The above mind-map gives a visual representation of why permaculture is so necessary for the present and future of humanity AND other life on this planet. As a global system our planet, which politicians and corporate CEOs seem to forget is the only One we have, is experiencing some dramatic changes that imperil not only future generations, but people right now. From an ecological stand point systems are struggling to maintain viability and biodiversity. Rivers and groundwater are polluted either for short term profit with chemical toxins or for lack of insight with sewage discharge, while ocean life is indiscriminately being removed at rates from which they may never recover. On land, the soil we all rely on for food is being plundered and poisoned literally to death in order to sell more toxic and wholly unnecessary chemicals. These chemicals in turn either run off with the rain or soak into the groundwater which you and your family are drinking. The little boxes in our living rooms constantly barrage us with messages to go buy more stuff from the Big Boxes so pervasive in our now nearly indistinguishable communities while completely ignoring the human rights abuses that often accompany so many of the “consumer goods” they advertise and sell. With even a moment’s reflection almost any person could see that all of this is unsustainable. It is as if the political big wigs and corporate types have forgotten very basic accounting and are asking all of us to forget it too. One cannot put $100 into a checking account with no further deposits and then continue to withdraw money from that account willy-nilly and expect to maintain a viable account, yet that is essentially what we are doing with our forests, the world’s water, fisheries, soil, wetlands, and even human beings.
The state of the world looked at through that lens only shows us that things are desperately bleak. The good news is that so many of the solutions are REMARKABLY simple when we apply them wisely using the ethics and principles of permaculture as our guide. Imagine if public policy from the local level to the state and federal level was determined by what was good for the Earth and the life that inhabits it both present and future. For those who worship the fictitious fiat currency we call MONEY this can be a hard pill to swallow. They cry out, “It’s bad for the economy” while ignoring the fact that destroying the planet is worse for the economy. “The economy” (which as it stands is really a pyramid scheme) relies on a finite planet and on people to make it go. Take away the planet’s systems which support life and the people disappear too and then there is NO MORE ECONOMY. Simple as that.
We can do better. Both the potential and success of permaculture design are being shown at project site all around the world. Some people think it is a Utopian pipe-dream to utilize permaculture on a vast scale. I’d rather live believing in the potential of a permaculture Utopia than continue actively creating a horrific Distopia that is left to younger people such as my daughter to deal with. Doing better starts with learning about permaculture design and applying it right where one lives and being active in engaging local leadership to plug in the common sense mechanism of their brains in order to change the system completely. To quote a Nahko and Medicine for the People song, “you’ve got a lot work to do so get busy homie go on get busy.”
For examples of just how powerful permaculture design is and the potential we have to create a sustainable planet, check out Geoff Lawton’s videos on his website (they’re free) at: