Update 21-01-12: Anyone who has been around permaculture for a while, especially in Australia, will have guessed straight away that the person being discussed on the Permaculture Research Institute’s site in the Permaculture and Metaphysics post was none other than Geomancer extraordinaire Alanna Moore, author of Sensitive Permaculture with whom I crossed swords a few years ago over this very issue.
Rob joined in the discussions on my blog- he was at the time an ardent supporter of non-rational explanations for crop circles- and then, without discussing with me first, built a blog post around my supposed lack of courtesy towards Ms Moore during the debate, “Why Civility Matters in the Transition”, in which, rather than addressing the issues of science and rationality, or the use of legal threats to stifle debate, he suggested that my sarcasm was a prime example of some kind of moral decay that was threatening to lead us all into darkness.
In truth, Rob has always been a vocal Warrior for Woo.
By a curious if not actually cosmic synchronicity, the very day I posted the last item on woo in permaculture, Rob Hopkins was posting a parallel post on Transition Culture about more woo, this time in the form of a film I was previously unaware of called Thrive:
What do you do when you are the heir to the Proctor and Gamble fortune and you have spent years surrounding yourself with new agey thinking and conspiracy theories? You make a film like ‘Thrive‘, the latest conspiracy theory movie that is popping up all over the place. I’ve lost count of the number of people who have asked me “have you seen ‘Thrive’?” Well I have now, and, to be frank, it’s dangerous tosh which deserves little other than our derision. It is also a very useful opportunity to look at a worldview which, according to Georgia Kelly writing at Huffington Post, masks “a reactionary, libertarian political agenda that stands in jarring contrast with the soothing tone of the presentation”.
Since the post was complimentary to my own and raising similar questions, I joined in the debate and sent in this comment:
I hadn’t heard of this film previously, thanks for alerting me! I’ll hardly be rushing out to view it, and of course you are absolutely right to challenge fantasies of conspiracy theories and free- energy machines.
There does seem to be a considerable cross-over with a lot of stuff Transition and the Greens/Left are also infected with that seems impossible to overlook- as Robert correctly states above King of Woo Deepak Chopra is also a darling of the Schumacher College of Woo where you also teach:
Can we expect to see from you as forthright an expose of the woo promoted by this new film, as you have done for Thrive?:
featuring Holmgren, John Seed and Stephen Harding (also of Schumacher)and others:
Permaculture and transition are also full of woo, and Im not the only one to have an issue with this:
The comment was held in moderation- and then I received this email from Rob: (more…)