You are looking at pictures of a house I built for our family in Wales. It was built by myself and my father in law with help from passers by and visiting friends. 4 months after starting we were moved in and cosy. I estimate 1000-1500 man hours and £3000 put in to this point. Not really so much in house buying terms (roughly £60/sq m excluding labour).
The house was built with maximum regard for the environment and by reciprocation gives us a unique opportunity to live close to nature. Being your own (have a go) architect is a lot of fun and allows you to create and enjoy something which is part of yourself and the land rather than, at worst, a mass produced box designed for maximum profit and convenience of the construction industry. Building from natural materials does away with producers profits and the cocktail of carcinogenic poisons that fill most modern buildings.
Some key points of the design and construction:
* Dug into hillside for low visual impact and shelter
* Stone and mud from diggings used for retaining walls, foundations etc.
* Frame of oak thinnings (spare wood) from surrounding woodland
* Reciprocal roof rafters are structurally and aesthetically fantastic and very easy to do
* Straw bales in floor, walls and roof for super-insulation and easy building
* Plastic sheet and mud/turf roof for low impact and ease
* Lime plaster on walls is breathable and low energy to manufacture (compared to cement)
* Reclaimed (scrap) wood for floors and fittings
* Anything you could possibly want is in a rubbish pile somewhere (windows, burner, plumbing, wiring...)
* Woodburner for heating - renewable and locally plentiful
* Flue goes through big stone/plaster lump to retain and slowly release heat
* Fridge is cooled by air coming underground through foundations
* Skylight in roof lets in natural feeling light
* Solar panels for lighting, music and computing
* Water by gravity from nearby spring
* Compost toilet
* Roof water collects in pond for garden etc.
Main tools used: chainsaw, hammer and 1 inch chisel, little else really. Oh and by the way I am not a builder or carpenter, my experience is only having a go at one similar house 2yrs before and a bit of mucking around inbetween. This kind of building is accessible to anyone. My main relevant skills were being able bodied, having self belief and perseverance and a mate or two to give a lift now and again.
This building is one part of a low-impact or permaculture approach to life. This sort of life is about living in harmony with both the natural world and ourselves, doing things simply and using appropriate levels of technology. These sort of low cost, natural buildings have a place not only in their own sustainability, but also in their potential to provide affordable housing which allows people access to land and the opportunity to lead more simple, sustainable lives. For example this house was made to house our family whilst we worked in the woodland surrounding the house doing ecological woodland management and setting up a forest garden, things that would have been impossible had we had to pay a regular rent or mortgage. To read more about why we did it and why this is an important option to meet the challenges of climate change and peak oil, click here: and then scroll to the top of this page to view.
Would you like to learn more about this sort of building and gain practical experience? Why not join us on another exciting building project. There will be opportunities for everyone of all abilities and areas of interest.
Getting your hands dirty
Do you fancy making your own home along these lines but want to have a bit of hands on experience. We would like to invite you to join us in our future building projects. Come along, you give us a hand and we'll teach you some methods and tricks for design and construction in the low impact, permaculture style. Not to mention plenty of good food and merriment.
These opportunities will really get going once we get the go ahead for the Lammas settlement. In addition to building there will be similar opportunities to help us setting up permaculture gardens and forest gardens and to learn about many other aspects of self-sufficient living. There will also be opportunities to get involved with other plots and communal facilities of the village including sustainable woodland management, renewable power systems, aquaculture and the village hub building.
Until that happens I am organising occasional events elsewhere. I am keen to help others find their inner builders and also to help people wishing to live low impact lives to do so... i'm open to exciting proposals
Getting Your Feet Dirty
The site before starting
Hole dug and level, post positions marked out, dry stone foundation walls down, first retaining wall built against front bank.
30 or so small trees and a bit of chainsawing later. Lift logs, prop up, nail together and continue until no longer wobbly.
Split logs over the top and palettes on the floor. Tree in to prop up sleeping platform. Palettes on the floor to take insulating bales.
Straw delivery. Cotton sheets then straw bales on the roof and cover it up with plastic, other bales inside, quick before it rains.
Build straw bale wall inside, a fun and quick job. The bales are stacked on rough dry stone wall and staked together with hazel sticks. Inside bales go on pallette floor ready for floorboards on top.
Pop windows in the holes, stuff straw into any gaps then chainsaw trim the bales smooth with cute roundy corners.
Father-in-law and tool bench, 4.30am. All tools lost, snowing outside, no doors, plastering underway.
Spring, mud on the roof, plastering and whitewashing done, landscaping nearly finished, beer brewing, bread in the oven.
Why Are We Doing This?
It's fun. Living your own life, in your own way is rewarding. Following our dreams keeps our souls alive.
Our society is almost entirely dependent on the availability of increasing amounts of fossil fuel energy. This has brought us to the point at which our supplies are dwindling and our planet is in ecological catastrophe. We have no viable alternative energy source and no choice but to reduce our energy consumption. The sooner this change can be begun, the more comfortable it will be.
For our energy consumption to decrease we must reduce consumption and dramatically increase the productivity of our land. This will require developing infrastructure and skills to enable locally self-reliant living. The simplest, sustainable solutions involve small-scale permaculture type land management systems centred around individual or small groups of dwellings. There is significant and growing energy at the grass-roots to start implementing these low impact developments. This enthusiasm comes from a combination of intellectual concern and the innate appeal of living closer to nature. The major obstacle is access to land. The price of land with residential planning permission is not commensurate with the income from this type of living. This will change, but these projects need time to develop and reach productivity. A few people are taking direct action but the numbers are far short of the critical mass that could be realised. If allowances can be made within the planning system to grant access to land, and the right to live on it, to those wishing to live this life, we can allow a grass-roots tide of people to make real progress towards a sustainable society.
Ecological crisis is not a future possibility but a current reality. Current rates of species extinction are at their highest since that of the dinosaurs. Ninety percent of the large fish in our seas have gone. Anthropogenic climate change is happening one hundred times faster than our best models have predicted. This change threatens not only the extinction of individual species but the collapse or death of entire ecosystems. We are faced with the question of whether it is too late for us to take any effective action. The fact that this crisis is already happening means that the question is not to do with whether it can be averted but what we can do to stop exacerbating it and to cope with its effects. It is not about what we can do tomorrow but what we can do today. As such the answer is no, it is not too late, anyone can today take locally effective actions.
The Case for Urgent Preparation for Energy Decent
Human development has for the last two hundred years been powered by the use of fossil fuels. We have converted from locally self reliant agrarian focussed societies to a globalised society powered predominantly by fossil fuels. This global society is mediated by interdependent international financial markets. These markets and their various currencies have seen near continuous growth simultaneous with the growth in supplies of fossil fuels. This financial growth has also been raised by a number of powers due to the growth of speculation. Our financial transactions of trade are now dwarfed by the transactions of pure finances, the speculation on that trade and the speculation on that speculation. All of this financial activity is based on assumptions and predictions of continued growth. Of more trade tomorrow and the availability of more energy. On this our global society is dependent.
Climate change gives a clear imperative to curtail our fossil fuel use. In addition world supplies of fossil fuels are currently passing their peak of production. There is growing agreement that oil has passed its peak, gas will very shortly, and coal will peak in the next couple of decades. Uranium may not be a fossil fuel but that too will reach and pass its peak of production within the next few decades. Without these we either have to invent a new power source, make a transition to renewables, or reduce our power/fuel consumption.
Our society is operating under the assumption that economic liberalism and the free market will provide technological solutions for our future energy needs, the effects of climate change and any other problems that we might encounter. It is true that the free market and technological progress have extended our capabilities and even solved certain problems. However, all of this has been the product of increasing consumption of fossil fuels. The technological advance that would give us a replacement source of power to continue our growth is utterly unprecedented. Never before have we done what our society relies on us achieving now, by the essentially passive continuation of an unchanging method.
The belief that future technological fixes will enable continued growth is crucial for the functioning of our speculative economies. Without this belief our markets would collapse, and unlike the slow dwindling of fuel supplies, this can happen as investor confidence fails. At the moment we are staving off this occurrence with increasingly creative accounting and economic manipulation including inflated housing prices, and increased public borrowing. Already we are seeing how precarious this approach has been with the collapse of over extended banking giants and the beginning of the 'global economic downturn'.
There is a significant chance that replacement energy sources will not be realised before we loose the economic buoyancy that makes such technological progress possible. If this happens we will have no options but to make a radical transition to a non-growth paradigm and much lower energy ways of living. This will require major adaptions. The sooner we can begin to make these adaptions, the slower the transition will be and the more chance we have of positively managing the subsequent energy decent as an equitable and comfortable process. If wisely managed we still have a wealth of resources and powerful technology in our hands. With discerning use these assets could help us address our most fundamental needs for a long time to come.
Reducing our Energy Dependency
To reduce our energy dependency we will not only have to reduce our consumption but we will have to dramatically increase the productivity of our land and ecosystem. The most crucial parts of our society are our food production and distribution systems. Particularly in the developed world, our agricultural and food supply systems are heavily fossil fuel dependent. Most of our food is either imported, or has travelled many miles within the country. Also most of it is produced by industrial farming techniques which require both heavy machinery and fossil fuel derived fertilisers and pesticides. Calorifically, all of these inputs are many times greater than the outputs, meaning that we are constantly feeding energy into agriculture. Clearly without fossil fuels, agriculture needs to be a nett donor of energy to human society. Before the use of fossil fuels in agriculture, the vast majority of the population were involved in agriculture. If we are to move beyond fossil fuels this may well have to be the case again.
In addition to food producing agriculture, there is also a need for other important land based produce. Most notable is forestry and its derived products. As well as timber for building, tools and the making of other objects, wood is our primary renewable fuel source.
In contrast to the pre fossil fuel situation, we now have a much larger population to feed and provide for. We also have the benefits of a much more detailed understanding of the world as well as current access to modern technology and resources. We need to use these assets along with traditional practices to help us develop the infrastructure and skills required for energy decent. These developments must be started as soon as possible as they cannot be implemented overnight regardless of the resources available.
Sustainable and Resilient Communities
In order to be sustainable, a system or community must be self reliant in all the resources it requires. The greater the number of independent subsystems that can provide for the functions and required resources, the greater the resilience of the system. Whilst our global society still contains many different subsystems, they are not independent, being linked by shared fossil fuel dependency, trans-national ownership and the globalised economy. Where we can replace this with independent self sufficiency at the smallest scales, we will have sustainable and resilient local communities. This will give the most resilience and sustainability to our macroscopic society without precluding inter community interactions and co-operation.
Small scale land stewardship is also important to reduce energy inputs and allow greater intimacy between stewards and their ecosystems. It is though this intimacy that they will be able to go beyond being a simple steward to the required roles of nurse and then teacher.
Firstly we need to heal the infertility that is the legacy of ecological degradation and intensive farming. This starts with repairing the soil and crucial mycorrhizal fungi populations. Above ground we can replace monocultural deserts with interplanted systems using the principles and patterns of the natural world. In this way we can build a healthy and productive ecosystems where different species of plants and animals enjoy complex complimentary relationships. With this kind of intimate knowledge and management we will be able to actively manage our ecosystems to survive the unpredictable climatic changes that are to come.
Naturally the restoration of soil fertility will take time, as will the establishment of gardens, orchards and complex agroforestry systems. The same is even more true for forestry, Whilst highly productive firewood coppices can be established in a few years, the restoration of traditional coppice woodlands takes decades as does the establishment of productive new woodlands and regeneration of conifer plantations.
All of these forms of land based production require supporting infrastructure and processing facilities. These also need to be localised and provided in ways suitable for a post carbon future. Simple, low-impact homes can be built where they are needed, with natural materials and accessible methods. These buildings can easily provide high levels of comfort and efficiency at a tiny fraction of the cost of their conventional equivalents. Effective and reliable systems for water, sewage, heating, refrigeration and even modest electricity can be simply made in low-tech ways with reused and natural materials.
There will always be benefits and pleasures of community co-operation and facilities. There are a number of essential supporting facilities which also need relocalisation such as mills, forges, tanneries, lime-kilns and carpenters workshops. These communities should also have their own independent councils, markets, and local events. Local trading systems or currencies add to community resilience by strengthening the local economy and protecting against global financial instability.
Alongside the required infrastructure comes the need for many sets of skills. A lot of these are traditional skills to be revived, some will be derivative of the contemporary world, others will be a synthesis of the two. All take time to learn, develop and share.
Permaculture is a set of design principles for human scale, sustainable systems. It is based on the three ethics of 'people care, earth care and fair shares'. It provides an approach that is most frequently applied to small scale agriculture, but can equally be applied to buildings, domestic systems or community interactions to name a few. The permaculture vision is quite well described by the picture outlined above.
Permaculture has played a key role in Cuba's 'special period' after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990. Oil imports were cut in half, and food by eighty percent. The island "quickly transitioned from a highly mechanised, industrial agricultural system to one using organic methods of farming and local, urban gardens" . This kind of transition is what we can choose to meaningfully curtail our contributions to climate change and what we may well soon face without choice in the face of peaked oil and economic instability. The Cubans' response largely based on permaculture and community agriculture was highly successful. Vegetables were planted on rooftops and abandoned car parks. Havana now produces 60% of its food from urban land within the city itself.
Another inspirational example of permaculture is Austrian farmer Sepp Holzer. His farm is between 1000 and 1500 meters above sea level with average annual temperatures of 4.2°C. Outdoors here he grows kiwi, lemons, peaches, figs, wheat and more . His success is due to careful observation and intelligent design, following permaculture principles.
A Force for Change
There is significant and rapidly growing energy at the grass roots for permaculture type solutions and the intentional move towards relocalisation and energy decent. Organisations such as the Transition Towns Network and the Soil Association are part of the gathering momentum in this direction. Their message is clear, that the time has come to make the move now. The fact that such a move is essentially contrary to the growth paradigm means that the call to energy decent is never going to come from the corporate or political arenas. It is coming now from the grass roots, with rapidly increasing numbers of people unwilling to remain on the sinking ship of consumption and growth waiting blindly for the techno-fix lifeboat.
The enthusiasm for these kinds of changes come not only from intellectual concern about the issues involved but also from a much more powerful heartfelt attractive force. It is not without reason that this kind of life is often referred to as 'the good life' and 'a place in the country' is a perennial retirement goal. We have an evolutionary history and expectation of living close to nature.
The scale and power of this enthusiasm became clear to me after our family's experience of building a simple low-impact home in a Welsh woodland where we lived whilst helping with woodland management, small scale animal husbandry and setting up a forest garden. Part of our motivation was to show others that this kind of living was possible. I put a few photographs of our home on a simple web page to show half a dozen friends who had helped us with the construction. Within a few weeks, it had been passed on and started to appear on a few blogs. Since then this website has been receiving up to 50,000 unique visits a day and has been looked at by 2 million people. I have had thousands of emails from excited and inspired people. Some with tears, some with plans, some with their own stories and every single one with enthusiasm and encouragement. This has been a humbling but also eye opening experience. People are attracted to the house and the way of life. Very little explanation is needed and virtually all have an immediate and clear understanding of the philosophy and way of life. This experience amongst others has made it very clear to me that a significantly large number are keen to make the move to an energy decent and a simple land based life.
It is also clear to me from this experience that as people move in this direction they experience a positive feedback cycle of learning as illustrated below.
The combination of this feedback cycle with the enthusiasm and innate appeal of this route makes this a powerful movement, and one that is capable of making effective change at every small step. The major obstacles holding it back are availability of land and peoples time. These again are economic issues. The sort of work required to begin to make the transition to an energy decent is inherently uneconomic and shall remain so until the point at which there are no longer any other options. It is both crucial and appealing that before this time comes we do whatever we can to build local resilience. Whilst large numbers of people are pursuing this kind of work in their leisure time, it is impossible for most to follow it as a full time vocation at the same time as paying for housing and the land they are working.
There are growing numbers of community supported agriculture and similar projects which allow people access to land but cannot help them satisfy their housing costs. They also do not allow the proper permaculture approach which puts the home at the centre of a series of notional zones where the things requiring most attention are closest to your living to ensure maximum attention and efficiency.
The planning system does make allowances for farmers and seasonal forestry workers to live on their land, it is commonly subject to strict tests of their functional need to be there and proof that the enterprise is a viable business. This framework does not make allowance for production for self-sufficiency nor for the low cost lifestyles favoured by those living off the land in this way.
Small numbers of individuals and communities have been taking a direct action approach and simply moving on to agricultural land and getting on with their projects without advance planning permission. Many of these projects end up coming to the attention of the planners upon which they make retrospective applications, usually under the agricultural guidelines described above. Almost without exception, those who can afford the lost sleep and considerable paperwork of a planning appeal, get awarded permission although it is often short term temporary permission.
Understandably the majority of people are put off this route by the insecurity and the common impression that development without prior planning is illegal. If the planning system gives concessions to those wishing live on and work small pieces of agricultural land in this way the situation would be a very different one. Once the route is established it will be appealing to sufficient numbers of people to make significant preparations for the transition to energy decent.
Following unresolved retrospective planning cases and significant negotiation Pembrokeshire added such a planning policy to its JUDP in the summer of 2006 . There are a number of applications lodged with the county including the 'Lammas Project' this proposal for a low impact settlement of 9 smallholdings has taken approximately 5 man-years of paperwork and planning and was designed to fit the policy as tightly as possible. It was initially rejected on the ground of supplying insufficient information and has been resubmitted after more work. The Lammas team are still waiting to hear and hope to move on to their land within the next year. Other applicants under the same policy have similar stories.
Climate change and ecological crisis require an urgent and dramatic cut backs in fossil fuel use. If we do not move first, they may well be forced on us soon by dwindling supplies and an over-extended global economy. There is currently no other viable energy source to continue our escalating growth.
The transition to energy decent will be difficult. However, the sooner we can start preparing for it, the easier it will be. We need to make local communities self reliant and resilient. We also need to restore the fertility and productivity of the land. We need to develop and adapt supporting infrastructure as well as learning basic skills. permaculture is an effective approach which we can use to make these changes.
There is a strong grass-roots enthusiasm to make changes in this direction as well as accelerating positive feedbacks. If a workable route can be made within the planning system to grant access to land, and the right to live on it, to those wishing make these changes, we can allow a rising tide of people to make real progress towards a sustainable society. If a workable route is not found, we will be reliant upon the increasing numbers of people ready to take to the land without permission.
Some Things We Can Do...
* Avoid buying newly manufactured things, instead buy second hand or make our own.
* Avoid large chain stores and supermarkets.
* Buy things from small and local businesses.
* Favour worker cooperatives over corporations.
* Wherever possible buy direct from producers.
* Support local currencies.
* Trade or give gifts in preference to using money.
* Smile at people and meet their eyes.
* Give open-minded/hearted time to those people around us.
* Organise parties and celebrations (eg. a dinner party where everyone brings a homemade dish or a childrens party where each parent organises a game)
* Organise rotating work parties and skill-sharing events.
* Vision together the future of our communities and make it happen by a combination of negotiations with local councils and direct action. (If you think that unused roadside could make a good veg garden then get some friends together and just go ahead and do it)
Food And Land
* Propagate and plant edible perennial plants wherever possible on any available land.
* Learn how to grow food and save seeds.
* Set up personal and community food growing.
* Stick to seasonal, local and organic foods.
* Eat meat in moderation.
* Have a go at making bread, preserving food, making cheese, brewing etc..
* Enjoy cooking and eating good food. Treat our food with reverence.
* Learn what wild plants grow in our areas and learn how to use them for food and medicine.
* Protect and encourage biodiversity and wild areas (eg. a small wild patch at the bottom of your garden could be a haven for birds and small animals).
* Make a pond.
* Use wood (biomass) for heating. Install wood burners. Take firewood from the waste stream and plant local or personal firewood supplies. In a climate like Britain's, short rotation coppice crops such as willow can be fully productive in 3 years and a 30 x 50m area can heat an efficient family house.
* Heat water with wood and solar energy. (A solar water heater can easily be made from scrap materials in a day or two.)
* Use renewable electricity. Switch mains connections to suppliers who only deal in renewable energy.
* Set up and use local or personal energy production systems. Small scale hydroelectric systems in particular offer simply maintained systems with high and reliable returns for the amount of invested energy.
* Practice basic woodwork, metalwork etc to make and repair basic items and tools.
* Compost food and human waste to build soil fertility and reduce energy demands of waste disposal.
* Withdraw investment from houses. Move to a cheaper home or make our own (most cheaply done without permission).
* Work less.
* This will free up time and energy to develop sustainable ways of living as well as removing support from destructive systems.
* Do not take employment from organisations which are unsustainable or whos actions are not benefiting the world.
* Maximise our autonomy from state and corporate control structures.
* Move from urban to rural areas and start working some land.
* Consider what elements of our world and society are of greatest value to us (air, water, food supplies, medicines...?)
* Consider what elements /service / products we could happily do without (war, this year's fashion, more DVDs, a bigger car...?)
* Be aware that the more we have of the latter, the more we threaten the former.
* Whenever we spend money or play an active role in society, take time to consider the consequences of our actions. (Buying a tank of fuel supports the violent occupation of the middle east, buying cheap clothes supports sweatshops and child labour, buying from transnational corporations funds the extraction of capital from poorer countries and the erosion of human rights)
* Consider our modern world from the point of view of our ancesters.
* Count our blessings.
* Appreciate the beauty and fragility of life, human and otherwise.
* Make time to appreciate and congratulate ourselves - we are all amazing and powerful beings.
* Smile, laugh, love and dream. Be present and don't worry.
Whilst I'm primarily talking about the UK planning systems, I hope the following may also be of use to those in other countries. If anyone would like to contribute knowledge of other planning systems I'd be very glad, please use the forum: http://www.simondale.net/house/forum/index.php
The British Town and Country Planning Act was introduced in 1947 to control the development and use of land. Other countries have similar legislation. This means that when we want to use a piece of land to live on or provide self sufficiency and livelihood we should seek permission for both any building work and any change of use of the land (as well as mining, engineering and other operations).
Whilst this system protects our land from uncontrolled development it has also come to play a important role in our economy. Our economy now grows by giving loans and creating more money in the form of debt. Rising house prices coupled with increasingly tenuous mortgage lending provide a crucial contribution to the growth and therefore stability of our economy.
The value of houses is related not primarily to the cost of their construction but to the permission to use that land for residential use. A quarter acre of an agricultural field might here be worth £1000. As soon as permission is granted for change of use to a residential building plot it becomes worth £100,000. So that puts £99,000 extra onto our national balance sheet, which the new homeowner is expected to pay off. Paying off this mortgage may well take the owner their entire working life and severely restricts their scope to live a simple and sustainable life.
There are planning regulations that control permission for those in agricultural enterprises to build and live on their land. This is close to suiting the low impact dweller who wishes to live on their piece of land in a simple way and work with that piece of land. These regulations require proof that both the enterprise is viable and that there is a strict functional need to live on the site. In practice viability of the enterprise is interpreted on its bottom line profit, this does not account for either produce derived for self sufficiency or for the fact that a very modest income is sufficient to support a simple way of life. In addition the functional need test is wildly variable in its interpretation and does not allow for the fact that living elsewhere may be economically crippling. (The test is more often related to the need for 24 hour attention to lambing ewes, burning charcoal kilns, or even battery chicken farm air conditioning backup systems -true example!)
Contrary to popular belief, in Britain it is not illegal to carry out building works and changes of use without applying for planning permission before-hand. It is acceptable to instead make a retrospective application. Of course it is possible that this application could be refused. This is the approach favoured by Tesco supermarkets who rely on a mutually agreeable financial arrangement to ensure approval. It is also the approach that has most successfully been used by both low impact dwellers and many more conventional farmers although these people have generally had to rely on paperwork and logic to ensure eventual permission.
In addition our planning departments do not have a general remit to enforce against unpermitted development, only to process applications and follow up on complaints. This is an significant retention of liberty and common sense. If I get a piece of land and build a monstrous palace which I use as a base for having excessively loud parties. My neighbours will probably complain to the council who will demand a retrospective application which they'd refuse and then serve an enforcement order for me to demolish the building. On the other hand, if I build a modest and discreet house on a piece of land somewhere and all my neighbours have no problem with what I am doing, the need to make a planning application will not arise. In this case, after 10 years the building and change of use will be eligible for a certificate of lawful use, meaning a planning application is not needed. If there is not a change of use, lawful use is granted after 4 years.
Many low impact living projects have now be granted temporary or permanent permission through the retrospective applications usually followed by appeals. Such cases are arguable through agricultural technicalities as well as appeals to general ecological and social commitments.
Agenda 21 says: "Access to land resources is an essential component of sustainable low-impact lifestyles. Land resources are the basis for (human) living systems and provide soil, energy, water and the opportunity for all human activity." and commits us to the objective of providing for "the land requirements of human settlement development through environmentally sound physical planning and land use so as to ensure access to land to all households and, where appropriate, the encouragement of communally and collectively owned and managed land."
And in the words of the Landmatters Project's' appeal inspector http://www.simondale.net/house/www.landmatters.org.uk : "Permaculture is now an internationally recognised means of sustainable agriculture and the subject of much academic study in recent years. Moreover, the direction of travel of emerging national policy towards ever more sustainable approaches to development and the need to address the problem of climate change is readily apparent...In such a context I find there to be considerable ecological, educational and cultural benefits in further exploring permaculture...from the development of and experimentation with sustainable technologies and agricultural practices which that way of life facilitates" and "in order to practice permaculture properly and successfully...a substantial and continuous residential presence is essential"
This increasingly well trodden route of development and retrospective application has been the generally advised route for low impact development and gave us our homes for 4 years with very little complication. We never came to having to argue an appeal and we were never forced to demolish our home. We were encouraged by the worst case scenario that house were enforced against immediately and subsequently demolished after the inevitable couple of years paperwork. Over this time period the cost and amount of work it takes to make a simple home is small compared to the cost of renting a conventional house, not to mention the quality of our experience over that period.
Low Impact Development Policies
Over the last two years, we have spent our time following a different approach. Since the introduction of a groundbreaking low impact development policy in Pembrokeshire (SW Wales) we have been involved with the Lammas Project http://www.lammas.org.uk/ trying to get prior permission for a 9 dwelling low impact settlement. Our hope is that in so doing we will set the precedent which then makes it an easy route without the uncertainty of the 'retrospective' approach.
The Low Impact Development Policy is a farsighted and one which could potentially unlock a groundbreaking positive change. Under it, someone working and living on their land in a sustainable way and deriving their livelihood from that land is allowed to do so on agricultural land. This effectively subsidises sustainable livelihoods which would otherwise be economically unviable in the current, unsustainable financial climate.
Pembrokeshire have not yet managed to conclude any of the applications made under the policy. Whilst ours has been a frustrating process, we are still hopeful for a good result soon. Friends of ours who made a retrospective application under the same policy are in a better situation. They applied for 2 years temporary permission and have been living on and working their land for the 18 months since they submitted their application!
Similar policies are currently in consultation phase for Wales nationally and England is also making moves in the same direction.
I would currently recommend development followed by a retrospective application as required, preferably in Pembrokeshire, as the best approach for individual or groups wishing start a new low impact living project. There are also a number of established projects about who are open to new members (see resources page http://www.simondale.net/house/links.htm ). Chapter 7: http://www.tlio.org.uk/chapter7 are a campaign group and planning consultancy for low impact development. They are almost certainly the experts on low impact planning matters and have some excellent publications and online resources.
Tony Wrench (www.thatroundhouse.info) is an inspirational character who has built many roundhouses including his home pictured here, which has been at the centre of a decade long planning dispute which is still not resolved. In 1992 he wrote this excellent essay proposing a new catagory of land use in planning law as permaculture land, to allow this kind of living. 15 years later through the efforts of Tony and others such a policy is in place in Pembrokeshire, Wales and in consultation throughout the UK.
It is my contention here that we could make some small adjustments to planning law which would have beneficial consequences in several problem areas, and would enable significant progress towards a sustainable society. I am deeply concerned about the way our society is relating to the earth, and am continually baffled by the obstacles that prevent me simply doing what my grandfather did - build a wooden house in the countryside.
Planning has achieved some successes, particularly in the field of controlling the worst visual excesses of a growth-geared free market, but it is fighting a losing battle. For many reasons - historical, political, economicand ecological - it just isn't working, because the UK government has not yet realised that its policies are incompatible with the needs of the environment. We are breaking the oldest rule in the book - our way of life is not sustainable. Some of the symptoms are:
We have a trade deficit on food with the rest of the world of £5 billion per year, and rising; this is in a country that prides itself on its agricultural productivity and practices. Our ancestors ate what they grew or what they could find and catch in nature around them. No longer. We now depend on other countries to grow much of our food for us. In a world where so many are starving this is a risky, not to say selfish, business. With the authorities asking them to be guardians of the countryside but stacking the advantages in favour of agri-business, small farmers are in a difficult position and are the most suicide-prone of all occupations.
Meanwhile, pesticide residues mount in the soil and nitrates permeate our drinking water. The demand in organics cannot be met by our own system.
Overemphasis on 'jobs'
The economy is still geared to fear of unemployment. The holistic alternatives to a job-based economy have yet to be even countenanced by the establishment. (This myopia is not limited to Britain, of course. At present the main priority of planning in all the major economic powers in the world is to find solutions to unemployment.)
Planners pretend that in twenty years' time our society will still be in the same state as their elders insisted it was when they took their diplomas. They should be looking forward to a society in which people are engaged in real work of their own choice, and this only happens when people have access to land, if they need it. The threat to our whole way of life posed by dramatic climate changes and sea level rise has so far been totally ignored by planners.
Our notion of the countryside is largely an illusion. Monoculture and techno-fixes are still turning what was once mainly forest into desert. Before the Industrial Revolution, and when the national population was much lower than it is now, this was a slow but steady degradation, but it was at least organic, and reversible. Now it is a breakneck slide of soil loss, erosion, drought and sinking water tables exacerbated by the onset of global warming. Clever as we are, we are still going down the deforested road of all the previous failed civilisations on this planet. Areas of natural beauty, wetlands, peat bogs and hedgerows are still being lost. Habitats are threatened every day by agri-business, roads, supermarkets and housing developments. Wildlife is being beaten back by economic double-speak. Road plans still threaten SSSI's, ancient monuments and countless beauty spots. The main reason these areas are chosen for this desecration is because it looks cheaper in a paper cost-benefit analysis to drive a road through an area of outstanding natural value and beauty than anywhere else - they have not been given a financial value that equals their environmental value.
What is 'countryside' anyway? Many of our assumptions about what countryside should look like come from the tastes of our ancestral nobility for pretty parkland where they could hunt. Many large country estates owned by Dukes, Earls, Lords and other descendants of the great Norman land carve-up still look like this. Where land is not controlled by a toff in a country house, the traditional countryside look can be maintained by careful fencing and livestock control, or by ploughing regularly with unsustainable energy inputs. However, it is instructive to imagine your familiar rural landscape from the point of view of what Nature would tend to do to it after a couple of hundred years, say, of neglect by the agricultural machine. In most cases in Britain it would return to deciduous forest.
What we have now, then, is Earth with the mange. A few trees clinging on in rows where the humans have decided on some whim to leave them there. Great bald patches covering the land as far as the eye can see, producing mountains of food that often needs to be subsidised to be sold. Over every hill, more baldness, more mange, more topsoil being lost each year. We are not allowed to live in this diseased waste for fear of 'spoiling the countryside'!
Homelessness and social deprivation
100,000 thousand families are homeless or in 'temporary accommodation'. This is twice the number of twelve years ago, despite all the economic progress governments claim to have made. Millions are living out a half-life in decaying inner cities, and millions more are trapped in estates on the edges of the towns and cities of Britain, many without hope of anything worthwhile to do; without land on which to grow food; without space for their families to grow up nearby; and without contact with nature or their natural heritage. They live in rectangular boxes designed by another class for another generation, planned by public officials they have never met. The TV programmes that are watched for 5 hours a day on average (what else is there to do?), videos and films, all offer largely some form of escapism. This 'underclass' is so numerous that controlling it is now the government's greatest worry. Thousands are criminalised and packed into our antiquated prisons.
Only Turkey, of the European states, exceeds Britain's rates of prison population, which has risen from 40,000 to over 74,000 in the last twelve years. Most of the 'underclass', however, stay where they are, needing more and more billions of DSS and 'Law 'n' Order' budgets to be spent containing them in the deteriorating homes they already have. Why the big fuss about asylum seekers? Because the way of life of the poorest 20% of the population already here is so lousy that there is simply no more space within the system to allow more poor people in.
Experts in crisis
In our reductionist society, where every expert has their own specialised letters after their name, it is easy for us to use words to make all the above problems look separate, containable and handleable. Even within one organisation it is possible to palm off a problem on another department. "No mate this is the Housing Department. You want the Sustainable Development unit on the fourth floor". The continuation of such avoidance will, however, lead to crisis and the collapse of our society - for the syndrome we face is uncontainable and unsustainable, economically, socially and environmentally.
Somehow we have given away our power to a system that rewards the right hand at the expense of the left. Our decision-makers are clever but not wise. The spiritual essence of what it is to be human, as one species among many on this earth, has been forgotten by our leaders. This is a terrible realisation to come to - it means that the deal whereby they pretend to 'deliver' appropriate things for us is a fallacy - it never worked. It's up to us, you and me, to get us out of this mess. We must take this as an opportunity for empowerment, as we are urged to by Agenda 21.
The way forward
Somehow, as dozens of green writers have already pointed out, we need new policies that conserve nature while encouraging people to choose and build their own homes. We need to reverse the flow of people from the land to the cities, and to give people something worthwhile to do. We must grow more of our own food, organically, and reduce dependence on fossil fuels and techno-fixes. Will there be humans living here in a thousand years? Birds, trees, hedgehogs,apples too? If so, we have to move fast now.
Why the relatively young discipline of permaculture offers so much hope in this context is because it integrates care of the earth with care of people and an awareness of natural limits. It takes account of the effect of a settlement on the community around it, and of the needs of wildlife at all times and levels. If, therefore, people can be educated in the principles of permaculture design before they develop a site, and if it is a requirement that certain agreements be kept during its development, we would be certain to see biodiversity increase along with human settlement - the opposite trend to normal housing development. We could also expect to see no net increase in demand on the common utilities.
It is perfectly possible to build new eco-homes nowadays that require no mains electricity - especially if these homes are in clusters that can take advantage of joint biomass composting or community heat and power schemes, and are well located for wind, water or solar power. We could even plan for a net exporting of electricity from renewable sources, thereby generating a profit. Composting of human waste would be the norm, as would systems for irrigating gardens with grey water, so no sewage connections would be required. Permaculture is very strong on rainwater harvesting and the efficient use of water. If a settlement was sited near a spring, river or stream, or was in an area of generous rainfall such as here in West Wales, no extra demands would need to be made on the water mains. Local, second-hand and recycled materials can be used in building.
The knowledge now exists for new settlements to be designed along permaculture lines in which people would feel fulfilled; find a new sense of purpose; develop new skills; design and build energy efficient natural homes; and grow and eat good organic food. They would be working and living as equals within walking distance of dozens of others of like mind, in a safe and healthy child-friendly environment that they themselves help to form. These settlements would also provide habitats for a greater variety of plants and animals than was there before - both wild and domesticated - whether the site was a quarry, an airstrip, a piece of city waste land or a farm. Eco-villages are much more self-sufficient than ordinary towns and villages - they are therefore much more likely to offer their residents survival and continued good quality of life in the case of total breakdown in society.
How likely is this doom scenario?
At the Exeter conference called by the UK government to discuss the Third Assessment Report of the IPCC in March, 2005, there was the most pessimistic assessment yet of global warming causing collapse of the Gulf Stream which perversely would bring a new ice age to Europe. A group of American scientists calculated that in the absence of major action to control emissions, the chance of this happening was now greater than 50 per cent.
There was also an assessment that the ice-sheet covering Greenland may start to melt - which would cause global sea levels to rise by 20 feet - with a temperature rise of only 1.5 degrees C. above pre-industrial levels. We are already 0.7 above pre-industrial levels; we are well on the way. So will we succeed in making the 60-70% cuts in CO2 emissions required to avoid catastrophe? The conference chairman, Dennis Tirpak, head of the climate change programme of the OECD, reminded delegates that the 2004 World Energy Outlook of the International Energy Agency calculates that in the next 25 years global emissions of CO2 are likely to increase by 62 per cent, mainly from the developing world, as the Chinese and the Indians rush to build coal-fired power stations to service their exploding economies. The necessary cuts are a fantasy. (Source: Michael McCarthy, environment editor of the Independent, in an article in the Tablet).
Are we going to sit back and watch these scenarios unfold while we complain about our elected representatives not 'delivering sustainability'? Or are we going to build something positive to rise to the challenge?
Some people question whether there is a demand for ecovillages based on permaculture -whether there any people who would actually leave the safety of their present life, however dire it is, for the challenge of a simpler way but in harmony with the earth. I assure you, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, who would start tomorrow. There are now plenty of gaps in the Planning regulations that have been bulldozed by supermarkets and various Ministries. What we need are some gaps for ordinary, creative, positive people to come through as well, doing some healing to our ailing countryside as they do so. My proposal here to you is that we could make a small change in Planning law that could set in motion a great tide of change for the better.
Imagine a new category of land use - Permaculture Land (Pc Land). This is land used for permaculture - sustainable self-reliant agriculture and horticulture in which work, house building, leisure, growing food, rearing animals, education, renewable energy, recycling and nature conservation are integrated in an infinite number of ways. The essence of Pc Land would be that there is a contractual relationship between the owner and the local/national authorities.
This states, basically:
'I will buy and live on just this piece of land.
I will not buy several plots and speculate.
I will not let it out.
I will conserve energy and nature in line with a permaculture design.
I will plant over 20 trees per acre.
I will co-operate with my neighbours over transport, infrastructure, power generation, waste disposal, water harvesting and supply, and common land.
In return for the freedom to build my own house in the style I choose I will do without additional connections to mains water, electricity, sewerage or road systems.'
Planning authorities would be given the power to designate any area Pc Land, whether it was previously industrial, agricultural, military or even residential land. Conditions would be put on the number of dwellings per acre (maybe a maximum of two), roads and vehicles, and a height limit of structures appropriate to the site - say 10 metres. Authorities would be encouraged to designate areas of several square miles, or large zones of Pc Land. These could be areas currently suffering the effects of monoculture, depopulation, inadequate housing or chronic unemployment. Disused military bases could be designated Pc Land. Any farmer or landholder could apply to change from agricultural land to Pc Land, and there would be a presumption in favour of acceptance.
The consequences of this small change to planning law would of course be enormous, and I invite you to use your imagination with me. We might envision this scenario [and please bear in mind the global warming scenarios that will be unfolding in parallel]:
Government, in conjunction with the Town and Country Planning Institute, designates the first 20 trial areas. Farmers elsewhere apply in their hundreds for designation, and succeed. Their land sells at £10,000 per acre, as against about £2,000 now. Pioneer communities set up throughout Britain. Stroud sprouts Sustainable Villages. There is an explosion of building work in rural areas, and thus a marked expansion in allied industries. [Peak Oil is acknowledged - crude oil hits $60 a barrel]
Pc Land prices stabilise at £5,000 per acre. First legal trial cases against land speculation and breach of Pc Land contracts are decided in the local authorities' favour. A surge in Land Trusts emerges. These trusts hold the common land and freehold of ecovillage sites. A massive re-afforestation programme is happening, as Pc landholders take advantage of already existing woodland planting and hedgerow creation grants. There is a boom in renewable energy, alternative technology, landscaping and permaculture design. Photovoltaic prices drop markedly. Homeless figures drop, as do housing waiting lists. The first self-build community schools are established. [Gulf Stream slowing - official]
House prices in suburbia fall. Inner cities become significantly greener as authorities increasingly designate inner city zones of Pc Land. The Government offers a Basic Income of £40 per week to all Pc Land dwellers, with a consequent fall in jobless totals and DSS budget. Fruit imports drop for the first time ever. Local markets and LETS systems blossom. Wales becomes a net exporter of electricity, from renewable sources. [Greenland Ice Sheet melting fast - Holland draws up emergency evacuation plans - oil hits $100 a barrel - western economies in crisis]
National demand for electricity stabilises. All nuclear power stations are closed, starting with those at pre-2000 sea level. A new tourist industry in Pc areas develops. Pc Land principle adopted in all EU countries. A crash programme of demolishing old unsustainable housing and rebuilding as ecovillages is started. [Western Ice Sheet of Antartica starts to move - Holland, Bangladesh, London, Cardiff, all oil terminals in the world, etc flooded. Gulf Stream stops, the penny drops].
The consequences of a Pc Land reform would, you can see, be revolutionary. [Make up your own scenarios - these are simply a few events that I think look likely from here]. Enthusiastic implementation would result in a burgeoning of creative talent as millions of people had access to land, with a great mushrooming of diversity of habitats both for wildlife and for humans. In some respects we can see that it would be but a logical extension of present government policies towards more land ownership, individual responsibility and deregulation in many areas of life. It would certainly have a short term effect of creating some windfall riches for present land-owners - maybe a windfall tax would be in order, thereby creating a win-win situation for people and the government.
In other respects this proposal can be seen as subversive, as being a step towards the restoration of a yeomanry of free landowning citizens, organising themselves as they will, consuming less of the products of big business, and being less dependent on the state for livelihood, work, food or entertainment.
People with a vested interest in the paternalistic power structure will find it very hard to let go of the reins over even a small proportion of the land. They would probably oppose the visible eroding of the bottom rungs of the 'housing ladder' - this is, I suspect, one reason for the almost irrational urge by a small handful of bureaucrats to have our Roundhouse wiped off the map.
We only need remind ourselves of the surge in global warming, and the fact that the British eco-footprint is over three times the size of Britain (!), however, to realise that totally new and radical changes are necessary for our civilisation merely to survive.
So I urge you to take this proposal as far as you can.
Tony Wrench. 1992. Modified April 2005.
Interview: Organic Architecture and its influence on Human Being
A Portrait of a Natural Way of Living
Since when do you live in an organic house?
5 years ago
Was it a conscientious decision to move to an organic house, which were your influences in the first place?
Yes, but to be natural (nontoxic/low energy/eco), close to nature and self built were our first priorities. Being built mostly from imagination, optimism and rubbish,the process is naturally organic. Being organic in terms of forms seems to come naturally given the above. Also my aesthetic is generally soft and curved, coming mostly from the natural world. Between making my first and second houses I read Christopher Day who explains well the benefits of organic forms in architecture for our minds and soul. This seemed to vindicate my instincts.
What are, for you, the big differences between living in an traditional straight lines house, or living in an organic one?
Suits my aesthetic. Feels gentle. Feels to me more like being part of the(natural) world,less like a commodity in a box. Rectangular rooms do feel box-like and slightly claustrophobic in comparison.
Do you think that living in an organic house affected your way of being, your personality, and if so, in which way?
I think we overuse the cause and effect model. More usually it is two (or an infinite number actually) things co-evolving or mutually related. This is certainly true here, there is a change, but lifestyle, values, and material situation change together rather than one leading another. In my case at least this is true.
If you moved a random person (from a town flat say) to an organic natural house in the middle of nature it would affect them. They would probably fight it or love it.
How do people react to the fact that you live in an organic house?
Nearly everyone is interested. In the whole lifestyle mostly although the house does seem to have some kind of innate appeal. I think it touches something common, a romantic idea of some fantasy past/alternative. Everyone says it is a hobbit house, they all love the lord of the rings at the moment.I think Tolkien draws the hobbits as the naïve or innocent representation of humans in a wholesome natural state. People instictively relate to this, especially in the context of modernity.
Is it a subject that raises discussion? … living in an organic house?
It's handy for a bit of suprising small talk, although explaining our lives can be difficult. Suggesting positive alternatives to the standard route often raising some uncomfortable feelings. Mostly these feelings are of an implied criticism of the way others lead their lives, in terms of ecological responsibility and the following of ones own dreams. These are both hard things to approach for all of us with lots of barriers from our societal conditioning and our own accumulated pains. I find Joanna Macy is very good at showing us ways to take our frustration at these barriers and turn it into positive action for ourselves and the world. I would make no claim that what we are doing is any better than anything else. I'd only say that this is where we are currently up to and this is what is working for us. If any of it can provide an inspiration for others to follow the path of what feels right for them then hooray!
Do you have many friends living or wanting to live in an organic house?
Everyone wants to take personal control of their own lives. To live in an environment that is close to nature and kind on the soul is a common aspiration. Also self building is a real current trend, in Britain at least. Inevitably, most of the promotion and help in doing it comes from those with commercial stakes in the industry and promotes self building in ways which are convenient and profitable for them. This means that people are introduced to a set of options that are actually quite limited in terms of the ways to create a home, particularly in terms of high costs, formulaic construction and mass produced modular components. Hence the dominance of linear forms. Actually comfortable and natural homes can be created in ways that are simple, cheap and allow massive scope for creativity and building quite literally outside the box!
There are increasing numbers of people making their own homes similar to ours. They are making some beautiful, accessible and highly functional houses. The more people who do, the more inspiration and support there will be for the next ones, as we owe ours to those who came before us.
would it be realistic to think that one day the majority of people will live or want to live in an organic house? What do you believe would be the consequences?
It is right and natural that different people have different aesthetics and I'm sure there will always be those who prefer straight lines to organic curves. However the dominance of linear forms comes largely from the aesthetic of the modernist movement and the world of mass production. I think we are moving beyond this now, both in our philosophy and the practicalities of our world. The age of cheap energy may well becoming to an end, as we respond to both environmental imperatives and dwindling supplies of oil. I think and hope that this will lead to more small scale, low energy solutions to meeting our real needs. This should mean an increase in individually produced homes of natural and local materials. This in turn means more opportunities for creative, non-linear and organic designs.
Does living in an organic house have any inconvenient?
It does make it tricky to integrate cast off furniture. We don't have any flat walls and not much level floor! Luckily we're not that much into IKEA stuff anyway.
By the way, Hundertwasser was keen to avoid flat floors because he thought it was unnatural for us. I was pleased to follow his recommendations and simultaneously avoid the trouble of leveling the floor.
Do your furniture and objects enter in the organic design?
Ideally, in terms of aesthetics, they would all be integrated, from the surrounding environment,through the shell of the building and on to the furniture, fittings, objects and people that inhabit the space. Also I would love to know the hands that made every object in my life.
why do you think that there are two separate movements going on: the eco/biological architecture and the organic architecture?
Maybe it is again about the industry. I am glad that we are seeing a increase in ecological construction even in mainstream building. Still though I see this as being very much tied up with the convenience of mass production and hence linear forms. As for organic architecture, we don't see much of it around and I think that most people just think that Gaudi has a trademark on anything with a curve. It's probably just not cost-effective on the scale of industrialised construction unless there is lots of cash and passion involved which is a rare mix.
wouldn’t it make sense to integrate them?
When building is done in the way that I am talking about, what I'd call low-impact building, it's done on the ground by the person whose building it is, who is the architect and builder, who is working with respect for nature around and inside themselves. Then I think the process and result will be organic in every way and ecological. There would be no separation.
What is your relation with nature?
We are all a part of nature unquestionably, we are animals of the earth. What remains is how see ourselves in relation to the rest of that living system. We can honour and celebrate it for its own innate value. Alternatively we can value it as a resource for our use. This is the distinction Arne Naess and others make by talking about deep as opposed to shallow ecology. When we adopt a deep ecological or ecocentric view of the world, it then makes sense to live in away which is as close as possible to a true synergy with nature.
how do you explain the relation between organic architecture and a more natural way of living?
The attempt to find a synergy with nature is then the approach that we are using to design systems for living. These systems include buildings, food production, waste and water systems and much more. When we are working with rather than against nature, the rest of nature works with us and things become easy. This is Permaculture.
Do you have any advice for people who would like to go and live in an organic house?
Having your own home which is a part of you can be simple. Start from "what do I need?" and "what do I have?" not "what can I buy?" or "what do other people do?". Do a permaculture course or read a book. Be inventive, try things out, do things the easy way. Look in skips. BE BOLD.
At Home in the Forest by Jasmine Saville an article for Green Parent magazine
Take one baby, a toddler and a building site. Mix well with a generous helping of mud, combine with 6 weeks of solid welsh rain whilst living under canvas. Do this in candle light without a bathroom or electricity for three months. Chuck in living with your father for good measure. Top with an assortment of large slugs. The result a hand crafted home of beauty, warmth and health for about £3,000.
Having children is a major motivation for buying a house. Combine the rigours of looking after young children and meeting demanding mortgage payments in today’s climate and you have a recipe for stress. Then add to this concern about toxic materials that are inherent in most buildings, and exposing your precious babies to them is a cocktail of dismay. This would sum up the options before our family before we decided to take the plunge and go off the beaten track.
Some past experience, lots of reading and self-belief gave us the courage of our conviction that we wanted to build our own home in natural surroundings. With this is mind my husband and I decided to build ourselves what you might call an eco-home wherever we could get the opportunity. For us one choice led to another and each time we took the plunge events conspired to assist us in our mission. Looking back there were times of stress and exhaustion, but definitely no regrets and plenty of satisfaction.
Initially we had no capital and we had decided resolutely to be full time parents whilst our children were young. As you’ll appreciate to be a full time mum and part time dad our income is low, about £5,000 p.a, so a mortgage was not an option and the prospects for renting seemed grim. Providence came our way and a landowner offered us the chance to move to his woodland in west Wales to build an eco-house. There would be no formal security or long term ownership, but £2000 was available for materials, so we jumped at the idea without a backward glance.
So here we are today. You can see from the photos our home is unusual but the aesthetic appeals to lots of people and perhaps touches something innate in us that evolved in forests. We hope this article will provide confidence and information for anyone inspired to undertake a similar project or even just to illustrate that where there’s a will there’s a way even if such a building does not tantalise your taste buds.
Many people ask how we managed to build a house whilst camping without mainstream facilities and as the mum rather than the full time building blokes (my husband and father) I can assure you of a few things. Children like mud, diggers, tools, wood and candlelit extended camping. Mums fret about washing. Dads build all day long and then look after mum. Children are entertained by the outdoors ad infinitum even when it rains. Mums hanker after cosy cafes and make frequent excursions to venues with warm, clean toilets. Children find sticks, look under stones for insects, collect acorns, simulate diggers and do a lot of puddle splashing. Dads carry on building and look after family in the evenings when they are not completely exhausted. Children see materials taking form, observe the construction process and make a lot of connections; they see their parents being effective. Mums wash up whilst yearning for tiled utility rooms, learn to ignore the mud and fend off slugs. Dads build, console mum, read children bedtime stories and make muddy imprints on the sheets. Everyone wonders at the nature of slug slime. Then one day you get a house.
If that hasn’t put you off more serious issues do provide an impetus to eco-building. Modern construction materials, mainly cement and insulation, contribute significantly to carbon emissions and pollution of water, soil and air albeit often in other countries. More alarmingly home furnishings and interior finishes account for the primary pollutants we are exposed to, much more so than from traffic fumes or factories. Fluoro-carbon compounds in fire retardants permeate nearly everything we live amongst; toxic chemicals such as bisphenol-A are rife in paints and varnishes; PVC windows, doors, kitchens and so on contaminate our air and devastate the environments they are produced in. All these substances are well documented as harmful to human and plant life, and cancer forming agents. Some are belatedly being phased out but what about their saturation of our world already? I have no answer to this except to choose natural materials when I can and am confident that cost does not have to be the prohibiting factor.
So what did the house that rose from mud, slugs, physical effort, three months and a few grand entail? A hole was dug into a bank with a knackered old digger (not my father, a machine the landowner already had on site) to the required depth for us to have a mezzanine floor. This took a few weeks interrupted by me constantly dragging men to the glorious West Wales beaches as it was mid August after all. A rough stone wall was built around the perimeter for the wall foundation. The stone was sourced from the hole and free.
The structure was oak posts used in the round, i.e. not sawn into planks and hence very strong. In our case thin, spindly oak posts were all around us in the woods and not conventionally useful for any purpose except shamefully firewood, fencing or wood-chip. This required a chainsaw, men, lots of heavy lifting, a few days and no money. To construct the frame some advice and calculation was necessary but this information is readily available from other people who have built ‘roundhouses’, please see links below.
DPC plastic was laid in the hole and salvaged hardwood crates laid on top to provide a breathing space for straw bale insulation. Eight tons of straw bales arrived on a huge lorry, costing £650, which were stacked in glorious sunshine and secured from the deluge of rain that began the next day and lasted for weeks. Very quickly the bales were assembled as walls, secured with hazel rods, leaving appropriate gaps for windows. Straw bale construction is extremely quick, easy, fun and hence rewarding. As our house is oval the bales require jumping on to achieve a curve.
The roof is a series of layers to achieve insulation, waterproofing and low visual impact with little cash. Cotton dust sheets were laid on to the rafters, followed by whole straw bales, sealed with three layers of silage plastic and topped with earth from the original digging. A space was left in the centre for a skylight.
Serendipity called again to provide the floor and windows. Large pine palettes from a nearby works due to be burnt were laid on the straw, sanded and polished up with a non-toxic oil and wax that we have found to be durable and great to work with. When you are oiling boards in the same room as your kids at 4am you are glad it s only citrus turpenes your hair and clothes are covered with rather than petrochemicals. Due to a north facing aspect we have no windows in the front of the house but designed the length of the rear wall to have windows. A nearby double glazing supplier gladly furnished us for free with misfit units due to be landfilled that miraculously fitted with an inch to spare and came framed with fittings.
By this time we were exhausted, I had evacuated the children to a luxury holiday cottage for a fortnight to escape the mud and now snow. The Dads were working round the clock to make the house habitable only stopping to eat sardines. They occasionally slept but generally carried on building the mezzanine, fitting back doors, digging grey water pits and plastering with semi frozen lime and fingers. All the tools were buried in straw. Dads were in danger of being mistaken as yetis. So in December 2005, sixteen weeks on, we moved in without doors but with a huge sense of satisfaction.
The time is now to make changes in our lifestyles and consumption. There are a number of projects making this a reality in Britain and Ireland and plenty of resources to support green building ideas, links to these can be found on our website, www.simondale.net/house. If this has inspired you to get covered in straw and lime, come and help us build another grander home next year! Feeling impotent in the face of environmental and social problems is overcome more easily than we imagine by forming clear intentions of our ideals. Realising them is not always simple, but in our experience more fulfilling than business as usual. For peace of mind and the future we bequeath to our children let’s do the job as best we can.
See The Lammas Project Here: http://www.loveforlife.com.au/node/5918
Resources / Links
There are loads of them out there. These are a few of our favourites.
Pioneering low impact ecovillage project in SW Wales.
Low Impact Living Initiative: http://www.lowimpact.org
Factsheets, courses, shop and more - good introductory material.
Steward Wood: http://www.stewardwood.org
An inspirational bunch of people living in the woods and some fantastic, more in depth resources.
The Land is Ours / Chapter 7: http://www.tlio.org.uk
Advice and support, particularly on planning issues. They also make a great magazine called the land.
Tony and Jane's Roundhouse: http://www.thatroundhouse.info
Landmark dwelling which has shaped the state of low impact development in Britain.
Cae Mabon: http://www.caemabon.co.uk
Retreat village of jaw-droppingly beautiful low impact buildings.
Flying Concrete: http://www.geocities.com/flyingconcrete
Steve Korhner sprays lightweight concrete to make the most exquisite sculptural architecture I've seen.
The Permaculture Association (Britain): http://www.permaculture.org.uk
Learn more about permaculture, the design philosophy of this project.
Building a Low Impact Roundhouse - Tony Wrench
Tony Wrench's explanation of his build. Shows how anyone can do it, regardless of skills or resources. Highly recommended.
Shelter / Home Work -
A fantastic showcase of self built shelters world over.
The Pattern Language - Christopher Alexander et al.
Design guide, usable by anyone, to make healthy functional rooms, buildings and neighbourhoods.
Places of the Soul - Christopher Day
How to design healthy architecture and its effects on people.
Building with Straw Bales - Barbara Jones: http://greenbooks.co.uk/store/product_info.php?ref=129&products_id=56&af...
A simple but comprehensive guide to straw bale building geared to the UK climate.
The Art of Natural Building - ed. Kennedy, Smith & Wanek
Essays and introductions to nearly every aspect of the subject.
The Earth Care Manual - Patrick Whitefield
Practical all round permaculture book, lots on growing in the UK.
Permaculture: Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability - David Holmgren
Permaculture design as a solution to the problems of modern times.
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Fiona Caroline Cristian
Kindom (Do No Harm Communities) is the dream for freedom, but it is the dream for the freedom of those around us who also live the dream of freedom, because it is in living for the freedom of others that we get our freedom. When we live for the dreams of Kindom of those around us, we live life as a gift because we live for (dedicate our lives to) their dream of freedom, truth, peace, joy, abundance, etc, just as they live for our Kindom dreams too. This is true co-creation (cooperation) with no attack on the uniqueness of each of us. When we live this way, we have no need for any man-made system - everything/everyone has already been taken care of by our love for life.
Just as we do not have to jump 10 feet across the room to grab our next breath, neither do we have to worry about food, water and shelter because it has all been taken care of as we each co-create Kindoms/Kin-Domains for everyone. Now everybody and everything of the dream of life that is Kindom/Paradise is free (has been set free once again). The issue is greed and selfishness, power and control trips, arrogance, ignorance, being fed many many lies and being traumatised. The issue is not overpopulation - there is more than enough land available for every family to have a hectare (2.5 acres Kin-Domain) to care for. The land of Australia can provide a Kin-Domain for every family across Earth, each with a food forest, clean fresh drinking water and plenty of space for building natural do no harm habitats and with plenty of land left over.
Everyone must have the freedom to take full-responsibility for their lives, for the water they drink, the food they eat and for their shelter. Currently, "The System" forces everyone to give up taking full-responsibility so that we become grown up children accustomed to sucking on the nipples of "The System" corporations for everything, having to use money to get by and to follow the rules of money because we are not co-creating freedom, peace, truth, joy and abundance for each other. Money only leads to haves and have nots and all the abuse, manipulation and distractions that we are subjected to as slaves to money.
When we give up living for other's Kindom dreams, we start creating hell ("The System") all around us because we become self-centred - now it's all about "my freedom","my money", "my land", "my belief", "my saviour", "mine", "mine","mine", "i","i", "i", "own", "own", "own", etc. To protect what we claim we own requires a man-made system with FORCE to protect those self-centred claims. This is ALL trauma based and all story-telling (brainwashing/braindirtying).
Our true freedom comes when we set our thoughts of freedom into motion so that we live freedom rather than just talking and thinking about it while we still slave for "The System". Kindom will not happen while we meditate for hours in the bush or do yoga retreats or wait for Jesus or follow the processes of the OPPT (One People's Public Trust now called One People). This is not freedom because we are not living freedom because we are living the story-telling of Jesus or Zeitgeist or The Secret or Thrive or One Earth/Consciousness/People.
Living Kindom is very, very hard work as we set about repairing the damage to MAN/Earth/Nature that we are ALL responsible for but the burden becomes lighter the more of us put our life-energy into the dream of returning Earth to Paradise. Day-after-day, we all have to work our arses off until Kindom is all around us (MAN) once again. This is the price we pay to set each other free on a piece of land (Kin-Domain), so that no one is under the image-power (education/brainwashing/story-telling) of another MAN anymore and so that everyone can have their space of love to create and live their unique, do no harm dreams. This only happens once we have the Kindoms set up so that everyone is provided for.
Once we re-create the food forests, whether on land or in the suburbs, we can re-claim our freedom, breaking the strangle-hold of "The System" because we are no longer reliant on its services and benefits and no longer turning each other into slaves of "The System", cogs in the wheels of "The System" machine. If we don't put the effort in to set everyone and everything free all around us then we still live in HELL ("The System"). The key is to live for everyone else's freedom so that we can have it too.
We live for NO SYSTEM. We do not lose anything by not having a man-made system and, in fact, we gain. We gain our freedom and we gain abundance. Let go of the fear.
To explore these themes in greater detail go here where you can find many of our recent Love For Life comments, articles, debates, discussions, videos, podcasts, etc:
So You Want The Good Bits Of "The System"
But Not The Bad Bits?
By Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 12th August 2013
All the best
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
We feel there is an essential peaceful do no harm transition required to get all of MAN back to standing on MANS feet without reliance upon another MAN for water, food, shelter. As it stands everyone in "The System" are highly dependent and reliant on the "group mind-set" that forms "The System" of slaves providing services and benefits for the emotionally addicted slaves to "The System" (and you can put us in the same basket too). The transition is to get MAN back to relying ONLY on nature without 3rd party interlopers, intermeddlers, interceders getting in the way. The transition is a team effort with the foresight for setting all of MAN free down-the-line so that MAN is no longer dependent on slaves and masters providing services, benefits, privileges and exclusivity while being bound to contracts, rituals, procedures, conditions, rules & regulations which compromises MAN severely.
This transition is all about shifting from limited liability/responsibility to full liability/responsibility. This full responsibility is all about caring for our health, nature all around us, clean uncorrupted (pure) water and food, partner/co-creator, children, shelter, animal-friends in partnership, etc. In "The System", we are already together destroying each other - we have to come together to create peace together so that we can all have peace. We cannot live peacefully when we are islands, not taking full responsibility for the lives of those around us until EVERYONE can take full responsibility for their life, which means that EVERYONE is healed of system trauma. In "The System", we all come together to make slaves of each other - now is the moment to come together to set each other free, to live for each other's freedom, peace, joy and abundance. Once we have set each other free, we are free.
Control The Land
And You Control MAN On The Land
Displace MAN From Land
And You Turn MAN Into Slaves
Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
April 2011 (Updated 14th September 2011)
The Spell Is Broken
Taking The Land To Create Kindom
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
3rd March 2013
"The Steps Of Kindom"
Once we fix these issues, we or our children or our descendants to come, can start focusing on the even bigger picture of getting back to where our ancestors were, as breatharyan's, before they fell into non-sense images to be enslaved by them.
All the best to you and your family
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
The Cristian family and The Love for Life Campaign are apolitical, non-religious, non-violent, anti weapons, anti drugs (both pharmaceutical and recreational) and anti any ideology that denies the existence of Do No Harm Communities (Kindoms) and suppresses the uniqueness and freedom of all men, women and children.
The Cristian family and our Love For Life work is unaligned to any big business corporation, intelligence agency, government body, "system" law, "system" think tanks, "system" green or environmental movements, religion, cult, sect, society (fraternity, brotherhood, sisterhood, order, club, etc,) secret or not, hidden agenda, law or sovereignty group, occult, esoteric, New Age or Old Age.
The Cristian family supports and promotes the remedy that brings an everlasting peace, freedom, truth, joy, abundance and do no harm for all of life without causing loss of uniqueness or the need for having slaves and rulers. We are not into following the one in front or being sheeple. Most importantly, we take full-responsibility for everything we think, feel and do.
The Cristian family are not Christians.
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
Being of clear brain, heart and intention, we each declare the following to be true:
• We have no intention of ending our own lives.
• We will not tolerate suppression of truth, ideas, freedom, or our work. We stand for freedom of speech.
• We stand together to support others in the expression of truths and freedom to speak out no matter how radical those ideas may seem.
• Standing for freedom takes courage; together we shall be strong in the face of all odds.
• If it is ever claimed that we have committed suicide, encountered an unfortunate accident, died of sickness/disease, disappeared, been institutionalized, or sold out financially or in any other way to self-interested factions, we declare those claims false and fabricated.
• We testify, assert and affirm without reservation, on behalf of all those who have dedicated their lives to the ending of secrecy and the promotion of freedom of thought, ideas and expression that we shall prevail.
• We Do Not Have Multiple Personality Disorders
Jasmin Lily Cristian
Emma Rose Cristian
Frances Hannah Cristian
Xanthe Jane Cristian
15th December 2006 (Edited/Updated 18th September 2011)
We are turning the Love for Life Quick User Guide http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6608 into a blog of all the main insights of our work since March 2005, whether through articles, videos, podcasts or discussions/debates.
As we do not have the time to compile everything we have written into a book, as many have suggested we do, compiling all our most important work into one area of the website is a way of providing easy access to this work so those interested are able to fully comprehend the big picture.
Instead of having to find our different articles, videos, etc, in various parts of the website, it will all be accessible here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6608 and here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/3385.
As amateurs and posted in the Quick User Guide below the Facebook links, we're currently creating and posting a series of videos called "The Dream Of Life" which covers the ground of all the Love For Life insights. We plan to have the videos completed by December 31st 2012. Once this is behind us, our intention is to create a 2 hour or so video covering the body of this work. All videos are embedded in the quick user guide http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6608 and uploaded in Arthur's YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ArthurLoveForLife.
We have started recording songs, with others, that express the themes of Love For Life. They are now being posted on Arthur's YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ArthurLoveForLife and are embedded in the quick user guide http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6608. We have over 100 songs to record. A few rough demos have already been used as the soundtrack on the first "Dream of Life" video.
Also, everything we, the Cristian family, have gone through, from bank fraud and the theft of the family home to death threats and attempts on Arthur's life, is documented in the Quick User Guide too. If you, the reader, are prepared to put the effort in, you will comprehend the extent to which we have all been tricked into becoming slaves, giving up our uniqueness and our full-responsibility for life and destroying everything of life to the point where life is in danger of dying out completely. You will also comprehend the remedy to all this chaos; a remedy that requires only love for life and the determination to do what needs to be done. Though our focus is very strongly on the remedy that creates a world of freedom, truth, peace, joy, abundance and Do No Harm for all of life without loss of uniqueness or the need for slaves and rulers, we realise that it is vital to comprehend how to get there and what stops us from getting there. This is why there is so much information on the hows and whys of everything going wrong in the world today. We are not into peddling conspiracy theories, we are into routing out all forms of organised crime.
Saturday 26th November 2011
Arthur and Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
Mobile: 0011 61 418 203204 - (0418 203204)
Facebook Arthur Cristian: http://www.facebook.com/arthurcristian
YouTube Arthur Cristian: http://www.youtube.com/ArthurLoveForLife
Nimbit Music: http://www.nimbitmusic.com/loveforlife
Facebook Music: http://www.facebook.com/loveforlifemusic
Facebook Why Aren't We Free Discussion: http://www.facebook.com/164918753537287
Facebook Do No Harm Community: http://www.facebook.com/151811728195925
YouTube Love For Life Music: http://www.myspace.com/loveforlifemusic
Google + Fiona Cristian: https://plus.google.com/100490175160871610090
Register To The Love For Life Mailing List: http://loveforlife.com.au/content/09/05/14/mailing-list
Which Unravels The Reasons For The Chaos, Mayhem and Confusion Being Experienced In The World Today, Explains The Need For "Community Immunity" and Responsibility, and Focuses On The Creation Of Kindoms - Do No Harm, Life-Sustainable Communities (As The Remedy That Heals All Mans Woes) - And How We Can Co-Create Them. For Comments, Articles And Discussions, Go Here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/3385 - Also Go Here To See Podcasts And Videos Posted by Arthur & Fiona Cristian: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/7309 - The Information Shared Comes From Inspiration, Intuition, Heartfelt-Logic And Information Gathered From Nature And Many Amazing Men And Women Along The Way. It Is Not Found In Any Books Or Channellings, Or Talked About By "Experts". Go Here To Read A Brief Synopsis Of Why We Started Love For Life: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8182
go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/1125 and for more on Eco Homes, Villages, Organic and Permaculture Gardening and Life-Sustainability, etc, go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/3641 and here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/1985 and Mikhail Petrovich Shchetinin - Kin's School - Lycee School at Tekos: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/5173
go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/5068 - LIFE is information. When we distort LIFE and then eat, drink, absorb, think, feel, hear, see, touch, taste, smell and perform these distortions, the information of LIFE, your LIFE, our LIFE, our children's lives, everyone's LIFE, is distorted.
Which Covers Topics From Health to Chemtrails/Haarp to Brain Control to Archaeology to Astronomy Geocentricity Heliocentricity to Pandemics Bird Flu Swine Flu to Fluoride to Cancer to Free Energy to Global Warming, 9/11, Bali Bombings, Aspartame, MSG, Vaccinations, Aids/HIV, Mercury, New World Order, Satanism, Religions, Cults, Sects, Symbolism, etc, etc, go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/82
(Macquarie Bank/Perpetual Limited Bank Fraud Condoned By Judges, Registrars, Barristers, Lawyers, Politicians, Public Servants, Bureaucrats, Big Business and Media Representatives - A Crime Syndicate/Terrorist Organisation) Which Prompted The Creation Of This Love For Life Website December 2006, And The Shooting And Torture Of Supporters Who Assisted Us In Reclaiming The Family Home, Joe Bryant And His Wife, Both In Their Late 70's, go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/5 And Read Some Of Our Email Correspondence With Lawyer Paul Kean - Macedone Christie Willis Solari Partners - Miranda Sydney May 17th-June 27th 2006: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/7300
go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/australian_stories (If you have a story you would like us to put up, we would love to here from you:
action @ loveforlife.com.au)
Evidence Revealing How Victims Did Not Break The Peace, Caused No Crime or Harm, There Were No Injured Parties. Documenting Incontrovertible Evidence Demonstrating How The Powers That Be (PTB) And Their Lackeys Will Break All The Laws They Are Supposed To Uphold. They Will Kidnap, Intimidate, Terrorise, Rape, Pillage, Plunder And Lie And Take Responsibility For None Of It. All Part Of Their Tactics Of Using Fear And Trauma To Keep Us In Our Place. Relatives Of Those Under Their Radar Are Also Not Safe From Attack And Intimidation. All Starting From A $25 Fine For Not Voting And A $65 Fine For Not Changing A Dog Registration. We Do Not Have Freedom And Can Only Appear To Have Freedom If We Comply. Regardless How Small The Matter The PTB Throw Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars Away To Enforce Their Will.... Go Here:
Fiona Cristian Reply To State Debt Recovery Office - Part One to Part Ten - From 17th October 2008 And Still Continuing:
Fiona Cristian Reply To State Debt Recovery Office
Part One: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/5742 - From 17th October 2008
Part Two: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6135 - From 18th December 2008
Part Three: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6295 - From 9th January 2009
Part Four: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6296 - From 14th January 2009
Part Five: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6375 - The Sick Puppy - From 20th February 2009
Part Six: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6390 - Police Officers, Sheriff’s Officers, Tow Truck Driver and State Debt Recovery Office Blatantly Ignore the Law To Rape, Pillage and Plunder The Private Property Of Fiona Cristian - From 11th March 2009
Part Seven: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6445 - Affidavit Of Truth - Letter To The Queen + Australia: Fascism is Corporatism - From 30th March 2009
Part Eight: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6652 - The Pirates Auction And The Ghost Of VSL386 - From 4th April 2009
Part Nine: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/7073 - Arthur Cristian's Letter To Pru Goward MP - From 15th December 2009
Part Ten: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/7500 - Should We Be In Fear Of Those Who Claim To Protect Us? "Roman Cult" Canon Law - Ecclesiastical Deed Poll - The Work Of Frank O'Collins - From 13th October 2010
go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/895 - For Common Law, Democracy, Constitution, Trial By Jury, Fee Simple, etc, go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/category/main/law-articles-documents
go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/banks
go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/tracker
go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/video_dvd
go here: Part One: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6616 Part Two: THE STEVE JOHNSON REPORT AND VIDEO: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6665 and Part Three: Latest Update On James Von Brunn: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6673
Conscious Love Always
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
action @ loveforlife.com.au
0418 203204 (int: 0011 61 418 203204)
PO Box 1320 Bowral 2576 NSW Australia
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The Web Site Information has been prepared to provide general information only and is not intended to constitute or be construed as providing substantive professional advice or opinion on any facts or circumstances. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, nor does its receipt give rise to, a professional-client relationship between 'Love for Life' and the receiver.
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The impact of the law, policy and/or procedure for any particular situation depends on a variety of factors; therefore, readers should not act upon any Web Site Information without seeking professional advice. 'Love for Life' is not responsible for any action taken in reliance on any Web Site Information herein.
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All Web Site Information is considered correct at the time of the web site's most recent revision.
Note: Updated Wednesday 17th June 2009 8.00pm Sydney Time.
Love For Life does not support harm doing in any shape or form. However, we are supporters of free speech and post articles, documentaries, etc, that represent a wide cross section of ideas. See the Love For Life extensive research library where over 11,000 individual documents, articles, videos, podcasts and debates/discussions are posted: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/82. We clearly see the evidence of the destruction to MAN and Earth that has been caused by ALL religions over the centuries and are therefore not supporters of religions, cults, sects or any group that demands conformity of thought, speech or action, or has rules, regulations or rituals that must be followed. Religions, nationalities and cultural "identities" are formed as a result of the brainwashing we receive from childhood. They are part of the tactics the Establishment uses to keep us all divided from one another and fighting one another.
All religions promote discrimination and division, leading to hatred and even violence and murder. None of them have yet to produce a remedy to all the suffering, poverty, unhappiness and discrimination in the world. If any religion truly had the remedy to all the suffering on earth, there would no longer be any suffering. What have Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, atheism and the New Age done to end the suffering in the world?
The Love For Life website has information from all sides on many subjects, whether about Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Law, health, psychology, mind control, vaccination, aspartame, MSG, Chemtrails etc. There are over 11,000 individual articles, documentaries, etc on the website and they are so diverse that we are sure that everyone would be able to find something they loved and something they hated, if they took the time to search. If we removed all the articles hated by everyone, there would probably be nothing left! We are not anti anyone but freedom of speech is freedom of speech and no one should condemn the work of another without taking the time to research the subject themselves. Yes, there are articles by those who have a less-than-rosy-viewpoint of Judaism, but there are also articles on the dark side of Tibetan Buddhism (and it is very dark) for those who are interested in the truth: Tibet - Buddhism - Dalai Lama: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6271 Should the authors of these articles be abused and imprisoned for daring to challenge the widely conceived reputation of Buddhism as being the religion of peace and love and that of the Dalai Lama as a saint, or should those interested be allowed to study the work and come to their own conclusions? The same applies to all the articles, documentaries, etc, about Christianity, Islam, Freemasonry, New World Order, etc.
The Love for Life website also shows how the Rule of Law, the Bar, the Government, the Monarchy, the system of commerce, the local, national and multi/trans-national private corporations, all the courses and careers on offer from our universities, all the educators, scientists, academics and experts, the aristocrats and the Establishment bloodlines have also done NOTHING to end the suffering in the world. The website maps the insanity of a world where there is no help for those in need, just as there was no help available for us when we were victims of terrible bank fraud: http://loveforlife.com.au/court_case orchestrated, condoned and protected by an international crime syndicate/terrorist organisation of judges, barristers, registrars, lawyers, politicians, banksters, big business representatives, media moguls and other lackeys who, all together, put up a wall of silence despite our trying many, many avenues. After the family home was stolen and business destroyed we were left close to poverty and destitution caring for 4 young daughters. Three years later not much has changed regardless of all our efforts. Where were all the followers of all the religions to help us? Or do we have to be members of those religions to receive help from others involved in them?
We have been accused of being anti - Jewish because we had posted an excerpt from James von Brun's book: Kill the Best Gentiles! http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6054 in which he blames Jews for the problems of the world. Obviously this is not our view because of what we have stated above. We do not hate anyone, whatever religion they follow. We are always open to talk to any religious leader or politician and meet with any judge, member of the Bar, experts, academics, educators etc to share the remedy we offer that heals all the divisions between MAN and MAN, and MAN and EARTH.
Today, a representative of the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies is threatening to close the website down, because they have decided it is anti - Jewish and that we promote racism. What has the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies done to end the suffering in the world? Can they show that they are concerned with the suffering of ALL men, women and children AND ARE SEEN TO BE DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT or are they only concerned with Jewish affairs? If so, they, along with all the other religions that only care for their own, are part of the problem, not part of the solution. The man who rang Arthur today was only concerned with Jewish affairs; he was not interested in our intentions or in anybody else, just as most Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Catholics, etc, are only interested in their own. While we separate our lives into groups, dividing our lives from others with rules, regulations, rituals, procedures, conditions and contracts, we will never solve our problems.
No matter what we in the Western World Civilisation of Commerce have been promised by our politicians, religious leaders, scientists, educators, philosophers, etc, for the past two hundred years, all we have seen is ever-increasing destruction of men, women and children and Earth. None of the so-called experts and leaders we have been taught to rely on are coming up with a solution and none of them are taking full-responsibility for the fact that they can't handle the problem. All religious books talk about end times full of destruction and suffering but why do we have to follow this program when there is an alternative to hatred, mayhem and death? Why are our leaders following the program of destruction and death rather than exploring the do no harm alternatives? It seems that any mainstream politician, priest or academic are only interested in supporting the RULES OF THE DIVIDE, that maintain the haves and the have nots. For 200+ years, 99% of the world population have been so trained to pass on their responsibility for their lives, others and Earth, that the 1% of the population that make up the leaders of the rest of us are making all the decisions leading to the destruction of all of us and Earth. Let's not forget the education system that brainwashes the 99% of the population that we are free and have equal rights while, in fact, we are feathering the nests of those at the top.
At the root of all our problems is self-centredness, an unwillingness nurtured by the Establishment that keeps us concerned only with our own needs rather than the needs of others around us and Earth. Instead of creating and releasing acts of love for those around us as gifts to benefit them and Earth, we take, take and take, until there is nothing left. The whole point of the Love for Life website is to show people the root of all our problems and to share the remedy. The extensive research library is there to attract browsers and to provide access to information not available through mainstream channels. If the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies can, after careful examination of our work, prove that anything we are saying is wrong, we will be happy to accept their proof. If they cannot, and they are still insistent on closing the website down, they will be showing themselves to be traitors to MAN because they are not interested in pursuing any avenue that can end the suffering in the world.
All religions, corporations and organisations that support and maintain the Western World Civilisation of Commerce are part of the problem because our civilisation is a world of haves and have nots, exclusivity, privilege, racism, violence, hatred, poverty, sickness, discrimination, abuse, starvation, homelessness, corruption, collusion, vindictiveness, social unrest, arrogance, ignorance, fear, war and chaos. While we support civilisation, we support death and destruction.
If we truly want peace and freedom for all, we have to let go of all that which keeps us divided, and come together as MAN, conscious living co-creators of creation/life. The Love For Life website offers a remedy to the problems we all face in the form of DO NO HARM COMMUNITIES (KINDOMS): http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6608 - http://loveforlife.com.au/node/3641 For more details see here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6511 and here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/3385 - We also highly recommend that everyone read the brilliant Russian books called The Ringing Cedars: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/1125 - The Love For Life homepage/front-page also provides lots of inspiring remedy based information: http://loveforlife.com.au - If you want to be kept up to date with our work please register to the Love For Life mailing list here: http://loveforlife.com.au/campaign_list We usually send two postings per month. Presently (September 2011) there are over 7000 registrations reaching over 500,000 readers across Earth. The website now (September 2011) receives up to 12 million hits per month. Since December 2006, over 100 million people have visited the Love For Life website.
Conscious Love Always
Arthur and Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
17th June 2009