Critical Self-Reflection On the Road

by Karen Sliwa

When Guy asked us to write about our experiences because we chose to “chase a different carrot”, and leave our jobs to learn how to be more self-sufficient over the last 18 months, my husband Mike (who wrote an earlier essay in this space) asked me if I wanted to write this time. We spent the first three months at the Mud Hut and Guy helped give us the confidence we needed to go further.

I don’t comment or put all my thoughts out there on Facebook or Nature Bats Last very often, but I read most of what is written in those forums and I agree with much of what is posted. People ask Mike what I think a lot. I am the type to sit back, learn, and when I feel comfortable in a situation, I bloom. I usually don’t write or comment because I am comfortable with letting Mike express our experience because he is at ease putting his thoughts out there, and he is good at it. For the record, I agree with most of his beliefs and words although we differ in that I have come to a point in my life where I don’t want to argue with people. Stating my position and then putting it out there without the intentions of constantly fighting with people or trying to change how they feel is where I am at.

With that said our journey so far, for me, has been about connecting with people and opening up myself to the moment. People are people regardless of where they live. They have different cultures, life circumstances, belief systems, institutions, traits, genetics, reactions to life, etc… just like all of us. The journey is about learning about everything, understanding others, and more importantly, myself because if we don’t work on ourselves, it is difficult to help others. Let’s just say I am more focused on the emotional impact of interacting in a world where I am not constantly distracted by consumerism and civilization as most know it. A very different experience and one I am embracing wholeheartedly.

I struggle with writing because I am so critical of it. I avoid it because I get anxiety from just thinking about who will read it, what I want to write about, and how I will react to the results of my writing. This is what I perceive as the results of competitive education for consumerism, and anxiety from achieving “perfection”. It isn’t that I think I am a terrible writer, but it forces me to focus my thoughts. This is coming from someone who doesn’t participate fully in civilization, and has time to focus her thoughts; but still my thoughts are constantly scattered like a puppy sniffing here and there, chasing leaves, bugs, squirrels, and cars. Everything is interesting to me and avoiding writing is comfortable; therefore, I chose to write this essay because it forces me out of my comfort zone. At this moment I keep thinking about writing an essay that is in the correct format or grammatically sound and it is annoying. So bear with me and understand if this essay isn’t exactly how it is “supposed” to be, otherwise it would never be written. My goal is to write something that folks can understand or feel regardless of the rules and the expectation that my intelligence is directly related to my writing ability. I also like the idea of breaking the rules and just expressing myself.

I will share a few specific experiences from our life journey so far! I will keep it brief because all of them would take even more focus and I think I explained that already.

One of the experiences I had on our journey was eye opening because it forced me to look at myself and see that I still struggle with my intelligence and I am constantly questioning how academically “smart” I am. I am a former teacher, a person who understands the different intelligences we all possess. Let’s just say the light bulb went on. This example is progress I can relate to. An eye opening example of the kind of progress we all need in our lives, not progress in that I have to make 2,000,000,000 instead of one million this year or I need to grow 20 more tomatoes this year compared to last. Progress in self-realization or personal understanding is what I think we all strive for whether we see it or not. I realized that there is so much more to understand and learn about myself and what my role is in our world. I also embraced one of my intelligences as being able to deeply feel compassion and empathy which allows me to listen to people so that they can feel their feelings. This understanding brings me to the conclusion that all communities need diversity. Just because a person works harder at a physical task, doesn’t mean that another person isn’t contributing to a community if they don’t. They have something else to give to the community. We all may not be equal in specific tasks but are equal in personal contribution, whatever gift that may be. In other words in a community such as Guy foresees, a doctor may have more “education” in that field but he or she isn’t seen as better than the person who digs a 35-foot trench. They both contribute to an agrarian community, albeit in different ways. It is a hard concept to grasp and living in a community is difficult with these diversities, but setting aside the ego or perceptions of competition or hierarchy, and keeping score so to speak, may make a community stronger.

The next thing about community that I learned and gained great pleasure from experiencing is the realization that a gift economy can work. What we really need and what we desire are two different things and working with people and seeing them understand that we will work for food and shelter, two of the necessities in life, was awe inspiring. It gave me hope for a different future. A future in which progress and money may not matter.

Another experience was watching Mike grow in his realization that he can do things that are hard for him. Let me explain. Mike has lived a life of privilege and never really had to fend for himself. He has never had to do things like fix things or make things that may challenge his ability or his temperament. He has experienced some challenges on this journey and I have loved seeing him grow and understand his past reactions to difficulty. I am very proud of him and one of our jokes now is him stating, “I almost gave up”, when he starts something and figures it out on his own or with help; and seeing him enjoy the challenge and task at hand. He has developed a desire to satiate his growing curiosity and he has helped me to see that our contributions are different, but still desirable and for the benefit of the community.

As you can see, I keep talking about community. This is the last lesson or experience from our journey that I will share. Community is the key to a certain percentage of folks surviving whatever it is that life on this beautiful earth has to show us. I know Guy and many of the folks writing on his blog talk about peak oil, how we have lived on this planet, how long before economic collapse, etc… I am not diminishing the essays or work people are doing to make this world a better entity at this moment in time, and I appreciate and enjoy the education that I get from them all, but the earth will prevail. She just will. Being present in a community in which people can at least try to stop judging and working together for the future of the few who will survive the uncertainty is my goal. I work on the non-judgmental thing every single day. I have learned to step back and see myself and others in different lights and to take each moment and reflect on it so that I can learn from it. Living in the moment is the key for me because the future is uncertain. Preparation is important, but for me it will take years to be fully prepared for whatever lies ahead and I am sure we all have learned at some point in our lives that being prepared doesn’t always mean things will work out as planned, and that is ok. Geez, another realization! Letting go of control-not so easy for me, just ask Mike! Being present for your community regardless of where it or they may be at the time is a wonderful lesson learned. Mike and I have started to build our worldwide community and will continue to do so forever, I think.

I hope that what you take from this essay is the importance of reflection on your own personal journey and realization, seeing the man I love grow psychologically and spiritually, and realization of the importance of community in an uncertain world, and not how poorly this essay was purposefully written. Sometimes we allow fear to control our ability to “progress” and I understand that we all grow at our own pace, but maybe reading my words will help you reflect on your own comfort zones in life and you may have a light bulb moment for yourself. Thank you for reading, peace to you all, and we will see you on the road!

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Karen Sliwa and I am part of a the team of Mike and Karen Sliwa. We quit our teaching jobs and decided to live a simple life and we are learning how to be self-sufficient and leave less of a footprint on this wonderful place called Earth. In other words, we decided to chase a different carrot. It was a personal moral decision and one we have zero regrets in so doing. This essay reflects our journey so far. You can follow our at Chasing a Different Carrot.

__________________

McPherson’s latest essay for Transition Voice was published today. It’s posted here.

The latest trailer from Mike Sosebee’s film is embedded below.

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Next-day update: McPherson’s 8 October 2012 radio interview on American Freedom Radio with Kevin Barrett is here

Comments 187

  • “I am the type to sit back, learn, and when I feel comfortable in a situation, I bloom.”

    Thank-you for sharing that essay Karen. I read it out-loud for my wife, Carmen, this morning and she kept saying “she sounds exactly like me!” My family tends to be outspoken and boisterous so at family events Carmen often sits and listens and allows the “empty cans” to make all of the noise. But when I need to learn something or face a challenge I ineveitably rely on Carmen’s “good sense”.

    We look forward to hosting you and Mike later this month and hoping you “share” your experience with us.

  • about 10 years ago, in my early fifties, after my last heterosexual breakup (with a man who stayed my work colleague since then), being almost fully aware at the time of the dire situation we are in, I made a conscious decision of never having and intimate partner again during this incarnation. I also then put a final term to any sexual contact with anybody unless coerced (which did not happen to this day, but I hear a lot about abuse going on in places where old women live). I have been talking about my choices (which have many many levels) around me labelling myself “zerosexual”, which is usually pretty annoying to the crowd who, based on their own social values, fear of loneliness, etc., say “oh! you don’t know, maybe one day…” NO. not one day neither ever again. I am on my journey all by myself and that is how I say it should be. I would only join a community where there are no fucking couples. A community that would be over all the fucking. Hear me, I don’t care what people do, I just wish I could find for myself a non-fucking community knowing pretty well it is impossible. Even if they say they are,
    how do I know? So not only intimate partners, but also community I have to give up. Be it.

    all this to say that I am bored to death of hearing about my partner, my husband, my wife and would like to share with totally autonomous persons who know that at this particular point,they have to stand together but alone.

    we are fuked and fuking in so many ways…


  • Karen Sliwa says:
    My goal is to write something that folks can understand or feel regardless of the rules and the expectation that my intelligence is directly related to my writing ability.

    It don’t matter how crappy we write:
    The chances it lasts long are slight;
    Both our little screed
    And someone to read
    Soon will be way out of sight.

  • “I am on my journey all by myself and that is how I say it should be…..all this to say that I am bored to death of hearing about my partner, my husband, my wife and would like to share with totally autonomous persons who know that at this particular point,they have to stand together but alone….we are fuked and fuking in so many ways…”

    I liked that very much, michele/m, and thanks for having the courage to say it like that…

  • On ocean acidification:

    http://crosscut.com/2012/10/09/environment/110889/science-faces-fate-sea/

    A report on a conference in Seattle.

  • MB and BtD, both capture the finality of humanity. So many things don’t matter. It was interesting to read The Last Policeman – a world that knows exactly when the end will be from asteroid and how differently humans reacted to that – some suicides, some fast and loose living, and the last policeman a dedication to doing his job to the last minute.

    When you know extinction is in the cards, not hard living with a few surviving longer by being prepared, but over, done, nada left….does nothing matter or does everything matter.

    Reading now Everything Matters by Ron Curie Jr. He has been told by voices in his head that an asteroid is going to obliterate the planet in 18 years. Finally the US gov’t confirms he is right….’bout half way – will give a book review when I am done if it is worth it.

    https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Matters-Ron-Currie-Jr/dp/0670020923

  • Karen, I really enjoyed your essay. Thanks for writing it despite the anxiety and self-criticism. Why do you think it was poorly written? I liked it.

    I also don’t want to argue with people. I find it exhausting and demoralizing, at least when it comes from a place of one-up-manship rather than the respectful sharing of ideas. It appears that some people find competitive arguing stimulating, and I don’t begrudge them that preference, but it’s not for me.

    Sharing your journey and insights through writing has great value, in my opinion. I hope you’ll write more in this space. I have the same sort of anxiety you describe in the face of writing, but I find that I rarely regret pushing through it. It sounds like you’re aware of your capacity to inspire; that’s a beautiful gift, and not always visible when you’re offering that gift in a non-face-to-face, asynchronous environment like the interwebs. It’s real, nonetheless.

  • BC Nurse thanks for the link on ocean acidification. One thing stood out to me One way to measure the urgency of the scientific response to ocean acidification is by its carbon footprint. In 2004, 125 marine scientists gathered in a single room in Paris to ponder the effects that surging loads of human-generated carbon dioxide into the atmosphere might have on the sea below. They heard 24 research presentations, nearly the sum total of papers published on the subject worldwide that year.
    I thought when I first heard about ocean acidification that it was something I had missed. Now I see it appears to be something everyone missed…… that is really scary.

  • Thank you Karen, for sharing your thoughts.

    Language is one of the gifts granted uniquely to humans, enabling us to form complex and subtle ideas and share them with others. Individual facility in expression covers a vast spectrum, and while some part of that ability may be innate, the prospect of one’s initial shortcomings is an unfortunate deterrent to the practice that may bring out one’s best.

    Each language has its own paintbrushes and palettes, with its unique subtilities that may not be understood by all, much less communicated in another tongue, reminiscent what a cabinetmaker might feel in the company of lumberjacks. The subtler aspects of English were first brought to me in books by masters of the language, leading to inordinate (as I now realise) expectations of an “English”-speaking country prior to my arrival.

    Indeed, expression in speech can be one one of the deepest of human connexions. After my mother died, my father’s greatest regret was that he had never been able to adequately express his feelings because she did not understand his native language, Bengali (her native language was Telegu). Sadly, there are so many to whom this aspect of human interaction never exists.

  • Kathy C. I thought when I first heard about ocean acidification that it was something I had missed. Now I see it appears to be something everyone missed…… that is really scary.

    Dammit, Kathy, I, me, wolfbird, ulvfugl, did NOT miss it, I have been telling people about that for years and years and years…

    I think a big shift has happened. For all those years, the motivation inside me has been trying to inform people, with a vague hope that if enough wake up, there’d be some change to avert these terrible things…

    Always the same thing. Nobody wants to hear the awful story I tell them, they want to keep telling the nicer story that they have in their head, the story where there’s hope and happy endings and the cavalry arrive just in time… ah, they said, maybe some of what you say is right, but there’s this and this and this which go against your argument and provide me with comfort, some reassurance, that my nice story is still intact…

    Now my motivation has changed. There is no point in me trying to change people’s stories anymore, because the events will force them to to do it themselves… and it is too late, whether they change their behaviour now or not…

    All you nice, decent, kind, sensitive, caring people that read this blog and want to do the right thing… what can you do ? I don’t know. Typically, when resources run out, when things fall apart, when life gets much harder, the nastiest, the most brutal and ruthless, the far right authoritarians, decide that what’s needed is more control and order, and so they impose it by more violence against everyone they see as ‘not them’…

    Ayn Rand social darwinist survivalism bullshit… it won’t solve any problems, it’ll just make things worse… but I think that’s what happens, looking at history.. rooted in the behaviour of baboon colonies, maybe, where behaviour becomes much more vicious and nasty when there’s stress, a drought, a famine…

    Did you know how ‘clean’ the oceans were ? So clean that it was impossible to take a proper sample from the deep blue central ocean, because the plankton would die from the pollution from the glass water vessels, made from high quality laboratory glass, we humans could not make a container clean enough that it did not contain traces of poisons that killed some of the organisms, they were/are that sensitive to any contamination…

  • That should be reminiscent of…..

  • Thank you for the wonderful essay, Karen.
    While I was reading it, I could see you grappling with ideas and how to express them, which is the beauty of trying to put something in writing. Something I’ve learned the hard way about control, is that the only thing I CAN control is how I react to situations and people. I can’t control how others view or judge me. And people are going to judge. I had to come to terms with that, and the fact that if I told the truth, meaning if I lived the truth of my own life, many people would not like me. Including people that I love. Honesty is threatening, and that doesn’t mean it has to be in your face.
    I have almost no one around me who looks at the big picture, and it is really depressing. Life is a big pendulum of emotion, and it is my goal to step out of the way and stop reacting. If I take myself and my expectations out of the equation, I stop living in fear of the unknown, and things unfold as they should, and I am always surprised at the results. I am in awe of our world, and in mourning for it at the same time.

  • Posted by: Dr. Jeff Masters, 4:25 PM GMT on October 09, 2012 +30
    September 2012 was the 23rd warmest September on record for the contiguous U.S, said NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in today’s State of the Climate report. The month was also the driest on record for Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota, and was a top-ten driest month for six surrounding states. The warm September temperatures helped make the year-to-date period of January – September the warmest such period on record for the contiguous U.S.–a remarkable 1.2°F above the previous record. Even if the remainder of 2012 ranks historically in the coldest one-third of October – Decembers on record, 2012 will beat out 1998 for the warmest year on record in the U.S. The first week of October has been one of the coldest weeks of the year, relative to average, with record cold lows outpacing record warm highs by a ratio of four-to-one in the contiguous U.S. However, next week will be warmer than average for the U.S., and it is highly unlikely that October 2012 will rank in the coldest one-third of Octobers on record. The October 2011-September 2012 period was the warmest such 12-month period on record for the contiguous U.S., and was the 3rd warmest 12-month period on record. The six warmest 12-month periods since record keeping began in 1895 have all ended during 2012. http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2253

  • Hey Karen – thanks for sharing. i once attended a seminar class in philosophy of language and at the end of the semester we all concluded that no communication actually takes place (since no one can say to any competent degree that they fully “understand” what anyone else is saying, we just think we do). Nonetheless, i enjoyed reading of your progress toward self understanding and recognizing your husband for his growth.

    Reality is so bizarre as to be unfathomable to us ordinary humans.
    A song for everyone on the way:

  • Sustainable simplicity simply isn’t seductive; however, the power gained by the concentration of wealth to “Big Men” is indeed sexy.

    Adam’s
    avaricious
    accumulation
    earns
    Eve’s
    eye.

  • Disposable Fukushima workers, “One person can only work for 30mins a day, 20
    days a month, one month a life”
    Posted by Mochizuki on October 9th, 2012 • 2 Comments
    Share on facebookShare on twitterShare on emailShare on printMore Sharing
    Services
    On 10/5/2012, Radio show called Hodo suru radio reported the working situation
    of Fukushima workers.

    Currently 3,000 people work at the site, and 23700 people have been working in Fukushima plant in total. However, the plant situation has not been improved at all. An actual nuclear worker comments like this below,
    About the workers in reactor buildings, it’s like “Run and climb up to there to get the stuff.”
    About the workers in water purifying equipment, it’s like “You see the lever there right. Run to get it here.”
    Because the radiation dose is too high, we can work only momentarily.
    When contaminated water is leaking, we have to use remote controlling robots, but we have to prepare for it and get things back to be like before after using the robot. We can’t work for longer than 20 ~ 30 minutes. We need more workers. It can’t progress. Because we always need new workers, it goes really slow. Because we managed to cover the top of the reactor building with a lead lid, the atmospheric dose is getting lower a little bit at the seismic isolation building or outside, but those who work in the reactor buildings or water purification equipment are still exposed as before.
    Sometimes they show me their integral dosimeter at a rest room.
    It’s 0.5mSv/15 mins.
    It’s 1mSv/30 mins.
    I asked him for how long he was going to work in such a condition. He said, it can’t be longer than a month.
    For those tasks, people keep coming and they keep leaving monthly.
    As far as they confirm, some workers are working under 20 subcontract companies, having 93% of salary exploited.
    However, workers are getting paid less and less for tight budget. Currently, they are paid 90 ~130 USD a day.
    Because some of the subcontract companies can no longer provide the workers with accommodation and food, those workers are having to leave Fukushima, but they have no place to go back.
    They were told that it’s going to be a long term job, they quit the contract of their apartments. When they have family, they have home but can no longer support their family.
    http://fukushima-diary.com/2012/10/disposable-fukushima-workers-one-person-can-only-work-for-30mins-a-day-20-days-a-month-one-month-a-life/

  • Critical Reflection on a Colossal Misunderstanding of Something Vital….

    For too long a time human population growth has been comfortably and pseudoscientifically viewed by politicians, economists and demographers as somehow outside the course of nature, somehow disconnected from the population dynamics of other evolved species on Earth. The possible causes of human population growth have seemed to them so complex, obscure and numerous, so they have said for many too many years, that an adequate understanding of the cause of human population growth, much less a strategy to address the emerging and converging ecological problems posed by the unbridled growth of the human species, has been assumed to be unapproachable. Their preternatural grasp of human population dynamics has lead to widely varied forecasts of human population growth. Some forecasting data indicate the end to human population growth soon. Other data suggest the rapid and continuous increase of human numbers ad infinitum, and like the endless expansion of the global economy, without adverse impacts. The dogmatic adherence of these politically correct experts to erroneous, unscientific theory regarding automatic population stabilization around the midpoint of Century XXI and a benign demographic transition to a good life for the human community at large cannot be accepted any longer as if it is based upon the best available evidence.
    Recent scientific evidence appears to indicate that the governing dynamics of absolute global human population numbers is knowable as a natural phenomenon. Despite all the misleading, intellectually dishonest and deliberately deceptive ‘scientific research’ to the contrary, Homo sapiens can be shown to be, and now seen, as a species that is a part of and definitely not separate from the natural world we inhabit. Experts in politics, economics and demography have consciously fostered and continue obdurately to countenance a perilous disconnect between ecological science and political economy. Perhaps politics, economics and demography are themselves disciplines that are fundamentally disconnected from science. They appear to have more in common with ideology rather than science. To suggest as many too many politicians, economists and demographers have been conveniently doing that understanding the dynamics of human population numbers does not matter, that the human population problem is not about numbers, or that human population dynamics has so dizzying an array of variables as not to be suitable for scientific investigation, seems wrongheaded and dangerous.
    According to research of Russell Hopfenberg, Ph.D., and David Pimentel, Ph.D., global population growth of the human species is a rapidly cycling positive feedback loop in which food availability drives population growth and the recent, skyrocketing growth in absolute global human numbers gives rise to the misconception or mistaken impression that food production needs to be increased even more. Data indicate that the world’s human population grows by approximately 2% per year. All segments of it grow by about two percent. Every year there are more people with brown eyes and more people with blue ones; more people who are tall as well as more short people. It also means that there are more people growing up well fed and more people growing up hungry. The hungry segment of the global population goes up just like the well-fed segment of the population. We may or may not be reducing hunger by increasing food production; however, we are most certainly producing more and more hungry people.
    Hopfenberg’s and Pimentel’s research suggests that the spectacularly successful efforts of humankind to increase food production in order to feed a growing population has resulted and continues to result in even greater human population numbers worldwide. The perceived need to increase food production to feed a growing population is a widely shared and consensually validated misperception, a denial both of the physical reality and the space-time dimension, a colossal misunderstanding. If people are starving at a given moment of time, increasing food production and then distributing it cannot help them. Are these starving people supposed to be waiting for sowing, growing and reaping to be completed? Are they supposed to wait for surpluses to reach them? Without food they would die. In such circumstances, increasing food production for people who are starving is like tossing parachutes to people who have already fallen out of the airplane. The produced food arrives too late. Even so, this realization does not mean human starvation is inevitable.
    Consider that the population dynamics of humankind is not biologically different from, but essentially common to the population dynamics of other species. Human organisms, non-human organisms and even microorganisms have similar population dynamics. In all cases the governing relationship between food supply and population numbers of any living thing is this: food is independent variable and population numbers is the dependent variable. We do not find hoards of starving roaches, birds, squirrels, alligators, or chimpanzees in the absence of food as we do in many “civilized” human communities today because non-human species and what we call “primitive” human communities are not engaged in food production. Please note that among tribes of people in remote original habitats, we do not find people starving. Like non-human species, “primitive” human beings live within the carrying capacity of their environment. History is replete with examples of early humans and more remote ancestors of “civilized” people not increasing their food production and distribution capabilities annually, but rather living successfully off the land for thousands upon thousands of years as hunters and gatherers of food. Prior to the Agricultural Revolution and the production of more food than was needed for immediate survival, human numbers supposedly could not grow beyond their environment’s physical capacity to sustain them because human population growth or decline is primarily determined by food availability. Looked at from a global population perspective, more food equals more human organisms; less food equals less human beings; and no food equals no people. The idea that food production must be increased to meet the needs of growing human population has been actually giving rise to skyrocketing human population numbers, not only since the Industrial Revolution but even more recently and intensively with the onset of the Green Revolution that began sixty years ago.


  • Karen Sliwa says:
    My goal is to write something that folks can understand or feel regardless of the rules and the expectation that my intelligence is directly related to my writing ability.

    What’s important is thoughts you convey—
    We’re not here for long anyway;
    Like any dumb quote,
    The world will little note
    Nor long remember what we say.

  • Karen,

    I have not had time to finish and think about your entire piece, however, I was taken with the opening theme of community and of each person developing his/her talents. I was a teacher also and felt the most important thing I learned from that experience was that each person has strengths and we need to value those abilities, whatever they are. As Marx noted, ‘From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs.’ I think that statement applies to Community (the concept) as well as community (what we need to develop if we are to have any chance of squeezing our species through the bottleneck).

    Michael Irving

  • For those who are not up to speed on what we have done to the oceans…

  • Steven Earl Salmony – great stuff! i’ve read Hopfenberg (and Ehrlich, Malthus and Camus before him) and can’t understand why people are so stupid as NOT to see this! It’s so obvious that if you overpopulate to the point where your species is causing the supply of resources upon which you live to plummet – you’re on your way out!
    Apparently we’re no smarter than yeast! In fact, we’re WAY WORSE – we pollute more and the toxicity of our pollution will kill off many other species on the planet, not just US.

    Kathy C – super article. Thanks for keeping us up to date on this. Did you see the recent finding of the Russian nuclear graveyard (on the link i attached a few days ago)? The on-going trajedy in Fukushima will spread eventually to the rest of the world in the same way that Chris Hedges points out that what’s being done to the “marginalized” populations like the homeless, minorities (including anyone not in the 1%) and Occupiers (with regard to police brutality, scarcity of resources alloted, support, standard of living, etc) will happen to the rest of us NEXT.

  • For those who are not up to speed regarding the significance of Descartes…

  • Tom, I can’t find that link. Can you post it again.

  • Human organisms, non-human organisms and even microorganisms have similar population dynamics. In all cases the governing relationship between food supply and population numbers of any living thing is this: food is independent variable and population numbers is the dependent variable.

    “Food” is a proxy for energy.

    Population growth is exponential when not reined in by energy limits. High ERoERs provide more energy from the same energy seed-stock. The leftover energy in excess of the energy seed-stock can be used at discretion to convert more resources into (usable – including edible) products. Amongst these discretionary uses is the entraining of more of the mechanism for providing energy from that seed-stock: (as in bringing more land under cultivation, drilling more oil wells, etc.). This is what allows (economic and population) growth.

    Low ERoEIs offer less discretionary energy and lower rates of growth, as with agriculture. Greater ERoEIs is allow greater rates of growth.

    Harping about food production ignores the rest of the system. The depletion of non-renewable resources (including energy resources) now long touted as limiting, pales in comparison to the imminence of a sudden and catastrophic loss of conducive climate, a resource hitherto taken for granted.

  • Morocco Bama,

    Black Swan

    If I was only casting the Black Swan she’d be yours. But I’m not.

    Maestro, Odette’s Variation please. Now show me your White Swan, MB.

  • Mr. Salmony:

    Could you please post a link to that research? Thanks.

  • We do not find hoards of starving roaches, birds, squirrels, alligators, or chimpanzees in the absence of food as we do in many “civilized” human communities today because non-human species and what we call “primitive” human communities are not engaged in food production. Please note that among tribes of people in remote original habitats, we do not find people starving. Like non-human species, “primitive” human beings live within the carrying capacity of their environment.

    That is a consequence of the control of predation, including that by microbes – infectious diseases. A little over a hundred years ago, most children died from “usual chdhood diseases”. Among “tribes of people in remote original habitats” the starving, felled by disease, rot and/or feed scavengers . Uneven distribution of available food is a consequence of hierarchy.

    Those who advocate a departure from this status quo can be taken seriously only if they would invite the consequences for themselves and their kin.

  • Could you please post a link to that research? Thanks.

    Here it is

  • Robin: I advocate for changing that status quo and I welcome the consequences for myself and my family. Thanks for the link.

  • Morocco Bama,

    You’ve got to start thinking rationally about those Bombs Bursting in Air.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvQqMBaVM80

  • Karen,

    Much of our understanding of “community” has to be rethought (along with the very concept of Doomsteads as refuges) if the world is truly facing climate catastrophe due to accelerated global warming. The stress level human and non-human communities will experience under such conditions will be enormous. It’s not going to anything like a garden-variety Great Depression or even world war. The level of suffering is going to be unimaginable.

  • Morocco Bama,

    A rational discussion of nuclear bombs here:

  • Karen–Loved your article, especially: “Preparation is important, but for me it will take years to be fully prepared for whatever lies ahead and I am sure we all have learned at some point in our lives that being prepared doesnt always mean things will work out as planned, and that is ok. Geez, another realization!” That has been my experience, and it’s not easy or fun, but we have to move on.

  • ‘my thoughts are constantly scattered like a puppy sniffing here and there, chasing leaves, bugs, squirrels, and cars. Everything is interesting to me’

    i’ve exactly the same problem, karen. my ideas are a lot shinier and impressive inside my brain than they are after i try to put them in writing, partly because i have such a problem with focus. perhaps there is such a thing as too much curiosity. it’s frustrating to have a stream of consciousness that’s too fast to express, in a world too complex for easy explanations. it’s frustrating not being as smart or talented as others, when one wishes to embody these gifts. aware of the chasm between perfection and surreality, both within and without. flawed sheeple living a flawed existence ruled by a coldly indifferent and mysterious non-deity. vulnerable, transient, poignant, pointless.

    thanks for the essay, karen.

    montreal michelle, u’re post about wishing to be part of a ‘non-fucking community’ reminded me of an upcoming radio program on my local public radio, featuring a local science writer and her new book titled ‘why do women crave more sex in the summer?’, because both bring to mind how typically women are more influenced by men by the totality of their environment, regarding libido. no doubt about it, facing extinction, or at the very least a horrific die-off trial by fire, i can see how this might put a serious damper on a thinking woman’s libido. maybe some thinking men as well. my libido is still intact, if running down due to age, but serious relationship(s) must be limited to those in the know, which of course is a serious limiting factor, given so few are in the know regarding our predicament. oh well. not an ideal situation.

    morocco bama, u’re not a bad poet! u’re a good poet. right up there with btd.

    kathy, your book sounds quite interesting. looking forward to your review.

    ‘I also don’t want to argue with people. I find it exhausting and demoralizing, at least when it comes from a place of one-up-manship rather than the respectful sharing of ideas’ -jennifer hartley

    it wasn’t until i was well into adulthood that i surrealized that i have a tendency to do this, learned from my family. now i try to listen more, and avoid those who seem to always need to have the last word…

    ‘Typically, when resources run out, when things fall apart, when life gets much harder, the nastiest, the most brutal and ruthless, the far right authoritarians, decide that what’s needed is more control and order, and so they impose it by more violence against everyone they see as ‘not them’… ‘ -ulvfugl

    this is one of my great fears, and why i hope to have the resolve and support to end my life on my own more merciful terms, if and when the time comes.

    as usual i’m behind in keeping up with the comments here. thanks all for inspiring and informing.

  • tvt : …because i have such a problem with focus. perhaps there is such a thing as too much curiosity. it’s frustrating to have a stream of consciousness that’s too fast to express, in a world too complex for easy explanations. it’s frustrating not being as smart or talented as others, when one wishes to embody these gifts. aware of the chasm between perfection…

    Ffs, do something about it ! If you can’t focus, spend 5 minutes every day focusing intensely, on any fixed sense object, train your brain, take some responsibility for what you are… take deep breaths, slow down… stop building a self-pitying inferiority complex… forget about envying others, be what you are, but be better at being what you are.

    ..u’re not a bad poet! u’re a good poet…

    That depends how you define the word ‘poet’. Have you never read any of the great poets and essayists ? Dylan Thomas would spend a week on just one word, trying to get it exactly right, so that it expressed precisely what he wanted to say. There’s a difference between Picasso’s Guernica or Leonardo’s Virgin of the Rocks and just slinging shit at a wall.

    ‘I also don’t want to argue with people. I find it exhausting and demoralizing, at least when it comes from a place of one-up-manship rather than the respectful sharing of ideas’ -jennifer hartley

    it wasn’t until i was well into adulthood that i surrealized that i have a tendency to do this, learned from my family. now i try to listen more, and avoid those who seem to always need to have the last word…

    Sure, the quiet, timid, gentle ones don’t like anger and shouting and fierce argument. But it’s part of human nature too, and a skill that can be learned, and if you avoid it, the other ( bad ) guys will always get their way. I hated it too, but I learned because I was fighting for something precious that I loved, and if I did not make my case forcefully, the people who didn’t care at all, loud-mouthed, aggressive, ignorant idiots, prevailed.

    My own fundamental loyalty is to the biosphere, rather than the human species, but there is much in humans to admire and value, and I think people should organise, network, fight in any way they can, against the brute forces of darkness. We all know, from history, what happens, depravity, cruelty, ruthless horror in the name of some benighted ideology. Hitler, Stalin, M. Atwood’s Hand Maid’s Tale, is happening, sending expendable people to work at Fukishima… I wanted a better world, not a worse one, but it seems that is not going to be possible…

  • Constance you wrote “That has been my experience, and it’s not easy or fun, but we have to move on.”

    As the data comes in from the summer sea ice situation the high probability that humans will be extinct in 18 to 38 years – of course each of us humans dies anyway and for me the tables have me dead somewhere at the beginning of that time frame. We don’t HAVE to move on, we have to move on if say we want to live longer than others. The only thing we HAVE to do with no qualifying conditions is die. Everything else is optional. We don’t have to breathe, we have to breathe if we don’t want to die now. We don’t have to eat, we have to eat if we don’t want to be hungry and die in 3 weeks.

    My suggestion to you and others is that if what you are doing is not fun you are missing enjoying whatever time is left. Relax, do what feels good, don’t sacrifice really living now for a few extra years of surviving.

    https://arctic-news.blogspot.ca/p/global-extinction-within-one-human.html
    “Developed (and some developing) countries must cut back their carbon dioxide emissions by a very large percentage (50% to 90%) by 2020 to immediately precipitate a cooling of the Earth and its crust. If this is not done the earthquake frequency and methane emissions in the Arctic will continue to grow exponentially leading to our inexorable demise between 2031 to 2051.

  • Kathy C.: http://climateviewer.com/

    ulvfugl: great link to ocean degradation (that most have no idea about).

  • Kathy C.My suggestion to you and others is that if what you are doing is not fun you are missing enjoying whatever time is left. Relax, do what feels good, don’t sacrifice really living now for a few extra years of surviving.

    I have always advocated Joseph Campbell’s ‘Follow your Bliss’…. but keep a watchful eye on that lurking darkness too… hone your judgement, don’t be naive… it’s simply unacceptable that these psychopathic disgusting demonic people decide everyone’s future…

    If a new leader arises, he or she will be of sterner stuff, merciless and cruel.  This is also what is whispered behind closed doors.

  • Tom, thanks what a fascinating site to explore. The K27 seems to be of particular concern now, although all the sunken nuclear subs and bombs are part of the mess we have made.
    Besides the Soviet ones there are two US ones from wiki article titled List of sunken nuclear submarines
    Thresher (SSN-593), the first submarine in its class, sank April 10, 1963 during deep-diving trials after flooding, loss of propulsion, and an attempt to blow the emergency ballast tanks failed, causing it to exceed crush depth. All 129 men on board died. Location: 350 km (190 nmi) east of Cape Cod.
    Scorpion (SSN-589), a Skipjack-class submarine, sank May 22, 1968, evidently due to implosion upon reaching its crush depth. What caused the Scorpion to descend to its crush depth is not known. All 99 men died. Location: 740 kilometres (400 nmi) southwest of the Azores.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18587608
    On Feb. 5, 1958, a B-47 bomber dropped a 7,000-pound nuclear bomb into the waters off Tybee Island, Ga., after it collided with another Air Force jet.

    Fifty years later, the bomb — which has unknown quantities of radioactive material — has never been found. And while the Air Force says the bomb, if left undisturbed, poses no threat to the area, determined bomb hunters and area residents aren’t so sure.

    The bomb found its hidden resting place when the B-47 pilot, Air Force Col. Howard Richardson, dropped it into the water after an F-86 fighter jet accidentally collided with him during a training mission.

  • Full article at https://arctic-news.blogspot.ca/2012/10/arctic-summer-wind-shift.html snip below
    A research team led by James Overland, Ph.D., of NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, Wash., examined the wind patterns in the subarctic in the early summer between 2007 and 2012 as compared to the average for 1981 to 2010. They discovered that the previously normal west-to-east flowing upper-level winds have been replaced by a more north-south undulating, or wave-like pattern. This new wind pattern transports warmer air into the Arctic and pushes Arctic air farther south, and may influence the likelihood of persistent weather conditions in the mid-latitudes.

    “Our research reveals a change in the summer Arctic wind pattern over the past six years. This shift demonstrates a physical connection between reduced Arctic sea ice in the summer, loss of Greenland ice, and potentially, weather in North American and Europe,” said Overland, an oceanographer who leads the laboratory’s Coastal and Arctic Research Division.

  • Saving the Arctic Ice: Greenpeace, Greenwashing and Geoengineering (#1)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nathan-currier/arctic-climate-change_b_1911550.html

    Extinct if we don’t to geoengineering. Probably extinct in somewhat different ways if we do. Gonna finish my coffee and go play in the dirt.

  • Dear BC Nurse Prof,

    Thanks for your request. Too many people immediately reject a point of view without even bothering to read the research from which it is derived. At least that has been my experience here and elsewhere.

    The research can be found at the following link, http://www.panearth.org/. Please note that comments on the ecological science of human population dynamics are welcome from you, Guy, Robin, Kathy, MB and All.

    Please note that I believe humanity could save itself from itself while there is still time, but chooses not to do so with every passing day because many too many movers and shakers consciously and deliberately refuse to acknowledge their understanding of reality and respond ably to ‘what is’. Leading elders know what is happening yet willfully reject speaking out loudly, clearly and often about what is true to them. A pervasive and pernicious dearth of intellectual honesty, moral courage and willingness to do the right thing by powerbrokers and their sycophants and many minions, all of whom dominate the mass media, is everywhere in evidence.

  • I think there may be some fascinating hints here, about the origins of civilisation.

    Humans, animals, need salt. It’s vital to health. Nobody even thinks about it today, it’s over-abundant in processed foods, so much so that it’s detrimental to health. But if you think of hunter-gatherers, away from sea coasts, sweating – have you ever had that craving after perspiring a lot ? it’s similar to thirst for water – any source of salt would be essential and very precious.

    So, a few hundred people find a good source, and become salt miners, and build the first city walls to defend themselves, and to secure their treasure… the beginnings of civilisation, and capitalism.. sort of… control of vital resources

    Somewhat strange people, burials where the bottom half of the bodies were severed and removed…

    some interesting links and pictures

  • Steven Earl Salmony, I agree totally with you that the overriding problem is population.

    However as I have noted before about 150,000 people normally die each day. If we had no more new births for 10 years that would take about 10 years to reduce our world population by 1/2 billion. So lets say a sustainable population is 3 billion (way high IMO) it would take 73 years of no new births to reach that goal if deaths are not increased. Please inform me if my figures are incorrect. Without any new births that would lead us to extinction as there would be no fertile women left alive.

    I doubt that anyone here thinks that we have the right number of people on the planet or that population is not at the root of the problem.

    If we want to stop extinction by methane release the only thing offered it Guy’s hope (gone?) that collapse of industrial civilization will reduce carbon output enough to stop any further warning. But if we are already in full positive feedback the only thing offered is geoengineering.

    No voluntary cut back of CO2 is going to be enough to stop extinction by climate as the amount needed is that provided by full collapse of industrial civilization and no country on the planet is going to do that willingly.

    No voluntary cut back of new babies is going to be enough to reduce population fast enough to make a difference. As I have pointed out before to you, China with its largely enforced 1 child per family policy added 300 million humans over 40 years.

    The solution is coming for both CO2 output and population by nature. But it is going to be final. The good news is once we are extinct we don’t have any such intractable problems to solve ever again.

  • Beginning to gather Wallaby and Kangaroo poo from the Independent school over the road for my compost.
    Man, there is a lot of poo out there. Iguess we are all poo now, and Fuuked poo at that.

  • The good news is once we are extinct we don’t have any such intractable problems to solve ever again.

    Hahahaha, ‘every cloud has a silver lining’, eh 🙂

  • About ulvfugl’s link to Gordon Duff’s article about how America threatens to become a monster. Ho ho ho. It’s always been a monster (except during the brief period when Norman Rockwell painted and Harper Lee wrote). I marvel at the enigma that is the United States. From the very first promising beginnings cries of lamentation have gone up about how this noble experiment threatens to be derailed (Hamilton vs. Jefferson), yet, despite all the alarums, it has grown from strength to strength and now sits astride the world like a colossus, mocking the very idea of sovereign nationhood even as it reserves for itself the power once enjoyed by George III while showing the finger to the International Court of Justice.

    If I carry on like this I might be the next Emma Goldman. Or maybe I just read something like this in a book. Oh, here it is:

    “No more dangerous threat to world freedom exists than the American State. This monstrosity, conceived as a revolutionary experiment in limited government, grew to maturity mouthing the slogans of liberty, and proclaiming the ideals which it had trampled upon and betrayed from the very start. And now, in our gloomy age, the noble experiment is totally out of control; it has taken over the laboratory, strangled the experimenter, the fabled “people” in whose name it was created, and, not content with this overthrow and consequent annihilation of its inventor and would-be master, it has escaped even the confines of old. Today it bursts horridly from the corridors of its youth, springs upon a fearful or unsuspecting world, caring only to satisfy one sole hunger and need — power!
    — US anarchist Fred Woodworth

  • In the last thread, the virgin terry wrote:

    most don’t care because they don’t/can’t know, they are too stupid or deluded to perceive the truth of the matter.

    I take issue with this. People aren’t stupid. I think the idea that people are stupid is a poor assumption. I would go so far as to say that humans are, by definition, intelligent. Put another way, our intelligence is what makes us human. The faculty of language alone is an unquestioned marker of intellect: very few humans don’t achieve some mastery of language, and if they don’t it’s because they are very damaged organically.

    Are people, then, as the virgin terry suggest they might be, deluded? It could be. The forces of propaganda arrayed against ordinary people is formidable. But I’m not convinced. People, being primates, are hard-wired for fairness and sincerity, and most will soon see through any deception. Then there is the problem of denial. At least, there is the alleged problem of denial, but is it really a problem? Or is it the case that “denial” is an instance of a term used in clinical parlance that has now been carelessly adopted by laypeople? As a clinical condition, denial is a rare bird, as I understand it. Even rarer than that is the person who bandies the word about who doesn’t realise how rare it is. Member of Alcoholics Anonymous like to accuse fellow sufferers of being in denial. The reality is that people who have developed a drink or drug problem know very well that they have a problem.

    Then, in this thread, ulvfugl talks about “loud-mouthed, aggressive, ignorant idiots” not caring at all.

    I don’t think that’s a fair accusation either.

    There are people who don’t know, but I would suggest they don’t know because they haven’t been told or haven’t noticed because they are caught up in their own immediate concerns. A lot of people struggle under a tremendous weight (read Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich, for example).

    I believe the most likely explanation for the surreality that now attends these last years is that a lot of people instinctually know, or intuitively know, or have absorbed sufficient information to know in a cerebral fashion, but they can’t bring themselves to give public assent or change their lives. They simply can’t take that step.

    And, that, I believe, is because it is too monstrous, too overwhelming and too final. You really can’t blame people for this.

  • Here’s yer answer, MK, breed better slaves…

    “From the promotion of eugenics to justify genocide in Nazi Germany, to the mass-produced and homogenous population of Aldous Huxley’s dystopian future in the novel ‘Brave New World’, to ‘Frankenfood’, genetic engineering has amassed a reputation as a treacherous pursuit. However, a recent development appears to have slipped under the public radar: human pre-natal diagnosis. Screening foetal genomes to eliminate genetic ‘defects’ may lead to incremental changes in the human genetic reservoir, a permanent shift in our characteristics and eventually, self-domestication.”

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2012/10/04/warning-genetically-modified-humans/

  • may lead to incremental changes in the human genetic reservoir

    Have you heard of the concept of “race replacement,” ulvfugl? I have heard it us under way in the United Kingdom. Yes?

  • No, MK. What do you think it means ?

  • For Kathy C:

    I don’t believe in the power of love/
    I don’t believe in the wisdom of stars/
    I don’t believe in a god or the mind/

    but I’m not alone.

  • What do I think it means? Why do I have to be put on the spot by an old geezer who still hasn’t worked out that the days of putting a word space before an interrogation are long gone? Knock it off, tosspot.

  • I just wanted to commend michele/m for her honesty.

    This culture, the zombie cult of death which is killing not just the planet, but the spirit as well, can’t stand to breath its own nihilism and has replaced what used to be known as transcendence with a cult of the orgasm … but it’s not even selling good orgasms. Like everything else the capitalist matrix peddles, it promotes frivolous romance between autistic, “onanism with a mindless buddy” orgasm-seeking, conformity-seeking organic portals and uses them to sell everything from Coke to tampons . The rejection of this culture’s sexual imperatives (which commands us to enjoy within the coordinates of materially profitable modes of enjoyment) is one of the most radical forms of resistance available to the internally exiled subject.

    “Since enjoyment is now a command rather than a choice, one is made to feel guilty for not enjoying, or for lacking the enthusiasm with which one should pursue capitalistic aims of increasing acquisition. According to this school of thought, enjoyment is no longer considered a pastime or a break from normal work; it is a duty. And because of this, the superego increases anxiety in those who are unable to fulfill the duty of continuous enjoyment.”

    Sabrina Dawkins

    http://suite101.com/article/consumerism-capitalism–freuds-superego–lacan-deleuze-iek-a256849

  • Apropos depressive lucidity’s “cult of orgasm.” One of David Icke’s more memorable quotes:

    “Every time a cash register rings, the system has an orgasm.”

  • MK : What do I think it means? Why do I have to be put on the spot by an old geezer who still hasn’t worked out that the days of putting a word space before an interrogation are long gone? Knock it off, tosspot.

    You put yourself on the spot, mate. If you’re too lazy to answer your own question, why should an old geezer bother ?

    As for word spaces, we all have our quirks, and I’m fond of mine. That habit grew many years ago on a forum, where, for some unknown reason, it was mandatory, and if you think I’m changing it in response to your rudeness, you are mistaken.

  • Why not just stop? You’re going to have to eventually, anyway.

  • MK : Then, in this thread, ulvfugl talks about “loud-mouthed, aggressive, ignorant idiots” not caring at all.

    I don’t think that’s a fair accusation either.

    Well, I accept that all generalisations are proven untrue by exceptions. But I happen to have met a lot of those people, face to face, in the flesh. So, it’s not an accusation, more a record of personal experience.

  • SES: Thanks for the link and I did go and read it. I’ve never read anything like this analysis before. If I have it right, it goes something like this:

    Global population growth of the human species is a positive feedback loop in which food availability drives population growth while maintaining the same percentage of starving people and well-fed people. Recent exponential growth in global human population has been interpreted to mean that food production needs to be increased to feed starving people. However, it has been shown that increasing food production does not affect how many people are starving or well-fed at any one time. Increasing food production simply adds more people to the planet, increasing both the absolute numbers of people starving and well-fed, while maintaining the same percentages of each.

    Would you say that’s a fair summary?

  • MK : Why not just stop? You’re going to have to eventually, anyway.

    Is that addressed to me ? Stop what ? Spaces ? Living ? Same applies to you, does it not ?

  • Stop putting word spaces in front of interrogations or exclamations marks, you washed-up old Pom. Do I have to come down to Carmanthenshire of Pembrokeshire to drive the lesson home?

  • MK : Stop putting word spaces in front of interrogations or exclamations marks,

    Hahaha, so I’m required to change my habits, because some guy on teh internets says ?

    Decisively, no. And the fact that I am not a Pom, AND you cannot spell Carmarthenshire, case dismissed.

  • Increasing food production simply adds more people to the planet, increasing both the absolute numbers of people starving and well-fed, while maintaining the same percentages of each.

    The maintaining is effected via hierarchical organization that extends globally, sovereign nations included.

    The prospects of increasing food production, dependent on harnessing larger energy streams and converting larger swaths of arable land to farming, are bleak at best.

  • Case dismissed? Not really. Objective reality awaits. God knows, reality might even intrude into the depths of the last redoubt of yeoman peasantry in all of the British Isles, where you live, the better to awaken you to the fact that you need not fear sunlight, and — who knows? — you might yet be cured of rickets, but, like all fools heedless of the very medicine they need, you will howl kicking and screaming as the men in white coats take you away. There We Are Then.

  • MK :”God knows, reality might even intrude…

    Ah, so you are ‘a believer’ ? God ? Reality ? Are these not obsolescent concepts ?

  • Carmarthenshire. Pembrokeshire. When I was last in Cardiff I was astounded how seldom I heard a Welsh accent. You should mourn the loss of your country. I went into the very good public library in the town centre. I didn’t hear a Welsh accent. Here’s a song for you: Van Morrison: Madam George:

    Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye. Say goodbye.

  • Kathy C says: The solution is coming for both CO2 output and population by nature.

    And our host believes that now it is the inevitable solution (à la Herr Schicklgruber’s “final solution”). Final for Homo sapiens (and our fellow sojourners). No telling what what Nature bats up in Deep Future Time.

  • MK : You should mourn the loss of your country…

    Oh, I think like a mountain, Martin, re such matters. The native tongue dates back to the Iron Age and then is lost in the mists, but it’s more Romano-British than anything, the legacy of imperial colonial conquest from Italy… Carmarthen is an anglicization of Caer Myrddin, the Castle/city of the real Myrddin/Merlin the Wizard, who entered the Arthurian legends… Pembroke an English mispronunciation of Benfro, the Welsh language is more vigorous and popular now than it has been for a century… what makes my heart ache is the loss of the wildlife, and the loss of the beautiful countryside, to industrial agribusiness, which itself is merely a sub-set of the loss of the entire biosphere that I am forced to witness… do I care what happens in Cardiff/Caerdydd ? it’s just another city, I hate all cities, fortunately they are mostly far away…

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

    Madam George, great track, thanks, I’ll get it off youtube…

  • When I was last in Cardiff I was astounded how seldom I heard a Welsh accent.

    A couple of hundred years of Empire and Britannia ruled the waves. Industrial civilization roils the waves (ocean acidification) and a lot else, starting at about the beginning of that Empire. (Mixed metaphor alert) It is now coming time to pay the piper.

  • Herr Schicklgruber’s “final solution.” Geez, imagine if it’s true. Those who are left alive and are still in a position to monitor the grand finale will see: the extinction of unthinking Pakistanis who made a big fuss about the British Raj but who are quite content to settle in the United States, founded by white people for white people. Actual extinction? One can only hope.

  • Richard Rorty, the End of Inquiry… how bitter and ironic, people set out to make a better world for their grandchildren…

  • unthinking Pakistanis who made a big fuss about the British Raj but who are quite content to settle in the United States

    They are problematic not only here, but also in their own country.

  • Morocco Bama,

    Saffron Swan

    Your mad, mad poems have launched you into hyperdrive.

    You hurtle towards extinction, but there still is time to chill.

    With a tall, cold Ramune.

    And Yui Aragaki on the Youtube.

  • Virginiaicks bestrewn
    Reek cheap perfume
    Humanure stench to subsume.

  • Oh, cheer up people, think positive ! I do so love some gallows humour first thing in the morning…. less beautiful ? less harmonious ? such cute euphemisms for ‘hell on earth’… like telling the guys drowning in mud and bits of rotting corpses in the trenches of Flanders, machine gun bullets, gas and exploding shells, screaming horses, keep smiling… whistle a happy tune, eh, it’ll all be alright…

    “Don’t let the prospect of impending disaster crush your spirits. Don’t let the prospect of a suboptimal long-term future kill your hope. Hope for the unlikely! Work for the unlikely! Remember, too, that even if we do not succeed in our fight for a better world, there will still be a future world. And there will still be a world with a future – just less beautiful and less harmonious than it could have been.”

    http://www.monsangelorum.net/?topic=orwell-for-or-against&paged=2#post-5038

  • “voluntary cut back of new babies”

    Doug Stanhope comes out against the front hole on Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe.

    Any volunteers?

  • Morocco Bama,

    Lemon tree very pretty
    and the lemon flower is sweet…

    Seek the wisdom of the lemon tree,
    and you may yet avoid extinction

    Avoid, avoid…

  • Does anybody really expect any mature decision-making from a primate specie whose key evolutionary feature is neoteny ?

  • Why are people so against God, anyway? It’s like being against teh kittehz just because some people take a common kitthropomorphism literally, instead of literarily, that “the engine you rebuilt sure purrs.”

    Akittetheist: “The engine has no purr hidden in it’s machinery, because teh kittehz melt at temperatures far lower than those engines run at, you fool!”
    Fundakittehlist: “The engine must has to have literal paws and whiskers, because the creator spoke of purring, which in the original language means tonal buzzing of all felids, you fool!”
    The engine creator: *sigh* Nobody gets my drift.

  • ON THe NoBeL FaRCe…
    Submitted by williambanzai7 on 10/12/2012 08:03 -0400
    “If history shows anything, it is that there’s no better way to justify relations founded on violence, to make such relations seem moral, than by reframing them in the language of debt—above all, because it immediately makes it seem that it’s the victim who’s doing something wrong.”–David Graeber

    check the link for Banzai’s satricial art work
    http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-10-12/nobel-farce

  • Decontamination produced 260,000 bags of radioactive soil, “Still it’s 1.1% of all”
    Posted by Mochizuki on October 11th, 2012 · 1 Comment
    Share on facebookShare on twitterShare on emailShare on printMore Sharing Services
    On 10/11/2012, NHK reported they have no storage facility for the radioactive soil produced by decontamination at 1,500 locations such as houses and offices. In those areas, they stock radioactive soil within their own areas. The radioactive soil is 260,000 bags amount of normal garbage. (45L for each bag)

    41 of local governments are to conduct decontamination by their own. From the research of NHK, only 1.1% of the areas have been decontaminated. (4,600 locations)

    1,500 of these 4,600 have no storage facility to stock radioactive soil.

    Japanese government is planning to build an interim storage facility in Futabagun but the local government is not approving.
    http://fukushima-diary.com/2012/10/decontamination-produced-260000-bags-of-radioactive-soil-still-its-1-1-of-all/

  • Dear BC Nurse Prof,

    You understand the science quite well. So does Robin Datta. Would you agree that the research is really remarkably simple and all too obvious to anyone who chooses to examine the evidence? The research is new to you because self-proclaimed experts have colluded to deny the fact of its living presence in the world. For more than a decade, ‘the brightest and best’have willfully refused to discuss this research. The politicians, economists and demographers can be expected to deny the research. It shows the fundamental flaws in their thought, theories and models. Experts do not like that. But what has mystified me is the response of top rank scientists with appropriate expertise to this scientific evidence. It appears to me that they have adopted the same “see no truth, hear no truth, speak of no truth”, head-in-the-sand position. By so doing, perhaps they have been consciously denying their responsibilities to science and deliberately avoiding the performance of their duties to humanity.

    Rather than examine the science, all of the experts, both inside and outside the community of science, have failed to speak of what is true to them regarding human population dynamics and human overpopulation of the Earth. Instead they have supported outright or else silently condoned the broadcasts of politically convenient misinformation as well as economically expedient ideological idiocy, that is then disseminated by outrageously enriched, clever ‘talking heads’ via the mass media. In such unfavorable circumstances, discovering what is real becomes an extremely difficult task. Even so, how on Earth can our children begin to prepare for the future their elders are creating for them if the kids are not told what is actually happening now? Never in the course of human events have so few elders in a single generation taken so much for themselves and left so little for so many children. Perhaps we are witnesses to the greatest failure of nerve, intellectual honesty and moral courage in human history.

    Sincerely,

    Steve

  • “Why are people so against God, anyway?”

    Nobody is “against God”. That is a straw man argument.

    It’s like those fundamentalists who keep insisting that the only reason anyone ever becomes an atheist is because he’s mad at God for taking away his wife, or for his broken leg, or because God didn’t prevent his parents from abusing him, etc.

    No, atheists are not “mad at God”, they “don’t believe God exists.”

    If you want to criticize others, don’t criticize a straw man argument. Criticize what others actually believe.

  • @Librarian, who says, “Nobody is “against God”.

    Oh, really?

    “Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of…Arguments against God‘s existence…Theoretical atheism explicitly posits arguments against the existence of gods…atheists present deductive arguments against the existence of God…” [wiki:Atheism]

    And maybe you never heard of Smith, George H. (1979). Atheism: The Case Against God. Buffalo, New York: Prometheus Books.

    Care to reconsider your assertion?

  • Steve
    Ask yourself where does there paycheck come from?

  • @Steve, RE “responsibilities to science”

    Some consider science as responsible for the predicament.

    What we call “science” is not neutral. It’s loaded with motives and assumptions that came out of, and reinforce, the catastrophe of dissociation, disempowerment, and consuming deadness that we call “civilization.” ~Ran Prieur, Science the Destroyer

  • Ivy Mike you can’t be against God if you don’t believe God exists. Only believers can be against God, and frankly if they believe in God they have plenty of reason to be against God. Atheists are against the idea that God exists, not against God. Atheists are often against the abuses committed by religious people in the name and service of the non-existent god they believe in.

  • @Kathy C, RE: “Only believers can be against God”

    Ya think?

    • Smith, George H. (1979). Atheism: The Case Against God. Buffalo, New York: Prometheus Books.
    • The Case Against God Sequel ~ Freethought Today, March 2000
    • Arguments Against God ~atheism.about.com
    • My Case Against God ~mycaseagainstgod.blogspot.com
    • The Evidence Against God ~theevidenceagainstgod.blogspot.com
    • Atheists Make A Case Against God ~CBS Sunday Morning, Feb 11, 2009

    I’m hardly convinced.

  • “abuses committed by religious people”

    Ever consider the Holodomor?

    “Atheists are very fond of critiquing ‘religion’…

    “…the theory of cultural materialism he [Marvin Harris] championed so effectively suggests a very different reading of those facts: not that people die for religion, but that religion provides a convenient excuse for the blood-curdling violence that our economic situation so often demands.

    No One Dies for Religion, by Jason Godesky, 25 October 2005

  • Ivy Mike, The Case Against God are not against God per se. They are the case against believing in a God exists. In making the case some atheists might show that the way religions portray god is a being who really isn’t very nice. They aren’t attacking god, they are attacking beliefs about god. If I make a case against unicorns, I am not attacking unicorns, since I don’t believe they exist, I am attacking beliefs that others might have about unicorns existing.

    Now here is a film about people attacking and defending God – they are believers in a Nazi prison camp. God on Trial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5caAug5n8Zk Believers in a god, especially believers in a powerful but good god have every reason to attack that god that they think is real.

  • Ivy Mike, that’s an Appeal to Novelty fallacy.

    You assume that because the new, modern-day atheists are making case “against” God, that therefore MUST reflect all of atheism.

    Look, I’m going to give you one last piece of advice: it is always best to attack your opponent’s argument in its “strongest form” instead of its “weakest form”. That’s integrity.

  • Librarian, you’re committing the infamous I’ve got a fallacy for everything I get my knickers in a twist over fallacy.

    I merely used the same term “against God” that many other atheist commonly use to describe their own position, in popular published books.

    You’ve proceeded to get your knickers in a twist about it.

    No, I didn’t say ALL atheists MUST think the same thing. My advice to you? Quit putting words in my mouth, OK? Oh, and you go ahead, you straighten-out a large portion of the atheist community that is living in heresy! It’s your quest!

  • @Kathy C: “The Case Against God are not against God per se”

    I’m not interested in your pedantry, since I merely used the same term “against God” that athiests frequently use to describe their own position. You go straighten out the whole atheist community that is frequently using the term “Against God,” OK?

  • Those who blame science, including Ran Prieur, do not understand science. Science is a process, not an outcome. Like other processes, the process of science can be abused and misused.

  • Erm, if none of you can provide a clear, agreed, definition of precisely what you mean when you use that word ‘God’, then you’re probably wasting your time because you’re not even discussing the same thing at all…

    The word ‘God’ is just a signifier, a place-holder, a label, a concept…
    pointing to what ?

    Do you have any clear idea what it is that you are talking about ?

    And don’t just go to a dictionary and come back with ‘deity’ because that word has the exact same problem God = Deity. Deity = God. Circular nonsense.

  • Ran Prieur describes the scientific method (or process) accurately in his essay. How does he not understand it?

    But he’s not critiquing the scientific method. He’s critiquing the wider culture of science.

    I think he has valid concerns in his critique, and they’ll be valid until the day that “Popular Science” starts publishing articles on permaculture instead of “scientific” complex technology to mitigate global warming.

  • I agree with Guy that science is a process. I think of it as a project, with a precise methodology, begun a 2 – 4 centuries ago, to try and understand what exists.

    However, that project ( of which I am a fan and a supporter ) can be clearly distinguished from ‘scientism’, which is an ideology, a belief-system, a quasi-religion, with assumptions and preconceptions that have no scientific validity, they are articles of faith. In other words, science has got tangled up with a philosophy which is not itself scientific, it’s just cultural baggage that has accumulated over timein a rather arbitrary manner.

    Rupert Sheldrake, for one, has explained this with laudable clarity. He’s a Church of England Anglican, so he’s a Christian, of a sort. In UK, that’s a pretty woolly minded bunch, who are pretty easy going about what people believe. I read a survey once that said most of the priests don’t ‘believe in God’ at all. Meaning that they have rather sophisticated understandings of ‘the divine’ that they learned in theological college, which don’t correspond at all with what the general public in their congregations think of as ‘God’.

    I think Sheldrake’s affinity with Anglicanism is mostly rather sentimental and cultural. Churches and music, singing and social community, and if he has some deeper communion with the divine that he discovers via that route, that’s fine by me. I think people should be free to follow and practice whatever makes some sense to them, although I probably draw the line at sacrificing children and so forth…

    IMO, Sheldrake’s critique of science is extremely well-founded. He is a member of the Royal Soceity, after all, which is a most distinguished scientific forum in Britain. I have yet to hear any scientist come up with convincing refutations of his arguments.

  • @ulvfugl

    Please note that I’m not the first, or even the second, person to use the word “God” in this thread. I merely commented on its usage.

    And you said it was obsolete. So tell me, what is it precisely that’s so obsolete? Do you have any clear idea what it is that you are talking about?