To elaborate on what I posted as a comment yesterday, acknowledged feelings for and deepening relationships with anything/everything living outside the walls of house, workplace and shops (and the vehicles used between them) will probably power and make acceptable most resource use reduction beyond that which is evidently/popularly economic.  When the ceiling is the sky, different energies contribute to quality of life.

"The challenge of designing cheaper, more equitable and more ecologically-sound living spaces would be rewarding on many personal and social levels. If this possibility were widely recognized, people would not feel the need to claw their way to the the top of a social hierarchy in order to avoid the depressing living conditions that poverty entails."

- Janis Birkeland, Positive Development (2008)

My assumption is that the same is true for retrofitting places all the way to wholeness.  Therefore, I recommend adding to your offer, by partnering, acquisition/merger or internal capacity-building,

  • a variety of meaningful outdoor experiences that can be first steps to engagement that permaculture requires
  • as appropriate, training and support for intermediate and advanced engagement.


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David, that is a beautifully idealistic dream that I would love to share, but I can't force my clients to share it as well. The ones who already do, they don't have the $$$$, and the ones who do, even though they vote liberal and really are trying, they are living the supply-side dream. There ain't no waking them 'til they're ready.

Thanks, Bill.  Nice to hear from you.  I understand the difficulties.  So many believe all will again be as it was, if not better.  I do not, for which reason I consider permaculture ethics and principles a realism, not an idealism.  To rely on what's most reliable is uncommon good sense!

I certainly agree that you cannot force anything.  I hope I didn't imply that one can.  You can offer, invite, await and repeat.  It does make sense to consider, strategize and prepare at least some for the time when people will do more for themselves and with the neighbors with whom they're connected.

Maybe there are resources in the community/region to which you can simply direct the most open-minded and curious for guided first steps, of an intentional sort, under the sky.  Do any of the ski resorts host any environmental education efforts?

"You can offer, invite, await and repeat."

Testing and reporting about different offer/invitation tones and phrasings is the near-term need we all share.  One angle involves assertion of a distinction between standard of living and quality of life.  Another calls attention to the thin ice of contemporary life; so much that we count on is controlled and supplied from a great distance, by enormous systems that are vulnerable in the same ways.

David, well said, I for one have a hard time with the repeat portion. A more humble, repetitive approach would definitely have a greater impact on those around me.
Hey, we're co-creating!  Patience rooted in humility is key for not wearing out welcomes and may also enhance credibility as people recognize that we're not screaming FIRE! but steadily talking sensibly about reliable, integrated systems owned and operated locally.
Let those two angles serve as the beginning of a brainstorm.  What will you add?



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