Spreading the Horror

I’m pretty sure you know the drill. You pose the scenario and ask the hypothetical questions: There’s an asteroid headed for Earth. We know exactly when it will strike, and it will kill all humans. Do you want to know it will strike? Do you want to know when?

I know of no poll results, but I’ve asked the question a few times. Some people want to know everything. Others don’t want to know anything.

People who want to know when the asteroid will strike cannot fathom that people don’t want to know. People who don’t want to know the asteroid is headed our way cannot fathom why anybody would want to know. Obviously, I’m in the former camp, spreading the news like Nutella on a croissant as if people not only care about knowledge, but want to lap it up.

In fact, it’s inconceivable to me that people don’t want to know. I want to stare, unblinking, when the asteroid strikes. I want to peer into the abyss of my mortality, eyes wide open, knowing the exact moment I will depart this mortal coil. Not in the name of courage, but curiosity.

I have an idea. I could use the scenario and attendant hypothetical questions to introduce future presentations. (As an aside, the potential for speaking tours comes up quite frequently for me. Then, as prospective hosts fully understand the messages I’ll be transmitting, they fade away, often with no explanation and no response to my repeated messages. If you’re interested in jumping over the incredibly low bar necessary to host me, click this link for information.) Back to the point: If I used the hypothetical questions in my introduction, it would allow participants an opportunity to leave the premises before they hear the worst of it. They’d be out a few minutes of time, but they’d save some time and they’d depart relatively free of angst. Ignorance is bliss, especially with respect to challenging social issues, and who am I to rob people of their bliss?

Like the ninth person to arrive at a party for eight, I missed “fitting in” only by a smidgen. If I’m angry because I’m late to the party, you get to bear the brunt of my anger by reading about it here. My only defense is the line that’s become a bumper-sticker cliche: If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.

For me, not knowing is unbearable. But knowing is a great burden, too. And while I’m expecting an asteroid oddly shaped like climate chaos, we’ll probably get hit by a meteor.

If I did not know about the horrors of empire, I would still be teaching at a university. I would still be drawing a large paycheck doing the work I love and interacting with idealistic young people. I would have the respect and admiration of civilized people, including the members of my immediate family.

If I did not know about the horrors of climate change, I would be content with my path in life. I would be living large, sleeping well, and enjoying the contentment of a life well lived. Rarely would I attract animus from across the sociopolitical spectrum. Angst would lie in abeyance, along with threats on my life.

What a boring existence that would be. For better and worse, I’m stuck with the current adventure: the adventure of a lifetime until the adventure ends, along with the life.

There are no second chances, no opportunities to undo what’s been done. At the level of individuals, we refer to poor choices as stupidity (when others are making the choices) or tragedy (when it’s us). At the level of our ill-fated species, we refer to the myriad poor choices as progress. As nearly as I can distinguish, when faced with the proverbial fork in the road, we’ve taken the wrong turn at each and every opportunity. There are no second chances for our species, no opportunities to undo what’s been done. And yet we keep plugging along, claiming we’re sapient progressives. A few among us claim to be conservatives, but we’re conserving only this omnicidal way of life. Until we can’t.

We’ve committed suicide at the level of our entire species, and too many other species to correctly tally. All that’s left is more excuses in an endless string of excuses from the architects and marketers of industrial civilization. I won’t hold my breath for their long-overdue apologies.

I’m not suggesting all the bliss ignorance is inexplicable. The corporate governments of the world have been following the playbook of William Casey, U.S. Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, since long before he uttered these words in 1981: “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” It’s working great, as indicated by the one-third of Americans who would accept cavity searches in exchange for the privilege of flying commercial airlines, among many other such anecdotes.

An empire in decline requires obedience at home, and it helps if the populace remains purposefully ignorant. At a weekly White House meeting dubbed “Terror Tuesdays,” the drone-bomber-in-chief decides who will die without a whiff of due process, transparency, or oversight (and he has plenty of video-game operators forgoing their consciences to pull the trigger). In the video clip embedded in this article, Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz claims she has never heard of Obama’s infamous “kill list,” thus branding herself a national-level politician liar or stunningly ignorant (if she’s lying, she has plenty of company in the Obama administration).

Obama has given himself power over all communication systems in the country, and he can wiretap, indefinitely detain, and kill any of us on a whim, thereby indicating how meaningless is the Bill of Rights. In addition, he’s constantly seeking more power (including pre-emptive prosecution, in case he believes you’re thinking about committing a crime). Obama’s brand of evil, which includes dictatorial assassinations and ongoing destruction of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, is exceeded only by the audacity and willful ignorance of his supporters.

Comments 216

  • To look at the official video of the climate rally you would never know the Occupiers were there in support:

    …accidental omission or deliberately sanitized?

  • People want solutions with their bad news.

    Where can we hide? What can we do?

    Without hope, or a plan they go blank.

    This whole message runs the risk of being trivialized by media and

    TPTP. Unless you are willing to become a life coach for coping

    you’re gonna get the blank stares of over-medicated critical-thinking

    free consumers. Maybe somebody like Dr. Phil will pick up the ball

    and make a couple billion setting up adjustment centers. Blaming the

    messenger is THE tried and true method of getting back to normal



  • @Gail – yeah, I watched it from Toronto and I knew they were there, it must have been on CSPAN because that’s where I watched ( http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/311046-1 ), it’s an hour and a half and I’m not going through it again just to prove a point but yeah, the Occupiers were there, I knew

    @Guy – it was a treat to listen to Aerosmith, it reminds me (for some reason?) of ‘Terra’ by Caetano Veloso: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YgDmt1FoT0 you can find translated lyrics here and there on the web

    call me picky, a quibbler, but I am not 100% convinced yet on extinction, 95% yes, 99% maybe, but the numbers I crunch tell me that 2015 is when, if we haven’t changed, utterly, the game will be well and truely over and the fat lady will sing somewhere, I still see a vanishingly small, infinitesimally small possibility of pulling it out, so my rubric this year is “Lucky ’13 – the year we turned it around!

    (someone who thinks 2020 is it wrote recently in Nature: http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1758.html it is behind a pay wall but one of the authors, Joeri Rogelj, sent me a copy when I asked, which I will gladly pass on if you email me – I am sure he doesn’t mind)

    be well and thanks for this website.

  • David: it’s okay to hold out and hope, but it seems that there are so many interconnected overwhelming problems that are just getting started (well, overpopulation has been going on for a while) while the direction of things seems to be toward worsening (status quo) rather than getting any better (change) – and i’m talking about economics, social satisfaction, species extinction, human health, environmental issues, commodity prices, foreign policy, potable water availability, power generation (from fossil fuels and nuclear compared to solar etc.) and agriculture (just to keep the list small) – that i don’t see humanity getting passed the 2020’s. As it is now, governments are by and large captured by giant corporations and banks to the extent that we have austerity policies taking over almost everywhere.

    Then we have examples like this which shows how even our so-called watchdog agencies are co-opted and muzzled so that they become ineffective.


  • Could you please explain the difference between an asteroid and a meteor? I had always thought a meteor was a shooting star, but when it hit the ground, it became an asteroid. Thank you.

  • Maybe Greece or Spain would be good places to challenge the narrative that says that industrial empire run by corporations, money-lenders and psychopaths is benign. Elsewhere in the ‘developed world’ people are not suffering enough yet.

  • bluebird2, from Wikipedia:

    Asteroids are small Solar System bodies or dwarf planets that are not comets. The term asteroids historically referred to objects inside the orbit of Jupiter. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones. These terms have historically been applied to any astronomical object orbiting the Sun that did not show the disk of a planet and was not observed to have the characteristics of an active comet, but as small objects in the outer Solar System were discovered, their volatile-based surfaces were found to more closely resemble comets, and so were often distinguished from traditional asteroids.[1] Thus the term asteroid has come increasingly to refer specifically to the small bodies of the inner Solar System within the orbit of Jupiter, which are usually rocky or metallic. They are grouped with the outer bodies—centaurs, Neptune trojans, and trans-Neptunian objects—as minor planets, which is the term preferred in astronomical circles.[2] In this article the term “asteroid” refers to the minor planets of the inner Solar System.

    A comet is an icy small Solar System body (SSSB) that, when close enough to the Sun, displays a visible coma (a thin, fuzzy, temporary atmosphere) and sometimes also a tail. These phenomena are both due to the effects of solar radiation and the solar wind upon the nucleus of the comet. Comet nuclei range from a few hundred meters to tens of kilometers across and are composed of loose collections of ice, dust, and small rocky particles.

  • P.S. There is not such thing as asteroids. Eco-fascists invented the idea to scare people, as part of an international terror campaign.

  • Mr. Wilson, the day was December 12, 2000 when the platform was released on the scaffold. Everything since has just been swinging from the rafters.

  • @ bluebird

    If a meteor hits the ground, it becomes a meteorite.

  • To nail down the answer to ”what is the difference between asteroids and meteorites”, it is their location. An asteroid is always going to be in space. Once it enters an atmosphere it becomes a meteor, then a meteorite if it hits the ground. A meteorite is always going to be on the ground. Each is made of the same basic materials: metal and rock. Each originated in space. The main difference is where they are when they are being observed.

    Read more: http://www.universetoday.com/36398/what-is-the-difference-between-asteroids-and-meteorites/#ixzz2LqZJAv1h

  • Thanks, Kathy C. Your response is much more clear than mind.

  • I was having lunch with my mother a few weeks ago (she’s 79) and she told me that she understands that we’re done for but she prefers to not think about it at all. “I don’t know what to do with that information.” she told me, “so I would prefer you didn’t bring it up.” My mom is looking at the end of her life and she can’t see the world differently. My “fellow citizens”, OTOH particularly in the U.S., seem to live in a bubble of willful delusion.

    “They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality…and were not interested in public events to see what was happening.” George Orwell

    Guy McPherson and I will be premiering the final cut of the film, “Somewhere In New Mexico Before The End Of Time” in Tucson on Saturday May 4th at 7 p.m. at the Gallagher Theater on the campus of UA. Thank-you Guy McPherson for making the arrangements! I’ll be putting out a Facebook Event in the next few days. The end of the world can actually be fun and entertaining.

  • For What It’s Worth

    Battle lines, drawn or implied,
    Won’t stop mass extinction worldwide;
    No one’s right, no one’s wrong,
    Despite sign and song
    Mostly saying, “hooray for our side.”

  • I think the parallel is pretty obvious as I relate to you the story of how I finally asked my oncologist how long I have to live, after avoiding the question for some time. He said 4 months, maybe months if I do their latest brand of chemo. I wish I had asked him sooner. I would have done so many more things.
    Say, if the bar to get you to speak is so low, would you like to speak at my funeral? Huh. Would love to see the looks on everyone’s faces but it’s probably inappropriate. But thank you Guy, you’re making my passing feel like I’m a little bit lucky that I don’t have to witness the human race’s painful downfall.
    I do think though, that I may be a victim of climate change’s destruction. I contracted breast cancer at the age of 30 with no family history whatsoever. We have no clue what “caused it.” Well, I do live in a major metropolitan area and have been breathing the air and drinking the water for 22 years or so, I guess that’s enough said.

  • Hello Lillian,

    You are in a terribly unique position of having to accept the end of your own life, well before anyone should ever have to, but you are doing so in acceptance that the end of all of life on earth, won’t be all that far behind. I think you might truly be in one of the most extraordinary positions that very few–IF ANY–person has ever been before. What a bizarre state of mind you must find yourself in most days. Where on one hand, your personal story is tragic, yet on the other, it can objectively be seen as a blessing. Not that you are asking, but I am at a complete loss in being able to offer you anything, other than how refreshing I find your candor, humor and honesty to be. I wish you well for whatever time you have left, and your short little paragraph will stay with me for quite some time. Thank you for sharing, all the best Daniel.

  • So this tragic species with our large brains and self-consciousness must now deal with our inevitable demise. Lillian shares her personal ordeal with death at such an early age. Our ancestors of course rarely made it past age 30 before they died horribly at the hands of predators or injury or warfare or famine. But today we all expect to make it to ripe old age or else its a tragedy.

    What a shame that the planet has been ravaged by this intelligent species. What a shame that so many billions now have to die at such a young age. What a shame that we were smart enough to cause this horrible outcome but not smart enough to prevent it. What a shame.

  • Hi everyone,
    Do yourself a favor and watch this video compilation of stills from the ISS, really extraordinary!

  • please excuse my coffee rant. carry on.

  • I recently watched a drama aired on UK TV in which clandestine government agencies were planning to sterilise the human race, only a few “terrorists” found out what was happening and were fighting to stop them. They captured one of the government agents and this part of the drama he tells them why

    I found it rather refreshing when the writer states the obvious and the realisation comes to one of the characters that he was fighting against the human race after all.
    Reminded me of this blog, though the near term extinction of our planet via climate chaos is not much mentioned I found the clandestine government agency with a solution to the human contamination of our home planet quite hopeful.
    Peace to you all

  • I’ve been blogging almost exclusively the last few weeks about The End. One of my alert readers sent me this:


    Lillian, if I may ask, are you going to do the chemo? Thank you for sharing.

  • “We know exactly when it will strike, and it will kill all humans. Do you want to know it will strike? Do you want to know when?”

    One problem, of course, is what/how we “know” vs. what we believe. What is obviously true to one person may be clearly false (or more likely, uncertain) to another. Those of us who live much of our lives by the old “X Files” line, “Trust no one,” find ourselves in a predicament.

    “While I’m expecting an asteroid oddly shaped like climate chaos, we’ll probably get hit by a meteor.”

    Or by cancer. Or by a stray bullet from a drug trafficker or a survivalist cleaning his gun over the next ridge. Or by an infection stemming from a home repair project. Or by any number of things that make it impossible for anyone other than the suicidal to know “the exact moment [they] will depart this mortal coil.” And even a surprising number of them fail in their attempts. :-)

  • Casey’s “playbook” looks to be right on track. And still the masses continue to glue themselves in front of the latest “reality” shows. If we had all spent more time paying attention to the genuine reality facing us, we might have not had to face nte.
    As Guy said in a previous blog: ONLY LOVE REMAINS

  • Nothing can be done about asteroids. But what’s happening to the climate is the result of our collective acts, or, rather, more the result of the failure of most of us to act and change how we live. This crucial difference makes the analogy a bit problematic, in my opinion, it makes climate change into something totally outside human society.

    Edward Wilson
    Is Humanity Suicidal?

  • Hi Gail, this one is a little less sanitized.


    and here:

    Here is Chesapeake Earth First! and DC Anarchist Alliance at the inauguration. Most of these people were Occupiers. I am the old guy on the bicycle with the buckets in camo scouting for the march.

    Klanadien Embassy, Mostly occupiers. Kind of tame.

    three days before, Earth first! solidarity action with Idle No More. Half Occupiers, including the smudger.

    Earth First and Occupy November 5 storming McKenna, Long and Aldrich, Keystone XL Lawyers. Before I got my new dentures :)
    Remember Remember the fifth of November.
    All of us here were Occupiers.

    Luke loves to put everything to music. He’s as good a tactician as he is a videographer.

  • Guy said:

    “If I did not know about the horrors of empire, I would still be teaching at a university. I would still be drawing a large paycheck doing the work I love and interacting with idealistic young people. I would have the respect and admiration of civilized people, including the members of my immediate family.”

    I really appreciate this post because it is not an accounting of what we face, but an examination of a way of being when one wakes to a certain reality. I wrote in my first comment here that my path was first about economic collapse; I literally became a different person in 2008 when I understood that the financial sector was going to get away with the epic plunderment (not a word I’m sure) of the wealth of this nation, that the resources would be exploited until destroyed for the greed of a few and that nothing would be done. In fact, the construct in place, the political systems would serve and protect this few. It wasn’t long until I arrived here and on blogs with a similar sensibility.

    I chose, as you did, to stop all involvement with anything that wasn’t a critical, for me that meant free time to persue my actual interests with no regard for practicality. More outside time and saying no, and often. I moved and changed how I did my work. I make a lot less money but i dont care. who could, in this context? I also (and I commented on this very thing last thread) became much more emotionally engaged – and @ Pat, that is what I meant about not checking out, but to pay attention to my anguish or joy or fear or whatever it is in a given moment..

    I followed Guy’s links to where he guest posted at zero hedge and read the comments. No one could just disagree, so strong was their attachment to conventional wisdom, or convenient lies, that Guys words were reviled and mocked. I guess people aren’t aware of that little ditty “today’s crazy guy is tomorrow’s sentient prophet”. That kind of hositily is a waste of time. I also think the time is past for blaming. It’s everyone’s fault. It’s no ones fault. It is, though, and I had to cut bait on anger so I could live.

    I don’t make many comments here, because I go and look at all of the links.

    To Ulvfugl, I went to the page you linked where Brutus did a book report on your brain on post modernism. Thank you I now have a better understanding of what Facebook actually indicates about the culture.I also followed with interst the discussion of transition towns and the thought experiment on a stand off with a malevolent and technologically superior bureaucracy: I couldn’t help but think about how well placed low tech IEDs in Iraq have been the monkey in the wrench of empire. I think the greatest defense against power will always be the refusal to go down on your knees. at least I hope so.

    Guy, between you and Wendell Berry, and all y’all, actually, I’m okay for now.

  • Lillian, I have often said I am glad to be old at this point in time for I have less living to loose. I had not thought that someone much younger might have the same solace. For you an untimely death does not represent 40 or more years of lost life for none of us will have 40 more years, not even the youngest. I hope you continue to post as you may well help many here face the shortening of our lifespan. Thank you so much for sharing. You seem to be a person of much courage and wisdom.

  • NTE for 2031 is meaningless for me. I vacation in Cape Cod; how many summers do I have left (excluding heart attacks, cancer, stroke, and other ways to go)?

  • .
    Why should I wash out this can?
    How much good is a recycling plan?
    Should I wash out this jar?
    It seems kind of bizarre,
    With the shit shortly hitting the fan.

  • Lilian, I just want to send you my best wishes in your predicament, and possibly offer this hope that there may indeed be something more. It is an incredible experience (now relatively well known) from a personal friend of mine. Others may believe this or not as you wish, but because I have known this person for a while, it offers me hope.


  • Thanks for the strong dose this time, Guy.

    I’m chained to my bench in this trireme, while the Romans up on deck seer us into the maelstrom, certain of our forced allegiance in all things, and certain that we can always be replaced another day.
    They have another level or two of options, but are really only certain that we will die first, not that they will live.
    I’d sure like a pick for this damned lock.
    Hell, I’m stuck rowing now, anyway.

  • BenjaminTheDonkey, thanks for that latest one. It rang true for me, particularly.

  • Lets try something.

    CNN is running the following opinion piece:

    “The Obama administration and congressional Republicans are throwing a tantrum. They are threatening to hold their breath until they turn blue unless they get what they want. Our government is a study in juvenile petulance. If at any time Washington has demonstrated a childish need for discipline, this moment is it.”


    This is a great piece and absolutely true. Let’s see if we can spread this message by commenting on the web.

  • Since the human race has obviously been a disaster for life on this planet it should be impossible to mourn both the passing of the human race and the condition of the planet. Were we to disappear today it seems likely that life would regenerate in, oh let’s say, 200 million years. The longer we continue the more likely that we will wipe out life entirely.Our loyalty to preserving human life is as selfish as a rich man’s greed. I suggest people might think of something better to do then simply bemoan our fate. Telling the tale to others, as far as I can see, serves no purpose. Isn’t there something worthwhile to do with the remaining time?

  • And I should add this is exactly the reason why they refuse to listen to those who are warning of the threat to humans. They just throw a tantrum. They are not adults and we should loudly tell them that they are acting like spoiled children. Reasoning with them will not work!

  • TRDH, YW, and thanks for the feedback. Personal reflections from our time should be of particular interest to future generations…um, oh yeah right…. :D

  • kevin moore

    Re Greece, and Spain.

    I seem to remember that Greece at least had a very early retirement age like 50, at which time you could get the pension.

    Several commentators a few years back were floating this as to why the Greek economy was up to its high heels in debt, (derivatives, sub-prime products…?)and therefore suffering the most. The Greeks were the lazy ones they said, not earning enough from each citizen per capita or some such reckoning.
    My view is in all likelyhood the Wall Street and Fleet Street PTB saw these guys as an easy target,and sold em heaps so they would take the fall….which fits into ‘The Grend Chessboard’ plan to bring Europe to its knees,(far enough to do the job), so NATO will accept USA dominance and control…etc…etc…etc.
    Don’t know if any of that could really be true…

    Just sayin.

  • Mike Sosebee

    “Guy McPherson and I will be premiering the final cut of the film, “Somewhere In New Mexico Before The End Of Time” in Tucson on Saturday May 4th at 7 p.m. at the Gallagher Theater on the campus of UA.”

    Now you have given DHS, FBI, NSA, CIA the date, time and place, they can dial up the drone attack and play it anyway they want….

    “A crazed depressed former Universty of Arizona Professor detonated a powerful device in a universtiy auditorium today to bring attention to his lone crusade about of all things people not listening to him. Luckily for the intended audience the device exploded prematurely, and only a few people died, including a filmmaker who was due to screen a film on crazed groups living in shacks in the deserts of America. Authorities are investigating.”

    Or….for Guy…

    “A freak asteroid, turned into a meteorite today and slamed into a university auditorium…”

    You get the picture….

    Guy, I advise changing the details at the last minute and postponing a week, and don’t tell Mike Sosebee….OK?

  • I take the view that it is good to speak who you are right now.

    When I was 13 years old and in first year high school I wrote a short piece of pros that indicated ‘we’ had just landed humans on Mars. I mimicked the Niel Armstrong speach, now famous in the industrialised world, (do Tiwi Islander villagers in the Pacific know that ‘story’?)…

    “One giant step for a man, a great leap for mankind. Although I knew millions of people were overjoyed, and in a way I was too, I had a deep feelng of dread overcome me. Now we could reach the other planets ….. all the rest were open to us. My heart sank to think of what devastation we may bring”.

    I wrote it as if I was the Mars astronaught, and my memory of the actual words that finish it off is a little hazy. I have it somewhere in my ‘things’.

    Point is, in the intervening years this sentiment had receded, I grew older, got interested in girls, learning, and figuring out what was ‘real’, (had to have a quest I guess).

    I had various strange and unique experiences(even before 13), but I had a series of what I call spiritual awakenings, and to me they have been ‘real’.
    However, there is the situation I find that my 13 year old consciusness I believe read this world situation correctly, at least at an instinctual level.

    We’re fucked!

    Since being a parent,( my son is now at that same age of 13), I find I have returned to address those very pressing issues that consumed my awareness back then…. how to reconcile the ‘Machine’ of Industrial Civilisation, with the greater survival and spiritual instincts I am also aware of,(as others are in their own ways too).

    I am not disposed to be depressed about it, as I was as a 13 year old, then surveying the landscape of what we humans were doing to the planet, and looking out into a world to make a contribution to that world.

    I am hopeful, but not a deluded hopeful, mostly because the wind and the birds and the local weather speaks to me if I put the effort in to listen to them, be in their domain as an equal, as a part.

    This privelage,( in this country with its material wealth so far) has since I was that 13 year old been a great catalyst to keep growing, lest I squander a life that would become a consumption ghost in time, after I die, having done absolutly nothing that would improve my soul/transcendental situation, or the world, or both, (can they be different, or divergent at all ?)

    As I have put up, I am considdering going to live in the bush, crown land, hidden from most, but try to live sanely, in an insane livingstance. Is that crazy?
    I hope so.
    I feel ok about talking about NTE, the issues here with anyone.

    The asteroid is coming, for you, for me, for all life, it has always been so for this brief strut around.

    What does it matter what others think about you concerning your conversations on these things. I would rather have a decent conversation about that, or even a troubling huffy attempt at one, than, well the latest house prices and idiot box sensation?

    Live now….say what’s on your mind.

    The asteriod metaphore is really about Death….an old friend.

    Shake hands, have a beer, see what Death thinks about this shit.
    Even crack a joke with death.
    Might happen, probably got a sense of humour all t’s own …. just sayin.

    Note to Kathy C: I mention Death here. Please note I am not talking about suffering, OK?

  • wildwoman

    Great link on the teetering International Monetary System, IMHO.

    A snippet is worth putting up here:

    “To be sure, Peak Oil in general represents a monumental risk to humanity because it’s literally impossible to feed all 7+ billion people on the planet without abundant energy to run our farming equipment and distribution infrastructure. But the risks stemming directly from declining energy production are not the most imposing, in my view.

    Decline rates will be gradual at first, and it will be possible, even if unpopular, to curtail unnecessary energy consumption and give priority to life-sustaining uses for the available supply of liquid fuels. In my opinion, the greatest risks posed by Peak Oil are the consequential risks. These include resource wars between nations, hoarding of scarce resources, and so forth. Chief among these consequential risks is the possibility that the Peak Oil energy crisis will be the catalyst to cause a global financial system meltdown. In my opinion, the USA losing its reserve currency status is likely to be at the heart of such a meltdown.

    A good rule of thumb is that if something is unsustainable and cannot continue forever, it will not continue forever. The present incarnation of the IMS, which affords the United States the exorbitant privilege of borrowing a seemingly limitless amount of its own currency from foreigners in order to finance its reckless habit of spending beyond its means with trillion-dollar fiscal deficits, is a perfect example of an unsustainable system that cannot continue forever.”

    After reading this article I have a clearer understanding how the arseholes have got control of the world wealth.
    Great link IMO.

  • Another excellent post, Guy. Having been brought up on family holidays to France, I particularly love your “…spreading the news like Nutella on a croissant…”

    On the subject of meteors and asteroids, I have heard it said that the meteor would have it Moscow if it had arrived 30 seconds earlier… and I too have often wondered what the team that spotted DA14 would have done if they had known 12 months ago that it was going to hit the Earth…

    I sympathise with you in your current predicament; as I too feel like I have now made myself unemployable: I resigned from a perfectly good job 30 months ago and spent a year doing an MA in Environmental Politics. It then took me 9 months of trying before I realised I could not turn my concern regarding “the approaching asteroid of anthropogenic climate disruption” (ACD) into a career choice (thanks go to James Hansen for first giving me this analogy); 6 months to realise that emigrating to Australia was not going to work either; and (now) 3 months of trying to explain why I have been unemployed so long… It is, in short, a f***ing mess (and I am not talking about the environment).

    However, with regard to the environment, what I find hardest to bear is continually being treated like Cassandra of Troy – who was blessed with knowledge but cursed with not being believed by anybody. Why is it that so many seem to be blind to the fact that – and here I am indebted to another blogger for giving me yet another powerful analogy – the moral of the story about the boy who cried “Wolf” is that the wolf eventually turns up!

    I was tempted to say it would be nice to have threats made on my life because that would at least mean that my opinions were being noticed and considered significant. However, to do so would be to completely disregard the seriousness of your predicament. I therefore hope that you find comfort in the integrity and intellectual honesty of your position.

  • Saw this earlier:


    EARTH MEANDERS: Earth Is Dying, Yet Climate and Forest Movements Lack Urgency and Substance
    Human industrial growth is systematically liquidating the natural ecosystems that are the habitat for humans and for all life. Earth is dying, one logged old-growth tree and tank of gasoline at a time, yet most environmental groups are shilling solutions that are inadequate and ill-conceived – such as logging old-growth forests to protect them. Nothing shows this better than Greenpeace and the Rainforest Action Network – in an age of mass extinction, abrupt climate change, and ecosystem collapse – wanting us to wipe our asses with toilet paper from “certified” old-growth forest pulp.

    (there’s more)

    Lillian: thank you for sharing your experience with humor and grace. i’m of the same mind as Daniel in that there isn’t much to say except we’ll be right behind you on our way out. . . (i wouldn’t do the chemo)

    tom f: i feel like i’m addressing myself here – similar feelings, last name begins with f – welcome aboard!

    max: thanks – that was quite a twist (where the captured “bad guy” turns out to be the one who’s “right”, and actually the “hero”)!

    Patrick: Great compilation, thanks. Quite a different perspective from up there, eh?

    wildwoman: thanks for the link – great info that i’ll spread around.

    To everyone who linked to the pipeline protests (and others) – thanks and keep up the good work while you can.

    Jeff: could you explain what you mean by climate change being outside human society? i believe it’s due to human society that we have this issue of climate change, but i may be misunderstanding where you’re coming from. thanks

    John: i know how you feel! We’re pretty much chained to the sinking ship of humanity.

    Chet: i’ve given up on politics as a means of progressive change and completely agree that they are being puerile in their self-centeredness.
    The government is broken and cannot be “fixed” from the inside.

    OzMan: On Greece and Spain (and probably Italy and Ireland too), the IMF and WorldBank organizations are picking the low hanging fruit first, but all countries will be “reaped” before too much longer. It’s how they operate to continue this ridiculous power play by the wealthy who have become psychotic in their position. They see the writing on the wall of Peak Oil (and everything else) and, true to form, are grabbing as much of the last remaining resources for themselves while dismantling the social safety nets and society in general (pulling up the ladders to “success” and viability for the rest of us).

    HaHA BtD: that recycling piece is so “on”! And yet i still can’t just throw crap out everywhere and anywhere. You hit it right on the head – you’re amazing.

    Michael: What do you want to do with your remaining time? “Worthwhile” is surely in the mind of the “doer,” no?

  • A quote from Ernst Mayr, the famous evolutionary biologist, says it all:

    “Intelligence is a lethal mutation.”

  • Chris Hedges most recent article seems germaine to the essay.


  • Carlin on “soft language”


    Anthony: good spot – i missed that one. Thanks.

  • Meteoroids vs Asteroids

    A meteor is a streak of light in the sky made by a fast-moving piece of rock from Space, called a meteoroid, heating up and vaporizing as it hits the atmosphere. If any of the rock reaches the ground without vaporizing, what remains is called a meteorite.

    An asteroid is also a hunk of rock flying through Space.

    Distinguishing asteroids from comets

    A similar distinction can be drawn between asteroids and comets. A Comet is the visible cloud of gas and dust given off by an icy body in Space when it is warmed by sunlight. The nucleus of a comet is otherwise generally too small to see except at close range.

  • http://blogdredd.blogspot.com/2013/02/new-continent-found-garbage-gyre-ii-4.html

    The plastics industry, a subsidiary of Oil-Qaeda, has been upset by posts on Dredd Blog over the years that expose their psychopathic state of mind.

    It disturbs the priests, mullahs, and other deceivers of Oil-Qaeda that some of those Dredd Blog posts have used the words “continent”, “ocean”, and “garbage” in the same title, sentence, and/or paragraph in a manner which reveals the true terroristic nature of Oil-Qaeda.

    (it goes on – good read)

  • @ Max “I recently watched a drama aired on UK TV in which clandestine government agencies were planning to sterilise the human race.”

    Ah, now we’re getting somewhere. Slowly, oh so slowly, the meme for human culling is being released. How soon will it become commonly accepted amongst the general public that 19 in 20 must go?

    As an aside, for anyone who has ever traveled, have you ever wondered why Asia completely blows donkey nuts, whereas Europe is still preserved in some kind of beautiful fantasy? Thank the Black Death and a few other events, not just the Great Khan. If Europe’s population hadn’t first been reduced by death, then emigration, then two world wars – well, actually make that four if one counts the 30 years (ie subject of Candide) & Napoleonic wars – it too would be a steaming pile of humanity.

    Regarding the link between global finance & peak oil, I fail to understand why so many continue to allow their egos to interfere with good analysis. Whenever someone suggest the PTB don’t get it, aren’t as knowledgeable as previous generations, etc, etc, I immediately tune out.

    Not only do these guys “get it”, they are the ones who engineered it in the first place! While smart outsiders like Guy & BC Nurse were routed into non-threatening professions, the chosen insiders were put in charge of the controls.

    Unless you are terribly stupid, those at the top know there’s no way out. The entire point is to string this situation along to: (a) party on & have a good time in the meanwhile; and (b) maybe, just maybe, survive in some fashion after the blast. That’s it.

    Now I realize that those who possess a ‘faith gene’ simply cannot fathom that either the Church (right) or cherished Institutions (left) would lie to serve their own ends. However, if one is to reach any kind of enlightenment, they must finally accept the truth and live with the full awareness that this is it. Literally.

  • We need a word for humans who act like spoiled adolescence but are too old to be one.



    Any suggestions?

    The title ‘adult’ needs to be stripped from them and an appropriately derogatory put down used in it’s place. We live in a permanently juvenile Kulture where slang rules.

    ‘Sub-adults’ are incapable of Reason but are very finely tuned to possible ridicule/satire directed at them. Thomas Nast used this to great effect and realized humor/satire cuts to the quick.

    Orwell’s collective work is viewed by many as a prophetic warning but in Reality, the Pathocracy’s Owners have used George’s insights into human nature as an Operating Manual for Exploitation and Slavery, a Blue Print if you will, much like that Alpha psychopath Edward Bernays, nephew of Sigmund Freud.

    H sapians, as a whole, literally don’t have the cerebral/genetic capacity to understand the concept of Limits or exponential growth. We stand at the end of 10,000 years of ‘not getting it’. That’s quite a breathtaking failed learning curve. Does anyone think another 10,000 years, if that was even possible, which it is not at this point, would make a difference?

    Neanderthals and Cro-Magnum co-existed for approx 15,000 years, side by side in Europe. One of the theories about the demise of Neanderthals (who by the way had bigger brains and better physiques) was they lacked the ability to organize into larger social units and never figured out things like the bow and arrow which were pivotal for hunting (then warfare).

    Imagine living next to another tribe for 15,000 years and never mastering social organization larger than your immediate family (which they had) and never ‘understanding’ the ‘magic’ of bow and arrow ‘high’ technology until you were out competed for all resources (and then finally exterminated with malice aforethought by your ‘superior’ H sapian sapian neighbors)

    Well, those same Cro-Magnums for 10,000 years have not, and cannot ‘figure out’ Limits.

    And they too shall perish.

    I don’t see a successor species in the wings like the Neanderthals had.

    The whole species, H sapian sapian is a Dead End down to the core of it’s defective genome.

    Hey, how’s that ‘be fruitful and multiply thing’ workin’?

  • The Future of War in the Developed World


    I’ve followed Ian’s work for years, and I highly recommend this post. The commenters at his site are incredibly intelligent and insightful.

    I think what he describes is what we will see soon enough, as in months, as climate change bites down even harder. The snow cover in the Colorado Rockies is almost non-existent now (See Desdemona Despair) and we’re headed for another awful summer in the midsection of the continent. Think food riots and lawlessness.

    Quote from Ian’s post:

    “Technology is not necessarily on the side of the great powers, of the big armies. IEDs are cheap, any halfway competent mechanic can make them with materials that are readily available even in Afghanistan. Weapons are widely available everywhere, and soon it will be trivial to 3D print most of them. Drones, which people are so scared of (with reason) are essentially remote controlled airplanes, they are not hard to make, and they will spread to guerillas, resistance movements, terrorists and so on.”

  • Tom, thanks! More can washing:

    Pumps in the mountains lift rain,
    Soap’s produced, shipped via train…
    I stand at the sink,
    And think on the brink,
    While tap water pours down the drain.

    Recyling is noble and true,
    It’s guidance for now that we’re through:
    There’s less use of might
    To abuse all in sight
    When it gives people something to do.

  • Libya’s Nightmarish Winter:


    One of Canada’s best political analysts takes on NATO’s decision to bring down Gaddafi.


    “So, if Western governments knew that the “revolution” would result in chaos and another Islamist state, what could possibly make such a result worthwhile? Was it just oil? The West already had access to Libya’s oil, but the proceeds went to Libya. What few people in Western countries realize is that it was Gaddafi’s African nationalism that really had them worried. Gaddafi — the so-called lunatic — was seriously messing with capitalism’s international institutions and threatening the U.S. dollar as the global currency.”

  • Well Informed Futility Syndrome: I was having lunch with my mother a few weeks ago (she’s 79) and she told me that she understands that we’re done for but she prefers to not think about it at all. “I don’t know what to do with that information.” she told me, “so I would prefer you didn’t bring it up.” My mom is looking at the end of her life and she can’t see the world differently

    An internet search (using DuckDuckGo, NOT Google) of the above phrase reveals many interesting articles including the origin from the Vietnam War.

    Regarding Cancer: Lillian and any others dealing with cancer might want to learn more about the cancer reducing characteristics of Cannabis
    http://phoenixtears.ca/ is a good place to start (down-home Canadian hay-seed cure neighbours cancer, goes to jail). There is lots out there.

    Happy NTE, everyone!

  • Guy, in my opinion, the true mark of the mature adult is the ability to be comfortable in the presence of paradox. That means knowing all about the horrors of empire, climate chaos and the rest of the Clusterfuck, and staying engaged, involved, laughing, caring and compassionate despite it all. I still work within a government. I drive a car. I fly occasionally. I use a garburator. I have friends who don’t want to know about horror, and I don’t tell them.

    In the end, horror, anger, outrage, pity and shame are useless emotions that keep us from growing up. The only exception I’ll make is for grief, but even then only if we move through it rather than getting stuck there. Getting stuck emotionally does not do anyone any good.

    Love can exist in the presence of awareness – in fact it’s only by holding them both – and by holding both equally tightly and lightly – that we can clearly see the road in front of us.

    This has been my experience.

  • Dedicated to Lillian and the Kids on my Bus

    Looking deep within your eyes,
    such hope; so many dreams.
    Knowing all that could have been,
    If only —.
    Knowing all that could have been,
    yet knowing what will be.
    Sadness carried, like a cross,
    for a place we’ll never see.

    You could have had a better world,
    life cherished and revered.
    The road not taken, may have led,
    beyond your fondest dreams.
    But all that’s left is deep despair,
    as we wonder why it’s so.
    You could have had a better world,
    Perhaps. We’ll never know.

  • @BC Nurse Prof re. Ghaddaffi.
    Yes, and they did the same thing with Saddam Hussein (who wanted to price Iraqi oil in euros) and with the Iranians and the Venezuelans (because of oil nationalization. Except for North Korea (which is pretty evil) the common element all the other “Axis of Evil” candidates share is that they have dared to challenge US hegemony over all the oil in the world and all money in the world.

    Although it is probably incorrect to say “US” hegemony or “US” interests rather than Western corporate” interests. The USG is merely the mercenary subdivision of Exxon et al.

  • I’m working on a song and one of the lines fits well with the comments here:

    In equal measure
    Blessed and cursed
    To see the truth
    And know the worst

  • Guy, I appreciate reading your thoughts on the ‘state of things’ – and I concur most wholeheartily with them. Recently, however, I’ve come to the conclusion that wringing our hands with worry and desperately hoping that someone, somewhere in authority is going to realise just how fucked up everything is – is a forlorn hope.

    We’ve been on this trajectory for a long time. Everything that has gone before has led us here. So what if we’re right and they’re crazy – when has that ever made a difference throughout history?

    I’ve often pondered, for want of a better phrase – “the meaning of life”. I’ve come to the conclusion that we’ve actually been asking the wrong question – in fact, it’s not even a ‘question’ per se.

    The Universe, in it’s aged and infinite wisdom, is sending us a message loud and clear. It’s the last message it will send us. An ultimate truth if you like – and the industrial age, with it’s advanced mathematical, mechanical, biological and digital artifices is finally allowing those that look hard enough a brief glimpse.

    “You’re too late”

    The Universe, and by extension the very nature we abuse, is not without a sense of irony, it would seem.

    Make the most of every day, every hour. Spend it with people you love, doing the things you love. Forget the pension, the investment, the worry of the future. Live for now.

    We’re into pre-ordained territory.

  • Fenton, I agree. And my agreement is reflected in nearly every essay I’ve written since mid-September of last year (and perhaps a few before then). As I wrote then:

    To employ a bit of The Boss: “In the end what you don’t surrender, well the world just strips away.”
    Or, to employ a bit of Zen: Let go, or be dragged.
    Or, to employ a bit of popular culture: Carpe diem.
    Or, to employ a bit of Nietzsche: “Live as though the day were here.”

  • It’s not often that I laugh these days as knowing that (the analogue) a meteor is speeding on it’s merry way to meet us. Yet, when Lillian asked “Say, if the bar to get you to speak is so low, would you like to speak at my funeral?” I truly though that I was going to piss myself from laughing. Her dry wit in the face of her personal, soon to be, passing is a delicious example of what makes us human. Her courage and dignity a testament to the strength of womankind.

    Laughing with you today was a gift that I cannot repay Lillian but you have made life all the more poignant and for that I thank you.

    Edward Kerr

  • If NTE is not already baked in, the problem is solvable by eradicating all but the chosen few humans.

  • I seriously doubt any of us will be on that special list.

  • .
    Humans are going deep-six,
    Plus, their nature’s beyond any fix;
    The best plan to arrange
    Based on what you can change
    Makes sure those two issues don’t mix.

  • Speak Softly, you mention Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons….my favorite time of history. Did we kill the Neanderthals? Probably, at least indirectly (narrowing their hunting grounds, by virus or some kind of bug, etc). Neanderthals were the last successful species, though, if you measure that in sustainability.

    Bow and arrow hadn’t been invented yet, the closest we came was a spear thrower. Neanderthals did have small groups of people living together that weren’t related and adapted incredibly well to harsh environments over millenia. Their technology did change over time, but they never made the leaps we did.

    They had bigger brains, but not arranged as ours is, with the big frontal lobes. So, different thinking abilities. It’s possible that the big brains limited the birth rate…too big for the birth canal.

    Best trip ever was walking in the Vallee de Hommes and spending some time in the painted caves in the Dordogne region of France. LOVED it.

    I have nothing but respect for the Neanderthals.

  • @Wester – December 12 2000? I think I can remember about where I was but the date doesn’t ring any bells, please fill me in.

  • Now THIS school is looking to the future, curriculum-wise, but i think it’s gonna be too late now that persistant drought is making the mid-section of the country into a desert – complete with haboobs!


    Farm theme boosts enrollment in rural Kansas school

    This is not your ordinary elementary school. It is the Walton Rural Life Center, a kindergarten-through-fourth grade charter school in rural Kansas that uses agriculture to teach students about math, science, economics – and responsibility.

    The farm theme is so popular that the center has a waiting list to enroll and has given the town of Walton, population 235, a boost, said Mayor Evan Johnson.

    “It’s been a priority for us and a source of pride,” Johnson said.

    Students take turns each week feeding chickens, sheep, pigs and cattle. They wash and sell the eggs, make yarn from sheep wool and raise pigs for market – with pork coming back to the school for meals. They also raise vegetables for school snacks.

    “The kids love it, and they are learning,” said Principal Natise Vogt, pointing to better test scores as one example.

  • Human civilization is a malignancy that has escaped from the ecosystem. Unlike an organism that goes into overshoot by finding a surfeit of resources to exploit, humans have arisen and consume as a result of mutations. DNA mutations can make cells grow uncontrollably in humans and conserved DNA mutations in germ cells can make species grow uncontrollably, especially if those mutations facilitate technological tool development. The cancer is widely metastasized with China and India amongst others now growing most aggressively. The war we wage upon human somatic cellular cancer is actually enabled by the cancer of civilization working upon the ecosystem with external energy sources.

    Could cognition have ever occurred without the massive growth and utilization of resources supplied by uncontrolled malignant growth? I doubt it, and once various prefrontal cortices begin to recognize themselves as participants in suicidal activity, then what? Perhaps they can easily ignore it, being a cancer “feels” good to the limbic system, the controller of human motivation. We feel like we’re “winning” against competitors, but we’re actually destroying our own body. Humans see themselves as superior and will believe so until the whole body/system crashes and all the gains from the uncontrolled growth, 7 billion of them, are erased suddenly. Can a malignancy destroy itself to save the body it invades and disrupts? Will humans pull the plug on their own civilization in order to return a handful of survivors to what remains of the natural world? All I see from government and C(ancer)NBC is the need for more growth, more growth, more consumers – they can’t begin to understand the nature of their activity. But who knows what goes on behind the façade of normalcy.

  • So much for The Anthropic Priciple in Physics:

    The Universe, in it’s aged and infinite wisdom, is sending us a message loud and clear. It’s the last message it will send us. An ultimate truth if you like – and the industrial age, with it’s advanced mathematical, mechanical, biological and digital artifices is finally allowing those that look hard enough a brief glimpse.

    “You’re too late”

  • adolescentoid

  • Hey, how’s that ‘be fruitful and multiply thing’ workin’?

    Actually, if more had been fruits, there would not have been a problem. Too bad they didn’t have the Urban Dictionary in the Garden of Eden.

  • @Lillian
    I don’t know if you will see this, but I wanted to reply to your comment. Even though you gave only a brief description of your situation, I was taken aback by how it triggered in me a desperate desire to live. I’m not sure why. Maybe because I’m 40 now and scheduled to get my first mammogram next week, but I think I just find it easier to care for individuals, rather than the species as a whole. The other day there was a news story about the mother of two small children who fell asleep at the wheel on the way to pick up her husband. The car was totaled, she was killed instantly, and the 4 year old girl somehow got her 2 year old sister out of the vehicle and covered with a blanket until someone discovered them 6 hours later. Both were injured. This I find terrifying, but when I try to wrap my mind around the possible near-term extinction of 7 billion people, well, it’s beyond what my mind can grasp.
    Anyway, I don’t know if you can share more about the stage of your breast cancer and what kind of treatments you have tried or plan to try. I generally make it a rule to avoid giving unsolicited advice, but when it comes to health matters, there are some things I try to keep in mind, which can be difficult when being treated within Western medicine. (And this is not to minimize, only thoughts.)
    The body heals itself. Any form of treatment, such as pharmaceuticals or chiropractic, is simply the catalyst that sets the healing in motion. Healing is timeless-it can happen very slowly, or very quickly, i.e. miracles. If you are open to it, or desperate enough, there is a powerful yoga kriya called Bound Lotus, which you could research, but which I can’t recommend as I am not a healer. There are many Kundalini Yoga instructors in your area whom you could talk to about learning Bound Lotus. Maybe you can attack the disease on multiple fronts.

    Also, whether or not you can get Dr. McPherson to speak at your funeral, I have to commend you for your bravery in contemplating it (your funeral, that is.) I have far too much experience with people who did not think that far ahead, even when death was imminent. I say do it. Plan exactly what you want. And make it fantastic. If I may ask, what were some of the things you were hoping to do if you had more time? Maybe you can still have some ‘moments’.
    Late the other night I listened to “Hallelujah”, “The Way Young Lover’s Do”, and “Satisfied Mind”, by Jeff Buckley, an artist that I love, and I briefly felt completely at peace, like I could die happy at that moment. But then I remembered the children sleeping in the other room. Must hold on to that will to live for their sake. I still can’t believe I actually forgot about them, if even for a few minutes.
    So, I hope life treats you kindly, and if not, be kind to yourself.
    A small gift…https://youtu.be/3ycaoV0WXfk

  • @ BC Nurse Prof

    Re the Future of War and drones.

  • http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2013/02/monkey-trap-nation.html#more

    Monkey Trap Nation
    (short clip of a good read)

    Wouldn’t it be nice if short-term decisions had short-term consequences and long-term decisions had long-term consequences? Well, too bad; it’s the other way around. Short-term decisions have long-term consequences because they tend to lock you into an arrangement that is beneficial in the short term but detrimental in the long-term. Long-term decisions have short-term consequences because planning for the long term incurs short-term expenses. For example: in the short term, it is cheaper to nail houses together out of sticks and put them up in places far removed from the power plants that could heat them for free, but in the long term the heating bills, the house fires and the expense of keeping up a temporary structure tend to get out of hand. On the other hand, in the long-term, it is cheaper to build houses next to steam mains supplied free of charge by a power plant, out of solid masonry, and with steel plate doors and insulated double-windows (saving on fire alarms, fire escapes and fire departments) but in the short term this is more expensive.

    What’s worse, the consequences of short-term decision-making are cumulative over time: the long-term consequences of short-term decisions just keep piling up. But people are loathe to admit the errors of their ways, and can rarely be made to accept the consequences of their decisions. Instead, the tendency is to regard these consequences as new, entirely unexpected short-term problems to be solved with more short-term thinking. The result is a tendency to double down on every bad bet, and beyond a certain point the consequences magnify and feed on each other until they add up to an intractable, systemic crisis where no more short-term solutions can be found.

    * * *

    The monkey trap is, as the name suggests, a device for trapping monkeys. It is ingenuous in its simplicity, and also in the fact that it does not actually trap the monkey at all: it is the monkey that does the trapping. The trap consists of a hollowed-out gourd tied to a tree using a vine. The gourd has an opening just big enough to admit a monkey’s paw when it isn’t clenched into a fist. Inside is a banana. The monkey reaches inside, grabs the banana, but cannot withdraw it. Even as the hunter approaches to collect it, it cannot bring itself to unclench its fist, let go of the banana and escape. What traps the monkey is the monkey’s own internal cost/benefit analysis, which is slanted toward the short term, coupled with its inability to consider the long-term effect of its short-term decisions. It is a perfect metaphor for what has caused the US to go off the rails.

  • Ulvfugl: check this out


    New Defense Clandestine Service Blends Civilian and Military Operations
    Finally, there is no denying that the surveillance state is expanding and that Americans at home and abroad are nearly constantly under the watchful and never-blinking eye of intelligence officers. From phone taps to traffic cameras connected to the National Security Agency, the federal government is not only violating statutory law, but is circumventing the Constitution. On several fronts, the United States is being treated as a theater of the “War on Terror” and citizens are being treated as suspects.

  • Everyone:


    CDC bioterror labs are repeatedly failing to secure stores of anthrax and the plague

    Multiple studies report that laboratories at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not secure samples of life-threatening diseases like anthrax and the plague. The two deadly viruses are just a pair of the fatal diseases that are at risk because the security checks in place at the CDC are flawed.

    (further down)

    Others include the ebola virus and monkeypox virus.

    Adding to the scares facing the CDC, director Dr Tom Frieden said that their budget will be slashed if the impending cuts go through, threatening the cost of running their unit properly. He says his agency will lose more than $300million at a time when public health already is struggling to keep up with new germs.

    In Frieden’s words, ‘Our threats aren’t getting cut but our ability to respond to them is.’

  • All life, from bacteria to global civilizations is structured by a fundamental underlying natural principle: to turn energy into useful work. This principle forms the fitness selection criterion through which self-organizing systems either prevail or fail – turn as much energy as is available into useful work as effectively as possible. It’s an organizational rule of the universe, much like gravity. It’s why capitalism prevailed over communism, and it’s why we can’t address either social injustice or atmospheric CO2 levels – or growth itself. This principle is the source of the growth imperative. Most people can’t even imagine such a rule. But there it is, working silently within all of us. To some extent it shapes every human thought, feeling and action.


    H. T Odum: “The maximum power principle can be stated: During self-organization, system designs develop and prevail that maximize power intake, energy transformation, and those uses that reinforce production and efficiency.

  • Kathy: maybe we won’t have to wait until the grid fails for nuclear power plants here to be a problem.

    ‘US nuclear power plants very vulnerable to cyber attacks’

  • Paul:


    The Human Species: ‘Consummate Bullshitters’

    The ability to adapt to various environmental conditions and challenges has enabled our species to spread throughout the globe. But what about mankind’s superior ability to bullshit itself? The myriad of crises facing the human species would certainly demand a sober acceptance and discussion of the civilization-ending situation we find ourselves barreling towards, would it not? But instead we have the profit-seeking merchants of the fossil fuel industry funding ‘climate denial’ groups in order to fabricate an atmosphere of controversy on the subject. We’re fighting a losing battle against mother nature, and New Orleans looks to be the first U.S. city that will soon be permanently underwater. Or take the leader of our faux democracy, Barack Obama, and his bogus proclamation of an “economy on the mend”. The reality is that Obama has allowed and facilitated the further fleecing of the middle class by giving control of the U.S. housing market to the same financial speculators who caused the financial crash in the first place. Another example would be the idea that treating sick people as a source for extracting profit would make a good model for a nation’s healthcare system. The ballooning costs and poor health outcomes paint a different reality. Still another example would be the idea that straddling an entire generation of young people with insurmountable debt to fund their education is beneficial to society, even if there were jobs to be had.

    (it goes on with examples and a video)

  • Paul, ulvfugl, all

    Although this narrator isn’t the best reader i’ve heard (ahem) the information being provided is monumental (13.5 min. video):

    Silent [misspelled] Weapons for Quiet Wars – Reading 1

  • last one for a while

    (i’m sorry about the spew of info here, i’m pressed for time to get to an anti-fracking rally in Philly today and want to get this to you all)

    2/24/2013 — Microwave Warfare Explained by Dr. Barrie Trower


  • Dear Guy McPherson,

    Yep. Me again. Finished reading your book. You’re a tough cookie, although that might be too civilized a metaphor . . . a weathered lizard might be more like it, after all that peasant labor.

    Read more: http://www.reflexivity.us/wp/2013/02/hope-versus-hopium/

  • Another bit of horror:

    CO2 at Mauna Loa for week ending 2/17 is 397.11

  • Anybody read “The Mosquito Coast” by Paul Theroux?

    Paul Theroux’s “The Mosquito Coast” is a story about Allie Fox, an inventor who disdains religion, rejects American pop culture, and refuses to buy foreign products. He feels unappreciated at work; because of this, he hastily decides to move him and his family to the tropics, Honduras, to be exact. There, he purchases a remote area named Jeronimo and creates a village for him and his family. On the land, he builds a giant ice house and makes improvements to an outdoor shower. Although it appears that Allie should be happy, his life in the village makes him delusional. He ends up destroying what he has built and he subsequently causes his own destruction. Allie’s self-destructive acts don’t end here. By the end of “The Mosquito,” he has built a boat-home, set fire to a missionary’s generator, and convinces himself that the U.S. has been destroyed. Allie’s mental health continues to deteriorate until the end where he is shot and buried on the beach.

  • @ Paul Chefurka

    I’ve come across that before somewhere, a long time ago.

    I don’t think it’s quite right.

    Think of a factory analogy. To get maximum output, you force the labour to work 24 hours, without food, until they collapse, and keep doing that until there’s no workers left. Then the whole thing dies.

    At the other extreme, you let labour do as they please, have as much holidays, take whatever food and money they want, so most days nobody turns up at all, and there’s no output.

    There must be an optimal point, between those extremes, where everything balances just right, and the factory produces something, and keeps going for a long time.

    The trick for survival would be, how to get the system adjusted just right, so that it maintained itself, wouldn’t it ? Which I don’t think is quite the same thing as energy transformation, or efficiency.

  • In Blackwater Woods

    Look, the trees
    are turning
    their own bodies
    into pillars

    of light,
    are giving off the rich
    fragrance of cinnamon
    and fulfillment,

    the long tapers
    of cattails
    are bursting and floating away over
    the blue shoulders

    of the ponds,
    and every pond,
    no matter what its
    name is, is

    nameless now.
    Every year
    I have ever learned

    in my lifetime
    leads back to this: the fires
    and the black river of loss
    whose other side

    is salvation,
    whose meaning
    none of us will ever know.
    To live in this world

    you must be able
    to do three things:
    to love what is mortal;
    to hold it

    against your bones knowing
    your own life depends on it;
    and, when the time comes to let it go,
    to let it go.

    ~ Mary Oliver ~


  • Thanks for links, Tom, I’m getting into them, good luck at rally.

  • “..who wanted to price Iraqi oil in euros”

    The nut of the matter is not what currency oil is purchased with.

    I can change dollars into euros at a keystroke, or any other currency.

    That important part is what is done with that currency after the transaction.

    The Saudis take ‘their’ oil ‘money’ and buy lots of U.S. debt (i.e. Treasuries and other U.S. securities)

    Iraq and Iran and Venezuela ‘crime’ was in not buy U.S. debt with the proceeds. They wanted to invest that money else where and the Owners, aka the Gobshitemafia, can’t allow that insolence to go unchecked.

    The currency wars that are now raging globally will lead to real wars, they are the precursor to a shooting war, always have been. Worst comes to worst, kill your creditors and your Debt disappears is a viable historic financial strategy.

  • ulvfugl,

    My main point is that we can’t adjust the system unless we understand how it works. At this point we do not have the faintest clue. Regional “adjustments” to create long-term “sustainability” conditions put that region at a power disadvantage compared to regions that are willing to forego sustainability. Take China vs the EU as an example

    That’s why Odum didn’t call it the “Pptimum Power Principle”. This force/rule/principle that is driving the bus doesn’t have a preferred outcome, it just follows the rules of physics and self-organization. We don’t or can’t even see what’s going on. Instead we behave like good humanists and think our actions are driven by human concerns. At this level, they manifestly are not.

  • All our concerns are mere embroidery done by the conceit of consciousness. It may look good, but it has nothing to do with the nature of the underlying fabric.

  • Speak Softly – thanks so much for that poem.

  • @ Paul

    I think I was misunderstanding what you were seeing as the relevance of Odum’s thing.

    This is quite interesting :

    …Henrich expected to confirm one of the foundational assumptions underlying such experiments, and indeed underpinning the entire fields of economics and psychology: that humans all share the same cognitive machinery—the same evolved rational and psychological hardwiring.


  • Multiple studies report that laboratories at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not secure samples of life-threatening diseases like anthrax and the plague. The two deadly viruses are just a pair of the fatal diseases that are at risk because the security checks in place at the CDC are flawed.

    Neither Pasteurella pestis (now Yersinia pestis) nor Bacillus anthracis are viruses. Not everyone is expected to know this. However one could reasonably expect that those writing about this in mainstream media would be better informed.

  • Turbulent flows waste energy. Flow velocity increases past the point of turbulence when the energy gradient is sufficient. Turbulence induced by any other means reduces energy flow and selects against that system.