permaculture EPA: Those Bee-Killing Pesticides? They’re Actually Pretty Useless | Mother Jones

EPA: Those Bee-Killing Pesticides? They’re Actually Pretty Useless | Mother Jones

EPA: Those Bee-Killing Pesticides? They’re Actually Pretty Useless —By Tom Philpott Tom Philpott
Food and Ag Correspondent
Tom Philpott is the food and ag correspondent for *Mother Jones*. For more of his stories, click here . To follow him on Twitter, click here . RSS | Twitter
| Sat Oct. 18, 2014 6:00 AM EDT

Was it all for nought? Note: bumblebees, pictured here, have also been shown to be harmed by neonics. KZWW /Shutterstock

So, there’s this widely used class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, marketed by chemical giants Bayer and Syngenta, that have emerged as a prime suspect
in honeybee collapse, and may also be harming birds
and water-borne critters
. But at least they provide benefits to farmers, right?

Well, not soybean farmers, according to a blunt economic assessment released Thursday by the Environmental Protection Agency (PDF
). Conclusion: “There are no clear or consistent economic benefits of neonicotinoid seed treatments in soybeans.”

Wait, what?

The report goes on: “This analysis provides evidence that US soybean growers derive limited to no benefit from neonicotinoid seed treatments in most instances.”

Hmmm. But at least they’re better for farmers than no pesticide at all?

Nope: “Published data indicate that most usage of neonicotinoid seed treatments does not protect soybean yield any better than doing no pest control.”


One poll found that 45 percent of respondents reported finding non-treated seeds “difficult to obtain” or “not available.”

The EPA notes that in recent years, US farmers have been planting on average 76 million acres of soybeans each season. Of those acres, an average 31 percent are planted in seeds treated with neonics—that is, farmers buy treated seeds, which suffuse the soybean plants with the chemical as they grow. So that’s about 24 million acres of neonic-treated seeds—an area equal in size to the state of Indiana
. Why would farmers pay up for a seed treatment that doesn’t do them any good, yet may be doing considerable harm to pollinators and birds? The EPA report has insights: “data from researchers and extension experts … indicate that some growers currently have some difficulty obtaining untreated seed.” The report points to one small poll that found 45 percent of respondents reported finding non-treated seeds “difficult to obtain” or “not available.”

Another reason may be marketing. Syngenta, for example, promotes its “CruiserMaxx”
seed treatment for soybeans, which combines a neonic insecticide with two different fungicides. The pitch: “Promotes better emergence, faster speed to canopy, improved vigor and higher yield potential. Protects against damaging chewing and sucking insect pests. … Increases yield even under low insect pressure.”

Only one US crop is planted more abundantly than soybeans: corn, which typically covers around 90 million acres
. According to Purdue entomologist Christian Krupke, “virtually all” of it is from neonic-treated seeds. That’s a land mass just 10 percent smaller than California
. You have to wonder what bang those farmers are getting for their buck. I have a query into the EPA to see whether it has plans to conduct a similar assessment for corn. Meanwhile, this March 2014 Center for Food Safety research report,
which was reviewed by Krupke and Jonathan Lundgren, a research entomologist at the US Department of Agriculture, found that the bee-killing pesticides offer at best limited benefits to corn farmers, too.

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permaculture Subscribe show your support of the permEzone pilot project Hugh Kelly a premie in Santa Barbara has shepherded this great project for a number of years

Subscribe to show your support of the permEzone pilot project Hugh Kelly a premie in Santa Barbara has shepherded this great project for a number of years

Why Subscribe?
It seems scandalous that so many small family farmers around the world experience poverty and hunger. This is not the natural order!
permEzone aims to support farming communities in co-creating their own local solutions to improve yields, with the focus on achieving better livelihoods without resorting to unsustainable practices that bring short-term benefits at the expense of long-term costs. Problems that typically result from following conventional farming advice include, for example, degraded soil and water resources, and growing debt to meet the escalating costs of expensive inputs.
A credible body of research shows that small farmers can achieve equivalent improvements in yields and livelihoods through agroecological farming methods without incurring these long-term problems. Many thousands of permaculture projects around the world are demonstrating the practical application of systems thinking to the design of sustainable and regenerative food systems. These skills can help to build resilient communities that can survive and prosper despite the shocks of disease, pestilence and adverse climate events. There are permaculture training centers actively teaching these skills all over the world.
The starting point for permEzone is a two-year pilot, which is now in the initiation phase. During this pilot we will develop the means to facilitate the sharing of information and experience about regenerative farming – ways to grow abundant food crops while improving biodiversity and the health of natural resources. The pilot will work with the existing network of permaculture training centers to test and develop the idea of sponsoring and supporting family farmers in less-developed countries to learn about the design of sustainable and regenerative food systems. The sponsored farmers will also learn how to share knowledge and experience with other members of their community through workshops and using their mobile phones.
The evidence of wide-scale land degradation and freshwater depletion and pollution all over the world, which is mostly associated with the adoption of intensive monoculture farming, tells us that changing the way we grow food is one of the fundamental imperatives of our time. To meet the challenge of feeding current and future generations without further destroying biodiversity, we need to re-evaluate our relationship to the natural world. Permaculture is one way of doing this, of moving away from agriculture as a war on nature, towards farming that learns from nature and integrates with and regenerates complex ecosystems.
As with so many of the complex and interconnected problems associated with the breaching of planetary boundaries, it has become abundantly clear that grassroots action is the only effective option available to slow down and reverse the steady degradation of these natural resources; resources that current and future generations will depend on.
Please help us to build the momentum to turn permEzone into a reality. Let us know that you are out there offering your support to our efforts to take action on these urgent issues. Let us know you are with us by pressing the subscribe button now.

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permaculture Intro Learn (“IntroLearn was built with the goal of providing a hub for all the best free educational resources”)


IntroLearn was built with the goal of providing a hub for all the best free educational resources. We manually curate lists for a large number of topics, realizing that the human mind is still better at evaluating the quality of a resource than a search algorithm. We make use of crowdsourcing sites to find out which resources users find most effective in helping them learn and also manually review each resource we place on the site. Whether you want to learn a new programming language, need help with your calculus homework, or want to learn what philosophers throughout the ages have said about the meaning of life, here at IntroLearn you will find the best resources to satisfy your educational needs.

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permaculture Nov 9 FILM Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields with documentary filmmaker Dulanie Ellis Santa Barbara

Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields
with documentary filmmaker Dulanie Ellis

Sunday, November 9, 2014
Santa Barbara Central Library, Faulkner Gallery
$10 Suggested Donation

America Needs A Million New Farmers, Veterans Want the Job!

Joined by filmmaker Dulanie Ellis, in honor of the Veteran’s Day holiday, Santa Barbara Permaculture Network hosts a film showing of “Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields, a inspiring documentary describing a national movement to connect veterans to agriculture.

In a world full of problems, Ground Operations is a story about solutions. The transition from combat to civilian life is a challenge for many veterans. But farming provides not only employment but physical respite and a means for therapeutic recovery. As the U.S. is losing farmers to retirement and the USDA is calling for one million new farmers to fill the gap, can agriculture’s problem become our veterans’ solution?

Farming and ranching offer a place to de-escalate from war. Ground Operations champions a growing number of veterans who are reclaiming their lives with new careers in sustainable agriculture.

Sharing why they joined the military, how the war experienced changed them, what the daunting return to civilian life has been, how they struggled to find a positive pathway forward and ultimately, when they found sustainable agriculture to be an answer to a dream. Their stories are as inspiring as they are pragmatic as they find their next mission, food security for America.

Following the film, there will be a discussion about the role veterans can play as farmers, ranchers and artisan food producers. Please join us!

~In honor of the Veterans Day holiday, all donations will go to the Ground Operations Campaign~

The event takes place on Sunday, November 9, 7-9pm, at the downtown Santa Barbara Central Library, Faulkner Gallery,40 E. Anapamu St, 93101. Donation $10, no reservations required. More info:,, 805-962-2571.

Hosted by: Santa Barbara Permaculture Network

Co-sponsors: Santa Barbara Food Alliance, SB Independent, Fund for Santa Barbara, Edible Santa Barbara Magazine, Isla Vista Food Coop, Hopedance Media, SOL Food Festival, Sojourner Cafe, Santa Barbara, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County and Slow Money Santa Barbara

More Info:

Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields is a social action campaign featuring a Documentary Film, a companion E-Book, and a National Tour, with a goal to strengthen the veterans-in-agriculture network and increase their resources, so that they can create healthy new lives for themselves and sustainable food security for us all. Learn more: Film Trailer on You Tube:

Homegrown by Heroes Brand:
Homegrown by Heroes is the USDA certification for agricultural operations owned by veterans:

The Farm Bureau Resource Guide to Assist Veterans in Agriculture

Farmer Veteran Coalition Facebook & Website


(805) 962-2571
P.O. Box 92156, Santa Barbara, CA 93190

P Please consider the environment before printing this email

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permaculture Free downloads in 9 languages Essence of Permaculture by David Holmgren co-originator of Permaculture

Free downloads in 9 languages
Essence of Permaculture by David Holmgren co-originator of Permaculture

A summary of permaculture concept and principles taken from Permaculture Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability by David Holmgren.
It contains an introduction to permaculture, thoughts about the future of the movement and the values and use of the permaculture principles. A great way to expand your knowledge in preparation for the full length book. This PDF eBook contains interactivity that is best viewed using Adobe Reader. Available in the following languages – free to download and share. English: Essence of Permaculture
Spanish / Español: La Esencia de la Permacultura
Brazilian Portuguese / Português (Brasil): Os Fundamentos da Permacultura Hebrew / תמצית הפרמקלצ’ר : עברית
French / Française: L’essence de la Permaculture
Italian / Italiana: Essenza della Permacultura
Hungarian / Magyar: A Permakultúra Lényege
German / Deutsche: Das Wesen der Permakultur
Russian / Русская: Сущность пермакультуры
Please contact us if you can help translate the Essence of Permaculture into a language not listed here.
Essence of Permaculture – ePub versionThe ePub version of the Essence of Permaculture is in full colour with added functionality is best suited to mobile electronic reading devices like Android tablets, the iPad and even smartphones. This file can also be viewed on your computer using free readers such as Adobe’s Digital Editions. It is available at minimal cost from our shop or iTunes.

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permaculture can you think of a front-line activist in need of respite?

(sorry for cross-posting)

hi all,
maybe you can think of someone that you want to propose for an “oak human rights fellowship” at colby college in maine /

it is designed for experienced, hands-on, front-line human rights activists who need a break and some time to think about their action and to have the opportunity to discuss it with others. this year’s topic is food sovereignty and human rights.

the fellowship takes place from mid-august to mid-december 2015 and provides a stipend of USD 33,000, plus transportation, housing, health care coverage. the fellow is encouraged to bring his/her family along.

i attached the invitation letter for more information, and you can find out more here, too:

the deadline for nominations is november 1, 2014.

you can find the invitation in the attachement!


Oak Human Rights Fellowship 2015.pdf

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permaculture eu-pc-network Re: Invisible Structures

Thanks Nenad…great response and many people will have similar views to Rob Hopkins and most of his cling ons. Which in reality when you analyse their comments really does expose the reality of the greater percentage of this world. Ignorant members of mediocraty and sheepocracy. They probably all believe tax is a subject that needs to be supported. More naivety I’m afraid. Tax is voluntary. Nowhere in the world is there such a law that says one has to pay tax. The rich elite certainly do not. Rob I’m afraid really does expose his ignorance naivety and hypocrisy. It is long overdue time to wake up. There is considerable material on both the core topics in the movie out there. Perhaps Hopkins should have done some research of his own “one must make conscious decisions and investigate by himself?” Obviously he has not. . They are subjects that may well stimulate the type of reaction we see in his blog. I fortunately have been researching these topics and similar associated for over 30 years and had first had experience as well. So what I have been saying recently is that its long passed time for us to wake up to what is going on. Take our head out of the sand and start realising how to build models to evolve into a more sane future that could possibly be better guaranteed. This is why I am generating the whole subject discussion on Invisible Structures and for there to be an Advanced PDC on the subject. Maybe I’ll get around to it one day.

Steve Hart

On 12 October 2014 10:20, Nenad Maljković wrote:

> Steve,
> I’ve seen that movie back in 2012 and I keep getting questions about it on > our courses, mostly about “free energy”. I reply to those questions with > some points that particularly make sense to me from:
> – Rob Hopkins:
> >
> – Charles Eisenstein:
> >
> On Saturday, 11 October 2014 20:02:19 UTC+2, stevenlawrencehart wrote: >>
>> This could be a good “introduction” movie to where we should be at when >> we teach the Invisible Structures component in our PDCs
>> –
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups > “europeanpermaculturenetwork” group.
> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an > email to > To post to this group, send email to
> To view this discussion on the web, visit
> > .
> For more options, visit >

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