The Permacultivator - Journal of Cool Climate Permaculture
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Bill Mollison at Goulburn

by Peter Lach-Newinsky

FULL HOUSE: Bill socked the facts of doom, cracked great jokes, wheezed for breath, a full human being living at high intensity, quite despairing at a world gone utterly insane. Agriculture the greatest destroyer on earth. Area the size of Ireland salting up in Australia each year. Since 1940 60% of Australian soils have disappeared. Every tonne of wheat harvested in western NSW means 60-80 tonnes less topsoil (1 tonne takes 2000 years to form there). 3rd world is now feeding the first (net protein transfer). Our towns would all win "Sterile Towns Competition" with acres of unproductive gardens and energy- and water -intensive lawns, pets and riding horses. An Australian dog has 800 times the buying power of an African child on the world markets for protein.

ANSWERS: threaten to and then withdraw money from banks, since most money is currently being made by the destruction of natural wealth (soils, water, clean air, forests)*. Invest locally in what you want for yourself and others, e.g. "Community Supported Agriculture" (100 acres producing enough food etc for 20 families, direct producer-consumer links, producing for local community not exports...) LETS...

AUDIENCE: Jaws dropped, eyes widened...the truth the media suppresses.

Food for Thought - Bill Mollison on 'Gardening Australia'

extracted by David Johnson

The following was taken from an interview with Bill Mollison on ABC Gardening Australia. The approach of the interviewer was not at all sympathetic and so the segment did not convey Pc very well to the armchair gardening set. However, some of Bill's eclecticisms survivd the editing process so were considered worthy of inclusion here.

On the underlying ideas of Pc...

"We all of us in Permaculture have a treble ethic. To preserve the support systems of life, that’s the air water and soils. Secondly to look after the people in that system. The third one says that all your surplus is re-invested towards those two ends. So if you have spare time, spare money, spare material you put them back to caring for life systems and looking after people. So you don’t go and invest in a Mercedes Benz."

On modern agriculture....

"I think something like 60% of our soils are destroyed and that is since 1950, so that is modern agriculture. But round the world agriculture is horrific. It is the world’s most destructive activity. Without exception! Even including Chernobyl."

On messy gardens ....

If you jumble things up you don’t have a pest problem. They are jumbled in an orderly way: the degree of light suits every plant. Then what you’ve got is apparently chaotic but actually a terribly well-ordered system. I can walk out of this for six years, come back, and it’s still in high production. Walk out of your orderly garden for six years and come back and you’ve got nothing.

On weeds .....

Weeds don’t have right or wrong about them. What they’re doing is occupying damaged country. They’ll stabilise the situation and usually shut out the thing causing damage.

You can use them to establish a forest and they’ll go.

On the future of Pc .....

I reckon I have 70,000 students. There are 700 teachers out there wandering the earth that I have taught. Bill Mollison is totally irrelevant.