Saturday, December 20, 2014

Are We Riding Out The Sixth Mass Extinction?

The oceans are rising up
A message is being generated from many, many different origins of information.

The message now being generated is that the Sixth Mass Extinction is strongly under way, furthermore, we are all on the ship of petroleum-civilization that is currently going down.

Regular readers know that the Ecocosmology Blog and Dredd Blog have mentioned that particular species of scientific data for years now (e.g. The Damage Cannot Be Undone?-2009, Shadow of Time Governs The Earth-2009, What Do You Mean - World Civilization?-2009, Confusing "Civilization" With "Species"-2010, Embryonic Look At Civilization's Future-2010, Civilization Is Now On Suicide Watch, 2, 3, 4).

This debate and discussion is spreading around the Internet:
The point is simply this: you are welcome to analyse the scientific evidence for yourself and make your own assessment of the timeframe and the degree of severity of the threat. Perhaps human extinction will not occur until next century. But whether we define ‘near term’ as 2030, 2040 or even next century, human extinction is now a distinct possibility. And after 200,000 years of our species, calling this ‘near term’ seems reasonable.

So is near term human extinction inevitable?

In my view, human extinction is the most likely outcome. But not simply because we are inflicting too many insults on the planetary environment. Extinction is inevitable because of human fear and, specifically, unconscious fear: The fear in ourselves and others that is not experienced consciously but which often drives three capacities that are vitally important in any context: the focus of our attention, our capacity to adequately analyse the evidence (if we get our attention focused on it) and our behaviour in response to this analysis. For example, if you do not know that your fear is making you screen out unpalatable information, then you won’t even notice that you have turned your attention elsewhere and have now forgotten what you just read. Or your fear might prevent you adequately analysing the evidence and/or responding intelligently to it. See ‘Why Violence?’ and ‘Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice’.

So, if you are one of the people still reading this article, you are probably less frightened than most people. The others gave up before they got to this paragraph. So let me now tell you the primary problem with the fear. It distorts the mental focus, capacity for analysis and the behaviour of national elites, that is, corporate owners and their political, military, media, bureaucratic, academic and judicial lackeys.
(Why is Near Term Human Extinction Inevitable?, or here or here). There are scores of papers and books that inform us of the dangers we face:
The Current Mass Extinction:

Human beings are currently causing the greatest mass extinction of species since the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. If present trends continue one half of all species of life on earth will be extinct in less than 100 years, as a result of habitat destruction, pollution, invasive species, and climate change. (For details see links below.)

Scroll Down For Hundreds Of Links:

This website began on April 22, 1998 with the posting of the article below. (The article is still here to provide historical context.) Following the article are more than 300 links to recent authoritative reports and updates about the current mass extinction. New articles are added regularly. (Most recent update December 13, 2014.)
(Mass Extinction Underway, emphasis added). There is no doubt in the consensus of scientists that current human civilization faces what all others before it have faced:
Historically, self-destruction is the common denominator for past human civilization, culture, and society:
"In other words, a society does not ever die 'from natural causes', but always dies from suicide or murder --- and nearly always from the former, as this chapter has shown."
(A Study of History, by Arnold J. Toynbee). As regular readers know, I have posted Sigmund Freud's writings where he indicated that psychoanalysis of groups, including civilization itself, would not prove unproductive ...
(Civilization Is Now On Suicide Watch - 4). The difference is that we humans ourselves are causing this the Sixth Mass Extinction.

The tenets of Ecocosmology would have us avoid this predicament by our always having carefully taken care of the Earth (Tenet Three Basics).

How do you say ...

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Real Dangers With Microbes & Viruses

Earth's Most Abundant Entities
Let's begin with the question not often asked:

"What are the estimated 1 x 1031 viruses and estimated 9.2 - 31.7 × 1029 microbes on Earth doing as their ecosystem is being destroyed around them?"

We have some clues around us with which to explore a very necessary answer --necessary because this epoch which we call the Anthropocene is the epoch of an ongoing Sixth Mass Extinction, killing things all around us.

A mass extinction which may not be like any of the past five mass extinctions, at least in the sense that it is happening slow enough for human observation - at least so far.

This gives more time for us to observe microbes, viruses, and even the macroscopic flora and fauna reacting to their changing environment.

And more to the point, it gives us an opportunity to observe those reactions to the ongoing extinctions:
"Geographers have projected temperature increases due to greenhouse gas emissions to reach a not-so-chilling conclusion: climate zones will shift and some climates will disappear completely by 2100. Tropical highlands and polar regions may be the first to disappear, and large swaths of the tropics and subtropics will reach even hotter temperatures. The study anticipates large climate changes worldwide." (Completely New Climates)
"Vegetation around the world is on the move, and climate change is the culprit, according to a new analysis of global vegetation shifts led by a University of California, Berkeley, ecologist in collaboration with researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

In a paper published June 7 in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography, researchers present evidence that over the past century, vegetation has been gradually moving toward the poles and up mountain slopes, where temperatures are cooler, as well as toward the equator, where rainfall is greater."(Major Vegetation Shifts, emphasis added)
"Narsaq’s largest employer, a shrimp factory, closed a few years ago after the crustaceans fled north to cooler water. Where once there were eight commercial fishing vessels, there is now one.

As a result, the population here, one of southern Greenland’s major towns, has been halved to 1,500 in just a decade. Suicides are up." (Greenland Changing Due To Warming, emphasis added)
Not too long ago I wondered what impact the ancient mass extinctions had on microbes and viruses (What Did The Mass Extinctions Do To Viruses and Microbes?).

Today, let's hypothesize, based on actual scientific observations, what the viruses and microbes might begin to do en masse.

First off, note that the flora and fauna of our planet are being diminished dramatically:
This latest edition of the Living Planet Report is not for the faint-hearted. One key point that jumps out and captures the overall picture is that the
Living Planet Index (LPI), which measures more than 10,000 representative populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, has declined by 52 per cent since 1970. Put another way, in less than two human generations, population sizes of vertebrate species have dropped by half. These are the living forms that constitute the fabric of the ecosystems which sustain life on Earth – and the barometer of what we are doing to our own planet, our only home. We ignore their decline at our peril.
(Civilization Is Now On Suicide Watch - 4; cf. this PDF). That is like when half the canaries in the mine have died in a short span of time.

If we consider that certain types of viruses and microbes require or are naturally inclined to operate in or on specific plants and specific animals but not in or on others, we can hypothesize that as times get desperate for them, and then become catastrophic for them, they will radically morph (genetically and behaviourally).

And we can further hypothesize that they will have to attempt to migrate to different species that have not become extinct yet.

There are examples of that happening now:
"Maybe you take a Toxo-infected human and they start having a proclivity towards doing dumb-ass things that we should be innately averse to, like having your body hurdle through space at high G-forces. Maybe this is the same neurobiology. This is not to say that Toxo has evolved the need to get humans into cat stomachs. It's just sheer convergence. It's the same nuts and bolts neurobiology in us and in a rodent, and does the same thing.

On a certain level, this is a protozoan parasite that knows more about the neurobiology of anxiety and fear than 25,000 neuroscientists standing on each other's shoulders, and this is not a rare pattern. Look at the rabies virus; rabies knows more about aggression than we neuroscientists do. It knows how to make you rabid. It knows how to make you want to bite someone, and that saliva of yours contains rabies virus particles, passed on to another person.

The Toxo story is, for me, completely new terrain — totally cool, interesting stuff, just in terms of this individual problem. And maybe it's got something to do with treatments for phobias down the line or whatever it is to make it seem like anything more than just the coolest gee whiz thing possible. But no doubt it's also a tip of the iceberg of God knows what other parasitic stuff is going on out there. Even in the larger sense, God knows what other unseen realms of biology make our behavior far less autonomous than lots of folks would like to think." (The Germ Theory - of Government - 9, quoting Dr. Sapolsky)
"Chloroviruses (family Phycodnaviridae) are large DNA viruses known to infect certain eukaryotic green algae and have not been previously shown to infect humans or to be part of the human virome. We unexpectedly found sequences ... in ... DNA extracted from human ... samples. These samples were obtained by throat swabs of adults without a psychiatric disorder or serious physical illness who were participating in a study that included measures of cognitive functioning. The presence of ATCV-1 DNA was ... associated with a modest but statistically significant decrease in the performance on cognitive assessments of visual processing and visual motor speed." (Chlorovirus ATCV-1, emphasis added).
As Dr. Sapolsky pointed out, the viral and microbial ability to alter brain circuits is well beyond the ability of human brain surgeons.

We are also finding out that viruses and microbes are essential for human and other life forms:
Today, we are at the edge of a main turning point in understanding biological processes. The prevailing central dogma of molecular biology of the last 50 years is no more than a subordinate clause, relevant only to a small fraction of reality.
Now, the new renaissance of viruses is taking centre stage. Research data from the last decade indicate the important roles of viruses, both in the evolution of all life and as symbionts or co-evolutionary partners of host organisms. There is increasing evidence that all cellular life is colonized by exogenous and/or endogenous viruses in a non-lytic but persistent lifestyle. Viruses and viral parts form the most numerous genetic matter on this planet.
To understand their competence in natural genome editing, we have to look not only at their linguistic competence in editing and regulating correct nucleotide sequences, but also at their communicative competence, that is, how they interact with each other, how they compete within host organisms, how they symbiotically interact with host organisms to ward off
competing parasites, how they generate de novo sequences and what life strategies they share. Exactly these features are presented in this volume. Persistent infection lifestyles that do not harm hosts, and symbiotic, cooperating viral swarms, may be more successful in evolutionary terms for integrating advantageous phenotypes into host organisms than are “selfish” agents. Increasing empirical data about the abundance of viruses and virus-derived parts in the ecosphere of this planet, and their roles in the evolution and developmental processes of cellular life forms at the level of the microscopic processes of replication, transcription, translation, alternative splicing, RNA-editing, epigenetics and repair, raise a fundamental question concerning a crucial decision about how to define and explain life ...
(Viruses: Essential Agents of Life, at viii-ix; see also this). This we find out at a time when we are so paranoid about them that all we want to do is make war on them and quarantine those of us we think are the only ones exposed to them (Obola: Art Thou Dying Properly?).

They have existed on this planet for billions of years prior to humans, but we have yet to even figure out where the hell we are (You Are Here).

If we drive the virus and microbe world insane, as previous mass extinctions have done, there will be hell to pay.

It will take them a long time to recover from us, but they have the ability to do so (In Space or Buried Alive).

We won't make it without them ... but they will make it without us.

Professor who studies "social intelligence" of microbial entities gives lecture:

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Will We Destroy Food - The Bees? - 2

The destruction of American bee colonies is a threat to the American food supply.

It is a national security concern.

This blog has considered the issue since 2009 (Will We Destroy Food - The Bees?, Will We Destroy Food - The Salmon?, Ice & Bees Gone, Rain, & Ocean Rivers).

Now, the President has issued an official memo directing quick and ongoing response to the threat and the crisis:

MEMORANDUM FOR HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES SUBJECT: Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators

Pollinators contribute substantially to the economy of the United States and are vital to keeping fruits, nuts, and vegetables in our diets. Honey bee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year in the United States. Over the past few decades, there has been a significant loss of pollinators, including honey bees, native bees, birds, bats, and butterflies, from the environment. The problem is serious and requires immediate attention to ensure the sustainability of our food production systems, avoid additional economic impact on the agricultural sector, and protect the health of the environment.

Pollinator losses have been severe. The number of migrating Monarch butterflies sank to the lowest recorded population level in 2013-14, and there is an imminent risk of failed migration. The continued loss of commercial honey bee colonies poses a threat to the economic stability of commercial beekeeping and pollination operations in the United States, which could have profound implications for agriculture and food. Severe yearly declines create concern that bee colony losses could reach a point from which the commercial pollination industry would not be able to adequately recover. The loss of native bees, which also play a key role in pollination of crops, is much less studied, but many native bee species are believed to be in decline. Scientists believe that bee losses are likely caused by a combination of stressors, including poor bee nutrition, loss of forage lands, parasites, pathogens, lack of genetic diversity, and exposure to pesticides.

Given the breadth, severity, and persistence of pollinator losses, it is critical to expand Federal efforts and take new steps to reverse pollinator losses and help restore populations to healthy levels. These steps should include the development of new public-private partnerships and increased citizen engagement. Therefore, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct the following ...

(The White House Press Secretary, emphasis added). The memo goes on to name members of a task force to get cracking within 180 days.

Good move (hope it is not too late).

The previous post in this series is here.

Friday, May 16, 2014

New Meaning Given to Deepwater Horizon

Harvard at about 120 ft.
Harvard at about 12 ft.
Here are some projected views of several locations in the U.S.

Their purpose is to illustrate what those locations would look like with both a twelve foot as well as about a hundred and twenty foot sea level rise.

The Dredd Blog has had some posts about sea level rise as a result of ice caps melting in different locations of the Earth's polar regions --regions that can be distinguished from one another, in terms of quantity of ice.

The posts include a table of locations with sea level rise projections, in feet, should that distinct area or ice cap melt (Will This Float Your Boat - 4).

The maximum sea level rise shown in that table is over twice the 120 feet sea level rise shown here, which is 263.5 feet if all ice caps and glaciers around the world melt (ibid).

Boston Harbor Hotel - 120 ft.
Boston Harbor Hotel - 12 ft.
The name Deepwater Horizon has a nuanced meaning in the sense that using fossil fuels will eventually bring deep water into cities along coasts, and change their horizons.

Ocean Drive - 120 ft.
Ocean Drive - 12 ft.
Along with that is species depletion and human health problems (Gulf of Mexico Still Suffering).

Jefferson Monument - 120 ft.
Jefferson Monument - 12 ft.
None of this adds up to be something anyone wants (Terrifying Global Warming Math).

(Click on the caption at the bottom of any of the 12 ft. sea level rise photos for a link to a larger view and for other information about these photo depictions.

The 120 feet sea level rise depictions are for emphasis and are estimates.)

Another thing that should be remembered is that even the 12 ft. projections will be exacerbated by storm surges, regular floods, and winds.

Venice Beach - 120 ft.
Venice Beach - 12 ft.
Also water will go further inland in porous soils, and will damage flora miles further inland in some cases.

That is already happening in the Carolinas: "We’ve got the highest rate of sea level rise on the East Coast,” said Skip Stiles, executive director, Wetlands Watch, who will be making a presentation on the historic, current and future sea level changes and potential impact on the Eastern Shore.

Stiles said some of the evidence of sea level rise visible to people who spend time around the water include seeing wetlands disappear, ditches going tidal, backyard vegetation changes, and “ghost forests” — full grown trees that are dead along the shore because the water is “moving in underneath them.”
Stiles said all of the Virginia tide gage measurements are showing about the same rise of a foot and a half over the last 100 years." (Social Dementia Causes Heated Misunderestimations - 2, emphasis in original).

Senator Inhofe gives new power to denialism:

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Not Da Momma

The Sixth Mass Extinction is Underway
It is a priori knowledge that living organisms (such as humans) that build a civilization which destroys, or is destroying, the environment (that is the foundation upon which that civilization depends for its survival and its ability to live) is alien to that environment.

It is clear that the Earth with its natural environment is a host to carbon-based life forms, including human civilization, thus, if human civilization maintains a symbiotic relationship, i.e., a mutualistic relationship, with the Earth along with its natural environment, both survive and both live.

If, on the other hand, human civilization destroys the environment of the Earth, then human civilization is alien to that environment, but more than that, it is a pathogenic alien that destroys the host as well as itself (Confusing "Civilization" With "Species").

Since that civilization will have destroyed what it must have to survive and live, it will have committed suicide by committing ultimate ecocide, the final catastrophe (On The Origin of Catastrophe).

That a priori knowledge is difficult to deny, so denialists choose to deny the body of a posteriori knowledge, i.e., that human civilization is in the process of destroying its host (The U.S. Government Report & The IPCC Fifth Report Are In Agreement).

There are deep-seated dynamics "down under the ground" in our subconscious cognition which come from one source of one type of that denial.

One reason for such denial can be considered "innocent," in the sense of it not being criminal psychotic behavior, but another one cannot be considered "innocent" (compare: Agnotology: The Surge - 8, MOMCOM's Mass Suicide & Murder Pact - 5).

Many examples can illustrate the point further - here is one:

I remember the beginning of an important Fabian myth in April, 1942. We were in the kitchen and my mother was crying. We asked why and she simply said, "Grandma Gilbertson died today of cancer." No details. Perhaps she didn't have the strength, or see the need, to decide how to embellish the lie. A true statement would have been, "Today Grandma Gilbertson committed suicide." Yet my
mother's one sentence was repeated every time anyone talked about my father's mother.

It was thirty years later when I told my mother that I had learned the truth from an aunt. When I asked her why she had given a false explanation for Grandma's death, my mother answered simply. "Your father was afraid he might have inherited his mother's mental illness." My parents undoubtedly believed they were wise in choosing to deny the reality of how she died. Also, of course, this was during a time when suicide was seldom mentioned. So denial was a desirable alternative to the continual scrutiny and evaluation my father imagined he would face if we children, and others, knew the truth.

(What is Your Family Myth?). These types of myth-denial behaviors find a way into our minds, and sink deep down "where the sun does not shine."

Take for example, the nation-as-family myth:

... a common metaphor, shared by conservatives and liberals alike -- the Nation-as-Family metaphor, in which the nation is seen as a family, the government as a parent and the citizens as children ... It’s no accident that our political beliefs are structured by our idealizations of the family. Our earliest experience with being governed is in our families. Our parents “govern” us: They protect us, tell us what we can and cannot do, make sure we have enough money and supplies, educate us, and have us do our part in running the house. So it is not at all surprising that many nations are metaphorically seen in terms of families: Mother Russia, Mother India, the Fatherland. In America, we have founding fathers, Daughters of the American Revolution, Uncle Sam, and we send our collective sons and daughters to war. In George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, the voice of the totalitarian state was called Big Brother. As George Lakoff discussed at length in his 1996 book, Moral Politics, this metaphorical understanding of the nation-as-family directly informs our political worldview. Directly, but not consciously. As with other aspects of framing, the use of this metaphor lies below the level of consciousness.

(Security: Familyland, Fatherland, or Homeland?). That "our exceptional Mom and Dad nation" would never do anything to harm its children citizens to the point of mass-murder is the myth which flies in the face of the a posteriori knowledge shouting out loud to us.

That myth eventually develops in the deep-down-under subconscious world of the machinations of the human amygdala as modified by our cultural amygdala.

An Epigovernment currently struggles to remove or hamper our ability to directly change our government's direction, following our enlightenment.

Following our waking up to the realities involved and necessary to our struggle against the Oil-Qaeda Suicide-Ecocide Squad.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

On The Origin of Catastrophe

The Sixth Mass Extinction is Underway.
The insatiable and pugnacious need to pervert meaning and reality tends to show up in psychotic denialist's rhetoric near the dates of the releases of IPCC official reports of climate change.

Especially when those reports evince the strong consensus among scientists.

A consensus in the scientific community concerning the reality that Oil-Qaeda has led us to create the Damaged Global Climate System.

Those denialist perverted propaganda mills, borne of infected minds know of two aspects of our cultural amygdala which recoils at the notion of something fearful, such as impending death.

One of those aspects they use in their propaganda is that it must happen to us or our extended self to qualify as a "catastrophe," or on the other hand, that it must happen to an enemy for it not to be considered to be a catastrophe.

Let's begin to dissect their demented propaganda infested minds by first taking a look at the meaning of the word:
ca·tas·tro·phe [kuh-tas-truh-fee] noun

1. a sudden and widespread disaster: the catastrophe of war.

2. any misfortune, mishap, or failure; fiasco: The play was so poor our whole evening was a catastrophe.

3. a final event or conclusion, usually an unfortunate one; a disastrous end: the great catastrophe of the Old South at Appomattox.

4. (in a drama) the point at which the circumstances overcome the central motive, introducing the close or conclusion ...

5. Geology. a sudden, violent disturbance, especially of a part of the surface of the earth; cataclysm.

(Dictionary, "catastrophe", emphasis added). We can readily conclude that the definition of the word "catastrophe" qualifies to describe some events ongoing now (Air Pollution Kills 7 Million Annually).

The word "catastrophe" also describes many oft-repeated human events of history:
A new study sponsored by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.

Noting that warnings of 'collapse' are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that "the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history." Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to "precipitous collapse - often lasting centuries - have been quite common."

The research project is based on a new cross-disciplinary 'Human And Nature DYnamical' (HANDY) model, led by applied mathematician Safa Motesharri of the US National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, in association with a team of natural and social scientists. The study based on the HANDY model has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Elsevier journal, Ecological Economics.

It finds that according to the historical record even advanced, complex civilisations are susceptible to collapse, raising questions about the sustainability of modern civilisation:
"The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent."

By investigating the human-nature dynamics of these past cases of collapse, the project identifies the most salient interrelated factors which explain civilisational decline, and which may help determine the risk of collapse today: namely, Population, Climate, Water, Agriculture, and Energy.

(Exploded Planet Hypothesis - 2). The way the word "catastrophe" has been used in literature and even in common conversation also illustrates that in our world we have already had climate change catastrophes, and will continue to do so.

That is because the definition of the word "catastrophe" does not require being the worst of anything to qualify as a "catastrophe":
"Jimmy Fallon and I play regularly at the Bayonne Golf Club in Jersey. He's eighteen holes of fun. Any time we play he has moments of brilliance, but also moments of utter catastrophe." - Mario Batali

"Certainly I'm still mining my experiences as a journalist. I think it's no coincidence that all three of my novels basically are about how people act in a time of catastrophe. Do they go to their best self or their worst self?" - Geraldine Brooks

"There was a time when the community that was on the Net was homogenous and civilized. Now it's not. We're in the middle of chaos. It may calm down. But the alternative is that there's a total meltdown of the system and that it becomes unusable. That would be a catastrophe." - Robert Cailliau

(Brainy Quotes). Nevertheless, on a somewhat more serious side of the meaning of the word, the "the great catastrophe of the Old South at Appomattox" is remembered in the minds of some as a catastrophe because it happened "to us or our extended self", but that same event is celebrated by others because it "happened to an enemy" (see definition #3).

Those definitions of "catastrophe" do not work in a global context, because it happens to "us" and to "them", so the denialist mind perverts the meaning of the word to hide the global aspects even where the word "catastrophe" might aptly apply.

A global catastrophe under the definition of the word certainly would be "any misfortune, mishap, or failure" that affects the global population or our entire civilization (see definition #2).

A rogue global climate caused by global pollution can fit the bill.

Today and now is a new epoch, the sixth mass extinction epoch, and it applies to all members of the human family around the globe (On The Memorial Daze - 2).

Catastrophe has not been a rare event in the past, and the sixth mass extinction catastrophe now taking place isn't a loner either, in terms of "that meaning" of the word "catastrophe."

It is, however, so rare as to be the first and only time that the leadership of the human species has utterly lost its mind to utterly reject the warnings of over a hundred years, but to instead head into a mass extinction event because it is afraid of a mass extinction (The Exceptional American Denial).

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Exploded Planet Hypothesis - 2

Let's animate The Tenets of Ecocosmology to show that individualism seems to be a casualty of the current hypothesis as it applies generally to the physical cosmos.

By that I mean that the tenets generally apply to the survival of groups, species, civilizations, and/or inhabitants of planets near central stars rather than specifically applying to individuals.

Using the Exploded Planet Hypothesis (EPH) as a background, let's walk through a scenario where living entities must abandon a planet in order to survive.

To focus the inquiry even more, let's also hypothesize that governments on that planet don't believe that the approaching catastrophe is a reality, however, many individuals sprinkled throughout the civilization do know it is coming.

This concept is not far from the current reality on the planet Earth, at least in the near term, and is a certainty in the long term.

Especially when we consider the true nature of the Sun, the solar system, and the currently accepted "knowledge" of civilization at this time.

We know that society in general is not capable of taking the Tenets of Ecocosmology seriously enough to change its fundamental behaviors (cf. "When": The Most Unstable Adverb?).

But, there are individuals within various meme complexes or groups who do sense, by their analysis of reality, the approaching dangers touched upon by the Tenets of Ecocosmology:

A new study sponsored by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.

Noting that warnings of 'collapse' are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that "the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history." Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to "precipitous collapse - often lasting centuries - have been quite common."

The research project is based on a new cross-disciplinary 'Human And Nature DYnamical' (HANDY) model, led by applied mathematician Safa Motesharri of the US National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, in association with a team of natural and social scientists. The study based on the HANDY model has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Elsevier journal, Ecological Economics.

It finds that according to the historical record even advanced, complex civilisations are susceptible to collapse, raising questions about the sustainability of modern civilisation:

"The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent."

By investigating the human-nature dynamics of these past cases of collapse, the project identifies the most salient interrelated factors which explain civilisational decline, and which may help determine the risk of collapse today: namely, Population, Climate, Water, Agriculture, and Energy.

(NASA Supported Study, emphasis added). What can individuals do once they investigate, read, observe, and come to that conclusion --when the culture around them is fundamentally animated by the bias or societal belief that "warnings of 'collapse' are ... fringe or controversial"?

Many of us implode when we realize that the cultural Amygdala (Hypothesis: The Cultural Amygdala) of most of our cultures has paralyzed most of the type of cognition in our society which comprehends our direction, at least at this time, and at least in terms of a unified effort such as a "let's go to the moon in ten years mega-effort" of the JFK years.

Let's consider a few self-destructive responses of groups who did nothing more than commit group suicide (Heaven's Gate, The People's Temple - Jonestown) when they deduced that their cultures were committing mass suicide or ecocide (MOMCOM's Mass Suicide & Murder Pact - 5).

And, let's also consider the "preppers" and "survivalists":

Survivalism is a movement of individuals or groups (called survivalists or preppers) who are actively preparing for emergencies, including possible disruptions in social or political order, on scales from local to international. Survivalists often acquire emergency medical and self-defense training, stockpile food and water, prepare to become self-sufficient, and build structures (e.g., a survival retreat or an underground shelter) that may help them survive a catastrophe.

(Survivalism, Wikipedia). Basically these two reactions (suicide, preparing for small-group survival) seem like both overreactions and underreactions.

Which shows that these reactions are induced or substantially influenced by cultural Amygdala impulses, rather than resulting from being informed by a comprehensive solution (but I have to say that those who see the survival of the most informed, who would upon their own survival begin a new, more informed civilization, is enlightened --at least in its initial approach).

Even the governments have institutionalized underreactions (New Climate Catastrophe Policy: Triage) and overreactions, such as arresting those who are not only aware, but who are also properly demonstrating it (Barack Hansen Replaces Barack Bush?).

"So what about the exploded planet thingy Dredd?", you may be wondering.

Ok, now let's get into that (first post in this series: Exploded Planet Hypothesis).

Where did the fears, denials, and paralysis, which form the structure of our civilization's cognitive dissonance, come from?

The EPH raises the specter and/or hypothesis that some of the life forms of the planet that exploded survived (by leaving, or in the case of microbes, by being transferred to Earth by meteors or comets) to now influence our planet after migrating "here" (e.g. Maybe Human Civilization Is From Mars & Venus?).

Yes, "here," where we have had five abiotic mass-extinction events (currently in the biotic sixth) that have destroyed most life then existing on Earth time and again [abiotically; but see (Civilization Is Now On Suicide Watch, 2, 3, 4) for the ongoing anthropogenic, biotic extinction dynamics].

All of which influences the evolution on this planet.

Both our enlightenment and our darkness surely may have epigenetic, genetic, and/or other residue from the experience of catastrophes as has been suggested (e.g. The Evolution of Anthropogenic Extinction by Catastrophe, Are Microbes The Origin of PTSD?, On The Origin of Propaganda).

The cosmic argument ("its not just an Earthly dynamic") from astronomer types, such as a review of the evidence of an exploded planet in our solar system, is documented with specificity:
Meteors and comets cannot date back to the origins of the solar system because they consist of evolved matter. There are three kinds of meteors just like asteroids. Comets consist of water ice and often they come with rocks in their core. - Water cannot form in the void of space. Water can only form on the surface of a planet with an atmosphere. Therefore, comets provide the most convincing argument in favor of a planet, which exploded within the solar system.
When keeping the aforesaid in mind the various moons of the Solar System are no more an enigma; neither from their origin nor from their composition. The moons were parts of the former planet, differing among themselves according to which parts of the former planet constitute their matter. As for the moons of the planet Jupiter:

Ganymede is a former ocean, which took its islands and part of a continent along into space. Through the forces of gravity this moon has formed as a gigantic ball of water ice and rocks, which on account of their higher density and weight have settled predominately near the center of gravity. But there is enough solid matter present to partly reach this moons surface. Therefore, Ganymede looks like a child's marble with surface features in different colors of water ice and rock.

Similar to Ganymede Callisto is a former ocean but it contains only a small amount of rocks or no rocks at all and much sand. The masses of sand of the former ocean were thoroughly mixed with its waters by the force of the explosion blowing them out into space. Before all the sand could be pulled to the center of the newly formed moon by gravity its outer layers consisting still of a mixture of sand and water were frozen solid in the absolute zero temperature of space. Consequently, Callisto's surface consists of a mixture of sand and water ice.

If there were rocks they were pulled to the center of this moon by gravity. In between surface and the center there is probably a layer of almost pure water ice, which did not freeze fast enough to keep the sand or the rocks it was mixed with from being attracted by the center of gravity. Because of the peculiar composition of its matter this moon lacks the typical characteristics of the Earth moon. At the time of the formation of the outer crust meteors simply went through the thin crust and disappeared in the watery interior. Later meteors, which where already scarce, produced craters but these craters were filled in by the water ice plus sand mixture, which produced the wave like structures on Callisto's surface typical for sand dunes or waves. - Sand cannot form in space because it takes water action and an atmosphere to produce sand.

In contrast to the before mentioned moons Io consists of matter from deep inside the former planet. Accordingly, Io's matter shows the characteristics of matter as existing in planet's cores. This and the influences of gravity and radiation from Jupiter and the moon Europa are responsible for the extensive volcanic activity on the moon Io. While volcanoes on the Earth can produce huge amounts of water vapor clouds this is not the case on the moon Io, since its matter came from a planet's core and does not contain water vapor. Therefore, Io's volcanic system is kept going mainly by sulfurous gases and molten igneous rock. These are responsible for Io's typical colors whereas the volcanic activity accounts for the characteristic surface structures whose craters did not originate from meteor impacts but from volcanic activity.

The moon Europa originated from magma masses of the former planet. Under the influence of gravity these liquid magna masses contracted to a sphere and then formed a solid crust. This process set free huge amount of water vapor, which precipitated in frozen form on Europa's surface once it was formed producing its typical smooth appearance. The long cracks appeared in Europa's surface when its crust had already solidified while magma in its interior was still contracting as it was cooling down. This contraction caused the irregular long cracks and faults in Europa's otherwise smooth surface. Contrary to some other moons of Jupiter's planetary system Europa does not show craters. - When most of the meteors struck Europa's surface still was liquid and the traces of meteoric impacts simply disappeared. Meteor craters left from later hits are covered by precipitation of water vapor crystals.

(World Mysteries 8, scroll down to the third article "Exploded Planet", by Rich Anders; NOTE: that author's religious notions are his own; I focus only on the author's plausible description of the results of a planetary explosion; compare The Exploded Planet Hypothesis 2000).

Remember that there can be many reasons for a planetary explosion, so in the first post of this series I arbitrarily selected the reason for the explosion to have been a defective Dyson Grid installation.

In closing this post, for now I will add two things for your perusal:

1) Ecocosmology only presents the road map ("I Am The Highway"), not the vehicle with which to "travel that highway" using that map (The Tenets of Ecocosmology --see especially the comments);

2) here are some other articles concerning various aspects of this issue: Asteroids like comets discovered (ice on/in them), Asteroid Ceres Has Water, Ceres More Non-Salty Water Than Earth?, Martian Atmosphere Lost, New Star, How long do stars Exist?, Lee Smolin - Current Scientific Theory Problems, Weekend Science Excursion, Exploded Planet Hypothesis, Mars Colony, Weekend Rebel Science - 5, Weekend Rebel Science -7, Quantum Vacuum Engine, Chaco Canyon, Galileo Mission - Moons of Jupiter (saltwater ocean), Moons of Jupiter - Parts of Exploded Planet?.

Future posts in this series will look at various ideologies and dogmas that focus on the issue of individual survival, by asserting that individuals are not axiomatically forsaken when their groups are consumed by unawareness of impending doom.

The previous post in this series is here.

Now, some videos:

Saturday, February 22, 2014

"I Am The Highway"

"I am the Highway"

Bless you!

pearls and swine bereft of me
long and weary my road has been
  i was lost in the cities alone in the hills
no sorrow or pity for leaving I feel

i am not your rolling wheels I am the highway
  i am not your carpet ride I am the sky

friends and liars don't wait for me
'cause I'll get on all by myself
  i put millions of miles under my heels
still too close to you I feel

i am not your rolling wheels I am the highway
i am not your carpet ride I am the sky

i am not your blowing wind i am the lightening
i am not your autumn moon I am the sky
sky yeah!

i am not your rolling wheels I am the highway
i am not your carpet ride I am the sky

i am not your rolling wheels I am the highway
i am not your autumn moon I am the sky
sky yeah
yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

Thank you!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

On The Origin of Propaganda - 2

It is not just for the human species
In the first post of this series we considered some of the ways of deception and propaganda.

Specifically we looked at cases where microbes and other creatures exhibit deceptive behaviors.

Since then, one journal has gone all out by dedicating an entire edition to the subject of those types of microbial manipulations.

On the other hand, there is also a recent paper which shows communicative examples where some microbes issue factual or accurate signals in communication with other species to help other species to navigate to a suitable location where metamorphosis can be initiated (Settlement Signal).

An entire edition of one journal, for an example of primitive propaganda, concerns how some parasitic species can develop processes for the manipulation of the brains of their host species:
The ability of parasites to alter the behaviour of their hosts fascinates both scientists and non-scientists alike. One reason that this topic resonates with so many is that it touches on core philosophical issues such as the existence of free will. If the mind is merely a machine, then it can be controlled by any entity that understands the code and has access to the machinery. This special issue of The Journal of Experimental Biology highlights some of the best-understood examples of parasite-induced changes in host brain and behaviour, encompassing both invertebrate and vertebrate hosts and micro- and macro-parasites. The observation that parasitic infection can modify specific host behaviours is an old one (see Moore, 2002). The general consensus has been that these parasites have evolved the ability to manipulate host behaviour in order to advance their own reproductive success (Moore, 2002). Unfortunately, there has been a lack of information on two key points of this hypothesis. Firstly, it has proved difficult to unequivocally demonstrate that changes in host behaviour benefit the parasite (i.e. enhance parasitic fitness). Secondly, the mechanisms that parasites use to change host behaviour were completely unknown for many years, particularly in the case of vertebrate host systems.
(Neural Parasitology). Regular readers will remember that in other Ecocosmology Blog posts we have looked at how that pathogenic behavior can and has been changed whereby the pathogenic and/or parasitic behavior can become mutualistic once again to benefit both host and symbiont (Microbial Languages: Rehabilitation of the Unseen--2).

This concept of wanting to understand interspecies and intra-species communication for better or worse is a long and winding road:
Many parasite taxa are able to alter a wide range of phenotypic traits of their hosts in ways that seem to improve the parasite’s chance of completing its life cycle. Host behavioural alterations are classically seen as compelling illustrations of the ‘extended phenotype’ concept, which suggests that parasite genes have phenotype effects on the host. The molecular mechanisms and the host–parasite cross-talk involved during the manipulative process of a host by its parasite are still poorly understood. In this Review, the current knowledge on proximate mechanisms related to the ‘parasite manipulation hypothesis’ is presented. Parasite genome sequences do not themselves provide a full explanation of parasite biology nor of the molecular cross-talk involved in host–parasite associations. Recently, first-generation proteomics tools have been employed to unravel some aspects of the parasite manipulation process (i.e. proximate mechanisms and evolutionary convergence) using certain model arthropod-host–parasite associations. The pioneer proteomics results obtained on the manipulative process are here highlighted, along with the many gaps in our knowledge.
(Host–parasite Molecular Cross-talk). Signaling and messaging is common within, between, and among species, and that cross-talk is composed of both propaganda messaging and truthful messaging.

It would seem that our approach to other species sends them a scary message which may affect their behaviors (Are Microbes The Origin of PTSD?).

We attack small and large life on Earth incessantly with pollution, antibiotics, and just about anything else we can throw at them (On The Memorial Daze, Mammals May Be Nearly Half Way Toward Mass Extinction).

In the sense that we live off the bounty of the Earth, yet are destroying it, we are a parasitic species.

But like those pathogens and parasites that have changed their behaviors into benefiting others, we can and must do so as well (Change Is Not An Option - It Is A Must).

The previous post in this series is here