Category Archives: ARCHIVE

old environmental stories – from the archive

Biofuels: blessing or curse?

In many developed countries food prices have skyrocketed. So much so there’s been riots and demonstrations in a range of countries from Cameroon and Senegal to Haiti, Mexico and Egypt.  One factor is believed to be the increasing use of crops to produce biofuels rather than food.

So is biofuel an important solution to our transport energy needs. Or is it creating problems the world doesn’t need?

To find out more about biofuels and the situation for biofuels in Australia, I spoke with the CSIRO’s biofuels expert Deborah O’Connell. I started by asking where biofuels come from.  Listen to the biofuels interview.

Community supported agriculture: a new way to get your fruit and veg

Ever dreamed of having your own farm? Don’t have the capital, the time or the expertise? Here’s a way for you have a direct connection with a farm and still live in the city.

It’s called ‘community supported agriculture’ and it’s rapidly growing in the U.S. Under the scheme, you pay the CSA farmer up front for a season. Not only do you get a regular box of produce, you can also get involved in the farm, help pick the fruit and vegies, and take your kids out there to show them where their food comes from.

Many of these farms also use organic practices and some biodynamics.

John Peterson has a successful organic CSA farm in the Mid-West of the U.S.. He had quite a ride with his family farm, almost losing the lot before he switched to CSA farming some years ago. John has documented his life and struggles in a great film entitled ‘The Real Dirt on Farmer John’.

I interviewed Farmer John about community supported agriculture when he came out to promote his doco. Listen to the Farmer John interview. You can find out more about the farm and find the film at: http://www.angelicorganics.com/ The film is worth tracking down. Margaret Pomeranz gave it 4 stars.

Howard ignored climate change and lost: election day vox pops

The previous conservative government in Australia may well have been the first in the world to have lost office because it ignored climate change (and refused to sign the Kyoto protocol.)

The day of the election at the end of 2007, I went to a polling both to gauge the mood of the people – for change generally and to check the importance of the environment in their decision making. Listen here to what they had to say: election day vox pops.

The booth was at Sydney’s Bondi Beach in the contentious seat of Wentworth. Wentworth was held by Malcolm Turnbull – who was at that stage Environment Minister.

And now time for an ad break …. (animators get political)

A compacted view of what commerce is doing to the planet.

Actually, I do have a Commerce degree, and I have worked in the corporate world, but this commercial is pretty good and pretty telling.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. If business worked more like nature (in a cyclical instead of linear way), we’d all be better off. Check out the ‘Ecology of Commerce’ by Paul Hawken for more detail on how and why. And there are businesses which are right now learning from nature. Interface Carpets is probably the most well known.

I intend to feature this kind of new entrepreneurship on The Show this year.

Kayaker explains why he paddled from Australia to NZ

James Castrission discusses: why they did it, the highs and lows of the trip, his sea legs, what he and his partner Justin Jones missed most from their old lives, and how they felt about hitting dry land. Why they did it and the highs and lows (Catrission 1)

Castrission speaks by satellite phone in an exclusive interview about the expedition to be the first to cross the Tasman Sea – from Australia to New Zeland with kayaking partner Justin Jones. At the time of the interview, James and Justin were out on the Tasman, 115 kilmetres short of NZ. A few kilometres later, they were to sight Mt Taranaki in New Zealand and paddle non-stop, flat out to reach their goal. This was their last interview in the midst of their journey.

Kayaker tells of 4m shark and “the massive whirlpool”

James Castrission tells of the 4 metre shark that tested if their kayak was food. And the massive whirlpool which forced them to paddle back towards Australia to get out of it and thereby loose 10 days. (In fact the boys paddled an extra 1000km.) Sharks and whirlpool (Castrission 4)

Kayaker speaks about sleep deprivation training, the vast ocean, the next trip and Justin

James Castrission discusses training (including sleep deprivation exercises), his friendship with Justin, their next trip and feeling small in the vast ocean. Sleep deprivation, Justin, the next trip, and the vast ocean (Catrission 2)

Kayaker describes how their use of the net has re-shaped expeditioning

James Castrission discusses how their use of the internet has re-shaped expeditioning, why their expedition has been so professional, their thoughts on Andrew McAuley who a year earlier had disappeared 90km short, the relentless gnawing of the sea on them and their gear, and why their daily washing was so critical. How the internet has re-shaped expeditions (Catrission 3)

Kayaker speaks about food, beer and life after the expedition

James Castrission discusses the “ravenous mind” (food), beer, how he’s changed as a person, the welcome in New Plymouth and life after the expediton. Food, beer, and life after the expedition (Catrission 5)

The Environment Show Blogs On

Welcome to The Environment Show, an environmental podcast and blog.

We’ll do our best to avoid preaching to you about the environment and getting bogged down in the minutae (as the media can often do.) Our aim is to make the environment interesting and accessible, as it should be.

The Show features important current environment issues, interviews with leading campaigners and experts, best practice and solutions to our big environmental challenges, how you can find work in the environment, the best of what the environment can offer in terms of pristine places, reviews of environment films and books, ‘gentle music for gentle people’ and a whats-on guide to events.

Stay tuned. There’s loads more to come. We welcome your feedback and ideas.

Cheers,
Phil.

The Environment Show
‘A show for the real world.’