Posted by & filed under Building, Consumerism, Society.

by Øyvind Holmstad

This article is inspired by the Alexandrine pattern 134, Zen View. The pattern states: “The archetypal zen view occurs in a famous Japanese house, which gives this pattern its name.”

Let’s start with listening to the wisdom of A Pattern Language (Please note that the illustrations of the original text are missing):

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Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Compost, Deforestation, Energy Systems, Land, Plant Systems, Soil Biology, Soil Rehabilitation, Trees, Waste Systems & Recycling.

In the book Another Kind of Garden, the methods of Jean Pain are revealed. He spent his entire short-lived life studying brush land and forest protection, specifically fire prevention, alongside his wife Ida. These studies led to an enormous amount of practical knowledge for composting, heating water, as well as harvesting methane, all of which are by-products of maintaining a forest or brush land with fire prevention techniques. While this knowledge is applicable in many instances, it is worth remembering that the root of all of this knowledge lies in forest preservation. All of the activities described below are by-products of that process. The book goes into detail with the economics of such an operation. I will focus on the applications.

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Posted by & filed under Energy Systems.

by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute

The pace of solar energy development is accelerating as the installation of rooftop solar water heaters takes off. Unlike solar photovoltaic (PV) panels that convert solar radiation into electricity, these "solar thermal collectors" use the sun’s energy to heat water, space, or both.

China had an estimated 168 million square meters (1.8 billion square feet) of rooftop solar thermal collectors installed by the end of 2010 — nearly two thirds of the world total. This is equivalent to 118,000 thermal megawatts of capacity, enough to supply 112 million Chinese households with hot water. With some 5,000 Chinese companies manufacturing these devices, this relatively simple low-cost technology has leapfrogged into villages that do not yet have electricity. For as little as $200, villagers can install a rooftop solar collector and take their first hot shower. This technology is sweeping China like wildfire, already approaching market saturation in some communities. Beijing’s goal is to reach 300 million square meters of rooftop solar water heating capacity across the country by 2020, a goal it is likely to exceed.

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Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

by Tamara Griffiths, Ali Ma and Delvin Solkinson

Final Chapter: David Holmgren

Day 16

Walking into Melliodora was like entering a legend. Here was the landscape where inspiration has proved itself over time with principles and ethics core to a chosen life path.

David and Sue had lived here since 1985 and focused on their land and the Spring Creek Community Forest neighboring the property. Sue started the Hepburn Relocalization Network, a transition movement inspiring local change and helping land people at their home and in their communities. They grow most of their own food and part of their ethic is to feed all staff lunch – which is why the veggie garden has been recently modified. After a beautiful breakfast of congee, toast and preserved fruit we walk the short distance to the primary school where we are using the hall to have classes in.

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Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Economics, Society.

The corporate newspapers are the elite’s enforcers, misrepresenting the sources of oppression.

by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom.

Have we ever been so badly served by the press? We face multiple crises – economic, environmental, democratic – but most newspapers represent them neither clearly nor fairly. The industry which should reveal and expose instead tries to contain and baffle, to foil questions and shut down dissent.

The men who own the corporate press are fighting a class war, seeking, even now, to defend the 1% to which they belong against its challengers. But, because they control much of the conversation, we seldom see it in these terms. Our press reframes the major issues so effectively that it often recruits its readers to mobilise against their own interests.

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Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Conferences, Demonstration Sites, Education, Education Centres, Land, Presentations/Demonstrations, Society, Village Development.

Permaculture at U.S. Universities – UMass Amherst Case Study

Ryan Harb gave this 1-hour talk at the Tenth International Permaculture Convergence (IPC10) in the Wadi Rum desert in southern Jordan in September 2011. Here’s a little background to get you interested:

UMass Amherst transformed a 1/4 grass lawn on campus into a thriving, abundant, permaculture garden during the 2010-2011 academic year. Learn how this student-led project can be easily replicated and spread to other campuses, institutions.. any piece of land for that matter. UMass Amherst is one of the first university’s undertaking a project like this, directly on campus, and supplying the food to its dining commons.

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Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Peak Oil, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

First the good news: President Obama is standing firm on his decision to delay the Keystone XL pipeline, and he’s threatened to veto any attempt by Congress to move that timeline up.

Of course, that’s exactly what those legislators who are most bought by Big Oil are trying to do. They’re trying to attach legislation that would speed up the pipeline to laws that would give relief to hard working people in these tough times. They’re daring the President to veto the whole bill, and it’s up to us to stop them.

Why are they doing this?

They say it’s because of jobs.

But the reality is the only jobs study not funded by the oil industry shows that the pipeline is likely to create no jobs, and might even cost more jobs than it creates.

They say it’s because of energy security.

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Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites.

Murujan Permaculture Design is a newly formed Permaculture Design Consultancy based in Malaysia. We are happy to announce that we plan to host a Permaculture Design Course taught by Mustafa Fatih Bakir (see Mustafa’s WPN profile here) at the property of our first clients.

Roots of Murujan Permaculture

I was in Law School in the United States when my Land Use professor mentioned the fact that topsoil in the midwest, which had an average depth of twelve feet in the 1950s, was now only averaging a depth of six feet. While this seemed to be lost on most of my peers, I found this statement very alarming. I then began an intense research binge discovering everything from peak oil to water wars. Needless to say, I was looking for something like permaculture but I did not yet know what it was.

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Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Compost.

For all of you people with whales that you need to compost, you might gain some insights in how to go about it with this little video.

This is also a great story about respect for these amazing creatures, and how this community project in Alaska is giving visitors a greater appreciation for their grace and beauty.

Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Economics, Society.

Hey, here’s some good news to brighten your day. The Los Angeles Council has made L.A. the first U.S. city to officially vote for a constitutional amendment to overturn the 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling that effectively granted corporate entities the same rights as individual citizens. (The ruling allowed unlimited funding of media campaigns for and against politicians and presidential candidates — legalising profit-motivated media brainwashing by powerful industry interests.)

The L.A. Council’s vote is an excellent step towards taking the money out of politics.

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