New Weather, New Politics

Posted by & filed under Global Warming/Climate Change.

The extremes now hammering Australia leave old perspectives stranded. by George Monbiot Five children and their grandparents survived an inferno by spending three hours clinging to a jetty in the sea I wonder what Tony Abbott will say about the record heatwave now ravaging Australia. The opposition leader has repeatedly questioned the science and impacts… Read more »

Annus Horribilis

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Desertification, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change.

2012 was the worst year for the environment in living memory. by George Monbiot It was the year of living dangerously. In 2012 governments turned their backs on the living planet, demonstrating that no chronic problem, however grave, will take priority over an immediate concern, however trivial. I believe there has been no worse year… Read more »

Line in the Sand (Video)

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Desertification, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

We often only begin to understand the importance of nutrient- and water-cycling when they don’t — when they don’t cycle, that is. When ecosystems fail, when the hydrological cycle gets broken, when soils degrade faster than they build, the consequence is desertification. Already a full 25% of the planet’s land surface area (about 3.6 billion… Read more »

Flow – For the Love of Water (Documentary)

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

As permaculturists, we have a great many solutions for the water crisis. From water harvesting to reed bed grey water systems, to watershed rehabilitation, there are common sense approaches to holistically restore eco-system services, rehydrate our landscapes and stabilise water flows and the climate. In the video above, however, we come face to face with… Read more »

Exxon Hates Your Children

Posted by & filed under Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change.

Exxon hates your children. Yes, that’s what I said, and no, I’m not kidding. The truth is, if you judge Exxon and other fossil fuel companies not by the words on their press releases, but by their actions and predictable consequences, Exxon really must hate your children.

Forbidden Planet

Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Consumerism, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change.

We cannot restrain climate change without a political fight against plutocracy. by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom. Humankind’s greatest crisis coincides with the rise of an ideology that makes it impossible to address. By the late 1980s, when it became clear that manmade climate change endangered the living… Read more »

The Fat of the Land

Posted by & filed under Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Livestock.

Robbing the poor, trashing the natural world: Europe’s farm subsidies are an obscenity. by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom. Photo: Jim Bain via Wikimedia There’s a neat symmetry in the numbers which helped to sink the European summit. The proposed budget was €50bn higher than the UK government… Read more »

Permaculture Design on the Edge – Patterns of Coastal Settlement and Regeneration

Posted by & filed under Aquaculture, Biological Cleaning, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Storm Water, Waste Water, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting.

by Jason Gerhardt The author scopes out an oyster reef in Pamlico Sound, NC Photo Credit: Jason Gerhardt Being a resident of the dryland Western US, I should probably be thinking more about wildfire and drought than storm surge and coastal erosion, but for some reason, I’ve been drawn to the shoreline recently. As I… Read more »

Rwanda – Emerging in a Changing Climate (video)

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Irrigation, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting.

Filmmaker and environmentalist, John D. Liu from the Environmental Education Media Project team, takes us to Rwanda again (last time was here), showing us how the country is seeking to leapfrog the disastrous ‘development‘ route most of the countries of the North have gone down, to instead head more directly towards sustainability. Given the horrors… Read more »

Dust Bowl Revisited

Posted by & filed under Global Warming/Climate Change, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

by Janet Larsen, Earth Policy Institute Credit: Arthur Rothstein, Library of Congress On October 18, 2012, the Associated Press reported that “a massive dust storm swirling reddish-brown clouds over northern Oklahoma triggered a multi-vehicle accident along a major interstate… forcing police to shut down the heavily traveled roadway amid near blackout conditions.” Farmers in the… Read more »

Finding Sustainability in Ecosystem Restoration

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Community Projects, Consumerism, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Plant Systems, Population, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Trees, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting.

Before (below) and after (above), Loess Plateau Watershed Rehabiliation Project A Breakthough of Worldwide Importance In 1995, as the Chinese government and people were beginning an ambitious effort to restore the cradle of Chinese civilization, I was asked by the World Bank to document the “Loess Plateau Watershed Rehabilitation Project”. Originally the Loess Plateau had… Read more »

Nature Resilience – Organizing Ecological Restoration by Partners in Business for Next Generations

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Community Projects, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

I was recently invited to contribute to a concept paper (2.2mb PDF) authored and edited by Willem Ferwerda. Mr. Ferwerda, a tropical ecologist, was director of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) National Committee of The Netherlands from 2000 until March 2012. In his new role Ferwerda will support the IUCN Commission on… Read more »