Hi, this is Geoff.
Lots to get through in this weekend edition of the Friday Five, so let’s jump right in…
Part 2 is now live: I’ve been having a wonderful time reading and replying to the *hundreds* of thoughtful comments and questions posted to the first video of our Permaculture Masterclass. Thank you! The good news is that this morning, Part 2 of the PM just went live, and it features two of my favorite students — who I now consider my peers and colleagues — Rob and Michelle Avis of Verge Permaculture. This second film shows Rob and Michelle in action, and demonstrates how permaculture can play out in a number of diverse and varied ways in people’s lives. The second half of the film is an interview I had a chance to do with Rob, who you’ll find to be articulate, thoughtful, and sincere; he is a joy to listen to and learn from. To see the full video, click here, and remember that this is a discussion, so make your voice heard and share a comment, insight, or question below the video.
Also, since you’re already on my mailing list, you do *not* need to sign up again to get the companion infographic that goes along with the Rob and Michelle video. You can simply click here to view it or download it.
What happened to global warming? The record cold in Chicago has some asking this question, which has in turn created a wonderful opportunity for those of us teaching these ideas to clarify the difference between climate and weather. Here are 3 different ways to better understand this distinction: First is from Rutgers University’s Jennifer Francis, second is a no-frills explanation from the National Centers for Environmental Information, and third is a slightly more colorful take from the BBC, including a few eyebrow-raising images.
The Garbage Patch Kid: From an in-depth piece in the New Yorker asking, “Can a controversial young entrepreneur rid the ocean of plastic trash?” — “There are four other ocean gyres in the world, but scientists believe that the one in the North Pacific contains the most trash—nearly two trillion pieces of plastic, weighing nearly eighty thousand metric tons, according to a study that scientists working with the Ocean Cleanup published in the online journal Scientific Reports last March. The study found that ninety-two percent of the pieces are large fragments and objects: toothbrushes, bottles, umbrella handles, toy guns, jerricans, laundry baskets. Most problematic, and accounting for half of the plastic mass in the gyre, are what sailors call ghost nets: great tangles of mile-long discarded fishing nets weighing as much as two tons, which can ensnare animals such as seals and sea turtles.” You can read the full piece here.
Walkability: I love this opening quote: “City engineers have turned our downtowns into places that are easy to get to but not worth arriving at.” There are now websites that actually rate homes and apartments for how “walkable” they are. To get a better understanding of the why and how of walkability, this think-piece on Brainpickings.org is a fantastic start.
Plant influencers: One of the things I’ve said over the years that seems to have resonated with a decent number of people is “start with your windowsill,” meaning that to get started in permaculture, you don’t need to sell everything, buy a farm, and “start all over.” I believe that change happens at its own pace, and we should always start with “baby steps” and what’s immediately possible and practical; otherwise, overwhelm sets in. Keeping the windowsill comment in mind, I have to admit I was a bit surprised to find out that this was a “thing” – you have to read it to believe it 🙂
That’s it for the Friday Five 🙂
Cheers, and have a great week,
PS: As I mentioned before, after we finish publishing all 4 mini-films over the next week or so, I will be opening general enrollment to the Online PDC 2.0 course. As a way of helping to jump-start a much-needed dialogue around these issues, we will be awarding partial scholarships for the course to the 3 most insightful comments/questions in each of the 4 videos (i.e. top 3 comments x 4 videos =12 partial scholarships).
So if you are considering enrolling in the PDC when we open general enrollment early next week, all you have to do is: go to each of the 4 videos (right now, films # 1 and # 2 are live, film # 3 will go live within the next 48 hours), watch it, then leave a comment/question below. After all 4 films have been released, we will go back and select the top 12 comments and then extend partial scholarships to the authors of those comments.
And if you have ALREADY enrolled via Early Bird enrollment, you are also invited to participate in this: If your comment/question is selected, we will award you the partial scholarship via a partial tuition refund.
Please keep in mind that your question/comment doesn’t need to be profound, scholarly, or long, just honest and insightful. I’m looking forward to reading ALL of your comments and questions, and will be actively responding to as many as I can. Again, you can check out the first two films here and leave your comments or questions below.