Hello all, I have just (luckily) found this forum after trying for months of permaculture research on my mind draining computer. I live in a place where winter starts in October and ends in May(if we're lucky). Canada. I realize that permaculture in very viable in a place where the growing season actually exists....ours is laughable. The agriculture practices in my country are against everything that is sustainable. We grow trillions of acres of the same crop. These acres owned by a few people. The rich ones who bought out bankrupt farms and consolidated them. we harvest our grains-(85% of which are genetically modified: Canada has offered up it's citizens as the global guinea pigs on the effects of GM)- and enter a deep freeze. most of our grains rot in their silos; dependent on global markets and unable to sell to countries which ban GM products. Living here, it's hard not to become engulfed by pessimism. The small temperate region of Canada is much more sustainable but land is almost impossible to afford (I am in no position to be able to buy some...not for a while) and disappearing fast. I'm feeling helpless and want to make a meaningful change in our society. Can anyone suggest an applicable field of study where one can get the credibility to facilitate an environmental change.(I realize this sounds naive and vague) I haven't formally studied anything yet..being unable to justify paying in the several tens of thousands of dollars to get a degree unless it's something that allows me to help us and earth. I've been noticing that most people involved in the permaculture moveme nt already have degrees in other areas, hold jobs in fields possibly unrelated to the environment and often own their own land that they want to make self sufficient. (can't get land unless you have a good job..can't get a job without a degree, can't get a degree without a loan...etc. etc..) Permaculture Institutes on the internet hold PDC courses but unfortunately I haven't found any within my area and others only do it once or twice a year...let alone the extreme prices in US dollars. It seems like permaculture has become a very expensive, exploitable 'hobby' instead of a sharing of ideas. I realize permaculture farms must also make a living but...thousands of dollars? which of course i'll invest, but I would like to be sure i'm not being taken for a ride. Are all these 'institutes' credible? or is it just the luck of the draw. I apologize for my ignorance. Many boast of possible permaculture Degrees and diplomas...Can you get either a degree or a diploma? Which universities offer such programs? My search on the internet has been fairly unsuccessful....so, bottom line.... How can you infultrate the "SYSTEM" of our consumptive society. How can we make manufacturers responsible and accountable for all their wasteful packaging...destructive production ....irresponsible marketing? How can we redesign our current agricultural practices on a broader level? Sorry for the rambling. Any direction would be greatly appreciated. Frozen in time.... j.