[permaculture] Permaculture Ethics

Koreen Brennan cory8570 at yahoo.com
Sun Aug 10 16:10:15 EDT 2014


Bob, 

I hear you on oral history - I've long felt the same way. We will be interviewing those permaculture pioneers and veterans who are willing at the convergence - we will have film equipment, they will all be there - it's a great opportunity. Of course, that is nothing like really digging in and filming each person for several hours - or several days -  which is really what needs to be done! But it is a start. 

Koreen Brennan

www.growpermaculture.com
northamericanpermaculture.org



On Sunday, August 10, 2014 12:53 PM, Bob Waldrop <bob at bobwaldrop.net> wrote:
 


Someone should print this email from Scott and deposit it in. . . the
Permaculture Archives. Where are the Permaculture Archives?  Well, I suppose
that is yet another project that needs to be designed and done.  With our
elders getting more elderly, we probably should think about how we preserve
the documents of our early history.  And that includes doing oral histories
with the permaculture elders.  An oral history is a simply a conversation,
that is recorded and transcribed for posterity, about the experience of a
person's life.

Eventually we would probably link up with a major library to establish a
Permaculture Special Collections which would receive these artifacts and
documents that tell our story.

One of the issues for "historiography" in the modern era is our dependence
upon electronic records.  While cleaning out a closet, I came across a box
of "floppy diskettes" -- both the larger 5" and the smaller ones that
replaced them. And they are hmmm probably only 20 years or so old.  All of
that info is functionally lost to me asI don't have a machine to read them
and they havne't really been stored well.

I'm thinking of printing the archives of this discussion group on archive
quality paper. 

Bob Waldrop, Okie City

-----Original Message-----
From: permaculture [mailto:permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf
Of Scott Pittman
Sent: Sunday, August 10, 2014 10:39 AM
To: 'permaculture'
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Permaculture Ethics

To further clarify, Geoff L. was asked to leave the Tyalgum permaculture
site by Bill after other people there complained about Geoff's behavior.

Geoff left and that was the end of PRI at the PC Institute site in Tyalgum.

Scott

"To change something build a new model that makes the existing model
obsolete"  Buckminster Fuller

-----Original Message-----
From: permaculture [mailto:permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf
Of Robyn Francis
Sent: Sunday, August 10, 2014 12:07 AM
To: permaculture
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Permaculture Ethics

I haven't read the full article yet on
http://tcpermaculture.com/site/2013/05/15/the-third-ethic-its-time-to-identi
fy-the-mutation/
but a few paragraphs into it I found a significant error regarding
permaculture history.

Bill Mollison DID NOT create PRI, PRI was created in the late '90s by
Lawton, Tomas Mack & co to take over a lease of Tagari Farm in northern NSW
because Bill was moving back to Tasmania, together with his Permaculture
Institute. 

Bill established The Permaculture Institute around 1979, and this institute
still exists today (currently managed by Lisa Mollison), it never was and
never should be confused with PRI which is a completely separate legal
entity controlled by Geoff Lawton. NB when PRI was originally set up they
used the Permaculture Institute's egg/snake logo extensively, very much
giving the impression that The Permaculture Institute had 'recycled' itself
as PRI. This has caused endless confusion in the minds of many permies, and
time the history was set straight. 


just to make sure it's crystal clear, there are 2 very distinctly separate
entities:

The Permaculture Institute, establish by Bill Mollison circa 1979, which
still exists under the management of his wife Lisa Mollison, based in
Tasmania

The Permaculture Research Institute, created by Geoff Lawton et al in the
late 1990s , now apparently a Lawton pc franchise system with head office at
Zaytuna Farm in Nthn NSW.

Robyn



On 10/08/2014, at 2:59 AM, Steve Hart wrote:

> Yes Pete...great points of debate, but again we are widening the whole 
> issue here, IMO unnecessarily. I prefer to support Scotts assertion as
well
> as aspects of what JK alludes to. I like Scott was a first generation 
> student of 1980 and did not pay much attention to the ethical lecture 
> of
BM
> but do clearly recall "Share the Surplus" as Scott puts it. I 
> therefore reiterate that for that is the whole dynamic of how I 
> interpret and it
fits
> perfectly with the entire argument. I also see there is no point in 
> developing any other variation, but to bring such up in discussion of 
> further education throughout the PDC and all the applications we then 
> apply....Steve Hart
> 
> 
> On 9 August 2014 17:06, <farmer1 at gasperfarm.com> wrote:
> 
>> Its hard to understand the third ethic when everyone has their own
version
>> of it and it inevitably gets used as a hammer for whatever their own 
>> political ideology is.
>> 
>> The aspects of permanent agriculture seem to be fairly agreed upon 
>> but if permaculture aspires to be relevant to the larger society and 
>> to be about permanent culture it is going to have to involve all the 
>> aspects of culture including those two lightning rods politics and
religion.
>> 
>> Pete
>> 
>> 
>>> 
>>> <
>>
http://www.permaculture.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Fellfoot_Drove_Sheep
>>> fold_-_geograph.org_.uk_-_1155943.jpg> Fellfoot Drove 
>>> SheepfoldPermaculture Touchstone
>>> 
>>> Permaculture ethics were presented in my first Permaculture Design
Course
>>> as
>>> the touchstone of designing towards sustainability - whether as a 
>>> landscape designer, as an architect, urban planner, as a 
>>> farmer/gardener, as a teacher or activist, as an urban dweller 
>>> seeking to find balance and create an ecologically-sound life.
>>> 
>>> I was amazed that I hadn't been presented with a statement of ethics 
>>> in any other discipline I had studied; I had known about the 
>>> Hippocratic oath taken by medical practitioners, but not for 
>>> professions that deal with the health of the land, of our 
>>> communities or our cities and ecosystems.  Since
that
>>> time I have realized how critical ethics are in my permaculture 
>>> design work and my teaching of permaculture.  Ethics guide my work 
>>> and my daily activities.
>>> 
>>> The three ethics of permaculture are:
>>> 
>>> 1.Care of the Earth, 2. Care of people, and 3. Set limits to 
>>> consumption and reproduction, and redistribute surplus to the 
>>> benefit of the Earth and people.
>>> 
>>> At first reading, this seems a simple guide, but, like all things 
>>> permaculture, a little reflection leads us into a morass of 
>>> implications and decisions to be made.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Care of the Earth
>>> 
>>> 
>>> How does one care for the Earth when we have such an elementary 
>>> level of understanding of the Earth's processes?  Care of the Earth 
>>> has an implication that we are knowledgeable enough to become the 
>>> caretakers of the planetary processes.  We, humans, are just 
>>> learning the basics of the foundational knowledge of life processes!  
>>> What mankind has exhibited in the last 10,000 years is an incredible 
>>> ability to lay waste to the Earth
with
>>> little to no care for it!
>>> 
>>> The first ethic sets a very high bar for those of us aspiring to 
>>> teach about and work with nature-inspired design, striving to 
>>> achieve resiliency
that
>>> we
>>> observe in truly natural systems.
>>> 
>>> The second and third ethic are, really, a reiteration of the first 
>>> one, but with more specificity.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Care of People
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Care of People is also a very grand aspiration especially within our 
>>> culture of individualism, and narcissistic tendencies.  The 
>>> evolution of the Western society into a class system of the "haves" 
>>> and the "have-nots" is a  sad testament to a lack of care for the 
>>> "have-nots".  This is not just an economic divide but a social 
>>> justice issue encompassing health care, housing, meaningful work, 
>>> education, justice, equality between genders (not just male and 
>>> female), racial equality, and the pursuit of happiness.
>>> 
>>> I find caring for people particularly challenging since we have been 
>>> so wounded by a culture that judges one's worth by the possessions 
>>> one
owns,
>>> and by one's conformity with cultural norms of beauty, education, 
>>> income and behavior.  Living in a culture that is primarily in 
>>> corporate hands does not allow us to truly explore our humanity or 
>>> to express it, particularly as it pertains to care of others.  To a 
>>> sociopath this humanistic attitude is the ultimate failure in the 
>>> scrabble to the top echelons of the social
order.
>>> 
>>> Anyone who has seriously thought about the implications of 
>>> permaculture soon realizes that herein lie all the answers to the 
>>> dysfunction of our
>> society
>>> and yet we continually default to the destructive behavior we have 
>>> been indoctrinated into by an educational system that's primary 
>>> purpose is to engender an attitude of obsequious servitude to the
corporate bosses.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Set Limits to Consumption and Population
>>> 
>>> 
>>> The third ethic is a troubling one to me, not because it is 
>>> unnecessary but because it is so little understood.  The third ethic 
>>> does not want to
fit
>>> into a comfortable sound bite, it is wordy and long and that has
inspired
>>> many  generations of permaculture teachers to morph it into 
>>> something simpler, easier to digest.
>>> 
>>> I often hear that the third ethic is: "a return of all excess to the
care
>>> of
>>> the earth and people".  Somewhere along the line "set limits to 
>>> consumption and reproduction" was dropped from the lexicon.  I think 
>>> this may have been because of the political climate surrounding 
>>> birth control and the holy rite of consumption.
>>> 
>>> To be fair, the third ethic is so unwieldy and it does not trip off 
>>> the tongue as poetically as the first two ethics.
>>> 
>>> It would be great to have one of the pioneers of permaculture shine 
>>> some light on the history of this critical ethic.
>>> 
>>> More recently the third ethic has further devolved into "fair share"
>> which
>>> is a far cry from the original intent of this ethic.  Fair is an
>> ambiguous
>>> word that changes with the user, what is fair for me may be totally
>> unfair
>>> for you.  What is the gold standard of "fair"?  I am certain that 
>>> this misstatement of the third ethic derived from that constant 
>>> quest for the "sound bite" that sounds good but, sadly, conveys very 
>>> little
>> information.
>>> 
>>> I am much more concerned with the meaning conveyed by the third 
>>> ethic
>> than
>>> the meter or prosody of the words.  It is critically important that 
>>> we state the permaculture ethics in non-compromised form so there is 
>>> no doubt in their meaning or necessity.
>>> 
>>> The ethics of permaculture are the core; around that core everything
else
>>> -
>>> permaculture methods, approaches, design concepts, practical
applications
>>> -
>>> converge.  If all our decisions are seen through the lens of the 
>>> three permaculture ethics we will not stray far from our best
intentions.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> "To change something build a new model that makes the existing model 
>>> obsolete"  Buckminster Fuller
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
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>>> nature-compatible human habitat
>> 
>> 
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>> enhanced nature-compatible human habitat
>> 
> 
> 
> 
> --
> Kia ora
> 
> [image: Picture]
> *Steve Hart*
> Ecology Architect
> skype: stevenlawrencehart

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