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Guerilla Gardening: Eating The Suburbs

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I can not think a better article to represent this blog........Mike The Age recently had an article on the emerging practice of "guerilla gardening", taking a look at the "Gardening guerillas in our midst". This concept seems to have steadily increased in popularity in recent years (admittedly from a very low base) as the permaculture movement's ideas have been propagated through the community. Unlike the usual approach taken when trying to grow food in the suburbs - converting spare land on your own property (as discussed by aeldric previously and, more recently, in Jeff Vail's series on A Resilient Suburbia) - guerilla gardening involves cultivating any spare patch of urban land that isn't being used for another purpose, which could provide a substantial addition to the food growing potential of suburbia Read More

Transportation Renaissance Won't Happen With Detroit Bailout

This morning I begin my Sunday morning like most other mornings by reading the New York Times and scanning the news. Today I read about the worsening US auto industry illustrated by a dealer in Quincy Florida and his struggle to stay open.Bruce Thomas has spent his life working and building his dealership to the point where he is the second largest employer in his hometown and where he has over the years support numerous charitable organizations. The future looks bleak for Bruce, the mayor of Quincy is worried about the impact of Bruce going out of business and people are scratching their heads wondering what happened. For those of us who have been unhappy with the Big 3 since the oil embargo of the 70's (yes I am that old!), this downturn is hardly unexpected. It reminds me of the phrase "what do you do when you are climbing the ladder of success only to find out you are on the wrong wall?" This is where we find ourselves, and I have to admit that we told you so.

Climate Confusion: Who Wins?

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by Michael O'Brien Climate change is the biggest challenge we face as a humans. Any serious student who analyses the information recognizes that the overwhelming consensus from scientists is that we have a very small period of time in which our efforts will have a positive impact for our planet and our children's future. For the past 10 years or so, there has been rigorous debate both by the scientific community and in the press about climate change. The debate is over, the issues have been discussed and now is the time for us to take responsibility for our future. It is fascinating to watch the media feel the need to present the “other side” of this issue when there is discourse about climate change. My guess is that they feel vulnerable from the vocal skeptics or right wing talk show hosts so they include a dwindling number of scientists or spokespeople who argue against human causation. It seems there is an inordinate amount of air time devoted to this topic in pro

Our Automobile Future

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2008-Jan-18 by Michael O'Brien Our Automobile Future I write this letter as we come off the heels of the Bali Conference where world leaders met to discuss the issue of climate change. This important meeting did result in an agreement that has been described by Thomas Friedman as “incremental” change. Rajendra Pachauri, head of the prestigious United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that “If there's no action before 2012, that's too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment." Friedman discusses in his opinion in a New York Times op-ed article that the change we need has to be transformational. A little tweaking here and a little tweaking there is not going to protect ourselves from the predictable calamity that scientists say will occur. A case in point is automobile usage worldwide. According to Elizabeth Kobert who wrote a article titled “Running on Fumes” for the New Yo

Why the era of cheap food is over

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Christian Science Monitor Food prices worldwide hit record highs in 2006, and all the signs are that they will go on rising this year, and for the foreseeable future. The era of cheap food, the experts say, is over and we are going to have to get used to it. This is easier said than done for millions around the world, as evidenced by protests in Mexico over the cost of corn tortillas, and in Italy last September about the price of (wheat) pasta. Staff writer Peter Ford looks at why. Read more....