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WORLD ORGANIC NEWS


Oct 8, 2017

LINKS

CONTACT:  podcast@worldorganicnews.com

FREE .PDF One Square Metre Garden: square@worldorganicnews.com

Blog: www.worldorganicnews.com

 

Petit Paradis: The New Earth

http://www.worldorganicnews.com/60996/the-new-earth-petit-paradis/

Why Zero Waste Matters — Regenerating Our World

http://www.worldorganicnews.com/60890/why-zero-waste-m…rating-our-world/

 

Zero Waste International Alliance

 

Want energy storage? Here are 22,000 sites for pumped hydro across Australia — Random Thoughts

http://www.worldorganicnews.com/60898/want-energy-stor…-random-thoughts/

Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)

Pumped hydro energy storage (PHES)

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This is the World Organic News for the week ending 9th of October 2017.

Jon Moore reporting!

This week we begin with a post from Petit Paradis: The New Earth. This post commences with a quote from David Holmgren’s book PERMACULTURE: Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability.

Quote

The image of clean green technology where we do not need to mess with nature or kill anything to provide for our needs is in the final analysis, an illusion. That illusion appears to have substance only because generations of the world’s most affluent urbanites have been disconnected from nature.

End Quote

This quote is call to reality. The post goes on to articulate the ways the poster’s neighbours are all doing a little bit to reduce their footprint on the planet. From growing veggies amongst the roses, to a few abundant fruits trees in each backyard. This is a great way to build community.

Podcast footnote:

Building a community, is a shorthand way of saying: Getting to know other people. Finding out what we have in common with them and building upon those shared thoughts and activities. It means allowing the things we disagree with, politics, religion, sporting teams to not interfere with that which unites us. You know, seeing others as our friends not competition. Fellow citizens rather than competing consumers.

End podcast footnote.

The poster has even bigger dreams.

Quote:

We are taking in green waste from other gardens, newspapers from other sources, cardboard boxes from multiple places. It is very reminiscent of when we first started to create soil at petit paradis. My mind drifts along such thoughts as ‘What if every fourth house in the street did this sort of thing with their garden? There just wouldn’t be a fraction of the waste going to land fill. And the produce grown could go to the houses that supplied materials.’

End Quote

Imagine such a world. A world where 25% of households were producing food from the collected unwanted organic matter from the other 75% and feeding them with the surplus.

Bill Mollison, the other half of Mollison and Holmgren (quoted at the start of this episode) suggested that just ten percent of households moving from consumption to production would be sufficient to turn the world around. So the suggestion of 1 in 4 would have huge beneficial effects. But for this to happen at four households would have to be talking to each other above and beyond a nodded head when passing in the street.

Mollison also, as I have quoted before had a definition of waste that I try to keep in mind, especially when the topic comes up in conversation: Waste is simply a resource in the wrong place.

This leads nicely to our next post: Why Zero Waste Matters — Regenerating Our World.

This post starts with the most basic of questions:

Quote:

When you think of throwing something away, where is ‘away‘?  Does it truly vanish once it is discarded into the rubbish bin?  No — the only place it vanishes from is your eyesight.  It actually goes directly to the landfill....

End Quote

And landfills are a disaster. The embedded energy in each item placed therein is lost. The embedded energy refers to the amount of emergy used to create the product which is being buried. Take place panes as an example. Huge amounts of heat energy was used to turn sand into glass and then to shape the molten glass into window panes. Such items can be re-used as windows again, or framed up to create season extending cold frames in the garden and so on. Broken glass can be recycled through glass factories where less energy is required to reshape the many pieces that would be required to start with sand.

Now not everything can be recycled I hear some people say. True enough, the microbeads of plastic which are essential, apparently to the beauty industry to place layers of makeup and sunscreen on skin are essentially on a one way trip from factory to environment, increasingly the oceans and the species living therein.

I could go on but the point is, I think made. We need to go cold turkey off oil based plastics. There are alternatives, hemp springs to mind and other cellulose based products that can be made from current “waste” products. Remember Bill Mollison when you hear that word.

The aim should be to achieve zero waste. In that case all resources would be in their proper places and we would have  no need for landfills.

To quote from the post and their quote the Zero Waste International Alliance, zero waste is defined as such:

Quote:

“Zero Waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.”

End Quote.

Even when this goal is achieved we will still need some form of energy to keep the world moving, to reconfigure that broken glass and etc. One of the stumbling blocks/opportunities in the renewable sector is storage. Elon Musk is making a fortune with chemical storage, more commonly known as batteries. There are other forms and our last post for this week tackles one of them.

From the blog Random Thoughts comes the post entitled: Want energy storage? Here are 22,000 sites for pumped hydro across Australia.

I’ll start with a quote from the authors of the post:

Quote:

With the support of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), we have identified 22,000 potential pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) sites across all states and territories of Australia. PHES can readily be developed to balance the grid with any amount of solar and wind power, all the way up to 100%, as ageing coal-fired power stations close.

End Quote.

The idea behind pumped hydro storage is pretty straightforward. In the same way excess energy produced by say a rooftop solar panel would be stored in a battery, the excess energy generated by a solar farm would be used to pump water from a lower level to a higher one. Then when the sun goes down and the TVs come on, the water flows from the upper level to the lower, generating hydro electricity as it does so. The thing is the pumps and the hydro generators are the same piece of kit. This is a mature technology. It has been used for decades on the Snowy Hydro scheme where snow melt is pumped about between storages and then flows downhill to produce electricity and send irrigation water west to the inland parts.

We have this technology, with all the kinks worked out, solar PV and wind are now cheaper per kilowatt hour of output than building coal or even gas fired power stations. What we don’t have is the political vision, the drive or the will to move to this form of energy stabilisation. Too many parliaments seemed to be if not in the pocket of multinational fossil fuel producers but at least at their beck and call.

Again, I’m some what tired to say, we need to raise hell. We need to maintain the rage. Another summer of heat wave records here in Australia, and I fear, bushfires, may be the push necessary to get things moving but only if individuals and groups make it clear to our elected representatives we will stand with them if they stand up to entrenched interests. We built the Snowy scheme, we can build, if not 22,000 pumped hydro sites, at least 1000 to prove the concept on the ground and then ramp up.

I would also like to mention I still have the one square metre garden handout available. email me at square@worldorganicnews.com and it’ll be in your inbox pronto!

And on that note, I’ll call stumps on this week’s episode.

Thank you for listening and I'll be back in a week.

****

LINKS

CONTACT:  podcast@worldorganicnews.com

FREE .PDF One Square Metre Garden: square@worldorganicnews.com

 

Blog: www.worldorganicnews.com

 

Petit Paradis: The New Earth

http://www.worldorganicnews.com/60996/the-new-earth-petit-paradis/

 

Why Zero Waste Matters — Regenerating Our World

http://www.worldorganicnews.com/60890/why-zero-waste-m…rating-our-world/

 

Zero Waste International Alliance

 

Want energy storage? Here are 22,000 sites for pumped hydro across Australia — Random Thoughts

http://www.worldorganicnews.com/60898/want-energy-stor…-random-thoughts/

Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)

Pumped hydro energy storage (PHES)