[permaculture] Government and corporate attitudes towards permaculture

wenshidi at yahoo.co.uk wenshidi at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Dec 1 01:29:52 EST 2010

"last week in Beijing, when air pollution readings from a monitoring station at the U.S. Embassy soared past 500 — a level so astonishing it prompted the embassy’s automated air pollution Twitter feed (which usually rates Beijing’s air quality on a scale from “Good” to “Hazardous”) to add a completely new rating: “Crazy Bad.”

This new prompted me to contact a friend in China who works as an investment advisor for one of the worlds largest corporations, and is very well connected with the government.  I suggested that this would be a great opportuntity to put together a clean up crew that would really take the problem seriously.  Even though I know he has a serious interest in permaculture and sustainability, his reply was very disheartening.

"Hi Chris,
thanks for your note. let's not overestimate our ability to get the
government to do things though...
to make any difference to the air quality one would have to embark on a
massive effort of cutting the sources of pollution across the city and
the neighboring provinces. nothing that any one party could take on.
while an increase in roof gardens and green roofs as well as "forest"
area are already on the agenda of the Beijing government,  it requires
cooperation and coordination between a huge range of governmental
departments and service providers. Don't think there would be much
accommodation for a motley crew of permaculturists we'd pull together"

I wonder how many other corporate bigwigs and government officials view us a 'motley crew' of hippies and peaceniks.  So the question I have now is how to we reply to this kind of prejudice?

My own feeling is that there is no way that the corrupt officials and their corporate cronies will be able to fix these enormous problems that they themselves are responsible for creating.  They have neither the political will, nor the imagination and certainly not the expertise.  This was bought home to me when I advised him on a few large real estate projects.  There was not an architect, or a planner or a developer for 100 miles that had even heard of permaculture, let alone knew how to work according to its basic principles.

How should I answer his pessimism without ranting about his nagativity and silver spoon attitude, which I have to admit, I am really tempted to do.

My thanks in advance for any input



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