Filter Writings by Topic
Climate activism by children is a sign of hope that young people might be ready for the radical alternatives that permaculture and kindred movements have been building in the darkening shadows of the destructive economy.
The Apology: from the baby boomers to the handicapped generations was penned by David Holmgren over the summer solstice of 2018 but it is a theme he has been mulling over for many years. Modelled on the Rudd Apology to the stolen generations, the following apology is a clear sighted admission of his generation’s failures from one of the pioneers of modern ecological thinking. It speaks directly to the generations inheriting a troubled legacy on multiple fronts. If this awakens recognition in baby boomers this apology will have been of value. If it galvanises a sense of urgency and positive personal and collective action by younger people then David still sees hope for a prosperous and equitable way down.
An invitation to be a “pop up speaker” at the NGV’s Monet’s Garden Exhibition gave me an opportunity to address this vexed role of aesthetics in permaculture, in a very special context. I was speaking in the largest exhibition space surrounded by Monet’s magnificent water lillies. This post splices my speaking notes with a selection of photos from Melliodora that illustrate the points of the talk. I began my talk by saying “I feel like the devils advocate invited into the Vatican of aesthetics”
In the early years of promoting permaculture to food gardeners, Bill Mollison used to quip, “you don’t have a snail problem, you have a duck deficiency”. Mollison’s penchant for changing the perspective on a known problem, and identifying how it might represent an unacknowledged resource, reflects ecological thinking: identifying empty niches that can be filled to make gardens or any other (eco)system more resilient and productive. Often the perceived problem can be interpreted as a message from nature – nature’s first step in correcting imbalances.