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Let go, or be dragged

Wed, Sep 19, 2012

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When called a quitter in somebody’s first-time comment in this space, my initial response was to serve the name-caller a big warm cup of ShutTheFuckUp. Then I gave it a bit more thought. One result is this essay.

Contrary to the respondent’s interpretation of my essay, I’m not suggesting we quit. Giving up is not giving in: Accepting our fate is not synonymous with jumping into the absurdly omnicidal main stream. Just because we’re opossums on the roadway doesn’t mean we should play possum. Resistance is fertile, after all. To employ a bit of The Boss: “In the end what you don’t surrender, well the world just strips away.”

Or, to employ a bit of Zen: Let go, or be dragged.

Or, to employ a bit of popular culture: Carpe diem.

Or, to employ a bit of Nietzsche: “Live as though the day were here.”

Climate chaos is well under way, and has become irreversible over temporal spans relevant to humans because of positive feedbacks. Such is the nature of reaching the acceleration phase of the nonlinear system that is climate catastrophe.

As a result of ongoing, accelerating climate change, I’m letting go of the notion that Homo sapiens will inhabit this planet beyond 2030. I’m letting go of the notion that Homo sapiens will inhabit this verdant little valley at the edge of American Empire after it turns to dust within a very few years. I’m letting go of the notion that, within a few short years, there will remain any habitat for humans in the interior of any large continent in the northern hemisphere. I’m letting go of the notion we’ll retain even a fraction of one percent of the species currently on Earth beyond 2050. But I’m not letting go of the notion of resistance, which is a moral imperative.

I will no longer judge people for buying into cultural conditioning. It’s far easier to live in a city, at the height of civilization’s excesses, than not. I know how easy it is to live in a city surrounded by beautiful distractions and pleasant interactions, and I fully understand the costs and consequences of dwelling there, as well as the price to be paid in the near future. I spent about half my life in various cities, and I understand the physical ease and existential pain of living at the apex of empire. Also, I know all about the small joys and great pains associated with living in the country. I spent the other half of my life in the country and in towns with fewer than 1,000 people. I understand why the country bumpkin is assigned stereotypical labels related to ignorance and, paradoxically, self-reliance.

It’s clearly too late to tear down this irredeemably corrupt system and realize any substantive benefits for humans or other organisms. And yet I strongly agree with activist Lierre Keith: “The task of an activist is not to navigate systems of oppressive power with as much personal integrity as possible; it is to dismantle those systems.” If it seems I’m filled with contradictions, color me hypocritical fully human in a Walt Whitman sort of way: “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”

Our remaining time on this orb is too short to cast aspersions at those who live differently from ourselves, as most people in industrialized countries have done throughout their lives. Most people in the industrialized world became cultural crack babies in the womb. There is little hope to break the addiction of ingestion at this late point in the era of industry, and I’m throwing in the towel on changing the minds of typically mindless Americans. No longer will I try to convince people to give up the crack pipe based on my perception of morality reality.

I’ll continue to speak. I’ll continue to write. But these efforts will be presented with less urgency than I’ve previously employed, and they will represent personal perspectives and actions. I’ll no longer recommend to others the path I’ve taken.

Nietzsche’s comment about seizing the day, every day, brings to mind the final words of Joseph Campbell’s 1949 book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces:

It is not society that is to guide and save the creative hero, but precisely the reverse. And so every one of us shares the supreme ordeal — carries the cross of the redeemer — not in the bright moments of his tribe’s great victories, but in the silences of his personal despair.

With the preceding dire news in mind, it would be easy to forget how fortunate we are. After all, we get to die. That simple fact alone is cause for celebration because it indicates we get to live. As I wrote more than five years ago, our knowledge of DNA assures us that the odds any one of us existing are greater than the odds against being a particular grain of sand on all the world’s beaches. No, the odds are much greater than that: they exceed the odds of being a single atom plucked from the entire universe. To quote the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, “In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I that are privileged to be here, privileged with eyes to see where we are and brains to wonder why.”

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This essay is permalinked at Democratic Underground, The Refreshment Center and Seemorerocks.

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The latest trailer from Mike Sosebee’s forthcoming film is embedded below. Follow all the updates on Facebook by clicking here.

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Please join me in supporting Peter in his quest to return home.

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361 Responses to “Let go, or be dragged”

  1. Duffy Says:

    “It’s not until we’ve lost everything, that we’re free to do anything.”

    – Tyler Durden

    You do great work Guy. I know people all over this country who are still fighting, and most of them only really started putting their bodies on the line (in the realest sense of the word) when they started sensing how hopeless the future truly is.

    That hopelessness is a recognition that the world you were primed and prepared to receive as a young person will not exist. And thank God for that. Now we’re free to build the world we want, regardless of how ephemeral it may turn out to be.

    For fuck’s sake, let’s not go gently, let’s not whimper in the final twilight.

  2. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    I know people all over this country who are still fighting,

    What does that even mean? Fighting? Resisting and rebuking, I can understand, but fighting is what this System inculcates and does so well. If you fight, you serve it, because it thrives on fight in all its forms. If a New World is possible, fight cannot be part of it, otherwise, it’s not a New World, it will be yet another iteration of the same ol, same ol.

    .

  3. Elaine Says:

    Good for you! ‘Bout time! I’m reaching the same point Guy, tired of being called judgmental. Anymore it’s about do what you want when you want to do it and have fun doing it, sickening as it is.

  4. Capella Says:

    Once again, my personal experience is similar but different, maybe mostly because I live in Germany and not in the United States. While we, too, of course, are born and raised in a culture of Empire and the underlying system is the same (and the corporations are the same, of course), there are subtle and not so subtle differences. The environmental movement and the green party, while by far not as radical and decisive as it should be, is quite influential. Even the mass media, at least the publicly run television and radio channels, touch on topics like peak oil, species extinction, food security and of course climate change quite regularily. All in all I get the feeling that there is a greater awareness of these topics even with “normal” folks who would not consider themselves environmentalists or activists. I am not saying that the German people are likely to shun capitalism and become a nation of self-sufficient permaculture farmers anytime soon (which I, for lack of better solutions, would suggest as probably the best way out of our dilemma at the moment), but I really see more and more of the people I talk to – and I mean talk to in everyday situations: neighbors, colleagues, people I meet on the bus or the train, not my close circle of activist friends – becoming aware of the mess we are in and looking for solutions. Many people are growing some food in their gardens or on their balcony. And many of them will tell you it is because they don’t want to rely on the supermarkets. More and more people choose to work only part time, to have more quality time with their families. Baby steps, sure, and it might be too little too late, but I do see the potential for a mass movement there. Not a top down organized movement … Germans tend to be very suspicious of people whe want to tell them what to think. One Führer was enough. But more a grass roots kind of movement. Many individuals figuring it out on their own and then finding others with similar ideas, forming little groups which then might get together with other groups. Like a system of little creeks flowing together to form streams and then maybe a river. I don’t think we are headed for a revolution. More for a slow paradigm change, where the old system will continue to run it’s destructive, mindless course, but less and less people willing to participate as consumers or wage slaves, who opt out and start putting up small scale alternatives which then might or might not connect to each other.

    I guess what I am saying is: while I do get more and more angry with “the system” and feel my urge to bring it down get stronger everyday, I actually get more hopeful about the majority, or at least a surprisingly large minority, of the people around me, because many of them seem to share or at least starting to get into that notion. Humans are like lemmings. Only lemmings don’t mass suicide down cliffs … they mass migrate to a new habitat when the old one cannot sustain them any longer. Only this time our new habitat is not going to be a new continent, it is going to be a new society.

    In the 80s I had one of those motto pins you could put on your jacket that said: “Stell dir vor es ist Krieg und keiner geht hin” … “Imagine there is a war and no one participates”. And I think this is how this thing is going to end, at least here in Europe: Imagine there is an Empire and no one participates. People will stop to vote, people will stop to buy crap, they will stop to drive their cars around, they will stop to work regular jobs (mostly because there aren’t many of those left, anyway) and they will stop to pay taxes (because if you don’t buy anything, and you don’t earn anything, and you don’t drive, what are they going to tax?). It will take a few years, though. Roundabout two decades I would guess, and I really hope Mother Earth can hold on that long.

  5. another Jean Says:

    One thing you left out of your discourse is the joy to be derived from continuing to do what you know to be right in the sense of leading to a more life-affirming result if only lots more people had started doing it quite a while ago. You strive to live in harmony with nature and to tell the truth as you know it and that feels good. Nothing wrong with feeling good in our remaining days.

  6. BC Says:

    As far and as long as we care to walk, the empire is still there; it is a global economic, financial, social, cultural, and political superstructure, and eventually a kind of smart systems super-organism concentrating resources and power to the top of the evolutionary hierarchical flow structure and power relations.

    The top 25-100 US supranational corporations, including the largest banks, have revenues totaling an equivalent of 40-75% of US private GDP. The banks have assets that now total an unprecedented 130% of private GDP. The banks have a virtual 100% claim on all labor, profits, and gov’t receipts via compounding interest and collateral holdings in perpetuity. They own the US gov’t, mass media, and SCOTUS, and they are positioning to seize legally all assets public and private when the US gov’t inevitably defaults.

    The Anglo-American and European Power Elite are positioning to pull their money out of China-Asia to crash the economy and destabilize the region in order to justify escalating regional war eventually with China to contain China, Russia, Iran, and Radical Islam.

    “Fighting the empire” is an invitation to alienation, inner-conflict, disillusionment, anger, resentment, clinging to what is perceived as lost, and despair.

    Resistance really is futile. Acceptance and letting go is the only “non-choice”. That is, we have the choice not to choose to fight a war with ourselves and that which was lost long ago.

    The top 0.01% Power Elite and top 0.1% rentier oligarchs no longer need the real economy and a system of representative governance to function for the bottom 99%+. Therefore, they do not need the vast majority of us as annoying useless bread gobblers consuming scarce resources per capita.

    What would one do if one were to realize that the vast majority of the human ape species are redundant to the top 0.1-1% and to Nature’s adaptive system of evolutionary flows?

    In this context, why should the top 0.1-1% care what happens to the vast majority of the human ape population?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ui7WOdHhvIA

    Spirits in the material world

    There is no political solution
    To our troubled evolution
    Have no faith in constitution
    There is no bloody revolution

    We are spirits in the material world
    Are spirits in the material world
    Are spirits in the material world
    Are spirits in the material world

    Our so-called leaders speak
    With words they try to jail you
    The subjugate the meek
    But its the rhetoric of failure

    We are spirits in the material world
    Are spirits in the material world
    Are spirits in the material world
    Are spirits in the material world

    Where does the answer lie?
    Living from day to day
    If it’s something we can’t buy
    There must be another way

    We are spirits in the material world
    Are spirits in the material world
    Are spirits in the material world
    Are spirits in the material world

  7. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    I have to laugh at the “quitter” comment. It doesn’t even make any sense, and whoever issued it, obviously does not grok what you have asserted on these pages many times over. Industrial Civilizations is killing the Living Planet, and in short order, the majority of life on this Living Planet will be extinct because of it. To quit Industrial Civilization, to the extent and degree that’s possible, is something everyone should do…in fact, it’s really a moral imperative. Of course, there are those who will continue to believe that you have to fight it, but for that, I point back to my first comment in this thread…….and the Stages of Grief.

    That “quitter” chastisement is yet another fastener that has kept this System perpetuating and growing stronger. It’s a failsafe, and everyone from an early age is indoctrinated to serve as prison guard by keeping everyone else in line if they try to quit the System.

    Thank you for joining me in quitting, Guy. I admire you for your moral determination and for not giving the System the attention, respect and reaction it demands. And, thank you for blog anarchy…..it’s a very unselfish and gracious act on your party, and I for one, appreciate it greatly.

    .

  8. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    Spot on, BC, spot on.

    .

  9. Jean Says:

    I think I can be OK if I am satisfied that somewhere in the Universe there is life

  10. Richard Davies Says:

    It is no we who quit industrial civilization, it is industrial civilization that quits us by becoming too toxic.

  11. St. Roy Says:

    Guy:

    I am new to your posts, but I find your writing stimulating and insightful. I also agree with your forecasts in paragraph #4. A huge die-off if not the total extinction of homo sapiens is a highly likely event in this century. There is no real mitigation, so trying to get the most out of everyday is the only alternative. Don’t let the cornucopians bother you, it’s a natural response of the human epic which is programmed for survival and reproduction. Evidence and reason are not really most people’s forte.

  12. Curtis A. Heretic Says:

    To those of you who know me by my comments, I firmly agree with Guy on all points.
    As a retiree,I needed something more to occupy my time for myself, that is fun, inexpensive, innocuous, physically and mentally demanding, and obsessive. Disc golf is my answer.

    When you cast your ballot for, “Crazy of the Day”, please remember me.

  13. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    Curtis, I played Disc Golf in Undergrad for fun. It’s a cool game. I like Frisbee, in general. When we vacationed at the beach this past summer, I brought the Frisbee because that’s what I did when I was young when at the beach…well, one of the things. I couldn’t get anyone to throw it with me. All the kids, including mine, were more interested in i-everything then they were in something as archaic and strenuous as Frisbee. I felt sad. My Dad never played anything with me, especially not something as unconventional as Frisbee, and here my children won’t play it with me either. :-(

    .

  14. WhereIsMyBaby? Says:

    It’s a monumentally sad situation.

  15. Curtis A. Heretic Says:

    M.B.

    This is the best place to order discs from:
    http://www.discgolfcenter.com/ No tax, free shipping for over $20.00.

    The internet is full of good info, articles, videos, etc.

    It is a young persons game, but there are some older guys and gals. Everyone is very casual, laid back and friendly. I think it is excellent therapy. I try to play everyday for a few hours.
    I play with intensity. At 69 I have only a few fast twitch muscles left, but I play for accuracy. I play with people younger and better than me and study all of the time. I have been playing 14 months, and have made a lot of progress, such that I can now keep up with my younger friends.

    It has progressed since you where an undergrad. Take a new look at it. I would be glad to give you some tips on getting restarted, particularly what to look for in discs.

    To find a course near you:

    http://www.pdga.com/

    Curtis (I play disc golf) A. Heretic

  16. RayS Says:

    Extract from Stephen Vincent Benet’s Nightmare With Angels.

    You will not be saved by General Motors or the prefabricated house.
    You will not be saved by dialectic materialism or the Lambeth Conference.
    You will not be saved by Vitamin D or the expanding universe.
    In fact, you will not be saved.

    -Stephen Vincent Benét”

  17. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    What On Earth?

    Say what you will….these things fascinate me.

    .

  18. Anotherplayaguy Says:

    Once one comes to terms with his own death, the death of the species is a piece of cake. Nearly all species die because of their own actions, and we are no exception. Not sure it was ever a fun ride to begin with.

  19. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    In fact, you will not be saved.

    I hear ya. I wish my daughter didn’t like Smallville so much. I have to keep listening to this when she does.

    .

  20. Arthur Johnson Says:

    As it seems that you are finally ready to climb that Dark Mountain, maybe you should think about getting involved with the Project.

    http://www.dark-mountain.net/

  21. BC Says:

    RayS, appropriate. As Bob Dylan wrote, and Jimi and U2 sang:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIC_NEfeWMQ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4vU7f3xu-A

    “Rock and roll stops the traffic. (Most everything stops the traffic in SF.)”

    Bob Dylan All Along The Watchtower

    “There must be some way out of here” said the joker to the thief
    “There’s too much confusion”, I can’t get no relief
    Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth
    None of them along the line know what any of it is worth.

    “No reason to get excited”, the thief he kindly spoke
    “There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke
    But you and I we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate
    So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late”.

    All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
    While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too.

    Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl
    Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.

    __________

    There’s still stunning human beauty in this world, evidenced by lovely young ladies like Katie Melua (virtually unknown in the US, regrettably) and her “If the Lights Go Out on All of Us”, “The Walls of the World”, “Piece by Piece”, and “I Cried for You”:

    Let go and enjoy . . . while we still can.

  22. Max Says:

    Hey Guy, and friends
    I stumbled upon your opinion recently in a video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOq2A_SGTYA which I thought was succinct and to the point and summed up the thoughts that I was getting from our current situation.
    I hold the belief that the end of the era of current civilisation is imminent, however I also know people who hold different beliefs.
    Now my belief is strong, it’s backed by empirical science but it is not a belief that is widely held in the world. Most people seem to think the next 10 years will be pretty much like the last 10, with ‘booms and busts’ and ‘work and play’.
    Now I hate to bring the concept of religion into a sane conversation as I am an atheist, but I think there is a lesson to be learnt here.
    Many (millions) of people profess to believe in a god. I think they are misguided and should question their belief. And they may think I am wrong not to believe as they do. So I have to question my own belief with some humility.
    Could we as a species stop the madness of self extinction if we understood what’s at stake? I like to believe we could, and we should.
    So what are the stakes?
    The extinction of ALL life in the known Universe, versus the end of a comfortable life for maybe a third of one species of life on this one planet.
    With those stakes understood I can’t surrender and I can’t quit.
    We may be wrong about the forthcoming climate chaos exterminating all humans, if there’s a chance of my species surviving I want to be a part of that.

  23. Martin Knight Says:

    We’re in a strange place, that’s for sure. Paradoxically, the people who read this blog or attend Guy’s lectures are the least prepared, psychologically, for the sudden, wrenching changes under way.

    In his latest podcast, Dmitry Orlov does another of those things he does that really messes with your mind. He says you can’t really prepare for collapse, not if you’re an educated person with the leisure time and resources that have enabled you to become collapse-aware. You can’t doanything. What is necessary is to become someone else, someone who isn’t privileged but is living hand to mouth, struggling on the margins, a hobo even. And such people know nothing about the predicament “we” face (sorry, Morocco), yet are already accustomed to hardship.

  24. BC Says:

    Max, long before climate change (the planet has been warming for centuries and for millennia since the last ice age, of course, and humans for millennia have been impacting local and regional microclimates) gets the bottom 99%+ of us, the banksters and their police-state and client gov’t war machine will destroy the existing mass-consumer division of labor and system of debt-money credits, the social welfare sate, and income and purchasing for the vast majority of us.

    The banksters literally want it all, and since ’08, and with the assistance of the debt-money printing press they own at the Fed, they’re going to get it all.

    Consequently, for the first time in human history, we have today a de facto militarist-imperialist, rentier-oligarchic corporate-state dictatorship complete with a growing surveillance and police-state apparatus from which there is no hiding nor escaping.

    Welcome to the machine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnzaykWhlXs

    We’ve been here before. We were warned. We were not allowed to know. What we don’t know won’t hurt us, you understand.

    http://www6.svsu.edu/~jalewis2/British/British%20Fascism/1935%20Corporate%20State.pdf

    http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/mussolini-fascism.asp

    “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.”

    – Benito Mussolini

    From George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four”

    Part 3, Chapter 3, excerpts:

    “The proletarians will never revolt, not in a thousand years or a million. They cannot. I do not have to tell you the reason: you know it already. … There is no way in which the Party can be overthrown. The rule of the Party is for ever. Make that the starting-point of your thoughts.’ He came closer to the bed. For ever! he repeated. … You understand well enough how the Party maintains itself in power. Now tell me why we cling to power. What is our motive? Why should we want power? Go on, speak, he added as Winston remained silent.

    Winston … knew in advance what O’Brien would say. That the Party … sought power because men in the mass were frail cowardly creatures who could not endure liberty or face the truth, and must be ruled over and systematically deceived by others who were stronger than themselves. … That the party was the eternal guardian of the weak, a dedicated sect doing evil that good might come…

    Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. … We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me? …

    You know the Party slogan: ‘Freedom is Slavery.’ Has it ever occurred to you that it is reversible? Slavery is freedom. … The second thing for you to realize is that power is power over human beings. Over the body but, above all, over the mind. … How does one man assert his power over another, Winston? Winston thought. By making him suffer, he said.

    Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? … A world of fear and treachery is torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress towards more pain. The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy, everything.

    Already we are breaking down the habits of thought which have survived from before the Revolution. We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. … There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. … If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — for ever. The espionage, the betrayals, the arrests, the tortures, the executions, the disappearances will never cease. It will be a world of terror as much as a world of triumph. … That is the world that we are preparing, Winston.”

    They’ve won. The future has arrived: a civilization based on fear and hatred; a world of terror; war without end; empire and triumphalism; no trust, no wives, no children, and no friends; boots stamping on faces; progress of increasing pain; and a Hobbesian “war of all against all”.

    And who created this world unfit for humans and non-humans alike? We did, you and I. All 7 billion of us acting upon our evolutionary programming, the force of desire and will to power, and procreative imperatives.

    We have met our creator and our destroyer, s/he who created the world in our image, and s/he is us. We are the cause of our suffering and its ending. If a person or civilization is suicidal, there is very little one can do to prevent it.

    “Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.”

    — Toynbee

  25. Guy McPherson Says:

    Arthur Johnson, I know all about the Dark Mountain project, and this website is listed there. So far, they haven’t published any of my writing, but we’re coming from the same dark place.

  26. Jeff S. Says:

    Nice antidote to stuff i’ve been hearing/reading all day, Catherine Austin Fitts telling host Bonnie Faulkner on KPFA’s Guns and Butter http://www.kpfa.org/archives/ (look under today’s date, it’s at 1PM PDT) that everything in the future will be provided in people’s garages by 3D printers supplied by “composite materials,” that oil will be replaced by high intensity solar, and maybe even free energy and cars running on water, and materials will be supplied via mining the Moon, Mars,…. Or Zero Hedge featuring an article by Charles Hugh Smith which includes comments by his friend Marc likewise invoking 3D printers and home delivery via automated gas-electric trucks, and downplaying the idea of Peak Oil induced collapse. “It’s gonna be alright” intones the mighty Wurlitzer. Thanks, Guy!!

  27. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    And such people know nothing about the predicament “we” face (sorry, Morocco), yet are already accustomed to hardship.

    Sorry about what? He’s saying what I have said here before. There is no preparing. The ability to be responsive, reflexive, improvisational and mobile will get you through it, if it’s possible to get through it. Being nomadic, I believe, will be part of that process. I’m glad he’s come clean on that, because it necessarily includes himself as one of the peeps that cannot prepare, and will not be prepared. However, I’m also not sure I’d want to live a life of pure hell, and if there is a chance to come through this, the intervening years, in all likelihood, will be rather unpleasant.

    .

  28. BadlandsAK Says:

    Hello there!

    I came across your blog about a month ago & reading here has sparked some interesting internal dialogue. I would not call myself a ‘doomer’ or a ‘prepper’, but more of a realist. Once your eyes are opened to the world around you, they cannot be shut. I can accept what is happening in our world, as I have already had my psyche and heart torn apart trying to fight it, or at least trying to feel useful in making some kind of difference. I think that is actually quite common for artist types, of which I am.

    My dilemma is I have small children. Three of them under the age of five, to be exact. A while back there was a thread where folks here were discussing how they are “preparing” for collapse and it really made me think, though above mentioned little ones keep me from joining many discussions. Anyway, I decided that there is not much I can do, except to remain resilient and adaptable to change. I figured my life has been hard enough, and if it has prepared me for anything, it is change, as it seems to have been in constant upheaval. But I worry about the little ones. There seem to be some very smart people in this community and several medical professionals, so I want to ask something kind of specific.
    My son, 4 1/2 yo, has SEVERE environmental allergies, asthma, and SEVERE food allergies/anaphylaxis. We nearly lost him last summer after exposure to food allergen, and we are in a constant battle with the allergies year round. He just started pre-school, and already caught a cold, which led to lung infection. So, I guess my question is, how do you prepare for upheaval with medically fragile children? He qualifies for medicaid, but when I see the actual cost of his meds, i.e.. epi-pens, steroid inhalers, albuterol inhalers, nebulizer treatments, various antihistamines, nasal sprays, it is simply outrageous. And scary, because we have tried letting him go without any meds for periods of time, due to severe side effects, but I’m telling you, that verdant valley turning to dust in a few years is our reality.
    We live in Rapid City, SD and with the heat/extreme drought, we live in a dust bowl that is ready to catch fire. Our grass dried up and blew away. It is very windy here, and we get all of the wildfire smoke from out west. We have frequent air quality alerts, like today, but I feel the standards are pretty low, because I often see/smell smoke in the mornings, but find no reliable info on air quality. I try to play it safe, as I also have asthma, and my 1 1/2 y/o seems to have developed a hacking cough when we go out to play. It has been the first summer I have spent indoors :( I’m from Alaska, so I know cabin fever. Far worse when it is due to heat/bad air.
    Also, the few things we are able to plant (we rent a house) really suffered, no matter how much water/fertilizer we utilized. We could not keep up with tomatoes last summer, this summer there were none, save for a few which some were the size of a pea! Zucchini we planted next to the neighbors abandoned house did fine in 1/2 day sun, though stopped producing in extreme heat. Things feel in chaos as last year was complete flood conditions all spring and summer. But we had almost no snow cover and it was 75 on January 2. I knew that grass wasn’t going to survive. So…I am at a loss as to why many people haven’t ‘woken up’. Villages in Northern Alaska have been suffering the effects of global warming, receding ice, melting permafrost, for at least 15 years, but people in the south central part of the state are glib about it because of their cold summers and record snow.
    Sad and scary times. I really want to take the rest of my savings and take my children on a road trip to see some of the national parks. Would that be selfish of me?

    @Capella nice post. Are you familiar with the artist Joseph Beuys? Post WWII, I believe he dealt with many issues we are facing now, and as a whole, post war/post holocaust Germany did as well. I think that is why at least part of your country is more mature when facing the current state of the planet. No offense to the great usa, of course! haha…

  29. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    Wait a minute. I think I know why you said it, Martin. The school and the planting the metaphorical seeds for a New World. Well, I harbor competing views, and depending on the day, one holds sway over the other, yet they coexist as possibilities for me concomitantly. That’s another thing about these End Times. There’s going to be a great deal of schizo behavior. Predictable patterns are going to be a thing of the past, perhaps, for awhile, until we go extinct, or somehow miraculously, some come through it and out the other end of the Crucible and become part of a New World…one where Humankind doesn’t play a lead role.

    .

  30. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.”

    – Benito Mussolini

    Where’s the contemporary Mussolini? The Hitler? The Franco? That’s one of the main ingredients of Fascism, yet I see no individual like that anywhere, leading a Populist revolt to restore the USA to its Purist roots.

    .

  31. Martin Knight Says:

    Morocco, it was a reference to your earlier protestation about using the groupthink “we.” :)

  32. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    Ah, duh, if it was a snake, it would have bitten me. Thank you for the hat tip, though. :-)

    .

  33. BC Says:

    http://www.zazzle.com/soylent_green_dark_long_sleeve_tee-235385141137774734

    http://www.zazzle.com/soylent_green_tees-235315902671250056

    Bama, et al., there is one resource on the planet that is in abundance, and on which the human species could rely for quite some time. It might take a creative marketing and advertising campaign to sell the resource, however. But it is a democratic resource, as it is of, by, and for the people.

    The best thing is that it’s PETA approved! For people who love people.

    http://www.zazzle.com/the_soylent_green_party_t_shirts-235392263667786134

    I can see it now, a new political party for the people.

    For the sake of my fellow worthless gobblers, I’d be happy to sell my aging carcass for my fellow human and non-human creatures. I can’t promise that I taste like chicken, buy one must make sacrifices in these cases.

  34. BC Says:

    Bama, fascism is much further evolved than in Il Duce’s or Herr Hitler’s day. There is no need for a charismatic dictator, although it helps to sell the system to the masses. Obummer is a good example, of course.

    The dictatorship is of the owners of the militarist-imperialist, hierarchical, command-and-control corporate-state, and it has a friendly face, unless you’re an Iraqi, Afghan, enemy combatant against empire, etc.

    Eventually the top 25-100 US corporations will be “the economy”, if not already, leaving the rest of us outside the fortified ramparts of the impenetrable corporate-state fortress.

  35. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    BC, it’s much more complex than that, but I think this is of interest as it relates to Fascism. I know of a blogger who fits this description to a T, yet no one will admit it except one poster of the many. He’s German, and he’s rabidly Anti-American, but highly Authoritarian and he was once a member of the Green Party that fought against Nuclear Power. I could name names, but I won’t. He’s militant, has a background in the German military, is technically savvy and a fervent ecologist and supportive of Authoritarian and Totalitarian regimes across the globe so long as those regimes are allegedly in conflict with the U.S.

    http://www.spunk.org/texts/places/germany/sp001630/janet.html

    ‘Ecology’ and the Modernization of Fascism in the German Ultra-right

    Ecology is warped for mystical-nationalist ends by a whole series of neofascist groups and parties. Indeed, so multifarious are the ecofascist parties that have arisen, and so much do their memberships overlap, that they form what antifascist researcher Volkmar Wölk calls an “ecofascist network.” 8 Their programmatic literature often combines ecology and nationalism in ways that are designed to appeal to people who do not consider themselves fascists, while at the same time they ideologically support neo-Nazi street-fighting skinheads who commit acts of violence against foreigners………

    ” What is clearly crucial is how an ecological politics is conceived. If the Green slogan “we are neither left nor right but up front” was ever meaningful, the emergence of an ‘ecological right’ defines the slogan’s bankruptcy conclusively. The need for an ecological left is urgent, especially one that is firmly committed to a clear, coherent set of anticapitalist, democratic, antihierarchical views. It must have firm roots in the internationalism of the left and the rational, humanistic, and genuinely egalitarian critique of social oppression that was part of the Enlightenment, particularly its revolutionary libertarian offshoot.

    ” But an ecologically oriented politics must deal with biological phenomena warily, since interpretations of them can serve sinister ends. When ‘respect for Nature’ comes to mean ‘reverence,’ it can mutate ecological politics into a religion that ‘Green Adolfs’ can effectively use for authoritarian ends. When ‘Nature,’ in turn, becomes a metaphor legitimating sociobiology’s ‘morality of the gene,’ the glories of ‘racial purity,’ ‘love of Heimat,’ ‘woman equals nature,’ or ‘Pleistocene consciousness,’ the cultural setting is created for reaction. ‘Ecological’ fascism is a cynical but potentially politically effective attempt to mystically link genuine concern for present-day environmental problems with time-honored fears of the ‘outsider’ or the ‘new,’ indeed the best elements of the Enlightenment, through ecological verbiage. Authoritarian mystifications need not be the fate of today’s ecology movement, as social ecology demonstrates. But they could become its fate if ecomystics, ecoprimitivists, misanthropes, and antirationalists have their way.”

    .

  36. Ken Barrows Says:

    Human extinction by 2030? But that’s when my Social Security payments begin! ;)

  37. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    BC, I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t see that as Fascism, I see it as something much more diabolical. Certainly it incorporates attributes of typical Fascism, if there is such a thing, but it also incorporates attributes of Maoism and Stalinism, and it has attributes that are uniquely its own, and it transcends the USA, although it uses the USA as the strong arm….the stick, if you will.

    And, so long as that Soylent Green comes with gravy, I guess I can live with it. I loves me some gravy. :-)

    When collapse occurs, I believe there are many possibilities and permutations, and one of them will most certainly be a return to good, old-fashioned Fascism….the kind you know, when you see it. The Hot Evil Fascism of Germany, Italy and Spain and the Balkans. In fact, the break-up of Yugoslavia is a prototype of things to come for various regions of the planet…except the prototype is much more benign then what’s to come, imo.

    Then, of course, all of it could be avoided if an involuntary population reduction scheme were implemented, and I wouldn’t put that past the most powerful peeps the planet has ever known.

    .

  38. BC Nurse Prof Says:

    As Slavoj Zizek sez: “Resistance Is Surrender”

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v29/n22/slavoj-zizek/resistance-is-surrender

    The first time I read this my mouth fell open. Zizek “out-Foucaults Foucault” with regard to power and resistance.

    He’s a weird guy, a Catholic Marxist, and an outlandish thinker.

    Now, about Rapid City South Dakota. Lived there, done that. One of the more conservative places in the U.S. Remember the folks in Montana that held off the BTF for a while, claiming their own country? I was surprised that didn’t happen in RC. Tell me, is Bill Napoli still a state senator?

    I have some nursing professor colleagues still there. I keep in touch only irregularly. I know that one would like to come up here, but she tells me that her parents on the farm in SD couldn’t go on without her. I should email her and see if the farm has blown away. I remember in 2003 the temperature in the center of the state somewhere a bit north of Pierre (pronounced “peer”) reached 123 degrees and all the crops and hay died, plus most of the livestock.

    My advice: Go back to Alaska. It might even be better for your son with his allergies. I just prepared a lecture for Friday for my students that uses asthma as the example of a disease that will skyrocket with climate change.

    Allergies are a disease of civilization. Treatments will soon be unavailable. Hell, even health care will soon be unavailable. Better to leave civilization.

    Don’t resist. Just don’t play.

    No, maybe go to Whitehorse Yukon. One of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.

  39. BC Nurse Prof Says:

    That’s “ATF” not “BTF” It’s the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The people in Montana called themselves the “Freemen”

  40. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    BC Nurse Prof, when I said the word resist, I meant it in the sense of don’t give the System its demanded respect and reaction, not resist as in struggle with it or fight it. That’s why I also included the word rebuke. Yes, what you said, “just don’t play” sums it up nicely. I like that. BC is a beautiful place. Was there in 2004. Went to Whistler via Vancouver. On the ride up from Vancouver, my mouth hung open the entire time, and I couldn’t pay attention to the high school friends I hadn’t seen in twenty years, the scenery was so breathtaking…..well, there was that, and there was the crazy cabbie who I thought for sure was going to drive right off that highway and plunge us to our death five hundred feet below.

    .

  41. OzMan Says:

    Martin Knight

    Regarding your comments about Dimity Orlov…

    Did you really need him to spell it out for you? Obviously it is what is left after all the superficial coating is removed as the theorised ‘Collapse’,(its here now), occurs that counts.

    What kind of relations do you and your family, or close cohabitors, have? Where do you get water, and how do you obtain food? What energy sources do you regularly use, and what back ups do you have as alternatives?

    Most people will rapidly go to wood burning as a backup. What signals do you give to strangers about your threat level? Are you a successful scrounger/scavenger for materials and yes food? Do you know common places to scavenge from? Do you know local and regional sites to have backups for scavenging materials and foods? If you have dependents, can they be managed and are they prepared?
    The list goes on and on and on….

    I have been progressing on this adaptation for about three years now, and my family and kids are now putting signs up in the front yard, disguised as being from local residents, criticising me for hoarding out of fear.I’m not afraid, just gatering stuff I’m using now.

    Orlov is essentially correct about the difference between experience and theory. Those living without the extras, or mainstays of Empire will naturally be far better adapted than those who merely are mentally prepared. No argument IMO.
    But it is all about what you think is a priority for today! I am not waiting for anyone to rescue me/us. DIY, and some colaboration may come.

    Some people, no a majority of people, will not understand, YET, what is going on with the scavenging thing nearby me, but who cares? I am endeavouring not to offend people, serve local support networks, and that means actualising the human scale gift community, and get some physical exercise by walking everywhere. There are times of doubts, yes, but that is par for any course a human embarks on somewhat outside the orbit of most neighbours life expectations.High functioning for me is activating sound intuition on how to proceed in situations that have potential for new links to people and activities that will be a long term support to me and my family and the rest of sentient life, not necessarily in that order of priority of importance.

    Some advice on scavenging. If in doubt IMO it is usually better to ask if something is owned, and if it is still needed. Also shaving, for men, helps with congenial discourse, but altogether unnecessary if you are a good discourser.
    All

    A comment on adaptation and Empire:

    An aquaintence once expressed loathing of the person who invented the funnel, used for decanting liquids, and in the aquaintence’s case mostly engine oil. I was a bit puzzled so asked him to clarify. He said that because the inventor had solved that problem, of not spilling the valuable fluid, he no longer had the task of finding a solution to the problem. If we look as culture as in part, the handing on of solutions such as this example, to problems, then eventually the younger generations do not have to think for themselves because all of the major problems have beeen simply handed to them.

    I took his point, and in some ways this may explain why it is given out now that Hunter Gatherers in prehistoric times had bigger brains, measurably so, because they had to figure things out, often quicky, if it was friend or foe stuff.

    Soon our brains will be selected for the old survival skills, if we get to surviving very far.
    Live for taday, with an eye on tomorrow. See if that works….

  42. Jennifer Hartley Says:

    I appreciate this so much, Guy. Right there with you.

  43. MySpoonIsTooBig Says:

    “It’s alright, ma…it’s life and life only.” – Bob Dylan

    Now is all we have. Carpe diem. :)

  44. Bernhard Says:

    @BadlandsAK

    Have a look at this site: Gaps.me

    It takes some reading and understanding, and then – acting, lots of acting.
    What we have experienced over here the past 2 months – this has incredible power to heal. And its “only” food we are using, true food this is, but.

    In case you want more information, I think Guy can provide my email for ya.
    Peace.
    Bernhard

  45. Kathy C Says:

    Guy “After all, we get to die. That simple fact alone is cause for celebration because it indicates we get to live.”
    There is no life without death so for all that find life worth living the fact that they die is the price they pay for that life. As you note it can well be considered a price worth paying. It also means they can’t keep anyone in Gitmo forever.

    Thought came to mind after reading your essay “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” For us in the first world it has been a time of comfort, a time we can pursue the joys of learning how the world works, a time when a world of knowledge and interactions opened up to us over the web, a time when some progress has been made on accepting people different from us. And of course a time when we have to witness our own self destruction. For many it is just plain “the worst of times”, for the 1 billion born into poverty of less than $1 a day, for the people who live their whole lives on garbage dumps, for children sold into slavery, the child soldiers of Uganda, and no “best of times” in their future. For them death means “we get to stop living”

    So sad the wise ape, the intelligent ape, could not do better. Ah well it was always the case that life on earth and the planet itself would end. The demise comes a little earlier than expected, unnecessarily earlier, but perhaps as Dilworth proposes we were always “Too smart for our own good, and too dumb to do anything about it” so the end may quite necessarily be now.

  46. Martin Knight Says:

    OzMan,

    Once again I regret my limited participation on this blog. To avoid further misunderstanding, let me make my position plain. I am making no preparations for collapse at all. Nothing.

  47. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    I have to laugh at The Dark Mountain Project thing. Right up to the very end, this compulsion to engender exclusivity and elitism in all things….even The End. It’s astonishing……and absurdly ridiculous. People wanting to think themselves special and superior in the face of complete annihilation. If The End doesn’t humble this farce, obviously, nothing will. Arrogance to the last breath. That’s the Human legacy.

    .

  48. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    Martin, you sacrilegious heretic, you! I know there’s a Curtis the Heretic, but do we now have a Martin the Heretic? How dare you not place yourself upon bended knee and pay proper homage to the Deity of Doom. May it smite you where you stand, or sit, or lay! Oh, wait, we’re all going to be smote anyway, so what does it matter? In the end, the one luscious, juicy, flavorfully satisfying card we have left, is defiance of all things demanded by this System, including Doom.

    .

  49. Martin Knight Says:

    You have good insight, MB, and I say that as one who is not a flatterer. Indeed, I try to show my respect for people by not flattering them. You would be amazed how often this turns out to be a bad idea.

    Since I am placing things on record, I would also like it to be known that I own several funnels, all of them quality items, some of them specialist tools for laboratory procedures or filtering kerosene into stoves. I like to think ownership of them confers a measure of self-reliance rather than shrinks my brain. The artefacts of industrial civilisation all embody a conundrum: like alcohol they are both the cause of, and solution to, life’s problems.

  50. Mike Stasse Says:

    Occasionally……. one will receive an email that stuns. This was one of them, from Dr Graham Turner.

    Dear Chris, Len, and all,

    In the 10 years since the CSIRO work you mention (Future Dilemmas), that modelling has been enlarged and extended – by a diminishing number of colleagues including myself. In particular, it was clearly important to search for solutions using our `stocks and flows’ simulation applied to the problems identified in the Future Dilemmas.

    What follows is a summary of my personal reflections; they should not be interpreted as representing the views of CSIRO.

    In brief, this recent work strongly confirms Chris’ observations. And I think it has implications for the system design (as opposed to system modelling) perspective in Richard Mochelle’s reply.

    In the latest modelling, while I didn’t specify a steady-state economy (SSE) as an outcome, this is what effectively resulted from my attempts to lower GHG emissions, ease oil constraints and other environmental pressures, while keeping the economy functioning. But there are immense challenges, as outlined below, which I believe make the SSE outcome extremely unlikely.

    For a reference:

    Turner, G. M. (2011) Consumption and the Environment: Impacts from a System Perspective. In Landscapes of Urban Consumption (Ed, Newton, P. W.), pp.51-70, CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.

    and have some PPT presentations that summarise it. (Several of my other projects and publications find similar outcomes, even though they focus on different topics and details.)

    On a side note relevant to the 1st of Chris’ points below, this work was an off-shoot of simpler work in 2010 for the Immigration Department looking (again) at the environmental and resource implications of different immigration (and population) levels. The Department eventually released that report, after months had passed, and after the Population Issues Paper. It was released on the 23rd December 2010. Not surprisingly it received little attention. There were other interesting aspects to the handling of this work; Mark O’Connor has generally documented these well in a piece for The Drum website.

    But back to content…

    While the modelling showed that it is technically feasible to achieve the SSE or to approach sustainability, there are important caveats. Even with my background as a technologist (applied physics) many of the technological assumptions I made were rather heroic; and of particular note, a reliance on imported oil was not eliminated.

    But (putting these caveats aside for a moment) what was striking was the immensity and rapidity of change required. Population had to be stabilised (zero net immigration & 1.6 births/female); multiple substantial technological/engineering schemes had to be implemented simultaneously; consumption rates had to be substantially reduced; and most importantly, the working week had to diminish to 3-days by 2050.

    I would judge that nothing short of a true social and political revolution (i.e., probably a “painful” process) would be required all these necessary changes. Feasible in principle? Yes. Likely? No.

    And this is just for Australia. We can’t ignore the global context, and particularly the issue of oil constraints.

    This has hit home even more strongly for me when I recently updated my comparison of the original 1970’s Limits to Growth scenario modelling with almost 40 years of data (from 1970 to 2010). This is published in:

    Turner, G. M. (2012). On the cusp of global collapse? Updated comparison of the Limits to Growth with historical data. GAiA, 21(2), 116-124.

    http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/oekom/gaia/2012/00000021/00000002/art00010

    Essentially, we are still tracking on the `business-as-usual’ scenario, which sees a collapse occur through resource constraint. What is alarming, is that the key mechanism for the collapse, and the timing, appear to be playing out. It is not that resources (particularly, oil) run out at all, but that they become increasingly difficult to extract. This has the effect that the industrial system, services and agriculture are not adequately supported and output begins to collapse, followed by population.

    In the model – and contrary to common understanding – this doesn’t happen some decades away, but at about 2015. Overall, the BAU scenario has rather startling alignment with contemporary events.

    While we can never be certain, I don’t think that we can simply dismiss this as coincidence; too many of the ducks line up. There is a real prospect a collapse has effectively begun (but will it pan out as modelled, especially the timing?).

    This does not mean that we should lose hope, become despondent and chuck it all in. On this point, I agree with Richard Mochelle: “do what we think OUGHT to be done, what MUST be done”. Unfortunately, surely certain wealthy miners agree with this approach but with much different aims?

    Based on the research, I believe it’s time to create as many “lifeboats” as possible, in order to leap into these if necessary. In many on-the-ground ways this probably has much in common with a greenleap into a sustainable future. But the difference is likely to be that lifeboats depend more on bottom-up decentralised local initiatives. A focus on local food, water, energy, and social systems, right down to the household level. This is where I remain hopeful.

    Best wishes,

    Graham

  51. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    Martin, your last post reminded me of one of my favorite movies when I was young. It’s cheesy by today’s standards, but replete with many of the existential issues we discuss here, especially what you just mentioned. I’ve watched this movie at various stages in my life and my perspective of it has changed over time as I have evolved and grown. When I first watched it, at age nine, I sided with Neville, and dreaded the mutants. I’m now neutral, and I understand the mutants message, not their tactics, just as I understand Neville’s affinity to the former world. Soylent Green is often mentioned as a possible permutation, but I think an Omega Man scenario is also plausible…and probable.

    .

  52. Tom Says:

    Heading to downtown Philly to protest the fracking industry conference there (trying to convince our legislators that “all is well, it’ll be cheap, safe and plentiful.” Where have we heard that canard before?
    Oh, right nuclear energy. Welcome to the new Fukushima of PA unless we stop this industry from ruining our only source of potable water. As with the nuke industry, where they dispose of the waste (which in this case can’t be processed to get the toxic chemicals out so it can be used as drinking water once again)? Are they dumping it into streams, lakes and rivers? Are they storing it in vast containers which will erode in time? This must stop!

  53. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    Tom, funny you should mention that. This past summer, whilst visiting family in that area, my bro and I and our immediate families stayed in a hotel off of Ridge Pike in Collegeville/Limerick. My father, who is 87 by the way and does not remember who we are, resides at a VA home in Collegeville, and even though he doesn’t remember us or recognize us, we went to visit him anyway, and we had a wonderful view of the Limerick Nuclear Power Plant steaming away. Needless to say, it was ominous, and these practically dead older folks in this VA home get to stare at that all day long….their legacy…our legacy….a legacy of suffering, death and destruction, as their own imminent death taunts them…coming ever closer but still just out of reach.

    http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/phillyburbs.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/66/e66f487e-579a-11e0-9747-00127992bc8b/4d8dcbbaa5133.image.jpg

    There’s a twisted beauty in that photo.

    .

  54. Arthur Johnson Says:

    Morocco,

    Why do you think the Dark Mountain Project is a farce. Have you taken the time to read the Manifesto, and Paul Kingsnorth’s piece “Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist”?

  55. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    Arthur, firstly, the look and feel of it appears to me to be contrived. Secondly, as I look deeper, it comes off as Elitist and Exclusive….only the Crème de la Crème need apply. Of course, I can’t be sure, but why would they not publish something of Guy’s? I like to adhere to Martin’s philosophy of not flattering people unnecessarily, but Guy’s a proficient writer, and his essays are extremely salient and poignant to Dark Mountain’s venue, so why not publish something of Guy’s? Thirdly, there’s this:

    http://dark-mountain.net/get-involved/support-us/

    And it includes membership levels. Considering what is discussed here, how dire things really are, does it not seem foolish and absurd to you that someone needs to create yet another online membership drive and organization….one that embraces The End?

    I remain skeptical. And by the way, I buy very few books because I have a limited budget. We rely heavily on our local library, so anyone trying to make a buck off this End Times gig isn’t going to make it off me.

    .

  56. Kathy C Says:

    MB you wrote “have to laugh at The Dark Mountain Project thing. Right up to the very end, this compulsion to engender exclusivity and elitism in all things….even The End. ”

    That makes three things we now agree on :) or is it 4

  57. Kathy C Says:

    Somehow I am reminded of the great cartoon – Turf war on 49th Street

    http://www.condenaststore.com/-sp/Turf-War-on-West-49th-Street-New-Yorker-Cartoon-Prints_i8544919_.htm

    Two people are standing at a corner holding signs – one says “The End of the World is near for Religious Reasons” and the other “The End of the World is near for Ecological Reasons”

    But if the end of the world is near and the end cannot be stopped, who cares.

  58. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    That makes three things we now agree on :) or is it 4

    HaHa! :-) It’s getting to be too many for me to count. If we keep it up, I will have to pull out my hair shirt and flog myself for engaging in the dreaded Group Think. :-)

    .

  59. Kathy C Says:

    But even more than that I am reminded of this cartoon.

    http://www.condenaststore.com/-sp/And-so-while-the-end-of-the-world-scenario-will-be-rife-with-unimaginabl-New-Yorker-Cartoon-Prints_i8544483_.htm

    Business man talking to colleagues – So while the end of the world will be rife with unimaginable horrors, the pre-end period will be filled with unprecedented opportunities for profit

    I note that “The full text of the manifesto is below. You can also buy an elegantly designed, numbered and hand-stitched physical copy, made by our friends at Bracketpress in Lancashire.” Why in dog’s name would anyone want a numbered hand-stitched pamphlet when in 18 per Guy or 38 per Arctic News the human race will be extinct.

    Time to take the extinction of the human race a bit more seriously than joining Dark Mountain at say level 4 “LEVEL FOUR: £100 or more a year. As well as the book, the newsletter and the event invitation, we will list your name in the next Dark Mountain book and/or on our website. (If you prefer to be anonymous, though, just let us know.)” Clearly they are not taking the future facing humans seriously at all. EXTINCTION means that it – no more humans to collect things, buy things, make money, take pleasure at seeing their name in a book, donate, read things, value things, enjoy things, suffer. Done, finished, over – well unless there are aliens who come and examine the stuff we leave after the radiation from 400 Fukushimas settles down.

  60. OzMan Says:

    Morocco Bama

    I’m told authors greatly desire to have their books purchased for public libraries because there is a royalty paid for every borrowing of them, and it means the book that is in a library has not only paid its way by being purchased, but also keeps on giving withevery reader/borrower. So you may well be getting them richer. Not sure if this applies entirly throughout the world, but North America may have other rules.

  61. The REAL Dr. House Says:

    Martin Knight: Indeed, I try to show my respect for people by not flattering them. You would be amazed how often this turns out to be a bad idea.

    Thanks for the laugh out loud moment this morning! :-)

  62. The REAL Dr. House Says:

    Kathy C, enjoyed the cartoon you shared. Here’s a classic Peanuts from yesterday’s paper that is more inline with my own personal philosophy of late:

    http://www.gocomics.com/peanuts/2012/09/19?utm_source=google&utm_medium=gadget&utm_campaign=gadget_clickthrough

  63. Kathy C Says:

    Dr. House – thanks. Good philosophy for sure.!

  64. OzMan Says:

    Martin Knight

    Multiple funnel ownership noted.

    I think my point generally with that anecdote was that if as an individual, and aperhaps a cohort of young people, you have never really had to solve critical, or at least advantage providing problems, as a general rule, you are less adapted to doing so, and in a time where adaptation is needed, as well as using less of everything, the individual or group that has little experience is less able to self provide.
    Another good example is how the internet has changed academic scholarship. It has had many consequences, I’ll grant, but this particular one is the now widespread process of ‘copy and paste’, instead of study, think, and having learnt, research and think and write. I’m not suggesting that all in academia and its processes were always sacrosanct and pure and perfect, however, in the past you had to pay a lot of money to cheat essays, and lecturerers and prof’s were pretty in your face and knew the capacities of students they had had for a while.
    Now the PROBLEMS to be solved are how to copy and paste, and seamlessly segue, and not get detected, which itself might be easier now too, it depends on faculty, etc.
    Problems that impact on survival were where the brain size issue really came up. So I suppose I conflated the idea of advantage, in a financial sense, (inventions can bring wealth), and survival.

    Why are you making no changes whatsoever about collapse? There is no right thing to do, even if collapse is immanent IMO. So do you have a reason you can share as to your stated non-other-activities re collapse? I’m always interested to hear others views, they all help IMO.

  65. OzMan Says:

    Kathy C

    “Done, finished, over – well unless there are aliens who come and examine the stuff we leave after the radiation from 400 Fukushimas settles down.”

    Now you’re talking!

  66. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    because there is a royalty paid for every borrowing of them

    I doubt that, but if it were true, it needs to cease immediately. I don’t want my Library spending my property tax money calculating royalties for authors. That money can be used to procure more books, and hire more Librarians.

    .

  67. ulvfugl Says:

    Regarding DM.

    I thought the manifesto was brilliant. Nobody else had brought attention to the emphasis on story, as a cultural, psychological, personal vector.

    So, I wanted to assist in any way I could, so I wrote something, emailed it, and they published it in DM 2.

    Since then, I discovered that ‘things’ did not develop in the way I had hoped and anticipated. ( instead of climbing Mount Kailash so to speak, it went downhill, hahahaha ) Someone recently mentioned the Light Valley. An alternative vision.

    You need to remember the time factor. DM originated from nothing, several years ago. I’ve been on the internet since the mid 90s. At that time I only found about six people who had a clue. Zerzan was one, Prieur another. I shan’t mention the other names. There’s been a long, slow, build up of awareness. Sure, it’s elitist and I could hack it to pieces on many other grounds, and feel entitled and tempted to do so. But it is what it is, just one vehicle to which a certain section of soceity can respond. Relative to the whole spectrum out there, most are worse.

    But then you folks here should be sorry about that, instead of preening your moral superiority, because the reason it became what it now is, is because they don’t know what to do. Or, what else to do.

    Does anyone here know what to do ?

  68. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    So you may well be getting them richer.

    Alright. I’m going to stop reading books then. Pretty soon they’ll have us cleaning their houses, and in return, they’ll give us a free copy of their book that tells us ever so eloquently that we’re all going to go extinct very very soon and it’s all our fault…and they’ll autograph it.

    .

  69. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    Does anyone here know what to do ?

    Take the Skinheads Bowling, Take Them Bowling?

    .

  70. ulvfugl Says:

    The way I see you, MB. The guy with the beard.

  71. Guy McPherson Says:

    Kathy C, the Arctic Methane Emergency Group predics extinction of all life on Earth, not merely humans, by 2047.

    My name appears on ten books. I receive small royalty checks, but none of those royalties are related to library loans. Rather, they all result from direct sales.

  72. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    So, you are a violent person, uvula. I thought so. You have all the telltale characteristics. Pathetic. I would never say anything close to what that freak in the beard said, nor do I condone violence against him. You’re outed once again.

    The irony is, I can’t stand bars and bar scenes.

    If you’re in pain, mate, don’t project it. Keep it to yourself, and don’t try to level it onto others, and make them feel what you feel. Your pain is bad enough, so don’t spread it around. It’s unfortunate you can’t laugh and be humorous, but don’t prevent others from doing so just because you have to be serious.

    .

  73. Jennifer Hartley Says:

    In the United States, libraries do not pay a royalty each time a book is checked out. The royalty is included in the initial, one-time cost of the book (the same as when an individual purchases a book). It appears that the practice varies depending on the country (for example, from my brief non-thorough research just now, UK libraries seem to pay a royalty each time a book is checked out).

    I found a useful overview on how authors make money here:

    http://jenniferonwriting.blogspot.com/2009/08/how-authors-make-money.html

    (note that this is a different Jennifer, not me.)

  74. ulvfugl Says:

    Violence ? What violence ? There’s no violence in the video !
    You must be hallucinating, or is it your usual paranoia ?
    It’s not a bar, it’s a martial arts club.
    I laugh all the time. I find you most amusing. Thanks for being such a clown.

  75. John Day Says:

    Is this “off topic”?
    I think it illuminates a specific avenue of resistance to the forces which make life into abominations.
    Humor me, please, I’m just a biological life-form…

    Monsanto’s Smoke Screen

    Misinformed by “Science”,

    There are a lot of pictures of deformed albino Sprague-Dawley lab rats popping up over the past 2-3 days. Those kinds of pictures are easy to come by.
    What is really going on?
    Monsanto had to fund scientific studies to “prove” that it’s GM corn/maize varieties were “safe” for human and animal consumption in OECD member countries.
    So firstly, the intent of these studies is clear. The intent of these studies is to find no fault, no metabolic danger to living organisms.
    Monsanto has done this dance before, and knows how to do it. It is general knowledge, anyway. It is a very common dance. Industry funds most of this research, and funds the researchers who provide the desired results most reliably. I’m not jaded. I’ve been involved in physiologic research studies on lab rats for years in college and med school. I’ve had long discussions with researchers, often about other researchers, and methodologies used, tossing out a couple of bad data points to get where you need to be, things like that. My critical reading of medical and physiological research has generally led me to conclude that 80-90% of published, peer-reviewed research is totally-biased-crap, meant to prove dome predetermined “fact”.
    In order to justify conclusions, researchers are supposed to reveal all raw data and all statistical methods of analysis. This is Greek to most readers.
    Let’s look at how Monsanto stacked this data in their own favor.
    Yes, this is ALL Monsanto data we are discussing, and it is 12 years old, and it has been kept secret, pried out by Greenpeace lawsuits and such.
    We only have Monsanto data to talk about here, but now, after more than a decade, the raw data and methods are available for review.

    Toxic effects show up more over longer times, with more animals to look at, with higher doses of the toxins, and with more tests, to look at more specific types of acute and chronic change in physiology.

    As Monsanto I want studies with shorter time frames, fewer animals fed my corn, animals fed lower doses of my corn (maybe give some of my corn to the control group, by not genetically analyzing their feed, so they are secretly more similar to the test groups), and I don’t want to do very many liver or kidney or sex hormone tests, and I don’t want to do them very often, and I want to end the whole study well before cancer has a chance to start, or “long-term-toxicity” can kick in.

    Mission Accomplished!
    Monsanto bought study protocols that really only had 10 rats in each group fed specific GM corn products. With 10 rats per group, you just can’t find anything but high frequency effects. They only fed a maximum of 33% GM corn to any group, and the lower dose was 11%. There were very large groups of hundreds of rats used as various sorts of controls, so the study looks better with hundreds of rats, but they were not the ones in the test-groups, so it is fluff. The lack of rigor in defining the diets of some “control group” rats left open the possibility to mix some of the study maize into their feed, while nobody was looking, and that was all the time. Nobody looked. there was no genetic analysis of the feed given to the most general control group.
    This information never formally existed, but if I were a crooked researcher, I would have spiked the feed of the control groups at night with the same GM corn that I was giving the experimental groups. Monsanto knows how to get what they pay for, right?
    The small groups of test-group rats at low feeding concentrations only got to participate for a maximum of 3 months, then Game Over. Long term toxic effects were specifically excluded from the short term study, but the conclusion was that the GM corn was safe in long term use for billions of humans and animals. “Science”.
    Evidence of cancer was excluded by the very short term and by not looking for any cancer or tumor markers. Check!
    Evidence of teratogenicity was excluded by strictly avoiding pregnancy and not even looking at any reproductive hormone levels.
    The final firewall was the statistical techniques used.
    How can you justify a safety conclusion on such a small dose, small cohort, short time study group, which you checked so few things on?
    You just say it’s so, and hide all your records.
    That worked until Monsanto lost the court cases. Monsanto just lied about the statistics.
    If your design gives a 70% chance that you will fail to find major toxicity, and you don’t find it, then you just say you did a careful study, and it wasn’t there and the data is proprietary. Check!

    What can the very limited raw data reveal about the few rats fed low concentrations of 3 GM corn varieties for 3 months, and tested as little as possible?
    The 3 GM corn varieties are prefaced by NK, which is “Roundup Ready” and therefore contains traces of “roundup”, as well as 2 MO (Monsanto) prefaced varieties, containing the Bt toxin and a never-seen-before-in-the-living-world “novel Bt” toxin. These are pesticide toxins derived from Bacillis Thuringiensis, which makes them as part of it’s daily chores in the world.
    The novel Bt is really something to look at closely, but not for Monsanto… Cows abort when eating Bt feed, we now know, but this study stays completely away from that whole realm. A lot of the suspicion rests on these inseparable pesticide contents of these GM corn varieties, but not all of the suspicion, because these are not necessarily the only “improvements”, just the obvious ones.

    I will not give a blow-by-blow breakdown for each feed group, but there were sex differences and dose differences and time differences in pretty much all groups, despite efforts to ignore them by study design. There were liver and kidney effects all around, sometimes more for males, sometimes females. There were suggestions of reduced cardiac muscle mass, possibly overall muscle decrease (not looked at) in the Roundup Ready group, which could be due to eating a little Roundup. Some of the Bt rats showed some liver changes associated with diabetes, and gained weight, but liver enzyme studies which might show signs of liver inflammation were strictly avoided. there were kidney effects which raised the possibility of renal toxicity, and showed different grouped levels of toxins excreted by the kidneys. These feeds really seemed to have different effects on the kidneys, and on male and female kidneys, but tests for early kidney damage, such as protein leakage into the urine, were avoided.
    Some of these groups definitely gained more weigh than others.
    Why?
    Sorry, beyond the scope of the study. Who cares?
    Obviously, a proper statistical analysis of the expertly-constrained data reveals nothing reassuring about even short term effects of these GM corn varieties. It points to differences in metabolic effect from each variety, even with just a few rats to look at for a short time, and totally avoids looking at birth defects, intergenerational issues, different species, and even cancer and long-term toxicity.
    Monsanto got what they paid for, even if they had to slide some extra loot under the table.
    It is not enough to justify their GM corn existing in the world at all, let alone being fed to any other organism.
    In America, you can’t legally find out if it is in your Fritos, tortillas or popcorn.
    It’s illegal to tell you that.
    It’s probably pretty hard for companies to even know that about the lots they buy.
    Don’t ask, don’t tell…

    Who is going to do the studies that need to be done, which would take over a decade to really do properly?
    Nobody?
    Will this stuff be taken off the market pending the proper studies, as actually required by regulators, but never done?

    Here is the reanalysis of Monsanto’s raw data and techniques. It’s dense, but it isn’t bullshit.
    It’s French…

    http://www.biolsci.org/v05p0706.htm

    Corn-Fed

  76. depressive lucidity Says:

    Over the last six months or so I’ve been trying to wrap my psyche around the inevitability of human extinction in the next hundred years (if not sooner) and smashing my head against a brick wall of nihilism. The Slovenian philosopher Zizek maintains that genuine atheists must first pass through Christianity, because in Christianity the paternal sky god falls into his creation as a miserable human being only to get himself tortured and whacked by his beloved creatures. Thus Christianity, according to Zizek, is the true death-of-god religion. Now we have come full circle, from the death of divinity to the death of humanity, along with most of the other organisms on this planet. For those who embraced either a religious or secular theology of hope and believed that eventually we would build a better world, that we would rid ourselves of the psychopaths in power, that we would morally evolve and enter into a more empathic relationship with all life forms, the apocalyptic failure of this vision leaves us in a very dark existential void. How do we ascribe meaning to our omnicide? How can there be a moral imperative to resist, if there are no moral imperatives? Assuming moral postures against the homicidal system which has sustained us, at this point, seems like a psychological tactic to avoid the full realization of what we have done. So, the answer to the question about what we should do is that it doesn’t matter because now, whether one knows it or not, we are all condemned to nothingness.

  77. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    The way I see you, ulvfugl. The guy with the beard.

    http://www.islandbreath.org/2010Year/10/101022greer.jpg

    .

  78. ulvfugl Says:

    Close, but no cigar, MB. Mine is more noble, dreadlocked and pale blue. I kid you not.

  79. ulvfugl Says:

    “So, the answer to the question about what we should do is that it doesn’t matter because now, whether one knows it or not, we are all condemned to nothingness.

    Wonderful insightful comment, depressive lucidity.

    I wonder, if there is a difference between people who do nothing, knowing the situation, and people who do nothing, not knowing the situation ?

    Bit like Zizek’s ‘Coffee without milk is not the same as coffee without cream’.

  80. Kathy C Says:

    Does anyone here know what to do ?

    What the cartoon posted by Dr. House says, that’s what you do. But what you don’t do is elegant denial. Something like the elegant way Romney meant to say that 1/2 of all Americans are freeloaders

    So obey your funny bone and click on Colbert http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/419186/september-18-2012/mitt-romney-s-secret-video?xrs=eml_col

  81. Steven Earl Salmony Says:

    Finding balance in a tilted world…

    To blame the poor for subsisting on welfare has no justice unless we are also willing to judge every rich member of society by how productive he or she is. Taken individual by individual, it is likely that there’s more idleness and abuse of government favors among the economically privileged than among the ranks of the disadvantaged. -Norman Mailer, author (1923-2007)

  82. BC Nurse Prof Says:

    Mike Stasse: That email is an absolute jaw-dropping stunner, alright. Mind if I spread it around? It represents an another academic seeing the conclusions from the data and not denying it. A true scientist. I’m humbled.

    I stopped publishing my philosophical papers because I realized it was useless. We’re down to biology now – species and DNA survival level. Here we are, lucky to be here at the end of all life on earth (except the extremeophiles, my heroes).

    But look, this brings us back to philosophy! Thanks for your input, depressive lucidity. The philosophical question we’re running smack dab into right now is:

    How are you going to live your personal life in the face of what we now know is going to happen soon?

    As people have posted, individuals and groups have made different decisions on this question. Some decided to make money on it. Some decided to quit civilization and live apart until the end. Some want to keep fighting the System in a myriad of ways. As it becomes more clear, some will descend into the worst kind of hedonism. Some think they can stop it; think they have a moral duty to stop it.

    Wasn’t there a Far Side cartoon where two guys in a boat, fishing, see a huge mushroom cloud on the horizon? One guy says to the other: “I’ll tell you what this means, Bob. It means no license and screw the limit!” or something like that.

    Everyone will respond differently. Me? Knowing it’s almost over? Knowing there’s nothing I can possibly do to change that? If life came from somewhere else, some time in the future, would they know we were here and we screwed up badly? Some of Jack McDevitt’s novels deal with this situation.

    Rocks will still be here, right? How do we know of ancient civilizations here on earth? By rocks. Could we leave a message? I don’t know, but I’m beginning to wonder.

    The bad news of my day is that last night a bear broke into my orchard (the only one WITHOUT a wildlife exclusion fence) and DESTROYED one of my pear trees. Broke off all the branches and stomped on them. Mutilated the other pear tree. Ate all the apples off one tree. Then left, scraping off some hair on the barbed wire. So I’m calling the fence guy and spending another few K on more fence. Damn.

  83. The REAL Dr. House Says:

    I read a sci-fi book quite a few years ago – I believe by Greg Bear – in which a physicist discovered that some xenophobic alien life form had dropped a singularity into the core of Earth. The originally minuscule singularity was growing in size exponentially and would soon devour the planet. The scientists were able to predict when the black hole would eventually lead to literal collapse of the earth’s crust, thereby ending all life.

    While I wasn’t terribly impressed with the author’s idea of how various segments of humanity dealt with their ultimate demise, there was the usual “what can we do” and “we must do something” discussions – very similar to those found here, actually.

    But, in the case of this book, people realized rather quickly that there was no time left to do anything other than kiss their loved ones goodbye.

    It seems to be human nature to “have to do something” in the face of imminent demise. In fact, more than one commenter here has stated that morality demands that we “do something”. Others have implied that not “doing something”, even with the full knowledge that it won’t help, is a flaw of character (as evidenced by the “quitter” comment Guy referenced). And yet, with all that posturing, no one – not a single person – has come up with a credible plan of action that will lead to any substantive change in the outcome – for any life form, human or otherwise.

    I will admit that the possibility exists that the interpretation of the data could be wrong and that climate change is not going to be as catastrophic as predicted. I will also admit that the data might be wrong and the earth really can sustain 10 or 12 billion people. I’m willing to concede that we might be underestimating the ability of the oceans to adapt to lower pH. I’ll also acknowledge that all the data concerning oil production and EROEI might be flawed and we’ll go on increasing production for centuries to come. I might admit that somehow we can survive 400+ nuclear reactor meltdowns. I might even admit that the infinite credit economy we’ve created, all the pollution we’re producing, and all the other resources we’re stripping away might somehow be mitigated by some as yet unforeseen technological miracle. . . .

    Wait a minute. No I won’t. It’s over. It just a matter of when.

    So, as I and others have said many times: Want to do something? Live each day as if it were your last, love those around you, live life to the fullest.

  84. ulvfugl Says:

    Some decided to quit civilization and live apart until the end. Some want to keep fighting the System in a myriad of ways.

    That’s me, fwiw. Not a lot. Just means I can lay on my deathbed with some self-respect.
    I figured out the right and wrong as a kid. I have made mistakes, but never compromised, never been part of ‘the System’.

  85. ulvfugl Says:

    I will admit that the possibility exists that the interpretation of the data could be wrong and that climate change is not going to be as catastrophic as predicted. I will also admit that the data might be wrong and the earth really can sustain 10 or 12 billion people. I’m willing to concede that we might be underestimating the ability of the oceans to adapt to lower pH. I’ll also acknowledge that all the data concerning oil production and EROEI might be flawed and we’ll go on increasing production for centuries to come. I might admit that somehow we can survive 400+ nuclear reactor meltdowns. I might even admit that the infinite credit economy we’ve created, all the pollution we’re producing, and all the other resources we’re stripping away might somehow be mitigated by some as yet unforeseen technological miracle. . . .

    That’s a really good synopsis. Of course, a lot more could be added.

    But it strikes me, there’s another big factor. That is, that MOST people alive don’t know that stuff, don’t know it matters either way, and that even when they DO know it, what then ? They shrug, or if they are shocked into caring, by thinking about their children, whatever, isolated individuals are rather powerless, and trying to organise cooperative mass action…. well, we see it all the time, from the French Revolution all the way to OWS….

    I mean, in a science fiction sort of way, it’s be possible to think up numerous imaginative strategies for changing the course of events. But how to put them into effect ?

  86. depressive lucidity Says:

    Thanks for your comments BC Nurse Prof. Doing philosophy in the face of the inevitable helps me cope with the day-to-day task of fitting into the crowd. My personal challenge has been to maintain my composure in the midst of people who are totally programmed by the system and who vigorously resist anything that challenges their indoctrination (i.e. their false sense of emotional security).

    After everything is said and done, the terminal and irreversible nature of our situation will force some people to finally disconnect from the Matrix Candy Land of Capitalist Delusions and face the mystery of why we are here. Why were we born into a generation that will see, at least the beginning, of the end of the human phenomenon? How/Why we became so destructive and blind? I’m not suggesting that answers to such questions exist, only that we have the extremely rare opportunity to confront them in a raw and imminent way. For those who are not married to reductive materialism, there may be great spiritual value to just stand in the shadow of these Questions without resorting to our usual tricks of evasion and distraction.

    Or, we can go shopping at Target secure in the expectation that Godot is on his way with a bag of cosmic panaceas to save us from ourselves.

  87. Anne Says:

    “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution!”
    —Emma

  88. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    The REAL Dr. House, an excellent movie with a similar theme was Lars von Trier’s Melancholia. Interestingly enough, the one who was able to handle The End with the most dignity, grace and composure was the manic depressive, and the Scientist, who was the optimist up until the very end, when he knew it was The End, committed suicide, leaving his wife and son to face the cataclysm head on by themselves.

    .

  89. ulvfugl Says:

    Aaaah :-) Godot ! My all-time favourite…. So glad you mentioned that, dl.
    I’d just love to walk into that set in real life and spend time with those guys….
    I’ve spent long periods in Welsh public houses where the conversation was remarkably similar, but who was the playwright ? God ? Nature ? Culture ? Beer ?

    http://youtu.be/b542GxhzYiw

  90. depressive lucidity Says:

    VLADIMIR: Was I sleeping, while the others suffered? Am I sleeping now? Tomorrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of today? That with Estragon my friend, at this place, until the fall of night, I waited for Godot? That Pozzo passed, with his carrier, and that he spoke to us? Probably. But in all that what truth will there be? He’ll know nothing. He’ll tell me about the blows he received and I’ll give him a carrot. Astride of a grave and a difficult birth. Down in the hole, lingeringly, the grave digger puts on the forceps. We have time to grow old. The air is full of our cries. But habit is a great deadener. At me too someone is looking, of me too someone is saying, He is sleeping, he knows nothing, let him sleep on. I can’t go on! What have I said?

    ***

    VLADIMIR: You have a message from Mr. Godot.

    BOY: Yes Sir.

    VLADIMIR: He won’t come this evening.

    BOY: No Sir.

    VLADIMIR: But he’ll come tomorrow.

    BOY: Yes Sir.

    VLADIMIR: Without fail.

    BOY: Yes Sir.
    (Silence.)

  91. ulvfugl Says:

    Samuel Beckett walking with a friend on a gorgeous day. The friend says,
    ‘It is a great day’. Beckett response; he agrees. The friend says, ‘A great day to be alive’. Beckett: ‘I wouldn’t go that far’.

    ;-)

  92. Guy McPherson Says:

    In a new report entitled Gold: Adjusting For Zero, Deutsche Bank analysts Daniel Brebner and Xiao Fu paint an incredibly dark picture of the bind the global economy is in right now.

    Brebner and Xiao are pretty frank about how levered up the financial system is at the moment, and they warn that the next shock will be totally involuntary and unexpected.

    Read more at Business Insider.

  93. Kathy C Says:

    It was always the case that each of us was going to become extinct. Its just that we always thought we wouldn’t be the last ones to go extinct.

    Perhaps WWIII is an easier future than burning up with climate change. So here is a bit of nuclear humor from a time when we were wisely more afraid of nuclear extinction. Tim Lehrer – we’ll all go together when we go.

  94. BenjaminTheDonkey Says:

    Despite all the hardships they knew,
    People still try to pull through;
    Guess it’s some evolved drive
    To keep staying alive,
    Just something that animals do.

  95. BadlandsAK Says:

    @BC Nurse Prof
    You noticed how conservative Rapid City is/was?! It is paradise compared to the place we moved from in the middle of the state! Funny that you mentioned moving back to Alaska as a way to help my son’s allergies/asthma, because when I moved from there about 7 yrs ago to attend grad school, I thought I was going to die from uncontrollable asthma/allergies, which I developed as an adult. Moving to South Dakota did away with those issues almost immediately. They are still present, though easily managed.
    Whitehorse is beautiful, and Alaska is always a possibility, though an expensive move. Oh, and you might be surprised how conservative it is there, too! They have their own militia types, but also a vibrant arts community to balance that out. You might guess who my ‘crowd’ is!
    We figure every place has its own set of issues. Here we can fill our freezer with trout from a lake right down the street. In Alaska, salmon runs are a disaster, and any fishing spot on the road system will get you nothing. It is expensive to hunt/fish there. Here, Mr. Badlands is getting ready to go deer hunting, and the forecast is still for 80 degrees, plus they have found disease in the populations where he hunts. So, we’ll see what happens. We love it here, but the difference one season makes…even though we have plenty of water running from the taps, the psychological burden of heat and no rain starts to create an underlying worry, which combined with all the other factors starts to feel like barely contained panic. But no time to panic when one has to tend to needs of others. For now we are going to ride it out, but have decided against buying a house here.

    @Bernhard
    Thank you for that info. I took a quick peek at the GAPS site, and will have to investigate further. It occurred to me that there was a vast difference in my 3 pregnancies, because I often wonder how my son got so unlucky with his health issues. I mean, my 1 1/2 yo daughter just had her first cold, and my 3 yo has only had a couple mild colds. All were breastfed for over a year. During my pregnancy with him, and for the following 6 months, I was on multiple rounds of antibiotics for recurrent infections, which turned out to be MRSA. Oh, and I was a vegetarian during his pregnancy. There could be many influencing factors. As I learned in art school, nothing is benign, and nothing is created in a void. So, I will read further and yes, I would definitely like to get in touch to hear your situation. Again, thank you so much.

  96. Morocco Bama Says:

    .

    Two things about that report, Guy. Business Insider and Deutsche Bank analysts. I don’t trust either, at all. Isn’t Deutsche Bank one of Big Banks partly responsible for this financial fiasco? If their analysts release something for public consumption, you can rest assured there are ulterior motives involved. They’re always gaming something. Yes, the economy is going to collapse, but the how, when and what of it won’t be prognosticated by the likes of Deutsche Bank analysts, Business Insider, or Nouriel Roubini who hobnobs with Oligarchs as he disseminates doom and gloom forecasts.

    http://dealbreaker.com/2010/01/nouriel-roubini-larry-gagosian-consider-the-eiffel-tower/

    .

  97. Brutus Says:

    Morocco Bama on September 19th, 2012 at 11:43 am sez: All the kids … were more interested in i-everything then they were in something as archaic and strenuous as Frisbee. I felt sad. My Dad never played anything with me, especially not something as unconventional as Frisbee, and here my children won’t play it with me either.

    Once connected, children are incompetent at being kids; don’t even know how to be happy and have fun; too scared they might miss some irrelevant piece of info transmitted through the air.


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