July 2011

I have always believed that God never gives a cross to bear larger than we can carry. No matter what, he wants us to be happy, not sad. birds sing after a storm. Why shouldn’t we? ~ Rose F. Kennedy

Whistle Like a Bird 2011

Main Event

Speeches and Presentations

Guest Performances

I love how the winner looks like he is in a bird trance!

Whistle Like a Bird 2010

Cycle Superhighways

Barclays Cycle Superhighways (BCS) are cycle routes running from outer London into central London.

As part of the Mayor of London’s cycle revolution the aim is to increase cycling in London by 400 per cent by 2025 (compared to 2000 levels).


“It’s about recognizing that waste is fundamentally a design flaw (it does not appear in nature) It’s about re-thinking waste as a resource. It’s about cyclical ‘cradle-to-cradle’ philosophies rather than linear thinking when it comes to how we design our world. It’s about a better understanding of the lifecycle’s and materials used in our everyday lives. It’s about being curious and open, being prepared to let go of assumptions in order to undertake a new ‘Planet 2.0’ way of thinking and acting. It’s about acknowledging that we don’t have all the answers and that nobody is as smart as everybody. It’s about being collaborative and curious so to engage multiple perspectives, skills, opinions and organizations. It’s about constantly learning, unlearning and re-learning. It’s about re-integrating back into the web of life by recognizing and reducing our human fingerprints on the natural world. It’s about moving on from just articulating the problems and inspiring action of the solutions. It’s about encouraging the world to reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink more of the planets natural resources. It’s about delivering a spectacular global “Message in a Bottle”. ~

Plastiki on display at the Australian National Maritime Museum following her Pacific crossing

The Plastiki is a 60-foot (18 m) catamaran made out of 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles and other recycled PET plastic and waste products.



Strata Tower London

According to their web site:

Strata SE1 is the first development in the world to integrate wind turbines into the fabric of a building. This was a conscious decision by Brookfield Europe to push the boundaries and investigate whether wind turbines are a reasonable environmental investment in an urban environment.

To put this figure into context, it is enough energy to meet the total annual demand from 30 two bedroom apartments (based on current 2006 Building Regulations) or 20 two bedroom apartments (based on 2001 Building Regulations); approximately 8% of Strata SE1’s estimated total energy consumption.

Affordable housing is included in the scheme of things as well as provisions for recycling rain water.




It is my deep belief that design is an act of invention. I believe that its real task begins once functional and behavioral needs have been satisfied. It is not hunger, but love and fear, and sometimes wonder, which make us create. Our milieu may change from generation to generation, but the task, I believe, remains the same: to give poetic form to the pragmatic. ~ Emillio Ambasz; Emillio Ambasz Building Consultants and Planners

L'ACROS Fukuoka, côté terrasse
Symphony; Art Gallery; Cultural Information Centre – plus shops, offices and various other facilities.

This building is considered a pioneer in ecological architecture and has become a new landmark of Fukuoka, Japan.

It’s design incorporates a green step garden exterior; their web site claims it stands like a lush green mountain.

This place was built in Japan; designed by an Argentine architect who studied at Princeton; the planners logo is “green over grey”! Their goal ” We at ACROS Fukuoka strive to become an Asian crossroad – a center for cultural exchange crossing over the seas and connecting with the countries of Asia.!

It is likely the best place to breathe deeply in Fukuoka!


“For far too long humankind has set itself apart from the world it inhabits – attempting to control and subvert natural forces, using the earths resourses freely without replenishing them. ~ Bound to the Earth by James Swan Ph.D and Roberta Swan 


Dr. Don Huber, a senior soil scientist at Purdue University, believes the appearance and prevalence of a newly discovered organism that may have the potential to cause infertility and spontaneous abortion in farm animals  may be related to the nation’s over reliance on the weed killer known as Roundup and/or to something about the genetically engineered Roundup-Ready crops. In a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, the professor called on the federal government to immediately stop deregulation of roundup ready crops, particularly roundup ready alfalfa.

Below is the full text of the letter:

Dear Secretary Vilsack:

A team of senior plant and animal scientists have recently brought to my attention the discovery of an electron microscopic pathogen that appears to significantly impact the health of plants, animals, and probably human beings. Based on a review of the data, it is widespread, very serious, and is in much higher concentrations in Roundup Ready (RR) soybeans and corn—suggesting a link with the RR gene or more likely the presence of Roundup.  This organism appears NEW to science!

This is highly sensitive information that could result in a collapse of US soy and corn export markets and significant disruption of domestic food and feed supplies. On the other hand, this new organism may already be responsible for significant harm (see below). My colleagues and I are therefore moving our investigation forward with speed and discretion, and seek assistance from the USDA and other entities to identify the pathogen’s source, prevalence, implications, and remedies.

We are informing the USDA of our findings at this early stage, specifically due to your pending decision regarding approval of RR alfalfa. Naturally, if either the RR gene or Roundup itself is a promoter or co-factor of this pathogen, then such approval could be a calamity. Based on the current evidence, the only reasonable action at this time would be to delay deregulation at least until sufficient data has exonerated the RR system, if it does.

For the past 40 years, I have been a scientist in the professional and military agencies that evaluate and prepare for natural and manmade biological threats, including germ warfare and disease outbreaks. Based on this experience, I believe the threat we are facing from this pathogen is unique and of a high risk status. In layman’s terms, it should be treated as an emergency.

A diverse set of researchers working on this problem have contributed various pieces of the puzzle, which together presents the following disturbing scenario:

Unique Physical Properties

This previously unknown organism is only visible under an electron microscope (36,000X), with an approximate size range equal to a medium size virus. It is able to reproduce and appears to be a micro-fungal-like organism. If so, it would be the first such micro-fungus ever identified. There is strong evidence that this infectious agent promotes diseases of both plants and mammals, which is very rare.

Pathogen Location and Concentration

It is found in high concentrations in Roundup Ready soybean meal and corn, distillers meal, fermentation feed products, pig stomach contents, and pig and cattle placentas.

Linked with Outbreaks of Plant Disease

The organism is prolific in plants infected with two pervasive diseases that are driving down yields and farmer income—sudden death syndrome (SDS) in soy, and Goss’ wilt in corn. The pathogen is also found in the fungal causative agent of SDS (Fusarium solani fsp glycines).

Implicated in Animal Reproductive Failure

Laboratory tests have confirmed the presence of this organism in a wide variety of livestock that have experienced spontaneous abortions and infertility. Preliminary results from ongoing research have also been able to reproduce abortions in a clinical setting.

The pathogen may explain the escalating frequency of infertility and spontaneous abortions over the past few years in US cattle, dairy, swine, and horse operations. These include recent reports of infertility rates in dairy heifers of over 20%, and spontaneous abortions in cattle as high as 45%.

For example, 450 of 1,000 pregnant heifers fed wheatlege experienced spontaneous abortions. Over the same period, another 1,000 heifers from the same herd that were raised on hay had no abortions. High concentrations of the pathogen were confirmed on the wheatlege, which likely had been under weed management using glyphosate.


In summary, because of the high titer of this new animal pathogen in Roundup Ready crops, and its association with plant and animal diseases that are reaching epidemic proportions, we request USDA’s participation in a multi-agency investigation, and an immediate moratorium on the deregulation of RR crops until the causal/predisposing relationship with glyphosate and/or RR plants can be ruled out as a threat to crop and animal production and human health.

It is urgent to examine whether the side-effects of glyphosate use may have facilitated the growth of this pathogen, or allowed it to cause greater harm to weakened plant and animal hosts. It is well-documented that glyphosate promotes soil pathogens and is already implicated with the increase of more than 40 plant diseases; it dismantles plant defenses by chelating vital nutrients; and it reduces the bioavailability of nutrients in feed, which in turn can cause animal disorders. To properly evaluate these factors, we request access to the relevant USDA data.

I have studied plant pathogens for more than 50 years. We are now seeing an unprecedented trend of increasing plant and animal diseases and disorders. This pathogen may be instrumental to understanding and solving this problem. It deserves immediate attention with significant resources to avoid a general collapse of our critical agricultural infrastructure.


COL (Ret.) Don M. Huber
Emeritus Professor, Purdue University
APS Coordinator, USDA National Plant Disease Recovery System (NPDRS)  

Interview with Dr. Huber


I have always said there is only one thing that can bring our nation down – our dependence on foreign countries for food and energy. Agriculture is the backbone of our economy.  ~ John Salazar


The Dominica Organic Agriculture Movement Inc. and the Florida Association of Volunteer Action in the Caribbean and the Americas (FAVACA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MOAF) will host a Lecture and Workshop series from Monday July 18, to Friday July 22, 2011 on Soil Management – Compost Technologies.

The primary objectives of this initiative is to train participants in the techniques of soil nutrient management for tropical organic crop production systems and to provide intensive technical training at composting sites with the potential to lead a composting industry.

The week of activities begins with a public lecture on ‘Soil Management for Organic Farming’ presented by Dr. George Fitzpatrick. The lecture starts at 7.30pm and will be carried live on DBS Radio and video streamed on www.islandriddimz.com

Workshops begin at 9.00 am daily and will be held at four locations across the island namely Bellevue Chopin Tourist Information Centre, Calibishie Government School, Castle Bruce Sports Complex and La Plaine Agriculture Centre.

The programme is facilitated by Dr. George Fitzpatrick, Professor of Environmental Horticulture Farm at the University of Florida. He will be assisted by Dr. Mary Lamberts, a horticultural extension agent at the University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service with responsibilities among others for Commercial Vegetable Production, Food Safety Educational Programs and Training for Restricted Use Pesticide Licenses.

Topics to be covered during the workshops are Basic Principles on Compost Technology, Measurement of Compost, Physical and Chemical Parameters; pH Soluble Salt Levels, Moisture Content and Organic Matter Content, Compost Quality Determinations, Measurement of Compost Quality Parameters; Pile Core Temperatures, Pile core Oxygen  Levels, Compost Maturity Bioassay Procedures, Health Aspects of Composting and Pathogen Control. 

Practical sessions will be led by Dr. Fitzpatrick and Dr. Lamberts and includes a demonstration on Coliform Organism Measurement.


Practitioners of organic and conventional farming, persons interested in sustainable agricultural practices, technicians interested in soil management with an emphasis on organic nutrient techniques as well as other interested persons are expected to benefit from this training.

Registration for non-members is $30.00 and includes 1 year membership.

DOAM current members register for free.


Members who wish to register on-site, please contact the office beforehand by telephone 276 8570 or return email at inquiry@doamdominica.org.

Meals and transportation will be provided to all participants.

Additional information on the week of activities and Drs. Fitzpatrick and Lamberts can be found in the attached Compost Workshop Programme and Press Release II.


For more information contact DOAM Inc. at 265 8570 or visit our office downstairs the Cooperative Societies League Office from Tuesdays to Fridays from 11.00am to 4.00pm.


PO Box 1953


Commonwealth of Dominica

Tel: (767) 265 8570

Email: inquiry@doamdominica.org


Skype: doamdominica