Nicola Sturgeon announces plans for second Scottish independence referendum after UK votes for Brexit | UK Politics | News | The Independent

It is “democratically unacceptable” that Scotland will be taken out of the EU against its will, Nicola Sturgeon has said, and a second independence referendum is “highly likely”. The First Minister said that the Scottish Government would commence preparations for another independence vote after Scotland bucked the UK trend by voting 62 per cent to 38 per cent for Remain.

Source: Nicola Sturgeon announces plans for second Scottish independence referendum after UK votes for Brexit | UK Politics | News | The Independent

Putting Culture back into Nature

Superb piece from Chris Perley

Thoughtscapes - Reimagining

Guided_growth_rootbridge_882x300We have spread across and changed our world.  Change is the constant.  But it is maintaining the integrity of our systems that is more important than whether there is any particular ‘natural state’.

I doubt there is any such thing as a natural state.  I was taught climax ecology in the early 80s, but by the mid 80s Pickett & White and Daniel Botkin were strongly suggesting that the idea of a deterministic path to some natural ‘climax’ was very dubious indeed.

Pristine landscapes It has been thousands of years since the Earth had pristine landscapes.  A new article identifies four major phases when humans shaped the world around them with broad effects on natural ecosystems: global human expansion during the Late Pleistocene; the Neolithic spread of agriculture; the era of humans colonising islands; and the emergence of early urbanised societies and trade.  Credit: po808 / Fotolia

The whole idea is…

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Green Gold

I love his work. And that of so many others who are doing regenerative work. What hampers us most, I believe, is the lack of political and economic will to fund such work – unless, of course, there is a guaranteed profit margin. The question then becomes, how to transform this economic paradigm as a matter of extreme urgency ?

Our Land is not an Industry

Yes. Thank you Chris Perley.

Thoughtscapes - Reimagining

“To heal is to make whole.  This applies as well to the ‘industries’ of landscapes: agriculture, forestry & mining.  Once they have been industrialised, those enterprises no longer recognise landscapes as wholes, let alone as homes for people and other creatures. They regard landscapes as sources of extractable products.  They have ‘efficiently’ shed any other concern or interest.”

Wendell Berry.  Our Only World p6

Landscape children

This quote by Wendell Berry below sums up why I do not like the name (and explicit framing) of our renamed public department ‘Ministry of Primary Industries‘.  It disturbs me when the technocrats, especially those who see the world through the myopic lens of dollars and markets alone, have the power to fundamentally shift from a metaphor of culture – agriculture, silviculture, apiculture, horticulture, viticulture, aquaculture – to a metaphor of ‘industry’.

I think we ought to ‘see’ landscapes in a broad sense, as places of…

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Fort McMurray wildfire burning so hot, only weather can stop it – Technology & Science – CBC News

The raging wildfire that has forced the evacuation of Fort McMurray, Alta., and engulfed parts of the community is the kind of blaze that firefighters dread, but could become more common, according to experts.  Alternatively described by officials as “catastrophic,” a “multi-headed monster” and a “dirty, nasty” fire, the blaze is at least 10,000 hectares in area and has destroyed more than 1,600 structures. It could threaten the entire community, they said.  LIVE BLOG | Up-to-the-minute updates from Fort McMurray Wildfire rages in Fort McMurray as evacuees settle in Edmonton 2 babies born in Fort McMurray wildfire evacuation camp The wildfire became so intense Tuesday that the heat limited air operations over the affected areas. More than 150 firefighters are battling it on multiple fronts, with hundreds more from other provinces expected to arrive in the coming days.  Temperatures are expected to remain high, with a glimmer of hope on the horizon as a cold front approaches. It could, however, bring lightning with it, possibly starting more fires. It is a nearly impossible situation. The wildfire is an extreme example of the power of Mother Nature, but offers some interesting lessons about the science of wildfires.  ‘A perfect storm’ of fire The conditions that preceded the start of this fire were quintessential wildfire conditions: a seemingly endless supply of dry fuel on the forest floor and in the canopy, and intense heat. All that was needed was a spark, and whether it was caused by human error or lightning (an investigation is underway), once the spark was there, the fire became a beast.  “You hate to use the cliché, but it really was kind of a perfect storm,” says Mike Wotton, a research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service and professor at the University of Toronto.   An evacuee puts gas in his car on his way out of Fort McMurray, Alta., on Wednesday. (Jason Franson/Canadian Press) 1 of 15Hide captionToggle FullscreenAt beginning of image galleryShow Next Image (2 of 15) “There was a mild winter and not a lot of meltwater from the mountain snow pack. Now, a stale air mass has been sitting over Alberta, and it led to very low humidity. Then there was an early, hot spring, and everything got very dry. Then on top of that, it got windy.” The fire, burning between 800 C and 1,000 C, was first spotted when it was about 500 hectares in area (with each hectare about the size of a rugby pitch). It became what’s called a crown fire, which occurs when the tops of conifers, which tend to burn more easily than deciduous trees, become engulfed and the flames spread through the canopy.  “That’s when you start to see the 100-metre-high flames,” said Mike Flannigan, professor of wildland fire at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. The fire was likely moving at a speed of up to five kilometres per hour and quickly became difficult to manage.  ‘Like spitting on a campfire’ Many fires in the Boreal forest are extremely unpredictable. The fire front, the area where it’s burning most intensely, is so hot, that crews can’t attack it from the front. Sometimes the fire front can be hundreds of metres long, according to Flannigan, so crews have to work at its flanks. Aerial attacks become less effective because they aren’t hitting the core of the fire.

watch videos, read more..

Source: Fort McMurray wildfire burning so hot, only weather can stop it – Technology & Science – CBC News

The Trans-Pacific ‘Partnership’ and Our Environment

Good thought-provoing work from Chris Perley

Thoughtscapes - Reimagining

The very idea that the Trans-Pacific neoliberalism‘Partnership’ (TPP) is good for the environment (Craig Foss MP Hawke’s Bay Today 26th October) is arrant nonsense.  More than that, it is wilful distortion. While Mr Foss might have the privilege of knowing what clauses say what in this secret deal ‘of the oligarchy for the oligarchy’, he obviously
doesn’t understand the environment, let alone the economics and ethics relating to natural systems.

It’s more of the same “the market will provide” idiocy.  It is a wonder “trickle down” wasn’t TINA-there-is-no-alternative-phrase-attributed-to-Margaret-Thatcher-white-chalk-handwrting-and-color-Stock-Photo mentioned, or “there is no alternative”, or “in our [mythical] meritocracy, the large obviously have more merit” (in other words, “might is right”).

Mr Foss thinks that certification schemes will ensure
environmental protection. They won’t. That is because there are two types of commerce – the small-c local, ethical enterprises connected to place and community, and the big-C unethical and disconnected commerce (with owners and…

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Series of powerful quakes could herald new MEGA quake, warns top scientist

The Extinction Protocol

Mega Quake
April 2016GEOLOGY A series of powerful earthquakes which struck Asia and South America in the past week could be followed by a ‘mega’ quake in the near future, a scientist has claimed. On Thursday and yesterday, two earthquakes struck Japan, killing at least 41 people, causing landslides and widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure. Today, a 6.1 magnitude quake struck southeast of the Pacific island nation of Tonga, with no immediate reports of damage.
‘And if they delay, the strain accumulated during the centuries provokes more catastrophic mega earthquakes.’ In addition to the four major earthquakes to have struck since Thursday, last week there were also shakes in the Philippines, Vanuatu and Myanmar.
All of the earthquakes have occurred in countries straddling the so-called Ring of Fire. This is a horseshoe-shaped series of trenches spanning the Pacific Ocean where tectonic plates are shifting and seismic and volcanic…

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