Solutions & sustainability - Dec 26
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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage
Garden Girl Rough Promo (Video)
Patti Moreno, Google Video
According to Leanna at The Oil Drum: "A very polished video on urban permaculture by the peak oil-aware Patti Moreno."
Discussion at peakoil-dot-com. Creator Patti Moreno writes:
I have made a TV show sample that I think could be important for the furture and our planet and help people wean their consumption of oil. I need feedback before I try and take it to networks. If you like it forward the link around. I need as much feedback from as many people as possible.
Modern to post-Peak Oil medicine: Garlic Case Study
The implications of Peak Oil applied to the field of health care are, at the least, unsettling. Many in the medical community, such as Dr. Paul Roth, are working to develop post-Peak Oil plans.
The difficulties are clear: modern medicine is one of the most oil-dependent fields in existence. Plastics alone are so essential to current medical practices it’s hard to imagine accomplishing anything in medicine without them.
As a further complication, medicines are not produced locally - they are manufactured and distributed on the large scale. Advanced drugs on which many people now rely often require complex manufacturing processing and are the result of enormous research efforts.
On the bright side, all the tools of modern science-based medicine can now be used to affirm or refute the claims of traditional folk medicine. From chicken soup to red wine, numerous studies have sought to investigate the medicinal and health benefits of substances that can be easily refined without modern infrastructure. Given some visions of life after Peak Oil, it is in our best interests to investigate what the research says about home remedies. As an example of this, let’s examine some of the recent research on the uses and benefits possible with garlic.
Garlic is given credit for a host of health benefits, the most common being its effect on cholesterol. It also contains a significant amount of selenium, an essential element which works as an antioxidant, helps the thyroid, and boosts the immune system. Garlic’s most potent use, however, appears to be related to its antibiotic properties.
(26 Dec 2006)
Green web portal for Portland
Laura Oppenheimer, Portland Oregonian
Eco-friendly Portlanders have a problem: A new park here. A cleanup day there. An elk spotting yonder. And no single place to find out about them.
But not for long, thanks to an online portal that will document anything and everything environmental across the Portland region.
Next month, the Metro regional government will launch the Regional Environmental Information Network with the help of four young adults participating in a new internship program.
Environmentalists are excited to have a single Web site where they can gather project ideas, track progress and find volunteers, says Lori Hennings, a Metro ecologist who's overseeing the project.
"Nobody knows what anybody else is doing," she said.
Experienced groups can use the site to network or investigate new ways to finance restoration projects. But newbies can log on, too, looking for cleanups in their neighborhood or outdoor events where they can volunteer. The site will include everything from aerial photos to practical tips for dealing with weeds.
(26 Dec 2006)
I think there's a lot of potential in the idea of a website that covers local green/peakoil/sustainability activities. To really make it work, though, probably requires commitment. Perhaps on online newspaper? One might even be able to make money at it, since existing local media generally do a mediocre job at covering these issues. -BA
Positive Charcoal = Negative Carbon? (PDF)
Ron Larson, Ph.D., Solar Today
Why adding charcoal to the Earth's will also address climate change.
We clearly are making progress on global warming education. Scientific American magazine’s special September-issue theme, “Energy’s Future Beyond Carbon,” focused on ways to achieve a reduced-carbon future, which experts say is far behind schedule. But like most everything I read on the subject, the articles offered little hope that we can take any of the existing carbon dioxide (CO2), the major contributor to climate change, out of the atmosphere. However, as evidenced by an article in the Aug. 10 issue of Nature (www.nature.com/nature/journal/v442/n7103/full/442624a.html ), one “negative carbon” possibility seems to be getting another look from scientists: the positive impacts of putting charcoal back into the ground.
In brief, I am talking here of a threestep process: growing biomass material like corn stalks, turning as much of it as possible into charcoal (a heating process called pyrolysis), and mixing the charcoal into the earth’s soil. I look at this process as one represented by the acronym “ChAr” and having two equal parts: Ch = Climate healing (i.e., “negative carbon”) and Ar = Agricultural recovery (i.e., “positive charcoal”). “Ch” works because charcoal in the soil has a very long life. Those converted carbon atoms starting out as CO2 molecules will stay in the soil as part of a small grain of charcoal for thousands of years. “Ar” denotes that the charcoal greatly improves the quality of the soil.
(Nov-Dec 2006 issue)
Thanks to erich at peakoil.com who mentioned this article in a discussion forum on Terra Peta, which also has more links on the subject. -BA
The mastermind behind Sierra's November/December "Green Cuisine" issue, senior editor Paul Rauber, recently hosted a talk on food security at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. "How to Provide Good Food for Everyone" was the topic at hand for panelists
Edie Jessup, director of the hunger and nutrition project at Fresno Metro Ministry;
David Roach, founder of Mo' Better Food in Oakland;
Mark Winne, author (and former executive director of the Hartford Food System)
Daryl Hannah, actress, activist, and die-hard urban-farm supporter
An audio recording of their enlightening discussion is now available online.
(12 Dec 2006)