Archive for August, 2009

Bill Mollison's Permaculture Two now available online

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Bill Mollison’s 1979 classic Permaculture Two: Practical Design for Town and Country in Permanent Agriculture is currently changing hands on Amazon UK for nigh on £100 a copy, whether new or used. For anyone who’s been unable to source a copy of this seminal work, or to afford it, it’s now available online at Scribd.

The book does still appear to be available direct from Bill Mollison’s Tagari Press for a more modest £18/€20 (£37/€42 including shipping to Europe), but this presents something of a dilemma. You can’t give something back to one of the guys who started it all without giving an equal amount in support of an insane use of finite resources to deliver a book half way round the world. What to do? At least there is now an alternative to lining the pockets of Amazon booksellers …

UPDATE: This has now been removed due to copyright infringement.

Modern farming methods and human health

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Amidst all the furore over CO2 emissions and global warming, an equally serious and every bit as deadly a consequence of our modern lifestyle is escaping almost unnoticed.

As the 1999 publication from the World Resources Institute Critical Consumption Trends and Implications: Degrading Earth’s Ecosystems by Emily Matthews and Allen Hammond states, “What emerges from this analysis is that fundamental changes are taking place in global biological processes. Our attention has perhaps been focused too much at the local and regional level – on specific polluting emissions, or loss of specific habitats and species – and too little on whole ecosystems. Our understanding of how complex ecosystems function remains relatively limited, but the evidence of serious disruption is now widespread. Chronic, human-induced imbalances in major biological systems – for example, nutrient cycling, inter-species relationships and food chains – are more insidious than acute incidents of pollution or other damage. Their consequences, however, may be much harder to reverse, and more serious for the developmental and security prospects of every country.”