The Earth Ships guy is Michael Reynolds, in a small correction. There is a documentary about him called something like The Garbage Warrior. They showed this at MIT, which I found quite amusing when notified. Crossovers happen at edges, etc., etc.
I also wanted to add to the discussion of SWOC/SWOT a term from urban planning that I learned in Portland. It is
Inventory. I rather like it for the observation part of the process to emphasize that some features may need to stay rather than being wiped to redesign everything. In Greening the Desert, there wasn't much to save, as if was that classic cracked-desert look that they encountered.
Most small properties will not be that bleak in the beginning, so a back-yard approach, like that of Toby Hemenway in Gaia's Garden and a piecework approach like that of
Connie Van Dyke, of Tabor Tilth, as described in the StarHawk video that has been passed around the world so much, might be more helpful. Dare I mention the
Dervaes Family garden? There has been a ruckus about that over the name they wanted to do an intellectual-property thing with. Nonetheless, their model is very interesting and has stood a test of time in a place most would find exceedingly daunting.
Another case of a cracked-earth call for re-design is that of
Janine Benyus, in Lang Fang, China. This is a tough case to follow up with, so I would not recommend it except for those with strong interest in China and in ancient-aquifer-restoration, but some could want to go there. Janine Benyus is part of a loosely defined group who used to be labeled with the term Natural Capital. Janine Benyus had a number of TED talks where she talked about
Biomimicry and the need to stop industrial wasting of
Heat, Beat, Treat, and instead to look at the glues that rock clams can make, at ambient temperature, that keep them on rocks against tidal and other forces. I believe she still has a site called Ask Nature.
The Natural Capital group were willing to look at huge projects and at the earth as a whole and the need for large projects for cities.
Paul Hawken and Amory and Hunter Lovins were part of this group.
Paul Hawkins wrote a number of books about this. Probably the first book was Natural Capital. Another one was Blessed Unrest, which I still think of with sadness, as he tried to connect people around the world who were doing small projects in isolation and who were feeling distressed about their isolation. They would hand him cards at his speeches, and he had amassed a huge amount of cards, so he decided to put them in an annotated book.
Christopher Nesbitt has Maya Mountain Research Farm, world-famous in tropical agriculture. I think the notion of research-farm is a good one for permaculture concepts to replicate.
The No Child Left Intside movement would also be great to mention. I first heard about this at a City Repair event where Michael Becker, of Hood River Middle School made a presentation of what his inspiring kids have come up with. To say I was impressed is a huge understatement. Michael has always said he is too busy to write a book. But still.
The hunger for good news is huge. The corporate media is not going to feed this need unless shamed into it by, for example, the Bill Gates Can't Build a Toilet article that appeared in the New York Times about SOIL Haiti and the 5-gallon bucket dry toilet movement.
A UN peer-reviewed report on AgroEcology that was supposed to show the green revolution in heroic terms did not show that, so it got placed in a gold-plated trash can, according to a comment-maker on Truthout. It did get passed around in independent and hippie venues for years, and at some point, they will have to talk about it. We are not there yet. Hippies found the report in a dumpster, when the gold pig-can got taken out, so the information did not get lost.