10 Ways to Prepare for a Post-Oil Society

The best way to feel hopeful for the future is to prepare for it. The best way to feel hopeful about our looming energy crisis is to get active now and prepare for living arrangements in a post-oil society. Out in the public arena, people frequently twang on me for being "Mister Gloom’n’doom," or for "not offering any solutions" to our looming energy crisis. So, for those of you who […]

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Genetic Fallacy: How Monsanto Silences Scientific Dissent (video)

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That a former Monsanto scientist should find himself in charge of a specially-created post at the very journal that published two landmark studies questioning the safety of that company’s products should surprise no one who is aware of the Monsanto revolving door. This door is responsible for literally dozens of Monsanto officials, lobbyists and consultants finding themselves in positions of authority in the government bodies that are supposedly there to […]

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Australia’s First Gasfield Free State?

Next weekend, the community of Boolarra, Victoria, Australia will declare itself coal and gasfield free. This will be the first town in the Latrobe Valley to do so. The Latrobe Valley has recently witnessed the worst impacts of uncontrolled coal mining, with the Hazelwood coal fire causing a severe health crisis for the residents of the adjoining town of Morwell. The town and the wider La Trobe community has mobilised […]

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Permaculture Around Latin America – Argentina

Previously on this series, I featured a video on the Permaculture Institute of El Salvador. Today, we move to the south of this beautiful continent for an exploration of bio-construction in the Argentine Patagonia. Take a look at this meditative video that features images from a bio-construction event that took place in the town of El Bolsón, Patagonia, in 2011.

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Open Source Beehives

We are all too familiar with the Colony Collapse Disorder afflicting our precious bees. So much needs to be done to educate the mass (and beekeepers) about what bees truly need. The Open Source Beehives project is another powerful initiative marrying traditional designs with high tech equipment to promote healthier beekeeping practices. They have designed two downloadable beehives that can easily be printed and carved on wood sheets. They are […]

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Call for Water, Not Gas (Australia)

Coal Seam Gas (‘fracking’) in the Pillaga Forest, NSW, Australia It was revealed last week that groundwater has been poisoned with uranium and heavy metals from Santos’s coal seam gas development in the Pilliga forest (Map). Just two days after the Environmental Protection Agency gave a paltry $1,500 fine for the contamination spill, the NSW Government signed a memorandum of understanding with Santos to fast-track approvals for a massive coal […]

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Does Comfrey Really Improve Soil?

All of us who have studied permaculture have heard some impressive claims about comfrey. It is a dynamic nutrient accumulator; it improves the soil; it is “a slow motion fountain” of nutrients, bringing them up from the subsoil to improve the topsoil. We’ve heard lots of anecdotal evidence, but where is the empirical data for these claims? Peter Harper’s article in The Land last summer, “Permaculture: the Big Rock Candy […]

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Thinking Like a Russian

Soviet soldier waving the Red Banner over the central plaza of Stalingrad in 1943 The rule is as old as human war and conflict: If you are to prevail, you must know the mind of your adversary. Chess masters know this. Winning football coaches know this. Victorious generals know this. Successful diplomats know this. If they did not – if they all ignored this fundamental rule – they simply could […]

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The Biogas Disaster

How the perverse consequences of a great idea are destroying the natural world. In principle it’s a brilliant solution. Instead of leaving food waste and sewage and animal manure to decay in the open air, releasing methane which contributes to global warming, you can contain it, use micro-organisms to digest it, and capture the gas. Biogas from anaerobic digestion could solve several problems at once. As well as a couple […]

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Building the Chicken Tractor on Steroids

Building the Chicken Tractor on Steroids

"Who can weld?" Geoff asks. Keen to impress, my hand goes up. “I will see you at the shed after dinner tonight then”, a twinkle of excitement in his eye. This is the story of the chicken tractor on steroids from concept to birth. The story goes that after Geoff’s visit to go see Karl Hammer at Vermont Compost, he couldn’t stop thinking about the outstanding quality of the compost, […]

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Solar Water Bottle Bulbs

Alfredo Moser with his solar water bottle bulbs Introduction Thomas Alva Edison lit up the world with his electric bulb in the nineteenth century. In this century it is the solar bottle bulbs of Alfredo Moser which are illuminating thousands of houses of under-privileged people in many countries. This simple invention of the Brazilian mechanic is going viral and is been implemented in remote villages throughout the world. This article […]

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Creating the Alternative: Inside Look into the SolTrekker

by Mo Lohre and Will Redwine Sorry for the hiatus, but would you believe we came across a few bumps in the road? Just like with any worthwhile quest, unexpected challenges emerged. Now that we’ve had some time to address them, we are excited to share our struggles as well as our findings. When we began the Creating the Alternative Tour we were determined to design a regenerative lifestyle while […]

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