I’m Just a Scientist Maybe I See Things Different to You


Des Pensable copyright 2017

I’m just a scientist maybe I see things different to you. So I’m going to tell what I see.

When I walk into a forest I don’t just see trees. I see individual living creatures different from us but living none the less.

I see them constructed of leaves that harvest the sunlight, turning it into sugars that they use to grow and form their structure which is their flesh. I understand that they don’t need to move as everything they need it supplied free where they live.

When I see a leaf I think of the complexity of the chemical factories in it producing the sugars. I can take a leaf and break it and smell the aroma that it gives and immediately have an idea of the chemicals it has produced. I think of how the chemicals change between night and day and between seasons and whether it is sunny or wet or cold and whether there are more or less of some important trace mineral in the soil.

If it was a gum leaf I can smell the eucalyptus and it reminds of camping when I was a child.  I remember the characteristic smell of the smoke of burning eucalyptus leaves. It also remind me of bush fires and how the burn very hot with the eucalyptus oils.  I remember that the blue haze we see when we look at the Blue Mountains near my home in Sydney is from the eucalyptus oil vapour above the trees.

I look at the leaf and see it has a circular piece cut out. I imagine what sort of insect had eaten that piece of leaf. I wonder why it didn’t eat all the leaf. Was it a bird that came along and ate the insect or was it that the eucalyptus oil was toxic to the insect and it fell off to die and be eaten by another creature or did it just lie there dead until a fungus grew over it and it was absorbed into the earth.

I think about all the hundreds of insects that live in and on the tree’s bark. Families of them live their whole lives on the tree. I think of the lizards and spiders that prey on the insects and the birds that prey on the lizards,  spiders and insects.

I think of the tree’s flowers that produce the nectar to attract the birds and insects that help the plant spread its seeds so that other trees may have life and those trees will give life to other insects, and spiders and birds and lizards.

I think of the tree breathing in carbon dioxide, using the carbon to construct its body and breathing out oxygen that all animals need for life. I see an intricate web of nature that forms our life support system on our planet the only home we have. I think of how other animals and man have lived near or passed by that tree and saw just a tree standing there.

I’m just a scientist maybe I see things different to you.

I see a man come to the tree and see its value only in what it can provide him. He can’t see everything else that has a life tied to that tree. He doesn’t care. He can use it to make money an invention he created in his mind. This money has value and all the life that surrounded the tree has none.

He can make objects out of the tree to sell for money or to use it as part of his house or he can simply burn its wood to warm him when it’s cold or throw it in a dump when he has no more value in money to him.

I’m a scientist maybe I see things differently to you.

When I put a microorganism in a dish with all the food it can eat I can watch as it reproduces until it covers all the area of the food and eats and pollutes all the food until every organism dies.

When I see humans chop down every tree to grow more food so that they can multiply I see them killing not only the trees but every other creature that lives on and near the trees. I see that the wonderful web of nature, which produces the oxygen that all life depends upon is being destroyed.

I’m a scientist that has observed the wonders of nature but I’m also a scientist that has observed and measured the effects of humans on the world. I’ve witnessed and measured the deterioration in our life support system that we are causing. I’ve measured the pollution and seen the sickness , death and disease it causes.

I’m a scientist maybe I think different to you.

I don’t know everything but I do know some things for sure. When our population grows so large that it chops down the last tree and pollutes the ocean enough to kill off that last phytoplankton in the oceans that produces the oxygen that all life depends upon, our life support system will fail. Humanity will be the parasite that killed its host.

We’ll all be dust in another failed experiment of evolution of life on Earth. Millions of other species have already preceded us. There is no reason to think we won’t follow them. Every thought that was ever thought, every word that was ever uttered or written, every song, story idea, experience of love and living will be gone forever.

The planet will survive and in a few million years life will be rekindled but without humans because we were so arrogant to believe we had the right to destroy everything living because we were more important than anything else.

I’m just a scientist and maybe I think differently to you.

I do know that the story doesn’t need to turn out this way. I do know we have a problem and the ability to fix it if we try. I also know that fixing the problem will mean changes in people’s lives and how we as a species view our importance in the world. I do know that this is the most important test in our lives.

Can we, like the caterpillar, change to the butterfly? Can we metamorphose into a new beautiful creation of Nature, or do we fail the test of evolution and vanish like so many species before us.

I’m just a scientist and maybe I think different to you.

Des Pensable is a scientist with degrees in microbiology, biochemistry, pharmacology and neuroscience.

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Should the World Sanction or Boycott the USA for Its Inaction on Global Warming?

By Des Pensable copyright 2017

In 2015, the USA Obama government agreed with the world’s climate scientists about the economic, environmental and possible existential dangers posed by Global Warming. They consequently joined the rest of the world at the Paris Climate Change conference pledging strong action to reduce Global Warming.

This year, the new USA Trump government has suddenly denied all scientific evidence from the world that Global Warming is a problem and stated that it will no longer help the world fight Global Warming.

The Trump government has announced, that it will be pulling out of the Paris Climate Change agreement. It is also trying to abolish the US Environmental Protection Agency and significantly reduce actions and research by US government agencies including NASA and the US military on Global Warming mitigation.

So what happened?

Human caused Global Warming is already being seen to increase the severity of storms, such as hurricanes, floods,  dangerous heat waves and droughts around the world which are causing considerable economic damage.

Without serious action, towards 2050 the Global Warming will make many parts of the world unlivable which will cause riots and civil unrest leading to massive numbers, perhaps hundreds of millions of climate change refugees. It’s not difficult to imagine the world strife if this occurs. Hundreds of millions of people will die.

The USA is currently the world’s second largest source of green house gas pollution and for much of the previous century it was the world’s largest source of these gases. Consequently the USA is one of the main causes of Global Warming.

Around the world it is universally recognized that any person, corporation or even country that willfully acts to cause harm or death of people is criminally liable for their actions. The current USA actions to ignore fixing a global problem that it is largely responsible for causing should then be seen as criminal negligence.

It’s worth asking why the USA has decided to ignore the plight of the world and act so irresponsibly towards Global Warming.  At first, it doesn’t seem to make any sense. However, if we take a closer look at political changes to USA government over the last 20 years then we can get an idea as to why this has happened.

The USA has always claimed to be the world’s best example of democracy, however, over the last two decades this has changed. The USA has been transformed from a democracy run by the people for the people, to a corporate oligarchy run by corporate oligarchs for their own enrichment.  A university study showed the citizens of the USA have virtually no say.  In other words the rich people rule the USA.

The oligarchs literally own the politicians within the USA government. They select most of the politicians, spending large amounts of money in advertising to ensure their chosen people get elected. They then give the politicians guidance though large numbers of corporate lobbyists and electoral donations which are basically bribes to ensure the politicians only enact laws beneficial to the corporate oligarchs.

In recent times, the wealth of corporate USA has largely been built from fossil fuels through the petrodollar.  There is currently about $30 trillion worth of fossil fuels still in the ground which could be extracted and burnt. The scientists have provided considerable evidence that if this were to be burnt the world will be destroyed by catastrophic Global Warming.

The current corporate oligarchs such as the Koch brothers who have taken control of the current USA government have massive investments in fossil fuels. The Paris Climate change agreement, was about reducing the use of fossil fuels to zero as soon as possible. If this were to happen then the fossil fuel oligarchs would lose much of their wealth.

It’s not surprising then that with control of the government they have taken actions to not only do nothing about Global warming but speed it up by undoing all Obama era environmental laws brought in to slow down Global Warming. They have also decided to use government money to subsidize increased use of fossil fuel in the USA which will also speed it up. This is suicidal for not only the USA but the world.

The USA believes itself to be world’s only superpower and with the world’s biggest army it can and does threaten any country in the world that displeases it for any reason. The USA government considerers itself the world leader but its actions on Global Warming are not those of a leader. They are the actions of a selfish group of greedy sociopathic oligarchs threatening the world for their own enrichment.

So how can the people of the world express their displeasure at the current USA Trump government’s arrogant and selfish inaction on Global Warming?

The USA government has been the leading country to put trade and economic sanctions on other countries when those countries displease the USA government.

So why couldn’t the world use trade and economic sanctions on the USA to express its displeasure at the arrogant and selfish actions of the current USA corporate government in not taking action on Global Warming.

Climate change activist and journalist  Naomi Klein has suggested that this should be an option if the Trump government leaves the Paris agreement.

There are many USA based transnational corporations that are vulnerable to world sanctions and boycotts. This will penalize corporate USA where it hurts the most, though their corporate profits.

It would also send a loud message to the people of the USA who will be just as badly affected by global Warming as the rest of the world’s people that it is time for them to take their democracy back.

While it might be argued that many cowardly governments would be afraid to put sanctions on the USA fearing spiteful military or economic retaliation. A concerted action by a large group of countries could be accomplished through the United Nations and this would lessen the burden of any USA retaliation on individual countries.

The difference between sanctions and boycotts are that sanctions are carried out by countries but boycotts are carried out by people.  Consequently, a world boycott by the people on USA multinationals might well be an even more potent way for people to show their concern at the USA corporate government’s criminal contempt for OUR lives.

The world boycotts through the BDS program on Israel for its appalling treatment of the Palestinians shows that world boycotts can exert significant pressures on obnoxious governments when other cowardly governments are afraid to speak up.

No government can stop its own people from choosing NOT to buy or use USA services and goods. Each one of us that chooses not to use, buy or support any goods or services from the USA will help to persuade the USA to take action to stop Global Warming instead of making it worse.

The future of all our families and possibly even life on Earth depends on our unified actions to reverse the current USA corporate government madness and greed.

Let’s try to get our governments to sanction the USA but even more important let’s  take individual action. Choose NOT to support any USA corporation and watch what happens.

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Des Pensable is an independent writer and global warming activist receiving no financial support from any organisation.