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I'm making a video series. I would appreciate some thoughts.  RSS feed

 
Caleb Skinns
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Location: Calgary Alberta, Canada
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I'm making a video series for people who might have just learned about permaculture and want to learn more about it.

This one is about why sustainability won't work. When I'm speaking about "sustainability", I'm talking about people buying "eco-friendly" products to save the planet.


This one is about ways to heal the planet and sequester carbon.


And this one is about how much the planet would benefit if we focused on greening the deserts.


I'm very new to speaking on camera, so I'm learning as I go. It may not seem like it, but about 4 hours of research and organization of thoughts goes into each video.

If you would like to offer any help or any constructive criticisms, I would appreciate it. What would make it more interesting?

My plan is to make a series that people can learn a basic understanding about permaculture.

Here are some topics I plan on covering. If you have any thoughts for further topics that I should cover or the order of them, please let me know.

Topics:

Sustainability
What does it mean?
Product
Harvest
Processing
Manufacturing
Practice
Monitarily

Fixing the Damage
Global Warming and Carbon Sequestration
Biggest carbon sequestors

Green Building

Monoculture
Big Scale
Small Scale

Climate
Micro-Climate

Soil
Water
Rain
Harvesting
Swales
Ponds

Biomass
Decay

Roots

Minerals

Guilds/Companion Planting
Perennials
Annuals
native plants

Polyculture
Definition
Layers of a food forest
Animals
Insects
Beneficial
Predatorial
Pest
Birds
Beneficial
Predatorial
Pest
Land Animals
Beneficial
Predatorial
Pest

How one can incorporate natural patterns into design elements


Edit: Bad copy and paste
 
Dale Hodgins
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Hi Cal, I will watch for your videos. I think you could improve your stage presence by mounting your notes behind the camera, so that you're not looking down all of the time. Sometimes presenters get screen glow on their faces when a computer screen is too close.

I would avoid talk of bottled water since the little bit that this represents is not worthy of discussion. I have a little stream three feet wide that runs at 53 acre feet per day during winter rains. Nestle is bottling 217 acre feet per year. My little ditch could supply their needs in 4 days. My stream could supply all of the water bottled for all of these companies you speak of. It's such a small drop in the bucket of our hydrological cycle that I don't think it helps your cause. Maude Barlow spread plenty of fear on this issue years ago, but I never once heard her express anything as a percentage of annual rainfall. It's some very tiny fraction of 1%. Much better to focus on the wasted fuel from water transport or on huge irrigation projects which piss through thousands of times more water.

Choosing a river close to you, I've gone with the Columbia river. The river’s annual discharge rate fluctuates with precipitation and ranges from 120,000 cfs in a low water year to 260,000 cubic feet per second in a high water year. Let's go with 200,000 cfs and say that's an average flow.

200,000 x 60 = 12 million gallons per minute of river flow ---- 12 million x 28= 336 million liters per minute. The company bottles 265 million liters per year. The total water bottled by Nestle in Canada each year is less than the equivalent of one minute of flow in the Columbia river. To me, that topic is dead. The number sounds big but it's not. My little culvert under my road delivers probably 20 times more water than they use each year to the ocean, where it is lost to agriculture until the next rainy season. I'm not wrong about these numbers. Here's a picture of my 5 ft. culvert that runs half full during winter rains. The last 2 are of the stream near the end of the rainy season.

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Jennifer Wadsworth
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Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Hi Cal:

Just watched your "Greening the Desert" video - thanks for putting it together!

First of all, love the idea of doing a bunch of videos on basic permaculture principles. More materials going mainstream are always good.

With regard to the video presentation (and again - I only watched the greening the desert vid) - I would say you need the following for more impact:
--images of greening the desert projects (there are probably a couple dozen that come easily to mind)
--simplify the math (I'm a number nerd too and people's eyes glaze over when you deal too specifically with very specific large numbers. Try rounding). You can always publish a go-along pdf that has the hardcore math in it and people can choose to read it or not.
--you need some kind of diagram to show where deserts are, types of deserts, etc. As you noted, not all deserts are equal.
--a really great point you had is that it is not possible to green ALL deserts (some being above the tree line!)
--another point that I have to look into further myself is if those carbon numbers really hold true across all tree types. Here in the hot desert where I am there are not really any native broadleaf trees. Native trees have certain ways of dealing with harsh "hot desert" conditions and I wonder if they sequester carbon at the same rate as broadleaf trees. Also, hot desert trees are typically much smaller than trees in other areas - more like large bushes - most topping out at under 40 ft.
--then there's how to water the trees. One always has to understand where water is going to come from in order to get these trees through the establishment phase (usually about 2 yrs). This is why all sorts of water harvesting from the macro to the micro are beneficial and are needed support systems for regreening efforts.
--for broad scale reclamation of desert into more productive systems, one might also have to look at imprinting, either by machine or by holistic range management or perhaps keyline plowing
--there is also the school of thought that deserts actually perform a useful function in that they are part of the albedo effect, reflecting the sun's rays back into the atmosphere (which is what the ice caps do as well). With the loss of polar ice as a reflector, some argue, increased desertification is filling that niche. There's evidence against this theory too.

Overall - you have a very pleasant speaking voice, you seem knowledgeable and sincere - all great things. You just need some more visuals that illustrate some very clear learning objectives supported by facts that have been distilled for clarity. (forgive me - it's the instructional designer and systems analyst in me!)

Keep on putting these out there - I really do think you're on to something!

Best regards,
Jen in Phoenix (regreening my own desert!)

 
allen lumley
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Calab : I would say you are off to a real good start, I will follow you with interest, as will others ! For the good of the Crafts !
 
Caleb Skinns
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Dale Hodgins wrote:Hi Cal, I will watch for your videos. I think you could improve your stage presence by mounting your notes behind the camera, so that you're not looking down all of the time. Sometimes presenters get screen glow on their faces when a computer screen is too close.


Thanks for watching. I agree with you about the notes. I try to put them on my monitor right under my camera, but you can still see my eyes moving down. I'm thinking about building a teleprompter to make that a bit better.

Dale Hodgins wrote:I would avoid talk of bottled water since the little bit that this represents is not worthy of discussion.


I was thinking about the movie Flow when I was speaking about this, but the documentary speaks more about the impact on the people. In actuality, I'm trying to keep the videos positive and have more coverage of solutions than problems. Thanks for the math though, I hadn't thought about it that way.

Dale Hodgins wrote:Choosing a river close to you, I've gone with the Columbia river.


I used to live by this river which Cominco (a zinc and lead smelting plant) dumps into. Thank goodness they don't bottle water from that.

Dale Hodgins wrote:Copyright You are using many images that were created by others. You need to get permission to use them.


I could be wrong, but under fair use considering I'm more using the images as commentary, I don't think copyright counts in this instance. I don't mind asking permission though. I'd rather not have bad blood with people if they think I'm using them unfairly.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.
 
Caleb Skinns
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Location: Calgary Alberta, Canada
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Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:Hi Caleb:

Just watched your "Greening the Desert" video - thanks for putting it together!

First of all, love the idea of doing a bunch of videos on basic permaculture principles. More materials going mainstream is always good.


Thanks for watching.


Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:With regard to the video presentation (and again - I only watched the greening the desert vid) - I would say you need the following for more impact:
--images of greening the desert projects (there are probably a couple dozen that come easily to mind)


Agreed. I highly doubt this will be my last video on greening the desert. It's by far the most inspirational thing to me.

Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:
--simplify the math (I'm a number nerd too and people's eyes glaze over when you deal too specifically with very specific large numbers. Try rounding). You can always publish a go-along pdf that has the hardcore math in it and people can choose to read it or not.


Spot on. My SO was watching the video last night while I was in the room and it was a bit agonizing actually to hear myself fumble through the numbers.

Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:--you need some kind of diagram to show where deserts are, types of deserts, etc. As you noted, not all deserts are equal.


Good point.

Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:--another point that I have to look into further myself is if those carbon numbers really hold true across all tree types. Here in the hot desert where I am there are not really any native broadleaf trees. Native trees have certain ways of dealing with harsh "hot desert" conditions and I wonder if they sequester carbon at the same rate as broadleaf trees. Also, hot desert trees are typically much smaller than trees in other areas - more like large bushes - most topping out at under 40 ft.


This is a really good point. Purely out of curiosity, do you think that the climate could change in a desert if there were enough trees so that more rain would fall? I'm thinking the trees would have an impact on the climate because the ground is holding more water and allowing the temperature to lower, the trees offer shade and temperature variations and they also transpire, putting more moisture into the air.

Then my thought is that it would be possible to change the climate of a desert to something more tropical or temperate. Of course this would take years to accomplish and a major scale effort.

Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:--then there's how to water the trees. One always has to understand where water is going to come from in order to get these trees through the establishment phase (usually about 2 yrs). This is why all sorts of water harvesting from the macro to the micro are beneficial and are needed support systems for regreening efforts.


Very true. That would be a great topic for a video.

Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:--for broad scale reclamation of desert into more productive systems, one might also have to look at imprinting, either by machine or by holistic range management or perhaps keyline plowing


This is the first time I've seen imprinting! That is so cool! It looks like a mechanized method of Yacouba Sawadogo's methods of digging holes to collect water and spreading seeds inside them. Very cool.

Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:--there is also the school of thought that deserts actually perform a useful function in that they are part of the albedo effect, reflecting the sun's rays back into the atmosphere (which is what the ice caps do as well). With the loss of polar ice as a reflector, some argue, increased desertification is filling that niche. There's evidence against this theory too.


I hadn't thought about this. I just can't believe though that if we were to sequester the carbon we're emitting that it would help cool the planet more than relying on a sterile environment to reflect the uv rays back out of the atmosphere because where does it end otherwise?

I'm not an earth scientist though so I could be completely wrong.

Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:Overall - you have a very pleasant speaking voice, you seem knowledgeable and sincere - all great things. You just need some more visuals that illustrate some very clear learning objectives supported by facts that have been distilled for clarity. (forgive me - it's the instructional designer and systems analyst in me!)


Don't be sorry. I really appreciate that you would help me out with your comments. For a visual aid, do you think a whiteboard would be a good idea, or are you thinking something more like I have in this or this video?

Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:Keep on putting these out there - I really do think you're on to something!

Best regards,
Jen in Phoenix (regreening my own desert!)



Thanks so much for taking the time to put so much thought into your comments.
 
Caleb Skinns
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allen lumley wrote:Calab : I would say you are off to a real good start, I will follow you with interest, as will others ! For the good of the Crafts !


Thanks a lot. I'm really glad you're interested.
 
Dale Hodgins
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The fair use thing can disappear once you start getting paid for YouTube content. If there's no money in it, I doubt that most will mind. Paul often allows people to use his stuff so long as he is properly credited as the creator and it is linked back to the original. Perhaps someone who is more in the loop than I, could link to Paul's policy on this. His might be a good guide to use when talking to other content owners about using their stuff.

If you reach a point where you are selling your services either as a consultant or as a teacher, copyright may apply since everything you post could be considered part of your business advertising.
 
Burra Maluca
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Dale Hodgins wrote: Perhaps someone could link to Paul's policy on this. His might be a good guide to use when talking to other content owners about using their stuff.
.


I think this is the thread in question - Use of My Stuff
 
Dale Hodgins
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Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
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bee bike books duck forest garden greening the desert solar trees wofati
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I knew that Dale. I have long ears. And you're welcome.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Cal - I'm with you on the Greening the Desert videos by Lawton being so inspirational. I'll actually be attending his internship there in Oct/Nov 2014 with another classmate of mine from Geoff's online PDC (she is coming from Australia). A couple of others might join us. If you have a PDC under your belt, you should consider joining us there!

Thank you for your own thoughtful comments below.

Cal Skins wrote:This is a really good point. Purely out of curiosity, do you think that the climate could change in a desert if there were enough trees so that more rain would fall? I'm thinking the trees would have an impact on the climate because the ground is holding more water and allowing the temperature to lower, the trees offer shade and temperature variations and they also transpire, putting more moisture into the air.

Then my thought is that it would be possible to change the climate of a desert to something more tropical or temperate. Of course this would take years to accomplish and a major scale effort.


Yes - it's definitely possible! (if it can go into desertification, it can come back out of it!) In fact, the area where Greening the desert takes place was once a fertile valley along the Jordan river extending from the Dead Sea all the way through to Lebanon and there are historical references to Tamarisk forests, etc. Now I don't know if you could turn it into something like what we define as a "tropical" climate because climate is dependent upon so many other things such as geology, land forms, prevailing winds, maritime v. continental effect, etc. But "oh hell yeah!" it could be a lot greener and therefore a lot more liveable than it currently is - one could at least restore it back to some semblance of what it historically evolved to be.

The other issue is that I, for one, wouldn't want to completely make over a dryland area to say a tropical area for a couple of reasons. First is diversity of species - plants, animals (humans too) have evolved with "place" to create and sustain a great network of life. So many products we use every day come from drylands. AND ethnobotanists have now determined that plants in harsh climates tend to have more intense essential oils and denser nutrient values - many of which are prized for their curative or nutritional qualities. The most nutrient dense food (as measured by a brix meter) was grown in a hot desert.

Cal Skins wrote: (Regarding Water Harvesting) Very true. That would be a great topic for a video.


I actually work with Watershed Management Group here in Phoenix (a small non-profit I was one of the founders of merged with WMG to become their Phoenix branch). They are DEEEEEEEP into water harvesting in deserts. Water harvesting guru Brad Lancaster also works with them. geoff lawton often references Brad's books. Brad actually designed and led the workshop to install my outdoor shower. I guess what I'm saying is - let me know if you need anything around water harvesting!

Cal Skins wrote:This is the first time I've seen imprinting! That is so cool! It looks like a mechanized method of Yacouba Sawadogo's methods of digging holes to collect water and spreading seeds inside them. Very cool.


That movie was great (now I wonder who has my copy - I lose stuff this way!). It is basically a mechanized zai pit system (or mechanized holistic range management system). Mechanized imprinting has the added advantage that it can be done on more steeply sloped ground - it basically acts as a miniature "net and pan" system.

Cal Skins wrote:For a visual aid, do you think a whiteboard would be a good idea, or are you thinking something more like I have in this or this video?


Yes! Visuals are good in those and Yes again to whiteboard usage. In Geoff's online PDC, he basically used a whiteboard throughout. It's simple and very effective.

Here's another resource that you will probably find very encouraging!

Best,
Jen - "making the Salt River flow again"!
 
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