Posted by & filed under Comedy Break, Society.

I wanted to send some sort of holiday greeting to our friends and readers, but it is difficult in today’s world to know exactly what to say without offending someone. So I met with my lawyer yesterday, and on advice I wish to say the following:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non addictive, gender neutral celebration of the summer solstice holiday practiced with the most enjoyable traditions of religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice with respect for the religious / secular persuasions and / or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all….

I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2012, but not without due respect for the calendar of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make our country great (not to imply that Australia is necessarily greater than any other country) and without regard to the culture, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee….

By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms:

This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her / him or others and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. The wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, People Systems, Society, Village Development.

I just want to express my gratitude to all our readers and supporters who have contributed in various ways over the last year. What a year it has been! We’ve seen the launch of the Worldwide Permaculture Network, with your support — which now enables us to see who is doing what, and where, and even how they’re doing it. We saw the Tenth International Permaculture Conference & Convergence (IPC10) come and go, and by all accounts it was a great success. And most importantly, we’ve done our darndest to help permaculture individuals and projects in some of the world’s neediest places. We even restarted the PDC Teacher registry, so students can have choice in the quality of instruction and to protect the integrity/reputation of permaculture as we move forward into the next few challenging years.

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Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Development & Property Trusts, Eco-Villages, People Systems, Village Development.

To confidently face the many challenges that the future holds for us, we need new models for living lightly on Earth and for building resilience into our communities.

We can’t expect that we can merely change our intentions and the existing economic, physical and social structures will magically serve our new intentions with ‘green’ add-ons.

Design follows intention.

We are challenged to dream new dreams and to have the courage to manifest those dreams; crafting them in the spirit with which they were dreamed. This is the challenge of our time. “We are the ones we have been waiting for”.

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Posted by & filed under GMOs, Health & Disease.

by Dr. Mercola

Dr. Don Huber is an expert in an area of science that relates to the toxicity of genetically engineered (GE) foods. (Alternative terms for GE foods include genetically modified (GM), or "GMO" for genetically modified organism.) His specific areas of training include soil-borne diseases, microbial ecology, and host-parasite relationships. Dr. Huber also taught plant pathology, soil microbiology, and micro-ecological interactions as they relate to plant disease as a staff Professor at Purdue University for 35 years.

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Posted by & filed under People Systems, Society, Village Development.

by Harry Byrne Wykman

In 1899, Peter Kropotkin, anarchist geographer, detailed a vision of ‘the factory amidst the fields’ in which the ‘two sister arts of agriculture and industry’ are joined to meet the needs of all and to give each worker an opportunity for ‘brain work and manual work’. Never have more supportive material conditions prevailed for the realisation of Kropotkin’s vision. The advent of ‘personal fabrication’, presently most fully realised in the fab lab (fabrication lab), provides “widespread access to [the] modern means for invention” which have historically been limited to large capital.

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

Rightwing libertarians have turned “freedom” into an excuse for greed and exploitation.

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

Freedom: who could object? Yet this word is now used to justify a thousand forms of exploitation. Throughout the rightwing press and blogosphere, among thinktanks and governments, the word excuses every assault on the lives of the poor, every form of inequality and intrusion to which the 1% subject us. How did libertarianism, once a noble impulse, become synonymous with injustice?

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Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change.

Why is it so easy to save the banks, but so hard to save the biosphere?

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

They bailed out the banks in days. But even deciding to bail out the planet is taking decades.

Lord Stern estimated that capping climate change would cost around 1% of global GDP, while sitting back and letting it hit us would cost between 5 and 20%. One per cent of GDP is, at the moment, $630bn. By March 2009, Bloomberg has revealed, the US Federal Reserve had committed $7.77 trillion to the banks. That is just one government’s contribution: yet it amounts to 12 times the annual global climate change bill. Add the bailouts in other countries, and it rises by several more multiples.

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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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