Welcome to round nineteen of our News Linkfest, where we share the good, the bad, the ugly and the just plain interesting from what we’ve seen of late.
I would greatly appreciate readers getting involved in this weekly linkfest. Please email editor (at) permaculturenews.org with links (and ideally a summary sentence outlining the key point of each link) to noteworthy articles and news reports on the internet.
Off we go:
Good News (coz we all need it):
- U.N: Small-Scale Farming Could Double the World’s Food Production
– "The U.N. study makes it clear — small-scale farmers can double food production in 10-years by using simple farming methods."
- Farmer Startups? How Incubators Are Helping Small, Sustainable Farms Take Off
- Our Coming Food Crisis — a bad news title, but a good news message, and it’s good news that the mainstream media are increasingly publishing such pieces.
- Australia Climate Council revived after being axed — "Prime Minister Tony Abbott axed the Climate Commission, set up by the previous government, last week.
But the group resurrected itself as the Climate Council, saying it hoped "Obama-style" public donations raised online would keep it open."
- Norway abandons Mongstad carbon capture plans — Why is this good news, you ask? It’s simple — by admitting carbon capture and storage (CCS) is not viable, we can quit ‘relying’ on hopes in an impossible, costly and potentially disastrous technology, and get with the program instead.
- Pittsburgh is at the forefront of an unruly food movement: Permaculture
- Digging in for the future of society — More permaculture exposure
- WinCo: worker-owned grocery chain that pays benefits, pensions, living wages — and has lower prices than WalMart
- Health kick ‘reverses cell ageing’ — "Going on a health kick reverses ageing at the cellular level, researchers say."
- Another Blow to Monsanto: Roundup Pesticide Linked to Serious Soil Damage — "Glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup pesticide, is being linked to damaged soil and roots of treated plants, finds 15 years of study, according to a representative from the USDA."
- The Monsanto tipping point has been reached: We shall overcome global food injustice (GMO)
- Solar Plant in Spain Generates Electricity for 24 Straight Hours
- Fracking: RSPB objects to Cuadrilla plans for two sites — "The RSPB has lodged objections to proposals to drill for shale gas and oil in Lancashire and West Sussex."
- Sweden runs out of garbage, forced to import from Norway — "Sweden, a recycling-happy land where a quarter of a million homes are powered by the incineration of waste, is facing a unique dilemma: The nation has run out of much-needed fuel."
- Mom and son face off with the law for biking to school — "Saratoga Springs school district prohibits kids from biking to school, but a mom and her son defied the law. A state trooper was there to greet them."
- Why this could be one of the happiest countries on earth? — "Bhutan is one of the poorest and least developed nations in the world but it has been ranked the happiest nation in Asia and eighth happiest in the world in a survey."
- Broccoli slows arthritis, researchers think — "Eating lots of broccoli may slow down and even prevent osteoarthritis, UK researchers believe."
- Carry on camping – can a week under canvas reset our body clocks? — "Researchers say that camping for a week can reset the biological clock that governs our sleeping patterns."
Bad News (coz we need to understand the challenges if we’re to design our way out of them):
- Climate change episode of Frozen Planet won’t be shown in the U.S. as viewers don’t believe in global warming
- World won’t cool without geoengineering, warns report — so let’s get busy!
- Climate Panel Says Upper Limit on Emissions Is Nearing
- 6 Scary Conclusions in the UN’s New Climate Report
- Coral alert: destruction of reefs ‘accelerating’ with half destroyed over past 30 years — "The eco-system has been around for tens of millions of years and we are wiping it out within a hundred, says IPCC scientist"
- China’s synthetic gas plants would be greenhouse giants — "Coal-powered synthetic natural gas plants being planned in China would produce seven times more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional natural gas plants, and use up to 100 times the water as shale gas production, according to a new study by Duke University researchers."
- Nestle CEO seeks to control the world’s water supply
- Fukushima leak is ‘much worse than we were led to believe’ — "A nuclear expert has told the BBC that he believes the current water leaks at Fukushima are much worse than the authorities have stated."
- Air Pollution from Fracking in Eagle Ford Shale Threatens Health, Report Claims — "A new 47-page report from Earthworks … takes a sobering look at the potential health risks from fracking-related air pollution in Karnes County, one of the epicenters of the Eagle Ford Shale."
- ‘Frack Gag’ Bans Children From Talking About Fracking, Forever
- UN report: one-third of world’s food wasted annually, at great economic, environmental cost
- Ecuador To World: Pay Up To Save The Rainforest — "The government of Ecuador has abandoned a plan that would have kept part of the Amazonian rainforest off limits to oil drilling. The initiative was an unusual one: Ecuador was promising to keep the oil in the ground, but it wanted to be paid for doing so."
- In Fragmented Forests, Rapid Mammal Extinctions — "In 1987, the government of Thailand launched a huge, unplanned experiment. They built a dam across the Khlong Saeng river, creating a 60-square-mile reservoir. As the Chiew Larn reservoir rose, it drowned the river valley, transforming 150 forested hilltops into islands, each with its own isolated menagerie of wildlife."
- The Hong Kong skyline is so polluted, they made a giant clear-day photograph of the skyline for tourists to pose in front of
- East Antarctic ice sheet ‘vulnerable’ to temperature changes — "The world’s thickest ice sheet may be at greater risk from variations in the climate than previously believed."
- How mercury poisons gold miners and enters the food chain
- University of Delaware Requires Students to Undergo Ideological Reeducation — "The Orwellian program requires the approximately 7,000 students in Delaware’s residence halls to adopt highly specific university-approved views on issues ranging from politics to race, sexuality, sociology, moral philosophy, and environmentalism."
- European forests near ‘carbon saturation point’
- A plague of hornets in China is killing people and eating bees — "Thanks to climate change, massive numbers of Asian giant hornets (which the size of your thumb) have been rolling through Shaanxi Province, eating honeybees and stinging humans to death."
- Children and Armed Conflict: Interactive World Map
- Facebook use ‘makes people feel worse about themselves’ — "Using Facebook can reduce young adults’ sense of well-being and satisfaction with life, a study has found."
- New Zealand recalls dairy products over botulism fears — "New Zealand’s main dairy exporter, Fonterra, has found a strain of bacteria causing botulism in some of its products, including infant formula and sports drinks." I wrote about Fonterra here.
- CDC Reveals Scary Truth About Factory Farms and Superbugs — "Nearly 80 percent of antibiotics consumed in the United States go to livestock farms. Meanwhile, antibiotic-resistant pathogens affecting people are on the rise."
- The city of 2050 — the bad news being that these supposed ‘experts’ are still living in a dream of an impossible Jetsons future, based on limitless energy….
- Two earthquakes shake Blackpool — quite possibly caused by fracking, as in 2011.
- Arctic methane ‘time bomb’ could have huge economic costs
- Woman’s Survival Garden Seized and Destroyed by Authorities
Just plain interesting or odd (coz we’re curious creatures):
- Climate change: how hot will it get in my lifetime? – interactive
- US plane in 1961 ‘nuclear bomb near-miss’ — "A four-megaton nuclear bomb was one switch away from exploding over the US in 1961, a newly declassified US document confirms." I wonder what the world would look like today if that switch hadn’t failed…?
- Every pollen grain has a story
- Venezuela seizes toilet paper factory to avoid shortage — "The National Guard has taken control of the plant, and officers will monitor production and distribution."
- Careful where you park: Decades ago, a child chained a bicycle to a tree on Washington’s Vashon Island. The tree, unperturbed, grew around the bike.
- Aah, the days of doing things slowly, and well — The man who makes £100,000 watches
- Return to the rainforest: A son’s search for his Amazonian mother
- How does a skyscraper melt a car?
- Giant Ant Colony Excavated, You won’t believe what they build underground!
- Walter Tschinkel’s Aluminum Casts of Ant Colonies Reveals Insect Architecture
- The toughest creature we know?: Tardigrades: The First Animal To Survive The Vacuum Of Space
- Voyager probe ‘leaves Solar System’ — "The Voyager-1 spacecraft has become the first manmade object to leave the Solar System." More here.
- Evolution delivers: The first mechanical gear found in a living creature
- And one from the Onion… Congress Fiercely Divided Over Completely Blank Bill That Says And Does Nothing
As you travel the interweb, and find lots of interesting articles and news — please share! Don’t forget to send your links for the next linkfest (put ‘Linkfest’ in subject line)! – editor (at) permaculturenews.org