Author Archives: Bix

The Concept Of “Personal Carbon Footprint” Was Popularized By The Oil Industry To Deflect Responsibility

The personal carbon footprint is a ruse…

Just 100 Companies Responsible For 71% Of Global Emissions, Study Says The Guardian, July 2017
“ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Chevron are identified as among the highest emitting investor-owned companies.”

The article below was written at the very beginning of the covid lockdowns in early 2020. The global economy came to a standstill. The skies turned blue. Much was and will continue to be written about that time.

What The Coronavirus Means For Climate Change, New York Times, 27 March 2020

But I draw your attention to this one sentence:

Which is to say, in order to be meaningful for global emissions, changes in consumption habits as a result of the virus would need to extend beyond individuals to the larger structures that shape our lives. In China, it wasn’t telecommuting or grounded planes that led to the 25 percent drop in emissions. It was the abrupt halt of industrial manufacturing. (The concept of the “personal carbon footprint” was popularized by BP in a 2005 media campaign costing over $100 million — a campaign that, research has indicated, deflected responsibility for climate change away from the corporation and onto the individual consumer.)

The problem is a global economy that seeks perpetual growth. The planet and its inhabitants are running out of resources to satisfy that growth. The side effects are landfills and plastic dumps, air/water/soil pollution, extinctions, diseases, and conflicts to confiscate remaining resources. Something has to give.

Dare To Declare Capitalism Dead – Before It Takes Us All Down With It, George Monbiot, The Guardian, April 2019

Capitalism’s failures arise from two of its defining elements. The first is perpetual growth. Economic growth is the aggregate effect of the quest to accumulate capital and extract profit. Capitalism collapses without growth, yet perpetual growth on a finite planet leads inexorably to environmental calamity.

Judith Durham Of The Seekers Has Died

Judith Durham of The Seekers passed away last month on August 5th. She was 79. I wanted to post a little tribute.

The Seekers were a hugely popular Australian folk/pop group from the mid-1960s. They had success in the US but not to the degree they had in the rest of the world.

The Seekers’ first hit single, I’ll Never Find Another You, was recorded at Abbey Road studios in London in the Fall of 1964. This video, I believe, was produced in 1968.

“In December 1966 they issued “Georgy Girl“, which became their highest charting American hit when it reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Cashbox Top 100 in February 1967.” – Wikipedia

Here they are playing Georgy Girl in a free concert in their home town.

Back in 1967, when The Seekers returned home to Australia for a visit, little did they know that their free concert at the Myer Music Bowl in their home town of Melbourne would break attendance records for the Southern hemisphere and TV ratings records for Australia!

Red Cross: “We Don’t Label Blood Products As Containing Vaccinated Or Unvaccinated Blood As The Covid-19 Vaccine Does Not Enter The Bloodstream”

We don’t label blood products as containing vaccinated or unvaccinated blood as the COVID-19 vaccine does not enter the bloodstream & poses no safety risks to the recipient.
– American Red Cross, 13 September 2022


Source:
https://twitter.com/RedCross/status/1569869268296105990

It doesn’t get into the blood? Spike protein was found in shingle’s rashes and heart cells. How did it get there, if not the circulatory system? (Spike protein was also found in endothelial cells, cells that line blood vessels, far away from the injection site.)

And…
Vaccine mRNA Can Be Detected in Blood at 15 Days Post-Vaccination, Biomedicines, 28 June 2022

Detection of Messenger RNA COVID-19 Vaccines in Human Breast Milk, JAMA Pediatrics, 26 September 2022

An Excerpt From Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring”

Source: Biography

Silent Spring, Rachel Carson, 27 September, 1962

Through all these new, imaginative, and creative approaches to the problem of sharing our earth with other creatures there runs a constant theme, the awareness that we are dealing with life — with living populations and all their pressures and counter pressures, their surges, and recessions. Only by taking account of such life forces and by cautiously seeking to guide them into channels favorable to ourselves can we hope to achieve a reasonable accommodation between the insect hordes and ourselves.

The current vogue for poisons has failed utterly to take into account these most fundamental considerations. As crude a weapon as the cave man’s club, the chemical barrage has been hurled against the fabric of life -– a fabric on the one hand delicate and destructible, on the other miraculously tough and resilient, and capable of striking back in unexpected ways. These extraordinary capacities of life have been ignored by the practitioners of chemical control who have brought to their task no “high-minded orientation,” no humility before the vast forces with which they tamper.

The “control of nature” is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature exists for the convenience of man. The concepts and practices of applied entomology for the most part date from that Stone Age of science. It is our alarming misfortune that so primitive a science has armed itself with the most modem and terrible weapons and that in turning them against the insects it has also turned them against the earth.

The book’s dedication:

To Albert Schweitzer who said,

“Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end by destroying the earth.”

Cover of the first edition. Published 27 September 1962.

Wikipedia:

Carson accused the chemical industry of spreading disinformation, and public officials of accepting the industry’s marketing claims unquestioningly.

Exactly 60 years ago. Has anything changed?

That We Think Carrots Improve Vision, Especially In The Dark, Was Borne From World War II Propaganda

And propaganda can be pretty powerful.

Do Carrots Really Help You See In The Dark?, BBC Science Focus, 2013

Yes and no. Carrots contain vitamin A, or retinol*, and this is required for your body to synthesise rhodopsin, which is the pigment in your eyes that operates in low-light conditions. If you have a vitamin A deficiency, you will develop nyctalopia or night blindness. Eating carrots would correct this and improve your night vision, but only to the point of an ordinary healthy person – it won’t ever let you see in complete darkness.

The idea that it might is due to a myth begun by the Air Ministry in World War II. To prevent the Germans finding out that Britain was using radar to intercept bombers on night raids, they issued press releases stating that British pilots were eating lots of carrots to give them exceptional night vision. This fooled the British public, as well as German High Command and an old wive’s tale was born.

* The carotenoids in carrots are not technically retinol, the body converts them to retinol as needed.

A World War II propaganda poster:

One of the many advertisements that appeared during WWII that encouraged the consumption of carrots for help seeing during the blackouts. Image courtesy of Flickr user US National Archives Bot

So, the Germans started eating carrots…

There are apocryphal tales that the Germans started feeding their own pilots carrots, as they thought there was some truth in it.

And Britons started eating carrots…

the British public generally believed that eating carrots would help them see better during the citywide blackouts.

And Americans did too.

That was one bit of war propaganda that worked because I just can’t let go of the notion that eating carrots improves vision. It probably doesn’t:

Although there is a grain of truth to the claim, most people will not experience positive changes in their vision from eating carrots unless they have a vitamin A deficiency.

Are Americans deficient? The NIH says, “vitamin A deficiency is uncommon in the U.S. population.”

And really, if it’s vitamin A we’re after, a half cup of boiled spinach has more vitamin A than a half cup of raw carrots. And a sweet potato has more than 3 times the vitamin A of those carrots. Amazing how effective propaganda can be.

Image and two quotes above from:
A WWII Propaganda Campaign Popularized the Myth That Carrots Help You See in the Dark, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 August 2013
How a ruse to keep German pilots confused gave the Vitamin-A-rich vegetable too much credit

Walking Through A Doorway Impedes One’s Ability To Retrieve Thoughts Made In A Different Room

Can The Act Of Walking Through A Doorway Cause Forgetfulness?, Brian Roemmele, Quora

The author replies: “Yes, there are studies that are compelling.” He cites this study:

Walking Through Doorways Causes Forgetting: Further Explorations, Quarterly Journal Of Experimental Psychology, August 2011.

Study author:

We found that the subjects forgot more after walking through a doorway [either virtual or real] compared to moving the same distance across a room, suggesting that the doorway or “event boundary” impedes one’s ability to retrieve thoughts or decisions made in a different room.

Also, subjects couldn’t remember what they forgot if they returned to the original room:

Subjects in this leg of the study passed through several doorways, leading back to the room in which they started. The results showed no improvements in memory, suggesting that the act of passing through a doorway serves as a way the mind files away memories.

From the study:

Overall, it is quite clear that memory for recently experienced information is affected by the structure of the surrounding environment.

As Roemmele says, this can be helpful in two ways … Feeling upset? Walk into another room, better yet, walk outside. Want to focus? Stay where you are.