People & Permaculture: Caring and Designing for Ourselves, Each Other and the Planet (Anglais) Broché – Illustré, 19 mars 2012
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This book is cause for celebration! Many of us have long hankered for the insights and principles of permaculture to be translated to serve all aspects of our lives. Looby Macnamara has been worth waiting for: she fills the bill with luminous clarity, lean eloquence and an exquisite knowledge of systems. Her opening chapters on 'Thinking like an Ecosystem' should be required reading in every classroom from third grade through graduate school. Equally rewarding are her applications of permaculture to health, communication and the life of the mind. It's part of the genius of the book that all this, once you see it, can seem as natural as breathing. --Joanna Macy, co-author, Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We're in Without Going Crazy
The application of permaculture principles and thinking to peoplecare has long been a vexed issue for permaculture activists, designers and teachers. In this book Looby Macnamara uses her solid grounding in permaculture to show that its principles and thinking can help us all be effective and hopeful in an age of change and challenge. In the process she draws in kindred ideas and influences from the field of peoplecare, making a significant contribution in the ongoing evolution of permaculture as a concept and a movement creating a better world. --David Holmgren, co-originator of the permaculture concept
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As someone with a degree in nonviolent social change and one in community work, who has read a lot of Deep Ecology, Johanna Macy, conflict transformation, community building, group facilitation, Transition Towns, indigenous pragmatism, ecopsychology and permaculture design, this books highlights the best of all these things, with every exercise and skill I learned PLUS more.
I love to devour books in one sitting and this one I cannot. It feels like it is 2000 pages, with nothing repeated. There are so many practical exercises, for both the individual human and any groups we form with each other, on every conceivable topic for those of us seeking to make the transition from Peak Oil and Ecological/Self Destruction with its capitalist competition individual first mindset to a sustainable, locally self sufficient community of cooperation that takes care of everyone, human and other-than-human, these exercises could be life changing.
I have bought two other copies, one for my Mom, an off the grid retired Episcopalian Priest (and trained restorative justice facilitator), and for my best friend, who hopes to be a UU minister. He and I are going to have a weekly study group, so we stay on track with doing and discussing the exercises. I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and am a home-bound shut-in differently-abled activist with no "real life" community aside from paid doctors and paid help. I have health limits preventing online "community" plus I do not think online is real community, not when you are in need of someone to go to the store for you because the chemical supplies there make you faint or want to feel a touch or smell pheromones. Meanwhile, he is very active in his church, on many committees, with a huge community. Coming from two very different life situations, the results of our discussions ought to be interesting! We are both popular bloggers on the topics of bioregional animism, sacred ecology, and healing the land-human trauma.
My activism has involved indigenous rights (including stopping cultural misappropriation), MCS ADA legal rights, TAB (temporarily able bodied persons) invisible privileges, ending barriers to access, sexual abuse prevention and recovery, religious trauma recovery, anti-nukes, pro-Sandinista (I date myself here, right?), pro-Artistide, wildlife rehabbing, feral cat rescue, pro-choice, making my own cultural group aware of our racism, homophobia, sexism and classism, squatting and environmental justice. I grew up off the grid in the 197os Back to the Earth movement. I have found that now I am involuntarily isolated from all humans and their petrochemicals, I need a new vision for how I can do my work and have my new needs met. This book provides tools for me that psychology doesn't in my own personal Transition Time!
The only reason I would give this book a 4.8 and not a 5.0 is the author's bias against "the critic." I know that in much of pop psychology "the inner critic" keeps people from exploring their passions and trying new things. However, as someone who grew up in the eco-hippie scene of the 1970s and New Age scene of the 1980s, I have to say that critical thinking skills and sound judgement are really important and that many of the people new to this stuff have thrown the baby out of the bathwater.
This book is written not just for newbies. For those us who have been in this subculture for decades will be delighted to see she notes how nonviolent communication, a current trend that has become a way to be passive aggressive, has been co-opted and how to prevent that! This is when I knew Looby has put in her time, really really does the work and TRUSTED her. There is no New Age magical thinking or superficial easy, fluffy answers and yet she somehow makes me feel hopeful, that making this change is possible. Quite a feat, considering what she is tackling head on. The book is a tool, the best I have ever read, for figuring out the answers for you and your community because she asks the right questions and gives tools for handling common and uncommon pitfalls. Obviously she has seen community blow up and hands us wisdom from that,as well as wisdom from all the things that succeeded as planned. I can find solutions much easier for my own zone 00, with my toolbox much more organized due her immense undertaking. No more seeking that book, note, article, website, etc! It is all here!
It has been so hard to find things written for my experience level and does not insult my intelligence and yet would be totally accessible to those new these ideas. She writes in a way that is clear as a bell. This is a manual, to be used, taking the best of everything and organizing it for all of us. Thank you, Looby!
There's a lot of substance and value in this book. Her style is friendly, not pretentious or strident, which helps when she treads in sensitive areas.
Its quite a long read--not for one sitting! But there are few if any unnecessary words. It's well-edited.
She worked hard on this book and it shows.