Marshall Sutherland
  
It’s True: Cape Town’s Water Supply Is Three Months Away from a Shutdown by Bob Henson | Category 6

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Water supplies are on track to be shut down in Cape Town, South Africa, by mid-April after three years of unforgiving drought.
Marshall Sutherland
  
Why I give a sh*t about sustainability

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Why does it matter to me that people buy better meat? Why should people care about making sure meat is not vilified in the media? Why give a shit about sustainability? Why should vegetarians and vegan join the fight? Does this even matter?

For the last eight years, I’ve helped people regain their health through eating foods that are biologically appropriate for humans. This means avoiding processed foods and sugars, and focusing on fresh produce, animal proteins and healthy fats. What I’ve noticed is that the majority of folks simply want to look good naked, want to solve their own health issues, or feed their family the best diet they can.

That’s all great but what do you do when you’ve pretty much solved that?  Why am I not satisfied just having a small nutrition practice and fixing individual people?

Because there’s some huge, systemic issues going on and I feel compelled to do something bigger.
Maria Karlsen
  
Thanks, that's a nuance that needs to be added to the debate.
Marshall Sutherland
  
Peak ProsperityPeak Prosperity wrote the following post Wed, 15 Nov 2017 15:23:15 -0500
William Rees: What's Driving The Planet's Accelerating Species Collapse?
William Rees: What's Driving The Planet's Accelerating Species Collapse?

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Today's podcast guest is bioecologist and ecological economist Dr. William Rees, professor emeritus of the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning. Rees is best known for his development of the "ecological footprint" concept as a way to measure the demand a particular population places on the environmental resources it needs to survive.

Since the beginning of modern agriculture (around 1800), human activity has increased demand on planetary resources at an exponential rate. More energy has been expended -- and more resources consumed -- in the past 40 years than in all of human existence beforehand. That is placing a greater and greater strain on ecosystems that are now dangerously depleted.

By Dr. Rees' estimation, the average American has an ecological footprint of 20 acres or so.
Marshall Sutherland
  
Volvo, Betting on Electric, Moves to Phase Out Conventional Engines

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It is the first mainstream automaker to sound the death knell of the traditional engine, saying that starting in 2019 all the models it introduces will be either hybrids or powered solely by batteries.
Marshall Sutherland
  
Low-carbohydrate diet and climate change

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I  think you’ll agree with me when I say that the forces arrayed against us meat eating, low-carbohydrate diet followers firmly believe the ‘fact’ that running herds of animals destroys the grasslands and ecosystem. And that’s not to mention that the methane from their belches destroys the ozone layer and worsens climate change. But is it true? Are we making a Faustian bargain, those of us who enjoy the health and taste benefits of a juicy chop or sizzling steak? Are we sacrificing the planet to indulge in our own hedonistic low-carbohydrate fancies?
Marshall Sutherland
  
Pesticides damage survival of bee colonies, landmark study shows

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The world’s largest ever field trial demonstrates widely used insecticides harm both honeybees and wild bees, increasing calls for a ban
Marshall Sutherland
  
Apple wants to stop mining and start making everything from recycled materials

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Apple just needs to figure out how to make the "closed loop supply chain" scale.
Marshall Sutherland
  
Precious Plastic - Promo

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We developed DIY machines that enable everyone to build a little plastic workshop. Now share it into every corner of the world and let the recycling begin!
Marshall Sutherland
  
Food and Fiber: The Consumer Revolution
Food and Fiber: The Consumer Revolution

As you might know, Robb and I are HUGE fans of The Savory Institute. He and I were both invited to their recent conference in Boulder. Robb had another event he was committed to, but I hopped on a plane and was so thrilled to be a part of if.

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I have to say it was one of the best conferences I’ve attended. As a bonus, the day after the big event, I got to visit a bison ranch that practices holistic management. Having never seen bison up close before, this was a real treat. The mix of attendees was fascinating. I had a chance to speak with ranchers, marketers, and venture capitalists who are all deeply interested in the work of Allan Savory (if you haven’t seen his famous TED Talk, check it out here.)

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Bison grazing at West Bijou Ranch in Strasburg, Colorado

Allan talked about how he’s in the “departure lounge.” This may sound depressing to you, but coming from him, it was sobering yet inspirational. He said he’ll never see the full results of what he’s started, and how important that is. The other folks I spoke with at the conference all had the same mission in life: To be part of something so big, that they will never fully see the results. I think that’s why I loved being there. In the world of quick profits, keeping up with the Jonses, and shallow, short-term goals, I can sometimes feel discouraged. It’s not often that I am surrounded by people who are passionate about a long term vision of creating a better future.

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The folks at Savory have been working with i.e. Media to produce a series of incredibly high quality short films that illustrate how holistic management can dramatically reverse desertification and regenerate not only the soil, but whole communities. The films were revealed at the conference and are being released one by one. In my opinion, film is absolutely the perfect way to illustrate the effects of holistic planned grazing. You have to see it to believe it, and the crew did an artful job of telling the story. To me, it’s much more powerful than any other media, especially in the story of sustainability. Some of my favorite companies were featured, like Maple Hill Creamery (you can see them in the dairy episode) and Epic Provisions, who are featured the “Story of Meat” here.

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Rancher Will Harris and Taylor Collins from Epic Provisions talk about how they were connected through The Savory Institute

At the end of the conference, they revealed their Land to Market Program. The goal is to empower consumers to know which products are healing the environment as a result of how they were produced. This verification is outcome based, where farmers and ranchers have to scientifically demonstrate, with empirical data to back it up, that they are rebuilding broken ecosystems.

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The panel of investors discuss long-term, “slow money” goals instead of short sighted, quick returns

I also had the chance to speak the following week at the the Agrarian Learning Center in Hudson, New York as part of the Savory Hub events. I was joined by Seth Itzkan, Co-founder and Co-director of Soil4Climate, Shannon Hayes, author of several books including my favorite Radical Homemakers, Dairy farmer Phyllis Van Amburgh, who runs dharma Lea, and the folks from Maple Hill Creamery. I gave a short presentation about the how we need to be eating more protein, less CAFO chicken, and stressed the nutritional importance of consuming meat and dairy sourced from holistically managed farms.

I can’t tell you how much I believe in the work of The Savory Institute and am thrilled to support The Land to Market Program. Some people are able to connect directly with their food producers but most are not. There’s currently no good way for consumers in traditional stores to discern how their meat was raised. There’s a big difference between well-managed meat and simply “grass-fed,” which could simply mean the animal was on the same, overgrazed paddock every day. I’m particularly excited about their verification for fiber and leather. It was eye opening to learn how many hands are involved in the supply chain, and how there’s currently no way to tell if your sweater or handbag is made from well-cared for animals.


It’s time we have the tools to make better decisions about our food and fiber products. It’s also time producers have access to consumers looking to pay a premium for better management practices.

The Land to Market Program will enable producers to gain access to new markets and premiums above commodity pricing, and will take the guesswork out of things for consumers, to allow them to connect with not only the products they believe in, but the people behind them as well. The goal is to celebrate the boots-on-the-ground, frontline soil-saviors while at the same time spotlight the countless working-class men and women who deeply desire to shop in a way that supports those folks.

This program won’t simply tweak a few things in how our food and clothing supply chains work, it will take a sledgehammer to them. The true cost of fast-food and fast-fashion are expended in unseen externalities to our local communities and our environment. There is rampant exploitation of our land, animals, and people, taking place on a global scale.

The best way to facilitate this change is to create a consumer demand through story telling and their verification process. This is why I fully support the Land to Market Program.
They’re running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo right now, and if they reach $30K from 50 different donors in the next few days, Indiegogo will promote their campaign to their entire mailing list and feature The Savory Institute on their homepage. I encourage you to support them in their efforts to bring food and fiber from producers who practice the gold standard of land management practices to consumers who are excited to buy them.
Mike Macgirvin
  
We're taking a neighbour's advice and splitting the butchering cost (about $250) between five friends, who each get 10 kilos of beef for $5 a kilo. The only catch is they can't choose the cuts. We give them a variety of cuts at $5/kg (~$2.40/lb).  They get a great deal and we get the rest of the meat (around 250-300 kg) essentially for free. This is something you can do on a local, personal level. You can't really do it at scale.

When you're talking about supermarket meat, the 'free range' choices always cost more; because farmers have to reduce their farming efficiency in order to provide a better life for the animal. Consumers have to choose. Some will always go for cost. Many will in fact change their ways if they can actually see how these animals are raised. Ours get to wander in the grass and sleep beneath the trees and ponder the meaning of life. They play (a lot). The feed lots are mad places where animals are essentially packed into stalls like sardines and chained to a food bin of high-carb food that never goes empty. Their entire life has been reduced to being confined into a barren space where they can't move; and all they can do is eat and shit.
Marshall Sutherland
  
In the US, there are so many subsidies in the industrial food system that it is really hard to know how much something actually costs.
Michael McKinsey
  
Well the systems I am talking about creating would allow for the replication of tiny micro businesses like the one you are discussing.  You are managing to get people a great deal on beef, and making some on top for yourself.  This is not something a massive corporation could duplicate, but it is a structure and method you could replicate for people all over, and for which a group of people could create tools to make it easier to do (find people to buy the meat and a place for them to put the currency to buy they cow and pay the butcher).  The vision we are working on with Fr33dom Network is bringing lots of these small tasks that people can do and make them convenient enough that they are replicated all over the place and on massive scale.  There is no reason that could not take place the same way you have done it in 1000 different places if the method is shared and tools to replicate it are provided.  Think open source franchising.
Marshall Sutherland
  last edited: Tue, 30 Aug 2016 07:42:59 -0400  
A pretty sobering look at our energy situation from the point of view of commercial transportation.

Ever think of how much electricity generation would be needed to power an all-electric fleet? Or the materials requirement to create enough storage batteries to maintain an electric reserve in a national grid powered by wind and solar? Just how much energy does it take to make energy? The podcast guest suggests thinking about the future in "word-burning technology" terms, because that is where we might end up.

Peak ProsperityPeak Prosperity wrote the following post Sun, 21 Aug 2016 11:59:44 -0400
Alice Friedemann: When The Trucks Stop Running
Alice Friedemann: When The Trucks Stop Running

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Alice Friedemann is a transportation expert sounding the alarm on the unsustainable nature of our modern trucking system, which is critical for delivering goods where they need to be, when they need to be, in our just-in-time economy.

The world's trucking fleet is remarkably dependent on petroleum and, for a number of reasons she outlines in this interview, is not feasibly able to shift over to electricity or other alternative fuels.

Join the conversation »

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