[permaculture] ecogeddon, something to think about

Carolyn Anderson cschampagne at gmail.com
Tue Oct 24 09:52:42 EDT 2017

I lead, and am part of, several environmental activist groups in Asheville
NC. The.people who were intensely passionate about making change last
Spring when we organized the Women's March and the Climate March, and we
grew in number by 20 fold, have had so many gut punches since ast then,
that they have mostly retreated to their comfortable lives, bolted the door
to news such as this and no longer even come to meetings.

I feel the need for decisive and dramatic action to reverse this death
spiral we're on, but am at a loss as to how to re-inspire the passion they
felt last Spring.

There are small things happening.locally, but I can't get them to throw off
the covers and leap out of bed into any actions beyond that. Does anyone
else experience this? If so, can you share ideas for inspiring action
that.would "go viral" and start a worlwlde movement? Our 'Save the Bees'
group is down to about 6 people. Nothing will come of that. We need 60
million people to make a lot of noise and make dramatic demands. Any help
or suggestions for actio in this group could be really important for
getting something like that started. I can organize if we have something.to
organize around.

Carolyn Anderson

On Oct 24, 2017 4:09 AM, "Lawrence London" <lfljvenaura at gmail.com> wrote:

> [saw less than 25 bees so far this 2017] [put Bayer and Monsanto out of
> business]
> Insectageddon - monbiot.com <http://www.monbiot.com>
> ------------------------------
> Insectageddon <http://www.monbiot.com/2017/10/23/insectageddon/>
> Posted: 23 Oct 2017 04:25 AM PDT
> The scale and speed of environmental collapse is beyond imagination.
> By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 20th October 2017
> Which of these would you name as the world’s most pressing environmental
> issue? Climate breakdown, air pollution, water loss, plastic waste or urban
> expansion? My answer is none of the above. Almost incredibly, I believe
> that climate breakdown takes third place, behind two issues that receive
> only a fraction of the attention.
> This is not to downgrade the danger presented by global heating – on the
> contrary, it presents an existential threat. It is simply that I have come
> to realise that two other issues have such huge and immediate impacts that
> they push even this great predicament into third place.
> One is industrial fishing, which, all over the blue planet, is now causing
> systemic ecological collapse. The other is the erasure of non-human life
> from the land
> <https://theconversation.com/how-changing-your-diet-could-
> save-animals-from-extinction-81061>
> by farming.
> And perhaps not only non-human life. According to the UN Food and
> Agriculture Organisation, at current rates of soil loss
> <https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/25/
> treating-soil-like-dirt-fatal-mistake-human-life>,
> driven largely by poor farming practice, we have just 60 years of harvests
> left
> <https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/only-60-years-of-
> farming-left-if-soil-degradation-continues/>.
> And this is before the Global Land Outlook report
> <https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/12/third-
> of-earths-soil-acutely-degraded-due-to-agriculture-study>,
> published in September, found that productivity is already declining on 20%
> of the world’s cropland.
> The impact on wildlife of changes in farming practice (and the expansion of
> the farmed area) is so rapid and severe that it is hard to get your head
> round the scale of what is happening. A study published this week
> <http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0185809>
> in the journal Plos One reveals that flying insects surveyed on nature
> reserves in Germany have declined by 76% in 27 years. The most likely cause
> <https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/18/
> warning-of-ecological-armageddon-after-dramatic-plunge-in-insect-numbers>
> of this Insectageddon is that the land surrounding those reserves has
> become hostile to them: the volume of pesticides and the destruction of
> habitat have turned farmland into a wildlife desert.
> It is remarkable that we need to rely on a study in Germany to see what is
> likely to have been happening worldwide: long-term surveys of this kind
> simply do not exist elsewhere. This failure reflects distorted priorities
> in the funding of science. There is no end of grants for research on how to
> kill insects, but hardly any money for discovering what the impacts of this
> killing might be. Instead, the work has been left – as in the German case –
> to recordings by amateur naturalists.
> But anyone of my generation (ie in the second bloom of youth) can see and
> feel the change. We remember the “moth snowstorm” that filled the headlight
> beams of our parents’ cars on summer nights (memorialised in Michael
> McCarthy’s lovely book of that name
> <https://www.hodder.co.uk/books/detail.page?isbn=9781444792775>). Every
> year I collected dozens of species of caterpillars and watched them grow
> and pupate and hatch. This year I tried to find some caterpillars for my
> children to raise. I spent the whole summer looking and, aside from the
> cabbage whites on our broccoli plants, found nothing in the wild but one
> garden tiger larva. Yes, one caterpillar in one year. I could scarcely
> believe what I was seeing – or rather, not seeing.
> Insects, of course, are critical to the survival of the rest of the living
> world. Knowing what we now know, there is nothing surprising about the
> calamitous
> decline of insect-eating birds <http://www.ace-eco.org/vol5/iss2/art1/>.
> Those flying insects – not just bees and hoverflies but species of many
> different families – are the pollinators without which a vast tract of the
> plant kingdom, both wild and cultivated, cannot survive. The wonders of the
> living planet are vanishing before our eyes.
> Well, I hear you say, we have to feed the world. Yes, but not this way. As
> a
> UN report published in March explained
> <http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/dpage_e.aspx?si=A/HRC/34/48>, the notion
> that pesticide use is essential for feeding a growing population is a myth.
> A recent study in Nature Plants
> <http://www.nature.com/articles/nplants20178> reveals that most farms
> would
> increase production if they cut their use of pesticides. A study in the
> journal Arthropod-Plant Interactions
> <https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11829-017-9527-3> shows that
> the more neonicotinoid pesticides were used to treat rapeseed crops, the
> more their yield declines. Why? Because the pesticides harm or kill the
> pollinators on which the crop depends.
> Farmers and governments have been comprehensively conned by the global
> pesticide industry. It has ensured its products should not be properly
> regulated or even, in real-world conditions, properly assessed
> <http://science.sciencemag.org/content/357/6357/1232.full>. A massive
> media
> onslaught by this industry has bamboozled us all about its utility and its
> impacts on the health of both human beings and the natural world.
> The profits of these companies depend on ecocide. Do we allow them to hold
> the world to ransom, or do we acknowledge that the survival of the living
> world is more important than returns to their shareholders? At the moment,
> shareholder value comes first. And it will count for nothing when we have
> lost the living systems on which our survival depends.
> To save ourselves and the rest of the living world, here’s what we need to
> do:
> 1. We need a global treaty to regulate pesticides, and put the
> manufacturers back in their box.
> 2. We need environmental impact assessments for the farming and fishing
> industries. It is amazing that, while these sectors present the greatest
> threats to the living world, they are, uniquely in many nations, not
> subject to such oversight.
> 3. We need firm rules based on the outcomes of these assessments, obliging
> those who use the land to protect and restore the ecosystems on which we
> all depend.
> 4. We need to reduce the amount of land used by farming, while sustaining
> the production of food. The most obvious way is greatly to reduce our use
> of livestock
> <https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/04/
> livestock-farming-artificial-meat-industry-animals>:
> many of the crops we grow and all of the grazing land we use are deployed
> to feed them. One study in Britain
> <http://www.thelandmagazine.org.uk/sites/default/files/
> can_britain_feed_itself.pdf>
> suggests that, if we stopped using animal products, everyone in Britain
> could be fed on just 3m of our 18.5m hectares of current farmland (or on 7m
> hectares if all our farming were organic). This would allow us to create
> huge wildlife and soil refuges: an investment against a terrifying future.
> 5. We should stop using land that should be growing food for people to
> grow maize
> for biogas
> <https://www.theguardian.com/environment/georgemonbiot/
> 2014/mar/14/uk-ban-maize-biogas>
> and fuel for cars.
> Then, at least, nature and people would have some respite from the global
> onslaught. And, I hope, a chance of getting through the century.
> www.monbiot.com
> --
> Lawrence F. London, Jr.
> lfljvenaura at gmail.com
> Avant Geared
> avantgeard at gmail.com
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