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  1. I Have a Dream But It’s Not The Nightmare I’m Living

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    February 23, 2017 by John Crapper

     

    I have a very comforting recurring dream.  But a dream is just a dream but with the election of the Donald I’m beginning to live a nightmare I never thought possible.

    I haven’t been sleeping that well lately.  I think it’s because with the election of the Donald I’m beginning to live a nightmare I’d never thought possible.  Rex Tillerson, former head of Exxon Mobile and good friends with Vladimir Putin as Secretary of State.  Scott Pruitt, a close ally of the fossil fuel industry heading the Environmental Protection Agency.  Rick Perry, who in 2011 proposed scrapping it, to head the Energy Department .  This real life reality couldn’t be more frightening.

    Tonight I’m really weary.  I hope, for once, I’ll be able to get a good night’s sleep.  I lay my head on my pillow and soon I drift away.  I once again dream the recurring dream of my life. It’s comforting.

     

    zzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZ…

    The dream begins the same each time.  I’m looking onto a conference room where a group of economists are in deep discussion rethinking their basic assumptions. The Milton Friedman school of thought and the Keynesian school of thought are being discussed.  The economists begin challenging their assumptions and formulating a new way of economic analysis; the Ass-forward, waste-end first, Soft and Fluffy economic theory.

    Constant economic growth based on increases in consumption and consumer spending  is questioned.  Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is questioned as a misleading measure of a nation’s wealth. The group develops a new concept they coin the Gross Renewable Energy Product (GREP).

    GREP postulates that wealth, on the one hand, be measured in terms of the energy needed to do things:  the ability to grow crops, to make products, to move goods, to improve efficiency, to pass on information, to help others.  On the other hand, they conclude that wealth needs to be measured by the drain on resources and the damage obtaining the energy does to the environment.  They conclude that creating more energy from non-polluting renewable sources will enable mankind to do more with fewer resources and less pollution.

    The scene fades and my thoughts drift to the 2018 mid-term election.    I dream it is the biggest wave election in the history of the country. Gone are the climate change deniers. Gone are the mouthpieces for the fossil fuel industry. Candidates who believe in the promise of the Shitty Way of Life are elected across the country.

    The President’s agenda is threatened as a result of the election.  Within 6 months  the President, sensitive to criticism, decides he needs to dramatically change direction.  He meets with the group of economists and adopts the Gross Renewable Energy Product (GREP) definition of wealth.

    My dream shifts to the President giving his State of the Union speech. He declares a war, this time not against a country or a mad dictator but on our nation’s dependency on fossil fuel.

    The President appeals to people’s sense of patriotism and resurrects his “Make America Great Again” slogan to resounding applause.

    He announces an Energy New Deal .  He convenes an emergency session of Congress calling on them toenact the necessary legislation granting him the executive authority he needs.  His goals are to end our dependency on foreign oil and reduce CO2 emissions to 350 ppm in 10 years.

    Next, the dream shifts to the TV. The President is addressing the nation and calling on people to do more than just be vigilant in the fight against terrorism.  He draws a connection between oil consumption and the funding of groups like ISIL and Al Queda.

    During his TV address he announces the implementation of the “ass-forward commuting program.  It halves the number of vehicles on the road during commuting times by requiring all commuters to fill their cars to capacity on their way to work.

    Next, I see a headline in a paper announcing gas consumption has dropped roughly 40% and commuting times have been reduced an average of 50% .

    I next hear people conversing making positive statements about not having to be behind the wheel each and every day.

    The scene shifts and I see the President once again sitting behind his desk signing an executive order.   Similar to the ban on civilian car production during WWII, car manufacturers are being ordered to cease production of gas and diesel vehicles and instructed to concentrate exclusively on the production of electric ones.

    The scene shifts once again.  I see the President on TV declaring there will be no more Fukushimas , Chernobyls, or Three Mile Islands.  He announces plans to scrap nuclear fission electrical generation.  A schedule is outlined for the systematic shut down of all existing nuclear power plants within 10 years.

    Again, my dream shifts to the President cautioning consumers on the hazards of consumer diarrhea.  He encourages manufacturers to analyze their products from the waste-end perspective.   He proclaims the days of producing anything and everything that can possibly be sold for profit are gone forever. He introduces the concept of Soft and Fluffy Consumerism.

    My dream shifts again to overlooking a city where every parcel of land is being used to grow crops in a nationwide patriotic effort to produce everything locally.

    Again I see a headline in a local paper informing the public of a compulsory national service program requiring young people to serve their country for a minimum of 2 years. The first thrust of the program:  a massive reforestation program.

     

    Ecological Sanitation

    Ecological Sanitation

    I dream the President convenes an Ecological Sanitation Summit bringing world experts in eco-san technology together to discuss and develop an action plan to restructure the way we currently handle our feces.  Its promise:  to transition our sanitation systems from a flush away sewage treatment plant model to treating human excrement as a valuable resource.

    Just as the dream first began I am once again looking onto a conference room where engineers are planning for this sanitation transformation.

    ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz…

    The first soft rays of the sun enter my bedroom and I slowly emerge from my deep and peaceful sleep.  For a few brief moments I’m comforted in the fleeting thoughts of my dream only to become fully cognizant of the nightmare I am again realizing.  I begin a new day in my real life daytime nightmare.

    The Face of My Daytime Nightmare!

     

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  2. A City That Wants Garbage! No, It’s Not Washington D.C.

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    May 7, 2015 by John Crapper

    That’s right. The title is correct. There is a city that actually is looking for and wanting more garbage. Every day, about 300 trucks arrive at the city of Göteborg on the west coast of Sweden. They carry garbage. They deliver it to a special plant that has special ovens, which burn it, providing heat to thousands of local homes. Now that is a Church of the Holy Shitters cool idea!

    “The only fuel we use is waste,” says Christian Löwhagen, a spokesman for Renova, the local government-owned energy company operating the plant. “It provides one-third of heat for households in this region.” Across Sweden, 950,000 homes are heated by trash; this lowly resource also provides electricity for 260,000 homes across the country, according to statistics from Avfall Sverige, Sweden’s national waste-management association. With Swedes recycling almost half (47 percent) of their waste and using 52 percent to generate heat, less than 1 percent of garbage now ends up in the dump. “Sweden has the world’s best network of district heating plants” — essentially large ovens that use a variety of fuels to generate heat, which is then transported to consumers’ homes through a network of underground pipes — “and they’re well-suited for use of garbage,” says Adis Dzebo, an energy expert at the Stockholm Environment Institute. “By contrast, in many other countries the heat and electricity infrastructure is based on gas or other fossil fuels, so it’s not economical to start building plants that utilize garbage.”

    But there is a problem. The Swedes (along with the Germans, Danes, the Dutch and Belgians) have become very good at recycling. There’s no longer enough garbage to meet their heating needs. They now have to import the trash that most other countries are trying to dispose of — some 800,000 tons in 2014, up from 550,000 tons in 2010, according to Avfall Sverige.

    Last year Renova brought in 100,000 tons of foreign garbage, mostly from Britain, in addition to the 435,000 tons supplied by Swedish municipalities. In Stockholm, energy provider Fortum also imports garbage, and in the southern city of Malmö, the Sysav energy company brought in 135,000 tons of waste from Norway and Britain last year, according to the company’s communications director, Gunilla Carlsson. That’s an almost 100 percent leap from the year before.

    They only burn waste that is free of recyclable materials.

    It’s not that Swedish decision-makers foresaw the need to safely dispose of garbage when they started building a countrywide network of district heating plants a generation ago, but it turned out to be a fortuitous move when public concern over trash in landfills prompted the country to rethink its garbage-disposal policies. Today putting waste on the trash heap is banned, which means that municipalities have to sort, recycle and, yes, burn, their residents’ garbage. As a result, waste now constitutes 19 percent of the fuel used by district-heating plants, which heat half of Sweden’s households and also use biomass such as leftover tree branches from the logging industry. That makes Sweden the world leader in energy generated from garbage; it is followed by, in order, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway and Finland.

    What a cool waste-end ass-forward way to solve a waste problem. Decrease the pressure for more landfills, turn something that has been considered waste into a valuable resource, and decrease the use of fossil fuels. And the utility companies get the trash for free and then turn around and sell the heat to their customers. A win all the way around.

    You might think that the emissions from this process would be highly polluting but thanks to electric filters that give the particles a negative electric charge, it is almost entirely non toxic carbon and water.

    Because waste in landfills generates methane, a concentrated form of CO2, the Swedish municipal association estimates that every ton of imported garbage — which would otherwise have been decomposing in landfills — saves 1,100 pounds of CO2 equivalent. Even if ships were to travel specifically to deliver this garbage, the trade would still end up a net positive for the environment.

    As a result of Sweden’s ass-forward waste-end first thinking their trash needs are soaring. It is estimated the country will import 1/5 million tons of waste this year increasing to 2.3 million by the year 2020. The future lies in these waste to energy power plants.

    Holy Shit this is a great and innovative way to deal with all the crap we now dispose of in landfills around the world.

    “The Green Climate Fund is currently developing its investment framework, and one of the issues the members are discussing is whether waste-to-energy should receive climate funding as a renewable energy source,” explains Dzebo. “But it’s important that this model goes hand in hand with efficient sorting of the garbage, including the removal of recyclable and toxic material.” Developing countries will, in other words, have to show the Green Climate Fund that they don’t just plan to burn their waste wholesale but are also making serious efforts to reduce it

    .

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  3. Superbugs & Sanitation

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    August 28, 2014 by John Crapper

    Superbugs are strains of bacteria that are resistant to several types of antibiotics. Each year these drug-resistant bacteria infect more than 2 million people nationwide and kill at least 23,000, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis, gonorrhea, and staph infections are just a few of the dangers we now face.

    The spread of superbugs—bacteria that have changed in ways that render antibiotics ineffective against them—is a serious and growing threat around the world, according to the World Health Organization’s first global report on antibiotic resistance.

    Klebsiella pneumoniae, the bacterium in which NDM-1 was first identified.

     

    Holy shit! Chinese sewage is feeding superbugs that no antibiotic can kill.

    Antibiotics have helped millions if not billions of people. But the more they are used the stronger the bacteria they fight get.

    Case in point: New Delhi Metallo 1 (NDM-1). A gene discovered in India in 2010, NDM-1 causes common bacteria like e. coli and salmonella to grow impervious to antibiotics.

    We often think of sewage treatment plants as serving to protect us and get rid of all those disease causing elements in wastewater. But it turns out these microbes are eating sewage and recent studies indicate that sewage treatment plants are unable to kill NDM-1 and are in fact making them stronger.

    And that is not all. The treatment plants are also helping them spread by releasing the effluent into the environment.

    Here’s why that’s so scary. Previous research has shown that bacteria containing the NDM-1 gene were largely ineffective at transferring the gene to other bacteria. However, Alvarez and his colleagues found that bacteria carrying these genes can spread the gene to otherwise benign bacteria—meaning the gene can spread antibiotic resistance outside of sewage treatment plants. “It’s scary. There’s no antibiotic that can kill them,” says Alvarez. “We only realized they exist just a little while ago when a Swedish man got infected in India, in New Delhi. Now, people are beginning to realize that more and more tourists trying to go to the upper waters of the Ganges River are getting these infections that cannot be treated.”

    One scientist estimates that 200 million people carry NDM-1 in their intestines.

    These findings underscore the need for governments and hospitals to limit their use of antibiotics consumption among both humans and farm animals.

    They also underscore the need for a major rethink of our sanitation systems.

    Looking at our excrement not as waste that needs to be treated, but as a resource needing to be put to full use, is the key to an ass-forward approach to the whole issue of sanitation.

    ECOLOGICAL SANITATION – “ECO-SAN”

    Ecological sanitation (Ecosan) offers a new philosophy of dealing with what is presently regarded as waste and wastewater. Ecosan systems enable the recovery of nutrients from human feces and urine for the benefit of agriculture, thus helping to preserve soil fertility, assure food security for future generations, minimize water pollution and recover bio-energy. They ensure that water is used economically and is recycled in a safe way for purposes such as irrigation or groundwater recharge.

    The main objectives of ecological sanitation are:

    * To reduce the health risks related to sanitation, contaminated water and waste

    * To prevent the pollution of surface and ground water * To prevent the degradation of soil fertility

    * To optimize the management of nutrients and water resources.

    The following two videos take just about 19 minutes to watch. I ask you to take that time to familiarize yourself with the Ecological Sanitation process .

    Ecological Sanitation systems are currently being implemented overseas in developing countries and water-shortage areas. Implementation of ecological sanitation systems and principles in the United States are mainly found on a limited basis in rural areas.

    People who work in sanitation sometimes have visions. Eco-san people see a future where instead of controlling pollution after it happens, we prevent it in the first place by some kind of source separation. Water separated from excreta; urine separated from feces. The discarded products of the human body given treatment appropriate to one name (shit, meaning to separate), not another (waste, from the Latin vastus meaning unoccupied or uncultivated). A cleaner new world where people put out their trash cans full of fecal compost to be collected on a Monday, like they do with garbage.

    The Church of the Holy Shitters hopes and prays for the expeditious arrival of this vision! The technology presently exists to implement this transition. It is the lack of attention, drive and motivation that are the problems. This Church is dedicated to transforming our ass-backward thought processes with regard to sanitation and ushering in a new ass-forward eco-san way of dealing with our own shit.

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  4. Don’t Piss Off Piss!

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    July 10, 2014 by John Crapper

     

    Not long ago Dutch officials lined up some not-so-private urinals in an Amsterdam park and asked local men to come pee. But instead of having the pee flush down the drain and piss it away the local water district turned it into fertilizer.

    Phosphorus extracted from the temporary park urinals will go to a green roof in the city. And today, the water utility will launch a new recovery plant designed to mine the phosphorus out of all of the wastewater in the region. Amsterdam’s pee alone can fertilize 10,000 football fields’ worth of plants, according to officials.

    Who cares about phosphorus? For starters, every living thing on Earth—including humans—since all the crops we eat depend on it to produce healthy cells. Until the mid-20th century, farmers maintained phosphorus levels in soil by composting plant waste or spreading phosphorus-rich manure. Then new mining and refining techniques gave rise to the modern phosphorus fertilizer industry—and farmers, particularly in the rich temperate zones of Europe and North America, quickly became hooked on quick, cheap, and easy phosphorus. Now the rest of the world is scrambling to catch up, and annual phosphorus demand is rising nearly twice as fast as the population.
    Our addiction to cheap P (as it’s known in the periodic table) is risky for two reasons. The first, better-known one is that not all the phosphorus that farmers put on their land is absorbed by crops. A lot leaches into water, ending up in lakes and rivers, where it causes algal blooms—which, as they decompose and suck up oxygen, create dead zones.
    But the scarier reason is that, like any mined material, phosphate rock is a finite resource, and there’s fierce debate about just how long our supply can last. “Peak phosphorus” doesn’t get a lot of buzz, but it should. In a recent essay in Nature, Grantham, who also runs an environmental foundation, put the case bluntly: Our P use “must be drastically reduced in the next 20-40 years or we will begin to starve.”

    This idea all started because phosphorus in the urine was causing problems by forming crystals in the sewage pipes and clogging them.

    “We thought, if we have to remove it, why not do it in a proper way,” said Peer Roojimans, who serves on the board of the water authority. “Phosphorus is needed for survival for everything in life, but it’s a limited product, and the mines are exhausted. Since everyone takes it with us every day–and supplies it to our sewage treatment plant when we go to the toilet–we wanted to develop a device that could reuse it.”

    So the Dutch are developing a sewage treatment facility that will separate the nitrogen and phosphorus from the urine and transform it into a slow release fertilizer called struvite.

    Lest it seem that poo has been left out of the plan, Roojimans points out that the entire wastewater treatment plant for the Amsterdam area–which serves a million people–runs entirely on electricity that is produced from solid waste.

    Now Amsterdam residents can be proud to know they’re cleaning up their environment, recycling and helping to alleviate a growing scarcity of phosphorus every time they flush.

    As Poop John the First of the Church of the Holy Shitters I declare this a first class example of ass-forward thinking which puts waste-end considerations up front and center.

     A valuable resource.

    Piss – A valuable resource.

     

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  5. Commandment #8 – A Closer Look

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    January 9, 2014 by John Crapper

     

    8. Thou shalt conserve shit.

    The Church of the Holy Shitters 10 Commandments

    1. Thou shalt pursue the understanding of Shit.

    2. One who taketh a shit must giveth a shit.

    3. Thou shalt not act like your shit doesn’t stink.

    4. Thou shalt not poke one’s nose into other people’s shit.

    5. If thou hast nothing constructive to say than don’t say shit.

    6. Thou shalt not buy unnecessary shit.

    7. Thou shalt not giveth someone shit.

    8. Thou shalt conserve shit.

    9. Thou shalt not take other people’s shit.

    10. Thou shalt treat someone else’s shit the same way you would want your shit treated.

     Our 8th commandment reminds us to conserve shit.  What exactly is this commandment instructing us to do?

    We have all heard the saying “waste not, want not.”  But what does that mean?  The term “waste not want not” probably originates in Yorkshire and means exactly what it says, never wasting anything results in never wanting anything. For example, only serve enough food at a meal that you know will easily be eaten, leaving no waste. Do not spend your hard earned cash on things you do not really need or want. Think before spending – “waste not want not”.

    But our 8th commandment is much broader than this.  First, as Holy Shitters, we start with the conserving of the actual substance.  Fecal material is a valuable resource.  Just as we use steer manure, dairy manure and chicken manure as soil

     

    Bahasa Indonesia: Tai sapi English: Cow's dung

    Giant chicken

    amendments to aid in the growth of our gardens, humanure is also a valuable resource which should be utilized instead of largely wasted like it is today in most of the modern world.

    The fact is, humans think their shit is disgusting.   Anthropologists think disgust is learned.  They point to small children who show no disgust at dirt or feces until they are educated otherwise.  The anthropologist Mary Douglas concluded that something is dirty because it is out of place.  Soil in the garden is fine; soil on a plate is not.  Disgust becomes a way of ordering a society, of creating a hierarchy of what is safe and what is acceptable.  It also becomes a way of distancing intellectual humans from their embarrassingly animal origins.

    When it comes to our shit we still don’t know how to deal with it.  Yet it is something we all produce, up to several times a day.  It is high time we get our shit together when it comes to our own excrement.

    When we look at the predominant sanitation system used in the world today in an ass-forward way we can truly see just how ass-backward it is.  Each of us pays good money to have purified water pour into our toilets.  We then do our business and flush it into the sewer system.  We also pay hard-earned money to carry our excrement away to a sewage treatment plant.  Along the way it is mixed in with all kinds of foreign substances including chemicals, solvents and medical waste.  At our sewage treatment plants varying energy intensive expensive processes are utilized to separate out the contamination from the water to return it to its pure state to be recycled.  The remaining sludge’s value, as a result of human excrement being mixed with other sources of contamination, is diminished.  It must be further sterilized, with questionable results, before it can be used as a fertilizer.  This never-ending expensive cycle of mishandled waste typifies truly ass-backward logic and indicates just how out of touch we are with our true nature.  It also points out to what lengths we will go to deny our bodily functions and ignore our relationship and dependence on nature.  It is a very wasteful system from beginning to end.

    Followers of the Church of the Holy Shitters believe there is a better way.  It is called Ecological Sanitation or Eco-San for short.  Ecological sanitation offers a new philosophy of dealing with what is presently regarded as waste and wastewater.  

    613px-Ecological_sanitation_cycle-en

    Ecosan systems enable the recovery of nutrients from human feces and urine for the benefit of agriculture, thus helping to preserve soil fertility, assure food security for future generations, minimize water pollution and recover bio-energy. They ensure that water is used economically and is recycled in a safe way for purposes such as irrigation or groundwater recharge.

    It is easy to recycle newspaper and plastic.  It is certainly part of what our 8th commandment instructs us to do. Don’t waste food.  Don’t buy useless things.  Don’t throw away useful items.  These are all part of adhering to our 8th commandment.

    But in the Church of the Holy Shitters this commandment first focuses our attention on shit itself.  Once we can deal with the fact that we are currently wasting this stuff and that a dramatic shift needs to take place in both our thinking and actions regarding it,  we will only then begin to satisfy the demands this commandment places on us.

    When we start to save our waste all other waste issues will fall into place.(shitbit by Poop John the First)


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  6. Shitology

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    August 15, 2013 by John Crapper

    The Church of the Holy Shitters is an environmental religion. We believe in looking at things in an ass-forward way which basically means looking at things from the waste-end perspective. This requires us to think a lot about shitty things. After all, if we really want to straighten out all this crap we believe we really need to think about shit.

    Over mankind’s long history, thinking and talking about shit has not been high on our list. Fecal matters tend to be shoved under the rug so to speak. The emergence of the Church of the Holy Shitters has changed all that. Now, all of a sudden, there is a religion focused on it. Shit is the focal point of our existence. It is the compass of our lives. It is the substance that directs our attention. It is the stuff that really matters. Its contemplation assists us in achieving the Shitty Way of Life aspired to by members of our Church.

    This new and concentrated attention to shit has led to numerous insights and discoveries never before contemplated. Since our Church is compatible with science and we strive to alter our beliefs as scientific discoveries are made, there has been numerous consultations, seminars and collaborative efforts between our Church and the scientific community. This has led to a greater understanding of our natural world and opened up many new avenues for scientific inquiry. It is only fitting that a new scientific discipline has emerged as a result. That new discipline is the science of shitology.

    Shitology strives to look at our natural world, both physical and mental, through the prism of the ass-forward waste-end perspective. Because of this dual focus, two branches of the science have emerged. One is known as Ecoshitology focusing on the physical side and the other is called Psychoshitology inquiring into the mental issues.

    Although Shitology is the most recent of the established scientific disciplines, it has already contributed immensely to our understanding of the world in which we live. Its discoveries have also led to the questioning of heretofore commonly accepted truths in other disciplines.

    Take, for instance, the commonly held beliefs in economics that growth and increases in consumption are always desirable. Shitology calls these beliefs into question. The externalities of waste-end considerations discovered by focusing on shit by Shitologists have challenged these basic pillars of economics. Up to this point capitalism has operated under the assumption that anything possible to produce that people can be convinced to buy is worthwhile to make and sell. The ass-forward waste-end approach forces an evaluation of products from the throw away end instead of the consumptive end. It calls into question the desirability of producing many products. Nuclear power is the perfect example. When this power source is looked at from the waste-end perspective the economic viability of using it is seriously called into question. To date there is still no satisfactory solution to deal with the waste generated by it.

    Sanitation is another area where Shitology has altered thinking dramatically. Ecoshitology has put a spotlight on the absurdity of our current energy intensive sanitation system. It didn’t take long for ecoshitologists to come to the conclusion that our current system is totally ass-backwards. As they state in their position paper on the subject:

    Each of us pays good money to have purified water pour into our toilets. We then do our business and flush it into the sewer system. We also pay hard-earned money to carry our excrement away to a sewage treatment plant. Along the way it is mixed in with all kinds of foreign substances including chemicals, solvents and medical waste. At our sewage treatment plants varying energy intensive, expensive processes are utilized to separate out the contamination from the water and return it to its pure state. The value of the remaining sludge, as a result of human excrement being mixed with other sources of contamination, is diminished.

    From the psychoshitological side we get the following observation with regard to our current sanitation system:

    This never-ending, expensive cycle of mishandled waste typifies truly ass-backward logic and indicates just how out of touch we are with our true nature. It also demonstrates what lengths we will go to deny our bodily functions and ignore our relationship and dependence on nature.

    Shitology now advocates the adoption of Ecological Sanitation to correct the situation.

    Shitologists have devoted a tremendous amount of time and resources into studying the phenomenon of ass-backward thinking. This has led to the discovery of the conditions of assmosis, and thought constipation. Now shitologists have developed effective treatments for both.

    At present, Shitology is in its infancy in terms of its development. It holds great promise and hope for the betterment of mankind’s future. If you give a shit and are at a point in life when you are considering what occupation you wish to pursue, take a look at this promising new downward career path. It just might be a gas!

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  7. Taking the Piss Out of You!

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    July 18, 2013 by John Crapper

    Français : urine

    Urine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    As Poop John the First I am called on to look at things from an ass-forward, bottoms up, waste-end first perspective. Consequently, I tend to see things a little differently than most people and reach some different conclusions as a result.

    Humans are amazing in lots of ways. Our intelligence enables us to accomplish incredible things such as our technological and engineering achievements, our literary and musical masterpieces and our medical advances to name a few. We view ourselves as being special, our religions preach to us that we are, and we are surrounding by things we have done in this world that convince us it is true.

    We cherish human life and go to great lengths to preserve it. When we die we have elaborate rituals to handle our remains. We wouldn’t think of disposing of a person’s remains in the same way we throw out the trash. Elaborate ceremonies are conducted to honor the dead before their placement in their final resting place. A proper burial is believed to be a sacred right of passage for the deceased. We anoint, bless, pray, sing, give speeches and place flowers as a means to properly say goodbye to our loved ones. Our bodies, our remains, are returned to Earth in the most respectable, dignified and reverent ways we can concoct because they are viewed as special and deserving of such treatment.

    In light of this, I find it just a little odd the way we treat our own waste. In all other aspects of ourselves in comparison to animals we consider ourselves superior. Yet when it comes to our excrement we coil away from our own as if it was some lethal substance requiring immediate isolation from us for our own protection and survival.

    Doesn’t it follow that if we consider ourselves superior to animals we should consider our excrement superior too? Shouldn’t it be considered more valuable? Shouldn’t it be handled with greater reverence? Shouldn’t we want to do something with it other than flush it into a sewer system where it is mixed with all kinds of industrial pollutants and contaminants? Since we are so special shouldn’t we naturally want to put anything coming forth from us to good use? Shouldn’t we consider our shit the best shit in town? We care a great deal about what goes into our bodies. We think our bodies are wonderful machines yet when we expel what our wonderful bodies can’t use we consider the process of it having passed through our wonderful bodies as turning it into something repulsive and toxic.

    We consider ourselves rational beings capable of high level thought but it seems to me this particular rationality is totally irrational. When it comes to thinking about what comes out of our asses we are illogical and ass-backward.

    Think about this for just a minute. In our stores we can buy multiple kinds of manure mixtures. We buy chicken manure, steer manure and dairy manure to spread on our vegetable gardens and planting beds. I’m a gardener and every year I buy a product called Booster Blend which is a 50/50 mixture of dairy manure and compost and gleefully spread it throughout my gardens each year. It’s a great fertilizer!

    But our own excrement we flush down the toilet as quickly as we can considering it to be only disgusting waste and of no use. Animal poop is not as repulsive to us as our own, yet we consider ourselves superior. When they die do we go through the elaborate rituals afforded to humans? Do we handle their bodies with as much reverence as our own?

    We have major problems with how we view and handle our own excrement and I contend it is causing us big problems. It is causing us to treat our own waste in a very ass-backward way. That needs to change. Our excrement is, in fact, just as valuable as the manure coming out of a chicken or cow. We need to come to terms with that and have a major attitude adjustment in our thinking in this regard. The concept and technology we need to start thinking about in this country is called ecological sanitation.

    English: Ecological sanitation cycle drawing, ...

    English: Ecological sanitation cycle drawing, english version Français : Dessin du cycle écologique de recyclage, version en anglais (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Globally, the practices of ecological sanitation have been a fact of life for many years in many developing parts of the world. For example, in China, it has been practiced for centuries.

    wg 5 Urine applied on petchay crops in Cagayan...

    wg 5 Urine applied on petchay crops in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines (Photo credit: Sustainable sanitation)

    However, the development of ecological sanitation in the Unites States is in its infancy. Composting toilet use can be mainly seen only in rural areas.

    Most composting toilets used do not separate urine from the feces. ” All manufactured American composting toilets today combine urine, except one, “Nature’s Head”, which is designed for use on boats and has only been available since 2007 (Nature’s Head, 2010).”

    “The law presents a major barrier in the USA to adoption of many ecological practices. Many sustainable practices, like greywater, rainwater, and composting toilets, are illegal under local and state building regulations. Because of this, early adopters of ecological practices in the United States are often breaking local or state laws. Though most do so without consequence, there is a history of a few “pioneers” being fined, losing property, and being forced to remove the unpermitted projects (Kettmanm, 2009).”

    Although both our feces and urine are valuable resources and in the perfect world should be treated that way, in the real world accomplishing this is a daunting task both in terms of infrastructure and social acceptance. Initially, rather than trying to change our culture to embrace and implement all proven ecological sanitation procedures from the outset it might be more feasible to tackle its implementation in a more modest step-by-step phased-in fashion. Under this approach the practice of urine reuse would be promoted and implemented first.

    A urine-diverting-dehydration toilet. 1:Humus ...

    A urine-diverting-dehydration toilet. 1:Humus compartment, 2:Ventilation pipe, 3:Toilet seat, 4:Urinal, 5:Urine collection and dehydration (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    “Urine reuse is gaining attention at the global level as scientists, agronomists, backyard gardeners, and development professionals look to this universally available substance for solutions to a variety of water and sanitation problems. Urine collection reduces toilet water use by as much as 80% by decreasing flushes (Larsen, et. al., 2001). This reduction in water use is not hard to imagine. Just think about the amount of water used flushing the urinals at any major sporting or entertainment event in the men’s bathroom on any given weekend. Just think of the water used flushing the urinals in all the bars across the country. It boggles the mind!

    Urine collection would also reduce energy needed by sewer treatment plants to remove nitrogen (Wilsenach and van Loosdrecht, 2006). “Plant nutrients, mainly nitrogen and phosphorus, can be captured from urine and used as agricultural fertilizer, reducing demand for chemical fertilizers. Each adult produces an estimated 1.5 liters per day, (WHO, 2006) which contains about 4 kg of nitrogen, 0.36 kg phosphorus, and 1 kg potassium per year. This amount is enough to fertilize about 300‐400 square meters of crop for each person (Jonsson et. al. 2004). The range of low‐cost options for collection makes backyard urine reuse accessible for all income levels and for both renters and homeowners.

    For backyard gardeners, urine reuse would provide a free source of fertilizer while at the same time reducing household water consumption due to fewer toilet flushes . (Allen, L., and Conant, J. 2010)

    Recent research also shows that urine may be an efficient source of hydrogen for energy (Boggs et al. 2009).”

    As a first step on the road to changing our sanitation system to a sustainable green system the USA could and should encourage urine reuse by making appropriate legal changes to make the practice clearly legal, take steps to educate the public to increase public acceptance of the practice and provide incentives for its implementation into urban areas.

    We need to bring back the piss pot!

    Urine collection in Ede

    Urine collection in Ede (Photo credit: Sustainable sanitation)

    References:

    Allen, L., and Conant, J.: Backyard Urine Recycling in the United
    States of America: An Assessment of Methods and Motivations, PDF, April 2010

    Boggs, B., King, R., and Botte, G. (2009): Urea electrolysis: direct hydrogen production from urine‐ Chem. Commun., 2009, 4859 ‐ 4861, DOI: 10.1039/b905974a

    Josson, H., Richert Stintzing, A., Vinneras, B., and Salomon, E. (2004) Guildelines on the use of urine and faeces in crop production, EcoSanRes Publications Series, Report 2004‐2, Sweden.

    Kettmanm, M. (2009): Getting Grief for Going Green, The Santa Barbara Independent, Sep. 10th, 2009

    Larsen, T., Peters, I., Alder, A., Eggen, R., Maurer, M., and Muncke, J. (2001): Re‐engineering the toilet for sustainable wastewater management. Environ Science Technology May 1, 2001 / Volume 35 , Issue 9 / pp 192 A – 197 A. T.

    Nature’s Head (2010): Composting Toilets for Marine, RV, Cabins, and Trucks. A Nature’s Head Composting Toilet, http://www.natureshead.net/store/index.phpmain_page=pr oduct_info&products_id=1 (date of visit: 3 February, 2010).

    Wilsenach, J., and Van Loosdrecht, M., (2006): Integration of Processes to Treat Wastewater and Source‐Separated Urine‐ Journal of Environmental Engineering, vol 132, p 331

    WHO, (2006): Guidelines for the Safe Use of Wastewater, Excreta and Greywater. Volume 4: Excreta and greywater use in agriculture. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.

    Backyard Urine Recycling in the United States of America: An Assessment of Methods and Motivations
    This paper discusses the newly emerging urine harvesting movement in the United States of America.
    Authors: L. Allen, J. Conant April 2010

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  8. “Eco-San” – Ecological Sanitation

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    May 30, 2013 by John Crapper

    Clean drinking water...not self-evident for ev...

    Clean water – 1% of the total!

    Only 1% of global water is drinkable, therefore, it is a precious resource.  Water used in flush toilets is often of drinking quality. .  Each of us pays good money to have purified water pour into our toilets.  We then do our business and flush it into the sewer system.  We also pay hard-earned money to carry our excrement away to a sewage treatment plant.  Along the way it is mixed in with all kinds of foreign substances including chemicals, solvents and medical waste.  At our sewage treatment plants varying energy intensive expensive processes are utilized to separate out the contamination from the water to return it to as pure a state as possible to be recycled.

    Section of a wastewater treatment plant.

    Section of a sewage treatment plant – energy intensive, complicated to build and costly to run and maintain.

    The mix of domestic and industrial effluent in this water cannot be treated properly because heavy metals and other pollutants make this water unsuitable for reuse.  It makes water treatment difficult.  All wastewater treatment plants use some natural/biological processes, but nature does not normally have this wastewater, so there are no microbes that can deal with this mix. In order to treat waste, treatment plants have to do this in stages. Each stage treats a different component of the mix by creating the right environment for microbes to do their work (aerobic, anaerobic, anoxic and the right pH). This is costly and requires energy.  The remaining sludge’s value, as a result of human excrement being mixed with other sources of contamination, is diminished.  Because of the complexity of the treatment process, treatment plants tend to be large. This requires costly infrastructure to build and maintain.  It is truly an ass-backward system and ass-backward thinking.  There is a better way – an ass-forward way!

    Looking at our excrement not as waste that needs to be treated, but as a resource needing to be put to full use, is the key to an ass-forward approach to the whole issue of sanitation.

    ECOLOGICAL SANITATION – “ECO-SAN”

    Ecological sanitation (Ecosan) offers a new philosophy of dealing with what is presently regarded as waste and wastewater. Ecosan systems enable the recovery of nutrients from human feces and urine for the benefit of agriculture, thus helping to preserve soil fertility, assure food security for future generations, minimize water pollution and recover bio-energy. They ensure that water is used economically and is recycled in a safe way for purposes such as irrigation or groundwater recharge.

    The main objectives of ecological sanitation are:

        * To reduce the health risks related to sanitation, contaminated water and waste

        * To prevent the pollution of surface and ground water

        * To prevent the degradation of soil fertility

        * To optimize the management of nutrients and water resources

    The following two videos take just about 19 minutes to watch.  I ask you to take that time to familiarize yourself with the Ecological Sanitation process . 

     

    Ecological Sanitation systems are currently being implemented  overseas in developing countries and water-shortage areas.  Implementation of ecological sanitation systems and principles in the United States are mainly found on a limited basis in rural areas.

    People who work in sanitation sometimes have visions.  Eco-san people see a future where instead of controlling pollution after it happens, we prevent it in the first place by some kind of source separation.  Water separated from excreta; urine separated from feces.  The discarded products of the human body given treatment appropriate to one name (shit, meaning to separate), not another (waste, from the Latin vastus meaning unoccupied or uncultivated).  A cleaner new world where people put out their trash cans full of fecal compost to be collected on a Monday, like they do with garbage.

    The Church of the Holy Shitters hopes and prays for the expeditious arrival of this vision!  The technology presently exists to implement this transition. It is the lack of attention, drive and motivation that are the problems.  This Church is dedicated to transforming our ass-backward thought processes with regard to sanitation and ushering in a new ass-forward eco-san way of dealing with our own shit.

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  9. The Plunger – Part 2 – A New Use

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    April 18, 2013 by John Crapper

    Large image of household plungers: on the left...

    (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    The plunger – one of the simplest tools we use. Until needed it is one of the least thought about items we have in our possession. It’s use is usually for a single purpose – to unstop a toilet or sink. But as was discussed in the last post it has been used for varied and surprising alternative uses since its invention. But in large part the plunger remains for most of us a single use item.

    When you need one you’re glad you have one. When you don’t need one it is hidden away or camouflaged to be out of sight and out of mind. It is functional and utilitarian in its simplicity. It remains virtually unchanged since its creation. It is viewed as an absolute necessity in any modern household.

    The plunger is also close to the bottom of the list of items ever given as a gift. Just doesn’t come to mind when you’re thinking of what to give to that person that has everything. It’s not often, if ever, you see a gift wrapped plunger under the Christmas tree! The gift would kind of have the subliminal message of “you’re full of shit” or something to that effect. When you check the items on a couples’ wedding registry it’s rare to see a plunger mentioned.

    When is the last time you read or saw an advertisement for a plunger? Not even on those cheesy commercials late at night when you can get a second one free if you act now do you hear about the merits of the Johnny Jolter power plunger.

    The lack of thought and attention we give to the plunger is a window of insight into our lack of thought to certain things around us.  Simply put it reflects how little thought we give to certain problems we face like climate change, super consumption and overpopulation.  In a nutshell it sheds light on just how much we don’t think about some of the serious shit we are facing!

    And this is the real kicker. If we really thought about our own excrement more we would realize there is no need for the plunger at all. It is a tool that helps us deny we take a crap every day. It is a tool that helps us to continue to fail to realize that when we flush we are throwing away a valuable resource, mixing it with unknown and untold toxins and swishing it away into a huge energy intensive sewage treatment system to be treated as best it can before being reintroduced back into the environment as sludge. As has been discussed many times on this site our sewage treatment system is totally ass-backwards.

    Chronically short of water.  All water facts in the next paragraph are taken from Robin Clarke and Janet King, The Atlas of Water:  Mapping the World’s Most Critical Resource (London:  Earthscan, 2004), p. 19.

    Looking at a globe of Earth you would think we have water, water, everywhere but that is not really true.  It is a fixed commodity.  Throughout all history we’ve had the same amount of water to work with.  The planet contains about 332 milllion cubic miles of it.  Most is salty.  Only 2 percent is fresh water and two-thirds of that is unavailable for human use because it is locked in snow and ice.  We are using the same water the dinosaurs used.  In 2000, twice as much water was used throughout the world as in 1960.  Water consumption is currently at about 1,700 liters (449) gallons per person per day.  Most of it is not going down sinks and toilets, but onto fields for agriculture.  By 2050, half of the planet’s projected 8.9 billion people will live in countries that are chronically short of water.7  Humans are wasting their water mostly by putting waste into it.  One cubic meter of wastewater can pollute ten cubic meters of water.  

    Our current sewage treatment system is totally ass-backwards.  When we look at the predominant sanitation system used in the world today in an ass-forward way we can truly see just how ass-backward it is.  Each of us pays good money to have purified water pour into our toilets.  We then do our business and flush it into the sewer system.  We also pay hard-earned money to carry our excrement away to a sewage treatment plant.  Along the way it is mixed in with all kinds of foreign substances including chemicals, solvents and medical waste.  At our sewage treatment plants varying energy intensive expensive processes are utilized to separate out the contamination from the water to return it to its pure state to be recycled.  The remaining sludge’s value, as a result of human excrement being mixed with other sources of contamination, is diminished.  It must be further sterilized, with questionable results, before it can be used as a fertilizer.  This never-ending expensive cycle of mishandled waste typifies truly ass-backward logic and indicates just how out of touch we are with our true nature.  It also points out to what lengths we will go to deny our bodily functions and ignore our relationship and dependence on nature.  It is truly unsustainable.

    Ecological Sanitation (Ecosan) offers a new philosophy of dealing with what is presently regarded as waste and wastewater. Ecosan systems enable the recovery of nutrients from human feces and urine for the benefit of agriculture, thus helping to preserve soil fertility, assure food security for future generations, minimize water pollution and recover bio-energy. They ensure that water is used economically and is recycled in a safe way for purposes such as irrigation or groundwater recharge.

    Ecological Sanitation

    Ecological Sanitation

    The main objectives of ecological sanitation are:

        * To reduce the health risks related to sanitation, contaminated water and waste

        * To prevent the pollution of surface and ground water

        * To prevent the degradation of soil fertility

        * To optimize the management of nutrients and water resources.

    People who work in sanitation sometimes have visions.  Eco-san people see a future where instead of controlling pollution after it happens, it is prevented in the first place by some kind of source separation.  Water separated from excreta; urine separated from feces.  The discarded products of the human body given treatment appropriate to one name (shit, meaning to separate), not another (waste, from the Latin vastus meaning unoccupied or uncultivated).  A cleaner new world where people put out their trash cans full of fecal compost to be collected on a Monday, like they do with garbage.

    The Church of the Holy Shitters hopes and prays for the expeditious arrival of this vision!  The technology presently exists to implement this transition. It is the lack of attention, drive and motivation that are the problems.  This Church is dedicated to transforming our ass-backward thought processes with regard to sanitation and ushering in a new ass-forward eco-san way of dealing with our own shit.

    As Poop John the First of the Church of the Holy Shitters this change of thinking is what the plunger represents.   Let it come out of hiding and be a visible and constant reminder of our animal connections. When we look at it let it remind us that we are not important to the Earth but that the Earth is important to us. Let it remind us to treat our waste with respect and reverence and to use it nourish the Earth we live on instead of it being treated as a waste product. Let it be used to hold up the globe of our home the Earth. Let it represent the increased stature we give to Shit and the revered position it holds in the Shitty Way of Life we have chosen to follow.  Let it remind us to think about all those things we try to ignore or take for granted like clean air and water.  Let it remind us to give a shit about our environment. 

     

     

     

     

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Our climate is changing. I'm humorously serious about addressing it. I'm convinced my ego is the main culprit. My religion, Holy Shitters, demands I humble myself and celebrate the fact my shit stinks.
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