It’s not just that what we generally think of as free energy doesn’t occur in nature, but also that free energy does occur in the everyday lived environments of people in industrial nations, which we might thus say are unnatural. So what are instances of free energy that we experience in our lives, and why do they matter?
– Dutch ‘Repair Cafes’ keep stuff out of the trash by fixing it for free
– Food Fundamentals – interview with food security writer Lolo Houbein (Australia)
– Don’t Throw Away Your Wealth (John Robb on biogas digesters)
– Methane Biodigester – How To Video (The Urban Farming Guys)
-Fracking ‘Health Challenges’ to Be Examined by U.S. Advisers
-Restrict shale gas fracking to 600m from water supplies, says study
-Reporting of fracking and drilling violations weak
-Lancashire schoolgirl wins chance to address MEPs with anti-fracking video
-Chesapeake plugs blown Wyoming well
-Drillers May Frack First, Disclose Later Under Draft Plan
Recent trends indicate that certain materials may be worth more as scrap than in their current form. Are we witnessing the start of a shift from abundance industrialism to a salvage economy?
In most East African countries access to electricity is very low. Besides electricity, there is a basic need for energy. In Eastern African countries most of the energy consumed is produced from traditional solid biomasses, such as the burning of wood.
The search for combustibles begins early in the morning, includes several hours of walking, and, in cases where no trees are to be found, digging for roots with bare hands; in some regions this activity is accompanied by the constant danger of violent and sexual assaults. In areas where there is no wood left for burning, cow dung or other waste is used for fuel.
One man’s trash is another an’s treasure. We’ve all heard this saying before, but John-Paul Maxfield is acting on it. At Waste Farmers, John-Pauls takes city food scraps that were once thrown away, and composts them into top-quality soil amendments for Denver growers.
We have a brand-new entrant to the oil-eating-bug-runs-amok tradition: the self-published novel Petroplague. It’s a Crichton-esque thriller written by microbiology professor-turned author Amy Rogers, who says she aims to “blur the line between fact and fiction so well that you need a Ph.D. to figure out where one ends and the other begins.” The plot involves a batch of experimental, oil-hungry bacteria inadvertently loosed upon Los Angeles, which proceed to wreak a near biblical swath of destruction. Part ecology lesson and part cautionary tale, Petroplague is an entertaining entrée into the subject of oil depletion and its implications for society, human health and the environment.
Among the world’s hotly debated environmental and resource security issues, a looming peak in phosphorus production for fertiliser has gone relatively unnoticed according to the organisers of an international summit in Sydney this week.
As the guest last week of Zurich University of the Arts I set the following task to a group of sixteen masters students: “Create the plan for a social harvest festival that will reconnect Zurich with its natural ecosystems and grassroots social innovators.”
The idea was to demonstrate, in practice, and at a city-wide scale, how to combine the low-energy design principles of permaculture, with the metabolic energy of social innovation.
Each piece of trash was once a resource – a tree that was clear-cut into a junk-mail envelope, a barrel of oil turned to a plastic package, a mountain turned to an aluminum can. With lives lasting only a few days to a few months, each piece of trash is a sad waste of the resources needed to grow, process, and transport it. When you decrease your waste, you can cut the energy and resource use needed to turn the environment into trash, while also cutting the methane emitted by waste rotting in a landfill.
-Humanity’s Growing Impact on the World’s Freshwater
-Uncharted waters: Probing aquifers to head off war
-Drought summit: Why not pipe the water from north to south?
-Jordan’s Green Fairytale- ‘Once Upon a Water’ Campaign
-Thailand’s economy shrinks 9% after flood disruptions
-Food security v energy security: land use conflict and the law
It sounds yucky at best, but mining sewage is growing in popularity, especially in Sydney, Australia, where a decade of drought forced some creative thinking about how to get, use and manage water.