Colonizing Planet Earth

If our civilization requires the resource equivalent of three earths to be sustainable, then we have to stop drawing on ecosystem services that are overstretched. In fact, maybe we should start acting like there are no ecosystem services available to us at all.

What’s an ecosystem service? Here’s Wikipedia’s definition:Ecosystem services are distinct from other ecosystem products and functions because there is human demand for these natural assets. Services can be subdivided into five categories: provisioning such as the production of food and water; regulating, such as the control of climate and disease; supporting, such as nutrient cycles and crop pollination; cultural, such as spiritual and recreational benefits; and preserving, which includes guarding against uncertainty through the maintenance of diversity.Economically, ecosystem services provide us with assets that we would otherwise have to produce ourselves. The simplest example is water treatment, which is done for free by our aquifers. It’s possible to directly measure the equivalent cost of a water treatment plant for a given set of wetlands or aquifer, which means you can exactly quantify the value of many ecosystem services. Pollination is another hugely important ecosystem service, which is provided largely for free by bees.

There’s a lot of discussion about ecosystem services these days, and about our ecological footprint. The usual line is this: we’re using three earths worth of resources, so we have to find a way to cut back or we’re all sunk. This is true, but as I’ve pointed out before, there’s a dramatic difference in terms of motivating people, between framing something as a positive, or as a negative. The “three earths” metaphor is good for scaring people, but it’s a negative: it evokes images of austerity and sacrifice. If we want to motivate people to change things, it’s always better to frame the change in terms of opportunity.

(via WorldChanging Canada)


as a coda to that last post, I should mention that my husband—after waiting nearly a month to get the formal offer letter from the school where he’ll be teaching this fall & then a few days of having the letter just sit out in our living room—made a big show of countersigning the contract on Saturday. “there,” he said, showing it to me when it was finished, “now April 13th is the day when I officially accepted my first tenure-track job.”

& so it is recoded, & a little bit of the melancholy gets diluted. to quote again from that email I wrote two years ago—

I’m sure our experience of [the anniversary], & of this annual period, will evolve over time, & if it reaches a point where we’ve all but forgotten when I was in the hospital, I won’t complain. but as long as it remains a vivid memory for us, I like having an excuse to really revel in the joy & the beauty of being with each other, doing the things we do, in a world of near-infinite possibility.

I’ve finally reached the point where I don’t actually regret what happened to me, because the chance to stare mortality in the face & survive with few serious repercussions is a really rare gift, especially for someone in their 20s. the above perspective is one of the sub-benefits of that gift.

but at the same time, I’m happiest when I actually do forget for a moment. & I’ll be glad if, over time, the new significance of April 13th eventually eclipses the old one.

…when we hear Israel — which is as least as responsible as any American policymakers for destabilization of the Middle East and destabilization of Syria — say that they will protect the Syrian people by firing missiles into Syria to try to warn the government not to use chemical weapons, this is just bizarre.

Israel has no interest in protecting civilians. Israel has been massacring civilians all over the Arab world, practically ever since it began as the leading terrorist nation in the world, at least per capita population.

Dr. Kevin Barrett, “War on Syria, Western attempt to recolonize Arab World”

'Western corporate-financiers have plotted since at least 1991 to overturn not only Syria's government, but to topple and co-opt the governments of every nation previously in the Soviet sphere of influence. US Army General Wesley Clark made it known during a 2007 speech given to the Commonwealth Club of California, that in 1991, then Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz said the US had 5-10 years to clean up the old Soviet “client regimes” before the next super power rose up and challenged western hegemony.'

Marine Reptile Month #8 — Pachyrhachis

Late Cretaceous period (~100 mya)

Pachyrhachis is one of the oldest known snakes, and has transitional features between its lizard ancestors and the later members of the group — most obviously the presence of well-developed hind limbs. Like modern sea snakes, this 1m long (3ft 3in) marine reptile was probably a relatively slow swimmer, relying on ambush hunting to catch its prey.

The early evolution of snakes is still very unclear, with fossils being rare due to the skeletons being small and fragile. One hypothesis is that snakes may be a sister group to the mosasaurs, having started off as aquatic animals like Pachyrhachis and later recolonizing the land. The other potential origin is as burrowing terrestrial animals, based on the slightly younger fossil limbed snake Najash.

Color palette used: “The Sound of Eyes Burning

Robin Williams Memorial


Today is a very sad day.. 
My sympathies go to his daughter, wife and friends. 
But. let us remember him, in joy. 

Let us mourn, but also, recolonize him for the brilliant mind, actor, genius he was. 

He was, one of my favorite male actors. Always a great actor, in serious roles, funny roles. Or down right zany. 
He was perhaps one of the greatest actors of our time.:

Bicentennial man
Good Will Hunting
What Dreams May Come
Mrs.. Doubtfire
Patch Adams

Nearly every film he’s done, has been amazing.
Because HE was in it. 

I love you Robin, you made my childhood amazing. 
And my adult hood, even as early in it as I am.  Amazing too.

Thank you, and you will be loved, by so many more generations, as long as there are DVDs, Blu Rays… 
You’ll be remembered and loved. 

You were my hero. 
And someone I aspired to be.

The 100 by Kass Morgan

No one has set foot on Earth in centuries — until now.

Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth’s radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents — considered expendable by society — are being sent on a dangerous mission: to recolonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life…or it could be a suicide mission.

CLARKE was arrested for treason, though she’s haunted by the memory of what she really did. WELLS, the chancellor’s son, came to Earth for the girl he loves — but will she ever forgive him? Reckless BELLAMY fought his way onto the transport pod to protect his sister, the other half of the only pair of siblings in the universe. And GLASS managed to escape back onto the ship, only to find that life there is just as dangerous as she feared it would be on Earth.

Confronted with a savage land and haunted by secrets from their pasts, the hundred must fight to survive. They were never meant to be heroes, but they may be mankind’s last hope.

I received this free from the publisher via NetGalley

Humans now live on a spaceship just above earth. They are unsure of whether Earth is liveable on yet, but they have no other choice than to find out. The ship is dying, and oxygen is running low. The Council decides to send 100 teenage prisoners down to earth and see if they survive.

I went into the 100 expecting very little, with little expectations. I adore the tv show. I love the characters and the setting, and I think that it is executed better on TV as it is in book format.

The plot is dull and slow, and I found myself getting bored really easily. One main problem I had was the lack of world-building. We get very little background to what happened on earth. I also didn’t like the amount of flashbacks, or the switching of the POVs, I didn’t hate them, but I didn’t particularly like them either.

I felt like some of the characters were completely unimportant to the story at all. For example, Glass? I don’t see the point of her story at all. Was it just so the readers could get a sense of life on the ship a bit better? I personally found her character boring. Wells was another character I was not fond of. He sabotaged the lives of thousands of humans for one girl? Is this guy serious? I just couldn’t get around his whining and his obsession with Clarke. Clarke was a character I liked, as was Bellamy and Octavia, but I think that was probably just because I adore them in the show, so I must say I was very influenced.

Overall, not a book I would personally recommend. Slow paced, lack of plot development or character development and very little world building.

MY RATING: ★★☆☆☆

Also, just a little note – Finn is on the cover of my edition (I know because it’s the TV cover), but wouldn’t it make sense to take him off, considering he isn’t even in the book?

Nature knows

Back in the day when they executed prisoners by hanging, the bodies would be buried in an unmarked grave within the prison walls. The condemned would be cut down from the yardarm an hour after the deed was done, stripped, washed and wrapped in a shroud. No funeral service was performed. He or she would simply be placed in a plain coffin, which was then filled with quicklime, and interred at night, out of sight of the other inmates, along one wall. Only a ledger within the prison’s vaults recorded who lay where.

When one prison was decommissioned and became a relic for tourists to wander around, the yard was left to regrow with vegetation. The process took some months as nature gradually recolonized, but however much the trustees watered it and tried to coax plant life back, the strip along the wall where the bodies were buried remained bare … except for one rectangular plot which quickly burst into a colourful splash of flowers and grasses.

Five years later, the patch of vegetation remained the only one in that strip of the damned. DNA evidence had cleared the person who lay there of the crime he had been executed for. 

Taiwan is an unusual, perhaps unique, case because, although the colonizers were expelled, the country never got its independence. In August 1945, Japanese colonial machinery was being dismantled as Chinese troops and officials arrived from the mainland. This process took some time. Japan formally surrendered Taiwan to General Chen Yi on October 25, though “in November the Japanese forces were still masters of the island,” according to one British eyewitness. There were nonetheless high expectations of democratic self-determination among the Taiwanese civilian population.

Taiwan, however, did not then achieve democracy or independence. Instead, it became a spoil to be handed back to the Chinese Nationalists, parallel to its handover to Japan after the first Sino-Japanese war in 1895. Taiwan therefore shouldered a second colonial yoke at almost precisely the time its Japanese colonial burden was lifted: Taiwan’s postwar phase was not postcolonial, nor even neocolonial, but rather a recolonization under the KMT. By February 28, 1947, the KMT’s brutality was apparent, making Japanese colonial domination seemed comparatively benign. February 28 saw KMT troops throughout Taiwan beating and killing civilians on a pretext of quelling (Communist) revolt. An Anticipated historical period of postcolonialism soon reverted to recolonization under a guise of Chinese reunification.

[…] Finally, the historical upheaval of the postwar period, in which a foreign colonial power was replaced by an equally foreign regime that soon declared martial law, is resolved into a democratic prosperity. Taiwan’s postwar struggles were prolonged by KMT’s presence, but an unintended consequence was the mellowing of Taiwanese recollections of the colonial period. Nationalist rewriting of Taiwan space made the Japanese colonial place seem sweeter than it really was.

—  Darrell W. Davis (x)

girlyglamm said:

Hi! There is a chapter recolonizing this upcoming year at my university. I went through recruitment last year as a freshman, thought it wasn't for me and I quit. I am really interested in this new chapter and I was wondering what the process is like. There was a new chapter a couple years ago and I know interviews were involved, but is the process the same for everyone? Also, how do they go about choosing leadership exec positions because that is also something I am interested in. Thanks!

New colonies have a combination of education and interviews. There will be some events where they tell the PNMs all about their national organization. Then the advisors (and other members) may mingle and chat with with the PNMs in a social situation. Followed by the interviews that you mentioned. That’s the classic way in which colonies recruit. They don’t have members to sing and clap, so part of the process is more like a job interview.

Sisters who live nearby, alumnae and advisors come on campus to launch the new chapter and evaluate PNMs. Those are the women you will be speaking with. They give an overview of what sorority life will be like and then they get to know each PNM individually. They determine if a PNM is sisterhood material. At the end of a colony recruitment, there will probably be one invitation only event and a modified bid day where bids are presented to the new members. 

During recruitment they will also be looking for potential leaders. In your interview you can mention your desire to be on the e-board. Highlight your past experience and what makes you perfect for holding office. A new colony needs girls ready and eager to step into top positions. You get much more of a chance for leadership with a colony. I think this is the IDEAL way for you to join greek life as sophomore! Give it a try and see if you like it this time around. You have nothing to loose and everything to gain! xoxo :)

The carefully manicured lawns of Los Angeles’s Westside sprout forests of ominous little signs warning: ‘Armed Response!’ Even richer neighborhoods in the canyons and hillsides isolate themselves behind walls guarded by gun-toting private police and state-of-the-art electronic surveillance. Downtown, a publicly-subsidized ‘urban renaissance’ has raised the nation’s largest corporate citadel, segregated from the poor neighborhoods around it by a monumental architectural glacis. In Hollywood, celebrity architect Frank Gehry, renowned for his ‘humanism’, apotheosizes the siege look in a library designed to resemble a foreign-legion fort. In the Westlake district and the San Fernando Valley the Los Angeles Police barricade streets and seal off poor neighborhoods as part of their ‘war on drugs’. In Watts, developer Alexander Haagen demonstrates his strategy for recolonizing inner-city retail markets: a panopticon shopping mall surrounded by staked metal fences and a substation of the LAPD in a central surveillance tower. Finally on the horizon of the next millennium, an ex-chief of police crusades for an anti-crime ‘giant eye’ – a geo-synchronous law enforcement satellite – while other cops discreetly tend versions of ‘Garden Plot’, a hoary but still viable 1960s plan for a law-and-order armageddon. Welcome to post-liberal Los Angeles, where the defense of luxury lifestyles is translated into a proliferation of new repressions in space and movement, undergirded by the ubiquitous ‘armed response’.
—  Mike Davis, City of Quartz (2006 [1990]), p. 223

My mama died yesterday. Well almost everyone I’ve met haven’t really recolonized her as such since she’s well…a dog. I’ll summarize how I came to know her as my mama and what happened yesterday, if you’ll listen of course.

Joan was given to me as my first birthday present, she had a bad streak as a puppy till she was trained how to be a good dog by my dad, she had puppies later on in life when I was a toddler. My uncle had sold all her puppies, Joan wanting to mother and nurture her own puppies found me having no mother at the time since my birth mother is a on an off when she see’s fit and took the role of being my mother. Joan would protect me from every little thing she thought was a threat, she was the one stable thing in my life. In the last few years her age caught up with her, white hairs all over her muzzle, her eyes having that misty look. Recently cancer made itself known to us, she became really ill in the last four days, we took her to the vet yesterday. We had to put her to sleep. I cried and cried when the vet and her assistant left to give us a moment to to say goodbye as Joan was passing on. I hadn’t really believed that this was actually happening until I touched her head and she didn’t wag her tail or move, my heart broke and I felt hallow inside. Dad left after petting her a few times to handle whatever he needed to do at the front desk leaving me with Joan. I kept whispering in a cracked voice while crying,” I’m sorry” “I love you” “you wont hurt anymore” “I miss you already.” Dad came back saying she was already gone and we should go, I didn’t want to leave the dog I’ve come to know as my mama, I peppered kisses all over her head before I had to leave the room with dad. I glanced back at the misty glass door where I could catch a glimpse of Joan’s body on the clear side and at that moment it felt like the world was just unreal that this was a nightmare that I couldn’t be leaving her there. The tears wouldn’t stop for 30 minutes straight even after i was still sniffling trying to be strong. Once I got home her blue collar in hand, I went to bed with Joan’s collar even though it was about to be noon, sleep sounded so good as if I would wake up and she would be waiting for me beside my bed. Of course…I woke up at 8 pm and having slept too much gave me a massive headache but as a glance around my room Joan was not in sight so i left my room and saw her bowls and dog bed were gone. I couldn’t breathe, my heart felt like it would cave in on itself. I will be turning 15 on August 19. She would have turned 14 on the same day. I do not look forward to celebrating my birthday without her, I do not look forward to any days where I will be living without my adoptive mama, my loyal dog.

Eringusta and I are in desperate need of a Firefly/Maze runner crossover where in a last-ditch effort to escape the rampant Flare the Immunes leave behind what they now refer to as Earth-That-Was and set off to explore the verse, recolonize, and reestablish the human race. 

With Jorge piloting, Captain Thomas, Brenda as first mate, and Mino as their sometimes crude and loud merc. Throw in some Thominho for the shits and giggles. I mean come on. 

But no seriously, we need this.