Biodiversity, Community Projects, Conservation, Consumerism, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Plant Systems, Population, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by John D. Liu November 17, 2012
Before (below) and after (above), Loess Plateau Watershed Rehabiliation Project
A Breakthough of Worldwide Importance
In 1995, as the Chinese government and people were beginning an ambitious effort to restore the cradle of Chinese civilization, I was asked by the World Bank to document the “Loess Plateau Watershed Rehabilitation Project”. Originally the Loess Plateau had been fully vegetated with massive forests and grasslands. Resources extracted from the giant forests, rushing rivers, and abundance of the earth in this place blossomed into the magnificence of the Han, the Qin and the Tang dynasties. The accomplishments of the early Chinese dynasties, based in this area, rank among the greatest human scientific and artistic achievements of any age. The Loess Plateau gave birth to the Han race, the largest ethnic group on the planet, and the plateau is generally considered by historians and geographers to be the second place on Earth where human beings began to use settled agriculture.Comments (9)
Biodiversity, Community Projects, Conservation, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Rehabilitation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Rhamis Kent November 16, 2012
I was recently invited to contribute to a concept paper (2.2mb PDF) authored and edited by Willem Ferwerda.
Mr. Ferwerda, a tropical ecologist, was director of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) National Committee of The Netherlands from 2000 until March 2012. In his new role Ferwerda will support the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM) in making businesses and investors work for ecosystem restoration and management. As Chair of the Board of Patrons he will be actively involved in rolling out Leaders for Nature internationally.
This paper was compiled to serve as:
A plea for the establishment of an international mechanism that actively creates collaborative Ecosystem Restoration Partnerships between businesses, investors, business schools, civil society organizations, farmers and local people, that international restoration targets will be reached, investments will be returned, and practical lessons are learned by working together.
One of the many contributors to this paper is Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Quoting his statements from the paper’s introduction:Comments (0)
Biodiversity, Deforestation, Global Warming/Climate Change, Plant Systems, Population, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Trees — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 10, 2012
I love the nice progression of logic in this presentation. Running the numbers like this shows not only how powerful a carbon sink our earth’s soils can be, under the right management, but also just how futile and what a goose-chasing diversion most contemporary technological ‘fixes’ for climate change really are.Comments (2)
Biodiversity, Biofuels, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Nuclear, Population, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Paul Chefurka
We are now well into a global crisis that may mark the end of this cycle of human civilization. In this note I present a summary of what’s going on as far as I can tell, as well as a scenario for how things might develop over the next 75 years or so.
The issue is enormous, so an overview like this is inevitably going to be skimpy on details. This is, after all, not an academic journal. However, like every other fact in the known universe, those details are just a Google away…
Because the global predicament manifests itself in some way in virtually every area of human endeavour, any useful approach to it must be massively cross-disciplinary. Fruitful areas for investigation include:Comments (12)
Biodiversity, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems — by Chris McLeod November 6, 2012
One benefit of a single crop farm is that it isn’t hard to remember what it is that you are growing! Most of that single crop is sown at one point in time, grows at about the same rate and is then harvested at about the same time. 100% too easy, well apart from all of the very real problems created when growing a mono-culture….
Permaculturalists, on the other hand tend to grow poly-cultures which is simply growing a large number and variety of plants at the same time and location.
Poly-cultures in agriculture have a number of benefits including:Comments (7)
Biodiversity, Deforestation, Economics, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by The Corner House November 2, 2012
Editor’s preamble: Unfortunately, the kind of story told below is being played out on a daily basis, worldwide. Most of these stories never reach us. It needs to be understood, I believe, that the invisible hand of the market, if left without ethical guidance, does not care about anyone, much less about people who live and love close to the land — those people for whom ‘money’ means little, and for whom family, community and the sustainable use of local resources means all. These people have no ‘wealth’ as valued by plutocratic interests, with the exception of the natural resources they sit on, and thus have no representation, and yet they are the true guardians of our future, whilst holding invaluable knowledge gained over countless generations of the past. How much more biological, cultural, knowledge and skills diversity can we afford to lose?
by Larry Lohmann, The Corner House and Dinar Rani Setiawan, School of Democratic Economics
How far would you go to protect your forest?
Villagers from Pollo community in South Central Timor regency in Indonesia have set a remarkable example, weathering years of bureaucratic indifference, enduring violence from thugs and embarking on an odyssey across their country’s archipelago in search of support for their defence of local trees and land.
The story begins with a forest of the kind known in the local Celebic language as kio, used to provide wood and food for guests of the community. In times past, the kio was a source of deer, pigs, wild cows, firewood, rope and other goods, and boasted many large hardwood forest trees. Five clans prominent in the community (which in recent times has been subdivided into several administrative villages with different names) enjoyed common rights to the forest, including the Nabuasa, from which the community’s raja or chief always comes.Comments (0)
Biodiversity, GMOs, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Dr. Mae-Wan Ho November 1, 2012
Glyphosate has contaminated land, water, air, and our food supply; the maximum permitted levels are set to rise by100-150 times in the European Union if Monsanto gets its way as damning evidence of serious harm to health & the environment piles up.
Click to purchase the fully referenced
and illustrated report
- Regulators and industry both culpable
- How glyphosate works
- Health impacts
4.1 Teratogenicity and reproductive effects
4.2 Endocrine disruption
4.6 Internal organ toxicity
4.7 Acute toxicity
- Environmental and agronomic effects
5.1 Glyphosate resistant weeds
5.2 Effects on crop and plant health
5.3 Effects on soil ecology
5.4 Effects on ecosystems
5.5 Diseases of livestock
5.6 Widespread contamination of water supplies
- To conclude
The use of glyphosate-based herbicides, especially Monsanto’s Roundup formulation, has increased dramatically since the introduction of genetically modified (GM) glyphosate-tolerant crops, resulting in the contamination of our food, environment and water supplies.
Glyphosate-based herbicides are now the most commonly used herbicides in the world. It is still promoted as ‘safe’, despite damning evidence of serious harm to health and the environment.Comments (2)
Biodiversity, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 31, 2012
This new documentary, with perfect timing for the upcoming Proposition 37 vote on November 6, is a heartbreaking look at the impact GMOs have had in India, where many thousands of peasant farmers have been pushed to the brink, and beyond, due to crop failures and spiraling costs for seed and the chemicals they demand.
For your interest, there are currently efforts to put a 10-year ban on GMO field trials across India. A court appointed expert panel has advised India’s supreme court that such a ban should be implemented. At time of writing, the next hearing for this case will be November 9, 2012. A 1.5mb PDF submission to the supreme court by the expert panel can be downloaded here.Comments (0)
Biodiversity, Deforestation, Global Warming/Climate Change, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Ryan Harb October 24, 2012
I have an urgent message to share — it is extremely important that you all know this. Our brothers and sisters in the Ecuadorian rainforest are under significant pressure from the oil companies. The government of Ecuador is planning to auction off 10 million acres of pristine rainforest for oil extraction. This is the same place that I visited in Ecuador just two months ago, so it really hits home for me.
The 10 million acres is part of the largest contiguous rainforest left on Earth — and one of the most biodiverse and culturally diverse places on the planet. If this happens, the majority of people will be left with a much lower quality of life — health problems, polluted water, poverty — with only a few getting rich off the suffering of others. Please join us in signing this letter and sharing this message widely. This is a very important battle that could set a precedent for keeping oil below ground and respecting indigenous rights across the world. It means literal life or death for them. Thank you everyone — the people of the Amazon appreciate your help enormously.Comments (1)
Biodiversity, Economics, Society, Trees — by George Monbiot October 23, 2012
How conservatism turned into an orgy of destruction.
by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom.
There was a time when conservatism meant what the word suggests. It was an attempt to keep things as they are: to arrest economic and social change, to defend the position of the dominant class. Today conservatism has become a nihilistic festival of destruction: a gleeful Bullingdon dinner party of upper class anarchists, smashing other people’s crockery and hurling the chairs through the windows. Yet its purpose is still to secure the position of the dominant class.
It is no longer enough to own the land and most of the capital, to own the media and – through the corrupt system of party funding – the political process. To reinstate Edwardian levels of inequality, the feral elite must seek to reverse the political progress that has been made since then. This means dismantling the tax system, which redistributes wealth. It means ditching the rules which prevent the powerful from acting as they please.
Both are being consumed in what British Conservatives proudly describe as a bonfire(1,2). Nowhere is deregulation more destructive than in its treatment of the natural world.Comments (2)
Biodiversity, Deforestation, Food Forests, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Plant Systems, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Albert Bates October 19, 2012
A.Eisenstaedt, Oklahoma Farmer 1942, Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Forest gardening is about as close as any strategy comes to addressing all of the most pressing needs of humans in one great sweep. Climate change, peak oil, poverty, extinction, and civil strife– all are rooted in the ground, and in most cases, those roots belong to trees.Comments (1)
Biodiversity, Biological Cleaning, Conservation, Consumerism, Deforestation, Education, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Storm Water, Village Development, Waste Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Anthea Hudson October 18, 2012
Water — without it life on earth could not exist and yet it is often treated with little care or respect, especially by more affluent communities. Clean drinking water is actually a valuable and diminishing resource, due to all the toxins that are carelessly allowed to make their way into our water systems.
These statistics about water may surprise you and give you a greater understanding about just how important it is that we protect water, especially our potable water.
75% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water — however 97% of that water is the salt water of our oceans. That only leaves 3%, but 2% of that is frozen and only 0.5% is actually usable fresh water! Just 0.5% of all the water on Earth. Kinda brings the point home, doesn’t it?
As you can probably see, it is therefore vital that we help our children understand the value of water, the importance of protecting it and ways in which they can use it more sustainably.
Below are some ideas for introducing these concepts to your children… some of them quite a bit of fun, but with very important messages behind them.Comments (4)
Biodiversity, Biofuels, GMOs, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Kim Crieger Goodwin October 17, 2012
Have you heard about the problems with growing canola in seed-production regions? Did you know canola can harm the farmers that grow your food crops, as well as your own ability to garden and save seed? Have you given your testimony yet?
Right now, Western Oregon, U.S.A., is faced with a serious risk to our food and seed farmers. The Willamette Valley is one of the last five great seed-growing regions in the world and has been a protected zone since the late 1990s. The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) is trying to allow canola to be grown on thousands of acres in the Willamette Valley for biodiesel production. This goes directly against the scientific research done by our agricultural university, Oregon State University (OSU). Their findings clearly demonstrated that canola would be harmful to our vegetable seed, clover seed and fresh market and organic farmers.Comments (2)
Biodiversity, Biofuels, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Population, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 3, 2012
From May 30 — June 1, 2012, the 10th ASPO (Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas) meeting took place. This year it was held in Vienna, Austria. I haven’t had time to check out all of these presentations yet, but want to ensure you’re all aware they’re available to watch as you have time. Not having watched them all, I put the videos below up in no particular order, except for a little influence from intuition perhaps. If you’re not familiar with the Peak Oil topic (is there anyone left in this camp?), you might want to read some previous posts I’ve done on the topic: here, here, here and here for example.
Nate Hagens – Navigating through a Room full of Elephants
Biodiversity, Biofuels, Consumerism, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Population, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Earth Policy Institute
Editor’s Note: Some permies may wish to download the slideshow files at bottom to use, or modify to use, for "It’s time to wake up" type presentations in your local schools and community halls, etc.
Food is the new oil. Land is the new gold.Comments (0)