Episode #19: Permaculture Design with Bill Mollison (Part I)

Last month I had the privilege to speak with Bill Mollison, visionary and creator of the revolutionary and true reality-based design science of permaculture. The interview is published here, so that those of you who are new to permaculture can discover the history of its founder and the nature of the concepts embodied in his philosophy.

This is the first part in a two part series. Please listen and enjoy, and come back soon to hear part two.



Episode #19: Permaculture Design with Bill Mollison (Part I) — 4 Comments

  1. Around minute 20 of this interview, Mr. Mollison makes some extraordinary claims, such as, “I would ban agricultural universities and colleges.” He also states that as the number of soil scientists increase, so do rates of erosion. Specious logic, to be sure. Here at Auburn University, we have the National Soil Dynamics Lab, which concerns itself largely with decreasing soil erosion by implementing conservation agriculture. To imply that we are increasing erosion is grossly inaccurate. Consider the rate of erosion without soil scientists; I think it is safe to say that the rates would be worse than they are now, although according to Mr. Mollison, if we eliminated ag universities and soil scientists, we would also eliminate soil erosion! A dangerous proposition, indeed.

    On another note, I would like to add that agriculture is a major source of erosion, but construction and development is just as great a cause.

    I like the idea of what Mr. Mollison proposes, but he should be more careful when laying the blame on soil scientists.

  2. I think you are missing the thrust of Mollison’s argument. He is saying that soil erosion and the number of soil scientists increase at roughly the same rate. It isn’t that soil scientists are causing erosion, it’s just that they don’t seem to have any impact on it’s progression; our expectation is the opposite of the reality. Mollison is pointing out a tragic irony of a system that, he believes, is broken.

    I think, as a soil scientist yourself, you are well aware of the fact that there is just an alarming paucity of great people doing great field work. And this is essentially what Mollison is saying: in general, the best soil managers tend to be the innovative farmers. In that light, I would view you as an exception rather than the rule. I’m sure you would agree that we are all immersed in a system fraught (sometimes crippled) with problems and inconsistencies. So for me, the question isn’t: How bad is it? But instead, what can we do about it?

  3. is it possible for humans to live as one with the world?
    i mean is it poosible to use the sun, wind, rain and natrual plants. global warming for example is been accelirated by green house gases, some of the gases are produced by car fumes and hot water systems. if you can use the sun to heat water why not use it and if we can use electric car why not use them. and some people complain that the prices of food have gone up well maybe if they only planted plants in their garden that are food plants.
    my mum said this you are a great person to ask these thing and that i am only 14 but you know mums. i just want to learn.

  4. Is it possible to find the transcript of this interview (2 parts)?
    I would be very grateful to you if you could help me to find it.

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