National Organizations Encourage Sustainability Among Students

by Lauren Bailey

These days, there’s hardly enough talk about the important issues plaguing us and the planet we call home. Climate change, pollution, our outlandish reliance on fossil fuels, all of these are problems we should be addressing on a daily basis, yet all too often they go ignored by policy makers, business owners and the general public as a whole.

With so much discussion about less pressing topics, one can’t help but wonder how the next generation is preparing for the problems they are about to inherit. If our current policy makers and leaders don’t deem them important, why would we then expect our nation’s students to do so?

Thankfully, not all hope is lost. Several student-focused organizations are popping up around the country that promote sustainable habits and spread awareness. Plus these groups are only gaining in popularity, proving that students aren’t completely in the dark when it comes to the environmental issues of today. So, before you lose complete faith in our approach to the planet’s future, check out some of these organizations–it should calm some of your nerves knowing that there are people who choose awareness over ignorance.

Energy Action Coalition

Completely youth-led, Energy Action Coalition aims to build the clean energy and climate movement. A conglomeration of several smaller environmental youth and student organizations, this coalition has been together since 2005, and has organized several campaigns to spread knowledge and inspire effective action.

This year, they allowed people to vote on the biggest Fossil Fool of the year–a campaign they hoped would shed light on the corruption and greed that runs rampant among corporate executives. Known for continually choosing the bottom line over health or safety, the nominees were carefully selected.

In addition to these executives, coal is also a common target for the student coalition. At numerous campuses across America, students organized protests and questioned their schools about the rampant use of coal in their daily operations. Additionally, the group offers summer trainings on various topics, showing that they are fighting back not just with action, but also education.

National Wildlife Federation: Campus Ecology

Working with colleges and universities for over 20 years, National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Ecology program offers campus consulting, educational resources and more for more than 1,000 college campuses. Members of the program work closely with university leaders to ensure their efforts and initiatives are earth-friendly and forward-thinking.

The group also boasts an online Webinar feature, making it easier for campuses across the country to stay informed and abreast of what each other are doing. This helps facilitate the implementation of eco-conscious changes and standards from school to school, which is important as our time is valuable and constantly ticking away.

From wildlife conservation to global warming awareness, this group covers it all.


A non-profit organization recognizing the importance of social, economic, and environmental sustainability, SustainUs seeks to advance youth empowerment and advocacy education through various projects and programs. Founded in 2001, the group is led by a staff that is 100% volunteer. Membership is open to anyone, but to be a voting member, you must be between the ages of 13-26, to stay true to their youth focus.

The group has done much in its short existence, including inspiring the conservation of roughly 20,000 tons of CO2. The group’s members are also very involved in international conferences and events on sustainability, such as Rio+20, which helps spread knowledge of climate concerns across the globe, while creating much-needed conversation on the matter.

Overall, through forums, conferences, programs and projects these organizations are striving to reverse the damage that has already been done to our planet. They aim to spread awareness and educate those that might otherwise be oblivious to what’s going on. There may be hope for our future yet.


Lauren Bailey is an education writer and freelance blogger. In addition to her articles on nutrition and environmental issues, she frequently writes about and attendant courses. Lauren welcomes comments and questions in this space and via email at

Comments 82

  • Thank you Lauren – I will pass this thread on to the people running our school’s “sustainable development institute.”

  • Thanks for your essay, Lauren. I’ve no intention of hijacking the thread, but this headline and linked article is worthy of mention: ‘Not a Mistake’: NASA in Disbelief over Rate of Melting Ice Greenland ice sheet melted at unprecedented rate during July

  • Guy I haven’t read it all but Artic News has an article on the Greenland Ice sheet as well this AM

  • Great essay.
    Here in Australia, esp in NSW many junior schools have adopted the use of an organic garden on the School grounds, and are utilising these fresh ingredients in the Food Tuck shop. It depends on the local people, but around this there are early education programs that show littlens where real food comes from, and how to grow stuff to eat. The climate change and sustainability, and indigenous issues are covered here pretty well. Other states and territories I’m not so sure.
    The groups you cite are older, but it is good to hear of such engagemant.

  • I agree with you Morocco Bama. I have removed myself from all of my university’s committees on “sustainability,” whose purpose for existing, as far as I can tell, is to convince the VP Finance to change lightbulbs to compact fluorescents. I’ve reduced my appointment to 80% time, soon to 50%, to spend more time on the farm expanding the gardens, securing the wood supply, etc.

  • “So, before you lose complete faith in our approach to the planet’s future, check out some of these organizations–it should calm some of your nerves knowing that there are people who choose awareness over ignorance.”

    This doesn’t calm any of my nerves, actually. What it does is make me distressed that college students are pursuing false “solutions” by maintaining the myth of “sustainability.” The activities of these organizations don’t show me that they realize how dire our collective predicament is.

    I don’t know a single college campus that is “sustainable.” This includes the ones that are considered leaders in “eco-conscious living.” There is a lot of talk, some token gestures, but almost no fundamental change. I say this as one who has been affiliated with several different colleges and universities as an undergraduate, graduate student, and employee (including working on various “sustainability” issues).

    What gives me “hope”, if you want to call it that (I find it hard to use the word myself) are some of the young people themselves, rather than the organizations. I have mentored and supervised some of these young people. They are frequently disillusioned, scared, and overwhelmed. They are angry. They are seeking ways to live and influence the world that have integrity and some actual effect. I support them. Sometimes they pursue the “reform from within” approach; I don’t try to convince them not to, but rather put my faith in leading by example (i.e., rejecting reform as a viable strategy).

  • If anyone at all is going to survive the coming catastrophe, it will be New Guinea highlanders, Patagonian aboriginals, Tasmanian aboriginals (oops! They’re extinct!) and a few populations who have the least contact with civilization. But even these people have the genetic makeup to eventually recreate our failed project. I still vote for the extremophiles.

  • BC Nurse Prof

    The much touted,

    “Trugernanner (circa 1812–8 May 1876), often referred to as Truganini, was a woman widely considered to be the last “full blood” Palawa (Tasmanian Aborigine).”

    was said to be the last of her GROUP, not species. Only species go extinct. However, I have heard anecdotal evidence that although Truganini was without European ancestry, there are many who still come from her ‘country’ and are themselves as significant and authentic descendents of Tasmanian indigineous peoples as she.
    Sorry to be a stickler, but these peoples have some survivors. Thanks to good fortune for that.

    I agree, however, with your general point about who may have the best chance in the near future.

  • Very reassuring, for those who do not look through the filters of perspectives such as those of our host, or others such as Jay Hanson of die off org and Richard C. Duncan of the Olduvai Theory.

    our time is valuable and constantly ticking away.

    Our time was valuable and has already ticked away. 

    My question is: Are we really making an impact?

  • WOW … I really am going to pass this on to my school’s “sustainable development institute.”

    It would be good for them to know not everyone is drinking their koolaid.

    Our industrial culture is so busy Grasping at Frauds. From government local and beyond, to finance, to higher ed, to “journalism” … so much time and energy wasted on distractions.

  • More on the Greenland melt from Nat. Geo. :

    “It may be tempting to link the event to global warming, but scientists say such melts might occur every 150 years. If such rapid thaws become common, though, they could add to already rising seas, experts say (Greenland satellite picture).”

  • I stumbled on this a few minutes ago (while doing a search on “string theory” of all things) and thought others here might find it interesting.

    The ghosts that linger; or, ex-Amish out in the world


    The experiences we have, and that those that others have and have shared, give us clues as to what is happening, but I do not think any of us really have an accurate idea what is actually happening, individually or collectively. I get this feeling when I try to step outside myself, and observe myself being an observer.

    I think we observe what are mostly Unintended Consequences that are a part of the process we call our universe. “Life” is one naturally occurring “sub-process” of our universe. Life is a multiplier/catalyst of transient, unintended, and mostly insignificant consequences. But but, as douglas adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy states about life on planet earth – it is mostly harmless ;).

    Still… now that each of us is here (without our prior consent), we do have to experience the universe, or if we “check out,” someone else will still have to experience the universe. So I guess as long as I am here, I will “take it personally” in spite of the fact that I know it all has nothing to do with me.

  • The video on global obesity linked to in a comment in the preceding post propagates some prevalent fallacies. 

    Exercise DOES NOT contribute in any significant was to weight control.

    Caloric restriction is ineffective in the long term due to non-compliance. Even in the short term its effectiveness is reduced because the body is able to switch to conserving calories.

    Dietary refined sugars are only a small part of the picture of dietary carbohydrate. Both are broken down into the monosaccharides glucose, fructose and (from milk) galactose. Complex carbohydrates do not necessarily provide an advantage over refined sugar. A couple of slices of bread has a higher glycemic index than the caloric equivalent in refined sugar such as in candy: the blood sugar rises faster and to a higher peak with the bread. It is to be remembered that while there are essential amino-acids (building blocks of protein) and essential fatty acids, there are NO essential sugars. The needed sugar-derived compounds can be derived from proteins as well.

    A large sugar load, whether from complex carbohydrates or from simple sugars, induces insulin secretion which in turn drives the sugar into cells: in the presence of a caloric surfeit, the SUGAR IS CONVERTED INTO FAT – animal fat, which is saturated fat. Eating polyunsaturated fat does not prevent this.
    The fat derived from sugar/carbohydrate contributes both to obesity and to cardiovascular disease. Dietary polyunsaturated fats do not ameliorate this. 

    Satiety is triggered by proteins and especially by fats more readily than by carbohydrates, allowing the consumption of substantially more carbohydrate calories. Fat stores demand their own sustenance/maintenance and suppress satiety further. 

    Polyunsaturated fats when incorporated into cellular structures are mutagenic (predisposing to cancer) and lead to chronic inflammation. A marker for inflammation is elevated levels of “C-reactive protein”. Such chronic inflammation has been associated with a host of problems, including autoimmune disease and has been implicated in the genesis of cardiovascular disease.

    “Primitive” tribes have nearly no obesity, diabetes or heart disease, even those in the Arctic and sub-Arctic whose diets consist almost exclusively of red meat and animal fat. The common feature of these diets from the tropics to the Arctic is the absence of items that are indigestible when raw, even though they may cook their food. Neither proteinaceous nor fatty foods require cooking to make them digestible. The heat of cooking is required to burst the cellulose cell walls of grains, legumes and starchy tubers (potatoes, etc.) before they are digestible. The exclusion of such substances is the basis of the Paleolithic Diet. Any carbohydrate come in vegetables and fruits – where the associated fiber lowers their glycemic index. 

    Agriculture plus cheap abundant energy (fossil fuels) makes industrial agriculture which in turn makes calories cheap and abundant – and the cheapest of these are carbohydrate (and to a lesser extent, polyunsaturated fats), promoted on a gargantuan scale by the fast food companies.

  • Robin Datta, your information about caloric utilization, specifically carbohydrates, is fantastic, as usual. It’s interesting to note that one only has to go back 40 to 50 years to find that the majority of the population in the industrialized world was at a “normal” weight. I don’t think that most were adhering to the paleolithic diet; rather, they were eating less and burning more of the calories they were taking in.

    In my experience, the human body is remarkably adept at utilizing to full capacity the calories it’s given regardless whether those calories are carbohydrates, proteins, or fats. When we take in more than we’re using, our body stores it as fat (some of the mechanics of which you outlined above).

    The problem of obesity today is twofold: overabundance of cheap food and easy access to cheap energy. Cheap food allows us to overeat, storing the excess as fat, cheap energy allows us to utilize it to do work instead of burning our stored energy (fat). Neither of these will be a problem much longer, however.

  • Regarding the essay above, on one hand I find young people to be less willing to accept what those of us here on this website discuss, while on the other hand are more willing to accept ideas that are contrary to the norm. That’s not true of all of them, of course, but as a rule it seems to be.

    It’s not surprising, really. The very nature of being young tends to make one more optimistic. After all, the entire future lies ahead.

    How do you tell a high school senior who’s excited about his prospects for the future, about to embark on college, that it’s all for naught? Or a young child that learning about how to recycle, while seemingly helpful for the environment is ultimately futile? I know some of those who post here with children of various ages have shared their experiences with this. I don’t envy you.

  • Re: Diet
    To: Robin Datta
    I agree with everything you said and I believe your information to be accurate except for your opening statement that exercise does not contribute to weight control. The last time I studied exercise physiology the metabolic set point of the body could be raised by regular exercise thus allowing the body to more easily burn excess calories from any source therefore preventing them from being deposited as fat. This is presuming a relatively balanced diet.

    However, that being said, I have heard that High Fructose Corn Syrup, creates metabolic mayhem and interferes with the raising of the metabolic set point preventing weight loss no matter how much exercise one enagges in (source: CBC documentary Big Sugar).

    Back in the old days when I was a lad “starches” – potatoes, pasta, rice, etc – were minimized in the old food pyrimad. In those days the food pyramid more closely resembled the “paleo” diet with meat, eggs and dairy forming the foundation. Now our Canadian food pyramid rests on the “high carb low fat” fallacy and grains and pasta are recommended to be the bulk of our intake. It almost seems they want to make us ill and obese and diabetic (which is good for Big Medica and Big Pharmica of course). To echo Dr House, we did a lot more work and walking and activity. I did not have regular access to television until well into the late 1960s. We used to play out side with real friends instead of the imaginery ones on the screens.

    When I was in India (15 months over 3 trips) I lost weight like crazy on the diet of pulses and rice. I looked like I had just stepped out of Auschwitz when I got home from the first trip of 6 months. I was at least 40 pounds under my ideal. I’m not sure how that happened but their vegetarian diet did not work for me. Took me months for me to get healthy again.

  • re: Global Warming leading to new Ice Age
    There is a little supported hypothesis which describes how this could come about. I actually saw it referred to in a Time Magazine article about 15 years ago. No one talks about it now. I can’t remember all the details but it goes something like this.

    As we all know the Artic is warming much faster than the rest of the planet. There has been about 7 degrees C average warming there whilst the rest of the planet is around just over 1 degree C. So what happens is as the dome of air above the arctic warms and expands this pushes the next layer of the stratified atmosphere further away from the Earth where it cools even more. As it is pushed upward and cools to extremely cold temperatures it, of course, becomes more dense. Eventually very heavy, super-cooled downdrafts of air penetrate the top of the dome of hot air above the Artic and plummet to the Earth at very high speeds.

    As we know warm air holds much more water vapour than cold air so the warm dome over the arctic is saturated with water which is evaporating from the now open ocean. When the super-cooled downdrafts plummet through the warm, wet air below … well, this is the cause of weather, after all. The very warm, very wet surface air and very heavy, dry, super-cooled air dropping into it interact to create what quickly develops into what one might call a super-storm at the top of the Northern Hemisphere which includes the condensation and precipitation of massive amounts of moisture in the form of snow. Hypothetically there would be enough moisture falling in frozen form to the ground to build up to hundreds of meters deep snow.

    Once the equilibrium is broken this way the super-cooled air and the consequent storm spills southward freezing everything in it’s path then dumping enourmous piles of snow which then form into glaciers and – Ta-Da! – the new Ice Age.

    At the same time melting Artic ice sheets pouring massive amounts of fresh water into the ocean causes the collapse of the great marine conveyer which takes equatorial heat northward and warms Northern Europe. Combine these two phenomenon and rapid ice-age-creating cooling occurs, Presto-chango, over a very short period of time. Ice core evidence indicates these kind of climate “flips” can take place on a scale of decades.

    Remember, this is a hypothesis which is not, as far as I know, being given serious attention however the thermodynamics of the atmosphere seem to allow this possibility and the evidence of climate “flips” is there. And I did see that article in TIME which described the possibility of these fierce, cold dangerous storms sweeping down through Europe in the context of Global Heating.

    But me? I know nothing. Just sharing what I have read.

  • House

    “How do you tell a high school senior who’s excited about his prospects for the future, about to embark on college, that it’s all for naught? Or a young child that learning about how to recycle, while seemingly helpful for the environment is ultimately futile? I know some of those who post here with children of various ages have shared their experiences with this. I don’t envy you.”

    I’m dealing with those issues now with my 18,16,14 year-olds. I wanted to get them out of this culture several years ago – sort of the reverse of what those Amish kids are doing in that link I posted earlier. My wife disagreed.

    Anyway, I’m not sure what you mean by it is “all for naught”? The recycling bit is a good lesson for them to watch – so they see how we trick ourselves – how our mind’s “want-child” can bias our mind’s “adult”.

    Example: many Universities and colleges compete in “RecycleMania” every year. This exercise teaches them that Consuming Mass Quantities is not only okay – we can “recycle” the containers !!! – but that it is even good – we are “creating jobs” on the “green end” as well as “maintaining jobs” on the icky, filthy … ah, I mean, at the mines and refineries and etc. At our school, some kids “sneak” in recyclables from home and local businesses to add to the totals…

    The oldest one is definitely noticing these neurotic behaviors for himself now. Watching him watch the charades, I can see him go through the range of emotions as the light bulbs go off. He is still swimming in this culture – it’s still a horrible distraction – but he is heading in the right direction in most ways. The younger ones are still mostly spell-bound, although 16 is starting to notice.

    I’m not sure about the “futile” part

    gotta go…

  • The seemingly disconnected pieces of the collapse puzzle are all starting to be able to be seen. Peak Oil, climate change, economic collapse, food, over population, are all interconnected and it is those connections that I believe will cause the collapse to a sudden, sharp, and a stunning end to industrial civilization.

    Snip below, rest at the link

    WASHINGTON — From highways in Texas to nuclear power plants in Illinois, the concrete, steel and sophisticated engineering that undergird the nation’s infrastructure are being taxed to worrisome degrees by heat, drought and vicious storms.

    On a single day this month here, a US Airways regional jet became stuck in asphalt that had softened in 100-degree temperatures, and a subway train derailed after the heat stretched the track so far that it kinked — inserting a sharp angle into a stretch that was supposed to be straight. In East Texas, heat and drought have had a startling effect on the clay-rich soils under highways, which “just shrink like crazy,” leading to “horrendous cracking,” said Tom Scullion, senior research engineer with the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University. In Northeastern and Midwestern states, he said, unusually high heat is causing highway sections to expand beyond their design limits, press against each other and “pop up,” creating jarring and even hazardous speed bumps.

    Excessive warmth and dryness are threatening other parts of the grid as well. In the Chicago area, a twin-unit nuclear plant had to get special permission to keep operating this month because the pond it uses for cooling water rose to 102 degrees; its license to operate allows it to go only to 100. According to the Midwest Independent System Operator, the grid operator for the region, a different power plant had had to shut because the body of water from which it draws its cooling water had dropped so low that the intake pipe became high and dry; another had to cut back generation because cooling water was too warm.

  • To: Kathy C.
    Re: “The seemingly disconnected pieces of the collapse puzzle”

    I have characterized this as a corollory of Murphy’s Law (whatever can go wrong, will go wrong).

    The Corollory is Synergystic Murhpy Mayhem. That is, in a complex, interealated system whatever can go wrong will go wrong SYNERGYSTICALLY as positive feedbacks, interactions and relationships all fail more or less simultaneously in exponential non-linear fashion, of course, at the most inopportune time.

    A small example of this is in earthquakes not only is there the basic destruction but the destruction of highways, ports, airfields and army bases prevents delivery of the aid by the people who are equiped and trained to provide the aid.

    Or the overheated cooling pond is another small example: when it is so hot and people want air conditioning, it is too hot to cool the plant which provides the electricity for the AirCon. This has happened in France in the past. (I think this is also a form of irony – the facility you need to protect you from condition X, i.e. air-con for the heat is, itself, incapacitated by the very condition it to aid in ameliorating i.e. the heat)

    SO then think the heat effects on transport systems as described plus some major super-cell thunderstorms (forecast: daytime heating leading to afternoon thunderstorms … of continental size), leading to a major grid failure which precipitates a nuclear plant failure and due to rail and highway distortions emergency services cannot get through to the survivors of the storms and tornados and we will likely soon hear about pipelines failing due to heat so no fuel for the nuclear plant back-up generators, reduced food deliveries, no refridgeration or communications, then civil disobedience, cut-back in civic services (i.e. garbage collection, desertion by police forces) then a plague of rats, cats and typhus, cannabalism, Asian gang lead urban government, the return of Christ and the rise of Xrkzsx the Sleeping Chlthncknt, plus, and etc, and I present Murphy Mayhem.

    I think you see what I mean. Fun times!

  • Madmanintheattic: Don’t forget dogs and cats living together!! :-)

  • Robin Datta

    Others have disputed the ‘Exercise DOES NOT contribute in any significant was to weight control’ comment.
    I doubt this could be universally true.
    Exercise beyond the daily round of chores and work will use up extra callories, and if you put that with the metabolic reset info from Madmanintheattic it is pretty hard to argue your point convincingly. Why are people getting much fatter then in your view?
    The combination of frequent high fat, high sugar snacking and vastly reduced daily activity-for-life practices is pretty obviously a big factor in this ‘big’ problem. It may not be the whole picture.

    Research into grasshopper and locust swarming has pointed to several trigger mechanisms for these insects to switch from ordinary feeding to rapaceous feeding. It is down to the number if individuals it has contact with in the near environment:

    “Professor Stephen J. Simpson- ‘Now if you take those animals and you restrict them to a diet which contains a higher than that intake target level of carbohydrate relative to protein, then what the locust does is it keeps eating until it gets the same amount of protein, its target level, but in so doing has grossly over consumed carbohydrate. It leads to the animal becoming obese – sounds peculiar but the locust is actually obese, it’s fat on the inside’

    …and the protein/carbohydrate balance in their diet:

    “Research at Oxford University has identified that swarming behaviour is a response to overcrowding. Increased tactile stimulation of the hind legs causes an increase in levels of serotonin.[4] This causes the locust to change colour, eat much more, and breed much more easily. The transformation of the locust to the swarming variety is induced by several contacts per minute over a four-hour period.[5]”

    The info about high callory corn syrup and its ability to interfere with the resetting of the metabolism is interesting and not surprising; yet another bogey to deal with when education one’s children, and oneself.
    Exercise beyond the needs of a day is usefull for many reasons, but I think it is a bit too cynical to say that it is a myth, because it has so many benifits that its not a credible concept to me.

  • Navid

    I like your approach to your children. I face similar ages and challenges. My 12 yo male is fed up with the ‘life will be very different some time soon’ scenario I remind him of frequently. It is not the same thing a bleating Belief in Progress, BIP, and life will be easy going, that the machine delivers into your lounge room, daily, if you let it.
    I look at it this way – I could die any second, and at least I have given him and his older sisters some mental scaffolding for dealing with a potentially very different future than they might expect. My 12 y/o is a very enthusiastic and optimistic guy and I like that, and I work on ways to not be a downer with some simple prepping, and some contingency plans for the SHTF. I am confident these kids will adapt, but into what I can’t say.

    A recent Oil refinery closure, and loss of jobs here has ushered in the new era of national conversation I’ve been expecting to come soon. We now are beginning the public ‘discussion’ about ‘energy security’ for ‘Australia’s energy future’.

    Here it begins.–shorten-20120726-22v66.htmlSome excerpts:

    “Mr Shorten told the Herald the decision heightened fears that Australia could start experiencing energy security problems in a decade or so.
    ‘We’re an island nation and if it ever becomes a situation where the security of our sea lanes were threatened, decisions like this will come home to haunt us,’ he said, echoing the views of his former union, the Australian Workers Union, which represents refinery workers.
    It issued a research paper in March warning that Australia’s dwindling refining capacity – driven by the high dollar and the emergence of huge refineries in Asia – was increasing the nation’s reliance on imported fuel. In 2003 Australia had eight refineries. When Kurnell closes, it will have five.”

    Very soon this will morph into the issue of the vastly increased US troop deployment to Darwin already underway, and its primary new role in ‘the need to protect Australia’s vital energy pathways’.

    Some kind of police state is coming, and it will be a human nightmare.
    I may have to do a Dursa Usala and go bush, although minus the firearm.

    Yes, how to act in a time of trepidation and change?
    Off topic…

    I recently learned from a cabbie,(the font of all knowlegdge) that in my region of the Blue Mountains all, repeat all, the High Schools were sited and built on older industrial waste dump sites. That was because these sites had no viable commercial use in the near term future. Leaking Benzine, and other little nasties in a long term slow emmission scenario – it’s pretty smart to locate your communities youth in high concentrations, wouldn’t you say? Love the logic of Empire when it gets really utilatarian. Shades of the movie ‘Poltergeist’.

    Are you near those ‘Earthship’ people there ‘Somewhere in the Arazona desert?’
    And why is the land so ‘undeveloped’ and cheap there? Is it a past waste dump, or nuclear test site or something like that?

  • OzMan, I don’t know where the ‘Earthship’ people are located, so I assume I’m not near them. And I don’t know anything about that land and its history.

  • Madmanintheattic

    Hey slow down,
    you need some of that Air Con you were ironising about… or get a wet towel and wrap it around the back of your neck, low tech Aussie solution, relies on the Coolgardie effect.

    (One would expect someone to try and flog it as a product too I suppose.)

    I’ve come up with a new term too:


    No need for a def, easy to read it.

  • Mr. Oz Man;

    I have been in 54 degrees Celsius and very low humidity during one of the first deadly heatwaves of modern global warming in India (about 20 years ago). Entire villages were dieing. We travellers would soak sheets in water, wrap them around ourselves and stand under the ceiling fan in order to cool. This is a fun way to spend the day, standing dripping damp in your room because it is too dangerous to go out. I was drinking 16 to 20 litres of water per day and not really sweating or urinating.

    At 35 degrees Celsius with 100 percent humidity, unless you HAVE air-con or are immersed in a cold bath you DIE. A wet towel around your neck will not help.

    At that temp and humidity the human body cannot cool itself by normal evapotranspiration and death is imminent, painful and not all that quick. Best thing to do at that point is to roll over onto your back and tilt your head back to expose your neck to the sun. This way the blood in your neck arteries congeals fairly rapidly and death is much more quick and painless.

    Humidex readings of over 40 are now common in Quebec and Ontario in the summer months. Over 45 is considered dangerous. Due to global warming it no longer cools down over night as it used to. This when people start to die by the thousands because there is no cool-off recovery period over night. Remember, over 35000 died in Europe in ’03 (I think it was) and many thousands in Russia when they had their heat wave two or three years ago. Mammals are NOT evolved to deal with effectively excess heat considering mammals evolved relatively recently during a period of slow global cooling and drying. Animals who cool by panting will cook from the inside out as they inhale so much super-heated air.

    It is not a pretty picture we are facing and I find it hard to make light of it.

    DOGS AND CATS LIVING TOGETHER!?!? Oh, the humanity!!!

  • As is known, today’s wheat is a dwarf high yielding variety bred several decades back for the “Green Revolution”. It is quite a different wheat from that of a couple of generations (of humans) ago. Its gliadins are appetite promoters (block leptin receptors?). Eliminating wheat from the diet leads to an average of about 24 lbs. weight loss in 6 months. Wheat germ glycoproteins (lectins) promote leaky gut with resulting absorption of many molecules that contribute to an inflammatory states. Amylopectin A in wheat has a higher glycemic index than refined sugar. 

    Ancient wheat (einkorn) has 14 chromosomes; emmer wheat, a later breed, has 28 chromosomes; spelt (the ancestor to modern wheat) has 42 chromosomes. The adverse effects are progressive; as noted in the podcast, switching from modern to ancient wheat is like switching from unfiltered cigarettes to filtered. 

    When all are available in unlimited quantities, carbohydrates tend to be overconsumed, along with proteins and fats, unlike the situation when carbohydrates are limited (with unlimited proteins and fats). 

    Gnostic Media podcast
    Dr. William Davis interview – “Meat Wheat is Murder” – #131

  • Madmanintheattic

    I did not mean for those many thousands of dehydrating paople to try the necktie trick, just you, to cool down.

    If you have to get that serious then have a good life being so serious. Attempts at a bit of light relief are fraught with what my high school English teacher, the tough talking, high nicotine smokin, rough as yer britches, Mrs Alison, used to advise about using humour to answer an essay question in an exam. “Don’t do it, because it is difficult to predict what kind of sense of humour the marker has, or has not.”
    Lets be clear again, I was making a joke with you, not anyone who has died.
    Synergystic Murhpy Mayhem sounds good to me, but it was the:

    “… the return of Christ and the rise of Xrkzsx the Sleeping Chlthncknt, plus, and etc…”

    bit that lead me to try an have a light joke. It’s the timing is everything, I know, with humour.

    Not looking forward to the wet sheets and standing under a fan with no on grid sparks to power it for 8 hrs at a trot. Good to be forwarned, though.

  • And….
    John Roach
    for National Geographic News
    Published July 26, 2012

    Summer storms may create new holes in our protective ozone layer as Earth heats up—bringing increased solar ultraviolet radiation to densely populated areas, a new study says.

    What’s more, if more sunlight reaches Earth, skin cancer could become the new marquee risk of global warming.

    As the planet warms, some studies have suggested summer storms may become more frequent and intense. This would send more water vapor—a potent greenhouse gas—into the stratosphere, the middle layer of Earth’s atmosphere, which sits between 9 and 22 miles (14 and 35 kilometers) above Earth’s surface.

    In a recent series of research flights over the United States, Harvard University atmospheric chemist James Anderson and colleagues found that summer storms often loft water vapor into the stratosphere.

    “It was an unequivocal observation,” he said. “We had a number of flights, and this was an abiding feature” of the storms.

    Under the right conditions, this water vapor could trigger chemical reactions that deplete the ozone layer, which prevents harmful ultraviolet rays from reaching Earth’s surface, the study says.

    Even small reductions in the ozone layer can make people more susceptible to skin cancer and eye damage, experts say.

    The finding concerned Anderson, whose research in the 1980s and ’90s played a pivotal role in establishing the Montreal Protocol. The international treaty phased out the production of ozone-depleting chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were found in a variety of products, including hairsprays and refrigerators.

    CFCs produce a form of chlorine that degrades ozone particles in the stratosphere, most signifcantly over the Arctic and Antarctic.

    Subsequent studies in the Arctic and in the laboratory revealed that both temperature and water vapor concentrations are crucial in a chemical reaction that makes chlorine attack ozone.

    Now, the new observations over the United States suggest summer storms create the same combination of temperature and water vapor conditions at mid-latitudes. (Interactive Map: Global Warming Effects.)

    “We essentially have the chemistry that’s present in the Arctic that is clearly very potent for destroying ozone,” Anderson said.

    The findings, published today in the journal Science, calculate ozone loss at a rate between 4 and 6 percent per day in water vapor-rich areas of the stratosphere. The effect could persist for several weeks after a storm, he added.

    What worries Anderson most is where and when this phenomenon appears to occur.

    “It is not ozone loss in Antarctica and the Arctic under winter conditions. It is an attack on the ozone layer in the summer over populated regions of the Northern Hemisphere,” he said.

    (See “Rocket Launches Damage Ozone Layer, Study Says.”)

    Ozone Loss Not Yet Confirmed

    Simone Tilmes, an atmospheric chemist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, views the new findings with caution.

    Research does indicate that more water vapor in the stratosphere will lead to greater ozone loss under the right conditions, said Tilmes, who was not involved with the current research.

    But the study found no direct evidence of a simultaneous observation of water vapor and the presence of destructive chlorine, she said.

    “This raises attention,” she said, emphasizing that more research is needed to determine if such ozone depletion will occur.

    Study leader Anderson and colleagues acknowledged that they haven’t yet measured the ozone-destroying chlorine in the North American stratosphere.

    However, he noted that, though chlorofluorocarbons are no longer released into the atmosphere, the compounds already there can persist for decades.

    (Related: “Old Fridges, Cars Slow Ozone Hole Recovery, Scientists Say.”)

    Cancer Risk May Spur People to Action

    If there’s a silver lining to the research, it’s that the results could have a tangible impact on people’s behavior, Anderson said.

    Unlike with the “out of sight, out of mind” nature of melting glaciers and carbon dioxide and methane emissions, he said, “most people know that skin cancer is highly prevalent and increasing its frequency.”

    If the new findings are confirmed, people may see a direct link between climate change and their health.

    That, he said, “might spur them to “step up and take responsibility for what is actually occurring.”

  • Yesterday my well started putting out small debris from when it was drilled. This means I am pumping near bottom. So now I begin to select what plants to let die and hope I can at least keep my perennials going.

  • Why Mr OzMan? I was going to use the handle ‘Mr Nobody’, after the Lost in Space episode of the same name titled,’My Friend, Mr. Nobody’, where Penny was caught with anvisible alien in a cave and it turned out to be something not freightening but free and emergent and happy.

    But Mr OzMan will do I guess.

    We had a big problem here with the rail network in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s with lightening strikes to the small swithching stations that were overheating due to higher temps. It took the rail people far too long to suss it out. Now they simply put a small 2m x 2m gal roof over them. This stops so much solar radiation hitting the substation, and also catches any lightening strikes too. So higher temps does and will effect a lot of systems as pointed out.

    With the wheat thing, another angle I heard of last year.
    Apparently protein yields are threatened in all crops, including wheat, barley, rice, soy, corn and others from higher C02 levels. The proteins we consume in these crops are specific molecules that are the C02 receptors that catch the atmospheric C02. Modern crop varieties have been selected for a very high concentration of these molecular catching protein sites. However, contrary to what you may think, as atmospheric C02 increases, the plants adapt by reducing the receptor sites per grain yield, thus rendering the protein yield per quantity of grain/crop much less over time.
    I think the big agribusiness miltifascnals have known this from tests long ago, that as the C02 rises they cannot guarentee their varieties will keep the same protein yield, so they lease seeds year after year. For that to be so they must grow it in some low C02 environment, but I find that a bit hard to conceive of happening.
    We had some cheep no name flour earlier this year that just would not make into pancakes, and my suspicion is that this is some of the dodgy stuff ending up on the market.
    I mean when did you ever hear of ordinary wheat flour not making a pancake properly? I ask you, what is the world coming to? (Ah…don’t answer that).

  • That should have read:
    “…Lost in space episode, My friend Mr Nobody, about a disembodied spirit that befriends Penny.’

    Forgot to test the flour for radiation though, you never know with Fukushima et al.

  • I live about 50 miles west of the Mississippi river but haven’t been over to take a look at it recently. The quote about variable river levels is accurate just not complete. It’s a question of extremes – that’s what wasn’t included. That river is the largest in North America with a watershed of more than 1.2 million square miles – when it’s low enough that barges are having to lighten their loads, you know a bad drought is underway.

    The Black river is located about 30 miles NW of us. It is the primary water source for the town of Pocahontas (pop. ~ 7,000). Recently, the Black dropped so low that the pipes they use to siphon water out of the river were no longer in the water. I’m not sure what they’re doing now.

    BTW, got about a half inch of rain yesterday evening! A welcome relief. Now we’re only down about 13 inches for the year. :-)

  • Morroco “Our current System, like modern aircraft, has multiple, redundant mechanisms in place to ensure destruction, so if one calamity doesn’t get you, there is a panoply of others that will.”

    Can’t improve on that, you captured the situation well. I tend to think of the lack of redundancy in the system as it is meant to function because “efficiency” means more profits temporarily. Nice turn around.

    Here is one efficiency on grid repair at a time when climate change will make the grid fail ever more often.

    “Nearly half of the utility workforce plans to retire in the next 5 to 10 years, and too few apprentices are in the pipeline to replace the veteran linemen. With 48 as the average age of a utility worker, the utility industry could be the first of the construction trades to feel the crunch, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the last two years, I have talked to many linemen, and all of them have ranked the skilled labor shortage as the top challenge facing the utility industry. As many of them prepare to hang up their climbing hooks, they have expressed concern about who will fill their work boots.”

    Read more:

  • Kathy C

    We have a similar ‘problem’, just out of the blue on our doorstep of few trained Apprentices and junior tradesmen. What a surprise just when we realise we need some of these types there are som very big energy projects in remote locations to be built and serviced. Oil, Gas and Rail inferstructure.
    Now let’s see?… who can we get to do such jobs, and so unforseen too. Ah yes, lets create group 486 visas for foreign workers to fly in/ fly out. They wont have any permanent residency status, no ties to a community here, and no sick leave, no redundency pay rights, no holiday leave pay or time off. Oh and we can pay them less than half what we would have had to pay locally trained employees.
    This also makes me want to dry wretch. And hearing your last entry makes me realise it is the same arsehole multifascnals who pressured unions and polies back in the early 1990’s not ot bother training apprentices any more. I have tried to explain to people that even though I am in no way a racist, I do not see why Australian young people are on welfare now when it is outside labour that will get the ,not even real jobs. It is only because the big aresholes in the energy and mining sector got their plans okayed 15-20 years ago that we have a real problem. I also explain it will act on real wages too. If these outside workers get less than half of say, 80-100k, for trades work, then those 20-50year old workers will get downward pressure on their wages and entitlements.
    The Machine chews and spews.

    Morocco Bama

    Thanks for the geography lesson – I was a bit confused. Will do a bit of visual recon, and look at your link. I have a comment that you may be willing to get back to me with your thoughts. It is more of a statement paraphrased from things that Joseph Campbell speaks abput. I can’t take complete credit for the idea,but I think I have euphemised it from several sourses and some of my own experiences. So anyone who wishes to get into it by all means.
    OK, here goes.

    “No matter where or at what time in human history you happen to be born, it is never into a situation where there is a political or social vaccuum. There is always an existing power structure(a Machine) consisting of competing forces for power and advantage. This can be very local like a family, a close community, or a culture or bloc of cultures. There will never be any guarentee that you will attain any human freedom in your journey through life. The trick is, as far as possible, and to the degree you desire it, to move between the cogs and blades of the machine, so you grow and progress and become your true self, without getting chewed up and mutilated,(FUBARed)and lose you sense of personal soverignty.”

    Now, I concede that this is put in a highly Western Individualistic framework of language. I can only say that I have always seen the scope of power to be that, over oneself, and that is why I frame it so here. Regarding educating children I try to use that view, without paranoia and anxiety, to guide that education of my own youngens.
    I think it all rests on one’s ability to continually identify the machine. To me this site and a few others have helped me understand how intergrated modern life is with empire and the said machine.

  • Fro a 2007 file, on wht ‘they’ know about you:

    And here: a more recent update on the spying on ya theme, goodby 4th ammendment… that’s for you guys in the USA.

    Seems that damn Pateiot Act has you guys by the balls…

  • Morroco, glad to know someone else has read and heard of Parenti’s exposure of the Tibetan Buddhists!

  • The US Drought Monitor reported a nearly threefold increase in areas of extreme drought over the past week in the nine Midwestern states where three quarters of the country’s corn and soybean crops are produced. “That expansion of D3 or extreme conditions intensified quite rapidly and we went from 11.9 percent to 28.9 percent in just one week,” Brian Fuchs, a climatologist and Drought Monitor author, told AFP. “For myself, studying drought, that’s rapid. We’ve seen a lot of things developing with this drought that were unprecedented, especially the speed.”

    Read more at:

  • We’re done.

    Now we find out just what it will be like living in a panic.

  • If a denier hits you with the Medieval Warm Period argument here is the counter argument by potholer54 (Peter Hadfield)
    Medieval Warm Period — fact vs. fiction

    Peter Hadfield is a Australian British YouTube rationalist and ex-Radio 4 superhero with 57,000 subscribers and rising. He has been a journalist for over 20 years, 14 years as a science correspondent, and holds a geology degree. Potholer54 is a firm defender of science and a staunch critic of pseudoscience, creationism, and global warming denialism.

  • Morocco Bama:

    With the M.E. not getting the imports, it can happen any time now. I bet Egypt will be first.

    A poor crop next year, and we will have food shortages. After that, full collapse.

    Also, watch for Colorado refuges.

    It’s great to read about students taking up the cause of sustainability. But I ask why aren’t WE insisting that sustainability be a core feature of public education, and not just dabbling on the sides? One answer I’ve had to this question is reflected above, doubting the capacity of institutions to take up great causes. I would argue that if our public school systems granted status to “sustainability” as something every student should learn – despite the fact that we know it necessarily goes counter to a consumerist, fossil-fuel fueled, growth-obsessed economy – its presence in educational systems would lend credence to its importance. Much as we expect all students to learn to read and write, but not all of them to be brilliant authors, we should expect all students to LEARN what sustainability is, entails, offers as opportunities, benefits, etc. Sustainability is both knowledge and skill. It needs to be taught. As a society, we take sustainability on piecemeal, in projects, in “tweaking” laws and policies, when, as we would do if we thought all women should be entitled to vote, or all children should be educated, or all races should be treated equally, we should legislate a universal approach to what we have come to consider human rights.
    Should sustainability be a human right?

    What would make learning to be sustainable a human right?

    We’re very, very late in the game, as Guy succinctly puts it. But we need to go down fighting, if that’s where we’re headed, and we’re doing a very bad job at acquiring the skills we need to even do that.

    I spent ten years as part of a citizens’ group in Ontario working to grant status to “environmental education.” When our provincial government finally gave in and enacted some policy, they did so very carefully. Environmental education (“EE”) in public schools very carefully limits itself to harmless (to the economy) personal virtue, small acts of “greening” (bring your own cup, turn out lights, plant a tree, recycle, ride a bike, respect nature) and ignores the consumerist economy in which we live, which is devastating the planet. When curriculum looks at climate change it avoids discussion of the biggest producers of CO2, and considers individual acts and renewable energy as things to study. Avoiding the elephant in the living room: our throwaway societal model of job-credit-consumption-debt-waste-unsustainability.

    But we could all INSIST that school become THE place to think about what a sustainable future means. It’s the one experience we all have – by law – in common. Twelve years of sitting in a classroom, taking in an assortment of “basics” which society thinks useful for its economy and an orderly future.

    I think we need to think bigger and stop wringing our hands. Do something on the scale of the problem. I agree that the feedbacks (does school teach about feedbacks?) are coming to get us, but we need to BE feedback to our social systems and react to what’s happening.

    Universal sustainability education. Think big. Whether there’s time or not. There won’t be if we don’t get better at changing direction.

  • Curtis A. Heretic: A poor crop next year, and we will have food shortages. After that, full collapse.

    I think you’re probably right about this. Although, the crops looks pretty bad for THIS year – just not such that it will affect U.S. bellies.

    With the U.S. grain crops looking to be greatly reduced this year and Russia reducing their outlook as well, countries which import most of their food, like Egypt, are going to be in serious trouble – possibly India and China as well. Makes me wonder if Saudi Arabia will start selling oil for food instead of dollars.

    With all of our “wealth” here in the U.S. and the fact that we produce a lot of food for export, not to mention our military force, I don’t see us having any serious food shortages for a while. But, with the right series of events it could happen sooner than most could even imagine.

  • Morocco Bama
    Further to your comment about your DOD interference I have just experienced a problem with my router and internet connection. Any link to the crosshairs your encountered? It’s possible that talkin or writing stuff like this is a threat?

  • Morocco Bama: We may not have shortages in the U.S. this year, or next, but what we will have is significant inflation, and for those living on, or close to, the margins, it will be effectively the same as shortages.

    You’re right, of course. What will be interesting (in a slow motion car wreck sort of way) will be the struggle that ensues as we have food inflation just at the time that republicans are looking to cut social services. More people are now on food stamps than ever before. With those having less buying power due to higher prices, and the politicians cutting how much the poor get to begin with, it will be a powder keg ready to blow.

    One of the great lessons which politicians forget to their peril is the calming effect of social services. Cut those, and look out!

  • Elise Houghton: I sincerely wish you luck in attempting to reform the giant bureaucracy that is public education.

    You wrote: “But we could all INSIST that school become THE place to think about what a sustainable future means. It’s the one experience we all have – by law – in common. Twelve years of sitting in a classroom, taking in an assortment of “basics” which society thinks useful for its economy and an orderly future. ”

    I must point out that not everyone goes to school. My child, for example, is homeschooled. It’s estimated that over 2 million children are homeschooled each year in the United States. I don’t think this detracts from your argument that children who do go to school should be learning valuable information and skills; I support you in your zeal to change things. However, I think it’s important to recognize that there are many in the “sustainability” world who have rejected public education in part because whatever “sustainability” is included in the curriculum is grossly insufficient.

    I put “sustainability” in quotes because I find the word to be problematic. I think it’s enormously difficult to have people agree on a definition of “sustainability.” What’s your definition? And what are we trying to sustain?

    As for me, I feel that the institutional structure of public education, built on hierarchy, competition, and social control (despite the existence of many well-meaning and hard-working teachers and administrators who care deeply), is fundamentally incompatible with the goal of stopping the murder of the biosphere. I don’t think children should have “twelve years of sitting in a classroom.” They should mostly be outside, immersed and in love with the natural world. That love, to my mind, is what will produce humans who are willing to fight for other species, for a viable climate, for decent human societies.

    The task of reform is a long slog. I don’t believe we have that kind of time left.

  • I should add that homeschooling is legal in all 50 of the United States and in most other countries (with some notable exceptions, like Germany).

  • Morocco Bama
    your previous post:
    July 28th, 2012 at 6:51 am

    makes me ask you do you kow the old childrens story of ‘Brere Rabbit and the Tar Baby’?

    Still having problems with my modem.

  • Curtis A. Heretic

    A salient quote from your recent countercurrents link:

    ‘Meteorologists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center have warned that the high heat and dry spell could extend through October. Through June, the year has been the hottest ever recorded for the US. Globally, land temperatures likewise broke all previous records last month. The extreme weather corresponds to projections issued by climatologists over the past three decades, indicating the worsening impact of global warming.’

    Put that with the debunking climate change sceptics link from Kathy C
    and … Criky! We are done, well done.

    Going Dursa Uzala is looking pretty inviting…

    Minus the firearm, as I said before.

  • “Sustainability” is a substantial load of male bovine faecal material. Our host wisely prefers the term “durable”.

    The bill from the Pied Piper of Fossil Fuels is coming due: its size is beyond the comprehension of all but a very few – the few include the choir/sandbox at NBL. One rat and one child escaped the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Would the one in this case be the extremophes?

  • Morocco Bama
    You didn’t say if you know the Tar Baby Story or not. Never mind.
    I have been fortunate to discover many things and know many people, but I had to go out and look for a lot of that. I came across this fellow just today who is having a bloody good go at the change the world thing. His name is Mark Boyle. I viewed several utube 10 minuters and came to thie one I’ve linked below.

    This guy has nailed it!

    In the same way ‘we’ have criticisms of Empire, Mark Boyle has explained very siccinctly the modus operandi of the limited ego impulse. He began an experiment to live one year without money. He doesn’t have family to look after, but he has a great experience of living to change the world.
    I would be interested to know others opinion.
    In a ver diluted form I have been switching to some of the same processes, like utlising found objects and materials, and now i am helping a local gardener with chores for a few hours a week. I think if one responds to the clear inner impulses, one is led to a better existance.
    I now know where Arazona and New Mexico are in relation to each other. Cool

  • Are they just being misleading deliberately or are they really that clueless?

    ASPEN, CO (AP) – Poverty across the planet will be virtually eliminated by 2030, with a rising middle class of some two billion people pushing for more rights and demanding more resources, the chief of the top U.S. intelligence analysis shop said Saturday.

    If current trends continue, the 1 billion people who live on less than a dollar a day now will drop to half that number in roughly two decades, Christoper Kojm said.

    “We see the rise of the global middle class going from one to two billion,” Kojm said, in a preview of the National Intelligence Council’s global forecast offered at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.

    “Even if some of the most dire predictions of economic upheaval” in the coming years prove accurate, the intelligence council still sees “several hundred million people…entering the middle class,” Kojm said.

    The National Intelligence Council analyzes critical national security issues drawing from all U.S. intelligence agencies. The unclassified global forecast, which is due out by the end of the year, tries to “describe drivers of future behavior” to help government agencies from the White House to the State Department plan future policy and programs, Kojm said.

    The rising middle class will have little tolerance of authoritarian regimes, combined with the economic resources and education needed to challenge them.

    “Governance will be increasingly difficult in countries with rising incomes,” he said, adding “middle-class people have middle-class values and aspirations” for greater individual empowerment and are now armed with social media and other technological tools to bring that about, including the overthrow of repressive governments.

    Education levels are also rising, with graduation rates for women set to exceed that of men if current trends continue.

    On the negative side, Kojm predicted food demand will rise by 50% in the next 18 years, though global population will only rise from 7.1 to 8.3 billion. Middle-class people want middle-class diets, which are heavy in meat, requiring more water and grain to produce, he said.

    Adding to that, “nearly 50% of humanity will live in water-stressed regions by 2030,” he said.

    But Kojm also predicted that new technological developments could help close the gap between food and water shortages and need.

    More people will migrate to cities, he said. Some 50% of the world lives in urban areas now, rising to 60% by 2030.

    The growth of the Asian economies, such as China, is expected to continue, but Kojm said the rising median age of China’s workers means it may be overtaken by countries with cheaper labor like India, Vietnam and Indonesia.

  • Morocco Bama
    You make a some good points, always about the Machine, or your word for it, the System.
    How you just described the System is how I see the Ego operating, in individuals and in a collective sense. And one can’t perfect the Ego, only transcend it.
    “Some problems cannot be solved, only outgrown” C.G.Jung.
    I think that is our greatest problem. With my loose model of our present ‘adolescence’, we are only able to grow beyond this System or Machine, by turning the corner that Mark Boyle so eloquently elucidates in the linked TED lecture. Turning from looking through a lense of ‘What can I get?’, to looking through a lense of ‘What can I give?”.

  • Morocco Bama
    Sorry to disappoint. I was having a dig at you.
    The story of the DoD guy got me thinking you are easy bait for a fight, and those you don’t want to pick a fight with are those DoD guys, if you get my meaning.

    The Tar Baby is an exaample of seeing provocation when there is none. No offence. I just had mental images of you verbally walloping the DoD guy. My previouse ideas about avoiding the gears and blades of the machine also make me advise ot do something like the old saying, ‘don’t poke a hornet’s nest’ kind of wizdom …
    …unsolicited advice mind you I conceede…

  • The REAL Dr. House
    I think strategic Belief In Progress,BIP, kind of clueless.

    A lot of those projected Middle Class will have Diabeties, Heart Disease, Chronic Obesity and be reliant on endless Medical assistance and Medication. As the link I put up on rising obesity points out, those in the developing world that are getting obese are in their primary ‘productive’ years, and will not be able to participate fully in that ‘Peter Pan imaginary coming to be’ middle class.
    Clearly, from just your quotes, the report is a veiled threat to China. No?

  • Morocco Bama
    You quote:

    “Mark Boyle” from homeless/moneyless to highly paid and trained motivational speaker. Smell that? Stinks like propaganda.

    But is that really the truth? I sense you think there is no one really making honest changes? I’m not talking up TED talks either, they are made for the middle class, but so what? So is the education you and I probably had, but we are using it for our own,…let us say.. anti Empire purposes. It is a tool, like anything you are given by your culture. You don’t have to use it like the System may have intended you to.
    As I said I watched other u-tube snippets of Mark Boyle being interviewed by a few different local reporters. He has come to something and if you watch the TED I linked he explains the limitations of the TED fromat pretty convincingly.

    Look, Morocco Bama, let me ask you, are you deeply cynical or not? Do you believe in selfless giving, no matter how many examples of the System we relay to each other? You may answer it doesn’t matter either way , it will not save the trees. I would agree, but for one thing, how you ‘be’ does affect the world, if in no other way that it can change the course of others lives. No?

  • Morocco Bama
    I’m not sure I am savy enough with that geopolitical situation to come up with a hypothetical on Lybia. But I agree Lybia is a bit of a white elephant. If I had to guess, from reading ‘The Grand Chessboard’, it would have somthing to do with containing the new Russia and allowing some form of energy or military movement through without hindrence. Just a guess. Give us your hypo?
    I agree famine may be a tool for TPTB, but famine may just be a consequence also of too many mouths in a dry zone, and not enough global community to have available food shared.
    I don’t doubt that the DoD has plans for me, or my SIM self, but by rights I should be dead, or way in debt by now, so I’m on borrowed time and its a much clearer vision this side of that divergent life path for me now.

    I just don’t feel/agree there is nothing we can do to improve things. By ‘improve’ I don’t mean the Empire term . Knowing how the System operates is a good beginning, but I personally do not blame anyone caught in the machine, even someone pulling some of the levers of the bit of the Machine they think serves them. I simply dont. But then I will conceede I haven’t seen my entire village napalmed either, nor my family taken away and never seen again. So the Machine I admit is a killer, no question about it.
    After getting to know more of the way the System works, we have some choices, and they are not simple, and they are very simple at the same time. But like you wrote, ‘Keep sustaining what?’, and I’m with you 100% on that. That’s great thinking.
    When I was 16 it was 1969, and I took the then ‘world energy crisis’ and other ecological messages seriously. So I resolved never to own or drive an automobile, full stop. And I haven’t so far. I’ve used public transport and hitched and ridden a bike and now do a lot of walking. That’s a choice, and if I hear Guy correctly has made absolutely no differecne to the state of the planet. Well I think Guy has a point, and it is not an easy one to counter. However, all that time of my not car owning, well I was happy being that way.I would only say that perhaps the reality is is that people will never voluntarily, en masse, give up the use of a 600 personal slave chariot but unless they do, no one will. Wierd catch 22 logic, I agree, but it’s the only one that works for me.
    I still think that my decision was correct, and if millions did it , that would make a difference. I was unaware of the implications of economic growth as a factor in capatilism at 16, so I was somewhat nieve there.

  • Morocco Bama
    I see a difference between Cynic and Powerless.
    I see a difference between Cynic and Unheard.
    I see a difference between Cynic and Uvalued.
    I see a difference between Cynic and Isignificant.
    I see a difference between Cynic and A Outsider Loking In.
    To me a Cynic has not known the transformative power of freely giving. cynic has always had to bargain to be loved, liked , heard, and even acknowlegdged, and so sees the human world as at base an endless round of haggling, compropmise and bartering, always reducing true sacrifice and giving as subdefuge and hidden self interest.
    The cure for the cynic is to actually do the giving, and open up to the greater love in the world.
    Call me an idealist, a dreamer, or a dumbass, I know thib from my experience of how the trail opens when you place one foot in front of the other.

  • An update on Fukushima, from Helen Caldicott and Arnie Gundersen,

    from yesterday 28 July.

  • I have dialed it back of late. Since spring, I have been even more of the opinion that we are past the time for talk, planning and even action.
    When Mike Sidel of The Weather Channel stood on North Ave. beach when it was near 90 in late March, I told a friend that we could expect extreme heat and drought all summer. That was the sign we were definitely over the cliff.
    If I could call it, then ever climatologist and meteorologist could also. At this point it doesn’t matter if anyone warns what is to come. It is already here. Now I will watch and listen. When someone who has until now been walking around with their head up their ass, tells me that something is wrong and that someone should do something, I will play the skeptic and denier.
    We have been asking for it for a long time. This country has been bending over and taking it since Reagan. It is now time for a richly deserved pay off.

  • Morocco Bama, I agree that the “study” mentioned in the article I quoted above is nothing more than a puff piece. I refuse to believe that president Obama isn’t aware of the things we discuss here – almost certainly more so. Of course, like every person, what he believes could be something else entirely.

    But, as I’ve said before, as have others, even if he was completely clued in to all the shit coming down the pike, what could he do about it? Pretty much everyone here seems to agree that it’s too late now to change the outcome. So, denying it, lying about it, and prolonging the inevitable is probably the only option he feels is viable. At least that’s my sense of the matter.

  • In her essay, Lauren Bailey discussed some national student organizations dedicated to promoting sustainability, a virtuous objective. “Sustainable” is a term used to identify a wide spectrum of definitions. Most often it is used to mean “slightly less harmful.” So, sustainable growth means a mode of growth that is slightly less harmful than the twentieth century mode of growth. It means lightly tapping the brakes on a way of life that is rapidly disemboweling the planet’s ecosystem. It doesn’t mean radical change — keep the car by any means necessary.

    This Bright Green Environmentalism seems to be a common trend at the many colleges and universities that are offering programs and degrees in various aspects of sustainability. I find it to be worrisome, because it is often perceived to be The Solution.

    Unfortunately, one aspect of sustainability seems to be neglected here, the most important one. I call it fundamentalist sustainability. It’s a perspective that comes from the school of deep ecology. It describes a process or way of life that, over the course of thousands of years, does nothing to disrupt the ecosystem’s balance or diversity. We need this knowledge in order to envision a genuinely sustainable future.

    There is a stunning degree of ignorance about good old-fashioned fundamentalist sustainability, and this ignorance has been the source of tremendous suffering for many centuries. We keep repeating the same mistakes. Before the lights go out forever, it would be great if this vital subject was better understood. It would be very cool to finally break the curse of repeated mistakes.

    There is no silver bullet solution. The gulf between sustainability and our current state is vast. Humankind will need a reboot, abundant wisdom, and good luck to pull out of our tailspin.

    Are there any schools out there where fundamentalist sustainability is given serious attention? If there are, my book, What Is Sustainable, might be interesting to them.

  • Chicago Tribune for Sunday, above the fold, “Down and Drought”.

    Illinois farmers plowing up their corn fields. Some will try to harvest, 10 bushels/acre instead of 200. How does this not turn into famine for countries that can’t feed themselves and must rely upon imports from the U.S.?

  • Morocco Bama, you have it right. Monica wasn’t the only one screwed by Clinton.
    It will be interesting to see how the gubermint responds to the crisis as it develops. I expect strange things all over because this is all new to the current western society.

  • Curtis, right about how this will effect the countries that import food from us. But also note that food is one of our remaining exports now that we have offshored so much manufacturing. We have have food to eat but our already out of whack trade balance will get more.

    Egypt began to explode right around the time it became an oil importer rather than an oil exporter. We are now an oil importer, can we afford to not export food?

  • Bombshell: Koch-Funded Study Finds ‘Global Warming Is Real’, ‘On The High End’ And ‘Essentially All’ Due To Carbon Pollution
    By Joe Romm on Jul 28, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study (BEST) is poised to release its findings next week on the cause of recent global warming.
    UPDATE (9 pm, 7/28): A NY Times op-ed by Richard Muller, BEST’s Founder and Scientific Director, has been published, “The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic.”
    Here is the money graf:
    CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.
    Yes, yes, I know, the finding itself is “dog bites man.” What makes this “man bites dog” is that Muller has been a skeptic of climate science, and the single biggest funder of this study is the “Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation ($150,000).” The Kochs are the leading funder of climate disinformation in the world!
    It gets better:….rest at the link above

  • Welcome to Richard Reese. I clicked his link at his name to be sure he was the Richard Reese I knew from years ago when I first learned of Peak Oil. Sure enough, it is and I am glad to find him still out there, still writing. Check out his blog at

  • Morocco Bama
    Yes of course you are right, a tndency to get too personal. An honourable characteristic when in person, but as you write, too much ephasis for the text based life forms we are here. my apologies.
    In my shabby defence, I guess I am ‘pushing back’ on the view that I need to become cynical and irate to be an effective and aware being. I do get very angry at times with TOTB, and I learn from that that I am simply expecting a representative government to represent me.
    What a joke that is.
    So in each case when I spit chips I learn that that is perhaps something that I shouldn’t be expecting. Pretty soon I get to the end of the road and start realising I can’t expect anything, and that is probably the beginning of wizdom.
    I enjoy your rants, and you manage to string together the cause and effect stream long enough to convince even a cat to move from the sunny spot.
    I am not unaware of the FUBARing potential of the System. I lost a brother 36 years ago from Leukemia which came as a result of Nuclear testing in the Pacific via Strontium 90. He was no longer there to play with as a boy and he is not here now to be an uncle to my children. Yes, the System cuts your guts out if you get caught in it’s jaws, and I simply find that I am happier doing things, rather than being cynical. I can’t fault you on your approach though.Whatever works for you.

  • Kathy C

    If I were cynical, I would have to ask, ‘Now in who’s interest is it to have this report come out right now?’
    One commenter to the linked article responed with some forcasting I think is worth reading.

    Lollipop writes:

    “I think this is important because, as I suspect we will see later today and WUWT, a significant change in strategy that will be deployed across the deniersophere. The second half of the op-Ed is the tell. They are going to accept that the globe is warming, but try to convince us that it isn’t going to hurt us. The new field of battle will be about impacts. And I expect, like most right wing crusades, their mouthpieces will all step into line on this new attack. We’re going to start hearing about how climate change can’t be attributed to any specific weather event, about how ecosystems can adapt, about how slow ice melt is and so on. The old line of arguement was untenable, so they have found a new one. For the first time ever, I await Anthony Watt’s post detailing the new line of arguments that will be rolled out through websites, talking heads, and blog commenters.”

    I like the term ‘deniersophere’, self defining.

  • But I think it should be spelled ‘denyosphere’..

  • thanks for emphasizing richard reese’s blog, kathy. much good, informative writing to be found there, imo.

  • Here’s what we’re up against:

  • Tom

    Cathrine Austin Fitts is given some considderable space in Mike Rupert’s book ‘Crossing the Rubicon’. It deals with the same information as presented here but in a more difuse manner. This video is a must see to finnish off the explaination of why the world economy is crashing. Cathrine mentions organised crime, big finance and defence contractors a lot and in the same sentences.

    I got wind of some of this American Mafia change over to legit money and defence contracting from a fictional accout in the 1968 movie ‘The Brotherhood’, starring Kirk Douglas.
    Only a movie, but a few gems in there about the switch from local to big investment for organised crime.

    When Catherine talks of the real possibility of Fascism in the last 5 mins, its chilling. Images of Sarah Connor combatting the Terminator, and Sigourney Weaver yelling, “you can kiss all that goodbye!!” swirl before me..
    Off grid looks better all the time. Thanks Tom, for this wake in freight horror flick.

    Morocco Bama
    It is not enough to make me cynical, just wide awake and ready, like Hamlet.

  • Is it clearer now that TPTB would not let it all collapse, better to have a siuation of military control and fear, than fun and freedom. It’s enough to make me walk.

  • It still looks like the planet be damned.

  • Here is a site that monitors worldwide energy shortages

  • Smithfield Foods, the nation’s largest hog producer, has confirmed that it will take the highly unusual step of importing corn from Brazil this fall to counter what may be short supplies in the U.S. as the nation’s Corn Belt has been hit by a crippling drought.

  • A drought takes no prisoners.

    That’s becoming more and more evident as the heavy hand of heat and drought tightens its grip on the nation’s breadbasket. Ironically, for cattlemen at least, one of the victims of the widening disaster is biofuels production, which is finding high prices and low supplies of its feedstocks too much to bear.

    In fact, almost two-thirds of bankers in a sample of small, rural communities report a cutback or closing of local ethanol/biodiesel plants due to Mother Nature’s scorched earth policy.

  • With my thanks to Lauren Bailey for her contribution, I’ve posted anew. My latest, which includes video of a recent presentation and subsequent Q&A, is here.

  • I watched the video of Catherine Austin Fitts (lots of “no-shows” in my clinic today) and while I think she’s dead-on with respect to her assessment of how the corporate world has taken over government, etc., what she doesn’t seem to grasp are the issues that we discuss here, namely: climate change, peak oil, overpopulation, etc., and how they impact what she is discussing.

    Ms. Austin Fitts continually talks about wealth creation on a local scale, and again, nothing wrong with her assessment of what went wrong, but she doesn’t seem to realize that none of it matters anymore because the only economy we’re going to have in the future is the economy of survival.

  • Dr. House, my sentiments about Ms Fitts as well. The future will not be a variation on the current world, but a whole new world in which we humans may or may not play a part.