Media update: audio, video, print, and “print”

Audio

I was interviewed for The Refreshment Center’s radio show on Friday, 1 February 2013. The interview is embedded here, although most of my interview was lost to a techno-disaster. I’m scheduled for another visit in a few weeks.

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Video

Below I include two short clips used in the making of Michael Sosebee’s forthcoming film, Somewhere in New Mexico before the End of Time. I don’t know whether these clips will be included in the final version of the film. If you’d like to support the creation and distribution of this film, please give me a shout via email (guy.r.mcpherson@gmail.com).

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Print

The following two publications are available in print media, and I have an essay in each of them:

McPherson, Guy. 2012. A life out of empire. Pages 481-487 in Keith Farnish’s book, Underminers: A Practical Guide for Radical Change. Published under a Creative Commons License. Electronic copy is here. Kickstarter campaign for printing and distribution of this book is linked here.

February 2013 Beyond industrial civilization, Earthlines 4:22-24 (pdf of contents here). My essay is reviewed here.

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“Print”

I’ve posted the following information at Joe Romm’s website, Think (sic) Progress (sic). Most of this information is old news to readers of Nature Bats Last, and I posted the information in the form of comments to two essays (one here, the other here). I posted comments because an earlier comment cited my work (actually, work in which I was citing others) and in response, Joe referred to my comment as “Tin-foil hat stuff.” As he’s done in the past, Romm blocked my comments. Were I a conspiracy theorist, I’d suspect him of being a disinformation specialist.

According to informed analysis of BP Energy Outlook 2030, we’re headed for a planet 4 C warmer than we experienced at the dawn of the industrial revolution by 2030. Or maybe it’s 6 C, depending on our collective greed. In any case, the projection is less dire than the one foreseen by Paul Beckwith. The report concludes peak oil was a red herring, which it wasn’t and isn’t, but it’s clearly too late to ward off human extinction in the near future. As we’ve known for many years — in this case, the relevant article from the Guardian is more than four years old — on a planet 4 C hotter, all we can prepare for is extinction. Although these two reports are found in the mainstream media, I’m sure forthcoming comments will accuse me of heinous behavior, to which I will readily admit with ample doses of shame and humility.

The co-founders of 350.org, including James Hansen and Bill McKibben, are ignorant or disingenuous with the very name of the organization. I’m guessing they’re lying because surely they know about these two tidbits:

1. Only complete economic collapse prevents runaway greenhouse, as pointed out by Tim Garrett in a paper published in Climatic Change in 2009.

2. About the same time, a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicated Earth’s atmosphere will not experience carbon dioxide levels below the current level for at least the next thousand years. In other words, 350 ppm is hopium of the worst kind.

We’re done, and even the Obama administration knew it way back in 2009. The AOSIS briefing linked and described here was clear about 350 ppm as a death sentence.

I’ve been accused of shouting “Fire!” in a theater. I plead guilty, but the world is on fire and, like most mainstream scientists, you’re taking the approach of too conservative (hence, lethal). Calling me irresponsible for reporting relevant information is exactly the response I’ve come to expect from people who are neck-deep in denial. Such comments remind me of a prescient line from George Orwell: “Truth is treason in an empire of lies.”

Reality is finally catching up to my decade-old prediction about human extinction. Abundant details can be found in my many essays (this one provides a recent overview). Instead of turning away from data and models, I take my advice from Carl Sagan. As such, I refuse to dilute the truth for the sake of comfort: “It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”

. . .

For me, one of the particularly bothersome aspects of our climate-change predicament is the relentless bargaining by people who should know better. Somehow, I doubt we’re going to live underground, in the dark, and manage to grow food and generate water for ourselves. Then there are those who believe collapse will accelerate global warming. Could be, although I doubt it would accelerate the extinction crisis, environmental decay, or myriad other predicaments in which we’re enmeshed. And I can hardly imagine a situation worse than the one we’re in — except, of course, the forthcoming climate-driven extinction event — and yet we add to the worsening predicament every day.

By what mechanisms does climate change become climate chaos? Rapidly increasing temperature, along with rapidly increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide has two primary impacts of note. Firstly, the resulting ocean acidification is likely to kill nearly every marine species, including phytoplankton (i.e., food and half the planet’s oxygen). Secondly, the resulting extremes in temperature likely will kill nearly all land plants (i.e., food and the other half of Earth’s oxygen). Additional concerns include wet-bulb temperatures high enough to induce death in mammals (the large-bodied ones will go first, and the tropics will be impacted before the temperate regions), loss of planetary ice (never mind albedo, I’m thinking about fresh water throughout the world’s temperate regions), and the millions of tiny organisms comprising living soil that will be unable to migrate rapidly enough to keep up with changes in temperature and moisture.

Comments 353

  • I’m looking into the Conservaton Reserve Program. The literature says it’s a good way to sequester carbon. It’s also a good way to give back to the soil microbes what has been stolen to feed the masses. The masses have never, in my 61 years of farming, sent back a single molecule of nutrients. I could finally practice the food cycle. As you may have noticed, this subject has left me with some guilt.

    There are a few organic farms in this area but I don’t know of any that do the food cycle. All their produce goes to the farmer’s market and then is gone forever, taken by the more well to do of us.

  • By the by, does anyone know what’s going on with Derrick Jensen’s site? It was down all day yesterday and appears to be down again today. Hacked? Government shit? WTF?

  • The administration’s counterterrorism policies are leading to media censorship, refutation of basic rights and to more terrorism. The man responsible for these consequences should not become head of the CIA.

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2013/02/brennanss-drone-policies-censorship-assassinations-more-terrorists.html

  • @Wildwoman
    But shit, they are well armed! Gillie suits, AK-47s, camo nets, buried caches, blah blah blah.

    It’s amazing how many people think that if they have enough firepower, they can ‘shoot’ and kill any problem. How about the problem of their not being another possible habitable place within at least several light years (and we wouldn’t survive as ‘humans’ anywhere but earth).

  • Bailey, it occurs to apparently none of these people to actually HELP anyone else.

    And the ego displayed is mind boggling…it’s all about them 24/7. One guy is driving around in a super modified RV so that “they” don’t get him holed up anywhere. His name is emblazened on the RV and he does a broadcast from his van (he looks a lot like a slimmer Rush Limbaugh but crazier).

    Quite a disturbing show. Only in America.

  • Ulvfugl, I have seen truth in the eyes of a baby dying from AIDS as he snuggled tight to my shoulder and nestled his head against my neck. That truth is embodied in the passage I quoted and the fact that it got attached to an ancient myth religion doesn’t change it. The truth is that something inside us changes when we reach out in kindness to other humans or other creatures.

    I feel sorry for you.

  • @ dmd

    The masses have never, in my 61 years of farming, sent back a single molecule of nutrients. I could finally practice the food cycle. As you may have noticed, this subject has left me with some guilt.

    Now you’re thinking, dmd. Here in Wales, first they cut down almost all the trees, way back in the Neolithic and Bronze and Iron Ages, so that the soil washed off the hills and into the sea, and the hills have been bare ever since, just poor quality grassland, to feed tough mountain cattle and sheep, which then got taken, with all the nutrients they’d put into their bodies, down the drover’s roads to be eaten by the people in English cities. It’s always been ‘take as much as you can’, really.

    Heck, what’s the point of the guilt ? You’ve been doing your best. You’re just one man. It’s not your fault. This mess is the result of centuries. The cultures are all wrong, the belief systems are all wrong. Plenty of honourable, decent, respectable people, with the best intentions and the highest motives have made decisions which turn out later to be disasters. It’s just impossible to know at the time, with the knowledge available at the time.

    On the other hand, there are plenty of evil unscrupulous ruthless bastards too, who know very well what harm their decisions cause. They damn well should feel guilty, but they don’t. That’s what psychopathy is. Someone earlier said something about them being irrational. That’s not it. Psychopaths can be highly rational. It’s not like mental confusion. It’s the inability to feel any empathy with other humans, any fellow feeling or sympathy. That’s why they make good generals and CEOs. They can give orders to wipe out the livelihoods of thousands of people and feel no qualms or guilt at all.

    In theory, we could change the cultures, the belief systems, so that they made sense, so that they were compatible with the reality of our circumstances. But in practice, the bad guys have got all the money, they can print it, they control the education and the media systems, they’ve learned all the tricks since Machiavelli and Bernays, as to how to manipulate crowds and voters and public opinion. Imo, there’s no time left, it takes several generations to shift cultural attitudes. For example, how could one get the masses to look at flashy cars and luxury yachts and air travel with disgust and contempt instead of desire and envy ? Bernays knew how to make that sort of change.

  • Parable of the Two Birds

    Two birds, beautiful of wings, close companions, cling to one common tree: of the two one eats the sweet fruit of that tree; the other eats not but watches his companion. The self is the bird that sits immersed on the common tree; but because he is not lord he is bewildered and has sorrow. But when he sees that other who is the Lord and the beloved, he knows that all is His greatness and his sorrow passes away from him. When, a seer, he sees the Golden-hued, the maker, the Lord, the Spirit who is the source of Brahman, then he becomes the knower and shakes from his wings sin and virtue; pure of all stains he reaches the supreme identity.

    – and then realises that the other bird is just a machine, a meat robot.

  • @ Kathy C.

    I have seen truth in the eyes of a baby dying from AIDS as he snuggled tight to my shoulder and nestled his head against my neck.

    Yes, you mention it in most threads, you seem to have a thing about dead babies.
    It’s happening to someone, somewhere, every second of the day. I’m well aware of that.

    That truth is embodied in the passage I quoted and the fact that it got attached to an ancient myth religion doesn’t change it.

    Yes, but I don’t need to be threatened with being burned in hellfire to feel deep compassion for all living things, for all who suffer, and I certainly don’t need your hypocritical preaching, when you pour such scorn on everyone else’s beliefs and then want me to take you seriously over this :

    “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

    The truth is that something inside us changes when we reach out in kindness to other humans or other creatures.

    You think I don’t know that ?

    I feel sorry for you.

    How patronising. I’d have preferred it if you would have actually responded to what I asked you. I don’t need you to feel sorry for me, it’s unasked for, unwanted, and ridiculous.

  • Ulvfugl –You think I don’t know that ?

    Based on the way that you insult people constantly, No I don’t think you know that. I also don’t think that you know you don’t know that and therefore are someone who is to be pitied.

  • @ Kathy C.

    Well, as you don’t have the courtesy to respond to the questions I put to you above, quite properly and politely, I don’t feel obligated to respond to you, and it really makes not the slightest difference to me and my life whether you pity me, or anything else, so feel free to please yourself in that respect.

  • @Gail
    Your link to the blog post re: Intentional Communities, specifically her experience at the Still Waters Sanctuary. Yikes!
    This stood out for me “..exhaustion from unaccustomed work and the heat. What bore down the heaviest, though, was the relentlessness of the life. Relentless physical work. Relentless commitments. Relentless socialization. Relentless overscheduling (even music nights were scheduled!). Relentless gregariousness, relentless ‘people everywhere,’ all the time. The life of the PA farm is one long self-imposed crisis — a crisis caused by too few people, with too few resources, running a working farm, hosting hordes of visitors (some 1,500 a year) and trying to fulfill a vastly ambitious and demanding vision that never quits. It was like being on a treadmill, albeit different from the one we know in Babylon. One of the younger residents was suffering from severe fatigue and debilitating body pains, after two years of this onslaught. The misery of no solitude, no privacy. The stress of always running according to the bell. Never a chance to reflect. All bread labor, no head labor…”

    I think many people have forgotten how hard life is when you are operating at a basic survival level, many never having had to give it much thought. This community seems to be making things harder by trying to force/adhere to some ideology of what an IC is, instead of allowing for organic growth/evolution and utilizing individual strengths and skill sets. Also, by not allowing internet use they are really limiting access to information and knowledge that could be very practical. For instance, 5 minutes online and they could improve on things like composting toilets. Anyway, who am I to judge? On the surface the set-up sounds fine, but no privacy or personal time sounds miserable to me, a good way to build resentment towards the system, which is what they are trying to get away from, right?
    Maybe it’s just me, or maybe “relentless” too closely describes my own life raising small children with no support system. My partner works 10 hours/day and I constantly worry something will happen to one of us and no one will be there for them. These are the good times and the worry can be all consuming if I let it take hold.

    @wildwoman re: Doomsday Preppers
    I’ve seen a few of them out of curiosity, and I find it funny that each person/couple/family of preppers are basically preparing for a specific event, i.e. super-volcano, economic collapse, big earthquake, and at the end the “experts” grade them and tell them how long they can survive based on their preps, and then they generally say the likelihood of such an event happening is remote. Seems that no one pays much attention to climate at all. It basically highlights that a lot of paranoid, unstable people are armed to the teeth. That couple with the really beautiful property looked ridiculous trying to set those traps. Does not look like an enjoyable life as there are so many possibilities and eventual outcomes to any collapse scenario that it isn’t possible to prepare for them all. One would go mad from trying.

  • Jeffrey Joy has discovered that symbiosis — a relationship between two or more organisms that can be parasitic or mutualistic — is as much the mother of biological diversity as predation and competition.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130206094712.htm

  • @Mike Sosebee “So far what most of us have been doing is waiting for someone else to do something; yeah…this is what we’ve done our whole fucking lives. It’s time for all of us to come out of the shadows and begin to speak loudly to as many people as you can get in front of. As it is we’re entertaining ourselves to death. Yes you and you and you…what we’re going to have to do is sit in front of other people and try and wake them up from this massive delusion.”

    Guilty as charged.

    I never meant for it to happen, but somewhere along the line, I let them take my voice, and in doing so, my power.

  • No one who seeks is ever going to find Buddha or Enlightenment or anything else that’s of any worth, especially not if they think it has something to do with geographical location, or gurus, or following scriptures, or injunctions, or achieving or getting something… all of that stuff is crap which needs to be thrown away.

    That can be makyo and kensho speaking. In the Vedic tradition, motivated by tamas and sattwa. Whether or not one is unwittingly burdened with baggage.

    I think you do not understand what the word ‘meditate’ means.

    What is called “meditation” in many traditions is actually preparation. Such preparation may also include a lot that is not meditation. A preparation for what might follow thereafter. The thereafter may or may not follow, (depending on whether or not one retains baggage) but if it does, it spontaneous, not “achieved” of “attained”: not a consequence of preparation. The preparation can be done through meditation (Gnyana Yoga) but can also be done through the Way of Action/Work (Karma Yoga), the Way of Devotion/Worship (Bhakti Yoga) or the Way of Psychic Control (Raja Yoga): of through any combination of these.

    Every method is a way to purification: a way to unload one’s baggage – the trash that has been swept under the rug. Some of this trash can be exceedingly subtle, escaping one’s delusion what is deemed to be the closest scrutiny. But in spite of its subtlety it can be a veritable mountain that goes unrecognised. That is why some traditions warn of makyo: a state in which one does not recognise that baggage and mistakenly thinks that it has been unloaded in its entirety.


    Top 5 Free Ebooks by Swami Vivekananda

  • re: Doomsday preppers

    As usual, europeans have it all wrong. When faced with collapse, they go back to a system that wrought the problem in the first place: agriculture.

    When they arrived at these shores, they saw a perfectly workable system and marvelled at the native people. If you read 1491 you’ll see in their writings that the people were tall and healthy, with “clean limbs” and beautiful hair and teeth. They worked a few hours a day and had plenty of time for creating a complex culture. They were not broken down as they aged and were well taken care of until the end, sometimes self-chosen.

    So what did the europeans do? They imported the system they were used to and completely screwed up the land, the people, and the flora and fauna.

    Now with collapse staring them in the face, they go back to what they think is “sustainable.” It is not.

    Having described the native systems as “better” now let me say that they were on their way to the same system as the europeans, but that they were simply not there yet. They would have arrived there even had the europeans not come along.

    Some europeans actually ran away from settlements and joined the aboriginal people and never looked back. That didn’t much happen the other way around.

    I remember I had a provincial politician come to my class to speak to the students about politics. He is an idiot and I wanted the class to see that from his own words and behaviour. They did, indeed, see this, but I will always remember what he said about his past. He grew up way north of here and his father had homesteaded the land. He watched his father work so hard that he died a broken-up bag of bones. His last wish was that his son would not have to “work with his hands.” So his son went into politics and became an immoral non-human, for sale to the highest bidding political hack. What a choice.

    I see that there is a re-wilding movement which might let some people survive a bit longer than the farmers, but the ecosystems are so damaged that it can’t last long.

  • AKBadlands, the Nearings lived off grid and grew their own food in Vermont and Maine and devoted approx. 4 hours a day to it (once they were up and running). They of The Good Life. No animals, they were vegetarians and built their own house, garden, ponds, etc.

    The traps that couple bought would do serious damage to any wildlife but that apparently never crossed their minds, either.

    I’m still steaming over the arrogance, obviously, of the people selected by the show’s producers.

  • “If you’re in trouble, or hurt or in need – go to the poor people. They’re the only ones that’ll help – the only ones.”

    ― John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

  • Michelle Obama Is Not Our First Black First Lady? 10 Fascinating Things You Didn’t Know About Black History

    http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/michelle-obama-not-our-first-black-first-lady-10-fascinating-things-you-didnt-know?paging=off

    Quote:

    Michelle Obama is not our first black First Lady; Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was.

    Jackie O, perhaps America’s most emulated and admired First Lady, descended from a family known as the van Salee’s, who were described as “mulatto” in the 17th century. This family traced its lineage in part to a Dutch mariner named Jan Jensen, who turned Turk (what some Europeans called “going native”), which was more popular than common history reveals.

    It is widely believed Jensen fathered two children, Anthony and Abraham van Salee, by a Moorish concubine. Following a dispute with his white wife, Anthony van Salee was exiled to territory across the river, where he became Brooklyn’s first settler. Until a few decades ago, this property adjoining Coney Island was called Turk’s Island after Anthony van Salle — the term “Turk,” in his day being synonymous with Moor (North African). A descendant, John van Salee De Grasse, born in 1825, was the first black American formally educated as a doctor.

    When Jackie Kennedy was asked about her van Salee roots during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, she called her ancestors “Jewish.” Of course, her socialite father, born in 1891, was nicknamed “Black Jack” Bouvier for his swarthy complexion. In the 1960s, journalists described the First Lady’s features as “French,” earning her the cover page of countless magazines, including film and fan publications. Not only Kennedy Onassis, but well-borns Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Vanderbilt (and thus Anderson Cooper), are van Salee descendants.

  • @ Robin D.

    That can be makyo and kensho speaking. In the Vedic tradition, motivated by tamas and sattwa. Whether or not one is unwittingly burdened with baggage.

    It can be whatever you want it to be.

    Look, if you want to carry all the Vedic, buddhist, kabbalist, christian, any other scriptures you choose, around with you, in your head, online, on paper, if that’s your thing, fine.

    I speak to you from where I am. I have done all that stuff, read it, worked through it. It is no longer of any interest to me. People waste lifetimes on it. We don’t have lifetimes spare to waste. At least, I don’t.

    Every method is a way to purification: a way to unload one’s baggage – the trash that has been swept under the rug. Some of this trash can be exceedingly subtle, escaping one’s delusion what is deemed to be the closest scrutiny. But in spite of its subtlety it can be a veritable mountain that goes unrecognised. That is why some traditions warn of makyo: a state in which one does not recognise that baggage and mistakenly thinks that it has been unloaded in its entirety.

    Yes, yes, but I am not a hindu, I am not a classical buddhist, zen added taoism, what you are talking about above is wiping the mirror clean of dust, the ch’an school topped that long ago, with Hui Neng, no dust, no mirror, and then it moved on to Japan, a thousand years ago, and nothing has stood still, much has been learned, and now comes NTE, what use is 2,500 years of buddhas handing down the dharma, or in India, or China, you could add on a few more thousand years…. what good ?

    We have Tom asking “What’s the fucking point ?”

    That’s the big question that everyone on the planet asks, has been asking, since year dot. With the prospect of NTE, it kinda gets more intense.

    The answer we get handed, by soceity, by culture, by family, friends, our peers, is ‘Here you go, mate, this is your belief system, everything packaged neat and tidy, and then you die. This is what it all means. Life on Earth. The manual’.

    I have my answer. I sweated blood and tears, fasted for weeks, took all the trips, explored all the avenues and dirty back alleys, made all the mistakes. I’m not the least bit interested in Enlightenment or being anybody’s guru. I’m not here to match anyone’s expectations or likes or dislikes. None of it matters to me in the slightest.

    Everyone is locked in to their belief systems. My belief system, soto zen, is a way a living without any belief system, that liberates a person from all that stuff, without becoming completely insane. Okay, it helps to be moderately insane, just to be able to put up with all the crap and still be able to laugh at it… like you have to be insane to be a shaman, otherwise you wouldn’t know how to cure crazy people.

    What I have is the very best thing it is possible to have. I don’t expect anyone to believe me, and I don’t care at all whether they do or they don’t. It really makes no difference.

  • @wildwoman

    I’m struck by how most of the “preppers” are only looking out for #1. Compare that mindset to this interview with former astronauts (sorry, I don’t know how to make a link at the moment, will have to figure that out soon, but here is the address)

    @BC Nurse Prof “If you’re in trouble, or hurt or in need – go to the poor people. They’re the only ones that’ll help – the only ones.”

    ― John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

    That is absolutely correct. People with money throw money at their problems. Poor people by necessity have to figure out how to solve most problems themselves. Also, many won’t expect anything in return, having “been there”.

  • @ulvfugl
    “All that” was about finding a comic version of what Daniel referred to when he said, “Some will attempt to magnify the slimmest shred of evidence as proof in justifying some insane extrapolated theory.”

    If you aren’t familiar with the group or their work, in this case the character was using a single grape as evidence that he had traveled back in time to ancient Greece.

    I have always had a bit of vertigo when traveling on the “air” side of mountain roads (as distinguished from the “mountain” side), so if we have a choice, I’ll happily let you have the 10,000 foot cliff and I’ll go with the multi-dimensional time warp.

    To my brain and its ocular input ports, it doesn’t matter how many times I have listened to transcendent passages from Anthem of the Sun or Eat a Peach, I still see the damn mountain – and all of the air beside it, so give me the quantum wormhole, singularity, or whatever other option is available.

    Maybe I could cure the vertigo by a short flight in one of those wingsuits shown in Speak Softly’s clip. If it ever happens, NBLers will be the first to read about it.

  • Former Target Store Manager to Oversee Nation’s Nuclear Security

    Retired Air Force Colonel Steve Asher also ran a missile base that later flunked key security tests.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/02/former-target-manager-nuclear-security-oak-ridge

    great.

  • Nearly Half of All US Farms Now Have Superweeds

    http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2013/02/report-spread-monsantos-superweeds-speeds-12-0

    Nearly half (49 percent) of all US farmers surveyed said they have glyphosate-resistant weeds on their farm in 2012, up from 34 percent of farmers in 2011.

  • Fire study finds landscapes vulnerable to ‘ecosystem collapse’

    Ecologists have long suggested that ecosystems disturbed and managed by humans are prone to abrupt environmental collapse.

    To test the theory Andrew MacDougall and his colleagues took their torches to small plots of grasslands on Vancouver Island.

    And sure enough, the fire was enough to doom seemingly productive and healthy pastureland.

    http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/national/Fire+study+finds+landscapes+vulnerable+ecosystem/7927057/story.html

  • There is concern that grain prices could drop to 1/2 what they are now. How could that be? Supply seems to be slipping. TPTB don’t like high food costs. It sucks money from the non-farm sector. Will they be able to cause prices to fall? Nicole Foss reminds us that demand isn’t what you want, it’s what you can pay for. Is it possible for grain to pile up in the streets because people don’t have money? We will see. How long will TPTB be able to control the game? This is the last inning.

  • As the article on biodiversity points out, foreign species are introduced because they yield more which in turn makes enough profit to maybe pay the bills. I know from experience that native species will yield about half. Biodiversity makes no sense now; wheat is wheat and you don’t mix it with anything. Talk about a portfolio is bull shit. These people should show us how to do it. So far, it’s just talk, talk, talk.

    People complain a lot but they don’t have any answers. What replaces Roundup? Just another chemical that is even worse. Be happy that you have anything to eat besides newspaper soup. That’s how it is.

  • .
    Understanding Doom Takes Time

    Robin Datta says: meat robots

    Meat robots need time to plow
    Through science which teaches them how
    They control mental preps
    Through rate-limiting steps
    As chemical reactions allow.

  • Mike and Badlands, what’s the point of spreading the NTE gospel? Converting a few thousand, even a few million folks is not going to avoid the inevitable, it’s not even going to make a dent. We forfieted the planet, period. If you enjoy trying to convert others, then fine. But I don’t see the drive to molest the sleep walkers as a moral imperative.

    To state the obvious: Nothing will be done until it is too late. The reason for this is that our planetary civilization is predicated on carbon. This civilization would not exist and about six billion people would not be here in the absence of fossil fuels. Those who propose radical change are conveniently ignoring that such change would require the death of at least half of the world’s population (from famine, war and disease) and the divestment of wealth from the elite power structure. Who is going to decide which populations must be exterminatedn (or simply allowed to die off)? Who will decide which countries are going to collapse? Who has that kind of control?

    Historically, the masses have been motivated to accept sacrifice and to effect large social changes when they were confronted by a palpable enemy, e.g. the American mobilization during WWII to defeat the evil Nazis. In the case of climate change, we are the enemy. Our very existence and mode of living is the enemy. The only changes that can be sold to the public are superficial modifications of the current lifestyle, which almost no one is willing to surrender. This is why climate change poses (from a social psychological perspective) a nearly impossible problem to solve.

    I would analogize the crisis to this scenario: Imagine a family that has four children. The family has contracted some bizarre disease such that the only cure is for one of the parents to kill the other parent and two of the children so that the other three can survive. Faced with this situation, a completely rational agent would choose homicide, but nearly all of us would never be able to act on it. It is easier for everyone to die than to kill your spouse and two of your children.

  • @ Kathy C

    “The opportunities to share your daily bread will surely increase……”

    That’s one of the best lines I’ve heard in while!

  • depressive lucidity; You tell it like it is. We had our party. Who was it that predicted this back in 1800 something?

    Both my parents went to Middlebury which is a place in Vermont where these things are discussed. My father told me about this when I was 8 or so. I thought everyone else knew it. Dad never had much to say when out in public. He chose to be a farmer.

  • @ Red Eft

    “I came here for one reason, stayed here for another….”

    I hear you.

    Sorry you haven’t a partner who you can confide in, must make for a lot of lonely nights. We’re all just little beacons in our own right, transmitting a message that few can see for themselves, so therefore, they don’t see us.

  • I’ll make a furtive try to get back to the subject of Guy’s original post, climate. There are those who have accused Guy of skewing his evidence, cherry-picking his data. I’ve been doing my own studying of climate for a long while (almost went back to school to do graduate studies in that). The key thing i have learned is that the global weather system is not a machine, but an organism. The paradigm of mechanistic materialism, which dominates modern science, and defined by its use of the machine as a metaphor with which to analyze all physical phenomena, fails here, as it does elsewhere. Process philosophy, which sees process and the organism as central, is far more relevant. And the climate process entails a lot of feedback. Hence, climate predictions which do not account for the feedbacks do not present an accurate picture of what we can expect. It is to Guy’s credit that he has placed such a high focus on the positive feedbacks.

  • Hi,

    You say in the prior post in a comment and response to someone asking of contingency plans that going underground is not an option due to a lack of food and water. That doesn’t seem to take into account tapping into an aquifer, and utilizing hydroponic/aquaponic systems. I have read before that sustainable (at least a generation) bunkers exist. This may or may not be the case.

    As for your point about going to the southern hemisphere, I think it’s telling that Bush bought a lot of acreage in South America back in 2007, I believe? This seems to indicate “they” knew of this at least back then. My thought is, based on the plans which are being worked by the government, that “they” have known of economic collapse, and climate devastation as far back as the 1990’s.

    My thoughts are that this has been allowed to happen, yet they underestimated the severity. Too little data while most of the damage was being done. Now they realize it’s one big SNAFU, and are simply trying to damage control good enough to buy time to possibly innovate our way out of this mess.

    Not sure.

  • There will be no real leadership on the climate issue because who would vote for someone who ran on a platform that stated 9/10 of humans should die off, immediately?

    We seem to have invented democracy and I’m not sure that was a good idea. We didn’t give anarchy a fair run at it, imho.

    But now nature will take over and do what we cannot.

    Ho hum. Another day in biology.

    The End is Near. Prepare to Meet Thy Doom. This is not news.

    My husband told me the other day, “Dear? I think I’m becoming a crackpot.” He didn’t look too upset. I patted his arm and said, “That’s ok. You’re also married to one.”

  • @ Infanttyrone

    If you aren’t familiar with the group or their work, in this case the character was using a single grape as evidence that he had traveled back in time to ancient Greece.

    No, never heard it before. Yes, I got that bit about the grape :-)

    Here’s the peach to eat, bit dated, rambling, they was learning, sweet nostalgia for my ears, thanks,

  • @depressive lucidity
    what’s the point of spreading the NTE gospel?

    I’m new here and don’t have a lifeboat in place, so the point of my spreading the “Good News” of NTE would be to locate potential members of a like-minded group that could be a human community (or part of one) within which to spend the remaining decades or years (or whatever is left) as life becomes more difficult and strange.

    Maybe you have your garden thriving and your friends and neighbors all set up for the future, in which case I sincerely congratulate you. Many others don’t.

    At the risk of bringing tin foil curses down on my head, consider the recent discoveries of potentially habitable planets in our galaxy.
    http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Science/2013/02/06/20558256.html

    Six percent of 75 billion stars means 4.5 billion planets.
    Red dwarf stars can be up to 12 billion years old.
    That’s quite a few planets which might have civilizations (or cultures, if you can’t imagine a civilization orbiting a distant sun that won’t kill their planet) that are older than our planet.
    This isn’t my personal garden of hopium poppies…just saying that unless Guy’s projection is seriously off, it looks like some, maybe all, of us have a statistically greater chance of being rescued (or harvested) by ETs than we do of being alive in 2050 or so, when the plants and plankton are kaput.

    Imagine a family that has four children. The family has contracted some bizarre disease such that the only cure is for one of the parents to kill the other parent and two of the children so that the other three can survive. Faced with this situation, a completely rational agent would choose homicide, but nearly all of us would never be able to act on it. It is easier for everyone to die than to kill your spouse and two of your children.

    I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty sure diseases don’t operate in such a way that killing a spouse and two children would increase the survivors’ chances of continued life. If there is such a thing, please post a link next time.

    If the scenario was changed to where one parent and two children were infected, and there was no chance for a cure, and the continued presence of the infected ones would to lead to the infection and death of the others, do you really believe that most families would arrange a suicide-for-six rather than doing the rational thing ? Maybe they would…sati (suttee) is illegal, but still occurs from time to time, although I don’t believe the children are expected to Hop on Pop’s pyre. Full-family suicide seems very much like a Dad idea…over a large enough population of families in such a predicament, I suspect mothers would be much more practical and would be able to act rationally in the moment and grieve after doing what needed to be done.

    The scenario brings to mind (giving evidence of my age here) a lyric and a joke.

    Grateful Dead (Hunter, Weir) Greatest Story Ever Told
    I asked him for mercy, he gave me a gun
    Said now ‘n’ again these things just got to be done

    What model of Nike shoes were all 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate suicide team wearing ?
    Desp-Air Jordans

    @ulvfugl
    Yes, that was the Peach I meant. I had the good luck to be at one of the shows that was released as their Live at the Fillmore East double-LP. Their opening song, Statesboro Blues, was never the same after that night. Happy to help with good memories.

  • @ulvfugl
    If you’re not familiar with Anthem, here’s a link to the whole thing.
    They may be teasing around the Mountain melody from about 25:30 on or so and then quote it very specifically at about 27:15.
    Worth starting at 0:00 if it’s your first trip, though.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBSTyYrQ7ds

  • BC Nurse Prof says: crackpot

    People correctly soon learn
    That we’ve lost our minds, as they discern,
    And that, as they allege,
    We’ve gone over the edge,
    Past the point of no return.

  • Ah, ulvfugl…how do we “fix” the ecosystem? Oh well, ignorance is bliss :-)

  • @ Robin D.

    Re the Vivekananda books, etc.

    The way I see things, historically speaking. Hinduism is vast, immense, huge, so big and ancient it is impossible for any individual to know everything about it, and it gave birth to Buddhism, which again encompasses a huge area, both in its variety of teachings and geographical spread, and then it reached China and blended with Taoism, which again is as ancient as any wisdom tradition on Earth…

    Out of all that emerged Ch’an, which moved to Japan and became Zen

    To put the teaching I follow in that context, Soto Zen is a tiny, tiny subset of a subset of a subset of all that…

    To make a very crude comparisom. 2,500 years ago, there were hundreds of religions in the Middle East and around the Mediterranean, most disappeared, Christianity hooked up with the Roman Empire as the official religion, and thus with secular power and became Roman Catholicism, and so corrupt and decadent that Protestantism emerged and that again split into many sects and sub-divisions.

    So, as a very unsatisfactory and crude parallel, one could say that the relationship between Soto Zen and Hinduism/Classical Buddhism, is roughly similar to the relationship between the Shakers or the Quakers to Roman Catholicism, because what these subsets have attempted to do, is to strip away all of the unnecessary paraphernalia.

    The Quakers try to have the simplest possible architecture for the Meeting House, and they just sit in silence, in the presence of God. If someone feels moved to say something, they are free to do so, but there is no compulsion for anyone to say anything. The only thing, afaik, that the Quakers have in common with the Roman Catholics, is the Bible. Of course, there are thousands of other quirky subgroups of Christianity, I’m mentioning the Quakers and the Shakers, because of their emphasis on minimalism, simplicity.

    So, back to Soto Zen. There are many different Zen sects and schools but they are all typically minimalist. Why do you need a cathedral and choirs when there is this world and the sky and the wind in the trees and the birds singing ?

    Learn the meditation. All that needs is a peaceful quiet place and perseverance, to develop the habit. Open the heart of compassion, the heart of wisdom, so they are applied to everything, especially one’s self. Watch every single thought. Learn the circulation of the chi/ki/qi. All of this can be mastered in six months of diligent pursuit. It’s not such a big deal.

    Forget about Buddha and Enlightenment. You are already Buddha, you just don’t know it. Thinking you are enlightened or wanting to be enlightened or trying to become enlightened is all nonsense.
    If you don’t know what Enlightenment is, how would you recognise it, if you found it or if it happened ? What does a Buddha look like ?

    Sure, if you follow this practice, wonderful results happen. Totally mind blowing. Totally unexpected and indescribable. But you don’t do it because of that. You don’t do it for any reason at all, because the ‘me’ trying to gain or achieve something is an obstacle, a hindrance. There is nothing to be gained or achieved or found. There is just this, here and now, this very moment, perfect stillness of the mind, emptiness, bliss, nothingness, nirvana, limitless being, beyond words.

    Doesn’t need any religion or church or scriptures or doctrines or gurus or preachers, nobody can take it from you, nobody can sell it or buy it, it’s everyone’s free natural birthright.

    It’s not something strange and exotic, lots of animals know this, do this, lots of birds know this and do this. Just that fucked up, neurotic, confused, educated, stressed out humans have lost their natural way and forgotten how to do it. Smile. Take the smile inside with your breath, into your lungs, to visit every single piece of your body, each toe, finger, your whole scalp, your genitals, your arm pits, every vertebra in turn… why not ? Bless yourself. Bliss yourself. It’s easy.

  • @ Frog Counter

    Ah, ulvfugl…how do we “fix” the ecosystem?

    I gave a link.

    There isn’t just one, there’s very many, so they all need different approaches, and it’s very difficult and complex.

    I’m in Orwellian Doublethink Mode here.

    On the one hand I believe we will become extinct along with most of the rest of the species on Earth, because of the trends I see, from the science. Everything is so fucked up.

    On the other hand, I’m going to keep on fighting until I cannot. The more people who understand what is happening, why it is happening, and who get behind a good project and push, the better. At least it is interesting something to do, rather than suicide or stay in bed all day or watch tv or get drunk.

    Now the sea urchins have taught us how to get CO2 out of sea water, using nickel, who knows, maybe that’ll prove to be useful knowledge, if we could stop the bad guys putting it into the atmosphere.

  • @ Infanttyrone

    Happy to help with good memories.

    Thanks. I’m a long time guitar picker, not as long as Etta…

  • @ Jeff S.

    The key thing i have learned is that the global weather system is not a machine, but an organism. The paradigm of mechanistic materialism, which dominates modern science, and defined by its use of the machine as a metaphor with which to analyze all physical phenomena, fails here, as it does elsewhere.

    Good point, very interesting, I’ve been trying to talk to people about that for years and watching them glaze over…

    Not sure organism is the right word either, but it’s better than the machine model.

    The big problem is we only have the ONE Earth, so there’s no other to make a sensible comparison. We arrived at these other notions, organism, machine, by a long process of metaphors and similes, adding a bit of insight each time.

    We’ve got Lovelock’s Daisy World, and Peter Ward’s Medea Hypothesis… and most scientists still living in simplistic 19th century reductionist linear modelling, no ?

  • ulvufgl: February 6th, 2013 at 7:02 am

    Just. Cut. It. Out.

    You must have some sort of psychiatric disorder. You do contribute interesting material to these threads, but at the apparent cost of your pointless hectoring and megalomaniacal abuse directed, although not exclusively, at certain other posters. You’ve been asked to rein it in, but this advice has not ‘taken’. I’m not a whiner but I am personally pained when I come across these attacks of yours because they are so pointless.

  • Red Eft, thanks for coming on board and posting. I can understand your attitude: it’s quite hard for most of us who do not have others around us who are aware of the growing catastrophe. Not much to do but sustain and appreciate what little we can just for that reason alone. Don’t be a stranger, as they say…

  • Speak Softly, I never gave much thought to “Beauty”. Reading your comment, it occurs to me that a key element of beauty is its transitory or fragile nature. Beauty has always had a bittersweet element to it.

  • DairymanDave, where are you at?
    We are about to close the cycle with humanure. We hired some plasterers, and both of them are already doing humanure. It’s just a matter of it becoming socially acceptable, which I think is eminently doable within, say, 10 years, just as smoking precipitously became socially unacceptable. We may not have ten years, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile anyway from a psychological coherency standpoint.

  • @ Lidia

    You must have some sort of psychiatric disorder.

    Hahaha, and this is not an attack upon me ?

  • BadlandsAK, “Amusing Ourselves to Death”: Neil Postman

    The wiki summary is valid: “Postman distinguishes the Orwellian vision of the future, in which totalitarian governments seize individual rights, from that offered by Aldous Huxley in Brave New World, where people medicate themselves into bliss, thereby voluntarily sacrificing their rights. Drawing an analogy with the latter scenario, Postman sees television’s entertainment value as a present-day “soma”, by means of which the consumers’ rights are exchanged for entertainment.

    The essential premise of the book, which Postman extends to the rest of his argument(s), is that “form excludes the content,” that is, a particular medium can only sustain a particular level of ideas. Thus Rational argument, integral to print typography, is militated against by the medium of television for the aforesaid reason. Owing to this shortcoming, politics and religion are diluted, and “news of the day” becomes a packaged commodity. Television de-emphasises the quality of information in favour of satisfying the far-reaching needs of entertainment, by which information is encumbered and to which it is subordinate.”

  • @depressive lucidity, (re. your family scenario) it is not as though this sort of Sophie’s choice is even one which would be ours to make. Horrifying as it is, that’s a BEST CASE scenario!

    What happens when there is only enough 75% of the food that would normally see a population through the winter is NOT that 75% eat and 25% die. 100% eat until there is none left, and then pretty much EVERYONE dies 75% of the way through.

  • “everyone dies 75% of the way through” Barring politics, of course, which does put its thumb on the scale…

  • @depressive lucidity what’s the point of spreading the NTE gospel? Converting a few thousand, even a few million folks is not going to avoid the inevitable, it’s not even going to make a dent

    I have to say, I agree with you, but I find myself face to face with this dilemma, every single day, where I have to look into the eyes of a 5 year old little boy, a 3 year old little girl, and a not quite 2 year old baby girl, all precious, all innocent. That part of me that Mike accused of sitting around waiting for someone else to do something, well, I can’t be that person anymore. Sure, I’ve always made the small efforts to inform myself and take personal responsibility for my actions upon the earth, and very nearly drove myself mad as a young person trying to address environmental and social issues in my artwork, and I know well that feeling of helplessness and hopelessness, of really not being able to make a difference. I couldn’t live with the knowledge of the suffering in the world.
    Even so, until this past year, I didn’t know the full extent of what was going on, basically due to being so overwhelmed by information and personal struggles that I cut myself off from the larger world for a few years, simply to save my own life. And then I really fucked up and had these three beautiful babies, in my late 30’s, when I had no business doing so. I mean, I had already gone the way of Virginia Woolf, tormented by both biology and society, at the prospect of being a childless woman. Should I lie to them? This is their world now, not mine.
    Trust me, there will be no “spreading the NTE gospel” trying to “convert” anybody, but I don’t feel like NTE is privileged information that I should keep to myself anymore, either. I have many friends and family that are having babies, living life, and I feel like they are living in a different universe than I am. How will they feel if they find themselves in the throes of collapse, and here I am, sitting on this information?
    I have stopped wondering why people don’t pay more attention to the big picture. I used to let it drive me crazy, thinking many people were callous, uncaring, or even worse, stupid, lazy, or greedy. Honestly, I think people are just too busy to pay close attention, but they know subconsciously that something is very wrong, and panic is there under the surface. If I were still among the sleepwalking, I would be furious that someone, anyone, didn’t tell me. For whatever reason, I can look around me and see a suffering planet, in the trees, sky, everywhere, and the desperate human need to want to fix it feels like a curse. So, the only way to get through each day is to lift the curse, not by feeling like I’m going to make a difference, but just to respect life while I’m here, and that means living a life of honesty.
    Who knows, maybe if the power goes out on enough superbowls, more people will wake up. No one cared about the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina, but the spectacle of all those people with money sitting in the dark, well, that requires answers, solutions, and action, now!

  • EPA report for first time shows methane emissions from oil and gas

    http://eenews.net/public/energywire/2013/02/06/1

  • @ ulvfugl

    “I’m in Orwellian Doublethink Mode here……”

    Why yes you are.

    But then again, maybe “Orwellian Doublethink Mode”, other than being a possible Ben and Jerry’s doomer ice cream flavor, is just one of a thousand coping mechanisms.

  • “The scenario brings to mind (giving evidence of my age here) a lyric and a joke.

    Grateful Dead (Hunter, Weir) Greatest Story Ever Told
    I asked him for mercy, he gave me a gun
    Said now ‘n’ again these things just got to be done?”

    Perfect lyric for the situation, as is the line further on, “You can’t close the door when the wall’s caved in.” Anthem is great!

    Lots of stuff on Process Philosophy and the organism vs machine in “Nihilism Incorporated” by Australian eco-philosopher Arran Gare, PDF available online, a whole chapter on mechanistic materialism and capitalism. Also see Thomas Lewis “Brace for Impact.” The author was a former senior editor for Time.

  • Lidia and Badlands, thank you for sharing your thoughts concerning the hopeless situation we are in. I am not criticizing those who make an effort to rouse good people who are unaware of the approaching nightmare. I think it shows a great respect for others. Unfortunately, most of the people I know are either dismissive of the message and the messenger, or simply irritated by the news. Even those who politely listen usually suppress the message as soon as you stop talking and they make no independent effort to educate themselves about the crisis. You would think that if someone were told that their house was burning, or there was a gas leak, they would try to confirm the warning rather than remain on the couch watching American Idol.

    The reality is that the sleep walkers are deeply committed to their blissful ignorance. Feel-goodism is their religion/addiction.

    Why some people are capable of questioning the pat mythologies that are fed to us from birth, while most others simply follow the social script is a subject as wide as the human condition itself. Sartre maintained that human beings resent their freedom because they don’t want to be held accountable for their own lives, so they rely instead on false external circumstances like religions, political parties and moral codes to make decisions for them. Imo, these tendencies were hardwired into our primal ancestors who relied on group acceptance for their survival. Very few people, it seems, can transcend the pull of the meat suit’s genetic proclivities.

    For what it’s worth, I have found happy/angry nihilism (which may just be a subset of Wolfbird’s Soto Zen) helpful: question everything, keep the ontological circle open (meaning, there’s crazy shit in the multiverse so don’t assume that normal reality is REAL), embrace no beliefs (at least no belief that is not subject to questioning) and avoid getting hung up on “save the planet” fervor because the planet is already gone, we just haven’t caught up.

    @Wolfbird, I loved your synopsis of the history of religion and found it quite helpful.

  • @ Daniel

    Orwellian Doublethink….just one of a thousand coping mechanisms.

    To entertain two mutually incompatible ideas simultaneously…

    Yes, extraordinary pressures. Normally something I take care to avoid, I check all my ideas over and over to see how they fit together.

    But the Spring arrives, the daffodils and snowdrops are emerging, any day now I must be away from this computer and do other things.

  • @ depressive lucidity

    I loved your synopsis of the history of religion and found it quite helpful.

    Thank you so much. Very hard to compress such a big subject without grievous distortions. It’s a very bad sketch. It would have been nice to add something of the shamanic origins, which continued on the margins, and survives to this day.

    You know, I have had people get down on their knees and touch my feet, as if I was Jesus. People wonder why I am insulting people, people think I am suffering from a psychiatric disorder, people accuse me of all kinds of projected nasty things from their own personal hangups. I want people to stop being so bloody clueless. I want them to have their own dignity and wisdom, as you say, depressive, waking up, not following the social script. If I wasn’t upsetting some people, there’d be something wrong, I should probably be upsetting everybody here much more if I was doing a better job… but it’s not really working out that way, is it, just a few people with bruised egos trying to score points, and me getting pissed off that someone here advocates the obscenity called Monsanto… sigh.

    The Great Master Dogen, whose teaching I follow, ( Gary Snyder is also a fan but I came upon soto zen by a completely different route ) says you climb the hundred foot pole, and then you keep going. That means, or can mean, that you let go of everything. You don’t try and hold on to anything. It means you trust the Universe, the Tao.

    You do the meditation. There is someone who does the meditation, someone who is trying to find something. It’s only when that someone ceases, vanishes, that the end of the hundred foot pole is reached, and then you let go of everything, mind, body, intention, so there is nothing, called in the trade, nirvikalpa samadhi, or, when permanent, nirvana, amongst other terms.

    A lot of people never get that far. A lot are afraid to let go. It was very easy for me, because if you feel suicidal and desperate anyway, well, what the heck, worth a try.

    And you repeat this meditational practice, the jhanas in Theravada terms, over and over, until you can do it anywhere, anytime, not just sitting in zazen, but walking in the street, talking to people, laying in bed. That takes years and years of work. And with it comes all the weird siddhi effects, which are a sort of byproduct, which you mostly just notice and ignore, which must have some scientific explanation.

    Then what ? I don’t know. It doesn’t trouble me that I don’t know, although I’d like to know, so then I’d be able to say to all you people, ‘Hey this is the way’ ;-)

    NTE destroys all traditional wisdom paths.

    An Excerpt from Holy Madness: Spirituality, Crazy-Wise Teachers, and Enlightenment by Georg Feuerstein

    “Enlightenment is the shattering of all mental constructions about existence, including the notions of emptiness and chaos or fullness and harmony. It is awakening from the dream in which we mistake our metaphors for the real thing. As the psychiatrist and Zen practitioner Hubert Benoit put it: ‘At a single stroke I have completely crushed the cave of phantoms.’ The phantoms are the curious mental creations with which we surround ourselves and through which we live a mediated existence.

    “Holy madness, or crazy wisdom, is stated to be in the service of such an awakening, and it has no value or purpose beyond that. Unlike conventional wisdom, it is not meant to create a higher ‘order,’ a new harmony, that is, a better model of reality. On the contrary, crazy wisdom has the sole function of disrupting our model-making enthusiasm, the phantasmagoria of the mind. It is enlightened iconoclasm. It calls into question all our questions and answers to life’s challenges and problems. Crazy wisdom does not propose to be an answer or a solution. If anything, it is radical questioning. In this sense, the crazy-wise adept is the ultimate scientist, whose investigation is so rigorous that it brooks no conventional answer whatsoever. His or her ‘science,’ however, is the science of Divine Ignorance, which means living out of the plenum-void that is Reality.

    “Another way of putting this is that the advanced crazy-wisdom master, especially if he or she is an enlightened adept, lives a life of sheer spontaneity. The emphasis is on the qualifying adjective ‘sheer,’ because the adept’s ‘naturalness’ must be carefully distinguished from the impulsiveness of the child and of the emotionally labile adult, as well as from the kind of spontaneity that is pursued by different humanistic therapies and orientalizing ‘be here now’ approaches. Of course, this sheer spontaneity does not exclude the ability to think rationally — to plan ahead or proceed in a systematic fashion. The enlightened adept may well be an accomplished philosopher and scholar, as was the case with the tenth-century Indian master Abhinava Gupta. But even careful thought and forethought occur in such a being on the basis of ego-freedom and hence as a spontaneous flow.”

  • @ depressive lucidity

    …the planet is already gone, we just haven’t caught up.

    I’m not nearly so certain of that. At least, not this morning. People are the problem. People may go. Hard to imagine, but not unimaginable.

  • @ Jeff S

    Lots of stuff on Process Philosophy and the organism vs machine in “Nihilism Incorporated” by Australian eco-philosopher Arran Gare, PDF available online, a whole chapter on mechanistic materialism and capitalism. Also see Thomas Lewis “Brace for Impact.”

    Thanks. I think I have it bookmarked, just never got around to reading.

  • It took millions of hours of adverts over several decades to convince people that the purpose of life is to “jump in a car and go vroom,” as ulvfugl described it in a previous thread. This effort has been successful, and as effective as heroin. And it would take that long and that much effort to convince them that AGW means they can’t live that kind of life anymore. We should expect people will desperately cling to any scrap of evidence that vroom can continue, because they have been told it is the only possible way to live, and for nearly all of them it is, because the oil and car corps helped make sure that the entire physical infrastructure was built for the needs of the car (vroom). And so it’s also pretty clear that what happens in the future is going to be decided by the same people who decided that our lives today should revolve completely around vroom. That would be the Exxon/ National Security State-the people who continue to grow richer the faster we burn oil. With all this arrayed against us, we shouldn’t expect to convince many people, and we certainly shouldn’t get down on ourselves when we don’t. Basically we should admit the war is lost. Right now, the entire environment movement like Hitler is his bunker in April 1945, waiting for a miracle that’s not going to come.

  • Jeff S, many, many thanks for the Nihilism Inc. PDF. I read Gare about ten years ago and was very impressed. But I was working from a borrowed copy. Now I can review it again. Thanks.

  • @ Ripley

    .. the entire environment movement like Hitler is his bunker in April 1945, waiting for a miracle that’s not going to come.

    Hahaha, yes, I know the feeling, I just read
    http://aangirfan.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/who-did-9-11.html
    so we are trapped between the fascist-mafia elite who would happily kill us all rather than give up an inch of power, and the masses of the sheeple who want to keep watching the tv and going vroom to buy a fucking newspaper… all is lost…

    Ah, but who knows what plans the viruses and bacteria may be secretly plotting ?

  • Ripley; the idea that “vroom” is close to sex is what we really like. Add to that “power” and “control” and “speed” and “status” and, well that’s just about everything a human wants, men anyway.

    I suppose there are other ways to get these thrills, like powering and controlling NBL.

  • Lidia; We are located in rural south central NY, near Norwich. Up until 6 months ago, my plan was to farm until things went down and then, having hundreds of acres of land that I have been building up for the past 40 years, (in spite of Monsanto), I would have been in a position, I repeat, in a position to start something local to help get through the bottleneck. My acres would not be depleated. That’s not been an easy thing to do, considering the forces of capitalism, cheap food, and Monsanto. Whoever was involved would be doing the food cycle thing which would make it sustainable.

    After “We’re Done”, I gave that idea up. We may sell the cows in a year and then just sell hay and sit on the front porch. Keeping this many animals, 150, is a burden that we can’t continue to carry at our age.

  • dairymandave Says:
    February 7th, 2013 at 3:20 am

    Ripley; the idea that “vroom” is close to sex is what we really like.

    Well they do like to use sex in the car ads, don’t they? I thought the Chevy truck ads we’re particularly effective, like the one they used for many years where Bob Segar ecstatically sings “like a rock” to sell their biggest truck. Hmm…I wonder what they’re referring to there?

  • I think Fetishization of the Commodity is the phrase you are searching for, as you strive to score your point, dmd. These people are satirizing the phenomenon.

  • @ulf
    If I wasn’t upsetting some people, there’d be something wrong, I should probably be upsetting everybody here much more if I was doing a better job

    Well, you are preaching to the choir here dude, so your ad hominems are not needed as you think they are. If you have some kind of messianic complex such that all of your insights are right and everyone else here is wrong, you need to get over yourself. That being said, I think you have some very valuable wisdom, knowledge and insights. You just need to start using a little honey rather than vinegar.

  • @ Bailey

    Oh, I have no messianic complex, Bailey, far from it, I’ve been through all that with what’s his name, Martin something, here, who accused me of wanting to be a guru with followers. Like I said, I’ve occasionally had people try and put that role onto me. It’s very embarrassing. They seem to have a sort of archetypal need for the guru figure, or indeed, the rock star figure, amongst many others. It’s nothing to do with me at all.

    I don’t mind the mysterious wizard-hermit role, I suppose, because then it’s on my terms, one to one, and I can listen to the individual and tell them whatever seems appropriate. I enjoy that one. I can get people very high, tripping, just with a few words, change their lives, I can explain everything useful, basic essentials, in what, half an hour ? After that, do you think I want the bother and hassle of people depending upon me ? Not really… Only if they are really in trouble or stuck.

    I don’t think I am preaching to the choir here, am I, but thanks for the advice. We had a fairly amicable exchange, I felt, re our positions re ‘scratchmarks left by demons’ etcetera ? ;-)

    Just about every single thread since I arrived, Kathy C. has picked an argument with me which has lead to acrimony. Okay, I should just ignore such irritation. But I am a real complete person, not some disembodied abstraction. I speak my mind, just as I would to someone in my presence. Not an effing meat robot. My enemy is the bad memes in people’s heads, lets pull ’em out and stamp on ’em, and replace ’em with good ones.

    Btw, thanks for the compliment. Anyway, I’ll be away, in a few days, I hope, and you can all breath a sigh of relief. :-)

  • I suggested you might like to be a guru because you seem to crave an audience.

    You know, I have had people get down on their knees and touch my feet, as if I was Jesus.

    This is beyond satire.

    And it’s “as if I were Jesus.” But an inexact grasp of the past subjunctive isn’t the problem here.

    as was the case with the tenth-century Indian master Abhinava Gupta.

    I knew an Abhinaya Gupta. He was a shelf-stacker at Patel’s on Commercial Drive, Vancouver.

  • The Rubberbandits Guide to Farming

  • @ Martin Knight

    You’re a pedant, which puts you beyond satire.

  • ulvfugl

    You wrote:

    “…and then you let go of everything, mind, body, intention, so there is nothing, called in the trade, nirvikalpa samadhi, or, when permanent, nirvana, amongst other terms.

    A lot of people never get that far.”

    Othar than Adi Da Samraj, show me another.

    Yes, in the various traditions, and many there have been, there have been spirit baptisers, and higher stage Adepts and realisers, quietly woking in the wings… blessing, initiating and doing there part, which unfolds(ed) as they practiced.

    The last quote there makes me laugh, but not at you, fellow traveler, jst at the understatement there.

    BY the way, I was under the impression George Feuerstein was a devotee of Adi Da. I may be wrong, and if that is so,he has written a lot in terms of advocacy of Adi Da, as has Alan Watts. Oe thing Adi Da did say regarding many of these ‘endorsements’ of the lkind one gets in modern ‘spiritual books’ was that he noted many of the men, the big shakers like Watts, do a lot of endorsing of Him, bt don’t get round to becoming a devotee.

    I always find his insight, well… very enlightened, pardon the pun.
    Your quotes of George Feuerstein are welcome, and I hae done a bit of personal study into the crazy wize ‘school’ if you like, (not a school in the traditional sense, for obvious reasons, eh?)

    The fool in Shakespeare has a lot of this energy, and IMO is depicted as pivotal to some of the bigger elements in many plays, especially the tragedies, Othello, Hamlet, King Lear and others.
    In Hamlet he is only a dead skull, still making an entrance, that is if you don’t suspect, as I do, that the gravedigger himself is Yorrik, the old kings fool.

    Rang Advahoot, was a crazy wize man in India, and via glance gave his blessing to Adi Da on one occasion.(Onece is sufficient)

    These guys in the East, including Swami Muktananda, Rang Advahoot, Swami Nityananda, and Ramana Maharshi, they prepared and purified the vehicle that enabled Adi Da to incarnate, and those times of Sadhana, and moments of blessing, like with Rang Advahoot, were an emptying of their accumulated Great Samadhi, and realisations into Adi Das vehicle.

    It was reported that when Adi Da revisited Swami Muktanunda at his Ashram in India, there were many more Westerners attending, much more activity, but no silent realisation teaching of the kind Adi Da received from him. It was as though the Siddhi was gone, and IMO that is what was supposed to happen.

    The surrender you speak of above the long pole, is not possible if the path was not there from others before.

    These guys did the perfect practice for a damn clear reason, and it has been fulfilled.

    But not by many so far, but once the path is fully cleared as it is now, the way is clear for all beings to legt go.

    Another great post and comment IMO ulvfugl.

    I’ll pass on the feet kissing. Simple and honest praise should be enough for you, eh?

  • Bailey replied to ulvfugi:

    “Well, you are preaching to the choir here dude, so your ad hominems are not needed as you think they are. If you have some kind of messianic complex such that all of your insights are right and everyone else here is wrong, you need to get over yourself. That being said, I think you have some very valuable wisdom, knowledge and insights. You just need to start using a little honey rather than vinegar.”

    ulvfugi: Bailey is offering you sound advice, and his criticism is balanced in that he recognizes your many contributions. I worked for a large multi-national insurance conglomerate. I started at the bottom and after many years of hard work I ended in a senior executive position. The key to winning over people and influencing their point of view is to be nice. It was amazing to me how many people are socially retarded (made my position that much easier). If people like another person the sky is the limit. Allow me to close with a final “facile and sophomoric bumper sticker” (like the PSAT vocab.) given to me by my grandmother: You will catch more bees with honey than you will with vinegar.

  • @ Friedrich K.

    Thank you for your advice. FWIW, I got the first forest on this planet to be certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council. I know something about the limits of the sky. What makes you think I want to catch any bees ?
    I’d be more sympathetic towards you if you had replied to my comment in the previous thread. I don’t think you did ?

  • ulvfugl: You don’t need to respond to every comment in this space. And not everybody must respond to every comment you make, either, even if you direct a comment directly to somebody.

  • This is no red herring, but dead herrings..
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/06/iceland-mass-herring-death-dead-fish_n_2629555.html?show_comment_id=228202289#comment_228202289

    Welcome to the new world of daily statistically bizarre events which are now considered ‘normal’ or natural events. Well yeah, when you consider 7 billion humans destroying the geology, land, sea, and air as ‘natural.’

  • @ Ozman

    The surrender you speak of above the long pole, is not possible if the path was not there from others before.
    These guys did the perfect practice for a damn clear reason, and it has been fulfilled.
    But not by many so far, but once the path is fully cleared as it is now, the way is clear for all beings to legt go.
    Another great post and comment IMO ulvfugl.
    I’ll pass on the feet kissing. Simple and honest praise should be enough for you, eh?

    Well, thanks for all the kind words, but I really don’t see it like that. The way I see it, the hundred foot pole is everyone’s own body and mind, their own being, waiting there for them to explore and attend to, via introspection.

    It’s really a lot like learning any other technique, like learning to swim or ride a bike or walk a tightrope or juggle. It helps to have a really good teacher to set you on the right path. And then the work has to be done by the person themselves. Of course, meditation, is different, it is peculiar, and as we now know from neuroscience, it results in very significant physical and functional changes to the brain, so really, you’re changing your whole being, almost like a body builder does for their physique, but at a much deeper level.

    Sorry, Ozman, I can’t say whether those names you mention merit your regard or not. I’m not much into the guru thing. The teacher who taught the soto zen stuff that I learned was Jiyu Kennett who was the first Westerner to be officially ordained, afaik, and a woman as well, which was unheard of at the time. She’d very likely disapprove of my interpretation of her teaching, but there we are. I do the best I can.

    It was her ambition to set up a lineage, but as I’ve said, all such ambitions, in all areas of human life, appear to be nullified, by NTE. Which must mark an unprecedented existential crisis. This blog appears to be the only place where that has sunk in.

  • ulvfugl: You don’t need to respond to every comment in this space. And not everybody must respond to every comment you make, either, even if you direct a comment directly to somebody.

    Your website as it is now run is a source of a great deal of hurt and alienation.

  • @uvlfugl, don’t leave, please?

    You are blunt and (i guess) take advantage of the interpersonal distance afforded by internet communication (meaning, I think you’re probably not as confrontational in person – unless you’re blessed with a set of friends and family who actually value that in you!)

    Not that I have any say in what anyone does, of course :-)

    But I do sense some easing of comprehension of the dynamical, discursive flows here and might be able to start picking out a few threads and generating summaries…. for instance the topics of intentional/forced/unintentional communities (Fail, Pat, BCNurse) and surveillance are both on my mind. We’ll see if/how soon I can distill them. Did I mention I’m trying to finish writing my dissertation? There were a few comments made about ‘the machine’ that are consonant with my subject matter. So many overlaps and interconnections there are! Stemming from the disturbing two birds parable which I wanted to have not read after I had and tried to forget/suppress but then there it kept popping up.

    Anyway, just sortof place-keeping with this comment now… @wildwoman, Prodigal Summer is my favorite Kingsolver novel too. Her ability to describe the relevance of animal knowledge is part of what impresses me, like that story ulvfugl shared about foxes using the magnetic field to sense the presence of mice.

    Guy, you’re welcome. Interesting dynamics regarding your moderation of this group too, which Greg Robie mentioned over in my blog and then I ‘saw’ in action in some of the comments above. It’s the practice of community that fascinates me, if only because my own attempts to belong have been less successful than I might wish. The difficulties of not belonging, though, heighten the value of those relationships in which I am embraced, scarce and/or tentative as they may be.

  • @ Guy McPherson

    Sigh, okay, I’ll shut up, but an argument about forests might have been interesting.

    @ M. Knight

    No idea what you’re talking about, if that’s what you think why bother visiting it.

  • No idea what you’re talking about […]

    Feigned ignorance. You use it a lot, I’ve noticed. Amazingly, no one ever calls you on it, even though it is a transparent ruse.

    What are you going to do about your itch to dominate? No, don’t tell me I’m projecting; that won’t work. I’m asking you. What are you going to do about it? Because dominating this space is causing unhappiness to many people (what? you didn’t notice?) and so you need to ask yourself what use of your time and skills might not be put to better use for the sake of your and others’ mental equilibrium.

    Or is it too late?

  • I know of a very common psychiatric illness that will fortunately disappear with extinction (finding good news where I can). It is inscribed in the New World constitution and called «the pursuit of a penis».

  • @ Martin Knight

    I misread your comment and assumed you were referring to my own website, where there is no hurt or alienation. please make it clear to whom you are speaking.

    As for this subsequent comment. I don’t think I’d ever consult you about anything.

  • this blog is a good example of why “Community” will never work! we are doomed!

    There have always been smart people yet, here we are.

    From “Question Everything:”

    I am on record as thinking that the likelihood for a very rapid and deep crash of the human population is quite high. My reasons for thinking this way have been covered in previous blogs, but in sum amount to recognizing a chaotic dynamic resulting from entering a phase of human history characterized by diminishing net energy, highly disruptive climate change, subsequent diminishment of many other resources, rising sea levels forcing mass abandonment of the most populous coastal areas, and our low sapient psychological responses to these conditions leading to conflicts on all scales. All of this against the background of population overshoot. Making predictions about chaos is a fool’s game and I resist the temptation to name a date when all of this will come to pass. Nevertheless, the patterns seem to already be emerging, suggesting to me that the trends will be clear within the next 50 to 100 years. But, it could be sooner. And in this chaos I think most people will die early and often horribly. The population will crash in the classical ecological sense.

    I guess the question is: “Are you sapient enough to be among the chosen few?”

  • please make it clear to whom you are speaking.

    Tell that to Guy.

  • michele/montreal……I think I love you.

    For another giggle:

  • @LD “these tendencies were hardwired into our primal ancestors who relied on group acceptance for their survival.”

    Of course. Again, one must consider first principles when conceptualizing how certain traits were selected. Imagine, if you will, a small group of 15-20 individuals, all of whom unquestioningly accepted the existing paradigm, regardless of specifics.

    The one(s) who bucked the ‘system’, who asked questions, who applied reason obviously received the same treatment you and anyone else who cares to broach these subjects in polite company today receive. The problem is, while today the sheep can ignore you, back-in-the-day, if you were annoying enough, they’d either kill you directly, or starve you to death.

    Ergo, once again we are all descendents of those who accepted & obeyed generations past. As for those who continue to exhibit ‘anti-social’ behavior, well, that must be some kind of genetic mutation that keeps popping up & hasn’t been fully eradicated.

  • @ulvfugl

    Thanks for the heads up on the Green Gold documentary. Missed it in your comment before, sigh.

    Much of the fix illustrated in the documentary is really restraint and acceptance of the inate power of nature. I fear that much of the fixes people envision are dependent on some whiz bang new technolgy from the WESAYSO corporate community. Cooperating with nature rather than dominating nature is a much more likely and sustainable “fix”. Two thumbs up :-)

  • I guess the question is: “Are you sapient enough to be among the chosen few?”

    Guess again. Exclusivity works until others notice. Then the exclusive become a target.