Category: Deforestation

The Global Land Rush

by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute Between 2007 and mid-2008, world grain and soybean prices more than doubled. As food prices climbed everywhere, some exporting countries began to restrict grain shipments in an effort to limit food price inflation at home. Importing countries panicked. Some tried to negotiate long-term grain supply agreements with exporting countries, but in a seller’s market, few were successful. Seemingly overnight, importing countries realized that […]

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Paradigm Shift Urgently Needed In Agriculture – UN Agencies Call for an End to Industrial Agriculture & Food System

A rising chorus from UN agencies on how food security, poverty, gender inequality and climate change can all be addressed by a radical transformation of our agriculture and food system. by Dr Mae-Wan Ho A fully referenced version of this article is posted on ISIS members’ website and is otherwise available for download here. Agriculture the problem and the solution to climate change Record breaking heat waves sweeping over both […]

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Draw the Line Against Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline on September 21st, 2013

Last week Canadian Prime Minister Harper reportedly offered to make a deal with President Obama to get approval from the President for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. (Wait for it…) Apparently, Harper offered unspecified "joint action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas sector" in exchange for a pipeline that will carry and emit the equivalent of 37 million cars worth of carbon pollution each year. […]

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Obstinate Questionings

The Lake District’s bid for World Heritage status shows just what a mess conservation is in. by George Monbiot But for those obstinate questionings Of sense and outward things, Fallings from us, vanishings; Blank misgivings of a Creature Moving about in worlds not realised…. — William Wordsworth, Ode: Intimations of Immortality. It’s the most celebrated landscape in Britain. It’s the spiritual home of the Romantic movement. It’s the birthplace of […]

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Paradise Lost

Many of us who have been paying attention to the state of the world over the last half century have now begun to realize with growing horror that the progressive deterioration we have been tracking shows no signs of resolution. In fact, to some of us it looks as though there is no way to resolve this deepening crisis. The end of the track is in sight. The planetary factory […]

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Humanitarian Vetiver Project, East Sumba, Indonesia

Lined up for free treatment I am a young Christian missionary doctor on the Island of Sumba in Eastern Indonesia. My work entails providing health and welfare to the indigenous village people who live in remote areas of East Sumba. Most are either Christian or Marupa; they are extremely poor and many have no support income, yet they do have arable land and land similar to the rolling hills of […]

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Return of the Native (UK)

Why are almost all the trees that councils plant exotic species? by George Monbiot The differences can be stark and remarkable: native trees tend to harbour far more wildlife than exotic species. Indigenous oak species, for example – according to the table extracted from scientific papers by the Offwell Woodland and Wildlife Trust – harbour 284 insect species in the UK. Birch supports 266. But horse chestnut, introduced from the […]

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It’s a Forest, You Just Can’t See It

An aerial view of a goat farm in the desert outside Dubai, a landscape that would benefit from Tony Rinaudo’s farmer-managed natural regeneration technique. Courtesy Mayang. Tony Rinaudo has an astonishing theory about the vast and apparently lifeless desert wastes of the UAE. He hasn’t been here, mind, and his observations are based on examining photographs of the region. But Mr Rinaudo’s theories merit serious consideration, because when it comes […]

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Grain Yields Starting to Plateau

Editor’s Note: As regular readers will know, I don’t agree 100% with everything I post to the site. The article below, for example, has somewhat of a focus on fossil-fuel-based fertiliser, as the means to increasing yields. But, I put this piece up anyway, as the statistical information it contains on plateauing yields is an important one for all permaculturists (and all humans in general) to consider, acknowledge, and prepare […]

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Endgame Strategy

Why the Revolution Must Start in America The unrest in the Middle East, the convulsions in Ivory Coast, the hunger sweeping across failed states such as Somalia, the freak weather patterns and the systematic unraveling of the American empire do not signal a lurch toward freedom and democracy but the catastrophic breakdown of globalization. The world as we know it is coming to an end. And what will follow will […]

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Fossil Fuel Use Pushes Carbon Dioxide Emissions into Dangerous Territory

by Emily E. Adams, Earth Policy Institute Increasing global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), a heat-trapping gas, are pushing the world into dangerous territory, closing the window of time to avert the worst consequences of higher temperatures, such as melting ice and rising seas. Since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels have grown exponentially. Despite wide agreement by governments on the need to limit […]

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Food or Fuel?

by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute At the time of the Arab oil export embargo in the 1970s, the importing countries were beginning to ask themselves if there were alternatives to oil. In a number of countries, particularly the United States, several in Europe, and Brazil, the idea of growing crops to produce fuel for cars was appealing. The modern biofuels industry was launched. This was the beginning of […]

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