Is this too much to ask?

A toxic crisis in America’s coal country

By Gareth Evans BBC News, Wyoming County, West Virginia  11 February 2019


“The only thing I really care about is getting fresh water the way it was when I was growing up around here,” he says.


“I ain’t worried about the money. I just want clean water.”



US to clean up toxic Vietnam air base.  “The ten-year programme, unveiled more than four decades after the end of the Vietnam War, will cost $183m (£141m).”


Imagine how Jack (quoted above) feels about the story above!


Myrtle’s Medicine

The theme of this essay highlights an excellent example of embodied ways of knowing, especially that which has been nearly destroyed by western culture and prejudice.


Myrtle’s Medicine


by Kinitra Brooks,

Artwork by John Jennings


In this essay and podcast, rootworker and conjure feminist Kinitra Brooks reflects on the meaning and beauty of embodied ways of knowing. In a world where the cosmologies of Black women are continually erased and excluded from knowledge traditions, Kinitra revives the lineage that ended with her late great-grandmother, Mama Myrt, who first introduced her to rootworking traditions and inspired her life’s work. In recognizing historical examples of intellectual matriarchs such as Nanny of the Maroons, Zora Neal Hurston, Tituba, and more, she names conjure feminism as a frame where intellectual traditions and rootworking traditions are woven together.


Until next week,


The Emergence Magazine Team


Can we Afford the Green New Deal?


Can we afford the Green New Deal?  Can there be a doubt?

How Large Are Global Fossil Fuel Subsidies?

“$5.3 trillion in 2015 (6.5% of global GDP)”

World Development

Volume 91, March 2017, Pages 11-27


Author links open overlay panel:  DavidCoady, IanParry, LouisSears, BaopingShang

Show more



“This paper estimates fossil fuel subsidies and the economic and environmental benefits from reforming them, focusing mostly on a broad notion of subsidies arising when consumer prices are below supply costs plus environmental costs and general consumption taxes.

Estimated subsidies are $4.9 trillion worldwide in 2013 and $5.3 trillion in 2015 (6.5% of global GDP in both years). Undercharging for global warming accounts for 22% of the subsidy in 2013, air pollution 46%, broader vehicle externalities 13%, supply costs 11%, and general consumer taxes 8%. China was the biggest subsidizer in 2013 ($1.8 trillion), followed by the United States ($0.6 trillion), and Russia, the European Union, and India (each with about $0.3 trillion). Eliminating subsidies would have reduced global carbon emissions in 2013 by 21% and fossil fuel air pollution deaths 55%, while raising revenue of 4%, and social welfare by 2.2%, of global GDP.”


Photo from Pixabay

Lord give us this night our daily certainty

“Give us God in whatever form She, He, It, or They consents to assume, so long as that transcendent something supplies us with an answer we can curl up around close enough to breathe ourselves to peace, or anyway to sleep. Lord give us this night our daily certainty.”

“The first step toward creating some way out of our dilemma may involve allowing our sense of certainty itself to unravel.”

George Prochnik

Our modern technology has given us a strong sense of certainty by its “swap the board” or “replace the unit” fix.  Unfortunately, main stream science uses a mechanistic model as a basis for “fixing” climate change.  Even the measurement devices are designed for machines instead of a living Earth; a living being.  Homo Sapiens have never encountered the present level of CO2 and some other green-house gasses.  CO2 is now building up in the troposphere at an increasing level and the rate of increase is increasing.  Further the rate of increase is variable and unpredictable.

There is no certainty and no meaningful computer models to assist in predictability.

Of course, this is green fodder for those paid to spread fear and doubt thus discrediting 97% of climate scientists who know that humans are accountable for  this runaway increase in CO2, warming of the oceans and melting of polar icecaps to name a few climate variables.  We accept uncertainty when our physician prescribes a remedy and then tells us that if it doesn’t work we are to return for an alternative.  However, there is no loss of profits in that situation whereas keeping fossil fuel in the ground might throw a few people off the billionaire list!  Sky  31 March, 2019





The Flight from Nature

The Flight from Nature

“Nobody is going to come and get rid of anthropogenic climate change, either—not without putting a full stop at the end of the entire galaxy of extravagant energy-wasting habits that are treated as normal by modern industrial society. That this obvious conclusion is far from obvious to the people who do most of the talking about climate change—that it is in fact unthinkable to them—is, I think, a direct result of the way that modern lifestyles distance people from nature, and especially members of the well-to-do classes that play so central a role in climate change activism. The fact remains that a conclusion can be unthinkable and still be quite true.”

The Flight from Nature  December 19, 2018

John Michael Greer




Tipping Points

“Policymakers “have severely underestimated” the risks of ecological “tipping points” – feedback mechanisms that could occur if certain thresholds are passed – a new study has found. Research published in the journal Science suggests that 45% of potential environmental collapses are interrelated and could amplify one another, highlighting ‘how overstressed and overlapping natural systems are combining to throw up a growing number of unwelcome surprises’, the Guardian writes.

Just 19% of the 30 types of ecosystem transitions studied were happening in isolation.”

Carbon Brief Daily | 20/12/2018


There is no “could occur” about it.  The tipping point has occurred and the feedback mechanisms are spinning away with runaway increases in greenhouse gasses. At the moment, greenhouse gasses are increasing at a rate of over 50% per decade and this rate is also increasing.


Fracking in the US

Fracking in the US


Daily Kos Staff

Friday August 17, 2018 · 9:23 AM PDT

A new study out of Duke University shows that fracking operations in the United States have boomed in their use of water over the past five years. The researchers found that between 2011 and 2016, the amount of water being used, per well, increased 770 percent. On top of that—during the same time—the amount of “brine-laden” wastewater generated by those wells increased 1,440 percent.


First Fern Genome Shows Unique Bacterial Partnership

Discover magazine


First Fern Genome Shows Unique Bacterial Partnership


This article and research further supports James Lovelock and the Daisyworld hypothesis.  Question?  What probable action that we know of will lower the CO2 such that we won’t skip another ice age?  If we don’t have another ice age, then what property or force that we know of will curtail the non-linear increase in CO2.

My previous post about the CO2 and methane being produced under and around thawing permafrost lakes will increase CO2 and with rising oceans, there will be more swamp and more vegetation under water which will increase CO2 and methane from rotting plants.  Why should we not be very, very afraid on behalf of Gaia?



“Though it’s little, the tiny fern Azolla may have changed the world 50 million years ago. Fossil records from the Arctic suggest that these fast-growing, carbon-sequestering ferns removed enough carbon dioxide from Earth’s atmosphere to cool the then-greenhouse globe and allow today’s polar ice caps to form.

In more recent Earth history, rice farmers in Asia have been using Azolla as a natural fertilizer for over 1,000 years. Nostoc azollae, a cyanobacterium species that lives inside Azolla leaves, captures nitrogen from the air and converts it into a form that the ferns — and rice plants — can use.

Many plants have symbiotic relationships with the bacteria living inside them, but Azolla’s partnership with Nostoc is unique because the bacterium lives inside the fern for its whole life and transfers from parent to child when Azolla reproduces. It’s a microbial inheritance that most plants don’t get — they must start fresh with bacteria from the environment.

Evidence hinted that the Azolla fern and its cyanobacterium partner might share a long evolutionary past together. Unraveling the details of their evolutionary history was one reason Li and his team wanted to sequence the Azolla genome.”


“Ferns may have been overlooked partly because they have a reputation for massive genomes that would be expensive to sequence — the average fern has about four times the genetic information of a human — and because the benefits of sequencing fern genomes is not immediately obvious compared to sequencing the genomes of other plants, like agricultural crops.”


“Comparing the new Azolla genome with the previously-sequenced Nostoc genome confirms that the fern and the cyanobacterium have been partners for as long as 100 million years, evolving and branching into new species together. From experiments with the fern’s genome, Li’s team found that the cyanobacterium’s ability to capture nitrogen from air keeps the fern nourished when other nitrogen sources aren’t available.”


“Li’s team studied the fern genomes to track down the origin of the natural pesticides and found evidence that in Salvinia, the pesticide protein might have come from bacteria rather than from plant ancestors. Transferring genes between species is fairly common among bacteria (this is what makes bacteria so good at resisting antibiotics) but rare in more complex life, like plants.”



Melting Permafrost Below Arctic Lakes Dangerous NASA Warns

Melting Permafrost Below Arctic Lakes Is Even More Dangerous to the Climate, NASA Warns


Scientists have worried for years that rising temperatures will free carbon trapped in frozen soil in the Arctic, accelerating the pace of climate change — but now they believe abrupt thawing below lakes is even more dangerous.

That’s the finding of a new paper published as part of a 10-year NASA collaboration to study how climate change will play out in the icy Arctic region.



“We don’t have to wait 200 or 300 years to get these large releases of permafrost carbon,” lead study author Katey Walter Anthony, an ecologist at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, said in a NASA statement about the research. “Within my lifetime, my children’s lifetime, it should be ramping up. It’s already happening but it’s not happening at a really fast rate right now, but within a few decades, it should peak.” [Climate Change Strengthens Earth’s ‘Heartbeat’ — and That’s Bad News



The Truth Sometimes Hurts

The Truth Sometimes Hurts

We scientists need help to communicate in a post-truth world


By Kate Marvel on August 8, 2018


“More seriously, every time I talk about the uncertainties inherent in climate projections, I feel attacked from all sides of the climate mitigation debate. I admit that in the current landscape, any expression of uncertainty is immediately weaponized by those who want to delay climate action.”


Stop and think a minute. Many of our professionals work in an atmosphere of uncertainty. Take, for instance, our medical profession.  Despite their utmost efforts to “get it right” all the time, the human body doesn’t react to medicine in the same way every day.  Why?  We are a complex, living organism, not a machine.  Earth is a complex, living organism also. As a living organism, our usual measuring instruments miss the mark because they were designed to deal with a machine-like inanimate “things.” Thus there has to be some uncertainty with climate change predictions.  Consider weather.  The weather forecasts are full of uncertainty and often off centre.  So, we live with that.  Climate is just weather over a long period of time.


Consider our dedicated and compassionate medical workers do their best with the tools they have available yet they work daily with uncertainty and we accept that.


Climate scientists are often in the best position to analyse and make responsible moral judgements re: climate change.  Who knows better?  When it comes to risk, I’d sooner believe a few climate change researchers than a spokesperson for an industry that takes profits from CO2 emitting activities.