Clearing Up This Mess

John Maynard Keynes had the answer to the crisis we’re now facing; but it was blocked and then forgotten. by George Monbiot – journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist Delegations at Bretton Woods Poor old Lord Keynes. The world’s press has spent the past week blackening his name. Not intentionally: most of the dunderheads reporting the G20 summit which took place over the weekend really do believe that […]

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Desert Ways

Mongongo Tree Whether it is an issue of conserving water of using suitable plant species, thriving in a desert environment is a masterful act of management. Permaculture co-founder Bill Mollison has spent time in many of the world’s arid regions and here shares his observations on surviving in some of them. Building Abundance into Sandy Deserts Why should we garden, when there are so many mongongo trees in the world? […]

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Dead Man’s Chest

Click for larger view Courtesy: Throbgoblins “War-torn” is such a compact description, isn’t it. It leaves out the economics and the politics and the machinations of great powers, and concentrates on the trauma in the here and now, as though it had sprung fully formed upon an innocent world. So we watch the seizing of an oil tanker by desperate men from a failed state – whose climate and conditions […]

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Design with Energy in Mind

Permaculture designer, Robyn Francis (see also) looks at a variety of design strategies for using energy responsibly and sustainably. The practical ‘down-to-earth’ farmer, gardener and layperson will often find the theories surrounding ecology and energy very heavy going, if not downright confusing. What I would like to do is offer some practical perspectives on how we can use resources responsibly. Energy, in a holistic sense, involves much more than electricity […]

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Staring at the Future from the Top of the Slippery Slide

The IEA World Energy Outlook reports get more accurate every year – by 2030 it’ll be spot on. Disclaimer: As the title should indicate, don’t read this post if you’re of a delicate disposition. The International Energy Agency has just released the latest incarnation of its annual ‘World Energy Outlook‘ report – the 2008 edition. Please stand for a moment of mock-reverence. Thank you. Please be seated. For those not […]

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The ‘Dangerous Threshold’ – a Destination, or a Milestone?

I’ve often expressed my concern (here & here for example) that scientists, and, in particular, the politicians that have the greatest power to incentivise change in the world, have been rather arbitrary in settling on a politically correct (read – economically barely palatable) target of reining in the world’s emissions just shy of 450 parts per million (ppm: that’s 450 parts of CO2 for every million parts of atmosphere). 450 […]

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The Food Crisis: “A Perfect Storm” – and How to Turn the Tide

A recently released study, the largest of its kind, examines the root causes of, and solutions for, a food crisis that will likely get much worse before it gets better — and that will never get better if we continue with business as usual I’m hungry. No, not because I don’t have enough food to eat, but because I’m too busy typing and too lazy to walk to the refrigerator. […]

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Chemical Based Farming Systems Robbing Us of Nutrients

Full Report (5mb PDF) Executive Summary (PDF) 2-Page Consumer Summary (PDF) Press Release (PDF) Nutrient levels in food supply eroded by pursuit of high yields When we sit down to a meal of supermarket-bought produce, we like to think we’re getting a reasonable cross-section of the body’s nutrient requirements, but studies are showing that our chemical intensive monocrop farming systems are not delivering the vital ‘secondary nutrients’ that our ancestors […]

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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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