Gosh, isn’t this amazing?

Living bridges and supper from sewage: can ancient fixes save our crisis-torn world?
From underground aqueducts to tree-bridges and fish that love sewage, indigenous customs could save the planet – but are under threat. Landscape architect Julia Watson shares her ‘lo-TEK’ vision

This bird has gone out there and looked at what people actually do to solve problems:

Many of the phenomena were never intended to be solutions to ecological breakdown, but simple responses to local circumstance, practised for generations. Some are bound up in millennia-old mythologies and religious practice, while others, such as Kolkata’s thriving aquaculture system, were the result of happy accident. According to local legend, in the 1920s a cultivator named Bidu Sarkar realised untreated wastewater from sewage pipes had started to flow into his fish pond. He expected disaster, but instead of killing his fish, the effluent doubled his yields.

Others took note and followed his lead, realising the combination of sewage in the water and sunshine broke down the effluent and allowed plankton, which fish feed on, to grow exponentially. The fishponds now cover around 3,000 hectares, holding 300 fish farms, and the technique has caught on elsewhere in the world – in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, Thailand, Germany and France.

Cool. People react – at this level of local knowledge – to the resources, problems and incentives they face. Those solutions that work spread as a result of the profit motive.

Of course, if The Guardian had realised that the name for this system is capitalist free marketry they’d never have published the piece.

13 thoughts on “Gosh, isn’t this amazing?”

  1. Headlines elsewhere: Dirty Foreigners feed fish on SHIT! And it ends up on BRITISH dinner tables!

    Of course we used to feed farmed fish on fishmeal (Stop it now! Unsustainable!) or feather & bonemeal (Stop it now! You’ll give us all Mad Cow disease! ) Now all the protein is from cereal crops. (Stop it now! That food is for humans!)

  2. Bloke in North Dorset

    OT This will please Mr Ecks:

    Sweden is taking the opposite approach to most other countries. Anders Tegnell, state epidemiologist, seems to be advising that the disease be allowed to take its course, to achieve herd immunity as soon as possible, with older people self-isolating as best they can. This is a gamble as the health services could be overwhelmed. Emergency field hospitals have been prepared by the military. The benefit is that, in the absence of a vaccine, it will not be necessary to take preventative action against further waves of infection. The next four weeks will show whether the policy has worked. In the meantime, things are continuing almost as normal, with even swimming pools and gymnasia being kept open, though people are keeping out of restaurants and bars.

  3. Swedes being sensible for a change–unless they are hoping that many of their dear friends will be carried off.

    They are doomed to be disappointed but more of their economy will survive.

  4. Wasn’t this the case with all those moated farmhouses and castles? Shit went into the moat and fed the fish? In Laos, the fish in the shit ponds eat the mosquito larvae, and the shit ponds also grow weeds that feed the pigs that provide some of the shit along with the human populace. The humans ate the pigs, and sometimes the weeds as part of their five-a-day. The weeds, incidentally ate a combo of the shit from humans, pigs and fish, and also some of the CO2 emitted by all three. So, humans and pigs probably had worms (which the fish relished in the shit) and all had itchy arses, but the malaria count was low(ish), perhaps, and global warming was suitably inhibited.

    Roll on a Labour government, I say. Then we can rule out the middle-men, the fish, the pigs, the weeds – and just eat shit directly.

  5. Why exactly did we bother spending billions stopping sending sewage out to sea then? Who was it that complained bitterly about companies ‘polluting the environment’ when now apparently they were helping it? Can we start doing it again now, and have a reduction in our water bills?

  6. ‘… ancient fixes save our crisis-torn world?‘

    Ancient fix was to put the members of the governing class and cronies who caused these crises to a painful death.

    Since all of the World’s crises are caused by the political class and coalition of special interests, this ancient fix should be resumed without delay.

    Using the contents of the bowels of Humans and/or animals as fertiliser requires that the present intestinal parasites and bacteria are not on or in what ends up on the dinner plate.

    The reason why there are many fewer cases of intestinal parasites and ‘food poisoning’ in developed Countries is because raw sewage fertilisers have mostly been replaced either by treated sewage or artificial fertilisers.

  7. Meanwhile, local dustmen take photos of all the food thrown away by the shithead horders and panic buyers…. What is this thing called society that Lefty intellectuals extol?

  8. JohnB the biggest problem with using human shit as fertiliser is the drug residues, notably contraceptives, that end up in the veggies. There is a sewage plant in the midlands, though, that grows maize fertilised with their slurry specifically to feed a biogas plant.

  9. Fish that grow fat by feeding on sewage, good; but chicken washed with very dilute chlorinated water, bad.

    That’s consistent left thinking for you.

  10. @BiND

    See two days ago:

    “Warning: Stats heavy, brain required. Perspective
    Fear alone should not drive policy
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Vc7Y5mn9gA

    Well done DK & SE for not caving to lockdown demands”

    @Jim March 28, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    Agree. Same with dog poo: flies & maggots eat it providing bird, bat & spider food. Flies, Birds, bats & spiders now diminishing

    @Diogenes March 28, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    Predicted that last week. Any links?

    Anyone up to FoI councils for weekly domestic food waste tonnages?

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