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!

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/

 

 

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

America’s Exceptional Interest in Wars

We have often heard that  it is in  America’s “interests”  to  start this or that  war, to   “defend democracy and human  rights”  or some other  envisioning of the United States as that  Shining City on the Hill  of freedom  and light.  However when  we come to  examine what  particular Interests  are at  stake for the United States in  these  aggressions,  we somehow fail  to  note that  those interest  are solely business interests-  –  and not just  any businesses-  but big business-  large powerful corporations  with  tentacles in  many countries  whose financial  interests  may  either be jeopardized or opportunities   lost  if this or that  country  is not subjugated  once again  by  the U.S.  military  for  the profit margins of United States’ businesses.

Pity the poor country  that  dares to not bend its knee to  U.S.  corporate interest…it will be  sanctioned,  ridiculed,  its minority  groups funded and trained to  create  instability,  (or worse),  and if that  doesn’t succeed in  bringing that  recalcitrant country  to  the ‘negotiating’  table-  then  a little genocidal  war might help.

As U.S Major-General  Smedley  Butler has often been  quoted:

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses. (1933)…

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism….

Supporting big business in  any way the U.S.  military  can ( regardless of international  conventions,  human  rights, human  lives,  human  decency  or any other ‘soft’  issue) is and always has been,  therefore the complete and total  sum  of United States international  relations-  it has no  other purpose.

We may  wonder who  profits from  the apparently senseless endless war  waged by  the United States in  Afghanistan-  could it be that  the CIA is once again filling its coffers with  the blood of  the drug-addicted? -or who  profits  from  supporting Israel’s slow genocide of the Palestinian  people,  or who  profits from  the human  catastrophe that  is the Saudi  war on Yemen?

“Foolish”  and soft issues like  the global  emergency ( maybe more like global  ‘catastrophe’?) are therefore a complete irrelevance. American exceptionalism  is seen in its true form-  red in  tooth  and claw as Alfred Lord Tennyson  wrote about nature. No  morality,  no ethics,  pure barbarism  and pure profit.

It is small  wonder that those poor American  soldiers coming back  from  America’s pointless and endless wars  of total  barbarism,  struggle  to  come to  terms with their “moral  injury” to  the propaganda they  have been  force-fed from  an  early age,  of the United States being a civilizing  and enlightened country in  a world of barbarism.

U.S.  bases surrounding Iran
U.S. bases surrounding Iran

Peculiar to  those  pink-skinned Americans who  front for big business in  the military  and  in Washington, is a deeply entrenched racism  of those who  are “other” and darker skinned:-   whether they  be  Plains Indians,   Filipinos,  Japanese,  Koreans, Vietnamese, Iraqi’s, Libyans, Syrians-  even  the Slavic Russian  and Serbian nations ..  the list  goes on  and on  and on….

It is time for the world to  recognise the savagery  and brutality of United States’  international  relations.  It is time to press for reparations for the  environmental  destruction,   the war destruction,  war crimes,  loss of life,  the torture  and the  murders  that  the United States has inflicted on  the world in  the fictitious name of “democracy  and freedom” in  the past  100  years. It is time to  end this  barbarism  and stupidity.

The United States is indeed ‘exceptional’,  but not quite in the way  that  their propagandists planned it. The American  state is  exceptional  in  it being a war  machine;  the government’s role is largely to  fund and plan  wars which  will  assist  the American  armament industry to  sell more weapons at  home abroad.


Links

https://original.antiwar.com/andy_corbley/2019/07/01/how-does-the-war-on-terror-stack-up-to-some-of-historys-most-infamous-genocides/

https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-united-states-of-genocide-putting-the-us-on-trial-for-genocide-against-the-peoples-of-korea-laos-viet-nam-cambodia-iraq-and-elsewhere/5352227

https://www.thenation.com/article/naming-americas-own-genocide/

https://www.globalresearch.ca/united-states-war-crimes/5561468

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/meet-american-empires-dr-death/

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/

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

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