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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Why did no one see it coming?

WEA Pedagogy Blog

In the wake of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC 2007), the Queen of England asked academics at the London School of Economics why no one saw it coming. TcrisisGFChe US Congress constituted a committee to investigate the failure of economic theory to predict the crisis.  Unfortunately, economists remain unable to answer this critical question. Some say that crises are like earthquakes, impossible to forecast. Others take refuge behind technical aspects of complex mathematical models. With monotonous regularity, more than 200 monetary crises have occurred globally, ever since financial liberalization started in the 1980’s. the methodology currently in use in economics systematically blinds economists to the root causes of these crises. Many leading economists have called for radical changes to bring economic theory into closer contact with reality.

Many who had hoped that the  GFC would serve as a wake-up call for the profession have been extremely disappointed by subsequent developments…

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Exiting The Anthropocene and Entering The Symbiocene.

Symbiocene. Maori call it whanaungatanga. Indigenous peoples of Canada use the term “all our relations”. Beautifully written, critically important.

Psychoterratica

Mushroom IMG_3441

Exiting The Anthropocene

It has been proposed that humans are now living within a period of the Earth’s history appropriately named ‘The Anthropocene’ (Crutzen and Stoermer 2000). The name is derived from the observed human influence and indeed dominance of all climatic, biophysical and evolutionary processes occurring at a planetary scale. The issue is not simply climate change (as bad as that is) it is the whole Capitalist development paradigm that is at the dark heart of mal-development; that is, development that undermines and destroys the very foundations of all life on Earth.

Gone is the relative stability and predictability of the past 12,000 years as the established patterns and regularity of Holocene phenology begin to fall into chaos. While some cosmic constants remain such as the cycles of day and night, the moon’s influence on the tides, the date of the solstices and the length of time the Earth…

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Leonardo DiCaprio: ‘This Is the Video Future Generations Will Be Wishing Everyone Watched Today’

Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio has advocated for a number of worthy causes, from fighting climate change to the importance of conservation. Now, with a single tweet, the planetary steward shines a light on the colossal environmental impact of animal agriculture. In his tweet, DiCaprio included a link to a stunning video from Mercy For Animals, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals, and promoting compassionate food choices and policies.

“This is the video future generations will be wishing everyone watched today.” via

The 4-minute clip, with the tag-line “This is the video future generations will be wishing everyone watched today,” starts by showing the awe-inspiring, grandeur of our living, breathing planet Earth as well as its incredibly vast biodiversity. It then turns dark as footage rolls of crumbling glaciers and disappearing coastlines, and links these global catastrophes to mankind’s insatiable appetite for meat. The video points out that animal agriculture and meat consumption is the number one cause of environmental destruction, species extinction and ocean “dead zones.” The agricultural industry has consumed one-third of all fresh water and has destroyed 91 percent of the Amazon. The video, however, ends on a good note. Its message, “She is our mother, there is only one, she is dying, she can be saved,” urges us all to help save our struggling ecosystems before it’s too late.

read more….

Source: Leonardo DiCaprio: ‘This Is the Video Future Generations Will Be Wishing Everyone Watched Today’

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Freshwater Research News

Fresh findings from around the world, compiled and edited by Kev Warburton, School of Agricultural, Environmental and Veterinary Sciences, Charles Sturt University

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