Notes on the end of the cycle 1: the fall armyworm

nobody really knows what is going on out there and thats the truth. when you lock up so much delicious energy behind pesticides and herbicides and selective breeding and genetic engineering you taunt the entire earth to throw its worst at you, terrifying monsters from our darkest nightmares

in 2016 the fall armyworm was found in western and central Africa. It was native to the Americas, bound in place by vast oceans and its inability to overwinter in cold weather. now its native to Africa, soon it'll be native in Europe and beyond. its only a matter of time. this train has already left

right now in 2018, you can find it in 30 countries across Africa, the court wizards of the north are in a panic, livlihoods in the south are destroyed, food that was intended for people has now become moths and larvae and eggs

i can think of no better name than the fall armyworm. a voracious army of nondescript caterpillars. it's omnivorous and can eat over 80 species of plants, but what it really likes is maize. it wants to eat all the maize. its cannibalistic, each individual driven to consume not just crops but every member of its own species it encounters. no one really knows why, but i can guess

once its done consuming it transforms itself into a moth which can disperse widely during its 10 day life, long enough to find new sources of energy and lay a couple of thousand eggs.

when they hatch they're cunning, they know that someone's out there on the look out for them. so they eat very subtly. they don’t want to show any evidence until their big enough to have it all, carefully nibbling without making any tell tale holes. then when theyre ready they consume the whole lot in a matter of hours - too late, far too late to do anything. naturally they like growing tips and buds and delicious ears of corn to eat

where it lives its the most important pest, devouring all that it can, as fast as it can, as agressivly as it can. it requires, get this, daily pesticide applications to control it. yeah, daily. that does not sound good. usaid, fao etc etc is currently doing the only thing it can - mass promotion of pesticide use; even greater destruction has always been their solution

when you gather so much potential food energy in one place, eventually some thing’s gonna come along and eat it all up. when you treat nature as nothing but something to be consumed, you too will be consumed in turn

did engels not write “Let us not…flatter ourselves over-much on account of our human victories over nature. For each such victory nature takes its revenge on us. Each victory, it is true, in the first place brings about the results we expected, but in the second and third places it has quite different, unforeseen effects which only too often cancel the first.”

and did Arnold de Villanova not write "all men who work beyond nature are deceivers and work in an unlawful manner...they are deceivers and deceived"

do you ever wonder why all these species are so vigorous, so violent, so consumptive, so destructive, so strong and versatile? ill be keeping my eye on the army worm of the fall, maybe this ones special
i can think of no better pun than fail aidsworm


cower puny humans
to the corn's owners the armyworm's stealin his food, but the worm's just doing his thing. farmer's scorching the earth in the war against that worm, with those soil drugs, without any idea how to clean the soil up later from em, but like you said tears there's a lot of food in the human surplus, grown on the former lands of the other animals, and everybody's hungry, and maybe these chem plant soil molecules can outwit some of em for now, but the world's got millions of evolvers looking at the surplus at once, trying to eat too, and we moved first, now it's their move.
this is a worthwhile read from bellamy foster despite having all the problems which these things always do https://monthlyreview.org/2018/09/01/making-war-on-the-planet/

especially if you did not already know how genocidal the geoengineering crowd are

BECCS (Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage), however, comes into question the moment one moves from the abstract to the concrete. The IPCC’s median-level models are projected to remove 630 gigatons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, around two thirds of the total emitted between the Industrial Revolution and 2011.17 This would occur on vast crop plantations to be run by agribusiness. To remove a trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as envisioned in the more ambitious scenarios would take up a land twice the size of India (or equal to Australia), about half as much land as currently farmed globally, requiring a supply of freshwater equal to current total global agricultural usage.18 The costs of implementing BECCS on the imagined scales have been estimated by climatologist James Hansen—who critically notes that negative emissions have “spread like a cancer” in the IPCC climate models—to be on the order of hundreds of trillions of dollars, with “minimal estimated costs” ranging as high as $570 trillion this century.19 The effects of BECCS—used as a primary mechanism and designed to avoid confrontation with the present system of production—would therefore be a massive displacement of small farmers and global food production.

Is the joke that the army worms are Settlers?
u tell me
says they can fly 300 miles in their ten day lifespan. 30 miles per day, that's a decent pace. similar to a full days journey via covered wagon
i remember in peak army worm years when I was a kid people would tell stories of roads that were so covered with worms that they became hazardous, cars hydroplaning on a slurry of worm guts and careening into ditches. i don't know if these stories were true, but either way it works as a metaphor
the settler analogy or whatever is bad sorry, you cant just traspose an understanding of the past few hundred years of (settler expantionist) human history onto the whole of the natural world in such a crude fashion, because "non-sentient settlerism" isnt a thing, especially when its just species spreading into new niches and habitats: for instance why would the worms be the settler and not the settled mono-agriculture theyre eating up??
in one light the are a reification of natures wrath but on the other hand the people most grievously affected by them are least culpable for humanitys war on nonhuman life
yeah, obviously im not trying to blame the people effected, theyre trapped between fail armyworms and euro-amerikkkan agri-buisiness, what im recomending is that they, um, be really nice to their local syngentia rep and use their blood as an offering the earth

Edited by tears ()

wow way to buy into the myth of the green proletariat, damn arbor aristocracy
all hail the fall armyworm, harbinger of the phase shift
The cannibalism is definitely the most settlerish feature.

ghostpinballer posted:

all hail the fall armyworm, harbinger of the phase shift

can we eat the worms


1 6 5 4 3 5, 2 5 3 4 5 6, polygon harmonics


this stuff scares me. i wish i knew more about agriculture. maybe i should go to college

Parenti posted:

this stuff scares me. i wish i knew more about agriculture. maybe i should go to college

just open a book about agriculture and start reading, then read some more, and some articles, maybe chat to a farmer or two, browse some agriculture forums online, see waht farmers are talking about, read up about the agricultural system andits history, soil health, carbon cycling, eutrophication, runnoff, flooding, permacuture, crop rotation, planting cycles, seed types and varieties, and intersperes that with alternative farming methods knowledge, try to develop your botanical knowledge, at least gain an understanding of the relationship between farming and the following clades: invertebrates, fungi, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, birds, plants, learn about the historic difficulty in the sorting of grain crops from poisinous or unpalatable interlopers (the so called arable weeds), and get a good understanding of pesticides (remembering to consider both herbicides and insecticides, but not to neglect traditional techniques and experimental stuff like biological control methods and GM stuff), look into their development, use, manurfacture, human toxicity and especially how they're killing everything, look into permaculture techniques, learn to cook properly and learn about the different types of food, learn a bunch about what we can and cant eat, develop and understanding of the different types of crops, learn about sugar, learn what cerials are, how they were developed through human histroy, read up about collectivisation, its successes and failiures, the overall errors of the soviet farming system, id recomend looking at stuff about the role soil erosion has played in history, try to get some experience on a farm, even if its just visiting one for a day, especially around animals because you want to have an idea of what the meat industry is like, read up A LOT about traditional farming techniques, go into detail with some of them, read a bunch of greenie stuff, whatever you do dont get too sucked into the liberal stuff but forewarned is forarmed, you should check out the ecofascist stuff, at least read that sakai pamphlet about it, learn about the so called "invasive non native" species, take at least 10 outdoor walks this year of at least 1 hour in as many diffeerent habitats as you can (e.g. intensive arable, pasture, diffierent types of woodlands, urban, suburban etc etc) paying especial attention to what is and isnt growing and living in them, what proportion of the biomass is contained in different things, and how the space is used and abused in general, maybe plant somethings so you get a feel for what its like to raise life from seeds, aquire some houseplants and dont let them die, or maybe do just to see what happens, theres a bunch more but i think thats good to be getting on with, just try and get a general overall knowledge and understanding first, but once you have that go deep on a few topics that really excited you or you think are especially useful, preferably both, there you go, i dont do tutorials, assignments will be two 1,500 word essays per week, one on a topic of my choice, one that you have to chose for yourself, as well as 20 short answer questions requiring no more than two hundred words per answer, marked within 4 days with detailed feedback, u can always find me in my office, that'll be $20,000 please thankyou

p.s. try to do this in the marxist method or whatever - if you havent grasped that someone else can fill you in on that if you ask nicely probably

i will start from the very beginning because your post is really inspiring. please recommend me a book on agriculture and i'll read it, then go through the list. i've read a bit about collectivization and the kolkhoz etc. and it always gets me excited. i used to do a bunch of gardening stuff, but that was mostly cutting grass, trimming hedges, pulling weeds etc; destructive rather than creative.
tell me what languages you read
its good when people want to learn about things on here to give them recommendations. also guff but also recommendations.
like HenryKrinkle may be right that this place is CSPAM now but please at least continue to shame your fellow posters effectively into learning more about corn
heres what i got, i suggest starting with "The Genesis of Capitalist Ground Rent" in Volume III of Capital by Karl Marx, FRSA. and then picking up John Bellamy Foster (Trot alert) starting with The Vulnerable Planet. (I usually say to start with someone's latest book if the field is as fast-moving as agriculture but not in this case, because it's an apologia for Marx against non-Marxist eco people and there's probably ten people on Earth including Foster and his coauthor who care about that.)

At the same time grab Introduction to Agricultural Economics by Penson, not because it's mind-blowing but because there's a cheapo ebook/paperback version & it's an okay recent review. Shry & Reiley's Introductory Horticulture is good to start with for agriscience, also because of a cheap version (the e-book one). That will provide you a foundation for more of the technical stuff in terms of both biology and social sciences.

You will probably come across Foster going on about Justus Liebig and his importance to Marx, and you're gonna really wish that certain parts of the specific Liebig stuff that Marx references could be found easily in their entirety in your native language, and they often can't even though they were likely printed in three or four languages when they were first published, because this world smells like the Devil's ass but it's fine.
When you get done with that or if you're already past the point where it would be useful, though it's more for context on debates about peasants at the turn of the century and how they rolled into Bolshevik policy in revolutionary Russia than it is for learning about contemporary agriculture, Lenin's The Agrarian Question and the “Critics of Marx” is pretty fun. Lenin roasting suckers for bad science is the lifeblood of the community, so much so that a bunch of people kind of interested in the topic are going to ignore the post before this one and instead tap that link so hard their phone explodes.
I've read a bunch of JBF, and Lenin & Marx on it, though never a full book. I just used to subscribe to MR. I'll read his books now though and the order of the other stuff you told me too, the more "technical" stuff sounds interesting.

And Tears, I read English and French.

Parenti posted:



Rome's Fall Reconsidered - Vladimir Gregorievitch Simkhovitch (1916)
Reconstruction By Way of the Soil - Wrench, G.T., M.D (1946)
Collumella - De Re Rustica (C1st)
Le Livre de L'Agriculture D'ibn-al-awam (french translation, 1864) - Ibn al-Awwam (C12th)
Knott's handbook for vegetable growers - D.N. Maynard & G.J. Hochmuth (2007)

theres things wrong with them all but thats what brains are for, they're all free online, dont feel like you need to read anything cover to cover, a little knowledge on a lot of different things is a great base to work from on any subject and will hopefully allow you to devolop a whole new agriculturalist way of looking at the world


Mass die-off of clams fouls Revere Beach
By Morgan Hughes, Globe Correspondent September 19, 2018

REVERE — Hundreds of thousands of Atlantic surf clams washed up on Revere Beach in recent days, creating a strange spectacle on the popular seashore Wednesday and a foul-smelling coda to the summer.

Authorities were trying to determine the cause of the mass die-off. Just before midday, as waves crashed nearby, bulldozers dispatched by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation dug large trenches in the sand to bury the juvenile shellfish in an “environmentally friendly manner.”

It was the third and largest event of its kind involving surf clams this summer, and similar events have occurred in the last 10 years at Nantasket Beach Reservation and Ipswich Bay, the DCR said.

The Division of Marine Fisheries is analyzing the clams and expects to have preliminary results in the coming days that might point to a cause.

“I’m puzzled by this,” said Bruce Berman, a spokesman for Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, an environmental advocacy group. “There have been shellfish kills, and they’re increasing in my opinion, as we deal with results of climate change.”

The changing water temperatures and fresh/saltwater mix of the ocean could have killed the “particularly sensitive” clams, said Berman, who was at Revere Beach on Wednesday morning. He also said a particular type of algae could have clogged the gills of the clams and caused them to suffocate.

“The extent and duration of this event are fairly unique in my experience, though that doesn’t mean they’re unique in the world,” Berman said. “But if they keep coming up on the beach every tide, it’s an uphill battle.”

The live ones closest to the water, Berman said, have at least some chance of being swept back into the ocean and surviving.

The die-off was the latest in the region to befall marine life this summer.

In July, tens of thousands of menhaden washed up in the Mystic River in Everett and Somerville, possibly after fish were driven into shallow, warmer waters by a predator. In Maine last month, a large number of fish — also menhaden — washed up on Old Orchard Beach.

At least four dead whales have turned up on New England shores or off the coast this month.

In Revere, the stench permeated the streets, homes, and businesses as far as a mile away from the beach. Roving gangs of sea gulls seized on the opportunity to dig through the mounds of shells in search of live clams to eat.

“Everyone is trying to figure out what is going on; from what it appears, it is an unprecedented event,” said state Representative RoseLee Vincent, who lives on Revere Beach. “I think its concerning, and we’re all trying to get a handle on it.”

Vincent said she had heard concerns about the mass die-off from people all over the city.

Gail Scibelli of Winthrop was running on her regular route about a mile from the beach when she noticed the “awful” smell.

“I just hope we’re OK from an environmental perspective,” Scibelli said. “Though people sometimes make fun of Revere Beach, a lot of us enjoy it. It’s still a very nice beach, and it’s a place where people like to congregate, and I think people want the health of it preserved.”

Cassandra Coppola, who has worked at Kell’s Kreme for 10 summers, said the smell hasn’t turned anyone away from the ice cream shop, though some have complained.

“It reminds me of that apocalypse feel — birds falling out of the sky and fish washing up on the beach,” she said.

pt 2

Hello. I am Dr Tom Chiller, chief of the Mycotic Diseases Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As part of the CDC Expert Commentary Series on Medscape, I would like to tell you about Candida auris, a novel yeast that is behaving in unexpected and concerning ways, causing severe disease in countries across the globe, including the United States. Today we'll share how you can protect your patients from this potentially deadly infection, the history of this unusual bug, and how the United States is working with global partners to combat its spread.

Several features set C auris apart from other Candida species and make it a particular concern:

C auris can spread between patients in healthcare facilities and cause outbreaks. In this way, it appears to behave much like some multidrug-resistant bacteria (eg, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or Acinetobacter). Using contact precautions to prevent transmission may sound strange for Candida, but for C auris, they are a key part of the control strategy.

C auris can colonize a patient's skin for months or longer. It can be readily detected by culturing swabs of a colonized patient's axilla, groin, or other body sites. In light of this, use of contact precautions, as well as strict attention to hand hygiene, are critical elements in controlling spread. CDC is also working with partners to better understand the role of topical agents to prevent spread by reducing colonization.

This hardy yeast can live on surfaces for a month or more, and preliminary testing suggests that quaternary ammonium compounds commonly used for healthcare disinfection may not be sufficiently effective against C auris. Until further testing is available, CDC recommends that healthcare facilities meticulously perform daily and terminal cleaning of rooms of patients who were infected or colonized with C auris with an EPA-registered disinfectant that is effective against Clostridium difficile spores.

C auris is quickly becoming more common. In some international healthcare facilities, it has gone from an unknown pathogen to a cause of 40% of invasive Candida infections within a few years. We need to act now to prevent this from happening in the United States.

C auris is often multidrug resistant. Some strains have been resistant to all three major antifungal classes, including echinocandins, the first-line treatment for Candida infections.

C auris has reportedly never been isolated from the natural environment, and it does not seem to have been a common colonizer of humans before 2009. More research is needed to understand where in the environment C auris lives and why it began affecting humans only recently.

CDC's website has the most up-to-date guidance on identifying, treating, and controlling the spread of C auris. In healthcare facilities, including nursing homes and outpatient settings, the key measures are to:

Place patients in single rooms and use standard and contact precautions.

Emphasize adherence to hand hygiene, including use of alcohol-based hand rubs.

Clean the patient care environment with recommended disinfectants.

Screen patients to identify C auris colonization, and report suspected cases to local public health authorities and to CDC immediately for guidance. C auris can be misidentified using traditional methods. CDC and the Antibiotic Resistance Regional Laboratories can assist with identification and characterization.

i am dr tom chiller
a rhyme killer
a mic in my hand
and a mouth full of miller
damn i didnt know toyota was carrying out biological warfare

The results were surprising and puzzling. A single strain of C auris was not spreading around the world, nor were many unrelated strains suddenly being recognized. Instead, isolates fell into four distinct clades (groups) along geographic lines. It appeared that distinct strains had emerged nearly simultaneously in four different regions of the world. Changes in the environment may have led to its emergence, followed by subsequent transmission in healthcare settings.

the fungus ending is one of my least favorite

air travel is cursed
thinking about how i get sick every time i fly and how there's some people whose job is to just sit there in a big nebulizer filled with the mixed sewage of the entire world

it gives me a great Final Fantasy III (6j) romhack idea: move Veldt mechanics into a big airport. the monsters are all diseases. Gau is a flight attendant, and the former "Leap" command ("Board") begins his shift

Constantignoble posted:

thinking about how i get sick every time i fly

stop flying

as a general rule, or me in particular?