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Life is different

Mon, Dec 16, 2013

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by Jonathan DeJong (penned about two weeks ago)

Today is a day to celebrate! One year ago today, after more than 2 years of searching, we closed on our farm. One year later and we look back now on the amazing amount of work we have put into it is enough to make our heads spin. What an adventure, what a dream come true. JAZ Farm become reality, as described here.

For my collapsitarian friends: Because purchasing the farm gave rise to tons of frustrations because it was a foreclosure, I began waxing prophetically back then. Writing is a great way to expunge poisons destroying your inner peace. I needed to channel my inner rage to keep going and working to get this dream done without arriving at the bank that owned the property and finding myself in jail. I dug down and pulled this out of my gut. This was written well before I knew any of you existed.

Many have told me to get off my ass and write. So here we are.

For my non-aware friends, maybe I’ll lose you for this one but I hope not. Not because I’m targeting anyone personally, just because it is my personal indictment of our human predicament. Those who really knew me as a kid probably will find this something of the same old. I told myself on my 50th birthday that the 2nd half gets to be mine. Part of that has been a journey to live as true to myself as I can. That assertion is where this diatribe came from. Peace.

PS: Also, this kind of thing really gets the conversations started. I prefer this kind of thing to posts that say, “Buffy went to the mall and her BFF is buying new sandals to show off her pedicure. Yeesh.” LOL.

** So why would life with me be “different”? Written to a person in my head asking the question. **

Intellectually you know pretty well who I am. I don’t think there would be too much of a surprise there. I do go through a lot of emotional roller coasters over the way the world is; Especially with the rise of the Fundamentalist movement, the Crooks on Wall Street and corruption like the world has never seen before. I do not like people. I hate our society. I am the idealist that sees the stupidity and insanity for what it is and am not afraid to say so. With respect to that, it can make one feel pretty alone.

So the first point: I am not social. Social/extroverted people gain energy and fulfillment through the interaction with others. I most decidedly do not. It is exhausting. I prefer to be alone or with my family. Occasionally, like with my astronomer friends, I enjoy company, but plants and nature are much better friends than the general public. The bi-pedal virus infesting this planet is killing my best friends. Just like you watched Katrina, I have watched millions of trees die and now they are on fire. My best friends have been murdered.

My wife had to learn that if she wanted to be a “joiner” that she needed to go ahead and do it. She has. She knows that if I am in a group of people I am quickly drained of energy. My therapist said, “I’ll bet you feel like you can read all of their minds at once and the noise gets in your head and makes you not only want to, but NEED to leave.” yes.

From my Jeremiah Johnson Mountain Man days to — hopefully — the farm, you know that I completely hate civilized society. I am going NUTS living in a suburban setting working a “proper” job. I’ve found success and I find it totally wanting. I would be at complete peace if I could do nothing but work to sustain myself and write. I work hard to try to get there but it is a very steep mountain to climb. (Hell, just me writing like this is “different” — how many other people do you know that think, talk and act like this?)

Suburbs and the urbanization of this country that requires the use of automobiles in order to do anything is “the biggest mis-allocation of resources in the history of the world” (JH Kunstler). We are going to see immense suffering because of it. The people who live happily in this type of world are the frogs slowly heating in a pan of water. They live like baby birds in a nest waiting for the mother to come and puke food into their mouths. In fact, that is a great analogy. An environmental activist by the name of Derrick Jensen, defined civilization as “any geographic concentration of people that requires the importation of resources.” The trucking and shipping industry are the mother birds, the urban/suburban dwellers are the never maturing babies. They are completely incapable of taking care of themselves and if one day the truck mothers (Mothertruckers?) stop coming … omg.

I have held these views since I was in high school. I have had fights with friends/girlfriend’s parents back even then about these issues. I see our “accomplishments” as a species and I hang my head in sorrow. I hate who we have become and I do not share in the idea that we are some sort of “advanced” species.

I look at the casual slacks, button down oxford shirt wearing, moderate to high-end SUV-driving, golf-playing, idiots out there and am awestruck that they see this as success. I watch the 90-pound suburban housewives withthe spandex, ponytail through the back of the baseball cap, latte in one hand, cell phone in the other, driving her SUV to soccer practice to cheer on her High Fructose Corn Syrup-eating spawn and it makes me fucking ill. I see the enormous asses that our society has created among the lower classes due to poor nutrition and I feel like I am living in a freak show.

On either side of the scale, be it the hyper-groomed, upper-middle-class automatons, or the lower-class, over-weight, corn-sugar, McDonalds-Kentucky Fried Chicken eating mother fuckers and I SEE NO DIFFERENCE IN WORTH. Both are blind. Both are ignorant. Both are destroying the planet. ALL are sucking off the mother pig’s tit with no sense of what the world really is and where we came from and what living naturally and in balance is. Hell most of them don’t know what dirt is until they launch a drive on the 9th tee and dig up a divot. “Food comes from the ground? I thought it came from the grocery store.”

I was at an adviser’s meeting last fall. There was a 20-something there representing Goldman Sachs. I, and a more “earthy” adviser, were talking about recessions and depressions and I said, “the thing that is going to make this depression worse than the 20′s and 30′s is that no one today knows how to kill and dress a pig”. She agreed totally. The kid from Sachs looked at me in amazement. He raised his hand sheepishly and said, “I don’t.” I laughed and said, “I bet you think your steaks all come from Safeway wrapped in cellophane.” He nodded.

We Are So Totally Fucked!! Imagine the Zombie like carnage that will happen if the trucks can’t get into Chicago for even a couple of days!!! It’s coming, and our country is absolutely NOT ready for it. We need people back on the land… a reverse farm crisis. We need to kick out big ag and get all of these people who were forced into urban centers back on the land to grow and work together. Most of all they need to be told the TRUTH. Something that is no longer a virtue in our culture. Spin is the new way to communicate. Don’t look at facts, SPIN it to your favor.

Fuck everyone else as long as they buy your agenda.

So the “different” part is first, knowing that I hate society. Not just disappointment. This is a fully charged visceral hatred. I never have had much positive to say about our society. I can’t look at people and think like we’ve been taught, “Jon don’t judge — you don’t know what they are going through themselves.” True enough about judging but you can’t say they are all being unique when they all are chasing after the same empty goals. Entire lives revolve around working so they can go purchase entertainment instead of creating it (the US is one giant SUV-loving, mall-shopping, Disneyland-is-reality, movie-watching bunch of self-destructive lazy assholes). They are soft, lazy, clueless and incapable of thinking critically.

So my life is trying to be a self-sufficient, self-reliant Thoreau type of individual. I value the true Transcendental philosophies espoused by the one intellectual school of thought America has ever had. Now, of course, it is largely forgotten so we can have big-box franchises, free-trade agreements in the name of trickle down oppression. We have lost a sense of community and inter-connectedness. Our nation was founded by a nation of Barn Builders not the Marlboro man. Communities would get together and help one another build the infrastructure for their farms and towns. They shared and cared and had community, food preservation and quilting bees. If one hunter shot a deer and someone else went without, they helped each other.

We have traded all of that for Walmart, Monsanto, slave-labor-manufactured crap and a world based completely on a finite resource that we should be using to work for the well being of all people. It shouldn’t be used for 7/11 big gulp cups that wind up in the ocean, asphalt, beach balls, golf balls, and cheap trinkets for profit.

So that is how I see the world. The way I live has always been a running to try to escape this insanity as much as I can. As an analogy, in Texas, there are exotic game hunting ranches. Typically they are about 1000 acres. They are totally fenced in. These “hunters” go out there, pay hundreds of dollars to go run down an animal in a 1000 acre pen and shoot it. My life feels like the animal. I run and run and run trying to escape and I always end up bouncing off the prison fences. Suburban/Urbanites run around thinking they are free, thinking they are “making it” as individuals; they think that all they see is right and proper and never see that not only are they in prison, they are the jailers as well. My life experiences opened my eyes to see the prison walls and the jailers. I scream at the insanity and no one hears it. It is torture. My favorite quote in the whole world is by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, “Man is born free, yet everywhere is in chains. One who believes himself the master of others is none the less as great a slave as they.”

George Carlin: “That’s why they call it the American Dream … because you have to be asleep to believe it.”

I have told people that it is one thing to feel that you have been “called” to the ministry and tell people about it. “How wonderful!” they expound. It is quite another thing to tell people that you were “called out” of the church because your intellectual/spiritual being discovered just what a complete hoax it is. “You are just misguided,” they say. “Your faith isn’t strong enough” … whatever the phrase … you are, for the rest of your life, saddled with that story of exit and ostracized by the mainstream.

Sure you find folks in the fringe. Sure, you don’t completely go through banishment, but you have to tell that story over and over and over again, and you never see the world the same way. You never trust. You never get your hopes up too high. All you want to do is escape the 1000-acre prison.

I also think that one of the most sinister members of our society are psychologists. Not those that help individuals and do group counseling and help others to assimilate back into the prison. I mean the psychology majors that work on Madison Avenue and the political machine. We are constantly being brainwashed to either buy things, vote for things, believe things, and MORE importantly, BE AFRAID of things. These sinister futher-muckers have learned how the brains of humans tick (they themselves being humans) and use it to torture, brainwash, manipulate and scare the living shit out of people to the point that they are no longer capable of thinking for themselves even if they wanted to! That is worse than any war we were programmed to support. It is an ongoing mental war. The battle for your mind. The battle for your soul. The battle to dehumanize you, to make you a dutiful consumer … not a citizen … not a creature of a magnificent creation. Technograndiosity, to use a Kunstler term, is going to create an eden — they think — a future of hovercrafts, jet packs, a paperless society and total leisure and prosperity for all. We have been taught that a natural earth-based existence is wrong and somehow our earth — an eden that we once had — an eden we have turned into a festering pile of steaming shit — is primitive. Eden, after all, is making things so they can be future landfill.

I never stop moving. I am busy all the time trying to escape. I wake up stressed and I go to bed exhausted. As I have mentioned and maybe is now somewhat clearer, I don’t understand weak. I hate having to buy food when I know I should be growing my own. I would rather make something or do a needed project than hire someone to do it. I truly believe in Emerson and Thoreau’s ideas of self-reliance.

Getting one’s hands dirty is natural. Feeding one’s self, caring for your environment, putting up food for the winter, hunting, fishing, growing, are the more natural and wholesome ways of life. Not being a leach on society is the natural order of things. Giving back to your environment instead of demanding it give and give to exhaustion is the natural order of things. Digging in dirt, shoveling shit, killing for food, is existence. I try very hard to live that way. I also expect anyone who is in my world to live that way, too. If they don’t, I don’t want them around. As a result, it can get kind of lonely.

Here’s what I mean. I would have a great deal of trouble being around someone who understood that the chicken needed to be killed for dinner but wouldn’t be willing to do it him/herself. I would do it without blinking an eye. I would have trouble being around people who find getting dirty detestable. ” Let the immigrants pick it and live in slavery. Just make sure unblemished aesthetically pleasing food is in a box at Kroger.”

Now someone will always say, well that may be fine for you, but that might not be right for everyone. WRONG. If one can’t engage in a way that is sustainable and somewhat self-reliant, then whatever one does is “taking” from the planet and leads to the importation of resources which leads to desires and greed, which leads to a military, which leads to horror. Civilization requires violence. Competition breeds hatred. Ergo, it is all poison.

We need a native american, matriarchal, hunter/farmer/gatherer society.

With climate change now the grim reaper at our doorstep, I look forward to a return to that for as long as it lets me last. I don’t relish the panic and upheaval that will happen on our way to that end, but the days of happy cruising, halfway around the world supply lines, big-box, big-ag days are over. I wish I could live on the other side of the bridge we have to cross, but as “they” say, “It is what it is.”

So what is different? I don’t get weak. I do get mutual cooperation and the inter-connectedness of all people. The problem is, most anymore, do not. After all, it’s all about me, eh?

So if I were to be social it would be that kind of social: those of helping and being helped. That of no one lording power and resources over others. I would gladly be a worker bee in a tribe. I loath the idea of being a slave to a machine relying on spin to keep the lie of existence going. I work with my hands, think with my brain, and try to be one with the beautiful blue ball. Astronomy helps us to see the vastness of the universe but evidently we simply cannot grasp “infinity”. Our world need not be the 1000 acre ranch floating in space creating agony and oppression. It could, and should be, a place to live and love. As the Buddha said, “man is just a thinking reed”

We are an animal with a big malfunctioning brain that has told itself it is more special than anything else. One day, I hope in my lifetime, we all wake up and discover that we got it all wrong. There is no ultimate end goal or end game. There is only the cycle of life. The way our illness drives us forward there will be only one end. Extinction. In the meantime, I try to find my life of Thoreau. A Zen master was once asked by a student, what happens when you become enlightened.

“Nothing” he responded. “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water…. after enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” My fight to escape the 1000 acre hunting ranch is enlightenment. “The cause of most of humanity’s problems is the inability of a man to sit quietly in a room …”

That’s how.

Thanks for playing.

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Jonathan DeJong is a chartered financial consultant by profession. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Iliff School of Theology and the University of Denver. He is an avid homesteader who began urban farming with his mother in suburban Detroit back in the early 1970s. Out of college, knowing that the urban/suburban monstrosity was a ruse, he left Michigan to follow his “go west young man” voice calling him back to nature. He worked with ranchers in the Rockies, is a certified archery coach, and amateur astronomer. He and his wife are now building a 40-acre homestead farm on the high plains of Colorado east of Denver. They live there with their dog, 2 cats, and 31 chickens. DeJong writes at JAZ farm.

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Please join McPherson in support Blazing Kat Productions. In a small but ambitious way, the organization is chronicling people’s stories outside the propaganda-speak of the rulers. They have no sponsorship other than crowd-funding to kick start their critical fund-raising drive. Please help them finish the “99er Roadtrip” project. You can also support them on WePay and can contact them for additional information via email at blazingkat57@gmail.com.

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The latest from McPherson’s email inbox includes this note from an acquaintance he met briefly a couple years ago: “Hey, take a guess who was inquiring what was the nature of my consorting with a ” guy McPherson”…? Canadian borders agents. I think they zip drove extracted my laptop. At least that’s what it looked like from my window view inside there customs station.”

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McPherson was interview for the Guardian regarding climate change and slavery. The resultant piece was published 13 December, and is linked here.

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131 Responses to “Life is different”

  1. Martin Says:

    I do not like people. I hate our society. I am the idealist that sees the stupidity and insanity for what it is and am not afraid to say so.

    So does Dave Cohen. And he’s a dick.

  2. Pilot Says:

    Jon,

    I agree with virtually most everything you are saying. Unfortunately, with our population as large as it is (at least here in the USA), I don’t see how we can sustainably go back to an agrarian/hunter-gatherer lifestyle. I have a modest cabin in NW Montana and I can only hope that I can get there before the SHTF (I live and work in St. Paul, MN). Once the food is no longer delivered by trucks, yes, it will get ugly. Where do you think people are going to go? I think they’re going to flee the urban chaos and fan out into the countryside. Aren’t you worried your farm may be overrun by hungry and armed Denverites? Then what will you do? You’ll really hate people when that happens.

    Great article. Thanks for posting. And continued good luck to you and your wife on the farm!

  3. Ryan Says:

    Great post – I think it captures a lot of the frustration and anger we have with our society. I definitely feel isolated at times by these same feelings, so it is nice to see someone else express thoughts I have had myself.

    On a separate note, I made the mistake of watching “Blackfish” last night. It is the story about the Orcas in SeaWorld and SeaLand. It was yet another horrifying example of human stupidity, driven by greed. It truly is amazing what depths humans will sink to in the name of the almighty dollar. Exploiting these beautiful, intelligent creatures for profit made me ashamed of our civilization if that’s what you can even call it anymore.

    Honestly, natures turn at bat cannot get here soon enough.

  4. Gerald Spezio Says:

    In the Guardian article referenced above OUR HERO & simple living advocate/guru McPherson says;

    “Climate change influences every single aspect of life on Earth. But in order to truly combat climate change, at this stage, we must combat our own comfortable ways of life, the ways of life we were born into. This means it’s far easier to kick climate change issues into the long grass than to address it head on.

    “Peer-reviewed research continues to show that climate change underlies poverty and that poverty drives human trafficking. If we want to get at the root of slavery, it seems we’re neglecting one of its deepest layers.”

    If we accept Guy’s on point words & I do, how can anybody justify our profligate consumption of fossil fuels, especially international flying, that clearly increases & exacerbates the the climate change that “drives” the poverty & human trafficking?

    “ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE HEAD ON …”

    “COMBAT OUR COMFORTABLE WAYS OF LIFE …”

    WORDS ARE LIKE WIND – SMELL THE METHANE …

  5. Guy McPherson Says:

    Gerald Spezio, you continually fail to understand the situation, as I would expect from somebody sucking the teat of empire in a major metropolitan area in the southwestern interior of the United States. We’re done. It’s over. Like the Guardian, you’re negotiating. The Guardian cherry-picked quotes from me and linked to the university instead of to my website. I encourage you to embrace reality, although I suspect it’s beyond your limited grasp.

  6. Gerald Spezio Says:

    Henry Paulson was Secretary of the Treasury under Bushmaster.

    Henry summed up his version of modern slavery with a succinct phrase when the financial scam went bonkers temporarily in 2008.

    Henry said; “WE WANT PEOPLE TO BE ABLE TO GET THE CREDIT THAT THEY NEED.”

    Henry doesn’t need any credit.

    He is worth about 700 million.

    Henry picked up some of his his deep financial wisdom at Dartmouth College.

  7. wildwoman Says:

    Jon, I do get the rage.

    I’ve read your essay twice and find it kinda repellent, to be honest. You select women or the feminine (look at your words, man) as the exemplar of what is wrong.

    Women are just sort of along for the ride. The world today is almost wholly created by man.

    Rage is a natural feeling. I’m not criticizing that. But it is so often directed (quite unconsciously, I admit) at the victims and not the players. I do believe you’ve fallen into that trap.

    Like you, I am not social, I abhor crowds and society. But for me, as a woman, I am very, very afraid of all of the rage out there.

    You scare me. And you’re one of “the good guys”.

    Do you see?

  8. Gerald Spezio Says:

    Jon, it appears that the few survivors of Easter Island’s final social hell survived by resorting to cannibalism & living in caves.

  9. izzy Says:

    “So my life is trying to be a self-sufficient, self-reliant Thoreau type of individual.”
    “I do get mutual cooperation and the inter-connectedness of all people.”

    The essential conundrum and paradox of our time. The modern delusion of self-sufficency trying to reconcile itself with our basic tribal nature. And all this against a rapidly deteriorating background of systemic ecological and environmental failure.

  10. cosec00 Says:

    Congratulations Jonathan on your first (?) essay published here at NBL. As you know, I share many of your sentiments and turns out I share the some home state! Must be in the water or something–best wishes on living the dream. Hope to be doing the same myself soon–CarolynG.

  11. Apneaman Says:

    By the time I was a teenager I had pretty much decided that society was bullshit. I remember when I was 12, sitting in church, thinking “what is wrong with you people”?
    What I realized is that the vast majority of people never stood a chance, but to become consumer zombies and cheerleaders of modernity. When your born what is the first thing you see(other than people)? Florescent lighting and a bunch of hi-tech machines. Jesus probably saw a couple goats. Then they put you in a car and drive you to the box you will live in. On the way, you may very well see the golden arches before you see a tree. Even before they plop you down in front of the TV you can hear it, it’s on all the time. That is when the brain washing starts. It’s like religion, but with catchier tunes and really cool visuals. And you can never get away from it until you grow up and move away, but by then it’s too late. It was too late by the time you were 5. Damage done. Don’t blame your parents. They were indoctrinated too. Now, as for the small percentage of us that it never worked on or escaped from it later, we are not superior or better people. We are lucky(?) I suspect it has something to do with the way we are wired as much as who influenced us. I was wondering, Jonathan DeJong, did you ever financially advise any of your clients to invest in big advertizing or big Ag or big energy or big banks or big anything? I use to invest in index funds like SPYDRS (s&p500). Many of those companies have the worst environmental and human rights records ever. I think that makes me as guilty as anyone. Anyone belong to a pension fund?

  12. mike k Says:

    One of the problems in seeking to deal with the coming collapse and possible NTE is getting stuck in anger at those still asleep who are so responsible for what is unfolding. This is completely understandable, but still makes one an impotent part of the problem, no matter what consolations venting against others may seem to deliver, one of the worst consequences of this stance is that one becomes a contemptuous critic who is so much above it all, that there is not much energy left for necessary self-criticism or work on mending one’s own contributions to the overall situation. The very egotism and blindness one accuses others of, may in fact come to characterize oneself. The splendid isolation from which one launches one’s diatribes can become just one more face of the multiple faults we all need to be healed of.

    On another note, I want to call attention to the piece Chris Hedges wrote about the drama group he has been teaching in in a max-security prison. I have spent some years volunteering to lead groups in prison, and shed tears at Chris’s story, as I often did in my own work to try to lighten the suffering that our system inflicts upon these victims of its injustice.

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_plays_the_thing_20131215

  13. Drew Says:

    Wow. I wish I could write like that, Jonathon! You’ve pretty much nailed my thoughts as well.

    One subgroup of folks who are starting to piss me off: Hipster clones who live in tony neighborhoods, each sporting his/her “North Face” jackets as a trendy uniform…driving a Subaru wagon or Prius with Obama stickers plastered all over the rear. Just to make it sting a little more, many of Obama stickers have a peace sign for the “O”.

    By the way, Priuses (Prii?) really grind my teeth because they are still cars–lots of nasty ingredients go into building them, they still require paved roads on which to operate (roads that need to be maintained, salted in the winter, etc), and large parking structures everywhere to house them when visiting swanky coffee joints or fitness centers or whatev…

    There I go again, pissing in the punchbowl. Sorry.

  14. Ken Barrows Says:

    This article was good because he admits to being a misanthrope. He’s one, I’m one, most of you are, too. And it’s perfectly okay.

  15. Artleads Says:

    “Suburbs and the urbanization of this country that requires the use of automobiles in order to do anything is “the biggest mis-allocation of resources in the history of the world” (JH Kunstler). We are going to see immense suffering because of it. The people who live happily in this type of world are the frogs slowly heating in a pan of water. They live like baby birds in a nest waiting for the mother to come and puke food into their mouths.”

    If you get many people out of the urban centers, those centers should thereby work better…especially if they are radically reforested. It’s possible that a wide range of similar decentralization would provide more desirable results.

    “Entire lives revolve around working so they can go purchase entertainment instead of creating it (the US is one giant SUV-loving, mall-shopping, Disneyland-is-reality, movie-watching bunch of self-destructive lazy assholes). They are soft, lazy, clueless and incapable of thinking critically.”

    I’m close to somebody like this, but that person isn’t lazy, and instead had the shopping culture implanted early on…as with most in the American nightmare; I guess all those years ago, there wasn’t a viable alternative that could have satisfied their need for status.

    I’m not inclined to think there is any going back from industrial civilization. As unlikely as it would seem to transform it away from its most damaging aspects, transformation strikes me as more doable than abandonment.

    “Technograndiosity, to use a Kunstler term, is going to create an eden — they think — a future of hovercrafts, jet packs, a paperless society and total leisure and prosperity for all. We have been taught that a natural earth-based existence is wrong and somehow our earth — an eden that we once had — an eden we have turned into a festering pile of steaming shit — is primitive.”

    I believed this once. It’s easy to do if you’re not exposed to better ideas.

    “We need a native american, matriarchal, hunter/farmer/gatherer society.”

    Especially given this quote, I don’t see where the author is being anti-feminine. But maybe the reference to the soccer mom was a poor choice.

    “On either side of the scale, be it the hyper-groomed, upper-middle-class automatons, or the lower-class, over-weight, corn-sugar, McDonalds-Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) eating mother fuckers and I SEE NO DIFFERENCE IN WORTH. Both are blind. Both are ignorant.”

    This is an inappropriate and misguided lumping together of victims and victimizers. As I wrote on the last thread, I visited KFC yesterday and found the workers not to be “lower class” or crude or insensitive. Just the contrary. And I see no reason to generalize about the customers of such establishments either. People eat “bad” because they are poor, and have few competitive alternatives. Those people don’t create the system that forces them to live as they do.

  16. mike k Says:

    When the horror of what is happening on our planet now and then rises agonizingly to my consciousness, I find it helpful to ask myself some questions:

    1. Was there ever a time when I could change the overall direction of global culture? No.

    2. Am I uniquely or specially responsible for the coming extinction of humankind and many others? No.

    3. Is it my duty to be worried, anxious, or angry about what is happening in the world? No.

    4. Can I try to lead a good life and help others to be happy? Yes.

    5. Is there anything I can do to prevent the collapse of civilization, and the probability of mass extinctions? No.

    6. Conclusion: Don’t worry, be happy.

  17. Bernhard Says:

    Gave me some good giggles.
    Only one word of disagreement:
    “That is worse than any war we were programmed to support.”

    Disagree.
    But then, that again is only part of the scheme as such, and has been for a long time.

    Peace brother.

  18. Bob S. Says:

    Great read Jon. Brings back memories of my friend Jay, a big man with a big drug problem. Problem was he had a wife and two kids – he was so bad off he personally didn’t care if he lived or dies. And when all the well dressed yuppies would tell him “sorry there’s no money” And he’d trudge to the next agency.

    When he got frustrated, he couldn’t afford to lay low till he felt better so sometimes he would lose it when 3 or 4 $150,000 a year lawyers told him there was no money – he called his rage ‘jerkin’ knots’.

    He always would go to jail. But before he went, 2 or 3 of them silk tie yuppies found out how helpless a man is when 200# of rage has you by your tie knot.

    Good luck with Jaz Farms. Shout at Amber the ‘business manager’ over at Firelight Farms in Orwigsburg, PA. You guys are doin’ a lot of the same stuff. Their startup was last year also – Russ is doin bio-char and all that new age shit. And he hates people too. :)

    Thanks again for the great essay – and congratulations on your quick startup success!!

  19. Bob S. Says:

    Also Jaz Farm website is http://www.jazfarmblog.com

  20. Goodness Says:

    Sadly, this article is a bunch of drivel, penned by someone with a guilty conscience and no way to atone. The real world cannot exist with seven billion farmers — people have to specialize, and a common bartering medium (a.k.a. money) is necessary. Seems like a chartered financial consultant would be able to grasp that concept.

    People are going to act in their own self-interest, without exception. So, the only “solution” to our problem is to align interests. Looking down your nose at the many savages all around does nothing to help the cause you espouse. It makes you sound smart, though, and maybe even feel a little better.

    Guilt is for Catholics, etc.

  21. ulvfugl Says:

    @ Goodness

    The real world cannot exist with seven billion farmers…

    Obviously a clueless troll who has never listened to a McPherson lecture and has no idea what is happening to ‘the real world’.

  22. ulvfugl Says:

    R. Prieur has a thread with reader’s views re urban, suburban, rural collapse, following comments on his blog. First time I’ve looked there for about a year, I don’t follow him, I think his take on the future is woefully mistaken, and his enthusiasm for genetically engineering animals etc, is ghastly.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/ranprieur/comments/1st9kh/open_thread_for_urban_suburban_rural_collapse/

  23. Red Eft Says:

    This essay reminded me of the parable of the man in a coat, and the contest between the warm sun and blustery wind to get the man to take the coat off. The hostile and even imperious attitude expressed here taints the correct observations; like Otis said, “try a little tenderness.”

  24. bubbleboy Says:

    The thing about Thoreau is that he wrote scientific names for the animals he met along the path and considered people with dark skin to be another species, therefore requiring a scientific name. He did not feel compelled to include binomial nomenclature for people with white skin. He could not see the whole iceberg I suppose. I figure none of us can, we just see a lot of ice where we are at right now. I guess it is the same where other people are too, but I do not know.

  25. Jan Steinman Says:

    wildwoman Says: Women are just sort of along for the ride. The world today is almost wholly created by man.

    Let’s be fair and call it 50/50. Women may be “along for the ride,” but for the most part, they ride willingly.

    I find your comment as divisive as the misogyny you read into Jonathan’s essay. The truth is, regardless of whether you go work for a petroleum company for eight hours a day, or if you haul kids to soccer practice and spend the rest of the day shopping, you’re equally complicit.

    To the greatest extent I can discern, our impact is proportional to the money to which we have access. Give most of it to an earth-hugging charity? They just spend most of it on earth-degrading things.

    If there is to be a future, it lies in thoroughian “voluntary poverty,” of which modern “voluntary simplicity” is but a weak shadow.

    In dealing with a Borderline Personality Disordered partner, I learned that blame doesn’t work, that you have to accept exactly half of the problem, and find reason to. So quit looking for offense from others, and start looking for your own offenses. That’s the only way to work together.

  26. Jan Steinman Says:

    Ken Barrows Says: … he admits to being a misanthrope. He’s one, I’m one, most of you are, too. And it’s perfectly okay.

    misanthrope: a person who dislikes humankind and avoids human society.

    Really? Is that a good place to start from? Is that how you win friends and influence people?

    Isn’t it in our collective best interest to love humanity, but hate what it does? Or is there truly no difference between the two?

    Depending on his water and soil situation, Jonathan’s 40 acres might support 20 or more people, and Jonathan is probably “of a certain age” that is going to make it hard to do farm work in not so many more years. Children aren’t mentioned, but if they exist, they need to get folded in to the big picture sooner rather than later.

    My advice to the Social Security and “living on investments” crowd is to put away your dislike of humanity long enough to be thought of value to someone much younger.

    Humans were never built to feed themselves much past their 40s. The best chance will be age-diverse communities, not a bunch of misanthropes, strung out like beads, 40 acres to the couple.

    It’s going to be a tough sell for most financial consultants to convince the young and able-bodied to share the fruits of their labour. Better start convincing young people that you’re worth keeping around! If you wait until your children and grandchildren are struggling, they might not see any value in pitching in with old people who can’t pull their own weight.

    And that takes social skills. That takes sharing your knowledge. That takes telling stories. That takes caring for little ones while their parents are out in the fields. That takes caring, period — something “misanthropes” disavow.

    Don’t shoot the messenger; work to change the message.

  27. Jan Steinman Says:

    mike k Says: “4. Can I try to lead a good life and help others to be happy? Yes.”

    Yea, what Mike K says!

  28. Larry Ward Says:

    You have written what I have been thinking, all my life. When I see a pregnant woman, I want to go up to her and tell her what an optimist she is. I don’t want rain on her parade, so I keep going, quietly shaking my head. The people I work with, they don’t have a clue about what’s going on. They get a blank look on their faces, and say “What can I do?” They don’t give it another thought. Too much to think about. The one thing that keeps my spirits up is the knowledge that one day, after we are long gone, the planet will be a beautiful green world, bursting with life again. Thanks for a great read.

  29. Grant Schreiber Says:

    “We need a native american, matriarchal, hunter/farmer/gatherer society.”

    But we’re not going to get one. Never sure what to make out of anyone passing around blanket praise to Native Americans, which would include the Aztecs who by and large were not nice people at all, the Incas another rather stilted society, the Mayans who went into civil war and destroyed themselves, the Utes who were terribly quarrelsome and warlike, the Blackfeet who weren’t above stampeding buffalo off cliffs to kill them and other faults to be found along ANY human society.

    It’s the same sort of shock and awe when people discover that a black female can be just as corrupt and greedy as any white male. Talk about equality! Everyone, everywhere is capable of being a nasty shit.

    Instead of worrying about which magical subset of humanity would be best, how about if everyone stopped being a self-centered swine for a change and actually looked out for one another? It’s possible such a small enclave of kindhearted people already exists in small areas around the planet, including in major cities. Let’s not count anyone out just yet — except maybe the Welsh.

    I’m kidding of course, no matter what transpires, people will continue to be self-serving animals and there’s every indication that once the going gets really tough, it will be dog-eat-dog in the most literal sense. And getting on the farm, getting back to nature, getting off the grid can also be a selfish act, so don’t kid yourself.

    Your time is short. Make it count and have a good time.

  30. Paul f. Getty Says:

    It seems everybody on this comment list is criticizing everyone else for having a lifestyle not congruent with what can bring about a better world, one that can last. Let’s face it: every single one of us leads a lifestyle that will destroy our living planet as we know it if everyone were to follow that same lifestyle.
    So stop your bitching about everyone else.
    I do a bit of activism. I do a bit of organic farming, raising a few livestock, maintaining woods and ponds. I do it all half asks because about six days a week I work a regular job, all day, and don’t have the time to do so called sustainable living right. But there is no way to live sustainably, unless you are truly a hunter-gatherer, in which case you probably take up far more land and resources than can be allowed for all 7 billion people on earth.
    Let’s face it…..we are screwed. 10,000 years or so mankind embarked on a new path….farming….and it led to empire and overpopulation, eventually to industrialization and fossil fuel use, etc etc. But it was predestined long ago we would get to this point.
    Stop fossil fuels? Yeah, I like that. But it will just mean we encounter extinction a little later. Stop conventional farming? Yeah, I like it. But again we will terminate most life in earth just the same, only a little later.
    So I’m gonna work, make money, keep paying for my daughter to go to college, support my son’s ambitions to work for the big Wall Street firm he is about to begin, eat good food, etc. I really don’t know what else to do. It oppresses me every day that 200 species die each day that our kids will face unimaginable horrors in the future, but, really, no matter what I do, all of it will happen anyway.
    I just don’t see the sense in criticizing others about their choices, as it will all end up pretty much the same regardless.
    I think getting our heads right about the inevitable is the most important thing, and that has a lot to do with,acceptance….of our situation, of others. Learning to love what we have, what is left, what is diminishing or disappearing, being grateful we were able to fleetingly see and experience a beautiful world, before it ends.

  31. PhysicsDoc Says:

    Holy Crap what a rant!
    I agree with much of this but the ferocity gives me the creeps.
    All the – we have to get back to the land stuff and grow out own food – is great, but when it starts to sound forced it reminds me too much of those socialist revolutions in Cambodia and China and other places where all the city people, intellectuals, students, etc. were rounded up and sent to the fields to learn what it is like to work the land and be social.

  32. Badlands Says:

    @Grant & ulvfugl Oh, you two!

    @Jonathan If one can’t engage in a way that is sustainable and somewhat self-reliant, then whatever one does is “taking” from the planet and leads to the importation of resources which leads to desires and greed, which leads to a military, which leads to horror. Civilization requires violence. Competition breeds hatred.

    The alienation that western society forces upon us denies us the ability to contribute to a ‘common good’, and the violence that our system requires, creates not only hatred of the other, but self-loathing and self-hatred, which then leads to escape measures and pleasure-seeking, all manner of distraction.
    You mentioned that we need a native american, matriarchal, hunter/farmer/gatherer society, but didn’t expand on what you perceive that to be, and I think you may have missed an opportunity to flesh out the larger ideas regarding our innately violent way of life, and what that means for the environment.
    It is so ingrained in our thinking as a society that war is the natural state of things, that to be a man is to make war. Maybe for a few sociopaths, but in general, it seems that the wars our system requires to run makes ‘Men’, at least the skewed variety of masculinity we are told epitomizes a real man in possession of a ‘pair’. The masculine/feminine dynamic within the way our system works is a powerful and touchy subject, one that could be talked about in length, likely leaving a trail of wreckage.
    So, in reading your essay, I found these gems, but they became a little lost in the rage. While I am a firm believer that some things are important enough to justify being spoken with force, that can be done a little more tactfully, without sweeping generalizations about sub-classes of people. We are all to blame, but some more than others.
    Artleads is right about being poor and being forced to live under a system that someone else built. It is very, very difficult to break out of that system, especially if you are born into it. I have worked my entire life to break out of that cycle, and I am still barely above the poverty level. I did manage to get myself an education, but would you believe that achievement can turn your previous peers against you in judgement? Did you know that a college degree can be a detriment if you are trying to get a job in a small town? It’s lose/lose all around, and it makes no logical sense.
    Yes, there are freeloaders and leeches on the system, but don’t be fooled. Many people are working their asses off and barely scraping by, all because they are working under the wrong system. If you are born there, trapped there in the poverty cycle most of your life, it may be a long time before you are aware that there are other options.

    @Artleads I’m not inclined to think there is any going back from industrial civilization. As unlikely as it would seem to transform it away from its most damaging aspects, transformation strikes me as more doable than abandonment.

    One thing I want to address, to no one in particular, but just those who generally think we can go back to the land- what about the environment? When I see the destruction of the environment, the over-saturation of man-made pollutants, radiation, bioaccumulation of chemicals, water pollution, deforestation, smog, dying oceans, loss of soil, animal die-offs, etc, etc,- what makes us think we are somehow separate or immune to these assaults? We are not separate from the environment. All of us-plants, animals, trees, we all breathe the same air, drink the same water, and eat off the same land. I don’t know. I don’t think it’s possible to go back. The environment is sick, and so we are sick.
    I agree with Artleads about lowering our standards a little, that any inclusive system can’t be based on strict ideals. I know that’s all a dream, because NTHE is on the horizon, but it does pose an interesting dilemma to ponder, the things we might be willing to sacrifice for a greater good, not just our own.

  33. dairymandave Says:

    Good discussion. I’ll add one more thought: Dependency breeds contempt.

  34. Reverse Engineer Says:

    I have more than a few pearls of wisdom to drop on here, but I will wait a bit. I’ve lost too many posts already on this server.

    We will be migrating NBL to a new server with a modified platform likely next weekend. It won’t be that different that you don’t recognize it, but a whole lot more functionality and the disappearing comments problem will be history.

    I will save my observations on what “It’s OVAH” means until we got the website running properly.

    See you soon, Uber Doomers! :)

    RE

  35. Artleads Says:

    Whatever resistance there is to Industrial Civilization (IC) is unnecessarily scattered and weak, It is hampered by those who believe resistance is easier than it is, as well as those who think the opposite…and the latter tend to also throw their hands up in the air in resignation. “Why waste effort on something so futile as resistance?” I’m sure that Malcolm Gladwell’s book, David and Goliath, is as flawed as the review below asserts, but it is mighty encouraging to resisters, nonetheless. We need to be reminded that the seemingly too strong to defeat and too weak to resist are usually grossly misguided categorizations.

    Links to Gladwell’s TED talk and NYT review of “David and Goliath.”

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

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

    Isn’t it helpful when we can see things in the biggest possible context? What if TPTB are like invasive species of plant and animal life? Hunter Gatherers were the native species. Then come the invasive cultures that easily wipe out the natives. If this analogy holds up in any way, could similar strategies to deal with TPTB and invasives be found? Where would you begin to make a comeback with natives? In well established forests of invasives? How about leaving those for now? In a world that has lost its way “ecologically,” one might need the near term services of the hegemonic invasive establishment, and try establishing strong pockets of natives where no one is challenging them–in the case of plants, along railway thoroughfares, in cities, in parking lots, along freeways…every square inch of space that is now barren, and which the “invasive” world does not value. As with flora and fauna, so with resistance?

    It’s early in the morning, and garbled metaphors are allowed at these times.

  36. Tom Says:

    Jon: I appreciated your thoughts here, and understand your anger. I’m not sure we’re going to have the time or the environment to all become farmers, but it’s worth a try. I’m doing what I can, but it’s not easy, I don’t see anyone else in my community doing it, and didn’t have a particularly good season this past year. My soil needs replenishing, so I may have to give my garden a rest this year, maybe use nice sized pots. Good luck in your endeavors.

    http://responsibletechnology.org/glutenintroduction

    Are Genetically Modified Foods a Gut-Wrenching Combination?

    (begins)

    By Jeffrey M. Smith, Executive Director, Institute for Responsible Technology

    Gluten sensitivity is currently estimated to affect as many as 18 million Americans.[1] Reactions to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, are becoming increasingly common. Gluten sensitivity can range in severity from mild discomfort, such as gas and bloating, to celiac disease, a serious autoimmune condition that can, if undiagnosed, result in a 4-fold increase in death.[2] Genetics alone cannot explain the rapid rise in gluten-related disorders, and experts believe that there must be an environmental trigger. There continues to be much debate about what that environmental trigger may be.

    Some assert that a higher gluten content of modern wheat is to blame for the rising prevalence of gluten-related disorders.[3] But a 2013 review of data commissioned by the United States Department of Agriculture found no evidence to support this.[4] Others blame increased consumption of wheat overall,[4] age of wheat introduction,[5] cesarean birth,[6] breastfeeding duration,[7] or alterations in intestinal microflora.[8] All of these do offer some explanation, but they cannot completely account for the drastic increase in gluten sensitivities that we have seen in recent years.

    Another possible environmental trigger may be the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to the American food supply, which occurred in the mid-1990s. GMOs are created by a laboratory process that transfers genetic material into the DNA of an organism. There are nine genetically modified (GM) food crops currently on the market: soy, corn, cotton (oil), canola (oil), sugar from sugar beets, zucchini, yellow squash, Hawaiian papaya, and alfalfa. Notice that wheat is not one of these. Although wheat has been hybridized through natural breeding techniques over the years, it is not in fact a GMO.

    Most GM crops are engineered to tolerate a weed killer called Roundup®, whose active ingredient is glyphosate. These crops, known as Roundup-Ready crops, accumulate high levels of glyphosate that remain in the food. Corn and cotton varieties are also engineered to produce an insecticide called Bt-toxin. The Bt-toxin is produced in every cell of genetically engineered corn and ends up in corn chips, corn tortillas, and other ingredients derived from corn. A recent analysis of research suggests that Bt-toxin, glyphosate, and other components of GMOs, are linked to five conditions that may either initiate or exacerbate gluten-related disorders: •Intestinal permeability
    •Imbalanced gut bacteria
    •Immune activation and allergies
    •Impaired digestion
    •Damage to the intestinal wall

    Intestinal permeability

    Gluten-related disorders are commonly accompanied by and possibly triggered by intestinal permeability, which is commonly referred to as “leaky gut.”[9] Leaky gut occurs when gaps form between intestinal cells and large particles from the digestive tract enter the bloodstream, potentially triggering immune or allergic reactions. The Bt-toxin produced by genetically modified corn kills insects by punching holes in their digestive tracts, and a 2012 study confirmed that it punctures holes in human cells as well.[10] Bt-toxin is present in every kernel of Bt corn, survives human digestion, and has been detected in the blood of 93% of pregnant women tested and 80% of their unborn fetuses.[11] This “hole-punching toxin” may be a critical piece of the puzzle in understanding gluten-related disorders. (read the rest if interested)

  37. Tom Says:

    On obesity, a new study links ancestral exposure to DDT (recall Rachel Carson’s warnings) to third generation obesity:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2013/oct/23/science/la-sci-sn-obesity-ddt-ancestors-pesticides-20131023

    Ancestors’ exposure to DDT may contribute to obesity, study says

    Exposure to the pesticide DDT could be playing a role in high rates of obesity three generations later, a new study says.

    Scientists injected pregnant rats with DDT and found no change in their levels of obesity or their offspring. But by the third generation, more than half of the rats (think of them as the great-grandchildren) showed dramatically higher levels of fat and weight gain, even though they were never exposed to the pesticide themselves.

    “Here is an ancestral exposure in your great-grandmother, which is passed on to you and you’re going to pass on to your grandchildren,” said Michael Skinner, a professor of biological sciences at Washington State University who led the research published in the journal BMC Medicine.

    At work is a disease inheritance phenomenon discovered more than 15 years ago, Skinner said.

    A series of experiments on lab rats found that chemicals known as endocrine disruptors, including fungicides, dioxin and bisphenol-A, or BPA, can alter the molecular processes around their DNA without changing its sequence, Skinner said.

    The contaminants can turn genes on or off and be passed on to descendants generations down the line, leading them to develop conditions like kidney disease, ovarian disease or obesity.

    “We’ve all been taught that the primary way for us to inherit things from our parents is genetics,” Skinner said. “This is a totally new concept for how we inherit things from our ancestors.”

    Though the study makes no conclusions about the risk to humans, Skinner said it should give pause to those advocating the use of DDT to combat malaria more than 50 years after Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring” brought attention to the pesticide’s lasting damage to the environment.

    DDT was banned in the United States in 1972, but more recently, the World Health Organization and other global health groups have backed using the insecticide to control mosquitoes in countries with high rates of malaria.

    “Although the number of lives saved from malaria is significant, the long-term health and economic effects on survivors and subsequent generations also need to be considered,” the study says.

  38. 18000days Says:

    @Mike K:
    I genuinely cannot decide whether it is a sign of the great virtue, or the extreme virulence of your six-point credo(dec.16 12.59pm)- the fact that it can be, probably is being applied by everyone from the chief profiteer of the most powerful organisation in the world to the last exploited worker or economic/climate refugee?

  39. ogardener Says:

    “But we’re not going to get one. Never sure what to make out of anyone passing around blanket praise to Native Americans, which would include the Aztecs who by and large were not nice people at all, the Incas another rather stilted society, the Mayans who went into civil war and destroyed themselves, the Utes who were terribly quarrelsome and warlike, the Blackfeet who weren’t above stampeding buffalo off cliffs to kill them and other faults to be found along ANY human society.”

    Cheesis K. Reist! Here we go again.

    On another note:

    December 17, 2013

    Owing the World
    November 2013, Hottest on Record

    Excerpt:

    “Almost all regions of the globe showed temperatures hotter than average with two exceptions: (1) West Antarctica and (2) central and eastern North America.

    Large regions of Alaska and the Pacific Ocean and Arctic Ocean showed temps 0.5-to-4.0 degrees Celsius above normal.

    The hottest areas included Russia and the adjacent Arctic Ocean, where temps were 4-to-8 degrees above average because of a persistent high amplitude ridge in the jet streams, which are primary drivers of weather patterns. The 30-year warming up of the Arctic is the devil behind the details of this erratic behavior of anomalous jet streams (Source: Jennifer Francis, PhD Rutgers University.)”

    Lone, silvery-grey coyote saunters through fresh, powdery snow. It suddenly stops, lifts its nose to the sky then continues onward.

    The downy, hairy and red bellied woodpeckers frequent the suet. Wild turkeys march through the woods.

    White tail deer visit mostly at night now.

    4° F. and snowing.

  40. Tom Says:

    great podcast interview featuring Tim Garrett, Paul Beckwith and Cory Morningstar (Guy is mentioned at the end)

    http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2013/12/climate-change_17.html

  41. Gerald Spezio Says:

    THOROUGH, ACCURATE, & UP-TO-DATE SYNOPSIS BY DAHR JAMAIL AT TOMDISPATCH.

    http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175785/tomgram%3A_dahr_jamail%2C_the_climate_change_scorecard/#more

  42. mike k Says:

    How will it be when I

    Dance that last Dance

    In the face of Death?

    What feelings will I express

    Throwing them into the Abyss?

    Fear and defiance

    Anger and joy

    Sadness and solemnity

    Wild delight and deep gratitude

    And deepest love

    Cutting like a razor sharp knife

    Letting go of everything

    Falling free

    Into that unknowable Infinity…

  43. Juan Pueblo Says:

    I really enjoyed reading this. I relate to the experiences and the mood. Enjoy your farm!

  44. Gerald Spezio Says:

    Fly to Ecuador to “experience” the Galapagos Islands – BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE?

    Drown a Bangledeshie brown trash for environmental edification & personal titillation.

    Prices range from $7,700 to a whopping &24,000.

    Get your yuppie jollies in the pristine Pacific waters.

    Air fare is extra.

    Carbon debt in tons.

    Doan miss out.

    What about me?

    http://www.centerforinquiry.net/cruise2014/itinerary.html

  45. depressive lucidity Says:

    We have lost a sense of community and inter-connectedness. Our nation was founded by a nation of Barn Builders not the Marlboro man. Communities would get together and help one another build the infrastructure for their farms and towns. They shared and cared and had community, food preservation and quilting bees. If one hunter shot a deer and someone else went without, they helped each other.

    Really? You actually believe that “Barn Builders” built AmeriKa? AmeriKa was an extension of the Western imperialist disease that oozed its way out of a stagnant European world rife with woo-woo Jesus freaks, oppressive hierarchies, decadent aristocrats and all the rest of the verminous protoplasmic muck that eventually took over the planet.

    There is no pre-Wal-Mart pastoral utopia to which the Amerikunts can return. It is all hackneyed imperial ideology (our nationalist creation myth). The puritan zealots who crossed the Atlantic were the genocidal ancestors to the industrialist eco-killers and foreign war enthusiasts who built this Monster.

    Read Bernard Bailyn’s The Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America–The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600-1675, and find out what the “Barn Builders” were really up to.

  46. mike k Says:

    In some respects our Universe is a very unforgiving Mother of us all. When we break Her basic laws, she cuts us no slack – none. Through every sort of entreaty, artifice, deception, and evasion we try to find a loophole or cop a plea for a lesser sentence, but Her version of strict justice remains unmoved and unresponsive. In the physical realm Her 2nd law of thermodynamics refuses to give an inch whatever we may choose to do in our brief hour on the stage of life. In the moral dimension She has decreed: love or perish. Our lack of compliance with this law is moving us inexorably towards near term extinction. It is in light of this Reality that I framed my questions and answers. They are the result of a lifetime of seeking solutions to our ongoing nightmare of disobeying the fundamental laws governing all intelligent beings. They were forged to give myself and any others seeking an amelioration of the inner angst this awakening engenders, so that we can be better able to do what can be done more effectively. They only provide a respite, not a solution. In my understanding there is no solution on the horizon at this time. Our collective doom seems almost as inevitable as our individual deaths most certainly are.

    I have revised my questions somewhat and squeezed in a bow to the ever helpful serenity prayer:

    When the horror of Near Term Extinction rises agonizingly in my consciousness, I find it helpful to ask myself some questions:

    1. Was there ever a time when I could change the overall direction of global culture? No.

    2. Am I uniquely or specially responsible for the coming extinction of humankind and many others? No.

    3. Is it my duty to be worried, anxious, or angry about what is happening in the world? No.

    4. Is there anything I can do to prevent the collapse of civilization, and the probability of mass extinctions? No.

    5. Accept the things you cannot change.

    6. Can I try to lead a good life, and help others? Yes.

    7. Change the things you can.

    8. Conclusion: Don’t worry, be happy.

  47. ulvfugl Says:

    @ 18000days

    I genuinely cannot decide..

    Yup.

    @ Tom

    Thanks for the link to the podcast, I don’t hear enough from Garret, Beckwith, Morningstar.

    @ depressive lucidity

    Glad you’re still around to do some kicking, I suppose you’ve been too busy reading Proust and drinking absinthe to bother commenting here..

  48. wildwoman Says:

    A farm isn’t going to save you. Nothing is going to save us. We are doomed. That’s point number one.

    To my dying breath, I will assert that the spectrum matters, that proportion matters. So no, I don’t accept that we’re all equally guilty. I do accept that we’re all guilty, but some are way, way more guilty than others.

    Doesn’t change a damn thing, though.

    Common Dreams had an article that pointed out the 90 companies killing the planet. Of those, all but seven were energy companies.

    In matters of guilt, really, is the latte sipping, SUV-driving soccer mom as much to blame as:

    Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon/Mobil
    John Waterson, CEO of Chevron Texaco
    Robert Dudley, CEO of BP
    Ben Van Beurden, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell
    Ryan M Lance, CEO of Conoco Phillips
    Gregory H Boyce, CEO of Peabody Energy
    John W Eaves, CEO of Arch Coal
    Don Blankenship, CEO of Massey Energy
    Hugh Grant, CEO of Monsanto
    Gregory R Page, CEO of Cargill
    Russell K Girling, CEO of Transcanada

    These guys, plus the Koch brothers and all of the other 1% are the problem. The fact that we DON’T blame them, that we blame each other….who does that benefit? Hmmmm?

    I don’t get to see coyotes here in develhell, but the birds are wonderful….rose breasted nuthatch, chickadees, juncos, cardinals, coopers hawk, sharp shinned hawk, finches….it’s been a parade.

  49. Tom F Says:

    Wildwoman, that list of people and the companies they represent are just providing necessary products that we all demand. I use them, you use them, we all use them and rely on them. Pointing fingers and individuals or getting all overly sensitive to perceived blaming of women isn’t really very helpful is it?

  50. Godofredo Aravena Says:

    Jonathan
    It was exhausting to read your essay. How can you live that way?.
    So much anger and rage.
    I get your points, but seems to me you have gone too far, about not being social. And hating everybody just because they see things different. OK they are wrong, but let them be, what else can we do?. If they don´t follow you, it´s their problem. Don´t blame them.
    Just forget the rest. And live your life, in peace.
    And, if we are going to blame somebody, we should start looking back some 200 years. A non sense.
    Our neighbors, the bolivians, blame on Chile their poverty because they lost their access to sea some 120 years ago (in a war). It is much easier that way, instead of facing the current reality, accept it, and from that point work for a development, something that will not magically become a reality just blaming on Chile everything. They are rich, but are blind about that. We as country have offered many solutions, free access to coast, ports managed by Bolivians, etc, but it is clear that to them “their own ocean is everything” and the ONLY way. In the meantime, they are the poorest country in South America.
    Blaming blocks our freedom to do the right thing, enjoy what we have and enjoy life.

    Enjoy everyday alive, it is a gift, do not turn it into a torture, even with NTE ahead (and maybe sooner than expected), there is so much to enjoy. Dirty hands for example. But there is so much, open your eyes.
    And there are things to do, beyond trying to save ourselves (something that is highly impossible). You should not be so much “you”, and “fuck the rest”. Find a we, in a small community, and do not expect everybody to see things exactly like you.
    You are somehow above the rest, you see beyond, and for that reason, you have a responsibility. With at least some of the rest. What to do about this responsibility is something that each one of us has to discover. Find what fits into your reality.
    I guess our decline as a society has a big relation with your feelings, almost everything always about ourselves. Thoreau will not save us, by the way.

    To mike k
    Totally agree with your points.

  51. Eddie Says:

    Jonathon, I wish you well with your family and your flock of chickens. As we return to a farming way of life, the first thing we learn is that there is SO much that is beyond our control..the weather just a case in point. After two really warm winters here, this was the winter I decided I was going to keep my tomatoes alive all winter…Wrong!

    It’s hard to keep things in perspective some times. I admire Guy for being able to do that. Me, I’m from this long generation Texas family. Just two generations ago we were subsistence farmers. There’s nothing my Dad would have loved better than to live that life, but he couldn’t support a family doing it. He did try, and I got a taste of it. When I was grown, I couldn’t get away from it fast enough, LOL.

    Now I’m doing more or less the same thing as you are, trying to learn to grow food and achieve some energy independence…and knowing full well it may not make one whit of difference. Still, it feels like a better pursuit than sticking my head in the sand, and maybe it will make my kid’s lives a little better while we all yet live.

    My advice (and take it for what it’s worth, which might be nothing) is to try to enjoy the peace and quiet on your little farm, try to find some time to meditate and just breathe the sweet air. Get some exercise and stay healthy. Farming is harder work than most financial planners (and dentists) are used to doing. It also has many frustrations, and it will give you a never-ending list of things to do.

    Go well, and ignore the nattering nabobs. Good luck.

  52. mike k Says:

    @Guy McPherson – Thanks for the Dahr Jamail link. It’s good to see you are getting some well deserved recognition.

  53. mike k Says:

    @Godofredo – I agree with your critique of the essay. And of course you are a genius to appreciate my sharing! Hahaha….lol

  54. Badlands Says:

    @Tom re: the article on the possible bt-corn/leaky gut connection.

    Pardon me, but… fucking A! I know many of you know my oldest struggles with life-threatening food allergies, as I have mentioned it numerous times, but he is far from alone, the number of children with food allergies is staggering and growing. If GMOs along with glyphosate are the culprit, it would make a lot of sense. This article mainly talks about gluten sensitivities, but food allergies operate the same way- undigested molecules of food protein escape through the ‘leaky gut’, triggering the immune system in the form of flooding the bloodstream with histamine and other chemicals, which then wreaks havoc and can lead to anaphylaxis and death.

    Interesting that gluten sensitivities can possibly be tied to bt-corn and other GMOs, rather than wheat, which is not genetically modified. I wonder if, besides what I may have eaten, living among all those corn crops on the high plains during my ‘child bearing’ time could have contributed? I don’t think anyone even eats the corn they grow here, as it goes to ethanol, but they have planted more and more of it due to crops lost in 2011 wet season and 2012 drought, to the point where habitat loss is a major factor, especially for pheasants, which are down 75% this year.

    Much to think about here. Thank you for keeping an eye out, Tom. Between the possible implications of this, along with the asthma and respiratory problems we are having due to super-fine dust exposure from various sources, as well some unexplained sicknesses, I am at a loss as to what to do. So much damage done already. Like I said in my previous comment, the environment is sick and so we are sick. No wonder I don’t feel compelled to go outside, even though it’s in the 50′s these fine days before Christmas. Oh, that’s not normal, you say? Well it is now. I get a little tired of pulling kids around in sleds on dry grass, or looking at those sleds sitting in mud, as they are now. I can’t help but worry about the poor birds and trees along on this roller coaster ride they call ‘the weather’.

    Ah, well, maybe some soothing salve: http://youtu.be/mSAqkGU2nQ4

  55. Artleads Says:

    “Really? You actually believe that “Barn Builders” built AmeriKa? AmeriKa was an extension of the Western imperialist disease that oozed its way out of a stagnant European world rife with woo-woo Jesus freaks, oppressive hierarchies, decadent aristocrats and all the rest of the verminous protoplasmic muck that eventually took over the planet.

    There is no pre-Wal-Mart pastoral utopia to which the Amerikunts can return. It is all hackneyed imperial ideology (our nationalist creation myth). The puritan zealots who crossed the Atlantic were the genocidal ancestors to the industrialist eco-killers and foreign war enthusiasts who built this Monster.”

    Depressively clear and to the point.

    @ wildwoman

    Thanks for the list. I do believe more of this would grow what we call resistance. These are individuals and corporations that do more harm than they need to.

    @ Badlands

    :-)

    @ godolfredo

    “You are somehow above the rest, you see beyond, and for that reason, you have a responsibility. With at least some of the rest. What to do about this responsibility is something that each one of us has to discover.”

    I’ve started taking the shuttle into town on a fairly regular basis. I plan to visit a new physician located in the mall where the bus stops. But I want to do more. Like use the local (in-city) buses that also park at the mall to connect to other places. It takes a little work to learn the schedules, but it ought to be manageable.

    @ Tom

    Fabulous contributions, sir.

    @ people stealing what we grow

    The garden should look like shit. (Mine certainly does.) Camouflage is needed. Root crops can stay in the ground, their leaves removed and the stubs covered with dirt and leaves. That ought to fool ‘em.

  56. Robin Datta Says:

    I do not like people. I hate our society.

    Perhaps some later lungfish hated the land and terrestrial society? Or some early reptiles hated laying eggs out of the water? The big difference here is not a path to a new life-form, but to NTE.

    “the thing that is going to make this depression worse than the 20′s and 30′s is that no one today knows how to kill and dress a pig”

    Not knowing how to kill and dress is quite true, but the big difference here is resource depletion and wholesale environmental degradation. At that time the united States was sitting fat on mineral resources and was soon to become the world’s largest exporter AND consumer of petroleum.

    It’s coming, and our country is absolutely NOT ready for it.

    Some ARE getting ready for it. The Gestapo/SS (a.k.a. Homeland Security) is stockpiling ammunition.

    We have lost a sense of community and inter-connectedness.

    Hierarchy operates through vertical transactions enforced by the threat of coercive violence, while monitoring, permitting, prescribing and proscribing horizontal interactions. Communities cohere through voluntary horizontal interactions, (only the minority of which are transactions). Any time a community seems to grow big enough to impinge on authority, the community is co-opted or suppressed.

    not only are they in prison, they are the jailers as well.

    It applies to each individual as well. Freedom is an illusion, but equally so is bondage. “It’s all in the head”:

    “The mind of man is the cause of both bondage and liberation.” – Amritabindu Upanishad, verse 2

    Civilization requires violence.

    Hierarchy can only be maintained by enforcement through the threat of coercive violence.

    As the Buddha said, “man is just a thinking reed”

    And thoughts are insentient, perceived as sentient by and in the illumination by consciousness. A meat-robot is associated with the fictitious individual self.

    There is no ultimate end goal or end game.

    Exactly.

    “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water…. after enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.

    In the former case, expecting the anticipated results; in the latter case, anticipating results, but without expectations.

    considered people with dark skin to be another species

    Racial differentiation is the beginning of speciation. Given enough time in geographic isolation from each other, the various races could have evolved into separate species. But isolation cannot be maintained with colonisation and exploitation. Britain now has to live with and assimilate the flotsam and jetsam of its former empire. Without slavery, America could have been lily-white.

    Letting go of everything

    The root of mine/not-mine is the fictitious “I”/”me”. Letting go of that sense of being an individual person is The Great Death. Once that is accomplished, there is no separate significance to the little death: it is another event in the course of continual Universal change.

    AmeriKa was an extension of the Western imperialist disease that oozed its way out of a stagnant European world

    The westward expansion that started at Plymouth Rock was blocked and turned back at the Yalu River: an outflanking manoeuvre through IndoChina was also soundly routed. The next effort through MENA succeeded with establishing client states. Armed intervention became necessary when some in that sphere of influence began to have a mind of their own.

  57. ulvfugl Says:

    @ Tom F

    ..that list of people and the companies they represent are just providing necessary products that we all demand. I use them, you use them, we all use them and rely on them. Pointing fingers and individuals or getting all overly sensitive to perceived blaming of women isn’t really very helpful is it?

    Oh really, so nobody is ever responsible for anything then ? Those guys couldn’t help themselves when they sabotaged ever attempt to get international agreement to reduce emissions since Kyoto ? They can’t help it that they lie and set up secret fake fronts to put out propaganda to undermine the science to confuse the public ?

    And what about the Nenets who rely on their reindeer, and never buy their products, are they just as much to blame ? And the people in the Amazon jungle and the Andaman Islands who have never connected with this civilisation ? They just as much to blame ?

    Why did the American and British hang German leaders as war criminals, if nobody is ever responsible for their actions and decisions and choices ?

    We’re talking about the end of life on Earth, the collapse of civilisation. Nobody is going to be getting ANY of those products that you think you need and rely on because the whole fucking planet will become uninhabitable because of the activity of those corporations.

    They do not serve the ‘consumer’, they serve the people who invest the money in them. And who is that ? Well, it’s quite interesting to check it out, isn’t it. Who owns Royal Dutch Shell and BP and Exxon, etc, where does the money go ? Do you know ?

    All these corporations are basically no different to criminal mafia cartels, just like the S. American drug cartels, with roots going back into history. Check out the history of the Standard Oil Co, Rockefeller, the beginnings of the CIA, the history of BP, etc, etc..

    Your ‘just providing necessary products’ is bullshit. If they decided it wasn’t to their advantage, they’d stop ‘providing the necessary products’ in the morning, and let you all die, just as they do to the people in the other countries that they exploit and rip off.

  58. mike k Says:

    @Robin D. – Did you just start making sense, or is it that you have always been making sense, and I just woke up to it? Mmmm….I’ll have to think about that…

  59. Martin Says:

    @ Robin Datta

    The word “community” has itself also been co-opted, of course. The word seems to be used in inverse proportion to the strength of community cohesion. It is interesting to see how the word is deployed; “community” is now used in an instrumental way, to achieve a certain end. The police in the UK use the word “public” or the phrase “members of the public” when they want to remind citizens of the law and their duty to obey it, but they say “community” when they want people to snitch on their neighbours.

  60. Apneaman Says:

    I’m going to Vancouver to spend Christmas with my family. My brother and sister have kids 1 teenager, 2 young adults and twin 6 year old girls. They are good parents and nice people, but are mostly clueless despite (or because?) of their higher educations. They are hard core consumer zombies and in love with the technology. I am at a loss. Do I tell them what I have learned in the last year about how late the hour is? Or do I do as mike k suggests and let them not worry and be happy?
    All advice would be appreciated.

  61. Tom Says:

    Apneaman:
    take it from me, no good comes from “turning anyone on to” NTHE, especially family. They don’t want to hear it and you won’t be invited back. The best you can do is hint around at the edges: did you notice the trees were all a bit “thin” this year (didn’t leaf out as usual); how about that typhoon Haiyan, hunh? stuff like that (after all talkin’ about the weather is the usual ice breaking topic).

    Badlands: yeah, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to poison his clientele. As far as particulate matter goes, now we have a whole new class of crap that’s micro-sized floating around at ground level by major highways (probably from brake dust) which has a definite effect on people’s health. With all the trees dying, this stuff is going to become a big respiratory problem for humans.

    http://cen.acs.org/articles/91/web/2013/11/Trees-Capture-Particulate-Matter-Road.html

    Trees Capture Particulate Matter From Road Exhaust

    (1st part of the short article)

    Trees planted along a city street screen residents from sun and noise—and from tiny particles that pollute urban air. A new study shows that tree leaves can capture more than 50% of the particulate matter that’s a prime component of urban pollution and a trigger for disease (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2013, DOI: 10.1021/es404363m).

    In urban settings, particulates come primarily from car exhaust, brake pad wear, and road dust and can contain metals, such as iron and lead. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies particulates in three size ranges: less than 1 μm (PM1), up to 2.5 μm (PM2.5), and up to 10 μm (PM10) in diameter. These particles are tiny enough for people to inhale and can exacerbate heart disease, asthma, and other health conditions.

    Researchers want to understand how trees capture particles so that urban planners might eventually take advantage of these natural tools for mitigating pollution. However, modeling this process is challenging because air flow and particle movement on a street follow complex fluid dynamics. Models have shown wildly varying results for just how much particulate matter trees can trap, with some as low as 1% and others as high as 60%.

  62. mike k Says:

    @Apneaman – I don’t know if this will help you, it had a message I needed to hear…..

    “SandWyrm said…
    I made a similar bet to this one back in ’01 with a payoff date of 2012 (I figured it would be ’08). But of course the inevitable economic hammer hasn’t fully fallen yet, and may not for a few more years. Not that I have to worry overmuch about paying, since I almost never talk to those old friends anymore. Our world views became too divergent and we drifted apart after some dramas. The first cracks of which appeared after I made the bet.

    So if I were you, I’d mutter something about having too much to drink and just let it lie. You’re not fighting an educated, reasoned set of viewpoints here. Your friends’ views are not based on an understanding of (or a desire to learn about) how the world monetary & political systems actually work. Neither do they really want to be properly informed, else they would do the research themselves. No, you’re fighting a fuzzy, emotional, media-fueled attachment to things which are too intertwined into your friends’ lives for them to see clearly.

    And… if they did see clearly? Why they’d drop out of the 5% like a rock. That’s what you’re selling. You simply can’t ‘prosper’ financially under this system unless you have the ability to accept it’s delusions as your own. In a very real sense, you’re dealing with a set of addictions (financial, social, and material) which are just as insidious and personally destructive as any drug habit.

    Ever try to get an addict to admit they have a problem? Or that the local bartender/banker/executive isn’t his best friend? They won’t. Not until they hit a crisis that makes them re-evaluate their assumptions in life.

    That moment of crisis is when you’ll get the opportunity to explain WHY they got hit upside the head by financial and political forces they never really understood. That’s when they’ll be interested in learning about the system instead of watching whatever is on the happy-box. That’s when you’ll be someone that they need to listen to. Because your advice will actually help them understand and address their problems. As opposed to the morons on the TV that keep saying everything is great when it clearly isn’t.

    Otherwise, you’re just that guy that starts arguments at parties. “Don’t talk to him, he’s a downer. Oooh! Kool-Aid!”

  63. Godofredo Aravena Says:

    To Apneaman
    What I have learned about NTE is that the change of mind state required to see it ahead, is born inside of each one of us in some moment. It is something coming from inside, that opens your eyes, not from outside. (Your) kids may accept this reality, if you tell them, but not adults. Denial is so strong in most people. As Tom says, at most you can hint around the edges. To most people, the required mind state change will only occur when they will not be able to avoid the facts. Sad, it will be too late. But for the moment there is nothing to do. We are living a sort of Cassandra curse. But I prefer to.

  64. Grant Schreiber Says:

    “Trees planted along a city street screen residents from sun and noise—and from tiny particles that pollute urban air. A new study shows that tree leaves can capture more than 50% of the particulate matter that’s a prime component of urban pollution and a trigger for disease”

    Another great vacuuming agent of particular matter are the number of joggers one sees on busy streets. Clearly, one of the main reasons to jog is to be seen jogging, and it while a relatively quite residential street would seem to be ideal for jogging down, most health concerned runners pick streets with much heavier traffic, bus stops, truck lanes and congestion. Especially heartening for non-joggers is the sight of a spandex clad skinny, yet still flabby, young woman jogging in place waiting for the light to change as traffic swirls around her. It seems amazing that a woman in her early twenties has managed to go so long without developing any muscle mass and now there she is, sucking up as much particular matter into her lungs as possible for the betterment of other citizens.

    Meanwhile, far from the maddening crowd in the gated bed room communities of suburbia, heavy toxins are being used to get that lawn looking like a golf green. The great outdoors away from the dirt, grime and crime of the city is further protected with the heavy use of bug spray, weed killer, and other neurotoxins developed by DuPont and Dow Chemical. As many of these suburban wonderlands are built upon land-filled wetlands, the excessive chemical spray filters unchecked into the ground water so everyone can benefit from its wanton over use.

    Once again we see that city life is horrible and nothing can be better than living away from a city and on a little slice of heaven we call the American Dream.

  65. Henry Says:

    Joni, “River”

    “It’s coming near Christmas, they’re cuttin down trees
    They’re puttin up reindeer and singing songs of joy and peace.

    I wish I had a river
    I could skate away on

    It don’t snow here, it stays pretty green
    I’m gonna make a lot of money
    And I’m gonna quit this crazy scene…”

    There has been such beauty in our world, and in our lifetimes. We should immerse ourselves in it while we may.

  66. Liz Says:

    I think I may be of the same makeup as you and have struggled to let my awareness and sensitivity not mutate into anger and separation, while doing my best now to learn and prepare.

    I found this person, Jenna Forrest, who helps people navigate with this exact makeup. She is not all “love and light” and acknowledges fully the dark forces and the changes coming. But she has healed and evolved past the doomsday and fear and offers teaching to help people move through this state of consciousness that you spoke of above, and into the next level.

    Here is her website: http://www.profoundhealingforsensitives.com and she has a YouTube channel emergegrowprosper. I recommend it and you are not alone in your thoughts and feelings! You are of an elite few who is here to actually help humanity through this time. It’s time to take it to the next level! Much Love

  67. 18000days Says:

    I guess it’s a system requirement for there to be a few people at the ‘top’ who are immune to being the focus of an enormous amount of negative emotional energy, who are hated, feared, despised or envied, and who are quite prepared to steamroller your children, if that is what is necessary to bring the whole show to it’s predestined conclusion. In the end, like the guy with the planks nailed to his back, you just have to forgive them- they don’t know what they’re doing.
    Here’s a game we can play. What does ‘CEO’ really stand for? I’ll start: “Certifiable Entropy Organiser”

    @Ulvfugl:
    More synchronicity with that u-tube link. Fielding it back, or forward, or whatever it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vziriyVgk24;)

    @Martin:
    Good bit of word-watching.. :) On a related note, I heard Snowden’s activities described as ‘theft’ on the BBC news a few days ago. They don’t use that word for NSA activities though…

  68. Artleads Says:

    (I exchanged the first dot in each url with the word “DOT.” I hope this is a legitimate way to deal with the two link limitation. If not, I will stand corrected!)

    They’re all about the same age, fwiw.

    Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon/Mobil
    http://en DOT wikipedia.org/wiki/Rex_Tillerson

    John Waterson, CEO of Chevron Texaco

    http://en DOT wikipedia.org/wiki/John_S._Watson_(Chevron)
    http://www DOT sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Chevron

    Robert Dudley, CEO of BP

    http://en DOT wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Dudley

    Ben Van Beurden, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell

    http://www DOT shell.com/global/aboutshell/who-we-are/leadership/executive-committee/ben-van-beurden.html
    http://en DOT wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Dutch_Shell

    Ryan M Lance, CEO of Conoco Phillips

    http://www DOT conocophillips.com/who-we-are/our-company/leadership/Pages/ryan-lance.aspx

    http://investing DOT businessweek.com/research/stocks/people/person.asp?personId=8047740&ticker=COP

    Gregory H Boyce, CEO of Peabody Energy

    http://www DOT rollingstone.com/politics/lists/whos-to-blame-12-politicians-and-execs-blocking-progress-on-global-warming-20110119/gregory-boyce-ceo-peabody-energy-19691231

    John W Eaves, CEO of Arch Coal
    http://en DOT wikipedia.org/wiki/Arch_Coal

    Don Blankenship, CEO of Massey Energy
    http://www DOT sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Don_Blankenship

    Hugh Grant, CEO of Monsanto

    http://en DOT wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Grant_(business_executive)
    http://en DOT wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto

    Gregory R Page, CEO of Cargill

    http://en DOT wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_R._Page

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargill

    Russell K Girling, CEO of TransCanada
    http://en DOT wikipedia.org/wiki/Russ_Girling

  69. R. Datta Says:

    Did you just start making sense, or is it that you have always been making sense

    “Sense” varies. A butterfly’s idea of what makes sense may be completely different from what makes sense to a whale. Chopping wood and carrying water can be completely different activities for two persons, yet seem completely identical to an observer who does not know.

    The word “community” has itself also been co-opted, of course.

    The worst co-option of a word was “communism”, by the “kill a commie for mommie” crowd. In “communist” countries, they referred to themselves as “socialist”, never “communist”: to them “communist” was the ideal condition for humans in which state, hierarchy, coercion and society would fade away from their system, and only community would be left. But hierarchy, once established, sucks up most of the sociopaths, and once in the hierarchy they will steer it towards increasing power and control.

    Do I tell them what I have learned in the last year about how late the hour is?

    All advice would be appreciated.

    Depends on what one wants to accomplish.

    1. Making the remaining time more comfortable and reducing suffering.

    1a. Just for oneself: any cooperation extended to others is with a view to one’s own benefit. Any sacrifices made for others are done purely as a public relations ploy. – A variant of the “Last Man Standing” game.

    1b. For the benefit of one’s group: cooperation and even genuine sacrifice within the group, while looking at all outsiders with a jaundiced eye. Depending on long term anticipations and expectations, could be in the “Last Group Standing” game, perhaps even hoping to cheat extinction by squeezing through the ol’ bottleneck.

    - Requires care in defining one’s group. Trying to include those who can’t and won’t see, or those with other hidden agendas will sabotage the group.

    1c. For all of humanity, and perhaps for the entire biota. Without global cooperation, runs the risk of being either an activist’s manifesto or a fool’s errand (depending on whether one is an activist or not).

    2. Enjoy while you can.
    Gotta have claims to and/or control of resources. Moolah, baby, moolah! But it also requires turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to dem folks without.

    3. Last Man/Group Standing game.
    Entry requirements
    One or more of the following:
    - Claim to and/or control of resources.
    - Skills (“what you know”)
    - Connections (“whom you blow”)

    • There are indications that the game is already underway.

    What one tells others depends both on the others and where one falls in these three categories. No matter where one falls (or when&where,for that matter) there is no reason not to enjoy every pleasant thing and every pleasant moment to its fullest. Enjoy the show!

  70. Tom Says:

    http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2013/12/explaining-extreme-weather.html

    Global atmospheric circulation disruption and weather extremes

    Paul Beckwith

    (videos in 4 parts, longest is 15 minutes, worth the time)

  71. Jonathan DeJong Says:

    Thank you everyone for commenting. Thank you Guy for inviting me. My only answer to any of the posts is simply…. “See the essay above”. Rage sometimes needs to be expressed. It is not my primary writing style. But if we can’t see ourselves in the mirror I just tried to shine up a bit, then rage and chaos may be all that is left to us. May you find peace and solace in the future that is to come.

    My only snarky return, since I am due one here (LOL) is yes it has occurred to me and am concerned that the zombies from the city may come and take my farm and all I’ve worked for. My question back is….. Aren’t you afraid of becoming one of them? Food for thought.

    Again, thanks for playing. It has indeed been an Honor.

  72. James Says:

    The cancer of civilization has been evolving and emerging for a very long time. When it first began to escape the restraining forces of the ecosytem, one cell grows to two, two to four and so on, unoticed, its impact being small. It’s absolutely wonderful for the cancer, the pursuit of long life and never ending growth. But eventually, when the metastasized neoplastic tumors have grown to such an extent that they begin to interfere with the delicate homeostasis of the system from which they emerged, then time is limited for both the cancer and the ecosystem. Banks are cancer promoters, giving monetary “blood” to any enterprising entrepreneur that can extend the margins of the growth which provides more nourishment for a human population that reproduces without the natural controls that existed pre-technology. Seems like when the economy isn’t doing well the answer is build more roads, just like a tumor stimulating the growth of more nourishing blood vessels. Complexity within the ecosytem is traded for complexity within the neoplasms until the complex energy relationships within the ecosystem are substantially unwound and destroyed. So why don’t you climb in you Mercedes and meet me at the club. We can hit balls around the herbicide drenched links, celebrate our richness, and figure out how we’re going to get Hillary Inc. into office next election.

  73. wildwoman Says:

    I know women are supposed to keep quiet, but I just can’t help myself.

    The day when people get as upset with Rex Tillerson as they do with women wearing spandex will be the day something actually gets done.

    Yeah, no hope.

    Thanks, U.

  74. Godofredo Aravena Says:

    Jonathan
    Zombies from the city is the biggest threat to anyone trying to live today in a more durable way of living, outside, far from the city. Because I can easily imagine that today there is no place far enough. That is thinking only in the economic collapse of society.
    If we add climate change, and a hotter world, a lot of people will we forced to move closer to poles.
    United States (excluding Alaska and Hawaii), has a population density of 41 persons/km2.
    If all the people in North America, including Mexico, moves to Canada and Alaska, population density would be around 41 persons/km2.
    Chile, my country, has today an average of 22 persons/km2, and if all of our people moves to the south part of the country, 55% territory, from parallel 35º south, stretched in some 3000 kmts, with possible better conditions in a hotter world, we would have some 39 persons/km2. The north with a big dessert is a good barrier, and the Andes Mountains to East, another big barrier. Barriers that will provide some shelter against zombies from other countries.
    These numbers show that at least based in population density, there are some possibilities for some people to survive. The question about it is, if the conditions to feed this amount of people will be possible in these territories. Currently we have no answer for sure yet, but I guess probably not, And the fight for food and water will be dire, since most people is not prepared for doing basic farming.
    These analysis based only in two points, is too simplistic, because considers only two dimensions of probably at least ten to configure a better possible scenario.
    Because of so much uncertainty, I have preferred to stay in the city where I have lived for the past 20 years. But I am already trying to figure out where would be a better place to live, considering (for now) only zombies from the city, and climate change effects.

  75. Robin Datta Says:

    (I exchanged the first dot in each url with the word “DOT.” I hope this is a legitimate way to deal with the two link limitation. If not, I will stand corrected!)

    Try something like this:
    h t t p : / / w w w dot google dot com

  76. Edward Murphy Says:

    For me, the Hubble Deep Field is a saving grace. Life appears to be a great deal of everywhere. Our tiny failed monkey kingdom was never the “crown of creation”. We have never been “so like the angels”. We will not be missed. Life will go on doing whatever, wherever. Our dust will cool, blow around, and finally melt when our sun goes red. Our “shit for brains” behavior will as well as never have even been. Other more successful life forms will never even notice the slightly mephitic smell. We need not be embarrassed for ourselves. I do feel sad right now for the wasted efforts of Buddha, Jesus, etc., but that too will pass.

  77. patrick o'leary Says:

    Godofredo Aravena,
    While I agree with you that zombies are a concern, I don’t think there will be as many of them around as you might think. Considering the extinction level amounts of plutonium, tritium, and cesium that have been/continue to be released from Fukushima, I suspect a lot of those potential zombies will be staggering around with a variety of stage 4 cancers in the next 15 to 20 years. Hospice indeed! I also seem to recall reading a study suggesting there will be around a billion or more of us wandering around our neighborhoods with advanced Alzheimers by 2050 or so. When I try to visualize that, the image is rather macabre, to say the least.
    I also suggest checking out the most recent contribution over at kultureCritic, http://kulturcritic.wordpress.com/posts/the-heat-is-on/.

  78. Bob S. Says:

    wildwoman Says:

    “I know women are supposed to keep quiet…”

    That’s ridiculous. Men have loved, nurtured, and protected women since the dawn of time. Just ’cause some bra burnin’ CIA crazy tells woman that cooking breakfast for their family is akin to slavery.

    And the destruction of family began. And it’s been a spectacular success.

    How about you be the feminazi and bring the wine – I’ll be the male chauvinist pig and bring the herb, and we can meet in the middle and laugh our asses off?

  79. Tom Says:

    patrick o’leary: along those same lines (absorbing the radiation in one form or another) I saw two large flocks of geese pit-stopping on some farm land and a golf course and wondered about all that crap raining out of the atmosphere and they just eat away like usual. We won’t be surprised when, in a year or so there’s very few geese, if any left. The pace of the collapse is picking up, with all the die-offs lately. There’s been an uptick in diseases and bacteria too.

    Seen this?:

    http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/superbugs-found-breeding-in-chinas-sewage-plants/

    December 18, 2013 – CHINA – Tests at two wastewater treatment plants in northern China revealed antibiotic-resistant bacteria were not only escaping purification but also breeding and spreading their dangerous cargo. Joint research by scientists from Rice, Nankai and Tianjin universities found “superbugs” carrying New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM-1), a multidrug-resistant gene first identified in India in 2010, in wastewater disinfected by chlorination. They found significant levels of NDM-1 in the effluent released to the environment and even higher levels in dewatered sludge applied to soils. The study, led by Rice University environmental engineer Pedro Alvarez, appeared this month in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters. “It’s scary,” Alvarez said. “There’s no antibiotic that can kill them. We only realized they exist just a little while ago when a Swedish man got infected in India, in New Delhi. Now, people are beginning to realize that more and more tourists trying to go to the upper waters of the Ganges River are getting these infections that cannot be treated. “We often think about sewage treatment plants as a way to protect us, to get rid of all of these disease-causing constituents in wastewater.

    But it turns out these microbes are growing. They’re eating sewage, so they proliferate. In one wastewater treatment plant, we had four to five of these superbugs coming out for every one that came in.” Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have been raising alarms for years, particularly in hospital environments where public health officials fear they can be transferred from patient to patient and are very difficult to treat. Bacteria harboring the encoding gene that makes them resistant have been found on every continent except for Antarctica, the researchers wrote. NDM-1 is able to make such common bacteria as E. coli, salmonella and K. pneumonias resistant to even the strongest available antibiotics. The only way to know one is infected is when symptoms associated with these bacteria fail to respond to antibiotics. In experiments described in the same paper, Alvarez and his team confirmed the microbes treated by wastewater plants that still carried the resistant gene could transfer it via plasmids to otherwise benign bacteria. A subsequent study by Alvarez and his colleagues published this month in Environmental Science and Technology defined a method to extract and analyze antibiotic-resistant genes in extracellular and intracellular DNA from water and sediment and applied it to sites in the Haihe River basin in China, which drains an area of intensive antibiotic use. The study showed plasmids persist for weeks in river sediment, where they can invade indigenous bacteria. “It turns out that they transfer these genetic determinants for antibiotic resistance to indigenous bacteria in the environment, so they are not only proliferating within the wastewater treatment plant, they’re also propagating and dispersing antibiotic resistance,” Alvarez said. –Terra Daily

  80. Librarian Says:

    Godofredo Aravena, if I may interject, your critique is not fair. You don’t address any of the guy’s actual points. You simply attack his feelings, what he’s doing as a person, etc. You also unilaterally declare his conclusions wrong, because it’s never okay to point fingers, even if it accurately fits the facts.

    Your post is not a critique of this essay; that would require a rebuttal of his arguments. You devote a significant amount of attention to “disqualifying” him from talking instead. How dare he SAY all those things, regardless of whether or not they’re true!

    And then you blame the essay writer for the collapse of our civilization, ignoring your own advice.

    We are not going to accomplish anything with “critiques” of this sort that serve only to ignore and dismiss any facts the other guy might bring up.

    We have to listen, and work together, and attack arguments rather than people.

  81. Karla Lindquist Says:

    Great piece, Jonathon.

    This is the live I was carving out at one time. And despite the criticisms above, that life taught me a great many things and forged a stronger bond with the natural world than I’d have ever dreamed possible.

    For those who spit on this idea, my heart hurts that you are unable to experience what it’s like.

    What makes it stressful for you seems to be that you have a foot in both camps. The real world and that thing you call a job that provides fiat currency. Double timing it can detract from the full scope of what it really means to be ‘out there’.

    And while I don’t see this as a long term solution given we’re going to see radical changes coming at a more rapid pace in the future, it’s certainly a way to feed the soul and body during this time. And to refine skills one would not otherwise possess.

    Best of luck to you and yours and who cares if you label yourself a misanthrope. I do the same, but we both know we’d be there in a heartbeat to help another. The word is applied to the general population that still has it’s head up it’s ass. I get that.

  82. cuntagious Says:

    Bill McKibben has taken off the gloves: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/obama-and-climate-change-the-real-story-20131217 (Can someone turn this into a hyper link?)

    Although McKibben’s assumption there will be humans around in 50 years to ponder Obama’s legacy shows that McKibben doesn’t fully grasp the situation we’re in.

  83. Apneaman Says:

    RE: Godofredo Aravena

    “If all the people in North America, including Mexico, moves to Canada…..”

    As a Canadian I can tell you, we been a praying and a waiting for ya to come up here and show us the way. Please please bring Ted Cruz back home.

    I like to think of it as Manifest Destiny 2.0

    God bless Americanada!

    Americanada the beautiful!

  84. Robin Datta Says:

    For me, the Hubble Deep Field is a saving grace. Life appears to be a great deal of everywhere.

    Ah, the solace from worshipping the idol of quasi-science!

    There is zero evidence for life anywhere else in the universe. Not even in signature compounds for DNA-based basic life from spectroscopic analyses. And even there, it is a presumption that sheer volume of instances guarantees progression to intelligence.

    Life forms, including the human life form with its mind-body complex, are part of the universe of space-time-causation and are all meat-robots which “have” no consciousness, just as a window “has” no light.

    Also, the infinitesimally minimal likelihood that any life form will produce INTELLIGENCE should not be overlooked. 3+ billion years of evolution gave “us” dinosaurs. How likely is it that there would then be an asteroid impact? And how likely is it thereafter that there would by a bigger (evolutionary) radiation from mammals?

    A commenter had taken the trouble of linking to this one very recently on NBL, for which I thank the person:

    We Don’t See Sentient Extraterrestrials Because They Don’t Exist

    Bill McKibben has taken off the gloves:

    Should have taken off his shorts and bent over instead: it’s now decades late and gigatons over. OK to let off gas, that bit of methane is insignificant in the larger picture.

    Hyperlink:

    Just Google HTML code for hyperlink.

  85. Jonathan DeJong Says:

    Hey Art Leads!!

    I am Zonatron

  86. Christy Says:

    @ Tom

    re: soil regeneration, try indigenous microorganisms and mulch mulch mulch the shit out of your garden. And the shit into it. IMOs love rotting logs, moisture and darkness. You can buy it, or go into the woods and find some white fungi/mold under leaves and logs and bring it back to your garden. Don’t expose it to light though.

    @ Ulv

    thanks for funkadelic :)

  87. Godofredo Aravena Says:

    To librarian.
    Don´t take things so personal and so technical.
    And so serious.
    Whenever we write something here, is to help.
    We all need some.
    To know different points of view always helps
    .
    Whatever I write here is only my opinion, not a critique. Because I know that nobody holds the truth. Whatever we, anyone of us, can post here are just points of view. Nobody can provide any real proof.
    The point is that there´s no need to. In the end, it will always be up to you what to do with the posts.
    In this moments of so much uncertainty, I believe that saying something will always be better than not saying.
    A few words wont´t hurt anybody. I guess we all are grown-ups here.
    They are just words, from somebody maybe several thousands km away from you.

    Also, keep in mind that when we write, there is always a risk that words get in the way.
    I have discovered along my life, that many times, what you are saying, is not quite understood the same way you think.
    Behind every line somebody posts here, there is probably a complex story, feelings, fears, that cannot be told in such a short space. To explain the rest why we say what we say, because certainly there are reasons for everything said here, makes no sense to me, it would require too much space. In the meantime, there are so many topics to cover, so many things are happening all around the world that deserve attention, that we cannot worry too much trying to explain our words.
    As I wrote sometime ago, in the end we are alone, trapped in our bodies. If you get what I mean by my words, good, If not, nothing to do. Let´s turn the page. Anyway, this way is much better than not saying anything.
    Thanks for your comment. It reminded me how difficult is to communicate ideas and feelings. One of our big problems as society.

  88. Godofredo Aravena Says:

    Apneaman
    You eventually will have your problems, we will have ours.
    There are some 7000 miles between you and me.

  89. Grant Schreiber Says:

    Robin Datta writes ” Also, the infinitesimally minimal likelihood that any life form will produce INTELLIGENCE should not be overlooked.”

    Just because there is no intelligence (that we admire) here on earth and certainly no intelligence in the dominate life form — dinosaurs again?!? — doesn’t not exclude the possibility so some very smart dinosaurs on some distant star. Maybe life is so rare that it only pops up once in every galaxy…but there still might be something out there.

    I’ve been hoping most of my life that was something right here, and have been fairly disappointed with the results.

    And still, one must always consider The Galaxy Song:

  90. Grant Schreiber Says:

    Godofredo Aravena Says “Behind every line somebody posts here, there is probably a complex story, feelings, fears, that cannot be told in such a short space.”

    Nah, it’s all just primates playing on the keyboard. “never worry about what other people think of you because no one is thinking of you.” And of course, that works two ways.

  91. mass Says:

    Der Spiegel gets it.

    “To put it another way: The primacy of economics has prevailed. It no longer seems to matter how we’re supposed to get through the rest of this century if the world grows warmer by three, four or five degrees Celsius.”

    “The task then becomes to extract as much out of it as possible, while we still can. In this sense, the alarmism of environmental activists and climate researchers actually adds fuel to the fire, because it calls attention to the fact that the party may soon be over.”

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/warsaw-climate-conference-shows-capitalism-root-of-climate-failure-a-937453.html#ref=rss

  92. Apneaman Says:

    RE: Godofredo Aravena

    In all seriousness, anyone who is awake knows that when the climate starts getting unbearable, people in the US, Mexico or wherever will have no choice but to migrate north. In the meantime we could and should help. For example, Canadian journalist and military historian, Gwynne Dyer, has suggested Canada offer to pipeline much needed water to the US on very favorable terms. I agree with him. I don’t know if that can happen, because I believe there are corporate powers scheming to co-modify our water along with everything else. They will probably get what they want, because our fuck head prime minister has a master’s degree in economics. I think many people in Canada would like to help our neighbors. We have before.

    Take a gander at this short video.

  93. ulvfugl Says:

    How long would I have to plug myself into a wall to get the equivalent energy to eating a full day’s worth of food?

    http://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/1iqpb8/how_long_would_i_have_to_plug_myself_into_a_wall/cb74jlf

  94. Robin Datta Says:

    we are alone, trapped in our bodies

    That comes from misinterpretation of what one experiences and the misidentification of the mind-body complex as the self. But the alone is indeed correct, for there is none other than the Self of all apparent selves.

    Even some very smart dinosaurs on some distant star are conceptual constructs like everything else in the mind, formed from sensory inputs, memory and thought. They are all indirect experience.

    I’ve been hoping most of my life that was something right here

    Al “things” are part of indirect experience. The “awareness” in the “awareness” “of” things is not a “thing”. It is the only direct experience, unconstrained by spac-time-causation. This “awareness” without “of”s is so ubiquitous that it is not even noticed, and when noticed is dismissed as ordinary, not being recognised as the one and only extraordinary.


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