In 1952, Mortimer Adler and his team of super scholars decided that there were 102 "Great Ideas" in the canon of western literature. Given permaculture's relevance (as we, humans, continue to create a seriously precarious situation for ourselves and for future generations) and given the complex nature of the term 'permaculture,' I lean toward thinking that it's time for another idea, and permaculture (or perhaps ecology--but probably not sustainability) is it. Although still undecided, I'm leaning toward asking this question tonight up at St. John's College at an alumni salon, "What is permaculture, and could it be the next Great Idea?"
No matter what happens tonight--to some, this new-idea bit of mine might seem like hubris--we will be looking at the attached Toby Hemenway essay, featuring the leading pioneer of modern chemistry, Antoine Lavoissier.
(Tonight's salon starts at 7pm, and there are still a couple of seats, so if you are a Johnny alum, spouse, or otherwise-related nut-job in the Santa Fe area with nothing to do, please RSVP to Martha Acosta.)
As for me, I'm hopefully signing off from my screen until tomorrow in order to prepare...with those wonderful, powerful relics that we still call "books." In the meantime, WHAT DO YOU THINK THE NEXT GREAT IDEA SHOULD BE? Other candidates include 'localism,' 'biomimicry,' 'transition town,' 'synergy,' 'ecological design,' 'bioneer,' 'restoration,' 'regeneration,' 'eearth,' 'Gaia,' 'holistic management,' 'peak everything,' and 'commonsense.' How would you brand the necessary revolution in a word or two? And, much more importantly, *why* do you think it would work best--as mainstream America finally seems to understand the depth of our predicament(s)?