Sunday, April 26, 2009

Willie Smits: Reforestation



Permaculture in action. An agro-forestry plan (Food & Fuel Forest) that turned deforested inhospitable land which was burning(!) grassland into a system that provided food, fuel, income and security to the local people. Truly inspiring! What a success story!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Waterboxx



This device creates condensation and directs the water to storage below which is then slowly delivered to the roots of the baby tree. After 1 to 2 years the box can be re-used and moved to another location to start another tree!

Other advantages are the ability to grow the tree from seed directly on top of the soil or surface you want to plant on, like rocks! This really opens up the possibilities to reforest our deserts, even the areas with eroded topsoil. The trees roots will find their ways through the cracks into the earth and begin the process of building new soil!

One major problem with reforestation in harsh climates is the lack of on site water, so this device fixes that problem since it creates the water from the air! Yes!

I'd like to see these all over the world starting the great work of the 21st century and beyond, to restore the forests of the world to create food for humans and wildlife, fuel in form of wood, cellulosic ethanol and biogas, charcoal for fuel, filters or soil amendment increasing agricultural yields and sequestering co2, build soil, increase rainfall, reduce wind, beautify our landscapes, create shade, and lower temperatures of the surrounding areas including our homes and businesses!

Tests in the Moroccan Sahara showed that 90% of the trees planted using this technology survived while those planted on their own didn’t, even though they were watered every week!

The Waterboxx was invented by Pieter Hoff, a Dutch businessman and inventor. It has won the Beta Dragons Award during the Flying Dutchman 2008, Science & Technology Summit in Amsterdam. The jury proclaimed his design to be “the most promising and innovative project." Its inventor "is convinced that, if the right species are planted, large parts of the earth can be reforested, without sacrificing agricultural land. He is seeking investors to apply his invention in the Middle East, India, Africa and other arid territories. Hoff: "If we can reforest 2 billion hectares, the trees consume more CO2 than men produces and the whole CO2 problem will be solved." His WaterBoxx will be available from July 1, 2009.

More information: http://www.aquaproholland.com

Imagination of the Gaviotas


"The only deserts are deserts of the imagination. Gaviotas is an oasis of imagination." -Paolo Lugari

Gaviotas is an ecovillage of about 200 pepole located in Colombia. It was founded in 1971 by Paolo Lugari who assembled a group of engineers and scientists in an attempt to create a mode of sustainable living in one of the least hospitable political and geographical climates in South America.

For three decades, Gaviotans - peasants, scientists, artists, and former street kids - have struggled to build an oasis of imagination and sustainability in the remote, barren savannas of eastern Colombia, an area ravaged by political terror. They have planted millions of trees, thus regenerating an indigenous rainforest. They farm organically and use wind and solar power. Every family enjoys free housing, community meals, and schooling. There are no weapons, no police, no jail. There is no mayor.

They have invented some great technology and made sure it was free to the public. They created three significant technologies.

The first that is mentioned is a more efficient pump that can pump water six times as deep as conventional wells with less energy/effort, so little that even a child could do it, and they did! The Gaviotas converted the pump into a see-saw used by children to pump their own water at school!

Second, they created a solar cooking system using a closed loop filled with solar heated oil that ran around pots to heat the food inside, and the oil was stored in an insulated container so food could be cooked 24hrs a day.

And the last technology that I have read about (probably not the last thing they have invented) is a solar water purifier, it is a system to boil water and have it available for drinking without any manual effort.

To see pictures and read more about the Gaviotas and their technology please visit http://mingo.info-science.uiowa.edu/~winter/engineering.html and also http://www.friendsofgaviotas.org

The old saying - "if there is a will, there is a way" still holds true! We can restore the earth to its natural abundance and live sustainably without fossil fuels, so let's get started!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Money System Update

Russia says it wants to include gold to part of the new system and china wants a basket of 30 commodities. If we back our money system by what we produce (commodities) this would be a much more stable system!

Where we go is not so certain, however the dollar is on its way out as the world's reserve currency.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/g20-summit/5072484/Russia-backs-return-to-Gold-Standard-to-solve-financial-crisis.html

Renewable Natural Gas & Gasoline = CO2 + electricity + water + bacteria!

This is the most exciting news I have heard in a long time. This gives me hope for the human race!

It's called electromethanogenesis. Basically uses bacteria to create methane (natural gas) or methanol, which can be converted to gasoline!

This technology involves using electricity to generate from co2, but this could be from all sorts of renewable resources - geothermal, wind, solar, wave, etc. The catalyst for this technology is bacteria!

I see a trend these days that blends ecology with technology to create amazingly efficient new products, this I believe is the future. Working with and mimicking nature!

Can you imagine a box outside your house that can produce your cooking, heating and motoring fuels by using co2 from the air, water and electricity from your solar panels? talk about freedom..

more info can be found here at the abundant ecogeek.org

A great vision about a CO2-fuel powered world can be found here - http://permaculture.org.au/2009/04/26/beyond-peak-oil-and-climate-change/