[permaculture] The 4th Ethic

Michael Pilarski friendsofthetrees at yahoo.com
Sun Mar 23 22:26:14 EDT 2014


Here are answers to some of the questions posed in this thread.

The pdc curriculum which is published on Scott Pittman's website is the compilation of two of Mollison's curriculums. 1) Bill Mollison's first curriculum.  It has not changed since 1982 when I got a copy for my first course.  2) Bill Mollison's Dryland PDC curriculum.  I took the first course that Bill ever taught with the Drylands curriculum, which was in 1986 in eastern Washington state.  Those two curricula were lumped together, which is why it is so heavy on drylands.  

The 3rd pc ethic was taught to me in 1982 as "Dispersal of Surplus". I do not recall whether the byline "Set limits to population and consumption" was introduced to me in 1982 or later.  Since then many people have stated the 3rd ethic as "Fair Share".

I think that Dispersal of Surplus as an ethic sounded too communist for many people and evoked images of dismantling the estates of millionaires and billionaires.  And Bill, being the revolutionary he is, may have intended it that way.  


Michael "Skeeter" Pilarski
Permaculture - Wildcrafting - Medicinal Herbs & Seeds


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On Sunday, March 23, 2014 11:40 AM, Toby Hemenway <toby at patternliteracy.com> wrote:
 
Couple of questions:

Who wrote the handbook that LL linked to at

Permaculture Institute/Scott Pittman: Publication2 - PDC-Outline.pdf
http://www.permaculture.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/PDC-Outline.pdf

This has been around in various forms for many years, and this is a revised version of the one I got in 1994. I've never seen an author's name on it. 

Second question: What is the 3rd ethic? In the Designer's Manual on P 2 Mollison says that the 3rd ethic is

"3. Setting limits to population and consumption: By governing our own needs, we can set resources aside to further the above principles" [Bill is referring to ethics 1 and 2, care of earth and care of people--which he confusingly calls "principles."]

So--how did "set limits to population and consumption" get turned into "share the surplus"? Bill muddled the issue by adding "we can set resources aside" to his "set limits" injunction, but still--how did we drop the whole "set limits" piece so that so many people think that the 3rd ethic has always been "share the surplus" when it never has been that, according to Bill?

Toby
http://patternliteracy.com


On Mar 23, 2014, at 1:17 AM, Steve Hart <stevenlawrencehart at gmail.com> wrote:

> Thanks for that Scotty
> 
> This brings up memory....you say
> 
> "At some point the fourth ethic was
> dropped from the teaching of permaculture and that ethic, *reduction of*
> *population and consumerism*, was and is critical to our future path."
> 
> I too like yourself have issue with the diversion of the 3rd Ethic which
> has always been from the beginning "Share the Surplus" not the watered down
> version "Fair Share" which has an entirely different meaning
> 
> As you also say
> 
> " Not the watered down version of permaculture
> that is currently being flogged by to many incompetent teachers and
> practitioners but the version that I believe was envisioned by Bill
> Mollison's anger and David Holmgren's thoughtfulness"
> 
> I continue the challenge to re-right this ship which is sinking fast
> already listing badly, by plugging effort into the European Permaculture
> Teachers ( perma*teachers*.*eu )* series of conferences. IMO it is critical
> to get a recognised firm curricula (
> http://www.permaculture.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/PDC-Outline.pdf )
> as one basis for teaching. Then of course build an entity to develop and
> support the standards to maintain all this.
> 
> Scotty, I'd like to see your paragraph on the detailed explanation of the
> 3rd & 4th ethic, to share amongst all
> 
> Warm ones ...
> Kia ora
> 
> [image: Picture]
> *Steve Hart*
> Ecology Architect
> skype: stevenlawrencehart
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