An Unbroken Loveliness

Now comes Eileen Crist, with excerpts from her brilliant essay, I Walk in the World to Love It; images are from the Aviary of Sara Angelucci.

The quotation from Mary Oliver descends from her essay, Waste Land: An Elegy. Here are the lines that follow:

maryoliver


The Shattering Wonder

This week we return to the work of David Abram, in his masterful recuperation of embodied knowledge, Becoming Animal; excerpts from the introduction below, interwoven with images from the studio of Morgan Bulkeley.

WHERE LATE THE SWEET BIRDS

SPRING AND RUMBLINGS

VENUS AND SPATS


The Incident Commander

Grizzly Times publisher Louisa Willcox bears witness to the National Park Service “management” of bison deemed excess to requirements; images added by DP.

THE SILENCER

SCORE FOR THE BUFFALO REQUIEM

THE INCIDENT COMMANDER SURRENDERS TO THE UNTHINKABLE

 


In the Depths

Now comes the Alliance for Wild Ethics, or AWE:

“A consortium of individuals and organizations working to ease the spreading devastation of the animate earth through a rapid transformation of culture. We employ the arts, often in tandem with the natural sciences, to provoke deeply felt shifts in the human experience of nature. Motivated by a love for the more-than-human collective of life, and for human life as an integral part of that wider collective, we work to revitalize local, face-to-face community – and to integrate our communities perceptually, practically, and imaginatively into the earthly bioregions that surround and support them.”

AWE is directed by David Abram, whose Spell of the Sensuous should be on the bookshelf of every DP reader. We excerpt his 2005 explication of Depth Ecology below, with a couple of images from Jo Whaley’s exquisite Theater of Insects.

da2

jw1

da2

jw2

jw3

Declaiming that American pipelines will be made from American steel brings waves of ecstatic applause from the sleepwalking “elites”, lost in the narcotic haze of their violent pipedreams; yet the deep truth that our own intelligence is entangled with — and dependent upon — the wild intelligence of the wolves and wetlands that we hunt and desacrate fails to move us from the path of hubris and delusion.


Look Under Foot

Faced, or rather footed, with an absurdly early mud season here in New England, we excerpt an essay by John Burroughs first published in The Atlantic in 1908. The images are from a series of dirt paintings by Donald Bracken.

jb1

db3

jb2

db4

jb3]db5

jb4


Radical Wisdom

Digging more deeply into the theme of the sentient forest, we turn to an essay by ecologist Suzanne Simard published in 2015 by SGI Quarterly, excerpted below. The images are from the studio of Jorge Mayet.

ss1

lm4

ss2

jm1

ss3

jm3

ss4

jm2

[….]

ss5

hdt1


The Sentient Forest

Despite copious evidence to the contrary, many technologically advanced humans cling to the belief that they embody the pinnacle of evolutionary biology. Once we accept the possibility that such deadly arrogance is misplaced, we might open our selves to the living world beyond and beneath us, and learn from far more evolved beings such as trees in their forests, or what survives of them after hundreds of years of human extraction.

Consider the following excerpt from Peter Wohlleben’s pioneering book, The Hidden Life of Trees. Images are pinged from the trailer for the important new documentary, Intelligent Trees.

hlot1

it2

hlot2

it1

hlot3

Many humans suffer from the delusion that whatever they senselessly eradicate can be replaced with clever inventions, like — in the most recent perverse iteration — robobees. Scientists like Wohlleben and Suzanne Simard blaze a different path, one long embraced by surviving remnants of indigenous cultures, those the “advanced” humans have not obliterated. Guided by a deeper understanding of our living world, can we find the courage and wisdom to follow it?

fpath


From Spirals to Bunkers

Among the vast troves of scientific data and analysis threatened with deletion or exclusion by those who prefer to live in a fantasy world, we single out the below animation created by Jay Alder of the U.S, Geological survey, with its accompanying caption:

ccsm4_rcp85_global_temperature_change_spiral

This animated spiral portrays the simulated changes in the global averaged monthly air temperature from 1850 through 2100 relative to the 1850 – 1900 average. The temperature data are from Community Climate System (CCSM4) global climate model maintained by the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The simulation is for the IPCC Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 (RCP8.5) emission scenario. RCP8.5 is the most aggressive scenario in which green house gases continue to rise unchecked through the end of the century, leading to an equivalent of about 1370 ppm CO2, which is roughly four times the concentration at present. The CCSM4 simulation is part of the 5th Climate Model Intercomparison Program (CMIP5) and the data can be downloaded at https://pcmdi.llnl.gov/projects/cmip5/. The 21st century animations are an extension of the graphic (http://www.climate-lab-book.ac.uk/2016/spiralling-global-temperatures/) for the 1850-2010 observed air temperature created by E. Hawkins at Reading University, UK.

˜˜˜˜˜

We are indebted to a DP correspondent for steering us to a second graphic death spiral, depicting changes in arctic sea ice volume:

piomas

˜˜˜˜˜

And from our friends at Arctic News, we receive the following updated projection and analysis:

temps

“Above forecast for February 6, 2017, shows that temperatures over parts of the Arctic Ocean will be as much as 30°C or 54°F higher than they were in 1979-2000. How can it be so much warmer in a place where, at this time of year, little or no sunlight is shining? The Arctic Ocean is warming particularly rapidly due to a multitude of feedbacks, some of which are illustrated on the image below.”

feedbacks

˜˜˜˜˜

Feedback loops are accelerating, leaving very little wriggle room for alternative facts. At some point, the feedback spiral turns into a target for a species that will not be able to escape.

jjtarget

JASPER JOHNS, TARGET, 1974

˜˜˜˜˜

Finally, we note that building bunkers in faraway places has become fashionable among the “Future Forward” billionaires who would rather cut and run then face the implications of their various hubristic fantasies.

Former Reddit CEO Yishan Wong comments, “The tech preppers do not necessarily think a collapse is likely.They consider it a remote event, but one with a very severe downside, so, given how much money they have, spending a fraction of their net worth to hedge against this is a logical thing to do.” Oh my, how far the mighty shall fall….

HOW FAR DOWN DO WE HAVE TO GO?

HOW FAR, THE DOWNSIDE?


That Crazy Darkness

Taking note of unhinged draft executive orders regarding increased use of Guantanamo Bay for renewed extrajudicial detention and torture of unspecified “bad dudes”, we turn to the voice of Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a detainee from 2002 until his release this past October due to the lack of any evidence beyond unsubstantiated statements made to interrogators while undergoing torture.

Below, an excerpt from Slahi’s extraordinary memoir, Guanatamo Diary, with two images from Jenny Holzer’s series, Dust Paintings:

slahi1

jh2

slahi2

jh1

slahi3

˜˜˜˜˜

As reported in the Guardian, Steve Kleinman, chairman of the research advisory committee to the High Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG), thus with access to actual facts and not to “alternative” (read: delusional) facts regarding torture, stated:

“If the US was to make it once again the policy of the country to coerce, and to detain at length in an extrajudicial fashion, the costs would be beyond substantial – they’d be potentially existential.”


Now Comes the Reaper

Within the cacophony of tirades, recriminations and apologia regarding the next inhabitants of the White House, the voice of John Pilger stands out for its unsparing reckoning of how all this has come to pass:

jp1

jp2

jp3