Friday, February 14, 2014

Part 1 -- How Humanity Saved the Biosphere. The Law of the Tendency of the Rate of Biospheric Photosynthesis [Primary Productivity] to Fall.

To My Readers,

Below is the first part of my multi-part re-rendition, in this blog, of a classic text, written by an anonymous collective author, one which -- very early-on, in the 1970s -- '''smelled a rat [smelled the 'Rocke-Nazi' rat, in my opinion, the biggest, rottenest rat in all of human [pre-]history to-date -- the most rabid, the most massively "ambitious" mass torturers, and mass murderers, in all of human history, who make the bloody Vlad The Impaler pale to an infinitesimal in comparison] in the "Global Warming", "People Are Pollution" rap''', and circulated, in <<samizdat>> fashion, a rather comprehensive warning to humanity about this new "eu"-genocidal ploy, until years later, when an updated version of this text became available on the world wide web.

This text is entitled --

Crises by Nature:  How Humanity Saved the Biosphere   

For the Resumption of Humanity's Ascent, and, with it -- and by it -- the Regeneration of Our Planetary Biosphere,

M. Milankovitch

Crises by Nature
How Humanity Saved The Biosphere

Capitalist Crisis Studies
[with modifications by M. Milankovitch]

Table of Contents


The whole tenor of the ferment which has come to be called the ecology movement has accustomed many of us to think of ourselves as the scourge of the biosphere; virtual intruders in Nature, whose unwelcome visitation has contributed only disruption and destruction to an otherwise perfectly self-regulated natural harmony, and which visitation can do nothing else.

The best we can hope for, we are told, is to minimize the damage by consuming less, and producing less — especially less of ourselves.

Many of us, especially socialists p1, have smelled a rat in this rap right from its first putrid airing. 

The time has come to confront this ideology squarely with the Marxian theory of social evolution, and with certain salient discoveries of the bourgeois science of ecology itself, discoveries which the so-called “ecology movement has chosen to ignore, or is unable to discern by virtue of ideological blockage.

I - The Law of the Tendency of the Rate of Biospheric Photosynthesis [Primary Productivity] to Fall


Consider the passage below, extracted from a high school biology textbook, vintage 1963, before the "Global Warming" ruling class "party-line" was enforced upon scientists with the iron hand of the Rockefeller plutocracy, as it is today --

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 plan
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 earths 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 earths [ed: Earths] history has not been found. c1

Now, put this together with the following two phenomena of photosynthesis:

(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

The pattern that begins to be disclosed via this juxtaposition has the following features --

Photosynthesis, the foundation of the production of almost all of our planetary biosphere's biomatter, that is, of the reproduction of the entire planetary biosphere (whose substance is biomass) occurs at a rate which is determined by, among other conditions, the parts-per-million of CO2 in the Earths atmosphere.

But photosynthesis progressively depletes the atmosphere of carbon in its oxidized gaseous form (CO2) and gradually accumulates much of it in a non-gaseous form, a form unavailable for photosynthesis.

That is, this non-gaseous form of carbon is entropy for photosynthesis — ‘entropy’ from the standpoint of, or relative to, photosynthesis considered as the leading form of ‘biospheric power’, i.e., of  free energy [negentropy] provision to the biotic processes of this planet.

These accumulations eventually transform to coal (e.g., from land plants), petroleum (e.g., from sea plants), and natural gas.

Thus, photosynthesis itself causes a progressive lowering in the rate of photosynthesis — photosynthesis slows itself down, brakes itself and thereby breaks itself; puts the brakes on itself — by lowering its rate-determining concentration of atmospheric CO2.

If this process were to continue unabated, without any innovation in the foundation of life, in the natural means of production of biomass, or in the sources of life-usable energy [biological negentropy], then the totality of the biosphere must eventually pass out of existence, as the rate of photosynthesis, and with it the productivity of the biosphere, decelerated toward zero.


Only an ecological innovation which could turn that photosynthetic entropy back into energy for life; which developed other new basic sources of life-energy for the ecosystem, partially or wholly supplanting photosynthesis, or which developed some new ecological pathway which could return that carbon to the atmosphere in oxidized (CO2) form, could provide a new continuum for this otherwise terminal biosphere.

II - The Necessity of Humanity

Need I say more? 

We are that '''innovation'''!

The human species was and is the ecological invention’, the new natural technology, by which the biosphere, in effect, saved itself!

Those accumulations of photosynthetically useless carbon — initially the woody bodies of trees, and the corpses of other plants and animals, terrestrial and aquatic, as well as, later, coal, oil, and gas — entropy, waste, for photosynthesis — represent free energy for human praxis, that is, for that new form of '''[socio-]synthetic''' 'econo-ecological' activity, 'socio-biomass' yielding and 'socio-biomass' sustaining, which is human industry, and human industrialized agriculture, however biosphere-abusive, including humanity-abusive, the forms that these activities take under their rule by the cut-throat capitalist profit-motive.

This same human praxis is capable, at length, of forging new basic pathways of energy entry into the [humanly-expanded] 'noo-bio-sphere', such as solar-electric power, and, especially, nuclear fusion power.

Human industry, human social practice, increasingly supplants unaided photosynthesis as the vitalizing foundation of the biosphere -- in part, by beginning to restore the planetary rate of photosynthesis -- hence also the rate of "primary productivity" of the earth's biosphere -- from its Pleisocene Ice Ages, and Ice Ages enabling, nadir, by returning increasing amounts of 'bio-entropic', "fossil" Carbon to the biospheric negentropic form of atmospheric carbon dioxide,
CO2, that continental surface and oceanic plants can once again use for photosynthesis. 

The planetary ecosystem becomes, in part, a humanly supported and humanly shaped 'econo-ecology' — humanized nature (Marx).

Though unconsciously so, at first, the world-wide human social economy begins to become the throbbing heart of the global 'econo-ecology', defending it from biosphere-"balding" droughts and desertifications, due to the global cooling of ocean waters, resulting in a collapse in rates of evaporation, from Ice Age glacieral denudation and 'eco-suicide', and also, potentially, in the future, from biosphere-devastating 'exolithic bombarments' -- from collisions with large, biosphere-lethal asteroids and comets -- and from biosphere-destroying loss-of atmosphere, and thus-exposed continental surfaces bombarment, by solar-wind constituting ionizing radiation, as the earth-interior magma-dynamo-generated planetary magnetic field winds down, and dies out.

And human industry is the means by which a new channel was opened for return of the vast Carbonic accumulations to the atmosphere to rekindle those scattered, waning embers of global photosynthesis that survived the Pleistocene's Great Ice Ages.

This new channel was the burning, first, of dead but not yet fossil-fuel-ized, and of living vegetation by primitive hunting bands and, later, by tribes c4 then by early agriculturalists, and second, later, of '''fossilized vegetation''' [e.g., of "fossil fuels"], by industrializing societies.

Humanity was -- and is still to be -- the solution to the latest problem of Natures self-reproduction and self-continuation! — Humanity the solution to the ‘self-breakdown-crisis of the photosynthetic mode of ecological, biospheric [self-re-]production; of the temporal self-extension, temporal self-continuation, or temporal self-prolongation of that self-formation of Nature!

How would we go about verifying-or-falsifying such a hypothesis? 

By looking for signs of dire trouble in the biosphere just prior to the emergence of homo sapiens. 

By looking for evidence of a severe depression in the self-productivity of biomass, or rate of reproduction of the biosphere (i.e., of 'the totality of Terran biomass'), leading up to the appearance of the human social formation, and more particularly, just prior to the recent period during which hunting-bands and, later, tribal fire-setting, slash-and-burn agriculture, and finally fossil-fueled manufacturing could make a photosynthetically significant contribution to the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.



Part 2 --  The Decadence of the Pleistocene Biosphere [First Part].


  1. "Below is the first part of my multi-part re-rendition, in this blog, of a classic text..."

    In publishing this "re-rendition", would you kindly note how, if at all, it differs from the original? Thank you.


  2. Alan2102,

    My "re-rendition" contains some updates in some areas, corrections of typographical errors, and of some other content that seemed erroneous to me, plus some additions of content that I considered relevant.

    Obviously, the original authors are not responsible for my version.

    M. Milankovitch


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