Tag Archives | Sustainability

5,000 Years of Sustainability

Rice FieldWhile 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 America’s past? Jude Isabella writes on Archeology:

A re-evaluation of evidence along North America’s western coast shows how its earliest inhabitants managed the sea’s resources stone walls serve as evidence that early peoples cultivated the intertidal zones to build clam gardens and fish traps

When the tide is out, the table is set. —Tlingit proverb

The tide is going out at Gibsons Beach, in the Strait of Georgia on Canada’s west coast. When the tide is low, it’s easy to spot rock walls in the intertidal zone, the area of shore land that’s exposed during low tide and hidden when the tide is in. A person can look at this beach for years and never understand that apparently random scatterings of piled rocks were actually carefully constructed to catch food from the sea.

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Solar Plant Pollutes River in China … Riots Ensue

Solar PanelWhat does sustainability truly mean in an industrial world? Villagers in Zhejiang Province are wondering the same thing since the production of solar cells and batteries at a factory in the area has effectively poisoned their river and their children … Via the BBC:

Hundreds of villagers in eastern China have held three days of protests at a solar panel plant over pollution fears. Around 500 people started gathering at Zhejiang Jinko Solar company in Haining city, Zhejiang province, on Thursday. Some of protesters stormed the factory, overturning several company cars and destroying offices, officials said. Residents in the nearby village of Hongxiao said they became concerned after the deaths of a large number of river fish.

One 64-year-old villager told the Associated Press that the factory — located close to a school and kindergarten – discharges waste into the river and spews dense smoke out of a dozen chimneys.

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Is The Internet Polluting The Planet?

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:

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Sacred Economics

SacredEconomicsThis 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 book is to make money and human economy as sacred as everything else in the universe.

Today we associate money with the profane, and for good reason. If anything is sacred in this world, it is surely not money. Money seems to be the enemy of our better instincts, as is clear every time the thought “I can’t afford to” blocks an impulse toward kindness or generosity. Money seems to be the enemy of beauty, as the disparaging term “a sellout” demonstrates. Money seems to be the enemy of every worthy social and political reform, as corporate power steers legislation toward the aggrandizement of its own profits. Money seems to be destroying the earth, as we pillage the oceans, the forests, the soil, and every species to feed a greed that knows no end.… Read the rest

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Earth Could be ‘Unrecognizable’ by 2050

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.

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People Eat Fish That Eat Fish That Eat Plastic

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 voiceofsandiego.org.

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Resilient Communities with Jeremy O’Leary

Jeremy O'Leary

Photo by Audrey Eschright / CC

Via Technoccult:

What can individuals do to improve their community’s resilience — whether that be in Portland or elsewhere?

I would suggest one of the 1st steps is to re-enforce the school buildings to withstand an earthquake, use the food certified kitchens in the schools to process locally grown food, and store emergency provisions at the schools.

If you mount solar PV panels on the roofs and place HAM radios there you can be fairly sure of having islands of communication even if things go really sideways.

You would need to have rain water cisterns at the schools, which could also be used for the urban orchards and the veggie gardens.

More broadly speaking, knowing your neighbors and being on good terms with them is possibly the 1st thing to do. It’s only then that conversations about sharing resources can be possible.

It sounds like you’ve picked schools as the epicenter for resilience in communities.

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The Zeitgeist Movement: Envisioning A Sustainable Future

zeitgeistBy Travis Walter Donovan for Huffington Post:

“It takes a different value system if you wish to change the world,” Jacque Fresco said to a sold out crowd of over 800 in New York City’s Upper West Side.

Though he may not need to convince these people, many his ardent followers, it will indeed take a restructuring of the mind for those unfamiliar with Fresco’s work to realistically accept the ideas he proposes of a new global society that has given up money and property in favor of a shared, sustainable, technology-driven community.

The caustic skepticism can already be heard, critics crying out with pointed fingers, decreeing communism, socialism, insanity! But as Fresco himself will tell you, communism is still just another system with banks and social stratification. The kind of world he imagines for the future is much different. To ease the transition, The Zeitgeist Movement provides a wealth of dizzying information detailing why a new global system is not only preferred, but necessary, and just how we can get there.

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