What’s important

by Michael Thomas

Those of us who pay attention to the news are assaulted daily by a barrage of information: international conflicts, sport tournaments, religion, gun rights, marriage rights, terrorism, and a plethora of other topics. What topics are truly important? Are not the most relevant topics those which most directly relate to humanity’s continued survival on this planet? If so, what could possibly endanger our survival: are we not the dominant species? Yes, but we, like all other organisms, depend on our environment for our survival: we must eat, drink, breathe, and reproduce. Increased environmental instability leads to an increased rate of permanent mutations, which in turn leads to a genetic instability in the species and either death/extinction or successful mutation.

The most commonly mentioned environmental theme is global warming, which is overly polarized and, due to the complex interactions within the environment, is hard to speak of in concrete terms: it will thus not be further included in this text.

An important, but rarely mentioned, theme is ocean acidification. Our oceans have seen an increase in acidity of over 30% since industrialization and, unless current trends are altered, an increase of 150% acidity by the end of the century is expected, which according to NOAA (National Oceananic and Atmospheric Administration) will result “in a pH that the oceans haven’t experienced for more than 20 million years.” The acidification is due to many factors, but the leading factor is anthropogenic (human produced) atmospheric CO2, which forms carbonic acid with the ocean water. The lower pH prevents shellfish from forming shells and hinders the growth of coral, as well as having negative effects on other marine species. Numerous other problems also affect the oceans, such as pollution from plastics, which poison marine animals that confuse the pieces of plastic for food. The problem is so severe that “in some parts of the North Pacific gyre, plastic bits outweigh plankton by more than six to one in the surface waters.” This, or pH changes, may be related to the 40% decline in phytoplankton in the ocean since 1950 — phytoplankton representing yet another key ecological species, such as bees, that play an important role in ecological balance. The aforementioned endocrine disruptors are often leeched from plastics such as BPA, and play a role in destabilizing marine ecosystems.

Unfortunately, the aforementioned endocrine inhibitors do not have a historical precedent in the same way as abiotic factors do. Endocrine derives from latin: “endo” meaning within and “crine” relating to hormonal regulation. Endocrine disruptors alter the hormonal balance of an organism by binding to certain receptors and either preventing or encouraging the activity of glands (e.g., thyroid) and other internal processes as well as the expression of genes, and often have effects beyond the generation exposed. This can cause reduced fertility as well as structural tissue changes, an increased risk of cancer, motor dysfunction, and immune problems in future generations. The effects of endocrine disruptors are different than the effects of toxic chemicals in that negative effects are not proportional to the dose, meaning that serious damage can be the result of limited contact with an endocrine disruptor. To put this in perspective, Saido and Hideto Sato showed in their American Chemical Society 2009 study that “significant” amounts of BPA, a well known endocrine disruptor used as a hard plastic and epoxy glue, were found at EVERY one of the more than 200 sites in 20 countries surveyed in doses ranging from 0.1 ppm to 50 ppm.

The most commonly mentioned change in the atmosphere is, in line with the global warming theme (the only environmental theme really handled by mass media), atmospheric CO2 levels. Between 100,000 BC and 0 BC, CO2 levels fluctuated between 180 to 300 ppm, with current atmospheric data giving us approx 400 ppm, rising from 280 ppm in 1700. The atmospheric concentration of CO2 is significantly higher than it was prior to industrialization, but its relative concentration in the atmosphere has not increase as drastically as methane (20x stronger than CO2 as a greenhouse gas), which has increased from a global average of 400-800 ppb between 600,000 BC to 1900, and risen to approximately 1800 ppb (more than 100% increase) between 1900 and 2000. In the Arctic Sea, we are seeing even greater changes in methane concentration in a very short period of time. Methane levels diverged from their seemingly constant increase in 2010 and spiked from 1850 ppb to over 2000 (approximately 2100) ppb. Because methane is such a potent greenhouse gas, this could imply that increased methane levels from methane hydrates are having a local warming effect which in turn leads to a further increase in atmospheric methane. If we were to apply this as a linear tendency, it would argue for a concentration of atmospheric methane equivalent to that of the Permian extinction in 2050. Consider as well that over 150,000 “methane seeps” have been found in Alaska and Greenland alone, and that the number of methane sources currently covered by ice almost certainly exceeds this number. This may be connected to the extreme melting we are seeing this year in Greenland. This is particularly alarming because a methane burp may be caused by methane output increasing temperature thereby increasing methane output, and may have been the cause of prior extinction events.

Environmental factors are thus changing at an unprecedented rate. Oftentimes, many of these factors combine. A research article published in Nature and titled “Catastrophic Shifts in Ecosystems” is summed up by author Derrick Jensen in his book Endgame (2006) with the following words: “Conventional scientific thought, it seems, has generally held that ecosystems — natural communities like lakes, oceans, coral reefs, forests, deserts, and so on — respond slowly and steadily to climate change, nutrient pollution, habitat degradation, and the many other environmental impacts of industrial civilization. A new study suggests that instead, stressors like these can cause natural communities to shift almost overnight from apparently stable conditions to very different, diminished conditions. The lead author of the study, Marten Scheffer, an ecologist at the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands, said, “Models have predicted this, but only in recent years has enough evidence accumulated to tell us that resilience of many important ecosystems has become undermined to the point that even the slightest disturbance can make them collapse” and quotes a co-author of the study as saying: “We work on the premise that an ounce of pollution equals an ounce of damage. It turns out that assumption is entirely incorrect. Ecosystems may go on for years exposed to pollution or climate changes without showing any change at all and then suddenly they may flip into an entirely different condition, with little warning or none at all.” This information should be worrying, seeing as in many instances we have quite a lot of warning, for instance the loss of one-third of bees in the last several years and the bee per hectare ratio having fallen by 90%. This is serious because bees are necessary for the pollination of most plants –- and therefore their sexual reproduction — and the production of fruit and nuts.

When we ask ourselves what is important, I would hope we list human survival near the top of the list. If we allow global ecological collapse to continue, then we, as high level consumers, will most likely not survive. If this happens then EVERYTHING your parents and your ancestors worked for, everything you have worked for, will mean NOTHING. If there are aliens, then they will laugh at us: we have the knowledge to prevent our own extinction, but still move forward like lemmings towards the cliff. We read information like this, and many still choose to do nothing, or to remain willfully in denial or ignorant. Time is running out and the only question is, are you willing to get your priorities in order?


If you care about humanity, please share this document and this knowledge. Fact-checking is encouraged, and is the reason the sources are provided next to the statements. The majority of people do not know, many of those who do know do not care. Help expand the numbers of both groups: help humanity survive.

The author of this text is Michael Thomas (e-mail: MikeT1935@gmail.com), an American from Boston, Massachusetts currently living in Germany. He can be reached on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Spike47.

Comments 100

  • Here’s the bad news: Your tv does not tell you what is important. Your newspaper doesn’t tell it to you either. Even the internet, although it is a rich source for all kinds of information and misinformation, does not tell you what is important.

    But there is good news, too. They don’t have to tell you. Because you already know. You are (I assume) living on this planet. You might feel emotionally disconnected and confused, but you are a living breathing part of what scientists call the “ecosystem” and some of us just call “Mother Earth”. And she is hurting because of what we do and every single one of us knows it, deep inside. That’s why so many of us get either depressed or downright psychotic … because we are acting in a way that destroys every living thing on this planet and therefore destroys ourselves, as individuals as well as as a species.

    Computer models aren’t important. Satellite measurements aren’t important. “Science” is not important. What is important is what you can see and hear and smell feel and taste with your own senses. Step out of your door and take a look around. Breathe the air. What does it tell you? Look at the plants that grow around your house. Do they look healthy? Are they the plants that belong there? Or something we humans have forced upon the place. If there are no plants at all around your house, because you live in a city … can that be healthy? When was the last time you saw a wild animal roaming the area where you live? Are you happy? Are you satisfied with your life?

    We are not meant to live this way. I don’t need scientists or journalists to tell me that. I just need to go outside and look around. It makes me sick, physically sick to the bone. And I know that this sickness is a mirror of the sickness that has befallen our planet, and I feel it, because I am part of it. That’s what’s important. That’s why we need to act, why we have to change our way of life. For our own sakes as well as the planet’s. Because that’s the same thing.

  • Thank you for the sharing this information as without it some of us would not be living as we are today. Without science it would of taken me longer to notice everything outside my door…sad as that is for me to say.

    And yes,
    “What is important is what you can see and hear and smell feel and taste with your own senses. Step out of your door and take a look around. Breathe the air. What does it tell you? Look at the plants that grow around your house. Do they look healthy?” and…

    “We are not meant to live this way.”

    People come into awareness in different ways and we need all the ways possible to show how disrespectful we’ve been as a species.

  • Michael, thank you for your comments. One note however. In the US honeybees are imported from Europe. Things got pollinated just fine before they arrived. Honeybees are important for pollination of monoculture as they can be transported and feed inbetween pollination duties. Native pollinators are quite sufficient. However they have taken hits too from pesticides and from the lack of diverse food sources. A lawn does not support pollinators.

    Pollinators other than honeybees are native bees, native wasps, butterflies and moths and flies. By having a diverse garden with many things blooming at various times you can help support a host of native pollinators. Every year when my garlic chives bloom I see some pollinators I never see at other times but no doubt they are there all along. Some are quite small, some quite exquisite. My maypops serve bumblebees all season. I let several varieties of flowers self seed in the garden each year for the host of pollinators they attract. I seldom see honeybees but have no problem with pollination in my garden.

    So we don’t have to rue the loss of the European Honeybee if we provide an environment for our natural pollinators. http://www.xerces.org/announcing-the-publication-of-attracting-native-pollinators/

  • We’re such a conflicted species. On the one hand we are clever – as in our sciences, which have told us that we’re dealing with our interconnectedness in every way – but we aren’t very wise. Science has been hi-jacked by the military to build a better club. i read somewhere that Einstein supposedly said that if he had known what they were going to do with his discovery, he would have become a shoemaker.

    We’ve never been able to overcome our natural greed, hubris and self-serving procreative nature and grown truly wise. The wages of sin are death, and it seems to be coming true. We’re killing ourselves spiritually, mentally, and physically “living” the way we do.

  • Michael

    A good article right up until the last paragraph. I don’t understand why, given the things humans have done and continue to do to the planet, you think it’s important we survive. Sure, I don’t want to die and I don’t want my family to die, but as a species why do we deserve to live?

    If this happens then EVERYTHING your parents and your ancestors worked for, everything you have worked for, will mean NOTHING.

    To take your logic to its ultimate conclusion, everything we do and our ancestors have done IS for nothing because one day, whether it be 30 years from now due to runaway greenhouse or a billion years from now due to the sun frying the earth, we will go extinct.

    I’m becoming more attached to the idea that the purpose of humanity is to replenish the atmosphere’s depleted stock of CO2 so that life might flourish better in the long run. It certainly beats the creation of plastics as a reason for existence. As a non car owner who hasn’t travelled more than ten miles from my front door in over 6 months and whose monthly combined electricity and gas use is about $16 per month for a family of four I must try harder ;) .

    I don’t think aliens would laugh at humanity’s lemming like behavior. If they were wiser than us then they would understand the inevitability of what is happening but, more likely, they would make exactly the same mistakes as us.

  • KathyC,

    I fully agree about the native bees. I am sharing my garden space with friends this year, and they wanted to take out my sargent crabapples. When those were in bloom, I just stood in awe watching the many varieties of bees that were attracted. Although I’m not completely bee literate, I am interested in attracting native bees, and it seems as if I’ve been successful.

  • Einstein supposedly said that if he had known what they were going to do with his discovery, he would have become a shoemaker.

    Actually, one of his contemporaries was a schumacher, Ernst Friedrich Schumacher of Small is Beautiful fame.

  • A bit more about bees: Bee Basics

  • Re Einstein, being the bright man that he is, I am quite sure he actually could see the potential in his work, but couldn’t resist moving forward

    “In 1905, as part of his Special Theory of Relativity, he made the intriguing point that a large amount of energy could be released from a small amount of matter. This was expressed by the equation E=mc2 (energy = mass times the speed of light squared). The atomic bomb would clearly illustrate this principle…Einstein’s greatest role in the invention of the atomic bomb was signing a letter to President Franklin Roosevelt urging that the bomb be built” http://www.doug-long.com/einstein.htm

  • Here is the actual letter to Roosevelt http://hypertextbook.com/eworld/einstein.shtml
    Perhaps Einstein forgot he wrote this or perhaps he was covering his guilt at being part of the horror, or perhaps he meant he should have stopped earlier in the very first stages of his work. But by the time he wrote he knew what an atomic bomb would do and was encouraging going ahead with building one before Germany got one.

  • By Karl Grossman

    The first Mars rover fueled with plutonium landed on the red planet Monday—and there was much cheerleading by mainstream media but no mention of the huge danger the device, which NASA calls Curiosity, has posed to people and other life on Earth before getting to Mars.

    Indeed, NASA in its Environmental Impact Statement for Curiosity, said that the chances had been but one-in-220 of deadly plutonium being released “overall” on the mission. If the rocket that had lofted it from Florida last year blew up on launch—and one in 100 rockets destruct on launch—that could have sent plutonium 62 miles away, as far as Orlando, said the EIS. If the rocket failed to break out of Earth’s gravity and take Curiosity on to Mars but, instead, fell back into the Earth’s atmosphere and, with Curiosity, disintegrated as it fell, a broad area of the Earth could have been impacted by plutonium.

    Meanwhile, nuclear promoters have been heralding the Curiosity mission saying it points to more use of nuclear power in space. World Nuclear News, the information arm of the World Nuclear Association which seeks to boost the use of atomic energy, last month said:“A new era of space exploration is dawning through the application of nuclear energy for rovers on Mars and the Moon, power generation at future bases on the surfaces of both and soon for rockets that enable interplanetary travel.” The article was headed: “Nuclear ‘a stepping stone’ to space exploration.”

    Meanwhile the article goes on to note various accidents on space launches and with sattelites that have nuclear fuel. It also notes that the first Mars probe used solar and a probe headed to Jupiter is using solar. Thus no need for Plutonium in space. Idiots, criminal idiots.

    Enformable has a daily newsletter of issues of nuclear power.

  • Just another weather event – nothing to see here, folks: move on!
    Extreme heat wave dooms millions of fish across American Midwest

  • Sorry I don’t have a link for this, just the story
    USDA reported 59 percent of the nation’s pastures were in poor or very poor condition in the week ended Aug 5, compared to 57 percent a week ago and 38 percent at this time last year.
    It rated just 16 percent of U.S. pastures in good or very good condition, down from 17 percent a week ago and compared to 39 percent at this time last year.
    In its weekly Crop Progress report, USDA increased its estimate of corn fields in poor or very poor condition to 50 percent from 48 percent a week before and just 16 percent this time last year. The agency reduced its estimate of cornfields in good or excellent condition to 23 percent from 24 percent a week ago and 610 percent at this time last year.
    U.S. soybean fields also continued to show signs of stress. USDA rated 39 percent of the soybean crop in major producing states in poor or very poor condition, up from 37 percent a week ago and compared to just 13 percent at this time last year.
    The agency maintained its estimate of soybean fields in good or excellent condition at 29 percent, compared to 61 percent at this time last year.
    Already 71 percent of the soybean crop has advanced to the critical pod-setting stage, up from 55 percent a week ago. The five-year average for this time of year is 53 percent.

  • It seems to me that at any given time, globally, there is roughly the same amount of water precipitating out of the atmosphere as at any other time. Obviously the temperature of the air and other factors provide variance. But, just curious, since most of the U.S. as well as many other places on the globe are experiencing drought, where is the rain falling? Over the ocean? Anyone know?

  • Dr House – storms over the weekend in Austria, Northern Italy (2 killed), floods in Philippines (half of Manila underwater – 9 dead in landslides), NZ (South Canterbury and North Otago), North Korea (88 dead), India (Flash floods in mountainous northern Indian state of Uttarakhand have killed at least 34 people and left hundreds of Hindu pilgrims stranded) -google floods and click on News. Britain had floods too recently. Russia just had flash floods in Krymsk, a mountain town on the edge of the Caucasus mountains of southern Russia that killed 171.

    Also for all manner of disaster see The Extinction Protocol – http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/ he’s got some theory about end times that I don’t even bother with, but he does catch stories about disasters around the world that are linked to the original story.

    As I understand it with more warming, more water gets in the air to create larger floods, but of course drought elsewhere, and not as much normal type precipitation. Someone more knowledgeable than me will perhaps comment on that.

    All that said this drought has been severe for those of us in the South, but we did get 1 inch rain here today in AL!

  • On 7 June 2012, the journal Nature published an article titled, “Approaching a State Shift in Earth’s Biosphere”


    The full text is behind a pay wall. One of the researchers is from Simon Fraser University (SFU) here in B.C.

    An SFU publication ran a story on this article and interviewed the SFU professor of biodiversity, Arne Mooers.


    I’m not going to pay $34 to read the original article, but here is what SFU says about it:


    Using scientific theories, toy ecosystem modeling and paleontological evidence as a crystal ball, 21 scientists, including one from Simon Fraser University, predict we’re on a much worse collision course with Mother Nature than currently thought.

    In Approaching a State-Shift in Earth’s Biosphere, a paper just published in Nature, the authors, whose expertise spans a multitude of disciplines, suggest our planet’s ecosystems are careering towards an imminent, irreversible collapse.

    Earth’s accelerating loss of biodiversity, its climate’s increasingly extreme fluctuations, its ecosystems’ growing connectedness and its radically changing total energy budget are precursors to reaching a planetary state threshold or tipping point.

    Once that happens, which the authors predict could be reached this century, the planet’s ecosystems, as we know them, could irreversibly collapse in the proverbial blink of an eye.

    “The last tipping point in Earth’s history occurred about 12,000 years ago when the planet went from being in the age of glaciers, which previously lasted 100,000 years, to being in its current interglacial state. Once that tipping point was reached, the most extreme biological changes leading to our current state occurred within only 1,000 years. That’s like going from a baby to an adult state in less than a year,” explains Arne Mooers. “Importantly, the planet is changing even faster now.”

    The SFU professor of biodiversity is one of this paper’s authors. He stresses, “The odds are very high that the next global state change will be extremely disruptive to our civilizations. Remember, we went from being hunter-gatherers to being moon-walkers during one of the most stable and benign periods in all of Earth’s history.

    “Once a threshold-induced planetary state shift occurs, there’s no going back. So, if a system switches to a new state because you’ve added lots of energy, even if you take out the new energy, it won’t revert back to the old system. The planet doesn’t have any memory of the old state.”

    These projections contradict the popularly held belief that the extent to which human-induced pressures, such as climate change, are destroying our planet is still debatable, and any collapse would be both gradual and centuries away.

    This study concludes we better not exceed the 50 per cent mark of wholesale transformation of Earth’s surface or we won’t be able to delay, never mind avert, a planetary collapse.

    We’ve already reached the 43 per cent mark through our conversion of landscapes into agricultural and urban areas, making Earth increasingly susceptible to an environmental epidemic.

    “In a nutshell, humans have not done anything really important to stave off the worst because the social structures for doing something just aren’t there,” says Mooers. “My colleagues who study climate-induced changes through the earth’s history are more than pretty worried. In fact, some are terrified.”

    – Study predicts imminent irreversible planetary collapse –

    Coming from Chile, Canada, Finland, the United Kingdom, Spain and the United States, the authors of this paper initially met at the University of California Berkeley in 2010 to hold a trans-disciplinary brainstorming session.

    They reviewed scores of theoretical and conceptual bodies of work in various biological disciplines in search of new ways to cope with the historically unprecedented changes now occurring on Earth.

    In the process they discovered that:

    Human-generated pressures, known as global-scale forcing mechanisms, are modifying Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and climate so rapidly that they are likely forcing ecosystems and biodiversity to reach a critical threshold of existence in our lifetime.

    “Global-scale forcing mechanisms today “include unprecedented rates and magnitudes of human population growth with attendant resource consumption, habitat transformation and fragmentation, energy production and consumption, and climate change,” says the study.

    Human activity drives today’s global-scale forcing mechanisms more than ever before. As a result, the rate of climate change we are seeing now exceeds the rate that occurred during the extreme planetary state change that tipped Earth from being in a glacial to an interglacial state 12,000 years ago. You have to go back to the end of the cataclysmic falling star, which ended the age of dinosaurs, to find a previous precedent.

    The exponentially increasing extinction of Earth’s current species, dominance of previously rare life forms and occurrence of extreme climate fluctuations parallel critical transitions that coincided with the last major planetary transition.

    When these sorts of perturbations are mirrored in toy ecosystem models, they tip these systems quickly and irreversibly.

    The authors recommend governments undertake five actions immediately if we are to have any hope of delaying or minimizing a planetary-state-shift. Arne Mooers, an SFU biodiversity professor and a co-author of this study, summarizes them as follows.

    “Society globally has to collectively decide that we need to drastically lower our population very quickly. More of us need to move to optimal areas at higher density and let parts of the planet recover. Folks like us have to be forced to be materially poorer, at least in the short term. We also need to invest a lot more in creating technologies to produce and distribute food without eating up more land and wild species. It’s a very tall order.”


    These conclusions are consistent with the links Guy has posted here to articles by Malcolm Light. Commenters complained (and rightly so) that Light’s articles were not peer-reviewed. The same cannot be said about this article. This afternoon, I think I’ll walk over to our Library and make a copy of this article and copy it for my students to read. On paper. Paper from trees. Then I’ll go online and start the process for retiring from this university. I’ll be 65 in a couple of months.

    That’s it, kids. It’s over. Some creatures that use DNA (or RNA) may survive to start evolution over again, and I wish them the best, but I’m glad humans will be gone. Too bad we had to take so many other species with us.

  • I take it that many here have already read The Coming Collapse of the Age of Technology (opens as a PDF). In it, David Ehrenfeld discusses the reckless use of plutonium in the Cassini space probe.

  • Review of already-mentioned article, with copious links to relevant issues:
    Is Humanity Pushing Earth Past a Tipping Point?

  • This Thursday will be the one year anniversary of my father’s death. As I think of him while also reading here, I am reminded of one of his favorite illustrations he used to share from the pulpit (he was a Southern Baptist preacher):

    Prospective member to a pastor: Is this the perfect New Testament church?
    Preacher to the prospective member: If it was, as soon as you joined, it wouldn’t be perfect any longer.

    I understand everyone’s anger over the atrocities that human beings have wrought on this planet and I will be glad when our ability to commit these “sins” is no longer ours. However, I won’t be glad to see the demise of our species.

    When I was a child I was stung by wasps on a couple of different occasions; consequently, I was terrified of them (they still can make me scream like a little girl). I verbalized once to my father that I wished something would wipe them out. He replied that wasps were an integral part of nature and that they were just doing what they needed to do to survive.

    Human beings are as much a part of nature as anything else. It seems likely that we will prove to be an evolutionary dead end. But, that doesn’t make me happy. My father was a good man. There have been countless many other good human beings as well – most forgotten to time. Perhaps I’m being maudlin, but to rejoice in the destruction of our species is to dishonor the memory of my father and all those others who were truly good humans and integral parts of nature. I refuse to say that our species should be wiped out.

    No species is perfect – right or wrong, they just do what they need to do to survive.

    All of the problems the earth faces stem from the fact that humans have entered into population overshoot. That doesn’t make us evil – it just makes us too many.

  • There have been countless many other good human beings as well – most forgotten to time.
    The first of the three features if existence is impermanence. “All composite things are transient”. This applies to groups also. If an alien with no knowledge of humans studied separately an infant and an adult, the connection between infants and adults might not be recognised. We make the connection through a projected sense of continuity, as is presumed in the case of the new member joining the congregation.

    All species, like all members within each species, must go extinct, whether by dying out or by genetic drift from say, Homo erectus through Homo heidelbergensis to Homo sapiens. Indeed the rate of genetic mutation and drift in Homo sapiens has accelerated some 200-fold over the comparable rate for similar primates since about 10,000 years ago, approximately since the beginning of agriculture (and the “domestication” of humans). So even without anthropogeneous climate change and resource depletion plus environmental pollution/degradation, Homo sapiens would seem headed for extinction through genetic drift. (Anthropogenic actually means “producing humans” rather than “produced by humans”).

  • TRDH

    Us humans can never lose our (greater) ability to commit “sins”. Even before we discovered fossil fuels we had deforested large parts of the globe and driven many large animals to extinction (including probably Neanderthals, we brook no rivals).

    I’ve never met any truly good or truly evil people (not to say that they don’t exist), only selfish ones. But I don’t think wishing the extinction of our species dishonours the memory of your father any more than wishing the continuation of our species dishonours the memory of all those species that we have driven to extinction. An act of goodness remains an act of goodness and has value whatever may come after.

  • TRDH, I also have known very many good people. OTOH I know that throughout history many innocent children have suffered great harm from our weapons of war and from enslavement for work or sexuality. When I think of how it must be for a child to be sold by its parents to become a sexual slave or worker, castrated to retain a childish soprano, born horribly deformed from DU in Fallujah or radiation in Chernobyl, sold by others to slave for masters all their life and be raped by the master, etc etc etc I wonder if we don’t dishonor their suffering by NOT wishing for the human species to become extinct.

    I was raised Lutheran, and old Martin Luther wrote explanations for the 10 Commandments that included their violation not only by commission but also by omission. While I have tossed off religion, the sins of omission meme still sits in my brain. Many good people in the US still accept the rewards of empire without ever thinking or caring about those harmed in giving them the non-negotiable way of life. I think and care and live simply but my comfortable way of life is obtained on the backs of the poor of the world. My cheap bananas for example.

    All of life, including wasps that sting, are just running their programs. But then isn’t their program to reproduce at the loss of other life. Sure foxes are tearing apart baby rabbits but it is not evil, just doing what they do to feed their young. But how does it feel to the rabbit when those teeth sink in. Perhaps some shock mechanism comes to play, but still pain and fear are programs to stay alive and therefore necessary and necessarily very uncomfortable. So all this being of life beyond plants is based on one creature stilling the chemicals embedded in the bodies of others and based on pushes and pulls, the pushes being joys (good tasting hunger abating food) and pains (the pain of hunger, thirst). Are the goods of life (in humans so inequitably given out) worth the evils? So I have begun to believe that it is best if at the least all species that have central nervous systems become extinct. There is no pain in not being.

    At any rate, before we decide that the good in life outweighs the bad perhaps we should ask a child silver miner in Boliva, a child worker at a Nike plant, a child sex slave worker at the moment of her of his deflowering, a child soldier in Uganda, etc. What right do we who live well in the US have to declaim that goodness of life we have known outweighs their suffering? The human will to live is so strong that they might vote for human life to continue, but we don’t know their views, on the views of a few who managed to escape those horrible conditions. We never hear the views of those who die young never knowing any other condition of life.

  • Yorchichan, good and evil, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder (we had a fairly lengthy discussion about this topic several threads back, I believe).

    As to deforestation and causing the extinction of other species, like it or not, that was just humans being part of nature – and we aren’t alone in those traits, at all. Right now there are grasshoppers swarming through Texas, completely stripping fields and forests. Those grasshoppers are causing the death of many other creatures because of the “devastation” they are wreaking. There are, I’m sure, billions of other examples that could be found through history where the advancement of one species led to the end of another species. As Kathy mentioned, for one creature to exist, it must steal the chemicals in some other creatures body.

  • Kathy C, I understand where you’re coming from and I sympathize with what you say, but I can’t go that far. I know that humans have committed and are committing countless atrocities toward other creatures and toward one another, but I can’t rejoice at our extinction.

    Vaguely, I remember when, as a child, I first put it together that in order for one to live, others must die. I think it occurred to me while I was hunting with my dad. At first I felt bad that we were killing those little animals just so we wouldn’t go hungry, but then when I started learning more about them and I realized that they were eating other lifeforms in order to survive, I began to see the cycle of life. I’ve never enjoyed hunting, but at least I see how it fits into the big picture. (BTW, those who are opposed to hunting for food, but will go to the grocery store and buy a package of chicken or beef are living in a dreamworld.)

  • Morocco Bama, you may be right with respect to civilization. Be that as it may, if our population was 100,000,000 instead of 7,000,000,000 I feel confident we wouldn’t have global warming, peak resources, widespread environmental destruction caused by humans, etc.

    Enough comments for me this morning – now off to milk the goats! Have a great day everyone :-)

  • Morocco Bama: You claim your father was a good man, but according to your own definition of good and evil, others may believe he was an evil man.

    I’m sure you might find someone who would think that, but I doubt it would be anyone who actually knew him. But, who knows?

    Is this system in which we live, evil? If in the eyes of some beholders it is, then by definition, all those who live in it and support it, regardless of degree, are evil, at least to some extent.

    That may be, though while many of our actions have been “evil”, I don’t necessarily think all of humanity can be painted with the same brush. However, I was expressing my opinion about the idea that others have expressed that our species deserves to become extinct. I am not convinced, but I have no more right to make that pronouncement than anyone else, hence why it was my opinion. I will opine further that regardless whether it is “good” or “evil”, I think our species is likely to become extinct sooner rather than later.

  • Dr. House you wrote “I know that humans have committed and are committing countless atrocities toward other creatures and toward one another, but I can’t rejoice at our extinction.”

    Thinking extinction is best is not the same as rejoicing in human extinction – it certainly isn’t for me, for the road to extinction will be littered with horrors. I have been happy when my hospice patients died and were out of pain, but I did not rejoice at their removal from the world. But one of my points is that we who have had the good life are the ones who have the time and equipment to have this debate. I would like to hear from the humans who are living on $1 a day what they think on the matter. Once born we have a strong instinct for survival, yet farmers in India in increasing numbers, along with pensioners in Greece, are choosing non-existence rather than the deteriorating existence they now have. Perhaps they are telling us what many others feel but don’t have the courage to act on.

    At any rate the ones who have the most at stake regarding species extinction are the unborn. Of course they don’t currently exist and never get a say in their being dragged into existence, yet to have the species not go extinct they MUST be dragged into existence. Necessarily this is without their agreement. And regardless of how good or bad their life is they will have one common desire, once born they will wish not to die for that is the program that those who pass on genes to a next generation must have (for varying lengths of time depending on species). This common desire of mortal living beings can never be met and very few deaths are painless. So to keep the species going, we who exist must bring the non-existent into to existence. They will have at least one bad event in their life before they go back into non-existence, not to remember any of the life that was supposedly so worthwhile. Have we the right to force an increasingly horrific life on those who don’t exist because we have an idea about something called a species that is dear to us?

    During the Iraq war some protesters were told that if we abandoned the war we would be dishonoring those who had fought and died and that they then would have died in vain. Should we continue a war with more killing and being killed so that those who went before did not die in vain? Likewise should we continue a rapacious species because some in the species were good? Should more people be brought into existence to suffer and in the end to die so that we can feel like all those who lived before did not die in vain?

  • Morocco Bama: The operative and conditional word in this statement is “if”. But there is no “if”, so in my opinion, the “if” is a canard. Instead of “if” we have “is”, and we have to deal with “it”, and part of dealing with it is accepting “it” and all its implications.

    The same could be said about civilization and “if” we hadn’t developed it in the first place. But we did, so we have to deal with it as well.

  • I have found no philosophical proof that life is important, or that it is good. Good and evil are human linguistic concepts. It is not evil when wasps sting. It is not evil when humans destroy the planet and all other species. We’re just like the yeast in the vat, eating our way through our supplies and drowning in the resulting toxic waste. We do what all species do, and the end of doing it is near. Former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, was quoted as saying that after a nuclear exchange, “the living would envy the dead.” I think of a couple of friends who died recently, and realize they lived in the golden age of “civilization” and won’t see the end of it. Then I realize that there is no justice, either.

  • Curtis, yes idiot. from the article “So don’t be discouraged if electric car sales are tiny right now, or solar power is a very small fraction of total energy use. This is a long game.”
    OMdog he thinks we have time.
    Besides electric cars run on roads and I haven’t seen any electric road repair equipment yet.
    Beside if we add electric cars to all the things we already run with electricity we need to further upgrade a grid that is already in need of upgrading.
    Besides the US is broke.
    Besides as the weather takes a larger toll on our infrastructure we will be unable to fix it as we are broke.

    All sorts of denialists eh?

  • BC Nurse – exactly. Perhaps quite soon the living will envy the dead and the children will curse the day that they were born – Jeremiah 20:14 “Cursed be the day I was born! May the day my mother bore me not be blessed!” While I don’t think much of the Bible there is a bit of truth here and there (in or out of context)

    In fact Proverbs has some advice for when times are hard – booze.

    “31 The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.

    2 Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb!
    Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!
    3 Do not spend your strength[a] on women,
    your vigor on those who ruin kings.
    4 It is not for kings, Lemuel—
    it is not for kings to drink wine,
    not for rulers to crave beer,
    5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,
    and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
    6 Let beer be for those who are perishing,
    wine for those who are in anguish!
    7 Let them drink and forget their poverty
    and remember their misery no more.

  • what’s important? michael, u’re preaching to the choir here but your sermon is basic and myopic/delusional. u don’t even begin to address the problem of flawed and limited intelligence of humanity. there’s nothing new under the sun here. u’re not the first voice to cry into the wilderness, nor the loudest or most eloquent (but u’re not bad). crying in the wilderness is a perfect metaphor. who is getting the message besides those who already had it? who is inclined to take a ‘doomer’ seriously? apparently only a tiny minority of iconoclastic rational (more or less) freethinkers who thirst for facts, not dogmas. i repeat: dogmatism is an overwhelming problem, imo. a very large majority of sheople are unable to think rationally enough to respond appropriately to your information and message, michael. ignorance/delusion predominate across all ‘classes’ of sheople, from ‘joe the plumber’ to u.s. president barry obummer. they’re all inclined to dogmatism/irrationality, and too high of a regard for ‘authority’. both secular and religious ‘education’ are important tools, in creating a culture of credulity for nonsense and of epidemic ignorance, which has served the interests of the exploiters/dominators who are directing this horror show.

    u talk about the need to save humanity. nature bats last, michael. u’re still suffering from the grandiose delusion this culture instills in us regarding our supposed ability to control nature. u face a tsunami of ignorance and delusion, if u’re willing to perceive and acknowledge it. there’s a reason why so very few sheople appear to be relatively well informed and rational regarding our predicament, a reason that has the full power of nature behind it. u can lead a dogma addict to knowledge, but u can’t make ‘hir’ (genderless replacement for his/her) drink.

    i believe if one takes logic/passion to a natural conclusion regarding our predicament, one is left with basically 2 choices. the first involves humble resignation to things out of your control, like inherent irrationality amongst humans, and runaway climate change which only by the grace of gaia won’t result in human extinction, amongst many other deadly concerns over the the legacy of industrial ecocide. the fact that we’ve gone so far down this road of mad destruction, this highway to hell, is evidence of our predicament. it’s not something a sane intelligent species would do.

    so this first choice involves a grim fatalism about the big picture, and resignation to the fact that nature bats and laughs last. and as kathy has so often pointed out, immortality was never a possibility. be resigned to this. then, if u can, carpe diem.

    the second choice involves selfless martyrdom in trying to attain a miraculous transcendence of the cruel surreality we face. trying to save our species from it’s outlandish ignorance and delusions and ecocidal mania. it involves agonizing over the fate of something u can’t control, deluding yourself that u can, and blaming yourself when u fail. one way or another, it’s martyrdom. for if u begin to succeed, surely tptb will see to it that your success is short lived. tptb may not be sane or intelligent, but they sure know a thing or 2 about maintaining power, the main thing being ruthlessly and violently intolerant to challenges to their ‘authority’.

  • tvt:

    Always good to hear from you. No happy horseshit from you.

  • Thanks for all the great posts in the last day. I’ve rarely enjoyed reading the best site on the web so much. When humans talk about “good”, what we usually mean is what is good for humans. At best, we mean what is good for the “higher“ animal life forms we can empathise with. Rarely would we care about what is good for invertebrates (save for the bees that we need to pollinate our crops or butterflies because they look pretty), let alone plants that feel no pain. If you’re a mosquito, despite all you are doing to survive is extracting an insignificant amount of blood from your donor rather than killing to live as humans do (making a mosquito “morally” superior in my opinion despite the derogatory label of “parasite”), forget about any human compassion.

    We try to expand our population as much as we can just like every other living creature. However, we are different from other living creatures in that we can understand to a much greater extent the implications of our destructive ways. Given we have pretty much established that good and evil are purely human constructs, does our understanding of the harm we are doing to the living planet oblige us to act to try to curtail industrial civilisation? Some would answer “yes” because they believe abundance and diversity of life has value or that by terminating industrial civilisation they increase the chances of humans surviving. Some would answer “no” because they believe nothing they do can make a difference anyway. Personally, I would answer “no”, because I don’t believe there is anything I can do, I don’t think humans are worth saving, and whatever the ravages of climate change and pollution I believe the diversity of life will bounce back.

    As someone wrote recently, we all try to justify our actions (or inactions).

  • Bad news elsewhere
    “S. Korea heatwave kills more than 830,000 poultry
    by Staff Writers
    Seoul (AFP) Aug 8, 2012

    South Korea’s extended heatwave has taken its toll on both humans and animals, with more than 830,000 chickens or other poultry reported dead as of Wednesday.

    The agriculture ministry said 786,512 chickens, 40,780 ducks, 3,000 quail, 336 pigs and five cows have died since July 20, when the peak temperature began hovering above 33 Celsius (91.4 Fahrenheit) in most areas.

    The stifling heat also killed seven people in June and July, the health ministry said, mostly elderly people working in fields or greenhouses.

    Temperatures have stayed above 35 C for 12 days in much of the country, causing massive blooms of algae in rivers.”

  • And on the human meddling with their own fate front
    “Here’s a scary thought: scientists are testing the idea of pumping water into the sides of a dormant volcano in Oregon at pressures great enough to evoke small earthquakes. Why? Apparently, the boiling bowels beneath our feet hold tremendous promise for geothermal energy.”

    Lets see in 2006 and 2007 geothermal projects caused “Induced seismicity in Basel” (see wiki entry on that topic) prompting the ending of those projects – Since Basel Switzerland was mostly destroyed by an earthquake in 1356 you can understand the folks there saying stop. While the events were small there was a lot of them “In all, between December 2006 and March 2007, the six borehole seismometers installed near the Basel injection well recorded more than 13,500 potential events connected with the geothermal project.”

    Too Smart for our Own Good.

  • The river’s fresh water is used by New Orleans and surrounding towns and industry.

    “Fresh” water? Have these people actually seen the lower Mississippi? You couldn’t pay me to drink that water.

  • Going from the serious to the humorous, a friend sent me some writings by Will Cuppy on extinction. A few quotes below

    And I Ought to Know

    Right here I might offer a word of advice to the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, now the rarest bird on the North American continent and one that is going to come in for more and more attention. Keep away from bird lovers, fellows, or you’ll be standing on a little wooden pedestal with a label containing your full name in Latin: Campephilus principalis. People will be filing past admiring your glossy blue-black feathers, your white stripes and patches, your nasal plumes in front of lores, your bright red crest and your beady yellow eyes. You’ll be in the limelight, but you won’t know it. I don’t want to alarm you fellows, but there are only about twenty of you alive as I write these lines, but there are more than two hundred of you in American museums and in collections owned by Ivory-billed Woodpecker enthusiasts. Get it?

    The Dinosaur
    The Age of Reptiles ended because it had gone on long enough and it was all a mistake in the first place. A better day was dawning at the close of the Mesozoic Era. There were some little warm-blooded animals around which had been stealing and eating the eggs of the Dinosaurs, and they were gradually learning to steal other things, too. Civilization was just around the corner.

    The book is https://books.google.com/books/about/How_to_Become_Extinct.html?id=zrsCQBBALUIC

  • Kathy C,

    I know this isn’t really the topic of your post, but with respect to the Ivory Billed Woodpecker, if I remember correctly, it was last seen in the woods surrounding the Cache river near Brinkley Arkansas about 8-10 years ago. It was thought to be extinct at that time and so there was much excitement over the sighting. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been seen since, so those who know about such things, now think the sighting was likely not an IBW and the bird really was extinct, or that the one sighted is now dead, and the bird really is extinct.

    The area of the sighting is known as the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge. Here’s an excerpt from the government website:

    Cache River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was established in 1986 to protect significant wetland habitats and provide feeding and resting areas for migrating waterfowl.

    As one of the few remaining areas in the Lower Mississippi River Valley not drastically altered by channelization and drainage, the Cache River basin contains a variety of wetland communities including some of the most intact and least disturbed bottomland hardwood forests in the Mississippi Valley region. These unique and valuable wetlands have been protected by the RAMSAR Convention as “Wetlands of International Importance”.

    At present the refuge currently encompasses over 56,000 acres located in numerous non-contiguous tracts in Jackson, Woodruff, Monroe and Prairie counties in east central Arkansas. The boundary of this refuge changes frequently as land acquisition continues along the Cache River, White River and Bayou Deview.

    Accounts from early settlers describe this entire region of the continent as being uninterrupted forests for hundreds of miles. I sure wish I could have seen that.

  • Dr House, yes I remember hearing about that supposed sighting. Will Cuppy died in 1949 so his writing those words about the Ivory Billed Woodpecker was somewhere in the first 1/2 of the century.

    The better quote from the piece my friend sent was about the Great Auk and their extinction. I couldn’t find it on line and didn’t feel up to typing it all but it described with much irony what happened to the last two great auks which is described more succinctly by wiki “Museums, desiring the skins of the auk for preservation and display, quickly began collecting birds from the colony.[66] The last pair, found incubating an egg, was killed there on 3 July 1844, on request from a merchant who wanted specimens, with Jón Brandsson and Sigurður Ísleifsson strangling the adults and Ketill Ketilsson smashing the egg with his boot.”

    My husband’s grandmother used to tell of great flocks of robins that used to fly over on migration and darken the sky apparently much like the Passenger Pigeons. It is said that the top soil in this area when white men came was 5 feet. I work to make a few inches of top soil on top of the clay left from years of cotton farming. We are used to what we have and hate to loose what is left. It is hard to even imagine what carnage we have already done, and yet the carnage is not over yet. It would have been nice to see that.

  • Eight million chickens have so far been slaughtered in Mexico and 66 million more were vaccinated in a bid to contain a bird flu outbreak in the west of the country, authorities said.
    It takes about 4 lbs of feed to make 1 lb of chicken. Just guess that these birds are adults and weigh say 4 lbs apiece that would mean 16 lbs of feed lost for each bird slaughtered or perhaps 128 million lbs of feed lost. Not good in a year where the crop is expected to be quite a bit less than planned.

  • It is the truth, thank you for continuing to spread the word, I will do the same. It doesn’t seem to be enough, but I will continue to do what I can. This is a well written article, industrial civilization is destroying our dear earth and our lives with it if we don’t stop living this way.

  • As collapse approaches any who have not had a vasectomy or tubal ligation please read this story. The non-permanent means of birth control will disappear. Even abstinence will not work for women as when civil order breaks down rape becomes more frequent. Just watched a Japanese movie The Ballad of Narayama about a village in 19the century Japan that has persistant food shortages. The ways the people cope with low amounts of food are many (and not pleasant), including banishing the elderly to die on the mountain. But the words that most struck me were that of a man to his expectant wife “I hope it is a girl because then we can sell her for salt”.

    As the euro zone debt crisis deepens and austerity measures take their toll across Europe, the number of young children and babies abandoned across the region has increased, according to local charities.

    A “baby hatch” in Hamburg, Germany.
    The rise in the abandonment of infants across Europe is most visible in the spread of “baby hatches” or “boxes” across Europe, where unwanted infants are left anonymously.
    The phenomenon was previously more prevalent among immigrants, but it is becoming more widespread among financially desperate members of the local population.
    The hatches are sensor-activated so when a baby is placed, an alarm is activated and a carer comes to collect the child. Despite the practice being widely viewed as contravening the 1953 European Convention on Human Rights, of the 27 EU member countries, 11 countries still have “baby hatches” in operation, including Germany, Italy and Portugal.
    In those countries where hatches are illegal, the number of infants abandoned in hospitals, clinics and churches has also risen, raising concerns among European charities, the UN and the European Commission that austerity measures and increasing social deprivation are the catalyst for the rise in child abandonment.
    According to SOS Villages, a European charity that attempts to help families in financial hardship before abandonment occurs, in the last year alone 1,200 children in Greece and 750 in Italy have been abandoned. That is almost double the 400 children abandoned in Italy a year ago, and up from 114 children abandoned in Greece in 2003.
    With the cost of raising children estimated to be 20-30 percent of an average household budget (per child) in Europe, more families are now struggling to cope with the costs.
    The charity SOS Villages has reported that adoption rates in Greece and Italy have risen by 20 percent in the last two years, a sharp rise in line with the deterioration of the economy. (More: Greeks Flock to Germany, Even as They Criticize It.)
    George Protopapas, National Director of the charity’s Greek division said that parents already struggling with keeping a roof over their heads are now barely managing to keep their children clothed and fed, if at all.
    Protopapas cited the example of a four-year old child left at a nursery by her mother with a note that read: “I will not be coming to pick up Anna today because I cannot afford to look after her. Please take good care of her. Sorry.”

  • Guy
    or anyone

    If there was a population of say 77000, presently growing at 0.03 % per annum, and if they all decided to adopt a 1 child policy in 2014, what population do you think would be there in 2035? if a collapse scenario occurs during 2013 I cant tell it that population would have a net increase or decrease in the first 2 years, so I cant specify. I have a practical reason for asking, but treat it as a thought experiment and humour me.
    Also, we had heavy snow last light fro the first time in 12 years. We are at 1000 meters and over the last 25 years snow has dwindled from 2 weeks of heavy snow in winter, to one or two days of sleet. August 10th is also a bit late for snow. Is it possible that higher global temps will mean some lacations get colder?
    Treat me like a dummy with the basics of any answer.
    Still trawling through Michaels essay. Doing a lot of free community work, Portable no dig gardens and chicken hutches.

    My wife and I have decided to have community readings and storytelling nights, once a month in our big house(rental). Local community spirit needs some facilitation. First meeting the Blue Moon on August 31st.
    Im asking people to bring one of three things; 1 litre of water, in a clean soda bottle with their own tank or town water; a piece of firewood, or a small bundle of kinsling, or somthing to eat, like home made anything. I have moddelled this on the four things Guy speaks about that we need to survive. The principla is that the gift community has always existed but has be pushed aside in most urban environs, and now it threatens to hit this community soon.
    If everyone who comes brings one of these three things then we burn the wood to keep warm, or stockpile it for the winter coming if it is summer, and we eat the food. The water can be drunk or put into storage in the rain barrels for the garden, or stored in a cool cellar for emergency drinking water.
    If over time we use different peoples homes then they may have these brought to their homes too. This will in time teach people to value these elements and perhaps lead to a gift comodity process.
    Some of you will no doubt say I’m still in denial. I’m not. I’m fully prepared to die. Just keeping the eye on the possibility of pockets of micro regions that conditions may be livable for a lot of wildlife and us too.
    Thoughts would be appreciated.

  • ‘a small bundle of kindling’ sorry…

  • I maybe walking round Australia sooner tan expected.

  • First India, now Egypt. Keeping the lights on is becoming a problem whether it’s due to overload, grid failure, natural causes, malfunctioning software, drought, or whatever (bureaucratic bungling, eg.).


    Egypt plagued by massive blackouts
    Blackouts, together with water cuts, have enraged Egyptians, sending many to the streets to protest.

  • I mentioned a post threads back about the Black river being so low that Pocahontas, a town of about 7,000 not far from here who draws their water from the river, was struggling to find ways to provide water for the town. Well, they came up with a solution, but it doesn’t seem to be very popular . . .

    Here’s an except, the full story follows the link:

    “But…by us pumping it, we’re sucking up some leaves and some trash…well, dirt…which in turn makes for a taste and odor in the water,” Daniel told Region 8 News.

    After finding out what caused the problem, we wanted to know if it was safe for people and animals to drink.

    “It’s not gonna make you sick…it’s just gonna make you not want to drink it,” he said.

    Daniel said when the water goes through the treatment plant, they have been adding extra chemicals to it to help get rid of the taste and smell.


    POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) – Complaints have been piling into our newsroom from Pocahontas residents who tell us their tap water smells and even tastes like the Black River. We went to Pocahontas Wednesday to “clear the water” so to speak.

    “You go to brush your teeth and it’s nasty,” Pocahontas resident, Peggy Treanor told us. “You smell it, you taste it.” Peggy said the water is so bad, even her pets turn their nose up at the water.

    “I have a dog and cat and they won’t even drink the city water. They smell of it and they turn around and walk off.”

    Treanor said she’s been dealing with less than desirable water for about a month now. She lives on a fixed income but said the quality of the water is forcing her to buying gallon jugs of water.

    “And for everything you use it for, it goes quickly,” she told us. She questioned the safety of drinking the water. So we met up with Bill Daniel at Pocahontas Water Works to find out why residents are tasting and smelling such a difference and to see if it’s safe.

    Daniel told us the reason the water smells and tastes so different is all thanks to the low level of the Black River.

    “We seen it coming, and so we had to do something,” Daniel said. What they did is create a pump, similar to the one Pocahontas Water Works used during the flooding of 2011, to get the water to the treatment plant.

    “But…by us pumping it, we’re sucking up some leaves and some trash…well, dirt…which in turn makes for a taste and odor in the water,” Daniel told Region 8 News.

    After finding out what caused the problem, we wanted to know if it was safe for people and animals to drink.

    “It’s not gonna make you sick…it’s just gonna make you not want to drink it,” he said.

    Daniel said when the water goes through the treatment plant, they have been adding extra chemicals to it to help get rid of the taste and smell.
    He also said they test it daily to make sure it’s safe for residents. Daniel said they’ve been in contact with the Health Department as well regarding the water.

    “It just tastes nasty,” Daniel said. “I’ll be the first to tell you it tastes like dirt. But… It is getting better but it’s just a matter of getting it out. Keep diluting it down and getting it out.”

    As far as when it’ll get out, Daniel said the houses that sit in the lower plains of Pocahontas should see the smell and taste of their water returning to normal very soon. He said the higher areas of Pocahontas may have to deal with the taste and smell for a couple more weeks but hopes the problem will be cleared up by then.

  • US Corn Crop Estimate Cut 17% With Yields Forecast To Drop To 17 Year Lows
    Submitted by Tyler Durden
    Corn was already surging to new record highs before the USDA released the WASDE report this morning. With a consensus view of 10.929 billion bushels (compared to USDA’s prior 2012 estimates of 12.97 billion), the USDA’s 10.779 billion bushel forecast means a 17% slashing in harvest expectations. Crop conditions were the worst since 1988 with 69% of the Midwest in drought. Soybeans likewise were expected to show a 2.796 billion bushel production forecast (based on Bloomberg’s survey) which compares with the 3.05 billion prior forecast from USDA and just came 4% below expectations. Bloomberg notes: “The U.S. drought means that global corn supplies will be critically tight for the next year; Livestock and milk-product prices will have to rise to cover the increased feed costs. Eventually, global consumers will have to pay the bill.” It appears the algos were at play immediately after the report as prices surged (in corn) to $8.49 before falling rapidly back to $8.19, and are now up fractionally at $8.31. The biggest consequence is a heavier drag on any possibility of a sizable Chinese stimulus as food price inflation, as we noted last night, is set to stymie any flood of money.

  • audio no longer works on youtube links for me, but it does for other things, like vimeo and hulu, so obviously there’s no fault with speakers or connections. anyone have any ideas or advice on how to fix this problem?

  • TVT for the last week or so youtube has had poor sound on my computer if I go to full screen but sound fine if I keep it small, same with democracy now. However netflix instant play and dvd’s don’t have a problem with large screen viewing. Sound is just sort of jerky in large screen mode. Don’t know if that relates in any way to your problem but it might be indicative of some sort of youtube problem rather than one with your computer. I tested muting one youtube video and then opening up another. The mute on one video doesn’t mute the next one so I doubt that Morocco’s mute suggestion is the problem.

  • morocco, u solved my problem. i hadn’t muted youtube, but i have a kitten that walks on the keyboard sometimes, must have done it. thanks for the suggestion.

    also, thanks curtis for your supportive replies, recently and going back.

  • so, tvt, that means you are logged into youtube, whether you knew that or not. If you raise the volume per my initial instructions, it should default back to that so long as you remain logged in. If you’re not logged in to youtube, youtube is not muted as its default setting, so you get Kathy’s result, where you can mute a one video, close it down, fetch another and it won’t be muted.

    Ah, the complexities of the industrial society. Compare to pre-industrial society: if the scroll flips shut, unroll it again and pickup where you left off. :-)

    Have a happy weekend everyone!

  • Ah Morocco you are right. I was logged in but I used the feature of clicking on the microphone icon to mute it, instead of pulling the volume down with the slider. There are two ways to mute and the one holds as long as you are logged in (moving the sound bar) and the other (clicking on the microphone) doesn’t. Still have scratchy sound when I enlarge my youtube videos to full screen size – any thoughts on that?

  • By the way, John Michael Greer’s recently released a book, Apocalypse Not, in which he takes a potshot at everyone who’s predicted that we’re all going to die.

    And recently in his July 18th blog post, he took a small potshot at McPherson directly:

    “Unknown, I wrote a book on the kind of pronouncements you’ll hear from Guy McPherson; you’ll find it here. Yelling that we’re all going to die sometime soon is a reliable way of getting attention, and there will always be people putting it to use.”

    I bring this up, Guy McPherson, because you may want a “backup plan” on what to tell people in case the apocalypse doesn’t come to pass, as Greer seems to think it won’t.

  • Librarian, the apocalypse is well under way. We drive about 200 species to extinction each and every day. We proceed further into human-population overshoot by more than 200,000 people each and every day on an overcrowded planet. We ratchet up climate chaos on our only, overheated home so that it threatens our species — and, according to some scientists, every species on Earth — with near-term extinction. We destroy clean water, clean air, and healthy soil at an insane and accelerating rate. We oppress people throughout the world. We have made protest illegal. And people, including many who do not care about the basis for human survival, are wondering when the apocalypse will arrive.

    If the lights are not out by the end of this year, I’ll have plenty of company, including the following individuals: Niall Ferguson, Michael Ruppert, “Rice Farmer,” Karl Denninger, Rob Viglione, Gerald Celente, Jeff Rubin, Matt Savinar, Catherine Austin Fitts, Max Keiser , Jim Willie, Graham Summers, Charles Munger, Gonzalo Lira, Peter Schiff, John P. Hussman, Doug Casey, Jan Lundberg, Chris Hedges, Michael Snyder, Kenneth Deffeyes, Matt Simmons (deceased), Bill Bonner, Paul Craig Roberts, Marc Faber, James Wesley Rawles, Tony Robbins, Nouriel Roubini, “Tyler Durden,” James Kwak, Simon Johnson, Chris Clugston, John Taylor, Bob Janjuah, Samsam Bakhtiari, Attila Szalay-Berzeviczy, James Howard Kunstler, Bob Chapman, George Ure, Anthony Fry, Igor Panarin, Mac Slavo, G. Edward Griffin, Joseph Meyer, Harry Dent, Lindsey Williams, Richard Russell, Harley Bassman, Niño Becerra, Martin Weiss, Stephanie Jasky, Eric deCarbonnel, Richard Mogey, Robin Landry, Robert Prechter, Pamela and Mary Anne Aden, Paul Farrell, Nassim Taleb, Gilbert Mercier, Chris Duane, John Williams, Hugh Hendry, Arthur Laffer, Daryll Robert Schoon, Jeff Gundlach, Byron King, Simon Black, Albert Bates, Gordon T. Long, Clyde Prestowitz, Bill Deagle, John Lohman, Alessio Rastani, Mark Grant, Ann Barnhardt, George Soros, and Willem Buiter. Greer is not on this list. Apparently he believes we can continue destroying the planet on which we depend for our survival with no untoward consequences. I hesitate to call names, but there is a word for people who believe things that cannot possibly be true.

  • Dang, Guy, that’s quite an impressive citation list!


    Quick note, better leave out George Soros if you’re speaking to Republicans; Soros is their version of “the Koch brothers.”


  • He hasn’t attacked Greer, but Greer has attacked him,

    In fact, in this blog Guy did once mock John Michael Greer’s credentials as a forecaster of the future due to JMG’s pagan beliefs. Maybe JMG has a long memory.

  • No he didn’t, he mocked JMG because he thought JMG was self-contradictory about how fast collapse was going to happen. He used Sharon Astyk’s “take-down” piece as back-up.

    No, I don’t think it’s JMG’s memory; it’s just that he’s a devotee of Edmund Burke, and Burke thought all revolutionary ideas (except “organic, natural” ones like the American Revolution) were suspect because they might result in perversions of the natural order like the French Revolution and its accompanying Reign of Terror.

  • Guy’s list of books is quite respectable. Not so with John Michael Greer. On Amazon he still sells “Art and Practice of Geomancy, The: Divination, Magic, and Earth Wisdom of the Renaissance ”
    Book Description
    Publication Date: March 1, 2009
    Have you ever lost an important object? Are you taking on a new job? Looking for buried treasure? The Art and Practice of Geomancy teaches readers how to divine the answers to life’s everyday questions about health, luck, new jobs, and love, as well as those less mundane tasks such as finding buried treasure, predicting the weather, being released from prison, and identifying secret enemies. Greer delivers to readers an ancient system of divination in an easy-to-use form requiring little more than a pen and a piece of paper. Using a system of counting odd and even numbers–from a deck of cards, a roll of the dice, or even by hitting sand or dirt with a stick to generate patterns–readers learn how to cast their own geomantic chart. And for those who wish to delve further, he offers exercises for geomantic meditation and ritual magic. The Art and Practice of Geomancy will appeal to pagans, followers of the Western Mystery tradition, scholars of folk magic and divination, and anyone who wants to take their past, present, and future into their own hands.

    Need I say more. This doesn’t mean he is wrong about slow collapse vs. fast collapse it just means that he will write any sort of crap to make money.

  • Yes, indeed. Money changes everything. However, it is possible thatJMG is not in it for the money. Is there any actual money in writing this stuff? Everyone needs some money, or most everyone. It is the high-pitched fear-mongering for money that shuts down my brain. Guy’s list of writers seems to be using fear to get people to wake up. It is scarey. I’m scared.

    Oddly, fear is not enough.

  • U.S. banks told to make plans for preventing collapse (headline from Reuters). Without the assistance of the money printers and politicians. Good luck with that.

  • My comment:

    In fact, in this blog Guy did once mock John Michael Greer’s credentials as a forecaster of the future due to JMG’s pagan beliefs. Maybe JMG has a long memory.

    I may have been wrong about this. If so, I apologise to Guy. However, there is a long history of criticism of JMG on this blog (including his belief system) so any criticism of Guy by JMG does not exist in isolation. Who cast the first stone, I’ve no idea.

    Not that I object to the view that belief in pagan gods, divination, numerology or whatever detracts from someone’s credibility, as long as there is consistency and this is applied to believers of other religions too.

    Reading here about “Guy” v “Greer” kind of reminds me of a BBC war infomercial where the enemy’s leader is denigrated by not being
    afforded his full title, e.g. Saddam rather than President Hussein or Milosevic rather than President Milosevic. I’m probably reading something out of nothing.

  • ‘If the lights are not out by the end of this year, I’ll have plenty of company, including the following individuals’

    guy, i think all most of them are saying is they expect a full scale economic meltdown very soon, and u equate this as meaning a full scale and permanent industrial stoppage. not at all the same thing, imo.

    ‘I don’t know if it’s the end of this year, or the end of this decade, but if I had to wager, and I’m not a “betting man”, I’d say it’s lights out by 2050, most likely sooner, but probably not this year or the next. If I’m wrong, fine, who gives a shit? So what if I’m/you’re wrong, it’s a Shit Sandwich either way…’

    very true, bama. it won’t make a wit of difference in 50 years who’s right and who’s wrong. still, for fun or folly, the olympic games going on now bring up a hypothetical question for making a prediction: how many more summer olympic games will there be, do u think? my guess is 2. civilization won’t go terminal until after 2020. but a big war could speed up the process.

    speaking of the olympics, isn’t it weird how a tiny country like jamaica, with less than 1% of the population of the usa, can be so dominant in having the world’s fastest sprinters, both male and female? it isn’t just jamaica, other small nations from the caribbean sea area have far more than their share of sprinter genes. it’s one of many inexplicable anomalies in this world. all soon to be buried in the dust of collapse and forgotten in the wake of mass extinctions. for whatever it’s worth, one thing won’t change: reality will remain surreal.

  • Excuse me but did anyone full read the book info I posted – he teaches people how to use divination to identify among other things “secret enemies”. Now what do you think some crazy might do with that. The description sounds mildly harmless until you read that. So some schmuck falls for geomancy and uses it to find lost keys or determine his luck, no problem, but he goes further and under Greer’s tutelage finds out that his next door neighbor is his secret enemy. At the least he stops being friendly, and at works he stands his ground against this person he now knows is his enemy and takes him out.

    If the description matches the book then this is totally irresponsible writing. Don’t give him a pass because this falls in the category of religion. Don’t give any religious writings a pass because they are personal religions. People do stuff, evil stuff, based on religion. Invent ideas about the world, say they are so, and create a system that vulnerable people follow thoughtlessly. I will stick with science, for all its faults, it is about coming up with ideas and testing them by a standard called the scientific method.

    Here is an old test for finding out who is a witch – throw her in a pond. If she sinks and drowns she is not a witch, if she rises she is and you kill her. But hey that’s OK because that was part of someone’s religion.

  • C’mon, people. This G McPherson v. JMG nonsense is shameful and juvenile. I’ve been reading both blogs for years. Please stop behaving like spiteful children. If you want to attack someone, attack someone reallybad, there are plenty of ’em. We have enough problems to cope with without stirring up pathetic egotistical rivalries between folks who are basically on the same side, it’s negative and demeaning.

  • In case anyone has forgotten, a slow collapse means that we continue to pour CO2 into the atmosphere, a quick collapse means we don’t burn every damn dirty fuel we can lay our hands on. IF we have not reached the tipping point for an extinction event that extincts even humans, we need to have collapse happen NOW to avoid that fate. Greer and others who predict a slow collapse are predicting total disaster for living creatures on the planet. They are hoping we can keep on putting more CO2 into the air to buy the current round of humans on the planet more time and in so hoping are also hoping that humans go extinct.

    If Guy’s prediction is right, total collapse of the industrial economy might just be in time to save us from runaway global warming.

    But of course no one wants total collapse of the industrial economy tomorrow so the ideas of Greer and others are quickly picked up on without thinking through the consequences of a slow collapse. Offering salvation to desperate people…it always sells in both the financial and belief system meanings of the word. Heaven is just a belief away.

  • Oh, fer sure, Kathy C., but if you think it makes the slightest difference, what Guy McPherson predicts, or what the Archdruid predicts, I suggest you’re deluding yourself.

    Neither of them, nor you, nor I, have the power to change the course of events, whether it’s fast or slow. No more than all the names on Guy’s list, or Dmitry Orlov, or Ran Prieur, or Vinay Gupta, or Paul Kingsnorth, or Derrick Jensen, or John Zerzan, etc, etc.

    All we are doing is running commentary on events as they unfold, and speculating about the direction they point to.

    There’s 7 billion out there, all doing what they are doing, hardly effected, if at all, in any way, by the few thousands, – or even if it is tens, hundreds, of thousands – who are familiar with the ideas of these names, or understand, or are influenced by those ideas.

    We’re leaves in the river, sharing our angers and distress, little more than that….

    The history of the planet and our species will play itself out, fast crash, slow crash, long slow stair-stepped crash, who knows ? It’ll probably take a century before the planet is entirely uninhabitable, but we might get massive shocks any day, you know, like the Berlin Wall or 9/11, collapse of the global banking system, or a supervolcano, a nuclear exchange…

    I’m familiar with the ideas of most of those names. Does anyone seriously believe that all this jabber on the internet will significantly change the course of events ? I don’t.

    I’ve read your views on this blog for a long time. You have a fervent conviction that your own belief system is correct. The trouble is, so do all the others. And to claim a monopoly on ‘the truth’ is immensely arrogant, IMO, just as crazy as blind faith in biblical scripture.

    What the hell is the point of attacking JMG and his book ? So it’s a stupid book, in your opinion. The world is full of stupid books, and stupid people. He’s doing his best to follow his own path as he sees it, just as Guy McPherson is. If you’ve get spare energy to rubbish people and their work, why not direct it towards the really disgusting people, the liars, the con men, the bastards who profit from the destruction and devastation, it’d be a more worthwhile use of your rhetorical skills.

  • I think I caused a firestorm. Sorry about that, I just thought McPherson should know.

    Back to the topic of the article post. The author has a good point. Goodness knows I’ve gotten upset over the years at the debates surroudning gay rights, sexuality, what libraries are allowed to have in their collections (shameless librarian plug, I know), etc.

    Thanks for putting that all in perspective, Michael Thoams. You’re right, if the environment goes down, none of the above will matter.

  • Well, I did come here to turn on the sprinkler system, Librarian, before we get a take-no-prisoners flame war…. :-)

    But maybe that’s what’s needed, to thrash out the differences ? I’m wicked enough to look forward to a punch up, if that’s what it takes. But we’d need to be arguing about something worthwhile, not this ‘my guru is wiser than your guru’ kindergarten stuff.

    I have immense respect for Guy and for John Michael Greer, that’s why I read their blogs, I don’t want them to sing in unison, because I want to hear the different perspectives, eloquently elucidated. Trying to smear each other is pathetic, should be beneath them, IMO. But we’re all humans, and all is vanity, anyway… if that’s what they want to do, it’s their life to choose….I really don’t care that much.

    Respect is very interesting, isn’t it. Hard to gain, easy to lose. Like political campaigning, one stupid thoughtless remark, and the dignified figure claiming to represent all strength, goodness, virtue is reduced to a bumbling idiot, by ridicule and contempt. Hahahaha, ‘Can’t chew gum and walk at the same time’… kinda thing :-)

  • Morocco Bama

    Thanx for the reasoned support, I think. I like the sound of OxMan too, I could use it as an alternative handle.
    I spoke to the son of an Aboriginal elder today about asking permission to walk ‘their’ land. I still have to go through a not unforseen respectfull process of asking permission, then waiting for a reply. However, there are three groups of peoples to consult, and anyone could refuse. That is just for a 90 km walk across the Blue Mountains. A round trip of Australia could mean getting permission from around 140 groups!! One step at a time…

    However, I am just beginning to see the details of the apparent incommensurability of Empire and Aboriginal culture(s).
    I have seen the broard dynamics for some decade now. QV- the fact that Australian Aboriginals even now if they are responding to customary law or ceremony enact them as they arise. In contrast capital(ism) only allows change, through future investmant where research and investment hunches, determines a profit is achievable. Advertising delivers.

    Of one thing I am now doubly certain, these people will get their land back when blowins like me are long dead or fled. They are looking after their rites for ‘country’ as best they can untill it is returned in any way possible. I only hope their is no rediation left for them to suffer when that happens.

  • ulvfugl “What the hell is the point of attacking JMG and his book ? So it’s a stupid book, in your opinion.”

    As I pointed out it is not only a stupid book but a dangerous book. Telling people they can use divination to find their secret enemies is inviting a crazy person to start shooting at anyone who their divination identifies. If JMG wants to be accepted as credible, honest and caring, he should disavow the book and its contents and refuse to sell any unsold copies.

    Guy may be wrong but documented events support his conclusions. As events are unfolding on the ground the speed of climate change is surprising even the most dismal of predictions by scientists. Those are facts – it can be documented what was predicted for when and what actually happened. Artic sea ice is melting faster which leads to positive feedback. Methane is being released faster, more positive feedback. I stick to this blog because the conclusions Guy comes to are based in the reality we face.

    Guy hopes that speeding up the collapse of industrial civilization might save a remnant of species, including us. I think it is too late. But it is not too late to call for THE ARCHDRUID (such hubris) to at least tell folks that divination is a hoax. If he wants to be credible IMO that is. THE POPE needs to tell the faithful that their religion is a lie too. Or on the other hand the Pope could use his vast influence to tell people to stop burning all fossil fuels now. I detest religious or pseudo religious folks for all their\ selling of snake oil and I will speak out about JMG or anyone else who does so. It won’t make any difference but after years of being hoaxed by religion, well it feels good to condemn it in any form.
    Anyone who publishes is open for criticism of what they write and JMG gets no pass.

  • I was told yesterday by an Empire lacky that chopping wood for my elderly neighbour, building a chicken hutch from scrap for a local single mum, and working on a neighbours vege garden were not community service. I said that she must have something wrong with her brain. She was really saying it was not Empire service. If you want the $210 per week carrot, then your officially sanctioned community service needs to be economically quantifyable, and that means translatable to $$$ for the governments, feds, state and lacal.

    It’s very clear to me now that we only need federal for defence,( from percieved threats) and some state entities to ‘supply’ the grid, town water, and gas and fuel, and these days telecommunications, all of which will go in a collapse. I use the word ‘need’ advisadly of course, we don’t need them at all. It is just more comfortable to have them, and the biosphere just goes on being destroyed for that comfort.
    What you can’t get local, you don’t truly need, with the possible exception of emergency medical assistance. But still, if the salem whitch hunts and the likes had not done away with the ‘natural physicians’ that existed before the patriarchal science/doctors forcably cornered that market, we may have had a next to as good local specialist around too. I suspect no one would need an MRI if the toxic chemicals, the radiation and the mobile phone next to head practice had not created the brain cancer to begin with.
    The ‘Pam Warhurst: How we can eat our landscapes’ link reveals that similar enterprises are springing up everywhere, excepting I don’t intend it being a business to keep it viable and excite town planners. Interesting how Pam manages to shine the ageing boomers on with the idea of not asking permission, and all that empowering transgressive talk. Oooh.. it makes me want to have protest fever sex just listening to her. On the other hand, its largly in a pro direction, rather than more centralised development, however, I see this phenomenon as a compromise to accepting a collapse. These initiatives still want BAU with less impact and a bit more Earth in their world, which is OK, but it won’t satisfy a marauding hoard who have few survival stratergies and elders to turn to. Nor will it stop the biosphere destruction, merely delay it, as others have pointed out.

    I am simply trying to encourage the sleepers, and those bashed down by Empire in this community to wake up to the collapse reality, and learn to supply themselves and their neighbours with the basic needs. I can reach the next town in either direction in 1 hour, …two towns in either direction in under 3 hours, by foot. That’s good to know, also so I can tell others what to expect.
    I suppose it is my resolve now to live as much as I can without the shell of Empire. My two bank accounts now read -$4.00 and -$5.49. They may fold soon, after the next month user fee gets deducted. Now I’m in debt…
    Collecting wallaby poo by hand is so empowering…

    Kathy C

    I’m startimg to build my Humanure toilet wooden box tomorrow. I can’t see anyone else in the house using it though.

    Also I’ve seen ‘The Balad of Narayama’, and found it very moving in my youth. I imagine you a bit like the old lady bludgeoning her front teeth so she can pass as so old she has lost her vitality, in order to make the winter easier for her family to survive. I was puzzled however haw the townspeople did not shear, or has my memory let me down on that?

    It occured to me today that perhaps my father deserted our family, and a whole lot of other fathers deserted their families because there were a lot of financial downsides to staying, and many more to leaving. His generation were the ones promoted into sacrificing time with their family to secure careers and work longer and longer distances from home, and slowly they seem to not have as much life enjoyment with thier children, or even intimate knowledge of them. In my own father’s case there was a more complex personal story, however, what is even more significant today is that in order to have the status of MacMansion and cars and frequent consoling fancy dinners and holidays and recreational drugs requires the double income scenario, and Mum now is going through the same transition. I guess that would facilitate the development of the widespread uptake by children and adolescents of the tranitory object… er I mean… mobile phone iPud thingy, window on reality connect 4 gadget mumbo hokum. Now the info from Moroc about the young punk gaming geek techhead guy describing the next wave of investment is in gaming technology make you truly shudder for that cohort’s chances in a blitz.

  • My own words…

    “If you want the $210 per week carrot, then your officially sanctioned community service needs to be economically quantifyable, and that means translatable to $$$”

    I should add that for thse $$$ from the Empire your activity must not intrude on the market of a ‘real’ commercial bisness, usually in the local area.

  • As I pointed out it is not only a stupid book but a dangerous book. Telling people they can use divination to find their secret enemies is inviting a crazy person to start shooting at anyone who their divination identifies. If JMG wants to be accepted as credible, honest and caring, he should disavow the book and its contents and refuse to sell any unsold copies.

    I think that’s preposterous nonsense, Kathy C. People could accuse YOU of fostering ‘terrorism’ by ‘wanting the collapse of civilisation’, using just the same argument. If you think that ‘divination’ is dangerous and people should not be allowed to advocate it, what are you going to do about the millions and millions of books that advocate far, far more awful and appalling things, and all the newspapers and magazines doing the same ?
    I think you need to get a sense of proportion. Are you going to pick fights with everyone on the internet who advocates astrology or homeopathy or anything else that doesn’t fit into your own personal narrow view of existence ? Like I said before, why not expend your energy attacking your real enemies, people like Inhofe, the Kochroaches, etc, instead of sowing pointless discord amongst allies.

    Guy may be wrong but documented events support his conclusions. As events are unfolding on the ground the speed of climate change is surprising even the most dismal of predictions by scientists. Those are facts – it can be documented what was predicted for when and what actually happened. Artic sea ice is melting faster which leads to positive feedback. Methane is being released faster, more positive feedback. I stick to this blog because the conclusions Guy comes to are based in the reality we face.

    Where have I suggested that Guy may be wrong ?

    Guy hopes that speeding up the collapse of industrial civilization might save a remnant of species, including us. I think it is too late.

    Well, ‘hoping’ is all very well, but ‘based on the reality’ it’s not going to make any significant difference, is it ?

    I also think it is too late, to do anything except slow down the changes and buy time. Maybe. I think we are into a Permian-type mass extinction event, which we could have avoided, but cannot now be avoided.

    But it is not too late to call for THE ARCHDRUID (such hubris) to at least tell folks that divination is a hoax.

    You think that’s a significant priority ? Why the hell should he ? It’s nothing more than YOUR personal opinion that ‘divination is a hoax’, your own hubris. Others take a different view. What right have you got to demand or insist that they change their beliefs ? Any more than they have to demand that you change yours ? Are YOU open to persuasion that YOU are mistaken ? I doubt it somehow. Why would others be any different ?

    Even if JMG came on here and said ‘Ok Kathy, point taken, I’ll throw out my cherished beliefs, which are obviously all wrong because you’ve shown me the light, the error of my ways, and I’ll burn the books’, how the hell does that help save any species, or change the world for the better ? Why aren’t you out there campaigning about the floating plastic island the size of France, or Fukushima, or a zillion other horrors, instead of slandering the Archdruid ? Just seems infantile and ridiculous to me.

    If he wants to be credible IMO that is.

    Yes. In your opinion. That’s all it is. You have decided to opt for left brain/logic/science/rationality and reject and dismiss anything that’s right brain/mystical/irrational/poetic, – in yourself and in others.
    Fair enough, you’re entitled to your view. But plenty don’t agree with you and they are not all fools or deluded or less genuine and sincere in their concerns than you are.

    THE POPE needs to tell the faithful that their religion is a lie too. Or on the other hand the Pope could use his vast influence to tell people to stop burning all fossil fuels now. I detest religious or pseudo religious folks for all their\ selling of snake oil and I will speak out about JMG or anyone else who does so. It won’t make any difference but after years of being hoaxed by religion, well it feels good to condemn it in any form.

    Okay, go attack the Pope on some RC forums, tell all those millions that they are wrong, see if you can convert a few :-) I think they rather mirror your own intransigent intolerant view, myself.

    You seem completely blind to the fact that ‘spirituality’ ( for want of a better term ) is not the same thing as institutionalised religion, and that millions of people have genuine authentic spiritual experiences which they hold as sacred and deeply valuable. Those experiences may be meaningless to YOU, but that’s more YOUR problem than there’s, isn’t it ? Self-righteousness. Why would anyone reject their own deeply held profound beliefs just because you disapprove ?

  • Also, it is actually called a ‘transitional object’ and is defined by psychologists as a mother surrogate for security when mother is absent. Like Linus’ blanket in Charley Brown comics. It became clear to me there must be a powerful emotional force as to why it was well nigh impossible to get a teenager in classes to put their phono gadget away, or even give it up for confiscation. So I came up with the possibility that is what is operating in many cases.
    My point is that you never really grow up from hanging on to a surrogate for your mother.

  • We’re leaves in the river, sharing our angers and distress, little more than that…

    I concur with everything you said, but not all of them are sharing. You’re sharing here. I’m sharing here. Others, who do this for a “living”, they’re not sharing. I’d argue that they’re grooming their target audience to keep their gravy train rolling for as long as they can get away with it. The interesting question is how many of them actually believe their own rhetoric? I think the answer to that, if it were possible to divine it objectively, would be illuminating.

    Hi Morocco Bama,

    Interesting question. Probably, most people have mixed and multiple motives for what they do. They try to satisfy their urges and compulsions. There’s a tremendous amount of greenwash and bullshit that’s churned out. I’d say that 90% of the stuff on the internet is junk spewed out by people for their own selfish, self-serving reasons, lies, propaganda, shills paid to promote someone’s agenda, or funnel some cash in someone’s direction, people with political or ideological platforms they want to promote…

    I certainly don’t put Guy or JMG in those categories. I respect their integrity. I mean, being a doomer is no way to get rich or famous is it ? It mostly brings a lot of flack and argument and hassle.

  • A quick question. Does Greer allow, or solicit, guest posts on his blog? I’ve visited his blog several times, and I perceive it to be more of a circle jerk for mental masterbators. Of course, this is just my opinion, but it comes off as arrogant and cliquish. And I have to agree with Kathy, to call oneself The Archdruid is full of vanity, ego and hubris.

    Of course, you could never be a ‘mental mastUrbator’, could you.

    My impression is that he churns out a weekly newsletter attempting to educate people in the fields that he has studied, and he gets an appreciative audience.
    As I understand it, he calls himself Archdruid, because he’s the chosen head of a Druidic order. Don’t see that as having anything to do with vanity, ego, or hubris.

  • Those experiences may be meaningless to YOU, but that’s more YOUR problem than there’s, isn’t it ?

    Ummm…it depends. During the Inquisitions, “their” experience made her the problem, and burned people like her…..and you……and me, and as Richard Reese points out on his blog, once you were a target, that was it, you were done for. They weren’t content to just leave at falsely accusing someone of being a witch. No, they had to remove that witch from the face of the earth. So, maybe you are right, afterall. Their experience is her problem, and the problem of all non-believers, because they don’t operate on a philosophy of live and let live. For them, criticism is not enough.

    You seem to have overlooked the point I made about the difference between spirituality and institutionalised religion.

    Personally I really don’t care what anyone believes. Whatever it is, I hope it gives them strength and solace.

    What I object to is people who insist that others must believe what they themselves believe.

  • because he’s the chosen head of a Druidic order.

    That’s enough to make me turn the other way. That sign says Dead End, as do most. Another shade of lipstick for the PIG (my apologies to pigs, feral and otherwise, for that expression).

    But who the hell cares, Morocco Bama ? Nobody, not me, not John Michael Greer, nobody, has asked or invited you to join or even to like or approve. I’m nothing to do with Greer’s druidism, I don’t give a rat’s arse whether he’s a druid or whether anyone is a druid, I’m not here trying to recruit followers for him, or his blog, or to persuade anybody to agree with anything he writes.

    What the hell does it matter if people want to play at being druids ? Anymore than riding motorbikes or horses or swimming or having sex orgies ? They don’t need your approval or endorsement.

    What I’m saying is that it is absolutely ridiculous to foment contention between Greer and McPherson, because BASICALLY, they are saying the same thing… that ‘civilisation’ is not going to last much longer.

    Guy favours agrarian anarchy, JMG favours green wizardry… is there a difference ? I can’t see any. They both advise people who want to survive to get together in communities and learn practical skills. There’s others saying just the same thing, transition towns, John Robb’s resilient communities, etc etc etc.

    Sure, if you look at the fine detail, everyone has slightly different takes. Some want to keep civilisation going as long as possible, others want to bring it down as soon as possible. Do you think that matters ? I don’t.

    All these different schools of thought are still a tiny, tiny obscure faction, a fraction of one percent of the people in the world. Most of them are concerned with totally different issues, movies, porn, football, sport, tech toys, chasing power, making money, getting their booze or their smack…

  • But who the hell cares, Morocco Bama ?

    I do. That’s good enough for me, but I suspect as icing on that cake, there are a few more who do, as well, and I won’t eschew that. In fact, I welcome it.

    The operative words that I bolded, and to which I addressed my point, were “Head” and “Order”. Those are vestiges of Civilization, and unless they’re jettisoned, this thing stands the chance of starting all over again, because even though the tumor may have been removed, cancer cells have been unleashed in the blood stream to metastasize and create yet more tumors.

    Thank you for your uncaring words. For someone who doesn’t care, you sure have a great deal of passion about not caring. I like that.

    I don’t like chocolate – or cake, or icing – do you care about that too ? Or isn’t it a matter so trivial, in the light of global ecological meltdown loss or biodiversity, collapse of the human population, as to be unworthy of mentioning.

    I put your attitude towards druids in that same category. Utterly irrelevant.

    I could well have got the terminology wrong, perhaps he’s not the ‘head’ and perhaps they don’t call themselves an ‘order’, but whatever… if you see a harmless bunch of romantics who want to follow an innocuous invented tradition that advises them toward an eco-friendly green lifestyle, as a significant supporting pillar of ‘Civilisation’, I consider you deluded. What an absurd argument.

    It’s industrial capitalism, corporate fascism, consumer soceity, etc, that’s trashing the planet and promoting ‘civilisation’, not an eccentric bearded fellow who writes about peak oil and social history for the benefit of a few hundred followers who find his thoughts helpful.

    I do care about species loss and the devastation of this beautiful world. In my estimation, it’s the very worst thing that could possibly happen, and I’m having to witness it in my lifetime. There could not possibly be a greater, a more evil, crime. I have no language to describe the grief and distress that has caused me. I’m on the side of anyone whose trying to do something positive in that battle.

    It is like the Titanic, it’s too late to save the ship, but I do whatever I can because it’s the only honourable right thing to do. I think we are coming to a bottleneck, most of the humans are going to die unpleasant and premature deaths, and it’s anybody’s guess whether that happens in time to allow some selection of other species to survive, or whether it will be a loss of all the larger organisms, down to cockroaches, maybe extremophiles in deep ocean, and fungi and bacteria….

    I wish it were otherwise ! I don’t have the power to change the way things are going, neither does anyone else, as far as I can see. So we write about it on the internet – sigh.

  • Hahahahaha, I don’t idolise anyone, not Guy, not JMG, I read what they have to say and evaluate it according to my own insight and judgement.

    Well, I agree with you re the beast. But I don’t see any remedy. Other than total extinction. It only needs one man and woman, and they’ll repeat the same story all over again.
    Even if you burn all the books, destroy every trace of technology and knowledge.

    If you think that JMG and his followers contain the pernicious seed, then so will Guy’s agrarian anarchist commune. Two or three generations down the road, some rebellious adolescent invents a crossbow, plays the Cain and Abel game, decides they like power, and that’ll be the end of the utopian egalitarian anarchist soceity, won’t it ?

    I mean, all the previous civilisations, Chinese, Mayan, Inca, Indian, European, etc, started out as families, small tribal groups, that decided to get bigger and conquer their neighbours. How you going to stop that happening all over again ?

  • ulvfugl and Kathy C

    I would like to offer a compelling argument as to why there is a problem here, and how it can be resolved
    It goes like this.
    Scientific verification of ‘facts’ can only validate objective phenomena. These are primarily mediated by the Thinking and Sensation functions of consciousness. Sensation tells you that something exists, hot and cold, red and blue, sweet or salty, and thinking is a discriminating function that tells you what it is or what it is not; a chair, a blade of grass, a car not a train. The Feeling function tells you if you like it or not, and the Intuitive function informs you where it came from and where it is headed in the cycle of arising and passing. The Feeling and Intuition functions are subjective and are beyond the realm of science to explore. All four functions have equal validity and are necessary to experience and understand reality.
    Spirituality, mysticism and religion are highly suspect world views to scientific minder individuals, and to cultures that have a dominant scientific capacity, because they are subjective and rely on self reporting of phenomenon as real. Conversely the scientific world view of Newtonian physics, composed from inanimate objects in space in motion with no room for consciousness is equally suspect to the spiritual mystic and religious types.
    This is simply an issue of which glasses we are adapted to using to view reality.
    The use of the word Nature means separate things to a Scientist, and a Mystic/Spiritualist.
    With respect to the Terrestrial context, to a scientist Nature means the physical manifest world and its geomorphological properties and energy dynamics, which includes living things, but more as complex autonomous ‘objects’.
    To a Mystic/Spiritualist Nature includes the manifest world with the concept of living animate forces coexisting and coincident with the manifest form of reality.
    To a scientist this is open slather to promulgate any made up unseen event or pathway to boo boohood self fulfilment we want to postulate and perhaps make a $$$ from. These things are by definition unvalidatable by science. Many of the shammy assertions can be tested and like many historic fads like 18th century mesmerism and seance parlour tricks were fraudulent. However, there is no way to definitively scientifically demonstrate all of these assertions are false, and therefore it is nu-disprovable as a world view.
    Conversely to a Spiritualist/Mystic the subjective nature of their experiences, and the revelatory aspect of the transformative processes in their deeper emotional growth, of their inner life, as it were, need no objective corroboration to be considered valid or real. Likewise aspects of revelatory visions and dreams which bring knowledge, in some cases of future events, are of a contradictory character to Scientific validation, because they are neither replicatable because they are unique time events in the evolution of an individuals emotional/spiritual growth, nor are they easily observable and verifiable by others.
    Here is the problem, echoed in some age old discourse on the Science versus Religion debate: what is real, or what view is Truth. I advance the view that if used exclusively these two blocks of functions only inform the conscious entity of a subset of reality. If you have four tools in your tool box and you habitually use only one or two, you are not going to be able to do a range of tasks, and soon they will not be in your experience, and if they are mentioned they will be suspect. If you are really serious about answering those two questions you are firstly going to need to let go of the usual two tools used, and attempt to use the other two tools, nee Functions.
    That will probably need as much if not more guidance and self discipline, and as much embarrassment as the development of the other two functions, but in order to be in a position to perceive reality, or truth you need to value each Function and what it can inform you of, and as importantly what it cannot.
    I like to think that the men and women who worked on the Manhattan project and the first Atom bomb as being highly trained and skilled out of their humanity. Where is the compassion for all beings there?
    Also there are many Feeling and Intuitive types who are lost in the sea of illusory and corrupt dogmas of religion and hokum spiritualists because they lack the discrimination and perspicacity to demand some objective verification of the truth of the assertions of their particular ideals.
    I am reminded of a story of the great Swami Ramana Mahashi, of Arunchala in India. he attracted few Westerners but one medically trained Englishman devotee vacillated in his total acceptance of Ramanas’ teachings because of his earlier scientific training. With the patience and humour consistent with his profound realisation Swami Ramana Mahashi said to the assembled devotees, when yet again set upon for some real objective proof of the truth of his teachings by the Englishman; “What, does he want me to give it to him in writing?”(my paraphrase)
    Only when all four functions are sufficiently developed can one approach perceiving a reality or truth of a moment. Very quickly however, if one is that mature the problem of the witness position on perception becomes clear, and one must give up, or sacrifice the exclusive witness, who is donning the glasses, using functions to perceive reality altogether. The next bits I am not clear on, way beyond my experience and therefore authority to write about.

    These issues bare centrally on the issue of how the developed world values the Biosphere, because as we all know it is not valuing the Biosphere, except to look at on a screen, or in a previous age in a book. If you feel the world you will value it and relate to it and perhaps put your body on the line for the vulnerable beings losing their homes, as Michael Thomas has done.
    If you are undeveloped in that function then you can be manipulated into childish compensatory notions of relating to Nature via a screen, and giving a yearly tax deduction to Greenpeace and that is enough.
    Likewise if you are a rationalist and see no value in homoeopathy and water divination, like say Richard Dawkins, and feel the need to prove these things are hokum on TV, then you appear silly because you subject something that was once perhaps relying solely on the Feeling and or Intuitive functions, but which having succumbed to two centuries of scientific filtering which has led them to have adopted some scientific justifications to retain credibility, and are therefore easily debunked. But were Mr Dawkins, in such a test, to explore his own inner life with a spiritual Adept I would wager a different experience. Even in this postulate, a spiritual Adept does not do experiments on people to demonstrate a cosmology, they work directly to develop the whole being, which means to develop the unused tools in the toolbox.
    According to Jung, this is where the Shadow is of concern, both individually and collectively. That which, in functional terms, we have suppressed in order to adapt to the world, will remain in shadow, and seem suspect, and doubtful and therefore untrustworthy and even terrifying. The Medieval dragon, and the 1950’s-1970’s American Black man are both socially codified shadow projections, of which we now have in the Islamic Terrorist, and even bizarrely ‘Young People’.
    If you are too bound to the propaganda of the demonised shadow you will resist the inner promptings to growth and change that come with age. These are natural movements to begin to adopt the undeveloped functions. In most indigenous cultures the signs were detectable to elders and ways were made to assist that transition, and even though modern psychiatry had to deal with the centuries of trauma of Empire it was an attempt to do this in a scientific way. Interesting that the two most significant originators of modern psychiatry, Freud and Jung, both acknowledged the use of dreams and other ‘psychic experiences’ as significant and valid evidence. Jung was eventually labelled a Mystic, but claimed to be scientifically investigating the Psyche. That can only be done if you walk the walk, and experiment on yourself, and that is precisely what authentic spiritual practice is all about.
    To come back to the problem- most of us ‘see’ our world using the developed functions we either find easily accessible, or we are ‘educated’ to adopt. There are what are called turn-types, who have an early disposition to some functions and are ‘turned’ away by forced education, or perhaps family values, and experience a lot of confusion and problems at later phases of life.
    I have a suspicion that the epidemic of depression in the developed world is either due to the loss of the Feeling function, and/or the loss of strong developed individuals as social signifiers to the mature demonstration of that function. As Jung pointed out, even though deep depression is debilitating and limiting, and otherwise oppressive, it is a pathway to feeling, slow and painful but nevertheless an instinctive adaptation to recover Feeling if you have no other.
    It is good IMO that it is generally now ok to admit having depression socially. However, if all you get is medicated shallow existence, then you will never heal and grow beyond such a process. I do not refer to depression as an illness, for it is essentially an indication of a culture that has forgotten and suppresses feeling.
    Witness the range of people jumping for joy in the car add. Coke, ‘oh what a feeling’.
    Advertising is a whole other essay.
    Collectively indoctrinating generations of us to develop Sensation and Thinking at the expense of Feeling and Intuition is a key cause of our environment nightmare we have today. I want to advocate at least some tolerance and perhaps then some curiosity into the other POV, for we may find the riches we so badly need in our own hearts, and if that is so then we will value the Natural world and all beings.
    In light of all I have written I wish to advise that it is not constructive to proffer subjective experience we have had into the public domain via text, without understanding and acknowledging that at a distance a public forum acts in a quasi objective way. If I post I had a spiritual experience, I cannot verify it’s reality except to state it. Readers will interpret that report as plausible or not depending on their biases and their commitment to honouring others POV. But it does not amount to objective evidence like the temperature readings across the USA in the last months do. Conversely I propose that subjective evidence is most reliably communicable in person, as a subjective concern. We should not kid ourselves that our subjective experiences are valid to others at this distance as evidence of a divergent reality or cosmology than our own. I can only say that NBL attempts to offer a sufficiently rigorous adherence to verifiable scientific data on the Biosphere, and it is our feelings about these data the show we care. The collective success of Empire in suppressing Intuition and Feeling, and finding ways to exploit those subsequent weaknesses and needs, may be a reason many who frequent NBL find people who not only post emerging evidence of Biosphere anomalies and destruction, but have an edgy cynicism of the dominant Empire culture, but also find a camaraderie in feeling that others care so much.
    Though many share a scepticism of the integrity and honesty of the powers that be, through some of the bickering me thinks I hear a strong heartbeat.

  • Getting back to the topic, perhaps, before I outstay my welcome here, by stirring up more trouble…. :-)

    “When we ask ourselves what is important, I would hope we list human survival near the top of the list. If we allow global ecological collapse to continue, then we, as high level consumers, will most likely not survive. If this happens then EVERYTHING your parents and your ancestors worked for, everything you have worked for, will mean NOTHING. If there are aliens, then they will laugh at us: we have the knowledge to prevent our own extinction, but still move forward like lemmings towards the cliff. We read information like this, and many still choose to do nothing, or to remain willfully in denial or ignorant. Time is running out and the only question is, are you willing to get your priorities in order?”

    I used to look at the situation from that perspective. I just assumed that the preservation of humans was a priority. But I’ve changed my view. We are the problem.

    I mean, just look at this tribalist rubbish, G McPh v JMG, lobbing rocks over the fence, it’s pitiful. And yet that’s what we do. And all sorts of other worse idiocy.

    I really don’t care about ‘the ancestors’. They’ve gone, and left behind ( in my case, in UK, ) a ghastly culture of imperialism, militarism, exploitation, ethnic and technological supremacy, entitlement, class prejudice, etc, etc. which I personally abhore. Good riddance to most of it.

    I thought that when the Arctic began to melt, people would get it, and panic. But they don’t. They either deny it’s happening, or see it as a wonderful thing, because we can grab the oil and minerals that were under the ice and make tons of money…

    What i would like to see is an emphasis on preserving habitat for species, but even that is a lost cause, because climate change means all the ecosystems get knocked off balance, indeed they are changing faster than we can record the changes…

    Yes, I’ve been imploring and urging people to change for decades. It doesn’t work, does it. It’s impossible for the existing structure to change. It’s a massive thing that’s grown over centuries, all the different professions and inter-relationships, and it all revolves around the money system, and oil and coal and electricity… They – meaning the State, the elite, the government, the ruling layer of soceity, the decision-makers – cannot change it, because to do so, means it has to collapse, taking all of their power and status down with it… that’s terrifying for them, unthinkable for them. They’ve been building this mega-machine for centuries, they cannot conceive of anything else. The banking system, the agriculture system, the transport system, the military, diplomatic relations with the rest of the world, every part of the machine needs oil, needs money, needs power…

    To pull it all down and make it eco-friendly, reduce it to a condition where it’s compatible with the needs of the biosphere, is like asking them all to jump off a bridge. They don’t know what the hell to do about all out problems, but they definitely don’t want to jump off a bridge… so, they keep juggling, keep pulling levers, pressing buttons, hoping that something, anything, will come along and save them, so they can carry on as if there’s no problem…

    And what’s worse, they’re doing what the majority of the masses want. They all want their cars, their cheap flights to exotic places, their supermarkets and their tv, their social security, pensions, health care, nice houses, clean streets, and the bloody Olympics…

    As far as those folk are concerned, JMG and G McPh, – and myself for that matter – are out on the loony fringe, cranks, crackpots, misanthropes, dangerous extremist antisocial deviants…

  • “It’s nothing more than YOUR personal opinion that ‘divination is a hoax’, your own hubris.” Fine let The Archdruid submit divination to a scientific experiment to see if it yields any more correct results than random chance or prayer.

    Long-Awaited Medical Study Questions the Power of Prayer
    Published: March 31, 2006
    Prayers offered by strangers had no effect on the recovery of people who were undergoing heart surgery, a large and long-awaited study has found.
    And patients who knew they were being prayed for had a higher rate of post-operative complications like abnormal heart rhythms, perhaps because of the expectations the prayers created, the researchers suggested.

  • Thanks for all that Ozman.

    I think it’s fairly simple. Right brain and left brain.


    Also, mythos and logos. Mythos is poetic truth, logos is literal truth.

    It’s not an either/or, it’s a both. We need both. Just as we need, and cannot avoid, left and right.

    Some people prefer using right hand, some left. IMO, where it becomes ridiculous is when people insist that only their left brain/logos view is correct, and everyone else is wrong, and vice versa, of course.

  • Further to my last posting I neglected to mention the special and powerful role of the Climate Change and Biosphere Destruction Deniers, CCBDD. These individuals, and the hidden ones prompting them from the shadows, have sacrificed a truely compassionate enconter with the Biosphere in exchange for social and material power or rewards of and from Empire. The Nuclear industry and oil industry are good examples. From what I’ve read the Peak oil issue really only got traction because a number of older oil engineers retired and begun speaking out in the late 1980’s and 1990’s. Also after Fukushima Arnie Gundersen was prepared to say enough is enough for the Nucler Industry. In both cases, like David Suzuki, points out, it is usually only after an individuals future economic livlihood is secure will individuals speak out against the dominance of Empire.
    The extreme wealth and social and political priveledge can off endless consolations and momentary pleasures, but none of that compares with the enjoyment, and bliss of inner successes and growth, even in adverse times, when one knows millions of beings suffer and are in mortal peril.
    CCBDD bleat in unison because objective evidence is less persuasive to an emotionally childish audience who use emotive responses like ‘will result in higher weekly prices at the bouser and shop checkout’. In public discourse polarised emotive rhetoric always gets more traction than evidence. Many don’t trust the mouthpieces of Empire, but are too tired and harried to investigate the issues in any depth to know what’s relly going on. I get that a lot, even though they are kinda concerned, kinda…

  • Kathy C., what does prayer have to do with divination ?

  • but in order to be in a position to perceive reality, or truth you need to value each Function and what it can inform you of, and as importantly what it cannot.

    The perceiver, the perceiving and the perception exist within reality. Reality is without the differentiation of perceiver, perceiving and perception. 

    The next bits I am not clear on, way beyond my experience and therefore authority to write about.

    The claim to one’s lack of clarity in some matter does not extend to a lack of clarity on the awareness/existence of a claimant. 

    they work directly to develop the whole being, which means to develop the unused tools in the toolbox.

    There is nothing to develop. 
    Diamond Sutra – A New Translation by Alex Johnson, Chapter 14:

    “Such a person will be able to awaken pure faith because they have ceased to cherish any arbitrary notions of their own selfhood, other selves, living beings, or a universal self. Why? Because if they continue to hold onto arbitrary conceptions as to their own selfhood, they will be holding onto something that is non-existent. It is the same with all arbitrary conceptions of other selves, living beings, or a universal self. These are all expressions of non-existent things.

    If I post I had a spiritual experience

    There is still the experiencer, the experiencing and the experience. And there is still the “I”.

    Conversely I propose that subjective evidence is most reliably communicable in person

    There is still the subject, the “I”, and the object, the “not-I”. And there is the communicator, the communicator and the and the communicatee.

  • Meanwhile back in the real world of cause and effect

    Huge cyclone batters Arctic sea ice
    The image below shows an unusually large and powerful cyclone that was churning over the Arctic in early August 2012. Two smaller systems merged on August 5 to form the storm, which at the time occupied much of the Beaufort-Chukchi Sea and Canadian Basin, reports NASA Earth Observatory. On average, Arctic cyclones last about 40 hours; as of August 9, 2012, this storm had lasted more than five days.

    This cyclone’s central sea level pressure reached about 964 millibars on August 6, 2012—a number that puts it within the lowest 3% of all minimum daily sea level pressures recorded north of 70 degrees latitude, noted Stephen Vavrus, an atmospheric scientist based at the University of Wisconsin.
    The storm came in from Siberia, intensified and then positioned itself over the central Arctic, engendering 20 knot winds and 50 mph wind gusts, reports Skeptical Science…
    Such mixing could mean that sediments that have been frozen until now get exposed to warmer water. This could destabilize methane contained in such sediments, either in the form of free gas or hydrates.
    John Nissen, Chair of the Arctic Methane Emergency Group (AMEG), comments:
    “There are at least three positive feedbacks working together to reinforce one another – and now a fourth on salinity:

    The albedo flip effect as sea ice is replaced by open water absorbing more sunlight, warming and melting more sea ice.

    As the sea ice gets very thin, it is liable to break up easily and get blown into open water where it will melt more easily.

    The open warmer water is allowing increased strength of storms, which break up the ice to make for more open water.
    The storms are churning up the sea to a depth of 500 metres, producing salinity at the surface that will mean slower ice formation in winter and more open water next year.

    These feedbacks are dangerous for methane. AMEG has been warning that, as the sea ice retreats, storms will warm the sea bed, leading to further release of methane. In ESAS, we only need mixing to a depth of 50 metres – so a storm capable of mixing to 500 metres will really stir things up.

    These feedbacks are also dangerous for food security, already damaged through climate extremes induced by Arctic warming, hence our piece in the Huffington Post.

    more at https://arctic-news.blogspot.ca/2012/08/huge-cyclone-batters-arctic-sea-ice.html

    They go on to encourage geo-engineering to save the day. I am not in favor of that, but I understand that people who see what is coming and what is not and will not be done regarding CO2 can see this as the only possible course. They are not the sort to envision that the collapse of industrial civilization is another option.

    Meanwhile in important news about the storm “The Arctic Row Team was forced to backtrack 12 miles yesterday as a fierce Arctic Storm came tearing over the ocean. In the face of the coming storm, the team fought the wind for every mile gained.” Guess they forgot to do their weather forecasting geomantic charts.

  • With thanks to Michael Thomas for his evocative post, I’ve written a new essay. It’s here.

  • Robin Datta

    I was writing about issues of early stage development of the human being. What you offer is unrealised formulaic statements that may in essence be true but in words is a tiny word assemblige. It is not so helpful to add a zen nothingness to a discourse like this because untill the nothingness is self evident, there will be a fabricated illusory ‘I’ that struggles for understanding and suffers endless pain. This is one of your coans I suppose. Perhaps I’m too harsh, I appologise. Saying it is so, without offering pathways to understanding, so others can get to there from here, is not how I like to operate, but I take your points as relevent.

  • ‘Greer and others who predict a slow collapse are predicting total disaster for living creatures on the planet.’

    extinction for humans and many of the species we feel kin to, yes. total disaster for life, complete extinction of gaian life, no. i don’t even go so far as to predict only extremophiles are likely to get by. but, compared to the world we knew, i expect it will be quite a desolate world. it could well be the greatest extinction event since gaian life began, from which there may be no recovery.

    i make predictions based on what i perceive as most likely, however unpleasant it may be.

    and what exactly is meant by a slow collapse? something that took centuries/millennia to create, if it collapses in a few decades, that’s relatively fast, imo. instantaneous collapse? wishful thinking imo. not very likely.

    ‘It won’t make any difference but after years of being hoaxed by religion, well it feels good to condemn it in any form.’

    it sure does! with one caveat. religion which is not dogmatic or involve deceit, if such a religion exists, shouldn’t be condemned.

    ‘Here’s to Anarchy, and to Guy enabling it in yet another space!!!’


    as to the great argument of the past few days here, imo in no way, shape, or form should dogmatism or anything related to the ‘supernatural’ be considered equally valid as rationalism or facts which can be scientifically validated. it’s loose brained thinking like this that has humanity in it’s current predicament.

  • as to the great argument of the past few days here, imo in no way, shape, or form should dogmatism or anything related to the ‘supernatural’ be considered equally valid as rationalism or facts which can be scientifically validated. it’s loose brained thinking like this that has humanity in it’s current predicament.


    All that says to me is that you are someone who favours left brain over right brain, and logos over mythos. Which, of course, you are perfectly entitled to be.

    I myself prefer to listen to both, because both have value. Poetic truths, literal truths.

    Btw, I’m not arguing in favour of ‘dogmatism’, which I deplore, or ‘the supernatural’, whatever that might be I have no idea.

    I would argue that it is Enlightenment rationalism, materialism, and it’s children, science, capitalism, industrialisation, that got us into this mess, at least as much as “loose brained thinking”, whatever that is supposed to denote. It’s hardly a scientific term, is it.

  • hahaha. u got me there. just for the record, i am not a scientist, but i like to portray one in cyberspace hahaha.

    seriously, i have problems with your zeitgeist. i see only negative consequences resulting in pursuing enlightenment via flights of fancy (except perhaps when these flights of fancy are courtesy of your favorite entheogen hahaha) heeheeheehee weeweeweeweeeeeeeee. sigh

    perhaps my problem is i’ve yet to date my favorite entheogen for the trip of a lifetime. my mind is closed. ah well.

    however, as nutcases go, i think u’re ok. btw, we’re all obviously a little nuts, don’t u agree? if u don’t, i see it as confirmation of your ‘loose brained thinking’ (not a scientific term hahahahah lol)

    i might have been conjuring the character of grampa simpson from the simpsons cartoon when i wrote that unscientific term. it’s something he’d be apt to say, along with his nitwit son homer. correction. i was acting as a spiritual medium for a cartoon term. yeah, that’s it. i was temporarily possessed by the spirit of simpsons creator matt groening.

    seriously, u whose name i find senseless (uwnifs) hahahahah, i hope u feel welcome and at home on this blog, where anarchy reigns supreme, it seems. hail to a great guy, guy mcpherson hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!

    forgive me lord, if i have sinned, i beg of u. HA HA HA

  • Thank you for your light hearted loose brained response, tvt.

    Problems with my ‘zeitgeist’ ?? Are you sure you know what zeitgeist means ?
    ‘Time-ghost’ = ‘spirit of the times’, not something one person can have, rather a shared social mood attached to a particular period…

    ‘Pursuing enlightenment via flights of fancy’… Don’t really know what that means.
    I’d suggest that anyone pursuing enlightenment go on a zen retreat.

    Me ? Nuts ? Depends how you judge your craziness and your sanity I suppose…

    Sorry, I have had very little exposure to the Simpsons, so I’m not really qualified to comment…

    Thanks for the welcome. I’ve been reading Guy’s writings for years. Can’t recall anything, at this moment anyway, that I strongly disagree with… but I have my own blog to feed, so that takes most of my available time.

    What I can offer is a resolution to the endless quarreling on the internet, between those who want a scientific approach and those who want a ‘spiritual’ approach, viz. left brain/right brain, mythos/logos.

    We need both. We cannot avoid having both. People want to insist that science is all rationality and logic. That’s simply not true. It’s faith based, just like religion. It’s based upon the presumption, the faith, that there is an objective reality, shared by all. That presumption is nothing more than a convenient claim, never tested or measured or confirmed empirically. Historically, it was just taken as a given, in the early days of science ( Leibniz, Newton, Descartes, Bacon, etc ).

    Now quantum physics has shown that it is not correct. The observer and the observed cannot be separated. That means that the philosophical basis of science collapses. Just like the basis of the biblical belief system collapses, if the cornerstone of Genesis is removed, as it has been, by geology and biology and physics.

    So, both science and religion, as belief systems, are built upon error. Of course, the believers on both sides take no notice, and carry on believing as if there was no problem, because it is hard for them to face the alternative.
    The alternative being, in my view, that both systems are nothing more than long and interesting stories. One is a logos-type story, the other is a mythos-type of story.

    People like to argue that their preferred, superior, story is the one kind, or the other kind, but it is very silly. This leads to continual discord, anger, and absurdity, which could be easily avoided.

    Both have merit, because both contain truths. Science has factual stories attached to measurable, testable, repeatable, evidence. Logos.

    Poetry, magic, music, art, tell fanciful stories, that illuminate some facet of the human condition. They don’t require any logic or evidence, they only have to resonate with a person’s feelings and experiences. Mythos.

    Some people prefer logos, because their left brain dominates their being. Some people prefer mythos, because their right brain dominates their being.

    Both kinds of people are merely humans, limited creatures, and should be humble in the face of the vastness and mystery of the Universe.

    There. Sorted. ;-)

  • An important, but rarely mentioned theme is ocean acidification. Our oceans have seen an increase in acidity of over 30% since industrialization and, unless current trends are altered, an increase of 150% acidity by the end of the century is expected, which according to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) will result “in a pH that the oceans haven’t experienced for more than 20 million years.” The acidification is due to many factors, but the leading factor is anthropogenic (human produced) atmospheric CO2, which forms carbonic acid with the ocean water. The lower pH prevents shellfish from forming shells and hinders the growth of coral, as well as having negative effects on other marine species ( http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/co2/story/What is Ocean Acidification%3F ). Numerous other problems also affect the oceans, such as pollution from plastics, which poison marine animals that confuse the pieces of plastic for food. The problem is so severe that “in some parts of the North Pacific gyre, plastic bits outweigh plankton by more than six to one in the surface waters.” ( http://ocean.si.edu/ocean-news/ocean-trash-plaguing-our-sea ) This, or pH changes, may be related to the 40% decline in phytoplankton in the ocean since 1950 – phytoplankton representing yet another key ecological species, such as bees, that play an important role in ecological balance- ( https://thinkprogress.org/climate/2010/07/29/206497/nature-decline-ocean-phytoplankton-global-warming-boris-worm/?mobile=nc ). The aforementioned endocrine disruptors are often leeched from plastics such as BPA ( https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100323184607.htm ), and play a role in destabilizing marine ecosystems.