Friday Five by Geoff Lawton

Hi, this is Geoff.

I’m going to try and make this Friday Five a bit shorter than the last several, so here goes…

Take charge: In times of political uncertainty, permaculture’s message has always been the same: Take charge and assume responsibility for your own well-being; don’t outsource this to someone else. Interesting that this message seems to be getting a “second” from none other than Edward Snowden. The best line from this wide-ranging interview: “If we want to have a better world we can’t hope for an Obama, and we should not fear a Donald Trump, rather we should build it ourselves.”

Education innovation: Speaking of taking charge, what better place to do so than in the way we educate our children? Some interesting things happening in different parts of the world: Finland, perennially considered as having one of the best systems of education in the world, is abolishing all school subjects. Instead of studying subjects in isolation, students will take an integrated, interdisciplinary, “theme-based” approach to their studies. Remind you of something? Another effort gestating in Chiang Mai, Thailand, albeit on a much smaller scale, combines permaculture, Montessori, and art.

Sorry, Earth: It seems like there are a few Trump supporters in our community who conflate concerns about Trump with a love of all-things-Hillary. To be clear, I think that both of these power-hungry politicians are disasters, and each represent a different side of the same coin: A worldview that put the interests of a privileged class over the vast majority of the world’s population. And at the risk of offending the handful of “Trump is our savior” readers, I’m not going to mince my words here: Trump and his persistent denial of climate change (among many other things) represents a unique threat to the Earth itself. And before we dismiss this as mere “campaign talk,” consider the views of his top environmental advisor. And for the tiny number of you that believe man-made climate change is all some kind of “mainstream conspiracy theory,” kindly consider these set of facts put together by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

But…there’s ALWAYS good news: Fantastic interview of TED Fellow Shubhendu Sharma who helps “speed up” the process of forest creation by a factor of 10.

And in the end…remember that: 1) the world is filled with absolute beauty, and 2) nature always wins.

Feel free to forward to a friend. Anyone can sign up for the next batch.

Cheers, and have a great weekend,

Your friend,


PS: As I mentioned last week, rather than replying to these Friday Fives by sending an email that only goes to me, I encourage you to go to the blog post version of the Friday Five and leave your thoughts in the comments section below the post; that way, others in the community can benefit from your insights, and encourage more engagement. The Friday Five is not meant to be a one-way transmission of information, but rather a conversation starter. So let your voice be heard here.

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