In California’s drought-stricken community of Lompico, a water shortage forces locals to rethink how they use water. From recycling shower water to piping water in from a neighbouring district, residents take urgent action to keep the town from drying up.

Read about five dramatic ways California is tackling drought:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/05/140508-drought-california-water-shortage-conservation/

Producer & Editor: Kelly Loudenberg
Videographer: Arianna Lapenne

There’s No Tomorrow is a half-hour animated film by Dermot O’Connor dealing with resource depletion, energy, growth and collapse. It is a primer on the energy dilemmas facing the world of the 21st century.

“The issues of energy shortages, resource depletion, topsoil loss, and pollution are all symptoms of a single, larger problem: Growth. As long as our financial system demands endless growth, reform is unlikely to succeed. 

What then, will the future look like? Optimists believe that growth will continue forever, without limits. Pessimists think that we’re heading towards a new Stone Age, or extinction. The truth may lie between these extremes. It is possible that society might fall back to a simpler state, one in which energy use is a lot less. This would mean a harder life for most. More manual labour, more farm work, and local production of goods, food and services.  

What should a person do to prepare for such a possible future? Expect a decrease in supplies of food and goods from far away places. Start walking or cycling. Get used to using less electricity. Get out of debt. Try to avoid banks. Instead of shopping at big box stores, support local businesses. Buy food grown locally, at Farmers’ Markets. Instead of a lawn, consider gardening to grow your own food. Learn how to preserve it. Consider the use of local currencies should the larger economy cease to function,and develop greater self sufficiency. 

None of these steps will prevent Collapse, but they might improve your chances in a low energy future, one in which we will have to be more self reliant, as our ancestors once were.”

More info and full transcript here: http://www.incubatepictures.com/

Featured Image -- 2526
Links

China’s pollution problem, everyone’s problem: Peggy Liu at TED2014

Originally posted on TED Blog:

TED2014_DD_DSC_3362_1920

Peggy Liu. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

“I am so happy to be here, because I can actually breathe the air,” says Peggy Liu, who lives in China, as she steps on the TED2014 stage. Her typical day begins not with checking the time, but by checking the air pollution levels on her phone to determine whether her children will need to wear face masks that day. In Brussels, Belgium, if the air quality index reaches 50, she says, traffic is stopped for the day. But in Shanghai, China, she says, it routinely goes to 500—the end of the scale—and beyond. 

“Pollution crosses borders. China’s problem is everyone’s problem,” says Liu. “What this means for all of us is that the decisions China makes in the next several years are going to affect the world for the next several thousand.”

China is urbanizing at an incredible pace. In 20 years, an estimated 350…

View original 691 more words

Standard

The Right To Save Seed is an animated movie which explains when farmers can resow their seed in Europe. With the help of Magnum, Agata, Dali and Mona Lisa — four varieties of potatoes that really exist — the movie covers different legal situations with humour and a lot of creativity!

For more information : www.open-solutions.info

In this talk, Iwan Baan shows how communities all over the world, manage to adapt to their environment, come up with all sorts of solutions in response to their various needs, and create homes in an organic and intuitive way.

‘Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with many of the great international architects, documenting their work and observing how their designs have the capacity to influence the cities in which they sit. [•••] But what I find really fascinating is what happens when architects and planners leave and these places become appropriated by people…’

‘In all these places I’ve talked about today, what I do find fascinating is that there’s really no such thing as normal, and it proves that people are able to adapt to any kind of situation.’

‘Today, you see these large residential development projects which offer cookie-cutter housing solutions to massive amounts of people. From China to Brazil, these projects attempt to provide as many houses as possible, but they’re completely generic and simply do not work as an answer to the individual needs of the people.’

- Iwan Baan.

“Although we’re not the first ones to find bacteria that can break down phthalates, we were the first ones to look into our local river and find a possible solution to a local problem. We have not only shown that bacteria can be the solution to plastic pollution, but also that being open to uncertain outcomes and taking risks create opportunities for unexpected discoveries.”
- Jeanny Yao

“Einstein once said, ‘You can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking you used when you created them.’ If we’re making plastic synthetically, then we think the solution would be to break them down biochemically.”
- Miranda Wang