Dredged Up

Never mind the evidence, we’ll do something eye-catching. by George Monbiot For a moment that rarest of beasts, common sense, poked a nose out of its burrow and sniffed the air. Assailed by angry farmers demanding dredging in the Somerset levels, the environment secretary, Owen Paterson broke with protocol and said something sensible. Dredging is often not the best long term or economic solution and increased dredging of rivers on […]

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On the Other Side of Collapse: Notes from the Island of Cyprus

Sofia and crew with their recently built greenhouse This is an interview with my cousin, Sofia Matsi. Sofia is a health campaigner, artist, permaculture designer and sustainability activist. She lives in Nicosia, Cyprus. Last year, Sofia witnessed first hand the near complete collapse of the island’s economy — an event which culminated in a highly controversial bailout plan that included an unprecedented confiscation of up to 10 percent of customer […]

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Young Greeks Create Self-reliant Island Society (video)

On the slopes of Mount Telaithrion on the island of Evia, a group of young Greeks have left the busy city and created a self-reliant rural community. Their goal is to eat only the organic produce they grow themselves, to free themselves from the national electricity grid, and to exchange what they grow or make instead of using money. The project, whose ultimate goal is to create a school for […]

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2013: The Year Bike Sharing Came of Age (USA)

Once dismissed as a hippy-dippy dream, bike sharing is now reality in New York, Chicago and other cities. by Jay Walljasper, On the Commons Five million rides were taken on New York’s new bike share system in the first five months of service. (Photo courtesy of People for Bikes) 2013 is the year when the sharing economy — the recent rediscovery of the economic advantages of mutual cooperation—came to public […]

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A Global Exploration of Economic Possibilities

Highlights from the Berlin conference that attracted 200 commoners from 30 countries. Click to download (665kb PDF) The Heinrich Boll Foundation just released a detailed, educational, and inspiring report [PDF inset] summarizing the international conference it hosted in Berlin, Germany May 22-24, 2013. Two hundred commoners from around the globe converged at the Economics and the Commons Conference (ECC) to explore the commons as an alternative worldview to market-fundamentalism, to […]

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How To Transition To a Permaculture Lifestyle

My message to Permaculturists: Known or unbeknownst to you — you are an exceptionally valuable and powerful human being. You are armed with the knowledge and information to bring you and the people around you into a place of abundance and harmony. You are powerful, and if you choose to be, are a pillar in your community for guidance and leadership. Know that through your knowledge of natural systems and […]

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Zed Eco-homes (India)

Every so often an individual is given exposure to another individual so wildly dynamic that it confuses, entertains, but most of all, inspires. This is how I would describe meeting Dr. Hariharan Chandreshekar, CEO of Biodiversity Conservation India Limited (BCIL), the company that designs and manufactures some of the most renowned eco-homes on the planet.

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Politically Correct Science for the Masses

Real democracy does not just mean the right to vote. People must also have access to the information they need to make an informed choice; that’s why scientists must be free to tell the truth and express their views accordingly on scientific issues. by Prof Peter Saunders Shaping science to politics When US scientists produced a report warning that the current level of greenhouse gas emissions would almost certainly lead […]

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An Insider’s Story of the Global Attack on Climate Science

by Jim Salinger Stormy weather hits New Zealand’s capital, Wellington. Flickr.com/wiifm69 (Sean Hamlin) A recent headline – Failed doubters trust leaves taxpayers six-figure loss – marked the end of a four-year epic saga of secretly-funded climate denial, harassment of scientists and tying-up of valuable government resources in New Zealand. It’s likely to be a familiar story to my scientist colleagues in Australia, the UK, USA and elsewhere around the world. […]

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The Perfect Permaculture Fish Pond

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Geoff’s 800 square meter pond is shaped like a soup plate with a perfectly flat 2m deep bottom, ideal for growing out fish of all types.

This particular pond was allowed to mature and develop. Consequently it was overgrown with weeds and grass. To clean out the system, Geoff decided to drain the pond partially so he can use cows to graze right down to the water’s edge. He then moves them off a few days later, when the task is complete. A lot of people have read about soil compaction caused by over-grazing by cattle and sheep, turning the soft soil into a hard concrete pan and resulting in soil erosion and land degradation. People balk at using animals near a water system these days. But here, Geoff uses the cows and horses to quickly blitz the water’s edge before moving them away.

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Tunneling into School

What? Why would anyone want to tunnel back into school? Well, I have no idea, but in the past six years have I have been investigating how to build living tunnels in school grounds and gardens and have learned a thing or two about willow tunneling.

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Phosphorous Starvation Threatens the World

A fully referenced version of this paper is posted on ISIS members website and is otherwise available for download here. The world is running short of phosphate ore for chemical fertilizers; recovering phosphate from waste and reducing phosphate use in phosphate rich countries can alleviate the shortage and simultaneously prevent environmental pollution. by Prof Joe Cummins Phosphorus a limiting nutrient Earth seems to be growing sicker every year along with […]

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