Posted by & filed under Building, Energy Systems.

by Tim Barker, Koanga Institute

The first post on the rocket oven left many with more questions than they started with so this is a follow up to cover some aspects in more detail. It would probably help to re read the first article and my replies to comments as I’m just going to forge ahead with more detail on the design.

On my first design I was prepared, even expecting, to have to modify things to get it to work properly. One fundamental question I had was how small the rocket oven cross section could be and still do the job.

I consciously made the decision to start with the smallest cross section I thought would work which just happened to coincide with some square section of steel I had lying around. This was 90 mm square (3.5 inches). The plan was then to work my way up in size as needed. It’s a good idea and simplifies construction if you keep the cross section constant all the way through the rocket stove part of the design (feed tube, burn tunnel, heat riser) — this reduces turbulence and restrictions where you don’t want them.

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Posted by & filed under Global Warming/Climate Change, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

A fully referenced version of this report is posted on ISIS members website and is otherwise available for download here.

One hundred tons of an iron-rich dirt-like material was dumped into the ocean near Haida Gwaii, an island off the shores of British Columbia and Alaska, in an effort to enhance the growth of phytoplankton and improve fishery [1]. It was done without permits as part of a $2-million project, initiated by the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation in the hope of obtaining carbon credits, and has sparked considerable controversy.

Previous open ocean geoengineering experiments hoping to stimulate photosynthesis and carbon fixation have shown that iron additions stimulated growth of the toxigenic diatom genus Pseudonitzschia. The sparse oceanic Pseudonitzschia community at the high-nitrate, low-chlorophyll Ocean Station PAPA (50 degrees N, 145 degrees W) produced approximately 200 pg/L of the neurotoxic domoic acid (DA) in response to iron addition. This finding raised serious concern over the net benefit and sustainability of large-scale iron fertilizations [2].

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Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Global Warming/Climate Change, Nuclear.

Pondering whether this type of weather will be the new normal, and how we can prepare ourselves.

by Zaia Kendall

A freak storm, never before seen. After the end of the normal hurricane season, this ‘superstorm’ developed and severely affected the Caribbean and northern US, killing people and causing devastation everywhere. But are we really that surprised? Is nature trying to point out the error in our ways?

How can New Yorkers possibly think that they are innocent in creating this storm? How is it possible that we are so far removed from our environment, that we cannot comprehend that large cities, made from concrete, steel and glass (all highly reflective surfaces), create their own micro climate and subsequently affect the world around them? The amount of heat that is created in a city the size of New York must be astronomical. Start taking responsibility for your actions people – we are all guilty in creating this damage!

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Posted by & filed under Global Warming/Climate Change.

Why, even now, climate change cannot be mentioned in the presidential election.

by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom.

Hurricane Sandy could be the biggest storm to hit the US mainland.
Image: NOAA National Hurricane Center

Here’s a remarkable thing. Neither Mitt Romney nor Barack Obama – with the exception of one throwaway line each(1,2) – have mentioned climate change in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

They are struck dumb. During a Romney rally in Virginia on Thursday, a protester held up a banner and shouted “What about climate? That’s what caused this monster storm”(3). The candidate stood grinning and nodding as the crowd drowned out the heckler by chanting “USA!, USA!”. Romney paused, then resumed his speech as if nothing had happened. The poster the man held up? It said “End climate silence.”

While other Democrats expound the urgent need to act, the man they support will not take up the call. Barack Obama, responding to his endorsement by the mayor of New York, mentioned climate change last week as “a threat to our children’s future”(4). Otherwise, I have been able to find nothing; nor have the many people I have asked on Twitter. Something has gone horribly wrong.

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Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems.

One benefit of a single crop farm is that it isn’t hard to remember what it is that you are growing! Most of that single crop is sown at one point in time, grows at about the same rate and is then harvested at about the same time. 100% too easy, well apart from all of the very real problems created when growing a mono-culture….

Permaculturalists, on the other hand tend to grow poly-cultures which is simply growing a large number and variety of plants at the same time and location.

Poly-cultures in agriculture have a number of benefits including:

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Posted by & filed under Aquaculture, Building, Demonstration Sites, Energy Systems, Fish, Land, Retrofitting, Urban Projects, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting.

by Rene Michalak

The "MEGGA-watt" Project (Micro-Energy Generating Garage Assembly) is a demonstration / prototype to turn everyday detached garages from simple storage units (aka ‘car-holes’) into food-growing and energy-generating systems using permaculture design.

The basic concept is to partner a garage with an attached greenhouse and renewable energy to create sustainable 4-season growing systems with minimal fossil fuel input that serves both practical and recreational purposes.

Owners of a MEGGA can then customize how they want the system to function — what they want to grow and how they want to grow it.

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Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Village Development.

Clearing the entrance with the help of friends (April 2011)

La Cuccagna emerged in March last year, here in Italy, as one of some of the projects from our organisation, Montagna Viva. This organisation was founded as a catalyst to undertake projects to revive the countryside, in the form of doing — in common — something together, or using the term ‘commoning’, as it is described in the growing acknowledged theory of the commons and its communities.

Massimo and I decided to initiate a common garden project after realizing that we did not want to spend all our spare time in our kitchen garden, isolated from the community. Within a couple of weeks we got a group of like-minded people, and La Cuccagna was born. Even though we started with bare land, the name, standing for abundance, is inspiring enough to attempt capturing all the abundance of fruits, herb and vegetables that nature delivers us here in this tiny Italian village in the Apennines.

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Posted by & filed under GMOs, Health & Disease.

The latest findings of cancers and deaths from GM maize and Roundup herbicide are the result of the most in-depth long-term toxicology study ever done on GM food; we ignore them at our peril.

by Prof Peter Saunders and Dr Mae-Wan Ho

A fully referenced version of this report is posted on ISIS members website and is otherwise available for download here.

In the Vatican Museums in Rome stands a statue of Laocoön and his sons. Legend has it that Laocoön tried to warn his fellow citizens against taking in the wooden horse that the Greeks had left outside their gates. It was not a gift, but a ruse designed to allow Greek soldiers to enter the city. The Greek gods, who wanted to see Troy destroyed, sent sea serpents to kill Laocoön. This convinced the Trojans that the horse was indeed sacred; so they opened the gates and dragged it into the city. The result was the total destruction of Troy and its empire.

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Posted by & filed under GMOs, Health & Disease.

If you wish to donate directly to place this ad on more stations, you can go to this dedicated donation page. Please be generous (and swift!).

With only a few days left before the vote on November 6, there’s no time to lose. The latest California poll now puts Prop 37 ten points behind! Whether or not you’re in California, please donate generously — immediately.

And please sign up for the phone banking to call California voters to tell them the truth.

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Deforestation, Economics, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Editor’s preamble: Unfortunately, the kind of story told below is being played out on a daily basis, worldwide. Most of these stories never reach us. It needs to be understood, I believe, that the invisible hand of the market, if left without ethical guidance, does not care about anyone, much less about people who live and love close to the land — those people for whom ‘money’ means little, and for whom family, community and the sustainable use of local resources means all. These people have no ‘wealth’ as valued by plutocratic interests, with the exception of the natural resources they sit on, and thus have no representation, and yet they are the true guardians of our future, whilst holding invaluable knowledge gained over countless generations of the past. How much more biological, cultural, knowledge and skills diversity can we afford to lose?

by Larry Lohmann, The Corner House and Dinar Rani Setiawan, School of Democratic Economics

How far would you go to protect your forest?

Villagers from Pollo community in South Central Timor regency in Indonesia have set a remarkable example, weathering years of bureaucratic indifference, enduring violence from thugs and embarking on an odyssey across their country’s archipelago in search of support for their defence of local trees and land.

The story begins with a forest of the kind known in the local Celebic language as kio, used to provide wood and food for guests of the community. In times past, the kio was a source of deer, pigs, wild cows, firewood, rope and other goods, and boasted many large hardwood forest trees. Five clans prominent in the community (which in recent times has been subdivided into several administrative villages with different names) enjoyed common rights to the forest, including the Nabuasa, from which the community’s raja or chief always comes.

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