Pulse Media


Permaculture ethics

Permaculture Reflections

All this leads us back to permaculture ethics, or, using Zizek’s approach, Permaculture’s guidelines for avoiding excess. The first tenet is to care for the Earth. Obviously, puerile fantasies of space colonization aside, we are all dependent on a healthy planet to sustain us. To endanger life on this planet is to endanger ourselves. This is clear enough. All life has an inherent value. Once this is recognised, thoughtless environmental destruction can be avoided. The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development is a step in the right direction: “In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied…”

The second tenet, contained within the first, is to care for people. People need access to clean air and clean water. To borrow from Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, [sensible, sustainable] housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”