Image credit: Peak Moment
It's funny how often you hear people, even within the environmental movement, deriding the back-to-the-land phenomenon. Transition Towns have been dismissed by some as a rebranding of self-sufficient hippydom, for example, and my post on volunteerism and permaculture had some commenters sneering at voluntary serfdom. And yet, as Peak Moment TV's interview with former truck driver and permaculture educator Bill Wilson shows, there is much to be learned from living from and connecting with the land.As a former truck driver, and as someone who has lived through Seventies Utopian experiments, Bill Wilson is in a perfect place to communicate both the incredible power of fossil fuels, and the very real challenges in finding alternative paths. Perhaps the most interesting insight from the video below, I find, is Bill's insistence that the transition of his community—which started in the Seventies as a communal Utopian experiment—into a different model of organizing was far from a failure. As he argues, when you build houses and you build infrastructure, they don't just go away because you organize differently.
Sure, the back-to-the-land philosophy is not without its drawbacks, and there is much to be said for urban density and modern green living, but as I argued in my post on whether greens are anti-progress, there is much to be learned from all sides. Bill Wilson, for one, seems to get it.