[permaculture] Fwd: (no subject)

Linda Ray lindaray at att.net
Tue Sep 27 18:48:20 EDT 2016

Wow Larry, what a great document! Thank you for posting it! It is an inspiration to read, and came at the perfect time, at least for me..If every home had a kitchen garden, even if only a few containers on the porch, we'd all be so much better off..

Linda :-)

      From: Lawrence London <lfljvenaura at gmail.com>
 To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org> 
 Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 10:50 AM
 Subject: [permaculture] Fwd: (no subject)
[this was sent to me though probably  intended for the list so am
forwarding it]

Bill's acceptance speech of the Right Livlihood Award was given 35 years
ago and is more relevant today than back then.
His work is still timely as ever and it is within the realm of permaculture
to heal our planet and ourselves but it requires a willingness on our part
to acknowledge that we have the knowledge and power to accomplish what Bill
spent his latter life advocating.

Thanks for posting this Mike...

Scott Pittman

RIP Bill Mollison……
by mikestasse

You won't see mention of Bill Mollison's passing away in the media today -
just the usual boring stuff about a couple of good looking Hollywood actors
getting divorced or TV programs about baking cakes or who will make the
next footy grand final..... In case you are wondering who he was, Bill was
a one time Tasmanian shark fisherman and hunter who co-founded the
permaculture movement which can be neatly encapsulated as the notion of
people living in abundance within nature's systems.


Here is his acceptance speech when he won the 1981 "Right Livelihood Award"
also known as the "Alternative Nobel Prize".............:

    "I grew up in a small village in Tasmania. I was born in 1928, but my
village might have existed in the 11th century. We didn't have any cars;
everything that we needed we made. We made our own boots, our own metal
works, we caught fish, grew food, made bread. I didn't know anybody who
lived there who had one job, or anything that you could define as a job.
Everybody had several jobs.

    As a child I lived in a sort of a dream and I didn't really awake until
I was about 28. I spent most of my working life in the bush or on the sea.
I fished, I hunted for my living. It wasn't until the 1950s that large
parts of the system in which I lived were disappearing. First, fish stocks
became extinct. Then I noticed the seaweed around the shorelines had gone.
Large patches of forest began to die. I hadn't realised until those things
were gone that I'd become very fond of them, that I was in love with my
country. This is about the last place I want to be; I would like to be
sitting in the bush watching wallabies. However, if I don't stand here
there will be no bush and no wallabies to watch. The Japanese have come to
take away most of our forest. They are using it for newsprint. I notice
that you are putting it in your waste‑paper basket. That's what has
happened to the life systems I grew up in.

    It's always a mark of danger to me when large biological systems start
to collapse, when we lose whole stocks of fish, as we've lost whole stocks
of herring, and many stocks of sardines, when we lose huge areas of the sea
bottom which were productive in scallops and oysters. When we enquire why
this happens, it comes back to one thing: the use of energy sources not
derived from the biological system.

    Dr. Sternglass, who was a pupil of Einstein's, has followed the drift
of radioactive dust from Three Mile Island. The newspapers say: 'Nobody
died at Three Mile Island'. Dr. Sternglass says that 30,000 children are
now dead, died under the cloud drifts of hypothyroidosis, and many
thousands are yet to die. Across this country, Russia, Germany, Japan,
Canada and the United States, drifts an air system, carrying not only
radioactives, but highly corrosive acids: sulphuric acids from the burning
of coal, and nitric acids from motor vehicle exhausts.

    The snow which we measured in Vermont a few months back had pH values
of 1.9 to 2.5, which is much more acid than vinegar, more acid than any
biological system can stand. We cannot find in the northern part of the
United States or in Germany waters of pH higher than 4. Fish can't breed in
those waters, frogs can't live there, and salamanders are extinct. Forests
started to die in 1920, soon after the coal era started. Chestnuts have
disappeared on the American continent by 80%, the Beech trees have
disappeared. The Oaks are beginning to die throughout America, the pines
are dying in Germany (they're losing 80,000 hectares this year) and many of
them are now dying in Japan. The Eucalyptus are dying in Australia at 14%
per annum. It won't be very long before you won't have any forests to throw
away in your garbage cans. It's obvious to simple people like myself who go
out on foot to find out what's happening that the Northern hemisphere will
not be occupied by man for very many more years while he uses coal, petrol
and radioactives. I wonder what happened to make us abandon the sort of
life that I grew up in, in which we could sustain our lives indefinitely
and in which no great systems died. I don't believe that we lead a better
life, that we are any happier than I was and the children in that town
still are.

    I withdrew from society about 1970 because I had been long in
opposition to the systems that I saw were killing us. I decided it was no
good persisting with opposition that got you nowhere. I thought for two
years. I wanted to return to society but I wanted to come back only with
something very positive. I did not want to oppose anything again and waste
my time. Somewhere someone had given me Mao‑Tse‑Tung's little red book. I
didn't understand it very well, in fact it was very difficult for me to
read. But, at one point when he was talking about an attack on the city of
Tai Ching, his advice to his army was 'Don't attack Tai Ching: it's too
heavily defended. Go around it and Tai Ching will fall.' So I've been going
around the things that I think are killing us.

    When I came back into our society I came back with a system I call
Permaculture, a way in which man can live on the earth. To me we're not any
more important a form of life than any other life form. Those of you, very
few, who have been alone in forests for a long time, more than five weeks,
know that you totally lose identity as a human being. You can't distinguish
yourself from the trees, you can't distinguish yourself from any other
living thing there. All aboriginal people, all tribal people, have to
undergo such a period on their own in the environment. Afterwards, they
never again can see themselves as separate: man here and tree there. You
become as though you are simply a part of life.

    The only safe energy systems are those derived from biological systems.
A New Guinea gardener can walk through the gates of his garden taking one
unit of energy and hand out seventy. A modern farmer who drives a tractor
through the gate of his farm takes a thousand units of energy in and gives
one back. Who is the most sophisticated agriculturist? We are getting rid
of our soil even faster than we are destroying our atmosphere. For every
one of us there is a loss of ten tons of soil a year. Nature can only
replace one or two tons. We will leave our children an earth in which there
is no soil or drinkable water.

    We ourselves have always been left out of the energy equations. I'm the
only machine I know which can fuel itself: I can make the food upon which I
run. Give me a few friends and I can look after myself and many others.
This will do me for an alternative energy source. We've never been taught
to have confidence in ourselves as our own salvation. All the books you can
buy on gardening are books on technique. All the books on strategy are
wrong because they are one-dimensional. Multi‑dimensional systems will
out‑yield one‑dimensional systems hundreds of times. Polycultures will
always out‑yield monocultures. The Permaculture system is a safe way of a
sustained ecology; it is in itself a safe and sustainable energy system.

    In the days of Carl Linnaeus we were still naming things. For a century
or so after Linnaeus we were finding out how they functioned. Today we know
some of the principles that make them work but just as we've reached this
stage, they have commenced to fall apart. We estimate that of the species
that we can see and count, we will lose some 35,000 in the next one and a
half decades. All my life we've been at war against nature. I just pray
that we lose that war. There are no winners in that war.

    A couple of years ago I resigned from a job at the university and threw
myself at an advanced age into an uncertain future. I decided to do nothing
else but to try to persuade people to build good biological systems. I
existed for quite a while by catching fish and pulling potatoes. Then I
started to make some money by designing sustainable systems for people, for
their own houses and for their villages. Since then I've been able to train
20 people at a time. I have trained 400 young people who are now designing
systems throughout the U.S. and Australia. In the coming year I will be
training people in Germany and Brazil. We've set up a sort of brotherhood ‑
and sisterhood, because half of us are women. I don't believe women are any
better designers than men but I think they know more about living systems.

    We must make a very large movement towards a very quiet sort of
revolution. We will go on training people until we have saturated all
countries. What we try to do is to integrate all things that plants and
animals will do with our own lives and our structures. It's possible to
design entirely biological systems in which you could live, but we have to
start with a place like Stockholm, which is about as abiological as you can
get. There are simple things that anybody can do to look after themselves.
Every city, for example, can produce its own food.

    We are faced with an absolute choice: We can build the sort of cities
we are building, continue to accumulate resources and power to run around
like blowflies in cars, and be killed before long. Or we can live easily on
the earth. It's possible for us to construct biological systems that work,
it's well within our capacity. For a fraction of the cost of Swedish
armaments Sweden could become an entire system like this. It's up to you,
it's entirely up to you. I hope you all go back to work tomorrow and take
your wages. Good luck to you."

mikestasse | 26/09/2016 at 3:35 pm | Tags: bill mollison, passing,
permaculture | Categories: permaculture | URL: http://wp.me/pbVMJ-2kW

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Lawrence F. London, Jr.
lfljvenaura at gmail.com
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