Gulf of Mexico

Attack of the Zombie Plants: World War A

From the keyboard of Thomas Lewis
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Just when you think it’s safe to go near the water, you start feeling dizzy. Thanks, algae. (Photo by Dave Shefer/Flickr)

Just when you think it’s safe to go near the water, you start feeling dizzy. Thanks, algae. (Photo by Dave Shefer/Flickr)

First published at The Daily Impact  September 3, 2014

 

Along most of its coastline, in its bays and estuaries, and in many of its rivers and lakes, America is under mounting attack by another enemy of its own making — toxic green algae. It’s like a bad horror movie, with the slime sprawling across vast reaches of water (so much that it’s visible from space), eventually covering beaches and burping a neurotoxin that is deadly to earthlings. As a movie, it wouldn’t get past a concept lunch in Hollywood today (Hey, Arnie! It’s been done, okay?) but it is raising real dread — not the fake movie kind — from California to Florida, from the coast of Washington to the coast of Ohio. Yes, Ohio.

First let’s be clear about the primary cause of algae blooms. It is the excessive and incautious use of fertilizer by industrial agriculture, compounded by the excessive erosion that results from industrial practices. The Big Ag lobby has browbeaten almost everybody into mentioning, when they talk about algae blooms, the contribution of city lawns, insufficient sewage treatment and storm runoff. But the size and extent of the blooms, nationwide, tracks over many years with the increasing “consumption” of fertilizer. Actually, if it was consumed, by the plants it is intended for, there would be no problem. But when too much is applied, or it’s applied at the wrong time of year, it washes off, and is consumed by algae instead.

Garden variety algae is one kind of problem. Toxic algae is another. Generally, algae turns toxic — begins to emit a deadly neurotoxin — when three things happen to an algae bloom. It gets very large, very warm, and is infused with an extra-large amount of nutrients. Once upon a time those things didn’t happen very often. Now they do. Everywhere.

Along California’s Central Coast, dozens of beached, convulsing sea lions, many of which die, are being seen every day. Pelicans, having scooped up a beakful of contaminated fish, are falling dead from the sky. Many fisheries have been closed since April, when high levels of toxin were first detected — this year. “These blooms are getting more frequent and larger every year and affecting more and more animals,” according to Shawn Johnson, director of veterinary science at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito.

A half million residents of Toledo, Ohio were told not to even touch their tap water for two days this month after an algal toxin was discovered to be present. An algae bloom had occurred near the city’s water intake in Lake Erie, miles from the shore. Officials sounded the all clear two days later, even though the algae bloom is still there. Algae typically cover enough of Lake Erie in recent years to be clearly visible from space.

Just off the west coast of Florida. the biggest red tide in ten years stretches over 4000 square miles of the Gulf of Mexico, to a depth of 100 feet. A red tide is just another color of algae bloom, and like the others when it gets big enough and warm enough it starts oozing poison. This one has killed fish by the tens of thousands, and as it comes ashore its colorless and odorless toxin threatens larger animals including humans.

The Chesapeake Bay this year has one of the largest dead zones on record. A dead zone is a volume of water stripped of its oxygen by decomposing algae, which has flourished because of an oversupply of nutrients. This year, the 34th successful year in the war on pollution in the Chesapeake, the dead zone comprises a cubic mile of water in which nothing can live.

The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico at the mouth of the Mississippi River is also one of the largest this year, dwarfing the Chesapeake’s problem at 5,000 square miles.

This problem is not caused by climate change, although climate change makes it worse by providing the algae with warmer water for longer periods of the year. The cause of this problem and of climate change are the same: rampant pollution by industrial interests that governments cannot or will not restrain.

The much-touted efforts to “solve” the problem of agricultural runoff — you will see estimates that billions have been spent in the effort — consist mainly of puffery: signs that say “you are now polluting an important watershed” and resolutions about voluntary programs (“you could stop polluting this watershed if you wanted to.”)

Meanwhile the slime spreads, and dies, and spreads some more, killing when it’s alive and killing after it’s dead. Until the people who stimulate algae blooms start going to jail for it, the algae will continue to poison America. Don’t hold your breath.

 

***

 

Thomas Lewis is a nationally recognized and reviewed author of six books, a broadcaster, public speaker and advocate of sustainable living. He also is Editor of The Daily Impact website, and former artist-in-residence at Frostburg State University. He has written several books about collapse issues, including Brace for Impact and Tribulation. Learn more about them here.

 

 

Idiots, Geniuses and Psychopaths

One thing all the media have in common is to refer constantly to how frigging stupid the technocrats and politicians such as Bernanke and Obama are.  The NY Times (hypothetically – I haven’t read the (toilet) paper of record in years) does it subtly and demurely.  The polite “alternative media” such as Chris Martenson may do it politely but less subtly.  The blunt alternative media (TAE) says it bluntly.  The snarky alternative media (Zero Hedge) says it with continuous sarcasm.  But, in their own individual styles, they all say the same damn thing – that the Status Quo technocrats and pols are de facto idiots steering the global economy through sheer cowardice, lack of imagination, and stupidity into the jagged rocks.

Exactly.  But unfortunately the de facto idiots are not the central bankers or their bossman shareholders, quasi human or otherwise, but rather the vast majority of the alternative financial media.  (We all know that the MSM are not only idiots but presstitutes.  Why beat a dead horse?)  And there is a good reasons for this.  Most of the alternative media, despite their individual foibles, even the ones who yell at their dogs after a hard day at the office, are essentially decent human beings and cannot imagine the minds of the true psychopaths who run our planet.  They simply cannot envision, for example, intentionally destroying the beautiful Gulf of Mexico ecosystem, or causing millions of Japanese children to experience slow and painful deaths as they melt from radiation sickness and cancers.  Yeah, it is a lack of imagination.  But I cannot condemn humanity because this lack of imagination shows its basic decency.  Perhaps the fact that I can imagine it shows a glaring, infested abscess in my personal spiritual make-up.
David Icke is a genius in many respects, but perhaps the greatest is his ability to translate the complex into simplicity for the Everyman without losing its substance.  So Icke takes the abstruse Hegelian dialectic and translates it into Problem>Reaction>Solution.  The Illuminati need a constant problem as the locomotive force for their agenda.  The problem itself may vary depending on the arena.  It may be 9/11 or it might be a currency that was born to fail.  The one thing that the problem must do is generate great fear and panic among the muppets who then demand a solution.  So like a true Aikido master, the Elites supply the solution, which always translates into a consolidation of its regional or global power.  If it does not, that means that the Illuminati lost that hand at the poker table.  But so far, they haven’t lost many.  Of course, the solution is never The Solution.  Which then forms the basis of the next iteration in their consolidation of power into a global, feudalistic police state.
So instead of ragging on with just how stupid Benjamin Shalom Bernanke is, let’s assume that he is totally brilliant and that things are proceeding exactly as he and his bosses planned.  Let’s assume that not only are they brilliant, but that they have access to supercomputers that are damn close to Kurtzweil’s self-aware singularity.  Then let us extrapolate the current solution and see how that leads to their consolidation of power, and of course, the development of the next huge problem.  Even a mediocre chess player can run this at least six moves ahead, but I will leave that up to our accomplished readership since I was beaten at chess by a first generation Atari 2600 at level one 🙁
So as a challenge, I suggest that the DD readership reverse engineer the financial Illuminati’s “mistakes,” assume that they are not mistakes at all, and thereby reconstruct their actual agenda.

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

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