The unraveling of the web of life

The Leaf in  the Concrete Pool
The Leaf in the Concrete Pool

A U.K.  February  2021 report by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta,  entitled ‘The Economics of Biodiversity’ outlines the ‘extreme risk’ the ‘world’, is being put by  not taking into  account the  ‘rapid depletion of the natural  world’.

While the overarching intent of the paper is to  be applauded in attempting to  reduce species loss,  the underlying assumptions outlined in  the paper  about humans’ relationships to  the rest of this living world  are,  to  put it mildly,  grotesque.

Prof. Dasgupta’s comment that  ‘Truly sustainable economic growth and development means recognising that our long-term prosperity relies on rebalancing our demand of nature’s goods and services with its capacity to supply them’, is truly bizarre.

The natural  world (including the human  species) does not exist  to provide ‘goods and services’. This arrogant and ignorant perspective of the living world around us  is the root cause of  why  the  living planet around us, is dying. All  living things on  this planet exist  in their own  right and to  construct  a web of  interdependent life around themselves; a web  that  humans have been  unravelling at  ever-increasing speed for the past 3000  years.

To  view other living organisms as ‘good and services’  for humans, is not only  to  debase the sanctity of life, but also confirms our  fundamental  lack of understanding of how life on  this planet life continues to  maintain  itself,  and once thrived. The more humans choose some organisms as being ‘worthwhile’  ( for humans),  and others not-  the more we destroy the web that  holds all  life on this planet together.

There are many humans on this planet who  have never known  what  it is to  be connected with  the living world around them – who  look  out their windows in  the morning at  the dead concrete jungle surrounding them  and think  this life. Who  truly do  think  of the living world as a commodity solely for humanities’  use, and who  never once consider that  the view from  their window  would have once been  a joyous riot of life-   of birds,  trees  insects and many other  animals. What  humans have not known, we do not miss. The more humans become immersed in  an inanimate world of concrete  and tar, the more it becomes ‘normal’.

We do  not comprehend what  we have done to  our world, and what  awaits us at the end of this journey  of ‘commodification’.

 


Links

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/feb/02/economics-failure-over-destruction-of-nature-presents-extreme-risks

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/final-report-the-economics-of-biodiversity-the-dasgupta-review

Recognising the Environmental Impact of Consumption

Tena koutou
While the NZ Government’s decision to  declare a climate emergency  in New Zealand is to be applauded-  currently there appear few mechanisms  to   achieve a carbon-neutral  government by  2025. Prime Minister Jacinda Adern’s touted response to  have all  government vehicles  electric,  is a case in  point of the contradictions in  environmental  policy. There is an  urgent  need for all  citizens to recognise the  impact of product and service consumption.
While electric cars will  reduce carbon  emissions through  vehicle  exhaust pipes, the production of the required number of  electric vehicles will  result in  further destruction of our environments-  lithium  mining for batteries ,  steel  production,  plastics production. to  name just  a few.  A sleight of hand process that  reduces emissions in  one area and replaces it with  more consumption in  another-  is simply deceitful  and will  not improve our environmental impact. Any  climate “emergency planning (an  ’emergency’  implies a short -term  problem- this is not a short-term issue)  must  also  address the collateral  bio-diversity loss that  is occurring in New Zealand and everywhere in  the world.
As a recent Israeli  study  amply demonstrates;  production of inert ‘stuff’  by  humans now literally out-weighs  the living  things on  this planet https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/09/human-made-materials-now-outweigh-earths-entire-biomass-study
We are replacing  living entities with  dead inert  matter at  a rapidly  increasing rate-  a recipe not just  for  an  emergency,  but a planetary  disaster.
While moving to  a steady  state economy is the only plausible  response to   the disaster rapidly unfolding  on our little plant; current levers of power and influence globally and in New Zealand clearly will not allow that  to  happen in  the short -term.
Consequently ,  rather than moving gently and steadily to  a slow-down  and cessation of human  ‘growth’ ,  we are  rushing headlong and ever faster  towards the precipice of environmental  catastrophe,  before we  fall over…and reach ‘steady-state’  in a way  that  will  cause huge immediate human  and other species’ suffering  and death.
To   hopefully avoid that precipitous  fall, I would suggest a measure that  will  in a relatively short  time ,  allow all  members of New Zealand society to   appreciate we cannot continue  this headlong dash  to  oblivion.
A requirement  that all animate and non-animate goods   and services in New Zealand carry  a warning label  which  indicates how much  the product has impacted on  both  climate change ( positive or negative) but also  ( and more crucially)  biodiversity. The labeling could be something similar to   cigarette warning labels and provide an  opportunity for purchasers to  be aware of the environmental  impact  of their purchase,  to  compare  goods’  environmental impact  and to encourage producers to  reduce their  environmental  footprint..
Over time this labeling would also  provide an opportunity for government  to   additionally tax those products and services  that  were  high in  environmental  impact,  once public support had reached an  acceptable level.
From  there, the public debate on how to  implement a  sustainable  steady  state economy  could proceed.
As you will  be well  aware, as you see the  data continue to   pile in at  an  ever increasing rate  on  global  warming and bio-diversity loss ,  we now  have little time and opportunity  to change our trajectory.
nga mihi

Footnote
The response to  my email   from  New Zealand’s Ministry of the Environment  courteously noted my suggestions,  but declined to  support it,noting that there were some unnamed private New Zealand companies interested in such  an idea.
Subsequently my daughter has suggested that  there would be web  companies out there who  could develop  an  app  which   could provide information online  for ‘consumers’  on  the relative  carbon  footprint and impact on  biodiversity of products being sold.
Yes please!

Enough is really Enough

The decision by  regional  delegates of the New Zealand Green  Party  to  endorse a coalition with  the New Zealand  Labour Party after the recent New Zealand elections,  has resulted in  the two  co-leaders of the Green  Party once again  acquiring  ministerial  portfolios outside of Cabinet. Co-leader James Shaw  is now ‘Minister of Climate’  and ‘Associate Minister for the Environment’,  while Marama Davidson  is now Minister for the ‘Prevention of Family and Sexual  Violence’ and ‘Homelessness’.

In exchange  for these small  shiny  baubles of power  in a Labour dominated Parliament, the NZ Greens  have sadly irrefutably demonstrated that  they  are more interested in  holding on to  ‘power’  rather than  having a mission to  save our environment.

The Greens would have been  able to  play  a far stronger advocacy  role for the natural  world and  a future for humanity  if they had stayed out of Labour’s centrist  and growth  oriented government.

Labour’s election  byline says it all- “Let’s Keep Moving”.  One might be tempted to  ask  ‘what for?’  and ‘where to?” : and what  happens when  we , in  the not so  distant future,  run out  of those natural  resources we have been   so relentlessly exploiting in New Zealand for the past 200  years to  ‘keep  us moving’?

A Greens/Labour coalition is therefore an  abomination for the natural  world and for our futures in New Zealand.  The coalition  agreement puts a green-wash  over the strategies and actions of this new government to  ‘expand’  the economy,  which  will  inevitably destroy  more of our living world-  more roads,  more concrete,  more houses, more agro-business …

It is not too  late to construct  a New Zealand political  party that  truly upholds sustainable environmental  principles: a no-growth steady-state party. A party that  acknowledges the realities  of the limits to  growth  and the importance of restoring much of  our living world.

It is simply not possible  for N.Z.  to  continue to  pursue a “growth” strategy  for the human  economy-  for money. We urgently need a government  that  places a priority  on protecting and expanding the living world, and which  acknowledges  the reality that  humans are an intrinsic  part of Nature-  not something separate. Without  a vibrant living world around us,  we  humans will inevitably  perish.

We need a  N.Z.  ‘Steady-State’  party now!


Other Relevant New Antarctica Links

 

 

 

 

‘Growth’

I am a New Zealander-  a  ‘kiwi’ , a pakeha,  a white male.

In 1200 AD these island lands had never seen  a human, the land was almost completely covered in  dense forest (what  we call ‘the bush”) . Only one mammal  lived here-  the bat- perhaps blown  by  storms from  Australia  over 4000  kilometres  away: – a few lizards,  the seas teemed with fish and the remainder teeming wildlife were birds. When  the white man (pakeha) came in  the 1800s they  reported that  the sound of those birds’ dawn chorus was deafening- but no more.

We now live in  a land where we have  a few refuges of remainder bush  where tourists can  walk  and believe they  are once more in  a primeval  forest, but where the sounds of the dawn  chorus is no  longer deafening;  where the pigs,  possums and rats we introduced  have played their part in  the destruction of the bush ,  but  where man has been the ultimate destroyer. Where the living world is silent,  but the sound of man and his inanimate machines   is everywhere.

We live in  a land where introduced grassland ( where once was dense bush) feeds countless  sheep  and cows whose effluent pollutes our streams and rivers and the  farmers’ fertilizers  and  pesticides destroy the  living soil. We live in  a land where humans do  not care to  notice the ongoing destruction of our natural  world in  the name of ‘progress’  or even more benightedly,  “growth”. It is a tragedy  that  we use the word  ‘growth” which  talks to  the living world ,  to greenery,  and to  life,  to  describe the  destruction of   our living world into  a world of concrete  and tar ,  electronics, steel  and dead trees.

NZ Labour’s “Lets Get  Moving”  slogan  for our upcoming general  election,  and the  National Party’s   slogans that  everything depends on the economy,  all  represent a foolish,  immoral and  an intellectually bankrupt view that  we can  continue to  destroy our natural   world  with  human  ‘progress’  and ‘growth’ without any  repercussions.

However it is the New Zealand  Green Party’s openly stated policy  that  more jobs and ‘growth’  are compatible  with  a sustainable future for the planet and New Zealand that  really takes the cake.  Those are more jobs that  result in  more of our  once-living land sealed over,  more  trees and  other vegetation  destroyed, more insect species gone forever ,   more birds  and other species irretrievably lost to  the planet . Those more jobs and infrastructure are many more nails in  the coffin  of a world that  sustains us humans and the rest  of  our precariously living world.

We have to change;  right now, to a  policy of no-growth; of a steady  state economy  which  values and reveres all  the life in our world. We desperately need political  and economic polices which  understand that   the human  ‘growth’  we have experienced over the past 100  years has been on the back  of environmental  destruction. We can  no  longer afford that  trade-off; we have already  traded away  too  much of our living world for cheap  baubles.

We need to understand that  all  life is sacred. Not simply because it is  a morally and  humanly good thing to  do-  but because our future lives depend on it.


Links

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/12/western-worldyour-civilisation-killing-life-on-earth-indigenous-amazon-planet

Because economic growth is a threat to…

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/oct/12/fifth-of-nations-at-risk-of-ecosystem-collapse-analysis-finds

https://play.stuff.co.nz/details/_6199932699001

Other New Antarctica Links

https://www.newantarctica.com/15-ways-to-stop-destroying-our-world/

 

Navalny’s Novichok

The recent suspected poisoning  by  Novichok of Alexei  Navalny , politician & anti-corruption campaigner  in Russia, apparently  demonstrates remarkable levels of incompetence by the  Russian Federation & Vladimir Putin.

It should be noted that while Navalny is certainly a thorn in the side of Vladimir Putin  and his United Russia party from  an  anti-corruption point of view, and attains mythical  status  in Western  mainstream  media as Putin’s   potential  nemesis leading his  ‘Russia of the Future’ political  party , Nalvany’s  has 3 to  5% support amongst  Russian voters nationally and  by whom he is often perceived as an extremist, means that he is  currently little  of a political  threat to Putin.  However Nalvany’s   supporters in Russia and West allege, “state-run” media ignore him  and the ballot boxes are always stuffed in  Putin’s candiates’ favour. He may however have many enemies in both  government and private corporate Russian circles.

Craig Murray,  ex U.K.  ambassador, whistleblower on U.K  complicity in torture, supporter of Assange and other unpopular human rights issues,  and  now conveniently  likely soon  to  be imprisoned by  the U.K.  government on  some highly questionable charges , outlines below just  some of the  ‘peculiarities’ of the poisoning.

Let us first take the weapon of attack. One thing we know about a “Novichok” for sure is that it appears not to be very good at assassination. Poor Dawn Sturgess is the only person ever to have allegedly died from “Novichok”, accidentally according to the official narrative. “Novichok” did not kill the Skripals, the actual target. If Putin wanted Navalny dead, he would try something that works. Like a bullet to the head, or an actually deadly poison.

“Novichok” is not a specific chemical. It is a class of chemical weapon designed to be improvised in the field from common domestic or industrial precursors. It makes some sense to use on foreign soil as you are not carrying around the actual nerve agent, and may be able to buy the ingredients locally. But it makes no sense at all in your own country, where the FSB or GRU can swan around with any deadly weapon they wish, to be making homemade nerve agents in the sink. Why would you do that?

Further we are expected to believe that, the Russian state having poisoned Navalny, the Russian state then allowed the airplane he was traveling in, on a domestic flight, to divert to another airport, and make an emergency landing, so he could be rushed to hospital. If the Russian secret services had poisoned Navalny at the airport before takeoff as alleged, why would they not insist the plane stick to its original flight plan and let him die on the plane? They would have foreseen what would happen to the plane he was on.

Next, we are supposed to believe that the Russian state, having poisoned Navalny, was not able to contrive his death in the intensive care unit of a Russian state hospital. We are supposed to believe that the evil Russian state was able to falsify all his toxicology tests and prevent doctors telling the truth about his poisoning, but the evil Russian state lacked the power to switch off the ventilator for a few minutes or slip something into his drip. In a Russian state hospital.

Next we are supposed to believe that Putin, having poisoned Navalny with novichok, allowed him to be flown to Germany to be saved, making it certain the novichok would be discovered. And that Putin did this because he was worried Merkel was angry, not realising she might be still more angry when she discovered Putin had poisoned him with novichok- Craig Murray

Curiously again, Navalny’s poisoning just happened to coincide with an  intense level  of blackmail  and lobbying from  the United States for Germany to  renege on its agreement with Russia to  provide  Germany with cheap  natural  gas via Nordstream 2 pipeline ( to  ensure Germany buys vastly more expensive U.S. gas) and  the current political  debacle occurring in  Belorussia,  where Poland,   the Ukraine and the Nordic states are putting intense pressure on  the Belorussian state to  not sign  up  to the previously agreed political  and military  merging of Belorussia with Russia.

As Southfront notes, it would appear that  the Navalny case and the colour revolution style demonstrations   supported from  those states, has prompted the Belorussian  President Lukashenko; just  recently re-elected on  somewhat dubious grounds after obtaining 80% of the vote!- to  once again  change direction and support the merger with the Russian Federation.

It also  appears somewhat  strange that  Germany has decided that  a Russian national ,  supposedly poisoned on Russian soil,  is the political  business of the German  state. Should Germany wish  to pursue that line of political  enquiry, then  Germany should have  rightly long ago  sanctioned and demanded explanations from the United States, United Kingdom, France and other Western  states for their appalling record of genocidal wars  they they have engaged in.

And one more speculative narrative  explores whether the Novichok accusations are part of a campaign  by  the U.S.  to  ensure the  newly developed  (and rather rushed) Russian COVID19  vaccine, does not  undercut U.S.  attempts (and particularly Bill Gates’) initiatives to  market a vaccine to the world.

All  this  alongside the ongoing attempt by  Western intelligence  agencies  and their mainstream  media “associates” to ‘fit up’  Russia and China  with every possible charge of criminal  activity and human rights violations, so  that  Western  populations can  accept and applaud the loss of access to Russian and Chinese goods, the need for more weapons and even the justification for war. It is important to recognise too, that the linkages between Western  intelligence agencies are very  strong,  and often can be at  odds with  the positions of those in  government, to the benefit of those who  can make money  out of death  and destruction.

The U.S.  and the U.K.  are very much aware that  their economic influence on the rest of the world is rapidly waning, and their historical  methods of violence intimidation and corruption no longer have the power they use to,  with the rise of China as an economic counterweight.

Thus we see  a long term pattern of accusations of the use of “Weapons of Mass Destruction” or other mass human rights violations  against  states the U.S.  and the U.K wish  to  first destabilise and  then  extract   the profits from  that destruction. The list  includes   Iraq,  Syria,  Libya, Iran,  Russia, Venezuela,  China…   Those countries that  continue to  violate human  rights on  a massive scale like Israel, Saudi Arabia, Colombia and many others  are exempt from  that pressure because they are already  within  the US/UK economic sphere . And of course the  genocidal  activities of the U.S. and U.K.  in their endless colonial  wars are simply brushed under the carpet.

Both the U.S.  and the U.K.  know that once China ,  in collaboration with its Belt and Road partners, achieves overwhelming economic ( and military) superiority,  there will be many many British and American  leaders  confronting the International  Court of Justice in the Hague for their crimes and the need for just  compensation for those states they have destroyed over the past  100  years.

Follow the money….

Postscript

Southfront posits some alternative reasons for Navalny being ‘poisoned’ here 


Links

Homo Homini Lupus Est: Did Navalny’s Allies Poison The Oppositionist For Flying Too Close To The Sun?

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/09/navalny-gets-skripaled.html#comments

https://www.unz.com/ishamir/navalny-poison/

https://www.thelocal.de/20200822/whos-behind-the-berlin-ngo-which-rescued-russias-opposition-leader

The Navalny case: Poisoning or another occasion to heighten Russo-European tensions?

https://www.unz.com/ishamir/navalny-poison/

Novichok, Navalny, Nordstream, Nonsense

https://www.sott.net/article/440822-German-Novichok-poisoning-claims-over-Navalny-will-prompt-familiar-circus-of-sanctions-Russia-demonisation-But-who-benefits

https://www.thenation.com/article/world/alexei-navalny-poisoning/

 

Belarus Chooses Integration With Russia Against Navalny Poisoning

Novichok and Nonsense: From a Post-Factual to a Post-Logic World

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/09/05/pers-s05.html

Germany, Not Russia, Should Answer Questions Over Navalny Case

 

The Anti Sino-Russian Agenda

Over the last few months  (May,  June, July 2020) we have seen  increasing numbers of media articles lambasting the Chinese and Russian  governments for  various supposed or presumed crimes.  In almost every  case of these articles –  little or nothing has been presented to  argue an alternative view of this anti-Sino-Russian agenda ( which  one would suppose to be one of the virtues of a ‘free”  press).

We are told that  the Chinese or Russians are ‘highly likely’  to  have done this or that,  often  purely based on  ‘opensource’  material- i.e.  online authors  with  a variety of axes to  grind about Russia or China, and who  invariably use speculation , innuendo  or simply falsehoods, to  explain  their prejudices and  their sponsors.

Along with other U.K. media, The Guardian, once a British left-wing newspaper,  now continually trots out anti-Russian propaganda,  with the latest most absurd article being its  allegation that  Russian hackers had stolen   information about a COVID-19  vaccine  from  Oxford University. The newspaper reports failed to mention  however that  the Russian  government had in  fact previously purchased the  vaccine  information, so  was somewhat  unlikely to  have also  stolen it.

The  fictions  about Russian involvement in the tawdry Skripal affair and the subsequent death of Dawn Sturgess  have been meticulously pulled apart by  Craig Murray and others and shown to  not only be implausible,  but impossible. However as Craig Murray  reminds us,  simply to  argue that  the Russian’s were highly unlikely to have  been  responsible for what  happened to  Sturgess or the Skripals,  does not mean  that  the Russian  government,  like most large  state agencies around the world-  does not engage in  illegal  international  activities.

It should be clear however that  the ongoing farcical  campaign  against  President Putin by  the Western press, relates less to  any real  international  Russian activities that  breach  “international  norms”-and rather more to  do  with  the annoying habit of the Putin  administration  of  blocking ongoing foreign access to  Russia’s state assets,  which  under President Yeltsin were  appropriated by  so-called Russian  oligarchs and siphoned off through  bank accounts managed via the City of London. Now in  dire economic circumstances because of Brexit and COVID-9  lockdown, the British  government is desperate to  regain  access to  that  little gold-mine.

Similarly with  the U.S.  economy in  free-fall,  the Americans are desperate to halt the rise of China. China is fast becoming  a world leader on the economic and technological  innovation front, and with   largely comprehensive and safe response to  COVID19,  appears to have weathered much of the resultant economic storm  from lockdown. In  contrast,  both  the U.S. and the U.K.  have demonstrated staggering levels of stupidity and incompetence in  their response to  the virus, which  will  mean ongoing risks to  their economies for  years to  come.

The United States response  therefore, to issues like the Russian  Nordstream2 pipelines to  Europe and their determination to bring down Huawei’s  technological  leadership  in 5G  or the attempt to  undermine China’s Belt and Road   are simply  part of the U.S.’s  intent to  ensure the U.S.  retain its  global  economic leadership  for as long as it can so  that American big business can continue to  exploit its more vulnerable partners, while its internal  infrastructure crumbles.

Along with  attacks on  Russian  and Chinese  economic initiatives,  we see ongoing American  and U.K.  attacks on  Chinese and Russian  vulnerabilities. In  China those attacks focus on  the Uighur separatist  and  jihadist concerns  ( funded and trained in Syria by  the Turks,  the Saudis and Western  intelligence ‘interests”)  and the subsequent  Chinese government crackdown on  the Uighur population, and also  on  the Chinese response to   sometimes violent demonstrations by   young Chinese people in Hong Kong – which  again  have been  supported in  their battle for a fictitious  Free Hong Kong (something that  their former British  colonial  overseers only appeared to promote in the last few years of the colony  once it become clear that  HK was going to be returned to  Chinese government rule) The waving of American and British   flags, singing the Star Spangled Banner  and  the calls for the “Han  Chinese’  to  stay  out of HK by Chinese Han HK  protesters, only highlighted the absurdity of the issues they  were demanding. Hong Kong could not survive  a year  without their economic lifeline to  the mainland.

There is no  doubt that  the Chinese government will  be ruthless in  its crackdown on  dissent,  but we should not forget how ruthless both the Americans and the British have been in  their exploitation of “the coloured races’  over the last 100  years; From  the use of Hong Kong to  funnel  opium  to  addicts on  the mainland right up  to  the Japanese invasion of HK  in 1941 ( which  was only stopped because the Japanese did not have access to   the  British controlled opium  producers ),   the atom  bombs over Nagasaki  and Hiroshima,  the Korean genocide  where millions of North  Korean civilians  were exterminated  as American  and British  ( and other ‘allies’ )  bombed every town  and city in North Korea, to   the millions dead in  Vietnam  Cambodia and Laos:  Libya,  Syria, Iraq, Yemen … the list  of barbarity  is endless.

In Russia we saw U.K  and U.S.  media  creating fictitious articles about the little green (Russian) military men in Eastern Ukraine,  and Russian  tanks rolling over the border into  Ukraine , while extolling the virtues of those ‘patriotic’ Ukrainians of dubious lineage,  along with the constant analogies to Putin as  Hitler as Russia assumed peaceful control  of the Crimea ( for several  hundred years  populated almost entirely by  Russians) .

As the British and U.S.  begin  their rapid slide to long term  economic  depression, we shall  undoubtedly see more  strident and likely more ridiculous claims surface about the Russians and the Chinese. However as the Russia/ Brexit  media response has shown in  recent times;  it works!  Many of the British  and American  public are indeed  gullible and uneducated  enough to  believe anything that their government throws at  them. Yes, of course the Russians made Brexit  a reality by  putting a few articles in Russia Today  and Sputnik supporting the British  exit from the European  Europe!!

But,  through  all of this,  we should note that  these competing nations appear oblivious to  the rapidly developing climate  catastrophe,  now   aligned with  catastrophic species loss.  War  and human deprivation  are key drivers of the degradation of our environment;  alongside the insane drive for our global  populations to  ‘consume’  more inanimate things whilst destroying our living world.

Sadly ,  real   human  statemanship, intelligence   and vision simply does  not exist  in our time of greatest need.


Links

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/12/21/china-detaining-millions-uyghurs-problems-claims-us-ngo-researcher/

 

 

A No-Growth Economy

Looking for Answers
Looking for Answers

COVID-19  has demonstrated the remarkable limitations  of rational  decision-making in  a number of  Western countries;  particularly in Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S;  as well  as the unlimited  capacity for crazed behaviours of  some leaders like President Bolsinaro  in Brazil.

It would appear that western countries are not generally particularly good at keeping their populations safe.

We see countries desperately trying to ‘re-start’ their economies with  subsidies and other mechanisms – attempting to  create a return  to  the old world of  constant growth.

We see the United States now calling in its allies and mainstream media across the world; ramping up the anti-Chinese hysteria to try and ensure China does not come out of this pandemic as a stronger super-power and world leader.

And here in New Zealand we see  a government which has  very  capably managed the pandemic with  evidence based practice, now  pretending that  we can  return  to  old ‘normal” .    A world of constant growth in a finite world: returning to the constant destruction of our ever more precarious   living world for more human ‘progress’. –more tourism, more roads, more building construction more air-flights. …

No  government money  towards a few ‘greening’  projects can  alter the fact  that  our ‘progress’  is rapidly  destroying the living  branch  we humans  are clinging to.

We need a no growth economy now! An economy which understands that if we continue to expand our human boot-print year upon year- we hasten not only all other species’  destruction , but also our own.

That point of no return may have already passed, but   we need to  act urgently to restore the natural  world we are  rely upon  for our existence-  more trees,  more sustainable  agriculture,  and above all,   total respect  for all  living things.

If we thought COVID-19 was big; the environmental crisis the world faces right now will eclipse everything we have ever faced. It’s time to try and reduce the risks to us all-now!



Links

https://theecologist.org/2020/may/18/case-degrowth-time-pandemic


 

Back to the Old ‘Normal’?

 

The Importance of an Education
           The Importance of an Education

As the  world’s populations witness the ongoing farce  and unnecessary  deaths  that is the U.K. and U.S.  responses to  the pandemic; they  see two countries whose rulers are totally incompetent,   bombastic,  entirely ego-centred and without a clue in  the world. Their  egotistical  traits and their greed has directly resulted in  thousands more human  deaths than ever needed to  occur in this pandemic.

The entire Washington system-  Democrat  or Republican  is now hell-bent on  demonising China. China,  the cause ( supposedly deliberately  if we were to  believe that thug and inveterate liar, U.S.  Secretary  of State Pompeo), of the  COVID-19  global  pandemic. One  of the more brilliant (crazed) theories   by  the Washington swamp  is that   information  to  the world on  pandemic and the  epidemic epicentre in Wuhan  China was delayed so  that  China could corner the market  on COVID-19  masks and PPE equipment!

They  see  those two regimes, The U.S.  and The U.K.,  whose only apparent interest  is maintaining  their disintegrating economies (and subduing  countries who  do  not toe the U.S.  line on  all  matters) while their  health  systems  teeter on  the verge of collapse,  in  contrast  to  those ‘authoritarian” and other  more democratic governments, who have prioritised the safety and health of all  their populations.

No  wonder then,  that there is a desperate need  for the United States to  try  and re-assert itself as   ‘world leader’ and master of the universe in  the face of  governments who share proved demonstrably more agile,  smarter and  more  compassionate to  the needs of their populations. The bully-boy of the globe is under threat:  from  within  and without. Secretary of State Pompeo   therefore exemplifies perfectly what  America stands for-  and what  it has always stood for: greed, violence and lies.  The new trade alliance with  the U.K.  one of the desperate last gasp  attempts to  maintain  some hegemony in  the world .

In places like New Zealand and other countries high on  the ‘bucket list’  for wealthy  people to  visit , overseas tourism has slumped dramatically since the pandemic. Tourism  operators and regulators are now  calling for   big media campaigns to  artificially promote local  tourism. It does beg the question as to  why  our society  has to  rely on manipulated  media -driven purposeless consumption to  survive.

Tourism  is one of the primary  human  activities which  are rapidly degrading our planet till  it is no longer live-able for us or any other known  species. Its reliance on  massive air traffic flows  and consequent  very  high CO2 production  through long-haul  jet plane engines,  its reliance on  building non-organic  infrastructure like  roads,  hotels,  tracks through  nature and many other acts of ‘progress’, in  natural  environments  and   consequent human  traffic,  which  rapidly degrade  the lives of other species we are so  desperate to  see,  are just  two  of the massively environmentally destructive activities of tourism  that global  human  populations  has been  sold as a ‘must-have’  over the past 30  years.

It has to  stop. It will  stop,  but surely better it is  that  we plan now for job transfers to  essential and  non-environmentally destructive activities, before we face  a new inevitable  likely larger shock  to  our  crazy  economic system, and consequently even  more   massive human  dislocation, trauma and death . Unemployment  deals a savage blow to  people’s sense of hope and a bright future;  let alone the impact  it can have on  access to  food and  health  services . We know that global environmental  collapse, and consequent complete economic collapse, is going to  happen unless we shift our  focus to  providing just  the essentials for human  beings and stop  destroying our world for nothing.

New cycle lanes or more public transport in  our urban  environments are lovely things to have while we  speed  ever more rapidly to    environmental  disaster – but they  don’t go  anywhere near the  need for change required to  turn  our economic system around into  something  sustainable  that  values all  living things.

Our bizarre and psychotic  magical belief in  the ‘invisible  hand ‘  of capitalism  over the past 100  years  to create wealth  and happiness for all humans ( but not other species we rely on  in this world for our survival)has created this  appallingly stupid and callous human centric world system we live in;  where other species become ‘products’  for our consumption;  where the  living and  beautiful natural environment that  surrounds us  is simply there for us to  make ‘productive’  by poisoning it with pesticides and fertilizers, or sealing it over with concrete and tar; where we do  not think  for a moment about the massive destruction of the lives of other species we destroy every  day in  our quest  for ‘progress’- all those animals who  we now know for certain   have fears and thoughts and emotions and who  we so  callously and cruelly inflict  pain  and loss on every  day.

We do  not need this ‘progress’ that  the  media and  business have propagandized  into  our hearts and minds for so  long :  we can  in  fact  live more productive and contented lives being more attuned to  the living world of which  we are inextricably part of-  but we have to  change now!


Relevant Links

Human Crises & Saving the Planet-New Antarctica

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/01/city-leaders-aim-to-shape-green-recovery-from-coronavirus-crisis

Why It’s Wrong (and Racist) to Blame Covid-19 on Chinese ‘Wet Markets’

Conserving Politics or Conserving Nature?

The Plot to Blame China for COVID-19

COVID-19: Complicit in Millions of Deaths Since 1945, UK Govt Won’t Face Justice Over Virus

COVID-19: Donald Trump’s Caligula Moment

https://www.unz.com/pescobar/get-ready-for-the-next-game-changer-the-digital-yuan/

https://theconversation.com/guide-to-the-classics-mary-shelleys-the-last-man-is-a-prophecy-of-life-in-a-global-pandemic-136963

https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-three-misconceptions-about-how-animals-transmit-diseases-debunked-134485

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-05/11/c_139048008.htm

Human Crises & Saving the Planet

Human Crises & Saving the Planet
Human Crises & Saving the Planet

Can  the  COVID-19  pandemic create a change of heart in humanity,  and create a more just  and sustainable world?

As we have seen in  the past few weeks of the Coronavirus (or COVID19) outbreak, mankind continues to seek to  eliminate all  risk to itself.

Craig Murray  elicits a lucid outline of the  contradictions in  such  an  approach. All  living things are mortal. If we were immortal,  the consequences for the planet would be even more horrendous than they  are now.

Man’s current predilection for moving him or herself rapidly around the globe has allowed what  would have been  a very localised outbreak in Wuhan  city, Yunan province,  China, to become a global  epidemic in  a few short weeks.  The response  therefore in  most countries in  the world has been  to  eliminate  movement to  reduce transmission . Airline passenger numbers globally  have dropped precipitously and factory production has stalled,  resulting in a remarkably fast  transition to  an  (at  least  temporarily)  cleaner world and where other  animals  and vegetation retake  their rightful  place on the planet .

Other strategies however like  those used to  contain  tourists in  their cruise ships when a COVID19 infection occurs on-board by  circulating air in  the closed-system air conditioning units of the ships to  every passenger,  or the U.K.s initial  strategy  of  ‘herd immunity’, or simply blind ignorance  as in Sweden or the United States, where lockdowns    have largely failed to  occur because  of economic slowdown  fears, and have  instead vastly increased the risk of contagion and thus increased long-term economic risks considerably.

However we also  know that  that  the more transmission human  to  human  that  occurs,  the more likely  humans  will   adapt to  the new  virus, as will  the virus itself adapt to  humans and  thereby reduce its impact  on  the body  once infected. An acknowledgement that  all  humans (as do  most other species)  have large amounts of “foreign”  living entities in their bodies  which  are constantly adapting to  the  changing human bioome, permits us to be more cognizant (even welcoming)  of new bacteria and viruses that invade our bodies.

But we also need to  acknowledge that  those humans whose bodies are already  compromised by  other health issues  are much  more at  risk  from  this new  virus in  our bodies.  To  save as many lives as possible,  we need to  slow the onslaught on our medical  systems to  a  manageable level and thus help  reduce the death  rates..

The response to COVID19  has  exemplified the frailties of humans.  Our  insistence that   economic activity  and ‘taming’  (destroying) our living world  take precedence over all   other matters, has been  shattered by  our new global  understanding that  the interconnected world we have created in  the past few decades puts us all  at  immediate risk   when  new biological  threats occur.

COVID19  has also presented in  stark  terms the  childishness and stupidity of many of our leaders:  from the U.K prime minister Boris Johnson   happily shaking hands with COVID19  victims on   a hospital  visit  and now recovering  himself after being in Intensive Care, to  the pathetic tantrums of Donald Trump  petulantly  threatening to  de-fund the vital role of the World Health Organisation because they  clearly demonstrate the bizarre  inadequacies  of the for-profit  U.S.  ‘public’  health  system.

Perhaps though it is the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro  who  epitomises all  that is wrong with  such  politicised state leadership;  where  decisions are made not in  the interest of the country and its human  population (let along other living entities there) but in  the interests and petty ignorance of the leader alone-  so  he can  cling to  power regardless of the  devastation and death  mounting around him, But we also  see some other bizarre  enactments of the frailties of the democratic process;  in Belarus, or in Nicaragua where the Sandinista government appears to  basically deny they have a problem,  or Sweden,  relying on  a rogue epidemiologist to  undertake an  experiment in ‘herd immunity’  on its older people and other  vulnerable populations. Sadly Hercule Poirot’s ‘little grey  cells’  are not in  evidence  in  any of these so-called ‘leaders’.

Politicians and mainstream  media have continued their ongoing  scaremongering about Russian  threats  to  “our  way  of life”;  and/or the Chinese apparently ( according to  many  Western politicians and MSM)  for some obscure reason choosing to hide the fact  that  they had a pandemic for more than  two  weeks  from  their local  population and the world, and have been  covering up  the data  ever since . Why?-  well  because they  are ‘evil people’ basically and not like us!- and because ultimately, if the United States is to  retain  its  rapidly diminishing status as the ‘exceptional  nation’,   it is going to  have to  bomb the hell  out of any up-and-coming nation that  threatens its imperial  hegemony in  the world..

As had been noted by  the World Health Organisation and many other epidemiologists, the Chinese government response to  the Wuhan  pandemic has been rapid and responsive and effective. More effective than other country’s response to date. However the mainstream  media and other Western  commentators like to  spin  it,  the reality is that  the amazing reduction in   deaths and  infections in Wuhan  and across China has not been because “China is an authoritarian  state’,  but because it has mobilized all  aspects of society; businesses,  state organisations and community  organisations in a very  systematic way, and not because, as one U.S.  epidemiologist  has said:  the most important( reason) is that the impact of physical distancing achieved in China has been hard to accomplish elsewhere, mostly because of the freedoms we correctly value in liberal democracies’. That  commentary  is  simply a sad  reflection of  many Western  countries’ lack  of will,  leadership and a cultural awareness of community and society rather than  pure individuality and how  the  short term  imperatives of  the business economy ‘trumps’  everything else, including  people’s well-being in our individualist  neo-liberal  world.

Knowing when  a series of similar cases is in  fact  an epidemic is extremely difficult for any health  agency;  and  given  that  COVID-19  is a totally new virus,  the response to  the epidemic in Wuhan  was surprisingly fast. The work  done in Wuhan is described in  detail  here. Western media continue  to belittle that response and cast  doubt on  the  accuracy  of the data  while all  the time  providing misleading death  figures by  often excluding  non hospital  deaths,  and particularly people in  aged care facilities,  or people with  other morbidities like cardiovascular disease who  would not have died at  that time  without COVID-19 complications .

In a few years  once the politics of all  this faded on  to  something else,  we will  find that the death  rate in Europe and the U.S.  was substantially  higher than  has been  reported to  date. The equation is simple- what is a ‘normal’ death  rate for a particular time period and location ,  and what  was the rate under COVID-19?

Western  oriented  states continue to collaborate with  the United States in  enforcing  sanctions against  North  Korea,  Iran,  Cuba, Syria, Russia and Venezuela, to name a few,  in  the ongoing hope that  the sanctions will  cause enough deaths and deprivation for their populations to  rise up  against  their “evil  governments”. ( We know we’re on  the ‘right side’ don’t we?)

Some writers have subsequently that  the world must   and will  change because of COVID19: that  we will  become more caring and connected communities,  that   neo-liberalism  has demonstrated its  complete indifference, callousness  and  incapacity to  respond to such  global  crises  and the human  suffering it causes,  and will  go  down the plug-hole of history,  or even that greed  and selfishness  will  be  inexorably replaced by  caring and just  communities. Sadly ,  it is very  unlikely that  any of those hoped for  responses will  occur in the sort to  medium  term.

For as long as this economic system  can  continue  to  exploit our living world and our less fortunate human populations,  and a few people can make a huge amount of money;  then  the depredation of this planet will  continue and the planet  will  continue  its path to  destruction.

It is not by  the goodness in  people’s hearts, or lecturing by  this or that  environmental  group  or the Extinction Rebellion,  that  much  of the world’s populations will  begin  to  interact  in  sustainable  ways with  our living world;  it will  be because  they  are forced  to make pragmatic changes that  allow they and their families and communities to survive in  a rapidly changing  climate and green  world.

However there is hope.  As we  plunge headlong ever faster to  environmental  global  disaster,  global  shocks to  our fragile and  senseless economic system will  begin  to  multiply. Insurance companies will  go  bankrupt,  debt-ridden incompetent governments will  increasingly  become unable to   prop  up existing  exploitative  companies,  world tourism and air-traffic will  decline precipitously,  and people’s livelihoods will  steadily become re-oriented towards sustainable  activities and “essential’  service.

 

Then,  and only then,  will  we begin  the journey  back  to  a  sustainable world where we can live in  harmony  with our fellow living beings.

As the tongue in cheek  image from  Facebook  demonstrates, we are indeed seeing  animals and birds and presumably other more invisible species,  reclaiming their birthright in  our human oriented  environments as  human  busi-ness recedes. So  many humans are now rejoicing in  being  able to once again   interact  with our fellow species   …

Other New Antarctica Links

Sustainable Agriculture: It is possible


Momento Mori – Unpopular Thoughts on Corona Virus

https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/03/is-the-coronavirus-really-more-dangerous-than-the-flu.html#more

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00548-w

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/16/number-coronavirus-pandemic?

How China Broke the Chain of Infection

COVID-19: How the Media Hyped the Public Into an Anti-China Frenzy

New Research Shows Anti-Coronavirus Drugs Could Be Produced for Pennies

People ‘shed’ high levels of coronavirus, study finds, but most are likely not infectious after recovery begins

15 Ways To Stop Destroying Our World

15 ways to stop  destroying our world won’t be easy  changes to make – but they  have to  be made. 

We need to  immediately stop  the race to  the edge of ecological  abyss. There are indeed practical and viable alternatives to  the way  we  live our lives as humans. The transition wont be easy, and most of the rich  bastards are going to  go  to  the wall-  c’est  la vie!

But we need to  start now before  large scale catastrophe forces us to  stop  this crazy way  of interacting with  the world we live in. 

In order to reach the Paris Accord goals according to the Intergovernmental Panel, the world would need to see:

  • rapid and far-reaching” changes in energy systems (immediate end of fossil fuels), 
  • land use (agricultural land replanted with trees), 
  • city layouts and transportation (to reduce car use), 
  • buildings (all retrofitted to renewable energy), 
  • vast reduction or elimination of road and air travel, and 
  • worldwide checks on human material consumption. 
In other words, the end of capital civilization as we know it and its replacement by low-energy, pre-industrial, self-sufficient local and regional economies  —within a decade.
From https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/09/26/the-illusion-of-saving-the-world/
Seagul and
seagull and fledglings
However much more is needed to save our world; including….
  1. Education of the young (and older humans) about the vital  importance of respecting and protecting all  living things-an  understanding that other species are not commodities for human use and are essential  for our mutual survivability.
  2. An  understanding and  agreement that  technology  will  not save the world from  the climate emergency  or catastrophic species loss-  natural  living  solutions are the only solution
  3. The planting of  indigenous trees and shrubs in  every  available green  space  
  4. The banning of artificial pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers
  5. The planting of billions of indigenous trees -replacing areas used for monoculture farming; particularly meat and dairy production
  6. The pulling up of vast  areas of concrete and tar and replacing it  with  perennial  vegetation trees and shrubs
  7. The end of all  ‘growth’  economies-  a return  to  no-growth- (an end to  consumption for its own  sake)
  8. The encouragement of wildlife into  urban areas
  9. The banning of killing of all  wildlife
  10. The re-enlivening of buried urban  rivers and streams
  11. The  end of  non repairable goods
  12. The  compulsory  education of all  children in permaculture gardening
  13. The banning of all non essential air traffic
  14. The construction of efficient light-rail rail  networks
  15. The building of food and energy  self-sufficiency in all  communities

Even  then, the cumulative  impacts of 2000  years of global  species loss,  and 200  years of CO2 and other gas emissions into  our atmosphere will not be ‘put right’  in  a few hundred years…

Economists, politicians and business-people alike know full  well  that  a closed system like our world, cannot produce indefinite economic  “growth” (a completely flawed concept in itself). Why are they  pushing the world to the precipice ever faster? 

Therefore the sooner we begin to  implement the above processes and policies, the easier the transition  will be, with less loss of human  and other species lives.


Other   Links

The Illusion of Saving the World

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/saving-the-planet-means-overthrowing-the-ruling-elites/

Greta Thunberg & the Consolation of Doubt

The Great Acceleration….

Selling your Mother…

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/12/doughnut-growth-economics-book-economic-model

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/25/rewilding-britains-rainforest-planting-trees