A Great Corporate Cock-up

Take a ringside seat as a giant company beats the living daylights out of itself. by George Monbiot “Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?” The current answer to Alexander Pope’s question is the power company Électricité de France (EDF). It is suing 21 climate change activists for £5m as a result of their week-long occupation of its power station at West Burton in Nottinghamshire. In doing so it has […]

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SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods) Turns Problem into Solution With Composting Toilets (Haiti)

A few months ago I shared a three minute video from John D. Liu of the EEMP about the work of SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods) — an organisation that’s doing great work in Haiti to improve sanitation in a sustainable and affordable way, whilst simultaneously turning the problem (human waste) into a solution (improving agricultural production whilst reducing the incidence of diseases like cholera). John has just sent me […]

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Strawberry Fields Update: Flood Protection and Water Control in Ethiopia, Part II

We previously published a report on the development of our site’s flood control and defense infrastructure in October 2010. This is an update on that which goes on to describe some of our plans for developing that infrastructure more in the future. Just to recap on the basics of our situation: in times of rain, the run-off from the western part of Karat Konso Town (South Ethiopia) runs down the […]

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Recycling Animal and Human Dung is the Key to Sustainable Farming

© Kris De Decker, low-tech magazine (edited by Shameez Joubert) © Illustrations in red & black: Diego Marmolejo Flushing the water closet is handy, but it wreaks ecological havoc, deprives agricultural soils of essential nutrients and makes food production dependent on fossil fuels. For 4,000 years, human excrements and urine were considered extremely valuable trade products in China, Korea and Japan. Human dung was transported over specially designed canal networks […]

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Biogas Project at PRI Sunshine Coast

For some years now we have been looking at minimising our energy consumption, and at alternative forms of energy creation in order to produce the energy we need. As we have animal systems in place here at PRI Sunshine Coast, we have a fair bit of manure on the property. As well as animal manure, we also have waterless (composting) toilets, so humanure is another resource on our property waiting […]

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The Energy Game is Rigged: Fossil Fuel Subsidies Topped $620 Billion in 2011

by Emily E. Adams, Earth Policy Institute The energy game is rigged in favor of fossil fuels because we omit the environmental and health costs of burning coal, oil, and natural gas from their prices. Subsidies manipulate the game even further. According to conservative estimates from the Global Subsidies Initiative and the International Energy Agency (IEA), governments around the world spent more than $620 billion to subsidize fossil fuel energy […]

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Corporate Blowback

Companies like EDF, seeking to terrify protesters with lawsuits, are likely to become victims of their own aggression. by George Monbiot Image: Todd Wiseman Without public protest, democracy is dead. Every successful challenge to excessive power begins outside the political chamber. When protest stops, politics sclerotises: it becomes a conversation between different factions of the elite. But protest is of no democratic value unless it is effective. It must disturb […]

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Four Ways to Break Free and Start Designing

Photo© Craig Mackintosh In one of the first segments of the Permaculture Design Course DVDs with Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton, in addition to the massive amount of information, a few comments made by Mr. Lawton struck a chord with me. The nature of his comment, as I understood it, was that the PDC is intended to empower the course participants to go out and start designing at any and […]

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Fernglade Farm – Late Summer 2013 Update (Australia)

It’s nearing the end of summer here at Fernglade farm and what a summer it has been. Two inches of rain in over five months, and extreme heat for days on end, results in a most unpleasant experience. Still, despite it all, things are still growing and there is still food to eat. The kangaroos, wallabies and wombats are also still eating from the farm and they are here often […]

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Holistic Management Training in Lismore, Northern NSW, Australia, April 2013

VXESJJHEQ84A Terra Sancta Permaculture and InsideOutside Management are having another Holistic Management training session in Lismore, Northern NSW. We have just finished up on our first and I can say that it’s the best training I have undertaken. For those that missed out the first time, you’re in luck. Teaming Holistic Management with Permaculture has an exceptionally powerful effect on building soils and repairing large landscapes. But also, it’s an […]

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Before Permaculture: Keyline Planning and Cultivation

Freshly keyline plowed (Photo: Kirsten Bradley) Plan the work then work the plan. — P.A. Yeomans Intro In the mid 1950s, Australian engineer P.A. Yeomans demonstrated a new system of land management he called the Keyline system. The consensus of the time, championed by people like Dr H.H. Bennett, was that soil was a finite resource and that once depleted “it was irretrievably lost as if consumed by fire”. P.A. […]

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Oyster Mushroom Production: Prosperity and Problems for a Small NGO in Tanzania

The desire for sustainable projects for non-government organisations and the need of reliable sources of income for small scale farmers is ever increasing in Tanzania and the ‘developing world’. Within international development ‘sustainability’ is a buzz-word often bandied round, with many communities and organisations slowly helping to transform traditional top-down development models to investing in more grass-roots, long-term, locally applicable solutions. Small scale income-generating businesses such as mushroom production may […]

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