Jesse Lemieux, now living on Denman Island is a Permaculture educator who has been engaged in Permaculture principles around the globe. His presentation at the Building Sustainable Communities Conference was a primer on Permacultur, the reasons and means to make a difference in sustainable design of human settlemtn and the relationship to the environment and resources..
Permaculture is a set of Patterns for Sustainability
The background –
Peak Oil Impacts
1 barrel of oil 25,000 man hours – 4 cents an hour of labour
4 – 6% decline in oil production
The majority of people in the world will never have the opportunity of wasting energy in the way we have.
Climate Change and Peak Oil
It is the “destructive” use of fossil fuels which is depleting them and exacerbating climate change and pollution.
Internal combustion engine is only 25% efficient
Large-scale collapse of global ecosystem, fisheries, deforestation, urban sprawl.
Eco-systems and their services have been replaced by a finite and decreasing supply of fossil fuel energy.
Jesse mentioned Transition Towns as a great concept that accurately links the relationship between Climate Change and Peak Oil.
– Collapse, Lean Economy
Business as Usual – Linear Model
Energy + Raw Materials ? Industrial Processing ? Consumers (how about Citizens?) ?
Waste Streams =
Pollution is nothing more than energy that has not been put to productive use
Permaculture aims to put all the energy to productive use and reduce the bumps (highs and lows)
The Permaculture case – The Eco-System
Sun, Wind, Rain + Soil Mineral Resources ? Biological Interconnectedness ? Sink of CO2 & Mineral Leaching =
Carbon stored as biomass
Increased Organizational Complexity
Every element must serve multiple functions, every function in our system must be achieved by multiple elements.
Predator / Prey Species relationship
How does Permaculture Approach Design?
We must define our values
It is not enough to sit back passively and observe what is going wrong
“What do we want?”
Integrated human habitats
Care for the earth
Care for people
Returns of surplus
Positivism and co-operation
in harmony with the local climate and landscape
use a multi-disciplinary bio-social approach
Assemble all components to form connections (energy production)
goal is to produce a self-managing design which builds soil ands grows forests.
Any bylaw is a deficiency in design
Empowerment and Enthusiasm
Intra courses in Langley
Trading labour for a place to live
moving away from the linear system and into an ethical system.
how do we take the money and resources we have and use them to the best of our resources.
Water is life, Life is Water
no matter what scale, water is the first point in design, (home through to city scale)
1st Elements that produce energy and resources
2nd Elements that save energy
3rd Elements that consume energy
Avoid Type 1 Errors (house on a ridge example – not water collection etc). Anything that requires a continuous input of energy over it’s lifetime is a type I error.
Establishment and Maintenance of Systems
on paper first
set priorities based on ethics and economic reality
locate and trade for components locally or cheaply
expand on information
information is only a resource if it is acted upon.
Through active and ethical approach we can be part of the change – the change required is massive, active groups and individuals making small scale changes.