- Land currently used for agricultural production.
- Land with soil qualities and growing conditions that support agricultural production of food, fiber or fuel and energy-producing crops.
- Land identified under agricultural productivity rating systems, such as the agricultural lands of importance to the State of Hawai'i (ALISH) adopted by the Board of Agriculture on January 28, 1977.
- Land types associated with traditional native Hawaiian agricultural uses, such as taro cultivation, or unique agricultural crops and uses, such as coffee, vineyards, aquaculture and energy production.
- Land with sufficient quantities of water to support viable agricultural production.
- Land whose designation as an important agricultural land is consistent with general,
- development and community plans of the county.
- Land that contributes to maintaining a critical land mass important to agricultural
- operating productivity.
- Land with or near support infrastructure conducive to agricultural productivity, such as
- transportation to markets, water or power.
For background see:
Ea O Ka Aina: Na Mokupuni O Maui Nei 7/31/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Mokupuni O Oahu 11/16/10
For downloads of latest Ahupuaa-Moku Maps see:
By Juan Wilson on 16 November 2010 for Island Breath -
Image above: GoogleEarth view of Oahu's ahupuaa from the southeast. Click to enlarge. Created by Juan Wilson.
Author's Note on 2/1/12: To obtain the most recent ahupuaa and moku maps of Hawiian islands in PDFs of 24x36 plots, PNG files for publication, KMZ files for GoogleEarth or SHP files for GIS systems visit (http://www.islandbreath.org/mokupuni/mokupuni.html)
Links to the the island's Hawaiian land divisions for Google Earth is now available. Download the zip file below and expand it to a KML file. Open the resulting KML file with Google Earth to see the Ahupuaa and Moku of the island. The data includes elevation contour lines and all streams and rivers. The file is large for Google Earth and can take some several minutes to be up and running. Place this file in "MY PLACES" and save to disk:
In creating the maps of ahupuaa in Hawaii we followed a specific set of guidelines. 1) Following the ridge lines of watershed lines conforming to 3D Google Earth modeling; USGS 7.5º contour maps, and to a lesser degree - state GIS 100' contour lines, watershed lines and shadow maps. 2) In some cases stream are boundaries between ahupuaa, as in the case of bifurcated valleys that join in a river near the ocean (as in the case on Kauai of Makaweli and Waimea joining a stone's throw from the shore).
Again Google 3D modeling was used to determine location as well as state GIS stream database. 3) In two rare incidences hyperbolic paraboloid surface joined four ahupuaa. That meant a positive and negative curve met (like a potatochip). See the fourway intersection between West and South Maui near Puunene. The intersection is the high point between Wailuku and Kihea. But that point is the lowpoint between the Haleakela and the peak above Waikapu. An even stranger situation occurs on the Big Island between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea.
A similar potato chip surface occurs. However there is a wrinkle in it. from the saddle leading down to Hilo there is a ridge (positive curve) that flattens to neutral and goes negative (a valley). This is the reverse of two bifurcated valleys mentioned above. It the case where a stream running down a hill splits in two (as around somethin hard in its path).
There are no landlocked ahupuaa on our map projects of the islands. There are recessed ahupuaa as in the case of Haiku ahupuaa on Kauai and reaching the ocean only in the upper part of Nawiliwili harbor or Aiea ahpupuaa on Oahu that reaches the ocean only at the eastern lobe of Pearl Harbor. We generally have considered small landlocked ahupuaa shown on state maps to be ili or contractual/political divisions that are not geographically determinable.
NAME AND LOCATION RULES
We followed the following order of concerns in location and names of ahupuaa.
1) If the moku or ahupuaa appeared on the 1838 map created by Samuel Kalama it was on our map. We followed Kalama's spelling and practice of not using diacritical marks.
2) We used USGS 7.5 maps as a reference for place names and general location of ahupuaa. In some cases we found place names (no ahupuaa) conformed to Kalama ahupuaa names (such as on Oahu in moku Koolaupoko near Kaneohe Bay where the Marine Base is and Kalama notes the ahupuaa as Makapu (not to be confused with Makapuu point to the east.
3) We used that Aha Kiole Advisory Committee Final Report as a reference for additional ahapuaa and moku. In cases where several listed ahupuaa had names the were enumerated as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or Ekahi, Eloha, Ekolu, Eha, Elima (as in the case on Hawaii of Kalaoa in Kona) we combined the ahupuaa into one. We also did not use generic names like Pahoehoe.
4) We used Hawaii Government Survey maps (the earliest available we had access to) to help confirm USGS and Ahakiole names and locations.
WHERE WE GO FROM HERE
I am sure heat will be generated by those who review these maps and can't find their ahupuaa. I have been eager to hear such reports and find a way to determine how they can be incorporated into a better understanding of the Hawaiian environment and hoe the Hawaiians thrived for so long in it.
By Guy McPherson on 15 November 2010 in Nature Bats Last -
Image above: Ruined city illustration. From (http://worldofweirdthings.com/2009/08/09/the-culture-that-forgot-about-science/).
According to the extremely conservative International Energy Agency (IEA), we’ve passed the world peak for conventional oil (in 2006, they say). In a stunning nod to reality, even the New York Times agrees. In a bizarre case of committee-style cognitive dissonance, the IEA follows up on the admission that peak oil has come and gone with the conclusion that energy will never limit economic growth. In short, World Energy Outlook 2010 is (1) characterized by questionable assumptions and major omissions, or (2) a cry for help. Maybe both.
Not that we should believe IEA about anything related to oil. This is the gang that promised an annual decline rate of 9.1% in conventional oil, beginning in 2009. We’re holding at a decline rate of about 3%, year over year, since early 2009.
Techno-optimists take note: It’ll take 131 years to replace oil. Not 130, and not 132, but 131. And we don’t have 4.9147 years left in the Age of Oil. That might prove problematic.
Taking a turn to the other side of the fossil-fuel coin, the IEA devastatingly projects global temperature will rise 3.5 degrees C by 2035. This prediction comes on the heels of increasingly dire projections, the latter of which all suggest habitat for humans will be gone from this planet by mid-century. I remain optimistic because none of these projections acknowledge physical limits on combustion of fossil fuels. That is, they fail to acknowledge the truly good news of economic collapse for our species and many others.
If we accept the IEA’s analysis and prediction, the few humans on the planet by 2035 won’t be worried about the price of air fare. We can only hope the projection for global temperature is based on the same kind of fuzzy logic used to conclude we’ve passed the world oil peak, then conclude we never will. Or we can hope the IEA is using climate change to justify economic
Just when you thought the
Video above: Cartoon animation "Quantitative Easing Explained". From (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTUY16CkS-k).
Fortunately, regardless of the lies by the likes of Geithner, Bernanke, and Obama, the days of fiat currency are just about behind us as collapse of the industrial economy nears completion. Ireland is the new Greece, but the U.S. is dogging both countries on the path to insolvency. Historian Niall Ferguson describes one plausible outcome here. Regardless of the details, soon — and perhaps soon enough, though only time will tell — we’ll be using Federal Reserve Notes as toilet paper or fire-starter, which will be handy when we can’t find either product at the grocery store.
The American Dream, which is based on never-ending economic growth, is over. Change is coming, and it’s not the peaceful kind. But it’s bound to be better than living in country governed by war criminals who are adorned with Nobel Peace prizes.
The TechnoMessiah has met Reality. As with the Federal Reserve’s money-printing vs. the secular bear market, there can be only one winner. I’m betting on Reality, in a rout.
SUBHEAD: Body-Searching Children: No for the US Army, Yes for the TSA? by James Fallows on 13 November 2010 for The Atlantic -
>>In reading your post and the most recent one from Mr. Goldberg about the War on Terror and pedophilia, I am disturbed. What bothers me is that I am on the verge of re-deploying from Afghanistan after a 10-month combat tour that involved having to deal with, among other things, conducting searches of local nationals when involved with security tasks within my Infantry company. At no time were we permitted or even encouraged to search children or women. In fact, this would have been considered an extreme violation of acceptable cultural practice and given the way word travels here, been a propaganda victory for the Taliban. Yet somehow the TSA is engaged in this at home while my unit and I spent our tour unable to safeguard ourselves equally in an environment where the Taliban have often disguised themselves in burkas and used children as both spies and fighters. While I have no conflict with the necessity to safeguard civilians against terrorism or with the risks we all voluntarily assumed as soldiers, it seems as if the bureaucracy has become so obsessed with safety that we have forgotten that war entails risks beyond those of physical combat. If we are truly at war, then we need to decide what civil liberties we truly view as negotiable and which are inviolate- otherwise the greater risk than underwear bombers at home will be losing the values that make us unique as a nation. These people terrify us as much as we allow them to. Apparently FDR's idea about "the only thing to fear" is lost on TSA and the current administration.<<Everything about security involves a balance. "Perfect" security would mean complete controls on freedom, elimination of privacy, etc. Someone who is now exposed to real, daily danger in Afghanistan because of decisions about the proper balance argues that we need to be braver society-wide. Yes, soldiers accept different risks from those that are tolerable for society at large. But this is profound and powerful testimony.
SUBHEAD: Members of the Pirate Party in Germany organized a fleshmob that stripped down and converged on the Berlin-Tegal airport.
• Over a 50 year period ahead, all the shale gas drilling of the Marcellus fields in New York State will produce the equivalent of three years US consumption at 2008 levels.• A price of $8 per unit is required to make shale gas fracking economically viable in theory even for a short time. Gas is currently around $4. Expect to pay at least twice as much for gas.• Even at higher costs, shale gas fracking is arguably uneconomical. It requires huge numbers of rigs, generally 8 wells per "pad," meaning very high capital investments. The wells produce nicely for a year, average, and then deplete very steeply - meaning you get a lot of money up front and very soon all that capital investment is a wash. Translation: Chesapeake can make a lot quick money over the next few years of intense drilling and they don't care what happens after that.
• Chesapeake itself estimates that 5.5 million gallons of fresh water are needed per well, often delivered in trucks, which require fuel.• It takes three years, average to prepare a drilling "pad" and the up to 12 wells on it, working 24/7 in rural areas with significant noise and electric lighting• The fracking fluid is a secret proprietary cocktail formula amounting to 5 percent of the liquid injected into the earth. It's composed of: sand; a jelling agent to suspend the sand because water is not "thick" enough; biocides to kill bacteria that thrive in jelling agent; "breakers" to thin out jell-thickened water after fracking to get the fluid out of the way of released gas and improve "flowback;" fluid-loss additives to decrease "leak-off" of fracking fluid into rock; anti-corrosives to protect metal in wells; and friction reducers to promote high pressures and high flow rates. Of the 5.5 million gallons of fluid injected into each well, 27,500 gallons is the chemical cocktail.
• Mr. McClendon said on 60 Minutes that it couldn't possibly harm the public's water supply because they were drilling so far below the 1000-foot-deep maximum of most water wells. He left out the fact that they have to drill through those drinking water layers to get down to the shale gas, and pump the fracking fluid through it, and then get the gas up through it. He also left out the fact that the concrete casings of drill holes sometimes crack and leak at any depth.• The fracking fluid cannot be re-used. You have to mix new cocktail fluid for each injection.• "Flowback" fluid inevitably comes back up with the gas, sometimes spilling over the ground. In any case, the stuff that does come back up is stored on the surface in lagoons. Often it contains heavy metals, salts, and radioactive material from drilling through strata of radon-bearing granite and other layers. Liners of flowback fluid lagoons have been known to fail.• Gas well failures in Pennsylvania, where production was ramped up quickest in recent years, have ended up polluting well water to the degree that residents can no longer use their wells.• Little is known about the migration of fracking fluids underground.
By Chrsitine Lepisto on 14 November 2010 for TreeHugger.org -
Image above: Sandia Z-Pinch fusion reactor. From (http://schillerinstitute.org/lar_related/2010/lyn_question_before_us.html).
[Editor's note: There have been reports of immanent containment of nuclear fusion since I was an architectural student i the 1960's; back then it was using Soviet Tokamak magnetic "bottles". Remember the recent hysteria over "Cold Fusion" (see http://islandbreath.org/2006Year/08-technology/0608-03BubbleFusion.html). As late as 2008 there was a flurry of news (see http://www.islandbreath.org/2008Year/07-energy/0807-22FusiontheAnswer.html). By the way, here is a Sandia National Laboratory facility on Kauai on the Barking Sands Pacific Missile Range Facility at Nohili Point, on the Mana Plain.]
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have announced a breakthrough that could lead to break-even nuclear fusion reactions within 2-3 years. The goal of nuclear fusion research is to make energy from sea water, producing only the harmless gas helium as a result of the fusion reaction. It is the holy grail of clean, sustainable energy, the same process that powers our sun.
The nuclear fusion efforts involve research at the cutting edge of physics, where one of the avenues of exploration goes by the name "Z-pinch" (which should gain the technique immediate street cred should it be successful). So what is a Z-pinch? And how could it power the future?
The name Z-pinch derives from the early experiments in plasma pinch technology, in which the "pinch" occurred in a tube running along what physicists refer to as the Z-axis. The driver for the pinch is the Lorentz force, a phenomenon which can be seen in the example of two wires carrying electrical current in the same direction: the wires will pull towards one another. Instead of two wires pulling together, imaging a cylinder of charged plasma, in which the entire cylinder pinches at once. The "pinch" is the force that pushes the starting fuel, hydrogen isotopes, so close together that they actually fuse together into helium, releasing a nice dose of energy in the process.
While sounding good in theory, the Z-pinch method ran into a major obstacle: the faster you squeeze the plasma together, the faster it becomes unstable and breaks up. Further studies demonstrated that this effect is unavoidable. The instabilities, named "magneto-Rayleigh-Taylor [MRT] instabilities", are the target of the recent breakthrough at Sandia.
The Sea Monster of Nuclear Fusion
In their press release, Sandia refers to the MRT instabilities as the "sea monster of nuclear fusion." The image is telling. Mankind has finished braving the unknown seas, adventurously exploring distant continents, and ultimately learning that no sea monsters dot the map. Sandia researchers surely envision a day when the specters currently haunting the goal of safe, clean, fusion energy are mapped and understood.
The basis for the breakthrough by Sandia is the use of a solid aluminum cylinder, instead of a plasma cloud, to compress the fuel. Without going into all the complexities, older methods relied on a web of wires to initiate the pinch. Small imperfections in the surfaces of the wires were known to be a source of the MRT instabilities. But there was no way to controllably reproduce the imperfections, inhibiting study of the MRT instabilities. The aluminum cylinder can be etched to deliberately and predictably destabilize the system during the pinch.
The knowledge gained from studying the instabilities will be used to better simulate the pinch process in computer models, which will help physicists to better control the conditions of future Z-pinch experiments. The leader of the study, Daniel Sinars, believes that this could open the path to achieve a break-even fusion reaction in the next two to three years. Break-even is the point at which as much energy is generated by the fusion reaction as must be used to create the fusion conditions.
Currently, Sandia National Laboratory's Z-machine is the only facility seriously attempting to demonstrate nuclear fusion using the Z-pinch method. However, several facilities around the world continue research into other nuclear fusion methods. It is not time to give up on wind and solar yet, but the future of fusion is one step closer.
Island Breath: Alternate Energy - Jatropha 9/8/07
Island Breath: Alternative Energy - Algae 6/30/08
Island Breath: Alternative Energy - Ethanol 7/31/07
Island Breath: Alternative Energy - Grass 12/29/06
Island Breath: Alternative Energy - BioDiesel 12/21/06
Island Breath: Alternative Energy - Wind 6/5/06
Island Breath: Alternative Energy - Water/HH0 5/16/06
Island Breath: Alternative Energy - Ocean Waves 12/5/05
Island Breath: Alternative Energy - Nuclear 5/11/05
As anybody who's ever gone to a dance club knows, it's not easy to have quality conversation in loud places -- but party-goers aren't the only ones who have learned to cope with the clamor. According to marine biologists studying whale mating calls, an increasingly noisy ocean is forcing the animals to shout their romantic melodies -- around 10 times louder than they did 50 years ago. Talk about a raucous orca-stra!
Researchers looking at how whales are dealing with rackety seas focused their attention on the waters around Britain. With undersea oil exploration, constant shipping traffic, and even noisy wind-farms, the UK's seas are among the world's loudest -- and it's forcing whales to change their tune. A similar study found the same thing is happening to whales closer to the U.S., too.
Perter Tyack, a biologist from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, explains to The Herald-Sun:
The rumbling noises emitting by ships and marine installations have similar frequencies to those used by whales. We found that whales are trying to adapt either by emitting much louder noised or by calling at a higher frequency. It's like they've turned from bass into a tenor.
These whale songs, capable of traveling hundreds of miles through the ocean, are thought to play an important role in finding a mate. As this exchange becomes more difficult due to louder oceans, it could spell trouble for whale breeding -- it's hard to meet a decent mate as it is, nowadays.
But it's not just the volume or pitch of the whale's communication that's being affected -- the messages themselves are becoming less elaborate and repeated more often -- "like a human forced to shout," says Tyack. "It also means they spend more energy on communicating."
And if all that wasn't concerning enough already, just imagine the embarrassment whales must feel when they learn that they've been calling their new partner by the wrong name, like, all night..
“Americans believe with all their heart, the vast majority of them, and the vast majority of Floridians, that the United States of America is simply the single greatest nation in all of human history. A place without equal in the history of all mankind.”Wow. Got that? “…simply the single greatest nation in all of human history…a place without equal in the history of all mankind.” Not bad for a country founded 234 years ago. America is simply the greatest nation there has ever been, just ask Marco Rubio
"Be on the alert for phrases such as Old Glory; Main Street; the stars and stripes; the heartland; all across this great land of ours; from Maine to California; and, of course, on American soil. And don't forget all those freedom-loving people around the world who look to us as a beacon of hope. Those, I assume, would be the ones we haven't bombed lately. And you'd also better be ready to be reminded, over and over, that you live in a country that somehow fancies itself leader of the free world. Got that? Leader of the free world. I don't know when we're going to retire that stupid shit, but personally, I've heard it quite long enough. And what exactly is the free world, anyway? I guess it would depend on what you consider the non-free world. And I can't find a clear definition of that, can you? Where is that? Russia? China? For chrissakes, Russia has a better Mafia than we do now, and China is pirating Lion King DVDs and selling dildos on the Internet. They sound pretty free to me. Here are some jingoistic variations you need to be on the lookout for: The greatest nation on Earth; the greatest nation in the history of the world; and the most powerful nation on the face of the Earth. That last one is usually thrown in just before we bomb a bunch of brown people. Which is every couple of years.”Carlin saw this talk of American Exceptionalism for what it truly is: a big steaming sack of bullshit. Sarah Palin: pining for the days of a national security policy of "We win and they lose." Mikhail Gorbachev, being a statesman, had a more diplomatic phrase. He called it “winner’s complex,” a disease, he said, which was worse than AIDS. This notion that we don’t merely have an edge in some areas, or perhaps aren’t just better at some things than others, but are, in fact, flat-out, no holds-barred, simply “the single greatest nation in the history of mankind,” isn’t just ludicrous, simple-minded, juvenile and astonishingly laughable, it is dangerous. Absolutely deadly. Because once you start spouting that your nation is superior to anything that exists or has ever existed, then you are going to start acting as though you are a type of God, or at least a Superman, Superwoman, or in America’s case, a Super Power. This will lead to all sorts of foolish and brazen acts, not the least of which will be reckless wars to control resources, countries, and even entire regions, all in support of your self-proclaimed greatness.
Gotta stop that country from getting WMD – call in the Army! Gotta tell that http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2006/aug/20/20060820-104133-3139r/ we aren’t putting up with any guff – call in the Navy! Gotta get back at that country for knocking down our towers – call in the Air Force! Gotta push those dirty, god-less (fill in the blank) out of this district, call in the Marines! Gotta clear this square of unarmed civilians – call in the private military contract mercenaries! Gotta flush out the bad guys in that impenetrable rugged border region – call in the unmanned Predator Drones! Gotta make sure that country doesn’t attempt to get the same type of weapons we have huge stockpiles of – call in the crippling sanctions!And on and on and on, the result being, we have a lot of men and women who put on uniforms with American flags stitched just above the heart who are trained to believe that they are defending The Greatest Nation on Earth. This is a big part of the problem. As long as we have politicians leading the charge of “American Exceptionalism” combined with a large electorate which knows virtually nothing about the world beyond its own Super Walmart and Mega Church complex, a population who couldn’t individually or collectively think its way out of a 1-ply square of toilet tissue, you end up with a country where people sit by idle and compliant while its own government, the body supposedly charged with looking out for the country’s best interests, is actually squandering its own human and financial treasure, and the well-being of the nation itself on mindless, self-defeating wars fought far from home and largely out of view and beyond scrutiny. Echoing the bleating of Senator-elect Marco Rubio, Sen. Sam Brownback said, “this is the greatest nation in the history of mankind.” He implores Americans to “look up to see the greatness of America today.” “That greatness is built on goodness. And if we ever lose our goodness, we will surely lose our greatness,” Brownback said, repeating quotes attributed to Eisenhower and, before him, Alexis de Tocqueville. On this Veteran’s Day, a day meant to pay tribute to the men and women who serve this nation, often sacrificing themselves and their families, we should be asking ourselves who all this talk of being “the greatest nation on earth” is serving. Newt Gingrich supremely confident in America's power and ready to project it against other nations. Such chaff may garner a few cheap applause if you are standing in front of a giant American flag at a campaign rally, but it does nothing more than delude ourselves into a cult of self-aggrandizement. Worse still, it sets the stage for a nation frequently, and now seemingly, perpetually at war. It leads to the destruction of other people and places, it cheapens our own value as a society, and it invites deep scorn and hatred as it imperils us as a nation and the soldiers and veterans that we claim to honor. See also: Ea O Ka Aina: It's Armistice Day! 10/11/11 .
It's because of a growing backlash over the new body scanners that the Transportation Security Administration has deployed to 68 airports.
One group is outraged the new machines see through clothes to detect concealed weapons or bombs, calling it an invasion of privacy. So they've organized a "national opt-out day" on Nov. 24. The group is urging travelers to refuse the body scanning and opt for a pat-down instead.But that could clog security lines at many airports, given the TSA's new especially thorough pat-down procedures.
Meanwhile, your pilot may not get to the plane in time either.
The U.S. Airline Pilots Association and the Allied Pilots Association are urging their members to demand pat-downs too — in a private area. The pilots are protesting on both privacy and safety grounds.
"Requiring pilots to go through the Advanced Imaging Technology (machines) means additional radiation exposure," Allied Pilots Association President Dave Bates writes to his members. He recommends that pilots avoid the body scanners.
Meanwhile, the government isn't doing very well at persuading critics in the scientific community that X-ray scanners are safe.
A word of clarification here: There are two types of airport body scanners. The controversial one uses very low doses of X-rays to scan travelers front and back and create a "naked" image. A TSA spokesman says there are currently 206 of these machines at 38 airports.
The other type doesn't use X-rays but instead a technology called millimeter-wave scanning. There are 167 of these units at 30 airports.
Earlier this year, four scientists from the University of California, San Francisco, wrote a letter to Presidential Science Adviser John Holdren raising concerns about the cancer risks of exposing hundreds of millions of travelers every year to airport X-ray scans.
Holdren's office asked the TSA and the Food and Drug Administration to respond. Their eight-page letter to Holdren was recently posted on the FDA's website.
After running through all the reviews and advisory committees that have certified the scanners as safe, the letter concludes:
The potential health risks from a full-body screening…are miniscule…We are confident that full-body X-ray security products and practices do not pose a significant risk to the public health.
The response doesn't satisfy John Sedat, a UCSF professor-emeritus of biochemistry and biophysics who was among those who wrote to Holdren last April.
"The response is deeply flawed," Sedat said in an interview. "It's double-talk. It doesn't answer any questions. Sadly, I have to say we still don't have the information we need to decide what are the dangers of this device."
Sedat says the UCSF group will make a formal reply to Holdren.
Dr. David Brenner is equally unpersuaded by the government's response. Brenner is head of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University.
Brenner's complaint is that the government experts are entirely focused on the risk of cancer for individuals.
"I don't think anybody would argue the point that the individual risk is small. Whether it's one in 10 million or one in 100 million, it's very small," he said in an interview. "But multiply that times 700 million people – the number of people getting on planes currently – and that's the public health risk."
And Brenner says there's reason to think the radiation dose delivered per scan is about 10 times higher than the government says. It comes from a paper by Arizona State University physics professor Peter Rez that is scheduled to appear in a journal called Radiation Protection and Dosimetry.
Rez says he was skeptical that the X-ray dose the government claims for the machines – about 1/10,000th of a chest X-ray — could produce a usable image at all. He calculated backward to figure out how big an X-ray dose would be needed to get the kind of images the machines produce.
Rez agrees the individual risk is still negligible. "It's a 1-in-20-million chance of dying from radiation for each scan," he says. "Your chances of being struck by lightning in the US in any year is 1 in 500,000. But the probability of being blown up in an airplane by a terrorist is around 1 in 30 million. So the risk from the scan is about the same as the thing you're trying to prevent."
Brenner says if Rez's dose calculation is right, pilots and very frequent fliers could exceed the recommended annual radiation dose limit of 250 microSieverts. That would require going through the scanner 250 times, by Rez's dose calculations, rather than 2,500 times, by the government's.
The result, he maintains, is "you will end up with some number of cancers coming out of each year's scanning operations." Applying it to the 125,000 commercial airline pilots and perhaps 125,000 other flight personnel, each averaging 250 scans per year, Brenner estimates "there might be five cancers, or two fatal cancers, resulting from a year's worth of X-ray screening" among airline personnel.
This could all be avoided, Brenner says, if the government relied entirely on the millimeter-wave scanners instead of the X-ray scanners.
By the way, you might be wondering: Can the average traveler standing in a security line tell the difference? Yes, a TSA spokesman says. The X-ray type is blue and has two walls. The millimeter-wave machine is grayish-white and is more cylindrical.
[Editor's note - Hearings have just been scheduled next week in Congress on the full body scanners and new TSA practices.]
Video above: "We Won't Fly" plan defeating TSA scanners and gropers. From (http://vimeo.com/16707703).
About two months ago, Charles Walters, editor for Acres USA, asked if I might not get interviews with Bill Mollison and Masanobu Fukuoka for future use in his paper. Both were to be speakers at The 2nd International Permaculture Conference, August 8-10 at the Evergreen State College, in Olympia.
This turned out to be a working conference, with more than 60 other presenters from all corners of the world. Masanobu Fukuoka is the author of The One-Straw Revolution (Rodale Press) and several other texts on natural farming. Many in the world now consider him the Master Farmer of Japan. I will share this interview with you in a later issue of HMR. Both these interviews, and the conference as a whole were “events,” and well worth the time.
Bill Mollison is an Australian ecologist who writes, lectures and demonstrates his concept of “permaculture” as a self-sustaining, consciously-designed ecosystem for the farm. Permaculture has been described as an integrated system of design, encompassing not only agriculture, horticulture, architecture, and ecology, but also money management, land access strategies, and legal systems for communities and businesses.
Through his consultant work, Mollison is instrumental in the actualization of his vision of regions containing integrated self-perpetuating plant and animal species. These ecosystems operated themselves as low maintenance-high yield areas because of such principles as stable diversity and energy efficiency. If it sounds complex, the theory is carefully described in his two books Permaculture One and Permaculture Two, and its practice is outlined in his forthcoming title, Permaculture: A Designer’s Handbook (1987).
Mollison has worked for both governmental agencies and private individuals. He is often the keynote speaker at worldwide conferences on the environment. His background includes teaching environmental psychology as well and environmental design. In 1981, he received the Right Livelihood Award, which is considered by some as the “Alternative Nobel Prize,” for his visionary designs.
His current thrust includes the training of amateur permaculture designers, the preservation of historical farms in “land trusts,” and promoting ethical investments and community economics. Mr. Mollison is President of the Permaculture Institute of North America.
Permaculture and Ecosystems for the Future
Richard Alan Miller: I’d like to begin by asking how you arrived at your theory of permaculture or perennial agriculture?
Bill Mollison: In the early 50’s, ‘53-’59, I was working in forest ecology for the CSIRO, (Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organization), in Australia, and I was dealing with a complex of about 26 plants and 5 animal species. I jotted in my diary, I think about ‘59, and that I thought we could construct durable ecologies, and there it rested.
By the ’70s, I think we were all aware of the need for sustainable agricultures. In ‘72 I retired from the world for two years. By ‘74 I had developed the permaculture ideas, which were consciously-designed agricultural ecologies.
Richard Alan Miller: I understand that at one time you had gone into the wilds and had some personal experiences that lead you toward your theories?
Bill Mollison: Well, I think that’s true. I spent about 25 years working in the field, mostly in very thick forests, or in remote areas. And I kind of withdrew from society in ‘72 into the wilds. I did the usual thing: I cleared a couple of acres of garden and mulched it down, built a barn and a house, and sat there.
I hadn’t been sitting there longer than three weeks and I realized I wasn’t going to change society. So when I came out of that hole in the bush, I came out with the intention of making a difference.
It wasn’t long before I published Permaculture One. Then I gave up my work at the University [of Tasmania], I was lecturing there in post-graduate work in environmental science. I set up the Permaculture Institute, because by ‘75-’76 I’d started to design systems for people from urban to rural situations. My first design was a conglomeration of backyards in the city of Melbourne.
And right after that was a design for a guy that ran horses for the Olympics. So, I did about 500-600 of those designs, got a lot of feedback from people on them, and decided I had enough skill to teach design. I started in ‘81. It’s now ‘86 and we’ve taught a thousand designers worldwide.
Richard Alan Miller: I’m really impressed, by the way, with your work….it’s most interesting. Just what is your theory about, what is the basis for your theory of permaculture?
Bill Mollison: OK. It’s conscious design. It’s strange, in fact it’s eerie that since a few centuries B.C. when the Chinese developed a landscape planning service called fung-shui*, we have never in modern times developed a similar design service based on aspects of shelter, sun absorption on slopes, etc.* [According to John Mitchell, fung-shui was "a kind of town and country planning measure attempting to preserve the harmony of the countryside.... It was based on a sublime metaphysical system in which scientific and poetic truth harmoniously united." [-ed].
All of that is in there. So, I’d say Permaculture One is the first book on conscious design of agriculture. And that is very eerie, considering we’ve been agriculturalists for centuries, and we haven’t written a book on design.
So, by design, we mean how do you manage the winds, and the light and the sun on a property to get a high productivity. Now, in 1942, your Forestry Department put out a little booklet called Trees, and to a large extent it dealt partly with trees on the farm, and it showed net gains of 16-30%, particularly in lambing and cattle losses, a tremendous gain.
It showed crop gains of an average 20%, if the area was well wind-breaked. Now well wind-breaked means windbreaks designed not to reduce the crop’s yield, but actually to increase it, because there are several possible interactions between a windbreak and a crop. What we look for is a “plus-plus” reaction; there the windbreak benefits the crop, and the crop the windbreak. So, these all have to be highly specified trees and materials.
Back to the domestic situation – your need to have to earn – that is what makes a lot of farmers have to walk off the farm. They just can’t sustain the domestic costs and pay loans, and so on. A lot of farmers I know have managed to hang on to farms simply because they’ve paid a lot of attention to the fact that they can eat off the farm and the domestic energy supplied off the farm. Now you can hang on through some hard times if that’s the case. If it’s not, you have to have an income.
We started doing whole-farm designs in Australia because we’re a dry country, and so are the Great Basin and Midwest, and California in the summertime. [see Mollison's forthcoming booklet Arid Land Permaculture, 1988]. Water was our central design factor, and I don’t mean pumping water up from 2,000 feet down at $2,000 a month. I mean we very carefully designed methods of rainwater harvesting on property, tried to regard the property and what was on it as to what we had to deal with, and to get the least inputs into production that we could.
Richard Alan Miller: So, bringing this more into a focus, if you could summarize in one paragraph, could you explain the basis of permaculture?
Bill Mollison: I’ll try and do it for you. Permaculture is a consciously designed landscape system, which deals with the management of crops, water and animals on the land and which also puts that in context with the correct legal, financial, and land-access strategies, and marketing, and trade.
Richard Alan Miller: That leads to my next question. You have indicated that your theory is not technically oriented, but depends on intuition . . .
Bill Mollison: That’s true. We’re not looking for expertise in agriculture and forestry. We’re looking for the expertise to know where forestry and agriculture fit together, the connection between disciplines is where we look.
Richard Alan Miller: It has been indicated by a group in Southern Oregon [part of Tilth], that your plan was too detailed and technically oriented for commercial farm use. Perhaps you would like to make some comments on that?
Bill Mollison: I’d love to. It’s certainly not so. A lot of our stuff is commercial. It’s carefully designed to be commercial. I must say, in the first place, our greatest demand is still plotting for self-reliance, in and around, the households, and always will be. That’s society’s single greatest cost. 46% of our income goes toward food. 29% is energy. That’s 75% of the income on those two items.
So you can see the huge benefit to society if we can cope with those to the amount of capital we’re freeing in effect. We always did have inquiries from farmers. However, as they are a minority of the population, it’s a minority of inquiries. Still, we’ve designed all kinds of farms from range-land, wildlife farms to very detailed one-acre farms supporting people with specialty crops.
Richard Alan Miller: You speak of interacting relationships between species. Perhaps you could explain that a bit….
Bill Mollison: I’ll go a little further and call it “guilds.” You can’t put a successful orchard in without having some nitrogen fixation. Some of the best of those things are trees. If you have a frost problem, you need a frost defense. We can get a frost defense with a small legume called tagasaste (Chamaecytisus palmensis), or Tree Lucerne and grow avocado in areas which frost is quite hard.
So you have physical protection of the other crop as part of the guild and you have an underground root association, releasing nitrogen, as part of the guild. Then if we set through that keyaha, which is an insect-attracting plant for predatory wasps, some of the Unbellularia crops, like a few fennels scattered through, we then bring in the predators of small insects feeding on the fruit system.
Next we put under that a foraging system to pick up all the wind-drops and all the cast-off fruit. There’s a special pig bred for that [it's called a Glauster old spot], and it’s bred not to root, but to effectively forage orchards. It’s always been bred for that purpose. Another alternative is in your old agricultural journals. They say if you run successful apple orchards with 70-90 chickens per acre, you get all your fertilizer and effective pest control. So, put in a good program of foragers, insect free plants, physical defense of the trees, and a very good windbreak specifically designed to be of benefit to apples.
Tamarack, as a windbreak, will reduce an apple crop and eliminate a citrus crop! But, if we put as a windbreak hadioliacus with an understory of Siberian pea tree, we’ll get more apples, and more health in the crop. So we pick the windbreak for the crop. Then we do the physical layout. If we need more heat, we’ll put in high-radiation trees, the darkest side on the off-sun side of the crop, and we’ll radiate heat into the crop. If we have a desert situation, we’ll put a deep windbreak, and allow the temperature of the incoming winds, 30-40°F, and so on.
Now, this is a guild we’ve set up, and the guild all centers around the apple. Now under the apple, apples will not stand in grass. They stop infiltration of light and they put out specific chemicals to inhibit root growth of apples. So under the apple we put a small apple garden, and specifically the spring bulbs which lie all around the cultivation and yielding system.
Richard Alan Miller: Washington State now uses mints.
Bill Mollison: Yeah, mint, spring bulbs, nasturtium; anything that is not grass. We allow a very small proportion of grass; clover covers, and we’ve got a very fine situation. If we have any pests in, we might actually have to add a few frog ponds.
Richard Alan Miller: Would you define your use of the word “stewardship?”
Bill Mollison: Yes, I think every good farmer, in fact, everybody I’ve considered to be a patriotic farmer, in that they have a love of country in the deepest sense, (and a lot of farmers have that), everyone of them would rather leave the land and soil improved after their tenure of the land. And so what the good farmer regards himself as, is a temporary “steward” of the land to hand it on in trust to the future. Not specifically to their children, but to the future people of their area. And they can achieve that in a lifetime by putting the land into a farm trust, and by laying out a very long-term development plan for it. And the trust can insure that the plan continues beyond their lifetime.
We’ve lost some fantastic farms in the United States. Smith’s Tree Farm, Luther Burbank’s Nursery Farm, I could mention another six, all should have been land-trusted. Professor Meador’s little farm in Vermont should be land-trusted. This is where your crops came from, your new species came from, where your new ideas were thought up and demonstrated.
And they don’t belong even to the United States; they belong to the world! I’d like some American who feels really patriotic about land to set a trust to purchase those key farms that demonstrate principles, forever. They should be run as farms and run for their purposes, but they should be set up as land-trusts, which I believe to be more valuable than many of the trusts that we’ve set up for our buildings.
Richard Alan Miller: Moving forward, I have picked up a quote where you ask yourself, “What does this land have to give me?” Can you explain . . .
Bill Mollison: Yes, well sometimes you walk on the land and you have the crop. People say, “I’ve just bought some land I want to develop a crop.” I’ll give you and example. I had a young bulldozer operator in Australia. He’d just bought some really run-down cattle land. He had a bulldozer and he put some dams in. Then he said, “Will you come onto my farm and tell me what I ought to do here?” He had nice dams there which he had stocked with trout. ”How are they going?,” I asked him. ”Fine,” he said. ”I got some eight pounders out of them.” ”When did you put them in?,” I inquired. ”Last year,” he replied. And the place was swarming with grasshoppers; it was overgrazed.
I said, “You’ve got your crop; your crop is grasshoppers!” On a 1.8 to 1 conversion ratio you can get a pound of trout for every pound and a bit of grasshoppers. You can trawl those grasshoppers just like you trawl fish. So, the other thing is, grasshoppers go for yellow, so if you float yellow balloons on the dams, you get a rain of grasshoppers into the water. So that’s what he did, and he had his crop. The land might already have its crop on it, and yet you might want to change that crop, and you will come out worse off.
For instance, we have a pasture grub that runs at 20 ton to the acre living in the first four inches of the soil. If you covert it into turkey, you’re talking 5 ton of turkey to the acre, just for a small soil-skimming operation daily. But they’re still trying to get rid of the pasture grub! And yet that land can barely sustain a sheep on four or five acres. So where’s the trade off between a 120 tons of protein and 40 pounds of protein as sheep? So, wherever we see that the crop is already there we’ve come out on top. And we have nothing to do..
Richard Alan Miller: Next question, in your second book Permaculture Two, you have referred to Fukuoka’s principles of “non-violent cultivation and natural farming” [see The One Straw Revolution and The Natural Way of Farming]. What are your views on this?
Bill Mollison: I think Fukuoka is a genius! What he did (and nobody’s quite realized it, as such) is that he stacked, or folded time. Instead of waiting until you’ve harvested your crop, then appear for cultivation and sowing, he sowed the next crop into the standing crop. At the right time, so that when you hit it off, your second succession is well under way. And that was genius! So what’s more, it meant you didn’t cultivate, and you went from soybeans into barley, or in his case, rice, rye, rice, rye. So he gathered extra time, and that is also extra capital.
Richard Alan Miller: Considering your theory of cooperation, or the “no-force” theory, are there then no plants that are out of place and therefore considered weeds?
Bill Mollison: Plants are innocent. They are all doing a job, and expressing that job to the best of their abilities. To see a patch of thistle is to see a disturbance, and it’s being mended fast. If you put a thistle under an apple tree, you can call it a glove artichoke, right? You see, the soil under that artichoke will be twice as good and thick with worms compared to soil without the artichoke. So, it’s a soil mender.
We don’t see it as that; we don’t see a weed or invasion species warning us that there is some collapse starting. For instance, we work with gorst in the Pacific Northwest. With gorst we can get to rain forest in four years. Without gorst it takes 20 years. In wet climates it grows great. Burn it and you get more of it. So we roll a tractor roller through it, then put in a first succession tree crop (like acacia or alder), and a second or third succession tree down the alley that was rolled down. The gorst nurtures and nurses the crop.
Richard Alan Miller: What about a place like the Midwest where there’s been considerable erosion of topsoil, and the soil blows from one field to another?
Bill Mollison: Yes, I’ve been forced down twice by severe dust storms in wheat areas. The land is in collapse. You need to pick up the dust origins which are always downwind and in between the crop you start “pitting.” You use a large wheel and you pit the ground. The minute you pit the ground the dust storms stop, because you’ve roughened the surface. Don’t pit in the crop, but all around it.
We’ve pitted 600 square miles around Ellis Springs, Australia and we get no more dust storms, whatever. They used to close the airport every fortnight. After we’ve pitted we work our windbreak sequence: talk to the farmers, talk to the government, get our support for the windbreaks, and make the windbreaks a highly productive pile of fun. We start from the downwind area with strategy.
We have to work with government and finance to make sure that windbreak is going to be highly productive for the farms downwind. We advance from the downstream and, upstream. And we create a highly stable situation. The other thing you have to do is leave a record for the future – to say why you did all this.
Richard Alan Miller: How do you go about planning a permaculture farm? What are your first steps?
Bill Mollison: Well, the first step is to look at the farm, and the skills and wishes of its occupant. If they’re in steel we can do something about that. If they’re lawyers we can run a bit of legal system on the farm. We use the skills of the occupant and let them define what they want to do. On top of what they have defined, we also suggest what is very wise to do. Then we set about the ground detail planning. But that always with us involves the social factor.
For instance, recently we’ve been linking urban people in need of some energy source, like firewood or diesel, to individual farmers who grow the plantation. They pre-purchase the product. Basically, we don’t any longer look at a primary product as being the main potential income of farmland. There are three products. Social products are very high. 80% of the product of our farmers is from social product (offering facilities to people in towns, etc.).
The second income is in the production of an energy crop. We have a travel-able diesel system we take around. You put sunflower seeds in one end, it presses it, puts the oil through a catalyst, gives you methyl-esters, and then regenerates the catalyst. Its a small unit about as big as a dinner table, on a trailer. So, it takes 1/100th of your crop to provide the fuel. You can provide off-farm fuel.
Solid wood is the best income per acre, for abroad. Unless you process it fairly high on the roadside, it runs $80 a ton, or $800 a ton in smaller 5 lb.. packages. That means an average acre produces $5-6,000 in firewood year in and year out. Any person in the city would like to have a piece of that. That means two rented acres give him a small income and all their fuel. So fuel is an eternal crop and there is never enough fuel.
Clean water is another crop. Some farms you’ll purchase every quarter of an hour, if you have a spring that tests out as potable. That’s your problem in the United States – to get any water that tests out as drinkable. In some farms the whole value of the farm is coming out of the hill every ten minutes. You’ve got an endless trade in clean water.
Richard Alan Miller: Can you explain your use of such terms as “Zones,” “Sectors,” and “Interfaces?”
Bill Mollison: Real easy. When you zone a property from where you start in the morning with the tractor, you zone it in terms of the number of times you can afford to visit that area. For instance, move your household garden a hundred feet from the house and you’ve lost if You’ll never harvest it efficiently and you can’t guard it. Move it within 20 feet of the house boundary and you’ll feed yourself forever with hardly any effort.
Out time is 20-40 minutes a week. That’s less time for us to grow our food than to actually walk to the shop and back, providing we have it right outside the kitchen door which is Zone 1. Zone 2 is domestic species. The chicken house is on the edge of Zone 2, and they range in Zone 2, then bring all the manure to the edge of Zone 1, where we use it on the garden. So the chickens do the work; try to be smarter than your chickens.
Sectors define against incoming energy, designed to survive the onslaught energy – too hot or too cold winds, sun sector. Put up the defenses in sectors to guard the energy or deflect it to benefit you. With those two things, zoning and sectoring the soil, you also pay attention to any benefits of slope and carefully orientate all your units to the sun or wind. You’ve got a rational, ideally efficient lair.
An interface is like edge harmonics. All crop scientists tell you that you can’t sample a crop at the edges, you’ve got to walk into the crop. At the edges the yield is abnormally high (sometimes anonymously low). The goal is to try to plant a field that is nothing but this high-yielding edge. For example, if the edge is four feet deep, then we plant solid eight foot deep sections. What is next to that edge? If it is bare ground we get a pretty good yield, but if it is alfalfa, that yield is higher. So put strips of 8 feet of grain, 8 feet alfalfa. A double edged section gives superior yield.
Richard Alan Miller: How do you envision the restructuring of our current mono-cropping industrialized farms, like the San Joaquin Valley of California, and do you see a timeframe for this?
Bill Mollison: Yeah, I do. The modern industrial scientist is causing famine all around the world, and malnutrition locally. That’s the two main products of mono-culture and you can add to that a chronic poisoning everywhere. That is, agriculture has floated free from its roots. Its purpose was to feed people “good food.” It no longer does that. It doesn’t relate to people’s needs in any way.
What we’re doing is re-relating the farm directly to people who need those good products. So we’re setting up farm link networks with farmers and urban dwellers, pre-farming the farm so there is no risk to the farmer. And there are thousands of those. It takes 18-40 households, depending on the culture, to keep a family very wealthy on the land. This assumes that person is providing the needs of the household and not cheating or marketeering.
Richard Alan Miller: So pro-funding from urban dwellers is what you’re suggesting?
Bill Mollison: Very definitely. The timeframe is yesterday for many farmers. We are de-populating our farmland of highly experienced people at an alarming rate. You can’t beat them at farm management. But, we’re replacing them with farm machinery which causes unemployment which puts a charge on society to pay unemployment to farmers in the form of taxation. Wouldn’t it be better if they were unemployed happily on the land and with their families?
We could have intercepted that through a farm-link office where any person could subscribe for say two acres of firewood planted by a farmer for $200 plus $50 for fire control. At the end of four years you get an average $4,000 income per acre and what you pay him is what he would get out of it in sheep which is $70 per acre a year (in Australia). Pay up front so he can afford to get that timber in there.
Richard Alan Miller: That’s great. Let’s move on, now. As an example, how would you deal with raccoons that are systematically destroying a farmer’s crop of sweet corn? Would you stop raising the corn, would you feed the raccoons, have dogs to chase the coons out, and now you’re feeding dogs? How would you handle those raccoons?
Bill Mollison: I eat them. I get more protein out of the coons than I could ever get out of the corn. On one patch of my friend’s in Vermont, we got 5 opossums, 2 coons, etc.. We worked it out and the protein yield was far higher than the corn could ever be.
Richard Alan Miller: Can you realistically give a workable plan to a large mechanized farm?
Bill Mollison: Yes. But it would be really extraordinary, nothing that has ever been done with mechanization. I’ve been doing some large style drilling of tagasaste with large mechanized materials. And I can lay down a crop that you can pellet into feed at the highest yield of any unrelated crop in the world.
In between the tagasaste strips are tree-alfalfa strips. Mainly, I want to let thousand of amateurs loose on the world. I’m no longer interested in sitting somewhere and making a buck. To become competent it takes young people two to three years of working on these permaculture concepts.
Richard Alan Miller: Do you recommend a legal structure that lends itself to families or people pooling resources? I ask this because in Permaculture Two you mention the idea of gathering together with a few friends to build the alternatives you mention. This sounds like the original communal efforts of the 60’s, trying to find a blending of egos and spiritual philosophies.
Bill Mollison: It grew out of those inadequate attempts to form communities that were part of the 60’s, most of which have broken apart. But, taking a very rational approach to community ownership for private use – that’s the ideal. [Like a profit-sharing cooperative] you’ve got all the advantages of private usage, but you don’t have the right-to-ruin given by private ownership.
The ideal way to work land is like a thing in England called common work right. A trust owns the land, and it only has three directors who can then appoint others. Nobody votes; it’s not democratic. The only consensus we need is that we never come to consensus. Now, the trust governs its directors. Any person who can see a way to make a living on that land applies to the trust.
The land lets (rents) a living to them, including if necessary a residential unit, but often they would like to live elsewhere. They then pay 10% of the net to a common work fund which goes on developing other livings. In this way a small 200-acre farm in Kent employs 36 people full time on site and 95 off-site from the products produced on the site, and it’s hardly developed at all!
One farm can employ hundreds of people. A beekeeper is essential to your small fruit grower. The milker can supply manure for energy for may people (methane, hot water and can-fuel). We run all tractors and cars on those systems. You have an energy man, a bee man, small tree man, worm man all working on the wastes from the digester. Worms go to the fish ponds and triple their value. The casings go back in the glass house attached to perhaps a brick-making works, digging clay from the silage pits on the farm. You can think of other projects.
Richard Alan Miller: What are the alliances you speak of with similar groups?
Bill Mollison: A large group of Sufis are using Permaculture, likewise in the U.S. those interested in Biodynamics, the New Alchemy Institute, etc.. We would like to lie within every organization and still maintain our own teachings, so we are distinct in design.
Richard Alan Miller: So you are supporting regional networking, then?
Bill Mollison: Yes, and we also have regional and independent design consultants. Nobody owns permaculture; it’s a common copyright of our trainees. And all of them are independent. It’s not franchised. All our systems are independent legally structured. So, what you’ve got is a very large global cooperative of tiny businesses.
Richard Alan Miller: What forms of alternative property ownership do you prefer?
Bill Mollison: I myself prefer to live on land in trust with a long-term purpose. I personally am allowed to lease (earned the right) for life, inheritable, transferable, a half-acre for a house and other land on an economic level that I am fit to use.
Richard Alan Miller: What is your main current of thought now, sort of your “hot” item?
Bill Mollison: My real hot thing right now is that it’s five minutes to midnight. We face a meltdown of icepacks and consequent sea-rises. It’s time to open the great debate: Can we survive? Nobody’s sure we can. Start to turn the whole society toward structured 3% fewer trees and we all asphyxiate. It is five minutes to midnight. What is the use of choking with a million in your pocket? Why didn’t we have that million in survival, and survival means “trees.”
Now, why didn’t we turn our mainstream agriculture into mainstream tree cropping? We’re supporting it a $28-30 billion a year and that will just ruin America. If you don’t green it, we’re all dead! So the main thing now is let’s take over the investment income of this country and turn it into ethical ends. We have $60 billion turned over here now in ethical investments and we can turn the rest over if we put it to the people.
Richard Alan Miller: Is it possible to reverse the damage done from original agricultural practices, like erosion…?
Bill Mollison: Take dihedron. As far as erosion, we can build soil. There’s no doubt about that. We have the techniques where there’s enough of anything left to work from. We can hoe and create soils by the right trees. But, we can’t unpoison the soil. We’ve found that years ago copper was used in Australia and it’s still killing sheep, from before World War II. It’s in the top .2 inches of the soil and we can’t raise sheep for years, or eat an egg from that land for the next 200 years.
What we’ve put on in the past we can’t take off, but we need never put that stuff on. Those farms should be locked up as toxic or put into non-food production, namely forestry, perhaps for centuries.
Richard Alan Miller: What questions have I not asked that I should have asked you?
Bill Mollison: What’s the priority for young people who are going to be designers today? The real priority is to set up a money-handling system that services people, to set up investment trusts, development trusts, and commonly revolving funds that help people who believe in the future. If people can do that well, (and our entire people do that well), they have endless capital and cease to become employees subject to client wishes and they become purchasers and developers of land.
And that’s what we must become to create the future. We can’t passively leave it to someone else who knows nothing about land to determine the future. We must borrow the land and create the future. We can’t afford the warehouses, the headless dinosaurs of yesterday. It’s critical we take them out.
Richard Alan Miller: Thank you for a great interview.
See also: Backyard Permaculture (http://permaculture.org.au/2010/11/05/backyard-permaculture)