* summary & further research

Richard Fleischer: Soylent Green



What are the social, political and economic implications when the very building blocks of life are being claimed as intellectual property by biotech companies? As land, forests, oceans, and the atmosphere are being colonized, eroded, and polluted, a corporatocracy is carving out new frontiers to exploit: the interior spaces and the reproduction of women, plants and animals.

Indigenous peoples tend to have very different attitudes toward property. When a transnational corporation attempts to patent traditional knowledge or genetic material, they consider such propertization both fatuous and outrageous. No individual can claim to be the sole “author” of collective resources (as copyrights and patents imply) because these resources required generations of stewardship, inherited innovation and culture to develop and refine! No one can appropriate and sell for private gain something entrusted to a commons as a sacred trust. Hence the term “biopiracy.” Indigenous communities can be as vulnerable to the seductions of money and power as anyone else. Some indigenous leaders have sold their traditional knowledge or resources for a pittance or entered into “benefit sharing” arrangements with Western pharmaceutical interests that end up betraying or greatly weakening their cultures. The San people of the Kalahari Desert in Africa agreed to 8 percent of the profits in a new diet drug made from Hoodia gordonii, a cactus the San have traditionally used as a natural appetite suppressant. Many have criticized this deal as a case of biopiracy that has injected market norms and large sums of cash into a traditional culture, with troubling effects. (David Bollier: Think like a Commoner, 2014: 152-153)

Sometimes enclosures involve things that a community only owns morally or inherits, such as the biodiversity of nature. These are common-pool resources, not actual commons (because the social systems to manage them remain aspirational, not actual). CPRs are particularly vulnerable to enclosure because there is no organized community to resist the seizure, so they are seen as “free for the taking.” Markets become the structural force for redesigning nature.(David Bollier: Think like a Commoner, 2014: 49)

Coke used as pesticide in India



George McCayRadical Gardening: Politics, Idealism and Rebellion in the Garden (2011)

Bruce Pascoe: Dark Emu (2014)

Ed Schehl, A Silent Forest: The Growing Threat Genetically Engineered Trees (2011)

Vandana Shiva: The Future of Food and Seed (2009)

Paul Stamets, Mycelium Running (2005)

George McCayRadical Gardening: Politics, Idealism and Rebellion in the Garden (2011)

Vandana Shiva: Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge (1997)

Who Really Feeds the World: The Failures of Agribusiness and The Promise of Agroecology (2016)

Jeff Noon: Pollen (1995) 

Richard Reynolds, On Guerrilla Gardening: A Handbook for Gardening without Boundaries

Paul Stamets, Mycelium Running (2005)

Bill Mollison, Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual (2012) 

Peter Wohleben, The Hidden Life of Trees (2015)

Peter Tompkins & Christopher Bird, The Secret Life of Plants (1989)

Carlo Petrini, Slow Food: The Case for Taste (2001)

Michael Foley, Farming for the Long Haul: Resilience and the Lost Art of Agricultural Inventiveness (2019)

Geoff Lawton on Permaculture 

 Geoff Lawton on Food Forests
Geoff Lawton, Online Permaculture Masterclass

Video 1: Green is the New Silver (Lining): Crisis, Hope and Permaculture

Video 2: From Exploitation to Regeneration:  Rob and Michelle’s Story

Video 3 – An Urban Food Forest and Therapy Garden:  Angelo and Lana’s Journeys

Video 4 – Permaculture’s Origin Story:  Mollison’s PDM. Oh, and Nature

Ed Schehl, A Silent Forest: The Growing Threat of Genetically Engineered Trees (2011)

Vandana Shiva, Protect or Plunder?  Understanding Intellectual Property Rights (2001)

Michael F. Brown, Who Owns Native Culture? (2004)

Crottorf Castle report of international retreat on the commons




Alain Lipietz’ essay on the commons  / on political ecology




Barcelona Charter for Innovation, Creativity and Access to Knowledge



World Social Forum, Reclaim the Commons http://bienscommuns.org/signature/appel/?a=appel&lang=en

Commons Manifesto:  Strengthen the Commons.  Now!   


David Martin:  Global Innovation Trust and heritable trusts for indigenous peoples




Maria Mies & Veronika Benholdt-Thomsen:

Defending, Reclaiming and Reinventing the Commons



Bill Gates Wants to Realize Global Vision in His Lifetime

The Future of Food and Seed 


Bill Gates is continuing the work of Monsanto

Self-watering And Self-fertilizing Apple Trees Growing System Of The Tarahumara Indians