9 Nov 2005
Permaculture and Peak Oil…
I always enjoy Maddy Harland’s editorials in the Permaculture Magazine, and this new issue’s (No.46) is no different. This latest issue has a distinct Peak Oil flavour, with articles by Colin Campbell, David Holmgren and myself. I want to point out the last paragraph of the editorial, as I think it sets out very well, as does David Holmgren’s fantastic article in the same issue, how permaculture and peak oil are coming together in a very dynamic and exciting way. I think that peak oil is what permaculture has been waiting for, and that the peak oil movement desperately needs permaculture. I think we have come of age, and need to ramp permaculture up to the next level.
>We are on the brink of a systems breakdown. The old ways are simply not sustainable, not for us now or fo any generation to come. Our present culture is bringing a metaphoric as well as possibly a literal winter of such severity and suffering that we have to change. So what can we do? We need to face reality and see these challenges as opportunities.
> Whilst studying Peak Oil and watching the world’s news, I have been imagining a different future: one in which most city trees are edible species; where the majority and rural and urban land is given to growing food and fuel; where areas of wilderness are honoured and protected; where human and animal waste is converted into fertile soil; where small scale horticulture and agriculture is no longer the work of a marginalised peasantry but part of a movement for intelligent self-reliance; where every town and village has a portfolio of individual and community renewable energy systems and a local economy; where every settlement is retrofitted for energy conservation; where every new build meets stringent ecological standards; where every community resource is designed in relation to meeting the needs of its people; where every possible resource is renewed before it is considered for recycling.
> This to me is not a wintery world of scarcity and energy poverty, it is a world of diversity, self-reliance, real wealth and satisfying creativity. In short, it is ‘mainstream’ permaculture, the macrocosm of the world you will find in this magazine”.
Permaculture Magazine can be ordered from www.permaculture.co.uk, and is essential reading.