Went to the talk by Nicole Foss (the person behind The AutomaticEarth website) in Laidley on Saturday afternoon on the threats to Australia from the combination of excessive personal debt, over-leveraged banks, the approaching global limits to growth (including peak oil) and climate change.
This wasn’t some gloom-and-doom hand-wringing session. Foss takes a solution-oriented approach and explored a range of choices available to people at the individual, family and community levels. She covered the alternatives, ranging across urban, rural, suburban retrofit, intentional community, eco-village – and summarised the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
Along the way she offered Australia an outline of a “Plan-B”: stop basing the economy on feeding the Chinese demand for resources; stop trying to feed 60 million people (and destroying Australia’s soils in the process) instead focussing on food security for Australia into the long term; and replace the sense of complacency with a sense of urgency.
The talk was a logical follow-up to the presentation she gave at the Queensland Institute of Technology in early July, on her speaking tour with David Holmgren.
Nicole Foss, who sometimes writes under the name of ‘Stoneleigh’, is a Canadian sustainability, energy, and finance expert. She is best known for her works on her website, The Automatic Earth. She was editor of the Oil Drum Canada website where she wrote on the connections between energy and finance. She now lives in New Zealand.
The event was organised by SavourSoil Permaculture (a Laidley-based small business), and in my opinion made an important contribution to local understanding of the most significant issues facing us and the Earth and, most important, provided a window into the approaches we will need to adopt to ensure personal and community resilience. Thanks Michael, good to see people wiling to make such a contribution to the community.
Rafaele Joudry from Atamai Eco-Village in the north of New Zealand’s South Island (where Foss now lives) gave an overview of Atamai and its philosophy.