Permaculture Principles: Catch and store energy


In this series I am working through the twelve permaculture design principles articulated by David Holmgren in his Permaculture: Principles and Pathways beyond Sustainability.Remember that the first principle is “observe and interact” which as we said last time runs counter to our fast-paced culture and tendency to favor doing over being. Here’s the second design principle […]

Toward A Living Economy: Managed Boundaries


This is a continuation of a series exploring some ideas about what a living economy based on the rules of nature might look like. David Korten points to three rules or principles from nature that would shape such an economy: 1) Cooperative Self-Organization, 2) Self-Reliant Local Adaptation and 3) Managed Boundaries. This post will consider […]

The Ultimate Showdown: Mother Earth vs Globalization


Bolivia is a fascinating place to live right now. It is a bundle of contradictions and paradoxes that are a microcosm of the economic and ecological crises that the rest of the globe faces. Like any other collection of people, organizations, communities and especially nation-states, Bolivia is a complicated mix of history, races, languages, religions, […]

Isn’t It Ironic…Don’t You Think?


Unlike the Alanis Morisette hit, “Ironic”, which was in fact not at all ironic, I have come across some ironies in my work that strike me as worth mentioning and perhaps exploring more in depth. The world we live in seems full of these strange paradoxes, but they come in to stark relief in development […]

When The Lights Go Out


I’ve been reading and listening to a lot of podcasts lately on issues of collapse, peak oil, post-civilization, anti-civilization, etc. lately. I am convinced that the history of civilizations and empires tells us pretty clearly that collapse is inevitable. The collapse of a global civilization based on oil is unprecedented and the implications for our […]