The 12 Principals


Based on and adapted from, Mark Hamilton’s The Twelve Visions with common values in mind.

1        Quality of Life and Sustainability:

A high quality of life is achieved through taking personal responsibility towards care of the land, water and air resulting in sustainable, common communities and protection of the environment. To that end, we should encourage the recycling and reuse of all organic and none organic materials at all levels of community and government. Human waste should be composted and used to grow organic crops at householder level, thereby creating a continuous flow and endless circle of life, at the same time negating the problem of toxic waste. We should discourage the use of toxins, poisons and air pollutants in households and all industries.

2        Public Participation:

Citizens are active and responsible partners in the planning, developing and implementation of common community initiatives, such as assisting in building their own ecological homes and community centres and are sensitive to their responsibilities in achieving community and ecological goals. Citizens should be encouraged to take an active commons role in keeping crime to a minimum.

3        Growth Areas:

Growth is concentrated in existing population and business centres, growth areas adjacent to these centres, or strategically selected new centres. Heavy industry and other businesses related to chemical spillage and pollution should be avoided at all cost. New industry should not encroach into rural areas wherever possible. Householders should be encouraged to recycle waste, compost and grow their own organic crops.

4        Community Design:

Compact, mixed–usage, walkable, eco-friendly community developments should be consistent with existing community character and located near available or planned transit options; this is encouraged to ensure efficient use of land and transportation resources; it also provides preservation and enhancement of natural systems, open spaces, recreational areas, and historical, cultural, and archaeological resources. Public and housing areas should be extensively planted with bamboo and fruit trees. This will bind soil, create areas for grey-water runoff, produce a product (s) enhance the environment and generally beautify the area. Common organic gardens for agriculture and horticulture should be encouraged within communities.

5        Infrastructure:

Growth areas have the water resources and an ecological infrastructure to accommodate population and business expansion in an orderly, efficient, and environmentally sustainable manner. Green, sustainable construction should be encouraged in all areas.

6        Transportation:

A well–maintained, multimodal, ecological transportation system facilitates the safe, convenient, affordable, and efficient movement of people, goods, and services within and between populated areas and business centres. Extended transportation should be reduced by implementing design concepts such as home/office studios, internet based meetings, cottage industries and community based services.

7        Housing and Community projects.

A range of ecological housing densities, types, and sizes provides residential options for citizens of all ages and incomes. Housing developments should encourage common community bonding; therefore, provision should also be made to build adequate clinics, schools, community centres and green park areas. Sustainable sanitation, recycling of human waste and composting should be an integrated part of that community. In addition, all community and housing projects should be pre-planned ecologically with solar, wind-turbine or hyrdo as the main source of power.

8          Economic Development:

Economic development and natural, resource–based businesses that promote employment opportunities for all income levels, especially low-key., non-polluting cottage industries, are to be encouraged. The internet has provided many opportunities for income providers to work from home and should be thoroughly explored as a working option.

9   Environmental Protection:

Common land and water resources, including, lakes, rivers, coastal bays, canals, the sea and the air are carefully managed to restore and maintain healthy natural systems and living resources. All members of a common community take an active role in the implementation and practice of maintenance.

10    Resource Conservation:

Waterways, forests, agricultural areas, open space, natural systems, and scenic areas are conserved. Trees and bamboo should be planted extensively and in common areas to replace the multitude of forests that have been depleted over the years.

11    Stewardship:

Government, business entities, and residents are responsible, collectively and as individuals, for the creation of sustainable common communities by collaborating to balance efficient, sustainable, non polluting growth with resource protection.

12    Implementation:

Strategies, policies, programs, and funding for growth and development, resource conservation, infrastructure, and transportation are integrated across the individual, local, regional, state, and interstate levels to achieve these twelve principals. In other words, everybody takes an active role and everybody is responsible.

*      The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of this author only, and are not intended to be expressed as a representation of the values of the commons.

Please share; by doing so we can improve the lives of our global community.

If you care, you can help.

Sign a petition on THE FUTURE WE DON’T WANT below








Ginger: the new wonder drug?


Is ginger the ‘new’ wonder drug, for pain and inflammation?


Full report here:


A new study published in the journal Arthritis  proves that ginger is better than drugs as a pain killer and for the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. For someone like me with “growing pains” this comes as great news. Did you know you can buy ginger extract from your local shopping mall? This is a very convenient way to store and access your daily ginger ‘fix’.

NOTE: 1st May and I just came back from a tough trip up to the hilltribe people of Thailand. Lot’s of ‘rock climbing’ crossing slippery streams, walking uphill etc. Back home, in a lot of pain, knee swollen. Have been taking honey and ginger oil extract in green tea every morning (and a dash of lime) . Almost better now, one week later. Usually takes me more than a month of pain killers, muscle relaxants etc to get back to ‘normal’. Anecdotal report only, I know, but seems to be working great for me. Is now on my daily intake list.  :  )

On with the blog…

 Cytokines are immune-regulating substances that can have inflammatory effects on the body, and are therefore linked to pain.  In this study, both betamethasone and ginger extract reduced cytokines in comparable amounts.   The authors of the study indicate that, “ginger extract was as effective an anti-inflammatory agent as betamethasone in this in vitro model.”

Ibuprofens such as Advil or Motrin are popular pain remedies, but this study showed they had no effect on cytokine production.

 Betamethasone has been used for decades to relieve pain,  but it is also linked with many serious side-effects, including:  vision problems, weight gain, swelling, shortness of breath, depression, seizures, pancreatitis, heart arrhythmias, muscle weakness, high blood pressure, severe headaches, anxiety, chest pains, sleep problems, acne, slow wound healing, and more.  Ginger, however, is a powerful anti-inflammatory that is safe for use. For more information, consult Arthritis-Proof.

 Other research by Dr. Krishna C. Srivastava, a world-renowned researcher on the therapeutic effects of spices, at Odense University in Denmark, found that ginger is an effective and superior anti-pain remedy. In one study, Dr. Srivastava gave arthritic patients small amounts of ginger daily for three months.  The majority of people had significant improvements in pain, swelling, and morning stiffness by eating ginger daily.

PS:ginger, honey & lime in green tea is a very pleasant and healthy way to start your day.

Read more:


10 Terrific Benefits of Ginger

1. Haven’t been feeling hungry? Eat fresh ginger just before lunch to stoke a dull appetite and fire up the digestive juices.

2. Ginger improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body.

3. Ginger clears the ‘microcirculatory channels’ of the body, including the pesky sinuses that tend to flare up from time to time.

4. Feeling airsick or nauseous? Chew on ginger, preferably tossed in a little honey.

5. Can’t stop the toot-a-thon? Gas—oops—guess what?! Ginger helps reduce flatulence!

6. Tummy moaning and groaning under cramps? Munch on ginger.

7. Reeling under joint pain? Ginger, with its anti-inflammatory properties—can bring relief. Float some ginger essential oil into your bath to help aching muscles and joints.

8. Got a surgery done? Chewing ginger post-operation can help overcome nausea.

9. Stir up some ginger tea to get rid of throat and nose congestion. And when there’s a nip in the air, the warming benefits of this tasty tea are even greater!

10. Bedroom blues? Try adding a gingery punch to a bowl of soup. (Pss…the Ayurvedic texts credit ginger with aphrodisiac properties)







Facts About Water, Water Pollution & Water Consumption

We need to cut down on water consumption, plain and simple. There will be a time coming very soon when this luxury we take for granted simply won’t be there, or will be in such short supply you will have to keep it under lock and key; by soon, I mean in your lifetime dear reader, or most definitely in the lifetime of your children.

Our grandchildren will look at us aghast when we tell them that, back in the old days, we used to flush our toilets with gallons of drinking water as we sent it off for treatment!

We have to harvest, store and recycle water at householder, agricultural and industrial level and treat it for what it is; more precious than gold.
There are simple methods that would drastically reduce our consumption of water.
Luckily, as always, there are simple solutions which we will explore below with Problems & Solutions that could help reduce water consumption and improve the quality of life on earth

Seventy percent of all freshwater is used for irrigation (70% !) The daily drinking water requirement per person is 2-4 litres, but it takes 2000 to 5000 litres of water to produce one person’s daily food!
Use terra preta / organic compost and cover with woodchip; this saves about 80% of that 70% of water for irrigation. Simple, no?
Recycle centres produce thousands of tons of horticultural waste annually. Dairy farmers produce tons of cow poop. You mix the two together and make compost. There is no shortage of compostable material. Yes, it really is that simple.
Added advantage: great tasting organic crops that are not full of pesticides. (care must be taken not to make compost from industrial carbon/furniture/wood/ it contains chemicals such as arsenic)

The average American household uses a staggering 400 gallons of water per day!

Harvesting and storing rainwater has the added advantage of using water that is not contaminated with fluoride, chlorine and other trace chemicals.

It takes 15000 litres of water to produce one kilo of grain-fed beef for beefburgers according to WATER FOOTPRINT (website) (download the report here)   (It takes a while to download) According to this Wiki there are about 2 billion cows on the planet. In addition to water consumed, a lot of CO2 comes out of both ends of a cow.

NOTE: One leading burger joint is responsible for the slaughter of 25 million cows per year! They will tell you they are not responsible for the keeping and slaughter of cows, because they buy it all in from suppliers; but that little ‘kop-out’ is the same as saying I was not responsible for killing someone because I paid somebody else to do it.

4) PROBLEM: FLUSH TOILETS Toilet Water Capacity
Before the 1950s, toilets typically used 7 gallons or more for each flush. By the end of the 1960s, toilets were designed to flush with only 5.5 gallons, and in the 1980s the new toilets being installed were using only 3.5 gallons. Today, a new toilet uses no more than 1.6 gallons of water. But that is still 1.6 gallons of drinking water!

4) SOLUTION NTU SINGAPORE have created a toilet system that uses 90% less water than a conventional system: it also turns poop into electricity. CLICK HERE FOR THE VIDEOS

And have created a waterless toilet called the human8ture(r)

Why is a waterless toilet so important? Because 2 billion people worldwide don’t have a toilet and resort to defecating in fields and rivers. This poisons the water table and leads to sickness on global scale.People in developing countries don’t worry if the water is going to be ph5 or too alkaline; they worry it is going to kill them. Clean drinking water is vital to life and (should be) a basic human right.

5) PROBLEM: Seven billion people on the planet

SOLUTION: ,We need to have a global-one-child policy for the next 50 years to get the population / pollution down to around 1 billion. Seven billion + people on this tiny fragile planet is just not sustainable. The cracks are already beginning to show, big time. With only one billion humans on the planet, we will require 70% less water. Common sense.

So, there you have it, 5 samples of how we could reduce water consumption on the planet by about 70%!

More Facts & Figures about Water Below


Water Bottles

I personally think PET mineral water bottles are an abomination on the planet. I try my best to carry my own bottle with home tap water, but have to confess to using them on occasion. Did you know that if you pay a dollar for a bottle of water, only 5cents of that goes on the water? Crazy, no? What’s even more crazy is that very few of them actually get recycled. If you are going to buy water, at least buy the big water dispensers that server clean, cool mineral water.

Here’s a couple of good ideas though for reusing plastic water bottles.



I know…I know I know. Not the best solution in the world considering the health information given in the video above… but, it saves a bottle from going into the landfill or littering the street, and… given the choice between that and dying from diarrhea, well, goes without saying.

bottle gardens

From a simple cut-up, stand-alone water bottle to a complex garden array, you can grow loads of fresh veg’s from your bottle garden. Advantages: it saves a bottle going into the landfill, you don’t have to pay for a plant pot, you can have them hanging on your balcony or garden fence, taking up no floor space, and, you get to eat fresh vegetables. Great, rewarding, hobby!

house built from water bottles Okay, so we are getting a bit off subject here, but with a bit of imagination you could even build a house from water bottles. Any more great ideas? Let me know :  )




Another very good system is to have a pump installed from your shower and washing machine drain. These two greywater sources would be more than enough to flush the cistern. A 10 gallon holding tank under the sink, a bit of plumbing and a tiny pump is all it takes.
By these simple steps above we could reduce our water usage globally by at least 50%. FIFTY PERCENT!


But it can’t be done, right? Especially with the big companies, will they cut down on water consumption?  Starbucks Cuts Monthly Water Use to 24 Gallons Per SF




Use this technology to produce clean drinking water from pyrolysis

WATER AS AN ENERGY SOURCE   “Remarkably, these companies are turning cost-centers into profit centers and unlocking important energy potential to make our water infrastructure more efficient and robust,” Kate Gasner, Imagine H2O’s prize manager, said in a prepared statement.


Amazing 5 step solution to end world hunger


There are three main objectives for this article

to raise awareness about needless global hunger
to show how to create food and food security
to encourage self reliance and self sustainability

At the bottom of the article you will find a list of world hunger organisations and charities whose goal is to bring world hunger relief.

This article is about simple solutions, not statistics or world hunger facts

 The Chinese proverb “Give a man a fish…etc” Is very true – millions of people live in starvation and abject poverty every day when there is absolutely no need. Learn for yourself, then go and teach where it is needed.

Ending world hunger: it’s not just about breaking the poverty trap and feeding people; it’s freeing up the potential of billions of otherwise lost & forgotten people who could contribute to society and the GDP.

There are many great hunger relief initiatives out there. The Hunger Project is one such great initiative, because it is not about giving out free bags of rice, it is about self reliance and self sustainability.

During famine, charities and NGO’s such as WHO & UNICEF deliver emergency aid. However, over 900 million people worldwide suffer from chronic hunger on a day to day basis. Most of these live in the developing world. Unlike temporary famine, chronic hunger is an invisible, silent killer that eats away at you body and soul every day.

“Not every poor person is hungry, but almost all hungry people are poor”

The price of food, chronic hunger and poverty are all inextricably linked. Millions are stuck in the poverty / hunger trap because they cannot afford to buy enough nutritious food to feed their families. Low nutrition means poor health and low energy which leads to low education and poor employment prospects. It’s a never ending vicious cycle.

WORLDWIDE: A child dies from hunger every 15 seconds. WHO

Thousands of children are currently starving to death in Syria: WFP

The only way for people to move out of the poverty trap to escape from their vulnerability to fluctuating food prices is for them to employ sustainable lifestyle methods based on self-reliance.

There are 5 simple steps to ending world hunger at a local level

1) make compost from organic bio mass and non toxic soil

2) grow vegetables in compost from non GMO seed

3) allow 10% of plants to go to seed / harvest & save seeds

4) eat vegetables

5) replant seeds in compost

 repeat add-infinitum

By allowing 5 to 10% of plants to go to seed, householders / farmers will ensure another crop can be planted. Excess leaves, stalks etc will add to the compost. By applying this method, an endless cycle of food is generated… free of cost!

Yes – I know that is over simplistic and other problems abound such as water shortage / urban environment / lack of knowledge / buying seeds / etc. But, what is the worst thing you can do? NOTHING!


 Becoming self-sustainable in an urban environment is not impossible. It just needs a little more initiative and a hand-up to get started.

Did you know? A banana tree can give 50 kg of fruit in one bunch! A banana has about the same proteins and starch as a potato. How much space do you need to grow 50kg of potatoes? A banana tree is a great Going to a developing country? Plant a banana tree (or any fruit tree for that matter)

You can grow vegetables in 6” to 9” of soil in any kind of container; a box, a basket, a bag, a bottle, an old tyre, some stacked-up bricks or wood, plastic bottles hanging from a gutter – basically in ANYTHING that has not contained toxic chemicals!          all kinds of gardens                                        I emphasise good quality because you cannot grow healthy vegetables in dried up soil that is deplete of all mineral wealth or poisoned with industrial waste and fertilisers.

You can practice this at home; then next time you go on holiday leave something behind… a seed of hope.

Please try out composting and raised bed gardening for yourself; millions of people are now trying this system out in the US and the UK. Try it and spread the word: GO TEACH – help to end world hunger.

But what if I fail?

Then try again … duh!


World Hunger Relief Organisations include

A List of Charitable Organizations (NGOs) that primarily target world hunger. Excluded are organizations that primarily focus on one city or one local area, as well as organizations that address a wider range of issues.

Action Against Hunger – ACF International is a global organization committed to ending world hunger.


Bread for the World – Urging our nation’s leaders to end hunger


Freedom from Hunger – Helping poor women in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to achieve a sustainable, self-help end to world hunger.


Food for the Hungry – a Christian organization serving the poor globally since 1971.


Food for the Poor – Founded in 1982, our interdenominational Christian ministry Serves the poorest in 17 countries throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.


Heifer Project International – to help poor and hungry people help themselves.


The Hunger Project –To end hunger and poverty by pioneering sustainable, grassroots, women-centered strategies worldwide


Stop Hunger Now – distribution of food and other lifesaving aid to children and families in countries all over the world.


WhyHunger – connecting people to nutritious affordable food, and supporting grassroots solutions that inspire self-reliance and community empowerment.


World Food Programme – the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger.


For help in evaluating world hunger organizations, see also:

Charity Navigator – America’s largest independent charity evaluator.

CharityWatch – a charity rating and evaluation service dedicated to helping donors make informed giving decisions.

Philanthropedia – finding the top non-profit organizations.



sustainable solutions

Hi, I thought I’d give you some insights into sustainability and share some of the things I’ve researched on the internet. Currently, I’m hoping to start a Square Foot Garden with a great Community Centre soon and will share that with you when I do.

If you have a video or page you’d like to share please let me know

What does sustainability even mean?


Using less energy to produce goods with a longer service life which remain under brand ownership and returned for recycling makes a lot of sense to me.


Those of us who are lucky enough to have easy access to clean drinking water often overlook just how precious it is.

There are several major things we can do as individuals to ease the pressure on this planet’s water supplies.

Harvest rainwater and store it: a 1 cubic meter container equals 1000 ltrs
Reuse greywater: you can fit a pump or a simple gravity fed pipe to take the water from your shower and washing machine and divert it to fruit trees or greenhouse in your backyard. You can also filter it and feed it into a fishpond
You can use water from your fishpond to feed your plants or aquaponic system
Either use a low flush or a no flush toilet (UDDT)
500,000 people in rural and urban Norway now use UDDT sustainable sanitation
Note A: using chemical fertilisers poisons the groundwater
Note B: the best fertiliser in the world is free; it’s called NPK (your urine)                    a slow gravel water filter is a cheap and effective means of purifying water

GYO with SFG grow your own organic vegetables in raised bed gardens

Here’s a simple video on raised bed square foot gardens. Why are you wasting precious time, space and energy on that pretty lawn? You could be / should be / better be growing your own food!
Not only do you get to eat fresh, organic produce that you know is pesticide free, a SFG uses 70% less water than conventional methods AND it wasn’t flown in a thousand miles to get your local shop. Nowadays, with this no dig, weed free system you could even make your garden at standing height – NO BENDING OVER!
It’s also a great fun, bonding exercise for friends and neighbours. I’m just getting this going in Singapore as a community thing and will let you know how that goes.


For composting we use two types of carbon
Green carbon, such as scrap vegetables or animal wastes
Brown carbon, such sawdust, leaves (anything plant that once lived)

On my composting & gardening page you will find tons of stuff and answers to questions you didn’t even know you had!

In this video the lady is using a specially made kitchen compost container, when in fact you don’t need to go to so much expense. Simply keeping your kitchen compost collector covered with damp brown organics will do the trick

An important point she made – landfills

The US throw out 40 percent of fresh fish, 23 percent of eggs, and 20 percent of milk, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
In total, the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that in 2010 the US wasted 33 million tons of food. That’s roughly a ton of food per person. Image a law was passed that banned the dumping of veg waste into municipal systems. Now imagine what a lovely, rich, organic garden compost you would have! Starting to come together as a system, isn’t it.
Grow your own organic: Eat your own organic: Compost your own organic:
Use less water and be healthier!
I am just finding out about Bio Char, pyrolasis and gasifiers and it’s looking like wonderful news. Using a retort gasifier burns of gasses in wood and creates low energy carbon with can be activated and used in the garden or can be used as a clean burning fuel. The toxic fumes have all been burned off and burned up in the gasifier. That 33 million ton of wasted food could be efficiently turned into active bio char and put back into the (long deprived) earth – it grows huge crops that don’t require herbicides. It could also be aerobically composted and mixed with the bio char to create terra preta – wonderful  news for farmers!

I’m also looking into rocket stoves for rural areas, but more on that later.

Here is one video discussing bio char / terra preta that will give you a very good idea of what it is and why we should use it

It is my wish/dream/hope/prayer that there are eventually no more lands fills and that we only have recycle centres. There is enough material on the surface of this planet never to have to dig for ‘stuff’ ever again. There is nothing we can’t recycle!
(yeah – but how about tyres – you can’t recycle tyres – can you?)
Check this out

CAN I MAKE MY OWN BIO CHAR? Check this out

For sustainable building check out my kabook-i page and the gardening page




HALLER: guerilla farming




click to view the video


Guerrilla Farming – Haller Style:

I was overjoyed to find the Haller site. What they are doing is true to the heart of what the kabook-i method creates; a cycle of life that has a beneficial impact on the environment and the community as a whole.

Haller’s urban slum garden brings their innovative farming techniques from a rural to an urban environment. They show communities cheap, simple ways to produce food, purify water and use sustainable energy in a very confined space. Their urban slum garden model can be applied worldwide to help people improve the health and livelihoods of impoverished societies.

The opportunity to improve the lives of poorer communities is often there, right before your eyes, but just as often overlooked (can’t see the wood for the trees)

Take water for example, during the rainy season the land floods, then the water drains away. Come the dry season and there is no water. Women have to walk, often up to 20km a day, to collect water; this, of course, is a terrible burden. The solution could be as simple as digging a hole and lining it with heavy-duty bin bags. One cubic metre equals 1000 litres of water. One person requires a minimum of two litres drinking water a day; you do the math. There are a number of water purification systems available for that stored water such as SODIS which Haller are using, and the “slow sand filter” method. Digging for, and using pathogen rich ground water or river water is the number one contributor to ill health and infant mortality in developing countries.

Using the raised bed, no-dig garden method, or Square Foot Gardening, uses 70% less water that conventional farming, can be done by a household in a small space, often using discarded items such as bags, buckets or bread baskets, cuts out transport, supplies fresh vegetables daily … the list goes on. And once again, it’s about recycling, because people can produce and save seeds and compost leftover leaves etc which becomes …

Organic humus; it’s great to see that Haller have composting and/or vermiculture (worms) at the heart of their system. Mixing brown and green carbons such as sawdust and vegetable scraps quickly creates compost that creates organic, non toxic humus in which you grow healthy vegetables that don’t negatively impact the environment with chemicals such as pesticides. There urban gardens also produce natural, health giving herbs and medicines such a Aloe Vera. These are cheap and readily available medicines for a community that would otherwise not be able to afford them.

Another innovation I loved was their biogas system. Families in developing countries often have respiratory problems due to cooking on open wood fires in their hut.

By using waste products they can produce enough biogas to cook cleanly indoors; a huge health improvement.

Please take the time to check out their site HERE , where you can find out more on solar energy, aquaponics and living walls.

IN ADDITION here is another great guerrilla farming initiative; the most exciting sustainable food project in Chicago in recent history. Hiding in an abandoned former meatpacking warehouse on the South Side, The Plant might just change the way we think about food production in cities.

The Plant 1400 West 46th street Chicago is an old packing plant converted state art  hydroponic farm  fish

The Plant at 1400 West 46th street in Chicago is an old packing plant converted to a state of the art hydroponic farm, fish farm, brewery, baking center, and will use zero energy when it is finished. Director John Edel inspects herbs being grown in hydroponics on the lower level: Tuesday, January 8, 2013. | Al Podgorski~Chicago Sun-Times



Pollution: How long have we got?


the house of kabook-i pte ltd chickens

(I have lost the link to the picture above and below; if you know, please let me know)

This is such a huge subject it is hard to know where to begin. Every living thing on this planet needs oxygen to survive, therefore pollution affects us all. WIKI has a lot to say about it. We may veer a bit off-track sometimes … but bare with me, it’s all connected.

pollution - how many types

How many major types of pollution are there 3 – 6 – 9 -12 ? keep on clicking the NEXT button when you get to the site above; very informative

DANGERS TO HEALTH: communities in developing countries; respiratory problems caused by burning wood to cook… and the solution.

Rather than burn wood, harming humans and the environment, an alternative would be to make low temperature charcoal from discarded wood / fallen branches etc.

Here (below) is a great video that discusses an alternative approach to actually avoiding pollution instead of wantonly creating it. I don’t necessarily agree with the concept of renting household products but it could easily work with larger items such as cars that often go unused for most of the time. What I would like to see, is that factories are forced to show some corporate responsibility, and are obliged to take back goods at the end of the product’s life, so that all parts could be recycled in one form or another and reused. I should think there are enough materials on the surface of the planet now for us never to have to dig for minerals again. In addition we could reduce our (corporate fed) need for consumerism. Then all we have to do is stop using fossil fuels and we will be on the right track. Anyway, watch the movie and feel free to give feedback, I’m sure there will be many different views about it.
Courtesy of The Ellen MacArthur Foundation

“The circular economy is a generic term for an industrial economy that is, by design or intention, restorative and in which materials flows are of two types, biological nutrients, designed to reenter the biosphere safely, and technical nutrients, which are designed to circulate at high quality without entering the biosphere.” Ellen MacArthur

Is pollution a modern problem? Yes and No! As far back as 1272  King Edward I of England banned the burning of sea-coal  in London because of smog. As a kid growing up in Liverpool I remember ‘pea-soupers’ where you walked to school along the gutter because you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. Bus drivers had to have a ‘red lantern man’ walking along the gutter in front of the bus to get people to work. Pollution has of course become much worse since the Industrial Revolution; it always does.

It was much the same for America before they enforced the Clean Air Act.

CLICK HERE for a very revealing photo montage of how it was ‘back then’ in the US.


As we have seen in the news, China is having the same pollution problems now due to its burning of coal for energy.

“History teaches us nothing?”

Tai Chi or Where’s my Hand?

In a rare turn of events China allowed CNBC full coverage of what was happening. The China Daily even published pictures of a London smog day from back in the 50’s

It has to be said, China are currently expanding their clean air policy, but is it too little –  too  late?

From The World OceanObservatory
Ship Decommissioning and Ship-Breaking

There are a huge numbers of ocean-going vessels out there, ranging in size from pleasure boats to aircraft carriers. The Lloyds registry alone has 200,000 entries for merchant ships larger than 100 gross tons, and this number is dwarfed if one adds military and private vessels to the mix. These ships do not last forever, of course, and when they are no longer useful, their disposal creates a major challenge …


CARS & …     how many were produced in the last year?

                        how many cars are there in the world?


WRONG: THIS SHOCKING ARTICLE SHOULD MAKE YOUR HAIR STAND ON END! This industrial monster requires a massive 14 cylinder, 109,000 horsepower diesel motor that consumes 1,660 gallons of heavy crude oil an hour even at its most efficient setting. There are 90,000 such monsters traversing the world at any one time!

The Union of Concerned Scientists: Democrats and Republicans. Coming together on common ground to put an end to CO2 emissions and climate change.

Watch the video before reading on.

having said that … cars are a major contributor to CO2 gas emissions and inner city pollution. But we need cars so we have to put up with pollution, right?

Wrong!   WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR? would be a good place to start to find out why we don’t have 100% electric cars on the road right now.

In addition to that, you could read about a famous yet repressed scientist who gave us ‘free energy’ way back in the 1920’s. His name is Nikola Tesla.

Debate rages on about Nikola Tesla’s free energy devices but there is no disputing that the man was a genius way ahead of his time.

“Nikola Tesla was a multi-disciplinary genius. His discovery of the rotating magnetic field in 1882 lead to a series of US Patents in 1888, which gave us the AC electric power system still in use today. This one achievement earned him the honor of being called “The Man Who Invented the 20th Century”.

Here are a 10 Tesla inventions that changed the world.

Q            But what’s this got to do with pollution?

A            Everything.

Below are a list of other Tesla inventions

DVD Lecture Tesla’s Radiant Energy
Tesla’s Self-acting Engine
Tesla Wardenclyffe Project
Tesla Photo Archive
Short Tesla biography
Tesla Memorial Society of New York
Tesla’s US Patents
Tesla Museum in Belgrade, Serbia

CLICK HERE for a full list of Tesla inventions

What about Nikola Tesla and HAARP?

Just what is HAARP? There are continuing heated debates and conspiracy theories about HAARP and whether it causes earthquakes, global warming, change in weather patterns and potential pollution from fallout. You can read more about HAARP here, do some of your own research and make your own decisions. Never heard of it? Doubt it even exists?

The official government HAARP site is here.


Another hotly debated pollution topic is that of chemtrails. The chemtrail conspiracy theory holds that some trails left by aircraft are chemical or biological agents deliberately sprayed at high altitudes for purposes undisclosed to the general public in clandestine programs directed by various government officials.

Here’s a Discovery Channel video that hotly debates the topic. Here is another video that shows three KC-135 US military aircraft that were ‘off the radar’ and on a collision course with a Fedex carrier in commercial airspace. You don’t have to look too closely to wonder what on earth they were spraying out. You can skip to 5:00 if you don’t have the time. (amazing footage)

Research scientist Clifford Carnicom asserts  that virtually every breathing organism is an unwitting participant in a massive biological experiment of unknown purpose.


Katrineholms Kuriren, Hagberg has openly admitted that these unusual cloud trails are actually a toxic mix of chemicals, viruses, and metals that she has collectively referred to as “chemtrails.”

In fact, the Patent Application for the Stratospheric Welsbach seeding for reduction of global warming (chemtrail) system, can be viewed here. So, the system  itself – chemtrailing – can hardly be denied. The question remains then, what is being sprayed and why the denial and secrecy?

Was Hurricane Sandy exasperated by chemtrail dumps? Watch this video and see what you think.


“…the report also reveals details of the DICE trials in south Dorset between 1971 and 1975. These involved US and UK military scientists spraying into the air massive quantities of serratia marcescens bacteria, with an anthrax simulant and phenol…”  Test centre based at Porton Down. The Guardian.

“Sue Ellison, spokeswoman for Porton Down, said: ‘Independent reports by eminent scientists have shown there was no danger to public health from these releases which were carried out to protect the public.”

Zinc cadmium sulphide, bromide, e.coli & bacillus globigii (mimics anthrax) serratia marcescens bacteria, phenol, untold germs, bacteria, micro-organisms, toxic heavy metals, carcinogenics are some of the chemicals commonly found in chemtrails (click for links)

Could anybody at Porton Down please tell me how any of these toxins are “good for the public.”

“Building on Carson’s ground-breaking research, we also know that certain kinds of chemicals can and do disrupt human [and other animals’] entire immune system.”

The very fact that the British government saw fit to arbitrarily and continuously spray millions of its subjects with a variety of toxic chemicals without permission is in itself an abhorrent and indefensible act of staggering contempt and belligerent disregard for the health and safety of the hapless public.

Who knows what ailments, birth defects, diseases these chemicals caused?  Certainly not the British public.

Okay, we have gone a bit off track here again, but it’s all connected in the bigger picture. Back to more commonly known forms of pollution…




Clean energy investment in much of the Western world took a dive in 2012, thanks to regulatory uncertainty and steep curbs in subsidies.

That wasn’t the case in China, which saw investment in clean energy hit a record $67.7 billion last year, up 20 percent from 2011, largely due to a surge in its solar sector, according to a year-end report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.


WONDERFUL NEWS: From … Sunrise in the dessert

“The trigger for leadership here to think about switching to renewable energy is one that is also driven by the legacy of this country being an energy player on the world stage. For five decades we’ve been producing hydrocarbon resources. Yes, we still have substantial reserves with us, but inevitably they’re going to diminish.”                What a great initiative from one of the world’s leading oil producers.


To overcome the energy problem China are now experimenting with nuclear power from thorium for ‘clean’ energy. But with ‘clean’ nuclear energy of course comes the dumping of nuclear waste

What are the long term effects of dumping nuclear waste? Technical

What can we do about nuclear waste? Less technical

According to a report from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, it will take 3 MILLION YEARS for radioactive waste stored in the United States as of 1983 to decay to background levels. So, presently, the only solution is to store the waste in a place so that the environment won’t be contaminated. The problem with storing nuclear waste is both political as well as technological. In terms of politics, no one wants it stored near them. So there’s much dispute as to where radioactive waste should be stored. In addition, storing so much waste is a major technological challenge. According to a report issued by the British Parliament, “In considering arrangements for dealing safely with such wastes, man is faced with time scales that transcend his experience.”

In layman’s terms; “after careful consideration … we have no idea what long term damage this will cause the planet… and future generations, but as long as it is out of sight …”

I believe there is an overwhelming lack of governmental and corporate responsibility here that ‘transcends experience.’

The problem is that nothing we encase nuclear waste in will ever last anything like 3 million years. It safely be assumed then that we are leaving a horrifying legacy of toxic disaster for future inhabitants of this planet on a scale hitherto unseen. Literally, a ticking time bomb waiting to happen.

WIKI ANSWERS also has some interesting data on the subject of nuclear waste.

WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES TO DUMPING NUCLEAR WASTE?                     here are six alternatives – none of them great


In response to questions about nuclear waste,  Gordon Edwards responded, “the questions posed are good and sensible ones. Unfortunately there are no equally good and sensible answers.” A collaborative US-Japan research organisation.


Birth defects among the children of atomic-bomb survivors (1948-1954)           

“No statistically significant increase in major birth defects or other untoward pregnancy outcomes was seen among children of survivors.” RERF

GOOGLE IMAGES of birth deformities caused by radiation and other inputs. Warning: harrowing pictures.



And to back it up …

Nuclear testing by country This is a ‘must see’ site packed with statistical information, dates, locations, graphs and links.

United States: 1,054 tests involving at least 1,151 devices, 331 atmospheric tests

Soviet Union: 715 tests (involving 969 devices)

France: 210 test (50 atmospheric, 160 underground

United Kingdom: 45 tests (21 in Australian territory)

China: 45 tests (23 atmospheric and 22 underground)

Various others in India, Pakistan & North Korea make up the rest.


I only recently found out about this nuclear testing during my research into pollution and I am still reeling with shock. Given the amount of testing, it really begs the question, “what effect do atomic explosions have on pollution, climate change, earthquakes and other ‘natural’ disasters. Why isn’t this in the news? Why don’t we all know about this?

I don’t have the answers, but I do have some information on where they were tested.

In 1951, the first Atom bomb was detonated over a section of desert called Frenchman Flat, about ninety miles northwest of Las Vegas. For more than forty years, this stretch of sage brush and sand would become ground zero for U.S. nuclear testing. In fact, the last detonation happened just fifteen years ago, on September 23, 1992. Since the early 1990’s, independent producer Claes Andreasson has interviewed test site workers, scientists, legal scholars and test officials, as well as people living “downwind” from the Nevada Test Site. “Dirty Harry: When the American Dream became a Nightmare” is a culmination of those interviews.

…and finally, how much does all this cost?

Between 1940 and 1996, the U.S. spent at least $8.63 trillion in present day terms on nuclear weapons development.

This does not include the $650 billion a year the US spends on ‘defense.’

The current US national debt stands at $16 trillion and counting …

$ 1 6 , 4 3 8 , 4 9 4 , 0 4 8 , 9 5 2 . 1 1

click link for update: US national debt clock

Why post a clock of the US national debt? What’s the point?

Because if the US had spent a fraction of this $16 trillion dollars leading the world in clean energy technology, instead of going to war with other countries, we wouldn’t have a global pollution problem now.

This is the dollar cost and does not, could not, equate what nuclear testing has cost planet earth from all ‘contributors’. I’m sure that any objection would be met with a platitude that “all tests were done under the strictest of safety conditions and were essential in the interests of national security,” from all parties involved.

HOW MUCH POLLUTION DOES WAR CAUSE?   The greenhouse gases released by the Iraq war thus far equals the pollution from adding 25 million cars to the road for one year says a study released by Oil Change International, an anti petroleum watchdog. The group claims Iraq war emissions estimates come from combat, oil well fires, increased gas flaring, increased cement manufacturing for reconstruction, and explosives.

LIFT THE VEIL  is a much watch documentary; “it is the long overdue film that powerfully, definitively, and finally exposes the deadly 21st century hypocrisy of U.S. internal and external policies,(leading to war and pollution) It imbues the reader with hope to bring about real systemic change while there is yet time for humanity and this planet.

I did not expect this atomic / nuclear issue to have so many facets or take up so much of this blog, but it would be remiss of me to leave it out. Moving on…

Therefore …

It would seem the best solution is to not create nuclear waste, or the threat of global pollution from war and atomic bomb(s) fall-out, in the first place.

“The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything except our modes of thinking, and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.”  Albert Einstein

“an unparallelled catastrophe” – nobody really knows the long term effects of the pollution caused by an all-out atomic war, or how long it would take before the planet was habitable again, but you can get a very good idea by reading this article.

You can forget cars, airplanes, ships and factories. A global nuclear war would be the biggest and worst single polluting factor our planet has ever seen and one which would take untold years to recover from. Meanwhile, the few million that may survive would face a life of unparallelled plague, sickness and misery. The water, the air, the soil and any plant life or animals would be contaminated with cancer causing radiation, leading to grotesque deformities in newborns for many generations to come. The very lifeblood of the planet you need to survive would be killing you. Still think going nuclear is a good idea?

Ask yourself this question: Do you trust your government to act responsibly with its nuclear warheads? 100% ?

But what would we do without nuclear energy? What are the alternatives?


There are two ways in which solar energy is currently used. Solar thermal uses the heat of the sun to warm water – which is then used either to provide hot water for use or to provide heating…


Windmills has been around for centuries – and recent technological developments has made wind turbines an efficient way of generating energy…


The development of hydropower began 150 years ago. Yet, by 2003, hydropower contributed only 2.2 percent to the world’s total supply of energy. This is only a portion of renewables’ 13.3 percent share in global TPES…


Biomass is derived from different types of organic matter: energy plants (oilseeds, plants containing sugar) and forestry, agricultural or urban waste including wood and household waste. Biomass can be used for heating, for producing electricity and for transport as biofuel. The use of biomass significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions …


Geothermal energy is power extracted from heat stored in the earth. GEOTHERMAL energy offers the compelling prospect of base-load power generation that operates continuously – regardless of weather conditions, and with negligible fuel costs and greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions …

It is said that there is enough geothermal power underground to last planet earth for another 1,000,000 years. Is this true?


So… if there is all this non-polluting, ecologically friendly, economical energy out there that would put the damage into reverse and save the planet from inevitable and irrevocable destruction, as we are already witnessing today, why are we still burning fossil fuels?

Don’t know, you’d have to ask the rich oil & coal barons about that one.



BP Will Pay $4.5 Billion, Plead Guilty To Criminal Charges For Oil Spill



DEEPWATER BLOW OUT: TWO MEN FACE CHARGES                              Unfortunately, these were not executives

One year on from Hungary’s red mud disaster

SAVING ICELAND Connected to the same disaster above

The Lumpor Sidoarjo Mud Volcano

…is one of the worst disaster known to mankind, and is still ongoing. At its peak Lusi spewed up to 180,000 m³ of mud per day.[3] By mid August 2011, mud was being discharged at a rate of 10,000 m³ per day. This was a significant decline from the previous year, when mud was being discharged at a rate of 100,000 cubic metres per day. It is estimated it will continue gushing toxic mud for another 30 years.

 It is the biggest mud volcano in the world, created by the blowout of a natural gas well drilled by PT Lapindo Brantas, Company officials contend it was caused by a distant earthquake. In August 2012, geologists stated definitively that the Sidoarjo mudflow was caused by drilling operation misconduct, which only used a quarter of the height of drilling wallpipe, strictly in violation of industry standards, and was not caused by a distant earthquake almost 300 km away.

Despite a network of dams and barriers having been erected to contain the flood, as of February 2007 the mud was up to 10 m thick, with an estimated volume of 12 million cubic metres. The enormous quantity of mud has so far buried 4 villages and 25 factories, some of which you can see here, barely protruding above the surface.


BIG QUESTION: Why aren’t any of these executives facing criminal charges?


While natural disasters can do much damage and devastation, some of the worst environmental disasters in history have been caused by people. Some are accidental. Some are speculated to be the work of government conspiracy. The 33 disasters on this list are ordered chronologically starting with the most recent, though they could be grouped by type. Moreover, the repetition of disaster types supports the argument that humans have failed to really learn from past mistakes. If this argument is correct, we may be adding another disaster to the top of the list fairly soon, but for now, here are our top picks among some of the world’s worst man-made environmental disasters.

  1. The Ones that Made History  (and in many cases are still a cause of pollution)

    1. BP Gulf Oil Spill
    2. Tennessee Coal Ash Spill
    3. Sidoarjo Mud Volcano
    4. Jilin
    5. Al-Mishraq Fire
    6. West Virginia/Kentucky Coal Sludge Spill
    7. Baia Mare Cyanide Spill
    8. Libby, Montana Asbestos Contamination
    9. Gulf War Oil Spill
    10. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
    11. Chernobyl
    12. Chevron Oil Refinery Spill
    13. Bhopal India Gas Leak
    14. Meltdown at Three Mile Island
    15. Amoco Cadiz
    16. Cactus Dome Marshall Islands
    17. Seveso
    18. Times Beach Missouri Dioxin Contamination
    19. Fire Hole in Turkmenistan
    20. The Palomares Incident
    21. Ecocide in Vietnam
    22. Castle Bravo
    23. London’s “Great Smog” 1952
    24. Love Canal
    25. Minamata Bay toxic poisoning
    26. The Great Dustbowl
    27. Alabama PCB Poisoning
  2. Ongoing Disasters
    1. The Aral Sea
    2. Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone
    3. Great Pacific Garbage Patch
    4. Guiyu China
    5. The Niger Delta
    6. Picher, Oklahoma Lead Contamination

HOW MUCH DOES THE US SPEND ON GREEN ENERGY?                                      Tallying just how much cash went to green projects isn’t easy. The government website that tracks stimulus spending lists 27,226 individual awards under the “Energy/ Environment” section, totaling just shy of $34 billion.

HOW MUCH DOES THE US SPEND ON WAR?                                                          For the 2011 fiscal year, the president’s base budget of the Department of spending on “overseas contingency operations” brings the sum to $664.84 billion. As of June 2011, the total cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is approximately $3.7 trillion so far.

So what can I do about stopping pollution?


This year our governments will hand nearly hundreds of billions of dollars in government subsidies to the coal, gas, and oil industries — six times as much money as we invest in renewable energy.

Ending these subsidies could actually take a giant step towards solving the climate crisis, save gigatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and help make clean energy cheaper than fossil fuels.

You can also raise awareness about pollution and the urgent need to stop using fossil fuels by sharing this site, raising your voice and speaking out. Simply by Lifting The Veil you can begin to get an awareness of what is happening on our battered planet and why. By raising awareness we can hopefully get back on the right track before it is too late (never say die) The three biggest threats we need to remove from our fragile planet, in any order, are 1) fossil fuels 2) atomic power, of any kind and for whatever reasons 3) megalomaniacs

There are many ideas HERE you can try out at home to reduce pollution. Every little helps. Or just Google ‘energy saving tips’ for tons of ideas.

Revolutions that Made the Earth: This book places humanity in context as part of the Earth system, using a new scientific synthesis to illustrate our debt to the deep past and our potential for the future.

“The current planet-reshaping activities of our species may be the start of another great Earth system revolution, but there is no guarantee that this one will be successful. The book explains what a successful transition through it might look like, if we are wise enough to steer such a course.”

RECYCLE EVERYTHING: why we must: how we can. “What does that mean?  It means that your laptop, desk, clothing, house—everything you possess or use at home or work, when those things are no longer usable, their materials can go to make new laptops, desks, clothing and houses, again and again.” To do this, we need materials that are engineered to be reused perpetually. Janet Unruh

Amazing Technology that could help to prolong the life of products. Is this the new Teflon?

Solutions for Saving the Planet and Humanity: by Phil for Humanity: includes a free ebook and links to other popular articles.

SHOP ECOLOGICALLY: some great eco consumer products here – I love the ‘GYO mushrooms’ idea. Don’t forget – you can grow your own greens in discarded water bottles.




CANCER: are pesticides slowly killing us?




Sources included:

The Guardian

The Cancer Research Centre UK  





Prof Mary H Ward

The Guardian report did not include a study on cancer related to pesticides and herbicides, but has been included here and below.


12.6 million are diagnosed annually with cancer around the world.
7.5 million people die from cancer every year.
Cancer was the cause of 14% of total deaths globally in 2008.
27%  of deaths in the UK were from cancer in 2008
204 out of every 100,000 men get cancer 2008
165 per 100,000 women got cancer 2008
More than eight out of 10 cases (86%) are now in the developing world
Pesticide-related illnesses among farm workers in U.S.A. each year: 300,000. U.S. citizens who die annually from cancer directly related to pesticides: 10,400 

U.S. citizens killed each year by rifles is notoriously high, but according to the figures, still less than pesticides.

At least 12.6 million people are diagnosed with cancer around the world every year, and more than 7.5 million die of the disease – a toll that is steadily rising in every country as the population expands and people live longer, according to research by the World Health Organisation

Cancer was the cause of 14% of all deaths around the world in 2008, the year for which there are the most recent comprehensive figures, but the rates varied enormously from one region to another, from 5% in Africa to 21% in the western Pacific. More than a quarter of all deaths in the UK – 27% – were from cancer.

Cancer Research UK (Cruk) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) an arm of the World Health Organisation, are releasing their report as the first United Nations summit opens in New York on tackling the killer diseases that every nation is now having to confront: heart and lung diseases, diabetes and cancer.

These so-called “non-communicable diseases”, which have all taken off as sedentary lifestyles, junk food, smoking and drinking have spread around the planet, are already a massive burden on rich countries and are steadily becoming one in poorer countries, too.



Campaigning for Health, Justice and Sustainability


To prevent dreadful birth defects like this associated with polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDes)   Photo source: Sarasota/Manatee Farm worker Supporters

“Instead of protecting vulnerable populations, corporate interests have continued to trump public health and common sense in the U.S.  BPA is a chemical known to mimic estrogen and which has been linked to increased risk of cancer, altered brain development, early puberty and other metabolic changes. It really shouldn’t be in our food supply.” Sarah Janssen, a scientist from the Natural Resources Defense Council

“Vegetables and fruits finding their way to Delhi markets are a toxic cocktail capable of causing cancer, heart disease and infertility and posing a risk to nervous system and liver.” Report on pesticides and food in India.


Immunochemical Assays in Pesticide Analysis
For the technically minded

Pesticides are widely used in agriculture and there are concerns that they could increase the risk of cancer. Studies have suggested that pesticides could increase the risk of  leukaemialymphomas, brain cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer

“For now, the evidence is not strong enough to give us any clear answers.”
But given the fact that cancer is on a rampant rise, along with the heavy use of pesticide, herbicides and fertilisers in industrialised farming, doesn’t that make alarm bells ring in your head? Read on.

First hand information: when I worked on a station (ranch) in Australia, one of the tasks was to tend to the ten acre apple orchard. In the shed was a selection of around 10 pesticides in 5 gallon drums. Each drum was clearly marked DO NOT MIX WITH OTHER PESTICIDES as the toxic effect of such a mixture was unknown – and still is.  But what did we do? Yup, you guessed it. Took an empty 5 gallon drum and mixed a little from each drum into it, sloshed it around,, poured it into the pressure sprayer, went off and merrily sprayed the trees. This was over 20 years ago, I was concerned then; on hindsight, I am horrified today. It is probably hasn’t changed. And this folks, is why you should always peel an apple or buy organic or, best bet, grow your own. I don’t know why people stopped the practice of growing fruit trees in their back gardens. Grow fruit trees folks!

Phillip Voice at Landscape Juice says, “when it comes to organic farming you just need to follow your gut.”

If you did a survey of 1 billion people, how many do you think would say that pesticide on your food is actually good for you? Yeah … that’s what I thought.

Problems with the evidence related to cancer and pesticides on crops

The scientific evidence on pesticides and cancer is still uncertain; more research is needed. Studies done share common problems:

  • They usually involve a small number of people. This makes it more likely that their results are down to chance.
  • It is difficult to work out the amounts of pesticides that people were actually exposed to.
  • Most studies estimate exposures based on a person’s job. Others ask people with cancer to remember whether and how they used pesticides in the past.
  • Their answers might not be accurate and may have been influenced by different factors.
  • There is a wide variety of pesticides and it is not clear which, if any, affect the risk of cancer. (or what the toxicity is when different pesticides are mixed)
  • The results from different studies are not consistent.

Chart Pounds of Pesticides Categorized as Carcinogens Reported in California

The graph report above shows the reported pounds of carcinogenic pesticides being applied in California from 91 to 98 – if this doesn’t scare you …

PESTICIDES AND CANCER: by Mary H Ward Ph.D Occupational Epidemiology Branch: National Cancer Institute
10% of community drinking water contained at least one or more pesticides
Tap water in 27 of 29 cities tested had 2 to 9 different pesticides
14 million people regularly drink tap water contaminated with herbicide
Most occupational exposure to pesticide is through the skin and can be high

Costa Rica uses pesticide in a deadly quantity of around 52 kgs per hectare.
It is followed by USA with around 48.6kgs per hectare on an average.

Unconfirmed source taken from a blog.

Proceedings of the International Academy of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, 2011, 1(2):125-144

Varieties and consumption of pesticides worldwide have been increasing dramatically along with increased population and crop production. In this process pesticide misuse becomes more and more serious; this has resulted in heavy environmental pollution and health risk for humans. In order to safeguard human health, threatened species and ecosystems from pesticide pollution, the consumption and pollution of pesticides worldwide …


Human reproductive system disturbances and pesticide exposure in Brazil

Moderate to high Pearson’s correlation coefficients ranging from 0.36 to 0.81 were observed among pesticides sales in eleven states in 1985 and further reproductive hazards during the nineties (Table 3). Statistically significant correlations were seen for breast cancer mortality among women 50-69 yr. during 1995-1997 (r = 0.81, 0.41-0.95), women 40-49 yr. (r = 0.66, 0.10-0.90), ovarian cancer mortality (r = 0.71, 0.19-0.92), and a borderline result for sperm evaluation rates (r = 0.60, -00.1-0.88).

The observation of reproductive disturbances in humans and in the wildlife has been reported in the last decade in different countries. Exposure to different chemicals possibly acting in the endocrine system or endocrine disruptors, including pesticides, has been a hypothesis raised to explain the observed changes.”

Pesticide-Induced Diseases: Birth/Fetal Effects USA

In 2005, the births of three babies born in Florida with severe birth defects to mothers who all worked for Ag-Mart Produce, a company that produces chemically-treated tomatoes and other agricultural products, brought the connection between birth defects and pesticide exposure into the public consciousness. Birth defects are structural or functional abnormalities present at birth that cause physical or mental disabilities, ranging from mild to fatal. Researchers have identified thousands of different types of birth defects. Currently, birth defects are the leading cause of death for infants during


Before you answer that you’d better check out this old add for ‘Radiating Healthy Skin.’





There’s been a lot of talk just recently about the codex alimentarius. But just exactly what is it?

For: The government says it’s good for you.

Against: Public sector say government control of food is a bad thing.

Codex C A conspiracy debunked

Codex C A exposed

Codex is one forum in which the genetically modified (GM) food battle is being played out, between the United States, Canada and Argentina on the one hand, and Europe on the other.  Europeans have been resolute in their opposition to GM foods, despite a more recent softening of the stance of governments and trade bodies.


“Smith-Spangler and her colleagues found there was no difference in the amount of vitamins in plant or animal products produced organically and conventionally – and the only nutrient difference was slightly more phosphorus in the organic products.”

Given the choice between having a salad that was generously sprayed with pesticide and one that was not, I wonder what choice Ms Smith-Spangler would make?

Worth noting: “Many of the studies didn’t specify the standards for what constituted “organic” food and only 200 studies were done against a population of 300 million.



THE EPA KNEW PESTICIDES CAUSE CANCER “…there are strong biological reasons to believe that human exposure to organic arsenicals may lead to a related pattern of cancer as does human exposure to iA’s (inorganic arsenicals)…” EPA


A: 857 MILLION POUNDS ANNUALLY: 684 million pounds in agriculture alone (On a population of 300 million people)

“Pesticide use in agriculture is down slightly, from 948 million pounds in 2000 to 877 million pounds in 2007. But that’s only about 1% per year, and still close to one billion pounds of toxic chemicals intentionally introduced into the environment and our food supply each year.” (knowing that it is carcinogenic and results in bad health)

  • Use of organophosphates continues to decline, and this definitely is a good thing, as these are among the most acutely toxic pesticides still used. But 33 million pounds is still 33 million pounds too many, and despite the decline these neurotoxins are still detected in the bodies of most Americans (see the CDC’s National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals) and commonly found on our food.
  • The herbicide glyphosate has more than doubled in use, from 85-90 million pounds in 2001 to 180-185 million pounds in 2007. According to a report from the Organic Center, this increase is likely a reflection of the rising popularity of Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready genetically modified crops. (Glyphosate is the active ingredient of RoundUp.)

THE EPA: “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in cooperation with states and other agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is responsible for regulating the production and use of pesticides in the United States.”


NOTE: there are many photographs on the net portraying infants / children with dreadful deformities purporting to be related to pesticides and cancer. They are far too disturbing to post on this blog.


The company manufactured controversial products such as the insecticide DDT, PCBs, Agent Orange, and recombinant bovine somatotropin. Monsanto was among the first to genetically modify a plant cell, along with three academic teams, which was announced in 1983,[6] and was among the first to conduct field trials of genetically modified crops, which it did in 1987. It remained one of the top 10 U.S. chemical companies until it divested most of its chemical businesses between 1997 and 2002, through a process of mergers and spin-offs that focused the company on biotechnology.

LEAKED MONSANTO REPORT: Internal memo study sheet on pesticides. Global: A scientific manuscript reviewing virtually all Monsanto and
publicly-available studies on glyphosate, AMPA, Roundup herbicide and the
polyethoxylated tallowamine surfactant (POEA) was published by leading
mammalian toxicology experts. The paper concludes that, under present and
expected conditions of use, Roundup herbicide does not pose a health risk to



Kucinich Calls Out Monsanto: Americans Demand GMO Labeling

“After the first ban in France, there is a now a high possibility that Monsanto will soon be facing a European ban.”

Endless greed, bad technology: Domination of technology over sharing of wisdom  


“Bees are still dying and EPA is still sitting on its hands. Luckily for those of us who like to eat…”

Albert Einstein once said: “If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live. No more bees, no more pollination … no more men!”

My thought: we might be able to manufacture cabbages by the ton, but all the spice and variety would go out of food.

“The EPA is responsible for ensuring that the American public is protected from potential health risks posed by eating foods that have been treated with pesticides.”

MEANWHILE … back to the EPA


“There are residential exposures to homeowners and children (e.g. toddlers) from the use of cacodylic acids (pesticides) on ornamentals, during lawn renovation and weed control, and around buildings and walkways.”

“Long term oral exposure to iAs (inorganic arsenics) has been reported to be associated with several cancers (e.g., skin, lungs, bladder)” EPA

MOVING ON TO GMO’s (a new GMO post has been created)

Read continuation of previous report not covering pesticides…

Or scroll down to But what can I do?

Cruk has high hopes of the summit, which is intended to focus the attention of government leaders on ways of preventing as well as treating the new scourge. “While it is clear that tackling cancer worldwide will remain one of the major challenges in the 21st century, this high-level meeting will finally put cancer on the global agenda, providing the biggest and best opportunity to drive forward major changes in this area,” says its report.

Worldwide, men are more likely to get cancer than women – 204 out of every 100,000 men and 165 per 100,000 women got cancer in 2008, according to age-standardised data. The incidence rate is rising fast in the developing world but is still markedly lower in Africa, where 88 per 100,000 people got cancer, than in North America and western Europe, where 334 and 335 people respectively per 100,000 were diagnosed.

Data is not well collected or kept in most developing countries, but the younger age of the population and different diets and lifestyles play a big part. The highest incidence among men in the world was in France and Australia, which had 361 cases per 100,000. Among women, it was Denmark, with 325 per 100,000. The UK rate was 33rd highest among men and 12th for women.

Four common cancers are responsible for 45% of the death toll, says the report – lung cancer, which is the biggest killer among men, liver, stomach and colorectum. In the UK, the biggest killers are lung, colorectum, breast and prostate.

For several decades, lung cancer has been the most common cancer in the world. In 2008, there were 1.6m diagnoses and the largest proportion – 55% – is now in the developing world, where public smoking bans and advertising restrictions generally do not apply.

The declaration to be signed at the end of the UN meeting will call on governments to take action against tobacco marketing. About a quarter of all adults in the world – more than 1 billion people – are thought to smoke. In Europe, male smoking has peaked, but the habit is still on the increase among young women and girls. The UK has the seventh highest lung cancer rate in women among 184 countries with reliable statistics in the world.

Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer among women, with 1.38mdiagnoses in 2008, which is a quarter of the total for women. It affects a larger proportion of women in wealthy countries, although the developing countries have high numbers and it is a growing problem there.

Reproductive behaviour – having fewer children and postponing childbearing, and breastfeeding less – as well as weight, lack of exercise and drinking are all thought to be factors in the rise in cases. Breast cancer is the most common cause of death among women worldwide.

Cervical cancer hits developing countries hardest as screening, vaccination and treatment bring the numbers down in the richer world. More than eight out of 10 cases (86%) are now in the developing world, and 88% of the 275,000 deaths. The UK death rate is low, ranked 157th out of 184 countries on mortality rates.

But what can I do? Nothing I can do, right?


It only takes one 4×4 square foot garden box to supply one adult one full, healthy salad meal per day. A family of four? 2 meals per day? You do the math.

We as individuals can make a difference. It’s just a state of mind. Most houses in the UK have gardens. Those gardens are usually a total waste of space, energy and resources. They could be used to grow your own healthy crops. EVERY family discards brown and green carbons EVERY DAY! (sorry – was I shouting? ) these discarded brown and green carbons make fantastic humus. You grow crops in humus. No digging. No weeding. No hard work. You start a never ending cycle. Imagine.

Imagine what would happen if a thousand, ten thousand, a million people started to blow the pesticide driven farming industry out the window. Imagine the financial impact. The pesticide and farming industry would sit up and take notice. Radical? Revolutionary? Not really. My father and his father before him used to grow their own vegetables. The difference between now and then? It’s much easier now with modern (refound) techniques than it was back in the old sod-turning, back breaking days.

So what are you waiting for? Get to it!

What am I doing? I’m working on it, really.


In addition, farmers need to be re-educated in farming practices. By current methods the soil is destroyed by constant tilling and tiny microbes that live in the soil don’t get a chance to survive and help the crop. And of course, pesticides …etc …

What are the alternatives?

There is a practice called the No Dig  Method

Basic of no dig method: Lay a ‘ground-sheet’ of cardboard
Add generous layer of mulch and allow to rot down
Plant seed and grow organic crops
Planting companion plants eradicates the need for pesticides
no tilling – no weeding – 70% less water – keep adding mulch for healthy crops


In a recent mail to me Richard wrote:

“This topic came up at the Real Farming Conference in Oxford yesterday. All topics lead to the inevitable question, especially the last session held in Merton College, Oxford University, on How can We Rebuild our Soils.
The conclusion  was that we need to add organic matter in the right condition to do this. This is why the  Howard-Higgins compost system has been developed.”
Co chair WG05, sanitation to agriculture

should we eat organic food or pesticide?




THE COMMONS: initiatives towards a better world





All over Africa and Asia good folk build their villages across the migration route of herds of elephants. Then they moan and wail when the elephants,  traveling across their ancient routes, plough straight through their village, leaving, death, devastation and destruction in their wake.

“Oh, we have a problem with the elephants!” you can hear them weep and wail.

No, methinks you have a problem with your ability to think and rationalise.

I would like to use this very real situation as a metaphor for the rest of mankind, who have proven their inability to think and rationalise. For example, take any fish species in any ocean. They are almost fished to extinction. 100 years ago, plenty of fish; today, all gone. It defies common sense to the point of criminal stupidity. And yet, if common society (we all deserve a portion of blame) had sat down and done the math, and then taken responsibility as caretakers of this fragile planet, this situation would have been avoidable with a moratorium on catches; we could then fish on for many years to come. Even in the light of current statistics, this is not done. Madness; just madness. Across the globe, and across industries, across cultures on land, sea and air, man’s common sense has gone out the window, and been replaced by the quest for immediate personal gain and corporate greed, at the detriment of our gasping planet.

For many years, we have apportioned responsibility to a select group of officials and blame them when the North Sea cod, for example, is fished to total extinction. We left it all up to our glorious leaders and now say sardonically, “and look what a great job they’ve done.”

We can wipe our hands clean and say, “wasn’t my fault!”

Well, here’s the hard truth folks; it is your fault, and it is your responsibility.

What has gone before us makes no common sense, because we had no common shared values; we gave them away to others to decide our values for us. In an ironic twist, we are the elephants plowing up the land, leaving death and destruction behind us in our wake.

Well, now it is time for some common sense. Now it is time to be accountable and take common responsibility for who we are, both collectively and as individuals.

The point? If we had The Commons as a model for ecological governance, we might grow some common sense, before it’s too late. See Global Warming

And here is where I would like to introduce The Commons. Please go to blogroll on the right of my site for a pdf link and / or link to the URL’s below. The purpose of this blog is to make you aware of the commons, so that you can research and develop your own knowledge, and, hopefully, share that knowledge with others. This article does not infer that I know everything about the commons, I don’t. It is my wish to share with you what I recently discovered myself.

But before I do … please check out this video entitled Learning from Ladakh. It is about a community that have had a common shared system of living that has been working for hundreds of years. They are also ecologists and supporters of a permaculture lifestyle. Enjoy

What are The Commons?

Peter Barnes describes commons as a set of assets that have two characteristics: they are all gifts, and they are all shared. A shared gift is one we receive as members of a community, as opposed to individually. Examples of such gifts include air, water, ecosystems, languages, music, holidays, money, law, mathematics, parks and the Internet.[4]”  WIKI

An Introduction to Green Governance by David Bollier & Burns H. Weston on May 31, 2012

“The Commons represents an advance over existing governance because it gives us practical ways of naming and protecting value that the (current) market is incapable of doing.”

Here’s another link to commons i’ve just discovered

The Coda:

persuasive visions for commons and rights-based ecological governance.

Below are the eight principals to managing a commons by Nobel Prize winner Elinor Ostrum                                                                     

From Governing the Commons, by Elinor Ostrum (August 7, 1933 – June 12, 2012)

VIDEO : ELINOR OSTRUM ON THE COMMONS: when you go to this video it will link to other Elinor Ostrum videos.

8 Principles for Managing a Commons

1. Define clear group boundaries.

2. Match rules governing use of common goods to local needs and conditions.

3. Ensure that those affected by the rules can participate in modifying the rules.

4. Make sure the rule-making rights of community members are respected by outside authorities.

5. Develop a system, carried out by community members, for monitoring members’ behavior.

6. Use graduated sanctions for rule violators.

7. Provide accessible, low-cost means for dispute resolution.

8. Build responsibility for governing the common resource in nested tiers from the lowest level up to the entire interconnected system.

The Tragedy of The Commons

“The Tragedy of the Commons refers to a scenario in which commonly held land is inevitably degraded because everyone in a community is allowed to graze livestock there. This parable was popularized by wildlife biologist Garrett Hardin in the late 1960s, and was embraced as a principle by the emerging environmental movement. But Ostrom’s research refutes this abstract concept once-and-for-all with the real
life experience from places like Nepal, Kenya and Guatemala.”
          Ana Micka

First explored in an 1833 pamphlet by William Forster Lloyd

 Creative Commons: Everything is a re-mix

 Everything is a Remix is produced by Kirby Ferguson, a New York-based filmmaker. This site is a companion piece to the four-part video series. The first three episodes of the series have been published and part four should be released in late November.


The Power of Mindmaps!



Mind maps are a great visual and tactile way of getting your thoughts down and your message across.Whether it’s about global warming, sanitation, health care, business or school, you can make a mind map of it.

Here’s a cut & paste from Wiki.

“A mind map is a diagram used to visually outline information. A mind map is often created around a single word or text, placed in the center, to which associated ideas, words and concepts are added. Major categories radiate from a central node, and lesser categories are sub-branches of larger branches.[1] Categories can represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items related to a central key word or idea.”

 a guide to making mind maps

This picture was made available under The Creative Commons License

I’ve used them several times in the classroom and students (mostly) really enjoy doing them. We get the idea down in the classroom, then they finish off the ‘artwork’ at home. Some come back as works of art, some do not. It’s a personal thing.

Mind maps are generally used to express sequential concepts: hot pan – no glove – burn hand – pain – hospital -etc- or a series of transcending thoughts – buy car – save money – get job – study for degree etc – in the latter you would have the dream car in the centre surrounded by the ways and means to achieve it.

In the sample below I created mine more as a grouping of ideas to express positive and negative aspects of how we live, with alternatives. The primary focus was on advertising the kabook-i idea in Google images and showing my concepts visually.

I produced mine using a mix of word doc and freehand. I did a rough draft layout, a failed attempt in freehand, then this.

kabook-i mindmap

Click on the picture to enlarge

If you want to see a much better version or versions though, go to Jane Genovese’s site. Here’s a sample courtesy of Jane.

mindmaps popultaion

What I really like about Jane’s work, beside the sequential layout, is the fact that she deals with current issues such as population and the planet, mind sets, behavior, organisation and more. And on her site she’ll even show you how to mind map. How cool is that!

If you look at either mind map you will see  that they are a great platform for discussion. Instead of having your 10 page power point presentation you could have a one page mind map and talk all day long.

They are also a great way of expressing your ideas across cultures and without language barriers.  Whether you are trying to teach a village in Bangladesh or Timor Leste about sustainable sanitation, it doesn’t matter if you don’t speak the language, or if they are illiterate. If you have a decent, colourful, expressive mind map, that expresses your concepts, they will get the picture, literally.

Some time in the future (soon) I will do one on sustainable sanitation and kabook-i

okay – got it – here’s one on (UN) SUSTAINABLE SANITATION: I have software called Print Shop, which allows me to draw – cut and paste – which means I can move them around in the picture where I want

mind map on sustainable sanitaiton


Please feel free to leave a comment and share your mind maps