Quiet revolution

Direct combination of interpreted geological temperature records is not necessarily valid, nor is their combination with other more recent temperature records, which may use different definitions. Nevertheless, an overall perspective is useful even when imprecise. In this view time is plotted backwards from the present. It is scaled linear in five separate segments, expanding by about an order of magnitude at each vertical break. Temperatures in the left-hand panel are very approximate, and best viewed as a qualitative indication only.

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2019/02/17 11:15 · Beauty

Potential natural vegetation (PNV) is a concept used to investigate and evaluate the theoretical potential of the natural environment of an area that may have had its environmental and geographical conditions modified by human activities over time. More exactly, it is the vegetation that would be expected given environmental constraints (climate, geomorphology, geology) without human intervention or a hazard event and is useful for the regeneration of natural vegetation. Native species are considered having optimum ecological resilience for their native environment, and the best potential to enhance biodiversity. To determine “natural” vegetation, scientists research the original vegetation of a land through retrospective ecology. Past ecosystems allowed to demonstrate, for instance, that numerous contemporary biotopes, supposedly largely untouched, were in fact very remote from their natural vegetation.

What about climate change?

It was first proposed by German vegetation ecologist Reinhold Tüxen in 1956 as a new idea to understand nature.

The idea of creating a forest by closely planting together different types of trees of the potential natural vegetation of the land, based on PNV, is called the Miyawaki Method. Closely and randomly planting many types of seedlings results in creating forests of tall and medium high trees as found in natural forest systems, which will reinforce diversity and resistance and will lead to co-existence of plants and draw from the vital energy of the trees themselves. Human support for tree growth are required only for the first three years after planting. After that, forest management is left to nature.

Save for that the climate is changing rather rapidly.

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2019/02/17 08:24 · Beauty

Is that politics that wishes to build more ecological resilience? Does it question economic development, based on the accumulation of material goods, industrialisation and urbanisation? Or is it the study of the relationships between political, economic and social factors with environmental issues and changes. A study, and not politics at all.

Like Charbonneau, I believe political liberation to be a myth. Neither left nor right (a distinction made that serves not having to really listen), I read a discussion centering around “what types of new political design would be required for a new political ecology”?

Brian Holmes: The first institutional form we need is a discursive one capable of admitting, thematising and discussing the intertwined nature of the economic and the ecological dead-end we are now in.

The problem is that people tend to not want to know (let alone admit) to any kind of problem, if there is no known solution. “One has to show up on people's doorsteps with resources and material advantages. A movement like that has to ask and answer “how we live” on a nuts and bolts, brick and mortar level.”

Brian Holmes: Big corporate bets are never placed in situations of radial uncertainty that only governments can resolve, so there is as yet no massive collective investment in new (regenerative) productive capacity.

Address people instead. Door to door again, with a dignified cult of minimalism, a democratised reigning in of consumerism gone mad, centering on the common basics of life. Will that be “sellable”? Good luck with that.

Vincent Gaulin: Mass movements require a literal institution of living together.

And that is where Lucia S. makes a point I could not agree with more:

Lots of people are experimenting with intentional communities, but they’re not for everyone. I’ve lived in and around several such communities and co-ops of activists, and while I found them inspiring in many ways, I could only live that way short-term. The main reason being that, as one on the introverted end of the spectrum, I found them oppressively social. I couldn’t work and organize all day and then interface with that number of people constantly in my living environment.
Also, as one raised by a parent with a personality disorder, I have little tolerance for the sort of narcissistic destructiveness and social dysfunction they produce. Given that this personality type now seems endemic in our society, I find non-social, or minimally social, space even more necessary. I mention this not because my experience is unique but rather because I think it is common. Hence much of the appeal of dominant consumerist narratives of designing or renovating the perfect nuclear family home, retiring to the countryside to escape the stress of modern society, or isolated “cocooning” with Netflix. We can’t ignore the appeal of these narratives if we hope to produce alternatives that are compelling to large numbers of people.

Retiring to the countryside to escape the stress of modern society? Everyone is invited to realise the unity of their thought and actions, to focus on such authenticity and walk their talk.

2018/12/30 06:03 · Beauty

Political liberation is a myth: only local resistance has meaning.

Bernard Charbonneau was one of the first intellectuals to question economic development, based on the accumulation of material goods, industrialisation and urbanisation.

Bernard Charbonneau is above all a pioneer of ecology in France. By 1936, he had written a founding text: “The feeling of nature, a revolutionary force.” He already considered that technology was the decisive factor of our modern society: we know how much this intuition will inspire Jacques Ellul. And Charbonneau defends in 1945 the idea of ​​an empowerment of technology. He then devotes his research to what he calls “the great moult of humanity”, and the threats it poses to the natural environment and human freedom.

Freedom is indeed the second great theme of his reflection, which he shares with Ellul: freedom, according to him, consists in tearing oneself away from social and psychological determinations, to accomplish a personal act, that is to say to realize in his life the unity of his thought and his actions. But the Promethean pretensions of modern man and the sprawling state undermine the conditions of possibility of a true freedom. It is to a reconquest of one's own life that everyone is invited. Political liberation is a myth: only local resistance makes sense. It's all about telling the truth about propaganda.

2018/12/29 07:28 · Beauty