About pjrigg

I am a single mother of four children. I am very worried about the world my children will find as they become adults.

Capitalism considered

In 1919,  it was stated in Michigan Supreme court that “a business corporation is organized and carried on primarily for the profit of the stockholders. The powers of the directors are to be employed for that end.” [1] and in 1986, Delaware chancery court similarly opined: “It is the obligation of directors to attempt, within the law, to maximize the long-run interests of the corporation’s stockholders.” Continue reading

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Earth system

earth system

Have you heard this term?

The Earth we live on is a complex system of interacting physical, chemical and biological processes. The Earth system can be understood as a set of interlinking and interacting “spheres”. The atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and geosphere (or lithosphere) form the simplest collection, though some would add the cryosphere as a special element dealing with polar regions and processes, and others would add the anthroposphere emphasizing human dimensions and impact on the planet. [1] This system includes the planet’s many natural cycles (e.g. carbon, water, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, sulphur etc.) that support life. [2] Continue reading

Food and energy

 

organic vs. industrial cropped

The challenge of ensuring future food security is compounded by the ecological and resource threats intertwined with that of peak oil; …. climate change, population growth, projected peaks in other fuel sources (e.g., coal, natural gas, uranium), soil depletion and contamination, water shortages, and urbanization. [1]

petrol & food

Petroleum use in the industrial food system before peak oil.

Continue reading

Biodiversity – overview

Biodiversity is the incredible, dizzying variety of life that surrounds us, including all of the earth’s plants, animals, their habitats, and the natural processes that they are a part of. [1]

The concept includes every species of bacteria, virus, plant, fungi, and animal, as well as the diversity of genetic material within each species. It also encompasses the diverse ecosystems the species make up and the ongoing evolutionary processes that keep them functioning and adapting. [3]                                                                                                                                       biodiversity

The natural world – biodiversity – provides us with food, materials and energy. We eat animals and plants; insects pollinate many of the foods we consume; microbes in the soil provide the nutrients the plants need to grow; vegetation and soil biodiversity reduce flooding and release clean drinking water; vegetation soaks up a substantial proportion of the climate warming carbon dioxide gasses that we emit. The list goes on and on. [2] Continue reading

Thinking about oil

slaves 2

Today’s energy supply is equivalent – in energy terms – to 22 billion slaves working around the clock. We’re living with this enormous stock of slaves working for us – in the form of oil – but by the end of this century, there aren’t any more of them.

That’s a huge change we’re facing, it effects just absolutely every aspect of the modern world. [1] Continue reading

Soil degradation – chemicals

soil degrdation graphs

Types, degree and causes of global land degradation. © 2013 Nature Education

Soil and land degradation is caused by human mismanagement of soils, mostly due to agricultural activities. A report on the global assessment of soil degradation states that ‘the earth’s soils are being washed away, rendered sterile or contaminated with toxic chemicals at a rate that cannot be sustained’  Today almost a quarter of the world’s farmland is affected by serious degradation, up from 15% two decades ago. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) study indicates the world may currently be losing about 1% (50,000 sq kms) of its farmland annually due to a combination of degradation, urban sprawl, mining, recreation, toxic pollution and rising sea levels. [1] Continue reading

The carbon footprint of silicon solar panels

Putting up huge numbers of solar panels every day could help address the world’s energy crisis. ‘If you want to solve big problems, then the scale of whatever you are doing is also likely to be big, and so is any waste you generate,’ explains Frederik Krebs who led a study at the Technical University of Denmark. ‘This should therefore be part of your thinking when you are developing something.’ [1]

solar powerAlmost 90% of the World’s photovoltaics today are based on some variation of silicon. Solar energy is an essential part of the global move toward clean, renewable energy, and it is critical that the growing solar photovoltaic industry is itself truly safe and sustainable. Continue reading