Posts Tagged ‘Mother Nature’

Monday Moaning

Found this commet:

“The Earth could get along just fine without us.  If anyone can think of an ecosystem function that requires our presence, I would like to hear about it.  Circumstantial and fossil evidence indicates that even when human numbers were small, the fires, animal drives, and plant preferences had harmful effects.  Ecosystem resilience absorbed early human impacts, but now with more than seven billion of us, the impacts are simply overwhelming earth ecosystems. Livestock?  Earth could tolerate a few domestic beasts, but not the billions we have now.”

On this post:

Animals are dying off 1,000 times FASTER now that humans are present


Man is the enemy of this planet, Mother Nature was doing just fine before we came along and totally upset the delicate balance.

It makes me think how right I was when I made this meme.

The sooner we become extinct, the planet will recover. Our pesence will be for future life forms to discover our stupidy.

And, my guess is, they will make the same mistakes again.

Make you Fink on Friday

Two stories today, both different, but both could lead to our extinction.

A vicious circle, climate change apparently increases violence, and traits like selfishness are not valued in evolution…

Firstly, violence.

Rise in violence ‘linked to climate change’

The researchers believe that war and personal conflicts are links to shifts in climate

Shifts in climate are strongly linked to increases in violence around the world, a study suggests.

US scientists found that even small changes in temperature or rainfall correlated with a rise in assaults, rapes and murders, as well as group conflicts and war.

The team says with the current projected levels of climate change, the world is likely to become a more violent place.

Read more on BBC

Selfish traits not favoured by evolution, study shows

Humans and animals could not evolve in a co-operative environment by being selfish, scientists say

Evolution does not favour selfish people, according to new research.

This challenges a previous theory which suggested it was preferable to put yourself first.

Instead, it pays to be co-operative, shown in a model of “the prisoner’s dilemma”, a scenario of game theory – the study of strategic decision-making.

Published in Nature Communications, the team says their work shows that exhibiting only selfish traits would have made us become extinct.

Read more on BBC

Two seemingly linked theories, one that man is affecting climate change and that that climate change can lead to a rise in violence, two, that selfishness and that means to me meanness and violence as well, are not favoured by Mother Nature.

If this is the case, are we not the authors of our own demise?

A paradox.

Make you Fink on Friday

We think we can outsmart nature.

But we are wrong, so terribly wrong. Nature wins every time. It doesn’t matter whether we are talking about floods, erosion or even the smallest things like cockroaches.


Yes, that ghastly insect we all love to hate.

They make women scream, men stamp on them at every turn, we poison them and try to eradicate them, but they are still with us; and Mother Nature is making sure they will be with of us for a long long time yet.

Cockroaches lose their ‘sweet tooth’ to evade traps

Dr Coby Schal: The cockroaches spit out the glucose “like a baby rejects spinach”

A strain of cockroaches in Europe has evolved to outsmart the sugar traps used to eradicate them.

American scientists found that the mutant cockroaches had a “reorganised” sense of taste, making them perceive the glucose used to coat poisoned bait not as sweet but rather as bitter.

A North Carolina State University team tested the theory by giving cockroaches a choice of jam or peanut butter.

They then analysed the insects’ taste receptors, similar to our taste buds.

Researchers from the same team first noticed 20 years ago that some pest controllers were failing to eradicate cockroaches from properties, because the insects were simply refusing to eat the bait.

Dr Coby Schal explained in the journal Science that this new study had revealed the “neural mechanism” behind this refusal.

Jam v peanut butter

In the first part of the experiment, the researchers offered the hungry cockroaches a choice of two foods – peanut butter or glucose-rich jam [known as jelly is the US].

“The jelly contains lots of glucose and the peanut butter has a much smaller amount,” explained Dr Schal.

“You can see the mutant cockroaches taste the jelly and jump back – they’re repulsed and they swarm over the peanut butter.”

In the second part of the experiment, the team was able to find out exactly why the cockroaches were so repulsed.

The scientists immobilised the cockroaches and used tiny electrodes to record the activity of taste receptors – cells that respond to flavour that are “housed” in microscopic hairs on the insects’ mouthparts

“The cells that normally respond to bitter compounds were responding to glucose in these [mutant] cockroaches,” said Dr Schal.

“So they’re perceiving glucose to be a bitter compound.

“The sweet-responding cell does also fire, but the bitter compound actually inhibits it – so the end result is that bitterness overrides sweetness.”

Highly magnified footage of these experiments clearly shows a glucose-averse cockroach reacting to a dose of the sugar.

“It behaves like a baby that rejects spinach,” explained Dr Schal.

“It shakes its head and refuses to imbibe that liquid, at the end, you can see the [glucose] on the side of the head of the cockroach that has refused it.”

Read more

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So, we’re not about to be rid of these horrid creatures anytime soon.

Mother Nature is winning the battle.


Monday Moaning

Yes, I know its Tuesday; yes, I know I’m late. I didn’t get a chance to finish this yesterday.

We are Doomed

I am now 60+, I have lived my life in a time of plenty like most of my generation. The latter half of the 20th was good to us, however the 21st is another story. It appears that we are going to suffer the consequences of our lavish lifestyle.

The world has changed. The greedy have become greedier, technology has overtaken us in leaps and bounds and the rape of the planet has destroyed environments like never before.

Image: Salon

All this has a cost, and that cost is likely to be us, humanity as we know it.

Regardless of who is to blame, us or Mother Nature, climate changes are here. You don’t believe it, then just check the news (No! Not Fox, that’s not news, that’s placating the masses, pandering to the government); droughts, famines, floods, tornadoes where they didn’t have tornadoes before, Hurricane Katrina, and now Sandy.

If you don’t see this as ‘the writing on the wall’ then perhaps you deserve to perish, because perish we will.

London if the sea level rises

I won’t be here to see it, at best I’ve got 20 years left, but you will be. You will see things like London underwater; New York, the same, as all the coastal cities of the world where the greater part of our populations live.

The writing is on the wall, and yet we still frolic and play as though nothing is amiss, we still flock o the beaches on a hot day ignoring the fact that that very water is likely to be our demise.

Flood barriers to prevent a surging Atlantic Ocean to protect New York – image: Star Tribune

I saw a programme on TV last week about the flooding of coastal cities. The plans to erect great technological barriers to keep the sea at bay, the ideas of floating cities and houses.

Works of this magnitude would cost hundreds of billions each, trillions even. Tell me, where is this money coming from?

The world’s economy is bankrupt, all this talk of America’s fiscal cliff is not a fairy tale, neither is the collapse of the Euro, it’s fact. Contractors are not going to work if they’re not paid, or can’t see a profit. The state of the world’s economy just doesn’t begin to represent the cost of saving coastal cities around the globe.

So tell me, where are you all going to go?

I’ll be safely wrapped up in my turf blanket, but you will be fighting for survival.

The governments are too busy fighting internal battles; they don’t care. The religious are too busy fighting over who is right; they don’t care. Wall Street is too busy fighting over the last dollar; they don’t care.

Remember my analogy: If the planet were a dog, we are the fleas, and Mother Nature is having a good scratch…

Nature Ramble

Let’s go to the beach.

One doesn’t often think of the sand dunes, or that they may well be under threat.

We sometimes hear about them because of erosion, but this is not a natural threat, it is merely how sand dunes work.

The threats that are mentioned are actually the sand dunes threatening our urban planning, or how we perceive that sand dunes should be. Mother Nature has other ideas.

Sea holly: king of the dunes

Drastic action is needed to save the native plants that thrive on our sand dunes, writes Andy Byfield of Plantlife

Sea holly (Eryngium maritimum). Photograph: Clive Hurford

What has happened to Britain’s sand dunes? My childhood recollections are of wild and windy places; of a fine spindrift of sandy particles streaming from the dune ridges; of marram grass etching precise circles in dry sand with the tips of their leaves; of wavering films of sand flowing across rippled sands. Fast forward 50 years, and today’s sand dunes look more like the Teletubbies’ set once the cameras have stopped rolling. The golden sand has been replaced by a thick thatch of matted grass, burgeoning stands of bracken and scrub, and increasing groves of willow and birch. And as bare sand has become something of a rarity, so many beautiful sand dune species have declined to near-oblivion today. Many of our rarer plants and animals have spent millennia evolving to cope with shifting sands. Like carrot seedlings in an allotment, they need bare ground into which to seed, and simply can’t compete with choking blankets of coarse vegetation.

Just such a plant is the sea holly (Eryngium maritimum), an architectural beauty of the sandy beaches and sand dunes around our shores. The plant’s central cone of flowers is reminiscent of members of the daisy family, such as echinacea or rudbeckia, but sea holly is a relative of the carrot. The ruff of petals is actually a ring of spiny bracts that encircle and protect the flowers like the plates of a Stegosaurus or the frills of a Triceratops. The whole plant is a metallic blue-green, seemingly verdigrised like a bronze garden statue in miniature.

Sea holly is supremely adapted to growing in mobile sand. Its deep-seated rootstock penetrates the substrate to a depth of 1m or more, and the plant takes a masochistic delight in being buried by an avalanche of sand. It positively thrives under such treatment, making it a somewhat difficult plant to please in gardens: if you want to recreate the seaside look in your flowerbeds, stick to easier relatives, such as Eryngium bourgatii, E. giganteum, E. x oliverianum and E. x zabelii. These plants are perfectly happy under normal garden conditions – although they perhaps thrive and look at their best in poorer soils – so you don’t have to buy a bit of the beach at Dungeness (like the late Derek Jarman), or indeed need to live near the coast, to create the look. And there are plenty of easy-to-find and easy-to-grow alternatives for sea holly’s supporting cast of duneland associates. To create the wispy look of marram grass, you might try the intensely blue-leaved Magellan wheatgrass (Elymus magellanicus) from the mountains of South America. Instead of our rare and beautiful native stock, the great sea stock (Matthiola sinuata), plump for the perennial white variety, Matthiola incana, with glistening white flowers over cabbage rosettes of grey-green leaves, and boasting one of the most intoxicating scents of any plant I know. Add in any of the horned poppies (Glaucium species), plus the handsome (and edible) sea kale (Crambe maritima) and you will be well on the way to recreating a small corner of Bognor or Braunton in your home patch.

So what has gone wrong with our sand dunes? Nobody really knows the full story, but a number of factors are thought to be to blame. For starters, we don’t use our sand dunes as heavily as we did in the past: today, dunes are rarely grazed, and we don’t tend to “borrow” sand from small pits, nor use their humps and hollows as military bombing ranges. Additionally, the climate might have changed: summers may be getting wetter (particularly if this year is anything to go by), which encourages vigorous growth of coarser plants; and there is increasing evidence that 21st-century rainfall fertilises the ground by bringing airborne industrial and agricultural pollutants back down to earth. Fortunately, as a species of the exposed foredunes (those next to the beach), sea holly is not faring as badly as some: indeed many other dune plants are faring badly. Take the fen orchid, an elusive green orchid of the South Welsh dunes: known to be locally abundant just a few decades ago, the species has declined from hundreds of thousands of plants at 10 sites to just a few hundred plants at one location today.

Read more

Sea holly on a Polish beach

Monday Moaning

The Planet is Getting a Little Crowded

Yes, folks, it’s time to move over.

As the song goes:

There were ten little kids lying in the bed

And the little one said,

“Roll over, roll over,”

They all rolled over and one fell out,

And the little one said,

“Roll over…”

7,000,000,000 people are now hugging this dirt ball they call home. 31st October 2011 is the official estiamted date for the birth of the 7,000,000,000th person.

I saw somewhere that it was best guessed that he/she would be born in the northwest of India, one of the more prolific areas of the planet; but apparently not.

Baby 7,000,000,000 arrived “symbolically’ in the Philippines.

A baby girl named Danica Camacho has been chosen symbolically as the world’s seven billionth baby. Photograph: Erik De Castro/AFP/Getty Images

“Danica May Camacho, a girl born in Philippine capital Manila, is chosen by UN to symbolically mark global population milestone.”

Danica will join 12-year-old Adnan Nevic of Bosnia Herzogovina, the sixth billionth baby, and Matej Gaspar from Croatia, who was number five billion in July 1987, no one knows for sure when in 1974 that the world population became 4 billion.

Source: The Guardian Read more

We are overloaded. There’s too many people. Somebody has to stop the bus and let a few off.

I read recently that the planet can support a maximum of 500 million and retain its sustainability; i.e. Mother Nature’s balance. But we have interfered with her equation to such an extent that we have doomed ourselves to extinction. Yes, our extinction is no longer a matter of maybe, it is guaranteed.

How have we unbalanced the scales so much? Simply we do not let people die. People (and some very notable scientists amongst them) have said the birthrate is too high. That’s pure unadulterated bollocks, the birthrate is perfect; Mother Nature designed that so it is perfect. What man has done behind Mother nature’s back has been to extend the life of many individuals so that less people are dying than she planned.

Have you ever wondered why we have global warming, worsening hurricanes, more earthquakes, resistant diseases and the like? Mother Nature is trying to balance the equation.

Imagine that the planet is like a dog, we are the fleas and Mother Nature is simply having a good scratch.

You want another analogy:

Agent John Smith to Morpheus in Matrix…

I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species, and I realised that humans are not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment; but you humans do not. Instead you multiply, and multiply, until every resource is consumed. The only way for you to survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern… a virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer on this planet, you are a plague, and we… are the cure.

I happen to think that is so true, mankind is the virus on this planet.

I think it’s time for breakfast…

Milliways, yes, I could go to Milliways for breakfast while watching the whole of creation explode around me.

You see, for the uninitiated, Milliways is a restaurant at the end of the universe.

If you want more information about the restaurant at the end of the universe, click here.

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