Friday, January 29, 2010

Un-Happy Meals

Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation reveals the truth of McDonalds' food. It is absolutely disgusting. Caution to those with weak stomachs :) 


The Future of Food
There is a revolution happening in the farm fields and on the dinner tables of America -- a revolution that is transforming the very nature of the food we eat.
THE FUTURE OF FOOD offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled U.S. grocery store shelves for the past decade.
Shot on location in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, THE FUTURE OF FOOD examines the complex web of market and political forces that are changing what we eat as huge multinational corporations seek to control the world's food system. The film also explores alternatives to large-scale industrial agriculture, placing organic and sustainable agriculture as real solutions to the farm crisis today.
Created by Deborah Koons Garcia and Lily Films, The Future of Food is the first of a series of documentaries Lily Films plans to produce dealing with the current issues influencing our food, environment and agriculture.
Please support Lily Films by logging onto to purchase the entire 88 minute film and ensure that this vital message is spread throughout the world.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Genetically Modified Non-Foods

Expert Jeffrey M. Smith, author of the #1 GMO bestseller Seeds of Deception, and Genetic Roulette, entertains a wildly appreciative audience with shocking facts about how genetically modified organisms (GMOs) entered our lives. Smith links GMO to toxins, allergies, infertility, infant mortality, immune dysfunction, stunted growth, and death. Whistleblowers were fired, threatened, and gagged, and warnings by FDA scientists were ignored. Start today to protect yourself by joining the Campaign for Healthier Eating in America— a plan that gives the consumer the power to end the genetic engineering of our food supply.

Everything You HAVE TO KNOW about Dangerous Genetically Modified Foods from Jeffrey Smith on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Grass-fed Meat Sources

Cow is your source for safe, healthy, natural and nutritious grass-fed beef, lamb, goats, bison, poultry, pork, dairy and other wild edibles. This website provides:
  • Comprehensive, accurate information about the benefits of raising animals on pasture.

  • A direct link to local farms that sell all-natural, delicious, grass-fed products.

  • A marketplace for farmers who raise their livestock on pasture from birth to market and who actively promote the welfare of their animals and the health of the land.
Find your local farmer in the Eatwild Directory of Pasture-Based Farms

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dmitry Orlov - Definancialization, Deglobalization, Relocalization

Dmitry Orlov - Definancialisation, Deglobalisation, Relocalisation from Feasta on Vimeo.

Regenerative Polyculture Carbon Farming - Joel Salatin

A few good stories from PPJ Gazette

The Truth behind the drive to outlaw raw/fresh milk sales

The multiple personality disorder of the USDA

The New “Cult” – Amish?

Forget Grass Fed Beef –
You are eating GRAS Ground Beef

Supreme Court Gang of 5 Treason - Impeach Them

Because of the gravity of the crime against the Constitution 
committed by a gang of 5 right wing judicial outlaws on our Supreme 
Court yesterday, we are launching two critical action pages at once 

Action Page: Corporations Are NOT The People 

Action Page: Impeach The Supreme Court 5 

By any fair legal definition, the decision yesterday by The Supreme 
Court 5 constitutes nothing less than an act of TREASON against the 
people of the United States. Having read and analyzed the entire 183 
page decision and all of its concurring and dissenting opinions 
ourselves, we are fully prepared to support this accusatory 

Having so grossly abused its jurisdiction by presuming to decide a 
question expressly WAIVED by the petitioner in the Court below (p 
12), this rogue Supreme Court ruled for the FIRST time that NO 
corporation can be constrained from unlimited influence over our 
elections. And even assuming that the Court intended the decision to 
only apply to American corporations, the Court expressly DECLINED (pp 
46-47) to reach the question of whether foreign ownership stakes in 
American corporations should likewise be given carte blanche to put 
their thumbs on the scales of our democracy. 

Thus, until Congress FURTHER acts (and it must, though it could not 
have escaped the attention of The Supreme Court 5 that the current 
Republican minority has vowed to obstruct ANYTHING of consequence 
that Congress might try to pass), there is now nothing to constrain 
foreign nationals, even our most sworn enemies, from usurping what 
even the most die hard Tea Bagger takes as an article of faith, that 
the rights of citizenship of this country are ONLY for Americans. 
This must be construed, within the four corners of our Constitution, 
as deliberately and knowingly exposing the United States of America 
to harm in the interim, by giving "aid and comfort" to our enemies 
(Constitution Article 3, section 3), should our enemies now wish to 
take advantage of this unprecedented and rash decision. In simple 
constitutional terms . . . treason!! 

The fact is that we now live in a world of giant transnational 
corporations, with allegiance to NO sovereign government, let alone 
our own, sworn only to exploit the most vulnerable and desperate 
workers they can find in any country of the world. How does The 
Supreme Court 5 propose parsing which of these extra-national legal 
artificialities should be allowed to corrupt our democratic election 
process? Apparently in their minds, all of them. 

Action Page: Corporations Are NOT The People 

So what is it that we can and MUST do? The first and most prominent 
proposal we heard yesterday, and which we of course support, was to 
amend the Constitution to clarify that corporations have no such 
rights as people (which is to say U.S. citizens). While this 
certainly could not hurt, and would obviously help (assuming such an 
proposed amendment could garner 67 votes in a Senate already 
stalemated by obstructionism, let alone be ratified by 3/4 of the 
states, including many "red" ones), what we must first assert is that 
there is nothing WRONG with our Constitution, and demand that 
Congress do whatever it can to protect it. 

Action Page: Impeach The Supreme Court 5 

Because just as importantly, we are on ominous and clear notice that 
there is no further outrage these 5 gangsters in black robes are not 
gleefully and arrogantly capable of. Indeed, in his dissenting 
opinion (that the majority did not go far ENOUGH), Clarence Thomas 
characterized the decision as only a "first step" (Thomas opinion p. 
1). It is worth nothing that the authorship of the majority opinion 
is claimed by Anthony M. Kennedy, heretofore generally considered the 
LEAST wing nutty of the 5. Therefore, the immediate and unavoidably 
necessary recourse must be impeachment for all five, treason already 
being a high crime, otherwise the horrors yet to issue from their 
treacherous minds is too terrible to contemplate. 

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Corporate Land-Grabbers Try to Co-opt / Patent Raw Milk and Rotational Grazing

The Truth behind the drive to outlaw raw/fresh milk sales or:
How the USDA and the federal government are actively working to end family and independent dairy farming for corporate interests.


 Business Overview– Pg. 6

Cullen Agritech is a newly formed company formed in June 2009 committed to the development and commercialization of advanced agricultural technologies. Cullen Agritech’s principal focus will be to improve agricultural yields through pasture and animal sciences. Cullen Agritech’s primary operations will be conducted through Natural Dairy Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cullen Agritech, through which it will attempt to engage in a long term scalable dairy farming operation utilizing the Cullen Agritech farming system in the Southeastern United States. Cullen Agritech will also offer advisory services associated with the development and implementation of efficient farming techniques. This will promote a methodology that incorporates components of New Zealand’s pasture-based farming system, scientifically adapted for use in local markets.” (end clip)

The new technology being promoted by Cullen- New Zealand is simply what farmers have done for thousands of years; the moving of their livestock routinely to fresh pastures making sure ample water was made available to them and incidentally; reducing the number and amount of toxic chemicals, vaccines, hormones and additives required to be used in private operations.  While there certainly is a scientific soundness to this practice, it most assuredly is nothing new. So where would the “scientific” application of what is commonly understood to be the best management practices of dairy herding, be applied?  And how?  And how could you rationalize the re-designation of traditional dairy farming methods as something new and innovative and apply for and receive a patent on that method?

First you go to either Georgia or Arizona, each designated a sole and singular milk [region] by the USDA (in this case Georgia) and you worm your way into a Land Grant University.  This allows you to use taxpayer funds to set up your patent scheme and to test it and work out the bugs.  But this isn’t enough.  You cannot gain proprietary rights through the TRIPPS agreement which will be the only way you can seize property and end competition unless you come up with something supposedly “new”.   You have to be able to claim your proprietary rights were violated (intellectual and/or scientific creations) in order to show harm.  So how would this be accomplished?

Under the auspices of the land grant university you go into an area, say for instance, Eatonton, Georgia and you collect the germ plasms from about 192 native species of grasses and clovers.  Although these belong to the public domain (owned by the public at large) and even though this property of the public is never sold, leased or even formally lent to the corporation gathering them, they in turn take them, attach proteins, alter dna, splice genes or whatever is necessary to then turn around and say “we invented this, and we own it”.

Understand here that what has been [created] by theft from the public domain is a cultivar or grass that has had no risk assessment done on it to see how it will impact local biodiversity and, no attempt has been made to determine how these alien, invasive species will be controlled.  In fact, this is intentionally not done.  Why? You ask?  Because the new grasses and cultivars are now altered in such a way, they become an aggressive species; quickly overtaking native species and altering forever the natural biodiversity of the landscape where they have been intentionally planted.

Agritech goes on to claim their new cultivars and grasses are substantially different from the original plants due to the corporations tampering with the natural state of the plant.  This is the only way they can obtain a patent and claim it is “new”.  Other than their own data, little if any real testing has been done to support not only this claim, but the subsequent claim their new creations cause an increase in milk production.  In fact, the only other known test on these cultivars and grasses showed no significant production increase in milk resulting from the introduction of these invasive species.

In order to sell the milk produced from cattle fed the invasive grasses and cultivars, Agritech must now provide data showing no substantial difference between cows grazed on natural forage and those grazed on the genetically altered forage.
On one hand, to get the patent they claim it is substantially different and on the other, when it comes to selling the milk produced by grazing the gmo, claiming there is no significant difference.   
These new grasses and cultivars were created for no other reasons than activating patent rights and provide no benefit either to livestock or production.

Spreading rapidly and without any control these alien species now invade neighboring properties whether the owner wants them there or not or even knows they are there. Here is where international proprietary rights enter the picture, dealing a fatal blow to private property owners and their rights.  The newly created invasive species which the “creator” can’t and never had any intentions of controlling and which appeared without invitation on private property is now considered “stolen property” under proprietary rights.  That’s right!  You have now “stolen” the creation of an uncontrollable and aggressive alien species via horizontal transfer, wind drift, bird droppings, the movement of animals or the plants’ programmed aggressive genetics.  And now, using the Monsanto standard of planting in close proximity to traditional crops just waiting for nature to follow its course, you begin the next phase of your seizure of public and private lands under proprietary rights.

While all this goes on, the USDA one of the corporations’ major financial and political supporters begins working to convince the public that a great danger lies in consuming raw/fresh milk.  Buying their way via cooperative agreement bribery funding into your state, USDA begins a methodical collapsing of privately owned and operated dairy operations to facilitate the overtaking of all dairy production in the US by Cullen Agritech and centralizing it in the southeastern states.  Fictions of law called “regulations” are erected to facilitate the theft of land and the ending of private operations.  The USDA is also busying itself in trying to convince the public that “traditional” and “cafo” farming are the same thing.  Even the land grant university refers to industrialized cafo farms as a “traditional” farming method; in whose nightmares I wouldn’t know.

This is happening in almost every state of the Union and yet not one state legislator has moved in any state to even attempt to protect sovereign private citizens from being forced out of business and off their land.

Page 6 cont.)
Upon completion of the merger Cullen Agritech will acquire rights with respect to a proprietary, pasture-based, farming system for the production of raw milk, primarily in the Southeastern United States. This farming system has been tested through application on research farms in the state of Georgia in the US. These research farms are not owned by Cullen Agritech and the research was conducted by the Research Partners. The resulting know-how associated with its farming system, including the constituent components incorporated within the holistic system, is proprietary information which will be owned by Cullen Agritech upon consummation of the merger. 

Natural Dairy intends to acquire farmland in the Southeastern United States for the implementation of Cullen Agritech’s farming.

Upon completion of this merger mentioned, traditional dairy farming will become the proprietary right of Cullen Agritech/New Zealand.  In all of these political maneuverings, the outright assaults on public domain and sovereign citizens; the attempts to destroy family and independent farming and ranching lies the catalyst and reason for what is being facilitated by our own government: THE THEFT OF THE  LAND.  All across the globe private farmers and ranchers are being forced off of agricultural land.  The nation/state immediately seizes it for corporate investors after first implementing Codex Alimentarius, Premises ID and an animal identification system.  All three things devised for the sole purpose of taking production and supply of food away from the individual and handing it over to corporations, for profit.
While they did this to countries and poor nations on the other side of the globe we didn’t think it was anything to worry about.  But the vultures have come home to roost and now they are landing on our shores and a corporate government dedicated to seizing food production and supply is waving them in for a safe landing.

Please note the use of the term “raw milk” in the above clip.

NOTE:  Just so you know, (ask anyone sued by Monsanto) the court system does not care that you did not intentionally plant or even want the Frankenstein plants or the dna of those Frankenstein plants in your crop or grassland; nor do they care or recognize that these results of science gone mad invaded your property. The US judicial system has routinely allowed unwarranted search and seizure by individuals hired by corporations to illegally trespass on your property and to seize it when they choose too.  Instead of the corporation being held liable for damages, for contamination of traditional crops and grasslands, for rendering your genetically pure traditional seed as unfit for human consumption and there fore unacceptable for foreign markets and free trade (most foreign countries will not accept GMO).  Instead, they cite the private land owner/crop grower as responsible; handing billions over to corporations who caused the problem, calling it “damages”. 

Land grab - not a game
This blog contains mainly news reports about the global rush to buy up or lease farmlands abroad as a strategy to secure basic food supplies or simply for profit. Its purpose is to serve as a resource for those monitoring or researching the issue, particularly social activists, non-government organisations and journalists.
The site is updated daily, with all posts entered according to their original publication date. If you want to track updates in real time, please subscribe to the RSS feed. If you prefer a weekly email, with the titles of all materials posted in the last week, subscribe to the email service.
This blog was set up by GRAIN as a collection of online materials used in the research behind Seized: The 2008 land grab for food and financial security, a report we issued in October 2008. GRAIN is small international NGO concerned about farmers’ control over biodiversity and local knowledge. We see the current land grab trend as a serious threat to local communities, for reasons outlined in our report.
This blog is an open project. Although currently maintained by GRAIN, anyone can join in posting materials or developing the blog further. Please feel free to upload your own contributions. (Only the lightest editorial oversight will apply. Postings considered off-topic or other are available here.) Or use the ‘comments’ box under any post to speak up. You can also send an email to

 Low milk prices, the result of market price manipulation by the USDA, is setting the stage and preparing the way for the New Zealand based Cullen-Agritech to over take the domestic and independent dairy industry in the US. 
While on the eastern seaboard, warnings are issued that a regional shortage of milk is looming; in the mid and western US, dairy farmers are paid and encouraged to cull their herds or eliminate them altogether as the USDA claims there is a milk glut.
(At this point I could post various links to almost every state in the Union, concerning the “glut” of milk on US markets.  A simple search with keywords: Milk glut in US  will produce enough reading for days.)
USDA never speaks about the importation of tons of milk products from China, nor that yet another batch of melamine laced milk products were just dumped into the US food supply for the umpteenth time, by China.   They most assuredly do not seem too concerned about the afore mentioned milk glut.  Why the hell would we be importing any milk products into the US if our markets are, in fact overflowing with surplus.  (Except on the eastern seaboard of course where they are in danger of not having enough milk to meet consumer needs unless all the New Zealand corporations can take over the dairy farming)
Contamination aside: why would we be importing any milk products from anywhere if one portion of the country is facing a shortage and the other portion is facing a glut?  Wouldn’t the rational, the most economic thing to do, be……send the excess milk from the western US to the eastern US?  Has it occurred to anyone at the USDA that it might be far better to maintain our own herds; produce and sell our own products and generate this portion of our markets and economy rather than continuing to allow China to use us as a dumping ground for contaminated goods?
Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) in an article on Cattle Today said this:
On July 2 CWT announced the first of three dairy herd retirement programs scheduled for this year had removed 101,040 dairy cows – mostly from the western part of the nation – and almost two billion pounds of annual milk production from the national inventory.”
While there is no doubt that it is optimum to keep only top producers in a herd, these 101,040 dairy cows were not replaced….just eliminated.
It’s important not to underestimate the sheer size of the take-over being planned.  Because of onerous USDA regulations, the forced use of antibiotics and vaccines, endless paperwork, and the interference of the USDA via state Ag agencies, family and independent dairy herders are being rapidly regulated out of business.
Milk from “range-fed” is recognized as assuredly more cost efficient, however, cows caged up in barns, never allowed to graze or to move from the cramped cages they are forced to endure, produce more milk.
So let’s see…….no exercise and a regular dose of recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) equals what?  Equals a 20% increase in the overall production of milk as a result of PUS and BLOOD in the milk.  The growth hormone, well documented in the dvd “The World According to Monsanto”,  the most common cause of output increase.  Yummmm….
Add in the fact super-producing dairy cows in the Unites States are fed on processed grains, which cause considerable gastric distress for the cows and add a heaping helping of gmo grains, known to aggravate the naturally occurring e-coli in the cows intestinal tract and what do you have?  Between the growth hormones, the gmo grains, antibiotics, vaccines and whatever else the USDA insists must be force fed or used upon these animals, what you have is….nothing we really want to consume.
The claimed “fierce” price fluctuations in the costs related to processed feed from gmo grains for these animals is a direct result of intentional manipulation of market prices by the USDA, and pandering to corporate interests, making the costs of dairy herding untenable, unless of course you are from New Zealand in which case you aren’t subject to those market riggings or too many of the USDA regulations meant to end private and independent, non-corporate dairy herding in the US.
So, lets just cut to the chase here:
  • The USDA is manipulating market prices and,
  • Turning a blind eye to the monopolies being created by a few big corporations
  • American dairy farmers are being regulated out of business, while
  • Cullen-Agritech is allowed to slide in and set up business
  • USDA and Land grant universities such as the U of GA, conspire to portray the New Zealand plan as something “new and improved” even though what they are selling is nothing more or less than known and proven traditional herding methods.
  • The USDA pays US dairy herders to cull or eliminate herds, while claiming,
  • There is a milk shortage in the eastern states.
  • A milk glut in the mid and western states, and
  • USDA will not allow the milk produced in the mid and western states to be shipped to the supposedly sparse eastern states, but,
  • Will continue to allow massive shipments  of uninspected and melamine laced milk products from China to be dumped into the US food supply, further eroding the price of domestic milk.
  • China will not be penalized, nor,
  • Will China be stopped from importing to the US
  • Meanwhile, US family and independent dairy farmers are harassed and assaulted by state Ag agencies, after,
  • A country wide campaign has been launched by USDA and the FDA to make the public believe that massive regulations, fees, permits, drugs and intentional disruption of the milk market are necessary and
  • the result of poor herding practices……not because some desk jockey in DC struck a lucrative deal behind closed doors. 
In the meantime:
  • Cooperative agreement funding (bribery) has been supplied to the state to obtain their cooperation in collapsing the independent and family dairy’s, and as a result
  • Family and independent herders are forced out of business or denied licenses to make sure they go out of business.  
  • Imports from China increase, and,
  • all the interested and related New Zealand based corporations are slipping into one state after another selling the “new & improved” dairy herding methods….the same ones your dad and grand dad used with such success
  • USDA continues to put the screws to domestic herders because they have neither the political clout nor the unlimited funds to buy off the USDA.
And you are supposed to conclude that New Zealand showed up just in the nick of time to rescue the failing dairy farmers from self destruction, and to preserve the US milk markets.
 Just one problem:  The New Zealand corporations are focused on exporting.
Got milk?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Resilience Thinking

by Rob Hopkins
Resilience; “the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing change, so as to retain essentially the same function, structure, identity and feedbacks”.

Resilience Thinking. Why ‘resilience thinking’ is a crucial missing piece of the climate-change jigsaw and why resilience is a more useful concept than sustainability.

In July 2009, UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Miliband unveiled the government’s UK Low Carbon Transition Plan, a bold and powerful statement of intent for a low-carbon economy in the UK. It stated that by 2020 there would be a five-fold increase in wind generation, feed-in tariffs for domestic energy generation, and an unprecedented scheme to retrofit every house in the country for energy efficiency. In view of the extraordinary scale of the challenge presented by climate change, I hesitate to criticise steps in the right direction taken by government. There is, though, a key flaw in the document, which also appears in much of the wider societal thinking about climate change. This flaw is the attempt to address the issue of climate change without also addressing a second, equally important issue: that of resilience.

The term ‘resilience’ is appearing more frequently in discussions about environmental concerns, and it has a strong claim to actually being a more useful concept than that of sustainability. Sustainability and its oxymoronic offspring sustainable development are commonly held to be a sufficient response to the scale of the climate challenge we face: to reduce the inputs at one end of the globalized economic growth model (energy, resources, and so on) while reducing the outputs at the other end (pollution, carbon emissions, etc.). However, responses to climate change that do not also address the imminent, or quite possibly already passed, peak in world oil production do not adequately address the nature of the challenge we face.

Let’s take a supermarket as an example. It may be possible to increase its sustainability and to reduce its carbon emissions by using less packaging, putting photovoltaics on the roof and installing more energy-efficient fridges. However, resilience thinking would argue that the closure of local food shops and networks that resulted from the opening of the supermarket, as well as the fact that the store itself only contains two days’ worth of food at any moment – the majority of which has been transported great distances to get there – has massively reduced the resilience of community food security, as well as increasing its oil vulnerability. One extreme, but relevant, example of where sustainability thinking falls short was Tesco’s recent ‘Flights for Lights’ promotion, where people were able to gain air miles when they purchased low-energy light bulbs!

Some people believe that we can move from our current ‘high carbon’ model, where goods are transported at great distances, to a ‘low carbon’ information economy, where it is ideas that are exchanged rather than goods, and where we operate in a virtual world with few impacts. Yet such an economy still depends on fossil fuels: to power the vast internet servers as we check our morning emails, not to mention the breakfast we eat and the coffee we drink that continue to be sourced from far and wide, often with a disastrous impact on the local food systems that would have supported us in the past. Despite the temptation to believe otherwise, we still operate in the physical world with very real and pressing energy and resource constraints.

The concept of resilience emerged from within the ecological sciences as a way of looking at why some systems collapse when they encounter shock, and some don’t. The insights gleaned now offer a very useful overview for determining how systems can adapt and thrive in changing circumstances. Resilience within communities, for example, depends upon;”

  • Diversity: a broader base of livelihoods, land use, enterprise and energy systems than at present
  • Modularity: not advocating self-sufficiency, but rather an increased self-reliance; with ‘surge protectors’ for the local economy, such as local food production and decentralised energy systems
  • Tightness of feedbacks: bringing the results of our actions closer to home, so that we cannot ignore them
A recent report by the think tank DEMOS, Resilient Nation, raised the question, “Resilient to what?” Are we building resilience in the face of peak oil and climate change, or of terrorism and pandemics? While it is clearly not an either/or situation, I would argue strongly that peak oil and climate change are so far-reaching and destabilizing that we really must give them precedence, the solutions that arise being markedly different from addressing terrorism or pandemics. But what would this kind of resilience thinking look like in practice?

For many years, those writing and campaigning on relocalization have argued that it is a good idea because it produces a better, more equitable economy. Now, as the potential impacts of peak oil and climate change become clearer, an additional and very strong argument has emerged: that as the net energy underpinning society inevitably contracts, so the focus of our economies and our daily lives will inexorably shift, at least in terms of manufacturing and trade, from the global to the local.

It requires a huge amount of cheap oil thundering around the superhighways and shipping lanes of the world to bring to our shops the things we now feel we need, much of which we would have grown or made ourselves not all that long ago. But creating a different way of doing things takes time, resources and proactive and creative design.

Often, climate-change thinking doesn’t question the notion that higher rates of consumption lead to individual happiness – it focuses rather on low-carbon ways of making the same consumer goods. Yet as we enter the world of volatile oil prices, resource constraints, and the need to situate ourselves more within the local economy than the global one, we will need to link satisfaction and happiness to other less tangible things like community, meaningful work, skills and friendships.

When I give talks on this subject, there are always some who interpret the concept of increasing localization to mean that building resilience in the West – increasing national food security, rebuilding local manufacturing and so on – will by necessity lead to increased impoverishment in the developing world. I don’t believe this to be the case. Will the developing world be lifted out of poverty by continuing to dismantle its own food resilience and becoming increasingly dependent on global trade, which is itself massively dependent on the cheap oil we can no longer rely on? Is the way out of poverty really an increasing reliance on the utterly unreliable? Rather than communities meeting each other as unskilled, unproductive, dependent and vulnerable settlements, they would meet as skilled, abundantly productive, self-reliant and resilient communities. It is a very different quality of relationship, and one that could be hugely beneficial to both.

In any event, work by people such as Mike Davis in his book Late Victorian Holocausts shows how the impact of famine was enormously magnified by the forced introduction of India into the international money/cash-crop nexus. As Amartya Sen has shown, famine occurs more from the way in which food is distributed, and inequality, than from food shortage. Even that analysis now needs to be revisited from a ‘resilience’ perspective. Over the last few years we’ve started to see clear impacts of tying the developing world into global commercial food webs, as food prices rose in step with oil and fertilizer prices. In fact, I’d argue that tying developing-world food producers into the globalized system leads to their exposure to both food and money shortages.

The need to cut carbon emissions is even more urgent than the government’s Transition Plan acknowledges. NASA scientist James Hansen, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, now argues that we have already passed the climate tipping point at our current level of 387ppm, when the safe level of carbon in the atmosphere is at most 350ppm. While the UK government argues that we need to stay below 450ppm, it is clear that even that is a huge ask. If you were to step outside your front door today and ask the first ten people you met what your town or city might look like in ten years’ time if it began today to cut its emissions by 9% a year starting today, I imagine most people would say something between the Flintstones and Mad Max! We have a paucity of stories that articulate what a lower-energy world might sound like, smell like, feel like and look like. What is hard, but important, is to be able to articulate a vision of a post-carbon world so enticing that people leap out of bed every morning and put their shoulders to the wheel of making it happen.

Resilience thinking can inspire a degree of creative thinking that might actually take us closer to solutions that will succeed in the longer term. Resilient solutions to climate change might include community-owned energy companies that install renewable energy systems in such a way as to generate revenue to resource the wider relocalization process; the building of highly energy-efficient homes that use mainly local materials (clay, straw, hemp), thereby stimulating a range of potential local businesses and industries; the installation of a range of urban food production models; and the re-linking of farmers with their local markets. By seeing resilience as a key ingredient of the economic strategies that will enable communities to thrive beyond the current economic turmoil the world is seeing, huge creativity, reskilling and entrepreneurship are unleashed.

The Transition Movement is a rapidly growing, ‘viral’ movement, which began in Ireland and is now under way in thousands of communities around the world. Its fundamental premise is that a response to climate change and peak oil will require action globally, nationally, and at the scale of local government, but it also needs vibrant communities driving the process, making unelectable policies electable, creating the groundswell for practical change at the local level.
It explores the practicalities of building resilience across all aspects of daily life. It catalyses communities to ask, “How are we going to significantly rebuild resilience in response to peak oil and drastically reduce carbon emissions in response to climate change?”

By putting resilience alongside the need to reduce carbon emissions, it is catalyzing a broad range of initiatives, from Community Supported Agriculture and garden-share schemes to local food directories and new Farmers’ Markets. Some places, such as Lewes and Totnes, have set up their own energy companies, in order to resource the installation of renewable energy. The Lewes Pound, the local currency that can only be spent in Lewes, recently expanded with the issuing of new £5, £10 and £20 notes. Stroud and Brixton are set to do the same soon.
The Scottish government is using its Climate Challenge Fund to fund Transition Scotland Support, seeing Transition initiatives as a key component of the country’s push on climate change (and thanks also to that fund, a number of Transition initiatives have received substantial financial support: for example, Transition Forres received £184,000 and has become a real force for local resilience-building). In England, Somerset and Leicestershire County Councils have both passed resolutions committing themselves to support local Transition initiatives. What underpins these responses is the idea that meeting our climate emissions responsibilities and preparing proactively for the end of the age of cheap oil can either be seen as enormous crises, or as tremendous opportunities.

Capitalism as if the World
 MattersIt is clear, as Jonathon Porritt argues in Living Within Our Means, that attempting to get out of the current recession with the thinking that got us into it in the first place (unregulated banking, high levels of debt, high-carbon lifestyles) will get us into a situation that we simply cannot win. A friend of mine who works as a sustainability consultant in the North West talks of a meeting he had with a leading local authority there. Having read their development plan for the next twenty years, he told them, “Your Plan is based on three things: building cars, building airplanes and the financial services sector. Do you have anything else up your sleeves?” As John Michael Greer says, we’re in danger of turning what could still be a soluble problem into an insoluble predicament. Transition is an exploration of what we need to have ‘up those sleeves’, an optimistic exploration of the practicalities of relocalisation, creating, as Jeremy Leggett puts it, “scaleable microcosms of hope”.

However, resilience is not just an outer process: it is also an inner one, of becoming more flexible, robust and skilled. Transition initiatives try to promote this through offering skills-sharing, building social networks and creating a shared sense of this being a historic opportunity to build the world anew.

Navigating a successful way through climate change and peak oil will require a journey of such bravery, commitment and vision that future generations will doubtless tell stories and sing great songs about it. But as with any journey, having a clear idea of where you are headed and the resources that you have at your disposal is essential in order to most skilfully maximize your chances of success. If we leave resilience thinking out, we may well end up an extremely long way from where we initially thought we were headed.

Rob Hopkins is co-founder of the Transition Network and is the author of The Transition Handbook. You can download the pdf (with wonderful illustrations) of this article here Originally published in Resurgence Magazine.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"On the verge of complete collapse"?

The world is running short of energy—especially cheap, easy-to-find oil. Shortages, along with resulting price increases, threaten industrialized civilization, the global economy, and our entire way of life.
In Confronting Collapse, author Michael C. Ruppert, a former LAPD narcotics officer turned investigative journalist, details the intricate connections between money and energy, including the ways in which oil shortages and price spikes triggered the economic crash that began in September 2008. Given the 96 percent correlation between economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions and the unlikelihood of economic growth without a spike in energy use, Ruppert argues that we are not, in fact, on the verge of economic recovery, but on the verge of complete collapse.
Ruppert’s truth is not merely inconvenient. It is utterly devastating.
But there is still hope. Ruppert outlines a 25-point plan of action, including the creation of a second strategic petroleum reserve for the use of state and local governments, the immediate implementation of a national Feed-in Tariff mandating that electric utilities pay 3 percent above market rates for all surplus electricity generated from renewable sources, a thorough assessment of soil conditions nationwide, and an emergency action plan for soil restoration and sustainable agriculture.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Permaculture Relief Corps Forming For Haiti Earthquake Response?

Permaculture Relief Corps Forming For Haiti Earthquake Response?

Aid Projects, Community Projects — by Evan Schoepke January 14, 2010

The remarkable history (and possible future) of permaculture disaster relief, by Evan Schoepke of punk rock permaculture

Devastation in Port Au Prince. Photo: Carel Pedre, via twitter
Two days ago the island of Hispanola was hit with a devastating 7.3 magnitude earthquake near Port-Au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. Many multiple story buildings have completely collapsed, including the major hospital in the region. Thousands may be killed or trapped in the rubble and aid is being mobilized from around the world.  With little to no backup power, sewerage, water, housing, or food aid systems in place, Haiti, which is currently the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, is in a VERY DIRE SITUATION. Without a doubt, resources and expertise are moving en mass to Haiti, but beyond this temporary relief, what will sustain this nation of ten million people when it’s left in an even poorer position than ever before?  This is where permaculture design comes in, with an adaptable and ever-evolving tool kit that can be of vital assistance in disaster relief and the long recovery period to follow.

During the war in Kosovo back in 1999, when displaced refugees flooded into Macedonia, Geoff Lawton and a crack team of eager permaculturalists secured international aid to design and implement the master plan for the Cegrane Camp Permaculture Rehabilitation Project, a large refugee camp that provided relief for over 43,000 people.

Permaculture Disaster Relief
Permaculture Disaster Relief
Geoff created the design around water capture and storage.  The final design called for 7.2 km of swales, with an estimated water holding capacity of 30 million liters, greatly reducing the flood potential.  Many passive solar strawbale buildings were constructed by trained locals who quickly grasped the simplicity and efficiency of this natural building technique.  Large gardens, composting toliets and chicken tractors all came together in a very short time span.  The skills and systems thinking acquired during this process may help secure sustainable employment and economic development for the entire region for years to come.
Another successful implementation of permaculture relief took place in Cuba during the early 90s when Cuba was suffering from a crippling petroleum embargo.  Working with a grant from the Cuban government, Austrailian permaculturalists, including Robyn Francis, traveled to Cuba to work with hundreds of Cubans on sustainable food systems design.  Robyn, a well traveled expert in permaculture education in the 2/3rds (developing) world, helped local organizers use permaculture design prinicpals and techniques in their urban agriculture efforts.  During this time, worker cooperatives were set up and market gardens and public transportation flourished. Little to no pesticides or fertilizers were employed, and catastrophic famine was avoided.  This partnership has continued to be highly successful and now some of the most experienced urban permaculture experts in the world come from Cuba because of the courageous spirit of the Cuban citizenry. Currently, the Cuba-Australia Permaculture Exchange (CAPE) is working on sustainable housing developments using natural building to compliment the work they began together with urban agriculture.

Water Harvesting
There are numerous ways in which a full-time Permaculture Relief Corps could operate in Haiti in short and long-term time frames.
Short Term:
Building sewage systems, composting toilets, compost and recyclying centers, rocket and solar stoves, temporary shelters (perma-yurts), water catchment, and plant nurseries.
Long Term:
Permanent natural buildings, water storage, earth works, renewable energy, permaculture food forests, broad-scale reforestation, farms, aquaculture systems, health centers and schools.
In 2003 following a intense hurricane, a team including Eric Davenport, an American architect, and David Doherty, a Peace Corps Volunteer, worked for several months with the local community to rebuild a rural village after severe flooding. This team was then joined by Frederique Mangones, a renowned Haitian architect, and engineer Frantz Severe of ORE draw to the challenge of designing low-cost housing adapted to Haitian rural family activities. In the fall of 2003, a team of permiculturalists also offered their expertise to the village project.

Design for a new village

Today their team, in collaboration with the local community and the Organization for the Rehabilitation of the Environment (ORE),  is working on:
  • Low cost relief from floods
  • Waste management & recycling to protect the environment
  • Hygienic toilets to improve family health
  • A community center to bring people together
  • Privacy to reduce stress within families
  • Green spaces to enhance quality of life
  • Fruit trees to generate income
  • Utilizing daily wind patterns, heat and cooling cycles
  • Covenants to protect their community
Haiti is in desperate need of our assistance which can not come soon enough. Eight out of ten Haitians live in abject poverty and need the long term commitment of folks working for a sustainable and abundant future. Please check out the links below of organizations doing great work in this field.
If you are interested in the formation of a Permaculture Relief Corps like the one I’m proposing, please comment here.
My heart goes out to all those working and living in Haiti right now,
Evan Schoepke: thejulianeffect (at)
Principal of Gaia Punk Designs

Warning: Graphic images

The Sixth Extinction

Somewhere on Earth, every 20 minutes, one animal species dies out. At this rate, we will lose 50% of all species by the end of the century. Time is running out to turn the tide.

There is a holocaust happening. Right now. And it's not confined to one nation or even one region. It is a global crisis.

Species are going extinct en masse.

Every 20 minutes we lose an animal species. If this rate continues, by century's end, 50% of all living species will be gone. It is a phenomenon known as the sixth extinction. The fifth extinction took place 65 million years ago when a meteor smashed into the Earth, killing off the dinosaurs and many other species and opening the door for the rise of mammals. Currently, the sixth extinction is on track to dwarf the fifth.

What -- or more correctly -- who is to blame this time? As Pogo said, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

The causes of this mass die-off are many: overpopulation, loss of habitat, global warming, species exploitation (the black market for rare animal parts is the third-largest illegal trade in the world, outranked only by weapons and drugs). The list goes on, but it all points to us.

Over the last 15 years, in the course of producing television documentaries and writing about wildlife, I have traveled the globe, and I have witnessed the grim carnage firsthand. I've observed the same story playing out in different locales.

In South Africa, off the coast of Cape Horn, lives one of the most feared predators of all -- the great white shark. Yet this awesome creature is powerless before the mindless killing spree that is decimating its species at the jaw-dropping rate of 100 million sharks a year. Many are captured so that their dorsal fins can be chopped off (for shark fin soup). Then, still alive, they are dropped back into the sea, where they die a slow and painful death.

Further east, in Indonesia, I witnessed the mass destruction of rain forests to make way for palm oil plantations. Indonesia is now the world's leading producer of palm oil -- a product used in many packaged foods and cosmetic goods -- and the victims are the Sumatran elephant and orangutan. These beautiful creatures are on the brink of extinction as their habitats go up in smoke, further warming our planet in the process.

One day while swimming off the coast of Indonesia, I came across a river of refuse and raw sewage stretching for miles. These streams and islands of refuse now populate all our oceans; in the middle of the Pacific, there is an island of garbage the size of Texas. This floating pollution serves to choke off and kill sea turtles -- driving them closer to extinction. At the same time, the coral reefs where sea turtles get their food supply are dying due to rising sea temperatures from global warming. To top it off, sea turtles are hunted and killed for their meat -- considered a delicacy in many Asian countries. It is an ugly but altogether effective one-two-three punch for this unique species.

It's important to understand that this is not just a race to save a handful of charismatic species -- animals to which we attach human-inspired values or characteristics. Who wouldn't want to save the sea otter, polar bear, giant panda or gorilla? These striking mammals tug at our heartstrings and often our charitable purse strings. But our actions need to be just as swift and determined when it comes to the valley elderberry longhorn beetle or the distinctly uncuddly, pebbly-skinned Puerto Rican crested toad or the black-footed ferret, whose fate is inextricably intertwined with that of the prairie dog. The reality is that each species, no matter how big, small, friendly or vicious, plays an important and essential role in its ecosystem. And we're in a race to preserve as much of the animal kingdom as possible.

Meanwhile, around the planet there are massive die-offs of amphibians, the canaries in our global coal mine. When frogs and other amphibians, which have existed for hundreds of millions of years, start to vanish, it is a sign that our natural world is in a state of peril. Bat and bee populations are also being decimated. Without bees, there will be no pollination, and without pollination, the predator that is decimating these other species -- humankind -- will also be headed toward its own extinction. Yes, there is a certain irony there.

This was all brought home to me in an intimate way after a recent trip to Panama. My young daughter, Maya, asked if she could accompany me on my next trip there so that she could see one of her favorite animals -- the frog -Panamanian golden frog -- up close and personal in the jungle. Sadly, I had to tell her no. This small, beautiful frog -- the national symbol of Panama -- no longer exists in the wild. Only a few live in captivity.

Is there hope? Yes. Because in every place I visited to witness the sixth extinction unfold, I met brave and selfless conservationists, biologists and wildlife scientists working hard to save species.

In Panama, biologist Edgardo Griffith has set up an amphibian rescue center to protect and quarantine rare frogs (including the Panamanian golden frog) before they are all wiped out by the deadly fungus Chytrid, which is rapidly killing off frogs on a global scale. In Africa, zoologist Iain Douglas Hamilton is one of many seeking to stop the illegal trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn. In Namibia, zoologist Laurie Marker is making strides to save the cheetah before it goes the way of the saber tooth tiger (or India's Bengal tiger, which is also on the precipice of extinction). In Indonesia, Ian Singleton is raising orphaned orangutans, training them to return to the remaining rain forest -- giving them a second chance at living in the wild. In South Africa, Alison Kock is leading a crusade to educate the world about the wholesale destruction of sharks.

Here in the United States, Chris Lucash of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is working to reintroduce the red wolf, now found only in captivity, to the woods of North Carolina. They are just a few of the many who are trying to reverse the species holocaust that threatens the future of our natural world.

These committed scientists bring great generosity and devotion to their respective efforts to stop the sixth extinction. But if we don't all rise to the cause and join them in action, they cannot succeed. The hour is near, but it's not too late.

Jeff Corwin is the author of "100 Heartbeats," a book about his experiences tracking the sixth extinction.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

More Mercola on Cell Phone Danger

While, in theory, using a cell phone or other wireless device could interfere with the functions of an airliner, it’s not likely. Communication systems onboard planes have been shielded from electromagnetic interference since the 1960s.
The real reason why you can’t use your cell phone on a plane has much more to do with their impact on cell phone towers. If you’re flying at 35,000 feet, your cell phone’s signals could reach hundreds of towers at once, and cell phone companies are not set up to handle this type of roaming agreement.
That said, if you’re a frequent flyer you should be counting your lucky stars that cell phone use is currently prohibited on flights -- and not because you don’t have to suffer through other passengers’ loud personal calls, either!
A Flying Microwave Oven
An airplane is essentially a metal cylinder and is nearly an ideal structure to bounce around dangerous EMF radiation from any device that emits those signals inside the plane. Microwave exposure from cell phones and even Wi-Fi inside a plane is magnified by reflections from the metal body of the aircraft.
Airliners are worse than cars in this sense because there’s much less glass area relative to reflective metal. When you use a cordless phone or cell phone while standing near a metal door or refrigerator you also increase your exposure because of this reflective effect.
This holds true not only for planes and cars, but also buses, trains, elevators and any other moving vehicles, with the worst being perhaps a windowless van.
For the same reason, cell phone use should be banned at all times on commercial aircraft. Ideally, no one should be allowed to use their cell phones or laptop Wi-Fi inside a plane, even before takeoff, after landing or while sitting on the tarmac.
What Makes Cell Phones So Dangerous?
Cell phones, like all wireless communication devices, use radio (high frequency microwave) waves to transmit digital data, and the dangers of exposure were known as early as the 1950s in military applications. The hazards of radar, used in WWII, have been widely known in professional circles since the 1960s. Yet few have been willing to focus on the evidence, and the cellular industry has followed in the footsteps of the tobacco industry, vehemently denying any risks.
It’s worth remembering that the telecommunication industry is even BIGGER than Big Pharma, and they have far more influence than the drug companies.
My belief is that this exponential increase in this type of radiation exposure is far more serious a threat than tobacco ever was.

The first major indication that cell phones might be a health hazard came out of a massive, $25-million research project funded by the Cellular Telephone Industry Association (CTIA). To the industry’s surprise and dismay, the results of the study came to the opposite conclusion from the one they were hoping for.
The study's results included findings of:
  • A nearly 300 percent increase in the incidence of genetic damage when human blood cells were exposed to radiation in the cellular frequency band
  • A significant increase in cell phone users’ risk of brain tumors at the brain’s outer edge, on whichever side the cell phone was held most often
  • A 60 percent greater chance of acoustic neuromas, a tumor affecting the nerve that controls hearing, among people who had used cell phones for six years or more
  • A higher rate of brain cancer deaths among handheld mobile phone users than among car phone users (car phones are mounted on the dashboard rather than held next to your head and the antenna was typically outside of the car)
In addition to the widespread concern about brain cancer, scientists have found that digital radio waves transmitted by cell phones and other wireless devices can:
  • Harm your blood cells and cause cellular changes
  • Damage your DNA
  • Possibly accelerate and contribute to onset of autism, and there are theories that it may be a trigger for Alzheimer’s disease because of the cellular decalcification effect.
  • Damage your eyes
  • Cause sleep disruptions, fatigue and headaches
  • Change the exchange of nutrients and toxins across the cell membrane
And in all cases, the young are much more vulnerable to these risks than adults because of their thinner skulls, smaller heads, and still-developing brains and nervous systems. Their thinner skull bones allow for greater penetration of radiation. The radiation can enter all the way into the midbrain, where tumors are more deadly.

In addition, children's cells reproduce more quickly, so they're more susceptible to aggressive cell growth. Their immune systems are also not as well developed as adults. Lastly, children face a far greater lifetime exposure. Not only should children not use cell phones, but adults should not use them (or Wi-Fi) around children -- especially in light of the fact that brain cancer has now overtaken leukemia as the number one cancer killer of children.
The Top Cell Phone Safety Tips You Should Know
Cell phones have become an integral part of life and business for many of you reading this. So if you are not yet at the point where you want to give up your cell phone entirely, then please at least take note of the precautions you can take to help reduce the serious risks to you and your family.
  • Children Should Never Use Cell Phones: Barring a life-threatening emergency, children should not use a cell phone, or a wireless device of any type. Children are far more vulnerable to cell phone radiation than adults for reasons stated above.
  • Reduce Your Cell Phone Use: Turn your cell phone off more often. Reserve it for emergencies or important matters.
  • Use A Land Line At Home And At Work: Although more and more people are switching to using cell phones as their exclusive phone contact, it is a dangerous trend and you can choose to opt out of the madness.
  • Reduce or Eliminate Your Use of Other Wireless Devices: You would be wise to cut down your use of these devices. Just as with cell phones, it is important to ask yourself whether or not you really need to use them every single time.
It's important to realize that portable phones are also highly problematic. Recent research has linked portable house phones to an increased heart rate in people who are electromagnetically sensitive.
In some individuals, portable phone exposure almost doubled their heart rate in double-blind tests. This groundbreaking research has been accepted for publication and is expected to come out this spring, along with a large number of other studies focusing on the mechanisms of action to explain the biological damage we see from this type of radiation.
If you must use a portable home phone, consider using very early non-DECT version. Unfortunately, due to the lack of labeling, the only way to know for sure whether the type of phone you have is safe is to measure the amount of radiation emitted. The Web site offers a helpful summary of the various meters recommended
  • Use Your Cell Phone Only Where Reception is Good: The weaker the reception, the more power your phone must use to transmit. And the more power it uses, the more radiation it emits, and the deeper the dangerous radio waves penetrate into your body. Ideally, you should only use your phone with full bars and good reception.
  • Turn Your Cell Phone Off When Not in Use: As long as your cell phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently, even when you are not actually making a call.
  • Keep Your Cell Phone Away From Your Body When it is On: The most dangerous place to be, in terms of radiation exposure, is within about six inches of the emitting antenna. You do not want any part of your body within that area.
It's worth noting that your cell phone manual will actually tell you the minimum safety range of operation for your phone, even when not in use. For example, the iPhone states the phone must be at least 5/8 inch away from your body or ear for "safe operation." Almost all of them state that the cell phone "should NOT be worn or carried on the body."
    Air Tube Earpiece (LifeSaver 4u)
  • Use Safer Headset Technology: Wired headsets will certainly allow you to keep the cell phone farther away from your body. However, if a wired headset is not well-shielded -- and most of them are not -- the wire itself acts as an antenna attracting ambient radiation and transmitting radiation, not only directly to your brain, but also all along your torso.
The best kind of headset to use is a combination shielded wire and air-tube headset. Although there are wires that still must be shielded, there is no wire that goes all the way up to your head.
  • Use a Shielded Case: There are several anti-radiation cases on the market, but you could also purchase a certain kind of EMF-shielding fabric, available at Making a pouch from this fabric to put inside your regular case can help shield over 99 percent of the radiation emitted if you cover the entire phone and antenna. Another thing some people do is sew a lining in their pockets with this fabric.
If you wrap most of the phone but leave the antenna out, you'd still achieve some reduction in radiation, but it would not be nearly as effective as wrapping up the entire phone. This is one approach to reduce unnecessary radiation exposure if you simply must carry the phone turned ‘on’ on your body.
Note, however, many phones today do not have an external antenna and it is not always obvious where the antenna is located in the phone. In this case, you would want to put the whole phone in a pouch made of the shielding fabric unless you are comfortable using an RF meter and can figure out where the antenna is located by experimentation.
Best advice, as a I said before, is to keep the phone away from your body. Get in the habit of carrying your phone in a purse, bag or backpack instead.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Future Farming: The Call for a 50-Year Perspective on Agriculture

An Interview with Wes Jackson by Robert Jensen

[Excerpt] As everyone scrambles for a solution to the crises in the nation’s economy, Wes Jackson suggests we look to nature’s economy for some of the answers. With everyone focused on a stimulus package in the short term, he counsels that we pay more attention to the soil over the long haul.

“We live off of what comes out of the soil, not what’s in the bank,” said Jackson, president of The Land Institute. “If we squander the ecological capital of the soil, the capital on paper won’t much matter.”

Jackson doesn’t minimize the threat of the current financial problems but argues that the new administration should consider a “50-year farm bill,” which he and the writer/farmer Wendell Berry proposed in a New York Times op/ed earlier this month.

Central to such a bill would be soil. A plan for sustainable agriculture capable of producing healthful food has to come to solve the twin problems of soil erosion and contamination, said Jackson, who co-founded the research center in 1976 after leaving his job as an environmental studies professor at California State University-Sacramento.

Jackson believes that a key part of the solution is in approaches to growing food that mimic nature instead of trying to subdue it. While Jackson and his fellow researchers at The Land Institute continue their work on Natural Systems Agriculture, he also ponders how to turn the possibilities into policy. He spoke with me from his office in Salina, Kansas.

Robert Jensen: This is a short-term culture, and federal policies typically are aimed at short-term results. Why call for a farm bill that looks so far ahead, especially in tough economic times?
Wes Jackson: For the past 50 or 60 years, we have followed industrialized agricultural policies that have increased the rate of destruction of productive farmland. For those 50 or 60 years, we have let ourselves believe the absurd notion that as long as we have money we will have food. If we continue our offenses against the land and the labor by which we are fed, the food supply will decline, and we will have a problem far more complex than the failure of our paper economy.
Read full article


Take carbon from the air, put it in the ground...Part 2

Can Agriculture Stop Global Warming? Jeffrey P. Mitchell from CA Climate and Agriculture on Vimeo.