Understanding How Things Work

In my description of Permaculture post, I used the following definition:

Permaculture is a holistic design philosophy and methodology for creating sustainable systems.

When I speak of systems, I am talking about organized ways to satisfy human needs and wants.

Permaculture offers  ways to grow and distribute food.

Permaculture offers  ways to build homes and shelters.

Permaculture offers  ways to obtain and store energy.

Permaculture offers way to collect and distribute water.

But we already  have modern systems in place that are intended to satisfy humans needs and wants  so why do we need Permaculture?

I will make the following two assertions:

1) The current systems are unsustainable, meaning that at some point they will no longer be able to satisfy human needs and wants effectively. (For many people on Earth they are already failing)

2)The current systems are unethical, destructive, wasteful, and rife with injustice.

Based on these two assertions, it is advisable that we collectively take steps to regain knowledge and capacity over the control and production of resources that satisfy our needs and wants.

If we can successfully find an alternative means of securing resources for our needs and wants we can:

protect ourselves or mitigate as much as possible the adverse consequences of failures or collapses of the current systems


abstain from  perpetuating and  contributing to systems that are unethical, destructive, wasteful, and rife with injustice.

Permaculture is not the only alternative solution that has been proposed, and the wide range of problems occurring require a wide range of solutions. Permaculture, in my opinion is one of the many solutions proposed and it is one of the most comprehensive and effective means that exists.

Permaculture is not about destroying or completely replacing the current systems but about humbling them. This is accomplished by empowering dedicated individuals and groups to become independent of the system to satisfy their basic needs and wants.

If a large number of people were to implement Permaculture the result should be a reduction of pressures and stresses on the current systems. Thus Permaculture should be viewed as a compliment or supplement to the current systems.

That is not to say that Permaculture can save the current systems or that other changes do not need to be made or will be forced by circumstances. Eventually I believe Permaculture along with other solutions will emerge as replacements for the current systems.

It is my belief that we need to completely re-examine the way we view many things. I am providing a list of links to resources that discuss the problems with the current systems. These are merely to provoke thoughts and I do not necessarily endorse any of the views expressed but they should challenge and hopefully enhance your understanding of how things work.


Food Inc.

The World According to Monsanto


Chris Martenson Crash Course

PBS Documentary: Money, Power and Wall Street

Feature Length Film: Inside Job

The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson

Video: U.S. Federal Debt Explained

Article by Motley Fool on U.S. Federal Debt

Video: David Walker on the Economy

Video: William Clark Petrodollar

Video Montage: Petrodollar

Video: The Money Masters Documentary Bill Still Part 1

Video: The Money Masters Documentary Bill Still Part 2

Video: How the Petrodollar Trade Works


The Nature of the Classroom

Beyond Schooling

Public Education Analysis

Sir Ken Robinson: Changing Paradigms

Society and Civilization:

David Holmgren Interview

Movie: Crisis of Civilization

Energy and Resources:

Albert Bartlett Lecture

Albert Bartlett

Documentary: Blue Gold Water Wars

Peak Everything

Richard Heinberg

The Story of Stuff

If you have additional resources you think should be added to this list add a comment or email me as I intend to update it continuously.

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