Interesting article, and I support the call for trials in Permaculture. But the tone of the article and his division into two camps is caustic and ham fisted.
It's telling that he has a problem with people who take Permaculture as a fuzzy synonym for 'sustainable living', as if this were really a problem. I think that humanity has been thrashing the environment for too many years and we need all of the tools, vocabularies, and even Nice Ideas to get people motivated and activated back towards an ecological way of living as possible. If Permaculture courses need to come with a warning label that says "conventional organic farming methods may produce greater horticultural yields", that's fine. Permaculturists may be falling short on some accounts, by not doing scientific tests in their own back yards, or by having a preference for "perennial and woody species" but they're not exactly the problem, are they? Right now there are uncontrolled nuclear leaks going directly into the ocean, rampant fascism and police states breaking out, sky-rocketing incidence of cancer, alzheimers, slavery and human trafficking, fracking, monsanto, etc... and his beef is with people who regard Masanobu Fukouka as a hero?
OK, let's bring on the trials:
Trial number one: is the author's existential manure well-fermented to the point of fine humus, capable of giving life and renewed abundance, or simply a load of shit?