The muzzling

by Kian Mokhtari

Two and half thousand years ago, the known world was almost identical in its affairs to the world we know today. The main difference was that the Persian Empire ruled over most of the known world. Highly advanced in its workings, administrative model and social management, it was a wonder the likes of which the ancient world had never seen.

On the Western edges of the Empire, dotted along the northern and eastern Mediterranean, existed a number of city states that unhappily and reluctantly paid tributes to the Persian Empire. The Mediterranean-rim city states that contemporary Western historians have bunched together as “Ancient Greece” gave rise to writers, philosophers, scientists, and so on, whose works have become the foundation and the pillars of modern Western culture.

Many of the fine gentlemen in fine white robes took up the mightiest weapon against the Persian Empire: the pen. In their attempts to vent frustration at what they considered an imposition by a foreign power, they began to portray Persia’s world empire as despotic, barbaric, uncivilized, emotional and childlike. In fact, all that was looked down upon in the Athenian social etiquette was relentlessly related to the Persians.
Eventually even the Persian Empire’s Imperial guard, The Immortals, did not prove so immortal in the invasion of Alexander of Macedon. Iran’s first empire was destroyed to the extent that precious few pieces of evidence survive to tell of the Persian take on the affairs of their world.

The greatest blow to the Persians to this day remains the near-total theft of their culture and destruction of their account of history. Precious little to answer the Greek history’s account: other than the Cyrus Cylinder, a universal declaration of human rights which according to the so-called Greek account of things was put together by a “despotic, barbaric empire”!?

The other discrepancy in the Greek journals of history is the role of women in society. The learned gentlemen of Greece almost uniformly represent women as breeding capsules bereft of social standing that seem to exude all kinds of poisonous liquids and grow snakes or some other kind of nastiness from their bodies. This, at a time when the “despotic Persian Empire” exercised equal rights for men and women and indeed bred governesses, priests, warriors and intellectuals from the ranks of its female citizenry.

Ancient Greece had also no qualms about slavery and slave trade, a practice outlawed throughout the Persian Empire that carried severe penalties. The price for a female slave in ancient Greece ranged between 140 to 220 drachmas.

But the point here is not to rekindle ancient rivalries, rather to highlight the arguments that deal with contradictory accounts of history.

The common men and women worldwide were seldom educated enough to leave behind their own views of the world, nor were they financially empowered to the point of hiring their own scribes to chronicle social history. So, whatever we know about history comes from the writings of scribes sponsored by biased third parties in positions of power, their cronies or indeed beneficiaries.

What we know of social history is through architectural studies into urban design and make up of past centers of social interaction. But this has proven a very speculative affair with countless arguments raging over various explanations.

The accounts of history being fed to our children at schools worldwide are primarily the accounts of military, religious or political feats of the elite. Such accounts encourage doctrines of racial, political and military supremacy and serve to steadily provide the rulers with more brainwashed foot soldiers for future adventures in brutal and biased intolerance toward human family’s true aspirations.

Enter journalism in its original form and with its original intent to provide humanity with a reliable source of information about world events. Journalism proved so effective in the mid-19th to early 20th centuries that massive popular revolutions were born from its ability to awaken the masses to their plight at the hands of generations of despotic rulers. Issues that the poorly educated so-called working class had not been aware of were pushed to the forefront of collective social consciousness via efforts of determined journalists and chroniclers eager to shake off the one-sided accounts of history shoved in their faces by undemocratic religious, political or military rulers.

The multi-pronged assault on mumbo jumbo took on the perceived beliefs to defeat superstition, ignorance and bias forced on the human family for thousands of years by the rulers, their lackeys and shamans. Darwinism blew apart the brutally enforced beliefs of Abrahmic religions on the origins of humanity and life on earth. In fact, scientific journals did more to peel away the outer layers of deceit and superstition that had held humanity in bondage than any political chronicles floated to challenge the status quo.

However, the journals of fresh arguments against the despotic political and religious rule also did much to shake the foundations of a decaying world of kings and queens, theocratic overlords and masters to open the way for new systems of governance based on popular consent in the latter parts of the 19th and early 20th century.

This runaway awakening in social consciousness touched almost every community in each and every part of the world. With local populations rising to claim their rights and colonial possessions shrinking, an argument developed over the colonial loot that we have come to know as World War I: Essentially a fight over power among two branches of one European royal household that saw to the back of all advances in social awakening. Free journalism was pigeonholed into war sloganism in the fear of being tagged unpatriotic.

The unchecked rise of the military industrial complex, huge banking corporates and war profiteers out of the ashes of the Great War set the course for where we stand to this very day. The latter culprits’ by now traditions of relentless assaults on free journalism, mass campaigns of misinformation and finally the takeover of media altogether have ensured the artificially induced differences among the human societies that guarantee the rulers’ profits will continue.

The rise of corporate controlled media has meant that the very journalists who would otherwise lend their pens to the causes of environment, society and people, must behave as mercenary scribes of the rulers if only to be able to feed themselves and their families. Some might argue that the internet and social media sites can in time remedy this dire situation but this conclusion is flawed because humanity seeks accuracy, lack of bias and comprehensive accounts in social records of contemporary world affairs that can be accessed within an information bank very much in the popular domain.

To bring about such eventuality free journalism and media must be encouraged to return to the popular domain as experience has clearly demonstrated that information controlled by the ruling elite will exclusively be used to advance their agendas and interests.

In the 21st Century, humanity is yet to wise up to these facts and move to finance its own bank of information to protect the future of its children, the environment and indeed our planet. The implementation of such proposition is long overdue. Humanity’s world view, free of induced prejudices, will be very different to what we are witnessing today. A world constructed with foresight and clarity of vision will be a far cry from the blood-drenched, chemical and biological nightmare that we are about to hand over to the next generation as “our legacy.”


Kian Nader Mokhtari, managing director of Blazing Kat Productions. Director, producer and writer of OWS Week, and currently producing a documentary in the U.S., Mr. Mokhtari is an independent journalist with 15 years of experience in the field. He is a foreign policy specialist, columnist and political commentator. He has worked as a lecturer in journalism at a number of universities.


McPherson wrote an essay on request for Blazing Kat last week. It’s here.

McPherson was interviewed by KMO for the C-REALM podcast. The result, which is accessible only to subscribers (even I’ve not heard this one), is here.

Comments 361

  • “..future of its children…”

    What children?

  • Kian: thanks for the history of journalism lesson. If only it weren’t too late for the conclusion you’ve reached.

    right in line with the premise of this post is this, which many of us will find interesting (in an ugly way)

    Meet the Hedge Fund Managers Turning a Profit on the Sandy Hook Massacre

    It has been argued that capitalism, if given the opportunity, would devour its own legs and collapse upon itself. Putting all hyperbole aside, what would you do if you learned that a US company was actively monitoring national tragedies like the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, only to develop reflexive investment strategies designed directly to capitalize off the pain, suffering and hysteria, in the wake of those events? Would you be in disbelief of such wanton disregard for life? Would you chalk it up to business as usual, for Wall Street’s most parasitic actors? Or, would you take action to stop it?

    Enter, Stage Left — Two of the Worst People in the World…
    While some of the nation’s largest hedge funds and money managers have paused in the wake of Sandy Hook to review their portfolios for exposure to gun stocks, and in some cases begin the process of selling off their gun assets, two hedge funds have done just the opposite. Jeffrey Altman, Founder and Portfolio Manager for Owl Creek Asset Management, and Robert Bishop, of Impala Asset Management, each seized an opportunity in the days following the Sandy Hook Shooting, to purchase millions of shares in gun stocks (1,616,300 shares [valued at $13,642,000] and 893,938 shares [valued at $27,787,000], respectively). Notice of Altman’s and Bishop’s purchases only became available when they disclosed their fund’s 4th Quarter 2012 holdings to the SEC, in February [HERE, and HERE]. Altman’s and Bishop’s intentions, as deduced by peers in asset management, are to turn the fears and murmurations of new gun regulations into profits, as a newly fabricated demand for firearms like the Bushmaster .223 Caliber Assault Rifle, the AR-15 and the Ruger Mini-14—each potentially at risk of regulations—outpaces their supply on shelves at retailers.

    Jeffrey Altman: Chronically Single, Economically Depraved…

    (read the rest of this sickening expose – via journalism – or captialists in their milieu)

  • Wonderful thoughts for the time before when we thought humans would continue to exist. As Pat says “what children”?
    Meanwhile “Blackout Halts Cooling System at Fukushima Plant
    TOKYO — Two pools for storing spent nuclear fuel remained without vital cooling systems more than 24 hours after a partial power failure at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan on Tuesday, the operator said. The company said it had restored the flow of cooling water to two other pools also affected by the blackout.”

    Per fukushimadiary dot com SFP 4 should boil out if the power is not restored in 3 more days.

    We are done for one way or another.

  • Meanwhile “Blackout Halts Cooling System at Fukushima Plant

    Not to worry. TEPCO will call the fire department.

  • Kathy the plant is being cooled in reactor 1 & 2. 4 should be back to SNAFU by tonite.

    Oh what ya know, no doom porn for the day. Whaa ):

  • @CommanderCaCa

    It’s the spent fuel pools that are the concern, not the reactors themselves… You knew that, right? You were just fucking with us? Right?

  • Paul, high likelihood that CommanderCraCra is a troll out of the past, who went by various names, Sean, Sean the Mystic, The Doomist, The Cosmist, The Singulatarian. His posts on the last thread are very familiar sounding. Of course there is the possibility of two such personalities….

  • Please do not feed the blabbering idiot troll.

  • @Paul Chefurka

    Troll much, LOL!

    Entirely irrelevant. What matters is that they will have the situation under control within a matter of hours.

  • @Kathy

    Oh yes, I must be a troll if I don’t agree with what is said here.

    That’s IDIOTIC!!

    I’m presenting facts, and truths, and you are all poo pooing for no good reason.

    Freaking retards.

    Nope, I’m none of the others mentioned.

    I have posted under a different name at least a year ago, but it was none of those.

    So this “highly likely” … is BULLSHIT!

    Geez, you guys and your mindless assumptions.

  • Alright I calmed down. How about we all chill out and stop flinging our poo at each other?? Yes, we’re crazy hairless apes, but let’s at least pretend we have an inkling of higher development to us.

    I went back over the last thread, and really there’s only a few people who are calling me names and what not. A few of the replies were rather civil and supportive to at least the notion. So thanks for that.

    Heck, I’m a loser as well. It seems we’ve all done our parts trying to research, and inform others of what seems to be going on, and how we may be able to get through this, to no avail.

    Pretty damned depressing attempting to help out over and over again, only to be shutdown by the troglodytes.

    Meh, I’m a different shade of grey, that’s for sure, but still a human being all the same.

    So this is me extending my hand to the community. If it gets slapped away, so be it.

    Up to y’all. <–Texan!

  • I don’t think it matters if you believe in NTE or not, but please recognize that this site is about NTE.

    If everyone would just be civil, then we can all get along even if we disagree.

  • Okay guess I should introduce myself in full.

    My name is Brandon Ross Chapman. I turned 30 last year. I reside in Frisco, TX, atm, but plan on leaving city life for the lake house an hour south here towards the end of the summer this year.

    I exchanged a few emails with Guy about 2 1/2 years ago. He was one of the first guys (lol) that seemed to match up pretty damned well with what I was intuiting. I’ve been on CT forums for many years. When you first start off it’s rather overwhelming, but over time you learn to sift the BS from the pearls of truth. I wouldn’t change anything of my experiences, and lessons learned from searching for truth, overall.

    So I’m a funky lefty. After receiving highest marks on standardized tests year after year for mathematics and sciences, I received a letter from Duke Uni and was put on their “gifted and talented” list. Did the extracurricular’s like odyssey of the mind, chess club, went regional for problem solving a couple years in a row…that kinda stuff. I got incredibly bored with school and dropped as soon as I was 17. Tried the local CC, and it was even worse than my high school, so I ditched. Obviously, the institutions have been dumbed down for more than a century. Each generation it gets a bit worse.

    So I felt a change in the world around 2000. I was 17, had partied hard through high school, and burned out a bit. I started to notice things that didn’t seem to add up. I would flip the news on and notice big breasted blondes all over, and they seemed not to have a clue WTH they were talking about. That was a tell for me that something wasn’t right. I remember the news as a child. It wasn’t the same.

    2001, 9/11 attacks happened, and again something felt very odd. I remember witnessing the insanely disproportional emotional reactions to the horrifying events, and realized this energy was being cultivated and swayed towards hidden agendas. That was the beginning of going on CT boards. I will keep my opinions towards that topic to myself, as they’re irrelevant at this point, and I honestly have not any one understanding of what actually went down. Only that we weren’t told the whole truth, at the very minimum.

    Well I was depressed for years. I liked to toke away the pain, but also used it as a meditative way to induce insights and enhance my intuitive abilities. I’m the kind of guy that can seem as if a complete idiot to a group of people, witness something as seemingly meaningless as a ball bouncing down the street, and come to some bizarre realization that will switch the group into thinking I’m now somehow brilliant, and their heads will hurt for a while, haha! We all got our funky processes going on, I’m willing to bet.

    It wasn’t until maybe 2005 that I had solidified my initial feeling of DOOM!! into something somewhat concrete. It was enough for me to now be concerned to the extent that I was obsessed with researching …. just about everything. On the CT boards, most everyone believes climate change is a hoax, so I had to deviate from that bunch on this one for a bit. I entertained the notion for a short while, and that actually reinforced just how far gone we seemed to be. I didn’t consciously grasp what profound effects this would have for us all, and what kind of time frame we were looking at. I simply knew it was a key focus that I needed to be aware of.

    I had a psychotic breakthrough the next year, in 2006. That was once I realized that society would inevitably collapse. I had a relationship with a woman, and she repeatedly lied to me. I kept attempting to tell her how this impacted me, and how this was immoral. She felt it was “normal”, ie culturally acceptable, and kept with it. I finally went berserk, realizing that a culture which accepts deception, manipulation, and lies as “normal” is doomed beyond repair.

    It was within the next year, that I started to extrapolate further, making pretty funky connections between things. I realized it wasn’t simply society which was doomed, it was civilization as a whole. I was fully aware of peak oil by this time, and intuited the climate models were way, way off. I came to conclude that we would continue on in our slumber until the end, and the government would damage control to keep the status quo, instead of being proactive and actually trying to lead us on a sustainable path.

    So I’ve been partially insane ever since this realization. For the last six to seven years, I’ve been bobbing back and forth between mania, and depression; hope that SOMETHING could happen… a series of game changers, changes of heart, whatever… to complete despair, not being able to empathize with people’s meaningless, small-minded thoughts and actions…

    That’s the story of CommanderCraCra. I’m not a troll, I’m a highly sensitive guy who can be a jerk, because he’s partially insane and terribly upset with the state of the world, and people in general.

    That’s the whole shebang… for whatever it’s worth.

    Brandon Ross Chapman

  • what is NTE?

  • Ah, that must mean near-term extinction.

    No, I don’t think we will become “extinct” I think civilization will collapse, and the vast majority will perish.

    I see no good reason to believe we can’t survive in small pockets of communities.

  • Commander, other than being highly intelligent, do you have any practical skills?

  • @pat

    Depends on how you qualify the term. I self-taught computer programming, and web design as a teenager. From there I went on to implement basic computer networks for local businesses in exchange for food and drink. I can operate any OS, troubleshoot it with ease, design and build custom computers, networks, etc…but that’s not all too practical for a post-collapse situation.

  • @CommanderCraCra, you do understand that, regardless of the latest emergency, Fukushima continues to dump radioactivity into the sea? That nearby sea life has 1,000 times the permissible level of radiocesium? That at least one reactor has totally breached and has hit groundwater? That the reactor “cooling” is not a proper recirculating system; they’re simply dumping water on it which is running off any which way it can, carrying with it radioactive contimanants?

    The referenced NYT article claims that TEPCO is “the only source of information.” So you must work for them, since you seem to have so much information?

    Regardless of the latest emergency, if you do the slightest bit of research, it’s clear that Fukushima is an ongoing low-level emergency.

  • Nope, don’t work for them, but you do show hypocrisy in your statement… unless, of course, YOU work for them, LOL!

    Look, it’s a tragedy, no doubt about it. It’s simply no where near an ELE, even at the worst case scenario unfolding.

    That’s why I said it would go back to, SNAFU. Because it is all fucked up, but not the doom porn event that some of you seem to be awaiting.

  • Great way to come clean, Brandon. I like it.

    Yes, extending systems thinking to its logical conclusion about the future of the human experiment can drive you crazy. I lived in the belly if the beast for over 50 years, doing software/firmware design. 2001 was a WTF moment for me too, when the existence of hidden agendas was suddenly obvious. I “got” Peak Oil, climate change and the whole interconnect bag of shit in about 2004, and it was a fast, steep downhill ride to a very dark place after that. I wanted to check out regularly over the next few years.

    Now I’m 62. I have no practical post-collapse skills except maybe the ability to die with a modicum of dignity. But I’ve come to terms with the knowledge I hold. That took some heavy lifting, and I’m glad I did it.

    Like you, I don’t think we’re headed for species extinction, though of course in a situation like this it wouldn’t take much of a black swan to put an end to that forlorn hope. I try to behave as though we’re not, anyway. If humans do continue and I hadn’t done my bit to shape the experience, I’d feel pretty disappointed with myself. I don’t want to die with that in my heart, whether my end is dignified or not.

  • true, when SHTF, you would be much better served with a background in agriculture! that is, if you can survive long enough to plant and harvest anything.

    I am 51, so, my best years are behind me. My levels of rage and frustration are not so high.

  • @pat

    I have been attempting to inform my parents of these intuitions, and the severity of the situation at hand. For the first few years, they believed I had gone berserk. Over the last few, they have realized I may be correct.

    The lake house is not my own. My father has informed me that we will have solar panels, water from air device, water pumped from the lake as second alternative from city, and a greenhouse. I plan on stocking up supplies for each of these in the case of a part failing.

    I would like to implement an aquaponic setup. Talapi should suffice. Herbs, and veggies up top. I’m going to watch over the house while parents stay in the city for a few more years yet. Will have apartment over the garage. Yep, I’m spoiled. We didn’t start this way. I remember poverty very well. They simply worked very hard, and are bright people.

    I keep envisioning various scenarios for the stages of the coming collapse. My hope is that events will occur which show most that we’re close to collapse, yet still order will be maintained. If such a scenario is realized, it would mean I could start to take control of the families resources, and come up with a gameplan to present to the gated community out at the lake for sustainability in the event that the lights go out.

    Not sure how this will play out, though. Honestly, I’d kind of like to end up in the southern hemisphere, and start up a small sustainable community in a country like New Zealand. I think getting out of the US, and the northern hemisphere is ideal before collapse. Hope we still have some years left before it really gets cracra.

  • @Paul Chefurka

    Thanks for the reply!

    Yes, I do agree that a “black swan” event or two could change the outcome from dwindling, to non-existence. I guess it simply does me no good to entertain the notion. I don’t see a reason in it. If it be the case, okay.

    We have had bottlenecks at least a few times in the past already, and thankfully made it through them. I think that if there are rats, and cockroaches, there will be humans. If you see the rats and roaches dying out everywhere, then you can start to think we’re all F’d.. lol!

  • The learned gentlemen of Greece almost uniformly represent women as breeding capsules bereft of social standing that seem to exude all kinds of poisonous liquids and grow snakes or some other kind of nastiness from their bodies.

    haha! The more things change, the more they stay the same. See: U.S. political theatre.

    Re: The birth of journalism. I wonder how long it took before people figured out you can’t believe everything you read? Well, I guess many still haven’t made that leap…

  • After becoming weary of the irrational belligerence here, I’ve been reading other blogs to keep up with the progress of NTE directly, instead of having to wade through the comments of people who are trying to come to grips with the end of life on this planet and having various degrees of success. I’m reading these:,94.50.html?PHPSESSID=dvacjb79ikmv6n353ap496mgb3

    in addition to my daily Desdemona Despair, Zero Hedge, The Automatic Earth, and John Ward’s “The Slog”. Lots of others are less than once a day, but you get the idea.

    I’ll check back once in a while.

  • CCC, I really doubt that you are insane (whatever that really means). You are more likely in great pain from realizing that the whole world is insane. Anyhow, the whole 2000ish time period also resonates with me. I have often mentioned to people that after the 1990s it seems as though I had stepped into another dimension (not that anything was that great before). Suddenly, down was up, up was down, and my highly trained empirical mind completely shorted out leading to my own ‘episode’ and dark night of the soul (which is ongoing).

    This was about the time that I really began to feel that nature was in serious peril and us along with it, though I didn’t know all the details. I am not sure what my state of mind would be if I had not connected on the internet with other folks that get it, because NONE where I live(d) have ever gotten it.

  • BC Nurse Prof,

    Thanks for the suggestions. It is very thick in here.

  • Brandon, just so you have some warning:

    2013-03-17 – Huge wildfire erupts in Sevier County (Tennessee), near Douglas Lake, 59 cabins destroyed:–198698821.html

    Quote: “Black Hawk helicopters, loaned by the Tennessee Army National Guard, airlifted water from nearby Douglas Lake to battle the flames. UPDATE: The wildfires in Sevier County near Pigeon Forge prompted state officials to declare a State of Emergency Monday morning.”

    Quote: “Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters confirmed that the massive fire at Black Bear Ridge Resort and Trappers Ridge destroyed 59 cabins, damaged 16 others and affected 160 acres.”

    (from his hypothesis)
    The seas, lakes and oceans are now pluming deadly hydrogen sulfide and suffocating methane. Hydrogen sulfide is a highly toxic water-soluble heavier-than-air gas and will accumulate in low-lying areas. Methane is slightly more buoyant than normal air and so will be all around, but will tend to contaminate our atmosphere from the top down. These gases are sickening and killing oxygen-using life all around the world, including human life, as our atmosphere is increasingly poisoned. Because both gases are highly flammable and because our entire civilization is built around fire and flammable fuels, this is leading to more fires and explosions. This is an extinction level event and will likely decimate both the biosphere and human population and it is debatable whether humankind can survive this event.

    Be careful out at the lake . . .

  • so much for journalism (obedience at home):

    Big Ag Wants to Rewrite the Law So That You’ll Never See This

    Do you have a right to know where that steak on your plate came from?

    Should it be legal to photograph chicken farms and dairy cows?

    Big Agriculture says you don’t and it shouldn’t. Armies of Big Ag lobbyists are pushing for new state-level laws across the country to keep us all in the dark. Less restrictive versions have been law in some states since the 1980s, but the meat industry has ratcheted up a radical new campaign.

    This wave of “ag-gag” bills would criminalize whistleblowers, investigators, and journalists who expose animal welfare abuses at factory farms and slaughterhouses. Ten states considered “ag-gag” bills last year, and Iowa, Missouri, and Utah approved them. Even more are soon to follow.

    (oh, there’s more . . . )

  • CCC sorry I pegged you wrong. You see Sean the mystic kept coming back with a new identity and your bit about going to the moon was classic Sean.

    To bring you up to speed on Near Term Extinction

  • And CCC when the grid goes down we get 439 nuclear plants melting down and no one to fix them (the ability to pump gasoline and diesel depends on electricity and I bet no one bothered to stock up on a big bunch of hand pumps) Doesn’t matter if it goes down from lack of fuel, lack of infrastructure repair, EMP or solar flare. When it goes the radiation flows.

  • @Bailey

    Hey. Yea, I so needed to connect with somewhat like minds on the internet, else I would have … IDK, but not good.

    As for the dark night of the soul bit, well I have my own sense of the spiritual, but don’t believe in a God, or afterlife. There are times when I can let it all go because I’m aware that the conditions for life exist all throughout the cosmos, and we’re likely one of many higher forms of life out there. That’s enough for me to be okay with this… for the most part.

    The madness comes from not wanting to believe we’ve already crossed the point of no return. Hearing the “I can’t do anything about this”, instead of something more like, “together WE can overcome this”.

  • @Kathy C

    No worries, I can more off as an idiot jerk from time to time. I can be an idiot jerk as well. My apologies.

    Yep, those nuclear reactors are going to go kablooey once the lights are off. I still don’t think that’s a reason to think we’re all going to die here in the US. There is something called, “hormesis” which seems to have a little backing to it. Essentially, the notion is that we have always been bathed in radiation from the beginning of life, and we can adapt to fluctuations to a certain degree, within a given time frame.

    I think of this like the variations human beings can have to pollution, or food allergies, or specific potentially poisonous chemical substances. We all have different limits of how much we can take in without becoming ill. We also can adapt over time in response to changes of the amount we’re intaking.

    Intuitively, I think this exists with radiation exposure. We all likely have different abilities to deal with a set dose. It depends on the exact isotope, as to it’s natural half-life, it’s biological half-life, whether we inhale or swallow it, etc, etc… some of the isotopes we can deal with rather easily.

    Basically I think that even if all these reactors melted down, some of us would make it out of it. Some of us would be able to reproduce. Perhaps some of us would evolve out of this mess.

    What some people seem to not be taking into consideration, is that are numbers are more than ever before. I believe that unless the conditions truly were oh so severe, and the change so rapid, that some of us would “find a way”.

    That’s just my intuition on it. Could be off.

  • *our

  • CCC
    I agree with your view of the likely future if not with your view of a tech fix. Looking at the geological record, there is no tipping point that we have not set off sometime in the past, the worst being the Permian extinction. Having said that, massive die off is pretty much a given, as you have stated yourself. NTE is still a possibility given the speed at which we are loading the atmosphere with carbon and the difference in the configuration of the continents compared to the Permian.

    It seems to me that it is extreme hubris to believe with certainty that we know the final out come. I don’t think anyone can say for sure at this stage of the game that all life or that all human life will go extinct. Nor to I believe that anyone can say for sure at this time that there will be survivors. I can not say for sure that my actions or the actions of others will be able to influence the outcome. I feel that this inherent uncertainty means that I have a responsibility to act.

    BTW, 439 Nuclear reactors and their spent fuel melting down will not cause ALL of us to die from radiation poisening. Some of us will die that way but most of us will die early from various forms of radiation related cancers and a few will, at least on the surface, escape all together. The worst effects will be in the industrialized and heavily Nuclear north. Seems like there is some justice in that.

    As far as post apocolyptic survivor skills are concerned, you don’t get those by hanging on to the old life style. You get them either from walking away and creating something better, as Guy and I am sure others of you are doing, or resisting, as I and others are doing.

    Nobody pays you to resist, so you need to learn the basics. You have to be able to live outside under all conditions, scrounge for food, and cook that food in some novel ways. Becoming nomadic is also a great skill you learn that will be useful in a rapidly changing climate. Also moving under your own power, hiking and biking are all requirements for many resistors. Use of tools, making tools out of wrecked infrastructure.

    In my case, part of my resistance took me to New Orleans a week after Katrina and for the next six months. I know what it is like to live in a largely (almost but not totaly) deserted urban area without a functioning grid. I learned from some real experts in post apocolyptic technology while I was there.

    In my travels I have learned to purify water, cook with the sun or a rocket stove made from tin cans using very little wood for fuel. How to use junk car batteries, even flood batteries to hold a charge and supply small amounts of electric. Strip cars of their 12 volt lighting, radios, etc and put them to use. (It’s only illegal if the cops happen to need slaves that day to fix up their facilities with people sentenced to “community service”

    So, were all going to die sometime. Maybe even by natural causes if we are old enough. Either way, you might as well resist. Some here seem to think the idea of going down fighting is somehow immature, or maybe unenlightened. Sit down and go through your stages of grief until you come to that comfortable do nothing state of acceptance. I think acceptance of total extinction is a cop out, a way to excuse yourself of the responsibility that our knowledge makes incumbent on us. Trust me, resistance feels good. There is nothing more comforting and calming than fighting back.

    No one can guarantee that your efforts will be effective, that’s the way it goes, but it’s better than doing nothing.

    Find your local resistance in whatever form it is taking and join it. (if you have not already). Get out in the street and yell at someone, or whatever it takes and you can do.

    Carpe Noctem

  • On the topic of media serving the powers that be, another great article by John Stauber:

    and another link coming in the next comment…cause it’s funny:

  • funny link:

    Commander, I tend to think we are headed for NTE, and it’s too late, for two reasons (among many others, of course):

    1. ocean acidification, which is unstoppable, worsening, and destroying whatever’s left that we haven’t eradicated already and

    2. a parallel ecosystem collapse on land, primarily from pollution (tropospheric ozone), which is causing a widespread, global dieback of forests and other vegetation.

    Oddly, both of these trends are now well-documented in scientific literature, but rarely (especially the latter) discussed.

    We simply can’t survive without trees and phytoplankton.

    As far as rats and cockroaches…I expect that the population of omnivorous scavengers, like crows and raccoons, will flourish temporarilly, but eventually they will go the way that bees, butterflies, and frogs are already going…going…gone.

  • This is one and a half minutes of weird:

  • okay, it’s apparently fake, skip it.

  • CCC and others – just a note – we have not seen a nuclear plant melt down without huge remediation. At Chernobyl they used 500,000 people in the all out effort to prevent it from melting through to the ground water, which if it had occured some say would have been death for Western Europe – see The battle for Chernobyl – start about about 32 mins, although I would recommend watching the whole program – if the heat managed to crack the cement slab a new explosion could be set off, comparable to a giagantic atomic bomb, experts concluded the explosion would have had a force of 3 to 5 megatons, Minsk would have be razed and Europe rendered uninhabitable. 439 is the number of nuclear plants in the world, I believe the total of the reactors is about 700, and then there are all the spent fuel pools. 700 time 3 is 2100 megatons if they all blow like Chernobyl would have with out the huge efforts to contain it. The largest nuclear weapon ever exploded was 50 megatons. Heck the planet might even break up, earthquakes all over for sure.

    Likewise huge numbers of people and equipment are being used in Fukushima.

    After the grid is down there will be no remediation for forest fires either, they will burn uncontained – no planes dropping water and chemicals, no fire trucks, nothing. They will burn until they run out of fuel.

    All this has to be survived in a world in chaos from peak oil, collapse of the grid, and increasing warming.

    CCC I am sorry, but this is a good time to be old. You who are younger, I feel for. I have two grandkids…..

  • This spells bad news for the Arctic sea ice, which may well disappear altogether this summer.

  • BTW when the grid fails another thing that won’t happen is that active deep sea well will not be plugged and plugged wells will not be maintained.
    More than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells lurk in the hard rock beneath the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental minefield that has been ignored for decades. No one — not industry, not government — is checking to see if they are leaking, an Associated Press investigation shows.

    California State Lands Commission / The Associated Press
    An older nearshore wellhead is shown off the coast of California in this undated photo. In state waters, California has resealed scores of its abandoned wells since the 1980s, but in federal waters, the official policy is out-of-sight, out-of-mind. Neither industry nor government checks for leaks at the more than 27,000 oil and gas wells abandoned in the Gulf of Mexico since the late 1940s. Abandoned wells are known sometimes to fail both on land and offshore. It happens so often that a technical term has been coined for the repair job: “re-abandonment.”
    The oldest of these wells were abandoned in the late 1940s, raising the prospect that many deteriorating sealing jobs are already failing.

    The AP investigation uncovered particular concern with 3,500 of the neglected wells — those characterized in federal government records as “temporarily abandoned.”

    Regulations for temporarily abandoned wells require oil companies to present plans to reuse or permanently plug such wells within a year, but the AP found that the rule is routinely circumvented, and that more than 1,000 wells have lingered in that unfinished condition for more than a decade. About three-quarters of temporarily abandoned wells have been left in that status for more than a year, and many since the 1950s and 1960s — eveb though sealing procedures for temporary abandonment are not as stringent as those for permanent closures.

    As a forceful reminder of the potential harm, the well beneath BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig was being sealed with cement for temporary abandonment when it blew April 20, leading to one of the worst environmental disasters in the nation’s history. BP alone has abandoned about 600 wells in the Gulf, according to government data.

    There’s ample reason for worry about all permanently and temporarily abandoned wells — history shows that at least on land, they often leak. Wells are sealed underwater much as they are on land. And wells on land and in water face similar risk of failure. Plus, records reviewed by the AP show that some offshore wells have failed.

    Experts say such wells can repressurize, much like a dormant volcano can awaken. And years of exposure to sea water and underground pressure can cause cementing and piping to corrode and weaken.

    “You can have changing geological conditions where a well could be repressurized,” said Andy Radford, a petroleum engineer for the American Petroleum Institute trade group.

    Whether a well is permanently or temporarily abandoned, improperly applied or aging cement can crack or shrink, independent petroleum engineers say. “It ages, just like it does on buildings and highways,” said Roger Anderson, a Columbia University petroleum geophysicist who has conducted research on commercial wells.

    Despite the likelihood of leaks large and small, though, abandoned wells are typically not inspected by industry or government.

  • As a family physician, I treat more mental health issues than almost anything else – primarily depression and anxiety. While these aren’t textbook definitions of insane, I find that the following are good enough for me:
    1) if you think that everything in our modern world is going just fine, then you’re probably crazy (or in a coma);
    2) if you see everything going on around you – really “see” it – peak oil, climate change, etc., and aren’t flipping out, then you’re probably crazy;
    3) if you think God is in control and “He” is going to fix it or that everything is just part of “His” plan, then you’re probably crazy.

    I could probably come up with a few more, but I suspect you get the idea. :-)

  • Is anyone else watching the Arctic ice crack, crumble and dissolve in real time today?

    Sample comments:

    Yeah, the cracking from Morris Jesup is basically merging with that coming across the Lincoln Sea. I had hoped the MYI around Lincoln would hold faster than this.

    this is truly amazing to watch in real time. kinda horriying, but amazing nonetheless.


    For the record; I do not think that any sea ice will survive this summer. An event unprecedented in human history is today, this very moment, transpiring in the Arctic Ocean. The cracks in the sea ice that I reported on my Sierra Club Canada blog and elsewhere over the last several days have spread and at this moment the entire sea ice sheet (or about 99% of it) covering the Arctic Ocean is on the move. Clockwise. The ice is thin, and slushy, and breaking apart. This is abrupt climate change in real-time. Humans have benefited greatly from a stable climate for the last 11,000 years or roughly 400 generations. Not any more….

  • @The REAL Dr. House

    A craze is a bout of emotional instability. So crazy would be something along the lines of continuous bouts of emotional instability. I have this, but only in response to an insane culture. One that keeps doing the same things over and over again, expecting “progress” as the only result.

    So within the confines of an insane culture, I am somewhat crazy. Better to be sane and crazy, than insane and dim-witted.

    @Paul Chefurka

    No. I haven’t seen this yet, but will check it out momentarily. I have been feeling unusually depressed for the last 48 hours. Have been trying to do everything to push it off, but it’s a pretty horrible feeling, atm. I get these before, and during great world events.

  • Looks like the Southwest hasn’t seen the worst of it yet, not by a long-shot… -Hamlet

    Monsoon failure key to long droughts in Southwest:

    …researchers used samples from 50 to 100 trees at each of 53 different sites throughout southwestern North America. The team’s climate analyses focused on NAM2, which covers most of Arizona, western New Mexico and northern parts of the Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua.

    Griffin said, “It was a massive undertaking — we employed about 15 undergraduates over a four-year period to measure almost 1 million tree rings.”

    The results surprised him because rain gauge records for the Southwest from 1950-2000 show dry seasons alternated with wet ones.

    However, the team’s new multi-century record going back to 1539 shows that the wet/dry pattern of the latter part of the 20th century is not the norm — either prior to the 20th century or now, he said.

    Griffin said, “Before I moved to the Southwest, I didn’t realize how critically important the summer rains are to the ecosystems here. The summer monsoon rains have allowed humans to survive in the Southwest for at least 4,000 years.”

  • Deception IS normal. We evolved deception as an adaptation. Mama birds will feint a broken wing to draw a predator away from her nest, a lizard will change color to blend into it’s local environment, a fish dangles a fleshy lure to ensnare prey.

    And when humans move their lips, it’s almost always a deceitful narrative of socially acceptable rationalizations for behavior.

    “I had a relationship with a woman, and she repeatedly lied to me. I kept attempting to tell her how this impacted me, and how this was immoral. She felt it was “normal”, ie culturally acceptable, and kept with it. I finally went berserk, realizing that a culture which accepts deception, manipulation, and lies as “normal” is doomed beyond repair.”

  • @Hamlet Jones

    We’re human beings, not lizards or mama birds. They don’t have complex systems of morality. They’re operating far more instinctively than we do. It’s a false comparison.

    What is natural is for us to be compassionate, and altruistic. Honestly would naturally flow from this. It is the culture which corrupts our nature.

  • @ Hamlet J.

    And when humans move their lips, it’s almost always a deceitful narrative of socially acceptable rationalizations for behavior.

    @ CommanderCC

    What is natural is for us to be compassionate, and altruistic. Honestly would naturally flow from this. It is the culture which corrupts our nature.

    Hahahaha, I think there is truth in both those statements, but they both VASTLY oversimplify.

  • The Commander instructs: “What is natural is for us to be compassionate, and altruistic. Honestly would naturally flow from this. It is the culture which corrupts our nature.”

    You are being facetious, right?

    It will be said that mankind was ultimately a failed experiment. Although endowed with great technical prowess, the species was entirely lacking in wisdom and long-term thinking.

  • @ Friedrich K.

    I’d say SOME ofthe species was entirely lacking in wisdom and long-term thinking.

    Let me bequeath

  • Hmmm. Regarding spent fuel rod storage in the US: “… Each Fukushima spent fuel pool holds about 100 metric tons, he says, while each US pool holds from 500-700 metric tons. A single pool fire would release catastrophic amounts of radioactivity, rendering 17-22,000 square miles of area uninhabitable. That’s about the size of New Hampshire and Vermont – from one pool fire. … The atomic bomb that exploded at Hiroshima created about 2000 curies of radioactivity. The spent fuel pools at Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant (U.S.) are said to hold about 75 million curies. … And that’s just one US nuclear plant, out of 104 …”

    What world will we leave for the future generations? A dead one.

  • Thanks Makati1. Only a few thousand activists know those kind of details about nuclear power, which is probably about the same number who knew about them in the 1970’s when I read Barry Commoner, and people, like California Gov Jerry Brown opposed nuke power even before the first meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979. But Fukushima is already out of sight and out of mind thanks to the corporate media, and those kinds of horrific facts which weren’t revealed to the public even at the height of the crisis, will, of course, continue to be hidden. But at least the corporate media gives people constant updates about Kim Kardashian, so the citizenry can remain well informed on some vital issues.

  • another day, more evidence of species die-offs:

    Monarch butterfly numbers drop by ‘ominous’ 59%

    The number of Monarch butterflies making it to their winter refuge in Mexico dropped 59 per cent this year, falling to the lowest level since comparable record-keeping began 20 years ago, scientists reported Wednesday.

    It was the third straight year of declines for the orange-and-black butterflies that migrate from the United States and Canada to spend the winter sheltering in mountaintop fir forests in central Mexico. Six of the last seven years have shown drops, and there are now only one-fifteenth as many butterflies as there were in 1997.

    In the Hamilton region, Monarchs have been faced with a loss of habitat for many years said Jen Baker, Head-of-the-Lake Land Trust Program co-ordinator for the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club. Milkweed, the Monarchs’ main food source as well as where they lay their eggs, has been decreasing in the region.

    “Milkweed can’t necessarily grow in fields that are sprayed for weeds. It might be good for crops, but it’s bad for milkweed,” she said, adding that invasive species also pose a risk.

    “Dog Strangling Vine is an invasive plant that is a cousin of the milkweed. We’ve found some females will lay their eggs on the vine and the babies die because that’s not their food.”

    Both planting milkweed and trying to control the Dog Strangling Vine population are both efforts the Naturalists’ Club encourages, Baker added.

    The decline in the Monarch population now marks a statistical long-term trend and can no longer be seen as a combination of yearly or seasonal events, the experts said.

    (there’s more)

    Once the pollinators are gone, who’s going to do that job?

  • Monday night, a power outage at the Main Anti-Earthquake Building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station suspended operations at three spent fuel pool cooling systems and other critical plant facilities. TEPCO was later criticized for a three hour delay between the power outage and their notification of the event to the press.

    After further investigation, TEPCO announced that the switch gear in the process building, common fuel pool, and Unit 3 and Unit 4 switchgear had been found to be not operable. Workers were unable to determine what caused the boards to stop functioning, as no visible damage was found. They later repaired two of the boards, but are currently using an emergency power generator to restore cooling for the Unit 4 spent fuel pool while the Unit 3 spent fuel pool and common fuel pool are still not restored….The Unit 4 spent fuel pool (1,533 spent fuel assemblies) and the Common fuel pool (6,377 spent fuel assemblies) both house enough spent fuel pool assemblies that the decay heat still given off is capable of heating up over 40 degrees in less than a week. The Unit 4 spent fuel pool has the highest temperature increase rate, due to the full core offloaded in the already over-packed fuel pool, two to four times faster than that Unit 1 and Unit 3 spent fuel pools.

  • Per Fukushima Diary however the cause has been found – a mouse

    A mouse might have caused Tokoyo to be evacuated … irony abounds.


    U.S. scientists find Fukushima cesium in turtles, whales, fish

    and they’re using that to track migration patterns (so no worries)!

  • but this is closer to home and more disturbing:

    Experts: Oil ‘blizzard’ in Gulf from BP disaster — “It just sucked everything out of the surface” — Red layer fell on seafloor, nobody knew what it was — Could cause significant damage to ecosystems (AUDIO)

    Oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill acted as a catalyst for plankton and other surface materials to clump together and fall to the sea floor in a massive sedimentation event that researchers are calling a “dirty blizzard.” […]

    The consortium, which includes researchers from FSU, Eckerd College, the University of South Florida and Georgia Institute of Technology, confirmed the never before observed dirty blizzard hypothesis by using thorium, lead and radiocarbon isotopes in addition to DNA analyses of sediments. […]

    The oily sediments deposited on the sea floor could cause significant damage to ecosystems and may affect commercial fisheries in the future, [Jeff Chanton, Professor of Oceanography at Florida State University] said.

    The dirty blizzard hypothesis explains why layers of water that would normally be cloudy with suspended plankton instead appeared transparent during the spill, except for strings of particles falling to the bottom.

    “The oil just sucked everything out of the surface,” Chanton said.

    (listen to the 3 and a half minute audio)

  • Meanwhile in Cyprus In a radical departure from previous aid packages — and one that gave rise to incredulity and anger across the country — euro zone finance ministers forced Cyprus’ savers to pay up to 10 percent of their deposits to raise almost 6 billion euros. Parliament was due to meet today to vote on the measure, and approval was far from assured. The decision prompted a run on cash points, most of which were depleted by mid afternoon, and cooperative credit societies closed to prevent angry savers withdrawing deposits.

    Guy maybe your economic collapse prediction is coming – 6 months late

    Several links concerning it here including one with comments from Paul Roberts

    Disclaimer I don’t agree with the basic worldview (religious) of the extinction protocol but he’s a good source for certain types of events going on in the world. And by posting the link to his site I avoid the dreaded one link only or your are put into comment moderated mode :)

  • The Threat of Nuclear War in an Age of Eco-Collapse and Peak Everything

    (from a quoted source in the above article)

    We’re all potentially crazy…

    Consider the high level of tension between nuclear nations now, and add the fear, chaos, and madness societies will feel as ecological collapse from energy shortages cuts off access to water, energy, food, and recovery from natural disasters. Many nation(s) might be driven to threaten or actually drop the first nuclear bomb. All nations are vulnerable to unpredictable social and political movements generated by a terrified populace past the carrying capacity of their natural resources The only nuclear power within carrying-capacity after peak oil is Russia. The USA has a carrying capacity of 100-250 million without fossil fuels (Pimentel, Smil).


    Planet reeling from spasm of quakes: seismic stress could be building towards an event

    The planet is currently reeling from a dense spectrum of moderate to light tremors, which have struck along major tectonic plate boundaries over the last 18 hours. As a precursor to this seismic dynamism; we have seen elevated activity at many of the world’s volcanoes, including hotspots in Hawaii, Etna, and the Canary Islands. The latest spat of seismic activity across the globe has every indication of being a precursor to a major seismic stress release, which I have forecasted since last week. This event could be hours, or even days away. The window of elevated hazard risk, at present, extends through March 23, and is annunciated by the spring equinox.

    Just more warnings of even more problems besides Peak everything, economic collapse, disease and pestilence spread, drought, flooding, societal breakdown, nuclear radiation, species extinction, ocean acidification, early and complete Arctic ice melt (probably this summer), methane and hydrogen sulfide release, vegetation death from tropospheric ozone contamination (among other things like nanoparticles of toxic cloud seeding materials) . . . .

    This may be the year it all falls apart (though i predicted it would be a bit further on). Stay tuned.

  • “We’re human beings, not lizards or mama birds. They don’t have complex systems of morality. They’re operating far more instinctively than we do. It’s a false comparison…What is natural is for us to be compassionate, and altruistic. Honestly would naturally flow from this. It is the culture which corrupts our nature.”

    Since “WE” created the culture, it’s impossible to blame “culture” for our corrupted nature. If you wanted to create a list of all the compassioate, altruistic social movements across history and stack that up against all the wars, conquests, genocide, slavery and injustice I have a feeling our complex system of morality isn’t going to dominate.

    Paul C., you don’t need to go to the Arctic to watch disintegration (although it’s quite riveting, I agree). You can just go to your nearest park, suburban yard, or woodland, and do an inventory of broken branches, splitting, peeling, oozing bark, holes and cankers to watch ecosytem collapse in real time.

  • @ Gail

    Since “WE” created the culture, it’s impossible to blame “culture” for our corrupted nature.

    Culture created US. Culture came FIRST. Proto-hominids had culture before Homo evolved.

  • Just to document the effect economic problems have on society (including, among many more: furthering breakdown in standards of living, code enforcement and inspections, response to municipal problems like fire, water main breaks, gas leaks and in this case the effect on courts and police – and therefore crime rates)

    Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has pulled prosecutors out of all traffic court and domestic violence cases after her office laid off 22 prosecutors due to budget cuts. Now, with Detroit cutting its police force to a dangerous level, the chances of getting caught in a crime is much lower in the city and, if that does occur, the case may be dismissed due to a lack of a prosecutor.

    (concludes with)

    This week, Worthy has pulled out prosecutors in traffic and domestic abuse cases, which have been dropped for lack of prosecution. That could pose a serious danger for abused citizens in domestic cases where the alleged abusers are being given an effective pass. However, Worthy insists that “my prosecutors … are overworked, underpaid, [and] have too much to do” after budget cuts to her staff.

    Worthy, however, does have time to sue the county executive on the grounds that the budget for her office does not allow her to fulfill her constitutional duties. Such budgetary decisions are viewed as a political question generally. For a court to order the spending of more money would raise significant questions under the separation of powers doctrine and the political question doctrine.

    Detroit’s fall into an urban nightmare is the result of decades of poor leadership, including scandals involving its police chief, that has now resulted in a fire department asking to allow buildings to buildings to burn, street lights turned off at night, and the termination of other basic services.

    coming to a town near you

  • Meanwhile…

    An Associated Press analysis of federal payment records found that the government is still making monthly payments to relatives of Civil War veterans — 148 years after the conflict ended.

    Read more:

  • ulvfugi modifies: I’d say SOME ofthe species was entirely lacking in wisdom and long-term thinking.

    What do you mean by “SOME”?

    I suppose we find ourselves in the present situation due to an outpouring of selflessness and strategic planning?

  • @Tom

    “The Threat of Nuclear War in an Age of Eco-Collapse and Peak Everything.”

    Even one of the leaders within the FBI believes there is a 100% chance of an WMD launched in the U.S. Couldn’t get any crazier, or could it?

    “The probability that the U.S. will be hit with a weapons of mass destruction attack at some point is 100 percent, Dr. Vahid Majidi, the FBI’s assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, tells Newsmax.”

  • the problem was that “the some” were the big guys with the big sticks.

  • @ Friedrich K.

    I mean ‘some’.

    A sweeping generalisation, that says that all individual humans, or all human cultures, or all human groups, are, or have been, equally lacking in wisdom and long-term thinking, is obviously incorrect.

    @ pat


  • @ Carmen

    Even if he believes that to be true, it’s a completely different matter to make it a public statement and crank up the paranoia, which, I am certain, is being done for a reason.

  • @ Gail Since “WE” created the culture, it’s impossible to blame “culture” for our corrupted nature.

    @ U Culture created US. Culture came FIRST. Proto-hominids had culture before Homo evolved.

    Some say the chicken came before the egg, some say the egg came before the chicken, however eggs make chickens and chickens make eggs.

    Unless you want to posit aliens creating a culture for us slave humans to work in, we humans are responsible for our culture and we humans are affected by the culture we created.

  • @ Kathy C.

    Why do you want to make nonsense out what is established science ?

  • I personally don’t see any point in the blame game. Unless I’m missing something, I have some choices to make:

    If I believe that this is all really happening, that Guy is right and there is NOTHING that can be done to stop it, and that it is going to happen in the NEAR TERM, then I have make a choice between several options:

    1) stay put, and even though I believe it all, act like nothing is happening and go to work every day, pay my bills, and enjoy whatever time I have left.

    2) fight, and, like Jesse Schultz, resist the Machine as best I can wherever I can.

    3) withdraw, escape the US and find somewhere with low population and no nuclear power plants.

  • U: IMO, all she is saying is that it doesn’t really matter, and I agree.

  • more on the economic collapse point

    COMPLACENCY BUBBLE (short intro by admin)

    in which an featured article by Paul Farrell concludes with this:

    Bond crash dead ahead: tick, tick … boom!

    Do the ticking math … tick … tick … tick … boom!
    Osterland relies on some solid numbers to make his point that the market’s turning has already begun and will spiral down and out of control: “The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond, just under 2%, is up more than 35% from the record low in July. Investors are almost certainly going to see negative real returns on their Treasury portfolios in the first quarter, a rare event that many feel has the potential to trigger a wider selloff in the market.”

    And adding to the selloff risk, we’re coming into federal tax season and a couple more debt ceiling cliffs: “With the Federal Reserve keeping short-term rates near zero and long-term rates near historic lows with its bond-buying program, there’s little room for further price appreciation. That means … interest rates have nowhere to go but up.”

    And unfortunately, he warns that “a rapid rise in interest rates would bludgeon many existing bond portfolios. Simple bond math holds that a 1-percentage-point rise in interest rates would result in a roughly 1% decline in prices for every year of a bond’s duration.” Yes, “bludgeon” your portfolio once rates start ratcheting up.

    InvestmentNews takes its responsibility to America’s 90,000 professional financial advisers seriously and in this “Special Report: Tick, Tick … Boom!” it’s painfully clear it sees enormous danger ahead for a millions of complacent investors who “have no idea what’s about to happen to them. … Tick … Tick … Boom!”

  • @ wildwoman

    interesting link – the crazy part is that the anti-nuclear movement is no further along than it was in the 70s.

  • @ Tom

    your posts on this thread ALONE make the case for complete despair

    we truly have created “Hell on Earth.”

    plenty of people on this site have posted that there is nothing left to do, it’s over, just live each day as if it was your last and love the people around you as much as you can

  • @ pat

    IMO, all she is saying is that it doesn’t really matter, and I agree.

    Yet you still think these matter ?

    1) stay put, and even though I believe it all, act like nothing is happening and go to work every day, pay my bills, and enjoy whatever time I have left.

    2) fight, and, like Jesse Schultz, resist the Machine as best I can wherever I can.

    3) withdraw, escape the US and find somewhere with low population and no nuclear power plants.

  • it doesn’t matter to me if culture came first or not, that’s all.

    I guess I left out an option:

    4) blow my brains out

  • @ pat

    I suppose I have been on the Beach of Doom rather longer than you have, I’m way past pondering those options. I don’t think comments here are confined to what matters to you or to Kathy C. ?

    She, and others, often complain if comments stray from a scientific or factual basis.

    The well-established scientific consensus, in this instance, is that the appearance culture preceded the evolution of human beings, and indeed, influenced the evolution of human beings. That’s something that anybody interested in understanding human beings really ought to be aware of, imho.

    We might not be able to do anything about this mess that we are in, although that’s no reason to give up. But, personally, I still find it interesting to think about and discuss how we got into this mess. Culture is central. Sorry that it doesn’t interest you.

    As part of a series of US nuclear weapon tests known as Operation Crossroads in 1946, a 23-kilotun nuke called Baker was blasted at about 90 feet underwater at Bikini Atoll and caused a tidal wave that reached over 2 miles high. The images that resulted from the test are breathtaking, both in the beautiful and terrifying sense. The vertical movement of such an immense body of water, shape-shifting from a dome to a mushroom cloud, is somewhat operatic. However, zooming in closer and seeing the naval ships being lifted by an unruly mass of nature like a few fragile toys is a frightening sight.

  • Pat exactly. You seem to have a good deal of good sense. :)

  • But not to worry a new culture is coming The Vatican is going to announce that aliens are real and set the stage for one world government. No doubt the aliens are used to warmer climates and acid oceans. :)

  • The National Snow and Ice Data Center, on their webpage Greenland Ice Sheet Today showed surface melt on the east side of the land mass nearly every day in January, February and early March. Then about a week ago, all that information was removed, and the site now shows zero surface melt for the entire year.

    So forget what you saw. It’s all good now.

  • U: The well-established scientific consensus…

    good, now we know. I’ll spread the word.

    Can we put together a compendium of “well-established scientific consensus” that we may consult on a regular basis so as not to burden ourselves with tiresome debates over matters already decided?

  • @ pat

    Well, I’ll disregard the silly facetious tone, and just say that if you wanted to fix the mess, you’d first need to understand it and what caused it, otherwise you’ll likely just make things worse. Like treating a sick patient, first diagnose the illness correctly. You seem to be another who thinks ignorance is a virtue.

  • U “You seem to be another who thinks ignorance is a virtue”

    You wouldn’t be slipping back into calling people names again would you?

  • Tom, I have become so calloused to the economic collapse prospect after hearing it repeatedly for decades, that I am left with the conclusion that it will not happen (except for these consistent little bumps) until the environment is shot. Why? Because energy + technology = economy.

  • Oh, and you can add ‘advanced civilization’ into that equation above.

  • @ Bailey

    And technology + economy = energy. Energy = civilization.

    Civilization will crash either when energy supplies begin to dwindle or the economy collapses from over-complexity, thereby causing energy supplies to be curtailed. To a first approximation, the whole house of cards depends on energy.

    Food is a particular form of energy that could dwindle pretty fast if the global temperature spikes or goes chaotic over the next couple of decades.

  • @ Commander

    Thanks. I’m familiar with it.

    @ Kathy C.

    I shall disregard that sill facetious remark. Grow up.

  • @Paul Chefurka

    “Food is a particular form of energy that could dwindle pretty fast if the global temperature spikes or goes chaotic over the next couple of decades.”

    I agree and that is when the die-off begins in earnest. With the way trends are appearing within the global climate model that may happen sooner rather than later.

  • U – that remark was to remind you that you have a history of falling into really nasty name calling. Don’t get started again. You are the one who needs to grow up. You think that you are the expert on everything, and insult anyone who has a different opinion. When you dismiss another’s opinion with a wave of your almighty hand you provoke people, probably intentionally if not consciously. I thought the Near Term Extinction blog was where you were supposed to shoot your mouth off so we could have a discussion not dominated by your insistence that you are the expert on everything. Like BC nurse I am “becoming weary of the irrational belligerence here” and will take a vacation from this site.

  • The equation is incomplete. You’re forgetting about the cultural and social aspects of civilization. One could make an argument that it will naturally spring out of such abundance in energy due to technological advancements, but I think it’s more likely to create a tension towards it’s development.

    The reverse could be applied, in that a decline in energy would bring about a tension towards a lack of civility; however, the social, political, and cultural terrain would factor in to an extent.

    It depends on all above factors combined, AND the rate of decline over time. If but a slight to moderate decline were realized, the tension would likely swing more towards innovation, rather than incivility, overall.

  • “We’re human beings, not lizards or mama birds. They don’t have complex systems of morality. They’re operating far more instinctively than we do. It’s a false comparison.”

    Bullshit. ALL behavior is/was at the service of reproductive fitness, however complex. Abstractions, such as concepts of “morality” are excellent examples of the complex adaptations of apes, some monkeys, dolphins, etc. Hydrocarbon-industrial-culture is a completely different environment than that which we are optimized for. Evolution has been left far behind. In the current context, many behaviors that served our ancestors well are now fitness detractors. Eating too much fat is but one example. These aberrations often throw-off students, and for some, provide a rational for flushing evolutionary science in favor of religion/politics. (Reproductive fitness, again!)

    “What is natural is for us to be compassionate, and altruistic. Honestly would naturally flow from this. It is the culture which corrupts our nature.”

    We ARE compassionate, and this emotion developed to serve fitness. Tribal members who could neither express compassion nor fake compassion were ostracized. They got fewer genes into the next generation. Honestly is a modality that also serves fitness. Yet, deception is one of the animal worlds most effective adaptions for increasing reproductive fitness.

    True-altruism is a myth. Everyone expects a benefit or return on investment (usually subconsciously). Just because YOU can’t instantly recognize YOUR selfish motivations, doesn’t mean that your genes are clueless too.

    You need to stop being arrogant and start reading some evolutionary psychology. Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, would be a great start.

    You have potential, don’t blow it. Many of the best minds were drop-outs.

  • @ Kathy C.

    You also have a history. One of provoking unnecessary discord.

    I do not think I am an expert on everything. I know for absolute certain that I am not.
    I’m interested in getting better understanding of everything.

    Gail stated that ‘we invented culture’. That is not supportable.

    You then reduced the discussion to nonsense.

  • @Hamlet Jones

    I don’t disagree. It was an oversimplified response, in a state of dark depression, at the end of the night.

    We are in flux between opposing forces at all times. It can’t be correctly ascertained or simplified as to us all being entirely selfish, or entirely selfless. The truth, as usual, tends to lie with a synthesis between the two extremes.

    I posit our “nature” is rather fluid, and that we are all seemingly similar, yet genetically, and epigenetically expressed, unique beings. Overall, we are selfish to the extent that we must be fit to survive, naturally. This fitness depends on the current terrain, whether that be environmental, cultural, or social.

    I guess all I was attempting to transmit was that it’s a bit more fluid than being merely selfish, or selfless, though I failed miserably. It’s basically both at the same time, depending on a variety of factors. I was trying to say that the ruling class has tools which culture us against each other, and for their benefit. This culture which has evolved over time makes the average person MORE selfish than is best for the species, overall.

    Not sure if any of that makes sense. I’m aware of my selfishness, and battle myself on what seems to be best, every moment of my life.

  • @ Hamlet Jones

    Beg to differ. Selfish Gene is mostly bullshit.

    Genetically we have scarcely changed for millennia, other than minor things, it’s all been cultural. Dawkins genetic determinism lasted about a decade, along with all the nonsense about ‘junk DNA’.