Category: Biodiversity

The Shifting Baseline (TED video)

The more I learn about permaculture, the more I learn about the potential for not only stability in our food and water systems, but abundance. When I see the sharp difference between the future that permaculture offers and the future of scarcity that our current path seems to lead to, I have to wonder what is wrong with society’s perspective in general that it wouldn’t be searching desperately for an […]

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Food MythBusters – Do We Really Need Industrial Agriculture to Feed the World? (video)

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Further Reading: A Farm for the Future (BBC video) The Rodale Institute’s 30-Year Farming Systems Trial Report Biodiverse Systems are More Productive The Food Crisis: “A Perfect Storm” – and How to Turn the Tide Orchestrating Famine – a Must-Read Backgrounder on the Food Crisis Food Futures Now – Feeding People & Place Without Fossil Fuels The Looming Food Crisis and the ‘Food 2030′ Report The Story of Soil A […]

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Annus Horribilis

2012 was the worst year for the environment in living memory. by George Monbiot It was the year of living dangerously. In 2012 governments turned their backs on the living planet, demonstrating that no chronic problem, however grave, will take priority over an immediate concern, however trivial. I believe there has been no worse year for the natural world in the past half century.

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Line in the Sand (Video)

We often only begin to understand the importance of nutrient- and water-cycling when they don’t — when they don’t cycle, that is. When ecosystems fail, when the hydrological cycle gets broken, when soils degrade faster than they build, the consequence is desertification. Already a full 25% of the planet’s land surface area (about 3.6 billion hectares) is desertified, and, worldwide, we’re adding to this enormous figure at a rate of […]

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Flow – For the Love of Water (Documentary)

https://youtube.com/watch?v=zmWdco0glEA As permaculturists, we have a great many solutions for the water crisis. From water harvesting to reed bed grey water systems, to watershed rehabilitation, there are common sense approaches to holistically restore eco-system services, rehydrate our landscapes and stabilise water flows and the climate. In the video above, however, we come face to face with forces that can undo the work of thousands of enthusiastic permaculturists with a few […]

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The Unsung World

Biodiversity offsets threaten both the survival and the meaning of nature. by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom. Propose a get-out clause and – however many warnings and caveats you wrap round it – before long it will be used. This post is about the dangerous new concept the government has seeded in the minds of developers and planners. The idea is called biodiversity […]

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Who Benefits from GM Crops – An Industry Built On Myths

Click to download (2.7mb PDF) At bottom of my article GM Crops, Pesticides and the Poor I had made four previous ‘Who Benefits from GM Crops‘ reports available for download. As you’ll see in the subtitle for each of the afore-linked reports, each of these excellent reports, created by Friends of the Earth International, have their own specific niche angle on the GMO issue. Today I publish (overdue I know) […]

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Consumer Choices

by William Park, Eco Ola, Peru Heritage varieties of Quinoa outside Alausí, Ecuador Can consumer choice be a driver of change? The answer is yes, provided that consumers make informed decisions based on awareness of how their purchases impact others and our planet. If, however, all the available products are produced by the same corporations using the same shortsighted and destructive methods and there is no meaningful labeling, then consumer […]

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Taking Stock: World Fish Catch Falls to 90 Million Tons in 2012

by J. Matthew Roney, Earth Policy Institute The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) projects that the world’s wild fish harvest will fall to 90 million tons in 2012, down 2 percent from 2011. This is close to 4 percent below the all-time peak haul of nearly 94 million tons in 1996. The wild fish catch per person has dropped even more dramatically, from 17 kilograms (37.5 pounds) per person […]

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Wolfbane

So much for Norway’s eco-friendly image. Image: State of the Environment, Norway One of the biggest political shocks of the past decade has been the transformation of Canada. Under the influence of the tar barons of Alberta, it has mutated from a country dominated by liberal, pacific, outward-looking values to a thuggish petro-state, ripping up both international treaties and the fabric of its own nation. Prepare to be shocked again. […]

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Rwanda – Emerging in a Changing Climate (video)

Filmmaker and environmentalist, John D. Liu from the Environmental Education Media Project team, takes us to Rwanda again (last time was here), showing us how the country is seeking to leapfrog the disastrous ‘development‘ route most of the countries of the North have gone down, to instead head more directly towards sustainability. Given the horrors this country were awash with during the 1990s, it’s certainly encouraging to see the nation […]

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