Category: Global Warming/Climate Change

Bullied by Oil Giant TransCanada

Meet Meghan Hammond, a sixth-generation Nebraskan farmer threatened by TransCanada. In an effort to save their land from a huge oil pipeline her community banned together to build a source of sustainable energy right in the path of the Keystone XL pipeline. These Nebraskans made a statement, but they need more hands and hearts on their side.

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Wake up Before it is Too Late – Make Agriculture Truly Sustainable Now for Food Security in a Changing Climate

Click to download (5mb PDF) In late September of last year (2013) the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) put out the latest in their Trade and Environment Review series — titled Wake up Before it is Too Late: Make Agriculture Truly Sustainable Now for Food Security in a Changing Climate. Alert readers may already be aware of this document — as it was the springboard for a […]

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Crash on Demand? A Response to David Holmgren

D. Lange “Mr. Dougherty and kid. Warm Springs, Malheur County, Oregon” October 1939 David Holmgren, for whom I have the utmost respect, is best known as one of the co-originators of the permaculture concept. Permaculture is an ecological design method for regenerative agriculture, where the principles of natural systems are employed in order to create a self-sustaining means for food production while building soil fertility. I am increasingly involved with […]

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Crash on Demand: Welcome to the Brown Tech Future

First published on Holmgren Design website Introduction This essay updates my Future Scenarios (2007) (1) work but also builds on the essay Oil vs Money; Battle for Control of the World (2009) (2), as a running commentary on the rapid changes in the big picture context for permaculture activism, especially in the Australian context. It assumes understanding of these previous works and, of course permaculture. ‘Preaching to the choir’ it […]

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Preserving the Past to Serve the Future – Wellbeing Farm, A Pragmatic Approach to Permaculture, Transition, and Reskilling (USA)

After leaving the Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub Waterways Reskilling gathering held on November 23, 2013 I realized that the practitioners who attended and spoke — the Transitioners and Permaculturists, the farmers, millwrights, boat builders, fishermen, engineers, woodworkers, and sail freighters — require a community, a physical location, a place to have re-skilling workshops, to teach classes, to hold gatherings, to take on apprentices, and to build real world solutions for the […]

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India’s Dangerous ‘Food Bubble’

Editor’s Note: As is often the case with the Earth Policy Institute (EPI), crucial solutions are largely missing from the article below. I personally believe India’s population is not the problem, but land mismanagement and the prioritising of extractive short-term economic policies. The author, Lester Brown, only touches on solutions (a surface-level mention of water harvesting), instead of bringing it, and a wholesale restoration of the hydrological cycle, to front […]

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Addressing the Causes of Land Degradation, Food/Nutritional Insecurity and Poverty: a New Approach to Agricultural Intensification in the Tropics and Subtropics

by Roger RB Leakey, Agroforestry and Novel Crops Unit, School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia. Photo 1: A multifunctional agriculture landscape in Viet Nam with many income-generating tree-based production systems on hillsides surrounding an area of intensive food production on the most fertile soils. Abstract The shortage of new land for agriculture and the poverty of smallholder farmers in the tropics are serious constraints on […]

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UNCCD Land for Life Award Winners for 2013 (India, Mexico, Africa): Practical, Doable, Magic

Educating small-holder farmers in India Every year the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) presents awards and supportive prize-money to projects that have had a positive impact on combating desertification and restoring watersheds and the hydrological cycle. This year’s awards went to excellent projects in India, Mexico and Africa. Watch the fantastic videos below, from John D. Liu and the rest of the EEMP team, to find our more […]

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Climate Change Driving Weather off the Charts

by Janet Larsen, Earth Policy Institute Super typhoon Haiyan Meteorologists are calling the typhoon that slammed into the Philippines with 195-mile-an-hour winds on November 8, 2013, the most powerful tropical storm to make landfall on record. Super Typhoon Haiyan had gusts reaching 235 miles per hour and a storm surge swelling as high as 20 feet, so the destruction it left behind matched that of a tornado combined with a […]

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Weeds or Wild Nature: a Permaculture Perspective

by David Holmgren Summary Land design and management informed by permaculture principles tends to regard naturalized species of plants as assets that should be managed to stabilize water and soil, build biomass, fix nutrients, ameliorate microclimate and provide habitat, fodder, fuel and food in the early stages of system development. While naturalized species may be given a lower value in permaculture design than species regarded as indigenous to the site […]

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Breach of Trust

Ill-informed and incoherent: the head of the National Trust talks nonsense on fracking. by George Monbiot “It’s not for me to judge the relative merits of fracking versus wind turbines.” So said Dame Helen Ghosh, the National Trust’s new director-general. To this there are two obvious responses. The first is: yes, as the head of Britain’s biggest conservation group, this is just the kind of judgement you should be making. […]

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Pseudo-grains for Lesotho – Permaculture Design for Disaster

Quinoa This year’s very dry autumn, winter and spring in Lesotho is ringing alarm bells throughout the country. The capital city, Maseru, is down to a very limited supply of potable water. There is no significant rainfall forecast until the summer season, December / February. Last year’s grain crop was slightly better than the two previous years. This improved situation still left 40% of the population, some 725,000, reliant on […]

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