Sunday, January 13, 2019

A Requiem for the Beautiful Earth


With permission: 
“We should do whatever we can to make people more aware of the crises that are coming our way.  Too many of us are dangerously oblivious to most of them, and the governments are doing far too little. All the best, Tad"

From the essay:
I know you know all this, but it’s worth saying: There are no significant ecological trend lines that are getting better for the ecosystems:

Human population is growing, getting worse 
Human livestock population is growing, getting worse
Human consumption is increasing, getting worse for all but the consumers 
Human ecological and war-victim refugees are increasing, getting worse 
Toxin loadin biological systems is growing, getting worse 
Wild flora / fauna diversity is shrinking, getting worse 
Aquifers, and all freshwater resources  are shrinking, getting worse 
CO2 content in atmosphere is increasing, getting worse for existing biodiversity 
Acid content of oceans is increasing, getting worse 
Human economic unpayable debt load (fake energy, fake “growth”) is increasing, getting worse
Quality and availability of every critical resource are shrinking, making these resources more expensive and more destructive to recover 
 Net energy from energy resources is shrinking 
Habitats and food for wild fauna are shrinking 
Carbon and nutrient content of arable soils are shrinking 
Nitrogen and Phosphorus cycles are disrupted and concentrated, creating dead lakes and dead ocean zones 
Coral bed sea-life nurseries are shrinking 
Tropical forest terrestrial nurseriesare shrinking 
Estuaries are shrinking 
Ponzi schemes, stock swindles, and scams are increasing in frequency and monetary value 
Forest fires and violent storms are increasing with CO2 and heating 
War budgets are increasing, etc. 


A Requiem for the Beautiful Earth
First, let me remind you that a pessimist is an optimist who shed his delusions and denial, and educated himself. Please keep this in mind, if you continue reading. If you don't, that's fine too. You will remain in your blissful bubble of denial and ignorance, which are the dominant genetic traits of most denizens of the fossil superorganism. Please understand that many democratically elected governments know very well about your truth aversion and are making best useof it.

Imagine now that your favorite airline offers a vacation package to a world-class city like the one shown below. That city is Beijing. China is the rising economic superpower that will collapse rather immediately, because there is not enough of the environment left to protect her 1.4 billion people from disease and death. But before China collapses, she will suck dry most of the world that remains. The brutal global competition for resources may precipitate a war between China and US.

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By the way, a famous photographer, whocaptured China'smultitudinous industrial achievements just went missing. And rightly so, why need we talk about the small side-effects of an economic miracle that lifted most from poverty? But what is poverty when a rich environment allows families to subsist with little cash? Conversely, what is affluence, when air, water and soil are toxic, and bees are dead?












Welcome to your vacation travel destination.  
As you can see, this is a giant beautiful city, but can you see at all?

And how about getting a suite in a beach hotel with a view like this?
















I hope that you get my point. The vacation package above probably would not be your idea of having the best time of your life, but this environment just might be:














You'd rather vacation in this place, where nature still can protect you from human invasion and environmental destruction.  But there is a catch, all these places are about to succumb to global climate change, overpopulation and pollution.  Even this peaceful scene is deceiving.  
Every morning, workers must remove sea-borne plastic trash so that you are not disgusted when you wake up.

Instead of telling you the dirty truth, your fossil amoeba airline will try to woo you like this. In the ad you just saw, this airline has relied on your life-long self deception and improbable lies you weave to remain "hopeful," that is inoculated from the cold facts staring into your eyes wide shut. They already know that you are a brainwashed fossil superorganismmonkey. Snap out of it, will you? Recapture you atrophied power of human thinking.

All right, I might have woken you up from that hopeful stupor, punctuated by resentments from the perceived lack of privilege the fossil amoeba should have bestowed upon you, but didn't because she lied. But if you remain in denial, you are in good company. The gangster from New York and a suspected Russian agent, our President, has just rejected the science in the latest UN report published in Katowice, 25 km from Gliwice, where I was born. He also claimed that the current "yellow vest" upheaval in France was linked directly to the Paris climate agreement.

Not! The French riots are directly related to the depletion of many resources, but specifically to the intermediate distillates (abbreviated here as the naphtha fraction) that are disappearing from the refinery feedstock crudes worldwide. The ultralight condensates produced from the US shale plays have none. Naphtha is the petroleum fraction from which diesel fuel is produced. Since almost all trucks run on diesel fuel, which one would you rather have: food and other goods in stores or an unrestricted supply of fuel to private diesel cars?

The fossil amoeba will never admit that she is limited by anything. She cannot violate her own principle of indiscriminate, eternal growth that will pay for the ginormous debt the rich took everywhere to bail themselves out. This debt is now sloshing around the world killing what remains of the healthy environment and speeding up the collapse of our civilization.

The detached Macron was manipulated into an environmentally friendly explanation: less emissions. Of course, this explanation is nonsensical, and it came on the heels of many real and perceived social injustices in France that span two decades or more. To make things worse, air quality has become so bad in most places that ships will have to use low-sulfur fuel, which will further increase demand on the heavy naphtha fraction. Aviation too is growing everywhere to move people and goods across the global economy (soon to be discontinued). Jet fuel, which is essentially diesel fuel, also competes with your poor little diesel car. Finally, please do not forget that heating oil you use to avoid freezing in winter, is diesel fuel that is a little heavier.

Not to be outdone, President of Poland, Andrzej Duda (Windpipe in Polish), seconded Trump's ravings, and proclaimed that he supports actions against climate change as long as Poland continues using coal to satisfy 80% of her energetic needs for the next two centuries. Two centuries?! People, if we have 10 more years without a major war that will wipe out most of us, I will feel really lucky. In fact, when there is a major war, the habitually clueless, self-absorbed Poles will evaporate first. Obviously, Duda was blowing hot air, which is his job description by any other name.

Here is what my friend, Rex Weyler,  an American-Canadian author, historian, journalist and ecologist, wrote yesterday in an email exchange on the very subject of this blog:

"Like you, your colleague, and our colleagues on this list, I’ve been monitoring the ecological trends all of my adult life, for some fifty years. As far as I can see, all the trend lines converge on collapse, including “technology.” Nate is correct that economic growth is running on fumes, mostly on plunder and debt.

When people talk about ingenuity, “new technology,” and “advancing technology,” I am reminded that human technology has been advancing for two million years. Advancing technology is not new. It is our story. At every step of that long, advancing technology story - stone scrapers, axes, fire ignition, bows & arrows, steam engines, computers, super-sonic stealth bombers, and XBox games - humans gained some measure of power, ease, comfort, or entertainment.

Meanwhile, at every step, humanity has become more destructive to Earth’s ecosystems. I see no trend that we are solving more problems than we are creating. When the techno-optimists hail future “solutions,” I’m reminded that all the problems we face today are the results of earlier “solutions,” and all the solutions of today are creating new problems.

I know you know all this, but it’s worth saying: There are no significant ecological trend lines that are getting better for the ecosystems:

Human population is growing, getting worse 
Human livestock population is growing, getting worse
Human consumption is increasing, getting worse for all but the consumers 
Human ecological and war-victim refugees are increasing, getting worse 
Toxin loadin biological systems is growing, getting worse 
Wild flora / fauna diversity is shrinking, getting worse 
Aquifers, and all freshwater resources  are shrinking, getting worse 
CO2 content in atmosphere is increasing, getting worse for existing biodiversity 
Acid content of oceans is increasing, getting worse 
Human economic unpayable debt load (fake energy, fake “growth”) is increasing, getting worse
Quality and availability of every critical resource are shrinking, making these resources more expensive and more destructive to recover 
 Net energy from energy resources is shrinking 
Habitats and food for wild fauna are shrinking 
Carbon and nutrient content of arable soils are shrinking 
Nitrogen and Phosphorus cycles are disrupted and concentrated, creating dead lakes and dead ocean zones 
Coral bed sea-life nurseries are shrinking 
Tropical forest terrestrial nurseriesare shrinking 
Estuaries are shrinking 
Ponzi schemes, stock swindles, and scams are increasing in frequency and monetary value 
Forest fires and violent storms are increasing with CO2 and heating 
War budgets are increasing,  etc. 

And what, pray-tell, is offsetting this Earth balance sheet asset collapse? Windmills? Solar panels? Carbon capture? Artificial intelligence?A few rich humans getting richer? Computer chip processing speeds increasing? Video conferences?  “Smart” bombs?

No, whenever I doubt we are right about collapse, I take stock of this large-scale Earth balance sheet and must conclude again that human enterprise itself is a giant Ponzi scheme, plundering the mother that gave birth to us, high-grading every resource, squandering the riches for idle pleasures, and leaving behind a smoldering, toxic trail. " [With minor edits and additions by TWP.]

So you get the point?  If you don't, please go and treat yourself to Faux (meaning fake in French) News or read "Mein Kampf." Or, better yet, read Trump's tweets.

I end with a sample of the images sent to me by the Greenpeace friends, when I was getting ready to battle the liberal EU ministers of environment. In 2007, I participated in an OECD ministerial meeting on the potentially destructive environmental effects of the clean biofuels. This also was the year when the Renewable Biofuel Standards were pushed through in the US by an unusual coalition of the darkest forces of humanity, Monsanto, Cargill, Archer-Daniels Midland, Syngenta, Bayer, etc., and the greedy, vain, arrogant and uneducated "liberals," like Nancy Pelosi and several Berkeley professors, Dan Kammen and Steven Chu (Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) founders), Chris Somerville (hired from Stanford as EBI director), Jay Keasling, and so many others. One assistant professor, Alex Farrell in Kammen's group, was pushed to commit suicide.  Oh, what a year it was!

By the way, Rex Weyler was one of the original founders of Greenpeace International in 1979. In 2007, I got nowhere in Paris with the well meaning, do-nothing ministers. They could not fathom using satellite images to verify the environmental carnage committed in the name of our clean biofuels. Today, we have COP 2018 in Katowice with identical results. The global fossil amoeba will never let anyone challenge her. Until she shrivels, that is, and most of us die.

In closing, here is my son, Lucas, interviewing a Scottish priest (please click on this beautiful conversation), Father Tiago, who risked his life helping poor people working the giant sugarcane plantations in Brazil. We, in turn, helped to save his life, threatened by thugs hired by the sugarcane barons to terrorize or kill these poor people. Please listen, weep for all of us, and understand my decades-old rage. Father Tiago also speaks about us, a small band of Berkeley faculty, who in 2007 tried to challenge the clean biofuels, that creeping Gaia-cide committed against our beautiful Earth.
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The Brazilian tropical rainforest is being cut for soybean plantations dedicated to clean biofuels. This single Brazilian nut tree was protected by law and left behind.  This was in 2006 and 2007. Today no one bothers about protecting any trees. A neo Nazi government is in charge in Brazil.  We, the US, helped in installing it. Image source: the Greenpeace volunteers risking their lives to overfly in a small plane this illegal forest cutting operation full of armed men. At that time, parts of Amazonia were outside of control of Brazilian government and Cargill operated an illegal port on the Amazon river.














Another Brazilian nut tree to show you the scale of destruction.  This tractor sprayer is applying a herbicide. The iron-rich oxidized paleosol is no good and will fail in a few years. The rainforest cutters will then move on and cut more forest until nothing but a hot dry desert is left. When enough of the rainforest is gone, its captive rain system will stop. The hot dry desert in Amazonia will then migrate north, all the way to Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, etc., where new sand deserts will emerge. Do you get this?!  Image source Greenpeace, 2007, personal communication.














Hundreds of square kilometers of the tropical rainforest in Brazil are being cut for soybean  plantations. There go the associated cloud system and rain. Image source: Greenpeace, 2007, personal communication.

P.S. (12/16/2018)  Now it is official.  If you photograph the environmental devastation in Inner Mongolia, the home of rare earth metal mining and processing, you get "reeducated."  These rare earth metals are used in batteries, motors, etc. in electric cars.  The sustainable, clean electric cars will solve all humanity's problems with transportation.  Have we heard this before?  In 2007, perhaps?

This can also be found at:
https://un-denial.com/2019/01/08/by-tad-patzek-a-requiem-for-the-beautiful-earth/?fbclid=IwAR1I_YrwueqlqUx8h4GaVNDfX-2H-kpB3uTT2YVld9rLqyxp1jCXMb-dr6M

3 comments:

  1. It's unethical to copy and paste without attribution.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RobM - I do apologize. I didn't realize that I was also copying your article into my blog as well as Tad's statements. I can remove the whole thing if you so desire.

      Delete
    2. RobM- I have reconfigured the blog essay with reference to your entry at the end.

      Delete