The Permaculture Solution
By Joe Kennedy
Most people will agree that the planet needs our help, because all the environmental problems are increasing, plus warfare. In the late 70s and early 80s, scientists warned us that the world was degrading and the population was increasing dramatically. Only a few people believed in it and started doing something about it. But now we see that almost all of the predictions have come true. The thrill of getting rich and amassing power, the “dog eat dog” mentality of entrepreneurial business and the bottom-line thinking in industries and manufacturing has now become the unfortunate norm. With the world’s population having now risen to 7.5 billion, some have realized that a change needs to happen and have turned toward the permaculture way of thinking.
There are three basic principles of permaculture: Take care of the land. Take care of the people. And share the surplus.
I wondered why “take care of the land” was first, and I found the answer. How can people survive and be healthy if the land, atmosphere, and ocean aren’t free of poisons, and plants, animals, and ecosystems continue to be killed off? Permaculture uses all the life sciences to teach us how to stop the degradation, and instead, do things to enhance the land and make it prosper and be abundant.
The second principle is “take care of the people.” Yes, we take care of our family and friends and some of us take care of people by helping unselfishly, but in addition to this, there’s a little twist we can make in our own minds. We can start thinking in a new way by seeing the world and every bit of its energy, thoughts and activity as being utterly connected. Religion has been telling us that for thousands of years. Science now says the same thing. Molokai feels that connection when gas and food prices go up. We feel all the inputs from TV and computers from many thousands of miles away and from even billions of people. But these are just surface things.
The new discovery from theoretical quantum physics is that we are connected in a proven, psychic, spiritual, electronic way. If we start to think about that connection and this energy really works, then it will set the stage for good things to happen. The way we live, what we say to each other, and our own thoughts unconsciously work together to change the course of events in our lives and of others. But our intention must be to help the community. Another good effect in this shift in thinking or focus is that we will become more creative in problem solving.
If we think this way, people will react to us differently. We’re connected and we’re helping the people of Molokai and the people of the world. Cruel, greedy, unjust and abusive people are ignorant about how their thoughts and actions will have a ripple effect.
The third principle is “share the surplus.” It’s obvious. If people don’t share the surplus money and goods a lot more than we do now, the earth and its people will continue to spin downward with more war, pollution and detachment from the environment. Technology and machines can be used to help us, but must be used carefully and with restraint. But first, our thoughts, minds and spirits must change.