Category: Biodiversity

Ed Yong: Suicidal Wasps, Zombie Roaches and Other Parasite Tales (TED video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfqO1U6lfDs?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen> We humans set a premium on our own free will and independence … and yet there’s a shadowy influence we might not be considering. As science writer Ed Yong explains in this fascinating, hilarious and disturbing talk, parasites have perfected the art of manipulation to an incredible degree. So are they influencing us? It’s more than likely.

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A One Way Street to Oblivion

As soon as an animal becomes extinct, a new bill proposes, it will be classified as “non-native”. Spoonbill (Photo © Craig Mackintosh) Can any more destructive and regressive measures be crammed into one bill? Already, the Infrastructure Bill, which, as time goes by, has ever less to do with infrastructure, looks like one of those US monstrosities into which a random collection of demands by corporate lobbyists are shoved, in […]

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Scientific Research Condemns Neonicotinoid Pesticides: What More Will It Take?

Photo © Craig Mackintosh Last week, newly-published research (1) in the Nature journal links a type of pesticide whose use has been restricted in the EU to the decline of bird population in the Netherlands. The study, which focussed on a particular type of neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, found that where the chemical was present in a “high concentration” — more than 20 nanograms (ng) per litre of surface water — it […]

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Another Silent Spring?

Neonicotinoids appear to have devastating effects across the natural world: we need a global moratorium. Here’s our choice. We wait and see whether a class of powerful pesticides, made by Bayer and Syngenta, is indeed pushing entire ecosystems to oblivion, or we suspend their use while proper trials are conducted. The natural world versus two chemical companies: how hard can this be? Papers published over the past few weeks suggest […]

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Abode of the Clouds (North-east India)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0L63z__z9yY?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen> Narrated by film-maker and ecologist John D. Liu, “Abode of the Clouds” is about how local communities in the Garo Hills, North East India are taking the lead in mitigating and adapting to climate change. Since time immemorial people and the wilder beasts have co-existed in the Garo hills. The land, blessed with abundant water, fertile soil and thick forest cover, is home to one million people […]

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Beaver Baiters

The government’s decision to capture England’s only free-living population is unjustified and irrational. An opinion poll in Scotland found that 86 per cent of respondents were in favour of reintroducing the beaver. As most people seem to understand, it’s a magnificent animal which can enrich our lives and our countryside. It was once part of our native fauna, but was exterminated by hunting. It’s also a critically important species, essential […]

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The Hidden Horror of CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder)

Photo © Craig Mackintosh At PermaEthos we are working hard to get our first flagship farm profitable and already thinking about the next few farms. We are working to teach Permaculture to as many people as we can and spread as much knowledge as we can as fast as we can. One reason we are doing this is the true environmental catastrophes that are modern agriculture and modern home “lawn […]

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Australia Coal Mining – We Had A Win But Still More Support Is Needed

At the eleventh hour, even as the coal miner’s dozers clawed and smashed their way through our precious local forest, we won an amazing reprieve. We went to the Land and Environment Court seeking an urgent stay of execution for Leard State Forest – a place that has been the backdrop of my life, from my childhood right through to today. And we won!

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Vandana Shiva Keynote Speech – Food Otherwise Conference (Netherlands, February 2014)

World famous author and activist Vandana Shiva gave an inspiring speech at the Food Otherwise conference in Wageningen, Netherlands, on 21 February 2014. "Monopolies, centralization and monocultures go hand and hand and they are the instruments of power. We have to create instruments of democracy, diversity, resilience."

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A Gathering of Silverbacks: Age of Limits 2014

Whenever such large shifts in temperature occurred in Earth’s history, they were not gradual but came in lurches. Resilience is the capacity of a system to continue providing essential functions after receiving that kind of shock. The first known use of the Infinite Improbability Drive was initiated by Zaphod Beeblebrox and Trillian on the starship Heart of Gold. Its major consequence was rescuing Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect from open […]

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Permaculture Around Latin America – Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is in the Caribbean — one half of Isla La Hispaniola, along with Haiti. The Dominican Republic Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Environment can inform us of some of the environmental challenges Dominicana faces, such as increasing deforestation and soil erosion (15% of the country’s soil is overused). Many of these issues are shared with their immediate neighbor, Haiti, which is significantly more deforested. Nathan C. McClintock points […]

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The Impossibility of Growth

Why collapse and salvation are hard to distinguish from each other. Let us imagine that in 3030BC the total possessions of the people of Egypt filled one cubic metre. Let us propose that these possessions grew by 4.5% a year. How big would that stash have been by the Battle of Actium in 30BC? This is the calculation performed by the investment banker Jeremy Grantham(1). Go on, take a guess. […]

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