Posts Tagged ‘water’

[1] Atlas of hidden water may avert future conflict (article/ New Scientist)
[2] Depletion and Abundance: Life On The New Home Front – Sharon Astyk (book review)
[3] Call for entries (journal/ Bracket)
[4] City Eco Lab (event/ Biennale Internationale Design – Saint Etienne)
[5] Urban Farmer Will Allen receives award

Atlas of hidden water may avert future conflict – Article from New Scientist, 24 October, 2008

They are one of the world’s greatest and most precious natural resources, yet are entirely hidden. Now, for the first time, a high-resolution map shows where underground aquifers store vast amounts of water.

Depletion and Abundance: Life On The New Home Front – Sharon Astyk is a writer, teacher and subsistence farmer, and the author of two forthcoming books on Peak Oil and Climate Change — Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Home Front (Fall ‘08) and A Nation of Farmers (And Cooks) (Spring ‘09), the latter co-authored with Aaron Newton. Both books are forthcoming from New Society Publishers.

Review by Amanda Kovattana at Energy Bulletin
Commentary: “Unplugged – or unhinged” by John Thackara at Doors of Perception

Call for entries on the theme of farming by the new journal (annually) Bracket, founded by InfraNet Lab and Archinect.

timetable: Submissions due: February 2, 2009 / Jury Review: February 2009 / Notification and Editing: March 2009 / Book release: October 2009

theme: The first edition of [bracket] is centered around the theme of farming. Once merely understood in terms of agriculture, today information, energy, labour, and landscape, among others, can be farmed. Farming harnesses the efficiency of collectivity and community. Whether cultivating land, harvesting resources, extracting energy or delegating labor, farming reveals the interdependencies of our globalized world. Simultaneously, farming represents the local gesture, the productive landscape, and the alternative economy. The processes of farming are mutable, parametric, and efficient. From terraforming to foodsheds to crowdsourcing, farming often involves the management of the natural mediated by the technologic. Farming, beyond its most common agricultural understanding is the modification of infrastructure, urbanisms, architectures, and landscapes toward a privileging of production. more …

City Eco Lab at Biennale Internationale Design – Saint Etienne – 15-30 November, 2008

City Eco Lab is an event, a market of travelling projects that bears witness to experiments carried out around the country. For this reason, the 2008 biennial, will organise workshops, encounters and exchanges centred around daily life themes: foodstuffs, water, energy, mobility etc. Visitors will be encouraged to think about how they might use these commodities in a more sustainable world.

City Eco Lab blog and an outline by John Thackara (the curator)

Urban Farmer Will Allen receives award, a (50.000 USD) genius grant from the MacArthur Foundation:

Will Allen is an urban farmer who is transforming the cultivation, production, and delivery of healthy foods to underserved, urban populations. In 1995, while assisting neighborhood children with a gardening project, Allen began developing the farming methods and educational programs that are now the hallmark of the non-profit organization Growing Power, which he directs and co-founded. Guiding all is his efforts is the recognition that the unhealthy diets of low-income, urban populations, and such related health problems as obesity and diabetes, largely are attributable to limited access to safe and affordable fresh fruits and vegetables. more info about Allen at Macarthur

Here the NYT article: “An Urban Farmer Is Rewarded for His Dream


Environmental regulations are generally based on compensation principles: you’re allowed to pollute the air or the water, but not beyond a certain level set by the regulation. If you want to pollute more, you can always buy extra pollution quotas. Environmental protection came always after ‘human development’ priorities.

But in places like Ecuador, as in the rest of Latin America, human development has always shown its dark sides

The country, which contains every South American ecosystem within its borders, which include the Galapagos Islands, has had disastrous collisions with multi-national companies. Many, from banana companies to natural gas extractors, have exploited its natural resources and left little but pollution and poverty in their wake.

Now it is in the grip of a bitter lawsuit against US oil giant Chevron, formerly Texaco, over its alleged dumping of billions of gallons of crude oil and toxic waste waters into the Amazonian jungle over two decades.

It is described as the Amazonian Chernobyl, and 30,000 local people claim that up to 18m tonnes of oil was dumped into unlined pits over two decades, in defiance of international guidelines, and contaminating groundwater over an area of some 1,700 hectares (4,200 acres) and leading to a plethora of serious health problems for anyone living in the area. Chevron has denied the allegations. In April, a court-appointed expert announced in a report that, should Chevron lose, it would have to pay up to $16bn (£8.9bn) in damages.

The new constitution of Ecuador, ratified last week by a large popular majority, goes beyond the traditional ‘sustainable developmentalist’ paradigm, recognizing inalienable rights to nature (Title II, Chapter VII, Art. 1):

Nature or Pachamama, where life is reproduced and exists, has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution.

Every person, people, community or nationality, will be able to demand the recognitions of rights for nature before the public organisms. The application and interpretation of these rights will follow the related principles established in the Constitution.

This can be seen as the first attempt to codify an ecocentric point of view in giuridical tools. The consequences of this shift are still to be observed. For sure, it will be more difficult in future for foreign multinational companies to exploit Ecuador’s national resources and human labor, as the consitution set strict principles against the commodification of water resources, on food sovreignity and for the protection of indigenous people.

[Via: Culture Monkey]

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