Wednesday, September 2, 1998 1:30:50 AM
From: GSBN@...,Txinfinet Incoming
Subject: Digest for 9/1/98
-> Can Permaculture/Straw Bale Building Save the World? LONG
by Huff and Puff Constructions <huffnpuff@...>
-> pc
by David Bainbridge <bainbrid@...>


Date: 1 Sep 1998 18:58:44 -0500
From: Huff and Puff Constructions <huffnpuff@...>
Subject: Can Permaculture/Straw Bale Building Save the World? LONG

G'Day Strawbalers

In this months edition of The Permaculture International Journal there
is an article by Ted Trainer entitled 'Can Permaculture Save the World?'
I believe that permaculture/sustainable building practices or should
that be just permaculture, as they are one and the same.

The article repeats some well established reasons why we build in straw
and maybe we should every now and then remind ourselves what this is
really all about (straw bales I mean).

I write this post in some state of frustration as I am probably
impatient and having to deal with Council Inspectors on a daily basis
makes me even more frustrated, but we are slowly winning. So please
forgive me if I go on some.

The other reason that I am writing this is that I will be going away for
a while and will be out of email range for a few weeks and by
communicating this way I feel a whole lot better talking to like
minded people such as yourselves.

I notice that one of the recent trends on the posts have been re: cement
floors, steel frames/trusses, cement stuccos and waterproofing. All
unsustainable materials, I am just as guilty and I know we have to start
somewhere and 25% of a building built sustainably is a good start ie
straw bale walls. We have to do better and soon.

I would like to quote from Ted's article and see if you agree:

"It takes 10-12 acres or 4-5 hectares of productive land to provide
the lifestyle people in Sydney have (our "footprint"). If 11 billion
people (the expected population of the world late next century) were to
live in that fashion about 50 billion hectares (a lot of acres!) would
be needed; but that is 8 times all the productive land on the planet".

We are in other words well beyond the limits to growth.

"The environment problem is basically due to all the resources our
affluent-consumer lifestyle are taking from the environment and then
dumping into it as waste. It takes 20 tonnes of new materials to
provide for one American/Canadian/Australian every year. One species,
humanity, is taking 40% of the biological productivity of the planet's
entire land area, mostly to provide for 1 billion people only.....".

We cannot possibly expect to stop the extinxtion of species unless we
drastically reverse this demand for biological resources and the
consequenct destruction of habitat.

".....the outlook becomes far worse when we add the implications of our
manic growth. If Australia averaged four percent growth from now until
2050, and by then the expected 11 builiion people had risen to the
living standards we would then have, the total world economic output
would be 220 times what it is today....."

Ted Trainer goes on to say that we will have to radically alter our
lifestyles in the western world and that we are fast approaching a
period of enormous and probably chaotic change. Ted argues that
although the planet cannot be saved without permaculture, not enough
people in the movement realise where permaculture fits in.

I believe that permaculture building practices can and are making a
difference and permaculture can be seen working in Zimbabwe, India,
Mexico and so on. Can we honestly say that it (permaculture) is working
in America/Canada/Australia??

I for one (and my darling), will be moving to Ganmain this year and I
promise to build with recycled materials/straw bales/earthen floors/lime
putty renders and all the wonderful ideas that I have learnt from all of
you. Then I will build The College of Environmental Design Development
And Research in Sustainablity THE CEDDARS, (tuna australis an
endangeered species of tree; Red Cedar). Where I will teach others
how to build and live lightly on our planet.

So for now good bye and I will try to practice what I preach and if the
Council Inspectors give me a hard time when I use rubber tyres for the
footings then expect to see a few council inspectors being used as
mulch!!! That's better; talk to you all soon.

Regards John Glassford

PS If you want info on the article subscribe to the PIJ on: or email: pij@...


Date: 1 Sep 1998 19:18:56 -0500
From: David Bainbridge <bainbrid@...>
Subject: pc


Inspectors can make a good footing if they are suitable stabilized.

Can you use a rubble trench with grade beam? or asphpalt stabilized rammed
earth? Loads must be pretty low psf

i will outline article for your return...



David A. Bainbridge
Environmental Studies Program
United States International University
10455 Pomerado Road
San Diego, CA 92131
under construction but take a look

To have schoolmates come from distant states--is it not a pleasure!
Master Kong (Confucius 550-479BC)


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