Tuesday 19th of November 2019

the impossible survival of nature on planet cash...

wollemia nobilis
The Wollemi pine was discovered in 1994 in a wild temperate rainforest small area — a remote narrow sandstone gorges 150 km north-west of Sydney, part of the Wollemi National Park in New South Wales, Australia. 

Possibly the rarest tree species on the planet, it is an amazing plant. The Wollemi pine is not a pine but a Wollemia, an old genus of coniferous tree, in the family Araucariaceae. It was only known in the fossil records from up to 200 millions years ago, until these few specimens — now named after the park, Wollemia nobilis — were spotted. 

As far as we know, this species has been exclusive to this very small area. Wollemia nobilis is thus classified as critically endangered on the IUCN's Red List, and is legally protected in Australia. 

A protection plan has been drawn up, outlining strategies for the management of the fragile wild tiny population and duplication of the trees in public and private gardens, through seedling and cloning. The overall objective is to ensure that this rare species exists as long as possible. And it is thriving, because believe it or not, it’s a survivor and, strangely enough, it's easy to propagate. 

This rare tree has strange looking leaves, reproductive “cones”, a weird bark and grows up to about 20 metres. 

mature cones, leaves and trunk
mature cones, leaves and trunk


So how come a species alive 200 million years ago managed to hang on to survival in such a small pocket, after many geological upheavals, climatic changes and volcanic turmoil of the region? Basically: luck. 

Now it’s up to us to make sure this species’ luck is not running out. 

200 million years ago, the Australian plate was still attached to the Antarctic plate. So was the Indian subcontinent. 

The Sydney Basin consists of horizontal layers of sedimentary rocks laid down over the past 300 million years. The Blue Mountains — in the Great Dividing Range — were formed about 50 million years ago, when the area was uplifted into a high plateau above 1000 metres, that was later on covered by volcanic flows of basalt. Rivers now cut deep canyons through this plateau, creating massive cliffs and forested slopes. It’s a large beautiful wild space and we can only thank the successive governments to have declared a lot of it as National parks. It is in a small corner of the canyons that Wollemia nobilis managed to survive, probably due to the presence of abundant cascading water, while in other areas, the drying forest would have soon become prone to bushfires — changing the surviving species of trees, mostly Eucalyptus.

blue mountains
A small part of the Blue Mountains.

Sometimes referred to as a “dinosaur plant”, Wollemia nobilis is not the only plant that has survived from the last 200 million years or so. 

Like mosses and liverworts, many ferns and cycads are also old plant genus, but many of their present species are recent products of evolution. Flowering plants only appeared late in the fossil record about and diversified greatly in the last few millions years.

We know that the dinosaurs first appeared during the Triassic period, between 243 and 233.23 million years ago. They became extinct about 65 million years ago, after a massive change in environmental factors, probably due a large meteor impact in Mexico.

So nature evolves and devolves — sometimes to extinction. 

There has been five major extinction events in the evolution of life on this planet, with various rates of number of species biting the dust.

Presently, we’re in the sixth extinction event.

Unfortunately, this is the resultant of the Garbagedestroyeocene, the latest section of the Humaneocene, which started less than 150 years ago with the industrial revolution. Actually it started to become a major problem just after the end of World War 2, when the human population crossed the two billion individuals mark. Apart from the amount of garbage we, human produce at an accelerating rate, we also consume a lot of natural stuff — such as wood, palm oil, grasses like wheat and farmed animals at an exponential rate. 

We, humans, grow in number, Nature looses habitats. Who would have thought!?

The Wollemi pine got lucky. It laid hidden and because it grew in an area that no human visited because it’s too inaccessible, no one thought “we should do a burn-off to prevent burning". The fact that this species survived and procreated a few trees at a time, with young ones awaiting their turn — in this tiny patch, is amazing. 

That we, humans, have the techniques and the desire to propagate this species is wonderful. Actually, the species itself is quite prolific when given the chance. 

Unfortunately again, this is a rare case of accidental protection of nature. Many other Australian species are under threat of imminent extinction, because they are not as prolific, do not reproduce easy and are environment specific. This should not be taken lightly, considering also that we’ve also introduced ferals such as cats (you know me — killakat today) that murder enormous amount of native animals daily. 

Our present governments, in the hands of corporations that want to destroy more trees, more wetlands, more forests for wood, for tourists and to make way for cattle, are totally ineffective at properly protecting nature, because these governments really have become “corporations” that act like gangsters against nature, while claiming it cares about it. It’s gross ministerial bullshit

If we have managed to save one odd species from extinction, it’s by pure luck. The species is easy to reproduce and can live in a pot

Others species are not so lucky. They need HABITAT. That’s NATURAL HABITATS — not golf courses, wastelands nor prissy 'burb gardens. We are destroying these natural habitats KNOWINGLY with a hypocritical tear, while we already have made a coffin for the species that lived there — for a buck or two. We've sold out.

So our “corporate” ministers, are now doing devious balancing acts between destruction through organised forestry “management” chainsaws and doing a "responsible" corporate conservation job of saving one tree for the hundreds that are cut. Oh and they are pleased with themselves…. They have the gall of claiming being protectors of nature.

ALL (and I mean all) our leaders are ignorant vandals with the gift of the double-gab which is a characteristic trait of sociopathy — which at the level of government is organised psychopathy

They do not care about the real damage done behind their back which they make sure is turned so they don’t see anything — apart from the lying absolving paperwork of "management" in front of their nose, which allow them to say with confidence they can cut one more tree till the next one… or open a giant coal mining operation which will destroy the water table, an entire bird species or two, and the atmosphere, all carefully monitored with statistics and a plumb line.

If the planet was alive, it would cry.

We are idiots nonetheless for letting our governments get away with it. But hey, we’ll blame our next door neighbour because his job (and ours) depend on destroying more of the natural planet for cash, while making mountains of rubbish on top of which we place flashing lights to prevent planes flying into them. Pretty.

Less trees means less animals species survive. It’s as simple as this. The rate of extinction is in proportion to our consumption. Is this too difficult to understand? Oh, we understand too well this dreadful situation, but we unfortunately accept it and go to the pub.

We're grubs.

environmental negligence...

A new Parliamentary Inquiry into the future of the koala is likely to uncover the Berejiklian Government's history of negligence, reckless mismanagement and refusal to listen to the experts. Sue Arnold reports.

In an historic step forward, announced the creation of a Parliamentary Inquiry into the future of the koala in NSW has been announced.   

The Inquiry's committee will be chaired by the Planning and Environment Committee chair and Greens Member of the Legislative Council Cate Faehrmann, and has the numbers to ensure a fair hearing.

Finally, the public will learn the truth which includes: 

  • the dirty deals with developers and councils;  
  • the impacts of repealing the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and the Native Vegetation Act 2003
  • the out-of-control logging of coastal native forest ecosystems — now targeted for burning as “bio-energy”;
  • the major conflict of interest issues concerning government appointments and grants;
  • a failure to include, discuss or recognise communities and their concerns;
  • the lack of monitoring, or compliance; and 
  • the absolute refusal of the NSW Government to protect koalas and their habitat.

Hopefully, the hearing will investigate the Roads and Maritime Services' (RMS) ongoing wipe-outs of koalas with carte blanche government approval via State Significant Infrastructure provisions.

The legal impacts of the NSW Bilateral Agreement being negotiated with the Commonwealth and the Common Assessment Method ( Memorandum of Understanding), which effectively remove any upgraded level of protection must also be included in the terms of reference.

 

Read more:

https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/inquiry-to-re...

 

Read from top.

http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/35140

 

See also:

 

the unfortunately necessary green new deal...

AS POLITICIANS TALK more about ramping up their commitments to reducing carbon emissions — over the weekend, even Vice President Mike Pence squirmed when pressed on his climate denialism and said the U.S. is making progress on that front — one key aspect of the crisis remains conspicuously absent from most U.S discussions: so-called climate finance. The question of how much money the U.S. and other wealthy, industrialized nations will transfer to poor, developing countries so that they can effectively reduce their own carbon emissions has gone largely unaddressed, even as it grows in importance. Developing countries already account for more than 60 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions and are expected to contribute nearly 90 percent of emissions growth over the next two decades.

The amount of money needed for “climate finance” is one of the most hotly debated issues between countries and represented one of the most contentious aspects of the Paris Agreement in 2015. Poorer countries have repeatedly said they could make steeper emissions cuts if they were adequately supported by wealthier nations in the process.

new report from the People’s Policy Project, a socialist think tank, argues that industrialized countries should contribute $2 trillion annually to help developing nations stave off the effects of climate change. An investment of that size would be 20 times larger than existing global commitments, which developed countries are already struggling to meet.

Politically speaking, the issue is largely framed in terms of national security.

There is also an ideological debate behind the purpose of climate finance. Proponents of environmental justice argue that the U.S. has a moral and ethical responsibility to help less prosperous countries deal with the threat of climate change because so much of the U.S.’s own development and economic growth has contributed to suffering around the globe. Politically speaking, though, the issue is largely framed in terms of national security: The United States will be safer and better off if climate disasters don’t go unmitigated in other parts of the world.

The needle on climate finance has moved slowly since 2009, when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced at international climate negotiations in Copenhagen that by 2020 the U.S and other developed nations would “mobilize” $100 billion per year from public and private sources. The figure was selected to convey political will and was not based on any scientific analysis. As part of that $100 billion commitment, the U.N. established the Green Climate Fund, designed to finance climate mitigation and adaptation projects in developing countries like securing the water supply in South Tarawa, Kiribati, and restoring degraded ecosystems in El Salvador.

The fund’s governing board includes equal representation between developing and developed nations, and its first round of funding began in 2013, when 43 countries pledged to raise $10.3 billion for projects. Of that amount, the U.S. pledged to contribute $3 billion over four years.

As countries and experts debate how much climate aid is needed to raise over the long term, the amount of money raised and spent so far is also a matter of great dispute. One reason for that, according to Kevin Adams, a researcher at the Stockholm Environment Institute, is that countries generally self-report what they’re providing, and so what developing countries say they receive can differ from what developed countries say they have contributed. “This can be due to factors like exchange rates and currency fluctuations, fees paid to consultants or other service providers, as well as the financial instrument used, such as grants versus loans,” he explained.

 

Read more:

https://theintercept.com/2019/06/24/global-green-new-deal-climate-financ...

 

Read from top...

 

Meanwhile Europe is preparing for a MASSIVE  heatwave...

 

Potentially historic and deadly early summer heat wave to roast Europe
Temperatures are expected to be 20 to 30 degrees above normal, with record highs in Austria, France, Germany and Switzerland in danger of being broken.

the "relationship"...

Donna J. Haraway (born September 6, 1944) is an American Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness Department and Feminist StudiesDepartment at the University of California, Santa Cruz, United States.[1] She is a prominent scholar in the field of science and technology studies, described in the early 1990s as a "feminist, rather loosely a postmodernist".[2]Haraway is the author of numerous foundational books and essays that bring together questions of science and feminism, such as "A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century" (1985) and "Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective" (1988).[3][4] She is also a leading scholar in contemporary ecofeminism, associated with post-humanism and new materialism movements.[5][6] Her work criticizes anthropocentrism, emphasizes the self-organizing powers of nonhuman processes, and explores dissonant relations between those processes and cultural practices, rethinking sources of ethics.[7]

Haraway has taught Women's Studies and the History of Science at the University of Hawaii and Johns Hopkins University. Haraway's works have contributed to the study of both human-machine and human-animal relations. Her works have sparked debate in primatologyphilosophy, and developmental biology.[8] Haraway participated in a collaborative exchange with the feminist theorist Lynn Randolph from 1990 to 1996. Their engagement with specific ideas relating to feminism, technoscience, political consciousness, and other social issues, formed the images and narrative of Haraway's book Modest_Witness for which she received the Society for Social Studies of Science's (4S) Ludwik Fleck Prize in 1999.[9][10] In September 2000, Haraway was awarded the Society for Social Studies of Science's highest honor, the J. D. Bernal Award, for her "distinguished contributions" to the field.[11] Haraway serves on the advisory board for numerous academic journals, including differencesSigns: Journal of Women in Culture and SocietyContemporary Women's Writing, and Environmental Humanities.[12][13][14]

 

Read more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donna_Haraway

 

 

Eugene Stoermer, a freshwater biologist who studies diatoms in the Great Lakes of North America, proposed the name the Anthropocene in 2000 to indicate the anthropogenic processes that are acidifying the waters and changing the nature of life on Earth. The term was picked up and re-used by Paul Crutzen, an atmospheric chemist, who joined together with Eugene Stoermer to popularise the name Anthropocene specifically in relationship to those sorts of processes emanating from the mid-18th century related to the steam engine and the extraordinary expansion in the use of fossil fuels that acidify the oceans and bleach the corals. They were particularly worried about a vibrio infection in coral reefs that is responsible for the bleaching. (Haraway, 2014)

In general, the term Anthropocene is used to refer to the preponderance of humans in the balance of earthly life and the human experimentation, albeit until recently unwitting, in the chemistry of the planet’s atmosphere and oceans. There is disagreement about when the Anthropocence can be said to begin. Some scholars date it back to roughly 10,000 years ago, with the nearly universal extinction of megafauna at the hands of Neolithic hunters. This would make the Holocene and the Anthropocene virtually overlap. A more common view is that the Anthropocene started in modern times. One study (Lewis and Maslin, 2015) dates it to 1610, when the depopulation of the Americas after European conquest led to the reforestation of the New World, bringing on the Little Ice Age.

Thus, Maslin and Lewis (2015: 175) argue that,

“The impacts of the meeting of Old and New World human populations — including the geologically unprecedented homogenization of Earth’s biota — may serve to mark the beginning of the Anthropocene. Although it represents a major event in world history, the collision of the Old and New Worlds has not been proposed previously, to our knowledge, as a possible GSSP. We suggest naming the dip in atmospheric CO2 the ‘Orbis spike’ and the suite of changes marking 1610 as the beginning of the Anthropocene the ‘Orbis hypothesis’, from the Latin for world, because post-1492 humans on the two hemispheres were connected, trade became global, and some prominent social scientists refer to this time as the beginning of the modern ‘world-system’.”

For others, like Stoermer and Crutzen, it is the Industrial Revolution that initiates the Anthropocene, while for yet others the Anthropocene began on 6 August 1945 with the explosion of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima (Kunkel, 2017: 22)

However, Donna Haraway proposes that, for all of the failings of the Anthropos and the Anthropocene, and all of the strengths of both, the figure of the Anthropos is not responsible for the processes that threatens mass extinction. Rather, she suggests, if we were to use only one word for the processes that we are talking about, it should be the Capitalocene. It should be noted in passing that geologists use the suffix -cene, derived from the Greek word for new, to designate recent geological eras.

Haraway also argues that a third term is needed: Chthulucene, a word derived from chthon, meaning “earth” in Greek and which is associated with things that dwell in or under the earth. The Cthulucene, for Haraway, refers to processes of reworlding. She suggests it is more like a process of composting than one of being Posthuman. The path towards something that might possibly have a chance of living on, Haraway argues, is through the activation of the chthonic powers that are within our grasp, as we collect up the waste of the Anthropocene and the exterminism of the Capitalocene.

 

 

Read more:

http://compendium.kosawese.net/term/anthropocene-capitalocene-chthulucen...

 

At top, Gus, who is not so preciously scientific, called this sequence of events as : the Garbagedestroyeocene, the latest section of the Humaneocene...

the hungry games...

The world is increasingly at risk of “climate apartheid”, where the rich pay to escape heat and hunger caused by the escalating climate crisis while the rest of the world suffers, a report from a UN human rights expert has said.

Philip Alston, UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, said the impacts of global heating are likely to undermine not only basic rights to life, water, food, and housing for hundreds of millions of people, but also democracy and the rule of law.

Alston is critical of the “patently inadequate” steps taken by the UN itself, countries, NGOs and businesses, saying they are “entirely disproportionate to the urgency and magnitude of the threat”. His report to the UN human rights council (HRC) concludes: “Human rights might not survive the coming upheaval.”

 

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/25/climate-apartheid-un...

 

Read from top.

grubs ...?

Grubs Gus ...?

More like Mistletoe to me ...

Even the lowliest of grubs perform a useful function in nature, while Mistletoe is nothing more than a parasite, sucking the life out of its unwitting host.

Just saying.

Cheers.

a Peter Finch moment ...

I almost screamed at my idiot box tonight Gus ...

I felt just like the Peter Finch character in the movie 'Network' as I listened to the besuited morons on the ABC program 'The Drum' ernestly talking-up the importance of 'economic growth' as the cure to all of our future ills.

I wondered what phoney 'business school' these fools had attended that the simple logic that economic growth is driven by ever increasing consumption, regardless of whether it is a function of population increase or rampant consumerism, or both, simply escapes them. As does the capacity to recognise that continuous economic growth is impossible when it encounters finite resources.

These fools lack the insight to recognise that the future of humanity rests in its capacity to reinvent itself & to learn to live in harmony, not only with each other, but our environment & other species, & to make do with less rather than more. Instead they worship at the feet of failed marketers like Morrison or Philistines like Dutton, content to be 'farmed' as the ultimate domesticated beast of consumption, grown fat but spiritually impoverished.

Just opened the window Gus ...

If you listen intently, you just might hear me calling from our little piece of paradise.

Take Care.

I can hear you...

Yes john... I can hear your screams from 425,7 kilometres away! As the crow flies that is... My own screams are silent, like that of the famous actor, Rod Steiger... in the Pawnbroker...

 

And yes... Mistletoe we are rather than "grubs", but Mistletoe is ignorant and pretty... We should be knowledgeable, yet we are fucking ugly...