Lost Essentials:
Global Pandemic & Global Climatic Collapse

Thank you for viewing "Lost Essentials: Climatic Collapse" at the Midway Gallery, September 12 - 30, 2021.  Following are reference links with further information on essential elements and species presented in the installation that are rapidly being lost due to climate change, or the viability of which is being irreparably impacted.

The companion piece, "Lost Essentials I: Global Pandemic" can be viewed here.

Lost Essentials II: Climatic Collapse

The unbridled activity of a single species, Homo Sapiens, is destroying planetary resources and driving collapse of an unprecedented number of other species, one essential component after another. Unchecked consumption — driven population growth, industrial production and agricultural activities, is feeding a vicious cycle of climate change and irreparably threatening the viability of planet Earth.
Each loss is momentarily recorded in the news cycle, then lost to memory. Pausing to view these essentials collectively, one realizes the enormity of the change is right in front of our eyes.

An Abbreviated List of Lost Essentials

1.  Oceanus Aqua (Atlantic Septentrionalis)
     (H2O: 96.5%, Salts: 2.5%, Other:1%)
     Common Name:  Ocean Water (North Atlantic)
Place of Origin:  Broad Sound, Massachusetts

Pollution and in particular, micro-plastics are choking our oceans, and impacting life within them. Oil drilling, warming, acidification, and overfishing are additionally contributing to poor water quality and destruction of marine habitats. The warming climate is hastening ocean desalinization from melting ice sheets is bringing shifts in ocean currents and the threat of changes in global weather patterns.

Ocean Facts. NOAA
What are microplastics?, NOAA

Ocean acidification. NOAA
Threats: Overfishing. World Wildlife Fund

Overfishing: Plenty of Fish in the Sea? Not Always. National Geographic


2.  Silicon Dioxide (Si02) 
     Common Name:  Ocean Water (North Atlantic)
   Place of Origin:  Broad Sound, Massachusetts

Globally, sand is the second most consumed natural resource. It is a key component in industrial processes — essential in producing glass and concrete for the construction industry, and silicon chips for electronics. Wind honed desert sand differs in shape from sand created by water activity, and is of no use in these industries, leaving a very specific and finite supply problem given the current rate of consumption of 50 billion tons per year. Dredging riverbeds and ocean floors for sand is destroying habitats and polluting water. And where land deposits are plentiful, mining is driving deforestation and loss of fertile farmlands. Direct human activities are not the only threat to the sand supply — natural processes intensified by climate change, are wiping out coastal beaches as sand is washed away by storm erosion, littoral drift and sea level rise at an ever increasing pace.

Why is the world running out of sand. BBC
The mining of sand, a non-renewable resource. Green Facts
Sand Mining Facts. The Ojos Negros Research Group


3.  Dulcis Aqua (H2O)
Common Name:  Fresh Water (100% Pure Spring Water)
     Place of Origin:    Broad Sound, Massachusetts

Water is the most consumed natural resource on the planet. Global warming is melting snow pack and ice caps, leading to reduced seasonal river flows. Rising temperatures are speeding evaporation bringing drought and low reservoirs in some areas and damaging floods in others. Chemical contaminants from industry, transportation, agriculture and livestock threaten the purity of water sources.

First-ever water cuts declared for Colorado River in historic drought
The Southwest's most important river is drying up
Do you think the Earth will ever run out of water?
Are We Drinking the Same Water as the Dinosaurs

4.  Zen Mays
Common Name:   Corn (Non-GMO, Open-Pollinated)
     Place of Origin:    Hamilton County, Nebraska

Genetically modified (GM) crop benefits include a reduced need for pesticides, a higher yield and a reduced cost of production. A significant amount of research as to the impacts of GM crops on the body have yet to yield a definitive conclusion. However, as much as health impacts must be considered, the economic impact of GM crops is also a threat to global food production. It is estimated that one company, Monsanto, controls 85% of corn production globally as it is the sole supplier of seed. Monsanto’s patents prohibit farmers from saving seeds year-to-year, creating a self-perpetuating reliance on their product.  Additional questions around whether genetically engineered crops are having impacts on beneficial insects, such as bees, or whether pests and pathogens are developing resistance to GM crops, remain unanswered.

Can We Feed Our World Without Monsanto?
The Sobering Details Behind the Latest Seed Monopoly Chart
What's Wrong with Monsanto?
Seeds of Death (Documentary)

David vs Monsanto (Documentary)


5.  Danaus Plexippus
     Common Name:  Monarch Butterfly
     Place of Origin:  Fort Myers, Florida

The monarch butterfly population is declining rapidly and is on a path to extinction. Use of pesticides, destruction of milkweed habitats with expansion of suburban development, and growth of large scale avocado farming operations in Mexico have all contributed to the population collapse as forest habitats are replaced by controlled orchards. Efforts are being made in Mexico to provide replacement habitats, but it may be too late for North America’s iconic butterfly.

Monarch butterfly population moves closer to extinction
Eastern Monarch Butterfly Population Falls Again
Avocados Imperil Monarch Butterflies' Winter Home in Mexico
Europe's Butterflies are Vanishing as Small Farms Disappear
Monarch butterflies may be thriving after years of decline. Is it a comeback?


6.  Argenti
     Common Name:  Silver
     Place of Origin:  Seneca No. 1 Shaft, Mohawk, Keweenaw Co., Michigan

Silver ore, along with other precious and rare earth metals, is being rapidly depleted due to increased mining driven by industrial demand. It is estimated there are between 2.7-3.1 million tons of silver, of which we have already mined approximately half, at 1.4-1.5 million tons. Silver mining is expected to reach its peak between 2027-2038, and deposits are expected to be exhausted by 2240. Beyond its uses in currency, exchange and jewelry, the electronics industry also relies on silver components. Recycling electronic devices will become more critical, not only to reduce waste but to recapture lost resources. As a demonstration project, metal for the 5,000 medals for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics was extracted from 6 million mobile phones and 72,000 tons of electronic waste.

Investigating the sustainability of the global silver supply
A World Without Silver: Why this Precious Metal is Running Low
Future availability of non-renewable metal resources and the influence of environmental, social, and governance conflicts on metal production
How to mine precious metals in your home
Tokyo 2020 Medal Project: Towards an Innovative Future for All

Tokyo's Olympic Medals Are Made Entirely From Recycled Gadgets


7.  Acropora Cervicornis
Common Name:    White Coral     
     Place of Origin:     Gulf of Mexico

The plight of the honey bee has been widely publicized in the last decade, but despite efforts to understand hive collapse, the die-off continues. Apis mellifera, is widely used as an agricultural pollinator through managed hives transported around the country to various farms. Pollinators, such as bees are necessary for fruits to develop as well as for plants, such as root vegetables, to produce seeds. Among bee-dependent crops are blueberries, apples, cherries, almonds, watermelons, pumpkins and carrots. Over the past decade the United States lost approximately 30% of its bee population, and from April 2020 to April 2021, that number rose to 46% of managed honey bee colonies. The decline of the bee population, coupled with the loss of other pollinators, will have dire impact on agricultural production and food supplies.

Great Barrier Foundation: Climate change is the single greatest threat facing the Reef
How does climate change affect coral reefs?
Coral reefs and climate change
UN Chronicle: Impacts of Climate Change on Coral Reefs and the Marine Environment
Saving the World's Coral Reefs
Fearing Their Kids Will Inherit Dead Coral Reefs, Scientists Are Urging Bold Action


8.  Apis Mellifera
Common Name:    Honey Bee 
     Place of Origin:     Bradenville, Pennsylvania

 The impact of rising ocean temperatures and increased acidification of the oceans have made coral reefs the most threatened ecosystem on the planet. Temperature changes of 1–2°C trigger a phenomenon called bleaching — coral expels algae living in their tissue, leading to the loss of color, and the prolonged loss of color to die-off. Coral reefs are home to one quarter of all marine fish species, also making them the most diverse ecosystem on the planet. The marine life in reef ecosystems are a key food source, feeding over 500 million people.

Pollinators at a Crossroads
Honey bees are still dying at high rates
US beekeepers continue to report high colony loss rates, no clear progression toward improvement
Bee Population Decline Puts These U.S. Crops at Risk, Study Finds
Honeybees Need Your Help, Honey
Pollinator Decline: Implications for Food Security & Environment
Australia's 'Black Summer' Bushfires Pushed 11 Bee Species Closer to Extinction


9.  Prunus Dulcis
Common Name:    Almonds
     Place of Origin:     San Joaquin Valley, California

California produces 80% of the world’s almonds, with 70% of the crop being shipped internationally. The combination of extreme heat and ongoing drought are producing water shortages in the west that are threatening almond orchards and crop outputs. Farmers are being forced to ration water to orchards or abandon sections in order to conserve water for the remainder of the trees.

Climate Change In California Is Threatening The World's Top Almond Producer
From Almonds To Rice, Climate Change Could Slash California Crop Yields By 2050
Almonds Swept California Farms. Then the Water Ran Out

California Drought Hits World’s Top Almond Producer
In blistering drought, California farmers rip up precious almond trees


10. Aer Mundus
      Common Name:  Air (Clean)
      Place of Origin:  Adirondack Mountains, New York

Pollution from energy generation and usage, transportation, industrial production, farming and livestock, forest fires and general human activities have led to ever diminishing air quality and impacts to the ozone layer protecting the planet from solar heat gains. The resulting greenhouse gases feeding the perpetual cycle of global warming.

Air Pollution. National Geographic
Air Pollution: Everything You Need to Know. Natural Resources Defense Council
Air Pollution. World Health Organization
Air Pollution: Current and Future Challenges. EPA
The Impact of Wildfires on Climate and Air Quality. NOAA


11. Oryza Sativa
      Common Name:  Basmati Rice
      Place of Origin:  Himalayan Foothills, India

Climate change and diminishing water resources are impacting rice production while population growth is increasing demand. Sea level rise is bringing higher salinity to low-lying coastal areas, threatening rice production. While rice grows in wet conditions, flooding in some areas leaves rice submerged for long periods, posing a threat to crops. In other areas, water scarcity due to drought is impacting rice farming. Rice is also a low-yield crop, with 10-37% being lost in the cultivation process, causing many farmers to convert paddies to dry-land for higher value crops.
Developing countries rely heavily on rice as a staple food, and the average diet can include 100kg of rice per year, or approx 275g/day. Based on this, the specimen quantity here represents the daily rice for a family of three.

Impact of climate change on rice
Rice-field Conversion and its Impact on Food Availability
Rice: The issues
Improving rice production sustainability by reducing water demand and greenhouse gas emissions with biodegradable films
The global staple


12. Coffea Arabica
      Common Name:  Coffee Arabica
      Place of Origin:  Carmo de Minas, Brazil

Climate change is bringing rising temperatures, erratic weather, pests and increased disease to coffee growing areas across Central America. Guatemala, where most growers are small family farms or cooperatives, has been particularly impacted and is listed as one of the top ten countries impacted by climate change. The loss of crops is spurring migration as people seek out new livelihoods elsewhere. Wild coffee species are also declining and at a 60% risk of extinction. Scientists, agricultural experts and farmers are working to identify and cultivate varieties that are resistant to blight, learn methods for controlling pests, and develop means to navigate changing climate conditions.

Coffee & Climate: Why is climate change a problem?
The Most Unexpected Effect of Climate Change
Climate change is devastating Central American coffee farms — and spurring migration
Climate change: Future-proofing coffee in a warming world
The Fight to Save Coffee from Climate Change Heats Up
Why Coffee Prices are Skyrocketing


Curio Drawer: Sample Species Moving Toward Extinction

For lists of species Species Moving Toward Extinction visit BiologicalDiversity.org or to see 11,000 of the world's 20,000 species visit the Photo Ark.

A. Canticum Avium
    Common Name: Song birds

B. Aptenodytes Forsteri
    Common Name: Emperor Penguin

C. Ursus Maritimus
    Common Name: Polar Bear

D. Canis Lupus
    Common Name: Gray Wolf

E. Varanus Komodoensis
    Common Name: Komodo Dragon

F.  Hippoglossus Hippoglossus
    Common Name: Atlantic Halibut

G. Bison Bison Bison
    Common Name: Plains Bison

H. Loxodonta Africana
    Common Name: African Elephant

I.  Thunnus Thynnus
    Common Name: Bluefin Tuna

J.  Eubalaena Glacialis
    Common Name: North Atlantic Right Whale

K. Gopherus Agassizii
    Common Name: Desert Tortoise

L. Ceratotherium Simum
    Common Name: White Rhinoceros