Category: Soil Erosion & Contamination

Problem: Pollution — Solution: Biogas

In this polluted world there is good news. We can create energy from some of our waste! by Zaia Kendall, PRI Maungaraeeda, Sunshine Coast Creating the biogas biodigester dome in our May 2013 Biodigester Course Debates about CSG (Coal Seam Gas) mining (otherwise known as hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’) are ongoing. There is also talk about highly contaminated human manure polluting water with oestrogens, prozac and other hormones, drugs and […]

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UNCCD Land for Life Award Winner – TEMA (Turkey)

The UNCCD’s Land for Life Award winners were announced on the World Day to Combat Desertification, 17 June 2012, during the Rio+20 Summit. Joint first place went to the Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion (TEMA) in Turkey (along with SOIL, in Haiti), this film looks at their project.

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Resource Testeria

Promoting extractive industries is seen by politicians as a proper, manly pursuit, even if it makes no sense. by George Monbiot It’s not about jobs. It’s not about securing energy supplies. It’s not even about the money. The government’s enthusiasm for fracking arises from something it shares with politicians the world over: a macho fixation with extractive industries.

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Humanitarian Vetiver Project, East Sumba, Indonesia

Lined up for free treatment I am a young Christian missionary doctor on the Island of Sumba in Eastern Indonesia. My work entails providing health and welfare to the indigenous village people who live in remote areas of East Sumba. Most are either Christian or Marupa; they are extremely poor and many have no support income, yet they do have arable land and land similar to the rolling hills of […]

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GMO Potato: Cisgenesis is still Genetic Modification with All the Attendant Risks

The new trial on GM blight-resistant potato is being sold as cisgenic technology to confuse the public, but it is still genetic modification with all the attendant risks — most of which are not addressed. by Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji A new genetically modified (GM) ‘blight-resistant’ potato is currently being tested in a three year large-scale field trial in Carlow, Ireland conducted by the Irish government in collaboration with the Dutch […]

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DDT 2.0

We’re just beginning to understand the wider impacts of neonicotinoids. by George Monbiot A dead pike on the River Kennet. Photograph: Adrian Arbib/Alamy It’s the new DDT: a class of poisons licensed for widespread use before they had been properly tested, which are now ripping the natural world apart. And it’s another demonstration of the old truth that those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it. […]

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Across the Board, European Farms Planting Non-GMO Seeds More Successful than GMO Crops in the U.S.

by Shicana Allen, Institute for Responsible Technology On its website, Monsanto uses the slogan “Producing more, Conserving more, Improving Lives” and celebrates the five-year anniversary of its 2008 Sustainable Yield Initiative. Calling itself a “sustainable agriculture company… developing better seeds and systems to help farmers with productivity,” the biotech giant boasts that, despite anti-biotechnology activist claims to the contrary, “GM crops generally have higher yields due to both breeding and […]

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Grain Yields Starting to Plateau

Editor’s Note: As regular readers will know, I don’t agree 100% with everything I post to the site. The article below, for example, has somewhat of a focus on fossil-fuel-based fertiliser, as the means to increasing yields. But, I put this piece up anyway, as the statistical information it contains on plateauing yields is an important one for all permaculturists (and all humans in general) to consider, acknowledge, and prepare […]

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Permaculture in Lesotho

The PRI editor has been encouraging me to give a little more background info on my work on the ground here, so you can all better understand the situation I’m working in. Here’s a short attempt to do so. I have been living in Lesotho for two years, as a volunteer with Australian Volunteers International (AVI ). This is part of the Australian government’s southern African aid programme for 2012-2014. […]

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Endgame Strategy

Why the Revolution Must Start in America The unrest in the Middle East, the convulsions in Ivory Coast, the hunger sweeping across failed states such as Somalia, the freak weather patterns and the systematic unraveling of the American empire do not signal a lurch toward freedom and democracy but the catastrophic breakdown of globalization. The world as we know it is coming to an end. And what will follow will […]

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Food or Fuel?

by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute At the time of the Arab oil export embargo in the 1970s, the importing countries were beginning to ask themselves if there were alternatives to oil. In a number of countries, particularly the United States, several in Europe, and Brazil, the idea of growing crops to produce fuel for cars was appealing. The modern biofuels industry was launched. This was the beginning of […]

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Eroding Soils Darkening Our Future

by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute In 1938 Walter Lowdermilk, a senior official in the Soil Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, traveled abroad to look at lands that had been cultivated for thousands of years, seeking to learn how these older civilizations had coped with soil erosion. He found that some had managed their land well, maintaining its fertility over long stretches of history, and were […]

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