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Daily Digest 4/30 - Russia's Nuclear Nightmare, Advanced Economies Must Still Make Things

Chris Martenson - 4 hours 22 min ago
  • Advanced Economies Must Still Make Things
  • A New Option For Gold Buillion
  • Scandal-plagued Rome is becoming a 'do it yourself' city
  • Jim Bianco Warns "The Risk Of An 'Accident' Is Very High"
  • New discovery means more U.S. states will face a risk from Zika
  • South Florida's Tourist Season From Hell
  • Russia’s nuclear nightmare flows down radioactive river
  • Scientists say there’s basically no way the Great Barrier Reef was bleached naturally

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Categories: Economics

Why We're So Unhealthy

Chris Martenson - April 29, 2016 - 16:31

I was fortunate to attend a permaculture conference, 'Better Soil, Better Food...A Better World' at Tara Firma Farms in Petaluma, California this past weekend that Adam Taggart (co-founder of Peak Prosperity) was responsible for producing. Joel Salatin (author of nine books, including Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal: War Stories from the Local Food Front and head farmer at Polyface Farms, Virginia), Paul Kaiser (Singing Frogs Farm, Sonoma, California), Toby Hemenway (author of Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, 2nd Edition), and Robb Wolf (author of The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet) were on hand to explain the connections between the way our food is grown, processed and distributed and our ill-health.

Though these connections are common sense—we all know about garbage in, garbage out—the linkage between our extractive, monoculture agriculture and all the other subsystems of food and health remains opaque to most Americans.

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Categories: Economics

Take Control: If You Don't, Who Will?

Chris Martenson - April 29, 2016 - 16:31
Executive Summary
  • We know how to farm regeneratively, not extractively, today. We just need to choose to do so.
  • Learning from the recent summit with Joel Salatin, Toby Hemenway & Singing Frogs Farm
  • The 3 most important components underlying our future health
  • What you can do to take control of your health in ways that will enhance your quality of life

If you have not yet read Why We're So Unhealthy, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we examined the structure of our self-organizing centralized food/illness/healthcare system. In Part 2, we look at what we can do to foster a better, healthier and ultimately much more affordable alternative system.

Permaculture and Regenerative Agriculture/Horticulture

I have to start by thanking Peak Prosperity’s Adam Taggart for organizing the permaculture conference we attended, Better Soil, Better Food...A Better World. As a long-time gardener, I learned some things that I can apply to my own postage-stamp urban garden (for example, never leave soil bare—plant seedlings immediately after harvesting the current crop of veggies).

I also learned about the perniciously destructive nature of our system of growing, processing, distributing and consuming food.  As noted in Part 1, the only possible result of our unhealthy food/illness/health system is ill-health.

The best way to become healthy is to opt out of the entire system. Removing oneself from one subsystem is a good start but insufficient, due to the interconnected nature of the system. Eliminating fast food, for example, is a good start, but the vast majority of packaged and convenience foods are made with the same ingredients as fast food.

This is difficult to do by design. As Joel Salatin explains...

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Categories: Economics

Urban Farming in Syria Saves Lives During Sieges

Shareable Magazine - April 29, 2016 - 06:17

Urban gardening initiative in Syria keeps people from starving during constant siege; food sovereignty allows people to resist domination by surviving the blockades, but not the bombings.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 4/29 - Good News Friday: Philly Encourages 'Vertical Farming,' Bringing Back 'Monotasking'

Chris Martenson - April 29, 2016 - 05:44
  • Monotasking Gets A Makeover
  • Living Simply With A Flip Phone
  • ‘Sound of silence’ from anti-gunners after highly publicized self-defense shooting
  • Man Goes From Being Homeless to a Homeowner by Selling Newspapers
  • Colorado Weighs Replacing Obama’s Health Policy With Universal Coverage
  • In Proof We Trust
  • Ecocapsule: A Tiny Solar-and-Wind-Powered Mobile Home
  • City Council encourages 'vertical farming' 

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Categories: Economics

Portland Fast Food Workers Don’t Just Want a Raise—They Want a Union Too

Employees at Burgerville, a Pacific Northwest restaurant chain, are unionizing and demanding benefits. Even without their employer’s recognition, their union offers an alternative model for organizing low-wage workers.
Categories: Economics

What’s a Carbon Farmer? How California Ranchers Use Dirt to Tackle Climate Change

Scientists believe that simple land management techniques can increase the rate at which carbon is absorbed from the atmosphere and stored in soils.
Categories: Economics

10 Ways to Make Fire Without Matches

Chris Martenson - April 28, 2016 - 13:24

As we look at preparing for uncertain times, we seek to have the resources on hand to weather the storm and be more resilient in our daily lives.  We store water and put food away for shortages or emergency situations.  We make sure we can communicate with family, friends, and loved ones.  We are all working on building resilience our own ways and learning from each other. 

Knowledge and skills acquisition is a topic that resonates greatly with the Peak Prosperity community. In this article we will explore a critical skill to learn and practice that can help you in really tough times or emergency situations – the skill of making fire.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 4/28 - The Market’s Mirage of Higher Wages, Is Radiation As Bad As We Thought?

Chris Martenson - April 28, 2016 - 08:55
  • Spy planes catching property tax cheats in Spain with possible Brexit looming 
  • A Commonwealth In Crisis
  • The Market’s Mirage of Higher Wages
  • Smoke And Mirrors: False Dilemmas In Monetary Policy
  • Why Real Reform Is Now Impossible
  • Your Pay Is About To Go Up
  • Beware Of Basic Income 
  • 50% Of Proved Oil Reserves May Have Just Vanished
  • Another Farm Under Siege: Animal Rights and The War Against the Farmers
  • The Chernobyl Conundrum: Is Radiation As Bad As We Thought?
  • Whether or Not He Wins, Bernie Sanders Has Already Changed the Climate Debate 

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Categories: Economics

Automating Ourselves To Unemployment

Chris Martenson - April 27, 2016 - 18:39

In this current era of central planning, malincentives abound. We raced to frack as fast we could for the quick money, while leaving behind a wake of environmental destruction and creating a supply glut that has killed the economics of shale oil. Our stock exchanges sell unfairly-fast price feeds for great sums to elite Wall Street high-frequency-trading firms, and as a result have destroyed investor trust in our financial markets.  The Federal Reserve keeps interest rates historically low to encourage banks to lend money out, yet instead the banks simply lever up to buy Treasurys thereby pocketing vast amounts of riskless free profit. The list goes on and on.

One particular malincentive has been catching my attention recently, one that feels especially pernicious because it does not seem easily reversible, if at all. For US employers both large and small, it's becoming increasingly less appealing to employ human labor. 

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Categories: Economics

Interviewed: Renato Galliano of Milan's Sharing City Project

Shareable Magazine - April 27, 2016 - 09:27

Milan, Italy is home to Milan Sharing City, a municipal program dedicated to supporting sharing enterprises and practices. Photo by: Mariano Mantel / Flickr. Interview by Monica Bernardi and Christian Iaione.

Categories: Economics

California Bill Would Make Investing in Local Businesses Easier

Shareable Magazine - April 27, 2016 - 09:10

If you want to invest in a publicly traded company, you simply purchase securities in the company. But if you want to invest in the organic farm down the road, or a new renewable energy startup in your town, it’s not that easy.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 4/27 - Retail Layoffs Could Top 2010, Venezuela Power Rationing Hits

Chris Martenson - April 27, 2016 - 07:35
  • Fridges Go Off As Venezuela Power-Rationing Hits
  • Facing Revenue Shortfalls, Kansas May Delay Pension Funding
  • Gov’t takes on failing shippers and shipbuilders
  • Retail layoffs in 2016 could be highest since 2010
  • The Collapse of BHS is a Warning for the U.K’s Faltering Pension Schemes
  • China May Loosen Bad-Loan Provision Rules, Bank Chairman Says
  • UBS Says Hong Kong Traders Should Be Worried Amid China Defaults
  • The $7 Trillion Market Flood of Negative Yield Debt
  • South Korea first-quarter GDP slows on weak capex, exports
  • S.Korea's president says quantitative easing should be considered

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Categories: Economics

What Small Farms Need to Compete With Corporate Food

Most small farms have to follow the same rules as big corporate ones. In Maine, flexible food ordinances have increased the number of small farmers.
Categories: Economics

The Pragmatic Impacts of Sanders’ Big Dreams

Even with Tuesday’s campaign setbacks, Bernie Sanders’ pledge to make the country more equitable and sustainable is more realistic than some people are letting on.
Categories: Economics

Destinations Makers Use Sustainable Tourism to Revive Neglected Italian Cities

Shareable Magazine - April 26, 2016 - 09:15

Southern Italy's per capita GDP is 45.8 percent lower than Northern Italy's. Despite this alarming statistic, many Southern Italians believe that the unique beauty and overlooked potential of their country could sustain them financially through tourism alone.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 4/26 - The Death Of Encryption, Spain Sees Fifth Month Of No Government

Chris Martenson - April 26, 2016 - 09:00
  • COMEX Default Is Coming Soon: Bill Holter
  • TTIP trade pact: Obama pushes deal on Germany visit
  • Dramatic decline in German and US support for TTIP: survey
  • The Death of Encryption
  • 7 Must-See Commodities Charts
  • Discord Pushes Spain Into Fifth Month With No Government 
  • Weakened Saudi Arabia Could See Social Unrest After Economic Shakeup
  • Solar Impulse completes long-delayed flight across the Pacific

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Categories: Economics

Platform Cooperativism: A Global Movement on the Rise

Shareable Magazine - April 26, 2016 - 08:09

Last November, the Platform Cooperativism conference -- a coming out party for the cooperative Internet -- took place in New York City, initiated by Nathan Schneider and Trebor Scholz. Last month, the first #PlatformCoopBerlin meetup followed in Berlin with Michel Bauwens as the keynote speaker. The small venue was packed. More than 50 people attended instead of the 30 that RSVP'd.

Categories: Economics

Open-Source, DIY Machine Recycles Household Plastic Into New Products

Shareable Magazine - April 26, 2016 - 07:25

Plastic has been described as a lot of things, but precious? That’s a new one. However, one team in the Netherlands is working to change how we view plastic, taking it from a waste product that is clogging up our oceans, landfills and animals, and reframing it as a valuable resource.

Precious Plastic brings plastic recycling down to the household level by putting recycling tools into the hands of everyday people rather than just industry giants. As the website states, you can create "your own little plastic recycling workshop."

Categories: Economics

How a Worker-Owned Tech Startup Found Investors—and Kept Its Values

As cooperative culture spreads into the tech world, Loomio is part of a new wave of entrepreneurs figuring out how to finance a more democratic, values-centered online economy.
Categories: Economics