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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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An Urban Survival Course with Selco: Your Gear and How to Pack It

An Urban Survival Course with Selco: Your Gear and How to Pack It

Editor’s Note: Did you ever wish you could drop everything and fly over to the Balkans to be trained in urban survival by Selco? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to pick his brain and have him beside you as you learned to deal with an SHTF scenario? Well, here’s the next best thing. Selco recently finished teaching a hardcore 5-day course in Croatia. With 6 students, they went through high-stress exercises and learned about living through an all-out disaster where danger lurks around every corner.  Selco has generously agreed to write a series for us so that we can learn from him. It’s not quite like being there, but it’s the next best thing. ~ Daisy

What to Pack for a 5-Day Urban Survival Course

We have just finished our flagship Urban survival course in Croatia.

For 5 days Toby Cowern and I, as instructors, taught students skills and through the different exercises and scenarios, we stress-tested their knowledge and abilities.

For me, the most important thing was to give them a piece of the mindset needed for a real SHTF event and to give them a clear starting point from where they can build more skills, knowledge, and competence.

In some moments it was hard for them, both physically and mentally, but one of the most important points, of course, was to test them in not so perfect conditions.

 

The whole course cannot be transferred here for reading, but some highlights can be given in a series of articles, reflecting on the most interesting moments of each day. This time, we will start out with the gear necessary for the class.

Equipment (items that  you have with you)

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“Sustainable Agriculture and Healthy Food Consumption Behaviors Go Together”

“Sustainable Agriculture and Healthy Food Consumption Behaviors Go Together”

Interview with Professor Jules Pretty, author and academic whose work focuses on sustainable agriculture and the relationship between people and the land.

Seeds and the Commons

Global seed reserves are under serious threat. The recent ‘Baysanto’ merger is just another indication of the systematic consolidation of the seed market in the hands of a few select multi-national corporations. At present, over 75% of the global seed trade is controlled by just ten companies. This is not news and the Sustainable Food Trust has reported at length on the state of the world’s seeds and the innovative projects and movements which have emerged in response to this.

One such organisation is OpenSourceSeeds (OSS). By equipping plant breeders and propagators with a free, open-source licence for the seeds they breed, they provide the necessary legal protection to prevent the patenting of the seed by other parties. This is about protecting seeds from privatisation and consequent market consolidation, and reframing seed as a common good.

Comprised of activists, agronomists, lawyers and plant breeders, OSS has origins in the Association for AgriCulture and Ecology (Agrecol), a German NGO which supports organic and sustainable agriculture and rural development in the Global South. In the US, the Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI) works to similar ends, aiming to bring seeds back into common ownership by creating a pledge for breeders – this is, however, not legally binding like the OSS seed license, but the two organisations work closely together on this issue.

With a commitment to agroecology, OSS advocates for diversified agriculture and farming strategies which manage to meet the needs of a growing global population whilst protecting the Earth’s natural resources. Despite the fact that we know of over 50,000 edible plant species, currently 90% of human calorific intake across the globe is supplied by just 15 crop varieties.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Common Composting Problems and Solutions for the Beginning Composter

COMMON COMPOSTING PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS FOR THE BEGINNING COMPOSTER

Composting is standard practice on any permaculture site. This is the case for several reasons. It creates a closed waste cycle between vegetable scraps and vegetable production, often with the added bonus (an in-between stop) of animal fodder. It helps to rebuild or maintain healthy, balanced soil by feeding the soil life and creating a steady replenishment of nutrients, and nutrient-rich soil makes for nutrient-rich food. In simple terms, composting is a most useful natural process that any human-supporting, sustainable system needs.

While it is standard practice to compost, that isn’t to say that doing so is always foolproof or works out exactly the way folks are aiming. There are many methods to make compost. Some sped up the process into 18-day creations. Others, such as with composting toilets, go through a year-plus of maturation before they are considered user-friendly. There are even composting systems that gurgle and burp out methane gas that can be used for cooking. In all these incarnations, at some point, something is bound to go wrong.

However, what most people do with compost bins is somewhat in between, something in which the peels of potatoes or bananas, the remnants of breakfast or garden pruning, are meant to decompose into rich earth with minimum effort. That’s a perfectly legitimate way to make compost as well, but it’s also the one from which people are often turned off with composting altogether. These bins turn into sludgy messes or stagnant piles of organic garbage, causing would-be composters to throw up their hands and call it quits.

But, the solution might be something really simple.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Want All the Green Beans You Can Eat? Get the Best Harvest With These Growing Tips 

Want All the Green Beans You Can Eat? Get the Best Harvest With These Growing Tips 

When I was growing up, I was lucky enough to have a grandfather who grew lots of vegetables (this is where my passion for gardening started). Without fail, every summer he would drop off bags of green beans and we would spend an afternoon breaking off the ends and putting them into a pot. I loved about green beans – the color, the texture, the flavor… Now that I have my own family, I’ve carried on that same garden tradition and green beans are always an addition to the garden.

Green beans are one of the easiest and most popular summer vegetable varieties to grow in your garden. What makes the green bean so easy to grow is because once planted, they require little attention other than a drink of water now and again. One reason that green beans are favorite choices among gardeners is that they have high germination rates of 70 percent and the seeds can remain viable for 3 years. Therefore, they are great for storing long-term garden plans. As well, bush beans, in particular, are a great cover crop for warmer climates.

We prefer growing the Blue Lake Bush variety of green beans because of their many uses. They were originally developed as a canning bean, but quickly became a fresh food favorite and are now commonly served along with salads or steamed as a healthful side dish.

One drawback to planting bush beans is they tend to take up precious space because they do not grow tall like pole beans. But, what they lack in height, they make up for in production. In addition, they require less work planting, staking, weeding, and watering. Another incentive to grow more beans in the garden is they have a symbiotic relationship with soil-dwelling bacteria.

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How to Find Essential Resources in Your Area (Before You Ever Need to Scavenge)

How to Find Essential Resources in Your Area (Before You Ever Need to Scavenge)

What if things really went crazy and you were in a situation in which you needed to scavenge? Would you know where to find the things you might need, like food, drugs, or water? This useful article will help you find and record the essential resources in your area – while the information is still easy to obtain. ~ Editor

You need to know where essential resources in your area are located. During a disaster you never know what you might need, so grab every bit of free information about where you live that might conceivably be useful after the SHTF while you still can.

GPS mapping may or may not be available to you during an emergency so we recommend that you obtain the following addresses on paper, but also in computer files. The maps presented in Part 3 will be very useful in navigating your way to these locations should your GPS not be working.

You should also compile the following lists into computer files and print them out. I recommend you use duckduckgo.com for Internet searching because they don’t track or save your searches. Given that the local telephone book no longer exists you can try yellowpages.com/ for many of these.

Put all the lists in one or more 3 ring binders with tabs as appropriate. Store all the lists and the maps in one place. Also, store these maps and lists on USB flash drives or miniSD cards as appropriate to your needs. See Part 2 of this series for computer storage suggestions. If your phone will allow you to do so, you should also store selected files on your smartphone along with the appropriate app to read them.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Winter is Coming (Part Three)

WINTER IS COMING (PART THREE)

“The very survival of the nation will feel at stake. Sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War, and twin emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II.” – Strauss & Howe The Fourth Turning 

Image result for swirling fog game of thrones

In Part One of this article I laid out the reasons for Gray Champions arising to meet challenges during crisis periods in history. In Part Two of this article I assessed the configuration of Gray Champions throughout the world and the potential impact on the course of this Fourth Turning.

The swirling fog of confusion enveloping the globe as the high lords of the universe play their game of thrones has even the most critical thinking individuals baffled by the course of events. The desperation and blatant lawlessness of the Deep State players in their endeavor to preserve their hegemony over the course of global affairs is palpable with every attack, false flag, accusation, and ratcheting up of their propaganda media machine.

Like Game of Thrones, the behind the scenes machinations, subterfuge, and deceptions taking place outside the purview of the common folk are designed to only benefit the rich and powerful players undertaking these traitorous actions. Open warfare will not happen until it is thought to be in the best interests of those manipulating the levers of society and the narrative produced by their perpetual propaganda media machine. But, in the end, it will be the innocent common people who will suffer the consequences, while the lords reap the riches, glory and power.

“Why is it always the innocents who suffer most, when you high lords play your game of thrones?”Lord Varys – George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones

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The unacceptable collateral damage of overconsumption

The unacceptable collateral damage of overconsumption

The Great Acceleration, un-burnable carbon, and global impacts

We are living in extraordinary times and transformation is already happening and accelerating all around us. Many technological, social, and environmental changes are racing up the steep end of the exponential curve. In almost every area of our lives old structures are breaking down as we are witnessing the unfolding impacts of unprecedented technological innovation and its rapid deployment in a globally expanding consumer culture.

Exponential growth on a finite planet

‘The Great Acceleration’ is happening within the context of an expanding human population, profound societal and economic transformation on all continents, and — most urgent of all — a dangerous destabilization of global and local climate patterns. There is a scientific consensus that we need to take immediate action if we are to avoid catastrophic climate effects on the future of humankind, the diversity of life and the entire planet.

Unsustainable exponential growth in many aspects of human and ecological systems (Source)

Already hundreds of thousands of people die every year due to climate change related extreme weather events and millions lose their homes, go hungry or are forced to migrate. Ecosystems everywhere, and the biosphere as a whole, are reaching dangerous tipping points. The prolonged impact of an industrial growth society addicted to fossil fuels and the rapid extraction of non-renewable resources is pushing against planetary boundaries.

Our current economic system is structurally committed to ever-increasing economic growth and intertwined with a financial system that generates money out of nowhere based on debt, and currencies that are not backed up by real material value (see module two). Attempts to resuscitate this structurally dysfunctional system are getting more and more expensive, as the cycles of economic crisis and costly (temporary) recovery are getting shorter and shorter.

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Saving the World: Top-Down or Bottom-Up? A Review of the Latest Report to the Club of Rome, “Come On” 

Saving the World: Top-Down or Bottom-Up? A Review of the Latest Report to the Club of Rome, “Come On” 

Come On: Capitalism, Short-termism and the Destruction of the Planet. A new Report from the Club of Rome. By Ernst von Weizsaecker and Anders Wijkman –  Book Review by Ugo Bardi

Nearly half a century has passed since the publication, in 1972, of the first – and still the most famous – report of the Club of Rome, “The Limits to Growth.” That first report was heavily criticized but, nowadays, it is turning out that it had correctly identified the main lines of the trajectory that the human industrial society was to follow and is still following. To the authors of this report and to their mentor, Jay Forrester, goes the merit of having identified for the first time the critical problem that we are facing nowadays, that of “overshoot”, exceeding the limits that the planetary ecosphere can sustain and forcing humankind to a return within the limits that could be painful or even disastrous.

Today, the Club of Rome keeps following its tradition of studying the long-term prospects of humankind facing the twin challenges of resource depletion and climate change. The latest report of the Club on these matters is “Come On” by Anders Wijkman and Ernst Von Weizsacker, published with Springer in 2017, in occasion of the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Club.

Clearly, this is a book which has been thoroughly planned and carefully created. The text is divided into three parts: 1) A review of the currently unsustainable trends, 2) A review of how to look at the situation 3) A discussion of solutions designed to avoid disaster. It is a sort of Aristotelian syllogism structure.
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Russian TV Instructs Citizens How To Prepare Bomb Shelters For Nuclear War

Russia-24 (Россия-24), a state-owned Russian-language news channel from Moscow, spent five minutes on Tuesday advising its viewers how to prepare for a nuclear war amid the increasing tensions with the United States over Syria. The television anchor urged the country’s citizens to purchase essential items and emergency supplies to stock their bomb shelters.

The title of the television broadcast “Inviolable stock: what should I take with me to the bomb shelter?,” explains how a nuclear war with the United States would be “catastrophic,” as a TV anchor from Russia-24 informed citizens how to get ready for World War III.

“If some people did give in to the panic, and decided to spend all their savings on a survival kit, we’ll tell you how to not waste money on something you won’t need.”

He recommended that people purchase salt, oatmeal, and other products that have a long shelf life. He even said powdered milk, grains, and sugar could last for years in storage, as one video during the broadcast demonstrated how to cook pasta while hiding in a bunker. The special broadcast then transitions to the next TV presenter Alexey Kazako, who explains the number one rule of surviving a nuclear blast is “fewer sweets, more water.”

He said: “All chocolates, candies and condensed milk will have to be left behind.

“Glucose is an unrivaled energy source but sweets will make you thirsty, and water will be the most valuable resource for bomb shelter residents.”

Eduard Khalilov, a specialist in survival, explained to viewers about the importance of stocking fresh water.

He said, “people can only survive up to three days without water, but can go up to three weeks without food.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Migrant caravan: Foreshadowing the future and reflecting the present

Migrant caravan: Foreshadowing the future and reflecting the present

The march of hundreds of Central American migrants through Mexico has inflamed tensions between the Trump administration and the Mexican government and focused attention on the United States’ southern border.

The ostensible reasons for the march are familiar: The migrants were fleeing corruption, social and political turmoil, and lack of opportunity in their home countries. Many were from Honduras which suffered a coup in 2009 that continues to divide the country politically including during the last election in which supporters of the challenger to the incumbent president claim their candidate was cheated out of a win.

All of this reminded me of Jean Raspail’s novel The Camp of the Saints. In it, impoverished Indians seized hundreds of ships docked in their harbors and set sail to find a better place to live. (The book was published in 1973 when many believed that millions of Indians and other Asians would likely starve in the coming decades due to poor agricultural yields. The full effects of the so-called Green Revolution still lay ahead.)

In the novel, as the seaborne caravan makes its way westward, first to the Suez Canal, where it is repelled, then around the Cape of Good Hope, Europe braces for what it believes is an inevitable invasion of desperate Indians.

A vitriolic debate ensues inside France about whether the country should try to help the Indians or simply repel them.

Raspail, a celebrated author in France, was denounced as a racist when the book was released. His book continues to be a favorite among American white supremacists. And, former Trump advisor, Steven Bannon, is reported to be a fan of Raspail.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

GREEN Foundation is Reversing Negative Effects of the Green Revolution

GREEN Foundation is Reversing Negative Effects of the Green Revolution

Book Review: Energy Return on Investment by Charles A. S. Hall

Book Review: Energy Return on Investment by Charles A. S. Hall

ENERGY RETURN ON INVESTMENT: A Unifying Principle for Biology, Economics, and Sustainability

In Energy Return on Investment, systems ecologist Charles A. S. Hall argues that to truly understand most investments, one must view them in terms of energy. This is perhaps most obvious when considering the physical survival of wild animals and human hunter-gatherers. In both these instances, the food obtained through foraging or hunting must yield more energy than was required to procure it, or starvation ensues. Another way of understanding this is by applying the concept of energy return on investment (EROI). As with the more familiar metric of return on investment (ROI), EROI is a ratio of profit–in this case, energy profit–to resources expended. It is calculated by dividing the amount of energy obtained in the course of a given activity by the resources that went into recovering that energy. A positive EROI is one above the break-even point, whereas a negative EROI is one that fails to break even.

This principle extends beyond the individual sphere to encompass entire human societies. Like the lone animal or hunter-gatherer of the previous example, a civilization must maintain a positive energy balance to survive. Most ultimately fail to do so, as evidenced by the long line of failed past civilizations. Consider the ancient Easter Islanders, whose downfall was described so well in geographer Jared Diamond’s 2005 book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. Diamond recounts how the Easter Islanders relied heavily on fish, and to catch the fish they needed wooden boats. They were depleting their wood supply faster than it could regenerate, and eventually their efforts to obtain more wood no longer yielded positive energy returns in the form of food. Now fast forward to our time and reflect on what’s happened with the EROI of our primary energy source. The oil that powers modernity once came out of the ground easily, but it now requires herculean investments of both money and energy (think offshore drilling, hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling) to obtain.

A Political Novel

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Surviving The Next Great Depression

Surviving The Next Great Depression

Why Systems Fail

Why Systems Fail

Since failing systems are incapable of structural reform, collapse is the only way forward.

Systems fail for a wide range of reasons, but I’d like to focus on two that are easy to understand but hard to pin down.

1. Systems are accretions of structures and modifications laid down over time.Each layer adds complexity which is viewed at the time as a solution.

This benefits insiders, as their job security arises from the need to manage the added complexity. The new layer may also benefit an outside constituency that quickly becomes dependent on the new layer for income. (Think defense contractors, consultants, non-profits, etc.)

In short order, insiders and outsiders alike habituate to the higher complexity, and everyone takes it for granted that “this is how things work.” Few people can visualize alternatives, and any alternative that reduces the budget, payroll or power of the existing system is rejected as “unworkable.”

In this set of incentives, the “solution” is always: we need more money. If only we had another $1 million, $1 billion or $1 trillion, we could fix what’s broken.

But increasing the budget can’t fix what’s broken because it doesn’t address the underlying sources of systemic failure.

Those benefiting from the status quo will fight tooth and nail to retain their jobs and benefits, and so deep reform is essentially impossible, as the insiders and constituencies of each layer resist any reform that might diminish their security/income.

As a result, new layers rarely replaces previous layers; the system becomes more and more inefficient and costly as every new layer must find work-arounds and kludgy fixes to function with the legacy layers.

Eventually, the system becomes unaffordable and/or too ineffective to fulfill its mission.

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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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