Senda Verde Permaculture Eco Center

Thursday, 31 December 2009

Farms, Worms, Cash and the Space Time Continuum

Grain silos on a wheat farm

It’s no secret that farming is a largely thankless occupation. The hours are relentless, the work often alienating (sitting for hours on end in a tractor in the drizzle with a pair of ear defenders on must be a recipe for dark thoughts) and the rewards paltry.

Tragically, given the extent to which we all depend on the above for our literal daily bread, the suicide rates of those working in the agricultural sector clearly reflect the tribulations of those in this troubled line of work.

Oxford University’s Centre for Suicide Research has pointed to financial and health problems, the effects of legislation and regulations, exposure to organophosphate compounds, and social isolation as just a few of the contributing factors.

The thing is, modern farming is often immensely destructive as well as immensely productive, and not just to farmers themselves. The so-called Green Revolution of increased chemical pesticide and herbicide usage, improved seed varieties and synthetic nitrogen fertilizer has caused production to soar over the past 50 years, but there is growing evidence that many of the gains bought were short term, as biodiversity faces a massive assault, water tables fall and the land becomes exhausted.

All the above seem to point to the fact we are thinking about land and farming in the most hidebound, mechanistic way. There must be other ways of going about things:
A woman picks what's left of her failed crop in Gujarat, India. AP photo

A woman picks what's left of her failed crop in Gujarat, India. AP photo

How, for example, about an integrated, zero-waste highly productive farm that maximises the use of renewable energies and turns ‘wastes’ into food and energy resources? Not only that, but one that counters the paradigm of infinite competitive growth with a zero entropy model that makes a fundamentally deeper use of the space-time continuum.

(Yes, I just wrote that. No I’m not stoned: bear with me).

And how about using derelict buildings and delinquent kids in a rundown city as two key components in building an urban farm that produces affordable meat, fish and veg for one of the “food deserts” of America, “where the only access to food is corner grocery stories filled with beer, cigarettes and processed foods” and provides meaningful work for hundreds of people?

What about getting Wall Street and venture capital firms to invest in 20 million worms that can effectively recycle the organic waste of a small city, producing rich compost at the same time? Or to fund the conversion of forests and wetlands destroyed by logging or pollution into fish farms that use no pesticides, require no cultivation of land, no forest clearance and no discharge of polluted water. And that produce renewable energy at the same time?

All of the above are happening or in the pipeline in micro-projects dotted around the world, that could and should provide a blueprint for the future of agriculture and dare I say it, a remedy for many pressing social ills including crap processed food, obesity, a detachment from nature, urban decay, environmental havoc and suicidal farmers. (It’s good to be optimistic!)

But first, that space-time continuum thingy:

Biologist Mae Wan Ho of the excellent Institute of Science in Society, is keen on developing the notion of sustainable systems as organisms, or more explicitly, how to extend her “theory of sustainable systems as organisms to include growth and development explicitly.” In the model of a farm she’s nicknamed Dream Farm 2; “a microcosm of a different way of being and becoming in the world” she’s set about putting theory into practise.

Some background on the idea and sustainable systems as organisms:

The ‘zero-waste’ or ‘zero-entropy’ model of the organism and sustainable systems predicts balanced development and growth at every stage, as opposed to the dominant model of infinite, unsustainable growth. This immediately disposes of the myth that the alternative to the dominant model is to have no development or growth at all.

The dominant model of infinite competitive growth can be represented as the bigger fish swallowing the smaller ad infinitum… A person grows at the expense of other people; a company grows by taking over other companies, laying waste to the earth’s resources in the meantime.

There is no closed cycle to hold resources within, to build up stable organised social or ecological structures. Not surprisingly, this is totally unsustainable, which is why we are faced with global warming and the energy crisis.

In contrast, the archetype of a sustainable system is a closed lifecycle, like that of an organism, it is ready to grow and develop, to build up structures in a balanced way and perpetuate them, and that’s what sustainability is all about. Closing the cycle creates a stable, autonomous structure that is self-maintaining, self-renewing and self-sufficient.

In order to do that, you need to satisfy as much as possible the zero-entropy or zero-waste ideal. In this ideal, no waste or disorganisation (entropy) accumulates in the system. Even the waste (entropy) exported to the outside is minimised towards zero in a healthy balanced system. The more we approach that ideal, the better the system can develop and grow, and remain young and vibrant.

The system’s cycle contains more cycles within that are interlocked to help one another thrive and prosper… The farmer prepares the ground to sow the seeds for the crops to grow that feed the livestock and the farmer; the livestock returns manure to feed the crops. Very little is wasted or exported to the environment. In fact, a high proportion of the resources are recycled and kept inside the system. The system stores energy as well as material resources such as carbon. The extra carbon is sequestered in the soil as the soil improves, and in the standing biomass of crops and livestock.

The farm can perpetuate itself like that quite successfully and sustainably, or it can grow.

And here is where it gets all Stephen Hawking, only with algae:

Organic growth is always done in a balanced way by engaging more cycles, units of devolved autonomy that help one another do better.In the old paradigm, organisms are predominantly seen to compete for resources and for space. But we’ve got three space dimensions and the time dimension too.

We’ve got space-time that we can fill up more thickly with life cycles of different sizes that occupy different space-times. That is exactly what organisms in a naturally biodiverse ecosystem do to maximise the reciprocal, symbiotic relationships that benefit all the species. So you can add fish, algae, poultry, worms, mushrooms, etc., turning the ‘waste’ from one cycle to resource for another.

The more lifecycles incorporated, the more energy and standing biomass are stored within the system, and the more productive the farm. It will also support more farmers or farm workers.

Productivity and biodiversity always go together in a sustainable system, as generations of farmers have known, and recent academic researchers have rediscovered. It is also the most energy efficient. Why? Because the different life cycles are essentially holding the energy for the whole system by way of reciprocity, keeping as much as possible and recycling it within the system.

Industrial monoculture, in contrast, is the least energy efficient in terms of output per unit of input, and often less productive in absolute terms despite high external inputs, because it does not close the cycle, it does not have biodiversity to hold the energy within, and it ends generating a lot of waste and entropy and depleting the soil.

Pretty theory dense, but there are others who are putting similar ideas into practise, and involving a social dimension too:

Will Allen has been getting a lot of attention since the New York Times ran a glowing report on his project in urban Milwaukee. As the paper wrote, Allen has the makings of an agricultural dream packed into “two scruffy acres in one of Milwaukee’s most economically distressed neighborhoods.”

His Growing Power organization has six greenhouses and eight hoophouses for greens, herbs and vegetables; pens for goats, ducks and turkeys; a chicken coop and beehives; and a system for raising tilapia and perch. There’s an advanced composting operation — a virtual worm farm — and a lab that is working on ways to turn food waste into fertilizer and methane gas for energy.

“I’d like to see Growing Power transform itself into a five-story vertical building being totally off the grid with renewable energy, where people can come and learn, so they can go back to their communities around the world and grow healthy food,” Mr. Allen, 59, said in an interview at the farm.

Having just secured a US$500,000 grant, Allen looks in a good position to make his project really take off. Meanwhile, in another corner of America, Yale graduate Janine Yorio is looking to get Wall Street interested in fish and worms. Formerly a specialist in structured loans and boutique hotels in the finance sector, she opted to get out and pursue an industry with “real underlying growth prospects.”

As the Atlantic reports, after studying what was happening in the underworld of sustainable agriculture, Yorio reached a novel conclusion: there’s gold to be found off the grid of conventional agriculture and set about trying to make some money from some pretty left-field enterprises with her own advisory firm.

Yorio started NewSeed Advisors in early 2009. The company works with niche producers to transform innovative ideas into organized industries capable of attracting venture capital.

(Yorio’s) relationship with the company TimberFish Technologies reveals what she’s up to. TimberFish pioneered a complex process that transforms forest material into fish feed within a recirculating ecosystem…

It gets pretty technical: talk to the venture capital guys about “terrestrial-based flow-through configurations” and all you’ll see is the exhaust pipe of their Maserati as they roar off for greener pastures. But as Yorio knows from her background in high finance

Reframe TimberFish as THE solution to THE largest pollution problem for an active industry with global dimensions, however, and ears suddenly prick up.

Yorio’s work with a vermiculture company called CSR Plus Vermicast presents the related challenge of expanding a company’s scale. The company converts organic waste into soil additives using earthworms.

Yorio’s goal is to commercialize this model through a blueprint that aims to attract big municipal contracts. “It takes 20 million worms to recycle the organic waste of a small town,” she explains, adding that there’s no reason why CSR could not scale up to “process organic waste at the municipal level.” With many large cities contemplating, or even enacting, composting laws, one can see how a savvy investor might find a re-conceptualized CSR to be an appealing investment.

Between Mae Wan Ho, Will Allen and Janine Yorio, there appear to be several alternative models of agriculture that — although still in their nascent stages — could provide a fascinating blueprint for further investment down the road.

As urban decay racks many large cities, predictions of further oil spikes in the future pose troubling questions about food security and industrial agriculture devastates the countryside, driving everything from larks to bumblebees into near-extinction, the above examples prove their are exciting alternatives out there that can involve the community, be sustainable and not destructive; involve, not shut out, the mavens of high finance and yes, that involve life cycles that occupy different space-times.

Thanks to Jamblichus

Friday, 18 December 2009

Greenpeace - a ship of lies on an ocean of fraud

Greenpeace clearly part of the global man made climate change fraud

It’s a sight we have all become familiar with in the media over the years. Greenpeace activists sneaking on board commercial ships and buildings, draping homemade banners adorned with radical environmental slogans over the ship’s bow. This week in Copenhagen saw the first-ever opening salvo by climate sceptics returning direct fire back to the very green campaign groups who uphold the globalists’ climate change global mantra.

An entirely new breed of activist has been born- the “climate skeptivist”.

On Wednesday, Global warming skeptics from CFACT pulled off an international climate caper by using GPS triangulation from Greenpeace’s own on-board camera photos to locate and sail up long-side its famous vessel, Rainbow Warrior. Then in Greenpeace-like fashion, the ‘climate realists’ dropped a banner reading “Propaganda Warrior” in order to highlights how the radical green group’s policies and agenda are based on a series of scientific myths, lies and exaggerations about global warming and climate change.

Global warming skeptics from CFACT pulled off an international climate caper.

Earlier that day, CFACT’s “skeptivists” also boarded Greenpeace’s other seafaring vessel, the Arctic Sunrise, gaining passage on deck by distracting Greenpeace crew with boxes of doughnuts whilst they unfurled yet another banner hand-painted with the slogan “Ship of Lies” off of the ship’s starboard side.

Using its well-known radical approach to activism, campaigning group Greenpeace has become one of the key components behind the proliferation of man-made global warming theory, as well as its subsequent rebranding into what is now commonly known as “climate change”. Greenpeace leader Gerd Leipold was recently forced to confess during an interview with the BBC that his organization issued misleading and exaggerated information claiming that Arctic ice would disappear completely by 2030. Greenpeace’s own members commonly cite the group’s reports on climate change as ‘trusted’ science, when in reality their claims are politically motivated, promoting selective science. The organisation’s co-founder, Patrick Moore, who has long since been chased out by radical left elements in the group, foresaw this as a genuine flaw in Greenpeace’s hierarchy. Moore stated in 2008 that “I observed that none of my fellow directors had any formal science education. They were either political activists or environmental entrepreneurs. Ultimately, a trend toward abandoning scientific objectivity in favor of political agendas forced me to leave Greenpeace in 1986.”

After nearly a decade of campaigning for vague concepts as ‘climate action’ and ‘climate justice’ with virtually no direct public opposition, Greenpeace members will certainly be shocked and horrified to see a genuine physical challenge their assumed moral hegemony over all things environmental.

CFACT executive director Craig Rucker masterminded the operation and explains, “Greenpeace has been using these kinds of tactics for decades, and now they can find out what it’s like to have a little taste of their own medicine“.

After nearly a week of fundamentally meaningless street protests by climate action groups and their hundreds of arrests, how refreshing to see climate realists take action- certainly they are an environmental movement with a brain. It might seem like a modest skirmish on the high seas, but with any luck, The Battle of Copenhagen will be remembered as a rallying cry for lovers of real science and common sense everywhere.

Thanks to Paul Watson at Info wars for the story

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Arrest Al Gore and cancel Copenhagen

Tim Ball joins us from Canada to discuss Climategate, the East Anglia University Hacked Emails, the Global Warming Scandal and the upcoming COP15 Conference, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen and the emerging of World Government. Tim has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Winnipeg, a Master of Arts degree from the University of Manitoba in Geography, and a Ph.D. degree in climatology from the University of London. He is the former head of "Friends of Science". We talk about "the scandal in Scandinavia", the Nobel Peace Prize given to Al Gore and IPCC, Phil Jones, Tom Wigley, the CRU (Climate Research Unit), Anthropogenic Global Warming, CO2 taxes, Climate Data Dumped, Maurice Strong and many others who are involved in this Scandal.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Freeman on the land by Robert-Arthur of the Menard family.

A must watch movie by a Freeman that should be given some serious investigation. Rob's style and character are infectious, his humour biting and his Truth compelling. For anyone that's ready for the motherlode of conspiracy theory then there is no better starter for an introduction to the Freeman on the Land concept and a real time solution to our global problems.

From Freeman-on-the-Land Robert-Arthur of the Menard family comes an exciting plan to bring remedy to the world and thwart the NWO.

An intro from Rob from the new web site
Rob Menard

with a short thank you for your interest in my Very Cunning Plan and in finding and providing remedy to the problems so many are starting to see. From CODEX, the War on Terror, corporate control of government, inaccessible courts and justice system. The Police are murdering unarmed and peaceful people. There is a growing degradation of human rights, expanding debt and burden, collapsing economy and poisons in our air and water. Many people across the world are seeking remedy to what is arguably a coming police state.

Due to the power of the Internet people from all over the world can communicate concerns and co-ordinate their activities with precise coordination; and although it is true the people of the world are far behind the corporations who seek to control our resources as their own, and even seek to have us viewed as exploitable resources, there is reason for hope and cause for celebration............. Why? Carry on reading.
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