Sunday 20th of June 2021

an alien in town...

soldier fliessoldier flies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a "new" fly in town… It has been introduced a while back in Australia… 

 

Hermetia illucens [black soldier fly] originates from the Americas, and was probably introduced into Australia by the importation of decaying plant material (Callan 1974). It is now well established throughout Australia, and has been recorded from all states except South Australia, although it almost certainly exists there too. Although the authenticity of the Tasmanian record is questionable, this represents the southern-most occurrence of this species globally (Callan 1974). 

 

(https://keyserver.lucidcentral.org/key-server/data/06080c0a-0f01-4406-86...)

 

It seems that with “climate change” (aka human induced global warming at a rate of knots) this fly is becoming more prevalent in the Sydney region. It has been my observation that this species of fly LIKES WHITE ACRYLIC PAINT (dry or wet). It could be that the acrylic scent reminds them of peromenomes or rubbish… I don’t know. But I’ve notice them coming the edge of my pots and then flying into the paint. Of course they struggle a bit, but soon sink and die. 

 

But I could blame "Gardening Australia" for encouraging its existence. 

 

Costa meets Gavin Smith, gardener and insect enthusiast, who farms black soldier flies and their larvae in a purpose-built compost bin. Black soldier fly larvae are great composters of food scraps and the protein packed larvae can be harvested to feed to chooks and used for bait in fishing.

 

Black soldier flies are Hermetia illucens. They are black and 15mm long. They look like a small black wasp. They are an introduced species in Australia but now occur worldwide.

 

Gardeners can mistake black soldier fly larvae in their compost for the maggots of blowflies, but unlike maggots, black soldier fly larvae eat vegetable food scraps. They are eating machines, turning scraps into compost much more rapidly than worms. They are good to have in your compost and can process (eat!) large amounts of scraps very quickly.

 

You can build a purpose-built black soldier fly farm to encourage the fly to lay eggs into your food scrap container or compost. The flies and larvae are more likely to occur in the warmer weather.

 

https://www.abc.net.au/gardening/factsheets/love-your-larvae/11184864

 

This would be enough to make Beetroot  Joyce blush some more with exotic angst fever. (https://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/31826)

 

But their fly farms are on an amateur scales compared to the big professional breeders of this species. Blimey. 

 

Meanwhile, the signs of “global warming” are so far quite insignificant. A few melts of glaciers here and there, a few more hot days, some record temperatures in the arctic are not yet enough to disturb our general comforts. So do we need to become more aware of climate change? Our neo-liberalism has made most of the Western humans toying with carelessness, but we should say that we are “care free”… We want more. The system is designed for us to want more…

 

Are we turning the planet into a large garbage bin with a few green managed spaces?

 

Psychological Roots of the Climate Crisis tells the story of a fundamental fight between a caring and an uncaring imagination. It helps us to recognise the uncaring imagination in politics, in culture - for example in the writings of Ayn Rand - and also in ourselves.

 

Sally Weintrobe argues that achieving the shift to greater care requires us to stop colluding with Exceptionalism, the rigid psychological mindset largely responsible for the climate crisis. People in this mindset believe that they are entitled to have the lion's share and that they can 'rearrange' reality with magical omnipotent thinking whenever reality limits these felt entitlements.

 

While this book's subject is grim, its tone is reflective, ironic, light and at times humorous. It is free of jargon, and full of examples from history, culture, literature, poetry, everyday life and the author's experience as a psychoanalyst, and a professional life that has been dedicated to helping people to face difficult truths.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Psychological-Roots-Climate-Crisis-Exceptionalism...

 

 

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Climate scientists have been getting some tough questions lately, not about their data but about their feelings. How does it feel to study such a badly damaged planet? To be condemned by opponents who refuse to engage with the evidence you have put forward? It is not often that scientists are asked to talk about their feelings, but many of those studying climate change seem grateful for opportunities to do so. They have admitted to experiencing anger, frustration, and despair, along with varying degrees of hope.

 

The psychoanalyst Sally Weintrobe believes that we all need more opportunities to share our feelings about climate change. In Psychological Roots of the Climate Crisis, she explores the forces that conspire to distract us from doing so.

 

Weintrobe's diagnosis centers on neoliberalism, a slippery term that gains contour and traction from her analysis. For Weintrobe, neoliberalism is more than a deregulated form of capitalism—it is a mindset. The problem is not simply that free-market ideologues have captured state power and undermined the authority of science since the 1980s; worse, neoliberalism has invaded the psyches of those living in the global north.

 

Every human being has both a caring and an uncaring side, Weintrobe explains. When the caring part dominates, the individual manages to rein in unruly desires out of concern for others. Neoliberalism, she argues, feeds the uncaring part of the human psyche and silences the caring part.

 

The result is a population of what Weintrobe calls “Exceptions,” individuals whose sense of entitlement is impervious to reality checks. Exceptions cannot tolerate evidence of their dependence on other people or on the physical environment. They refuse to acknowledge their own vulnerability, so they resort to denial—including the denial of scientific evidence. Like the heroes of Ayn Rand's novels, Exceptions are immune to feelings of concern, guilt, or shame.

 

Weintrobe backs up these claims with vivid examples drawn from history, fiction, the media, daily life, and clinical practice, presented in short chapters with punchy prose. She shows, for instance, how advertisers have goaded us into seeking fulfillment in unsustainable habits of consumption, from sexy cigarettes to fast cars; they have even borrowed Freud's insights to devise their ruses. She illustrates the predicament of the Exception with a vignette of a patient who believes himself to be perfect yet at night dreams of descending from his home at the top of a high-rise, betraying his desire to regain contact with reality. Her critical eye exposes the subtle machinations of the culture of “uncare,” such as the euphemistic language that allows corporations and the press to talk about environmental harms while evading questions of moral responsibility.

 

What will it take to replace neoliberalism with a culture of care? Government has a large role to play, Weintrobe argues. Genuine democracy and social welfare empower people to care by making them feel cared about. But a transformation is necessary at the individual level as well.

 

Facing climate reality means owning up to our vulnerability and our dependence on the people and environments we exploit. It means working through the feelings of anxiety and grief that may come with this recognition. Weintrobe argues that a proper culture of care can empower individuals to come to terms with their “inner exception,” the part of the psyche that resists unpleasant truths.

 

Among the signs of an emerging “culture of care,” Weintrobe points to a “paradigm shift underway in science.” This new science understands “the environment” to be composed of physical, social, and “psychic” systems: “Each requires frameworks of care and sustainable life depends on stability in them all.” She points to growing attention to the psychological cost of climate adaptation as one harbinger of this shift.

 

Beyond attention to mental health, Weintrobe sees potential in scientific approaches that prize humility and a diversity of ways of knowing. She suggests that science might further contribute to the new culture of care by mustering evidence against corporate perpetrators of ecocide, a crime that she suggests should be codified in international law.

 

Among the lessons Weintrobe's book holds for climate scientists is that human vulnerability to climate change cannot be measured on a simple quantitative scale running from the most vulnerable populations to the most resilient. To be sure, the risks of climate change are distributed highly unevenly, with poor, marginalized communities likely to suffer the worst effects. Yet, for the privileged readers to whom Weintrobe addresses this book, vulnerability is not the opposite of resilience. Rather, feeling vulnerable is the first step toward building sustainable relationships.

 

Source:

 

Science  14 May 2021:

 

Vol. 372, Issue 6543, pp. 693

 

 

 

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Ice sheets and ocean currents at risk of climate tipping points can destabilise each other as the world heats up, leading to a domino effect with severe consequences for humanity, according to a risk analysis.

Tipping points occur when global heating pushes temperatures beyond a critical threshold, leading to accelerated and irreversible impacts. Some large ice sheets in Antarctica are thought to already have passed their tipping points, meaning large sea-level rises in coming centuries.

 

 

The new research examined the interactions between ice sheets in West Antarctica, Greenland, the warm Atlantic Gulf Stream and the Amazon rainforest. The scientists carried out 3m computer simulations and found domino effects in a third of them, even when temperature rises were below 2C, the upper limit of the Paris agreement.

The study showed that the interactions between these climate systems can lower the critical temperature thresholds at which each tipping point is passed. It found that ice sheets are potential starting points for tipping cascades, with the Atlantic currents acting as a transmitter and eventually affecting the Amazon.

“We provide a risk analysis, not a prediction, but our findings still raise concern,” said Prof Ricarda Winkelmann, at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany. “[Our findings] might mean we have less time to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and still prevent tipping processes.”

The level of CO2 in the atmosphere required to push temperatures beyond the thresholds could be reached in the very near future, she said. “In the next years or decades, we might be committing future generations to really severe consequences.” These could include many metres of sea-level rise from ice melting, affecting scores of coastal cities.

 

“We’re shifting the odds, and not in our favour – the risk clearly is increasing the more we heat our planet,” said Jonathan Donges, also at PIK and part of the research team.

In May, scientists reported that a significant part of the Greenland ice sheet was on the brink of a tipping point. A 2019 analysis led by Prof Tim Lenton at the University of Exeter suggested the world may already have crossed a series of climate tipping points, resulting in what the researchers called “an existential threat to civilisation”.

 

The climate crisis may also mean much of the Amazon is close to a tipping point, at which carbon-storing forest is replaced by savannah, researchers have warned. The ocean currents of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), of which the Gulf Stream is an important part and keeps western Europe mild, are at their weakest in more than a millennium.

The research, published in the journal Earth System Dynamics, used a new type of climate model because existing models are very complex and require huge computing power, making them expensive to run many times. Instead, the researchers used an approach that focused specifically on how the temperature thresholds for the tipping points changed as the systems interacted, allowing them to run the 3m simulations.

An example of the complex chain of interactions the researchers tracked is the melting of the Greenland ice sheet. This releases fresh water into the ocean and slows down the AMOC, which is driven partly by dense, salty water being pulled down towards the ocean floor. A weaker AMOC means less heat is transported from the tropics towards the north pole, which in turn leads to warmer waters in the Southern Ocean. This can then destabilise ice sheets in Antarctica, which pushes up global sea level and causes more melting at the edges of the Greenland ice sheet.

“The study suggests that below 2C of global warming – ie in the Paris agreement target range – there could still be a significant risk of triggering cascading climate tipping points,” said Lenton. “What the new study doesn’t do is unpack the timescale over which tipping points changes and cascades could unfold – instead it focuses on the eventual consequences. The results should be viewed as ‘commitments’ that we may be making soon to potentially irreversible changes and cascades, leaving as a grim legacy to future generations.”

However, the chance of a cascade of tipping points leading to a runaway greenhouse effect, where the planet gets ever hotter even if humanity stops carbon emissions, is extremely unlikely, according to Prof Anders Levermann, also at PIK but not involved in the new work. “The Earth will get as warm as we make it, which means we’re the ones [that must] stop it,” he said.

 

Read more:

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jun/03/climate-tipping-points-could-topple-like-dominoes-warn-scientists

 

See also: https://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/33287

 

 

Read above.

 

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