Archive for the ‘poison’ Category

I understand that a new phase of drilling has found evidence that 53 million years ago during the Eocene period there were palm trees, macadamia and baobab growing in Antartica. I can’t wait to see how the nay sayers hijack this. Apparently the scientists have also found Archaea which is a single celled organism that can indicate temperature at the time of their demise.

This is fascinating stuff and shows that life can go on. The investigation concludes that the mean winter temperature in Antartica was ten degrees centigrade, daily summer temperatures were in the 20’s. At the time of the eocene, CO2 levels were, apparently, almost double those recorded today. So in theory if the entire world population were to move to the continental Antartic we could live quite happily, like penguins standing huddled together. Not because it is a way of keeping warm, because there would be no room. The entire world would also have to become pescatorian as it is unlikely there would be much if any land capable of growing food. Who knows how long it would take for the seas to run dry of anything edible.

Furthermore, the Eocene period did not arise, in geological terms, overnight. There was a long period allowing creatures (no humans about then) to adapt to the changing climate. With the rapid increase of CO2 currently being experienced, there is little time for the diversity of creatures necessary to sustain mutually supportive guilds to adapt.  To take just a few examples, plants need to adapt to changed environments, but still need to produce pollen and seed. Bees are needed to pollinate the plants, they need to adapt and the bee population is already stressed by human attack and climate change. Mammals and birds eat fruit and scatter seed in their dung, they too will need to adapt, any one failure leads to a gap in the cycle of nature and, potentially, a failing of the system. These examples are of necessity over simplistic but usefully illustrate the point.

Of course the planet will regenerate, perhaps. But it will do so without people. The ultimate smack in the face from an abused planet.

Think about this, the Eocene was 53 million years ago. Homo Sapiens developed anatomical modernity about 200,000 years ago. The sun has about 5.5 billion years worth of hydrogen left, give or take. It is conceivable that in the time from our demise another civilisation could rise. They will probably use the carbon, stored by the earth from our bodies to fuel their vehicles cause climate change and repeat the sad cycle again.

The earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago, she has run about half of her life, assuming dependence on the sun. Multicellular life is believed to have formed around 580 million years ago. I can’t do the sums but that is about 3.9 billion years for life to even start.

Six million years ago our ancestoral line diverged from that of chimpanzees. The earth was formed 4.5 billion years ago and the planet existed quite happily for 4.4998 billion years before we pitched up 200,000 years ago. For 5800000 years the planet suffered no lasting consequences of our ancestors existence. It would seem that in what the beat of a gnats wing Homo Sapiens have managed to despoil our planet almost to the point of no return.

There is an expression used in these parts, ‘You don’t shit on your own doorstep’. Well, it seems we do.

I have just read today’s BBC news concerning the state’s repression of the freedom of speech and action concerning GM. It appears that the government arranged for the closure of public footpaths, the deployment of large numbers of Police Officers (taking them away from other functions no doubt.

What were the protesters, the villains of the piece demonstrating against? A grain crop that actively discourages aphids. Now as a gardner I am not fond of aphids. They do spoil my gooseberry bushes. They infect my cherry tree and anything else they fancy. However, aphids are part of the food chain. The government are aware of the depletion of bird species. They appear to approve of labelling insect friendly seed to encourage us in the gardens of our homes to increase insect populations for the good of bio diversity. Then along comes the aphid killing grain.

The anonymous spokesperson (best be politically correct) for the site stated that the genetically engineered destroyer of nature’s bounty is:

“just one tool in the toolbox to create more sustainable food”.

On what level is it sustainable? How much has been spent on producing enough grain to sow this field? What price does that make a bushel come out at to the retail trade. How is the grain propogated in future, and am I really supposed to believe that the food scientist is a philanthropist who will not expect a vast financial return for taking something freely available to all (essentially grass seed) and turned it into a cash cow. I have seen no figures published to show the ammount of noxious emissions released into the atmosphere of our beleagured planet as a result of the creation of this teenage mutant ninja seed. The oil cost of it’s production and the heat and power wasted are not quantified by anyone.

Perhaps the money would have been better spent converting the sterile field environment into self sustaining food forests. That is what I call sustainable food, not something that requires human input to bring the seed into existence where it may destroy the green and pleasant land it was planted in.

Professor John Pickett, a principal investigator at Rochester Research, told BBC News there was “a very, very remote chance that anything should get out”.

“All it would mean was that some other plant – if it ever did miraculously transfer into another plant – was making a smell like the aphid.”

Is that not the point. There is tacit acceptance that there MAY be some cross contamination and make another plant smell like an aphid thereby depriving the much maligned creature of another chance to breed. This breaks the food chain Professor Pickett. A depletion in aphid numbers = less food for their predators being less food for the predators predators etc etc an nauseum. Result less food for US.


And why are the government supporting the profligate waste of a bankrupt industry. Farming has caused untold damage to the environment sterilising the soil to the point where nothing grows without massive pertro chemical inputs. Oh, of course Dave’s chums need to make a profit to buy another Ferrari, own more houses than they can live in and swill at the trough in a glutonous manner.

I write this as a result of a link on the BBC website, the governments chief scientific officer states;

Professor Beddington said that a more rational debate was needed.

“We have to think about the future,” he told BBC News. “The future is really quite frightening. We are going to see enormous increases in the demand for GM food and who’s going to suffer when the food prices go up? The answer is the poorest of the poor”.

So if GM crops are used and this affects biodiversity, the insect population in particular, they may be no way for open pollinating plants to be pollinated. If there are no such open pollinators all food production will be dependent on the large seed companies who can produce, while there is oil, the seed grain to grow the crops that ‘feed the world’. What happens when the oil runs out that power the production of GM seed grain and all open pollinating ‘natural’ grain has been destroyed?

That may be unduly pessimistic, maybe the companies can keep produce after oil is depeleted.  By that time they will be able to charge what they want for the seed grain as only they will be able to supply it.

I do not profess to understand the manner of producing GM crops. However, can we trust the judgement of scientists? Some while ago, when the hole was discovered in the ozone layer and there were noticeable / recordable  changes in climate the petro chemical industry was able to fund scientists who would say, ‘There is no such thing as climate change’ ‘CO2 emissions are not a problem’ and the world has carried on consuming as much fuel oil as it can. Does anyone else feel like a lemming? Now it appears that even the hard line nay sayers are revising their view on climate change. How long will it be before the GM is perfectly safe lobby are forced to change their collective minds. Before they realise that the grain they produce, grown in huge monoculture agricultural concerns, have destroyed the bio diversity essential for the well being of the entire planet.

My hero Bill has spoken at length about the interconnectedness of all things. Permaculture offers solutions to problema without creating more problems. No excess waste, no over consumption of energy to produce what is necessary. Layering and the creation of food forests are more likely to feed the population than basically barren fields dependant on manufactured fertiliser and providing little or no habitat for native flora and fauna.

Hands up if you think GM is good for the poor?

It seems that Boris Johnson is showing his true colours. As if anyone really needed to be told he is facile.

He rode to power as Mayor of London on the back of his message that bicycle‘s were good and that he was an avid cyclist. Come on, who swallowed that one. Wasn’t Cameron his fag at Eaton? Boris is related to half the royal families of Europe, both extant and extinct. Who really believed he was a posh toff on a bike?

IF he believed in bikes, why then would he now be toeing the conservative party line in making cars his priority, assuming the Daily Mail’s spin on the story is accurate.

The government, and not the Mayor of London, should actually ban all cars from Greater London, improve public and sustainable transport thereby reducing pollution. Freeing up roads for essential emergency services cabs and commercial vehicles. Reducing noise and air pollution and improving the health of Londoners.

I await the death threats from yummy mummies who cannot live without their Chelsea Tractors.



I don’t read newspapers, their production is wasteful and polluting and recycling, while good, on a broad scale involves the use of energy … bad. Better to use them to grow potatoes, as described by Bill Mollison in the Visionaries programme in the 80’s.

The BBC website is always good for a (nervous?)  giggle though.

Yesterday the UK government were introducing secret trials. One days reporting. What knocked that important matter of the page, hosepipe bans. Now don’t get me wrong, this is important, but more important that safeguarding the liberties and rights of ordinary citizens?

On a positive note, and this falls in nicely with the hosepipe ban, climate change gets a mention. It seems ancient sea shells and planktonic skeletal remains recovered from across the  globe support the Aye sayers and destroy one of the major criticisms of ice core research levelled by the Nay sayers.

When I started to read the report I felt despair, ‘Oh here we go again petro-chemical interests trying to de bunk what is frankly obvious if you walk around outdoors.’ But no, a well researched piece highlighting several causes and concerns over climate change. This is a complex matter but that is no reason to stand idly by with our collective thumbs up our bums and minds in neutral.

Earth wobble may explain some of the issues of climate change but this alone cannot account account for the hike in CO2 in the atmosphere. The biggest producer of CO2 is you and me, driven by our consumerist nature’s. Just look at nature, the green things consume, ie reduce, CO2. What does most of a humans life compose of, exhaling CO2, from their bodies, their cars, their factories, their energy production. How can that not have an impact on the planet? CO2 will after all kill you, that’s why, by law, I have to have a CO2 monitor in my home because I have chosen to heat my home with a log burner!

Assuming the previous video has been watched, there is a chance some people may now feel less pleasure in food. The answer is in the garden, no really. Try this as an antidote to the previous post:

I defy anyone not to be uplifted by this single example of permaculture in action. For more in you tube search Geoff Lawton and just enjoy the positivism.