Joel Glanzburg on Permaculture’s Potential to Serve Life (E12)

In this episode I speak with permaculture elder Joel Glanzburg from Pattern Mind, Regenesis Group and the Tracking Project.

Early in the conversation, Joel refers to his 30 Years Greening the Desert project which you can learn about in this clip:

We also refer to Joel’s Open Letter and Plea to the Permaculture Movement.

Here is a more recent article in which Joel writes beautifully about the necessary transformation toward life at a world-view level. Here’s a poignant excerpt:

Holding my baby son one night as he slept, I thought about how I would make his body. Having built things all my life, this seemed simple. I would begin by framing him up, joining his bones together using his muscles, tendons and ligaments. Then I’d run his arteries and veins, his nervous system, install all of his organs, sheath him in skin, fill him with blood, a bit of food and water and start him up, maybe with a spark from jumper cables. Of course he was made nothing like this, but this Frankensteinian thought experiment revealed my own mind’s mechanicalness and the difference between how we think about and make things and how the living world creates.

Everything we make is conceived and constructed before it begins to carry out the processes for which it was designed. Our cars, homes, businesses, schools, programs are all structured before they run. Like my son’s body—all of our bodies for that matter—all living structures are built by doing what they have been created to do. His body was made by metabolizing nutrients, water and oxygen and moving around, just as it is today. The river was not dug and then filled with water. The river running made the river. The branching scaffold of the tree was not built before it carried water and nutrients up into the sky and sugars back down into the roots. The tree built its body by adding layer after layer of carbon taken from the sky through photosynthesizing, from the moment it put out leaves into the air and roots into the earth.

Finally, and with particular relevance to some of the places Making Permaculture Stronger will soon be heading as a project, I recommend watching this too, where Joel speaks alongside several of his colleagues at Regenesis Group:

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