But is it sustainable?

But is it sustainable?

Sector39 permaculture, Llanrhaeadr YM, SY10 0JN
steve@sector39.co.uk
Sector39 limited: 9001792
I am speaking at an event in Manchester thsi weekend,on permaculture and cooperatives and I wrot ethis peice as an introduction to permaculture and why it is so vital at this point in human evolution.

permaculture perspectives manchester event

Initiation @ Wonder inn Manchester

Sometime in 1990 the concentration of carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere passed the 350 ppm mark, from that point forward the
influx of energy in the form of heat from the sun has exceeded the
rate it has been leaving the earth’s atmosphere; the planet has
literally been warming. This will continue to happen until the Co2 in
the atmosphere returns to a level of 350 ppm or below, with levels
currently over 400 ppm we can’t even begin to use the word
sustainable with any meaning until we have achieved this
momentous challenge.

Climate change isn’t even the problem, it is the symptom of a much
deeper and more serious one; that of our almost total disconnect
from the ecological reality of our finite planet. We live in denial of
reality and that reality is going to catch us out big time unless we
prepare ourselves emotionally, intellectually and physically for what
is coming next.
Fixing this problem is not a technological issue as such, rather it is a
total shift in our relationship with the living planet we occupy. New
and enlightened economic, social and educational approaches are
required to enable us to escape the disaster we are creating. To be
clear we are no long talking about minimising or reducing the
damage we cause; we are required to find strategies which actively
repair the enormous amount of damage already done to the
biosphere. We have to fix it. We call this regenerative development.
Sustainability is the starting point for such a process, it is not the
objective but the barest minimum required.

Permaculture is about solutions, it is about finding the pathways to
regenerative development. It is not just the earth’s living systems
that have to be repaired; we have to address the social imbalance
at the same time. The empowerment of all people to be fully able to
take an active part in this process is central to any chance of
success that might remain.

permaculture allows us to tackle the huge issues of the day

Permaculture sits at the intersection of economics and ecology. It is
a design strategy that asks economic questions about how we meet
our needs, personal and familial in a way that empowers others to
do the same, not at their expense. Permaculture recognises that all
of these economic decisions and transactions occur within a healthy
living biosphere. We cannot stand outside of this biological
relationship for more than a few moments, just how long can you
hold your breath or go without water or food? Permaculture is about
self empowerment and community enablement whilst caring for the
earth by listening carefully to the feedback it gives us. To be good
at permaculture you have to be good at listening and right now if
you listen carefully the planet is screaming at us, make the change,
join the movement, and get active!

Steve Jones August 2017.
www.permaculturedesigncourse,co.uk
@misterjones2u

‘The Sun is not actually warm’ Pruit.

Scott Pruit, incoming chief of the EPA shocked and stunned the world yesterday with the revelation that CO2 does not cause climate change.  Single=handed and in his first week in office Pruit has solved what was the single biggest threat to humanity by simply making stuff up.

Today he has gone on say that the sun isn’t actually warm. The heat we feel is some kind of chemical reaction between our skin and the air , although so far this new insight is not understood or indeed has not even been noticed by anyone else government officials assure us that this is indeed the case. Pruit brings a whole new approach to our understanding of the natural world, where previously scientists had thought that things were in some way connected and could be understood by observation, testing  and data, now we know the folly of our ways. 

“If the sun isn’t actually warm, then how can heat from the sun be causing climate change?” concludes the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Up until this week the soaring co2 levels in the atmosphere, rising oceanic temperatures and melting ice caps pointed to the fact that the world had a terrifying problem of global warning due to fossil fuel burning and deforestation. However it seems all this ‘scientific’ evidence was just hysteria bought about my 1000’s of confused scientists still locked into 20th century superstition that empirical evidence and research is actually a sensible way to do science.

“Scott Pruit is a hero!” Said environmentalist and permaculture teacher Steve Jones yesterday.

 

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Many ‘scientists’ now feel stupid that evidence and research led them to such incorrect conclusions

 

“I am so relieved, for years now I have been under the misapprehension that evidence and data were in someway important in deducing our impact on the biosphere. Pruit has shown up the scientific community by pointing out you can just make stuff up and then the problem just goes away”. Steve Jones

Water is not wet.

Taking his insight and methods further I understand Pruit is soon to prove to us that water isn’t actually wet.. when we experience wetness in water  it is actually fluids from within our bodies being sucked to the outside by some force that has not yet been observed or measured but Pruit assures us he feels this is the case. Once again his new approach has stunned the world showing just how pointless all this science and stuff has been, what a waste of time!

Pruit’s revolutionary approach to solving the climate crisis now means the whole EPA can be dismantled as we realise that we have no responsibilities to the environment after all. Rachel Carson will be rolling in her grave, she must feel ashamed that she tried to trick us all into thinking that pesticides and pollution in some way matter. Her limited thinking has stood in the way of vast profits that could have been made by despoiling the environment even faster than we have, there are top executives and globalised firms out there that could have made even more billions of dollars they couldn’t possibly ever spend if those pesky eco-nuts hadn’t stopped them pillaging the planet.

Trump’s new era of enlightenment has also proved the water pollution is not a thing so in future corporations will be allowed to dump whatever they like into the environment as making money turns out to be much more important than having a future generation, water to drink or air to breathe

 Even if it turns out that we haven’t quite got this right concludes Pruit.. We can always make more stuff up to prove it wasn’t our fault.

This new approach to science by not requiring evidence or data is really going to speed up progress and save millions in pointless research and peer review of work says Pruit.

It is a new era of enlightenment, think what other problems we can solve by simply ignoring them and pretending they are not real.

 

 

 

Science in the dark ages

Rachel Carson, author of the groundbreaking ‘Silent Spring’ warned us many years ago of the dangers of allowing politics to influence our understanding of the natural world.

 The real wealth of the Nation lies in the resources of the earth — soil, water, forests, minerals, and wildlife. To utilize them for present needs while insuring their preservation for future generations requires a delicately balanced and continuing program, based on the most extensive research. Their administration is not properly, and cannot be, a matter of politics.  Rachel Carson

This begs the question what is the role of science when the politicians of the day can cast aside the dire and detailed warnings of the climate science community despite the agreements and commitments they so publicly made to respond to this unfolding crisis?

event1We teach science in our schools yet we fail to adhere to it our daily lives, what message does this send to the growing generation? The smoking ban, compulsory seatbelts in cars, these were considered responses to known and measurable threats, so why then do we ignore the much more serious warnings about climate and energy?

We know of the disproportionate hold the oil industry has over our economy, over the US presidency and the Russian rouble yet to allow that reality to frame our responses will have dire consequences for all.

Last year we launched the Llanfyllin Transition Project, ‘Saving the Planet One School at a Time’ with the specific aim of exploring these ideas across the whole community and asking ourselves the question of how we can better prepare for what awaits us. To begin surely we are obliged to refer ourselves back to the science, what can we expect, what is happening how much do we know? Also we need to look at this information outside of the political and economic framework that surrounds the debate in the media.

factThe global scientific community will stage mass demonstrations to celebrate world Earth Day on April 22nd. This year’s event and campaign will fight against efforts to silence science and focus on creating and supporting knowledge sharing, community engagement, citizen science and stewardship.

We will be holding a series of events leading to Earth day the first of which is at Llanfyllin High School, 23 March building to the global event in April. It is free and will be informative, challenging and inclusive. Please be there. 

www.llanfyllin.sector39.co.uk

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.

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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
Subscribe in iTunes: http://bit.ly/elephantpod
www.elephantpodcast.com

Prof Greg Philo, from Glasgow Media Unit speaks at Real Media’s ‘Mainstream Media Bias’ event in Glasgow.

Tanat Valley Chronicle, announcing the new project

Note: Working through my own community is scary, I feel exposed as it is my home and I don’t want to create a divide or a barrier by seeming to be partisan. I want to find ways to be inclusive and invite participation from across board in what I see to be  both a terrifying challenge and a fantastic opportunity. Here is my latest piece for our local newsletter, read by all locally, announcing the new project. Steve Jones Oct ’16

‘Saving the planet one school at a time’ – We are looking for leaders

This is big, really big. The 195 countries who signed the Paris Climate Agreement in December have now ratified the treaty. Trump or Clinton, Brexit: hard or soft, Syria and a potential WW3, we might be forgiven for being a little distracted but this is the big story.

Governments have agreed, we need to listen to the scientists, we really do have to stay under 2 degrees of change but there is no policy in place that gets us there. The agreement they signed has no binding targets or penalties, it is basically a statement of intent that has no teeth. How fast can we get off coal, gas and oil? We have about 30 years to move completely away from our old ways and that allows no wiggle room whatsoever, sooner would be better.

So where will this momentous change come from? Even though they happily signed the agreement many governments including our own are not formulating policy that will get us to where we need to be, they are still building roads, talking about fracking, planning new runways and hoping to restart economic growth in the consumer economy.

No, this change will come form the bottom up, the emerging generation will be leading the way. It is much easier to see past the oil age when you are not personally invested in it. Just as we found in Uganda when we were teaching there in May, the idea of localised organic food systems, distributed solar power networks and public transit doesn’t alarm them, since they have that already and it works fine. Whereas we built a commuter economy out of coal, with disconnected nuclear families and rampant consumerism as if that was an end in itself. All this assumed the oil would never run out and burning it had no consequences, inpite of what we know we are still desperately trying to keep growth going because our economic models require it of us. It is going to be a big ask for the UK to make the changes required of it.

The train that is the neo-liberal market based consumer economy has left the station never to return. For the emerging generation that isn’t going to be their future, they missed that opportunity so they are going to have to invent a new one for themselves. We might not know much about the future but I am guessing it is going to be low carbon and almost exclusively local. This is not bad news, especially not to the ears of someone who will never have a pension plan paid by North Sea Oil. The post carbon economy is a land of opportunity, like the Wild West seemed to those intrepid settlers 200 odd years ago or when they first invented the internet, it is a vast un-occupied space waiting for a new generation to inhabit it. With this bold project we are looking for the leaders who are going to help create a new vision for a post carbon society.

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Wales has its own Permaculture network: Paramaethu Cymru

The future is there for us to invent. Sector39 have won potentially 3 year’s funding, in stages to help facilitate the development of that vision. Using permaculture design we are going to challenge the high school to lead the community at large to lay out our transition plan to a carbon negative economy. It is our future to create, no one else has a plan and in doing so I think we can inspire, we can put Llanfyllin on the map, along with Powys and Wales as leaders and partners in this great change we all have to make.

This is open to all, centred on Llanfyllin High School we will be linking to schools across the UK and Africa, creating blogs, radio, newspapers, holding public talks and debates. From this we hope to be initiating new projects and micro enterprises and even a community currency. Help us chart these unknown waters.

This is about working together, no one is telling anyone else what to do, rather we are required to build a common vision and action plan that fully takes into account what the science is telling us. Economy cannot exist out side of ecology, we have tried that and it has been a disaster of pollution, deforestation and species loss, together we can build an economy that restores the ecology of the planet and creates hope for a future that we all want to be part of.

Join in, be a leader for change.

Watch this space, lots more to come!

www.sector39.co.uk

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Crisis, what crisis?

Crisis, what crisis?

chester chroncalI have already written to the editor of this paper to make the point that publishing climate change denial letters such as this one on 6 Oct both demeans and trivialises the whole paper. I would however also like to address the letter writer directly and more forcefully.

Christopher Calder tells us we have been fooled by ‘science’ have we? By science I guess you mean those nasty people at NASA, you know who gave us the moon landings, the space shuttle, satellites and digital telecommunications.

Or did you mean the Met office, who we rely on every day for weather forecasts, storm warnings and the like.

Or NOAA in the USA, when they give hurricane warning do we ignore it, thinking it is another of their made up pranks?

60 Nobel laureate scientists published a joint open letter only a couple of weeks ago saying how urgent it is that we pay full attention to the science – and it is not the first time either! Are you saying they all made this up, really?

The Oil industry has been caught over and over pumping millions of dollars into climate science disinformation, bad science and denial, do you not think if there was even the merest chink in the robustness of the science they would have exposed it and filled our media with it?

pope-768x401The Climate denial game is so over, even Exxon’s Mobil’s own scientific department concluded that unchecked co2 emissions represented a clear and present danger back in the 80’s; but when even the Pope steps forward and puts the full force of his office behind the ‘moral imperative to act on climate’ then you make a fool of yourself to pretend otherwise.

‘Science’ you say, I am particularly annoyed how you chose to put the word in commas, you and your so-called science! Science, my friend means observation, simple as that. Everyone with a thermometer can measure the temperature outside and make comparisons and the evidence of temperatures past is written in every geological record and every tree ring. Anyone with a ruler can measure sea-level changes. This is evidence that can’t be falsified, evidence that every serious scientist around the world concurs with when they do their own research.

de grasse tysonThere is no dissent about climate change within the scientific community, other than just how bad and how urgent is it? Trump, a climate denier blames it all on the Chinese, why the Chinese I don’t know and how they falsified everyone’s scientific data around the world, that bit he failed to explain. The US army’s own scientific research teams concur with the climate scientists, it is indeed a real and present danger; are they colluding with the Chinese too?

Honestly, there really is nowhere left to stand to hold onto the position of denial and appear credible. Are you really prepared to put the whole gamut of evidence against your own untested word?

You site no sources to support your views, yet the weight of world opinion is against you.

I am sorry to have to be so strong in my words but you are a scoundrel sir!

A scoundrel for daring to make such a false point and doing it so weakly and so incorrectly, you insult our intelligence. Around the world millions of people are already affected by climate change, ecosystems are collapsing, oceans are acidifying and there is no other explanation for what is happening to us. The scientists are not just certain that it is happening they are also certain that we are causing it, and to my ears anyway that is the good news. What would be truly terrifying would be to hear that it was a natural phenomenon that we can nothing about, the fact that we are causing it also means we can solve it.

earth surface temps

Global average temperatures ar rising, hard to falsify!

Facing up to this is a huge challenge as we have built an economic infrastructure that runs almost entirely on coal, gas and oil. If that wasn’t bad enough, our economy also requires growth, year on year just to stand still, just to pay off the interest on the money we have already borrowed. We are sort of locked in to our own destruction as we have already raised money against oil and coal that hasn’t even been burned yet.

Although 195 governments, almost the entire world signed the Paris Climate Agreement, binding us to work to stay under 2 degrees of change it also not unsurprising that they are unable to enact policies that take us in that direction. After all until now our whole economy has been rooted in burning resources at an ever faster rate to produce goods with ever shorter shelf lives.

regenerativeEconomic growth is not going to save us, only an evolution in human thinking, an evolution in our collective economic behaviour will do that.

Atmospheric CO2, the main culprit in the problem currently stands at 400ppm. It used to 285ppm before we started on the industrial age, and the planet will carry on warming until we get it back down to 350ppm (this is the view of NASA), that means getting our global emissions down to zero as soon as we possibly can whilst developing ways of farming, land management, building, energy and more that actually lock CO2 up and stop it returning to the atmosphere. Plants do this all the time, so building out of natural materials achieves this goal, imagine building houses from wood, straw, hemp, clay/ lime, coupled with a re-localised organic food production system, powered with a renewable energy grid running super-efficient, low energy appliances and homes, that is the kind of thing we need to put in place and fast. Building such an infrastructure is where the jobs will come from for the emerging generation, the generation who are growing into an already climate-changed world and whilst we are doing that we will be building a new kind of economy that enhances the environment and locks up carbon, making climate more stable once again over the longer term.

There is already a global movement in permaculture design, in community supported farms and climate change adaption and mitigation, so instead of burying your head in the sand and expecting us to believe these absurd statements of denial I invite you and everyone to join the solution, the transition. Let us all help each other find the pathways from the destructive and now obsolete carbon extraction economy and create a new exciting and forward- thinking carbon-sequestration economy. I call that permaculture, you can call it what you want but it is the only future possible for humanity and anything that distracts us from that aim is wasted time.

leo2Science is sceptical; every published data set is tested by other scientists to ensure accuracy, which is how the peer review process works, you make yor reputation by proving other people wrong. If you reject climate science then you reject science, it is all inter-connected, so the smart-phone in your pocket or the jet plane that takes you on holiday, it is all the same science, you don’t get to pick and mix what you ‘believe’. If you want to know more about climate science, talk to the scientists, here is a plain English site that explores every commonly held mis-understanding and explains with evidence what is the best understanding by those who study it. www.skepticalscience.com

Find out about permaculture design and how we can work with natural systems to repair the biosphere and lessen the effects of climate change.

Chester Cathedral are teaming with local permaculture trainers Sector39 to offer a course for community leaders and innovators for change at the Chapter house from Mid-November, over the course of 12 evening plus 1 weekend.

Join 350.org the global climate action movement to find out how you can join in the response to the biggest challenge humanity has yet had to face.

Exciting donation for permaculture and Sector39!

The renoun and collectable artist Dale V Marshall has stepped forward and nailed his colours to the mast by making a stunning donation to Sector39.

I want to support permaculture with my art, thinking about the environment in this way has inspired me to begin a new phase of my own work. Dale Marshall

Dale who made his name as a street artist in Bath and Bristol, trained in Los Angeles and is currently in the process of relocating from Wales where he has been based recently to Ireland. Before leaving he wanted to suport some of the local people and groups that he had drawn inspiration from. This winter Dale attened three weeked long permaculture workshops at Dragons Coop in Llanrhaeadr YM with Sector39. Insights into both the workings of the natural world and the pressing need for a change of economic paradigm  convinced Dale of the power of permaculture.

I really wanted to support Sector39 directly and use some of my artwork to create opportunities in permaculture education. Dale Marshall

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Dale V Marshall 2012

doncheadle

Speaking up for real change

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On Fire in Cienega (Coast to Coast)

These two canvasses, part of series Coast to Coast and entitled On fire in Cienega have been donated to Sector39 for the purpose of supporting permaculture education. Each one is priced between  £3,000 – £5,000 and we would consider selling them as a pair to a collector or singularly.

July was hotter than any month globally since records began, Guardian

Permaculture is design system that models on nature itself to build resilient and regenerative systems for food, housing, energy and meaningful work. It offers many solutions to the challenges of a failing globalised economy, climate change and energy descent.

Many people are simply asking the wrong questions when trying to understand the chaos of our current times, permaculture provides a deep frame work of understanding that allows us to channel our fears and concerns for the futue into positive and meaningful action.

Permaculture provides hope by empowering people to work together as communities to address the challenges they face.
Steve Jones permaculture tutor, Sector39

Please get in touch if you are interested in the artwork, or in supporting permaculture education in any other way.

We offer a 2 week intensive permaculture design course in September in Wales and another spread over 6 weekend in Reading during the winter.

Sector39 are also currently developing a community transition project for their home region in Mid Wales.

Sector39 win project bid for Llanfyllin!

There are still hoops to be jumped through, boxes to be ticked and performance targets to met but Sector39 have won the opportunity to lead on a community transition and resilience project based in Llanfyllin over the next three years.

The premise of the project is simple:

pope

Climate change science is decided, it is time for action.

We are already at a state of emergency!

This is a disaster for young people, we can no longer pretend that we don’t know. We need a fundamental change of direction.

James Hansen, NASA, 350.org

The Paris climate accord signals that the race to the low carbon economy is fully on. This needs to be led by the rising generation who can see beyond the current economic paradigm, leading us all to a  clean energy economy as fast as possible, this is now essential.

Here is James Hansen of NASA explaining what we have to do.

This project wants to listen to the voices of the science commnuity and work through school and commnunity to create new options for food, employment, education, economy and more. To visualise and plan for a truly sustainable future that meets our local needs as well as our global responsibilities.

The project itself is a plan to use the permaculture design model to re-imagine a school and community fit for 2040, 2050, a time when we will all be required to be living a net carbon neutral lifestyle.

  • What will our low carbon economy look and feel like?
  • How will we communicate the ideas, challenges and rewards of this amazing transformation?
  • How will we shape our common sustainable future?
  • How can we turn this challenge into our greatest opportunity?

We want our commnuity to be LEADERS in responsing to this challenge and to put both Llanfyllin and Wales on the world map as pioneers!

The World is hungry for inspiration,
Monica Araya, Costa Rica

Help us reinvent the future!

Join us!

A small country with big ideas

Here is Monica Araya from Costa Rica asking “How do we build a society without fossil fuels?”

Using her native Costa Rica as an example of positive action on environmental protection and renewables, climate advocate Monica Araya outlines a bold vision for a world committed to clean energy in all sectors.

Here is an interesting piece on how the TV weather readers are reacting to increasingly frequest weather events.