This visualization shows how global temperatures have risen from 1950 through the end of 2013.
Image Credit: NASA/GSFC, GISS
NASA scientists say 2013 tied with 2009 and 2006 for the seventh warmest year since 1880, continuing a long-term trend of rising global temperatures.
With the exception of 1998, the 10 warmest years in the 134-year record all have occurred since 2000, with 2010 and 2005 ranking as the warmest years on record.
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Welcome to the first beginnings of IPC-UK!
We are delighted that the UK Permaculture Association will be hosting the 12th International Permaculture Convergence.
We are counting down and preparing for our biggest ever event – in fact many events – in September 2015. We have just attended the last IPC held in Cuba, and learnt a lot of valuable lessons and made some great connections.
IPC-UK will be a collaborative effort of the whole international permaculture network. We are aiming to use the event to make closer links with the many other wonderful organisations and networks that are also working for Earth Care, People Care and Fair Shares!
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Never mind the evidence, we’ll do something eye-catching.
by George Monbiot
For a moment that rarest of beasts, common sense, poked a nose out of its burrow and sniffed the air. Assailed by angry farmers demanding dredging in the Somerset levels, the environment secretary, Owen Paterson broke with protocol and said something sensible.
Dredging is often not the best long term or economic solution and increased dredging of rivers on the Somerset Levels would not have prevented the recent widespread flooding.
He went on to suggest something I never thought I would hear from his lips:
… also we need to do more to hold water back, way back in the hills.
Coming from the man who insisted in November that he would do what he could to help farmers keep the hills bare, this was an astonishing and welcome turnaround.
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Sofia and crew with their recently built greenhouse
This is an interview with my cousin, Sofia Matsi. Sofia is a health campaigner, artist, permaculture designer and sustainability activist. She lives in Nicosia, Cyprus.
Last year, Sofia witnessed first hand the near complete collapse of the island’s economy — an event which culminated in a highly controversial bailout plan that included an unprecedented confiscation of up to 10 percent of customer bank deposits and the dismantling of the country’s banking industry.
The deal was the fifth Eurozone bailout in recent years — after Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain — that was orchestrated by the European Commission (EC), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the European Central Bank (ECB), together called “the Troika” in Greek and Cypriot slang.
Cyprus has been de facto partitioned since 1974, when Turkey invaded and forced Greek Cypriots out of the northern part of the island. In 2004, Cyprus joined the Eurozone, in part as a way to protect the island from further Turkish aggression.
In this interview, Sofia talks about her experience of the crisis, her efforts to develop her father’s land as a permaculture site, and her work to help build “The Movement of Life,” an organization that promotes ecological sustainability, resilience and economic self-reliance for Cypriots.
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Once dismissed as a hippy-dippy dream, bike sharing is now reality in New York, Chicago and other cities.
by Jay Walljasper, On the Commons
Five million rides were taken on New York’s
new bike share system in the first five months
of service. (Photo courtesy of People for Bikes)
2013 is the year when the sharing economy — the recent rediscovery of the economic advantages of mutual cooperation—came to public attention.
It was also the year that bike sharing, one of the most tangible symbols of the sharing economy, came of age in America.
New bike sharing systems opened in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Fort Worth, Columbus and Aspen, Colorado, this year while existing systems expanded in Minneapolis, Washington D.C. and other cities.
And 2014 is shaping up as the time when automated bike rental stations become commonplace on America’s streets, as bike sharing comes to Phoenix, Philadelphia, San Diego, Milwaukee, Tampa, Cincinnati, Seattle, Portland, Austin and Ann Arbor.
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Highlights from the Berlin conference that attracted 200 commoners from 30 countries.
Click to download (665kb PDF)
The Heinrich Boll Foundation just released a detailed, educational, and inspiring report [PDF inset] summarizing the international conference it hosted in Berlin, Germany May 22-24, 2013. Two hundred commoners from around the globe converged at the Economics and the Commons Conference (ECC) to explore the commons as an alternative worldview to market-fundamentalism, to catalyze the commons movement, and to lay the foundation for the commons to become a core paradigm of today’s politics, economics, and culture.
The report highlights the most salient ideas presented during ten keynote talks and provides summaries of the five conference streams. Short overviews of significant side events held during the conference are also included, in addition to resources generated at the event (most notably the ECC communications platform). The Commons Strategies Group, a co-host of the conference, also offers final reflections on what the ECC means for the commons movement.
Anyone interested in the commons movement can use this report as a kind of primer. It’s also likely that the report will become an invaluable resource for activists, academics, and others working to advance the commons framework as a powerful tool for managing civic life, natural resources, urban spaces, the Internet, and other realms. Only by sharing and implementing important ideas can we work toward defeating what the Heinrich Boll Foundation calls “one of the most significant impediments to positive social change”: the entrenched power of market-fundamentalism as a political, economic, and cultural paradigm.
My message to Permaculturists: Known or unbeknownst to you — you are an exceptionally valuable and powerful human being. You are armed with the knowledge and information to bring you and the people around you into a place of abundance and harmony. You are powerful, and if you choose to be, are a pillar in your community for guidance and leadership. Know that through your knowledge of natural systems and patterns you hold the keys to the future of humanity — being able to provide the best options and decision-making processes for an abundant future. Understand your value and worth. We are going to need you — start now!
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Every so often an individual is given exposure to another individual so wildly dynamic that it confuses, entertains, but most of all, inspires. This is how I would describe meeting Dr. Hariharan Chandreshekar, CEO of Biodiversity Conservation India Limited (BCIL), the company that designs and manufactures some of the most renowned eco-homes on the planet.
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Real democracy does not just mean the right to vote. People must also have access to the information they need to make an informed choice; that’s why scientists must be free to tell the truth and express their views accordingly on scientific issues.
by Prof Peter Saunders
Shaping science to politics
When US scientists produced a report warning that the current level of greenhouse gas emissions would almost certainly lead to unsustainable climate change, the Bush administration did not simply ignore their findings. Instead, they changed the report to make it appear that the scientists’ conclusions supported the administration’s policy of doing nothing to reduce carbon emissions ( Scientific Integrity in Washington, SiS 49, ). That was not just a bit of political spin; it was a fundamental denial of democracy. Fortunately, the true picture on climate change could not be suppressed for long. The research had involved scientists in different countries and the results could not be concealed even by a body as powerful as the US government.
At the time, the episode may have looked like yet another excess of an administration notorious for relying more on faith and instinct than on reality . Now, however, more governments seem inclined towards policy-based evidence. We can see this in many fields, especially in supporting how effective government policies have been [4, 5], but it is in science that it is most marked.
In other areas, both the government and the public accept that there is a great deal of subjectivity and scope for differences of opinion, as for example, in economics. So a government does not have to be too concerned if there are economists, even highly prestigious ones, who disagree with its policies. As long as the government can find some other economists on its side, and it is pretty much bound to, it can claim to be following the best economic advice.
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