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1 Introduction to Permaculture Re-designing our lives as if caring for people and the planet matters. ©Bill Wilson – Midwest Permaculture (.com)

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Presentation on theme: "1 Introduction to Permaculture Re-designing our lives as if caring for people and the planet matters. ©Bill Wilson – Midwest Permaculture (.com)"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Introduction to Permaculture Re-designing our lives as if caring for people and the planet matters. ©Bill Wilson – Midwest Permaculture (.com)

2 2 What it is? Why might we need it? What does it looks like? Permaculture

3 3 What permaculturists are doing is (some of) the most important activity that any group is doing on the planet. We dont know what the details of a truly sustainable future are going to be like, but we need options. We need people experimenting in all kinds of ways and permaculturists are one of the critical groups that are doing that. Dr. David Suzuki Geneticist Renowned Environmentalist sand Broadcaster Author of more than 30 books, Host of the Canadian TV seriesThe Nature of Things Weekly Syndicated Columnist

4 4 Definitions: Permaculture (permanent – culture) is a creative and artful way of living, where people and nature are all preserved and enhanced by: thoughtful planning, the careful use of resources, and a respectful approach to life. Thus embraced, these attributes create an environment where all may thrive for untold generations.

5 5 Within a Permaculture designed system: wastes become resources productivity and yields increase work is minimized and the environment is restored. Bill Mollison – Founder of Permaculture

6 6 Fundamental Permaculture Design Principles Observe & connect. Use biological and renewable resources. Catch, store & recycle energy and materials. Each function is supported by multiple elements. Each element performs multiple functions. Make the least change for the greatest effect. Use the edge effect to maximize yield. Accelerate succession. Use small scale, intensive systems.

7 7 Very Simply Put… Permaculture is a design system whereby we find ways of living to allow for permanent cultures to exist. Where all humans can live abundantly well while leaving the planet in better condition then whence we found it. History and logic demonstrate: To have a permanent-culture you must have a permanent-agriculture.

8 8 Fulltime farming in U.S. requires 640 acres How much food does Illinois grow for itself? Principle #1: Observe & Connect What are the conditions we find ourselves in? What are the results of our actions?

9 9 Humus content of native prairie soils? 10-13% Humus content necessary to sustain soil life? 3% Humus content of commercially farmed soils?

10 10 Barge moving corn & soybean down the Mississippi. Number 1 export in U.S. (in tonnage)?

11 11 The National Resources Inventory of the USDA reports that 1.9 billion tons of soil eroded from U.S. land in M.C. Heller and G.A. Keoleian, Life Cycle-Based Sustainability Indicators for Assessment of the U.S. Food System, University of Michigan (2000). Page 22 If loaded on to rail cars, how long would a train need to be to hold 1.9 billion tons of soil? Answer: It would wrap around the globe 7 times. (About 170,000 miles long) Thats just for one year and just for the U.S. alone. The National Resources Inventory of the USDA reports that 1.9 billion tons of soil eroded from U.S. land in M.C. Heller and G.A. Keoleian, Life Cycle-Based Sustainability Indicators for Assessment of the U.S. Food System, University of Michigan (2000). Page 22 Photo courtesy of Paul L. Nettles

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15 15 About 2 inches of soil blew away from cropland in Kansas during the winter of That's the equivalent of 263 tons of topsoil per acre. (6 semi-truck loads / acre) March 20, 2006 The Cornell University Chronicle

16 16 Collapse by Jared Diamond

17 17 Against the Grain by Richard Manning

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22 22 Over a third of all the oil and gas consumed in the U.S. is used for food production (from seed to plate). The food on the average American plate traveled over 1500 miles to get there. It takes 7.3 cal. of energy to place 1 cal. of food On the American Table Adapted from: M.C. Heller and G.A. Keoleian, Life Cycle-Based Sustainability Indicators for Assessment of the U.S. Food System, University of Michigan (2000).

23 23 Estimates for total recoverable oil on our planet are about 2 trillion barrels. On a cumulative basis, we have pumped out 1 trillion. Estimates for total recoverable oil on our planet are about 2 trillion barrels. On a cumulative basis, we have pumped out 1 trillion. Mother Jones? Rolling Stone? Rolling Stone? Utne Reader? Utne Reader?

24 24 Financial Planning Magazine (Oct. 2005) Financial Planning Magazine (Oct. 2005)

25 25 Oil producers (98) Post Peak Oil producers (64)

26 26 Annual Global Oil Discoveries and Consumption Records Global Annual Consumption of Oil – Approx. 30 Billion Barrels/year

27 27 Headline: April 2008 Brazil thinks it has found massive oil field 33 billion barrels offshore estimated Largest find in world in decades The Associated Press updated 4:25 p.m. CT, Mon., April. 14, 2008

28 28 How Much Oil is There Anyway… How Much is 2 trillion barrels

29 29 How Much Oil is There Anyway…

30 30 How Much Oil is There Anyway… 6 Quadrillion gal.= 6 + fifteen 0s 6 Quadrillion gal.= 6 + fifteen 0s6,000,000,000,000,000 Divide that by 42 (gal/barrel) Divide that by 42 (gal/barrel) = 143,000,000,000,000 = 143 trillion barrels of water in the great lakes.

31 31 How Much Oil is There Anyway… 2 Trillion barrels is the equivalent to 1.4% of the volume of the great lakes. 2 Trillion barrels is the equivalent to 1.4% of the volume of the great lakes. Less than the size of Green Bay. Less than the size of Green Bay.

32 32 How much is a gallon of liquid carbon fuel really worth? One Truck + 1 gal. of Diesel Fuel 80,000 lb. truck 80,000 lb. truck 5 miles (up a shallow grade) 5 miles (up a shallow grade) By Hand 1 person with 1 garden cart = 250 lbs/load/trip 1 person with 1 garden cart = 250 lbs/load/trip 1 person could manage 20 miles/day or 4 loads/day (1,000 lbs.) 1 person could manage 20 miles/day or 4 loads/day (1,000 lbs.) Conclusion: 5 Minutes by truck 80 Days by foot & cart Conclusion: 5 Minutes by truck 80 Days by foot & cart Powerful Oil – Black Gold

33 33 How do we use this valuable resource?

34 34 Cheap and abundant fossil fuels have acted upon society like an addictive drug. The supply is running low and withdrawal is certain. Oil… coal… natural gas… even uranium…. All are finite resources.

35 35 CO2 Levels & Global Warming We dont know what the details of a truly sustainable future are going to be like, but we need options. Dr. David Suzuki

36 36 Consumption over last 100+ Years WE have used up about: Half the topsoil Half the topsoil Half the oil Half the oil Half the rainforests Half the rainforests Third of all natural gas Third of all natural gas Third of all coal Third of all coal

37 37 Goal of Permaculture Design Reverses the CONSUMPTION model into a CREATION model. Build the topsoil while growing healthy food Build the topsoil while growing healthy food Grow enough healthy food to feed the world Grow enough healthy food to feed the world Repair devastated lands – Re-grow rainforests Repair devastated lands – Re-grow rainforests Produce the energy we need Produce the energy we need Create resilient communities and cities Create resilient communities and cities Improve everyones overall quality of life Improve everyones overall quality of life Possibly retard/reverse global warming Possibly retard/reverse global warming

38 38 How? And From What…? Where will energy come from?

39 39 How? And From What…? Where will energy come from? Hydrogen? Nuclear? Bio-diesel – Ethanol?

40 40 Time Magazine April 7, 2008 print The Clean Energy Scam By Michael Grunwald …bio-fuels aren't part of the solution at all. They're part of the problem. Conclusion: The demand for bio-fuels (alcohol/ethanol/diesel) is driving up the price for all grains, contributing to deforestation of the rain forests and an increase in global warming and hunger.

41 41 How? And From What…? Where will energy come from? Hydrogen? Nuclear? Bio-diesel – Ethanol? Free Energy Devise…? Alien Technology…?

42 42 Where do oil, natural gas and coal come from?

43 43 Ancient Sunlight

44 44 Consider This: The amount of sunlight that intersects the earth in 24 hours, is more energy than all the conventional oil that has been… or ever will be… extracted.

45 45 The total global annual consumption of energy (400 quads) is roughly the equivalent to 40 minutes of sunlight: 400 quads400 quads Spider silk is 5 times stronger than steel and made from digested crickets……..at room temperature…!

46 46 The systems by which we live today are simply, non-sustainable. Bill Mollison Permaculture A Designers Manual

47 47 Permaculture is really about relationship, our relationship as humans to the world around us. Will (do) we work with the natural abundance and flows of our world and universe, or, will (do) we ignore these? Permaculture Ethic 1.Care of Earth (life) 2.Care of People (everywhere) 3.Share all Surplus (no waste or pollution)


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