Alternatives to Political Systems, Consumerism, Economics, Financial Management, People Systems, Society, Village Development, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor December 1, 2010
Yes, it’s a strong title. But, it’s very real. The United States of America, built on incredible potential and an amazing constitution, has digressed and democratised itself into hell.
The US has declared financial war on the world – Prof. Dr. Michael Hudson
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.
Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage. — author unknown
The interesting thing about democracy is that despite all the positive elements of majority rule, it only works if the majority are ethical, objective and restrained.Comments (13)
Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Population, Society, peak oil — by Alexander Seton November 22, 2010
Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, Society, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 10, 2010
It’s been a long time coming, but the uber-significant Peak Oil issue has finally started to infiltrate the corridors of power. What they’ll do with this information remains to be seen….
There is no reason for optimism. — Dr. James Schlesinger (former Secretary of Defence and the U.S.’s first Secretary of Energy)
I made mention recently of the leaked German Military Peak Oil study (German PDF here, key points summarised in English here) which looked at the Peak Oil issue from a national security standpoint. Now the New Zealand government has created their own study — releasing it publicly, rather than forcing some conscientious and concerned person to have to sneak it out the back door.Comments (30)
Comedy Break, Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, peak oil — by Marc Roberts
This could be the new paradigm for gated industrial communities – imagine the hungry clamouring at the fences. Lots of uncertainty here, considering the problems of food supply for a growing population.Comments (0)
Consumerism, DVDs/Books, Economics, Ethical Investment, Financial Management, Society, peak oil — by Thomas Fischbacher November 8, 2010
Two issues keep on puzzling me about economics. On the one hand, it undoubtedly is an incredibly important subject. At present, my life pretty much depends on being able to buy certain things from a functioning economy and the same holds for just about everybody else. On the other hand, there seem to be a number of serious problems with deeply rooted beliefs about economics held my many professional economists. (This, then, also is one of the most important reasons why we are in a precarious situation in the first place – if people want "to save the planet", I like to ask "from what?". The answer seems to be: "from the consequences of an untenable economic ideology".)
So, developing a sane perspective on economics and in particular one’s own economic role certainly is an important goal. And no, I do not think management professionals who tell their students in their lectures that spending money on french brand name cosmetics is smarter than spending it on other cosmetics have anything to offer that I’d personally be interested in, thank you.Comments (18)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Bio-regional Organisations, Community Projects, Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Economics, Networking Sites, People Systems, Presentations/Demonstrations, Social Gatherings, Society, Village Development, peak oil — by Tom Toogood October 13, 2010
Editor’s Note: I would recommend people in Australia get behind this, and people everywhere could consider how to organise your own festival in your respective states. Getting transition discussions into the lenses and microphones of mainstream media is an urgent need.
What: Natural and Economic Solutions to the Global Financial Crisis
Where: Hamilton Public School, Newcastle, NSW, Australia
When: Friday night 22nd October (6pm to 9pm) and Saturday 23rd October, 2010 (9am to 9pm)
Why: Isn’t it obvious?
Newcastle is hosting a unique and timely event, Australia’s first Fair Share Festival, focussed on urgent economic and social justice issues and sustainable solutions. It’s planned to run at Hamilton Public School hall, grounds and Permaculture garden between 22-23 October (Friday and Saturday).
It is produced by Permaculture Hunter Region (PHR), the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI), Transition Town Newcastle and Unions NSW.Comments (1)
Aid Projects, Alternatives to Political Systems, Bio-regional Organisations, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Developments, Education Centres, Networking Sites, People Systems, Social Gatherings, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor
I know some of you are itching to use the new Worldwide Permaculture Network system. Well, I hope to launch in just a few weeks!
One aspect that I want your input on is in regards to user guidelines. We want to make a clear list of guidelines for what kind of projects are and are not in harmony with permaculture principles, and what kind of behaviour is regarded as acceptable as far as profile information, profile updates, comments, etc. goes. This guideline list will be the basis upon which users can be reported for offences and potentially removed from the system if they persist. The guideline should create a protective fence around the system that encourages nurturing rather than criticism.
The most important thing is to ensure the system is used for its intended purpose – that of fast-tracking permaculture take-up in mainstream society, and helping people transition to a post-carbon world as peacefully and painlessly as possible. This incorporates helping people become permaculture consultants and aid workers, and helping share resources and knowledge and inspiration to get permaculture projects, large and small, started all around us. With this in mind, user guidelines will help us keep this system on track, and help give us the policing powers to stop misuse and/or intentional antagonism by people who do not understand or appreciate the basis and need of permaculture.
Please place listed suggestions in the comments below, and please write specific text as you’d expect it to be in the guidelines, rather than broad philosophical vagaries. I will take the best parts, aggregate them, and later create a final draft we can all revisit to finalise.
Thanks in advance for your support and participation in this important aspect of the new system.Comments (15)
Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by George Monbiot September 28, 2010
Why are we still prospecting for oil when we can’t afford to use existing reserves?
by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom
Forget, for a moment, the fragility of the Arctic environment and the likely consequences of a spill there. Forget the dangers of deepwater drilling in a strait plagued by storms and icebergs, and the difficulties – greater than in the Gulf of Mexico – of capping a leaking well there. There’s an even bigger question raised by a British company’s discovery of oil off the coast of Greenland(1). It’s the same question that’s invoked by the decision the British government is expected to make today (Tuesday): to allow exploration wells to be drilled in deep waters to the west of the Shetland islands(2). Why the heck are we prospecting for new oil anyway?
It’s not a difficult issue to grasp. If we burn just 60% of current global reserves of fossil fuels, we produce two degrees of warming(3). We cannot afford to use what has already been discovered, let alone to find more. Yet no one in either the current or past governments has been prepared to engage with it. Before the election, I confronted the environment spokesmen of the three major parties with this question(4). Only Ed Miliband seemed fully to grasp the point, but even he brushed it aside. The other two blustered and stumbled, while failing to resolve a fundamental contradiction in their manifestos: they were seeking simultaneously to reduce demand for fossil fuels and increase supply.Comments (2)
Biodiversity, Comedy Break, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor
If someone finds the rest at a future date, do tell.
Biodiversity, Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Population, Society, peak oil — by Ernest Partridge September 20, 2010
Copyright 2010 by Ernest Partridge. Published here with permission of the author.
Men at some time are masters of their fates. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves that we are underlings. – William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
Place a few fruit flies in a bottle with a layer of honey at the bottom, and they will quickly multiply to an enormous number, and then, just as quickly, die off to the very last, poisoned by their wastes. Similarly, add a few yeast cells to grape juice, seal the bottle, and the cells will consume the sugar and turn it into alcohol. When the alcohol rises to 12.5% it will kill off all the yeast, and the wine will be ready for the table.
Fruit flies and yeast in a bottle are embarked upon suicidal endeavors. They can’t help it. They don’t know any better, lacking the cognitive equipment to “know” anything at all.
Human beings, we are told, are different. Humans can utilize their accumulated knowledge, evaluate evidence and apply reason, and with these skills and accomplishments they can imagine alternative futures and choose among them to their advantage.Comments (28)
Comedy Break, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, peak oil — by Marc Roberts September 15, 2010
Click for full view
Courtesy: Marc Roberts
Biodiversity, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, News, Population, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor September 9, 2010
Monsanto is starting an advocacy campaign in Australia, calling for greater acceptance of their GMO wares. Aside from all the environmental and personal health issues involved with GMOs, Monsanto is also conveniently ignoring that mother of all wake up calls, peak oil. Without cheap energy, their large scale globalised monocrop systems will collapse.
Click for full view
Courtesy: Marc Roberts
It seems we have Monsanto on the defensive, and offensive:
Global biotechnology company Monsanto has begun an education and advocacy campaign to change the opposition many Australia consumers have to genetically modified food.
Speaking at the NSW Farmwriters Forum in Sydney, Monsanto’s head in Australia, Peter O’Keefe, argued that organic and permaculture production was "not viable" on a large scale, and Australia was falling behind other countries in productivity improvements because of the reluctance to embrace GM technology. – ABC.net.au
Comedy Break, Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Society, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor September 8, 2010
With words taken from a Democracy Now Interview with John Perkins, a self-styled ‘Economic Hitman’, the studioJOHO crew have made a very cool animation to showcase the fantastic services we the wealthy offer two-thirds world countries.
Watching this led me to check out other work from these video magicians – excellent stuff to watch and share so as to educate all those who struggle to read but who still need to get pried away from their twinkies long enough to get the point:Comments (15)
Fish, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Health & Disease, Plant Systems, Urban Projects, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor August 31, 2010
When I was in Australia over a year ago, Geoff mentioned that a former student and her partner were converting their pool into a fish farm. I didn’t have a lot of time to spare, but told him I had to go. A day or so later I was poking around Vanessa and Justin’s pool, fussing about with my camera and notepad. The resulting article has since become one of the more popular ones on the site.
Perhaps there are a lot of people out there with useless, empty swimming pools? If so, here’s even more encouragement to get busy and do something with it! This family has, apparently, become self-sufficient in food production in record time – just by making clever use of their disused swimming pool.Comments (3)
Comedy Break, Food Shortages, GMOs, peak oil — by Marc Roberts August 28, 2010
Click for full view
Courtesy: Marc Roberts
Whilst the Russians learn to live without buckwheat and displaced people are poised for land-struggles in Central Africa, boffins crack the wheat genome, which promises to keep us trying the same industrial scale thing for ever. And how will we fuel this ever expanding industrial agriculture sector? Hmm, maybe.
BAA propose to compost food waste – who’d have thunk it?Comments (1)