War? Of all the things…?!?!

For a moment there I was getting confident that Covid was to instil some new sense of global unity that may have not just lead to our quashing of Covid & future pandemics but to have helped create and shape the global community/platform we need to actually deal with climate & consumption issues, cuz things like war and civilization may not exist if we don’t, but alas here we are – and maybe they have electric jets these days (I’m joking) but the farcical war on terror/privacy produced 1.2billion metric tones of GHGs – 30% of that coming directly from fuel burn (Pentagon/US stats only…) – which is equivalent to 1 year of avg emissions from 160 million US households (apparently there are 122.8 milllion households in the US in 2019). 

An anemone friend, ready to ride alongside their jellyfish brethren to the top of the food chain.

The present and future of every organism we share this planet with, not just those within a certain border, rests solely on us humans as our fellow critters obviously don’t have the means to orchestrate globally appropriate strategies and police nations who don’t adhere, but I bet if they could they would. Part of me is starting to think humankind’s approach to reducing emissions and consumption is to continue as planned, but with more looking on as people die from unnecessary wars, poorly managed pandemics and avoidable famine… but I guess we made some progress at COP26 summit when we seemingly tried to blame cows 🤷‍♂️ 

those ears, they need us.

but i jest, at least they identified fossil fuels as the major driver without blaming the vehicle fleet, cuz cars aren’t the problem – it’s common for a country to emit more fossil-fuel burn emissions from two and four stroke power tools than the entire vehicle fleet of that nation  ⚠️ “The two-stroke leaf blower was worse still, generating 23 times the CO and nearly 300 times more NMHC [non-methane hydrocarbons] than the crew cab pickup [Ford Raptor 2011]. To equal the hydrocarbon emissions of about a half-hour of yard work with this two-stroke leaf blower, you’d have to drive the Raptor for 3,887 miles, or the distance from Northern Texas to Anchorage, Alaska.” Google any of those phrases to find the article, or any of the countless others. The blower was an Echo 50cc air cooled 2 stroke, which is a pretty standard tool that you’d find in a shed, but some countries, for eg, like Australia have banned or at least grandfathered them in.

Also just wanna drop this here cuz EVs are a contemporary issue and seen as somewhat of a solution to climate change, but as you just read car emissions are not responsible for our careening towards a global climate disaster.  Toyota, a number of years ago – before EVs – said that around 25% of a vehicles life-time emissions impact is from manufacturing (and that report was done like 30 years ago, a time when we were only beginning to make emissions reduction a manufacturing priority in cars) , and that number is much higher in electric vehicles because of battery tech and the inability to dispose of batteries – also that’s assuming your EV is acquiring its electricity from purely renewable sources which is the case in some places but very few.

look into those eyes and have a good think about any reason you have for why you think they’re not attached to one of the smarter organisms on the planet.  For eg, with standard intelligence measurements, all of which are seemingly based on human intelligence measures compared, such as social behaviour – which we’ve found them to do. They balance complex social hierarchies, they learn from each other but they also learn from other species which could be like us learning from dogs.  And, they remember faces, and I’m not just paraphrasing, I personally befriended a leatherjacket back in Australia, and don’t get me wrong, that was one friendly fish [or territorial], but having that lil fella come up to me and saying hi [or bugger off], from wherever it lurked, was an almost certainty [was], but only when i was freediving, never scuba and I think it was mostly intrigued by my tendrils.  If you interact with a fish in a manner expecting intelligence (especially while hiding predatory signals, like big eyes & bubbles), you’ll soon thereafter be wondering how we human’s have so poorly considered these marvels.  They even pass the mirror test, well just the cleaner wrasse    But lets look at the MOTHER OF ALL INTELLIGENCE MARKERS – the ability to pass information (including language) genetically – something previously reserved for only humans but we now know cetaceans (whales etc) and corvids (crows, revens, magpies, jays etc) all have this ability. And, yes, of course this has been shown in even the lowly Guppy. For the sake or argument, lets go to the lowest mark of intelligence – basic sensory feedback, like pain.  Fish, have forever, and since the 80s as far as peer-reviewed human science is concerned, feel pain.  I get why it suits us to consider fish this way, and don’t feel bad (i’ve spent years of my life hunting them in various ways so obviously I’m gonna say that) but just cuz you eat something doesn’t mean you can’t love it, before and after consumption.   Now let’s look at the idea of non-human intelligence, like geolocation – we can’t even do that on our own


so I had a moment while writing that above tirade against humanity’s undervaluing of the intelligence of fish and as much as it’s almost certainly a result of the way the culture I exist within was shaped by Christian ideas of not just humans being one step below the angels, but the bible actually says that fish were put here for us to eat.  This is all unrelated to the main point of this epilogue which is that we MAY actually already be on the path of that optimistic idea I proposed initially, about covid creating a new form of human – one globally united through technology, empowered by this expansive voice – which isn’t new that is already a thing, but what needs to be new is how this human utilises these tool.  Ideally the nüman considers these digital tools in three ways, an apparatus of exposure to realities existing outside of their immediate periphery and therefore change, the ability to communicate their personal ideas and understand these grass-root broadcasts and sweet memes (communicating with loved ones should be included there too).  The reality is, really, that we already have the technology to create a singular global, digitised organisation that utilises all of the data that’s already been stolen about my personality, buying habits, behaviours, prejudice, racism, music taste etc to look at the fundamental reasons for the way I live and that little bucket of Jacob becomes my input to this global organisation, along with the remaining 7 billion of us having equal say.  And yeah that sounds impossible, and for domestic affairs (like traffic light volume) it may be that a localised traditional government can perform better….. But their job, the reason these people exist is to hear their cohort and pass that info to higher-ups… How many times has a local politician reached out to you? me?? never…  and it shouldn’t be up to me, it’s the literal definition of their job… do your fucking job.  ALSO, I bet that global government could out-perform the local one even on local issues, because they still have the granularity of each individual…  BUT that’s not the point im trying to make, the point is no country, or group of countries (UN etc) can really do shit about global issues… Look at COVID and Climate Change. 

This entire concept I’m ranting about (giving the individual an actual say) can be seen, and maybe this is the source for me, in the Vietnam war and the impact of open journalism on the Allie’s ability to wage war effectively.  The result, other than them losing, was that no future US conflicts would allow open journalism (the practice of me, a civilian photographer, jumping on a plane to say Ukraine and taking some photos to sell later, maybe – today i need to be a trained soldier who then specialises in photography…… I know.).  There’s a reason we have images like Napalm Girl, but nothing like that from the war on terrorism (although, if you’re great at disassociating, i suggest you watch “Only The Dead”  documentary).  Vietnam was a prime example of media forcing action from the populous, something probably every government aims to quash. Arguably the most recent example of this power struggle would be the People vs Kony and how ONE compelling youtube documentary forced the US to militarise – 5 years & USD800m later he was still out there when they pulled out…  Why did the US go to war with Kony?  Because the populous demanded it.  How did the producer end up in a complete psychotic episode? who knows really (apparently he was pretty straight)… but he exhibited unbridled power, power to make youtube video that forced the US to militarise…..!!!?!?!?  How scary is that…. for the US gov. But im contradicting myself, and im all about it, because sure it’d be nice to have a say, but we (yes we) petitioned the US to invade a country, it’s not like the US were gonna go to fkn Uganda, there’s no oil in Uganda. Can I honestly say that invading Uganda was a good move? For the children I guess so, but we didn’t catch him..  So realistically, no, i think it was a fkn stupid decision but that’s what the populous wanted… So just imaging we had this global voice, who knows what insane stuff we’d be doing right now.  Maybe really cool shit like, we ignore Chernobyl cuz it was probably espionage,  and create the tech we need to deploy nuclear micro-reactors to city blocks (using pebble-bed tech etc that doesn’t have runoff cuz there’s no liquid).  Or accelerated development of plastic eating enzymes like PETase.  Or reformation of education and syllabuses to align with contemporary truths and culture.  Whats insane to me is we’re already at Gen IV Nuclear Reactor tech which entails designs that no longer priortise managing accidents instead setting priority around “excluding accidents” – which is smart, why is our plan to roll these out in 2030-2050???  Sure there’s the nuclear waste issue, but if we are already sending fat rich billionaires to space then I’m sure we can send other types of waste up there too.

 But lets fast forward just a few years to today,  and instead of a persuasive individual launching hugely persuasive youtube videos, we have a billion bots being launched from your portable speaker who use social media to persuade us – and most of that is launched by private enterprise (like Walmart and friend’s twitter bot army spamming about re-opening America in the midst of COVID).  So we’re in a tricky spot where by we are the closest we (the proletariat) have come to having a proper say and now it’s being drowned out by commercial & governmental robot armies 🙁  But I’m optimistic, i truly am, because we built these systems and we’re yet to regulate them – the chemical industry wreaked havoc for decades before it was regulated, for eg the EPA wasn’t ratified until the 70s, and realistically, we probably didn’t regulate that industry because of it’s ability to empower our war efforts – for eg,  plastics, solvents, fibres, pharma etc.  I’m not sure what the digital protection agency (DPA) will look like but it needs to happen now – except I know for sure that they’re holding back on regulation because they’re fighting a war out there and yeah there’s no free journalists thats for sure, infact there’s no anything, because the war is being fought by hackers and bots who’s single object is to remain anonymous regardless of inefficacy.  Sure people aren’t dying (yet) but hacking has completely eroded intellectual property and the ability for a country to have a technical advantage over another coutnry – so we may as well just become one, in the matrix – give it 25 years and i’ll be given the choice to enter the matrix. mark my words (assuming there’s still a planet that supports our timeline).


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