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Monolithic Memories

Mon, May 5, 2014

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Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on the Doomstead Diner and SUN4Living on April 27, 2014

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Discuss this article at the SUN Table inside the Diner


A couple of weeks ago we held the first Convocation of Diners down in Texas. We did this in conjunction with a workshop held at Monolithic Domes, a 1 week intensive course where you learn the principles and practical aspects of building ferro-cement domes, for use as Domiciles, Grow-Domes and pretty much any type of use imaginable for a structure. This article is partially about that, but really more about the wonderful time those of us who went down had there and what the purpose is for coming together as a community.

I don’t leave the Last Great Frontier too often anymore, it makes me nervous every time I board a plane for a trip to the lower 48. First off I hate going through the TSA checkpoints like everybody does. This time, I was carrying a boatload of electronic equipment and was sure I would get the Full Monte from the Goons, but happily it wasn’t too bad, they only ran one of my bags through the scanner twice and I only set off the alarm once forgetting to drop my cell phone in a plastic bin. On the way back, I was REALLY fortunate, winning the LOTTO of TSA Pre-Approval on my Boarding Pass, which allowed me to not have to take off my shoes or take my Laptop out of its bag for separate scanning, and get on the much shorter line at Austin’s airport for Flight Crews and various VIPs with lots of airline miles who pass through these checkpoints on a weekly basis because they travel so much and burn so much Jet Fuel. Not sure why I was so designated as a SAFE Flyer, but it certainly was nice not to have to take my shoes off for the trip home.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe arrival in Austin had just about everything go according to plan, we were in communication regularly through the marvel of the internet to coordinate the Pickups at the Airport and then make the drive to Eddie’s McMansion through the Austin Traffic. We were wedged in pretty tight in the rental mini-van LD & GM drove in from South Carolina, with their two boys in car kid-seats and 3 doomers wedged into the back seat. Sidestepping the traffic was a challenge, and the GPS and Cell Phones were out in force as we worked our way around it to finally make it to Eddie’s place.

EddieElectricThis was a first IRL meeting for all of us, so there was a little nervousness about the meeting, but for the Doomers from the Diner, everybody turned out to be pretty much just like the personality on the Diner, so we relaxed with each other pretty quickly. More worrisome was Eddie’s family, since they are not 100% on board with Doom, so we did not want to make a nuisance of ourselves there.

I did get a chance to do a walk around of this space though, to have a look at some of the projects Eddie is pursuing there. Eddie is Mr. Project, he is SERIOUS about actually doing stuff to try to achieve some food and energy security for his family. He’s also a pretty well to do Dentist, so he has options on this most people do not have, but at the same time is a very generous and open guy who wants to try to make the things he experiments with available to more people.

After the Meet & Greet at his house, we headed out for the “Toothstead”, a 40 acre part of a Ranch Eddie bought a few years ago as a Retreat for when TSHTF. As Texas type property goes, it is quite beautiful with a stream running through it that flows when there is decent water falling on Texas, which unfortunately is not too regular these days. After our Convocation Party and Rain Dance on Saturday though, we had a downpour on Sunday morning. :) Even with the drought there though, it’s still a very pleasant and bucolic place, and not all that far out of Austin proper either.

SAMSUNG CSCThis caused me to ponder some on the Zombie issue. It is difficult enough to negotiate your way to one of these outlier properties with a car and GPS unit, its pretty hard to imagine how people who have no cars will get out there in a SHTF scenario. You would have to ride MILES on bicycles, all along the way vulnerable to attack. After the first wave comes flowing out of the Big Shitty, locals will have the Shoot to Kill and Take No Prisoners attitude pretty quick. I don’t think it is realistic to figure that roving gangs could make it more than 20 miles outside of suburbia.

So you probably are reasonable safe on such a property, if you have enough people to protect and defend it, not so much from roving Zombies as from other Locals. This means many areas even fairly close to Big Shities might be survivable.

Zombie defense was not a real big concern during the Convocation though, what was much more a problem was just how far you had to go and how much time it took just to get a Six-Pack of BEER! The closest convenience store selling beer was like 30 minutes away BY CAR!

Now, if you are truly self-sufficient, you will of course be brewing your own beer, but this reinforces how big a change you will face after TSHTF even if you happen to be fortunate enough to have a remote retreat you can get to while you still have a tank of gas left. Is life worth living without On Demand Beer available at least until midnite every day? I wonder about that.

SAMSUNG CSCFortunately though we did have working Carz with full tanks of gas, and mostly stayed well stocked with the Elixir of Life. Saturday morning we had the first of the fabulous breakfasts whipped up by LD, who established himself as King of the Kitchen and flipped over some delicious eggs courtesy of his South Carolina based Chickens. These eggs travelled several hundred miles safely in the rented mini-van though, so they were not exactly fossil fuel free food before final consumption.

Saturday Night was our Big Party, complete with singing and dancing courtesy of WHD and lots of good musing about Doom. We went into the wee hours, until finally retiring to sleep on mostly Air Beds, courtesy of some factory in China made from fossil fuels by the magic of polymer chemistry.

I’m not trying to highlight the hypocrisy involved all along the way here of a bunch of people all concerned with sustainable living flying in to meet from places as far away as California and Alaska, but rather the dependance we have on fossil fuels and easy travel to live the life style we do. The lifestyle change involved for all when this goes bye-bye cannot be understated, and nobody will adjust to that overnight. Really what you need to concern yourself with is how to manage the transition, what things are needed and how to best prep up for the transition period.

The biggest part of that Prepping up which motivated this convocation was the Workshop at Monolithic Dome Institute, run by David South who has been in the biz of building Domes since way back in the 70s. Over time Monolithic has become the premier Dome construction company in the world, with over 4000 of them sprinkled around the globe used for everything from Warehouses to Schools & Churches and many homes as well.

SAMSUNG CSCThese domes also are highly dependent on the embedded energy now available from fossil fuels to build, though once built are very durable and energy efficient structures. In terms of preparing for transition, the energy spent in building these structures is way better spent than in simply Happy Motoring each day around to Walmart and Mickey D’s.

The Domes also provide a reasonable transitionary form of housing in a world where Climate Change brings danger from many corners. They are resistant to wildfires and earthquakes, often the only buildings left standing in the aftermath of one of these calamities. In places vulnerable to floods and hurricanes, they stand up to them also, and Monolithic has been involved in building replacement housing everywhere from Haiti to the Phillipines in the aftermath of the cyclonic storms which hit those neighborhoods over the last few years.

Besides their use as domiciles, the Domes also represent about the best chance we have for maintaining food supply through climate change. Inside a dome, you can control everything from humidity to CO2 content of the atmosphere, and through intensive techniques like hydroponics and aquaculture achieve yields 40X what typical industrial agriculture achieves, using a small fraction of the amount of water and fertilizer that this method does. With both water and fertilizer more difficult to come by at higher prices all the time, it only makes sense to start transitioning to these methods ASAP. Grow domes are not just being built here in the FsoA, but places like Bahrain and Oman as well, where their water supply and food security is in EXTREME danger right now. The more places that grow domes can be built NOW, the better that we can transition into a world where Climate Change is wreaking havoc with traditional forms of food production.

SAMSUNG CSCWith all of this in mind, we are working on setting up a company to build domes, mainly at the moment with the idea of providing affordable housing as more people slide out of the middle class, but long term with the idea of using them as a means to develop sustainable communities with secure housing structures. The techniques that Monolithic currently uses for Dome construction have a limited lifespan here, and there is only a short window of opportunity to put up as many as possible, so the more people involved in building them, the better.

Over the weeks and months to come, we hope to have good models available at reasonable prices which provide good and comfortable living spaces that will LAST for generations, much like some of the older housing in places like Wales, built out of stone and lived in by generations now for centuries.

Ideally in my mind, as a society and civilization, we would martial up here a construction project that was national if not global in scope, much like the WPA built infrastructure like the Hoover Dam during the Great Depression. Unfortunately, this is not how the economic system is set up these days, so it falls to individuals to take on this work, and the only way to do that is to set up companies to do it. Like it or not, under the current economic model everything costs money, so to build domes you have to figure out how to pay for them. Like flying down from Alaska to learn how to do it, helping to develop a building company for domes can be seen by some as hypocrisy in action. I will live with this criticism, because there is no better alternative I can see, though I am always looking for one and open to new ideas.

It remains an open question as to how deeply climate change and the disappearance of copious quantities of available energy will affect the existence of Homo Sapiens. There are more than a few people these days who think it will all end quite soon, in Near Term Human Extinction. This may be true, but it doesn’t mean you need to give up today on trying to find a way out of the deep mess our civilization and the planet is currently in. In the very worst case scenario that NTHE is a correct hypothesis, the effort may buy a bit more time for the great experiment with Sapience that is Homo Sapiens, and it gives you something to do also.

In the best case scenario, we will find a way to weather the storm, and build a Better Tomorrow.

RE
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If you have registered, or you intend to register, please send an email message to guy.r.mcpherson@gmail.com. McPherson will 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.

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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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104 Responses to “Monolithic Memories”

  1. Gerald Spezio Says:

    Learn to build a dome or possibly build a dome, you say?

    Fly from Alaska?

    Fly back to Alaska?

    Drive from S.C?

    “Perverse engineering” & fast forward on the fuel?

    Man, sheeit Man – you crazy.

  2. artleads Says:

    “These domes also are highly dependent on the embedded energy now available from fossil fuels to build, though once built are very durable and energy efficient structures. In terms of preparing for transition, the energy spent in building these structures is way better spent than in simply Happy Motoring each day around to Walmart and Mickey D’s.”

    “Like it or not, under the current economic model everything costs money, so to build domes you have to figure out how to pay for them. Like flying down from Alaska to learn how to do it, helping to develop a building company for domes can be seen by some as hypocrisy in action. I will live with this criticism, because there is no better alternative I can see, though I am always looking for one and open to new ideas.”

    Thanks, RE. I’m not quite on board with the domes. But then I’m not much into Bucky’s geodesic domes either. People go for brand new techy ideas while missing the old fashion ones staring them in the face.

    The Eddie LD image looks like the remains of an old greenhouse. Just like the ones I used to try and preserve from “useless blight to be discarded ASAP” status to any number of useful alternatives, including housing. They were framed with redwood and almost impervious to rot. They were simple and graceful. They would require next to no energy to convert to homeless shelter, new planting enterprises, etc. But these greenhouse remains comprise a mere fraction of what’s being overlooked.

    Like thousands of abandoned steel frame buildings from the early 20th century. Hardy against many of natures ravages. Just left to decay. Old rust belt complexes of awesome strength and beauty. Not to mention abandoned buses and RV’s. I saw a c. 1950 bus in a makeshift “trailer camp” in my community. Not sure if deco describes it. Sleek, plush, solid, over built. I once did a project with third graders where we designed a model where old school buses were bermed up to window level surrounding a shared community hub.

    Not even seeing the potential in all this discard right in front of us, while jumping to the next new thing (almost exclusively) seems to be missing an essential point of resistance.

  3. BenjaminTheDonkey Says:

    Kubla Khan

    Kubla Khan decreed his new home
    In Xanadu would be a dome;
    He preferred, for his place,
    Hemispherical space
    Till the end of the human genome.

  4. Modern Money Mechanics Says:

    More Americans believe in God than in man-made global warming.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/04/22/Tragic-Earth-Day-news-for-green-propagandists-more-Americans-believe-in-God-than-man-made-global-warming

    I guess the PR types would say the NBL message needs to re-packaged. Maybe something along the lines of Armageddon…

  5. kevin moore Says:

    Indigenous people living adapted forms of traditional ways will probably be the last form of humanity to die out, as the world becomes progressively less habitable due to abrupt climate change and ecological collapse.

  6. Wester Says:

    I just got back from rural Cambodia. Many of the folks there will not bat an eye or miss a beat if the entire rest of civilization disintegrated tomorrow.

  7. Robin Datta Says:

    The techniques that Monolithic currently uses for Dome construction have a limited lifespan here, and there is only a short window of opportunity to put up as many as possible

    That’s realistic. Pessimistic optimism or optimistic pessimism.

    it doesn’t mean you need to give up today on trying to find a way out of the deep mess our civilization and the planet is currently in

    No sane person can disagree.

    With regard to the concrete reinforcing, the most serious issue is the rusting of the bars: rust has a greater volume than the steel, and rusting thus cracks the concrete.

    This is addressed by modifying the steel with additives that make it less susceptible to rusting and corrosion, as in stainless steels, alloying the steel with other metals, or coating the surface of the steel to prevent chemical interactions. The concrete can be treated with additives to decrease porosity and / or to inhibit the unwanted chemical reactions.

    The approach in each case will vary with the expected environmental exposures.

    Another issue is community. Fossil-fuelish technology is indeed wholly dependent on (hierarchical, vertically controlled) society, the very antithesis of (voluntary, horizontally cohering) community. Working with this kind of technology reinforces societal memes, usually at the cost of community values. However, once these massive energy flows dry up, the hierarchies and societal structures they support will start fading away. Fascism and other forms of totalitarianism need lower energy flows than dumbocracy, and medieval feudalism needed even less. Survival will need adapting to life under such modes of social control with progressive energy paucity.

    Fortunately, the less the hierarchy can provide, the more the unofficial interactions (outside the control of the hierarchy) that fill the need – and these constitute community.

    Indigenous people living adapted forms of traditional ways will probably be the last form of humanity to die out

    And thar will be a result of the trashing of the global environment through anthropogenic climate disruption, with other forms of pollution and despoliation.

  8. Grant Schreiber Says:

    Spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam baked beans and spam.

    Baked beans are off

    Can I have spam instead?

  9. Kirk Hamilton Says:

    Mmmmmmmmmmm, somebody know how to fry eggs right!

  10. Wester Says:

    I saw the article in May issue of Rolling Stone “The Climate Battle: Obama Gets Serious” -The president finally makes fighting climate change a priority. By Jeff Goodell

    The thesis of the article is that 1) Obama wants better EPA regulation of US coal fired power plants which provide 40% of US electricity. 2) Obama wants to nix the Keystone pipeline and is waiting on how best to deliver the news and 3) Obama wants to lead the way on international programs.

    Well, hey, that’s a start. That’s something. Maybe 6, 10 or 15 years too late on all counts. I’ll give him a passing grade on the pipeline, but he needs to stop acting like a PR manager and just call all the morons in a room, explain how it’s gonna be and dismiss them. Stop playing on their field. Period. And, we see no chance here of completely X-ing out the coal power plants, which is really what needs to happen. Lead the way on the international climate stage? That would be a genuine historical first – which is why it and all the “making climate change a priority” of this article is purely theoretical, and will likely remain so as long as Obama stays in office.

  11. Haniel Says:

    Good points, Robin, and covering those issues was part of the course we attended.

    What attracted me to the Monolithic dome idea was the lower ongoing energy consumption. It makes switching to renewables easier, since domes use far less energy, a lot of what we waste today going towards heating and cooling. They say reduce first, then replace – I plan on taking ‘reducing’ to the extreme by starting at the design stage.

    With resilient housing comes a need for resilient gardening and soil restoration, which gives me a need for biochar. Since there’s already a ferroconcrete design for small scale natural gas storage, it would be easy to adapt to wood gas, and then we can easily have 24/7 generator, with the main byproduct being biochar for the land, to improve crops.

    I plan to be off grid, with a negative carbon footprint, within a few years.

    On a business level, I want to go to tornado alley and build as many of these as low cost rental units as I can, aimed at those on the bottom of the housing market, those who have no chance of buying anytime soon and live paycheck to paycheck.

    Why? Because when an twister rips though, guess who has three inches of concrete protecting their belongings from 200 mph winds? The most vulnerable. When was the last time you saw a disaster leave the rich in worse shape than the folks at the bottom? And when it comes to clean-up, who would have their shit together enough to be able to help? Watching how tptb cope with that would be fun. What if the safest place to run when the sirens go off is the lowest-income neighborhood? Deal with that quandary, Mr. Look-down-the-nose-at-the-poor.

    It’s no fun watching nature kick those who are already down, protect them as well as possible from Her fury – then you don’t feel so bad because you enjoyed the show.

  12. Bud Nye Says:

    Ianto Evans’ passive solar cob construction, usually made entirely and very cheaply of natural materials found on site and also lasting for centuries (many thousands of them hundreds of years old still in use in England, and highly earthquake resistant–the only buildings still standing after some New Zealand quakes) make one HELL-OF-A-LOT more sense to me! See the Cob Cottage Company web site at: http://www.cobcottage.com/ , and the book, The Hand-Sculpted House, A Practical and Philosophical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage by Ianto Evans, Michael Smith and Linda Smiley (2002). Besides cob construction, Ianto is also one of the world’s leaders in creating and introducing the extremely efficient rocket stoves and rocket mass heaters as well as introducing them to this country.

  13. Pilot Says:

    @Wester

    I could not agree more on what you say about our current President. I voted for him twice (and I am VERY left of center). Anyhow, as time has played itself out, I have come to realize that President Obama is not as progressive as he played himself to be, but is more a corporate centrist. I still think he was a better choice than Romney. But I am very disappointed on his “tough guy” stance on some issues. Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel that he has been seeking “middle ground” far too often. Sometimes, you have to get tough in the face of adversity. As far as the XL Pipeline… I’m afraid he’s going to be the nice, passive, non-confrontationalist and “cave.” GOD, I hope I’m wrong. In any event, any action we take at this point (I believe) is far too late. What a shame…

  14. TemplarMyst Says:

    I’m not thinking the whole dome thing is such a bad idea, per RE, Robin and Haniel and others. Just another possible way to cope with the slide, I suppose.

    Heck, I’ve suggested some ideas on trying to right the ship, just enough to squeak by, that are a whole lot more insane.

    However, whereas I’m thinking we ought to be trying crazy stuff to cool the Arctic down, for example, there are all those others out there that are laying their claims to drilling for what’s left up north.

    Just finished watching Episode 4 of Years of Living Dangerously. Yup. Greenland is parceling out drilling plots, and Russia’s had success with an exploratory well.

    I’m thinkin’ we ought to be cooling it down. They seem to think it’d be a good idea to just keep on heatin’ it up…

  15. logspirit Says:

    It would be good to see more of the intelligent folks here begin to take on some knowledge about the health and environmental implications of eating eggs and other animal tissues, and stop its thoughtless promotion. The animal flesh and dairy pipeline is a larger source of climate change pollution than all transportation combined. The UN has been declaring this for nearly a decade. I hope more of you will do the research and discover a better way… an easy positive path that nearly anyone can follow, without permission or approval or cooperation from authorities… Go Vegan. Those who do will feel better – since our health is how we feel – and they’ll lighten their impact on Life. For anyone who hopes to achieve sustainability in the looming shadow of extinction, the lowest hanging fruit is to quit blood lust and Go Vegan. At least it will quell some of the din of sickness and violence. Stop glorifying the Death Culture.

  16. RE Says:

    The Basalt Rebar completely eliminates any issues with corrosion of the reinforcement. If you build one of these with Basalt Rebar, it likely stands up as long as the Great Pyramid at Geza.

    Far as this being a “new idea”, it’s not, David South started building them in the 70s. Just it never caught on, people didn’t see a need for it.

    Today, the people in Tornado Alley can see a need for it. So can the people living in the Phillipines and Thailand.

    RE

  17. Martin Says:

    RE:

    Is your dentist friend Eddie interested in pursuing his craft once the grid goes down? I’m wondering if he’s given any thought to acquiring, say, one of those old dentist stations that use a treadle-operated drill. And for an autoclave, say, one of those All American steam sterilizers you can set down on a wood-fired stove.

  18. Tom Says:

    Wester (and everyone): did you see this?

    http://news.yahoo.com/white-house-unveil-dire-climate-warning-report-053001184–finance.html

    White House to unveil dire climate warning in new report

    The Obama administration will release an updated report on Tuesday showing how climate change touches every part of the country, as the administration seeks to convince the American public on the need for a crackdown on carbon pollution.

    Some environmental and public health groups expect the U.S. National Climate Assessment to be a “game changer” in the administration’s efforts to address climate change.

    The extensive report will update a January 2013 draft, which detailed how consequences of climate change are hitting on several fronts, including health, infrastructure, water supply, agriculture and especially more frequent severe weather.

    Since then, the report was reviewed by the National Academies of Sciences and attracted more than 4,000 public comments.

    The advisory committee behind the report was established by the U.S. Department of Commerce to integrate federal research on environmental change and its implications for society. It made two earlier assessments, in 2000 and 2009.

    Thirteen departments and agencies, from the Agriculture Department to NASA, are part of the committee, which also includes academics, businesses, non-profit organizations and others. More than 240 scientists contributed to the report.

    “We expect it will paint a huge amount of practical, usable knowledge that state and local decision-makers can take advantage of as they plan on or for the impacts of climate change and work to make their communities more resilient,” John Podesta, an adviser to President Barack Obama, said on Monday.

    [there's more]

    WAAAAY too late (and he still hasn’t nixed the XL pipeline, or coal) – that’s our gummint at work!

    It would be more to the point if he just directed everyone here or had Guy give his typical talk for the general public on live tv from the Oval Office.

  19. RE Says:

    “RE:

    Is your dentist friend Eddie interested in pursuing his craft once the grid goes down? I’m wondering if he’s given any thought to acquiring, say, one of those old dentist stations that use a treadle-operated drill. And for an autoclave, say, one of those All American steam sterilizers you can set down on a wood-fired stove.”-M

    Well, anybody who reads Eddie’s stuff knows he is Mr. Prep and tries to figure out ways to prep up for all contingencies, and his profession is Dentistry. So he definitely thinks about and prepares for how he can continue to provide some Denatal help after TSHTF.

    I know he has looked into various ways to store some of the pain reducing medications, we have discussed this. Not sure what tools he has prepped for doing Dental work though. I will ask him to drop in to talk about that, though to be honest he finds NBL tough to hang out on overall. If you HAVE Hopium, you get pretty well Napalmed here most of the time. I’m impervious to this, but most of my Hopium Infected friends are not.

    On other fronts, I did not include the Interview I did with David South at Monolithic in the article here. This might be of interest to some.

    RE

  20. kevin moore Says:

    With the corrupt Obama administration now overtly supporting neofascists in Ukraine and pushing for the commencement of World War 3, we are awaiting the false flag incident that will be used as a pretext for major US military involvement. (It’s difficult to believe that all those NATO jet fighters that have been deployed in eastern Europe are there to protect civilians.)

    As Dr Paul Craig Roberts has recently pointed out, the majority of Americans are completely clueless. (So are most of the populace of other western nations, of course).

  21. ulvfugl Says:

    Look what those murderous fuckers in Washington have done.

    116 innocent people counted so far, shot and burned to death.

    Click on captions for English sub titles.

  22. ulvfugl Says:

    In reality, what we have witnessed over the past several months is not “Russian aggression,” but the premeditated destabilization and overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine, and a resulting, and continuously escalating confrontation with Russia as Moscow reacts to the reappearance of Nazis along its borders, backed by NATO and the EU.

    http://landdestroyer.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/ukrainian-crisis-was-always-about.html

  23. RE Says:

    “In reality, what we have witnessed over the past several months is not “Russian aggression,” but the premeditated destabilization and overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine, and a resulting, and continuously escalating confrontation with Russia as Moscow reacts to the reappearance of Nazis along its borders, backed by NATO and the EU.” UF

    Coming soon, Ukraine Re-Redux.

    Thanks UF for the intro. :) You are about the best Straight Man I ever worked with. I could not have asked for a better openning. :P

    RE

  24. Eddie Says:

    “Is your dentist friend Eddie interested in pursuing his craft once the grid goes down? I’m wondering if he’s given any thought to acquiring, say, one of those old dentist stations that use a treadle-operated drill. And for an autoclave, say, one of those All American steam sterilizers you can set down on a wood-fired stove.”

    Practicing dentistry post-collapse presents a myriad of challenges.For the foreseeable future, such as it is, I don’t think we’ll need treadle power. We will be able to produce enough electricity here using solar PV (or even steam generation) to give us the tiny amounts of power needed for running dental equipment.

    Without at least some electricity you lose not only the power to shape teeth and excavate caries, but you also lose x-ray, still the most important diagnostic device ever invented for dentistry.

    So electricity is necessary to provide any semblance of modern style treatment. Period.

    The other big challenges are:

    Local anesthetic is now delivered to us by Big Pharma courtesy of the Just-In-Time delivery system that brings us our groceries and everything else. I have spent some time researching sources for powdered lidocaine, which is mostly used these days by drug dealers, not doctors. It’s available, but quality is suspect. Through regular suppliers,I can only buy lidocaine that is already reconstituted with water and prepackaged. That has a nominal shelf life of a year. So if we had a fast collapse, most dentists would be out of anesthetic in weeks, and no more would be forthcoming. All the prepackaged anesthetics would be gone within a couple of years max.

    Powdered lido lasts pretty much forever. The other main drug in dental anesthetics (in minute quantities, but important for efficacy) is epinephrine. It’s hard to get powdered epinephrine . I have not found a source for it at all. War on drugs and all that.

    If that’s not enough then you have the difficulty of restoring teeth without the materials we take for granted, like modern filling materials and cements. The one dental art not likely to be lost is casting gold crowns with the lost wax method, which is bronze age tech. But you need gold for that, of course.

    In a fast collapse scenario, I think dentistry will become a difficult job, mostly limited to extracting teeth, and not in the best circumstances.

    The good news is that many people do have healthy teeth, and dental disease is mostly preventable. Of course, malnutrition is very hard on the dentition.

    I’ve been intending to write an article about reasonable dental preps. There are some.

  25. Tom Says:

    It’s pretty obvious to everyone on the planet that the U.S. government (and allies) is now beyond any kind of control since being overtaken by the military/industrial corporate people and that they’ll continue to thrash about in their hegemonic delusional state, ruining the planet and humanity in the process of acquiring what they need to survive.

    i’m sorry I was born here and, though not responsible for all this (wouldn’t have been any better/different had Romney been elected except it may have gone faster and further in this direction), i’m powerless to do anything about any of it – especially since I’ve all but dropped out of the economy.

    So very few have any idea of how overwhelming it’s going to be in the near future on the climate front alone, not to mention all the misery humanity will pile on itself via its chaotic “will to survive” instinct all around the globe. We’ll probably be wishing/seeking for quick deaths after a while.

    The Ukraine may be the lit fuse, but there are other fires burning and the methane is increasing in the atmosphere silently and continuously as we stomp about with our puffed-up chests adorned with oily war paint.

    I don’t begrudge anyone their futile effort at staving off extinction.

    Gotta get some work done – fixing up the winter damage to the garden.

    Enjoy NOW, it’s all there is.

  26. Tom Says:

    forgot the link:

    http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2014/05/greenhouse-gasses.html

    Tuesday, 6 May 2014

    Greenhouse gasses

    Will the Anthropocene last for only 100 years?

    Many people have warned that the high current carbon dioxide levels have already locked us in for a future 10°C temperature rise, a future that is only held off due to the sulfur dioxide emitted by burning of fuel (especially coal) and by the fact that it takes time for ice sheets and glaciers to melt. By implication, once the masking effect of sulfur dioxide ends and the Arctic sea ice collapses, a huge sudden rise in temperature can be expected, leading to abrupt climate change.

    Importantly, methane levels have risen even more strongly than carbon dioxide levels. As the image at the top of this post shows, the current methane level is 250% its pre-industrial peak level, i.e. 1100 ppb above the pre-industrial peak level of 700 ppb. Histrically, methane has only moved by some 300 ppb between a glacial and interglacial phase of the ice ages. IPCC/NOAA figures suggest that global mean methane levels have been rising by 5 or 6 ppb annually over recent years and there are some worrying indications that the rise of methane levels might accelerate even further.

    To obtain mean methane abundance, measurements are typically taken at an altitude of 586 mb, as methane typically shows up most prominently at this altitude. Indeed, mean methane levels were highest at this altitude in April 2013, at just under 1800 ppb. Looking at mean global methane levels in April 2014 at this altitude, one could at first glance conclude that the situation had not changed much, and that 2014 methane levels had merely risen by a few ppb, in line with IPCC data. So, at first glance one might conclude that there may appear to be only a minimal rise (if any at all) in global mean methane levels when taking measurements at lower altitudes.

    Importantly, closer examination of above graph shows that the situation is dramatically different when looking at the rise in methane levels at higher altitudes. A huge rise in mean methane levels appears to have taken place, to the extent that the highest mean level is now reached at 469 mb. Overall, the average rise in methane across the altitudes that are highlighted in the image is no less than 16 ppb.

    As the image below illustrates, this rise appears to go hand in hand with much higher peak readings, especially at higher altitudes. It appears that the additional methane originates from the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere and has over the past few months moved closer to the equator, which is what typically occurs as methane rises in altitude.

    [read the rest of this amazing article]

  27. Grant Schreiber Says:

    Here it is:

  28. pat Says:

    It’s all just a waste of time, and since there is very little time left, why waste it?

    “We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing.”

    Just sitting 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.

  29. RE Says:

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

    You First. Lead the way. Be an example.

    RE

  30. RE Says:

    The Suicide Promotion Problem

    How do you promote Suicide without yourself commiting suicide? If you commit suicide, how can you continue to promote it? Pretty hard to post up if you are DEAD.

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

    This is bar none the most self-serving piece of disengenuous bullshit ever pitched over the net.

    RE

  31. Bob S. Says:

    “This is bar none the most self-serving piece of disengenuous bullshit ever pitched over the net.”

    I beg to differ – I think you spamming your self-serving disingenuous bullshit and willy nilly disregarding the two post rule makes you the King of self-serving disingenuous bullshit.

  32. Gerald Spezio Says:

    Pat may be practicing perverse engineering (a snide prevert)?

    Tom, I focused on this in Sam Carana’s piece.

    Sam Carana has recently stated a plausible worst case scenario for the near term.
    ———-
    A polynomial trend line points at global temperature anomalies of 5°C by 2060.

    Even worse, a polynomial trend for the Arctic shows temperature anomalies of 4°C by 2020, 7°C by 2030 and 11°C by 2040, threatening to cause major feedbacks to kick in, including albedo changes and methane releases that will trigger runaway global warming that looks set to eventually catch up with accelerated warming in the Arctic and result in global temperature anomalies of 20°C+ by 2050.

    ——–

    The nebulous “zeitgeist” is routinely selling the hype that humans can adapt to a two degree C increase.

    “JUST A LITTLE BIT LONGER …”

    Indeed, the issue has become; “We MUST hold to ONLY a two degree increase.”
    …. and the U.N. has recently endorsed such preposterous nonsense.

    Economists, politicians, & fairies will surely come forward & exclaim; “See comes our mystical equilibrium at two degrees C.”

    Or a transgender & benevolent Gawd will answer our hopes & prayers & stop the acceleration of methane release in its tracks.

    Bangledeshies & Inuit are dying now.

    What was that about the Southern Hemisphere being less vulnerable?

    And let’s all get some magical grief counseling for bummer negativity?

    If you are not despairing, you just ain’t paying attention.

    Arctic News
    On November 9, 2013, methane levels as high as 2662 ppb (parts per billion) were recorded, as indicated by the red dot on the image below.

    View on arctic-news.blogspo…

  33. Eddie Says:

    Artleads said:

    “The Eddie LD image looks like the remains of an old greenhouse. Just like the ones I used to try and preserve from “useless blight to be discarded ASAP” status to any number of useful alternatives, including housing. They were framed with redwood and almost impervious to rot. They were simple and graceful. They would require next to no energy to convert to homeless shelter, new planting enterprises, etc. But these greenhouse remains comprise a mere fraction of what’s being overlooked.”

    That image is actually of a wicking bed with an integral deer fence (a necessity here). But I do have a “surplus” greenhouse out on the ‘stead that is being repurposed exactly as you suggest. I’m a great believer in working with what you’ve got. My greenhouse will be half aquaponics growing area and half storage when I’m done. However, the way I convert it from greenhouse to barn will actually use techniques I learned from Monolithic. Much of what they teach is applicable to building things other than domes.

    Bud Nye said:

    “Ianto Evans’ passive solar cob construction, usually made entirely and very cheaply of natural materials found on site and also lasting for centuries (many thousands of them hundreds of years old still in use in England, and highly earthquake resistant–the only buildings still standing after some New Zealand quakes) make one HELL-OF-A-LOT more sense to me! ”

    I love a good cob building, but not all sites have the right mix of clay and the right sand to make cob. And if you’ve ever built anything out of cob, you know that the process is painstakingly slow and not without its own learning curve. And you need straw, which is also hard to come by in some locales.

    I’m still in the planning stages for building one of Ianto’s rocket stove thermal mass heaters. It will be my first real cob experience outside of workshops.

  34. Robin Datta Says:

    Dr. Eddie:
    Perhaps you already know of the multifarious effects of Benadryl.

    Diphenhydramine also has local anesthetic properties, and has been used as such in patients allergic to common local anesthetics like lidocaine.

    And then there are the TCADs.

    Tricyclic antidepressants as long-acting local anesthetics.

    And that is not the end of the list from Big Pharma. A little digging into the archives of materia medica of a now-bygone age very likely will turn up some useful options that once grew in the wild. Whether they still do is quite another matter.

    You First. Lead the way. Be an example.

    RE

    And everyone at the Diner to follow.

  35. Eddie Says:

    To me, the real significance of our recent experience here in Texas is that it shows that like-minded, aware individuals from all over the place can establish both virtual and real world networks, make plans, establish agendas, and come together to do real work aimed at increasing our own resilience and teaching others how to live sustainably.

    I strongly encourage each of you to reach out to others that might be on your wavelength with regards to climate change. Come together online and in the real world, for the purposes of fellowship and to promote the ethics of permaculture. People care, earth care, fair share. A short time horizon for humanity does not make these principles obsolete, by any stretch of the imagination.

    When my world ends, I hope I can be found still trying to grow food and create abundance for the people I care about. Whether that’s due to climate change or some other cause, it really doesn’t matter.

  36. Eddie Says:

    @ Robin Data

    Benadryl is a shitty anesthetic, unfortunately. I know that much. I don’t know about the trycyclics, but they require a fancy chemistry set to make.

    The only truly effective natural local anesthetic I know of is coca, and I wouldn’t hesitate to use it if it were available post-collapse. Unfortunately, it isn’t nearly as safe as lidocaine with epinephrine.

    I expect ether will make a come-back. It’s simple. It was first synthesized in 1540. Dangerous? Hell, yeah.

    Thanks for the links Robin. I am open to learning,wherever and whenever I can.

  37. BenjaminTheDonkey Says:

    Concrete Dome

    If you’re looking for something offbeat
    For your own little secret retreat:
    Whether large or petit,
    You’ll live like an elite
    In a dome of ferroconcrete.

    It makes all the rest obsolete;
    Buy now and you’ll get a receipt!
    Your life will be sweet,
    Satisfaction complete—
    Unless there’s nothing to eat.

  38. artleads Says:

    Eddie,

    I’m sure you have much better information on cob construction than given in the link below. But for anyone new to the subject…

    http://housealive.org/is-cob-cheap/

    The next link refers to papercrete, which involves building pavers and stacking them like bricks. Very cheap, some of the qualities of cob, and no need for straw.

    http://www.motherearthnews.com/green-homes/papercrete-to-build-recycled-houses-zmaz00amzgoe.aspx#axzz30yhjnMR8

    I’ve experimented with a loose version of papercrete, making “rocks” and “boulders.” The largest boulders were a little over 2′ in the longest dimension. Nobody can tell that they aren’t natural rock. The mixture has varied, but it works something like: 1/3rd paper pulp, 1/3rd earth, and 1/3rd cement. These objects have been left out in the elements for over seven years. They do get a little frayed sometimes, but the best-made ones hold up well. A substitute for cement, but unfortunately still a commercial product, is wood glue. White glue works well too. But the glue would make up less than 10% of the volume. I made rice glue once, and I believe that worked. I also put wire and plastic/tin discard inside the mass. Maybe houses could be built with the boulder technique, It could be somewhat like cob without straw?

  39. RE Says:

    “I beg to differ”-BS

    Your mileage may vary.

    “And everyone at the Diner to follow.”-RD

    No, we’re anti-suicide at the Diner. We go to the Great Beyond only after the last hydroponic grow dome runs out of tomatoes.

    RE

  40. Robin Datta Says:

    As usual, the emmeffs are decades late and gigatons short:

    National Climate Assessment

    So what else is new?

  41. pat Says:

    the truth is that Civilization is Suicide – only difference is that Civilization is slow and miserable, with lots of collateral damage.

    Some may point to our extended life spans as proof that Civilization is good – and then Industrial Civilization is even better. But, really? Do you really want to live like this? Do you really want to live for 80 plus years like THIS, knowing we are killing Every Living Thing on Earth?

    We are, at our core, selfish. How long would the hydroponic tomatoes last if we shared with all?

    We are, at our core, judgmental. How long would the hydroponic tomatoes last if we shared with all?

    .

    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. RE Says:

    “We are, at our core, selfish. How long would the hydroponic tomatoes last if we shared with all?”- P

    Depends how fast we can build the facilities.

    Yields in a Grow Dome are 40X what you get with conventional growing methods, using a small fraction of the fertilizer and water.

    You have a Bathtub problem, can you increase production one way fast enough to compensate for lost production the other? My guess is that given the political intransigence now, the shift will not occur fast enough to make a smooth transition, but it can ameliorate the situation substantially. You certainly would be doing better than 100% Die Off if you kept it down to 50%. Better still would be to cut it to 20% or even to Zero. The only way to do that is to get everyone going on it ASAP, but that is unlikely, so you do the next best thing, which is to get as many as you can making the transition.

    Ideally, the end result is that Industrialization goes the way of the Dinosaur, the atmosphere and climate gradually recover and you get re-speciation such as occurred after the PETM.

    It’s the CHALLENGE that is faced here now, and you can pull your plug and quit, or you can try to make it through the Zero Point.

    http://www.samlow.com/sail-nav/images/Kane-Hokulea.jpg

    Do I want to live in this situation? Well, I certainly would have preferred to be on the first Catamaran rigged sailing Canoe that made it to the Big Island of Hawaii from the Marquesa Islands 1000 years ago, to live in a pristine wilderness with Nature’s Bounty at my feet. However, that was not the hand I was dealt in this iteration, and so I do the best I can given the less than lovely parameters we face here.

    http://muza-chan.net/aj/poze-weblog/tokyo-dome-green-sphere-big.jpg

    RE

  43. ulvfugl Says:

    @ RE

    But you analysis is wrong, so your solution is wrong, because the problem is not ‘how do we keep some humans alive through some harsh conditions ?’ is it.

    The problem is, ‘how do we keep a viable biosphere’. Because otherwise the planet becomes uninhabitable, and the harsh conditions last for a million years + and fucking grow domes are no solution at all.

    And the answer to that, is, or WAS, that we don’t fuck up the biosphere with dumb stuff like concrete and aluminium.

    You only use what is to hand, and you do nothing that upsets the natural ecology. In other words, like the Inuit, you use the snow and ice, you make an igloo, and when you’ve finished with it, it goes back to being just the same as it was before you were there.

    Or, in the jungle, you use branches and leaves.

    Or, in the case of this house where I live, you just gather the stones off the hillside, dig up subsoil, mix it with cow dung and water, and build walls. It’s lasted 200 years, no reason why it won’t last 2000.

    No pollution or artificial materials or interfering with natural cycles at all.

    But the critical part about this, it’s not the techniques, although that’s important to know, the skill, the art, like thatching – it’s the fundamental principle.

    If you have not grasped that, if you have no understood that – that the biosphere is the only thing that matters, and that the biosphere is made of all the natural ecosystems, so THEY are what have to be maintained – then you really have no chance of surviving.

    You have to come up with technology which can be maintained indefinitely without causing harm, damage.

    That’s not any actual technology. That’s an idea, a principle.

    For a while, people are going to be able to use the crap left over, all the glass and metal and junk. But when IC stops s o does the mining and the aliminium smelting and all that stuff.

    Vinay Gupta says that we are now into a new technological revolution of nanomaterials. He says we get incredible new fabrics at incredible low prices. Mostly from China. He’s probably right.

    Skyscrapers made from graphene that get erected on site in a day by inflating them like balloons, that generate their own electricity from their skin, etc.

    But a lot of that crap NEVER decays, so it’s going to be even worse than plastic, in the oceans, and everywhere. We’ve got all this magic stuff, power, but no wisdom.

  44. dairymandave Says:

    Just what the group needed, U. Thanks. How many calories are in a tomato? How much protein, essential amino acids? What’s the EROEI of the humans doing the work? Who even understands what human EROEI is? If food was so plentiful pre agriculture, why didn’t population rise? Must have used birth control.

    Here’s some new information, for me anyway, about fertilizer and what the English did to get it. What does this suggest for the near future? Pay attention, RE. Some good ideas here:

  45. RE Says:

    “The problem is, ‘how do we keep a viable biosphere’. Because otherwise the planet becomes uninhabitable, and the harsh conditions last for a million years + and fucking grow domes are no solution at all.”- UF

    Of course, for long term survival the entire biosphere has to work. This is just a temporary means to survive through a bad period.

    Ideally, you get the Grow Domes up as the Industrial System crashes, then you have the Lag Time problem of who knows precisely how long after we stop burning so much carbon before the biosphere comes back into balance.

    With luck and many other forms of regeneration such as biochar sequestration of carbon, you can bring things back to a balance inside a century or so. Albert Bates has written about using biochar as a remediation mechanism.

    The Grow Domes provide a means to make it through the Zero Point. Remember, in the PETM, Temps were 12C higher than they are now, and not all life was extinguished then. Our progenitors were moles who MADE IT THROUGH the Zero Point then, moles who lived underground.

    Frankly, living in domes for a while is a good deal better than moling your way underground for survival. Upgrade here in Survival Methodology.

    Those Moles LIVED. They made it THROUGH the Zero Point of the PETM. We have the next challenge here, making it through this ELE. Are we as capable as those moles who were our Progenitors? I think we are. At least I think Diners are. :) Diners keep going until…wait for it..The Fat Lady Sings

    http://atlanticbassmasters.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/fat_lady_sings.jpg

    RE

  46. 18000days Says:

    Since the subject arose, I’ve been pondering on the word; ‘anaesthetic’..

    If words mean anything, an ‘anaesthetic’ is obviously something intended to negate the ‘aesthetic’, whatever that is?

    One could argue that ‘civilisation’ and ‘anaesthesia’ are close to being synonymous.

    …That might be two-thirds of a syllogism- draw your own conclusion, depending on your interpretation of ‘aesthetic’.

    fwiw, (if words mean anything), it’s about time I changed my name to ’19000days’…

  47. Tom Says:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/101642894

    Meet the ’4%’: Small number of farms dominates US

    American farming is changing, according to the recently released agriculture census—and the change comes with a warning from the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack.

    Speaking at a symposium at Iowa State University on May 2, the day the census came out, Vilsack said the U.S. faces an “eroding middle” when it comes to farming, and that a small number of large farm operations “produces the vast majority of the nation’s food.”

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture census seems to back up Vilsack’s complaint and his stated “need to expand the rural economy from the middle out.” Large farms with over $1 million in sales account for only 4 percent of all farms, but 66 percent of all sales. That’s up considerably from 1 percent of all farms and 50 percent of all sales a decade ago.

    However, three quarters of all U.S. farms gross only $50,000 a year and currently account for only 4 percent of product sales. But one analyst doesn’t see that as a problem. [read the rest]

    ____________

    http://www.wndu.com/home/headlines/Sen-Donnelly-supports-bipartisan-bill-approving-Keystone-XL-pipeline-257536121.html

    Sen. Donnelly supports bipartisan bill approving Keystone XL pipeline

    Senate supporters of the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline have introduced legislation authorizing its immediate construction and say they expect the measure will come to a vote in the coming days.

    The legislation was introduced by Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Republican Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota.

    In a statement, they said it has the support of all 45 Senate Republicans and 10 Democrats.

    The legislation is the latest response in Congress to the Obama administration’s recent announcement that it was delaying a decision on the pipeline indefinitely, citing a Nebraska court case relating to the project.

    Senator Joe Donnelly announced on Thursday his support for the bipartisan legislation, which would approve the pipeline without requiring a permit from President Obama.

    “I’m supporting this bipartisan bill because it would enable Congress to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, ending the long delay,” Sen. Donnelly explained. “This legislation is simple: If Congress passes legislation to green-light the Keystone XL pipeline, this project will move ahead. I have long been a strong supporter of constructing the Keystone XL pipeline and will continue to push for its approval because of its potential to create jobs and improve our energy and national security.”

    The House has voted previously to approve construction of the pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to the United States, where it eventually would reach Gulf Coast states.

    _____________

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/05/nuclear-fuel-fragment-fukushima-found-europe.html

    Nuclear Fuel Fragment from Fukushima Found In EUROPE

    The Nuclear Core Has Finally Been Found … Scattered All Over the World

    Fukushima did not just suffer meltdowns, or even melt-throughs …

    It suffered melt-OUTS … where the nuclear core of at least one reactor was spread all over Japan.

    In addition, the Environmental Research Department, SRI Center for Physical Sciences and Technology in Vilnius, Lithuania reported in the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity:

    Analyses of (131)I, (137)Cs and (134)Cs in airborne aerosols were carried out in daily samples in Vilnius, Lithuania after the Fukushima accident during the period of March-April, 2011.

    *** [selected quotes, please read the article]

    The activity ratio of (238)Pu/(239,240)Pu in the aerosol sample was 1.2, indicating a presence of the spent fuel of different origin than that of the Chernobyl accident.

    (“Pu” is short for plutonium.) Fukushima is 4,988 miles from Vilnius, Lithuania. So the plutonium traveled quite a distance.

    Today, EneNews reports that a fuel fragment from Fukushima has been found in Norway:

    Fukushima is 10632 kilometers – or 6,606 miles -from Svalbard, Norway.

    In other words, the hot particles from Fukushima traveled to North America, and then to Europe.

    (Indeed, U.S. nuclear authorities were very concerned about the West Coast getting hit by Fukushima radiation … but they covered it up.)

    So the hot particle traveled roughly 9,298 miles from Fukushima to Norway.

  48. Martin Says:

    Concrete domes. Fair warning that architectonics isn’t going to make it through the zero point. :)

    Guy,

    Have you been in contact with the “well-known podcaster”? I had a hunch whom you meant, and sure enough …

    I hope there has been a happy resolution. I would hate my further enjoyment of this podcaster’s excellent work to be clouded by the thought that hostilities are ongoing.

  49. Robert Callaghan Says:

    The Permian Mass Extinction took 60,000 years to effect.
    The Dinosaur took 33,000 years to effect after initial impact.
    We are on track to wipe out 75% of life in 300 years, at most.
    Unstoppable, irreversible, catastrophic runaway starts in 13 years.
    Unstoppable, irreversible, cascading extinction starts in 30 years.

    Don’t Worry, Be Happy because.
    In 2-3 years the China bubble will burst. Chinese banks grew by $15t in 5 years. It took American banks 100 years to grow that big. It took the American economy 100 years to grow that big.
    In 5-10 years we will be fighting for food and water.

    Here is where we are.
    ► 90% of Big Ocean Fish gone since 1950.
    ► 50% of Great Barrier Reef gone since 1985.
    ► 50% of Fresh Water Fish gone since 1987.
    ► 30% of Marine Birds gone since 1995.
    ► 28% of Land Animals gone since 1970.
    ► 28% of All Marine Animals gone since 1970.
    ► 50% of All Vertebrate Species gone by 2040.
    ► 90 elephants shot every day for their ivory.
    ► 2-3 rhinos shot every day for their horns.
    ► 90% of Lions gone since 1993.
    ► Extinctions are 1000 times faster than normal.
    ► Ocean acidification doubles by 2050.
    ► Ocean acidification triples by 2100.

    This is what we pretend to do about it.

    Solar Panels
    Prof. Jian Shuisheng of the Jiatong-University estimates the production of just 6 solar panels requires one ton of coal. This works out to about 660 lbs of coal per square yard of solar panel. This is because the silicon has to be baked at 2,000°F. The manufacture of solar panels lets off some of the deadliest greenhouse gases known to humankind. These include hexafluoroethane (12,000 times stronger than CO2), nitrogen trifluoride (17,000 times stronger than C02), and sulfur hexafluoride (23,000 times stronger than C02). Solar manufacturing plants produce 500 tons of hazardous sludge each per year. This sludge is never included in the solar industry carbon footprint data. Five kilograms of hydrogen chloride per square meter of solar panel is used to liquify the metallic silicon. Silicon carbide is used to cut the silicon into wafers. Cadmium telluride panels or emerging thin film technologies utilize untested nanomaterials that pose a threat to the environment and workers during the manufacturing and recycling stage.

    Dust, humidity, haze, and even heat dramatically affect solar panel output. If you cover just one cell of a solar panel with your hand, the output of the whole panel drops 80%. Solar panels lose up to 1% of their efficiency each year lasting some 20 – 30 years, after which they become toxic waste, containing things like cadmium and other heavy metals. The expensive inverters fail evvery 5-10 years and must be replaced. While the cost of the silicon wafers are dropping, they only make up 20% of the installed costs.

    Wind Turbines
    The manufacture of 5, one-megawatt, wind turbines produces 1 ton of radioactive residue and 75 tons of hazardous waste water used to extract and process the needed neodymium. Neodymium is a rare earth mineral. Rare earth minerals are not rare, but they are found in very low concentrations. Neodymium is extracted from crushed rocks using sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide. Then it is processed using solvents, heating and vacuum techniques that require plenty of coal power. Vast unregulated tailings ponds of poisonous water have destroyed whole villages in China. There are 16 other rare elements. All with the same story.
    There is no known replacement for neodymium. During its mining, metals such as arsenic, barium, copper, aluminum, lead and beryllium are released into the air and water, and are toxic to human health. Neodymium is only one of many rare-earth metals that our smart phones and green energy systems need.
    Wind turbines only produce 25% of their rated power output over 90% of the time. This means that fossil fuel plants have to burn fuel on standby in case the wind suddenly drops. Since this power is intermittent, we would need at least ten times as much solar-wind power to displace one unit of fossil fuel power. This is so ridiculous as to defy belief.

    Bio-Fuels
    Bio-fuels are ecologically unsustainable. The crop mono-cultures are biodiversity deserts that increase soil erosion and have a myriad of unexpected consequences. Stand in a corn field and you will see nothing lives there, not even bees. 95% of food comes from just 30 crops. Food supplies are at risk going forward. We can’t cut trees for cars when people starve. Our foods and animals already dominate the planet. W

    Rechargeable Batteries
    The rechargeable batteries we use in everything from the Tesla Electric Car, and Prius Plug-In Car, down to our smart phones, all rely on one critical component―graphite. Graphite is one of the main causes of the terrible air pollution in China. It comes from airborne particles given off by mining operations and often washes down from the sky with the rain. Graphite particles foul the air and water; they also damage crops and human lung tissue. This type of smog has gotten so bad that China has shut down several of their graphite mines, creating a shortage and higher prices.

    Liquid metal and molten salt batteries are too big and bulky requiring about 100 tractor-trailer size containers for each 600Mw power plant. To power the whole world with green energy would reqire millions of them. The ecological cost would be catastrophic.

  50. Grant Schreiber Says:

    “It’s the CHALLENGE that is faced here now, and you can pull your plug and quit, or you can try to make it through the Zero Point.”

    The challenge is in changing oneself, not the outside world. The challenge is to grow as a human being as the twilight of the human race falls. The challenge is to welcome death without fear and malice but accept it as part of life. Behaving as a door to door salesman out to make a quick buck off the suckers is the exact behavior that has brought about NTE. It is ugly and shameful and endlessly dull. Certainly one of the many things that will not be missed.

  51. RE Says:

    Stuff it Grant. I am not trying to make a “quick buck” off anybody. I am thoroughly negative here on cash flow, and never expect to be positive. Being a Doomer is a massive Money Pit, you sink more down the hole here than even owning a fucking boat. LOL,.

    You are a Negative Waves person, I have to deal with them all the time. I am talking about “changing oneself” in terms of your expectations and how you go about your life, what you actually do here. do you go to Safeway and buy Industrial Food, or do you set up your own Hydroponics and grow it? I don;t make money off that if anybody does it Grant, and your constant insinuation that I do is complete disinformation. I am trying to encourage people to try these things, get ahead of the curve here before collapse crashes down in their neighborhood.

    People like you are counter productive. Like Pat with his Kill Yourself to Save the World bullshit. Killing yourself won’t save the world. Reformulating off of the industrial economy and setting up better ways of living have the potential for saving the world, but not if people like you pitch Negative Waves all the time. I am fucking sick of Negative Waves.

    “Have a little FAITH, Baby. Say somethign Righteous and Hopeful for a change.”

    RE

  52. ulvfugl Says:

    @ RE

    Needless to say, I think there’s almost everything wrong with what you say, but you know that already, so it’s just boring going over it over and over again.

    If you don’t understand the fundamental premise, you’re not going to learn it, and that’s the only important lesson that has to be carried forward.

    Anyway, here’s V. Gupta’s take, fwiw.

    And this

    Working with people unlike ourselves is not an option. We have to engage with new partners and actors because they connect us with knowledge and experience, resources, and process expertise, that we lack – be they fishermen or farmers, lawyers or birdwatchers, makers or coders.

    Also needed in the conversation are those change agents, outliers, and ‘shadow networks‘ who are either excluded from – or exclude themselves – the formal structures of governance.

    This is not a small ask. I’ve met a a lot of people who like the idea of sharing, and co-operation – but fear being trapped in a nightmare of endless meetings and incessant discussion.

    The most important people of all that we must identify, and embrace, are those people who are usually unheard – elders, young people, many women. For them, the very idea of standing on a stage, or selling an idea, is alien and deeply offputting.

    For someone like me – a large white guy with a loud voice – a public platform is not a challenge. For many others – and those people are of course not here – it’s an alien and often scary prospect.

    - See more at: http://www.doorsofperception.com/notopic/presence-and-encounter-how-we-meet-is-as-important-as-why/#sthash.WqgCce75.dpuf

  53. Grant Schreiber Says:

    So “Negative Wave” is your latest catch phrase of righteousness, you cretin? No, RE you are not out to save anyone, you are out to SELL bullshit. You post endless spam and call it “information” and then get all huffy when called out on it. This is same stupid zombie behavior from before. You are a tedious pitchman selling snake oil and lies and if being shown what you are upsets you, then change who you are. To know you a little is to know you well. There is nothing there. So please take your latest new-found catch phrase and collapse from sight.

  54. TemplarMyst Says:

    Sigh. You know, for the most part, I still enjoy coming back here and reading the posts and the replies. For the most part.

    Come on, folks. This is a very small community, with a very limited voice, in a world of cacophony and chaos. If we can’t maintain a bare minimum of civility here, how can we possibly expect anyone else to anywhere else?

    If you don’t like what someone else says, what’s wrong with ignoring them? Or if you think you’ve got a better perspective, why not lay out your case in a rational and decent way? Why not just have a conversation? Why the need to devolve into hurtling vitriol and behaving like vipers?

    So we’ve got a diverse set of views, perspectives, and potential agendas. Big deal. You’re not likely to change someone’s mind, or bring them round to your point of view, by slapping them in the head.

    Personally, I find something interesting in just about everyone’s point of view. ulvfugl was all over my case in another thread. It ultimately ended with his embedding a video about a guy who took the perspective even large scale ecological damage could be restored. It was a really cool way to end a thread. For me at any rate.

    If we’re all going down the slide I can’t see much point in stabbing and thrashing each other on the way down. It’s gonna hurt enough when we hit the bottom without any additional damage being done before that moment comes.

  55. Gerald Spezio Says:

    BRIGHT SIDED by Barbara Ehrenreich

    A sharp-witted knockdown of America’s love affair with positive thinking and an urgent call for a new commitment to realism.

    Americans are a “positive” people—cheerful, optimistic, and upbeat: this is our reputation as well as our self-image. But more than a temperament, being positive, we are told, is the key to success and prosperity.

    In this utterly original take on the American frame of mind, Barbara Ehrenreich traces the strange career of our sunny outlook from its origins as a marginal nineteenth-century healing technique to its enshrinement as a dominant, almost mandatory, cultural attitude.

    Evangelical mega-churches preach the good news that you only have to want something to get it, because God wants to “prosper” you. The medical profession prescribes positive thinking for its presumed health benefits.

    Academia has made room for new departments of “positive psychology” and the “science of happiness.” Nowhere, though, has bright-siding taken firmer root than within the business community, where, as Ehrenreich shows, the refusal even to consider negative outcomes—like mortgage defaults—contributed directly to the current economic crisis.

    With the mythbusting powers for which she is acclaimed, Ehrenreich exposes the downside of America’s penchant for positive thinking: On a personal level, it leads to self-blame and a morbid preoccupation with stamping out “negative” thoughts.

    On a national level, it’s brought us an era of irrational optimism resulting in disaster. This is Ehrenreich at her provocative best—poking holes in conventional wisdom and faux science, and ending with a call for existential clarity and courage.

  56. mt Says:

    Planted some seeds, they are coming up well now. Although the heat is already high. Last year I dealt, or my plants dealt, with disease. Sure would like to avoid that this year.
    Give me another summer growin’ stuff.
    I promise, I’ll be good.
    (think that will work?)

  57. TemplarMyst Says:

    @Gerald Spezio

    Was wandering about and ran into some other threads on the negative sides of positive thinking :D Didn’t bookmark em, but I think one was on AlterNet.

    So what does Ehrenreich suggest is a better realism? I’m a SysAdmin, and get dinged pretty often for my negative vibes. I try to point out to folks that’s my job. I’m the idiot who has to pick up the pieces when the systems hit the fan, so excuse me for planning for the next disaster the positive-thinkers ain’t anticipated!

    @mt. Hope the seeds do better, despite all that. In Chicago winter is still hanging on tenaciously. If this is what climate disruption looks like, I ain’t lookin’ forward to more…

    That’s my two posts for the day. I’ll switch over to the forum later.

  58. EtyerePetyere Says:

    Monolithic domes would be the saving grace for humanity ??!! I don`t think so . What i think this is a bunch of guys who like to have their bacon&eggs and a lot of beer goofing of .

  59. Bud Nye Says:

    @ TemplarMyst

    Thanks so much for your comments regarding civility (and by implication, basic respect). I agree completely and thought just yesterday how people on various lists really need to consistently “call” others on their childish, emotional, irrelevant, distracting, and often insulting attacks on other’s character. This helps no one other than the writer or speaker as they “vent”. (I hate that deeply misleading “pressure” model of emotion, but use it here because of its popular image.) I appreciate Guy’s generally not censoring content on this blog, even though I feel pretty sure that he sometimes disagrees with much of what some people may say and how they say it. Though I disagree with much of what RE and others sometimes say, I prefer giving them the right to say it rather than censoring them as so many bloggers and others do.

  60. Bud Nye Says:

    @ Gerald Spezio

    Thanks for the great reminder and summary regarding Bright-Sided. I have often recommended this book to others, including here at NBL. Importantly related to it, I think, are: Willful Blindness by Margaret Heffernan and Mistakes Were Made (but not by ME) by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson, both about the self-justification that most individuals and organizations resort to when they experience cognitive dissonance. As the famous psychologist Albert Ellis (generally considered the grandfather of cognitive psychology) so often used to emphasize, unfortunately humans are NOT primarily rational animals, but instead, far, far more often than not, first and foremost highly EMOTIONAL animals neurologically programmed for immediate gratification, that believe what they wish to believe despite any evidence that contradicts the stories they wish to tell themselves about how the world should, must, or, presumably, does work.

    Regarding books, I would like to emphasize, again, Ianto Evans work with cob construction (see the Cob Cottage Company web site at: http://www.cobcottage.com/ ), and his book, The Hand-Sculpted House, A Practical and Philosophical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage by Ianto Evans, Michael Smith and Linda Smiley (2002), all of which, it seems to me, makes vastly more sense ecologically and financially than concrete domes.

  61. Martin Says:

    people on various lists really need to consistently “call” others on their childish, emotional, irrelevant, distracting, and often insulting attacks on other’s character.

    If you must. “[R]eally need” is rather vague. It could be taken to mean that you have a heartfelt need to call others on their behaviour, rather than that you would be performing an invaluable service. And let’s once more ignore the awkward fact that “civility” and “civilization” share a common root.

    This place isn’t reality, and it’s most unwise to confuse it with reality. It’s a simulacrum. The late Carmen Hermosillo says as much in the opening paragraph of her legendary take-down, Pandora’s Vox: On Community in Cyberspace.

  62. Bob S. Says:

    While the notion that folks “can” be civil on an open blog is indeed warm and fuzzy and hard to disagree – I, like Grant find I must also be contrarian :)

    So called “free speech” on open blogs is simply not a realistic possibility. While it is a noble sounding goal, it is just this reason that it makes a great shield for clowns, ignoramuses, trolls, morons, and republicans to hide behind as they spread ill will and confusion wherever they can – but mostly in places where they can cause the most fuss, disruption and whatnot to satisfy their own damaged ego – or sick sense of “fun” or contrarian impulses.

    TPTB have spent decades and billions insuring that we hate each other and spend our lives pointing fingers in the wrong direction. And it”s been an amazing success. To think we can wave a wand and “shame” folks into behaving as we”d like is simply unrealistic. And for a blog or forum to give carte blanche to persistent contrarians in the name of free speech or “civility” is a death sentence.

    Folks who go to a xtian blog and post that Jesus was gay is a good illustration. An obvious “troll” that needs to be banned to preserve order. To allow such a troll free reign to confront and insult members is unacceptable to healthy discussion. Yahoo and Google directories and groups gave rise to internet discussion splintering into a million different parts – everyone, regardless of their views could find like minded folks to discuss their ideas and aspirations. It also allowed professional contrarians and outright trolls to easily locate places where their posts would be most disruptive.

    Take RE the monolithic meathead (please). He has proved beyond doubt that he dislikes the folks who post here, especially the women, and holds us in great disdain. He constantly invents strawmen to beat us over the head – disrespects Guy, NBL space and long time posters whenever he gets the urge. He sees “Batters” as commodities to be used to boost his imaginary popularity, as his behavior here and on Mein Diner clearly illustrates. It”s all RE all the time and those who refuse to acknowledge his greatness are labeled quitters (to be shamed), zombies (to be killed), or trolls (to be silenced).

    Like I posted to Kirk – when a rattlesnake crawls into your living room, “civility” might not be the best option. The “cant we all get along” meme has been asked and answered through the ages – and the answer is clearly – NO.

  63. BenjaminTheDonkey Says:

    The Roads

    We walk our own road through this gloom,
    And none are the same, I assume;
    You yourself should obey,
    And with me, that’s O.K.,
    So don’t tell me how to meet doom.

  64. artleads Says:

    I love the space just the way it is, but I’d like to change it too. You can’t change something unless you love it, says landscape guru, J.B. Jackson.

    What if circular metal staircases wrapped the columns leading up to a loft floor just below the windows? What if hydroponic gardening took place on the loft, accessed by a railed walkway around the loft? Then there would be office and meeting space beneath the loft. The columns needn’t be painted, retaining a memory of their past. No paint anywhere. Just a thorough washing with some kind of clear sealant added.

    http://www.canstockphoto.com/abandoned-factory-1623401.html

  65. BenjaminTheDonkey Says:

    RE Says:

    The Fat Lady Sings

    Brünnhilde, in Valkyrie attire,
    Hasn’t yet jumped onto the pyre;
    She’s singing alright,
    And the end is in sight,
    But Valhalla is not yet on fire.

  66. Tom Says:

    Benjamin – great limericks all up and down the thread!

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/salt-water-fish-extinction-seen-by-2048/

    Salt-Water Fish Extinction Seen By 2048

    The apocalypse has a new date: 2048.

    That’s when the world’s oceans will be empty of fish, predicts an international team of ecologists and economists. The cause: the disappearance of species due to overfishing, pollution, habitat loss, and climate change.

    The study by Boris Worm, PhD, of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, — with colleagues in the U.K., U.S., Sweden, and Panama — was an effort to understand what this loss of ocean species might mean to the world.

    The researchers analyzed several different kinds of data. Even to these ecology-minded scientists, the results were an unpleasant surprise.

    “I was shocked and disturbed by how consistent these trends are — beyond anything we suspected,” Worm says in a news release.

    “This isn’t predicted to happen. This is happening now,” study researcher Nicola Beaumont, PhD, of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, U.K., says in a news release.

    “If biodiversity continues to decline, the marine environment will not be able to sustain our way of life. Indeed, it may not be able to sustain our lives at all,” Beaumont adds.

    Already, 29% of edible fish and seafood species have declined by 90% — a drop that means the collapse of these fisheries.

    But the issue isn’t just having seafood on our plates. Ocean species filter toxins from the water. They protect shorelines. And they reduce the risks of algae blooms such as the red tide.

    “A large and increasing proportion of our population lives close to the coast; thus the loss of services such as flood control and waste detoxification can have disastrous consequences,” Worm and colleagues say.

    [further down]

    Their bottom line: Everything that lives in the ocean is important. The diversity of ocean life is the key to its survival. The areas of the ocean with the most different kinds of life are the healthiest.

    But the loss of species isn’t gradual. It’s happening fast — and getting faster, the researchers say. [there's more]

    i’m sure that it’ll all change now that the President has put out his climate change opinion.

    okay, maybe not:

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/05/07/3435337/citgo-set-free/

    Victims Of Citgo’s Criminal Pollution Not Entitled To Compensation, Judge Rules

    Citgo Corp. will not have to pay any restitution to people who experienced health problems from the company’s previously uncovered oil tanks in Corpus Christi, Texas, despite a 2007 conviction of environmental crimes for the violation, a federal judge has ruled.

    Victims of the pollution had successfully proved to the court that they experienced burning eyes, rashes, vomiting, and other health problems because of Citgo’s illegal emissions between 1994 and 2003. Because the exact chemical makeup of the emissions was never figured out, the victims attorneys had argued that future medical monitoring was needed “to allay their fears that they may suffer from cancer or other diseases because Citgo placed them criminally at risk, and the fact that the identity of the chemicals to which they were exposed is unknown further exacerbates this need.”

    However, after waiting seven years to make the decision, U.S. District Judge John David Rainey ruled that there was strong unlikelihood that they would ever been able to prove long-term health problems from the pollution, and no evidence supporting claims that they may need future cancer screenings.

    Judge Rainey also said that it would be too difficult to calculate how much medical monitoring would be needed for each of the 800 individuals who claimed to be harmed from the pollution, and how much that would cost. Moreover, the need to provide restitution to the victims did not justify that effort, nor did it justify extending the time-frame of the case, Judge Rainey wrote.

    “The ‘complication and prolongation of the sentencing process … outweighs the need to provide restitution to any victims,’” he wrote. “‘The magnitude of expected future harm can[not] be reasonably estimated.’”

  67. Godofredo Aravena Says:

    To Templarmyst

    Thanks for your comment about civility, here (and there, and everywhere should be said).
    It is good to remind to the posters this issue, that from time to time, gets out of the circle.
    Your comment takes us to one of the major problems I see in possible future living in small communities. How complex is to understand each other, and pull in the same direction. I cannot avoid to think that most projects of living in small communities fail to consider this factor. And probably will fail to last.

    To Greald Spezio

    Regarding the Population Bomb, it has to be said that all our current problems have its origin in one thing. Too many people. So to me, Paul R. Ehrlich was correct, although he failed to see the whole impact.
    Today, Paul Ehrlich says that the problem is not population only, is population, plus its capacity to demand goods and energy. So some individuals have more impact and responsibility than others in the current situation. That is today, and in the recent past.

  68. Reverse Engineer Says:

    “If you don’t like what someone else says, what’s wrong with ignoring them? Or if you think you’ve got a better perspective, why not lay out your case in a rational and decent way? Why not just have a conversation? Why the need to devolve into hurtling vitriol and behaving like vipers?”-TM

    Because Negative Waves people never learned “if you don’t have something nice to say, shut up”. They don’t provide constructive ideas, they just write destructive vitriole. Every website has them, and they tend to dominate a commentary after a while. Eventually it becomes toxic enough they are the only ones who can stand to be there.

    RE

  69. the virgin terry Says:

    supposed to warm up a lot here in upstate new york northeast usa for the next 7 days. looking forward to it. for some reason my feet are a little cold this evening, even though i’m wearing a couple more pairs of socks on my feet than i usually do when it’s about 15 c. in my home. that’s not that cold, not after a long winter when it was routinely 10c. degrees cooler. (i’ve adapted to living in a 5c environment quite well over the past 10-11 winters, ever since beginning this experiment in fossil fuel frugality). looking forward to not have to bundle up. looking forward to some sweet 20c evenings.

    i’ve been reading this blog sporadically. just can’t stay away i guess. reading surreal shit like this is among the highlights of a sad life that hardly seems worth living. yet i want to hang around just like most of u and watch the show, have sex, and party like it’s 2014. life is perhaps the worst addiction of all. at least it’s not illegal. and it’s one of the few common bonds that unite us. odd, how fiercely we cling to it, even as we experience it most passively, like helpless spectators/victims at a celestial crime scene, alternately horrified and thrilled. an odd thing indeed, the will to live when the sweet oblivion of death offers relief. i fear that may not be the case. who knows? i don’t recall volunteering to become a sherson, to suffer, despair, a hapless victim, as we all are, it seems. who’s to say that reincarnation (not necessarily into a lifeform that’s familiar or of our earth…) isn’t surreal? maybe we’re all spiritual victims of a sadistic ‘deity’, some mysterious force determined and able to keep us in a state of more or less suffering, off and on, for eternity? one shitty life after another.

    it’s fear of the unknown that fuels my addiction to living, largely. perhaps it’s similar for u. fear acts like a cage, a trap…?

  70. Bob S. Says:

    Yup – go to a site where you know your contrarian views will not be well received – then whine incessantly about destructive vitriole – disrespect the long time posters, ignore posting rules and then w2hine that you”re a victim.

    RE – learn to count to two – maybe then folks won”t see you as a tiresome dullard and self-obsessed goof.

  71. the virgin terry Says:

    18,000 (should be updated to 19,000) days. i just figured out i’ve been out of the womb over 20,000 days now. holy shit! how time flies when u’re not having fun.

    ‘Benjamin – great limericks all up and down the thread!’ -i second tom’s appreciation. and give thanks to tom and many others here for your own great contributions to this most informative, informed, and stimulating blog.

    i’ve always loved this song. don’t here it much anymore:

  72. FriedrichKling Says:

    RE:

    I am with Guy in that we should be focused on doing everything in our power to help as many non-human species survive the coming collapse as is possible.

    The human race is like a metastatic cancer (not every individual member but the vast majority for sure) on the Earth and her immune system is beginning to fortify in order to purge the disease.

    By working for the benefit of non-human life perhaps a more wise “intelligent” species will arise and try again.

    My efforts are focused on the Earth’s magnificent biodiversity. I could care less what happens to me or most of mankind.

  73. kevin moore Says:

    tvt and everyone else, This is quite long but is well worth watching and thinking about at the deepest level.

  74. RE Says:

    “By working for the benefit of non-human life perhaps a more wise “intelligent” species will arise and try again.”-FK

    This is highly unlikely.

    The max timespan for any type of life on earth left is around 1B years under absolutely ideal conditions.

    http://www.fas.org/irp/imint/docs/rst/Sect20/sun_red_giant_timeline.jpg

    In fact it is a good deal shorter for eukaryotic organisms, maybe 300-500M years. If we have an ELE here that takes out most higher level organisms, there is insufficient time to generate up another sentient species.

    This was basically a one-shot deal far as sentience is concerned. The only change here was a shorter timeline if you think this one will go the full 9 yards. You can either rescue some of the current higher level organisms or you can’t, and if you can’t probably the best result will be everything above the level of the Tardigrades is History.

    http://cdn.acidcow.com/pics/20100916/tardigrades_02.jpg

    Nothing we do will touch extremophiles like the Tardigrades. They can withstand radiation in the 1000s of bequerels, temps from near Absolute Zero to 1000C, dehydration to 97% of mass, and then still reproduce under the right conditions when they arise.

    With enough time, Tardigrades could probably achieve Sentience, but they don’t have enough time. The Earth fries inside 1B years no matter what.

    So, for this experiment in Sentience on this planet, this is it and you only can try to make it last as long as you can. If it is going to happen again, it will have to be on another planet in a Galaxy Far, Far Away.

  75. D Says:

    @ RE

    “I do know what is written on NBL though, and it’s pretty darn depressing stuff with Death, Hospicing and Suicide as recurrent themes”.

    “Because Negative Waves people never learned “if you don’t have something nice to say, shut up”. They don’t provide constructive ideas, they just write destructive vitriole.”

    Your deductive skills are awe inspiring. You choose, to post comments and invest a modest amount of time on the only blog that is primarily centered around NTE of most of life on earth within the next couple of decades, and you’re just coming to realize “it’s pretty darn depressing stuff”? Well no fucking shit genius. What brilliant insight are you going to share with us next?

    I think DD stands more for Dungeons and Dragons, because you read like some adolescent holed up in your mothers basement gaming how best to built your character. How many hits did your little survivalist fiefdom get today Dungeon Master? I don’t know man, but I think the urban hobgoblins are building up outside your Alaskan stronghold, better bunker down in your underground fortress until the hordes have pillaged the village dude!

    All you are to a great many here, is the price that must be paid for NBL to remain an open forum. Let us hope this is the last time we have to suffer through your ridiculousness.

  76. RE Says:

    “Let us hope this is the last time we have to suffer through your ridiculousness.”-D

    This is highly unlikely also, since Guy and me are planning to get together for another Podcast when he gets back from Ecuador. :)

    Coming Soon to a Laptop Near You. Should be a doozy. ;)

    RE

  77. Robin Datta Says:

    So, for this experiment in Sentience on this planet, this is it and you only can try to make it last as long as you can.

    That “sentience” is “awareness” with an object, id est “awareness” “of”. The “of” is dependent on time-space-causation. The other part in “awareness of” is not thus dependent: it is not definable in terms of time, space or causation: the Void (“Sunya”); the Boundless Void (“Ain Sof”).

    The “experiment” is as real as a misperceived snake in a dimly-lit rope. Yet the “snake” is capable of effects (recoil and tripping of the perceiver, a heart attack, etc.) in the realm of its perception. Until one perceives the distinction between “awareness” and “of” in “awareness of”, one will continue to flounder in the realm of misperception.

  78. Robin Datta Says:

    Coming Soon to a Laptop Near You.

    Fortunately Steve Jobs & Co. created iPhones and iPads: haven’t used my tower in many months and the laptops in years.

    Let’s remember that the moronolithic dome spam is the price exacted for having the NBL site rescued from oblivion. The Diner turds deposited in NBL stink up the place, but that is no reason for anyone else to step in them.

    BenjamintheEquusasinus:
    She’s singing alright,
    And the end is in sight,

    You’re right, but folks will hear what they want to hear. Until the ‘ol crocs in De Nile chomp down.

  79. Martin Says:

    Something exciting is going on at the Mythodrome: Mike Ruppert, Childhood Abuse, & Near Term Extinction.

  80. Tom Says:

    Martin: many of the commenters at the link you provided think we’re all nuts and some kind of death cult. I guess they just don’t get it and can’t read. PMB comments just before the one you reference and defends Guy and the blog with calm reason and pointing to the facts.

    It’s difficult facing this reality based on scientific facts (despite what M. Greer, A. Smith and Scott Johnson of Fractal Planet say). i’m sure these people will continue to deny the constant degradation of their lives (due to habitat destruction, fossil fuel scarcity/unaffordability, food and water shortages, weather anomalies and destruction, etc) all the way out to the end (somewhere in the 2020′s is my guess).

    https://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/high-velocity-human-warming-coaxes-arctic-methane-monsters-rapid-rise-from-fens/

    Fens. A word that brings with it the mystic imagery of witch lights, Beowulfian countrysides, trolls, swamp gas, dragons. A sight of crumbling towers overlooking black waters. Now, it’s a word we can add to our already long list of amplifying Arctic feedbacks to human-caused warming. For the rapid formation of Arctic fens over the past decade has now been linked in a recent scientific study, at least in part, to a return to atmospheric methane increases since 2007.

    [further down]

    The Arctic Methane Monster and a Multiplication of Fens

    So it is in this rather stark set of contexts that a study released in early May examining 71 wetlands around the globe found rapidly melting permafrost was resulting in the formation of an immense number of fens along the permafrost thaw boundary zone. Tundra melt in lowlands became both sources and traps for water. Such traps gained added water as atmospheric temperature increases held greater levels of humidity resulting in increased heavy rainfall events such as thunderstorms. These newly thawed and flooded fens, the study found, were emitting unexpectedly high volumes of methane gas.

    From the methane standpoint, fens are a problem due to the fact that they are constantly wet. Whereas bogs may be wet, then dry, fens remain wet year-round. And since bacteria that break down the recently thawed organic carbon stores into methane thrive in a constantly wet environment the fens were found to be veritable methane factories. A powerful amplifying feedback loop that threatens to liberate a substantial portion of the approximately 1,500 gigatons of carbon stored in now melting tundra as the powerful heat trapper that is methane. [read the rest]

    ________

    At the link Robert Scribbler provides to the study, the author raises the possibility of the fens drying out due to weather and climate change conditions making it dryer there. So the “good news” is that they would then “only” be emitting CO2 (yeah, even more CO2).

  81. Grant Schreiber Says:

    “This is highly unlikely also, since Guy and me are planning to get together for another Podcast when he gets back from Ecuador”

    Yet one expects that you’ll actually allow Guy to talk and not keep mentioning concrete tombs as the only viable living arrangement nor suddenly start screaming at Guy that he’s a quitter, a loser, a suicide driving monster out to cheat you out of a can of diet cola. Then burst into tears when Guy corrects you.

    Instead of coming here with your endless chant of being better than everyone else because you fart with your mouth you could choose to behave like an adult. But you don’t have it in you. Time and time again you have peed on the carpet and then become defensive if anyone tells you to stop.

    To those calling for civility: I used to feel the same way. After being spat upon numerous times and watching other people I respect get spat upon, I got angry. Stick around if you’re actually interested in discussing NTE. If you do, you will shortly notice that RE deserves absolutely nothing but scorn, ridicule and disdain. He’s the tick sucking blood and giving disease. No need to be civil to a tick.

    “we will find a way to weather the storm”

    If you’re under the impression that global warming, collapse of society and everything that entails is a storm one can ride out in their cellar with a couple thousand cans of Spam and gallons of bottled water, then you haven’t a clue as to what is going to happen. You’re in a fantasy land, where luckily there are no women to prevent anyone from watching DVDs all day cleverly hooked up to an array of car batteries in the cellar kingdom.

    Time is incredibly short, but it always has been. I have no interest in surviving, I want to live.

  82. Bud Nye Says:

    @ Martin and Bob S.

    Needless to say, I agree with you that blogs need to filter or otherwise remove obviously irrelevant and distracting spam and related material, in this sense “censoring” the site. But my point, and I think Templar’s, concerns a related but different subject: courteous, respectful dialog.

    Despite your intellectually sophisticated and fundamentally valid arguments, something tells me that you actually do NOT advocate that we all commonly and childishly call each other names such as “evil communist morons” (or just “evil”, “communist”, or “morons”), “shitheads”, “assholes”, “kikes”, “turds”, “niggers”, “cunts”, “feminazis”, and so on, and on, and on, ad nausea, thus encouraging powerful, negative emotional responses in our readers when we disagree with each other either here on this blog, in our day-to-day lives with our families and friends, or in our other communication venues, such as in scientific papers, in face-to-face public fora, and so on.

    Assuming that I have this right–and I do not presume that I do: perhaps you actually DO commonly speak that way with your wives, children, siblings, co-workers, friends, in your scientific papers, and so on, most of the time–how would you, using your more sophisticated and logically correct arguments, recommend that Templar and I call for “respect” and “civility” here? Please do educate at least me more fully concerning this, if not Templar and the many others who surely agree with us regarding this: How SHOULD we have stated this common ad hominem argumentation issue, common courtesy issue, and basic human respect issue linguistically BETTER than we did in your views?

    Or do you also believe that the whole idea of “emotional abuse”, which, from your responses, you seem to advocate, is just a bunch of baloney? (And thus advocate it.) DO you treat your wives, children, siblings, co-workers, and friends in these emotionally abusive ways, after all, and advocate that we all follow these examples that you appear to support? This kind of (usually male) laugh it up, shrug it off, intellectual rationalization stuff occurs VERY COMMONLY in the domestic abuse arena, seeking and often getting support from the other “real men” who see, read, and hear it. “Ha, ha. Boys will be boys, you know, and they all do it. It’s harmless.” (NOT!) I, for one, refuse passively to support that fundamentally destructive agenda with my silence. So, again, please tell us how we should better linguistically state our simple, easily understood request for courteous, respectful dialog, which you insist is actually overly complex and “too hard” either to understand or realistically to implement here, even though you surely manage easily to pull it off many times every day in most, if not all, of your other interpersonal, interaction venues.

  83. Guy McPherson Says:

    I’ve written and posted a new essay, along with link to other relevant tidbits. It’s here.

  84. Henry Says:

    TVTerry — before we abandon this thread, just wanted to throw in that your first post yesterday was a bit of psychological poetry and a fine piece of writing, stayed with me all day and expressed many of my feelings so well.

  85. ulvfugl Says:

    @ Martin

    Re Mythodrome, it’s mentioned by Prieur who says

    May 5. Recently Paula made what she says is her final post on Mythodrome, about the death of Mike Ruppert, childhood abuse, and the Near Term Extinction movement. She speculates about the dark psychological motivations that would make someone go out of their way to believe that humans are going extinct in this century. Her argument that we are not going extinct is that the future is unknowable. I don’t think the NTE folks have even made a case for human extinction, only for catastrophic climate change and the inadequacy of the present system to get most of us through it. There’s a general failure of prediction here that I’ve mentioned before: the inability to imagine the existence of something for which you cannot imagine the particulars. In this case, they cannot imagine precisely how humans might adapt to climate change, so they imagine we will not adapt.

    The corollary of this, of course, is that the people do not have the imagination to envisage how we will NOT adapt.

    That’s because they are not able to connect the dots on the Climate Summary page and see where all this is heading. It’s just too much for their tiny minds to grasp.

    People have known about what rising CO2 emissions would lead to for decades now.

    I read a paper thirty years ago which gave all the relevant details re rising sea levels, ocean acidification, dying coral reefs, melting ice caps and glaciers, more frequent extreme weather events, desertification, dying forests which burn, melting permafrost releasing methane, etc, etc.

    It was all predicted, it is all happening.

    The only thing that was unexpected was that nothing would be done. It was expected that international action would be taken. That did not happen.

    The Arctic ice went much faster than the models predicted, and now everything is happening faster than predicted, and it’s obvious that NO effective action is going to be taken.

    There is a 40 year time lag between cause and effect. What we have now, is the result of emissions 40 years ago, when they were much lower. They have risen rapidly ever since and continue rising faster then ever.

    Why is no action taken ? Why will we get NTE ?

    Because we get to 2 deg C then 3, 4, 5, 6 and upward, and the whole global biosphere collapses, so that it is uninhabitable.

    There is nothing to eat, because crops do not grow, there is nothing in the ocean except dinoflagellates and jellyfish, the air is toxic from anoxic oceans filled with rotting material and blooms of bacteria giving off sulphur dioxide which drifts across the land.

    The nuclear plants all melt down so radio active crap rains down everywhere for centuries, sea levels rise for centuries, there is chaotic climate for 80 – 100,000 years, with completely unforeseeable extreme cold, winds, droughts, etc.

    People seem to think that they will survive this, as a bottleneck, and emerge into some sort of utopia, or some sort livable future.

    But this is the fastest most extreme change in the geological history of the planet, barring impacts from Space and Supervolcanoes.

    It’s a mass extinction event. There isn’t a techno fix. Life does not flourish again for 10 million years or so after such an event.

    The reason we cannot avoid this, is because we’d have to stop doing what we are doing, that is Industrial Civilisation.

    Nobody living in IC really wants to do that, because they lose all the benefits and probably die very quickly. Nobody will accept the cost, nobody will vote for it, it’s politically and economically impossible.

    All leaders, elites, corporations, banks, all the infrastructure, all the jobs, all the scientists, everybody, has a vested interest in keeping the status quo as long as possible.

    But that condemns us all to NTE.

    We’re over the edge and in freefall.

    As Guy says, we have triggered irreversible self-reinforcing feedbacks.
    That means they’ll keep increasing the warming, whatever we do, until they have run their course in many centuries time. There is nothing we can do about that. It’s too late.

    Now, if you want hopium, you can pretend that none of this is happening and wish it all away. You have the right to do that. Or, like Prieur and others, you can imagine fantasies that will make magic solutions that nobody has actually found yet.

    But as of today, we are where we are. This is the reality.

    All this crap about this place being a suicide cult is extremely vexing. People who have been here a long time know that Guy has never ever suggested that anybody GIVE UP or KILL THEMSELVES.

    What he says is to live your best here and now, because that’s all you ever had anyway.

    Personally I support DGR. I agree with what F. Kling says above. Even if there is only a very small chance for other species, I want them to have it. It’s not their fault, it’s OURS. Once they extinct they have no chance at all.

  86. Delmer Says:

    Great News!
    Very intriguing
    happy days are back
    wow rally?
    NO WAY!

  87. Delmer Says:

    Terrific Development!
    Really fascinating
    pleasant nights are really back
    wow actually?
    NO WAY!
    Treasure you!
    Terrific Information!
    Terrific Insight TY!
    Looking forward to a follow through!
    Great info done well!

  88. the virgin terry Says:

    thanks, henry, for the positive feedback, and kevin moore, for the link to the long matrix video i’ll check out sometime later.

  89. ulvfugl Says:

    Western media cover up of Odessa massacre

    In broad daylight, a peaceful protest encampment of pro-Russian citizens calling for a referendum for federalization, in opposition to the Western-backed unelected junta that seized power in Kiev on February 22, was attacked by neo-Nazi supporters of the junta. The Kiev supporters were bussed into the southern port city of Odessa from the capital and another city, Kharkov, under the guise of attending a football match.

    Like many towns and cities elsewhere in the east of Ukraine, the pro-Russian protesters in Odessa are opposed to the junta in Kiev, which illegally seized power against the elected president Victor Yanukovych.

    The melee turned apparently into a riot between clashing sides in Odessa. There are reports that the neo-Nazi crowd deployed agent provocateurs who used firearms while mingling among the riot police. The police reportedly did little to restrain the violence. All those arrested at the scene later were pro-Russian citizens.

    http://nsnbc.me/2014/05/07/western-cover-up-of-the-odessa-massacre/

  90. BenjaminTheDonkey Says:

    Thanks, Tom, and tvt! :)

    @ Robin dude: Gotta question. Do you take matter or consciousness to be primary? TIA!
    ==

    the virgin terry says:

    Watching The Wheels

    When I tell people there’s no solution
    To the problem of our execution,
    They say I’m a nut,
    And tell me my butt
    Belongs in an institution.

  91. BenjaminTheDonkey Says:

    Just once, just one fucking time, before the internet goes down, I’d like to post something and not want to change it a minute later. For example, for the Götterdämmerung limerick above, RE doesn’t say the fat lady is singing, he says the opposite. I perverted his meaning. Apologies, RE. The title should be “I Hear The Fat Lady Singing.” Just one fucking time. Would be nice.

  92. Martin Says:

    Bud Nye,

    courteous, respectful dialog.

    Show. Don’t tell.

    Despite your intellectually sophisticated and fundamentally valid arguments, something tells me that you actually do NOT advocate that we all commonly and childishly call each other names

    What did Ivan Illich once say? “I will not be blackmailed by being called an intellectual.” I don’t advocate. Nobody cares what I think. I already gave you permission to step on people if that’s what you want to do. My permission is worthless.

    kike, nigger

    I’m a student of religious history. All through the Common Era people have been murdered for speaking their mind. We live in an age of unprecedented freedom, soon to be over. Why not just enjoy it? Where do you think we are on the arc of history, Bud?

    1.) Tweak things a bit more by stepping hard on people who use offensive names and we’ll soon be living in Utopia, or

    2.) It’s nearly attic time again.

    Assuming that I have this right

    I don’t care about rights. Rights are worthless. I’m a grown up.

    Please do educate at least me more fully concerning this

    Please don’t try to flatter me that you care what I think.

    Or do you also believe that the whole idea of “emotional abuse”, which, from your responses, you seem to advocate, is just a bunch of baloney?

    Are you aware that you’re abusing me? I invited you to consider another perspective. I didn’t give you permission to abuse me because I’m seemingly unconcerned about something—widespread abuse—I have little control over.

    This kind of (usually male) laugh it up, shrug it off, intellectual rationalization stuff occurs VERY COMMONLY in the domestic abuse arena, seeking and often getting support from the other “real men” who see, read, and hear it.

    There is a very wide gulf between who you think I am and who I am. You just fell into it. The essay I linked to is ALL ABOUT WITCH HUNTS. Read it again.

    So, again, please tell us how we should better linguistically state our simple, easily understood request for courteous, respectful dialog

    Try this: “I’d like to be courteous and respectful to you, Martin. One day.”

  93. Haniel Says:

    I’ve appreciated your limericks for years, at least at HA, possibly before in LATOC IIRC.

    You inspired me to create a new rule in the IT department I manage – if a “fix” is done after the product rolls out, all changes must be accompanied by a note as to why the change, next to the new code, and the note must be in limerick or hiaku form.

    Work’s not worth doing of you can’t have fun on the job.

  94. Paul Chefurka Says:

    ulvfugl,

    That is a truly incisive summary of where we are and why extinction is probably inevitable. I would like to ask your permission to re-post it on another blog. that blog hosts a combination of people who get it and people who don’t. We’re currently discussing the article below about the views of Australian microbiologist Frank Fenner, and this would help to make it clear why many of us think that NTE isn’t, as one contributor said, “baloney”.

    http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/climate-weather/stories/humans-could-go-extinct-within-100-years-says-renowned-scienti

  95. ulvfugl Says:

    @ P. Chefurka

    Comment hadn’t appeared here it was on the forum, so I replied there.
    Here’s my reply.

    If you think something needs doing, give yourself permission to do it.

    Why do you ask me Paul ? Do you think I care what you do ? Do you think I care about your manners ? Do you think I care who reads of not ? I don’t have any power to stop you do I. I have no respect for you ‘politeness’. You’re wasting my time having me write this. If that stuff I wrote is useful to you, grab it, use it, hit them with it.

  96. RE Says:

    “Because we get to 2 deg C then 3, 4, 5, 6 and upward, and the whole global biosphere collapses, so that it is uninhabitable.

    There is nothing to eat, because crops do not grow, there is nothing in the ocean except dinoflagellates and jellyfish, the air is toxic from anoxic oceans filled with rotting material and blooms of bacteria giving off sulphur dioxide which drifts across the land. “- UF

    All possible outcomes, but not written in stone. Besides, it will take some time no matter what to get this much overall temp changes, and then you got the issue that it is not uniform across the globe either.

    The hypothesis here is this all occurs inside 30 years or so, which is highly unlikely. So how to best deal with an increasingly more harsh living environment through this period?

    The best alternatives to saving species and recovering the biosphere appear to be in sequestering carbon, decommissioning Nukes, reducing Homo Sapiens energy footprint and creating more local economies on a smaller scale.

    All of these goals can be achieved, and by working toward these goals it provides the best chance to save not only Homo Sapience and the Great Experiment with Sentience, but many other species as well.

    Will all be saved in perpetuity? Of course not. Extinction is a guarantee for all species on Earth inside 1B years. Just a matter of timelines here, and how long we can keep it going. I think it is a good deal longer than Mid-Century. I would say through intensive techniques, we can at least get another 200-500 years here.

    After that, WTF knows? Yellowstone probably goes ballistic anyhow.

    RE

  97. david higham Says:

    Ulvfugl,
    First class comment at7.20 am,May 8.Just one point.The gas released by bacteria in an anoxic ocean is Hydrogen sulphide,not Sulphur dioxide.If anyone wants to ensure that they won’t be able to sleep at night,read’Under a green sky ‘ ,by Peter Ward.

  98. Tom Says:

    I mentioned this site before regarding H2S and methane. Everyday the host sites numerous examples of explosions, fire, accidents, people (of all ages) dropping dead, animal(and pet)attacks and species die-offs related to this:

    http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/

    take a look – it’s already happening.

  99. ulvfugl Says:

    @ david higham

    Thanks for the correction, stupid mistake on my part.

    Yes, I think Peter Ward’s Green Sky scenario is what’s coming, except that he can’t quite handle the reality and has it happening just after his career is over, which seems to be something many of the climate scientists seem to see in their modelling. Total catastrophe. But in 100 years. So they’ll have had their careers and pensions.

    @ RE

    All possible outcomes, but not written in stone. Besides, it will take some time no matter what to get this much overall temp changes, and then you got the issue that it is not uniform across the globe either.

    The hypothesis here is this all occurs inside 30 years or so, which is highly unlikely. So how to best deal with an increasingly more harsh living environment through this period?

    The best alternatives to saving species and recovering the biosphere appear to be in sequestering carbon, decommissioning Nukes, reducing Homo Sapiens energy footprint and creating more local economies on a smaller scale.

    All of these goals can be achieved, and by working toward these goals it provides the best chance to save not only Homo Sapience and the Great Experiment with Sentience, but many other species as well.

    Seems to me it is very near to being written in stone. That’s because to change the future we’d have to take dramatic action NOW, and in my estimation there’s no sign or even chance of that happening.

    If you watch this video by Kevin Anderson he explains how the longer you leave cutting emissions, the more drastic the cuts have to be, if you want to stay under a particular target temperature decades into the future.

    So far, over the last 20 years, all attempts to cut and reduce emissions have failed, and as of now, it does not appear that there is anything like an adequate plan available.

    Diogenes has been discussing this at great length on Real Climate.

    Your hopium All of these goals can be achieved… is like saying we can mine asteroids. Yes, theoretically, on paper, in schoolboy’s comics, it happens.

    In the real world where we have to live, nobody is doing anything that is making any difference, the trajectory we are on is WORST CASE.

    We can expect another two billion people to be born over the next 2 or 3 decades, whilst everything is collapsing, that’s 2 more China’s worth wanting to be fed and housed.

    You want to live in fantasies. I’m attempting to get the clearest possible view of the real predicament.

  100. TemplarMyst Says:

    Hallo again ulvfugl

    Seems to me it is very near to being written in stone. That’s because to change the future we’d have to take dramatic action NOW, and in my estimation there’s no sign or even chance of that happening.

    Okay, so, just to clarify. Do you think there is something that could be done? Or is it in fact too late already, and no conceivable action would turn the situation around?

    Every so often here on NBL there are hints that something might be possible, followed nearly immediately by indications the mere thought is shear fantasy and hopium.

    It’s the same sort of dissonance that radiates from the be caring and compassionate and expecting industrial civilization to collapse meme in the more recent thread.

    I suspect the final answer is 1) nothing can be done and 2) industrial civilization will collapse.

    You know based on our past discussions I’m not being flippant or mean spirited here. And you also know I haven’t, so far, picked up the post where you indicate what we ought to do. So if you’ve got a brief summary would appreciate it.

    Tanx.


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