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Permaculture: Principles and Pathways beyond Sustainability Paperback – December 1, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
The author, David Holmgren, is the co-creator, with Bill Mollison of the
term "permaculture", and the co-author of the original permaculture
book, _Permaculture One_. Now, some 25 years after that seminal
book, Holmgren has written a timely and comprehensive synthesis that
brings permaculture principles together in an exiting new way.
The book highlights our place at a unique moment in history: at the peak
of the global oil production curve; at the beginning of the end of cheap
fossil energy. This is, for me, the book's most compelling motif: it
positions permaculture as a strategy for a future of inevitable "energy
descent". Although Holmgren hints that this energy descent may take any
number 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 fossil
fuel 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 of
the embedded intelligence and a severe draw-down of the capital stocks
of our institutions: a severe loss of embedded energy. Furthermore, he
worries that due to privatization and short-term bottom-line thinking,
maintenance on our built-environment and physical infrastructure has been
neglected: another huge loss of embedded energy.Read more ›
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].Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I actually bought this for a class. The project required a book of our choosing. The following is my response to the project questions. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Sean Bresnahan
The big picture on permaculture. A solid read. No Xs and Os here but a comprehensive analysis of the culture, science and worldview perspective of permaculture principles. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Paul Oveisi