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The responsibility of doomers to the future: A proposal

Tue, Dec 10, 2013

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by Godofredo Aravena P.

Every time I read the NBL posts, I get the feeling that there´s nothing to be done with our lives, and our future. We have no future. We just have to wait for catastrophe.

We used to have a reason for living. Apparently, no more.

Also, most of us know, by own experience, that spreading the message of NTE take us nowhere. Ergo, climate change has no way back. At least regarding our actions as species.

Nobody knows in a precise way what comes ahead, and how climate change will affect us. It all depends on where we are and live.

NTE ahead and too many “who knows.”

Carolyn Baker has done a great effort to help the rest to face the reality of NTE.

The message given so far seems to me that all we have to do is to give love, have peace, enjoy the time we have left, and enjoy nature and all that we may lose with climate change. In simple words, rules of behavior to keep us calmed, to keep us in peace with incoming tragedy. A life with no purpose. Kind of selfish rules by the way, only for ourselves. For our tranquility as persons.

To be selfish is as natural as nature. All creatures need to be selfish, to survive. The magic of nature is that by being selfish, creatures help each other. They constantly give something in return, usually becoming food to other species, a form of energy. In simple words, creatures of nature are energy collectors. Just by living and dying, and being selfish while alive, give something in return to the rest (the system).

But human as a species, by being selfish somehow destroys or damages the rest, people and environment, and give nothing in return, but a huge amount of waste. And, contrary to the rest of creatures, we are only (mainly) energy consumers. We also collect stuff with no purpose regarding the rest of the system (nature). We see and measure the world based on our very personal point of view. As we live, we do not care about the rest, and as we became so powerful (thanks to technology), we can create much destruction along the way. Just for our own pleasure.

So being selfish is a green practice, only if by being selfish, the system thrives, and/or stays in a steady state. Evidence tells me that mankind selfishness is not of the “green” type.

So doomers have the possibility to evolve in someway to a different state, we have a possibility to be selfish in a green way. And do something really useful to the (future) system. Something that goes beyond ourselves.

Doomers are in a different (higher maybe) mind state. Accepting NTE opens mind to a differente view of life and nature.

So welcome new mind state, because I guess, we have a job to do (if we want), on behalf of the rest of our society. A job, or responsibility, that requires a different mind state.

We have to stop thinking only on us (and our beloved alive). So far, on NBL, we keep on being somehow too selfish. Very much just like the rest of people.

We have to start seeing the future in a different way, and start doing something for somebody that we do not know, that is not our family, somebody that we will never meet. We have to start thinking as our society should have done couple of centuries ago and (probably) things today would be different.

We have to do something thinking in our descendants, in a very broad term, whoever they are. Even if they are intelligent beings not humans, or humans in a different case.

We have to give something against nothing, according to our modern commercial standard.
Roughly just like the movie “Fog of War”. We have to transmit a message about what we have learnt. And I do not mean technology, I mean our mistakes and/or lessons of life. More than just a bunch of data, instead, hopefully data coupled to some analysis.

We have to find a way to provide some answers to the questions about us that future generations will have.

Just like Jared Diamond`s question: “What was thinking the person while chopping down the last palm tree on Easter Island?” A question that has no answer today. We can only suppose. It would have been good to have that answer. We could have taken some lessons.

We have to try to provide answers to questions that the future intelligent specie that will replace us, will have about us. We probably are becoming a failed experiment, but the creator(s) will probably create a replacement, with maybe a few adjustments in our biology, to maybe live in a slightly different environment. Or, maybe some individuals of our specie will survive, along with other creatures. Enough individuals to spread again over earth, a certainly different earth. As crocodiles survived to two ELE, and other animals did too. It is a possibility.

Replaced or not replaced, in a not so distant future, there will be an intelligent species on earth again.

As intelligent creatures, able to create things, have to learn from their mistakes, there is no other way, if they don’t, they may end in the same point we are today. Our replacement specie, as we today, will be very powerful in relation to the rest of species, and has to learn to handle their power, before facing a predicament as we do today. We can help doing something today to, maybe, avoid the path of self destruction again.

Any future intelligent being will in some moment have questions about us.

Why we disappeared?

Why our culture declined?

What went wrong?

What caused the sixth ELE?

And so.

We, today, as living individuals, know the answers, but once we disappear, the answers will go to grave with us.

I guess instead of trying to save the planet we know today, a lost battle already, we have to try to preserve the answers to this questions somehow safe.

That is not an easy task certainly. To find a media, that will withstand the test of time is a hard job. To find a way to teach a language to somebody in the future that knows nothing about our current languages may become another hard job. That, if we want to keep the information using some type of hardware media (computer, hard-drive, pen-drive, paper, plastic, stones, whatever).

Maybe we have to keep this knowledge through our immediate descendants, just like ancient tribes did. And knowledge be constantly transmitted to descendants. A practice that could become part of our culture.

There are so many lessons to keep.

To rebuilt our past has been a hard and complex task. Lots of questions with no answers.

Let´s help to our descendants to know about our story, their past, as seen from inside. Let them know the lessons hardly learnt. It may help them to avoid the seventh ELE, and develop a sustainable culture.

This is much more than just keeping a lot of files, it is personal and careful selection of files that we may seem relevant to keep, coupled to some analysis, to put things in context. Pointed to the Jared Diamonds of the future. We have some years ahead to find ways to transmit this information to somebody in the future.

Our current global database, Internet, will probably not last long enough. If some people find a way to continue our specie, they will have very hard times, with very limited technology. I would expect that after the decline of modern-current society, a dark age of maybe some hundreds of years will follow.

If we want a reason to live the rest of our life, this is a good one. That makes much sense (to me).

Instead of being Doomers or Preppers, we could be “Filers.”

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123 Responses to “The responsibility of doomers to the future: A proposal”

  1. Artleads Says:

    Preserving information for aliens from space to learn from has no interest for me whatsoever. 100% of my interest concerns who and what is here now. But I will say this: If anything worthwhile WERE to be stored, it would require order, foresight, though and innovation. And if anything significant of our present world WERE to be saved, it would require exactly identical behaviors. So there is, IMO, no meaningful distinction between doomer and non-doomer responsibility. Behavior-wise, there is nowhere to go but up.

  2. Thom Foote Says:

    My wife and I, when we moved down to Eastern Washington two years, did so with the express idea of creating a sustainable living style and infrastructure on our 10 acres of land not only for ourselves but for our grown children, their children and their grandchildren.
    We adopted permaculture as the means to do this, especially since it is built around a set of principles guided by a core of ethics that, if widely adopted, could reverse the current social/economic trends that are leading us to destruction. Regardless if others follow our example, we are at least trying to influence our neighbors and develop a sustainable community by leading by example. If worse comes to worse, my kids know they have a refuge that will feed their families and my neighbors know that they have a source of information on principles and techniques that can sustain them as well.
    Granted there are scenarios where we might have to bag it all and move north into Canada to set up another refuge. A part of me does not think that this is going to happen especially with the infrastructure we are putting in place. We will always be blessed with Pacific Ocean storms blowing in form the west dumping water on us.
    In the meantime, we are also busy trying to establish an online community of like-minded individuals and farms to share news, information, methods and above all, hope. This is about all we can do. My advice, get a piece of land in a survivable locale, get resilient, get connected, live with love, hope and a sense of a better future, eventually.

  3. Lisa Paulson Says:

    Does it really have to be a dark age ? I mean is it really or will we choose to be more enlightened ?
    Be the person you truly aspire to be in your heart , not the career or the posessions, be that person ! Meet your own expectation of your self and be at peace.

  4. Carolyn Baker Says:

    Godofredo…I’m really sorry that you have such superficial knowledge of my work. Apparently, you haven’t really been reading what I have been writing. I am NOT at all advocating that we just selfishly develop “inner peace,” whatever that is, and try to make ourselves feel as good as possible. If you had REALLY read my work, particularly what I’ve written in Navigating The Coming Chaos, you would discover that I passionately advocate becoming as engaged in life as possible from the perspective that we have come here to serve. We all carry enormous gifts which we must be sharing with the earth community and our species. We need to be RESISTING the death machine to our last breath—organizing, undermining, building community, making NTE as easy for other species as possible, and once in awhile, zoning out and taking a brief rest in order to regroup our sanity. As for purpose, if you had seriously read anything I’d written, you’d have heard my constant ranting about finding meaning and purpose in our experience which is not a passive response, but a very active and activist one. I find it much easier when folks disagree with me than when they mis-state and distort what I’m saying because they haven’t really read or grasped it. As Guy says, we get to die, which means we get to live. So let’s live with purpose, passion, resistance, and hold alongside the probability of NTE, creating beauty, inflicting joy on ourselves and others, and functioning with vitality, compassion, and gratitude for being alive on this planet at this time. To hold those opposites is the hardest work on earth—and hardly “peaceful.”

  5. JohnD Says:

    Good job Godofredo! I appreciated your essay, thanks for a few idealistic words to help us along. But when this NTE storm hits you can be sure that man will turn against man, everywhere, and quickly. Heck, Ms. Baker just turned on you for whatever mis-interpretation you might have made of her writing even though you were trying to compliment her!. It’s that easy! So much for compassion! Think of what will happen when people’s bellies are empty for weeks at a time. Culture, meaning, shared values, joy…all out the window. Navigating the chaos…there is no navigating, sorry. There will be survival, perhaps, for some, for a while, mostly based on geographical luck and for a very few, a bit of preparedness. The future generation, if any ever evolves, will be thousands and thousands of years away. Unless we can preserve our historic record in Fort Knox or maybe in Superman’s Fortress of Solitude (or is that under water now?!), we will just be an interesing archaeological record for some intrepid scholars in the year 0 many millennia from now.

  6. Badlands Says:

    Thank you for the thought provoking essay, Godofredo.

    I am forced to worry about the future, at least a little bit, due to being a parent, but rather than belabor that subject (as I have done), I am drawn to your idea of preserving, in some form, answers to the questions of what went wrong. But first, the assertion that we have those answers is questionable. I don’t think we do. And if you start asking around about what needs to be preserved, I doubt there would be much agreement on what went wrong (besides the obvious exploitation, abuse, waste) and what the answers might be to the problems we are facing.

    But, for the sake of keeping good records, in whatever form that takes, I do have one answer that keeps screaming at me, so, maybe if someone has the time and ability, I am requesting that the following be translated into every known language, as written, spoken, and visual:

    “STOP FUCKING HURTING EACH OTHER!” (and that includes ALL RELATIONS)

    If we can’t do that, nothing else matters to me any more. When my little ones were only a few months old, I started teaching them sign language-just the basics, as that is all I know myself. What are the basics? Water, food, want, more, thank you, please, dog, tree, ball, nice, and wind. (We do live in SD, after all.) NICE. BE NICE.

    How we act now is what matters. We are not going to descend into some dark age once we lose our current modes of technology. We are in that dark age now, evidenced by all the hurt and inequality. The children who may/may not live in this future are learning every moment their own answers. They learn from us, from each other, from the ground, sky, trees, from others, from books, pictures, music. They have their own thoughts about the way things work. They carry their own burdens, as well as ours. The most important thing I can think to do for them is not disseminate some archive of right and wrong, but to ensure they reach adulthood with their ability to trust. They have no reason to trust us, but they still have each other; they are making their own alliances.

    “When a shepherd goes to kill a wolf, and takes his dog to see the sport, he should take care to avoid mistakes. The dog has certain relationships to the wolf the shepherd may have forgotten.” Robert M. Pirsig

  7. Queenie (Marian Veverka) Says:

    @Thom Foote

    If you are the brother of Bill who married Bonnie, the eldest of the 6 children who lived in the house where the path began that lead into the quarry, to the big pond where everyone bathed & a bit further “The Flats” where all kinds of tents were sent up and there was much strumming of guitars and singing beneath little clouds of various kinds of smoke.

    This is in OH & the quarry is still there, though tthe flats are overgrown with poplar trees. The middle of the quarry is still being quarried – super deep, I keep waiting for them to hit the rock that breaks and lets Lake Erie’s water enter and flood them out – Ah, but that’s not very nice is it?

    As for the overgrown flats, the quarry still owns it, but has tried to sell it, no such luck. Cars zoom along Alexander pike – 1974-75 happened in a dream…

    I am the lady who gave away eggs. Do you remember the chicken coop back of our house and the flock of White Leghorns? Gone now of course, but most of the land around there is still vacant. I read Organic Gardening for years & had a plan to plant the place in potatoes if worse ever came to worse.

    I don’t live there any more. I live by the boys on “Hillbilly lane” but everyone has intermaried. Bonnie & Bill’s daughter lives in the house by the path to the pond. She is married & has a couple kids. If you are the Tom who read Organic Gardening, you have 2 nephews * a neice.

    Ah, and what do we say to the children? ” Sorry we lost the earth you were supposed to inherit?” Would we tell them how fine and pure it was to live off the land? Would we admit that we held protests but nobody came? Would we tell them to be braver, stronger than we were?

    How far back do we go? The invention of the steam engine.? How humanity found itself in a race to be faster? How important it was not to waste time getting from here to there – horses faster than feet, automobiles faster yet, planes, trains? Where were we going? Where have we been” And how do we explain the generations that came begore? That lead to us at this particular place in this particular time?

    Maybe they would rather not know. Or be too busy staying alive to care. Our relics would be scattered all over the place. Let them figure it out for themselves. We had to.

  8. Artleads Says:

    Thanks, Badlands. Lovely video clip. You do have a way with explaining things. :-)

  9. mike k Says:

    A time capsule to tell where we went wrong? Some hints how we might have avoided disaster? It’s really very simple at it’s core:

    Every emerging higher intelligence has two possibilities. The first is to make selfishness, greed, and violence the guiding principles of its culture. The second is to make love of all beings, mutual help, and happiness for all the guiding principles for life together. One path leads to a long, sustainable, happy life together. The other path leads to pain, fear, misery, and ultimately extinction. Choose the good path, the other one really stinks.

    Inevitably people will ask, “We have been going on the dark path for so long, how can we change?” Glad that you asked, that is the first step. There are paths to facilitate change that have been developed by wise persons who foresaw the need for them throughout our history together. There are teachers, groups, writings existing that can provide much essential help. Seek these things out and begin your part in the healing of your world.

    What has been said here is real, and constitutes the only viable basis for the survival of humankind. Denying these truths will mean that you will only be capable of playing your part in the collective doom without contributing to the possibility of its avoidance. Whether you know it or not, you are living in a time of an epic struggle between good and evil. Choose good.

  10. lark Says:

    On the question of selfishness (which this essay addresses): A writer I respect and learned quite a bit from once penned words to this affect: We cannot help being selfish – that is, it is in the make up of every creature to be selfishness, to take care of and look after ‘self’. Otherwise how would any organism survive; how would life continue?.

    He went on to say: The only choice we have is whether to be ‘smart selfish’ or ‘stupid selfish.’

    Clearly the majority of people in present industrial civilization has chosen ‘stupid selfish’.

    And here we are, on the brink…

  11. Grant Schreiber Says:

    We don’t know where we’ll be until we get there. Accepting NTE is one thing, actually facing societal collapse, chaos, upheaval and desperate need is another. Provided one is still alive after the shock waves have died down and the wind isn’t currently pouring radioactive toxins into your area and there’s some water that can be boiled and drunk without too much difficulty, then maybe we’ll know for sure what kind of people we are. In the meantime, do unto others blah, blah, blah.

  12. Mister BelleIslander Says:

    According to http://www.zerohedge.com/

    RIOT POLICE ARMED WITH CHAINSAWS approach Kiev Barricades/ Ukrainian Police Mass Near Barricades At Kiev Square/ Police Storm Protest Camp In Center Of Kiev…

    CHAINSAWS? Gee, just when one might have thought that present day police repression couldn’t possibly get any worse!

  13. ulvfugl Says:

    Well, the academics are waking up. Bit late. I wonder what they mean by ‘radical’. End industrial civilisation ? Cut global population down to half a billion ?

    With large-scale impacts of climate change becoming discernable from the background of natural variability, so concern is rising over the global community’s failure to control emissions. The International Energy Agency (IEA) captures this pivotal moment in history, when noting that “The current state of affairs is unacceptable … energy-related CO2 emissions are at historic highs”[i] and emission trends are “perfectly in line with a temperature increase of 6 degrees Celsius, which would have devastating consequences for the planet”[ii]. In similar vein PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC)[iii], the UK Government chief scientist[iv] and a growing body of academics and researchers are allying current emission trends with 4°C to 6°C futures.

    http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/radical-emission-reduction-conference-10-11-december-2013

  14. PMB Says:

    How about the responsibility of non-doomers?

    Two recent pieces on Salon.com by Tim Donavon
    1) Thanks for killing the planet, boomers
    2) We are deluding ourselves: The Apocalypse is coming and technology can’t save us.

    The Cornwall Alliance brags in their seminal statement that, “The Cornwall Declaration on Environmental Stewardship” has been “signed by over 1,500 clergy, theologians, policy experts and other people of faith.”

    “And what does their declaration assert? Most notably, “while some environmental concerns are well founded and serious, others are without foundation or greatly exaggerated. [...] Some unfounded or undue concerns include fears of destructive man-made global warming, overpopulation, and rampant species loss.”Unsurprisingly, the Cornwall Alliance is funded by the “Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow” (CFACT), an anti-environment front group funded by ExxonMobil, Chevron and other oil interests.”

    “What’s so frustrating about all of this is that there are very real solutions still available, though they’re certain to be massively painful and, potentially, economically catastrophic. Yet such is the price of our decades (centuries?) -long campaign to maintain our collective self-delusion — a delusion about humanity’s limited influence on our global climate, and a delusion that global capitalism can eternally expand on a planet of finite resources.”

    I’m not sure there ANY REAL SOLUTIONS still available as by all evidence we are NOT GOING to implement this minute what we need to. How do we get rid of 6 Billion people by tomorrow?

    Again Chris Hedges mentions extinction in Part 2 of Jay Paul’s interview with him on Real Network News. Not so interesting is Paul’s rather deft avoiding of delving into the topic. Hey maybe we’ll see Guy there at some point.

    The point of NTE seems to be leaching into other minds, but I’m not expecting any ground swell of numbers. I’m expecting some massive blow back against and discussion of NTE. Hey, fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I’d prefer not to be shamed again.

    The past is prelude to the future. My Jewish heritage (I’m not religious), but I’ve always accepted the fact that I would have been made into a lampshade by accident of my birth had I been alive in Germany in addition to my natural attraction to men (This means I’m gay) has given me some interesting perspectives on the world.

    I’d be and am labeled by many Jews as self hating due to my opinions of the ongoing behavior in Israel. And I believe the Jews in the USA suffer from great guilt due their not stepping up during the thirties. I think this internalized guilt has manifested in some particularly bad characteristics.

    On the gay front. Again I share what is was like to be in my early 30′s and have to watch the disintegration of an entire generation of young men. I was helpless to only watch as friend after friend, acquaintance after acquaintance withered, shriveled and wasted away before my eyes. Daily trips to hospital or someones home followed by a never ending number of funerals and memorial services.

    I learned (like Belle at Thanksgiving for who I’d like to thank for sharing his story) that blood is not thicker than water. Too may people turned away and did’t wish to see. Much like Logspirits sharing of how “we” treat the homeless. After all there but the grace of god go I. I guess that’s why I do treat the homeless with at minimum of a smile and share what I have on me at the time. My own sister told me during the AIDS crisis, “If you get sick” Don’t come to me. Oddly enough we’d just gone through a decade of cancer with our parents so the had passed on.

    I’ve modeled for the next generation a different way, but it hasn’t really done much good as we wound up exactly where the Limits to Growth had said we would wind up.

  15. ulvfugl Says:

    This is, basically, fascism. The end of democracy. You can’t have democratic governance when elected representatives sign laws when nobody has seen what’s being signed up to. There is supposed to be public debate and public accountability.

    All the countries that are signing on to these Pacific and Atlantic ‘trade’ agreements being proposed by the USA and fronted by Obama are being pulled into a new fascist Empire.

    If this happens, then that’s it. We are totally fucked for the foreseeable future. Everything will be done in secret and kept secret and the people of all these countries will have no knowledge or control over the future or their lives, or what happens in their countries. National governments and elections will be meaningless.

    How many people even realise that this is happening ?

    The negotiations have been held confidential, and text of the agreement has not been made public, despite calls from the Australian opposition for the full text to be tabled in the parliament. A motion was passed in the Senate last week calling for the text to be tables in full but it has been reported today that the Coalition will defy this order, stating it will only be made public once Australia has signed onto the agreement.

    http://www.zdnet.com/au/tpp-countries-and-us-divided-over-ip-chapter-leak-7000024068/

  16. Reverse Engineer Says:

    There are a lot of innacuracies and false assumptions in this article. I don’t have time right now to write much, but here are two glaring ones:

    ” And, contrary to the rest of creatures, we are only (mainly) energy consumers.”

    That is plain wrong. ALL animal life forms are energy consumers. Only autotrophs who can capture Solar energy through photosyntheis or chemotrophs that can capture energy release by the earth are net energy positive far as the contained system is concerned.

    “Replaced or not replaced, in a not so distant future, there will be an intelligent species on earth again.”

    This is highly unlikely. Over several 100M years of time during which life has been present on Earth, only once did Sentience emerge. In a large extinction event here, it is unlikely there is enough time left where the biosphere can support higher life forms.

    Besides this there are numerous geological and cosmic events we are overdue for Yellowstone is a good 200K years overdue to blow. A major asteroid collision is also due anytime. This makes it unlikely a sentient species has time to evolve anymore before the Earth is toast.

    http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/featured/10-greatest-major-impact-craters-on-earth/1403

    Imagine staring into the sky and seeing a tiny yellow dot, gradually getting closer. That dot doubles in size every second, until it slowly darkens the sky. You realize that this dot is actually the size of New York City and is screeching through the atmosphere faster than the speed of sound, coming right for you. This massive object will cause tsunamis, earthquakes and obliterate natural daylight for years… Oh… and it will kill you. Similar asteroid impacts have happened and will happen on numerous occasions in our earth’s history. Today we’ll show you the biggest impact craters by diameter.

    RE

  17. mass Says:

    @ulvfugl

    They have a 101 page pdf of abstracts that will be presented at The Radical Emission Reduction Conference. I searched for the word “methane”, zero hits.

  18. B9K9 Says:

    JohnD said “When this NTE storm hits you can be sure that man will turn against man, everywhere, and quickly.”

    Yeah, but it’s gonna happen in the USA last of all. That’s the beauty of living in empire, and the utter foolishness of walking away from such a good deal.

    I confess, I will never understand the guilt complex so many appear to have to being citizens of the apex country at the time of NTE. Did Romans feel any sense of guilt as they enjoyed the spoils of the then conquered known world? What’s up with hating on air conditioning, central heat, fresh & hot water, food a drive away, and shit carried away to God knows where?

    The hallmarks of waxing & waning empires can be summarized into 3 basic categories:
    - energy independence
    - material wealth
    - political freedom

    If all 3 are expanding/increasing, then you’re living in the equivalent of 1950s USA. However, as we crest over the peak, those who are aware ie the PTB (and have no weird prohibitions/inhibitions) recognize what is occurring and begin to set the stage for what comes next.

    Take this to the bank: the USA will be the last man standing. If you make the right moves, take the right steps, you too can enjoy the twilight of empire as the global ecological economy heads to ruin. To do otherwise is to exhibit stupidity of the first order.

  19. ulvfugl Says:

    @ mass

    Well done ! I didn’t realise they had those. Doesn’t surprise me.

    @ B9K9

    You didn’t read Augustine of Hippo, then, amongst other notable names ?

    Your confidence that USA will be ‘last man standing’ seems entirely delusional to me.
    But your whole attitude ‘Well, everybody else is making a good living plucking the gold teeth out of the skulls of the corpses, so why not me too’ is so obnoxious and loathsome as to be beyond being worth more than a passing note of disgust. The reason your country is ruined is because it contains too may individuals like you. No social group can function without cooperative bonds between caring individuals. Once those go and everyone follows your self-serving dog eat dog philosophy it decays and disintegrates.

    ———–

    Only in Australia could the phrase “public briefing” mean that the meeting will be held behind closed doors, where journalists are not welcome.

    Yesterday, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) rescinded the invitations of several journalists to attend a public briefing regarding a multilateral trade agreement under negotiation called the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

    The TPP is an extensive agreement that covers typical topics such as goods and services, but also contains chapters on labour laws, intellectual property, the environment and investor-state dispute settlement provisions. This agreement is currently being negotiated completely opaquely between the US, Japan, Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Canada, Mexico, and Brunei Darussalam. DFAT claims that it will be finished negotiating by the end of the year.

    If you’ve never heard of the TPP, here’s a summary of the major issues:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/30/trans-pacific-partnership-tpp-dfat

  20. Apneaman Says:

    “Take this to the bank: the USA will be the last man standing.”

    Sure thing B9K9, as long as it’s not an American bank.

  21. Grant Schreiber Says:

    I can’t imagine a more vulgar sick joke than thumping nationalism as being the “last one standing” in the face of NTE. “I can’t wait to choke to death on my own vomit, buried neck deep in horror and fear safe in the knowledge that people in Moscow are probably already dead.” Sheesh. What a loathsome spectacle. No wonder we’re doomed. People like that can vote, drive cars and are allowed to own guns and computers.

  22. Ben Says:

    I find it interesting you mention Diamond. I saw this article from NPR today and it struck a chord with me: http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2013/12/09/249728994/what-happened-on-easter-island-a-new-even-scarier-scenario?utm_content=socialflow&utm_campaign=nprfacebook&utm_source=npr&utm_medium=facebook

    I think I’m unlike a lot of folks who keep up with Dr. McPherson’s site as well as other collapse blogs. I don’t think we are headed toward NTE; well at least one in our generation or maybe even the next. Mankind is wily, adaptive, shortsighted, and stubborn. Not that we won’t kill ourselves off, but it’s going to be a drawn out flush down the extinction drain even without some grand ecologically driven “Charge of the Light Brigade”. We might even survive several generations from now as broken, stunted things and try to claw ourselves back up in a wiser way (unlikely though that may be- either in the surviving that long or in being smart enough to learn from our mistakes as a species).

    I perceive my responsibility to prepare; both for myself and for any family I might have in the future- if not for future generations in general. To prepare for the future by anticipating what is to come, invest (both fiscally and educationally) in the logistics and methods I will need to navigate my family and friends through the turmoils to come as our empire declines, and to establish something that might mitigate to some degree- no matter how small- the hardships that my possible future children and children’s children will face.

  23. dairymandave Says:

    Not only is radiation good for you but so is smog:

    http://news.yahoo.com/chinese-government-tries-to-spin-smog-as-a-healthy-benefit–and-aid-to-national-defense-174649885.html

    Notice how the media is able to tell the truth; if it’s about a competitor country.

    Regarding the Radical Emission Reduction Conference with Kevin Anderson, changing the light bulbs is mentioned.

  24. Andres Jimenez Says:

    No wonder we’re doomed. People like that can vote, drive cars and are allowed to own guns and computers.

    Sure, we’re doomed for so many reasons. Another reason we’re doomed is because people like you procreate, so your progeny who thinks the world of you and absorbs readily your wisdom about NTE is more apt to say yes when the heroin needle is inevitably passed their way. Their thinking will be, “well, why not, Dad’s convinced me there is no hope or future, so why not enjoy myself while I can? It’s not like I have anything to lose.” There’s another word for that mentality. It’s called freedom. Sweet.

  25. ulvfugl Says:

    @ Andres Jimenez

    You think that weird bizarre ‘logic’ of yours is ‘wisdom’ ?

    You seem to be quite critical of others.

    Who do you think the good guys are ?

  26. Andres Jimenez Says:

    Who do you think the good guys are ?

    Life has taught me there are no “good” guys. “Good” by who’s standards? “Good” is highly subjective and as such the definition of it varies from person to person. Some people believe Mandela was a saint while McVeigh was a monster. Others believe McVeigh was a hero and martyr while Mandela was a cunning and deceptive terrorist who sought political power and status. It’s all so confusing until you accept there are no good guys and bad guys, but rather there just is and you deal with that is with as open a mind as possible without your brains falling out or being blasted out.

    In the meantime, I’m taking Godofredo’s advice from the other thread and having more children. We already have five, but I think we’ll add at least one or two more before my wife turns 50. I want as many souls to enjoy life while they can. That’s the most anyone can do ever at any time. More loving people means more love is generated and spread. So, it’s time to get busy being fruitful, and it’s a fun process, especially if you have a hot wife like I do. Momma’s got a squeeze box and this daddy never sleeps at night.

  27. Gerald Spezio Says:

    SYNOPSIS; S = k. log W

    entropy + spirituality = entropy – 0

  28. Gerald Spezio Says:

    Spacey space alien archeologistas w/o financial portfolios stumble upon Phoenix, AZ in 4027, as in Pyramids & Spinx; “Whaddthefugg???”

    Dick; “What was their essence?”

    Jane replies; “Essence?”

    S = k.log W

  29. Gerald Spezio Says:

    I tried to publish this negativity at “The Next Step” site.

    Flying 2500 miles at 500 mph producing tons of planet killing CO2 in order to learn how to live THE simple low energy lifestyle – “a lifestyle that respects all life and provides for the well-being of future generations by living in voluntary simplicity with integrity toward ourselves, our environment, and our community.”

    Yuppies really fly & not just in their minds – just like Don Juan.

    Enroute to Guatemala – Dick says to Jane at 37,000 feet; “We have to change our way of thinking & get small – get small is beautiful.”

    Jane replies; “I love you, Dick – You are so new age.”

    VOLARE.

  30. Gerald Spezio Says:

    B9K9; “If you make the right moves, take the right steps …”

    What are they in operationalized terms.

    What do I do?

    Fly to Guatemala &/or Belize to get smart & get the really right ideas about spirituality?

    Who has the hemlock, Mama?

  31. mt Says:

    Possibly, a new dimension awaits us. Do not think that some psychedelic drug or a deep meditation will give you some kind of advantage to the plane. These practices of drugging or intense thinking are nothing more than projections and interpolations of this level. One cannot know a new dimension while being in the previous state. If these things are enjoyable to you, by all means, continue. You might even think they’re doing you good, perhaps they are doing good. They are NOT opening a window to some new ‘beingness’. You might believe they are expanding your “awareness” or your “consciousness” . That is your brain doing what it does.
    Yes, perhaps we will “fly off” to some new place. However, it most likely will be something you have never imagined. A place you COULD NOT imagine, a place where two plus two equals flower?
    I’m just guessing. I really don’t know.
    I have done psychedelics. I have meditated deeply. Life is strange.

  32. Roger Ellis Says:

    Troll-Tards like ‘gerald spazio’ seem like a perfect fit for an Easter Island rat sandwich. They would thrive on rodent tissue, you want fries with that G?

    The Cred of trolltards:

    NEGATIVE CLANK

    He’d sell a rat’s asshole
    to a blindman for a wedding
    ring.

    ~by Richard Brautigan~

  33. pat Says:

    Yes, there are many divisions here on NBL. And if you add into the mix the regulars that post on Xray Mike’s site and John Michael Greer’s site, you get a really kaleidoscopic group. Then, add in all the environmental groups, resistance groups, anti-government right-wing groups, and you end up with one big hodge-podge of divergent ideas and strategies… It’s crazy.

    Which camp do I most identify with? Some days it’s one thing, other days it’s another…

    I’m just waiting for total chaos to break out, and if it doesn’t happen soon, I’m afraid my personal strategy will turn out to be a very big mistake. But, what’s the difference, really, between the whole world collapsing and just My World collapsing? The biggest difference is the head-shaking bystanders witnessing an isolated event versus nobody noticing since we’re all in the same boat!

    Can you imagine a world where there is suddenly no electricity, no phones, no internet, no cars, no planes, no government, no hospitals, no pharmacies, no grocery stores, etc…

    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    Thou shalt not procreate.

    The Church of Euthanasia
    Save the planet, kill yourself.

  34. mike k Says:

    Since my comment below was sent but not published, I will try again with this header.

    @Ulvfugl – It is true that not only the house is burning, the whole Cosmos is on fire, dissolving, mutating – as in Buddha’s Fire Sermon. One is ready to pass buckets, but has a fire brigade been formed? What if I pass a bucket and there is no one to receive it, and it spills uselessly on the ground? That has been my experience; plenty of fires but a scarcity of firemen/women.

    In the Sixties, after spending a couple of weeks alone deep in the Hawaiian forest, I was sitting by a stream, and a dragonfly spoke to me. She/he said, “We creatures of the forest sense that something terrible is happening that is changing our world in a bad way. We sense that you humans are doing this, but we have been unable to speak to them because they are not telepathically attuned. You seem able to understand me, however. Would you be our voice and go to your kind and tell them to please stop destroying our world?” To my subsequent shame, I answered that I would do so.

    As I began exploring how I could fulfill my promise, the overwhelming difficulty of this mission became more and more evident to me. Those who I wished to awaken to what they were doing were not only incapable of hearing the voices of Nature imploring and warning them, they could not hear my feeble attempts to make a difference either. In fact most were not only indifferent, but hostile to my ideas.

    After many years of further study and contemplation, I have come to the conclusion that the only hope for all beings on this planet is a profound change of consciousness on the part of a large number of people. Of course this opens a very large can of worms (symbolic of the neural snarls in the brains of our demented population). I am all too aware, as anyone who tries to deprogram another’s errant operating system will learn, that resistance to new and uncomfortable ideas is endemic to the “well adjusted”.

    Given this current stubbornly closed addictive system prevailing in the general population, what is to be done? To try to approach this with a direct rational methodology will not be effective. We need to find a way to trick people to be good. Sort of like Edward Bernays realizing that the unconscious was the royal road of changing behavior. Of course a lot more needs to be developed for this approach to bear fruit; I’m working on it…

    PS – I have read Keith’s anti-vegan book and agree with much of it. Also her DGR book, much of which I disagree with. I have also read most of what Jensen has written and agree with all of it except his recommendations as to what to do about it all.

  35. Artleads Says:

    Why would one be concerned with pointing out our failure to a future intelligence (possibly alien) before straining to understand and oppose all the extant forces of destruction here on Earth?

    If one looks at today’s Democracy Now, just after the news headlines it interviews a reporter about the notorious ALEX. It is the legislative hub of corporate global government…or one of the major hubs. It is the pure antithesis to life and humanity on Earth.

    democracynow.com

    Why an evil force like ALEC can’t be surrounded, and clearly observed and identified is a little murky to me. Does no one have a list of the congress people who vote to enact ALEX initiatives? Is it that we have so many things on our minds that we can’t isolate and confront the forces of destruction?

    If we can’t do such straightforward things as to scientifically and coldly observe and analyze ALEX, how can we possibly leave a useful message behind for some future society?

  36. Jesse Schultz Says:

    I mostly lurk, but today I am going to subject everybody to listening to me grind my Ax. My apologies.

    @Gerald Spezio
    I am so with you on the issue of environmentalists with high carbon lifestyles.

    Every high profile environmentalists I know of, from the most liberal reformist to the most radical anarcho-primitivist. From the Sierra club and Green Peace to Deep Green Resistance and Earth First! (The movement of which I am a part) to the ELF, will tell you that personal choice is ineffective so that is why we may as well keep flying and driving because, after all, our work saving the world and getting the message out is so important that we dare not hobble ourselves with a personal low carbon life style.

    Guy seems to subscribe to this as do many other people whom I admire and some close friends and comrades who I both admire and love.

    I CALL BULLSHIT!

    Sorry people, sorry Guy, sorry my friends and comrades in Earth First! and others, but BULLSHIT IS BULLSHIT.

    Am I trying to save the world through personal choice? My arrest record and the bruises I have gotten from the police over the years would tend to argue against that. So what am I saying?

    I am saying that those of us who put ourselves in front of the world as advocates of stopping carbon and methane madness need to stop the madness ourselves. Take a bus, ride a bike, walk, razor scooter. Yes I do all of these and, at 62, I am the healthier for it. I don’t ride the bicycle because I am healthy, I am healthy because i ride the damn bicycle.

    It’s not about our own personal “carbon foot print”, to hell with all those carbon footprint calculators, and a special send off to hell to all that buying of “carbon offsets” by the moneyed “environmentalist” crowd. It’s about putting your life where your mouth is.

    People watch our actions, and if our deeds do not match our creeds we are justifiably labeled as hypocrites and the message we are attempting to send is diluted. It makes zero sense for anyone calling them self an environmentalist to fly when they are not even leaving the continent they are on. You are not going to die because you rode a greyhound with the lumpen proletariat.

    This applies to many other parts of our lives. I am old enough to have grown up without air conditioning and I hate that I have to be subjected to it now during those times when I am forced, by circumstance, to live inside with people who think they need something that did not even exist a short time ago (seemed short to me anyway). Oh, and you really need that electricity sucking, carbon spewing cloths dryer? I think I calculated once that a clothes line does the work of four average solar panels for most families. And it’s very cheap with minimum EROI.

    Granted, we can’t be perfect. We are, like it or not, embedded in industrial civilization. But when the retired oil man in the big white pick up truck roles up to my camp site and derides me for having bicycle tires made of oil, I don’t think that’s an argument most people are going to pay attention to. Figure out your own limits.

    Okay, thanks for the opportunity to vent. I could go on and on with this rant and probably already have. Guy and people on this blog and all of my fellow environmentalists are the best, love you all.

  37. Godofredo Aravena Says:

    I have accepted that NTE is a real possibility . It is to be seen what will really happen.
    I have understood that the events in this scenario will be beyond imagination, and terrible.
    A struggle for survival.
    But nothing can be assured.
    I can also see that there will be somebody in the future that is not us or our direct descendents, that will be asking questions about us. And there will be none of us available to even give our opinion about why, and what went wrong.
    And many things are wrong.
    Selfishness (to an extreme) being to me the most relevant, but not the only one.
    It is up to each one of us to determine what caused this crisis. It is a personal option, based on our very personal judgment. More perceptions will be better that less.
    Our descendents will have to (want to) rebuilt our last 200 years, and specially the last 50, to try to understand how we ended this way, and the most important issue, why knowing the damage that was being done, we continued our path of self destruction?.
    It also up to us to do something about this situation, with the only purpose of doing something for the possible benefit of somebody that we do not know. In any case, answers are much better than the need to suppose to fill the blank.
    How to preserve this answers is an interesting challenge.
    But that we can do something, we can, and maybe a few are able to succeed in the purpose.
    Time will tell.

    My proposal is just so, and invitation.

    To Carolyn Baker
    Carolyn, I value jour efforts, and I support them. Nothing against that. But certainly they are pointing mainly to face in a better way NTE. It is mainly related to today and the near future. Resistance is about that too.
    What I meant was that if I am going to fully understand what Guy McPherson is talking about, we have no way out. And in that case, we have to start thinking in our descendents, whoever they are, and give something to them, that they will not be able to have, that is, some answers.

    To Ilinda
    Selfish is selfish. That is nature, it is “green”. But within some certain limits.
    The point is that being on top of the food chain, and at the same time have intelligence, we have to learn through our intelligence, the limit to our selfishness, so it will not harm or damage beyond repair the rest of the system. That means in a few words, we have to limit our population, we have to learn to live using less energy, and so on. Limits that nobody is open to accept, so far.

    To RE
    What I mean by mainly energy consumers, I mean that animals are also energy consumers, but they later give that energy to other animals as food. We do not do that.
    About future intelligent creatures, that is Philosophy. I believe that we were created. So, if none of us survive, the Creator, whoever it is, will probably create and put on earth another intelligent creature, hoping that this time, they will learn on time to avoid self destruction. About this point we may agree or not, but in any case, it is a discussion beyond the scope of this blog

  38. Brad Vietje Says:

    Godofredo: thanks for your thoughts. Even if you completely missed the central themes of Carolyn Baker’s essays, your words did inspire a good discussion of selfishness, and a few tigers and trolls among us were revealed.

    Your essay seems to be based on a few suppositions:
    1. That some higher power created us, and will do so again once we’re gone;
    2. That some people may survive to carry forth into the future;
    3. That the time span until the Earth is re-populated with human intelligence is very short — a few hundred years.

    I don’t subscribe to the creator mythology, but many do. It certainly looks very unlikely that any humans (or other mammalian life forms) will survive for very long once our food and oxygen supplies peter out. And third, it’s likely that if we reject the creation idea, and rely on natural selection and evolution to produce some form of intelligent life form capable of “reading” the message we leave behind, the time scale we’d be dealing with is not hundreds or thousands of years, but more likely in the tens of millions of years.

    If we could identify “what went wrong”, a huge challenge will be to find a language or set of symbols that could be understood by some potentially very different form of life, and then find some medium with which we could express these notions. 10 Million or more years is pretty short in geologic time, but mighty long on the human scale. We could do something like the graphic message attached to the Voyager spacecraft, showing what and where we are, but getting across complex ideas like what worked and what didn’t seems a really big task.

    Sending something out into the near-vacuum of space is one thing, but inscribing or sculpting a message in platinum, gold, or perhaps glass, and finding a way to protect it for millions of years while insuring that someone/something finds it is a whole ‘nuther issue. Maybe we could place a small satellite in orbit around the Earth in hopes it would stay up there, so we would only have to protect it from solar radiation (and the nuclear radiation that we created on Earth), but there’s a lot of junk floating around up there, and LOTS of meteors and other threats to an orbiting gizmo.

    BTW: the singular of species is species; there is no such thing as a “specie”, which I see far too often on blogs and message boards. ;~)

  39. 18000days Says:

    @Badlands:
    ” “STOP FUCKING HURTING EACH OTHER!” (and that includes ALL RELATIONS)
    If we can’t do that, nothing else matters to me any more.”

    I know what you mean, Badlands, and I’m sure you know what I mean when I suggest that that might be a bit simplistic? This could be the one place in the universe where beings hurt. We might as well have called it: “The Hurting Planet”. Maybe “hurt” is all we’ve got? Ulvfugl mentioned “thou shalt not kill” on the last thread (7.25pm Dec.10th). The fact that the commandment is more or less a technical impossibility doesn’t seem to attract much attention or theological dispute- not that I am, or wish to be, any sort of student of theology. When we eat, something has to die, and afaik, as a process, dying hurts. I would imagine it hurts even more for an organism to be eaten alive. So, it seems that the logic of following that commandment is either: “Eat things that are already dead or starve”, or maybe: “Torture live animals to meet protein requirements”, or: “Get someone else to do your killing.”…??? Our civilisation seems quite adept at following all three interpretations…
    … but whichever way you cut it, no organism since time began has, or could, follow that commandment. Whatever we might think of the (with hindsight) misguided attempts of our civilisation to derive it’s food/clothing/shelter needs from petrochemicals, it was at least an effort to get off the backs of the other critters- exploiting them? The bison, the whales, the sheep and silkworms, the trees, the hemp and flax… Maybe, back in the middle of the 20th century, it was possible to anticipate a future in which no killing would be necessary, in which everything could be synthesised from oil?

    @Godofredo Aravena:
    “Instead of being Doomers or Preppers, we could be “Filers.” ”
    It is nice to preserve useful/beautiful things/skills from the past, as much as that is possible. I reckon it is more auto-therapy than anything else. The chances that some putative future being will appreciate those artifacts are slim. One thing I don’t want to be, and don’t believe is needed, is a sort of “collapse bureaucrat”. The stuff that will survive, in spite of our wishes, will be our testament, and it is fitting that it will be ridiculous things like plastic ducks, toilet bowls, shop mannequins, ugly infrastructure, etc.. and worse. Perhaps we know nothing of ‘sustainable’ cultures that may have existed because, paradoxically, sustainable cultures vanish without leaving a trace of their existence? This compulsion to store data and analyses, or anything else for that matter, is pretty symptomatic of the mindset that got us here in the first place? Book types lament the loss of the library at Alexandria- but maybe there was enough information in there to have cut short, or accelerated to it’s demise, the ‘lifetime’ of our civilisation by decades, or centuries, for better or worse? Even with good intentions, what we leave behind can do more harm than good..

  40. TR Says:

    We mustn’t talk about thing that aren’t politically,socially,culturally
    correct & especially those things that upset my tender sensibilities.
    I refuse to accept that the truth is not always pleasant.

    Well,my mind has wandered & I’m afraid it won’t return.

  41. ulvfugl Says:

    @ 18000days

    Don’t want to speak for Jesus or put words into his mouth, but as far as I know, what he meant was not to kill other people, i.e. the crime of murder, and, in so far as I can make sense of his overall message and strategy, that was part of his radical teaching, in the context of those times, in contrast to what others would have taught, to attack and kill those one hated or one’s enemies.

    Of course, because there is insufficient detail, you could interpret the saying along the lines that you are doing, meaning not to kill ANYTHING, but this does raise difficulties regarding eating to survive.

    Some people have tried to resolve that dilemma by only eating fruits, nuts, etc, that are produced in surplus, but that seems a silly argument to me, ignoring the broader insight that the whole of life is a web of biological food chains transferring energy one one form to another.

    Seems to me the point is, as a responsible sensitive intelligent creature, we should minimise suffering whenever possible. I don’t think that means not killing. It means that if you kill you do so in as kind and humane a manner as is achievable.

    I mean, when a surgeon operates to save someone’s life, this involves considerable damage and harm and pain. I know this from first hand direct experience. But it is all done with the best motives and trying to reduce suffering as far as possible, which is something quite different to being deliberately and sadistic and cruel.

    Seems to me that conflict is now inherent in the human condition. Whether we like or want this is not the point, it can’t be avoided.
    If there are are people determined to kill us, that is the reality.
    What do we do ? Allow ourselves to be murdered or fight back ?

    I think that seeing the Christian injunction, as if it was applicable at all times in all circumstances regardless, is nonsensical. There is the blood-soaked historical record to consider.

    There is a link above to the TPP. The Atlantic version should also be mentioned, which is just as evil. It is quite clear that a bloc of major corporations and other interests have a strategy to dominate the planet, and have conspired to take over control via fascist hegemony.
    This is completely unacceptable, imo, and is a matter of life or death, for millions and millions of humans and non-humans.

    This matter of conflict has been studied in detail for the last three thousand years or so in an unbroken line in the East, so it’s got a fairly sophisticated heritage to draw upon. Possibly the most highly developed of all is that of Aikido, but there’s far too much to cover in a comment here.

    Anyone interested needs to begin with

    http://scienceofstrategy.org/main/content/comparing-english-translations

  42. Paul Hefferon Says:

    This posting reminds me of a great science fiction book that I read many years ago that I highly recommend for anyone. “A Canticle For Leibowitz” by Walter M. Miller, winner of the 1961 Hugo Award for Best Novel and widely considered one of the most accomplished, powerful, and enduring classics of modern speculative fiction.
    A Canticle for Leibowitz opens with the accidental excavation of a holy artifact.
    Free audiobook”:

    http://www.amazon.com/Canticle-Leibowitz-Walter-Miller-Jr/dp/0060892994/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386817624&sr=8-1&keywords=A+canticle+for+leibowitz

  43. Robin Datta Says:

    there is no such thing as a “specie”,

    Sorry about the HTML syntax error.

    Au contraire

    I would imagine it hurts even more for an organism to be eaten alive.

    In most cases, but not always. Some parasites depend on their ova containing larvae or their encysted larvae being eaten alive for the continuation of their life cycles.

    Torture live animals to meet protein requirements

    It is true that animal proteins contain all the essential amino-acids (L3T2PMV: leucine, isoleucine, lysine, threonine, thymine, phenylalanine, methionine and valine) in adequate amounts, and no single source of plant proteins does, combining a variety of plants can provide all of them.

  44. Robin Datta Says:

    This is the comment that NBL ate three times:

    A life with no purpose.

    Not quite so. I fed many mosquitoes in my childhood, adolescence & early adulthood, and provided habitat for intestinal nematodes, and on four occasions for the malarial parasite.

    On a grander scale, from the Big Bang to the Heat Death of the Universe, the entire history of Homo sapiens sapiens (or perhaps Homo callidus paucisapiens) may be insignificant.

    Some have even speculated on the nature of intelligent life in the Universe. The Drake Equation offers a template to estimate the incidence and prevalence of intelligent life in the Universe. Recent discoveries of extrasolar planets and earth like planets has helped refine one of the terms in the equation. But the question of Fermi’s Paradox still stands: why have we not found evidence for intelligent life elsewhere.

    Some of the speculative answers are rather dark and foreboding. From the Wikipedia article on Fermi’s Paradox:

    It is the nature of intelligent life to destroy itself

    “This is the argument that technological civilizations may usually or invariably destroy themselves before or shortly after developing radio or space flight technology. Possible means of annihilation include nuclear war, biological warfare or accidental contamination, climate change, nanotechnological catastrophe, ill-advised physics experiments,[Note 4] a badly programmed super-intelligence, or a Malthusian catastrophe after the deterioration of a planet’s ecosphere. This general theme is explored both in fiction and in mainstream scientific theorizing.[53] Indeed, there are probabilistic arguments which suggest that human extinction may occur sooner rather than later. In 1966 Sagan and Shklovskii speculated that technological civilizations will either tend to destroy themselves within a century of developing interstellar communicative capability or master their self-destructive tendencies and survive for billion-year timescales.[54] Self-annihilation may also be viewed in terms of thermodynamics: insofar as life is an ordered system that can sustain itself against the tendency to disorder, the “external transmission” or interstellar communicative phase may be the point at which the system becomes unstable and self-destructs.[55]

    From a Darwinian perspective, self-destruction would be an ironic outcome of evolutionary success. The evolutionary psychology that developed during the competition for scarce resources over the course of human evolution has left the species subject to aggressive, instinctual drives. These compel humanity to consume resources, extend longevity, and to reproduce—in part, the very motives that led to the development of technological society. It seems likely that intelligent extraterrestrial life would evolve in a similar fashion and thus face the same possibility of self-destruction. And yet, to provide a good answer to Fermi’s Question, self-destruction by technological species (or any sociological explanation) would have to be a near universal occurrence. Otherwise, the few civilizations to which it does not apply would colonize the galaxy.

    This argument does not require the civilization to entirely self-destruct, only to become once again non-technological. In other ways it could persist and even thrive according to evolutionary standards, which postulate producing offspring as the sole goal of life—not “progress”, be it in terms of technology or even intelligence.[56]”

    It is the nature of intelligent life to destroy others

    See also: technological singularity and Von Neumann probe

    Another possibility is that an intelligent species beyond a certain point of technological capability will destroy other intelligence as it appears, as is exemplified by the theorised extermination of Neanderthals by early humans. The idea that something, or someone, is destroying intelligent life in the universe has been well explored in science fiction[Note 5] and scientific literature.[7] A species might undertake such extermination out of expansionist motives, paranoia, or simple aggression. In 1981, cosmologist Edward Harrison argued that such behavior would be an act of prudence: an intelligent species that has overcome its own self-destructive tendencies might view any other species bent on galactic expansion as a kind of virus.[57] It has also been suggested that a successful alien species would be a superpredator, as is Homo sapiens.[58]

    This hypothesis requires at least one civilization to have arisen in the past, and the first civilization would not have faced this problem.[59] However, it could still be that Earth is alone now. Like exploration, the extermination of other civilizations might be carried out with self-replicating spacecraft. Under such a scenario,[Note 5] even if a civilization that created such machines were to disappear, the probes could outlive their creators, destroying civilizations far into the future.

    If true, this argument reduces the number of visible civilizations in two ways—by destroying some civilizations, and forcing others to remain quiet, under fear of discovery (see They choose not to interact with us) so we would see no signs of them. This may also make it impossible for life to evolve in regions of the universe close to a developed civilization, assuring that any new civilizations will start off far away from preexisting ones.”

    To pass on information to future Homo sapiens sapiens would be difficult enough, considering even the “normal” evolution of language, culture and technology. Considering a future version derived from H. sapiens sapiens would complicate things further. And a whole ‘nuther species would make it well-nigh impossible, when we don’t know what it will be like.

    We can speculate that it will have to be of a sufficient body mass and an adequate encephalisation quotient to provide a large brain, and free prehensile appendages to manipulate objects in the environment. To sustain the metabolic needs of a large brain it will need an oxygen transport system comparable to vertebrate haemoglobin and circulation, a gas exchange system based on air (similar to lungs) rather than an aqueous medium (such as gills), and to allow for a high metabolic rate, homeothermy (“warm-blooded-ness).

    The only group filling the bill now is the vertebrate class Mammalia. Birds have, so far, well, “bird brains”. Two and a half pound (over one kilogram) brains would disqualify them from flying, and were probably selected out of their lineage a long time ago. Also their equivalent of our prehensile appendages have been modified into wings.

    Transmitting information over vast stretches of time would involve accurately guessing a lot of characteristics of the recipients.

    A species with eyes sensitive to ultraviolet light as in the case of some insects, will see a different world. Likewise, a species with fifteen light-sensitive pigments in their eyes as in some Mollusca, instead of three as in our eyes, would see a lot more colour. A species that hears in the ultrasound range, as in bats, or in infrasound as in whales, would have have a whole different take on the world of colour. One with the olfaction (ability to smell) of a bloodhound would be able to sniff an entire world of information closed to us, such as what the passerby on the street had for lunch, what brand of shampoo and laundry detergent they use, whether their jacket is real or faux leather, whom they’ve been with, etc.

    Dr. Shirky is a professor in the information technology field, but he has many insights that would also be relevant in a post-technology future:

    The Long Now Foundation: Clay Shirky: Making Digital Durable: What Time Does to Categories: Nov 2005

    Sent from my iPhone

  45. Robin Datta Says:

    A life with no purpose.

    Not quite so. I fed many mosquitoes in my childhood, adolescence & early adulthood, and provided habitat for intestinal nematodes, and on four occasions for the malarial parasite.

    On a grander scale, from the Big Bang to the Heat Death of the Universe, the entire history of Homo sapiens sapiens (or perhaps Homo callidus paucisapiens) may be insignificant.

    Some have even speculated on the nature of intelligent life in the Universe. The Drake Equation offers a template to estimate the incidence and prevalence of intelligent life in the Universe. Recent discoveries of extrasolar planets and earth like planets has helped refine one of the terms in the equation. But the question of Fermi’s Paradox still stands: why have we not found evidence for intelligent life elsewhere.

    Some of the speculative answers are rather dark and foreboding. From the Wikipedia article on Fermi’s Paradox:

    It is the nature of intelligent life to destroy itself

    “This is the argument that technological civilizations may usually or invariably destroy themselves before or shortly after developing radio or space flight technology. Possible means of annihilation include nuclear war, biological warfare or accidental contamination, climate change, nanotechnological catastrophe, ill-advised physics experiments,[Note 4] a badly programmed super-intelligence, or a Malthusian catastrophe after the deterioration of a planet’s ecosphere. This general theme is explored both in fiction and in mainstream scientific theorizing.[53] Indeed, there are probabilistic arguments which suggest that human extinction may occur sooner rather than later. In 1966 Sagan and Shklovskii speculated that technological civilizations will either tend to destroy themselves within a century of developing interstellar communicative capability or master their self-destructive tendencies and survive for billion-year timescales.[54] Self-annihilation may also be viewed in terms of thermodynamics: insofar as life is an ordered system that can sustain itself against the tendency to disorder, the “external transmission” or interstellar communicative phase may be the point at which the system becomes unstable and self-destructs.[55]

    From a Darwinian perspective, self-destruction would be an ironic outcome of evolutionary success. The evolutionary psychology that developed during the competition for scarce resources over the course of human evolution has left the species subject to aggressive, instinctual drives. These compel humanity to consume resources, extend longevity, and to reproduce—in part, the very motives that led to the development of technological society. It seems likely that intelligent extraterrestrial life would evolve in a similar fashion and thus face the same possibility of self-destruction. And yet, to provide a good answer to Fermi’s Question, self-destruction by technological species (or any sociological explanation) would have to be a near universal occurrence. Otherwise, the few civilizations to which it does not apply would colonize the galaxy.

    This argument does not require the civilization to entirely self-destruct, only to become once again non-technological. In other ways it could persist and even thrive according to evolutionary standards, which postulate producing offspring as the sole goal of life—not “progress”, be it in terms of technology or even intelligence.[56]”

    It is the nature of intelligent life to destroy others

    See also: technological singularity and Von Neumann probe

    Another possibility is that an intelligent species beyond a certain point of technological capability will destroy other intelligence as it appears, as is exemplified by the theorised extermination of Neanderthals by early humans. The idea that something, or someone, is destroying intelligent life in the universe has been well explored in science fiction[Note 5] and scientific literature.[7] A species might undertake such extermination out of expansionist motives, paranoia, or simple aggression. In 1981, cosmologist Edward Harrison argued that such behavior would be an act of prudence: an intelligent species that has overcome its own self-destructive tendencies might view any other species bent on galactic expansion as a kind of virus.[57] It has also been suggested that a successful alien species would be a superpredator, as is Homo sapiens.[58]

    This hypothesis requires at least one civilization to have arisen in the past, and the first civilization would not have faced this problem.[59] However, it could still be that Earth is alone now. Like exploration, the extermination of other civilizations might be carried out with self-replicating spacecraft. Under such a scenario,[Note 5] even if a civilization that created such machines were to disappear, the probes could outlive their creators, destroying civilizations far into the future.

    If true, this argument reduces the number of visible civilizations in two ways—by destroying some civilizations, and forcing others to remain quiet, under fear of discovery (see They choose not to interact with us) so we would see no signs of them. This may also make it impossible for life to evolve in regions of the universe close to a developed civilization, assuring that any new civilizations will start off far away from preexisting ones.”

    To pass on information to future Homo sapiens sapiens would be difficult enough, considering even the “normal” evolution of language, culture and technology. Considering a future version derived from H. sapiens sapiens would complicate things further. And a whole ‘nuther species would make it well-nigh impossible, when we don’t know what it will be like.

    We can speculate that it will have to be of a sufficient body mass and an adequate encephalisation quotient to provide a large brain, and free prehensile appendages to manipulate objects in the environment. To sustain the metabolic needs of a large brain it will need an oxygen transport system comparable to vertebrate haemoglobin and circulation, a gas exchange system based on air (similar to lungs) rather than an aqueous medium (such as gills), and to allow for a high metabolic rate, homeothermy (“warm-blooded-ness).

    The only group filling the bill now is the vertebrate class Mammalia. Birds have, so far, well, “bird brains”. Two and a half pound (over one kilogram) brains would disqualify them from flying, and were probably selected out of their lineage a long time ago. Also their equivalent of our prehensile appendages have been modified into wings.

    Transmitting information over vast stretches of time would involve accurately guessing a lot of characteristics of the recipients.

    A species with eyes sensitive to ultraviolet light as in the case of some insects, will see a different world. Likewise, a species with fifteen light-sensitive pigments in their eyes as in some Mollusca, instead of three as in our eyes, would see a lot more colour. A species that hears in the ultrasound range, as in bats, or in infrasound as in whales, would have have a whole different take on the world of colour. One with the olfaction (ability to smell) of a bloodhound would be able to sniff an entire world of information closed to us, such as what the passerby on the street had for lunch, what brand of shampoo and laundry detergent they use, whether their jacket is real or faux leather, whom they’ve been with, etc.

    Dr. Shirky is a professor in the information technology field, but he has many insights that would also be relevant in a post-technology future:

    The Long Now Foundation: Clay Shirky: Making Digital Durable: What Time Does to Categories: Nov 2005

    Sent from my iPhone

  46. Richard Davies Says:

    Lot of anger here. Lot of people afraid of death. Got news for all of you. We all die, NTE or no. All the rest of it is spin and fear. Yelling and demanding things from others will not change the fact of our deaths. I think that making imminent death concrete by way of NTE has forced people to confront their mortality.

    When hanging from a cliff by a branch that is splintering while a tiger paces above, you notice a mountain strawberry. You pluck it and eat it. It is the best thing you’ve ever eaten. That is life. Or should I say, that is being awake enough to enjoy life between the book covers of birth and death.

    Chop wood. Carry water. Do what’s next. Complaining means you are already dead.

  47. Reverse Engineer Says:

    “To RE
    What I mean by mainly energy consumers, I mean that animals are also energy consumers, but they later give that energy to other animals as food. We do not do that.”-GA

    That’s not accurate either.

    First of all, when a Homo Sapiens dies, whatever corporeal remains there are get eaten by other creatures after burial. We get eaten by a variety of worms, insects and bacteria.

    Second, in the case of all animals including HS, your physical remains only represent a tiny part of the energy you consumed through the course of your life. Most of the energy was given off as waste heat while driving a whole bunch of metabolic processes that kept you living. Insects and fish tend to give off less waste heat than birds and mammals, but they do as well.

    “About future intelligent creatures, that is Philosophy. I believe that we were created. So, if none of us survive, the Creator, whoever it is, will probably create and put on earth another intelligent creature, hoping that this time, they will learn on time to avoid self destruction. About this point we may agree or not, but in any case, it is a discussion beyond the scope of this blog”

    Assuming there is a Creator, it would be better to create life on a newer planet around a newer Sun than this one to reboot the Sentience Experiment. Out of the 4B or so years where conditions on the surface of the Earth can support multicellular life forms, we have used over 3B of them already. This has nothing to do with atmospheric conditions, it is due to the life cycle of the Sun, which perpetually is getting hotter and pitching out higher energy radiation. This due to increasing concentration of Helium as a percentage of the mass of the Sun and increasing fusion of Helium over Hydrogen.

    In all likelihood, life and sentience are a one time thing on Earth, though in theory it is possible similar conditions could exist elsewhere in the Universe. That is conjecture though, there is no evidence to support that theory.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kOeItyXjpdQ/UjScTIQIt-I/AAAAAAAAI74/HHb88VZIfGg/s640/VonBloh_biosphere_extinction.png

    On other fronts, a post I made last night here never appeared. It may be in Guy’s SPAM bin. I’ll wait until tomorrow to rewrite it if it does not appear.

    Also, I am publishing a Podcast tonight we did with Gail Zawacki on Tree Death occuring now on a Global scale. You will find it on the Diner Podcast page once I get it up.

    http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/podcasts/

    RE

  48. Robin Datta Says:

    Here’s trying it sans HTML:

    A life with no purpose.

    Not quite so. I fed many mosquitoes in my childhood, adolescence & early adulthood, and provided habitat for intestinal nematodes, and on four occasions for the malarial parasite.

    On a grander scale, from the Big Bang to the Heat Death of the Universe, the entire history of Homo sapiens sapiens (or perhaps Homo callidus paucisapiens) may be insignificant.

    Some have even speculated on the nature of intelligent life in the Universe. The Drake Equation offers a template to estimate the incidence and prevalence of intelligent life in the Universe. Recent discoveries of extrasolar planets and earth like planets has helped refine one of the terms in the equation. But the question of Fermi’s Paradox still stands: why have we not found evidence for intelligent life elsewhere.

    Some of the speculative answers are rather dark and foreboding. From the Wikipedia article on Fermi’s Paradox:

    It is the nature of intelligent life to destroy itself

    “This is the argument that technological civilizations may usually or invariably destroy themselves before or shortly after developing radio or space flight technology. Possible means of annihilation include nuclear war, biological warfare or accidental contamination, climate change, nanotechnological catastrophe, ill-advised physics experiments,[Note 4] a badly programmed super-intelligence, or a Malthusian catastrophe after the deterioration of a planet’s ecosphere. This general theme is explored both in fiction and in mainstream scientific theorizing.[53] Indeed, there are probabilistic arguments which suggest that human extinction may occur sooner rather than later. In 1966 Sagan and Shklovskii speculated that technological civilizations will either tend to destroy themselves within a century of developing interstellar communicative capability or master their self-destructive tendencies and survive for billion-year timescales.[54] Self-annihilation may also be viewed in terms of thermodynamics: insofar as life is an ordered system that can sustain itself against the tendency to disorder, the “external transmission” or interstellar communicative phase may be the point at which the system becomes unstable and self-destructs.[55]

    From a Darwinian perspective, self-destruction would be an ironic outcome of evolutionary success. The evolutionary psychology that developed during the competition for scarce resources over the course of human evolution has left the species subject to aggressive, instinctual drives. These compel humanity to consume resources, extend longevity, and to reproduce—in part, the very motives that led to the development of technological society. It seems likely that intelligent extraterrestrial life would evolve in a similar fashion and thus face the same possibility of self-destruction. And yet, to provide a good answer to Fermi’s Question, self-destruction by technological species (or any sociological explanation) would have to be a near universal occurrence. Otherwise, the few civilizations to which it does not apply would colonize the galaxy.

    This argument does not require the civilization to entirely self-destruct, only to become once again non-technological. In other ways it could persist and even thrive according to evolutionary standards, which postulate producing offspring as the sole goal of life—not “progress”, be it in terms of technology or even intelligence.[56]”

    It is the nature of intelligent life to destroy others

    See also: technological singularity and Von Neumann probe

    Another possibility is that an intelligent species beyond a certain point of technological capability will destroy other intelligence as it appears, as is exemplified by the theorised extermination of Neanderthals by early humans. The idea that something, or someone, is destroying intelligent life in the universe has been well explored in science fiction[Note 5] and scientific literature.[7] A species might undertake such extermination out of expansionist motives, paranoia, or simple aggression. In 1981, cosmologist Edward Harrison argued that such behavior would be an act of prudence: an intelligent species that has overcome its own self-destructive tendencies might view any other species bent on galactic expansion as a kind of virus.[57] It has also been suggested that a successful alien species would be a superpredator, as is Homo sapiens.[58]

    This hypothesis requires at least one civilization to have arisen in the past, and the first civilization would not have faced this problem.[59] However, it could still be that Earth is alone now. Like exploration, the extermination of other civilizations might be carried out with self-replicating spacecraft. Under such a scenario,[Note 5] even if a civilization that created such machines were to disappear, the probes could outlive their creators, destroying civilizations far into the future.

    If true, this argument reduces the number of visible civilizations in two ways—by destroying some civilizations, and forcing others to remain quiet, under fear of discovery (see They choose not to interact with us) so we would see no signs of them. This may also make it impossible for life to evolve in regions of the universe close to a developed civilization, assuring that any new civilizations will start off far away from preexisting ones.”

    To pass on information to future Homo sapiens sapiens would be difficult enough, considering even the “normal” evolution of language, culture and technology. Considering a future version derived from H. sapiens sapiens would complicate things further. And a whole ‘nuther species would make it well-nigh impossible, when we don’t know what it will be like.

    We can speculate that it will have to be of a sufficient body mass and an adequate encephalisation quotient to provide a large brain, and free prehensile appendages to manipulate objects in the environment. To sustain the metabolic needs of a large brain it will need an oxygen transport system comparable to vertebrate haemoglobin and circulation, a gas exchange system based on air (similar to lungs) rather than an aqueous medium (such as gills), and to allow for a high metabolic rate, homeothermy (“warm-blooded-ness).

    The only group filling the bill now is the vertebrate class Mammalia. Birds have, so far, well, “bird brains”. Two and a half pound (over one kilogram) brains would disqualify them from flying, and were probably selected out of their lineage a long time ago. Also their equivalent of our prehensile appendages have been modified into wings.

    Transmitting information over vast stretches of time would involve accurately guessing a lot of characteristics of the recipients.

    A species with eyes sensitive to ultraviolet light as in the case of some insects, will see a different world. Likewise, a species with fifteen light-sensitive pigments in their eyes as in some Mollusca, instead of three as in our eyes, would see a lot more colour. A species that hears in the ultrasound range, as in bats, or in infrasound as in whales, would have have a whole different take on the world of colour. One with the olfaction (ability to smell) of a bloodhound would be able to sniff an entire world of information closed to us, such as what the passerby on the street had for lunch, what brand of shampoo and laundry detergent they use, whether their jacket is real or faux leather, whom they’ve been with, etc.

    Dr. Shirky is a professor in the information technology field, but he has many insights that would also be relevant in a post-technology future:

    The Long Now Foundation: Clay Shirky: Making Digital Durable: What Time Does to Categories: Nov 2005

    http://longnow.org/seminars/02005/nov/14/making-digital-durable-what-time-does-to-categories/

    Sent from my iPhone

  49. Robin Datta Says:

    A life with no purpose.

    Not quite so. I fed many mosquitoes in my childhood, adolescence & early adulthood, and provided habitat for intestinal nematodes, and on four occasions for the malarial parasite.

    On a grander scale, from the Big Bang to the Heat Death of the Universe, the entire history of Homo sapiens sapiens (or perhaps Homo callidus paucisapiens) may be insignificant.

    Some have even speculated on the nature of intelligent life in the Universe. The Drake Equation offers a template to estimate the incidence and prevalence of intelligent life in the Universe. Recent discoveries of extrasolar planets and earth like planets has helped refine one of the terms in the equation. But the question of Fermi’s Paradox still stands: why have we not found evidence for intelligent life elsewhere.

    Some of the speculative answers are rather dark and foreboding. From the Wikipedia article on Fermi’s Paradox:

    It is the nature of intelligent life to destroy itself

    “This is the argument that technological civilizations may usually or invariably destroy themselves before or shortly after developing radio or space flight technology. Possible means of annihilation include nuclear war, biological warfare or accidental contamination, climate change, nanotechnological catastrophe, ill-advised physics experiments,[Note 4] a badly programmed super-intelligence, or a Malthusian catastrophe after the deterioration of a planet’s ecosphere. This general theme is explored both in fiction and in mainstream scientific theorizing.[53] Indeed, there are probabilistic arguments which suggest that human extinction may occur sooner rather than later. In 1966 Sagan and Shklovskii speculated that technological civilizations will either tend to destroy themselves within a century of developing interstellar communicative capability or master their self-destructive tendencies and survive for billion-year timescales.[54] Self-annihilation may also be viewed in terms of thermodynamics: insofar as life is an ordered system that can sustain itself against the tendency to disorder, the “external transmission” or interstellar communicative phase may be the point at which the system becomes unstable and self-destructs.[55]

    From a Darwinian perspective, self-destruction would be an ironic outcome of evolutionary success. The evolutionary psychology that developed during the competition for scarce resources over the course of human evolution has left the species subject to aggressive, instinctual drives. These compel humanity to consume resources, extend longevity, and to reproduce—in part, the very motives that led to the development of technological society. It seems likely that intelligent extraterrestrial life would evolve in a similar fashion and thus face the same possibility of self-destruction. And yet, to provide a good answer to Fermi’s Question, self-destruction by technological species (or any sociological explanation) would have to be a near universal occurrence. Otherwise, the few civilizations to which it does not apply would colonize the galaxy.

    This argument does not require the civilization to entirely self-destruct, only to become once again non-technological. In other ways it could persist and even thrive according to evolutionary standards, which postulate producing offspring as the sole goal of life—not “progress”, be it in terms of technology or even intelligence.[56]”

    It is the nature of intelligent life to destroy others

    See also: technological singularity and Von Neumann probe

    Another possibility is that an intelligent species beyond a certain point of technological capability will destroy other intelligence as it appears, as is exemplified by the theorised extermination of Neanderthals by early humans. The idea that something, or someone, is destroying intelligent life in the universe has been well explored in science fiction[Note 5] and scientific literature.[7] A species might undertake such extermination out of expansionist motives, paranoia, or simple aggression. In 1981, cosmologist Edward Harrison argued that such behavior would be an act of prudence: an intelligent species that has overcome its own self-destructive tendencies might view any other species bent on galactic expansion as a kind of virus.[57] It has also been suggested that a successful alien species would be a superpredator, as is Homo sapiens.[58]

    This hypothesis requires at least one civilization to have arisen in the past, and the first civilization would not have faced this problem.[59] However, it could still be that Earth is alone now. Like exploration, the extermination of other civilizations might be carried out with self-replicating spacecraft. Under such a scenario,[Note 5] even if a civilization that created such machines were to disappear, the probes could outlive their creators, destroying civilizations far into the future.

    If true, this argument reduces the number of visible civilizations in two ways—by destroying some civilizations, and forcing others to remain quiet, under fear of discovery (see They choose not to interact with us) so we would see no signs of them. This may also make it impossible for life to evolve in regions of the universe close to a developed civilization, assuring that any new civilizations will start off far away from preexisting ones.”

    To pass on information to future Homo sapiens sapiens would be difficult enough, considering even the “normal” evolution of language, culture and technology. Considering a future version derived from H. sapiens sapiens would complicate things further. And a whole ‘nuther species would make it well-nigh impossible, when we don’t know what it will be like.

    We can speculate that it will have to be of a sufficient body mass and an adequate encephalisation quotient to provide a large brain, and free prehensile appendages to manipulate objects in the environment. To sustain the metabolic needs of a large brain it will need an oxygen transport system comparable to vertebrate haemoglobin and circulation, a gas exchange system based on air (similar to lungs) rather than an aqueous medium (such as gills), and to allow for a high metabolic rate, homeothermy (“warm-blooded-ness).

    The only group filling the bill now is the vertebrate class Mammalia. Birds have, so far, well, “bird brains”. Two and a half pound (over one kilogram) brains would disqualify them from flying, and were probably selected out of their lineage a long time ago. Also their equivalent of our prehensile appendages have been modified into wings.

    Transmitting information over vast stretches of time would involve accurately guessing a lot of characteristics of the recipients.

    A species with eyes sensitive to ultraviolet light as in the case of some insects, will see a different world. Likewise, a species with fifteen light-sensitive pigments in their eyes as in some Mollusca, instead of three as in our eyes, would see a lot more colour. A species that hears in the ultrasound range, as in bats, or in infrasound as in whales, would have have a whole different take on the world of colour. One with the olfaction (ability to smell) of a bloodhound would be able to sniff an entire world of information closed to us, such as what the passerby on the street had for lunch, what brand of shampoo and laundry detergent they use, whether their jacket is real or faux leather, whom they’ve been with, etc.

    Dr. Shirky is a professor in the information technology field, but he has many insights that would also be relevant in a post-technology future:

    The Long Now Foundation: Clay Shirky: Making Digital Durable: What Time Does to Categories: Nov 2005

    Sent from my iPhone

  50. Tony Says:

    RE,

    I agree with most of your comment. Here is a great post by David Cohen which addresses the low likelihood of other sentient beings in the earth’s future and even in the universe.

    However, I’m not so sure that the Yellowstone super-volcano (now thought to be 2.5 times the original estimate of size) is 200K years overdue. As I understand it, we only have two inter-eruption periods to go by, so very little can be said about when the next one is due (i.e. prediction with two data points is fraught with error). But the two intervals are about 700K years, with the last eruption occurring a bit less than 700K years ago. So it could certainly happen any time but I don’t think we can say it’s overdue. Asteroid strikes, though, are certain to be in earth’s future.

    Godofredo,

    Of course human bodies provide food for other creatures. They may try to avoid that but, in the end, it is inevitable. What do you think happens to your ashes or your remains? They don’t just disappear.

  51. dairymandave Says:

    @ Jesse Shultz: Do you also grow all your own food without the aid of fossil fuels? Locally grown organic food also uses plenty of fossil fuels. Can’t eat that either. Do you recycle all of your waste…to grow your own food…using only your own labor?

    I am a hypocrite big ag type farmer and I keep going because if all of us stopped…we wouldn’t need to wait for the ice to melt. Do you recommend that we all stop?

  52. Godofredo Aravena Says:

    From 1971, Marvin Gaye
    Remarkable

  53. Bob S. Says:

    We’re doomed. I just don’t have enough time or money to convince 7 billion folks to do it my way.

    lol.

  54. Timothy Says:

    @ Carolyn Baker

    “So let’s live with purpose, passion, resistance, and hold alongside the probability of NTE, creating beauty, inflicting joy on ourselves and others, and functioning with vitality, compassion, and gratitude for being alive on this planet at this time. To hold those opposites is the hardest work on earth—and hardly “peaceful.””

    I am saving this one. It makes sense whether we face NTE or not. Excellent advise Carolyn, and I have to pick up a couple of your books here as soon as I have open resources. You’re about the only peak author I haven’t read outside of the internet.

  55. ulvfugl Says:

    @ mt

    You say

    I’m just guessing. I really don’t know.

    So how can you say

    These practices of drugging or intense thinking are nothing more than projections and interpolations of this level. One cannot know a new dimension while being in the previous state. If these things are enjoyable to you, by all means, continue. You might even think they’re doing you good, perhaps they are doing good. They are NOT opening a window to some new ‘beingness’. You might believe they are expanding your “awareness” or your “consciousness” . That is your brain doing what it does. etc

    Because you obviously do not know.

    Life is strange.

    Yes.

  56. 18000days Says:

    @Ulvfugl:
    I wasn’t having a dig at you when I drew attention to your post- I just mentioned it because it was fresh in my memory, and “thou shalt not kill” was useful to say whatever I was trying to say.

    “I think that seeing the Christian injunction, as if it was applicable at all times in all circumstances regardless, is nonsensical.”

    That is indisputable, but it begs the question of exactly where it is supposed to be applicable? It obviously has an intended context, but it is issued as a ‘commandment’ which implies that it transcends context. I know the bible has been translated in accordance with the prejudices of the translators. This feeds into the subject of Godofredo’s ‘enterprise’, if that is the right word. If the word ‘kill’ can cause confusion in a four-word four-syllable commandment issued a couple of millennia ago with no species barrier to negotiate, what are the chances of any future being successfully interpreting anything left behind by us?

    The simplest of words can change their meaning over a few hundred years even within one culture. I remember reading an Ivan Illich essay in which he showed how use of the word ‘speed’ had changed, and how our present meaning would be incomprehensible to earlier generations.

    My question marks are mostly rhetorical, btw, and not intended to suggest to anyone in particular that “I think you think this, and am questioning it”.

  57. Grant Schreiber Says:

    R. Davies: “Complaining means you’re already dead,” he whined.

    Talk about missing the point, only seeing what you want to see and then not understanding that. No one here is afraid to die. Being pissed off about being murdered along with the rest of the planet is not giving up, it’s being pissed off. Carry water? I pass water on your flaccid reasoning.

    So cold down here, and it’s warm in Alaska. Something appears to have gone wrong….

  58. Henry Says:

    just a quick post to follow Godofredo’s great essay (and I’m glad Carolyn jumped in with her corrections — it illustrates/ provoked part of my thought that follows, and asks us to open our minds to the greatest extent we can.)

    In our discussions here, we do go round and round, but for many good reasons, as there is no exact, “correct” answer to all we are dealing with, and we are, yes, the 1% of the 1% who are thinking about this almost daily (and probably will the rest of our lives, as it BECOMES the rest of our lives.)

    Where we will all be when the others realize, and panic, I do not know, but I hope our tempering here helps us to prepare for that moment.

    Nearly all topics are relevant, because it really is about the “end” of all human perceptions of this life on Earth as we’ve known it, and the beginning of something else, seen only in flashes of horror, like WWII and the Holocaust.

    (Digression, before I forget: Caught the 2nd half of “Titanic” on a hotel TV, and was spellbound with all the parallels the film and event hold for us now. Watch it and try not to think about NTE, if you can.)

    I’ve thought that our discussions here were like the famous six blind men describing the elephant, each from our own life experience viewpoint, and each description adding to the knowledge of the others, if we only can admit that we each are blind in many ways, and must listen to others, if only to catch those last rays of knowledge, before they extinguish.

    Now, I realize another analogy applies: We are like the amputee, who still feels the “tingle” or the itch from the missing limb. The missing limb is our future, which we always took for granted before, never quite having to think about it very seriously, because it was always there.

    Even people not taking their own future very seriously, their health, finances, relationships, could always assume the future of their children could at least compensate for their own shortcomings.

    Now we are missing that limb. Or, maybe, to refine this a bit, we are a pre-amputee anticipating that surgery, and wondering how we will live without that limb.

    Each of us so different, had different viewpoints of the future. Maybe one a ballet dancer, the other a golfer, another just a backyard barbecuer, wondering how they’ll get on without that leg.

    (Some of these thoughts prompted by Brian Willson’s interview with Amy on Democracy Now, about how he woke up in the hospital with no legs, after trying to stop a munitions train destined for killings in Central America.)

    If we were a whole troupe of dancers, now told we must function on one or no legs, our emotions and comments would run the gamut of attitudes, memories, bitterness, sympathies, every possible thing.

    That is the range of what we are dealing with here, and there is no summing it up in one correct formula, for each of us senses that loss in our individual way.

    That’s all for now…

  59. pat Says:

    Yes, the debate continues – the “No Nukes” crowd shows up in their BMWs and SUVs and stands on the steps of the Capitol with their “No Nukes” signs and then they drive home to their big houses and their big electric bills and their blah, blah, blah.

  60. Andres Jimenez Says:

    It depends on what part of Alaska. Here’s the forecast for Fairbanks. I think that’s pretty fucking cold.

    Friday: High -12, Low -14

    Saturday: High -4, Low -10

    Sunday: High -10, Low -27

    Monday: High -28, Low -30

    The floods in Colorado were touted by Tom at the time as being indicative of AGW-induced climate change, but Tom’s fallen silent about the record cold for this time of year that Colorado recently experienced. I say neither is indicative of AGW-indiced climate change, so I’m not going to cherry pick this recent cold weather in the U.S. as evidence contrary to AGW, but the AGW crowd will pick and choose weather related events such as the recent floods in Colorado and ascribe those fickle picks to AGW-induced climate change. That’s dishonest and disingenuous, but it’s come to be expected.

  61. ulvfugl Says:

    @ Andres Jimenez

    I say neither is indicative of AGW-indiced (sic) climate change,

    But there is a scientific theory to explain why these extreme events are to be expected and why they happened.

    All you have is your own uniformed ignorance. Typical troll.

    Unless you dispute the Rossby theory ? Do you have some grounds to do that ? If so, let’s hear them.

  62. pat Says:

    Yes, the debate continues… The “No Nukes” crowd shows up, driving their BMWs, SUVs, and, of course, the latest Prius models. They stand on the steps of the Capitol with their “No Nukes” signs and then drive home to their big houses, big electric bills, and reusable grocery bags.

    A future archaeologists will maybe find a big SUV deep in the ground with the backseat full of reusable grocery bags and he/she/it may wonder what was the point of it all?

    The “point” will be interpreted within their own unique context of Existence and Meaning and most likely will have little correlation to our own.

    Anyway, in a world where 15% of the people use 80% of the resources, there can be no justice. Most of the people on Earth pretty much live in poverty – and their only crime is having children.

    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    Thou shalt not procreate.

    The Church of Euthanasia
    Save the planet, kill yourself.

  63. Andres Jimenez Says:

    But there is a scientific theory to explain why these extreme events are to be expected and why they happened.

    All you have is your own uniformed ignorance.

    Are you that daft to believe there aren’t equally valid and compelling “scientific” theories that claim climate change, and any resultant severe and/or catastrophic weather events, is/are caused mostly by non-anthropogenic sources/processes? Unlike you, I’ve been where you are and now I’m not. Why am I not where you are anymore? Because I did the hard work of challenging my bias, my prejudice and my ego. I suggest you do the same, if you can, which is highly doubtful this late in your game. But it’s worth a shot. Try to pass from this mortal coil with a clean conscience. You have nothing to lose and your integrity to gain, so go for it.

  64. ulvfugl Says:

    @ A. Jimenez

    Are you that daft to believe there aren’t equally valid and compelling “scientific” theories.. blah

    There are not. NONE. Only someone uneducated and scientifically illiterate would make such a foolish statement. Or someone who is a troll, either for ideological or financial reasons.

    Unfortunately, I have already exceeded the two post quota, but if you wish, you are welcome to put forward what you believe to be ‘equally valid and compelling’ theories and I shall enjoy demolishing them for you.

  65. Badlands Says:

    @18000days I know what you mean, Badlands, and I’m sure you know what I mean when I suggest that that might be a bit simplistic? (in reply to ‘STOP FUCKING HURTING EACH OTHER!’)

    Yes, exactly right, 18000days. It is very simple, and you appear to be picking nits and turning it into something complex when it isn’t. You and everyone else knows good and well exactly what I mean by not hurting each other. I mean grown men have to stop raping three year old babies, etc. It’s all about choices. Of course we could get into a discussion of moral relativism and all other manner of bullshit, but I refuse. Most of the harm perpetrated by mankind is superfluous and displays lack of any self-awareness or self-control. Yes, we are animals. But, no, we don’t eat our young.

    Grant has a good point that for all our talk, we won’t know how we’ll act/react when societal collapse and hard times come. But if you don’t have some idea what kind of person you are, you may want to hammer that out now so that when you ‘get the call’, you make decent choices, even if the options are all bad. Hashing it out here helps, or even better, put yourself to some tests- go hungry, go a day without water, sleep outside in the cold, push yourself to your physical limits and beyond- hey, many people go through all this and worse every day.

    I don’t know, get creative. I’ve been fortunate to experience enough of the darker side of life, hardship, and human nature that I know exactly what kind of person I am. Do I know what choices I am going to come up against? No. But every choice made in favor of good or least suffering, a person strengthens their humanity and the possibility to act in favor of good in the future. There is always the choice to devolve into viciousness, but its not the only option, even if we are hurting, hungry, and cold. Surprise yourself with outrageous acts of grace and kindness rather than depravity. Be good! (Ok, done mumbling to myself over here…)

  66. Joan M. Says:

    pat, I looked up the Voluntary Human Extinction Group and found a fairly comprehensive chart on the Biology and Breeding page labeled “Why Breed?”

    Why Breed?

    The real reasons for reproducing are listed, such as conformity, egotism, etc., but I noticed two were missing:

    1. Women’s excuse to escape a career that they’ve grown tired of.
    2. A shortcut method to finding “meaning” and “purpose” without
    original effort or thinking.

    It amazes me still that so many people who claim to care about the environment insist on ignoring the overpopulation issue.

  67. pat Says:

    @ Joan:

    The issues are all inter-related. Guy has made the point very well that cheap energy fueled the expansion of industrial civilization and gave us widespread overpopulation. Yes, there are more than a few additional nuances, such as economics, politics, religion, etc., and then the eternal question of how it could have ever been otherwise that we would breed ourselves to death like a bunch of fruit flies in a jar.

    However, the 15% of the population that consumes 80% of the resources will realize that the time for honoring themselves will soon be at an end. The only question is “when?”

    I have gambled everything on SOON, but, I’m afraid it won’t be soon enough for me to see it.

    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    Thou shalt not procreate.

    The Church of Euthanasia
    Save the planet, kill yourself.

  68. Day Brown Says:

    Nazis built a 20 ton seaplane out of wood. No tarmac at the time could have taken the load. But such could land on a Greenland or high Arctic fjord to wait out methane thermal runaway with perhaps a few hundred and the frozen zygotes and sperm to rebuild sustainable genetic diversity.

    But to prevent another dark age, a far better solution would be the SS United states (http://www.ssusc.org/) which could carry a few thousand- with the vast array of skillsets needed to rebuild modern culture.

    However, it needs to be retrofitted with a Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR), which would power the ship for 30 years as well as provide the HP needed to cross the tropics in 72 hours on the way to the Antarctic if need be. This is not a cruise ship, but the fastest liner ever built; LFTR powered, it’d do 50 mph, able to outrun any megastorm as well as handle the seas such storms produce.

    A ship could also carry the materials needed to build a LFTR power plant on shore to enable agriculture under controlled conditions. Like in ice caves if atmospheric conditions are too severe.

  69. mike k Says:

    @Badlands – Good points you make. Ethics, spirituality, etc. is a lot simpler than we pretend to believe. I once studied with a teacher from India, whose students kept clamoring for him to give them some ethical guidelines, and he continually refused. After years of constant entreaties, he finally relented. He said, “Just don’t do anything you know to be wrong.” Most of us know more than we are willing to admit – or practice. I like the idea behind the book Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Don’t hurt others, share, tell the truth, etc….

  70. EtyerePetyere Says:

    “The future is uncertain and the end is always near “-The End …. The Doors . http://disinfo.com/2013/12/bye-bye-darwin-hidden-rhythm-evolution/ things are not always what they seem

  71. mass Says:

    More and more people feel the unease,

  72. _mass_ Says:

    Very cogent video, must see! (I don’t know why my old comment is showing above)

  73. Reverse Engineer Says:

    “To RE
    What I mean by mainly energy consumers, I mean that animals are also energy consumers, but they later give that energy to other animals as food. We do not do that.”-GA

    That’s not accurate either.

    First of all, when a Homo Sapiens dies, whatever corporeal remains there are get eaten by other creatures after burial. We get eaten by a variety of worms, insects and bacteria.

    Second, in the case of all animals including HS, your physical remains only represent a tiny part of the energy you consumed through the course of your life. Most of the energy was given off as waste heat while driving a whole bunch of metabolic processes that kept you living. Insects and fish tend to give off less waste heat than birds and mammals, but they do as well.

    “About future intelligent creatures, that is Philosophy. I believe that we were created. So, if none of us survive, the Creator, whoever it is, will probably create and put on earth another intelligent creature, hoping that this time, they will learn on time to avoid self destruction. About this point we may agree or not, but in any case, it is a discussion beyond the scope of this blog”

    Assuming there is a Creator, it would be better to create life on a newer planet around a newer Sun than this one to reboot the Sentience Experiment. Out of the 4B or so years where conditions on the surface of the Earth can support multicellular life forms, we have used over 3B of them already. This has nothing to do with atmospheric conditions, it is due to the life cycle of the Sun, which perpetually is getting hotter and pitching out higher energy radiation. This due to increasing concentration of Helium as a percentage of the mass of the Sun and increasing fusion of Helium over Hydrogen.

    In all likelihood, life and sentience are a one time thing on Earth, though in theory it is possible similar conditions could exist elsewhere in the Universe. That is conjecture though, there is no evidence to support that theory.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kOeItyXjpdQ/UjScTIQIt-I/AAAAAAAAI74/HHb88VZIfGg/s640/VonBloh_biosphere_extinction.png

    On other fronts, a post I made two nights ago never appeared. This one also did not appear. They may be in Guy’s SPAM bin. I’ll wait until tomorrow to rewrite the first one if it does not appear.

    Also, I am published a Podcast we did with Gail Zawacki on Tree Death occuring now on a Global scale. You will find it on the Diner Podcast page at

    http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/podcasts/

    RE

  74. logspirit Says:

    @ PMB
    Thanks for acknowledging my posts on homelessness. If we don’t summon compassion now, then we never will. Be kind in this moment, soon the grand mainspring will be all unwound, there will be no more ticking of our clock. And the sunsets will bleed in the sky long after all the cars have rusted away.

  75. Artleads Says:

    “Very cogent video, must see! (I don’t know why my old comment is showing above)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZo1sXsC-68

    I agree, Mass.

    “Expose the TPP

    http://www.exposethetpp.org/

    I signed the petition.

    A great paradox is the likelihood that an unprecedented step in human evolution could have us being not at all pure and illuminated (or floating on air); but have us merely not favor our cruel and demonic impulses over kind and cooperative ones. Nothing so special. Just better behavior.

  76. Pilot Says:

    I’ve been checking the CO2 count daily from the Mona Loa observatory. As you all know, we briefly crossed the 400/ppm threshold this spring. With the summer over in the Northern Hemisphere, CO2 is now rising again. I was shocked to see that in just the last 24 hours, CO2 jumped from 396.06ppm to 396.48ppm…. that’s a .42ppm jump in ONE day! Obviously this number will fluctuate and may trend downward and then up again. Still, I am amazed to see such a jump in a 24 hour period. The website by the way… should you care to track it is….

    http://www.keelingcurve.ucsd.edu

    Pilot

  77. Pilot Says:

    Okay… so if you click on the link it doesn’t work. But if you enter the SAME exact link… keelingcurve.ucsd.edu on the web browser, it will take you to the page. Go figure….

  78. ulvfugl Says:

    @ Andres Jimenez

    I asked you Who do you think the good guys are ?

    and you replied

    Life has taught me there are no “good” guys. “Good” by who’s standards? “Good” is highly subjective and as such the definition of it varies from person to person. Some people believe Mandela was a saint while McVeigh was a monster. Others believe McVeigh was a hero and martyr while Mandela was a cunning and deceptive terrorist who sought political power and status. It’s all so confusing until you accept there are no good guys and bad guys, but rather there just is and you deal with that is with as open a mind as possible without your brains falling out or being blasted out.
    In the meantime, I’m taking Godofredo’s advice from the other thread and having more children. We already have five, but I think we’ll add at least one or two more before my wife turns 50. I want as many souls to enjoy life while they can. That’s the most anyone can do ever at any time. More loving people means more love is generated and spread. So, it’s time to get busy being fruitful, and it’s a fun process, especially if you have a hot wife like I do. Momma’s got a squeeze box and this daddy never sleeps at night.

    Taking that, and your remarks re the weather and attacks upon Tom, imo, you are trolling and I don’t believe any of it.

    It’s all so confusing until you accept there are no good guys and bad guys, but rather there just is and you deal with that..

    That’s only the case if you are too stupid to use your brain and to think and arrive at a position. If someone tortures a helpless little child, it could be YOUR little child, rapes them, murders them, then other people assist that person and cover up the act, you are saying, they are not bad guys, it just is, so just shrug and accept and no problem get on with life.

    It’s quite obvious you do have a position because you have been criticising other people’s positions, which was why I challenged you and asked you the question. But, of course, when it comes to it, you have no authentic stance, so you evade the issue with a load of bullshit. Troll.

    @ 18000days

    I didn’t think you were having a dig, sorry if my response conveyed that sense :-) Just an excuse for a rant. Yes, the ambiguity of language is terrible. You go through the etymology of english words, amazing how many once used to mean the exact opposite of what they now mean. Biblical hermeneutics is a nightmare.

    All we can do here is TRY to make ourselves understood and TRY to communicate, and if it works 50% of the time, I suppose we’re doing quite well. :-)

    Here’s some good writing to cheer everyone up…

    http://samkriss.wordpress.com/

    @ mike k

    In the Sixties, after spending a couple of weeks alone deep in the Hawaiian forest, I was sitting by a stream, and a dragonfly spoke to me. She/he said, “We creatures of the forest sense that something terrible is happening that is changing our world in a bad way. We sense that you humans are doing this, but we have been unable to speak to them because they are not telepathically attuned. You seem able to understand me, however. Would you be our voice and go to your kind and tell them to please stop destroying our world?” To my subsequent shame, I answered that I would do so.
    As I began exploring how I could fulfill my promise, the overwhelming difficulty of this mission became more and more evident to me. Those who I wished to awaken to what they were doing were not only incapable of hearing the voices of Nature imploring and warning them, they could not hear my feeble attempts to make a difference either. In fact most were not only indifferent, but hostile to my ideas.
    After many years of further study and contemplation, I have come to the conclusion that the only hope for all beings on this planet is a profound change of consciousness on the part of a large number of people. Of course this opens a very large can of worms (symbolic of the neural snarls in the brains of our demented population). I am all too aware, as anyone who tries to deprogram another’s errant operating system will learn, that resistance to new and uncomfortable ideas is endemic to the “well adjusted”.
    Given this current stubbornly closed addictive system prevailing in the general population, what is to be done? To try to approach this with a direct rational methodology will not be effective. We need to find a way to trick people to be good. Sort of like Edward Bernays realizing that the unconscious was the royal road of changing behavior. Of course a lot more needs to be developed for this approach to bear fruit; I’m working on it…

    I know exactly what you mean, mike, and it is a very interesting and a very demanding question to contemplate. One of the reasons I arrived here.

    Nothing has worked. Nothing is working.

    Solving the practical problems is relatively easy. We already know what we need to know.
    The problem lies with people. They do not want to do it. They want other things, and so we get this catastrophe, both for them and the dragonflies, and for everything else.

    Imo, doesn’t matter whether you agree with DGR ideas or not, people have tried, are trying, will try, many different strategies and tactics. What needs to happen is that ideas are circulated and that we are informed, and anything that works will be adopted and adapted and applied. The Occupy idea of the 1% and the 99% is basic Bernays type marketing that spread virally, as did Alan Moore’s V mask.

    I know neither are relevant to the dragonflies. I do not know what we can do. If I knew I’d have done it. I already did everything I knew how to do… Every now and then there are dramatic shifts in the battlefield, like the fall of the Berlin Wall, like 9/11, like Snowden, that change
    the geopolitics, but the ecological picture constantly deteriorates…

    As you know, I believe the mass extinction event is inevitable. This message is unmarketable. Politically, as a rally call, it’s a non-starter. I know this.

    Pretending I DON’T believe that, okay, build the new that we want to see. Just ignore all the shit, don’t waste energy fighting ignorant old idiots, just build the new world that you want.

    Of course, as soon as you do, they try to stop you… so you have to fight whether you want to or not. So, fight, using skillful means. Out manouvre, out flank, be faster, be smarter, be more flexible.

    Everything they have is built on lies and deceit, violence and theft, and intended to maintain their insane lust for wealth and power. That’s the most stupid goal imaginable, considering the situation we are all in.

    They are going to fail. Inevitably. Eventually. But the longer this system lasts the more ruined the world gets… Sigh..

  79. PMB Says:

    @logspirit

    You are very welcome. They are human beings as am I and deserve decency and respect from others.

    I wish others would respond or acknowledge at my sharing of what it is like to have survived the plague of the 80′s. Seems every time I share the horrors of those days people just look down or away as if I’m making them uncomfortable. Yet, what do they have to be uncomfortable about? Isn’t one of the favorite topics on the beach of doom population reduction. Don’t they want to know what it’s really going to be like?

    Don’t we really want to talk about these issues from the perspective of reality or do we prefer to make this another app or video game where the dead just get up and walk once the game is over? It doesn’t work that way. Just ask a dolphin or a star fish or a moose, etc, etc, etc.

    For any readers out there in NBL land read Sarah Schulman’s Gentrification of the Mind for a hard look at what New York City was like during the 80′s. Prepare yourself for how rapidly the winners rewrite history.

    Watching and reading about all the death of the sea species over the last few weeks has been heart wrenching. These other inhabitants of the planet are bearing the brunt of our “creativity” and people think we still need to breed while these creatures go extinct before our very eyes.

    @Thom Foote

    For you and other permaculturists who read this site. White Wolf wrote a piece that addresses aspects of permaculture design not ordinarily spoken about by permaculture teachers during PDC courses or by others after they have taken a course. I was an early supporter of the concept and still think it has much to offer. The concept unfortunately still is a human centered effort and doesn’t allow other species to have a seat at the table. IF you’ve got a few minutes to spare the piece is here at http://www.monsangelorum.net/?page_id=130 and well worth the read.

    I’d be most impressed if this essay became a regular part of all PDC courses. Are you listening?

    I’d also be more impressed with permaculture teachers who adopted children in need of homes and love instead of merely breeding more little tykes (do these offspring possess better DNA than others?) people for a planet. It’s a weird feeling to have these teachers address the issue of population during the portion of the class where the problems facing us the announcing proudly they are going to be visited by the stork.

    Hey, what if these permie teachers talked about vasectomies and tying tubes and actually did the deed themselves in a show of good modelling behavior?

    @Tom

    I appreciate your posting those articles. Usually I’ve already seen the piece, but just knowing someone else is out there reading these reports makes me feel less alone in the world.

    We’re finishing up at the small 4 acre farm we intern at this weekend. It’s the end of our third season and it’s been an education these last 3 years. For those who haven’t grown food yet there’s a piece of your heart and soul in every piece of produce that comes out of the ground. So, we’re not sitting around doing nothing but moan and groan about our dilemma.

    I sit on the board of a food group (an offshoot of Weston Price) and let me tell you I’ve been educating members on the cycle of chickens and egg laying. Sadly the other board members have little to no interest in growing food, just in being able to purchase it from Amish farmers. Guess you can tell the topic of Climate Change let alone NTE is a no no. That Sally Fallon, what a card she is at those conferences. Talking about the fertility problem we’re having as if there is going to be a people shortage on the planet soon.

  80. ulvfugl Says:

    @ PMB

    Thanks for linking to my essay for Dark Mountain Two.

    That was written about three years ago, when I was still thinking there would be a bottleneck rather than a full scale mass extinction event.
    Minor technical detail, I suppose :-)

    It was also heavily edited by Paul Kingsnorth because the original was much too long and went into much greater detail.

    I just posted a long comment earlier (for the second time) which didn’t appear. Don’t know if this one will succeed in getting through.

  81. Diamond Says:

    Olé olé, olé olé -
    Feeling hot, hot. hot

  82. Tom Says:

    PMB: thanks, man. It just doesn’t stop, does it? The violence, the destruction, pollution, Fuk radiation, government spying (and probably ‘disappearances’) and the ‘weather weirding’ – just on and on and on. Lately I’ve been overwhelmed by the fact that all our models are woefully inadequate in their estimations and that reality is proceeding at an increasing rate of decay (the melting and heating, storm intensities, volcanic activity, radiation and death to name a few factors). I feel like I’m living in a bad dream that isn’t going to end well. Stay in touch.

    http://www.alternet.org/corporate-accountability-and-workplace/corporate-extortion-states-are-giving-billions-corporations

    Corporate Extortion: States Are Giving Billions to Corporations That Don’t Create Jobs

    Bidding war for Boeing showcases upside-down priorities.

    (begins)

    December 12, 2013 |

    As the nation turns its attention to the latest federal budget deal where curtailed spending and cuts are the defining principal, a dozen blue and red state governors are in a bidding war recklessly offering to spend billions for tax breaks and other public-paid subsidies to lure the corporate giant Boeing to build its next-generation aircraft factory.

    Beyond the schizophrenic spectre of congressional negotiators saying no to spending as governors are offering mountains of cash is a maddening reality: these taxpayer subsidies do not create the promised jobs or investments, a series of striking academic studies have found. All they do is boost bottom lines by cutting corporate costs.

  83. Tom Says:

    Problems with growing crops is increasing steadily as a warmer world enables dramatic increases in insect and microbial infestation. This is only going to get worse and soon we’ll be experiencing empty shelves. It’s all breaking down right before our eyes and we’re now powerless to stop it. Case in point:

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/12/12/3056421/costa-rica-banana-emergency/

    Banana Emergency Strikes Costa Rica

    (begins)

    A “banana emergency” sounds almost comic, but it’s anything but funny when bananas are your staple food source and income, and the emergency is an insect infestation that threatens to destroy that all-important crop.

    That’s exactly the situation in Costa Rica, where on Tuesday, officials from the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry’s State Phytosanitary Services, (SFE) issued a statement declaring a national crop emergency for bananas.

    In 2012, Costa Rica exported more than 1.2 million tons of fresh bananas worth $815 million according to the Foreign Trade Promotion office.

    This year’s crop could be substantially less thanks to an outbreak of scale insects and mealybugs. Currently the pests have spread across 24,000 hectares of plantations in the country’s Atlantic region.

    While the two insects don’t damage bananas to the point where they are actually inedible, they do cause unappetizing blemishes that will not be accepted by exporters. Scale insects and mealybugs are related to aphids, and like aphids, they feed on plant sap, which weakens the plant and causes the leaves to drop. They also excrete a sticky substance called “honeydew,” which causes the growth of sooty mold on fruit.

    SFE Director, Magda González, told The Tico Times that climate change is helping the infestation spread.

  84. Grant Schreiber Says:

    And the laughs keep coming:

    China tells pilots to improve landing skills to deal with Beijing smog

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/12/us-china-pollution-idUSBRE9B903O20131212

  85. Bob S. Says:

    @Badlands – u b da bomb gurl – one of the few able to cast my heart into the shredder so I can wash out the crud with my tears

    Artleads Says: “I signed the petition.”

    I held hands and sang We are the World.

  86. mt Says:

    @ulvfugl
    I say many things I don’t know. Is that against the rules?

  87. pat Says:

    The Resistance is alive and well in Colorado.

    Posted: 12/12/2013
    Last Updated: 15 hours ago

    FORT COLLINS, Colo. – A man found guilty of arson, burglary and criminal mischief in a $10 million fire in Old Town Fort Collins was sentenced to 8 years in prison on Thursday.

    The judge also sentenced Benjamin Gilmore to 8 years in prison for criminal mischief and 6 years for burglary — sentences to be served concurrently.

    The defense asked for a stay of sentence — that Gilmore be free on bond — pending an appeal, but prosecutors argued that Gilmore is a threat to the community and should not be free while he awaits an appeal.

    The judge denied the defense’s request, and Gilmore was taken away in handcuffs, crying.

    Just before he was taken away, he was allowed to hug his wife and 9-month-old son one last time.

    His wife had pleaded to the judge for mercy, moments earlier.

    “Please don’t take my husband from our family,” Rebekah Gilmore said in court.

    Posted: 11/04/2011

    Police have arrested an Occupy Fort Collins protester in connection with a $10 million arson fire that damaged dozens of condominiums and businesses in Fort Collins.
    Benjamin David Gilmore, 29, was arrested on Thursday night on suspicion of arson, burglary and criminal mischief.

    On Oct. 24, a fire started at 3:30 a.m. in a four-story apartment complex under construction. The fire spread to the occupied Penny Flats condominium and retail building next door.

  88. Joan M. Says:

    Great quotes from PMB:

    Watching and reading about all the death of the sea species over the last few weeks has been heart wrenching. These other inhabitants of the planet are bearing the brunt of our “creativity” and people think we still need to breed while these creatures go extinct before our very eyes.

    ****

    I’d also be more impressed with permaculture teachers who adopted children in need of homes and love instead of merely breeding more little tykes (do these offspring possess better DNA than others?) people for a planet. It’s a weird feeling to have these teachers address the issue of population during the portion of the class where the problems facing us the announcing proudly they are going to be visited by the stork.

    Hey, what if these permie teachers talked about vasectomies and tying tubes and actually did the deed themselves in a show of good modelling behavior?

    ****

    That Sally Fallon, what a card she is at those conferences. Talking about the fertility problem we’re having as if there is going to be a people shortage on the planet soon.

    ————————–

    In reality, children are often used as an excuse for giving up on one’s life and goals without even trying. To paraphrase Celine about love, infinity, and poodles, the child is immortality at the level of a sheep.

    The State has an interest in our having children. Is that not a bit suspect? There was that sinister slogan of Marshal Petain, “Work, Family, Fatherland.” “Get to work, reproduce yourselves, and then you will never think of doing anything you shouldn’t do, and I shall take care of law and order.”

    Now that we are living amidst the ecological disaster we have created, the babies are still arriving and the humans are still unthinking.

  89. Guy McPherson Says:

    I’ve posted a new essay, courtesy of Carolyn Baker. It’s here.

  90. Tom Says:

    pat: the judge better get up to speed on buildings bursting into flames, especially ones under construction. The Jumping Jack Flash Hypothesis blog lists stuff like this and much more every day to lend credence to his conjecture that a lot of fire is spontaneously starting (including people) due to the ocean, lakes and rivers (even ponds) emitting hydrogen sulfide and the vast amounts of methane floating around.

    http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/

    Recently, a house in the outskirts of Philly burst into flame twice in the same day!

  91. ulvfugl Says:

    @ mt

    I say many things I don’t know. Is that against the rules?

    You can say whatever you want, mt, so can I. ;-)

    There are a few areas where I speak with a degree of authority because I have some expertise. Out of the vast range of stuff that there is to know, those areas are relatively small and modest. I wish I knew more.

    ——————–

    Antarctic methane, noctilucent clouds

    http://methane-hydrates.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/noctilucent-clouds-further-confirmation-of-large-methane-releases.html

  92. Gerald Spezio Says:

    ONE GALLON OF FOSSIL FUEL (GASOLINE, DIESEL, JET FUEL) WEIGHS ABOUT 6.5 POUNDS.

    WHEN BURNED, THAT ONE GALLON PRODUCES ABOUT 19.4 POUNDS OF CO2.

    If you drive anywhere for any reason, every gallon produces 20 lbs. of of CO2 – rounding off the cost in CO2.

    Drive 200 miles at 25 mpg, & you put up 160 lbs of CO2.

    Fly anywhere, even to develop your spirituality, & you had better start talking tons of CO2.

    “I feel closer to Gawd & Don Juan at 36,000 feet, Man.”

    Some smart ass Brits call flying, “plane stupid.”

    Volare …

  93. dairymandave Says:

    Saw geese flying south today, 13-Dec-2013. Seems they are a couple of months late.

    Due to the lazy jet stream with the resulting slow moving and stalled cold fronts, we harvested the poorest quality hay crop in 40 years. Feeding more grains won’t make up for the low digestibility. You can’t fool a cow. Expect dairy prices to rise.

  94. mt Says:

    @ulvfugl
    Feel free to correct what I write; or don’t….

  95. Badlands Says:

    @Bob S. Thanks for that. I’ve been having a few tears myself, lately.
    Wow, ‘We Are The World’! I believe I was about thirteen years old then. I would join PMB’s conversation about the horror of AIDS during the 80s, but I was only a kid watching from the outside. When I moved to Seattle in 1990, I did meet at least one person who later died from AIDS, but that’s as close as it came to my world. Even so, and even growing up pretty isolated from other people and the larger world, I’ve never understood the discrimination of other lifestyles. I don’t see where people find the time to concern themselves with other people’s business.
    And wtf just happened in India? Homosexuality is illegal? Ummm, didn’t India just grant non-human personhood rights to dolphins? Maybe I’m mistaken on that, but I swear my head spins in circles some days trying to comprehend what goes on in this world. Gonna have to seriously consider putting into effect Grant’s Quack Doctrine, as wildwoman so named it!

    @mike k Most of us know more than we are willing to admit – or practice.
    Yes. I think you got what I was saying, though I’m really going beyond the basics of decent human behavior- the kindness, sharing, truth-telling. Those things do need to be taught to children, and these are areas where I tend towards leniency. No one is perfect.

    But we ARE animals, and we need to practice overcoming our primal instincts, the powerful urges that people blame for bad behavior. The unspeakable things are what I worry about- abuse of innocents, children, animals. I wonder if this is innate in our humanness, and if so, why do some people find a way of living that doesn’t include, you know, acting on every urge towards rage, violence, sexual exploitation. I guess it just comes down to incorporating and accepting those dark natures, rather than keeping them taboo and in the closet, where they fester and grow in power, being misunderstood, rather than dealt with in the light.

    Anyway, wow, you and log spirit and those dragonflies! Do you consider them a personal totem or animal guide? I enjoyed your story and can personally relate. Thanks for sharing.

    @18000days I realize I was a little short in my response to you yesterday. I apologize for that. I am dealing with these very issues at the moment in the form of personal crisis, and it is possible I felt you were accusing me of being ‘simple’.
    I know you were not. Sorry. Peace. http://youtu.be/jAmPfEMI16g

    We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
    -Aristotle

  96. Badlands Says:

    @mike k
    So, this is how my life goes these days. After posting my previous comment to you, I came across this excerpt, which is basically what I was trying to say:

    CONFLICT AS MEDITATION

    Engaging conflict with awareness is a powerful spiritual practice because we are confronting the protective mechanisms of our ego in the moment. Much in the same way that we have learned to countenance difficult sensations while meditating, we find that we can remain present despite all sorts of impulses to do something else. We discover that an impulse is not an imperative. We don’t have to save anybody.

    The same is true of our threat responses in daily life. We feel like slapping somebody, but we don’t slap them. We feel like helping, but we don’t help. We feel like fleeing, but we don’t flee. We can trust ourselves to experience the most primitive sensations of fear, hope, and aggression without doing something primitive.

    —Everything Is Workable: A Zen Approach to Conflict Resolution by Diane Musho Hamilton

    @dairymandave I have wondered where the geese were, as well, and just finally saw a flock the other day.


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