Soft Spot: How to Quickly and Easily Destroy the United States of America

by Dan Allen, a high school Chemistry teacher in New Jersey, as well as a concerned father, organic farmer, and community garden organizer.

U.S. flag flies near cooling towers of Three Mile Island nuclear power plant, where U.S. suffered its most serious nuclear accident, in Middletown, Pennsylvania

“The spent fuel stored in pools holds between 5 and 10 times more long-lived radioactivity than the reactor cores themselves hold. Because they were intended to be temporary, the pools do not have the same ‘defense in depth’ features that the NRC requires of reactors.” — Robert Alvarez (2012,

“[T]he possibility of a terrorist attack…is speculative and simply too far removed from the natural or expected consequences of agency action…” — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2002) (quoted in

“If the water were to drain entirely from a spent fuel pool, it could trigger a catastrophic radioactive fire that would spew toxins and render hundreds of thousands of square miles uninhabitable.” — Robert Alvarez (2011,

Summary: (grim satire) Ever consider destroying the US? This essay offers a quick, easy way to render much of the nation uninhabitable. (Spoiler alert: Just drain the cooling water from the lightly-secured, self-igniting spent-fuel pools of the nation’s 23 Fukushima-type nuclear reactors!) Includes reactor diagrams and maps to your conveniently-located targets!


• Robert Alvarez (2012) “Improving Spent-Fuel Storage at Nuclear Reactors”,

• Robert Alvarez (2011) “Spent Nuclear Fuel Pools in the US: Reducing the Deadly Risks of Storage”,

• Robert Alvarez (2003) “Reducing the Hazards from Stored Spent Power-Reactor Fuel in the United States”,

• Arnie Gunderson (2012) “Can Spent Fuel Pools Catch Fire?” (video)

• Arnie Gunderson (2012) “More Lessons from Fukushima Daiichi” (video),

• Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists report (2003), “The NRC’s Dirty Little Secret: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is still unwilling to respond to serious security problems.”,

• Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) (2011) “Hazards of Boiling Water Reactors in the United States”,

• National Resources Defense Council’s interactive fallout map:

• General nuclear info and activism:,,


OK, so you’ve opened this ‘destroy the US’ link, huh? … Bold move.

But since you’ve come this far, I’m assuming two things about you: (1) You don’t mind being on an FBI watch list, and (2) you’re at least curious as to how one might ‘quickly and rapidly’ destroy a huge, armed-to-the-teeth industrial nation. Heck, maybe you’re even toying with the idea.

But before we get to the ‘how’, I want to ask you to think briefly about the ‘why’ and ‘what’ of your incipient plans of destruction. Namely, I’d just like you to clarify (if only for yourself) some of the reasons you might be considering such a bold project, as well as just what you’ll be destroying should you succeed.

We wouldn’t want to stumble forward blindly here, now would we?

As for your reasons, well, I suppose we could take our pick, huh? Maybe you object to the various US military and ‘nation building’ escapades in certain foreign countries you hold dear. Or maybe you object to what you perceive as unfair economic arm-twisting and ‘resource grabs’ in various smaller republics of your liking. Or maybe you simply wish to blunt or nullify some economic or military competition from the US in favor of your more preferred foreign governments or corporations. Or maybe you’re just nuts.

Hey, lots of reasons!

… And just what will you be destroying with this plan should this plan be successful? Wow, lots of stuff! It’s a really big country with a lot of people, and you could really polish off a huge chunk of it if you follow the directions here. And the cool part is that it’s not just the people here and now that you could destroy — no, it’d be messed up for centuries. And, of course, there are a lot of other living things here too, and I bet a good bit of them would get trashed as well. Bonus points!

And as you’ll see, it’s actually really easy to do!


OK, so I’m glad we got the ‘why’ and ‘what’ parts of your destruction plans straight. It’s important to think things through at least a little bit — especially when one’s dealing with the destruction of entire countries.

But before we get to the ‘how’ and maybe actually implement your quick and easy plan of rapid destruction, you should probably be aware that the US is, in fact, already engineering its own destruction on several fronts. Granted, it’s occurring in a perhaps overly drawn-out manner at the moment — but, wow, it sure seems to be gaining momentum!

And how, you say? Did someone mention ‘unlivable climate’ or ‘nation-sized radiation exclusion zone’? Ha ha ha. That’s right, the US is well on its way to being a nation of uninhabitable, radioactive sand dunes, acidified-sea to shining acidified-sea. A combination of (1) accelerating climate change (driven by record global CO2 emissions and mounting exponential positive feedbacks from the earth system) and (2) deteriorating nuclear plant stability (due to aging plant infrastructure, dangerously crowded on-plant stockpiling of spent-fuel, climate destabilization, increased profit-driven short-cutting of already-insufficient safety regulations, and an emerging economic collapse) are daily increasing the odds of uninhabitability even a few decades hence.

Now, that’s a big claim, so if you’d like to research this a bit, check out the links in this essay:

The problem, of course, is that this self-immolation/irradiation may take decades. And for a Type-A personality like yourself, that’s way too long! You want the USA destroyed … and you want it now!!

Ha ha ha! But hold on there, tiger. First we have a wee bit of research to do…


Seeing as you might get just one shot at this, you’ll want to make sure you do it right. And that means picking the right targets. And that’s a tall order, since the requirements are a bit daunting. The targets must be: (1) easily accessible, (2) lightly guarded, and (3) capable of wreaking great destruction with only minimal prodding on your part. In other words, we need soft targets that will do most of the dirty destructive work for us.

Luckily, the US has many such targets: the twenty-three Mark I Boiling Water Nuclear Reactors – known more commonly as “the kind that blew up in Fukushima.” See Figure 1 (below) for what they look like on the inside before they blow up. (Google the gory pictures of the Fukushima reactors to see what these beauties look like after they blow up. Spoiler alert: Sort of more opened-up, crumpled, twisted, and smoking.)

Nuke plants a

Figure 1. The Mark 1 Boiling Water Nuclear Reactor. There are 23 of these in the US. Of interest here is the actively-cooled spent-fuel pool, located on the 4th floor, directly under the large orange crane. In the US, these pools contain 5 to 10 times the radioactive cesium present in the core itself (the elongated red vessel in the middle). Should the (sometimes steel-lined) five-foot thick cement walls of these spent-fuel pools be breached and the cooling water drain, the ensuing self-igniting fire would release enough radiation to render hundreds of square miles uninhabitable. (Source:

Now let’s just quickly outline some of the key reasons the Mark I reactors make ideal targets for quickly destroying the United States:

1. There are lots of them.. The US has 23 Mark I reactors and 6 more of the similarly-designed Mark II models. That’s a good 31 country-destroyin’ dirty bombs! And if each can render hundreds of square miles uninhabitable (as Brookhaven National Laboratory warns), well… that’ll do! See the map below for their names and locations.

Nuke plants b.jpg

Figure 2. Locations of the 23 Mark I Nuclear Reactors in the US. Note their convenient placement near major population centers. Also note that, like the identical Fukushima Mark I reactors, several locations feature multiple plants. Double and triple the fun! See for convenient driving directions.

2. They’re accessible & lightly guarded. These potential dirty bombs aren’t buried deep within heavily-secured military bases, hidden in the middle of vast scorching deserts, concealed deep within mountains, or perched high-up on inaccessible mesas. Nope, they’re located right where millions of people live — and on accessible, recreational bodies of water, no less! If boats can pull right up close to them in full daylight (see Figure 3 below), I‘m pretty sure you could figure something out.

Nuke plants c

Figure 3: Can you say ‘soft-target’? A protest boat sailing delightfully close to the Indian Point, NY nuclear reactor. Source:

And to top it off, the security is, ahem, not exactly of Navy Seal caliber. As Helen Caldicott writes, “The security guards at nuclear power plants complain of low morale, inadequate training, exhaustion from excessive overtime, and poor pay. They are often expected to work seventy-two hours a week, and not infrequently they go to sleep on the job. They state that they would not be prepared to die to save the reactor, considering their poor compensation and the treatment they routinely receive from management.” (from Nuclear Power is Not the Answer, 2006; Paraphrased from this 2003 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists report:

In other words, these reactors put the ‘soft’ in ‘soft target.’ Pillow soft. Marshmallow soft. Nuclear reactor soft.

3. They’re easily compromised, self-igniting and incredibly potent. All you need to do is crack the 5-foot thick (sometimes steel-lined) concrete floor of the spent fuel pool to drain the cooling water (See plant diagram in Figure 1). Without the cooling water, the now-unshielded and un-cooled spent-fuel rods will heat up rather quickly, which both (1) makes it impossible to get anywhere near the radiation-spewing spent fuel rods to repair the damage, and (2) results in the ignition of their zirconium alloy coating. (See Alvarez and Gunderson references above). The ensuing firefighter-inaccessible fire will volatilize most of the radioactive cesium and render a large swath of land uninhabitable for centuries.

… Easy-peasy!


Now, I realize I glossed over a few details in the last little section there, so let me flesh it out a little for you – just so you know I’m not pullin’ yer leg.

Like how exactly do we drain this fuel pool? You can do this ‘accidentally’ by simply picking up and dropping (via that orange crane in Figure 1) one of the very massive spent-fuel racks into the bottom of the pool. You can also do it ‘purposely’ with a well-placed, modestly-sized explosion. Got an airplane? Got an anti-tank missile? Got some plastic explosive and access to the plant as an ‘employee’? That’ll do! Note that those egghead GE designers from the 1960s are really helping us out here, as these spent-fuel pools are perched conveniently on the 4th floor (?!) and roofed by “buildings no more secure than car dealerships.” (Alvarez, 2011)

A quick look at the busted-open version of a Mark I reactor (a la Fukushima) shows the tin-can nature of the spent-fuel pool covering. (See Figure 4, below.)

Nuke plants d

Figure 4: Destroyer-of-worlds … in a can! The Mark I reactor cores have some hefty (although still-insufficient) armor. The even-more-dangerous spent fuel pools do not. Indeed, Mark I spent fuel storage pools are “housed in building no more secure than car dealerships.” (Alvarez, 2011). Photo source:

And why would the rods heat up outside the core and become inaccessible once the cooling water drained? Well, the spent-fuel elements you get after fission of the uranium fuel are not happy campers. They continue to ‘self-destruct’ for years after removal from the core, spitting out both heat and nasty radiation particles in the process. Hence the need for the radiation-shielding/heat-dispersing cooling pool. Lowering of the water level in the spent fuel pool causes problems on several fronts:

(1) First, since the water shields plant workers from these nasty radiation particles, absence of the water makes it impossible for workers to access the compromised fuel pool to repair them. Alvarez writes, “Once the pool water level is below the top of the fuel … lethal doses [of gamma radiation in the reactor building, even out of direct sight of the pool] would be incurred within about an hour. Given such dose rates, the NRC staff assumed that further ad hoc interventions would not be possible.” Simply put, these deadly pools become inaccessible to repair if sufficiently compromised – at the exact time when only fixing them can avert a widespread, catastrophic release of radiation. (An ironic slow-clapping for the nuclear industry would be appropriate at this point.)

(2) Secondly, decay heat from the spent-fuel will boil off any remaining water and ignite their thin zirconium-alloy covering in air. The mounting temperatures from the decay heat and the zirconium fire will then liberate the deadly radioactive cesium within the rods. Alvarez writes, “Particularly worrisome are the large amounts of cesium-137 in spent-fuel pools, because nearly all of this dangerous isotope would be released into the environment in a fire, according to the NRC.” (Alvarez, 2012)

Nuke plants e

Figure 5: Our hero, the overloaded spent fuel pool. If it could talk, it would surely say this: “Die, you motherf*%#ers!”

It’s also important to note the huge quantities and densities of spent fuel currently being stored in these spent fuel pools. Due to absence of any suitable long-term place to put the stuff (and an inexplicable refusal to transfer it short-term to dry-cask storage), reactors have simply stockpiled spent fuel in these tenuous pools for the past fifty years – at ever-increasing densities.

In true nuclear-industry style, the pools were designed for only very temporary storage of very little, widely-spaced spent fuel — but are now used as permanent repositories for very large amounts of densely-packed spent fuel. In fact, the way-over-specs density of the spent fuel in these pools is one of the contributing factors to their overheating: convective cooling of the dry rods becomes utterly ineffective when they’re packed so tightly. And at this point there are from 5 to 10 times as much cesium stockpiled in the spent fuel pools as in the reactor cores themselves. Yowza!

So here’s an analogy for you: If these spent fuel pools were guns, they’d be fully loaded semi-automatics. Hair triggers. Safeties off. Pointed right at the US public.

… Step right up.

And as for spreading this cesium around, well, that’s what they make wind for! Alvarez quotes a 2004 National Academy of Science report to Congress: “A loss-of-pool-coolant event resulting from damage or collapse of the pool could have severe consequences. … [A] terrorist attack that partially or completely drained a spent fuel pool could lead to a propagating zirconium cladding fire and release large quantities of radioactive materials to the environment. … Such fires would create thermal plumes that could potentially transport radioactive aerosols hundreds of miles downwind under appropriate atmospheric conditions.”

Here’s a cute interactive fallout map from the Natural Resources Defense Council: Oh, the possibilities!!


So there, I’ve laid it all out for you. … You’re welcome.

But I know, I know — Instead of thanking me, you’re thinking, “Great! Now that you just clued them into the soft targets we can hit to destroy the US, they’ll do something to fix it — they’ll beef up security; or better yet, they’ll move the spent-fuel to dry cask storage and shut down the reactors, like Germany is doing.”

But here’s the funny part: They won’t.

They already know these spent-fuel pools are slam-dunk terrorist targets. They already know they’re ticking time bombs, at the fickle mercy of mounting climate destabilization and economic collapse. They already know they can destroy the nation. And they even know that you know.

… And they don’t care.

That’s right, they don’t care. You see, the plant owners and operators, the nuclear intelligensia, the (cough) ‘watchdog’ Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and our elected (cough) ‘leaders’ have known for decades that the pools are over-loaded, lacking even rudimentary safety controls, and ridiculously vulnerable to plant accident natural disaster, and terrorist attacks. They’ve been warned by scores of engineers, stacks of peer-reviewed reports, decades of protesters, and their own repressed consciences.

And still they do nothing. They just sit and watch year after year as the fragile pools get crammed ever denser with combustible, ultra-toxic spent-fuel. As they cycle endlessly between industry and regulatory positions. As they schmooze each other at meetings. As they collect their ample paychecks. As they numb their consciences with ludicrous smoke-and-mirrors statistical safety analyses. As they offer endless prayer-like reaffirmations to each other in the form of meaningless charts and numbers vomited up into the coffee-infused air of padded conference rooms.

While they do nothing.

Nothing at all.

… So me clueing you into these nice delectable soft targets won’t prompt them to make these deadly targets any less soft.

Chernobyl didn’t.

9/11 didn’t.

Warnings from Robert Alvarez, Helen Caldicott, Arnie Gunderson, David Lochbaum, and scores of physicians, nuclear engineers, and concerned citizens didn’t.

Fukushima didn’t.

The brimming basketful of nuclear plant near-misses in the past few years didn’t.

And this essay won’t.

So you can proceed with your wicked plans just as if they were blissfully unaware of the huge dirty bombs they tend.

Yea, you can sail, drive, walk, or fly right up to one of these things tomorrow and blast away.

And you know what? They probably won’t even blink an eye.

Nope. Before the first hot particle reaches the first toddler’s mouth, they’ll just shift into economic and public relations damage control mode.

They’ll do the TEPCO shuffle. The Chernobyl two-step.

Even as the plumes of death rise from reactors all over the country.

Even as the cesium worms its way into our children’s heart tissue.

Even as our children die.

Even as our tumors grow.

They will still admit no wrong.

And the bastards will deny, deny, deny, deny, deny, deny, and fucking deny.

And they will actively conceal the ongoing apocalypse.

And they will blame everyone else but themselves.

And we, the public, will wring our hands.

And we will duct-tape our windows.

And we will watch all the action on our televisions.

And we will cower in dumb silence, just as we did before.

And we will bury our dead.

And we will stream into the refugee camps.

And we will nurture the tumors growing within us.

And we will wonder how it ever could have happened.

And we will even deny to ourselves that we or anybody ever could have conceived of such a tragedy.

And we will forget that it all could have been prevented.

So easily prevented!

And so we will curse our bad luck.

And we will forget that we did nothing.





Not. One. Damn. Thing.

As we wasted chance after chance after chance to raise our voices.

As the spent-fuel time bombs ticked down to zero.

Until … surprise! Oh my! What horrible, horrible bad luck we do have!!

… So there it is.

We’ve made our toxic bed, and at some point either some ‘terrorist’ or mega-storm or extended power outage or armed conflict or simply the inevitable ravages of entropy is going to step in and require that we sleep in it.

So do what you will.

Because if you succeed — if we continue to fail in our basic biological charge to protect our children — it is because we deserved it.

… God, what a horrible thing to say!

But it will be true.

By our outrageous silence,

by our mute tolerance of suicidal greed,

by our inexcusable inaction in the face of a reckless and readily-preventable danger,

we will have deserved it.


If anybody is willing and able to shoulder the burden of creating and moderating a forum, I’d appreciate the effort. I am not interested, and I don’t have the time, but I’ll work with somebody who will take on the lion’s share of the task.

Comments 282

  • Hey Guy. Thanks for putting this up. You’re one of the few out there who has the guts to say the Emporer has no…well…to say that he’s actually trying to kill us. And succeeding.

    Just a pre-emptive justification for this post: What if you find a loaded semi-automatic on a playground bench, safety off? Do you walk on by and hope nobdy finds it? Or do you point it out?

  • If anybody is willing and able to shoulder the burden of creating and moderating a forum, I’d appreciate the effort. I am not interested, and I don’t have the time, but I’ll work with somebody who will take on the lion’s share of the task.

  • The money spent on securing used fuel rods is better spent on Drones and resource wars, don’t ya know. The trillions in “Defense Department” boondoggles defends corporate profit margins.

    There are no ‘profits’ in defending spent fuel rods, except for the disaster capital shock doctrine ‘cleanup’ efforts after the fact.

    The nation-state does not exist anymore, just Corporatist transnational entities. It’s so far beyond ‘national’ control much less ‘local’ regulations.

    An economic collapse will have zero funds available for dealing with nuclear pollution. Food and heat and shelter won’t even be covered.

  • Wow, this is quite the essay!

    None of the links are lit/working, btw.

    I notice Fermi is a Mark 1. TPTB wanted to build a Fermi II in Midland MI decades ago, back when protest was legal. Many of us walked picket lines in protest, and it went down in flames. Good times.

    If we don’t hear from Guy or dan allen again, we’ll know why.

  • I’ve always admired teachers and their moxie. However I’m not as interested in “soft targets” as I am with trying to grow greens in the winter…or at least until nuclear winter sets in:(

  • Links appear to be repaired.
    Connection re-established.
    Film at 11, music at about 1:20.
    RIP Marmaduke, et al.

  • Interesting article Dan,
    When I got several paragraphs in I was thinking ‘This is tongue in cheek satire hoping to draw attention to a problem that some of us have worried about for many years now’ However, after finishing reading I now see that you are venting (as well any sane person would)in frustration. Greg Levine also addresses nuclear issues at his blog and folk might also find his take on nuclear to be accurate.

    After almost going crazy when I became aware of the impending catastrophe that Guy talks about these days, I find that a curious “detached calm” has replaced my fears and I now look at the world through different eyes. What those eyes tell me now is that humanity has truly run it’s course and due to our collective idiocy we will be checking out soon.

    I have a few chickens and tended to them just before reading today’s offering here at NBL and ironically the thought crossed my mind, as I came back to the house, that when the truth of our situation can no longer be denied (even by the Lord Moncktons of the world) that governments might use the “nuclear option” to avoid the worst of the pain that we will be subject to.

    So rave on Dan and know that you are not alone and that your courage to flip off the PTB is admired by at least a few of us. You too Guy..

    Edward Kerr

  • In a recent article at Counterpunch, Morris Berman analyzes the crisis of meaning in the modern world, specifically Amerika:

    And what is the core of the problem? Basically, that the technical order is meaningless; that the American Way of Life finally has no moral center. Indeed, it is not clear that it ever did. In Freedom Just Around the Corner, historian Walter McDougall characterizes the United States as a “nation of hustlers,” going back to its earliest days. What began as trade and opportunism finally issued out into a full-blown crisis of meaning, and it is this that now constitutes the crisis of late capitalism.

    The so called “problem” is not just that the technical order is meaningless. Once homo sapiens [sic] broke out of the environmental constraints that bind all other species and began to manipulate the environment in new, more radical ways than hunter gatherers we launched a ten thousand year search for meaning, not just any meaning, but a meaning that would make us whole, that would protect us from the inherent neuroses of life. In the process, we invented civilization after civilization, each with its own mythological universe justifying why the powerful were powerful, why everyone else was subservient and why the arrangement was good. The scientific revolution and the technological age, over time, deconstructed the traditional mythologies which posited a realm of the gods, “as above, so below,” and so forth and left us with just the here and now, a sheer Nothing, a hole which must be filled to avoid a psychic disintegration, because we cannot endure the possibility that existence is groundless, that it has no inherent meaning or purpose, that suffering and pain are just suffering and pain, that there is no divine accountant who will redeem all the anguish that permeates life. Since few are intellectually, spiritually and emotionally equipped to even peripherally sense the fissure at the heart of Being, a fissure which implies that the universe is itself incomplete and inconsistent, lacking a telos, the privileged members of developed countries (i.e. the well fed) have drowned themselves in onanistic oceans of junk consumption and infantile fantasies, from Evangelical Christianity to neoliberalism, to avoid falling into the existential black whole of actual self awareness.

    We now find ourselves sitting in the wasteland (the direct consequence of our industrialization binge) surrounded by the debris of the biosphere and facing NTE. The Ted Kaczynski pretense is just another form of negotiating with reality. It’s a manifestation of the control fetish that we can’t seem to shake. We are threatened by fact that Amerika is going to collapse from the structural defects of an unsustainable system. The collapse will not be on our terms, we are not going to control the horror movie that will ensue. IT will kill us and everyone we love, we will not kill IT.

  • “…we will cower in dumb silence” about sums up the response of most people, so thank you science teacher for not doing that, in a very engaging and informative and provocative essay.

    Bravo, depressive! Ever more lucid. I am thinking lately that people as a species HATE nature. We hate it because we are separate from it, we can’t control it anymore than we can prevent our own individual deaths – although we’d very much like to, and often pretend we can. So we have been at war with nature, we are trying to kill it.

    I was talking to my dad recently about the myth of tribal sustainability and the romanticization of a perceived connection between primitive people and nature. It seems so anthropocentric to imbue a “spirit” into an animal and presumtuous to thank it for “giving” it’s life so you can kill and eat it! My dad then recalled traveling across country many years ago and stopping somewhere in Nebraska or wherever, at a place where the Indians had rounded up herds of bison, and sent them into a panicked stampede over a cliff. Of course, he said, many more fell than could be used or eaten at once, and so there is a mountain of old bones at the bottom of the cliff.

  • Good essay Dan! i live close enough to Limerick (in PA) that i can see the clouds of vapor as they come off the cooling towers in the distance on my way to class. It’s really scary stuff! People brought this up at the pre-construction meetings – that there isn’t any place to put the “spent” fuel – and were pooh-poohed with “experts” talking about how a permanent place or, better yet, facility to make this stuff into non-lethal glass was “on the drawing board”/”would be up and running before this place was 2 yrs old.” Long since, of course, they’re following the capitalist game plan to the letter, safety, health and regulation be damned.


  • Here is an even better example(imo)of a forum community. I’ve been a member of unfettered mind for a few years. Ning provides all of the structure and maintenance. They charge a fee for their services.

    I would be no good at moderating, but I would be happy to contribute up to $30.00/yr. to help pay for the space. Guy, if you designate someone to set this up, and pick a few co-moderators, my check is in the mail.

    above is an example of a Ning Community. They are easily customized and can be as simple or extensive as you want.

  • My father told me about Rachael Carson and ‘Silent Spring’ when I was a wee lad. Then after that he told me about human overpopulation of the planet. Those words of wisdom were not lost on me. YMMV

  • I forgot to add the url for Ning. It is:


    please email me for member invitations. Please let me know if you are willing to moderate and help administer the network. It’s free for a month and I’ve set it up to draw from my debit card after that.


  • Dan Allen says: Did someone mention ‘unlivable climate’ or ‘nation-sized radiation exclusion zone’?

    War Is Over If You Want It

    Our species now has enough clues:
    Survival’s a war we will lose;
    Since you’ve gotten the news,
    It might alter your views,
    But fight on, if that’s what you choose.

  • The US Govt spends billions of taxpayer money on “relief” after natural disasters. And, when a nuclear plants blows up, they will spend billions of taxpayer money cleaning that up. All the while everyone in power continues to get rich, no consequences.

    The idea that everyone contributes to our own extinction shakes me everyday. I want to “check out” so that I am not actively contributing via my tax dollars (income tax, sales tax, property tax, etc.).

    I can live on the streets, eat out of dumpsters, and sleep in doorways…

  • You are so right, Gail. Many people, particularly here in the US, despise the concept of Nature. My old and grouchy neighbor is one such example. If a plant dares show itself on his property that is not part of his manicured 11 acre design, than it must be eliminated. Any wild animal that dares step foot on his highly regulated golf-course must be eliminated. Thus herbicides, insecticides, rodencides, fungicides, and all other forms of death are applied with the concept that more is better. Needless to say, this neighbor is appalled by the state of condition of my property where Nature reigns supreme, not subservient. He has called the county department of the environment to vociferously complain. The “Department of the Environment” sided with the artificial golf course environment thus I was forced to eliminate the brush piles that I created to provide cover for the wildlife. Furthermore, I am now prohibited from accepting “off site generated organic material” or in other word, leaves. The neighbor and the county prefer that the :organic material’ is disposed of in a landfill. I live in a typically American exurb or better known as hell. The arrogance, self-righteousness, and cruelty of mankind knows no bounds. The human experiment has failed miserably and is beyond recovery.

  • Awesome SA, “depressive.”

  • Thank you Daniel for the laugh, especially needed it today.

  • Yeh, most humans despise Nature. Herman Melville and Mary Shelly were quite aware of this when they wrote Moby Dick and Frankenstein in the 19th.

    Must have been mighty lonely pushing that Meme in those days.

    Victor Frankenstein rebels against the Laws of Nature (how Life is naturally made) and as a result is punished by his creation. “Perfect,” Victor exclaimed, “You look marvelous!”

    Captain Ahab follows suit and raises the stakes against Nature with one very big White Whale.

    This topic of Nature hatred has not escaped the attention of writers down the ages, but unfortunately, the writers themselves owed their lifestyles to those very forces of control freaking empire that they illuminate in their stories.

    Oh the Irony.

    Most primitive cultures destroy the majority of their eco-systems, the lucky ones, just short of the abyss of total collapse, then find a little balance (think ‘death bed conversion’ facing the hangman’s noose), not out of reverence for Nature, but for pure self preservation reasons. Not exactly Noble.

    A couple tribes of North American Plains Indians discovered the power of the horse in the early 1700’s after the Spanish horses that were freed in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 fled to the wild and eventually showed up on the Great Plains. The Sioux in the north and the Comanche in the southern plains not only mastered the horse as an extraordinary hunting platform, making them extremely ‘wealthy’in the coin of the realm, Buffalo, but used it to terrorize and dominance adjacent tribes who had not.

    Had European settlers not shown up on the plains a century later, I have no doubt whatsoever that those two main plains tribes would have completely dominant the entire Mid-West and possibly beyond to form an Empire like the Greeks or Romans or Aztecs or Mayans or Incas with all the Nature hating baggage that comes with it. Again, not exactly Noble. Nothing to cheer about here, keep moving.

    I recommend the book “Empire of the Summer Moon” for an alternate view of the Commanche and their conduct with their neighbors, whites, Hispanic and native American.

    Read the book soon, I hear they are making a movie out of it that will undoubtedly be a travesty of the book.


  • “Not. One. Damn. Thing.”

    To me, this is the best evidence that our American civ will hit the wall at 90 mph. We have such blatant denial of the real, near-term dangers that we face, preferring instead to project our fears onto nebulous long-term problems that may only come to pass if we can get somehow maintain what we’ve got through the near-term, decadal bottleneck of problems inherent in a civilization contracting for the first time in hundreds of years, essentially. Thanks, Dan, Guy.

  • Please note Brad Phillips’ generous offer to initiate a forum in his comments above (here and here). His latter comment is copied below (I joined the forum by visiting the site, and it’s easy):

    Brad Phillips Says:
    February 9th, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    please email me for member invitations. Please let me know if you are willing to moderate and help administer the network. It’s free for a month and I’ve set it up to draw from my debit card after that.


  • The collapse of the industrialised economies of the Western World will achieve the same result – there will be no means, nor will, to maintain the nuclear storage pools. As a species, we’ve painted ourselves into a corner. Just enjoy each day whilst times are still ok.

  • @ Kathy C and wildwoman

    So as not to cross contaminate the threads, I posted a response to you both on the previous one.

  • I registered on the forum. Thanks for setting that up.

  • Guy, if there is a forum here, than why is another being set-up?

  • Thanks for seeking clarification, Friedrich Kling. Brad offered to set up a forum in response to considerable commentary in this space and in my email in-box. The general consensus: several people have stopped reading comments here because the tone has become too uncivil. I’m hoping people will continue to comment in this space, but I’m also hoping we can lose the name-calling and personal attacks. People who frequent fora tend to have thick skins. If you’d like to fully engage people and their ideas, including sometimes-vicious, off-topic commentary, the forum is the place for you.

  • My question as well.

  • Adequately answered, Jeff S.?

  • Decent rant. But it really does not require applied force. Fukishima taught us that.

    And a year or so ago, a tornado grazed a reactor in Virginia. What happens when an F5 storm hits one? The NRC doesn’t tell us how they’re protected from these storms. And whether that cover just reactors or containment and spent fuel ponds.

    It’s just a matter of time. Human intervention is not necessary.
    It is really embarrassing that our species is so dumb.

  • ^richard pauli, I agree, they don’t need ‘terrorists’ to set them off — this essay was aimed at just one aspect of their many vulnerabilities. They’re ticking time bombs in so many ways. My main goal is to try to drum up some sort of awareness of the nuclear plant dangers — which is really the low-hanging fruit of what we need to do to have any kind of future. I agree that it’s pathetic and embarrassing that we can’t even acknowledge (much less address) this issue, much less the climate. (tired sigh) — Dan

  • I’d like to add that the Ning forum makes room for everyone to be as expressive as they like and interact at whatever levels they feel comfortable. There are personal blog spaces and group areas can be set up for more detailed discussions of topics. If you want to set up an area for discussing soil adaption strategies, or how to raise goats or just want an area where you can recite drunken poetry and offer up videos of yourself pretend bull-fighting with your Doberman, there is a place for it. Ths is not an attempt to hi-jack Guy’s site, just a place for wider expression and flexibility in levels of interaction. Thanks.

  • Also, it turns out you don’t have to email me. You can go directly to and join.

  • @ Brad Phillips

    I’d like to thank you for setting it up, Brad. An excellent initiative.

    However, the flexibility you mention, although one of the great strengths, can also be a problem. Dark Mountain was on ning, and what happened was that it became a bewildering labyrinthine maze, with so many options and doorways and passages that lead to more hidden chambers… Imo, it’s essential to have a very clear main page so people can navigate and actually find their way around… otherwise, BRAVO ! :-)

  • Even Lester Brown is coming around:

    “New era of food scarcity echoes collapsed civilizations”

  • Pearl Harbours are needed to motivate the sheeple. Pearl Harbour I (Tora! Tora! Tora!) got by in grand style because (?) Al Gore-Tex had not yet invented the Internet. Pearl Harbour II allowed the airing of conspiracy theories on the Internet. The theory of gravity, for instance: objects in free fall. The theory of physical chemistry: the maximum temperature of an aviation-fuel-in-air fire. Theories of physics underlying architectural, mechanical and civil engineering: the collapse of steel-framed builgings in fires. The theory (they call it laws, even though they were not legislated by the Congress and signed by the President, and therefore are unconstitutional) of thermodynamics: the spontaneous appearance of particles with high embedded energy such as nanothermite. And like all conspiracy theories, all of these can also be dismissed out of hand, Sir Isaac Newton et al. be damned.

    A Fuke was not selected for Pearl Harbour II (and will perhaps not be selected for Pearl Harbour III because a sheeple revolt might do irreparable harm to the nuclear industry and its minions.

  • the universe is itself incomplete and inconsistent, lacking a telos

    Seeking a telos is like seeking a telos for the apparent snake in a rope misperceived in a dimly lit room.

    the existential black whole of actual self awareness

    It is also peace beyond all peace and fearlessness beyond all fearlessness. When all has been ditched, there is nothing left to be ruffled and nothing left to be damaged or lost, even though it’s all still APPARENTLY there under one’s APPARENT stewardship.

    Facebook links do not work for non-facebookies. Flickr and Instagram are open to the public.

    One site with a makyo master is enough.

  • @Brad
    Thanks for the effort on the ning NTE site.
    If you ever need help with funding, send me an email at the address I used when registering.

    If anyone really wants to immanentize the Eschaton along the lines of the current article, remember that these facilities are guarded (if laxly, as mentioned above) and are not designed to admit tour groups carrying bulky satchels.
    You’d want some excellent gear and a superb plan.

  • Some clarification sought here. I remember reading once on a web site supporting the nuclear industry that the naturally occuring radiation in the earth’s crust is many orders of magnitude greater than all that found in the nuclear reactors and storage pools. I don’t doubt the truth of this but I expect what they failed to mention was that it is either mostly buried so deep that it could never affect us or else it is in a form less detrimental to human health.

    So, I basically have two questions:

    1) Does a nuclear reactor create a surplus of radiation or merely convert one radioactive element (uranium 235 or whatever) into equally radioactive fission products (lighter elements) whilst maintaining the roughly the same amount of radiation?

    2) Is the problem that the lighter radioactive elements created are more likely to collect in the bodies of living creatures when breathed in or ingested than the original radioactive material?

    Any help appreciated.

  • That’s why I doubt there will be a war between China and Japan. 26 nuclear plant targets. Al;l with tons of spent fuel rods sitting in pools. All within a few minutes missile flight from China and all near population centers. Fukushima has crippled Japan. What would 26 Fukushimas do?

    BTW: It would also cause havoc in the North american continent when the radiation reaches there a few days/months later.

  • I found this TED Talk compelling in regards to the ease with which human thought is molded and programmed ie: cultural myth, media, government propoganda etc. . .

    “The Danger of the Single Story”

    Anyone read about the devaluation of the Venezuelan currency(OPEC member)? Price freeze and ban on advertising in Argentina? Food riots in Greece? US Fed sending 237 billion to European banks in the past month to keep them afloat(been ongoing for some time)?

  • What if the ordinary ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Scandinavians etc were also afflicted by the hype?

    The ordinary folk then may have been as sick of hearing from their public officials about Thor, Odin, the Valkyrie, (not the movie with Tom in it), or Zues, Achillies, Seth, Horus and the rest.

    ‘Winge of the ancient villager.’

    A local village meeting. Night.

    Zorgoth: “Arrgh, I’ve had a gutful of hearing about Thor and his great hammer Mjölnir. This all sounds like a justification for building more armaments and siege engines, and for what? To go out and attack other peoples.We farm, we fish, that’s an honourable way to live isn’t it? Not likely you’ll see me doing something so dishonourable.”

    Pilnari: “You were right Zorgoth, who believes this drivel about Azgard and Odin, what dog-slop. Why are they peddling this drivel? Just to bignote themselves, been doing it for years, and probably for centuries to come.”

    Zorgoth: “Comon, lets go. We got some wolftail stew at my hovel, better tasting than the shit they are talkin.”

    What if the wee folk just wanted to get on with their lives, have as much jiggy-jig as their morality of the day would allow, and have somewhere warm and dry to sleep, and be around family.
    Probably a few more to add to the list.

    But suppose they were as we are now, not believing in the spin and hype, and suppose their education system was being white anted and they could see it?

    Its all been a very long con.

    But there is a difference with The Nuclear Industry Con, and The Industrial Chemicals Con.

    They maim and kill “non-combatants”, once called civilians, once called peaople, and all other life forms.

    How about teaching your classes some useful stuff, like how to make soap, an earth battery, what you can do with human urine, and so forth. They might just need it soon.

    Great rant, and justifyably so, IMO.

  • WTF
    Why is my comment awaiting moderation?

  • Based on what I hear from this site, NBL, we can move these projected dates closer to now, unless NTE isn’t a single story and needs “balance”.

  • Great compliation of material about the issue Dan. You wrote Due to absence of any suitable long-term place to put the stuff (and an inexplicable refusal to transfer it short-term to dry-cask storage), reactors have simply stockpiled spent fuel in these tenuous pools for the past fifty years – at ever-increasing densities.

    I am pretty sure it was Arnie Gundersen who explained that. “Nuclear power plants are required by the NRC to put aside funds for their decommissioning during operations.” If the plants can wait until decommissioning to put fuel into dry cask they can take that expense out of the decommissioning fund. If they do it now it costs about 1 million dollars per cask and that comes out of their current bottom line net income.

    Even if we have no attack on the nuclear power plants, once the grid comes down due to lack of fuel, solar flares, or EMP attack every nuclear power plant in the world goes Fukushima. 439 of them

  • d lucidity / Morris Berman are right, America is all about is who hustles best. All that matters that you get to be the one who profits. We live under an ideology that insist that someone must always be able to make a profit, and so long as engineering destruction remains a profitable enterprise, it will continue.

    “the US is, in fact, already engineering its own destruction on several fronts.”

    If you own the world and especially all the best places, what does it matter if some of it gets destroyed, as long as you profited from the engineered destruction. This is what the environmental movement just doesn’t get. When you own everything, it doesn’t matter If some areas become radioactive, you just move on and make more new and greater profits from all the chaos, destruction, and relocation that others, not you, will suffer.

    “The problem, of course, is that this self-immolation/irradiation may take decades.”

    This is not a problem for the people who own everything, because they are profiting from it now, and will continue to profit throughout those decades. So for them, destruction/self-immolation/irradiation/nte, whatever you what to call it, is always a win-win situation. Just invest in radiation proof clothing now and make a killing!

  • ^^Kathy C — Yea, I remember Arnie Gunderson saying that as well. I meant ‘inexplicable’ in the broader sense — that the refusal to transfer the spent fuel in the pools to dry cask storage makes no sense if our goal is to survive on this planet. …Which apparently it’s not. :-)

    ^^^etc. Yorchichan — You need to poke around a bit on the internet or in books if you want to understand it. For starters, Arnie Gunderson has a ‘nuclear power 101’ video: See also the Union of Concerned Scientists website — they have fact sheets and other good stuff.

  • Regarding what is going on in the Earth Systems and the Biosphere, even some ‘local’ Astro-physics, I am in favour of the ‘evidence’ presented being Scientific, which seems to be the default position Guy has set up at NBL.(which I accept and applaud)

    But I see no need to continue any ‘reality conjecture’ and ‘analysis’ of the evidence to conform to 21 Century Scientific theorising about reality.

    Nothing proves this ‘Scientific Model’ conjecture.

    What particles? Made of what? Smaller hypothetical into-exstance-then-soon-out-of-existance sub-particles, which are just… energy….

    And where is all this taking place, where is ‘it all’?

    No one has a damn clue, so apart from the very local conditions, and local knowledge on Newtonian-like interactions we know shit, for sure, about anything.

    For example, what is the motivation for almost the entire Scientific community,(‘defence’ weapon systems aside perhaps) dwelling on this mythical ‘Big Bang Theory’ (not the TV sit-com)?

    It is not simply ‘an origin story’, re Popper, even though that explains the ‘something that is there’, not nothing.
    No. It is because untill the Scientific and wider community get there heads around Quantum uncertainty, they are stuck in this conception of existing in a Newtonian universe, which is comprised of billard balls, all with rekoned 3 vector spatial coordinates, and therefore a quantifyable energy quotient due to Delta V, or motion of masses in the near viod, (which is anything but a void).

    Einstein pointed out Relativity, and all the cosmological bedrock was dissolved in one formula: E=MC2

    So this sill’ Big Bang Theory’ is the last despairate bastion of where and how did this isness begin, (for those who wont grow up).

    Sorry to rain on the parade… but none of this ‘Science’ explains anything about ‘where’ we are, and what we ‘are’, nor even ‘when’ we are. It is all referenced, to something that now is shown not to be real.

    Science is essentially bunked out because it relied in its earlier stages for authenticity on dead rekoning, with regard to motion, and gravitation, and ‘the old atomic theory of the ancient Greeks’.

    All those earlier reference points, are now in extreme doubt, and ‘uncertainty'(Ha Ha), because someone desired to look over the hedge, into a larger ‘world’.

    So whoever wants this forum to rely on Scientific principles will have to prove the case from scratch that Science has something useful, to us, to offer, about what is ‘reality’, beyond measuring the temperature of the Air, acidity of the Oceans, thickness of the Sea Ice, etc etc.

    Many here have had a great privelage to have been afforded a broad education in the core Sciences, so with competency in computer internet usage, we can get up to speed on many contemporary areas of so called ‘knowledge’.

    But is much of it true?

    Science is a powerful too, agreed. But it is not a belief system!

    I don’t kid mself, it would be no great loss here, but if this forum starts consensualising on there being a Scientific reality, in contradistinction to REALITY, I will be off, and kiss you all goodby?

    I am one of those who advocate realising the truth, which is simultaeneous with understanding what is real. In doing so I have given my own clearly detailed personal evidence of experiences which do not fit into the ordinary parameters of existing Scientific understanding.

    I have also understood for myself, and advocated that in keeping with discussing what is ‘real’ that a divine being has come and passed from the body in recent times, and the account of what is real, from that divine beings own recent testamony bears on the discussion topics of what is real, and therefore, what is really going on, here, now.

    I don’t reject Science as a tool, but I do as a belief system. This is BTW in contradiction to the main socialisation motive of my education, or my public education, which was verbatum Scientific theory 101.

    I had visions and dreams which have subsequestly come to pass.

    Explain that with that ‘Science tool’ alone.

    I notice no one ever answers that querie here, just silent denial.
    Why, well it is too hard isn’t it, just too hard, and subjective so , well it is not relevent, is it?


    It only take one authentic subjective event in utter contradiction to a prevailing world view to disprove that world view to the subject, in this case that is me.

    Look up the history of how ‘Ball Lightening’ went from an unproven assorment of folk stories, to ‘Scientific Fact’, then an understanding of how Sciences mediates, and nrokers what is consensually ‘real’ in world culture now becomes clearer.

    Has anyone here ever really thought hard and long about how perhaps Science has got us into this mess? Scientific thinking, and conceiving of the existance-here thing? Yes I don’t suppose there are many who haven’t ideated it but did it sink in?

    If anything Science achieved its investigatory, curiosity quest endeavour into ‘what is real?’, with the developments of Relativity, and Quantum uncertainty, ‘we’ are just not mature enough to want to understand it.

    Yes, it was also not in the intended job description of TPTB for happy consumers to need to bother about the culmination of an entire Western civilisations intellectual work, its effect on philosophy, the humanities and human understanding of ‘The Big Picture’.

    The truth is, it was not expected by the Western intellegensia, that thousands of years of Eastern investigation(via other human functions), into that question, ‘what is reality?’ would turn out to be where they arrived via Einstein, Heisenberg, Planck, Shroedinger, Bohr and others.

    They didn’t expect it, but also failed to interpret the basic misconception the Eastern investigators did not, i.e. that to reject consciousness from ‘reality’ is absurd.

    …and being arrogant, and soon colonised by Big Money, the great Scientific breakthrough that was Quantum Uncertainty, got burried down the path of needing bigger and more expensive sub atomic particle smashers, etc, and into applications of ‘local field physics’, which works well for products and profit, if you don’t take account of the poisons and ecocide it induces, but completely fails to account to its culture for the existential vaccuum thus it birthed the West into.

    In the West, arguably, only in art did any real subsequently investigation enact itself, IMO, at least of the kind that non-scientific types could digest, or even broach.

    Cubism attempted to break up the picture plane,(world window – use of the body-mind-witness-of-reality-engine) with multiple POV, which was implicit in Quantum understandings and Relativity, and many art style variants continued, as educated artist took up these ideas, fully expecting the culture to respond and grow ‘for the better’, beyond Bourgeois dictates of taste and social constructs.

    Then built in obsolescence and profit truly began to rule the culture.
    As someone else here commented on a previous thread, steam engines built to last forever, suddenly were built to last for a short time…and in many ways the lights went out, people stopped thinking, and started watching TV…(not going there).

    Also so much research went into the Gravitation side of physics, that the Electro-Magnetic aspects of Quantum and Relativity theory were ignored, and are only now catching up.(Teslar excepted).

    So can we please. please drop this tired old sharade of Science being true, and the only thing we can rely on to know anything for sure?
    If you are willing to accept that your heart does not exist, and not merely the conception of the blood pump, but the feeling centre of ‘you’, then maybe ask yourself why you ‘need’ so badly to hang on to that ‘bedrock of solid knowldge’. Could be that like all the rest, it is simply too hard to peer over the hedge.

    Well if that is good enough, and rigourous enough enquiry into the known ideas of reality for (all of) you, it isn’t for me.
    Simple as that.

    Go on, give it a go, be brave.

  • Some Ball Lightning links:

    ‘Show us what you are made off! Contains ball lightning!!’

    Look around the 1 min mark for a small ball hitting the ground. (not too convinced myself there)

    ‘Does ball lightning really exist?’

    A quote:

    ” Were these balls actually lightning? Perhaps otherworldly phenomena? The skepticism began to wane in 1963 when a group of scientists flying from New York to Washington, D.C., witnessed a blazing orb drift down the aisle and disappear through the rear of the plane. Looking to explain what they saw, research began.”

    So in this case it was the shared ‘subjective’ experiences of a quorum of ‘Qualified Scientists’ that gave a previously anecdotal mysterious effect the status of ‘real’, and therefore worthy of further investigation. The ‘Qualified Scientists’ had no reason to doubt the shared experience of the phenomena, whatever it may have been, therefor, thier shared collegial support was implicit in overcoming the anxiety and reticence at publishing scientific papers, on a hitherto wierd and wacky mysteroius subjest matter, which BTW, always arose in spontaeneous circumstances, and therefor would not lend itself to easy scientific scruitiny, a chacteristic which, IMO, belies a fundamental flaw in Scientific ideas of repeatability and time, (another story, another time).


    Brokering ‘reality’.

  • Saw this (i live close to Philadelphia):

    A illness newly discovered by Philadelphia doctors is leaving young women dazed, restrained to hospital beds, and finally catatonic.

    Doctors say it’s as if your brain is on fire.


    after reading your post i just wanted to comment that after centuries of living in fear and ignorance, it was science and math that brought us out of the Dark Ages. Now, granted, as any and all human “knowledge” it was inherently flawed, but moving in the “right” direction (ie. being more beneficial than, say, bleeding patients was). i agree that science has been co-opted by big business and misused for mainly military ends, but it does, in fact, “work” in some sense to explain phenomena. If we’re going to throw it all out because it can’t explain everything, then we’re going to go back to “magic” and “god’s will” that doesn’t explain anything.

    On another front, our brains are what process “reality” to us, so we’re limited in our knowledge by age, maturity, IQ, genetics, birth defects, head injury, disease, old age, etc. For a quick anecdote – when my mom was passing away from a brain tumor, at one point she couldn’t understand why she couldn’t call anyone from the tv remote she believed was a cell phone.

    So, in the end it all comes down to the fact that we probably CAN’T understand it all, even with science and math. (This may be the agnostic position.)

    Guy (and all): i really appreciate this site because it affords a forum for thoughts along the way to our species (and others) demise – whatever they are. i’m not afraid of being attacked or belittled or educated by others if i’ve made a mistake or misconstrue something i see. i read most of the comments, but avoid the personal attacks as being unrelated and uninteresting, and take what i can from the combined input of everyone here – from all the different locales, perspectives, and links (etc.). Thanks again for creating and allowing this forum to be what it is. i’ll probably just stay here if it’s okay with you all.

  • An example of Cubist painting below by Marcel Duchamp, circa 1912.

    ‘File:Duchamp – Nude Descending a Staircase.jpg’

    Multiple views of (visual) reality, begin the process of reassessing preexisting complete identification with the body-mind’s-single-POV-reality-engine. This leads quickly to a critique of POV as a witness of reality, but collapses when the ‘objetctive’ POV is concieved of as a sum of all possible single POV on reality.

    Therefore, a single POV is a function of a local perception-engine, the animal chordat body-mind, and its sub-adult immature understanding of the linitations of that perception-engine itself.

  • When an atom the size of a uranium atom is broken into pieces, the pieces are not in themselves necessarily stable. Like chunks of rubble that crumble or roll before coming to rest, they give off particles or radiation (energy) before attaining a stable configuration. If it is high-energy radiation or neutrons there is a problem for biological systems. The degree of instability is related to the speed at which they reach their stable state. The atoms of a radioactive element reach a steady state randomly, but the overall rate is quite constant for each element. The half-life is the time in which half of the atoms reach a steady state. If it is very short, in seconds to days, the amount of radiation given off over the short time can be quite intense, but they quickly stop being a problem. If the half-life is in thousands to millions of years they may give off just as much radiation, but living things don’t live long enough to be exposed to any significant part of it. The problem arises with the half-lives of weeks to centuries, where in the human timescale, a significant amount of exposure to the radiation can occur.

    The radiation from an external source passing through the body can do its damage en route through the body. The radioactive elements taken up by the body can sit inside the body and give off radiation at their own rates, causing damage as well.

    Where the elements locate in the body depend on what those elements are, and their close relatives on the periodic table of elements. Strontium mimics calcium and is taken up by bones. Cesium mimics porassium and is taken up by all cells. Because much of the volume of intracellular material (stuff inside the cells) is in muscles, cesium is said to concentrate inside muscles. Iodine is iodine, and is taken up by the thyroid gland. (As an aside, even non-radioactive arsenic substitutes for phosphorus, screwing up the cell’s biochemical machinery. And lithium substitutes for sodium, screwing with electrical impulse generation and transmission, showing up as effects on the brain and psychiatric disorders).

    Uranium-235, the isotope used in nuclear reactors, has a half-life of 703.8 million years. But when its atoms are broken, they produce neutrons that can hit and break other uranium atoms (prompt neutrons). Some of the broken fragments themselves can produce neutrons (delayed neutrons) that can also hit and break other uranium atoms. In this way, uranium can sustain a chain reaction, and is called fissile.

    If the lump of uranium is sufficiently pure and sufficiently large, there will be a runaway chain reaction, and the heat generated will cause the lump to blow apart into fragments. In nuclear weapons, a shaped charge of conventional explosives is made to detonate from outside in all around a lump formed from separate pieces: the explosion of the outer parts of the explosive drives the inner parts of the explosion inwards as an implosion that forces the pieces together and holds them together while the runaway chain reaction proceeds and releases its energy without blowing the fragments apart too soon.

    The uranium used in nuclear reactors is not so pure, but still sufficiently pure to generate enough heat for a core meltdown. This is prevented by control rods of neutron-absorbing material between the fuel rods: the control rods are raised or lowered as desired.

    Plutonium-238 has a half-life of 88 years, significant over human lifetimes, and emits alpha particles, not useful in sustaining a fission reaction, but plenty bad when emitted by plutonium inside the body. (Alpha particles penetrate very poorly and are not hazardous from external sources: they are stopped by the skin). Plutonium-238 is produced in nuclear reactors. Plutonium-239 is used in bombs such as the one at Nagasaki, and produces plenty of neutrons, but has a half-life of 24,100 years which is too long for significant exposures on a human timescale.

  • Dan Allen

    Thank you for the informative Arnie Gunderson link. I understand now (with thanks to Robin also) that the problem is the fission products and plutonium produced in nuclear reactors are far more radioactive than the original uranium 235 due to their shorter half lives. This greater radioactivity (plus in the cases of caesium and strontium their similarities to potassium and calcium) means they cause a great deal of damage if they become lodged in the body of a living creature.

  • Tom

    I appreciate your response.

    I did not advise to throw the whole lot out.

    In practice most of these issues are a mystery to me, and I freely admit I am in no way in a position of mastery of all aspects of the topic, but, I just don’t buy the Science story either, of logical this and that. A lot of scientific discoveries were retrofitted research from intuitive connections sometimes even from mistakes in a lab. Even the story of Science itself censors itself from knowing intuition has been a significant player in its establisment.

    But to take your response as you write it:

    “…after centuries of living in fear and ignorance, it was science and math that brought us out of the Dark Ages. Now, granted, as any and all human “knowledge” it was inherently flawed, but moving in the “right” direction (ie. being more beneficial than, say, bleeding patients was). I agree that science has been co-opted by big business and misused for mainly military ends, but it does, in fact, “work” in some sense to explain phenomena.”

    Sorry to be critical here, but so many holes in your assumptions from my pointof view. Just the biggest one…”but it does, in fact, “work” in some sense to explain phenomena”

    It only works to explain Phenomena in the local field. The very small and the very large bits of the story are just too wobbly, but the middle bit, which pertains to the local field of experience, well our atomic theory, say of valencies, electrons etc it ‘works’ to explain nothing in my opinion.

    It works to manipulate chemicals and even nano scale jive bits, OK, but that is not a coherent understanding of what is going on, it is just a theory of everything where some local bits of the theory engage enough with the operating mechanisms in the local field for us to manipulate thaose same materials. It only shows an incomplete understanding of what is there. No one is saying nothing is there, nor are they saying to disregard the bumping the chair because most of you and the chair is empty space, so you can pass through each other. Some of this science theory explains enough of observable phenomena and experience in the local firld for it to ‘work’. yes, but that is not sufficient to conclude the bigger and smaller segments of the teory are authentic.
    As for heading in the right direction, with the example of leeching as a blood cleanser, I think the jury is still out on understanding what the actual medical effects of blood thinning leech excretions has on the body, but in any case, the obvious example you misses was the use and abuse of Radioactive Materials, and is that heading in the right direction. I think you are pointing to medical scientific ‘advances’, and broardly I can agree, with a few caveats.

    The first is how we are now, not too far after first using them, about to cross the threshold of ineffective antibiotics in treating infections, across the board.
    The use of antibiotics has contributed to population growth, yes, and reduced suffering for individuals, yes, but for how long? We will soon be back to amoutating limbs to avoid sepsis. How smart was that? How much progress in the right direction was that.

    Perhaps all those Norman and Gypsy European women herbalists killed in the witch hunts in the Middle Ages and alfter had some perfectly powerful herbal poltices that used other bodily systems to control infections, and all the world over it was probably so.

    These indigenous cultures did not survive without detailed medicine systems, all surplanted by know-better dominaors, etc etc we know the story.

    As for the ‘Magic’ and Gods will’ you mention, these are actually two very different traditions and things in themselves, not wisely bunched together.

    The ‘magic’ was a problem, but only when you dispense with childish stories of good and evil, and no longer wish to be manipulated by evidence-free enquiry(cosmology). So answers were sought there and perhaps that is what you refer to as ‘lifting us out of the dark ages’.

    OK, I won’t quibble, but I could, because if say my friend cannot percieve the spirit of our ancestors, in this place, and moment, but I can, then who has the incomplete appraisal of the reality? Qua? I think it is my friend, because he/she eats so much sugar their intuition is not within their perception-field, and their MSM education has told them spirits do not exist and is a sign you need medication for life.

    As for the “god’s will” reference, there we are talking about a rather sophisticated obfuscation rehtorical verbal device to cover several thousand years of systemic spiritual corruption and ignorance perpetrated by an elite cabal of power-fuckers, preying on blackmailed psychological children, in fear of eternal damnation.

    I am not posing returning to those henious days, and it is not,IMO, as you suggest the only regressive alternative to doubting the overall authenticity of Science as a reality system either.

    I am advocating people get the growth experiences and knowledge of reality themselves, and hang believing in shit.
    Some sound scaffolding is always helpful, others have gone there before us, but going back is not an option, that is what TV is for, to assuage the generations who just cant quite get growing beyond adolescence, and are happy with the numbing occupation of being told what to think, buy, and who to trust, vote for and how to keep doing that more efficiently.

    We need to keep growing, and not fatter, nor in population size, but spiritually, and that means firstly psychologically.

    Sorry Tom, I’m ranting a bit.

    Dan’s article set me off.

    My brother died of Lukemiaas a 14 year old boy, over 36 years ago, and ‘rationally’ I blame the nuclear industry and the enabler class of assfucks…. all of them. But ’emotionally’ I blame the nuclear industry and the enabler class of assfucks, all of them too.

    So today I visited my sister who has not long to go, and rehashed with her the toll it took on our mum, (now ethered off somewhere), and other family members, not to mention what it means to have not had him there all those years, for better or worse.

    As an aside, I have learned that during my mothers term of carrying my brother she took recently available Flouride pills to strengthen his teeth, because Flouride was not then (1960)available in the water supply in Sydney, and being middle class…well you do what other middle class people do….and what ‘doctor’ pushes on you, at least my mother did.(not blaming her)

    When his baby teeth came through he had no enamel, just fangs. There was two forms of Flouride used, one was incorrect, and I think the other was also in some other way fuckng up kids teeth. But because of this fact, my brother never attained norman height, and was a very slight build – whersas my other brother and I are very chunky built. So by the time in the 1969-70 came alomg, the Strontium 90 floating on over here to the Easten Australian coast, recently liberated from American, French and other PTB motherfucker elites, just happened to be very attractive to his under calcified bones, due to being a lab rat for big pharma back then.

    Strontium90 sits on the periodic table in the same line or family as Calcium, so if you are calcium deficient, your body will metabolise Strontioum90 as Calcium, straight to the bones, and Lukemia is a common response, due to the mutagenic effect to the bone marrow blood cells deep in the long bones.

    ‘Periodic Table of Elements’

    The other nice liberated radioactive gift we were showered with was Cesium 137-134, and this sits on the periodic table in the family below Potassium, which is a large component in muscle. The heart muscle is often affected, and many infants and children just die of heart failure.

    I had a growth on my left leg removed at about 8-9 years old, and have made attempt to get details of the biopsy, if any, but my only memory is of the doctor and my family being very hush hush about it. Wonder why?

    So my brother died. They killed him, via a circuitous route.
    How else does one interpret the facts? We all die. I fully accept that, very OK with that.

    Who is responsible?

    You decide, I have.

    Yeah Tom, Science is really headed in the right direction. Sorry if that sarcasm sounds derisive, I don’t intend it so personally, just in addressing the actual things you put up there.

    In conclusion, I am not attempting to understand it all, that is the lie bits at either end of the Science bunkum story that is so unproven and just wobbly, because the Science fraternity and TPTB who use that elite fraternity, are attempting to bolster a cosmological view they cannot substantiate in any evidentiary way, just another fluffy story top’n’tail, the Macro and the Micro, just some old tat, just in time story hokum to keep the balls in the air.

    I advocate ‘keep growing’, and don’t stop, but that is not solely in the mind. It is in all the Self you are. It does force you out of your comfort zone, and there is the rub – to be an Adult, psychologically, one can only go there through Understanding, belief systems don’t cut it.
    That is where we are at in the West IMO. We need to ditch the hokum belief systems, and engage with ‘reality’, starting with our bodies and the biosphere.


    Getting a lock on death, be it personal or collective is first base in the Adult Ed class.

    So it is cool it is a topic here, and many are adjusting through all the NTE kubler-ross veils of emotional response to it all.
    Should mean we may be usefull to others in some fashon down the track, if any of us get through the bottleneck.
    Best of luck with that to everyone here.

  • Lidia in case you don’t go back to the last thread, I left a comment to you about Sarah Palin.

  • Robin Datta

    Thanks for your explainations.
    Now the mental illness explosion, and alzhimers epidemic is crystal clear, thanks a lot.

  • Oz-man: i see your point and put “right” in quotes because i too think that we’ve misused, mis-applied, and don’t completely understand the implications of going about “living” in this current science-supported way either. Nuclear radiation is one of them, but there are many more. One that i’ve come to hate is genetic engineering. The entire field is based on false assumptions and is being used by Monsanto and others to control food (and other things) via seeds and patents etc. It’s monstrous! i don’t take your criticism personally and appreciate the dialogue. It’s why i frequent this site.

    i’m taking my grandson to see Chasing Ice this afternoon – i’m hoping it opens his eyes and mind to what’s going on.

  • Oz-man: i meant to link this video for your perusal

    Genetic Rouletten – The Gamble of Our Lives

  • Genetic roulette, CO2 roulette, fission roulette, even the flush toilet. We lost. We don’t deserve Earth. This is science without wisdom.

    Wisdom is the judicious application of knowledge. It is a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgments and actions in keeping with this understanding. It often requires control of one’s emotional reactions (the “passions”) so that universal principles, reason and knowledge prevail to determine one’s actions. Wisdom is also the comprehension of what is true coupled with optimum judgment as to action. Synonyms include: sagacity, discernment, or insight.

  • Oh, I copied that bit about wisdom from wiki.

  • dmd, all – the aforementioned link to genetic roulette is well worth the look if you haven’t seen it (especially with regard to cattle raising, crop production, and medical effects like food allergies, breast and other cancers and even autism)

    Human wisdom is compromised, corrupted and shanghaied by MONEY, power, obfuscation, propaganda, politics, non-regulation, coercion and many other “tools,” both legal and illegal, that corporations/unscrupulous people have in their psychopathic “my way or the highway” kits. That’s why we lose – we put up with it! Path of least resistance, go along to get along, “can’t fight city hall” and all of the rest of the compliant attitudes we adapt with because we’re so busy with our little phoney jobs and our little fiefdoms of postage stamp lawns and two cars and the kids’ braces . . .lead us right down the primrose path to perdition.

    Civilization itself – our version of it – is not only toxic, it’s a death sentence!

  • Jennifer Hartley…….you still out there? You’ve been on my mind as of late, just want to know everything’s o.k. Loved your poem BTW.

  • Dan Allen,

    Thank you for your post on NPI – nuclear power installations in Amerika.

    I would like to share this video with the forum.

    The Battle for Chernobyl – (Full Length Documentary)

    The meltdown occurred as a result of a “test”.

  • Ogardener, someone I think on this site said the test was to try to run the reactor on its own power, instead of off site power. I think I have watched that video but don’t remember what they said about it. Thanks for posting it = worth another watch I think. And then just imagine Chernobyl and Fukushima post peak oil/collapse – with NO remediation at all, no attempts to contain….

    Daniel I did go check your comments to me on the last thread-thanks :)

    Dave – science without wisdom or at the route homo without sapiens sapiens.

  • At the root not route :)

  • Drones for Dorner. Who could have guessed? LAPD lied about that, too.

    Now there is a $1 million reward for information.

  • I left my first comment here last post and wanted to thank the people who responded to me for the warm welcome. Guy I want to thank you for this incredible, informative page. I agree with Tom that I might read or not read each comment; some are conversations or perhaps an argument between two players, others are discussions on esoterica or politics that i have determined for what ever reason isnt pertinent to how i intend to spend the remaining gift of my life. I find wisdom in most of the words here and keep in mind that the messenger is less important than the message. So I will just stay here and read. I wouldn’t use a forum because I would probably not select from, say, the Buddha or zen thread and would miss some of what I have seen and enjoyed. Somebody wrote something about how a particular Indian nation got horses first and used it to gain hedgemony over the other nations, now I want to read that book. I wouldnt have discovered that if it had not been posted in this general discussion area. So i hope the regulars will continue to write on this page even if you use the forum. Thank you also to everyone for all the video links, it is an exceptional library that never closes.

    Daniel: thanks for that comment last post about who “we” are and what holds us together as a community of the NTE awareness experience. That was really thoughtful and interesting. And to answer your question: I am only lonely in a certain kind of grief. It is not business as usual for me. Once you know something you can’t not know it. Kind of like the general weirdness of the kid in the movie the sixth sense. Nobody else saw dead people so his behavior was off putting and confusing to others. And in keeping with a movie theme, in my marriage I am like the Richard Dreyfus Character in close encounters of the third kind building a giant mashed potato devils tower at dinner to an audience of slack jaws.

    Besides, No one is ever alone in the eastern forest. For now, it is teeming with precious living things. I have to be where they are and there is nothing more to my choices than that. I am confident that my husband, that everybody’s husband, wife, family, friends, will soon have a conversion unless they have been brain damaged or willfully choose a path of ignorance and denial.

    Wild woman: I started with economic collapse as my motivator. I realized very quickly it was much more horrific in scope and didnt get too far on “preppin'” once I realized I would never shoot somebody who was stealing a tomato or live in confinement. Things got easier after that. I know some accomplished preppers and can think of about 15 scenarios that render all their time and expense pointless. So i am a grasshopper not an ant. But I did manage to squirrel away some goods that will come in handy…for a while.

    My apologies in advance for not restricting my comments to the content of the original post

  • I think each original post is excellent and important and is usually discussed in length. But there is only so much to say about the subject. Meanwhile, other events take place in the world that also are of interest. So we go with the flow.

  • Red Eft – I had a brother who kept various sorts of toads and snakes and lizards – I am quite familiar with the Red Eft from my childhood in WNY Although their range puts them in our area I have not seen one here (AL)

    Your comments are well stated and get to the heart of many issues. I have most of the same feelings except luckily for me my husband and I are on the same page. Kids are all grown and so their various stages of denial don’t impact us much. The scene you note from Close Encounters is one of my favorites.

    Glad to hear all your comments.

  • Guy McPherson Says:
    February 9th, 2013 at 3:55 pm
    Adequately answered, Jeff S.?
    Totally. Your response slipped in right before i posted, and i didn’t even see it. Sorry for the bother.

  • @Gail, thanks for your supportive comment on the previous thread. I haven’t really “met” any fans up ’til now, either, other than the regular supporters of the Palin investigative blogs… I appreciate all the work you put into your own blog, of which I’ve only been aware in the past year or so—somewhat after I put Mrs. Palin behind me, so I hadn’t seen your posts on that subject. I have to say that it’s hard for me to visit your blog (“Wit’s End” right?), actually, so painful is the material. Driving through VT this fall and winter, my husband spontaneously mentioned on several occasions that he had never seen trees just broken in half… fallen over and uprooted, maybe.. but not with the trunks snapped in half six to twelve feet above ground. What could I say? I broached the tree-death aspect of NTE. It’s an entrée, and we have yet to have the full-on NTE discussion, although he is “Long Emergency/Descent”-aware.

    The Palin phenomenon is indeed fertile ground for analyzing the process of humans’ psychological denial: even the woman’s most fervent political opponents would not “go there”, for some unknown reason, although it would’ve been a slam dunk as well as a complete and utter burial of the Republican party for at least several election cycles. It just goes to show how cozy TPTB interests all are, maintaining the bipartisan gravy train at the expense of the truth (to the extent of true treason, of which I believe Mr. McCain guilty in the Palin affair), and demonstrates the degree to which fraudulent faux-democratic circuses are more valuable to the system than bread, in terms of manipulating the populace and manufacturing consent.

  • @Friedrich Kling re. suburban hell… Yowch! You gotta move outta there!

    Two similar instances to share: 1.) my RWNJ sister has a yard which collects a lot of leaves which she has trouble raking every year. To save her the cost of a yard service which would haul them away, I bought her a leaf shredder so she could compost them in situ (not exactly green, but better than the leaf blowers). I asked her whether it made sense to pay people to haul leaves away in big trucks using lots of diesel fuel and then to pay people to haul compost or fertilizer back to their suburban lawns, and her haughty reply was “THAT’s CIV-I-LI-ZAY!!-TION!”. What do you expect the graduate of a “Christian” business school to say?

    2.) My mom still has our house in the suburb where we grew up as kids. In the sixties and seventies lawn care was universal, but hardly anal. Now people have to have the red mulch and every bush is trimmed (kinda like how now all ladies’ bushes must be trimmed, apparently). Most everyone hires a gardener (unheard of in my childhood days) to achieve this Burger King / shopping-mall-berm look. One gentleman new to the neighborhood has upped the ante in his war against leaves. You can count on him to be leaf-blowing for 2-3 hours on any given day between August and December, but the climax of craziness was when I saw him power-washing his driveway to rid it of leaves, in the midst of a windy rainstorm.

    Our society is truly a sick one, and the sooner it dies, the better, is all one can conclude.

  • Red Eft, I hope you keep commenting as you see fit. I agree about the main thread having such a variety of material, and I hope it stays that way. I haven’t checked out the forum yet, but I think it might be a good place to explore in depth prospects introduced here as well as more narrowly-shared concerns.

    “Once you know something you can’t not know it.” At the time I was coming to grips with the financial crisis of several years ago, which was my entrée into the world of near-term industrial collapse, I started reading Charles Hugh Smith’s blog, among others. He offered a post about “The Burden of Knowing”:
    This does not address universal ecological NTE per se, but treats the related subjects of certain economic and social collapse which for many people will mean the same thing: a premature demise as well as the evaporation of the structures they took for granted would guarantee them and their children the well-being to which they’ve become accustomed.

  • Question: How do you help someone suffering from radioactive Lithium isotope induced mental illness?

    Answer: Put them on medication that contains Lithium, for life.

    So great, all these mental illness problems are going to proliferate, and especially if your diet is nitrient deficient, in Sodium, you are especially likely to come down with a servere case of thinking the bus driver follows you home from work, or school each day.

    Perhaps the safest thing is to have really high nutrition awareness, and actually eat a balanced diet of real fruit and vegetables, and clean water, etc. Then there will not be any major deficiency in your body when the fallout comes.

    May help, but perhaps not with a system wide series of irradiation Fukish events.

    What a hell some humans have created for all living things.

  • A forum? What good is that? How is that going to make any difference whatsoever? We know that it is over. The human race or whatever you want to call it is finished. Is there any reason to even talk about climate change any more? I think it would be a good idea to empty the fuel pools in the Mark I’s or whatever the hell they are called. But that is because I don’t want children or anyone else to die of tumors and cancer. But even if they don’t die this way they are going to die of starvation, or in the gang violence the collapse of civilization will release, or in nuclear war, or from some new horrible disease, or from whatever. Guy is right, we’re done. I’ll tell you a little secret–it wasn’t news to most of us. So the question is what do we do now. Do we want to spend the short rest of our lives cursing those who got us here? No, that is not a good way to spend this valuable time. And anyway, the article is quite right. We have brought this on ourselves. We have no one to complain to. It is our slavish concern for our own skins, and even our own pleasures that has allowed us to do nothing in the face of this calamity. All of us are to blame. The whole human race has become a pathetic squirrely thing with leaders who are triple threats–stupid, mad, and vicious.
    I must admit, my own loyalty to the human race has worn paper thin. Only rarely do I see something that reminds me of what tender creatures we are. Most of what I see in the human world is not worth saving, and in any case cannot be saved.

    So what to do? My suggestion is for each person to try to determine how he would like to make his exit, for I think it is possible that the race might still exit gracefully, like a tenant who leaves the place clean when he departs. If things continue as they are now we shall all be flushed away with the waste. For myself I see little profit in lecturing about global warming unless that is something like fighting the good but futile fight. I myself would prefer an orderly retreat. Stop reproducing. End the production of war machines, end capitalism, house the homeless, feed the hungry, reduce economies to a local level, and try to make the world last long enough so that those who now live can end their lives in peace. Is this a completely Utopian agenda? Yes, but only because we are a race of slaves. All that prevents it from happening is inertia.

  • Red Eft: “I am confident that my husband, that everybody’s husband, wife, family, friends, will soon have a conversion”

    I don’t know about that.
    Too many people have too short of a memory.

    For instance, you say that the Eastern Forest is full of life. Although I don’t know the area you are referring to, I don’t see it in my current “Eastern Forest”? town in New England. I remember as a kid the autumn skies being full of ducks and geese; I didn’t notice any this year. I remember my suburban RI backyard being criss-crossed with animal and bird tracks; today in much less-densely-populated VT I see few to none. I couldn’t dig a spoonful of dirt back then without snagging a worm; at my recent home in Italy there were no worms in the yard, and dug-up portions of dirt would remain nude for years: no opportunistic plants were even interested in it. The ducks who used to inhabit the suburban RI subdivision pond of my childhood and teenage years are no longer there. The current residents –the leaf-blowers– don’t care and couldn’t care even if they might because they have no memory of it. Much has been lost –not only that is unlikely to be regained, but– much that people Are Just Not Aware Of.

    Speaking of memory, though (the Italians have a longer memory than do Americans)… The region where I lived in Italy continues to have a “Sagra del Tordo”. A “tordo” is a small songbird, a thrush, considered a delicacy among the residents of the area. About two bites of meat per bird. Of course, the residents killed most of the “tordi” long ago, but as a matter of tradition they hold the “Sagra” (festival) anyway, offering other local dishes instead. Something about holding the “Sagra” anyway perpetuates the idea that there COULD be Tordi and that one COULD eat them if only the State didn’t now protect the suffering Tordi. I find this sort of perverse, although I could never explain why to a local. And the local would be offended at having the “Sagra” questioned!

    I find the same problem with the National Geographic Channel et al. If you can turn on the TV and see polar bears, elephants and orangutans 24/7, then how bad can things really be, I ask you!?

    As I care for my aging mother, I see how she is reduced to a child-like state, where things not within her direct range of vision for all intents and purposes do not exist. If you see polar bears, then there must be polar bears. If you don’t see polar bears, then the world is sufficient and righteous without them. Q.E.D.

  • Michael Doliner Says: A forum? What good is that?

    Eh, it’s just a way to bide the time until we kick the bucket. Is pinochle any better or worse?

  • More to the point of the topic, my original introduction to the idea of NTE came when I read Dmitry Orlov’s post on nuclear plants, here:

    Dan Allen’s post is great, but a more likely scenario is that of long-term conventional power outages plus running out of backup diesel fuel. We have met the enemy, and he is us, in other words.

  • Been thinking about collapse and NTE, and what difference it makes as to how one ‘sees’ these things.

    If you embrace the need to live not dependent on fossil fuels and the huge environmental challenges adead, and decide to do without most, if not all, of the benifits of the worldwide industrial economy, then when you live that way, perhaps as Guy now does, (with caveats of course), then essentially you are choosing to live in that future, but now.

    Why wait?

    This is what appears crazy to those in close proximity to a NTE and collapse aware individual, (who is over the initial shock, grief and freak out phases).

    Why would you give up all this personal advantage, just for some ideal that may not eventuate?

    I’ve seen that glaze over, and wary slight step backwards from ‘ordinary livers’.

    But it is a very clear logic that moves one into these choices.
    I look at it as a kind of win win lose affair.

    If there is no NTE and collapse, then you win because:

    1. You are still alive and many of your loved ones are too.(including many other species)
    2. You have eaten much healthier food and spent less money on food, or what you did spend went into systems you are sure do little extra ecocideal damage.
    3. You learned a whole lot that enables you and any dependants to be comparitively more self sufficient, and therefore, have more options to help youselves and others.

    But you lose because the industrial economy keeps going, and also you have a bit harder time socially, because the proof of your collapse and NTE blabbing-rants has not come to pass. So you ‘are’ crazy!!!(for now)

    If NTE and collapse does occur, IMO this may cascade and no one knows for sure what human and other chimeras may emerge, or what strategies may allow some pockets to survive, for a time, (not in denial folks, just looking at the glass which to me is at the ‘half way’ mark, neither ‘half full’ nor ‘half empty’).

    So in this case the wins may be:

    1. That you are already mentally prepped, and systemically engaged in more ‘durable’ systems of needs provision, (food, water, energy), at a local scale, which you are fully aware of and can maintain for some time to come.
    2. You are in a much better situation to notice even small or large changes that emerge in your location, or local area that effect your present adaptation and ability to supply those needs. Should for example the wind quotent in your area suddenly increase in intensity and frequently, you may need to brace and protect food growing areas and plots to counter this, and it could effect pollination etc. You might also choose to exploit that increase in wind by using more small scale wind energy conversion machines. (That list is endless.)
    3.You may be of assistance to neighbours and locals who are reeling from the challenges, by giving mental, emotional and practical support. If these shattered and lost looking neighbours are the same ones who looked at you with glazed eyes, and took that small step back, you can also impress them by never mentioning their earlier doubts, but just help them in their moments of need, by pitching in together and they will figure out your maturity level was always greater than they previously assessed.
    4.You get to author your own survival, with your close knit companions,( no one is going to have any chance alone, or thinking alone.)
    5. Your human relations will settle into needs based activities and experiences, at least in the near term, and not bullshit ego based hokum socialisation. (what a relief)

    The lose side of all this is the loss of everything around as we know it – all the life forms disappearing, from devastating environmental extremes. Carrion may be the only plus in that hell scenario.

    For me, I can stand the funny looks, for now, and as the time passes, and more and more of the food I produce gets eaten, and the less and less we buy, it feels a better way to live, and the energy just comes.

    At a critical juncture about a year ago I asked myself: How much coffee, or other stimulants, do I require to live my present existance? The answer showed me that a trueism I heard years ago was actually true. It was:

    Coffee (and stimulants in general) is only needed when you do not have the intrinsic motivation and energy to do the task you are doing, and by extension live the way you are presently living. if you were living sanely, the energy would come(assuming edequite nutrition).

    It follows then that it is not the ‘right’ way for ‘you’ to live.

    I changed things on that basis, because implicit in the idea is that one’s instincts can be overridden, and placated, but that is not living a ‘true’, full instinctual life. Some compromises are within the ambit, but in general you are either living ‘your’ life, or your ‘life’ is living you.
    Which way round do you suppose the Industrial Economy benifits from, and would rather you conform to?

    Order that coffee, now, to go. And make it a double!
    (Make mine De-Naff)

  • Michael Doliner is right a forum like this isn’t good for much, except for people who are, as you say “a race of slaves.” And as slaves I think we should spend the little time we have left admiring the lucky few who aren’t slaves. Let’s concentrate on all the beautiful things that some people are able to enjoy, and that maybe made the destruction of the planet worth it. We should celebrate the fact that all the destruction has produced extremes of wealth on a scale unmatched in human history and has allowed a few people to live in their own private utopias. I expect we will continue to do nothing but keep our slave faces pressed up against the glass watching our betters eat 23 carat edible gold desserts. Like the coal co exec who just blew off a mt top and whose private jet has just landed to enjoy a celebratory slice. Shouldn’t we comfort ourselves by knowing that at least some few have benefited enormously from all the destruction. Since we’re not going to do anything about it anyway.

  • The reason nuclear power and all the other destructive ways the rich make themselves richer must and will continue, is because getting rid any one of them could lead to a slippery slope. First, nuclear power, then nuclear weapons, then war, etc… This is why it cannot be allowed to happen. The rich can never allow such a frightening chain of events to begin.

  • Ripley

    Is that sarcasm, or just emphasis?

    Are you implying TPTB can’t afford to let those three ‘agencies’:
    Nuclear Power
    Nuclear Weapons

    be dismantled or become obsolete?

    And “..chain of events”.. how dry, very dry!

  • So many good comments to read this morning –
    Lidia you wrote “my husband spontaneously mentioned on several occasions that he had never seen trees just broken in half… fallen over and uprooted, maybe.. but not with the trunks snapped in half six to twelve feet above ground. What could I say? I broached the tree-death aspect of NTE.”

    Down here in the south we have a solution to old trees dying – you cut down all the hardwoods on your property and plant pines to be harvested in 20 years. Our property is one of the few that still have older hardwoods left. Its so sad when you see each few remaining properties logged and the crappy soil left from when this was all cotton farming exposed. They come in with these humoungous saws on trucks and whack away then haul away. If someone near you decides to log their property you have days and days and days of logging trucks running by your house.

  • Holy Shit is right Tom – I think the child abuse scandals are probably coming too close to the Papal throne…. He can’t say “I want to spend more time with my family” so age and health issues are convenient.

  • Kathy C

    Do you use compost tea on your gardens?

    I have sort of developed my own version I now call ‘Aussie Roo-Poo Tea’, and have had great results with most plants, applying once per week diluted of course.
    How do you actually collect the chicken poo from the garden, just by raking the grond with straw or what?
    Any help would be a boon.

    Also where in the great USA do you and hubby live, so I can just get my geography right?

    Keep posting, I feel your offerings are very highly regarded. And people need to start enjoying the supporting of each ther here, and shy of psychophanic gushing praise, give some human acknowledgment, rather than the harsher crits of a personal nature a lot of the time, IMO.

    Hope you are not near all that Eastern wacky storms and snow.


  • Oz-man: i use this great gardening site to answer all kinds of questions (Mike McGrath has a syndicated radio program you can hear each week and this link is to the “garden answers A – Z” section of the website).

    i too read and appreciate Kathy C’s advise on gardening and organic things. This is just another source for you.

    Kathy: First thing my wife said after i told her about the Pope’s “retirement” was “There’s a story behind this . . .”


    There’s a lot of noise out there about geo-engineering BY MARCH of this year based on the AMEG statement.

    Here’s one:

  • OZ, I don’t use compost tea. I do compost around plants and when I dig holes for tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons, I dig extra deep and add humanure compost and chicken manure compost. For tomatoes and peppers I also add 1 handful of finely ground egg shells (blender) and 2 handfuls of wood ash. During the year I pour our pee from our pee bucket around various plants. The whole garden is under a continual mulch of leaves (and straw when I can get some).

    Our coop is an old two room cottage that is in the process of falling down – but slowly. We have 100 chickens roost there – we use leaves under the roost. About once a month I fork it out into a compost pile. The chickens get all excited and hop in to work through it some more – I have two so that the one side can age while I am filling up the other side. What they poop in the 1 acre chicken yard (not near the garden, enclosed with electric netting fence) goes to the yard, but since some of it is on a slope so I put up barriers to hold it from all running down to the low end of the fence. The chickens scratch and poop in those places and I harvest the dirt from there for the garden as well. Our blueberries are in the chicken yard – I use barriers there as well and fill it up with leaves. That encourages the chickens to go scratch there and add poop to the blueberries. Surprisingly they don’t fly up in the blueberries so they only eat the ones they can reach by jumping. AND just one subflock hangs there – subflocks don’t mix much during the day so most of the chickens appear to not know there are blueberries there.

    Our weather is whacky but we are fine – long drought last summer but now we are getting rain. Tornadoes were south of us. However things are blooming way early. That worked out OK last year but no telling this year. Got my edible pod peas in and up anticipating an early spring.

  • Daniel, I left a note to you on the last thread around the 350 mark.

    Re: Ratzinger….ding dong the witch is dead!(Metaphorically speaking) Yippee! Now there is one evil motherfucker.

    Red Eft: Eastern woodlands, where ish? Been reading a lot of history about the Ohio River Valley from contact to around 1814 and it sounds like it was a gorgeous area until white people arrived.
    Yes, Native Americans did bad shit to the “environment” but nowhere near on the scale of whites. Finished “The Frontiersmen” recently and both Simon Kenton and Daniel Boone were amazed at how quickly game was depleted as they helped white people move into the area. Thanks guys. At least the prepper show inspired a blog entry, so it wasn’t wasted time.

    Speak Softly, I read “Empire of the Summer Moon” and had not heard about a movie. Oh dear god, that’s not a happy thought.

    Has everyone here heard about the movie “The East”? Supposed eco-thriller about ALF types who declare war on corporations.

    Tom, that link you posted on the last thread has been haunting me. I’m reposting it because it’s apropos to the discussion here.

    We’ve all talked about time frames and when things will get bad. You can see quite clearly that 2021 is the outside date, I think.

  • @ M. Doliner

    You said: “So what to do?…” “Stop reproducing. End the production of war machines, end capitalism, house the homeless, feed the hungry, reduce economies to a local level, and try to make the world last long enough so that those who now live can end their lives in peace. Is this a completely Utopian agenda? Yes, but only because we are a race of slaves. All that prevents it from happening is inertia.”

    The problem of “What to do” is that we, the ones that are aware, the few of us, cannot end capitalism, house the homeless, feed the hungry, etc… Sure, we can stop reproducing, form local aware communities attempting to be self-sufficient, but nobody is going to end their life in peace (if you believe NTE).

    Now, what we CAN do is stop contributing to capitalism, stop contributing to industrialized civilization, and stop contributing to our disproportionate use of the earth’s resources.

    BUT – by doing these things, we are actually making matters WORSE in the grand scheme of things BECAUSE what REALLY needs to happen (for any species to have ANY chance) is for industrial civilization to come crashing down ASAP. Now, the debacle is how to get industrial civilization to come crashing down ASAP with some attention to detail while chaos is raging. Someone has to “turn out the lights” on the way out! We need an orderly shut down of all nuclear reactors, safe disposal of all kinds of dangerous things like spent fuel, nuclear warheads, chemical weapons, biological laboratories, etc.

    I get the feeling from most here on NBL that there is no chance of any kind of orderly shut down of industrialized civilization, so, given that, there is no chance. So, given that, “What to do?” is moot, and, therefore, there is no right or wrong behavior – heck, reproduce at will, eat nothing but processed foods, leave your lights on 24/7, let your car idle for hours each day, and run up as much debt as you can!

    Each day you can get any news you want – economists saying the US is about to ramp up its “recovery” and 2013 will be a very good year for everyone – or economists saying that US fiscal policy will soon unleash the Greatest Depression ever and we’re all doomed.

    They had a guy on CNN on Sunday saying America was about to become energy independent due to all the shale oil discoveries…

    All I see is crazy.

  • We know that politicians, corporations, & uneducated civilians are the biggest block to taking action to stop climate change; scientists need to become much more ACTIVE, not just vocal. Why not get scientists, instead of lawyers & developers & corporate cronies, to run for office? Why not demand improved science education as a law? Instead of multi-billion budgets for college football, spend the money on actually EDUCATING people.

    Until we deal with the current catastrophe of being dominated by greed, stupidity, and apathy, all others pale in comparison.

  • OzMan

    “Do you use compost tea on your gardens?”

    Hey OzMan,

    I use compost tea on my gardens.

    Check this out: Aerated Compost Tea Attributes, Uses & Production Method

    This is another video smaller scale, great results.
    Growing BIG Vegetables using Compost Tea

    A five gallon brew of aerated compost tea will treat approximately one acre of garden. The secret is in the compost and whether you are brewing a predominately aerobic bacterial or fungal brew. A great introduction to understanding the rhizosphere is a book titled
    ‘Teaming With Microbes – A Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web’. I bought a used copy for cheap and it was in perfect condition. One can make their own aerated compost tea brewer for under $100.00. The air pump is the biggest expense at around $70.00 Amerikan currency.

  • Michael Doliner says: …My suggestion is for each person to try to determine how he would like to make his exit….

    Stopping My Shoulds on Slowly Leaving

    Hope, impassioned and deep,
    Made promises no one can keep;
    Though I still think it queer
    That the end is now here,
    I’ll rest now, before I sleep.

  • Lidia, for a follower of NTE to think my blog is too painful to read…well, I guess that puts me in some kind of special corner of hell, ha!