Commic stories, graphic novels by international artists with comments.
ISUU: online version of publication: http://issuu.com/naturegraffix
Comments as a poems:Valdur Mikita (included in separate blog post.)
Comments on topic of ecology:
Estonian Fund of Ecology, Ivar Tamm, Kristjan Piirimäe. www.elfond.ee
Thank You: SEA AND FRESHWATER PROGRAM:
Ingus Purgalis, Linda Romonovska, www.pdf.lv
For publishing artists works please contact them. (Portfolio websites included.)
Content in 5 Domains:
Domain I: Environmental management:
1.“SOVIET MILITARY LEGACY OF POLLUTION IN THE BALTIC SEA”
Graphic story by Andrejs Lavrinovič / ENDRIJU
“SOVIET MILITARY LEGACY OF POLLUTION IN THE BALTIC SEA”
Graphic story by Andrejs Lavrinovičs. In collaboration with Ingus Purgalis (Baltic Sea and freshwater program manager and Linda Romonovska.
“Each image shows one stage of pollution, it is like
an evolution of evil in a nature. Aim of this work is
to visualise consequences of tha pollution.”
World Wildlife Fund in Latvia noted serious damage to the Baltic Sea by different stages. Information if from www.pdf.lv by Ingus Purgalis (Baltic Sea and
freshwater program manager). He highlights the most important stages:
* MILITARY ACTIVITY (cause)
* REDUCTION OF FISH RESOURCES
* RELEASE OF HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES
* REDUCE OF BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
Graphic story commented by Ivar Tamm:
As a result of the Cold War, natural areas that are
almost untouched have survived in Eastern Europe.
However, this does not mean that the totalitarian
regime was able to protect nature. Although, one might expect that the concentration of resources, for instance into the creation of species protection and nature
preserves, as well as the central control of production, would help to preserve nature, this actually did not happen.
The protection of nature actually occurred developed as accidental co-factors of the system’s ineff ciency – for instance, the Chernobyl disaster created a preserve, but at a terrible price.
Soviet power bequeathed hazardous wastes, fuel pollution, irresponsible agricultural depletion of the land, etc. to the countries that were surrounded by the Iron Curtain. The land had to cope with everything; no one worried about pollution because everything was allocated to war, to the f nal victory of Communism. The extremely heavy K-700 tractor was decided to haul missiles, but the Soviet general did not like the machine for some reason, so it became an agricultural tractor. The heavier the machines that ride over the f elds, the denser the soil becomes, and its structure dies.
Therefore, although the Soviet military did not cause the greatest environmental problem of the Baltic Sea:
eutrophication; that was indirectly responsible for the careless agriculture. The system was one. In the Soviet system, environmentally threatening incidents such as the bursting of an oil pipeline received little or no public notice, and remedial actions were slow or nonexistent. The Baltic Sea, with a surface area of about 400,000 km2 and a volume of 21,000 km3, is one of the largest brackish water areas of the world. The Baltic Sea is a very specif c ecosystem because of its relatively high brackishness and almost permanent stratif cation (Leppakoski, 1980). The shallow, narrow Danish Straits allow only very slow water exchange between the Baltic and North Sea. As a result, water in the Baltic Sea has an extremely long residence time, in the order of 35 to 40 years, leading to accumulation of discharged pollutants in water, sediments and biota (Voigt, 1983). The risk of oxygen depletion, hydrogen-sulf de formation and benthic death is greatly exacerbated by over-fertilization (Nordic Council, 1989). In sum, the Baltic is now one of the most severely polluted areas of the world, and serious adverse effects of currently discharged pollutants into the ecosystem may be felt several generations from now (Rijsberman et al., 1990). Eutrophication and oxygen depletion in bottom layers are the most vexing current problems.
2. "Hunger drives the beast out of the wood"
Graphic story by Phillip Janta: www.janta-island.de
“HUNGER DRIVES THE BEAST OUT OF THE WOOD”
Commented by Ivar Tamm:
What position do we take regarding the protection of nature? Is nature our servant and slave that we take care of when we want to, or, quite the opposite, does our life depend on the biosphere? Who is the hungry animal? Maybe, we human beings, are those animals? An ethically acceptable way to view nature could be from the position of the victims (Leo P. Ten Kate, 2003).
Just like it is ethical to examine war, slavery, totalitarianism and many other phenomena from the viewpoint of the victims.
Environmental resource management strategies are intrinsically driven by conceptions of human- nature relationships. All human activities take place in the context of certain types of relationships between society and the bio-physical world (the rest of nature) and so, there is a great signif cance in understanding the ethical values of different groups around the world. Broadly speaking, two schools of thought exist in environmental ethics: Antrophocentrism and Ecocentrism each inflencing a broad spectrum of environmental resource management styles.
Anthropocentrism supports an understanding of nature as existing solely for the benef t of man and as a commodity to be used for the good of humanity and improved human quality of life. Anthropocentric environmental resource management is therefore not the conservation of the environment solely for the environment>s sake, but rather the conservation of the environment, and ecosystem structure, for humankind>s sake. Quite opposite view is Ecocentrism. Ecocentrists believe in the intrinsic value of nature while maintaining an understanding that “human beings must use and even exploit nature to survive and live”.
3. «DAY OF MIGRATORY BIRDS» by Rūta Briede
Commented by Kristian Piirimäe:
The large-scale artif cialization of nature began with the invention of agriculture. Crop production and animal husbandry shifted enormous areas of natural forests and grasslands to cultural landscapes for feeding humans. In his book Robison Crusoe (1719), Daniel Defoe glorif es the human control and care of nature. Today’s environmental managers are also aiming to control global chemical cycles and climate change. Is this realistic?
4. «GREAT DEAL» graphic story by Maija Līduma
Commented by Kristjan Piirimäe:
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, half of the world’s forests have already been altered, degraded, destroyed or converted into other land uses. Much of the remaining forests today suffer from illegal exploitation and otherwise poor management.
But could market forces act otherwise?
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an interna-
tional not-for-prof t, multi-stakeholder organization
established in 1993 to promote responsible management of the world’s forests. Its main tools for achieving
this are standard setting, independent certif cation and labeling of forest products. This offers customers around the world the ability to choose products from socially and environmentally responsible forestry.
5. “DDT ATE STORK’S NEST” graphic story by ENDRJU
Comment by Andrejs Lavrinovičs:
Black stork conservation
ecology in Latvia” it based on
latvian ornithologist Māris Strazds
research about Black Stroks.
Theme is about that collected egg
analysis has shown that black storks
are suffering from chemical
contamination from the pesticide DDT.
“DDT ATE STORK’S NEST”
commented by Ivar Tamm:
With her book, Silent Spring, which was published in 1962, Rachel Carson made DDT the symbol of environmental pesticides. The prohibition of the pesticide was a great success story, for instance, it saved the white-tailed eagle from the brink of destruction. But critics assert that the DDT ban has caused the death of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, from malaria. By attacking the symbol, one can attack the entire ideology.
DDT (from its trivial name, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) is one of the best known synthetic insecticides. It is a chemical with a long, unique, and controversial history. First synthesized in 1874, DDT’s insecticidal properties were not discovered until 1939, and it was used with great success in the second half of World War II to control malaria and typhus among civilians and troops. The Swiss chemist Paul Hermann Müller was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1948 “for his discovery of the high efficiency of DDT as a contact poison against several arthropods.”
After the war, DDT was made available for use as an agricultural insecticide, and soon its production and use skyrocketed. In 1962, Silent Spring by American biologist Rachel Carson was published. The book catalogued the environmental impacts of the indiscriminate spraying of DDT in the U.S. and questioned the logic of releasing large amounts of chemicals into the environment without fully understanding their effects on ecology or human health.
The book suggested that DDT and other pesticides may cause cancer and that their agricultural use was a threat to wildlife, particularly birds. Its publication was one of the signature events in the birth of the environmental movement, and resulted in a large public outcry that eventually led to DDT being banned in the US in 1972. DDT was subsequently banned for agricult-ural use worldwide under the Stockholm Convention, but its limited use in disease vector control continues to this day and remains controversial.
The ban on DDT, the resulting disappearance of the environmental pesticide during the last three decades has in turn resulted in the return of the white-tailed eagle from the brink of extinction and its continued growth in numbers. Critics claim that restricting DDT in vector control has caused unnecessary deaths due to malaria. DDT has become a symbol of environmental poisons. Estimates range from hundreds of thousands, to millions. By attacking the symbol, one can attack the entire ideology.
Domain II: Deep Ecology
6. “Sshhhh!“ graphic story by JASON
Chapter from author comic book (2002).
For now a book has been also released as an animated film.
Comment by Kristjan Piirimäe:
Does entertainment increase happiness?
Leda Cosmides and John Tooby (2000) wrote that happiness comes from «encountering unexpected positive events». Michael Lewis (2008) says: «happiness can be elicited
by seeing a signif cant other». According to Mark Leary (1995), «we are happiest when accepted and praised
Max Andersson: www.maxandersson.com
“Car-Boy” commented by Kristjan Piirimäe:
Liberal thinkers today admit that most animals and plants, even microbes, to the select company of sentient beings. Even rocks & clouds are beginning to be accepted as part of the “natural living world”, i.e. the world that existed before mankind created civilization and spread it across the landscape. But recognizing this prized quality of aliveness in technology, In the social behaviors of the human-machine, and in the activity of abstract symbolic systems is something else again. Buddha-nature, in
nuclear bombs? In the computer systems of our urban
networks? In the workings of pure mathematics?
No one in the environmental world seems willing to go that far - only cyberpunks and techno-futurists have such thoughts, and they are generally dismissed as
frivolous by us serious, “nature”-loving deep ecologists. By us Buddhists, adherents of Muir and Thoreau.
Today’s Deep Ecology seems to regard technology as an evil force, something alien to the natural world, set loose
almost by divine accident on this planet. These new
energies are not regarded as legitimate expressions of sentience, universal life force, nor are they granted the respect we accord to “natural processes”, but are regarded as something wrong, something to be controlled and
repressed. Deep ecologists seem to have the same fear and loathing toward today’s out-of-control technology as
humans had until just recently toward uncontrolled
Nature, with her savage, untamed wastelands. They call technology inhuman, cruel, and heartless, using the same words we once used to describe “cruele wildernesse”, and like the humans of the 19th century who waged war on wild nature, environmentalists today long to conquer technology, to subdue and control it, as we have done to nature herself.
. . .
Such a dualistic view of our world, neatly partitioned into good, pure nature, and bad aggressive technology, does not lead to a complete relationship with everything that is. It perpetuates the same kind of good guy vs. bad guy
scenarios that we have always been prone to indulge in, and leaves a bad taste. Especially as the bad guys seem to be winning everywhere you look. Why not take deep ecology all the way to the heart of what is really wild on this planet; why not include, in the roster of the wild and sacred, everything that moves? Since everything that exists moves, we’d be done with all this picking and choosing, and all the worry and strife that go with that. We’d have a complete, ready-made, fawless sacred outlook. A non-dual ecology. (John McClennan)
8. "PIGASUS" graphic story by Dace Sietiņa
Comment by Dace Sietiņa:
“ Pigasus” is not a f ction:
This story/ poem is about a past-when humans grew their own meat in the small farms where animals had a plenty of living space inside as well as outside. They had no pain to lead.
Now, because of mass over-consumption, animal, (in this particular story a pig) leads a painful life: it has no space to lay down, they see no day light, their tails got cut off with no remedies, they get castrated for a better taste of the meat, they get separated from mother in a early age and they get locked up in a fully packed trucks for many days. At last, they all have depression and many of them suffer from a bad health conditions. After all of this, later on we buy it in supermarket as a bio meat. So, is bio industry really good for us?
Is it healthy to eat such a meat? Or is this just a human being manifestation of a cruelty?
And future? Will we need more meat to satisfy our needs?
Comment by Ivar Tamm:
Pigasus. Public concern over the continued intensification of food production in the developed world is growing. During the last decade of the 20th century a variety of informed sources in society began to highlight some of these concerns including environmental pollution, human health, food safety, treatment of animals, and depletion of rural life. Public opinion, certainly in Europe, now declares that these issues cannot be ignored. The food chain is the subject of criticism, legislation, and increasing supervision by national and European Union bodies.
John Hodges, 2003.
9. “SUPER BOY“, graphic story by Oskars Pavlovskis
Comment on »SUPER BOY» by Ivar Tamm:
Shopping has become a disease; its excessiveness has become pathological. The trouble is that in a natural environment (the environment in which human behavior has evolutionarily
developed), there is a constant lack of everything. Our species has nothing to available in its evolutionary baggage to help it tp cope with af uent needs. Kalle Lasn is an anti-corporate
activist; in his f rst book Culture Jam, he argues that
consumerism is the fundamental evil of the modern era.
Neuromarketing is a young and growing f eld. Some won’t even admit that it is a f eld that is striving to reveal the inner mechanisms of our consumer behavior. You might say that this interest and the issues it raises are a natural extension or offshoot of neuroeconomics and the more general studies of how we make choices and decisions. Every so often, there is also a conspicuous overlap between neuroeconomists and researchers in neuromarketing. The studies in neuromarketing are just more specif c and much more directed. And the Holy Grail lies in predicting what the brain wants. How the brain reveals why we buy.
Social critic Neil Postman contrasts the worlds of «Nineteen Eighty Four» and «Brave New World» in the foreword of his book «Amusing Ourselves to Death«. He writes: «What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism.»
Domain III: Human alienation from nature
10. "DANGEROUS PLACES" graphic story by Phillip Janta: www.janta-island.de
Commented by Kristjan Piirimäe:
John Tooby and Leda Cosmides proposed in 1992 that the human mind, largely determined by adapted genes, has mostly been shaped during pre-industrial eras.
For instance, since we evolved for several million years in the African savannas, we might be well
adapted to fear snakes, spiders, crocodiles. However,
the evolutionarily short post-industrial era has not yet taught our genes to manage modern dangers such as air pollution and junk food. Hence, nowadays we must solve problems for which we lack adaptations.
11. “SMOG“, a graphic story by ZILASAULE
(Ilya Donets and Margarita Stchetinckaya)
Commented by Kristjan Piirimäe:
Vivisection is often a good solution for adapting to an artificial environment, because parts of a human’s bodily functions turn out to be unnecessary or even harmful. It has become customary to cut off hairs, nails, foreskins, tonsils, uvula, and appendixes in good faith. Moreover, even well-functioning sense organs are not longer necessary for survival.
12. “TO NATURE“ graphic story by Karl-Erik Talvet
Story about an average teenage boy who
prefers spending time in front of his
TV-screen rather than behind his desk.
Commented by Kristjan Piirimäe:
Just an average teenage boy who prefers spending time in front of his TV screen rather than behind his desk, which was also a problem for me for some time, when
I was younger.
Physical and mental health problems—anxiety, depression, attention def cit disorder, substance abuse, aggressive behavior, asthma, heart disease, and obesity—relate to the built-up environment.
Particularly to poor urban planning and inadequate housing. Higher rates of television viewing, increased computer usage, concern about crimes. Little contact with neighbors and geographic isolation have created communities that are not interconnected. This isolation may be a result of a lack of social networks and diminished social capital, which can contribute to obesity, cardiovascular diseases, mental health problems.(Shobba Srinivasan, Liam O’Fallon, Allen Dearry, 2003.)
Domain IV: Gaia
13. “MAN AND THE BIOSPHERE“ graphic story by Mārtiņš Zutis
“MAN AND THE BIOSPHERE“ commented by Kristjan Piirimäe:
Gaia was the primordial Earth-goddess in ancient Greek religion. Inspired by her, James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis developed a Gaia hypothesis (1979) proposing that living organisms and inorganic material are part of a dynamic system that shapes the Earth’s biosphere, and maintains the Earth as a f t environment for life.
A stronger position is that the Earth’s biosphere effectively acts as a self-organizing system, which works to keep its systems in some kind of equilibrium. However, the most extreme form of the Gaia theory, which is denied by most scientists, is that the entire Earth is a single unif ed organism; in this view the Earth’s biosphere is consciously manipulating the climate in order to make conditions more conductive to life.
14. “GROWTH“ by Joonas Sildre
Joonas Silde has previously publishing collaborative comic stories in Estonia: “Narratiivsus piltides: Eesti '00 aastate autorikoomiks” 2007, Narratiivsus piltides: Eesti 00'aastate autorikoomiks, 2 osa, 2009, "Call it a day" 2011. Portfolio: http://web.zone.ee/sildre
Commented by Kristjan Piirimäe:
Growth, or cancer, is a dangerous disease which results from the uncontrollable growth of cells, invading nearby body parts. On the other hand, the strong Gaia hypothesis sees the entire earth as a single organism, with the role of cells being played by various living species. Of these species, Homo sapiens, together with its economy and consumption, may have been experiencing uncontrollable growth, invading all parts of the planet. Does Gaia have an effective immune response?
15. “NATURE“ graphic story by Max Andersson
Comment by Kristjan Piirimäe:
Fear of nature is one of the most basic motivational forces in the animal kingdom, including human beings. Clearly, this fear has led us to avoiding, isolating and even harming the presumably threatening aspects of nature.
The resulting alienation from nature, by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1754), however, is
a chief source of human misery. At the same time, the alienation process will inevitably
continue in the future if we continue to transform our natural environment, including our internal nature.
16. THE CHAIN“ graphic story by Kristel Maamägi:
Commented by Kristjan Piirimäe:
“Public concern over the continued intensification of food production in the developed world is growing. During the last decade of the 20th century a variety of informed sources in society began to highlight some of these concerns, including environmental pollution, human health, food safety, treatment of animals, and depletion of rural life. Public opinion, certainly in Europe, now declares that these issues cannot be ignored. The food chain is the subject of criticism, legislation, and increasing supervision by national and European Union bodies”. (John Hodges, 2003.)
17. “ROBERT“ graphic story by Brecht Vandenbroucke:
Commented by Kristjan Piirimäe:
ynn White (1967) showed an inherent conflict between environmentalism and Judeo-Christian theology, which suggests that the domination of nature by humans has all been created for man’s benefit. In his book The Millennium Blues (1989), James Gunn proposed that the bad reputation of environmentalists results from shouting”catastrophe“too often. He wrote that books from “From Silent Spring to The Population Bomb and The Poverty of Power have raised specters that, though frightening, turned out to be only skeletons in the closet.“ A web-address www.environmentalism.com which tells „the truth about the destructive religion of environmentalism“: the most consistent, dedicated environmentalists want you, and everyone else, to die.
18. “THE BEAR AND THE BABYSITTER“ graphic story by Marko Turunen
Comment by Kristjan Piirimäe:
Don Beck and Chris Cowan introduced Spiral Dynamics (1996) which describes human development through memes, ranked according to increasing conceptual complexity. For instance, western middle class is believed to represent mostly the strategic orange meme which exploits resources to bring prosperity. One step more advanced, the egalitarian green meme, representing mostly intelligence, seeks love and purposes through affiliation and sharing. These two memes tend to conf ct: while the green meme builds trust, the orange meme consumes such trust as resource.
Domain V: Eco-criticism
19. “THE BEAR AND THE MOUSE“ graphic story by Marko Turunen
“THE BEAR AND THE MOUSE“ commented by Ivar Tamm:
“Small Is Beautiful” was a book written by British economist E. F. Schumacher, in which he states that modern economics and production must relinquish its f xed idea about constant growth. Organizations and production cycles that seem to be rational have actually become insanely ineffective. Although small is not always beautiful. Small nations tend to get caught up in their small problems and large global consideration does not find a place in this dimension.
About thrifty lifestyles: For instance, the Estonian Fund for Nature is helping the EU to ban phosphates. An egalitarian topic – the small could also be of great help. Bears have blind egalitarianism. The thinking of the small never rises this high. The small shall never start caring for the large. An irony also related to Finnish national socialism. Vivisection.
“Small Is Beautiful” says that the aim of human beings should be to obtain the maximum of well-being with the minimum of consumption... The less toil there is, the more time and strength is left for artistic creativity. Modern economics, on the other hand, considers consumption to be the sole end and purpose of all prof table activity. The most striking thing about modern industry is that it requires so much and accomplishes so little. Modern industry seems to be ineff cient to a degree that surpasses one’s ordinary powers of imagination. Its ineff ciency therefore remains unnoticed.
20. "The story of ecology" graphic story by
Kristofers Reidzāns: www.kristofers.carbonmade.com
Comment by Ivar Tamm:
Ecology can be understood in different ways. Umberto Eco wrote about how children in
the U.S. forcibly climbed into bear cages at the zoo because the children had been taught that nature is good, that animals are good, and should not be destroyed. For instance, they were taught that bears are just as good as their teddy bears. The children adapted their behavior based on what they were taught, whereas they believed that the bears had been taught the same things that they were taught. Here they made a mistake. The bears were very critical of the children’s behavior and bit off their hands.
21. “Wheeled sleigh“ graphic story by Attila Jáger
Theme of “micro and macro” commented by Ivar Tamm:
In their epistemology, the “self” is necessary for communicating with the environment. It is visible in communications, but it is impossible to indicate where it is located. It is totally location-less. Organisms can be understood as collections of virtual selves.
I don’t have one identity but a collection of many: a cellular identity, immune identity, cognitive identity, which manifest themselves in various interactions. They contain various selves. In the dance of evolution, the various selves unite and separate. This is “Buddhist emergence”. There has already been talk above about the idea of restricting destructive growth. The trends of Eastern thought are suggested as restrictions. Does Buddhism or Taoism talk about ecology?
Ecology in the context of modern science was probably not relevant in Buddhism, which, of course, does not mean a new understanding could not arise from Buddhist principles (or from some other spiritual principles). However, this is probably not achievable with the copy-paste method, or in a hurry, But this is what I’m trying to do here.
Autopoiesis (from Greek αuτo- (auto-), meaning “self”, and ποίησις (poiesis), meaning “creation, production”) literally means “self-creation” and expresses a fundamental dialectic between structure, mechanism and function. The term was introduced in 1972
by Chilean biologists Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela.
. . .
As a biologist, I guess, I’ve had only one question all my life: Why do emergent selves, virtual
identities, pop up all over the place creating worlds, whether at the mind/body level, the cellular level, or the transorganism level? This phenomenon is something so productive that it doesn’t cease creating entirely new realms: life, mind, and societies. Yet these emergent selves are based on processes so shifty, so ungrounded, that we have an apparent paradox between the solidity of what appears to show up and its groundlessness. That, to me, is a key.
"WILD EAST", Graphic story by Elina Sildre: www.hot.ee/elinaillukad
Comments-poems in separate files:
SPECIAL THANKS: (their works will be published in next editions.)
Kristians Brekte: www.kristiansbrekte.lv
BADBLOCK / Veiko Liis ja Ronnie Jaanhold
Krisjanis Rijnieks www.rijnieks.lv
Joskaude Pakalkaite www.yukimode.net