Hi, this is Geoff.
It’s Presidents Day today for our friends across the ocean in the US, so we’ll start off our Friday Five by talking about…
Trompes, not Trump: You read that right: “trompe” is not a typo 🙂 Trompes are compressed air systems created by capturing rainwater; in turn, they can then be used as a highly-efficient energy source. Bill spoke about this extensively, and you can view a short intro he gave on this here, as well as a brief animation that we include in our online PDC course here. And for those of you who signed up for the Permaculture Circle (TPC), you can see my demonstration and commentary on it here. (Note: Those of you not enrolled in TPC can do so quickly and for free here). You’ll then be able to view the full video right away, as well as 100+ other video / media resources all housed under one roof.
Forced Growth: A fantastic read from Outside magazine: “Students in the Extreme Polar Training course, a two-week freeze-fest held near the Arctic Circle on Canada’s Baffin Island, learn how to live in Earth’s coldest conditions. Still, nothing really prepares you for 72 hours of a sled-pulling, pathfinding ordeal on a skinny pair of skis.” Putting ourselves in extreme situations helps us understand ourselves and who we really are, which in turn helps us understand how we fit into the larger and amazing world we live in. I spent many years working on permaculture projects in extreme, volatile, unpredictable, and downright dangerous situations around the world; each time, I felt a marked gain in self-knowledge as described in the article. Only difference was that there was no safety net, and it definitely went well beyond 72 hours 🙂
What I’m reading: I posted in the last couple of Friday Fives some notes about the water crises affecting major cities around the world. When the Rivers Run Dry is one of the defining books that in many ways predicted these crises more than 10 years ago. Written by the former news editor at New Scientist, it has earned wide praise by many luminaries in the field. To get helpful context about where things stand, how they got this way, and what we can do about it, this book is a worthwhile read.
Apocalypse? Head to Middle Earth: New Zealand featured prominently as Middle Earth in the visually gorgeous Peter Jackson production of Lord of the Rings. But for Silicon Valley billionaires, it looks like it’s the destination choice for the end-times. A fun, well-written, and insightful piece by The Guardian’s Mark O’Connell. My take on it? The best thing we can do is to change what we can wherever we live using the flexible and wide-ranging tools of permaculture, rather than panic and buy into the deluded idea that anywhere will be any safer than anywhere else.
Follow the (Insurance) Money: “According to a recent analysis by Munich Reinsurance Company, in 2017, climate and weather disasters broke insurance records with insurance claims due to natural disasters reaching a record $135 billion.” Maybe this a hidden blessing and precisely what we need to spark large-scale action: Powerful corporations feeling the financial pain of climate change. This is a 6-minute video overview of the economics involved – well done as always by the great team of journalists at The Real News.
That’s it for the Friday Five. As always, if you have comment / reactions / a different point of view, please share below.
Cheers, and have a great week,
PS: Next week is March (already?!), and after March is April, which means…our next on-the-ground PDC at Zaytuna Farm in Australia. We still have availability, so if this fits your schedule, we’d love to have you for either the PDC or the Permaculture-in-Action (PIA) course that takes place immediately after the PDC. And if April doesn’t work or if you’d simply prefer cooler autumn weather, the next pair of courses takes place in July. Full details on our full schedule of on-the-ground courses can be viewed here.