Bite-sized Design Essentials – Climate, Sectors and Risk

spoof on whistlers mother

Face your risk from climate change with guided planning. You can then feel more secure, comfortable and fruitful.

We are powerful, creative individuals. But do we know how to be effective changemakers? Each day that we avoid thinking about the design of our lifestyle we are probably living by someone else’s design. This post offers worksheets at the end to help you design to reduce the impact of climate change and enhance the best features of any space.

permaculture visions design

CLIMATE, SECTORS AND RISK

Climate change is no longer up for debate. For many of us, it is real and now. And for many more people it is urgent. The risk is not evenly spread. One region will suffer far worse than another. There are inexpensive actions that make us more comfortable and safe.

Firstly, assess your overall risk. Then find what you can change and what can’t be changed. Rather than waiting for things to happen to us, lets plan some improvements and prepare for a dignified exist if required.

Plans can enhance the microclimates (using an awareness of energy sectors). But ultimately, calculating the risk informs the design and helps our community prepare better for future catastrophes.

MICROCLIMATE MITIGATION

Design cannot change the regional climate but it can create more liveable microclimates.
There are goldilocks “Life zones” that support living systems. But even Goldilocks needs to become adaptable because we are living through a period of rapid climate change. And not everywhere is changing in the same way or at the same rate. Every space is unique and the design team can assess what the space has and how it can be enhanced. 

Action: Research the climate site and map existing microclimates. Determine likely climate changes and how this informs the design. Finally, design to reduce the impact from a range of climate extremes.

SECTOR PLANNING

Sector analysis determines the direction, frequency, intensity and effects of both welcome and unwelcome energies. Designs that work with energies provided by nature require less imported energy and are more climate resilient.  To create a design that harmonies with the site we observe and measure the various energies, identify where they come from, their potential impact and how we can use or deflect this energy at different times of the year.
First we identify and map existing external and internal natural energy sources. We also consider predicted changes from climate worksheet. Next, we determine what design interventions could optimise the use these energies.

Action: Create a sector analysis for the space and propose modifications.

Dragon of climate change

RISK ANALYSIS AND MITIGATION

Design to reduce risk in order to save habitat, lives, effort and resources as well as minimising pollution. “Risk is the balance of consequence and likelihood .”  Lizzy Smith. Risk can be a negative or positive opportunity. An example of a (hopefully) positive risk occurs when we set out on an adventure.  Whereas a negative risk common occurs when someone moves onto a property that is subject to flooding then finds out they are not insured and can not afford to relocate.

Our risk analysis develops design strategies to prepare for and overcome risks. We determine the likely risks through a SWOT analysis. Then we design to mitigate the risk. 

Actions: Identify Strengths, Weaknesses. Opportunities and Threats or Constraints then Identify ways to reduce the risks and enhance the strengths. One of the actions that we can adopt is to keep some of the plants in relocatable wicking vessels. In the event of any type of emergency, or an opportunity to relocate, you can take young plants with you.

Earthcare secretary, Amanda Argent seeks to connect people to environmental stewardship, increase people’s skills and knowledge on how to regenerate food growing spaces following a natural disaster, and prepare for future climate extremes. This will strengthen flood affected communities collective resilience.

Tiffany-HENBURN

WORKSHEETS

Here are the worksheets we are presenting at Earthcare to help participants develop their design skills. The files are pilot samples from our upcoming Permaculture course and book called the FIELD GUIDE TO PERMACULTURE DESIGN. If you are keen to join our upcoming course to develop your design skills, write to us.

  1. Climate
  2. Sectors
  3. Risk
  4. Zones

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5 Ways To Get White Men Jumping.

Skeptics Adapt. Denialists Self-Destruct

ostrich
Nowhere quiet for denialist to bury head in sand.

Skepticism is essential for unbiased science. We are encouraged to scrutinise and evaluate research. But, to be the type of leader who lives in constant denial is to risk missing out on key opportunities. To go one step further and declare that climate science is no longer needed is simply madness.

Despite the swelling evidence of climate change, the bitter discomfort of soaring temperatures, the flooding rains, hungrier sharks, beaches littered with dead baby seals and other ‘bothers’, the Classic Climate Denialists continue to shelter in their dens.  They come out seasonally to tell us not to worry.

But the voices of the Climate Denial Brigade are actually getting hard to hear over the din from fire-and-flood emergency services. Even the white-collar insurance companies are scrambling for safety in an era of uncertainty from climate change.

Publicly, the Climate Denial Brigade is dominated by strong older white, conservative men. Unfortunately these same men tend to dominate the business world and seats of power.  And lately they have been menacing and actively stopping the scientists from doing their valuable independent work. It’s time for a chat. So, how do we engage this Classic Climate Denialist?

How Do we Start the Conversation?

1. Talk About The Weather

help-me2Most conversations open with a chat about the weather. Especially for those people who live in life-threatening weather systems (North America, England). Oscar Wilde once quipped that “Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.”  Oscar Wilde lived in a period of climate security. What would he say now? Ask the denialist about their view on the weather.

2. Encourage that Odd ‘Moment of Reminiscing’

technology-save-us?The denialist who is still ‘saving for the rainy day” will begrudgingly enjoy spending time in the cool, climate-adapted Skeptics den.  In the day-to-day discussions with classic denialists, there are nostalgic reminisces  about the changing weather patterns. We hear : “When I was a boy it snowed at Christmas, there were some snow drifts as big as ….” but the next breath is uncomfortably silent.

The denialist doesn’t need to consider that their pollution would be degrading the planet or contributing to climate uncertainty.

Befriend The Elephant

elephant-in-the-room

To consider the link between human behaviour and climate change is to accept that our own behaviour, might have been harmful to the planet. To face our grandchildren with the knowledge that we have put a burden on them is shameful.

It takes a really big guy to accept that his life’s work is not building a better future.

It is also very challenging to recognise that any destructive practices today are going to be costly to future generations.

The climate change elephant-in-the-room is growing bigger.

3. Accentuate the Positives

An awareness of climate change can drive innovation and provide a market advantage. [But do avoid green-washing clichés eg. ‘Save the trees by using our plastic siding’. ]
This growing ‘eco-market’ is informed, genuine and astute. It keeps pushing for educated solutions eg. this type of consumer won’t just settle on having insulation, she wants recycled insulation.
If you offer a genuinely good product or service, the eco-market will hunt you down and be knocking at your company door before the product is on the market.
Befriending that Elephant-in-theworkplace can help reduce climate change pressures and lead innovation. Rather than trying to compete solely on price, a smart company can offer green-savy, ethical solutions.  Nucor Steel recycle one ton of steel every two seconds. Nucor are also developing the world’s first faster, cleaner, 99% recycled high quality steel.

4. Listen To The Heart

bee_Dalai_lama_permaculturevisionsReligion speaks to a lot of people. One the greatest challenges to the common Climate Denial Brigade is Pope Francis.
He implores followers to be guardians and stewards, not exploiters of the earth. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori says Climate change is a moral challenge threatening the rights of the world’s poorest people and those who deny it are not using God’s gift of knowledge.
In Islam there is the basic tenet that the earth is for all beings, not humans alone.   The Dalai Lama writes that “Life must be characterized by a sense of universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life”.  This universal belief in a higher good can be the catalyst to a deeper maturity and exploration of ethics.

Neil Young and Willie Nelson leading the change for older white men. Rolling Stone

5. Help Them Free the Change-Makers

How did the some cultures get so disconnected from nature? How did some people allow themselves to think that the planet is for them to dominant and do as they wish? Greed is a powerful demon.

If the climate denialists don’t have the power to jump up and face the demons
(the horrors of our transgressions), then they need to simply get out-of-the-way!

Encourage Denialists to become healthy skeptics and support crucial scientific research organisations. Tell them clearly when they need to step out of the way of the change-makers who will get on with the business of building a cleaner future for all of us.

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