About Water

IdeasGroupHeaderwritten by Peter Croft

Where do you start when you look into the topic of water? There are so many aspects.

International
At an international level, at least 10% of the world’s population (around 700 million) do not have access to clean water each day.

A growing world population – from 7 billion now to 9 billion by 2050 – and the associated need for more food will stress existing supplies of fresh water.

The actions of upstream nations on draw-downs of river water already affect downstream nations: the Mekong and Niger rivers are examples. Some of these actions might lead to future conflict between nations as a result.

Then there’s climate change and its likely effects on future water supplies, amongst many more water issues.

Continue reading

Richard Heinberg on Renewable Energy

How we use energy is as important as how we get it

“I’ve concluded that many of us have been asking the wrong questions of renewables. We’ve been demanding that they continue to power a growth-based consumer economy that is inherently unsustainable for a variety of reasons (the most obvious one being that we live on a small planet with finite resources)” – Richard Heinberg

There is a varying views out there on if, and how well, renewables can replace fossil fuels. A recent report by Richard Heinberg, of the Post Carbon Institute, titled “Our Renewable Future” (published by the Simplicity Institute) provides an excellent concise look at what it will involve to move away from fossil fuels. The critical issue that Heinberg’s article adds to the debate is how we use energy is as important as how we get it. Over the last 2 centuries we have kept adding new sources of energy to existing ones (starting with firewood, then coal, oil, hydro, natural gas, and nuclear) giving us cheap and constant access to more energy than ever before in human history. This has the enabled the consumer society we have today to develop. The future we are facing will require the replacement of our primary energy sources.

Additive-history-energy-Hughes

Continue reading

A new verge garden for Unley

written by Anne Wharton

Our Grow Grow Grow Your Own Group recently put a new raised bed on the verge on the corner of Dover St and Cambridge Tce, Malvern. Nolda who is maintaining the verge garden is particularly interested in bush foods. All the plants in the bed are native bush foods and have either edible leaves or fruits. Hopefully this will give neighbours some new ideas of what plants to try and grow in their own gardens and how to incorporate them into some tasty meals. More and more of our native foods are already appearing in some of the best restaurants. bush bed2

The bed is a wicking bed and should not need too much attention. All the plants are labelled and there is also braille signage around the edges.

The Grow Grow Group are hoping to establish more verge gardens in the Unley Council area later in the year.

For more information and some wild food recipes, have a look at Neville Bonney’s book “Knowing, Growing, Eating: Edible Wild Native Plants for South Australia”.

Planetary boundaries & sustainability

IdeasGroupHeader

written by Dinali Devasagayam

I have been mulling over how to present the Planetary Boundaries framework and the underlying concepts without being too scientific or making it too overwhelming an issue to address. Yet I do think it is an important framework to understand as it, like the ecological footprint concept, gives a good outline of the impacts we are having on our planet. It also highlights how crucial it is that we understand that climate change is not the only pressing environmental issue of our times and that we need to be looking at more than just reducing our carbon footprint. Continue reading