Category Archives: Society

The Peasants Are Revolting

What are governments to do when an economic crisis hits, causing an already disproportionate number of poverty-stricken people to massively enlarge their ranks – to the point where they take to the streets to protest over their lack of basic necessities? Well, they repress and kill them of course.

For a brief period yesterday, this article appeared on the main page of the BBC. It’s gone today, replaced with more important articles like ‘What the way you hold a glass says about your personality‘. After you’ve figured out who you are by the way you hold your cocktail, perhaps take a little time to read the former link – where you can read a BBC summary of the latest of Amnesty International’s annual reports (the 424 page document you can download below) on human rights abuses worldwide. It makes for sobering reading. The situation is being described as a ‘powder keg’ and ‘time bomb’ that threatens security worldwide.

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Also posted in Food Shortages, Geopolitics & Economics

The Corporation

“If corporations are legally human – what kind of people are they?”

No green website should go without making a mention of the ‘The Corporation’ movie. We’ll go a step further, and make it easy for you to watch it. Many of you will have seen it – but if you haven’t, take some time to do so. Below you’ll find the complete, highly acclaimed and appropriately disturbing documentary.

If this topic is very new to you, read a little background info in the passages below, as I’ll share some text that may help demonstrate why we need to soberly consider The Corporation presentation. Large corporations, particularly trans-national corporations, have become a law unto themselves – the consequences being that this global corporate system is controlling world governments and labour, damaging the environment, destabilising society, escalating global warming, and more!

The Corporation – Duration: 3 hours

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Also posted in Geopolitics & Economics

India Suicides: I Want My Father Back

I’ve made mention of the social and environmental costs of monocultures and genetically modified crops often. Amongst these has been many mentions of a humanitarian disaster occuring on a daily basis in India, where thousands of farmers have been committing suicide as a result of failed harvests — the failed harvests being the result of failed promises from the likes of Monsanto. The following documentary, produced in India, by Indians, paints the clearest picture of this situation that I’ve yet seen. In addition, the documentary compares the failure of those sucked into input-intensive industrialised agriculture with the success of those who have reverted to organic methods.

Also posted in Food Shortages, GMOs, Health, Pollution

A Farm for the Future

Seeing Permaculture promoted on the BBC is yet another positive sign of the times. In this 50 minute presentation, wildlife film-maker Rebecca Hosking returns to her farming roots – hoping to take over the reins of her family farm in Devon, UK – and duly considers exactly what kind of farm she wants to develop. Significantly, Rebecca looks at where the world is heading in regards to food production, and, in particular, thinks about the serious implications of peaking oil supplies on our fossil-fuel dependent agriculture.

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Also posted in Consumerism, Diversity, Global Warming, Health, Permaculture

Will Obama Allow Organic Farming and Farmers’ Markets to Effectively Get Banned?

A potential new legally enforced system of regulating how food is produced and processed currently before the U.S. Congress has profound and worrying implications for everyone who eats – and all those seeking to work towards sustainability. Significantly, the Bills before Congress may give a new ‘Food Safety Authority’ enormous powers of control – despite not specifically detailing exactly what this new authority intends to do with this power…. This post needs to be read, considered and acted upon by all.

Note: Feel free to skip my intro, and the background, and jump to the meat if you so desire.

I have a dream.

I dream of an age where governments stop pandering to big business lobbyists, and start incentivising a sensible, transitional shift to small-scale, localised food systems. This dream has our current dependence on (rapidly diminishing) supplies of oil – with its extreme cost in human life and economic and environmental destruction – effectively short-circuited. With current industrialised agriculture consuming ten calories of fossil fuels to create a single calorie of food, I see that this dream, if it doesn’t crystalise into reality, and soon, could quickly become a nightmare.

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Also posted in Geopolitics & Economics, Health, Pollution

Norway’s Eco-Prison

Here’s an island prison that’s about as distant in principle from Alcatraz as is it in location. Bastoey Island, about 45 miles south of Oslo, hosts some of Norway’s worst offenders in what is effectively an eco-village working holiday camp. Instead of the traditional barred cells, prisoners, including murderers, rapists, drug dealers and thieves, live in separate, unlocked houses on the island. Although only one and a half miles from the mainland, prisoners are reluctant to escape, lest they get returned to the typical maximum security unit and lose the privilege of serving their time where they’re learning valuable skills, as well as gaining respect for themselves, each other, and the environment.

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Also posted in Education

Supermarket Secrets

Here’s a great behind the scenes look at modern supermarket and supply chain practices that have significant implications on the health of our environment, our animals, our food – and ultimately our own health. If you don’t have more than a few minutes up your sleeve, bookmark this page to watch when you do — as these are two full (and very interesting!) 49 minute documentary episodes.

Supermarket Secrets and Deceptions, Part I

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Also posted in Consumerism, Health, Pollution

An Interview with Jules Dervaes

Today we are pleased to talk to a very interesting man – a man on a very interesting mission; on what he describes as “the path to freedom”, where he escapes being part of the problem, to become part of the solution. Before we get started, watch the following ABC clip to get an idea of his work, and then we’ll hear from the man himself.

Craig Mackintosh: Thank you Jules. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us about your work. Most of our readers will have watched the YouTube movie above, so will have an inkling of what Path to Freedom is about, but I wonder if you could fill in any pertinent details the short news report may have left out, so as to round out our grasp of what you’re doing today?

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Also posted in Consumerism, Urban Gardening

Food Futures Now – Feeding People & Place Without Fossil Fuels

It’s time to pull the world back
from the brink — we can do it!

We live in interesting times, don’t we? We’re currently witnessing a convergence of problems that threaten life as we know it, not to mention our sanity. I say our sanity, as sometimes it can feel that the societal changes needed are on such a scale, and our embedded infrastructure is so established and inflexible, that we can feel like a helpless, captive audience — just along for the roller coaster ride (where the roller coaster is being maintained by a crew focused only on short-term gain…). Those of us with children fear for their future. Indeed, we wonder what life will be like for ourselves over the coming few years, let alone the next couple of decades.

But at the same time as we’re having apocalyptic visions, we’re also seeing a heightened awareness of, and desire for, solutions, and an eagerness and sense of urgency to implement them.
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Also posted in Energy, Food Shortages, Global Warming, GMOs

Money as Debt

Many of us are watching the current economic crisis with great interest (albeit with a lot of concern). A lot of us could also see it coming. Our modern economic systems are ultimately inviable, based on ever increasing debt and ever enlarging boom and bust cycles. Systemic economic collapse is inevitable, and painful (indeed, disastrous) though it may be, in many ways the sooner it happens the better it will be for the world. Our ecologies are running out of time, the rate of species loss is becoming exponential, the depletion of critical resources is moving ahead apace, and our human population continues to balloon year by year. We have formerly democratic nations heading towards fascism, and a massive consolidation of power giving money-motivated corporations the controlling influence over governments and media. Creating a whole new society will be excruciatingly difficult – but it will be impossible if we’re trying to do so without decent resources left to work with.

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Also posted in Geopolitics & Economics