Mycology (the study of the fungal kingdom) is a important piece of both ecology and holistic permaculture design. I’m excited to present a interview with the Co-founder of the Radical Mycology project, Peter McCoy. Peter played a critical role in creating the fantastic Radical Mycology Zine and is currently working on a crowdfunding campaign (still running) for a comprehensive radical mycology book!
Link to interview:
Ah, the beautiful wilds of western Canada. Rivers, mountains, forests… and out-of-control oil leaks that have already spurted thousands of barrels of toxic bitumen into the environment.
This more than even the hard work of activist may end the Keystone XL Pipeline:
From Sara Reardon of The New Scientist:
The leaks were caused by an underground blowout at a tar sand project in north-east Alberta run by Canadian Natural Resources that had been certified safe by government regulators. One of the firm’s scientists has been reported saying that they are mystified as to what went wrong or how to stop the leak. The company hasn’t disclosed how fast the leaks are progressing.
Since May, there have been leaks through surface fissures at four of the firm’s sites in the area, killing wildlife and raising questions about how well the safety of tar sands operations can be assessed. The company extracts bitumen by injecting steam into the tar sands at high pressure to melt the bitumen and push it to the surface.
Chris Severson-Baker of the Pembina Institute in Edmonton, Alberta, estimates that the method, known as cyclic steam stimulation, accounts for about 30 per cent of tar sands extraction. There’s nothing inherently risky about cyclic steam stimulation, he says, making these leaks all the more worrisome. “If there are cases like this, it shows things are not as predictable as we might like,” says Severson-Baker.
In January, Canada’s Energy Resources Conservation Board revealed that some 5700 barrels of bitumen had leaked from well sites run by Canadian Natural Resources four years ago. But investigations by the company and regulator couldn’t determine what had gone wrong. They suggested that the geology of the area was weaker than they had thought and couldn’t contain the pressure from the steam.
The spill could fuel opposition to the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from this and similar sites. Opponents worry that the pipeline itself has a high risk of leaking, and that increased extraction will exacerbate carbon emissions. US president Barack Obama has said that he will only give the project the green light if it doesn’t add to carbon emissions, and on Saturday he questioned the economic benefits of the pipeline.
Let this post be the first of many to come; I’m shooting for one post every day in 2013! Wish me luck.
So many of you have may have noticed that posting on this site has been a bit a sparse lately and this was do to two things. First, @gaiapunk (AKA me–Evan) went on a 7.5 month journey around the US in a eco-retrofitted RV doing a mobile tour with the Green Living Project and promoting awesome permaculture and conservation projects from around the world. Secondly, after I got back from tour to Olympia I ended up snagging a communications job with Sustainable South Sound and also a new business development position with European crowdfunding start up Flattr. Flattr is amazing in that it makes it easy to reward awesome content across the web, thus allowing for coders, film-makers, writers, photographer, podcasters, ect; to be paid for the great work they do. The most basic description is that it is similar to Facebook “like” buttons but with money behind each click. I’ve been running flattr buttons on this site for a while and without really trying I manage to earn over 60 euro without any advertising most of which I have given back out to other creators. I’m very happy to be working for such great entities and I still intend to pursue my passion for Permaculture via community projects, some new digital ventures, and through the cooperative consulting and design firm I founded called GaiaPunk. This week Olympia celebrates Permaculture during the Olympia Village Building Convergence an event that I’m proud Sustainable South Sound is a co-sponsor of, and you bet I’ll be out there getting dirty and building community. Well, now that I’m suddenly, and amazingly, a fully employed individual I will actually have more capacity to work on improving this site and working with others on it. I would like to thank you all for sticking with me through the dry spell, we’re back baby!
- Indoor and Balcony Gardening – Permaculture Style
- Tree Crops and Edible Forests
- Guerilla Gardening
- Community Supported Agriculture
- Mushroom log cultivation
- Composting and Vermi-composting
- Rainwater collection
- Wind and Solar Energy
- …and much More!
Who is behind this project?
2. Special newsletter subscription – monthly updates full of the best free educational media
5. Handmade postcard with a personal message for you
6. Your name will be listed in the acknowledgements of the Urban Permaculture Guide eBook
7. Online updates of manuscripts from Urban Permaculture Guide eBook
8. One Permaculture-related eBook (pdf format)
9. An additional 4 Permaculture-related eBooks (pdf format)
10. Handmade natural bag with colourful ornaments
+ handmade badge
11. Custom Open Permaculture T-shirt!
13. Anima Mundi DVD – a new documentary on Permaculture, the Gaia theory, Peak Oil survival and Climate Change (man-made or not).
14. Handmade Thankful Hearth
16. You can support Guerrilla Gardening events in Eastern Europe! This spring, edible trees and beautiful flowers will be planted in your name. You will receive a photo report and documentation of each event.
What is Permaculture?
Permaculture is an approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that is modelled on the relationships found in nature. The word “permaculture” originally referred to “permanent agriculture”, but was expanded to also stand for “permanent culture” as it was seen that social aspects were integral to a truly sustainable system.
Permaculture draws from several other disciplines including organic farming, agro-forestry, sustainable development, and applied ecology. “The primary agenda of the movement has been to assist people to become more self reliant through the design and development of productive and sustainable gardens and farms. The design principles which are the conceptual foundation of permaculture were derived from the science of systems ecology and study of pre-industrial examples of sustainable land use.”
For further reading and watching, please visit these resources:
- Introduction to Permaculture – 40 hours of free video lectures
- 100 Best Permaculture & Homesteading Books: The Ultimate Reading List for Sustainable Living (here you will find links to over 60 Free eBook previews and full eBooks)
- Permaculture / Organic Farming – Documentary Films Archive
Other Ways You Can Help
Music by David Griswold
Animation by Oz J Thoma
UMass Amherst for the win!
2012 is already proving to be a outstanding year for the US permaculture movement.
After a very close nail biting contest the the University of Massachusetts Amherst Permaculture Committee won the White House ‘Campus Champions of Change Challenge‘. I visited the Umass Amherst Permacutlture project while I was on the Green Living Project mobile tour and I let me just say it was really impressive. There is no other collge in the country (perhaps with the exception of my alma mater Evergreen) that has such a visible commitment to Permaculture, sustainable ag, and green infrastructure. The students at Umass Amherst are equally inspiring and deserving of all the attention their school is about to get which includes both national recognition from the White House and a show that will feature the project on MTV.
In other great news Seattle just approved a new Permaculture food forest park the first of it’s kind supported by a US municipality. The food at the Beacon Food Forest will be free to forage and the created surplus will go to help increase fresh produce at local food pantries. Projects like these are a great step towards educating the pubic on how to transform their city into a ecocity that values local resiliency.I hope do a interview soon with Jenny Pell who was one of the lead permaculture designers on the project and I’m looking forward to seeing more good news like this moving into spring.