Why haven’t we solved the climate change problem?

We’ve known about climate change for decades and some great minds have worked on tackling the problem, cumulatively a lot of hard work has been done, so why are we still facing the same problem?

Grint (2008), suggests that we have been looking at the problem in the wrong way, by trying to solve it like a puzzle with a single-line solution. But since climate change is a much more complex problem, traditional linear problem-solving techniques are inadequate.

To have any chance of success, we must take into account a wealth of variables including socioeconomic factors and complicated chemistry, but due to the hugeness of the problem, any solution can have impacts in unexpected ways.

Levin et al. (2012) described climate change as a ‘super wicked problem’, categorised as having the following ‘wicked problem’ characteristics:

  1. No unique “correct” view of the problem;
  2. Different views of the problem and contradictory solutions;
  3. Most problems are connected to other problems;
  4. Data are often uncertain or missing;
  5. Multiple value conflicts;
  6. ideological and cultural constraints;
  7. Political constraints;
  8. Economic constraints;
  9. Often a-logical or illogical or multi-valued thinking;
  10. Numerous possible intervention points;
  11. Consequences difficult to imagine;
  12. Considerable uncertainty, ambiguity;
  13. Great resistance to change; and,
  14. Problem solver(s) out of contact with the problems and potential solutions.

(as described by Horn (2007))

Along with the following additional characteristics:

  1. Time is running out.
  2. No central authority.
  3. Those seeking to solve the problem are also causing it.
  4. Policies discount the future irrationally.

It is a problem faced by everyone as individuals and as groups (such as businesses and governments and we are really only beginning the journey of tackling it. However, time is far from plentiful and the effects have already been devastating.





Grint (2008): Grint, K. Wicked Problems and Clumsy Solutions: the Role of Leadership. In: Clinical Leader, Volume I Number II, 2008

Levin (2009): Levin, K.; Cashore, B.; Bernstein, S.; Auld, G. “Playing it forward: Path dependency, progressive incrementalism, and the “Super Wicked” problem of global climate change”, 2009

Horn (2007): Horn, Robert E., and Robert P. Weber; “New Tools For Resolving Wicked Problems: Mess Mapping and Resolution Mapping Processes”, Strategy Kinetics L.L.C., 2007

The Role Of Observation In Permaculture

TreeThinkerObserveThe first of the twelve design principles of permaculture is: Design & Interact – emphasising the importance of taking the time to understand the situation in which we are designing.

Design can take many forms, big or small; whether it is deciding where to hang a picture at home or designing a building to hang it in, some common features exist between all forms of designing and, at the same time, some systems exist which can improve our chances of success. You will have used many of these systems before, permaculture helps us to develop a framework to help design go well.

Observation skills were once a vital survival skill for our ancestors; people relied on understanding what was safe to eat, when it would grow and where and where danger might lie. By observing our natural surrounding we are able to understand them and use them to our advantage.

In designing a permaculture growing space, some things to consider are:

  • Soil (Type, pH, depth)
  • Wind
  • Temperature: Over the year
  • Sunlight: shade
  • Microclimate
  • Moisture
  • Vegetation
  • Animals
  • Local resources

Once we have developed an understanding of a growing space, it is possible to ensure that we are planting things that grow well in that environment, rather than try to change the environment to suit what are we growing – which is more resource and labour intensive.

Green Gifts Now Available

We are now providing Green Gifts; a great way to support the creation of our organic, permaculture farm whilst giving a gift to someone.

If you’re looking for an ethical gift, our Green Gifts provide a sustainable way of giving a gift and helping the environment at the same time. Through sponsorship of animals and plants at Sharney Bridge Farm, your gift will help support the local ecosystem and encourage life to flourish.

Sponsorships include bat boxes for our woodland, re-homing caged chickens at our farm and the planting of wildflower bouquets.

For more information or to purchase, Click Here.

Top 3 Permaculture books for beginners

A reading list featuring top books for anyone interested in getting into permaculture:

Permaculture Design: A Step by Step Guide
Author: Aranya
ISBN-13 9781856230919
Giving a fantastic introduction to help get started in permaculture.
(To order: https://www.waterstones.com/book/permaculture-design/aranya/9781856230919)

Creating a Forest Garden
Author Martin Crawford
ISBN-13 9781900322621
A wonderful resource for making the most of a forest environment for growing food.
(To order: https://www.waterstones.com/book/creating-a-forest-garden/martin-crawford/joanna-brown/9781900322621)

The Vegan Book of Permaculture: Recipes for Healthy Eating and Earthright Living
Author Graham Burnett
ISBN-13 9781856232012
Useful guide to make the most of your permaculture crop.
(To order: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-vegan-book-of-permaculture/graham-burnett/9781856232012)

Bonus Book:

The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure : Emphasizing Minimum Technology and Maximum Hygienic Safety.
Author: Joseph C. Jenkins
ISBN 096442584X, 9780964425842
A great asset for anyone growing food according to permaculture principles
(To order: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-humanure-handbook/joseph-c-jenkins/9780964425835)