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Geoff Lawton Talks to ABC Radio About Dryland Salinity

A couple of weeks ago ABC Rural’s ‘Bush Telegraph’ radio show featured an interview with Dr. Christine Jones about how to deal with the major problem of dryland salinity. Her ‘radical’ thoughts on it prompted a heated response from Mick Fleming, a former principal research scientist with CSIRO Land and Water, who was ‘gobsmacked’ with her ideas, and countered with his own.

Geoff found the discussion of great interest, and ended up being interviewed by Michael Mackenzie of ABC radio on the issue – it makes for a very interesting listen.

Click play below to hear the talk:

ABC Talks to Geoff Lawton on Dryland Salinity


  1. Geoff Lawton – I’m so glad you are in this world, speaking on behalf of Permaculture and this wonderful continent we inhabit. Sensible, articulate, passionate ambassador for the future. Thank you.

  2. This was brilliant to hear. I am pleased that people are hearing just how big Permaculter has become.

  3. How long until I hear public debates about hydrology on the news here in America? That will be a quite a day.

  4. Craig, thank you for the link. Geoff thank you for your words and wisdom. If I could make just one criticism it would be of the oration in the interview. I think for Permaculture to reach a wider audience and to keep listeners tuned in, some of the terminology needs to be toned down and put into laymens terms. Phrases like ‘interswales’, ‘interactive edge’, ‘proportioned size ratios’ combined with contours, yeomans plough and ‘assembly of productive trees’ used together in the same breath is quite a lot to take in even if you are reasonably familiar with Permaculture. The more people can relate Permaculture to their situation and see how it could benefit their property and lives (as well as those around them, the planet, etc) with simple examples – the more likely they are to take an interest and get them talking about it and doing it! It may be a science but as anyone interested in Permaculture knows, it’s just good old common sense! I must say though that Geoff summarised and finished nicely and I always enjoy hearing what he has to say.

  5. The complexity and at the same time diversity of the subjects you manage are amazing keep up the good work and I wish you would like to visit my country Colombia talk about abundance in small farms and anything would be wonderful

  6. Hehe! Academics go ‘waffle waffle waffle’ about all sorts of theories, with very impressive long words, and Geoff says, oh, look, we started a food forest, and the salt’s gone! Yeah, I know it’s more complicated than that…

  7. I disagree about the language – he defines most terms he uses and the rest can be considered “keyword drops” and people can go look them up.

    The main question that came to mind: OK, so the ratio of the inter-swale area to swale dimensions is critical… how is that figured then?

    (can you tell I’m implementing?!)

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