Powering Down – Will We?

Most underestimate the implications… Through our Hollywood-tinted glasses we’re accustomed to happy endings. The instinctive “it won’t happen to me” mentality is alive and well, but, whilst perhaps preserving the comfortable status quo (if not our sanity), it does little to promote objectivity. In a world threatened by global warming, potential constructive accomplishments are thus too often hampered and bogged down in the realm of discourse and debate. In plain English – […]

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Exodus

Click for larger view Courtesy: Throbgoblins Whilst the newly elected president of the Maldives brings up the massive issue of the resettlement of whole nations due to sea level rise, the UK panics over a more imaginary inundation, and limits non-EU immigration to ballet dancers and sheep-shearers. The Dutch, meanwhile, – in their great tradition of physical nation building – plan to build a hydro electric island in the north […]

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Cross the Line – an Interview with Sustainable World Radio

Geoff and Nadia demonstrating a miniature dam, swale and overflow system at Quail Springs When we were at Quail Springs recently, Sustainable World Radio came up to see us and to talk to Geoff and Nadia about their Permaculture work. You can listen to the clip in its entirety here. Geoff and Nadia talk about how and why they first got interested in Permaculture, and share inspiring thoughts on why […]

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Design for the Human Life Cycle

by Permaculture designer, Robyn Francis (see also). Photo: Craig Mackintosh It seems to be a common failing in a society that is so peer-oriented, that people rarely seem to design and plan for the changing needs of the full human life cycle. It is easy to relate to the here and now, and the needs of our immediate, short-term future. As permaculture designers we need to consciously develop our awareness […]

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What is ‘Zone Zero’?

llustration by Cecilia Macaulay Zone planning in permaculture design means placing elements according to how often we need to visit them. Areas that need to be visited every day (e.g. the glasshouse, chicken pen, herb garden) are located nearby, while places visited less frequently (grazing area, orchard, woodlot) are located further away. In Bill Mollison’s book ‘Introduction to Permaculture’, zone zero is defined as being the centre of activity in […]

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Letters from Vietnam: The Hmong People – Reclaiming Lost Skills

The Future of the Hmong People Photos: Paid for by and Copyrighted to the PRI It took a few moments for my eyes to adapt to the light. There was a single, clear incandescent bulb hanging just millimetres above my head – hanging from somewhere high in the blackness of the ceiling, from a cable so weathered it looked more like a vine than an electrical cord. But it wasn’t […]

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New Beginnings?

Click for larger view Courtesy: Throbgoblins I don’t blame old Cantankerous Frank here (at right) for getting all excited. Everyone likes to hope – and there’s nothing like a perceived new beginning to get people all agitated in a positive way, ready to pick up the ‘ol load again, and trudge forward, excitedly, into a golden new age. For myself, half of my relief over the election was just as […]

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The Flaw of Western Economies

by Marcin Gerwin, Sopot, Poland. Marcin graduated with a Ph.D. in political studies, from the University of Gdansk, Poland, with his thesis: “The idea and practice of sustainable development in the context of global challenges”. Cob House Photo, Gerry Thomasen Let’s imagine a green and responsible consumer. Let’s call him George. George lives in a sleepy town, near the center and the park where he often goes for a walk […]

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Permaculture Pooch

Alanna Moore is the author of ‘Backyard Poultry – Naturally‘ – where you can read more about Vikki and poultry care, including a permaculture approach to keeping them. You don’t often hear about the positives of dog ownership, in a permaculture sense. My Jack Russell terrier Vikki is a permaculture farm dog, who works for her keep – a real ‘WOOFer’. Not only does she provide a 24 hour fox […]

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The Flawed Economics of Nuclear Power

by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute, Washington D.C., U.S.A. Click for full view Courtesy: Throbgoblins Over the last few years the nuclear industry has used concerns about climate change to argue for a nuclear revival. Although industry representatives may have convinced some political leaders that this is a good idea, there is little evidence of private capital investing in nuclear plants in competitive electricity markets. The reason is simple: […]

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Escaping the Matrix – Lifestyles Without Limits

How many of you remember having to share the bath water with your siblings? A few baby boomers may get nostalgic here, but younger ones will laugh, or shreak “eewww!”. For us in the North, long gone are the days of little Johnny going in last, the days of gathering wood and doing your best to make it last the winter, the days of cold mornings and dimly lit rooms. […]

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