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ChangeUnderground

280 EpisodesProduced by mrjonmooreWebsite

Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil.To feed the world, to clean the air and water, we need to change what we do with our soils.This podcast looks at the many variants of regenerative food growing. How? Why? When?We must be the ChangeUnderground!

7:23

44 #worldorganicnews 2016 12 12

Links

Perovskite solar cells hit new world efficiency record « Great Things from Small Things .. Nanotechnology Innovation

http://wp.me/p5Cqpo-dzn

Australia can get to zero emissions, as rooftop solar booms « Antinuclear

http://wp.me/p5Cqpo-dBb

Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap

http://www.energynetworks.com.au/electricity-network-transformation-roadmap

Detroit’s Sustainable “Agrihood” | Suzanne's Mom's Blog

http://wp.me/p5Cqpo-dzF

How soil is lost | Make Wealth History

http://wp.me/p5Cqpo-dD0

****

This is the World Organic News Podcast for the week ending 12th of December 2016.

Jon Moore reporting!

This week we begin with news from the academy! Those curiously named solar cells perovskites have hit new efficiency levels. The blog: Great Things from Small Things .. Nanotechnology Innovation brings us the post: Perovskite solar cells hit new world efficiency record.

Quote:

They’re flexible, cheap to produce and simple to make – which is why perovskites are the hottest new material in solar cell design. And now, engineers at Australia’s University of New South Wales in Sydney have smashed the trendy new compound’s world efficiency record.

End Quote.

This is wonderful news. Non fossil fuel based energy is the way forward. After generations of research focused on fossil fuels, bright minds are now and have been for a while driving alternatives. Perovskites are quick and cheap to manufacture, increasingly efficient but do suffer from some stability issues in open weather. There are workarounds to overcome these issues. The increasing efficiencies may make these drawbacks irrelevant. The research continues and with it hope for the future.

Even using “standard” PV cells it is possible to make great advances. The blog Antinuclear brings us a post entitled: Australia can get to zero emissions, as rooftop solar booms. Funnily enough if the price signals are sufficiently strong and the technology serviceable, individuals will make decisions which collectively benefit us all. This is what’s happened in Australia with rooftop solar cells. To such an extent, the CSIRO can see them as Australia’s pathway to zero emissions.

Quote:

Consumers using rooftop solar panels and batteries will produce between a third and half of Australia’s electricity by mid-century if the right policies are introduced, according to a roadmap from the CSIRO and power and gas transmission body Energy Networks Australia.

The two-year analysis also found an emissions intensity scheme for the electricity sector – a form of carbon trading that was to be considered by a government climate policy review until that plan was abandoned on Tuesday afternoon – would be the cheapest way to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

End Quote.

The report suggested the entire electrical grid could be zero carbon emitting when rooftop solar is coupled with batteries by 2050. Whilst this doesn’t deal with road transport and other emitters of CO2, the grid is a great place to start.

Now we move onto another great news story.

Suzanne's Mom's Blog brings us the post: Detroit’s Sustainable “Agrihood”. Given the economic disasters which have befallen Detroit in the past thirty years, this post is one of great promise. As vast swathes of greater Detroit have been abandoned following the crisis of 2008, land has become available for alternative use. To be specific for food production. From the blog post:

Quote:

“This week, the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI) revealed its plans for the first Sustainable Urban Agrihood in the North End.

“Wait, an agrihood? It’s an alternative neighborhood growth model, positioning agriculture as the centerpiece of a mixed-use development. There are some agrihoods around the country, but in rural areas. This is the first within a city.

End Quote.

From the great pains of economic downturn comes the possibility of a better way to live. Food grown where it is consumed, employment, renewal and a future. I recommend a reading of the whole post. It is uplifting.

How soil is lost is a post from the blog Make Wealth History. I think we’ve made the point in earlier episodes that without soil, we are in dire straights. This post reminds us of how precious this resource is and how we are losing it.

Quote:

....soil is a self-maintaining system. In nature, it looks after itself. When humans intervene with agriculture, the balance can be lost and the processes interrupted. Soil works in tandem with the vegetation that grows from it, as a mutually reinforcing dynamic. Plants need soil, and soil needs plants.  Unfortunately, we tend to clear the land completely in order to choose what grows from it, breaking that cycle. Then we haul away what’s been grown, keeping the grain as food and baling up the stalks, rather than letting the soil re-absorb the nutrients. The result is a gradual loss of fertility, and we have to make up the difference with chemical fertilisers.

End Quote.

Given the long history of agriculture and its increased pace with population growth, we could be in for trouble. So far extreme soil losses have been relatively confined to nation states. Think The US Dust Bowl of the Great Depression and the dust storms from northern China covering Beijing with topsoil in the late 1990s.

The post though provides some sobering statistics:

Quote:

Globally, the equivalent of 10 million hectares of arable land is lost every year. In the last 150 years, we have lost half the world’s topsoil.  When land is exhausted, farmers move on and start somewhere else. The FAO estimates that 20 million hectares of farmland is abandoned every year.

End Quote.

The good news is we can reverse this. Permaculture, Natural Farming, Agroforestry and Biodynamic methods to name but a few options we already know work and are productive and sustainable. Remember the US Dust Bowl was reversed through good soil retention techniques. We can reverse, indeed, we must reverse this trend whilst we can.      

And that brings us to the end of this week’s podcast.

If you’ve liked what you heard, please tell everyone you know any way you can! I’d also really appreciate a review on iTunes. This helps others to find us. Thanks in advance!

Any suggestions, feedback or criticisms of the podcast or blog are most welcome. email me at podcast@worldorganicnews.com.

Thank you for listening and I'll be back in a week.

****

Links

Perovskite solar cells hit new world efficiency record « Great Things from Small Things .. Nanotechnology Innovation

http://wp.me/p5Cqpo-dzn

Australia can get to zero emissions, as rooftop solar booms « Antinuclear

http://wp.me/p5Cqpo-dBb

Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap

http://www.energynetworks.com.au/electricity-network-transformation-roadmap

Detroit’s Sustainable “Agrihood” | Suzanne's Mom's Blog

http://wp.me/p5Cqpo-dzF

How soil is lost | Make Wealth History

http://wp.me/p5Cqpo-dD0

 

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