jan hendrik brueggemeier on Fri, 17 Sep 2021 06:28:51 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Covid and the crisis of neo-liberalism - (...always) look on the bright (regenerative) side...?

hi everyone

interesting conversation indeed, apologies for being late to the party.
thanks, martin, for sharing these references.

On the note of bright regenerative side I just thought share David
Holmgren's latest post, who is one of Australia's leading perma culture
guru or "permis".

It is a rather long essay (11 pages or so) but I found it highly
fascinating as it on one hand recaps core principles but still ends up
in his personal conclusion to be anti vaccine (which from a sub-cultural
perspective may not be surprising)...

If there would be an archetype for the "free thinker" David would be
meet that to a t, but it does make me wonder about necessary framing of
such "free critical enquiry" due social obligations or not ...

https://holmgren.com.au/writing/pandemic-brooding/ ;

It would be great to hear other people's thoughts on this.

I also intrigued by martin's point of projecting depression, but I
suppose that's maybe better reserved for another thread ...


On 6/9/21 7:40 pm, martin wrote:
> Hello,
> Interesting conversation...
> On 05/09/2021 18:31, John Hopkins wrote:
> I am very sorry to hear about your ailments and wish you all the best.
> Then,
> -- though I admittedly can sometimes also be caught in a moment of
> weakness and despair where I forget myself and utter statements with a
> dim, negative view of humanity
>  -- this, to my mind:
>> Humans have always had an oversized impact on local energy flows around
>> them (i.e., Pleistocene megafauna destruction)
> .... is a dangerous fallacy of thought.
> It expresses a sad, self-defeating view (see footnote 1 and 2; and with
> regards to the speculative hypothesis of megafauna extinction see
> footnote 3).
> Importantly there are historical examples as well as contemporary
> movements, praxis and data testifying to quite the opposite: Complex
> human societies have had / can have a positive impact on the
> environment, enrich their habitat and increase biodiversity (see
> footnote 4).
> Whether in the form of Amazonian Dark Earths, regenerative agriculture,
> permaculture or other expressions of the human imagination from 'the
> other side of the anthropocene', human beings have the capacity to leave
> the world in 'a nicer state' tomorrow than it was yesterday. Not through
> quick technofixes nor dirty hacks, but through building cultural
> alliances with all the other beings in the complex web of life that
> sustains us - from soil ecologies and their microbes, insects and other
> beasts, through plants, trees and rivers to other mammals and everything
> in between.
> Indeed, transformative agroecology (see footnote 5) combined with
> regenerative agriculture possibly constitute the only reasonable,
> significant set of carbon sequestration (carbon negative) techniques
> available (see footnote 6) and has the useful side-effect of feeding
> humanity, regenerating immune systems and, all in all, delivering a
> healthy planet.
> It has been done, it can be done. It will be done if we all work towards
> it. War is over if you want it, extractive/dominator culture can end.
> It is, imho, worse than a waste of time to go on about all the examples
> of destructive human behaviour, rather than focusing on the hope- and
> joy-providing opposite.
> Shifting the discourse to the endless possibilities of
> more-than-sustainable social organisation will feed grassroots power
> structures and undermine totalitarian attitudes.
> The future is ours, because this land is ours in common.
> sincerely/martin
> ---------------------------
> Footnote 1: Sad because it sounds like depression projected, and sad
> because it feeds the power and agency of those who are into population
> control and the concomitant necessity of global rule from above; and of
> course it also helps push the corporate, hi-tech progress myth-based
> geoengineering fantasies that perpetuate the causes of the effects they
> purport to solve (/as Kolbert notes in 'Under a White Sky' on that
> issue, this is “..a book about people trying to solve problems created
> by people trying to solve problems”-
> https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/mar/06/it-is-the-question-of-the-century-will-tech-solve-the-climate-crisis-or-make-it-worse
> ).
> Extractor/dominator culture probably needs this "bad humans" assumption
> to remain in place as a baseline of reality to justify their elitist
> model of society.
> ------
> Footnote 2: On the population number "argument": the total fertility
> rate has peaked and the next challenge is likely how to manage
> increasingly smaller and older populations suffering from auto-immune
> conditions and cancer, resulting from poor diet, lack of movement, and
> the ubiquity of toxic air and drinking water. Please don't feed the
> Malthusian trolls.
> ------
> Footnote 3: Invoking the speculative megafauna human-driven extinction
> hypothesis rests on just that: speculation, and it also has potential
> overtones of human self-aggrandisement and belittling of the large
> beasts; see for instance Brook and Bowman (2002) and Hocknull et al. (2020):
> Brook and Bowman (2002): "...Understanding of the Pleistocene megafaunal
> extinctions has been advanced recently by the application of simulation
> models and new developments in geochronological dating. Together these
> have been used to posit a rapid demise of megafauna due to over-hunting
> by invading humans. However, we demonstrate that the results of these
> extinction models are highly sensitive to implicit assumptions
> concerning the degree of prey naivety to human hunters. In addition, we
> show that in Greater Australia, where the extinctions occurred well
> before the end of the last Ice Age (unlike the North American
> situation), estimates of the duration of coexistence between humans and
> megafauna remain imprecise. Contrary to recent claims, the existing data
> do not prove the “blitzkrieg” model of overkill..." - from:
> https://www.pnas.org/content/99/23/14624
> Hocknull et al. (2020): "...Explanations for the Upper Pleistocene
> extinction of megafauna from Sahul (Australia and New Guinea) remain
> unresolved. Extinction hypotheses have advanced climate or human-driven
> scenarios, in spite of over three quarters of Sahul lacking reliable
> biogeographic or chronologic data. Here we present new megafauna from
> north-eastern Australia that suffered extinction sometime after 40,100
> (±1700) years ago. Megafauna fossils preserved alongside leaves, seeds,
> pollen and insects, indicate a sclerophyllous forest with heathy
> understorey that was home to aquatic and terrestrial carnivorous
> reptiles and megaherbivores, including the world’s largest kangaroo.
> Megafauna species diversity is greater compared to southern sites of
> similar age, which is contrary to expectations if extinctions followed
> proposed migration routes for people across Sahul. Our results do not
> support rapid or synchronous human-mediated continental-wide extinction,
> or the proposed timing of peak extinction events. Instead, megafauna
> extinctions coincide with regionally staggered spatio-temporal
> deterioration in hydroclimate coupled with sustained environmental
> change..." - from:
> https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-15785-w.pdf?origin=ppub
> --------------------
> Footnote 4: Maezumi et al.: 'The legacy of 4,500 years of polyculture
> agroforestry in the eastern Amazon' /
> https://www.nature.com/articles/s41477-018-0205-y . See also the work of
> Michael Heckenberger, for instance, introduced lightly here:
> https://news.mongabay.com/2008/08/pre-colombian-amazonians-lived-in-sustainable-urban-society/
> These lines of argument are slowly taking hold, see also:
> Buscardo, E., Forkuor, G., Rubino, A. et al.: 'Land and people'. Commun
> Earth Environ 2, 178 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-021-00240-5
> - who write:
> "...Amazonian Dark Earths (terra preta) and European Dark Earths
> (plaggen soils) are fairly well known, but many less well-known types of
> anthropogenic soils are now being documented in the tropics and
> subtropics3,4. Conversely, ancient mining and smelting activities
> produced concentrations of heavy metals toxic to plant and animal life,
> in some cases even more severe than modern soil contamination5,6.
> Ancient human societies have had a wide range of impacts on the
> environment that can persist through to the present day...
> ..Looking forward, more work is needed to share and standardize
> geochemical and other proxy data that may be fundamental for answering
> questions of where, when and how people in the past influenced their
> environment. Understanding the global distribution of anthropogenic
> soils and paleo-pollution will not only help place the rate of soil
> degradation seen in the Anthropocene within a deeper historical context,
> but perhaps, optimistically, reveal the fundamental role that human
> societies have played in building healthier soils throughout much of the
> Holocene. By sharing data and developing global research agendas, the
> paleoenvironmental community at large has the exciting opportunity to
> reveal the widespread legacy of premodern human–environmental
> interactions and increase the general awareness of the long-lasting
> ecological legacy of ancient societies.
> -------------------
> Footnote 5: Entry in ‘Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Anthropology’ on
> ‘Agroecology’
> https://oxfordre.com/anthropology/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190854584.001.0001/acrefore-9780190854584-e-298
> https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190854584.013.298
> ---------------
> ---- Footnote 6: Easy intro to the work of David Montgmery:
> https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/sep/02/desertification-barren-solution-famine-agriculture

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