Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Philosophical Bases of Permaculture

The philosophical bases of permaculture are summarized in the three
ethics:
• Earth care
• People care
• Fair share

Earth care means acknowledging the intrinsic value of nature in its whole
and all its parts: the air, the water, the soil and all creatures with which we share
this planet.

In spite of the apparent vastness and antiquity of our planet and the life on
it, it is good to remember that the Earth represents a contained, fnite space, and
that although life has existed here for billions of years, it is fragile and dependent
on a delicate balance.

The Earth care ethic reminds us that we must abstain from actions that
damage or destroy the natural environment, and work actively on its preservation
and restoration. Humanity has already done a lot of damage to the Earth . Now we must make a commitment to preserve the remaining ecosystems at all costs.

The care for people ethic reminds us that for a society to be sustainable it must be frst and foremost fair on all, both human beings and nature. This ethic contrasts with the exacerbated egocentrism, individualism and competitiveness of our current society, which result in a brutalization of people making them insensitive to the true human essence and needs.

The people care ethic also plays the important role of preventing or deconstructing misanthropy—the feeling of estrangement, aversion and despise toward humanity, which is often developed by people who embrace the environmental cause.

Permaculture aims to create not only a sustainable world regarding the environment, but also a better, healthier and happier world in all senses. So the philosophy of permaculture is basically a philosophy of love. In order for permaculture to attain its goal of establishing a permanent culture that
protects the ecosystems and preserves the future of the planet, it must spread through the world, and for that it is necessary that it awakens, mobilizes and inspires the greatest number possible of people, and that will  happen through empathy and love, in spreading information, helping people and inspiring by example, forming a global movement for the good of life on the planet.

This ethic means seeing the whole of humanity as a big family, and as an indivisible part of nature, as we are all together on this ship, our Mother Earth.

Fair share means to recognize that we live on a fnite world with fnite
resources to which all are equally entitled. When you consume more resources
than would be necessary for a decent life, you are in fact usurping the part that in
right belongs to others, such inequality representing injustice that inevitably
harms the whole of society and life on Earth. Therefore, this ethic means that we
should voluntarily set limits to resource consumption, in line with an ideal of
simple living and sharing of surplus.

The permaculture ethics remind us that in everything we do, we should always ponder: how will this afect other people? And how will this impact the environment? Not only on the short term, but also in the long run, and not only locally, but globally. In other words, we must seek to make choices and actions that will beneft not only ourselves, but also beneft or at least not harm others
and the environment and all its creatures, both in the present and the future.


from the book "The Environmental and Civilization Crisis and the Permaculture Alternative"  by C├íssio P. Octaviani