plague of locusts

“Each time history repeats itself, so it’s said, the price goes up.  The twentieth century was a time of runaway growth in human numbers, consumption, and technology, placing a colossal load on all natural systems, especially earth, air, and water – the very elements of life.  The great question of the twenty-first century is how, or whether this can go on.”  (2004) A SHORT HISTORY OF PROGRESS by Ronald Wright, 0-88784-706-4.

The answer, a mere fifteen years later, is we are already facing crisis, aka climate change.  Luckily many are beginning to ask “what is it we can we do to stop this?”

Unfortunately world governments have a rather different agenda.  From a stance of denying climate change, to accepting it, but with ridiculously long targets, now climate change is being seen as a positive thing, an opportunity for capitalism to reap even greater financial rewards, from the exploitation of previously inaccessible territories (“All aboard” GUARDIAN WEEKEND 23/02/19).

For those of us who remain concerned, there are still things we can do.  Two major factors drive climate change.  The first is consumption, we are rapidly using up what little is left of the planet’s finite natural resources.  We therefore need to stop buying.  But this is difficult, businesses and governments work very hard at convincing us we need instead to spend more.  Thankfully though they all have an Achilles heel, their greed, and margins are now so tight, especially in the biggest concerns, that if sales were to fall, even for as little as 24 hours in some cases, many would go to the wall.  All we need to do then is use social media to organise coordinated boycotts, and learn how to live on less.

Second, and far more serious, is the number of consumers.  In Europe we are totally unaware that human population is a problem, in fact many countries believe they have a falling population that should be increased, for the sake of future generations.  This is a gross misconception.  Our species globally has actually reached plague/ infestation proportions, it is literally destroying everything in its path.  And those figures are the only relevant ones.  Putting it into a proper perspective, our current manifestation began about 200,000 years ago, and from there we multiplied very slowly, over the whole period, approximately by 3,000 a year, so that by 1760 our global number had reached a total of only 650,000,000.  But then we experienced the Industrial Revolution, and this changed everything, including the birth/ survival rate.  Global population began to rise exponentially until now it totals twelve times as many as there were in 1760.  This year the increase on last year is a staggering 81,000,000 new people (eighty-one million!).

Every single one of those, even if they are convinced they are living sustainably, are personally responsible for consuming the habitat and lives of an incalculable number of other species, like locusts, turning the few remaining “natural” parts of the planet into lifeless deserts.  This has to stop.  Quite simply we have to cease accepting (and encouraging) procreation.  At least until our global population drops to a true sustainable figure.

For the sake of all those other species.  For the sake of the planet, which is not replaceable or repairable.  And if that is too hard to grasp, for the sake of children born today who face a far worse future and quite probably will never see adulthood.

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overgrown trail

It used to be a sign of old age when you noticed policemen were getting younger.  For me it’s meeting anyone “alternative” (those interested in living sustainably), and how they now seem to know less and less of what it is all supposed to be about.

Three recent examples.  The first, a clipping from THE GUARDIAN (Saturday, 12 January 2019), written by Patrick Barkham, about veganic farming and the newest miracle-cure for the planet – biocyclic humus (why do they always invent such ridiculous names for these?).  Made from natural materials that would otherwise fall to the ground and provide life for a whole host of creatures and plants underneath, but now is being removed and (unsustainably) processed, destroying that natural diverse habitat, in order to make a product solely for human profit (albeit “green”).  When will those in the alternative movement understand we are not the only creatures on this planet, we are not the most important (there is no hierarchy in nature), and if we want to act appropriately then we should not be destroying the planet for profit, or even to grow our own food, but learning instead how to co-exist with all the other species and enhance the amazing natural diversity they provide, that is the planet Earth.

The second was what at first seemed like very good news.  A lovely young couple in the village, with two small children, have been searching for a place to live and put into practice their permaculture and herbalism skills.  Finally finding it in an abandoned finca/ smallholding on the side of San Cristobel (the local mountain).  Great, except it turns out their very first act (like most adherents of this faith/ ism) upon possession (even that word sounds so wrong) will be to “clean” all the surrounding wilderness with a brushcutter, followed by a celebratory bonfire of this material, to make way for their ideas on “proper” organic husbandry.  I was appalled.  This land has been left untouched for several decades, it has been an opportunity for nature to heal at least one hundred years of previous human abuse, used to feed its owners and provide them with an income, and now when it finally begins to support once again a diversity of true native plants and species, yet another human comes along to make it into a monoculture once again.  What is thriving there now has to be murdered orescape elsewhere.

The phrase (in Spain) “to clean the land” means get rid of all unwanted (by humans) life.  English gardeners and farmers (even organic) take a similar pride in a strict regime of tidiness and order.  I did too, previously owned such tools of mass destruction as a lawn mower/ rotavator/ hedge-trimmer/ chain-saw/ brushcutter.  But not any more.  Now I know better.  The true gardener has no need for any of these.  Instead they tread ever so lightly on the soil, touch nothing except to aid, and celebrate what nature sees fit to sow and grow.

Example three concerns the same young man I mentioned in a previous blog, who visited El Pocito with the idea of turning it into an eco-camping business.  He’s just been back again, providing me with the opportunity to discover more about his idea and experience.  Turns out he is finishing a PhD in Biology.  Which was timely, as I currently have a question about a lemon tree that after ten years of fruiting has just started to provide only oranges, the ideal person to ask why.  However, instead of taking an interest or offering an answer all I got from him was to be told this is not possible, science proves this, end of discussion.  Very strange.  The tree exists, it is real.  Every year it has had lemons, this year only oranges, many people have witnessed it, why then is something tangible and real not possible?  Why?  Because people are growing up fed by the state/ internet, including those who claim to be “alternative”.  Instead of using their own common sense(s).  Aptly illustrated by the fact that there are at least 200 herbs growing at El Pocito, and this (almost) PhD in Biology couldn’t identify a single one.  Yet down in town, anyone who is over 60 (and probably never had any kind of secondary education, let alone further or higher) would not hesitate to tell me which was which, including the appropriate medicinal and other uses.

We are living in a very sad time.  Those who could save the planet are blinkered/ blinded by phone culture, egotism and self-interest, they are driven by the dogma of the media.  We no longer feel any more, or use our natural instincts, understand that life is not just about humans.  We are doomed.

It used to be a sign of old age when you noticed policemen were getting younger.  For me it’s meeting anyone “alternative” (those interested in living sustainably), and how they now seem to know less and less of what it is all supposed to be about.

Three recent examples.  The first, a clipping from THE GUARDIAN (Saturday, 12 January 2019), written by Patrick Barkham, about veganic farming and the newest miracle-cure for the planet – biocyclic humus (why do they always invent such ridiculous names for these?).  Made from natural materials that would otherwise fall to the ground and provide life for a whole host of creatures and plants underneath, but now is being removed and (unsustainably) processed, destroying that natural diverse habitat, in order to make a product solely for human profit (albeit “green”).  When will those in the alternative movement understand we are not the only creatures on this planet, we are not the most important (there is no hierarchy in nature), and if we want to act appropriately then we should not be destroying the planet for profit, or even to grow our own food, but learning instead how to co-exist with all the other species and enhance the amazing natural diversity they provide, that is the planet Earth.

The second was what at first seemed like very good news.  A lovely young couple in the village, with two small children, have been searching for a place to live and put into practice their permaculture and herbalism skills.  Finally finding it in an abandoned finca/ smallholding on the side of San Cristobel (the local mountain).  Great, except it turns out their very first act (like most adherents of this faith/ ism) upon possession (even that word sounds so wrong) will be to “clean” all the surrounding wilderness with a brushcutter, followed by a celebratory bonfire of this material, to make way for their ideas on “proper” organic husbandry.  I was appalled.  This land has been left untouched for several decades, it has been an opportunity for nature to heal at least one hundred years of previous human abuse, used to feed its owners and provide them with an income, and now when it finally begins to support once again a diversity of true native plants and species, yet another human comes along to make it into a monoculture once again.  What is thriving there now has to be murdered or escape elsewhere.

The phrase (in Spain) “to clean the land” means get rid of all unwanted (by humans) life.  English gardeners and farmers (even organic) take a similar pride in a strict regime of tidiness and order.  I did too, previously owned such tools of mass destruction as a lawn mower/ rotavator/ hedge-trimmer/ chain-saw/ brushcutter.  But not any more.  Now I know better.  The true gardener has no need for any of these.  Instead they tread ever so lightly on the soil, touch nothing except to aid, and celebrate what nature sees fit to sow and grow.

Example three concerns the same young man I mentioned in a previous blog, who visited El Pocito with the idea of turning it into an eco-camping business.  He’s just been back again, providing me with the opportunity to discover more about his idea and experience.  Turns out he is finishing a PhD in Biology.  Which was timely, as I currently have a question about a lemon tree that after ten years of fruiting has just started to provide only oranges, the ideal person to ask why.  However, instead of taking an interest or offering an answer all I got from him was to be told this is not possible, science proves this, end of discussion.  Very strange.  The tree exists, it is real.  Every year it has had lemons, this year only oranges, many people have witnessed it, why then is something tangible and real not possible?  Why?  Because people are growing up fed by the state/ internet, including those who claim to be “alternative”.  Instead of using their own common sense(s).  Aptly illustrated by the fact that there are at least 200 herbs growing at El Pocito, and this (almost) PhD in Biology couldn’t identify a single one.  Yet down in town, anyone who is over 60 (and probably never had any kind of secondary education, let alone further or higher) would not hesitate to tell me which was which, including the appropriate medicinal and other uses.

We are living in a very sad time.  Those who could save the planet are blinkered/ blinded by phone culture, egotism and self-interest, they are driven by the dogma of the media.  We no longer feel any more, or use our natural instincts, understand that life is not just about humans.  We are doomed.

title inspired by https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoOjtNs9EOk

arctic

I don’t have a tv/ radio/ or buy newspapers, haven’t for around 25 years now, so am rather out of touch with what is happening in the world, particularly how information is distributed/ presented.  But what I can discern is that each day there are potentially eight billion stories (the number of our species), an audience of almost as many, a lot of new media channels seeking to make capital out of all that, and vested interest with a similar need to control it.

So it came as rather a surprise to see and hear on a tv in a bar recently, not only the president of the USA, Donald Trump, and some of his ministers, but Teresa May and her cronies too.  And what struck me from this, above all, was their uncanny similarity to MAX HEADROOM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYdpOjletnc).  For those of you who missed this excellent (of its time) series, it featured the first animated tv personality.  31 years later, with all the advances in technology, our world leaders still appear to have the same wooden presentation and lack of sincerity/ believability.

This is because we are living in the era of fake news.

In a previous blog I reckoned BREXIT was probably nothing to do with the EU, but a smokescreen for something a lot more sinister.  Well it is virtually upon us now and those reasons are finally becoming apparent.  That all along there has been a deliberate process of wearing down the masses (from rising up), using hate and fear.  That parliament (all parties) will now proceed to dismantle the welfare state/ democracy, in favour of a US model.  And what even I could never have guessed at, why?  Well here is one possibility.

That those with money/ power/ and information know, that given our failure to do stop the exponential rise in global population and the accompanying ecological destruction caused by all these people wanting more and more of the planet’s precious resources, nature is going to respond in some dramatic way very soon.  And that they want to be somewhere safe when that happens.

One of the (many) possible events they already know about is the following, reproduced here by kind permission of the author, Malcolm Light, a geologist and expert on climate change.  Ideally one should accompany it with THE SPECIALS singing ENJOY YOURSELF (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0t2spzlgCAI),  I’ll end though with a quote by Charles Darwin:  It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives.  It is the one most adaptable to change.

 

GLOBAL EXTINCTION WITHIN 18 – 34 MONTHS

Humanity is facing the final, western corporate capitalist, fossil fuel initiated, catastrophic Arctic methane hydrate destabilization and Permian style methane blowout – firestorm that will culminate in 1 to 4 years (2020 to 2023).  We will all be boiled alive like lobsters in a massively humid atmosphere and converted into stardust.  Recent data from the Arctic confirm an exponential rise in the temperature anomaly of the Arctic stratospheric methane which is now 65 degrees C above the normal, while it was only 20 degrees C above the normal, 6 to 8 years ago.

Using this data and the recent Piomass (2017) estimates of the minimum Arctic ice shelf volume it is now possible to estimate the timing of the Arctic – Permian style methane blowout firestorm more accurately and the events are shown in the Figure below.

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

The start date of the Permian style global extinction event may be only 18 to 19 months away.  This says that you must complete your bucket list of unfulfilled dreams before July to August 2020.  A bucket list is a list of unfulfilled actions you need to complete before you die (“kick the bucket”).  Do not worry about dying as it comes to all of us in the end, only this time we will all be going together.  The Earth will soon after this lose all its oceans and become “Venus Like”.

Empathy is organic evolution’s key to group survival in an uncaring inorganic universe.  Enjoy yourselves and be excellent to each other in these last days and hours on the only remaining habitable planet in this solar system.

malcolm

A fuller version of this can be found on the ARCTIC NEWS website (http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/01/global-extinction-within-18-34-months.html)

 

ctst-and-a-anderson-ancient-strome-tartan-front-72dpi-rgb

No-one actually knows just how many UK citizens have taken advantage of the option to live in another european country since the EU was created, but they chose to because they were assured by the UK government that their rights (to free healthcare/ pensions/ etc) would remain the same.  They were lied to.  And the lies continue.

This is a bad state of affairs, very bad.  But it is not the end of their lying.  After BREXIT we will discover the real reason behind leaving the EU, becoming the 51st state of the US.  Bringing with it a swift and vast scaling down of public health services (after being promised the exact opposite in the Referendum)/ education/ and welfare.  In its place private provision, alongside US products on the supermarket shelves (instead of what is currently imported from the EU), and a new GB$ currency.

There is nothing any of us can do to stop this, not through the current system of democracy or by protest.

Or is there?

What if the people of Scotland played their trump card and at long last declared independence from being ruled over by the UK, along with an intention of staying a member of the EU?  For starters they would instantly be a lot better off.  Converting to the euro would also make business and travel more economic.  Scottish airports and ports would be busier.  And the border with England would become a lucrative gateway too, especially for businesses that depend on EU products (like Tesco), or they could relocate to Scotland.  It’s a win-win situation for the people of Scotland.  Already their health-care and public services are far better, which alone could be enough to stir indoctrinated English voters to force their government to do an about-turn, but it certainly will after Independence.  I would be first in the queue to request Scottish citizenship.  It is high time this unique culture took back what is rightfully theirs.  Followed in turn by Wales, and Northern Ireland (back to Eire).  The current situation is just like the recent past in Eastern Europe dictatorships, we can either resolve it peaceably by granting unique cultures their independence (and therefore access to far greater freedoms through membership of the EU) or face increased division and tension between the haves and have-nots.

I call upon the Scottish government to step in and do the right thing, for the sake of all UK citizens, before it is too late.

(the image was inspired by favourite Paul Smith scarf, worn daily for the last thirty years and now sadly too threadbare)

Nationalism terrifies me.  Not surprisingly, after living for so long in two countries that until very recently were dictatorships and still retain that shared memory.  But BREXIT has revealed it in the UK too, which I always considered a model of democracy.  A fast growing percentage who are now choosing to worship the Holy Trinity of FEAR, SELFISHNESS, and PAIN.

Fuelled by the adrenaline rush of hate, they are being promised a utopia where only their kind will survive, and the rest, including all other species, will be mercilessly destroyed.

If Teresa May gets her way over BREXIT they will probably achieve it.  Who can resist the promises fed to them daily by nationalism’s priesthood, the media?  The cabinet and royal family must be rubbing their hands over how easy this has all been, to fool and rob the masses.  Simply by focussing on FEAR over happiness, on what might happen if you don’t follow the herd.  Encouraging and rewarding SELFISHNESS, that you alone deserve faster and better service/ treatment over the rest.  And addicting them to the vicarious pleasure that comes from endlessly watching PAIN and misery in others.

Last week a young man from Sevilla came to visit, to see if El Pocito would make a suitable home for his ecological plans.  He has a degree in Biology and totally focussed, on living simply/ sustainably/ alternatively, in a way that took me another twenty more years to reach.  And just like all the previous viewers, it was a wonderful meeting of minds.  That is, until we got on to the two subjects of money and children.  He wants to use El Pocito as a green tourism business.  I must have covered this before, but money is never sustainable, and using land to make it is definitely not kosher.  Spending less is the only answer, and for him, finding work locally where he can earn the small amount he needs, would be far more sustainable.  But being a barman say, even for just two days a week, didn’t have the same appeal.  He also has no partner at present but is adamant about raising two children.  I pointed out that this is totally contrary to everything else too, that it is actually the sole cause of climate change and mass species extinction.  To which he replied, on the contrary, Spain is currently experiencing a fall in population and putting in place many positive sustainable practices.

You’d think that after so many years in state education, that basic maths and an appreciation of how the world works (especially majoring in Biology) would be one of the most basic accomplishments, but apparently not.  Because despite what he sincerely believes in, Spain isn’t a country that exists in a vacuum, people are coming in and going out by the minute (thanks again to the EU), with no records kept whatsoever (so much for statistics, and by the way it is the same in the UK), plus all the things each person here buys are on the whole made elsewhere, so they impact elsewhere too, we are part of the greater whole, always.  So when you decide to have a child you are actually ADDING to the world population.  Only when one of the parents dies will that number diminish.  Having two children, who then beget two children each, who then do the same, could even mean being alive to witness fourteen great grandchildren.  Which even by my simple non-university education yields at least twelve MORE people on the planet, and all in a matter of just sixty odd years.  This is why the global population is currently growing at an unprecedented and lethal rate.  This is why their combined spending is robbing the planet of its resources, polluting the seas, and destroying the habitats of other species.

We should NEVER think about anything in terms of where we live, but always with the planet as a whole.  In an ideal society this would mean acting like all other species: no borders, keeping our population and spending at a level which does not endanger other species, and a single system of care for all.

Otherwise the reverse will happen.  There will be no other species.  Government spending will continue to increase on the armed forces and nuclear industry to the detriment of everything else.  And it will happen in our lifetime.

 

The_Earth_seen_from_Apollo_17

Inspired by the acquisition of Sheri S Tepper’s THE VISITOR, my thoughts have been focused recently on perception.  How where we live is fundamental in shaping our behaviour and attitudes, not only towards others but the rest of the natural world.

For example, would you consider I live conventionally or alternatively?  The answer to that would be probably be the latter, but is this actually true?  What makes me different from anyone else?  Especially when more than half of the people on this planet don’t have a connection to mains services either.  A lot more don’t have any income as well.  More people use other forms of medicine than western.  All of which is just about us, what about the rest of the species?

This is a perceptual thing, and it could actually be one of our biggest problems, that those of us living in the rich countries, those doing all the overpopulating and destruction of our natural resources, are the ones who have no real sense of reality.

BREXIT being a classic example.  Its jingoist message has created even more nationalist sentiment and bile than even existed before.  More people now feel proud to be British, and that is truly scary.  For not only are geographical boundaries totally arbitrary and endlessly changing, there is absolutely no difference between someone who was born or chose to live in one country over any other.

This is why it is so important for the UK to stay in the EU, and for the EU to continue increasing its membership.  Only when you have open frontiers like this, a single currency, do people really begin to appreciate their equality with each other, as well as their unique cultures.  And it is the only way to govern the massive population and environmental changes necessary to save us and all the other remaining species from imminent extinction.

There are obviously inherent problems with this, corruption in government increases in direct correlation with the amount of wealth at its disposal, but the alternative, lots of small very aggressive nationalistic countries, spending an inordinate amount on armed forces, which will never work for the good of all (including the non-human species), only those who rule over them.

How BREXIT can be overturned and the UK accept being a full member of the EU (including adoption of the euro instead of the dollar) is beyond me.  I do know though that it will not be with petitions or demonstrations.  There has to be a total change of heart, by everyone, a realisation that life is not about me and what I want, but living on this single borderless planet, and sharing it on a equal sustainable basis with all the other species.

houses of parliament

One of the reasons voters chose LEAVE at the (BREXIT) referendum, was because they believed it would improve UK services.

They were wrong.

The UK public sector has never been funded/ run properly, and never will, whoever is the party in power.

This is because those in charge have always had a totally different agenda.

These are people who for the most part are far more wealthy than the average voter, so do not have to use any of the public services, can afford to go private for everything, therefore do not care.

They are also members of a very exclusive club, which encourages/ rewards corruption and is all about making themselves a lot of money.  This starts at parish council level, with the small personal favours that power affords, getting more lucrative as you work your way up the ladder to national government, where it becomes the primary motive for all decision-making.

Priority at this level is always given to spending that reaps rewards for them first and them alone.  Big capital projects mainly (defence/ roads/ nuclear power..), regardless of public need.  This is because MPs have significant shareholdings in the companies who do this kind of work, which in turn will be rewarded with big annual dividend payouts and sizeable tax-free backhanders.

They are also privy to far more sensitive information about the economy than anyone else, so insider knowledge is used to buy and sell shares & currency.  This alone can provide a significant private income, earning more in a day than most voters will over an entire lifetime.

Only when people wake up to the fact that it is never a good idea to let the rich and corrupt run the country will it ever begin to serve them properly.  Until then the rich and corrupt will continue to serve us right.