Category: Peak Oil

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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Syria Back-Story, Part 2: Blood For Oil

Continuing from Part I. Almost all conflicts that take place in the Middle East are motivated by the need to secure oil interests, among others. However, oil has so many other roles to play in this ugly story. Winter was never harder in Syria. The unprecedented cold wave is adding a lot to the suffering of people, especially the displaced. Massive efforts are being made by international donors, local NGOs […]

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Interview with Richard Heinberg: Do We Really Need Economic Growth?

Marcin Gerwin (Poland): For most heads of states, the prime minister of Poland included, the central point of economic policy is maintaining or increasing economic growth. The aim is to encourage people to consume more goods and services every year so that the Gross Domestic Product continues to grow. Do you think it’s a realistic approach?

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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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Retrofitting a Small Town

For the last four years, I have been dreaming of retrofitting a small town with a group of like-minded individuals with a diverse set of skills. I talk a lot about this in my courses, and it always gets a group of people charged up. It seems as though there are a lot of people that are tired of living in these massive, hyper-urban environments that meet our basic needs […]

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Growth is Obsolete

Society needs to realize growth does not equal prosperity. The word that sticks in the craw of many who cogitate over economics is growth. The condition that the word refers to has proven disturbingly problematic in recent years, especially as the world’s population continues to expand exponentially and the global ecology suffers in response. In fact, Thomas Carlyle (1795 – 1881) called economics “the dismal science” in direct reference to […]

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Transition Towns – Organizing For Resilience (video)

Rob Hopkins, instigator of the Transition Towns movement, is on tour in the U.S. This video is a 90 minute presentation that was given in Oakland, California, on October 10th, 2013. If you’re U.S.-based, and want to get involved in helping to start a Transiation Town, head here to find out more. There’s no time like the present….

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Syria Back-Story, Part I: Internal Displacement and the Story Framework

Editor’s Note: Some time ago I asked one of my permaculture contacts in Syria if they could give us some reports, with their particular on-the-ground views on the ongoing crisis there. I did so in the hope of our gaining a more rounded back-story viewpoint. With the mainstream media largely owned and controlled by vested interests, I think it’s critical that websites such as this one can be used as […]

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U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Down 11 Percent Since 2007

by Emily E. Adams, Earth Policy Institute The U.S. Annual Carbon Footprint (Chandler 2008) Carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels in the United States peaked at more than 1.6 billion tons of carbon in 2007. Since then they have fallen 11 percent, dropping to over 1.4 billion tons in 2013, according to estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Emissions shrank rapidly during the recession, then bounced back slightly […]

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Climate Breakdown

How governments bemoan the problem but keep stoking the fires. by George Monbiot Already, a thousand blogs and columns insist that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s new report is a rabid concoction of scare stories whose purpose is to destroy the global economy. But it is, in reality, highly conservative. Reaching agreement among hundreds of authors and reviewers ensures that only the statements which are hardest to dispute are […]

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