Newsletter 100

The Arts – at long last the arts tackle planetary degradation, even though it’s really a scientist in disguise:
Arctic – the latest assessment of how fast the ice is melting:
Oil – price volatility is here to stay, as Peak Oilers predicted:
and this summarises the debunking of optimistic views of oil supplies, in an amusing way:
Resource wars – trouble is brewing in the South China Sea:
Recycling – a glimpse at recycling rates for various elements:
Eco-education – a look at children and getting in touch with nature, or not:
Consumerism – a talk on washing machines, the poor, and fossil fuels:
Weather – a course on how to ‘read’ the weather, but in Cantonese only. Thanks to Monika:
Lobbying – an interesting look at the US energy lobbying groups and how much they spend:
Wind – offshore wind power is making some progress:
Water – a look at the rates of depletion of underground aquifers:
Hunger – Michael Klare looks at the US drought, climate change, and where it’s taking us:
Posted in Newsletter | Leave a comment

Chickens ate my garbage

The French village of Pince has come up with an innovative way of responding to the EU Directive to divert domestic waste from going into landfills. They have decided to give a couple of chickens to each household to keep in their backyard, and to feed them on kitchen waste. Householders must promise not to eat or sell the chickens for two years, and have also been given instructions for how to look after them. They reckon each chicken will eat 330 pounds of waste each year. Other villages in France and Belgium have decided to do the same thing.

This ingenious solution seems to have a certain resonance for Hong Kongers, doesn’t it? It scarcely needs to be said that we have a problem with waste disposal, and it is way past time to abandon the ridiculous prohibition on keeping backyard chickens. There are plenty of people here on Lantau who would leap at the opportunity of having a couple of chooks. Not only could the chickens eat kitchen waste, but they would provide a ready supply of fresh eggs, which would be a real boon for everyone involved, especially the poorer members of the community. It would be a far more sensible way of disposing of some of the obscene amounts of money that the city has accumulated rather than trying to buy people’s compliance in a system which sucks up to the rich while trashing the planet, with handouts and cuts in energy bills. It wouldn’t solve the waste disposal problem, obviously, but it would certainly help. It’s one way of turning a problem into a solution, and it might inspire others to come up with other small-scale solutions. It’s cheap and simple, with positive outcomes for everyone.

Posted in Food, Sustainable Cities, Waste | 26 Comments

Newsletter 99

Permaculture – David Holmgren’s latest essay on retro-fitting the suburbs:
Climate – a response to Bill McKibben’s call to arms against the oil companies:
and Sharon Astyk looks at getting people onside over the same issue:
and Kate sent this link to James Hansen’s latest paper:
GM – Fabian sent this article on links found between GM food and obesity:
Gardening – Fabian sent this bizarre article on US gardeners and the law:
Italy – a brief look at how not to save Italy:
Health – working towards a healthcare system that is truly sustainable:
and this looks at the effect of fluoride upon IQ. Thanks to Fabian:
Options – we’re running out of them. Kate sent this clip which makes the point succinctly:
Waste – one company’s attempt to tackle the Great Pacific Garbage Patch:
Nuclear – a look at the debate about fast-breeder reactors:
Posted in Newsletter | Leave a comment

Newsletter 98

Eco-Participation – another good interview by Chris Martenson, this with the ebullient farmer Joel Salatin:
GM – thanks to Fabian for this 30-minute video on the need to restore local, indigenous control over seeds, and check the spread of GM seeds:
and at the end of this article is an interesting short video on Monsanto’s legacy:
Wikileaks – an interesting overview of Wikileaks’ revelations about US govt intervention in Latin American affairs, and the role of the press in revealing it:
Forests – Lester Brown on reforestation:
Solar – this sounds like quite a success story for the rural poor of Bangladesh:
Climate – the latest research confirms what most of us already know:
and this looks at some of the infrastructure problems that are manifesting themselves as extreme weather gets a grip:
Posted in Newsletter | Leave a comment

Newsletter 97

Climate – Bill McKibben’s latest article on the dire state we’re in:
and Clive Hamilton on the latest form of denialism:
Drought – there ain’t no global warming. Welcome to cloud cuckoo land:
Fire – it’s mind-boggling what’s happening in the US Mid-West. This is with 0.8C of warming, with another 0.8C unavoidably in the pipeline, and BAU taking us to 7C by 2100:
Delusions – Jim Kunstler talks to Chris Martenson about deluded thinking:
Food – Australia’s Food Plan is designed to benefit big business, surprisingly. This is a brief but pertinent critique of it:
and Fabian sent this article on attempts to silence people giving nutritional advice unless it toes the party line:
GM – Fabian sent this article on the move towards feeding farmed fish with GM soy:
Health – Fabian sent this article on fraud by Big Pharma regarding the efficacy of vaccines:
Resources – this chart gives some idea of what it is like to drive over a cliff:
China – occasionally, it seems, scientific facts are taken seriously, and they provide the impetus for change. This is about Beijing’s air pollution (perhaps we should call it ‘aired’ pollution, pollution with a bit of air in it):
Posted in Newsletter | Leave a comment

Newsletter 96

TSL Newsletter #96
Striving to transition from fossil fuel addiction to a zero carbon future
Food – Joel Salatin’s new book is probably well worth reading. He starred in Food,Inc.:
Agriculture – this shows the transformation taking place in Africa without the ‘help’ of GM crops:
and the Balinese have much to teach us about cooperation and traditional knowledge:
Fluoride – as HK fluoridates its water (unlike the mainland) this is relevant to us. Thanks to Fabian :
Banking – Fabian sent this article and interview on banking and Big Pharma:
Posted in Newsletter | Leave a comment

Newsletter 95

Climate – a short video of weather events in the US recently:
an interview with Michael Mann, of hockey stick fame, about climate denialists:
Deforestation – an interactive map showing the state of the world’s forests:
Economy – Tim Jackson on Rio+20 and the search for a new economic model:
Urban Ag – is gardening a retreat from engagement or a political statement?
Health – Fabian sent this article on the deception surrounding ‘pandemics’ of influenza. As always, follow the money:
Toxic Chemicals – more on aspartame and its dangers, from Fabian:
GM – a ’roundup’ of Monsanto’s activities sent by Fabian:
and here’s another example of how the US govt dances to Monsanto’s tune:
and Fabian sent this article on the imminent retreat of the EU from a zero-tolerance policy:
Oil /Psychosis – Dmitry Orlov on the American Psychosis:
and Jim Kunstler’s new book should be an excellent read:
Posted in Newsletter | Leave a comment