Permacorps and Haiti by the numbers

My instructor Scott Pittman of the US permaculture Institute on the need for a Permcorps from permaculture.tv

Gaia punk here,

Top of the evening to everyone,
What I’ve taken to calling a “Permacorps” mission for the long term recovery of Haiti is slowly mounting.  I’ve received dozens of emails from some very qualified folks from around the globe asking how they can help plug in.  In a day or two there will be a project posting entitled “Permaculture Relief Corps” on Kickstarter.com, which is a popular crowdfunding site.  If anyone has any info related to this idea please share so that we can better coordinate our efforts.  Honestly, I’m a bit surprised by the lack of discussion some of the better known permie sites.  But, I’m not at all discouraged, because I know that what I do see on the net is just a very small sliver of what is actually going on.   What I’m trying to say is that I would like to see more of that discussion.  If anyone can contact people from the Permaculture First Responders course that would very helpful too.  There are two google docs spreadsheet I can share with folks to add regional contacts.  In a week or so it seems a skype conference call is in order to further coordinate stateside efforts. Currently, various permaculture groups working in Haiti and elsewhere are being contacted for their opinions and so far ORE in Haiti has been very supportive of this idea.
Thank you all for your awesome work,                                                                                                                       [tweetmeme]
evan
Here are approximated numbers on the situation currently from the Huffington Post…
People in Haiti needing help: 3 million. Bodies collected for disposal so far: 9,000. Number of people being fed daily by the United Nation’s World Food Program: only 8,000.
The numbers behind the outpouring of earthquake assistance are giant. But they are dwarfed by the statistics indicating the scope of the disaster in Haiti, the number of victims and their deep poverty.
“The level of need is going to be significantly higher” than many previous disasters, said Dr. Michael VanRooyen, director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.
Here are some numbers, with the proviso that figures are estimates that are constantly changing.
___
THE DEAD
Current death estimates: The Red Cross says 45,000 to 50,000 people have died. The Pan American Health Organization puts the number between 50,000 and 100,000 and Rueters news has 100,000 to 200,000 possibly dead or missing
Bodies collected for disposal so far: 9,000. An additional 7,000 corpses were reportedly placed
in a mass grave.
Percent of buildings damaged or destroyed: Up to 50 percent.
Hospitals or health facilities in Haiti damaged, forced to close: eight.
Patients treated by Doctors Without Borders initially: more than 1,500.
Search-and-rescue teams on ground or en route Friday: 38.
Homeless people in Port-au-Prince: at least 300,000.
Water needed daily: 6 to 12 million gallons (enough to fill 18 Olympic sized swimming pools a day).
Kate Conradt, chief spokeswoman for Save the Children, said that the challenge ahead cannot be overcome in a few days or weeks. “This is a long-term disaster,” she said in a telephone interview from Port-au-Prince.
Helping Haiti “is going to take far more than we ever could imagine,” VanRooyen said.
So in response, the world has opened its wallets.
___
THE MONEY
United Nations Emergency appeal for aid: $550 million.
United States pledge of aid: $100 million. (some of this may be in the form of a IMF loan)
European Commission’s initial spending: 3 million Euros.
Total pledge of aid by governments around world: $400 million.
Number of governments that have sent aid so far: more than 20.
International Red Cross’ initial emergency appeal goal: $10 million.
Amount of money raised by Save The Children: $7 million.
Amount of money pledged by George Soros: $4 million.
Amount raised by Wyclef Jean’s Yele 10 million
Amount of money raised by the Salvation Army and some other charities: more than $3 million.
___
HELP THAT’S ALREADY THERE OR COMING
Number of people being fed daily by U.N.’s World Food Program: only 8,000.
Number of people a day WFP hopes to feed within 15 days: 1 million.
Number of people a day WFP hopes to feed within one month: 2 million!
Amount of food salvaged by WFP in damaged Haitian warehouse being distributed: 6,000 tons (out of a total of 15,000 tons stored before the earthquake).
Meals prepared and freeze dried by the Salvation Army in Kansas and Iowa to ship to Haiti: 1.28 million, weighing nearly 200,000 pounds.
Number of trucks carrying bottled water being trucked in from neighboring Dominican Republic: 13.
UNICEF initial shipment of rehydration liquids, water-purification tables, hygiene kits and tents: enough for only 10,000 people.
Size of Doctors Without Borders initial relief package: 25 tons.
International Red Cross pre-positioned relief supplies:only enough for 3,000 families.
Plane of Red Cross supplies sent Thursday: 40 tons.
Body bags sent by Red Cross on Thursday: 3,000.
“We are seeing overwhelming need within the city and increasingly desperate conditions,” Conradt said. “We visited two camps today with 5,000 people and only four latrines total. We were told that the number of people there doubles at night, but during the day they are looking out for food, water and family members.”
Camps like that are all over Port-au-Prince.
And this is a country that before Tuesday’s earthquake was the poorest in the Western Hemisphere and one of the poorest worldwide. More than half of Haiti’s 10 million people live on less than $1 a day, even before the earthquake, according to the United Nation’s World Food Program. The World Bank said the average Haitian lives on just $1,180 a year.
Nearly half of Haiti’s population is hungry and only half had access to safe drinking water before the earthquake, according to the World Food Program. Nearly 60 percent of Haiti’s children under 5 are anemic.
___
PEOPLE FROM ELSEWHERE
Americans in Haiti when earthquake struck: 45,000.
Number of Americans evacuated from Haiti: 846.
Number of Americans confirmed dead: six.
Number of Canadians dead: four.
Number of United Nations workers in Haiti when earthquake struck: 12,000.
Number of UN workers confirmed dead: 37.
Number of UN workers missing: 330.
Number of Dominicans dead: six.
Number of Brazilians dead: 15.
Number of Europeans dead: six.
Number of staffers of Christian humanitarian agency World Vision: 370.
U.S. troops there to help or possibly on their way: 10,000.
Haitian Red Cross volunteers: 1,700.
___
This report was compiled by Associated Press writers Seth Borenstein in Washington and Frank Jordans in Geneva. Edith Lederer at the United Nations in New York contributed.
___
SOURCES: The Associated Press, United Nations, U.S. State Department, European Commission, International Red Cross, Save The Children, Salvation Army, other charities.

Permie Punk Profile: Ethan Roland

Get Your Forest Garden On…

Hey Gaia Punk here,

So I was just recently accepted for a 3 month Advance Permaculture Design internship with Ethan Roland of Appleseed Permaculture in the Hudson Valley area of New York.  I am very excited for this opportunity to deepen my skills and I’m dedicated to the helping make permaculture design accessible to even more people than ever before.  Ethan is such an awesome force in the world of permaculture and vital mentor to so many wonderful folks that I decided I would take a moment to highlight some of his work.

Ethan is a full time Permaculture designer and teacher and expert in the areas of large scale perennial polyculture systems and ecological community design.  See slideshow:

Ethan studied at Haverford College and later obtained a M.S. in Collaborative eco-social design from Gaia University a innovative and global growing university through which he now occasionally teaches courses.  Ethan is the principal of Appleseed Permaculuture which collaborates with permaculture and ecological designers from all over the world.  Ethan currently sits on the board of Permaculture Across Boarders which assists permaculture projects in the developing or 2/3 rds world.  His work has brought him all over world (Thailand, Azerbaijan, Kazakastan, the Virgin Islands,) with direct learning experience and mentoring from folks like Geoff Lawton and Dave Jacke.  Ethan is directly involved with the Carbon Farming and Financial Permaculture movements.  He supports and promotes sustainable community based cooperative enterprises like the innovative cocao CSA Booyacacao.  Ethan contributes contents and expertise for Earth Activist Mentor a amazing site and service for up and coming designer like myself, folks looking for detailed in depth resources, or distance mentoring for permaculture diplomas.  Well, I hope to do a video interview shortly with Ethan and Nicolas Roberts from Permaculture.tv but until then enjoy this inspiring lecture Ethan presented to a group of UMASS architecture students and Greg Landua presentation of Booyacocao “Theobroma” production.

The G20 Protesters and the new face of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA–

It seems as though Pittsburgh is either the De facto capital of the rust belt or a city in the midst of a revolutionary transformation.  In recent years Pittsburgh has become a epicenter for green building, bike paths, solar composites, and one of the professed launching pads of the new “green economy”.  This is fascinating because Pittsburgh could also be considered one of the many coal capitals of the world, and anyone who has studied the issue knows that there is absolutely no way to make coal “clean” as long as your using mining techniques such as “mountaintop removal”.  There is nothing like synthetic stench of two faced liberalism to hide the odious fact that the root of some very serious issues like housing, poverty, gentrification, and classism are not being addressed.  The city of Pittsburgh’s role during the current wholly undemocratic G20 summit is to act as a PR spin machine to distract the public from the main show of global power grabs behind the scenes and behind closed doors.

While the media is very focused on equating anarchists with terrorists, they’re also wholly ignoring the police harassment and abuse that has already taken place even before the summit.  The Seeds of Peace collective has been repeatedly attacked by the police solely because of the fact by that by bringing a bus to act as kitchen and medical support for the g20 resistance they’ve been made an obvious target.  Yesterday, the Landslide Community Farm and the Cyberpunk Apocalypse Writers Guild house were raided for no plausible reasons by swarms of cops trespassing without warrants or accurate justification.  The Landslide Community Farm and the Cyberpunk Apocalypse house are centers of different type transformation happening in Pittsburgh, that of radical culture.

These centers are the works of truly earnest folks, that divide up what free time they can muster into making art, hosting cultural gatherings, giving out free food, planting permaculture food forests, building bike co-ops, fighting all forms of oppression, and re-envisioning all that has been abandoned in the shadows of steel that is the forlorn rusty spine of Pittsburgh.  Some of them are even proud to be called anarchists.  These groups and many, many, others like them are true community builders something the G20 aristocrats will most likely never understand.  Perhaps the new face of Pittsburgh is not the gilded “green” skyline for the rich but the rainbow of diversity in an urban farm for everyone.

For more info about the Landslide Community Farm visit:  www.punkrockpermaculture.com

For real time updates on the G20 resistance visit: pittsburgh G-finity

Heroes List!

 

Earth Activist profile

Earth Activist profile

Vandana Shiva Is A Eco Warrior Goddess…

 

Hi folks Gaia Punk here,

While I was having a blast at my Permaculture Design Course in Costa Rica my instructor Scott Pittman of the US Permaculture Institute started a “Heroes” and “Bad Guys” list.   Very high on the “Bad Guys” list of course was Monsanto and very high on the good guys list was the ever lovely Dr. Vandana Shiva.

Shiva participated in the nonviolent Chipko movement during the 1970s when woman actually hugged trees to prevent their felling.  A world warrior in fighting poverty and enviromental destruction with community resiliance and nonviolent action Vandana shiva has garnered countless awards and appreciatioin from numerous organiaztion, instituions, and countrys.  We have much to learn from her kind of militant wisdom!  See her excellent camio in the ONE Water documentary.

Floating Islands in the Pacific Gyre

Floating Islands?

article

article

Is it possible to create floating islands that are biologically diverse in the worlds largest dump the North Pacific Gyre?

For those of you who may not know the North Pacific Gyre is area in the Pacific Ocean (twice the size of Texas) that collects lots and lots of plastic junk from ocean currents all over the world.

the lungs of the earth

the lungs of the earth

This massive flotilla of plastic junk just swirls there and is overtime broken down by sunlight and the motion of the waves.   This is extremely troubling not just because it is an eyesore, but because it threatens wildlife, and even phytoplankten the very lungs of our earth.  For a long while now I had intended to prepare some sketches for an article about the idea of using floating islands– a permaculture technique that involves building islands out of debris and then planting beneficial plants that provide micro habitats and clean the water- as method to transform the Pacific Gyre.

floating island image from rhizome collective

Floating island image from the Rhizome Collective

It seems a visionary canadian architect named Michale Barton already has!  Well,  he at least made some nice pictures anyway, it’s a start.

images from Canadian Architech

Images from Canadian Architect

Plastic paradise?

Plastic paradise?

Although difficult the idea is not at all impossible…

From tree hugger:

floating island house?

floating island house?

“We couldn’t make this stuff up: this man, Reishee Sowa of Puerto Aventuras, Mexico, apparently grew tired of trying to live self-sufficiently on dry land, and did what any of us would have done. He built his own island out of used pop bottles. 250,000 of them, plus some construction leftovers and bags of leaves, make up “his island,” though he’s quick to point out that it’s technically not an island by traditional standards. “You see not even the president is allowed his own island in Mexico,” he says, “but technically I don’t have an island, I have an eco space-creating ship.”

your own private island (recycled island)

your own private island (recycled island)

Why Punk Rock Permaculture?

weeds are good

weeds are good

So what does punk rock and permaculture have in common?

First of all, both movements speak strongly about community and autonomy.  Punk popularized the DIY ethic now becoming DIO (Do it ourselves) which means even more attention is being paid to community sufficiency.  Self governance has been essential to punk since it’s inception.  Punk activism has long placed emphasis on non hierarchal structure advocating for anarchistic (without rulers) governance, and systems based on consent, and full participation which are also essential to any permaculture operation.

Secondly, both movements have spoken up joyfully and loudly for the earth.  Whether it vegan folk punk bands singing about treesits or earth activists  creating temporary sustainable community at climate camps as training grounds.  Permie punks are a organizing force to be reckoned with.

Finally, embracing diversity is key to both movements.  As I always like to remember “unity through intergration, intergration through diversity”!

Permie punks unite!

Recently, my roomate just left Olympia for the Earth Activist Training permaculture course and so I though I would highlight what this inspiring course is about.

Suburban Permaculture?

It’s time to get retro….

retrofit that is

Hey everyone I really wanted to share this great video about my good friend Jan Spencer’s suburban permaculture retrofit house in Eugene, OR.  Jan is a extremely knowledgeable permaculturalist, a awesome mural painter, and all around upbeat and very friendly guy.  We first met two years ago during his west coast permaculture bike tour and we had a great time together coming back with some friends from the Ecocity World Summit in San Francisco.  He showed us around his place which was such a cool retrofit I thought I would share it with you here.

capitalism is a giant Ponzi Scheme!

yes,

clearly it’s true.

            —Don’t let the cute smile fool ya

                 BE WARNED!— because


Carlo Ponzi --"a truely American Story"

Capitalism

is a giant Ponzi Scheme!

I know that if you’re like me then the very, very, last thing you want to read about in these times is anything with the taglines: fiance, corruption, negligence, scheming, losses, or economic gloom and collapse.  No these things are not very fun or funny (okay sometimes they’re funny.)  But, thinking about alternatives  is essential.  Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of research on permaculture economics, finance, and theory.  I’ve found lots of good work out there in the noosphere.  Today though I was laughing a bit at the antics of Carlo Ponzi of the imfamous Ponzi Scheme fame the predecessor of the Madoff Scheme that the already broken banking and fiance industry is currently freaking out about.   It is a wonderful aspect of  life that criminals can teach you almost as much wisdom as saints, and if you know how to learn your lessons from their mistakes they might even teach you more.  

It seems some people have a hard time learning lessoons.  So what if the whole of global economy we’re to come unraveled in on ultra Ponzi Scheme?  Unfortunately, as many of you know, it very well could; that is if people we’re to simply stop buying government backed bonds in the current precarity.  Well, “precarious times call for precarious minds”, or as I like to call them the “carefully minded”.

.A do-it-Ourselves Guide  I just started tearing intoToolbox for Sustainable City Living  by Scott Kellogg and Stacy Pettigrew  cofounders of the Rhizome Collective in Austin TX   who are definitely of the carefully minded sort.  Along with great knowledge and methods the awesome illustrations in this book are done by my good friend Juan Martinez, also from Austin TX, a member mutant bike collective, and the amazingly prolific Beehive Design Collective based in Maine.  

Lets just say I love this BOOK!!!  This is one of my most favorite Permaculture books to date!! Go get it  because it’s only ten bucks online!  We need more books like this and more folks doing applied urban permaculture work in the cities! 

Permie Punx Unite!