Tag Archives | Sustainability

Down With Sustainable Development! Long Live Convivial Degrowth!

Demonstration at the end of the Fourth International Conference on Degrowth in the German city of Leipzig from September 2-6, 2014. (Creative Commons http://leipzig.degrowth.org)

Demonstration at the end of the Fourth International Conference on Degrowth in the German city of Leipzig from September 2-6, 2014. (Creative Commons http://leipzig.degrowth.org)

Justin Hyatt writes at Common Dreams:

For anyone who recently attended the Fourth International Conference on Degrowth in Leipzig, Germany, listening in on conference talk, surrounded by the ecologically savvy, one quickly noticed that no one was singing the praises of sustainable development.

Nonetheless, development per se and all that this entails did take center stage, as a crowd of three thousand participants and speakers debated ongoing trends in the fields of environment, politics, economics and social justice.

Given that it may not be immediately clear why a rallying cry anchored to ecological principles would call for the demise of sustainable development – which in generic terms could be described as the environmentalist program dating back several decades – it seems that a clarification or two would be in order.

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Population Control Measures Won’t Solve Global Sustainability Problem

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Photo: G H Clarke (CC)

Bad news for the New World Order oligarchs: killing billions of us won’t solve the world’s sustainability problems, reports BBC News:

Restricting population growth will not solve global issues of sustainability in the short term, new research says.

A worldwide one-child policy would mean the number of people in 2100 remained around current levels, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Even a catastrophic event that killed billions of people would have little effect on the overall impact, it said.

There may be 12 billion humans on Earth by 2100, latest projections suggest.

Concerns about the impact of people on the planet’s resources have been growing, especially if the population continues to increase.

‘Can’t stop it’

The authors of this new study said roughly 14% of all the people who ever existed were alive today.

These growing numbers mean a greater impact on the environment than ever, with worries about the conversion of forests for agriculture, the rise of urbanisation, the pressure on species, pollution, and climate change.

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The Ayahuasca Dialogues

If you’re concerned about the future of psychedelic medicines and ethical/sustainable sources, then please support this project by the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council. They are making big strides and can use all our help.

From The Nexian:

With the continued rise in popularity of psychedelic plant medicines, concerns surrounding sustainable harvesting methods and safe administration by practitioners are growing. The Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the sustainable and safe use of traditional plants and enriching the communities who work with them.

As we have seen in recent articles, unsustainable harvesting is a growing issue with ayahuasca, mimosa and acacia trees, iboga, peyote, and even sassafras in SE Asia. Quite antithetical to the earth-centered teachings of these plants, these harvesting methods have a devastating impact on the environment.

In order to truly heal with the planet we must not only have these experiences of higher awareness of the biosphere, but put our thoughts into action and become the stewards of nature, not its disease.… Read the rest

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Sustainable Psychedelics: Cultivating a Viable Relationship with the Medicine

Moderator dreamer042 of the DMT-Nexus elaborates on more sustainable approaches to utilizing psychedelics:

As the global demand for entheogenic medicines 1grows, we are seeing a simultaneous rise in unsustainable harvesting, poaching, and related ecological damage. The question we, as responsible explorers of expanded consciousness, should be asking is, “What are the hidden costs associated with my personal path of healing through medicine work?” From the cultural and environmental impact of the ever-growing ayahuasca tourism industry in the Amazon, to the ripping up of mature mimosa trees for their root bark in Brazil, to the stripping of protected acacia trees in Australia, to the poaching of iboga to near extinction in Africa, to the destruction of what remains of the ever shrinking North American peyote habitat. It’s time for a radical shift in the way we relate to these sacred plant teachers.

You will often hear people endlessly expounding on the idea that you should never drink ayahuasca without a shaman or that the only way to have an authentic experience is to jet-set halfway around the world and attend a ceremony in Peru or Gabon.… Read the rest

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When DMT Equals Killing the Environment

The dark side of DMT production…These atrocities have been going on for a very long time. If you read this link, you can see that the same thing has been and is happening with Mimosa hostilis, along with other psychedelic containing species, since at least the 90’s…

If you truly value the environment and profound teachings these plants offer humanity then please help us spread awareness of this idiotically unsustainable harvesting by sharing this information with others.

Via The Nexian:

In late September of this year (2014), Australian acacia expert, Nen, was confronted with one example of the potential ecological costs of the skyrocketing interest in DMT. The following is his account of what he encountered:

What I saw yesterday has left me sickened and shocked.

I took the Nexian, Spice Sailor, to see a very special and pristine nature reserve in a national park where there were large mother seed trees of Acacia obtusifolia.

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Belabored Podcast #61: When Climate and Labor Converge

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I stumbled across Dissent awhile ago and added them to my Feedly list. However, I had the habit of skimming past their articles (my Feedly account is large and continues to grow). However, Ross Perlin’s essay, “Radical Linguistics in an Age of Extinction,” caught my eye. I’ve since pored over their website and have even signed up for a print subscription.

Two Dissent authors (Sarah Jaffe and Michelle Chen) run a podcast, Belabored, which tackles the labor movement in the US and abroad. I thought the podcast-listening Disinfonauts may be interested.

When Climate and Labor Converge (Live!), with Nastaran Mohit and Lara Skinner

This particular episode addresses the relationship between sustainability and “green” jobs and the labor groups in the US.

via Dissent:

As people around the world prepare to converge on New York City for the People’s Climate March, there seem to be more reasons than ever to despair about climate change, but perhaps also more reason than usual to be optimistic.

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Greenery Power: Charge Your Phone Using a Plant

Coastal wetlands at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Massachusetts. By Kelly Fike/USFWS via Flickr.

Coastal wetlands at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Massachusetts. By Kelly Fike/USFWS via Flickr.

Anmar Frangoul writes at CNBC:

The way we power our towns and cities is changing. Solar, wave and wind energy are just some of the renewable sources that could, with time, make our current reliance on fossil fuels a thing of the past.

But what about clean, renewable energy from the planet’s lawns, plants, paddy fields and wetlands? It sounds a little outlandish, but for nearly a decade researchers in the Dutch town of Wageningen have been painstakingly working towards that very goal.

Plant-e, a Wageningen University spin-off company, uses technology that enables living plants to generate electricity.

“The idea of the technology is to produce electricity from a new source,” David Strik, Assistant Professor at Wageningen University’s Sub-department of Environmental Technology, and co-founder and CTO of Plant-e, told CNBC.com in a phone interview.

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Wealth in Poverty: A Tribal’s View

Women in a tribal (Gond adivasi) village, Umaria district, India. Picture taken during a meeting organised by Ekta Parishad about land rights, the main grievance of the Adivasi people. By Yann via Wikimedia Commons.

Women in a tribal (Gond adivasi) village, Umaria district, India. Picture taken during a meeting organised by Ekta Parishad about land rights, the main grievance of the Adivasi people. By Yann via Wikimedia Commons.

This is an excerpt from “The Little Earth Book” by James Bruges.

Wealth means different things to different people. For a tribal person, money has little value. It is community they value.

The community at Gudalur, South India, is extremely poor. They used to live in the forest but could not prove ownership of any land. In their culture, there was no conception that land could be owned. Land, water and air are regarded as commons, available for all to use.

The government sold the forests in which the tribal community adivasis lived. It was assumed that the forests were empty and Brooke Bond acquired large tracts as tea plantations. Tribals continued to live on the edges.… Read the rest

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No Bull! Scientists Convert Cow Manure Into Drinking Water

Pic: Daniel Schwin (CC)

Pic: Daniel Schwin (CC)

Don’t get too squeamish: If you’re on a public water system then I can assure you that the water that pours out of your spigot isn’t bottled by magic elves living at the top of a glistening glacier. Even the cow to your right knows that. (Don’t judge me, cow.)

Scientists in the US have developed technology that can turn cow manure into drinkable water.
The anaerobic digester takes manure and passes out water which is clean enough for livestock to drink – by removing compounds such as ammonia.

Nutrients are also pulled from the manure during the process which can be turned into fertiliser.
Professor Steve Safferman, from the Michigan State University team, said: “If you have 1,000 cows on your operation, they produce about 10 million gallons of manure a year.

“About 90% of the manure is water but it contains large amounts of nutrients, carbon and pathogens that can have an environmental impact if not properly managed.”
The system produces 50 gallons (227L) of water for every 100 gallons (455L) of manure digested.

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The End of Fish

Cardona,Rizaljf5207 01Amy Novogratz and Mike Velings, co-founders of Aqua-Spark, an investment fund focused on sustainable aquaculture, write about the inevitable end of fish as we plunder the oceans, at the Washington Post:

People are getting more adventurous with how they eat, and when it comes to seafood, this means exhaustively looking to every exotic corner for the best, newest and tastiest fish. Also, the stuff is delicious. Seafood is a critical portion of more than 3 billion people’s diets. Already, 90 percent of U.S. seafood is imported.

This can’t last. The oceans are stretched, and certain fish species are approaching depletion. Leading scientists project that if we continue to fish this way, without allowing our oceans time to recover, our oceans could become virtual deserts by 2050. That’s just 36 years from now. Given that demand for seafood – along with the world’s population – is rising, don’t be surprised if this window closes even faster.

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