Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
114 internautes sur 116 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Rekindled my interest in Permaculture16 septembre 2003
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This book has rekindled my interest in Permaculture. The author, David Holmgren, is the co-creator, with Bill Mollison of the term "permaculture", and the co-author of the original permaculture book, _Permaculture One_. Now, some 25 years after that seminal book, Holmgren has written a timely and comprehensive synthesis that brings permaculture principles together in an exiting new way. The book highlights our place at a unique moment in history: at the peak of the global oil production curve; at the beginning of the end of cheap fossil energy. This is, for me, the book's most compelling motif: it positions permaculture as a strategy for a future of inevitable "energy descent". Although Holmgren hints that this energy descent may take any number of horrific pathways, he appears to have chosen the term "descent" as a hopeful alternative to collapse, crash, or dieoff. Holmgren insightfully points out that is not just our reserves of fossil fuel that we've been burning through. Since the Reagan/Thatcher years, he claims, global capitalism has been on a frenzy of job cutting and "just-in-time" inventory reduction. This amounts to a destruction of the embedded intelligence and a severe draw-down of the capital stocks of our institutions: a severe loss of embedded energy. Furthermore, he worries that due to privatization and short-term bottom-line thinking, maintenance on our built-environment and physical infrastructure has been neglected: another huge loss of embedded energy. On a hopeful note, Holmgren compares this situation to a forest fire: as the conflagration of global capitalism burns through its huge pulse of embedded energy, the time will be ripe for pioneers to take root and produce a flush of new growth. It is a moment of high potential for systemic change, and Holmgren's book hopes to provide "Principles and Pathways" to seed and guide that change. The subtitle of this book includes the phrase "Beyond Sustainability". It is a well-established insight of permaculture that sustainability is not enough: in a world that is already degraded, we need to achieve an excess yield beyond sustainability that we can feed back into the great work of restoration. Holmgren's contribution to this area is to point out is that it is hard to even give meaning to the term "sustainability" while we are in the midst of a dramatic energy descent with constantly declining energy availability. We must, of course, aim for a soft landing and a smooth transition to a sustainable future but our immediate problem is to safely negotiate the descent itself. All this is in addition, of course, to Holmgren's wise and fresh take on the more traditional subject matter of permaculture design. This book is a must-read, equal in stature to Mollison's _Permaculture: a Practical Guide for a Sustainable Future_.
90 internautes sur 96 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
BEYOND SUSTAINABILITY29 janvier 2004
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That the world we now live in is unsustainable goes without saying. Our skyrocketing population puts enormous pressure on the productive and absorptive capacities of the land, outstripping the natural carrying capacity of the planet by some twenty percent (see Radical Simplicity, by Jim Merkel). In effect, we are stealing away the life of the planet and the life of future generations. As ever more fisheries collapse, forests shrink, rangelands deteriorate, soils erode, species vanish, temperatures rise, rivers run dry, water tables fall, ozone depletion expands and polar ice caps melt across the globe, the single most important question humanity has faced resonates ever louder: How can we live sustainably?
Amid the cacophony of scholarly and political debate surrounding this issue, the hushed emergence of permaculture has by and large gone unnoticed. Defined as the use of systems thinking and design principles to consciously design "landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature, while yielding an abundance of food, fibre and energy for provision of local needs," the permaculture concept is nothing less than the science of sustainability. And since the joint publication of Permaculture One: A Perennial Agricultural System for Human Settlements (now out of print) by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the mid-seventies, permaculture has become a veritable movement - a legitimate answer to the environmental and agricultural crises which plague humanity. Unfortunately, for the past twenty-five years, those who wished to learn more about permaculture were limited to joining expensive seminars and workshops, thereby ensuring marginal public exposure. All of this has changed, though, with the publication of this book. Holmgren provides us with a no-nonsense guide to permaculture, accessible to laypersons and scholars alike.
If you are interested in moving away from consumer dependency and becoming a responsible productive person, this book is for you. The skills and ideas imparted here are not only necessary for those who seek to create a healthful, sustainable way of life, they are empowering. In my opinion, permaculture is the best tool we have with which to begin creating a viable, perhaps more-than-merely-sustainable future.
To get an idea of what permaculture actually looks like on the ground, check out Ecovillage Living, by Hildur Jackson and Karen Svensson, and visit the Crystal Waters Permaculture Village website.
A remarkable resource.
44 internautes sur 45 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Vital Contribution, see also Priority One, Other Books Below24 août 2007
Robert David STEELE Vivas
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This is for me a very important book, one of a handful that joins the Ecological Economics volumes crafted by Herman Daly and others, and also the Natural Capitalism endeavors of Paul Hawkin, Anthony Lovins. The author excels at rendering logical, sequential, and integrated concepts, all of which lead us to the inevitable conclusion--as the author intends--that human intellect, social networks, an appreciation for diversity as the foundation for cross-fertilization, and the enormous potential of the five billion poor--all suggest that a non-technological renaissance may be upon us, and that the bottom-up action of many minds could yet destroy the still-prevailing industrial, top-down control, centralizing of wealth through violence, and externalization of "true cost" to the unwitting public that no longer understands history or that the prevailing shadowy coalitions of bankers, corporate chieftains, private armies, spies, criminals, and terrorists.
My greatest surprise came at the very end, where the author provides a post-9/11 epilogue, and says: "There is abundant evidence that September 11 was an outcome of these shadowy coalitions, which link global energy corporations, US foreign policy, the global "intelligence community," Islamic fundamentalists, arms dealers, and illegal drug trade. Discussion of this bizarre symbiosis [elsewhere he puns on `Bush Laden'] remains beyond the pale of mainstream media....and is the best example of the paralysis of public discourse due to an absence of language to comprehend top-down thinking and bottom-up action as a new mode of power [sustainable community-oriented end-user driven values and behavior and investments].
Every page of this book offers up useful insights and compelling arguments for stopping the current immolation of the Earth and going back to 1491 and the holistic integration of systems ecology, landscape geography, ethno-biology, and cybernetics, along with the co-integration of ecological, cultural, economic, and political. Later in the book the author mentions the importance of integrating religion and science.
He is quite clear, quoting Stuart Hill, that first values must be defined, and only then can sustainable design begin. I have a note on holistic methods that use culture to integrate and promulgate psycho-social knowledge and wisdom with bio-ecological sustainable design.
The author provides a sharp critique of education today as reductionist, fragmented, rote, and disconnected from experience. In this vein, let me note that a World Bank official told me on the 21st of August that the CIA analysts that come to the World Bank in search of knowledge are "too young, lack knowledge, and have a propensity to put forward hypotheses (e.g. about Darfur and the region) that are frightening in their ignorance." On a positive note, while I have always been the #1 Amazon reviewer for non-fiction, I only entered into the top 100 and then the top 50 over-all, when Dick Cheney succeeded in frightening a significant portion of the population back into reading non-fiction. I consider it my sacred duty to be a human version of the Cliff Notes for all serious readers concerned about the future of the Republic.
The author specifies that the general public (that is to say, the 90% of us that have not looted the commonwealth but rather been subtly enslaved) is back to 1978 in terms of quality of life and sufficiency of income. All our hard word has enriched a few and left the Republic with bridges that collapse for lack of sustained investment in the public interest.
The author slams "just enough, just in time" logistics as unsustainable madness, and throughout the book, with both text and illustrations, shows how we must balance between "slow, steady, small" and "fast, random, big."
I liked the references to the role of the landscape as a means of storing energy, water, nutrients, and carbon. The author stresses the importance of understanding entropy (example from other work: water can be desalinated, but the energy cost, in the absence of renewable energy, is unaffordable over time). The author quotes Natural Capital many times, and I regard this book as a perfect complement to that strategic work--this is the operational, tactical, and technical counterpart. See also Priority One.
The author provides both maxims and principles in this book.
The maxims: 1. All observations are relative 2. Top-down thinking, bottom-up action 3. The landscape is the textbook 4. Failure is useful so long as we learn 5. Elegant solutions are simple, even invisible 6. Make the smallest intervention necessary 7. Avoid too much of a good thing 8. The problem is the solution 9. Recognize and break out of design cul-de-sacs
Permaculture design principles: 1. Observe and Interact 2. Catch and Store Energy 3. Obtain a Yield 4. Apply Self-Regulation and Accept Feedback 5. Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services 6. Produce No Waste 7. Design from Patterns to Details 8. Integrate Rather than Segregate 9. Use Small and Slow Solutions 10. Use and Value Diversity 11. Uses Edges and Value the Marginal 12. Creatively Use and Respond to Change
The author tells us that self-reliance is a form of consumer boycott and also a form of political action.
In addition to sustainable design, the author believes that maintenance engineering has a bright future.
He points out that recycling uses much more energy than re-use.
He notes that the failure of the elites to self-regulate their greed is a recurring problem (violent comprehensive revolutions are often set off when a precipitating outrage follows a long precondition of concentrated wealth and externalized waste).
The sins of the father will curse seven generation (similar to Native American concept of making consensual decisions that are known to be relevant seven generations into the future--what Stewart Brand calls the Clock of the Long Now.
The author emphasizes that the world's poor represent a vast pool of human resources and capabilities as well as (CKP's point) a four trillion dollar marketplace.
Other helpful books in this domain: Priority One: Together We Can Beat Global Warming The Clock of the Long Now: Time and Responsibility Ecological Economics: Principles And Applications Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution The Manufacture of Evil: Ethics, Evolution and the Industrial System Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West Diet for a Small Planet Faith-Based Diplomacy: Trumping Realpolitik The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits (Wharton School Publishing Paperbacks)
18 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Good information but hard to read17 juillet 2008
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability
I found this book incredibly hard to read.
I couldn't wrap my head around Holmgren's style of prose, and the layout and ideas in this book. It is wordy, meandering, and confusing - and I found myself lost in chapter after chapter as Holmgren's explanations went way over my head, leaving me confused and befuddled. This would not be a good introduction to permaculture, and no good at all as a teaching book or textbook.
I wish I could have given this book a higher rating than two stars, but I simply wouldn't recommend it to any but the diehard permaculture enthusiast who feels s/he must have every book on the subject in her/his possession.
I feel that Holmgren has somehow missed the simplicity of permaculture and become bogged down in unnecessary complexity, taking his readers with him. He presents a neat little set of diagrams, but I lost touch with what to do with them early on, and it was all downhill from there. Maybe the book improved towards the end, but as I never finished it I shall never know. Which is a shame.
Holmgren has done wonderful work in the field of permaculture and sustainability. His record in the field is commendable. I feel sad I can't recommend this book. I hope his next venture is more readable.
From now on, I'll stick with Mollison (the father and founder of permaculture) whose books I have found to be all incredibly readable, intelligent, and action-provoking.
15 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
A very intellectual book24 octobre 2007
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This is a philosophical treatise on the underpinnings of permaculture. Not a gardening book as such, altho examples of gardening and landscaping are used to illustrate the theories. I found it enjoyable, but not light reading. I would reccommend it, if you have an intellectual craving for deep ecological understanding.