Communities for Future
Online Summit
Our Response to the Climate Emergency

February 1-10, 2020

Morag Gamble

Global Leader of the Permaculture Movement, Practitioner at Crystal Waters Ecovillage, Australia
Morag Gamble

Morag shares with us about the effects of the fires in Australia on the nature, wildlife, and people, weaving it into personal stories and her own grief and connection to the land. She talks about not only fixing the damage but building resilience and taking responsible action as “everyone has the capacity to stand up in whatever realm they are”. She reminds us that permaculture is much more than gardening - it’s a way of designing a one-planet life.

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  • Introduction
  • A personal sharing about the situation in Australia
  • Resilience and a well-timed response to catastrophes
  • A call to action
  • Permaculture - creating a one-planet life
  • Learning from indigenous communities
  • The design of Crystal Waters Ecovillage
  • Starting meaningful grassroot projects
Morag Gamble

Morag Gamble lives a permaculture life at Crystal Waters, the UN World Habitat award-winning ecovillage in Australia. From this living laboratory, she shares a new story of living - a one-earth, nature-connected, community-rich story inspired by indigenous cultures of sustainability, voluntary simplicity and the relocalisation movements. As Global Permaculture Ambassador, she has been teaching in communities and universities around the globe. Morag is the founder of the Permaculture Education Institute with students on 6 continents, and the Executive Director of the Ethos Foundation, a small permaculture charity.
Follow her on Our Permaculture Life youtube channel and blog.

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  • Jen

    Oh, so inspiring, Morag, thank you. And thank you, Kosha, for being so present and tender around the necessary mourning.

  • Mother Earth is the main living creature we have. As it cares about our lives, we have to care about her. We have to form global earth-governance and those who represent her should submit new laws to protect her. The same people will be building a global community beyond borders and nationalities. When we unify our actions and build more synergy we will be able the insanity taking place against the earth and our humanity.

  • Berni

    Thank you Morag, for speaking so beautifully about the grief and overwhelm we are all feeling and living with here in Australia. I worry too about the Australian way of just getting on with things. In my own community, which was heavily impacted by fire in November, I am seeing lots of evidence of this. I hope that we are able to create the space to mourn deeply and in turn recover slowly and with meaning.

  • Thanks for amplifying these resilience stories, truly worthfull to hear the human/emerging voice of Australia.

  • Note: the YouTube link above doesnt lead to the YT channel. I found this link instead

  • I love this conversation! Thank you for this incredible summit =) I translate planetary positions into neuroacoustic sound frequencies to create healing sound scapes. I mourned the loss of biodiversity in Australia and the world with the sound of the Jan 10th eclipse 2020 <3

  • Mireille Lucas

    You may want to read this in addition: Why Should We Grieve the Death of a Wild Animal?
    Grieving the death of a wild animal can be revealing (by Krystine I. Batcho Ph.D. in Psychology).

    Not yet studied empirically, however, is the impact of coming upon a dead wild animal. Upon finding a fallen bird in the garden or discovering a dead squirrel, raccoon or rabbit on a woodland walk, some people might simply move on, while others might pause to reflect. Is it possible to mourn the death of a wild animal despite no prior acquaintance or relationship? Paraphrasing the psychiatrist Colin Murray Parkes, grief is the price we all pay for love. Would anyone grieve the death of an animal they had never known, much less loved? And yet some people do feel sad encountering an animal who seemingly died without witness, ceremony, or support. Sorrow for such a commonplace death with no connection to us reveals important dimensions of our emotions. The death of a close relative or friend entails the complex loss not only of a person we admired and loved but also the end of a meaningful relationship. The death of a pet represents the loss of an animal we cared for and who had given us unconditional acceptance, comfort, and companionship. The death of a wild animal doesn’t deprive us of anything. The animal had given us nothing and had taken nothing from us in return.

    Grief for such an animal might be considered one of the purest experiences of compassion, based only on the sense that an innocent life has ended. It reminds us of the importance of our relationships, the give-and-take that lends meaning to our lives. We know that an animal in the wild is inherently incapable of human expectations and emotions. But we might wish anyway that we could extend the comforts of social bonds we enjoy to this one animal we have discovered. It is as if our discovery constitutes an encounter that reminds us of the interconnectedness of life. In any case, our wish that we could share the best of being human reveals our capacity to care altruistically without expectation of anything in return.

    Sensing that others couldn’t understand our feelings, sadness at a wildlife death might be one of those special private events that remind us of our struggle to be truly connected with others while remaining our authentic individual selves. Private experiences that defy sharing can deepen our ability to explore and appreciate our interior life. Such opportunities have become rare in our hectic lives immersed in responsibilities and constant communications online and off.

    Coming upon the death in the wild can engage us in confronting the universality and inevitability of death. Our sorrow at the sight of the lonely death might stem from our sense that even the presence of others cannot change the reality that death is a solitary experience. At the same time, the very universality of death means that no one really dies alone.

    Thank you, Morag for this inspiring message and for going to the topic of importance which is reconstruct the habitats with trees, etc.

  • kumah drah

    Morag, thank you for telling us more about the devastating bush fires in Australia. We sympathise with you and others for loss of human lives as well as the incalculable loss of flora and fauna. It is gratifying to see recently a picture of grass and vegetation springing up again after the fire. That is nature at its best. Through permaculture designs, Crystal Waters Ecovillage can contribute to the solution of the problem.
    Coming from a region in West Africa where bush fires occur yearly, how could one convince others that planting trees in well designed manner could mitigate or eliminate bush fires?
    Thank you.

  • elaine

    Sad that I’m not able to watch both interviews from today. Maybe there is some website problem. Thank you for this wonderful initiative!

  • Recent research
    Humans evolved after the world wide fire that destoyed the dinosaurs and most of the species on the planet.
    Humans have evolved through many stages of development….time for humans to evolve into the consciousness that
    all physical matter, human, animal, plant, birds, cars, trucks, computers, cell phones, buildings etc, etc evolved from the intellegience of the mother earth and all return to the mother earth. We create nothing, we own nothing.
    Earth without the energies of the other parts of physical matter, ie. the planets, the sun, etc. do not exist without each other.
    Research: Australia was the first part of earth to emerge.
    Research: Australia is the home of the oldest living flowering plant, a tree, all parts that drop off, leaves, twigs, etc.simply continue to grow.
    Australia is a model for the rest of the planet.
    Thank you for all that you are, all that you express, all that is part of a very great awakening, happening on the planet.
    The necessity is to lay aside our religiously held beliefs, open our eyes, look around; which will only happen if the sounds of our voices are expressed….no more silencing of the lambs….no more sacrificial offerings….of what humans call other..
    In so far as we know there is only one species of human on the planet….we have been being homoginezed for thousands of years….men did not take thier wives along as the seas were explored nor as they explored the inner land. There is only human species; but we are expendable….hopefully we are evolving into what we always have been…humans.

  • I often look across the ocean at the governance happening in New Zealand and pray that we can match that here in Australia. I think a political party of capable, informed, wise women could take as to that same place and beyond. It has never been more timely for Australia to be reinvigorated with this kind of possibility. Roll out those political aspirations Morag. I think Australia is yearning for fresh approaches. Thank you for all that you do ?

  • linnie

    Oh, Morag. I understand the feeling of breathing in grief! We were also just 16kms from the Nightcap/Mt Nardi fires, and I also realised with every breath that I was tasting those beautful forests dying.. and all those precious creatures, including fellow humans! After the immediate fear of the fires and being on edge subsided, the only form of mourning that I could do aside from sharing those little knitting patterns for joeys pouches etc was to completely immerse myself in planting even more rainforest, for exactly the reason you mentioned, whilst keeping a very cautious eye on species flammability. The creatures need plants, we need plants, our planet needs plants!! One sweet flicker of hope is that, in the wake of this awful disaster, more people are seriously looking into asking our indigenous land/fire management experts for help! Haleluliah!

    And, yes, he is most certainly not ‘my’ PM, either. So many of us are ashamed! Not in our name. I cannot believe how he can behave so deplorably badly, offering unwanted handshakes instead of actual help, and still refusing to face the reality of our world’s future. Unconscionable! My greatest hope from this is that enough people’s eyes have opened to the reality of climate change and this climate crisis, and will actually be more mindful of what government they vote for. I love your idea re a women’s parliament! Our young people need our support and our respect.. and acknowledgement! Yes!

    I’m so grateful for your ongoing permaculture webinars, Morag, and know how completely important they will be to those who have lost everything.. I was in tears watching a news update with some of the earliest victims of this very long season’s firestorms.. They’d lost everything except their lives.. and the first thing they did, the only thing they could do, was to resurrect, literally from the ashes, their vegetable garden. They were actually tearful and had just a tiny spark of hope seeing the new green emerging. Permaculture is so important! Thank you for all that you do!!!

  • Thank-you Morag. It is so hard to put into words the tragedy, loss and trauma that we are experiencing in Australia without falling into a heap. You did however manage to do so. You also highlighted the giving nature of communities, the willingness to help each other and the need for communities to build resilience. We are now looking straight in the face of a New Paradigm, which we all need to be part of creating. Trusting that Community will prevail, and will develop new ways of connecting, and have deep compassion and care for each other, the planet, and the creatures. The three ethics of Permaculture is what I now choose to be guided by ie: Care of Earth, Care of People, Fair share.

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