The biodiversity in Peru is enormous and unique, 3000 to 4000 varieties of potatoes, 52 varieties of corn, 163 varieties of tomatoes, 7590 varieties of flowers that exist only there, 4400 varieties of butterflies, 3 varieties of cocoa, avocados, cotton. We use only a few varieties of each crop in Europe. If these were to get infected with diseases, we would have to return to Peru to use another one.

The Amazon is the largest river in the world, the largest source of plant biodiversity. Most of our medicines come from the Amazon.

But this biodiversity is in danger. To extract gold, all it takes is a bulldozer and mercury to separate the earth from the gold. This mercury is not recovered in containers but is rejected into the Amazon, giving it a gray color. It is a poison that destroys everything. The companies that exploit the gold scrape the land down to the rock, destroying everything with no chance to grow back because the rock is bare, expelling without further ado the inhabitants who are exiled to Lima, a metropolis in the desert with 9 million inhabitants that can not decently accommodate them. 6000 hectares of Amazonia are destroyed every year.

The companies that exploit these resources have more means than the government itself; they use violence and are not held responsible in their countries of origin.

The UN intervenes through an education program and there are draft laws in the countries of origin to hold these companies accountable.

Biodiversidad en el Peru – Lima 2019: https://www.lima2019.pe/biodiversidad-en-el-peru

Catalogo-Papas – Ministerio de la agricultura del Peru: https://cgspace.cgiar.org/bitstream/handle/10568/89110/CIP-Catalogo-Papas-Junin-FINAL.pdf?sequence=6&isAllowed=y

Oro y bosques, incompatibles en la Amazonía peruana – El Pais: https://elpais.com/elpais/2017/11/22/planeta_futuro/1511358033_282056.html

Biopirates loot the Amazon – The Irish Times: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/biopirates-loot-the-amazon-1.284575

Owed to Nature: Medicines from Tropical Forests – Rainforest Trust: https://www.rainforesttrust.org/owed-to-nature-medicines-from-tropical-forests/

Peru Scrambles to Drive Out Illegal Gold Mining and Save Precious Land – New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/26/world/americas/peru-illegal-gold-mining-latin-america.html

Gold mining leaves heart of Peruvian Amazon a wasteland – PBS: https://youtu.be/FrHuqT1zpVM

Why Switzerland stuggles with dirty gold: tales from Peru – swissinfo: https://stories.swissinfo.ch/gold-peru-switzerland-mining-metalor#234887

Pandora or Peru: Resisting the mining multinationals – Aljazeera: https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2012/8/30/pandora-or-peru-resisting-the-mining-multinationals

Mathieu Henderson (@Mat__Henderson) Tweeted: Alors que l’initiative “Entreprises responsables” est rejetée à la maj. des cantons, les sympathisants du texte parlent déjà de nouvelles propositions. Ils comptent aussi “regarder si les multinationales ne commettent pas de violations graves”. Le cons.national PS Baptise Hurnihttps://t.co/KQ2jlkS5ff

When you type “abolish the senate” in google, you realize that many countries want to abolish it. It is high time to replace it with the popular initiative referendum.

The Senate prevented Obama from governing (500 blockades) and left Trump in power. The case of Trump’s impeachment on December 19, 2019, which was acquitted by the Senate on February 5, 2020, is revealing. After the insurrection on Capitol Hill, one feels their responsibility.

No to same-sex marriage in Ireland. No to the authorization of abortion in Argentina. Reduction in the age at which children can give consent to sexual activity in France (from 15 to 13 years old). The examples abound.

They are elected by the mayors of cities except in the United States where they are elected by states. The principle of one person, one vote is in fact violated. The multiplication of states and agglomerations favors right-wing parties whatever the vote of the people.

In France, the Republican Party, which represents only 10% of the voters in France, has a majority in the Senate.
The Senate has blocked the extension of the referendum wanted by Mitterrand and is preparing to block the referendum project at the initiative of the people and the inclusion of climate protection in the constitution wanted by Emmanuel Macron and his people.

It is a blocking chamber. They have the power to say no to the representatives of the people.

Filibuster: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver – Last week tonight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3y1QA6OeAcQ&feature=youtu.be

Abolish the Senate – The Baffler: https://thebaffler.com/salvos/abolish-the-senate-geoghegan

The Senate is undemocratic and it matters – Vox: https://www.vox.com/2015/1/6/7500935/trende-senate-vote-share

Des sénateurs très remontés contre Jospin. Le Premier ministre veut réformer leur élection – Libération: https://www.liberation.fr/france/1998/04/22/des-senateurs-tres-remontes-contre-jospin-le-premier-ministre-veut-reformer-leur-election_233719

Le Sénat est une anomalie parmi les démocraties, Lionel Jospin (21 avril 1998) – DDJ: https://www.doc-du-juriste.com/droit-public-et-international/droit-constitutionnel/dissertation/senat-anomalie-parmi-democraties-lionel-jospin-21-avril-1998-454887.html

Grand débat : et si on supprimait le Sénat ? – Le Parisien: https://www.leparisien.fr/politique/grand-debat-et-si-on-supprimait-le-senat-28-02-2019-8021928.php

Cette fois, il est temps de supprimer le Sénat – Slate: http://www.slate.fr/story/82051/supprimer-senat

– New Zealand Prime Minister opens door to 4-day working week – World Economic forum: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/05/new-zealand-jacinda-ardern-4-day-week-pandemic-productivity/

– 70+ reasons why switching to four-day workweek is better – CDN: https://cdn.shortpixel.ai/client/q_glossy,ret_img,w_768/https://theundercoverrecruiter.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/infographic-4-day-workweek-1-768×4545.jpg

– Microsoft experimented with a 4-day workweek, and productivity jumped by 40% – Business Insider: https://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-4-day-work-week-boosts-productivity-2019-11

– ‘The old ways of working are outdated’: Unilever is experimenting with a 4-day workweek – Fortune: https://fortune.com/2020/12/01/unilever-four-day-work-week/

– Spain wants to make it easy for any company to shift to a four-day workweek – Fast company: https://www.fastcompany.com/90581883/spain-wants-to-make-it-easy-for-any-company-to-shift-to-a-four-day-work-week

– The Four-Day Week – Andrew Barnes – TEDxAuckland: https://youtu.be/xjgqCgoxElw

The Four-Day Week | Andrew Barnes | TEDxAuckland

Donald Trump is an agent of Putin who has enough leverage on him. Therefore, the White House decisions over the last 4 years have been in favour of Russia at the expense of the United States interests.

This is the simple truth as explained by ex head of FBI counter-espionnage Peter Strozk.

Peter Strzok: What I Saw With Trump Is ‘Deeply Concerning’ – Morning Joe – MSNBC: https://youtu.be/ZdrzayXWDRk

But simple inconvenient truth can be too hard to accept for some who are then tempted to endorse a conspiracy theory. 

Today its last avatar is the globally spread group QAnon. There have been many similar cults in the recent past. But this time they are millions, connected, endorsed by Donald Trump, many are armed and intimidating.  No proof is good enough to reason them since truth itself has been assailed since years. 

Ignoring facts and bending statistics have long been a strategy to lure citizens, but during the early 2000s, President W. Bush and many industries like Monsanto hired bogus scientists to publish papers denying climate change and the the toxicity of their products. The media fell for it with their “quote both sides” format. Audiences were under the impression that there were as many pros dans cons to any science fact that was previously universally agreed. As a consequence people have lost progressively lost their referrals, science facts are often labelled as simple opinions and it became increasingly difficult to debunk bogus theories.

Lies, damned lies and Donald Trump: How the Reagan and Bush assaults on truth and science may presage what’s coming. – Salon https://www.salon.com/2016/12/18/lies-damned-lies-and-donald-trump-how-the-reagan-and-bush-assaults-on-truth-and-science-may-presage-whats-coming/

Science publishing: The trouble with retractions – Nature: https://www.nature.com/articles/478026a/box/2

This dangerous mix makes them de facto a re-branded nazi mouvement, empowering its saviour Donald Trump to destroy all that was left of democracy in the US, to the great satisfaction of Vladimir Putin who we know pulls many strings to Russia’s benefit.

QAnon is a widespread nazi cult, enlisting normal people by raising fear of hidden plots and supporting Donald Trump who will protect them. This is a grave imminent danger to our nations.

Conspiracy theories – Last Week Tonight with John Oliver :https://youtu.be/0b_eHBZLM6U 

How Conspiracy Theories Are Shaping the 2020 Election—and Shaking the Foundation of American Democracy – Time Magazine : https://time.com/5887437/conspiracy-theories-2020-election/

Why is QAnon going global? – BBC World Service: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3cszcnc

QAnon is a nazi cult, rebranded – Just Security: https://www.justsecurity.org/72339/qanon-is-a-nazi-cult-rebranded/ 

The Week QAnon Became Everyone’s Problem – Defense One: https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2020/08/week-qanon-became-everyones-problem/168124/

America’s neo-Nazis don’t look to Germany for inspiration. They look to Russia. – The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/democracy-post/wp/2017/08/22/americas-neo-nazis-dont-look-to-germany-for-inspiration-they-look-to-russia/

If you ask yourself why nobody stopped the nazis in their ascension to power in 1930s, think about what you could do today.

Meeting Snowden – Arte: https://www.arte.tv/en/videos/072258-000-A/meeting-snowden/

QAnon groups hit by Facebook crackdown – NBC News: https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/qanon-groups-hit-facebook-crack-down-n1237330

Twitter announces broad crackdown on QAnon accounts and content – The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/jul/21/twitter-broad-crackdown-qanon-accounts-content

To whomever can act, this is the time to think about where goes your loyalty. To this administration? To orders? To this nation? QAnon fascists and Donald Trump treason have become everyone’s problem.

La théorie du complot QAnon se mondialise – Vice: https://www.vice.com/fr/article/pkym3k/la-theorie-du-complot-qanon-se-mondialise

Trump tells his supporters to become poll watchers with a baseless claim about fraud at voting locations – CNN: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/08/politics/donald-trump-poll-watchers-north-carolina/index.html

Trump’s promotion of armed militias risks stoking civil war | Trudy Rubin – The Philadelphia Inquirer: https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/kenosha-trump-kyle-rittenhouse-portland-antifa-20200901.html

Voter intimidation – ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/field_pdf_file/kyr-voterintimidation-v03.pdf

Brennan Center for Justice: https://www.brennancenter.org

Selma to Montgomery March – HISTORY.COM EDITORS: https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/selma-montgomery-march

With election cybersecurity experts in short supply, some states call in the National Guard – NBC News: https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/security/election-cybersecurity-experts-short-supply-some-states-call-national-guard-n1238893

The National Guard can help us avoid an election catastrophe this November – Roll Call: https://www.rollcall.com/2020/08/28/the-national-guard-can-help-us-avoid-an-election-catastrophe-this-november/

Expert compares Trump’s politics to fascism: https://youtu.be/c4MTns3MyxQ

Trump: Americans Who Died in War Are ‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers’: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/09/trump-americans-who-died-at-war-are-losers-and-suckers/615997/

Retired Generel CRUSHES Donald Trump For Calling Fallen Soldiers “Losers”: youtu.be/uWmrRpp9MFA

Trump’s tweet and fascism: https://english.elpais.com/opinion/2020-08-14/trumps-tweet-and-fascism.html?ssm=TW_CC

American Fascism: It Has Happened Here: https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2020/06/22/american-fascism-it-has-happened-here/

Prisonners of wars: https://youtu.be/c_6MGxvSaAY

Conservative: https://youtu.be/tlmHVtVIJdU

May COVID-19 help us make peace with bacteria

May COVID-19 help us make peace with bacteria

Bacteria is the smallest living organism on Earth and it is also the biggest (great corail reef). 

It is also the oldest living organism on Earth. “Let’s collapse the planet’s entire history into a single calendar year. Right now, as you’re reading this page, it is the 31st of December, just before the stroke of midnight (…) Humans have only existed for the 30 minutes or fewer. (…) Flowers and mammals evolved earlier in December. (…) For most of the tale, microbes were the only living things on Earth. From March to October in our imaginary calendar, they had the sole run of the planet.”(..)“As palaeontologist Andrew Knoll once said, “Animals might be evolution’s icing, but bacteria are really the cake.” ― Ed Yong, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life

There are as many bacteria as there are human cells in the body. 

“When Orson Welles said “We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone”, he was mistaken. Even when we are alone, we are never alone. We exist in symbiosis – a wonderful term that refers to different organisms living together. Some animals are colonised by microbes while they are still unfertilized eggs; others pick up their first partners at the moment of birth. We then proceed through our lives in their presence. When we eat, so do they. When we travel, they come along. When we die, they consume us. Every one of us is a zoo in our own right – a colony enclosed within a single body. A mutli-species collective. An entire world.” ― Ed Yong, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life

How Bacteria Rule Over Your Body – The Microbiome – Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell : https://youtu.be/VzPD009qTN4

The principle of symbiosis is that neither of the two (human & bacteria) can survive alone. Bacteria are integral parts of the human body functions. We all know very well about digestion. We understood recently how they train our immune system and trigger neurotransmitters in our brain through the vagal nerve. They are also necessary to keep our blood vessels (endothelium) healthy and sealed. If bacteria stop doing this, you die within 24 hours.

Circulating Metabolites Originating from Gut Microbiota Control Endothelial Cell Function – PMC: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6864778/

“These changes are all fundamentally Darwinian. This point is worth repeating: taking any fast or instant evolutionary shifts as a refutation of the slow, gradual changes we associate with Darwin’s vision is a fatal mistake because these quick shifts are still powered by gradualism. The woodrats might have been able to resist creosote by picking up the right bacteria, but those strains had to evolve the ability to break the insecticide on their own. Form their perspective, evolution proceeded through the usual stepwise way; from the host’s perspective, everything happened in a flash. That is the power of symbiosis: it allows gradual mutations in microbes to produce instant mutations in hosts. We can let bacteria do the slow work for us, and then quickly change ourselves by associating with them. And if these alliances are beneficial enough, they can spread with blinding speed.” ― Ed Yong, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life

Bacteria can be a powerful ally because they can use Darwinian evolution on the scale of days instead of millions of years for humans. By breeding and hosting them, humans can acquire new abilities like digesting new food or fighting new viruses or breath more CO2.

Endothelial cell infection and endotheliitis in COVID-19 – The Lancet: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30937-5/fulltext

However, bacteria are fragile. They don’t store energy, they don’t have an immune system and are easily wiped by chemicals.

Most of the viruses are deadly to bacteria, not humans. Depending on what you eat, you feed or starve certain bacteria in your body. A diverse diet means a diverse microbiome. If we want to use them as allies we must consider to stop systematic disinfection that mostly kill useful microbes.

“It’s the start of a new era, when people are finally ready to embrace the microbial world.

When I walked through San Diego Zoo with Rob Knight at the start of this book, I was struck by how different everything seemed with microbes in mind. Every visitor, keeper, and animal looked like a world on legs – a mobile ecosystem that interacted with others, largely oblivious to their inner multitudes.

When I drive through Chicago with Jack Gilbert, I experience the same dizzying shift in perspective. I see the city’s microbial underbelly – the rich seam of life that coats it, and moves through it on gusts of wind and currents of water and mobile bags of flesh. I see friends shaking hands, saying’ “how do you do”, and exchanging living organisms. I see people walking down the street, ejecting clouds of themselves in their wake. I see the decisions through which we have inadvertently shaped the microbial world around us: the choice to build with concrete versus brick, the opening of a window, and the daily schedule to which a janitor now mops the floor. And I see, in the driver’s seat, a guy who notices those rivers of microscopic life and is enthralled rather than repelled by them. He knows that microbes are mostly not to be feared or destroyed, but to be cherished, admired, and studied.” ― Ed Yong, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life

Ed Yong, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life

The consequences of living in a world built around male data can be deadly

Women are twice more likely to die of heart failure than men because the emergency services only know the male symptoms and send women home. 

Research and pharmaceutical companies prefer men’s body as they are far more straightforward and they do not test medicine on pregnant women at all.

Only women die from womb cancer and medicines are only tested on men.

Read these for more information:

FDA let women down – Drugwatch: https://www.drugwatch.com/featured/fda-let-women-down

and Le long parcours du combattant d’une pilule – France Culture: https://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/lsd-la-serie-documentaire/de-la-plante-au-medicament-34-le-long-parcours-du-combattant-dune-pilule-0

and Exclusion of mums-to-be from clinical studies unfair and potentially harmful – BMJ: https://www.bmj.com/company/newsroom/exclusion-of-mums-to-be-from-clinical-studies-unfair-and-potentially-harmful/

and From Valium to ‘female Viagra’, drugs are on the market despite originally not being trialled on women… but would you take medicine that’s only been tested on men? – Mail Online: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6925775/Can-women-trust-drugs-tested-men.html

and Médicaments : l’injustice faite aux femmes – Science&Vie: https://www.science-et-vie.com/archives/medicaments-ils-soignent-mieux-les-hommes-que-les-femmes-les-biologistes-revelen-13131

Women are 47 times more likely to die in a car crash and cars are only tested on the “average male dummy”. Designing cars for men only require less effort than for both sexes as male bones are stronger and less breakable.

Watch this video: Which Is The Most Dangerous Car? – Real Engineering: https://youtu.be/dmPvGi4s9bg and CTV News: https://bc.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1893037&jwsource=cl

Body armours are designed for a male chest and don’t protect women. Their bellies are not protected. Some female police officers have surgery to reduce their breath in order to be safer.

The good news is that the firemen department has finally decided to conceive fire protection clothes for women, who before had to work in suits that were unadapted and too big.

Read this article about it: Ill-Fitting Gear puts Female Firefighters at Risk, but That’s Changing: https://www.theverge.com/2020/2/21/21147087/female-firefighter-gear-risk-california-australia-wildfires-climate-change

To finish with, we have the data for both sexes but tests are made for men while real-life accidents are for women. The most terrible thing is that nothing is done to prevent this shocking fact.

Ultra-processed food

Processed food has historically helped human beings to be healthier (eg pasteurization, fermentation, natural conservatives, and so on). But ultra-processed food has not. It is proved that it causes diabetes, cancers, cardiovascular diseases, depression, mood disorders and obesity. So why does it represent more than half of the diet of the British and the Americans and why is it selling so well in developing countries?

This article explains that view in details: How ultra-processed food took over your shopping basket – The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/food/2020/feb/13/how-ultra-processed-food-took-over-your-shopping-basket-brazil-carlos-monteiro

The university of Cambridge and the UN have elaborated a classification called the Nova system to help buyers to know how processed is the food and make better choices.

To know more about the Nova system, click here:  The UN Decade of Nutrition, the NOVA food classification and the trouble with ultra-processing –  Cambridge University press: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/public-health-nutrition/article/un-decade-of-nutrition-the-nova-food-classification-and-the-trouble-with-ultraprocessing/2A9776922A28F8F757BDA32C3266AC2A

But this is not enough. Ultra-processed food doesn’t always even look like food but its attraction remains. Why? They are convenient, cheaper, they have stronger flavours and smell, and they release a first taste which doesn’t go on and make you want more to experience again. Moreover, advertisement and nostalgia due to the fact that people ate it during their childhood weighs more on the decision than a future health well being even if people may feel depressed afterwards because they did not have the willpower to resist that temptation. 

For more details about this mechanism, read this. We know highly processed food is bad for us. Why do we keep eating it? – Global News: https://globalnews.ca/news/5331125/ultra-processed-food-nutrition/

To know more about willpower, read Willpower by Roy Baumeister, 2011.

To have a comprehensive understanding of human behaviour, read Behave by Robert Sapolsky, 2017.

So how to stop?

1. Stop watching advertisement and TV.

2. Shop after having eaten to give your prefrontal cortex enough energy to make the good choice.

3. Stop blaming yourself and lower your self-confidence because the food industry knows how to mess with your brain (colours, sounds, TV, flavours, packaging, and so on).

This article  about the book Thinking, Fast and Slow by Nobel price Daniel Kahneman explains how our thinking is biased and how it can be manipulated by industry Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thinking,_Fast_and_Slow

4. Shop online and take your time to read the labels and get information on the internet. The choice is made when you buy, not when you eat.

These websites give you a tool to know more about what you eat: Open Food Facts: https://world.openfoodfacts.org and the independent app Yuka: https://yuka.io

5. Be patient. This is an addiction, you’ll be craving even more for this ultra-processed food when you begin to stop. Later, you won’t miss it.

6. Cook, it’s not that difficult if you choose delicious and easy recipes.

7. Don’t avoid all processed food, as nature is not always that good for you. Avoid ultra-processed food only.

Aliments ultra-transformés, mais que mange-t-on ! ABE-RTS: https://youtu.be/YoemtsZ4Tvc

Bali, a traditional democracy, a unesco-listed social system

In Bali, suback is a balinese word which dates from the 9th-11th century. It is a village association that deals with water, water rights and irrigation. It is a social and religious institution and it is ecologically sustainable. This democratic association of farmers shared responsibility for shared irrigation waters; an important subject as the rice-terraces generate prosperity. Regulating a system that apprortions a fair share to everyone is a model of mutual cooperation. It is self-governing and has been practiced at traditional places of worship. However, only married men can vote.

Freedom of opinion, equality of voters, customary laws, human rights and regular election to vote officials are part of Balinese tradition. It can deal with topics about religion or about when to produce rice. The voting process includes asking for the opinions of the members and the law correspond to the majority of the vote.

Subak – UNESCO World Heritage: https://youtu.be/wYxCn4a_i7kDemocratic values in Balinese traditional society: Analysis of the making and the content of Desa Pakraman’s awig-awig – Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322247227_Democratic_values_in_Balinese_traditional_society_Analysis_of_the_making_and_the_content_of_Desa_Pakraman’s_awig-awig

Banjar Balinese Community – Bali around: https://www.baliaround.com/banjar-balinese-community

– Bali, Lombok & Nusa Tenggara – Lonely planet, 2019, p.276.