Biodiversity, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 31, 2012
This new documentary, with perfect timing for the upcoming Proposition 37 vote on November 6, is a heartbreaking look at the impact GMOs have had in India, where many thousands of peasant farmers have been pushed to the brink, and beyond, due to crop failures and spiraling costs for seed and the chemicals they demand.
For your interest, there are currently efforts to put a 10-year ban on GMO field trials across India. A court appointed expert panel has advised India’s supreme court that such a ban should be implemented. At time of writing, the next hearing for this case will be November 9, 2012. A 1.5mb PDF submission to the supreme court by the expert panel can be downloaded here.Comments (0)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Community Projects, Consumerism, Eco-Villages, Food Shortages, People Systems, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development, peak oil — by Anthea Hudson October 23, 2012
Our local areas and community are likely to play a much bigger role in our future resilience, so it makes sense to begin to include active community participation in our children’s lives. Children often enjoy having a sense of being an important part of something that matters and even young children can develop a feeling of ‘ownership’ in their particular part of a project. When children feel vitally involved they will take much more of an interest and be open to taking on board new ideas and skills that will be invaluable to them in the future.
There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child. Community is a really great educational vehicle — after all, it’s the way young people learned their life skills in past times. We can once again make it a part of the way we prepare our children for times to come.
Below are some ideas for ways children can begin to get involved with developing greater community spirit in their neighbourhood.Comments (5)
Biofuels, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Population, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Earth Policy Institute October 19, 2012
More than 150 data sets accompany Lester R. Brown’s latest book, Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity. These tables and graphs help to explain the precarious situation in which humanity finds itself, as the world leaves an era of food surpluses and enters one of food scarcity. Here are some highlights from the collection.
Food Prices Rising
Between 2007 and mid-2008, world grain and soybean prices more than doubled. Record food price inflation led to food-related riots and unrest in some 60 countries. Prices eased somewhat due to the Great Recession, but even then remained well above historical levels. In late 2010 into early 2011, prices spiked again to a new record high, helping fuel the Arab Spring. As farmers struggle to keep up with soaring demand for grain and soybeans, this ratcheting upward of food prices ensures that many of the 219,000 new guests at the global dinner table each night are facing empty plates.
Biodiversity, Deforestation, Food Forests, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Plant Systems, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Albert Bates
A.Eisenstaedt, Oklahoma Farmer 1942, Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Forest gardening is about as close as any strategy comes to addressing all of the most pressing needs of humans in one great sweep. Climate change, peak oil, poverty, extinction, and civil strife– all are rooted in the ground, and in most cases, those roots belong to trees.Comments (1)
Biofuels, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Soil Erosion & Contamination — by George Monbiot October 16, 2012
Could scientists have got the impacts of climate change on food supply wildly wrong?
by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom.
I believe we might have made a mistake: a mistake whose consequences, if I am right, would be hard to overstate. I think the forecasts for world food production could be entirely wrong.Comments (5)
Compost, Conservation, Consumerism, Demonstration Sites, Economics, Food Forests, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Society, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Trees, Urban Projects, Village Development, Water Harvesting, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 4, 2012
The yard in winter, before work begins…
A great many people today are living in fear. The future looks uncertain, but bleak. Many cannot see a future at all. The post-WWII baby boomer generation, with their short-lived cheap energy era, have been largely calling the shots, shaping the world we have today. After the miseries of two world wars, they set a course for excess. They and their descendants have been spending profligately, borrowing resources and finances from their children and grandchildren — and the deficit has increased so rapidly that the present generation is already having to foot the bill. We’ve been living the dream, and living in a dream — seeking to live lifestyles without limits — and now it’s time to pay the piper, as it were. We’re discovering that we were the children and grandchildren that society was borrowing from.
Biodiversity, Biofuels, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Population, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 3, 2012
From May 30 — June 1, 2012, the 10th ASPO (Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas) meeting took place. This year it was held in Vienna, Austria. I haven’t had time to check out all of these presentations yet, but want to ensure you’re all aware they’re available to watch as you have time. Not having watched them all, I put the videos below up in no particular order, except for a little influence from intuition perhaps. If you’re not familiar with the Peak Oil topic (is there anyone left in this camp?), you might want to read some previous posts I’ve done on the topic: here, here, here and here for example.
Nate Hagens – Navigating through a Room full of Elephants
Biodiversity, Biofuels, Consumerism, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Population, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Earth Policy Institute
Editor’s Note: Some permies may wish to download the slideshow files at bottom to use, or modify to use, for "It’s time to wake up" type presentations in your local schools and community halls, etc.
Food is the new oil. Land is the new gold.Comments (0)
Radical Simplicity and the Middle-Class – Exploring the Lifestyle Implications of a ‘Great Disruption’
Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, Society, peak oil — by Samuel Alexander September 28, 2012
by Dr Samuel Alexander, co-director of the Simplicity Institute and a lecturer with the Office for Environmental Programs, University of Melbourne.
One of many ‘Hoovervilles’ during the Great Depression
How would the ordinary middle-class consumer – I should say middle-class citizen – deal with a lifestyle of radical simplicity? By radical simplicity I essentially mean a very low but biophysically sufficient material standard of living, a form of life that will be described in more detail below. In this essay I want to suggest that radical simplicity would not be as bad as it might first seem, provided we were ready for it and wisely negotiated its arrival, both as individuals and as communities. Indeed, I am tempted to suggest that radical simplicity is exactly what consumer cultures need to shake themselves awake from their comfortable slumber; that radical simplicity would be in our own, immediate, self-interests. In this essay, however, I will only defend the more modest thesis that radical simplicity simply would not be that bad. Establishing that thesis should be challenging enough.Comments (10)
Biofuels, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Earth Policy Institute September 27, 2012
Editor’s Note: It’s a pity this article is devoid of real holistic solutions, but I put it up as the data is important to know and appreciate.
by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute
“The U.S. Great Drought of 2012 has raised corn prices to the highest level in history. The world price of food, which has already doubled over the last decade, is slated to climb higher, ushering in a new wave of food unrest,” says Lester R. Brown, author of Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity (W.W. Norton & Company).
“This year’s corn crop shortfall will accelerate the transition from the era of abundance and surpluses to an era of chronic scarcity,” notes Brown, President of the Earth Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based environmental research organization. “As food prices climb, the worldwide competition for control of land and water resources is intensifying.
“In this new world, access to food is replacing access to oil as an overriding concern of governments. Food is the new oil, land is the new gold. Welcome to the new geopolitics of food.”Comments (0)
Biodiversity, Food Shortages, GMOs — by GM Watch September 26, 2012
The evidence favors ecological approaches
New Delhi, September 24 2012: World renowned scientists, addressing a media briefing here, asserted that India’s lack of food and nutrition security is not just a technological problem. However, the solution will require both social and technological changes, they said. The scientists recommended a holistic paradigm emphasizing ecological farming, supported by conventional breeding to make optimum use of local knowledge and natural resources.Comments (0)
Some time back, in the 1960s, someone had the brilliant idea to introduce Nile Perch into Lake Victoria. The voracious predator soon went to work eating everything, until there was not much left in the entire lake but Nile Perch and crocodiles.
But there’s always an upside to these things, isn’t there? According to Wikipedia, "The fish’s introduction to Lake Victoria, while ecologically negative, has stimulated the establishment of large fishing companies there. In 2003, Nile perch earned 169 million euro in sales to the EU. Another income is the sport fishing tourism in the region of Uganda and Tanzania which aim to catch this fish." Funny how ecological negatives can be so economically positive, eh?
This booming multinational industry of fish and weapons has created an ungodly globalized alliance on the shores of the world’s biggest tropical lake: an army of local fishermen, World Bank agents, homeless children, African ministers, EU-commissioners, Tanzanian prostitutes and Russian pilots. — DarwinsNightmare.com
Biodiversity, Biofuels, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by La Via Campesina September 20, 2012
Editor’s Note: It is intensely infuriating when people in suits make wholly inaccurate, ignorant statements about incredibly important issues, and due to their position get it published in the mainstream media, where far too many people take it at face value. The rapid conversion of the world from small-scale, diverse ecological farming systems towards factory-floor agribusinesses is causing untold woes, and yet the ’solution’ to the multiple crises born of industrialised agriculture, we are told, is the further takeover by large corporate interests and even more industrialised agriculture…. I wholly endorse the reaction, found below, to this madness.
Common statement of La Via Campesina — GRAIN — Friends of the Earth International (FoE) — Coordinadora Latinoamericana de Organizaciones del Campo (CLOC) — Re:Common — World March of Women — ETC group — Latin American Articulation of Movements Toward ALBA
We are shocked and offended by an article co-signed by Jose Graziano da Silva, Director General of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), and Suma Chakrabarti, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), that was pusblished in the Wall Street Journal on September 6, 2012.(1) In the article, they call on governments and social organisations to embrace the private sector as the main engine for global food production.Comments (3)
Courses/Workshops, Food Shortages, Presentations/Demonstrations — by Jon Foote September 19, 2012
The issue of food resilience has been discussed often in permaculture circles. We talk about the need for not just sustainable but regenerative agriculture, cultures that are permanent and communities that work together to achieve some form of network that can sustain life through a food crisis or major event.
Christchurch, New Zealand, among other global locations, has had one of those events. It is through the rebuilding of these communities that we have seen some big shifts in people coming together and standing strong in unity. When Lyttleton near Christchurch was cut off due to the earthquake, one of the realisations was that food shortage and availability was a major issue. Out of that, among other projects, is the focus on creating a food resilient harbour basin.
Part of that project is long time New Zealand Permaculture educator, Robina McCurdy from the charitable trust, Earthcare Education Aotearoa.Comments (0)
Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change — by Earth Policy Institute September 17, 2012
by Janet Larson, Earth Policy Institute
September estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) show 2012 U.S. corn yields at 123 bushels per acre, down by a fourth from the 2009 high of 165 bushels per acre. Yields are the lowest since 1995 and well below the average of the last 30 years. The summer heat and drought also hit U.S. soybean yields, which are down 20 percent from their 2009 peak.
High temperatures have combined with the worst drought in half a century to wreak havoc on American farms and ranches. Some 80 percent of U.S. farm and pasture land experienced drought. The average temperature across the contiguous United States from January through August 2012 was far higher than in any past year, a full 4 degrees Fahrenheit above the twentieth century average, according to the National Climatic Data Center. The summer of 2012 was the third hottest on record. Only the summers of 2011 and 1936—the latter during the Dust Bowl—were warmer.Comments (3)