quinta-feira, 26 de junho de 2008

Trocas na Horta - 28 de Junho

No próximo sábado 28 de Junho a Horta popular da Graça, na Calçada do Monte, anima com mais um evento em prol da comunidade. Foram convidados os representantes de redes de troca como o Trocal, Banco do Tempo e Banco Comum de Conhecimentos, para depois do piquenique conversarmos sobre sistemas de troca e a capacitação dos cidadãos como possíveis soluções para a falência dos nossos actuais sistemas socio-económicos.

Trocos e trocados das 16 às 20 horas seguido de jantar popular e música no Centro Social da Mouraria.

Relembro que no mesmo dia decorre mais uma Maratona fotográfica de Alfama!

quarta-feira, 18 de junho de 2008

Bush Acknowledges Existence Of Carbon Dioxide

Não resisto.. uma das funções básicas do corpo humano é de rir, cá vai uma achega do 'The Onion', o jornal da comunidade americana de culture jammers. É de Dezembro 2007, mas não perdeu a graça.

Um excerto:

WASHINGTON—In an unexpected reversal that environmentalists and scientists worldwide are calling groundbreaking, President George W. Bush, for the first time in his political career, openly admitted to the existence of carbon dioxide following the release of the new U.N. Global Environment Outlook this October.

"Carbon dioxide, a molecule which contains one atom of carbon bonded with two atoms of oxygen, is a naturally occurring colorless gas exhaled by humans and metabolized, in turn, by plants," Bush told a stunned White House press corps. "As a leading industrialized nation, we can no longer afford to ignore the growing consensus of so many experts whose job it is to study our atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is real." (..)


sexta-feira, 6 de junho de 2008

Collapse 202

Neste artigo (dica José Sousa) o Gonzalo Oviedo do IUCN explica numa linguagem muito clara porque é que a solução para a crise alimentar tem que passar pela mudança radical do modelo de governância das nossas terras agrícolas, zonas de pesca e sobretudo a nossa biodiversidade. Temos que desautorizar a pequena elite que controla a cadeia alimentar e devolver a gestão dos recursos comuns à maioria. 
O mundo só pode reconhecer que a industrialização e globalização da agricultura e da pesca e a chamada "Revolução Verde" para África foram um desastre para o planeta, destruindo 60% dos nossos ecossistemas e reduzindo a biodiversidade para além do regenerável. Três quartos da diversidade genética das culturas agrícolas já desapareceu, substituída por uns meros quatro espécies de plantas que constituem 50% da nossa dieta vegetal actual. 

Já vamos muito tarde. Mas isso não justifica fazer mais do mesmo. Parece-me de bom senso, antes de planear qualquer intervenção humana na natureza, de olhar para a estrutura ecológica onde esta intervenção se vai inserir. É a estrutura ecológica que deve ditar as regras e não o contrário, como as evidências de todas as nossas asneiras nos mostram, todos os dias. Não brinquem com a natureza. Observem as suas regras e usem-nas a nosso favor.  

terça-feira, 3 de junho de 2008

Feed thyself

The FAO Conference on World Food Security opened today in Rome. With few exceptions, most participants will rehash the fallacious arguments of Killer Biofuels, Luxurious Meateating in China and India, Poorer Harvests due to Climate Change (or simply Bad Weather) and Too Many Mouths to Feed. You and I know that biofuels, although truly a threat, actually only represented 5% of grain production last year (1), meat production, which yes, is a serious grain gobbler, increased 3% (2) while last year was an absolute record for grain production, up 5% at 2.1 bn tonnes (3), enough to feed the world almost twice over if rationally distributed (4).

The men and women that pull the strings in agribusiness and their institutional allies at the World Bank, IMF and WTO want to hypnotise us into solving the food crisis with the same means that caused them – heavily industrialised, monopolised and monocultural agriculture that is highly dependent on petrol and patents and liberalised trade and investment that has transformed food producing countries into food importing countries and took away land and markets from smallholder farmers. They’ll ask us to throw some more money at feeding the weakest of all (a typical neoliberal tactic to assuage guilt) without ever tackling the fundamental issues of our long lost food sovereignty.

The way out of the food crisis is in the opposite direction. It is to wrench food production and distribution from the greedy hands of agribusiness and speculators and hand it to those who respect the land, its fruit and its people. The way out is to say no to more trade liberalisation, more fertilisers, more GMO and more debt. It is to stop the land grabbing, dismantle food speculation, dismantle the food cartels, abolish seed patents and let farmers take care of the land again, in the name of food security, our tired soils and our long-suffering, contaminated biodiversity.

Even if you can't or don't want to lobby against the giants, there's a lot you can do to change our perverse model of food production and distribution. You can start by eliminating processed foods, going back to preparing food the way our grandparents did. You can found a cooperative and buy directly from farmers or fair trade. You can decrease your meat consumption. Best of all you could become a producer. Instead of grabbing a burger, grab a spade and start on that vegetable garden.

GRAIN July issue preview: Getting out of the food crisis

(1) FAO, April 2008
(2) World Watch Institute
(3) FAO, April 2008
(4) How we could feed the world

We are what we share... but should we share with billion dollar companies?

I deactivated (which doesn't mean delete, see '2504 steps to closing your Facebook account') my (largely unused) Facebook account and deleted all cookies on my browser. I also changed all my passwords. I'm looking into setting up my own site on a server I can reasonably trust and hook it up with an email address so I can get out of Google's clammy embrace. Finally I will carefully monitor the sites I'm registered at and make sure any info I share is not too sensitive. Despite my efforts a number of large companies, governmental organistions (guess who) and anonymous data hackers very probably have a lot more information on me than I can imagine. With data mining programs getting more powerful, Bush still in office, privacy issues being brushed off as anti-progressive and most users still happily accepting the unbelievable terms of service drawn up by the social networking giants, it's very easy to compile a profile on anyone who spends more than average time on the Internet. Do you know Google doesn't even have an email address you can complain to? You have to join a forum and get other users to help you! Facebook controls every bloody step you take, giving you wise advice at every corner ('you want to deactivate your account because it's not useful? try using some more of our features and get some more friends..'!!).

In Wired words: 'If we want an open social web, we're going to have to build it ourselves, using technologies that no one company controls.'
You decide (or maybe not):