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the solutions are simple

 
paul wheaton
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I watched dicaprio's new movie about carbon footprint.   It seemed to be all about being angry at bad guys and very little about things people can do.   And I saw letterman had a similar thing.   Both great shows, but with very little that people can do.   Both about reducing carbon footprint.  

Converting from electric heat to a rocket mass heater reduces your carbon footprint as much as parking seven cars. 

I keep seeing stuff where at the tippy top of the list of how people can reduce their own carbon footprint is by buying LED lightbulbs.    That is such useless horseshit.  And for people in northern climates, it is utterly wrong.   I wrote about why here.

Thousands of people are burning petroleum to protest something that would not exist if people used less petroleum.   And I think they could have done a thousand times more for their cause if they stayed at home and advocated this.

Colony Collapse Disorder - solved that six years ago.  It didn't exactly go viral:  


All of this stuff is not all that profound.   It seems extremely simple and freakishly obvious.  I am baffled that I seem to be the lone voice on this stuff.   Why can't somebody famous steal these thoughts and get it into millions of brains.  They can have all the credit.  I don't need credit - but I am about to to pop because such simple and obvious stuff doesn't seem to be getting any traction anywhere. 

Somebody on reddit asked "What can a person (who does not have a lot of money) do to protect the environment and wildlife as an individual?" - it netted 13,277 upvotes

I replied:

Hi, I'm supposed to be an authority on this topic. I could probably fill 50 books on suggestions. But trying to keep it short:

    learn how to avoid palm oil in your food

    all that light bulb stuff is crap. Look to your heat first. Learn about rocket mass heaters and micro heaters. You can save thousands of dollars and switching from electric heat to a rocket mass heater will reduce your carbon footprint as much as parking seven cars.

    Drying your clothes with a clothesline or drying rack instead of using a dryer.

    try growing a bit of your own food. There is a huge amount of petroleum that goes into growing and transporting food.

4.1 if you are going to do gardening, look into hugelkultur. Gardening without irrigation or fertilizer.

    look into "poo-less" (eliminate soap and shampoo in the shower). It turns out that 99% of your body funk is water soluable. Millions have traveled this path with great success which then has less toxic gick in their lives, plus they cut their water and hot water usage.

    explore paths of having a more luxuriant life while having less stuff. There is a lot of petroleum wrapped up in stuff. "Reduce. Repair. Reuse. Recycle."

    replace your teflon pans with cast iron or stainless steel. That stuff is really bad.

    to reduce your petroleum footprint: explore hypermiling, telecommuting, community living or tiny house living (the "less stuff" thing) ... and the biggest impact is .... as odd as it sounds ... growing an epic garden that feeds you and a bunch of other people.



I netted zero upvotes.

The most popular reply netted 5958 upvotes and was "buy less stuff."  I thought that nearly all of the replies were weak, weak, weak. 



I've been at this whole "I'm gonna save the world" thing for ten years now.  I have made huge progress - I have uttered "permaculture" to nearly 100 million people.   But it would seem that the most important  stuff is not getting to the general masses.   They still think that nearly all of the problems can be solved by light bulb purchasing decisions. 

350 podcasts, 150 videos, dozens of presentations and keynotes, hundreds of articles ...   I'm not getting through.   At best, my stuff is a novelty to a few.  I have tried - clearly I don't have what it takes to reach the masses.  Maybe there needs to be beautiful people to carry the message.  Movie stars.  David Letterman.  Al Gore.  Ellen Page took a PDC and is very popular right now - how about her?  Oprah?  Ellen?  I'm spent, I'm stuck, I'm frustrated ...  not that my words are not getting traction, but that these concepts are not getting traction.   And that the people that have a chance to grab the attention of the world are sending a really weak message.   

People keep asking me to generate more content.   And I have about ten times more to share.  But it seems that the content I have already generated isn't getting far enough, so my time is better spent on getting traction for that.   Only it turns out that I apparently suck at that. 



For ten years people have given me advice on what I should do.   Doing all the things that have been suggested would take a hundred people ten years.   And then people are pissed that I didn't do the thing they suggested.  I can't carry this burden anymore.   Somebody else has to solve this.  Not me.  Probably somebody famous.  Probably somebody that knows how to connect to the masses. 


When I did my 72 bricks presentation a few years ago, we left a lot of bricks out.  And afterward there were a lot of things I thought that should have been in that.  Maybe there are currently 200 bricks.   If all of the world knew of 50 bricks and opted in for 20, I think a lot of the worlds problems would be dramatically smaller - and then we can start exploring another 200 things to optimize our new scenario.  But it just seems that the masses want to solve problems by making those very problems worse.  And my voice apparently doesn't reach those folks.


 
Kyrt Ryder
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Have you tried reaching out to some of those high profile people [I wouldn't know where to start that process]? Oprah- for example- at least claims to care about these sorts of things. Getting 'in' with just one such person could be a serious shot of NOS for the velocity of permaculture.
 
paul wheaton
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Kyrt Ryder wrote:Have you tried ...


I have tried a lot of things.  

One of the more fun things is that I sent a care package to bill nye, complete with a hand written note asking him to take a look at rocket mass heaters.  I offered his media person $5000 if I could record Bill on a podcast with me where we talk about rocket mass heaters.  

Zip.

Kyrt,

I think this is the key to today's post.   I am not going to try to do this anymore.  It is up to you and everybody reading this.  I have spent ten years trying.   I have reached a lot of brains, but apparently, not enough.  Clearly, I don't have a knack for it.   I am a novelty to a few people, but I am not the person to carry the message.  Apparently, I cannot even reach the people that can carry the message.  I have tried. 

So, when it comes to marketing, and reaching celebrities, and connecting to the masses, apparently this task is for somebody else.     With that in mind, let me ask you:  have you tried?
 
Kyrt Ryder
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Thus far, I've tried absolutely nothing aside from speaking with family and a few friends. At this stage I've been more of a gert with farming goals than someone trying to spread valuable information.

Some of us definitely need to pick up the torch.
 
paul wheaton
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I am a little worried that as long as I have been trying things that most people are of the position "paul is trying things, so I don't have to." 

So, now I'm saying:  I am not going to try those things anymore.
 
R Ranson
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Paul!  You've done so much good.  You DO a lot more good getting the word out than any celebrity I've seen. 

You made this forum.  You work damn hard to keep this place friendly and full of people who actually want to do stuff and make the world a better place. 

You inspire people.  You make them interested in change.  They make a change, their friends see the change, they make change... it's a chain change reaction. 

I can't imagine going the celebrity path is going to have a greater effect.  The change that is necessary goes against the status quo, it threatens them.  Once someone has enough celebrity status, they realise that their success is dependent on maintaining things as they are.  It's that whole thing in the book 1984, where the purpose of The Party is to maintain power, not to improve existence for any individual.  The people who currently have power read Orwell and they take their lessons from him.  How could these celebrity create change in the world?

There are those of us who want to do more for the world.  We want to yell from the window "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore."

Sometimes all it takes is someone to stand up and give us permission to open the window and get mad.

 
paul wheaton
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Thanks R,

I think that what I have done is what I will have done.  I have a bit more to do - some podcasts and videos and articles and stuff - but I think that this will continue to be a bit of a novelty to a select few and not reach the larger audience. 

 
Tyler Ludens
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Unfortunately many people seem to just want to bitch about stuff because actually doing something might be slightly hard.  Not hard to those of us who do some of these things, but hard for other folks, or they seem to think so anyway.  For instance, it was easy for my husband and me to reduce our carbon legacy.  Thanks to his moment of courage in getting a vasectomy, we have zero children.  We do other carbon-reducing things also but that was the biggest single thing we could do and it was easy because we didn't want children.   This might be very difficult for people who want a bunch of kids, and obviously, people who already have a bunch of kids have missed that particular opportunity and will need to do something else.

http://blog.nature.org/conservancy/2009/03/11/children-and-carbon-legacy-population-eco-hero-carbon-emissions/

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/population_and_sustainability/pdfs/OSUCarbonStudy.pdf

I think we can inspire in our own lives.  Paul and many other people here on permies and elsewhere inspire others.  Reaching people through this forum and others, and trying to demonstrate change in our own lives is inspiring to others. 

For me, one of the most inspiring concepts that Paul created here is the idea of Gert the Permaculture Millionaire.  Gert has a tiny carbon footprint.

https://permies.com/t/55918/millions-permaculture-millionaires-story-Gert
 
Dan Boone
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paul wheaton wrote:I am not going to try to do this anymore.  It is up to you and everybody reading this.  I have spent ten years trying.   I have reached a lot of brains, but apparently, not enough.  Clearly, I don't have a knack for it.


I don't know if you're right about that --- you have reached a lot of brains -- but it seems to me you're sounding like you're in a place of burnout from the work of trying.

My notion would be: Fine.  Step back from evangelism.  Don't make content (except incidentally, as it happens to bring you joy) but just do more of the epic shit that you've been too busy evangelizing to do.  Get your food systems dialed up to eleven.  Get your lemon tree planted.  Rocket all the things you haven't already hugeled, pee on all the things that have been hugeled, throw up more berms and junkpole fence around it all, get your green roofs on your wofatis and hell, I dunno, you're got more irons in the fire than my brain can encompass.  But take a break from beating your head against the walls of the internet, temporarily fuck saving the world, be the duke of your own demesne for a time and let permaculture fend for its own damned self.  Your land will blossom, your soul will be refreshed, and you might just discover that other people's "hey, lookit that!" videos of your projects are reaching just as many people, without you having to lift a finger.  (I know I currently give more apples on here to photos of the cool shit people have done than I do to any amount of conversation.)

Without dragging your thread sideways into Cider Press territory, I'd opine that the next few years seem poised to turn into a rough time to focus people on the big job of saving the world; they may in more cases than presently be too angry, distracted, or terrified to pay attention.   I myself am focused on building out my own personal security, and the permaculture I've learned (mostly here) offers many tools for doing that.  It might be that if you do your own Wheaton-scale version of that, you do as much good for "the cause" as you're doing now, and to boot, be eating better at the end of it.

Just my notions.  Not trying to "should" on you, just imagining which direction I would consider going if I was feeling the sentiments you've expressed in this thread.
 
paul wheaton
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First, I figured out that I've been at this for over 12 years (earlier I said 10). 

Second, I guess the thing that is bothering me is that I go bee-bopping around the net and all the stuff I see is sooooo level 1.   I would like to think that by now I would see level 4 peeps REPRESENT!  


Dan,

I have some obligations borne from past projects that I need to wrap up.  And after that, I think I will putter on the forums, putter with the lab and putter with podcasts and youtube vids.  Drop the book projects.  Drop the dvd projects.   And drop the attempts to find a path to mega media - that is for somebody else.

I have brought rocket mass heaters to about a million people.   Somebody else needs to be the stage-2 rocket and bring rocket mass heaters to hundreds of millions of people.


 
Marco Banks
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Societal change tends to happen in a couple of ways.  One is from the top down: autocratic powers backed by guns and courts, mandating that the masses stop dancing, read their little red book, repeat the mantra, etc.  History is replete with their movements.  Some have been good, and most have been co-opted for evil.  I doubt that the permaculture solutions (bricks) you speak of will ever gain traction in the hearts and minds of the masses this way.

More powerful is change from the bottom up: usually a prophetic voice (like yourself, Paul, but often dozens of others) who both speak out using the media and means of their time.  There are many many examples.  Let me just exhibit Martin Luther and Martin Luther King as examples.  They spoke truth to power, had the capacity to rally around them like-minded thinkers, led both by example and with carefully reasoned argument, and ultimately suffered (and died) for the cause.  They inspired millions.  This is lasting change -- truly heart change, not just legislative change.

Usually, by the time the Oprah's or Ellen's of the world jump on board, the cause has already built critical mass and it is moving toward mainstream acceptance. 

Think of change like an infection.  (I know, that's a negative example, but it works).  A contagion, if you will.  Key infectors have the capacity to spread the change far and wide.  I wouldn't po-mouth your contribution, Paul.  You have been and remain in key infector.  Typhoid Mary -- Hugelkulture Paul . . . do not despise the day of small things, as the Bible says.

Leonardo's movie is just a re-do of Al Gore's movie.  But if he really wants to make a difference, he'll do your movie.  He'll share the story and the solutions advocated by Holzer, Salatin, Fauk, Wheaton . . . there are a number of prophets out there. 

I think a popular movie (a romantic comedy starting Sandra Bullock and some hunky guy opposite her) would go a whole lot farther than another preachy docu-advocacy film).  Set it on a permaculture farm -- where the city girl meets the country boy and, as she falls in love with him, learns to rotationally graze livestock, dig swales, reforest a watershed, and capture carbon.
 
Rene Nijstad
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It seems to me that people in general only want solutions if they feel an overwhelming personal need for it. This can be an emotional need (we cannot let our planet go to sh#t) but it's mostly a need based on survival, so a practical one (how do I feed my family). Add to that our inborn resistance to changes, let alone fundamental changes, I think right now you can only reach those people that are already actively looking for changes to their lives.

I'm personally not sure if we're still mainly in the innovator / prophet stage or the early adapter stage, but what I do expect is that the amount of people looking for solutions will grow exponentially over the next years or maybe slower, decades. For them it's of tremendous importance that places like permies exist. Where information on a multitude of subjects can be found.

I think you're simply early Paul. The world is not at your expected level of despair yet. But as far as I can see it will get there and it won't be pretty. So we're all building examples of solutions for when that time arrives. In the mean time we can support each other here at permies, so we can keep on going and improving! Thanks for offering us that possibility Paul!
 
paul wheaton
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Marco Banks wrote:I think a popular movie (a romantic comedy starting Sandra Bullock and some hunky guy opposite her) would go a whole lot farther than another preachy docu-advocacy film). 


I think this is true.   A few years ago I contacted my favorite author and tried a lot of different things to convince him of a story.   I then paid a ghost writer to write it - that didn't work.  I then found another ghost writer, and that didn't go anywhere .... that project is still sitting in the wings gathering dust.

 
paul wheaton
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Rene Nijstad wrote:It seems to me that people in general only want solutions if they feel an overwhelming personal need for it.


And this is the thing that is so infuriating right now.  People feel such a powerful need to save energy that they preach far and wide ....  about light bulbs.   No mention of rocket mass heaters or clotheslines ....   further, the whole "buy LEDs" message is going on in cold climates where incandescent is nearly always a smarter choice.

Or people are so passionate that they drive a petroleum fueled vehicle thousands of miles to attend a petroleum protest. 


I think you're simply early Paul. 


I dunno.   The need for this stuff is right fucking now.   The stuff I am advocating is so freakishly simple that any pleeb can wrap their tiny brain around it.   But somehow the word about this stuff just stays with a few people.  If dicaprio or letterman mentioned rocket mass heaters in either film, that could have been serious change. 

 
Andrea Mondine
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My respectful two cents:

Paul Wheaton said:
I think this is the key to today's post.   I am not going to try to do this anymore.  It is up to you and everybody reading this…. I cannot even reach the people that can carry the message.  I have tried. 
With that in mind, let me ask you:  have you tried?

Kyrt Ryder’s comment that ‘Some of us definitely need to pick up the torch’ is right on the mark,and Dan Boone responded to Paul, saying he has ‘reached a lot of brains -- but it seems to me you're sounding like you're in a place of burnout from the work of trying.’

There’s a frustration level that builds when you are maximizing your abilities and exhausting your time availability and still don’t see the results that you had hoped.  A few days ago I was part of a thread where I shared thoughts about how I might help in ‘getting the word out’ discussed on a thread about affiliate programs.

I’m not a ‘marketing guru,’ although I have been forced into that role professionally in the past. I would actually say that I hate sales. However, one of the key points I learned when thrown into that position was that marketing can be about just ‘connecting’ with people, and doesn’t have to be hard sales or approaching people that don’t want to hear what you have to say.

There is a ‘target market’ to focus on. A percentage of the population will never care as much as we do about this subject. But there is a percentage that simply hasn’t yet been introduced to these ideas and philosophies. Of course, there is a smaller segment of the population that we MUST reach to actually enact global change. I’m sure there are people more suited to that task than me that have connections or who work directly or indirectly with those industries or government agencies. 

Although I hate sales, I LOVE to teach people things. In this case, educating people serves a dual purpose of marketing the site, products and permaculture philosophy. I can think of several ways I can implement ‘educating’ people about permaculture and permies.com into some of the things I already do. As an example...If I teach a community class on getting rid of toxins and chemicals in your home, I can actually tie a portion of the content right into a permaculture theme, complete with a little hand-made flyer inviting people to join the forums and explain a little about permaculture.

There’s another active thread on the forum right now, called ‘How can I help?’  https://permies.com/t/60854
In it, Paul gives these links to prior threads with some great starting points on how WE, as the Permies.com community can help.

https://permies.com/t/38875/support-Permies
https://permies.com/t/31398/Ideas-simple-tasks-anytime-Permies
https://permies.com/t/5716/team-permies
https://permies.com/t/24165/volunteerism
https://permies.com/t/7157/sharing-bricks

So to tie this up, within one of these threads noted above, dated some 6 years ago, I noticed this quote from Paul:
'I don't know about the rest of you, but I feel like I really am changing the world.'

Paul IS doing his part to change the world.
If each one of us can find the time or the way to help spread the word about permaculture, the Permies.com site or about products that benefit the site, we can not only ‘lighten the load’ but exponentially increase the potential for positive outcome.


 
John Weiland
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@Paul W: "If dicaprio or letterman mentioned rocket mass heaters in either film, that could have been serious change. "

In the " be careful what you wish for....you might just get it" department, just my opinion but Permies as a movement is just about right where it ought to be.  It has fully reached enough people to begin some grand experimenting and comparing of notes, and has partially reached a multiple of that same number.  That this fact has not resulted in the positive feedback or financial return anticipated is lamentable, but all important movements take time.

If this movement as you desire it to unfold were to be embraced by big media and big money, how many competing interests do you think would instantly become involved in the cause?    Just taking the example of a movie 'rom-com' that might be set in a permie environment:  Movies take money to make and the producers and investors demand an ROI.  As they look at the viewership and ponder the question "Should we place this film on the beaches of Monoco or in a wofati outside of Minot?..", even given the cheaper filming venue of NW North Dakota, I think the Mediterranean is going to be a more profitable sell to the public.....and not just now, but by cultivating that formula in the mind of the viewer, it gets easier to predict what will sell tomorrow. 

The DiCaprios, Lenos, Lettermans, Begleys....they can afford to dabble, even if in their heart they feel it's the right cause.  Laudable though DiCaprio's intentions may be, I wager his efforts with climate change will be as memorable as others whose fame preceded them to the cause.  Generally a splash and then a fizzle.  Perhaps it would be more helpful to consider those whose notoriety came after the movement made its mark, even if slowly and incompletely.  A personal hero in this regard is Martin Luther King Jr.   If King were alive today, would he be viewing the results of his efforts as "fully successful"?....."partially successful?"....."completely unsuccessful"?  And yet before the civil rights movement, I suspect for most he was relatively unknown.  Such movements can have important leaders, and they by and large are remembered for their contribution, but often it will be a rather unconscious decision on the part of the populace to finally get onboard. 

Finally, with regard to "The need for this stuff is right fucking now."  A determined suicidal person will off themselves no matter how much information you provide to them that they have other options.  A suicidal population will do the same.   And just as a suicidal person has to decide, for themselves, that suicide is no longer an option, so must a population.  Once such a person makes that decision, they look around for the tools to get themselves on a better road.  This site and your contribution are the better tools.  But the motivation to turn the ship around will likely be coming from other sources.
 
Eddie Conna
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paul wheaton wrote:I am a little worried that as long as I have been trying things that most people are of the position "paul is trying things, so I don't have to." 

So, now I'm saying:  I am not going to try those things anymore.


The problem I think is, you're wanting to "understandably) see results and see people "get it." 

I share your same frustration, because most people WON'T "get it" until it hits them in the face.  Hard.  Like a baseball bat. 

Sadly, that's just human nature.  People will build in low lying areas, and think nothing of it... until Hurricane Katrina comes along and wipes out entire neighborhoods, that should never have been built in the first place.  Some will even go RIGHT BACK and rebuild in the path of destruction.

Or they will build wood stick homes in the path of a Tornado, instead of building an underground house, which can sustain a tornado hit with little to no damage.

or they won't prepare for a potential disaster, and then wonder "what happened" when one hits and they are un-prepared.  People don't often learn until they SUFFER.  That's just human nature.  I'm afraid it's going to get MUCh worse before it gets better, but here's a comforting thought, (well, for me anyway.)

We don't need to "save the world".  We need to save OURSELVES.  All the damage we are doing isn't going to 'destroy the planet."  The planet will be just fine.  Life will go on.  HUMAN life may not... but other animals and species will... even in the worst of man made disasters, nature has a way of recovering, slowly, over time.  Look at Chernobyl, and the cities around it.  20+ years later, they're teeming with wildlife.  Have things changed?  Absolutely.  But nature IS making a comeback. 

Don't get me wrong.  i believe we SHOULD be working to do less damage to the planet... but if we don't, all we do is make it harder for US, HUMANS to live here.   

Final thought:  The point is, you shouldn't keep trying, you should stop expecting to see immediate results.




 
duane hennon
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https://www.helpscout.net/blog/benefits-sell/

Features Tell, but Benefits Sell

People have little interest in purchasing a bed. What they want is a good night's sleep.

Founders and marketers must go beyond selling products; they have to sell what their product will allow customers to do.

If they don't, you know they’re inexperienced. Take a look at this quote from investor Dina Routhier:

"The most common thing that pegs an entrepreneur as an amateur is when they come in and immediately start talking about their amazing new technology, and forget to start the discussion with, “What big problem in the market am I trying to solve?” If they don’t start with the problem, then I know they are green."



as I have posted before, I try to spread permaculture with pawpaws
I attend fall festivals in the area, when the fruit is ripe
I offer free samples of the fruit and people say "how can I get this?"
I say the best way is to grow your own
I also have fruit and seedlings for sale
when asked what's the best way of growing them
my answer is  something that looks like a food forest (why not plant some blueberries and flowers also)
the facts that it will improve the environment, etc, is mentioned secondarily
even though improving the environment might be the main goal

who doesn't want to warm in the winter
a video of a homeowner before and after installing a RMH might be effective
first she sits around in three layers of clothing staring at her heating bill,
and after she's in a bikini, sipping mojitos


 
Ron Helwig
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paul wheaton wrote:
Marco Banks wrote:I think a popular movie (a romantic comedy starting Sandra Bullock and some hunky guy opposite her) would go a whole lot farther than another preachy docu-advocacy film). 


I think this is true.   A few years ago I contacted my favorite author and tried a lot of different things to convince him of a story.   I then paid a ghost writer to write it - that didn't work.  I then found another ghost writer, and that didn't go anywhere .... that project is still sitting in the wings gathering dust.



Maybe make it a TV sitcom. You could call it "Green Acre" (not Acres). Reboots are all the rage these days, right?
 
Tyler Ludens
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I advise against trying to make a TV show or feature film.  This is a recipe for heartbreak even if you are friends with people in show biz.  (I work in show biz) 
 
Marla Kacey
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Why not a utube series? 

An unhappy upwardly mobile young man visits a 'crazy' friend in Missoula MT (maybe his name is Paul Wheaton or maybe his friend introduces him to Paul) and starts to see the light (and a rocket stove).  He meets an unhappy, but dream filled waitress and starts to dream a bit too.

Sandra Bullock would be wonderful!  But maybe too expensive.  Are there any thespians in the permies community?  Destiny?  Jesse?  Anyone?

Just dreamin' here.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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In the " be careful what you wish for....you might just get it" department, just my opinion but Permies as a movement is just about right where it ought to be.  It has fully reached enough people to begin some grand experimenting and comparing of notes, and has partially reached a multiple of that same number.  That this fact has not resulted in the positive feedback or financial return anticipated is lamentable, but all important movements take time. 
  On that note, a person can probably remember the Occupy thing on Wall street and beyond... The media jumped on it and gave it a big push of publicity, and then... it just faded out of the media picture, to nothing.  No media presence whatsover.  It's not that the trillions made through usury has really gone anywhere productive, or the system changed in any way that makes sense to the poor, it was that the story was a story, and then it wasn't.  That's comparing apples to hand grenades since Permies is a movement of design, ideas, innovation, while occupy was a protest that brought a single idea out in the open to many, but the example of the media circus might be similar.  You don't want that with Permies.  The circus can't finish and everybody goes home back to their drivel.  You want Permies to make a lasting impression, and it is, on people who really like Permaculture. 

While I agree with so much of Paul's sentiments, and the suggestions that others are making to help him along on this stumbling block, and I think that we (meaning me too) should make efforts to get the message out, and keep it out in the public eye, I think that Permies and the movement are expanding pretty well. 

Paul:  I have to agree with Dan Boone that you might be better off not looking at a screen for a year (or only if and when the love of the project demands it) and focusing on practicing and initiating the projects that he envisions for his lab.  Go Zen! Get outside.  Breathe.  Become one with your property.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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One thing that I wanted to add is that although there are a lot of people doing amazing things and are willing to share their knowledge, there is so much that we haven't even seen yet.  Most projects are in their infancy.  Including Permies itself.  Not to belittle it, not at all, but 12 years is nothing in the grand scheme.  The grand scheme is worth all of those projects coming into fruition, and bearing fruit.  Right now they are just seedlings, or just seeds beginning to sprout.  They look fantastic and we are all cheering them on, but they are not bearing fruit yet.  Oh well.  Things take time.  That's nature.    On the note of my underlined phrasing, I am thinking of things like large Jean Pain Composting systems (for heating large barns and or dwellings), and of Wood Gasification on scale for production farms, or, or... it just goes on and on.  These projects are barely being discussed, let alone implemented yet.  The books are just being written.  And I'm sure there are other examples.  I have a hard time even getting information to make things happen without diving into it with possible failure because I don't have the info.  So... when the projects get moving further, then examples come out of the notebook and onto reality, and the world is suddenly blessed with wisdom based on experience that can be shared. <- That is worth a thousand threads on permies by me in my dream phase of brainstorming and planning and designing things that may not come to fruition. 

Though some of the other ideas are far simpler and easier to do, to demonstrate, to replicate, to scale up, and to broadcast, and it is a shame that they are not getting out there, I don't know what the answer to that might be.  Certainly there is a reason that compact fluorescent bulbs suddenly took off and everybody wanted them, and now LED's are making their splash... so I think that people do want to do the right thing and make changes for the better, but I'm not sure how to get those other ideas broadcast in a way that makes the same sort of splash on the fertile minds. 

In the year 2000 I had never heard of a rocket stove let alone a rocket mass heater, and now I want more than one!  Most of the world had not heard of RMH or rocket stoves even 5 years ago, and now look at the youtube videos.  I couldn't find jack squat for examples of hugulkultur a few years ago, and search it now!  These things are happening, and taking off.  But they are seedlings still.  Give them time, Paul. 
 
David Livingston
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Paul
I am glad to see others have seen what I have seen in your posts in this thread.
You need a brake , full rest now for a while . You have a good team here and at code ranch swhich off the power get away from the computer . Trust your teams to keep things running .
You are an amazing chap still younger than me and I suspect always will be
I used to manage a mixed team dealing with homelessness, mental health , domestic violence child abuse etc etc so much shit and stupidity as you cannot imagine we all in turn got burned out I know the signs . Who manages you Paul ? If you were my staff after listening to your pod casts etc and seeing what you wrote above if I was your manager I would have sent you home weather you wanted to go or not .
So please listen to what folks above as well as I have written . We want you back to you irritatingly over the top natural self

David
 
R Ranson
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Paul, it sounds like you are frustrated.  Who wouldn't be?

You often say you want to infect millions of brains with permaculture.  To get them from level zero to level one on the Wheaton Eco Scale

And yet, your message is often level five or higher.  rocket mass heaters, the thing about the light bulbs, this isn't something a level zero person can understand. 

In the eco-scale thread, you said:

Observation 1:  most people find folks one or two levels up took pretty cool.  People three levels up look a bit nutty. People four of five levels up look downright crazy.  People six levels up should probably be institutionalized.   I find the latter reactions to be inappropriate. 


It is an inappropriate reaction.  But let's face it, it is usually their reaction.  You're giving them level five or better.  They aren't able to grasp it so they respond with hostility.  It takes one heck of a strong person to stand up to that kind of abuse.


Paul, you do what you have to do. 
I hope you keep on proselytising permaculture; as a modern day voice of hope.  In the end, it's your decision and maybe I'm just being selfish wanting you to continue. 
I think the world is heading towards some big trouble and very soon.  Maybe it's only going to take another ten years before it will be easier to infect brains with life-saving ideas like permaculture.  The world needs people who are strong enough to stand up and point us in the right direction.  It's just really shitty that the world treats those people so badly. 
 
Roberto pokachinni
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The way I see it: It's a paradigm thing.

R Ranson wrote:
And yet, your message is often level five or higher.  rocket mass heaters, the thing about the light bulbs, this isn't something a level zero person can understand. 
  The funny thing is, the concepts that Paul lists are not complicated.  They may be a level or two or more above the people who Paul would like to reach, but they are not rocket science ideas that are beyond their mental, physical, financial, or resource grasp; hence the topic title of the thread "the solutions are simple", yes, they are, but unfortunately the problem that is being addressed here is not nearly as simple.  No matter how simple the concepts are, it is the strangeness of wrapping the brain around a new concept, and the strangeness of applying the concept, rather than the difficulty of the concept itself that is the problem.  This is the same with people's stumbling block over learning new things.  People do not like to change, and they do not like new ideas.

Unfamiliarity, and the fear to step into new territory are the demons here.  As much as people may be open minded and consider themselves to be interested in unfamiliar things, people have an inherent distrust in change and are creatures of habit.  It is actually a natural instinct that was explained to me in this way:  If a person is alive, then somehow what that person has done in the past has been successful enough to achieve continued survival.  Instinctively, and probably subconsciously, people tend to be habitual, because the habit is a proven technique for staying alive (How could it not be? The person is clearly alive, right?), no matter that another way that may be vastly more logical and wise is presented, the status quo has measured verifiable physically embodied evidence which is commonly known as being alive.  Logic is not involved in this decision.  This is not survival of the fittest or smartest, or most logical; this is survival of those who managed to not die.  These decisions happen on another and very deep level that is fully embodied from the vibrating atoms outward, and has nothing-not one thing-to do with thinking.  I have mentioned to people that I plan to build my own wood heater (RMH), and they look at me like I'm certifiable.  These are back woods, DYI, resourceful people, not your average clown in town eating at Macdonalds, and yet they still don't get the idea the way I do.  The problem is paradigm.  A mind shift has to happen.  It's not as simple as just marketing it right to the idiocracy.  The people who will change will change.  Those who seek will find.  You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make the horse drink.  

R Ranson wrote:
I think the world is heading towards some big trouble and very soon.  Maybe it's only going to take another ten years before it will be easier to infect brains with life-saving ideas like permaculture.  The world needs people who are strong enough to stand up and point us in the right direction.  It's just really shitty that the world treats those people so badly. 
  The treat you badly, or they ignore you, or they don't even notice that you existed in their presence at all, because they do not want to hear what it is that you sayYou expect them to change.  and You expect them to learn something new.  These things might be simple, but the stumbling block is invisible, and unconscious, and deeply embodied.  It's sad but true that people often have to be faced with disaster personally to understand the need, to finally take action to change.  It's sad that when you pointed out on Reditt all of those ways that a person could make a difference and you got zero positive response, while those who stated something completely inane get great reception for their 'idea'.  But that just goes to show that those people are clearly not ready to embrace any new idea, and are quick to embrace nihilistic apathy, or the status quo of the lowest common denominator.  They want to complain and to cheer each other on in the complaint; and nothing more.  They do not want to change, or they do not want to really do the work (no matter how simple/easy the changes are), because they can't wrap their minds around the concept of changing their ways.  To you, Paul, the paradigm is obvious.  It stares you in the face at every turn of the page, every blink of the eye.  It's in the air you breath and in the water you drink, and the food you eat.  You embody it.  For them:  the paradigm needs to bitch slap them for them to even notice that it exists.  That's just the way it is.  You can't change that.  It has to come to them.
 
Devin Lavign
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Paul I imagine you have seen the recent permaculturevoices with Alan Savory but will link it for others and as context.



When I watched this video I remember slapping my forehead and saying wow it really seems to be on to something here. What is your take on Alan's complicated vs complex and how we need holistic decision making to figure out solutions to complex problems? Do you think this holistic concept could take off and spread into our world culture fast enough to make a difference?
 
Devin Lavign
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Oh and Paul, your post is sounding very Derrick Jensen. We all hit walls in our struggle to make the world better. We try and keep trying, and try some more and see things getting worse rather than better. And it hurts, it is hard, it is depressing, and it makes it difficult to want to keep trying.

We all hit this at some point, or will be soon if it hasn't happened. But we do eventually get up and keep trying. We keep fighting to the best of our ability.

Some things you might want to remember, is with Jill Stein running for president she actually mentioned permaculture several times, and  permaculture is part of the Green party platform. This election cycle had lots of people checking 3rd parties out, even if they didn't vote for them. This means permaculture actually had some political representation this time round.

And yes, it would be nice to get a celebrity to drum up some support. Or maybe a heavy weight documentary maker to put together a movie that gets the buzz going to the average person. I don't know what it will take.

But I keep trying, keep telling more people about permaculture, keep spreading permaculture ideas without even calling it that, and generally just try to make the world better. Eventually if we keep trying maybe it will happen. But if we give up and stop trying it definitely wont get better.
 
Belinda Roadley
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duane hennon wrote:
Features Tell, but Benefits Sell
People have little interest in purchasing a bed. What they want is a good night's sleep.
Founders and marketers must go beyond selling products; they have to sell what their product will allow customers to do.



Rene Nijstad wrote:It seems to me that people in general only want solutions if they feel an overwhelming personal need for it. This can be an emotional need (we cannot let our planet go to sh#t) but it's mostly a need based on survival, so a practical one (how do I feed my family).


Quoted for truth.

I was amazed when I started my office day job. The other girls there KNEW stuff, despite not having green thumbs, despite never hearing of permaculture or its tools. They knew that raw milk was better for you and creamier than the stuff they sell in supermarkets. They knew that raw, unprocessed honey was helping people overcome hayfever allergies. They knew that eggs bought at the farmer's market were tastier than even the "gourmet free-range" eggs bought at the supermarket. They'd heard of people who used straw bales in their home's construction, and have awesome insulation because of it.
All this, coming out of girls who have never associated in permaculture (or farmer, or biodynamic, or homesteading, or anything else with a label) circles. It crept into their minds through word of mouth, and mainstream media. Not in big, all-encompassing bombardments of info; it came to them in little, sidelined stories.
These are the same girls who smoke like chimneys, and are completely unaffected by the warnings on the packaging, or the gloomy anti-smoking PSA commercials. They don't like being told what they should do. Besides, they smoke because it brings them comfort/pleasure. Where's the incentive to give it up? The government preaches about the damage being done to their bodies instead of highlighting viable and attractive alternatives. Health, like the ecosystem, is largely invisible in day-to-day life. There's gotta be something MORE than just benefiting the planet and humanity (or in this particular case, one's health), or it just gets pushed to the side. There are too many things to worry about without dwelling on things largely invisible, or "too hard to change".

Which brings me back to my original point. These girls knew about the benefits of raw milk and "real" eggs because the benefits actually had an effect on their lives. One girl had a grandma with a cow, and she hasn't been able to find milk as good as that in the shops. All milk tastes gross to her in comparison. A "cultural" outing to a farmer's market lead to the purchase of pastured eggs that tasted and looked worlds different to what's available in store. She's now getting backyard chickens.

They were witnessing benefits tangibly.

My dad only started changing his mind about permaculture when he saw the benefits. Permaculturists were flourishing during downturns because of the diversity of their farm's offerings. Cattle ranchers were making more money per acre because they started doing rotational grazing. Keeping chickens didn't mean massive start-up costs because there were no sheds involved. Keylined fields were green during the arid summers when everyone else's pastures were going to dust.
Heck, even the little things made some difference. He saw how much more robust and healthy my baby chickens were when I kept them away from medicated feed. He believed they'd drop dead without it. Instead, they thrived. He constantly battled with a weed-ridden lawn. I told him to leave the lawn longer when mowing, and to stop herbicide use (and explained why). After the chicken thing, he gave it a go. His lawn has fewer weeds now than ever.

When people witness (or hear from enough friends/family who have witnessed) the benefits of permaculture, they generally agree the benefits are worthwhile. The exception to this is when they can't see a personal application. For example, it's easy for someone to switch from cage eggs to free-range eggs (thus we almost never see caged eggs in store anymore). It's not easy for a harried mother of five kids who works full-time to suddenly start feeding her family from her garden. It's not easy to convince a business man to stop using his deluxe gas stove and instead build a potentially hazardous DIY stove that requires something "as hippie as sticks" to fuel. (For the record, I love backyard gardening AND rocket stoves, just trying to provide the outside viewpoint).
Rather, the harried mother needs to experience amazing food that she just can't seem to find at the supermarket. She needs to have friends in her situation who grow amazing food for nearly zero effort. She needs to witness cost-effectiveness.
The business man needs to have a colleague who had his modern home architecturally designed and built using passive solar techniques. He needs to go to a pizza party where the hosts cook amazing food on their rocket-stove-fueled pizza oven.


Personally, I believe that the key to getting people to listen is to live what we teach, and do it successfully and in a modern context. Most people think that being green means living like bush people. They think it's unprofitable. They think it doesn't work. They think it's hard. The more things we accomplish in our own lives, the more others are able to see the benefits that apply to their personal situations. The goal is not to be a PSA commercial, but a living, breathing example of how AWESOME the alternative is.

In my humble opinion.


(BTW, this isn't to say that podcasts and the like aren't extremely important- after all, people need somewhere to learn how to do things better once they've decided to give it a go!)
 
Michael Cox
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Paul et al; I love permaculture and I apply it in my own garden and spaces where I can. However I've been realising that my efforts are better placed elsewhere. For example I can spend £10,000 landscaping my few acres and turning it into a permaculture paradise. However, with that same £10,000 I can support a community in Africa that wants to terrace it's water shed and build a sand dam - guaranteeing reliable safe water supply year round for 2000+ people, increasing their food security, health and education (fewer hours lost to water collection). Furthermore; a sand dam is a concrete piece of technology that I can explain simply an easily. It is a comparatively simple idea to "sell" and cost effective to build - my 2 minute elevator pitch is punchy and clear, unlike my 2 minute permaculture pitch.

Sand dams are not permaculture - despite using some of the techniques that we would recognise - but I can never hope to have as transformative effect on a landscape or on people at home as I can by investing in projects overseas.

So then the question becomes one of priorities. Is it better for me to earn in a conventional job in my home (affluent) country while investing my skills and wealth in such projects, or is it better for me to make those small changes in my life (I can't necessarily do both - some of the most effective changes require capital investment). And then, does an hour of my time spent on an overseas development project have a bigger impact than an hour of gardening my own space? Am I actually having a bigger impact at my computer than growing my veggies?
 
Marco Banks
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Social movements are funny things.  Rarely does anyone accurately predict them, but historians like to look back and say stuff like, "All the signs were there that something big was going to happen . . . blah, blah, blah."  Few people ever predict the next big thing.  Nobody saw Justin Beiber coming.

Social conditions have to be right for sweeping societal change to happen.  As I said in a post above, the Oprah's and Ellen's of the world just jump aboard AFTER the wave has began to crest.  You can work your whole life to advance a cause, only to see some other goofus run to the front of the parade, slightly re-package your idea, and make a zillion dollars off of it.  Basically, that's what Al Gore did with his inconvenient movie.  In the end, as long as the cause is advance, so be it. 

So we are faithful to do what we know we can do, and hope to surround ourselves with like-minded people who share our values and desire to embrace the embarassingly simple solutions that you speak of.  Then we wait for lightening to strike.  But there are things we can do to encourage lightening.

How do make lightening strike?  How do you get your video to go viral?  How do you get your pod-cast to become THE podcast?  Mother Teresa labored in obscurity for 40 years before anyone ever paid her any attention.  JRR Tolkian was a moderately unsuccessful Oxford don before the hippy generation discovered the Hobbit and made it popular, but he was already in his 60's when that happened.

Keep sticking lightening rods out there on the tops of the hills and believe that one day, a bolt from the blue will zap one of them.

I would argue that at the heart of any social movement that catalyses around a personality (Martin Luther, Bernie Sanders, Ghandi, Jesus, Forest Gump or whomever) is the critical importance of internal consistency.  Doing always proceeds from being.  As you become a person of integrity around a certain subject (permaculture or any other), the doing will proceed naturally from it.  Continue to be consistent.  Continue to stick those lightening rods up on the tops of the hills.  You never know when lightening will  . . .
 
Devin Lavign
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paul wheaton wrote:I have some obligations borne from past projects that I need to wrap up.  And after that, I think I will putter on the forums, putter with the lab and putter with podcasts and youtube vids.  Drop the book projects.  Drop the dvd projects.   And drop the attempts to find a path to mega media - that is for somebody else.


You might feel that way now, but Paul you will come back to fighting for a better world eventually. If your tired of fighting though, there is no shame in down grading your activity. Because spreading yourself too thin and getting frustrated with the masses not catching on is not going to be productive. So wrap up your projects, and concentrate on the stuff you want to keep doing. When you feel ready to come back to fighting like a mad man to get these idea through to people maybe you will have some new ideas on how to do it. Or some threshold will have been broken by someone else and the ideas will be received more openly.

paul wheaton wrote:I am a little worried that as long as I have been trying things that most people are of the position "paul is trying things, so I don't have to." 

So, now I'm saying:  I am not going to try those things anymore.


Fairly doubtful that is happening. Paul like it or not you actually are a celebrity compared to most of us normal folks. You have permaculture star power. Your asked to do lectures and talks, you can get radio interviews, you reach millions of people with your permiculture discussions. Most of us will only ever reach a few hundred or thousand in our entire life as we are not celebrities of any sort. It isn't that others are saying "just let Paul do it" it is that you have a louder voice than most of us due to being a known and respected figure in the permaculture community. You have placed yourself in a position through hard work where people do listen to you. There are other permiculture super stars, toby hemenway, sepp holzer, Alan Savory, Ben Faulk, geoff lawton, etc.... who are doing what they can too. Getting the word out, doing talks and interviews, and leading by example when they can. It isn't all just on your shoulders, but the reality is you have gotten to a position where yes if you start talking people stop to listen.

paul wheaton wrote:I dunno.   The need for this stuff is right fucking now.   The stuff I am advocating is so freakishly simple that any pleeb can wrap their tiny brain around it.   But somehow the word about this stuff just stays with a few people.  If dicaprio or letterman mentioned rocket mass heaters in either film, that could have been serious change.


You are correct the need is now, truly we needed much of it a couple decades ago and now is more battle field first aid than true mitigation of the problem. A lot of what we are looking at now is slapping bandages on problems to buy us more time to truly fix the problems. And yes so much is really quite simple, and the reality is the masses do understand that action needs to happen. But to them it is easy to be lulled into complacency. Worse there is an active industry fighting to keep that complacency by spreading misinformation, disinformation, and feel good do nothing solutions. A big part of the problem is people don't want to give up their comfort. They want the world better, but not have to miss the latest Dancing with the Stars episode. They want a better environment, but don't want to actually have to change their habits, think about the impact of their buying or employment, or worse have to go out and get dirty planting a tree. It took a long time for source separation recycling to catch on, and it still isn't universal.

As I have said previously your sounding very Derrick Jensen, you have reached the point your asking yourself what is the point of trying so hard. It happens to us all and eventually it will pass. It isn't that things will necessarily get better or easier to get the message out. It is who you are you are a fighter, and you will not be able to sit on the sidelines for too long before you will be figuratively pushing others out of the way to get back into it. But right now, it is a time to regroup, reflect, and reprioritize for you. When it is right you will get back into it. In the mean time maybe it is good for you to step back and concentrate more on what you are dong personally rather than trying to talk others into doing something. Building up wheaton labs into a wonderful example of what permaculture can do.

Please don't let the problems of the world get you down too much Paul. I know it is hard, but there is a better future eventually if we keep trying to create it.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Few people ever predict the next big thing.  Nobody saw Justin Beiber coming.
  hey hey hey... are you dissin my man, the Beibs?  He is the sh#t!  Just kidding.  And an excellent case in point. It sort of takes lightning striking to get famous.  I have friends who are brilliant musician/songwriters, and do you think they have a chance at being famous or making any kind of money from their obvious and amazing talent... not bloody fracking likely.  Life is more than a bit of a lottery.  And the crappy thing is, you can cash out to it all your life and it might never pay off.  But, that's a little different than a guy like Paul, who is Keynote speaking and on demand in a permie sort of way.  I just think that Paul has high expectations that he might be the catalyst, or that someone who he provides the information for might be the catalyst, or that somebody else might somehow inspire the catalyst soon that kicks over the critical mass, and the world FINALLY get's it's shit together.  He just wants  it to happen.  And he's poured a lot of his personal energy into making that happen.  He wants lightning to strike.  Here's hoping it happens soon enough for the big guy to see it happen, no matter who makes that final push to get the bigger snowball rolling.     
 
Tyler Ludens
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What if Paul made a list of all the things he wants to accomplish with permaculture (maybe there is already such a list?) and instead of expecting Paul to do it all, we did some (or all) of those things?

Is there a list somewhere?  I want to see if there is something on there that I can do.

 
Karen Donnachaidh
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Marco Banks wrote: "I think a popular movie (a romantic comedy starting Sandra Bullock and some hunky guy opposite her) would go a whole lot farther than another preachy docu-advocacy film)."

So, Sandra Bullock would play Jocelyn. Who would play Paul?
 
duane hennon
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the movies and tv are so preoccupied with money and their own agendas
and with the exception of comic books and games, they are also dying

why not try the internet approach
and rather than just posting videos
talk to the people. (Paul may not be this person)

Listen to Lionel (especially the first 6 minutes)

now imagine our person "talking" ,not down, but to newbies and city folk
(why preach to the choir, there is more than enough of that here on permies)
addressing their concerns, explaining it's ok
if they don't want to shit in buckets, move somewhere to start over
or undergo strange cow shit stomping initiations in the mountains
or understanding a RMH may void their fire insurance
but that supporting the local food markets is a step toward permie-nous
especially if that is all they can do now

i think i smell cider
 
Steve Taylor
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Paul, i'm thankful for your contribution to advancing the movement!

Even though i'm on the lower end of the eco spectrum, I share your frustration.  

I'm always dreaming about getting Cavs players and NBA cares to take on permaculture projects and education.  Part of me believes that The LeBron James Family Foundation could be a catalyst for change if they incorporated permaculture into their program. 

I'm an NBA fan and The Cleveland Cavaliers are the only sports team I still care about.   We don't have tv so I watch highlights online and read the box score.  I've followed them in the media over the years.

Part of me thinks that hand written letters could catch the attention of an important person who filters their social exposure do to fame.  Matt Damon,  Sean Penn, Kevin Love,  LeBron James,  Kyrie Irving,  Matthew Delladova,  JR Smith and other Cavs to appeal to their  humanitarianism. Kevin could write about Permaculture through The Players Tribune.  LeBron could really empower the Akron community.  That could be LeBron's greatest assist.

If LeBron believed it could be done and was willing to use his resources to educate his Foundation Staff about the benefits, then local Permies could help train the staff and facilitate the projects. 

Places like Highland Square, Metro-parks, University of Akron,  Akron Library, and The Mustard Seed could be partners in projects and education.  Groups like KeepAkronBeautiful and City Fresh could work with his Foundation.  Then I could see Akron becoming a leader in the Permaculture revolution.   That would spread the message.

But it is still just a dream.  Any Influential figure could work, the more the better.  Nourishing your friends, family, and community with the best foods is appealing to many. 

Brainstorming ways of spreading permaculture on Permies is a good option for winter time.  I am sincerely grateful for Paul and everyone that helps keep Permies maintained and moderated on the Day to Day. Thanks!



 
Roberto pokachinni
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The preceding post by Steve Taylor is a really good idea.  Steve; you should go for this project.  Try to focus on rehabilitating down and out neighborhoods with food.   You might want to check out this Ted Talk link Ron Finley: A guerilla gardener in South Central LA.  If you shared that with the right ball player, you might gain a fan who's willing to put some cash into the permie flow. 
 
Pascal Paoli
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I agree with all people that recommend some time offline. However it does not have to be half a year .. Just as long as you need to feel more optimistic.
Here are all my pro-active thoughts for you:

- You have established an online community that has been well maintained and offers relevant and quality insight, answers and so on. I personally like forums a lot more than facebook-type conversations. A lot of threads here have a clearly visible history to them, just like all the gardens that haven been planted in that time they grew in this forum.

- If you use Google to search all permaculture and hügelkultur related topics you will find this forum. You have established very good rankings over time. And they served you well, because they brought all these people here together. People that dig into hügelkultur will definitely see you in their whole.

- If you want to pitch a new movie to di caprio it should be about how he does an expedition towards the northpole to collect an iceberg that has split apart from the masses. They use a huge ship to tow the iceberg to new york. While the iceberg is being shipped, other celebrities and of course paul wheaton, use a helicopter to come visit on the iceberg. Other eco concious companies can rent ad space on the iceberg to finance the mission. A SkySail is used to reduce further emissions .. Once the ice berg arrives in new york it serves as a place for a temporary museum until all ice is used up in a final cocktail party and ice carving competition.

- If you want to grow further you can do that. You have a lot of people here that you can use as leverage to fund a new movement. In this one documentary I saw, it said that the buyers of a local supermarket would consider something if at least 10 people asked for it. They would assume that if 10 people ask, at least 100 are also interested.

I thought you were a smart guy, how you structured your websites in a forum-layout. From a content marketing perspective this is a very successful approach, because there is just so much quality rich content being created all the time. This forum is basically doing composting. The community keeps feeding into this system to enrich it. And the output is a great knowledge base for all people that are truly interested.

- In order to reach more people, new people – other people, we have to figure out a new approach on spreading the word. Other keywords have to be figured out. You are set on rocket heaters and certain other topics. That’s all grazed up so to speak. All members here are invited to find new ways to connect our mission with other peoples interests.

Here is an example: Lets create content on how rich people can avoid taxes by rezoning their land to agricultural, creating a permaculture with fruit trees etc. This could be an actual business model for permaculture people that do consulting. And a whole new niche. Any big U.S City has cities that are further outside and have big homes on the border to the country. So find those cities, go to google maps and you will find properties that have potential.

“hey, you have 5plus acres – we have a method how converting X acres into a permaculture food forest could save you up to $XZ. Optional we have a service that will harvest and market the food to insure you an extra X per year”

I can put that in a business plan easily if anybody is interested. Just like you said in your initial posting: the solutions are simple.

I challenge all of you guys here to come up with a brand new idea on how to connect permaculture with something that you could think of, in order to spread it out. Actually, I had to walk out for a moment and came back with another one. Our community has a storm water program. Maybe it would be possible to connect to those local programs, and advertise front-yard permaculture as a way to achieve better water retention. Those programs have funding and with the right Trojan-Horse Kind of Marketing Package it might work.

Also in being pro-active you could have asked in your newsletter, in this forum and so on /  that people sign up on reddit and upvote your comment. After all never forget that reddit also works with algorithms. If a posting gets an initial upvoting – thats just like putting compost on your seeds. So maybe because there are a lot of low number people. Or just because ten friends saw this guys post and voted for him just because / which set that posting on track to become more popular. So maybe there is not even a causality – and you just feel like that this is the way.

Once there is a popular posting, also on facebook, insta or whatever – they tend to get a lot of extra likes “just because” they are already up there. A lot of people just skim through, thumb-surfing their smartphone and do not take time to read a thread.
If you are used to a pace that this forum offers *which by the way yields better quality* then reddit is not your place to be!

I have just recently joined this community. So my views at it are still fresh. Your are already used to it, a lot. Personally, I consider it a gold mine and I think you are still reaching new people each day.

 
Roberto pokachinni
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Underlining and bold facing mine. 
I'm always dreaming about getting Cavs players and NBA cares to take on permaculture projects and education.  Part of me believes that The LeBron James Family Foundation could be a catalyst for change if they incorporated permaculture into their program.  
Steve.  You should start a thread on this, and in addition to that try to get any permaculturally minded groups in that city to join in brainstorming how to get that to happen.  It's your dream; and it is a good one.  Make your dream come true. 
 
Forget Steve. Look at this tiny ad:
2017 Homesteaders PDC (permaculture design course) & ATC (appropriate technology course) in Montana
https://permies.com/wiki/61764/Homesteaders-PDC-permaculture-design-ATC
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