“Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex,
the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” ~ Bill Mollison
For me, part of gaining an understanding about permaculture is not only the how and what but the why. One of the things I learned is… if permaculture is the answer, climate change is the question.
Climate change is an issue many of us, including me, are coming to terms with. It is real, and is causing major shifts in the way humans live and societies operate. Permaculture begins at a personal level, then local, proceeding to a collective and global level, exactly where we’re feeling the effects of climate change, and why we should apply permaculture’s three core ethics to how we live.
• Care of the Earth.
• Care of People (starting with yourself).
• Fair Share (of resources and abundance).
I thought I was climate change aware but a research project for my Certificate IV Permaculture via Tafe NSW and the National Environment Centre flexible online learning asking me to share three resources useful to either explain or give more information about climate change, two of which, below, I’m long familiar with but the third led me to David Attenborough – Climate Change: The Facts, a documentary, which led to further viewing… Climate Change: The Evidence.
I was somewhat shocked to learn that we are at a tipping point, perplexed by a screen grab of Donald Trump inferring the climate change industry is all about money making, discomforted digesting facts that individual efforts will not accomplish enough to mitigate climate change if global corporate practices and government policies are not enacted. Some comfort lay in solutions and actions proffered: changes in individual energy, diet and consumption along with collective activism, and my resolution to do more in my own small way, consuming less and advocating more beginning with Australia’s elected officials.
Barbara Kingsolver is a favourite author I’ve long admired for her passion for the environment. I’ve read all her novels including the ecological themed Prodigal Summer (2000) and non-fiction Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (2007). However, Flight Behavior (2012) crystallised the significance of climate change. Although a fictional novel set in rural Tennessee, the plot hinges on the occurrence of millions of migrating Monarch Butterflies in a valley where they’ve never been before: an alarming indicator of ecological imbalance attributable to human activities occasioning critical displacement of a species from their typical wintering location in Mexico due to the effects of deforestation to a habitat that experiences harsh winters they are not at all equipped to survive, and loss of migratory habitat due to monocropping of land along their flight path. Flight Behavior’s central premise is a very real story about the causes and consequences of global climate change and the polarities of societal attitudes.
It led to further reading on the Monarch Butterfly. I learned local effects have global consequences: in the Northern Hemisphere Monarch butterflies ordinarily migrate from Canada and North America to Mexico however industrial agricultural practices, illegal logging, deforestation and extreme weather are a threat to the species.
I read Flight Behavior in 2013, sparking greater awareness: prompting me to actively pursue reduction of my personal ecological footprint. Since, I’ve been an advocate for climate change awareness and Monarch Butterflies, following the species’ plight and seeking out information sources such as www.worldwildlife.org 2016 article Mexico’s Monarch Butterfly Reserve: 40% Decline in Illegal Logging; Threats from Climate Rage on and more recent 2019 article The Vanishing Flights of the Monarch Butterfly.
Over a decade ago I attended a talk by Natalie Isaacs, founder of 1 Million Women who was on her way to building a global movement to empower women everywhere to act on climate change through the way they live. I joined. Since then 1 Million Women via its contributors, social media platforms and campaigns has inspired and informed me about climate change and the many ways I can make a difference every day in my own life such as: Live a Low Carbon Life; My Nana Says; Leave it on the Shelf; Eat Your Leftovers; Less Meat More Beans; 1 Million Conversations, etc.
Your thoughts? Comments welcome.