Sense-making in a Changing World

Episode 5: Permaculture Fiction with Linda Woodrow and Morag Gamble

July 08, 2020 Episode 5
Sense-making in a Changing World
Episode 5: Permaculture Fiction with Linda Woodrow and Morag Gamble
Chapters
Sense-making in a Changing World
Episode 5: Permaculture Fiction with Linda Woodrow and Morag Gamble
Jul 08, 2020 Episode 5

In Episode 5 of Sense-Making in a Changing World, I am delighted to talk with Linda Woodrow, a well-known permaculture author. Her book The Permaculture Home Garden (Penguin 1996) and regular articles have introduced many to permaculture over the past decades. She also blogs about food and permaculture here. This week, Linda is releasing her first novel, 470 - which is also the first permaculture cli-fi novel either of us know of.

I caught up with Linda via zoom in her garden to talk about her permaculture journey and of course about her new book, published by Melliodora (David Holmgren's publishing house).

Grab a cuppa and join us in our garden conversation about permaculture, intentional communities, raising children in a permaculture environment, permaculture in Cuba, climate change, writing, hope, despair and resilience.

And pick up a copy of Linda's novel HERE.

ABOUT LINDA'S PERMACULTURE NOVEL 470

In the 2030s, as the world spirals into ecological and economic meltdown, three generations of an Australian family must find a way to each other, and then a way to survive and make a good life.

What will it be like, to live in a climate changed world?

Meticulously researched, 470 explores the nature of resilience when the world suddenly tips.

Subscribe & Share
Thanks for tuning into Sense-making in a Changing World today.  It has been a pleasure to have your company. I invite you to subscribe (via your favourite podcast app like iTunes) and receive notification of each new weekly episode.  

Each Wednesday I will share more wonderful stories, ideas, inspiration and common sense for living and working regeneratively. Positive permaculture thinking, design and action is so needed in this changing world. 

What is permaculture?
Take a look at my free 4 part permaculture series or Our Permaculture Life Youtube and my permaculture blog too. For an introduction to permaculture online course, I recommend The Incredible Edible Garden course. I also offer an online Permaculture Educators Program (Permaculture Design Certificate and Permaculture Teacher Certificate) and involve young people in permaculture through Permayouth (11-16yos).


Warm regards,
Morag Gamble
Founder, Permaculture Education Institute

I acknowledge the Traditional owners of the land from which I am broadcasting, the Gubbi Gubbi people, and pay my respects to their elders past present and emerging.

Thank you Rhiannon Gamble for audio editing - a challenging task this week with poor connection 

Thank you to Kim Kirkman (Harp) and Mick Thatcher (Guitar) for donating this piece from their album Spirit Rider.

Show Notes Transcript

In Episode 5 of Sense-Making in a Changing World, I am delighted to talk with Linda Woodrow, a well-known permaculture author. Her book The Permaculture Home Garden (Penguin 1996) and regular articles have introduced many to permaculture over the past decades. She also blogs about food and permaculture here. This week, Linda is releasing her first novel, 470 - which is also the first permaculture cli-fi novel either of us know of.

I caught up with Linda via zoom in her garden to talk about her permaculture journey and of course about her new book, published by Melliodora (David Holmgren's publishing house).

Grab a cuppa and join us in our garden conversation about permaculture, intentional communities, raising children in a permaculture environment, permaculture in Cuba, climate change, writing, hope, despair and resilience.

And pick up a copy of Linda's novel HERE.

ABOUT LINDA'S PERMACULTURE NOVEL 470

In the 2030s, as the world spirals into ecological and economic meltdown, three generations of an Australian family must find a way to each other, and then a way to survive and make a good life.

What will it be like, to live in a climate changed world?

Meticulously researched, 470 explores the nature of resilience when the world suddenly tips.

Subscribe & Share
Thanks for tuning into Sense-making in a Changing World today.  It has been a pleasure to have your company. I invite you to subscribe (via your favourite podcast app like iTunes) and receive notification of each new weekly episode.  

Each Wednesday I will share more wonderful stories, ideas, inspiration and common sense for living and working regeneratively. Positive permaculture thinking, design and action is so needed in this changing world. 

What is permaculture?
Take a look at my free 4 part permaculture series or Our Permaculture Life Youtube and my permaculture blog too. For an introduction to permaculture online course, I recommend The Incredible Edible Garden course. I also offer an online Permaculture Educators Program (Permaculture Design Certificate and Permaculture Teacher Certificate) and involve young people in permaculture through Permayouth (11-16yos).


Warm regards,
Morag Gamble
Founder, Permaculture Education Institute

I acknowledge the Traditional owners of the land from which I am broadcasting, the Gubbi Gubbi people, and pay my respects to their elders past present and emerging.

Thank you Rhiannon Gamble for audio editing - a challenging task this week with poor connection 

Thank you to Kim Kirkman (Harp) and Mick Thatcher (Guitar) for donating this piece from their album Spirit Rider.

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/moraggamble)

Morag Gamble: Welcome to the sense-making in a Changing World podcast where we explore the kind of thinking we need to navigate a positive way forward.

Morag Gamble: I'm your host Morag Gamble, Permaculture Educator, and Global Ambassador, Filmmaker, Eco villager, Food Forester, Mother, Practivist and all around lover of thinking, communicating and acting regeneratively.

Morag Gamble: For a long time it's been clear to me that to shift trajectory to a thriving one planet way of life we first need to shift our thinking , the way we perceive ourselves in relation to nature, self, and community is the core. So this is true now, more than ever, and even the way of change is changing, is changing. Unprecedented changes are happening all around us at a rapid pace. So how do we make sense of this? To know which way to turn, to know what action to focus on? So our efforts are worthwhile and nourishing, and are working towards resilience regeneration and reconnection. What better way to make sense than to join together with others in open generative conversation.

Morag Gamble: In this podcast I'll share conversations with my friends and colleagues, people who inspire and challenge me in their ways of thinking, connecting and acting. These wonderful people are thinkers, doers, activists, scholars, writers, leaders, farmers, educators, people whose work informs permaculture and spark the imagination of what a post covered climate, resilient, socially just future could look like. Their ideas and projects help us to make sense in this changing world to compost and digest the ideas and to nurture the fertile ground for new ideas, connections, and actions. Together, we’ll open up conversations in the world of permaculture design, regenerative thinking, community action, earth repair, ecoliteracy, and much more. I can't wait to share these conversations with you.

Morag Gamble: Over the last three decades of personally making sense of the multiple crises we face, I always return to the practical and positive world of permaculture. With its ethics of earth care, people care, and fair share, I've seen firsthand how adaptable and responsive it can be in all contexts from urban to rural, from refugee camps, to suburbs. It helps people make sense of what's happening around them and to learn accessible design tools to shape the habitat positively and to contribute to cultural and ecological regeneration. This is why I've created the Permaculture Educators Program to help thousands of people to become permaculture teachers everywhere through an interactive online dual certificate of permaculture design and teaching. We sponsor global permayouth programs, women's self-help groups in the global south, and teens in refugee camps.

Morag Gamble: So anyway, this podcast is sponsored by the Permaculture Education Institute and our Permaculture Educators program, if you'd like to find more about permaculture I've created a four-part permaculture video series to explain what permaculture is and also how you can make it your livelihood as well as your way of life. We'd love to invite you to join our wonderfully inspiring, friendly and supportive global learning community. So I welcome you to share each of these conversations and I'd also like to suggest you create a local conversation circle to explore the ideas shared in each show and discuss together how this makes sense in your local community and environment. I'd like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which I meet and speak with you today, the Gubbi Gubbi people, and pay my respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Morag Gamble: On the show last week I spoke with David Holmgren, the core originator of permaculture, I hope you manage to catch that and enjoyed our conversation. This week we meet with permaculture author, Linda Woodrow, you may well have heard of her names through her very popular book, The Permaculture Home Garden, that was released in 1996 through Penguin. Anyway, she's just released a new book, her first novel, called 470, which by the way is published by David Holmgren’s publishing company at Melliodora. So Linda Woodrow is from the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales, she's a writer, researcher, and food gardener. She's written widely in permaculture and gardening circles. So I talked with Linda in this podcast about her permaculture journey and what inspired her to write what is perhaps the first ever permaculture novel. A story in the cli-fi genre that is permaculture constantly in the background as the intelligent choice in the face of the unfolding crises.

Morag Gamble: Climate scientists tell us that some level of climate change is now locked in that we’re headed for 470 parts per million, that's where the name of the title of the book comes from. Linda recalls becoming activated by Climate Awareness when we were still trying to keep it below 350 parts per million, it's now around 420. So she asked in her book, what will life be like in this climate change world? She weaves a tale of disaster resilience and survival in this story of three generations of an Australian family, what does it take to make a good life and a future in a changing world, she asked. So join me in this wonderful conversation with Linda, it's a pleasure to have your company today.

Morag Gamble:  Welcome to the show, Linda, it’s an absolute delight to have you here. You're synonymous with the permaculture movement in Australia; most people who are into permaculture have grown up with your book, The Permaculture Home Garden, which you published back in 1996. You've been writing and teaching permaculture since based in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales in Australia and it's very exciting because you have a new book that's about to land in your hands very soon. It’s an exciting book because it's a completely different type of permaculture book, it's a novel; the novel that has permaculture in the background and is part of an emerging new genre of writing that you're calling Cli-Fi (Climate Fiction). So before we dive into the book though, could you share a little bit about your permaculture journey? I mean, where did you discover permaculture and what drew you to it and all that kind of background of your permaculture life?

 Linda Woodrow: I was, I can't remember now how it came into my hands which seems really strange because it was such an important thing that’s happened to me. But in 1981, Perlmaculture 1 and 2 somehow ended up in my hands and I was in Northern Turkey, a quite isolated place at the time so it does seem serendipitous that happened from that business long way between 2019 it was all happening in Northern Turkey and it struck me, it just seems so very intelligent. I think that is what attracted me to it in the first place; I had no background at gardening, no background, and efficiency or anything like that. My parents were very working-class and somehow it just seems so intelligent, it made sense, it made literal sense and I think I like that; I like things that make sense. So from then on it just became something that was really important in my life, and in 1983 I moved to a rural intentional community, property near Kyogle; with no roads, no infrastructure of any kind and lived there for 36 years building a house, building gardens, building property. The Permaculture Home Garden is written during that time, having kids and all of that stuff and then just very recently, in the last year, we moved to a suburban blocking 500-meter square block   cross harbor so it's a huge change and the people who know me thought it would never happen and I don't know whether it's an experiment or it's an adventure.

Morag Gamble:  So the intentional community that you are part of, does it have a name?

Linda Woodrow: Yeah, of course. Quick.

Morag Gamble:  There's a lot of intentional communities in and around the area that you were living, wasn't there?

Linda Woodrow: There is not so many yet. We still have a place there …

Morag Gamble:  So your kids grew up within a permaculture and an intentional community. Do they still do anything with permaculture? I'm asking you this question more as a personal thing too, because I'm raising children in the middle of the permaculture eco-village myself and it's just interesting talk to people who've done that, to hear about where the kids have gone and how its influenced them and how they feel about it.

Linda Woodrow: They both took off in quite different directions, but they're still very much grounded. I guess I have wings and that was a really good thing; my son is an intensive care paramedic and some disaster management … (voice not clear)

Morag Gamble: Yeah, I mean so many so many valuable skills to be learned and something to always know how to be resilient, I suppose, that’s underpinning everything and there's a sense of I'm security or like a sense of calmness in this sort of base level knowing that you can look after yourself. It’s an inner knowing of safety; it's a safety net thing.

Linda Woodrow: And that thing of resilience is a really big one for me in working 470; what is it that will give people resilience in the times to come. Something that I think was the back of it, even though we live for 36 years and a year old permaculture we did spend a couple of years. We went off on adventures, about once a decade; one of those is a four-year in Cuba and I remember like as I started thinking about climate change, I remember thinking about it over and over again was if Cubans had known what was going to come at them, what would they’ve done differently? What would they’ve done to prepare for it? And what lessons can we learn from that? About how to set yourself up to survive and to be resilient; not just to survive but to have really good life in those kind of very challenging process or instances.

Morag Gamble:  Were you in Cuba at that time when those big permaculture educations had to be there?

Linda Woodrow: In the very early times, Cuba went from being middle class, lower middle class, but mostly middle class you know leaving much to some ways we would. Going to a supermarket, going to work, having public transport, all the same things within the period of the six months I went. There's no fuel, there are no cars on the road, and nothing on the supermarket shelves. It went from being something that would be very familiar to ordinary middle-class Australians, for being something that was very unfamiliar; very challenging.

Morag Gamble:  My husband and I have been over there a few times much later than you and it's a wake-up call, isn't it? Because, you know, I wondered how much that influenced your direction in writing and thinking about resilience seeing that collapse and seeing that dramatic shift with just almost overnight. And then how to think about how you address that, I mean that's quite a significant thing isn't it?

Linda Woodrow: Now that you’ve said that, think about how you survive in physical terms – in terms of gardening, you know like the place we live in is one of the richest houses in the street because it had a water tank. It wasn't relying on down water. So we’re thinking about those kinds of resources, and assets, and community, and social safety, and labels, and relationships you know like Cuba survived got me enormous and much better then and most other cultures on earth. Because of the culture like not because of the infrastructure, but because of their social infrastructure. Though it's what physical assets and also what kind of relationships and social assets, and then what kind attitudes and minds, what kind of mental resilience, what kind of expectations, what kind of beliefs about how the world is and how it should be.

Morag Gamble:  So can you describe a little bit about what are those characteristics you think make them more resilient? What are some of the things that you noticed about Cubans?

Linda Woodrow:  There was amazingly little crime, you know the whole American thing of bunkers, and guns, and everything; Cubans are remarkably cooperative. There was some petty crimes, particularly westerners, but there was no violent or whatsoever. You know, the kind of things that 13 year olds do; and we had a 13 year old and 11 year old and we felt safe. That was one of the reasons going to Cuba rather than other places was because the kids would feel safe. There was a lot of Cubans that were amazingly helpful beyond the ordinary kind of helpfulness that you expect, there was a social attitude and it’s a good thing to be; it’s expected and it’s normal. Expecting and seeing the joy in life; not in shopping, etc. but in music and dancing, people were sashaying there in the street and it’s beautiful; there’s a beautiful vibrancy about that. So there was a lot of mental health resilience; not seeing yourself as deprived but not having things.

Morag Gamble: I think it's interesting to reflect on that like the whole world has been thrown into something of a special period hasn't it? In recent times with COVID 19, not quite the same as that but it's thrown it's sort of a, I don't know what the term is like I was gonna say curveball but that sounds not quite the right thing, that you know we've had to reassess how we live, what we do, where our things come from, how we connect with each other, how we support one another, how we relate, how we connect with our communities in that place and mutual aid, all those things that you've just described about Cuban has been what we've been noticing about what's happened over the last few months and so that centered …

Linda Woodrow: I think a lot of people think seeing COVID as a big challenge and I’m feeling like this is small biccies compared to what I can see coming and it's a good opportunity to take stock. If they multiplied the supply, many times over, would I be in a good place?

Morag Gamble:  So in a way it's kind of like, you were saying, what would Cubans do if they knew what was coming for them? This is kind of a bit of an opportunity for us to have a bit of practice round, I suppose, but also to shift our culture, and our values, and to do some of that sense making of what is important, what do we value, what are the things that we need to put in front of us to be able to live a good life, not just survive, but live a good life as you say as in this changing world, with changing climate, with the changing economic systems; we've had cascading crises, you know, even in Australia over the last and it's an unprecedented really this level of change.

Linda Woodrow: You know, 2020 has brought a new, you know, I've seen jokes about people peeking around the door and saying what's next now, what straw I’m gonna bring, but I actually think that that’s what we’re gonna prepare for.

Morag Gamble:  Not the snapback or not going back to like it was before, I think there's a lot of changes. You know, I don’t tend to read the papers much but I was peeking through the other day and it was almost like things have gone back to normal and what's happening, here is some narrative …

Linda Woodrow:  There’s huge emotional social challenge of thinking that things will go back to normal, that the next challenge comes out on heels, and then the next challenge and I think that's something about climate change point to the fact that these things have always happened, like the difference is not so much – well there were things that have never happened before - but the one in 100 year event will become a 1 in 5 year event, and the one in five year event it will be running on a good couple of months, but the one in a thousand years event, you know, the biblical level will be coming several times in a lifetime. It's that climate change will bring those strings much closer together so you won't have time to recover, and restock, and put everything back into normal before the next time. So what's required is to adapt to constant change; change beyond any level of change.

Morag Gamble: So what's required is, like you were talking before, we have a lot the different techniques, and strategies, and ways of doing and what's required is a shift in perception, a shift in the way that we connect with all of this and I suppose this is where, I'm imagining, where the idea for a novel came because fiction touches us in a different way than a guide book or manual or how-to book, I mean that how-to books are absolutely essential we need those but there's something about a novel that touches us differently and can affect a type of inner change that I think it's the kind of change that we really need to be working on. So maybe just walk us a little bit through your book, where did the title come from and what's the book about and what is Cli-Fi?

Linda Woodrow:  There’s a remarkable story about The Keeling Curve which measures the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and it's one of those fascinating little stories about a particular person Charles David Keeling, who started measuring it in Hawaii. In the 1950s they get those measurements going so it became the first earlier warning of hey this is not up and down, up and down this is starting to go up, you know. When he started to take those measurements it was 313 and it could be up and down and around like beyond anything any human culture and it started to go up and I remember getting thoroughly involved at around 350 parts per million, which was not very long ago, and we were saying really we need to focus this climb at 350 and start rolling it off and we will be investable and it hasn't and it's going up and up and you know in that very short time right now that the period is sleeping so much that in just in a few years it's up to 420.

Linda Woodrow: My research was that if we are to have any hope of keeping global warming to below two degrees which is the level at which scientists.. This is part about why writing in old is important because all of these things and numbers and probabilities you're saying it might there’s a chance it might not - that would be you know we always tend to gamble on and so when scientists tell us that above one and a half degrees centigrade way running biggest about two degrees centigrade we learn very vigorous and the balance that against the kind of change that they don't want to make and go yeah I might be lucky  so when I say at at 470 if it doesn't absolutely die at 470 parts in the atmosphere we're going to go in two degrees and then our chances of avoiding climate change that really changes the nature of the biosphere. So that was that's really comes from is imagining that this is climbing now and I really you know what's been what's gonna happen at 470. I’m thinking about uhm I guess a lot of a lot of climate change activists there's a whole hope and despair discussion in there. Whether its morally ethically right to tell the truth about the risks about climate change even if its so alarming that people tend go lalalala or whether the ethical thing to do is to try to get the message out there even if it means softening it. So there’s a whole discussion going on about what the ethical space to be in there..

Linda Woodrow: Once I started reading about all this and thinking about all this then I ended up doing a Masters in Climate Science communication and how this all communicated why do people take it seriously and what are the barriers. And that all led me to storytelling that we need to make sense of the world, we need to put it into stories the way people make sense. I guess at the same time I am story telling myself, too. Just make sense of it myself. How might this play out. What would it feel like. Not real people but imaginary people how it might actually play out in a single person's life with  families. So all of that kind of many strands came together for many people and directions and from my permaculture background, from my research background with science, climate science communication to my own interest in storytelling from my background in teaching and how powerful storytelling is in teaching. All of those strands came together.

Morag: So can you tell us a little bit about what happened without being a spoiler what happens in the story?

Linda Woodrow: It's three generations of a family and they’re not real people but they are the kind of people who are very familiar for… me. And readers have told me that the characters are instantly recognizable. They’re the kind of people we all know in our daily lives that we all face. Lots and lots of minor characters that tend to be quirky but ordinary people you meet every day or tend to have some interesting little quirk about them. So there's a whole batch of character and it really just is about how at the time when the door opens they’re not thinking about climate change. They're educated they know about it but it’s not the primary driver in their lives. It’s just something that’s there and then yeah the novel goes okay, so what happens? What might happen. What is climate change likely to bring to the lives of these people and I started.. when I started writing it I had those characters I don't know where they came from. And then when I started thinking about writing this as an actual novel I started to get very methodical about it and then my characters develop and.. I think people who are writers will recognize and find that characters take on their own lives and they refuse to obey what you outlined. Had planned to kill off at sometimes then I’m like she's just too smart to do anything that stupid it would have been out of character for her to get herself in that situation. Thinking about it like allowing the characters and the plot to drive what happened maybe it is much better experiment for how climate change will play out..let the science drive the plot let the plot goes where the plot goes.

Morag: It's interesting is while you're saying that that sort of the background of this not ot talking about it so much but the background of this whole story is Permaculture. And so how did how did that sort of how's that woven through.

Linda Woodrow: Knowing permaculture as I do, when I imagine characters in situations where they're going okay.. idea.. what do I do now? I couldn't imagine…I couldn't imagine smart people with access to that knowledge doing anything else you know.. it just seemed to me to be. It was like I would say.. I'm hopin if it just stuck me and you know very early was um this seems true..this seems intelligent you know and these intelligent people they’re gonna do a smart thing. When I imagine characters doing smart things in the face of major challenges, the things I imagine them doing is Permaculture. Some of my characters don’t know about permaculture at all, but they find their way there because they’re smart. They're not geniuses or anything it's just I can't imagine people trying to make a good life and not being stupid about it doing anything else.

Morag: So I just want to step out of the story there and pick up on something you just said about being prepared for what's coming I mean.. what are the sorts of things that that you're personally in your family and community doing to be more prepared maybe than what you had before because I know you've been doing permaculture for a long time so that in itself is a..there’s something different that you're doing with this new knowledge and understanding you have.

Linda Woodrow: There's a level of activism in me I guess that I want to be doing  work that’s important and one of the permaculture ideas is working at a place where we've got the most leverage to create major social change. David Holmgren’s book Retrosuburbia struck me with that. That idea that unless change happens in suburbia then there’s gonna be a lot of suffering and I’d like working where I got a lot of leverage and I was ready for new adventure. And I have a 6-year-old and 2-year-old grandchild. We’re a multi-generational family um and the kind of roles you can play in that. It is a fantastic fun especially with a 2-year-old, it’s the best thing. Yeah all of those things came together and so now I'm living in a small fibro 1950s vintage house and playing with how much of what I've learned in the rural can be applied in suburbia and how far it will take you.. and that's an interesting thing to play with and I'm  I'm really enjoying playing with permaculture in suburbia.

Morag: I can say it's a huge area. I mean most people living in the world are living in cities or suburbs or well actually slums as well you know around the edges of cities. You know the urban human experience now is where where a lot of attention does need to be focused and and I think you know how we how we respond to this organization and resilient urban environments I think is kind of a big kind of needs to have a big part of our attention so you're right and also you know thin ing about how we communicate and I love that you know you went back to  Uni to learn how to communicate the climate science I mean that's you know I think that that step 2 of thinking well how is it that at this point in my life I can be of best service to making you know the biggest possible change that I can and and I think you know a novel is a huge contribution.. and I'm wondering. What's your process of writing? Do you kind of just write it in one whole big swoop or do you have a very strict regime you know different writers have different ways of doing things what's your writing routine.

Linda Woodrow: I've been writing a lot like this is the first novel. And I've been blogging for a long time, writing. And so writing I always in practice. So that’s handy, I guess. It took me a long time to write 470. It was 2 years in the writing and then another year for editing and rewriting. At the same time I was doing a lot of other things I guess. But I don't know if it would be a lot faster if I wasn't doing a lot of other things. At the time I was also doing the Masters and also you know how some challenges that happen in lives. But I don't know if it would have been a lot faster anyway because I would do a lot of walking a lot of gardening. And a lot of thinking of what would happen and how would that feel. Normal writing is different to writing how to books or academic work or anything like that. When you get deep into that how it would feel, some spots would feel emotionally challenging and it becomes very real to you. It takes quite a lot of emotional resilience.

Morag: So is this a book that teens would enjoy as well or is it more for adults. I am asking this question because I work with a lot of young people in what we call Permayouth. I was wondering if this is something we could weave into what they’re doing. Or is it more for older youth and adults.

Linda Woodrow: Oh that’s such an interesting question. There’s levels and levels and levels in that question. Because one of the things that I struggle with is the hope and despair I was talking about before. I think with children and young people I feel very was it bound to come down heavily on hoping. I find it impossible heartbreaking to imagine what our children and their children are going to go through if we adults don’t fix this in time. Young people I know in my circles who despair. The even say that they’re not gonna have children because you know. I just find that too heartbreaking. That’s what I mean by saying when I said in the novel, and really imagine what it would feel like to be that person and imagine had I been paranoid or realistic. So you take young people that you know making those life choices into the imagining in order to protect them from it. There. That’s a big question. I think I would say to parents to read first. There’s some language in there. You know young adult books like science fictions are a lot more horrifying and terrifying and there’s really not a lot of that in 470. But there’s a question of it being real.  There’s a lot of science-fiction that it is not real but it is very much based in real science its my science background comes into play. I made it based in real science. This is not imagining anything that is not the best scientific opinion about where we're headed.

Morag: So this is where that term the cli-fi comes in because it is based on science, climate science and but it’s fiction. Is it a term that you made up?

Linda Woodrow: No it’s out there. Oh and there’s another whole conversation there. In literary circles, there’s a conversation happening about whether any modern literary realism is all cli-fi because that’s what realism is and there’s very good theorists and writers who are saying any book that claims to be realism is cli-fi by definition. That’s not the way I am using the term now. I think there’s much work to be done to higher the consciousness.

Morag: I really do hope that more people will start to use permaculture as a backdrop for storytelling. Whether it being in movies or you know documentaries or writing or children's books as well then the back the backdrop is you know the new normal is the permaculture backdrop and they would so I you know I'm really excited by that as a shift. I think that's really wonderful.

Linda Woodrow: In the whole of this conversation, a lot of readers said to me that 470 is full of hope. And I think that’s true. I think that we are the most dire threat of the climate change it's could completely trash the spirit. There's some thought that's overly pessimistic but it's definitely been in the range of possibilities and and not in the far far distant future either this there's good signs that says that's within the range of possibility. My own thought after writing and imaging what would happen is that the whole house of cards that that supports the will fall apart and its internal tensions before we get to that point. Only just before, scary close,  I mean we're already scarily close.

Morag: I think what you just said there is something that's been a really huge motivator for me to try and reach out as far and wide as possible with permaculture is that this is something that I really think that we all need to have access to this information and knowledge the perceptions the skills the you know permaculture needs to be kind of like that basis that we can reach into and draw upon as things change and so how does that ripple out more into our education system how does that it ripple out more into our communities how does it ripple out into how we're designing or redesigning our settlements how does it influence our decision-making about how we create you know our organizations and our businesses and our economic systems all those things that you know the underpinning part it seems to make sense to me that that we weave the permaculture thinking into that sense so you know my main goal around Permaculture education is to is to offer it as widely as possible and you know it's been going for what 40 years so far and it's been phenomenal I mean it's rippled out across the globe it's in just about every country it's kind of like this mycelium network that connects the whole world and it's not like these great big showy thing but it's everywhere you know you go to so many places and you'll you'll find communities doing these sorts of things and sometimes you know whether you call it permaculture or not but then that way of thinking in that and so I  think it's a it's a really important whatever you're doing to embrace the permaculture way of thinking or action in turn into your way of life. I think it’s really important thing.

Linda Woodrow: It does give you a sense of agency you know that sense of doing something about..I’m not powerless in this.

Morag:  and I'm not alone either. You're part of this global movement of people who are also thinking like this and supporting this type of action and connecting up and sharing.

Linda Woodrow: When you lose that sense of being a victim and gain the sense of I can do something good and worthwhile.

Morag:  So you chosen to get your book published this timeby Melliodora. What’s the inspiration behind that.

Linda Woodrow: Melliodora chose me for which I feel extremely grateful and honored. Wonderful publishers and wonderful people to work with. It has been such a wonderful experience.

Morag:   I can't wait to get a copy of the book and to read it and to and to share it widely. You've sent me a picture of the cover so I'm going to share that in as part of this podcast. Well it's visual one that if you're watching this on youtube you'll be able to see that.

Linda Woodrow: That was one of the things that happened with Melliodora. They showed me um lots of color ideas and like talked to me about covers all the way through. As soon as I saw it I’m like oh wow!

Morag:  Yes. It looks amazing! Well I can't wait to read it and I can't wait to see it be launched out into the world. Congratulations the result of many years of work on your behalf and not just that you know all those years of wisdom experience behind there that's being you know shared through the book and through the story. Thank you so much for joining me today it's been a real pleasure to have you on the show and and to and to meet and talk with you gosh we've known of each other for a long time but this is the first time we've actually read and talked together huh something amazing you know there's so many permaculture people who are out in the world doing amazing things in all different communities and that's one of the things that's been really great about being more online based recently with Covid is that I've actually been jumping online with so many more people whereas you know always face to face actually connecting more online it's been brilliant. Yeah well thank you so much for joining me and I look forward to sharing the  book like I said and um and hopefully one day meeting you in person yes you’re not that far away to me really not. A few hours down the highway really. Thanks so much, Linda!

Morag:   You’re welcome. It’s been lovely!

Morag Gamble:  So thanks for tuning into the sense-making in a changing world podcast today, it's been a real pleasure to have your company. I invite you to subscribe and receive notification of each new weekly episode with more wonderful, stories, ideas, inspiration, and common sense for living and working regeneratively and call positive permaculture, thinking, and design into action in this changing world. I'm including a transcript below and a link also to my four-part permaculture series, really looking at what is permaculture and how to make it your livelihood too. So join me again in the next episode where we talk with another fascinating guest. I look forward to seeing you there.