This post is for permaculture people who wonder about Sepp Holzer, and his relationship to the permaculture movement started in Australia by David Holmgren and Bill Mollison.
And if you don’t wonder about Sepp Holzer, you should! He turned a south-facing mountainside in Austria into a permacultural paradise. His life work offers perhaps the single most dramatic, or at least most well publicized, example of what thinking with rather than against nature can do.
Here’s a little video on Sepp Holzer.
Here’s Paul Wheaton in Montana talking about Holzer and permaculture.
And here’s Paul Wheaton’s great extended comment from permies.com that ranks Holzer and all the rest of us.
|The time has come for me to more formally define this. I have eluded to this rough idea in the past with some numbers I pulled out of my butt. I now flush those numbers and clearly define these new numbers.Further, while in the shower this morning, I decided that I am obnoxious and arrogant enough to come up with something and put my name to it. I also give everybody else licence to come up with their own scales for whatever they want. I just need to express myself, so I need ….. SOMETHING!
wheaton eco level 0: about 5 billion people
Observation 1: most people find folks one or two levels up took pretty cool. People three levels up look a bit nutty. People four of five levels up look downright crazy. People six levels up should probably be institutionalized. I find the latter reactions to be inappropriate.
Observations 2: most people find folks one level back are ignorant. Two levels back are assholes. Any further back and they should be shot on sight for the betterment of society as a whole. I find that all of these reactions are innapropriate.
Finally: I can put whoever I want at the spot of eco level 10. I choose the mighty Sepp Holzer and I don’t give a damn if you think somebody else should sit in that spot on my scale!
Here are some possible attributes of people on the scale
Level 1: is thinking about the environment. Bought fluorescent light bulbs. Is trying to do a good job of recycling. Reads an article or two. Buys some organic food. Their power bill is less than average.
Level 2: 30% of purchased food is organic
Level 3: Has an organic garden and 80% of purchased food is organic
Level 4: Grow 40% of their own food. Studying permaculture. Got rid of all fluorescent light bulbs
Level 5: has taken a PDC and/or grows 90% of their own food
Level 6: Living a footprint that is 10 times lighter than average. Maybe living in community. Maybe living in something very small.
Level 7: Permaculture teacher
Level 8: Doing things that are currently improving the world in big ways
Level 9: masanobu fukuoka, paul stamets, art ludwig, bill mollison, ianto evans ….
Level 10: the mighty, the glorious, the amazing Sepp Holzer