Shrinking Forests: The Many Costs

by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute In early December 2004, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo “ordered the military and police to crack down on illegal logging, after flash floods and landslides, triggered by rampant deforestation, killed nearly 340 people,” according to news reports. Fifteen years earlier, in 1989, the government of Thailand announced a nationwide ban on tree cutting following severe flooding and the heavy loss of life in […]

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Choice and Prosperity

Click for full view Courtesy: Throbgoblins It’s a conundrum, isn’t it? Development and climate change. Such a dilemma – convoluted and labyrinthine, loaded and provocative. Whilst India pushes for escape from endemic poverty by pursuing a Nano for everyone, its islands start to disappear, as do its neighbours. The result of success will be failure. Hmm. Tricky. Plenty of arguments to be had there. Good job we’re all totally focused […]

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The Future of Oil Prices

As Matt Simmons points out: oil is not just another commodity. For industrial societies oil is as basic as food and water. That’s why the price of oil cannot go up very high after the production of oil peaks. Economic logic suggests that if demand is high and supply is low then prices will skyrocket. However, there are goods for which the prices cannot be set by the interplay of […]

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Homegrown Revolution

Most of you will be familiar with the fantastic work of the Dervaes family, with their little ‘urban homestead’ in California. They are truly blazing a ‘path to freedom’ that we can all aspire to and follow – producing enormous quantities of food in a sustainable way on a handkerchief-sized plot of land just metres from a Los Angeles freeway. The family recently put together a short DVD for a […]

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Chia: Crop Potential and Uses

Editor’s Note: Today we get some practical tips from Isabell Shipard, a lady whose work I featured recently. You’ll hear from Isabell from time to time – helping us get to know a little more about the herbs and other plants whose attributes, uses and benefits are often unknown or ignored. For a lot more info like this, consider purchasing one of Isabell’s really excellent books – you can find […]

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Food Forests Across America Campaign Hits the Airwaves

Food Forests Across America: it’s more than just a wonderful concept – it’s a campaign. If you missed our recent post on this, do check it out. Eric’s latest news is that tomorrow – Monday April 6th at 8pm Pacific Standard Time – the campaign will hit the airwaves by way of a one and a half hour call-in talkback show on Visionary Culture Radio with Laura Fox. Special guests […]

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Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton Team Up for Melbourne PDC Again!

For full details on this excellent opportunity to take your Permaculture Design Certificate course under the combined tutelage of legendary Permaculture teachers, Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton, please click on the links below (all PDF files): Brochure Costs Accommodation Options Registration Form This information can also be found in our course listing.

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PRI Training Centre Development Plans Approved

Zaytuna Farm Good news people! We’ve just received local council approval on our development plans, which means we can move forward with our intention to improve the facilities and increase the capacity of our Permaculture training facility at PRI headquarters at Zaytuna Farm, close to The Channon village, in Northern NSW, Australia. Up until now, accommodation for courses has been camping only, and facilities have been somewhat rudimentary. Once this […]

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Harvesting Urban Drool

Harvesting Urban Drool

© Brad Lancaster, www.HarvestingRainwater.com Urban drool running down concreted channel Tujunga Wash, Los Angeles, California. Photo credit: Brad Lancaster All around the world I see water wastefully flowing down and out of urban street curbs and concreted storm drains even though it has not rained in months. It is not stormwater I see flowing. It is urban drool. Others call it “nuisance runoff” – water from leaky pipes, driveway car […]

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The End of an Era: Closing the Door on Building New Coal-fired Power Plants in America

by Jonathan G. Dorn, Earth Policy Institute Community opposition, legal challenges, and financial uncertainty over future carbon costs are prompting companies to rethink their plans for coal. Since the beginning of 2007, 95 proposed coal-fired power plants have been cancelled or postponed in the United States–59 in 2007, 24 in 2008, and at least 12 in the first three months of 2009. This covers nearly half of the 200 or […]

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Capping C02 Emissions Will Steal “Plant Food”

The nonsense that sometimes gets bandied about on climate change often leaves me gobsmacked – but when it comes from politicians it just plain leaves me fearing for the future. Watch these snippets from the March 25, 2009 hearing of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment to see what I mean: Rep. John Shimkus: Capping C02 emissions will steal “plant food” I’m not old enough to personally verify […]

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