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Archive for December, 2010

Treehugger writes…

“From Wangaari Maathai’s Billion Tree campaign to lush permaculture landscapes in Jordan, we’ve seen how individuals and communities can reverse desertification and bring life back to arid soils. Now a new dramatized documentary brings us the story of Yacouba Sawadogo, an illiterate African farmer whose pioneering techniques have, according to one expert, done more for soil conservation in the Sahel region of Africa than all of the national and international soil experts combined. It’s amazing stuff.

Using, and then enhancing, traditional “zai” techniques for restoring degraded land, which involve planting seeds directly into pits that have been enhanced with small handfuls of composted dung, Yacouba Sawadogo has spent over a quarter century experimenting with his soils, and then teaching his fellow farmers, resulting in the successful rehabilitation of farmland, the regrowth of forests, and attention from international media and non-profit organizations who wanted to learn more about Sawadogo’s techniques.

Now a new documentary, that includes a dramatization of Sawadogo’s life, and the struggles he has faced in gaining acceptance for his approach, is set to bring his story to a broader audience. The movie traces Sawadogo’s story from his early education, through his days researching and developing his farming techniques, to his recent journey to the USA to participate in an Oxfam panel on greening the Sahel.”

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Words come and go, and now thanks to a new Google database of 500 billion words in 5.2 million books, you can chart the popularity of words in literature and other books going back hundreds of years. The database is can be accessed by scholars or anyone through a Google Labs project called the Google Books Ngram Viewer. You type in a word, and it charts the usage of that word over time.

See what “Permaculture” word looks like : “Permaculture”

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A depository of over 276 different beehive designs, 93+ plans for beekeeping equipment and bee hives, beekeeping information and links from around the world. Submissions of photos and related information welcome. To post a comment click on the Beehive title, component title or the comment icon.

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All your Permaculture Links in Delicious? Well it is Shutting Down. Here’s How to Migrate to Diigo Instead.

Step by step instructions

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Permaculture Media writes…

“As you’re out prowling for holiday gifts, consider supporting some of these incredible artists, journalists, activists, and entrepreneurs. It’s hard to pay the bills doing what you love, and I know these folks would be thankful for your support (and so would those receiving what they’ve made!).
So, here are 21 gift ideas for your activist friends…”

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Wind power
Wind farms have become fairly common in advanced Countries. In Denmark, one large windmill is built after issuing 800 or so shares, the number of households that can be provided with power from a village machine. These shares, and up to 10m2 of solar panels providing hot water and electricity are purchased by middle-aged couples to ensure free energy in their retirement. Most connect to the grid, and buy or sell energy as they have the need, or have surplus energy. They provide for their old age.

Solar Devices
Solar panels as hot water provided to insulated tanks, or as electrical generators, are becoming routine fixtures in modern societies; again, surplus electricity is sold to the local grid, and surplus heat is dumped into hot water systems.

Geothermal
Deep drill-holes, sited over areas of volcanic heat or where the earths crust is thin, convert water into steam for use in the heating of buildings, or in powering steam turbines for electrical production.

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Statistician Nic Marks asks why we measure a nation’s success by its productivity — instead of by the happiness and well-being of its people. He introduces the Happy Planet Index, which tracks national well-being against resource use (because a happy life doesn’t have to cost the earth). Which countries rank highest in the HPI? You might be surprised.

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