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Permaculture: Principles and Pathways beyond Sustainability Paperback – December 1, 2002


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Frequently Bought Together

Permaculture: Principles and Pathways beyond Sustainability + Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, 2nd Edition + Sepp Holzer's Permaculture: A Practical Guide to Small-Scale, Integrative Farming and Gardening
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Holmgren Design Services; 11.1.2002 edition (December 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0646418440
  • ISBN-13: 978-0646418445
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

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About the Author

David Holmgren is best known as the co-originator with Bill Mollison of the permaculture concept following the publication of Permaculture One in 1978. Since then he has written several more books, developed three properties using permaculture principles, conducted workshops and courses in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Japan. Within the growing and international permaculture movement, David is respected for his commitment to presenting permaculture ideas through practical projects and teaching by personal example, that a sustainable lifestyle is a realistic, attractive and powerful alternative to dependant consumerism. As well as constant involvement in the practical side of permaculture, David is passionate about the philosophical and conceptual foundations for sustainability, which he explored in Future Scenarios: How Communities Can Adapt to Peak Oil and Climate Change (2009), and Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability (2003). With an increasingly high profile as a public speaker, David Holmgren provides leadership with his refreshing and unorthodox approach to the environmental issues of our time.

David lives with his partner Su Dennett and their son Oliver at "Melliodora", a one-hectare permaculture demonstration site at Hepburn Springs, Central Victoria, Australia. Visit his web site at www.holmgren.com.au.


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Customer Reviews

Avoid too much of a good thing 8.
Robert David STEELE Vivas
This book is a must-read, equal in stature to Mollison's _Permaculture: a Practical Guide for a Sustainable Future_.
David Flanagan
Reading this book, although in the beginning a bit of a dense and sluggish read, was a major pivotal moment for me.
Oliver Smith Callis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

115 of 117 people found the following review helpful By David Flanagan on September 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book has rekindled my interest in Permaculture.
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.
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90 of 96 people found the following review helpful By J.W.K on January 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
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.
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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].
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