Friday, 11 November 2011

A Review of the book “Elegant Solutions For Addressing Climate Change"

A Review of the book “Elegant Solutions For Addressing Climate Change" by Samantha Jewel

Self Published and launched as an eBook in October, 2009 in Orange NSW at the Carbon Conference and then as hard copy at Trinity Grammar in February 2010.

It is available as a downloadable eBook for $19.95 or by donation from the website

This review is authored by Rick Tudor, Headmaster of the prestigious Melbourne institution, Trinity Grammar; Rick has championed the book since its inception as a climate academic who wrote his thesis on climate disruption some thirty seven years ago and sees the books as visionary.

“Elegant Solutions” is a thoroughly engaging, highly informative, easily readable book posing achievable solutions for addressing the climate issue through the food we eat and the way we grow it. It canvasses areas of research, details segments of critical information and presents vital ideas in a palatable, understandable style. Text, illustrations, schematic diagrams and internet links are collectively effective in conveying important messages. 

Climate change is one of the most important phenomena of the 21st Century. 

It has the capacity to change millions of lives in an uncontrollable manner and will affect the viability of much of the macroscopic and microscopic fauna and flora that comprise our complex and delicate global ecological matrix. 

The author commences her work with a call to arms in the face of the persistent march of climate change. She follows this with clever explanations of the role of carbon as an important component of the soil. Preserving organic carbon within soil profiles is a key emphasis in her discussion. Theoretical understanding is facilitated by the author’s easy, conversational style of writing, and her clarity and simplicity of explanation. Practical applications of the theory are presented through descriptions which are both readily absorbed and clearly visualised. 

The world of microbes is introduced to the reader through a utilitarian viewpoint. Indeed, the question as to how a healthy biological system could survive and thrive without microbial activity and support is squarely placed as a central focus. The role of minerals and vitamins is also elucidated, and their importance is emphasised. 

The journey into the soil is not only signposted through the roles of micro organisms, minerals, vitamins and most importantly organic carbon, but it also leads to a detailed description of roots, and the microscopic flora that is closely associated with these subterranean plant structures. As with the organisms living above the soil, this micro flora essentially has to live in a state of balance, if it is to perform its life-promoting role. 

The final chapters of the book give emphasis to agricultural techniques which encourage sustainability. The embellishment of building surfaces with extensive plant coverage is examined and its benefits are emphasised. Selective purchasing is also promoted for those who shop for fruit, vegetables, cereals or other organically based materials. Techniques involving community actions which lead to a higher degree of sustainability, are outlined in an attractive, engaging manner. 

“Elegant Solutions” is a ‘must’ for all those who have a concern for and interest in, the sustainable nature of our world. In fact it is a ‘must’ for those who don’t have this interest. This work is highly suitable for both adults and those studying at secondary school level. 
For such students, this work will stimulate understanding, provoke questioning and develop sensitivities in the treatment of a world whose sustainability is severely threatened. 

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Zumba event to raise funds for Pacific islands

This is a call to anyone interested in being involved with This proposed Zumba Event!
Seen here is an example of the Zumba poster and provision for sponsors.
These events will be a series of 2 hour Zumbathons to raise funds for the Samoan NGO Women in Business that will use the funds to purchase a series of simple books that will enable them to communicate to the villagers why it is so important for them to return to their traditional organic farming methods.
The book(s) will be translated into the 25 languages they represent over the islands of the Pacific region.
They are educational eBooks currently available in English and Chinese (both simplified and traditional) and are for lay people plus children 5yrs and 10 yrs.
The main Zumba instructor is West End star Laura Hamilton of Cats and Les Miserable fame and currently director and creator of the global educational training program Vocal Alchemy.
Other instructor line up includes Latin party boy Richie Vargas and myself Samantha J Vargas
To see if you are interested in being a sponsor please click on the links provided. The venue and date are soon to be advised.
Books available at:

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Organic versus conventional food in the fight against obesity

The following is an article I read in the UK Daily Mail in 2008. The interesting point in the exercise discussed is not so much the fact that it proved that organic was not as expensive as previously perceived, but that the children ate less and were more easily satisfied whilst eating organic food. In a time of growing obesity and programs that are failing to alter the bad eating habits of our children at the school canteen – where even the most vigilant parent cannot control the schoolyard bartering system – it is most noteworthy that the kids were actually happier on the more nutritious, less ‘fun’ food.
The UK's Daily Mail recently ran an experiment involving two families that agreed to swap diets for a full week. One family normally ate nothing but organic food. The other family was in the habit of eating mainly pre-packaged meals and processed goods. To their surprise, the results were that buying organic was cheaper and more popular with the whole family. Gaby Lana who switched to processed food for a week says “We felt unwell, spent more money - £214 compared to our usual £120 - and ended up with two enormous bin bags full of wasteful packaging.” The mother of the Matthiole family that went all organic for a week exclaimed "By the middle of the week, I felt really energetic. The food we were eating was just so crisp, fresh and tasty - even the organic tea tasted better, cleaner than my usual brand. And I noticed that I didn't feel headachy the morning after organic wine. "By the end of the week, I was enjoying cooking again. I also realised the girls had been exceptionally well behaved - eating their meals without complaint and even going to bed when asked - there were none of the usual tantrums. They also asked for far fewer snacks between meals. Interestingly, Amelia suffers with eczema on her legs, and by the end of the week, even that was much better than it normally is, much less red and raw, and I like to think the change in diet helped. "I've become much more aware of issues such as pesticides and additives and I feel as though I'm now nurturing my family. I spent £115 during the week, including several very drinkable bottles of organic wine. "That's less than my normal weekly shop, which comes in at £140 without alcohol. So it's not true that organic has to mean expensive." This UK experience backs up a 2004 report on the spending by Australians on organic food by BFA nutrition spokesperson Shane Heaton. Heaton believes that the key issue in regard to the affordability of organic fruit and vegetables in Australia is consumer education and how households choose to prioritise their spending. Where exactly the average Australian's spending priorities lie can be seen in Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data. Heaton says "the average Australian household spends more on junk food than fruit and vegetables; More on fast-food and take-away than fruit and vegetables; More on alcohol than fruit and vegetables. And the net result of these choices is that we spend nearly twice as much on medical expenses as we do on fruit and veg." Heaton believes that once people become more aware of the issues surrounding food production eg. false assurances given regarding the safety of pesticide residues, the overuse of food additives, rising cancer incidence, etc, they will make more conscious choices of the food they feed themselves and their families. "Who knows? Perhaps, if spending increases on organic fruit and vegetables, people will spend less on junk food, take-aways, alcohol and cigarettes. Perhaps they'll need to spend less on medical and health expenses," he says.

Friday, 8 July 2011

controversy, carbon tax, world domination

You know recently there was an announcement that the climate thing was really a hoax and just an excuse for the world governments to tax the people of the earth for existing!

Well it may be true? And really I can make no comment on these meanderings for there have always been those that rule and those that are ruled. But it does not alter the fact that there are major changes occurring in the world, not least of which is the positive rise of our consciousness.
This can be seen in the unprecedented attendance of speeches by one of our global, still practising prophets, His Holiness the fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet. Now I must add I am not a follower of His Holiness, but I have had the honour of hearing him speak and he is a truly intelligent speaker of a very clear truth, as I imagine all great prophets are from Jesus to Mohammed and everyone before and, I would posit, into the future.
Now some may say we are actually more stupid and gullible despite the internet, certainly literacy and the basic ability of the common individual to understand one's own language seem to have reduced significantly since the 1950's, but it does not seem to have reduced the fervour for independent thought or answers outside those given by our lords and masters.
There are those of us that are more drugged certainly but perhaps even those that are drugged, even those self administering their drug of choice, say nothing, for like the villagers on the small, Pacific islands going under the water, they feel there is nothing they can actually do about any of it?
Where there is apathy there are lost dreams.
Where there are lost dreams there is hopelessness and a desire to forget the pain of life.
But I feel that no matter the hopelessness being expressed like this or what the collective or individual journey presents, no one can really deny the existence of life around them and to that end what ever the despair it is, it is a lie borne of the wrong focus that only you and I can alter by our combined efforts to rally each other to see things differently.
And while we may continue to be led down the illusory paths of the gods of materialism and watch in despair as that too continues to be tantalised and dangled like a carrot to be eaten by the quick and viscous lords of world economies and the senseless annihilation of individual pride and work ethic, never let it be forgotten that there is life!
And where there is life there is hope.
One must not lose sight of the fact that many individuals are seeking other paths of awakening and awareness. Alternative health measures, for instance, rise exponentially in the face of GMO's, rising usage of prescription, government subsidised drugs, the banning of natural herbal medicines and every other effort of those that would have us succumb - still people realise there are other ways and life must be honoured!
They realise too that conventional, medical pills will not take away the sicknesses that plague them. And so too there is a rise of awareness of the relation of the soil and the earth we stand on to our very existence. Not only is the atmosphere we enjoy inherently tied up in the health of the soil and the plants that feed it but so too our economic structures that really are bound initially in this relationship of that which we grow from the earth and exchange for goods and services to a direct relation to these other economic and seeming unrelated factors.
Now this may sound like a lot of waffle to you and perhaps I wander to get to a point. For as I listen with my ear to the ground and feel the thundering hooves of life's many deaths approaching as we know them, I also pause to wonder if we may indeed learn from our forefathers who have trodden these bleak walks many a time and seek instead to look at other values? We have the power of numbers no matter the military or insane might of guns to grow and exchange with each other.
Carbon taxes may be an insane effort to right one wrong with an unwieldy and ultimately impossible penalty of something that can simply be handled with growing food more consciously rather than the complex taxation of emissions we will continue to make no matter the penalties imposed.
It seems we must be more creative and conscious at this time and use our hard one knowledge while we are still free enough to do so.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Alzheimer's and dementia

I have been thinking about Alzheimer's and dementia as the world ages...
I read a statistic that says in America every 90 seconds someone is diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's.
What you eat affects every cell in your body in some way... food for thought.
A girl I spoke to today who works in this area says that in Western Australia alone within 20 years they know there will be only 6000 beds and 25000 patients in need of high care... that means the normal hospital beds will flood first and others, younger, may miss out on much needed critical care.
It makes my work promoting climate solutions through organic agriculture and how this also ties in to nutritional needs for the brain to function more and more urgent. Always what you eat effects and connects with something else.
As dementia is apparently plaque around the brain preventing it from working, I think I like this link on natural oral hygiene


In these images (visit the site to read in more detail the colours on the right are the amount of reduced brain activity in the Alzheimer patient read here with stuff in the person's blood to show up in the scan when they are asked to see something in more detail.

The impaired electrical activity is basically plaque, like you get on your teeth, built up for various reasons like a certain PH/acid balance in your saliva is a reason some have more build up in their teeth no matter the diet and there are just as many suggested ways to remove it with little conclusive research that any one of them is really universally successful across the board.

I have to say though, that as I have studied the body for just about any illness and the various multitude of suggested solutions, they all seem to point towards clean, as in non toxic, non-pesticide ridden, healthy water, food and air with a reasonable level of exercise with lots of green vegies, lightly cooked and light, meat eating - preferably fish.

Think light and clean and it seems to follow the body will like it and if you are not willing to do that then you can compensate to a degree with lots of cleansing systems to flush the accumulated debris. I figure there are those that naturally keep a meticulous daily clean house and those of us that are just not built that way but will have a good go at it once in a while and if we get good results the good feeling, like a great meal will want to be repeated so find the method you can feel good with that cleans and heals and you may prevent it.

I have some instances of Alzheimer's in the extended family so I am pretty keen on taking a healthy go at the body and I do not like to diet so I eat almost totally organic and I love to eat! I hate to exercise so I find ways to mess it up. Late night dancing with headphones suits me... (who would have thought) and it helps me sleep - well if other sports are not an option!

Keeping happy, keeping busy, not too much screen time I reckon, and lots of fun in your life seem to be a good recipe for prevention plus avoiding as much processed foods as possible.

So keep smiling.

And eat organic!!