Category Archives: climate skepticism

Permaculture For Children

Little Lives Matter

Children have the opportunity to make a cultural shift. When a young person discovers new foods, they set patterns of eating and behaviour that will shape the way their culture relates to the land and to native foods. Here is a moment for humanity to make a lasting difference. Any dependency on imported foods can be surpassed. The young family can build a rich understanding and respect for the natural world.

“Perhaps there is no greater thing we can do for our children than to ensure they receive their birthright, a love and understanding of nature and a knowledge of their place in it.” Janet Millington

Children – Nature and Nurture

little-girl-readingBy working with nature and not against her, the potential is greater.  For example: one of Australia’s first huge mining towns, Broken Hill, has now become one of the biggest solar generation towns. All it took was an attitude shift.

Young people have heaps of attitude! We can work with their inventive nature as well as nurturing their love of nature. At the recent Illawarra Greenflicks event, we gave out our permaculture fortune tellers to get young people thinking positive about the things that they can do for a better future.

Enriching Programs For Children

There are some great programs for young people to nurture their sense of connection to nature.

Permaculture paper fortune teller
Our Permaculture ‘fortune teller’
  • The Crossing puts sustainability into action for young people to protect and enhance the natural environment. We do this by involving young people in permaculture, landcare and habitat survey on journeys with us.  These journeys can include hiking, canoeing and mountain biking.
  • Pioneering Outdoor Classrooms: CAROLYN NUTTALL and JANET MILLINGTON wrote their book to promote connecting with nature in young school children. “Permaculture is about all aspects of human interaction with the environment. For many reasons, including the reduction of open space and the issues relating to the safety of children and the advances in computers, those afternoons of running free with nature have all but ceased for most children today.”
  • Roman Shapla, a graduate of ours has been developing a Children’s Permaculture Design Course. Anything that is taught to adults can be introduced to children. We just need to allow more time and flexibility in the delivery.
  • Another graduate of ours helped build a highly school permaculture garden in an industrial heartland, Cringilla Primary School has engaged, empowered, informed and active green children.

Start Small and Be Effective

Rose and the big leaf
Big leaf umbrella

One of the permaculture principles taught by Bill Mollison is to start small and be successful. This gives positive feedback, experience and energy to reach for more.  Young people yearn for a better environment. The first steps are to:

  1.  build awareness of their foot-print,
  2.  give young people easy ways to reduce their impact
  3.  give them ways to build a better futureMore familes enjoying nature, children playing outdoors, using garden classrooms, growing food in the cities, making connections

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5 Ways To Get White Men Jumping.

Skeptics Adapt. Denialists Self-Destruct

ostrich
Nowhere quiet for denialist to bury head in sand.

Skepticism is essential for unbiased science. We are encouraged to scrutinise and evaluate research. But, to be the type of leader who lives in constant denial is to risk missing out on key opportunities. To go one step further and declare that climate science is no longer needed is simply madness.

Despite the swelling evidence of climate change, the bitter discomfort of soaring temperatures, the flooding rains, hungrier sharks, beaches littered with dead baby seals and other ‘bothers’, the Classic Climate Denialists continue to shelter in their dens.  They come out seasonally to tell us not to worry.

But the voices of the Climate Denial Brigade are actually getting hard to hear over the din from fire-and-flood emergency services. Even the white-collar insurance companies are scrambling for safety in an era of uncertainty from climate change.

Publicly, the Climate Denial Brigade is dominated by strong older white, conservative men. Unfortunately these same men tend to dominate the business world and seats of power.  And lately they have been menacing and actively stopping the scientists from doing their valuable independent work. It’s time for a chat. So, how do we engage this Classic Climate Denialist?

How Do we Start the Conversation?

1. Talk About The Weather

help-me2Most conversations open with a chat about the weather. Especially for those people who live in life-threatening weather systems (North America, England). Oscar Wilde once quipped that “Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.”  Oscar Wilde lived in a period of climate security. What would he say now? Ask the denialist about their view on the weather.

2. Encourage that Odd ‘Moment of Reminiscing’

technology-save-us?The denialist who is still ‘saving for the rainy day” will begrudgingly enjoy spending time in the cool, climate-adapted Skeptics den.  In the day-to-day discussions with classic denialists, there are nostalgic reminisces  about the changing weather patterns. We hear : “When I was a boy it snowed at Christmas, there were some snow drifts as big as ….” but the next breath is uncomfortably silent.

The denialist doesn’t need to consider that their pollution would be degrading the planet or contributing to climate uncertainty.

Befriend The Elephant

elephant-in-the-room

To consider the link between human behaviour and climate change is to accept that our own behaviour, might have been harmful to the planet. To face our grandchildren with the knowledge that we have put a burden on them is shameful.

It takes a really big guy to accept that his life’s work is not building a better future.

It is also very challenging to recognise that any destructive practices today are going to be costly to future generations.

The climate change elephant-in-the-room is growing bigger.

3. Accentuate the Positives

An awareness of climate change can drive innovation and provide a market advantage. [But do avoid green-washing clichés eg. ‘Save the trees by using our plastic siding’. ]
This growing ‘eco-market’ is informed, genuine and astute. It keeps pushing for educated solutions eg. this type of consumer won’t just settle on having insulation, she wants recycled insulation.
If you offer a genuinely good product or service, the eco-market will hunt you down and be knocking at your company door before the product is on the market.
Befriending that Elephant-in-theworkplace can help reduce climate change pressures and lead innovation. Rather than trying to compete solely on price, a smart company can offer green-savy, ethical solutions.  Nucor Steel recycle one ton of steel every two seconds. Nucor are also developing the world’s first faster, cleaner, 99% recycled high quality steel.

4. Listen To The Heart

bee_Dalai_lama_permaculturevisionsReligion speaks to a lot of people. One the greatest challenges to the common Climate Denial Brigade is Pope Francis.
He implores followers to be guardians and stewards, not exploiters of the earth. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori says Climate change is a moral challenge threatening the rights of the world’s poorest people and those who deny it are not using God’s gift of knowledge.
In Islam there is the basic tenet that the earth is for all beings, not humans alone.   The Dalai Lama writes that “Life must be characterized by a sense of universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life”.  This universal belief in a higher good can be the catalyst to a deeper maturity and exploration of ethics.

Neil Young and Willie Nelson leading the change for older white men. Rolling Stone

5. Help Them Free the Change-Makers

How did the some cultures get so disconnected from nature? How did some people allow themselves to think that the planet is for them to dominant and do as they wish? Greed is a powerful demon.

If the climate denialists don’t have the power to jump up and face the demons
(the horrors of our transgressions), then they need to simply get out-of-the-way!

Encourage Denialists to become healthy skeptics and support crucial scientific research organisations. Tell them clearly when they need to step out of the way of the change-makers who will get on with the business of building a cleaner future for all of us.

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