Imaginal cells and the body politic

A Story for Our Times  When a caterpillar nears its transformation time, it begins to eat ravenously, consuming everything in sight. (It is interesting to note that individuals are often called “consumers” and one of the largest manufacturers of heavy construction machinery is called “Caterpillar,” Inc.) The caterpillar body then becomes heavy, outgrowing its own skin many times, until it …

Climate Change Disrupts Orchard Crops and Long-Term Plans for California’s Farmers

America’s avocado industry is already experiencing the effects of climate change. Avocados are particularly sensitive to temperature fluctuations, as the trees start to falter when temperatures drop below 28 degrees Fahrenheit or rise above 100 degrees. Cold weather can shorten the trees’ pollination period, while water shortages, salt accumulation in the soil, and warm-weather loving pests can also lead to …

Humans are the most social of animals

The friend effect: why the secret of health and happiness is surprisingly simple: A study has found that regularly eating meals alone is the biggest single factor for unhappiness, besides existing mental illness. Why is hanging out with friends so helpful? By Jenny Stevens, The Guardian, Wed 23 May 2018   People who eat socially are more likely to feel better about themselves. …

Case argues Facebook operated a “malicious and fraudulent scheme” to exploit vast amounts of private data to earn Facebook billions and force rivals out of business.

Mark Zuckerberg faces allegations that he developed a “malicious and fraudulent scheme” to exploit vast amounts of private data to earn Facebook billions and force rivals out of business. A company suing Facebook in a California court claims the social network’s chief executive “weaponised” the ability to access data from any user’s network of friends – the feature at the heart …

Feeding and Healing the World Through Regenerative Agriculture

By Eva Perroni Transitioning to more sustainable forms of agriculture remains critical, as many current agriculture practices have serious consequences including deforestation and soil degradation. But despite agriculture’s enormous potential to hurt the environment, it also has enormous potential to heal it. Realizing this, many organizations are promoting regenerative agriculture as a way to not just grow food but to progressively improve ecosystems. Drawing …

Humans just 0.01% of all life but have destroyed 83% of wild mammals – study

Groundbreaking assessment of all life on Earth reveals humanity’s surprisingly tiny part in it as well as our disproportionate impact.  By Damian Carrington, The Guardian Mon 21 May 2018   A cattle farm in Mato Grosso, Brazil. 60% of all mammals on Earth are livestock. Photograph: Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace Humankind is revealed as simultaneously insignificant and utterly dominant in the grand scheme of life …

Getting ready for more variable renewable energy on the grid

Excerpt from David Roberts article Solar and wind are coming. And the power sector isn’t ready. By David Roberts  May 18 The LBNL team (Joachim Seel, Andrew Mills, and Ryan Wiser) notes that “many long-lasting decisions for supply- and demand-side electricity infrastructure and programs are based on historical observations or assume a business-as-usual future with low shares of VRE.” But what if VRE takes …

Next System Papers

This is the Wrong Time to Cut Back on Public Housing May 3, 2018 More than half a million Americans are homeless — the size of a large city. Inside “The Souls of Poor Folk” Moral Audit with Co-Author May 3, 2018 “The Poor People’s Campaign was a project first introduced by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, who was …

Mitakuye Oyasin – A Powerful Lakota Prayer for All Our Relations

Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ (All Are Related) is a phrase from the Lakota language. It reflects the world view of interconnectedness held by the Lakota people of North America.[1] This concept and phrase is expressed in many Yankton Sioux prayers,[2] as well as by ceremonial people in other Lakota communities.[3][4] The phrase translates in English as “all my relatives,” “we are all related,” or “all my relations.” It is a prayer of …

Students as debt slaves, more of an indication of social breakdown. Meanwhile, “What Medicare for All is to the health care debate, or Fight for $15 is to the battle about inequality, 100% Renewable is to the struggle for the planet’s future.”

Excerpt from Students as Debt Slaves, at CommonDreams.org 23 Apr 2018.   Interview those fifty-ish high school educated male workers whom Ann Case and Angus Deaton revealed are dying prematurely from diseases of despair. In a meticulously documented essay on the origins and purpose of money, University of Missouri-Kansas City economist Michael Hudson points out that historians and anthropologists can find no examples of …