Series: Ecological Design for Sustainable and Regenerative Futures
This article provides some of the meta-issues or global perspectives relevant to ecovillage designing. Ted Trainer, a long time proponent of the ecovillage solution, continues in this vein by offering the rationale for instituting his Simpler Way. Professor Trainer claims that most ‘greening’ doesn’t go far enough, that the transition to any truly ‘sustainable’ society will require a complete dismantling and replacement of current market economies and social systems based on the uninhibited acquisitiveness of a few. Ted is sharp in his critique of these outworn systems; yet it becomes apparent that his motivation is an underlying compassion. The article closes with an urging for ecovillage designers to apply their ‘craft’ to the larger scales of societies and political systems.
The basic argument in this article is that when the nature of the global predicament is understood it is obvious that the alarming problems now threatening to destroy civilization cannot be solved unless we move toward the ideas and practices evident within the global ecovillage and permaculture movements. Thus it would be difficult to exaggerate the importance of these movements and the role they have played over recent decades in the transition to a sustainable and just world.
My argument will be that the alarming global problems we face cannot be solved in a society that is obsessed with affluent consumer lifestyles, production for profit rather than need, letting market forces determine society, and especially with a growth-forever economy. We cannot solve the big problems unless and until we accept the need for vast and radical transition to some very different systems, ways and values. My hope is that this article will persuade permaculture and ecovillage designers that this is the appropriate perspective from which to operate, and that their craft is therefore of far greater importance than is generally realized.
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