The coronavirus pandemic has brought chaos to lives and economies around the world. But efforts to curb the spread of the virus might mean that the planet itself is moving a little less. Researchers who study Earth’s movement are reporting a drop in seismic noise — the hum of vibrations in the planet’s crust — that could be the result of transport networks and other human activities being shut down. They say this could allow detectors to spot smaller earthquakes and boost efforts to monitor volcanic activity and other seismic events.
A noise reduction of this magnitude is usually only experienced briefly around Christmas, says Thomas Lecocq, a seismologist the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Brussels, where the drop has been observed.
Just as natural events such as earthquakes cause Earth’s crust to move, so do vibrations caused by moving vehicles and industrial machinery. And although the effects from individual sources might be small, together they produce background noise, which reduces seismologists’ ability to detect other signals occurring at the same frequency.
Data from a seismometer at the observatory show that measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Brussels caused human-induced seismic noise to fall by about one-third, says Lecocq. The measures included closing schools, restaurants and other public venues from 14 March, and banning all non-essential travel from 18 March (see ‘Seismic noise’).
The current drop has boosted the sensitivity of the observatory’s equipment, improving its ability to detect waves in the same high frequency range as the noise. The facility’s surface seismometer is now almost as sensitive to small quakes and quarry blasts as a counterpart detector buried in a 100-metre borehole, he adds. “This is really getting quiet now in Belgium.”
If lockdowns continue in the coming months, city-based detectors around the world might be better than usual at detecting the locations of earthquake aftershocks, says Andy Frassetto, a seismologist at the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology in Washington DC. “You’ll get a signal with less noise on top, allowing you to squeeze a little more information out of those events,” he says.
The fall in noise could also benefit seismologists who use naturally occurring background vibrations, such as those from crashing ocean waves, to probe Earth’s crust. Because volcanic activity and changing water tables affect how fast these natural waves travel, scientists can study these events by monitoring how long it takes a wave to reach a given detector. A fall in human-induced noise could boost the sensitivity of detectors to natural waves at similar frequencies, says Lecocq, whose team plans to begin testing this. “There’s a big chance indeed it could lead to better measurements,” he says.
Belgian seismologists are not the only ones to notice the effects of lockdown. Celeste Labedz, a graduate student in geophysics at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, tweeted that a similar fall in noise had been picked up by a station in Los Angeles. “The drop is seriously wild,” she said.
However, not all seismic monitoring stations will see an effect as pronounced as the one observed in Brussels, says Emily Wolin, a geologist at the US Geological Survey in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Many stations are purposefully located in remote areas or deep boreholes to avoid human noise. These should see a smaller decrease, or no change at all, in the level of high-frequency noise they record, she says.
On December 10, 1992, Thomas Banyacya, Kykotsmovi Hopi Nation (Arizona), addressed the United Nations General Assembly (Full Text Here). In his speech, he explained to diplomats the significance of a petroglyph at Prophecy Rock (Hopiland). An ancient prophecy apparently predicted a “House of Mica” that feasibly describes the United Nations’ headquarters in New York.
“Greed and concern for material things is a common disease.” Thomas Banyacya, 1992
“The Hopi and all original native people hold the land in balance by prayer, fasting and performing ceremonies. Our spiritual Elders still hold the land in the Western Hemisphere in balance for all living beings, including humans. No one should be relocated from their sacred homelands in this Western Hemisphere or anywhere in the world. Acts of forced relocation, such as Public Law 93-531 in the United States, must be repealed.
The United Nations stands on our native homeland. The United Nations talks about human rights, equality and justice and yet the native people have never had a real opportunity to speak to this assembly since its establishment until today. It should be the mission of your nations and this assembly to use your power and rules to examine and work to cure the damage people have done to this Earth and to each other. Hopi Elders know that was your mission and they wait to see whether you will act on it now.
Nature, the First People and the spirit of our ancestors are giving you loud warnings. Today, December 10, 1992, you see increasing floods, more damaging hurricanes, hail storms, climate changes and earthquakes as our prophesies said would come. Even animals and birds are warning us with strange change in their behavior such as the beaching of whales. Why do animals act like they know about the earth’s problems and most humans act like they know nothing? If we humans do not wake up to the warnings, the great purification will come to destroy this world just as the previous worlds were destroyed.
This rock drawing shows part of the Hopi prophecy. There are two paths. The first with technology but separate from natural and spiritual law leads to these jagged lines representing chaos. The lower path is one that remains in harmony with natural law. Here we see a line that represents a choice like a bridge joining the paths. If we return to spiritual harmony and live from our hearts, we can experience a paradise in this world. If we continue only on this upper path, we will come to destruction.
It’s up to all of us, as children of Mother Earth, to clean up this mess before it’s too late.”
Soon after Salt Lake City stopped shaking March 18 from its strongest earthquake on record, Amir Allam, a University of Utah seismologist, knew he had to get busy if he hoped to closely study the hundreds of aftershocks he knew would follow the 7:09 a.m. jolt.
The fault that is believed to have moved along the eastern base of the Oquirrh Mountains is virtually unknown, and here was a chance, dropping out of the blue, to image it.
But Allam had a problem.
All 210 of the U.’s portable seismographs, loaf-sized instruments known as nodal geophones, were currently deployed along California’s San Andreas fault and elsewhere, and, therefore, were unavailable for what he needed to do in his own backyard. The Salt Lake Valley hadn’t had a sizable shake since 1962 and last week’s 5.7 magnitude earthquake offered a rare opportunity to better map the network of fractures under the valley.
(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) University of Utah seismologist Amir Allam unloads 50-pound bags filled with p…
Allam and his U. colleagues quickly mustered up dozens of geophones from other institutions and began burying them near the epicenter of the initial quake, likely on a fault that has remained a mystery to Utah seismologists.
They hope to characterize it and determine how it is interconnected with the Wasatch fault running along the base of the foothills on Salt Lake City’s east side and its lattice of associated faults, or “strands.”
‘Jury is still out’
“We started immediately the morning of the [initial] earthquake, and we have been installing them ever since,” Allam said Tuesday as he unloaded shovels and 43 geophones from his truck. “These are the last bunch.”
He already had deployed 139 geophones, each equipped with 35 days of battery life, around the Salt Lake Valley, each measuring ground movements — vertical, north-south and east-west — from hundreds of aftershocks. These recordings will help scientists with the U., as well as the Utah and U.S. geological surveys, to characterize this intriguing fault.
The Wasatch fault system’s network of cracks in the earth stretches 230 miles from Malad, Idaho south to Fayette, Utah through Utah’s major metropolitan area, where at least 80% of the population resides. A magnitude 6 quake on the main fault could cause severe damage, depending on where it strikes. A 2016 report forecast a 57% chance of such a quake or stronger within the next 50 years. Scientists do not believe last week’s temblor will reduce the chance of a major quake on the Wasatch fault down the road.
“We want to map out the basin depth all over the valley. We actually don’t know it [the fault network] that well,” Allam said. “… We want to capture as many tiny aftershocks as we can, so we have a really dense deployment around the epicenter of the 5.7 quake. We want to get that fault structure. We want to know exactly how the Wasatch and its subsidiary faults are changing their patterns in the subsurface.”
The fault that likely moved dips to the west and is not expressed on the surface, according to Kris Pankow of the U. Seismograph Stations. It could be the same one that shook Magna in 1962 with a magnitude 5.2 quake that touched off a swarm of lesser aftershocks, but it can’t be known for sure because the instrumentation was not in place to precisely locate that quake.
“The jury is still out on the specific fault that moved and produced [the March 18] earthquake,” said Ryan Gold, a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. “The specific strand, that’s what we are trying to sort out. Additional instrumentation is being installed to monitor ongoing seismicity.”
‘Aftershocks are going to diminish’
In the week since the main quake, the ground under Magna has kept shaking.
As of Tuesday at 4 p.m., 456 aftershocks had been recorded, according to Gold, coming at an average rate of one every 20 minutes. At least 29 were magnitude 3 and a handful exceeded magnitude 4. The fault released a magnitude 3.1 temblor Tuesday at 5:32 a.m., followed by many stronger than magnitude 2. Most were located very close to the original epicenter a few miles north northeast of Magna and just six miles beneath the surface.
“The number and size of aftershocks are going to diminish with time but within these sequences. It’s the fault adjusting to the changes in stress. They are kind of chattering,” said Pankow, who is also closely monitoring aftershocks with larger seismographs placed in a few strategic locations. “With time, that stress is going to dissipate.”
The larger instruments are connected to broadband, providing real time data on the aftershocks. Meanwhile, satellite imagery shows the ground moved several centimeters at the surface as a result of the main quake, according to Gold.
The aftershocks don’t occur in steady intervals but in clusters, according to a graphic representation posted by Seismograph Stations. In the first three days after the mainshock, dozens of aftershocks flared. They grew weaker and less frequent until Sunday night, when a magnitude 4 struck, followed quickly by numerous aftershocks.
“That magnitude 4 was its own stress release; it has its own set of aftershocks to go with it,” Pankow said. “We might have some more magnitude 4s before this is all done.”
Seismometers, types of seismograph that measure surface ground movement, are installed in at least three major historic structures in downtown Salt Lake City: the Utah Capitol, City Hall and West High School. These instruments record direction, intensity and duration of earthquakes. The data generated by these instruments helps engineers understand the seismic forces buildings on the Wasatch fault system could be subject to, according to Pankow.
They hoisted 50-pound satchels over their shoulders, each holding six geophones, and trekked a half-mile up the Bonneville Shoreline Trail to a spot where Allam had identified a 500-meter transect along a ravine that was just starting to green up with the coming of spring. Here the team was to plant the geophones along a preselected line spanning a known strand of the Wasatch fault in the undulating terrain overlooking the city.
As a cold rain began to fall, the crews dug 8-inch holes in 13-meter intervals along a downsloping ridgeline on a roughly north-south axis. The geophones were placed in the holes, oriented directly north, and covered with dirt.
In a month, Allam and his associates will return to recover 182 geophones around the valley. The harvest is hoped to yield a bounty of data that paints a valuable picture of what lurks beneath Utah’s most populated region.
Research Fellow, Climate Adaptation, Griffith University
Benjamin Preston currently receives funding from the California Hospital Association, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Ford Motor Company, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Previously, he has received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Commonwealth of Australia.
Johanna Nalau receives funding from Australian Research Council and Griffith University.
As these reports show, climate change is already occurring, with impacts that will become more intense for decades into the future. They also make clear that reducing greenhouse gas emissions from human activities to a level that would limit warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) or less above preindustrial levels will pose unprecedented challenges.
Today, however, there is a large and growing gap between what countries say they’d like to achieve and what they have committed to do. As scholars focused on climate risk management and adaptation, we believe it is time to think about managing climate change damage in terms of triage.
Hard choices already are being made about which risks society will attempt to manage. It is critically important to spend limited funds where they will have the most impact.
Triaging climate change means placing consequences into different buckets. Here, we propose three.
The first bucket represents impacts that can be avoided or managed with minimal or no interventions. For example, assessments of how climate change will affect U.S. hydropower indicate that this sector can absorb the impacts without a need for costly interventions.
The second bucket is for impacts that are probably unavoidable despite all best efforts. Consider polar bears, which rely on sea ice as a platform to reach their prey. Efforts to reduce emissions can help sustain polar bears, but there are few ways to help them adapt. Protecting Australia’s Great Barrier Reef or the Brazilian Amazon poses similar challenges.
The third bucket represents impacts for which practical and effective actions can be taken to reduce risk. For example, cities such as Phoenix, Chicago and Philadelphia have been investing for years in extreme heat warning systems and emergency response strategies to reduce risks to public health. There are a variety of options for making agriculture more resilient, from precision agriculture to biotechnology to no-till farming. And large investments in infrastructure and demand management strategies have historically helped supply water to otherwise scarce regions and reduce flood risk.
In each of these cases, the challenge is aligning what’s technically feasible with society’s willingness to pay.
How can societies enable triage-based planning? One key step is to invest in valuing assets that are at risk. Placing a value on assets exchanged in economic markets, such as agriculture, is relatively straightforward. For example, RAND and Louisiana State University have estimated the costs of coastal land loss in Louisiana owing to property loss, increased storm damage, and loss of wetland habitat that supports commercial fisheries.
Valuing non-market assets, such as cultural resources, is more challenging but not impossible. When North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras lighthouse was in danger of collapsing into the sea, heroic efforts were taken to move it further inland because of its historic and cultural significance. Similarly, Congress makes judgments on behalf of the American people regarding the value of historic and cultural resources when it enacts legislation to add them to the U.S. national park system.
The next step is identifying adaptation strategies that have a reasonable chance of reducing risks. RAND’s support for the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan included an analysis of $50 billion in ecosystem restoration and coastal protection projects that ranked the benefits those projects would generate in terms of avoided damages.
This approach reflects the so-called “resilience dividend” – a “bonus” that comes from investing in more climate-resilient communities. For example, a recent report from the National Institute of Building Sciences estimated that every dollar invested in federal disaster mitigation programs – enhancing building codes, subsidizing hurricane shutters or acquiring flood-prone houses – saves society $6. Nevertheless, there are limits to the level of climate change that any investment can address.
The third step is investing enough financial, social and political capital to meet the priorities that society has agreed on. In particular, this means including adaptation in the budgets of federal, state, and local government agencies and departments, and being transparent about what these organizations are investing in and why.
Much progress has been made in improving disclosure of corporate exposure to greenhouse gas reduction policies through mechanisms such as the Task Force on Climate-Related Disclosures, a private sector initiative working to help businesses identify and disclose risks to their operations from climate policy. But less attention has been given to disclosing risks to businesses from climate impacts, such as the disruption of supply chains, or those faced by public organizations, such as city governments.
Finally, governments need to put frameworks and metrics in place so that they can measure their progress. The Paris Climate Agreement calls on countries to report on their adaptation efforts. In response, tools like InformedCity in Australia are emerging that enable organizations to measure their progress toward adaptation goals. Nevertheless, many organizations – from local governments to corporate boardrooms – are not equipped to evaluate whether their efforts to adapt have been effective.
There are many opportunities to manage climate risk around the world, but not everything can be saved. Delaying triage of climate damages could leave societies making ad hoc decisions instead of focusing on protecting the things they value most.
(Natural News) Think you’re saving the planet from climate change by driving an electric vehicle and switching to a “plant-based” diet? Think again.
In a paper he recently published, Bjørn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, deconstructs the myth that lugging around reusable grocery bags and using paper straws instead of plastic have any meaningful impact on our planet’s climate.
As it turns out, all of the messaging about how to individually fight “global warming” by reducing one’s personal “carbon footprint” is a gaggle of lies and propaganda – and this from a guy who’s a vehement believer in climate change!
Switching from beef to “Impossible Whoppers” will accomplish a whole lot of nothing, as will replacing all your incandescent lightbulbs with mercury-filled compact fluorescents (CFLs). The same goes for recycling and flitting around town in a Tesla – both useless endeavors in terms of “cooling” the planet.
According to Lomborg, these and many other individual actions represent little more than virtue signaling by climate elitists who accomplish nothing beyond simply feeling better about themselves by “going green.”
Using the example of British nature-documentary presenter and environmental activist David Attenborough, Lomborg highlights how Attenborough’s promise to unplug his phone charger when it’s not in use is a laughably pointless endeavor that will have basically zero impact on the environment.
“… even if he consistently unplugs his charger for a year, the resulting reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions will be equivalent to less than one-half of one-thousandth of the average person’s annual CO2 emissions in the United Kingdom,” Lomborg points out.
“Moreover, charging accounts for less than 1% of a phone’s energy needs; the other 99% is required to manufacture the handset and operate data centers and cell towers. Almost everywhere, these processes are heavily reliant on fossil fuels.”
You might as well keep eating those steaks because livestock farts aren’t heating the globe any more than the GMOs in those “plant-based” alternatives
As for going vegetarian or vegan, this, too, is a complete waste of time if it’s being done purely for the sake of “saving the planet.” Despite all of the fear-mongering about cow flatulence “warming” the atmosphere, the fact of the matter is that eating meat has virtually the same impact on the planet as not eating meat.
“… a systematic peer-reviewed study has shown that even if they succeed, a vegetarian diet reduces individual CO2 emissions by the equivalent of 540 kilograms – or just 4.3% of the emissions of the average inhabitant of a developed country,” Lomborg notes.
“Furthermore, there is a ‘rebound effect,’ as money saved on cheaper vegetarian food is spent on goods and services that cause additional greenhouse-gas emissions. Once we account for this, going entirely vegetarian reduces a person’s total emissions by only 2%.”
In the end, even if every person were to eat entirely vegan, only drive a Tesla, and power his or her home with wind and solar exclusively, the overall reduction in emissions would be so minimal as to be statistically non-existent.
Meanwhile, nations are throwing trillions of dollars at subsidizing these worthless changes, massively reducing their own wealth while propping up the illusion of “sustainability” – and to what end?
“We already spend $129 billion per year subsidizing solar and wind energy to try to entice more people to use today’s inefficient technology, yet these sources meet just 1.1% of our global energy needs,” Lomborg concludes.
“The IEA (International Energy Agency) estimates that by 2040 – after we have spent a whopping $3.5 trillion on additional subsidies – solar and wind will still meet less than 5% of our needs.”
(TT) — The massive decline of insect populations in recent years is an environmental crisis that is often overlooked, and by all indications, it seems that pesticides are largely to blame for this problem. However, researchers are currently developing alternatives that can hopefully protect crops for farmers without causing widespread harm to insect populations.
Biopesticides are derived from natural materials like plants, bacteria, and certain minerals. These substances are not harmful to the environment and also pose less of a risk to insects. Some Biopesticides are not even harmful, but just work to repel certain insects from the area, while others only target specific insects in a limited range.
One of the most interesting recent developments in the field of biopesticides is the use of fungi.
Fungus-based pesticides would still kill the insects that attempt to feast on the crops, but this will not be a toxin that gets into the environment, which reduces the widespread exposure to plant, animal and insect life.
Two fungus-based pesticides were developed and patented by the famous mycologist Paul Stamets. One of the products is specifically targeted toward fire ants, carpenter ants, and termites, while his other offering can affect roughly 200,000 insect species.
One of the fungi-based biopesticides, called MycoPesticide, will begin to sprout inside of the insect once it is eaten and will then feed on the creature until it dies, often with mushroom sprouts popping out of its head. It is also not harmful to bees, which has been a growing concern in relation to pesticides.
However, the cost is still a major obstacle for advocates of fungi-based pesticides, as they can be up to 20 times more expensive than chemical pesticides.
Paul Underhill, co-owner of the organic Terra Firma Farm in Winters, California says that the fungi methods are also a bit more difficult to work with.
“Some, like those with fungi, can require special storage, such as refrigeration. [And] the cost to the farmer can easily be 20 times what a conventional pesticide might be,” Underhill told NPR.
The short term financial cost for biopesticides might be higher right now, but hopefully, those prices will start to fall as the development of this technology progresses. It is also important to consider the long term financial and environmental consequences that may not be immediately obvious in the short term.
There are also plant-based pesticides that are currently in development, which could also provide an alternative to conventional chemicals. One example is PureCrop1, a plant-based pesticide company that is partly owned by NBA star John Salley.
According to the PureCrop1, the organic pesticide is made with plant-based materials from grains, and seed crops. Their products do not contain petroleum distillates or synthetics including artificial foaming and thickening agents, builders, reagents, dyes or fragrances.
New solutions can’t come soon enough. According to a new study published this month in the scientific journal PLOS One, America’s agricultural landscape has grown 48 times more toxic to insects in the past 25 years. As Truth Theory reported last month, even fireflies are facing possible extinction all over the world.
The hashtag #PrayForAmazonia went viral on Tuesday as social media users attempted to draw the world’s attention to the Amazon rainforest, which has been devastated for weeks by fires so intense they can be seen from space.
According toEuro News, it is unclear whether the fires were caused by agricultural activity or deforestation. Both have accelerated rapidly under Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who made opening the Amazon to corporate exploitation a key plank of his election campaign.
Twitter users on Tuesday slammed the media for paying too little attention to the Amazon blazes, particularly given the essential role the rainforest plays in absorbing planet-warming carbon dioxide—a capacity that earned it the nickname “lungs of the world.”
“The Amazon has been burning for three weeks, and I’m just now finding out because of the lack of media coverage,” wrote one observer. “This is one of the most important ecosystems on Earth.”
Satellite data collected by the Brazilian government’s National Space Research Institute (INPE) published in June showed that deforestation has risen dramatically under Bolsonaro, who dismissed the research as “a lie” and fired INPE director Ricardo Galvão for defending the data.
As The Guardian reported, the INPE findings showed the Amazon “lost 739sq km during the 31 days [of May], equivalent to two football pitches every minute.”
The number of forest fires in the Amazon Rainforest in #Brazil is up 82% from last year. The fires are purposely set by ranchers to clear land. They then burn out of control. The Bolsonaro govt has eliminated restrictions on burnings. This must be stopped! #PrayforAmazonia. RT pic.twitter.com/cAyUlqjdRz
One large fire, which started in late July, burnt around 1,000 hectares of an environmental reserve in the Brazilian state of Rondônia—located on the border with Bolivia. This blaze, along with others in the region, created dense plumes of smoke that spread far across the state, endangering the health of people living in the area and the lives of animals.
Two weeks ago, the state of Amazonas in the northwest of the country declared a state of emergency in response to an increase in the number of fires there… Various fires have also been burning in the state of Mato Grosso, according to satellite imagery.
The fires have become so intense that smoke from the blaze darkened the afternoon sky on Monday in São Paulo, Brazil’s most populous city.
“The Amazon rainforest has been on fire for weeks, and it’s so bad it’s literally blotting out the sun miles away,” tweeted Robert Maguire, research director at U.S. government watchdog group Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington.
The Amazon rainforest has been on fire for weeks, and it’s so bad it’s literally blotting out the sun miles away https://t.co/oDjcECJVgp
The advocacy group Amazon Watch on Tuesday called the Bolsonaro regime’s attacks on the world’s largest rainforest “an international tragedy.”
“What can we do?” the group tweeted. “1. Support the courageous resistance of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon. 2. Make clear to the agribusiness and financiers involved in the destruction that we won’t buy their products.”
The Great Serpent Mound of Ohio, the Largest Earthen Effigy in the World
The Great Serpent Mound is a 1,300-foot long and 3-foot high prehistoric effigy mound located on a plateau of a crater along Ohio Brush Creek in Adams County, Ohio, and is the largest surviving prehistoric effigy mound in the world. Resembling an uncoiling serpent, the mound is steeped in mystery and controversy. Despite over a century of research, there is no conclusive evidence about what it represents, when it was built, and what its true purpose was, though various astronomical alignments suggest it may have functioned as a type of calendar.
The Serpent Mound conforms to the curve of the land on which it rests, with its head approaching a cliff above a stream. It winds back and forth for more than eight hundred feet and has seven distinct coils, ending in a triple-coiled tail. The serpent head has an open mouth extending around the east end of a 120-foot-long hollow oval feature, which is generally viewed as an egg, although other interpretations suggest it is the sun, the body of a frog, or merely the remnant of a platform. To the west of the effigy, is a triangular mound measuring approximately 32 feet at its base and long axis. The Serpent Mound is believed to have been laid out all at once, with a layer of clay and ash, and reinforced with stones.
Thousands of years ago, Native American peoples populated the Ohioan landscape with mounds and massive earthworks. Initial research attributed the effigy to the Adena culture, which flourished from 1000 BC to 100 AD. The Adena culture are well-known for building burial and effigy mounds, many of which are located near the Great Serpent Mound. However, radiocarbon dating on pieces of charcoal found within the Serpent Mound established that people worked on the mound around 1070 AD. Thus, the mound may have been built by the Fort Ancient peoples, who lived in the Ohio Valley from 1000 CE to 1550 CE. Nevertheless, the testing is not conclusive as it only reveals that 1000-year-old charcoal was found within the mound. This could have ended up there long after the effigy was originally built.
Interpretations of the Serpent Mound
The most predominant theory is that the Serpent Mound represents a giant snake, which is slowly uncoiling itself and about to seize a huge egg within its extended jaws. However many theories abound suggesting various interpretations. For instance, some think it may represent an eclipse, or the phases of the moon. Others have speculated that it represents the myth of the horned serpent found in many Native American cultures. In 1909, local German Baptist minister Landon West proposed another unusual theory: the serpent was writhing in its death throes as punishment for tempting Adam and Eve in what West believed was the original Garden of Eden.
There are serious suggestions that the serpent is intimately connected with the heavens. Several writers have suggested that the serpent is a model of the constellation we call the Little Dipper, its tail coiled about the North Star.
Various alignments of the serpent correspond to astronomical features, such as alignments of the sun and moon. In 1987 Clark and Marjorie Hardman published their finding that the oval-to-head area of the serpent is aligned to the summer solstice sunset, suggesting that one of the effigy’s purposes was to mark the turning of the year so that planting and gathering and hunting could be planned.
William F. Romain has suggested an array of six lunar alignments corresponding to the curves in the effigy’s body. If the Serpent Mound were designed to sight both solar and lunar arrays, it would be reflect the consolidation of astronomical knowledge into a single symbol.
Generations of researchers agree with the theory that the Serpent Mound holds astronomical significance, but the intent of those who built the serpent, and how it was used still remains a mystery.
Many scholars believe the Serpent Mound was used in religious ceremonies. When settlers first discovered the mound, there was a fire-scorched stone monument in the egg-shaped head, which has led some to suggest it was used as an altar of some sort – possibly sacrificial, based on the ceremonial knives unearthed among the blackened stones and a number of headless skeletons discovered in gravesites nearby.
Whatever its true purpose, the Serpent Mound attests to the ingenuity of its creators. As the Ancient Ohio Trail website so aptly states: “The genius of its designers remains apparent: this blend of beauty, familiarity, abstraction, power, precision, and mystery, make Ohio’s Serpent Mound one of the great, iconic images for all of human antiquity.”
2019 is turning out to be a nightmare that never ends for the agriculture industry. Thanks to endless rain and unprecedented flooding, fields all over the middle part of the country are absolutely soaked right now, and this has prevented many farmers from getting their crops in the ground. I knew that this was a problem, but when I heard that only 30 percent of U.S. corn fields had been planted as of Sunday, I had a really hard time believing it. But it turns out that number is 100 percent accurate. And at this point corn farmers are up against a wall because crop insurance final planting dates have either already passed or are coming up very quickly. In addition, for every day after May 15th that corn is not in the ground, farmers lose approximately 2 percent of their yield. Unfortunately, more rain is on the way, and it looks like thousands of corn farmers will not be able to plant corn at all this year. It is no exaggeration to say that what we are facing is a true national catastrophe.
Can you imagine what this is going to do to food prices?
Many farmers are extremely eager to plant crops, but the wet conditions have made it impossible. The following comes from ABC 7 Chicago…
McNeill grows corn and soybeans on more than 500 acres in Grayslake. But much of his farmland is underwater right now, and all of it is too wet to plant. Rain is a farmer’s friend in the summer but in the spring too much rain keeps farmers from planting.
The unusually wet spring has affected farmers throughout the Midwest, but Illinois has been especially hard hit. Experts say with the soil so wet, heavy and cold, it takes the air out and washes nutrients away, making it difficult if not impossible for seeds to take root.
As a result, very few Illinois farmers have been able to get corn or soybeans in the ground at this point…
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s crop progress reports, about 11% of Illinois corn has been planted and about 4% of soybeans. Last year at this time, 88% of corn and 56% of soybeans were in the ground.
I would use the word “catastrophe” to describe what Illinois farmers are facing, but the truth is that what they are going through is far beyond that.
Normally, if corn farmers have a problem getting corn in the ground then they just switch to soybeans instead. But thanks to the trade war, soybean exports have plummeted dramatically, and the price of soybeans is the lowest that it has been in a decade.
Farmers in many parts of the corn belt have suffered from a wet and cooler spring, which has prevented them from planting corn. Typically when it becomes too late to plant corn, farmers will instead plant soybeans, which can grow later into the fall before harvest is required. Yet now, planting soybeans with the overabundance already in bins and scant hope for sales to one of the biggest buyers in China, could raise the risk of a financial disaster.
And if the wet conditions persist, many soybean farms are not going to be able to plant crops at all this year.
Sadly, global weather patterns are continuing to go haywire, and much more rain is coming to the middle of the country starting on Friday…
Any hopes of getting corn and soybean planting back on track in the U.S. may be washed away starting Friday as a pair of storms threaten to deliver a “one-two punch” of soaking rain and tornadoes across the Great Plains and Midwest through next week.
As much as 3 to 5 inches (8 to 13 centimeters) of rain will soak soils from South Dakota and Minnesota south to Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, according to the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.
We have never had a year quite like this before, and U.S. food production is going to be substantially below expectations. I very much encourage everyone to get prepared for much higher food prices and a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the months ahead.
Even though I have been regularly documenting the nightmarish agricultural conditions in the middle of the country, the numbers in this article are much worse than I thought they would be at this point in 2019.
This is truly a major national crisis, and it is just getting started.
Not only did the ancient Hopi believe their Gods inhabited the inner parts of the Earth, they depicted mysterious Ant-like beings and flying shields thousands of years ago. Interestingly, their legends also speak of a great flood which is a clear parallel to ancient Sumerian legends of the Great Flood.
‘Hopituh Shi-nu-mu’ is the name that one of the Native American tribes is called and means “peaceful people.” The history of the ancient Hopi goes back thousands of years and makes them one of the oldest cultures in the world.
Unlike other mythologies of different cultures which speak of gods that descended from the heavens, in the ancient legends of the Hopi, a different story is told, speaking of mighty gods who reside in the center of the Earth.
But who were they? In a similar way, nearly all pre-Columbian cultures just like the Hopi believe that one day, not too far away, the gods who have shaped human culture will come back to Earth.
They have always lived according to the teachings that were given to them by Masauwu, the Master of the Fourth World, where ethical concepts are deeply rooted in their culture.
However, contrary to many other mythologies that are widespread around the globe, the Hopi believe that their gods do not live in the infinite spaces of the cosmos, but live in the heart of the Earth, conveying the idea of a hollow earth existing right below our feet.
The ancient Hopi speak of their deities as ‘ant men.’ In fact, some of the petroglyphs found near Mishongnovi, Arizona, created by the ancient Hopi depict the enigmatic beings with antennas’ offering an idea of how these strange ant-men looked like.
According to the mythology of the Hopi, at the beginning of time, Taoiwa, the Creator, created Sotuknang, his nephew, giving him the task of creating nine universes or worlds: one for Taiowa, one for him and the other seven for the overabundance of life. In a cyclical conception of time, in a similar way to Aztec mythology, these worlds would continue cyclically.
The mythology tells that story that the first three worlds, Tokpela, Tokpa, and Kuskurza have already been inhabited and subsequently destroyed due to corruption and wickedness of men. The Hopi speak that the end of each cycle is marked by the return of the gods, and announced by the appearance of the Blue Kachina Star the sign of the ‘Day of Purification,” in which the old world is destroyed, and a new one begins.
Each time one of the worlds is destroyed, the Hopi, the faithful are saved and taken by the gods to the underground cities to escape the destruction of the planet.
In each cyclic destruction, and always according to the mythology of the Hopi, the ‘men-ant’ are crucial for human survival.
The so-called ‘First World’ (Tokpela) was apparently destroyed by the fire of global proportions, perhaps a kind of massive volcanism, or the impact of an asteroid or even a large coronal mass ejection from the Sun of catastrophic proportions.
The ‘Second World’ (Tokpa), however, was destroyed by the cold. Most likely due to a pole shift that caused a massive ice age that destroyed life on the planet.
Interestingly, in the course of these two global cataclysms, the members of the Hopi tribe were guided during the day by a cloud of strange shape and a moving star overnight, leading to the presence of the so-called ‘Ant-Man’ which the Hopi call AnuSinom. This creature escorted the Hopi to underground caves where they found shelter and sustenance.
Interestingly, in the ancient Sumerian language, Anum or Anu was the god of the. He is the creator of creation.
In the Hopi legend, the mysterious creature that resembled a humanoid-ant is described as a generous and hardworking creature, willing to provide food to the Hopi, and to teach them methods of food preservation so they could survive.
As you can see, like many cultures around the globe, the ancient Hopi believed in the existence of subterranean chambers, cities which are eerily similar to other theories of the Hollow Earth. The Ancient Hopi also mention the mysterious ant-men gods who helped the ancient Hopi progress through time. However, the ancient Hopi also speak of the patuwvotas or ancient ‘flying shields.’
According to Frank Waters, author of Mystic Mexico: The advent of the Sixth World of Consciousness (1975) it is in the ‘third world’ where the ancient Hopi introduce the concept of the Patuwvotas, or “flying shields’.
In the third cycle, it is said that humanity built a very advanced civilization, and developed the concept of “flying shields,” a sort of vehicle that can quickly travel to different places in the world and devastate entire cities on Earth. The Third World was destroyed by Sotuknang, the nephew of the Creator, with a great flood.
Also, in this case, there is a clear parallel with the Sumerian tradition in which we talk about the great flood that destroyed all previous civilization on the planet. This story is told in the Epic of Gilgamesh, a text which was then taken to biblical tradition in the history of the Flood and Noah’s Ark.
According to the traditions of the Hopi, the survivors of the flood are scattered in different parts of the world, under the guidance of Masauwu, the Spirit of Death and the Master of the Fourth World. A fascinating petroglyph of the Hopi is that where Masauwu is represented piloting a wingless boat that has the shape of a dome. The similarity between the “flying shields” and what we today consider as airplanes or flying saucers, is mind boggling.
It seems evident that the flying shields or ‘ships without wings’ are something ancient cultures around the globe witnessed in the distant past. The ancient Hopi used the term to refer to something that was capable of flying through the skies and transporting people.