Outdoor Economy

Conventional Economics and Nature: Related or a Form of Brain Damage?

David Suzuki is a scientist, author, and lecturer that has become one of the most recognizable voices for conservation. He makes the argument in this video that conventional economics is a form of brain damage He goes on to argue that economist are fundamentally disconnected with the real world. Whether you agree or disagree, it is worth understanding his point of view.

Natural Science: Herbs and Spices Anticancer Potential



 On the Scientific Discovery resource page, you can find some of the top websites with some fascinating scientific breakthroughs using the nature method.

The International Journal of Science and Nature has found that Herbs and Spices have anticancer potential.

The study of plants and herbs to find treatments for various illnesses and ailments has been a common practice of many cultures for generations. When European settlers in the New World would fall ill, they often would seek out Native American medicine man with his satchel of herbs to find a quick cure.  The Chinese have been doing this for years.

Although much of the herbal knowledge of ancient civilizations has been lost, many of the medicinal qualities of plants are now being proven by modern science.

As our bodies age and are increasingly exposed to carcinogens from the environment that attack our immune systems, our bodies become more susceptible to cancer cells.

The biotech industry has been conducting a great deal of research to find medicines with cancer fighting properties.

Research has shown that a diet rich in antioxidants can help to remove damaging agents known as  “free radicals” from the bloodstream and reduce the risk of cancer.

In a study from 2004-2012 published in the Journal of the Society of Science and Nature, several herbs and spices were tested for anticancer potential including: Leeks, Lemon, Lemongrass, canopy, pepper, indian borage, ginger, and onions,

The conclusion found that the samples ginger, oregano, and tabon tabon showed a high value of phytochemicals and antioxidants and high anticancer potential.

There is so much that we could learn from the study of plants.

 What other treatments are waiting to be discovered out in nature?



How to Tap into the Genius of Nature and Science to Create a Sustainable Future

This was one of the most inspirational TED talks that I have watched on nature and innovation.

Michael Pawlyn starts off by pointing out that a spider can make a material stronger than Kevlar using dead flies and water at ambient temperature and a wood beetle can detect fire 10 times farther away than any device designed by man without having to be attached to any power grid burning fossil fuels.

The talk goes on to show some amazing architectural design used for the Eden Project in England that was inspired by pollen grains. When finished, the structure was lighter than the air inside of it.

A visit to the Eden project is on my bucket list.

The main points of his talk are that we can approach the journey to a more sustainable future by learning from the genius of nature that exists all around us.

We can dramatically improve our use of resources by examining ancient systems that nature has developed over eons. Nature reuses and recycles every resource with incredibly efficient use of energy.

He goes on to illustrate some examples of groups that are mimicking nature’s methods to create closed loop systems from caviar, to worms, to horse manure, to sturgeons, and back to caviar.

He touches on reversing desertification by taking notes from the Nambian fog-basking beetle. There is also a segment that shows how to use sea water for irrigation and the leftover minerals as building materials.

There is a great point made that shows the sun gives us 10,000 times more energy than is used by all forms, so our energy solutions are just a challenge of engineering .

There were no pauses, “Ums”, “hems” or “haws” in his entire talk, and unlike many talks about sustainability which tend to be all gloom and doom, this was uplifting, positive and inspiring.

I first watched it a couple of years ago. Now the number of views has several more commas.

Michael Pawlyn Genius Design

What is Nature?

image- ducks taking flightNature is often considered as anything that is not made by humans. There are some problems with that definition as nature is used in everything made by humans. Humans are a part of nature and have affected everything on the planet. Part of the issue is thinking of humans and nature separately or man vs. nature. Humans like everything, are invariably connected to nature. There are dangers of thinking about protecting one or the other separately. When you start talking about protecting the plants and animals you also must consider protecting the people.

Nature’s Value

There is a system on putting a price or value on land and on homes and buildings. Often location and timber, minerals, can be given a monetary value. A lot of the value of nature is overlooked. It is not as easy to get a grasp. As people that need to earn a living, natural areas are often replaced by things that we can get a better understanding on.

Think of nature differently. For the nature lover, the value of beauty cannot be measured by monetary means. In fact, any attempt of putting a monetary value on beauty of nature is seen as blasphemy. Yet, the majority of the population does not see it that way.

This makes realizing the economic value of nature difficult for the policy makers who are under continuous pressure to create jobs and economic growth and individuals and families struggling
to make ends meet. It is much easier measure the economic value and tax revenue of real estate, factories, and raw materials. Those that seek to protect nature are seen as obstacles to progress and growth.

This could not be farther from the truth. If people knew the truth they would see that there is tremendous value in conservation. It may not be possible to put a price on beauty, but until the truth about economic value, job creation, education, health, and tax revenue of nature reaches the mainstream there will continue to be a divide.

Unless we begin to understand the value of nature in monetary terms it will be seen as standing in the way of economic progress by a large part of the human population.