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Typhoon Haiyan: A Survivor’s Tale

Sun, Dec 1, 2013

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by Geoff Pearce

A few years ago, there was a television program called, “Crude: The Incredible Journey of Oil” that captured my attention. After watching, I thought back to my late teens in the early 70′s when the energy crisis hit and I remember petrol being rationed and huge headlines in the papers about it. I started thinking more about the finiteness of oil and what it might mean as supply runs low and prices go up.

Hitting the internet and searching for “peak oil”, I eventually came across the YouTube based show called “Peak Moment” hosted by Janaia Donaldson. I watched many of their 30 minute shows interviewing in depth what ordinary people are doing to change their lives and the way they live on the planet. In various episodes, Janaia interviewed authors like Richard Heinberg, Michael Ruppert, Chris Martenson and James Howard Kunstler whose criticism of urban sprawl and acerbic writing style are immensely refreshing.

Each of these authors had the same powerful message to communicate but I was looking for someone who could forward project from what the current data tells us and a paint a picture of what life is really going to be like in the future. Ideas started to float around in my mind of a very different and troubling future. During another Peak Moment episode, Janaia mentioned the name of Dr. Guy McPherson in passing, so I did a search and came across “Nature Bats Last” and the many YouTube presentations of Dr. Guy McPherson.

Anyone who isn’t shocked to the core at what the future holds for humanity and the rest of the planet just plain hasn’t got it. When you see graphs which show a correlation between world population growth and rising fossil fuel demand, the realisation hits you that a sudden decline in energy availability is going to mean an ugly population crash in which many people are going to go hungry. I noted that these future scenarios of energy decline, economic collapse and environmental degradation were not from crystal ball gazing but from realistic projections of continually updated data. Now I regularly read Nature Bats Last and appreciate the analyses presented by Guy, guest essayists and commentators.

A few weeks ago, I was talking with my wife, Sharon, about what climate change might mean for countries in the tropics. I mentioned that the atmosphere can hold 7% more water vapour for every degree C the globe warms and this means there will be bigger storms and flooding events.

Then, a late night news program told of super typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) that was heading for the town of Tacloban on the island of Leyte in the Philippines.

Tacloban is my wife’s hometown.

She frantically called and texted all her relatives and told them to keep abreast of weather reports and make sure everyone stayed safe. The next morning, still frantic, my wife couldn’t get through to anyone as communications had been knocked out. We were in a deeply concerned state of mind wondering if everyone was okay.

The first news we got were words and pictures of the devastated areas posted on Facebook by ferry travelers who could only post their news from the city of Cebu as there was no internet in the worst affected areas. A couple of days later, international mainstream media arrived and started broadcasting images of the devastation. We sat glued to the television.

Then to my wife’s surprise, as a reporter was doing his piece to the camera, she recognised in the background, the weave pattern of a blind belonging to her sister’s now collapsed house.

Five days later, when the cell phone system was partly restored, my wife finally got word that her sister, Janeth and extended family were safe. They are middle class by Philippine standards and had been able to afford to move into a hotel room in the down town area of Tacloban. When the storm surge hit, the water was a raging torrent right outside their first floor window.

My wife eventually managed to call another sister, Arlene, staying at their mother’s house in the town of Basey on the island of Samar about two hours’ drive away from Tacloban. The rest of my wife’s extended family were safe and as their house was inland from the coast, had only experienced minor flooding up to knee level. However, they were greatly concerned for the safety of their brothers, Gregorio, Wendell, his wife and their three-year-old daughter.

My wife owned a two-story, seven-room boarding house with a small restaurant facing the street. The house was a wooden construction, typical of the area, that had its back to the open water. As the typhoon progressed, a warning had been broadcast for everyone to evacuate to the Astrodome sports centre. As the empty homes were left behind, looters moved in. Wendell, his wife and daughter unwisely, (in hindsight), ignored the evacuation warnings and decided to stay to prevent looting.

Arlene repeatedly insisted that Gregorio stay with Wendell and help. Although he initially refused citing the evacuation warnings, he eventually relented.

After the water subsided, Janeth and her brothers, trying to find what had happened to the four who stayed behind, walked back to their house, weaving their way through scattered debris and dead bodies. They described what they saw as looking like a scene from a horror movie.

To their great surprise, sitting on the side of road, sobbing uncontrollably, was Gregorio and his brother’s three year old daughter. He was wearing clothes that they were unfamiliar with.

Gregorio told the following story:

I had walked out to the back of the boarding house and was surprised to see the water had disappeared! I could see the muddy bottom of the bay. I ran back to tell my brother that we have to get out now! As we ran through the house the water was up to our ankles and by the time we were outside were struggling to stay afloat 25 feet above the ground.

In seconds we had swept over rooftops and were washed hundred of yards inland. I saw people below me drowning, struggling to get to the surface. Then the water receded and washed us into the bay about 200 yards from the shore. My brother, Wendell was struggling with his daughter and his wife who couldn’t swim. He threw his daughter to me and I held her on my chest. I saw a Styrofoam box floating nearby so I swam towards it and put the daughter in it and held on.

Wendell’s wife was getting tired and begged him to let her go as she was slipping into unconsciousness but he slapped her face several times and screamed at her to keep her awake. The next huge wave floated us onto the shore again. I saw Wendell and his wife floating away and I don’t know what happened to them! I was able to grab onto a power pole and struggled to keep holding on in 200 MPH winds with the daughter still in the box. The sound of the wind was louder than the sound of a jet engine blast.

Other people were drifting by calling out for help but as I extended an arm or a leg to grab on to, the current just pulled them away. My clothes caught on debris floating under the water and were ripped off. I was only wearing underwear. There were two more big waves surging in and out and for the next eight hours the daughter and I clung to the power pole until the water subsided. It didn’t seem real. It felt like we were in a disaster movie.

I had nothing to wear so I took a shirt and shorts off a dead body.

After consoling him for a while the group continued down the street and to their relief, they found Wendell sitting with his wife who couldn’t walk as she had cuts to her feet and legs from floating debris.

My wife’s family were all accounted for but it could have been very different. Gregorio, Wendell and his wife are deeply traumatised. They have gone through the “what if” scenarios. If Arlene hadn’t have insisted that Gregorio go and help Wendell, then Wendell would not have been able to cope with trying to save his wife and child and any or all of them may have drowned. Arlene is also traumatised because she would never be able to forgive herself if Gregorio had not survived. And the whole family reflects on the fact that they should have forgotten about trying to save a few possessions as lives were put unnecessarily at risk.

Now five families totaling about 20 people are living at my mother-in-law’s 2 bedroom house at Basey on Samar. They have sufficient stocks of rice as they are rice farmers but little other foodstuffs and not much in the way of clothes.

Janeth and her husband, Nelson, told us a story that their neighbours who held positions of importance in law and government looked down upon them as lowly lumber cutters. Whenever it rained, the water would spill off the first-story roof of Janeth and Nelson’s house and make a loud clattering as it hit the roof of their neighbours single level house. This happened every time it rained.

The neighbours were insistent that a builder and plumber should come there right now to fix the problem so they would not have to put up with the noise!

Janeth said, “Well, they don’t have to put up with the noise of the rain any more because the brick side wall of our house fell over and flattened their whole house!”

Residents of the low lying area around Brisbane in Queensland, were hit with a “once in a hundred year” flood and after the cleanup and rebuilding, a few years later got hit with another ” once in a hundred year” flood. Is nature trying to tell us something? The town of Tacloban like many other coastal towns in the Philippines, is only about 8 feet above sea level.

I was talking with my wife that considering that the Philippines already suffers about 22 typhoons per year, there may be more typhoons like this one. Also, if future projected sea level rise makes the coastal areas uninhabitable, is it worth rebuilding in the same area again? If I lived there, I don’t think I would.

Tacloban and other affected areas are going to need aid for many months to come just to feed, shelter and provide medical services to the population. Further aid is going to be needed provide for a more permanent shelter as these places slowly rebuild. However, re-establishing the economy is going to be a long, slow process.

It is worth noting that international aid arrived quickly by industrial civilisation created planes, ships and helicopters powered by fossil fuels. If aid could only get there by sailboats in fair weather in a future age of no fossil fuels, then by the time aid arrived, there would hardly be anyone left to save.

We may well see many future climate refugees from the tropics seek asylum on our shores as nature bats last.

___________

Geoff Pearce is a former airforce electronics technician turned children’s entertainer, silhouette artist and Christmas-season Santa Claus, who is upset that the North Pole is melting and is installing floats on his sleigh after being awoken by a loud ship’s horn from a freighter cruising the now open North West Passage past his window. As Santa, he responsibly feeds the reindeer flatulence free feedstock to reduce atmospheric methane and because the arctic may be ice free in several years, is considering relocating the
elves and his toy workshop to the South Pole. Move over, penguins! Santa has now placed his North Pole residence and workshop on the market and is hoping a real estate salesman with a record of selling swamp land in Florida is able to make a successful sale.

He lives in Sydney with his wife, Sharon and two young boys with plans to escape to a small country town in the future.

____________

McPherson’s work is featured in radio show that aired 27 November 2013. It’s described and embedded here.
____________

Going Dark is available from the publisher here, from Amazon here, from Amazon on Kindle here, from Barnes & Noble on Nook here, and as a Google e-book here. Going Dark was reviewed by Carolyn Baker at Speaking Truth to Power and by P. Schneider at Amazon. As with my other books, Going Dark will lose money even before I start giving away copies.

_____________

Thanks to ulvfugl for pointing out a technical fix to the problem of the disappearing comments: “I’m using Chrome browser. Go to top right corner, click three horizontal bars, says ‘new incognito window’, get NBL, and everything is immediately updated. Can’t advise for any other browsers, but I assume it’s something to do with cookies and being tracked, etc, because being anonymous fixes it.”

Thanks to Roger Ellis for this technical tip: “I use Firefox with an extension called ‘CookieKiller.’ The icon will appear in the lower right of the browser window when installed. Click it and it gives you the choice of killing just the NBL cookies or All cookies. When you kill NBL cookies and refresh the page all the comments are updated properly. You don’t have to go into anonymous browsing mode to correct the WordPress cookies from hell bug.”

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81 Responses to “Typhoon Haiyan: A Survivor’s Tale”

  1. Juan Pueblo Says:

    Very interesting story! Glad his family made it through that ordeal.
    My wife and I live in Miami Beach. This city was built a century ago on mangrove barrier islands formed on top of a dead coral reef that were filled in with a couple of feet of sand removed from the waters surrounding them so they would not flood. They were then divided into lots and sold to tourists. The city’s highest ground is lower than eight feet.
    These past few years the city has been flooding regularly during the queen and king tides. If there is a full moon and a hide tide then the lowest lying areas get flooded even if it is not raining.
    The city had to sell $250 million in bonds to finance an upgrade to the sewer and storm drainage systems. The systems will be upgraded to operate at higher pressures, with pumps and one way valves in all pipes, so that the ocean won’t flood them. It is no longer possible for these systems to operate using gravity to push circulation as they did for more than a hundred years. It will take ten years to complete the upgrade.
    This upgrade is necessary because the ocean’s water level is rising and the sand they used to fill in the land is compacting and being washed out by erosion. I boat and fish regularly in the area and have personally witnessed the changes during the last 20 years.
    We are still building multibillion dollar high-rises here, though.
    We rent a direct oceanfront condo and assume we will lose everything we leave behind when we evacuate for a big storm. We have savings, a 4WD SUV, car evacuation kits, personal kits, planned exit routes, and emergency plans and are always ready to leave within an hour if necessary. This will allow us to help others in the frantic hours or days before a big one hits as most people are inadequately prepared. I often wonder about all my owner neighbors and what will happen to them. They all think they will collect insurance, but if a Haiyan hits here all the insurance companies will file for bankruptcy, including the State of Florida, that is the insurer of last resource and has huge unfunded insurance liabilities. And it would take more than a decade to rebuild the place, if there ever were resources available for that.
    In New Orleans, there were 500,000 people when Katrina hit and it will never fully recover; and shouldn’t. Imagine how many times worse the damage would be in this 10 million South Florida metropolis built in the tri-county area.
    I do understand why people flock to this place. Being able to boat, fish, and go to the beach all year round is great if that’s what you are into. We love this place and enjoy living here, but we invest our money and will retire elsewhere.

  2. buz painter Says:

    Climate is the nightmare which we foresee in the future. Weather events are what keep us awake at night. The trees are dying here and there is nothing that I can do about it except plant more. No one around me has begun preparations for even the tornadoes which are common to this area. I know that their intensity will increase. Will we move? To where? No. I make my stand here. It’s as good a place as any. Perhaps I’ll be able to grow Avocados someday.

  3. Godofredo Aravena Says:

    The sad thing about this story is that long ago we knew that something like this would happen, somewhere, sometime soon, and we also know that they will keep on occurring, but worser everytime.
    Altogether with other violent changes along the world we used to know, that we also know that will happen.
    At the same time, business as usual will continue…

  4. Andres Jimenez Says:

    Can someone show me the proof that this typhoon is the result of AGW? I’d appreciate it. I once believed in the AGW swindle, but thanks to NBL I have now changed my mind and believe it is just that; a swindle. I would like to thank McPherson and his regular contributors for allowing me to see the light. I must admit it is a convoluted way to get people to see this light (not Malcolm), but hey, it works so I won’t complain about the unconventional methods employed. Here’s a great documentary revealing AGW for the swindle that it is.

  5. Artleads Says:

    On my only visit there, Belize City seemed very low elevation. The old city had a simple solution to floods: all the old buildings had been on stilts, and many of them remained. A canal system vied with solid circulation routes. Unfortunately, the empty space under the houses was being filled in as fast as I could speak.

  6. ulvfugl Says:

    @ Andres Jimenez

    Yawn. You again. And that old rubbish again. ‘Great documentary’. Yeah.

    Yes, there is pretty good indication that the typhoon did result from AGW, particularly the remarkable strength, but then you’d need some intelligence and brain to be able to understand it. Trolls with faked names, taken in by that crap video, by definition, don’t qualify.

  7. Bob S. Says:

    Andres Jimenez Says:

    Here’s a great documentary revealing AGW for the swindle that it is.

    Yes – this discredited presentation makes excellent political fodder for scientifically illiterate dimwits.

  8. ulvfugl Says:

    It’s their internet.

    Does anybody think they’ll let us continue to use it to spread OUR ideas that interfere with THEIR corporate profits and government propaganda ?

    In Japan, the threat of laws to jail whistleblowers for 10 years, even if they never managed to pass on any information, to hide the horror of Fukushima.

    The NSA and GCHQ have got everyone’s details, worldwide, going back more than a decade, everybody you ever talked to, everything you bought, everywhere you’ve been, everybody you ever met, pretty much every thought you ever had, if you wrote it down, they know it and can retrieve it instantly and profile your whole life from birth.

    So now they can target all the radicals and subversives and activists and anybody who has an independent voice and set their bots and idiot trolls on them, to smear and defame and disrupt discussion, to neutralise any effect they may be having upon mass public opinion that would threaten profits and exploitation.

    And they can cause confusion by doing what the CIA have always done, inventing ridiculous ‘conspiracy theories’ to mask the real conspiracies and outrages that they commit and to mislead the public.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/feds-to-monitor-social-media-round-the-clock-1.2445224

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/nov/28/war-on-democracy-corporations-spy-profit-activism

    and you think they have any scruples or morality or that there are any limits to how far they will go ?

  9. Godofredo Aravena Says:

    To Andrés Jimenez
    There´s no need to show proof to you. If you ask me, just continue being fan of that movie. Be happy with it.
    I suppose you are intelligent enough to find out the answers to your questions and doubts by yoursef, as all we did here once.
    All here at NBL know that there are billions of people like you, it is impossible to convince everybody. That is why we also know that the required changes will never be possible on time.

  10. FriedrichKling Says:

    “On the first of November, when Mexicans celebrate a holiday called the Day of the Dead, some also celebrate the millions of monarch butterflies that, without fail, fly to the mountainous fir forests of central Mexico on that day. They are believed to be souls of the dead, returned.

    This year, for or the first time in memory, the monarch butterflies didn’t come, at least not on the Day of the Dead. They began to straggle in a week later than usual, in record-low numbers. Last year’s low of 60 million now seems great compared with the fewer than three million that have shown up so far this year. Some experts fear that the spectacular migration could be near collapse.

    “It does not look good,” said Lincoln P. Brower, a monarch expert at Sweet Briar College.

    It is only the latest bad news about the dramatic decline of insect populations.

    Another insect in serious trouble is the wild bee, which has thousands of species. Nicotine-based pesticides called neonicotinoids are implicated in their decline, but even if they were no longer used, experts say, bees, monarchs and many other species of insect would still be in serious trouble.

    That’s because of another major factor that has not been widely recognized: the precipitous loss of native vegetation across the United States.

    “There’s no question that the loss of habitat is huge,” said Douglas Tallamy, a professor of entomology at the University of Delaware, who has long warned of the perils of disappearing insects. “We notice the monarch and bees because they are iconic insects,” he said. “But what do you think is happening to everything else?”

    A big part of it is the way the United States farms. As the price of corn has soared in recent years, driven by federal subsidies for biofuels, farmers have expanded their fields. That has meant plowing every scrap of earth that can grow a corn plant, including millions of acres of land once reserved in a federal program for conservation purposes.

    Another major cause is farming with Roundup, a herbicide that kills virtually all plants except crops that are genetically modified to survive it.

    As a result, millions of acres of native plants, especially milkweed, an important source of nectar for many species, and vital for monarch butterfly larvae, have been wiped out. One study showed that Iowa has lost almost 60 percent of its milkweed, and another found 90 percent was gone. “The agricultural landscape has been sterilized,” said Dr. Brower.

    The loss of bugs is no small matter. Insects help stitch together the web of life with essential services, breaking plants down into organic matter, for example, and dispersing seeds. They are a prime source of food for birds. Critically, some 80 percent of our food crops are pollinated by insects, primarily the 4,000 or so species of the flying dust mops called bees. “All of them are in trouble,” said Marla Spivak, a professor of apiculture at the University of Minnesota.

    Farm fields are not the only problem. Around the world people have replaced diverse natural habitat with the biological deserts that are roads, parking lots and bluegrass lawns. Meanwhile, the plants people choose for their yards are appealing for showy colors or shapes, not for their ecological role. Studies show that native oak trees in the mid-Atlantic states host as many as 537 species of caterpillars, which are important food for birds and other insects. Willows come in second with 456 species. Ginkgo, on the other hand, which is not native, supports three species, and zelkova, an exotic plant used to replace elm trees that died from disease, supports none. So the shelves are nearly bare for bugs and birds.

    Native trees are not only grocery stores, but insect pharmacies as well. Trees and other plants have beneficial chemicals essential to the health of bugs. Some monarchs, when afflicted with parasites, seek out more toxic types of milkweed because they kill the parasites. Bees use medicinal resins from aspen and willow trees that are antifungal, antimicrobial and antiviral, to line their nests and to fight infection and diseases. “Bees scrape off the resins from the leaves, which is kind of awesome, stick them on their back legs and take them home,” said Dr. Spivak.

    Besides pesticides and lack of habitat, the other big problem bees face is disease. But these problems are not separate. “Say you have a bee with viruses,” and they are run-down, Dr. Spivak said. “And they are in a food desert and have to fly a long distance, and when you find food it has complicated neurotoxins and the immune system just goes ‘uh-uh.’ Or they become disoriented and can’t find their way home. It’s too many stressors all at once.”

    There are numerous organizations and individuals dedicated to rebuilding native plant communities one sterile lawn and farm field at a time. Dr. Tallamy, a longtime evangelizer for native plants, and the author of one of the movement’s manuals, “Bringing Nature Home,” says it’s a cause everyone with a garden or yard can serve. And he says support for it needs to develop quickly to slow down the worsening crisis in biodiversity.

    When the Florida Department of Transportation last year mowed down roadside wildflowers where monarch butterflies fed on their epic migratory journey, “there was a huge outcry,” said Eleanor Dietrich, a wildflower activist in Florida. So much so, transportation officials created a new policy that left critical insect habitat un-mowed.

    That means reversing the hegemony of chemically green lawns. “If you’ve got just lawn grass, you’ve got nothing,” said Mace Vaughan of the Xerces Society, a leading organization in insect conservation. “But as soon as you create a front yard wildflower meadow you go from an occasional honeybee to a lawn that might be full of 20 or 30 species of bees and butterflies and monarchs.”

    First and foremost, said Dr. Tallamy, a home for bugs is a matter of food security. “If the bees were to truly disappear, we would lose 80 percent of the plants,” he said. “That is not an option. That’s a huge problem for mankind.”

    Jim Robbins is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and the author of “The Man Who Planted Trees.”

  11. Wren Says:

    Here’s the full animated version of the original “The Man Who Planted Trees”.
    (I am not familiar with the Robbins version.)

    It looks like a Monet painting in motion, truly effervescent with light and motion.
    In 1994, it was voted #44 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field. It is currently ranked on Imdb’s Top Short List as the 4th greatest short film of all time.

  12. FriedrichKling Says:

    If you would like free Milkweed seed to plant in their yard or neighborhood park, ask Guy for my address and I will send the seed free of charge.

    Please use the above article from the NYT to lobby your state’s department of transportation to defer mowing roadsides and rights of way until the Autumn thereby allowing the Monarch butterflies to lay their eggs and develop on the Milkweed (this is a misnomer since this plant produces quite beautiful and fragrant flowers) plants that are so crucial for their life cycle.

    If you would like free Milkweed seed to plant in their yard or neighborhood park, ask Guy for my address and I will send the seed free of charge.

  13. Paul f. Getty Says:

    I live on the coast of North Carolina, a low lying, hurricane prone area. Anytime I have mentioned to people around here that the future is scary for this area, I’m met with either eyes glazing over or mocking. The fossil fuel industry has done their job….gotten people either so confused, or so ignorant of the problems of AGW, that there is really almost no interest in most communities.
    We will have no meaningful action in any timescale that is appropriate to avoid the worst of what is surely coming.

  14. ulvfugl Says:

    A remarkable warming of the sub-surface Pacific waters east of the Philippines in recent decades, due to a shift in atmospheric circulation patterns and ocean currents that began in the early 1990s, could be responsible for the rapid intensification of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Hurricanes are heat engines, which means they take heat energy out of the ocean, and convert it to kinetic energy in the form of wind. It’s well-known that tropical cyclones need surface water temperatures of at least 26.5°C (80°F) to maintain themselves, and that the warmer the water, and the deeper the warm water is, the stronger the storm can get. Deep warm water is important, since as a tropical cyclone tracks over the ocean, it stirs up cooler water from the depths, potentially reducing the intensity of the storm. When both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita exploded into Category 5 hurricanes as they crossed over a warm eddy in the Gulf of Mexico with a lot of deep, warm water, the concept of the total heat energy available to fuel a hurricane–the Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential (TCHP)–became one that gained wide recognition. The Pacific Ocean east of the Philippines has the largest area of deep, warm water of anywhere on Earth, and these waters have historically fueled the highest incidence of Category 5 storms of anywhere on the planet. Super Typhoon Haiyan tracked over surface waters that were of near-average warmth, 29.5 – 30.5°C (85 – 87°F.) However, the waters at a depth of 100 meters (328 feet) beneath Haiyan during its rapid intensification phase were a huge 4 – 5°C (7 – 9°F) above average, judging by an analysis of October average ocean temperatures from the Japan Meteorological Agency (Figure 1.) As the typhoon stirred this unusually warm water to the surface, the storm was able to feed off the heat, allowing Haiyan to intensify into one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever observed.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2579

  15. Tom Says:

    meanwhile, up north:

    http://www.adn.com/2013/11/30/3205668/researchers-say-arctic-ocean-leaking.html

    Researchers say Arctic Ocean leaking methane at an alarming rate
    Fairbanks Daily News-Miner November 30, 2013

    FAIRBANKS — Ounce for ounce, methane has an effect on global warming more than 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide, and it’s leaking from the Arctic Ocean at an alarming rate, according to new research by scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

    Their article, which appeared last week in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Geoscience, states that the Arctic Ocean is releasing methane at a rate more than twice what scientific models had previously anticipated.

    Natalia Shakhova and Igor Semiletov at UAF’s International Arctic Research Center have spent more than a decade researching the Arctic’s greenhouse gas emissions, along with scientists from Russia, Europe and the Lower 48.

    Shakhova, the lead author of the most recent report, said the methane release rate likely is even greater than their paper describes.

    “We decided to be as conservative as possible,” Shakhova said. “We’re actually talking the top of the iceberg.”

    The researchers worked along the continental shelf off the northern coast of eastern Russia — the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, which is underlain by sub-sea permafrost. (read the rest of this short article)

    (it ends with)

    Shakhova didn’t want to dwell on predictions or possible outcomes from such rising temperatures. What she wanted to see, she said, was more primary research in the Arctic itself to determine what is happening.

    “Our study is not about being depressing,” Shakhova said. “It’s about knowledge, no matter if you like it or not.”

  16. Tom Says:

    Just when you thought that, given some time, Fukushima (and other melt down sites) would level off with respect to radiation or begin to perhaps decrease, we have this:

    http://enenews.com/study-finds-giant-strontium-90-release-into-body-of-water-begins-around-1000-days-after-meltdown-dec-5-2013-is-a-thousand-days-after-311-graphic-shows-very-high-levels-being-discharged-for-u

    Study finds giant strontium-90 release into body of water begins around 1,000 days after meltdown — Dec. 5, 2013 = thousand days after 3/11 — Graphic shows very high levels being discharged for up to 50,000 days

  17. Martin Says:

    @ Andres Jimenez,

    I once believed in the AGW swindle

    Why believe? Why not just have a suspicion? Beliefs are expensive. Because humans are incurably vain, they not only tend to continue to believe something because they believe it, but they also gradually come to resent the considerable investment in psychic energy they must make to sustain a belief. Soon they have become a lurid combination of stale belief and inchoate rage. Give it up!

  18. Andres Jimenez Says:

    You’re right Martin, “believe” isn’t the right word, although “believe,” I believe, means different things to different people. Let’s just say I once gave it significant consideration as possible and probable. I now lean in the other direction and refuse to devote any psychic energy to the debate aside from intrigued bemusement.

  19. Martin Says:

    @ Andres Jimenez

    I see. You suspected anthropogenic climate change was possible and now you suspect it’s a racket. How committed are you to the “racket” angle? Human behaviour might be the wrong place to look for evidence of climate change.

  20. Gerald Spezio Says:

    How long until unbearable human misery & suffering hits the blind humans in the rich nations who burn most of the fossil fuels?

    SOON.

    Poor people in Bangledesh, Inuit in the Arctic, & Pacific Islanders are suffering slings & arrows NOW.

    Selfish yuppies worried about their ski attire are routinely flying to Switzerland from Los Angeles for skiing junkets & producing tons of CO2 as they laugh & drink.

  21. Godofredo Aravena Says:

    To Andrés Jiménez

    To relieve in AGW is still a political decision, because available technical evidence and facts are not enough to provide a 100% sure prediction, and full understanding, of the process going on (if so). When all the doubts become cleared, it might be too late to react. Today it is still a personal decision in the end. It is up to you the amount of evidence needed to believe or not.
    The point is that if you believe, and climate change happens, you´ll be better prepared, if you don´t believe, it is going to be much harder to face, and live. If this is a swindle or a racket, not much to loose.

  22. Mister Belle Islander Says:

    ulvfugl Says: “…have got everyone’s details, worldwide, going back more than a decade, everybody you ever talked to, everything you bought, everywhere you’ve been, everybody you ever met, pretty much every thought you ever had, if you wrote it down, they know it and can retrieve it instantly and profile your whole life from birth.”

    Dear U, Sure, if thinking is now to be considered a crime by those who would pretend to know everything then I am certainly guilty as charged. Unfortunately, we both know that we might each yet be taken down because of our many past thinking trespassers against the system. But we might still have at least the whole rest of today, don’t we? So, can’t we still go right ahead and try think up something which might be both completely world changing and bloody marvelous just for the sheer pleasure of doing it during these otherwise gloomy times? Can’t we still hope to find some way to keep enjoying this ever mysterious ride – which we all presently appear to be on – for just as long as we possibly can whatever way it should finally be seen to go? You, like always, still appear to be a very brave man. And, that’s often contagious!

    P/S – Please note that in an effort to avoid any more possible gender related confusion in the future, I’m now going to posting as Mister Belle Islander

  23. 44 south Says:

    Geoff, your essay reminds me of the part luck will play in how long any of us lasts in future extreme climate events and the social unrest which is bound to follow.
    I note that Guy, (and we),are copping some flack on Peter Sinclair’s Climate Denial Crock Of The Week; see the “on that methane bomb thing” post. This causes me some irritation given that for some years I recomended his excellent videos on Youtube to our local denialists.
    Samples of the post “imminent global doom senarios are not REAL or helpful”, “most credible and thoughtful scientists are pissed at the hair on fire crowd for overstating the problem”,we are the “catastrophist crowd”, which his blog is not a forum for.
    I thought of responding to ask if he had actually read Guy’s climate summary or any of U’s excellent,uncompromisingly grim summations of where we are at,and where we are going; but can barely manage the one fingure posts I leave here in my half hour at the nearest library.
    As to the isolation we all feel; might I say if you think it’s hard up there “in the world”, try being a watchman and cassandra down here in this, for now, green and plesant land! I survive by being, by nature, something of a loner,but perhaps one day…
    One day, maybe quite soon, we few will just be barely remembered names amongst the many. Still we will always have N.B.L.eh?
    Here’s looking at you kid.

  24. ulvfugl Says:

    @ Mr B I

    Well, I learned in childhood, all about the Magna Carta, and then from the Quakers, the right to follow one’s conscience, and so forth, and so many people have given there lives in Britain for the fundamental right to speak what they believe to be the truth, regardless of what Power or Authority or any other force on Earth happens to want.

    If you give up that right, you are no longer, fully, a human being. You’ve been reduced and diminished, by intimidation, and you’ve betrayed all the people who fought for that right.

    I’m not really brave at all. I just get into a very bad mood about some things and feel better when I’ve had a rant, and I’m furious about seeing headlines like ’5 million dead sea birds’ and so forth, that I know are being caused by idiotic human decisions.

    I think Guy is brave because he goes onto a stage and stands in front of an audience and tells ‘em straight. I can’t do that myself. I respect that.

    Came across this :

    From Thomas Merton’s introduction to his compilation or the writings and sayings of Gandhi, “Gandhi on Non-Violence”. The introductory essay is entitled “Gandhi and the One-Eyed Giant.”

    (Public life is) “the proper sphere of man’s activities as a being of logic, of courage, and of wisdom. It is in the public and political realm that he shares words and deeds, thus contributing his share of action and thought to the fabric of human affairs. Now, the public and political realm is that where issues are decided in a way worthy of free man: by persuasion and words, not by violence. Violence is essentially wordless, and it can begin only where thought and rational communication have broken down. Any society which is geared for violent action is by that very fact systematically unreasonable and inarticulate. Thought is not encouraged, and the exchange of ideas is eschewed as filled with all manner of risk. Words are kept at a minimum, at least as far as their variety and content may be concerned, though they may pour over the armed multitude in cataracts: they are simply organized and inarticulate noise destined to arrest thought and release violence, inhibiting all desire to communicate with the enemy in any other way than by destructive impact.”

    “A society that lives by organized greed or by systematic terrorism and oppression (they come to much the same thing in the end) will always tend to be violent because it is in a state of persistent disorder and moral confusion. The first principle of valid political action in such a society then becomes non-cooperation with its disorder, its injustices, and more particularly with its deep commitment to untruth. “It is not possible for a modern state based on force non-violently to resist forces of disorder, whether external or internal.” Hence ‘one cannot’ seriously accept claims advanced by the basically violent society that hopes to preserve order and peace by the threat of maximum destruction and total hate. It is not possible for the truly non-violent man simply to ignore the inherent falsity and inner contradictions of a violent society. On the contrary, it is for him a human duty to confront the untruth in that society with his own witness in order that the falsity may become evident to everyone.”

  25. bradhp Says:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/11/arctic-and-american-methane-in-context/

    I just read the above over at Real Climate. This is the first time I’ve seen them react so directly to this issue. Sam Carana at Arctic News has been persistent about arctic methane recently and the guys at Real Climate seem to be trying to calm the waters. I wonder if or when they will come to grips with positive feedback.

  26. TIAA Says:

    Dear Martin, this bears repeating!!! OMG!! What a hoot. What pure wisdommmm!

    Martin Says:
    December 2nd, 2013 at 7:51 am
    @ Andres Jimenez,

    I once believed in the AGW swindle

    Why believe? Why not just have a suspicion? Beliefs are expensive. Because humans are incurably vain, they not only tend to continue to believe something because they believe it, but they also gradually come to resent the considerable investment in psychic energy they must make to sustain a belief. Soon they have become a lurid combination of stale belief and inchoate rage. Give it up!

  27. ulvfugl Says:

    Ten years in jail for whistleblowing in Japan, even if whatever you were trying to report never made it to the public domain and..

    As might be expected as political and economic policy failures pile up and citizens become increasingly mad, the status quo is becoming increasingly authoritarian (recall blogger “Mish” was just fined 8,000 euros for a blog post).

    In the latest disturbing news from a desperate power structure, the conservative government in Spain has passed an Orwellian bill titled the Citizens’ Security Law, which allows for fines of up to 600,000 euros ($816,000) for “unauthorized” street protests, and a 30,000 fine for merely having signs with “offensive” slogans against Spain or for wearing a mask.

    This law is a perfect example of the increasing neo-feudalism being implemented across the globe by a corrupt, decadent and depraved status quo. Such laws must be immediately resisted or they will only get worse, much worse. It is quite obvious what the power structure in Spain in trying to do. It is putting into place an egregious punishment framework that could bankrupt a person by merely protesting. Such a threat is intended to make people not even consider their rights as human beings to express grievances to a crony government.

    http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2013/12/02/war-on-democracy-spain-and-japan-move-to-criminalize-protests/

    @ bradhp

    You appear to have missed Round One

    http://collapseofindustrialcivilization.com/2013/11/30/corporate-occupied-planet/comment-page-1/#comment-11846

  28. Mister Belle Islander Says:

    Dear U, Merton on Gandhi? You’re certainly like a genius in respect to the way that you keep pulling remarkable things like that out of your electronic hat! And, you do that all the time! Very wise words.

  29. Christy Says:

    The description of those folks experience leaves me speechless. My heart is heavy these days. FriedrichKling’s post about the butterflies, insects, rapidly disappearing… that touched me in some ancient core of my being. The bees here in Hawaii have been rebounding, but not so elsewhere I see. I think I must descend into another round of deep grieving right now. I am going to be sparing with posts for awhile.

    I offer a song — not mine, but a young Bob Dylan:

  30. Ram Samudrala Says:

    To the person who doubted whether this was due to AGW, there’s a nice plot showing the heat of the ocean under the track of the typhoon from the guardian. I think the above comment references that.

    But the minimum point here is the water level swell. The sea levels HAVE risen. This is a measured quantity. The increased sea levels contributed to the tsunami like surges you saw in the videos of the typhoon. Why do you think sea levels have risen if it weren’t for warming? And why do you think sea levels have risen so rapidly by geological standards? The rate of change correlates strongly with human activity.

    I think humans will survive however and the resulting species (Homo superior) will be superior to the present one. I am an optimist and I think of evolution as a dynamic force and this is all par for the course. We’ve been given the brains to perform directed genetic engineering on ourselves and other organisms. This effort (Homo sapiens) may fail but the ability to do this I think is selectively advantageous (which I think is the reason it exists) and it will continue in some form for another. Nature bats last indeed, and we’re also part of nature.

  31. CatCampion Says:

    The Sun Shines Out of Our Behinds – Unilever’s Project Sunlight Greenwashing Campaign:

    http://thedailybanter.com/2013/11/the-sun-shines-out-of-our-behinds-unilevers-project-sunlight-greenwashing-campaign

    (Unilever’s shameful marketing came up as the commercial before a youTube video I was watching on consciousness)
    “Why bring a child into this world?” Because they are *guaranteed* a better life than any human has had before them.
    Wow.
    I suppose this is a good example of why I feel compelled to trade my fun, easy, lucrative career in Hollywood for simpler times in Ecuador.
    Pardon me, please.

  32. Mister BelleIslander Says:

    @ Christy – Thanks for providing that 1963 Bob Dylan link because it turned out that I did really need to hear that song again. Hearing how those people in the audience had so enthusiastically applauded the performance of that kind of very biting social cometary served to remind me all over again just how much this country has seemingly changed over the course of the last 50 years. And, it has certainly not changed for the better! At least we as a society cannot now say that we hadn’t once been fairly warned that a very hard rain would someday be falling on us just like that song had so clearly suggested.

    @ Geoff Pearce – I was moved by your commentary. What horrific times! Especially in respect to only the very latest typhoon caused disaster which had occurred near the city of Tacloban on the island of Leyte in the Philippines. By chance I only a few days ago finished reading an account of yet another great disaster that had occurred in that same place when a big Japanese army and a even bigger American army spent months fighting each other foot by foot across the whole of that tiny island back in 1944. When I read that for the most part strictly military account of that great battle I was also caused to realize just how very terrible it must have been for all of the many hundreds-of-thousands, or maybe even millions of then inhabitants of that island, who must have surely gotten caught amidst the terribly destructive cross-fire of those two fiercely warring armies. How could any people have ever really recovered from something as awful as what they must have certainly experienced then? Now, you make it sound as if their island has again been left totally devastated and largely leveled. But, this time in a different way. Thus, after reading your well written account about that place’s latest troubles I find myself feeling greatly saddened about the tragic fate of those poor islanders all over again. And, I do wish that I could ever adequately express just how very sorry I am to learn of this latest news. But, I still nonetheless very much want to thank you for informing me about it.

  33. bradhp Says:

    @UF

    Yes, I did miss round one. Thanks.

  34. Andres Jimenez Says:

    I see. You suspected anthropogenic climate change was possible and now you suspect it’s a racket. How committed are you to the “racket” angle? Human behaviour might be the wrong place to look for evidence of climate change.

    I don’t know if “committed” is the right word. In fact, it’s not. I found your sage advice about “belief” rather ironic considering the audience that frequents and contributes to this space. There is most certainly belief, and strong belief at that. There is most certainly rage, but it’s not in its embryonic stage, it’s fully-matured and well-seasoned rage.

    From the video I posted earlier, oceans cyclically warm and cool without any help from humans, and if warming is noted, it’s the result of climatic conditions and processes that manifested centuries, maybe even millennia, prior to this observed effect. The 20th century’s anthropogenic effect has little or nothing to do with normally warming and cooling oceans.

    Finally, I’ll ask you to read your last sentence italicized above. Do you see yet more irony? I do. If AGW, and better yet, NTE are to be “believed,” and they both most certainly are in this space, then human “behaviour” has everything to do with it, yet you imply with your statement that it does not, thus belying the message that defines this space. So what attracts you if not the message? The only thing left is the palpable, capable and highly-nurtured rage. I see. Hey, whatever floats your boat. Rage on. It beats staring dumbfoundedly into the abyss or shuffling about with your eyes wide open.

  35. ulvfugl Says:

    @ bradhp

    Round One was back in July

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/jul/24/arctic-ice-free-methane-economy-catastrophe?INTCMP=SRCH

    Archer, Schmidt, et al were informed re metastable clathrates, the firn effect re the Eemian, etc, and various other points which effectively refuted their arguments (imo) AT THAT TIME, and now that we have Round Two, to my amazement, Schmidt gives the impression, on the RC methane thread, that he has only just NOW become aware of the research re metastable clathrates ????

    http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2013/11/and-the-wind-cries-methane.html?cid=6a0133f03a1e37970b019b020b10ac970b#comment-6a0133f03a1e37970b019b020b10ac970b

  36. ulvfugl Says:

    @ Andes Jiminez

    From the video I posted earlier..

    That video is garbage. It was a crude attempt by Channel 4 to try and get some ratings by ‘being controversial’. Everything in it has been debunked a zillion times. It’s so bad it’s not worth a minute of anyone’s time.
    If YOU want to ‘believe’ any of it, good luck to you, who cares.

  37. Martin Says:

    @ Andres Jimenez

    I am disappointed that a measure of unwelcome affect has begun to cloud the conversation. Curious, given that you had earlier said you “refuse to devote any psychic energy to the debate.” Still, you are rather making my point for me, in that your emotional response is a reminder of why a focus on human motives is unhelpful in evaluating the science.

    Now the video you linked to contains seas of boundless rage, but you wouldn’t know it from the measured tones, soft music and coolly delivered narration. It is in the grand tradition of oratory intended to work up the rubes into a froth. Fingers are pointed, blame is cast, the conspirators are rounded up and executed in the public square. All that giddy excitement certainly beats staring dumfoundedly into the abyss.

  38. Ram Samudrala Says:

    Hmm, my previous reply didn’t make it? I was writing in response to Martin.

    I wrote that the sea level rise is a reality and can be empirically measured. Why do you think the sea levels have risen, if it is not for the warming of the earth? And why do you think it has risen so fast in the last century compared to what we consider to be previous rates of change?

    In any event, I think that humans will evolve and survive no matter what, and they may well end up being a newer species and hopefully one that will more benevolent and kind towards the planet and each other and other living beings. But it may require a few more steps. We’re all part of nature, and having the ability to change climate so quickly is a gift bestowed upon us by nature as part of a grand experiment called evolution. We could’ve used our brains in a better way but we didn’t and instead we’re here on the verge of failing as a species. But a few will survive and adapt and even if they don’t “get it” all in one shot, it will be an improvement and the newly adapted people will rise again, perhaps fail again and again, but that’s part of the process.

  39. Andres Jimenez Says:

    Quoting the late Robert E. Stevenson, Ph.D.

    Warming the ocean is not a simple matter, not like heating a small glass of water. The first thing to remember is that the ocean is not warmed by the overlying air.

    Let’s begin with radiant energy from two sources: sunlight, and infrared radiation, the latter emitted from the “greenhouse” gases (water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and various others) in the lower atmosphere. Sunlight penetrates the water surface readily, and directly heats the ocean up to a certain depth. Around 3 percent of the radiation from the Sun reaches a depth of about 100 meters.

    The top layer of the ocean to that depth warms up easily under sunlight. Below 100 meters, however, little radiant energy remains. The ocean becomes progressively darker and colder as the depth increases. It is typical for the ocean temperature in Hawaii to be 26°C (78°F) at the surface, and 15°C (59°F) at a depth of 150 meters.

    The infrared radiation penetrates but a few millimeters into the ocean. This means that the greenhouse radiation from the atmosphere affects only the top few millimeters of the ocean. Water just a few centimeters deep receives none of the direct effect of the infrared thermal energy from the atmosphere! Further, it is in those top few millimeters in which evaporation takes places. So whatever infrared energy may reach the ocean as a result of the greenhouse effect is soon dissipated.

    The concept proposed in some predictive models is that any anomalous heat in the mixed layer of the ocean (the upper 100 meters) might be lost to the deep ocean. There have been a number of studies in which this process has been addressed (Nakamura 1997; Tanimoto 1993; Trenberth 1994; Watanabi 1994; and White 1998). It is clear that solar-related variations in mixed-layer temperatures penetrate to between 80 to 160 meters, the average depth of the main pycnocline (density discontinuity) in the global ocean. Below these depths, temperature fluctuations become uncorrelated with solar signals, deeper penetration being restrained by the stratified barrier of the pycnocline.

    Consequently, anomalous heat associated with changing solar irradiance is stored in the upper 100 meters. The heat balance is maintained by heat loss to the atmosphere, not to the deep ocean.

    http://www.mitosyfraudes.org/Ingles/ocean-1.html

    Time to Get on with Real Science

    So, despite the cries of Jim Hansen, Carl Sagan, Stephen Schneider, James Anderson, Susan Solomon, Rowland and Molina, Robert Redford, Barbra Streisand, Jimmy Carter, the Club of Rome, the United Nations Environmental Program, the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, the Montreal Protocol, and Worldwatch, Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, Prince Philip, or even Al Gore, the human population of the Earth has not reached untenable numbers, has not become a geophysical force, and has not established practices nor products leading to “global warming!”

    The evidence supporting the above six statements has become too voluminous to ignore. The “bottom line” of today is that the advocates of “global warming/ozone hole/There’s no more room at the inn,” have lost the game. Yet, they have so much invested in treaties, regulations, intra- and inter-governmental agencies, organizations, NGOs, prestigious positions, personal endorsements, and so on, that their efforts to blow true and selfless science out of the saddle must grow more and more pernicious by the day.

    To the general populace, there may seem to be no battle at all – especially for those who read only the popular media, who are unfortunate enough to be in schools ruled by politically correct environmentalists, or who watch and believe only network news, PBS, the Discovery Channel, or the Captain Planet cartoons on CNN. But, there is a battle, and the real geophysical scientists around the world are rising to fight and intend to win – right over might, to coin a phrase.
    I believe that the unabashed lies put out to the world by UNEP, IPCC, and WMO are a true injustice, a great crime, that is causing completely unwarranted anxieties for many people around the world. ORicials in such international organizations are mouthing disinformation – information that is totally without merit of truth. It is past time to bury these officials and their claque of supporters and get on with real science.

    I guess you could say there’s some rage in his rhetoric, but it doesn’t appear to be “inchoate” or to emanate from the exasperation of a ponderous belief system. Remember, I once was where you are now, so I understand your need to throw up your hand and dismiss disconfirming information. It’s a natural response for those who have invested a great deal of psychic energy into a particular belief. But you’re only cheating yourself.

  40. Gerald Spezio Says:

    Cat Campion, I was seriously considering Ecuador as a place to make some human connections, ride a touring bike to daily fatigue, & thereby confront our gruesome future & my own petty death.

    Yabut, a one way flight to Ecuador from Supernation for my arse alone computes at a minimum of 4 plus tons of deadly planet killing CO2.

    Some drowning Bangledeshie, displaced Pacific Islander, or slogging in the slush Inuit might ask; “How can you so cavalierly add to my misery, you scumbag bastard Gringo?”

    Maybe I will ride my bike from car crazy Phoenix to New Mexico to confront my hero Professor Guy Mackster, the truth guy, with his prolific flying behavior as the temperature rises?

    Werner Ehrhard sold EST to smiling well dressed yuppies, many with advanced academic degrees, with the new age buzzwords; “Whaddaboud me?”

    How I suffer – ain’t it awful?

  41. Martin Says:

    @ Andres Jimenez

    Remember, I once was where you are now, so I understand your need to throw up your hand and dismiss disconfirming information. It’s a natural response for those who have invested a great deal of psychic energy into a particular belief. But you’re only cheating yourself.

    We’re in the same place. Each must continue to examine the evidence, for or against. I do what Charles Darwin did: when I find disconfirming information, I write it down in a blotter.

  42. Eric Says:

    I’ve put in a purchase request for Going Dark to the Seattle Public Library. If any other Seattle residents are out there reading the blog, please do the same so that Guy’s ideas are as available to the general public as Lomborg’s.

  43. Gavin Taylor Says:

    Some more disconfirming information:

    http://armageddonconspiracy.co.uk/

  44. Martin Says:

    @ Ram Samudrala

    We could’ve used our brains in a better way but we didn’t and instead we’re here on the verge of failing as a species. But a few will survive and adapt and even if they don’t “get it” all in one shot, it will be an improvement and the newly adapted people will rise again, perhaps fail again and again, but that’s part of the process.

    Here’s a pleasant song that should gladden every heart and offers the same kind of tentative “hope.” It’s Hard Day on the Planet by Loudon Wainwright III.

    The dollar went down and the President’s sick
    Who’s in charge now? I don’t know, take your pick.
    A new disease every day and the old ones are coming back
    Things are looking kind of gray, like they’re going to black

    Don’t turn on the TV, don’t show me the paper
    Don’t want to know he got kidnapped or why they all raped her
    I want to go on vacation ’till the pressure lets up
    But they keep hijacking airplanes and blowing them up

    (Refrain)
    It’s been a hard day on the planet
    How much is it all worth?
    It’s getting harder to understand it
    Things are tough all over on Earth.

    It’s hot in December, cold in July
    When it rains it pours out of a poisonous sky
    In California the body counts keep getting higher
    It’s evil out there, man, that state is always on fire.

    Everyone has a system, but they can’t seem to win
    Even Bob Geldof looks alarmingly thin
    I got to get on that shuttle get me out of this place
    But there’s gonna be warfare up there in outer space.

    (Refrain)

    I got clothes on my back and shoes on my feet
    A roof over my head and something to eat
    My kids are all healthy and my folks are alive
    You know, it’s amazing but sometimes I think I’ll survive.

    I’ve got all of my fingers and all of my toes
    I’m pretty well off, I guess, I suppose
    So how come I feel bad so much of the time?
    A man ain’t an island — John Donne was a liar.

    (Refrain)

    It’s business as usual; some things never change
    It’s unfair and unkind and unjust and it’s strange
    We don’t seem to learn; we can’t seem to stop
    I suppose some explosions might close up the shop.

    And you know, maybe that would be fine: ’cause we would be off the hook, man
    We resolved all our problems, never mind what it took
    And it all would be over, finito, the end
    Until the survivors started up all over again
    (Refrain)

  45. Godofredo Aravena Says:

    To Andrés
    You will never end digging. The complexities of the probelm(s) are so big that it is almost impossible to see the whole thing, and cover everything.
    You will find thousands of opinions, many times backed with some partial data.
    The truth?
    Who knows.
    It is a personal decision on each matter.
    Philosophy?, almost.

  46. TIAA Says:

    Even Guy has a mea culpa in the site heading where it reads ‘our days may be numbered’

    ‘May’ be, not are.

    So relax and consider……you are not here expected to be a captive, but to be free….you may be free ;-)

  47. OzMan Says:

    Geoff,
    What an ordeal!
    A necessary thing for all to read.
    I live in Blackheath, Blue Mts. We just had catastrophic fire conditions recently, and a lot of homes destroyed.
    Would you and your partner like to meet up?
    Guy can give my email details if you would like.
    I have a few projects on the boil, @ my site:

    walkaway 2014.com

    Been doing community work in the last several months, so the site has to be updated soon.
    There is a lot to do, everywhere…..
    Maybe we can all benefit by getting together when and where we can, and just being human together ?
    Just an idea.
    Cheers

  48. ulvfugl Says:

    @ Andres Jimenez

    ..dismiss disconfirming information.

    There is no disconfirming information to be found there. Nothing. Some waffle about the oceans to try and sound very knowing and then what ? Nothing.

    It’s a load of boring old tosh from 1996 that was all debunked so long ago its all been forgotten. You’re not just flogging a dead horse, you’re trying to flog a horse that has rotted, disintegrated, mouldered into dust and blown away in the wind more than a decade ago. 2012 is ancient history in climate science.

    I think you need to go back to corporate troll school for a refresher in AGW denialism.

    @ Gavin Taylor
    Don’t see any ‘disconfirming information’ there either.

    There’s far too much to cover in a comment here, and there’s some that I’d fully support. But whoever is behind it – I don’t believe in the mythical ‘Illuminati’ as presented there – makes a complete mess of some areas where I do have some knowledge ( e.g. ‘The Unconscious is in the Right Brain, the Conscious is in the Left Brain ) and I completely reject the fundamental thesis that if we all followed ‘logic’ and ‘ontological mathematics’ that would solve our problems. It’s a recipe for the ultimate dystopia. it’s all been tried before, from Auguste Comte, to Lenin and the Rand think tank, people have been trying to apply ‘rational principles’ to soceity, and it’s always proved disastrous.

    We are human beings, not machines, not numbers, not meat robots.

    But I fully accept that we have a problem, and that I can’t offer any solution.

    There’s plenty of other people with websites like that, but what the formulae amount to, pretty much, are ‘killing our way to utopia’. Which has been tried, already, over and over again.

    Britain was one of the earlier countries to sort out the sort of issues mentioned, by having a civil war, in the 1600s.

    ‘’Estimates indicate that England suffered a 3.7% loss of population, Scotland a loss of 6%, while Ireland suffered a loss of 41% of its population.’’ No mention of Wales.

    Hard to imagine what form another episode might take. I don’t envision swords, muskets, horses and cannons.

    Could it be done democratically by electing a sort of People’s Revolutionary Party, that once in Gvt. abolished banks, corporations, redistributed land, and so forth ?

    Well, there are already dozens of fringe parties with about six members, and even some with more, like George Galloway’s lot, and there’s even UKIP, but apart from an occasional blip, like women getting the vote, and the invention of the Nat Health Service, power in UK has pretty much been held by the same bunch of people ever since the civil war, indeed, ever since 1066, and they have ample means of keeping it that way. Whether they have anything to do with Iluuminati, real or imagined, or Freemasons, real or imagined, or other sinister organisations, like the Knights of Malta, is not very easy to tell.

    I think myself, it just has a lot to do with being immensely wealthy because you happen to own the title to vast areas of land. You know, it’s quite difficult to not be rich and powerful, if you own tens of thousands of acres with farms and towns and villages on them, and the people have to pay you to be able to exist there. And if you were in that position, already for a thousand years, would you want it to be changed ? And when you have that income, you have it invest it somewhere..

    @ TIAA

    But in the early days, the outlook was different. There has been a long learning process here…

  49. the virgin terry Says:

    wishing all some happy healthy inspired romance this holiday winter solstice season. i’m sure most if not all of u appreciate good sax!:

  50. TIAA Says:

    Dear Ulvfugl,

    Well yah, some people come in here, flailing about drowning, choking and gasping on the authoritarian mental prison they inheirited, you feel bad for them, wanting to shoot a little playful fresh air their way. Remind them to embrace and enjoy what they can, let go while they can. Don’t take everything so seriously all the time.

    Thats just me.

    Besides we learn in circles ending up where we started and starting again. Or that’s just me.

  51. ulvfugl Says:

    @ TIAA

    ;-)
    ……….

    Re that nutty Illuminati site, the best antidote is watch the Adam Curtis films. We’ve had those people who thought they knew what we all needed over and over again, and every time it’s lead to yet another horrendous mess and millions of people suffer and die as a result.

    Here’s a good example I just came across

    …meet William Torrey Harris, US Commissioner of Education from 1889 to 1906… Harris standardized our schools and Germanized them… Listen as he speaks in 1906: “Ninety-nine [students] out of a hundred are automata, careful to walk in prescribed paths, careful to follow the prescribed custom.

    This is not an accident but the result of substantial education, which, scientifically defined, is the subsumption of the individual… The great purpose of school can be realized better in dark, airless, ugly places… It is to master the physical self, to transcend the beauty of nature. School should develop the power to withdraw from the external world.’

    …”Since Aristotle, thinkers have understood that work is the vital theater of self-knowledge. Schooling in concert with a controlled workplace is the most effective way ever devised to foreclose the development of imagination…

    Hegel was sold to America in large measure by William Torrey Harris who made Hegelianism [the provoking of crises] his lifelong project, and forced schooling its principal instrument in its role as a peerless agent provocateur.

    “Harris was inspired by the notion that correctly managed mass schooling would result in a population so dependent on leaders that schism and revolution would be things of the past…

    The psychological tool was [is] alienation. The trick was to alienate children from themselves so they couldn’t turn inside for strength, to alienate them from their families, religions, cultures, etc. so no countervailing force could intervene…

    “Alexander Inglis, author of Principles of Secondary Education..wrote that the new schools were being expressly created to serve a command economy and command society, one in which the controlling coalition would be drawn from important institutional stakeholders in the future.

    According to Inglis, the first function of schooling is adjustive, establishing fixed habits of reaction to authority. This prepares the young to accept whatever management dictates when they are grown.

    Second is the diagnostic function. School determines each student’s ‘proper’ social role…to justify the next function, sorting. Individuals are to be trained only so far as their likely destination in the social machine, not one step beyond.

    “Conformity is the fourth function. Kids are to be made alike…so future behavior will be predictable, in service to market and political research.

    Next is the hygenic function…the health of the ‘race’… and last is the propaedutic function, a fancy word meaning that a small fraction of kids will slowly be trained to take over management of the system…

    “And there you have the formula: adjustment, diagnosis, sorting, conformity, racial hygiene, and continuity…”

    http://jenniferlake.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/school-days/

  52. margarets Says:

    @44south

    The Climate Denial Crock of the Week blog seems to be about promoting wind energy. I stumbled onto this when I commented very generally on a pro-wind post that some people have serious complaints about the turbines. The response was VICIOUS and irrational. Something’s up.

    So, they might be bagging on us NBLers because our beliefs don’t mesh the “it’ll be OK if we switch to wind energy” agenda.

    Just my two cents.

  53. logspirit Says:

    After the typhoon – an isolated microcosm of collapse of civilization. The world yawned and moved on. Forgotten already. Like the situation in Haiti, still unresolved. Or Fukushima. Forgotten. Move along, nothing to see here. BAU. Day to day delusion reinforced, day by day. Memory failure. TV is the master of the moment, of all simulated moments, feeding the masses filtered, approved, predigested, perfectly safe to have… thoughts, desires, and memories. Even dreams. Yet… a small voice mutters: “What we’re facing is UNPRECEDENTED. Therefore unnamed, unrecognizable, impossible to comprehend – by the uninitiated.” Few hear the muffled voice. Few are initiated. Mainly those who’ve taken the initiative to find out for themselves. Not many. As the ignorant masses, connived by greedy promises, drag the mass of humanity to extinction… HEY! Move along, nothing to see here. Infantile’s, don’t you want to be happy? Go play, don’t think about, or ask, any unpleasant, upsetting questions. Go play, go have fun, fun, fun… you don’t know, you don’t care to know that the world is burning. Dance in the pretty flames to the relentless drumbeat of growth and consumerism. Everything looks just fine. Super fine. Doesn’t it? Don’t look too hard. Your god will protect you. Or, don’t worry, BUY… and anyway, if it does happen, well, hasn’t extinction been lots of FUN? Merry Xmas season. Buy or be unhappy – remember, that nagging hole in your life is always, and always will be, the product you don’t have yet. Today’s bigger microcosm of collapse is waaaaay elsewhere… don’t worry, be happy, it’ll never happen here. Never. Nope. Not in safe land, hallelujah! Salvation for YOU is assured, because you’re so special. Bless the Lord of Innovation. Praises be. Technology is your Biggest Brother, and he will always protect you, watch over you, and promise …eventual… happiness, dammit, if only you’ll just obediently buy, buy, buy. Bye-bye. Bye-bye.

  54. Artleads Says:

    When I read about the new world order, I remember Mao. The West, with all it’s monumental power, was only a paper tiger, and as far as he was concerned, that was true. So we can learn from Mao, and see this obscure, evil, all-powerful force as a paper tiger too.

    For one thing, we can remove the scale from our eyes. At some level, and speaking very sweepingly for emphasis, resistance is not about people; it’s about land. People emerge from land, and not the reverse. Healthy land makes healthy communities, which in turn make healthy individuals. It is perhaps not some ominous secret society that is the worry so much as the land in front of our noses. Butterflies, bees, earthworms, pill bugs, trees, birds, soil… How are they doing? If not well, then that may be the problem to agonize about.

    Sorry to come off so dogmatic. But I never hear anyone talk in these terms, which is puzzling. Why worry about some possibly concocted secret society while the land gently weeps? Drive her tears away.

  55. Mister BelleIslander Says:

    AFTERMATH Population Zero: What will happen when humans disappear from the face of the Earth? This movie will certain make you think about the impact we have made on this beautiful planet. But when humans are gone… Earth does continue.

    An interesting flick. Great special effects but a questionable overall scenario. I wish I could be so hopeful that any advanced life forms might subsequently survive the meltdown of all the worlds nuclear power plants. But, I’m no expert.

  56. dairymandave Says:

    Just for fun, here is some more material from Mr. Robert E. Stevenson, Ph.D. He died one month before 9/11/01:

    Without going into great detail, the “bottom lines” are as follows:

    1. There is no warming trend in the oceans, and has not been in the past 50 years. There are places in the ocean that get warmer than other locations for periods of time up to decades, but those waters then cool as other ocean areas warm. These periods are so close to the 11-year sunspot cycle that it is difficult not to consider a correlation. Yet, over all, there are no warming or cooling trends in any ocean, including the Southem Ocean near Antarctica.

    2.Special attention was paid to the Arctic Ocean, when teams from the United States, Canada, and Russia occupied stations that had been visited repeatedly since 1937. The results: There is no warming trend in the Arctic, and has been none since 1937 . Indications by the Canadian team of warmer than normal water turned out to be an intrusion of water from the Atlantic. In the past 60 years, the Arctic ice pack has neither retreated nor thinned. These data are not controversial!

    3.There is increasing evidence that the computer model calculations of the ocean’s absorption of anthropogenic CO 2 may be seriously biased. Furthermore, intermediate latitudes of the ocean are highly variable CO2 sinks throughout the year, being disrupted by storms and mineralization of carbonates by biological processes. The ocean’s summer warming, or warming by water-mass intrusions, or El Niños, makes the ocean a source of CO2 rather than a sink, as is usually supposed. The consequence is that there is far more ocean-produced CO2 in the atmosphere than hitherto considered.

  57. Tom Says:

    dmd: that’s hilarious! So I guess we’re just imagining global warming. Sheesh! Ok, then. “Nothing to worry about people, let’s get back to our [shitty] jobs and keep our heads up [our asses]!”

    Meanwhile, (here’s another illusion, I suppose):

    http://asiancorrespondent.com/116689/asias-disappearing-lakes/

    Asia’s disappearing lakes

    One of the worst environmental disasters in living memory is the near vanishing of the Aral Sea in Central Asia. What was once one of the world’s four largest lakes, containing some 1.5 thousand islands and covering 68,000 square kilometres (26,000 miles), by 2007 the Aral Sea was only 10% of its previous size and divided into four lakes.

    What happened to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan’s inland sea was not the result of normal changing weather patterns. The fate of the Aral Sea is a story of human intervention, contamination and local climate change.

    (further down)

    Over in China, the largest desert fresh water lake has also been steadily declining since the 1970s and rapidly disappearing (nearly by a third) in only the past four years.

    (concludes)

    Future weather forecasts are grim and the replacement of natural forests with commercial timber is not helping. Many of Yunnan’s farmers are struggling to survive.
    ______________

    Elsewhere there are problems from the deserts to the oceans with species collapse like this headline:

    U.S. and British wildlife experts say the world’s largest tropical desert, the African Sahara, has suffered a catastrophic collapse of its wildlife populations.

    and it’s no wonder we can’t get to the root of things when, with each crisis, evidence just disappears. Here’s one example from Fukushima (taken from seemorerocks):

    Pacific radiation

    As part of conversation over Facebook it turns out that radiation levels were along lines disclosed by Fukushima until May, when they increased dramatically. Shortly after this all reference to these measurements were removed from the Internet. At the time this was noticed and remarked on by Dutchsinse.

    As of today – none of the links provided by Michael Green are available on the Net.

    So, as logspirit remarked above, the delusion and illusion of life at the peak of empire is only to keep business as usual moving us along – to extinction.

  58. Godofredo Aravena Says:

    Based in the concept of the mass-man from José Ortega y Gasset.
    Not to think differently, not to take risks. To follow, not to lead.
    To decide based on somebody else´s opinion, so there is somebody else to blame (it is not may fault).

  59. Guy McPherson Says:

    With thanks to Geoff Pearce for his contribution, I’ve posted a new guest essay. It’s here.

  60. pat Says:

    It’s 5 degrees above zero in Denver, might get down to minus 5 overnight. And it’s going to Stay Cold for a while…

  61. Geoff Pearce Says:

    Hi Ozman,

    I have a website, http://www.artinblack.com.au

    from where I base my work as a silhouette artist. My contact details may be found there.

    Among the subjects I have educated myself about recently are:

    Peak Oil, population overshoot, permaculture, earthships – radically sustainable off grid housing,learning about the history of money from a great documentary called, “The Money Masters” and learning as much as a non scientist can understand about how we are destroying our environment.

    Until recently, the big problems used to be the three “E’s” the economy, energy and environment, which are well explained in Chris Martenson’s free on line series of videos.

    However now we have Fukushima to deal with as well and what really causes me to sit up and take notice, is just how much of industrial civilisation is required to keep existing nuclear plants operating. In a future of scarce fuel resources, how are nuclear technicians going to prevent other reactors around the world from melting down when there is no fuel for generators to power the cooling pumps?

    If economies around the world collapse, would there be any nuclear technicians continuing to go to work to keep reactors running if they weren’t getting paid? Guy has described our dilemma perfectly. We need industrial civilisation to keep going to prevent radiation from reactor collapse from destroying the environment and us along with it. However if industrial civilisation continues, we will destroy habitat for our own species. It’s a catch 22 situation.

  62. Christy Says:

    In my conversation with RE in the thread with his essay, I made two suggestions with regards what to do about radiation: fungi and zeolite. While I think tptb are going to keep up their death march, if someone wants to fight this fight I think their energy would be better spent researching and spearheading projects in relation to these:

    http://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/how-mushrooms-can-clean-radioactive-contamination-8-step-plan

    http://www.ted.com/conversations/1391/has_japan_started_looking_at_t.html

    I think these kinds of solutions are a more practical approach to dealing with nuclear toxins than a Pacific Rim type of scenario where giant robots are built by the world to fight giant monsters — I mean, all the dangerous radiation in the world is collected and contained in special caskets that will somehow make it to the center of the earth without first melting and exploding, or exploding and melting, etc. IMO.

  63. Christy Says:

    Wikipedia:

    The Mariana Trench is part of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana Arc convergent boundary system that forms the boundary between two tectonic plates. In this system, the western edge of one plate, the Pacific Plate, is subducted (i.e., is drawn under and downward) beneath the smaller Mariana Plate that lies to the west. Because the Pacific plate is the largest of all the tectonic plates on Earth, crustal material at its western edge has had a long time since formation (up to 170 million years) to compact and become very dense; hence its great height-difference relative to the higher-riding Mariana Plate, at the point where the Pacific Plate crust is subducted. This deep area at the plate boundary, is the Mariana Trench proper.

    The movement of the Pacific and Mariana plates is also indirectly responsible for the formation of the Mariana Islands. These volcanic islands are caused by steam pressure from the boiling of water that is trapped in minerals in the Pacific Plate, where the water is superheated as it descends to hotter depths below the Mariana Plate.

    Wikipedia:

    The islands are part of a geologic structure known as the Izu-Bonin-Mariana Arc system, and range in age from 5 million years old in the north to 30 million years old in the south (Guam). The island chain arises as a result of the western edge of the Pacific Plate moving westward and plunging downward below the Mariana plate, a region which is the most volcanically active convergent plate boundary on Earth. This subduction region, just east of the island chain, forms the noted Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the Earth’s oceans and lowest part of the surface of the Earth’s crust. In this region, according to geologic theory, water trapped in the extensive faulting of the Pacific Plate as serpentinite, is heated by the higher temperatures of depth during its subduction, and the pressure from the expanding steam results in the hydrothermal activity in the area, and the volcanic activity which formed the Mariana Islands.[1]

    ***
    And is still forming them. This highly volcanic island chain is right next to the Mariana trench. What is happening in the deep down places of that trench are surfacing in earthquakes, steam, and lava on those islands. Typhoon activity increases with increases in earthquake activity:

    http://guampedia.com/tsunami-and-earthquake-history-and-potential-for-guam/

    http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/cnmi/

    “The present [2003 volcanic eruption] activity was preceded by two known swarms of earthquakes in 1990 and 1993. These swarms likely accompanied the emplacement of magma high into the volcano.”

  64. Christy Says:

    Thanks so much RE, for inspiring me to learn a bit about the Mariana trench. I didn’t realize there was an island chain right next to it, and that it is a wildlife refuge! It’s THE perfect place to tuck away our nuke puke!

    http://marinelife.about.com/od/habitatprofiles/p/Mariana-Trench.htm

    “Where Is the Mariana Trench?:

    The Mariana Trench is located in the western Pacific Ocean, east of the Philippines and about 120 miles east of the Mariana Islands.

    In 2009, President Bush declared the area surrounding Mariana Trench as a wildlife refuge, called the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument, which covers approximately 95,216 square miles…

    Does anything live in the Mariana Trench?:

    The bottom of deep areas like the Mariana Trench is composed of an “ooze” made up of the shells of plankton. While the trench and areas like it haven’t been fully explored, we know that there are organisms that can survive at this depth, including bacteria, microorganisms, protists (foraminifera, xenophyophores, shrimp-like amphipods, and possibly even some fish.”

    I can not help but address the flippant, over-generalizations of RE’s posts re the impact — or supposed lack thereof — of his Nuclear Waste Disposal Plan.

    And I think it is an idiotic ‘personal philosophy’ to not criticize something if you don’t have an alternative plan. That makes no sense whatsoever. What you are doing by insisting this, and on top of that insinuating that you have some kind of higher moral code others should live by (ie, not criticize your ideas), is a form of psychological bullying.

  65. Artleads Says:

    Thanks, Christy. The following stood out for me:

    “Zeolite would be much better as it can take high heat and absorbs the radiation. It is already used in concrete to encapsulate radioactive waste.”

    I was disappointed when Democracy Now today postponed their debate between Jim Hansen, who now supports nuclear energy, and a former nuclear industry insider, who now opposes it.

    If nuclear plants could be buy some time somehow, then I’d like to see a discussion of what materials like zeolite can do to make them safer during and after that time.

  66. Tom Says:

    They’ve been dumping it for 2 years, but lying about it. In fact, just yesterday there was an article describing a HUGE spike in radiation back in 2011 that, after which, the monitors used by several countries to monitor this stuff on a regular basis, were turned off (and haven’t gone back on-line). They just can’t hide it any longer and are having to “fess up.” The Pacific is being killed.

  67. Kirk Hamilton Says:

    “They’re Going to Dump the Fukushima Radiation Into the Ocean”

    Holy crap, ulvfugl, maybe it’s time to attack the Japanese mainland after all!

    If Japan won’t do the job, the job should be taken over! We could form an alliance with Russia and China, then get our asses in there and apply our expertise. This should have been done two years ago!

  68. logspirit Says:

    @Tom
    Thanks for noticing my post… appreciate all the stuff you’ve been putting up. Thanks.

  69. ulvfugl Says:

    Comment at Washington’s blog :

    Dumping highly toxic scientific trash into the ocean is not a new concept. NASA since JFK has been doing exactly the same thing. That is where the Space Shuttle Challenger ended up, dumped into the ocean. Every nuclear-powered satellite ever launched by NASA or the DoD has been designed by scientists with the dump-it-into-the-ocean scheme built into the launch plan.

    The current plan for disposing of Syrian chemical weapons is to dump them into the ocean.

    The criminals behind this anti-environmental scientific wizardry are ubiquitous. Science is full of great ideas, ideas that ignore the constant degradation of the planet’s unique, human-sustaining ecosystem.

    The criminal scientists who work for TEPCO are no different from any other scientists working anywhere else in the world. Every scientist is an immoral, environmental criminal.

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/12/theyre-going-dump-fukushima-radiation-ocean.html

  70. Tom Says:

    logspirit: I read almost all the posts, but especially yours.

    Kirk: Too late!

  71. Gerald Spezio Says:

    ulvfugl; you stated above; “Every scientist is an immoral, environmental criminal.”

    Your statement is egregiously false & completely irresponsible.

  72. Tom Says:

    Gerald: it was a quote from a guy named Tonto in the comments, and he takes a lot of heat for it over there in the repartee, but staunchly defends his position without backing down. His claim, in essence, is that science is what got us into this mess – which is true – but I agree that his blanket statement should be taken with a box of salt (as perhaps the ranting of an angry citizen and not so much about the precision of his wording). i’ll pick this up below.

    Here’s a little of the back-and-forth:

    Maien

    Not Fair Tonto. Some of our Canadian scientists have fought our gov’t and have been fired because of their demand to bring truth to the Canadian people. Not all scientists are rotten with a total lack of integrity. However, I perfectly understand your sentiment.

    Tonto > Maien

    If these scientists fought to bring “the truth” to the “Canadian people”, and were fired, then they are no longer scientists. They are unemployed. They are on the dole.

    Not fair, my ass… Canadian scientists are just as incapable as any other scientists throughout the world when it comes to policing the supposed truths of their ken. And they are all dupes, because all science is based on lies and fraud.

    Science is not about truth. Science is about making up fanciful explanations that only approximate what (in some instances) is really going on. When scientific approximations do not work out, the scientists call that “an anomaly”. What is really going on is, the scientists of the world have really fucked things up for everyone. And that is not an anomaly. That is the truth about scientists.

    If that’s your brand of truth, then so be it. But don’t tell me it’s anything like the truth I should accept. I don’t buy into any of it. Science is 100% illogical. Science is species-suicidal, and every knows it. How is that logical?

    Around and around we go – he gets labeled a fundamentalist, an extremist conservative government troll and more by some, but is supported by others who don’t like the fact that this man-made radiation is now impacting our planet and will (already has) lead to death in lots of ways for many species. He and others also take their government leaders to task for allowing this (and especially for trying to cover it up – which is what the article is about).

    We’re a very clever species, but, as we’ve seen, not very wise, at least in the sense that we think about the consequences of our “discoveries” and “creations” or even our ideas before going forward with them, usually because there’s money to be made. That’s what I think is at the root of this. It seems that all along we’re driven by this amassing of fictitious wealth or the equally specious status improvement to “make our mark” on the world, yet we never seem to realize what will happen because of this. Henry Ford probably didn’t worry about the exhaust from his mass-produced vehicles when he invented his assembly line process. All he saw, like Carnegie, Mellon, Rockefeller, etc were the dollar signs. Going further back, the entire idea behind whaling for their oil and by-products is now considered awful, at least if you contemplate their extinction. None of the things we’ve done in the name of civilization – including medicine – is sustainable, but we called them solutions without thinking about the new problems they posed.

    Now RE has a point above that I’d like to respectfully respond to here. This notion of “quitting” seems emotionally driven to me. I understand his reasoning that we’re committed to civilization at this point and survival by any and all means is our dna-driven directive, but like others above, I don’t see where it’s supposed to lead. Survival in a totally degraded, polluted, radiated, disease infested, species depleted world isn’t where I want to be and I’m definitely going to QUIT when it’s my time. I’ve told my family that I want nothing to do with hospitals, doctors, or medicine beyond the preventive – let me die when it’s my time. Now that’s just me and I certainly don’t intend to foist my feelings on everyone else.

    I don’t think any kind of “fix” is going to work, based on our track record of the present, so to me, geo-engineering is a non-starter since the systems we’re embedded in are so complicated and interrelated that we’re bound to get it wrong. I know what his response is to that already – “well, if we do nothing we die.” Right. That’s what we’re going to do, die. The problem is that we’re only worried about saving our own hides and not about the (formerly) living planet. We’ve definitely overstayed our welcome here by overpopulating the place, trashing it for our “needs” and taken everything to extremes by looking at the planet as an inanimate source of “everything for the taking” with no consequences. This has proven to be a decidedly fatuous world-view, capitalism be damned.

    We’re flawed in a lot of ways – the seven deadly sins come to mind here – but I’m not sure how else we could have turned out at this point. Back to the dna-driven directives, we, like many if not all species, expand and are only constrained by some naturally occurring limit. The trouble is we’ve cleverly overcome many of them and are now seeing where that leads – overpopulation, resource depletion, pollution, etc.

    i’ll stop here and listen for a while.

  73. Mister BelleIslander Says:

    @ Tom SAID: Survival in a totally degraded, polluted, radiated, disease infested, species depleted world isn’t where I want to be and I’m definitely going to QUIT when it’s my time. I’ve told my family that I want nothing to do with hospitals, doctors, or medicine beyond the preventive – let me die when it’s my time. Now that’s just me and I certainly don’t intend to foist my feelings on everyone else.

    All of the above seems to be happening very fast. I second everything that you’ve said. Thanks!

  74. Christy Says:

    logspirit Says:
    December 3rd, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    I saw your post, and as always you eloquently speak the truth. Thank you.

  75. Gerald Spezio Says:

    Richard Feynman’s definition of science.

    There is one feature I notice that is generally missing in “cargo cult science.”

    It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty — a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid — not only what you think is right about it; other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked — to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.

    Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can — if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong — to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it.

    There is also a more subtle problem. When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition.

    In summary, the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another.

    “Cargo Cult Science”, adapted from a commencement address given at Caltech (1974)

  76. ulvfugl Says:

    @ Gerald Spezio

    How many scientists are in the Feynman class ? 0.01% ?

    All the rest work for Big Ag, Big Pharma, Big Oil, Nuclear, the military, etc, etc, designing better bombs and better drones and just do what they are told without any thought about the morality or consequences.

    The scientist’s secular saint and hero, Sagan, was part of a team that planned to blow up the Moon with nuclear weapons. Why ? Just for kicks, to show everybody that they could, a bunch of adolescent schoolboys who wanted to play with toys, destroy the house nextdoor with a a big bang to impress everybody in the neighbourhood.

    As if it was THEIR MOON just to do as they liked with, because they were American super heroes… the generation that gave us nuclear bombs and nuclear power stations and all the other shit that nobody has any idea what to do about… Yes, they were SO very clever.

    Don’t you fucking lecture me about ‘egregious’ and ‘irresponsible’, Gerald Spezio, when you’ve just been supporting Holocaust Denial and you’re not smart enough even to notice it was not MY comment.

    Over the last decade, as genetically modified, or GMO, foods have increasingly taken over our food supply, we’ve been learning more about their dangers to our health.

    Now, one courageous doctor is pointing to mounting evidence that leaves no doubt — GMO foods are even worse than we were told.

    As this respected doctor points out in a riveting new presentation, no long-term human studies have ever supported GMO safety. Shockingly, the World Health Organization only requires a mere 90 days of testing to claim that GMOs are safe. Well, no one dies from smoking cigarettes within 90 days of starting to smoke, either!

    Yet while lifetime studies still have not been done on humans, scientists have done these studies on animals — and what they found is stunning. Lab mice fed just a 33 percent GMO diet begin developing aggressive cancers (particularly breast cancer), liver failure, and kidney failure.

    http://www.newsmaxhealth.com/MKTNews/gmo-dangerous-organic-food/2013/12/04/id/540010/?PROMO_CODE=15D3F-1

  77. ulvfugl Says:

    Corruption in science

    Following the retraction of the Seralini et al scientific paper which found health damage to rats fed on GM corn, over 100 scientists have pledged in this Open Letter to boycott Elsevier, publisher of the Journal responsible.

    http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2187010/scientists_pledge_to_boycott_elsevier.html

  78. william Says:

    Given that almost all of the issues we have are the result of excessive application of technology, or technological advancement, it might be fair to say the root cause of most of our present quandries arise from the fact that scientists ask “how can i do something,” not “Should I do something.” An example of this would be the technological advancement of antibiotics, it allowed us to have a much larger population that we would without it.

    Imagine if we didn’t have internal combustion engines because the scientists who invented it paused to consider all the consuqences and decided against releasing the invention to the wider world. We really wouldn’t be in this place right now, or possibly we would have found another way to do it, given our destructive natures.

    Makes you wonder if we do survive will we learn from our mistakes and what cultural changes will we have to make to survive.


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