A Life in Many Kingdoms….

For most people who live in big cities ( an ever increasing proportion of the world’s population) the issue of species loss  seems an irrelevance.

What does it matter if one more species is irretrievably  lost for ever,  when I have my house and car and my job in the city?   Their lack  of connection with  the living world -other than other humans in  their urbanised world,  does not mean  that  they   are not inextricably linked to  the other species who  live on  this planet-  they  just cant see it. Their food  is bought at  the supermarket  in  vinyl  halls – plastic packaged and often pre-prepared. They  do  not see,  nor do  they  care ,  about where those former living things came from: -what  lives they  had,  how they  interconnected,  how they  communicated, their thoughts and feelings… The food they  gather at  the supermarket is simply a dead  product-  sublimely and most ridiculously illustrated by  the little plastic stickers on  the fruit we buy there.-the  ultimate  commodification of nature.

 

But the reality is that  all  that  food-  animal  and vegetable arriving  at  the supermarket storehouse, was once  living, was in  fact  directly connected to  the rest  of the living world in subtle

and often invisible ways to  humans.  That  interconnection between  species is the net that  keeps us all  alive-a net  that  is steadily being undone by  humans through ignorance and greed.

As recent research over the past decade has noted,  all  species on  the planet  not only posses their own  unique DNA, but also  multiple strands (often in  much larger volume) of DNA and micro

biomes from  multiple other species,  mainly microbes.  Anything  and everything, from  the bacteria that  inhabit our guts and allow us to  digest  food that  would be otherwise indigestible to  us, to the bacteria and microbes that  come into  contact  with our skin  and  that  we inhale.  As Bordenstein  noted in  2015- Animals and plants are no longer heralded as autonomous entities but rather as biomolecular networks composed of the host plus its associated microbes, i.e., “holobionts.”- from  ‘Host Biology in Light of the Microbiome: Ten Principles of Holobionts and Hologenomes’

Skin and Microbiome linkages.)

The microbiome concept, that is, the collective communities of microorganisms, their genomes and interactions, was first used in the context of microorganisms that inhabit the human body. Since then, numerous studies have adopted this term to describe microbial communities associated with other mammals, insects, fish or plants. For humans, the microbiome significantly contributes to metabolism and provides functions that humans did not need to evolve on their own (Gill et al., 2006). Hence, the genes present in the human microbiome are considered the secondary genome….  In the human microbiome, the highest density of microbes is found in the gastrointestinal tract, where ‘they synthesize essential amino acids and vitamins, and process components of otherwise indigestible contributions to our diet…..-Cross-kingdom similarities in microbiome functions, Rodrigo Mendes & Jos M Raaijmakers (2015)

Thus,  (the) nature-relatedness (a person’s level of connectedness with the natural world [58]), biodiversity of ecosystems in which humans reside or to which they are exposed, access to greenspace and/or habitation in rural environments can have beneficial effects on physical and mental wellbeing [59]…..(However the) erosion of environmental ecosystems is affecting biodiversity and microbial ecology. Together with declining nature-relatedness this is reducing human contact with immunomodulatory organisms found in natural environments – reflected in differences in skin microbes. This is increasingly being recognised as a risk factor for chronic inflammatory diseases……..There is now consistent evidence that environmental degradation, whether by climate change, invasive species or industrial activity, is linked to diminished human physical and mental health [110111].

The very existence of this skin-environment interface raises important questions about how erosion of global biodiversity, and declining contact with the natural environments is affecting skin ecosystems and human health [5]. Examining this question in the context of the epidemic rise of allergy and other inflammatory diseases is informative because allergy is one of the earliest manifestations of inflammation often first observed in the skin as disruptions in barrier function and atopic eczema. Furthermore, the declining microbial diversity that has been long linked to the rise in allergic disease also has important implications for other organ systems across the life course.  – The skin microbiome: impact of modern environments on skin ecology, barrier integrity, and systemic immune programming: Susan L. Prescott et al (2017)

Or again….It is increasingly evident that inflammation is an important determinant of cognitive function and emotional behaviors that are dysregulated in stress-related psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety and affective disorders. Inflammatory responses to physical or psychological stressors are dependent on immunoregulation, which is indicated by a balanced expansion of effector T-cell populations and regulatory T cells. This balance is in part driven by microbial signals. …. With the global trend toward urbanization, humans are progressively spending more time in built environments, thereby, experiencing limited exposures to these immunoregulatory “old friends.” Here, we evaluate the implications of the global trend toward urbanization, and how this transition may affect human microbial exposures and human behavior.-The Microbiome of the Built Environment and Human Behavior: Implications for Emotional Health and Well-Being in Postmodern Western Societies. Stamper CE1 et  al  (2016)

The Implications….

  • All  organisms are capable of genetic change in  their own lifetimes through  external  microbiome absorption and adaptation ( an adaptation of the old Lamarckian  evolution  theory, with  a Darwinian  perspective)
  • The importance of being in  regular  physical  contact  with  the rest  of the  living world has been vastly under-rated  in  its effect  on health  and mental  wellbeing. An  organism’s health  and  wellbeing depends on   having a wide variety of external  microbiomes to  incorporate into  its body and genetic structures on  an ongoing  basis.
  • Modern  human  society is dramatically reducing,  not only human’s interchange with microbiomes,  but  also through  poisonous agribusiness   practice and destruction of habitats,  is irretrievably destroying  all  species’  capacity to   genetically adapt and change and to  have optimum  wellbeing.
  • The  steadily decreasing  number of species in  the world ( largely by  human  ecocide)   markedly increases all  species’  capacity for survivability
  • Human beings’  obsession with creating cities,  with   ‘clean’  environments and  the sealing over of the living world with  concrete  and tar, are rapidly reducing microbiome diversity on  the planet.
  • For  the human species to  survive for  further millenia it has to  acknowledge its interdependence with the rest  of the living world,  and stop  creating dead spaces on  the planet. Celebrate all  life!

Links

https://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/why-food-actually-information

https://www.nature.com/articles/ismej20157

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_%28biology%29

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-guts-microbiome-changes-diet/

https://wellnessmama.com/130266/skin-microbiome/

https://consortiatx.com/the-science/the-human-microbiome/

https://waojournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40413-017-0160-5

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27793224?dopt=Abstract

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4540581/

 

The Whirlpool of Environmental Collapse

Greta Thunberg is to sail across the Atlantic in a high-speed racing yacht next month to attend UN climate summits in the US and Chile ….which she described as “pretty much where our future will be decided”.

While 16 year  old Greta is  a passionate and well-meaning advocate for change to  our headlong dash to  climate  and species loss disaster;  it is eminently clear that  talk-fests by  leading politicians and climatologists are definitely not going to  make one damn bit of difference to  our current polices rapidly destroying the planet.

The Paris Accord, hailed as some  turning point in  human behaviour to our planet, was simply a cruel  facade and a hoax. Global  emissions have increased,  not declined since that accord was signed, and the environmental destruction of our living world has accelerated. We now elect clowns and idiots  to  run   our countries. Those who  participate in  those climate  talk-fests are those who  are in league with  those who  knowingly destroy our world-  the business men,  the media men, the investors,  the politicians-  all  locked in to  making more money  from  the destruction of the thin veneer of life  that used to  make our little blue world  a safe place for all its inhabitants.

The solutions are not to be found with  those who  have created this disaster. The solutions are simple ones which  do  not provide any profits or backhanders for those in  power. In  fact  the solutions  will  help  to demolish the lie of   the ‘human progress’  model  that  has been  sold to  us for the past 200  years.

Planting billions of indigenous  trees, ripping up  the concrete and tar that  seals the life out of our  once living earth;  growing plants  of all  kinds,  not for profit or ‘development’  but to  help  restore our natural  world, is our only saviour. We cannot ‘develop’  our way  out of this tragedy,  or find a new technological  solution-  that  is the way  of the con-man. We must  return  to  nature-  our natural  heritage.

Native  indigenous trees not only  breathe  in carbon  dioxide , they  provide a refuge for  enormous numbers  of living things, from  the insects that  feed from  trees, the  local fungi  and bacteria that   symbiotically  live near the roots of the trees, the birds that  live on  the insects  and the multiplicity of other organisms ( including humans)  that thrive in  proximity to  the trees. Trees also  have a huge capacity to  provide shade in  hot climates, to   eliminate human made toxins from  the air , and to  increase the  level  of water vapour  in  the air bringing life-giving rain  while protecting the soil  beneath  from erosion. Despite the ongoing hype and lies from  the mass- killers of animals –  we humans do  not need  to  consume the vast  amount of dead cows, pigs  and  sheep  that  we are led to  believe keeps us healthy.   Dramatically reducing  the area of land  used for   grazing  and replanting with  the trees that  once lived there, can  indeed help  save our planet.

The fishing industry  empires, scouring the seas for the last surviving fish  in  our over-heated oceans are not required. Humans can  and will  have a much  smaller footprint on our earth.

Do  you need that  air plane trip  to  Bali  for your holiday? Do  you need that  new car? that  non- repairable piece of technology ?

Each  of us can  plant a tree, can  help  save our world-  now!

 


Links

https://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/climate-weather/storms/trees-affect-weather1.htm

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/07/29/earliest-ever-earth-overshoot-day-shows-humanitys-consumption-planets-natural?

Lock ’em up!-NOW!

With  dear little Mike Pompeo immediately accusing Iran of attacking two Japanese-bound   tankers  in  the Gulf of Oman  with  supposed “torpedoes” or limpet mines   (note that limpet mines have limited effect  above the waterline and would only punch  a small hole in a large tanker, and that  torpedoes have not been known to fly out of the water to  hit targets above the waterline) – we reach  new heights of lunacy  within  the United States foreign  policy  arena.   The attack  was precisely timed to  ‘fit’  with  Iran’s meeting with  a Japanese foreign  policy team attempting to  defuse  a confrontation  between  Iran  and the U.S. -which  cannot be defused.  (Clear principle of mediation Mr Trump (oh wise and great  mediator!) –  where one party is  attempting  to threaten and bully another party into total  submission-  no  agreement  is possible until  the bullying party desists. The  other party will  fight  to  defend itself unless  physically defeated. Where the bullied is aware of the bully’s strengths and weaknesses , the bullied party can  and will come up  with alternative strategies that  defeat  the bully  at  their own  game…they  are after all,  fighting for their survival and their lives, not for new profits in  the weapons industry..

It is quite likely that  one of John Bolton’s terrorist allies, like his good friends the brutal  MEK , played a part in  the tanker bombings after having not achieved the desired result a few weeks ago in a botched attack  on other tankers  in the Gulf that  caused minimal  damage . The fact  that Pompeo,  -ex CIA Director, ( it tells one a lot about ‘intelligence’  agencies  when  they have   men  with the extraordinarily limited intellectual  capacities like Pompeo  at  their heads ) has immediately come out saying it was ‘Iran  wot did it’, does somehow demonstrate the crudity and stupidity of  American  foreign  policy, and its total  reliance on  violence and intimidation as its sole  foreign policy tool.( with  a little bit of bribery  and corruption thrown in for good measure)

The United States has been forthright in saying that  Iran  does not behave like a ‘normal  country’ . What  they  mean  is that Iran  does not accept the United States’  right to  impose its will  and ‘values ( such  as they  are)  on other countries – Iran  does not behave according to  ‘accepted international  norms’.

An article by  Christopher Black in  New Eastern Outlook   article by  notes that  the (U.S.)  ‘Indo-Pacific Strategy Report’, of June 1, 2019 includes the statement that, “We will not accept policies or actions that threaten or undermine the rules-based international order (my emphasis)– an order that benefits all nations. We are committed to defending and enhancing these shared values”.

Christopher Black  notes that, ‘”What they mean by “rules based international order” is not the order of international law as accepted by the world governments in the United Nations Charter and other international agreements but a US imposed international order, – an order that does not yet exist except in the fantasies of these gangsters-but which they never stop trying to impose on the world, an order of militarism, fear, and tyranny for the rest of the world”.

The fact  that  the United Kingsom’s current government can  immediately endorse the wild accusations  of these crazed and foolish  Americans about  Iran  being the cause  of the tanker attacks , is not unsurprising. Britain  since the First  World War has promoted and supported  the  brutal Saud tribe in Arabia and its fanatical  Wahhabist ( and anti-Shi-ite)  teachings, and used to  such  great  effect  in Libya, Iraq Afghanistan and Syria  in  promoting sectarian division and violence to  provide power and profit for both British  and American  business interests in  the Middle East.

What  is perhaps most disturbing in  recent analyses of the rumours that  the U.S.  will  bomb Iran’s non-existent nuclear  bomb facilities -even  by those opposed to  the bombing-is that  this is not going to  end  well for the United States. As with  the previous multiple acts of murder against  the Iranian  people;  (not least  the attack  by  USS Vincennes on an  Iranian civilian   jumbo-jet which  killed 290  people in 1988: -(just one of so  many attacks the United States has never apologised for ; let only compensated the victims for)we see the complete absence of analyses of  what  terror,  murder and destruction  such  attacks will  inflict  on Iran’s 80  million people -already  under atack  from  years of United States’ vicious sanctions . As with  almost every  United States war;   this is a rascist war- a war of agression against darker skinned peoples who  clearly are no  match for ‘exceptional’  (white) Americans like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo.

It’s time to  acknowledge that  the United States is simply a rogue state that  needs to  be controlled by  others more mature and steady and with some modicum of intelligence. Hvaing pychopaths at  the helm  does not bode well  for the survivability of the planet.

Lock  ’em up  NOW!


Links

The MEK and the Bankrupt U.S. Policy on Iran

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/06/13/deja-vu-iraq-war-lies-mike-pompeo-blames-iran-tanker-attack-without-single-shred?

This Outlaw Power

https://journal-neo.org/2019/06/13/convenient-tanker-attacks-as-us-seeks-war-with-iran/

https://media.defense.gov/2019/May/31/2002139210/-1/-1/1/DOD_INDO_PACIFIC_STRATEGY_REPORT_JUNE_2019.PDF

https://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980323000724

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/06/14/seven-reasons-to-be-highly-skeptical-of-the-gulf-of-oman-incident/

http://markcurtis.info/2019/06/04/what-the-latest-secret-government-file-tells-us-about-uk-middle-east-policy/

http://markcurtis.info/2019/02/03/britain-and-the-iranian-revolution-expediency-arms-and-secret-deals/

The Broader View Reveals the Ugliest of Prospects

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/06/18/report-us-planning-massive-airstrike-on-an-iranian-facility/

A submission to my local Council on bio-diversity & climate change

I note that the Mayor states in the forward to  the  Council’s proposed Annual  Plan that: ‘A strong area of focus for our Annual Plan 2019/20 is climate change. Council recognises that climate change mitigation and adaptation present key challenges for our region, country and the globe. We need to build our resilience and harness innovation to ensure we can plan and act in a responsive and responsible way”

It is rather difficult to reconcile this statement, which confirms the enormity of climate change as a fundamental threat to human sustainability, with the actions proposed in this Plan.

It is interesting to note that there is no mention in the Plan about species loss and ecosystem collapse- issues which have equal weight in terms of human capacity to survive on this planet in the medium to long term, and which are completely interrelated to climate change. Other than the Department of Conservation, which has a very limited range of actions permitted to it , there is no human agency out there looking out for nonhuman survivability either in this region or nationally. Councils must act!

Given the recent government report; ‘Environment Aotearoa 2019’, which as “Stuff” notes paint a grim picture in many respects, the report’s assessment of native ecosystems and the plants and animals they contain is particularly bleak. Almost two-thirds of rare ecosystems were threatened by collapse, the report said, and thousands of individual species were either threatened or at-risk of extinction. Those species include 90 per cent of all seabirds, 84 per cent of reptiles, 76 per cent of freshwater fish and 74 per cent of terrestrial birds.”

Actions which focus on th city’s  “development’ are fundamentally in opposition to working to reduce climate change and at the very least, slow down our catastrophic species loss. Whether we like it or not, humans are entirely dependent on the other species on this planet for our survival. We cannot live on shopping precincts and electronic baubles.

Human ‘progress’ equals the substitution for living and wild areas for dead spaces or toxic farming areas. Like it or not, your city planners will be forced sooner rather than later to plan for a zero growth economy – why not start now?

E.O Wilson’s book “Half Planet” and the Half-Earth Project https://www.half-earthproject.org/ make it very clear that humans will not survive on this planet without urgent and dramatic restoration of the eco-sphere that protects us all . The Extinction Rebellion movement of our youth also makes it very clear where our future does not lie and what our options are.  Act now with bravery! https://rebellion.earth/

Since coming to this city I have been amazed at the amount of concrete “easy-care’ properties; in a climate where plants grow well and where lawns could quickly become low maintenance shrub and vegetation areas that support a wide range of habitats and species.

Surely our recent wildfires are a lesson to be learnt? Re-plant hill areas with native shrubs and trees that provide shade and damp ground areas beneath them and provide moisture back into the air, increasing the likelihood of rain. Stop the planting of pines and eucalypts – plants which are adapted for drought conditions and which minimise moisture loss from their leaves and produce resins that encourage wild fires in dry times.

Some Proposed Actions:

  • Develop and environmental code for all city planning decisions , which place predominant weight in planning decisions that ensure minimal disruption to all wildlife, along with specific actions to increase wildlife . Equal species rights is the only survivable option https://www.humansandnature.org/humans-nature-the-right-relationship

  • Apply permaculture strategies for urban planning https://permaculturenews.org/2012/03/07/re-imagining-urban-design-and-city-life/ (and please note that quote there in terms of busineses co-opting open spaces: The enclosure of public spaces, by the same reasoning, is anti-democratic. When shopping malls and office towers eliminate our public squares, our parks and our promenades, we lose our capacity to see each other, to socialize and speak publicly, to identify and empathize with each other, to be commoners. Without these spaces, we are forced into playing roles dictated by the Market or the State.

  • Develop city planning processes that are aligned with human and other species centric behaviour https://centerforthelivingcity.org/janejacobs. Develop a city whose structures and systems fosters and celebrates other species in our presence, that encourages interactions between all members of its human society (the poor, the unemployed, the wealthy , the young and the old) , that promotes safety, connection and wellbeing for all.

  • Replant most large lawn areas owned by the council with native and edible plantings. And stop putting toxic acid bark as mulch. Pine bark kills most of the native insects and other organisms for some soil depth – mulch with living plants.

  • Completely eliminate immediately the spraying of weedicides to keep berns and other grassed areas “tidy”.

  • Develop a city by-law to limit the concreting over of properties – all new driveways remain gravelled and unsealed .This will allow the soil to breathe underneath and permit the multiple soil species in that area to survive. It will also allow rain water to soak into the ground and help create more life, rather than being siphoned off into concrete storm-water drains and into the sea.

  • Extensively replant all stream, river and estuarine boundaries to the water’s edge with plants natural to those habitat areas. This will reduce erosion, silting up and improve water quality, and greatly improve the diversity of all species surviving in the area and beyond the water.

  • Severely restrict fishing in all areas close to the shore. Such fishing is helping (along with the commercial companies) to destroy our oceans, by eliminating essential breeding grounds for fish and other marine animals.

  • Stop the development of more commercial areas unless they are densely planted with native and other species.

  • Provide extensive education training and practical opportunities for communities to ensure their neighbourhoods are safe places for all species. (learn how to provide natural habitats, how to plant your backyard, compost etc etc ) Develop a free city-wide ‘creative commons’ of internet shared space for creating community, connection and environmental sustainability.

  • Develop public transport systems that are innovative and flexible and light- eg shared transport options that are modelled on electric scooter technology, and also encourage community interaction.

  • Encourage local small scale human activities that work alongside nature. Develop community garden initiatives, seed sharing clubs, local community planting initiatives…

  • Significantly extend and improve the filtering and natural oxidation processes for sewer discharge. More swamp ponds and natural screening filters to ensure all sewage and other industrial water discharges are naturally filtered and no untreated discharges occur in extreme weather events (events which are becoming more and more frequent!)

  • RE-PLANT!

Venezuela Madness

President Trump has  recognised as President of Venezuela, a man  who  has never stood for the Presidential  role  but who presides over  the Venezuelan  national  assembly: Juan Guaidó— a man  who  the New York Times (1/22/19) describes as “virtually unheard-of”—and who has now – at  the behest of the Trump administration- proclaimed himself the country’s new leader. Guaido  was elected President of the National Assembly of Venezuela in December 2018, and was sworn in on 5 January 2019.  He appears to  have strong links into  the American  neocon  ‘thinktank’  and policy   systems and strongly supports  the United States  re- taking more ownership  of Venezuela’s extensive oil  reserves, (the largest in  the world)  and the privatisation of many state-run  services which  currently fund health  and welfare  in Venezuela.  In  addition,  according to  ConsortiumNews,  he hads a long history  of involvement in  the violence associated with Popular Will party  which   formed the shock troops of the guarimbas that caused the deaths of police officers and common citizens alike. He had even boasted of his own participation in street riots. And now, to win the hearts and minds of the military and police, Guaido had to erase this blood-soaked history.   According to  Consortium News, Within 48 hours, Guaidó quickly tried to seize control of Venezuela’s major US-based oil refiner and use its revenue to help bankroll his US-backed coup regime.  Guaidó is attempting to fire the directors of Citgo Petroleum, which is owned by Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA, and seeks to appoint his own new board……This plan would involve the creation of a “new hydrocarbons agency” that would “offer bidding rounds for projects in natural gas and conventional, heavy and extra-heavy crude.” In other words, these are rapid moves to privatize Venezuela’s oil and open the door for multinational corporations. As David Pear notes- this is essentially a racist  white supremacist  counter-revolution 

The current President of Venezuela is Nicolas Maduro,  who  was  re-elected in  a disputed election ( ie some of  the opposition parties  chose not to  run  a candidate and then disputed the election)  in January  2019 . Maduro has used increasingly repressive measures to  maintain  his powerbase and repress  opposition, whilst  confronting increasingly violent  opposition groups.  Telesur (a news agency funded by the Government of Venezuela and  other governments such as CubaNicaraguaUruguay, and Bolivia ), notes that the ‘National Assembly has been in a situation of contempt of court for almost two years. After the election of deputies in December 2015, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) candidates in Amazon State filed a complaint because their opponents had purchased votes to win the election. The court subsequently condemned the fraud and the Electoral Power Tribunal demanded that the election for these three seats be redone. Since the Speaker of the National Assembly refused to comply with the judicial and electoral authorities, the National Assembly was declared in “contempt of court.” Decisions and votes emanating from the legislative power are therefore null and void as long as the speaker of the National Assembly fails to authorize the return to the polls.”

The United States has implemented wide-ranging sanctions against the  Maduro  administration since 2014 ,  claiming that it is a dictatorial regime. The sanctions ,  along with  declining oil  prices and to  a lesser extent, structural  failures by  the socialist  Bolivarian presidents, Chavez and Maduro  administrations ,  has resulted in  an  economic disaster for Venezuela,  with  rampant inflation  and high  unemployment . The working classes and peasants who  formerly supported the Maduro  government because of its extensive redistribution of state owned oil  wealth  and its  health and social  policies, appear now to be  increasingly angry  with  the Maduro  administration for the economic failures they have recently endured.  Mainstream  media in  the West  and many Western  politicians are now able to  insist that  it is solely the  socialist  agenda of the Chavez/Maduro  administrations  that  has caused this economic crisis, while  ignoring the very  deliberate attempts by  the United States to de-stabilise the country  over an extended period of years via sanctions and supporting an  attempted coup  in 2002,  and using its pressure with other Latin American  states to  isolate the Venezulean  administration.

The United States and its Western  and Latin American ‘allies’  have a desperate need to  invalidate the socialist  wealth  distribution policies of Venezuela;  both  to  ensure its corporate elites, the “comprador”,  continue to  receive their ‘rightful’  incomes, and bank  accounts in  Miami , but also  to  ensure that their home populations do  not begin  to understand that  state ownership  and wealth  distribution is a very  valid and effective method to ensure a  sustainable and fair world. (where would we be -God forgive!!-if we had an equitable, efficient, sustainable   and accountable economic process that  ensured a country’s assets actually returned to  all  of its population?)

 The appointment of Elliot Abrams by  the Trump  administration to  coordinate ‘diplomatic’  efforts to  replace Mafuro is a clear indication of the regime change efforts of the United States. The contemptible Abrams was heavily involved in  the  coordination of terrorist activities by  the  Reagan  era contras in Nicaragua and El Salvador, and would clearly be  a key contender for  long-term incarceration if there was in  fact a neutral   international  War Crimes Tribunal. As the Guardian  article on  the 2002 notes:  the crucial figure around the coup was Abrams, who operates in the White House as senior director of the National Security Council for ‘democracy, human rights and international opera tions’. He was a leading theoretician of the school known as ‘Hemispherism’, which put a priority on combating Marxism in the Americas.

What  Guaido and his American  neocon  advisors seem  to fail to  understand,  is that his possible ascension to  the Venezuelan presidency  ( a re-run of the coup  of  the U.S.  2002 attempted coup ), while  allowing the US regime to  remove sanctions and its stranglehold over the Venezuelan  economy,  will  inevitably lead to  a nationalist  backlash  in Venezuela as it becomes clear that  the majority of the country’s resources are being sold off  to  US corporates and the IMF,  with  possible negative implications  for the  recently installed intellectually impaired Bolsonaro  extreme right wing administration  in neighbouring   Brasil-as it becomes clear who  is pulling the strings in  that  country.

In addition,  as the centre of global  power inexorably moves from  the United States to  China , Latin American  states aligned to  increasingly erratic  and violent U.S. corporate and  state imperialist  ambitions, will  find themselves isolated.

What  is also  equally disturbing is the alacrity which  which  EU nations have fallen in line behind the United States’ sponsored coup  in Venezuela. Their insistence on  interference in  another country’s domestic issues and their pronouncements on who is the ‘legitimate’  ruler of Venezuela do  not bode well  for human  rights and the international  rule of law.

Postscript: Stansfield Smith  at  Covert Action lists  a damning history of U.S.  intervention  in Venezuela and beyond

See another unpleasant history of U.S.  intervention  in  Venezuela here at  Telesur https://www.telesurenglish.net//opinion/The-History—and-Hypocrisy—of-US-Meddling-in-Venezuela–20190128-0016.html?

https://www.telesurenglish.net/opinion/Understanding-Venezuelas-Crisis-An-Interview-With-Guillaume-Long-20190129-0005.html

https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/venezuela-why-capitalism-not-socialism-blame-corruption?

History of US Interventions in Latin America (courtesy of @asadabukhalil on Twitter.)

Or read David Pear’s analysis that  this is essentially   a racist  counter-revolution http://www.unz.com/article/us-and-canada-are-backing-an-elite-white-supremacist-minority-in-venezuela/ 


Links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Guaid%C3%B3

The Making of Juan Guaidó: US Regime-Change Laboratory Created Venezuela’s Coup Leader

https://venezuelanalysis.com/video/14253

https://www.telesurenglish.net/opinion/Ongoing-Coup-in-Venezuela-What-If-Same-Scenario-Happens-in-France-20190126-0007.html

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Bank-of-England-Refuse-to-Return-US1.2BN-Venezuelan-Gold—20190127-0003.html

Yet Another U.S. Coup Attempt to Eradicate the Bolivarian Revolution

Venezuela’s US-Backed Coup Leader Immediately Targets State Oil Company and Requests IMF Money

US Backs Coup in Oil-Rich Venezuela, Right-Wing Opposition Plans Mass Privatization and Hyper-Capitalism

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Bank-of-England-Refuse-to-Return-US1.2BN-Venezuelan-Gold—20190127-0003.html

‘Resistance’ Media Side With Trump to Promote Coup in Venezuela

 

The Madness of Military Intervention in Venezuela

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/01/venezuela-trumps-coup-attempt-is-based-on-a-seriously-flawed-plan.html

The Vultures of Caracas

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/venezuela-us-sanctions-united-nations-oil-pdvsa-a8748201.html

Your Complete Guide to the N.Y. Times’ Support of U.S.-Backed Coups in Latin America

“Death to Wikileaks”: the battle for truth

The recent Guardian article penned by  Luke Harding – of famed ‘the Russians are invading Ukraine with  a convoy of (mythical)  tanks”  and other anti-Russian hysteria,  and  co-author Dan Collyns,  alleges that  Paul  Manafort, U.S.  convicted felon and former Republican  campaign  chief for Donald Trump’s election campaign, met  and conspired with  Julian  Assange of Wikileaks  to  ensure Hilary  Clinton was not elected President.

The authors of the Guardian story, Dan Collyns and Luke Harding, were in Ecuador recently with Equadorian , Fernando Villavicencio, who ‘assisted’  with this story  and who they had previously worked  with on  other  evidence -free  stories. Villavicencio ( Fernando Villavicencio, oil exsindicalista refugee in the US)  has fabricated claims about people visiting Assange in the past. In May he claimed Farage visited Assange on 28 April  2009, a month after Ecuador initiated its 8 month-long isolation of Assange, banning phone calls, all visits and  internet. Assange’s isolation at  the Embassy coincided  with the  defeat of Ecuadorean president  Rafael  Correa to  U.S.  supporter Lenin Moreno. The Guardian article states ; based on  the allegations from  Villavicencio,  that Manafort entered the Equadorian  Embassy  in London  where Assange is currently in  refuge,  and spoke   to  Assange, on  several occasions.  But as  Craig Murray  notes ,  the Equadorian Embassy  security files,  let alone the London Police records,   strangely show no  evidence of such  meetings.  Embassy employees who were there during that entire time period  also say they never saw Manafort or heard of his visit.

Assange and Wikileaks; and also  separately,  Paul Manafort, are  now proposing legal  action  against  the Guardian.  Wikileaks is raising money here for their legal  appeal. In likely response to these legal  threats, the Guardian has now edited its original  story  to  soften  the tone  of the allegations.  See the edits here  at   https://www.newssniffer.co.uk/articles/1706143/diff/0/1. If both libel  actions are successful  against  the Guardian;  its capacity to   survive financially are questionable -as will be its reputation as a reputable news-source.  Why  then would the Guardian  take such  a risk? It is to be noted that  legal  libel proceeding costs in  the U.K.  can be up to  140  times the costs of similar proceedings in  Europe ( ironically this is a Guardian link) .

Wikileaks’ crime is not only that it did the unpardonable;  it published leaked   information that  accurately and truthfully described war  crimes committed by  both  the U.K. , the US and  other Western states,  but more importantly  Wikileaks also  has put into  question the very  lucrative financial  dealings of the City of London  and also the Maltese government.    Without these illegal   financial dealings,  (primarily via Russian ‘oligarchs’ who  have  fled Russia), it is possible  that  the City of London   and much of the British  economy,  could collapse.

These murky financial  dealings  intermesh  with   much of the  terrorist activities carried out by  Western (particularly U.S.) intelligence agencies  to  ensure  their corporate sponsors  retain  their supplies of cash regardless of the  impacts on  lives  and the local environment. South  American  right wing governments and  their military/intelligence agencies have played a key  role in  these activities –  hence the arrival  of the very  dubious Fernando Villavicencio and his timely allegations of  collusion between  Trump,  Assange and the Russians.

Jimmy Llama notes  many  convoluted links to  neo’liberal’  thinktanks,  shady  corporates and   U.S.   and other individuals    such  as Bill  Browder,  famed for instigating  the U.S. Magnitsky Act ( Russia  has now accused Browder of Magnitsky’s murder) and a key player in  the Russiagate allegations.

These allegations are one of many determined concerted media  efforts to  ensure that once  Assange is  no  longer under the protection of the Ecuadorian  London  Embassy,  there will  be limited public backlash   against  those governments responsible for his subsequent  deportation to  the U.S.  –  his show-trial and likely disappearance..

That  process is after all ,  standard practice  already by  the United States and others;  make allegations against  someone you don’t like or need ,  inform  the necessary  Western authorities,   and a  drone   can  eliminate any unnecessary  evidence forthwith.

Julian Assange and Wikileaks have indeed played a very dangerous game-  unmasking the  extremely brutal  and vicious  international  game of exploitation and greed by  those  in  positions of power  in  the name of “democracy and freedom”…


Links

 

https://theintercept.com/2018/11/27/it-is-possible-paul-manafort-visited-julian-assange-if-true-there-should-be-ample-video-and-other-evidence-showing-this/

Assange Never Met Manafort. Luke Harding and the Guardian Publish Still More Blatant MI6 Lies

https://www.latimes.com/ct-julian-assange-russian-visa-20180917-story.html

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/27/manafort-held-secret-talks-with-assange-in-ecuadorian-embassy

https://www.couragefound.org/2018/11/the-guardian-publishes-fabricated-claims-of-paul-manafort-visiting-assange/

https://www.gofundme.com/wikileaks-suing-the-guardian-over-manafort-story

https://archive.fo/9w6Zv

The Fate of Julian Assange: Chris Hedges Interviews Consortium News Editor-in-Chief Joe Lauria

A Written Guide to the Guardian’s Smear Campaign Against Assange

The Truth About Fernando Villavicencio, the Guardian’s Source for Their Anti-Assange Campaign

Russiagate Part One: The Story That Everyone Missed

Russiagate Part Two: Malta

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/what-really-killed-sergei-magnitsky-16612

https://wikileaks.org/Statement-Julian-Assange.html

https://justice4assange.com/

Misreporting Manafort: A Case Study in Journalistic Malpractice

https://www.telesurenglish.net/opinion/Why-No-Outrage-Over-Ecuadors-Illegal-Constituent-Assembly-20181130-0016.html

12 Years to Go….

Homo  sapiens are a strange species. They self-proclaim their superiority over other species  because of their  supposed ‘intelligence”, while they  are self-evidently systematically  destroying all aspects of life on  the planet  they rely on  for their survival. We are, branch  by branch,  cutting off all  the limbs of the tree of life that  enables our survival.

One might be forgiven   for thinking that  those actions of destroying life in  exchange for  the creation of inanimate objects might be considered the ultimate in  folly and stupidity;  but apparently this is not the case.

Academics, politicians and researchers continue to promote an undeniably ridiculous self-delusional  note that  more  human ‘progress’  can somehow,   in its ongoing destruction of the natural living world ,  create a new and better world  for humans-  ( a dead world)  Perhaps these Nobel  prize winners will  continue to get  their  university research stipends  from big business  until  their lives become unlive-able in  their hothouse  university offices; part of  that newly ‘progressive’ dead world…where slight-of-hand carbon  trading,  or the wonders of “renewable energy”,  allow us to pretend –  right up  to  the last  moment-  that we are creating a new reality..

A quote from The Guardian about these illustrious Nobel Prize winners…

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the two men had won the prize – which is not one of those originally instigated by Alfred Nobel – because they had “designed methods for addressing some of our time’s most basic and pressing questions about how we create long-term sustained and sustainable economic growth”.

The two men, it continued, had “significantly broadened the scope of economic analysis by constructing models that explain how the market economy interacts with nature and knowledge”.

One of the most recent media  releases from  the Intergovernmental  Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) notes that  global  warming will  certainly   increase  to 1.5C  above previous ‘normal” global  temperature levels in  the next 12 years,  and that  that increase will  dramatically impact  on  human being’s survival  and many other species . Should global  temperature increases reach  2C;  as they  will  without dramatic  intervention,  then the impacts on  all  species will  be catastrophic..

A previous study  by  the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) noted that  species loss is as great  a threat to  humanity (and the rest of the living fabric of the Earth,  as climate change.   It does not appear to  occur to those scientists  that   climate change and species loss are part of the exact same issue:  the commodification of the living world.

I am always reminded when  I go  to  our local  supermarket of this bizarre absurdity- of man making living things into  commodities for human beings ,  when  I see the little plastic  labels on  the fruit and vegetables  being sold there. Human beings have somehow created a collective psychosis  over many millenia that  sees this world we live in as something for use- something outside of us –  rather than  the reality of being intimately and totally connected to  us and essential  for our mutual  survival.

Few,  except  some of the South American  indigenous communities have retained this essential understanding of how our world actually lives and breathes. Human  beings will  only survive on  this planet  if we recognise our intimate and sacred connection to  the rest of our living world.

Is it too  late to start  to  re-learn  this lesson   and begin the  re-greening  of  our world?


Links

http://www.ipcc.ch/news_and_events/pr_181008_P48_spm.shtml

http://report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_spm_final.pdf

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/08/world-leaders-have-moral-obligation-to-act-after-un-climate-report

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/08/two-us-economists-win-nobel-prize-for-work-on-climate-and-growth-william-nordhaus-paul-romer

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/oct/09/shell-ben-van-beurden-mass-reforestation-un-climate-change-target

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/fate-of-human-race-depends-on-massive-greening-effort/

http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/going-full-circle-growth-planet/

https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/UN-Report-Confronts-Nations-with-Tough-Choices-on-Climate-20180930-0010.html

https://www.fws.gov/nativeamerican/pdf/tek-salmon-2000.pdf

Brazilian Indigenous Guardian of the Amazon Murdered: & Facebook..

In the last few weeks Facebook  has become assiduous in   removing “fake news’  newsposts  from  its servers.  Telesurtv is one such example-  now  reinstated

One might be forgiven for thinking that Facebook  serves interests other than  truth and honesty in  its promotion of the ‘fake news’  meme,  when one looks at just one such  media article listed on  the Telesur website  Telesur is one of the few English language media outlets in  South America that promotes indigenous rights against  the rapaciousness of corporate entities ( predominantly   US-based).

The history of  the U.S. ongoing  intervention in South  America to promote its own  interests ( ie US corporate profits) has resulted in many many thousands  if not  millions of of deaths,  the decades long support of South American tyrannical  regimes ,  death  squads,  torture and the oppression of South America’s working classes, peasants and indigenous population-  as well  as the rape of its incredible environmental heritage for logging and  meat production companies, and the facilitation of the drug trade .

The recent U.S. sanctions against Venezuela are just one more example of the techniques used by  the United States to  destabilize various Latin  American  governments that  do not suit U.S.  corporate interests.

How much longer does South  America have to endure  the tortures of this ignorant  bully from  the North  I wonder? How much longer will  supposedly ‘honest’  American media portray  U.S.  interventions as being upholding ‘freedom  and democracy’?

Sadly this distortion and manipulation  of ‘truth’ by  powerful  American  companies  for the benefit of corrupt  U.S. businessmen has been  an ongoing reality for the past century.

Craig Murray   beautifully outlines  the Facebook  censorship  issues from  another perspective here,  and the  extraordinarily ignorant and inept role of the Atlantic Council. 


Links

https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Brazilian-Indigenous-Leader-Guardian-of-the-Amazon-Murdered-20180816-0009.html?

http://www.yachana.org/teaching/resources/interventions.html

https://www.telesurtv.net/english

Facebook Censorship, Mad Ben Nimmo and the Atlantic Council

A Fiery Dead-end?- or “Feel the Heat…”

Its as though  we are all  watching  in   slow-motion;  a dream  in  which we slide inexorably  towards that massive motorway  firey pileup  – helpless to  change anything and knowing the inevitability of our fate.

The latest July 2018 temperature records: 

UAE: 51.4°C, Africa + Algeria: 51.3°C, Tunisia: 49.2°C, LA: 48.9°C, Baku: 42.7°C, Yerevan : 42.4°C, Japan: 41.1°C, Kabul: 40.5°C, Tbilisi: 40.5°C, Montreal: 36.6°C, Lapland: 33.4°C, Swedish polar circle: 32.5°C, Baltic Sea: 25°C’

And yet, if it were not for almost every  government across the world being in bed with  international  and national  corporations who  drive “progress’  ( ie the destruction of the natural world to create the inanimate world humans enjoy)-   this whole firey end  might have been  (and maybe still  can be )  averted.

Global  warming  needs to be seen as simply one of the symptoms of the catastrophic global  non-human species loss caused by human beings’ insatiable lust  for ‘things” over the past 1000  years-  a tiny timeframe in  geological  terms.

However ,  as a recent study  by  the Stockholm Resilience Centre notes;

“Human emissions of greenhouse gas are not the sole determinant of temperature on Earth. Our study suggests that human-induced global warming of 2°C ( The Paris Accord limit), may trigger other Earth system processes, often called “feedbacks”, that can drive further warming – even if we stop emitting greenhouse gases,” says lead author Will Steffen from the Australian National University and Stockholm Resilience Centre.

According to  the Stockholm Resilience Centre, we have but 3 years to  attempt to  stabilise global  emissions and avert major devastating climate change. We know that renewable energy  has some capacity to  limit global  warming ;  but we also  now that production of renewabl energy  components come at  a massive cost  to  the environment.  We also  know that  man is  ‘requiring’  more and energy  to  fuel his ‘progress’  addiction. Humans have to  dramitacally reduce our energy  consumption if we are all  to  survive.

And how is it that,  in  the face of all  the evidence and the very  visible destruction of our planet’s living fabric, we continue to  press on  to  final  global  destruction?  Simply man’s greed  for transient baubles of ‘wealth’  and power. Humankind prides itself on being a  supremely intelligent  species.

The evidence is out-  to  the contrary- we are the most ignorant of all  species.

What  do  we need? We need a global  body  that  transcends artificial  national  state borders  and that   forces each  nation-state to  rebuild its natural living fabric: beginning with massive tree-planting of native local  species, a forced requirement that  no  non-essential  products  for humans  can be bought and sold ;  an end to  the  so-called global  ‘consumer society” and  a requirement that all  non human  species be prioritised  for their  survival  over any human  “progress”.

Is that  going to happen?……..

Do  we have an alternative?

___________________________________________________________________________

Links

http://medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2018/875-world-on-fire-climate-breakdown.html

Heatwave in northern Europe, summer 2018

https://www.thoughtco.com/global-warming-inevitable-this-century-3322005

http://www.stockholmresilience.org/research/research-news/2018-08-06-planet-at-risk-of-heading-towards-hothouse-earth-state.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Agreement

https://www.nature.com/news/three-years-to-safeguard-our-climate-1.22201

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/07/31/1810141115

How to Kill Off a Vibrant Green World in 6 Easy Lessons

From: THE MODERN WORLD BOOK OF WONDERS BY PAUL TOWNEND (1950)
  1. Allow One species to  completely dominate all  other species on  the planet in  numbers .
  2. Give that  species the capacity to  modify  the living  environment to  suit its own  purposes.
  3. Give that  species an understanding that it has a right to  eliminate all  species that  are not immediately useful  to  it.
  4. Give that species an  understanding that it is superior to  all  other species  using criteria based on  its own  species’  traits.
  5. Give that  species an understanding that  dead inanimate things that amuse it are more important than other living things.
  6. Give it limited powers of empathy and understanding towards other species that  are not its own.

A tragic and heart-bleeding video below  of a Borneo  orangutan  futilely trying to  fight off a mechanical digger which has destroyed its beautiful   home  and its  sustenance and countless more other living  things that will  be  forever no  more ( note the  condescending language used of “seemingly defending its home “. ) for a  few dollars in  pay  for the loggers and a few thousands of dollars to  the logging company.  This is why  we are destroying the only home we will  ever have –  our beautiful  earth.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/orangutan-defends-jungle-home-video-digger-ape-borneo-indonesia-deforestation-a8387836.html

Not just in Borneo,  but all  over the world for the last three  thousand years , we have destroyed the trees and living world that made this world our home – for no purpose whatsoever…..


Links

https://www.ipbes.net/news/media-release-updated-biodiversity-nature%E2%80%99s-contributions-continue-dangerous-decline-scientists

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/21/human-race-just-001-of-all-life-but-has-destroyed-over-80-of-wild-mammals-study

http://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/early/2018/05/15/1711842115.full.pdf

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/07/12/exti-j12.html

https://phys.org/news/2018-02-biodiversity-loss-extinction-cascades.html

https://weather.com/science/environment/news/2018-03-26-animals-extinction-water-loss-climate-change-study

http://davidattenborough.wikia.com/wiki/The_First_Eden