Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor February 16, 2012
The Heartland Institute, as many readers will know, has been at the centre of efforts to cloud the issues and science surrounding climate change for years now. (Before that, they were at the centre of efforts to cloud and discredit the science linking cigarettes to cancer.) Indeed, this self-styled ‘think tank’ receives millions of dollars of donations from fossil-fuel industries who, it seems, would pay virtually anything for climate change concerns to melt away, even while the arctic ice cap does the same. Registered as a non-profit, the Heartland Institute is the funneling point for huge sums of money which go directly into efforts to create doubts about man’s impact on global climate.
Although the motives of the Heartland Institute have always been tremendously clear to most, a Heartland insider has just ripped away their pretentious veil to reveal the inner workings of this
think tank corporate lobbying firm.
Just to ensure the documents received by the DeSmogBlog team are safely scattered over many servers, I will also list Heartland’s documents here.
They make an interesting, and disturbing, read:Comments (11)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Consumerism, Economics, Population, Society, Village Development — by Kyle Chamberlain February 10, 2012
To everyone feeling screwed over by the economy,
We are told that our problem is that there aren’t enough jobs. This message is everywhere. The media gauges our plight with regularly updated unemployment statistics. Politicians debate theatrically over who can create more work. People everywhere clamor for scarce positions at factories and corporations.
I’d like to point out the great irony of this situation — people hate their jobs. How many people do you know who love their job? The truth is, most of us who have ordinary jobs can barely tolerate them. All else being equal, we’d rather not do them.Comments (65)
Community Projects, Consumerism, Courses/Workshops, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Social Gatherings, Village Development, peak oil — by John Shiel February 8, 2012
When: 9 — 11 March 2012, starting on the evening of March 9
Where: Hamilton Public School, corner of Tudor Steet and Steel Street, Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Theme: "Transitioning to connected communities, localised fair economies and sustainable lifestyles."
Please put this event in your diaries, and ‘like’ us at www.facebook.com/#!/FairShareFestival
In this second and expanded festival we will explore issues related to social justice, sustainability, innovative social enterprises and strong resilient communities through panel discussions, interactive workshops, and engaging debates.
Economics, Food Shortages, Society, peak oil — by Tim Barker February 7, 2012
What: Nichole Foss talk on the present and future crises
Where: The Channon Community Hall, near Lismore, NSW, Australia (and a stone’s throw from the PRI’s Zaytuna Farm)
When: 10th of February, starting at 5.30 pm
Cost?: Donation at door
Nicole M. Foss is co-editor of The Automatic Earth (TAE), where she writes under the name Stoneleigh. She and her writing partner have been chronicling and interpreting the on-going credit crunch as the most pressing aspect of our current multi-faceted predicament. The site integrates finance, energy, environment, psychology, population and real politick in order to explain why we find ourselves in a state of crisis and what we can do about it. Prior to the establishment of TAE, she was editor of The Oil Drum Canada, where she wrote on peak oil and finance.Comments (3)
Permaculture and Wall Street — We Must Tackle the Runaway Fiscal Economy Head On, “We Must Face Up and Fight”
Alternatives to Political Systems, Economics, Financial Management, People Systems, Society, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor January 30, 2012
I admire the efforts of the permaculturists at the Occupy Wall Street camp, and I think, judging by his statement way back in 1983 (see below), that Bill would admire them also.
Hunger is rising, absolute hunger is rising, food’s badly distributed, not distributed at all often. The waste of food, the whole deal of it….it’s eh, a shocking situation, it’s just inhuman. It’s what nobody would intend, and somehow what we’ve arrived at, and we arrived at it by the erection of financial structures, totally divorced from resources. So that the fiscal economy has been a runaway system. We’ve gotta tackle that head on. That is, what I’m trying to tell you, it’s no good any longer just being an organic gardener or farmer, we have to be effective financial and political units. And we’re gonna have to face that. Just as it was very hard for us to learn to garden, then hard for us to learn to collect seeds, once the multinationals took over the open-pollinated seed market; we had to become seed growers. Now it’s very difficult, we have to become bankers. There’s no good trying to pretend we don’t have to. We can run away to the bush, build a mud hut and grow ducks in the garden, it’s not gonna do it. The coals will still be burnt, the land will still be eroded, and the forests will still be cleared for newsprint if we run away to the bush. So, there’s no escape, we’ve just gotta stop running away, stay where we are and start to face up and fight. Good, as long as you’re fully persuaded of that we can get on with the course…." — Bill Mollison, 1983 PDC (emphasis added)
Consumerism, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, peak oil — by Earth Policy Institute January 23, 2012
by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute
We distort reality when we omit the health and environmental costs associated with burning fossil fuels from their prices. When governments actually subsidize their use, they take the distortion even further. Worldwide, direct fossil fuel subsidies added up to roughly $500 billion in 2010. Of this, supports on the production side totaled some $100 billion. Supports for consumption exceeded $400 billion, with $193 billion for oil, $91 billion for natural gas, $3 billion for coal, and $122 billion spent subsidizing the use of fossil fuel-generated electricity. All together, governments are shelling out nearly $1.4 billion per day to further destabilize the earth’s climate.
Alternatives to Political Systems, Bio-regional Organisations, Community Projects, Consumerism, Development & Property Trusts, Economics, Land, People Systems, Plant Systems, Society, Village Development — by David Bollier January 16, 2012
Rarely have I read an essay that knits together some very different commons with such wisdom and depth. Joline Blais’ 2006 essay, “Indigenous Domain: Pilgrims, Permaculture and Perl,” is a wonderfully insightful analysis that reveals the underlying unity and logic of commons principles. Her piece appeared in Intelligent Agent (vol. 6, no. 2), published by the Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts.
Blais’ essay is valuable because it speaks to the rift that is said to separate commons based on natural resources and those of cyberspace. The segregation of those two classes of commons has always bothered me. There are of course significant differences between managing depletable natural resources and managing cheap and limitless stores of digital information. Yet it has always struck me that the two great tribes of commoners have much more in common than not, and should be in closer consultation with each other.Comments (1)
Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, Society, peak oil — by Samuel Alexander January 13, 2012
The advent of peak oil means we should prepare for a downscaling of our highly energy and resource-intensive lifestyles.
What is peak oil and why does it matter? And what effect will it have on the Western lifestyles we take for granted? These are not questions that many people are asking themselves yet, but this decade is going to change everything. Peak oil is upon us.
Peak oil does not mean that the world is about it run out of oil. It refers to the point at which the supply of oil can no longer increase. There is lots of the stuff left; it’s just getting much more difficult to find and extract, which means it is getting very hard, and perhaps impossible, to increase the overall ”flow” of oil out of the ground. When the flow can no longer increase, that is peak oil. Supply will then plateau for a time and eventually enter terminal decline. This is the future that awaits us, because oil is a finite, non-renewable resource.Comments (1)
Western-style consumer lifestyles are highly resource and energy intensive. This paper examines the energy intensity of these consumer lifestyles and considers whether such lifestyles could be sustained in a future with declining energy supplies and much higher energy prices. The rise of consumer societies since the industrial revolution has only been possible due to the abundant supply of cheap fossil fuels – most notably, oil – and the persistence of consumer societies depend upon continued supply, for reasons that will be explained. But recently there has been growing concern that the world is reaching, or has already reached, its peak in oil production, despite demand for oil still expected to grow considerably. Put more directly, many analysts believe that demand for oil is very soon expected to outstrip supply, with a recent study by the US military reporting that, globally, spare productive capacity could entirely dry up by 2012 and by 2015 demand for oil could outstrip supply by almost 10 million barrels per day. What this means – even allowing for some uncertainty in timing and extent – is that the world is soon to face a situation where economic and geopolitical competition escalates over access to increasingly scarce oil supplies. One consequence of this (a consequence already playing out) is that oil will get more expensive. Since oil is the ultimate foundation of industrial economies, when it gets more expensive, all commodities get more expensive, and this dynamic will have pervasive implications on the globalised economy and the high consumption lifestyles that fully depend on that economy.Comments (3)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Consumerism, Economics, Financial Management, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, People Systems, Society, Village Development — by Dr. Mae-Wan Ho
The new Truly Green Economy needs to be modeled after and embedded within the circular economy of nature to generate and regenerate wealth for people and planet.
The linear economy and the circular economy
The world’s economy is on the brink of financial meltdown, thanks to the corrupt Wall Street money and banking system unleashed by deregulation in the 1970s and 1980s  (“Shut Down Wall Street!” SiS 53). Emerging from the ruins is a new socially accountable economy that can provide good jobs at living wages, and generate real wealth for people and communities, at least in the United States  (New Economy Now, SiS 53). But that is not enough, we need a truly green circular economy working with and within nature to generate and regenerate wealth for people and planet.
Until a few years ago, very few people would take green or circular economy seriously. Not anymore; governments and businesses are now outdoing environmental groups in claiming the green circular economy for themselves. So perhaps it is time to put down some goal posts to make sure we get there.Comments (2)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Consumerism, Courses/Workshops, Economics, Food Shortages, Fungi, Rehabilitation, Salination, Society, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Beatrice Yannacopoulou
A group of community-minded gardeners have turned a former Athens airport into a blooming vegetable plot, showing how Greece’s eroded soil holds the keys to a revival in farming and a way to buck the jobless trend.
by Beatrice Yannacopoulou. Article originally published on The Ecologist
All photographs courtesy: Dimitris.V.Geronikos
"If we want to survive on this land we must first help to heal the earth," said Nicolas Netién, agro-ecologist, teacher and co-creator of the NGO Permaculture Research Institute Hellas. He was talking to a group of some fifty people of all ages who had gathered for two days of workshops on self-sufficiency, how to self-organize, agro-ecology and composting. This small gathering was taking place on a beautifully sunny autumn day at the former Athens airport, Ellinikon.Comments (3)
Consumerism, Economics, Markets & Outlets, Society, Village Development — by Richard Perkins January 12, 2012
(IM)PERMANENCE film was noticed by the Sunday Times who featured our family in an article regarding "living fluidly".
In case you didn’t catch the article in the Sunday Times last week, our family was featured in an article about living fluidly, how a generation of people are now forging new ways to interact to meet their needs in these uncertain times. To add to this I wished to further explain some of the design thinking behind developing poly-income streams, how and why I connect different aspects of my life together so there is functional interconnection with meeting various goals whilst moving me towards my highest visions and aspirations.Comments (1)
Biofuels, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Earth Policy Institute
by Janet Larsen, Earth Policy Institute
The world’s farmers produced more grain in 2011 than ever before. Estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show the global grain harvest coming in at 2,295 million tons, up 53 million tons from the previous record in 2009. Consumption grew by 90 million tons over the same period to 2,280 million tons. Yet with global grain production actually falling short of consumption in 7 of the past 12 years, stocks remain worryingly low, leaving the world vulnerable to food price shocks.
Nearly half the calories consumed around the world come directly from grain, with grain-fed animal products making up part of the remainder. Three grains dominate the world harvest: wheat and rice, which are primarily eaten directly as food, and corn, which is largely used as a feedgrain for livestock. Wheat was the largest of the world’s grain harvests until the mid-1990s. Then corn production surged ahead in response to growing demand for grain-fed animal products and, more recently, for fuel ethanol. Despite a drop in the important U.S. harvest due mostly to high summer temperatures, global corn production hit 868 million tons in 2011, an all-time high. The harvests of wheat (689 million tons) and rice (461 million tons) were also records. (See Excel data.)
We don’t normally get into personal beauty products on this site, but I thought this product presentation on what to buy so you can feel good about yourself — with the bonus feature of making everyone else feel inferior compared to you — might be just the thing for some. As you’ll see, you can easily bypass the ‘traditional’, burdensome personal beauty methods of outdoor fresh-air exercise, organic food, clean water and guilt-free sleep with only one application.
Consumerism, Economics, People Systems, Society, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor December 24, 2011
I just want to express my gratitude to all our readers and supporters who have contributed in various ways over the last year. What a year it has been! We’ve seen the launch of the Worldwide Permaculture Network, with your support — which now enables us to see who is doing what, and where, and even how they’re doing it. We saw the Tenth International Permaculture Conference & Convergence (IPC10) come and go, and by all accounts it was a great success. And most importantly, we’ve done our darndest to help permaculture individuals and projects in some of the world’s neediest places. We even restarted the PDC Teacher registry, so students can have choice in the quality of instruction and to protect the integrity/reputation of permaculture as we move forward into the next few challenging years.Comments (8)