Monday, March 14, 2016

Farming: Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Urban Permaculture

Permaculture is a system of agricultural and social design principles centered around simulating or
Claire Gregorys suburban permaculture garden
Sheffield, UK, 2009
directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems. The term permaculture (as a systematic method) was first coined by Australians David Holmgren, then a graduate student, and his professor, Bill Mollison, in 1978. The word permaculture originally referred to "permanent agriculture",[1] but was expanded to stand also for "permanent culture", as it was understood that social aspects were integral to a truly sustainable system as inspired by Masanobu Fukuoka natural farming philosophy.
It has many branches that include but are not limited to ecological designecological engineeringenvironmental designconstruction and integrated water resources management that develops sustainable architecture, regenerative and self-maintained habitat and agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems.
Mollison has said: "Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system."[4]

Core tenets and principles of design

The three core tenets of permaculture are:
Care for the earth: Provision for all life systems to continue and multiply. This is the first principle, because without a healthy earth, humans cannot flourish.
Care for the people: Provision for people to access those resources necessary for their existence.
Return of surplus: Reinvesting surpluses back into the system to provide for the first two ethics. This includes returning waste back into the system to recycle into usefulness.[12] The third ethic is sometimes referred to as Fair Share to reflect that each of us should take no more than what we need before we reinvest the surplus.

Permaculture design emphasizes patterns of landscape, function, and species assemblies. It determines where these elements should be placed so they can provide maximum benefit to the local environment. The central concept of permaculture is maximizing useful connections between components and synergy of the final design. The focus of permaculture, therefore, is not on each separate element, but rather on the relationships created among elements by the way they are placed together; the whole becoming greater than the sum of its parts. Permaculture design therefore seeks to minimize waste, human labor, and energy input by building systems with maximal benefits between design elements to achieve a high level of synergy. Permaculture designs evolve over time by taking into account these relationships and elements and can become extremely complex systems that produce a high density of food and materials with minimal input.
The design principles which are the conceptual foundation of permaculture were derived from the science of systems ecology and study of pre-industrial examples ofsustainable land use. Permaculture draws from several disciplines including organic farming, agroforestry, integrated farming, sustainable development, and applied ecology. Permaculture has been applied most commonly to the design of housing and landscaping, integrating techniques such as agroforestry, natural building, and rainwater harvesting within the context of permaculture design principles and theory.

Twelve design principles

Twelve Permaculture design principles articulated by David Holmgren in his Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability:
  1. Observe and interact: By taking time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.
  2. Catch and store energy: By developing systems that collect resources at peak abundance, we can use them in times of need.
  3. Obtain a yield: Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing.
  4. Apply self-regulation and accept feedback: We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well.
  5. Use and value renewable resources and services: Make the best use of nature's abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources.
  6. Produce no waste: By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.
  7. Design from patterns to details: By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.
  8. Integrate rather than segregate: By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.
  9. Use small and slow solutions: Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and producing more sustainable outcomes.
  10. Use and value diversity: Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides.
  11. Use edges and value the marginal: The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.
  12. Creatively use and respond to change: We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sahara Forest Project: Qatar's Plan to Turn the Worlds Desert Green

Sahara Forest Project
The Sahara Forest Project is a solution to provide fresh water, food, renewable energy and green jobs in hot, arid regions as well as re-vegetating areas of uninhabited desert, in a profitable way.

The Sahara Forest Project is a scheme that aims to provide fresh water, food and renewable energy in hot, arid regions as well as re-vegetating areas of uninhabited desert. This proposal combines saltwater-cooled greenhouses with Solar Power technologies, either directly using Photovoltaic (PV) or indirectly using concentrated solar power (CSP) and technologies for desert revegetation. It is claimed that these technologies together will create a sustainable and profitable source of energy, food, vegetation and water. The founding team behind the Sahara Forest Project was composed of experts from Seawater Greenhouse Ltd, Exploration Architecture, Max Fordham Consulting Engineers and the Bellona Foundation. The scale of the proposed scheme is such that very large quantities of seawater would be evaporated. By using locations below sea level, pumping costs would be eliminated. Among planned activities are one pilot project in Jordan and one in Qatar
Pilot in Qatar

Sahara Forest Project's first pilot facility was built in Qatar and officially opened in December 2012 by then HH the Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The pilot results were better than expected. The pilot results have prepared for the next steps, a test and demonstration center providing the first commercial-scale of the full Sahara Forest Project value chain.
Jordan agreement

On 22 June 2014, the Sahara Forest Project signed an agreement with The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Amman for establishing a Sahara Forest Project Launch Station and related activities in Jordan. The Launch Station will be the first step towards the realization of a full-scale Sahara Forest Project Centre in Aqaba, Jordan. The Launch Station will contain a Saltwater-cooled greenhouse in combination with solar power technologies and facilities for outdoor cultivation and revegetation. 
Sahara Forest Project: From vision to reality (revised) from Sahara Forest Project on Vimeo.

Monday, March 7, 2016


ENVIRONMENTAL TED TALKS: Reverse Climate Change "Desertification"

Endangered Animal Species Clock

Endangered Animal Species Clock

An Endangered (EN) species is a species which has been categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List as likely to become extinct. "Endangered" is the second most severe conservation status for wild populations in the IUCN's schema after Critically Endangered (CR).

In 2012, the IUCN Red List featured 3079 animal and 2655 plant species as endangered (EN) worldwide.The figures for 1998 were, respectively, 1102 and 1197

Many nations have laws that protect conservation-reliant species: for example, forbidding hunting, restricting land development or creating preserves. Population numbers, trends and species' conservation status can be found in the lists of organisms by population.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sea Shepherd Crew Member

SEA SHEPHERD: Become a Direct Action Crew Member

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is a non-profit, marine conservation organization based in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, Washington, in the United States.

Sea Shepherd uses direct action tactics to protect marine life. The organization was founded in 1977 under the name Earth Force Society by Paul Watson, a former member of Greenpeace, after a dispute with that organization over what Watson saw as its lack of more aggressive intervention. The group has a strong focus on public relations to spread its message via the media. In 2008, Animal Planet began filming the weekly series Whale Wars based on the group's encounters with the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean, a development which brought the group much publicity.

Sea Shepherd currently operates the vessels MY Steve Irwin, the MY Bob Barker, the MY Sam Simon (donated and named after Sam Simon, co-founder of The Simpsons) and the MV Brigitte Bardot. Operations have included scuttlingand disabling whaling vessels at harbor, intervening in Canadian and Namibian seal hunts, shining laser light into the eyes of whalers, throwing bottles of foul-smelling butyric acid onto vessels at sea, boarding of whaling vessels while at sea, and seizure and destruction of drift nets at sea. Sea Shepherd claims that their aggressive actions are necessary, as the international community has shown itself unwilling or unable to stop species-endangering whaling and fishing practices.

Sea Shepherd has received support for its tactics against fishing, whaling, and seal hunting from many celebrities, such as musicians and TV personalities. The tactics of Sea Shepherd have been opposed, even by those who denounce whaling, such as Greenpeace and the governments of Australia and New Zealand.The Japanese government have called them eco-terrorists. However, in March 2014 the International Court of Justice ruled the Japanese whaling program in the Southern Ocean was not, as claimed, for scientific purposes, and ordered Japan to cease operations.

Paul Watson and American members of Sea Shepherd are currently prohibited by US courts from approaching or harassing Japanese whalers.



Great Barrier Reef Excerpt from Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia

The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kilometres (1,400 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 sq mi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia.

The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms. This reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps. It supports a wide diversity of life and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981. CNN labelled it one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Queensland National Trust named it a state icon of Queensland.

A large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which helps to limit the impact of human use, such as fishing and tourism. Other environmental pressures on the reef and its ecosystem include runoff, climate change accompanied by mass coral bleaching, and cyclic population outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish. According to a study published in October 2012 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the reef has lost more than half its coral cover since 1985.

The Great Barrier Reef has long been known to and used by the Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and is an important part of local groups' cultures and spirituality. The reef is a very popular destination for tourists, especially in the Whitsunday Islands and Cairns regions. Tourism is an important economic activity for the region, generating over $3 billion per year

In November 2014, Google launched Google Underwater Street View in 3D of the Great Barrier Reef.

How to USE Virtual Reality 3D "Youtube 360" videos in your
CLASSROOM with the Google Cardboard APP, VR 3D Headset (3D VR Glasses) and a Smartphone (Samsung, Android, LG and iPhone)! Watching VR 3D 360 video content in your classroom is easy with the Free Google Cardboard App, a Smartphone and a $10 pair of VR 3D 360 Glasses. The first step, check your smartphone's ability, is it VR 3D 360 Headset "Google Cardboard" compatible?  No need to install any additional apps or convert the video files from youtube 360. Just open the Google Cardboard App watch full immersive VR 3D 360 videos in your classroom. You and your students can look around and enjoy the full view of Amazing Destinations.

Google Cardboard is a virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) platform developed by Google for use with a head mount for a smartphone. Named for its fold-out cardboard viewer, the platform is intended as a low-cost system to encourage interest and development in VR and AR applications. Users can either build their own viewer from simple, low-cost components using specifications published by Google, or purchase one manufactured by a third-party.

GOOGLE CARDBOARD VR360 MOVIES's 360° Channel is your destination for the most popular and compelling virtual reality videos

About Vrse: "Vrse is a leading VR company, whose mission is to tell extraordinary stories in virtual reality. Vrse uses custom-built tools and their own VR app to create and distribute the most innovative, story-driven experiences in VR today. Vrse was founded by director Chris Milk and technologist Aaron Koblin – both renowned for their innovative, industry-leading work – and are best known for their high-profile collaborations with The New York Times, the United Nations, Vice, Saturday Night Live, and artists like U2. Vrse’s goal is to push VR forward with ground-breaking experiences that explore and expand the medium’s potential. As Chris said in his 2015 TED Talk, Vrse believes that virtual reality has the power to connect us in a profound way. Through virtual reality, we can become more compassionate, more empathetic, more connected and ultimately, more human."

Experience Cedar Point’s newest roller coaster Valravn from the comfort of your phone!
To fully enjoy this app you'll need a Cardboard VR viewer.

VR Roller Coaster Mystical Island

Google Cardboard VR 3D 360 games AND Apps SAMPLES!