Alternatives to Political Systems, Biodiversity, Deforestation, Economics, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Nuclear, People Systems, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Maddy Harland September 11, 2012
Originally published on www.permaculture.co.uk
Polly Higgins, Lawyer for the Earth, is the founder of the campaign to make Ecocide the 5th international Crime Against Peace. Here she gives the latest update on the Ecocide Campaign, and sends a personal message to all permaculture people.
Please support Polly and her team to close the door once and for all to Ecocide.
"Setting the Stage for a More Peaceful Planet" — What Does the Ecocide Campaign Attempt to Achieve?
"Our cycle of damage and destruction is spiralling onwards and upwards with increasing speed. This is Ecocide. The impacts are enormous and over a very short period of time we can see the consequences. Morally we know now that causing mass damage and destruction is wrong. This is why I am calling on the United Nations to make Ecocide an international crime." This is Polly Higgins, speaking about her wish to introduce Ecocide as the 5th international Crime Against Peace, in order to close the door once and for all to mass damage and destruction.
Remarkably, causing mass damage and destruction, whether it be through tar sands extraction, nuclear testing or logging, is not a crime. Named ‘one of the world’s most unreasonable people’, Polly has refused to accept this current situation, and speaks on platforms across the world; to UN Ambassadors, governments, lawyers and anyone who can help seed out her message.Comments (0)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Biodiversity, Deforestation, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Nuclear, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Polly Higgins September 8, 2012
Editor’s Note: We’ve covered a little of Polly Higgin’s important work before (see here and here). If you’re not already familiar with Polly’s work, I would strongly encourage you to check out the web pages and videos linked to below, as well as our aforementioned pieces. Permaculturists dream of whole earth restoration, but our efforts, whilst essential, are, if I may, largely piecemeal. The reason for this is that for every positive step someone makes, an industry or government does, or allows, something significantly more destructive to take place that more than overshadows it. We will never break out of this destructive cycle unless we make environmental destruction illegal, and hold the people responsible accountable. As you are able, please support Polly’s work. If you cannot donate, please at least do what you can to share and circulate this page.
I have something I would like to share with you. Today myself and my team have reached zero. The pot is now bare and our funding resources are in urgent need of replenishing. In the past year your donations of over £200,000 funded my and my team’s work; we planted some incredible seeds in the run up to the Rio Earth Summit. Out of that we have had some wonderful successes; in the past year alone we have held a mock Ecocide Trial in the UK Supreme Court, the University of London launched their Ecocide Project, I have travelled to countries and spoken on many platforms,I launched my second book Earth is our Business, I have been awarded Overall Champion by the PEA awards, I have started a training programme for others to learn how to become a Voice for the Earth and I have submitted a concept paper, Closing the door to dangerous industrial activity to all government’s around the world. All this has been done with the help of your money and without it none of this would have been at all possible.
Yesterday we held an emergency meeting; despite the enormous efforts of our fundraiser over the past few months we have been unable to raise more than a few thousand pounds. We are looking squarely at the future and we see enormous opportunity to take forward all that I have already achieved; just think how close we are to making this law a reality.
Everything we do is governed by permaculture ethics; people care, earth care and fair share. Ecocides occur when we take far more than our fair share, which affects both our people and our Earth. To ensure we live within our planetary limits, a law of Ecocide creates a legal framework that can ensure we all live in peaceful enjoyment.Comments (2)
Biodiversity, Comedy Break, Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor August 31, 2012
If we fail to change trajectory, then perhaps we should be re-engineering the root cause of our problem — ourselves?
It’s true that I’m well known for attacking the GMO industry, its industry financed scientists and their thus-incentivised reductionist ’science’. I’ve expressed many times that GMOs are a "solution looking for a problem". We know that GMOs are really only a bid to deal with symptoms of agricultural mismanagement, so they can perpetuate and capitalise on the temporarily highly profitable root cause (i.e. monocultures) of those symptoms. Without monocultures we would not need the many products that keep many an industry alive and many of us in employment (heavy machinery, oil, gasoline, pesticides, fertilisers, GMO seeds and the chemicals they require, etc.), but, with the present paradigm seemingly so entrenched, with our citizens and economic systems being painfully slow to change trajectory (with the industrial agriculture model still rapidly spreading its tentacles across the world’s landscapes), and it threatening our very survival as we begin to head deep into the peak oil era, I’ve had something of an epiphany….
Let me explain.Comments (15)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Economics — by George Monbiot August 30, 2012
An animation calling for economic democracy.
Words by George Monbiot, animation by Yann Pons, Alban Connell, Moet Suzuki and Mohamed Ali.
Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor August 25, 2012
Although recorded back in May, for International Permaculture Day (see here and here), I found out about the interview below only yesterday. In the interview, PRI PDC Teacher, Rhamis Kent, talks to renowned environmental filmmaker, John D. Liu, whose fantastic work we’ve featured on this site multiple times (here, here, here and here for example). John covers a lot of ground in the 90-minute discussion, sharing, amongst many other things, the great need for systemic socioeconomic and political change. John explains, as regular readers know I have myself many, many times before, how permaculturists can be a big part of the solution, but that unless the system itself changes, the ability to practice permaculture will remain a pipe dream for most.
The video is a little choppy in a few places, but still very watchable. It’s well worth taking the time to hear what John has to share from his very broad experience.
Biodiversity, Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Seeds, Society — by Navdanya International August 20, 2012
A Global Citizens Report on the State of GMOs — False Promises, Failed Technologies
People who point out the emptiness of the pretensions of powerful people and institutions are often compared to the child in Hans Christian Andersen’s fable who says that the emperor has no clothes.Comments (0)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Comedy Break, Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, Society, Village Development, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor August 9, 2012
The upsidedownness of our world really gets to me. The people doing the most critical work (like producing food and clothing) get paid the least, and the people busy producing crap we don’t really need at all get paid much more, and by an order of magnitude. Worse, the people who produce nothing at all, but just shift numbers around on a screen, capitalising on the work of the afore-mentioned two groups, get paid exponentially more again.
Warning: Don’t play if you don’t appreciate bad language!
Somewhere along the line we’ve lost perspective. We’ve lost our sense of wonder, our recognition of the ‘magic’ of the world we live in — that all the best things in life are actually free — instead overlaying an entirely human intervention called ‘the economy’, or ‘the system’:Comments (37)
Economics — by Louis Even August 8, 2012
1. Shipwreck survivors
An explosion had blown their ship apart. Each one grasped the first bit of wreckage that came to hand. And when it was over, there were five left, five huddled on a raft which the waves carried along at their will. As for the other victims of the disaster, there was no sign of them.
Hour after long hour their eyes searched the horizon. Would some passing ship sight them? Would their make-shift raft finds its way to some friendly shore?
Suddenly a cry rang out: “Land! Look! Over there, in the direction the waves are carrying us!”
And as the vague silhouette proved itself to be, in fact, the outline of a shore, the figures on the raft danced with joy.Comments (15)
Biodiversity, Biofuels, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Richard Widows
We are in the early stages of a global food crisis, the likes of which has never previously been seen. Nearly 1 billion people (or 1 in 7) experience chronic hunger and another 1 billion are faced with serious nutritional deficiencies. Meanwhile, reports suggest that nearly 2 billion people are overweight. Combine these figures and you realise that approximately 4 billion people suffer from food related health issues — more than half of the world’s population. This statistic alone is evidence enough of the need for urgent discussion about our food system.Comments (1)
by Dr Samuel Alexander, co-director of the Simplicity Institute and a lecturer with the Office for Environmental Programs, University of Melbourne.
Our understandings and expectations of the world have been shaped by our experience of economic growth. The dynamic stability of that growth has habituated us to what is ‘normal.’ That normal must soon shatter. – David Korowicz
Cutting Off Destructive Growth (image courtesy of Desazkundea, via flickr)
1. Preparing for Life After Growth
In this report I wish to develop some of the ideas outlined in my paper ‘Peak Oil, Energy Descent, and the Fate of Consumerism,’ which I published through the Simplicity Institute last year (Alexander, 2011a). Building upon the ‘limits to growth’ perspective (Meadows et al, 2004), and drawing upon the work of various energy analysts (Ayers and Warr, 2009; Murphy and Hall, 2011a-b), my paper was based on the view that, in order to grow, industrial economies require a cheap and abundant supply of energy, especially oil. When the costs of oil increase significantly, this adds extra costs to transport, mechanised labour, and industrial food production, among many other things, and this pricing dynamic sucks discretionary expenditure and investment away from the rest of the economy, causing debt defaults, economic stagnation, recessions, or even longer-term depressions. That seems to be what we are seeing around the world today, with the risk of worse things to come (Tverberg, 2012a). Since crude oil production has been on an undulating plateau since 2005 while demand has increased (Hirsch et al, 2010), this has put huge upward pressure on the price of oil, and several commentators have drawn the conclusion that these high oil prices signify the end (Heinberg, 2011; Rubin, 2012) or at least the twilight (Alexander, 2011a; 2012a) of economic growth globally. If this is true, we are living at the dawn of a new age, and should be bracing for impact.Comments (1)
Biodiversity, Economics, Society — by George Monbiot August 7, 2012
In the name of saving the natural world, governments are privatising it.
by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom.
The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying "this is mine", and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not anyone have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows, "Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody"(1).
Jean Jacques Rousseau would recognise this moment. Now it is not the land his impostors are enclosing, but the rest of the natural world. In many countries, especially the United Kingdom, nature is being valued and commodified so that it can be exchanged for cash.
The effort began in earnest under the last government. At a cost of £100,000(2), it commissioned a research company to produce a total annual price for England’s ecosystems. After taking the money, the company reported – with a certain understatement – that this exercise was “theoretically challenging to complete, and considered by some not to be a theoretically sound endeavour.”(3) Some of the services provided by England’s ecosystems, it pointed out, “may in fact be infinite in value.”Comments (2)
Consumerism, Economics, Society — by George Monbiot July 31, 2012
Why have the Year Zero policies of neoliberalism not been abandoned?
by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom.
The model is dead; long live the model. Austerity programmes are extending the crises they were meant to solve, yet governments refuse to abandon them. The United Kingdom provides a powerful example. The cuts, the coalition promised, would hurt but work. They hurt all right – and have pushed us into a double dip recession(1).
This result was widely predicted. If you cut government spending and the income of the poor during an economic crisis, you are likely to make it worse. But last week David Cameron insisted that “we will go on and finish the job”(2), while the chancellor maintained that the government has a “credible plan, and we’re sticking to it.”(3)
Two questions arise. The first is familiar: why has the public response to this assault on public life and public welfare been so muted? Where are the massive and sustained protests we might have expected? But the other is just as puzzling: where is the economic elite?Comments (1)
Courses/Workshops, Developments, Economics, Ethical Investment, Financial Management, People Systems, Society, Village Development — by Nick Huggins
It’s been three years in the making — researching, designing, testing the application, and now it’s ready for the world to tap in and download the knowledge.
During my PDC back in 2009 at the PRI, I sat there as Geoff Lawton was going through the many applications that permaculture covers. All I could think about was how many different business ideas I had come up with that could follow the movements three core ethics and make a profit at the same time. Limitless, absolutely limitless are the possibilities to take a niche and run with it and make it a success.
While the opportunities for me were boundless it was so clear what I had to do. I couldn’t work out why others were not seeing what I could see. Stepping back and really observing what was happening, I saw that 90% of the PDC graduates I was encountering had hit what I call a ‘permaculture brick wall’, or as Daniel Parra Hensel described in an email to me, "post PDC syndrome" — Paralysis through (way to much) analysis and not knowing where to start, or just reverting back to old careers because that’s safe for them.Comments (19)
Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, GMOs, General, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor July 24, 2012
National Food Plan, Green Paper
The Australian federal government has issued a green paper on a National Food Plan for public consultation, which will include a series of public meetings in various places over the next several weeks, until September 30, 2012.
This is an excellent opportunity for permaculturists, localvores, agro-ecologists, etc., to get their message across and help ensure that it’s not just the big corporations who shape Australia’s food future (to their own disastrous ends).
Inset, at right, is the full Green Paper, and here is a summary. You’ll see that the focus is on dollars and exports, rather than sustainable peak-oil-generation resilience.
Please share this page, and encourage as many lucid souls as you can to get involved and breathe some sanity into Australia’s food future.Comments (6)
Consumerism, Eco-Villages, Economics, Education, General, Society, Village Development, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor July 20, 2012
We’ve mentioned the re-ruralisation movement happening in debt-ridden Greece before, and here’s a video by German TV on the topic.
For decades people, worldwide, have been flowing from the countryside in to the cities.Comments (9)