Observatory Guides

From Observatory

This category uses the form Manage Guides. The not published Guides are listed in Guides under development.

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Guide to Alternatives to Industrial Agriculture

Reynard Loki

Industrial agriculture, with its heavy reliance on chemical inputs, monoculture cropping, and intensive farming practices, poses a significant threat to the environment and wildlife. The negative impacts of industrial agriculture include wildlife habitat destruction and biodiversity loss, soil degradation, water pollution, antibiotic resistance, major greenhouse gas emissions, and animal cruelty on a massive scale. Sustainable alternatives to industrial agriculture, such as organic farming, small-scale farming, regenerative farming, and veganic farming—offer a better way forward. These sustainable farming practices not only offer a way to produce food while minimizing harm, ensuring a more resilient and sustainable food system for future generations, but can also solve existential problems like climate change.

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Guide to Conscious Consumption

Reynard Loki

Conscious consumption, or conscious consumerism, can be accomplished in a variety of ways, such as shopping for food products that avoid harm to nonhuman animals, using green cleaning products, drinking shade-grown, fair-trade coffee and organic wine free of harmful pesticides, driving small electric vehicles over instead of gas-guzzling SUVs, and boycotting fast-fashion brands and businesses that treat workers unfairly.

This guide will help you make buying decisions that are healthier for you, your family, nonhuman animals, and the planet.

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Guide to Environmental Health

Reynard Loki | Earth • Food • Life

Environmental health is crucial for public well-being as it directly impacts human health. Pollution, climate change, and habitat destruction can lead to respiratory diseases, waterborne illnesses, and other health issues. Maintaining clean air, water, and land reduces the risk of disease transmission and promotes overall health. Additionally, preserving ecosystems supports biodiversity, which contributes to food security and medicine discovery. Sustainable practices safeguard public health for current and future generations, emphasizing the vital connection between environmental and public health.

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Guide to Human Bridges

With new anthropological, biological and scientific findings, we are increasingly able to trace the outlines and fill in the blanks of our human evolutionary story. This can help us better understand the social and cultural processes that produced the world we live in now. This guide to Human Bridges explores the work of experts from the fields of human biology, human origins, and anthropology who want to contribute their individual expertise to a wider accessible body of information, and enlist in the cause to make this material a staple of education at all stages of life.


Guide to Local Peace Economy

This guide explores the concept, models, and examples of the peace economy: the giving, sharing, thriving, caring economy without which none of us would be alive. A peace economy is the sharing of resources, a culture of care, and the remembrance that there is enough abundance for all of us on this planet. It is the return to a culture that understands true value and wealth come from nurturing life, love, and joy. We call it a "local" peace economy because it operates at the local level, beginning in the commons. This guide also offers ways to divest from the war economy that is destroying life and well-being on this planet.


Guide to Renewable Energy

Reynard Loki

This guide explores the promise and perils of renewable energy. Can renewable energy achieve the emissions cuts we need to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis? Can we avoid an energy crisis if we abandon fossil fuels? What is the dark truth behind bioenergy? Is hydropower a real or false solution? Is the renewable energy transition succeeding or failing?

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Guide to the Hidden History of Debt

Katherine Dolan

Our financial system originated in Mesopotamia, where it was designed to ensure economic stability for a community. Over time it has transformed into something much more predatory.

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Guide to the Plastic Crisis

Reynard Loki

The guide will help readers understand the global plastic crisis from multiple angles, including the impact of plastic on human health, wildlife and the environment, the upstream forces in the lifecycle of plastics, the complex reality of recycling plastic, the unique threat posed by tiny plastic particles called nanoplastics, and how two similar cities have handled the plastic issue in different ways.

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Guide to the Regenerative, Moneyless Economy

April M. Short

This guide will take you through examples of the regenerative, moneyless economy that is sometimes called “collaborative consumption.” The moneyless, sharing-based economy creates the opportunity to opt out of the mentality of disposability and the idea that “more is better,” both of which many of us are bombarded with from birth. The regenerative, moneyless economy provides an avenue for anyone to move away from the hoarding nightmare that has led to over-full garages and seldom-visited storage sheds, continent-sized trash islands, and enormous heaps of human waste. It does this by way of peer-to-peer systems set up for people to rent or borrow goods rather than buy and own them individually. It involves collaborative systems that supply people with the things they need, when they need them.

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