Posted by & filed under Consumerism, GMOs, Health & Disease, Society.

Editor’s Note: Last week I posted We Don’t Want to Know, sharing the rather glum news that Californians had, somewhat inexplicably, voted against their own interests — deciding they didn’t actually care to have the right to know what they were eating. By all appearances, Proposition 37 was won by the corporates. However, since then we’ve learned that there may be more to this than meets the eye. Jon Rappoport, a 74-year old Californian who has been an investigative journalist for the last 30 years, also felt the results were rather inexplicable, and decided to take a closer look. Read on to find out why I think Californians might not be as daft as we were, last week, led to believe…. I also hope Californians will jump up and down about this issue — as they should be hopping mad…. At time of writing this, the Yes to 37 campaign is only half a million votes behind, and it appears there are at least 3.3 million votes still uncounted…. In short, we have hope yet — but we need to watch this very closely, and do what we can to ensure all votes are properly counted!

Did Prop 37 Really Lose or Was it Vote Fraud? (November 8, 2012)

On election night, not long after the polls closed in California, the announcement came out: Prop 37 was losing. A little while later, it was all over. 37 had gone down to defeat.

But is that the whole story? No.

As of 2:30PM today, Thursday, November 8th, two days after the election, many votes in California remain uncounted.

I tried to find out how many.

It turns out that the Secretary of State of CA, responsible for elections in the state, doesn’t know.

I was told all counties in California have been asked, not ordered, to report in with those figures. It’s voluntary.

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Posted by & filed under Dams, DVDs/Books, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Irrigation, Land, Peak Oil, Plant Systems, Soil Rehabilitation, Swales, Trees, Water Harvesting.

At time of writing, our Zaytuna Farm Video Tour video has had almost 11,000 views, after only six months. A lot of people expressed their appreciation for this video, with some describing it as a "free DVD". Where we can, we want to provide more inspirational/instructional material for free, and today I’m writing to let you know about our latest effort towards fulfilling this goal.

Click here to go to an introductory video titled ‘How to Survive the Coming Crises‘. This is a FREE 34-minute video that looks at:

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Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, Hong Kong

When the Ant stings the elephant — impressions, preparation and thinking in Hong Kong as it prepares for the 1st bioregional convergence.

To offer permaculture, or to run a convergence here in Hong Kong, is really an act of sheer defiance and audacity. Hong Kong sits almost central to the world’s greatest consumption and finance centres. Think of the neighbours: Tokyo, Singapore, Taipei, Beijing. And, concomitantly, some of the biggest problems are here too. Flying in from the southern hemisphere and one and one half hours from Hong Kong you hit the cloud of pollution — similar to the island of plastic in the sea. It comes from Chinese factories fuelled by Australian coal, and, world consumers of oil products.

Consumption is a way of life. Cars, consumption and air-conditioners control human lives. It is extraordinary to see human adaptability within a few generations from farming and fishing to living in 80 storey buildings framed with concrete.

Against this background of glitter, waste, business and busy-ness, the team at Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Gardens (KFBG) has taken the initiative to offer this first bioregional convergence. Compared with other meetings and conferences occurring in Hong Kong, this is minute. And yet the team are determined to use the occasion to offer the best information, maximum networking, and highest level of support to the participants. What a spirit!

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Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Deforestation, Global Warming/Climate Change, Plant Systems, Population, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Trees.

I love the nice progression of logic in this presentation. Running the numbers like this shows not only how powerful a carbon sink our earth’s soils can be, under the right management, but also just how futile and what a goose-chasing diversion most contemporary technological ‘fixes’ for climate change really are.

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Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Biofuels, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, GMOs, Health & Disease, Nuclear, Peak Oil, Population, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

We are now well into a global crisis that may mark the end of this cycle of human civilization. In this note I present a summary of what’s going on as far as I can tell, as well as a scenario for how things might develop over the next 75 years or so.

The issue is enormous, so an overview like this is inevitably going to be skimpy on details. This is, after all, not an academic journal. However, like every other fact in the known universe, those details are just a Google away…

Because the global predicament manifests itself in some way in virtually every area of human endeavour, any useful approach to it must be massively cross-disciplinary. Fruitful areas for investigation include:

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Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Swales, Trees, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

by Neal Spackman

This week the project started planting the swales with 1000 very hardy desert trees. The team is working in shifts of laying drip line, digging holes, manuring and mulching swales, putting in compost, planting, mulching again, and then adjusting the drip emitter.

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Posted by & filed under Land.

Continuing from a previous, introductory, post.

I started out with the strategy of walking the paddock closest to the house. I took a spade and camera and walked along the boundaries and across the centre. Digging and looking at the soil, taking photographs, looking at the trees and the pasture, the slope, where was wet and not wet, erosion, fences and so forth…. A lovely late afternoon in the outdoors!

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Posted by & filed under General.

by Dan French

Photo © Craig Mackintosh

Like the title suggests, I’m going to write a few articles about my journey to becoming a professional permaculture designer… if you don’t mind? I’m doing this for a few reasons: to help me articulate and formalize what it is I’m doing; to tell others who might be interested in doing the same about my ups and downs; to gain exposure and fast track my development as a designer; and perhaps, on some sadistic level, to just put a bit more pressure on myself. Let me explain to you why.

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Posted by & filed under Energy Systems.

by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute

In the race to transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy and avoid runaway climate change, wind has opened a wide lead on both solar and geothermal energy. Solar panels, with a capacity totaling 70,000 megawatts, and geothermal power plants, with a capacity of some 11,000 megawatts, are generating electricity around the world. The total capacity for the world’s wind farms, now generating power in about 80 countries, is near 240,000 megawatts. China and the United States are in the lead.

Over the past decade, world wind electric generating capacity grew at nearly 30 percent per year, its increase driven by its many attractive features and by public policies supporting its expansion. Wind is abundant, carbon-free and nondepletable. It uses no water, no fuel, and little land. Wind is also locally available, scales up easily, and can be brought online quickly. No other energy source can match this combination of features.

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Posted by & filed under Energy Systems.

by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute

The great energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy is under way. As fossil fuel prices rise, as oil insecurity deepens, and as concerns about pollution and climate instability cast a shadow over the future of coal, a new world energy economy is emerging. The old energy economy, fueled by oil, coal, and natural gas, is being replaced with an economy powered by wind, solar, and geothermal energy. The Earth’s renewable energy resources are vast and available to be tapped through visionary initiatives. Our civilization needs to embrace renewable energy on a scale and at a pace we’ve never seen before.

We inherited our current fossil fuel based world energy economy from another era. The 19th century was the century of coal, and oil took the lead during the 20th century. Today, global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2)—the principal climate-altering greenhouse gas—come largely from burning coal, oil, and natural gas. Coal, mainly used for electricity generation, accounts for 44 percent of global fossil-fuel CO2 emissions. Oil, used primarily for transportation, accounts for 36 percent. Natural gas, used for electricity and heating, accounts for the remaining 20 percent. It is time to design a carbon- and pollution-free energy economy for the 21st century.

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