Consumerism, Energy Systems, Health & Disease, Nuclear, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by I-SIS April 14, 2011
Fukushima is just one among many similar disasters waiting to happen worldwide; governments and regulators have systematically downplayed the risks and hidden the real costs of nuclear power; there is no place for nuclear in a truly green energy portfolio; furthermore, there is a lot we can do to put the nuclear genie back into the bottle.
A fully referenced and illustrated version of this report is posted on ISIS members website and is available for download here.
Nuclear crisis following earthquake & tsunami
On Friday 11 March 2011, Japan was hit by a magnitude 9 earthquake followed by a gigantic tsunami. The official toll by 6 April was 12 468 dead, and more than 15 000 missing , hundreds of thousands lost their homes, millions are still either without electricity or affected by shortages of electricity ; and most worrying of all, a nuclear disaster with no end in sight. The earthquake and tsunami were unstoppable, but was the nuclear disaster waiting to happen, and could it have been avoided?Comments (6)
Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Nuclear, Population, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor April 8, 2011
Watch the full episode.
In this PBS-produced video, with actor and philanthropist Matt Damon narrating, Lester Brown gives a good overview of some of the current issues we face as a race. He connects the dots between the world’s rapidly melting glaciers, extreme weather events, and resource depletion, etc., and what it will mean to world food harvests, and the economic and social implications of wealthier countries outbidding poorer nation states for a share of these diminishing harvests, and water and energy supplies. Two of the key words he uses are ‘failing states’, a relatively new term that is quickly gaining in ‘popularity’ as we watch the present chain reaction of events occurring today.
Lester asks the question "How many failing states will it take before we see civilization itself fail?"Comments (4)
Biodiversity, Community Projects, Deforestation, Land, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Swales, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor March 28, 2011
The Permaculture Research Institute USA has partnered with Sust`ainable Molokai to embark on the bold mission of permeating the Hawaiian Islands with permaculture goodness. Traditional Hawaiian agricultural systems, before the arrival of Europeans, were ingenious and sustainable. Indeed, their ahupua`a systems, known as high island ‘Ohana’ systems to permaculturists, are one of the few truly sustainable agricultural systems ever known — an awesome legacy that should instill pride and purpose in modern-day islanders. Unfortunately, the last century, in particular, is seeing multiple major threats to the island state’s unique ecology — soil erosion, biodiversity loss, and Hawaii has become Big Biotech’s GMO test capital of the world (see video at very bottom of post).
But permaculturists are fighting back, as you’ll see:
Biodiversity, Deforestation, Global Warming/Climate Change, Livestock, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor
We’ve run posts on Alan Savory’s Holistic Management a few times (here, here and here for example), but for those who can’t get enough, here’s another for good measure. This is a 1-hour lecture given in Dublin at the end of 2009. It’s well worth a listen.
Allan Savory argued that while livestock may be part of the problem, they can also be an important part of the solution. He has demonstrated time and again in Africa, Australia and North and South America that, properly managed, they are essential to land restoration. With the right techniques, plant growth is lusher, the water table is higher, wildlife thrives, soil carbon increases and, surprisingly, perhaps four times as many cattle can be kept.
Consumerism, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Nuclear, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor March 24, 2011
Given recent events in Japan, I wanted to broach the somewhat controversial topic of nuclear fission power plants, and the following video (thanks Thomas) — making the Fukushima nuclear situation a little easier for even little Japanese children to comprehend — makes a good lead-in to the topic.
At time of writing, water and food options are shrinking for residents of Tokyo and elsewhere in Japan, whilst the short, medium and long term consequences of this nuclear incident are a topic of much speculation. My heart goes out to the people of Japan, and particularly those in the Fukushima Prefecture.
There are several schools of thought on nuclear. Here’s a sampling. You may wish to add others:Comments (38)
Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Population, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Earth Policy Institute
by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute
In 1994, I wrote an article in World Watch magazine entitled “Who Will Feed China?” that was later expanded into a book of the same title. When the article was published in late August, the press conference generated only moderate coverage. But when it was reprinted that weekend on the front of the Washington Post’s Outlook section with the title “How China Could Starve the World,” it unleashed a political firestorm in Beijing.
The response began with a press conference at the Ministry of Agriculture on Monday morning, where Deputy Minister Wan Baorui denounced the study. Advancing technology, he said, would enable the Chinese people to feed themselves. This was followed by a government-orchestrated stream of articles that challenged my findings.Comments (5)
Biodiversity, Courses/Workshops, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Social Gatherings, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Elaine Codling March 21, 2011
This is a training exercise that can be done with groups of around 20-25 people of all ages. Feel free to use, expand, or elaborate on it in anyway. Follow the activity with a discussion about climate as it relates to permaculture design.
- Poor Farmer
- Summer Wind
- Winter Wind
- Shade Tree
- Bamboo [X 3 or more]
- Willows [X 3 or more]
- Food Forest [X 4 or more]
Biological Cleaning, Building, Conservation, Land, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Storm Water, Swales, Urban Projects, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Nicola Chatham March 18, 2011
Pit-falls, projects and laughs from our permaculture journey – Part 5
“What’s that smell?” asks Chris.
“I don’t know. It’s really familiar. It smells like… cat food,” I reply.
“It smells like shit,” he says.Comments (11)
Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Earth Policy Institute March 10, 2011
Editor’s Note: In addition to the post from Lester below, also check out this: "Warning Of ‘Food Price Riots In The UK’ — A senior economist at the worldwide bank HSBC has warned of civil unrest in Britain if food prices continue to soar."
by Lester Brown, Earth Policy Institute
In February, world food prices reached the highest level on record. Soaring food prices are already a source of spreading hunger and political unrest, and it appears likely that they will climb further in the months ahead.
As a result of an extraordinarily tight grain situation, this year’s harvest will be one of the most closely watched in years. Last year, the world produced 2,180 million tons of grain. It consumed 2,240 million tons, a consumption excess that was made possible by drawing down stocks by 60 million tons. (See data at www.earth-policy.org.) To avoid repeating last year’s shortfall and to cover this year’s estimated 40-million-ton growth in demand, this year’s world grain harvest needs to increase by at least 100 million tons. Yet that would only maintain the current precarious balance between supply and demand.
To get prices back down to a more acceptable level, it would take perhaps another 50 million tons for a total increase of 150 million tons. Can the world boost this year’s grain harvest by 150 million tons or even 100 million tons? It is possible, because we have had annual harvest jumps of 150 million tons twice over the last two decades, but this year it does not appear likely.Comments (0)
Deforestation, Global Warming/Climate Change, Livestock, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor March 7, 2011
This common sense, holistic approach is indeed worth sharing.
With this competition, we’re seeking to reverse the trend of online ads being aggressively forced on users. We want to nurture ads so good you choose to watch. On TED.com, ads run after our talks, not before. This means they can run longer than the TV-standard 30 seconds. And that’s the key! In 2-3 minutes, there’s enough time to really tell a story, share an idea, make an authentic human connection, become unforgettable. Instead of ambush, they offer pleasurable, intelligent engagement. — TED.com
Congratulations to Allan Savory!
See also: Holistic Management
Further Reading:Comments (5)
The Need for Sustainable Agriculture – It’s So Obvious and Inevitable That Even The UN Has To Admit It
Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Rehabilitation, Society, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Rhamis Kent February 25, 2011
Editor’s Note: Quite some time ago, I shared the big 400-scientist-strong IAASTD worldwide study that concluded that small scale, localised, ecological agriculture was an imperative we cannot afford to ignore any more. The post was titled The Food Crisis: “A Perfect Storm” – and How to Turn the Tide. If you missed it, do check it out, and if you’re already conversant in the multiple crises we’re dealing with, then simply jump to the ‘The Solutions’ section. Now, halfway through 2010, whilst I had my head down, working on a tool to help fast track the aforementioned solution — www.permacultureglobal.com — yet another study shares the same holistic, science-based vision. Read on.
The great need to stop burning out our soils, wasting precious water, and polluting both, is no longer open to dispute. A rapid transition to sustainable methods of agriculture simply needs to be implemented on a massive scale — and it needs to be done yesterday.
This is the great task of our age.
"Agroecology outperforms large-scale industrial farming for global food security," says UN expert. — The United Nations Office at Geneva
In the aforementioned article (first reported 22 June 2010), UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Professor Olivier De Schutter "makes an airtight case for a global policy shift toward agroecological production."Comments (1)
Food Shortages, GMOs, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor February 21, 2011
Vandana Shiva shares a lucid discussion on Monsanto’s inexplicable view of nature as the enemy of mankind, and their determination to sell us ‘liberation’ from it. Aside from being an impossible battle, it’s also a wholly misguided one, based on a self-interested, short-term-thinking profit mentality, rather than the much needed acceptance of, and cooperation with, biological realities we need to see instead.
Note: Watch with Firefox. As per comments below, some are having trouble viewing in Internet Explorer.
Compost, Fungi, Podcasts, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor January 28, 2011
I had the pleasure of meeting Doug Weatherbee at Geoff Lawton’s PDC course at Quail Springs in California in August 2008. With his coming from an IT background, it’s great, and interesting, to see his metamorphosis into an expert in all things soil.
Given that the soil beneath our feet is the source of all we eat, breathe, possess, and are, and given that it’s disappearing fast, it is imperative that we begin to protect and even restore it. Understanding a little better how it works is one giant step towards accomplishing this.
The content of Sustainable World Radio’s interview with Doug brings one face to face with the absurdity of a monocrop, industrialised, product-based agriculture, as he looks at the real secrets of a healthy soil — mega-diversity in soil life — and its potential to bring not only resiliency, but also gift us with a self-perpetuating system.
Click play to hear the talk!Interview with Doug Weatherbee: Life Within the Soil, Part I
Continue to Part IIComments (4)
Animal Forage, Food Plants - Annual, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure — by Milkwood Permaculture January 26, 2011
Pasture cropped oats growing in symbiosis with
native perennial pastures at Col Seis’s farm
Grain cropping is something that, for the vast majority of us, is someone else’s problem. We just eat the results; certainly every day, and nearly with every meal. Bread, rice, corn, soy, beans and so on. Produced somewhere out there, by someone else.
So a portion of our every single meal is coming from a grain crop, somewhere way out west. We wish it were grown organically, and in a way that doesn’t destroy too much of our topsoil. But we’ll eat it regardless of the farming practices, really. It’s in our diet. It’s what we do.Comments (7)
Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, People Systems, Population, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Kyle Chamberlain January 18, 2011
Those of us who live in the ‘developed world’ frequently see their higher needs compromised. But, unlike much of the world’s population, we rarely find ourselves destitute of our most basic requirements, like shelter, water, and food. Our housing may not be particularly secure, our water may not be too clean, and our food may be low on nutrition, but we have, at least, some semblance of the basics.
Our piecemeal life support system works well enough that many of us become fat. The tragedy of this system is not just the substandard services it provides, but also the extreme wastefulness and inefficiency.
Recalling that these basic services were once provided freely by the environment, it’s clear that they’ve become remarkably expensive today. Studies of some hunter/gatherer groups found that their members typically labored just three or four hours daily for their sustenance. Today, the nine hour work day is the norm, with an astonishing proportion of our incomes going to basics, like housing and food.Comments (7)