Jun 24, 2008

Excerpt from Week 2 MCAD, Permaculture in Design: Limiting Consumption and the Power of Limits

In order for us to survive daily life, or a lifetime, we and all living things consume energy in the form of food. We use that energy to sustain our bodily functions, fuel our thought and actions, and buffer the ever changing environmental situations we encounter. If you lived outside you would use great amounts of energy just staying warm and searching for more food.

All living things, vegetable or animal catch and store energy. They catch it, process it and store it. Plants in roots, Animals in Fat. Plants take up minerals and nutrients from the soil, process light and carbon dioxide in the leaves, and store sugars in the roots. This buffers the cycles of scarcity and plenty. Such as winter and summer, or dry and wet seasons.

As mammals, we consume eat the stored energy of other life forms. We eat their stored energy. As homo-sapiens, we store our food outside our bodies. If we are lucky, pantries, refrigerators, root cellars, and store rooms are piled high with canned or frozen foods. Stored energy.

The stored energy comes from a yield. The results of our labor. Hopefully we work smart and create a yield that is lasting and sustainable. A well planned garden yields crops. A well planned education yields a profession which yields an income which affords (yield) us the money to buy other people yields. Hopefully we stored some of each. Money is not fuel, its like Hydrogen, a storage device. It takes a lot of energy to get energy stored in money and get it out. Think of how efficient it might be not to convert your energy into money in the first place. With present resources at work, Permaculture Principles build capacity, resources, and energy... tax free too.

If we store energy but do not regulate its consumption, we spend even more of our stored energy to replace what we "wasted". Self regulation and limiting our consumption will extend stored energy. The power of limits. If we accept or create limits, we create options for our future and extend energy that would otherwise be consumed. Limiting consumption means working less to replace used energy, working less to maintain depleted resources, having more to share with others and build capacity.
Dan Halsey

No comments:

Permaculture and Polyculture Consulting and Design

Permaculture and Polyculture Consulting and Design
Getting to know your property, the plants you have and those you can grow, is a fulfilling endeavor. With most I am the steward of the land. I give them good soil biology and they do the rest. If I group them in cohesive plant communities, they respond with greater yields. If I encourage the micro-organisms (Fungus and bacteria) , the roots obsorb more nutrients making a pest and disease resistant plant. A stronger plant that gives us more organic food and takes less energy.

A Ten Acre Farm Transformed to an Edible Forest Garden

A Ten Acre Farm Transformed to an Edible Forest Garden
Self Renewing Fertility, Soil Building, Water Catchment, Tea Trail Swale, Erosion Control and Native American Medicinals