It’s been a month now and I have been isolating magnificently. In truth my life hasn’t changed much – I was already a hermit, chipping away at my magnum opus – make way for the bad guy (part 9 nearly complete). The wheel has ground to a halt and I am very glad it has. But this feels like a reprieve to me, the calm before the storm. Before things get more chaotic we need to get clear what this crisis is about – what is causing it, what we need to do to get through it and prevent recurrences.
As many have probably been doing I have been brushing up on my immunology. It didn’t take long to find out that our immune systems are compromised generally. Auto-immune disease is at record rates – cancer is an auto-immune disease; fibrosis from coronavirus is an auto-immune disease also. Auto-immune diseases are overreactions on the part of the immune system. This overreaction is due to the immune system not being calibrated. It is our gut flora that calibrate our immune system, they are our first line of defence: without a healthy diverse gut flora our immune system goes haywire – the body attacks itself.
Our microbiome has been decreasing for decades. Scientists have been warning about this but the message has been drowned out by ‘climate change’ hysteria. Just to make it absolutely crystal clear – CO2 is not a toxin, together with water it is the basis of all life. Scientists must win back trust by distancing themselves from CO2 alarmism which is a diversion from the real crisis which has nothing to do with CO2 directly.
[an aside: regarding the question of CO2 and climate change. CO2 is not a climate thermostat, which is what some scientists have led us to believe. The climate is far too complex to make any such reductionist conclusions. However CO2 is a reliable measure of energy consumption and energy consumption is the real problem that is not discussed because it is taboo in the context of capitalism and economic reductionism generally. Ie increasing CO2 itself is not a problem, rather it is what this increasing CO2 represents – ie increasing energy consumption and the ecological damage which this entails. In short, energy is used primarily to turn the living earth into dead commodities – 70% of energy use is for industrial purposes. Increasing CO2 is symbolic of this destruction, hence the confusion.]
The primary existential threat is our depleted microbiome. We have been waging war on ‘germs’ for decades. I briefly tried to watch TV last night, lasted about five minutes, in that time I saw 2 ads for anti-bacterial cleaning products. Our water sources are chlorinated; antibiotics have been over-prescribed and are fed to livestock and glyphosate (round-up) destroys the microbial life of the soil. To add insult to injury we have devised an elaborate system which denies the microbiome the very thing it needs from us most – our poo. Instead of enriching the soil we foul water. The system we are living in is insane – suicidal.
Starship Troopers by Paul Verhoeven is a wonderful sci-fi fable of our times: hi-tech fascism and a war on bugs. The bugs defend themselves by wiping out cities.
Our society is killing itself through a perverted idea of hygiene. The irony is tragic. We are so alienated from life that we see germs (bugs) as an alien enemy – waging war on our own health. This war has led to the mutation of ‘superbugs’, record rates of allergies and auto-immune conditions too numerous to mention. We are gonna suffer all the more until we stop poisoning ourselves.
In truth hygiene relates to us more mentally than physically – spiritual hygiene: mastering the mind. The earth is naturally hygienic: the health of all organisms is directly proportional to the integrity of the microbiome. We are the microbiome. There are more microbial cells in us than bodily cells. All life is an elaboration on microbial life, and is supported by this invisible foundation. When we die the bacteria don’t: they just eat the rest of us.
Microbial Armageddon has to stop, ecocide must stop, and they will. The only question is how many humans must die before we see the truth as self-evident?
One last thing: coronavirus has also made another thing clear: the existing system and its media mouthpieces are ‘out of their depth’, as Walter Sobchek would say. Relying on expert authority is how we got into this mess. ‘Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts’, as the late Richard Feynman (a proper scientist) said. We have to be our own authority now: trust our own judgement: the body knows – the mind makes a great servant but a terrible master. When cities are shrinking we are already in a post-industrial world. The new paradigm is permaculture – networkcentricity – the web of life. The microbiome is an invisible and immortal ubiquity which connects all life into one whole. It is god by another name: ‘the holy ghost’.
“What’s clear, says Hugenholtz, is that it is important to “let nature calibrate your immune system, through your microbiome, so that it knows how to react in a sensible way” when it comes across something unfamiliar. Otherwise you can get a hyper-immune response, inflammation being the classic one.
This mechanism underwrites the “hygiene hypothesis” for rising rates of autoimmune and allergic diseases in Western societies, the idea that we have so sanitised our world that our defences have grown weak. In a validation of old wives and the five-second rule, it turns out that a little dirt never did hurt anyone.”
Phil Hugenholtz is the director of the Australian Centre for Ecogenomics at the University of Queensland