Now, put this together with the following two phenomena of photosynthesis:“Does the amount of carbon dioxide in our present atmosphere limit the rate of photosynthesis? Most authorities agree that it does. The present carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere is believed to be very low compared with concentrations of past ages. Some plants, however, will grow much more rapidly and luxuriantly in an atmosphere that contains five to ten times the present carbon dioxide concentration. Florists, in fact, sometimes release carbon dioxide in greenhouses to promote plant growth. Why should the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere of past ages have been higher than it is today? And what evidence do we have that this might be so? Prior to the evolution of large numbers of plants, there would have been few users of carbon dioxide on earth [ed: Earth]. As plants evolved and eventually occupied all the waters and covered most of the land of the earth [ed: Earth], the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere could have been gradually lowered by the photosynthetic activity of these plants. Thus over great periods of time the carbon dioxide of the atmosphere could have been gradually reduced. The great coal deposits of the earth [ed: Earth] give testimony to a period of especially rapid and luxuriant plant growth. This period of enormous plant growth is called the Carboniferous Age.... The growth and death rates were so rapid that the luxuriant plant growth often led to the formation of peat bogs which were 200 to 300 feet in depth. These deposits of dead plant life were gradually compressed through movements of the earth’s [ed: Earth’s] crust to produce great coal deposits that we mine today. It is reasonable to assume that the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere may have been higher at that time to support such rapid and luxuriant plant growth. Evidence of such growth in other periods of the earth’s [ed: Earth’s] history has not been found.” c1
(1) The rate of photosynthesis for the biosphere as a whole is proportional to, is a function of, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, so long as CO2 concentration is the limiting factor on the rate of photosynthesis (i.e., so long as CO2 concentration is less than optimum). c2
(2) The rate of photosynthesis fundamentally determines what ecologists call the “productivity” of the whole biosphere, that is, the rate of production of new living matter, which later serves as both the food and the bodily substance of all living organisms, not just plants. Photosynthesis has been the very basis of the biosphere; the process that supplies the free energy [negentropy] for the entire superstructure of animal and microbial life. Thus the rate of photosynthesis of new biomatter fundamentally limits the size and health of the whole planetary bio-system. c3
And temperate forests extended deep into both polar regions:“... one conclusion seems inescapable. This is that the present restriction of tropical climates to a relatively narrow belt (and in periods of glaciation to an even narrower belt) of the Earth’s surface is an unusual situation. The evidence of the Cretaceous and Tertiary indicates that for most of the time prior to the Pliocene the tropical zone was more widespread than now and that during certain intervals at least the boundary of the tropics was at some point between 50o and 60o N latitude in the northern hemisphere and occupied a similar position in the southern hemisphere... the conclusions of various workers, such as...«long list follows» indicate that a more widespread tropical or “warm” climate prevailed over much of the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Tertiary «i.e., for most of the last 500+ million years since the dawn of photosynthetic life before the Cambrian Period — see Graphics 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, reproduced here from the text».” c9
“The luxuriant growth of broad-leaf hardwood forests in high Arctic latitudes persisted from the Cretaceous into the Eocene and probably the Oligocene, indicating a prolonged continuation of humid warm temperate, or at least temperate forest climate in the polar regions. Evidence for this may be found in both Arctic and Antarctic regions. During the early Cenozoic the northern mid-latitudes were covered by vegetation, the botanical equivalent of which is now confined to sub-tropical and even tropical climates.” c10
“From all we know, the Quaternary represents an exceptional period in the history of our globe. The repeated advance and retreat of glaciation is a phenomenon specifically restricted to this period: before that, for a time interval of about 200 million years, there was almost no permanent ice on the earth’s [ed: Earth’s] surface: even the poles were free and enjoyed a temperate or cold-temperate climate.... In any case it is now clear that the ice ages represent cases of a general deterioration of the climate of our globe.” c11
“At the beginning of the Tertiary, the continent was relatively low and relatively uncut by the many mountain ranges of today. There were only three main ranges: two in the Rocky mountains, and one in the Appalachian region. Everything west of the present Utah-Nevada line was relatively low country with relatively even and mild climates. Tropical forests extended as far north as the state of Washington, and Alaska was covered with temperate forests of redwood and other species. These warm and uniform conditions across the continent eventually came to a gradual close with volcanic activity and a cooling of the climate in Miocene times and ended in another great period of mountain-building during the very late Pliocene and Pleistocene within the last million years or so.” c12
The latter history of this forest’s life unfolds as a vast story of Nature at war with itself, of a planet-spanning battle between Green and White, a war of the forest versus the desert and the great Ice for predominance in the occupation of the surface of the Earth:“Taking the place of the tropical forests in the North, the transcontinental temperate forest moved down from Alaska and northern Canada. This northern Miocene forest was the most magnificent temperate forest of all time. It not only was essentially transcontinental from the Southern Appalachians to Washington and Oregon but, with variations, extended clear around the Northern Hemisphere so that it was well developed also in Europe and Asia. Dr. Chaney has called it the Arcto-Tertiary forest. In middle Miocene times, it extended down the west coast as far as central California and south central Nevada, where it bordered on the Madro-Tertiary woodland.”
“The Arcto-Tertiary forest was so big geographically that it was bound to vary in composition from one place and time to another. No temperate forest in the world today is exactly like the Arcto-Tertiary forest. However, if one walks through the cove hardwood forests of the Great Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee and western Carolina, he [ed: one] will get some idea of what the Arcto-Tertiary forest was like. Another forest quite like parts of the Arcto-Tertiary forest is the coastal redwood forest of northern California...”. c13
About this time, the troubles begin to show, and the first rumblings of the coming war are sounded:“Within the last million years or so, the climates of Western North America began to turn much colder and drier.... Not only did the climate become colder and drier but the rainfall pattern changed. Instead of rainfall being evenly distributed throughout the year with plenty of summer rainfall, there was a shift toward winter precipitation and very little rain during the summer. This pattern persists today.... These climatic changes had pronounced effects on the vegetation. The Arcto-Tertiary forest disappeared over much of its range.... Great grasslands, with herds of hoofed mammals such as the horse and camel, replaced the forest east of the Sierra and extended far into the interior of the continent....” c14
Then, monstrous creatures of ice begin to gather on the edges of the forests:“In late Pliocene and Peistocene times, some 1 or 2 million years ago, with the Sierra rising rapidly, the climates became even more arid. From the retreating subtropical Madro-Tertiary flora, from the Arcto-Tertiary flora, and from the high mountains, new kinds of plants evolved that fitted the extremely dry conditions. Up to this time, there had been no real desert climate or desert vegetation in North America The present deserts of the American Southwest owe their origin to increasing aridity in late Pliocene and Pleistocene times, and thus, compared to the forests, are a recent phenomena The species, and often the genera in them, are new....” c15
“Soon, however, things began to change rapidly. For some reason (there are many theories), the snow that fell in winter in the north and in the mountains did not all melt the following summer. Every year there was more carry-over of old snow to the new winter, when even more snow fell. The winter snowfall increased, and permanent snowbanks in the mountains got larger and became more abundant. These snowbanks gradually turned to ice and because of their weight began to move down and away from the zone of accumulation. These events were the beginning of the Ice Age of the Pleistocene Epoch.”
“Four times the continental glaciers moved down past the middle of the Rocky Mountains.... Heavy precipitation built up great lakes in what had been the deserts and grasslands of Utah and Nevada. The western glaciers carved the mountains into new forms; the Tetons, the Beartooth, the Lewis Range, and many others emerged sharp, polished and devoid of much vegetation. In the eastern half of the continent, the ice stood a mile deep over Michigan and New York, and the Arcto-Tertiary forest was wiped out except in its Southern Appalachian and Mexican refuges.”
“...The climatic changes of the late Tertiary eradicated or restricted the Arcto-Tertiary and Madro-Tertiary vegetations of the West and aided the evolution of the floras of the present deserts, chaparral, and pine forests. However, the eastern part of the forest probably escaped serious disruption until the Pleistocene ice. Nothing was more destructive than the physical mass of ice and the severe climate to the south of the ice front. The land of the northeastern quarter of the United States and all of eastern Canada was either scoured away or covered with glacial debris; the vegetation was destroyed. On a major scale, this destruction has occurred four times in the last million years. After each advance of the ice, warmer periods have followed, the ice has receded into the Arctic and the higher mountains, and the flora has migrated species by species both northward and upward.... All evidence appears to indicate that we are in another interglacial period.” c16
Indeed, it is our hypothesis that it has been the human contribution of CO2 return to Earth’s atmosphere that has forestalled the — now long overdue — ending of the current interglacial, an ending that would be heralded by renewed, gargantuan global drought and desertification, followed by the return of Ice Age conditions, at the timing appointed by the insolation-based and now-coinciding cooling effects of the three types of Earth orbital variations which constitute the Milankovitch mechanism of Ice Age pace-making. We believe, that is, that it has been the human CO2 contribution that averted the progression of the ~400 year so-called “Little Ice Age”, from ~1450 through ~1850, into the next ‘Big Ice Age’, so far. However, our hypothesis also holds that this so far inadvertent, unconscious, undeliberate, and undesigned intervention of humanity’s global “Warming Effect” will prove insufficient, over time, to hold back the growing, glaciation-forcing momentum of the Milankovitch drivers, all three of which now mutually-reinforce to impend Earth’s climate in the direction of the termination of the present ~10,000+ year interglacial, and the return of another ~100,000+ years of The Great Ice. A conscious, deliberate, and designed human intervention will be necessary, to pace humanity’s counter-action — to avoid either under-warming or over-warming in the short-term — if humanity’s salvation of the biosphere is to continue much longer in a geologic sense, and if that salvatory contribution is to finally succeed in ending Ice Age eco-suicide for planet Earth p2. Failing such deliberative intervention by humanity, the blind-running destiny of our planet, biosphere and noosphere alike, is the global graveyard of a “Snowball Earth”. p3
“At present there is little doubt that all the phenomena of the Quaternary glaciation happened simultaneously all over the surface of the globe.... The ice ages reflected a general decrease of the average temperature of the earth [ed: Earth]... the climate changes took place simultaneously all over the surface of the earth [ed: Earth] and were not produced by local conditions.” c21
“The most significant feature of the Cenozoic migration of vegetation is the steady retreat of the temperate forest flora from the Arctic regions and the concomitant retraction of the early Tertiary tropical elements of mid-latitude floras into the present marginal tropics. The curve of floristic change may therefore be translated into a curve of climatic change. If this interpretation is accepted, it appears that the great trend of Cenozoic climate which culminated in Pleistocene glaciation began in the mid-Tertiary, probably more than 20 million years ago. Pleistocene glaciation itself, of which present climate is in many respects an extension, may then be regarded as a geologic and climatologic event the antecedents of which extend over a fair segment of recent geologic time and is not to be viewed as a sudden change in the history of the earth’s [ed: Earth’s] climate.” c22
Post-Pleistocene humanity, it appears, was born, not into an idyllic, harmonious, balanced, cyclically self-maintaining “state of Nature”, but into the ruins of a mediately self-ravaged biosphere; into the desolation wrought by a state of internecine ecological warfare within Nature!“...it is apparent that the present climate of earth [ed: Earth] is not a logical point of departure for interpreting past ecologic conditions of the present land surfaces.” c23
“... the carbon dioxide theory is not new; the basic idea was first precisely stated in 1861 by the noted British physicist John Tyndall. He attributed climatic temperature changes to variations in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. According to the theory, carbon dioxide controls temperature because the carbon dioxide molecules in air absorb infrared radiation. The carbon dioxide and other gases in the atmosphere are virtually transparent to the visible radiation that delivers the sun’s energy to earth [ed: Earth]. But the earth [ed: Earth], in turn, re-radiates much of the energy in the invisible infrared region of the spectrum. This radiation is most intense at wavelengths very close to the principal absorption band (13 to 17 microns) of the carbon dioxide spectrum. When the carbon dioxide concentration is sufficiently high, even its weaker absorption bands become effective, and a greater amount of infrared radiation is absorbed «see Graphics 12a, 12b, 12c reproduced here from this article». Because the carbon dioxide blanket prevents its escape into space, the trapped radiation warms up the atmosphere.... Water vapor and ozone, as well as carbon dioxide, have this effect because they too absorb energy in the infrared region. But the climatic effects due to carbon dioxide are almost entirely independent of the amount of these other two gases. For the most part their absorption bands occur in different regions of the spectrum. In addition, nearly all water vapor remains close to the ground, while carbon dioxide diffuses more evenly through the atmosphere. Thus throughout most of the atmosphere carbon dioxide is the main factor determining changes in radiation flux. The 2.3 × 1012 (2,300 billion) tons of carbon dioxide in the earth’s [ed: Earth’s] atmosphere constitute some 0.03 per cent of its total mass.” c24
c25, would have led to a gradual cooling of the global climate which, coupled with the slow ‘suffocation’ of photosynthesis owing to the progressive CO2 rarefaction of the air, would have paved the way for desertification and the icing of the poles, followed by the extension equator-ward of the polar ice caps, the process known as an “Ice Age”.
“Infrared absorbers in the Earth’s atmosphere include carbon dioxide, water vapor, and ozone. Spectral charts of their absorption in the infrared region show that these gases warm the Earth by preventing its infrared radiation from escaping into space. Carbon dioxide influences climate because it has a broad absorption band at wavelengths (13-17 microns) near the wavelengths at which the Earth’s infrared radiation is most intense. Water vapor and ozone can also influence climate.”
“Rising temperatures recorded at various points on the Earth during the past 100 years parallel the increase in atmosphere carbon dioxide plotted in this chart. The yearly mean temperatures shown were averaged over previous 30 years to remove short-term fluctuations.”
The Dinosaurs, mostly lacking any equivalent of the homeostatic, cybernetic systems of internal temperature and general metabolic regulation characterizing the mammals which succeeded them, and dependent on climate-sensitive plant life for their subsistence, are thought to have been highly vulnerable to the stresses of falling temperatures and changing vegetation patterns.“Why did the great dinosaurs die? It had long been thought that the 150 million year reign of these reptiles on earth [ed: Earth] was brought to an end by cooling of the earth’s [ed: Earth’s] climate about 65 million years ago. This idea was supported by geology, but the evidence was incomplete. At Urey’s suggestion, Epstein and Heinz Lowenstam set out to survey the climate of the latter portion of the Age of Reptiles, formally designated as the Upper Cretaceous «using a new technique developed by Urey in 1950»... their results showed that temperatures rose during the first half of the period and declined during the second half «see Graphics 14a and 14b below, reproduced here from the text». Unfortunately they could not measure temperatures at the very end of the period, because they could not obtain suitable fossils. The study nonetheless supports the conclusion that a decline in temperature might well have played an important part in the extinction of the dinosaurs.” c26
“Temperatures fluctuated toward the end of the Age of Reptiles. A maximum was reached about 80 million years ago; the subsequent decline may have brought about the extinction of the dinosaurs. Above the graph are two dinosaurs and a primitive mammal.”
“Temperatures declined during the Age of mammals. Oxygen isotope temperatures (dots) show that Pacific bottom water originating around Anarctica dropped from 10oC to 2oC between 31 and 1 million years ago. At top are three distinct mammals.”
“... the Deep Sea Drilling Project’s celebrated drill ship has plumbed extensive deposits of stinking black shales containing so much carbon that, suggests Dr. William Ryan of Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Geological Observatory and his colleagues, it could have upset the balance of the Earth’s atmosphere. Ensuing climatic changes could then have eliminated the dinosaurs and other Late Cretaceous animals.... Under conditions of oxygen lack at the bottoms of poorly aerated basins, the anerobic [ed: anaerobic] decay of vegetable and animal matter leads to the formation of carbon (sometimes as coal) and hydrocarbons, rather than carbon dioxide which, of course, returns to the atmosphere. Evidently, such conditions obtained extensively along the line where the Atlantic ocean was eventually to emplace itself. What has staggered DSDP researchers is the extent of the carbonaceous shales. One estimate places their carbon content as substantially more than that of all of North America’s coal deposits taken together. It seems likely that their formation caused a sharp decline in atmospheric carbon dioxide; that in turn, would have permitted much more of the earth’s [ed: Earth’s] heat to radiate into space. The resulting climatic downturn could well have been the death knell.” c28
Thus, the same accumulation process that formed the oil and coal deposits upon which contemporary industrial societal self-reproduction is founded, and which brought about, evidently, the downfall of the earlier form of the biosphere, the global rainforest, via the associated tendency for the rate of photosynthesis to fall and for world cooling/drought, culminating in the Ice and Desert Ages, may be at least part of the force which brought down the giant plant and animal organisms of the Mesozoic Era, the crowning forms of pre-social multi-cellular evolution, as well.“Because the deposits were laid down in a relatively short time geologically speaking, it has been suggested that they represent a rapid withdrawal of carbon from the environment, sufficient enough to have affected composition of the atmosphere and altered the climate, which would have put heavy stress on many forms of life, particularly the highly specialized reptiles.... The black shales not only lie along the African side of the ocean but extend from the continental margin of North America eastward of the Bermuda Rise, according to the drilling results. In view of this, Ryan suggests that the “carboniferous period” of the earth’s [ed: Earth’s] history occurred 100 million years ago, rather than during the coal-forming 200 million years earlier.” c29
“Following the Silurian, high rates of photosynthesis are induced without corresponding quantities of organic materials immediately available ashore for decay and replenishment of CO2. This suggests that oxygen may have “overswung” the present level to a somewhat higher value as the lush life of the Carboniferous developed. Then, with reduction of CO2, the earth [ed: Earth] would cool, due to loss of the “greenhouse” effect of CO2, leading to the ice ages of the Permian period. As the earth [ed: Earth] cooled, photosynthesis would sharply fall, leading to a major loss of oxygen.” c30
In summary, we picture the history of the biosphere as one long decrescendo since the Carboniferous, with a ‘turning-point crisis’ in the Early Permian followed by a ‘terminal crisis’ beginning at the end of the Cretaceous, with the demise of the dinosaurs, and continuing into the glacieral conditions of the Tertiary and Quaternary, potentially fatal conditions for the biosphere which still, ambiguously, persist, and whose outcome is not yet decided. That outcome must be decided by the outcome of the current crisis in social evolution: the terminal crisis of world capitalism. The historical continuum branches ahead of us with essentially two possible trajectories: [econo-politically democratic, i.e., non-state-]Socialism or Fascist Neo-Barbarism.“During the Carboniferous period, when most of the coal and oil deposits were formed, about 1014 tons of carbon dioxide were withdrawn from the atmosphere-ocean system. This staggering loss must have dropped the earth’s [ed: Earth’s] temperature to chilly levels indeed; it is not surprising that the gigantic glaciers that moved across the earth [ed: Earth] after this period were perhaps the most extensive in history.” c31
This statement seems to directly contradict the statement quoted from Plass herein [see quote related to citation 24] according to which “the climatic effects due to carbon dioxide are almost entirely independent” of the amount of water vapor and “throughout most of the atmosphere carbon dioxide is the main factor determining changes in the radiation flux”! Opik’s statement also contradicts the absorption spectrum data presented by Plass [see Graphics 12a, 12b, 12c above], which shows very little overlap between water’s and CO2’s absorption bands, especially in what Plass indicates to be the all-important 13 to 17 micron region of the Earth’s most intense infrared emission. Plass’s article was published in 1959, seven years after Opik’s, so that perhaps the “information regarding this particular problem of experimental physics” had been revised in the interim. However, more recent sources continue to show wavering on this question. For example, Carl Sagan changed his view regarding the respective roles of CO2 and H2O in the ‘runaway’ greenhouse effect believed responsible for the super-heated climate of Venus:“Variations in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a favourite topic in former speculations on climatic changes, need not be considered at all: absorption by water vapour practically covers all the absorption bands of carbon dioxide, and, in the presence of but minute quantities of water vapour, the additional absorption by carbon dioxide is nil. Variation in the amount of carbon dioxide will not alter the absorbing properties of our atmosphere, and will have no effect whatever on climate. If, nevertheless, the “greenhouse effect”, of carbon dioxide is sometimes mentioned, especially in popular books, this is due to lack of information regarding this particular problem of experimental physics. Practically all other theories of the ice ages and palaeoclimatic [ed: paleoclimatic] changes, which are based on purely terrestrial causes, are of a similar value and, thus, unfounded.” c33
A still more recent study, the book Atmospheres by Goody and Walker, vintage 1972, states that “water vapor is the principal absorbing gas in the Earth’s atmosphere” c35 but it is not clear whether this is due, in their view, to the present scarcity of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere, relative to water vapor, or to the deficient absorption capabilities of CO2.“Since CO2 cannot ensure the necessary opacity over the broad range from 2 to 40 µ «microns», it was assumed in the initial variant of the greenhouse model «Kellog & Sagan, 1962» that the Venusian atmosphere contains a fairly large amount of H2O (10 - 100 gm cm-1).... In a later study, Sagan no longer insisted on large amounts of H2O and, furthermore, pointed to the well-known fact that CO2 absorption increases at the relatively high pressures assumed for the surface.” c34
In conclusion: we have arrived at an hypothesis of a general crisis in the biosphere, driven by the biosphere’s cumulative net withdrawal of a climate-warming carbon dioxide gas from Earth’s global atmosphere, expressed also, therefore, as a long fall-off in that biosphere’s life-giving rate of photosynthesis since the great boom of the Carboniferous, accompanied, with some lag, by a gradual refrigeration of the planetary climate, punctuated by violent episodes of glacial devastation, preceded by ocean surface water cooling, drought, and desertification, with restriction of the biotically fecund humid rainforests — veritable ‘vegetable bombs’ by virtue of the rapidity of their photosynthetic and evapotranspirative processes — to an ever-narrowing equatorial girdle. This long, gradual fall was broken by another episode of rapid photosynthesis and net CO2 withdrawal in the Cretaceous, which, however, only intensified the crisis, leading to a “Time of Great Dying” in which the Great Reptiles and many other then-dominant plant and animal species perished; to stepped-up climatic cooling, to ocean surface waters’ cooling, thus to reduction in ocean surface waters’ rates of evaporation, therefore to reduction in rates of precipitation over land, i.e., to drought, leading to desertification, thence on to a new Ice Age, not yet definitively ended. This “Time of Great Dying”, and the subsequent glaciations, put an end to the predominance of those lineages of organisms which represented the flowering of multicellular pre-social evolution, ushering in the reign of the more gregarious mammalian line. Thenceforth, only evolution surmounting the merely multicellular plane of organization, and building structure on the next, the social, level of “aggregation” could provide potential for a new viable basis for the long-term continuity/“continuability” of the biosphere. That potential was to come to fruition, as potential, through an offshoot of the society-forming mammalian line, in the form of humankind. That potential has yet to be realized, now, in the closing decades of the twentieth century.“During the past century a new geological force has begun to exert its effect upon the carbon dioxide equilibrium of the earth [ed: Earth]. By burning fossil fuels man dumps approximately six billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. His agricultural activities release two billion tons more. Grain fields and pastures store much smaller quantities of carbon dioxide than the forests they replace, and the cultivation of the soil permits the vast quantities of carbon dioxide produced by bacteria to escape into the air.” c37
At least one lineage of the primitive organisms, under this mounting constraint, began to internalize the process of atmospheric synthesis of organic molecules. Evolution in the direction of internal synthesis is thought to have proceeded gradually, as a step by step ‘recapitulation in reverse’. In other words, whereas atmosynthesis began with simple molecules — H2, NH4, CH4 and H2O — and built complex ones, the evolution of internal synthesis would begin with the synthesis of rather complex molecules, and move back toward synthesis of the simpler ones as it proceeded. Ability to synthesize the scarcest of the common big food molecules (call it A) by internal transformation of several less scarce but less readily ‘etable’ molecules (call these B, C, and D) would develop first. But the resulting rise in consumption of, B, C, & D would eventually render them in turn scarce, putting a survival-premium on development of the ability to synthesize them from other, perhaps even less ‘etable’ molecules, and so on. Development of pigments, such as today’s chlorophyll, allowing the use of photons — i.e., the same solar energy source which drove the atmospheric synthesis process — would complete the internalization of ‘atmosynthesis’. The ‘autotroph’ represents an internalization or ‘folding-in’ of the whole previous environment of atmosynthesis in the same way that the primitive heterotrophs represented a concentrated ‘tucking-in’ -- ‘in’ to little colloidal pouches, known as “cells” — of the chemical ferment of the primitive ocean environment, a ferment originally spread throughout its great volume. The primitive ocean as a whole was thus the first great ‘cell’, just as the whole primeval atmosphere was the de facto first great ‘plant’, or chloroplast.“The primitive metabolism of energy was entirely anerobic [ed: anaerobic] «oxygenless» and depended on the interaction of organic substances with molecules of water. But the supply of organic substance which could undergo fermentation must have been, therefore, decreasing in the primitive hydrosphere, being replaced by fermentation products such as carbon dioxide, alcohol, lactic and butyric acid, etc. Sooner or later this process must have come to a natural end with the complete exhaustion of organic nutrient material and the death of all living things. That this did not actually happen is due to the fact that some micro-organisms had acquired the ability to utilize light energy by virtue of their pigmentation.” c41
Thus photosynthesis ‘solved’ the fundamental contradiction of the heterotrophic biosphere; its self-discontinuing continuity. That is, photosynthesis was the ‘form of continuum’ of that otherwise terminal -- self-terminating; self-dis-continuing — biosphere; the form in which a continuity of that biosphere, beyond the heterotrophic limit, was possible. Though we cannot speak with certainty, in direct homology with the form of the photosynthetic limit, of a ‘tendency of the rate of atmosynthesis to fall’, we can speak of, a ‘fermentation crisis’, and of a ‘tendency of the rate of fermentation to fall’. Photosynthesis became the basis of a tremendous expansion in the energy available to sustain and advance the living process, and thus of a tremendous growth of the biosphere itself. The photosynthetic activity of biological agents re-made the atmosphere, the entire biosphere, the rocky face of the Earth itself. The ‘ozonic’, atmospheric and other geologic consequences of photosynthesis opened the land to life for the first time, bringing the continental surfaces too — the outer surfaces of the lithosphere, as well as the hydrosphere — under the biospheric blanket of life. We have already explored main features of the ‘shape’ of this photosynthetic continuum, with its coming to a head in the Carboniferous, its sub-peak in the Cretaceous and its icy texture in the epoch just behind our own.“In the absence of free oxygen all these substances are entirely unavailable for the animals of that epoch, but with the advent of oxygen the possibility of their utilization as sources of energy has been realized.” c42
Each of the successive stages of the biosphere we have studied here rests upon an appropriation of a part of the non-biosphere, of the rest of Nature outside it, which is limited and exhaustible. Thereby, each of these stages lacks self-subsistence; is vulnerable, on one side, to using-up that ‘external’ basis of its reproduction and, on the other side, to an accumulation of results of its own operation which are also ‘outside’ its appropriation, unusable to it or even inimical to its continuation. Each stage is therefore self-negating. Each terminates its own operation after a definite span of that operation, as the overall result of that operation itself. Self-reproduction passes continuously (‘continuum-1y’) into self-destruction. Further continuity demands transformation, transcendance of that stage; qualitative change. Only a new morphology, one no longer restricted to the old basis; one capable of utilizing, instead of being damaged by, the accumulated results of the old reproduction-process, can provide [meta-]continuity. This continuum is thus a kind of ‘meta-continuity’ resulting from and achieved in and through qualitative discontinuity. And this new morphology, we conjecture, in each case necessarily involves not just a shifting of basis — as from ‘atmosynthesized’ organic molecules, to CO2 + photons, to fossil fuels, to hydrogen or (heavy) water as fusion fuel — but an expansion of basis as well. Each successive crisis would then resolve itself by an expanded self-totalization of Nature, bringing a wider sphere of the Cosmos into richer connection with itself, through the agency of the ‘growth front’, or ‘meristem’ of cosmic evolution (locally, at least, this ‘meristem’ is the biosphere).“When we say of things that they are finite, we mean thereby... that Not-being constitutes their nature and their Being. Finite things are, but their relation to themselves is that they are related to themselves as something negative, and in this self-relation send themselves on beyond themselves and their Being. They are, but the truth of this Being is their end. The finite does not only change,... it perishes; and its perishing is not merely contingent, so that it could be without perishing. It is rather the very being of finite things that they contain the seeds of perishing as their own Being-in-self, and the hour of their birth is the hour of their death.” c46
Be that as it may, we have found an intuitive link between dialectical processes and nonlinear (integro-)differential equations, allowing us to clarify what we mean by a “dialectic of Nature”. In fact, the inefficacy of contemporary [capitalist] mathematics with respect to “nonlinear” processes is to be expected and predicted from a Marxian perspective in view of the ideological and anti-dialectical -- atomistic and reductionist — conceptual premises from which that mathematics has developed. The problem with present-day mathematics is not with ideography as such, but with the ideas currently being ‘graphed’ and with the missing ideas which are not. It is a conceptual problem. Humanity, collectively, does not yet understand dialectical process. The process of socio-psyche-ological evolution leading to forms of self-identity in the social individual — forms appropriately placed under the heading ‘the socialist ego’ — which could afford that individual an ‘internal model’ rendering dialectical process readily conceivable, are still underway, and in hot competition with processes heading toward the ‘neo-barbarian’ or ‘Fascist’ ego. In official science, the atomistic model, belonging to the “alienated” and “alien-ized” individualist ego, still holds sway. Acquiring the civilizational ability to “solve” nonlinear integro-differential equations entails the formation of concepts adequate to comprehend such processes in the broad popular mind; acquisition, in other words, of the ability to think dialectically, to think like a social(ist) being. What is needed is not so much new symbols for the “missing functions”, but the new concepts and new cognitive processes which those new symbols will merely represent.“As has been abundantly observed in preceding pages of this work, the solution of many types of nonlinear equations in a closed analytical form is not possible. The range of available functions is much too limited and many equations are intractable to the usual devices of analysis. In fact, most nonlinear equations define new functions, whose properties have not been explored nor for which tables exist.” c56
In other words, the science of the last 250 years has scarcely begun to explore the realm of dialectics, i.e., of self-reflexive processes. which characterize the nature of Nature in general, including the nature of human Nature as human social evolution.“In another volume the author has developed a theory of linear operators, which contains within its scope a considerable domain of analysis. That such a work should include within its limits a large area of mathematics is readily understood from the fact that the assumption of linearity in operational processes underlies most applications of analysis to the problems of the natural world. It is for this reason that a theory of linear operators, in contrast to a theory of nonlinear operators, is comparatively easy to develop. The latter is beset by many difficulties.... But in spite of the difficulties of the general problem, there exists need for a systematic treatment of nonlinear equations. Nature, with scant regard for the desires of the mathematician, often seems to delight in formulating her mysteries in terms of nonlinear systems of equations.... In the domain of linear equations, an essentially complete theory exists for differential equations.... But in the category of nonlinear differential equations, the situation is very different. Satisfactory information exists in general only for certain restricted types of equations and for a limited number of special cases.” c58
is the founding principle of Mechanics — going back before Newton to Galileo — and of all the modern sciences which have sprouted in its penumbra, for mechanics is the founding branch of modern science.“If no external forces act on a body, it moves uniformly” c59
“Practically all other theories of the ice ages and palaeoclimatic changes, which are based on purely terrestrial causes, are of a similar value, and thus unfounded.” c33
Modern science is predisposed against perceiving ‘immanent causes’ or ‘self-forces’. This ‘externalist’ bias is an aspect of the bias toward linearity noted already. The reflexive sentences formulated above, which gave rise to nonlinear terms (reflexive functions) in mathematical translation, express precisely ‘self-causation’; change due to forces arising immanently, or self-change” (Marx). a8 In marked contrast to the modern scientific tradition’s neglect of ‘autocausation’, Hegel, for one, locates such concepts as residing at the heart of adequate thinking about, especially, the biotic world:“Dialectical philosophers may argue that the role of catastrophes in the evolutionary process has a dialectical or at least a revolutionary element in it.... It may well be, for instance, that the unknown catastrophe which destroyed the dinosaurs and led to the extinction of a very large number of species was an essential ingredient in the development of the mammals and the next stage of the evolutionary process... it has been suggested that the Ice Ages played an important part in the development of man.... However, the catastrophes which have punctuated the evolutionary process are not in themselves dialectical, that is, they do not arise by necessity out of the contradictions of previous systems but are usually imposed from without. This is particularly true of climatic changes, which do not in any way depend on the inner workings of the system of biological evolution, but are completely extraneous to it, even though they may have a great impact on it. ” c60
“...life is essentially a living being; and this is merely excited by the outer world. Here, therefore, the causal relation falls away, and generally in the sphere of Life, all the categories of the Understanding cease to be valid. If, however, these categories are still to be employed, then their nature must be transformed; and then it can be said that life is its own cause.” c61
Under these social conditions, the connections between individual action and the movement of the totality — as in such phenomena as depressions, wars, and chronic impoverishment — are easily obscured.“In the form of society now under consideration, the behavior of men in the social process of production is purely atomic. Hence their relations to each other in production assume a material character independent of their control and conscious individual action.” c64
Graphic 24c: the “object” we call “the sun” is a ferocious, transitorily “self-suspended” ‘ontological/existential self-contra-diction’; whose history is driven by the ‘intra-duality’, or ‘self-duality’, or ‘immanent contra-kinesis/self-antithesis’, or “complex unity”, or “synthesis” of an ongoing self-gravitational self-implosion, united with an ongoing thermonuclear fusion self-explosion!
“Everything flows and nothing abides; everything gives way and nothing stays fixed. You cannot step twice in the same river.... It is in changing that things find repose.... Homer was wrong in saying ‘Would that strife might perish from amongst gods and men’. For if that were to occur, then all things would cease to exist.... The sun is new each day.” c68
“...linear systems, in particular, systems close to equilibrium, always evolve to a disordered regime corresponding to a steady state which is asymptotically stable with respect to all disturbances...” c70
“There are two basic, interrelated axioms in the reductionist conception of the universe. The first is that the universe consists of independent elementary particles.... The second is that these particles are organized according to a set of fixed relations, or laws.... Essentially every branch of existing science is reductionist in that it is based on these same axioms — discrete particles and fixed laws.... The fundamental axioms of reductionism necessarily imply a certain conception of the dynamics and development of physical processes and the universe in general. This conception is known variously as the law of increase of entropy, or the second law of thermodynamics. It states that the universe as a whole, or any system in particular, always tends towards a stable or unchanging state, a state of equilibrium. An equivalent statement is that the rate of change of the universe or any system tends to zero: the universe is running down. This dynamic law is a necessary consequence of the fundamental axioms. Any system defined by fixed laws must have some state from which no further change is possible.... The tendency of the universe towards equilibrium is at the same time a tendency towards increasing disorder and randomness, since disorder is more probable than order — that is, there are more possible states of random arrangement than ordered arrangement. This tendency towards increasing disorder is also called the increase of entropy.” c71
“Our qualitative argument leads us to inquire about the feasibility of extending the concept of order to nonequilibrium situations, to systems in which the appearance of ordered structures, in thermodynamic equilibrium, would be highly unlikely. One of the main conclusions of our theory will be that there exists a class of systems showing two kinds of behavior: a tendency to a state of maximum disorder for one type of situation, and coherent behavior for a second type. The destruction of order always prevails in the neighborhood of thermodynamic equilibrium. In contrast, creation of order may occur far from equilibrium and with specific nonlinear kinetic laws, beyond the domain of stability of the states that have the usual thermodynamic behavior.
Traditionally, thermodynamics has dealt with the first type of behavior, but an extension of irreversible thermodynamics that permits treating the other aspects as well as this one has been developed recently.... One of our main points here will be that an increase in dissipation is possible for nonlinear systems driven far from equilibrium. Such systems may be subject to a succession of unstable transitions that lead to spatial order and to increasing entropy production... «for example» generation of coherent light by a laser may be interpreted as a nonequilibrium phase transition. Below instability is the incoherent regime; beyond the transition threshold, corresponding to a critical value of the radiation field, the system switches spontaneously to the coherent state.... The amplitude and period of the oscillations are determined by the system itself «rather than by the external stimulus of the “flash” that triggers the lasing». Moreover, the periodic solution is stable in the sense that all perturbations introducing an initial deviation from this state are damped. This type of solution is well known in mathematics and analytical mechanics as a “limit cycle”. Note that the existence of localized states and wave-like solutions... raises a number of fascinating mathematical problems related to the existence and stability of periodic solutions for nonlinear parabolic differential systems....” c72
The following passage represents an example of “equilibrium thinking” or “cycle-thinking” which, while insightful in this case, errs in tending — via a thought-process which might be characterized as one of ‘ontological reductionism’ — to assimilate human agency entirely to the humanity-preceding supposedly “cyclical”/non-cumulative/non-self-transcending processes of Nature:“At present 97 percent of mankind’s industrial energy production comes from fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas). When these fuels are burned, they release, among other substances, carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. Currently about 20 billion tons of CO2 are being released from fossil fuel combustion each year... the measured amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing exponentially, apparently at a rate of 0.2 percent per year.... If man’s energy needs are someday supplied by nuclear power, instead of fossil fuels, this increase in atmospheric CO2 will eventually cease, one hopes before it has had a measurable ecological or climatological effect.” c73
“The burning of fossil fuels is an element of another cycle that affects atmospheric carbon dioxide; this is the cycle of photosynthesis and respiration.... The rate at which respiration and decay occur is very nearly equal to the rate of photosynthesis.... Nevertheless, there is, on average, a small imbalance, which is important... the rate of photosynthesis is slightly faster than the rate of respiration and decay, and there is a continual addition of carbon, of organic origin, to the sediments at the bottom of the sea. In time, these sediments are converted to rocks, and the carbon is incorporated therein, but the process does not stop there. The layer of sedimentary rocks on Earth is not getting thicker all the time. Instead, the rocks are lifted up above the surface of the sea, where they are subjected to weathering and erosion. The carbon in the rocks is oxidized in the process and returned to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. In this respect, the burning of fossil fuels may be thought of as a greatly accelerated form of weathering. At the present time, the burning of fossil fuel is producing carbon dioxide about thirty times as fast as rock weathering.” c74
In the following passage, it is nearly recognized that the ecological consequences of human praxis, far from being necessarily uni-directional, can even oppose one another and balance out. Yet, once again, only the possible negative consequences of human agency are envisioned, revealing an underlying assumption that Nature is already finished, perfectly balanced, fixed at perfect values for all of its parameters, and “ok as is”, so that any man-made changes — whether they raise or lower the Earth’s temperature, or any other natural parameter; whether they shift a given natural parameter in one direction or in the other, opposite direction -- can, at best, mean only “disturbances” -- movements away from the prevailing, quasi-static perfection — if, hopefully, tolerable ones:“...carbon dioxide is a relatively rare gas in the atmosphere and its carbon is necessary as a component for all food. If the respiration of all organisms, particularly that of the decomposer micro-organisms, were to stop, much of the available carbon would be tied up in dead material, and photosynthesis rates would slow down. However, man is inadvertently increasing the carbon dioxide content of the air by burning fossil fuels such as coal and oil in which the carbon was fixed by photosynthesis millions of years ago. Thus, where carbon dioxide may have been a limiting factor in ecosystem productivity, such productivity may eventually increase.” c75
Finally, we note what is probably the closest approach to the overall hypothesis stated here from orthodox circles, ironically (and by no means accidentally) occurring in a passage explicitly devoted to refuting dialectical concepts — the passage in Boulding’s book immediately succeeding the one cited previously:“...the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide... «could» raise the earth’s [ed: Earth’s] temperature, presumably melting the ice caps and flooding the coastal plains of the world. This much-discussed possibility is only one of the changes in flow that may be expected if further power injections change the world ecosystem’s composition. Now, increasing turbidity in the air from pollution is reflecting light in many areas, lowering temperature and agricultural production. Somehow we have to prevent major disturbances of the coefficients of the mineral cycles.” c76
“One possible exception to this proposition is the climatic change which may result from the absorption of carbon dioxide from the air by plants and other living organisms and its present restoration to the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels. It has been suggested that an increase of carbon dioxide in the air will have a “greenhouse effect” and will upset the heat balance of the earth [ed: Earth] by letting more heat in through the atmosphere from the sun than it lets out at present temperatures. This would be expected to raise the temperature of the earth [ed: Earth] which would, of course, have profound consequences such as the melting of the ice caps and a change in the whole ecological structure of the biosphere. There may be long cycles of this kind in the evolutionary process which have something of a dialectical character to them, in the sense that it is the contradictions within one phase that produce the next. There is no agreement among natural scientists, however, about the reality of these phenomena — thus the “greenhouse effect” may be literally overshadowed by increasing cloud cover and again they must be put in the category of interesting speculation.” c77
“...capital is not a thing, but rather a definite social production relation, belonging to a definite historical formation of society, which is manifested in a thing, and lends this thing a specific social character. Capital is not the sum of the material and produced means of production. Capital is rather the means of production transformed into capital, which in themselves are no more capital than gold or silver in itself is money. It is the means of production monopolized by a certain section at society, confronting living labour-power as products and working conditions rendered independent of this very labour-power, which are personified in this antithesis in capital. It is not merely the products of labourers turned into independent powers, products as rulers and buyers of their producers, but rather also the social forces and the future... (illegible break in manuscript) form of this labour, which confront the labourers as properties of their products.” c81
See also:c2 W .D. Billings; Plants and the Ecosystem; Wadsworth (Belmont: 1964); page 81.
- W .D. Billings; Plants and the Ecosystem; Wadsworth (Belmont: 1964); page 88.
c5 G. Plass; “Carbon Dioxide and Climate” in Scientific American 201:1 (July 1959); page 4.
- William L. Thomas, et. al. (editors); Man’s Role in Changing the Face of the Earth; “Fire as the First Great Force Employed by Man”, by Omer C. Stewart; University of Chicago Press (Chicago: 1956); pages 115-133.
See also:c8 F. Stehl; “Permian Zoogeography and its Bearing on Climate”, in Cloud, op. cit.; page 8.
- C. Emiliani; “Ancient Temperatures”, in P. Cloud (editor); Adventures in Earth History; W. H. Freeman (San Francisco: 1970); page 898.
See also:c10 E. Barghoorn; “Evidence of Climatic Change in the Geologic Record of Plant Life”, in Cloud, op. cit.; page 738.
- Plass; op. cit.; page 42;
- E. Opik; “The Ice Ages”, in Cloud; op. cit.; page 871.
- Durham; op. cit.; pages 809 and 815.
See also:c28 Editors, “Did the Anerobes Defeat the Dinosaurs?”, “Monitor” Department, New Scientist, (27 November 1975).
- J. Andrews; op. cit.; page 70.
Dr. Ryan, however, denies having proposed the climatic-change conjectures described in the New Scientistarticle, pointing out that the “episode of ocean stagnation which affected the atmospheric composition occurred in the Early Cretaceous and the extinction was some 30-40 million years later at the end of the Cretaceous”, saying only that “Indeed the euxinic interval in the world ocean was impressive and there were several shocks felt on the carbon and sulfur reservoirs in the ocean and atmosphere which most likely had repercussions in the biosphere.” (private communication, June 11, 1976).c29 “That Sea Bottom Oil Could Be Just Shale”; S.F. Chronicle (San Francisco: 15 November 1975); page 42 in the “Business World” section.
Also seec31 Plass; op. cit.; page 44.
- L. Berkner, L. Marshall; ibid.; pages 38-39.
- E. Broda; The Evolution of the Bioenergetic Process; MIT Press (Cambridge, Massachusetts: 1968).
See also:c45 Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.; “Beyond Psychoanalysis” in The Campaigner (Vol. 7, No. 1: November 1973); subsection: “The Cartesian Theorems”, paragraphs 15-17). Available on the internet at <http://www.ex-iwp.org/docs/1973/beyondpsychoanalysis.htm>.
- P. Weiss; “The Living System” in Beyond Reductionism; Koestler & Smythies, editors; Macmillan (New York: 1970); page 12.
- Heinz von Foerster; “Logical Structure of Environment and its Internal Representation” in International Design Conference Annual (Aspen, 1962); pages 29-30.
See also:c46 Herbert Marcuse; Reason and Revolution; Beacon Press (Boston: 1941); page 136.
- Lyn Marcus [pseudonym of Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.]; Dialectical Economics: An Introduction to Marxist Political Economy; D.C. Heath & Company (Lexington, MA: 1975); pages 71-76. [Note: DC Heath & Company is now Houghton Mifflin].
- G. W. F. Hegel; Science of Logic, Volume I; George Allen & Unwin (London: 1929); page 142.Available on the internet at <http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/works/hl/>.
- Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.; Dialectical Economics; op. cit.; pages 455 and 465.
- Chardin, Pierre Teilhard de; The Phenomenon of Man; Harper (New York: 1975); pages 47, 61, and 300-303.
- Quote from Vernadsky, the coiner of the term “noösphere” in Warren Hamerman’s “The Self-Development of the Biosphere” in The Campaigner (8:3 : Jan-Feb 1975); pages 23-24. A corollary is as follows: if the ‘topometry’ of the universe (field) changes in response to evolution, then the laws of the universe also evolve, since the ‘shape’ of the space-time continuum or ‘field’ is their embodiment, and that changed universe-field ‘topometry’ feeds back upon — constraining and promoting — the direction and process-content of that evolution, which, in turn, partially reconfigures that universe-field. That is, the field is self-evolving, a ‘self-unfolding manifold’.
- G. Brown; Laws of Form; Bantam (New York: 1973); pages 97-102.
See also:c54 Example:
- L. Lofgren; “An Axiomatic Explanation of Self-Reproduction” in Bulletin of Mathematical Biosciences 30:3 (September 1968); pages 411, 419-420, and 423-424.
- Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.; Dialectical Economics; (Lexington: D.C. Heath. 1975); page x (Foreword).
- L. Wittgenstein; Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus; Routledge & Kegan Paul (London: 1974); numbers 3.332, 3.333, 4.442, 5.251, 5.641, and 6.123.
Available on the web at <http://www.voidspace.org.uk/psychology/wittgenstein/tractatus.shtml>.
Charles Kittel, et. al.; Mechanics; McGraw-Hill (San Francisco: 1962); page 228: “The x2 term makes the equation nonlinear.”c55 Oliver Heaviside and George Boole are among the first to have recognized the operatorial essence of number in general and of the integral and differential “coefficients” in particular.
- J. B. Rosser; “Boole and the Concept of a Function” in Royal Irish Academy - Proceedings, #57, Section A (15 November 1955); pages 117-120.
- John Formby; An Introduction to the Mathematical Formulation of Self-Organizing Systems; Van Nostrand (Princeton, New Jersey: 1965); page 93.
- George Boole; A Treatise on Differential Equations; Macmillan (London: 1872); pages 381-383.
Available on the web at <http://math-doc.ujf-grenoble.fr/LiNuM/TM/Gallica/S099509.html>.
- J. B. Rosser; Logic for Mathematicians (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1953); pages 305-320.
- C. Muse; “Hypernumbers and their Spaces: A Summary of New Findings” in Journal for the Study of Consciousness 5:2 (1972-1973); pages 254-255.
See also:c62 See:
- E. Jantsch; Evolution and Consciousness; op. cit.; page 60: “...each cause is the effect of its own effect. Life can come only from life.”
By contrast, see:
- Bertrand Russell; “The Philosophy of Logical Atomism” in Monist 28 (1918); pages 496-497.
- H. von Foerster; op. cit.
- N. Georgescu-Roegen; The Entropy Law and the Economic Process; Harvard University Press (Cambridge: 1974); page 108.
See also:c64 Karl Marx; Capital, Volume I; International Publishers (New York: 1967); pages 92-93.
- E. Larson; The Campaigner 7:9:20 (August-September 1974); page 7 (paragraph 9).
See also:c66 Herbert Marcuse; op. cit.; page 133.
- S. Langer; An Introduction to Symbolic Logic; Dover (New York: 1953); pages 25, 32, 42, and 45.
See also:c67 G. Plass; op. cit.; Scientific American; captions to photo on page 47.
- G. Brown; Laws of Form; op. cit.; pages 58-61, 100.
See also:c73 Club of Rome; The Limits To Growth; Potomac Associates (Washington, D.C.: 1972); pages 85-85.
- G. Nicolis; op. cit., pp. 228-229.
Underline added. It is refreshing to note that the ‘externalist’ habit of thought does not hold such sway in the scientific tradition of a society permeated by at least an official commitment to dialectical ideas, however much its local backwardness and its envelopment, internal as well as external, by the world market, create social conditions still so much less than fully conducive to the spontaneous anchoring of such convictions in the identity processes of the average individual. These social conditions stem from a preponderantly pre-capitalist background, and must asymptotically approximate forms of integral ‘government capitalism’ — i.e., of a ‘national supercorporation’ or ‘single national supercapital’, maintained as such in competition with other capitals in the world market — for as long as the world market relation prevails, that is, for so long as capitalist conditions persist unabated elsewhere (particularly in the U.S., the fulcrum of world capital), despite the transient autarkic potential afforded by the vast population, territory, and natural resources of that nation. Nevertheless, the degree of socialization already achieved in that nation, despite its distortions, can and does on a wide scale support a sense of “common-wealth” and a spirit of “expanded egoism” — a sense of building a society and of working for the good of the whole society, one’s own included -- which is all but impossible to attain on any large scale within the normal conditions of private capital, outside of a Socialist movement. I refer, of course, to the Soviet Union. For example, P. Borisov, in a recent work which emphasizes the Marxian idea that human praxis is a process of Nature which can and should make large-scale improvements in Nature, and which proposes specific projects of international cooperation to ameliorate global climatic conditions, quotes with favor the following passage from K.K. Markov concerning the causation of the climatic changes we have discussed: “It is necessary first of all to analyze the change in the geographical peculiarities of the earth’s [ed: Earth’s] surface rather than hastening to resort to astronomic and cosmic hypotheses.” And, indeed, the whole spirit of this book bespeaks at least a distant kinship with the whole dialectical and Marxian impulse which is still rarely to be found elsewhere in modern science. Contemporary Russian science in general, where it diverges from Anglo-American conventions, often presents novel theories and at least proto-dialectical material of the utmost interest. P. Borisov, Can Man Change the Climate?, op. cit.; page 49.
- Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.; op. cit.; pages 8-10, 132, 260, 296-297, 371-373.
- Thorstein Veblen; The Theory of Business Enterprise; Charles Scribner’s Sons (New York: 1904); pages 229-234.
- R. Peters; Return on Investment; Amacom (1974); pages 1-5.
There, Schumacher proposes the same general idea, but he would be appalled at our specific proposal, since fusion reactors evidently inherently house devils, on his view (see Mother Earth News; #42 (Nov. 1976; page 14). We would like to suggest that, on the contrary, whatever devils we suffer reside in our own false consciousness, not in particular types of objects. Rather than hiding from certain kinds of objects, we must heal our present internal contradictions. Then we will be capable, socially, of handling such objects.
- E.F. Schumacher; Small Is Beautiful; Harper & Row (San Francisco: 1973); lines 25-31 on page 15.
c89 J. Imbrie
and J. Z. Imbrie; “Modeling the Climatic Response to Orbital
Variations” in Science,
207 (09-February-1980); page 943.
c92 R. G. Johnson; “Climate Control Requires a Dam at theSee also:
- H. H. Lamb, ibid; pages 60-61, 63, 90, 107, 114-116, 135-136, 259-262, 313, 315-318, 349-352, 361, and 374.
c95 See also the following book-length popularization of this theory:
- Hoffman, Paul and Schrag, Daniel, “Snowball Earth”, Scientific American, January 2000; excerpt below was extracted from pages 68-75.
- Gabrielle Walker, Snowball Earth: The Story of the Great Global Catastrophe that Spawned Life as We Know It, Crown Publishers (NY: 2003).
See:a5 A state-space is a space in which every point of the space represents a conceivable state of the system being modeled, where a “state” is represented by the ordered list, or “vector”, of all relevant measurements of that system as functions of time, for a particular instant in time, say the moment denoted by ti: s(ti) = [m1(ti), m2(ti), m3(ti), ... , mn(ti)]. State-spaces are implicit in integro-differential equations. Their explicit form would be, for example, a Cartesian space erected by setting up mutually-perpendicular number-lines or measurement-scales — “dimensions” -- for each of the different unknown measurement-functions or operations-on-time that occurs in the equation(s). Thus, a system of equations with n function-unknown will be represented by an n-dimensional state-space. The system of equations will specify a definite point in this space for each value of t, time. That point will represent the state of the system at time t — i.e., the ordered list of measurement-function-values that quantitatively characterize the condition, status, and quality of that system at the moment in its history denoted by t. The history, biography, or “evolution” of the system through time will then be represented by a continuum of such state-points forming a ‘track’ in the state-space, called the “state-space trajectory”. This trajectory represents the sequence of changes of state constituting the evolution or history of the system described by the equations.
- F. Donnan; “Integral Analysis and the Phenomena of Life” in Acta Biotheoretica; Springer (Netherlands: 1937); pages 46-49.
- V. Volterra; Theory of Functionals and of Integral and Integro-Differential Equations; Blackie & Son (London: 1930); pages 188-196.
Karl Marx; thesis 3 of "Theses On Feuerbach" in Writings of Young Marx on Philosophy and Society; translated and edited by Lloyd D. Easton and Kurt H. Guddat; Doubleday & Company (New York: 1967).
[Note to readers: Throughout these PPNs, we have marked, with red-colored text, the names of those organizations, individuals, and ideas which, in our opinion, most murderously and egregiously support the “People Are Pollution” ideology, to signify the vast bloodshed that their power has imposed, and is increasingly imposing. Use of blue-colored text indicates [ev]entities [groups, technologies, individuals] usable for our/humanity’s self-affirming, integral, and transcending departure from the current state of dis-affairs and dis-instantiation of humanity. Bold, italics, CAPITALIZATION, and underlining are used for emphasis. Where this emphasis takes place within quotations — to draw attention or to expose the politeness of species annihilatory and predatory policies, organizations, and practices — it will be noted beforehand.
“Climatologists who use global computer models to simulate the long-term [and highly nonlinear] behavior of the earth’s [ed: Earth’s] atmosphere and oceans have known for several years that their models allow at least one dramatically different equilibrium. During the entire geological past, this alternative climate has never existed [the “snowball Earth” theory asserts the contrary], but it could be an equally valid solution to the system of equations governing the earth [ed: Earth]. It is what climatologists call the White Earth climate: an earth [ed: Earth] whose continents are covered by snow and whose oceans are covered by ice. A glaciated earth [ed: Earth] would reflect seventy percent of the incoming solar radiation and so would stay extremely cold.... Computer models have such a strong tendency to fall into the White Earth equilibrium that climatologists find themselves wondering why it has never come about... [per the “snowball Earth” theory, it has]”. c87
Four years after the “Pacemaker” paper, one of the co-authors introduced a simple nonlinear model to reconstruct climatic response to the oscillatory Milankovitch orbital forcing, then used it to forecast future climate, with the following results [CCS: bold and italics are added for emphasis by CCS]:“... the long-term trend over the next several thousand years is toward extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation.” c88
Russian climatologist M. I. Budyko sets forth a similar analysis to that of this text, as follows [CCS: bold and italics are added for emphasis by CCS]:“Ignoring anthropogenic effects and other possible sources of variation acting at frequencies higher than one cycle per 19,000 years, this model predicts that the cooling trend that began some 6,000 years ago will continue for the next 23,000 years.” c89
“... the process of decreasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere started in the Cretaceous period and accelerated at the end of the Tertiary period. The probable reason for the decreasing CO2 mass is the attenuation of volcanic activities, possibly caused by the exhaustion of the reserves of radioactive elements that produce heating of the lithosphere. From the available approximate estimates it follows that, if this process continues for about a million years [a period short from the viewpoint of the earth’s [ed: Earth’s] history] one of two ecological catastrophes will occur: the complete glaciation of the earth [ed: Earth] or the disappearance of autotrophic plants.... It is assumed that in the Pleistocene the earth’s [ed: Earth’s] biosphere was not far from destruction in the epochs of greatest development of the Quaternary glaciations, which advanced close to the critical latitude [the limit beyond which ice loses its stability and shifts toward the equator as in a self-propelled process].... Assuming the possibility of the disappearance of the biosphere in the not very distant future, one should return to the question of how the biosphere could be maintained for such a long period in the past . . . It is believed that the maintenance on the earth [ed: Earth] of a mean temperature within the narrow zone necessary for life for billions of years seems to be a random event, the probability of which is very low.... The first result of the global impact produced by man on the biosphere that is connected with restoring the ancient CO2-rich atmosphere is an inadvertent consequence of economic activities. This change in the composition of the atmosphere has increased the stability of the biosphere and decreased the possibility of its complete or partial destruction by glaciations.... It is essential for understanding the present changes in the state of the biosphere that, with an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration, the atmosphere returns to the composition typical of the Tertiary period, when climatic conditions were far warmer and plant productivity was higher than at present. Since the atmosphere lost CO2 for the last hundred million years, directly threatening the existence of the biosphere due to a decrease in the productivity of autotrophic plants and the possible complete glaciation of the earth [ed: Earth], the present anthropogenic impact on the biosphere seems to be a favorable factor that eliminates the indicated threat.
However, it must be mentioned that although many aspects of global warming could be favorable to mankind [a rise in the productivity of autotrophic plants, better usage of land in cold climates, etc.], a number of difficulties can also inevitably arise. The major difficulty lies in the necessity of adjusting, in a relatively short time, many branches of the economy to the conditions of a rapidly changing climate and other aspects of natural conditions.” c90
“... The cooling of the general run of European summers since 1953, albeit with the year-to-year variations stressed in this chapter, has had another consequence which marks out the change of climatic tendency since the middle of the century. The long retreat of the glaciers in the
Alpsfirst slowed down; then in 1965 some, mostly small, glaciers which were evidently nearly in equilibrium showed advances; and since 1972 in some regions, 1975 in others, in most years the majority of glaciers, including the big ones, in Italy, Austria, and have been advancing. Also in west and north Switzerland these years have produced the first general advance of the glaciers for many decades past. Similarly, in Norway North Americathe earlier twentieth-century predominance of glacier retreat has been followed by advances in some areas, in the Cascade Rangein the northwest of the United States from as early as the 1950s. And on [the large] Baffin Island in northeast , in the central part of which 70 percent of the highland region seems to have been covered by ‘permanent’ ice and snow between two hundred and four hundred years ago and where this had been reduced to 2 percent by 1960, the ‘permanent’ snow beds have been increasing again since and incipient new glaciers have been found. This has been brought about by a lowering of the summer freezing level by nearly 300 m [1000 ft] in the later years.” c91 Canada
“When the last ice age began 120,000 years ago... the insolation at all latitudes was nearly the same as today.... That today’s climate may be close to the threshold for new glaciation may indeed be the case. Large plateau areas of
Baffin Islandare now covered with semi-permanent snow fields that expanded during the historic Little Ice Age 150-350 years ago when cool summers and extremely severe winters were frequent in northern Europe.... Canadian glacial nucleation areas are now perilously close to the threshold for new ice sheet growth, as indicated by the historic expansion of snow fields on Baffin Island... Initiation of new ice sheet growth is of great concern because the strong positive feedback of enhanced albedo and heavier cloud cover.... might lock in the ice age growth mode despite CO2 warming.” c92
“From about 1450 to 1850, Earth passed through what is called the Little Ice Age. (Some scientists place the start date as early as 1300 and the end date as late as 1890). During this period of renewed cold, alpine glaciers advanced in virtually all the world’s mountain areas, and the Arctic islands’ ice caps grew larger. Winters became colder and summers cooler, though the effect on winters was generally greater . . . Worldwide, the climate change damaged many ecosystems. Floods, plague, and famine devastated Europe. Crops failed, especially in northern regions. The Baltic Sea froze. England’s Thames river developed ice several inches thick. In higher latitudes, great storms increasingly roiled the skies. A storm that hit southern England on December 7-8, 1703, blew down a lighthouse, wrecked houses, tossed ships onto land, and killed 8,000 people... Drought and flood often besieged the same areas. . . . The causes of the Little Ice Age are not well understood. ... In general, since the Little Ice Age, climate has been growing warmer. Temperatures reached a high in the 1940s, became cooler until the mid-1960s, and since have been rising again, setting records for warmth in the 1990s. Despite this trend of global warming, some researchers believe that the Little Ice Age may not be over, but that it is being counteracted by rising carbon dioxide levels generated since the Industrial Revolution. It is possible that atmospheric circulation patterns characteristic of the Little Ice Age may still be in place.” c93
“Our human ancestors had it rough. Saber-toothed cats and woolly mammoths may have been day-to-day concerns, but harsh climate was a consuming long-term challenge. During the past million years, they faced one ice age after another. At the height of the last icy episode, 20,000 years ago, glaciers more than two kilometers thick gripped much of North America and
Europe. ... Dramatic as it may seem, this extreme climate pales in comparison to the catastrophic events that some of our earliest microscopic ancestors endured around 600 million years ago. Just before the appearance of recognizable animal life, in a time period known as the Neoproterozoic, an ice age prevailed with such intensity that even the tropics froze over. Imagine the earth [ed: Earth] hurtling through space like a cosmic snowball for 10 million years or more. Heat escaping from the molten core prevents the oceans from freezing to the bottom, but ice grows a kilometer thick in the -50 degree Celsius cold. All but a tiny fraction of the planet’s primitive organisms die. Aside from grinding glaciers and groaning sea ice, the only stir comes from a smattering of volcanoes forcing their hot heads above the frigid surface. Although it seems the planet might never wake from its cryogenic slumber, the volcanoes slowly manufacture an escape from the chill: carbon dioxide. With the chemical cycles that normally consume carbon dioxide halted by the frost, the gas accumulates to record levels. The heat-trapping capacity of carbon dioxide — a greenhouse gas — warms the planet, and begins to melt the ice. The thaw takes only a few hundred years, but a new problem arises in the meantime: a brutal greenhouse effect. Any creature that survived the icehouse must now endure a hothouse. As improbable as it may sound, we see clear evidence that this striking climate reversal — the most extreme imaginable on this planet — happened as many as four times between 750 million and 580 million years ago.” c95
|Recipient of Funding
||Amount Received (1979-1981)
||Rockefeller Brothers Fund
|National Resources Defense Council
||Rockefeller Family Fund
|Population Resource Center
|National Center for Policy Institute
||Rockefeller Brothers Fund|
|Environmental Policy Institute
||Rockefeller Family Fund|
|Northern Rockies Action Group
||Rockefeller Brothers Fund|
|New Alchemy Institute
||Rockefeller Brothers Fund|
|Conservation Law Foundation of New England
||Rockefeller Family Fund|
|Center for Law and Social Policy
||Rockefeller Brothers Fund|
|Sierra Fund Legal Defense Fund
||Rockefeller Family Fund|
|International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis [Club of Rome]
||Rockefeller Family Fund|
|International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis [Club of Rome]||$60,000
||Rockefeller Brothers Fund|
||Rockefeller Brothers Fund|
|Environmental Defense Fund||$55,000
||Rockefeller Family Fund|
|Zen Center [San Francisco]
||Rockefeller Brothers Fund|
|Natural Resources Defense Council||$50,000
||Rockefeller Brothers Fund|
|National Audubon Society
||Rockefeller Family Fund|
||Rockefeller Brothers Fund|
|Citizens for a Better Environment
||Rockefeller Family Fund|
|Zero Population Growth Foundation
|World Watch Institute
|Massachusetts Audubon Society||$34,000
||Rockefeller Brothers Fund|
|Natural Resources Defense Council||$25,000
|Community Nutrition Institute
||Rockefeller Family Fund|
|American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
||Rockefeller Brothers Fund|
|John Muir Institute
|World Wildlife Fund
||Rockefeller Family Fund|
|National Wildlife Foundation
||Rockefeller Family Fund|
|Environmental Action Foundation
||Rockefeller Family Fund|
|Southwest Research and Information Center
||Rockefeller Family Fund|
|Public Land Institute
||Rockefeller Family Fund|
|Environmental Law Institute
||Rockefeller Family Fund|
|Natural Resources Defense Council||$1,740,000
|Alaskan Native Foundation
||Atlantic Richfield Foundation|
|Alan Guttmacher Institute
|Native American Rights Fund
|Environmental Defense Fund||$404,000||Ford Foundation|
|New England Natural Resources Center
|Wisconsin Center for Public Policy
|Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund
|Washington University Center for Biology of Natural Systems
|Consumer Energy Foundation of America
|American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)||$75.417||Ford Foundation|
|Center for Law and Social Policy
||$50,000||Atlantic Richfield Foundation|
||$30,000||Atlantic Richfield Foundation|
|Hawaiian Coalition for Native Claims||$25,000||Ford Foundation|
|World Wildlife Fund
|Alaskan Native Foundation||$20,000||Ford Foundation|
|Aspen Institute||$20,000||Atlantic Richfield Foundation|
|New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
|Alan Guttmacher Institute||$15,000||Atlantic Richfield Foundation|
|Environmental Defense Fund
||$15,000||Atlantic Richfield Foundation|
|Center for Law and Social Policy||$12,000||Ford Foundation|
|American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)||$10,000||Atlantic Richfield Foundation
|Hawaiian Coalition for Native Claims
||$10,000||Atlantic Richfield Foundation|
|Massachusetts Audubon Society||$10,000||Ford Foundation|
|Consumer Energy Foundation of America
||$5,000||Atlantic Richfield Foundation|
|Institute for Democratic Socialism
“A Committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) sought funds to study the relationship of population, resources, and the environment. Among other potential funding sources, the committee turned to the Andrew J. Mellon Foundation and received a “feasibility grant”. This is an excerpt from a letter to AAAS discussing further funding, signed by J. Kellum Smith, Jr., Vice President and Secretary of that foundation:
‘Because the links among population, resources, and environment are so obvious and strong, I was very much in favor of the idea that the AAAS seek ways of thinking systematically about these links. . . . I hope the suggestion of an alternative title [to the original one] does not indicate diffidence, in your group, on the matter of facing up to the malign consequences of rapid population increase. Should such diffidence exist, I would suppose that it might cripple the program and that therefore the exercise might as well be halted forthwith . . . . . . . the first task of the program must be to elucidate the links. . . . Suggestions for improvement of the situation will come along later; and when they do, most obvious and important among them will presumably be methods of reducing the rate of population growth. Social and technological accommodations to high fertility, though perhaps of ancillary utility, are unlikely to be primary solutions. . . . I am disconcerted by the suggestion that there is a problem in handling ‘the widely divergent views of the Cornucopians and Malthusians.’ If by ‘the Cornucopians’ is meant Julian Simon and his few allies, I should think a footnote would be sufficient to dispose of them. . . . If there is nervousness on the point, it had better be faced up to forthwith. The issue of population increase is central to the proposed program. . . the crucial element in any responsible approach to the overall problem will be restraint of population increase. Although it may be unscientific to make the statement that boldly, I do so because I think the outcome so highly probable that if your group finds it unpalatable perhaps the exercise should be abandoned.’ (January 12, 1984).” c106
“From about 1450 to 1850, Earth passed through what is called the Little Ice Age. . . . In general, since the Little Ice Age, climate has been growing warmer. Temperatures reached a high in the 1940s, became cooler until the mid-1960s, and since have been rising again, setting records for warmth in the 1990s. Despite this trend of global warming, some researchers believe that the Little Ice Age may not be over, but that it is being counteracted by rising carbon dioxide levels generated since the Industrial Revolution. It is possible that atmospheric circulation patterns characteristic of the Little Ice Age may still be in place. And if the Little Ice Age is a Rapid Climate Change Event like the Younger Dryas, it would be expected to last about a thousand years, not four hundred.” c107
“Population policy was. . . transmogrified. . . into a goal-oriented “industry” (p. 13) [to reduce population growth] . . .the new population industry . . . is a money-, labor-, and technology-intensive construct. (p. 15) Social science provided the rationale for the creation of the population industry but, once established, the industry took command. Its needs for large-scale funding and the intrinsic logic of the underlying policy concept dictated that much of the resources supporting the population sector come, directly or indirectly, from government budgets. Soon this was true also of the social science research that was considered relevant for the industry’s concerns. The official population sector became the dominant patron of [CCS: whore-ified] social [CCS: pseudo-]science research on all matters related to industry interests (p. 16) Big money projects tended to drive out small money research; industry-sponsored work outbid, eclipsed, and displaced work not so sponsored. (p. 16) The particular uses to which industry resources allocated to [CCS: whore-ified] social [CCS: pseudo-]science research have been increasingly put, at least since the early 1970s, was powerfully shaped by strong convictions held by the funding agencies, and by the population industry at large, on what research priorities should be in the population field. With remarkable consistency, the industry insisted that [CCS: whore-ified] social [CCS: pseudo-]science research concentrate on and be maximally helpful in assisting and backing day-to-day execution [CCS: literally!] of the received population policy line. (p. 17) Resource allocation for social science work as mandated by the large funding agencies puts highest priority emphasis on ‘program evaluation’ [CCS: i.e., on “cooking the [research results] books”]. . . . the industry considers it important to demonstrate [CCS: however dishonestly] that when fertility continues to be high that condition is linked to various inadequacies and lacunae with the existing family planning program. Conversely, when fertility is declining or has declined [CCS: e.g., via “successful” Rocke-Nazi genocide campaigns], it is important to attribute the change [CCS: however falsely] to the effects of the family planning program. (p. 20) . . . [CCS: whore-ified] social [CCS: pseudo-]science research directed to the developing countries in the field of population has now become almost exclusively harnessed to serve the narrowly conceived short-term interests of programs that embody the existing orthodoxy in international [CCS: de-]population policy. . . . the population industry seeks, and, with the power of the purse, enforces, predictability, control, and subservience. Pushed to its extreme, this stance generates research that finds what the sponsor already knows to be revealed truth.” c108
“It is common knowledge that politics took control of demography a long time ago, with unexpected reversals — today’s Malthusians becoming tomorrow’s anti-Malthusians, and vice-versa. . . . In an area as basic as population, scientists and technicians often have ties to the people with decision-making power. Under pressure from their Governments, leading scientists have often been seen defending points of view which they had been opposing shortly before”. c109
“It is most unusual to see such honest statements in print. The last one above is a straightforward accusation of scientific prostitution. And it refers, not to isolated cases, but to the core of the profession. It should be noted that the above statements, and others to come, are all by persons who headed the entity which they were describing, and who are sympathetic to the mainstream thrust of that trend, to wit, that population growth is detrimental to economic development and therefore must be controlled by governments. If someone on the other side of the issue had written those statements, they would be dismissed as partisan and paranoid”. c110
“Both the period of industrial boom, with its unlimited credit inflation, and the crisis itself, through the collapse of great capitalist establishments, urge forward towards that form of the socialisation of huge masses of means of production which we find in the various kinds of joint-stock companies. Many of these means of production are from the outset so colossal that, like the railways, they exclude all other forms of capitalist exploitation. At a certain stage of development even this form no longer suffices; the official representative of capitalist society, the state, is constrained to take over their management. This necessity of conversion into state property makes itself evident first in the big institutions for communication: the postal service, telegraphs and railways. If the crises revealed the incapacity of the bourgeoisie any longer to control the modern productive forces, the conversion of the great organisations for production and communication into joint-stock companies and state property shows that for this purpose the bourgeoisie can be dispensed with. All the social functions of the capitalists are now carried out by salaried employees. The capitalist has no longer any social activity save the pocketing of revenues, the clipping of coupons and gambling on the Stock Exchange, where the different capitalists fleece each other of their capital... But neither the conversion into joint-stock companies nor into state property deprives the productive forces of their character as capital. In the case of joint-stock companies this is obvious. And the modern state, too, is only the organization with which bourgeois society provides itself in order to maintain the general external conditions of the capitalist mode of production against encroachments either by the workers or by individual capitalists. The modern state, whatever its form, is essentially a capitalist machine; it is the state of the capitalists, the ideal collective body of all capitalists. The more productive forces it takes over as its properly, the more it becomes the real collective body of all the capitalists, the more citizens it exploits. The workers remain wage-earners, proletarians. The capitalist relationship is not abolished; it is rather pushed to an extreme. But at this extreme it is transformed into its opposite. State ownership of the productive forces is not the solution of the conflict, but it contains within itself the formal means, the key to the solution.” c111
||Format and Features
||Capitalist Crisis Studies||Paper-published original text.
||January 11, 2006
||Point of Departure
||PDF made available on the internet.
||April 15, 2006
||Adventures in Dialectics
onto the internet; includes new graphics, reviews & corrections by
the author. Includes citations (c1-c86) and annotations (a1-a8).
||June 4, 2006
||Adventures in Dialectics||HTML text edits, idea clarifications from the author, and added graphics.|
||July 14, 2006
||Adventures in Dialectics||HTML additions: updated and reconstructed charts & graphs.
||November 19, 2006
||Adventures in Dialectics
||HTML additions: four post-publication notes (p1, p2, p3, p6) by the author. Citations (c87-c111) added. Graphics numbering updated to contour to v2.2 release's additions g1-g26). All citations put into newer format that facilitates cleaner sets of detail delimited by semicolons.
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