Posted in Climate, Collapse, Current Affairs, Earth, Ecology, Extinction, Gaia

A Lifeboat For Humanity

DSC01956It was James Lovelock who first suggested that there would be a very few countries which would escape the worst vagaries of the oncoming Climate Change…

DSC01955Much of our media remains silent about the problem and there hangs an eerie silence in the air around centres of political machinations.

DSC01954Our extractive mentality and the demand for higher profits combine to destroy our very own habitat..this is the truth of what’s happening worldwide…we cannot escape our acquisitive nature! DSC01953We appear to be caught in a vicious circle of greed versus need…and we know which one of those two is winning! 

DSC01951DSC01950This is another Bank Holiday weekend here in Ireland and the pubs, takeaway food shops and restaurants are doing a roaring trade! 

DSC01948Over 56 billion farmed animals are killed every year by humans.

DSC01946DSC01945These shocking figures do not even include fish and other sea creatures whose deaths are so great they are only measured in tonnes…has anyone else noticed the scarcity of fish like Cod and Haddock  in our supermarket deep freeze and the sly introduction of Pollack?

DSC01944DSC01941DSC01940Yes, fish stocks are in decline, as evidenced in the supermarket offerings!

DSC01939We are gobbling up our habitat at an alarming rate! 

DSC01937Throughout the world, about 900 million trees are cut down annually, as of 2014.

That equates to about 2.47 million trees cut down every day.

DSC01936But, hold on, I hear you say…what was that you said about James Lovelock and…? 

According to The Irish Times report in 2009: James Lovelock is perhaps the world’s leading thinker on environmental issues – and his prognosis for the future of humanity is grim. In Ireland to speak at University College Dublin this week, he tells RONAN McGREEVY why he thinks climate change is irreversible and why Ireland may become ‘a lifeboat for humanity’

DSC01927 Yes, that’s right, ” a lifeboat for humanity!” 

DSC01926According to scientist James Lovelock, we are on the cusp of a global catastrophe that will make the present recession look trivial.

Within 30 years, he believes, the Arctic’s floating summer sea ice will all be melted. The polar caps will no longer reflect sunlight back into space and, instead, the ocean will absorb sunlight, heating up. The permafrosts in northern Canada and Siberia will thaw out, releasing carbon dioxide (CO2). At the same time, the tropical forests, which play a critical role in taking CO2 from the atmosphere, will die out. Global temperatures will rise by between five and six degrees in a short period of time, rendering most of the world uninhabitable for the vast majority of mankind.

What sets Lovelock apart from other climate scientists, most notably the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is the swift timetable he envisages and his belief that such change is irreversible and will take most of the human race with it. (Irish Times 2009)

DSC01925Lovelock is a former NASA chief scientist.  

DSC01923James Lovelock invented the electron capture device (ECD) whch alerted the world to the depletion of the ozone layer…remember the aerosol crisis?

DSC01922However, he is most famous for the Gaia hypothesis, now a theory, that the world is itself a living organism…and one I know to be true! 

DSC01921Though his predictions for the world are dire, his predictions for Ireland are of some small comfort. Because of our proximity to the sea, our relatively high latitude and our low population density, we may be spared the worst excesses of global warming.

He says Ireland, along with New Zealand, will be the “most fortunate countries on earth”. We will be a “lifeboat for humanity”, but a lifeboat can only take so many passengers.

~ Irish Times 2009

DSC01920Personally I think there will be many places that will make the transition successfully, but the criteria for these places will be different according to geographical regions.

DSC01919How do any of the generation that will meet this head on prepare for the crisis?

DSC01918Well we can begin by practicing living with less, using less, consuming less and growing more…and build a new way of living with Mother Earth from there!

DSC01911 It continues to be developed at Bealtaine Cottage…

 

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life membership is 12 euros per year and allows me a small income to continue to grow the Bealtaine Project both here in Ireland and in the hearts and minds of good people all over the world.

Please join…

Postscript…

James Lovelock mentions other countries in his forecasting that  will also have the climatic conditions to sustain life…from my reading, these include the British Isles, Northern Scandinavia, New Zealand and Northern Canada. In this interview with The Irish Times in 2009 he was directly referencing Ireland.

Posted in Abundance, biodiversity, Food, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Permaculture, Permaculture in Ireland, PermaGoddess, Seeds, Self-Sufficiency, Uncategorized

Subversion Without Violence

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Bill Mollison once said, “I teach self-reliance, the world’s most subversive practice. I teach people how to grow their own food, which is shockingly subversive. So, yes, it’s seditious. But it’s peaceful sedition.”

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 Applying design to growing makes for good permaculture.

As Ireland endures a wetter and wetter climate, constructing vegetable beds on the top of gravel helps to counteract the worst elements of flooding.

DSCF0796The same design principles are applied in the polytunnel.

Beds are raised and paths are lowered, allowing for good drainage on this north facing slope.

DSCF0797This is a Nectarine tree, under-planted with Comfrey, which is then regularly chopped and dropped throughout the growing season, thus feeding the hungry fruit tree.

DSCF0798It has been planted in a central area in the tunnel so as to avoid cold drafts when doors are open.

DSCF0799This morning sees the blossom opening at just the right time, as bees are emerging from hibernation, so it’s essential to have both doors open to receive them.

DSCF0803Now this is something rarely seen, but this system works very well for me…seeds are sown together in one, big, deep, polystyrene, re-cycled box.

As seeds emerge and gain strength, I gently tease them out and pot them on, leaving space behind for the next swathe of emerging seedlings.DSCF0805Rhubarb fills out a Spring bed, with Raspberries coming along next in seasonal line!

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The Summer fruiting Rhubarb lies protected under this mound of straw…excluding light from emerging weeds.

DSCF0807The bed is mound shaped as every year sees more and more compost added.

DSCF0808And here’s the black gold…home made compost. As all of the gardens are on a north-facing slope, the tyres do not interfere with the quality of the compost, just protects the heap from the east and north weather systems…particularly cold!

DSCF0809Trees and bushes all play a part in the permaculture design, creating shelter and wind-breaks in this instance.

You can see one of the six bins used for compost toilet waste re-cycling tucked in on the right of the picture.

This makes great planting compost for trees!

DSCF0810More rain storms moving in from the west and Atlantic seaboard this morning, but the sun continues to shine!

DSCF0811As smoke curls up in wisps from the chimney, reminding me that a hot kettle awaits me indoors…tea!

DSCF0814I love the unpredictable Irish weather!

DSCF0813And the way everything greens up so quickly after the winter!

Have a good weekend everyone.

Blessings XXX

Bealtaine Cottage has built up a Permaculture Seed Bank.

If you want to see a list of available seeds, this link will take you there…

http://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-from-bealtaine-cottage/

Seeds from Bealtaine Cottage in Ireland are posted all over the world!

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Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 110 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

There are over 600 blogs in the archives on this site.

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As an Ark for Nature, trees and wildlife, the smallholding of Bealtaine Cottage receives no grant aid from the EU, as only farm animals, monoculture and set-aside are grant-aided!

Posted in Badgers, Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, Ecology, Garden, hens, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Uncategorized, Woodland

An Irish Ark

Lunaria, Honesty in the permaculture tunnel

Lunaria and Fennel in the tunnel today.

The Latin name Lunaria means “moon-like” and refers to the decorative seed-pods.

It’s warm and dry and great for working outdoors.

Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureThe clothes line is heavy with clothes moving gently in the breeze…a perfect Spring day!

I do not own an electric dryer, or a washing machine.

Washing clothes by hand in Spring water leaves them soft and smelling beautifully.

Buds on the Damson tree in the permaculture gardens

The Damson tree is now in blossom, with a strong prospect of plentiful fruit.

Cherry and Apple trees are almost ready to break blossom!

Euphorbia in a barrel

Euphorbia in a barrel outside the veranda today.

The lime green of the flowers are so joyful at this time of year!

That’s Valerian coming up at the front of the barrel.

Primroses at Bealtaine Cottage

Primroses on the driveway this morning.

I have never seen this many Primroses in bloom across the permaculture gardens.

There has been a huge amount of self-seeding over recent years and, with the absence of livestock, plants have grown and flourished in abundance!

I believe that there are more species of plants in the 3 acres of Bealtaine Cottage than anywhere else in Ireland.

Many of these are indigenous and some even rare!

It will be an interesting study to complete, when cataloguing all the plant life here.

Bealtaine Cottage  badger settBealtaine Cottage is evolving into an Ark of sorts, where many species are protected from livestock, chemicals, pesticides and the urge to dominate Nature!

Looking at the picture above of the Badger sett here in the gardens, Mr and Mrs badger will testify to that!

Hens in the permaculture gardens

The hens are out in the sunshine, just basking on the grass.

They have begun to lay eggs and appear to be quite content.

Bealtaine Cottage entrance to the fairy dell woodland

The Fairy Wood in summer…just about 8 weeks away from Midsummer!

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 85 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

Over 500 blogs from Bealtaine Cottage in the archives here.

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