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One of my friends, who is a political conservative/constitutionalist in the USA, wrote me concerning starvation in South Sudan: Then, maybe they should be taught about birth control, and enforce it. Otherwise they are gonna f*ck us all. So no food for idiots who have been living like this for centuries. And now, we feed them so they can procreate. Same with others here in USA, they have babies and it is our problem, not theirs. Sorry to be harsh, but that is what the environmentalists want anyway.

After some reflection, he added in another email that we need to give the people, who are starving in other countries, tools to farm. He felt that this was a better option (as do I under favorable circumstances) than charity food.

I responded to him with the following commentary and included that I am an environmentalist! I shared:

Look … farm tools are of no avail when there is lack of water, spreading desertification and poor, overspent soil. Add on weird weather patterns and 120 degree F. temps.

What and who can survive in these conditions? Try farming in the Sahara Desert or in the times ahead for USA. … Remember all of the airport runways melting and plastic garbage cans turning into molten melted ooze in Arizona? Could we set up farms there by giving tools, knowledge of farming techniques and seeds?

You think that we DON’T already have an overpopulation problem in the USA given our coming shrinking resource base (including food related to agriculture) and deglobalization due to lacks in fossil fuels for massive transportation efforts related to globalization of products and other factors in times to come? So let’s look at the related empirical facts square in the eye. Stare deeply and perhaps,“…  if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you” – F. Nietzsche

In the northern hemisphere, people will try to come north. In the southern counterpart, they will try to go south. … Goodness knows about what the population size will be by then as people try to escape dying mid-zones, and in this country, too. … They will be like a zombie hoard pillaging to stay alive on their travels. … Yeah, the die-off is coming, but not before much of the Earth is poofed away into deserts and dead-zone, including in the USA. … and we thought that the Dust Bowl was bad? Ha — just wait.

Lifted from:

Drought and New Deserts by 2060: Most of Mexico, Central America …

https://stephenleahy.net/…/drought-and-new-deserts-by-2060-most-of-mexico-central...

Nov 1, 2012 – By Stephen Leahy UXBRIDGE, Canada, May 22, 2012 (Tierramérica) Mexico and Central America look like they are covered in dried blood on maps projecting … HomeDrought and New Deserts by 2060: Most of Mexico, Central America and half of US … Projected drought and dry regions in 2060-2069 …

heat-wave

Desertification Threat – Desertification Threat | HowStuffWorks

https://science.howstuffworks.com › … › Climate & Weather › Atmospheric Science

For example, desertification is a looming crisis in Africa where almost 70 percent of the continent is arid or semi-arid land. More than 30 percent of North America is comprised of arid or semi-arid lands, with about 40 percent of the continental United States at risk for desertification [source: U.N.].

Phoenix Dust Storm: Video of Doomsday Scenes in Arizona – YouTube

▶ 1:42


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8W4Cx44XKZ4

Jul 6, 2011 – Uploaded by RT

These amazing pictures from the United States show a wall of dust moving through the city of Phoenix …

One of my favorite NGO’s to which I have periodically donated is:

Heifer International | Charity Ending Hunger And Poverty

https://www.heifer.org/

Heifer International is a charity organization working to end hunger and poverty around the world by providing livestock and training to struggling communities.

Heifer International – Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heifer_International

Heifer International is a global nonprofit working to eradicate poverty and hunger through sustainable, values-based holistic community development. Heifer distributes animals, along with agricultural and values-based training, to families in need around the world as a means of providing self-sufficiency. Recipients must …

Here’s my problem with it:

1., There has to be sufficient quality soil and water to farm. Otherwise farm tools, seeds and animals donated to get people off of charity food is to no avail.

2., What about the weather … and the climate? What can grow at too high temperatures? What can grow when there are floods and droughts, as well as weird temperature fluctuations? Can anything survive when temperatures hit past 105 degrees F. and plants wilt in the fields, forests and meadows (which is a cautionary statement about where transition towns should be built since all is for nought, including hard work, if put together in a “bad” region).

The terms transition town, transition initiative and transition model refer to grassroot community projects that aim to increase self-sufficiency to reduce the potential effects of peak oil, climate destruction, and economic instability. – From Transition town – Wikipedia

3., What about crop and wild plant pollinators? They are disappearing. So what can be used in their stead? Nothing apparently unless one has a little paintbrush and pollinates each flower in a field or a tree by hand.

Colony Collapse Disorder | Protecting Bees and Other Pollinators from …

https://www.epa.gov/pollinator-protection/colony-collapse-disorder

Apr 18, 2017 – Colony Collapse Disorder is the phenomenon that occurs when the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear and leave behind a queen, plenty of food and a few nurse bees to care for the remaining immature bees and the queen. Once thought to pose a major long term threat to bees, reported cases …

4., There can be no attempts to undertake farming to feed people in locations wherein there is political or social instability. South Sudan, Rwanda and Palestinian locations provide perfect examples of failure. … If people are desperate for food, some of them will kill you for your land and/or agricultural gains much of the time.

Why, they will even raid you even if not desperate just so that they can get a gain. I know this for a fact personally as a next door neighbor many times raided my food garden in the dark at night for my vegetables– the ones that my daughter and I worked hard to grow.

I let her without acknowledging her thieving actions done in the dark of night with a flashlight, nor with confronting her. When face to face with her, I pretended that it wasn’t happening. After all, she was dying from terminal cancer and I had no strong need to fight for receipt of all that she had garnered from my and my daughter’s hard toil.

I would have, of course, felt differently were this garden the only source of food that my daughter and I had to stay alive. I would have rationalized that she were dying and there is not enough in the agricultural patch for the three of us. So be it.

Some substance needed to stay alive can only be divided amongst only so many  before the division becomes meaningless whether involving food, water, or other necessities. However, my daughter and I could afford to be charitable based on our gardening work since we weren’t in dire straits.

Given other circumstances as mentioned, I would have shut her off from raiding my garden if it became a choice between supporting a terminal dying woman and my young daughter having food. How could I have a choice otherwise when faced between helping this near-stranger, who is in the throngs of dying, or my daughter?

In a similar consideration, I wonder about the way that there can be a transition town wherein nothing environmentally and in terms of population number is supportive to do so. Why give tools, seeds and farm animals to people in locations that cannot support their existence? Can anyone really imagine a farm project with many unfavorable conditions leading to an assured failure? …

Most people are so stuck, at least in the USA, in the current system of shopaholic syndrome and the war mongering for resources across the world that they seem immune to the looming horrors when temperatures rise, oceans rise and land becomes dead to be unable to support life. Yet this being the case does not negate us one bit from striving hard  o find ways toward improvement.

All the same, we will be part of the problem rather than the solution unless we are very careful in selection of locations wherein we strive to bring an amelioration and change in human behaviors. One has to pick with care even though it is hard to possibly leave behind people and other life that can’t be helped in their current plights.

I learned about triage in first aid training. I come across an accident and go for the middle group. I ignore the ones who will survive despite broken bones , etc., and their pleas for my help. I ignore the ones who will likely die whether I render aid or not. I work on the people who would die without my aid. So I have to be calculating while assessing all who are injured in some accident.

I did once save a man in a care accident. I know about the degree that assessments are hard. They take a difficult emotional toll that lingers for many days later-on. One takes the assessments, anyway, and then works like hell with shut-off emotions and a mind only set to follow the rules that one learned in first aid training as if one is a robot. … One can’t afford the luxury of feeling fear, a sense of panic, dread or anything else that will impede the effort to support life and the training coming to the foreground to enable one’s actions to be at their best. (It is amazing that one can drive all sorts of knowledge out of oneself when alarmed, even barely remembered information. It is amazing that we can cut off dysfunctional emotional responses when they impede one’s direly needed intentions.)

Meanwhile people are very complicated beings in many other diverse ways. For example, the new neighbor, who bought the house after the lady who died from cancer actually did die, had her whole roof rebuilt after a small branch of a tree feel on her roof during a climate change induced wind storm of some magnitude. In other words, she scammed the insurance company to rebuild her whole roof.

This same woman took in a stray starving kitten that came to me looking for food. She took it to her vet practice and tended her until adopted.

She also was very careful not to destroy or harm my baby skunks, which were born under my pantry and who’d become abandoned by their mother so I became the surrogate. Well, at least they thought that I was so since I gave them cat food and water to stay alive.

So, I’d yell at them to go away as they wanted to climb all over me and cuddle while approaching individually or in a group. “No, no,” I’d yell since I can’t have them trusting any humans, nor members of any other species. I especially didn’t wanted them to trust someone like my other next door neighbor, Bill, who wanted to exterminate them all and who blamed them for his house sale not going thorough until it eventually did so (as if wild little skunks temporarily next door would impede his home sale).

How loony is that vision? However, he alarmed me so much with his extermination talk (as if they belonged in an animal extermination camp to be gassed to death) that I called the animal control department of my town and asked whether he could have this action done — their being rounded up and killed as a nuisance to his property sale. … Nope, so now it is just between him and me in contesting, and I had to put him in his place to leave my skunk babies alone, but I did it in an indirect and kindly way. Yet, I would have amped it up if I had to do so in tone and rhetoric because the same impulse that caused me to save a man’s life is the same in protection of my skunks.

It is support of life. Period!

In any case, people need to be careful when they try to start transition towns, create life’s furtherance and raise wild skunks or other creatures like my four sets of wild mourning doves that had babies two feet from a window of my home in a consecutive order in Ponderosa pine nest. And what a sight this last spring and summer they made while feeding, cuddling, learning to fly and so on!

All the same, sometimes conditions just aren’t favorable for furtherance. Yet I can factually prove that sometimes they are if you learn to stand against adversity! The man living due to my first aid ministrations, my skunks staying alive until they dispersed like the wind out of my yard and other examples attest to this state being so!

I’ll be frank. In the end, I do not want to be a protector of life. I’m tired of fighting the mainstream thinking patterns. Yet I take them selectively on and as strongly as I can. I have no choice, but to take a strong stance given my constitution as a human.

I’d like a pleasant uncomplicated life since I’m in my sixties now. Well ,there is no way, apparently, that this benign scenario is going to take place. Too much is still wrong for my not being involved and being a strong fighter like my slightly older sister described here:The Good Sister, A Model For US All!.

Unlike my former neighbor, Bill, I have no compunction to undertake deliberate slaughter on a casual basis. However, I AM willing to kill even another human if need be. … It’s a fairly new position for me: Pacifism (???)

However, he and I are different in the ways and reasons for which we would go about it. He used pesticides on his lawn to kill grubs and weeds. They. in turn, went into our water supply. So now my neighbors drink the slop, along with high levels of  chlorine and other chemicals, as well as fecal material in the water supply. (I drink spring water from Maine and give this spring water to my cat. We can’t drink poisonous garbage — period!)

Anyway and back to the main gist: Over all people need to be realistic. Pigs can’t fly and neither can projects whose timing or locations aren’t right.

For example, one needs a receptive public to set up transition towns unless their development is very gradual and spends lots of time in the planning stages. The regions in which they are intended to exist have to be researched since they are not viable in any place wherein the environmental and/or cultural backdrop won’t support them.

The same sort of thinking applies to any other sort of effort in which one seeks to be engaged. There is no sense in chasing any doomed to fail mission (unless as a practice run) and every reason to strive to bring a beneficial, constructive effort into fruition when circumstances and conditions favor its development. Otherwise there is a feeble and ineffectual way forward just as giving tools and seeds to people in South Sudan would be.

So let’s try to relocate the people there, whose region is undergoing ecological collapse. Let’s teach about and provide birth control measures and, by all means, let’s show some compassion toward these and other people, who through no fault of their own, got born into a raw, perilous and precarious deal for their lives.

These “others” are not so different from us regardless of the way that we identify an “us”. … I saw a dark skinned Islamic mother caring for her own children and a white skinned, abandoned baby whom she scooped up on the side of the road while she and her family were trekking to a refuge camp in Somalia.

She had every intention of keeping the child alive and loved him. One could tell this were so from watching her interact with him. Indeed, one could see that she cherished him as much as she loved the ones, her other children, derived from her having birthing them.

I saw this happening in a news report. So I will repeat: Let’s try to further life (as this woman is doing), but let’s just be careful about the ways that we try to support our heartfelt intentions or else all is for folly and nought.

Sally Dugman is a writer in MA, USA.

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Red News | Protestation

  2. K SHESHU BABU says:

    Change of heart must start from rich people and rich nations….while the elite corporates are busy making profits, the African and Asian nations like Somalia or Sudan or Afghanistan are bearing the brunt of ‘rich nations expansionism’ both socially and economically . ..starving to death and finding no clean water to quench their thirst ….

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