[permaculture] Killer Coke

Loren Davidson listmail at lorendavidson.com
Wed Apr 14 18:34:59 EDT 2004

At 03:14 PM 4/14/04 -0700, Toby Hemenway wrote:
>Bob wrote:
> > Greetings, first you assess the site then you create the plan. This
> > "campaign" is very much in line with Permaculture design, think about
> > community economics and right livelihood, . . .
>I think most everyone on this list is aware of the social injustices,
>environmental problems, etc. that the world faces. More examples of the
>familiar problems facing us won't make us better designers. There are
>thousands of calls to action and lists of evil deeds that are tangentially
>related to Pc, and if we all started sending them in, they would swamp this
>list. I would rather not open the door to them here. Now, if someone wants
>to use a quote from that sort of post as a jumping-off point for a novel Pc
>solution, I'd be delighted to see it.

Thank you, Toby, for articulating my thoughts better than I could.

While I believe that we shouldn't stick our heads in our compost piles and 
pretend that the problems of the world don't exist...to me, Pc has always 
been more about the solution than the problem. And I get the most out of 
this list when it is focusing on solutions, not hitting me over the head 
with some injustice happening five thousand miles away that I can't *begin* 
to do anything meaningful about. For example, I dearly love the diary 
articles that Bob Waldrop posts about his suburban gardening project - they 
inspire me to look at ways to do a little more with the heavily-shaded 
strip of clay that my landlord lets me grow vegies on, find ways to improve 
the soil and somehow involve other people in the building with the garden 
or with activities that can improve the quality of our lives here.

Pc is also about appropriate scale and about leveraging our actions. I can 
accomplish a lot more by growing herbs for our apartment building and 
helping educate people about how to separate stuff for recycling than I can 
by writing a letter to some executive in Bolivia.

I also agree with Toby's point regarding mass forwarding of emails. I 
believe there should be a special place in Hell reserved for anyone using 
the phrase "please forward this to everyone you know." It's virtual 
pollution, IMNSHO. It clogs people's mail queues, sometimes to the point of 
bouncing important messages, and it is a drain on the time and resources 
that each of us could be devoting to creating Pc-based solutions to the 
problems in our own towns and neighborhoods. Which, as I said, is 
ultimately where we can do the most good, I feel.

Finally, I think Pc is about protracted observation, rather than knee-jerk 
action. What could be more un-PC than mindlessly forwarding emails to a 
bunch of mailing lists without stopping once to think if they're 
*appropriate*? It's like throwing out seeds without regard as to whether 
they land in dirt, water, or on a sidewalk.

Here's a thought: The next time someone gets email bemoaning the injustice 
of slaughtering low-income factory workers in Elbonia for their pelts, 
rather than just forwarding it on, take some time to *think* about it. What 
type of design strategies might make it unnecessary to commit the outrage? 
Are there any practical ways in which we can work within our personal Zones 
0-4 that could make a *practical* difference, that would be a *better use 
of our time* than working locally on issues we know intimately? If the 
answer is yes, then by all means post a synopsis of the problem and an 
initial design solution to the list, and we can all have a virtual charette 
with it.

Otherwise, as Toby suggested, save it for advocacy lists and give our poor 
mail queues and delete fingers a rest.

Thanks for listening,


Loren Davidson        Earth steward, healer, singer/songwriter
NEW EMAIL: listmail at lorendavidson.com   http://www.earthspring.org/loren/
I'm a musician too!  http://www.lorendavidson.com
"In gentleness there is great strength." - Sun Bear

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