Due to it’s subject matter, this post will remain unillustrated. At least by images.
Although there may be some colourful language. But fear not, there is a serious backdrop. And it has to do with natural fertilizers.
It has freshly come to my attention that there is an apparent shortage of pooh in the world. Usually I hold the view, that there is enough shite around already and we need not create any more (see recent posts, if you haven’t done so already).
I stand corrected, if not figuratively, then literally: There is a global deficiency in fecal nutrients on land, as the amount of animal droppings has dropped to a mere 8 % of what it was at the end of the last ice age almost 12,000 years ago. The cause being the loss of populations and entire species of large land animals.
The situation in the oceans is even worse. Against estimates the decimation of whales has not lead to an increase in krill, staple diet of the majority of whales (together with plankton and fish, depending on what species of whale you are talking about). So how come? Krill used to be most abundant food source present in the oceans. However, the plants these tiny crustaceans are feeding on are suffering a nutrient shortage, too: 95 % less within the same time bracket. Not enough fecal matter to fertilize the plants on which the krill feed. The negative knock-on effect on all the other participants in this food web becomes apparent, and will increasingly effect the entire system – including us humans.
Anyone feeling in the dumpsters already, I realize this post won’t have made your day.
So, where is the sunny side of all of this? Is there one?
Only in a figurative way.
A while back I tried to adopt a more positive attitude towards things going wrong in the world, and my own life in particular. Pondering that it did not matter all that much whether I was not feeling well, but quite often would try and make the best out of a less than ideal situation, I concluded: ‘I can say, I am feeling shitty today!’ but today’s shite would lead to future growth, and thus if someone asked me how I felt, I might as well express the positive take on the situation: ‘thanks, I am feeling well fertilized’.
And today I remembered another thing:
Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser – an advocate of the composting toilet, amongst other ecological ideas – came up with his ‘Holy Shit’ manifesto in the 1970s.
Yet, his approach still has not had the global trickle down effect it should have had.
Which is crap from the point of pollution and soil rehabilitation.
What is the correct message now? Will we have to keep polluting the oceans with our sewage? Or maybe our doing so has blinded us towards the fact that the situation would be worse already had we not? Have all the undesirable pharmaceutical and chemical agents let lose in our air, water, soil, foodstuffs and bodies brought us much closer to a tipping point than we realize?
Maybe humankind can do their bit and do what we do best.
There seems to be a future in making fertilizer and fuel from human waste. But far from a mindless dispersion in crappy ignorance, it will have to be a science-led and monitored process of what to put where and in what sustainable concentrations.
The future may look pretty shite.
Feel fertilized to do something about it!
prompted by another blog post – a number of people seem to be submerged in the murky depths of bleak thought pools – I thought this might be a floatie:
a surfer once explained to me what you do when a huge wave comes rolling at you: you dive underneath it, stay down while it lasts and hold your breath, even if you think your lungs might burst; and it’s cold and kind of scary, but you know you’ll come up again. and then you resurface behind the wave and you find you’re ok.
that seems very true
so if something untoward comes rolling towards you, take your head down, bop up and enjoy the surf again. trying to keep that in mind helps, I find.
emotion has an amplitude
it is a landscape with topographical profile, there’s scenic routes, round trips and steep hills.
there’s ditches, gorges, cliffs and rifts you have to beware of, and if you stumble into or off them you need resilience and maybe a few helpers, devices or strategies to get you back out of there.
sometimes you can actively employ a source of help, at other times you cannot. sometimes the helping and healing device is simply time and its passage.
anger, hurt, pain, disappointment – they all are inevitable. you cannot avoid them and there’d be not much point in telling yourself they did not exist.
not such a long while ago I came into contact with people who prided themselves on their calm and supposed wholistic mindfulness and awareness.
and never have I known people with such barely disguised rage. more so, because they would not be honest to themselves and others about what set them off, they did not come out straight with what upset them or whatever could have been negotiated and straightened out before situations escalated.
even more ofputting – the human mind is creative – they turned mean, considering themselves clever whilst eager to dish out. instead of saying ‘look, we’re in this together, let’s find a solution because the way it is now it simply is ot working for me. what can we do to turn things around?’ they would attack someone from their own pack or flock from downwind.
I am all for using the medium of language to communicate and for using humour to diffuse tension and just have fun together. there’s enough shite and hurt out there, there’s simply no need to proactively create more.
Having fun at other people’s expense is not really fun. Well, in anecdotes maybe, and when you try to make up all the brilliant repartee you make up retrospectively.
This supposed calm, however, that is a mere facade, yet, presented with an air of superiority, as if you had to acknowledge you were in the presence of a higher evolutionary stage being I find highly annoying, arrogant and corrosive to relationships. As it is mere pretence and serves to divide rather than to pull something together.
Bottling up would be another, often destructive, way of dealing with your bandwith of emotions.
Best to let the wee buggers roam freely – within reason, of course and some supervision provided. Locking them away from daylight seems to produce a lot more unhealthy results, for you and everyone around you.
sketchy, but quick
Funnily enough, crest-fallen is probably exactly, what a depressed dinosaur would have been. Advancing scientific research and paleontological findings prove that the ‘terrible lizards’ more likely than not weren’t so much scaly but…fluffy!
Here is a link to a National Geographic article that shows a feathered dinosaur tail preserved in amber. It turns a lot of perceived “knowledge” on its wise and learned head. I love it when that happens. Like the dinosaur that never existed, because, apparently, someone muddled up the bones of Apathosaurus, so Brontosaurus, one of the most widely known species of dinosaur never actually existed. Or did it?
A double negative has become a positive, or in this case, two wrongs make a right, because according to a 2015 study Brontosaurus is back. Not necessarily with a vengeance but discernably variant from Apathosaurus and not as merely one species but three, thus outweighing its passively-agressive relative not in actual weight but in diversity.
Mistakes in science are great. They can be aggravating, but true science always has to be aware that models and theories are bound to have their flaws and limitations. New discoveries that unveil mistakes are mile stones on the road to a better, more accurate understanding of our past, present and future.
All of this is is not, however, what’s bothering the young and usually spright individual at the top of the page. And its sombre mood has nothing to do with the error of previous scientists’ opinions on these species of ‘chickens from hell’ that have become extinct – possibly due to their own equivalent of ancient bird flu or paleo burger joints.
What you see in the illustration up to is self-berating at its best. The real mistake being to think that a previous mistake will make any effort from now on obsolete – as you clearly have ruined the future already. If you give in to that feeling, a little further on down the time line you are bound to discover that not the mistake itself but your drawn conclusion was the true mistake. One that could easily paralize you – like an insect in amber, for instance – because everything from now on would be futile anyways, maybe twice so, as you have ruined the future YET AGAIN! You can go on that way till it ends. But you will have stopped a long time before that.
Dara O’Briain, funny and brilliant science fan, has said ‘Science does not know everything! Or else it would have stopped.”
Science does not stop. Mistakes happen all the time. They often make us fitter, more aware, careful and likeable than any plain success. Mistakes don’t equal failure. It’s your take on mistakes that makes them what they can be. Why not make the best of them?