Extinction event?

The Arctic is defrosting as warm Atlantic waters rush through the Fram Strait instead of skirting the southern coast of Greenland. This is an important event, regardless of the deafening silence exhibited by the mainstream media.

Image courtesy of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, https://nsidc.org/

How important? First consider the background, from the perspective of long-time climate scientist James Hansen and colleague Makiko Sato, who report the disaster awaiting us at 2 C warmer is truly catastrophic (although they downplay the likelihood we’re already committed to this outcome): “We conclude that Earth in the warmest interglacial periods was less than 1°C warmer than in the Holocene and that goals of limiting human-made warming to 2°C and CO2 to 450 ppm are prescriptions for disaster” (the paper is titled “Paleoclimate Implications for Human-Made Climate Change: Draft paper for Milankovic volume”, as described on Hansen’s website). Currently, Earth’s atmosphere contains about 390 ppm carbon dioxide, and simply including methane (one of many greenhouse gases) brings the atmospheric equivalent of carbon dioxide up to about 460 ppm.

At the same time Arctic ice is melting, the planet is losing its lungs. Catastrophic drought in the Amazon has it emitting carbon dioxide more rapidly than the United States. Simultaneously, permafrost is thawing and methane stored in eastern Siberia is venting into the atmosphere at an alarming rate. Methane, by the way, is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

Against this background, it is easy to foresee a rapidly and profoundly warming Arctic as a trigger for positive feedbacks such as release of methane hydrates and reduced albedo. These extremely dangerous feedbacks, which forecasters did not expect until the planet becomes 2 C warmer than the baseline (vs. the current level of ~0.75 C warmer), could trigger runaway greenhouse. In other words, any of these event — never mind all of them at once — could lead directly and quickly to the extinction of Homo sapiens.

Is that important enough for you?

If you’re among the mainstream media, the answer is no. If you’re any politician in the industrialized world, the answer is no. If you want to continue the process of human-population overshoot on an overshot planet, the answer is no. If you’re one of the kingpins of capitalism — or even a defender of capitalism — the answer is no. I’ll go further: If you’re a defender of western civilization, your answer is no. But if you’re among the few people working to terminate western civilization before it terminates our species, it seems we’ve lost this most important of battles.

Like economic collapse, extinction is a process that leads to an event. The last human on Earth will not die today, tomorrow, or even next week. But it clearly could happen within a generation. Indeed, the odds grow with every passing day while we continue to deny our role in our own demise.

What will it take for the people to act? For that matter, what will it take for the people to notice?

Nothing to see here. Move along. This time is different. It can’t happen here. I’m just another purveyor of negativity to be ignored by a world full of happy optimists hedonists.

I am routinely accused of being an insane terrorist because I want to terminate the industrial economy, thereby giving our species an opportunity to persist a few generations longer. At this point, with our knowledge of the adverse consequences of civilization for non-industrial cultures, non-human species, and even the persistence of our own species, how can any sane person want to keep the industrial age alive?

In the race between collapse of the industrial economy and climate chaos, it seems climate chaos won. Words are no match for the sadness I feel. I can only imagine the agony of parents as they comprehend the horrors we have created for them, and especially for their children. Or perhaps this childless atheist — as I am labeled by every writer who pens me into a story — cares about the future of humanity more than most parents. After all, nearly every parent with whom I speak — failing to notice the dependence of the industrial economy on the environment — is far more interested in growth of the former, for their child’s sake, than with protection of the latter (for their child’s sake).

We traded in future generations of human beings — all of them — for a few dollars more. We worshiped at the heavenly altar of economic growth, and triggered hell on Earth.

Chaos on this planet isn’t restricted to the climate, and it’s going global this year. We’re witnessing not merely a riot but a revolution, and it’s coming soon to a city near you.

Alas, it’s too little, too late. The American Dream long ago morphed into the American Nightmare. It’s too bad George Carlin couldn’t be here for additional commentary. Rationalist voices are hard to come by. Rationalist voices with a sense of humor are vanishingly rare.

The response remains the same, at least for me. As a society, we will continue to value financial profit over life. Therefore, as individuals we should prepare and maintain durable living arrangements in light of ongoing energy decline and ongoing climate change. And, of course, we must keep fighting to bring down the omnicidal beast that is civilization.

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Comments 208

  • Librarian,

    In defense of Kathy (who needs no defending) I feel the need to chime in about the 3-year-old too. I think you’ve misread what Kathy was saying. The thrust of her statement was focused on how we, blessed by the accident of birth into luxury, have been spared much of the suffering that millions/billions have to deal with right now. Further she was saying that when western technological civilization collapses we would likely be living in the same conditions, and by the same rules (or lack thereof) that the poor and disenfranchised are living with today. Extending further, she is reminding us that a 3-year-old living in the Congo today should rightfully be asking those same questions. I think she is saying that there is what seems to be a parallel universe out there occupying part of the same planet that we occupy. It is another reality of pain, suffering, violence, injustice, and randomness that exists only because of the chance of birth. We in the first world have been lucky so far to have escaped emersion in that other reality. Kathy is reminding us that when the collapse comes that other reality, that parallel universe, will become our reality too.

    Forgive me Kathy if I misinterpreted you comment.

    Michael Irving

  • Sorry that you misunderstood Librarian. I was not feeling attacked. I state my position forcefully when I have a strong opinion and this is a subject on which I have a strong opinion. I’ve been blogging Peak Oil for quite some time, often on discussion sites with only men. I used to have a bit softer way of responding but batting ideas around with mostly men wore off the soft edges.

    I believe that civilization is bad for humans. When humans became agriculturalists their life style went down not up. They became malnourished. In fact when examining bones from the same time frame in the past a quick look at the teeth tells anthropologists whether people farmed or were H-G’s (the farmers had more cavities).

    Hunter-gatherers also worked less – some have calculated about 4 hours a day for all their needs.

    They did just fine in avoiding the mistakes of the past by passing on stories. Jared Diamond tells of the PNG as often having one very old person in a village who is taken care of extremely well. That way when a once in 50 year event happens they can turn to the elder and say what did you do then.

    If you will read the Collapse of Complex Societies by Joseph Tainter you will see that ever since civilizations started approx 10,000 years ago they have regularly failed. He thinks he sees a common cause, complexity rising until the marginal rate of return starts declining. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Tainter Complexity increases as problems are solved. As I often say “every solution has a problem” thus we move from problem to problem and from simple to complex. It has always resulted in a crash. No reason to think this one won’t but there is reason to believe that no new civilization will build on the ashes of this one.

    This book could perhaps help us to begin to simplify our civilization and avoid the collapse that has happened over and over to civilizations. Do you hear anyone in the houses of power talking about it? Is it taught in any schools. Are we starting a national program to reduce our society’s complexity. Is Bill Gates forswearing updates to Windows? Is anyone learning from the bacteria that quickly become antibiotic resistant to use antibiotics more sparingly or not at all. Is anyone in power powering down their societies because for 100+ years we have suspected and then known that CO2 is a greenhouse gas starting with Ahrenius in 1896 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius#Greenhouse_effect

    When I say civilization is coming down, I mean the whole kit and caboodle. The globalized industrial civilization is toast. Guy wrote on that not long ago https://guymcpherson.com/2010/12/were-toast/ and also https://guymcpherson.com/2011/01/third-times-a-charm/

    Yes, I have an answer for that future toddler. Watch your parents to learn how to skin the rabbit. Watch them to learn how to make a fire with sticks. Thank chickens the coal mines will be closed and children will run free, no longer bending over desks in schools or working in mines. They will once again learn from the book of nature. Check out this link that I posted before about the Baka people – pygmies in Africa still mostly H-G. Do they seem sad, deprived?

    I know I am still coming on strong. Perhaps not fair to a new poster, but I am who I am (or have become). I worked for a while in Haiti at a children’s home where babies died daily. I lost a whole lot of patience after that with any idea of keeping the global civilization rolling on. It’s just that Guy titled this “Extinction event?” That’s where we are now, not asking whether we can keep libraries open, but asking if the human species can survive. Nature is batting now.

  • … read where the Chinese had gotten creative with honey but they have out done themselves with this …

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/report-china-fake-rice-plastic/

  • Sarah someone needs to tell this to taco bell which still puts a tad of meat in their meat tacos. See http://blogs.villagevoice.com/forkintheroad/2011/01/peta_applauds_t.php

    Be sure to watch the Colbert clip.

  • No need to apologize, Kathy, because you actually answered my question perfectly.

    I should be the one apologizing. I didn’t understand your background, nor was I aware that you’ve personally witnessed babies die daily.

  • “We traded in future generations of human beings — all of them — for a few dollars more. We worshiped at the heavenly altar of economic growth, and triggered hell on Earth”.

    guy mcpherson

    This essay has made me question the path I’ve taken, since peak oil and AGW and LATOC and NBL turned my life upside down. Much of the past year and a half has been spent from the comfort of my easy chair, composing various group emails, essays, and even poems to raise awareness and bring attention to these very real issues. I thought I was doing something worthwhile. Some group meetings and screenings and get-togethers with Transition as the catalyst further strengthened that possible illusion. Working on my house and gardening have been concrete projects I could work up a sweat doing, perhaps continuing my illusion. But that’s my question. Am I just spinning my wheels here?

    Sometimes, after reading essays like this and agonizing over what my kids are going to have to go through, I try to imagine a different world. A world where our species evolved differently. A world where we somehow developed a wiser notion of just what our place should be in the grand scheme of things. A world where cooperation trumps competition. Where spiritual happiness and contentedness trumps material desires. A world that did not have the Pandora’s Box of fossil fuels and minerals beneath our feet, waiting and
    beckoning to us.

    But I think that, wired into our genetic makeup, is the relentless drive towards dominance. The ruthless inclination to “advance” at the expense of other members of our species and the rest of the natural world. I am not sure this is true, but if it is, that other world never had a chance. Since we climbed down from the trees, what has happened was inevitable. We can not change our species into something it is not.

    We appear to be living in the last scene of a two million year act, which is really just a tiny and insignificant part of our home planet’s life story Irregardless of what we do, and soon, very likely without any participation on our part, the performance shall continue.

    The question I continue to face is—What am I going to do about it. I appear to have two choices: Continue on with my soft and easy life, paying lip service to this notion of building a better community, going to transition meetings and insulating my home and planting my garden and pretending that I’m making a difference, until the monster of chaos knocks on my door. Or join with Guy and Derrick and others to fight the unjust and horrific nature of our civilization. For the sake of my kids, rebel against all that is bad in this world. Give up my comfortable (relative) life for the life of a crusader, a patriot, a terrorist.

    But if all of this has already been decided, and nothing we do matters, I sure don’t want to spend whatever time I have left away from my family, in prison or dead, by taking an extreme stance. I’m not sure I have it in me to do that in any case.

    I’d like to pose a question to the Cosmist: Your visions require that nations and people come together, very soon, to voluntarily reduce birth rates at a drastic level, learn how to share resources and voluntarily cooperate on working towards the goals you have set. Do you really believe that is possible? I would love to believe this to be true, but I have never heard of such a thing happening in all our recorded history, at least not in any meaningful way. Would you please give me an example of this happening before, or a scenario of how it might actually occur now, something I can hold onto that would give me reason for hope?

    I think John Wesley had the right words to live by, and I’ve felt for a long time that I can’t go too far wrong in following them. But the question remains, “By what path can I do the most good—“

    “Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.
    John Wesley
    English religious leader (1703 – 1791)

  • John wow, I know it is a hard place to come to. Especially with kids.
    I would add to John Wesley
    “Even if I knew the world would end tomorrow, I would continue to plant my apple trees.” That is the statement of faith traditionally attributed to Martin Luther. Some skeptic recently challenged the world of scholarship to demonstrate exactly where Luther had ever made such a declaration, and nobody could find an exact source. Perhaps, like so many such pieties, the idea really came from Goethe. Or perhaps Thoreau. It does not greatly matter, for the statement itself is one of abiding hope and abiding truth.

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,967728,00.html#ixzz1DVd8PenE
    I am no longer religious but that doesn’t mean there are no pearls to be found in their writings.

    As I know you are doing, perhaps the best good is to hug your kids a lot and tell them what special people they are.

  • Librarian, no need to apologize, no offense taken at all here.

    You and I seem to have differing views of what People actually read. I understand you may enjoy Malory, but I assure you that the unwashed masses will not kick back with a copy of Morte d’Arthur after a long day of plowing, or curing hides, or gutting chickens, or washing clothes by hand, or any combination of chores required to survive. In a perfect world, maybe they would. They never have. Before public “education,” most folk were illiterate, and not by choice. We are coming full circle now, as public schools are and have been failing our society; the best we may be able to hope for is that literate parents may pass on their abilities to their children, but if you know anything about Western civilization these days you know that most parents can’t be bothered. Is it so bad that farmers may read of the heroic exploits of L’Amour’s Sackett clan, and not Suetonius (recommended), or the Chronographia of Michael Psellus, or Beowulf?

    Maybe your experience of working people is different, though.

    No doubt there will still be a leisure class, i.e., the Ruling Class. Feudalism is back in vogue already, anyway. It probably never left. At any rate, there will probably still be people who read those works that are considered important by others in their class and their hangers-on. That is, until we go extinct. Then, there’ll be nobody to give a shit either way.:)

    As far as what I read, if you scroll down on my blog (past the embarrasingly long list of movies) you’ll see that I really don’t read much poetry at all.

  • Librarian are you by chance John’s wife?

  • No, ma’am, I am not. First of all, I am not related to John and I do not know him, and second of all, I’m a man.

  • Well, it seems I missed all the action over the evening. Great dialogue! Really truly enjoying this intellectually.

    I would like to make an observation. The statement keeps being made to the effect that the “doomers” on this site continually express a deeply held desire to return to the Stone Age. Let me make this as clear as I possibly can without ambiguity – That statement is BULLSHIT and an affront to everything we are saying.

    Let me say that one more time – That statement is BULLSHIT and an affront to everything we are saying.

    Shall I say it one more time? But surely you get the point.

    What we ARE saying is that as we examine the hard evidence of what is occurring in the world and the historical patterns of behaviour on the part of humanity, we are forced to draw only one conclusion – that modern global civilisation is set to implode and that the result of this implosion will in all likelihood result in our eventual return to a Stone Age existence, IF Climate Change does not result in our extinction.

    We DO NOT WANT this to happen.

    We do NOT WISH for this to happen.

    But this is something we truly believe WILL happen.

    Surely this is clear enough. It has nothing whatsoever to do with any desire, or hope, or current effort to reach the stars and find infinite sources of energy for mankind. It DOES however say that such efforts, whilst well intended, will ultimately fail because of the impending Collapse.

    And here, perhaps , is where the confusion arises on the part of some about this message. Global Warming changes the game fundamentally. Current evidence suggests strongly that if we do not stop CO2 emissions immediately, all life on earth might well be threatened. In response to this, many on this site and elsewhere argue that the best and quickest way to accomplish such a reduction in emissions is by the destruction of modern civilisation, the source of the problem. In that way, we wish for the quick destruction of civilisation – NOT because we WANT it to happen, but because we believe it HAS to happen in order to have any chance of saving what remains of Nature as we have known it.

    Granted, at times we might express it poorly in the form of a “want” or “desire”, but the context of what we argue is that what we really feel is that it MUST happen and WILL happen.

    On a personal note, I truly love my lifestyle at this point in my history. I don’t want to give it up. On the other hand, when I grew up, there was no personal computer, no mobile phone, for a while no television, very little in the way of plastics (most toys were made of metal or wood), no supermarkets or huge bargain stores, no electric toothbrushes, no dishwashers, plane travel was uncommon, holidays overseas were almost unheard of, and on and on. Life was very different then and much simpler. But we didn’t miss those things because such things did not exist for us. And yet we could truly enjoy and appreciate life on a different plane.

    The same will be true again for some future generations of our children. It won’t be soon, but I am in hopes that it will happen someday. And in the end, the standards of quality of life will be the same – job satisfaction, family, good times occasionally and looking up at the heavens and across the valleys and over the mountains, contemplating the beauty of life and the awesome power of Nature.

    Hunter-gatherers were, for the most part, not empire builders as were the agriculturalists. That is a large part of the reason they are mostly gone now – “civilised” folk overran them. They were, on the whole, a happier and healthier lot and more stable lot. They worked less and played a lot. And they were deeply connected with Nature and the natural processes which kept their populations at a reasonable level. So I have to ask. What is so bad about that?

  • Librarian

    Thanks very much for your comments. Happy you could join us. You are so right about books and the great pleasure and educational benefits derived from reading them. No question about it. But you have to understand that books might not be around in the new order of things to come. But humanity existed quite well without books for ages. Indeed, along with the adoption of agriculture, it was probably the written word that enabled civilisation and led to where we are now. Talk about a two-edged sword!… ;-)

    On another note, when “Western civilisation” is mentioned, I think the context of that expression really is “Global civilisation”. It was the highly aggressive Western civilisation and its eventual adoption of predatory capitalism that eventually overwhelmed the world and became “Global Civilisation” (IMHO). I consider the two terms synonymous. This is a long way of saying that when civilisation goes, it will not be replaced by some other form of civilisation (Eastern), but will be well and truly gone, and not likely to ever return, for several reasons.

  • [Kevin]’Please do not feed the troll.’

    LOL

  • John

    I must say that yours was the best expression of the dilemma that faces so many of us today. Give in? Fight back? Relax and do nothing? We are all faced with those options. Which is the correct response to the future that awaits us? Only each individual can answer that for themselves. Indeed, at a given point in time, one might employ all three!

    Whatever you decide, do it well and with all your heart.

  • Kathy

    The Colbert clip was great. It reminds me of the 80’s adverts by Burger King (?) “Where’s the beef?”

    The Taco Bell meat taco is analogous to the arguments put forward by the Cosmist – 35% beef and 65% artificial “fillers”… ;-)

  • @Cosmist: I’ll certainly agree with you that one form of utopianism (eternal progress and growth) should not be countered by another inverse utopianism (of state of nature, ultra-primitivism). I certainly see a tendency towards such among the posts on this page. If there is one thing history has shown, it is that utopianism leads to extremism and extremism leads to….well do the math yourselves.

    If there ever was a situation where pragmatism and cool-realism regarding the state of the world was needed, it is the present. For instance the comments regarding an imminent collapse and state of nature for most people. I think its pretty obvious that even if there was an institutional collapse of the US, EU and so forth (which I doubt in the medium term), new modes of political collaboration will immediately develop in a manner which is adapted the new context. Nature abhors a vacuum and so does politics.

    If the debate about malthusianism is to be take seriously, it must be conducted in realistic terms or it becomes an irrelevant pseudo-religion.

  • thanks to all for the edifying discussions…i frequent as a reader mostly.

    i think the reason for moving to agriculture might be more the ‘marriage’ of humans with the plant world. Bronowski in The Ascent of Man points to wheat as the primary ‘grain’ that made civilization possible….getting that much larger variety of seed that requires us to plant it.

    another factor especially true for wheat[& some for corn] is the ability to store for years so as to make it thru low harvest years.

    the other factors discussed, loss of large mammals to hunt, comfort, overpopulation, & ‘property’ …did i leave some out…. i imagine were factors but the developing of larger grains seems especially related to the property factor.

    kathy/ed
    listening to my rooster crow as i write this so i’m all about learning more;
    & Ed you might consider a breed that is less aggressive as i have had a barred plymouth rock, & austrolops that were very very aggressive. i haven’t had a RI red rooster. my crowing one is a buff orphington… tame enough i can pick him up if necessary; but he took on our fence climbing dog the other day as needed[& survived].

    thanks again to guy & all.

  • We have put ourselves in a situation where words no longer have power. If we are into positive climate feedback as the facts on the ground seem to indicate, our human words are futile. We can doom or dream and it will make no difference. Nature has taken back the drivers seat, so we might as well sit back and watch the scenery on the way to the cliff (Duncan http://www.thesocialcontract.com/pdf/sixteen-two/xvi-2-93.pdf ) or bottleneck ( Catton http://www.energybulletin.net/51368 )

    Guy thanks for this provoking essay. My guess is that it will not make it to the Energy Bulletin. I know the theory, make it look too dire and people will not change. The theory does not hold because not enough people change with less dire predictions and it seems very very likely that it is now fully out of our hands. Guy thank you for your honesty. If I was diagnosed with a disease that would leave me 6 mos. of living I would want the Dr. to tell me so I could decide what to do with the living time I have left. Most people it turns out want that even though before they became ill they wouldn’t think so.

  • Librarian, I offer my apology for the personal question.

  • Victor, “That statement is BULLSHIT and an affront to everything we are saying.” Really appreciate your words!
    Your post lays out the issue very clearly.

  • Sam,

    I had a Wyandotte rooster. He terrorized the hens. He was tame enough to perch on your shoulder but his approach to the hens was more akin to rape and the hens were as afraid of him as they were of hawks. Your Orpington seems to be a much better choice.

    Michael Irving

  • Michael, Sam, Ed,
    Individual birds have personalities. Our first roo was a Rhode Island Red. He was the only rooster that ever attacked vistors. Our Brazilian roo was tame as a kitten with me. When he spurred my husband he was gone – of course by then we had caged him for breeding and my husband was removing an egg to put under a setting hen. If any roo starts acting aggressive to me now I grab him off the roost a few times and hold him upside down for a bit. My way of saying I am the head roo around here.

    Within each breed type there are individual personalities. But breeds do matter as well. Leghorns are nervous but not in our experience aggressive. They lay probably better than any other breed – if you want lots of eggs look for production bred Leghorns which come in brown as well as white. Not as much meat on them but impressive birds.

    Our Orphington hen was one of the best mothers we had even tho none of her sisters went broody and they are not supposed to be one of the setting breeds. We only have one bird left that is a breed anymore – everything else we have are mutts out of about 15 different breeds.

    We have not had a young rooster that didn’t start out with attempted rape. But as they mature they learn to get food for the hens and even sometimes do housekeeping on one of the nests. The talk nice to the girls and watch for hawks. They offer food and and don’t immediately jump the hen as the teen age boys do. Rather they build a flock and get nooky without much fuss. The hens never seem to like sex but tolerate it from their chosen roo. What hens get off on is eggs and chicks if they are a hen that goes broody. However a friend told us that if the hens were without a roo for a while they would, when introduced to a roo flop and offer themselves up. All of this is easily explainable by evolution.

    We have about 80 hens right now and 12 rooster running free on 1 acre. They separate into 4 flocks each with a head roo and several seconds. A few young roos have not established themselves in a flock. Thus they have to resort to raiding or staying out late to catch hens going into the coop at night. Older roos will knock young roos off a hen and then take over – sometimes in several iterations so the poor hen gets multiple matings (last sperm in wins??)

    So to Terry regarding a previous post, Yes we love our birds. We would be cruel to not keep the hen to roo population in check, so we watch for who makes a good flock roo, doing hawk duty and treating the hens well. We pen those who we want to breed but can’t stop fighting or harrasing hens. We axe the rest and eat them. I assure you that while the roos look most surprised when their body becomes detached from their heads the hens are most grateful. Nature works the same ways, extra roos are driven off and unlikely to survive very long.

  • Kathy.

    ‘We have put ourselves in a situation where words no longer have power.’

    I was speaking with someone yesterday and mentioned that the Arctic meltdown we are witnessing is unprcendented.

    Her response: “Well it’s happened before.”

    Most people have no idea what we are talking about. They do not understand what we mean when we say unprecedented, carbon dioxide, meltdown, positive feedback etc. George Carlin was so right in his assessment of people, unfortuantely.

    In the absence of words conveying the message there is only one thing that will.

    ‘My guess is that it will not make it to the Energy Bulletin.’

    I used to be an avid reader of EB. Now I check it occasionally to see if there is anything of interest.

  • I’m afraid Energy Bulletin has become a caricature of itself. It’s interested only in feel-good stories or “forecasts” that anticipate no requisite changes in how we live. The editors love the transition movement, but they fail to understand how utterly hopeless it is for cities. And they have no appreciation for the notion of morality with respect to how we live.

  • [Cleitophon]’I’ll certainly agree with you that one form of utopianism (eternal progress and growth) should not be countered by another inverse utopianism (of state of nature, ultra-primitivism). I certainly see a tendency towards such among the posts on this page. ‘

    I see neither the tendency nor the outright support on this site by any individual to promote any such ‘inverse utopianism’. We have made it quite clear where we stand on that. What part of “We’re fucked as a civilisation and there’s nothing we can do about it” do you not understand? And who said we would transition immediately into the Stone Age? And who said there would not be new attempts at government to replace the old? Why are you putting words into our mouths? Please tell us what you specifically do not understand and I am certain someone here will be more than happy to respond as they are able.

    As you can see, I am losing patience, so apologies for that. However, we explain something over and over, and get the same echo back repeatedly. Either we are not explaining correctly, or you simply are not reading what we say. Which is it please?

  • michael

    i have never had a wyandotte…but seen the rape behavior of course, but never hens afraid of the roosters.

    ed/kathy

    i have heard RI’s tend to be aggressive. i went hunting for a less aggressive roo after many times nicked & the final straw was when my wife had to tend & got double teamed. the recommended breed was buff orphington, & he has worked out well.

    kathy all those flocks in one building/coop?

    fascinating how u have so many with i gather no boundaries between flocks. i have read/heard a dozen or so is a good size…what i’ve had for 7-8 yrs. now & i have considered expanding, but thought i should establish a different area, & coop.

  • Guy,

    I just noted the number of comments attached to this piece, 130 and counting. I was thinking about a year ago when 20 constituted a good count. So I looked back at your first year, 2007, and the count is usually in the single digits or low teens at best. Seems like progress with more and more people finding NBL. Or else it’s a measure of people’s assessment of our current situation, i.e., the shittier it gets the more people wake up, and then they want to talk about it.

    I have a reminder for you. On October 9, 2007 you posted “Thriving in the post-carbon era.” You said, “But, as I wrote in one of my recent books, I can’t fix my cranky toilet. To say I’m mechanically disinclined would be a huge understatement.”

    I was wondering how that is working for you after several years of hands-on experience? Personally I suffer from a genetic disorder resulting from lack of a mechanical aptitude gene. I keep telling my kids and grandkids that if you can read you can do anything. I put that to the test often but I’ve have found it’s hard to read instructions when I’m in the mud under a truck manipulating a wrench and a screwdriver while holding a flashlight in my mouth. Most of my less literate friends (they don’t ever seem to have mechanical disaptitude disorder) do not have this problem. They just fix the truck. (“Instructions? Hell, they just throw them in there to keep the box from rattling. They’re only handy if you forgot to bring toilet paper.”)

    Michael Irving

  • ‘Or else it’s a measure of people’s assessment of our current situation, i.e., the shittier it gets the more people wake up, and then they want to talk about it.’

    That must be great comfort to you, Guy, knowing that the shittier things get, the more your site is visited… ;-)

  • I would imagine as time passes more people will start to search ye ol’ Google for some answers. Stumbling upon NBL could bring some of those folks to their proverbial knees. I don’t know if easing people into “it” is the best approach these days. I just tend to lay it all out there and see what happens. Sure some of us end up in our closet laying in the fetal position but many of us eventually leave the closet and move towards an exit plan.

  • Michael, I’m beginning to acquire some mechanical/physical intelligence, but it’s a slow road. It helps that I no longer have a conventional toilet, and the technology behind a composting toilet is very simple. I recently bragged about my new-found skills: “Now I’ve hammered, drilled, sawed, plumbed, tiled, and constructed. And grown, in ways I could not have imagined.”

    I appreciate the growth in readership (or, to be more accurate, the number of people who comment — I don’t track the number of readers). Also note that nearly complete turnover in who’s commenting has occurred several times. Some people comment a few times and leave, either because they “get it” and move on, or because they go back to the fetal position mentioned by Privileged. My approach remains unchanged: I’ve been laying it all out there for the duration of this blog, which likely explains why some people run screaming from the (virtual) room after a single visit.

  • Guy:
    Thanks for your continued insightful writing. Even though there’s nothing to be cheerful about, at least I find comfort in knowing that I’m not alone. Keep up the good work!

    PJNudge:
    The proper response for me is to do what I can to prepare for the worst and live life to the fullest because regardless what’s happening with the world you never know when your next day will be your last.

    CJ:
    I’ve been without internet access at home for going on 5 days. I’ve been using my cell phone, but where we live, service is spotty at best. To make matters worse (better?), the only TV station we can pickup on our set (no cable – we use an antenna) was also unaccessible for the past week. So, eeek! We’ve been having to actually talk to one another and read and take walks and watch the birds, all while watching the snow fall. It’s been wonderful!

    Kevin:
    I wasn’t aware you wrote a book. What is the title? You mention that maybe nature has a trick up her sleeve. It made me think of the book “When the Sky Fell” by Rose and Rand Flem-Ath. It’s a compelling hypothesis about the lost city of Atlantis being buried under the antarctic ice after the earth crust shifted radically. They suggest that the reason agriculture rose up seemingly simultaneously 12,000 years ago all across the globe in conjunction with similar monolithic architecture was due to the survivors of the advanced civilization fleeing the destruction. There are some striking similarities to our current predicament. I don’t know how, if at all, they’ve adjusted their theory with the advent of global warming, etc., but I did find a website for them: http://www.flem-ath.com/

    Michael Irving:
    I wrote a post recently on my blog about the Kubler-Ross model for grieving and how I’ve gone through the stages (and am still going through them) over TEOLAWKI. You may find it helpful or at least a different way of looking at it.

    To all:
    Ok, after 5 days away from the internet (still none at home, I’m using the connection at my office on this slow snowy day), I don’t think I can respond to all the posts reasonably (and I doubt seriously that anyone would want to read such a large number of responses anyway). So, I’ll sign off for now. Take care my friends!

  • TRDH,

    TEOLAWKI has a better feel to it, more personal, more immediate. Next month gas will be $4.00. Shit will not hit the fan. It will not be the end of the world. It will just be the end of life as we know it. Things will be different. Life will change. MY life will change. Thanks for that. Sometimes attaching an appropriate name to something helps us to understand it and deal with it better.

    Oh, and for my friends in Europe, forgive me for crying about gas at $4.00 a gallon.

    Michael Irving

  • Victor.

    ‘the shittier it gets the more people wake up, and then they want to talk about it’

    Unemployment in the US ‘has fallen’. The motor-mouth on BBC World Busniess told me so last night.

    I see public toilets and swimming pools are facing the axe in Britian. Never mind, manufactruing ‘is up’, retail spending ‘is up’, and the prospects for revovery ‘remain good’.

    I look forward to the day people recognise the extent they have been lied to. Not much sign of the lights coming on in that department yet, yet, which is why I am mostly keeping my mouth shut, and why it is so good to have a few well-informed, like-minded people on NBL to discuss reality with.

    And I am picking up all sorts of information I might otherwise miss.

  • Sam you wrote”kathy all those flocks in one building/coop?”
    The “coop” is actually an old two room house that was no longer being occupied. The yard is about 1 acre fenced in with electric netting fence (to keep predators out, not chickens in – but mostly they don’t fly out although most of them could – when they do fly out they are frantic to get back in to the flock – unless of course they have hidden a nest outside and evaded our breeding program :) ) The coop is to protect them from owls at night and most of them are fine with that arrangement although they sure do squabble before they settle down for the night. If they are not fine with that arrangement we try to enforce it which involves herding chickens – a very frustrating procedure. I try to imitate an owl while rapping sticks on trees to move them in the right direction – it entertains my husband at least.

    Enough of a break – back out to cut wood.

  • thanks kathy. so they do their own flocking/grouping so to speak. & yes i have herded chickens to get them in…usually to try to get them into the coop early so i don’t have to lockem in at twilight. if i don’t lock them in i get raccoon raids. hell i’ve had weasel/mink raids at night…they can get thru a 2 in. crack.

  • robin: ‘With the dawning of the realization that ownership of human livestock was so profitable, came the fiction of the state: a convenient façade for the ruling elites.’

    brilliant! at least so it seems to me, one of inferior intellect. we are livestock to governments which claim absolute jurisdiction over large tracts of land, and us. they rule by deceit and force and most importantly, via control over important institutions like public education and ‘mass media’.

    for ‘fictions’, governments have an immense amount of temporal power to impose arbitrary and absurd restrictions in how we live. well, perhaps not arbitrary, since in fact there are often hidden agendas/reasons for the crazy things they do. for example, i believe a primary reason for prohibition of marijuana and other entheogenic (‘mind expanding’) drugs is the need for repressive power structures to limit thinking/awareness, and thus the inclination to challenge ‘authority’. which brings me to something else u said that i have a problem with:

    ‘As is described in “The Mind of Clover”, a masterly exposition on Zen Buddhist ethics, clover grows and follows its nature. The enlightened one does the same – follows one’s nature.’

    how can one follow one’s nature in a repressive culture which outlaws certain expressions of human nature? while i dread collapse, i look forward to anarchy in the sense that at some point, i and many others will no longer have to fear arrest and prosecution for engaging in various ‘crimes’ which victimize no one except the state’s ‘right’ to rule our minds and bodies.

    the recent surge in postings to this blog have made me fall behind in reading, so i’m only replying to a couple of ‘old’ posts from yesterday now. re. kathy’s considerate query about how my post to various local and regional peace and green political groups went, the answer is i don’t surreally know, since there were no written responses, except for my own 2 days later, when in response to the lack of response from others, i posted a couple of verses from the old simon and garfunkel song, THE SOUND OF SILENCE.

    And in the naked light I saw
    Ten thousand people, maybe more
    People talking without speaking
    People hearing without listening
    People writing songs that voices never share
    And no one dared
    Disturb the sound of silence

    “Fools”, said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words, like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed
    In the wells of silence

    i wasn’t too surprised by the lack of response, surreally. actions speak much louder than words, and my actions have been pretty silent for the most part.

  • Kevin,

    I got that unemployment “good news” too, unemployment down to only 9% in the US. In the same Market Watch radio news report they were scratching their heads over the latest “jobs creation” report. Seems there were only 39,000 new ones instead of 140,000. You could practically hear them shrug their shoulders and then it was BAU. Rah! Unemployment is down to only 9%!

    Now I ask you, how do you get 100,000 fewer jobs created at the same time you reduce the level of unemployment?

    A part-time (23 hrs) library assistant job in the next small town north of me (pop 1500) had 53 applicants. But I guess there are plenty of jobs. At least that is what the government wants us to think.

    Michael Irving

  • Glad I’m not the only one who’s not impressed with Energy Bulletin these days. It’s sliding into irrelevance.

  • Virgin Terry, Sounds of Silence – still sweet sung in 2003 as back when they first sung it
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdD52DAaFRs

  • More trouble thanks to climate chaos

    http://www.stevequayle.com/News.alert/11_Cosmic/110209.Sysco.Mexico.Freeze.pdf

    THE EXTREME FREEZING TEMPERATURES HIT A VERY BROAD
    SECTION OF MAJOR GROWING REGIONS IN MEXICO, FROM
    HERMOSILLO IN THE NORTH ALL THE WAY SOUTH TO LOS
    MOCHIS AND EVEN SOUTH OF CULIACAN. THE EARLY
    REPORTS ARE STILL COMING IN BUT MOST ARE SHOWING
    LOSSES OF CROPS IN THE RANGE OF 80 TO 100%. EVEN
    SHADE HOUSE PRODUCT WAS HIT BY THE EXTREMELY
    COLD TEMPS. Full View
    more trouble

    From:
    Jack and Kathy Cumbee

    View Contact
    To: Jim Allen
    http://www.stevequayle.com/News.alert/11_Cosmic/110209.Sysco.Mexico.Freeze.pdf

    THE EXTREME FREEZING TEMPERATURES HIT A VERY BROAD
    SECTION OF MAJOR GROWING REGIONS IN MEXICO, FROM
    HERMOSILLO IN THE NORTH ALL THE WAY SOUTH TO LOS
    MOCHIS AND EVEN SOUTH OF CULIACAN. THE EARLY
    REPORTS ARE STILL COMING IN BUT MOST ARE SHOWING
    LOSSES OF CROPS IN THE RANGE OF 80 TO 100%. EVEN
    SHADE HOUSE PRODUCT WAS HIT BY THE EXTREMELY
    COLD TEMPS. IT WILL TAKE 7-10 DAYS TO HAVE A CLEARER
    PICTURE FROM GROWERS AND FIELD SUPERVISORS, BUT
    THESE GROWING REGIONS HAVEN’T HAD COLD LIKE THIS
    IN OVER A HALF CENTURY. THIS TIME OF YEAR, MEXICO
    SUPPLIES A SIGNIFICANT PERCENT OF NORTH AMERICA’S ROW
    CROP VEGETABLES SUCH AS: GREEN BEANS, EGGPLANT,
    CUCUMBERS, SQUASH, PEPPERS, ASPARAGUS, AND
    ROUND AND ROMA TOMATOES. FLORIDA NORMALLY IS A
    MAJOR SUPPLIER FOR THESE ITEMS AS WELL BUT THEY HAVE
    ALREADY BEEN STRUCK WITH SEVERE FREEZE DAMAGE IN
    DECEMBER AND JANUARY AND UP UNTIL NOW HAVE HAD
    TO PURCHASE PRODUCT OUT OF MEXICO TO FILL THEIR
    COMMITMENTS, THAT IS NO LONGER AND OPTION.
    WITH THE SERIES OF WEATHER DISASTERS THAT HAS
    OCCURRED IN BOTH OF THESE MAJOR GROWING AREAS WE
    WILL EXPERIENCE IMMEDIATE VOLATILE PRICES, EXPECTED
    LIMITED AVAILABLITITY, AND MEDIOCRE QUALITY AT BEST.
    THIS WILL NOT ONLY HAVE AN IMMEDIATE IMPACT ON
    SUPPLIES, BUT BECAUSE OF VERY STRONG BLOSSOM DROPS,
    THIS WILL ALSO IMPACT SUPPLIES 30 – 60 DAYS FROM NOW.
    SOME GROWERS ARE MEETING WITH THEIR BOARDS RIGHT
    NOW TO DETERMINE WHETHER THEY SHOULD IMMEDIATELY
    RE-PLANT, HOPING FOR A HARVEST BY LATE-MARCH-TOEARLY-APRIL, OR WHETHER THEY SHOULD DISC THE FIELDS
    UNDER AND WAIT FOR ANOTHER SEASON.
    We are doing everything we can with our growers to
    minimize the effect of this disaster on you. With the
    unprecedented magnitude of this event we wanted to
    immediately make you aware of the conditions. We will
    continue to send out communications as our people
    on the ground report back to us. We thank you and we
    appreciate your understanding during this time.

  • People are blind. And deaf. And … (must hold onto myself)
    Just watching a discussion about the situation in Egypt.
    No! one seems to grasp the underlying problems. Or even wants to address them. Funnily, at this stage a Mubarak remaining in (sort of power) until September, to me seems the last resort of a rest of
    stability in northern Africa and Middle East.

    Energybulletin, not just this time;-) delivers good information just in time.
    http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2011-02-10/egypts-warning-are-you-listening

    The food situation could trigger whatever events into a jump start.
    Is there any possibility to convince US/ EU and I don’t know who else turns food into fuel, to stop this immediately and return the grain to food markets?
    And start rationing fuel instead?

  • So much has been said here I feel hesitant to add anything so I will be brief.

    1. The human species will go extinct at some point no matter what we do or don’t do.

    2. All talk of “saving the planet” seems to be nothing but human arrogance. The planet and its myriad lifeforms have been around for a very long time and I think they will continue quite nicely when we are gone. Science tells us that the output of the sun should be pretty steady for another 5 billion years or so. No matter what a mess we make of things before our inevitable departure, the planet and the web of life on it should recover in, say, 10-20 million years, a short time frame in geologic terms.

    3. Its Life that matters, not just human life.

  • I was at work today and a man who had moved here 9 months ago from New Orleans told me that the oysters there are gone and the rest of the seafood has oil in it … said the area use to supply U.S. with 40% of it’s seafood now only 15% … I knew most of this and you may too but he was the first of the many people from that area that has admitted the situation to me and I have talked to many.

    Victor, “What part of ‘We’re fucked as a civilisation and there’s nothing we can do about it’ do you not understand?”
    … have to say I’m glad you addressed this issue too … as you said you feel you are losing patience but take solace in the fact that the majority of the post I’ve read of yours you are very kind.

    Terry, “in response to the lack of response” … LOL
    funny how songs take on new meaning when listened to in the context of collapse. I feel that the tight ownership of the music industry does not allow for what were known as protest songs in the 60’s and that is too bad because music is very powerful!

    Kevin “it is so good to have a few well-informed, like-minded people on NBL to discuss reality with.” It is a life saver for me right now … I know I have to do something, can’t just hang out hear listening to everyone but the help for me comes in reading things like Christopher actually picking up and moving.

  • http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703716904576134661111518864.html

    Hackers who appear to be based in China have conducted a “coordinated, covert and targeted” campaign of cyber espionage against major Western energy firms, according to a report expected to be issued Thursday by cybersecurity firm McAfee Inc.

  • “If we’re actually reduced to working for so long that we can never read anything, as Kathy suggested might happen, that would be a catastrophe…”

    One is reminded of the two Roman scholars during the Roman Empire, who would hold heated debates on arcane philosophical issues in a local Greek barbershop. The barber knew no Latin, but seemed to always sense who was right or wrong. When asked how he did so, he said that he noted “which person raised his voice first”. There are a few important things in life that can be learnt without books.

    “….. in order to gain knowledge we have to acknowledge that we are but one planet among the vast and quasi-limitless expanse of outer space.”
    That might remind one of the story in which God once incarnated as a sow because an enlightened sage had given a demon a boon that the demon could only be killed by a sow. When the sow had accomplished its divine mission. it continued to act like a sow and started raising a litter of piglets. Since it was God incarnate, it continued throughout uninterrupted in it its peace and bliss. In fact it was so contented with its state that it felt that all other sentient beings should be born as pigs. When the divinities of the various heavens got wind of this, they had the sow killed, lest God’s feelings became wishes – in which case they too would have to be born as pigs. Depending on the person, sometimes the planet can be with us.

    “What these people are in effect calling for is a return to darkness, to a world governed by superstition, where the stars overhead are campfires, disease is caused by evil spirits and the world is a flat surface sitting on a turtle’s back.”

    William Harvey’s (1578-1657) “Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus ” (An Anatomical Disquisition On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals) was published in 1628, prior to which the circulation of blood was unknown and not even considered. I cannot conceive of a future time when the basic fact of the circulation of blood will be lost to humanity. Likewise there are so many other items of knowledge that will be retained. Although it is possible that large tracts of knowledge may be lost, a reversion to an exact previous state is not possible. This topic was discussed at length on The Oil Drum and addressed at length in John Michael Greer’s book Our Ecotechnic Future.

    ‘I used to have a bit softer way of responding but batting ideas around with mostly men wore off the soft edges”:
    I have myself seen that effect: I did a year of surgical residency in 1974-75 at which time I had the acquaintance of a variety of nurses, such as med-surg floor nurse, operating room float nurse, scrub nurse, surgical intensive care unit nurse, etc. But the ones with consistently similar personalities were the operating room nursing supervisors: when occasion arose, they could be adamantine to a degree that the thought came to mind that they were a female canine. They developed that from dealing with surgeons – a group of big egos insistent or getting their way.

    “Jared Diamond tells of the PNG as often having one very old person in a village who is taken care of extremely well.”
    Since the time of Sergei Brin and Larry Page, Google’s server farms are filling that niche. Indeed those server farms are taken care of extremely well. Regrettably though, when the grid goes, the internet may accompany it.

    “Complexity increases as problems are solved. As I often say “every solution has a problem” thus we move from problem to problem and from simple to complex. It has always resulted in a crash.”
    Perhaps the reason the Australian aborigine communities have survived virtually unchanged for 40,000 years the longest surviving extant culture – before the British “civilized’ them.

    “Watch your parents to learn how to skin the rabbit. Watch them to learn how to make a fire with sticks.”
    Actually that was the way for Homo sapiens et al, until technical know-how began to dominate human activities. No matter how close one ‘watches” an architect, an oncologist, a nuclear engineer, etc, their seemingly simple actions emerge from voluminous knowledge, little of which is bared by those acts.

    “Since we climbed down from the trees, what has happened was inevitable.”
    What do you call a _________ (insert preferred ethnic epithet here) sitting in a tree full of monkeys? “Branch Manager”. However in the perspective of current trends, mis-manager would be more appropriate.

    “TEOLAWKI has a better feel to it, more personal, more immediate. Next month gas will be $4.00. Shit will not hit the fan.”
    When s**t is $4.00 we will know that some lessons about closing ecological loops have been learnt and that will be real progress.

    “The enlightened one does the same – follows one’s nature.”
    “………how can one follow one’s nature in a repressive culture which outlaws certain expressions of human nature?”
    Clover withers in a drought – following its own nature.

    “Now I ask you, how do you get 100,000 fewer jobs created at the same time you reduce the level of unemployment?”
    in an infantry company, if the captain has said so. it must be true. Likewise when Big Brother says so. it is true.

    “VOLATILE PRICES, EXPECTED
    LIMITED AVAILABLITITY, AND MEDIOCRE QUALITY AT BEST.”
    Subsist on “bread & water?” as occasionally done in Army stockades?

  • Dr. House, your theory of Atlantean exiles, the rise of civilization and the onset of global warming sounds like a perfect synthesis of doomer nuttiness. After all, this is a community with leaders like occultist reactionary and staunch opponent of the Enlightenment, John Michael Greer, professional astrologer Matt Savinar, mental hospital veteran James Howard “dow to 4000” Kunstler, and now Guy “Dark Age in 2012, Stone age in 2025” McPherson.

    In other words, the doomer community is not a place where rational thought is a prerequisite for intellectual leadership. To put it less charitably, many of its leaders are nutcases! It’s too bad Ted Kaczynski doesn’t have internet access at the supermax prison in Colorado, I’m sure he would quite enjoy this blog and could make some very astute contributions to the conversation. Let’s hope our esteemed host can avoid the fate of that most notorious martyr for the cause of technological civilization’s destruction and return to the realm of rationality before it’s too late.

    As a side note, let me give you all a piece of advice I learned the hard way from my days as a lizard-brained prophet of doom: stop making predictions of imminent collapse due to the crisis du jour, because it will only make you look like a fool when it fails to cause this rather sturdy house of cards called industrial civilization to fall!

  • My impression is that utopians (both doomers and of the progress variety) (often) begin with the concept of the future they have a normative preference for, for some reason or other, and then look for the data to support it (Cart before the horse/Affirming the consequent). In this regard the scientific approach is to be utterly agnostic about the future; I cannot know with any certainty how the future will be, because there is such complexity and proliferation of variables involved. Not only that – while there is a complex determinism involved, individuals also have the option of using their free will if they put their brains into gear and implement critical (non-automatic and non-dogmatic through). What one can do is extrapolate from current trends (analyze deterministic tendencies) and perform counter-factual analyses (take into account free-will and chance at the level of individuals).

    Thus conclusions are themselves hypotheses or perhaps probabilistic ranges of outcomes that can only be falsified or attain verification through the passing of time. It is an existential condition that one must learn to live with the fallibility of knowledge. In fact I think those who profess to have such knowledge (whether optimists or pessimists) stand in the way of REAL solutions to the problems facing the world.

    So, if you reach your conclusions using questionable methods, arguments, questionable selection of data ect you make a mockery of the good efforts to improve the world. Secondly, I cannot trust any claim to absolute certain truth, and i find it suspicious when somebody refuses to entertain the possibility of being wrong. It smacks of extremism!

  • ‘I cannot know with any certainty how the future will be, because there is such complexity and proliferation of variables involved. Not only that – while there is a complex determinism involved, individuals also have the option of using their free will if they put their brains into gear and implement critical (non-automatic and non-dogmatic through). What one can do is extrapolate from current trends (analyze deterministic tendencies) and perform counter-factual analyses (take into account free-will and chance at the level of individuals). ‘

    When I was a manager, I used to hire folks like you to help analyse a particular problem set and rationalise a practical solution. You are a true analyst. You know how to analyse a problem from bottom up and top down. With utmost thoroughness. That’s good. We need people like that – desperately. But there is a dark side to the analyst. If you set them free, they will analyse a problem to an infinite degree. They won’t (can’t) stop because there always remains a new variable to expose and study, and a new way of processing variables. And even when they reach a point where they are happy to offer some limited prognosis, they invariably qualify it with some confidence factor, and are usually quite hesitant to firmly recommend a course of action without multiple caviats.

    So how did I handle such people, whose value to a project was without question, but who could in reality destroy that project if turned loose? I gave them limits. I set both time limits and scope limits, and instructed them in a kindly manner, “Overstep these boundaries at your own risk.”… ;-) They truly did not like that, but I got some of their best work doing that.

    Multiples of variables, and complexity of detail can strangle any effort to effect change. This is a way of saying that sometimes one needs to rise above the complexity and begin to get a grasp of the bigger picture, and one needs to understand that sometimes there is a time constraint existing that determines future courses of action – that you simply can not afford to wallow in detail and complexities whilst Rome burns.

    At some point the scientific method has inherent limits as a method of determining a course of action. In the case of the future of human civilisation, the scientific method has been used to the point in several disciplines to give us more than enough data to begin the process of projecting the likely direction things will take, and perhaps even a degree of confidence as to when this will happen.

    Though there exist innumerable variables, constants and constraints on the human problem, there are certain key ones to take into account and that I believe we can use as reliable indicators of our future and that of the natural environment – population, resource availability, the impact of technology and its marginal benefits (as you well stated in your post recently), human behavioural characteristics, and time constraints imposed upon the system by critical components of any of the fore-mentioned variables.

    If one steps back and observes these variables, their inherent constraints and their basic inter-relationships, which have been studied to a degree where we can identify definite trends, then one can, with what I believe to be relative certainty, determine the direction in which events are taking us and the Natural world.

    This has nothing to do with starting with the premise of some utopia and then gathering supporting facts. I know of no one on this site that does such a thing. Do you?

  • Sue thanks for the vid clip – sometimes a song gets thing across in a way written words fail.

    Texas grid blackouts – climate chaos strikes?
    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/7449#more
    It feels like Gail Tverberg put this article together in haste but it points out interconnectedness that we often don’t realize are a problem until they are a problem. Gail downplays global climate change, even deleting comments addressing it, one of the reasons I stopped commenting on TOD. But she has written a lot on the grid that is worth reading.

    Richard Duncan thinks that likely the grid is our Achilles heel, especially in the US. It is in fact one huge machine governed by deregulated companies that are all more interested in their own profit than the grid as a whole continuing to function. Sort of like having 10 CEO’s each managing one part of your body. Not a good idea. If the entire US grid goes down for a certain number of days I do not believe we will ever get it up and running again. Maybe 5 or 10 days. We cannot pump gasoline to send out repair trucks without having electricity. We cannot make more gasoline without electricity. The list goes on. We have made ourselves extremely fragile.

    On another topic there are some unsubstantiated rumors that the King of Saudia Arabia has died. http://www.businessinsider.com/abdullah-dies-report-2011-2

  • Where we are going will always be an unknown. Knowing where we are seems to be the important issue. Sue’s video portrays the idiocy/horror well.

    We have batted around the idea here that the possible imminent extinction of the human species could be a cause for in action in our lives. This has gotten my attention because I am trying to come to terms with how to make decisions for my life, as many of us here are. The reasons I am going to let go of imminent extinction as a reason for in action are …
    1. our species will become extinct sooner or later
    2. we are born into a finite life
    3. all we have is this moment

    I am still wrestling with life change issues but doing nothing because we very well may be extinct soon will not be a choice for me. My species will become extinct, I will die, I am living now!

  • Robin, “Depending on the person, sometimes the planet can be with us.” I didn’t get this … is it worth explaining?
    LOL “When s**t is $4.00 we will know that some lessons about closing ecological loops have been learnt and that will be real progress.”

  • Sarah,

    I like your approach – very rational, very practical. We really do not know how long this thing is going to play out. Therefore, I believe we should live each day for the value it bears – and as current events show, each day is becoming much more valuable.

  • Per Farmers of Forty Centuries http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/5350
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farmers_of_Forty_Centuries
    The Chinese understood the value of human manure, paying for it to be brought from the cities to the farms and decorating outhouses near the roads to encourage the traveler to leave it here not there.

    Bird and Bat manure was once so valuable that they sent ships from Europe to harvest it off of the islands of South America and the US passed the Guano Island Act “In the 1840s, guano came to be prized as an agricultural fertilizer and as a source of saltpeter for gunpowder. In 1855, the U.S. learned of rich guano deposits on islands in the Pacific Ocean. Congress passed the Guano Islands Act to take advantage of these deposits. The act specifically allows the islands to be considered a possession of the U.S., but it also provided that the U.S. was not obliged to retain possession after the guano was exhausted. However, it did not specify what the status of the territory was after it was abandoned by private U.S. interests. The implication is that it would return to its former status as terra nullius.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guano_Island_Act

    Unfortunately in the US it will take quite a bit to re-train citizens to see s**t as a valuable asset. We have fecophobia. http://weblife.org/humanure/chapter6_2.html

  • Victor-your comment about analysts was very well said!

    Sarah and Victor-I never meant to say I or we should give up. I will not do that. Three years in depresson is long enough. Time to do something!

    The Cosmist-I asked you a question earlier. Perhaps you did not read it. I’d like to try again:
    Your vision of the future is appealing on many levels, not the least of which it gives me hope for my children. But in order to achieve what you say is possible, it seems to me the following issues will have to be resolved, and soon.

    All nations of the world, all peoples of the world, will have to agree to:
    1. Immediately dissolve the military in all countries. Money spent here will be needed for more important things, like climate control and fusion power.
    2. Immediately reduce the birth rate, by a great degree. For at least several generations.
    3. Abolish all corporations. Corporations act for the benefit of their shareholders and these acts often run contrary to the best interests of the world at large.
    4. End the money based and consumer-based economy. Develop a financial system based on steady-state or diminishing resources.
    5. Share resources fairly.
    6. Cooperate, on a scale never before seen.

    I’m sure I’ve left out much more that would need to be addressed, but these should suffice. Jokes have been made about a Federation of Planets. I happen to like that idea. Star Trek gave hope to many of us that the future could be something grand. I recall World War III
    was mentioned several times as part of the time line. Perhaps we will have to go through something like that in order to learn the necessary lessons. I just can’t see us going through steps 1 – 6 with our current mind sets. Is there some example in our history when
    such a monumental change occurred? Or do you see some way that our present world can make these changes, given current conditions? As I said before, I would love to think we could. But if this is not possible, then your claims of human ingenuity and achievement overcoming all appears to be wishful thinking.

  • One of the most interesting doomsday arguments, i stumbled across in Stephen Baxter’s sci-fi novel called “Time” (From the manifold trilogy). It was a thought experiment, which employs Bayesian statistics and is called the Carter Catastrophy. It goes something like this: supposing the humans alive today are in a random place in the whole human history timeline, chances are we are about halfway through it. Ang given exponential growth the other half will be done in the blink of an eye. As Baxter writes:

    “Imagine that two big urns are put in front of you, and you know that one of them contains ten balls and the other a million, but you are ignorant as to which is which. You know the balls in each urn are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4 … etc. Now you take a ball at random from the left urn, and it is number 7. Clearly, this is a strong indication that that urn contains only ten balls. […]

    But now consider the case where instead of the urns you have two possible human races, and instead of balls you have individuals, ranked according to birth order. As a matter of fact, you happen to find that your rank is about sixty billion. Now, say Carter and Leslie, we should reason in the same way as we did with the urns. That you should have a rank of sixty billion or so is much more likely if only 100 billion persons will ever have lived than if there will be many trillion persons. Therefore, by Bayes’ theorem, you should update your beliefs about humankind’s prospects and realize that an impending doomsday is much more probable than you have hitherto thought.”

    The point being, it is highly unlikely that there will be gazillions of generations to follow, since this would make you a highly improbable occurrence in the history of man. The likely thing to expect is that you exist exactly as there are most people on the globe. Ergo, a cataclysmic catastrophe is about to happen ;) BOOM we’re goners!

    My god I’ve just been killed by mathematics :)

  • @The Cosmist: ‘this is a community with leaders like occultist reactionary and staunch opponent of the Enlightenment, John Michael Greer, professional astrologer Matt Savinar, mental hospital veteran James Howard “dow to 4000″ Kunstler, and now Guy “Dark Age in 2012, Stone age in 2025” McPherson.’

    Thanks for almost including me in such an esteemed group of people! A nice compliment indeed!

    ‘In other words, the doomer community is not a place where rational thought is a prerequisite for intellectual leadership. To put it less charitably, many of its leaders are nutcases!’

    Pot, meet kettle.

  • Incidentally, the thought experiment is obviously faulty, since everybody will always be forced to conclude that the world is about to end. From the first cave men to Flash Gordon. And the world can’t always be ending at any given time ;)

  • Today, I am an Egyptian. Congratulations to all the young people in Egypt responsible for this wonderful and historical event today.

  • Victor, yes for today we can feel the joy….


    Sometimes the tyrants fall….
    Today is all we know we have for sure and today we can celebrate the heroes of Tahrir (Independence Square)!!!! Its a good day.

  • Privileged wrote: “Premise Four: Civilization is based on a clearly defined and widely accepted yet often unarticulated hierarchy. Violence done by those higher on the hierarchy to those lower is nearly always invisible, that is, unnoticed. When it is noticed, it is fully rationalized. Violence done by those lower on the hierarchy to those higher is unthinkable, and when it does occur is regarded with shock, horror, and the fetishization of the victims.”

    That’s great, Privileged! Where does that come from? Can you provide a reference?

    It’s similar to this, which I thought came from Ambrose Bierce, but I can’t find it.

    bomb: (n) An instrument of persuasion. When used by those in power, its use is called noble, measured, and earns Nobel Peace Prizes. When used by those not in power, its use is called terrorism, cowardly, and is subject to deadly retaliation. With apologies to whomever I can’t find who wrote something similar before me…

    Maybe we should arm the bonobos?

    Better to disarm ourselves, although I don’t really think that’s about to happen.

  • John, I support most of those goals, but they aren’t going to happen overnight. Notice that most of them follow naturally from a continued trajectory of increasing global prosperity. I believe we’re in for many surprises, black swans, scientific and technological breakthroughs, cultural changes, etc. in the near future that will make most of the fears of today’s doomers irrelevant. People have always projected current trends into the future and panicked, but future innovations have a way of making their concerns look silly (Paul Erlichman comes to mind here, as do all those educated fools who said heavier than air travel and space flight were physically impossible). Our planet is capable of supporting at least 100 billion people indefinitely in a technological mode of life, believe it or not, so people who insist that a die-off must begin by next Wednesday are mostly operating out of fear and ignorance.

  • @Jan,the premise is one of twenty from Derrick Jensen’s Endgame.

  • Part of the hoped for collapse of the economy (hoped for not because any of us want to see our way of life go down, but because we do not want to see the ecology of the planet that gives us life destroyed) is proceeding apace

    Here is again a case of NOTHING learned from history, not even very very recent history

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27461.htm

    Make Sure the Wheelbarrow is Ready

    By Mike Whitney

    February 11, 2011 “Information Clearing House” — The game is on. Two years of zero rates, limitless guarantees, and a $2 trillion drip-feed from the Fed, has lifted Wall Street from the canvas and put the speculators back in the thick-of-things. It’s a miracle. Who would have thought that Bernanke could engineer another bubble this fast. But he has. Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) are increasing, LBO’s (Leveraged buyouts) are on the rise, revolving credit (“plastic”) is expanding, and investors are scarfing up low-yield junk bonds wherever they can find them.

    Still can’t believe it? Then, take a look at this from Businessweek:

    “Home loans that inflated the U.S. housing bubble…are fueling the fastest gains in the mortgage-bond market….Prices for senior bonds tied to option adjustable-rate mortgages, called “toxic” by a government commission, typically jumped 6 cents to 64 cents on the dollar in the past month, according to Barclays Capital.

    Rising values show Federal Reserve efforts to stimulate the economy by purchasing an additional $600 billion of Treasuries and holding interest rates near zero percent are driving investors into ever-riskier securities…..

    The market is pricing in defaults on option ARMs of about 75 percent, according to hedge fund Metacapital Management LP in New York. As the worst housing slump since the Great Depression deepened, assumptions reached as high as 90 percent, said Whalen, who’s based in Los Angeles.”(“‘Toxic’ Mortgages Rally as Resets Accelerate: Credit Markets”, Businessweek)

    Got that? Investors are loading up on these garbage bonds even though they expect 75% of them will go belly-up. That’s what you call a Bernanke gold rush! And the author even points to Bernanke’s QE2 as the proximate cause for the feeding frenzy.

    And then there’s this from dailyfinance.com:

    “The New York Stock Exchange released data showing that margin credit — money investors borrow to buy shares — increased to $276 billion in December, up from $233 billion at the start of the year. That reflects a sharply higher stock market but also an increased appetite for borrowing.” (“With Consumer Credit Up Sharply, Is America Releveraging?”, dailyfinance.com)

    Yup, it’s bubble-time again.

  • On the same theme
    “NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The International Monetary Fund issued a report Thursday on a possible replacement for the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.”
    http://money.cnn.com/2011/02/10/markets/dollar/index.htm
    Didn’t we invade Iraq to keep Sadaam from trading oil in currency other than Euros. Maybe we can invade the IMF?

  • So happy to see this conversation still going on.
    Seems to me TZM3 has the group busy out drumming up converts.
    Found a great discussion here that explained so much if anyone is interested. (http://www.hubberts-arms.org/index.php/topic,3351.0.html)

    Great writing as always Guy and glad you liked the song.
    =)

  • victor, kathy, et.al., i’m afraid the egyptians’ victory in ousting mubarak is going to be a very hollow one. as the link below shows, egypt is going to be one of the first and perhaps hardest casualties of collapse. they’re vastly over-populated, oil production peaked 15 years ago, the whole country is desert, heavily dependent on imported food, the price of food’s going to skyrocket, and without oil to export, they aren’t going to be able to afford it. i think it’s comment #22 to the linked article that maybe sums it up best, and here i’ll loosely paraphrase: the oil wealth has already been looted!

    http://www.chrismartenson.com/blog/egypts-warning-are-you-listening/52575

  • VT,

    I fear you are correct. We must always keep our eyes on the context, eh? Neverthless, it is a good feeling seeing the people show their real power for a change…

  • Humanity is creating conditions for both a collapse of industrial civilization and collapse of Earth’s biosphere.

    If civilization collapses first, billions of humans will die and, unless we have passed the tipping point, the biosphere will recover somewhat. Eventually, humanity would breed itself back to where we are today.

    If civilization hangs on long enough, the biosphere will be degraded to the point of collapse and our extinction will be one of the millions. Eventually, the biosphere would recover from severely diminished biodiversity, as it did from 65 million years ago.

    There’s a third possibility that could avoid both collapses: voluntary human extinction through non-breeding. If we choose to stop creating more humans, those of us alive will potentially live in ever-improving conditions, retaining our technology as we phase out ourselves, our industry, and our domesticated species. Wildlife and its habitat could increase as there are fewer of us.

    This may not be as likely as the collapse we seem to be accelerating toward, but we can be the change we want to see in the world. Thank you for not breeding. http://vhemt.org

  • No, thank *you* for not breeding! Why stop there? Why not call for the extermination of humanity via technological means? We have much more efficient ways of eradicating the human virus today than old age or even Zyklon-B gas. What you’re suggesting is not only never going to happen, but it’s far too slow. Please think your ideas through before you embarrass yourself and your comrades with these absurd proposals!

  • the virgin terry Says: “… i’m afraid the egyptians’ victory in ousting mubarak is going to be a very hollow one. as the link below shows… comment #22 to the linked article that maybe sums it up best, and here i’ll loosely paraphrase: the oil wealth has already been looted!”

    Thanks for the plug! (#22 is my comment.)

    Chris Martenson’s “Crash Course” is well worth looking over, if you aren’t already familiar with it. He ties the problem of growth, financial collapse, peak oil, and global warming all together nicely. I was an early reviewer before it was complete, and bought a whole box of DVDs of it when it first came out, which I distributed to friends and relatives, none of whom have changed their lives in any way, but at least I can say they’ve been warned!

  • @The Cosmist, I shae your concern that our voluntary extinction by natural attrition might take too long, since we may have passed the tipping point. However, “extermination of humanity via technological means” is what we are already doing, and we’re taking millions of other species with us. Perhaps you’re right that “We have much more efficient ways of eradicating the human virus,” but if you think about what that would entail in reality, I doubt you would recommend it. Homo sapiens is not a virus, by the way” we have the capacities for reason and compassion. Sometimes we even use them.

  • Jan & Terry, so is it that, Terry you referenced a comment at Martenson’s site not realizing that it was Jan’s?

  • What of democracy? Why does democracy prevail? What is the source of democracy’s lasting value? Can democracy make a difference?

    To psychologists like myself the terms superego, ego and id are commonplace and refer to the remarkable institutions of an individual’s mind. In a similar way the words judiciary, executive and legislature are ever so familiar signifiers for political scientists and many others of the national institutions which organize our country into a democracy. That these great systems of “mind” and “state” may emanate from a common, all- too-human nature has been discussed many times heretofore.

    These brief comments attempt to extend that discussion and are a condensed presentation of a way in which the recognizable institutions composing the mind and the state might be objectively correlated. I present it now here because it seems somehow right, and possibly useful, for human beings to communicate their perceptions about basic aspects of our shared reality. As an example, consider how the judicial branch of government possesses certain essential features of the mind’s superego; that the executive branch functions much like the ego; and of course the ways the legislature most directly represents the wishes and needs of human beings everywhere and reflects the id.

    The nature and significance of the relationship between mind and state has been commented upon since the early days of Western civilization. This commentary begins with Pythagoras’ effort to answer the questions: What is the nature of human nature, and how might this nature express itself in the organization of human society? To put these questions another way: May the structure and dynamics of the mind have significance for the manner in which the social world is ordered and functions? Pythagoras and later Plato perceived that the organization of two levels — the psychological/individual and the governmental/societal — could be governed by the same principles. While Pythagoras is most likely the first to record this relationship, one of the truly impressive portrayals of these symmetrical psychological and governmental formations is to be found in the Dialogues of Plato, wherein he presented three governance mechanisms of the city-state mirroring three psychic agencies perceived ubiquitously within the human beings who belong to that city-state. It appears that the three governing elements of a state are derived from individuals who themselves possess these same elements in a terminal system he called psyche, others have called soul, and we call mind.

    By fixing his analysis on the conflict among certain institutions of government, Plato posited that the social order is a replica of a person’s conflict-ridden mind, but on a much larger scale. Indeed, it has appeared to some people throughout the course of Western civilization that governance mechanisms of a state originate in, and are congruent with, the agencies which compose the mind. That is to say, the origin of a social order is not bestowed by a higher authority or based upon a conscious ’social contract’ , but given in what is uniquely human in the nature of the individuals themselves.

    From this perspective, a state also is not the product of an historical process as many since Cicero have believed, but rather is derived from something plain and fundamental in the minds of its membership. It is possible to consider individual minds as microcosms in which the governing features of a macrocosmic social order can be apprehended and, in a most rudimentary way, understood.

    It may be fruitful to consider this fundamental relationship in which the human being gives objectivity to his/her terminal system in the formation of a state, yet does not often acknowledge the independence and validity of the governing institutions in this ‘object’ as being reflections of her/his own nature. This does not mean that the individual is equal to, or stands above, this necessary object. On the contrary, the state is above the individual and governs her/him. The point here is merely this: a plurality of individuals projects its commonly-held psychic elements into governance mechanisms of the state and then makes itself subordinate to this external organization. Human beings, it appears, are by nature constituted for social living, and most people become engaged in the outward events of the social and material world as a way of meeting basic needs determined by the practical requirements of reality.

    Ancient thinkers as well as contemporary scholars have postulated that there can be no meaningful human existence absent a social order. Perhaps it can be said that certain aspects of mentation are knowable because the mind presents itself both in three distinguishable parts to itself and in three governance mechanisms of the state. This mind / state relationship can be thought of as an example of the state having been generalized from, or having taken on the structure of, animating principles of unity in the mind of the individual. Individual members of a state unconsciously consent to be governed, as it were, by a state which typifies their nature. It is then plausible that the state comes closest to ensuring the expression of naturally determined human potential and relational capabilities of its members, as their ‘lights’ accord them a view of just what potential and capacity for relations they possess. Institutions of government begin to exist where individuals in sufficient numbers recognize that they are incapable of providing for their well being through personal thought and initiative alone. By adequately organizing governance mechanisms, government deals at once with inner conflict and outer challenges to the social order in much the same way the psychological agencies in the mind of the individual respond to the needs of the self. The state has ultimate concern for the needs of the individual by ensuring the opportunity for the fulfillment of those purposes for which individuals are created. Those governments which are most successful in accomplishing this goal are founded upon an understanding of the capacities of human beings, with particular attention to the goals toward which human beings
    tend. Then the state becomes a structure common to individual minds; conversely, their common psychic structure serves as a model that is employed to organize, authorize and empower governance mechanisms which direct society toward a remote, unreachable goal: the good of all.

    Here we identify a dynamic terminal system in its individual and its societal form. In the latter, human beings shape, amplify and adapt governance mechanisms according to their make-up in the formation and maintenance of a personality writ large, called a state. Since the dawn of Western civilization notice has been taken regarding how governance mechanisms of a state may spring from and ‘mirror’ the interplay of structured, psychodynamic distinctions of personality. Thanks to certain eminent psychological findings by S. Freud and to the constitutional inventions of T. Jefferson, we can see with more clarity how the structure, the dynamics and the overall momentum of the mind furnish the model for the structuring and functioning of a democracy.

  • In light of what I have tried to communicate, however feebly and tentatively, about democracy, perhaps we can better understand the psychological dynamics of human mentation as well as discern the behavior of the citizens of Egypt as they go about the task of forming a democratic government.

  • Don’t have an attribution, but I’ve always agreed with this: “Democracy is two wolves and a sheep, voting on what to have for dinner.”

  • Perhaps what we need, maybe all we need, is an adequately functioning democracy, but first ordinary people will have to liberate ourselves from the pernicious, widely shared and consensually validated thinking of a tiny minority in the human community who extol the virtue of greedmongering as good, as an activity to be valued most highly.

    Even an enlightened dictator is not a person in whom I could place much faith. We need for duly elected, common people who are chosen by a society to accept the responsibilities and fulfill the duties of leadership by meaningfully embracing democratic principles and eschewing greed, by not “selling out” to greedmongers.

    It appears to me that the most arrogant, foolhardy and avaricious, self-proclaimed masters of the universe among us rule the world in our time, and rule it absolutely. This situation is bold evidence of a corruption of democracy, not an example of the reasonable exercise of democratic principles and practices. These circumstances are not only a colossal insult to human beings with feet of clay, but also are a clear and present danger to global biodiversity, Earth’s environs, its limited resources and to a good enough future for the children.

    Democracy requires representatives who reject the entreaties and bribes of greedmongers as well as embrace principles and practices that promote long-term well being of ordinary people and not only the short-term desires and fantasies of masters of the universe.

  • And after fearlessly acknowledging many problems and courageously fighting on so many fronts, we find ourselves in the unexpected position of not yet having mustered the nerve to openly discuss either the necessity for finding balance in relationship between humankind and the natural world we inhabit, thanks be to God, or the bold fact that a good enough future for coming generations to Earth is being stolen from them now here, before our eyes, thanks to the relentless, soon to become patently unsustainable pursuits of self-proclaimed masters of the universe among us.

  • Well for f*&ksake stop saying human species this, humankind that and grow up and face the reality modern industrial “civilised” humans and “our” culture are the real issue NOT homo sapiens!

    Until this is faced, it’s evident you are Not following indigenous people plea/advice for right now: DECOLONISE YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS! You may find yourself enmeshed in a pathologically suicidally insane dominant culture, but it isn’t who YOU are.

    The myths of this culture come through very clearly, even here sadly.

    There are probably at least 10,000 different ways to live ecologically sustainably on this planet, and the dominant one is NOT it! Our task os to face up to this and start the process of relocalising, becoming indigenous to our landbases again…almost impossible, but someones going to have to do it, lead the way.

    Thanks Guy for the leadership you are showing through doing what you’re doing and sharing it here!

  • How do we go about “de-industrialising” especially when dealing with a system which desperatly resists change and pursues growth at its own ultimate cost?

    It would require “The Monkey Wrench Gang” writ large.

    thanks

    Martin

  • Our seventeen year-old son was rather melancholy the other week; when I asked him why he said it was because his little step-brother would not get to see the world he knew, it’s falling apart too quickly.

  • Thank you SO much for your blog. You present an important discussion. Anyone following the science can understand life in the year 2100 – grim, if at all.

    What we fail to understand is the near future, the next few years, this decade. And few of us want to discuss it.

    Thanks for all that you do.

  • Harry, that is sobering.
    Iam one year shy of 50 and have two nieces and nephews, the oldest 25 and youngest just out college/high school. WQhat will the think as their world unravels before they can really start doing the things their parents generation has done.

    I am glad I never had children

  • The great part about the situation is that there is no downside to trying to make a difference.

  • I think like you Mr.Guy McPherson . But , unfortunately , there are very few on our side . In general , people are selfish . And , I think , this is our fundamental characteristic which lead us all to the final catastrophe .

  • “Thorium” was the Question I asked Hansen in Gore New Zealand from the floor. Hansen said it was the best audience he had had (in New Zealand presumably). Alleles that rest on our 30,000 gene loci are 680 million years old in the cascade in getting to us as individuals and that is just the sex part of alleles. Also we have not, H.s.s., completed collecting and arranging our fissionable products on this earth yet. A task for the next 500,000 years. So I too like in one of the safest places on the planet and when the 300km by 3km by 2 km ice torpedos slide off the Antarctica producing waves the size of the Port Hill in Christchurch New Zealand there will go 80% of the world population in one day in the coastal areas. I live in south Waikato where the water will just lap around my feet before running back again. So are you in location location location to see this 24 hour period out and ready with technology ideas for the next 500,000 years. I think Ice age as well as Heist Age (play on the fractional reserve banking fait money system). Here are my policy concentrations. Learn to speak english and be feed. Men need to agree to have one child per life time for the next five generations and women can have as many children as they wish. ;-) I watched you talk on Max Keiser. I like to say I see you needing a friendly comment on your website Guy. ;-) Ask Max to send you a gold and silver coin for his advanced say with you. lol. Ask him for enough to run the currency system of you valley group.

  • I live in the NWT of Canada I grew up here and over the last 20 years I have seen with my own eyes and felt the north is warmer during winter and heavier rains in summer.

    20 years is very fast for earth time!

  • It seems that the Arctic will be ice free in summer by 2015. It takes 81 times the energy to melt ice than to raise water 1 degree. Once that ice is gone, I suspect that runaway warming to some hotter state will commence.

    We are flailing in a rushing river, about to go a waterfall. There’s little we can do. Perhaps, as we fall, we will regain our humanity. Or perhaps we’ll devolve into genocidal cannibals. Perhaps we’ll see a rainbow…

  • My take on the whole thing is that there is no climate crisis. There are also no energy, freshwater or land crises. There is only a runaway human population crisis. Like all organisms under similar staits, we will suffer shortages in resources and buildup in waste products. Solve the population crisis and technology can keep pace with industrialization, Fail to and nothing can save us.

  • What’s the big deal? Population of any species follows the resources available to it. A new species rolls into a habitat and jumps in population while it consumes the pre-existing resources, and then numbers fall back to a sustainable level. Mathematicians and biologists have modeled this for many species. Why wouldn’t it apply to the human species as well? Are we somehow immune to basic biological laws?

  • Greetings all,
    Guy, thanks for all your championing, you are not alone and your voice sings to me and mine:)

    Amit Goswami – Quantim Physist – Oregon University
    http://www.amitgoswami.org/

    Please take the tme to watch his 1hr:15 video ‘The Quantim Activist’

    It seems like somewhere between global warming leading to our physical extinction – and the theory that our collective conciousness is not on the physical plane maybe what is happening is destiny for it to all lead to our ‘transformation’ to a non-physical existance?

    Love & Peace

  • Seems to me your “solution” to the problem leaves no more hope for survival than the current course. Mass extinctions existed long before humans existed – and will again, unless we develop the capacity to stop it. Your “solution” eliminates the latter posibility. Given that, what’s the use of even worrying about it, as we (life on Earth) are all doomed anyway?

  • Good post. Maybe you can comment on the UN proposal to tax the Internet? You know it will happen. Governments HATE the Internet.

  • Thank you so much.

    I don’t know if its just me, but I always get really really excited by anyone who predicts that the world will end, or that we need to extinguish billions of people for the world to survive. Back when I was a conspiracy theorist who believed in 9/11 “Inside job” theories, the world was so exciting. But then I started reading all the debunking websites and realized I was being silly.

    Then I got involved in new age stuff! BOY WAS THAT FUN. All that time imagining creating my own reality with my thoughts. Then I got tired and realized all the people who study it couldn’t meaningfully prove their abilities and that even if it were real it was extremely weak.

    Then the eurozone was on the verge of financial collapse. I was getting excited again. I thought…THIS TIME, something *BIG* is gonna happen, that will shake the foundations of the Earth! But then…as months passed on, all the doomsday forecasters pretty much repeated every month that the eurozone was going to go bankrupt. And then it never happened, and I was severely disappointed.

    But my friend, today, the passion is back. You have inspired me with the bombastic language used in your posts. I can’t believe it, global warming will create the end of the world!! We have to actively destroy western civilization to save the Earth! WOWOWOWOOW thats some exciting stuff. I can’t wait to see if your predictions come true, you’re like the doomsday forecaster of all doomsday forecasters :P. I don’t mean it in a bad way, I thoroughly enjoy it (obviously).

    Looking forward to more bombastic language,

    Cordially yours,

    Piotr B.

  • Aww crap, in my overzealous excitement I realized you weren’t actually saying we need to exterminate people, just that climate change WILL KILL OF OUR SPECIES!!

    Oh well thats a shame. I thought you were going to share a plan to set off a series of nuclear weapons to destroy western civlization and save the planet, and then there would be a big multi-pronged investigation by the FBI or CIA (whichever, I dunno) where you would fly to Iran in an attempt to help them get their nuclear weapons program online. *SIGH* that’s probably not going to happen, is it.

    Well. We can always look forward to THE EXTINCTION OF THE HUMAN RACE!! This is the most exciting day of my life

    Cordially yours (again),
    Piotr B