The essays in the first volume of the Phemelogy of Biocatastrophe publication series explore the impact of complex western market ecomies on the biodiversity and productivity of natural ecosystems, with emphasis on the evolution of industrial society and the resulting contamination of the atmospheric water cycle with anthropogenic ecotoxins. Topics include the biohistory of human civilization, cataclysmic climate change, chemical fallout, the evolution of antibiotic resistant bacteria, the proliferation of pharmaceutical wastes, and the development of genetically modified organisms. Also discussed are the social, political, ecomic, and public safety components of biocatastrophe, including the spectacular increase in national and world debt in the Reagamics era (1981-2008) and the role of the shadow banking network in the ongoing collapse of global consumer society.
Ephraim Tinkham, the Captain of Engine Company No. 9, became interested in toxic substances as a specialty while a volunteer fireman in the 1960s. Engine Company No. 9 was established in 1970 prior to the first Earth Day activities in Boston. Research on chemical fallout in general and the impact of chlorofluorocarbons on the ozone layer in particular, in combination with the anti-SST Earth Day sit-in at Logan Airport, resulted in Congressional legislation banning the SST in the United States in the late fall of 1970. Forty years of research and publications on anthropogenic radioactivity and chemical fallout followed the Logan Airport Earth Day sit-in.