Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Nuclear, Population, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor April 8, 2011
Watch the full episode.
In this PBS-produced video, with actor and philanthropist Matt Damon narrating, Lester Brown gives a good overview of some of the current issues we face as a race. He connects the dots between the world’s rapidly melting glaciers, extreme weather events, and resource depletion, etc., and what it will mean to world food harvests, and the economic and social implications of wealthier countries outbidding poorer nation states for a share of these diminishing harvests, and water and energy supplies. Two of the key words he uses are ‘failing states’, a relatively new term that is quickly gaining in ‘popularity’ as we watch the present chain reaction of events occurring today.
Lester asks the question "How many failing states will it take before we see civilization itself fail?"Comments (4)
Biodiversity, Community Projects, Deforestation, Land, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Swales, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor March 28, 2011
The Permaculture Research Institute USA has partnered with Sust`ainable Molokai to embark on the bold mission of permeating the Hawaiian Islands with permaculture goodness. Traditional Hawaiian agricultural systems, before the arrival of Europeans, were ingenious and sustainable. Indeed, their ahupua`a systems, known as high island ‘Ohana’ systems to permaculturists, are one of the few truly sustainable agricultural systems ever known — an awesome legacy that should instill pride and purpose in modern-day islanders. Unfortunately, the last century, in particular, is seeing multiple major threats to the island state’s unique ecology — soil erosion, biodiversity loss, and Hawaii has become Big Biotech’s GMO test capital of the world (see video at very bottom of post).
But permaculturists are fighting back, as you’ll see:
Biodiversity, Deforestation, Global Warming/Climate Change, Livestock, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor
We’ve run posts on Alan Savory’s Holistic Management a few times (here, here and here for example), but for those who can’t get enough, here’s another for good measure. This is a 1-hour lecture given in Dublin at the end of 2009. It’s well worth a listen.
Allan Savory argued that while livestock may be part of the problem, they can also be an important part of the solution. He has demonstrated time and again in Africa, Australia and North and South America that, properly managed, they are essential to land restoration. With the right techniques, plant growth is lusher, the water table is higher, wildlife thrives, soil carbon increases and, surprisingly, perhaps four times as many cattle can be kept.
Biodiversity, Courses/Workshops, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Social Gatherings, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Elaine Codling March 21, 2011
This is a training exercise that can be done with groups of around 20-25 people of all ages. Feel free to use, expand, or elaborate on it in anyway. Follow the activity with a discussion about climate as it relates to permaculture design.
- Poor Farmer
- Summer Wind
- Winter Wind
- Shade Tree
- Bamboo [X 3 or more]
- Willows [X 3 or more]
- Food Forest [X 4 or more]
Biodiversity, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change — by Rhamis Kent March 17, 2011
Image courtesy of Marc Roberts
Tom Philpott has been writing great articles covering issues related to agriculture & food security issues for quite some time at Grist. These two are no exception. With the recent global unrest being partially attributed to sky rocketing food costs and widespread environmental & ecological destruction directly tied to abysmal land management methods, and the increasing scarcity of arable land becoming prominent we are drawing closer to having to take definitive action to "right the ship".
Be sure to look at the United Nations reports he references in the articles. Huge credit goes to Mr. Philpott and all others shedding light on this critical topic:
- Debunking the stubborn myth that only industrial ag can ‘feed the world’
- The Economist dismisses organic ag, while also making the case for it
- Monsanto Has Us Walking the Gangplank, and Wants to Give That Final Push
- The Food Crisis: “A Perfect Storm” – and How to Turn the Tide
- Food Futures Now – Feeding People & Place Without Fossil Fuels
- A Call to Large Scale Earth Healing and Lessons from the Loess Plateau (Video)
Biodiversity, Building, Community Projects, Consumerism, Eco-Villages, Economics, Markets & Outlets, People Systems, Social Gatherings, Society, Village Development — by Oyvind Holmstad March 4, 2011
All photographs © Craig Mackintosh
A taberna (plural tabernae) was a single room shop covered by a barrel vault within great indoor markets of ancient Rome. Each taberna had a window above it to let light into a wooden attic for storage and had a wide doorway. A famous example is the Markets of Trajan in Rome, Italy built in the early 1st century by Apollodorus of Damascus.
According to the Cambridge Ancient History, a taberna was a “retail unit" within the Roman Empire and furthermore was where many economic activities and many service industries were provided, including the sale of cooked food, wine and bread. – Wikipedia
Some people claim that the Markets of Trajan was the world’s first shopping mall. But there is a difference to today’s malls. Trajan’s Market was beautiful and it offered ingenious personal services and variety, something which is rare today. I’ve yet to see a beautiful shopping mall built in the era of consumerism. Those few nice examples are all reused train stations and so on, from a lost time. No, the Trajan Market was not at all like today’s ’supermarkets’ — it was a superb market!Comments (2)
Biodiversity, Global Warming/Climate Change — by Oyvind Holmstad February 28, 2011
As my country is host of the world’s largest known deep sea coral reefs outside Lofoten, and my wife’s country is part of the richest marine region on Earth, The Coral Triangle between Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, it makes me sad to learn about the new report Reefs at Risk Revisited from the World Resources Institute. Today three out of four coral reefs are in danger. Worldwide the threat against coral reefs has increased by 30 percent in just ten years. This is an extremely serious situation, as a large part of the world’s population is depended upon fisheries sustained by these reefs, and their protection against storms. And they are a gene bank for the future.Comments (3)
The Need for Sustainable Agriculture – It’s So Obvious and Inevitable That Even The UN Has To Admit It
Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Rehabilitation, Society, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Rhamis Kent February 25, 2011
Editor’s Note: Quite some time ago, I shared the big 400-scientist-strong IAASTD worldwide study that concluded that small scale, localised, ecological agriculture was an imperative we cannot afford to ignore any more. The post was titled The Food Crisis: “A Perfect Storm” – and How to Turn the Tide. If you missed it, do check it out, and if you’re already conversant in the multiple crises we’re dealing with, then simply jump to the ‘The Solutions’ section. Now, halfway through 2010, whilst I had my head down, working on a tool to help fast track the aforementioned solution — www.permacultureglobal.com — yet another study shares the same holistic, science-based vision. Read on.
The great need to stop burning out our soils, wasting precious water, and polluting both, is no longer open to dispute. A rapid transition to sustainable methods of agriculture simply needs to be implemented on a massive scale — and it needs to be done yesterday.
This is the great task of our age.
"Agroecology outperforms large-scale industrial farming for global food security," says UN expert. — The United Nations Office at Geneva
In the aforementioned article (first reported 22 June 2010), UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Professor Olivier De Schutter "makes an airtight case for a global policy shift toward agroecological production."Comments (1)
Animal Housing, Aquaculture, Biodiversity, Demonstration Sites, Insects, Land — by Nicola Chatham December 25, 2010
Pit-falls, projects and laughs from our Permaculture journey
When Chris and I first got together, he used to wake up to his socks, t-shirts and towels carefully draped over his DJ equipment, where I’d laid them during the night to cover any glowing or flashing lights. A somewhat sensitive sleeper, trying to sleep in a discotech wasn’t my idea of a restful night’s sleep. So when we mention we’ve built a frog pond outside our bedroom window, more savvy and experienced Permaculturists respond with anything from a raised eyebrow to declaring we’re ‘very game.’ A polite way of saying ‘you guys have no idea what you’re doing, do you?’Comments (5)
Biodiversity, Comedy Break, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination — by Marc Roberts December 21, 2010
Click for full view
Courtesy: Marc Roberts
I’m not sure what’s happened to Frank. He wandered off into a snow storm a few days ago after 12 solid hours of economics research, (including this) muttering something about “gormless thieving bastards”. He may be some time. He’s been a bit despondent of late and, let’s face it, he’s not getting any younger. Perhaps I should have made him wear a coat.
Still – plenty more where he came from.Comments (12)
Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Livestock, Society — by Peter Greg December 7, 2010
I found this film very interesting and well researched, and would highly recommend it to counter much of the nutrition disinformation out there and get the full picture.
Three years in the making, A Delicate Balance is a succinct production featuring candid, heartfelt interviews with some of the world’s leading experts.
It gives you answers to the questions you never thought to ask, and sets you on the path to asking the questions the animal products corporations hoped you never would… Most importantly, it proves that life is a delicate balance – and we can all tip the scales.
Nominated for Best Unreleased Documentary by the Australian Film Critics Association, this film is a must-see for everyone who cares about their health, their loved ones and their home. — adelicatebalance.com.au
Watch the full film:
Biodiversity, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Society, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor
Mae-Wan Ho, geneticist and biophysicist and author of more than a dozen books, including the ground-breaking Genetic Engineering: Dream or Nightmare?, talks about the big picture elements of reductionist science and mechanistic and competitive approaches that have given birth to genetic engineering and have shaped the world we know; bringing us into conflict with ecosystems and robbing society of the potential found in their alternatives — systems-based thinking and cooperation for social benefit.
The four parts are worth a watch, as is the final video at bottom on ‘closed loop agriculture’ (we call it permaculture). For more details on her thoughts on the latter, check out Food Futures Now – Feeding People & Place Without Fossil Fuels.
Animal Housing, Biodiversity, Deforestation, Food Forests, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Trees — by Julia Mitchell December 2, 2010
When one thinks of trees and the benefit they have for us as humans, the obvious comes to mind: Trees help reduce the effects of global warming by reducing carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. The photosynthetic process provides the trees with nutrients, and humans with the primary element required to sustain life — oxygen. Trees are often referred to as the “lungs of the world.”
All of the above is mainstream knowledge. It is the basic information we learn as children in grade school. But what if I told you it’s only the tip of the iceberg? Trees are more than just the “lungs of the world”. Their role on this earth is pervasive, yet so often taken for granted.
So, what is a tree?Comments (8)
by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute
We are entering a new era, one of rapid and often unpredictable climate change. In fact, the new climate norm is change. The 25 warmest years on record have come since 1980. And the 10 warmest years since global recordkeeping began in 1880 have come since 1998.
The effects of rising temperature are pervasive. Higher temperatures diminish crop yields, melt the mountain glaciers that feed rivers, generate more-destructive storms, increase the severity of flooding, intensify drought, cause more-frequent and destructive wildfires, and alter ecosystems everywhere. We are altering the earth’s climate, setting in motion trends we do not always understand with consequences we cannot anticipate.
Biodiversity, DVDs/Books, Food Shortages, Seeds — by Michel Fanton December 1, 2010
This is a trailer for a much longer film on the same topic that Seed Savers
produced over three years, the one-hour documentary , “Our Seeds”, available here
Our food plants originate in areas of the world where the poorest people now live. They domesticated wild plants over the last 10,000 years. Let’s honour, assist and join those who continue to develop and maintain the genetic diversity of tomorrow’s food.Comments (3)