Biological Cleaning, Conservation, Consumerism, Economics, Irrigation, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Society, Storm Water, Waste Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor September 25, 2012
This is a must-watch video for all who need water (the rest of you are excused). I actually covered a lot of the material in the video in my Water Worries post, which I put together several years ago (but being one of the earliest posts on this site, when we had a far smaller audience, it barely got read, as evidenced by the fact that it didn’t attract even a single comment). This is a critical topic, and I’m pleased to say that, as did my earlier article, this video doesn’t just point out the problems, but also has an holistic view of the situation, so it also directs one to what must, and must not, be done about it.Comments (7)
Biodiversity, Biofuels, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by La Via Campesina September 20, 2012
Editor’s Note: It is intensely infuriating when people in suits make wholly inaccurate, ignorant statements about incredibly important issues, and due to their position get it published in the mainstream media, where far too many people take it at face value. The rapid conversion of the world from small-scale, diverse ecological farming systems towards factory-floor agribusinesses is causing untold woes, and yet the ’solution’ to the multiple crises born of industrialised agriculture, we are told, is the further takeover by large corporate interests and even more industrialised agriculture…. I wholly endorse the reaction, found below, to this madness.
Common statement of La Via Campesina — GRAIN — Friends of the Earth International (FoE) — Coordinadora Latinoamericana de Organizaciones del Campo (CLOC) — Re:Common — World March of Women — ETC group — Latin American Articulation of Movements Toward ALBA
We are shocked and offended by an article co-signed by Jose Graziano da Silva, Director General of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), and Suma Chakrabarti, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), that was pusblished in the Wall Street Journal on September 6, 2012.(1) In the article, they call on governments and social organisations to embrace the private sector as the main engine for global food production.Comments (3)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Biodiversity, Deforestation, Economics, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Nuclear, People Systems, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Maddy Harland September 11, 2012
Originally published on www.permaculture.co.uk
Polly Higgins, Lawyer for the Earth, is the founder of the campaign to make Ecocide the 5th international Crime Against Peace. Here she gives the latest update on the Ecocide Campaign, and sends a personal message to all permaculture people.
Please support Polly and her team to close the door once and for all to Ecocide.
"Setting the Stage for a More Peaceful Planet" — What Does the Ecocide Campaign Attempt to Achieve?
"Our cycle of damage and destruction is spiralling onwards and upwards with increasing speed. This is Ecocide. The impacts are enormous and over a very short period of time we can see the consequences. Morally we know now that causing mass damage and destruction is wrong. This is why I am calling on the United Nations to make Ecocide an international crime." This is Polly Higgins, speaking about her wish to introduce Ecocide as the 5th international Crime Against Peace, in order to close the door once and for all to mass damage and destruction.
Remarkably, causing mass damage and destruction, whether it be through tar sands extraction, nuclear testing or logging, is not a crime. Named ‘one of the world’s most unreasonable people’, Polly has refused to accept this current situation, and speaks on platforms across the world; to UN Ambassadors, governments, lawyers and anyone who can help seed out her message.Comments (0)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Biodiversity, Deforestation, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Nuclear, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Polly Higgins September 8, 2012
Editor’s Note: We’ve covered a little of Polly Higgin’s important work before (see here and here). If you’re not already familiar with Polly’s work, I would strongly encourage you to check out the web pages and videos linked to below, as well as our aforementioned pieces. Permaculturists dream of whole earth restoration, but our efforts, whilst essential, are, if I may, largely piecemeal. The reason for this is that for every positive step someone makes, an industry or government does, or allows, something significantly more destructive to take place that more than overshadows it. We will never break out of this destructive cycle unless we make environmental destruction illegal, and hold the people responsible accountable. As you are able, please support Polly’s work. If you cannot donate, please at least do what you can to share and circulate this page.
I have something I would like to share with you. Today myself and my team have reached zero. The pot is now bare and our funding resources are in urgent need of replenishing. In the past year your donations of over £200,000 funded my and my team’s work; we planted some incredible seeds in the run up to the Rio Earth Summit. Out of that we have had some wonderful successes; in the past year alone we have held a mock Ecocide Trial in the UK Supreme Court, the University of London launched their Ecocide Project, I have travelled to countries and spoken on many platforms,I launched my second book Earth is our Business, I have been awarded Overall Champion by the PEA awards, I have started a training programme for others to learn how to become a Voice for the Earth and I have submitted a concept paper, Closing the door to dangerous industrial activity to all government’s around the world. All this has been done with the help of your money and without it none of this would have been at all possible.
Yesterday we held an emergency meeting; despite the enormous efforts of our fundraiser over the past few months we have been unable to raise more than a few thousand pounds. We are looking squarely at the future and we see enormous opportunity to take forward all that I have already achieved; just think how close we are to making this law a reality.
Everything we do is governed by permaculture ethics; people care, earth care and fair share. Ecocides occur when we take far more than our fair share, which affects both our people and our Earth. To ensure we live within our planetary limits, a law of Ecocide creates a legal framework that can ensure we all live in peaceful enjoyment.Comments (2)
Deforestation, Global Warming/Climate Change, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor September 3, 2012
For 15 years, in the 1980s and early 1990s, John worked as a television journalist in China for CBS News, Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI), and Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF German Television). Over the years he had to do virtually every job in remote television production and gained some skills that were in demand.
As John grew in his work he was also observing China as it emerged from isolation and poverty. It was exhilarating to see China stand up but terrifying to consider the pollution and environmental implications of its rise. John would go to his office and think, "someone should really do something about the environment", but what he meant was "someone else". After some time he began to feel that his own attitude was part of the problem. If John was unwilling to change his life, why would anyone else? At this point he decided to found the "Environmental Education Media Project for China (EEMPC)" and to devote his energies to understanding and communicating about the environment and ecology. Since the mid-1990s, the EEMPC has distributed hundreds of existing films in China and John have made dozens of environmental and ecological films in China and around the world.
Biodiversity, Comedy Break, Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor August 31, 2012
If we fail to change trajectory, then perhaps we should be re-engineering the root cause of our problem — ourselves?
It’s true that I’m well known for attacking the GMO industry, its industry financed scientists and their thus-incentivised reductionist ’science’. I’ve expressed many times that GMOs are a "solution looking for a problem". We know that GMOs are really only a bid to deal with symptoms of agricultural mismanagement, so they can perpetuate and capitalise on the temporarily highly profitable root cause (i.e. monocultures) of those symptoms. Without monocultures we would not need the many products that keep many an industry alive and many of us in employment (heavy machinery, oil, gasoline, pesticides, fertilisers, GMO seeds and the chemicals they require, etc.), but, with the present paradigm seemingly so entrenched, with our citizens and economic systems being painfully slow to change trajectory (with the industrial agriculture model still rapidly spreading its tentacles across the world’s landscapes), and it threatening our very survival as we begin to head deep into the peak oil era, I’ve had something of an epiphany….
Let me explain.Comments (15)
Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor August 25, 2012
Although recorded back in May, for International Permaculture Day (see here and here), I found out about the interview below only yesterday. In the interview, PRI PDC Teacher, Rhamis Kent, talks to renowned environmental filmmaker, John D. Liu, whose fantastic work we’ve featured on this site multiple times (here, here, here and here for example). John covers a lot of ground in the 90-minute discussion, sharing, amongst many other things, the great need for systemic socioeconomic and political change. John explains, as regular readers know I have myself many, many times before, how permaculturists can be a big part of the solution, but that unless the system itself changes, the ability to practice permaculture will remain a pipe dream for most.
The video is a little choppy in a few places, but still very watchable. It’s well worth taking the time to hear what John has to share from his very broad experience.
Australia’s Murray-Darling River Basin: Proposed Plan Another Brick in the Wall for Water Privatisation
Irrigation, Regional Water Cycle, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Ian Douglas August 21, 2012
Comments yesterday by the Federal Minister for water, Tony Burke, following criticism of the proposed Basin Plan by the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, provide long overdue acknowledgement that a significant proportion of Australians do not approve of current water reform.
The public is gradually coming to the realisation that, when given the responsibility of drafting the Basin Plan, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority was handed a chalice containing the most noxious of poisons – privatised water.Comments (0)
Consumerism, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Keveen Gabet August 16, 2012
It might sound very reductionist and over-simplistic but the matter of fact is that everything is connected! We are one. You, me, them and every little atom existing on this planet (and beyond). Permaculture has clearly understood this message and is materializing the theory!
Our output will eventually become our input. It’s been said for centuries: You reap what you sow… and the good news is that you can empower yourself to sow the good stuff. It’s a matter of conscious choice, and a little bit of effort!
This short video illustrates this universal law by showing us the life of a plastic bag, from the moment it leaves a store to the moment it comes back to you….Comments (0)
Biodiversity, Biofuels, Consumerism, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by George Monbiot August 15, 2012
The rich world is causing the famines it claims to be preventing.
by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom.
I don’t blame Mo Farah, Pele and Haile Gebrselassie, who lined up, all hugs and smiles, outside Downing Street for a photocall at the prime minister’s hunger summit(1). Perhaps they were unaware of the way in which they were being used to promote his corporate and paternalistic approach to overseas aid. Perhaps they were also unaware of the crime against humanity over which he presides. Perhaps Cameron himself is unaware of it.Comments (2)
Biodiversity, Biofuels, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Richard Widows August 8, 2012
We are in the early stages of a global food crisis, the likes of which has never previously been seen. Nearly 1 billion people (or 1 in 7) experience chronic hunger and another 1 billion are faced with serious nutritional deficiencies. Meanwhile, reports suggest that nearly 2 billion people are overweight. Combine these figures and you realise that approximately 4 billion people suffer from food related health issues — more than half of the world’s population. This statistic alone is evidence enough of the need for urgent discussion about our food system.Comments (1)
Deforestation, Global Warming/Climate Change, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Earth Policy Institute August 1, 2012
by Lester R. Brown , Earth Policy Institute
Protecting the 10 billion acres of remaining forests on earth and replanting many of those already lost are both essential for restoring the earth’s health. Since 2000, the earth’s forest cover has shrunk by 13 million acres each year, with annual losses of 32 million acres far exceeding the regrowth of 19 million acres. Restoring the earth’s tree and grass cover protects soil from erosion, reduces flooding, and sequesters carbon.
Global deforestation is concentrated in the developing world. Tropical deforestation in Asia is driven primarily by the fast-growing demand for timber and increasingly by the expansion of oil palm plantations for fuel. In Latin America, the fast-growing markets for soybeans and beef are together squeezing the Amazon. In Africa, the culprit is mostly fuelwood gathering and land clearing for agriculture.Comments (2)
Biodiversity, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by George Monbiot July 27, 2012
A new front opens up in the war against nature.
by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom.
I have long seen the Countryside Alliance as a neo-feudal organisation, run by the landowning class and resentful of the intrusions of democracy upon its traditional privileges.
The Alliance, whose board is populated by dukes, lords and baronesses, asserts the right of its members to kill what they want and how they want. When anyone objects, it characterises the objection as the oppression of rural people by urbanites. In reality, rural opinion on these and other matters is diverse and divided, while many of the most ardent killers (who spend a fortune on shooting grouse, stags and driven pheasants) make their money in the City and other parts of the urban economy. This is not a clash between rural and urban values, but a clash between aristocratic and democratic values.
Among its recent campaigns, the Countryside Alliance has supported the government’s proposal to persecute buzzards on behalf of pheasant shoots, defended people caught hunting illegally and lobbied (successfully) against the right to canoe and kayak in Welsh rivers. (So much for supporting the freedom to enjoy rural sports!). But for sheer pig-headed selfishness and wanton destruction, nothing beats the campaign to which it is now devoting much of its energy.Comments (0)
Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, GMOs, General, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor July 24, 2012
National Food Plan, Green Paper
The Australian federal government has issued a green paper on a National Food Plan for public consultation, which will include a series of public meetings in various places over the next several weeks, until September 30, 2012.
This is an excellent opportunity for permaculturists, localvores, agro-ecologists, etc., to get their message across and help ensure that it’s not just the big corporations who shape Australia’s food future (to their own disastrous ends).
Inset, at right, is the full Green Paper, and here is a summary. You’ll see that the focus is on dollars and exports, rather than sustainable peak-oil-generation resilience.
Please share this page, and encourage as many lucid souls as you can to get involved and breathe some sanity into Australia’s food future.Comments (6)
Consumerism, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Earth Policy Institute July 18, 2012
by Lester R. Brown , Earth Policy Institute
In their book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, American architect William McDonough and German chemist Michael Braungart conclude that waste and pollution are to be avoided entirely. “Pollution,” says McDonough, “is a symbol of design failure.”Comments (1)