Kia ora koutou. ‘Happy New Year’.

A lot could be said with still much omitted in summarising the many significant events of 2012 – cyclones Sandy and Evan etc, Syria and Palestine conflicts etc – so I won’t attempt more of one. Except to say that recent research findings indicate how humanity really must act, NOW, to achieve a stabilised higher level of civilisation; or else most likely perish in very great numbers as the resource shortages and energy effects of this industrial century compound and intensify.*

1. World on track for 6C warming without carbon cuts, study shows “consultancy giant PwC finds an unprecedented 5.1 per cent annual cut in global emissions per unit of GDP, known as carbon intensity, is needed through to 2050 if the world is to avoid the worst effects of climate change and meet an internationally agreed target of limiting average temperature increases to just two degrees above pre-industrial levels. Such deep reductions in carbon intensity would be over six times greater than the 0.8 per cent average annual cuts achieved since 2000. The report also confirms that greatest rises in greenhouse gas emissions came from the emerging E7 economies of China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Indonesia and Turkey, whose cumulative 7.4 per cent annual increase in emissions swamped record levels of reductions in the UK, France, and Germany” –, 5 November 2012: so only animal capitalist competition is prevailing in the emissions reduction battle, with record climatic disasters.[1]

2. That is consistent with our collective past, which we must understand and strive to transcend –
Oldest Arrowheads Hint at How Modern Humans Overtook Neandertals “Archaeologists excavating a cave on the southern coast of South Africa have recovered remains of the oldest known complex projectile weapons. The tiny stone blades, which were probably affixed to wooden shafts for use as arrows, date to 71,000 years ago and represent a sophisticated technological tradition that endured for thousands of years.. from a site called Pinnacle Point.. heat treatment of stone for 100,000 years.. the capacity for symbolic thinking arose in our common ancestor perhaps half a million years ago.. this projectile technology, which allows one to attack from a safe distance, would have given modern humans a significant edge during hunting and interpersonal conflict as they spread out of Africa into Europe and encountered the resident Neandertals equipped with handheld spears.. ‘if they were armed with the bow and arrow, they would have been more than a match for anything or anyone they met'” –, 7 November 2012.

Pinnacle arrow heads 2012

Pinnacle arrow heads 2012

Sibudu arrow heads 2010

Sibudu arrow heads 2010

Earlier, Oldest evidence of arrows found “excavated from layers of ancient sediment in Sibudu Cave in South Africa.. This is an indicator of a cognitively demanding behaviour.. Hunting with a bow and arrow requires intricate multi-staged planning, material collection and tool preparation and implies a range of innovative social and communication skills.. The discovery pushes back the development of ‘bow and arrow technology’ by at least 20,000 years.. modern humans in Africa 60,000 years ago had begun to hunt in a ‘new way’. Neanderthals and other early humans.. were likely to have been ‘ambush predators’, who needed to get close to their prey in order to dispatch them.. But the long gaps in the subsequent record of bows and arrows may mean that regular use of these weapons did not come until much later”, 26 Аugust 2010; & similar tellings of the story [2].

So the technologies of hunting and warfare have been integral to both human evolution and tribal survival for as long as our sub-species has been emerging. Could that ever change, such that permanent peace became possible? – Yes, but only through innovation of a conscious and dedicated super-tribal organisation, for the collective future. Let us get on with that urgent task.

Until these discoveries it was thought that “stone tools developed by our species Homo sapiens were no more sophisticated than those used by our extinct relatives the Neanderthals.. (Homo neanderthalensis) [who] appear in the fossil record about 400,000 years ago. At their peak, these squat, physically powerful hunters dominated a wide area spanning Britain and Iberia in the west, Israel in the south and Siberia in the east. Meanwhile, Homo sapiens evolved in Africa, and displaced the Neanderthals after spreading into Europe about 40,000 years ago. The last known evidence of Neanderthals comes from Gibraltar and is dated to between 28,000 and 24,000 years ago” – ‘Complexity’ of Neanderthal tools –, 26 August 2008.

Pioneer man ‘was human, not an ape man’ “our ancestors first moved to Britain much earlier than was previously thought.. settlement found in Happisburgh is thought to be 800,000 years old, 100,000 years earlier than discoveries had suggested man had even arrived here” – when much colder, using flint cutting tools –, 8 July 2010.

“Humans (Homo sapiens) are primates of the family Hominidae, and the only extant species of the genus Homo. They originated in Africa, where they reached anatomical modernity about 200,000 years ago and began to exhibit full behavioral modernity around 50,000 years ago” –

“Homo is the genus of great apes that includes modern humans and species closely related to them. The genus is estimated to be about 2.3 to 2.4 million years old, possibly having evolved from australopithecine ancestors, with the appearance of Homo habilis” –

“It is suggested that the ancestors of gorillas and chimpanzees became more specialised in climbing vertical tree trunks, using a bent hip and bent knee posture which matches the knuckle-walking posture they use for ground travel. This was due to climate changes around 11 to 12 million years ago that affected forests in East and Central Africa so that there were periods when openings prevented travel through the tree canopy, and at these times ancestral hominids could have adapted the upright walking behaviour for ground travel. Humans are closely related to these apes” –

Thus the direct link between climate change and human rEvolution goes back a very long way. Let us make the most of circumstances, yet again.

With organised agriculture long capable of feeding everyone on Earth, arms for securing food are almost redundant – once we develop a world of trust and full production – whereas arms do govern food’s unequal distribution. As recession promises depression, though, is a re-run of 1939-1945 actually more likely? Industrial destructive capacity has increased at least ten-fold since the 1940s, however, so this is a fate we cannot contemplate allowing world community to entertain.

[1] Bureau says 2012 a year of climatic extremes “record rainfalls and dry spells” & Fire warnings issued ahead of heatwave –, 3 January 2013 + 2012 in review: Environment “science spelt out the unprecedented temperature records across the different continents.. record-breaking temperatures in Europe and nearly 15,000 daily temperature records across the US alone.. the United States has labelled 2012 its hottest so far.. alarm over an unprecedented melt of Arctic sea ice.. as governments across the globe continue the long and challenging path of negotiating a new treaty by 2015, the one thing scientists have confirmed is that man’s role in climate change is now ‘virtually certain'” 18 Dec 2012.*

[2] Archaeologists Find the World’s Oldest Arrowheads “While others were still hurling spears, these ancient people were felling prey with arrows”, 7 December 2008; Oldest arrowheads found in Africa, 26 August 2010.

* Nature’s balance tilts back at mammalian over-population, with repeated climatic attacks on infrastructure supporting the inorganic food-chain: Weather forces farmers to dump milk & Bridge washout hits West Coast tourism “Fox Glacier businesses losing up to $10k a day.. Westport coal services will be out of action for at least a week while repairs to the weather-hit Buller Gorge track take place. KiwiRail said its railway line between Christchurch and Greymouth was also still closed, with all train services cancelled along the lines.” The Press 4/01/2013 after Rising rivers close South Island roads 2/01/2013 from Record-rain warnings for west and Alps 1/01/2013; just six months earlier Coast cows die in weather bomb “Hypothermia claims hundreds of cows” 12/06/2012 – the cruel and stupid bull mega-dairy industry is fated to recompense: Owner of starving herd ‘under financial pressure’ “Vets were forced to put down 150 starving cows and 30 calves after an inspector from the Primary Industries Ministry found a 900-cow dairy herd in a distressed state in the farming district near Lake Brunner. Another 60 cows able to be transported were taken to the freezing works. The rest of the herd were taken on by West Coast farmers and are expected to take a lot of nursing. The ministry is investigating the animal welfare case and while details have yet to be officially released, the property was overstocked.” 7/09/2012.

+ Review of “Catastrophism – The Apocalyptic Politics of Collapse and Rebirth ..the view that society is on the path to collapsing—ecologically, economically, and morally. For some catastrophists, a collapse would spur a rebirth and cleansing..” ZMagazine 2012, while USA sets itself up for.. civil war #two? Fill the pool with fish and stockpile the guns: Up to THREE MILLION ‘Preppers’ in the U.S. are prepared for for the end of the world DailyMail 11 February 2012