climate change

I just recently realized that ‘climate change’ indeed is a hoax.

Yes, the climate is changing, and changes seem to be man-made. But climate change is only the tip of the iceberg and is ment to detract us from the real threat. The real threat is the direct destruction of our planet.

Climate change is a debatable dimension. It can and obviously has been discussed, to what extend climate change was man-made. Instead, not much had to be debated when it comes to ‘direct destruction’. Mount top removal to mine tarsand in Alberta is obviously man made, and is not only unacceptable because of potential climate change, but first of all because of the direct destruction of the ecosystems and the massive concurrent pollution.

Climate change points towards the future and detracts from the here and now. The creation of ‘climate change’ has made us believe that the threat lies in the future and that changes are uncertain. The problem has been postponed and therefore the urgency consistently ignored.

Climate scientists know that. They know that climate change is real. But they also know that ‘climate change’ is a hoax. But scientists also have received lots of money for their research. They are corrupted by the system to not tell the truth. So they try to ignore it.

‘Climate change’ has been more profitable than the true story. There was no need to absolutely abandon fossil fuel burning. Instead CO2 quotes could be traded to justify dirty business as usual. Just even bigger business.

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Capitalism is a culture of waste

There is two ways to define waste. One is, that an item turns obsolete and cannot be used any longer. The other is that the item is toxic and therefore of concern for the environment.

Ironically, both problems are man-made.

Now it is time to address both of them.

Poor people, in particular in poor countries, generally do not trash things because they always find a use for everything. Things don’t turn worthless, just because they no longer serve the original purpurse. Everything can always be used for something. After all, it exists. Why burning or burrowing it?

Not because poor people were concerned about the waste as toxic waste. Initially not. Now, they are – for good reason-, as trash from industrial production is shipped to and disposed on their land. But in the first place, poor people lack money and therefore live a ressource-based economy, with trash being part of their resource. A very natural behavior indeed.

Recently, a new concept has been promoted that should solve our problems connected to waste: The concept of ‘cradle to cradle’. The idea behind ‘cradle to cradle’ is that all our production should be made of harmless, easily biodegradable material.

Michael Braungart, one of the early proponents of the system, is looking for a society, in which wasting makes sense. And his idea is being celebrated as the next industrial revolution.

The concept suggests that we, the consumers, will not have to make any effort. We are not required to change our habits. Instead, the industry promises to solve the problem with new products of no environmental concern. And we as consumers will be allowed to proceed with business as usual.

Such a revolution is made for the industry, which otherwise is in serious danger to run out of business. Such a revolution is not for the people or the environment.

The idea of ‘cradle to cradle’ is nothing new. ‘Cradle to cradle’ is simply nature’s principle. Coming along to suggest ‘cradle to cradle’ as a new concept for industrial products should make the products commercially viable.

Waste does not need new ideas. The very idea of waste has to vanish. Both because the products should be of no concern for the environment, but also because products have to last and fulfil endless functions in the natural cycle of matter and energy.

One of the reasons that led to the great depression in the 1920th was that the market was saturated. Production, and therefore employment and buying power ran dry, because the market was saturated with sound products of robust quality. Products were designed to last, putting the industry out of business. But putting the industry out of business also put the money out of business.

In the 1920th, people were challenged, but did not succeed to free themselves from the commercial interest, maybe because they did not trust in the power of community. Or, maybe because the industry was too quick to prepare for a plan B: The idea of making industrial products planned obsolescent.

But this time we have all the tools to get this straight. This time we gonna make the money – not the products – obsolete!

Nature is rich and does not economize. But nature doesn’t waste. Waste by definition does not make sense in nature. But Michael Braungart is “seeking for a society were waste makes sense”. Another industrial society selling us, this time harmless waste, but still for money.

We need to find ourselves in nature instead of trying to imitate and remodel our man made commercial system with products that can be wasted with good consciousness. The abundance of nature we can only experience in nature.

Cradle to cradle is nature’s principle.

Trying to imitate it, we will most likely fail.

Doing it for money is criminal.

I have a serious problem with the idea of manufacturing solar panels. Solar energy has been the principle driver of all energy and material transformation on our planet. I cannot imagine that we will be able to design a more efficient system to capture solar energy than what evolution has developed for us and including us. The vegetation is the perfect solar panel. Removing the vegetation in order to make room for dead, unlasting technical devices to produce electricity can only be in the interest of the industry and money. The vegetation does not only provide us with energy, but with products of all kind. From food to cosmetics. From building material to clothing.

The technology and the solutions for our sustainment are right in place. We only need to share the knowledge about it.

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Biochar is part of a LOCAL solution

Biochar cannot be a global solution for capturing CO2 from the atmosphere as long as we do not completely stop burning fossil fuels. The sequestration of carbon through production and deposition of biochar cannot compete with the current massive production of CO2 from burning fossil fuels. Starting with biochar production at massive scale would be under expense of the vegetation, which is the other – and probably much more important – part of the solution to climate change. Biochar production at large scale may also eliminate the incentive to stop the burning of fossil fuels. This is like burning the candles at both ends.

I share a lot of the view of Albert Bates that he expresses in the following video. But I am even more skeptical than him when it comes to biochar as a tool for global carbon management.

It is often argued that stopping the burning of fossil fuels will not be enough to save the climate, as we already have passed the critical mark of 350 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere, and that we would need to sequester carbon by active processes such as production and deposition of biochar. But these calculations ignore natures capacity to do the job on its own. The exchange of carbon between the atmosphere and the biosphere is a highly dynamic process. And this process is not only directly disturbed by massive release of carbon from fossil fuels, but also – and importantly – indirectly via the current management of our land.

I am convinced that by far the main task to meet the goal of reducing atmospheric carbon is stopping emission form fossil fuels, stopping industrial agriculture and the destruction of natural ecosystems so that nature is allowed do the job of remediation. Stopping the burning of fossil fuels is the most important means to stabilize the climate. This in turn will have profound impact on agriculture, which will not be able to proceed in its current form. If further active sequestration is useful and needed can only be monitored after fossil fuels are out of business.

However, biochar is part of a solution for soil restoration in polluted areas. In residential areas, where we need to grow our food with the aim of eliminating machinery and transport in the production and distribution of food. Another part of the local solution is no till practices. Permanent cultures. The soil must not be disturbed, so that soil carbon will increase and be maintained at high level. Furthermore, part of the solution is a shift from annual crop planting to perennial crops, which is a logical extension of the non till practice. Perennial plants including trees and shrubs will also increase the above soil carbon.

Biochar can also be part of a solution for revegetation of regions with extended drought or even deserts. But again, biochar is always only part of a solution and a kick-starter for a more complex change in land use practices. Biochar is not a solution on its own!

Biochar production must not become an industrial process!

Biochar must not be used as a remedy for industrial agriculture!

Biochar should be produced locally at a scale to match the particular needs for your local project in your local environment.

Therefore, a number of points have to be considered by local initiatives:

  • Most importantly, when making biochar for your local use, choose the cleanest process for production you can find.
  • Try to match your production to the need for the purpose of using biochar in your particular place.
  • As feedstock for making biochar, use locally available material.
  • Make use of the energy released dyring the pyrolysis process.
  • …and: change your practice to the simple method of chop and drop.
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Maintaining the garden

There is a sheer iron resistance to the idea that farming can be done without heavy machinery. Hundreds of horse powers are out there on our fields. And people have completely lost confidence that it can be done otherwise.

However, maintaining a healthy garden gets down to one  simple  method called “chop and drop”.

Yes, we favor certain plants and crops over others that we call weeds. But it is a serious mistake to try to quantitatively remove those plants we have decided to call weeds. There is a much more simple, efficient and appropriate method than removing weeds with shoots and roots or even poisoning them with herbicides. We gotta change attitude and rather think positively of our crop than being afraid of the weed. You want to concentrate on taking care of your favorite crop, while you chop and prune some of the other plants that otherwise prevent your crop from fully developing. Following this practise, there no waste of any of the nutrients that had been taken up by the weeds. At the contrary: The weeds have – for the time of their own development – accumulated nutrients that are subsequently released for the benefit of your crop. Roots that remain in the soil decay – or at least partly decay, and enter the cycle of natural soil building right at the spot. And the arial parts of the weeds, when dropped at the place, cover the soil, preserve soil moisture and also contribute to the soil building. There is thus no serious competition for nutrients, because surface composting and root pruning recycle the nutrients to the system in favor of your favorite crops.

If you do not interfere in the garden, then it turns wild. Then eventually there is competition for nutrients and light, and certain plants take advantage. Then a succession sets in towards a climax vegetation typical for the particular climatic region. Proper gardening, however, is maintaining a young and open fruit forest. Pruning and chopping is necessary and sufficient to manage and maintain this stage for many decades.

Undisturbed soil is extremely potent in recycling organic matter. All the soil organisms needed for cycling are right in place. This is one reason why it takes a couple of years of transition when you change your practice from digging and tilling to a permanent non-dig garden. The soil fauna has to develop and reach its natural balance. Once you approach this balance, managing becomes easier and easier.

There is no real need to prepare compost other than composting directly on the surface. You may want to use larger patches of nutrient accumulating plants, such as comfrey, for surface composting at another place with the aid to translocate nutrients. But this is a soft and sensitive method which keeps pace with natural cycling for the system, allowing the system to proceed in its most productive form.

People often argue that slugs then take over and harm the cultures. But this is just another temporary problem, until things get into balance again. Firstly, slugs do not particularly go after your crop. They also eat what you chop and drop and thereby assist the composting process. Secondly, the slugs will be followed by their predators such as toads controlling their population. Ducks are an excellent garden keeper too eating the slugs and providing you with eggs. Every problem has a natural solution. No artificial measure can do a better job than inviting the natural predators into your system. Using poison will only address one problem for a short period of time while at the same time removing the basis for survival of the natural predators, pushing the system out of balance.

Modern agriculture is a synthetic system. It is hard to see for many, how to get out of the system. It necessarily requires some time and you may encouter a temporary break down of yield until nature gets back into balance. But yields recover, and takes over far beyond what can be done with a synthetic system. We cannot rely on a single crop anyway. So why not growing a rich mixture of crops together. Monocultures are only practical for the machinery we employ to cultivate them, but neither appropriate for us or nature. Mixed permanent cultures are far more productive and healthy.

Natural farming is about bringing back the natural players into balance. Once this is achieved, gardening becomes the easiest task ever. It is no more than chop and drop, chop and drop, chop …. and drop.

I reckon, once the physical primary work is done, I can manage 2 hectares and maintain them in a state of a paradies just as a single guard, while enjoying plenty of leasure time.

Imagine how much you learn by actually doing it!

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biochar oven

Efter at have afprøvet 3 forskellige versioner af ovne til at lave biochar, var vi mest overbeviste af den sidste model, som vi byggede sammen med kaospiloterne i Århus sidste uge. Derfor lavede vi vores egen i sammen stil i går ved Vadstedet i Christiania.

Denne model er kendt som “the everythingNice stove“, en hjemmelavet version af en “lucia stove“. Men vores version skulle blive en ‘scale up’ af den originale. Med hovedformålet at lave biochar, ikke mad.

Nu blev vores oven afprøvet i dag og det var en stor succes. En super ren forbrænding, og en ordentlig portion biochar som slutprodukt.

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Udover at “the everythingNice stove” brænder meget rent, så kan man fodre den med mere træ i løbet af processen, fordi det indre kammer, der hvor biomassen bliver til trækul, er åbent. Så: everything nice!

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planter på række

Heidi besøgte mig og Filip i dag ved jordlaboratoriet.  Hun er selv gartner og læste om vores projekt på nettet…

Vi snakkede om økologi og naturlig landbrug, og – som tit med gæster – kom vi til at snakke om den nuværende økologiske landbrug som er reguleret efter det økologiske regelsæt:

Hvis man driver “rødmærke-økologi”  har man faktisk kun lidt til forskel med det konventionelle landbrug. Regelsættet definere kun nogle ting man ikke gøre. Men hvis man kun fokuserer på det man ikke gøre, overser man det uudtømmelige potentiale af økologien. Tænk planternes sammenspil med hinanden og med andre organismer fik en chance for at udfolde sig?

Hvad står der i vejen for det?

For det første står planter i naturen ikke på rækker. For det andet har i naturen en specifik plante ikke nødvendigvis en plante af sammen art som nabo, medmindre det boomer af de betingelser, lige netop denne art har brug for. Ellers er – fx – en anden bygplante bygplantens stærkeste konkurrent, fordi begge to har brug for præcis de sammen betingelser.

Hvordan kan man så løse dette problem, uden at gå helt op i at designe beplantningen af et bestemt areal?

Vi snakkede om frøkugler og frøbomber. Frøkugler og frøbomber er nogle redskaber i det naturlige landbrug. Man blander frø med kompost, ler og vand og former mindre kugler af denne blanding, som gerne må tørre ud til senere brug. Frøkugler og frøbomber spreder man så efterfølgende på marken.

Hvis man nu spreder frøbomber med frø fra 50 eller 100 forskellige planter, så ville alle de forskellige planter blive blandet helt tilfældigt, og drives bedst i fællesskab med deres optimale partner de helt tilfældigt har fundet frem til. Det er startskud for en naturlig etablering af en vegetation, som efterhånden bliver fyldt med mange af de planter man oprindeligt har spredt via frø. Dyrket under de bedste forhold.

Det er helt åbenlyst, at planter på rækker ikke kan udfolde deres fulde potentiale. Tværtimod. På rækker er det så godt som sikkert, at de mangler noget, fordi planter ikke er vandt til at stå på række.

Tænk dig vi skaber et landskab med bakker og søer. Vi planter nogle træer og bombaderer helle arealet med den vildeste frøblanding af almuelige planter. Mange af dem spiselige, Men alle med en funktion. Det skulle blive den vildeste oase.

Heidi er med. Det synes jeg er sejt.

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Værdigrundlag (2) – natur

Naturen

  • er ikke et opholdssted eller rekreationsområde,
  • er ikke det modsætte af kulturen.

Naturen er

  • den uundgåelige ultimative instance,
  • den højeste dommestål,
  • livets legislative og eksekutive.

Naturen

  • er helheden af alt det fysiske og fysiologiske,
  • er både hardware og software.

Naturen

  • kan ikke styres, men kun provokeres.
  • har et budget der skal passes, ikke en ressource der kan bruges.

I 4 milliarder år har naturen opbygget alt levende (biosfæren). Det levende, nuværende biovolumen er naturens nettoprodukt.

I den seneste tid har mennesker forårsaget en stigende nedbrydning af biovolumen og biodiversitet.

Menneskernes aktivitet burde fremover understøtte genopbygningen af biosfæren og derved fiksering af kulstof og energi som livsgrundlag.

Naturens mekanismer kan samtidig assimilere kulstof og fiksere energi (plantevækst assimilere kulstof og planter assimilere energi).

Biodiversitet er forstået som instrument i den selvopbyggende og selvopretholdene proces.

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