In this talk David Holmgren provides a concise overview of permaculture thinking. He sees permaculture as a creative response to the oncoming period of energy descent where the use of non-renewable and slowly renewable resources will by necessity come drastically down. The goal of permaculture is not so much to approach a steady-state plateau of resource use, but to initiate an ongoing process of natural regeneration. In discussing food production, Holmgren emphasises the need to redesign not just the way we produce food, but also the ways we distribute and consume it. He goes on to outline a number of rather specific tasks to be carried out to move towards these goals. The talk was held at the Feasta Food Security Conference in Dublin on June 25, 2005.
In this podcast, Chris Martenson talks with Rob Hopkins, the initiator of the Transition movement. While the movement started off as a reaction to climate change, it has now turned into a project for a holistic cultural change where re-localisation of the economy is seen not only as a survival strategy, but also as a way to invigorate communities and bring people together. Hopkins emphasises the need to have a positive program with creative possibilities for people to engage in when faced with the current global crises.
Luke Miller Callahan interviews in this video David Holmgren, ecologist and co-originator of the concept of permaculture. Holmgren argues here that suburban areas offer better possibilities for transitioning towards more sustainable ways of life than densely populated inner city areas, since they can potentially support larger scale local food production and communal living. This, however, requires a shift in people’s notions of private space and property.
This is a talk by Toby Hemenway, one of the world’s leading permaculture experts, held at Duke University on February 12, 2010. Based on historical evidence, Hemenway argues that there is no way to do agriculture, as we know it today, in a sustainable fashion. Agriculture always means the destruction of the ecosystem, and thus also the destruction of the preconditions of its own continuity. The alternative Hemenway proposes is a food system based on horticulture, that is gardening, or tending what he calls food forests, natural ecosystems that are tweaked to produce more edible plants.
In Grave Danger of Falling Food (1989) is a film about Bill Mollison, an Australian environmentalist best known as “the father of permaculture”. Permaculture is a system of design aiming at creating living environments modelled on natural ecosystems. The film also discusses the failures of modern agriculture and how a rainforest type environment with a lot of species living within a small area has the potential to produce food many times more efficiently than fields dedicated to just one crop. Even though shot over two decades ago, the ideas presented in this film are today perhaps more actual than ever. Directed by Tony Gailey and Julian Russell with music by Derek Williams.
(Sorry about the low quality VHS copy, but that’s all I could find.)