Simon Sinek on millennials and smart phones

Excerpt of Simon Sinek from an episode of Inside Quest. Apparently it has gone viral and I can see why. It struck me as relevant to permaculture in a different way when he talks about the growing addiction to instant gratification and instant results. We are hooked on the better, quicker faster cheaper mantra. We miss out on the slow and complicated, the unplanned and accidental, some of the most important things in life come from these places.

Facing our demons

Now more than perhaps ever before the World needs to rally together to face the terrifying issues of the moment. Our whole economic paradigm seems to be collapsing, responding to climate and economic crises is no quick fix, it will take a bold new vision of our collective objectives and strategies. Liberal democracy seems to have been fatally hi jacked by corporate power, banks and oligarchs putting humanity on a collision course with reality.

I strongly believe permaculture design has a very big part to play in how we address these issues in a coherent way. As our work at sector39 continues to reach a broader and broader audience and brings us into contact with more diverse audiences I can that this potential continues to grow.

Nobody can articulate the enormity of the challenge we face better than Chomsky and here he is a recent interview that really demands our attention.

Noam Chomsky, ‘The Human Species Has Never Faced A Question Like This’ (2016)

Here is a current scientific overview and presentation on the scale of the challenge we face.

If humans caused it then surely we can solve it?

Well if you listen the presentation above you realize that although this is a correct assertion the clock is ticking and that will not be true for long.



Before the Flood – Full Movie | National Geographic

The must watch movie of the time, climate change is the defining issue of human civilization, is there anything we can do to stop it?

Leonardo Di Caprio has become one of the loudest and clearest voices on this complex issue. This is a vitally important movie.

We are way past changing a lightbulb, we are looking at fundamental change

Leonardo Di Caprio

“Climate change is the single greatest threat to a sustainable future but, at the same time, addressing the climate challenge presents a golden opportunity to promote prosperity, security and a brighter future for all.”

Ban Ki-moon
Secretary General, United Nations

In the Paris accord, 195 countries agreed that they would collectively keep average global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees. But what does science have to say on how fast, and by how much, will we have to cut our emissions to get there? Professor Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre is a climate scientist who looks at exactly this question. And the math he comes away with, isn’t pretty.

Kevin Anderson shares his thoughts on what will need to happen if we are to meet the declarations in Paris, why it’s a matter of justice that we act, and why he personally has made the difficult decision to give up air travel.

Recorded for The Elephant Podcast
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Prof Greg Philo, from Glasgow Media Unit speaks at Real Media’s ‘Mainstream Media Bias’ event in Glasgow.

Permaculture voices: Kamuli

Here is the first of a series of videos taken from interviews with some of the participants from the May PDC in Kamuli.

In conversation with Grace from Sector39, teacher Connie talks about the 10 girls she acts a patron for at Busoga high school. Moving and inspiring talk, using permaculture ideas to support education for otherwise economically excluded people.

The woods have been destroyed, they have gone away, how can permaculture help respond to this challenge?  Wilbur

We must replant, using local resources and by propagating the few trees  we have around. They will grow.           Connie.

What are you taking back to your community and home from the permaculture course? Wilbur responds to Connie’s question with a full and inspiring answer. He hopes to become a model for his village, by applying what he has learned.

He responds with a challenging question,

What can we do about the illiterates, those who do not understand the environment? Wilberforce, Dolen Ffermio, Kamuli

which Connie replies to begin by doing it.

Let them see you put these things on your land, if you cannot talk to them, let your actions speak. Connie, Kamuli 2016

Economic illiteracy

Economic illiteracy

It’s the economy stupid!

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Change works on a feedback loop, fixing the economy comes with the requirement to channel resources towards more desirable outcomes. As players in an interconnected global market each of us has considerable power, our collective decisions shape the future. Spending and investment matters!

Our monetary system is driving us over the edge but how can we reform it?

Our obsession with GDP growth shows nothing less than we don’t understand  economics. The word Oikos, meaning hearth and home in ancient Greek also represents the basic building block of civilization. Oikos forms the root of both the concepts of ecology and economy and the decisions we make at the hearth side shape the world around us with far-reaching consequences.

The solar economy is a steady state, a constant we cannot change but can only plan in relation to. It is only through continued and expanding exploitation of firstly ancient woodlands, then trapped carbon deposits in the form of coal, gas and oil that we have been able to live beyond our means. Our shopping mall lifestyles aren’t going to run on a solar economy and expanding consumption puts us on a certain crash course with the environment. Ecological problems require economic solutions, and economic theories must obey the laws of ecology.

The transformation that is required of us to transcend the ecological crisis is an economic one. We have to find a way to a value-driven, steady-state economy, leaving the biocidal, growth-driven monster far behind us.  Steve Jones

Here in conversation with Max and Stacy is the amazing Dimitry Orlov       in the Keiser report’s summer solutions series discussing the possibilities for a human scale society. The vision of a vibrant, highly connected and  re-localised economy he outlines resonates with the permaculture vision.

This post forms part of a theme we are currently working on, to incorporate an economic framework into permaculture design teaching. What we might want to see as a restorative economy, an economy with teh ojectives of restoring community and natural systems to abndance.

This idea is beautifully imagined in the graphic i spotted on the net. Sustainability is only a mid point between on going desstruction and inravelling, and some thing that uilds positively in the other direction.


Permaculture takes us beyond sustainaility to regeneration.

Fracking UK

Max Keiser has been on the money about fracking for years, describing it as a no hope industry that is essentially a fraud. With zero % interest rates, industry doesn’t have to make a profit anymore, they can just make money from fees setting up the continuation of that fraud. It is like the banking crisis brought to commodity extraction. The oil industry is already over, investment in the sector is not going to deliver long term yields as it is already in over production as the renewable energy market continues to explode. I can only see this continued determination to exploit every carbon resource as the last acts of desparation of the oil baron as they know well that once this era is over it is never coming back. This is the last chance salon of a dying industry, that needs to support of governments and enournous tax breaks and subsidies to keep it going o its final lap.

Here is Max and Stacey taking apart the Fracking industry, before turning their attention to the zombie financial undustry in the second half as well as looking at energy markets.

The globalised economy has became a fraud since they started buying up the bad debt to protect the bankers from their own folly. The lack of imagination to see the writing on the wall and to move to post carbon economy demonstrated by governments and banks is dumbfounding, in denying reality tehy have embraced fantasy and unreality. No one confronts this reality better than Max and Stacey!

Climate Change Explained and Proof it’s Man Made

Climate Change Explained and Proof it’s Man Made

Narrated by the scientist who first published the hockey stick graph, made renown by Al Gore in his Inconvenient Truth, Dr. Michael E. Mann.

This is a very clear and precise explanation of Climate Change. Well presented and tackles the controversies of perception and understanding head. on, telling the struggles to dodge the climate wars fallout created by huge investment into those anti=science think-tanks by specifically the Koch brothers along with other coal and oil industry interests.

I am posting this as a great teaching resource, something to frame discussions around our collective response to these realities. We need to  dare to think radically different to come up with responses to this huge challenge and not allow ourselves to become complacent. This is thought provoking stuff.

  • Heat is radiated as Infrared light.
  • CO2 gas absorbs infrared light .
  • Therefore CO2 heats up when exposed to infrared light.
  • The earth is cooled by emission of infrared light into space.
  • The earth is kept warm by greenhouse gasses whitch absorb infrared light before it reaches space.
  • Therefore more greenhouse gasses means more infrared light absorbed, meaning more heat.
  • Combustion reactions release CO2 and water vapour.
  • These gases are greenhouse gasses, whitch absorb infrared light.
  • Therefore we expect both the concentration of CO2 and the temperature of earth to rise.
  • Scientific theory predicts rise in temperature corresponding to an increase in greenhouse gas.
  • Empirically, we observe an increase temperature corresponding to an increase in greenhouse gas.
  • Therefore, global warming is real.

Days of revolt, excellent interview

From Jan 2016 this is a really eloquant, insightful and excellent intervew

In this episode of teleSUR’s Days of Revolt, Chris Hedges speaks with two esteemed labor activists from Detroit about the desperation caused by industrial decline and deregulation, especially amongst Black people, and attest to the necessity and inevitability of revolt under such conditions.