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Future Proof Kilkenny

The 2009 winter issue of Permaculture Magazine is out now and as always is hugely refreshing and inspirational. If you had to limit yourself to just one read per season then this would be it. In this issue are articles on sustainable beekeeping, winter allotments, apple juicing and cider making, zero carbon counties, a fascinating survey of UK towns in transition and many others.

Given the times we are living in the lead article is right on the money with a positive account of life without money - a prospect that more and more of us are coming to terms every day. According to the author, however, this may be good for us, our communities and the planet. The article is by Mark Boyle, founder of the Freeconomy Community and below the fold is a short extract.

One of the critical reasons that we have so many major symptoms in the world today is that we no longer have to see the direct repercussions our consumerism has on people, environment and animals. The degrees of separation between the consumer and the consumed have increased so much that it now, conveniently, means that people are completely unaware of the levels of destruction and suffering involved in the production of the ‘stuff’ they buy. I know nobody who consciously wants to cause destruction and suffering to others; it is just that most people no longer have any idea that they directly are. The tool that has enabled this disconnection, this separation from what we consume is money; especially in its modern globalised form.

Take this for an example. If we grew our own food we wouldn’t waste a third of it as we do today. If we made our own tables and chairs, we wouldn’t throw them out the moment we changed the interior decor. If we had to clean our own drinking water, we probably wouldn’t shit in it.

Let’s go one step further. If we could see the child working under military presence in a sweatshop, we’d reconsider buying that new pair of jeans on the high street. If we could see the face of the Iraqi mother as her child lies dead in a cluster bomb we’d probably think twice about going on an oil-guzzling cheap flight for the weekend. If we could see the size of the landfill sites where our ‘stuff’ goes, we would probably have a lot more respect for what we use.

If you don’t already get Permaculture Magazine you can subscribe here. Trust us. You wont regret it.

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