Steve Gabriel expressed the ethics of permaculture as earth care, people care and fair share. As I look back on that paper this evening, I realize that the first ethic had morphed in my brain from earth care to earth repair. It is hard to read/watch the news and not get discouraged about the state of the planet. While there are healthy ecosystems out there, it seems we spend a disproportionate amount of time and resources regenerating degraded ones. We humans like to take what we want from nature (water, coal, timber, etc.) with the thought that, if we cause damage, we will just fix it later. Permaculture reminds us that we are nature, and really challenges us to do better with balancing human wants with planet needs.
My sense is that the third ethic – fair share – is the most difficult to achieve in a permaculture site. But maybe not? Looking forward to learning more from existing permaculture projects of all shapes and sizes!