Today I took the car for service and as I usually wait for it, I grabbed something to read as I shot out the door. Although there’s a waiting room with tea and coffee facilities, the only thing to occupy the mind is a TV tuned to a commercial station’s breakfast program (yuk!), a pile of car magazines (double yuk!) or a pile of out-of-date women’s magazines (oh, you’ve got to be kidding!).
What I grabbed was “Introduction to Permaculture“, by Bill Mollison & Reny Mia Slay, still, I think, one of the best books on the subject.
I made a cup of coffee and settled down. A young guy came in, made himself a coffee and plopped down beside me. He looked over at my book, the pages covered in line drawings and permaculture designs and said, “Uh, landscape gardening?”. I showed him the cover and said, “permaculture”.
“Oh, I’ve got that one too, isn’t it great?”.
What followed was a delightful conversation in which we each shared our permaculture and home food-growing efforts. Composting toilets, worm farms, fruit trees, the flavour and nutritional benefits of home-grown veggies, water tanks, grey water systems and the rest. He turned out to be a primary school teacher in a neighbouring suburb and was hoping to get a food-growing program going at the school.
The amazing thing was that he was peak oil aware. After a disastrous and nasty confrontation with a neighbour over the subject, I’m reluctant to ever mention it to anyone again, so I broached the subject with apprehension, expecting the usual, ‘that’s-a-lot-of-crap/technology/electric cars/renewables will save us’ stuff, but he was up with all that and knew what the consequences would be.
It is really uplifting to find an aware young person who’s knowledgeable and accepting of the changes that will happen as the world runs out of oil and is preparing to cope with it. I hope he has lots of young, similarly-minded friends who are doing likewise.
Maybe I should stop trying to convince ignorant fuddy-duddy neighbours of the need to change and focus on the youth of the world.
Maybe things won’t be so bad after all.