Samlet_kap_1_til_4-1 | Forests | Permaculture

Carbon and Food

How to cope with the climatic changes “the Permaculture way”

Permaculture as a strategy for connecting and combing the four basic natural elements – kept together and developed by a sustainable organisation – for the growing and structuring of plant systems – and thereby the regeneration of natural resources.


The UN system for combating climate change is breaking down, which is shown in the ongoing series of failed UNFCCC conferences (COPs). Therefore we in the civil society have to act united as grassroots, as we did in Copenhagen at KLIMAFORUM 09. Demonstrations and civil disobedience actions alone doesn’t do the job, the world authoritarian order is able to shut down such forms of activities. We have to do concrete and actual projects, that can be executed by groups of local people without any influence from state levels. oxygenised air, the fertile soil, the fossilised energy, through the binding of carbon in the flora – and the circulation of the fluid elements water and air by creation of ice and the local binding and releasing. The strategy for creating such a situation in our time is based on reducing the human emission of carbon and creating plant systems in massive scale. We present the strategy under the title “Less than 1 ton CO2 per person per year / more than 10.000 trees per person per lifetime”. This title is a metaphor for “NO BURNING OF CARBON“ and “FORESTS ALL OVER”. The statement “less than 1 ton and more than 10.000 trees” is meant to give a tactical and practical level of local action. The term “less” is meant to indicate some degree of flexibility in relation to the local climatically circumstances from the extreme north to the poorest south. The claim “more than 10.000” is meant to secure that the planting of trees don’t stop and that a constant urge for the planting and development of carbon fixing continues. At the same time a part of the strategy is to implement a tax system on CO2 in order to: - finance the tree planting initiatives according to permaculture principles - establish heavy motivation to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels - compensate for the global debt of the industrialised world’s overconsumption - support the food security and development of exploited regions

In Copenhagen 2009 at KLIMAFORUM09, we presented a strategy of how to cope with global ecological disasters. Since then the situation have developed into the worst case scenario we anticipated at the time – the outlet of trace gasses are virtually out of control, especially if looking at the ocean currents lack of capacity to absorb carbon and the thawing of the permafrost and boreal forests. We are past the limit of 2 degrees C and 350 ppm CO2. We are reaching 4 degree and 420 ppm within this century. To cope with this, we have to establish ecological processes, which can be compared with the situation in the Perm-Triassic period, where the globe reached CO2 values in the atmosphere that is comparable to the actual situation. At that time 80 % of all life on the globe was exterminated. Afterwards the humidity and warm climate made plant growth explode, which created the balance that gave us the


HOW TO BALANCE AND SECURE FOOD FOR ALL By developing local centres for Permaculture education and projects, we will be able to combine the planting of trees and other perennials together with food production for the local people, in a way that does not offended people’s right to the land, whether the land is owned, leased or squatted. DESTRUCTION OF THE ECOLOGICAL BALANCE THIS PAMPHLET IS AN ATTEMPT TO SUGGEST COMPENSATION FOR THE EXTREEM UNBALANCES WE HAVE INFLECTED ON THE GLOBE’S NATURAL PROCESSES WITHIN THE LAST COUPPLE OF HUNDERED YEARS. SUCH COMPENSATION MUST BE BASED ON PROCESSES IN HARMONY WITH THE ECOLOGICAL PATTERNS THAT HAVE REIGNED THE GLOBE UP UNTILL THE HUMAN DESTRUCTION HAS TAKEN OVER. The destruction is based on simple technological, static understandings of the world without any ecological dynamic outreach, originating from the narrow minded view on the world that has developed since the renaissance and constituted throughout the industrialised society – and which have let us into the disastrous situation we now experience (ref: Nordic Pamphlet “DENGLUSAUism”). The driving forces of this development are a combination of technical, segmented and political narrow sighted views on our existence. The result has been the extreme exploitation of natural resources, which we have developed throughout the last couple of hundred years. It is orchestrated by a still increasing degree of techniques on well defined

and limited functions - but with a total lack of understanding of ecological dynamics – the recycling / redistribution of the natural resources – dynamics that keeps systems and environment alive and secure the ability to regenerate. Dynamics that are driven by the 3 different conditions of water and the living dynamics of the plants: The freezing of the poles, which drives the ocean currents, the glaciers, which provide fresh water streams and the moisture in the air which provide rain. The plant systems, especially the forests, which contain the most important combination of water, carbon and nutrients, evaporate into clouds and rain. Without this distributing dynamics the life on earth will disappear. Those dynamics have been threaded several times in the time span of the globe, most severely in the Perm-Triassic period where 80 % of the life on earth was extinct. The main reason for that are the rise of temperature, that are threatening to met all ice on the globe and thereby stopped the main ocean currents, and killed most of the forests and thereby destroyed the main carbon collectors. In relation to this Geo-engineering is another static concept – just to store carbon, not distribute it, which creates methane and firestorms in soil (like Russia in 2010) and in the oceans (like in the Perm-Triassic period). The only solution is therefore to kick-start the ecological circuits again, by using the hot and humid situation to plant trees, for recycling the resources and storing carbon in natural deposits.

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Climate justice and food security
The 10.000 trees project – besides demanding tree planting as a way to cope with the climate disasters – is based on a system to raise capital for establishing implementable and just (environmentally and socially) projects in the Global South while pressuring the Global North to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels. To make just and fair projects that consider the ecological and climate debt – we have to construct a system that gives small consumers of fossil fuel with low industrial production systems (mainly in the Global South) the basic advantage. And at the same time gives the large consumers with high industrial production systems (mainly in the Global North) the obligation to compensate and paying back the debt they owe to the globe and the people they have exploited for centuries. It is essential that there is created a grassroots-strategy that can be applied by all with basic practical and appropriate means – like Permaculture. First of all this can be done through establishing reforestation projects in order to extract the trace-gasses from the atmosphere, and in order to regenerate natural ecological resources such as topsoil, purified water and air. The choice of trees must fulfil at least three conditions: Local species, food-procuring species and a diversity of species. Trees that produce food and strengthen food sovereignty, while at the same time producing materials for building, fuel, fibre and human pleasure. The 10.000 trees project in line with the Permaculture principles for food security and natural preservation.

Secondly, effective mechanisms to stop human-made global warming mainly caused by CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, industrial agriculture and deforestation must be introduced. The problem of controlling the causes of CO2 emissions seems to be immense, and does not seem to have any chance of success in the light of existing political decisionmaking structures. A less complex, less expensive, and less time-consuming system would be a tax system, a tax system that taxes every output of CO2, calculated by the number of citizens/inhabitants worldwide. The tax could be set up as the price of any ton of CO2 above one ton per person per year and be regulated nationally in the way the political decision-making system decides. For companies and international transportation it would apply to each ton of CO2 emissions. It is considered that every person on the globe has the right to emit 1 ton of CO2per year – which gives the structure of fair and just solutions. Regarding the exploitation of resources, the final consumer would have to pay the prices or taxes of the exploitation – and not the country or region that possess the resource. Besides the consumption on the personal uses and including our personal use of working places, public institutions like schools, hospitals and transportation and inclusive our food – do we have to add the military, the international transportation systems as airplanes and ships. Structures which are polluting more CO2 than the civilian consumption and which ought to be an issue at the UNFCCC negotiations (the COP meetings) – while we, the grassroots, will be able to reduce our own consumption in our communities down below 1 ton CO2 per person per year by ourselves. The revenues that come from these taxes could, for the person-related part, be divided into two parts: A national one that should be earmarked renovation, sustainable energy systems, the development of environmen4

tally sound traffic systems, etc. The other part should be earmarked an international fund controlled by the UN to invest in sustainable development in areas most effected by climate change, like tree-planting and food security. At an estimated 1000 € per ton, with 50 Gt CO2 output globally, this would give a total of 50.000 billion € to invest per year, where the 25.000 every year have to be invested in the Global South. For a fair and just regeneration of natural resources and environmental and social conditions, a global Tax must be set on every consumption of CO2 above 1 Ton per person. According to estimates by the European Union, an amount of 100 billion € per year would give some fair compensation to the developing world. In Denmark e.g. the nation would have to pay 10,000 € per person for 5 million inhabitants, and a consumption of 11 ton CO2 per person per year. Altogether 50 billion – of which the half (25 billion), should be paid into a national fund for sustainable development in the richer countries, and the other half (25 billion) should be paid to the international investment fund for tree-planting and food security. This is 10 times the amount in € that Denmark is today paying in $ to the developing world. If this becomes status quo for the world, it would give a transfer from the rich to the poorer countries, which is considered to be 1/3 of the world population, on 24 billion, an amount of in average 10 euro per year – if we suggest that about 10 % of the population can be mobilised for the Permaculture tree planting projects, it will provide some of the poorest farmers with 100 € pr year as the salary for education and work on nurseries and planting projects. To this comes another 100 € from the international transportation sector – all together an amount of 200 € pr year which could supply a developing country family until they have established a running and sustainable Permaculture project.

In the USA Albert Bates from the Farm have started a school project, where every class forms 4 groups of children. One group for localising sites for planting, one group for finding species and establishing nurseries, another for doing the exact planting scheme, and a last group for maintaining the trees – and all of them helping each other As examples for cutting consumption in the industrialised world, see the two projects from Denmark, Copenhagen in the following. - A pilot project for an urban situation – the “Estlandgade block” in the Vesterbro area. - In connection to that the urban-land link in the project “GuleReer” 20 kilometres from Vesterbro –


Estlandsgade block as an example of decentralised energy supply

Solar panels.
It is possible to produce enough hot water to cover the need of Vesterbro.

New: Residential wind turbines
A new legislative approval of residential wind turbines gives even further opportunities for decentralised energy-supply.

Facade fitted solar cells.
Solar cells on ¾ of the roof area and on 1/10 of the facades will reduce the CO2-emission by 26% of the emission from the electricity production.

Passive sun.
5% of the facades fitted with passive solar heating will reduce the CO2 emission by 807 ton pr. year.

The engine is fed with woodchips and can produce hot water for heating and eg. consumer water. It can be dimensioned to work all year or to be turned off in summer.

Closure of Vesterbrogade and replacement of 25 per cent of private cars with electric cars running on conventionally produced electricity will reduce CO2 emissions by 0.7 per cent (1,546 tons/year). Introduction of congestion charges in the metropolitan area will reduce CO2 emissions in Vesterbro by 2 per cent (4,286 tons/year). Electric busses on all Vesterbro bus lines will reduce CO2 emissions in Vesterbro by 0.07 per cent (149.66 tons/year) if powered by conventionally produced electricity. With fossil free fuel the reduction will amount to 0.14 per cent (299.32 tons/year). 2% (4.286 ton CO2/år).

Example of initiatives towards 2015
Re-insulation of roofs Re-insulation of floors and foundations Replacement of windows Replacement of pumps Switching to energy efficient lighting Adjustment of existing ventilation Decreasing inlet temperature Introduction of congestion charges TOTAL CO2 REDUCTION 2.3 per cent reduction 3.9 per cent reduction 2.5 per cent reduction 2.8 per cent reduction 3.7 per cent reduction 0.7 per cent reduction 2.1 per cent reduction 2 per cent reduction 20 per cent reduction

How can we make it happen?
Action must be taken both on a national, municipal and local level. Some recommendations require demand law reforms and government support, while local authorities and the community may initiate and provide administrative and financial support for various public campaigns aimed at the decisionmakers. We believe that it is, among other things, necessary that: Vesterbro is appointed a low energy area, meaning that all new buildings must, as a minimum, meet the requirements of low energy class 1. state and local authorities require homeowners and contractors to conduct climate-friendly renovations. funds for preliminary planning (environmentally sound planning) are provided for housing associations so that they can estimate their with knowledge of environmentally specific needs and financial circum- sound renovation. stances. an effective campaign is launched future housing renovation funds with a view to informing housing asare reserved for climate-friendly sociations in Vesterbro of the legal renovation projects and that these requirements for energy labelling funds will also be open for applica- of buildings. tions from housing co-operatives. an information campaign is Copenhagen municipality estab- launched with a view to informlishes a municipal loan scheme for ing the district’s businesses of the residents wishing to renovate their benefits of renovating electrical multi-storey buildings in a climate- installations. This could be done friendly manner. in collaboration with VEKO (a local retailers association). Copenhagen municipality lives up to its obligations to ensure climate- a study is undertaken to determine friendly renovation of municipal what instruments should be used buildings as well as its policies on to achieve a significant reduction environmentally sound planning, as of ‘other electricity consumption’ described in the pamphlet ”Miljø i in the households. Byggeri og Anlæg”. an open discussion is held on the a network of climate-certified build- pros and cons of a decentralised ers is established in order to en- energy supply as opposed to a censure easy access to contractors tralised energy supply with decen-

Example of initiatives towards 2025
Switching to fossil fuel free energy supply (Whether centralised or decentralised) Introduction of congestion charges Closure of Vesterbrogade + 25 per cent electric cars Switching to electric busses (renewable energy) TOTAL CO2 REDUCTION The above examples are ONLY examples and not an attempt to place the various initiatives in any order of priority. We have, however, taken some practical considerations 85 per cent reduction 2 per cent reduction 0.7 per cent reduction 0.14 per cent reduction 87.84 per cent reduction into account. In the example of the 20 per cent reduction in 2015 we have selected the most feasible proposals.

tralised supplement, respectively. Also, it is important to strive for a fossil fuel free energy supply regardless of which solution is chosen. More recommendations regarding the various energy supply types can be found in the background report.

charging stations for electric cars are established. more roads and streets are closed for transit and more speed bumps and one-way streets are established.

the city bike project is extended, and new city bikes with capacity for carrying groceries home are introduced. cyclists have right of way at all traffic lights.

nates certain areas, in which innovative environmental businesses get priority access to office rentals.

the number of parking spaces is renewable energy sources are sub- reduced. sidised and exempted from taxes. more trials of bus lanes, which speed electricity companies selling real up bus traffic, are undertaken. “green power” are selected and recommended. trials of light railway as a supplement to S-trains and the Metro are supplementary decentralised en- conducted. Light railway consumes ergy production, e.g. by means of is less energy-consuming and has a windmill co-operatives, is provided smaller environmental impact durwith financial and practical sup- ing the construction phase. port. Park & Ride facilities with free parkthe waste disposal system is opti- ing at peripherally placed S-train and mised with regards to recycling and Metro stations are established. fractionation in preparation for a fossil fuel free energy supply. future urban planning ensures that the residents of Vesterbro have congestion charges are introduced easy access to shopping, recrein the metropolitan area. ational activities and flexible solutions for sports and social interaction, thereby reducing the need for transport.

environmental committees in housing blocks and housing associations and a network between these are bicycles should be allowed onto S- established, possibly in collaboratrains and the Metro free of charge tion with the Climate Movement of all day. Denmark, which is currently working on a project on communication Furthermore, we recommend aimed at housing co-operatives. that: a homepage or pamphlet on locally the residents of Vesterbro are based holidays is prepared. encouraged to contribute ideas for climate-friendly initiatives and receive funding for these from the Local Committee of Vesterbro. local organisations are encouraged to rethink their traditions from an environmental perspective. local food supply projects are expanded and receive administrative and financial support. Copenhagen municipality desig-

A Practical Response to Climate Change
In relation to the ecological and climatic crisis we are already experiencing changes. In the light of this and the disastrous forecasts about what will come in the future, we have to develop strategies not only for reducing emissions of trace gases, but for extracting the gases form the atmosphere into permanent deposits. The way the globe has balanced these trace gases are through the plant systems in the oceans and on land – mainly through bacteria, algae and forests. Therefore we suggest cowering the globe with forests, as trees is a media we as humans have the longest tradition and understanding of operating with. It should be forests and trees planted according to Permaculture principles, so that they provide local communities and indigenous peoples with food, fuel and timber for protective shelter while regulating the climate and mitigating the radical changes. We must cope with the unbalances in the carbon circulation. Within the last 200 hundred years we have moved from about 300 ppm up to now with 390 ppm. It is stated that the 350 level should be the one that could keep us under the 2 centigrade Celsius that would balance our ecological system with the ice on the poles and in the glaciers. Is that the case, we do not only have to recreate the forest systems, but to reduce our CO2 emissions to the estimate of 1 ton per person per year – so we produce about ton CO2 per year globally instead of the actual We have reached 3 tipping points in recent years: melting ice masses, stop of ocean currents and dying forest in the boreal areas and in the tropics.

Forests are together with the oceans the global mediators of the climate– they collect carbon, they collect water and evaporate it, they cool of the soil in hot periods, they warm up the soil in cold periods, they fertilises the soil with nutrition and minerals and they provide habitat for immense numbers of flora and fauna. Forests are the key factors of some basic stability on the globe, regulating rain, storms, temperatures and they might even moderate earthquakes and limit volcano eruptions through their ability to balance and modify tensions and restrains in the soil and in the earth crust. To that comes the regeneration of basic ecological elements that originally were created of the plants: the pure water and air, the fertile soil and the energy through collection of carbon. Forests are in combination with water the natural element that shows the greatest potentiality for biodiversity and ecological dynamics. THEREFORE we suggest that the whole globe constantly should establish shrubs, trees, and forests – what it anyway if we would let it be. For that have we chosen a number of 10.000 trees per person per lifetime – a number chosen for its appeal as a campaign figure – it must be looked at as a continuous endeavour, with first actual new planting, later replanting and even further finding new options in older and former forest areas – i.e. as in the dying coniferous forests in the Boreal areas. The forests is thought as biodiverse and natural forests with canopy, 2 or 3 lower levels with fruit and nut trees and bushes. Such a forest – with a high degree of biodiversity – could contain as much as 10.000 plants per 1 hectare. To that comes the capacity in glades with bushes, herbs and vegetables. As such the 10.000 trees will more correctly be 10.000 perennial plants. During the forests lifetime the number of trees will diminish according to


the ecological and climatic situation – in the temperate belt i.e. around 700 trees will diminish for a full grown forest after 100 years. In the mean time cutting and thinning will give material for fuel (within the amount of 1 ton/person), buildings etc.

For doing this implementation in so different circumstances we must have a look at the whole possibilities in all parts of the globe. The total land mass on earth is about 150 million km2 = 150 billion hectares. If we suggest that 25 % goes to cities, infrastructure etc, 25% to glaciers, high mountains, lakes, deserts etc. We take the last 50 % as arable and forestry land. This adds up to potentiality 75 billion hectares of land for agriculture, forests, wetlands etc. If we are calculating with an average uptake of 10 t CO2 per hectare per year – and we calculate with an outlet of t ( minus 1 t/person 6.800.000.000) per year, it would only demand 2.300.000.000 hectares out of the total arable land capacity of That leaves a lot of potential for mixing in different ecological niches in different combination with different types of biomes. Among some of the first initiatives should be the replanting of the boreal areas and all levels until 7 meters above existing sea level as mangroves and swamps, where we can expect ascent of water levels all around the coasts and along waterways inland while the glaciers are melting. As such we calculate all existing, former and future wetlands with 5.000 to 20.000 plants per hectare. The planting in such numbers are small done by small not yet fully developed to protect the roots. Some even directly seeded in the ground or from nurseries on the spot, and will during their growing be coppiced, thinned and cut down to what is characteristic for mature forests in the different regions and that in combination with the Permaculture food producing strategies for the local farmers.

Dying forests
We have to consider a situation where a lot of the natural, local forests are dying under the pressure from climate change. Though there are things we can be sure about, like higher temperatures, moister climate, and extreme weather such as droughts, rainstorms and floods etc. Therefore a lot of the 10.000 trees would be substituting already existing but dying plants in a steady increasing speed – i.e. the boreal forests in Canada and Siberia, which for the time being are holding 25 % of all organic carbon in the world, and just now are releasing it in a still increasing speed due to the dying of the forest and thawing of the permafrost.

Food forests
In forests can you find food like fruits, nuts, berries, roots, vegetables etc. But it depends on the variation of the basic forests, in the diversity of trees, in the different kind of access of light, in varieties of water and moist – all circumstances that are characteristics of forests and to the extraordinary diversity they contain. STRATEGIES in the different parts of the world, have to find balances between different plant systems, animals, traditional techniques, and developed new strategies related to the Permaculture strategies developed through the certified 72 hour Permaculture courses.


To get strategies like the 10.000 trees implemented there have to be a successive level of organizations responsible for the local program. It must be local farmers, who know the ecological circumstances in the landscapes and through their family relation have the closest possible relation to the local social and cultural structures and habits. The geographical areas were the plans have to be developed have to be established as catchment areas of natural water for the circulation and recirculation of the resources, but also as the fundamental basis for decision-making and implementation of the strategies for planting, farming and to settle. The structure that we operate with within Permaculture is meant to strengthen local autonomy – your house, your community, your village or neighbourhood, your city and/or parish (or similar) and your bioregion, where you are able to provide yourself and your family with all daily needs throughout the year. Within those frameworks we have to establish forums for structural control together with your local co-citizens on the available natural resources within our regions. The decision making processes for these communities cannot follow the “normal” so-called parliamentarian democracy process – through its majority dictatorship, its closed and secret committees and the fixed election periods – it creates a lot of instability, manipulation and exploitation through specific self-interest from group inside and outside (see DENGLUSAUism).

Therefore there have to be established a so-called basic democratic decision making system consisting of: - consensus decisions - open working groups - acute send persons A basic democratic system established on all the mentioned organisational levels and with connections between them (se pamphlet Permaculture organisation). Regarding the land it probably demands some ownership model, and if that’s not the case, developing traditions like the Danish cooperative structures is useful – if needed in combination with the Iberian, and Brazilian, squatting system. Where it is possible to squat land that is not in use and get the right to negotiate for the use of it and even the ownership of the land in question, with the landowner and/or the authorities. If the UNFCCC COP-process would do something useful and create a fundamental attempt to establish circumstances for a sustainable development for the globe and the communities around it, the phenomena described in this paper and the solutions mentioned here – would have to be discussed. In the meantime we - the grassroots networks around the world have to develop and implement the solutions as real examples of what can be done, when the increasing disasters are haunting us.


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