Comment on “Bottle gardening” (Jenny Litchfield)

Here is Jenny Litchfield’s comment (and appreciation) on my former message “Bottle gardening – some experiments” :

It seems as if this would be a great way for children and youth to learn how to grow plants as part of their schooling“.

Jenny, I fully agree !


We need food, not lawns ! (Shawn Green)

Read today:

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Food Not Lawns!

The vast expanse of forever-green American lawn is not only the most resource intensive agricultural crop in the world, but also an obscene icon to our arrogant privilege and total alienation from a life in harmony with nature.

For those of us living in the cities, surrounded by cars and concrete where we can’t even see the stars, it is not difficult to see the ways we are disconnected from nature, and the cycles out of which we receive the elements essential to life. This has enormous implications in how we interact both biologically and socially. Agri-culture, taken at the root to mean “culture of the soil” out of which all life springs, is related to all aspects of our cultural life. For example, today most of our foods come to us via established cultural institutions governed by a handfull of agro-chemical/ pharmaceutical/ life-sciences corporations. Our entire industrial civilization is needed to provide for our basic needs.

Continue reading We need food, not lawns ! (Shawn Green)

Asian dust (Technorati)

I have read today: 


Asian Dust (also yellow dust, or yellow sand)

“Asian Dust (also yellow dust, or yellow sand) is a seasonal meteorological phenomenon which affects much of East Asia sporadically during the springtime months. The dust originates in the deserts of Mongolia and northern China where high-speed surface winds and intense dust storms kick up dense clouds of fine, dry soil particles. These clouds are then carried eastward by prevailing winds and pass over China, North and South Korea, and Japan. Sometimes, the airborne particulates are carried much further, in significant concentrations which affect air quality as far east as the United States. Areas affected by the dust experience decreased visibility and the dust is known to cause health problems, such as sore throat and respiratory difficulties, in residents. The dust has been shown to increase the daily mortality rate in one affected region by 1.7%. The effects of the dust are not, however, strictly negative, as it is thought to enrich the soil of the regions where it is eventually deposited by contributing important trace minerals.

Continue reading Asian dust (Technorati)

Desertification prevention and treatment in China (People’s Daily on line)

Today I read at:

Desertification prevention and treatment will take time and hard work

“Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao called for ‘unremitting efforts’ to halt desertification and promote sustainable economic and social development at a recently concluded meeting on desertification prevention and treatment.

Statistics show that of the 2070 counties in China, roughly 880 have been affected by desertification and more than 300 seriously. Approximately 400 million people are affected by the problem every year. Desertification causes a direct economic loss of 50 billion yuan or nearly US$7 billion each year. Beijing people remember well a day in April last year when a desert storm hit the city, leaving yellow dirt everywhere.

Continue reading Desertification prevention and treatment in China (People’s Daily on line)

Decreasing vulnerability to desertification (Resilience Science)

Decreasing vulnerability to desertification

Garry Peterson December 16th, 2006 in Vulnerability, Greenlash


Today I have been reading at:

“ reports that Forced migration from desertification and land degradation is an emerging environmental issue. Researchers are trying to identify policies that increase the resilience of agro-ecosystems to climate change and decrease social vulnerability to desertification:

Desertification could create more than 135 million refugees, as droughts become more frequent and climate change makes water increasingly scarce in dryland regions, warn UN experts. …”Migration is a top-of-mind political issue in many countries. We are at the beginning of an unavoidably long process,” said Janos Bogardi, director of the United Nations University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security.

Drylands are home to one third of the world’s population, but they contain only eight per cent of global freshwater resources.

Continue reading Decreasing vulnerability to desertification (Resilience Science)

Desertification in Uganda (

Read today at: 

Uganda’s desertification …

9 Jan 2007
From All Africa:

“As the government pushes for industrialisation at the expense of the country’s limited forest cover, Uganda once dubbed the pearl of Africa may eventually become a sterile desert, a fate that has befallen 30 percent of the world’s dry lands. According to a World Bank report, three-quarters of dry lands in Africa and North America are at some stage of desertification.

Biodiversity defined as the full variety of life from genes to species to ecosystems, is in trouble when government’s deforestation plans go ahead un-abetted.

Although tropical rain forests like the Bugala forests on Kalangala Island cover only 6 percent of the land surface, they contain more than half of the rare species of plants and animals of the entire world.”

Desertification and climate refugees (Algeria 2006)

Desertification Will Create Climate Refugees


Read at IGLO – International Action on Global Warming

“In a conference in Algeria December 17-19 2006, international delegates discussed issues surrounding desertification and policy. One of the most critical problems affecting those who live in dry areas, particularly in North Africa, is forced migration due to droughts caused by global warming. Scientists estimate that more than 135 million environmental refugees will be uprooted from their homes and livelihoods by the lack of fresh water. Increasingly frequent and severe climate extremes will cause entire communities to relocate in search of water.

The conference was part of the International Year of Deserts and Desertification, organized by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in 2006 as a way to raise global awareness of the issues facing more than 1 billion people living in dry regions and to raise funds for land degradation projects to occur in 2007-2010. Criticized from its inception by many scientists and environmental advocates, the year boosted the credibility of the UNCCD, which pledged to better publicize its work and link it with climate change and national security issues.”