Category: Soil Erosion & Contamination

Composting Toilets Made From Wheelie Bins

I just read a post on composting toilets here on the PRI site and remembered that I never posted about the composting toilets I made last year (for various projects) based on a similar principles, but a distinct design. Below I offer a few words of introduction and then post photos of the building process with instructions. As part of various projects that I’ve helped organise over the last six […]

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Global Inequality and Its Ills

Inequality is bad for most people not just the poor, bad for business and political stability; and it can be cured. by Prof Peter Saunders Two recent books deal with inequality and some of the myths surrounding it (see ISIS reviews, SiS 63). In Capital in the Twenty-first Century [1], the French economist Thomas Piketty argues that the natural tendency of capitalism is to generate ever increasing inequality. We, lay […]

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Scientific Research Condemns Neonicotinoid Pesticides: What More Will It Take?

Photo © Craig Mackintosh Last week, newly-published research (1) in the Nature journal links a type of pesticide whose use has been restricted in the EU to the decline of bird population in the Netherlands. The study, which focussed on a particular type of neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, found that where the chemical was present in a “high concentration” — more than 20 nanograms (ng) per litre of surface water — it […]

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Another Silent Spring?

Neonicotinoids appear to have devastating effects across the natural world: we need a global moratorium. Here’s our choice. We wait and see whether a class of powerful pesticides, made by Bayer and Syngenta, is indeed pushing entire ecosystems to oblivion, or we suspend their use while proper trials are conducted. The natural world versus two chemical companies: how hard can this be? Papers published over the past few weeks suggest […]

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Washing Dirty Coal with Our Precious Water? (NSW, Australia)

Shocking new research commissioned by Lock the Gate, based on a painstaking analysis of water licences, shows that coal miners in the Hunter Valley hold entitlements to a massive 143 billion litres of water. The research reveals for the first time that the miners own 55% of all ‘high security’ water shares from the Hunter River, which means that in times of drought, the coal mines will get preferential access […]

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British Journal of Nutrition Analysis of 343 Peer-Reviewed Publications Proves Superiority of Organic Foods

Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses. Abstract: Demand for organic foods is partially driven by consumer perceptions that they are more nutritious. However, scientific opinion is divided on whether there are significant nutritional differences between organic and non-organic foods, and two recent reviews concluded that there are no differences. Here we report results of […]

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Revisiting Masanobu Fukuoka’s Revolutionary Agriculture

I believe that a revolution can begin from this one strand of straw. Seen at a glance, this rice straw may appear light and insignificant. Hardly anyone would believe that it could start a revolution. But I have come to realize the weight and power of this straw. For me, this revolution is very real. — Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution (1) Under the guidance of Patrap C. Aggarwhal, the […]

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The Hidden Horror of CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder)

At PermaEthos we are working hard to get our first flagship farm profitable and already thinking about the next few farms. We are working to teach Permaculture to as many people as we can and spread as much knowledge as we can as fast as we can. One reason we are doing this is the true environmental catastrophes that are modern agriculture and modern home “lawn care”. These two activities […]

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Australia Coal Mining – We Had A Win But Still More Support Is Needed

At the eleventh hour, even as the coal miner’s dozers clawed and smashed their way through our precious local forest, we won an amazing reprieve. We went to the Land and Environment Court seeking an urgent stay of execution for Leard State Forest – a place that has been the backdrop of my life, from my childhood right through to today. And we won!

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Contamination Matters – Why GM Crops Can’t Be Managed at a National Level

by GM Freeze The European Union is considering a hugely significant change to the way genetically modified (GM) crops are authorised. Proposals for “national opt-outs” appear to allow individual countries to make their own decisions about whether or not to grow GM, but past experience shows that the risk of cross-border contamination is likely to make a nonsense of national bans.

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GM Crops: Farmer to Farmer (video)

Michael Hart, a conventional livestock family farmer, has been farming in Cornwall for nearly thirty years and has actively campaigned on behalf of family farmers for over fifteen years, travelling extensively in Europe, India, Canada and the USA. In this short documentary he investigates the reality of farming genetically modified crops in the USA ten years after their introduction. He travels across the US interviewing farmers and other specialists about […]

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Focus Environmental Advocacy in Priority Order – Soil is the Most Important

There is no greater environmental problem than the loss of our soils. In honor of the recent release of Kristin’s Ohlson’s book, The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies Are Healing the Soil to Save the Planet, this is an excellent opportunity to raise the level of advocacy for soil above all other issues. With man doing so many things to negatively impact the planet, it’s a […]

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