Greenpeace activists have taken non-violent direct action to stop Australia’s environment and food supply from being contaminated by genetically modified wheat. The GM wheat that has been released across Australia has not been proven safe. It hasn’t been tested for toxic and allergic effects. All evidence shows that GM wheat cannot be contained; it will contaminate our food supply and the environment.
The Australian Government has refused to protect Australians from harm caused by the release of unsafe genetically modified wheat. GM organisms are living organisms that can multiply and cross-breed. They pose a threat of irreversible damage to Australia’s environment and our food supply. Greenpeace has taken action to prevent contamination of our food supply and environment.
Why is Greenpeace opposing research – isn’t research necessary to test the impact of GM?
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is promoted as Australia’s pre-eminent public scientific research body. Although ostensibly ‘publicly funded’ CSIRO has, in reality, been encouraged to get 30% of its funding from business with the CSIRO top management encouraging its staff to go to 40%. As a point of comparison, only about 10% of the funding of Europe’s leading plant biotech institute, the John Innes Centre, is thought to come directly from industry although the JIC is considered highly industrially aligned.
According to John Stocker, CSIRO’s former chief executive,
Working with the transnationals makes a lot of sense, in the context of market access. There are very few Australian companies that have developed market access in the United States, in Europe and in Japan, the world’s major marketplaces. Yes, we do find that it is often the best strategy to get into bed with these companies. – Australian Broadcasting Commission, 1992.
Richard Hindmarsh in an article in the Journal of Australian Political Economy (No 44.),
Observation is a key element of permaculture design, and plants can help us to understand the landscape under our feet.
Indicator plants are plants that grow in such a density that their success in out-competing other plants can tell us a lot about the soil and microclimate they grow in. Several means can be used to link a plant with a bio-indication: primary ecological range, ecological niche, characteristics (physical , chemical, etc.).
Editor’s Note: When I got to the final sub-heading, ‘New Global Dustbowls’, I thought Engdahl (who I’ve come across before, and also ran a couple of articles in a previous editorial role) has started to understand the soil connection in all this as well, but unfortunately (in my opinion) he bottomed out by closing on solar flares…. Despite missing the peak energy component, and the biomass/CO2 relationship and implications of all this, many of the points he covers here are well worth going through and taking note of. In short, it’s a long but worthy read that well covers the mechanics that have been, and still are, shaping a rather disastrous future.
My late grandfather, a man of sturdy Norwegian-American farm stock, who later became a newspaper editor and political activist during the First World War, used to say, ‘A man can get used to pretty much anything with time, except dying…and even that with some practice.’ Well, as fate has it, it seems we, the vast majority of the human race, are about to test that adage in regard to the availability of our daily bread itself.
Food is one of those funny things it’s hard to live without. We all tend to take it for granted that our local supermarket will continue to offer whatever we wish, in abundance, at affordable prices or nearly so. Yet living without adequate food is the growing prospect facing hundreds of millions, if not billions, of us over the coming years.
The volume reviewed below comes highly recommended for all Permaculturists working in or around any water channels, and particularly on the broad-acre. While the methods happen to apply most immediately in drylands, they will apply directly anywhere that erosion, down-cutting, rapid gully formation, and other forms of channel incision occur. Keep in mind that these techniques will also apply in ephemeral channels that only carry water during rare rain storms, and are otherwise ‘dry.’
Importantly, even if you are working more within mesic environments and do not see a lot of actively incising channels, just the knowledge you will gain about stream dynamics and working with various stream powers and flood-regimes will be applicable and invaluable to your work. These factors, such as the ‘bankfull’ flood, and the specific inter-relations and ratios of multiple stream variables remain the same as basic physics of water flow no matter what the environment. These physics will dictate exactly where and where not to place any kind of built structure within an active water channel, and enable you to predict results of your efforts with much greater precision. How many of us doing this kind of work have lost stream structures to a “gully-washer”? The knowledge and approach in this book could have saved many a headache, cash outlay, and enabled construction of more durable, persistent, and ultimately useful work.
Our inefficient, carbon-based energy economy threatens to irreversibly disrupt the Earth’s climate. Averting dangerous climate change and the resultant crop-shrinking heat waves, more-destructive storms, accelerated sea level rise, and waves of climate refugees means cutting carbon emissions 80 percent by 2020.
The first key component of the Earth Policy Institute’s climate stabilization plan is to systematically raise the efficiency of the world energy economy. One of the quickest ways to increase efficiency, cut carbon emissions, and save money is simply to change light bulbs.
Some 19 percent of world electricity demand goes to lighting. The carbon emissions generated by this sector equal roughly 70 percent of those produced by the global automobile fleet.
Would you like to have food for your family now and into the future — food that is truly fresh and packed with flavour, and food that doesn’t cost the Earth? Would you like it to be grown in a way that not only doesn’t destroy soil, but builds it instead, so that people can be fed long after you’re gone? Would it be asking too much for this food to be grown in a way that cleans the air and the water as it passes through, and which contributes to climate restoration?
What you need is a food forest.
Once a rainforest, then cleared for timber and grazing land, a food forest now
grows around this old decaying stump from the original forest.
Bill Mollison calls himself a field biologist and itinerant teacher. But it would be more accurate to describe him as an instigator. When he published Permaculture One in 1978, he launched an international land-use movement many regard as subversive, even revolutionary.
Permaculture — from permanent and agriculture — is an integrated design philosophy that encompasses gardening, architecture, horticulture, ecology, even money management and community design. The basic approach is to create sustainable systems that provide for their own needs and recycle their waste.
Mollison developed permaculture after spending decades in the rainforests and deserts of Australia studying ecosystems. He observed that plants naturally group themselves in mutually beneficial communities. He used this idea to develop a different approach to agriculture and community design, one that seeks to place the right elements together so they sustain and support each other.
Have I just witnessed the beginning of the end of vertebrate ecology?
by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom
Last year I began to wonder, this year doubt is seeping away, to be replaced with a rising fear. Could they really have done it? Could the fishing industry have achieved the remarkable feat of destroying the last great stock?
Curious what goes on at the PRI Zaytuna Farm? If you live close to the farm, or are passing by, you're welcome to book yourself on a farm tour (Wednesdays at 10am only). Contact the farm manager and we'll see you soon.
We will take a minimum of 3 people at $35 p/p (groups of less than 3 adults are $50 p/p). Large groups please call to discuss pricing (at least 48 hours prior required).