[permaculture] Near the Breaking point

D.A. Riley permascape at yahoo.com
Tue May 23 13:58:18 EDT 2006

J, E.E., Bart et. al.,
  Amazing work being done to collect information to keep us all thinking,  and every argument has so much data to back it's point. I'm just trying  to filter it all. 
 I had this question come to me after I  saw the president of Shell Oil interviewed on the Today show this  morning: Are we fueling the fear for their profit?
 Firstly,  he was a little too smooooooth in his delivery, defending the huge  profits being made and how he cared for each n' every one of the  customers at Shell station throughout the world. He also echoed many of  the points being made by energy conservation advocates;  how it's  a shame to see commuters idling in traffic jams, empty public  transportation being a waste, how one solution would be to drive  slower.  (It seems like telling an substance abuser the signs and  symptoms of their addiction).
 And lastly, he says  (paraphasing)..." if only the public would find it acceptable to drill  in sensitive areas for oil" .  Now to me that's saying, and here  is the question that came to me; Are you people scared enough NOW, that  you will allow us to rip into wilderness areas for oil company future  profits, to keep your addictions fed? And, thank you for the  information campaign to promote the fear.
 Maybe there's  enough oil? Maybe we're almost out? Perhaps the pace of using petrol in  the USA  for the commuting fat and unhappy drive-thru-economy is  outa control. Will it make a difference if we get everyone to  acknowledge it? Now or later? Will frightening the masses into line be  better for the environment (less air pollution), or worse (more  drilling).
 As Permaculturists, do we need to behave as though  oil is gone now and get on with it...build community and food systems  locally, provincially?  -That's a rhetorical  question     8>)
  So many ways to see the Elephant.

From: J Kolenovsky 
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Global Food Supply Near the Breaking Point

Thank you, Bart, for stepping up to the plate.  I read your website 
daily. This group could benefit from more people of your background. 
Maybe the naysayers would become believers. Heinberg, Holmgrem Kuntsler, 
Colin, et al are a host of good sources on the PO theory.   I believe 
the proof or credible demonstation is a very SIMPLE thing. (like KISS). 
Oil is finite. There is only so much. This is not about RUNNING OUT. It 
is about shortage and supply and demand. Look at this. How long oil been 
pumped out of ground? 150 years? How many oil consuming machines made in 
that time period. 2 billion? How many tailpipes idling on fossil fuels? 
1 billion?  C'mon. This planet is not that big and is getting scarce on 
fossil fuels and oxygen. The real issue is not the aforementioned but 
is, "What are we going to do going forward? Are we going to put aside 
our uniquenesses and get along to work towards a solution and common 
good? Will we pull our heads out of our encyclopedias and lexicographias 
and look around at the world about us. Institutions aren't going to 
educate people about this. Will we step up and educate them about 
possibilities to live in the future?" Or are we scared about what we 
have done in the past 150 years (fattened calves) and start thinking 
about living real lives in the next 150 years?


From: "E. E. Mitchamore Jr" 
Well  said, and I agree, except for one thing: Uniqueness. I don't believe  that "uniqueness" and "get(ing) along to work towards a solution and  common good" are necessarily in conflict. It's the competition (my way  is better than yours, just because it's mine), that gets in the way.  Diversity is a strong theme of Permaculutre. We should celebrate unique  strengths and abilities in ourselves, as well as our plants, while  learning to employ those strengths in cooperative fashion..

A  local (Austin) example: A well-meaning group of fervent  environmentalists recently spent a lot of money ($450,000), trying to  get some changes made to the city charter to protect the local  aquifers. Their passion ultimately caused failure, as the proposed  amendments went too far for the general public and energized the  opposition. Will they be able to regain a position of influence, or did  insistence on "one way" do irreparable damage?

E. E. "Mitch" Mitchamore


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