Foucault, Tunisian Boys, and the Amazon Forest.

A recent article that caught my attention is a piece published on the al Jazeera website in which a Tunisian academic alleges Michel Foucault (French philosopher) had relations with prepubescent Tunisian children during the time he lived there in the sixties. No argument that North Africa was a popular destination with western sex-tourists, just read playwright Joe Orton’s diaries, but to dress the whole thing up as proof of racism, as this guy does, is twisting the truth to fit the theory. It would be like saying American author William Burroughs moved to London because he felt superior to the British and therefore had no qualms about picking up ‘little boyfriends’ from Piccadilly Circus. As in an interview a contemporary and gay friend of Burroughs claimed he did, and Burroughs made no secret of the fact he didn’t consider himself a LGBTQI+ style ‘gay’, “A room full of fags gives me the horrors” (Junky pp72) but he was seriously into boys – as was near all the male elite of western culture, and that going back to antiquity. Funny thing that.


Other reading is papers on climate change and that’s where I really feel that prior to leaving home to take up a full-time career as a street boy, I was second last of the class. Phew – the maths and the chemistry of some of dem papers! I can make out that we are in serious trouble though, thank God for the executive summaries, and action is needed ‘like in yesterday’. Question is what is it that we average citizens can do to get the required action from governments? As a reminder because I’ve posted this before, reducing emissions to net zero is no longer sufficient and where that still needs to be done as soon as possible, we also need to capture and sequester the excess already in the atmosphere, and do that until levels of CO2 drop to 350ppm at most, less would be better, and the really tricky one – deploy solar radiation management to arrest and reverse the warming of the Arctic. Even if successful with all that, we would stabilise the climate but there is no way apparently to go back to pre industrial era conditions. Our Earth systems are damaged beyond repair but the situation can still be stabilised so our children and their descendants inherit a livable planet, and not one heading for a ‘hot Earth’ condition with near total extinction of life.

Latest I’m reading is a paper called ‘Carbon and Beyond: the Biogeochemistry of Climate in a Rapidly Changing Amazon’ and where the Murdoch media such as that gem of journalism, Sydney’s ‘Daily Telegraph’, might quote a single so-called ‘scientist’ in support of climate change denial, this paper – hang on I’ll copy and past the list of contributors and their institutions…

Kristofer Covey 1 *, Fiona Soper 2 , Sunitha Pangala 3 , Angelo Bernardino 4 , Zoe Pagliaro 1 ,

Luana Basso 5 , Henrique Cassol 6 , Philip Fearnside 7 , Diego Navarrete 8 , Sidney Novoa 9 ,

Henrique Sawakuchi 10 , Thomas Lovejoy 11 , Jose Marengo 12 , Carlos A. Peres 13 ,

Jonathan Baillie 14 , Paula Bernasconi 15 , Jose Camargo 7 , Carolina Freitas 16 ,

Bruce Hoffman 17 , Gabriela B. Nardoto 18 , Ismael Nobre 19 , Juan Mayorga 14,20 ,

Rita Mesquita 7 , Silvia Pavan 21 , Flavia Pinto 22 ,Flavia Rocha 23 , Ricardo de Assis Mello 24 ,

Alice Thuault 15 , Alexis Anne Bahl 14 and Aurora Elmore 14


Edited by:

Dylan Craven,

Universidad Mayor, Chile

Reviewed by:

Wu Sun,

Carnegie Institution for Science (CIS),

United States

Ana Maria Yáñez-Serrano,

Ecological and Forestry Applications

Research Center (CREAF), Spain


Kristofer Covey

Specialty section:

This article was submitted to

Tropical Forests,

a section of the journal

Frontiers in Forests and Global


Received: 16 October 2020

Accepted: 12 February 2021

Published: 11 March 2021


Covey K, Soper F, Pangala S,

Bernardino A, Pagliaro Z, Basso L,

Cassol H, Fearnside P, Navarrete D,

Novoa S, Sawakuchi H, Lovejoy T,

Marengo J, Peres CA, Baillie J,

Bernasconi P, Camargo J, Freitas C,

Hoffman B, Nardoto GB, Nobre I,

Mayorga J, Mesquita R, Pavan S,

Pinto F, Rocha F, de Assis Mello R,

Thuault A, Bahl AA and Elmore A

(2021) Carbon and Beyond: The

Biogeochemistry of Climate in a

Rapidly Changing Amazon.

Front. For. Glob. Change 4:618401.

doi: 10.3389/ffgc.2021.618401

Environmental Studies and Sciences Program, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY, United States, 2 Department of

Biology and School of Environment, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada, 3 Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster

University, Lancaster, United Kingdom, 4 Departamento de Oceanografia, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Vitória,

Brazil, 5 Earth System Science Center (CCST), National Institute of Space Research Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais

(INEP), São José dos Campos, Brazil, 6 Remote Sensing Division (Divisão de Sensoriamento Remoto), National Institute for

Space Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais), São José dos Campos, Brazil, 7 National Institute for Research

in Amazonia (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia), Manaus, Brazil, 8 The Nature Conservancy, Bogota, Colombia,


Asociación para la Conservación de la Cuenca Amazónica, Lima, Peru, 10 Department of Thematic Studies – Environmental

Change, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden, 11 Department of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason

University, Fairfax, VA, United States, 12 National Center for Monitoring and Early Warning of Natural Disasters (CEMADEN),

Sáo Paulo, Brazil, 13 School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom, 14 National

Geographic Society, Washington, DC, United States, 15 Instituto Centro de Vida (ICV), Cuiabá, Brazil, 16 Coordenação Geral

de Observação da Terra, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE), São Paulo, Brazil, 17 The Amazon Conservation

Team – Suriname Program, Paramaribo, Suriname, 18 Department of Ecology, Universidade de Brasília, Brasília, Brazil,


Amazon Third Way Project, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil, 20 Bren School of Environmental

Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, United States, 21 Coordenação de

Zoologia, Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, Belém, Brazil, 22 The Nature Conservancy, Brasilia, Brazil, 23 Department of

Environmental Sciences, UFRRJ, Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, Institute of Forests, Seropédica, Brazil, 24 World

Wide Fund For Nature (WWF), Brasil, Distrito Federal, Brazil

Basically the paper, as I get it so far, explains why the Amazon is now a net emitter of green house gasses. We is be in deep shit. Why and how? Just Google the paper and download the PDF. Hope you remember your chemistry better than I do.