The latest “change the world” video from Annie Leonard’s Story of Stuff Project — Can shopping save the world? The Story of Change urges viewers to put down their credit cards and start exercising their citizen muscles to build a more sustainable, just and fulfilling world.

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”…

Stephen Lacey writes on ThinkProgress:

Americans for Prosperity now sees children flying kites as a major threat to society.

Earlier today, I opened my email box to find an uproarious AFP promotion for a protest in Asbury Park and Ocean City, New Jersey this Friday.

What are they so upset about?

An event so dastardly and maniacal, it has the potential to tear down everything we love about our freedoms as Americans. I almost couldn’t stomach it when I found out more.

Yes, it’s “extremist” kids from the Boys and Girls Club and local schools flying kites in support of offshore wind energy. Don’t worry, AFP is on the case (as explained on their website, accompanied by the smoking wind turbine)…

John Atcheson writes at Common Dreams:

Republicans have launched a full-scale attack on clean energy, and Solyndra always seems to be exhibit A in their assault. Recently, Romney went so far as to fabricate tales of Obama showing favoritism in this Bush-initiated loan – a whopper even by Romney’s record of complete disregard for the truth.

It’s worth reexamining this whole thing, because Solyndra is actually exhibit A in how the Republican Party manufactures failure out of whole cloth, and what it costs us when they aren’t confronted by Democrats or held accountable by the media.

To understand the full treachery of Republican attacks on Solyndra funding, it’s necessary to understand a little about venture capital investments…

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…

Via ScienceDaily: Depending on the weather, wind turbines can face whispering breezes or gale-force gusts. Such variable conditions make extracting the maximum power from the turbines a tricky control problem, but a…

Jill Richardson writes on Alternet: It is hardly news that the United States faces epidemic health problems linked to poor diets. Nearly two out of every five Americans are obese. But according…

A building, that uses historical rubble a main building component, is causing rumblings in the architecture community. What implications does this have on building a sustainable future? Via Inhabitat: The 2012 Pritzker…

Denver Green SchoolAre schoolyard farms the best way to counteract the increasingly industrial food provided by school lunches? Via Denver’s ABC affiliate:

DENVER — Just eight months ago, a one-acre plot at the Denver Green School was an unused athletic field, but now that land has come to life with food-bearing vegetation.

“We have harvested over 3,000 pounds of produce from this ground. Lots of salad greens and root vegetables, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers,” said Megan Caley, the programs and outreach coordinator for Sprout City Farms.

Each week during harvest season, the farm produces 150 pounds of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables that end up in the school’s cafeteria.

“Kids are eating healthier,” said Frank Coyne, lead partner at the Denver Green School. “They are excited to eat the tomatoes on the salad bar, they are excited to eat the cucumbers.”

For years, it has been reported that standard homesizes (with the US being the glaring exception) are shrinking. How small is too small? And what is the relationship between liveable space, architecture,…

While we currently venerate technology as the panacea for our catastrophic environmental ills, what if we could contextually approach and learn from sustainable civilizations that thrived in the distant reaches of North…

indexIs your constant craving for coneing clips hastening the destruction of the world? People tend to think of internet usage as “virtual” or “magic” but, it isn’t so.

YouTube viewing alone pumps thousands of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every day. Computer servers add to worldwide carbon emissions at the same rate as the aviation industry, and Facebook and Apple are powered largely by coal. In fact, I better stop typing right now. Via Hungry Beast:

This is the introduction to Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition, by Charles Eisenstein, courtesy of Evolver Editions/North Atlantic Books and Reality Sandwich. The purpose of this…

Earth As Seen From Apollo 17Via Discovery News:

A growing, more affluent population competing for ever scarcer resources could make for an “unrecognizable” world by 2050, researchers warned at a major US science conference Sunday.

The United Nations has predicted the global population will reach seven billion this year, and climb to nine billion by 2050, “with almost all of the growth occurring in poor countries, particularly Africa and South Asia,” said John Bongaarts of the non-profit Population Council.

To feed all those mouths, “we will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000,” said Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

“By 2050 we will not have a planet left that is recognizable” if current trends continue, Clay said.

Forum for the Future is a United Kingdom-based think tank with funding from corporate giants such as PepsiCo and Vodafone. Prior to New Year’s, it unveiled a series of animated shorts depicting how life within megacities might look in the year 2040. Perhaps most interesting is the vision of a benignly-Orwellian “Planned-opolis” in which daily activity is carefully regulated:

Plastic FishWhy don’t we just start eating fish made out of plastic? Simplify the food chain. Eric S. Page writes on NBC San Diego:

Scientists exploring the Great Pacific Garbage Patch have made another disturbing discovery, according to a published report.

The UCSD scientists returned from their trip to the Northern Pacific in August, bringing back tales, pictures and more than 100 samples from a blob of degraded plastic that is reportedly the size of Texas or bigger.

Now, in addition to the large concentration of plastic, Scripps Institution of Oceanography researchers have determined some of the fish in the area are eating it. “We did indeed find some indisputable pieces of plastic in their guts,” Pete Davison, a Scripps graduate student dissecting the fish, told the