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Nathan Chattaway
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George, Would you classify separate sub-cultures like the Old Order Mennonites and their more famous subset the Amish as high-sapient? Interested because you possibly deduct points for anyone following a faith based life. With the network of settlements across the North American continent and their ability to grow their own food without anywhere near as many fossil fuel inputs as the rest of us, are these guys in line to make it through any bottleneck event? I was also pleased to note your admiration for the prayer you quoted. Perhaps you're trying to leave a door open to the Amish or similar faith based self sufficiency communities yourself? And then there's always good old Dmitry Orlov, with his seasteading life. He's already cultivating secret permaculture gardens around the world's coastlines, living nomadically on the sturdy but ugly (and thus unappealing to pirates) squareboat.
Toggle Commented Jun 7, 2012 on The Path: The Final Episode at Question Everything
typo alert: "Chaffing at the bit" :) I think you meant "champing at the bit" Excellent post, as usual George. I wonder if a major newspaper would take a short piece from you?
Toggle Commented May 22, 2011 on Two Scenarios at Question Everything
Also, your use of the term "Limits to Growth" reminded me of the 1973 Limits to Growth study. The model developed to produce this report has been updated in 1993, 2004 and is due for a 40 year update in 2012 with a new book to be published by the team. Each time they refine the model and calibrate it with the actual statistics. But - and here's the bit that makes me think there will be no top down solution to our problems - no government or corporations are taking it seriously. We've wasted the 38 years since this report was first published, in which time something could have been done to prevent the worst case scenarios from occurring. I think the only way forward now is going to be a big die off, radically localised existence and hopefully a future stabilising of our climate at some level compatible with human life.
Amazingly, I bought this very same book three days ago! I haven't read it yet. I also bought "The Transition Handbook - From oil dependency to local resilience" by Rob Hopkins at the same time and chose to read this one first. Thanks for a detailed and insightful review. I am very much looking forward to reading it. I bought it in the hope that it would present some useful ideas about setting up for the future. I don't need convincing of the reasons, just good material to share with neighbours in my bioregion.
Jeremy, Holmgren *lives* in a cool temperate climate in Victoria, which is in the south eastern corner of the Australian mainland. His demonstration permaculture site "Melliodora" is his family home and has been for nearly 30 years. While his writings and practical work about Melliodora cover the cool temperate zones, they do include applications for other climates. The specific book that George recommended, is concerned with systems and principles rather than the mechanics "grass roots" level of permaculture tasks per se. These are universal. I did raise this blog to David Holmgren's attention, so he may choose to comment himself.
Or should I say, three of the most important BASIC needs on Maslow's hierarchy are water, food and shelter. From a pyramid perspective, they are at the bottom, not the top. Sorry for any confusion.
It seems to me that modifying your living arrangements in line with the principles in Holmgren's book can only stand you in good stead for whatever the future holds. Doing this sooner rather than later means you have choices and time to get the basic infrastructure established, while such mundane things as poly water piping, steel fencing wire and brass taps are readily available. Looking at Maslow's hierarchy of needs: water, food and shelter are the top three. It's entirely possible today to build a shelter from waste products that requires no active heating or cooling energy. The epitome of this design is the Earthship perfected by Michael Reynolds in the New Mexico desert. If you're harvesting clean rainwater, have a shelter that is warm in winter and cool in summer and you're growing healthy food, your chances of survival increase dramatically. I can't think of a better investment than one along these lines. So, what stops us from doing this? Greed, laziness, disbelief?
Hi George, Excellent paper! I think you mean "sleight of hand" rather than "slight of hands", but that's being picky. Your succinct summary of money put me in mind of the far more long-winded but fascinating trilogy of books by Neal Stephenson collectively titled "The Baroque Cycle". Have you read these? They deal with the concept and history of money and are very witty and informative historical fiction. Highly recommended. Also, you've gone quiet on your attempts to form a Permaculture based community in which to attempt to preserve sapience through our upcoming descent. Is that due to a desire on your part to practice security by obscurity? I know of one collapse preparer who had to sell his spot in just such a community in Equador due to persecution of his family by big pharmacy. His blogging created powerful enemies etc. Anyway, keep up the good work! Just don't neglect your own personal situation while doing it, OK?
Toggle Commented Nov 17, 2010 on The Economy Is Energy at Question Everything
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Nov 16, 2010