Permaculture News

The household level counts

8673479525_4ea29d4776David Holmgren’s comment entitled “The household level counts” was published in the latest issue of Arena magazine (#123) and following is the first few paragraphs of the piece.

———
Andy Scerri’s critique of Patrick Jones’ articulation of self-reliance, localism, and gift economies (Arena #115) is a familiar argument that has been used over the last thirty years to dismiss permaculture and related environmental activism by more traditional political activists.
The harsh reality is that neither pathway has significantly impeded the headlong rush of industrial modernity towards the ‘limits to growth’ cliff so accurately modelled 40 years ago by Meadows et al. I am more than ready to acknowledge that ‘our’ collective efforts at positive environmentalism during and since the 1970s have so far failed to catalyse the necessary changes in society, but Andy Scerri’s assertion that composting your private garden counts for nothing, reflects an ignorance of several structural and systemic factors driving and constraining social change.
First, if the changes or innovations required do not confer some advantage to the innovators and early adopters then there is little incentive for others to follow their lead.
Second, unless the necessary changes or innovations can be independently adopted by individuals, households and local communities without the resources, support and approval from central authority, then it can always be blocked by established interests that stand to lose by its widespread adoption.
Third, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for higher order organisations and governments to mandate a reality that doesn’t already exist as working models. Progressive and integrated adoption and refinement of the myriad of strategies and techniques associated with permaculture, enacted at the household and local level, addresses all three systemic issues.
——–
(You can read the full text in the current issue of the magazine)

Comments

2 thoughts on “The household level counts”

  1. i would love to read the entire essay by David Holmgren – any chance of that – or is it locked away in Arena?

    1. Howdy Peter,
      Thanks for your comment. Will make the rest of his comment available here when it is no longer in the current issue of the magazine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Other News

Win a permaculture book hamper!

Here’s your chance to go into the draw to win this exciting permaculture book collection.
To enter simply complete one of the following:
Sign up to the Holmgren Design newsletter
Share a Writing, Presentation or Interview from the new Holmgren Design website on social media. (For Facebook tag Melliodora Hepburn Permaculture in your post, for Twitter tag Holmgren Design.)
Buy a copy of this version of Permaculture One

Read More »

2021 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize winner

We received nearly 200 entries to the Venie Prize this year – thank you to all the poets who took the time to compose their heartfelt and mindfelt reflections. This year the two judges were Carissa Lee and John Charles Ryan. As John said after reading the poems, ‘Thanks again for the opportunity to judge

Read More »

Portrait of David a finalist in The Lester Prize

In 2019 David Holmgren sat very still for a long time, something difficult to do for the indefatigable 60-something year old. While David sat, Eugene von Nagy sketched and painted a portrait of David that has just been made a finalist for The Lester Prize, the third largest portrait prize in Australia, after the Moran and Archibald.

Read More »
Scroll to Top