Friday, October 04, 2013

Even Bees Make Us Think

Before he retired to his room, “not to sleep, but to howl to myself in the silence of horror,” he said: “How everything has crumbled, how everything has dissolved, how all the reference points have shifted, how all fixity has moved, how nothing exists anymore, how nothing exists, you see, how all the religions and all the irreligions and the protracted absurdities of all forms of worship have turned into nothing, nothing at all, you see, how belief and unbelief no longer exist, how science, modern science, how the stumbling blocks, the millennial courts, have all been thrown out and ushered out and blown out into the air, how all of it is now just so much air … Listen, it’s all air, all concepts are air, all points of reference are air, everything is just air …” And he said: “Frozen air, everything just so much frozen air …”
~ From non fiction Cold River courtesy of Thomas Bernhard’s novel Frost Self-Portrait as Catastrophic Success

Take bees, for example. If bees die out, we’ll see die-outs in plants like apple trees and onions that depend on bees for fertilization. Animals that eat the plants that bees fertilize might also go extinct. So famine isn’t just about humans going hungry for a season — it’s about food webs getting frayed, and the network effects of species loss. What writers need to know-about mass extinction