Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Holmgren Design Services; 11.1.2002 edition (December 1, 2002)
Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 9.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
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This book has rekindled my interest in Permaculture.The author, David Holmgren, is the co-creator, with Bill Mollison of theterm "permaculture", and the co-author of the original permaculturebook, _Permaculture One_. Now, some 25 years after that seminalbook, Holmgren has written a timely and comprehensive synthesis thatbrings permaculture principles together in an exiting new way.The book highlights our place at a unique moment in history: at the peakof the global oil production curve; at the beginning of the end of cheapfossil energy. This is, for me, the book's most compelling motif: itpositions permaculture as a strategy for a future of inevitable "energydescent". Although Holmgren hints that this energy descent may take anynumber of horrific pathways, he appears to have chosen the term"descent" as a hopeful alternative to collapse, crash, or dieoff.Holmgren insightfully points out that is not just our reserves of fossilfuel that we've been burning through. Since the Reagan/Thatcher years,he claims, global capitalism has been on a frenzy of job cutting and"just-in-time" inventory reduction. This amounts to a destruction ofthe embedded intelligence and a severe draw-down of the capital stocksof our institutions: a severe loss of embedded energy. Furthermore, heworries that due to privatization and short-term bottom-line thinking,maintenance on our built-environment and physical infrastructure has beenneglected: another huge loss of embedded energy.
This is for me a very important book, one of a handful that joins the Ecological Economics volumes crafted by Herman Daly and others, and also the Natural Capitalism endeavors of Paul Hawkin, Anthony Lovins. The author excels at rendering logical, sequential, and integrated concepts, all of which lead us to the inevitable conclusion--as the author intends--that human intellect, social networks, an appreciation for diversity as the foundation for cross-fertilization, and the enormous potential of the five billion poor--all suggest that a non-technological renaissance may be upon us, and that the bottom-up action of many minds could yet destroy the still-prevailing industrial, top-down control, centralizing of wealth through violence, and externalization of "true cost" to the unwitting public that no longer understands history or that the prevailing shadowy coalitions of bankers, corporate chieftains, private armies, spies, criminals, and terrorists.My greatest surprise came at the very end, where the author provides a post-9/11 epilogue, and says: "There is abundant evidence that September 11 was an outcome of these shadowy coalitions, which link global energy corporations, US foreign policy, the global "intelligence community," Islamic fundamentalists, arms dealers, and illegal drug trade. Discussion of this bizarre symbiosis [elsewhere he puns on `Bush Laden'] remains beyond the pale of mainstream media....and is the best example of the paralysis of public discourse due to an absence of language to comprehend top-down thinking and bottom-up action as a new mode of power [sustainable community-oriented end-user driven values and behavior and investments].
That the world we now live in is unsustainable goes without saying. Our skyrocketing population puts enormous pressure on the productive and absorptive capacities of the land, outstripping the natural carrying capacity of the planet by some twenty percent (see Radical Simplicity, by Jim Merkel). In effect, we are stealing away the life of the planet and the life of future generations. As ever more fisheries collapse, forests shrink, rangelands deteriorate, soils erode, species vanish, temperatures rise, rivers run dry, water tables fall, ozone depletion expands and polar ice caps melt across the globe, the single most important question humanity has faced resonates ever louder: How can we live sustainably?Amid the cacophony of scholarly and political debate surrounding this issue, the hushed emergence of permaculture has by and large gone unnoticed. Defined as the use of systems thinking and design principles to consciously design "landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature, while yielding an abundance of food, fibre and energy for provision of local needs," the permaculture concept is nothing less than the science of sustainability. And since the joint publication of Permaculture One: A Perennial Agricultural System for Human Settlements (now out of print) by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the mid-seventies, permaculture has become a veritable movement - a legitimate answer to the environmental and agricultural crises which plague humanity. Unfortunately, for the past twenty-five years, those who wished to learn more about permaculture were limited to joining expensive seminars and workshops, thereby ensuring marginal public exposure. All of this has changed, though, with the publication of this book.
Permaculture: Principles and Pathways beyond Sustainability Permaculture Gardening For Beginners: The Ultimate Practical Guide To Permaculture Gardening And Permaculture Design (Gardening For Beginners, Basics Of Gardening) Permaculture for Beginners: Build Your Sustainable and Edible Garden with the Permaculture Basics (Gardening- Permaculture Book 1) The Permaculture Promise: What Permaculture Is and How It Can Help Us Reverse Climate Change, Build a More Resilient Future on Earth, and Revitalize Our Communities Batteries for Sustainability: Selected Entries from the Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology F. G. A. Stone: Leaving No Stone Unturned: Pathways in Organometallic Chemistry (Profiles, Pathways, and Dreams) Beyond Resource Wars: Scarcity, Environmental Degradation, and International Cooperation (Global Environmental Accord: Strategies for Sustainability and Institutional Innovation) Models and Pathways for Person-Centered Elder Care (Leading Principles & Practices in Elder Care) The Bio-Integrated Farm: A Revolutionary Permaculture-Based System Using Greenhouses, Ponds, Compost Piles, Aquaponics, Chickens, and More EDIBLE LANDSCAPING WITH A PERMACULTURE TWIST: HAVE YOUR YARD AND EAT IT TOO Chicken Tractor: The Permaculture Guide to Happy Hens and Healthy Soil, Homestead (3rd) Edition Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist: How to Have Your Yard and Eat It Too Sepp Holzer's Permaculture: A Practical Guide to Small-Scale, Integrative Farming and Gardening Sepp Holzer's Permaculture: A Practical Guide to Small-Scale, Integrative Farming and Gardening (German Edition) The Basics of Permaculture Design The Permaculture Way: Practical Steps to Create a Self-Sustaining World The Permaculture Garden Permaculture Plants: A Selection 10-Acre Permaculture Project: Site planning in the humid subtropics Permaculture in Pots: How to Grow Food in Small Urban Spaces