We invite you to re-visit the Soil Wunderkammer (tree-pit) from Protocol 01 that made you feel the most uneasy, uncomfortable or curious.
This protocol asks you to consider how the physicality of your own body affects how you observe, sense and process your tree pit fieldwork. The protocol invites you to understand your body as porous and intermeshed with the tree-pit environment, proposing your digestive ecosystem—your gut flora—as an extension of and enrichment for your visual gaze.
Go to the tree pit from Protocol 01 that made you feel the most uneasy, uncomfortable or curious.
Arrive. Stand still. Start with feeling. Bring your attention to your feet with your breath and allow what you notice from the ground texture to travel through your soles of your feet up to your vertical uprightness.
Activate your digestion ecosystem to augment your vision. Bring your hands to your stomach. Breath into that area, noticing how your breath moves your stomach, and also the ecosystem inside it, where digestion occurs. How do the bacteria in your stomach and gut respond? Keep your hand on your stomach to help you stay focused on the connection between inside and outside. Slowly allow your digestion system to become an extension of your eyes. Trace what you see in soil and on the ground around the tree pit, moving your gaze in response to the movement of your gut flora. How do the beings in your gut flora affect how you see? Amplify these movements.
Root and Rotate in place. Very slowly rotate in place. Keep the “gut flora eye extension” activated as you rotate. Pause to rest. Then continue. Rotate a full 360 degrees. Use this process to slowly create a panoramic pan of all the networks of interaction you witness with your “gut flora eye extension.” Do this on each of the four corners of the tree pit, north, south, east and west.
Did you know that urban soils were long overlooked as significant within the field of soil science? Only recently (in the past few decades) have soil scientists started taking urban soil seriously. Of course plants, urban agriculturalists, and other soil flora and fauna have long known about the importance of urban soils. Now interdisciplinary institutions are popping up around the globe to study, appreciate, and care for urban soils and communities that depend on them. The Urban Soil Institute in New York City is one of them.
Global temperatures are on target to rise at least 3°C (5.4 ° F) by 2100. On March 31, 2020, while the country was in lockdown due to the Covid19 pandemic, the US EPA passed a rule relaxing fuel efficiency standards through 2026 (based on spurious science). Transportation related greenhouse gas emissions will continue to rise as Americans get on the road again. While Federal agencies fail us, states are fighting to regulate emissions more aggressively. Twenty-two states have sued the EPA.
In early March 2020, the U.S. EPA announced further amendments to it’s “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” policy proposal, which has been dubbed the “Censor Science Rule” by the scientific community, as it disqualifies all anonymous medical data – effectively the data that measures the health impact of environmental pollution. We now know that the respiratory illness caused by Covid19 has brought the unsettling correlation between death rates and the POC and immigrant communities most exposed to environmental pollution further to light.
ADD YOUR VOICE TO THE PUBLIC COMMENTS: Due to continued pushback on this proposal commenting is extended until May 18th. Visit regulations.gov to give a public comment, search by Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OA–2018–0259.
Good Air quality is key for both humans and nonhumans alike. On March 26th, 2020, the U.S. EPA released a letter titled “COVID-19 Implications for EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program”, announcing that it would not be enforcing its compliance regulations, giving industry a pass to pollute freely during this global health crisis. Former US EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, called it “an open license to pollute.”
This March the U.S. EPA gutted the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which now no longer holds individuals or companies (for example real estate companies) accountable for the incidental killing of migratory birds. In New York City, 90,000 birds collide with buildings every year, many of these are migratory birds, as the city is located on a major migratory pathway. One more reason to stand up against massive real estate developments in the city!
MAKE A PROTEST POSTER FOR YOUR WINDOW! And if you happen to live in a highrise, or any building with glass:
In 2017 former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a notice proposing a repeal of the Clean Power Plan, which requires utilities to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. The rule was replaced in 2019 with the “Affordable Clean Energy” (ACE) rule which weakens emissions standards. The U.S. EPA, over the past 4 years, has rolled back over 95 rules put in place to protect environmental health, supporting the interests of the coal, gas, and oil industries, along with Big Agriculture. How has this changed the role and pressure we place on so-called green infrastructure? What kind of energy policy would street trees endorse? Read about the Red New Deal, and A Peoples Climate Plan for NYC.
The U.S. EPA endorses the use of powerful herbicides and pesticides like glyphosate (Round Up) and chlorpyrifos. In 2019, the U.S. EPA announced that it would not ban chlorpyrifos, a widely used pesticide that its own experts have linked to serious health problems in children, and farmworkers. Now more than ever our food supply depends on supporting and protecting farmworkers.
Visit Beyond Pesticides to learn more.