Monday, 30 November 2015
This paper discusses the concept of ecological sustainability in the global business community as the neoclassical approach continues to fail. There is now an emerging need to explore new approaches towards balancing ecological and economic returns. The paper extends the philosophy of Permaculture into business domain and explores its compatibility to be integrated with strategic management perspectives.The study primarily conducts a review of Permaculture and Strategic Management domains and uncovers the compatibility between the two, while arguing that the integration of Permaculture philosophy in business strategy would achieve sustainability.
Food banks across the United States have increasingly engaged in diverse gleaning, gardening, and farming activities. Some gardening programs seek to build poor communities’ capacity to meet more of their own food needs, signalling new roles for food banks. This article reports the results of a national survey and in-depth case studies of the ways in which food banks are engaging in local agriculture and how this influences food banks’ roles in community food systems. The patterns it reveals reflect broader tensions in debates about hunger relief and food security.
Food labor, economic inequality, and the imperfect politics of process in the alternative food movementThere is a growing commitment by different parts of the alternative food movement (AFM) to improve labor conditions for food chain workers, and to develop economically fair alternatives. This article asks what accounts for the variation in AFM labor commitments across different contexts. It then appraises a range of activist perspectives, practices, and organizational approaches. It seems that commitment to fair labor standards varies due to differences in organizational capacity, the degree of dedication to ending economic inequality in local activist culture, and the openness of local political and economic institutions to working class struggles. The article concludes with a discussion of how these findings inform our understanding of the process of cooperation and division in the AFM.
Biosolids amendment dramatically increases sequestration of crop residue-carbon in agricultural soils in western IllinoisIn agricultural soils, a large portion of C in crop residues (i.e. non-harvested plant parts) is annually lost to the atmosphere due to the low C use metabolism of soil microorganisms suffering C and N imbalance. In this study biosolids (treated sewage sludge) were applied for 13 years (1972–1984). The sequestration rate of crop residue-C in the soils was measured over 34 years (1972–2006), revealing dramatically greater sequestration rate in biosolids-amended soil (32.5% of total crop residue-C) versus unamended soil (11.8%). The study concludes use of biosolids is a valid approach to transform agricultural soils from current C-neutral status to a C sink.
Effects of intercropping on yield, weed incidence, forage quality and soil residual N in organically grown forage maize (Zea maysL.) and faba bean (Vicia faba L.)
This study investigated the effects of intercropping organically grown maize and faba bean in Sweden on yield, forage quality, soil mineral nitrogen (N) after harvest and weed incidence. The land equivalent ratio was 1.10–1.21. The mean crude protein concentration increased from 63 g kg−1, in monocropped maize, to 107 g kg−1, in intercropped maize. Intercropping had lower N balances compared with monocropped maize and reduced mineral N in the soil after harvest. Weed incidence was slightly reduced by intercropping. Intercropping can thus increase the sustainability of forage production.
Intercropping sunflower and soybean in intensive farming systems: Evaluating yield advantage and effect on weed and insect assemblagesResearchers assessed yields of sunflower/soybean intercrops in the Southern Pampas (Argentina), and evaluated the composition, richness, and abundance of weeds and insects. Sunflower/soybean sole crops and intercrops were sown during two consecutive years. Yield advantage of intercropping was indicated by land equivalent ratios higher than 1, indicating that intercrops were more productive than sole crops. Weed and insect species were more diverse in intercrops than in sole crops, though actual numbers were similar. Intercropping warm-season crops can therefore promote biodiversity and yield in conventional cropping systems in temperate regions.
Permaculture and Climate Change Adaptation
Wednesday, 25 November 2015
Celebrate World Soil Saturday, 5th December 2015
Stormwater management as art? Absolutely. Rain is a resource that should be valued and celebrated, and yet traditional stormwater treatment methods range from ugly to forgettable. Artful Rainwater Design shows that it's possible to effectively manage runoff while also creating inviting, attractive landscapes. A must-have resource for landscape architects, urban designers, civil engineers, and architects who won't let stormwater regulations cramp their style, and who understand that for a design to truly be sustainable, people must appreciate and love it. It is a tool for creating landscapes that celebrate rain for the life-giving resource it is—and contribute to more sustainable, healthy, and even fun, built environments.
In State of the World 2015, experts explore hidden threats to sustainability and how to address them. How will nations deal with migration as climate change refugees cross borders in order to escape flooding, drought, or other extreme weather events? What will happen to the price and availability of fossil energy as these resources oscillate between surplus and scarcity? If perpetual economic growth on a finite planet is impossible, what are the alternatives? Can national governments manage the transition? Eight key issues are addressed in depth, along with the central question of how we can develop resilience to these and other shocks.
The End of Automobile Dependence: How Cities are Moving Beyond Car-Based Planning
Cities will continue to accommodate the automobile, but when cities are built around them, the quality of human and natural life declines. Current trends show great promise for future urban mobility systems that enable freedom and connection, but not dependence. We are experiencing the phenomenon of peak car use in many global cities. We are thus in a new era: the end of automobile dependence. In The End of Automobile Dependence, Newman and Kenworthy look at how we can accelerate a planning approach to designing urban environments that can function reliably and conveniently on alternative modes, with a refined and more civilized automobile playing a very much reduced and manageable role in urban transportation.
Satellites in the High Country: Searching for the Wild in the Age of Man
As managers grapple with the challenges of climate change and volatility in a hyper-connected, global economy, they are paying increasing attention to their organization’s resilience—its capacity to survive, adapt, and flourish in the face of turbulent change. Resilient by Design provides business executives with a comprehensive approach to achieving consistent success in a changing world. Resilient enterprises adapt successfully to turbulence by anticipating disruptive changes, recognizing new business opportunities, building strong relationships, and designing resilient assets, products, and processes.
The first practical guidebook to give those with no scientific training the “how to” information they need to plan and implement ecological restoration. The book sets forth a step-by-step process for developing, implementing, monitoring, and refining restoration projects that is applicable to a wide range of landscapes and ecosystems. No other ecological restoration book leads by example and first-hand experience like this one. The authors encourage readers to champion restoration of ecosystems close to where they live . . . at home, on farms and ranches, in parks and preserves. It provides an essential bridge for people from all walks of life and all levels of experience, a unique contribution to the literature on restoration.
Tuesday, 10 November 2015
Perma/Culture: Imagining Alternatives in an Age of Crisis
We are seeking proposals for an interdisciplinary anthology, tentatively titled “Perma/Culture: Imagining Alternatives in an Age of Crisis,” that will treat cultural production and practices related to “alternatives” that challenge the unjust and unsustainable systems that dominate at present. Myriad social and cultural practices—from Transition towns to slow economies; permaculture design courses to CSAs—have offered examples for how to live differently, and these practices have, in turn, inspired artists and writers. We are looking for contributions that, presuming the background of crisis (economic, ecological, social, and cultural), turn critical and creative attention to what could be or, in some cases, is, in order to address the question of the effectiveness of alternatives. We imagine the “cultural production” under consideration in the book to be broad, including anything from actual practices in the environment (like gardening) to blog posts; poetry, fiction, drama, essay; media (film, television); music; (performance) art; etc. Essays treating the history of “alternatives” are also welcome. And while we envision this as a scholarly book, we are open to the idea of including creative nonfiction, short fiction, and poetry as well. Please send proposals of approximately 500 words for essays of 7000-8000 words to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by February 1, 2016.
This paper explores where the recent initiatives aimed at 'ending the economic invisibility of nature' differ from previous approaches to economic valuation of nature.
We have invited a number of scientists, academics and environmentalists to provide different views and starting points for the discussion. Their reviews of the paper will successively be uploaded here to fuel the debate.