When will the Amazon reach a tipping point?

I posted this a year ago and since then the damage caused to the Amazon has only increased dramatically. We are like a super sized locust destroying everything in our path.

19th January 2021

The poster child if you like for trees is the Amazon rainforest. It’s the one that everyone remembers and roughly knows where it is but it is being decimated effectively so that the burgeoning global human population and their waistlines can eat cheap beef burgers. Like many countries in South America, Brazil’s population continues to grow. The Brazilians are mostly descendants of Europeans that have only been there for five or so centuries yet the numbers today are so many that they are destroying the country like locusts in a field of crops. Studies have shown that once enough of the forest has been cut down precipitation will change and the forest will stop producing enough rain to sustain itself. How long before this happens is as usual open to debate and many think that it will be in the 2030s to 2040s. In 2019, an economist called Monica de Bolle, suggested that this might happen early on in the 2020s, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/23/amazon-rainforest-close-to-irreversible-tipping-point. What is known is that the Amazon, a forest of 16,000 different tree species is drying out, https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00508-4. It is thought that in the last 100 years that the temperature in the forest has increased between 1 and 1.5oC and that in parts the dry season has increased from 4 to almost 5 months in the last 50 years. In addition there has been three severe droughts between 2005 and 2020 and it is thought that some species of trees are thriving at the expense of those that are dying due to the less moist conditions. At the time of writing even the pandemic appeared not to be able to slow the rate of deforestation in the Amazon.

Our Teemill shop site for our organic cotton clothes and bags, https://junagarh-media.teemill.com/.

My author page where you can discover more about my books, https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07D3ZTQ1L.

This is our website for all our photography and my books, https://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk/.

Our Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JunagarhMedia.

We are also on Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/21104365@N06/.

Also on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/junagarh_media/.

It’s Veganuary – have you made any changes at all?

I posted this a year ago and Veganuary is here again so time to try reducing your meat intake or going meat free.

January 2021

We are rushing away from the start of the New Year. Are any of your New Year’s resolutions intact? Do you know about Veganuary? Perhaps it’s time that you took a small step to improve your health, save the lives of some animals and protect the environment with special reference to the Amazon rainforest. So thing about reducing your meat intake, try vegetarian and vegan options as there are plenty of good ones.

Our Teemill shop site for our organic cotton clothes and bags, https://junagarh-media.teemill.com/.

My author page where you can discover more about my books, https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07D3ZTQ1L.

This is our website for all our photography and my books, https://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk/.

We are also on Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/21104365@N06/.

Also on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/junagarh_media/.

Our Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JunagarhMedia.

If only bees could tell their tale – and they have

Originally posted 15th January 2021

We are changing this world in so many ways and in some cases we haven’t got so much historical data to go by to see how much change is taking place. Thankfully, due to a PhD study on the feeding habits of bees in 1952 it was possible to repeat the survey in 2017 during another PhD research study to see what had changed. The data extracted shows how the landscape of the UK has changed in those short few decades, https://phys.org/news/2021-01-honeybees-reveal-floral-landscape-years.html, https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-55662985. Bees along with many other pollinators are suffering because of intensive farming and the increasing use of pesticides. Something that we should all be worried about.

I became interested in bees due to my wider interest in environmental change to human activity. So far I have written two stories for the 8-12 year old reader on the adventures of bees that face similar problems to real bees. In the first story, Busy Bee and the Endangered Meadow (two versions), https://www.amazon.co.uk/Busy-Endangered-Meadow-Paul-No%C3%ABl/dp/198320384X/, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Busy-Endangered-Meadow-Paul-No%C3%ABl/dp/B08BW5Y3CS/, the bees need to stop some greedy farmers building on their meadow. In the UK we have lost 97% of our meadows since the middle of the 20th century. Then in the follow up, Busy Bee and the Silent Spring, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Busy-Silent-Spring-Paul-No%C3%ABl/dp/B088JFN1ZV/, the bees have to solve the problem of a nearby farmer using banned pesticides. Although for younger readers a few adults have said that they enjoyed reading them too.

See more of Gerry Newton’s wonderful art, https://www.geraldnewtonart.com/.

Our Teemill shop site for our organic cotton clothes and bags, https://junagarh-media.teemill.com/.

My author page where you can discover more about my books, https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07D3ZTQ1L.

This is our website for all our photography and my books, https://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk/.

We are also on Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/21104365@N06/.

Also on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/junagarh_media/.

Eat less meat – it will be good for you and so much better for the planet

I posted this last year. It’s Veganuary again so now’s the time to at least reduce the amount of meat you eat.

January 2021

It’s Veganuary and if you haven’t thought about it already then consider eating one or more meals with no meat products. This photo that I took in Paris was of some apt graffiti on an aptly named street sign, The passage of the small butcher. There are so many things wrong with the fast food and intensive animal farming industries and they contribute massively to environmental destruction and climate change. This includes fossil fuel subsidies so fish can be caught to feed to herbivores and the tearing down of rain forests and other environments to either graze animals or raise crops to feed to animals. None of this is sustainable and there really is no such thing as cheap eats fast food. There is also the human health aspect and for this additional reason all fast food outlets should be taxed in lieu of the damage they are causing to the planet to serve a convenient lifestyle. So every meal should carry a damage to the environment tax of at least one dollar, one pound, one euro and any other local currency to make people pay the real cost of this style of eating.

Our Teemill shop site for our organic cotton clothes and bags, https://junagarh-media.teemill.com/.

My author page where you can discover more about my books, https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07D3ZTQ1L.

This is our website for all our photography and my books, https://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk/.

Our Etsy shop, https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JunagarhMedia.

We are also on Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/21104365@N06/.

Also on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/junagarh_media/.

The Christmas tree and climate change

I posted this back in January but it’s just as relevant today. How Christmas is celebrated has to be reevaluated in relation to our species connection and current abuse of nature.

January 2021

I have written about this before but since most people will have forgotten all about the Christmas trees they bought and disposed of without much thought here’s a timely reminder. The tree in the photograph and countless others are now releasing CO2 into the atmosphere adding to the already very high levels not seen since before the last series of ice ages began 2.58 million years ago. That’s natural right? Well no, if the trees hadn’t been cut down they would still have been soaking up CO2 rather than releasing it. Apart from that these trees are grown as monocultures. They have replaced natural ecosystems displacing the plants and all sorts of creatures when they were planted. When they were cut down all the wildlife that had re-established itself was again disturbed and in some cases driven off. Then there are all the pesticides that were used and you brought into your home. They are not good for you or wildlife. So make a note for yourself for December 2021 to find a more environmentally way of celebrating Christmas. If you have time try to get your local authority to do the same too.

Our Teemill shop site for our organic cotton T-shirts and bags, https://junagarh-media.teemill.com/.

My author page where you can discover more about my books, https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07D3ZTQ1L.

This is our website for all our photography and my books, https://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk/.

We are also on Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/21104365@N06/.

Also on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/junagarh_media/.

Our Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JunagarhMedia.

Changing diets – it’s not easy to feed the world

Another blog entry from May 2020. Since then the rate of increase in human primate population numbers is still around 80,000,000 every 365 days so in rough terms you could say that the human race has increased with an extra 120,000,000 mouths to feed. However, with drought, floods, fire and higher temperatures in some cases we are beginning to see crop yields fall so we clearly have a problem with the size of our species.

May 2020

Growing up in England when I did the food choices were very limited compared to what they are today or they were I suspect for many in my type of household. There were few supermarkets in those days and those that did exist were much smaller than the monsters that we see today. The high street was alive with bakers, butchers, fishmongers and of course fruit and veg shops and of course very little plastic packaging would be seen anywhere but that’s a different story. The fruit and veg shops sold a much smaller range of products and many were seasonal so growing up was very much meat and several “local” veg in general. The potato was a large part of my diet, mashed, boiled or roasted and I used to love potatoes.

Now however things have changed and in many ways for the better for me and for many others. I rarely eat potatoes and these have been replaced by rice, pasta and lentils and even occasionally some couscous. However at what environmental cost and what cost to the world’s farmers? The previous few decades have seen CO2 emissions rise at an alarming rate and some of that is due to the shipping of food all over the planet. My diet is now wonderful in its diversity but the cost in environmental terms has added to locking us in almost certainly to 1.5 degrees and possibly 2 degrees centigrade or more in the very near future. It’s important to see the whole and larger picture and be objective about food. It is great to be vegan or vegetarian but somebody eating locally produced meat is possibly doing less damage to the environment than those causing food miles to be part of their diet. I cannot imagine going back to a diet based around potatoes and carrots almost every day and neither can I imagine would many vegans or vegetarians want to either. We need some serious planning on how we are going to feed the growing population sustainably and there are no easy answers.

Our Teemill shop site for our organic cotton T-shirts and bags, https://junagarh-media.teemill.com/.

My author page where you can discover more about my books, https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07D3ZTQ1L.

This is our website for all our photography and my books, https://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk/.

We are also on Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/21104365@N06/.

Also on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/junagarh_media/.

Our Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JunagarhMedia.

The Monster Carrot Picking Machine – a childrens’ story but for adults

This is a post from early 2020 and there was an article about a monster carrot harvester and how it could replace people. It might have been one like this and it got me thinking, https://www.pinterest.ch/pin/545498573611547406/.

I was on Twitter yesterday and a I saw a promoted tweet about a huge carrot picking machine. Progress one might think, the progress that has brought us 417ppm of CO2. As I like to think of things in a simplistic manner I thought of breaking this down to a horror story for children that adults would understand.

So what was wrong with this huge harvester of carrots? For a start the field in which it was operating was huge also, just one large intensive agriculture wasteland of monoculture, carrots. However, ask yourself, when all the carrots have been picked by machines, what will the human carrot pickers do? Will they still be able to afford carrots? Or will they all become hedge fund managers & entrepreneurs making their money out of Bitcoin or will they set up businesses to exploit 3rd world carrot pickers? What happens when even the 3rd world carrot pickers are replaced by machines? What will happen to the driver of the gigantic carrot picking machine once they get a robot to replace him because it doesn’t eat carrots unlike the human driver?

A bizarre fairy tale but it does illustrate the current economic model of big is better and the environmental damage that this causes and its failure in replacing humans rather than making their lives easier.

Our Teemill shop site for our organic cotton T-shirts and bags, https://junagarh-media.teemill.com/.

My author page where you can discover more about my books, https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07D3ZTQ1L.

This is our website for all our photography and my books, https://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk/.

We are also on Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/21104365@N06/.

Also on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/junagarh_media/.

Our Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JunagarhMedia.

The ghost of Christmas past, 2020. Where is it now?

The Christmas tree and climate change

I wrote this blog originally using a photo from Christmas 2020. Where is that tree now? Is it CO2 enhancing climate change? Where are all the pesticides that it was covered in? Christmas trees like fossil fuels should be left in the ground and preferably found not growing as monocultures.

I have written about this before but since most people will have forgotten all about the Christmas trees they bought and disposed of without much thought here’s a timely reminder. The tree in the photograph and countless others are now releasing CO2 into the atmosphere adding to the already very high levels not seen since before the last series of ice ages began 2.58 million years ago. That’s natural right? Well no, if the trees hadn’t been cut down they would still have been soaking up CO2 rather than releasing it. Apart from that these trees are grown as monocultures. They have replaced natural ecosystems displacing the plants and all sorts of creatures when they were planted. When they were cut down all the wildlife that had re-established itself was again disturbed and in some cases driven off. Then there are all the pesticides that were used and you brought into your home. They are not good for you or wildlife. So make a note for yourself for December 2021 to find a more environmentally way of celebrating Christmas. If you have time try to get your local authority to do the same too. (So as we are the 9th of December already think about not having a tree in 2022 if you have already bought one.)

Our Teemill shop site for our organic cotton T-shirts and bags, https://junagarh-media.teemill.com/.

My author page where you can discover more about my books, https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07D3ZTQ1L.

Our Etsy shop, https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JunagarhMedia.

This is our website for all our photography and my books, https://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk/.

We are also on Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/21104365@N06/.

Also on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/junagarh_media/.

Farm, Watling Street, near Two Mile Ash, Buckinghamshire, England

We used to stop at this farm on Watling Street to buy our eggs. You could also buy honey. It had an honesty box. How times have changed. 10th April 2010.

Our Teemill shop site for our organic cotton T-shirts and bags, https://junagarh-media.teemill.com/.

My author page where you can discover more about my books, https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07D3ZTQ1L.

This is our website for all our photography and my books, https://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk/.

Our Etsy shop, https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JunagarhMedia.

We are also on Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/21104365@N06/.

Also on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/junagarh_media/.

Farm sign, near Two Mile Ash, Buckinghamshire, England

We used to stop at this farm on Watling Street to buy our eggs. It had an honesty box. How times have changed. 10th April 2010.

Our Teemill shop site for our organic cotton T-shirts and bags, https://junagarh-media.teemill.com/.

My author page where you can discover more about my books, https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07D3ZTQ1L.

This is our website for all our photography and my books, https://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk/.

Our Etsy shop, https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JunagarhMedia.

We are also on Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/21104365@N06/.

Also on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/junagarh_media/.

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