[permaculture] Kim Stanley Robinson's 60 Days and Counting

Keith Johnson keithdj at mindspring.com
Sun Dec 16 22:09:35 EST 2007

Robinson's trilogy of climate change 
<http://astore.amazon.com/pctradingpost-20?%5Fencoding=UTF8&node=31> is 
one of the more hopeful sets of books currently being read by millions 
of people. It is described as "Perhaps the most realistic portrayal ever 
created of the environmental changes that are already occurring on our 

The following text is drawn from the blog of fictional President (of the 
US) Phil Chase, near the end of the book:

    "...Capital is created by everyone and should be owned by everyone.
    People are owed the worth of what they do, and whatever they do adds
    to humanity somehow, and helps make our own lives possible, and it
    worth a living wage and more. And the Earth is owed our permanent
    care. And we have the capability to care for the Earth and create
    for every one of us a sufficiency of food, water, shelter, clothing,
    medical care, education, and human rights.

    To the extent our economic system withholds or flatly opposes these
    values and goals, it is diseased. It has to be changed so that we
    can do these things that are well within our technological
    capabilities. We have imagined them, and they are possible. We can
    make them real.

    Of course they can happen. You thought they couldn't happen, but
    why? Because we aren't good enough to do it? That was part of the
    delusion. Underneath the delusion, we were always doing it.

    That's what we're doing in history; call it the invention of
    permaculture. By permaculture I mean a culture that can be sustained
    permanently. Not unchanging, that's impossible, we have to stay
    dynamic, because conditions will change, and we will have to adapt
    to those new conditions, and continue to try to make things even
    better - so that I like to think the word permaculture implies also
    permutation. We will make adaptations, so change is inevitable.

    Eventually I think what will happen is that we will build a culture
    in which no one is without a job, or shelter, or health care, or
    education, or the rights to their own life. Taking care of the Earth
    and its miraculous biological splendor will then become the
    long-term work of our species. We'll share the world with all the
    other creatures. It will be an ongoing project that will never end.
    People worry about living life without purpose or meaning, and
    rightfully so, but really there is no need for concern: inventing a
    sustainable culture is the meaning, right there always before us. We
    haven't even come close to doing it yet, so it will take a long
    time, indeed it will never come to and end while people still exist.

    All this is inherent in what we have started...We have to become the
    stewards of the Earth. And we have to start doing this in ignorance
    of the details of how to do it. We have to learn how to do it in the
    attempt itself. It is something we are going to have to imagine.

    "This generation has a rendezvous with destiny." Our time has to be
    understood as a narrow gate, a widow of opportunity, a crux point in
    history. It's the moment when we took responsibility for life on
    Earth. That's what I say."

Keith Johnson
"Be fruitful and mulch apply."
Permaculture Activist Magazine
PO Box 5516, Bloomington, IN 47407
(812) 335-0383
Switch to Solar Power the Easy Way
Blog: http://kjpermaculture.blogspot.com/
also Patterns for Abundance Design & Consulting
also Association for Regenerative Culture
also APPLE-Bloomington (Alliance for a Post-Petroleum Local Economy) It's a small world after oil.
also Bloomington Permaculture Guild 

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