from We are the Weather, Jonathan Safran Foer

Reason to stop eating meat (well, would’ve been that back in the 70s … now, well, it’s reason to accept the blame, to feel the guilt for our demise … ):

“Globally, humans use 59 percent of all the land capable of growing crops to grow food for livestock.” (p79)

“One-third of all the fresh water that humans use goes to livestock, while only about one-thirtieth is used in homes.” (p79)

“Seventy percent of the antibiotics produced globally are used for livestock, weakening the effectiveness of antibiotics to treat human diseases.” (p79)

“Trees are 50 percent carbon.  Like coal, they release their stores of CO2 when burned.” (p92)

“Forests contain more carbon than do all exploitable fossil-fuel reserves.” (p92)

“The cutting and burning of forests is responsible for at least 15 percent of global GHGs per year.  According to Scientific American, ‘By most accounts, deforestation in tropical rainforests adds more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than the sum total of cars and trucks on the world’s roads.'” (p92) 

“About 80 percent of deforestation occurs to clear land for corps for livestock and grazing.” (p92)

“in 2018, Brazil elected Jair Bolsonaro as president.” (p93)

“Bolsonaro campaigned on a plan to develop previously protected swaths of the Amazon (i.e., deforestation).”  (p93)

“It has been estimated that Bolsonaro’s policy would release 13.2 gigatons of carbon—more than two times the annual emissions o the entire United States.” (p.93)

“Animal agriculture is responsible for 91 percent of Amazonian deforestation.” (p93) 

 

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Another interesting bit: 

“Every day, 360,000 people—roughly equal to the population of Florence, Italy—are born.”

(p80)

 

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And another:

“Just one hundred companies are responsible for 71 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.” (p150)

 

 

 

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Our gods

from https://deadwildroses.com/2021/01/03/the-dwr-sunday-religious-disservice-half-a-chromosome/

 

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Trump’s Military Drops a Bomb Every 12 Minutes, and No One Is Talking About It

Trump’s Military Drops a Bomb Every 12 Minutes, and No One Is Talking About It

by Lee Camp – read the whole article here.

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Excerpts from The Uninhabitable Earth: Life after Warming, David Wallace-Wells

“In fact, more than half of the carbon exhaled into the atmosphere  by the burning of fossil fuels has been emitted in just the past three decades.  Which means we have done as much damage to the fate of the planet and its ability to sustain human life and civilization since Al Gore published his first book on climate than in all the centuries—all the millennia—that came before. … this means we have now engineered as much ruin knowingly as we ever managed in ignorance. (4) emphasis mine

What the fuck is wrong with us?

“… two degrees Celsius of global warming was considered the threshold of catastrophe: flooded cities, crippling droughts and heat waves … There is almost no chance we will avoid that scenario.  The Kyoto Protocol achieved, practically, nothing; in the twenty years since, despite all of our climate advocacy and legislation and progress on green energy, we have produced more emissions than in the twenty years before.  (9) emphasis mine

What the fuck is wrong with us?

“Since 1980, the planet has experienced a fiftyfold increase in the number of dangerous heat waves … ”  (40)

“… most estimates put the number of undernourished at 800 million globally.” (56)

All because men cannot keep their penises out of women’s vaginas.

“Much of the infrastructure of the internet, one study showed, could be drowned by sea-level rise in less than two decades … “(61)

[During the California fires of 2017] “On local golf courses, the West Coast’s wealthy still showed up for their tee times, swinging their clubs just yards from blazing fires in photographs that could not have been more perfectly staged to skewer the country’s indifferent plutocracy.” (73)

” … the effect of wildfires on emissions is among the most feared climate feedback loops—that the world’s forests, which have typically been carbon sinks, would become carbon sources, unleashing all that stored gas. … In California, a single wildfire can entirely eliminate the emissions gains made that year by all of the state’s aggressive environmental policies. … At present, the trees of the Amazon take in a quarter of all the carbon absorbed by the planet’s forests each year.  But in 2018, Jair Bolsonaro was elicted president of Brazil promising to open the rain forest to development—which is to say, deforestation.  How much damage can one person do to the planet?  (76) emphasis mine

“Every round-trip plane ticket from New York to London … costs the Arctic three more square meters of ice.” (120)

So why aren’t such trips illegal?  Why didn’t Trudeau approve the construction of a water pipeline from the melting glaciers in the north instead of an oil pipeline?  (We’re going to have droughts worldwide, affecting agriculture, worldwide, and we’re just letting all that fresh water go to waste, do damage, in fact, by warming the oceans …)

What the fuck is wrong with us?

“It took New York City forty-five years to build three new stops on a single subway line; the threat of catastrophic climate change means we need to entirely rebuild the world’s infrastructure in considerably less time.”  (169)

“According to the IPCC, we have just twelve years to cut them [carbon emissions] in half.  The longer we wait, the harder it will be.  If we had started global decarbonization in 2000,  …  we would have had to cut emissions by only about 3 percent per year to stay safely under two degrees of warming.  If we start today [2019], when global emissions are still growing, the necessary rate is 10 percent.  If we delay another decade, it will require us to cut emissions by 30 percent each year.” (179-180)

“In 2003, Ken Caldeira, now of the Carnegie Institution for Science, found that the world would need to add clean power sources equivalent to the full capacity of a nuclear plant every single day between 2000 and 2050 to avoid catastrophic climate change.” (181)

“If the world’s most conspicuous emitters, the top 10 percent [the U.S. accounts for 15%; China, for 28% — https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/each-countrys-share-co2-emissions], reduced their emissions to only the E.U. average, total global emissions would fall by 35 percent.” (187)

In other words, it would have been no hardship.  To save the planet.  To save ourselves.

 

 

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“332 litres of gasoline and oil are dumped over each and every one of the 49,000 kilometres of [snowmobile] trail …

Read the whole piece here:

http://www.pinecone.on.ca/MAGAZINE/stories/the-well-groomed-trail.html

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Picard … Seriously?

So I watched Star Trek: Picard, wherein he saves the day, and the future, for the creation of synthetic life.  A surprising move for someone so … intelligent.

With respect to the creation of organic life …

  1. We have not been able to control how many we create. Our planet can comfortably sustain 2-3 billion people (‘comfortably’ defined as the current European standard of living) (which is about 60% of the current American standard).  To date, there are 7.8 billion organic life forms in existence.  And we’re adding (that’s net gain) 150 per minute.
  1. Men often force women to create organic life (by raping them, when they aren’t using, often because they don’t have access to, effective contraception). Although statistics show that one-quarter (United States) to two-thirds (Africa) of all women are raped, we really don’t know how often this forced reproduction occurs because, apparently, it’s no big deal.
  1. Men (primarily) also often force women to be incubators for organic life forms (by prohibiting abortion).
  1. Once organic life is born, men (primarily) have been woefully irresponsible toward it, abandoning it in one way or another (financially, emotionally) or, worse, hurting it (up to 93% are beaten, and over a million are raped each year).

So, Jean-Luc, what is it that makes you think ‘we’ will be any more responsible when creating synthetic life?

 

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Why the fuck are ATVs, jetskis, snowmobiles still legal?

“By 2050 at the latest, and ideally before 2040, we must have stopped emitting more greenhouse gases [typically caused by the burning of fossil fuels]  into the atmosphere than Earth can naturally absorb through its ecosystems (a balance known as net-zero emissions or carbon neutrality).  In order to get to this scientifically established goal, our global greenhouse gas emissions must be clearly on the decline by the early 2020s and reduced by at least 50 percent by 2030.”  The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis, Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac, (architects of the Paris Agreement), pxxii

 

Snowmobiles and ATVs “emit 25 percent as many hydrocarbons as all the nation’s cars and trucks put together, according to an EPA study.”

https://products.kitsapsun.com/archive/1999/02-19/0062_environment__snowmobiles__atvs_du.html

 

“In one hour, a typical snowmobile emits as much hydrocarbon as a 2001 model auto emits in about two years (24,300 miles) of driving. ”

https://mymuskoka.blogspot.com/2010/01/snowmobile-pollution.html

 

“Two-stroke PWC engines dump 25 – 40% of uncombusted fuel in the lake, the air, or on the land.”

https://mymuskoka.blogspot.com/2010/01/snowmobile-pollution.html

 

“In a single hour of run time, a 2000-model PWC will dump about 4 gallons (15 liters) of unburned oil and gas into the water [source: CO Parks].”

https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/watercraft-destroy-planet.htm

 

Snowmobiles and ATVs “emit 25 percent as many hydrocarbons as all the nation’s cars and trucks put together, according to an EPA study.”  https://products.kitsapsun.com/archive/1999/02-19/0062_environment__snowmobiles__atvs_du.html

 

And yet ATVs, jetskis, and snowmobiles are still legally allowed.  That is, we allow fossil fuel emissions  — a lot of fossil fuel emissions — just for fun.  Through our precious climate-controlling forests and on our struggling fresh water lakes, no less.

What the hell is Canada thinking?

 

 

(And yes, this is another reason to hate men.  After all, over 95% of those who drive ATVs, jetskis, and snowmobiles are men.)

(And that’s quite apart from “”Snowmobiles create a noise corridor five miles wide” and “PWC produce noise levels in the range of 85-102 decibels (dB) per unit — levels at which the American Hospital Association recommends hearing protection (above 85 dB).”  https://www.stopthrillcraft.org/statistics.htm)

 

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On gender identity and changing your sex

Let’s say we are born with a gender identity.  Either

(1) it isn’t a binary, in which case there’s no need to change your sex to attain some sort of ‘fit’

(2) it is binary, but it doesn’t necessarily or always align with sex, in which case again there’s no need to change your sex, or

(3) it is binary and it does align with sex, in which case one couldn’t possibly feel a mismatch—feeling a mismatch would just prove that (2) is the case.

I suppose one could say that for 99%, it is aligned, and those who feel a mismatch are anomalies, but look around at all the women who are not feminine.  Are we all anomalies?  If so, then we’re not really anomalies, are we.  (And even if we are, so what?  How does that necessitate chemical or surgical transformation?)

 

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Reducing sexism: non-binary sex and sex-neutral language

That sex is binary makes sexism so easy. What if sex existed on a spectrum?

But, you may reply, it doesn’t.  Contrary to so many transactivists, sex is a matter of biology, and you are either male or female; barring the exceptional, one has either XY chromosomes or XX chromosomes.

True, but saying that sex is physiological rather than emotional, an objective reality rather than a subjective feeling, need not imply that it’s binary. [1]  Imagine a spectrum: people with XX chromosomes and functioning female reproductive anatomy at one end (implying a certain level of estrogen); people with XY chromosomes and functioning male reproductive anatomy at the other end (implying a certain level of testosterone); in between, pre-puberty people (neither completely female nor completely male yet, post-menopausal people (no longer completely female), people with hormone variations from the norm (due to natural levels or injections), people with surgical variations (for medical reasons or cosmetic reasons—we may want to distinguish between the two), and so on.  There could be multiple (physical) determinants of sex, and people would be more or less male or female depending on their particular constellation of chromosomes, hormones, and anatomical bits.

In many ways, such a world would surely be more complicated.  For instance, competitive sports would have to be completely reorganized not according to sex, but according to height, weight, muscle mass, etc.  But surely, it would be, eventually, manageable.

Another way to reduce sexism would be to adopt sex-neutral language, because if you didn’t know whether the person was male or female, you couldn’t discriminate on that basis.[2]  This would involve the adoption of sex-neutral names and sex-neutral pronouns [3] and the elimination of ‘man’ and ‘woman’ (as in ‘police officer’ instead of ‘policeman’).  We would retain ‘male’ and ‘female’, of course, but mentioning sex would be relevant only in biological/medical contexts (and personal contexts regarding sexual interaction); to use ‘male’ and ‘female’ in everyday discourse would seem, as it does now, rude.

 

 

[1] Nor need it imply essentialism in the sense that physiological sex is essential to one’s identity (for example, although I am female, but I have never referred to myself as a woman because as far as I’m concerned, my sex doesn’t define me except in medical contexts; it does imply essentialism in the sense that physiology is essential to one’s sex.

[2] In many cases, given the spectrum mentioned above and the hoped-for elimination of gender, it might not even be possible to know whether the person was male or female if you actually saw them.

[3]  Though, please, not ‘they’ because of the consequent singular/plural confusion; there’s no reason we can’t introduce three new words, such as ze, zim, and zer.

 

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Transsexualism is a problem only because sexism is a problem

Transsexualism is a problem only because sexism is a problem.  (Transgenderism is no problem at all: females have been wearing pants and so on for ages, and there’s nothing preventing males from wearing dresses and so on.)

If being female didn’t put people at greater risk of sexual assault from males, it wouldn’t matter whether male-bodied people were placed in women’s shelters and women’s prisons or allowed in women’s washrooms and change rooms.   In fact, there wouldn’t need to be women’s shelters and separate prisons, washrooms, and changerooms.  (Although there could be, for reasons other than fear of violence: there could be male, female, and mixed sex facilities across the board.)  There may not even be a need for sex-segregated services; we would need only sex-tailored services.

If being female-bodied didn’t disadvantage athletes for most sports (as we have come to know them), it wouldn’t matter whether they had to compete against male-bodied people.  In fact, there wouldn’t need to be sex-segregated sports.

If being female didn’t mean unjustified subordinate treatment, there would be no need for compensatory programs or data collection to monitor such treatment.  And so it wouldn’t matter if male-bodied people skewed or eliminated such data collection (by making it illegal to record sex) or diminished the funding for such programs (should that be a consequence for refusing to serve male-bodied people).

In short, if there were no sexism, it wouldn’t matter whether males said they were females and females said they were males.[1]  Just as it doesn’t matter whether brown-haired people said they were red-haired (except maybe to a psychologist interested in delusion).  (It would be a problem, however, if white-skinned people claimed to be black-skinned, because racism is a problem.)

Further, to the extent that transsexualism involves transgenderism, it depends on sexism.  If not for sexism, there would be no need to change sex in order to change gender.  If not for sexism, there would be no gender: the various attributes that are grouped together and then aligned with one sex or the other would be just individual attributes, as likely to be present in, or desired by, any given male as any given female.

 

[1]  But there is sexism, so it does matter.  By identifying themselves as female, and demanding access to women-only services and activities, ‘transwomen’ are oblivious not only to biological reality, but also to sexism.  Or perhaps they are simply insensitive to women’s fears (which in itself suggests that they are not women, but are, in fact, still men).  Because how can they not understand that someone with male levels of testosterone and male muscle mass is unwelcome in places where women would be vulnerable to their propensity to violence?  Especially since there is much evidence showing that males prone to violence against women see nothing wrong with using deceit to gain access to women, and no evidence that males who are in various degrees of transformation are any less violent.  (Of course ‘transwomen’ are also at risk of men’s violence, just as effeminate men have always been, but that’s a problem that men, not women, need to solve.)

So … until sexism has been eradicated from our society, ‘transwomen’ will just have to abstain from sex-segregated sports and wax their own balls (or, here’s an idea, go to waxing clinic that has personnel with experience waxing testicles—that is, a men’s waxing clinic).  Is that too much to ask?

As for public restrooms and change rooms, if ‘transwomen’ are afraid to continue using the men’s rooms, they should lobby for trans’ rooms, not the right to use women’s rooms.  As for prisons, I suppose ‘transwomen’ could lobby for separate trans facilities within men’s prisons.

 

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