Can we handle the truth?

The International Energy Agency (IEA) released World Energy Outlook 2009 today. Even before the sham was shipped, it was exposed as a big ‘ol bucket of lies. Seems the current administration thinks Americans can’t handle the truth, so we need to apply some pressure to keep the lid on the facts. If this country’s paragon of transparency (i.e., world’s leading liar) and master of hope (i.e., wishful thinking) actually trusted the American people, perhaps we could avert chaos.


If oil traders knew the truth about declining energy availability, the per-barrel price of oil would be $300 within a week. If stock traders knew the truth, we’d see capitulation of the markets shortly thereafter. If Americans knew the truth, they just might come to grips with reality, rally together, put their collective shoulders to the wheel, and start building a better world than the ominicidal culture of make believe to which we’ve all become accustomed.
But we’ll never know, because the cabal of morally bankrupt bankers and politicians running this country — and also the industrialized world — will keep playing the shell game as long as they are allowed by the impotent media. Or, more likely, until the reality of oil priced in excess of $200 per barrel interferes with their imperial ambitions.
The consequences of the shell game extend well beyond economic disaster and the likely extinction of our species. In the short term, they include hijacking the world’s marketplace, complete with child labor, hunger, and pollution (especially abroad), continued decline of intellectual “capital” in our universities, ratcheting up the war machine by attacking yet more countries (perhaps bringing a rapid demise to American Empire), further extending imperial overreach, continued shrinking of our credit-based economy, continued enrichment of the financially wealthy (including $100 billion for eight of Warren Buffett’s companies), continued profiteering by the insurance industry, and continued land grabs in poor countries by wealthy countries. All with a U.S. military on the verge of complete collapse and despite widespread acknowledgment that American-style capitalism is not working.
To reiterate the choices facing us: (1) The economically dire truth and potential for chaos, now, or (2) Certain chaos and probable extinction, later. The moral certainty of the former choice is absolute. Perhaps that alone explains why we’re choosing door number two.
Will reality intervene in time to save the living planet, including our own species? Is 2012 soon enough? Stay tuned.
In the meantime, think about what you’d do. Let’s play King For A Day. Would you trust industrial humans with the truth? Or would you commit us to chaos and probable extinction in the name of politics? In your response, please wear two hats: first your own, then, to make the game realistic, the hat of your favorite billionaire.
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Comments 36

  • Well said. The greater issue is of course for us importing nations who are reliant on less and less exports on the open market. Predictions say Mexico won’t have oil to export in 3 years ( our #3 importer). Bad for us, even worse for their economy.

  • Me? I’d just return to using taxes for what they are supposed to be for – the betterment of actual people 🙂 By that I mostly mean health, education, food and shelter. Anything left over I think should go to the health of the country environmentally and after that perhaps enhancement for other countries….
    Anyhow, what would I know – I’m only a person and female at that thus not to be taken seriously by your average billionaire. I have no idea what they would do as I’ve never personally known one.
    viv in nz

  • Dear Guy —
    People like you are at a disadvantage in making sense of things. You have a conscience, a sense of honesty, and a sense of fairness.
    Those in control have none of those impairments. They don’t just lie, they lie BIG. When they get caught lying, they just lie some more. When they get caught stealing, they lie and they lie BIG. And then they steal some more.
    Obama, unfortunately, plays the game as well as any of them. His continual use of the word “reform” of the health care system is a dead giveaway. He might tweak it a bit, but in the end, as long as the private insurers are allowed to set rates, buy politicians, and make huge profits in human misery, the “reforms” as promised by Obama will just be more hot air adding to the climate imbalance.
    They are not going to reform. They are going to milk the economy like a Holstein until they milk it dry. And then they will butcher the Holstein for its meat, sell the offal to the renderers and send a bill to the government for their out-of-pocket expenses.
    This is the end result of Dawkin’s “the selfish gene”. Nothing can or will be done to prevent the inevitable. But at smaller scales, we can and should do what we can to resist.
    Stan Moore

  • From wikipedia…..Scott Nearing
    The tension between the dissident individual and the group was an unenviable one, Nearing believed. In the conflict between the solitary individual and the community, Nearing saw only three possible outcomes:
    “(1) The individual may win out and impose himself and his ideas upon the group. The normal consequence of such an outcome is a personal dictatorship or the imposition upon the community of an oligarchy in which the dissident individual or individuals play a prominent role. (2) The division of the community into factions, one of which upholds the dissident individual, with a stalemate leading to feuding, rebellion, civil war. (3) The group wins out, imposes its will and eliminates the non-conformist. Such conflict sequences have occurred repeatedly in contemporary and in earlier history.”

  • Not only can people not handle the truth, they flat out will not believe it until it happens. For instance, I’ve talked about peak oil to many friends, and maybe *one* has taken it seriously.
    Quit talking about “saving the planet”. The planet will be fine, it will shake us off like a bad cold. Humans are the ones at peril.

  • David,
    George Carlin has a great piece about saving the planet. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eScDfYzMEEw
    “The planet is fine, the people are fucked”

  • The Truth About the Drones of Empire
    Listening to the aftermath of the Fort Hood murders causes me to think of an aspect of current warfare that I have not seen discussed, even in the alternate media. I am talking about the use of drones to kill “enemy” personnel off the battlefield.
    I could not help but notice that both the generals and the president took note of the fact that soldiers like to feel safe in their barracks, especially stateside. American soldiers feel the stress of invading and occupying foreign countries, and feel entitled to go home and unwind and feel secure in their home areas. But the American way of warfare does not allow that luxury to men of military age in Afghanistan or Pakistan. If you are carrying an automatic rifle and you are spotted by a drone, you can be on your way to a wedding or maybe even to surrender or volunteeer with the Afghan Army and you may be blasted into smithereens by a Hellfire missile fired by a soldier whose skills were perfected on Gameboy and who cares not a whit that you were not on the battlefield when he attacked you. Nor does he care if your female three-year old cousin was also killed, because you were a valid target and he was fighting low risk warfare, the new American way.
    There seems little doubt that this warfare will ultimately provoke some form of unprecedented blowback. When the Nazis bombed London, the Allies Bombed Dresden. Tit for tat. And eye for an eye. There is no long term impunity in this sort of fighting. And the memories of our chosen, provoked enemies will likely be very, very long. And that may very well be the goal — making enemies leads to profitable war, and the cost in cannon fodder is bearable, especially when the generals and the president seem very willing to pay those costs. I am reminded of that scene in the old Jimmy Stewart movie “Shenendoah”, where he lost his son to unwilling participation in the Civil War, and the Jimmy Stewart character talked about war, how the politicians saw the need for it, and the generals saw the glory in it, but the soldiers just wanted to go home.
    Yet, now our society is manipulated cynically by economic unfairness that drives young men to the military often because other career options are out of reach. So, they become cannon fodder for the old generals and the presidents and end up with their boots lined up while Taps is played and everyone feels genuinely sorrowful until the next day and the next mission.
    Maybe that is why Jesus said, “Blessed are the peaceful…” — the blessing that is self-endowed and self-sustaining.
    Stan Moore

  • David Lewis, we’re killing the living planet. The millions of species we are driving to extinction will NOT be fine. A sense of morality, and even a sense of self-preservation for our own species, indicates we should be throwing everything we’ve got at saving our landbase, including the non-human species occupying the landbase. Thanks for the advice, but I’ll just keep on talking, writing, and thinking about saving the living planet, as if it matters.
    Nice post, CJ. Carlin was amazing.
    Great line, daniel, and thanks for the first-time comment … ditto for and Jonathan and knutty knitter. The Nearings were as amazing in their own way as Carlin. What an inspiration — quitting the sweet academic gig at Penn to live the good life.
    And thanks to Stan Moore for the always-thoughtful commentary.

  • Memo to Knutty Knitter:
    —————–“I’m only a person and female at that”.You could not be more wrong.Since the start of The Terminal Depression I’ve noticed that woman do a far better job of coping,helping others to do likewise,understanding,and better adapted to handle crisis.
    Our future lies with the female gender.Men are not handling this well.
    Double D

  • David Lewis: Guy pointed out the problem with “the planet will be just fine.” I would suggest the Venus is “just fine.” It chugs around the sun once every 224.7 days without a hitch. Of course the greenhouse effect there puts the mean temperature at 464°C (867°F for us laypeople). Most of us are working hard to make Earth just as “fine” as Venus. So you are right, we are at peril. And yes, we are doing it to ourselves. Unfortunately, we are taking the whole thing down with us. It seems every week we find out about a new feedback loop that makes it even worse and speeds everything up.
    Daniel: Thanks for the reviewing Scott Nearing for us. I revisit “Living the Good Life” and “Continuing The Good Life” once or twice every year. Hardly a week goes by that I don’t ask myself, “What would Scott do?” But those questions revolve around compost or the woodpile. I had a chance to ask myself the same question when I was standing in line last August to speak to my Congressperson about health care. I’m a flaming liberal and live in a very conservative district so I knew my representative and the assembled crowd would not like what I had to say. But I knew with a certainty that Scott Nearing would never hesitate to speak his truth no matter the consequences. Of course I’m just a goofball in his shadow but even us old guys need heroes. Thanks for reminding us.

  • An Uncomfortable (Even Excruciating) Truth
    I hate thinking about it, but I am gradually coming to grips with the truth that humankind is one of nature’s ways of reshuffling the deck.
    Stan Moore

  • Perhaps it’s time for carbon-based life to step aside and let silica have a go at it.
    OTOH, maybe we need to take the long view, and consider that the world-wide fires as forests die and combust sequesters enough carbon to matter. Not likely if permafrost melt releases the methane it appears to contain, but hey. It passes for optimism.
    If I were King? I’d do my best to see to it that we fight a World War using viruses targeted at humans. As a species, we’re short-sighted enough for that to work. Look at nuclear winter; we haven’t given that option up yet.
    But don’t worry; as a mere peasant I’m content to stand aside and just plant trees, so that whatever survives has something to eat and nest under.

  • vertalio,
    This is not meant as a snide jab at you but as a serious question. When you plant trees are you making some compensation for the northward migration of temperature zones? I am stuggling with what to do. Here in northeast Washington I have begun agressively selecting for ponderosa pine over Douglas fir, although right now the fir is growing like weeds. Lodgepole pine is being blasted by bark beetles here and now the Douglas fir bark beetle is killing big swaths of National Forest too. I know, I know, it seems crazy for an old guy to be trying to figure out what to grow in my forest to meet conditions that will exist after I am long dead, but we do what we can do. Your ideas would be appreciated.
    Michael Irving

  • I think chaos only makes things worse, its disorganization of the current unsustainable or fragile system I would like, without chaos. Yes, species will be doomed no matter what we choose, slow or fast descent, we are using more resources.
    I remember very few people discussing how awful it was when the stock market was increasing at 10% per year in 2004, or how retirement accounts were then so large people could retire a few years early. Now we are on the flip side of gain and everyone complains. It takes a truly principled person to set aside their riches or lack of them and unselfishly work for the greater good.
    I choose the third rail, promoting optimism while trying to tell people things aren’t going to be the same.

  • Chris 11:
    Most people have come to believe that things are never going to be the same.The very few exceptional people who have the independent
    intelligence to see the truth,such as Prof Em Guy,also agree that
    the American standard of living has been permanetly lowered.
    Hurray for nature.

  • The remake of “The Prisoner” debuts today on AMC.I saw the previews.
    It looks bad,but will withhold final judgement until I see the 1st of the 3 night series tonight.
    Once again I’m reminded that you cannot go home again.
    Double D

  • Hiked through the Victorian Alps this weekend.
    Literally sat around the camp fire discussing
    energy descent and civilisation. Two of my
    companions had recently climbed Kilimanjaro
    and ‘could not work Africa out’ ie whether
    it was the future or the past. We concluded it was
    the future. Over population and carrying capacity
    overshoot leads to a slow erosion of human rights/dignity.
    Incidentally, one morning we climbed 4300ft over 3 miles.
    Approx gradient of 23%, with full packs and carrying
    a gallon of water each. My mates felt the weekends
    hiking was far more difficult than what they had experienced
    in climbing ‘Kili’’. To cut a long story short, they reckon we all grew
    a second set of testicles this weekend. So Stan, if you are still in need
    and I can send you a pair.

  • Human Evolution and Inevitable Catastrophe

    If I were to distill the essence of human success in an evolutionary sense, which I believe will ultimately result in human castrophe, I would focus on man’s ability to seemingly defy and overcome limits set by nature. Over man’s evolutionary history, his mental and physical faculties have combined to overcome more powerful predators, manipulate nature to produce abundance of foodstuffs through agriculture, domestication of animals, harvest of wildlife and fish, the ability to adapt to extremes of hot and cold and drought, etc. Man has repeatedly found ways to overcome the limits seemingly imposed by nature, and this has become engrained in our genes.

    But nature’s limits are finite, whereas man’s ambitions and greed are not. The advent of agriculture and the shaping of permanent settlements, cities, and land ownership was the beginning of man’s end. The beginning of the end was the exploitation of detrivorous fuels which allowed mankind to temporarily exceed the carrying capacity of the planet, while maintaining a civilizational mindset that such limits had always been overcome in the past and new ways and means of overcoming nature’s limits could always be worked out through brains and brawn.

    But, as one wise man said, Nature bats last. When the final pitch as been thrown, mankind will strike out. Our evolutionary history will work against us and even now we see an inability to honestly face crises such as global climate change in the irrational hope that somehow we will overcome it with some combination of brains and brawn.

    We broke the gravity barrier (on a limited basis) with hot air balloons and then aircraft. We broke the sound barrier with jet aircraft. But we cannot break the laws of thermodynamics and we cannot escapt the fundamental law that we will reap what we sow.

    Our evolution and our past successes will guarantee our downfall.

    Stan Moore

  • Stan,

    Yes, Of Course. It the same for every species. The difference is only that we have set the stage for our own demise, becoming a geophysical force capable of initiating this mass extinction event. Some may not yet understand that, but those who read this blog almost certainly do. The question is, knowing the former, what does it mean to be human in the twenty-first century? What now gives life it’s meaning? How do we “die well” as a species? What consitutes a life well lived in the midst of an ecological collapse? Is there a civic duty? Should we hole up and hope our genes somehow squeak through the bottleneck? What does it mean now to be a father, a son, a friend? What does it mean now to do something beautiful?

    Mike

  • I disagree that all species behave like humans in altering their environment for survival/prosperity.

    What should people do during the pending unraveling? It will vary depending on their value systems and circumstances. Desperation has a way of revealing character, but it could paralyze some and energize others. If one dies while trying to help or save the life of another, he/she will be dead, and the cosmos will sort out what it all means, if anything.

    If I happen to kill a few bicyclists in a fit of road rage and go to Hell and find the Dalai Lama is already there, suffering God’s retribution, I am going to demand an explanation, and beat it out of him, if necessary…

    Stan Moore

  • Stan,

    I did not mean to suggest that all or most species alter their environment in a way that eventually leads to their demise. I only meant that all species are, by definition, unfinished, imperfect, and will eventually succumb to changing circumstances whatever the cause.

    Prof. Guy often tells us that humanity is tragically flawed. Why the word tragic? Why not just flawed? Were the other 99.9% of all species that have gone extinct on earth “tragically” flaw, or is their something special about us the the adjective is reserved for? Was the permian extinction a tragedy? The cretaceous? Do shifting continents and speeding asteroids fall into a different class than a flawed hominid with a swollen brain? Of course there is a differnce. We are the moral animal. We are self-reflective and capable of peering over the horizon. We can imagine a multitude of alternative scenarios. Tragedy, like comedy (close kin these) is the realm of storytellers. We can tell ourselves that the storyline of modern humanity is a tragedy, Icarus flying to close to the sun (or the 2nd law), but even that is a form a hubris. The problem is, there is no superman, though their is meaning and purpose in the imaginings of one.

  • Welcome home to Nature Bats Last’s home! Love what you’ve done with the place, Guy. 🙂

  • Mike —

    I don’t disagree with your map of history. Evolution is heartless and knows neither good nor evil. It just allows the outworking of things with the long passage of time and circumstances that can sometimes be foreseen and sometimes not. For instance, I heard a physicist with a national radio program advocate for exploration of outer space on the rationale that in a billion years (or whatever the number was) the earth will be burned up by the sun and we will need to make a change of planetary homes. Definitely foreseeable, but the time frame might be a tad irrelevant.

    Tragedy is in the mind of the beholder. Aldo Leopold said there are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot. Some of us appreciate and esteem biodiversity and wish to use our powers and even sacrifice some of our our assets in order to preserve life for its own sake and its own value. Some could not care less.

    It appears to me that, as a species, we are ultimately destructive of our own life support system. Our evolution made us this way, and our minds aned hearts are not able to reverse our own genetic engineering. It has reached the point of blatant absurdity here in late 2009, where we carefully are counting the costs of saving ourselves from our own greenhouse gas emissions because we don’t want to rip ourselves off by unnecessarily developing a planet-safe economy. I guess that Neil Young is the mentor of the economists and consumerists who would rather “burn out than fade away” or even change course to live another day.

    I sense that Bill McKibben is experiencing hair loss from observing “change we can believe in” as it is revealed in the past month or so…

  • Mike,
    You took my breath away with this:

    “The question is, knowing the former, what does it mean to be human in the twenty-first century? What now gives life it’s meaning? How do we “die well” as a species? What consitutes a life well lived in the midst of an ecological collapse? Is there a civic duty? Should we hole up and hope our genes somehow squeak through the bottleneck? What does it mean now to be a father, a son, a friend? What does it mean now to do something beautiful?”

    As an old guy these things have been much on my mind both relating to my own life and to my response to these changed times. Well asked/well said.

    Michael

  • Prof Em Guy,

    You really do look spiffy !!

    Just like Down Town.

    Cogratulations.

    Double D

  • Micheal Irving-
    Yeah, I do try to take that into account…planting slightly more southerly species or variants here in New England, but also ones that appear to have potential. I’m focussing on nuts/seeds/shelter, trusting the understory will follow. Data is scarse, but I reference models of forest change and paleobotany and make best guesses of future weather and climate conditions.
    Basically, I feel you should plant your choices in varying spots…water/sun/bearing/elevation/etc…and let them sort it out. If it’s too alien, most often it won’t survive, so that takes some worry out if it.

    But at this point I feel the whole native/invasive debate moot: if it will survive and provide, I consider it native. Who are humans to judge other species afa “nativeness”, anyway? Just who is the vector in all this?

    I maintain optimism and sanity, such as it is, by starting seed forests, or small plots of species that eventually, if conditions allow, will spread and re-populate the region. Preforestation. It could take ten thousand years to really matter, but it’s not as if I’m doing anything better with my few years left.
    Sounds like you have the same idea. I’m thrilled.

  • Transport Newsletter #131 18/11/09

    Ken Livingston on Congestion
    “Ken Livingston: The traffic speed in central London was so low that Big Business came to me and
    said you’ve got to do a congestion charge or firms are going to start leaving here to go to Paris or
    Frankfurt … if we hadn’t done that, by now, London would be in permanent grid-lock, it would be a
    disaster.
    “Fran Kelly: So it was business that can up with the notion of the congestion tax?
    “KL: The original person to think of it, back in 1952 was Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan and Margaret
    Thatcher’s favourite Economist; it wasn’t some just old Leftie idea that had been kicking around. Just
    recognise that, at the moment you are spending so much time in traffic jams, in a sense you are
    managing traffic by jams, it is better to have a pricing mechanism and people can make rational
    decisions whether to drive or get public transport. It [a congestion charge] gave us about 150 million
    pounds a year which we invested in buses and building new light
    rail so we increased the [public transport] capacity. When we
    introduced it 40% of people stopped driving their car [into London’s
    city centre]. It happened from day one. And suddenly it looked like
    London was a different city.
    “FK: And how did the people feel about it …
    “KL: For the four or five years after we did the congestion charge,
    the retail trade in central London, went up four-times the annual
    rate, [compared] to the rest of the country. Although it seemed
    very different, in actual fact they [the shop keepers] were doing
    very well. People were just prepared to get on a bus or the Tube to
    come in [to London]. … We didn’t introduce the congestion charge
    until we’d improved public transport, otherwise people don’t have
    anywhere to go. And the other big thing that we found, just by
    making the roads more tolerable, loads more people got on their
    bike, which is perhaps the best answer to all this problem. And
    also given our obesity problem, which all the English speaking
    world seems to have, it [the congestion charge] tackles another
    problem as well.”
    Ref: ABC Radio National – Breakfast, 16/9/09
    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/breakfast/stories/2009/2687058.htm

  • I find Mike’s questions to be problematic in several ways. They could reveal a lack of a moral compass if sincere. The questioner should be asking such questions inwardly only. What sort of father/son should I be, not we. The passing of historical eras should not change the answers to those questions.

    The other day in my area, there was a horrible gang rape of a 16 year old Latina girl at a high school dance. Several young men participated in the crime, and some of them casually told others about the crime in progress, as if to say: “Here’s your opportunity to screw a drunk, passed-out chick over there”. One young man that I heard interviewed on the radio did not want to avail himself of that opportunity. Instead, he thought of his own sister and how it could be her in that situation, and he called the police. He did not know we are at the end of a human era and that his moral compass could possibly be reset.

    Those questions seem to me to reek of sanctimony. They seem to be saying, “I’m okay, are you?” “If not, why not?”

    I don’t know if it is possible to detect via email messages, but I am not a big fan of sanctimony or self-righteousness or public displays of such. Let each person ask those questions of himself, privately.

    By the way, I have a direct tie-in to a movie on this last paragraph! The movie is called “Soul Men”, with the late Bernie Mac and Samuel L. Jackson as a couple of washed up back-up singers from a 1960’s-era soul group broght together after the death of their estranged late partner/lead singer. Towards’s the end of the movie, the Samuel L. Jackson character (who is quite the philosopher and reader of philosophical teachings) descrbied how he had progress in dealing with some of his “issues” and how he had been forced to “go inside” and “do the work” and to effect gradual change in himself. This is very funny movie with great, great music and acting and one of the rare movies where profanity can be appropriate and so funny that it maches your sides ache! There was a scence towards the beginning of the movie where Bernie Mac was ranting with profanity over the reaction of his old partner to his plan while pacing the hallway outside his friend’s door, that was about as funny as anything ever gets. “Soul Men” is a great, great movie on several levels and if you watch it on DVD you might want to keep it a few days and watch it three or four timese in a row because you will find little things each time that you missed before. And the music is absolutely top knotch if you like old-fashioned R&B.

    Stan Moore

  • Stan,

    Wouldn’t it be great if, indeed, we could just pull that moral compass out of our breast pocket for a quick consultation! We surely wouldn’t have to spend the precious hours of our only life reading and contributing to blogs like this for the occasional support or possible change of a point of view.

    If I were to engage in self-criticism (and I often do), I would accuse myself of callousness toward the changes ahead. I also am a bird man, a conservation biologist, and have gone through my share of mourning over this mass extinction and the collective failure of our species to rise to the occassion. My skin has become thick. Dieoff? Sure. End of the Holocene? Why not? Swainson’s Hawks littering the floors of Argentinian woodlands? Just another day on Earth.

    Still, I am the father of a six year old. His name is Hawk. When I look into his eyes, and consider his life and his future, I know that the questions I asked in the previous post are not universal through time. There is no playbook for the twenty-first century. Yes, there is the Golden Rule, which you described above, but that doesn’t answer all questions. The global economic, political, and ecological collapse we are facing in this century is not just a another historical shift. It is a fundamental change in the story of our species, what it means to be human. I can’t answer all of the questions alone, inwardly gazing at my navel. Hawk’s future will emerge, along with my own evolving moral compass, in a process of reciprocity.

    Mike

  • Hi Mike —

    I have heard Guy speak of your Hawk, and now I know a bit more. I gather that Guy is fond of the little guy, too. I wonder what your Hawk thought about the Falcon (Balloon Boy) who was in the news recently. 🙂

    I wish you could explain to me why you feel your moral compass is vulnerable to a shift in the human paradigm. I tend to think that love, respect, honor, etc. and more or less universal and not defined by the world outside, but by the person inside. But perhaps I am dense and need to think more clearly.

    I don’t think that what lies ahead for humanity will be new for humans as individuals. It is the scale, the enormity, of the catastrophe that will be unprecented.

    But I hope and I doubt that you and your family will ever, for instance, have to endure what some US detainees have had to experience in the so-called “War on Terror”. I hope that you and Hawk are not subjected to long-term sleep deprivation, exposure to extremely loud noises, beatings, intense light, intense cold, etc. by direct act of malevolent humans.

    I hope that you and Hawk do not have to live like many Palestinians do in their own homeland, living for decades in refugee camps with fear of violence by occupying soldiers, with lack of access to your own relatives, your own properties, inability to travel or even to receive necessary medical care. I hope you never have to suffer as most Palestinians have been doing since 1948.

    What amazes me is that human resilience has allowed people to survive almost unimaginable horrors, victimhood, and catastrophe with their dignity intact, their family bonds strong, and with ability to press forward under the most dire of circumstances.

    I believe that the future of humanity is bleak in terms of our accustomed civilization, but the future of many humans will not be so bleak. I think individuals will survive and will thrive. I think the greatest single factor that will allow people to endure and survive will be love. Love for family and friends, love for the earth, love of life. Nothing can permanently detach us from such love.

    I think that is universal among all humans in all eras, including that which is to come.

    Stan Moore

  • Lyrics to “This Love Will Carry” by Scottish Folksinger Dougie MacLean

    It’s a thin line that leads us and keeps a man from shame
    And dark clouds quickly gather along the way he came
    There’s fear out on the mountain and death out on the plain
    There’s heartbreak and heart-ache in the shadow of the flame

    Chorus:
    [But]this love will carry, this love will carry me
    I know this love will carry me

    The strongest web will tangle, the sweetest bloom will fall
    And somewhere in the distance we try and catch it all
    Success lasts for a moment and failure’s always near
    And you look down at your blistered hands as turns another year

    Chorus

    These days are golden, they must not waste away
    For our time is like that flower and soon it will decay
    And though by storms we’re weakened, uncertainty is sure
    And like the coming of the dawn it’s ours for evermore

    Chorus

  • OPEN QUESTION FOR GUY

    I’D LOVE TO SEE THIS EXPLORED IN A FUTURE COLUMN

    WHAT WOULD IT TAKE FOR THE MAJOR MEDIA TO EXPLORE REASONS FOR PANIC?

    I saw the new movie 2012 the other evening. I thought the political machinations of the president and the US government were portrayed pretty realistically.

    Interestingly, as time progresses, I have begun to detect some doubts in news reporting about the certainty of a rosy future for Americans. You hear more comments about jobs and industries that have left our shores permanently. You hear young people complaining about not being able to jump start their planned careers right out of college. You hear about how many people are on food stamps.

    When is some pundit going to explore when we might identify ten good reasons to panic?

    When is hope itself going to be questioned as irrational?

    I think there are more catastrophe-oriented movies about to be released. 2012 was obviously a fantasy flick.

    Sooner or later some finger pointing will have to begin and some uncomfortable truths will need to be aired.

    Maybe some high school or undergraduate student will produce a little flick on YouTube that will spread like a virus and force recognition on a large scale.

    I think what is really needed right now is for some intelligent young folks under the age of 21 to get themselves educated and start talking online, start creating a picture of what they see and what they would like to see, and try to stir things up with some web-based dialogue that cannot be ignored…

    Stan Moore

  • Stan-
    Maybe ‘carbon reparations’ will have some effect on the American psyche. Rumblings are that much of the rest of the world is doing what you suggest already, with US in the cross-hairs. If things are this bad now, how will building windmills in Sudan for no charge help?
    Nice song and sentiment, by the way. Love it is.

  • The role of the clown in our society is to constrain a balloon in yet another twist and turn, in order to fashion a whimsical creature to offer you. -One that is not nearly as wonderful as the real thing. And with a laugh, they distract you from the next slight of hand.

  • Vertalio,

    Thanks. I am thinking along the sames lines. Nicely put about the
    future copse.

    Michael Irving