has gotten to the beautiful states we see due to cooperation, not competition.
     
  4. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,046
    Likes Received:
    199
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    E Washington, USA
    Climate:
    Semi-Arid Shrub Steppe (BsK)
    Ethics

    So if Permaculture philosophy is the recognition that we must collectively turn our attention from self-absorption to awareness of our place within the universe, Ethics are the foundational building blocks we use to align our design decisions. In other words, as we design, for each decision we ask ourselves "does this choice fulfill":
    1) Earth Care
    2) People Care
    3) Setting Limits to Population and Consumption

    As Bill states when talking about his research on universal principles for community ethics,
    (my bold)

    For in fact, if one's driving basic principle for living is "Earth Care", this by definition includes care of all the various creatures, lifeforms, and constructs existing upon the Earth, and it would be in everyone's best interests to consciously limit population and consumption.

    My Manual is dated 2004 Second Edition. I've read many places that the third ethic restated as "Fair Share", which upon clear reflection is essentially the same thing on a broader scale. However, it appears that yanks don't like this, perhaps perceiving some sinister "communist" intent. In fact there are ongoing discussions online regarding the third ethic which decry "fair share" based however deviously upon the fear that if they work real hard (harder than everyone else) they "ought" to have the "right" to more! Great oratories are crafted to somehow substantiate the idea that if one competes harder than everyone else, they deserve more of the wealth. So, the underlying argument against fair share is driven by the competition thing! Go figure ....
    :)
     
  5. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Do unto the universe as you would have it do unto you.
     
  6. Kenpg67

    Kenpg67 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That is an interesting way of stating the third ethic that is what my book says also to set limits to population and consumption, I believe that that is the one that would be hardest for people to accept. Cause once you do that then that is considered the end of growth. People think well I can't consume this or that as much as I want.

    For some reason it seems we are imbedded with this addiction to consume more. But my solution would be to focus on sports. That would fill the void. You would have the people from the desert play the people from the north and now we are focusing on something that doesn't take much resources from the land.

    Sounds far fetched but permaculture would work it would also HAV to imbed some type of human emotion of greed, desire, and anger and channel these emotions int something positive like sports. This would instill pride in something other than having the biggest truck tha guzzle gasoline.

    Cause looking around where I live and who I know and if I could sum up the one thing keeping people from on consuming less and applying permaculture in their own lives such as applying chickens in the backyard, or setting up rainwater catchment or having a Arden in the backyard is PRIDE.

    People don't want to seem like less than anyone else. Like they are in need. Like they don't have enough money o they have to put up a rain water catchment system. Or they don't HAV enough money so they have t raise chickens. I believe some people re uncomfortable and embarrassed with living so humbly even though they might be saving money they still want to have fun and feel like they can invest in something that they can put pride in.

    Cause with ermaculture like it or not it is still a humble way too live and I believe human nature is to feel some pride in something and one thing must fill that void and what better than sports.

    Anyway hope that rant made sense, that idea just crossed my mind.

    Sorry I'm typing on an iPad so words are scrambled lol
     
  7. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I learned a saying about this - it doesn't make sense unless you know the context. I was in Cambodia - intensely Buddhist by nature - and one of the people I was with asked why all the houses were blue. And the answer given to her was - because they are. So the saying is blue houses are blue. To me it means that things just are the way there are and there doesn't need to be a decision that it is better that way, or could be better another way - it just is that way.

    A tree that doesn't make it to the top of the canopy still has a place in a forest - it fills other needs. It isn't a defective, less worthy tree.

    I have also seen some of the heated arguments about the third ethic and wondered how they could miss the point. I get particularly ruffled feathers when it is used to justify the theft of intellectual property. Like illegally copying and distributing copies of permaculture DVDs without the permission of the person who made it. It is up to the owner to decide if it is part of their surplus to be redistributed. It belongs in the same category as jumping the fence and going and killing someone's cow and saying they practice permaculture so they should be happy to share what they produce.

    If we are going to compete - lets make it competitive composting. I want the job of being commentator for the composting Olympics. "Now Australia has chosen an unusual blend of organic matter there. I do wonder if his pile is going to be nitrogen deficient. No wait! He's peeing on it - that's sheer brilliance! Lets see if the Japanese team can come up with a trick to balance out the high mineral content of the kelp they have chosen. Join us after the break when we'll be checking in on the pile turning. I hear the Russian team have a new pitchfork design that's causing quite a controversy."

    There can be a pride in making a buck go further. I'm constantly amazed by some of the people I know who can live well on the smell of an oily rag and wish I had the skills to do it.
     
  8. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,046
    Likes Received:
    199
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    E Washington, USA
    Climate:
    Semi-Arid Shrub Steppe (BsK)
    (my bolding)

    I really like this idea of bouncing each idea and activity against "does this further care of the earth?"

    Bill clearly states what his Permaculture Design Manual is about:
    I've often said that if I can understand concepts, I can figure out a vast variety of ways to apply them. Bill is expressing essentially the same thing here.

    So now we know what the PDM is about!
     
  9. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,519
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    :giggle: :giggle: :giggle:

    I might consider watching those Olympics :)
     
  10. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,046
    Likes Received:
    199
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    E Washington, USA
    Climate:
    Semi-Arid Shrub Steppe (BsK)
    A final thought from the "Ethics" section:

    We're all aware that our high-energy society is on the wane ...

    This may be the origin of Geoff's quote, "All the world's problems can be solved in the garden. Many people don't know this."
    :)
     
  11. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,984
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Grey area for me.

    Part of me agrees with you. The other part of me realizes that Permaculture has to go more viral and get out there NO MATTER WHAT. University in my State is with holding Permaculture from the Ag Extensions in the various counties because you have to pay thousands of dollars to take weekend classes at the State University, which is inane and insane considering the world wide oil crisis. To give a better idea on this, I would have to drive 5 hours, 1 way to get to class, then either stay over night, or drive back after class only to repeat it the following weekend. This state is BIG, and forcing the people who NEED this information to help the world at large just can't afford it, or get there.

    Your cow logic fails IMO. Non sequitur / glittering generality.
     
  12. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Just a couple of little questions there Bill!

    My feeling is that when you boil it down what we get is that humans have lost touch with nature; with reality. Consider the idea (and reality) of Nature Deficit Disorder.

    The what and why of permaculture is to bring humans back into equilibrium with nature; return us to understanding and respecting our place within it.

    As soon as you understand this, you can see that Overpopulation is one of our biggest dilemmas. There really needs to be a concerted and concentrated effort on how we deal with this NOW. If we can find a workable solution to that (before nature finds a solution for us), I believe we can solve almost any of our modern problems. Because that is going to take a serious rejigging of our current paradigm if we are going to do it before the high volumes of energy we have access to are gone.

    The truth is that population WILL collapse. This is incontrovertible, but as a species we are aware of this and thus have a unique opportunity to manage this decent. If we don't it will set us back a long long way and possibly to annihilation.

    I feel like in this chapter Bill is saying we must reconnect, on all levels of being, with the truth of nature.
     
  13. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,984
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Very Fukuoka.

    About population collapse, I am unsure aside from a natural disaster. I am also unsure it is a problem yet. Much of the world is actually undeveloped, and has the potential to be Permablitz'd in order to help the rest of the world.
     
  14. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,984
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Had a thought regarding what I typed out for Eco.

    Here is my POV in a weird nutshell. There is a coffee grower in Hawaii that has put his coffee on espalier. To us, nothing unusual, big deal... ..but he is seeking a patent on the idea. Now keeping this in mind, and the present state of the planet, how can I not want to expose everyone, as much as possible, by any means necessary how important Permaculture is for the planet and humanity at large in a world wide sense.

    However that is the crux isn't it? Due to cognitive dissidence, corporatism, and media @ large, everyone is distracted away from the problems instead of seeing solutions that not only can bring about what needs to be done.
     
  15. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,046
    Likes Received:
    199
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    E Washington, USA
    Climate:
    Semi-Arid Shrub Steppe (BsK)
    Great comments! Keep 'em coming.

    1.3 Permaculture in Landscape and Society

    Starts right off with this tidbit:
    We used Pc design process to develop a proposal for a small college to implement a new "Sustainability" program and used a PDC as the foundation. The real interesting part was diagramming energy flows and energy sectors for the college based on money, social constraints, and politics!

    Oh, and Bill speaks to "invasive species":
     
  16. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,046
    Likes Received:
    199
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    E Washington, USA
    Climate:
    Semi-Arid Shrub Steppe (BsK)
    (The PDM is so information dense ... it's hard to pick out key pieces when it is all so important!)

    Food for thought and deep consideration.
     
  17. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have come to see population as the straw man in the the environment argument. It becomes easy for someone to say that have no, 1 or 1.3 children and therein ends their responsibility for the planet. (As they sit in comfort in their air-conditioned home, watching the large plasma screen, with the boat and 3 cars in the drive.)

    The equation for environmental degradation is population x consumption. Even if you chose not to reproduce then you need to take responsibility for your consumption. And that's the sticking point as most of us are stuck on the western 'quality of life' concept. (Driving me nuts at present that phrase - we are in pre-budget week in Aus and the media says it every 5 minutes….)

    Hidden within the population straw man are racist and feminist overtones. Let me explain.

    It's the poor indigenous populations of the world that have large family sizes by and large. So it is their fault the planet is going to hell in a hand basket right? Er no…. they are usually the lowest consumers on the planet and one family of 10 from Afghanistan is going to have a smaller planetary foot print than one Australian or American and their medium sized dog. The reason they have large families is their poverty. There is no money for family planning and no services available in their community even if they wanted to. And they need the extra hands on deck to help with manual work. And the high mortality rates encourage higher birth rates to keep up.

    Women are the ones doing the breeding so it is all their fault - they should just stop it. Er no…. Again the problem is lack of access to family planning, as a consequence of poverty but also societal attitudes that continue to blame women for pregnancy and therefore don't accept that society has a responsibility to provide affordable contraception. That would never happen in the US though would it? (Errr no…) We live in a rape culture where it is OK for men to demand sex, not OK for women to refuse it, but it is the woman's fault if she gets pregnant, and she should 'do' something about it. Except that abortion is considered immoral and unacceptable to the population at large and is not generally available. So waving the population flag around looks like another way to blame women for everything.

    The solution to the population problem is women's rights, women's education, putting an end to the rape culture, free and accessible contraceptive advice and an end to poverty through equitable redistribution of wealth. Sounds like the third ethic to me….

    (Steps down off soap box…)
     
  18. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,782
    Likes Received:
    142
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    gardening, reading, etc
    Location:
    near St. Charles, MI, USoA
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    -15C-35C, 10cm rain/mo, clay, full sun, K-G Dfa=x=Dfb
    often when i see pictures of places where people have too many children and do not really understand the environment around them i'm stricken by how barren their yards are. packed dirt, which is swept daily, compacted and dead soil. not much green stuff, no flowers, etc.

    this is to me a sign of the broader problem, that the idea of plants/insects/animals as being adversaries and excluded instead of being understood and worked with as much as possible.

    that their gardens/farm plots may be a long ways from their homes where they stay at night (for mutual protection and proximity to relatives/friends) is one thing, but it still often looks rather dead and obliterated, even in those places where you'd think that the people have an understanding of their natural world.

    i agree with you Eco that the rape culture needs to stop and access to family planning is critical, but i think this falls under the broader category of education. when you can educate people and get them working with nature instead of seeing it as adversarial then other changes happen too.

    i do see population as a problem, too often the population in an area is at or nearly at the carrying capacity, which leaves very little room for wild creatures or "empty" spaces that animals can inhabit without interference from people. it doesn't matter if they are hunter-gatherer forest dwellers or desert dwellers or whoever in wherever as long as there is no room for wildlife then i think it is too much and should be scaled back to where we at least share the planet with the other wild creatures instead of wiping them out piece by piece.
     
  19. debonatrek

    debonatrek Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Cause looking around where I live and who I know and if I could sum up the one thing keeping people from on consuming less and applying permaculture in their own lives such as applying chickens in the backyard, or setting up rainwater catchment or having a Arden in the backyard is PRIDE.

    Thats really a sad thought
     
  20. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,046
    Likes Received:
    199
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    E Washington, USA
    Climate:
    Semi-Arid Shrub Steppe (BsK)
    I had a thought last night. Lost it most of the day, then picked up on it again this evening reading your responses ... it was this:

    In nature there are a number of factors that keep populations in check, partially resources (food/water) and predators. Take away the predators and populations of deer (for instance) will grow until the food resources are depleted, then the population will crash. Reintroduce the predators and the deep populations stabilize to a great degree.

    Humans have no predators (except each other). The only limits to our population growth left is resource limits, and we seem to be fast approaching the point where resources (including food) will no longer be adequate for the increasing population.

    Does this train of thought seem correct??
     

Share This Page

-->