Friday, January 16, 2015

Why I Write, and What I Work Towards

The world can be a scary place.  Climate disruption, dwindling soil, water, oil, and food supplies contribute to a feeling of scarcity; and withering liberties and increasing government encroachment make one feel as if they have no room to think or do for themselves.  I see permaculture as a serious and permanent solution to all of these problems, but there isn't yet a critical mass of people willing to take responsibility for their own lives and those of their children, and so I write.

To me, Bill Mollison nailed it with the Prime Directive.  Take responsibility for your own life and livelihood, and those of your offspring.  What else is there to do in life?  He focused on household food and energy systems, because these are the places where you can make the biggest difference.  You might fight political battles, work towards more open communications or non-violent governance, or towards space exploration and scientific progress... but none of it matters if you can't feed yourself and keep yourself warm.  Additionally, many of the world's problems stem from human beings using too much of the earth's natural resources for ourselves.  We don't leave the resources of wilderness, forests, and water alone enough to meet the needs of other species.  We don't leave the resource of fossil fuels alone enough for the diminishing forests of the world to be able to handle our carbon pollution.  So we find ourselves in the bind of having too many people using renewable resources such that they begin to act like non-renewables, and the "well" runs dry.

So, I focus on food production and human supply lines because they have the most impact on the future.  If I can figure out a way to largely take care of myself and my family on an acre and a half, then that leaves many acres of farmland to go back to wilderness, if given the opportunity.  If I find a way to produce much of my own energy, I don't need rivers to be damned or uranium to be mined to produce it for me.  Working within the smallest footprint I can to the maximum extent that I am able allows me to let my other footprints on the world blow away in the wind.

Eventually, I'd like to help others come to this realization.  That's why I write.  The more people who are working to meet their own supply lines, the smaller our collective footprints are, and the more resources and supply lines there are for the rest of life that we share this planet with.  Sure, permaculture applies to many lines of thinking and many intellectual and career pursuits, but none so important as shrinking our impact on the planet.  So while any permaculture practitioner is welcome to apply permaculture to their personal interests and hobbies, they probably shouldn't forget to apply it to the very ground they walk and live on.  To do so is NOT taking responsibility for their own lives and the lives of their children.  It is paying lip service to permaculture, without making with biggest change that permaculture can make for them.

What are your thoughts?  Why do you write, what do you live for, and how will you live your life so that others may live theirs after you?  Please share in the comments below, and as always, thanks for reading.

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