Jun 30, 2023Liked by Meg Chatham

I want to say "Who are you?" Without question, you are the best writer and essayist on regeneration.

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Maybe when life recycles this body, I'll be worthy of a fraction of such a kind compliment. Until then, I'm merely an ever-regenerating, juvenile smattering of far more prolific and insightful thought leaders like yourself.

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Thank you for so well expressing what our intuition tells us is causing harm. And for the term 'technocratic “solutioneering" '.

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I'm grateful that our intuition still holds onto a thread within us despite so much noise to outsource our knowing to tech and the power of a select few. Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughtful writing, too!

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I love how you use the coastline paradox to illustrate how reducing an incredibly complex world to numbers is problematic.

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Single issue thinking forgets the nature of ripples on a pond of a stone thrown into it. Even if there is a recognition that a ripple occurs, there seems to be an instantaneous forgetting that those ripples themselves intersect in a never ending movement that magnifies the effect long after the stone was thrown. I regularly complain that somehow people have forgotten how to see and think!!

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Jul 1, 2023·edited Jul 1, 2023Liked by Meg Chatham

You might find two studies referenced in this "Methane Chronicles" blog interesting.


The first (Rosentreter, J.A. et al 2021) of these two references further illustrates how absurd the "net zero" thermostat mindset is since up to 53% of all methane emissions come from aquatic environments. Given that we have to rehydrate the planet, rather than turn it into Mars, when we restore or "rewild" beavers, for example, we're actually increasing gross methane emissions.

The second reference (Manzano, P et al 2023) demonstrates your point that replacing domesticated ruminants with wild ones via "rewilding" doesn't change gross methane emissions at all. Though we know that many of these neo-colonialist rewilders are only pushing their narrative to further their food religious meta-narrative as unwitting pawns of financial interests that want to further corporatize the food supply.


Rosentreter, J.A. et al 2021. Half of global methane emissions come from highly variable aquatic ecosystem sources

Manzano, P et al 2023 Comparable GHG emissions from animals in wildlife and livestock-dominated savannas

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Jul 1, 2023Liked by Meg Chatham

I am thankful that you are writing these essays and even more so to see that there is an increase in readers.

Thank you for quoting Paul Kingsnorth. My favorite author and speaker.

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Jun 30, 2023Liked by Meg Chatham

Thanks for this Meg--very insightful. My father (Dr. E. Atlee Jackson) was a physics professor at the University of Illinois who wrote several books on Non-Linear Dynamics and Fractals.

Among his many career initiatives, he was the Director of the Center for Complex Systems Research. It is a multidisciplinary group from across many colleges and departments who take a look at things from their various perspectives and try to gain a deeper understanding than any single discipline could on its own. Although in my elementary and secondary school years, I marveled at the discussions in our living room and back yard when many of these folks gathered for a good old-fashioned academic debate. Imagine a lawyer, a physicist, a medical doctor, an economist, a sociologist, an astronomer, a mechanical engineer...well, you get the point.

This multidisciplinary discussion is clearly what is needed, and you are correct that we cannot simply reduce everything to mathematical formulae. That said, the effort to valorize is useful, if only to show people that everything has a value. We can argue about what that value is, but it is not zero (as so many current calculations and policies tend to reflect). And while many values are positive, so too, many values are negative. Thanks, as always, for your contributions!

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1) On Math:

There is nothing wrong with math and science perse, its the scientism and solely using data to prove a point without a wholistic approach included in the analysis. Scientist use intuition to create a hypothesis and test from there. There shouldn't be a throwing out the baby with the bathwater situation with regards to math, science, and logical reasoning, otherwise you would have to throw away your computer, car and everything else that works on mathematics

2) On maps:

"Alfred Korzybski presented a paper on mathematical semantics. To the non-technical reader, most of the paper reads like an abstruse argument on the relationship of mathematics to human language, and of both to physical reality. Important stuff certainly, but not necessarily immediately useful for the layperson.

However, in his string of arguments on the structure of language, Korzybski introduced and popularized the idea that the map is not the territory. In other words, the description of the thing is not the thing itself. The model is not reality. The abstraction is not the abstracted. This has enormous practical consequences.

In Korzybski’s words:

A.) A map may have a structure similar or dissimilar to the structure of the territory.

B.) Two similar structures have similar ‘logical’ characteristics. Thus, if in a correct map, Dresden is given as between Paris and Warsaw, a similar relation is found in the actual territory.

C.) A map is not the actual territory.

D.) An ideal map would contain the map of the map, the map of the map of the map, etc., endlessly…We may call this characteristic self-reflexiveness."


3) On Meat:

Beyond the reductionist argument of methane that you chose, there is the problem of the amount of land currently dedicated to domestic animals and if we switch to a more plant based diet it would free up so much more land to become forests instead of monocrops of grass and monocultures of cows:


"In the visualization we see the breakdown of global land area today. 10% of the world is covered by glaciers, and a further 19% is barren land – deserts, dry salt flats, beaches, sand dunes, and exposed rocks. This leaves what we call ‘habitable land’. Half of all habitable land is used for agriculture.

This leaves only 37% for forests; 11% as shrubs and grasslands; 1% as freshwater coverage; and the remaining 1% – a much smaller share than many suspect – is built-up urban area which includes cities, towns, villages, roads and other human infrastructure.

There is also a highly unequal distribution of land use between livestock and crops for human consumption. If we combine pastures used for grazing with land used to grow crops for animal feed, livestock accounts for 77% of global farming land. While livestock takes up most of the world’s agricultural land it only produces 18% of the world’s calories and 37% of total protein."


Project Drawdown's data confirms that a plant-rich (not even fully vegan) diet can sequester 4-8x more carbon than managed grazing, so why are organizations like the Savory Institute and Kiss the Ground advocating for a such an inefficient method of locking carbon into the ground?

13.72 to 20.92 GIGATONS - managed-grazing


78.33 to 103.11 GIGATONS - plant-rich-diets


Did I commit a crime by sighting facts and figures?

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