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Consumerism, Economics, Financial Management — by George Monbiot March 11, 2009
by George Monbiot – journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist
Pay drivers to scrap their cars? We might as well burn ten-pound notes in power stations.
The magic numbers spin before our eyes. No one can grasp the scale of the hand-outs, or understand how public money which didn’t exist – could never exist – for hospitals or schools or public toilets begins to flow as soon as the bankers fall to their knees. We are punch drunk, reeling, uniquely vulnerable – because none of it makes sense any more – to new demands from every species of scrounger.
So prepare yourselves, ladies and gentlemen, for the worst scam of all. It’s another reward for failure, but this one offers no prospect of rescuing the economy. Thanks to its cunning disguise as an environmental measure, we seem willing to be conned. I want to show you why we should resist it.Comments (2)
DVDs/Books — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor March 10, 2009
Outdoor Classrooms, A Handbook for School Gardens
We’re slowly growing valuable resources in our new online store. The latest addition, added today, is a fantastic new book – Outdoor Classrooms, A Handbook for School Gardens – from well-known Permaculturists and primary school teachers: Carolyn Nuttall and Janet Millington. Arming the next generation with a practical, sustainable skillset is more than expedient, and this book will help teachers and parents do just that.
Here’s an editorial blurb on the book:Comments (6)
Urban Projects — by Ezanee Cooper March 9, 2009
Project Thoreau – December 2008 Update
I have further broken my mantra of not using chemical pesticides when I relented and started using snail baits in an effort to protect my pumpkin plants, which are finally starting to produce some pumpkins. To this point beer traps, oat bran and even more vigorous tidying of the garden have been less than successful in minimising the impact of slugs and snail. However I decided that I can accept the use of pellets given that the remainder of the garden is more or less adhering to organic and permaculture principles, and that the financial outlay was minimal. My compost bin is also recovering from its spraying for fruit fly, and worms are returning en masse once more to speed up the decomposition process. Overall I seem to have averted a fruit fly disaster, without having to revert to any serious control measures. Thanks to Boston for his simple and practical suggestion for controlling them. It will definitely be something I will put into practice if the need ever arises in the future. Also, if anyone else has any sure fire organic methods for controlling snails and slugs, I’d love to hear about them.
Click for more…
Animal Forage, Animal Housing, Bird Life, Breeds, Food Plants - Annual, Plant Systems, Working Animals — by Bill Mollison March 7, 2009
PIJ #58, Mar – May 1996
Aigamo ducks in rice paddy
Mr. Takao Furuno’s modest business card reveals that he is a farmer in a world where “one duck creates boundless treasure”.
He farms rice very successfully in Japan and is a private aid volunteer, working in Vietnam when I met him. He had a message for all rice farmers, perhaps all wet paddy farmers, and gave me his book (all in Japanese) on the duck-rice paddy design he has perfected. Luckily I also have a condensed translation.Comments (12)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Consumerism, Economics, Society — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor March 1, 2009
Some of you will have watched ‘Zeitgeist – the Movie‘. I don’t know about you, but I thought it was complete rubbish. I must confess I only watched about a third of it, as right from the beginning I started fact-checking as I went and found it full of holes.
Because of this I was reluctant to view the follow-up – Zeitgeist Addendum. But, in a moment of recklessness, I did, and was pleasantly surprised. It’s long, but well worth a look. Readers who enjoyed Money as Debt, and The Crash Course, will appreciate, in particular, the first half of this new production, as it delves deep into the money system that is shaping our societies and framing our unsustainable way of life. Productions like these are well worth sharing, as they’re helping more and more people to see the need for systemic change – not only at the grass roots level, but also in the entrenched, but failing, economic and political systems that are bringing us to the extreme edge of a viable humanity.
In the latter part of the documentary, the producer Peter Joseph tries to find solutions to the problems well outlined earlier on, but unfortunately however, in my view, he falls well short in this area. But, you guys are all grown ups, so will leave you to come to your own conclusions. Let us know your thoughts:
Drag the slider to 1:55 if you want to skip the long ‘arty’ introComments (18)
Comedy Break, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Society — by Marc Roberts February 28, 2009
Click for full view. Courtesy: Throbgoblins
The media don’t take this stuff seriously. It’s not good for business and it’s simply not sexy – so no matter that we’re pumping it out faster than ever or that we’re going to be left holding frazzled stalks of nowt come harvest time – we’ll wait untill we’re staring down the barrel before we think about dodging the bullet. We’ll sell more ads that way.Comments (0)
Animals — by Justin Harrison February 27, 2009
PIJ #58, Mar – May 1996
Let’s have a closer look at what is possibly the world’s most maligned creature. St Patrick achieved immortality by ridding Ireland of all snakes. Well, I’m afraid I’m not that good, but here are a few tips that may help you avoid a nasty run in with our scaly friends.Comments (2)
Courses/Workshops — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor February 26, 2009
Just in case you missed it, we’ve now added yet another Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course to the schedule for 2009. This one runs from June 27 through to July 11.Comments (1)
Aid Projects, Compost, Conservation, Courses/Workshops, Dams, Developments, Earth Banks, Gabions, Land, News, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Swales, Trees, Water Harvesting — by Geoff Lawton February 24, 2009
Editor’s Note: Iran has been making headlines in the media a great deal over the last few years. Here’s a side to the story you don’t normally get to hear, as experienced by our own Geoff Lawton.
We are applying Permaculture techniques to restore the landscape
in the hottest place on the planet
In December 2008 it was our great pleasure and honour to be invited to Iran to work for the Forest Rangeland Watershed Management Organisation, originally formed in 1928 (see Word doc on their work here). We were working with different departments of the organisation, like the Sand Dune Fixation Department that was formed in 1958 for the Bureau of Desert Affairs. All of this falls under the central government’s main organisation of Jihad Agriculture Ministry. We were invited to teach a 10-day Permaculture course focusing mainly on desert rehabilitation.Comments (10)
Eco-Villages, People Systems, Society — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor February 22, 2009
Here’s an island prison that’s about as distant in principle from Alcatraz as is it in location. Bastoey Island, about 45 miles south of Oslo, hosts some of Norway’s worst offenders in what is effectively an eco-village working holiday camp. Instead of the traditional barred cells, prisoners, including murderers, rapists, drug dealers and thieves, live in separate, unlocked houses on the island. Although only one and a half miles from the mainland, prisoners are reluctant to escape, lest they get returned to the typical maximum security unit and lose the privilege of serving their time where they’re learning valuable skills, as well as gaining respect for themselves, each other, and the environment.
The island prison uses solar panels, is almost self-sufficient with food from its own organic garden, and operates a strict recycling system. This is an interesting experiment in eco-therapy — where reconnecting offenders with nature may well also help develop a noble sense of purpose, that in turn helps them reconnect with society.Comments (2)
Animal Forage, Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Trees — by PIJ February 20, 2009
PIJ #48, Sep – Nov 1993
The graceful tamarind tree (Tamarindus indica) is believed to have originated in Africa and is now cultivated in many parts of the tropical world. Although in the legume family, it does not fix nitrogen; however, its many attractive qualities make it a splendid addition to the large permaculture garden. It is one of the most useful of tropical trees – for shelter, shade, food firebreaks, fuel wood, forage, fodder, bee food and mulch. Leaves, flowers and immature pods are eaten as vegetables, while these items plus the bark and roots have medicinal properties.
Also of high ornamental value, this semi-evergreen dome-shaped tree has graceful weeping branches that almost touch the ground. It can grow to 25m in height and 7.5 m trunk circumference on rich deep soils and live for hundreds of years. The leaves, which form the dense ferny foliage, are 7.5 – 15 cm long with leaflets in 10 – 12 pairs. The flowers which are yellow striped with red are held in a raceme.Comments (25)
Field Research Article: Case No. 02192009
Location: Jordan Valley Permaculture Project
Subject: Using Drip Irrigation On Mulched Trees
Checking drippers that are buried under mulch on over 100 trees creates feelings in oneself that are not appropriate to express on such an esteemed scientific venue.Comments (11)
DVDs/Books, Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Trees — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor
These DVDs have been selling briskly – it’s great to think of the potential impact they’ll be making far and wide.
Order your copy here.Comments (4)
Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Society, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor
Imagine a United States President that was aware – aware of Peak Oil (and all that this means for our ability to feed ourselves), aware of Peak Soil, aware of Peak Water, aware of the health implications of industrial agriculture, a system that locks us into a cycle of stupidity and is doomed to fail us in every way. Imagine a President that realised that we’re facing an economic and environmental crisis without precedent, where consumer demands will soon become far simpler than they have been – where the desire for cheap electronics and holidays is already giving way to the more pressing need to put affordable food on the table. Such a President might be tempted to set an example to his nation (and, indeed, the world) with the land at his disposal, might he not?
During WWII, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt planted a large Victory Garden on the White House lawn, inspiring millions of Americans by her example. If ever there was a time to inspire citizens with the potential of their lawns to solve a great many problems – now is that time!
Click here to sign the petition to urge the Obamas to ‘Eat the View’.Comments (3)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Bio-regional Organisations, Economics, People Systems, Society — by Marcin Gerwin February 19, 2009
Photo: Korean Resource Center
Political and economic systems can be designed just like gardens. We can design them in such a way that they will allow simple, harmonious living with nature, without much bureaucracy. It is not written in stone that there must even be taxes. Taxes are very practical, but, for example, Native Americans managed to do just fine without them for hundreds of years. And they did create a country, the Iroquois Confederacy can be considered as one. I’m not suggesting we get rid of taxation, my point is only that it’s not an obligatory feature of a design. Many people see governments with ministers and presidents as the only way of ruling a country, even in democratic systems. It may seem that since all countries are now ruled by some form of government – parliamentary, presidential or monarchal – it must have always been like that. Well, it wasn’t.Comments (4)