How Permaculture Can Save Humanity and the Earth, but not Civilization – Toby Hemenway Lecture
6:30 – 7:30 p.m. LECTURE
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jared Diamond calls it “the worst mistake in the history of the human race.” Founder of permaculture Bill Mollison says it can “destroy whole landscapes.”
Are they describing nuclear energy? Suburbia? Coal mining? No. They are talking about agriculture. It’s not just that farming, in its current industrial manifestation, is destroying topsoil and biodiversity. Agriculture in any form is inherently unsustainable. At its doorstep can also be laid our culture’s split between people and nature, much disease and poor health, and the origins of class inequality and police states.
Those are big claims, and this lecture will explore them, showing that new fuels and high technology are not the way out of the dilemma that agriculture has gotten us into. However, there are ways to live sustainably on the Earth without going back to the Stone Age.
Toby Hemenway is the author of the well-regarded “Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture.” Permaculture is an approach to design based on ecology, seeking to create sustainable landscapes, homes, communities, and workplaces.
Toby is a frequent teacher, consultant, and lecturer on permaculture and ecological design throughout the U.S. and other countries. His writing has appeared in magazines such as Natural Home, Whole Earth Review, and American Gardener. Toby is an adjunct professor in the School of Graduate Education at Portland State University, Scholar-in-Residence at Pacific University, and a biologist consultant for the Biomimicry Guild. He lives in Portland, Oregon, where he is developing sites and resources for urban sustainability.