Earth: the final frontier

by John D. Gunther

Since I was a small child, I have always known that there is a better way for us to live. What I didn’t know at that age was exactly what that meant. Fast forward to now, and as a 41-year-old computer geek of 30 years and a computer store owner of 15 years, I can tell you that I now know exactly what that means, and it has nothing to do with computers. It means for us to start living in harmony and cooperation by starting an off-grid, durable and self-sustaining living community. One focused on the greater good of all wanting to live in cooperation not only with each other, but the Earth as well. This project will be started on 80 acres of land I own in northwestern Nevada (Humboldt County, northwest of Winnemucca). I have two, 80-acre parcels in the same valley. I am looking to move there this summer, but between now and then I am reaching out for input and ideas of how to not only get this started, but promote it as well. I am not looking for personal financial rewards. I am interested in connecting with teachers, students, and anyone interested in participating in creating a new and durable way of living. This will become an Eco-friendly and egalitarian community of people who know that making small changes on a personal and local level in a harmonious group full of cooperation will create a pinwheel effect that will turn that small and personal change into a global experience for all to experience.

I am open to hosting off-grid hands-on classes, possibly being taught by instructors as wise and helpful as Prof. Guy McPherson. I am also looking for those who are looking to be an integral part of the community. All I ask of those interested in becoming a part of the community is to be a working part of the community. This would mean building our community literally from the ground up. At first we will just have ourselves, but from the unity created we can build anything.

The idea is to create an egalitarian community of souls ready to be a part of something bigger than each one of us. I’ll be honest, I am doing this entirely by faith (not the religious type). This is a calling for me, and I am listening. It tells me to build it and they will come, so I am reaching out to everyone I can to make this a reality. There are many ready not only to hear this message, but also ready to live it. I have the land, and I am offering it to the world to re-create from — a blank canvas, if you will, for those Eco-artists ready to paint a better world.

I am starting with 160 acres of land and one committed friend named Al who travels around in an RV ready. I am working on selling my computer service business of 15 years and relocating to the land this summer. Of course it would be wonderful to find others who are like-minded who maybe have things like money, ideas, and permaculture experience or skills that could round out the community body. However, I will be happy with inspired, hard-working people who want to make a difference locally that starts a chain reaction to make a difference globally.

I envision a community with all the grandeur anyone’s imagination could conjure (there are no limits to the possibilities we could have). All the while, we’ll live in harmony with our surroundings. We can create for ourselves all that we could ever need to survive, thereby leaving us to just live: to live happy and free. We would not have to abandon the luxuries of some of the wonderful new technologies available to us. We will instead choose to use them not to better ourselves individually, but collectively. Working together as a community can only give us all a greater sense of ourselves as we are all just mirrors of each other. What do you want to see in the mirror?

Thank you for so kindly reading my rants, and I welcome any input or ideas you may have for me to get this project started. I also would like to mention that I envision the video documentation of this project from start to finish turning into something that could inspire thousands and maybe more. I can think of nothing more wonderful to go viral than a project like this.

I understand that starting from nothing there are immediate concerns like water, some sort of power source, waste treatment, and so on. For one person, this could be a bit much, but for the right group this could be a dream come true.

My name is John D. Gunther. I currently live in Jacksonville, Florida with a computer repair center in Lake City, Florida named Onyx Systems. I can be reached at the email or mailing address below. I welcome you to join me in this adventure.

zameil@gmail.com

http://www.zameil.com (website started for off-grid community)

John D. Gunther
757 SW SR 247
Suite 108
Lake City, FL 32025

I welcome phone calls upon email request.

Comments 65

  • A great idea. I am sure that you have put much thought into this. It would be very helpful if you could assemble the available facts in one place accessible on the Internet. These could include the lay of the land, climate, local flora & fauna, water resources (rainfall, surface water – streams & ponds, water table), soils. etc. In that way you will not have to repeatedly answer the same questions. And a picture is worth a thousand words. You could use links to existing resources such as Google Earth / Maps, Wikipedia, USGS, etc. 

    The big question that comes to mind whwnever one thinks of the southwest, is the fate of cities like Lost Wages, Phoenix, etc. But Dr. McPherson and his community are able to survive in the middle of the desert, living on & off the land, minimizing the inputs from industrial civilization. And their population density is very much less. So their circumstances may be more “sane”.

    I wish you well, and would very much like to get a look at more details.  

  • Reading this brought me great joy. Thanks John for putting yourself and your vision out there.

  • Trying to establish some form of durable living seems to me the only thing left to do. Good luck.

    You mention waste disposal. I have been using the Humanure Handbook method for human waste disposal for over 15 years. Right now all you need is some organic material (we use leaves) a bin for composting, a set of 5 gallon buckets and for comfort an old toilet seat to rest on the bucket in use. We collect urine in a separate bucket (except that which comes with a dump) and I apply that to the garden daily. Available to buy or free on line is the Humanure Handbook http://humanurehandbook.com/downloads/Humanure_Handbook_all.pdf – We have had no problems with this method of recycling minerals.

  • A warning for all those who watch this video below.

    Please be mindful master salesmen such as Hitler, etc.,, & the rest almost always tell a great many truths, that we all know to be true, & then they mix in the lie, the hook with which they wish to sell us on.

    I post this not with anything against John D’s piece which I post this under, but rather like John D’s piece I found the video thought provoking as well.

    The Story of Your Enslavement

  • John D,

    Take a glance at this Baker Creek outfit. It may not be the model you seek, but maybe it’ll give you a few ideas?

    http://rareseeds.com/

  • BTW: I’ve been there, Baker Creek, & it looked really nice.

  • Oky1:

    “The Story of Your Enslavement” is, for most, far too threatening to watch. On an individual level, once you recognize the controls, there is a lot one can do to counter the worst of it. I have all of my adult life tried to spend as much time as I could living what some might call a counter culture life.
    TPTB don’t expect or care if a few percent see it for what it is. Therefore, it is relatively easy to live in the cracks. Head down, mouth shut, and don’t get committed to jobs, organizations, religions (UGH!), etc. As Stephen Dedalus says, “I do not chose to serve.”

  • SB …expect and don’t care…

  • Several eco-villages are appearing all around the country. Reminds me of the ’60’s. Although few of them survived for very long, current circumstances are much different (and dire) than they were then. A few religious communities lasted, but they evolved into cultist compounds to the point of enslavement. Despite that I am a proponent of such communities, I’ve seen too many fail, succumbing to the same repetitive and historical issues of all societies, including mini-societies.

    An small eco-community of earthships is coming together here in Texas. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. Like Guy’s small community, I’ll be joining a similar situation in the Chihuahuan desert this fall where we retain self-sufficiency, but form close community bonds. Like a community of prairie dogs with our own little dens, tunnels,and food middens, but we band together as a whole for leisure, food production and collective needs; and during times of duress and crises. This seems to retain a healthy dose of independence and self-sufficiency with communal resource management and well-being.

    Good luck to you and keep us posted.

  • John D

    An admirable attempt at disconnecting from the Matrix. But please do not expect some sort of Utopia in the end. Expect human frailties. Expect interpersonal problems to arise. Expect even that the community might well break up. Use what you can as you can from whom you can, expecting little in return. If it all works out, fine. If not, that’s fine too – you have benefited to that point.

    The very best of luck to you.

  • Sorry about going off topic but…

    Victor,

    Out of Iran the word today is, “Check!”

    http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2012/may/23/iran-oks-renewal-of-nuclear-inquiry/

    Just when I’d gotten my hopes up for worldwide conflagration with various powers nuking each other over the possibility that Iran might learn to make one bomb, those sneaky Iranians have come up with another way to twist things around. Damn, I thought we had those Godless heathens cornered at last.

    Michael Irving

  • Kathy C.

    We’re only a year into humanure culture here and it never ceases to amaze. Our most recent “Oh my god!” happening was when we discovered that right under the surface of the pile there are more worms than I’ve ever seen in one place (outside of my vermiculture box). It is amazing, and they are not the little imported red wigglers either. Can you say night crawlers?

    Michael Irving

  • Oky1 Says: 
    May 22nd, 2012 at 3:33 pm
    A warning for all those who watch this video below.

    Please be mindful master salesmen such as Hitler, etc.,, & the rest almost always tell a great many truths, that we all know to be true, & then they mix in the lie, the hook with which they wish to sell us on.

    The Story of Your Enslavement

    That video is among Stef’s most widely viewed works. 
    For those acquainted with the rest of Stef’s work there is no way to unsee the gun – the threat of initiation of force, even lethal force,  against peaceful non-compliers – brandished by the state. It seems hidden until it is recognized, but then the brazenness becomes all too evident. 

  • Heirloom seeds are very important:  one might as well go forthe whole shebang

  • 3 1/2 years ago our County forfeited our town charter which had become inactive (100 years ago). Fearing this meant the County was intending to bring development into our rural area, we fought back. My husband led the group and I typed 🙂 Today the Probate Judge reinstated our town – Fredonia Alabama! Just in time for collapse of the economy so it probably won’t matter, but for whatever it is worth we beat county hall.

  • Stef is an anthropocentrist. Therein lies the problem with his mo.

  • Congrats, Kathy. I know you worked hard for that one. And now you are officially part of modern civilisation again….so how does that feel?…. 🙂

  • Damn, I thought we had those Godless heathens cornered at last.

    Michael Irving,

    What the West has not yet figured out about Iran is that they play at a wholly different level. And they are masters at it.

    But don’t give up yet. The Israelis are crazy enough to light the fire, and force Obama’s hand. We might yet have a nuclear conflagration.

  • Victor, given that we were told we could not possibly win, that the guys behind development would not let us, it feels immensely satisfying. Now however to stay a town we have to do what towns do…have a mayor, council, collect some sort of taxes, have elections….winning is not always everything it is cracked up to be 🙂

  • Oky1 said, with reference to the video “The Story of Your Enslavement”:

    “Please be mindful master salesmen such as Hitler, etc.,, & the rest almost always tell a great many truths, that we all know to be true, & then they mix in the lie, the hook with which they wish to sell us on”.

    I have just watched the video, and cannot spot the “hook”. What do you think it is? The final words of the movie are:

    ” ….. but we can only be kept in the cages that we refuse to see. Wake up. To see the farm is to leave it”

    Is this not perfectly true?

    Clive

  • First I would like to say “Thank You!” to everyone for reading my post. Guy was gracious enough to post me on his website, and from that I am remembering what it felt like to be a freshman again. It’s humbling, yet will become rewarding in time. So, thanks to everyone who has commented or emailed me. I have been exposed to many new avenues and ideas.

    Second, I am enjoying the comments much more than my own writing. Thank you.

    Zameil
    Nusquam est verus.
    Panton est licitus.

  • Selected recent quotes from a blog post, offered as a tribute to our host:
    In practice, those who walk away are as often as not weeping hysterically, torn between the fear of giving up everything they know and the knowledge that leaving is the only choice left for them, and trying without much success not to listen to the taunts or feel the stones flung by those who stay behind.
    …..the consequences of industrial society’s mismanagement of its relations with the planet will not go away just because we don’t want to deal with them.
    – Still, there’s the choice: share the feast and share the fall, or wake up and walk away. Which will you do?

    Night Thoughts in Hagsgate

  • In the spirit of this essay, I’ve added the following notification to the classified ad section:

    Large 2 bedroom adobe farmhouse on 2 acres in Gila, NM. Completely renovated in 2011 including hardwood floors, new appliances and energy-efficient windows. Gila National Forest is 6 miles away and the Gila River is 1/2 mile away. Large cottonwoods and mountain views. Available June 1. $700/month + utilities, $700 security deposit. Please call 575-535-4292 or email marilynwg1@yahoo.com.

  • Hi John,

    You asked for input and we thought we would share what we’ve been trying to do for the last 8+ years and have just about given up. You say,

    “All I ask of those interested in becoming a part of the community is to be a working part of the community.”

    Good luck with that one, “many” people are not in physical shape to do the work and have been raised in a culture of having fun. Many of our guests were not willing to work part time to do what it takes to grow food and that’s with the infrastructure in place. We’ve done most of the hard work already. It would be wise for those of you trying to start this to partner up with those who already have something in place.

    “It tells me to build it and they will come”

    Hate to say it but the truth is more like they will come when they have to and it may be to take what you have.

    “There are many ready not only to hear this message, but also ready to live it. I have the land, and I am offering it to the world to re-create from — a blank canvas, if you will, for those Eco-artists ready to paint a better world.”

    One would think this to be true, but instead what we have found is the “Ecotopia” in many ways is a “Utopia”, sorry Ernest. I think the
    “The Jungle” is more like the book to describe what our future holds but much worse.

    Yes we’ve been told we’re jaded, cynical and generally not forward-thinking people but we are realistic, at least now we are.

    If you have the time to read what we’ve written especially on the blog you might get a better feel for what we and others like us have experienced.

    Feel free to contact us if you care to and if you find those
    “hard-working people” hold onto them as they’re worth their weight in gold and a rare find.

  • John Gunther:
    Best of luck. I’m too old to join you, but have a few observations you might find useful.
    –You’re in high desert, which means the weather, even without 400+ppm CO2, is extreme. Yesterday, in central Idaho, we had bright sunshine, snow, rain, sleet, grapple, high winds, and temps from 60 to 26. So a greenhouse is essential. If there’s an architect out there who can design a greenhouse that can be constructed out of material salvaged from foreclosed suburbs, you should get in contact. Same thing for all other planned buildings–the West is full of abandoned homesteads of the people who didn’t build for the climate.
    –Winnemucca is state of mind. It’s not a bad state of mind, but there will be plenty of people who won’t understand or be skeptical or outright hostile to your project. Getting along with the ranching/mining communities will be essential. These people are your biggest resource or your biggest liability, depending on how you treat them.
    –You’re on top of geothermal energy there–almost all of Nevada is–so you may be able to piggyback on pilot projects. A private geothermal well is prohibitively expensive.
    –A water well can also be prohibitively expensive.
    I believe you’re in a volcanic landscape, and water tables can vary, especially if there are other wells in the area. I don’t think you’re in danger of Las Vegas stealing your water, but Reno might.
    –If you’re planning on using horse-drawn equipment, an entire animal infrastructure is required. The good news is that a good team can do an enormous amount of work, and you can put them out on the range if you have range rights. But a small tractor with a terracing blade, plow, and backhoe attachment might make more sense for the next decade or so.
    –Fences are necessary and expensive evils, and they require lots of maintenance.
    –Broken motorhomes make good cheap residences/greenhouses while you’re building something more durable and aesthetic. Lots of them in Nevada.
    –Battery-powered power tools with a solar charger will save you lots of time and frustration.
    –Don’t buy new equipment/tack/building supplies. You will need a new chainsaw, and it’s worth the time to learn how to maintain and sharpen it. A chainsaw is worth its weight in gold, even with gasoline at $100/gallon.
    –Don’t waste money on elaborate firearms. You want to be able to make someone pay if they harm you, but you don’t want to have what might be called an offensive capability. It’s offensive, and invites trouble. You should learn to use a .22 rifle with a scope. There are lots of animals out there who will try to eat your garden. Some of them are tasty.
    –Recognize that some of the people you attract are not going to work out. Figure out ahead of time how to get rid of troublemakers and slackers and bullies and other toxicities. A few memoirs from the communes of the 60s will alert you to a lot of pitfalls.

    That’s all I can think of at the moment. I checked out your area on Google Earth, and it looks like you’ll have plenty of room to grow.

  • Elaine and David, trust me the problem is not you. Our experience with community attempts went about the same way. But since collapse may be around the corner, making the attempt now may result in being at least better prepared. Heck just being rural and having some land that you are growing stuff on puts you well ahead of the pack. Looks like a lovely place – hope as the economy goes down you begin to find some woken up people ready for the hard work.

  • Kathy, thank you for the kind reply and we do feel fortunate and thankful to be out of the city and have some land.

    We have more guests coming tomorrow to visit, one never knows, do they?

  • Hi John,
    Great to hear that you’re making the move towards building a community. My family lives in a multi generational home that was built when the Titanic sank. There are anywhere from 6-11 of us at one time so contrary to popular culture, it can and is done everyday. I also would like to suggest a couple of recommendations that friends of mine that have personally used who live in eco-villages and not multi-generational homes. Lastly, if you haven’t already heard about Cobb building, please consider it for your structures.

    Post your community for others to find and other ideas
    1) http://www.cohousing.org/directory
    2) http://www.ic.org

    Eco friendly building – my oldest daughter has her PDC and is going for the Complete Cobb workshop this fall…
    3) http://www.cobcottage.com/complete-cob-0

    Love, Light & Peace

  • I am curious as to what farming experience you may have, John, and how that farming experience in Florida will serve you and yours in northern Nevada.

  • john, i love your idealism to a point, but i think u take it much too far:

    ‘This will become an Eco-friendly and egalitarian community of people who know that making small changes on a personal and local level in a harmonious group full of cooperation will create a pinwheel effect that will turn that small and personal change into a global experience… I envision a community with all the grandeur anyone’s imagination could conjure (there are no limits to the possibilities we could have). All the while, we’ll live in harmony with our surroundings. We can create for ourselves all that we could ever need to survive, thereby leaving us to just live: to live happy and free. We would not have to abandon the luxuries of some of the wonderful new technologies available to us.’

    a more surrealistic vision i believe is in the documentary of tim bennett and sally earickson titled WHAT A WAY TO GO. forget about creating a utopian community that may serve as a role model to others and as a catalyst for global change. u’ll do very well indeed if u manage to build a lifeboat community to survive through the middle stages of the great collapse to come. and u obviously have much to learn personally as your remark about developing a waste disposal system reveals. durable living means living without ‘waste’.

    on the plus side your land is in a very sparsely populated area. it’s desert with less than 10 inches annual rainfall. the viability of building a lifeboat community there hinges greatly on how climate change affects your precipitation. but there are no good options left, much less ideal ones, so anything is a gamble. i wish u the best.

  • ‘Today the Probate Judge reinstated our town – Fredonia Alabama! Just in time for collapse of the economy so it probably won’t matter, but for whatever it is worth we beat county hall.’

    good for u, kathy c!

  • Tightening the grip – and becoming more confidently public about it. You will recall that I mentioned some time back that America is no longer ruled by Congress and the normal functions of government, but by the Continuity of Government (COG) provisions developed over a period of about 30 years, since Reagan, and allowing a very small group of selected members of the government, including some specially placed congressmen, to rule when America has been placed under a State of Emergency. This State of Emergency was declared on 9/11 and has never been taken down. As a result, America has been actually ruled by COG since. COG interprets laws in its own way, and does not have to share that interpretation with anyone without the proper clearances.

    A new international treaty, it seems, is being secretly negotiated by Obama, that even the congressional oversight committee for trade cannot get access to. When approached for more information on the treaty, congressmen were told that they didn’t have the proper clearance level to see it. The treaty is, however, apparently well known and secretly assisted in development by a group of large multinationals, and will heavily impact America’s economic freedoms.

    https://rt.com/usa/news/obama-trade-wyden-senator-117/

    Every day now, it seems that the American fascist system is making itself more publicly known and putting final touches on its oppressive infrastructure WITH the eager help of a Congress that has no idea what it is being used to accomplish. The head of the congressional oversight committee was shocked to find that he could not have access to information on a new trade treaty. Welcome to Continuity of Government. Welcome to American fascism.

  • John Gunther,

    I applaud your idea and your enthusiasm for it. Like some of the others here have expressed, I am not confident that you will find very many others to join you – at least not in the way you’re hoping. It’s hard for me to be optimistic about arrangements which require everyone to get along and work together. Even the most well-intentioned humans have a notorious reputation in that regard. A variation to consider would be small individual homesteads where the need for cooperation is at a higher level – occasional and on invitation. For instance, one family might have a few chickens and raise a small garden, but mainly raises goats (one goat can provide enough milk for a whole family, three or more can easily support a small community) and then trades the milk for grain that someone else raises in excess, and so forth. Obviously, what I’m describing is not unique but rather the way that the rural world has operated for thousands of years. I think the Amish come closest today to what I think would work best.

    That being said, your task is going to be exceedingly difficult on many levels, so brace yourself for that reality, if you haven’t already. There are many, many skills needed which are completely outside those we use in the modern world. Everything has to be relearned – the skills our ancestors were taught from infancy, most of us have never even heard of, much less seen or done. I know that many who frequent this site can bear witness to these sentiments better than I can, but as my own efforts have expanded from a garden to chickens and now to goats, I can tell you, it ain’t easy! 🙂

    I’m not trying to dissuade you – you CAN do it, but you’re starting from scratch. And so will pretty much everyone else you may attract to your project. Most have no idea how hard it can be to get up EVERY morning to do your chores. There are no holidays when you have livestock – not unless there is someone else you trust who is willing to do their chores AND yours while you take a day – or a week – off. That person can be hard to find indeed.

    Water is also a major concern. Humans and most of our domesticated livestock require copious amounts of water. People have been able to survive out in the western half of the U.S. for centuries due to ample ground water and more recently, deep aquifers. The deep aquifers have been largely drained and what’s remaining won’t be available to anyone after the grid goes down – even windmills won’t be able to reach it. With climate change, the remaining ground water will become ever more scarce. This will drastically limit the number of people your land will support.

    Speaking of the daily chores above – I better get to mine so I can get on to the clinic. Best of luck to you!

  • Excellent article by Sharon Astyk full article at the link, snippet below
    http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2012-05-24/so-you-know-you-are-1-right
    Snip “So with the return of spring comes the return of Occupy, which by and large, is probably a good thing. OWS deserves some props for drawing attention to inequity, for bringing radicalism back, and for showing a very complacent corporate and political leadership that the people still have bite in them. Generally speaking I approve of Occupy.

    One of the things I don’t approve of, however, catchy as the framing is, is the “1% vs. 99%” rhetoric. The reason I don’t is that I think it functionally masks really deep inequities – by putting the second percentile together with the 92 percentile, it implies a fundamental symmetry between people who are truly and deeply poor and those who are more than comfortable……Let’s look at the 1% – on a world scale. According to the CIA world factbook (and the IMF releases similar numbers), the top 1% of the world’s earners make 34K or more annually (per capita). The world’s top 1% richest people have total assets (that’s everything you own) valued at a quarter of a million dollars or more. My guess is that a not-insignificant percentage of my readers fall into the category”

  • Definitely feeling like one of the 1% as far as the weather goes. It’s been snowing since yesterday, with two or three inches on the deck, two to six still in the forecast, and six to twelve in the mountains.

    The local tourist businesses were gearing up for a big weekend, but nobody’s here–they’re staying home and using the camping, fishing, and climbing apps on their iPhones. I’m sitting beside the woodstove, using my NBL app and occasionally looking out the window at my new garden, where small hungry birds are scratching through the snow and pecking away where I planted seeds last week. They may go in a pie.

  • John, weather has been a real yo yo this year. I note especially North Dakota and neighboring states will be 20 degrees above normal and then 20 degrees below normal a few days later. We had a very hot March, OK April, very nice May but heading into June we are 10 degrees above normal. Some of my worst bugs however are reduced or gone and I took a risk and planted in March so I am having my best garden ever – so far.

  • ‘birds are scratching through the snow and pecking away where I planted seeds last week. They may go in a pie’

    sounds like a case for the spca! lol lol

    climate in upstate new york has been remarkable record setting warmth this year thus far. ultra mild winter, march was like may, and now may is like july. precip near normal. global warming seems to be ramping up.

  • Kathy and VT: Good luck with the crops in your area. Global food production should be a good indication of how extreme the weather is becoming–probably a better indication of what’s happening to us than NASA satellite measurement of arctic ice or temperature records. Plants are a sensitive instrument, and while a few places may have perfect growing seasons [I hope Georgia is one] the grand total should reflect climate change better than a scientific studies. In any event, I’m hoping for a cool wet year here–so far it’s been a case of be careful what you hope for.

  • what’s your elevation, j.r.? must be up there if u have that much snow nearing the end of may and the beginning of summer.

  • Some of you may recall that I posted in early April about how the temperature here in NE Arkansas had been running 15-20 degrees warmer for the first three months of the year. Well, sorry to report that there has been no significant change. Our average high for today is 82. Predictions for today range from 98 to 100. Same for the next 3 days. Precipitation is down by 40% so far and predicted to get worse.

    But the good news is that gas is down by 50 cents from a few months ago! So, bring on the holiday and let’s celebrate with our motor boats, RVs, and gas grills!

  • If gas prices are down, what could be wrong with the world?

  • What could be wrong with the world?

    Bankruns? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/postcards-sweden

  • Fossil fuel usage?

    Loss of biodiversity?

    Deforestation?

    Global Warming?

    Ocean acidification?

    Destruction of the oceans via chemicals, plastics, radiation, pollution and over-fishing?

    Depletion of non-renewable and slow renewable natural resources like water and soil?

    440+ nuclear power plants?

    Enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world multiple times over?

    A globalised economy based upon infinite growth?

    Population overshoot?

    Climate change?

    Think that’s enough?…I’d reckon we were in a helluva situation…. 😉

  • Here in the U.S., it’s Memorial Day weekend (officially, it’s on Monday), the day when we remember those soldiers who gave their lives defending our empire – oops, I mean freedom. Perhaps it would be better if we used this time to remember the fallen species all around us which we’ve destroyed. Many would probably consider it sacrilege to equate a fallen soldier with a species we’ve wiped out in our quest to “rule the world”. But I’ll take the risk. So, a somber Memorial Day to you all – please remember those species who couldn’t stand against us.

  • I’m with you Dr. House. We need to memorialize the planet we have destroyed. I’m also with you on above average temps – about 10 degrees above normal while Montana is 20 degrees below normal http://tinyurl.com/669y2j

    Victor – we can sum it up in one word
    What could be wrong with the world?

    HUMANS

  • I have been so busy doing battle with the local ‘maniacs’ I have not had the energy to visit NBL.

    John. A great idea.

    Location?

    http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

    I see that 2/3 of the land area is abnormally dry and 1/3 is suffering drought. There is every reason to think matters will get a lot worse.

    My brother, who still lives in England mentioned in a conversation that there had been a long period of drought, followed by torretial rain, but temperatures had recently been around 29oC -extradordinary for May-and that drought conditions in the UK seem likely to persist or worsen.

    With respect to the ‘maniacs’, NPDC has produced a badly-written tourism brochure with some ‘funny’ numbers inserted as a plan for the next decade. There is nothing unusual about that, of course, since production of tourism brochures as plans is a worldwide phenomenon at the level of central government and local government.

    As there is a time limit of 15 minutes for verbal support of submissions I have found it necessary to supply nearly 400 pages of additional material in support of my arguemnt that present economic arragnements will not persist beyond 2015; that amounts to almost two entire volumes.

    What is fascinating is that, according to council officers, increased debt gets a tick in the environmental well-being box. When I questioned this the respeonse was that borrowing money to build a sewage system results in a positive environmental outcome. My response to that was that around 6 terajpuls of energy are consumed per annum pumping water and sludge and dehydrating sludge, and much of that energy is derived from burning fossil fuels -which results in an increase in emissions! I am awaiting a council oficer response.

    In the meantime, with respenct to loss in value of ‘investemts’ we are assured in a council officer’s report that the ‘Perpetual Investment Fund’ will be restored to its original [2004] value by 2042 at the latest.

    I though some of you would enjoy a laugh. 🙂

  • Doing battle with local maniacs is as quaint as jousting – at windmills or caber-tossing. But if one finds it filling an unmanifest need, then it serves a mental purpose that is as important to one’s well-being as food, clothing/shelter etc.

  • Robin.

    It is mentally stimulating proving that practically everything that officials say is incorrect -whether thay are talking about financial, economic, social or environmental matters. At the moment the LTP is the biggest circus in town [for anyone with a brain that functions properly, that is].

    What is much more to the point is that is would be quite a good idea for every urban or semi-urban community to do wahtever they can prevent its ‘leaders’ from squandering the very last of the community’s energy and resources on “Easter Island Statues’.

    Now that the economy is visibly stagnating globally (or imploding if you live in Greece, Portugal or quite a few other places) a few people in positions of authority are starting to shit their pants. That’s the bit I have been waiting for.

    I have been saying for quite some time that ‘They’ll keep doing it till they can’t’. Around here we are rapidly reaching the point where ‘they can’t’, yet the proposals for new arts venues and sports venues just keep coming.

  • Victor,

    The COG is truly scary. The fact the Senator Wyden could not get information upon request is shocking. Thanks for sharing that; I missed your previous comment pointing it out.

    By the way, what do you make of RT TV? Note that RT did the Wyden story. It seems like most of the stories involving problems with government (when viewed from the left) are being presented via RT TV. As near as I can tell, the name of the network is Russia Today Television and that it is in the process of expanding into American markets. I note also that Thom Hartmann is produced out of the offices of RT TV.

    I got introduced a couple of days ago to RT TV through their coverage of the story about the purchase of 450 millions of hollow point .40 cal pistol ammo by the Department of Homeland Security, which is also offering contracts for another 130 million .223 rifle ammo. The RT TV commentators were essentially saying, “WTF?” I then checked some other YOU TUBE posts and the far right commentators, like Michael Savage, are also essentially saying, “WTF?” Both the left and right then ask, “Is the government expecting to have to put down and armed revolt by the populace? Why would DHS want to arm airport gropers (sorry, screeners) and Customs with that much and that type of ammo? What do they know that they are not telling us?”

    I’ve also seen stories that strongly question the legality of Obama’s drone war. The pattern seems to be to question the legitimacy of America’s actions and leaders. Now I am not questioning RT TV’s right to do that. And I am not suggestion that Obama and company should be given any kind of a pass in what is clearly an exta-Constitutional exercise. I am interested in finding out if RT TV is somehow an arm of the Russian government and presenting stories with a slant that supports their agendas.

    Your thoughts would be appreciated.

    Michael Irving

  • ‘please remember those species who couldn’t stand against us.’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passenger_Pigeon

  • RT TV does a fair share of muckraking. And cheap appeals to emotion as well. But they generally get their facts straight. Putting out counterfactual information would be a quick way to lose credibility, especially for an organization with a name like “RUSSIA Today”.

  • Michael, I subscribe on youtube to RT. They interview people ignored by the main line media. Right no they are offering the other side of the story on Syria about the US arming and training rebels and who is behind various attacks. I find them generally credible on most issues. I also subscribe to The Real News Network http://www.youtube.com/user/TheRealNews?feature=g-user-u that features in depth interviews on various issues.

  • Michael Irving

    RT is funded by the Russian government. It does have a slant, and it probably does support certain agendas of the government. I have found, however, that it rarely materially distorts the news, nor does it back away from reporting the news, either about the West (which the West does on a consistent basis), or about Russia itself (though its reporting about Russia politics is more neutral about the government than US media reporting about theirs or any other government!).

    RT is also importantly tasked with educating the world about Russia, its goings-on, its many cultures, its geography, and its people. The Western media has traditionally painted a vastly distorted and biased view about Russia’s people. RT was developed to counter some of this and actually reach into the homes of ‘democratic’ countries with another view of the world and also offer insights into Russia’s internal affairs.

    Yes, it’s reporting is slanted, but its function is to present Russia to the world and to report world news in as unbiased a manner as possible, and it does that very well using slick media tools developed and sharpened in the West from TV to the Internet – ‘fighting fire with fire’, if you will. You will find that it also gives voice to those who are not allowed to be heard by the MSM (and therefore to the vast majority of Americans), and because it presents ‘the other side’ of the news, that gives it the appearance of giving an overall slant to the news, because these folks are usually the kind that question the US and its minions. And conveniently, of course, this also sometimes works to the interests of the Russian government…. 😉

    I might ask, how could any media outlet anywhere not present a slant in their news offerings? It is the nature of the beast. The informed person’s job is to listen to as many of these ‘biased’ views in order to piece together the ‘trugth’ of an issue. What I find so refreshing about RT is that it backs away from virtually no issue out of fear of losing advertising or access to centres of power, and it does so in a very intelligent way that can’t be easily resisted by the governments of the world. I like that…. 🙂

  • Michael Irving

    To add emphasis to the above, have you noticed how blatantly Western media takes up talking points issued by the US government and its puppet minions around the world? When the US wants something sold in America or across the world, they will issue certain talking points. And what you will then find is that almost simultaneously across the world those points will be pushed in the MSM, often word-for-word.

    Syria is an excellent example of this, as other posters have noted. Much violence in that country right now. Many people there are suffering, and many are dying in the crossfire between the Syrian government and the US-sponsored and equipped opposition. In the eyes of the Western media who are obeying the US call for regime change (and NOT to bring in democracy!) we are witnessing the manufacture of consent by TPTB arrayed against Assad, as they were against Hussein, Gaddafi, and many others on nearly every continent through the years in the US drive for global hegemony.

    Western media is a pure propaganda machine supported by powerful actors, both corporate and governmental. For me it is refreshing to see alternative news sources flourish in this environment. I just hope they can remain so in the years ahead as the governments and industry actors position themselves against them.

  • With thanks to John Gunther, I’ve posted a new guest essay. It’s here.

  • Victor, Yeah that was what I meant to say 🙂

  • OK, so I am a bit verbose…. 😉

  • Many thanks to all of those who have read and/or commented on my essay. As diverse as we all are, I know many of us agree to disagree. I am thankful for all the wonderful feedback I have received. The location may seem odd to some, but if there was a Noah…or an ark….he was met with disbelief and ridicule as well. I am not a subscriber of any religion, but that seemed like a good example.

    It appears that my move is delayed by a couple of months as I finalize the sale of my business and home here in Florida. Just in time to digest a wealth of new information and to make wonderful new contacts.

    To Virgin Terry…..waste management wasn’t meant as disposal…more like treatment and/or re-use, and ‘What a way to go’ is a great documentary. Thank you for your insight.

    To everybody who emailed me or left valuable information……THANK YOU!

    Last….certainly not least…THANK YOU to Guy McPherson for hosting my essay.

  • Robin, Kathy, and Victor,

    Thanks for the feedback on RT. I had pretty much the same feeling about the stories they present and the way they are presented but I wondered if they were manipulating my poor brain in the same way the MSM is attempting to do. I am reassured by your responses that even though there is a Russian slanted agenda they are probably not just a dressed up 1960s style Pravda, at least as far as international news stories a concerned.

    Michael Irving

  • ‘have you noticed how blatantly Western media takes up talking points issued by the US government and its puppet minions around the world?’

    yes i have, victor, for many years now. if one didn’t know any better, one might suspect that governments and corporate msm are puppets controlled by the same masters. they might as well get a marriage license, don’t u think?

  • Excellent film about the history of American foreign policy…..3 parts, about 4 hours total….but very informative

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31417.htm

  • vt

    Watch the film….gives a history of the engagement and marriage… 😉