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In a message dated 4/11/99 1:18:28 AM, Unleesh wrote:
<<I have a question for permaculturalists :
My understanding that "permaculture" is an attempt to create "permanent
culture", ie sustainable cultures ...
It seems there has been a great deal of focus on sustainable homes and
food-production, which is excellent ...
But what sorts of dialogue exist in the community regarding industrial
production of material goods? It is very, very hard for me to imagine an
ecologically sustainable industrialism, and this comes out of no inherent
luddite temperament, simply an increasing awareness of what is involved in
the process of industrialism itself.
For example, can someone create for me a model of "sustainable mining"?? On
any scale required by industrialism? The phrase itself sounds oxymoronic! I
think of Fukuoka, and I try to imagine the Fukuoka of mining, and it is very
difficult .... "just let nature do the mining for you ... just leave the
system alone and the metals will grow on their own" ... it is true for
example that Native Americans mined some copper in Canada, but on a very
small-scale basis, certainly not reaching the Minimum Inputs required on an
industrial scale ... and without mining, the whole industrial system pretty
much comes to a halt ... so has anyone thought about these questions? It
seems as if we've built an entire culture on an infrastructure that is itself
toxic and requires a constant input and output of toxicity ...
Well my Mohawk friends tell me that they knew about metal centuries before
the European invasion, but did not make it because it required mining. They
felt that taking anything from the body of Mother Earth that she did not
bring to the surface constitutes Mother rape. I can't find any flaw in that
position. If something was on the surface, it was offered. If not, it was
The central feature of permaculture, the one that makes all the rest useful,
and the one that is most ignored by so-called permaculturists, is staging,
designing how we get from where we are to where we want to be. The examples
of staging design are in nature, what we call succession. If you throw out
industrial civilization and go live naked on nuts and berries, you won't last
long, I suspect, and you'll probably end up in jail for some infraction or
other and having to eat industrially grown food or starve, surrounded by
metal. The trick is to 1) come up with a PRACTICAL VISION and 2) a VERY
PRACTICAL PLAN FOR GETTING THERE. Then, if you aren't distracted by the
seductions of materialistic industrial society, maybe you make some progress.
If you refuse to use the bulldozer that exists anyway to save water, the
basis of life, you may not be able to change enough to gain on the
destruction. Wear it out and don't build any more.
For Mother Earth, Dan Hemenway, Yankee Permaculture Publications (since
1982), Elfin Permaculture workshops, lectures, Permaculture Design Courses,
consulting and permaculture designs (since 1981), and annual correspondence
courses via email. Copyright, 1998, Dan & Cynthia Hemenway, P.O. Box 52,
Sparr FL 32192 USA Internships. YankeePerm@aol.com
We don't have time to rush.
A list by topic of all Yankee Permaculture titles may be found at
Elfin Permaculture programs are listed at the Eastern Permaculture Teachers
assn home page: http://home.ptd.net/~artrod/epta/eptahmp.html