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    While reading Bill Mollison’s PDM I can’t help but wonder what has changed in the 30 years since it was written.

    He makes all sorts of critiques and grim predictions on contemporary society if unchanged, and makes all sorts of suggestions for improvement. So, what is the current situation? To what extent has his advice been followed, and are there any followup studies on this?

    For example, on page 401 he says Australia “loses 30,000 to 40,000 ha of arable land to salt and desertification each year.” Then he suggests widescale funding for building interceptor banks above salted farmlands [p. 405-407] and government banning of overgrazing and deforesting [p. 408].

    The book is loaded with problem/solution scenarios like this. It has been 30 years so there must be an update. Can anyone recommend any sources?



    The forums certainly provide “food for thought” questions or queries, such as yours, which promote curiosity and result in at least some investigation on my part about the subjects. I couldn’t find a statistical report on the gains of permaculture or pro-permaculture legislation in Australia over the past thirty years (not that I am an expert at search engine use). However, I did come across PRI Forum for Australians discussing their concerns, strategies, and thoughts about the future of country towns which I did find interesting, The tone did not make me think that the principles of PC where of national priority, rather that the people were aware enough to think and work towards community stability on their own behalf. It would surprise me to find anything but grass root movements in any country as the main motivator for using permaculture principles as a reset for the future. Big business is interested in status quo (unless progress is initiated by them), and governments choose funded, vested, interests over initiating change. However, I cannot recall who said that it takes 20% or less of a group to influence the rest of the group. So that in desperate times the people and not the government (who will probably be more inclined to ban gardening in favor of big ag. interests) will turn to those who have created success (security) where they need it and the 51% tipping point will accelerate the rest.

    I am an American, and grew up in the perfect consumer society way of life, but scratch me and I seem to become a gardener for secure food surety. Others will also become transformed as 21st century advances in technology displace labor and income disparity widens. People, after all, must be able to see a choice before they can make it. If that scenario does not occur (hope it doesn’t), then I have a richer life for my own efforts.

    Did not mean to do a soap box thing, but it seems to go with discussing government.



    Sean DS, I agree that an updated edition of the PDM would be useful. Moreover, it seems like occasional updates will be necessary in order for the permaculture certification that is based on this book to remain relevant over time. In other words, for permaculture as a movement to be sustainable.

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