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“Ecological Armageddon” — Up to 82% Decline in World’s Insect Populations in 27 Years Stumps, Horrifies Researchers

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An “ecological armageddon” has been set in motion, thanks to an extraordinary 75 percent or more decline in insect species worldwide, finds a new study twenty-seven years in the making — a striking development one of the researchers described as, unabashedly, “very alarming.”

“The fact that the number of flying insects is decreasing at such a high rate in such a large area is an alarming discovery,” study researcher Hans de Kroon, of Raboud University, told The Guardian.

With the total mass of flying insects plunging by more than 75 percent in just over a quarter century, ‘very alarming’ hardly pretends to describe the jaw-dropping findings.

Insects play an inextricable role in the health of planetary ecosystems, providing prey for larger species and pollinating the world’s agricultural crops and edible plants — so, a decisively steep decrease in their numbers prognosticates at best an austere future.

In 1989, dozens of amateur entomologists across Germany began using a strictly standardized method of collecting insects using mesh tents called malaise traps to catch 1,500 samples of all flying insects from 63 nature preserves. But, despite, the somewhat limited geographical breadth of the research, scientists warn their findings, published in the journal Plos One, apply to any area focused predominantly on agriculture.

“After measuring each year’s samples by weight, scientists found that the average fell by more than 75 percent over the 27-year period. During the summer months, the fall was measured at around 82 percent,” RT reports, emphasis added.

That’s an 82 percent decline during the season insect populations should be their most voluminous.

Environmental and natural scientists and others have warned for years vanishing pollinator populations will ultimately spell disaster for humans and other animal species, but such a comprehensive study as that undertaken by researchers with Raboud University in the Netherlands has never before been managed.

Despite the dwindling of insects is clear and undeniable, the scientists were uncertain as to a singular cause, positing pesticides, urbanization, changing climate, and other factors are all likely contributors.

“The weather might explain many of the fluctuations within the season and between the years, but it doesn’t explain the rapid downward trend,” lamented Martin Sorg of the Krefeld Entomological Society in Germany and leader of research by the amateur entomologists. He believes the tiny creatures forays away from protected areas — which offer infinitely greater diversity than agriculturally-cultivated land — contributes to population downfall.

“Farmland has very little to offer for any wild creature,” he continued. “But exactly what is causing their death is open to debate. It could be simply that there is no food for them or it could be, more specifically, exposure to chemical pesticides, or a combination of the two.”

Whatever the cause, the scientists fear the situation has quietly reached apocalyptic proportions.

“Insects make up about two-thirds of all life on Earth,” asserted Professor Dave Goulson of Sussex University, who contributed to the study, but “there has been some kind of horrific decline. We appear to be making vast tracts of land inhospitable to most forms of life, and are currently on course for ecological Armageddon. If we lose the insects then everything is going to collapse.”

As the Guardian notes, many specific species of flying insects and pollinators, like the Monarch butterfly, have come under the microscope over dwindling numbers, but — because the researchers in this study sampled species like wasps and flies not ordinarily studied, at all — this body of data is considered comprehensive enough to be representative of the true scope of the problem.

Worse, researcher Caspar Hallmann of Radboud University says the fact the study conducted sample sweeps of environmentally-protected areas should further amplify alarm.

“All these areas are protected and most of them are well-managed nature reserves,” he noted. “Yet, this dramatic decline has occurred.”

A two-year study from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services appearing on the website for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and published in February 2016, hoisted a red flag on vanishing insect numbers worldwide — bluntly reminding the world, in part,

“Nearly 90 per cent of all wild flowering plants depend at least to some extent on animal pollination.”

Additionally, “The volume of agricultural production dependent on animal pollination has increased by 300 per cent during the past 50 years, but pollinator-dependent crops show lower growth and stability in yield than crops that do not depend on pollinators.”

That, before the extent of insect declension had been assessed.

“It provides important new evidence for an alarming decline that many entomologists have suspected is occurring for some time,” U.K.’s University of East Anglia’s Lynn Dicks, who did not participate in the research, said of the study findings.

“If total flying insect biomass is genuinely declining at this rate — about 6% per year — it is extremely concerning. Flying insects have really important ecological functions, for which their numbers matter a lot. They pollinate flowers: flies, moths and butterflies are as important as bees for many flowering plants, including some crops. They provide food for many animals – birds, bats, some mammals, fish, reptiles and amphibians. Flies, beetles and wasps are also predators and decomposers, controlling pests and cleaning up the place generally.”

Goulson darkly lamented that, during a road trip across France this summer, the splats of dead insects didn’t even force repeated windshield cleanings as such a route through the country would have in years past — a telling if grim reminder of the inextricable role in the planet’s health insects play.

Perhaps now scientists and researchers won’t be seen so much as alarmists — and the resounding Cassandra call to action can be heeded with some expediency — if the situation isn’t already irreversible.

It was just two years ago Goggy Davidowitz, professor in entomology, ecology, and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona, sounded nearly the exact alarm Goulson is now imploring the world to hear.

“If insects were to disappear, the world would fall apart,” Davidowitz flatly asserted after a similarly ominous study in November 2015, “there’s no two ways about it.”


Image: Wikimedia Commons/Orangeaurochs.

Activism

The Esoteric Meaning Behind Neo’s Interrogation Scene in The Matrix

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esoteric meaning neo interrogation matrix

More than 20 years old now, The Matrix is recognized by fans across the world as being one of the most brilliant films in history, most notably for its deeper meaning and esoteric philosophy.

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One scene that is particularly intriguing, considering the social climate of today, is Neo’s interrogation by the Agents of the Matrix.

Now, before we dig into the potential hidden meaning here, as I perceive it, and how Neo found himself in this uncomfortable position to begin with, let’s first establish some key points in relation to the overall story line that will help us to appreciate the implications behind this scene a little bit more.

What Does The Character Neo Represent in the Matrix?

Neo in ancient Greek (νέος) means new/young one. This is an important piece of the puzzle to help us understand what the directors of the film are trying to communicate to us. With that said, when we assess Neo’s character in the first film, we find that he is a solitary individual that keeps to himself and is struggling to find deeper meaning in this world by constantly searching the internet.

What Does The Character Morpheus Represent in the Matrix?

Morpheus in Greek mythology is a messenger of the gods. He appears to humans through dreams with the intention of delivering divine Knowledge and Truth. In the Greek mythos, he can appear in almost any form in people’s dreams, which could be because anyone, regardless of race, gender, or outward appearance, can be a messenger of enlightenment and Truth.

The First Matrix Film is About The Beginning of the Journey to Awakening

With the understanding of the deeper meaning behind what Neo and Morpheus’ characters represent in the film, we can now appreciate the intro scene of Neo sleeping (whilst searching for Morpheus) through a different lens of perception and awareness.

You see, Neo sleeping whilst searching online for Morpheus represents the early stages of the Truth seekers journey — “asleep” but still searching for deeper meaning in life — and hoping to find that meaning by seeking out a “messenger” of higher Knowledge and Truth.

Truth is Terrorism in the Empire of Lies

Through his incessant efforts, Neo begins to get closer and closer to finding the elusive Morpheus. This, however, also attracts the unwanted attention of the Agents in the Matrix, which represent the enforcers of the shadow government of this system. Their job is to ensure that no one exposes what the Matrix really is, and how it turns unsuspecting every day human beings into useful resources that it can use and exploit.

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The Agents proceed to apprehend Neo and interrogate him, where they make it very clear that they’ve been spying on him and keeping meticulous records of his activities, both online and offline, for quite some time now. As we all know very well today, all around the world intelligence agencies are doing exactly that — tracking what we view online and keeping meticulous records on many of our movements.

The agents, however, do not see Neo as being a major threat to the Matrix system, as he is still in the early stages of his awakening and does not know enough to be a major threat. Instead, they offer him a deal where they will be willing to “wipe the slate clean” on his illegal activities online, if Neo will simply help them track down the man they call Morpheus, who they claim is “a known terrorist” that is “considered by many authorities to be the most dangerous man alive”.

This represents that the single greatest threat to this manipulative system — which is overwhelmingly ruled by deception and exploitation — is any messenger of higher Knowledge and Truth that can potentially awaken those who are still “asleep” to what the proverbial Matrix really is. In fact, one could argue this sort of power struggle has been going on for thousands of years, and is possibly why Socrates was accused of “corrupting the youth” by the ruling class more than 2,000 years ago and subsequently sentenced to death; or why Fred Hampton was assassinated by government authorities in 1969; or, in more recent history, why civilians that were peacefully protesting against Wall Street and the bankers for their part in destroying the world economy in 2008, were targeted by the FBI and even labelled as potential “domestic terrorists“.

Simply put, Truth is terrorism in the empire of lies.

Imaginary Rights

Neo, still being somewhat naïve and unbegun in his journey, rejects the Agent’s offer and demands he get a phone call because “I know my rights!”

To this, Agent Smith retorts, “tell me Mr. Anderson, what good is a phone call if you’re unable to speak?”, which results in Neo’s mouth warping in the most eerie of ways.

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This scene represents a lesson that all genuine Truth seekers eventually come to learn — this system is not concerned with human rights nor is it concerned with upholding authentic justice. Instead, it inculcates these beliefs and misperceptions into our minds from a very young age, because it serves to help legitimize its unnecessary existence in the eyes of the unsuspecting public and indoctrinate us as to why we think we need it. But in reality, our government guaranteed “rights” can be taken away from us in the blink of an eye.

In relation to current events, for example, many thousands of people worldwide have been arrested for violating curfew orders; In one Indian state, civilians were told they must take selfies every hour and send it to the authorities to prove that they are staying indoors; in South Africa, some have been fined for not wearing masks while driving their cars; In Boston in the United States, people have even been told that they will be fined if they walk “the wrong direction” down the street; Homeless people in France have reportedly been fined for not staying indoors; Some people have been arrested for attending funerals of loved ones because it violated lockdown orders; Others (including doctors and scientists) have had their right to freedom of speech censored online; In Australia, a pregnant woman was actually arrested in her home for facebook posts that encouraged protesting against the lockdown; According to the International Labor Organization, tens of millions are being pushed into unemployment; and travel all around the world has been severely restricted by these authorities who have taken it upon themselves to be the rulers of this planet by dictating what the rest of us can and cannot do. Whether you agree with these policies or not, these things cannot logically be called “rights” since they are so very easily violated and taken away from us.

We Must Start With the Imagination

There are many other examples that demonstrate how our government given “rights” are more of a comforting illusion than an actual reality, such as the CIA’s secretive Black Site torture programs, which have been done in cooperation with other intelligence agencies and authorities throughout the world. In these programs, people have been kidnapped — without any legal criminal charge or trial — and then taken to undisclosed secret locations where many of them are tortured for many months on end, in ways that are considered to be in violation of international law and basic human rights. The CIA, of course, simply claims they are suspected terrorists. In 2014, however, a Senate Intelligence Committee Report found that at least 26 of the people that were kidnapped and tortured were actually “wrongfully detained”.

Wake Up Neo — You Are the One

Fortunately, Neo manages to escape this unthinkable situation without any serious injury or harm. Soon after, he is contacted by Morpheus, where he is told that he was very lucky that the Agents underestimated his great potential and spared him, because if the Agents had known the great secret that Morpheus knows, then Neo would probably be dead.

Confused by the obvious strangeness of everything taking place, Neo asks Morpheus what the hell is going on, and what exactly is he talking about?? Without hesitation, Morpheus replies to him, “You are the one Neo — You see, you may have spent the last few years looking for me, but I have spent my entire life looking for you.”

This is perhaps the most important lesson the new Truth seeker must eventually come to learn — We are the ones we have been waiting for to change this corrupt world my friends; and we must stop looking for heroes and human leaders to absolve us of this very serious responsibility. Instead, we must all take on the role of Morpheus — which is to awaken as many Neo’s (new minds) as we possibly can, whilst also taking on the role that represents the journey of Neo, by challenging ourselves to become the best version of who we authentically are.

By doing this, we will help to awaken and unleash the unique creative forces of each individual’s problem solving imagination; and we will also find unity in our shared struggle against the injustices, and corruption, of this inhumane system which invariably exploits us all.

If not us, then who? And if not now, then when?

Written by Gavin Nascimento, Founder of aNewKindOfHuman.com

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All my work is open source and I encourage it to be reproduced. I only ask that you give me credit, and include links to follow me — as listed in the EXACT FORMAT above — in an effort to help me build a formidable following of people truly intent on learning and creating positive change. If you are not willing to do that, you are NOT permitted to use my work.

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Awareness

This Clever & Controversial Artwork Will Help You Think Deeper About Society

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True artists are what I view as the antithesis of entertainers…

You see, an entertainer is concerned with popular opinion and giving the public what it wants to see. They intoxicate us with mindless amusements to help us escape reality and the everyday stresses of life. But artists, on the other hand, they give us what we need to see; by challenging us to to think deeper about the nature of reality, and the society in which we live, and they do this through the transcendent language of art.

With that said, I decided to collect some of the most thought provoking artwork from around the internet and offered my own little commentary on them…

Some people are hungry for food — Some people are just hungry for attention/Artist credit: Sergio Ingravalle

We are all so blinded by our ignorance and rage, that while we blame each other for our mutual struggles like fools, we’re ultimately getting screwed by the same elitists/Artist Credit: Lubomir Arsov

Be very wary my friend, clever predators always position themselves in places where they have easy access to their prey/Artist credit: Paweł Kuczyński (Online Store)

We don't want to see the Truth, we want to see illusions that comfort us

Despite what they might say, most people don’t actually want to see a reflection of reality — and therefore the Truth — Most people just want to see a narrow minded illusion that comforts their sensitive ego and impulsive feelings/Artist credit: Angel Boligán Corbo

Social Distancing = Social Isolation

Everyone talks about how social distancing saves lives, but why’s no one talking about the science that shows how social isolation can also destroy also them??/Artist credit: Steve Cutts

Although they might appear different on the surface, what we find through media monopolization, is that they are often times steered by the same controlling force/Paweł Kuczyński (Online Store)

“There is no greater disease than fear, and there is no greater danger than those who weaponize it against us.” — Gavin Nascimento/Artist Credit: Lubomir Arsov

Thinking happy thoughts doesn't change reality

“Just because you do not take an interest in politics does not mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” — Attributed to Pericles/Artist credit: Mana Neyestani

The “Beauty” Industry…/Artist Credit: Lubomir Arsov

Feed your child with knowledge and watch them grow/Artist credit: Paweł Kuczyński (Online Store)

You cannot ever hope to expect justice from those who have a consistent history of oppressing you./Artist credit: Paweł Kuczyński (Online Store)

Fighting Fake News or Censorship?

Is Facebook really fighting fake news or are they engaging in authoritarianism and censorship?/Artist credit: Luis Quiles

In a society as toxic as ours — where a climate of hatred, ignorance and fear insidiously infects the bulk of the population — In order to safeguard our health and wellbeing, we must stay connected to whatever it is that gives us an authentic sense of peace/Artist credit: Paweł Kuczyński (Online Store)

In spite of overwhelming historical evidence proving powerful people have engaged in child sex abuse, and it occurs in the shadows of every element and class of society, many of us pretend not to see, which is a shameful betrayal of our children/Artist credit: Lubomir Arsov

Peaceful Revolution or Violent... you choose.

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.” — Attributed to John F. Kennedy/Artist credit: Mana Neyestani

Written by Gavin Nascimento, Founder of aNewKindOfHuman.com

Sign up for my email newsletter HERE

If any of the images in this article have not been credited correctly, or you are the artist and would like them to be taken down, please contact me HERE

All my work is open source and I encourage it to be reproduced. I only ask that you give me credit, and include my social media profiles — as listed in the EXACT FORMAT above — in an effort to help me build a formidable following of people truly intent on learning and creating positive change. If you are not willing to do that, you are NOT permitted to use my work.

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Animals

Pregnant Elephant Dies After Eating Pineapple Stuffed With Firecrackers

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(TMU) – In southern India, a pregnant elephant died a slow and painful death after eating a firecracker-filled pineapple when she wandered into a village near the Kerala’s Silent Valley Forest looking for food.

According to a spokesperson for the Kerala Forest Department, farmers use fruit stuffed with firecrackers at the edge of their fields in efforts to save their crops from wild boars, and the elephant found and ate the pineapple filled with the explosives, suffering deadly injuries as a result.

The pineapple exploded in her mouth as she bit down on it, injuring her tongue and mouth, and breaking both her upper and lower jaw, leaving her in unimaginable pain, and unable to eat or drink.

Wildlife official Mohan Krishnan, in a touching post on social media, said that the mum-to-be was later found dying in a nearby river.

He wrote: “She trusted everyone. When the pineapple she ate exploded, she must have been shocked not thinking about herself, but about the child she was going to give birth to in 18 to 20 months.

“She didn’t harm a single human being even when she ran in searing pain in the streets of the village. She didn’t crush a single home.

“When we saw her she was standing in the river, with her head dipped in the water. She had a sixth sense that she was going to die.”

To try and get the injured elephant out of the water and safely to treatment, two captive elephants were brought in, but she didn’t budge. She stayed in the water, where she eventually died. An autopsy revealed that she was about two months pregnant. Her body was transported back into the forest where was cremated.

Posted by Jade Smalls on Monday, June 8, 2020

A Kerala Forest Department spokesperson told Sky News“It seems this elephant was very unfortunate and unlucky. In my 20 years of service I have heard of three such cases in the past with elephants. It is very sad and we are all very sad about it.”

The official Kerala Forest Department Twitter page wrote: “Article 51-A (g) of the Indian Constitution says that it shall be duty of every citizen of India to have compassion for living creatures.’’

“The pregnant elephant… was killed in human-wildlife conflict. Action has already been initiated. But where lies our duty?”

Posted by Jade Smalls on Monday, June 8, 2020

It is unlikely that this was a deliberate attack on the elephant, although a team from the Kerala Forest Department is investigating and questioning people involved about the incident and a Change.org petition, calling for justice for the elephant, has already reached over 1 million signatures.

Millions of people across the world have been shocked and saddened by the horrific death of the elephant and her unborn baby, with many creating and sharing their art as a tribute to an innocent mother and child. Gentle giants that will never roam the forest again.

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