Still Hanging Around

I appreciate the sentiments, expressed on and off the blog, by those who asked me to come back. As I’ve come to expect, you’re kind. You give me yet another reason to slog on, through the fog of misery shrouding the empire.

Despite your kind comments, it’s a message from my brilliant nephew, the philosopher and some-time contributor to this blog, that sucks me back into the blogosphere. In his message, he included only the following few words under the subject line, “Hang on in there, now”:
To wit:
Friedrich Nietzsche, *The Gay Science*, Book Four, #276, tr. Kaufmann:
> *For the new year*. — I still live, I still think: I still have to live,
> for I still have to think. *Sum, ergo cogito: cogito, ergo sum*. Today
> everybody permits himself the expression of his wish and his dearest
> thought: hence I, too, shall say what it is that I wish from myself today,
> and what was the first thought to run across my heart this year — what
> thought shall be for me the reason, warranty, and sweetness of my life
> henceforth. I want to learn to see more and more as beautiful what is
> necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who makes things
> beautiful. *Amor fati*: let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to
> wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse. Looking away shall
> be my only negation. And all and all and on the whole: someday I wish to be
> only a Yes-sayer.
As usual, I cannot say it better that Nietzsche. Or my nephew, for that matter.
So I’m hanging in. But I’m not happy. The latest projections on climate change from the Hadley Center indicate we’ll not voluntarily power down quickly enough to save our species. Seems even if we reduce emissions to 47% below 1990 levels by 2010 (yeah, right) we’ll still warm the planet sufficiently to destroy all planetary ice by century’s end, and therefore ensure the extinction of our species. No surprise there, of course. When the Nobel committee gives away the Peace prize to the gutless (but “pure”) scientists at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), you know we’re screwed at our own hand.
Civilized humans will not fix the problem. We will not voluntarily save our own species, much less the many species and cultures we’re taking down with us. Hell, we won’t even make the pathetic changes called for by Al Gore and those scientists at IPCC, such as trading in the car for a bicycle for that one-block trip to the drug store to buy low-energy light bulbs.
Thus the need to bring down civilization. And, if you’re too committed to empire to help in whatever small way you can, to save our species, take heart: the empire’s coming down, even without your help.
Global oil supply extraction has declined about one-half percent per year since peaking in mid-2005. The result? A global economy best described as “in the toilet”. Runnin’ on fumes. Worse than the Great Depression. And so on.
But it gets better. The rose-colored-glasses folks at the International Energy Agency, who have never admitted the concept of peaking might be a reality, project an annual decline rate of nine percent from 2009 forward. You think times are tough now, when unemployment barely exceeds fifteen percent and half the companies in the industrialized world are tanking? With luck, a nine percent decline will generate full unemployment and recognition that, as Ed Abbey was fond of writing, all gold is fool’s gold. That is, we’ll ditch fiat currency, abandon globalization, bring down the power grid and the water coming out the taps and groceries at the big-box grocery store, and start living like we’ve pretty much always lived. After all, a nine-percent decline indicates we’ll be extracting 45 million barrels per day by 2012. That’s equivalent to 1970, when the global human population was less than 3.7 billion (vs. today’s very industrialized 6.7 billion) World extraction peaked at 74.3 million bpd, and we’re down to 72 or so, depending on what organization is fudging the latest numbers.
The Oil Age is over. Bring on the Stone Age, yet again.

Comments 14

  • Professor Guy:
    Welcome back–what a relief,my faith in a portion of humanity is now confirmed.
    I remember James, who I thought was your brother,or am I confused and is he your nephew?

  • James is my brother. My nephew remains nameless, if and until he identifies himself.

  • guy
    good luck to you,
    your tone over the last few
    months suggested a turning
    point. I recently often wondered why
    you bothered with the blog,
    given your resolve.
    stop talking and start doing!
    think seriously about nitrogen
    fixing plants, compost and
    of course hunting.
    turboguy I need some gun recommendations,
    you mentioned a rifle and the calibre?

  • I’d be the nephew. Glad to see you back, Guy, to keep on keepin on.. Given your latest gloomy statistic, amor fati seems all the more apropos.
    Fellow commenters: I would suggest that you focus on the content of Guy’s posts. There are numerous social networks, not to mention free blogs you can make your own, to say nothing of instant messaging, where you can chat amongst yourselves all day long. Some of the other posts tend to contain lots of rambling non sequiters and such. Just a suggestion from my seat in the gallery. And no, I’m not going to be participating in any flamewars that follow from it, if any do. (Be better if none did.)

  • Today I attended the annual Malpai Borderlands group’s science conference in Douglas AZ and heard some intereting talks by Charles Curtin, Bill McDonald, Richard Knight, Courtney White and others. White talked about trends in agriculture, the Quivira Coalition, Slow Food, and Terra Madre. One interesting statement he made was that horse farming is still very alive and well, and in fact is the fastest-expanding segment of US agriculture. The Amish are the main practitioners of it but it’s definitly not arcane these days of high-priced diesel.
    Helen Snyder

  • Court is correct.Case in point:I did not receive a package from Bernie Madoff and any speculation to the contrary is just that.

  • Always a reader, here. The news is decidely gloomy all around. You don’t even want to know what I’ve heard from the woman who runs the pantry for our parish. The closet Pollyana that lives in one corner of my brain hopes something good will come of the bad, but only God and time know those answers to that. No predictions here, just a “glad you’re sticking with it” and a thumbs up for the work so far.

  • Memo to Charlene:
    Welcome back also.We were concerned about you,not having heard from you in so long.

  • Matt, I’m afraid that your country has all but totally outlawed private firearm ownership. As much as I’d love to go on a nice long diatribe about what you should look into, I’m afraid that you wouldn’t be able to, without major law breakage, follow the advice.
    This is about the most definitive article regarding firearm ownership in Australia. Were I in your shoes, I’d try to get the class “C” license. It will permit you to have a pump action shotgun and a .22LR of some type, preferably the Ruger 10/22 or clone. Your reason should be hunting, and you should actually purchase a hunting license from time to time, but whether or not you fill your tag is entirely up to you. It’s just so they (The government) can’t say that you’re not utilizing your firearms for hunting.
    I’m still at an absolute loss as to how a basic right of self defense, and owning the single best implement for self defense, can be all but owtlawed.

  • many thanks turboguy

  • To all:
    Please be advised that I have found it necessary to retain counsel in the Madoff matter.This was not my choice,but circumstances have forced my hand.
    I hope you will disregard anything that you read/may read in the Washington Post,New York Times,Wall Street Journal,ect.,ect.regarding myself and Madoff.Any alleged associations between myself and Bernie have nothing to do with his present problems.
    I trust you will all understand my predicament in this delicate affair.
    Thank you.

  • LOL you’re not serious Frank.
    You were in cahoots with Madoff?
    That guy’s going to get probation. If you steal $300 from someone on the street you spend 25 years in jail. Steal a billion dollars from all kinds of people and you get house arrest.

  • Total Turboguy:
    I can never fool you–just wanted to get a rise out of you and knew that would appeal
    to your superb sense of humor.

  • But would anyone actually shed a tear if this dirtbag got what he really deserves – a dirtnap?
    I sure wouldn’t.