Technology

Technology

Many more people and far fewer jobs.  What does that add up to?

 

 

“…there’s little doubt that the main thrust of the research is accurate: lots of non-routine, cognitive, white-collar as well as blue-collar jobs are going to be eliminated in the next two decades and we need to be planning for that contingency now.”

 

“Combinatorial innovation is a different kettle of fish, because it feeds on itself and grows exponentially. Given that we’re bound to lose this race against the machine, isn’t it time we began thinking of how we might harness it to improve the quality of our lives, rather than merely enrich the corporations that own it?”

 

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/17/we-ignore-new-machine-age-at-our-peril-google-cars

 

 

An Ozymandian Nightmare Part 13 and Final Post

What’s with Ozymandias?

 

Roman-era historian Diodorus Siculus, who described a statue of Ozymandias, more commonly known as Rameses II (possibly the pharaoh referred to in the Book of Exodus). Diodorus reports the inscription on the statue, which he claims was the largest in Egypt, as follows: “King of Kings Ozymandias am I. If any want to know how great I am and where I lie, let him outdo me in my work.” (The statue and its inscription do not survive, and were not seen by Shelley; his inspiration for  [the sonnet]  “Ozymandias” was verbal rather than visual.)  http://www.poetryfoundation.org/learning/guide/238972   View Shelley’s sonnet here.

 

 

This paper is a commentary on the book; Keeping the Wild:  Against the Domestication of Earth

The book is Edited by George Wuerthner, Eileen Crist, and Tom Butler. Published by the Foundation for Deep Ecology in collaboration with Island Press, 2014, Washington D.C.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

I’ve grown weary of reading multiple versions of this sad news.  So, I’ll stop here and continue later on, perhaps on  a different subject.  One can only bear so much sad news without slipping into despair. This I will not let happen.

 

So what is the Ozymandian Nightmare?  A managed Earth.

 

 

Earth Flag

The International Flag of the Planet Earth

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_the_Earth

 

Oskar Pernefeldt’s proposal

In May 2015 a Swedish artist, Oskar Pernefeldt,[12] formally proposed the International Flag of the Planet Earth.[13] It was conceived to be used in space expeditions and it has two main purposes:

  1. To be used while representing planet Earth.
  2. To remind the people of Earth that we share this planet, no matter of national boundaries. That we should take care of each other and the planet we live on.

The creators predict that it will be eventually used in Mars landing in 2025 or in a future colony on that planet. The design of the flag consists of seven rings intersecting each other and a deep-blue-sea in the background. The rings are centered on the flag forming a flower in the middle, representing life on Earth. The intersection of the rings represent that all things on Earth are linked directly or indirectly. The rings are organized in a Borromean rings–like fashion,[citation needed] representing how no part of Earth can be removed without the whole structure collapsing. Finally, the deep-blue represents the ocean and the importance of water for life on Earth.

 

Earth Flag

Internatiional flag of the Earth

Why can’t we lower CO2 levels?

 

 

Peak oil has either passed or will occur any day now.  Informed ecological professionals warn us that fossil fuels must be left in the ground.  Where will the money come from to enable airlines to pay for their new aircraft?  Where will the money come from to pay for airport expansion? Who is paying for dirty coal extraction and fracking?  The answer is taxpayers!  In a half an hour I was able to find reliable evidence at the incredible amount of worldwide government subsidies that underpin economic expansion.  How can the expanding volume of CO2 and other GHGs be lowered if the obvious coalition of government policy and corporate profit objectives continue?

View references below:   Note, increases in commercial aircraft, airports, coal fired power, oil extraction and extensive subsidies.

 

 

Airlines Add Capacity Strategically As Demand For Air Travel Soars

Trefis Team Trefis Team , Contributor  8/26/2014

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2014/08/26/airlines-add-capacity-strategically-as-demand-for-air-travel-soars/

 

 

 

Boeing’s profits surge as commercial aircraft sales increase

22 Apr 2015

http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/106387/boeings-profits-surge-as-commercial-aircraft-sales-increase-61109.html

 

 

 

 

 

“The world now consumes 85 million barrels of oil per day, or 40,000 gallons per second, and demand is growing exponentially.”

http://www.oildecline.com/

 

“Economic life is ultimately determined by the ability of an aircraft to generate profits for the airlines that operate it both in absolute terms and also relative to alternative aircraft types that might be available as competitors at the outset or introduced later in its life. As a broad rule of thumb, current generation 100+ seat commercial jets will have an economic life of around 25 years, although plenty will still be in commercial service beyond 30 years and life extension through cargo conversion is also possible for some aircraft.”

http://avolon.aero/aircraft-as-investments/

 

“In reality, some industries consistently achieve excess returns (ROIC [ return on invested capital > WACC) [,weighted average cost of capital] often due to structural or regulatory factors. In any regulated industry, entry – and exit – are typically distorted in some way. The airline sector achieves one of the lowest levels of ROIC of any industry and is one of the few that consistently fails to meet its WACC.”

 

“According to IATA’s Jun-2013 report “’Profitability and the air transport value chain’”

“the airline industry generated an average return on invested capital (ROIC) of 4.1% in the 2004 to 2011 business cycle, a very small improvement on the 3.8% achieved in the 1996 to 2004 cycle. This remains well below the weighted average cost of capital (WACC), which falls in a range of 7% to 9%.”

 

“The airline sector achieves one of the lowest levels of ROIC of any industry and is one of the few that consistently fails to meet its WACC.”

 

“The failure to generate economic returns (i.e. where ROIC > WACC) reflects problems both with the airline industry supply chain and the structure of the industry. Every other element in the supply chain generates higher returns than airlines themselves, in some cases significantly higher.”

 

http://centreforaviation.com/analysis/airline-profitability-airlines-can-no-longer-afford-to-be-the-poor-relations-of-aviation-117521

 

 

 

“A central argument of some U.S. airlines seeking government protection from foreign competition is that the Persian Gulf States have been inappropriately and unfairly helping the Gulf carriers become established with financial aid. What this report shines a bright light on is the simple fact that government assistance has long been provided on a very large scale to airlines around the world, including in the U.S.,” stated BTC [Business Travel Coalition] Chairman Kevin Mitchell.”

 

“In addition to federal subsidies, U.S. airlines also benefit from state subsidies. Unite Here, a union affiliated with the AFL-CIO, issued a report last month claiming that U.S. airlines receive state subsidies that it says amount to $1 billion a year.”

 

“It is time to ensure U.S. airlines and their workers are operating on a level playing field with their state-funded competitors in the Middle East. U.S. airlines shouldn’t have to compete with the treasuries of foreign governments who offer their state-owned carriers blank checks.”

 

 

http://skift.com/2015/04/09/wikileaks-disclosure-shows-u-s-airlines-received-billions-in-subsidies/

 

 

“The petition, presented to the Parliament Petitions Committee chair Cecilia Wikström and Green MEP Keith Taylor, calls for an end to the absurd situation where European governments miss out on €40 billion every year because commercial airlines pay no tax on fuel and are exempt from VAT.”

 

 

 

Fossil fuels subsidised by $10m a minute, says IMF

‘Shocking’ revelation finds $5.3tn subsidy estimate for 2015 is greater than the total health spending of all the world’s governments”

 

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/18/fossil-fuel-companies-getting-10m-a-minute-in-subsidies-says-imf

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for Consciousness

“Looking for consciousness in the world is a bit like studying a movie, looking for the source of its light. Nowhere would we find it. The light is not in the movie. The movie is made of light.”

The Reality of Consciousness by Peter Russell http://www.peterrussell.com/Odds/RealityConsc.pdf

Similarly, one cannot find “the self” because what we are is not a thing “out there” to be found.  We are what we are looking for.  Also, there is nobody doing the looking for again there is only “the seeing, the hearing, the sensing, etc.” and nobody doing it. Many call this unity consciousness.  I call it being lived by Earth or Gaia. All we can detect is the consciousness of Gaia.  Cosmic consciousness is too far removed and may be set aside as pure speculation and most probably unknowable.  Gaia consciousness can be known and realised because it is we; there is no other.

 

An Ozymandian Nightmare Part 12

What’s with Ozymandias?

 

Roman-era historian Diodorus Siculus, who described a statue of Ozymandias, more commonly known as Rameses II (possibly the pharaoh referred to in the Book of Exodus). Diodorus reports the inscription on the statue, which he claims was the largest in Egypt, as follows: “King of Kings Ozymandias am I. If any want to know how great I am and where I lie, let him outdo me in my work.” (The statue and its inscription do not survive, and were not seen by Shelley; his inspiration for  [the sonnet]  “Ozymandias” was verbal rather than visual.)  http://www.poetryfoundation.org/learning/guide/238972   View Shelley’s sonnet here.

 

 

This paper is a commentary on the book; Keeping the Wild:  Against the Domestication of Earth

The book is Edited by George Wuerthner, Eileen Crist, and Tom Butler. Published by the Foundation for Deep Ecology in collaboration with Island Press, 2014, Washington D.C.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

This  entry is an editorial, ‘The New Conservation”

published on-line in the Society for Conservation Biology, 19 September, 2013.

 

Herein, Soule speaks out in response to a postmodernist approach to conservation. He points out that ninety eight percent of charitable contributions in the US target humans and human issues “that may seem more tangible to the average citizen than Earth’s unravelling ecological fabric.”  If the “new Conservationists” can be taken seriously, it appears that humanitarianism should take prominence over Nature and the other-than-human beings that have become before us and to whom we owe our very existence and continuance as a species. Soule speaks of how this new movement seeks to “replace the biodiversity-based model of traditional conservation with campaigns emphasising human economic progress.”  Under the new regime, humans will makeover the so-called “failed” efforts of conservation measures and manage the Earth as a garden for human use and welfare. Perhaps Erle Ellis puts it succinctly: “Nature is gone.”

 

“The manifesto of the new conservation movement is “Conservation in the Anthropocene: Beyond Solitude and Fragility” (Lalasz et al. 2011; see also Kareiva 2012). In the latter document, the authors assert that the mission of conservation ought to be primarily humanitarian, not nature (or biological diversity) protection: “Instead of pursuing the protection of biodiversity for biodiversity’s sake, a new conservation should seek to enhance those natural systems that benefit the widest number of people, especially the poor” (emphasis added). In light of its humanitarian agenda and in conformity with Foreman’s (2012) distinction between environmentalism (a movement that historically aims to improve human well-being, mostly by reducing air and water pollution and ensuring food safety) and conservation, both the terms new and conservation are inappropriate.

 

Proponents declare that their new conservation will measure its achievement in large part by its relevance to people, including city dwellers. Underlying this radically humanitarian vision is the belief that nature protection for its own sake is a dysfunctional, antihuman anachronism. To emphasize its radical departure from conservation, the characters of older conservation icons, such as Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and Edward Abbey, are defamed as hypocrites and misanthropes and contemporary conservation leaders and writers are ignored entirely (Lalasz et al. 2011).”

 

“(1)  The new conservationists assume biological diversity conservation is out of touch with the economic realities of ordinary people, even though this is manifestly false. Since its inception, the Society for Conservation Biology has included scores of progressive social scientists among its editors and authors (see also letters in BioScience, April 2012, volume 63, number 4: 242–243).

 

(2) The new conservationists also assert that national parks and protected areas serve only the elite, but a poll conducted by the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association and the National Park Hospitality Association estimates that 95% of voters in America want continued government support for parks (National Parks Conservation Association 2012).

 

(3) Furthermore, Lalasz et al. (2011) argue that it should be a goal of conservation to spur economic growth in habitat-eradicating sectors, such as forestry, fossil-fuel exploration and extraction, and agriculture.

 

(4) The key assertion of the new conservation is that affection for nature will grow in step with income growth. The problem is that evidence for this theory is lacking. In fact, the evidence points in the opposite direction, in part because increasing incomes affect growth in per capita ecological footprint (Soulé 1995; Oates 1999).”

 

© 2013 Society for Conservation Biology

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cobi.12147/full  Contains full article

 

 

An Ozymandian Nightmare Part 11

An Ozymandian Nightmare Part 11

 

What’s with Ozymandias?

Roman-era historian Diodorus Siculus, who described a statue of Ozymandias, more commonly known as Rameses II (possibly the pharaoh referred to in the Book of Exodus). Diodorus reports the inscription on the statue, which he claims was the largest in Egypt, as follows: “King of Kings Ozymandias am I. If any want to know how great I am and where I lie, let him outdo me in my work.” (The statue and its inscription do not survive, and were not seen by Shelley; his inspiration for  [the sonnet]  “Ozymandias” was verbal rather than visual.)  http://www.poetryfoundation.org/learning/guide/238972   View Shelley’s sonnet here.

This paper is a commentary on the book; Keeping the Wild:  Against the Domestication of Earth

The book is Edited by George Wuerthner, Eileen Crist, and Tom Butler. Published by the Foundation for Deep Ecology in collaboration with Island Press, 2014, Washington D.C.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Conservation in No-Man’s-Land

 

Claudio Campagna and Daniel Guevara provide a well prepared rebuttal of the claims of the HCCs. [Human Centred Conservationists]

 

Claudio Campagna is a Senior Research Zoologist affiliated with the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Daniel Guevara is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

 

They pose that the “deepest issue – the real crisis – is that we do not have  the concepts or language for expressing, or explicitly understanding, the intrinsic value of Nature; nor, therefore, for articulating its violation.”

 

I fully agree and add that the reason for this is primarily that we do not realise that we are the Earth.  We are Nature.  We use tools designed to measure “things”, mechanical objects and use the results to pronounce about the hows and whys of a living being. Further, Earth is an immense and intelligent living being.  We treat Earth the way we do because we do not love the Earth, our higher self. Unfortunately for Earth, including all life therein, we speak of the planet as “it” and consider “it” as out there.

Our religious traditions were formed by people utterly devoid of scientific knowledge, steeped in hubris, and dedicated totally toward establishing principles approved by their personal God.  Next they set up a hierarchy of special men who were imbued with the authority to speak “for” God.  Following was a kicker message devised to frighten the masses into submission by pronouncing that their God would punish them for disobeying the opinions of their God’s spokespersons on Earth.  Even into modern times, we have millions who live in fear of damnation and disapproval of their God.

Sadly, when so many people believe that humans are especially fabricated in God’s image and then thrust upon the Earth to, as written in Genesis 1:28 “…Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

 

Actually, the domestication of the Earth underpins the religious foundation of both Christianity and Judaism.

 

How could we ever expect a population from  Christian and Jewish religious Sunday schools to love and cherish the Earth when they have been taught that their God has given  the Earth to humans to subdue?

An Ozymandian Nightmare Part 10

What’s with Ozymandias?

Roman-era historian Diodorus Siculus, who described a statue of Ozymandias, more commonly known as Rameses II (possibly the pharaoh referred to in the Book of Exodus). Diodorus reports the inscription on the statue, which he claims was the largest in Egypt, as follows: “King of Kings Ozymandias am I. If any want to know how great I am and where I lie, let him outdo me in my work.” (The statue and its inscription do not survive, and were not seen by Shelley; his inspiration for  [the sonnet]  “Ozymandias” was verbal rather than visual.)  http://www.poetryfoundation.org/learning/guide/238972   View Shelley’s sonnet here.

This paper is a commentary on the book; Keeping the Wild:  Against the Domestication of Earth

The book is Edited by George Wuerthner, Eileen Crist, and Tom Butler. Published by the Foundation for Deep Ecology in collaboration with Island Press, 2014, Washington D.C.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

What’s So New about the “New Conservation”?

 

Curt Meine

 

Curt Meine, Ph.D., is a conservation biologist, historian, and writer.

 

Let us schedule that Funeral

 

In this essay Meine begins with a story, somewhat of a parody concerning the new Conservationists.  As I’ve posted, I choose to refer to them as Human Centred Conservationists as opposed to the established and sensible effort to protect the biodiversity and integrity of all life on Earth.  Life on Earth is NOT all about people. We emerged only yesterday in the chronology of Earth’s development and our frontal lobe growth may at the end of the day cause us to be a failed experiment or failed evolutionary development.

 

Meine continues on the theme of disagreeing that the “old” conservationists agreed and promoted the idea that wilderness must be “pristine” and excluded humans.  There is valid evidence that this is absolutely false.  This falseness is exposed here and in several essays to follow.  “Old” conservationists did acknowledge the rights of humans to co-exist with other-than-human beings.  “Old” conservationists did not blindly adhere to the mythical “balance of a static Nature.  “Old” conservationists disagree that modern science has pronounced that the Earth is actually tough and resilient.  Looking at Earth as a living being must remind us that humans, for instance, can look resilient yet suffer and sustain life threatening illness. Destroying diversity is dangerous to the maintenance of Earth’s Health. A healthy human population requires a healthy Earth.  “Old” conservationists failed according to HCCs.  One look at the Wildlands Network: http://www.wildlandsnetwork.org/our-network reflects the unfairness of this statement.  Anyway, whatever the limitations to conservationists goal achievement such would not justify giving up the attempt.  Children still smoke, but who would use this as an excuse to give up trying to prevent the exploitation of the young by selling them tobacco?

 

Meine concludes with this quote from Aldo Leopold, the honoured prophet and mentor of the conservation movement:

 

“I have no illusions about the speed or accuracy with which an ecological conscience can become functional.  It has required 19 centuries to define decent man-to-man conduct and the process is only half done; it may take as long to evolve a code of decency for man-to-land conduct.

 

[Sky:  Sorry, but we just don’t have that long to wait. Aldo couldn’t have known this.  Who knows what he would have said could he have had access to the climate change scientific evidence we have now?]

 

In such matters we should not worry too much about anything except the direction in which we travel.

 

[Sky: We know now that speed is important]

 

The direction is clear, and the first step is to throw your weight around on matters of right and wrong in land-use.  Cease being intimidated by the argument that a right action is impossible because it does not yield maximum profits,

 

[Sky: Avoiding air travel whenever possible falls into this category.  It is just not true that “the plane will fly anyway even if you don’t”. Every 50 or so people that quit flying along a particular connection means too many empty seats and the cancellation of that flight.  When these individual actions add up to significant drops in passenger miles, new aircraft builds will be cancelled and flight frequencies lowered.  The law of supply and demand still rules.]

 

or that a wrong action is to be condoned because it pays.

 

[Sky:  This is the pragmatist outlook which I despise now and the moment I first read about it in 1958]

 

 

 

That philosophy is dead in human relations, and its funeral in land-relations is overdue.”

[Sky: well, it has been resurrected by the HCCs – Human Centred Conservationists]

 

 

Yes, it is long overdue and Conservation Biologists worldwide and lay-people like myself can work tirelessly to schedule that funeral.

 

Problems with biofuels

 

Researchers find sweet source for aviation biofuel

By Mark Kinver

Environment reporter, BBC News

8 June 2015

 

This proposal leaves out a couple of important factors in the equation.

 

(1)  Growing sugarcane on marginal land will require lots of water and fertiliser.  It intensifies the implementation of what is becoming a process of the colonisation of Earth as a huge human food garden.  Life on Earth is not all about humans.

 

(2)  Our ecosystem sequesters carbon.  Growing sugarcane for biofuel for aircraft power simply redistributes CO2 from lower levels of the troposphere to the stratosphere where other elements such as nitrogen destroys ozone and adds soot and other noxious chemicals.

 

(3) The better answer is the gradual limitation of air travel by various means which are doable but require a change in our behaviour.  Our economic system is on a course of self-destruction and disintegration.  Let us have a good look at it and change while we can.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-33051949

 

 

 

“Ecosystems regulate Earth’s climate by adding and removing greenhouse gases (GHG) such as CO2 from the atmosphere. In fact, forests, grasslands, peat swamps, and other terrestrial ecosystems collectively store much more carbon than does the atmosphere (Lal 2002). By storing this carbon in wood, other biomass, and soil, ecosystems keep CO2 out of the atmosphere, where it would contribute to climate change. Beyond just storing carbon, many systems also continue to accumulate it in plants and soil over time, thereby “sequestering” additional carbon each year. Disturbing these systems with fire, disease, or vegetation conversion (e.g., land use / land cover (LULC) conversion) can release large amounts of CO2. Other management changes, like forest restoration or alternative agricultural practices, can lead to the storage of large amounts of CO2. Therefore, the ways in which we manage terrestrial ecosystems are critical to regulating our climate.”

http://ncp-dev.stanford.edu/~dataportal/invest-releases/documentation/current_release/carbonstorage.html

 

An Ozymandian Nightmare Part 9

 

What’s with Ozymandias?

Roman-era historian Diodorus Siculus, who described a statue of Ozymandias, more commonly known as Rameses II (possibly the pharaoh referred to in the Book of Exodus). Diodorus reports the inscription on the statue, which he claims was the largest in Egypt, as follows: “King of Kings Ozymandias am I. If any want to know how great I am and where I lie, let him outdo me in my work.” (The statue and its inscription do not survive, and were not seen by Shelley; his inspiration for  [the sonnet]  “Ozymandias” was verbal rather than visual.)  http://www.poetryfoundation.org/learning/guide/238972   View Shelley’s sonnet here.

This paper is a commentary on the book; Keeping the Wild:  Against the Domestication of Earth

The book is Edited by George Wuerthner, Eileen Crist, and Tom Butler. Published by the Foundation for Deep Ecology in collaboration with Island Press, 2014, Washington D.C.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

With Friends Like These, Wilderness and Biodiversity Do Not Need Enemies

David Johns

 

“Those orchestrating and profiting from the ever-growing transformation of the natural world into commodities have always had apologists.”

In this essay, David chooses five of what I think are the most outrageous pronouncements by major figures in the HCC crowd.  He starts with:

 

1)         Wilderness and biodiversity protection goals must be curtailed and clearly tied to human interests in order to be achievable. 

 

Johns responds with an explanation of how foreign this statement must sound to those who have understood the science findings of how the planet takes care of itself and how much work in cooperation has already been achieved.

I am irritated to see such a blatantly pragmatic and anthropocentric statement.  Earth is not all about humans. How much wilderness is left has no bearing on the intrinsic value of habitat undamaged by humans.  As for biodiversity, it should not be coupled with wilderness.  Biodiversity is our name for the fecundity of the planet.  Even if we don’t understand the whys, recognising its existence as a celebration of Earth’s energy is enough to merit working with it rather than wiping it out as a by-product of our colonisation of all life.

 

2)         Humans have always been everywhere, [ridiculous, blatantly false.  We are a recent and deadly result of what we call evolution.] have fundamentally changed virtually every place on Earth, so there are no pristine lands (wilderness) to protect.  [Again false, humans have not fundamentally changed anything.  Fundamentally, all we see around us IS the Earth.  We have only diminished Gaia’s health and eliminated much of Gaia’s protection implementations.  Yes, we have destroyed but not fundamentally.  The non-existence of wilderness is a worn, tired and thoroughly bashed concept whose day has come and gone.  Just because the wilderness of history has been abused almost beyond recognition doesn’t mean that we have to cease all effort to reserve adequate habitat for other-than-human beings.  Johns devotes several pages refuting this statement.

 

3)         Humans are part of Nature [this is absurdly obvious unless one believes that we are aliens or that we have been genetically modified by aliens] and so our effects on other species, our efforts to dominate, and our attempts to turn the world into a garden are all natural.

I find this attitude almost complete unbelievable.  It seems to me that it must have been issued from the ravings of insanity – seriously.  This is tantamount to the following belief:  Thousands upon thousands of humans kill other humans; humans are part of Nature, so killing each other is natural.  I could go on with other examples but they are too absurd to write down.  We have sound environmental ethics that are accepted by subject matter experts as sound and in tune with an ecocentric worldview.  No other living being kills and destroys out of what we have labelled as greed.  Rapacious, especially insatiable killing is not and never has been seen as natural; let’s don’t go there!!!

 

4)  Humans are part of Nature, and reserves of various sorts separate us from the natural world.

This statement seems to me to be rather weak.  Violent fathers are separated from their wives and children so they will not be harmed or killed.  Humans who kill, rape and steal are separated from the innocent and peace-loving others in a society.  I recently saw a photo of what was claimed to be the last remaining West African black rhino.  It seems obvious that black rhinos were NOT separated from humans soon enough.  I think I’ve made my point.

 

5)         Human wants must take priority over needs of other species, even to the point of extinction.

Well, this takes the cake.  Perhaps this is why Michael Soule, as I interpret his statements, does not consider HCC as a conservation group.  I fully agree.  That’s why I say that they are a human centred conservation group. I suppose I’m meant to come around to the idea that being natural, I should expect to encourage people to have as many children as they like because that is ‘natural.’  Being that we are natural, then it follows that we should grab every available square inch of planetary surface to house and feed our children.  Then if one goes further with this hubris and sees oneself at the pinnacle of Evolutionary development and decides that humans are the hope of the planet or that humans are Gaia’s way to become aware of itself. [I’m at a loss for words here as our language is confined to a subject being a person, place or thing and our grammar 3rd person singular as a he, she or it. Where do you fit a living, loving, conscious planet?  He, she or it?]

So, being natural does not justify an attitude that it is acceptable or right livelihood for us to crowd out so many other beings.  For that matter, we do try to crowd out our gut and stomach microbes that are essential to our health.  We swallow medicines that indiscriminately kill both harmful and beneficial microbes instead of looking at the whole system as a balanced, living organ and working with it rather than poisoning it.

Before I continue digging a hole for myself, I must go back to the idea of justifying our behaviour.  Morals and ethics are human concepts.  When we preserve a human centred perspective, then it is logical that we promote human centred morals and ethics.  However, over the last 500 years or so, our scientific evidence points out that we have essential dependencies, unavoidable dependencies.  We don’t even know how our heart keeps on beating.  We don’t cause it to beat.  In fact, we might even start to question whether there is actually a ‘me’ in our body controlling everything. Peter Russell, an evolutionary futurist http://www.peterrussell.com/index2.php] wrote a paper that I once possessed which contained a fascinating thought experiment as follows:  Suppose you placed your five senses in one room and the rest of your body in another room.  Now where are YOU?  Our body is composed of several highly developed organisms made up of highly specialised cells and millons of microscopic beings living both within these cells and swimming around outside them both inside our bodies and outside on our skin.  Where is the controller located?  Where is the me?  I don’t know and even if I did know, we have not developed a language for me to explain it.  Why, because we are caught in an inadequate worldview that doesn’t incorporate our 21st century spiritual and scientific experience.  When HCCs advocate human priority over other species, do they consider that that priority shift might take the form of eliminating necessary beings that make up the cooperative venture we call ‘my body’?  Furthermore, what’s with ‘my body’?  What gives us ownership of these millions of beings and complex organisms?  Enough said.

 

David johns closes with a brilliant quote from D.H.Lawrence:

 

“We are bleeding at the roots, because we are cut off from the Earth and the sun and the stars, and love is a grinning mockery, because, poor blossom, we plucked it from its stem on the tree of life, and expected it to keep on blossoming in our civilized vase on the table.”

‘A Propos of Lady Chatterley’s Lover’, in Phoenix II, ( London: Heinemann, 1968), 504.  Johns continues:

 

“This is the great sacrifice we have made, and it need not be.”