Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Death of Gaia

Earth is alive like other organic life across scales
It is known scientifically that the Earth System, or Gaia if you will, is organized and functions similarly to other scales of biology, including organisms and old-growth forests. Gaia is a self-regulating, reproducing life-form, and as such is alive. As industrial human growth destroys Gaia’s naturally evolved ecosystem organs, the human family is failing to embrace a rich and truthful deep ecology understanding (long known by indigenous peoples) of a living Earth, risking biosphere collapse. Not enough progress is being made on sufficient ecological solutions to sustain Gaia such as protecting and restoring natural ecosytems (including a ban on old-growth forest logging), ending the use of fossil fuels, and ridding the world of war and inequity. Both powerful science deniers, as well as celebrity posers promoting shallow ecology, ensure Gaia's demise for their own selfish benefit. Thus while Earth is alive, sadly she is dying.
Larry: [to Jennings, while high] Okay. That means that our whole solar system could be, like one tiny atom in the fingernail of some other giant being. [Jennings nods] This is too much! That means one tiny atom in my fingernail could be–
Jennings: Could be one little tiny universe. – Animal House
“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” – Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who!
“Earth – like organic life across scales – is alive yet needlessly dying as human industrial growth overwhelms natural ecosystems.” – Dr. Glen Barry

Gaia
Earth is a living organism some call Gaia. This Earth System – all life’s one shared biosphere – is composed of coupled ecosystems that cycle energy and matter, self-regulating like all organic life.

Across scales of biological phenomena there exist discontinuities; boundaries which can be abstracted, that differentiate a life form. Throughout the continuum of cells, organisms, plant communities, and even natural ecosystems, many entities can be said to be alive. The Earth is the penultimate life-form.

Gaia is alive.

Think of land and natural vegetational communities as similar to tissue in an animal, blood and water are synonymous, the atmosphere like cellular fluid. Wildlife including humans is a special type of cell. All life across scale is coded in DNA, the original programming language.

Earth, like the human body, is intricately perfect; both engineered through epics of iterative evolution to be resilient and reproduce.

Earth’s reproductive cycle can best be thought of as the re-radiation of species diversity post mass extinction upon the same framework of inert non-organic Earth. By such a measure Earth is only a handful of generations old. Or perhaps Earth’s reproduction involves exo-biology seeding of planets through rare dispersion events. In either case the Earth system reproduces.

Old-growth forests are alive too
As originally devised in James Lovelock’s “Gaia Hypothesis”, the conception of a living Earth goes beyond metaphor; and is a self-evident, emergent property of natural ecosystems’ cycles. Cells, microbes, forests, soil, oceans, water, air, plants, and wildlife are all miraculously alive, even as they create the conditions for life at other levels of organization.

It is profoundly beautiful that life begets life. For far too long the concept of living natural ecosystems has been denied and denigrated. A naturally evolved old-growth forest ecosystem is no less an organism than you or me, or Gaia. Such complex, tightly-coupled super-organisms make life possible.

Let me be clear: cells are not organisms, nor are old-growth forests exactly like the biosphere, yet they are remarkably similar. Each are bounded, with sub-systems cycling energy and matter, to remain intact (alive) while reproducing.

Earth – like organic life across scales – is alive yet needlessly dying as industrial growth overwhelms natural ecosystems.

Natural ecosystems are being murdered in a plague of democratic resource gluttony. In a relatively short time geologically, industrialism radiated from Northern Europe in waves of ecological colonialism. The concept that nature exists only as resources to be consumed is now universally embraced.

Millions of year old natural ecosystems that constitute Gaia’s living flesh continue to be liquidated in an ecocidal death wish misconstrued as “development”.

Under such circumstances of runaway exponential growth – amidst resource scarcity driven perma-war and grotesque inequity – “certifying” natural ecosystem destruction, or waxing eloquently as one over-consumes, is even more dangerous than denying climate, ecology, and other scientific truths.

Leo’s over-consumption sets a bad example
Donald Trump’s fact free world of anti-science, authoritarian demagoguery, and Scott Walker’s evisceration of education while stifling climate and conservation science; are equally as dangerous as Rainforest Action Network benefactor Chris Noth’s (Mr. Big) old-growth mahogany laced bar (aptly named “The Cutting Room”), and Leonardo DiCaprio prattling on about the reality of climate change from the back of private jets and yachts. Each in their own way are colluding in Gaia’s murder for personal benefit.

Old-growth forest logging must end. Natural ecosystems be restored. Fossil fuels ended. A steady state economy achieved. And equity, peace, and justice embraced.

Or Gaia dies. And being ends.

Only profound, radical, science-based social change that embraces a deep ecology vision of a living Earth, by reversing natural ecosystem loss, will prove adequate to avoid biosphere collapse.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

On Ecology and Climate, Sad to Say, Scientists Told You So


Given long-predicted and self-evident abrupt climate change and ecosystem collapse, and resultant perma-war and rise of fascism, despite decades of scientific warnings which went unheeded; will you now listen to science, embrace an ecology ethic, and act to avoid biosphere collapse and the end of being before it is too late?
“One last time swords must be beaten into plowshares (and restored ecosystems)… Simply, pollution of land, air, and water must end or we all needlessly die” – Dr. Glen Barry
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Deep ecology essays by Dr. Glen Barry, EcoInternet


Choose your fate, embrace an ecology ethic, or die
Essentially every warning from ecological and climate scientists regarding the limits to growth have come to pass. Climate models have been amazingly accurate, if anything under-predicting the magnitude of the climate apocalypse dramatically playing out in Polar Regions and radiating heat globally. Water, farmland, soil, wetlands, oceans, old-growth forests, and the atmosphere are, as forecasted, in precipitous decline.

Whole regions are collapsing ecologically and are on track to being uninhabitable and will have to be abandoned. Yet demands for inequitable consumption placed upon nature by seven billion top predators continue to grow exponentially (as a billion live in opulent splendor, another billion face abject soul-sucking poverty, and a handful enjoy half of Earth’s wealth).

There are few naturally evolved large ecosystems remaining to cut, burn, and otherwise plunder for short-term ill-gotten gains as the biosphere and society bear the unpriced external costs. Those natural ecosystems that remain are under threat as the oil oligarchy consolidates its power in order to access and burn every last drop of oil and chunk of coal, destroying our atmosphere and last natural ecosystems in the process.

The global ecological system – our one shared biosphere that makes Earth habitable – is collapsing and dying as human industrial growth overruns natural ecosystems and the climate.

Resource scarcity resulting from ecosystem loss, albeit delayed through the advent of information technology, nonetheless underlies the surge in uncontrolled mass migration and diminished economic prospects for the formerly affluent Western middle classes. Landscapes ravaged by industrial capitalism in the developing countries in particular are barren wastelands unable to support indigenous and other local self-reliant lifestyles that provided for quality lives for millennium.

As foreseen by this author, authoritarian fascism has arisen to exploit both environmental decline and surging inequity between the super-rich and multitudinous have-nots. A state of perma-war and institutionalized war murders masked as a clash between cultures are more accurately depicted as a scramble for dwindling resources upon which to base overly consumptive and clearly unsustainable lifestyles for the privileged few for a while more.

Fascist demagogues have arisen that spout charlatan alternative facts as they stifle voices of ecological and other truths.

Environmental and climate crises long perceived as distant or affecting others, but not you, are increasingly impacting average people in their daily lives, particularly in the over-developed world. Food and water systems are failing and prices rising, as regular patterns of seasonality are lost. Jobs based upon ravaging natural ecosystems are a thing of the past, as they are exhausted, and are not coming back. Foreigners from hard scrabble over-populated countries will work far harder for much less and increasingly take even domestic high-tech positions excluding locals.

Our present state of environmental collapse, driven by inequitable over-population and ecosystem loss, fomenting precipitous social and economic decline, was foreseen by ecological scientists. Numerous warnings from a host of ecological visionaries sought to highlight the problems and the course of action required to move towards not only sustainable, but also just and equitable, development.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s the preceding work of Malthus, John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson and others went mainstream as the self-evident need to protect land, air, and water led to bipartisan efforts.  The ground-breaking Limits to Growth publications highlighted once again the irrefutable fact that exponential growth can only lead to collapse. The advent of micro-processors has pushed back some limits, as other global ecological limits (sometimes called Planetary Boundaries) like the absorptive capacity of the atmosphere have clearly been breached. Yet even small, reformist environmental protections have proven inadequate and unable to be maintained.

It has been two years since I proposed a 10th Planetary Boundary in my peer-reviewed scientific journal article entitled Terrestrial ecosystem loss and biosphere collapse regarding how many natural ecosystems can be lost before the biosphere collapses. Noting how smaller ecosystems, indeed anything from which portions are cut, fragment and fall apart at around 40% loss; I proposed a threshold of 66% natural and semi-natural terrestrial ecosystem retention as being required to avoid biosphere collapse.

Despite my pioneering findings being subsequently validated in other studies by scientific luminaries, precisely nothing is being done by world governments and even leading environmental NGOS to begin the process of ending natural ecosystem loss and beginning an age of ecological restoration.
With about 50% of natural ecosystems having been destroyed already there can be no other outcome (after unknown lag times) than biosphere collapse and the end of being.

It is not through lack of effort by others and me that deep ecology has not caught on. Indoctrination into a nationalistic, consumptive worldview is pervasive and all-encompassing. Very few are able to escape the religious, racist, nationalistic, and economic lies forced upon them in youth.
Much of humanity has forgotten that it is possible to live in peace and within the bounds of nature. Social cohesion has dangerously frayed. Poorly educated folks falling from middle class lifestyles, as well as the well-off feasting upon the last ill-gotten fruits of nature, are unable and/or unwilling to grok causal connections between declining natural systems and limited economic prospects, and that such growth can only end in collapse.

Our fatally flawed education system fails to provide the necessary cognitive skills to grasp basic truths – like nothing grows forever, ecosystems make life possible, and water is required for life – upon which our existence depends.

Again, nothing grows exponentially forever, it is a physically impossible.

To deny Malthus, indigenous wisdom, and all subsequent iterations upon ecological knowledge and intuition found in science is sheer utter madness.

The truth of the matter is that while ecological trends are clear, the breaking point of ecosystems and societies is not known with certainty. There may be sources of ecological resiliency of which we are unaware, and lag times for fully realizing the impacts ecosystem collapse (including 2nd order) are uncertain. Yet, given the drive for self-survival of a species can be found in all genetic code, including the hairless ape with the amazing opposable thumb, it would be incautious, indeed ludicrous, to give up.

But we need to quickly change our ways personally and societally to embrace an ecology ethic. We need to listen to ecological and other scientific experts and dramatically reduce industrial and population growth, as well as inequitable over-consumption, or we are faced with ecological apocalypse and biosphere collapse.

One last time swords must be beaten into plowshares (and restored ecosystems).

It is known with certainty that human prospects depend upon functioning natural ecosystems. And the personal and societal changes required to maintain such systems are known with surety as well.
Simply, pollution of land, air, and water must end or we all needlessly die.

To sustain local ecological patterns and processes globally upon which all life depends, old-growth forest logging and industrial scale marine fisheries MUST cease immediately, and massive investments in natural ecosystem restoration be made. Decentralized renewable energy grids and nega-watts from energy conservation must be embraced with utmost urgency as fossil fuel burning ends. Massive investments in women’s education, birth control, and tax incentives for small families must be made worldwide to slow growth and then reduce human population. Genetic modifications and oil intensive agriculture must end as we return to family farming embracing organic permaculture. And all sources of sacred water must be protected whatever the cost.

Fascism and the threats posed by both large governments and corporations must be eliminated. A guaranteed minimum income must be established worldwide. Armies must be demobilized and international institutions strengthened to pay the price for our continued existence, while ending systematic war murders. Liberty, justice, and equity for all members of the human and all species’ family must be ensured.

This course of action is based upon scientific truths, and further ignoring of ecological limits is a willful death wish.

Humanity heeds the warnings of its sage elders and embraces such an ecology ethic now in all haste, or we face intensified abject human misery prior to biosphere collapse and an imminent end to being.

Let’s come together now to give Earth and her humanity a chance.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Find Meaning in Nature and #TheResistance to Trump Fascism

There is no left or right, only tyranny or freedom, nature or ecocide. Ascendant authoritarian fascists seeking to oppress others and obstruct responses to scientific truths with hate speech and alternative facts must be resisted and eliminated from public discourse and power.
“When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Hate speech and alternative facts targeting nature and liberty must never be normalized. American fascism must be resisted at all costs or we face the end of being.” – Dr. Glen Barry
Deep ecology essay by Dr. Glen Barry, EcoInternet, http://www.ecointernet.org/

 
Resist American Fascism
Post-modern being has become overwhelmingly meaningless. There is little to believe in but consumption, the stories you were indoctrinated into as children, and hating others that are different. Abuse, neglect, and addiction are rampant, and positive communities of support have frayed. Very few are able to overcome such abject soulless misery by thinking freely and choosing their own path in life. Out of such an existential state of misery all sorts of grotesque and vile ideologies can emerge.

We are faced with a fascist coup in the United States of America. A mentally ill megalomaniac has seized power through FBI misconduct, foreign intervention, and anti-intellectual hate. It is the duty of all who love America, indeed a free and green Earth, to resist this predator’s awful policy agenda and ruthless self-aggrandizement, or face nuclear annihilation and final biosphere collapse. The end of being is nigh unless we come together to embrace truth and justice by resisting fascism.

UnPresident Trump is unfit for office. I call for immediate impeachment of Donald Trump for a slew of crimes against humanity already in progress and to come. Until such time as this occurs, all truth, peace, and liberty loving Americans and global citizens are implored to practice widespread non-cooperation with this illegitimately elected tyrant. It is up to the #TheResistance to enforce environmental regulations, care for those in need, make peace including with our oppressors, and fiercely defend scientific and other truths.

During Trump’s mercurial reign assurances are sought from the U.S. military command (and other nuclear powers) that under no circumstances will nuclear missiles be launched. Creepy Donald’s little fascist temper tantrums must not be allowed to blow up the world.

Indigenous peoples will lead the way
The human family faces unprecedented threats to our very being as a species on a living Planet from ecosystem destruction and the resulting rising of authoritarianism. Abrupt climate change is only one manifestation (albeit deadly in its own right) of impending biosphere collapse. Humanity’s state of inequitable over-population has scraped the land of natural ecosystems, fouled water, cleared oceans, over-worked soils, and otherwise waged ecocide upon the very ecosystem habitats that make Earth livable. Anti-science ignorance cannot be tolerated.

Withdrawal from the Paris climate treaty and suppression of climate change science are tantamount to a declaration of war against the Earth and all her life including people. Climate denial as state policy will not be tolerated and will be resisted whatever the cost. The alternative is runaway abrupt climate change that destroys the biosphere and all life. This must not be allowed to happen. Indigenous peoples, long brutalized by settlers’ colonization, nonetheless are resurgent, providing much needed environmental leadership. Respectfully make common cause with all such Earth protectors.

Despite broken families, drug abuse, atomized communities, and hate and war being the norm; we can choose to come together to give meaning to the sum of our being. The #NoDAPL movement was founded by troubled teens and young adults seeking a sense of community to heal their brokenness. What can you create with others for nature and against fascism? There are at least 198 non-violent means of protest and non-cooperation with evil (see http://www.mapm.org/documents/198_nonviolent_methods_2007.pdf).

Come together now in #TheResistance to heal our broken lives and societies with a shared commitment to truth, justice, equity, and ecology. The Alt-Majority will find meaning in soundly defeating the Alt-Right and their vile hate speech and alternative facts justifying racism, tyranny, ecocide, and genocide.

With so many ways to resist, there is no reason for not doing so, unless you yourself are a fascist or a fascist-sympathizer. Perhaps widespread non-cooperation with the government and entire communities swarming and shutting down offending institutions through sheer numbers are my favorite means of peaceful yet forceful opposition (Who did it? We all did!). Embrace truth. The scientific method is one, albeit imperfect, path to identify and respond to objective reality. See you at the March for Science in Washington DC on Earth Day.

Go back to the land. Heal yourself and help others do so as well as you create intentional communities based upon protecting and restoring nature, as you resist rising authoritarianism and every form of hierarchical oppression in all their manifestations. Grow your own food, and work to build real community committed to justice, human happiness and well-being, and sustainable livelihoods. Or stay right where you are and clandestinely wage non-compliance with fascism, providing a much needed support network to others putting their bodies and lives on the line.

Find meaning for your life by helping others continue to be free to sustainably exist within naturally evolved ecosystems. Create a lifestyle rich in experience, learning, knowledge, and in service to the truth.
We are all one human family

Stop letting what others think of you hold you down. The past is the past. Now – as humanity is faced with war, pestilence, and collapse – is your hour to shine. You can be whatever you want to be, and there are more enlightened and soulful lifestyles available to you than you can imagine. Many of which don’t involve crass over-consumption and personal anger aggregating to a state of global perma-war, final ecological collapse, and unimaginably horrific mass death.

Those willing to bear the risks may want to consider joining the anti-fascist movement. I fully expect Trump to start murdering those he has scapegoated as well as fellow Americans at any time. Unpopular authoritarian demagogues always resort to war murders and violence against the opposition to appear strong. It is time to prepare to defend ourselves and American values when Trump’s fascist jack-booted thugs start killing scientists, free thinkers, Muslims, Jews, Mexicans, gays, atheists, blacks, intellectuals, and those that take part in #TheResistance.

At such a point there is no recourse but rebellion. Prepare yourselves to remain free and green.

I would suggest that a green libertarian political philosophy is the answer. It is time to unite as one human family to embrace nature and freedom, and reject authoritarianism, and big governments and corporations alike, using all just means necessary.

Hate speech and alternative facts targeting nature and liberty must never be normalized. American fascism must be resisted at all costs or we face the end of being.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Wretched State of the Human Family and Our Shared Ecological Habitat

Humanity’s one shared biosphere that makes Earth habitable is collapsing and dying as industrial growth overruns natural ecosystems and climate; as we have utterly failed to embrace our dependence upon each other and nature for our well-being and very survival. It is time to come together as one human family to resist injustice, inequity, violence, and non-sustainability as we create a rich and verdant life for all amidst resurgent natural ecosystems on a living Earth that can last essentially forever.
War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. – George Orwell
We are one human family. Best we end the dysfunction and start acting like it or we destroy ourselves and our one shared habitat... Let us unite as citizens of the world, coming together as one human family on an Earth that lives forever. – Dr. Glen Barry
Deep ecology essay by Dr. Glen Barry, EcoInternet

We Are All In This Together, One Human Family
In Beijing, New Delhi, and London one can barely breathe. Those sick with addiction are murdered in the Philippines by the state. The socialist paradise of Venezuela is becoming a failed state of wanton hunger, prostitution, and murder. Advanced western democracies turn towards fascism as long anticipated inequitable over-population and abrupt climate change lead to mass flows of refugees.

Western consumption is violence against the natural world and each other. Over a billion people live in abject poverty on $1.50 a day, as a few hundred oligarchs enjoy half of Earth’s wealth. In much of the world shocking and grotesque opulence exists within a sea of absolute human and natural misery. Wildlife continues to be slaughtered as vermin, as do unwanted human beings. Resurgent indigenous protectors are brutalized by settlers as they have been for 500 years.

The current pampered ruling elite in the United States stole an election from a good man working to channel the aspirations of everyday people, while committed to addressing societal issues that threaten us all. Instead we have an US President elect who is an anti-science lunatic that grabs women’s crotches and has sold out the nation to autocratic Russia. This creepy bankrupt reality show host will soon possess the button that can destroy the Earth many times over. Or his turning over of climate and environmental policy to the oil oligarchy may take care of that.

After centuries of war driven by ecological imperialism, and two world wars which brought horrors at unimaginable scale, much of the world supported institutions to make peace, and the desirability of demobilizing and ridding the world of nuclear arms. Then America reacted incautiously to the banditry of a small bunch of Islamic fanatics, using this horrific international crime as a pretext to settle other scores through wanton imperialist invasions. Now radical and medieval christianity and islam are at each other’s throats, which increasingly becomes a conflict between the haves and have nots, as we are plunged into a state of Perma-war from which we may never emerge.

The ecosystems that enable our very being are being cleared for toilet paper to wipe our asses and lawn furniture to luxuriate upon as being ends. Those that are relatively well-off are in profound denial that their inequitable over-consumptive lifestyles can continue as ecosystems and climate collapse. Decadent over-consuming celebrities prattle on about climate change as they flit about in highly-polluting private jets.

Society has atomized, not only between the well-off and dispossessed, but also between those enmeshed within supportive communities and those that are marginalized, unsupported, and ignored. Families have grown dysfunctional, ostracizing and vilifying rather than loving and nurturing, particularly those family members that are different. All life including other human beings (particularly women) and wildlife have become objectified for what they can do for me now, otherwise they are considered disposable.

Not so long ago things were looking good for human advancement. An end to slavery, racial equality, women’s and worker’s rights, environmental sustainability, and a lasting peace dividend were all in our grasp. Decades of human advancement are now threatened by pervasive anti-intellectualism, self-absorption, and simple human greed.

Previous generations believed in social progress, while current self-entitled generations believe in iPhone apps. Things could be so much better if we wanted; or at least had the intelligence, strength, and morality to try.

Until we educate every single one of us, and commit to truthful action to meet the basic needs of every human being, all species, and our shared habitat; humanity is little more than bacteria on a pile of sugar. Those that live extravagantly will soon burn through the living Earth’s resources and then being ends.

We simply must do better or our one shared environment will be destroyed as we die gasping for breath and starving, at each others' throats as society and the biosphere collapse.

We are one human family. Best we end the dysfunction and start acting like it or we destroy ourselves and our one shared habitat.

To thrive, indeed to survive, we simply must accept and embrace that we are more alike than different, we all feel pain and have desires, and we are utterly dependent upon each other for our well-being. We must do so despite our race, education level, income, and which ultimately unknowable faith we embrace; as we find ourselves hurtling together through space on one shared biosphere which is being murdered.

Lines on the map are vacuous nonsense meant to limit our unity. Nothing threatens the oligarchy's elites more than the thought of us coming together to demand peace, justice, equity, and ecology.
Together much could be achieved as we learn to value knowledge, experience, shared well-being, and natural ecosystems as the meaning of life or we fall into nothingness. The many visionary sages that speak of and lead us in this great transition must be supported, loved, and heeded, not ignored and vilified.
Where are the necessary lovers of ecological and other truths to lead us to salvation? Who will rise up with them as one and together destroy the ruling oligarchy class sucking the life from humanity and her habitat? From which quarters and unlikely alliances will The Resistance emerge to usher in the great transition to just, equitable, and global ecological sustainability?

There is more to life than throw-away consumption based upon liquidating ecosystems to soothe and comfort your nerve-endings as the expense of other life and your habitat. Stop being a turd polluting and ultimately killing miraculous Gaia and transform yourself and community into a state of personal well-being, societal harmony, and bioregional sustainability.

Make Love Not War
Believe in something greater than yourself. Commit to action for the land, air, and water. Reach across boundaries to share and love. Nurture and restore natural ecosystems. Work for greater equity where all basic needs are met as those that are smart and work harder have reasonably more. Heal your dysfunctional families and communities. Care for the sick and indigent. Join together in mass protest, when necessary swarming the sources of ecocide and fascism.

Make love not war.

Risk everything to be part of the great ecological transition to come. Ditch your car. Eat less or no meat. Do not consume old-growth forests, rather protect and restore native ecosystems as holy cathedrals that sustain life. Reduce your personal emissions as you come together with others to do so societally. Grow your food, and exchange the surplus with others.

Be kind and giving. Be not envious but rather rejoice in the success of others as it lifts all and provides valuable inspiration to your own journey. Empathize with the broken and aged, and young and stupid. But for the grace of Gaia there go any one of us.

Let’s stop being afraid of taking the actions individually and collectively required to get better and recover from human neuroses. Let us unite as citizens of the world, coming together as one human family on an Earth that lives forever.