Following up on PRI USA’s First PDC on Molokai

by Jill Ross, Co-host/Lunch Lady Yes, it’s official! April 11th, on the beautiful island of Molokai, the Permaculture Research Institute USA completed its first Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course. With the enthusiasm of a student himself, instructor Andrew Jones passed out certificates to 13 budding permaculturists. PDC students, instructor and convenors

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Project Thoreau – March-May 2009 Updates

Editor’s Note: Ezanee keeps us posted on his latest efforts with ‘Project Thoreau‘. We invite other project leaders to do likewise! March/April 2009 Update Apart from one major clean out in early March, work on the garden was pretty sporadic. I’m really only doing enough to keep the garden "presentable". It has also been a period of encouragement and discouragement all at the same time.

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The Peasants Are Revolting

What are governments to do when an economic crisis hits, causing an already disproportionate number of poverty-stricken people to massively enlarge their ranks – to the point where they take to the streets to protest over their lack of basic necessities? Well, they repress and kill them of course. For a brief period yesterday, this article appeared on the main page of the BBC. It’s gone today, replaced with more […]

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The Story of Stuff

Did you know that the average house size in the United States is double what it was in the 1970s? I wonder if it isn’t partly because we need space for all of our stuff? Did you know that in the U.S. national happiness peaked sometime in the1950s, even though we consume twice as much as we did fifty years ago? All of our stuff doesn’t seem to have helped […]

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Why ‘Increased Energy Efficiency’ Won’t Save Us

There’s a lot of talk in political circles on how technology and ‘increased efficiency’ will save us from our socioeconomic and ecological woes. The U.S., for example, is finally getting a little more serious about vehicle fuel efficiency standards, and we’re sharpening our pencils in many other areas as well. Saving energy is course a good thing – indeed, it should be seen as an imperative moral duty. I mean, […]

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World Geothermal Power Generation Nearing Eruption

by Jonathan G. Dorn, Earth Policy Institute With fossil fuel prices escalating and countries searching for ways to reduce oil dependence and greenhouse gas emissions, capturing the earth’s heat for power generation is garnering new attention. First begun in Larderello, Italy, in 1904, electricity generation using geothermal energy is now taking place in 24 countries, 5 of which use it to produce 15 percent or more of their total electricity. […]

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Permaculture Samoa

by Tamlyn Magee (Tamlyn is living and working in Samoa on a Permaculture education and demonstration project with local NGO, METI) Ualesi and Tavita are satisfied to be using waste as a resource – building the first earth-tyre construction in Samoa Coconut trees are possibly the first thing you think of when you hear the words tropical island. Right? Well, there are good reasons for that. The coconut, along with […]

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Permaculture Miracles in the Austrian Mountains

Photo credit: Keith Johnson I’d like to introduce you to Sepp Holzer, a man who not only produces food in a very unlikely location, at a high and frigid altitude in Austria, but is also growing very unlikely crops there as well — and all without the use of chemicals, and with minimal input of human labour. I guess you could call him a European counterpart of people like Bill […]

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Doctors Warn: Avoid Genetically Modified Food

Immediate Moratorium on All Genetically Modified Foods Recommended By Jeffrey M. Smith, executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, and author of the highly acclaimed Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette. On May 19th, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) called on “Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM (genetically modified) foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods […]

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Jean Pain Composting – All the Energy You Need, From the Garden

by Benjamin Falloon, TaranakiFarm.com My partner Nina Grundner and I have just finished translating a 15 minute german video documentary short on the frenchman Jean Pain. For those unfamiliar with his work, I’ll quote wikipedia verbatim…. Jean Pain (1930 – 1981) was a French innovator who developed a compost based bioenergy system that produced 100% of his energy needs. He heated water to 60 degrees celsius at a rate of […]

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You Never Know How You Might Contribute

Aipipas Elementary School, Papua New Guinea I took the very first ‘Permaculture Aid Worker’s Training Course’ at the Permaculture Research Institute in November, 2008 with Geoff & Nadia Lawton, and Rosemary Morrow. During the course, I was unsure of my abilities to contribute to an overseas aid project. Even though I had been studying permaculture since 2006, taken two PDCs and interned at the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute most […]

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On the Rebound

Researchers suggest that our self indulgence might cancel out our cleverness, as we consume more of what we save in a “rebound effect“. Which is, apparently, a variant of the Jevons Paradox (thanks to Marc Hudson). What price water and food when there’s no water and food. Elsewhere, Russia reserves the right to wage its own wars for oil; the planet becomes increasingly unbalanced; marine wildernesses go the way of […]

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