LifeStyle Changes

There is a lot of talk of "changing one's lifestyle" & "living a more sustainable lifestyle" as if sustainability were some fashion, or something rescuable by changing some fashions ...

If you find that term difficult to handle or even repulsive (or if on the contrary, it has a wonderful hopeful ring to it for you), you're certainly not alone, but the simple reality of the matter is that people are always just wherever they are (check Spiral Dynamics page for one model which explains this).

So, from a practical sense, maybe it would be more useful to ask:   "does it really matter if someone starts getting aware of sustainability just because they're obsessed with their own health or basically care about nothing more than eating well & having better tasty food for themselves?

Can we get to be more sustainable by pursuing self-interest?   Is there such a thing, really, as "enlightened self-interest"?    Isn't that just a contradiction in terms, if 'becoming enlightened is essentially the very same process of 'getting out of the very self-obsession' that has caused all these problems in the first place?

Here are some resources for debate!

A Day in the Simple Life

A Day in the Simple Life from For Greenies on Vimeo

The Ethics of Buying Cheap Land in Exotic Places

or the realities of ...

This is an excerpt from the initial proposal of a permaculture project (the Banyam Project & a Permaculture Master Plan site, in Thailand)

What are the ethics implications of this?   Can you see any major discrepancy with permaculture ethics, principles, design vision & objectives?

Who legally owns the land?

This is a little complicated, but it is all worked out.  My parents just went through the whole process of buying property a couple years ago.  To buy a house they had to set up a company (the fact that it doesn’t do any business doesn’t matter).  This is because Thailand wanted to avoid the massive acquisition of land by foreigners, so all land must be majority owned by Thai citizens.  Their company is owned 51% by a Thai woman who my parents work with, and the other 49% by my family.  It was a bit of a task to work through all the legalities, but they had a law firm in Thailand help them.  They decided, partly for my benefit, and partly because it is Thai custom, to put the company in my name.  This means that any further acquisition of land will be much easier.  All the legal technicalities have been worked out.  This process is all perfectly legal, and is done fairly often when foreigners want to buy land.  The lady who technically owns 51% of my parents’ house is a friend of my parents of 13 years, but even if she were to turn evil and try to sell her share of the property, it wouldn’t work, because she has already signed something saying that she has sold all of her shares to me.  All I need to do is sign that document (if something like that ever happened), and it would all be in my name.


We could buy our property legally through this company, so legally it will be in my name.  I could turn evil and run off with all your money, but I am hoping that my most sincere no-turn-evil guarantee will suffice.  I am going to be talking to the law firm that has helped us with the legalities of this process, and find out about legally putting all of our names as the owners of the company.