[permaculture] permaculture Digest, Vol 78, Issue 16

Scott Pittman scott at permaculture.org
Thu Jul 16 14:46:09 EDT 2009

Bill Molloison often called the third ethic the "recycling ethic".  Any and
all "excess not returned to the benefit of People and the Earth is
pollution.  If we are caring for the Earth and People we are by definition
engaged in sustainable activity and in a position where "the limit to yield
is only our imagination". 

"Fair share" is too loose an image for me what is "fair to me is a totally
different thing to the hundreds of billionaires out there.  What is "fair
share" to that 25% of the worlds population that lives on less that one
dollar per day??  Most of them are living on a small percentage of the
"excess" garbage of the consumers in their culture.

"Excess" could also be the billions of dollars hoarded by Bill Gates and his
ilk that is not put to caring for the Earth and people, to the contrary, in
Gates case, it is used to increase his excess through investment in African
oil which is killing the Earth as well as people.  Those billions of dollars
should be considered pollution until they are put to good use, and I don't
mean promoting the GMO transformation of African agriculture as both Gates
and the Rockefeller brothers are into up to their necks.  Seems that the
first failed green revolution wasn't enough for the Rockefeller Brothers.

While I agree that "A return of all excess to the benefit of Care of the
Earth and People" is awkward, I have a hard time restating it in more poetic
language without losing the meaning or intent.  I would welcome a better
phraseology, but to reduce it to a cliché does a disservice to what is
really a profound wrapping up of the previous two ethics. I think that most
people who do reword the third ethic are really looking for the brevity of
Care of the Earth and Care of People.  I remember when it was Care of the
Earth and Care of animals.  The argument was that animals were included in
Care of the Earth but it was never articulated why humans weren't also in
the Earthling category.  I ultimately decided that the second ethic only
emphasized the cultural belief that humans are somehow not part of nature.
Care of the Earth and a return of all excess from people to that care would
also work.    

Scott Pittman
Permaculture Institute
-----Original Message-----
From: permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of katey culver
Sent: Thursday, July 16, 2009 8:45 AM
To: permaculture
Subject: Re: [permaculture] permaculture Digest, Vol 78, Issue 16

I find difficulty with "fair share" as well.  Of course, it's all semantics
and how the words translate in our own minds.  What works for me, and i feel
i have the liberty to express it in my own way, is "honor the abundance".
Through honoring, the planet and all her parts and pieces are considered and
accounted for.


On Thu, Jul 16, 2009 at 1:40 AM, Chris Wardle <cjwardle at gmail.com> wrote:

> When I did my PDC with Nepal Permaculture Group a year ago, this ethic was
> succinctly put as two words:   "Fair Share".
> ===========
> > From: Rain Tenaqiya <raincascadia at yahoo.com>
> > Subject: [permaculture] What happened to the third ethic?
> >
> > ... Can anyone think of a succinct way to say this?

Katey Culver
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permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
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