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Reconciling permaculture with the cool stuff that isn't.  RSS feed

 
Charles Tarnard
Posts: 337
Location: PDX Zone 8b 1/6th acre
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I am new to the idea of permaculture. I only got into it less than a year ago when I was looking to start gardening in my yard organically and stumbled onto here. I do not have a homestead. I am not a farmer. If I were to buy a plot of land and try to survive off of it without a weaning/ learning period, I would be very hungry at best and feeding nature at worst. I am most certainly not living a permaculture lifestyle, but am slowly trying to move towards it.

I recently took a trip to visit my parents for the holidays, and after we were finished there we went to Disneyland for a few days for my kids. Disneyland is really cool. I mean REALLY COOL. If you don't go on a single ride there is so much to experience there. Plus there's a boatload of rides. It is also a monument to excess. I can't begin to imagine the power consumption of that place. Everywhere you look there is some pump or actuator or light or monitor pulling power from some grid, and that is just one tiny aspect of the waste that goes into making that place run.

I felt guilt, I felt joy. In spite of my desire to move toward a renewable, sustainable, expandable lifestyle, I don't know that I want a place like Disneyland to go away.

It got me thinking about some of the other things that permies use that would not likely be available were it not for our capitalist society, most notably the computer and internet. The internet introduced me and likely millions of others to permaculture. It is a great tool for spreading information. Yet a huge chunk of our grid is dedicated to server farms that spend their days creating and shedding heat in an attempt to keep us up to date with information. In addition the R and D required to create machines that can transfer that data burn more resources. I could go on and on about the wastefulness of this and that which all of us are using, but that isn't the point of this post.

How do you reconcile the attempt to live in a way that gives back with the utilization of things that clearly do not? I know I'm living better than I did this time last year, but it seems like well more than a generation away before I am able to actually participate in the 'giving back the excess' portion of the permaculture program. Do you consider the leveraging of one resource to the benefit of another an acceptable sacrifice? Can you live with a Disneyland like installation if enough of the rest of the world comes around to support it? Is there a way to have a Disneyland that can fit in with the ethics? I'm just hoping this stimulates an interesting conversation and that I learn something from someone along the way. Thanks.

EDIT::: Upon rereading, this sounds like it is about Disneyland, but it is supposed to be about all the things we enjoy that might not seem to be compatible with permaculture ethics. For me one of those is Disneyland.
 
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