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Friday Five de Geoff Lawton with Enlightened Perspective, Timeless Trees and “Accidental Rewilding”

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Hi, this is Geoff,

Let’s jump right into this week’s Friday Five, weekend edition…

Enlightened Perspective: First this: “For the first time in New Zealand’s history, the country’s lawmakers have granted a river the legal rights of a human. The parliamentary vote Wednesday, which caps more than 140 years of legal struggles, ensures the roughly 90-mile Whanganui River will be represented by two guardians in legal matters that concern the waterway. The legislation marks a monumental victory for the local Māori people, who view the river as ‘an indivisible and living whole…’” Then, less than a month later, this happened: “The Ganges river, considered sacred by more than 1 billion Indians, has become the first non-human entity in India to be granted the same legal rights as people.” And here is the money line from the piece: “The judges cited the example of the Whanganui river, revered by the indigenous Māori people, which was declared a living entity with full legal rights by the New Zealand government last week.” Lesson to be learned? In the same way that negative things can spiral downward, positive, transformative, and enlightening perspectives can have a virtuous, accelerative upward momentum. Everything each of us does can set in motion remarkable echoes that far exc eed our initial whisper.

Timeless Trees: Arbor Day is an unofficial “holiday” observed in several dozen countries around the world. Although typically observed sometime in spring, its exact date varies from country to country, in large part based on climate and the appropriate local planting season. In honor of our friends in the US, for whom Arbor Day took place just a few days ago, I’d like to share some of the exceptional work of photographer Beth Moon: “In 1999, photographer Beth Moon took it upon herself to begin documenting some of these more seasoned trees. Specifically, she sought out aged subjects that were ‘unique in their exceptional size, heredity, or folklore.’ And it was a quest.” An overview of Beth’s work can be seen here. And the full gallery along with her own brief commentary can be seen here.

Climate Change and Terrorism: I’ve hinted at the possible connection between the two before, and a short piece published last week explores this connection more explicitly: “From South America to the Middle East, the effects of climate change appear to exacerbate the problems of organised crime and terrorism.” The overview can be read here, and the full report by think-tank Adelphi can be downloaded and viewed here.

“Accidental Rewilding”: An incredible 3000 word essay by George Monbiot — whose content I previously referenced — that begins with a startling observation: “In places once thick with farms and cities, human dispossession and war has cleared the ground for nature to return.” The title in the URL is even more jarring: “Why Humanitarian Disasters Are Good for Nature.” Whatever you think of Monbiot’s thesis, the piece is a must-read (adapted from his Feral: Searching for Enchantment on the Frontiers of Rewilding).

In case you missed it: A few interesting pieces this week from our sister site, the non-profit Permaculture Research Institute:

If you enjoy these posts, be sure to bookmark the site as several new articles go up weekly, or check out thousands of other past articles, here.

That’s it for the Friday Five.

Again, if you have something to share with respect to the Friday Five, please don’t email me or hit reply. Why not? Because these are meant to be conversation starters, not mere broadcasts :) so I kindly request and would vastly prefer that share your comments and thoughts on the blog-version of this Friday Five (and all past + future Friday Fives), all housed here. This way, our entire community can benefit from your insights, and join the discussion.

Cheers, and have a great weekend

Your friend,

Geoff

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PS: Two things I mentioned in last week’s Friday Five that might be of benefit to share again: First, Rob Avis’s course on passive solar greenhouses. In it, he aims to democratize a great deal of the hard engineering that goes into the design of passive solar greenhouses. This is certainly not a “generalist” course intended for everyone, but those for whom it was designed (you know who you are!), will find its value priceless – saving you from making countless errors and possibly months of wasted time. I believe he intended to close enrollment on the 27th, but last time I checked, the system seems to be allowing new sign ups. If interested, you can get the full details here.

Second, I also mentioned two brand new videos in the (free-to-join) Permaculture Circle: The first video is Compost Toilets (waterless toilets that saves about 30,000 liters per person per year, don’t smell…and the end-product improves your soil); the second video is Chickens Creating Soil by Design, a short clip showing our chickens in action.

Both clips are housed in The Permaculture Circle (TPC). If you’re already a member, just log in, click on the TPC placard, then the “Potpourri” section and you’ll see both clips. If you’re not a member, what are you waiting for? :) It’s completely free, and there are over 100 different permaculture-related resources available on-demand (videos, animations, PDF overviews, and the like), organized into various categories: Selections from our new PDC 2.0 course, Memory Lane, Selected Video Q&A, the 9 part Permaculture Quick Start Series, and insights from consults and current projects.

And in addition to the videos, we have an incredible group of PDC-certified TAs who keep an eye on the comments / questions section several times a day, and do their utmost to answer your questions. We’ve got some new surprises that we’ll be rolling out over the next month, so now is a great time to jump in. For more information about joining (free) TPC, go here. And if you’re already a member and want to check out this week’s two additions, you can do so here.

Permaculture Sustainable Consulting Pty Ltd 1158 Pinchins Road The Channon, New South Wales 2480 Australia

 

 

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