Welcome to round nine of our Weekly Linkfest, where we share the good, the bad, the ugly and the just plain interesting from what we’ve seen this week.
I would greatly appreciate readers getting involved in this weekly linkfest. Please email editor (at) permaculturenews.org with links (and ideally a summary sentence outlining the key point of each link) to noteworthy articles and news reports on the internet.
Off we go:
Good News (coz we all need it):
- Hollywood star Daryl Hannah is in cairns with Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson’s eccentric nephew, Ned RocknRoll. They are both taking a PDC and attending the APC10.
- Sounds like permaculture – The Rainforest Alliance has launched a new certification aimed at helping cattle farms improve their environmental and social performance. "This can be accomplished by giving the animals a diet that is easier to digest – generating fewer methane emissions – treating their manure and conserving trees on pasture lots, in forest reserves or as live fences," Oliver Bach, Rainforest Alliance standards and policy manager, said in a fact sheet on the new standard.
- One of the lessons from BP is it doesn’t pay to lose focus on sustainability. In fact according to a new book large and small business must embrace green concepts to help the bottom line https://www.nzherald.co.nz/environment/news/article.cfm?c_id=39&objectid=10669220&ref=rss
- US fast food giant Burger King said it would no longer buy palm oil from Sinar Mas or its subsidiaries after Greenpeace campaigned against the Indonesian group’s land-clearing practices.
- Poaching for ivory and increased conflicts between people and elephants because of their dwindling habitat are key problems faced by India’s wild elephant population, estimated at about 26,000. A recommendation has been made that India should protect its elephant population by creating new reserves, curbing poaching and restricting development in the corridors they use to travel between forested areas.
- Businesses are starting to see the advantage in green buildings. The Subway sandwich shop on Chicago’s State Street may look like any other new restaurant, but its tile, crown molding and most wall coverings are made from recycled materials. In the bathroom, sensors control water flow, timers manage lights, and the toilet has a low-flow option. A smart air-conditioning system normalizes temperature between the bread ovens and the eating area.
Bad News (coz we need to understand the challenges if we’re to design our way out of them):
- International food prices have risen to their highest level in two years, fueled in part by a drought in Russia that lifted the cost of wheat, a U.N. agency said Wednesday.
- More well funded climate change denial – a company owned by oil billionaires Charles and David Koch has contributed $1 million to Proposition 23, a November ballot initiative to suspend California’s groundbreaking 2006 global-warming law.
- Climate change, over-fishing and other human impacts have pushed the oceans to the brink of a mass extinction that could take tens of millions of years to recover from, an Australian scientist says.
- Another oil platform explosion in the gulf of mexico this week. One wonders if maybe this is a good thing as it will increase pressure to continue the ban on deep sea drilling?
- Tibetan nomads struggle as grasslands disappear from the roof of the world. Scientists say desertification of the mountain grasslands of the Tibetan plateau is accelerating climate change.
- There are signs from China that national interests come before the interests of humanity when it comes to climate change, largely because the nations that have polluted for so long should limit their emissions first. Fair call on the 1st world going first, but worrying all the same.
Just plain interesting or odd (coz we’re curious creatures):
- An Indonesian volcano has spewed ash thousands of metres into the air in its most violent eruption since rumbling back to life earlier this week for the first time in 400 years.
- In an attempt to understand Permaculture better, Ronny Muellier has travelled the world studying 11 eco-villages.
- Prompted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a UC Santa Barbara scientist has come up with a new way of predicting how contaminants like oil will spread. He was able to forecast several days in advance that oil from that spill would wash ashore in particular parts of the Gulf of Mexico.
- Buddha-like toddler quits smoking… odd.
Don’t forget to send me your links for next week’s linkfest!! – editor (at) permaculturenews.org