Citizen Solutions is the culmination of 10 years of work by Evan A. Dunn. He considers himself a ‘perfectionist’ and believes that we possess the potential to create a global culture capable of permanence. Such a culture does more than meet its current needs, but ultimately anticipates and prepares for future needs as well. This can only be done by doing assessment of our Culture & economic-systems’s modus operandi; which is based on perpetual growth as a source of future capital creation (i.e. debt). This reliance upon debt as an elixir for economic malaise does little in the short-term and becomes corrosive in the long-term. It incentivizes swift superficiality & promotes a dismissive view of Money’s value. Citizen Solutions wants to convert policy makers, motivate our school systems & every citizen to begin using their skills & resources to minimize their independence on global supply chains. That means changing our diets, how we design our homes, how we use fossil energy, and ultimately, how we choose to use our time.
For example, I might ask myself, “Am I going to spend an hour getting ready to work out, drive to the gym, workout, shower, and drive home, or am I going to step outside, pick up a shovel, & plant some trees? I can burn calories, save time, grow food, capture CO2, and engage my neighbors. I might even convince some of them to help? Maybe some young people will be interested to learn what their Elders can teach about the source of our survival. How can we put a value on enhancing the child-parent relationship by reversing the trend of techno-savvy kids teaching their ‘fuddy-duddy’ Grandparents how to use email, and instead enable them to become the teachers of far more relevant survival knowledge. That’s usually a one-way street, but permaculture would change that.
I’ve seen this to be true. The Headquarters for Citizen Solutions is at 1400 Garfield Avenue in Norman and it’s a suburban oasis of fruit trees, creativity, and a vision for how we could collectively live together. It’s not the end-all be-all, but it’s a start and it’s been enthusing for me to have the opportunity to start the project.
I’m in a unique situation where I can do something special, celebrate the life of my Grandparents. They were from, what Tom Brokaw mistakenly called the ‘Greatest Generation’, and they nearly earned that distinction. Brokaw should’ve used the title of ‘One of the Greatest Generations’, but I’m sure the publishers preferred the more provocative assertion that the Dust Bowl, Depression-era, WWII generation were the ‘greatest’, and thus everyone who followed them must be an inferior & incapable of living as moral and virtuous a life as their forebears. That’s simply wrong. I know that there are people in our community who believe in what we’re trying to achieve.
We see it as our responsibility to help people understand ‘permaculture’ as it relates to their lifestyle choices, their government’s policy, and the future of our grandkids’ grandkids’ grandkids.
We have to leverage the advantage of suburbia, which is its abundance of arable soil. Acting upon this realization means convincing government policy makers to incentivize the basic home-improvements that enable local contractors to add skills & provide new services, enhance the community’s efficiency, and indirectly teach people about alternative ways to live sustainably. We’re not trying to become totally self-sufficient; that’s not possible, but we are trying to find a way in which we can awaken our young people to the source of our survival, connect the private sector w/ public power, and enable inter-generational connections. It’s our belief that we can induce a much more harmonious and respectful society when older generations can reciprocate knowledge of a world w/out technology such that it resonates w/ the generation that’s never known a world w/out the internet.
We see huge untapped potential in suburbia to transition and retro-fit these energy-dependent areas to be less corrosive and more conducive to fulfillment. Permaculture is one part of that solution, but it’s not a panacea for the larger problems. Our society’s dependence on ancient sunlight in the form of fossil fuels is staggering. 95% of all transportation fuels are derived from Oil. Nearly all petrochemicals, plastics, and fertilizers are derived from fossil fuels. That’s not to mention the amount of electricity that’s generated by them. We’re awash in a ‘peak’ society and we have to acknowledge the inevitable decline in our access to the cheap energy and plan accordingly. We can take this prophetic knowledge and use it to change the visionary course of communities & our countries (don’t forget I’ve lived in China & the Bahamas). ‘Permaculture’ does that for the individual and society as a whole; but only if these programs are implemented with substantial governmental support. That’s why it’s so important for us to concisely convey the ‘mission’ to the right people, in the right way.
Thanks for reading. Comment freely.