Ecology







Anders Hayden writes at Solutions: Since the Industrial Revolution, two main motivations have driven the movement for work-time reduction. Free time away from the job improves individual well-being, while reducing work hours…











Via Nature.com:

…in a study published in Nature, researchers at Royal Holloway, University of London, in Egham, UK, show that low-level exposure to a combination of two pesticides is more harmful to bumblebee colonies than either pesticide on its own. The results suggest that current methods for regulating pesticides are inadequate because they consider only lethal doses of single pesticides. As ecologist Nigel Raine explains in the video, low doses of pesticides have subtle effects on individual bees and can seriously harm colonies. He hopes that his work will feed into consultations on pesticide regulations that are happening now in Europe.

Read more.



After years of back-breaking toil in ground ravaged by the effects of man-made growing systems, Paul Gautschi has discovered a taste of what God intended for mankind in the garden of Eden. Some of the vital issues facing agriculture today include soil preparation, fertilization, irrigation, weed control, pest control, crop rotation, and PH issues. None of these issues exist in the unaltered state of nature or in Paul’s gardens and orchards.

“Back to Eden” invites you to take a walk with Paul as he teaches you sustainable organic growing methods that are capable of being implemented in diverse climates around the world.


Reports Peter Aldhous on New Scientist:

It’s easy not to trash the planet — if you’re dirt poor and die young. But is it possible for all of us to live long and satisfying lives without costing the Earth? That’s the question behind a measure of national well-being called the Happy Planet Index (HPI). Its latest update, released this week ahead of the Rio+20 summit on sustainable development, names Costa Rica as the world’s most “developed” nation and puts the US on the sick list.

To show how different the world looks when viewed according to the HPI, rather than conventional wealth, New Scientist applied distorting lenses. In the top map, countries are sized according to their GDP, and shaded by GDP per capita. As sub-Saharan Africa almost shrinks from view, western Europe, the US and Japan swell and flush a deep red.

But this wealth has fuelled massively unsustainable use of natural resources. Nic Marks of the New Economics Foundation in London developed HPI as an alternative measure, “to capture the tension between good lives now and good lives in the future”…




RadiationWell, it’s good to know Japan’s government is seriously testing the food supply. Via the Japan Times:

Radioactive cesium was detected in 51 food products from nine prefectures in excess of a new government-set limit in the first month since it was introduced April 1st, according to data released by the health ministry Tuesday.

The limit was exceeded in 337 cases, or 2.4 percent of 13,867 food samples examined by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

Cesium exceeding the previous allowable limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram was detected in 55 cases, while the new limit of 100 becquerels was exceeded in 282 cases. By prefecture, there were 142 cases in Fukushima, 69 in Tochigi, 41 in Ibaraki, 35 in Iwate, 32 in Miyagi, 13 in Chiba, two each in Yamagata and Gunma, and one in Kanagawa.


Vandana Shiva writes on the intersections of capitalism, the state, agribusiness, and a burgeoning organic movement in South Asia. Via Al Jazeera: The economic crisis, the ecological crisis and the food crisis…