Ian Somerhalder Foundation Book Club discussion

Path of the Stray (Quantum Encryption, #1)
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Altering the Environment in Order to Keep It Livable: Geoengineering

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message 1: by ThinkinginMiss (last edited May 31, 2012 09:32PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

ThinkinginMiss | 13 comments There are a plethora of disturbing similarities between what happens in The Path of the Stray and what is happening in our world right now. I guess that is one of the main reasons we are discussing the book. To me one of the most disturbing parts of this book is the disastrous steps that the 21st Century's government takes to fix the problems with the environment. In chapter three, we learn about ASSIST and the Allied States' plan to deplore the Solar Radiance Protocol and release the "sea-devils." The purpose of the Solar Radiance Protocol, at least on its surface, is to "reduce UV," "[i]ncrease oxygenation," and produce energy. The "sea-devils" are to "consume" the "blue-green algae" that is chocking the world's oceans at this time. As the main character Janis, and most likely the reader, suspects, these efforts only make things worse. The solar panels do block UV light, but green house gases increase and everyone on earth is at the mercy of ASSIST and the government for any energy, even energy to grow food. The sea-devils eat not only the blue-green algae but everything in the sea. ( Excuse me for not putting page numbers, but my electronic edition only has location numbers.)

Looking back at recent history there are innumerable examples of man introducing new creatures into a habit to correct a problem in the environment. For example in Mississippi, tilapia, a native of Africa, was introduced in the 1960s into waterways for weed control; however, they produce rapidly and crowd out native fish species. A more dramatic example is that of the cane toad being introduced into Australia in 1935 in order to eat cane beetles, which threatened the sugar cane crop. Today there are hundreds of millions of these toads in Australia, affecting the native species by eating them, competing with native species for food, and killing them when the poisonous toads are themselves eaten by other animals. Ironically, the cane toad did not decrease the population of cane beetles as these live high in the sugar cane or when in larval stage underground.

What is really scary is that scientists right now are talking about putting things into our atmosphere to reduce the danger of green house gases, ultraviolet radiation, etc, just as they do in The Path of the Stray. According to National Geographic Daily News, 29 May 2012, "Spritzing a sunscreen ingredient into the stratosphere could help counteract the effects of global warming, according to scientists behind an ambitious new geoengineering project." I don't know about you, but putting tons of even a nontoxic chemical into our atmosphere is super frightening, and to my mind unnecessary. I have heard of other ideas. Just look up the term "geoengineering" on the Internet; you will see what I am talking about-really scary stuff! These ideas, if they go wrong, will affect every person on earth, not just one habitat as the introduced species have done in the past.

These drastic, possibly disastrous methods are not necessary to heal our planet. We have a great deal of knowledge about all manner of activities that harm and help our planet; we just have to work together to get implement the correct steps to bring about improvement. One of these methods addresses the threatened desertification of much of the planet. Several years ago I saw a documentary on how certain areas of China were becoming desert-a vicious cycle of pollution from factories in the cities, changing climate, overgrazing by small farmers trying to survive. It truly seemed an overwhelming problem. How could it ever be fixed? When I read that Ian Somerhalder had found a scientist, Allan Savory, who could reverse desertification, I was really skeptical. At the time, I had a difficult time finding information describing the Savory method of Holistic Management, but eventually I found a number of videos on Youtube where Savory describes his methods. After a few hours of watching these videos in which the methods were described step by step, before & after footage of the land was shown, and individuals who practiced this method were interviewed, I was convinced it was real. Large numbers of hoofed animals are placed in a confined area of land simulating the large herds of the past. They deposit body waste and saliva on the land, disrupt the soil with their hooves, and are then removed. The land becomes more productive and holds more water, which in turn starts a positive chain reaction in the habitat. I encourage everyone reading this post to find out about this method at the Savory Institute web site or just on Youtube.com. This really gives me hope that through natural methods like these we can fix the problems of our planet and never have to suffer as the fictional residents of 21st century Earth do in The Path of the Stray.


message 2: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Falconer (kimfalconer) | 297 comments ThinkinginMiss wrote: "There are a plethora of disturbing similarities between what happens in The Path of the Stray and what is happening in our world right now. I guess that is one of the main reasons we are discussing..."

ThinkingMiss,

This is such a thoughtful post. Thank you. And yes, Allan Savory is a genius visionary with the answer to a problem bigger than most even understand. His website is here. The more of us that know about him and his work, the greater and faster the 'ripple effect' so everyone, yes, please check it out. He says we have an enormous task ahead to educate people . . . here's a very short youtube clip that introduces him and what he's doing. Such a lovely man!

The geo-engineering elements in my books were originally 'imagined'. I wasn't researching it so much as dreaming it up . . .or so I thought until I sold the first book (The Spell of Rosette) of which Path of the Stray and Road to the Soul are prequels. but written later. Rosette sold and I knew I had a big series to write so I dove into the research and freaked out. I had no idea when I first wrote about the solar panels that such things were being talked about . . . at least, no conscious idea. Same with quantum computers and PSI but that's another topic.

It's terrifying what happens to my 21st Century Earth, but it's meant to be. That's part of the point. Part of how we educate or bring awareness to our own world. And then, of course, there is Gaela to remind us what it can be like.

I agree the kinds of geo-engineering being talked about now could have potentially massive negative results. Like you say, ThinkingMiss, you don't go shooting substances out into the atmosphere without it effecting everything in the solar system. We are all connected!

Thanks again for bring this up and for pointing us towards Allan Savory. I'm going to go watch more of his videos now!


Astrid Cooper (goodreadsastridcooper) | 48 comments Thanks for sharing all of this. Another man I admire greatly and who has been 'whipped' for his beliefs and practices is Peter Andrews. He first came to national attention in Australia for an ABC documentary "Back from the Brink". His 'simple' solutions make dramatic changes and help the land back from the brink. When his neighbours' lands were brown and in drought, his land was fertile... The proof was there for all to see that his way works. He has a book out and possibly the original documentary is on DVD... The scary part of all this land burning is that it happens around me every season - after the crops are harvested and prior to new seed being planted. The air is full of smoke and ash for weeks. Choking and it stinks. When I asked farmers why they do it -- it's to destroy all the weed seeds before planting crop seeds. I'm told all this practice does is kill the good organisms in the soil and deplete it further, so more fertiliser has to be used...


My thoughts. Astrid.


ThinkinginMiss | 13 comments Astrid wrote: "Thanks for sharing all of this. Another man I admire greatly and who has been 'whipped' for his beliefs and practices is Peter Andrews. He first came to national attention in Australia for an ABC ..."

Thanks for commenting on this topic. I think it is so important but doesn't get much discussion. I want to learn more about Peter Andrews. It is really late right now, so it will have to wait until tomorrow.


Astrid Cooper (goodreadsastridcooper) | 48 comments The book is available through the ABC shop.I googled it and it's listed. The DVD might even be there, too - had to sign out quickly to answer phone, so couldn't search in detail... Best wishes, Astrid


Barnyard ISF (barnyardisf) | 121 comments I love Masanobu Fukuoka's The One-Straw Revolution. I will have to look into what Geoengineering is about. Fukuoka works in natural farming and re-vegetation of desertified lands through a no-till method. I've been trying this, just layering manure, compost, & then woodchips to create a top soil rather than dig into & mix up the lower subsoils.


message 7: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Falconer (kimfalconer) | 297 comments I've been 'mulch gardening' all my life. My dad taught me. It feeds the worms, which aerates the soil and fertilizes the plants, holds in moisture, keeps the ground warmer in winter, cooler in summer . . . There is a quiet revolution going on but like Allan Savory says, it's a matter of education. People, farmers, land careers, have to be reached. The alternative of geoengineering isn't necessary if we think holistically and start nurturing the earth.

Thanks for mentioning Peter Andrews, Astrid. I remember reading about him and will look him up!


ThinkinginMiss | 13 comments Astrid wrote: "The book is available through the ABC shop.I googled it and it's listed. The DVD might even be there, too - had to sign out quickly to answer phone, so couldn't search in detail... Best wishes, Astrid"

I found information on Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YMX03... I remember seeing some information on this study of the way water naturally flows across the land when I was looking for info on Allan Savory. I did not see any videos with Peter Andrews himself but with a graduate student who did a study on this. I guess the work of these two men shows that one must study the land in a particular area and figure out what has changed that caused it to degrade and what can be done to put this cycle in reverse. It is very encouraging that land can be made productive again through natural methods and that there are various natural methods from which to choose.


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