A post from Patrice Ayme.
I have subscribed to Patrice Ayme for some time now. I don’t know who he is because he writes under a pseudonym, or a nom-de-plume. (And, indeed, I may have the gender incorrect but I’m pretty sure it’s a male.)
Patrice writes frequently and doesn’t mince his words.
But then he writes about really serious matters and often has criticism for the ‘ruling classes’.
Such as he has in the post that was published on the 6th May. I left a comment:
It’s extremely worrying and not something that can be put off. The clock is at 5 minutes to midnight. In Britain Extreme Resistance are pursuing a campaign that may just produce a political outcome. And, indeed, the English Government have come up with goals to combat climate change.
So keep banging your drum, Patrice, and hope that urgent action across the world isn’t too far away.
To which Patrice replied:
thanks! Here I am fighting with my daughter’s school, which has decided to install artificial, plastic grass. It’s horrendous for the environment, and it endangers the lives of children (in many ways, including a disease called “SUBEROSIS” caused by organic cork.) Here real ecologist take it hard, and have started to burn artificial plastic flame retardant fields: 13,000 were recently installed in the USA, a proof of mass corruption…
Feel free to use my essay on your site, BTW, of course…
And thanks again…
Now I hadn’t heard of Suberosis before, but no problem, a quick web search brought up Wikipedia and this:
Suberosis is a type of hypersensitivity pneumonitis usually caused by the fungus Penicillium glabrum (formerly called Penicillum frequentans) from exposure to moldy cork dust. Chrysonilia sitophilia, Aspergillus fumigatus, uncontaminated cork dust, and Mucor macedo may also have significant roles in the pathogenesis of the disease.
Cork is often harvested from the cork oak (Quercus suber) and stored in slabs in a hot and humid environment until covered in mold. Cork workers may be exposed to organic dusts in this process, leading to this disease.
I don’t fully understand how the laying of artificial grass leads to possible Suberosis.
But I have decided to republish even though it has nothing to do with dogs! (Well, not directly.)
Nature Collapsing, Plutocracy Thriving
Both phenomena are related. The more nature collapses, the more plutocracy thrives (see the multi-centennial fall of Rome, for reference). Small people and other losers have no interest to see nature collapse. However, plutocracy does. Because Pluto-Kratia, Evil-Power, is best expressed and justified during war-like states, and civilizational collapse sure qualifies.
Plutocracy survived the collapse of the Roman and Carolingian empires with flying colors. In the Roman case, most noble families had a bishop in their midst. The collapse of the Renovated Empire of the Romans (Renovatio Imperii Romanorum) and its renewal by the Ottos and Capets brought the feudal order, another plutocratic success.
Now is no different: we have a terminal CO2 crisis bringing in extreme, sudden temperature, acidification and ocean rises: 1% of US CO2 is from state subsidized private jets. Nobody notices, because media have made sure to create entire generations just preoccupied by celebrities, not by what is going on, which is really most significant.
Nor has the media been keen to notice the likes of Biden annihilated the Banking Act of 1933, in the 1990s, bringing in the age of the financial plutocracy… itself a heavy financier of fossil fuels. So all what some schools are thinking of is installing “Apps”, and plastic grass, instead of teaching sustainable global citizenship. We are cruising towards an apocalypse, at an increasing pace: the Sixth Mass Extinction. The United Nations just came up (May 6, 2019) with an analysis made by 132 countries and 455 scientists: one million species are disappearing. For example, nearly all amphibians.
One problem with burning forests in the tropics is that what is left are often extremely poor soils (differently from northern European soils, which are very forgiving, explaining in great part why north west Europe replaced the Greco-Roman world…) Cattle grazing on a tract of illegally cleared Amazon forest in Pará State, Brazil. In most major land habitats, the average abundance of native plant and animal life has fallen by 20 percent or more, mainly over the past century,,, [Credit Lalo de Almeida for The New York Times]
In Africa, burned forest is often replaced by lateritis, a soil which is red, baked, hard… for the good reason that it is full of Aluminum.
It is the Sixth Mass Extinction, but this time the dinosaurs have thermonuclear weapons.
What to do? Get involved, get aware, protest. Protests can become unbearable to the powers that be.
This is the way the fascist government of Brunei on the island of Borneo was just dealt with. It drew powerful international condemnation when it rolled out its interpretation of sharia laws on April 3. Now, the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, reverted his decision: after all, the country won’t enforce Islamic laws that include stoning to death for rape, adultery and gay sex.
Killing all the people who got killed in World War Two was atrocious. However, what is now unfolding has the potential to be way way worse. Einstein said he didn’t know which weapons will be used to fight World War Three, but next it would be sticks and stones. That was naively optimistic. If we acidify further the ocean with acid from CO2, we may kill the Earth’s oxygen making mechanism. Not really news, as this was clear five years ago already:
Many behave as if there will be no tomorrow, because they feel that way! It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, it has to be resisted.
What’s needed, beyond recording what’s going on, is interpreting it, going beyond, building ideas, and moods meant to last. Only deeper thinking can do this, and ensure a planet capable of lasting. Because we are not at the regional level anymore. When climate change, plus nefarious human impact, forced the Harappan civilization to abandon its homeland, the Indus valley, it was dealing with forces it had no idea existed. Maybe there are such forces out there. But there are also plenty of forces we can see, and which are plenty lethal enough, at civilizational scale, and the scale of the entire biosphere. Stop. And think. One million species are marching towards extinction, among the plants and animals we know.
WASHINGTON — Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, posing a dire threat to ecosystems that people all over the world depend on for their survival, a sweeping new United Nations assessment has concluded.
The 1,500-page report, compiled by hundreds of international experts and based on thousands of scientific studies, is the most exhaustive look yet at the decline in biodiversity across the globe and the dangers that creates for human civilization. A summary of its findings, which was approved by representatives from the United States and 131 other countries, was released Monday [May 6, 2019] in Paris. The full report is set to be published this year.
Its conclusions are stark. In most major land habitats, from the savannas of Africa to the rain forests of South America, the average abundance of native plant and animal life has fallen by 20 percent or more, mainly over the past century. With the human population passing 7 billion, activities like farming, logging, poaching, fishing and mining are altering the natural world at a rate “unprecedented in human history.”
At the same time, a new threat has emerged: Global warming has become a major driver of wildlife decline, the assessment found, by shifting or shrinking the local climates that many mammals, birds, insects, fish and plants evolved to survive in. When combined with the other ways humans are damaging the environment, climate change is now pushing a growing number of species, such as the Bengal tiger, closer to extinction.
As a result, biodiversity loss is projected to accelerate through 2050, particularly in the tropics, unless countries drastically step up their conservation efforts.
I’m in the autumn of my life and may not live to see the consequences of what we are doing to Nature and to the Planet.
Then again, if some of the predictions bear true, I won’t have to live an awful lot longer to experience real change.
It’s time for a complete re-analysis of our relationship with the natural world.
2 thoughts on “How much time do we have left?”
Thanks for republishing my essay, Paul! Hopefully, the entire biosphere is grateful too!
Let me explain what happens with artificial plastic grass. As the states have started to take measures against plastic bags, and plastic “nanoparticles”, the fossil fuel industry had to find new outlets. So they invented artificial plastic fields. The numbers are astounding: 13,000 installed in the US alone (and thousands in the EU too). In the city of Berkeley, two small fields cost 2.5 million dollars directly. They necessitated a 700 feet long decantation basin to collect the toxic runoff, prevent it to get into the San Francisco bay (artificial grass has to be disinfected, every two weeks, or more; in theory after every event).
Next door the poorer city of Richmond spent 3.9 million on artificial grass. Such fields last a round, if made with crumb rubber. No more than 5 years, if made with cork.
Toxic plastic grass full of toxic flame retardants comes with… artificial soil, out of which the fake plastic reeds point out. That was made of crumb rubber until very recently: crushed car tires, full of road pollution, all sort of nasty chemicals, etc. Turns out goalies (who dive onto the stuff) got 88% more cancer than other players. Oops.
So now the exploiters of fossil fuels are scrambling to switch to coconut fiber and, or “organic” cork. Coconut gives fibrosis directly in a phenomenon similar to asbestosis. Cork becomes pulverulent, loaded with 2 ferocious bacteria… and a particular mold specific to cork. The resulting illness is called suberosis, and it’s lethal.
Artificial plastic turf is nearly not regulated… Although the EU Parliament has written a 340 pages report condemning it… including when using cork. That report is from July 2018, and a preliminary to banning these ecological horrors…
Existing plastic can’t be recycled more than 50% (the hydrocarbon chains break during recycling). So recycling existing plastics is a lie. They are infected the entire planet, the entire oceans, and even poison the soil… killing plants and worms.
A solution exists; biodegradable plastics (which were invented decades ago). However, they are unsubsidized and cost twice more than non degradable plastics…
Microplastic pollution has started to show up in human flesh recently….
Ouch! Now I understand the whole disgusting story! Profit before people!