Hello, my name is Thomas Bell, I’m a designer……. & as a designer, I come to you with a design in mind ***
So .. as a designer .. I see the world as a design problem .. & what I’d like to do today .. is talk about some designs .. & talk about design as a whole, & as human intention .. because, I think @ this point in our history .. we have to look back @ our designs & ask ourselves .. did we really intend to see the things in the way we see the world today .. & as we study the tragedies from both environmental and political perspectives .. we can ask ourselves .. was that intentional.***
Let me give you the first industrial revolution .. & its effects from an environmentalists perspective .. & ask you .. if this was our design intention .. would you design a system .. & wake up every morning to actively participate in its continuation where we measure our prosperity by how many natural resources we cut down .. dig up .. bury .. burn or otherwise destroy.***
Measure progress by the number of smoke stacks, & if you’re especially proud, put your names on them, measures productivity by how few people are working .. requires 1000’s of company regulations to stop you from killing yourself to quickly .. & destroys biological & cultural diversity @ every turn seeking a 1 size fits all solution .. & while your @ it produce a few things so highly toxic that it will require 1000’s of generations to maintain constant vigilance, while living in fear.***
When, if ever did we give the right to an individual, a corporation, government or otherwise to pollute our rivers & release neotoxins into the environment, to openly recommend dodgy medicines & pharmaceuticals that link outbreaks of cancer, ADD, birth defects, nervous & learning disorders & respiratory illnesses’ .. & with every individual health problem, we do create many jobs .. but I ask you, is this our job creation program .. if anyone has trouble with this concept .. reflect on this.***
Global politics, the world stock markets & legal systems are broken .. it’s broken for reasons far greater than what used to be called corruption & its accelerating economic & ecological collapse .. but there’s also a secret paradox @ play .. because while we’ve been distracted by measuring holes of ozone over antarctica & putting both global warming & climate change under the microscope .. we might have actually missed the point all together .. as evidence grows stronger that global oil production has peaked .. so to, has denial .. there are distinct correlation’s between this bogus war on terror, oil
price hikes, military budget increases, weapons deployment, warfare & covert operations around the world .. & it’s very clear, this psychopathic pattern will continue.***
But each lesson we learn, as Iraq is pointing out .. that when you see a tragedy & allow it to perpetuate, then we participate in the tragedy itself .. it’s no longer possible @ this point in our cultural history for us to sit back & watch these tragedies week after week & say .. it’s not part of our plan .. because apparently it is .. & this approach makes no sense whatsoever.. these things are happening & will continue to happen because; we have no plan.***
In contrast to that .. don’t we then have to start, first & foremost by reexamining what’s the purpose of this pointless & destructive behaviour .. & if the answer continues to remain profitability & shareholder satisfaction .. I’m afraid this will no longer be a satisfactory enough answer .. so to, this issue of disconnecting profitability with environmental intelligence, is something that’s got to end .. the driving forces behind the first industrial revolution are wasteful, unsustainable, under increasing stress & fundamentally flawed .. we must demonstrate another alternative & a better industrial revolution .. & get it right this time .. on that note .. it’s paramount we have to construct together a strategy of change, set on a list of simple & basic design principles .. then
perhaps .. we could have a strategy of hope to offer our children.***
Mark Twain said frankly .. “some times I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.” I tend to lean toward this observation myself also.***
In 1838, Emerson went to Harvard to give a lecture titled “Nature” .. & in that lecture his question was this .. “if human beings are natural .. are therefore all things made by humans part of nature ?” .. & his conclusion was this .. if nature is all the things that are immutable .. what he called unchangeable essences .. the things too big for humans to effect .. like the oceans .. the mountains .. the land & the trees .. we then have to ask ourselves .. was his conclusion correct..? .. & are we effecting these things ? .. & I think we all know the answer to that one .. well, to me this means we need a new design .. because the whole concept of a truly self sustaining, unpolluting, energy efficient world,
will ultimately require business to honour the needs of commerce [ to be ethical & profitable]. The needs of society [ to be ethical & fair] & the need for our natural systems to be maintained in a healthy state .. it’s that simple.***
Now looking @ it from the business side with an environmental perspective .. is that now, everyone’s working @ trying to be less bad .. but is being less bad .. being good ? .. or .. is it being bad .. but less so .. what is for sure though, is that being less bad is not being good .. it’s also interesting that debate today between commerce & environment is growth .. no growth .. both industry & businesses are saying that growth is the engine of commerce .. but on the flip side, environmentalists are shouting we have to stop growth, it’s destroying the world .. but growth is good .. a tree that grows is good ..a child that grows is good .. but the fundamental question is this .. “what do you want to grow” ..
health or sickness .. intelligence or stupidity .. prosperity or poverty, you choose.***
Well .. if we go back, way back to 1973 .. & to everyone’s surprise .. something other than a human had the right to even exist .. with the endangered species act .. but today, our discussions have evolved into the rights for ecosystems to now exist, expanding our very concepts of the environment & nature as a whole.***
But if we apply natures laws of growth is good, what we realise then, is that we need some new criteria .. business in general use 3 criteria .. permaculture uses them also .. cost, performance & aesthetics [can I afford it, does it work & do I like it .. within permaculture we’ve actually added 3 more .. is it ecologically intelligent, is it just & is it fun.***
Permaculture is the ultimate study of both design & natural self regulating energy systems & contrary to belief, our students understand that nature isn’t efficient .. rather, it’s actually selective & very excessive .. it celebrates en masse & in abundance, nothing is wasted, instead it recycles it over & over again .. all this abundance forever goes back into itself creating more soil, new life & fresh nutrients for future generations with self sustaining resources.***
What permaculture designers are asking however is this .. “if we could use nature as a model, what creations would nature want to see us do .. what if, we celebrated the abundance of human creativity & the imagination .. what if, we celebrated abundance of the natural world instead of bemoaning it’s limits .. what if, we transformed our very concepts of design .. ” .. & with all its millions of yrs worth of R&D, & perhaps there are some serious messages here.***
As Einstein pointed out .. “the significant problems we face today .. cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at, when we created them” .. & if this is the case, our first question should be .. “what is the right thing to do”.. not “am I doing the wrong things right” .. that’s a managers job .. the correct question is .. “am I doing the right thing”.. that’s a chief executives job .. & so perhaps we need a new design, a design based on that new understanding .. & personally I have no doubt @ all that the 21st century will come to be known as the century of design.***
As it stands, .. deep divisions exist over how best to tackle the global problems of climate change, global warming, future energy demands, pollution & waste disposal, health care & aid, failing education systems, poverty, skill shortages & a shortfall of trained workers & educated individuals to name a few.***
My research into all these areas has taken me on a journey of biblical proportions to finally understand the character requirements, motivations, directions & commitment of the best forward thinking minds within the leading business, education & community circles, our policy makers, movers & shakers that we have in Australia & indeed the world .. & finally, this is what they come up with .. they identified innovation as the single most key priority to success & prosperity for Australia’s future.***
Just last month .. the same people were asked to investigate, implement & draw-upon identifying the importance & a national strategy .. this brain wave initiated & officially opened a brand new, multi million dollar task-force operation facility up in QLD to try to get the ball rolling .. they invited, paid & attracted the most expensive, highly regarded, innovative & forward thinking professionals as to outline & produce a blueprint to forward & present to govt, for smarter ways of doing things .. I shudder to think what they will come out with ? .. another inquiry, that’s my guess !!
Furthermore .. Our govt. has willingly agreed to ongoing & continued support by contributing millions of dollars towards similar, incentive projects, schemes & programs recommend by this think tank, to again explore innovation, significant ideas & reform packages, by barking the same messages to maintain our catch phrase of “essential & competitive edge & worlds best practice” within our lucky country .. with respect, I think what their trying to say is, we need a more simplified, moveable, integrated & transparent system than the one we regrettably have .. which is stubbornly strangled by endless, bureaucratic red tape .. in all of this did any of the critical, crucial & demanding questions mentioned earlier get addressed ? .. NO .. not one.***
If this wasn’t so serious it would be laughable .. but it just goes to show you, that common sense is rarer than you think .. “but, while the camel groans, the caravan moves on” .. & Australia winds aimlessly into the future .. but now, it’s time to admit the truth, & it’s clear, we have to lead these morons by the hand & express with dignity, that we were doing is very wrong .. & that extreme policy change is absolutely necessary & not just paid constant lip service across the board, as currently is the case.***
These think tanks also identified .. the immense benefits of building multiple crossover platforms between training institutions, schools, workplaces & govt. depts, while encouraging increasing involvement of community groups as another key to success .. because this will undoubtabally provide ongoing positive outcomes at all regional, local and individual levels.***
But unfortunately while bungling bureaucratic advisory committees still prattle on about how these inflexible rigid systems seek to assist a more flexible approach endless amounts of tax payers money is wasted with more reviews & reports confirming this very fact. Australia can ill afford to be complacent on this issue or foolhardy with its management .. because catastrophic consequences await, & many lives are at risk, if we do not act now.***
One good set of examples are the floods in Mumbai, Bangladesh, Romania, Switzerland, Germany, Europe, Britain, Venezuela, greater South America & Australia .. most recent is the drastic annihilation of Sumatra, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand & New Orleans .. other major concerns are the melting Arctic & sub continents of Siberia, Greenland, Alaska & Antarctica .. Portugal, Spain & the Middle East are on fire & are sadly testament to poor management practices, is mostly preventable & it all comes down to poor initial design.***
Our attitudes toward business & industry are paramount & needs a serious shake-up & has to be turned into a powerful magnet for talent & education, not a brain drain as is the case .. frustrated forward thinking business leaders & industry employers are seriously questioning our current training & teaching methods .. all they want is access to a pool of relevant, skilled, trained & qualified workers through refined training programs right now .. also identified is that to preclude education, exasperates poverty [I not even going to mention Africa, South America or Eastern Europe here].***
To put that in perspective however, figures released in the USA this month state that for the 4th year in a row, baseline poverty has risen to over 30 million which equates to 12.7% of the population .. current health care, welfare & super annuation systems are in serious decline & crisis, does this sound familiar ? .. other figures released are even more devastating .. they estimate up to $50 trillion in losses in global agriculture, fisheries & forestry .. a further 40% increase in job losses & unemployment rates, who’s going to pay for that ? .. farmers, land & home owners bankrupt while a staggering 60% of current fertile & useable land could be rendered useless by the end of 2015 .. national
imports, exports & trade will be adversely affected & disrupted, sparking market panic & national debt will continue spiralling out of control.***
In short, I expect our systems to be totally overwhelmed, then blow, but the real spectre will be the increasing & even more intense natural disasters, storms & extreme weather events which we are witnessing worldwide .. insurance companies could drive all the govts. into insolvency .. by 2020.***
I bet there are some wide eyes & dropped jaws in Canberra when legislators & their staff are briefed on this budgetary dilemma .. but they just don’t really understand the magnitude of the problem @ hand .. it’s that simple .. so all of us better have some carrots & chickens or backyard food production growing by then .. or it’s kupootski for you .. but don’t just take my word for it, you do the research, join the dots & come to your own conclusion .. & after everything I’ve outlined here today, it’s not all doom & gloom, not just yet.***
So, what I’d like to do now .. is propose my design for Australia’s first Natural University & Training School [N.U.T.S.] .. to be our conduit & vehicle by which teaching Permaculture & associated knowledge’s through multiple streams of Sustainable Environment & Energy Design Systems [SEEDS] .. this school will represent primarily the interests of public education & environmental agendas .. permaculture could co-ordinate a strategic partnership between many schools, colleges, universities & industry to facilitate training programs aimed @ all students, of all ages & become a broad base for complex community environmental & energy problems .. because, by bringing people & projects together, the value of integration is not only that all relevant factors and links are properly considered, integration also leads to greater efficiency ..
permacultures’ unique operations & management systems will make an important contribution to this innovation agenda alongside community business partnerships & other players in the innovation system.***
Imagine if you will .. this innovative permaculture training school .. no matter where .. no matter what size .. but it will be built with total self sufficiency in mind & scale .. it’s sustainable & responsible construction could be used to promote renewable & healthy building materials .. it could highlight tireless energy & power production with the establishment of many effortless wind & solar power generation systems on site .. more importantly, it would showcase the worlds best practice in regard to real-life examples every where you look .. that people can touch, view, interact with & learn about .. an expo if you like .. permanently on display .. this school would capture the hearts & souls of everybody that visits or works it .. & of course, this space could be visually stunning, exploring just what can be done with courage & commitment as this centre aims to do .. describing how we done it, what materials we used & why!
What we could expect to deliver in this project is a design that is both healthy & innovative .. all of our workers will work in natural daylight, with 100% fresh air delivered to their breathing zone under their own control .. we’ll do this with normal budgets, creating in the process Australia’s most energy efficient building.***
It won’t be hard to do .. in fact quite the opposite, the buildings that exist today are one’s that are dark .. have flouresent lights .. are poorly spaced & offer a minimum of fresh air .. but @ Peak, we’ll use less energy & we’ll produce a life support system for people who work .. instead of a work support system for people that don’t have a life .. it will reduce & recycle grey water .. be powered by the earth .. heated by the sun & we’ll be developing & promoting projects that can go back to the earth, into cycles of recycling for ever .. in short, it will produce more energy than it will need to operate .. like a tree.***
It will be a museum .. a museum that explores the natural world & people who are influenced by it, & have influences on it. That one day we will allow our children’s .. children’s .. children’s .. children to celebrate life & liberty in the pursuit of happiness .. & free from any remote tyranny that might be us, & bad design.***
But it’s bigger than that .. @ the schools’ core could be a Visitor Centre, administration & accommodation facility, initiating a similar Y.H.A. implemented framework for travellers, by offering vocational educational training [VET] and/or studies either on a part-time, seasonal or permanent basis, living on site, in cute but very sturdy, Practical Organic Dwelling Systems [P.O.D.S] .. emphasis could be with visitors & the general public, industry, schools, business leaders or tourists to engage in the procedures & operations within .. we will communicate an effective message to the people of Australia & public authorities by promoting community awareness & provide information &
educational packages & material .. to assist & to provide an ecologically sustainable permaculture model to be envied.***
We could communicate an effective message to the Australian people & politicians .. in all our activities we would express a view based on a critical analysis of available research & would provide solutions globally to the energy, life sciences, agriculture, environment, forestry and manufacturing sectors .. thus promoting a world-class education and skills development system .. that way opportunities exist for us to provide our business leaders, researchers & scientists with access to the best students, ideas & technology in Australia, solely for the interests of NRM strategy, policies & development .. furthermore .. the interest shown so-far, and the quality of the responses received, give confidence that this framework will generate the participation and ownership it needs.***
So that’s it, in a nutshell !!
What we’ve got to make sure of is that we have enough examples in place & on the ground [which we have, thanks to the immense work of Bill Mollison & Geoff Lawton & all their students] for people to understand that you CAN do ecological intelligent things well, while being very cost effective .. what we’re trying to do is to show proactively that these examples exist & that way .. it doesn’t appear as pie in the sky .. or something that’s simply not possible .. how sophisticated are we anyway ?.***
I mean how many humans can go into a paddock & with their left hand scrape away a little dirt & with their right hand put something in the ground that makes oxygen .. sequesters carbon .. fixes nitrogen .. distils water .. provides habitat for hundreds of species .. builds soil .. changes colour with the seasons .. uses solar energy .. creates fuel .. complex sugars & food .. creates micro climates and self replicates .. now thats the assignment of the museum we want to promote .. we want to encourage this & other countries to build these frameworks, structures & communities .. & as we look @ the developing world, we realise this unique opportunity for quick & intelligent leap frogging
technologies are now possible .. so the idea that the guardian [us] becomes the bench marker in finding the best practices around the world to help teach & educate all mankind.***
Let me just define what I stand for .. from a social perspective, I think it’s reasonable to say, that we should eliminate racism & sexism & other forms of inequality .. & I think that’s a fundamental need for our human culture, especially right now, in this current climate .. & we must love all of the children .. of all the species .. for all time .. not just our children .. not just our species .. & not just now .. so I think it’s kind of exciting to see, that the world is slowly embracing a strategy of change, something that I see not just as inevitable .. but a delightful prospect where Permaculture Design is burgeoning daily.***
William McDonough whom I have the utmost respect for since discovering his work & who is also a designer, architect & environmental visionary from the USA .. & who’s work I admire & have sourced within this mission statement [document] .. quotes.. “sometimes, when looking to the future we’re better off taking a look at the past” .. @ a press conference he was asked .. “what was the thing that saddens him the most” .. he replied .. “That would have to be either an environmentalist or business person typically looking at a child being born in say, Africa .. & points their finger at that child & says we have a population problem .. because the minute we don’t love every single child born .. human rights don’t seem to exist .. and so we forgo this fundamental deep connection to our own species .. I think once we come to grips with that idea, .. that loving our children, he says .. is actually the opposite to war” .. another time .. while William McDonough was on a invitational trip through Jordan & walking with a sheikh through a town that had been flattened by tanks .. he spotted part of a childs skeleton &
started to cry, at which point the sheikh looked over at him & said .. “I see .. you don’t know what war is do you” .. “I guess not”.. said McDonough .. the sheikh replied .. “War is when we kill the children”.***
This is not a dress rehersal. This project is not wishful thinking. We will be going full steam ahead shortly as described .. within a short period of time. So please, do not hesitate to contact me regarding any interest, questions or upcomming opportunities, involvement & participation.
12a Pillinger Street.
Ph: (03) 6224 7527
MUST SEE WEB LINKS: enjoy.
[50 min interview with Mathew Simmons – the most respected person on the planet regarding & Global Oil Depletion & the comming crisis know as Peak Oil, this link needs mp3 software on your computer to listen to].
[ This is the actual Pentagon’s Report: by the orders of Andrew Marshall, one of the U.S. government’s most influential defence advisers (he was the man responsible for a sweeping strategic review of the military under top hawk Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld), two respected senior consultants prepared a study of the threat to national security posed by climate change.