A list of specious scientific achievements (sic) would be long enough to warrant a ten-part Netflix series. It includes, for example, the Tuskegee Study, mercury fillings, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), veal crates, electroshock therapy, napalm, mustard gas, automatic weapons, sonic weaponry, directed energy weapons, weapons in general, surgical experiments (without anesthesia) on slaves, deforestation, Vioxx, DDT, eugenics, GMOs, fossil fuels, the Milgram experiments, factory farming, the medicalization of the birthing process, vivisection, mountaintop mining, MK ULTRA, conversion therapy, forced sterilizations, pre-frontal lobotomies, waterboarding, deep-sea bottom trawling, Accutane, land mines, and the electric chair— to name but a few of the innumerable options.
And I haven’t yet mentioned television, cellphones, automobiles (and automobile culture), the Internet, social media, and artificial intelligence!
If you’ve fallen in love with scientists, by all means, please allow me to introduce you to Chester M. Southam. In 1952, he injected unknowing inmates at the Ohio State Prison with live cancer cells. Eleven years later, he did the same to 22 elderly patients at the Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital in Brooklyn. Why would a man of science do such a thing? Simple, he wanted to “discover the secret of how healthy bodies fight the invasion of malignant cells.” Despite a cover-up, Southam’s atrocities were exposed and he was given the harsh punishment of (wait for it) one-year probation. By the late 1960s, the American Cancer Society elected him their vice president.
The because-science hive mind should also be enamored with University of Iowa researchers Wendell Johnson and Mary Tudor — creators of what is now known as the “Monster Study.” In 1939, Johnson and Tudor conducted an experiment on 22 orphan children. One group was given positive speech therapy. The others got negative speech therapy. Using science as their guide, the researchers left the negative group with speech problems they retained for the rest of their lives.
Who doesn’t appreciate the doubly dubious intersection of science and the military? A fine example occurred in 1956 and 1957 when the U.S. Army released millions of infected mosquitos into the cities of Savannah, Georgia, and Avon Park, Florida. Their “scientific” goal was to see if the insects would spread dengue fever and yellow fever — and what a success! Hundreds of unknowing civilians presented with symptoms like respiratory problems, stillbirths, fevers, encephalitis, typhoid, and death.
And, if science is your fetish, you’ll certainly love what researchers at Harvard University did in the late 1940s. They tested diethylstilbestrol, a synthetic estrogen, on pregnant women — without their knowledge — at the Lying-In Hospital of the University of Chicago. This scientific wizardry resulted in an abnormally high number of miscarriages and babies with low birth weight. But, hey, to question the white lab coats responsible would be tantamount to ignorance, right?
I can already hear all the knee-jerk complaints about how I’m conveniently ignoring the myriad benefits of science. Let’s be clear: You don’t need me or anyone else to laud scientific accomplishments. That already happens, 24/7, across all forms of media, in textbooks, and in everyday conversation.
What we do need is some context and balance — before it’s too late.
I’m finishing up a “children’s book.” It’s longish. Kati the Coatimundi Finds Lorena. It’s about a precocious (actually, super smart) 12 year old, Lorena, who is in a wheelchair (paraplegic) who ends up finding out the family trip to Playa del Carmen back to San Antonio, Texas, brought with them a stowaway animal — a coati. Yep, the world of the 12 yeare old is full of reading, drawing, smarts. Yep, the girl and the animal can communicate with each other. Yep, lots of struggle with being “the other,” and, well, it’s a story that I hope even keeps grandma on the edge of her seat, or at least wanting to read more and more. She is a mestizo, too. We’ll see how that goes with the woke folk. I think I have a former veterinarian who is retired and now is working on illustrations, art. We shall see where this project heads.
Under this veil of creativity, of course, it’s difficult to just meld into pure art when the world around me is very very pregnant with stupidity, injustice, despotism, and Collective Stockholm Syndrome. Being in Oregon, being in a small rural area, being in the Pacific Northwest, being in USA, now that also bogs down spirits.
It’s really about how stupid and how inane and how blatantly violent this so-called Western Civilization has become. The duh factor never plays in the game, because (a) the digital warriors writing stuff like this very blog are not engaged with centers of power, influence or coalescing. Then (b) so many people are in their minds powerful because with the touch of a keyboard, they can mount an offensive on or against facts . . . or deeply regarded and thought out opinions. So, then (c) everyone has a right to their opinion . . . . that is how the American mind moves through the commercial dungeons their marketing and financial overlords end up putting them.
No pitchforks? How in anybody’s room temperature IQ does this make any sense? Demands for daily procurement of weapons for imbalanced, losing, and Nazified Ukraine?
It is about the food, stupid, okay, Carville?
So, before we move on, this is a communique from the G7 summit of the world’s biggest economies. And, no, EU and USA and Canada, not prepared for the Russian offensive’s affect on global food security. Alas, March 24, the G7 leaders agreed to use “all instruments and funding mechanisms” and involve the “relevant international institutions” to address food security, including support for the “continued Ukrainian production efforts.”
Ukraine has told the US that it urgently needs to be supplied with 500 Javelin anti-tank missiles and 500 Stinger air defense missiles per day, CNN reported on Thursday, citing a document presented to US lawmakers.
Western countries have been sending weapons and military gear to Kiev but President Volodymyr Zelensky says it is not enough to fend off the Russian attack that was launched a month ago.
CNN quoted sources as saying that Ukraine is now asking for “hundreds more” missiles than in previous requests sent to lawmakers. Addressing the leaders of NATO member states via video link on Thursday, Zelensky said he had not received a “clear answer” to the request of “one percent of all your tanks.” (source)
And, again, this is not blasphemy? Imagine, this “leader” and those “leaders,” smiling away during what is the 30 seconds to midnight doomsday clock. Smiling while Ukraine kills humanitarian refugees, while the biolabs sputtering on in deep freeze (we hope), and while the food prices are rising. Gas cards in California, and food coupons in France?
In a normal world, a million pundits would be all over this March 24 group/grope photo. Smiles, while we the people have to watch billions go to ZioLensky and trillions more shunted to these world leaders’ overlords?
As I alluded to in the title — the mighty warring UK, with the highrises in London, with those jet-setters and those Rothschild-loving royal rummies, it has food banks set up for the struggling, working class, and, alas, the gas is so pricey that people can’t boil spuds! Bring back the coal stoves!
These are leaders? The elites? The best of the best?
In an interview with the BBC Radio 4 Today program on Wednesday, Richard Walker said the “cost of living crisis is the single most important domestic issue we are facing as a country.” He cited reports from some food banks that users are “declining products such as potatoes and other root veg because they can’t afford to boil them.” Walker suggested that the UK government could implement measures to take the heat off retailers. He urged that the energy price cap on households could be extended to businesses, which he said would translate into some £100m in savings on consumers. He also called on authorities to postpone the introduction of the planned increase in national insurance, as well as some new environmental taxes. (source)
The operative words are “crumbling,” and, then, “malfescence,” and then, “hubris,” and then, “bilking.”
I just heard some inside stuff from someone working for a high tech company. I can’t get into too much about that, but here, these “engineers” in electronics or in data storage systems, they are, again, the height of Eicchmanns, but with the added twist of me-myself-and-I. Their expectations are $180,000 a year, with six weeks paid vacation, stocks, and, well, the eight-hour day.
I don’t think the average blog reader gets this — we are not talking about celebrities, or the executive team for Amazon or Dell or Raytheon. Yep, those bastards pull in millions a year, like those celebrities, the pro athletes and the thespians of note, or musicians. These are people who are demanding those entry pay rates who have no empathy for the world around them. Sure, they believe they have kids to feed, and they might rah-rah the Ukraine madness (that, of course, means, more diodes, batteries, computer chips, communication systems, et al for the monsters of war), but they laugh at the idea of real people with real poverty issues getting a cheque from Uncle Sam.
These are the everyday folk. I harken to the Scheer Report, tied to this fellow: It’s almost surreal and schizophrenic to valorize this fellow. Here, his bio brief, Ted Postol, a physicist and nuclear weapons specialist as well as MIT professor emeritus, joins Robert Scheer on this week’s edition of “Scheer Intelligence” to explain just how deadly the current brinkmanship between the U.S. and Russia really is. Having taught at Stanford University and Princeton prior to his time at MIT, Postol was also a science and policy adviser to the chief of naval operations and an analyst at the Office of Technology Assessment. His nuclear weapons expertise led him to critique the U.S. government’s claims about missile defenses, for which he won the Garwin Prize from the Federation of American Scientists in 2016. (source)
I’ll go with Mr. Fish, as his illustration, even though it has words, speaks volumes —
It all begs the question, so, now this weapons of war fellow, this US Navy advisor, physcist, he is now having his coming to Allah-Jesus-Moses moment? He gets it so wrong, and, one slice of the Ray-gun play, well, he also misses the point that people brought up in the warring world, and those with elite college backgrounds, or military and elite college backgrounds, and those in think tanks, or on the government deep or shallow state payroll, those in the diplomatic corps, those in the Fortune 5000 companies, the lot of them, and, of course, the genuflect to the multimillionaires and billionaires, they are, quite frankly, in most cases, sociopaths.
But, here, a quote from his interview with Robert Scheer:
And unfortunately, most of what people believe—even people who are quite well educated—is just unchecked. You know, only if you’re a real expert—and these people were not, in spite of the fact they viewed themselves that way—do you understand something about the reality of what these weapons are about. And so basically, to use a term that gets overused a lot, I think the deep state in both Russia and the United States—more the United States than Russia, at least as far as I can see—the deep state in the United States mostly, basically undermined the ideas and objectives of Ronald Reagan. And of course Gorbachev was facing a similar problem in Russia.
So there’s these giant institutions inside both countries. They’re filled with people who, at one level, honestly believe these bad ideas, or think they are right; and because they think they are right, and they convince themselves that it’s in the best interest of the country, what’s really going on, it’s in their best interest as professionals but they mix up their best interest with the interest of the country. They, these people take steps to blunt the directives of the president, and basically the system just moves on without any real modification, independent of this remarkable and actually extraordinarily insightful judgment of these two men. (source)
We know Reagan’s pedigree, and we know the millions who have suffered and died under his watch. And his best and brightest in his crew, oh, they are still around. Imagine, that, Trump 2024. Will another war criminal and his cadre of criminals rise again to national prominence. He will be seeking counsel:
Then, alas, the flags at the post office, half mast, yet again and again and again — Today, that other war criminal:
Go to minute 59:00 here at the Grayzone, and watch this woman (Albright) call Serbs disgusting. Oh well, flags are flapping once again for another war criminal!
Sure, watch the entire two hours and forty-five minutes, and then try and wrap your heads around 1,000 missiles a day on the road to Ukraine, and no-boiling spuds in the UK. And it goes without saying, that any narrative, any deep study of, any recalled history of this entire bullshit affair in the minds of most Yankees and Rebels, they — Pepe Escobar, Scott Ritter, Abby Martin, et al — are the fringe. Get to this one from Escobar, today:
A quick neo-Nazi recap
By now only the brain dead across NATOstan – and there are hordes – are not aware of Maidan in 2014. Yet few know that it was then Ukrainian Minister of Interior Arsen Avakov, a former governor of Kharkov, who gave the green light for a 12,000 paramilitary outfit to materialize out of Sect 82 soccer hooligans who supported Dynamo Kiev. That was the birth of the Azov batallion, in May 2014, led by Andriy Biletsky, a.k.a. the White Fuhrer, and former leader of the neo-nazi gang Patriots of Ukraine.
Together with NATO stay-behind agent Dmitro Yarosh, Biletsky founded Pravy Sektor, financed by Ukrainian mafia godfather and Jewish billionaire Ihor Kolomoysky (later the benefactor of the meta-conversion of Zelensky from mediocre comedian to mediocre President.)
Pravy Sektor happened to be rabidly anti-EU – tell that to Ursula von der Lugen – and politically obsessed with linking Central Europe and the Baltics in a new, tawdry Intermarium. Crucially, Pravy Sektor and other nazi gangs were duly trained by NATO instructors.
Biletsky and Yarosh are of course disciples of notorious WWII-era Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, for whom pure Ukrainians are proto-Germanic or Scandinavian, and Slavs are untermenschen.
Azov ended up absorbing nearly all neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine and were dispatched to fight against Donbass – with their acolytes making more money than regular soldiers. Biletsky and another neo-Nazi leader, Oleh Petrenko, were elected to the Rada. The White Führer stood on his own. Petrenko decided to support then President Poroshenko. Soon the Azov battalion was incorporated as the Azov Regiment to the Ukrainian National Guard.
They went on a foreign mercenary recruiting drive – with people coming from Western Europe, Scandinavia and even South America.
That was strictly forbidden by the Minsk Agreements guaranteed by France and Germany (and now de facto defunct). Azov set up training camps for teenagers and soon reached 10,000 members. Erik “Blackwater” Prince, in 2020, struck a deal with the Ukrainian military that would enable his renamed outfit, Academi, to supervise Azov.
It was none other than sinister Maidan cookie distributor Vicky “F**k the EU” Nuland who suggested to Zelensky – both of them, by the way, Ukrainian Jews – to appoint avowed Nazi Yarosh as an adviser to the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Gen Valerii Zaluzhnyi. The target: organize a blitzkrieg on Donbass and Crimea – the same blitzkrieg that SVR, Russian foreign intel, concluded would be launched on February 22, thus propelling the launch of Operation Z. (Source: “Make Nazism Great Again — The supreme target is regime change in Russia, Ukraine is just a pawn in the game – or worse, mere cannon fodder.”)
In the minds of wimpy Trump and wimpy Biden, or in those minds of all those in the camp of Harris-Jill Biden disharmony, these white UkiNazi hombres above are “our tough hombres.” Send the ZioLensky bombs, bioweapons, bucks, big boys. Because America the Ungreat will be shaking up the world, big time.
So, I slither back to the writing, finishing up my story about a girl, a coati, Mexico, what it means to be disabled, and what it means to be an illegal animal stuck in America, Texas, of all places, where shoot to kill vermin orders are a daily morning conversation with the oatmeal and white toast and jam.
If only the world could be run by storytellers, dancers, art makers, dramatists, musicians everywhere. Here, a great little thing from Lila Downs — All about culture, art, dance, language, food, color. Forget the physicists, man. And the electrical and dam engineers.
If you do not understand Spanish, then, maybe hit the YouTube “settings” and get the English subtitles.. In either case, magnificent, purely magnificent!
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in many respects, is a Delphic institution whose reports are a function of political discretion as it provides justification for nation/state policies that are seldom fulfilled; e.g., only a handful of the 193 signatory nations to Paris 15 have met commitments. This scandalous outright failure at a dicey time for the climate system only serves to hasten loss of stability and integrity of the planet’s most important ecosystems.
That provocative depiction is examined in a recent Nick Breeze ClimateGenn podcast interview: Existential Risk Management with David Spratt, research director of the Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration in Melbourne. Dr. Spratt is highly regarded for solid research, which is evidenced throughout his refreshingly straightforward interview.
Spratt’s interview tackles: (1) failings of the IPCC, (2) tipping points, and (3) a nearly out of control global warming challenge that’s not realistically understood, even as wobbly ecosystems start to falter.
The truth is the IPCC has been politicized to such an extent that its reports unintentionally confuse public opinion whilst misdirecting public policy issues for mitigation. At the center of the issue the IPCC does not expose the full extent of existential risk, which happens to be such an unthinkable event so hard to accept that nobody believes it will ever really truly happen. More on this later.
During the interview a tipping point is discussed in the context of reduction of Arctic summer sea ice to 3/4ths of its volume, as the Arctic’s highly reflective ice melts into a dark background of sea water that easily absorbs almost all of the incoming solar radiation, in turn, absorbing warmth that would otherwise be 80%-90% reflected back to outer space via the long-standing albedo effect of ice. In turn, a warming Arctic causes excessive warmth to hit Greenland, which, according to Dr. Jason Box (professor in glaciology at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland) is already “past the point of system stability,” meaning past a tipping point of no return. Recently Box publicly warned of abrupt climate change forthcoming. Meanwhile, Greenland’s melt releases cold water into the Atlantic, in turn, slowing down the Atlantic Gulf Stream, and, as follows, weakens Atlantic circulation that, in turn, negatively impacts precipitation in the eastern Amazon.
Like a series of dominoes falling one onto another, one initial event (a) loss of Arctic sea ice brings (b) warmer Arctic waters (c) cascading into more Greenland melt-off, causing (d) slower Atlantic circulation, triggering (e) loss of precipitation for the eastern Amazon. The net result because of one non-linear event; i.e., loss of Arctic sea ice triggers four additional major events. Ipso facto, those five events reinforce each other for who knows how long?
According to Spratt: “So, we see that a change in one system; i.e., Arctic ice volume echoes or has domino effects through other systems,” which triggers a tipping point that, in fact, is already at a seminal stage.
Regarding the IPCC’s approach to risk, first it is important to emphasize the fact that big risks must be the key to successful climate change analysis. By definition, big risks are at the top end of a range of possibilities. But, the IPCC does not see risks that way. Their view is more generalized and this has become normalized over the past 20 years; e.g., we have a 50% chance of not exceeding 2°C with our current carbon budget. According to Spratt: That is catastrophically wrong. That type of risk assessment has been normalized now for 20 years in policy-making, and “it is horribly wrong.”
When risks are existential, and they clearly are in this particular instance, everybody knows if it gets to the range of 3C to 4C pre-industrial (and 60% of scientists say we’re already headed for 3C plus) “we’ll destroy human civilization.”
Therefore, when risks are existential, you can’t look at an on-average analysis. Rather, you must look at the worst possible outcome as your primary calculation. It’s the only way to approach an existential risk.
In that regard, and interestingly enough, the foreword of the IPCC report of a few years ago actually said: “Critical instances calculating probabilities don’t matter. What matters is the high-end possibility.”
But nowadays a figure such as “50% probability” introduces a fundamental problem with the assessment process. More realistically, the proper way to look at existential risks is by stating x-amount of additional carbon has a 50% chance of reaching 2C but also has a 10% chance of 4C, or in other words, a 50% chance of staying below 2C is also a 10% chance of reaching 4C. Would you take an elevator ride with a 10% chance of the cable breaking at the 75th floor?
When it comes to existential risks, the expectation should be: “Why should we accept risks with the climate system that we would not accept with our own lives?” They are really one in the same.
Thus, the core of existential risk management must focus on the high-end not middling ranges of probability. The focus must be, and this is an absolute: “What is the worst that can happen, and what do we have to do to prevent it?”
That assumption is not part of the latest IPCC report. When it comes to non-linear responses of cascades, the IPCC says: “There is no evidence of such non-linear responses at the global scaling climate projections for the next century. But, according to Spratt: “This is just wrong.”
After all, “everybody knows, for example, that emissions from permafrost are non-trivial at the moment. We know that warming in the last decade has been higher than in previous decades and the system is about to warm at an accelerating rate as major systems are already changing state. And the IPCC says there is no evidence of moving into non-linear climate change. This is absurd!” (Spratt)
Ipso facto, because of a badly misjudged bias, IPCC models can’t deal with non-linear processes. As a result, they’re missing the big picture by a country mile. And, mitigation policies, for what that’s worth, are inadequate.
Yet, according to Dr. Spratt: “The paleoclimate record tells us that, in the long run, each one-degree of warming brings 10-20 meters (32- 66 feet) of sea level rise. Frankly, that would be a legitimate statement for the IPCC, but they do not deal with non-linear events.”
All of which leads to inadvertent problems for policy makers because people judge the IPCC report as pure science. “It is not. The IPCC is a political body. Diplomats of 190 governments run the IPCC. They appoint the lead authors for reports. The IPCC is the intersection of policy and politics.” (Spratt)
Meanwhile, as if misdirection by the IPCC is not enough of a problem, change is happening so much faster than forecasts. For example, early IPCC reports said Antarctica would be stable for a thousand years. But, back in 2007, Richard Alley (Penn State) said it’s already melting 100 years ahead of schedule.
Of special concern in the near future, when the Arctic goes Full Monty, a 100% ice-free summer, “it will drive changes that will be unstoppable.” This existential risk is already capriciously inconstant across the entire northern horizon.
Furthermore, it’s already apparent to many scientists that we’ll be at 1.5C a decade from now, regardless of emissions over the next 10 years. In fact, 1.5C around 2030 looks to be locked-in in part because of the aerosol dilemma. If so, we’re only a decade away from Hot House Earth becoming reality. Thenceforth, the climate system will accelerate much faster than ever before.
Fourteen years ago Spratt published a book Climate Code Red, which codified the idea of a climate emergency by conceptually stating that the climate problem could not be solved “with business as usual.” (It’s still business as usual, but bigger.)
A review of the book states: Climate Code Red: The Case for Emergency Action is a 2008 book which presents scientific evidence that the global warming crisis is worse than official reports and national governments have so far indicated.
Based upon this current interview, Spratt seems to indicate that it is even worse (actually bigger) today than it was in 2008.
To avert what looks to be an inevitable existential event requires an enormous commitment of resources comparable to a wartime economy with single-minded focus on climate policy, and it also requires a major change in the way society works. Those are awfully big requests, so one has to wonder what’s truly feasible.
As things now stand current mitigation stems from the IPCC’s embedded idea that there can be “incremental non-destructive change as a solution… This will not work.” (Spratt)
The harsh truth is global emissions are continuing to go up, as all of the decarbonization efforts like wind, solar, electric cars, and energy efficiency only serve to produce “more energy for growth.” For example, if the global economy grows 2% per year and 2% of the energy system converts to renewables, then the same amount of fossil fuel energy is used every year. That is a very rough facsimile of what has been happening. Fossil fuel use as a percentage of all energy is essentially the same today as 50 years ago.
Moreover, “there is no way that a system with ‘hands-off’ government, other than a few token regulations, and ‘the free market deciding the outcome’ is going to work.” In fact, the evidence is already telling us it does not work. Not even close.
A true fixit requires overwhelmingly powerful political leadership. In that regard, according to Spratt: “What I really fear and my experience is that those in the elite, whether it’s in business or in politics, simply, I think, do not understand the problem as it really exists.”
There’s a profound ignorance because of the IPCC telling a story that incrementalism is a successful approach when it’s clearly not.
A collateral problem is a large segment of the professional climate advocacy NGO community has been “swallowed by the whale,” meaning they buy into the lame Conference of the Parties “COP” meetings and swallow the corporate-origin net zero nonsense by 2050, over and over again, umm, but it’s too little too late, horribly misdirected. Whereas, according to several scientists, 2030 is the deadly deadline, not incremental movement to 2050.
The crux of the matter is that the most prominent existential risk in human history does not conform to scientific models. It’s almost always ahead of the scientific models, sometimes by several decades. Then, why would it wait around for net zero by 2050?
On February 8, 2022, Nobel Prize winning virologist Dr Luc Montagnier passed away.
Since the earliest moments of COVID-19’s appearance, Montagnier was slandered and ridiculed for his challenges to the underlying assumptions of the disease’s causes and remedies despite the constant slings and arrows of the deep state which sought to shut the door on all such dangerous discussion.
More important than Montagnier’s claims of laboratory origins of a disease (which appears to have more to do with bacteriological than viral causes), are found in an overlooked domain of optical biophysics which the good scientist completely revolutionized during the last 15 years of his fruitful life.
It is this lesser understood, yet infinitely more important, aspect of Montagnier’s contribution to human knowledge which have fallen under the radar of too many analysts and citizens, which I believe he would want to be remembered by.
What is Optical Biophysics and What did Montagnier Discover?
Optical biophysics is the study of the electromagnetic properties of the physics of life. This means paying attention to the light emissions and absorption frequencies from cells, DNA, and molecules of organic matter, how these interface with water (making up over 75% of a human body) and moderated by the nested array of magnetic fields located on the quantum level and stretching up to the galactic level.
Not to discount the bio-chemical nature of life which is hegemonic in the health science realm, the optical biophysician asks: which of these is PRIMARY in growth, replication, and division of labor of individual cells or entire species of organisms? Is it the chemical attributes of living matter or the electromagnetic properties?
Let me explain the paradox a bit more.
There are approximately 40 trillion highly differentiated cells in the average human body, each performing very specific functions and requiring an immense field of coherence and intercommunication. Every second approximately 10 million of those cells die, to be replaced by 10 million new cells being born. Many of those cells are made up of bacteria, and much of the DNA and RNA within those cells is made up of viruses (mostly dormant), but which can be activated/deactivated by a variety of methods both chemical and electromagnetic.
Here’s the big question:
HOW might this complex system be maintained by chemical processes alone- either over the course of a day, month or an entire lifetime?
The simple physics of motion of enzymes which carry information in the body from one location to another simply doesn’t come close to accounting for the information coordination required among all parts. This is where Montagnier’s research comes in.
After winning the 2008 Nobel Prize, Dr. Montagnier published a revolutionary yet heretical 2010 paper called “DNA Waves and Water” which took the medical community by storm. In this paper, Montagnier demonstrated how low frequency electromagnetic radiation within the radio wave part of the spectrum was emitted from bacterial and viral DNA and how said light was able to both organize water and transmit information! The results of his experiments were showcased wonderfully in this 8 min video:
Using a photo-amplifying device invented by Dr. Jacques Benveniste in the 1980s to capture the ultra low light emissions from cells, Montagnier filtered out all particles of bacterial DNA from a tube of water and discovered that the post-filtered solutions containing no material particles continued to emit ultra low frequency waves! This became more fascinating when Montagnier showed that under specific conditions of a 7 Hz background field (the same as the Schumann resonance which naturally occurs between the earth’s surface and the ionosphere), the non-emitting tube of water that had never received organic material could be induced to emit frequencies when placed in close proximity with the emitting tube! Even more interesting is that when base proteins, nucleotides and polymers (building blocks of DNA) were put into the pure water, near perfect clones of the original DNA were formed!
Dr. Montagnier and his team hypothesized that the only way for this to happen was if the DNA’s blueprint was somehow imprinted into the very structure of water itself resulting in a form of “water memory” that had earlier been pioneered by immunologist Jacques Benveniste (1935-2004), the results of which are showcased in this incredible 2014 documentary Water Memory.
Just as Benveniste suffered one of the most ugly witch hunts in modern times (led in large measure by Nature Magazine in 1988), Montagnier’s Nobel prize did not protect him from a similar fate as an international slander campaign has followed him over the past 10 years of his life. Nearly 40 Nobel prize winners have signed a petition denouncing Montagnier for his heresy and the great scientist was forced to even flee Europe to escape what he described as a culture of “intellectual terror”. In response to this slander, Montagnier stated to LaCroix magazine:
I’m used to attacks from these academics who are just retired bureaucrats, closed off from all innovation. I have the scientific proofs of what I say.
Describing the greatest challenges to advancing this research, Montagnier stated:
We have chosen to work with the private sector because no funds could come from public institutions. The Benveniste case has made it so that anyone who takes an interest in the memory of water is considered… I mean it smells of sulphur. It’s Hell.
The Long Wave of Discovery (and the Clash of Two Sciences)
Montagnier’s fight is merely a shadow of a much larger clash within western science itself. While many people think simplistically that there is one singular branch of science from Galileo to Descartes to Newton to the present, the reality upon closer inspection shows us that there are actually two opposing paradigms- one of which has been obscured systematically by politically-motivated witch hunts since even before the days of Huxley’s X Club and the 1869 founding of Nature Magazine.
Since this fight is so often overlooked, a few words should be said here and now.
In opposition to the materialist tradition which has attempted to impose “material causes” onto natural phenomena, the more potent school of optical biophysics embodied by Montagnier was set into motion by none other than Louis Pasteur. Long before the Beschamp-Pasteur controversy arose, and long before conducting work on pasteurization, Pasteur’s early scientific work was shaped by discoveries into the optical properties of living matter and the handedness phenomena of life. In short, during his early creatively potent period, Pasteur discovered that solutions which had organic material dissolved within them had the incredible property of rotating polarized light to the “left” while liquid solutions devoid of organic material did not hold that capability.
In an 1870 letter, Pasteur described his cosmological insight into the dissymmetrical property of life to a friend Jules Raulin stating:
You know that I believe that there is a cosmic dissymmetric influence which presides constantly and naturally over the molecular organization of principles immediately essential to life; and that, in consequence of this, the species of the three kingdoms, by their structure, by their form, by the disposition of their tissues, have a definite relation to the movements of the universe. For many of those species, if not for all, the Sun is the primum movens of nutrition; but I believe in another influence which would affect the whole organization [geometry], for it would be the cause of the molecular dissymmetry proper to the chemical components of life. I want by experiment to grasp a few indications as to the nature of this great cosmic dissymmetrical influence. It must, it may be electricity, magnetism…
With the mysterious 1906 death of Pierre Curie whom had advanced upon Pasteur’s research, and as World War I derailed this course of investigation (many of the brightest young minds of Europe were sent into a four year meat grinder of trench warfare), the baton was dropped in Europe, only to be taken up again by two Russian-Ukrainian scientists who worked together closely at the University of Crimea: Vladimir Vernadsky (father of Russian atomic science and the founder of the school of biogeochemistry 1863-1945) and his friend Alexander Gurwitsch (1874-1954).
Vernadsky Revives Pasteur’s Insight
Vernadsky used Pasteur’s work extensively in his own construction of the biosphere and always made a point that the electromagnetic properties of life were the driving force of biochemistry. Going further than anyone alive to define the mechanisms of the biosphere, Vernadsky explained that the true scientist must not start with individual organisms and “work from the bottom up” as too many radical Darwinians were apt to do, but rather start, as Louis Pasteur had beforehand, with the galaxy and an awareness of the driving force of electromagnetic/cosmic radiations which shape the directed flow of biospheric evolution.
In his 1926 book The Biosphere, Vernadsky began his description of the biosphere with the following remarks:
The biosphere may be regarded as a region of transformers that convert cosmic radiations into active energy in electrical, chemical, mechanical, thermal, and other forms. Radiations from all stars enter the biosphere, but we catch and perceive only an insignificant part of the total. The existence of radiation originating in the most distant regions of the cosmos cannot be doubted. Stars and nebulae are constantly emitting specific radiations, and everything suggests that the penetrating radiation discovered in the upper regions of the atmosphere by Hess originates beyond the limits of the solar system, perhaps in the Milky Way, in nebulae, or in stars.
Alexander Gurwitsch’s Mitogenic Radiation
While Vernadsky spent his life focusing upon the macro-states of the biosphere, and how it interacted with the lithosphere and noosphere (the nested domains of non-life, life and creative reason) organized within arrays of magnetic fields moderating the flux of cosmic radiation through the universe, his colleague Gurwitsch focused upon the intersection of light and magnetic fields within the micro-states of living cells.
Describing his discovery in a 2011 study on Cosmic Bio-Radiation, researcher Cody Jones described Gurwitsch’s basic insight:
Gurwitsch developed three nested levels of field structures, arranged according to complexity and spatial extent, ranging from the molecular (molecular constellations), to the cellular (relations among cells), to the organismic levels (the different organs and systems that constitute a single organism). Each nested field could be described in terms of different mechanisms as to how the morphology advanced for any particular structure, yet they were all unified towards the realization of a definite future state of existence.
Gurwitsch first revolutionized life sciences by shaping an elegant experiment which demonstrated that cells emit weak bursts of ultraviolet light as they went through mitosis. To prove his theory, Gurwitsch set up two onion roots growing in perpendicular directions and found that the higher rates of light emissions which occurred on the newer tip of the roots induced cell growth of 30-40% when brought into proximity of an older onion root. Although no instruments sensitive enough to pick up these ultra-weak frequencies existed during his lifetime, Gurwitsch demonstrated that light from the ultraviolet spectrum must be generated from new cells by separating the old and new onion roots by various types of lenses which blocked out different parts of the spectrum and found that only when UV light was blocked did the effect of 30% cell growth increase come to an end. Gurwitsch called this “Mitogenic Radiation”.
Alexander Gurwitsch and his original onion root experiment. Two onions (Z1 and Z2) grow perpendicularly with point W representing the point of intersection of the younger root emitted from Z1 and the older root of Z2 separated by a quartz lens blocking the emissions of ultra violet emissions from Z1 to Z2.
While Gurwitsch was ostracised by the scientific establishment during his life, technologies arose among the astrophysics community in the 1950s which permitted scientists to measure extremely weak light frequencies in the range of Gurwitsch’s mitogenic radiation (obviously useful for picking up faint signals from other galaxies in deep space). When teams of Italian astronomers applied their equipment to organic material, Gurwitsch’s discovery was verified experimentally for the first time.
One would have thought such a discovery would have revolutionised all of biology, medicine and life sciences on the spot; however after a brief spike in interest, the discovery was soon forgotten and relegated to a “negligible” secondary feature of life which had no causal role to play in any of the mechanics or behaviour of organic activity. The materialists and reductionists who wished to maintain that all life was merely the sum of parts won the day.
Then another biophysicist named Fritz-Albert Popp arose onto the scene.
Fritz Popp’s Biophotonic Discoveries
During the 1970s, Popp was a cancer researcher trying to figure out why only one of the two isomers of Benzpyrene caused cancer. An isomer is sometimes known as a mirror image configuration of a molecule which are chemically identical, yet whose properties can differ vastly. Under the materialist/reductionist’s logic, there was no reason why one isomer (Benzpyrene 3,4) which is found in cigarettes and tar would induce cancer growth in lung tissue while another isomer (Benzpyrene 1,2) would be completely benign.
After discovering the work of Gurwitsch, Dr. Popp began measuring the ultra-weak light emissions from the Benzpyrene molecules and their effects upon cell growth in liver tissues and found that the extremely high light absorption/emission properties of Benzpyrene 3,4 were the cause of the disharmony of cell regulation. Measuring the photon activity from cancerous vs healthy liver cell growth is a striking way to clearly see that cancerous growth coincides with exponential photon emissions while healthy liver photon emissions are very stable.
Over the course of his highly productive lifetime, Dr. Popp discovered that these light emissions occurred at different wavelengths according to the cell types, function and species. When Popp brought two biological samples into proximity, things became additionally interesting as the “rhythm” of their photon emissions synchronized beautifully when close together and fell out of sync when separated. This was outlined in his paper “On the Coherence of Biophotons“.
Describing the clinical application of these discoveries, Dr. Popp stated:
Light can initiate, or arrest, cascade-like reactions in the cells, and that genetic cellular damage can be virtually repaired, within hours, by faint beams of light. We are still on the threshold of fully understanding the complex relationship between light and life, but we can now say, emphatically that the function of our entire metabolism is dependent on light.
Popp’s discoveries amplify those of the great Russian scientist A.B. Burlakov who found that the ultra weak light emissions emanating from two sets of fertilised fish eggs separated by a glass demonstrated a powerful harmonizing effect. If one set of eggs were older, then the younger eggs would mature and develop much faster if brought into proximity. However, if the age difference between the two sets were too great, then the scientist found that the younger set would see a higher rate of death, deformities and retardation of development.
This mode of thinking about life has the mind of the scientist approach life in a manner more in common with a musician tuning his instrument to an orchestra or a conductor holding multiple sound waves in his mind simultaneously as a whole musical idea which is greater than simply the sum of its parts. It is a much more natural and effective mode of thinking than the materialist/reductionist approach today dominant across most western universities that treats the organism like a machine and the whole as a sum of chemical parts.
A fuller sweep of these discoveries was presented in a 2020 lecture presented by this author, which can be viewed in full here:
Casting Montagnier’s Research in a New Light
Returning once more to Luc Montagnier with a renewed appreciation for the longer wave of scientific tradition which he is a part of amplifying, we may appreciate some of the conclusions which he has drawn from often ignored yet completely verifiable properties of light waves, structured water, bacteria and DNA which may cause us to redefine our understanding of “life”, “disease” and “medicine” forever. This exercise will possibly cause us to appreciate the importance of an international crash program in optical biophysics research and light wave/interference therapy to treat diseases plaguing humanity including COVID-19.
In a 2011 interview, Dr. Montagnier recapitulated the consequences of his discoveries:
The existence of a harmonic signal emanating from DNA can help to resolve long-standing questions about cell development, for example how the embryo is able to make its manifold transformations, as if guided by an external field. If DNA can communicate its essential information to water by radio frequency, then non-material structures will exist within the watery environment of the living organism, some of them hiding disease signals and others involved in the healthy development of the organism.
With these insights in mind, Montagnier has discovered that many of the frequencies of EM emissions from a wide variety of microbial DNA is also found in the blood plasmas of patients suffering from influenza A, Hepatitis C, and even many neurological diseases not commonly thought of as bacteria-influenced such as Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Alzheimer’s. In recent years, Montagnier’s teams even found certain signals in the blood plasmas of people with autism and several varieties of cancers!
These results imply again that certain hard-to-detect species of light emitting microbes are closer to the cause of these ills than the modern pharmaceutical industry would like to admit.
A New Domain of Thinking: Why Big Pharma Should Be Afraid
As the filmed 2014 experiment demonstrated, Montagnier went even further to demonstrate that the frequencies of wave emissions within a filtrate located in a French laboratory can be recorded and emailed to another laboratory in Italy where that same harmonic recording was infused into tubes of non-emitting water causing the Italian tubes to slowly begin emitting signals! These DNA frequencies were then able to structure the Italian water tubes from the parent source a thousand miles away resulting in a 98% exact DNA replica!
Standing as we are, on the cusp of so many exciting breakthroughs in medical science, we should ask: what could these results mean for the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industrial complex which relies on keeping the world locked into a practice of chemical drugs and vaccines?
Speaking to this point, Montagnier stated:
The day that we admit that signals can have tangible effects, we will use them. From that moment on we will be able to treat patients with waves. Therefore it’s a new domain of medicine that people fear, of course. Especially the pharmaceutical industry… one day we will be able to treat cancers using frequency waves.
Montagnier’s friend and collaborator Marc Henry a professor of Chemistry and Quantum Mechanics at the University of Strasbourg stated:
If we treat with frequencies and not with medicines it becomes extremely cost effective regarding the amount of money spent. We spend a lot of money to find the frequencies, but once they have been found, it costs nothing to treat.
Whether produced in a lab as Montagnier asserts or having appeared naturally as Nature Magazine, Bill Gates and Dr. Fauci assert, the fact remains that the current coronavirus pandemic has accelerated a collapse of the world financial system and forced the leaders of the world to discuss the reality of a needed new paradigm and new world economic order. Whether that new system will be driven by Pharmaceutical cartels, and financiers running global health policy or whether it will be driven by nation states shaping the terms of that new system around human needs, remains to be seen.
If nation states manage to stay in the driver’s seat of this new system, then it will have to be driven by certain fundamental principles of healthcare for all, science practice reform and broader political/economic reform whereby the sacredness of human life is placed above all considerations of monetary profit. In this light, such crash programs into long term projects in space science, asteroid defense, and Lunar/Mars development will be as necessary in the astrophysical domain as crash programs in fusion energy will be in the atomic domain. Uniting both worlds is the domain of life sciences that intersects the electromagnetic properties of atoms, cells and DNA with the large scale electromagnetic properties of the Earth, Sun and galaxy as a whole.
When did parts of the left get so contemptuous of the principle of “bodily autonomy”? Answer: Just about the time they started fetishising vaccines as the only route out of the current pandemic.
Only two years ago most people understood “bodily autonomy” to be a fundamental, unquestionable human right. Now it is being treated as some kind of perverse libertarian luxury, as proof that the “deplorables” have been watching too much Tucker Carlson or that they have come to idealise the worst excesses of neoliberalism’s emphasis on the rights of the individual over the social good.
This is dangerous nonsense, as should be obvious if we step back and imagine what our world might look like had the principle of “bodily autonomy” not been established through centuries of struggle, just as were the right to vote and the right to health care.
Because without the principle of bodily autonomy, we might still be dragging virgins up high staircases so that they could be sacrificed to placate the sun gods. Without the principle of bodily autonomy, we might still be treating black people like animals – chattel to be used and exploited so that a white landowning class could grow rich from their enforced labours. Without the principle of bodily autonomy, we might still have doctors experimenting on those who are “inferior” – Jews, Romanies, Communists, gays – so that “superior races” could benefit from the “research”. Without the principle of bodily autonomy, we might still have the right of men to rape their wives as one of the unwritten marital vows.
Many of these battles and others were won far more recently than most of us care to remember. I am old enough to recall listening in the car on the way to school to “serious” debates on BBC Radio 4 about whether it was justifiable for the courts to presume a husband’s right to rape his wife.
Arguments about whose bodily autonomy has primacy – a woman’s or the foetus she is carrying – are at the heart of ongoing and inflammatory abortion debates in the United States. And protection of bodily autonomy was the main reason why anyone with an ounce of moral fibre opposed the US torture regime that became normalised in the war on brown people known as the “war on terror”.
There is good reason why, in western societies, vaccination uptake is lowest among ethnic minorities. The clues are embedded in the three preceding paragraphs. Powerful nation-states, run by white elites for the benefit of white elites, have been trampling on the bodily autonomy of black and brown people for centuries – sometimes because those elites were indifferent to the harm they were causing, and sometimes because they professed to be helping these “inferior” peoples, such as in the “war on terror’s” promotion of neoliberal “democracy” as the grounds for invading countries whose oil we coveted.
The pretexts change but the bad faith is the same.
Based on their long histories of suffering at the hands of western, colonial states, black and brown communities have every reason to continue assuming bad faith. It is not solidarity, or protecting them, to ignore or trivialise their concerns and their alienation from state institutions. It is ugly arrogance. Contempt for their concerns will not make those concerns evaporate. It will reinforce them.
But, of course, there is also something arrogant about treating the concerns of ethnic minorities as exceptional, patronising them by according them some kind of special dispensation, as though they need indulging on the principle of bodily autonomy when the rest of us are mature enough to discard it.
The fact is each generation comes to understand that the priorities of its ancestors were misplaced. Each generation has a powerful elite, or a majority whose consent has been manufactured, that luxuriate in the false certainty that bodily autonomy can be safely sacrificed for a higher principle. Half a century ago the proponents of marital rape argued for protecting tradition and patriarchal values because they were supposedly the glue holding society together. With 50 years’ hindsight, we may see the current debates about vaccine mandates – and the completely unscientific corollary that the unvaccinated are unclean and plague carriers – in much the same light.
The swelling political consensus on vaccine mandates intentionally ignores the enormous spread of the virus after two years of pandemic and the consequent natural immunity of large sections of the population, irrespective of vaccination status. This same consensus obfuscates the fact that natural immunity is most likely to prove longer-lasting and more effective against any variants of Covid that continue to emerge. And the consensus distracts from the inconvenient fact that the short-lived efficacy of the current vaccines means everyone is potentially “unclean” and a plague carrier, as the new variant Omicron is underscoring only too clearly.
The truth is that where each of us stands on the political divide over bodily autonomy says less about how much we prioritise human rights, or the social good, or solidarity with the weak and powerless, and much more about other, far less objectively rational matters, such as:
how fearful we are personally about the effects of Covid on ourselves or our loved ones;
whether we think the plutocrats that run our societies have prioritised the social good over the desire for quick, profit-making technological fixes, and the appearance of strong leadership and decisive action;
how sure we are that science is taking precedence over the interests of pharmaceutical corporations whose profits are booming as our societies grow older and sicker, and whether we think these corporations have captured our regulatory authorities, including the World Health Organisation;
whether we think it helpful or dangerous to scapegoat an unvaccinated minority, blaming it for straining health services or for the failure to eradicate a virus that is, in reality, never going away;
and, especially in the left’s case, how reassured we are that non-western, official “enemy” governments, such as Cuba, China, Russia and Iran, have thrown most of their eggs into the vaccine basket too – and usually as enthusiastically as western societies.
It is possible, however, that the way our technological, materialist world has evolved, ruled by competitive elites in nation states vying for power, means there was always likely to be a single, global conception of how to end the pandemic: through a quick-fix, magic bullet of either a vaccine or a drug. The fact that nation states – the “good” and “bad” alike – are unlikely to think outside this particular box does not mean it is the only box available, or that this box must be the one all citizens are coerced into.
Basic human rights do not apply only in the good times. They can’t just be set aside in difficult times like a pandemic because those rights are a nuisance, or because some people refuse to do what we think is best for them. Those rights are fundamental to what it means to live in a free and open society. If we get rid of bodily autonomy while we deal with this virus, that principle will have to be fought for all over again – and in the context of hi-tech, surveillance states that are undoubtedly more powerful than any we have known before.
It is wrong, however, to focus exclusively on bodily autonomy. The undermining of the right to bodily autonomy is slipping into an equally alarming undermining of the right to cognitive autonomy. In fact, these two kinds of autonomy cannot be readily disentangled. Because anyone who believes that people must be required to take a vaccine will soon be arguing that no one should be allowed to hear information that might make them more resistant to vaccination.
There is an essential problem about maintaining an open and honest debate during a time of pandemic, which anyone who is thinking critically about Covid and our responses to it must grapple with every time they put finger to keyboard. The discourse playing-field is far from level.
Those who demand vaccine mandates, and wish to jettison the principle of bodily autonomy as a “medical” inconvenience, can give full-throated voice to their arguments in the secure knowledge that only a few, isolated contrarians may occasionally dare to challenge them.
But when those who value the principle of bodily autonomy or who blanch at the idea of coerced vaccination wish to make their case, they must hold back. They must argue with one arm tied behind their backs – and not just because they are likely to be mobbed, particularly by the left, for trying to widen the range of arguments under consideration in what are essentially political and ethical debates masquerading as scientific ones.
Tonight I will oppose both compulsory vaccines for NHS staff, and the introduction of vaccine passports. Both measures are counterproductive and will create division when we need cooperation and unity.
Those questioning the manufactured consensus – a consensus that intentionally scapegoats the unvaccinated as disease carriers, a consensus that has once again upended social solidarity among the 99 per cent, a consensus that has been weaponised to shield the elites from proper scrutiny for their profiteering from the pandemic – must measure every word they say against the effect it may have on those listening.
I place a high value on autonomy, of both the cognitive and physical varieties. I am against the state deciding for me what I and you are allowed to think and say, and I am against the state deciding what goes into my and your body without our consent (though I also recognise that I have little choice but to breathe polluted air, drink polluted water, and eat chemically altered food, all of which have damaged my and your immune systems and made us more susceptible to viruses like Covid).
But at the same time, unlike the vaccine mandate mob, I never forget that I am responsible for my words and that they have consequences, and potentially dangerous ones. There are a significant proportion of people who almost certainly need to be vaccinated, and probably regularly, to avoid being seriously harmed by exposure to the virus. Any responsible writer needs to weigh the effect of their words. I do not wish to be responsible for making one person who would benefit from a vaccine more hesitant to take it. I am particularly wary of playing God during a pandemic.
However, my reluctance to pontificate on a subject on which I have no expertise – vaccine safety – does not confer a licence on others to command the debate on other subjects about which they appear to know very little, such as medical and political ethics.
The fact is, however much some people would be best advised to take the vaccine, there is a recognised risk involved, even if we are not supposed to mention it. The long-term safety of the vaccines is unknown and cannot be known for several more years – and possibly for much longer, given the refusal of the drug regulators to release vaccine data for many more decades.
The vaccine technology is novel and its effects on the complex physiology of the human body and the individual vagaries of each of our immune systems will not be fully apparent for a long time. The decision to take a new type of vaccine in these circumstances is a calculation that each individual must weigh carefully for themselves, based on a body they know better than anyone else.
Pretending that there is no calculation – that everyone is the same, that the vaccines will react in the same manner on every person – is belied by the fact that the vaccines have had to be given emergency approval, and that there have been harsh disagreements even among experts about whether the calculation in favour of vaccination makes sense for everyone, especially for children. That calculation is further complicated by the fact that a significant section of the population now have a natural immunity to the whole virus and not just vaccine-induced immunity to the spike protein.
But stuffing everyone into a one-size-fits-all solution is exactly what bureaucratic, technocratic states are there to do. It is what they know best. To the state, you are I and just a figure on a pandemic spread-sheet. To think otherwise is childish delusion. Those who refuse to think of themselves as simply a spread-sheet digit – those who insist on their right to bodily and cognitive autonomy – should not be treated as narcissists for doing so or as a threat to public health, especially when the immunity provided by the vaccines is so short-lived, the vaccines themselves are highly leaky, and there is little understanding yet of the differences, or even potential conflicts, between natural and vaccine-induced immunity.
Nonetheless, parts of the left are acting as if none of this is true, or even debatable. Instead they are proudly joining the mob, leading the self-righteous clamour to assert control not only over the bodies of others but over their minds too. This left angrily rejects all debate as a threat to the official “medical” consensus. They insist on conformity of opinion and then claim it as science, in denial of the fact that science is by its nature disputatious and evolves constantly. They cheer on censorship – by profit-driven social media corporations – even when it is recognised experts who are being silenced.
Their subtext is that any contrary opinion is a threat to the social order, and will fuel vaccine hesitancy. The demand is that we all become worshippers at the altars of Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca, at the risk otherwise of being denounced as heretics, as “anti-vaxxers”. No middle ground can be allowed in this era of perpetual emergency.
This is not just disturbing ethically. It is disastrous politically. The state is already massively powerful against each of us as individuals. We have collective power only in so far as we show solidarity with each other. If the left conspires with the state against those who are weak, against black and brown communities whose main experiences of state institutions have been abusive, against the “deplorables”, we divide ourselves and make the weakest parts of our society even weaker.
Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn understood this when he was one of the few on the left to publicly resist the recent move by the UK government to legislate vaccine mandates. He rightly argued that the correct path is persuasion, not coercion.
But this kind of mix of reason and compassion is being drowned out on parts of the left. They justify violations of bodily and cognitive autonomy on the grounds that we are living in exceptional times, during a pandemic. They complacently argue that such violations will be temporary, required only until the virus is eradicated – even though the virus is now endemic and with us for good. They silently assent to the corporate media being given even greater censorship powers as the price we must pay to deal with vaccine hesitancy, on the assumption that we can reclaim the right to dissent later.
But these losses, in circumstances in which our rights and freedoms are already under unprecedented assault, will not be easily restored. Once social media can erase you or me from the public square for stating real-world facts that are politically and commercially inconvenient – such as Twitter’s ban on anyone pointing out that the vaccinated can spread the virus too – there will be no going back.
There is a further reason, however, why the left is being deeply foolish in turning on the unvaccinated and treating the principles of bodily and cognitive autonomy with such contempt. Because this approach sends a message to black and brown communities, and to the “deplorables”, that the left is elitist, that its talk of solidarity is hollow, and that it is only the right, not the left, that is willing to fight to protect the most intimate freedoms we enjoy – over our bodies and minds.
Every time the left shouts down those who are hesitant about taking a Covid vaccine; every time it echoes the authoritarianism of those who demand mandates, chiefly for low-paid workers; every time it refuses to engage with – or even allow – counter-arguments, it abandons the political battlefield to the right.
Through its behaviour, the shrill left confirms the right’s claims that the political instincts of the left are Stalinist, that the left will always back the might of an all-powerful state against the concerns of ordinary people, that the left sees only the faceless masses, who need to be herded towards bureaucratically convenient solutions, rather than individuals who need to be listened to as they grapple with their own particular dilemmas and beliefs.
The fact is that you can favour vaccines, you can be vaccinated yourself, you can even desire that everyone regularly takes a Covid vaccine, and still think that bodily and cognitive autonomy are vitally important principles – principles to be valued even more than vaccines. You can be a cheerleader for vaccination and still march against vaccine mandates.
Some on the left behave as if these are entirely incompatible positions, or as if they are proof of hypocrisy and bad faith. But what this kind of left is really exposing is their own inability to think in politically complex ways, their own difficulty remembering that principles are more important than quick-fixes, however frightening the circumstances, and that the debates about how we organise our societies are inherently political, much more so than technocratic or “medical”.
The right understands that there is a political calculus in handling the pandemic that cannot be discarded except at a grave political cost. Part of the left has a much weaker grasp of this point. Its censoriousness, its arrogance, its hectoring tone – all given cover by claims to be following a “science” that keeps changing – are predictably alienating those the left claims to represent.
The left needs to start insisting again on the critical importance of bodily and cognitive autonomy – and to stop shooting itself in the foot.
Doctors are urging everyone to get vaccinated and boosted as cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant are popping up in more states, but the vaccine may also need to change to keep up with the mutations of the virus.
“It is, probably, one of our worst-case scenarios in terms of the combination of mutations that exist in one variant,” said Dr. Stephen Hoge, president of Cambridge-based Moderna. (source)
Again, this discussion around SARS-CoV2’s origins, and I mean, LAB origins, is so stunted that I have zero faith in the ability of people running the show and those following the show, and those who bombast and tell me to follow the science, to really have the guts and mental acumen to think outside their pathetic boxes. So, getting the low down from Moderna is not only bizarre, more than the fox watching the hens, but deeper. Here, a wrap up:
Our novel coronavirus is a LAV — live attenuated virus — derived from the work being done at University of North Carolina, the only place on earth trying to make a LAV for SARS-like viruses, which are also obviously not going to be fully acclimated to the human genome like the human influenza virus, which seems to have been with us at least since the Trojan War thousands of years ago.
Until SARS-CoV-2 is understood as a LAV that’s deattenuating towards a highly-pathogenic chimeric coronavirus that’s going through gatekeeping mutations and has no intention whatsoever of following the assumptions drawn from observing natural evolution or even the paths of the H1N1 LAVs which melted back into their original endogenous human hosts – humanity is going to continue to be standing on its head as it attempts to battle this pandemic, and misunderstanding the basic fundamental nature of what its up against.
It’s something we seem to be particularly good at, since all the way back in 1977 when the first H1N1 LAV emerged to a mass global panic, a massive push was made to create and distribute vaccines against what was thought to be a potentially pandemic strain. But it turns out that one of the ways a LAV isn’t a natural virus, is that when you attempt to vaccinate against it, neurological side-effects appear to proliferate among the vaccinated population, as the virus blows through this attempt at protection.
Because unfortunately for all of us, this isn’t the first time we’ve all been down the horrific rabbit-hole of trying to rush out an incredibly profitable vaccine against an enigmatic mystery virus that’s really a military LAV that deattenuated faster than expected. A vaccine which only provides only weak and temporary protection – but also causes wide-spread side-effects because it turns out the pharmaceutical companies were lying about their vaccine studies, and knowingly risked the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans so they could make as much money as quickly as possible: (Source)
Now, watch an old swine flu paranoia story, 60 Minutes:
So, follow the “other” science, and follow the protests. Marketed as life-saving public health measures, lockdowns triggered death and economic devastation on a global scale while doing little to slow the spread of Covid-19. Now, they’re back with a vengeance. — Grayzone.
Not that Whitney Webb is listened to by the mainstream and left-stream Media —
Moderna attempted to offset the bad press over having to delay the Crigler-Najjar drug with claims that they had developed a new nanoparticle delivery system called V1GL that “will more safely deliver mRNA.” The claims came a month after Bancel had touted another delivery system called N1GL to Forbes. In that interview, Bancel told Forbes that the delivery system they had been using, licensed to them by Acuitas, “was not very good” and that Moderna had “stopped using Acuitas tech for new drugs.” However, as will be explored in detail in this report as well as Part II of this series, it appears that Moderna continued to rely on the Acuitas-licensed technology in subsequent vaccines and other projects, including its COVID-19 vaccine. (Whitney Webb)
Former Moderna employees and those close to their product development were doubtful at the time that these new and supposedly safer nanoparticle delivery systems were of any consequence. According to three former employees and collaborators close to the process who spoke anonymously to STAT, Moderna had long been “toiling away on new delivery technologies in hopes of hitting on something safer than what it had.” All of those interviewed believed that “N1GL and V1GL are either very recent discoveries, just in the earliest stages of testing—or else new names slapped on technologies Moderna has owned for years.” All spoke anonymously due to having signed nondisclosure agreements with the company, agreements that are aggressively enforced.
And so we have the constant un-News from the billionaire class, Big Pharma, and the bought-out (prostituted) media. It is worth looking at this piece’s subheading,
Turns out you can’t vaccinate your way out of highly-transmissible RNA viruses in crowded commercial settings, but it also turns out that humans have a little issue trying to play God, and as so here we are.
…tied to this point by the writer, using Harvard To the Big House as his moniker:
It’s probably worth a brief moment to consider that every major industrial poultry farm on earth is stuffed to the wattles with potential viral hosts which are unable to self-segregate when they get sick like they are in wild populations, and so despite the fact that modern poultry farms have vaccination programs with 100% genomic coverage, 100% compliance, and 100% surveillance – a perfect experimental situation with far more controllability that human societies – the emergence highly-pathogenic influenza strains that easily cull half the flock in a matter of days and sometimes result in 100% mortality are a constant threat. (Bottling-Up the Quasispecies Origins of SARS-CoV-2’s Enigmatic Furin-Cleavage Site)
It’s worth reading this piece, and try to not multitasking why reviewing it, since there are genomics and virology and basic and mid-genetics cited. But you all are caring, smart and patient readers. I know. The reality is, there are no jobs in Oregon now that do not require the jab, and, for me, 64, over-educated, overly socialistic, well, how can I get a job when, well, this is what is typical of Indeed and other staffing sites put down right up front before a job description:
The State of Oregon requires all executive branch employees to complete their COVID-19 vaccination series or have an approved exception to the requirement due to a medical condition or sincerely held religious belief. Successful candidates for this position must submit vaccination documentation or be approved for an exception prior to their first day of employment. Failure to provide proof of full documentation or receipt of an approved exception will lead to withdrawal of the job offer. For more information, visit our policy listed here.
And what is a “vaccination” series, then? Is it two-three-four or every-three months a jab mentality? Is my age, 64, the kicker? Do I get to opt out of two-three-infinity shots? How easy is it to get an exception for whatever course of jabbing the state of Oregon requires, per the “Chosen Few” in the VaX Biz$, such as, well, here, December 4, 2021, DV covers one of these fellows, still alive, chosen, this elite “chosen few” — ‘Meet the “Godfather of Vaccines”’: Stanley A. Plotkin? (see Mickey Z!)
Is this existential the entire disaster and disaster mismanagement/management? A thought experiment? Ground-truthing? Or, something else?
The consciousness that biodiversity collapse is anthropogenically caused and in many cases avoidable prompts frequent use of the rhetoric of disaster to portray the human-induced shock to earth’s ecosystems. Amid such environmental distress, the collapse of biodiversity,global warming, melting glaciers, peak extraction of natural resources, structural poverty, intense pollution, high impact industries, and large zones of monocropping anticipate the scenario of a planet becoming orphaned of life. The main risks are created and increased inconsequently by men, in their infinite saga of nature domination (of which they are part, even when they do not realize it). The culture of immediacy pushes society to forget the past and to not care about the future. (Disasters, pandemic and repetition: a dialogue with Maurice Blanchot’s literature)
Look, I was on a Zoom call two days ago. Again, environmental topic; i.e., delta-wetlands “expert” zooming 41 folk. Amazingly flat, dead, and the Q & A, almost like putting in a number for the DMV. I don’t think the people running the show really get the colonization of science and outdoors sciences by this stupidity? In the Oregon-State? Making more and more people suspicious of each other, the Omicron Paranoia.
Estuaries are not only federally designated as Essential Fish Habitat, they’re a Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC). The HAPC designation is for high priority areas for conservation, management, or research because they are important to ecosystem function, sensitive to human activities, stressed by development, or are rare. Habitat types within estuaries vary substantially and consist of either natural (seagrass, large woody debris, natural rock, etc.) or man-made structures. Research from OSU over the last two decades indicates that (1) the fish communities in Oregon estuaries are changing, and (2) natural estuary habitats, particularly seagrasses, play an outsized role in the feeding and growth of juveniles fishes, particularly in years of poor ocean conditions. Given that ocean conditions on the west coast are changing, maintaining healthy natural habitats may become even more important in the future.
Interesting to read Alison McDowell’s latest, Wrench in the Gears. She opened up the Pandora’s box of blockchain connections to military-money-medical madness two years ago.
Check her work — She’s burnt out, and now, reenergized with Texas, where she was recently. Texas at the petri dish for all of the 5G/6G world of digital wallets, digital medicine, digital Gulag.
I am convinced Texas is in the crosshairs of a program of blockchain human capital predation that has been in the works at least since the 1950s. They’re coming in the back door with digital identity tied to electronic government, precision medicine, personalized learning, and equity-based workforce re-skilling tied to the Dallas Federal Reserve. Academic institutions pumped up with government life science grants and defense sector partnerships are in on it, as well as back-slapping non-profits waiting on their next philanthrocapitalist cardboard check. I have seen the web of this agenda. I have mapped a good bit of it. I’ve been caught up in it too, in the enormity of it. Now I finally think I’ve mustered up the psychic energy and clarity to deconstruct it and lay the parts out for all to see. Teasing apart the Texas blockchain web might help me regain my sense of purpose, which started to slip away these past few months. (Source)
Interesting fellow, just interviewed on a Covid-19 series, and that’s not available yet for public dissemination, but here he is in an older video. Covid-Revealed. His talk here on this 13 hour series is pretty clarifying. He does know his virus history, and he is anti-Empire, and this is usually not something these doctors who question the lack of treatments, the mRNA vax, etc. question. Many of the experts fighting the vaccination narrative and the rise of the corona paranoia yammer about socialism, how the WEF and Fourth Industrial Revolution is about global socialism. WHICH it is NOT. The rich — filthy Eichmann Types below them — are not gaming the system to have truly socialism for-by-because of the people, bottom up. Try and find the series, Covid Revealed. Of course, I am watching free, but with a time-frame, and then it is for sale! Capitalism, uh?
Here, Zach Bush, January 2021, on viromes and viruses. The entire kitchen sink of microbiome.
With the Branch Covidians and their Draconian Digital Dungeon, we who resist this maximum jab-jab-jab mentality — forced medical procedures — are to be put where? Repurposed Indian Boarding Schools? FEMA camps? Think about that. No job, no home, no unemployment, no humanity!
Gov. Sisolak apologizes for Nevada’s role in relocating Native American children
“They ripped babies from the arms of my ancestors and brought them thousands of miles to this campus,” Stacey Montooth, executive director of the Nevada Indian Commission and a direct descendant of a Stewart student, said. “The intent was to absolutely remove all aspects of Native American culture, but I’m still here.
“Keep in mind, it was not Uncle Sam’s priority to keep track of the Native people they sent here. There were bounties put out on little Indian children. … In 2021, we’d call it kidnapping.”
An estimated 20,000 students from at least 200 tribal nations attended Stewart between 1890 and 1980, including plenty from far-flung tribes based in New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho. The boarding school was just one of more than 350 such institutions once propped up by the federal government.
Some families sent their children to the school to get an education, but many were snatched off the road unbeknownst to their parents, according to Bobbi Rahder, director of the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center and Museum. (Source)
Interesting, Zach Bush looks at the political fight, the elections, as imflammation, looking at how as the candidates move closer toward the election their bodies, and their souls, are actually worn and show major breakdown of their mind-body connection. He discusses bacteria, looks at the sterilization aspect of modern medicine at war with viruses and not understanding the human microbiome — 10 to the 15th power the number of viruses in our body. Lining up for vaccines to rely on antibodies? It is not right, and it’s all tied to germ theory not being right. Listen to him, and it’s easy, and goes to biodiversity on many levels, and the air pollution, the cyanide taken into the human cell. Listen hard to the one above and then this one. It isn’t so difficult.
And to beat a dead Covid-19 horse to death, I highly recommend this interview, 25 minutes. You will understand the breadth of this fellow, Zach Bush, and he is coming at viruses, sustainability, terrain disease theory, humanity — birth and dying — from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Oh, I wish I was teaching college again, my courses on critical writing-thinking, from composition 101 to literature.
I have broached so many topics tied to systems thinking, directly relatable to students who are not majoring in English or journalism, per se, but those topics were fodder and incubators for deep knowledge and outside the thousand boxes thinking.
I am locked on Highway 101. The local college is Oregon Coast Community College, and the same people are teaching writing classes, for credit, who have been teaching that for years. There are no advanced classes or special topics classes, such as — critical thinking, research and expression in a time of conflict, runaway consumerism, media and educational control. You know, opening up the discussion with people majoring in say, nursing, or early childhood ed, or aquarium sciences. This society has for decades turned humanity into robots, silo-loving pencil pushers, err, knowledge workers on a laptop. That is exactly why we have a country of broken ideas, unrealized discussions, and flabbergasted people of all shapes and forms.
Zach Bush, on what we are — Homo Virome Sapiens!
The revolution that we are in the midst of — the massive paradigm shift that is one of the biggest scientific discoveries of human kind — is that human health does not reside within the human cell. Human health is dictated by the biodiversity that is at the center of our vitality, the biodiversity of the microbiome.
According to “science,” the coelacanth (Latimeria) went extinct 65 million years ago. After all, this carnivorous fish dates back some 400 million years to the age of dinosaurs — or so said the all-knowing men in the white lab coats. Along came a South African museum curator on a fishing trawler in 1938. Lo and behold, he caught himself a DinoFish!
A Few Things to Know About the Coelacanth
They are most definitely NOT extinct.
There are two known species. One lives off the east coast of Africa where the 1938 discovery was made. The other can be found in the waters near Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Coelacanths live at depths up to 2,300 feet below the surface. To adjust to the poor light, their eyes use rods that absorb mostly short wavelengths. Coelacanth vision has mainly blue-shifted color capacity.
They are believed to be “passive drift feeders” and their diet consists mainly of cephalopods and fish.
Coelacanths typically swim slowly, conserving energy. Thanks to all their fins (more about that soon), when chasing prey or avoiding danger, a coelacanth can move and maneuver quickly.
They are not pleasant tasting to humans and this may explain part of the DinoFish’s long-term survival.
Coelacanths can live 100 years.
Females hit sexual maturity in their late 50s. Males are sexually mature at 40 to 69 years. A coelacanth pregnancy lasts about five years.
One of the most interesting of coelacanth characteristics is its abundance of fins which may have marked an early step toward four-legged amphibians.
Here’s how the folks at National Geographic explain the coelacanth’s unique overall anatomy and physiology:
The most striking feature of this ‘living fossil’ is its paired lobe fins that extend away from its body like legs and move in an alternating pattern, like a trotting horse. Other unique characteristics include a hinged joint in the skull which allows the fish to widen its mouth for large prey; an oil-filled tube, called a notochord, which serves as a backbone; thick scales common only to extinct fish; and an electro-sensory rostral organ in its snout likely used to detect prey.
“Net Zero by 2050” is the rallying cry of scientists and policymakers throughout the world. However, that epithet echoes past decades of climate change/global warming mitigation plans, one after another, all failures.
The world’s continuing failure to come to grips with the dilemma led three notable climate scientists, deeply involved at the highest levels, to publicly ridicule past and future attempts to fix climate change in a blockbuster article entitled:1
That article is a must-read exposé of failed schemes that unintentionally hoodwink the general public, and scientists, and policymakers into believing in the merits of “feel-good proposals to save the planet.” But in reality, the scientists expose these projects as foolhardy, in part, based upon their own personal experience in actually helping to formulate some of the proposals in the first instance.
It is a thought-provoking article that cannot be dismissed, as it essentially implies we’re screwed unless global policymakers face up and react, immediately. They suggests foregoing the conceptual “Net Zero by 2050,” instead cut to the chase by cutting fossil fuels now!
As a follow up to the stirring article, Dr. Alison Green of ScientistsWarning interviewed the authors, May 8th, 2021:
The authors, not pulling any punches, take academia and international policymakers to the woodshed for decades of fairytale fixit schemes that always, always, always hold out hope, great promise to save civilization from burning up in a self-afflicted earthly hades, but never deliver, postage required.
The message behind the scathing article is simple, straightforward: Enough is enough, we’re fooling ourselves and getting nowhere fast, stop the madness, get real. Here’s how the authors see it:
Collectively we three authors of this article must have spent more than 80 years thinking about climate change. Why has it taken us so long to speak out about the obvious dangers of the concept of net zero? In our defence, the premise of net zero is deceptively simple – and we admit that it deceived us.2
A “Net Zero” search on Goggle brings up 1,630,000,000 hits within 0.89 seconds, and that’s just for starters. Deferring to the authors:
We have arrived at the painful realisation that the idea of net zero has licensed a recklessly cavalier ‘burn now, pay later’ approach which has seen carbon emissions continue to soar. It has also hastened the destruction of the natural world by increasing deforestation today, and greatly increases the risk of further devastation in the future.2
Their article goes on to describe “Steps towards Net Zero” starting with James Hansen, as administrator of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies June 1988 testimony to Congress, demonstrating how humans were warming Earth’s climate, famously stating, “The greenhouse (“GHG”) effect has been detected.” Then, four years later at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, all nations pledged to stabilize GHGs and the 1997 Kyoto Summit re-emphasized these goals, but at the time when something very constructive should have, could have been accomplished, the parties failed. Subsequently fossil fuels never looked back, zooming ahead in the face of nations of the world agreeing to stabilize GHGs but continuing to fail.
As follows, the next approach was to link economic activity to climate change via “Integrated Assessment Models,” which became, and remain to this day, the principal guidance for climate policy, implicitly implying that “market-based” approaches work, thereby removing any requirement for “deep critical thinking.” This has been, and according to the authors, remains a huge mistake.
The next step to solving the problem was introduction of Carbon-Capture and Storage, a feel-good plan for policymakers but one that failed to address increasing levels of fossil fuel usage. By the Copenhagen 2009 summit it was clear that Carbon-Capture and Storage did not exist in the real world; it was another big bust.
Thereafter, a new magic bullet, Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage – BECCS, became the new savior technology, burning biomass instead of coal. However, BECCS, which is very much in favor today, carries manifold issues, including the insanity of burning trees that absorb & store CO2 if left alone.
According to the authors:
Alas, BECCS, just like all the previous solutions, was too good to be true.2
The following information about BECCS was not included in the relevant article but has been included herewith as BECCS has become the rage, especially in the EU, which generates more energy from burning wood than from wind and solar combined. Biomass is now a $50B global industry.
The title of a recent article tells the story of BECCS 3 For example:
Solar panels can produce 100 times as much power per acre as biomass.2
And here’s another snippet:
In February, more than 500 scientists and economists wrote to President Joe Biden and other leaders to warn that converting wood into power is a carbon disaster, a forest destroyer and an absurdly inefficient way to generate energy… Trees are more valuable alive than dead.2
According to Earth Institute, woody biomass power plants actually produce more “global warming CO2” than fossil fuel plants; i.e., 65% more CO2 per megawatt hour than modern coal plants and 285% more CO2 than natural gas. Meanwhile Canada and the U.S. deliver wood to Europe like there’s no tomorrow.
According to LSA – University of Colorado/Boulder: Wood accounts for 79% of biomass production and accounts for 3.2% of energy production. Wood dominates the worldwide biomass industry. Today 50% of EU renewable energy is based upon biomass, and it is on the rise.
For example, in the UK, the Drax Group converted 4 of 6 coal-generating units to biomass, powering 12% of UK electricity for 4 million households. The Drax biomass plant has an enormous appetite for wood; e.g., in less than two hours an entire freight train of wooden pellets goes up in smoke (easily qualifying for Ripley’s Believe It or Not).
According to Drax’s PR department, their operation has slashed CO2 by over 80% since 2012, claiming to be “the largest decarbonization project in Europe.”4 ; however, when scientists analyze Drax’s claims, they do not hold up.
When wood pellets burn, Drax assumes the released carbon is “recaptured instantly by new growth.” That is a fairy tale.
According to John Sherman, an expert on Complex Systems Analysis at MIT: The “carbon debt payback time” for forests in the eastern US, where Drax’s wood pellets originate, compared to burning coal, under the best-case scenario, when all harvested land regrows as a forest, the wood pellet “payback time is 44 to 104 years,” which is mindboggling, thus prompts a query: Whoever did the research on biomass? Fire them!
Study after study proves that “burning coal instead of woody biomass” reduces the impact of CO2 atmospheric emissions. Coal is the clear winner, but problematically coal has already been cast into no-man’s land as a horrific polluter. Therefore, a massive complexity is at work as countries commit to using trees to meet carbon neutral status, but the end results are appallingly diametrical to their own stated intentions, and flat-out wrong.
According to scientist Bill Moomaw, co-author of several IPCC reports and widely recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on “carbon sinks”:
If we let some of our forests grow, we could remove an additional 10 to 20 percent of what we emit every year. Instead, we’re paying subsidies to have people cut them down, burning them in place of coal, and counting it as zero carbon. 5
Dr. Moomaw led a group of 800 scientists that petitioned the EU parliament in January 2018 to: “End its support for biomass.” Nevertheless, in June 2018, the EU Commission voted to keep biomass listed as a renewable energy, joined in their position by the support of the U.S. and Britain. Is this conclusive proof that policymakers, at their peril, ignore science? Answer: Yes!
Back to the original article for this story, by 2015, with CO2 emissions still skyrocketing, Paris ’15 brought the world together to limit warming to 2°C, hopefully 1.5°C vs. pre-industrial levels. At the end of negotiations, predictably, worldwide media celebrated an alleged marvelous achievement by the nations of the world to limit global warming, actually implying a halt to global warming, full stop at 2°C. Oh, please!
Yet, the bitter truth about Paris ’15:
But dig a little deeper and you could find another emotion lurking within delegates on December 13. Doubt. We struggle to name any climate scientist who at that time thought the Paris Agreement was feasible. We have since been told by some scientists that the Paris Agreement was ‘of course, important for climate justice but unworkable’ and ‘a complete shock, no one thought limiting to 1.5°C was possible’. Rather than being able to limit warming to 1.5°C, a senior academic involved in the IPCC concluded we were heading beyond 3°C by the end of this century.2
But, at the conclusion of Paris ’15 policymakers and the world’s media focused on a celebration with bright colored streamers and champagne popping and lots of backslapping, continuing the false narrative that a fixit was orchestrated by the nations of the world by simply keeping temperatures below 2°C and maybe even 1.5°C. It’s that simple.
But, getting there may be very complex, accordingly, atmospheric CO2 emissions since 2015: 399.89 ppm January 2015 versus 419.05 ppm April 2021 and increasing at twice the rate of the last century, which makes Paris ’15 a laughing stock.
Furthermore, the three author/scientists discount all of the current proposals on the table like Direct Air Capture, BECCS, and Solar Radiation Management to control and reduce the impact of global warming: “The problems come when it is assumed that these can be deployed at vast scale. This effectively serves as a blank cheque for the continued burning of fossil fuels and the acceleration of habitat destruction.”2
Rather than acknowledge the seriousness of our situation, we instead continue to participate in the fantasy of net zero. What will we do when reality bites? The time has come to voice our fears and be honest with wider society. Current net zero policies will not keep warming to within 1.5°C because they were never intended to. They were and still are driven by a need to protect business as usual, not the climate. If we want to keep people safe then large and sustained cuts to carbon emissions need to happen now. That is the very simple acid test that must be applied to all climate policies. The time for wishful thinking is over.6
“Climate Scientists: Concept of Net Zero is a Dangerous Trap”, The Conversation, April 22, 2021.
“The ‘Green Energy’ That Might Be Ruining the Planet,” Politico, March 26, 2021.
Biomass Energy: Green or Dirty? Environment & Energy – Feature Article, January 8, 2020
Europe’s Renewable Energy Policy is Built on Burning American Trees, Vox, March 4, 2019.
Climate Scientists: “Concept of Net Zero is a Dangerous Trap”, written by: James Dyke/University of Exeter, Robert Watson/University of East Anglia, and Wolfgang Knorr/Lund University.
Christianity defeated and wiped out the old faith of the pagans. Then with great fervour and diligence it strove to cast out and utterly destroy every last possible occasion of sin; and in doing so it ruined or demolished all the marvelous statues, besides the other sculptures, the pictures, mosaics and ornaments representing the false pagan gods; and as well as this it destroyed countless memorials and inscriptions left in honor of illustrious persons who had been commemorated by the genius of the ancient world in statues and other public monuments …. their tremendous zeal was responsible for inflicting severe damage on the practice of the arts, which then fell into total confusion.
— Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574), Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, 1550, Second Edition 1568
The development and spread of Enlightenment ideas in the eighteenth century instituted new movements based on a scientific approach to the pursuit of happiness, sense evidence as the primary source of knowledge, and which believed in progress, liberty, constitutional government and separation of church and state. However, while the growth of Romanticism in the nineteenth century was a new movement emphasising the non-rational, or irrational, this was not new. Irrationalism stressed feeling, will and instinct over or against reason and its influence stretched back through time to the early Greeks. For example:
In ancient Greek culture—which is usually assessed as rationalistic — a Dionysian (i.e., instinctive) strain can be discerned in the works of the poet Pindar, in the dramatists, and even in such philosophers as Pythagoras and Empedocles and in Plato. In early modern philosophy — even during the ascendancy of Cartesian rationalism — Blaise Pascal turned from reason to an Augustinian faith, convinced that “the heart has its reasons” unknown to reason as such.
Here I will look at the relationship between science and Irrationalism throughout history showing that at times rational investigation complemented irrational ideas, and at other times irrational ideas arose that conflicted with rational analysis. Early polytheistic society was less dogmatic in its attitude to science compared with Christian theology. Science slowly regained a foothold over the centuries and church ideology weakened. However, Romanticism took the place of the church as the main irrationalist ideology to hinder the growing influence of science in many different fields. Similarly with Christian ideology, it was the conservative elites who advanced and benefitted from the irrationalist ideas of Romanticism, using the various offshoots of Romanticism (Nationalism, Modernism, Postmodernism, Metamodernism etc.) to try and hold back the progressive development of societies towards genuine democracy and freedom, the essential ideas that originated in the Enlightenment. However, as globalised hegemonic culture today becomes ever more saturated with Romanticism – in parallel with Romanticist political movements – there is a real fear that another wave of extreme irrationalist ideas and violence could be provoked and sweep the world within a short period of time.
Early religion and rational investigation
In early societies the irrational ideas of polytheistic religion were aided by rational investigation that helped with human understanding of nature; for example, the Mesopotamians studied scientific subjects, like astronomy, that helped with their religious system.
Astronomy was of utmost importance to some civilizations who left behind large artifacts (proto-observatories; e.g., Newgrange in Ireland, Stonehenge in Great Britain, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Abu Simbel in Egypt etc.) connected with the longest and shortest days of the year. This would have helped in determining the seasons and understanding the length of the year and when was the best time to plant crops. Early religion was polytheistic and rooted in nature which can still be seen today amongst the indigenous peoples of many countries. In Ancient Greece, worshipping the gods centred around fertility, childbirth, farming, harvest and death:
Peasants worshipped the omnipresent deities of the countryside, such as the Arcadian goat-god Pan, who prospered the flocks, and the nymphs (who, like Eileithyia, aided women in childbirth) who inhabited caves, springs (Naiads), trees (dryads and hamadryads), and the sea (Nereids). They also believed in nature spirits such as satyrs and sileni and equine Centaurs. Among the more-popular festivals were the rural Dionysia, which included a phallus pole; the Anthesteria, when new wine was broached and offerings were made to the dead; the Thalysia, a harvest celebration; the Thargelia, when a scapegoat (pharmakos) assumed the communal guilt; and the Pyanepsia, a bean feast in which boys collected offerings to hang on the eiresiōne (“wool pole”).
Pan teaching his eromenos, the shepherd Daphnis, to play the pan flute, Roman copy of Greek original c. 100 BC, found in Pompeii. Pan is the god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, and connected to fertility and the season of spring. Pan’s goatish image recalls conventional faun-like depictions of Satan.
The desire to systematize the connection between nature and farming resulted in the many-century long scientific endeavour to create an accurate calendar. The Greek poet Hesiod, who lived around 700 BC, developed the Works and Days calendar “in which the farmer was to regulate seasonal activities by the seasonal appearances and disappearances of the stars, as well as by the phases of the Moon which were held to be propitious or ominous.”
Thus, the calendar would help people more accurately mark the seasons with celebrations and rituals that integrated their activity with the earth’s cycles:
The cycle of the year, at both the change of the four seasons as well as the height of each season, used to hold great importance. The winter solstice, the darkest day of the year, was a time of new birth. Often it was symbolized by the birth of an annual male fertility figure, a representation of the year’s new sun. The height of the winter, midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, was a time to nurture that new life. Spring was about encouraging fertility, when the sun and earth would unite to later bring forth the abundance of the harvest and the bounty of the hunt. From the summer solstice through autumn the sun’s energy transferred to the crops. The height of summer and the fall equinox were celebrations of the year’s harvest and bounty. The end of the year when fields lay dormant and the earth seemed to die at the height of autumn was a time to honor the dead and release the past.1
From the later sixth century BCE onward, myths and gods were subject to rational criticism on ethical or other grounds as the early Greek philosophers such as Thales of Miletus and later Anaximander and Anaximenes tried to explain natural phenomena without relying on the supernatural.
The rise of Irrationalism
The spread of Christendom from the Middle East to Africa and Europe by 600 CE was to have huge consequences not only for polytheistic religions but also on burgeoning scientific exploration. The struggle to convert the Roman Empire to Christianity was perceived by Christians as a struggle between the forces of darkness and light, between God and Satan.2
Saint Aemilianus, known for his destruction of ancient temples and libraries is shown using ropes to pull down a statue. His followers are breaking up statues with picks and axes.
As Christianity gained more and more power it worked to not only convert the polytheists to monotheism but also to eradicate scientific learning through attacks on books, libraries and the philosophers themselves. The only thing that mattered in life was worshipping god and any threat to the ideology and theology of Christianity, like, for example, Epicurean (341–270 BC) atomic theory, was to be eradicated. Atomic theory stated that everything in the world was made by the collision and combination of atoms and not created by a divine being. Thus, according to Catherine Nixey:
The intellectual consequences of this powerful [atomic] theory were summarized succinctly by the Christian apologist Minucius Felix. If everything in the universe has been ‘formed by a fortuitous concourse of atoms, what God is the architect?’ The obvious answer is: no god at all. No god magicked up mankind out of nothing, no divinity breathed life into us; and, when we die, our atoms are simply reabsorbed into this great sea of stuff. ‘No thing is ever by divine power produced from nothing,’ wrote Lucretius in his great poem, On the Nature of Things, and ‘no single thing returns to nothing’. Atomic theory thus neatly did away with the need for and possibility of Creation, Resurrection, the Last Judgement, Hell, Heaven, and the Creator God himself.3
Marble relief from the first or second century showing the mythical transgressor Ixion being tortured on a spinning fiery wheel in Tartarus. Epicurus taught that stories of such punishment in the afterlife are ridiculous superstitions and that believing in them prevents people from attaining ataraxia (“tranquility”).
While the classical philosophers had variously argued multiple positions on the existence of gods (“that there were countless gods; that there was one god; that there were no gods at all, or that you simply couldn’t be sure”4 , they were tolerated by the general polytheistic populace. This could be because the general population and the philosophers had the same aim in common: to understand nature. This was also because the Greeks saw their gods as being similar to themselves:
It is important not to forget the fact, which Hannah Arendt stressed (quoting Herodotus), that whereas in other religions God is transcendent, beyond time and life and the universe, the Greek gods are anthropophyeis; i.e., have the same nature, not simply the same shape, as man. If therefore one takes into account the Greeks’ absence of belief in supernatural God, their lack of belief in fixed and revealed truths and the consequent absence of given moral codes, one may assume that Greeks were, in a sense, atheists.
In Christianity, Irrationalism is founded on the idea that human reason cannot fully grasp the meaning of the human condition, and that God and evil coexist in a way that cannot be rationally explained. Therefore, only prayer and faith were necessary for salvation and all earthly necessities and desires were to be swept aside to focus on the promise of eternal life. The Christians attacked classical monuments and shrines, razed temples, burned books and sacred groves, imprisoned and executed ‘idolaters’. As a result, according to Helen Ellerbe, “As the Church assumed leadership, activity in the fields of medicine, technology, science, education, history, art, and commerce all but collapsed. Europe entered the Dark Ages. Although the Church amassed immense wealth during these centuries, most of what defines civilization disappeared.”5
The effect of the Church on classical learning was devastating. While a lot of classical literature was preserved over the centuries “it has been estimated that less than ten per cent of all classical literature has survived into the modern era. For Latin, the figure is even worse: it is estimated that only one hundredth of all Latin literature remains.”6 Instead of celebrating nature directly, people eventually prayed to the Christian “saints for good crops, rain and healthy children almost as pagans once prayed to specific gods assigned to oversee agriculture or fertility.”7
Chart of Pagan traditions and Christian adaptations from The Dark Side of Christian History by Helen Ellerbe
Christian eschatology (study concerned with the ultimate destiny of the individual soul and the entire created order) and the idea of linear time took over from the people’s strong connection with nature and the ever-changing seasons. Although, according to David Ewing Duncan, in early medieval times the peasants still lived and died “in a continuous cycle of days and years that to them had no discernible past or future.”8 Old habits die hard and the church eventually had no choice but to incorporate polytheistic nature-based traditions of the solstice, the Nativity, Saturnalia, Yuletide, the Easter hare and Easter eggs into their own traditions over time.
Science makes a comeback – the Renaissance
By the twelfth century things began to change. The intellectual revitalization of the Renaissance in Europe led to a new intellectual reinvigoration. Universities were set up and Europeans gained access to scientific Arabic and Greek texts, including the works of Aristotle, Alhazen, and Averroes. There was a huge increase in the rate of inventions and economic growth. As Jean Gimpel writes in The Medieval Machine:
The Middle Ages was one of the great inventive eras of mankind. It should be known as the first industrial revolution in Europe. The scientists and engineers of that time were searching for alternative sources of energy to hydraulic power, wind power, and tidal energy. Between the tenth and the thirteenth centuries, western Europe experienced a technological boom. […] Energy consumption increased considerably. Technological innovations brought about improvements in the efficiency of existing methods and also led to a successful search for new sources of energy. Many of the tasks formerly done by hand were now carried out by machines. Concurrently, there was a revolution in agricultural methods, which enabled farmers to produce enough food for an expanding population and provide a more varied diet. There was a marked increase in the general standard of living.9
The reemergence of Aristotelian scientific ideas exerted pressure on the Catholic Church to synthesize Aristotelian philosophy with the principles of Christianity. Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274) believed that: “Faith and reason, while distinct but related, are the two primary tools for processing the data of theology. Thomas believed both were necessary—or, rather, that the confluence of both was necessary—for one to obtain true knowledge of God. Thomas blended Greek philosophy and Christian doctrine by suggesting that rational thinking and the study of nature, like revelation, were valid ways to understand truths pertaining to God.” Like the pagan festivals, scientific or rational thinking was incorporated into Christian thinking to bolster Christian theology.
The influence of the Renaissance was long lasting and allowed for the growth of scientific communities which by the sixteenth century produced profound results. The Scientific Revolution is believed to have been initiated by the publication in 1543 of Nicolaus Copernicus’ De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres) and ended in 1632 with publication of Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. It was a process that started with the recovery of what was left of the knowledge of the ancients and was completed by “the “grand synthesis” of Isaac Newton’s 1687 Principia. This work formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation, thereby completing the synthesis of a new cosmology.”
Isaac Newton’s copy of Principia from 1687. Newton made seminal contributions to classical mechanics, gravity, and optics. Newton also shares credit with Gottfried Leibniz for the development of calculus.
The Scientific Revolution progressed into the Age of Enlightenment (or the Age of Reason) which became the main intellectual and philosophical movement in Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and covered a range of ideas “centered on the pursuit of happiness, sovereignty of reason and the evidence of the senses as the primary sources of knowledge and advanced ideals such as liberty, progress, toleration, fraternity, constitutional government and separation of church and state.”
The Romanticist reaction
The revolutionary significance of such progressive ideas was not lost on the wealthy elites who discussed universal ideas of freedom, equality, and fraternity but soon limited them to their own class. They reacted to progressivism by looking back to medieval times and society (to a non-threatening peasant class) as an ideal, hoping to divert or divide the developing new revolutionary working class. They rejected collectivist ideals and emphasised emotion and individualism. Romanticist ideas had a profound negative effect on the liberatory and progressive aspects of the arts, and Romanticist thinkers influenced liberalism, conservatism, and nationalism. In contrast to the usually very social art of the Enlightenment, Romantics were distrustful of the human world, emphasised a belief in spiritual freedom, individual creativity, the artist’s own unique, inner vision, ultimately melting away the very notion of objective truth.
Philosophers like Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche and Søren Kierkegaard emphasised the idea that the world of rationalism was deceptive and ill-equipped to grasp the ‘essence’ of things.
The rise of Romanticist Irrationalism in the twentieth century led to the Nationalist conflicts of the First Word War and the aggressive Fascism of the Second World War. Since then Irrationalism has been a more subtle part of many social and political movements. Takis Fotopoulos, for example, has discussed two types of Irrationalism: ‘old’ and ‘new’ Irrationalism. ‘Old’ Irrationalism which has flourished since the Second World War “has taken various forms ranging from the revival, in some cases, of the old religions (Christianity, Islam etc) up to the expansion of various irrational trends (mysticism, spritualism, astrology, esoterism, neopaganism, ‘New Age’ etc) which, especially in the West, threaten old religions.”
Fotopoulos describes three aspects of the ‘new’ Irrationalism in terms of the universalisation of the market/growth economy, the ecological crisis, and the collapse of ‘development’ in the South. He writes:
At the cultural level, the liberalization and de-regulation of markets have contributed significantly to the present cultural homogenization, which led to an irrational reaction, in the form of the rise of various fundamentalisms [and], at the ideological level, the emergence of the neoliberal consensus was associated with the rise of postmodernism.
He sees the ecological crisis in terms of “the ‘instrumental’ or ‘pragmatic’ approaches versus the ‘spiritual’ ones [and] the deep ecology approach considers the present non-sustainable development as a cultural rather than as an institutional issue, as a matter of values rather than as the inevitable outcome of the rise of the market economy, with its grow-or-die dynamic, which is to blame for the present growth economy.” This led to collapse of ‘development’ in the South:
Under these circumstances, the return to tradition and, particularly, to religion seemed very appealing to the impoverished people in the South, whose communities and economic self-reliance were being destroyed by the internationalized market/growth economy. Particularly so, when religion was seen as a moral code preaching equality of all men before God set against the injustices of the market/growth economy. Similarly, the return to spirituality looked as the only way to match an imported materialism which was associated with a distorted consumer society, i.e. one that was not even capable of delivering the goods to the majority of the population, as in the North.
Thus, the influence of Irrationalism in society today is very broad and deep, and affects so many people and movements negatively. It pervades culture, society and politics. This is partly because of the chameleon-like nature of Romanticism which reacts to any progressive ideas or movements by appearing as a radical opposite while it soaks up dissent (e.g. medieval crafts in opposition to modern industry), or, by appearing progressive when it copies the form while substituting in an opposite content (e.g. the Church incorporating polytheistic nature-based traditions of the solstice, the Nativity, Saturnalia, Yuletide, Easter etc.). This means that the insidious nature of Irrationalism must be constantly exposed and dealt with before it develops its own momentum again and leads to the kind of socio-political disasters we have seen in the past.
Extract from the frontispiece of the Encyclopédie (1772). It was drawn by Charles-Nicolas Cochin and engraved by Bonaventure-Louis Prévost. The work is laden with symbolism: The figure in the centre represents truth—surrounded by bright light (the central symbol of the Enlightenment). Two other figures on the right, reason and philosophy, are tearing the veil from truth.
However, the importance of the legacy of the Enlightenment is not so much its support for and development of science, but how particular philosophers used that scientific learning to fight against injustice (an older legacy of many centuries of exploitation and oppression). The idea that knowledge would not just make one aware of how exploitation and oppression worked, but would develop into ideas and practices that could eventually bring such exploitation and oppression to an end was the truly revolutionary legacy of the Enlightenment movement.
Helen Ellerbe, The Dark Side of Christian History (1995) p. 145.
Catherine Nixey, The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World (2017) p. 9.
Catherine Nixey, The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World (2017) p. 36.
Catherine Nixey, The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World (2017) p. 147.
Helen Ellerbe, The Dark Side of Christian History (1995) p. 41.
Catherine Nixey, The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World (2017) p. 166.
David Ewing Duncan, The Calendar: The 5000-year Struggle to Align the Clock and the Heavens – and What Happened to the Missing Ten Days, (2011) p. 142.
David Ewing Duncan, The Calendar: The 5000-year Struggle to Align the Clock and the Heavens – and What Happened to the Missing Ten Days, (2011) p. 137.
Jean Gimpel, The Medieval Machine: The Industrial Revolution of the Middle Ages (1986) pviii/ix.
Save Our Planet Save Our Future, Belgium, January 31, 2019 (Photo: EuroNews/Twitter)
This is the fourth newsletter in our series on the 2020s as a decade of transformation See Remaking International Relations, Remaking the Economy for the People, and Remaking Healthcare. In addition to COVID-19 and the economic collapse, multiple crises are reaching a peak and the world is changing as a result. How the world changes will be determined in some part by our actions. This week, we look at what can be done to bring our societies into balance with nature.
Biologist Elisabet Sahtouris describes an alternative theory of evolution to Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” in her book, “Earthdance: Living Systems in Evolution.” Sahtouris finds that evolution is cyclical, a spiral instead of linear. She describes how when a new species arises, it upsets the ecological equilibrium as it comes into competition with other species over habitat. The task of that species in the adolescent phase of its evolution is to find its niche in a way that is cooperative with other species. If it fails, it goes extinct.
The human species is in its adolescent phase, and now it is time to recognize our mistakes and change our behaviors. Sahtouris writes:
Like any adolescent who is suddenly aware of having created a very real life crisis, our species faces a choice — the choice between pursuing our dangerous course to disaster or stopping and trying to find mature solutions to our crises. This choice point is the brink of maturity — the point at which we must decide whether to continue our suicidal course or turn from it to responsible maturity. Are we going to continue our disastrously competitive economics, our ravaging conversion of our natural supply base into things, our pollution of basic soils, waters and atmosphere in the process? Or will we change the way we see life — our worldview, our self-image, our goals, and our behavior — in accord with our new knowledge of living nature in evolution?
We’re in for a rough patch
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic occurred quickly. The first documented cases occurred in Wuhan, China in late December. The first reported case outside of China occurred two weeks later in Thailand. At that point, it was also discovered that human-to-human transmission of the virus could occur. One week later, the first case of COVID-19 was identified in the United States. Within a month, 18 countries besides China had infections. By early March, there were 500 cases in the United States impacting 30 states plus the District of Columbia. And within another month, the number of cases in the US grew one thousand-fold to 500,000, with 20,000 deaths. These are only the ones we know about. It is certain that the number of cases in the US is being undercounted, perhaps by a factor of ten, as are deaths.
Within a matter of months, the pandemic has had wide-ranging and devastating impacts. There are nearly two million cases in 210 countries. Over 100,000 people have died. Health care systems are being overwhelmed. The pandemic triggered a global recession, which the world was on course to experience at some point soon, and this was before the economy started shutting down.
Nearly 17 million people in the US became unemployed in the last three weeks. This is also likely an underestimate as unemployment offices are overwhelmed. And a majority of workers in the fields of construction, manufacturing, and transportation, and in the service sectors are unable to meet their basic needs. Millions are losing their health insurance when they need it most.
As abruptly as the pandemic and global economic collapse have changed our lives, scientists predict another rapid disruption in our lives is on the horizon. A new study published in Nature predicts ecosystem collapse could start occurring within the next decade. Researchers found that many species are already living near the limits of the conditions they require to survive. As the planet heats up, many species will reach their limit simultaneously and there will be mass die-offs.
As global warming heats their habitat to the point that it is intolerable, many species have no place to go. Some will go extinct, with a domino effect that affects scores of other species. If it gets too hot for bumblebees, for example, it affects the reproduction of plants. If it gets too warm for insects and reptiles, it affects food supplies for birds and mammals.
When ecosystems start collapsing abruptly, we will face similar situations as we are facing today with the twin COVID-19 pandemic and global recession. We will be forced to adapt to a new reality, but this time it will be a reality that threatens the food supply in addition to increasing the risk of disease. Just as health professionals warned us for years that we were unprepared for an inevitable pandemic, climate scientists are warning us of ecosystem collapse. We can mitigate the crisis, but that is only going to happen if we take the initiative to make it happen.
COVID-19 will change the world (From News Karnataka)
We’re all connected and it’s all connected
Before we start looking at solutions, we must understand the roots of the crises we face. It is by changing systems at the root level that we will bring about the transformation we need. Of course, this won’t be an in-depth examination. That is beyond the scope of a newsletter.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that we are a connected global community. Diseases, greenhouse gases, and capital are not restricted by borders. What we do in one place, impacts another. To stop the pandemic, we must control the infection everywhere or there will always be a repository perpetuating it and putting any of us at risk. International cooperation and solidarity are required to make the transition we need.
The same is true with the climate crisis and the globalized neoliberal economy. They are connected to each other and to our health. It is the globalized neoliberal financial system that has driven the race to the bottom. Capital moves freely about the world in search of the cheapest labor and resources. Many governments, especially those in the global south, compete with each other to loosen regulations that protect workers and the environment to attract capital to their countries. Corporate trade agreements make transnational corporate profits more important than protecting the planet. Humans have created multiple environmental crises from polluting the Earth, as Robert J. Burrowes writes, turning it into a junk planet.
Capitalism knows no limits when it comes to profits. People are being displaced from their land as corporations gobble it up for mining, energy production or industrial agriculture. This forces people deeper into wild habitats where they come in contact with wildlife and also pushes wildlife into human communities. It increases the chances of transmission of disease.
As Keishia Taylor explains, “…human activity disrupts ecosystems and damages biodiversity, shaking loose viruses, which then need a new host.” As the barriers between humans and wildlife break down, the greater the risk for zoonoses, diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans. COVID-19 “is the sixth major epidemic in the last 26 years that originated in bats, mediated by a range of farmed, domesticated or hunted animals.” Factory farming is a great culprit driving these epidemics. Large numbers of animals live in crowded and unnatural environments, which weaken their immune systems and make disease transmission more likely.
Biodiversity is key to healthy ecosystems, writes Eric Roston in TIME. He adds, “Almost half of the new diseases that jumped from animals to humans… after 1940 can be traced to changes in land use, agriculture, or wildlife hunting. …There may be 10,000 mammalian viruses potentially dangerous to people.” The climate crisis is another threat to biodiversity as described above, for which governments are not responding.
Capitalism drives the exploitation of people and resources for profit without regard for the consequences. The burning of cheap, dirty fossil fuels for transportation required to connect disparate parts of the global supply chain as well as the oil and gas industry’s history of pushing dirty forms of transit drives greenhouse gas emissions along with large polluting industries and factory farms. Destruction of the land, including our forests, has lowered the capacity for natural carbon sequestration. This has led to the high levels of carbon in the atmosphere that cause climate chaos; record high temperatures are heating the oceans and storms, fires and droughts are causing more damage.
Vijay Prashad describes the many ways neoliberal capitalism has also driven privatization of state institutions, such as healthcare, and has created precarious livelihoods in his newsletter “We Won’t Go Back to Normal, Because Normal Was the Problem.” And that is our task: to make sure that out of these crises come major changes, the maturation of our species to cooperate with the ecosystems in which we live.
Activists march in a climate change rally in London, Britain, September. 20, 2019 (Reuters)
Opportunities for change
Life has changed drastically for many people as we are suddenly required to stay in our homes. Education has moved online. People are doing more of their own food preparation. Conferences and other large gatherings have been canceled, and some have moved online. We’ve had to change our habits quickly to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 cases.
One positive side effect of our reduced activity is that greenhouse gas emissions have dropped significantly. Charles Komanoff and Christopher Ketcham of the Carbon Tax Institute estimate that the drop could be as much as 50% this year. They identify four positive lessons from the pandemic: greater reliance on science, the recognition that government action is required to confront crises, the knowledge that we can change our behavior quickly, and the necessity of social solidarity.
We can take rapid action to “flatten the curve” of greenhouse gas emissions just as we are for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here is a list of ten basic steps we can take to reduce greenhouse gases and support the health of all living beings and the planet:
Decentralize agriculture – End monopolized industrial agriculture and return to small and medium-sized farms owned by farmers who will manage the land in ways that support biodiversity, rebuild the soil and sequester carbon. This means organic farming methods and includes urban agriculture to produce food locally.
End land grabs – Stop the land grabs that drive people off their land and allow them to return. Smaller landowners tend to be better stewards of the land.
Sequester carbon naturally – Do this through regenerative farming methods, and by restoring wetlands which has the added benefit of buffering sea level rise, and protecting forests, especially mature forests.
Restore wildlife habitat – Protect wildlife areas and plan our communities in ways that do not encroach upon them. This includes rethinking tourism. There are some areas humans ought to avoid out of respect for wildlife habitat.
End fossil fuel and nuclear use – Move rapidly to a carbon-free and nuclear-free energy economy. To make this a just transition, areas that overuse energy will need to reduce consumption and areas that do not have enough energy to meet basic needs will need to increase energy use. This also means finding ways to reduce travel until we can reduce the carbon output. Many businesses and organizations are changing to online meetings and conferences instead of doing them in-person.
Decentralize energy production – Massive solar and wind farms can be disruptive through displacement of communities and the destruction of wildlife areas. Energy production can be integrated into the infrastructure; e.g., on rooftops, parking lots and community solar. Decentralized production ends energy monopolies and allows many people to benefit from the energy they produce.
Remake transportation – Reduce energy use significantly through investment in mass public transit and shared ownership of vehicles as cars are parked 95% of the time. Many cities already have fleets of cars for short-term rental. Fewer cars mean fewer resources being used. And we can increase bike and pedestrian areas to encourage less driving.
Rebuild the rail system – Electrify our railroads and increase their use for moving goods and people. Decentralized energy production can feed into the rail line to power it. This is a concept called Solutionary Rail.
Become zero waste communities – Rethink our consumption and reduce it to what is necessary and then find ways to meet our necessities through closed-loop production cycles, reuse of materials, sharing of items and more.
Cooperate more – In this pandemic, people around the world are organizing mutual aid to provide food and other basic needs. Let’s build on this spirit to look out for each other and connect human-to-human. We may find that building our communities will increase sharing and reduce our desire for so much stuff.
There are more steps we could add to this list that include socializing sectors of the economy so that human rights and protection of the planet supersede corporate profits, remaking trade along the same lines and strengthening localized, worker or community-owned enterprises.
We are truly at a crossroads. The pandemic has taught us to act in solidarity and that we can alter our lifestyles drastically when necessary. The climate crisis requires us to flatten the curve of our greenhouse gas emissions and toxic, polluting society. We can’t go back to normal because normal is killing us. The time is now to create a new world in balance with nature.