with nature, not against it

UntitledThe present (waning) industrial petro-energy age, while having afforded us an enormous leap in standard of living, is also unfortunately characterized by domination and exploitation of nature, which we not only rape but also use as a dumping ground for the ensuing waste of the technologies we have developed - a win-lose situation all around. The dire consequences of this belief system are at our doorstep now. A new way of seeing ourselves is embedded and part of nature, not apart from nature. This perspective is birthing a whole new way of looking at technology. Science writer Janine Benyus calls it biomimicry and wrote a book about it. Biomimicry looks at how nature does things and then emulates it for our human applications.

A terrific example from architecture & engineering is a huge building complex in Zimbabwe whose cooling system was inspired by termites' design of their weird looking desert dens that maintain a constant 86 degrees F, even though the outside temperature may range from 30 at night to 110 in mid-day.

An example from agriculture is permaculture.  Permaculture is a man made food growing system that integrates local weather and soil conditions, native and predominantly perennial plants (that don't require tilling the soil), possible integration of animals into the system design, all in a circular wasteless process. Therefore, permaculture has no negative impact on the surrounding environment and it produces food for us.

Win-win all around!  What a great new paradigm.