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Basic things we keep on doing wrong, it’s time to re-think the basis

Wed, May 14, 2014

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by Godofredo Aravena

If disaster is in the near horizon, my first question is: Are the survivalists going to replicate the same system that took all of us to the disaster? It is quite clear to me that if the survivalists repeat the same practices, and re-build a society based on the same codes, sooner rather than later everything will be destroyed again. So I guess, the first thing to do today (while we have time) is to question the very basis of our society. What supports the entire building of human behavior codes? We must assess our behavior in relation to other humans, and of course, our behavior regarding nature.

Humans have built an entire system-culture that is based in a lot of premises that should be at least subject to questioning today, as the train is only taking all of us towards disaster. And recently, speeding ever faster.

If after all this years, and having achieved a much higher level of knowledge (in all disciplines), our system has failed to produce a healthy human community, in equilibrium with the biosphere, the supporting scheme must be revised to the roots.

And probably we will not like what we will find because it can be easily concluded that we are intelligent, but not wise. The root of our failure may be found in the cultural concepts that give support to the rest.

What seems to be wrong are the most basic rules of thumb that rule almost everything and provide the support and basis for ethics and moral. They are totally accepted, and provide the basis for human life in society, and its relation with nature. Religion, constitutions, politics, democracy, essentially everything important for society is built around these concepts.

It is hard to accept that everything may be wrong (or at least almost everything), but evidence, the situations we are living today, clearly provide a big space to question the basis.

Part of the evidence at hand is (to name the most noticeable):

War, over and over again

Climate change

Fukushima disaster, and other nuclear facilities accidents

Peak oil

A small evermore rich ultra rich population v/s a big and growing poor population

Economic failure

The (unwanted) end of growth

Growing famine

Destruction of natural spaces and other species

These are undeniable signs of a total failure of our culture to become stable and durable.

The basis for this disaster can be found in the most basic concepts that we use to decide our everyday activities. They are very few, but all the rules that support our activity as humans rely on them:

The basic statements related with the individuals that have to be revised are (to list the most important):

I am important

I deserve

I have rights

We are all equal

Free will

Life has a purpose

Luck does not exist

Women and men are equal

I am important

This is a relative concept, and points to the belief that I am more important than others, that I am special. The basic truth is that our status in a community will depend on what we can offer to the community, but at the same time, a durable system will have redundancy at all levels, and will not rely on a few individuals. To the biggest system of our planet (biosphere), we are just one creature more. And because of the basic rule of redundancy, we are not more important than others (persons) and creatures. Within a system in equilibrium, all creatures are important, they are at the same level. In the opposite way, all creatures (to the level of individuals) are “expendables” because of the redundancy principle. In the end we are not important at the individual level, nothing noticeable will happen to the system if one of us dies today (for example, if I die today the system will persist). We can go further, and extend this fact to several individuals, maybe thousands, only making sure that some minimal quantity of them survive. So, individuals are not important. This is true either for biosphere or human society.

I deserve

I do not deserve anything, all what matters is the result. We have to get things, or accomplish good results in an enterprise, through hard work. Failure in achieving goals is part of the reality-game. Dying in the game of survival is part of the rules. No creature (us included) deserves anything. The effort worth nothing if the result is not achieved. So life achievements, for any creature, will be up to the concrete results of the effort.

I have rights

We (as individuals or groups) do not have rights.

Nature, the closest (and biggest) stable and durable system we can look at, does not know the concept of “rights”. The concept of rights is a human invention, probably as a way to pursue the concept “we are all equal (that also has to be questioned, see below). There is nothing like rights or similar on nature. We can conclude then, that, the “rights” concept is not compatible with a stable and durable system, or, if we want to have a stable and durable system, rights should not exist. At most we may say that we have one right, the chance to try a life, after we are born. But even that is a questionable issue. If there is something we have to thank to our parents, is that unique opportunity to try a life in this reality. The rest is a matter of luck. Our survival and achievements will depend entirely on ourselves (and luck).

We are all equal

Certainly, we are not equal, we are all different, and also, some are better than others, depending on the situation and the need. We have to find and get to know our strengths and weaknesses. Depending on the balance of weaknesses and strengths we posses as individuals, we may become “expendable” or “valuable” individuals for the community. But certainly, no matter how valuable we may seem in some moment, because of the principle of redundancy, we anyway will be expendables in some moment, if the survival of the group is what matters.

We can enhance our capacities by practice certainly, to become more valuable to the rest, or less expendable. This is a constant effort. But, we have to accept that there are others better than us, for some tasks. All it matters is the capacity related with the need, of the moment. Nothing else. As I wrote before, there are no rights.

Free will

There is no such thing as free will. We have constraints, regarding other people, regarding our descendants, regarding nature (biosphere). As a matter of fact, we have A LOT of constraints. Although we have some liberties. But, we cannot do what we want. Absolutely not. It worth mention the fact that we cannot have all the children we want, and at the same time, we have to have the necessary children to assure the survival of our species. We have a limited truth to do some things, that is all. Or, at most we can say that we have a limited “free will,” as all other creatures of nature.

Life has a purpose

In essence, currently, human life has no purpose. We do not fit in the system. All other creatures do have a purpose, a function. We do not.

We were created basically to “be.” We are the result of a long process, where the final purpose turned towards the creation of an intelligent creature. We are a very unique species.
We have to find a purpose for our existence, and for that we have to use our intelligence to become wise. We have to learn, and in the process (probably) make mistakes. Our creator probably knew from the very beginning that we would make mistakes. But in essence making mistakes is the way to learn. If we want to have a durable purpose, that would be to become wise, and along the way do the least harm to nature.

Basically our Human style life has no purpose, because it is not serving to the system (nature). We usually confuse purpose with short term personal goals, like being able to have status, a house, a car and many other gadgets, but the only real and durable purpose is serving to keep the system (nature) — us included — running. Our typical human life does not do have such purpose. It does the opposite: It only causes harm to nature. How to reach this kind of life, in equilibrium with nature, is our real purpose.

Luck is not real

We tend to think that we are in control, that we can be in control, and that we have to be in control. Otherwise we are weak. When, as many times happen, we cannot be in control, we create divinities, gods, and human alike entities, so by means of some rites like faith, or ceremonies, we still are in some way in control, and hopefully, a divinity will come in our help. But the point is that almost everything around us is under the rules of probabilities (called Luck in less fancy words), and that is probably the most important factor that affects our life. We as individuals are born in a certain place, in a certain moment, and have some certain capacities, all depending on luck. In the end, we have some control, but it is limited, and we have to accept that sometimes, things will not be as we would like them to be. And we have to live with that, if we want to live. We also have to give more space to the unexpected, and be more modest and humble about our capacities to achieve technological achievements. Otherwise, as being evermore powerful, any failure to give space to the unexpected, and become too secure about our achievements, and at the same time become too ambitious, we are only providing the ingredients for a catastrophe. Fukushima is the most recent example of our belief that we can be in control.

Women and men are equal (as a spin-off from previous “we are all equal”)

In nature there are no examples of female and male doing the same. Male and female are meant to do different activities. Men and women are different. We have to accept this undeniable truth. The current competition between human genders is one of the reasons why we are seeing our entire society falling apart.

It is important to say that being men and women not equal, they are both at the same level, and both are needed to perform their roles. They are physically and psychologically different, because they are prepared to perform a specific role, to become wise parents. By being and becoming wise parents, we can project to the future our lessons of life (from our mistakes) through our children. This is the only way to become wise as species.

In this gender competition we see today, our society loses because parenthood is set to a second level, and with it, the only way to become wise, as species.

The concepts related with the group/tribes to be revised are:

We

This is probably the concept that causes more harm to the system and ourselves.

When we think and act as “we”, we turn into a creature that only looks for the basic satisfaction of the added cells (people), in a big scale manner, as a creature (our society). At the same time, because of its size, this creature becomes too powerful, a power that is not under control. The individuals vanish. The creature called “human society” does not think or act as the individuals (alone) would do. It becomes a very basic system. The creature becomes the system, and the individuals, slowly began to act as the creature, and stop being individuals. The basis component, the individual, becomes a cell only to serve the system. Also, from inside the creature, is very easy to loose of sight the basic truth, that the creature-society needs nature to survive. This creature also has the problem that one part does not know what other part is doing. So it is constantly in an “out of control state”, grossly “under control”, kept by a small fraction of the individuals, that can grossly do what they want.

There should not be “we,” there should be only individuals temporary working together. I am alone, it is only me and the rest. I have to think in first person first, then the community and other creatures. First person thinking leads to living in community, but with much respect to the other beings. Each one discovers the need for others (individuals and creatures) to survive. When we are born in a “we” world, we do not have respect for others and other creatures. We do not respect nature.

Our species is superior

If being superior is related with the capacity to survive within the rules of the system (nature), and not destroying it, we are very far from being a superior species.

By watching nature, we can conclude that no creature is superior to the others. Some may be bigger, more powerful physically, but that is because their role requires those capacities.
All are required, in sufficient numbers (to achieve redundancy).

But we feel like being superior. I guess that is mainly because we have the capacity to do things beyond our physical limits (using intelligence and technology). But that is like giving a gun to a kid, he is powerful, but at the same time, that is not enough to make him viable. So technology is not enough to make us superior, in a durable way. Our intelligence should make us “superior” if we use that capacity to do the right things, and not destroy the system. In essence, our intelligence is the tool to become wise. Intelligence is a gift that put us above the other creatures in many ways, but at the same time, it comes with an obligation, we cannot abuse of it, and we must learn to use it wisely. This may become a very hard task, especially after thousands of years of using our gift in a wrong manner.

We have the power to become superiors, but today, we are still very far from that point. It seems more proper to compare humans with bacteria, as many times has been done recently.

All these sharp-edged concepts can be rounded a little bit, using our intelligence. First to accept these limits, and then, learning how to live within them.

The human life with no useful purpose for the system, because we are intelligent, can be turned into a life with a valid human purpose that at the same time does not harm the system. The key is to find the purpose(s) that will not finally destroy the biosphere.

I am convinced that this purpose is related with something that we all can do, we are built for that, to create new things. We are meant to create things. But again, the creative process has to be carried out without conflict with the system.

If we impose limits to our capacity, accept that we cannot do what we want, and learn how to do the right thing, we may have very much what we already have today (again in the future), but through living with another goal, with a different purpose. It is very possible that in that new way of living, regarding what makes sense today, may not have the same relevance in the future. Happiness will be related to less harmful activities.

Human society has been built around several concepts that probably explain why we are facing our own extinction today. If we want a model, we just have to watch nature (what remains). As an example, in nature, no individual has rights. The concept of “rights” does not exist in nature. Most of what we call “human behavior” does not exist in nature. And with no humans, nature is a very stable and durable system. So is a model to follow, if we want to last on earth. We have to adapt the basic rules that make nature a stable system, to human society. This does not mean we have to become savages, but to wisely use our power, to thrive without harming nature.

It is time to question everything about our society, all the way to the roots. It’s time for a new Ethos.

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If you have registered, or you intend to register, please send an email message to guy.r.mcpherson@gmail.com. I’ll approve your registration as quickly as possible. Thanks for your patience.

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16 May 2014, 7:00 p.m., Terra Nova de Corazón, Ecuador, “Responding to abrupt climate change” (details on poster below, click here for additional information, and follow the event on Facebook here)

17-18 May 2014, all day, Terra Nova de Corazón, Ecuador, grief-recovery workshop (details on poster below, click here for additional information, and follow the event on Facebook here)

Ecuador

4 June 2014, Wyoming, debate with H. Leighton Steward, who often represents the fossil-fuel industry. Read about Steward here.

Wyoming debate flyer

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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 more than 30 readers at Amazon.

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97 Responses to “Basic things we keep on doing wrong, it’s time to re-think the basis”

  1. Green Says:

    There are different perceptions of what a survivalist is. I consider myself a survivalist but I definitely don’t fit into the narrative of Godofredo Aravena.

    The characteristics that are outlined in the essay are just about everyone on the planet…..selfish, exceptional consumers.

    And ultimately, even “the survivalists” won’t survive famine or 4C above baseline. There will be no alternative society.

  2. Grant Schreiber Says:

    Humans, like other primates, are social animals with a distinct pecking order. The core problems we face now is that the pecking order of choosing who is alpha and who is omega isn’t based upon anything worthwhile. We do not celebrate the most honest, or bravest, or strongest or smartest person. There are various rewards for strength and smarts, but nothing for being honest, kind, forgiving. Those kind of people end up getting killed. But the real measure of a person is often based upon transitory things like beauty and completely arbitrary things like wealth.

    In fact, wealth transcends. A squat ugly toad of person can hold enormous sway if he is wealthy. A stupid man is given credit where none is due if he is wealthy. A stupid vain man is raised to genius status for taking seven million dollars and several downtown buildings in Manhattan and making even more money with them.

    Time and time again, the stumbling block and millstone around humanities neck is the worship of wealth. Thanks to the power of the television and the skill of advertisers, people all over the planet dream of being wealthy, white Americans.

    It was established back in the ’50s and ’60s by Margret Meade and others the power US broadcasting had upon the third world. Women who lived with dirt floors would proudly buy a floor cleaner to use in case they ever got wood floors installed. Children would ask for name brand candy bars and most recognizable figure around the world is Mickey Mouse and Ronald McDonald.

    This is ingrained into our consciousness. The concept of planned obsolescence in products was accepted at face value as the way things are. By the time the concept of recycling had started to take hold, grocery stores no longer sold beer and soda in returnable bottles, items that been in glass for decades were now in plastic and packaging started to become larger and larger to thwart shoplifting…

    Long before we can deal with equality, individual value, and the meaning of life, we as an entire species need to rethink and abandon the pursuit, desire and worship of money.

    If we’re willing in pure primate fashion to separate people into winners and losers, we must also be willing to make sure that the “losers” and their children don’t starve to death, have clean water and a chance for education and life.

    The purpose of life could very well be that we’re to help each other out. That as one giant, sprawling argumentative and violent species we still need to look out for one another and care about what happens to least of us so it doesn’t affect us all. And this is purely a selfish motive as well. Who knows what is lost if we let children die of malnutrition?

    Life, if anything is certain, is not a commodity to sold, bartered or wasted. Yet, we sell life cheap so a few can gain a little more money. At best, we have roughly 100 years of life on the planet. In that time, we spend nearly one fifth of it too young to appreciate all we have and another portion too old to do much more than observe and remember. So even if granted 100 years of life, you only have 80 or less years in which you are a functioning adult. And in that sliver of time we have decided it is best spent at work, trying to make enough money to buy essentials and to have enough left over to buy non-essentials. Until that system changes, nothing else is going to budge.

  3. omfjallen Says:

    I get that NBL is trying to open the conversation up to many voices but perhaps it is time to get an editorial board together. The questions the author raises are hardly new – in fact rights/the existence of equality/individual-group relations and have also been the focus of most political theory and action for the past three centuries – and the article above barely does a college student’s job of organizing its thoughts and arguments.

  4. NEROsTHEME Says:

    And while you are at it, why not try to teach a corpse to ride a bike? What century was this article written? Really, if you are going to post on this site, at least read what the lead author (Guy McPherson) has been saying.

  5. Jean Says:

    Thanks for the article that helped me see things in a different way,different angle..ie never thought about no “rights” exist in Nature…

  6. kevin moore Says:

    I found this essay totally incongruous in many respects.

    The time to rethink the basics was in the late 1960s to early 1970s, when practically all the disastrous trends had been well documented. The efforts of those who attempted to lead in a better direction were sabotaged by agents of corporations and money-lenders. It is now too late to think of anything except attempting to reduce future suffering.

    ‘If disaster is on the horizon’ is entirely inappropriate. Disaster is here and now (in fact has been evident since 1914, and gets worse by the day as a direct consequence of the system that has been imposed on the masses by greedy, selfish, psychotic sociopaths.

    ‘It is quite clear to me that if the survivalists repeat the same practices, and re-build a society based on the same codes, sooner rather than later everything will be destroyed again.’

    To talk of rebuilding is absurd. And to talk of rebuilding using the same codes is even more absurd. The preconditions that allowed the establishment of current arrangements do not exist and will never exist again. Once the globalised industrial food system collapses and global environmental collapse has proceeded a little further those remnants of humanity that have not been starved to death will be struggling to find the 10,000kJ of daily food energy necessary to maintain human life.

    The most likely outcome in the short term is the continued growth of fascistic regimes geared to maintaining the wealth and privileges of the tiny band of psychotic sociopaths at the top of the pyramid by stealing from those who have little and then murdering them via international war, civil war or death-by-a-thousand-cuts, until the psychotic sociopaths manage to render the Earth more or less completely uninhabitable for all vertebrate species.

    Now if you any ideas for preventing that, there may be some basis for discussion. However, at this point of time the oligarchy have near-complete control, to the point that most people are clamouring for their own destruction and are actively participating in their own destruction. I only need to visit a local supermarket and watch grossly overweight ‘humans’ who wear black and are covered in tattoos struggling to move their bodies from vehicles to the aisles of junk food to recognise that it is terminal for the vast majority.

    Just in case I have any doubts, I can read my local council’s ‘plan’ for the district and find is utter hogwash from start to finish and is geared to bringing about an uninhabitable planet as quickly as possible …… and ‘nobody’ cares.

    And right now the totally corrupt Obama administration is working hard to start World War 3, and the totally corrupt governments of UK, Canada, NZ, Australia etc. fully endorse the idea.

    .

  7. pat Says:

    Blah, Blah, Blah.

    Yawn.

    Just sittin’ on this runaway train, staring out the window.

    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    Thou shalt not procreate.

    The Church of Euthanasia
    Save the planet, kill yourself.

  8. Paul Chefurka Says:

    This is a tough room, Godofredo. You gotta have your shit together when you walk up front.

  9. ulvfugl Says:

    Hey, pat, how are you doing with your radical moves ?

    Are you familiar with Ray Brassier’s nihilism ? He’s written a book called Nihil Unbound : Enlightenment and Extinction.

    ‘Nihilism is not an existential quandary but a speculative opportunity, thinking has interests that do not coincide with living’

    http://www.monsangelorum.net/?p=12738

  10. ugotstahwonder Says:

    The conclusion is good, but the rest seems extraneous and caused me to drift a lot, even after several reads. Not sure we can embrace the conclusion either. My sense is the larger overriding plan a disastrous ending from which perhaps some will survive to rebuild. The likelihood that we can turn this ship around yet seems nil.

  11. ugotstahwonder Says:

  12. ugotstahwonder Says:

  13. Trish R Says:

    We say that “Nature is red in tooth and claw.”

    Well, sometimes that’s true. But since the notorious “food chain” is shaped like a steep pyramid, with prey far outnumbering predators, and predators often going hungry, most animals in the wild live much longer and more enjoyable lives than popular documentaries would have us believe.

    For animals bred, confined, and slaughtered by humans, on the other hand, life is usually a hell of constant and severe pain, fear, boredom, torture, and terror. Further, unlike predation in the wild, where nonhumans kill almost only for survival reasons, humans kill for the trivial reasons of pleasure, amusement, convenience, and blind tradition.

    One might wonder how many innocents are unnecessarily and intentionally killed annually by humans. Statistics published by the United Nations claim 56 billion annually, and that’s only those who live on land. Add sentient beings from the water and you can at least triple that number to 168 billion.

    So, that’s 3.2 billion weekly; 460 million daily; 19 million hourly; 319,635 per minute; and 5,237 per second that humans intentionally and unnecessarily kill innocents.

    When we say that “Nature is red in tooth and claw,” we’re ridiculously overstating the case. But it’s an understatement to say that “Humans are red in knife and gun.” No species is more violent than us, and the vast majority of our violence is unnecessary.

    You can opt out of this moral and cultural imbecility: Be vegan for life. If you’re not vegan, please start here http://www.VeganismIsNonviolence.com/becoming-vegan

    To read original blog post: http://uvearchives.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/humans-red-in-knife-and-gun/

    PS: This was written two years ago. Please note at this point 1 to 3 trillion aquatic animals are killed each year, mostly for our palate pleasure, so the stats would be significantly higher now.

  14. artleads Says:

    ugotstahwonder

    Thanks for the climate video. I sent it to friend. While he says, “we’re toast,” I don’t believe he sees the immediacy of the issue.

  15. kevin moore Says:

    Empire, rotten to the core. Ending with a bang or a whimper?

  16. ulvfugl Says:

    As I teetered between hope and despair, between feeling alive and considering that we are all, in some collapsed time-frame, already dead, I struggled to determine whether to accept that I am but one organism in a species that has taken a wrong evolutionary turn, and to surrender to my fate alongside that of others, or whether to see myself as an agent of influence with purpose and direction.

    My inclinations depended on what I believed that day. And I learned that beliefs are moveable, malleable things.

    On one day it would seem entirely plausible that we will retrieve something worthwhile from the convergence of crises bearing down upon us and on the next, that near-total extinction of life on Earth was so inevitable that we may as well stop worrying about it.

    http://itsvivid.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/stories-will-lead-us-back-to-the-forest/

  17. dairymandave Says:

    ugotstahwonder -

    I’m too busy to get involved in the forum. I boils down to “getting into the ring” with Ulv. Just let me say that most every time the subject of circles comes up, the subject changes to discussing people and what they think they saw or what they think they felt. I think crop circle formations (much more than just circles) are done on crops and snow because man CANNOT make them on crops or snow. Stick to the physics, not peoples feelings. Ulv: talk physics.

    Today I intend to finish planting corn. Tomorrow will bring heavy rain. At 71 I still work 16 hour days, 7 days a week. I get up very early just to be able to read this and comment once in a while. I choose to keep doing this; it is rewarding even though all wrong. I make food.

  18. Librarian Says:

    I don’t agree, unfortunately. Our society is current based on some of the items in the list already.

    In practice, we already behave as though “nobody deserves anything, it must be earned”, and that just means we keep screwing over the poor because “they don’t work hard enough”.

    We already behave as if people have no right, and that leads to bullying in schools and at work, and it leads to war and more war (if others have no rights, we can kill them if “they don’t work hard enough”).

    We already behave as though “some people are better than others”, which is why we were all forced to follow the ideals of the CEO in the first place.

    I don’t think the author of this essay realizes it, but we are ALREADY living by his ideals, and look where that’s got us: a world where we’re all expendable unless we do our work (and the yardstick, of course, to be determined by corporations).

    We need MORE respect for other people’s “rights”, not less. Otherwise even if we build an “eco-community”, we’re still going to be dicks to each other.

  19. Robert Callaghan Says:

    This is the stupidest article I have ever read here. The awesome majesty of its sheer overwhelming stupidity is stunning to behold.

  20. Librarian Says:

    Crud, too many typos, not enough information. Let’s try this again:

    I don’t agree, unfortunately. Our society is currently based on some of the items in the list already.

    In practice, we already behave as though “nobody deserves anything, it must be earned”, and that just means we keep screwing over the poor because “they don’t work hard enough”.

    We already behave as if people have no rights, and that leads to bullying in schools and at work, and it leads to war and more war (if others have no rights, we can kill them if “they don’t work hard enough”).

    We already behave as though “some people are better than others”, which is why we were all forced to follow the ideals of the CEO in the first place.

    I don’t think the author of this essay realizes it, but we are ALREADY living by his ideals, and look where that’s got us: a world where we’re all expendable unless we do our work (and the yardstick of which work is valuable, of course, is to be determined by corporations, since they are “more valuable” than us, since “they produce more wealth”).

    We need MORE respect for other people’s “rights”, not less. Otherwise even if we build an “eco-community”, we’re still going to be viciously cruel to each other.

    Because unlike selfishness, cruelty does not require that you think too highly of your own needs. It only requires that you think other people don’t have needs. And this essay is a perfect recipe for creating a society where no one has any needs or rights we need to respect, so we don’t need to behave respectfully (other people just like us are nothing in Nature’s plan, after all).

  21. OzMan Says:

    ugotstahwonder’s video link of severe weather is probably not to untypical of what the world can put out.
    In contrast, the issues of possible pacific rim earthquakes occurring more frequently is something to watch for I believe.
    It follows that if Arctic ice melts pretty fast, as we can see it is, that leads to a very hefty redistribution of mass from the poles to the equator or at least spread over higher latitudes.
    That is going to re-deform, or un-deform certain sectors of the plates that are stressed by the weight of the ice. Antarctica has 4km of ice in some places, and that deforms the crust in some heavy, (heavy man)ways.
    It all points to some not too pleasant seismic problems for humans.
    Climate Change is going to be one hell of a scary bedtime story.
    I like the voice-over that commented …. “for the last 100 people on the planet who still don’t believe in climate change”
    …very well framed!

  22. ugotstahwonder Says:

    Dairymandave – I understand and since no one but ulvfugl has replied, I won’t bother with it any further here. I’m content to enjoy them myself, anyway. Not making a religion out of them. They are one of the things that brought me around to aliens as a real deal. I don’t think it hurts to be open or somewhat prepared for that possibility, although I’m not looking forward to contact, per se, maybe there are some not so bad things that might come of it. I doubt I will see it happen, especially if they are waiting for some critical mass of humanity to be open to it. Perhaps ulvfugl and I will come closer to understanding one another (not likely). But, it was good to see you here with the same sentiments as me on the subject in terms of it being one for discussion.

    Ozman and artleads – hawkeyedavischannel on YouTube provides a running video review of drastic weather related events and also UFO sightings compilation videos some of which are truly stunning as well. I like to review the weather events, there is always something I missed. I watch the earthquakes too (suspicious observers on YouTube) and Fukushima news (nibirumagick2012). Check ‘em out.

  23. Paul Chefurka Says:

    Noam Chomsky: http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/23670-on-the-edge

    “For the first time in history, humans are now poised to destroy the prospects for decent existence, and much of life. The rate of species destruction today is at about the level of 65 million years ago, when a major catastrophe, probably a huge asteroid, ended the age of the dinosaurs, opening the way for mammals to proliferate. The difference is that today we are the asteroid, and the way will very likely be opened to beetles and bacteria when we have done our work.”

    By my estimation, maybe between 100,000 and a million people on the planet truly get it. Most us are unconscious slaves to our thermodynamically-shaped, genetically-driven emotions and beliefs. It takes a LOT of deprogramming to get past that. Such deprogramming is time-consuming, laborious and psychologically painful; the vast majority of us see no value in such an endeavour. Chomsky has done the work, and is further ahead than most.

    But in the end, what difference does “getting it” make to the outcome, when the other 7.1 billion keep trudging faithfully, unconsciously towards the precipice, carrying the rest of us along?

    My prescription is this: wake up, carpe diem, create your own meaning in life, let go of anger and outrage, practice random acts of kindness, and forgive everything. It will not save the world, but it will make your own corner of it a lot more harmonious, and the rest of it easier to bear.

  24. Shep Says:

    Mr. Chefurka: “It will not save the world”, but is all we have *and* all we need.

  25. Shep Says:

    And, all we can do.

  26. Eddie Says:

    Who are the “survivalists” and does the term even mean much? I have to assume that most people would prefer for the human race not to die out.(Except for some few who think we deserve it as fitting punishment for crimes against the planet.)

    And if one dares hold any hope for our species survival, then it follows fairly simply that it requires some preparation, knowing that the near future is going to be very harsh, and that the most likely scenario is one of disasters and famine. To be aware and not prepare for that seems unwise to me. I get the whole acceptance thing, but even when surrender is inevitable, the terms of that are not set in stone.

    Those of us with strong family ties to a younger generation are probably more motivated to try to act, within our capabilities, than not act. For me, my goal is to feed as many as I can for as long as I can, and show others how to feed themselves, for as long as I can. If that makes me a survivalist, well then. So be it.

    My own view is that our purpose, at this point, should be fairly obvious. We are (or perhaps it would be better to say were) the species that were aware enough, and capable enough to understand whole systems and how feedback works. We had the opportunity to be good stewards of a beautiful, lush planet, at a time that would have allowed us to be phenomenal gardeners and animal husbanders, and to have wisely used the incredible labor saving power of fossil fuels to perpetuate and enhance the life of our species and many others for many thousands of years. But we blew it.

    If anyone is wondering what the lesson of this lifetime is for you personally? I humbly suggest you think about the paragraph I just wrote.

    As far as examining the other concepts Mr. Aravena talks about, let’s look at them.

    What he calls the concept of “we”, I’d suggest that has to do with the way mankind has evolved into these highly centralized societies we have today, which allow massive wealth to accrue to the old rich and the royals of the world, at the expense of everyone and everything else.

    A much smaller “we”, the we of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, seems to be an appropriate we to me. The kind of we that involves uncles and cousins, rather than kings and subjects and presidents and constituencies.

    Maybe we ended up in this time and place with its first world waste and misallocation of scarce resources (alongside third world want and poverty and overpopulation) largely because of the fossil fuel engine, but we were headed here anyway, ever since we first claimed a plot of land as “ours” and planted a crop.

    “Equality”….to me it’s a white man’s (and woman’s) first world issue that will have very little relevance soon enough.

    “Rights”…to me there are certain inalienable rights. The right to be born, to breathe some air of whatever quality is available, and to struggle. Life is always a struggle of one kind or another. We also have the right to try to relieve the suffering we see in this world. Beyond that, I’m not sure what rights we have.

    As for “free will” and “luck”….I do believe we always have choices. A constant stream of them in what we perceive as linear time, and the choices we make have significant impact on ourselves and everyone and everything else. As for luck, my own view is that much of what seems to be randomness in the universe is just order that I do not understand.

    Thanks for the discussion Mr. Aravena. I think these things are well worth talking about.

  27. Robin Datta Says:

    The difference between Homo callidus and all other species is its ability to defeat limits.

    The use of stone tools extended the limits of muscle, tooth and nail, making better hunters. The control of fire rendered digestible hitherto indigestible plant materials, particularly starches enclosed in indigestible cell walls, and killed many foodborne pathogens and parasites. The advent of agriculture eliminated most of the vagaries of gathering.

    The increase in population in a confined space in Britain and the attendant deforestation led to the use of coal and the development of associated technologies, the first being steam engines to power pumps to remove water from coal mines. The fossil fuel phase followed.

    An average frog may produce hundreds or thousands of offspring over its lifetime, of which, on the average, only one survives for each breeding parent. The numbers may be much larger for fish, but even mammals produce many litters in their lifetimes, of which on the average one individual survives to maturity for each breeding parent. Less than a couple of centuries ago, much the same was true for humans, with families of half a dozen to a dozen children commonplace, with only two or so surviving to maturity.

    A purpose, if there be one, for life and the biosphere, is to promote energy flows while the flows maintain and increase its complexity in ways that increase the flows, something Homo callidus seems to excel at.

    The ideas of “rights”, “equality”, etc. are human constructs of convenience, for use only as utile, to be distorted and discarded when otherwise.

    I am alone, it is only me and the rest.

    If I am alone, then there’s neither an “I” or a “me” or “the rest”. And in that circumstance only is there “free will”. It is also found in the Judaic tradition, but perhaps not explicitly in the Christo-Islamic tradition.

  28. B9K9 Says:

    Eddie, the best thing one can do is to live for today, and not bother worrying about tomorrow. Even better, if living for today happens to entail an emphasis on mental & physical health – as opposed to binge eating & drinking like a drunken pig – then by happenstance these are also the best preparations one can make for the future.

    It’s impossible to even come close to game playing the various scenarios – battle plans are always discarded at first contact. However, there’s one sure constant throughout history, and that’s that people rarely ever stay put when trouble is afoot. After all, this core behavior is what drove the greedy ape out of Africa in the first place.

    Fixed installations will be attacked; people with resources/assets will be robbed & murdered. News will spread among the masses of places with reputedly good water sources, or cooler environs, or places where radiation isn’t concentrated – and they will move there in great migrations.

    Having a store of supplies won’t help you if you’re the one moving, because you’ll be challenged enough just dealing with your own daily calorie burn. If you located where people are moving to, then you’re the one who is going to be overwhelmed.

    The key is transportable skills – as a dentist, you’ll be valuable not because you can perform dentistry as a modern craft, but as someone who can yank out teeth with pliers with a minimum of pain inducing mistakes. That’s the gold.

  29. Grant Schreiber Says:

    How one plan for this kind of thing?
    Monday it was hovering near 80. Today it is 35.
    The tomato plants are not fairing well.

  30. Eddie Says:

    Last spring I hardly got any tomatoes. Too hot, to soon. I kept the vines alive and got more in the fall. I then decided to try to keep them alive all winter, since the prior one was downright balmy. No luck, we had near freezing temps for days on end, and the tomatoes, as well as some multi-year pepper plants, were wiped out. In spite of my investment in row cover and diligent attention to the weather reports.

    Now I have a lot of tomatoes early, and I think the potatoes will make. I planted them in January, nearly a month earlier than what my father taught me. It often is too hot here for potatoes to fruit now at all.

    My focus is turning to aquaponics in the greenhouse. I’m just starting to learn. You just keep planting. Sometimes you lose. Necessity is the mother of invention. I hope your tomatoes make it, Grant.

  31. mt Says:

    WARNING
    You are all under notice!
    I am taking names, and you will all be thoroughly investigated.
    This will be reported on your PERMANENT records—BEWARE.
    Have a good day.

  32. artleads Says:

    http://itsvivid.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/stories-will-lead-us-back-to-the-forest/

    I liked this. Very rounded and wise the writer, I thought. I like that VIVID’s open to feedback from new perspectives. Some parts were fresher for me than others. The surprise was the Monsanto credit in the video at the end (growing food in an African village). I was very interested in the appearance of the landscape, but when I returned to view it more closely, the clip was gone. Just one ad after another. But the connection of Monsanto with that beautiful village scene (scenario) interests me.

    “How one plan for this kind of thing?
    Monday it was hovering near 80. Today it is 35.
    The tomato plants are not fairing well.”

    Same thing here. Were I slightly more motivated, I’d enjoy *successfully* adapting my process to the new weather reality. I try to play and have fun with it. It can be done successfully I feel, but that takes a little too much work for the moment.

  33. David Goza Says:

    “We’re here to get each other through this thing, whatever it is.” ― Mark Vonnegut

  34. Tom Says:

    Life is the toughest teacher because it tests you first and teaches you the lesson afterward.

    Hi Eddie. We never really understood as a species – the way all the other animals do. Yeah a rare few did, but the huge majority failed to listen or took it to heart. As soon as we stopped cooperating with each other and became competitors, the human experience went the wrong way. With our big brains and filled with the hubris of perfunctory “understanding” (but not wisdom) every discovery of math and science was exploited and used to “conquer” nature (as if), kill and enslave each other, or make some domineering types “wealthy.” Long ago we lost our way and now we’re at the end of the road. There is no preparing for what’s ahead. All the species we drove to extinction along the way had to face the same – things have changed and we can’t live with these changes. There are no rights in nature, and all the stories we tell ourselves are fabrications we invent as we go along.

    Kevin: I hear you.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/10039610/Methane-field-discovered-off-Gisborne-coast

  35. kevin moore Says:

    Tom.

    My reply to an email from Robert A regarding methane:

    ‘There’s a rumour Japan is sending a ship with a big funnel attached to the bottom to collect the gas.

    The commercial operation will be undertaken under the guise of scientific research.

    If the enterprise is successful the gas will be transported to western Europe, where it will be used to reverse the flow of gas in pipelines. That will destabilise the Russian economy and teach Putin a lesson for invading Crimea.

    There’s also a rumour Fox Noise reporting of Climate Change has improved in accuracy from 8% to 20%. Hard to believe.’

    With 80% plus of the populace believing it would be possible for Japan to harvest the methane off the NZ coast and transport it to Europe (a variation on the plan announced by David Cameron a week or so ago, in which the US would supply gas to reverse the gas flow and Japan would restart its nuclear reactors) and believing the drivel churned out by the corporate media, what hope is there?

  36. pat Says:

    @ Dairymandave

    Totally agree – the Forum is not what it could be. Shame.

    Just sittin’ on this runaway train, staring out the window.

    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    Thou shalt not procreate.

    The Church of Euthanasia
    Save the planet, kill yourself.

  37. knarf Says:

    Despite the overwhelming evidence that comes form those who project that our world and it’s people will be Ok, and those who feel like the disaster brewing FAST on the health of our planet and people is immanent, there is the forever unknown. No one can be exactly right about our future, in fact they can’t be exact about our present or past. My take is that the ego maniacs that rule the economies and thereby the countries will not be hurt directly in the event of natural disaster or economic failure. They will be affected but not overthrown so that a more compassionate plan for mankind can develop. But the disruption in the lives of the poor will be immense. That is where the worm starts to turn. The police and military carry out the laws of the oligarchy, but when 2/3 of the population is suffering because of natural disaster ( or man made ), they begin to turn from serving and protecting the MASTERS, and beginning to help protect and serve the poor who are mainly all related to them. So I think we are headed for some calamity, but i feel that humanity will wake up, including many of the Oligarchy.

  38. Reverse Engineer Says:

    “The Church of Euthanasia
    Save the planet, kill yourself.”-Pat

    What are you waiting for?

    RE

  39. ulvfugl Says:

    @ dmd

    It’s not physics, it’s psychology. Just because you don’t know how they can be made, doesn’t mean others don’t know how to make them.

    I make food

    You mean you make profits for Monsanto.

    @ pat

    the Forum is not what it could be. Shame.

    So contribute something positive instead of complaining, same as before on the NTE forum, you give nothing but whine that you get nothing in return, and then you blame ME for your own lame attitude. If it was not me, you’d find some other excuse, for sure. Make it whatever you want it to be. But to do that, you’ve got to have something… what you got ?

    More mature ??

    Ginette continued saying the fantasy of nature as the pure way while humans are the rapist suggests “a false polarization” and is the narrative that has endured, carrying the “sins of thousands of years of religious leaders who never stood up to testify against the pillage.”

    Abandoning old ideas of nature are painful and shatter the illusions of security and protection by the “good mother” and “good earth” allowing new, more mature relationships to develop between nature and humans.

    This is the new myth, where nature and humans are separate but interconnected and working together, rather than in opposition. It is where Lori and Ginette believe humans will heal the despair that currently permeates the old nature myth.

    http://www.ecology.com/2014/04/21/redefining-mother-nature-myth/

  40. Rick Says:

    Just wondered, Anyone put together climate change, melting polar ice, sea level rise, an ice free arctic and the HAB Theory? That could make Methane practically irrelevant, no?

  41. pat Says:

    @ RE

    I’m not waiting for anything. I’m already dead – no job, no money, my house will soon be gone, my vehicle has been repossessed. I got nothing, I am nothing.

    Since I believe nothing matters, that we came from nothing, we are nothing, and we are going nowhere, and, end the end, we all will be nothing.

    Just sittin’ on this runaway train, staring out the window.

    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    Thou shalt not procreate.

    The Church of Euthanasia
    Save the planet, kill yourself.

  42. Bailey Says:

    Survivalist? But WHY should we survive? We’ve had probably a quarter of a million year run to play our game on this planet. Time for a whole new roll of the dice – after we have wiped the board clean soon.

  43. Robin Datta Says:

    What are you waiting for?

    RE

    Look in a mirror.

  44. kevin moore Says:

    Rick.

    Carbon dioxide was the most dangerous* gas. Methane is now the most dangerous gas because doing nothing to eliminate unnecessary carbon dioxide emissions has triggered a huge increase in methane emissions, leading to runaway warming.

    Methane has approximately 300 times the heat trapping potential of carbon dioxide over time frames that matter. And although many future-temperature models are based on oxidation of CH4 to CO2 and assignment of inappropriate forcing factors, in practice the CH4 concentration in the atmosphere does not decline, it increases.

    Even more alarming is the discovery that there is a ‘hole’ in the atmospheric OH ‘layer’ that oxidises CH4, which means that CH4 does not get oxidised anything like as quickly as old models predicted.

    It can all be summarised as highly disrupted geochemistry, due to human activity.

    Far from there being any attempt made to rectify the situation, all government policies of all governments I am aware of are geared to making matters much worse as quickly as possible.

    * as far as ocean acidification and disruption of the ability of organisms to utilise the bicarbonate cycle are concerned, CO2 is still the number one killer.

  45. Reverse Engineer Says:

    “Look in a mirror.”-RD

    My Mirror does not reflect NTHE. So I am not in the Church of Euthanasia camp with Pat. If Pat buys his line and wants to save the planet by self-sacrifice here, why does he keep promoting it but not actually do it? It is very disingenuous to promote OTHER people commit suicide.

    On other fronts, latest rant concerning the China-Vietnam front on the road to population reduction is up on the Diner.

    http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2014/05/16/china-vietnam-kabuki-theater/

    RE

  46. Martin Says:

    If Pat buys his line and wants to save the planet by self-sacrifice here, why does he keep promoting it but not actually do it?

    Because if he did it, he wouldn’t be able to continue to promote it. Duh.

  47. Tom Says:

    Not to bring up the old topic, but this 40 min. video helps
    (demolish the government accounts of what happened):

    Skygate 911 – Full Film

    by Pilots for 911 Truth

    Now, back to the destruction of our habitat, marine division:

    [3 min. video]

    Ocean Confetti!

    Kevin: seemorerocks has a lot of NZ related subjects on view today – among them NZ being “complicit” in spying on Brazil and using something called x-keyscore there at home.

    (also at seemorerocks) Meanwhile, here in the U.S. net neutrality is fading as the FCC continues its push to allow the pay-to-play corporate advantage despite widespread protest; and Russia, China and Iran are moving forward in their pursuit of other currencies beside the dollar to transact business (“de-dollarization”) which may cause economic trouble here beginning as soon as next year.

    While Bosnia and Serbia are experiencing this (quote by Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic) as a result of 4 months worth of rain falling in a single day:

    “What we are facing is the biggest water catastrophe in Serbia’s history.”

    in California wildfires are burning in many locations amid the worst drought in the state’s history (all of CA is now under drought conditions of varying degree, the worst in the central valley agricultural area where a lot of our fruit, vegetables and nuts are grown).

    http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/wildfires-create-havoc-in-san-diego-county-evacuations-ordered/

    May 2014 – CALIFORNIA – San Diego County officials say there are nine wildfires burning in the region covering more than 14 square miles. At a Wednesday night news conference, fire and emergency officials said the greatest concern is now in the city of San Marcos north of San Diego, where a new blaze broke out in the late afternoon and some 21,000 evacuation notices have been sent to residents. The campus of California State University, San Marcos, a school of nearly 10,000 students was evacuated, with school buses taking those who were on campus to evacuation centers. Firefighters were faring well against other blazes, with evacuations canceled around fires east of San Diego in Lakeside and to the north at the Camp Pendleton Marine Base. –ABC News

  48. Eddie Says:

    B9K9 said

    “The key is transportable skills – as a dentist, you’ll be valuable not because you can perform dentistry as a modern craft, but as someone who can yank out teeth with pliers with a minimum of pain inducing mistakes. That’s the gold.”

    Have (powdered, long shelf-life)lidocaine, will travel.

    If we get to the point of forced mass migrations, you are probably correct on all points. It is with that in mind that I think it’s very valuable for awake and aware people to network with each other, so that they can potentially help each other, and possibly form tribes.

    Where we are, people aren’t going to bother us much, I don’t think. It’s an area most people will leave ASAP when the water gets hard to come by. Those who learn to harvest the water that does fall out of the sky will be able to stay after the herd leaves.

  49. Grant Schreiber Says:

    Eddie says

    “If we get to the point of forced mass migrations, you are probably correct on all points. It is with that in mind that I think it’s very valuable for awake and aware people to network with each other, so that they can potentially help each other, and possibly form tribes.”

    Look how tainted this is with words like “valuable” and “network” as if climate refugees, extinction, starvation, disease and chaos are marketing issues that can be overcome with the right amount of moxie and can-do spirit.

    Instead of looking for value in your fellow human beings, why not stop being an asshole instead? Don’t look upon other people as potentially useful commodities to use down the road, be friendly. Expect nothing in return. Volunteer services instead of selling them. Sheesh. Small wonder we’re fucking doomed. Everyone is still on the make to get that corner office with the fat Christmas bonus at the end of the year. Try treating people with kindness instead of measuring their worth to fit into your god forsaken tribe.

  50. buz painter Says:

    My wife has professed her mystification at my helping those around me with no expectation of return favors. It is a paradigm which, over the years I have been unable to instill in her. I’m just playing the ‘frustration rag’ here. I have no expectation that she will change.

  51. Eddie Says:

    Grant, you misread me. I’m neither salesman nor huckster. I’ve gotten through life by helping other people and being helped in return. I liked what you had to say on this thread in your initial comment, but I can see that today you’re back to the usual name calling.

    Calling me an asshole might make you feel better, but it doesn’t do anyone any good. The ad hom attacks aren’t called for.

    I’ve spent a whole career, more than 25 years,helping poor people who needed it. You have no idea who I am or what my value system is. Don’t be so quick to judge people you don’t even know.

  52. ulvfugl Says:

    @ pat

    I’m not waiting for anything. I’m already dead – no job, no money, my house will soon be gone, my vehicle has been repossessed. I got nothing, I am nothing.

    Since I believe nothing matters, that we came from nothing, we are nothing, and we are going nowhere, and, end the end, we all will be nothing.

    Hahahaha, been there, done that, got the T shirt, wore it out, I found it a wonderfully liberating experience, pat, despite the trauma and angst, I didn’t need to worry about all the things I’d been worrying about all my life… And taoists and zen buddhists study for decades trying to achieve that sort of non attachment… but what I want to know, why the fuck are you bothered about the damn Forum ??? :-)

  53. Martin Says:

    Meanwhile, in another forum, buz painter’s wife is expressing frustration at her blockhead husband wasting family resources on ingrates and ne’er do wells. Pretty dumb thing to do, she laments, in these tough times. Wasted on people who wouldn’t know reciprocity if it came up and bit them.

    Buz has been at it for years, she moans, but do you think I can get him to change? Stubborn old goat.

  54. Modern Money Mechanics Says:

    THE TIMES Science – Merchant of Doubt
    Scientists in cover-up of ‘damaging’ climate view

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/science/article4091344.ece

    The Guardian – It is all FUD!
    Murdoch-owned media hypes lone metereologist’s climate junk science
    Absurd anti-science faux journalism flares up again – as usual, it’s Big Oil that’s set to benefit, not the public.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/may/16/murdoch-media-hypes-lone-climate-denial-big-oil

  55. Grant Schreiber Says:

    Eddie counters “Grant, you misread me.”

    Well, Ed how should I read “I think it’s very valuable for awake and aware people to network with each other, so that they can potentially help each other, and possibly form tribes,” because it sure sounds like survivalist lunacy to me.

    What qualifies the “awake and aware”? What value do we place upon them? Should those who are unaware, like children, be left to fend for themselves? In the tribe created does it war against other tribes or hide under rocks? There sure is a lot to misread here, isn’t there?

    I’m sure you’re a fine human being Eddie. So what? There’s billions of fine human beings out there. We’re all in the same boat and it raises my hackles when “solutions” devolve into tribalism fantasies based loosely upon the belief that one life is somehow more important than another. And that’s one of things that really sucks. We get to die right next to people who are totally unaware, deeply asleep, utterly confused and bewildered. I assume the Eddie tribe isn’t going to club them to death and eat their corpses to stay alive for a little longer, but then what? What good is the network of valuable people when there is no food or water?

  56. Shep Says:

    Anyone seen this? Is it old news? Probably bull… and ridiculous! Seems this stuff pops up alI the time but the big boys are always and forever protecting their interests without qualms. I do not believe that technology is worth a s… in saving the situation.

    UNLIMITED ENERGY Steorn

  57. TR Says:

    Eddie says:”Don’t be so quick to judge people you don’t even know.”
    That’s advise that many don’t want to hear but by being in the state of perfection,I can ignore this advice.lol

    ….

    I don’t have any problem with the word “ASSHOLE” because I thought that being one was a requirement to comment on NBL.
    Someone please get me some help.

  58. buz painter Says:

    @Martin– I think that you may have something there. Perhaps Colbert is right,the word for today is: F**K IT.

  59. kevin moore Says:

    We all know it is not a case of ‘running out’ of fossil fuels but of being unable to extract the little that is left sufficiently quickly to maintain status quo arrangements.

    This is just one more piece of evidence to support the contention that present arrangements will implode over the next 5 years.

    There is till ‘the economy of hope’ left to keep things trundling along, as described in the last paragraph of the following. Not hope for the living planet, of course.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/uk-to-run-out-of-fossil-fuels-in-five-years-9385415.html

    UK to ‘run out of fossil fuels’ in five years

    Friday 16 May 2014

    The UK is set to run out of its oil, coal, and gas supplies in a little over five years, a new report had claimed.

    The research from the Global Sustainability Institute has said that other European countries are facing similar shortages and that many nations will become entirely dependent on energy imports in the next few years.

    The UK has 5.2 years of oil remaining, 4.5 years of coal and three years of gas before completely running out of fossil fuels, says the institute, which is based at Anglia Ruskin University.

    France is reportedly even worse off, with less than a year’s worth of fossil fuels in reserve, while Italy has less than a year of gas and coal and a single year of oil.

    “The EU is becoming ever more reliant on our resource-rich neighbours such as Russia and Norway, and this trend will only continue unless decisive action is taken,” said Dr Aled Jones, the director of the institute.

    “It is vital that those shaping Europe’s future political agenda understand our existing economic fragility.”

    Despite the shortages faced by UK, France and Italy, other EU countries have more reliable supplies. Germany has more than 250 years of coal left (but only a year’s supply of oil and gas) while Bulgaria has 73 years of coal and Poland has 24 years.

    Russia is one of the best appointed countries in Europe with its massive land mass offering up more than 500 years of coal, 100 years of gas and 50 years of oil.

    Professor Victor Anderson, also from the institute, has urged a “Europe-wide drive to expand renewable energy sources such as wave, wind, tidal, and solar power.”

    “Coal, oil and gas resources in Europe are running down and we need alternatives,” said Professor Anderson.

    The Government has recently announced cuts in its subsidies for large-scale solar farms from next April, two years before they were projected to end, and the Conservatives have said they will not subsidise new onshore wind farms if they win the 2015 general election.

    Ministers are instead hoping that a combination of shale gas – extracted by fracking – and new oil finds in the North Sea will be able to plug the coming deficit.

  60. BenjaminTheDonkey Says:

    Helpless

    We’re watching the end, helplessly,
    And few people what we see;
    But in this summer’s heat,
    When more folks see defeat,
    They’ll be as helpless as we.

  61. Reverse Engineer Says:

    “Because if he did it, he wouldn’t be able to continue to promote it. Duh.”-M

    The Catch-22 for The Church of Euthanasia. If all the Church members follow the diktat, they have no more congregation. So they can’t kill themselves if they want to spread the word and fill the Collection Plate.

    RE

  62. Tom Says:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/impossible-to-conserve-nature-as-is-thanks-to-climate-change/

    Impossible to Conserve Nature As Is, Thanks to Climate Change

    A U.S. government-backed guide for land managers says global warming requires a fundamental shift in conservation

    When President Theodore Roosevelt visited the Grand Canyon in 1903, he famously admonished the attending crowd to avoid meddling with the landscape. “Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it,” he said. True to Roosevelt’s message, America’s conservationists have since focused on maintaining the status quo, or at least restoring ecosystems to their natural state.

    But due to the growing impacts of climate change, this can no longer continue, according to a new guide for land managers backed by multiple state and federal agencies.

    “Addressing the growing threats brought about or accentuated by rapid climate change requires a fundamental shift in the practice of natural resource management in conservation,” states the document, released yesterday by the National Wildlife Federation in partnership with the National Park Service, U.S. EPA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey and several other federal agencies and nongovernmental organizations.

    “While managers traditionally have looked to the past for inspiration, increasingly we will be faced with future conditions that may have no historical analogs,” it states.

    The guide is intended to demystify climate adaptation for habitat and wildlife managers. It provides a step-by-step process evaluating how ecosystems may be vulnerable to climate change and how conservation goals might be altered for the best possible outcome.

    ‘No longer possible’ to maintain nature’s status quo
    But the guide’s authors stress the “best possible outcome” may mean ecosystems that look very different from how they did in the past.

    “It is going to be a very big shift over the coming decades,” said Bruce Stein, the National Wildlife Federation’s director for climate change adaptation, who helped edit the guide.

    “There’s going to be places where we’re going to try to do our utmost to keep it the way it is,” Stein said, “… but that’s not going to be possible indefinitely; in fact in some places and for some things, it’s not possible even now.”

    Climate-change-related conservation decisions have already proved contentious.

    Scientists sharply disagree about whether to introduce new wolves to Isle Royale National Park in Lake Michigan to breed with the current pack, which is inbred and in decline. Proponents of a “genetic rescue” claim that ice bridges to the mainland are forming less frequently as the planet warms, meaning the wolves can’t breed with outside populations. Others say the decline would have happened even without climate change (ClimateWire, Dec. 3, 2013).

    As with the case of Isle Royale, getting all stakeholders on board with future conservation decisions isn’t going to be easy, Stein said.

    “If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the conservation community, it’s that you need that broad collaboration,” he said. “That’s going to be especially tough as we increasingly are called on to make hard choices.”

    Aiming at a moving target
    But according to T. Douglas Beard Jr., chief of USGS’s National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, it is important for land managers to dive into climate change adaptation, even though future impacts aren’t entirely predictable.

    “We actually learn by doing—you put something in place, and then you evaluate when you’re getting there,” said Beard, who also contributed to the guide. “That’s critical.”

    The guide encourages more agile management techniques that constantly take climate change into account, as well as strategies that can change depending on the outcome.

    For example, land managers can restore coastal habitats to deal with saltwater intrusion while simultaneously providing migration corridors if those habitats become inundated due to sea-level rise—this effort is currently underway at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina.

    Conserving a changing landscape may sound like a tall order, but Beard said he believes that, based on efforts he has witnessed over the past five years, America’s land managers are up to the task.

    “Maybe it’s because they are actually now starting to see the real-life implications of climate change,” Beard said.

  63. mt Says:

    Pat
    will you please explain to these mental giants that you ARE dead

  64. BenjaminTheDonkey Says:

    And few people see what we see

    Dammit.

  65. infanttyrone Says:

    That Pat ?

    Feels like times have changed…

    There’s an age in a man’s life…I don’t want to spend time thinking about what comes next.

  66. Rick Says:

    @kevin moore
    I think that my meaning was lost in translation. I understand about CO2 and Methane and how it is exponentially accelerating warming and climate chaos, my point/question is: as warming continues apace and the arctic sea ice melts away there has to be a significant impact on global balance and that may play directly into The HAB Theory ushering in the next pole shift which does seem to have substantial support for the timing and the very assertion. Therefore, the rapid climate driven global changes such as melting glacial ice we are witnessing may be the “last straw” when you consider the other earth science observations such as recent pole migration (creep) and the coming change in global balance caused by ice loss at the poles. The ice melt might be the tipping point leading to the next great turning. Just a thought.

  67. pat Says:

    Thanks for all the support folks!
    Yes, I’m already dead – since I don’t participate in Industrial Civilization that much anymore – at most you might say I’m a spectator. The years I lived pursuing the American Dream were a total waste of time for me personally AND extremely destructive to the innocent life forms that have the misfortune of sharing the planet with sapient lunatics. I only have one long-term goal: not to feel.
    The only rational response to the tragedy we have wrought is guilt and shame.
    I look in the mirror and I know that every day I live, every kilowatt of electricity I use, every meal I eat, every shower I take, etc., means some innocent life must be sacrificed, some innocent child must suffer, some measure of hope must be extinguished…
    RE is wrong, we are all members of the Church of Euthanasia. Drive your car, buy some groceries, turn on a light, connect to the internet, and know that you are killing yourself and Every Living Thing on Earth. Go to bed and sleep with the knowledge that we have the barrel of a gun in our mouths and we have already pulled the trigger – the bullet is on the way and there is no stopping it – and the “bang” is right behind, but we won’t hear it.
    .
    @ infanttyrone
    .
    “There’s an age in a man’s life when you don’t wanna’ spend time thinking about what comes next.”
    .
    Great stuff!
    .
    .
    .
    Just sittin’ on this runaway train, staring out the window.

    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    Thou shalt not procreate.

    The Church of Euthanasia
    Save the planet, kill yourself.

  68. Robin Datta Says:

    how conservation goals might be altered for the best possible outcome.
    ‘No longer possible’ to maintain nature’s status quo

    Once the experiment has run its course, the Petri dish is consigned to the autoclave.

    will you please explain to these mental giants that you ARE dead

    There are two deaths: the lesser death (the biological death) and The Great Death. Some refer to the latter as “extinguishment” (=nirvana), and others by other terms that serve as descriptors for other aspects. One is only guaranteed the former in a lifetime. As to the latter, while there is no guarantee of it in any particular lifetime, there is also no mistaking it when it occurs; moreover it has no temporospatial correlation with the little death.

  69. JG Miller Says:

    …we have to have the necessary children to assure the survival of our species.

    Why is the survival of our species important?

    The writer of this piece is not questioning enough ingrained assumptions.

  70. artleads Says:

    Bullshit warning:

    I received a jury duty notice today. I filled out the form and didn’t try to get out of it, although my age qualifies as a potential excuse that I can back up on some other form if I choose. I could be jailed and/or fined for not complying with jury duty. My powerlessness in the matter is clear. So I could be involved in adjudicating innocence or guilt of some individual.

    As I sat later in the bloodwork lab, I thought about crime. An elderly man was pushing a more elderly man in a wheelchair. Someone helped by opening one side of the glass double doors with its solid metal framing to let them in. Everything was clean and hard. The wheelchair was shiny and new. Outside on the ground was a massive concrete gutter system beyond which was the massively paved blacktop driveway. I thought of how the glass was made, the energy used for that, the workers involved, and how it was transported and installed. I thought about the clothes all of us waiting were wearing, and how those too were manufactured and transported. The list of similar materials of the manufactured environment in which we were immersed was endless. It occurred to me that all these materials and functions were drenched in blood through a massive network of exploitation—of people, land, nature. What was most startling was how easy it was to consider these visual phenomena part of a normal world. Crime was endemic in the very fabric of a small but sprawling city.

    So I could be involved in adjudicating innocence or guilt of some individual. And I would be criminally charged if I refused. But the crime of the place and things around us is never considered. Which might explain my interest in places and things over people.

    There seem to be a hundred events this weekend, most of them green. Cross-nation walkers to address climate change, bikers to address climate change. Endless stuff. And all along, everyone assuming that the way they live, the places they lived in, the roads they ride or walk along, are normal and innocent.

    It was like suddenly awakening and finding oneself in the stomach of a beast. We were not the ones chewed up. We were swallowed whole, and were now being digested slowly. But most did not know it. We can’t quite call the situation apocalyptic, for that would imply an alternative, something not apocalyptic. We were born into this condition, knowing of no other. Waking up and somehow understanding where we are is perhaps preliminary to cutting open the bowel of the beast and breaking out.

    ………………….

    On PBS news there was a well meaning segment on school resegregation. Good points were made, but with no context. No sense of the more than doubled population since the 1960s. No sense of the catastrophic environmental losses since. Certainly, not a shred of concern about the climate, or economic meltdown. We see the same thing in all the mainstream liberal causes. Trying to do something that can’t be done, because the problem is something more fundamental that dwarfs the scale of liberalism.

  71. RE Says:

    “Yes, I’m already dead”-Pat

    Bullshit.

    Dead People don’t Keyboard. There are no Routers that work from the Great Beyond.

    RE

  72. Tom Says:

    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/05/mountain-bull-legendary-kenyan-elephant.html

    Mountain Bull, legendary Kenyan elephant, found slaughtered by poachers – ‘He was killed while being tracked night and day with modern technology and within the confines of a fenced national park and World Heritage site’

    http://on.aol.com/video/man-arrested-for-eating-2-day-old-baby-518196710

    Man Arrested For Eating 2-Day-Old Baby

    This among too many recent instances of men beating infants (and also raping in one case) shows what a sorry lot humanity is. We’re beyond depravity to the point that there are no controls for or even thoughts of right and wrong at work in too many of us. We’re just the worst species of animal: destroying whatever we can in the environment and killing each other off while committing slow suicide by civilization. This is the kind of human that will be unleashed when civilization collapses – former church attendees will resort to the basest human desires and most irrational and unfettered behaviors to survive until they’re killed off too. There will be no trust or morality and especially no rule of law (for whatever that’s worth anymore – so many rogue cops out there now amid an environment of corporate zombies and judicial insanity). Cooperation would be the only way to survive for even short periods of time without electricity, modern medicine, and non-functioning supply chains. Beside the lack of potable water, sanity will be a rare commodity.

  73. RE Says:

    Oh Good Grief. The Router biz was a JOKE. Have you no sense of humor at all?

    Point is, if he was actually dead, Pat could not be posting here promoting other people kill themselves to save the planet.

    Dead is Dead. Pat is very much alive, and a completely disingenuous asshole.

    Pat plays Schrodinger’s Cat here.

    http://www.splitreason.com/Product_Images/10822ad1917e-xl.jpg

    RE

  74. Tom Says:

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/05/14/3437672/second-warmest-april/

    Last Month Was The Second Warmest April Ever Recorded

    Around the planet, April temperatures averaged 58.5°F, which is 1.3°F above average temperatures. This is only a tad lower than than the warmest April ever recorded, a milestone hit in 2010 when NASA calculated global temperatures of 1.44°F above average, according to the data sheet.

    The data announcement also marks this April as the 350th month in a row where the globe has experienced above-average temperatures, a phenomenon that scientists agree is largely caused by increases of man-made greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. Incidentally, April 2014 also marked the first month in human history when average carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere reached above 400 parts per million. [read the rest]

    A good warm-up of things to come in the near future (and already happening in the Pacific now too), this (~ 1.5 hr) video from Gail’s blog Wit’s End:

  75. ulvfugl Says:

    @ RE

    Oh Good Grief. The Router biz was a JOKE. Have you no sense of humor at all?

    Oh, I KNOW, RE, I fell over onto the floor, I was crippled laughing so much, took me a full 20 minutes to recover, I almost died, jeez, you’ve got to be the MOST comical man on the planet, I don’t know where your genius comes from, hilarious, such fantastic inspired original insights…

    ‘No Routers in the Great Beyond’!!!!! Fucking Classic ! Got to be in the top ten jokes of the decade, if not the century, possibly even since the whole fucking Universe was created.

    Point is, if he was actually dead, Pat could not be posting here promoting other people kill themselves to save the planet.

    Oh, I SEE. I nearly missed that bit. OMG, you can do LOGIC as well as JOKES. No limits to your talent is there.

    ….and a completely disingenuous asshole.

    And you’re not ??

  76. Guy McPherson Says:

    I’ve posted a new guest essay. It’s here.

  77. Shep Says:

    @PAT

    Hell, I’m with u Pat. Might as well admit it RE. There ain’t no way out and nothing anybody does makes a difference.

    “It’s not death that I fear, it’s the preliminaries.” (Leonard Cohen’s Poet Friend)

    “If someone could guarantee me that the preliminaries will not be too disagreeable, I look forward to the… (death). – Leonard Cohen, last statement of interview

    Amen brother!

  78. infanttyrone Says:

    There are no Routers that work from the Great Beyond.

    Rocky: Good afternoon, Mr…. Danger. I’m Rocky Rococo.

    Nick Danger: Thanks half-pint. You just saved me a lot of investigative work.

    Rocky: Maybe yes, maybe no…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konstant%C4%ABns_Raudive

  79. infanttyrone Says:

    There are no Routers that work from the Great Beyond.

    Rocky: Good afternoon, Mr…. Danger. I’m Rocky Rococo.

    Nick Danger: Thanks half-pint. You just saved me a lot of investigative work.

    Rocky: Maybe yes, maybe no…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konstant%C4%ABns_Raudive

  80. Henry Says:

    Godofredo — Well, my friend, you took some hits, and left them to steam in their own opinions. It almost always seems our reward for sticking your neck out is someone will most eagerly hand you your head. My impression was that it was some of your earlier writing, but never mind. The consolation may be that, given your location, you will probably outlive all of your critics.

  81. RE Says:

    “And you’re not ??”-UF

    Nope. I’m a FUNNY Asshole. You’re a MISANTHROPIC Asshole. Pat is a DISINGENUOUS Asshole. Grant is a BORING Asshole. Guy is a DEPRESSING Asshole. Robin is a CONFUSED Asshole.

    Assholes come in many variations.

    RE

  82. Martin Says:

    The pied-piper of assholes.

  83. RE Says:

    Martin- The DUMB Video of Assholes.

    precisely what was that vid supposed to demonstrate that we do not already know?

    RE

  84. TR Says:

    Guy,
    You need to register all those that comment & issue a Certificate of General Asshole,to each.Those that want a special Asshole designation will have to pay with an essay supporting their reason for an upgraded Certificate.

    It would be kind of you to issue me Certificate #1.

  85. Martin Says:

    RE,

    Huh? It wasn’t a test.

  86. BenjaminTheDonkey Says:

    Once In A Lifetime

    You may find yourself on the run
    With no escape once doom’s begun;
    And one unreal day,
    You may hear yourself say,
    “My God!…What have I done?”

  87. pat Says:

    Again, thanks all for the support.

    @ BTD: …and you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife…

    @ Artleads: yes, right on. I’m watching a baseball game, a bunch of overweight people are doing the wave – clutching their pretzels.

    Robin: yes, I have experienced the death of all that I was, everything. Nothing left.

    @ Shep: The preliminaries are all circumstantial. Mine not so bad as others, and others not so bad as mine. Try as I might, I’m no better than a pretzel-clutching fat guy doing “the wave,” making it all worse with every breath.
    .
    .
    Just sittin’ on this runaway train, staring out the window.

    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    Thou shalt not procreate.

    The Church of Euthanasia
    Save the planet, kill yourself..
    .

  88. RE Says:

    “Robin: yes, I have experienced the death of all that I was, everything. Nothing left.”-Pat

    Bullshit. Clearly your keyboarding ability is still left.

    RE

  89. ulvfugl Says:

    @ RE

    Bullshit. Clearly your keyboarding ability is still left.

    I assume this is another of your ‘jokes’, you being such a ‘funny’ person who comes here to amuse us with your wit.

    The trouble is you are an ignorant clueless literalist troll, an illiterate intellectual dwarf, who misses the point of what pat says. He’s actually a hell of a lot smarter that you are.

    Max Stirner :

    How is it with mankind, whose cause we are to make our own? Is its cause that of another, and does mankind serve a higher cause? No, mankind looks only at itself, mankind will promote the interests of mankind only, mankind is its own cause. That it may develop, it causes nations and individuals to wear themselves out in its service, and, when they have accomplished what mankind needs, it throws them on the dung-heap of history in gratitude. Is not mankind’s cause—a purely egoistic cause?

    I have no need to take up each thing that wants to throw its cause on us and show that it is occupied only with itself, not with us, only with its good, not with ours. Look at the rest for yourselves. Do truth, freedom, humanity, justice, desire anything else than that you grow enthusiastic and serve them?

    They all have an admirable time of it when they receive zealous homage. Just observe the nation that is defended by devoted patriots. The patriots fall in bloody battle or in the fight with hunger and want; what does the nation care for that ? By the manure of their corpses the nation comes to “its bloom!” The individuals have died “for the great cause of the nation,” and the nation sends some words of thanks after them and—has the profit of it. I call that a paying kind of egoism.

    But only look at that Sultan who cares so lovingly for his people. Is he not pure unselfishness itself, and does he not hourly sacrifice himself for his people? Oh, yes, for “his people.” Just try it; show yourself not as his, but as your own; for breaking away from his egoism you will take a trip to jail. The Sultan has set his cause on nothing but himself; he is to himself all in all, he is to himself the only one, and tolerates nobody who would dare not to be one of “his people.”

    And will you not learn by these brilliant examples that the egoist gets on best? I for my part take a lesson from them, and propose, instead of further unselfishly serving those great egoists, rather to be the egoist myself.

    God and mankind have concerned themselves for nothing, for nothing but themselves. Let me then likewise concern myself for myself, who am equally with God the nothing of all others, who am my all, who am the only one.

    If God, if mankind, as you affirm, have substance enough in themselves to be all in all to themselves, then I feel that I shall still less lack that, and that I shall have no complaint to make of my “emptiness.” I am nothing in the sense of emptiness, but I am the creative nothing, the nothing out of which I myself as creator create everything.

    Away, then, with every concern that is not altogether my concern! You think at least the “good cause” must be my concern ? What’s good, what’s bad ? Why, I myself am my concern, and I am neither good nor bad. Neither has meaning for me.

    The divine is God’s concern ; the human, man’s. My concern is neither the divine nor the human, not the true, good, just, free, etc., but solely what is mine, and it is not a general one, but is — unique, as I am unique.

    Nothing is more to me than myself!

    “Ich hab’ Mein’ Sach’ auf Nichts gestellt,” first line of Goethe’s poem, ‘ Vanitas! Vanitatum Vanitas!” Literal translation: ” I have set my affair on nothing.”

    Refers back to Ecclesiastes. All is vanity.

    We’re not talking about the death of the material physical body, we’re talking about the death of the ego, of vanity.

    You RE are a pompous puffed up dickhead who strides around the graveyards yelling at the tomb stones accusing the dead of being failures because they all QUIT.

  90. Godofredo Aravena Says:

    Henry

    Thanks for the support.
    I agree with your comment.
    I have understood long time ago, that to try to convince somebody (grown-up) is a useless effort. So I just talk about what I see and think, and it is up to the others to take it or not. There is always somebody that will get something new to think of.
    That is why children are so important. They don´t question their parents. And later, they usually add something more, in the same line.

  91. pat Says:

    children? Please.
    .
    .
    Just sittin’ on this runaway train, staring out the window.

    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    Thou shalt not procreate.

    The Church of Euthanasia
    Save the planet, kill yourself.

  92. Paul f. Getty Says:

    Outcome of battle against radioactive water at Fukushima plant in doubt

    “We are facing a problem so large it’s impossible to see all its dimensions. Eventually, we’ll be able to grasp what’s happening, but for now, no. The radioactively contaminated water at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is but one, relatively small part of the greater cleanup at the disaster-stricken facility, and yet in absolute terms it is enormous.”

    http://mainichi.jp/english/english/perspectives/news/20140517p2a00m0na006000c.html?mc_cid=236af4f5cf&mc_eid=f0754ee742

  93. EtyerePetyere Says:

    to shep http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steorn
    UNLIMITED ENERGY Steorn ………………….. FAIL

  94. Godofredo Aravena Says:

    Pat

    Children is a two fold issue.
    They mean more humans, and possibly more destruction. If they are raised under the rules of industrial society. But it does not have to be that way.
    And also, if you have two or one children, population will not increase once you and your couple die.

    And, at the same time, they are the only way that things may change. But I do not mean children in a generic way, I mean your own children, (one, at most two). Your children are the only persons in the world that will not question you, they will think and act, basically as you. And most of what they have learnt from you, they will teach to their children, and so. That is why parenthood is not a simple task. It implies a very big responsibility, and spending a lot of time with your children (time that can be shared with your couple), whose consequences will last much longer than yourself. Your children will clearly reflect your most intimate and profound values and codes, and or your failures as a parent.
    But most people do not understand this issue. That is one of the reasons why we are where we are.
    I do not pretend to convince you, but this is basically why I am always talking about children.


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