Dr Sid Smith Rocks the Boat on Nature Bats Last

The August 2020 episode of Nature Bats Last featured an excellent discussion with Dr Sid Smith, the episode is embedded here:

 Dr Smith is former co-chair and current secretary of the Green Party of Virginia. He holds a Ph.D. in mathematics, and he is a writer and small-business owner in central Virginia. His website can be found at bsidneysmith.com .
Both of Dr Smith’s You Tube presentations are embedded below.

We discussed Dr Smith’s essay titled “ Socialism and the Green Party”, in it he wrote:
“ The value to the economy of a barrel of oil is an amount that is equivalent to 11 years of human labour. Supposing a minimum wage of $15 per hour that is more than $330,000 worth of work.” I think that observation exposes our addiction clearly.

Central to the discussion we talked about the melt down of 450 nuclear power stations and 1300 spent fuel pool fires and the possibility of our psychopathic owners using a nuclear winter to cool down the planet, I’ve covered that aspect of our predicament here. The Inevitability of Nuclear War and Subsequent Nuclear Winter

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The comparison of our predicament to the game “Jenga” was made, I have written previously about that observation. Abrupt Climate Change and Extinction ‘Jenga’. The very last ‘game’ on Earth.

!Jenga_Extinction
Jenga  Art credit Ken Avidor
I mentioned our interview with Arthur Keller and his contention that collapse is the only realistic conclusion, that discussion and Arthur’s incredible You Tube presentation are embedded below.
Collapse, the Only Realistic Scenario:
Further reference for Alice Friedmann who blogs at Peak Energy & Resources, Climate Change, and the Preservation of Knowledge

Posted in Collapse, Nuclear Threats, Professor Guy McPherson, Sid Smith

Adventures in Africa- Brushes with Death- A Love Story

A broken neck in a war zone, saved by the Cuban Revolution and four bouts of Malaria. A love Story.
In 1999 a distant cousin of mine from Ireland turned up in N.Z. with her Kiwi husband, on holiday from their jobs in Mozambique. Maureen was a mid-wife who had spent the previous 10yrs of her life teaching African women to be mid-wives. You couldn’t count the number of lives she would have saved, by imparting that knowledge, in some of the poorest countries on the planet.

Ian her husband was an engineer, who, whilst re-habilitating the water supply in Beira, Mozambique had come up with an amazing idea how to save thousands of lives in the barrios surrounding the city.
What used to happen when the rains came was the ground water would become polluted with faeces from the appalling sanitation conditions the people lived in. As a result everyone would soon come down with dysentery and a huge proportion of them would simply die, especially the new born, elderly and infants, predominantly from diarrhoea and dehydration.

Ian went into the barrios with a dumpy level and ‘shot levels’ to find where all the ‘High’ ground was and then appropriated (misappropriated!!!) the company digger and sunk deep latrine holes to act as long drop toilets. The idea was when the rains came the faeces weren’t washed into the water supplies and the level of contamination and therefore illness and death were heavily reduced.

This simple solution saved thousands of lives.

These two people quickly became my heroes.

Ian was now working on the re-construction of the main port in Beira on a European Community Development Project. When he heard I was an Electrician and that I had High Voltage experience and qualifications from the London Electricity Board he offered me a job building the port Sub-Stations and installing the container cranes used for loading and unloading the ships.

This sounded like an amazing opportunity. As a result of being hired to go to Mozambique to work on the re-construction of the Port in Beira, Ulli and I began to organize our departure from Germany, said good bye to our friends and her family and set off first for Paris then to London. Our mission was to reconstruct the port so that the “Front Line States” could export via Mozambique rather than being held to ransom by the apartheid state to the south. We vowed to not enter South Africa until they had a black president.

Our good friend, Lucy was due to have a baby in London and we decided to be with her for the birth and then to fly to Africa. All our friends in Germany, collected baby clothes for her and one friend said she had a “Perambulator” and did we want to take it to Lucy ? Now, I was expecting some kind of fold up pram but when she arrived, she genuinely had a perambulator.

It was a classic piece of German engineering and design. Beautiful ‘White Wall’ tires. ‘Leaf ‘suspension, for a typically smooth German driving experience. A gorgeous ‘wicker basket’ type bassinet, which could be removed and used as a separate crib for a new-born.

It was simply gorgeous BUT bloody enormous. How the freakin’ hell were we going to get this bloody thing ‘overland’ to London and the only answer was, push it.

We trained to Frankfurt from Aschaffenburg where we had been living. From the Train Station to the adjoining bus station we simply piled our backpacks into the pram and pushed. We got some seriously weird looks, with some people craning their necks to see if there was a baby underneath it all. At one point I lifted the back packs from the pram and exclaimed “The baby, the baby, we’ve lost the baby”, Ulli shook her head sarcastically  !

Eventually we made it to Lucy’s home in Brixton, London where we presented her with a mountain of baby clothes and the single flashiest perambulator in the whole of the U.K.

We hung out with Lucy for a week waiting for ‘Scarlet’ to arrive, but to no avail. She was going to come in her own good time and we were booked to fly to Africa the day before the war started.

George Bush snr had organized a war with Saddam Hussein for the 17 of January 1991. How bizarre was that.

Ring, Ring. “Hullo, Saddam here, how can I help you?”

‘Yeah, Hi Saddam, George Bush here, waddup?’ ‘Feel like a bit of a ‘set to’, old ex mate?’ ‘How are you placed for the 17th?’

‘ Yeah, why not’ says Saddam,’ we’ll give you the Mother of all Wars and seeing as though we’ve both got god on our sides, why don’t we call him the umpire?’

‘Righto, I.C.B.M.’s at dawn it is. Stay in touch, don’t be a stranger. GB

‘Hi to wee George!’ SH

So, seeing as though the war had a fixed start date, ( I am not kidding, Google it) We decided we would fly over the Middle East the day before to avoid any misguided, guided missiles or the odd justifiably irate Islamic jihadist. We said our goodbyes to Lucy and the unborn Scarlett and headed for Heathrow. After wading through the interminable queues, taxis and the tube and just before we were about to board the plane, I spent the last of our local coins on a final call to Lucy, to hear that her waters had broken and she was waiting for a taxi to the hospital. Scarlett was arriving to bear witness to the war.

Our ticket was to Nairobi, Kenya. We flew in and booked into the crummiest backpackers in Kenya and I high tailed it into town on the hunt for a T.V. with C.N.N. which, as a general rule, tended to have ‘great’ imperialist war coverage, being a war mongering propaganda station!

I proceeded to sit captivated, in front of that T.V. for three solid days watching Bagdad being carpet bombed until Ulli dragged me kicking and screaming into Africa on the threat of her leaving without me if I didn’t come.

One of the first things we saw when we arrived at this derelict backpackers (everything in Nairobi was pretty derelict) was this amazing overland Truck, which looked like a huge loaf of bread on giant wheels. Sitting under it with room above her head, was this little blond German woman carrying out repairs. This view was to become a recurring theme on our trip.

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We headed north through Kenya, risking our lives on a daily basis on the incredibly dangerous roads littered with the corpses of motor vehicles whose luck had run out. Mostly, we travelled in decrepit Japanese mini-vans or Peugeot 404 station wagons, poorly maintained, overloaded and at death defying speeds.

Tanzania:
We stopped long enough in Arusha for me to go to the local police with a traumatized African Woman to get our bus driver arrested for the single most dangerous piece of driving I have ever witnessed. He was drunk and stoned on Kif, a mild narcotic leaf chewed in the rift Valley as an appetite suppressant.

He had been racing another bus, two abreast on the main highway, driving around blind bends on the wrong side of the road at 100km’s / hr. This is an unheard of speed in those days and on those decrepit roads, every one on the bus was screaming with fear. An older African woman asked me for help to stop the driver from killing us all. I intervened.
After dealing with the cops, whilst we were waiting at the Arusha bus station, we heard a huge kafuffle, people yelling “Thief” and saw some young guy running thru the enormous crowd with everyone having a swing at him. Eventually he tripped and went down and the mob pounced on him and was in the process of kicking him to death before some army troops who just happened to be in the station, waded in to his rescue. They beat everyone off him and then dragged his bloodied mess of a body into the Station police office where They started beating ‘the living daylights ‘out of him. We couldn’t bear to watch and left while he was still alive and have no idea what happened to him.

I wouldn’t fancy his chances as it doesn’t pay to get caught if you’re a pick pocket in Kenya.

We bussed across the border into Uganda crossing the source of the Nile at the junction of Lake Victoria.

We became instant millionaires. We changed about $100U.S. and received a brick of Ugandan money which was seriously embarrassing and a little intimidating to be carrying around, even though it had so little relative value.

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We loved Uganda. The people were beautiful, traumatized and sad but mysteriously it was a wonderful place. Kampala was fantastic. Teeming with people with nothing to do and everywhere we went we saw these enormous crane birds, the size of an Albatross sitting on roof tops and the defunct street lights. I asked people about Idi Amin and the consensus was Milton Obote was worse!!!

Kampala Train Station

We looped around the Ruwenzori Mountains where the last mountain gorillas eke out a precarious existence, sandwiched between interminable civil wars. We were very close to their last remaining habitat and decided the best thing we could do for them was leave them alone so we never saw them.
We skirted poor old Rwanda, just a few short years before the genocide that was to soon decimate their nation and slipped back into Kenya to try our luck again in the Kenyan traffic all the way down to Mombasa.

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We had heard that you could take a dhow along the coast to Pemba and on to Zanzibar. Sounds exotic right?

We found the port and located a dhow that was heading down the coast. We negotiated a deal with the captain and he then took us to the local port authority and Customs post, where we were made to sign a disclaimer that  pretty well said “We acknowledge, we are both stupid and stark raving mad but are still going to take the dhow down the coast.”

By the time we arrived back at the boat there were another 20 passengers on board and approximately 5 tonnes of grain in sacks. The dhow had about six inches of freeboard and not a square inch of free space for the fare paying mzungus ( Europeans). We climbed up onto the coach roof of the steering station with everyone asking me, the experienced sailor, if this was safe. “Yeah, yeah I said, it’s just a coastal trip.” There was no life rafts or life jackets for the 20 passengers or crew.

We set off hours later than we had planned and it was soon getting both dark and windy. The longer we were at sea, the windier it became, until by midnight we were in a full on gale with mountainous seas and this overloaded tub rolling from gunnel to wave washed gunnel.

Now, we were on the coach roof where the hideous pitching of the vessel was accentuated and we were literally holding on for grim death. The mzungus’ repeatedly asked me, ’is this safe?’ I continued to reassure everyone that we were and the boat would not founder as long as the engine kept running, but I was literally crapping myself. In the early part of the evening we could see lights on the coast but as the night wore on I realized we were out of site of land and only found out later that we were 80miles offshore. Some coastal trip.
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Somehow we survived the night and late the next day we arrived in Pemba, exhausted both physically and emotionally.
Back in Mombasa we had seen another dhow loading for the same trip and they had left around the same time. She foundered with the loss of 81 lives with only one survivor, a German woman who swam and swam for her life until being rescued mid-ocean.
We paid for what passed for a decent room in Pemba and slept the sleep of the traumatized and abandoned the thought of continuing in a dhow and waited for the arrival of an impending coastal trader. We secured tickets on her for the second leg to Zanzibar.

That trip was pretty uneventful until we approached the main Port in Zanzibar. We approached the wharf at an angle of about 25degrees which would be pretty standard for a yacht but for a 200ft, 5,000 tonne, coastal trader would be pretty acute, as they don’t alter course quickly but my main concern was we were doing about 5knts.

5knts and 5,000 tonnes, you do the math. When we were about 100m out I said to Ulli. ‘This guy is pretty confident’.

When we were about 20m out I said to Ulli and the other passengers, ‘Brace For Impact’.

Man, we smacked that wharf with mind numbing force. It had obviously just been re-built with huge 500mmX 500mm ‘Whalers’. Massive, square, machined, whole tree trunks for precisely this purpose. To protect the concrete wharf from destruction.

It was appalling, everyone on the boat, bar Ulli and myself, were knocked down with the shock of the impact. When the bow made contact, these massive hardwood ‘Whalers’ splintered and fired spears straight thru the welcoming party and straight thru the corrugated iron walls of the adjoining packing shed. We bounced down the wharf destroying the new protective ‘whalers’ eventually, coming to a shuddering halt. Even the people on the concrete wharf had been knocked off their feet. Miraculously, no one had been impaled.

After a moment or two of chaos, everyone on land and ship picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and those on the ship casually prepared to disembark and face the next adventure in their lives. African people, man are they resilient.

After disembarking, I walked around to the front of the ship to inspect the damage and there was about a cubic metre of hardwood compressed onto the bow of the ship!

We were now in the exotic, former slave trading capital, Zanzibar.

Zanzibar is a beautiful Island city with an immeasurably tragic history. The last place millions of African people saw of their wonderful, tragic home before beginning a voyage of death, humiliation and subjugation and the biggest slur on western culture to date. Zanzibar was a focal point of the Slave Trade. You could cut the air with a knife. In my country we would describe it as being “Tapu”.

We were pretty stuffed after this adventure and headed out to the coast to rest and recover. We camped at this amazing village adjacent to the lagoon where the local women farmed and harvested sea weed for export to Japan and the men fished for beautiful reef fish, lobster and octopus.

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It was a pretty cool place and I learnt a local song that I would sing to the women working the sea weed farm as I waded out to the reef for a dive.

The chorus was Hakuna, Hakuna matata, hakuna matata. (Hakuna matata means No Problem; they are a bloody philosophical lot, Africans!). They seriously loved me singing to them and it got them laughing from the souls of their feet. It was nice for all of us.

We hung out in Zanzibar for a while and then headed for Dar Es Salam, the capital of Tanzania and the home and possibly the birth place of Pan Africanism. The University of Dar Es Salam was a hot bed of Pan Africanism. Many of Southern Africa’s independence leaders were educated and cut their teeth intellectually here and you didn’t have to look hard for a debate on Colonialism or Apartheid. I was in my political element.

Whenever I was asked what I thought of the apartheid state and what should be done to the regimes leadership, my standard reply was that they all deserved a “Soweto necklace”. It was a great ice breaker.
We decided to head for the Serengeti and Ngorongoro National Park. You’re not allowed to travel add hock through the park but we skipped off a bus at the first village, thinking that hitching would be more fun. It was my idea, not Ulli’s !!!

We would have been ‘takeaways’ for all the animals that were lurking just outside the villages, had the sun gone down before we were picked up.

We arrived in Ngorongoro village on the edge of the crater hoping to check into the local camping ground (even though we didn’t have a tent). We were disappointed to find out that the camp had been recently closed because a family of leopards living in a nearby copse of trees had developed a taste for tourists and had started plucking the odd one out of the camping ground and it was thought that it might be bad for the tourist industry feeding naïve backpackers to the local wildlife.

A local aid worker stopped to ask us if he could help us and suggested the cheapest place to stay was Rhino Lodge on the edge of the Ngorongoro crater rim .

He gave us a ride down a long twisting gravel road, about five miles out of town to the Lodge. He dropped us off at the door and waved us goodbye.

We went to check in and I went ballistic. This place was little more than a glorified backpackers but they wanted US$55/ night. The secret to nuclear fusion is try to charge me ten times more than something is worth. You could have bolted a gas turbine on to me and generated electricity

I absolutely went thermal and refused to pay. Ulli operated the pressure relief valve on me ( she stood back and waited), then pointed out that we were in the middle of the jungle, miles from even the most primitive of villages and it was dinner time and she didn’t mean ours.

Ulli and I haggled for about 15 minutes with each other, and then she exercised her veto and said “you always get your way, but not this time.’ ‘We are not going to be some predators dinner’. On that note, I sulked my way into the most expensive hotel room I’d ever had at that stage of my life and had a shower and went off hunting for a compensatory beer. That was the first time Ulli saved my life in Africa.

We were sitting on the deck of the lodge, me sulking and a couple came out, getting ready to drive somewhere. I asked where they were going and they said to one of the other Lodges which had a magnificent view down into the crater and asked if we would like to come. We had successfully ‘bludged’ a lift.

As we were driving out of the car park, the woman in the passenger seat turned to us in the back and said. ‘If we’re lucky, we might see a leopard on the way’.
Ulli is now looking disdainfully at me. We drive about 50 meters from the inner gate up the driveway and the husband stops and turns the Range Rover off.

Coming down the Driveway!!! are a pack of hyenas, 6 of them and they are about twice the size I thought they were, with the biggest heads I have ever seen. They walked down the side of the Range Rover with their heads just outside the window eyeballing us. I have by now, shrunk to the size of a 3yr old and am trying to squeeze down the back of the seats. It turns out, that was the best argument I ever lost in my life. Go Ulli, saved again !
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We hitched a ride out of there on the back of a flat deck truck with our back packs at our feet. It was brilliant crossing the Serengeti like that and really gave us a taste for having our own transport which we were able to satiate later on in the adventure.
At one stage we were driving down a long straight and in the distance was a copse of trees. As we approached half of the trees simply walked away. They were giraffes, it was magic. HTF could any low life shoot these harmless animals?

Giraffes Plural

We headed down to the border with Malawi.

Now Malawi was ruled by this crackpot called President Bandra. He had been installed by the Brits in 1970’s and had clung to power with ever declining sanity and increasing senility.

One of his inspired dictates, to lift his country out of abject poverty, corruption and nepotism was to ban women from wearing trousers or shorts. Radical shit eh? That was bound to work! Why hadn’t someone thought of that before?

So, we’re at the border crossing and Ulli has to wear a sarong over her trousers to gain entry into the country. I couldn’t take it seriously and drifted off on one of my surreal tangents and wrote on my immigration papers, under “Occupation”, that I was a Brain Surgeon. I started walking around the customs post with my hands turned up like a doctor doing scrubs. It left a few people perplexed and Ulli mortified. She said ‘what if someone is sick and they want you to operate’ ?

It took ages to clear through into Malawi, until we realized that ‘unofficial’ customs fees were due and the longer you haggled the longer you waited. One thing we had on our side was time and we waited for their shift to nearly finish when the crossing rate plummeted; we handed over some shrapnel and crossed over.

Because the sun was setting we had to sleep in the local school class room. It was just as you would imagine. No windows, cute little wooden chairs connected to little desks, dirt floor. Homemade blackboard, stubs of chalk.

The next morning we headed for Nakata Bay on the edge of Lake Nyasa. We bussed into town and were dropped off in the main square which was surrounded by older woman selling vegetables under banyan trees. Quintessential Africa.

We were approached by a group of young men who offered us accommodation at a number of lodgings. We picked one, just out of town adjacent to a small stream.

Being a world class eater, I struck up a great friendship with the cook and knowing that his survival was intrinsically linked to my appetite, I endeavoured to guarantee his employment by supporting the kitchen. It helped that he was a great cook.

We dumped our gear and headed down to the local beach and low and behold what is the first thing we see when we navigate our way down the precarious dirt track to the beach but our much admired Bread Loaf overland truck and Axel and Christa. We had said hullo to these two folks a couple of times previously and had had brief conversations about each of our travels and it was good to catch up again.

We hung out together, went swimming, lazed around under the trees and continued eating.

As we left, later in the day, I asked if there was anything I could bring back the next day from the market. Fresh bread? An avocado?

So began a small ritual, each day we would arrive from the village with fresh goodies and have breakfast together. Ulli loves coffee and so did these folk. We were collectively making brunch one day and I went to empty out the espresso machine and dump the old coffee grains and Christa said ‘keep those ‘. They used to mix the coffee grains with washing powder as a hand cleaning agent for when they had been working on the truck. It was soapy and abrasive and cleaned like grease lightning. Try it.

One day I was strolling round the village and saw a couple of blokes working under a large Fiat Ducato van and we said ‘hi’ as I walked by. The next day they were still there under the vehicle and I asked them what they were doing. They said that the clutch had jammed and they couldn’t operate the van, they had limited tools and little idea of how to fix the problem. And money ? forget it.

I suggested we borrow tools from the Bread loaf and we pull the gearbox out together to have a look at the problem.

Axel loaned us all the tools we needed and in a few hours, the three of us had the drive shaft off, the gearbox out, unjammed the clutch, re-adjusted it, chucked the gearbox back in and Max and Kazim were up and running again. They were ecstatic. That night we went to one of the bars for a beer. These guys were great people but were pretty uncertain about Axel, Christa, Ulli and myself. Four blond Europeans, the personification of everything evil that had happened on their continent.

The relationship between black and white people globally has been compromised by the events of history and in Africa, it can be toxic. They hadn’t had a relationship with white people before on this level. It started with the three of us climbing under the van together with little idea of what we were doing, working together and achieving a result collectively, equally covered in grease, dirt and each others sweat.

I’m lucky enough to come from a multi cultural society where we treat each other with (a growing level) of respect but Africa is way different. It’s fair to say they were a little intrigued by us.

Not long after, the rains came and disaster struck. We woke up in the night and the heavens had opened and the building we were staying in was dissolving. I kid you not.

It looked like a sturdy building made of solid, plastered and painted walls but when that torrential rain got into it, it literally dissolved.

As we were lying in bed, we started to hear the leaks. Then with our torch, we saw water running down the walls, then next thing you know, there was a big plop on the bed beside me and I found a large piece of plaster which had de-laminated from the wall and fallen off in one piece.

We stayed awake, the whole night, literally watching the place dissolve. We actually couldn’t stop laughing. It turns out the place was just a mud hut that had had a cosmetic makeover to make it look like a cottage.

Next morning I went outside to go to the long drop toilet and it was on a slight lean. Ulli watched me going in and said, ‘I wouldn’t go in there if I was you’, but I confidently laughed off her concerns.

Now I’m a firm believer that Number 2’s should not be rushed and I’m known for taking my time but as I’m sitting there, the bloody lean becomes more pronounced and I could literally feel the ground moving beneath my feet and outside Ulli’s protestations are becoming more and more strident.

I abruptly finished my deliberations and just got out by the skin of my teeth. I had barely exited the door, taken a few paces to where Ulli was standing with a look of horror on her face and turned around to witness the entire Khazi drop on a 45degree angle into the stinking cess pit that it straddled. Had I not left when I did, I’d have been up to my neck in Shit ! That was the second time she saved me.

This all appeared highly amusing at first, until the level of destruction that was unfolding around us became apparent.

Our guest house was near, but above the stream. We looked down and through the trees and couldn’t believe our eyes. That little stream that had been as small as 1m and as large as 5m wide was now a raging torrent in some places 200m wide. Large trees, wrecked homes and debris was racing by in the dirty, muddy water. The scariest thing was where there had previously been flat land between the stream and the cliff, there was now only water and the edges of the cliffs had been scoured away as had the shacks located there!.

Then, the dawning of the terrible tragedy that had unfolded, whilst we had been sitting up all night, laughing at the crumbling plaster. Hundreds of simple mud and straw huts had disappeared. Not only people’s homes, businesses and livelihoods but the people themselves.

That night, within hundreds of meters of where we had slept, officially, 17 people had been washed to their deaths. The real number was probably many, many more, possibly hundreds. We woke to a village grieving, we grieved together, our tears mixed on the muddy ground as we hugged and cried together as we did what little we could.

We gingerly made our way into town around the souls of people gone. The place was a disaster and people were walking around pretty shell shocked. Apparently the town of Nakata Bay was cut off from outside help. We walked past the end of the town, down the main incoming road to find a massive slip where thousands of tons of hill side had simply slipped away and there was a yawning chasm possibly 75m wide dropping down a ravine more than a 100m. They weren’t gonna fix that in a hurry.

The only other way out of town was now cut off by a raging, swollen river. We weren’t going anywhere.

We were simply boxed in with no chance of moving. Our friends in the Bread loaf truck were on the other side of that torrent, at the bottom of the cliff and we had no idea what their predicament was. There was no way we could cross and we were seriously worried about them.

As the days went by, we helped with the clean up and waited for external assistance, it never arrived. It didn’t come but we did see the occasional military helicopter fly by with people in it surveying the damage. Probably 2 or 3 days after the arrival of the rain, people began to drop like flies. But the problem wasn’t flies, the problem was mosquitoes.

With the rainy season comes mosquitos. With mosquitoes comes Malaria.

There were a quite a few mzungu’s in the town staying at various places and we had seen each other around. When we heard one of the English women had gone down with malaria, Ulli and I went up to the local hospital to check on her. It was about a one km walk. She seemed reasonably ok and soon bounced back and I got talking to the lab’ tech who said that there was a shortage of blood in their blood bank and that African people didn’t as a rule donate blood except in an emergency and then only for their own families. We decided to canvas all the tourists to get them all to donate. I put up hand written notices for backpackers to donate blood, a large number did.

The river slowly subsided and we were able, after a week or so to ford it and walk to where the Bread loaf was parked. The rough, winding track that they had driven down was gone. It was now simply a cliff. When we got to the bottom of it Axel and Christa were ok but their truck was now parked at the bottom of said cliff.

Naturally they were pretty disheartened and at a loss what to do. My suggestion was that we cut a new track and as no one could leave town we weren’t really being held up.

I went to the local council building and borrowed picks and shovels and the three of us started digging. At the end of the day I struggled home exhausted and covered in mud and Max and Kasim spotted me. ‘Waddup?

I told them what had happened and now we were five. When I got back to our guest house there was a written message from Ulli. ‘Sick, probably Malaria, gone to the hospital’.

I ran up to the hospital and the love of my life is flat on her back, pale, feverish and yep, she’s got Malaria. I promptly went to the Lab’ technician to warn him that the blood he had from Ulli was probably infected with Malaria. He was unconcerned. He said that if the person was sick enough to need a transfusion he would give it to them and treat the malaria later!

Ulli progressively got better as the medication kicked in and  I got her home to the guest house ( with a functioning shower and toilet, unlike the hospital ) and her temperature started to drop as the Chloro- Quinine started to take effect. When she was on the road to recovery, I went back to road building with Kasim, Christa, Max and Axel.

Meter by meter we carved out a track. After 4 or 5 days we had a passable track and decided to have a go at driving the truck out. Poor old Christa simply couldn’t bear to watch.

I instructed Axel to keep the driver’s door open just in case he needed to jump if the truck was to slip back down the cliff. Axel was pretty experienced and worked his way up the hill pretty well but at about the ¾ mark, the truck lost traction and with all four wheels driving forward, the truck came to a halt, held, and then began to slide, both backwards and off our track. As it began to gain momentum, the left rear wheel hit a boulder and there was a loud smashing sound as the truck came to an abrupt bone jarring halt. The smashing sound wasn’t the impact of the truck hitting the boulder but of the rear axle exploding.

Now we were stuck, ¾ of the way up the cliff with a broken axel. We had a brief cry, then anchored the truck with strops to stop it going anywhere, had another cry and went home to rest and regroup. I hated leaving Christa and Axel alone that night as they were completely demoralized. Two freakin broken “Axels’.

Ulli was regaining her strength bit by bit and was aghast at how the three of us looked each day when we came home. Kasim and Max insisted on checking on Ulli each night before they went back to their van to sleep. As a general rule we were filthy, sweaty, and exhausted.

The next day we rendezvoused at the bread loaf to decide our next move. I said, ‘we need to remove the axel to see if it can be fixed’.

Axel climbed up on the roof of the truck, opened a large wooden box and triumphantly held up a spare axel that he had wrapped in grease proof paper. Freakin Germans, how the hell they lost the war to the Brits, I do not know!

Sweet, easy, out with the old and in with the new!

Not!

We jacked the truck up precariously on the cliff face, pulled the large, nobly, wheel off. Removed the outer hub and bolted on the ‘gear puller’ that the ‘bloody think of everything German’ had. We started cranking on the pressure and banging the end of the shaft with a hammer to ‘Break the hold’.

We got so much strain on the gear puller we couldn’t turn the bolt another millimetre. This bloody shaft had been in there since the day it was built in 1962 and after 37 yrs of hard work it had no intention of being extracted.

We left it overnight on load, came back the next day, tried again, borrowed a gas torch and heated it all up, bashed, swore, cried, added a pipe to the socket bar for leverage and preceded to break the gear puller.

Found another gear puller, broke that, and can’t be sure but probably cried again.

We hunted down the  gas welding set again and Axel welded a steel plate on the end of a nut screwed it back onto the shaft and the four of us lay on the ground alternating with two sledge hammers banging away at the plate and after an interminable number of crazed and obsessive strokes the freakin’ thing ‘popped’ and then came free. Try using a sledge hammer when lying down on the ground, on a cliff, with the truck jacked up above you!

It had taken three days to remove the broken axel and it took us one hour to install the new one.

Since the road had been washed out, very few provisions had been able to get into the town and the one that was running out the fastest was beer. There were about a dozen small bars in the town and one by one they had to close as they ran out of anything to sell. Each evening after working on first the track and after, the truck, we would adjourn to whichever establishment was still functioning to hear what were the latest developments in the repairs to the roads and retell of our own progress with the truck which had become a cause célèbre in the village.

Prudence and time to gather our thoughts dictated that we found a tractor with a long strop and pulled and drove the truck, at the same time, the final 50m or so to the top of the cliff. It had taken over a week from go to wo.

We were completely elated and physically and emotionally fucked. We had sweated, cursed , cried and cajoled both ourselves and each other for a week and all this with a daily growing audience intrigued by this multi-cultural team ‘slaving’ ( is that an appropriate term ? ) away together, drinking from the same water bottle, eating the same food, debating solutions equally. I didn’t fully realize it at the time but apparently it was unique.

Once we had the truck safe and sound and had stopped jumping round, dancing as only Africans and mad mzungu’s can and kissing each other and all the bystanders, Axel and Christa pulled me aside and said ’We want to ask you one last favour? We want to swap our truck for your and Ulli’s backpacks. What do you think?’

But that I was so exhausted, I would have taken their temperatures, thinking that they too had come down with Malaria!

I said ’You can’t be serious. Chill, relax, you’ll feel better tomorrow.’

But they explained to me that they had had enough of such dramas over the last 17months they had been on the road and for the sake of their marriage they believed that they needed to get away from the truck.

I was completely stuffed, my girl was at home sick in bed and I couldn’t in any way get my head around this incredible offer and I said I’d go home and we’d talk about it the next day.

Like any marathon you run, you ration your reserves until the finish and then you are spent.

I went back to the guest house, told a resurgent Ulli that we had recovered the truck and the amazing offer that Axel and Christa had made to me and then crashed and slept the sleep of the dead.

I woke up the next day with no real plan or obligations. We slowly got it together and with increasing reserves of energy, Ulli and I made our way up the road to see Christa and Axel.

Their position had not only not changed, but had solidified. They were adamant and they explained themselves to us in both English and German.

They had lived cheek to jowl in that small truck, experiencing adventures and challenges for one and a half years and they were completely over it.

The offer was one Overland truck, complete with every spare part you could imagine, stereo, tools, futon, ‘Carnet de Passage’, the works, in exchange for two backpacks.

It was a great deal.

Ulli and I deliberated, but also knew it was too good an offer to refuse but it was also too generous, so we came up with a counter offer.

We proposed we would give them, the two backpacks, a U.S. $1000 that we had on us in cash and one day we would come to Berlin and take them out to dinner!

Deal? Deal done !

After showing me all I needed to know about the truck, Axel and Christa jumped on a ferry that was doing relief supply runs down the lake whilst the road was out and literally sailed away with our backpacks. The last thing Axel said to me was he was sad he couldn’t keep his personal tools.

We drove the truck down into the village and parked it under one of the banyan trees and considered our new found circumstances.

Not long after I fell ill. In my experience of contracting malaria, after you fall ill, you remember that in the hours preceding there was a very low level headache. Then it just hits like a brick.

We had anti–malarial medication and I immediately began taking a course of Chloro-Quinine. Malaria feels like a massive dose of flu. High temperature, sweats, fever, vomiting, the shakes and the single most massive headache I have ever experienced.

Fortunately, Ulli had by now recovered and she was able to look after me. At first it appeared that I was getting better, then I had a terrible night of all of the above symptoms and then I started to struggle to breathe. I simply couldn’t get air into my lungs and I started to deteriorate. Fortunately, the local cop dropped in to see how we were and the moment he saw me, he piled us into the back of his Landover and raced us up to the hospital.

The hospital was run by a Finnish doctor and I was taken directly into his office, rather than the ward. He was pretty laid back! He lay me down on a bench in the office, took my temperature and listened to my lungs. By this time I was pretty unresponsive, couldn’t sit or stand and was finding it difficult to respond to questions and was progressively slipping from consciousness. The remarkable thing was, I could understand everything that was being said and could process the information but just couldn’t contact the other people in the room. I was literally drifting away.

He put me on a drip of saline and injected quinine into the solution

The doctor said very calmly to Ulli that I was very, very sick and needed to be admitted. He opened a draw in his desk and pulled out some medication and put it on the table.

He said ‘I keep this drug for people who are very sick’ ‘It is called Fansadar, it has been banned and removed from the market because of its possible side effects. I keep them for people who are about to die. I think your boyfriend should take them’ !
Ulli asked what the side effects were. He replied ‘Heart failure, liver function failure, kidney failure’. I don’t remember him saying etc etc but the way his voice trailed off you couldn’t be sure he was finished but he had probably covered off the main points. As I said, by now, I was little more than a catatonic spectator and Ulli was left to make the decision on her own. It was a very lonely decision to have to make but she didn’t hesitate and said ‘If you think he should take them, then let’s do it’. Life saving decision !

They wacked a Fansadar into me and then carted me off to the ward.

I am sure I won’t be able to paint the picture of what a ward in a hospital in a small village in Malawi looks like but I’ll give it a go.
I was put in intensive care which was characterized in its difference from the other wards by a sign on the door saying “Intensive Care”. The windows were broken, the plaster was cracked and the paint flaking. The cistern didn’t work in the toilets and they were abominable. The beds were old metal spring bases dating from the 60’s. Only some of the rooms, had doors.

Whilst I was in my catatonic stage I would watch, as a rats’ head would poke through the ceiling where the steam vent pipe from the sterilizer went through the roof. He would stick his head out, survey the scene, casually descend the pipe, and walk across the lid of the sterilizer (I kid you not) and climb down on to the floor. He then proceeded to wander around all the bodies of the people sleeping on the floor looking for grains of rice dropped by my roommates. For every person in a bed, there were probably two or three people sleeping on the floor.

Around this time, I hit a hospital all time record by recording a temperature of 41.4 degrees C. Technically impossible to come back from. They were wacking continuous drips into me, dosed with quinine and fansadar. I completely ballooned up with fluid retention.

I started to realize how sick I had become when Max and Kasim came up to the hospital to see me. I was still at the catatonic phase and couldn’t respond to any one. The two of them came gingerly into the room, took one look at me and without saying a word, turned around and left with a look of horror on their faces. I took that as an extremely bad sign. In four or five days, I’d gone from a fit 29yr old to Michelin man, burning up with fever and looking down the barrel of death.

It was impossible for me to eat and if I had have been able to would have vomited it up immediately. Ulli was continuously pouring fluids into me and I just puked them up immediately. It is one of the problems people have with taking oral medication for malaria as, because of the nausea and vomiting, a lot of the medication is thrown up before the body can absorb it, thus under dosing the patient. One thing you don’t want to do with malaria is under dose yourself as you can knock it back but if you don’t knock it out it just re-gathers strength and comes again.

There were a number of reasons why I survived this bout of malaria. The great Finnish doctor and his banned drugs. W.H.O. saline and quinine, a reasonably robust constitution, but undoubtedly the love and care afforded me by Ulli, was the single most important contribution to my survival. She literally bathed me continually for four days. I’m sure this dropped my temperature that critical fraction between life and death. This was the second time in as many months that she had saved my life. Thanks Bella.

It must have been a seriously crap time for her knowing that I was probably going to die. The body language from the staff was pretty grim and their ability to influence events beyond what they were already doing was nil. They had seen a lot of death and I was just another person in a long line.

Whilst I lay there boiling, with a truly thumping headache and completely unable to communicate I remember thinking, ‘Shit, what a bastard, I’m gonna die here and Ulli is going to have to ring and tell my mother and father, that is so not fair to her.’ I was completely ambivalent about dying. I wasn’t scared, fretful, none of the things you’d expect. From that time to this I have had not a fear of dying, for better or worse.

Finally, we got on top of the fever and I pulled back from the brink. My temperature began to drop, I regained my faculties. I could speak, couldn’t really eat but could drink soft drinks which had sugar in them and I began to get some strength back.

After a day or two more the Doctor said I could leave and stay at the guest house, where there was a functioning toilet and shower. He said to me and Ulli, ‘You both did well, there is no one who has walked out of this hospital who had been as sick as you’.
At first I could stand up but not walk, then slowly I would be able to take a few steps but I was so frail that my energy would die immediately and it was weeks before I fully recovered my strength.

I had gone 11 days without food and my weight had dropped from 69kg’s to about 60kg’s. I was ……..skinny!

I started to regain my strength with the help of the great food cooked for us at the guest house and I started putting on weight.
Now there is a product that Malawi is famous for and that is Pot, It is sometimes described and sold as a ‘cob’. The pot is dried and compressed and wrapped in the husks of maize. We’d heard lots about the amazing Malawi cobs and we were keen to try one. I asked around a bit and were shown a few miserable looking things and bought one. The pot was truly good but the cob didn’t live up to the visual spectacle I’d been told about. We mentioned this to our cook and he said ‘I’ll fix that’.

Next day he came to our room with a sack and inside was half a dozen of the biggest ‘Corn Cobs’ I have ever seen. They were massive and the quality of the pot was diabolical. We’d stumbled on El Dorado. I can’t remember how much they cost but somewhere in the region of a few dollars each, it was ridiculous.

By the time all our health dramas were concluding the roads had reopened and we were able to plan to leave. We arranged to drive in tandem with Kasim and Max down to Lilongwe, the capital and major city in the south of Malawi. Kasim and Max’s boss wanted to meet and thank us for the help with the truck and frankly we weren’t sure if the clutch was truly repaired so a convoy seemed a good idea.

As we drove to Lilongwe we stopped frequently on the side of the road to buy vegetables. We would be cruising along and we’d see maybe five tomatoes piled up on the side of the road in a small pyramid, or a cucumber sitting alone on a banana leaf, maybe a few spuds, mushrooms or a cabbage. We’d stop the truck, wait and soon some woman would come rushing from the bush after hearing the truck stop and sell us her excess produce for just a few cents.

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A huge percentile of Africans, don’t live in the cash economy and selling anything to generate money is imperative if you want to buy sugar, cooking oil etc. I will never forget the taste of those tomatoes. One of my most entrenched memories was the amazing taste of those home grown African tomatoes.

We hit the big smoke of Lilongwe and were welcomed into the homes of Kasim, Max and there extended families. Everyone was interested to hear of our adventures. We made some great friends.

I can remember going to the bus station for fried potatoes. They had these 1 meter round, steel plates slightly conical with boiling cooking oil in the middle fired by a gas burner located underneath and large chunks of potatoes or pieces of meat being deep fried. When the spuds were cooked they would just drag them out of the oil higher up the plate and away from the heat to drain. Then they would serve them with salt, pepper and a Cajun type seasoning. It was beautiful, filling and cheap.

It was time to keep moving and we said our goodbyes to the Max and Kazim, dumped our remaining ‘cobs’ and headed for the border with Zambia.

We crossed over with a couple of young English girls and headed for Lusaka. As evening fell, we pulled into a clearing on the side of the road and proceeded to set up camp. We got our little stools out, tuned my little broadband radio to the BBC, set up the gas cooker and rustled us up some food.

African people would always be intrigued by the mzungus’ in the ‘Bread loaf’ and would shyly peek inside and marvel at the luxury. We often invited people for a cup of tea and this day was no exception. We were in the middle of nowhere but out of the trees came a mix of people. Young, old, shy and the kids invariably inquisitive. One guy came up to me carrying a sack and a bucket and asked if I wanted to buy some tobacco. I declined saying I didn’t smoke but offered him a cuppa. He sat down and we had a drink and a chat when it dawned on me I hadn’t see ‘raw’ tobacco before so asked to have a look in the sack.

He cracks it open and low and behold the bloody thing is full of Pot. I’d nearly missed it. I said ‘This tobacco, I smoke’. He had a 1ltr bucket and we agreed on a price for a bucket of pot. It was completely stupid of me as we were only planning to stay in Zambia for a week or two and a cup would have been tons. I paid a coupla bucks for the lot and had to give the bulk of it away not long after. Duh!

To be honest I think I just liked the idea of buying my pot by the bucket full!

Later a tourist overland truck arrived in our clearing and swept into action like a whirlwind. Tables and trestles were set up, tents pitched, food cooked, sleeping partners decided on, beer drunk, consciousness lost and when the new day dawned the reverse and they were off. Man it was slick.

We didn’t hang around long in Zambia and soon crossed into Zimbabwe. In those days Zimbabwe was positively modern. Good roads, Robots, as traffic lights are beautifully named, lots of modern consumer goods and a modern efficient private sector. We found this great backpackers called Sable lodge, where we parked the truck in the drive way and headed into town for luxuries like Pizza, Mexican food, movies and bars. It was pretty refreshing.

I found an engineering shop to repair the broken axel and turned up with the two pieces. The Zimbabwean owner said yes he could weld it but a better idea was to make a new one. They had exactly the right grade of steel and a brilliant engineering workshop. I came back 3 days later and there was an exact copy and a spare, beautifully made. I pulled out my Vernier to measure the diameters and spec’s on the spline etc to check that it would fit and it was exact and the price? $66U.S., a fraction of a new one or the cost to make one at home. Brilliant. These people are prepared for the coming collapse because they either live it or have recovered from one.

Shortly after we had a slow leak on one of the tires on the truck and I said to Ulli one morning after breakfast, ‘you do the dishes and I will remove the tire and repair the tube’. The wheels were a design called ‘split rims’, where the two sides of the wheel are bolted together, so to remove the tube or replace the tire you simply un- bolted the two halves. A simple and low effort project.

I started working and shortly after, Ulli came out and found me slumped over the tire.

Malaria Case #2.

It’s amazing it just hits me like a bolt of lightning.

We reacted pretty quickly and Ulli got me into a taxi and down to a local doctor. He asked me what was wrong and I stupidly said ‘I think I’ve got Malaria’ to which he hit the roof, saying ‘how would you know. I’m the doctor, I’ll decide, tell me your symptoms’. Grumpy old white bastard that he was.

Surprise, surprise, yep I’ve got malaria. Now I’m not purporting to be an expert but I’d had recent experience and I thought his reaction was a little over the top.

This bout was pretty straight forward. We were careful with the doses and I wasn’t particularly ill. Compared with the first dose it was a breeze.

We made friends with the guy running the lodge and located, in Zimbabwe, something akin to Malawi Cobs. Our van became a focal point of stoners hanging out, drinking a few beers and having a smoke. It was very salubrious.

The next leg of the journey was to our destination, Mozambique. We drove to Mutare which is a hill station town located on the range that separates Zimbabwe from Mozambique.
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We stood at a lookout gazing across the frontier with trepidation into Mozambique. We needed to get from Mutare to Beira. It was a straight forward trip except that there was a civil war raging on both sides of the road. We took a deep breath and set off.

The drive was surreal. The road was deserted except for the odd Military truck patrolling along it and occasional groups of refugees who looked completely traumatized.

One of the first things that were suggested to me, once we arrived in Beira, was to get armed. There was a thriving market for weapons and buying one was simply about deciding what you wanted. You could buy literally anything, an A.K.47 was standard issue, a Walther PPK as made famous by ‘Bond, James Bond’ all available. I wasn’t really into the idea but did see the need to have a weapon, so settled on an 11shot, 9mm semi-automatic Markov, an East European pistol. It cost me U.S. $40 and fortunately we never had to fire it in anger.
My work colleague who organised the pistol suggested he borrow a couple of Mauser sniper rifles from the local military commander and we go into the bush in our truck to shoot game for the local soldiers to eat, the officer commanding was prepared to give us a platoon of soldiers to guard us in exchange for the use of my truck. I replied “You can’t be serious, there’s a war going on out there”. He replied, “Common, we might even get to shoot a Rhinoceros” ! I replied “WTF, there might only be one left”, his retort was “Someone’s got to get it” !!! I knew immediately that the species was doomed.
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We had a wonderful work supplied home adjacent to the Indian Ocean. I had recovered some weight in this picture !

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These are some of my work colleagues, old blurry photo but you get the ‘drift’;

Beira Workmates

I dropped with another bout of malaria whilst working in Beira but it too passed without much ado. Hard to believe you could become passé about malaria but none of the subsequent bouts ever amounted to anything like the debut episode.

Whilst installing the control equipment above, working side by side with my team I had a fall and broke my neck, C3 to be exact.
I fell and when I regained consciousness my white shirt was red and pink half way down my chest from blood seeping from a head wound.
My colleagues carried me to a work truck and rushed me over a pothole covered road to the Beira Hospital which was overrun with victims of the civil war raging in the country that was funded and armed via the apartheid state. No neck brace through all of this!
When we arrived at the hospital a Cuban trained doctor from Sierra Leone preceded to stem the bleeding and take x-rays of my head and shoulders. There was a clear split in the third cervical vertebrae. Whilst the two pieces of the vertebrae hadn’t moved, I was developing pins and needles in my feet and hands indicating some spinal damage !
The doctor preceded to cut the top of a cardboard box, wrap it in cotton wool, wrapped it around my broken neck and then set my head, shoulders and torso in ‘Plaster of Paris’. Her advice to Ulli and me was; “You both need to get out of this country asap, there are no treatment facilities for your injury in this country.”
The reality is I would not be here today were it not for Ulli and the Cuban trained doctor who saved my mobility and no doubt my life. The medical profession in Africa is dominated by Cuban trained doctors.
My employers hired a twin engine Cessna from South Africa to come to medivac me out of the war zone, problematic in itself. In my ‘Plaster of Paris’ cast, I started arguing about our destination. Ulli and I had made a pact to never go to South Africa until the apartheid regime had been overthrown, after much debate we agreed on a medivac to Harare in Zimbabwe instead. Neither the pilot nor my employers were happy with our decision.
The plane arrived and I was carted out to the airfield with the long suffering Ulli supervising and we boarded the old hulk.
The pilot started the planes two engines and their was a flashing red light on the dashboard that read “Engine #2 Generator Failure”. The pilot banged on the dashboard a few times then said “It will be ok” and began taxiing down the runway !
I started complaining and said “What if the Engine #1 Generator Fails” and the pilot admitted that could be a problem ! I pointed out I already had a broken neck and an emergency crash landing in a war zone was somewhat ‘problematic’ for me.
Ulli’s eyes rolling in her head !!
I refused to fly until it had been repaired and I was unceremoniously removed from the plane.
I pointed out to the pilot that I was an electrician and wouldn’t be boarding the plane until the repair was completed, he was somewhat disgruntled with me!
The problem was fixed, I made the pilot prove that he hadn’t simply removed the bulb and we flew out of Beira airport and flew across the beautiful, war ravaged countryside.
We arrived safely in Harare where I went into rehab for a while as the injury stabilised and they carried out tests to decide on my fate. I refused surgery and requested medevac’ing back to Aotearoa NZ.

This is a photo of me recovering in Harare with my new, ‘flash’ neck apparatus;
NECK

When we were in Zimbabwe we met two kiwis who wanted to buy the truck. I asked them what they thought it was worth and they said US$10k. I explained to them that I had been given the truck for free and if they paid me half of that figure then we would all benefit equally. I said I couldn’t sell them Axels’ tools and I DHL’d them from Harare to Berlin !

They jumped at the chance and paid us $5k. After arriving in N.Z we sent a letter to the Max and Kasim enclosing $250 each with instructions to confirm that they had received the dosh. When we received that, we sent them another $250 each. Both of them set up businesses with that money which was a considerable amount of seed capital relatively speaking where they lived. Our chance meeting was life changing for us all.

We were repatriated back to Aotearoa NZ where I sought specialist treatment and was told the injury was healing brilliantly and surgery wasn’t necessary.

About three months after we returned to N.Z. I began working as a contract electrician and was rushing one day to finish a job so I wouldn’t have to return for just a few hours the next day. The moment I was finished and began to relax in the packing up stage, it hit me again. I was walking to the van and wham and I lay down on the grass and waited.

Soon enough the owner of the house came looking for me and was disconcerted to find his electrician lying on the ground like a stunned mullet. He wanted to call an ambulance but I stupidly said “Na, just call my girlfriend and my boss.” John sent one of the boys around to recover the van and Ulli turned up, shaking her head. She was a bit over malaria by this stage. Ulli drove us to a medical centre and we sort help. I was a little reluctant to tell the quack what was wrong with me after getting a bollocking the last time from the arsehole doctor in Zimbabwe.

After he had examined me and was obviously perplexed, I ventured, that I had a suspicion it was malaria. When he heard that I’d been in Africa and had three previous bouts of the bloody thing he started beaming. He couldn’t believe his luck and started taking blood samples for testing. Vial after vial after vial. I said wow, Christ, leave me some. If I hadn’t stopped him he’d a drained me dry. He had called the Lab’ to get an urgent test and they had said, “Get as much as you can and we’ll send it to the University so the students could have a look at the pathogens in his blood.”

Bloody vampires.

But having said that, the head of the tropical diseases unit at Auckland put me on a course of drugs that seems to have cured me and 31 yrs later I haven’t had a recurrence.

When we said our goodbyes to Kasim and Max we said that when we sold the truck we would send them some money as we believed they should be rewarded for their work at the cliff face.

 

Two years later we turned up in Berlin and settled the contract with Axel and Christa. Axel said one of the most amazing aspects of the story for him was answering the door bell and being greeted by a DHL courier holding his tool box.

Full circle!
That was our adventure in Africa, it was a love story. I dedicate this tale to Ulli Eisert. Without her care and love I would not be here today to tell the tale.

Posted in African Adventures, Cuban Trained Doctors

Planet of the Humans on Nature Bats Last

Jeff Gibbs, the director of Planet of The Humans was the guest on the July episode of Nature Bats Last.  The episode is embedded here:
Jeff Gibbs
“Statement from Director Jeff Gibbs On The Censorship Campaign Against “Planet of the Humans”

“This attempt to take down my film and prevent the public from seeing it is a blatant act of censorship by political critics of my movie. It is an attempted misuse of copyright law to shutdown a film that has opened a serious conversation about how parts of the environmental movement have gotten into bed with Wall Street and so-called “green capitalists.” There is absolutely no copyright violation in my film. This is just another attempt by the film’s opponents to subvert my right to free speech.”

“Opponents of my film, who do not like it’s critique of the failures of the environmental movement, have worked for weeks to have my film taken down and to block me from appearing on TV and on livestream. Their efforts to subvert free speech have failed, with nearly eight and a half million people already viewing the film on YouTube. These Trumpian tactics are shameful, and their aim to stifle free speech and prevent people from grappling with the uncomfortable truths exposed in this film is deeply disturbing.”

“PEN America, which was founded in 1922 and fights for the free speech of artists in the U.S. and around the world, came out strongly and denounced the initial attempt to censor this film, and we hope all champions of free expression condemn this act of censorship. We are working with YouTube to resolve this issue and have the film back up as soon as possible.”

Bill McKibben from 350.org featured in the documentary and has since written critically of the documentary. Jeff Gibbs response is embedded in the following link; Response to Bill McKibben regarding Planet of the Humans.

I have been sceptical of Bill McKibben since I attended and spoke on a panel at a climate change conference at Victoria University Wellington in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2006. McKibben was the keynote speaker who pretended to cry when talking about AGW. I was with a group of indigenous speakers from the South Pacific Islands, Kiribati and the Solomon Islands. They agreed with me that he lacked credibility.
I will also note that 350 ppm of carbon in the atmosphere was never safe. The target set and promulgated by 350.org was never safe, the 1.5C / 2C guardrail set by the IPCC was patently never safe.

The next episode of NBL will feature a conversation with Dr. Sid Smith, Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Hampden-Sydney College and General Secretary of the Green Party of Virginia. We will be discussing his presentation titled: How to Enjoy the End of the World.

The next episode will broadcast live on Tuesday afternoon at 3pm EST, the 4th of August in the United States. If you miss the broadcast, you can find shows in the archives at PRN.fm, the podbean, or at Stitcher, and feel free to rate us on iTunes.

 

Posted in Jeff Gibbs, Michael Moore, Nature Bats Last, Professor Guy McPherson, Sid Smith

Professor Corey Bradshaw explains the unfolding “Extinction Cascades” on Nature Bats Last.

Professor Corey Bradshaw from Flinders University was this months guest on Nature Bats Last.

The audio of the episode is embedded here:

“Dr. Bradshaw is the Matthew Flinders Fellow in Global Ecology at Flinders University, where he directs the Global Ecology Laboratory and is also Chief Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage. He heads the Flinders Modelling Node of the latter organization. Professor Bradshaw has published some 300 peer-reviewed scientific articles, 11 book chapters and 3 books. His book titles include The Effective Scientist, published by Cambridge University Press and, from Chicago University Press and co-authored by occasional guest on this show Professor Paul Ehrlich, Killing the Koala and Poisoning the Prairie. In total, his work has been cited more than 20,000 times. Bradshaw is co-Head of the Ecology Section of the Faculty of 1000 and a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Australia. He was awarded the 2017 Verco Medal from the Royal Society of South Australia, a 2017 Rockefeller Foundation ‘Bellagio’ Writer’s Fellowship, the 2010 Australian Ecology Research Award from the Ecological Society of Australia, the 2010 Scopus Young Researcher of the Year, the 2009 HG Andrewartha Medal, and a 2008 Young Tall Poppy Science Award. He is regularly featured in Australian and international media for his research. The Professor’s blog has been visited more than 2.3 million times.” Quoting  Professor Guy McPherson

Links to Professor Bradshaw’s published works are embedded here, his personal blog with a subscription option is Conservation Bytes 

“More than 99% of all species that have ever existed have gone extinct”. See the short presentation at the top of the Professor Bradshaw’s blog for more on that diamond of information and lets get over our human hubris and invincibility.
We have previously discussed on the show Professor Bradshaw’s work with Professor Paul Ehlich. That episode is embedded in the following link: Professor Paul Ehrlich returns to Nature Bats Last
Until recently I assumed that at least Tardigrades would get through the extinction bottleneck. That has recently be called into question as we discussed on the show and  below;
“Tardigrades are tough little critters. When conditions get nasty, they can dry out, reconfigure their bodies and enter suspended animation – called dessication – for years. You can throw virtually anything at them: frozen temperatures, zero oxygen, high pressures, the vacuum of space, cosmic radiation, and even being boiled.”

“But new research has shown these tiny organisms may have a weakness – long-term exposure to high temperatures, even in their dessicated state. The longer the temperatures are maintained, the lower the tardigrades’ chances of survival.”
Tardigrades Are Basically Indestructible, But Scientists Just Found Their Weak Point

In the following embedded Flinders University presentation Professor Bradshaw jokes that his colleagues describe him as Dr or Professor Doom. This subtle form of gas lighting has stoked scientific reticence as the extinction event accelerates, discouraging the less courageous scientists from telling you what they really think is unfolding. Professor Guy McPherson and I admire Professor Bradshaw’s courage, professionalism and scientific integrity. BRAVE | There’s No Plan(et) B – What you can do about Earth’s extinction emergency.

Carl Sagan Extinction is the rule.

Professor Bradshaw and I discussed the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Embedded below is the trailer to a new documentary titled “Murder On The Reef”

All my time at sea over 16 ‘blue water’ passages and hundreds of races taught me the importance of the “Precautionary Principal”. The prudent skipper needs a wide margin of error. Caution and prudence seems to have been cast to the wind as the dominant culture grinds the living planet into dust.
Next months guest will be Jeff Gibbs, director of “Planet of the Humans” recently censored off You Tube for daring to question the renewables sector.

Posted in Abrupt Climate Change, Corey Bradshaw, Extinction Cascades, Extinction Rebellion, Jeff Gibbs, Nature Bats Last, Professor Guy McPherson, Professor Paul Ehrlich, The Great Barrier Reef

We’re actually heading for a 10C global mean temperature increase in the coming decade or two. Probably much sooner.

“John Doyle is a long time EU staffer stationed in Brussels. Stuart Scott was asked to make a ‘reality-check’ presentation to UN aid agencies with responsibility ( for) climate change in May 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. Here is John’s ‘catastrophe-check’ to UN aid agencies. Diplomacy is the art and science of posturing, distortion and fabrication about underlying false and ideological mental positions about reality. We are operating under a global political network of self-delusional agencies and individuals who seem to believe that if they just keep repeating a false narrative about Reality it will become true and real.”

In the above presentation John Doyle mentioned the imminent threat of European cities facing “Wet Bulb Temperatures”, I have covered that issue previously here:
Additionally it was mentioned that we could lose the Arctic Sea Ice later this year! The consequences of that are described in the following embedded link; Cascading Consequences of the Loss of Arctic Sea Ice
“Losing the remaining Arctic sea ice and its ability to reflect incoming solar energy back to space would be equivalent to adding one trillion tons of CO2 to the atmosphere, on top of the 2.4 trillion tons emitted since the Industrial Age, according to current and former researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego.”
“At current rates, this roughly equates to 25 years of global CO2 emissions.”
Our former guest on Nature Bats Last on PRN.FM Robert Hunziker has recently published the following on Counterpunch: “Earth at 10°C above pre-industrial is unimaginable. It’s a deadly horrifying thought, but as shall be explained herein, it should not be dismissed out of hand.”
“The following story might be labeled as reckless, and it might be criticized as a fearmongering piece of journalism and probably will be. Nevertheless, “10C Above Baseline” explores a dystopian world envisioned by John Doyle, Sustainable Development Policy Coordinator of the European Commission in Brussels.” 10C Above Baseline

John Doyle mentioned the President of Finland saying “If We Lose The Arctic We Lose The World”, that quote can be substantiated here:President Niinistö in North Russia: ‘If We Lose the Arctic, We Lose the World’.

Corroborating John Doyle’s analysis is the following post from Sam Carana’s Arctic News Blog:
“How much could temperatures rise? As the image shows, a rise of more than 10°C (18°F) could take place, resulting in mass extinction of many species, including humans.”

“How fast could such a temperature rise eventuate? As above image also shows, such a rise could take place within a few years. The polynomial trend is based on NASA January 2012-February 2017 anomalies from 1951-1980, adjusted by +0.59°C to cater for the rise from 1750 to 1951-1980. The trend points at a 3°C rise in the course of 2018, which would be devastating. Moreover, the rise doesn’t stop there and the trend points at a 10°C rise as early as the year 2021.“Abrupt Warming – How Much And How Fast?

Don’t expect the psychopaths at the helm of our sinking, burning ship to stand idly bye as the planet incinerates. I expect to see a false flag attack on Russia or China by the empire of chaos creating a nuclear winter. If you think that’s an insane suggestion have a close look at the lunatics in power in Britain and Washington. The Inevitability of Nuclear War and Subsequent Nuclear Winter
Time is very short, seize the moment.

Grim Reaper

Posted in Early Stage Runaway, John Doyle, Rapid Climate Change, Robert Hunziker

“Co-extinctions annihilate planetary life during extreme environmental change”

To understand the true severity of our predicament it is imperative to connect as many disparate, peer reviewed analysis, as are available and to then apply the precautionary principal. Below is a synthesis of peer reviewed papers and some audio and video explanations of them.
Abstract:
“Climate change and human activity are dooming species at an unprecedented rate via a plethora of direct and indirect, often synergic, mechanisms. Among these, primary extinctions driven by environmental change could be just the tip of an enormous extinction iceberg. As our understanding of the importance of ecological interactions in shaping ecosystem identity advances, it is becoming clearer how the disappearance of consumers following the depletion of their resources — a process known as ‘co-extinction’ — is more likely the major driver of biodiversity loss. Although the general relevance of co-extinctions is supported by a sound and robust theoretical background, the challenges in obtaining empirical information about ongoing (and past) co-extinction events complicate the assessment of their relative contributions to the rapid decline of species diversity even in well-known systems, let alone at the global scale. By subjecting a large set of virtual Earths to different trajectories of extreme environmental change (global heating and cooling), and by tracking species loss up to the complete annihilation of all life either accounting or not for co-extinction processes, we show how ecological dependencies amplify the direct effects of environmental change on the collapse of planetary diversity by up to ten times”.“Co-extinctions annihilate planetary life during extreme environmental change”

One of the co-authors of the above peer reviewed article Professor Corey Bradshaw was interviewed on Radio Ecoshock. That interview is embedded here: The Rules of Extinction

“A new study shows that as rising heat drives some key species extinct, it will affect other species, as well, in a domino effect.” Unchecked Global Warming Could Collapse Whole Ecosystems, Maybe Within 10 Years

“It gets unimaginably worse by the day, of course. Recent information from the peer-reviewed journal literature finally caught up to me in concluding the Sixth Mass Extinction could annihilate all life on Earth. A paper in Scientific Reports draws this conclusion based upon the rate of environmental change, consistent with my own conclusions. More than a decade after I began pointing out in this space the importance of interactions between organisms, particularly the relatively unknown yet important microbes, microbial life is deemed important in a synthetic paper in the 18 June 2019 issue of Nature Reviews Microbiology: “[Microbes] support the existence of all higher lifeforms and are critically important in regulating climate change.” Five-and-a-half years after I described the horrors of interacting factors, a paper in the 21 December 2018 issue of Science concludes such interactions are tremendously important.”
“Extinction Foretold, Extinction Ignored”.
Below is a comprehensive overview of our predicament from my co-host on Nature Bats Last on the Progressive Radio Network.

Professor McPherson’s latest peer reviewed paper is embedded here:
“The new study, published in the journal Science Advances, shows that even with extremely conservative estimates, species are disappearing up to about 100 times faster than the normal rate between mass extinctions, known as the background rate.”
Paul Ehrlich and others use highly conservative estimates to prove that species are disappearing faster than at any time since the dinosaurs’ demise.” Stanford researcher declares that the sixth mass extinction is here:

Our predicament can only be worse than we know and our tenure on this planet less certain than even the most pessimistic of us surmise. The Black Swan‘s are circling, the likely hood of another threat to this set of living arrangements arriving before the current threat abates is a certainty and then rinse and repeat.
“A catastrophic loss in biodiversity, reckless destruction of wildland and warming temperatures have allowed disease to explode. Ignoring the connection between climate change and pandemics would be “dangerous delusion,” one scientist said.”
“How Climate Change Is Contributing to Skyrocketing Rates of Infectious Disease”
These literally are the “Good Old Days”.

Carl Sagan Extinction is the rule.

Posted in Corey Bradshaw, Extinction Cascades, Nature Bats Last, Professor Guy McPherson, Professor Paul Ehrlich

Kirkpatrick Sale; The Collapse of 2020

The May 2020 episode of Nature Bats Last on the Progressive Radio Network featured a discussion with Kirkpatrick Sale about what we believe to be the unfolding collapse of industrial civilisation and his latest book on the subject titled “The Collapse of 2020”.
The episode is embedded here:

For additional reference, I quoted his article posted on December 19 2019 on Counter Punch titled Political Collapse: The Centre Cannot Hold.

Collapse of 2020 Kirkpatrick Sale
Kirkpatrick Sale has a Facebook page where people can follow his work on social media. The page is embedded here:
Kirkpatrick has kindly agreed to come back on the show towards the end of the year assuming this set of living arrangements is still hanging together and that’s a big ‘if’, considering how precarious the situation is today and we will have witnessed another Arctic Sea Ice melt season by then. More information on the cascading effects of the loss of sea ice can be accessed here; Cascading Consequences of the Loss of Arctic Sea Ice.
Feel free to subscribe to this blog and leave a question for Kirkpatrick in the comments section below. I will endeavour to address them on our subsequent interview, should fate allow it to proceed.
“The Collapse of 2020” can be purchased here

Posted in Aerosol Masking Effect, Collapse, Kirkpatrick Sale, Nature Bats Last, Professor Guy McPherson

Abrupt Climate Change, Nuclear Power and COVID 19. The Perfect Storm

The April episode of Nature Bats Last featured an interview with Paul Gunter from Beyond Nuclear. The show is embedded here:
I asked Paul about what I believe was the murder of nuclear whistle blower Karen Silkwood. Paul reiterated my contention that she was murdered by agents connected to the nuclear industry. The police were obviously colluding with the murderers by turning a ‘blind eye’ to the disappearance of her evidence folder that she had with her enroute to a meeting with a journalist from The New York Times.
The Killing of Karen Silkwood: The Story Behind the Kerr-McGee Plutonium Case

“Challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. nuclear industry has asked the Trump administration to ensure nuclear workers, suppliers, and vendors will have access to nuclear plants and personal protective equipment (PPE) during the 2020 spring and fall refueling outage seasons and beyond.”
COVID-19 Threatens Outages Scheduled at 97% of U.S. Nuclear Sites in 2020

Chernobyl: Radioactive forest near nuclear plant catches fire

Ukrainian authorities say a forest fire is causing radiation levels to spike in the area of Chernobyl, a nuclear power plant that melted down in 1986. A Fire at Chernobyl is releasing large amounts of Radiation

“Fires are common inside the “Zone of Alienation”, a circle with a 30-kilometre radius that surrounds the old nuclear plant and is fenced in barbed wire.
But the current blazes are larger than normal and are stirring up radiation as they burn grass and forests.
Winds could spread fires to remnants of the nuclear plant and authorities are trying to protect the critical infrastructure in the exclusion zone: Radiation levels rise as fires burn near Chernobyl’s former nuclear power plant

Via Harvey Wasserman: The COVID Pandemic has thrown America’s atomic reactor industry into lethal chaos, making a major disaster even more likely.  Reports from “terrified” workers at a Pennsylvania reactor indicate vital precautions needed to protect them may not even be possible.” Terrified Atomic Workers Warn That the COVID-19 Pandemic May Threaten Nuclear Reactor Disaster

Paul mentioned that the NRA were allowing plant operators to extend workers hours and to defer repairs.  Evidence for that insanity is embedded inthe following link; U.S. to Let Nuclear Plants Defer Repairs, Schedule Longer Shifts 

Fairwinds.org has covered the refueling issue also:

COVID-19 & Nuclear Risk: Refueling Nukes Isn’t A NASCAR Pit-stop!

Many thanks to the team at PRN.FM who still managed to record the show remotely from the studio due to the lockdown. It’s taken a long time for it to have been uploaded to the archive which reminds me how tenuous our predicament has become. Imagine being banned off the streets in total lockdown and no internet. That time is coming, sooner or later. Think about it.

Bomb

 

Posted in COVID19, Nuclear Threats, Paul Gunter, Professor Guy McPherson

This is the End, Beautiful Friends, The End

Do you seriously fucking think we will just ‘bounce back’ from this situation we all find ourselves in?
Forget it. It’s delusional to expect we’ll recover from this ‘event’. Paradigm shifts are like tipping points in the climate system. You can only see them in the rear view mirror and most of them are irreversible.
There was a strong school of thought that we were facing the early stages of collapse before this “Black Swan” appeared. Last September we interviewed French rocket scientist and systems thinker Arthur Keller on his conclusion and wonderful You Tube presentation “Collapse, The Only Realistic Scenario”     The collapse Arthur foresaw is unfolding as we speak and dutifully ‘self-isolate’.
I’ve just entered my 6th decade on this planet. What we are witnessing is unprecedented in all human history. Never before in history have the emperors told the serfs to “stay home and we’ll pay you.”
No one. Absolutely no one is in control and no one has ever been here before. Think of the mediocrity we have ‘leading us’ as this predicament unfolds. If you think Boris and Donald are going to lead us out of this mess you have rocks in your head.
I was three years old when a magic bullet entered the back of President Kennedys head and blew his brains out in the same direction the bullet entered ! Miraculous it was, apparently. Murder Most Foul
The last vestiges of fake democracy in that country were finally extinguished with that ‘magic bullet’ and to this day the dominant culture has instilled such an extreme version of ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ in people ensuring that it is ‘normal’ to accept the impossible and you’re a conspiracy theorist to point out the bleedingly obvious deception. Go along with the charade if you wish but I won’t play that game. No one can convince me that infinite growth on a finite planet is sustainable. Our chickens have come home to roost. Lock, stock and two smoking barrels.
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As I grew up, I heard my parents denouncing the Vietnam war, I’ve seen war myself in Mozambique and the occupied six counties of Ireland. I know what it smells like. I’ve seen the destruction and the psychological damage done to those communities. Remember, “No soldier returns from war uninjured”.
During my entire lifetime, imperialist capitalism has been raping and pillaging the planet, wiping out indigenous cultures every where it goes and grinding the natural world into dust. Of course it has a fucking end point. The unsustainable can’t be sustained forever. Everywhere has been raped and plundered. There are no far off undiscovered lands left to be exploited. All the low hanging fruit has been plucked, we’re circling the drain. This is what the end game looks like.
Organised, psychopathic, Armani clad gangsters have been gaming the system all my life and now they have lost control like all junkies eventually do.
Why the fuck are you all acting surprised?
Never before have I seen governments telling their people to “stay home and we’ll post you a cheque.”  All of a sudden they have magical money, like the bullet we discussed earlier, that they have just plucked from the sky and they are raining it down on the banksters in the trillions and on the ‘self-isolated’ in the thousands. Notice a recurring theme here? Money for nothing and the chicks for free.Cognitive dissonance reins supreme.

When governments all around the world are giving away money you know that they have lost total control. Becareful, you could be killed by helicopter money.
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Let’s have a think about what this ‘timely’ virus has achieved.
Contemporaneous with the outbreak of the virus the global economy was on life support. The US Fed’ has been pumping trillions of brand new dollars into the system to try and keep the ponzi scheme going and it staggered along until the game changing ‘Self Isolation’ took effect. Never before has a populace been so effectively corralled. The protests in France extinguished overnight. Protests around the world wiped out completely as Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan continue to be bombed into the dark ages as the military industrial complex bank the contemporaneous profits as the weapons are used and orders placed for more. Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Russia and China all sanctioned for not kowtowing to the “Empire of Chaos”.
The independent states listed above have been moving to de-dollarize their economies. They started to trade oil in anything but the greenback. Before this ‘event’ the dollar was teetering on the brink of collapse and then out of the blue, a distraction.
The monsters murdered Muammar  Gadaffi because of his plan to create a gold backed dinah to trade oil in and his unflinching support for the African Union. The next distraction will be war against the independent states, it’s what funds Wall Street.

In his novel “The Sun Also Rises” Hemingway describes how the end comes about when you lose everything. One character asks;”How did it happen”, the other responds “Gradually and then suddenly”. Ring any fucking bells?

I’ve been closely following the progression of the virus around the planet and thanks to Albert Bartlett I am aware of the danger of the exponential function. This virus will probably eventually infect us all as the rate of infections is now exponential and governmental responses have always been too little, too late ensuring it’s spread. Remember it’s always the economy first, the inhabitants last.
Health systems worldwide are collapsing at the beginning of the catastrophe which has many months or years to run. Our complex system of ‘On demand’ supply networks depend on Business As Usual to maintain the flow of everything we take for granted being available and as you may have noticed BAU shut down recently. Already some nations are banning grain and other food exports.
I simply cannot see how Western culture can continue as millions of people start dropping dead around us and the entire human population of the planet are living, eating, drinking and working in fear. This soulless system isn’t designed to survive these dynamics. Nor are the fragile humans caught up in the maelstrom.
I’m not ‘Fearmongering,’ I’m laying out what I see before me without the manic attachment to sugar coating our predicament that this culture has incubated. Unsupported ‘positivity’ is delusion, I’m more inclined to hope for the best and plan for the worst.
To quote Joanna Macy from her essay “The Greatest Danger”;
“Because of social taboos, despair at the state of our world and fear for our future are rarely acknowledged. The suppression of despair, like that of any deep recurring response, contributes to the numbing of the psyche. Expressions of anguish or outrage are muted, deadened as if a nerve had been cut. This refusal to feel impoverishes our emotional and sensory life. Flowers are dimmer and less fragrant, our loves less ecstatic. We create diversions for ourselves as individuals and as nations, in the fights we pick, the aims we pursue, and the stuff we buy.”
Convert whatever resources you have into food asap. There is zero guarantee that this set of living arrangements will hold together much longer considering the threats we know it is under with the next ‘Black Swan’ hovering in the wings about to appear.

If this event hasn’t already tipped us over, either the next one or the one after will. They will continue to appear thick and fast.

On that note, I’ll get back to early stage runaway abrupt climate change. Remember that other, non-linear existential threat we face?

My co-host on Nature Bats Last and I have been drawing attention to the loss of the Aerosol Masking Effect from the shut downs happening around the planet. Professor McPherson sums up that aspect of the predicament below;

Good luck everyone, the predicament can only be worse than we know.

Posted in Albert Bartlett, Arthur Keller, Collapse, Nature Bats Last, Professor Guy McPherson

“Post Doom” discussion featuring Michael Dowd and Kevin Hester. Navigating the Perfect Storm

Michael Dowd and I recorded this interview in September 2019 in his “Post Doom’ series. It’s just been uploaded to You Tube as part of a series with the link to the rest embedded below.
We discussed how we are trying to navigate through this fast unfolding paradigm and how we manage our grief.
Part of my grief management system is to volunteer at the Rakino Island Nursery. It’s working well for me and the bird life on Rakino Island as mentioned in the interview.

My interview is one in a series conducted by Michael Dowd with many interesting participants. The entire series can be found here;

We discussed my collaboration with Dahr Jamail and our research dive at the Poor Knights Marine Reserve for his latest book titled “The End of Ice”. I’ve added a few photo’s below taken on that dive;

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Additionally we discussed my interviews with Professor Paul Ehrlich on Nature Bats Laston The Progressive Radio Network. Those interviews have been covered on this blog and are embedded here and here;
The interview with Dr Andrew Glikson from the Australian National University is embedded here; Tipping Points in the Earth Climate System. Dr Andrew Glikson returns to Nature Bats Last

Good luck everybody, the predicament can only be worse than we know.

Posted in Abrupt Climate Change, Dahr Jamail, Dr Andrew Glikson, Gary Null
Kevin Hester

Kevin Hester is currently living on Rakino Island, a small island in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland, New Zealand, monitoring the unravelling of the biosphere and volunteering at the Rakino Island Nursery is currently developing a proposal to create a marine reserve near by. The Island has no grid tied electricity or reticulated water.  I catch my own water from the roof and generate my electricity from the ample solar radiation on the island.

My Submission to the Ministry of the Environment
Kevin Hester, Dropping Anchor in an Exponential World
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