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Speaking in Louisville, and a couple essays

Fri, Nov 23, 2012

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I delivered a keynote address for the Bluegrass Bioneers on Friday, 2 November 2012. With thanks to Ben Evans for the video and also to Justin Mog and Amanda Fuller for hosting my stay in Louisville, the video is embedded below. I speak for about 30 minutes, and it’s extensive Q&A after that.

The presentation embedded here is the subject of considerable writing, most recently here.

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An invited essay for the Good Men Project was published yesterday. It’s adapted from earlier work in this space, and it’s here.

My monthly essay for Transition Voice came out 19 November 2012. It’s adapted from prior essays in this space, and it’s here.
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I’ve been asked to speak in and around Seattle, and I’m seeking venues for mid- to late-February 2013. If you or anybody you know is interested, please let me know via email at guy.r.mcpherson@gmail.com.

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327 Responses to “Speaking in Louisville, and a couple essays”

  1. John Day Says:

    Very nice essay in Transition Voice!

    :-)

    John

    (Shipping container arrives today. ACK! Making the jump to hyperspace!)

  2. kevin moore Says:

    Good stuff Guy.

    I spoken with one of the propaganda writers for the local council a couple of days ago and pointed out that by promoting a monster truck extravaganza she was promoting destruction of her own future.

    Chris Hedges summed it up stunningly well in ‘The Careerists’ (July 2012). I supplied her with a copy yesterday, plus a copy of the US drought monitor and a copy of the Arctic meltdown.

    She and others like her will keep ‘doing it’ till they can’t because that is what she is paid to do. Sadly, the sumbed down masses continue to believe in the empire.

    Meanwhile Max Keiser says: “Give America back to the Indians. White people have made a shocking mess of it.”

    I’m disengaging from the madness as quickly as I can. Collapse cannot be far away.

    The empire will respond to collapse by

  3. Michael Sosebee Says:

    Guy McPherson, the anti-Tony-Robbins.

  4. Arthur Johnson Says:

    With your essay in T.V., Guy, the wraps are off. NTE is now on the map and on the verge of going viral.

  5. Arthur Johnson Says:

    Guy McPherson, the anti-Tony-Robbins

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    That’s funny!

  6. Danielle Says:

    quitter

  7. Guy McPherson Says:

    Danielle, apparently you missed this line: “Lest I am misunderstood, I’m not suggesting we quit”

  8. BC Nurse Prof Says:

    To Daniel re: his long post in the last thread. This well considered essay is inspiring. You write well, think clearly, and reflect what I’m feeling as well. There are so many thoughts running around now. There are so many people I can’t even talk to about this. But do I care? I’m not sure I do. They’re living their lives, such as they are. I used to try to get people to stop smoking. Not anymore. Sometimes I get giddy with the freedom I feel now. Sometimes I’m weighed down with the gravity of what I know. I can no longer teach nursing. Most patients should die, not use up incredible amounts of fossil fuels to be kept alive. All that should be done is what individual people with simple tools and a stock of opium poppies can do. Death is not bad, suffering is bad. I hope they do me the same favour. I’ve cancelled my mammogram appointment, partly on the basis of the large study done in the U.S., partly because who cares? It’s not a bad way to go. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen a lot of deaths, some good, some bad, and I have my own decisions, as do a lot of health professionals I know.

    I can’t go to faculty meetings anymore. So petty. So meaningless. I just want to stay home and grow vegetables and help my neighbours shear sheep, milk cows, butcher animals for food, make cheese, have homegrown entertainment, create a gift economy, etc. There are only a few children in the small area where we live out of town, but I have this drive to protect them, to take away their electronic gagets and teach them to eat peas right off the vine and figure out where the deer bed down in the fall. I find myself thinking weird things like, “If Ryan and Marissa manage to grow up, they could marry. Or maybe Krista and Jeff’s son, what was his name again? I don’t know.” Is this what it feels like to be a crone?

    Starving to death is also not a bad way to go. It’s silent, painless, and slow. Pneumonia is a very bad way to go.

    It’s going to have to get pretty bad for me to off myself, but I’m not ruling it out, either. There are so many people who are going to come to me soon, and say, “You remember a couple of years ago and you were talking to me about climate change? I think I kinda blew you off. Can we go over that again?” I’m a teacher, and I can’t seem to stop being one. I just need a new venue. Not a university.

    I expect some young people will be like this:

    http://thetyee.ca/Mediacheck/2012/11/23/Riot-Kiss-Photo/

    and if I were young again, I’d do the same thing.

  9. BC Nurse Prof Says:

    To someone who asked where I got the slavery number, it was here:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/lisa_kristine_glimpses_of_modern_day_slavery.html

  10. BC Nurse Prof Says:

    This is very interesting to me, I don’t know if others will find it so.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/peter_ward_on_mass_extinctions.html

    This guy takes the fact that we are composed of many more bacterial cells than our own cells, and hypothesizes that these bacterial cells are descendents of cells that went through mass extinctions caused by hydrogen sulfide. In so doing, they developed mechanisms of survival that they retain to this day. The medical implications are explored. This is pretty wild jaw-dropping stuff, but not out of the range of possibility.

    Two years later, his co-researcher did another talk. I’ll post it next.

  11. BC Nurse Prof Says:

    Mark Roth on suspended animation:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/mark_roth_suspended_animation.html

    None of this will happen, medically, of course, but it means bacteria might survive!

    Yay! DNA wins again!

  12. Kathy C Says:

    PODCAST: NOVEMBER 21, 2012; THANKSGIVING EDITION: FINANCIAL PRESSURES ARE AFFECTING SAFETY DECISIONS AT THE NATIONS NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS
    Arnie explains that Oyster Creek is the only nuclear plant in the US that lacks a modern High Pressure Safety Injection System. This means that the recently discovered pipe crack in a 3 inch pipe at Oyster Creek would create a serious safety threat if it were to completely break. Arnie also discusses the cost of operating nuclear plants, and how many nuclear plants around the country are no longer a low cost electric producer. Finally, Arnie looks at the three nuclear plants with extended shutdowns (Ft. Calhoun, San Onofre and Crystal River) and concludes that the cost of maintaining large staffs when no electricity is being produced is not in the best interests of the ratepayers.

    http://fairewinds.com/content/podcast-november-21-2012-thanksgiving-edition-financial-pressures-are-affecting-safety-decis

  13. Arthur Johnson Says:

    BC Nurse Prof,

    Most patients should die, not use up incredible amounts of fossil fuels to be kept alive.

    This seems to be a fairly common POV among nurses in the U.S. It’s a logical response to having to deal with the often catastrophic consequences that occur when U.S. patients do not comply with treatment (don’t take their medicines, don’t change their diet, don’t take their medicines, don’t reduce their stress, don’t take their medicines…). The result invariably is that diseases that can now be cost-effectively managed (with low consumption of fossil fuels) are allowed to follow their natural course, leading to catastrophe and the consumption of incredible amount of fossil fuels to keep them alive.

    Under the circumstances, it’s understandable why so many nurses, having to take care of such patients, and in the face of such irresponsibility, cease to be compassionate.

  14. Danielle Says:

    Under the circumstances, it’s understandable why so many nurses, having to take care of such patients, and in the face of such irresponsibility, cease to be compassionate.

    It has more to do with the fact that those who lack compassion select for those who lack compassion, and so you get a nursing profession that, with few exceptions, lacks compassion. No doubt the curriculum is designed to weed out compassionate types, as well. Considering, the comment from this nurse is not surprising, but not for the reasons you state. Nice try at providing cover and offering some slack, though.

  15. michele/montreal Says:

    after not sending the post I took over an hour to write last night and spending the night half dreaming of Daniel’s reflexion, I was shocked to find the thread cut in the morning. thank you for keeping it alive.

    bc nurse says: I’ve seen a lot of deaths, some good, some bad
    this is not my case, I have never seen anybody die. But death is all around now and this body that I call «me» is strongly reacting. I use all my capacities to live in distress control mode.

    for whatever love is, love you all

  16. Danielle Says:

    Yet another thing white people like; Ted Talks.

    http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2010/09/08/134-the-ted-conference/

    The TED Conference is an invite-only affair that brings together the smartest minds from around the world to share their knowledge and wisdom with the attendees. Additionally all of the talks are made available online and as podcasts so that white people are able to watch or listen to them at work or during their commute.

    These talks are like college lectures, except that they are free to listen, shorter, and white people aren’t hung over and pretending to listen.

    Due to the broad audience watching the talks, TED speakers generally take very complex ideas and boil them down into a simple engaging presentation. So when a white person finds out that you have a PhD and visits and attempts to engage you in a conversation about String Theory, you should know that all of their understanding comes from a twenty-minute talk they listened to while running on a treadmill. You should also be aware that the average white person considers their knowledge on the subject to be on par or superior to yours.

    Sadly, TED Talks are not all roses and NPR approved comedians. For many white people, TED Conferences are actually a source of sadness and depression. This comes from their dreams to attend a future TED Conference in person. But with a price tag of $6000 and an invite-only policy, many white people are simply unable to attend. This is a new concept for white people as they have successfully been creating and joining expensive exclusive clubs for over one thousand years. Popular examples include: private schools, politics, and ice hockey.

  17. Kathy C Says:

    BC nurse you wrote ‘Most patients should die, not use up incredible amounts of fossil fuels to be kept alive. All that should be done is what individual people with simple tools and a stock of opium poppies can do. Death is not bad, suffering is bad.”

    This shows how strong your compassion is. Our society’s deep fear of death causes us to keep people living with arms and legs cut off, sometimes in constant pain. This is not compassion, this is inflicting torture to keep the denial alive. I have seen the compassion of family who support a loved one’s refusal of more treatment and entry into Hospice, and I have seen the ones who try to gain more treatment – usually not the primary care giver of the Hospice patient. They interfere from the sidelines and despite all the caring noises they lack the compassion of the caregivers who keep them comfortable and let them go.

    I suggest the movie “Whose Life is It?” and again I suggest “The Sea Inside”. In both cases the people involved had to do a serious end run around Doctors and authorities to find release from a life they no longer find worth living. The Sea Inside is based on a true story.

    Drs. and nurses don’t ever SAVE a life. No one can SAVE the life of a mortal. They can only extend it. Extending it is sometimes good, sometimes nothing short of torture.

  18. Tom Says:

    At this particular time a dear old (early 90′s) in-law and a relatively younger (57) cousin are both starving themselves to death. The old guy can’t use his legs any more and is in a wonderful nursing home (only entered <6 mo ago) with his wife (same age, she's lost her short term memory but is very pleasant and happy). He has no appetite any more and sleeps alot. My cousin has been fighting a hyper-reactivity disease for the past 30 years (it's to the point now where he can't even take medication – it just makes things worse) and is just worn out and doesn't want to fight it any more so he's stopped eating.

    He and i had a good talk over the phone about "what's going on" and i'm of the frame of mind that this is the choice many of us will face soon. When the quality of life evaporates and it becomes raw survival, a LOT of people won't stick around or will be preyed upon.

    i've been a "doomer" from about college (grad in '71) on. i read Paul Ehrlich and Rachel Carson, Camus and McCarthy, and came upon Guy here about a year or so ago. i've watched the Sierra Club, Greenpeace and all the others just get swept aside by the powers that be so they can continue to ride the gravy train. Corruption is so rampant now that even the FDA and the EPA are corporate arms. Yeah, i've known it was a losing cause for a long time, though i keep trying (i'm still real active in the anti-fracking thing going on here in PA). i know we're on our way out but there's nothing else to do but keep fightin' for the truth no matter how it ends.

    Thanks for all of your links, comments and discussions. This is a haven from the insanity that is "civilization."

    Guy – keep up the good work, i think people are starting to "get it" though it's far too late. Maybe we can just get the nuclear stations shut down and dismantled before it all goes south, but probably not; i think the collapse will just "happen" someday and it will be all be downhill (and rapidly) from there.

  19. Arthur Johnson Says:

    Danielle,

    You have a good point. There is indeed something about the U.S. medical system that selects against compassion in nursing. Now combine that with the appallingly low rate of treatment compliance of U.S. patients (on average 50% do not comply, and for many specific diseases, non-compliance is much higher), and you’re dealing with a real toxic brew. I’ve talked to a number of R.N.’s, and there is great frustration within nursing staffs about this. No doubt a big reason why is because they see the consequences of non-compliance up close, how it destroys not only the patients themselves, but everyone they’re connected to. No other country is like the U.S., in this regard. “Death is not bad, suffering is bad”. Indeed. All the more so when the suffering was avoidable.

    So the nurses may start out “undercompassionate”, as you say. But to be frank, the behavior of U.S. patients provides very little incentive for them to be compassionate, either. And so everything spirals down into the sewer, where we all can be “as nasty as we wanna be”.

    So when a nurse says “Most patients should die, not use up incredible amounts of fossil fuels to be kept alive”, I look at Americans and say “I get it”.

    Straight ahead, BC Nurse Prof. Straight ahead.

    Word.

  20. Daniel Says:

    TROLL ALERT!!!!!

    I suspect NBL’s resident obscurantist Morocco Bama, is now posting under a series of other names.

    Possible candidates: Vibhu, Maggie, a punctuation mark, Ed, stealing others identity and now Danielle…….etc.

    His latest whack-a-mole identity, can be found in his response to BC Nurse’s deeply compelling post:

    “Considering, the comment from this nurse is not surprising, but not for the reasons you state. Nice try at providing cover and offering some slack, though”.

    While it’s impossible for other contributors–especially new ones–to know exactly, it’s fairly easy to discern who he is, given we’re obviously dealing with a person who is suffering from some form of compulsive disorder. As well, it’s nearly impossible for him to mask his contempt of most everyone here, and refrain from petty name calling. Sadly, he’s probably not going away anytime soon, and like a bad case of herpes that regularly flairs up, we just have to live with it.

  21. The REAL Dr. House Says:

    Arthur Johnson, There is indeed something about the U.S. medical system that selects against compassion in nursing.

    I know quite a few nurses who are very compassionate. However, I also know quite a few who aren’t. I think the disconnect comes from the fallacious idea that somehow nursing is a “calling”. It’s possible that it was at one time in the distant past, but for most nurses I know, it’s a job. That’s all. They needed to do something to earn a living in this unnatural world in which we live, and they found it somewhat interesting, so, “why not?”

    As for patient compliance, it’s something which most health care providers find frustrating. When a patient comes to see me and seeks my advice and treatment, agrees that what I offer is the right plan for them, and then doesn’t follow it, it can be frustrating, maddening, and even demoralizing.

    The one regimen that I’ve found almost 100% compliance with is pain meds and benzodiazepines (xanax, valium, etc.).

    Tony Robbins was mentioned above; one of his earlier books discusses pain and pleasure as motivator for human behavior.
    Pain: bad. Pleasure: good. Controlling blood pressure: huh?

  22. Judy Says:

    TRDH: “I know quite a few nurses who are very compassionate. However, I also know quite a few who aren’t. I think the disconnect comes from the fallacious idea that somehow nursing is a “calling”. It’s possible that it was at one time in the distant past, but for most nurses I know, it’s a job. That’s all. They needed to do something to earn a living in this unnatural world in which we live, and they found it somewhat interesting, so, “why not?”

    You have surprised me. This same description could apply equally well, if not more so, to many doctors I know and have worked with. I hope you are not implying this only applies to nurses.

  23. dairymandave2003 Says:

    Appears to me that Guy has lightened up a bit, as if he did indeed “let go”. I’m comparing the recent talk, above, to one he did nearly a year ago:

    http://goodmenproject.com/social-justice-2/social-justice-walking-away-from-empire/

  24. Kathy C Says:

    Daniel, have you considered that some of the false names or hijacking of names might be Ivy Mike? They could both be playing the same game.

  25. Kathy C Says:

    Tom, when I started volunteering at Hospice they told us that when a cancer patient stops eating it makes the pain less. I don’t know if this is true but possibly for any end of life patient to stop eating feels better. It doesn’t necessarily mean they have chosen this way to hasten the end, it may just be that food no longer appeals.

    Another option for end of life patients is in the book Final Exit – http://www.finalexit.org/ Since only a few states and countries will allow doctors to provide the mercy of speed at the end, the book offers some do it yourself methods.

  26. max Says:

    I came across this article on the BBC News Site, I live in the UK so apologies if the link doesn’t work for those abroad.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-20463857

    A man is taken to court for “recklessly producing household electricity”

    Apparently fed up of supporting major polluters to continue with paradigm lifestyle he took it on himself to rig up a generator to generate his own electricity.

    “The charge alleges Mr McKenzie “culpably and recklessly” produced electricity “with total disregard for the safety of yourself and others”.”

    If this case proceeds perhaps we could in turn state that this is what major power companies do on a wholesale scale to our planet. Not seriously as we know what the denial response would be, but still it made me smile.

  27. John Stassek Says:

    Guy,

    Great presentation in Louisville. Good to see that McPherson sense of humor is alive and well. So much material. So little time.

  28. dairymandave2003 Says:

    Regarding hijacking of names, I tend to fall for this garbage, being naive as I am. But down here on the farm if we have something that doesn’t work, we fix it…ourselves…before breakfast…today. I have been an agrarian anacharist for 50 years. That’s how we get things done. Hint, hint.

  29. Tom Says:

    Thanks Kathy.

    http://questioneverything.typepad.com/

    Does Humanity Have A Death Wish?

  30. The REAL Dr House Says:

    @Judy: sorry. I should have included doctors in that number. In fact I’ll go further and say that I know of only a handful of doctors who view medicine as a calling and none who would do it for free, myself included.

    Mind you, I have no problem providing care in exchange for a chicken or or something similar and will likely provide all sorts of free care at some point when fiat money no longer has value but in the meantime I have almost a half million dollars in debt to pay. Banks won’t take chickens or goats milk oddly enough. Even if I didn’t have debt, in order for me to keep a license I have to spend roughly $20,000 a year just for the privilege.

  31. The REAL Dr House Says:

    Btw. When i post from my phone I don’t include a website and my IP address is different. So to prove I’m who I say I am, I think Kathy C is dead on with pretty much everything she posts. (I feel certain neither of our recents trolls could ever bring themselves to post that :-)

  32. ulvfugl Says:

    Interesting blog post, Tom. Reminded me of what BC Nurse Prof said in the last thread OK, so let me get this straight. There were groups of people living in this area, growing some corn and eating deer and greens and roots, etc. and working maybe a few hours each day. Keeping the underbrush cleared out with fire. They were taller, healthier, and stronger than the settlers (See “1491″ by Thomas C. Mann) but they had no iron. So the pioneers lived a brutal life trying to re-create the life they left in Europe? They laboriously smelted iron and cast pots and pans and made rifles. Millions of acres of chestnut and oak were burned into charcoal to melt iron ore “They ain’t none o’ them left now.”

    When we try to understand what’s going on, it’s easy to think of the devilish capitalist Ickean Reptiloids with glowing red eyes, cloaked in human skins, but, like Hannah Arendt’s banality of evil, it’s arguable that the greater evil results from millions of dull, boring, ordinary individuals doing stuff like buying soap, which means whole countries get stripped of rain forest and biota, to grow monoculture industrial palm oil…

    There is a reason why we are not living as palaeolithic hunter gatherers using flint spears… well, there’s several reasons, but one reason is that once someone found out how to make a copper tool, and then a bronze tool, and then an iron tool… the advantages are obvious, they work better, they stay sharper longer, don’t break so easily, as tools for cutting wood, and weapons for hunting animals, but even more crucially, as weapons for fighting your enemies.

    It’s no good pretending we are all nice, sweet goodie-goodies, we’ve been killing large animals violently for eons and we’ve been killing other humans violently for eons. Earliest indisputable record off the top of my head at least 20,000 BC.

    I’m not saying that the onlyreason a new technology gets adopted is because it is an improvement on an earlier version, or because it makes life easier. Sometimes it might just be because it confers status it prestige.

    “Perhaps even more so then the native men, the Indian women welcomed the introduction of European technology. Items such as kettles, knives, awls and woolen and cotton fabrics greatly eased the domestic burdens of the women.”

    http://www.mman.us/women.htm

    As in Tom’s link, how does soceity, in it’s own interests ( so as not to become extinct ) legislate against destruction of the biosphere by the pursuit of human desire ?

    I mean, there’s a lot of green fantasists, including some here, who believe we can ‘transition to sustainability’, but look at what the all the copper that the windmills and the photovoltaics and the smart grids and the electric cars and bicycles, etc, need, ( see last two comments on previous thread ). If people want iPads and iPhones, and microphones like Guy is holding in the lecture… I read somewhere that 1% of world energy use is now consumed by the internet, mostly by Google and Youtube, and it’s growing…

    We can’t stop people doing stuff like selling girls as sex slaves, or rhino horn, or heroin, or child porn, or hundreds of other things that almost everyone agrees are undesirable… what chance of stopping the next generation of ‘must have’ consumer gadgets, even if it means another few million people die in the wars over minerals in the Congo ? I mean, even after Chernobyl and Fukushima, still no consensus on nuclear power, still no solution for the nuclear waste…

    The only way, *theoretically*, as I see it, would be an absolutely ruthless global totalitarian eco-fascism of the Pol Pot type. Nobody is going to agree to that willingly, either…

  33. ulvfugl Says:

    Here we go again. This weekend, as in every year for the past 18, thousands of negotiators, lobbyists, activists, journalists and assorted hangers-on are converging on a cavernous conference centre to haggle over one of the most complex, frustrating and urgent tasks of our times – the prevention of catastrophic climate change.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/9699001/Doha-the-world-holds-its-breath-before-climate-change-summit.html

  34. asoka Says:

    An interesting observation. I’ve yet to see ANY of the familiar names here at other notable sites that deal with similar topical themes. That’s highly unlikely UNLESS of course some of the familiar names here are posting at those sites under different names. For example I haven’t noticed the name “Daniel” at CLUSTER FUCK NATION or at THE ARCHDRUID REPORT. Same goes for this “ulvfugl” character who claims to be a fan of JOHN MICHAEL GREER. Who is “Daniel” REALLY? I believe it’s time to include NATURE BATS LAST in the debate that’s ONGOING in the comments section of these other sites. In the name of BALANCE of course.

  35. dairymandave2003 Says:

    I have been in a yahoo group for 9 years and I as well as others link to Kunstler, Greer, Orlov, Automaitc Earth, and many more if they appear interesting but I have never posted a comment to any of them…I don’t have the time to get involved. Just reading is all I can handle. I recently started to post here because this seems to be where “the meat is”. And it was falling apart. Let’s fix it. I’m a fix-it kind of person. I say trash WordPress. There are better ways to handle a group.

  36. dairymandave2003 Says:

    Climate Change Evident Across Europe

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121123092138.htm

  37. ulvfugl Says:

    dairymandave I’m a fix-it kind of person. I say trash WordPress. There are better ways to handle a group.

    Go ahead. Set one up. Why not ?

  38. depressive lucidity Says:

    Ulvfugl makes an interesting point:

    “The only way, *theoretically*, as I see it, would be an absolutely ruthless global totalitarian eco-fascism of the Pol Pot type. Nobody is going to agree to that willingly, either…”

    We tend to interpret the human crisis in moral terms. “If only we had been more compassionate and more democratic, the uber capitalists would not have destroyed the biosphere.”

    The fact is that animals expand their populations whenever there are ample food supplies and low predation. This seems to be the propensity of life itself. Nietzsche believed that life is “will to power,” a force that incessantly seeks to dominate and expand:

    “[Anything which] is a living and not a dying body… will have to be an incarnate will to power, it will strive to grow, spread, seize, become predominant — not from any morality or immorality but because it is living and because life simply is will to power… ‘Exploitation’… belongs to the essence of what lives, as a basic organic function; it is a consequence of the will to power, which is after all the will to life.”

    Beyond Good and Evil.

    If that ends up being the case, then the only way of restraining a species’ will to power so that it doesn’t destroy itself would be an Anti-Christ, a Kalki Avatar, who will brutally depopulate the planet and install a totalitarian system of control for the remaining population and force upon them an austere standard of living. Perhaps what is needed is less democracy, more control, more death and devastation of human societies and greater misery? It seems that if a global version of Mao/Hitler/Stalin does not arrive, we are headed to death, horror and extinction anyway.

    I’m not advocating totalitarianism, I’m just pointing out that the belief in a democratic kingdom of justice might be an ecocidal fantasy.

  39. dairymandave2003 Says:

    ulvfugl, In the real world, the way it was for 99.99999% of the time since life started, (before oil) energy was diffuse and hard to get. Why didn’t human population grow exponentially during the first 200,000 years? War, famine, and disease kept it down to steady level. Getting the energy we need to survive on was a challenge. Didn’t need any “legislation”. I am one who thinks we naturally evolved to “get as much as we can”, maximize our EROEI, because those who didn’t, didn’t reproduce. Now, with all the abundance of everything, we can’t help ourselves to stop wanting to get “more”. Some of us understand this and can overcome it or substitute something else like getting knowlege. Overall, we as a species won’t stop “getting” until we can’t.

  40. dairymandave2003 Says:

    ulvfugl, I’m not qualified to do that.

  41. dairymandave2003 Says:

    d l, Getting rid of the oil would have done it. Trouble is, all the oil is now up in the air.

  42. ulvfugl Says:

    depressive lucidity It seems that if a global version of Mao/Hitler/Stalin does not arrive, we are headed to death, horror and extinction anyway.
    I’m not advocating totalitarianism, I’m just pointing out that the belief in a democratic kingdom of justice might be an ecocidal fantasy.

    Yeah, I’m not advocating anything… just mulling it over… the Pol Pot 2 would have to be super-wise to know what was ecologically sustainable…

    There’s so many lenses to look through, historical, biological, political, sociological, technological, etc, and whichever lens, seems to me the picture looks the same… yeah, they’ll probably try extreme total control as a last desperate resort, but we still get the horror and extinction anyway, if only because of natural aversion and resistance to dystopia…

    Walmart Black Friday…

    http://youtu.be/8O6IMYSSs7c

  43. Tom Says:

    http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/12821-elites-will-make-gazans-of-us-all

    Yeah, it’s become obvious, even if you weren’t paying attention before,
    that the system is already beginning to collapse in on itself. The failing food chain, vanishing water and arable land, dying ocean and dwindling rainforests, thawing permafrost and melting poles and glaciers all indicate we’re on our way out within years. My grandson, aged 14 told me that he thinks we’re all gonna die before he gets as old as me.

    If the elite see this coming, and want to capitalize or enable some kind of imagined “advantage” for themselves (so they can live a bit longer than most), they’d surely engineer it into being, since they have the resources, and by sacrificing all of us so that they go last.

    Well, i believe we’re watching this unfold daily.

  44. Daniel Says:

    @ Ulvfugl and Depressive lucidly

    Even the suggestion of Totalitarianism (or eco-authoritarianism), I believe is what brought so much heat down on Lovelock when he just barely hinted at such a possible future in his book Revenge of Gaia, where democracy may not be up for the task of mitigating against the worst threats of Climate Change. This of course echoed what the Right has been accusing the left of all along. So he had to be thrown under the bus. But none that really explains why Lovelock would recently redact his earlier claims, and use the very language of the Right in doing so: “I was an alarmist……”?????????

    Anyone have any insight as to what the hell happened to Lovelock?

  45. ulvfugl Says:

    In the real world, the way it was for 99.99999% of the time since life started, (before oil) energy was diffuse and hard to get. Why didn’t human population grow exponentially during the first 200,000 years? War, famine, and disease kept it down to steady level. Getting the energy we need to survive on was a challenge. Didn’t need any “legislation”. I am one who thinks we naturally evolved to “get as much as we can”, maximize our EROEI, because those who didn’t, didn’t reproduce. Now, with all the abundance of everything, we can’t help ourselves to stop wanting to get “more”. Some of us understand this and can overcome it or substitute something else like getting knowlege. Overall, we as a species won’t stop “getting” until we can’t.

    I think most of that timeline was hunting and gathering, and the population was mostly constrained by infant mortality. I’m sure anthropologists will correct me if that’s mistaken.

    The wars, famine and disease don’t start until cities and agriculture, which is, relatively, very recent.

    It’s difficult to tell how much of the ‘wanting more’ is inherent, and how much is trained into us by the culture.

    Obviously there are some very placid individuals who are very happy and content with a simple existence, whilst others have burning ambition to build an empire…

    During the Thatcher era I attended a business start up course which was intended to make such placid individuals become dynamic, competitive and greedy, partly by ridding them of any scruples they might have had about exploiting and ripping off other people, the general idea being to make UK PLC more competitive globally…

  46. ulvfugl Says:

    IMO, Lovelock has become very old, and mentally very cranky. Last I heard he is living in USA and is now in favour of fracking. I think it is sad, but he should not be taken seriously any more.

  47. Kathy C Says:

    Dr House thank you so much. It is an honor to be hated by hateful people. If they thought I was just hunky dory, then I would have to sit down and figure out where I went wrong.

  48. Kathy C Says:

    After writing that I think some might misunderstand. It references Dr. House’s post that he is proving he is who he says he is by saying “So to prove I’m who I say I am, I think Kathy C is dead on with pretty much everything she posts. (I feel certain neither of our recents trolls could ever bring themselves to post that)” To be objectionable to the trolls is IMO a compliment.

  49. Daniel Says:

    @ dairymandave

    You stated: “…as others link to Kunstler, Greer, Orlov, Automaitc Earth, and many more if they appear interesting but I have never posted a comment to any of them…I don’t have the time to get involved. Just reading is all I can handle. I recently started to post here because this seems to be where “the meat is……”

    + 1

    BTW….Asoka, most likely another of their troll names. I think you may have missed out on just how insidious a few contributors originally operating under the name(s) Ivy Mike and Morocco Bama were/are (never quite sure if even they weren’t the same person). Regardless of whatever name they use, it’s fairly easy to identify them, given their demeanor always resorts to juvenile person attacks. IMO, a safe way to avoid them, is to only respond to those whose sincerity is easy to discern. What they can’t understand, is that no one here, “wants” to be thinking about NTE, who in their right mind, would ever “want” to be having these conversations?

  50. The REAL Dr. House Says:

    Kathy C, To be objectionable to the trolls is IMO a compliment.

    Yes, my point exactly. :-)

  51. dairymandave2003 Says:

    Daniel, this behavior never happened on the Yahoo format. Threads are easy to follow, too. I don’t know the answer but I don’t want the burden of fighting this crap. Is there nothing that works well anymore?

  52. dairymandave2003 Says:

    Could say that this person, J. Phipps, is the spokesperson for US ag.

    http://johnwphipps.blogspot.com/2012/11/why-i-think-corn-yields.html

    I try to report the farm view.

  53. depressive lucidity Says:

    I agree that if we had not discovered hydro-carbons we would not be in this mess at this point in time. But as Ulvfugl noted, the wars of civilization started after the establishment of agriculture; so urban humanity was already in an expansionist, imperialist mode long before it was supercharged by the addition of black oily magick.

    It was inevitable that we would eventually develop carbon based fuels once we reached the stage of civilization and material expansion became our number one priority.

    My larger point was that existence costs. We have to kill other life forms in order to sustain our own. When a life form reaches a certain critical mass that allows it to dominate a large number of other life forms, it always expands. Humans have followed this trajectory; it just took us nearly 200 thousand years before we were able to harness congealed ancient solar energy. Like a crack addict with an endless supply of crack, we predictably destroyed ourselves (along with much of the biosphere).

    I think that the primativists are stuck in an infantile fantasy of returning to the precivilizational state of nature (i.e. mommy’s warm, cozy womb). Even if that were possible, the planet is too depleted and damaged to sustain 99% of the population on the basis of hunting and gathering. There is not much left to hunt, or gather … especially when you consider that the very severe effects of climate change are going to hit even if industrial civilization were to disappear tomorrow.

    Now it seems pretty clear that we are headed towards an Orwellian control society before we reach collapse. I think Chris Hedges got it right in his most recent article in which he claimed that one day (in the not too distant future) the elites and their private armies will make Gazans out of all of us.

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/elites_will_make_gazans_of_us_all_20121119/

    The question I’m struggling with is whether our extinction undermines our moral aspirations. Conceivably, an evil society that restrained population growth and the use of hydrocarbons would not be facing NTE.

  54. Daniel Says:

    @ Kathy C.

    You asked a ways back: “why would facing the extinction of humans be any more traumatic than facing your own personal death. Once you are dead you will not know if others live on…….”.

    I had to think on this for awhile. But I don’t think I would frame the question that way. For starters, it’s not my own personal death I find traumatic, I have long accepted my complete and utter insignificance, and actually find it rather comforting. In fact, as NTE runs its course, I find myself daydreaming ever more about Thelma and Louise. But that’s still down the road…..

    Color me a misanthrope, but my approach to the meaning of life, has never been all that anthropocentric. It’s the loss of all other life that saddens me beyond despair. The fact that aside from all our individual beauty, integrity and genius, that there is no such thing as “collective wisdom”. The concept of “we” from a planetary scale, is but another useful myth to engender ourselves to some greater purpose, even a secular one. We’re just a conglomeration of individuals clamoring over each other in pursuit of our own immediate needs. I consider the foundation of our demise to be little more than “the tyranny of our immediate needs”. Civilization (Homo-colossus) has been an evolutionary dead end for millennia, we’re just the unfortunate blokes who get to experience it.

    But back to what I am finding to be difficult(traumatic), is how best to live out the rest of my life, in the face of my own culpability of being a white American male, who has already taken far more than my share.

    I’m also a diehard empiricist, as well as an atheist with an immovable ethical imperative, which translates into me being incredibly motivated by guilt.

    I have been a radical environmentalist for the last 24 years. Similar to Guy, every year of my entire adult life, I have in stunned disbelief, watched the world move ever closer to where we are now, even while always knowing–at least to some degree–that our fate was inevitable. This has been my hypocrisy, grappling with a ethical imperative, while never having any faith in it.

  55. Daniel Says:

    Depressive lucidly….perfectly stated!

  56. BenjaminTheDonkey Says:

    Changes in our reality
    Cause changes in our mentality;
    Jungle law is restored
    When we cannot afford
    The luxury of morality.

  57. OzMan Says:

    Tom’s link to the Chris hedges web piece on making Gazanz of us all is deply moving to me.

    Here is the final parragraph:
    “As the U.S. empire implodes, the harsher forms of violence employed on the outer reaches of empire are steadily migrating back to the homeland. At the same time, the internal systems of democratic governance have calcified. Centralized authority has devolved into the hands of an executive branch that slavishly serves global corporate interests. The press and the government’s judiciary and legislative branches have become toothless and decorative. The specter of terrorism, as in Israel, is used by the state to divert gargantuan expenditures to homeland security, the military and internal surveillance. Privacy is abolished. Dissent is treason. The military with its mantra of blind obedience and force characterizes the dark ethic of the wider culture. Beauty and truth are abolished. Culture is degraded into kitsch. The emotional and intellectual life of the citizenry is ravaged by spectacle, the tawdry and salacious, as well as by handfuls of painkillers and narcotics. Blind ambition, a lust for power and a grotesque personal vanity—exemplified by David Petraeus and his former mistress—are the engines of advancement. The concept of the common good is no longer part of the lexicon of power. This, as the novelist J.M. Coetzee writes, is “the black flower of civilization.” It is Rome under Diocletian. It is us. Empires, in the end, decay into despotic, murderous and corrupt regimes that finally consume themselves. And we, like Israel, are now coughing up blood.”

    That guy can write!

    The imagery reminds me of the recent movie “Children of Men”, and the way people are hoared into neverland camps , waiting for a chance to have a new life, but it never comes.

    ‘Children Of Men-Trailer’

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NikEQy1XxDE

    The scene where the baby is carried through a destroyed building , which silences the gunfire, is reminiscent of the infuence a true holy man/woman has on fear. After thier passing, the violence resumes, however.

  58. wildwoman Says:

    Daniel, it’s even worse than you say. We clamor over others for WANTS, not even needs.

    So many other threads of thought. One I wanted to respond to was about compassion in the nursing and doctoring professions. I’m not either one, but I’ve been in the hospital for operations and I’ll take a nurse over a doctor any day of the week. I’ve had terrific nurses. Good doctors, but not what I’d call compassionate.

    I’ve seen Asoka on Kunstler’s blog and he’s a troll. One reason why I’ve never posted there. Orlov doesn’t seem to have the same problem.

  59. Kathy C Says:

    Daniel, I hear you. I too deal with guilt but less so over time. I don’t mourn even the loss of everything else so much anymore. After all out there in the lovely natural world, baby bunnies are being torn apart by foxes. One day a hawk got one of our chickens, we chased him off and picked up the dead chicken he had been eating only to find her still alive. From some perspectives the lovely natural world looks more like tooth and claw and blood and agony.

    How to live the rest of our lives – much easier to answer for those of us who are older – we see our mortality statistics and have already had to work on that question. I plan to garden and raise chickens until I can’t.

  60. dairymandave2003 Says:

    That reminded me; along with war, famine and disease, there was predation during those early years. I don’t think child birth problems are significant. I don’t see that as a problem with other animals. Doing all these C-sections is a new thing.

  61. ulvfugl Says:

    David, there was predation…I don’t think child birth problems are significant. I don’t see that as a problem with other animals.

    Infant mortality is not just child birth. Humans have large heads, causes problems, but after that, they have to live maybe 15 years before they can reproduce. Any of those years they can die from disease organisms. I think the fossil records show that if they survived to adulthood, they’d likely live to mature old age. But I’m sure this has been researched in detail somewhere. Don’t have time to look for it this moment.

    I don’t think predation was very significant. Those guys had bows and arrows, spears, and fire. That’s sufficient protection.

  62. ulvfugl Says:

    depressive lucidity I think that the primativists are stuck in an infantile fantasy of returning to the precivilizational state of nature…

    Don’t think it is/was quite that simple. Green anarchy/anarchism/anarcho-primitivism was partially a didactic device in the culture wars, to counter ‘the myth of eternal progress’ and educate people about our origins.

    I agree, as a practical agenda, its not very practical, but at the start, it was an unbounded space for ideas, for thinking around the human condition…

    …The kind of world envisaged by anarcho-primitivism is one unprecedented in human experience in terms of the degree and types of freedom anticipated … so there can’t be any limits on the forms of resistance and insurgency that might develop. The kind of vast transformations envisaged will need all kinds of innovative thought and activity….

    http://www.primitivism.com/primer.htm

  63. depressive lucidity Says:

    ulvfugl, thanks for the clarification re: primitivism.

    I get your point that it was a philosophical weapon of resistance to capitalism which has been driven by an ideology of endless progress. Although his project is hopeless, I have always enjoyed reading Derek Jensen … particularly because of his cynical misanthropy.

    Unfortunately, on this little blue planet unless one has the guns and the memes to move the masses, structural social change remains a pipe dream. Primitivism never stood a chance to win the hearts and minds of the suburban ignoranti because they only respond to noises like “bigger,” “better” and “we’re number one”. After collapse and on the way to NTE, who is going to have time for philosophical movements?

  64. Madmanintheattic Says:

    Re: these comments from 2 or 3 posts back (how DO you italicize the quotes?)
    “David, there was predation…I don’t think child birth problems are significant. I don’t see that as a problem with other animals.

    Infant mortality is not just child birth. Humans have large heads, causes problems, but after that, they have to live maybe 15 years before they can reproduce. Any of those years they can die from disease organisms. I think the fossil records show that if they survived to adulthood, they’d likely live to mature old age. But I’m sure this has been researched in detail somewhere. Don’t have time to look for it this moment.

    I don’t think predation was very significant. Those guys had bows and arrows, spears, and fire. That’s sufficient protection.”

    My understanding is Homo sapiens has the highest infant and maternal morbidity and mortality rates of ALL primates … because of the large head and the need to minimize the female pelvis so she can still walk, we are born as still embryos making us very vulnerable for several years, as stated.

    Regarding predation, 2.5 million years ago late Australopithicines and early Homo hablis were cat food. Fossil record shows tooth and claw striations on many bones. Out on the flat savanna we were Tasty Treats to the roaming cats. At least several hundred (or more) people each year are killed by tigers in India and Asia. Don’t forget the predation of Homo on other Homo – at least 500,000 murders each year worldwide. Predation was a problem and will be again.

    Predation, in the form of the packs of domestic dogs which have formed and which will eat you I figure will be one of the biggest problems facing post-collapse survivors. I suggest arming yourself with a small caliber carbine (.22LR or .223) with large magazines if for no other reason than to protect yourself from being torn to pieces by dogs … and you can eat the ones you shoot, too.

    Bows and arrows and spears and fire and language all appeared relatively late in the history of genus Homo from .25 million years ago to 60,000 years ago leaving at least two million years for us to be food for many different types of predators.

    We are so divorced from death, reality, conflict, suffering, nature, predator/prey relations, and all the other stuff our self-domestication has protected us from that even our collapse scenarios are pollyanna-ish (or should that be Pollyanna-like?)

    Try this one … and it is a hard one, a real thought experiment:

    UNIMAGINABLE HORROR AND DEGRADATION.

    That is part of a prophecy regarding the end times (Kali Yug) in the Puranas. It is one of my favourite turns of phrase. And I think it sums up the future handily in only four words. All you have to do is imagine the unimaginable … in the form of horror and degradation.

    For a generation raised on fairy tales and too much techno-magic, this is a tough one. Especially when most of us do not know the purpose of Life – at least one of the two – is to reduce the thermodynamic gradient which means taking complexity and turning it into excrement. Which is what we are doing to the planet … on a planetary scale. Life doing what Life does, except running out of control like a cancer or a virus.

  65. Madmanintheattic Says:

    By the way, as much as I respect Chris Hedges, I think he is giving TPTB far too much credit that they can make Gazans of 5 or 6 or 7 billion people. When the REAL shit hits the fan, they will be running in circles panicing and worrying about themselves and their families. Desertion will be rampant (suicide is a form of desertion in the US Army already) and ALL systems will collapse including systems of repressive authoritarianism. I’m not saying it will be pretty – thousands will be slaughtered – but just like everything else humans have created, mass oppression will not be sustainable either.

  66. ulvfugl Says:

    Not really disagreeing with you, Madmanintheattic, but dairymandave’s original timeline was 200,000 years….

    Earliest fire 800,000 ? Earliest spears 400,000 ?

    Yeah… the packs of feral dogs. Back to sleeping in trees. And then the ammo runs out…

    Nasty :-(

  67. Kathy C Says:

    madman “how DO you italicize the quotes?”

    In front of the text you want italicized you put a

    At the end of the text you want italicized you put a

    NO spaces between the characters. To bold you substitute a B for the I.

  68. Kathy C Says:

    ulvfugl you must have posted while I was tediously writing out my answer :)

  69. ulvfugl Says:

    I already learned that lesson the hard way once before Kathy :-)

  70. ulvfugl Says:

    I’ve been looking for hominid mortality stuff, seems surprisingly difficult to find anything respectable, found plenty about life in the Garden of Eden, hahaha…

    How about this…

    If high mortality, warfare, homicide, and accidental trauma are typical of our Paleolithic ancestors, the Hiwi mortality patterns may be more representative of the past than those derived from other modern hunter-gatherers. If so, several observations about the Hiwi are important. First, conspecific violence was a prominent part of the demographic profile, accounting for many deaths in all age and sex categories. Most of the adult killings were due to either competition over women, reprisals by jealous husbands (on both their wives and their wives’ lovers), or reprisals for past killings. The criollo-caused killings were motivated by territorial conquest. Moreover, infanticide (especially on females) constituted the highest mortality rate component of all Hiwi conspecific violence. Second, no predation deaths were reported despite attacks by anacondas, Orinoco caimans, and piranhas, and the presence of jaguars in the area. Accidents associated with the active-forager lifestyle were common, but disease was a more important killer, accounting for nearly half of all deaths. This suggests an adaptive landscape in which success in social relations, competitive violence, and disease resistance are paramount. This may partially explain why many of the genes that appear to have been under strong selection in the past 50,000 years affect either disease resistance or cognitive function (Wang et al., 2006), presumably related to success in an atmosphere of frequent violent social competition (Hill et al. 2007:451).

    http://johnhawks.net/weblog/reviews/life_history/aging_evolution/hill_2007_hiwi_mortality.html

  71. Madmanintheattic Says:

    I think the mortality rates in indigenous hunter/gatherer communities speak to the fantasy that collapse will bring us a purer, truer, clearer humanity and a golden age will rise from the ashes spontaneously, etc. This new-age fantasy theme does not appear here but it is the major theme of Carolyn Baker’s blog. That humans are somehow inately good and the only problem is the system we created and if the system comes down, everything will be sunshine, lollipops, rainbows once again is a nice panacea and a reassuring fantasy but consider this:

    At the height of the murder boom in New York city the murder rate was about 8 per hundred thousand. However anthropological data I have seen says the murder rate in current hunter/gatherer societies (and, by extrapolation and some fossil evidence, past ones too) ranges around 50 to 90 per hundred thousand (I can find this reference but it will take some time – if any one wants it, please ask and be patient). We are not the peaceful, harmonious, ecological ape we appear to be in fairy tales. And most certainly the survivors suffering from traumatic stress will not be up to the task of creating a utopia as the struggle to survive on a wasted planet of weeds and toxins. (Stepen Pinker says the 20th century was the most peaceful and least violent of any time in recorded history)

    I still think the best alternative to saving the biosphere whilst dealing with the problem of Homo sapiens is nuclear war but that has been shouted down here too many times for me to bother defending and explaining why and how it would work.

  72. Daniel Says:

    Been reading Hedges since his amazing book: War Is The Force That Gives Us Meaning. It’s interesting to watch his evolution in regards to collapse. He seems to be moving ever more towards Guy’s perspective, but he is still putting all his eggs in civil disobedience, while willfully overlooking the glaring fact that very few Americans even remotely give a shit. He has a far larger base and platform than most radicals, but he also has a litter of little ones, so who knows how far he can allow himself to plumb the rabbit hole. But I agree, he’s an incredibly honest and unflinching author, and his background as a wartime correspondent is incomparable. He epitomizes the meaning of moral imperative IMO. For anyone not familiar with his weekly postings on Truthdig here is the link to his archived essays.

    http://www.truthdig.com/tag/chris+hedges/

  73. Daniel Says:

    @ Ulvfugl

    You had posted on the last thread: “There’s no need to call upon your ending to arrive sooner, death is inevitable, it’ll arrive when the time is right. Savour the precious moment that will never return, fill it with bliss, the exquisite pleasure of the clock ticking, power, magic, beauty, the whole Universe is yours, is YOU, just for a brief time, so you can know, and be grateful, because you saw something, not nothing… Let ego die now. There it is. All around you. You can’t avoid it. You are everything.”

    Never got around to thanking you for your response. Seems you are a rare bird who has found a way to be mired in the triviality of the mundane, yet have achieved an amazing degree of clarity and presence. I very much appreciate this dichotomy and your contributions to this otherwise deplorable dilemma. Thanks for taking the time to share your perspective. All the best, D.

  74. Judy Says:

    @The REAL Dr House Says:
    November 24th, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Thank you for clarifying, TRDH. As for providing care for free or trade, what I’ve gleaned from your postings over the last couple of years tells me that you are not about money; you want to help people. The reality, of course, is that we all have those pesky bills to pay, whether we are doctors, nurses, farmers, wage slaves, etc. The other reality is that we have to accept those things we cannot change, which, I think, is why some think that nurses and doctors have no compassion. Some don’t, but I know many who do, so I don’t subscribe to the no-compassion model. I do understand, however, that there comes a point of acceptance (as I mentioned above) which could be perceived as lack of compassion.

    Again, thank you for clarifying.

  75. Judy Says:

    @Kathy C, I watched the movie “The Sea Within” last night on your recommendation, and it sent me on an emotional roller coaster. A couple of years ago, a dear friend of mine committed suicide because he had cancer which he refused to treat. He used to post here.

    Many years before that, my ex-sister-in-law attempted suicide after she was left paralyzed in an auto accident. Until now (after watching the movie), I did not understand her wish to die. I’ve been able to put myself in many shoes, but I did not put myself in hers…until now. However, I’ve always thought that we have the right to do with ourselves as we wish. It is a personal decision, and no one else has the right to limit our choices. Period.

  76. ulvfugl Says:

    @ Madmanintheattic I think the mortality rates in indigenous hunter/gatherer communities speak to the fantasy that collapse will bring us a purer, truer, clearer humanity… etc

    I thought we were discussing what limited the palaeolithic population… but yes, ‘what was’ is not necessarily much of a guide as to ‘what will be’, and your Kali Yuga scenario for the ending of overshoot seems highly likely to me….

    Btw, was the HTML stuff any help ? It’s incredibly simple when you know, but tricky to explain. Let’s see if this works…

    <i> text you want to quote </i>

  77. ulvfugl Says:

    @ Daniel

    Thanks, Daniel. Simple really. Live as if you’re already dead. Everything is miraculous.

  78. OzMan Says:

    ulvfugl

    ” Live as if you’re already dead.”

    Now you’re talkin’.

    That’s what I was alluding to with a previous thread posting about ‘Bhuddist Practice 101′. Considder death, really considder it, and live.

    I had an interesting day today. Took my 13 son and 3 others to a Lezerzone and indoor bowling anthill in the middle of 40 degree C heat on railbusses and back, trains were off due to weekend line maintinence.

    This experience was so appalling for me, but in some ways the boys liked the activities. All up it cost $180, incusive of fares some junk food, (all that was available). I was not in favour of the whole deal, but as the money was provided from relatives who were not around, and never are, and it was a social outing for them, I agreed.

    The suburbs that we travelled through were there but thinner, when I was a boy, and were equally ‘dead’ zones then to me. People live there, but upon revisiting, going by comfy free air coach/bus, it became clearer the ‘carpet of suburbia’ that I suppose the majority of urbanites live in has little geographic anomolies, little environmental noteworthies to retreat to, and recall magnificent childhood experiences about.

    A population brought up in these circumstance will naturally wish for the well known release strategies of industrial wealth societies – alcahol, porn, screen based distraction, and low-culture entertainments, that are expensive, like ‘Lazerzone, and Bowling’.
    As I noted, in themselves these activities are not ‘evil’ or ‘bad’, and to a kid are cool. But as I constantly harp to my kids, money is not essential to be happy doing activities that you have fun doing, and perhaps learn stuff too.

    I am very fortunate we presently rent on the edge of world heritage bushland, with resident wildlife seeming to recolonise their previously vacated zones. I am yet to be convinced these wildlife have not simply been displacd to here by the ever increaing suburban carpet rolling on, and this reserve zone is all they have.

    I don’t know how I would cope without the weekly kangaroo poo gathering sessions, or seeing the bush as I type here now.

    This was on my mind today as I used the 3 hours bus time to continue to read ‘Walking Away from Empire’ – that this is the suburbia that will be soon tested to breaking point.

    My only mental fallback with these dire scenarios we all see coming is that there appear to be a lot of people around here who are gearing up with community activities, markets, local produce swaps, and some form of community culture resurging. As for the ‘full throttle’ suburbs, I am not sure. Collective effort will be a key to early adaptation and survival in the early phase of obvious collapse.
    Town meetings will be the clincher to me that signals the ‘obviousness’ to all and sundry.

    Martial Law could also do the trick as well.

    Oil at USD $111 per barrel today.

    December 21st is looking about right on the money…er..or collapse of it.

  79. Ripley Says:

    This talk was great. On the question of why the the world’s owners (like Bill Gates or the Koch brothers) don’t or won’t change in response to the overwhelming data that they are killing the planet. The answer is that you cannot expect the people who have made their huge fortunes by killing the planet to suddenly stop and do something else. Being better than anyone else at killing the planet is how they got to be the world’s owners. It’s not a conspiracy, it’s just capitalism being capitalism. Finding a natural resource and using it up is the most profitable thing you can do. Think of a rainforest, it’s just sitting there, with all it’s species all thriving together as they have for eons. Then think of how it must look to a capitalist, its not a forest, it’s money just sitting there, money that he must have. And the only way to get that money is to cut it down. These people can’t stop doing this, their addicted to it, its what they are.

  80. Kathy C Says:

    Judy, exactly, not having chosen to be born, we should at least have the right to exit when we want. However if we have dependent children, they also got no choice in their birth and have a claim therefore on their parents lives. Glad you saw the movie. It is a roller coaster emotionally but IMO a movie that makes you think about the issues of life is the only kind worth watching. Well and A Fish Called Wanda is worth watching too. :)

  81. Kathy C Says:

    BTW Guy, your essay at Transition sure sums things up. I have shared it around elsewhere.

    I wonder if people can really encompass the idea of 400 Chernobyls when we no longer have the power to do any amelioration at all. In Fukushima, while out of the news, the struggle goes on. The ability to get workers seems to be summed up by this

    [Exploiting the youth] Fukushima university to give students credit for decontamination work
    Posted by Mochizuki on
    On 11/19/2012, Fukushima Diary wrote, “It’s likely that they make it a credit necessary to graduate from schools to go to Fukushima (plant).” in the column [Japan may seek solution of Fukushima in drifting to the right]. Fukushima university is going to do exactly what was written in the column.

    Fukushima university is going to give students credit for decontamination work, which is supposed to be volunteer.

    45 hours of decontamination is one credit, 90 hours of decontamination is two credits

    http://fukushima-diary.com/2012/11/exploiting-the-youth-fukushima-university-to-give-students-credit-for-decontamination-work/

  82. OzMan Says:

    Kathy C

    Just when one feels it cannot go much lower than invasion to secure oil, you post on credits for decontamination work at Fuk-u-shin-ah is sobering, and is somewhat of an indication just what things will devolve into before any wheels appear to have fallen off.

    As sick as it sounds, your posts are always welcome information, if nothing else to let me know how much vomit I need to keep justice with my viceral self these days.

  83. Tom Says:

    Here’s a talk by a British engineer/prof. of energy & climate change at U of Manchester (K. Anderson) about the completely ludicrous climate change messages by reputable institutions and scientists who mainly remain silent about how dire it really is:

    http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2012/11/502496.html

    He’s a little hard to understand due to his making numerous side-comments under his breath and because he’s rushed, but there are a lot of graphs in his slide show to keep you up with what he’s saying. i don’t agree with his conclusion that we still can do anything about it, but that’s academic – the point, of course, is WILL we (and of course we won’t – since it’s already too late).

  84. Tom Says:

    Oh, yeah – forgot the reason i brought up the talk above:

    The next climate change conference opens tomorrow in Doha, Qatar.

    Here’s little blurb on that:

    http://www.correntewire.com/doha_conference_six_degrees_of_climate_bakin#more

  85. Tom Says:

    Last post of the day:

    more on the same topic – explaining the time lag between emissions and temperature rise, especially, but lots more

  86. dairymandave2003 Says:

    As I dig further into this, I find that the IPCC can’t be trusted and
    neither can Artic News. It takes an insider who is willing to tell it like it is. I found this video by David Wasdell. The presentation was done 4 years ago. At that time he thought we could do something. Maybe you folks have already seen this:

    Now, if that one doesn’t catch your interest, here he is in a recent interview.
    It has 75 views so far so I know you folks have NOT already seen this. I like this man.

    David

  87. BenjaminTheDonkey Says:

    .
    Radionuclides in the breeze,
    A temp of a hundred degrees:
    In this end to our sprees,
    We’re about to reprise
    The flight of Thelma and Louise.

  88. BenjaminTheDonkey Says:

    .
    What I have lately observed
    Is leaving me somewhat unnerved;
    I’m beginning to think
    That we should be extinct,
    And our fate is truly deserved.

  89. Kathy C Says:

    Told we must resources conserve
    From our path we would not swerve
    We have partied with mirth
    While we plundered the earth
    Hell we’ll get, as its all we deserve

  90. ulvfugl Says:

    It has 75 views so far so I know you folks have NOT already seen this.

    David, I don’t mean to embarrass you, but it has been posted in many other places, including on this blog before.

  91. BenjaminTheDonkey Says:

    The haters got straight their priorities,
    And, O.K.’d by unnamed authorities,
    They can’t hardly wait
    To act out their hate
    And liquidate lots of minorities.

  92. dairymandave2003 Says:

    OK, so what else have I missed? Could there be anything more?

  93. ulvfugl Says:

    Sorry if that came across a bit bluntly, David, all I was saying was that many more than 75 people will have seen copies of that talk.

    The Kevin Anderson talk that Tom mentioned above is possibly as far as the professional scientists are willing to go at this point. I mean, they have to stick to stuff they can support with published evidence, etc, and they have to worry about their reputation and career, or else they end up like Guy, ;-)

    I think what Anderson is saying is extremely alarming, I don’t think he is including the feedbacks, I think he’s saying we’ll fail the 2 deg target, but must do better, but where’s the evidence that we WILL do better ??? Looking at the record over recent decades, emissions just keep rising and rising and rising….

    He’s saying most of the pollution comes from a tiny percentage of the human population, but unfortunately, they are the ones who control the governments, the guns, the money, the industry, etc….

    That said, none of this is simple. Seems that fracking for gas makes clean renewable solar and wind power uneconomic…. whilst adding even more methane to the atmosphere…

    http://www.technologyreview.com/review/428900/king-natural-gas/

  94. ulvfugl Says:

    Don’t know if this is helpful to you, I know it already, IMO fairly conservative downbeat estimation…

  95. Ken Barrows Says:

    Dr. McPherson,

    Take Niall Ferguson off the list of those who think industrial civilization will soon collapse. He now thinks shale oil/gas will create an American economic boom. I wonder how many of the 80 think likewise, or are at least attached to growth.

  96. ulvfugl Says:

    Here’s a pdf text version of Anderson’s lecture, with the graphs, etc, if you want to go through it with a fine comb.

    http://whatnext.org/resources/Publications/Volume-III/Single-articles/wnv3_andersson_144.pdf


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