[permaculture] 2030

Tommy Tolson healinghawk at earthlink.net
Sat Jun 23 15:52:08 EDT 2007

Hi, Everyone,
Colin Mason wrote a book, /2030 Spike/, that got a lot of attention in 
some circles.  Now he's written another, /A Short History of the Future: 
Surviving the 2030 Spike/, that offers strategies for survival.
Seven drivers, some human constructions but a few natural, converge in 
2030.  Depleted fuel supplies (Republicans just blocked taxing Big Oil 
to jumpstart the renewable energy industry), massive population growth 
(the next billion people comes faster and faster), poverty, global 
climate change, famine, growing water shortages, and international 
lawlessness (witness how much of Dubya's War on Terror fails in the 
largely Republican US courts) are the drivers.

To me, these are the surface components of the ecological crisis that we 
have been warned about since Lynn White, jr. wrote "The Historical Roots 
of Our Ecologic Crisis" in /Scientific American/ in 1967.  The cause of 
the ecological crisis, as I see it, is the mindless practice of 
ideologies of dominion that have been advanced by the wealth of the G8 
countries in general and the US in particular, especially after WWII 
when US policy elites found the US holding the war debt of a great deal 
of the world's former powers and began edging toward the US Empire.  In 
other words, the Christian axiom that nature has no reason to exist save 
to serve humans is to blame for the ecological crisis that threatens to 
kill life back to the bacteria from which we emerged millions or perhaps 
billions of years ago.

Most critiques of the ecological crisis come at it from one or the other 
of the seven drivers of global ecological collapse.  Mason keeps all 
seven in play.  Systems theory remains outside the mainstream of human 
thought processes, sadly.

This is why I bring dominion to this listserv.  Permaculture was 
conceived in systems theory and it's mantra, "The solution is in the 
problem," contains the wisdom of systems theory.  It's not about 
plugging in the next external "solution," the newest new technology.  
It's about balancing human interactions within the natural order.  That, 
in my opinion, is what Permaculture ought to be doing, instead of 
sinking all of our energies into growing food for ourselves.

I've been a Green for almost three decades and almost went to grad 
school in Environmental Ethics instead of fiction writing, so I come 
from there.  /Ishmael/, /Black Elk Speaks/, and /A Sand County Almanac/ 
are major guidebooks for me. 

We can be as myopic as we want, but Permaculture is one of the few 
systems that offers a way to support people whose systems are breaking 
down faster than anyone wants to think.  Industrial agriculture, for 
example, hangs by a fragile petrochemical thread.  Permaculture has to 
step up and serve nature by saving enough life to prevent a total 
planetary ecological collapse around 2030.

We're halfway through 2007.  We don't have a lot of time to fool with 
denial.  Permaculture feeds a relative few people and has an almost 
indistinguishable effect in the greater world.  Permaculture needs, in 
my opinion, to come to political maturity and create the systems to 
liberate life from dominion.  /The Liberation of Life/, written by a 
religion professor and a biology professor, John Cobb, Jr. and Charles 
Birch,  respectively, makes that case nicely. 

Weep and moan all you want, but know it's futile, and know that right 
action in the world now is all that will save life from the ecocide of 
dominion.  We've been on this fence since 1967 and it's time to get off 
and get to work.

Tommy Tolson
Austin, TX

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