Can civilization survive ecological collapse?

by Michael Thomas

People often speak about nature in the context of it being seen as a system next to, or in opposition, to civilization. But, if we are to analyse the situation in the context of system theory, we realize that nature is really the overarching system within which all other systems on this planet exist.

The overarching system is always more complex than the subsystems (Luhmann, Ecological Communication). Overarching systems often show emergent properties, which are properties beyond the sum of the individual performances of the subsystems (for instance the ability of multicellular organisms to function as a single being, or for the human brain to solve complex problems without the necessary preparation or conscious thought.)

In the past we had the overarching meta-enviroment, regional environments, and then human societies as subsystems of these regional enviroments. This meant that destructive ecological behavior would only damage a relatively isolated enviromental subsystem, and the diversity and connection to non-damaged ecosystems would enable it to recover.

Today, we see a global civilization greater than all but the overarching natural system. We see nations and corporations competing with climactic factors in influencing the state of ecosystems. Recent research by Barnosky et al (2012) indicates that when 50% of small ecosystems are in an altered state, then the overarching system no longer becomes viable in its current state: it shifts states.

So what happens when a global civilization crosses the overarching limits (according to Barnosky, 2012, this happens at 50%, and we are at 43% right now), and thus disables enough subsystems that the overarching system is no longer viable in its existing sta? This is what one would call ecological collapse, an intensification of mass extinction, and it is a threat within our lifetime.

This is bigger than climate change: a much bigger inconvenient truth.

Thus if civilization is a subsystem of the overarching system nature, which we are threatening to destabilize, then how can we expect a subsystem to survive the collapse of the overarching system? How will civilization react when the basis upon it sits shifts? How will humanity react?

And most important: how can we act now to help avoid having to answer these questions? I think a good first step is sharing this kind of information. People are only able to help in an emergency if they are aware one is going on, take responsibility, and know how and decide to help in the situation (Darley and Latane,1968).

Sources:

1) Barnosky et al. 2012. “Approaching a state shift in Earth´s biosphere.” Nature, 486, 52-58.

2) Luhmann, Niklas. 1986. Ökologische Kommunikation.

3) Darley, J.M., Latané, B. (1968a). “Group Inhibition of Bystander Intervention in Emergencies.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 10(3), 215-221.

________________

Michael Thomas hails from Boston, Massachusetts, but currently lives in Germany, where he studies biology. He is politically active and interested in working with anyone who shares his passion for humanity and truth. This essay originated at Exposing the Truth.

________________

Personal insults will no longer be tolerated on this website. Those who cast insults at others will be warned publicly, and then blocked.

That didn’t work. My appeal for civility fell on deaf ears, so I’ll try another approach.

Two posts each day. That’s the new limit. Your third post will be deleted. Do it a few times, and you’re blocked.

________________

McPherson was interviewed for BlogTalkRadio last night. The result is archived below.

Listen to internet radio with Radio Akasha on Blog Talk Radio

Comments 350

  • good, no more personal insults, that is fantastic.

    And most important: how can we act now to help avoid having to answer these questions? I think a good first step is sharing this kind of information. People are only able to help in an emergency if they are aware one is going on, take responsibility, and know how and decide to help in the situation (Darley and Latane,1968).

    “…decide to help…” you mean like reusable grocery bags and such?

    The only “help” that would do any good would be a shut down of industrial civilization asap (but, of course, we need someone to shut down the nuclear power plants and secure the nuclear materials).

  • Looking the devil in the eye… Maybe the FEMA camps aren’t such a bad idea, when the time comes. Awful thought.

  • Can civilization survive ecological collapse?

    No.

    (It will transform to something less than a civilisation, if humans make it. There is no reason that it will be an easy, nor unsuccessful, adaptation both behaviourally and morphologically for us.)

  • Guy,
    Does this example below of Elfbuggerer’s indirect attack and harrassment from the last week count as casting insults? The man can obviously shred someone without directly using bad language or ad hominem or direct insults. I, for one, need some very much clearer and specific guidelines. When elfbuggerer can actually challenge the statement that many people do not want him on this blog by saying ‘show me’ he is clearly living in his own reality. I could count and link the now hundreds of requests he leave but his condition prevents him from seeing.

    This man is a skilled provocateur and can stab someone in the back very subtly – what is an insult?

    ulvfugl Says:
    April 2nd, 2013 at 6:50 am

    @ pat

    …but there are more of us that wish he would go away

    “You know this ? How ? (she knows this by reading the comments from the people who want you to go away. Simple technique, you should try it) Do you know how many people read this site and what their views are ? I am also a long time NBL devotee, I’ve been reading Guy’s stuff as long as anyone.

    Your own contributions over recent threads have been nothing but constant ad hominems and complaints. Everyone could do that, too, because every single reader would find someone here with some view point or characteristic that they REALLY didn’t like. It just goes around and around and gets nowhere.

    I asked you before. Do you actually have any views on anything ? Like DGR ? It’s rather surprising, given your devotion, that you only just discovered DGR, considering how often it’s been mentioned here, since years ago. Or do you only want to talk about ME ?

    Again, is the above insults, attack or within accepted limits of adult discourse? Even if he does not directly insult anyone I still do not want to read (have to scroll by) his endless screeds of self-import and cleverness. Without being directly insulting he can still be corrosive, undermining, harrassing and overall unpleasant and still leave most of us not wanting to be here.

    I personally would like to see Elfbuggerer gone no matter how polite he can become because I will always know he is a fake.

    I think clarification and elaboration are in order.

    Thank you

  • yes, I vote for blocking ulvfugl.

  • Hey, UF provides great links and reality checks. Don’t engage on the personal! Who cares at this point all things considered if feelings get hurt. His contributions outweigh a few bruises now and then, or always. IMO.

  • Madmanintheattic, it’s subjective and therefore challenging to make this call. I’m asking for civility, again, because some here are losing the ability to maintain civility.

    I’ve been very accommodating to perspectives and language with which I don’t agree. But when long-time readers and commentator feel threatened and then leave, I will step in.

  • @ Brad

    Hi Brad, yes, isn’t weird how NTE twists personal conceptions out of shape. Those simple folks, who are, as far as I can tell, basically decent and honest, trying to figure out SH, conclude that UN Agenda 21 for population reduction and environmental protection, etc, is a plot to kill them, as the nazis did the jews, and that the transition town movement is part of that plot. So now, the transition thing, which began as an attempt to survive collapse, and which Guy supports, collides with a different kind of survivalism, the ones who believe that the NWO is an elitist and corporatist conspiracy to reduce the ordinary ‘god-fearing’ christians… who, unfortunately, do not understand any science, do not believe any of the stuff about climate change, and are very suspicious and afraid. Who gets to decide who goes to the camps ?

  • Sorry I butted in, Guy. This is your site and I think you are right that everyone here should feel welcome. When I first came here a few months ago I complained to high heaven about the long metaphysical microscopy blocking the tenor and flow of the actual conversation on topic. That’s one of the reasons I started the NTE ning thing. It’s built for topic driven conversation and also has plenty of space for individual expression. With one pipeline it’s too hard to keep the mix just right.

  • Brad Phillips Says:
    April 2nd, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Hey, UF provides great links and reality checks. Don’t engage on the personal! Who cares at this point all things considered if feelings get hurt. His contributions outweigh a few bruises now and then, or always. IMO.

    You know, Brad, we have given the Psychopaths EVERY FUCKING THING. We have given them our lives, our money, our minds, our children and our planet. Elfbuggerer has his own website with forum capabalities, you went and built and financed a forum website for getting things away from here. But is that enough? NO FUCKING WAY This psychopath has to have it all. His own website, a forum site someone else set up for him and he STILL HAS TO INTEREFERE HERE.

    This is the ESSENTIAL FUCKING PROBLEM of our culture played out in microcosm on this website: WE LET THEM TAKE IT ALL. And then we let them take some more. Now the gentle amongst us can’t even have a single column of comments to ourselves. There shall be no place for Pat to be who she is because we want the FUCKING PSYCHOPATH TO DEFINE US FOR US. Sure he gives great links and comments (if I could keep my breakfast down to read his bullshit) and he makes good god damned sure no one else is going to say anything contrary or weak without him giving that person a good ass-reaming just because HE CAN and he can because WE LET HIM just like we let all the other psychopaths slaughter our children and ruin our planet and make our lives miserable.

    One reason psychopaths are tolerated is because ordinary people cannot believe such evil actually exists. It does. Right here right now. That’s why I say weep not for the bees, weep not for us. We don’t deserve tears – we let these psychopath pieces of shit like elfbuggerer fuck us over and fuck over the planet just like Elfbuggerer is fucking over the gentle among us to the point they don’t want to be here. AND WE FUCKING WELL LET THEM!!!! and we still let them.

    We don’t deserve tears, we deserve exactly what we got.
    If you let Elkfucker stay most will leave and the rest of you will get exactly what you deserve – another psycohpath overlord right in your living room screaming at you through your computer.

  • @ madman

    it’s true, once a community is formed with like-minded people beginning to congregate, it’s only a matter of time before the whack-jobs show up and ruin everything. And, yes, we let them…

  • My sympathies are with you completely, Madman.

  • @Madmanintheattic

    Yes, Thank you! Well said! Barry

  • From Jed Diamond, Ph.D.

    There seem to be two movements who are responding to the limits on resources. One group wants to conserve and change our life-styles so that there is enough for all. The other group wants to grab as much as they can for themselves and hope the “riff-raff” die off before they get angry enough to fight back. Which group are you in?

  • @madman
    It’s true, I don’t read everything here. I tend to go thru these threads looking for links and videos I can post on the NTE site. I originally came here looking for kindred souls so I wouldn’t feel so lonely while grieving the end of life. I got caught up building the NTE site and keeping it up to date and trying to make it more useful and that became my focus, replacing the loneliness but not the grief. Anyway, I’m sorry about your feeling disrupted and abused. I guess you should do what you need to, to settle the problem. I do miss some of the commenters who seem to have gone away. Maybe your solution will bring them back.

  • @ Guy McPherson

    Personal insults will no longer be tolerated on this website. Those who cast insults at others will be warned publicly, and then blocked…..I’m asking for civility, again, because some here are losing the ability to maintain civility.

    You asked me to be civil, in a way that was very respectful and gracious, and the least I can do in return, is to respect your request, and try and be civil.
    I really don’t care if people are rude or hostile to me, it doesn’t bother me. Personally, I don’t want anybody blocked, or to leave, I’m not asking for that.
    We have an very important interesting new topic. I wish people would discuss that, would be more interesting than their obsessive gripes and grudges against me.

  • “(according to Barnosky, 2012, this happens at 50%, and we are at 43% right now),”

    I would love to know how the 43% was calculated considering the complexities of the biosphere….. seems kinda low to me. Great essay.

  • I would love to know how the 43% was calculated considering the complexities of the biosphere

    The 43% is calculated from the percentage of land use by humans. In addition, the life support system that is affected, and is already showing signs of shift, is double that — 86%.

    See here:

    https://grist.org/climate-energy/were-about-to-push-the-earth-over-the-brink-new-study-finds/

  • I still say that ulvfugl should be blocked.

  • if anyone other than Guy brings it up, he trashes them

  • @ Barry

    Yes, Thank you! Well said!

    Except that it’s all nonsense, frothing at the mouth. Why direct all that misplaced rage at me, a person who has worked most of his life one way and another, in wildlife conservation, trying to avoid this terrible state of affairs ? It’s like a caged animal biting the steel bars. Absolutely pointless. It’s not ME that’s responsible for the latest Exxon oil spill, all that shit, I have not driven a car for years and years. I’ve been into spreading permaculture since Mollison first published his book. I’ve gave up everything for the stupid notion of trying to ‘save the planet’ until I realised how daft it was. Now some of you people here want to project all your animosity and vindictiveness onto me. Lot of good that’s going to do. Madman wants to claim the moral high ground as one of the ‘gentle ones’ ? Sigh.

  • Except that it’s all nonsense, frothing at the mouth.

    Exhilarating, fiercely honest, brave, lucid nonsense. Apparently.

  • Have to agree with madman. I’ve been reading this blog for about 6 months now, daily at first, but lately with less and less frequency or enthusiasm. This board is dominated by uv, and anyone who dares to post ‘in his house’ (especially on a regular basis) is subjected to his overpowering opinions and never-ending stream of comments. Yes, Brad, he may contribute useful links at times, but so would those of us who decide never to post after seeing other posters attacked, ridiculed, and dominated by his strong opinions.
    “This is the ESSENTIAL FUCKING PROBLEM of our culture played out in microcosm on this website: WE LET THEM TAKE IT ALL. And then we let them take some more.”
    Those who dominate (like the msm) create the reality and the atmosphere in which the rest of us have to exist and operate. UV is like the loud abrasive guy in grad school-nobody else can get a word in-unless they become like him/emulate his dominant competitive behavior; this is how his views become ascendant, by drowning out others. By not moderating this behavior we are all forced into a competitive and aggressive style
    or, as in the case of all those readers on this site who have come and gone, to opt out.

  • Elfbuggerer said:
    We have an very important interesting new topic. I wish people would discuss that, would be more interesting than their obsessive gripes and grudges against me.

    Except that whenever ANYONE says anything he consideres weak, off-topic, not ‘good,’ not aware enough, etc he ATTACKS. This fake “I’m-so-misunderstood-and-abused” BULLSHIT from the psychopath is a deflection obviously.

    Anyone who takes any time to parse Assfuckers writings will see just how self-contradictory he is.

    And, no, Elfbuggerer, I am not wanting “to claim the moral high ground as one of the ‘gentle ones’” rather I speak for myself and FOR the ‘gentle ones’ who need a buffer against evil stinking shit like you. (Okay, there is a direct insult so in the normal frame of things I will get reprimanded for fighting evil. Of course. The psycohpaths go on to ruin the world and the blog and … oh, fuck it, you all know the story …)

  • “Can civilization survive ecological collapse?” If the civilization in question is ours(usa) or other globally interconnected westernized societies, then probably not. (Yes, I could be wrong.) Why am I pessimistic? We, in capitalistic societies, refuse to recognize limits to aggregate human activities, we have refused to integrate ecological economics (or other holistic methods) with business and government. With no effective balance sheet to track all three, avoidance of catastrophic ecosystem(s) impairment seems highly unlikely. Yes, there may be a lot of human survivors that ponder this era’s artifacts, but without much inexpensive energy and with much degraded climate and hollowed out ecosystems, it is hard for myself to visualize how the rate of surplus wealth generation could be high enough to support civilizations much more affluent than that of, say, North Korea.
    Have a good day, enjoy the descent, if so inclined.

  • Sabine,

    I totally agree. Guy should have blocked him long ago.

  • @ Sabine

    Yes, well, I went along with the quiet gentle timid ones for the first half of my life, watching things get ever worse, then I watched as Ed Abbey and Dave Foreman and Judi Bari came along and stopped being quiet and timid, and said ‘We’re not putting up with this shit any more’. I’ve paid my dues. I know my stuff. Madman has been trying to pick a fight with me for a long time, probably mostly over his kundalini yoga thing. I don’t know, I don’t care. It’s embarrassing, when the guy can’t even click on my name for my blog and has to ask for help. It’s Guy’s blog. He’s asked for civility. I’m being civil. If Guy asks me to leave, I’ll leave, out of respect for the man, and his achievements and sacrifices. As for the rest, imo, respect has to be earned, can’t be demanded.

  • Out come the credentials once again, laid out in a row like a deck of cards. The pretend reasonableness. The special pleading that your repulsiveness is a figment of people’s imagination. It’s unbearable.

  • @ Martin Knoght

    It’s unbearable.

    I feel your pain, hahaha. So, WHY NOT DISCUSS THE TOPIC ?

  • Long time lurker, first time commentator.

    While the Industrial Plutocrats march in lock step destroying everything most on this site hold dear, you are worried about what one person, who you will never have to meet and can ignore with a flick of a cursor, says?

    Why do people with good intention in their hearts so often feel so besieged in their positions? If you feel as strongly about what is discussed here as I suspect you all do, what does it matter that a voice, however consistent, challenges you.

    Most on this site seem to fall into two categories. It is to late; or, yes we are in deep but lets fight on regardless. Either way how can one dissonant cord matter. If to late, nothing really matters and just get on with it. If the good fight, the voices arrayed against us are far more stringent and biting.

    Push aside the walls that matter.

  • It is to late

    ===========

    I don’t want to interfere with this lynching-in-progress but it’s too, not to.

    Carry on and make sure the rope is secured properly.

  • @ pat

    There seem to be two movements who are responding to the limits on resources. One group wants to conserve and change our life-styles so that there is enough for all. The other group wants to grab as much as they can for themselves and hope the “riff-raff” die off before they get angry enough to fight back. Which group are you in?

    What a perfect example of a dualistic, Manichean false dilemma/forced choice/bifurcation fallacy. There are, of course, far more than those two simplistic positions available. I vote like I now do in politics, for NOTA – None Of The Above.

    To start with, there is not, indeed can not be, “enough for all”. That’s a non-starter unless one is willing to define “enough” as being a level well below what most of the world already has, and then sanction those who will inevitably break that barrier (see The Tragedy of the Commons).

    My recent Thermo Footprint analysis of humanity hints that “enough for all” involves a maximum of 50 million people living as hunter-gatherers. In that situation there might be enough for all, assuming that “all” is also to include the other species that share this mudball.

    An obvious third category is all those well-meaning people who don’t have a clue that there’s a problem, who are just doing what they’ve learned is right and proper – being good citizens who just want a little better life for their kids than they had themselves. I’m not talking just about rich, fat, ignorant Americans and Canadians and Europeans here – I’m talking about everybody from London and Paris to the slims of Dhaka and the favelas of Rio. I would bet that 90+% of humanity falls into this category.

    I’m in still another group, one that seems the smallest by far – those who are completely aware of the predicament; are aware of the complete lack of any solution; aware of how fast the sands are running through the hourglass; aware of just how hard it’s probably going to get, and how fast.

    With this realization firmly in mind, I have resolved not to blame anyone for our situation, to keep looking for new understanding, to foster inclusion rather than exclusion, love over hatred, harmony over conflict, and to keep doing the right thing right till the end – not because it will “save” anything (it won’t), but just because I feel it’s the right thing to do.

  • @Kyooshtik

    Chastised and chagrined 🙂

    On belay.

  • @ Randy

    Hi Randy in Prescott, and welcome here,

    It is to late; or, yes we are in deep but lets fight on regardless.

    My position straddles those, it is too late, but still the only right thing to do is fight on, as a matter of self-respect.

    Yes, the Koch Bros must have a good giggle if/when they ever see the silly petty stuff here.

  • @ Randy

    Because there is a wolf in the henhouse, and the farmer does nothing.

  • Here is part of an email I sent to Guy yesterday in response to a message from him. I told him I’d come back today to read the blog.

    “Guy, I do appreciate your support of free speech. Unfortunately, humans are dangerous animals that require guidelines for acceptable behavior; otherwise, the entire group is undermined. We’re living this basic premise every day in our dying world…

    The result of U’s continued dominance and others like him is the absence of gentler, kinder, more introspective, more interesting and balanced voices. The fact that Kathy C, for example, has to take a hiatus from the blog is pretty telling–and pretty depressing.

    You are in the fringe and in a tenuous position ideologically, so what you allow to develop on your blog is especially important PR. If you permit personal attacks, hubristic diatribes, and general ugliness, the malignant ones win, and you lose. And from what I’ve seen, U doesn’t respect you–he uses you and your platform…

    When bloggers set up some rules, they are not quashing the expression of the actual message; they are simply establishing proper etiquette. That’s all this boils down to: if folks play nicely and with some manners, they can get just about any piece of information out there they want to. If they can’t do this, they are probably too limited in sensibility to listen to anyway…

    …The sociopaths already own the entire world as their playground. Why give them free rein here?”

    I mentioned a blogger who maintains two rules: no insults and only a certain number of comments per person in a given time period. When someone is insulting another, I think it’s quite obvious. And restricting the amount of comments in a given day is not onerous.

  • one of ulv very frequent “contribution” (for a bully who is always talking about others “not making as significant «contributions» as him”: hahahaha

    it is true, it has been true all my life, the bullies always rule. we are essentially food for them, and they will never have enough and will fight to the last bite. they are perversely stronger.

    I always thought that I would not have survived very long in a concentration camp, and I always wondered who survived???

  • ulvfugl Says:
    April 2nd, 2013 at 10:17 am

    @ Martin Knoght

    It’s unbearable.

    I feel your pain, hahaha. So, WHY NOT DISCUSS THE TOPIC ?

    Notice how he directs us to the topic when so many times in the past, when we have wanted to be on topic, he has VIOLENTLY told us he can discuss whatever he wants, whenever, with whomever to any extent and has gone on to fill the comment column with endless off-topic bullshit. Now, to suit him and deflect attention from his pathology, he wants to stay on topic.

    More self-serving mimicry which just IS NOT GOING TO WORK, Elfbuggerer

  • @ Paul C.

    What a perfect example of a dualistic, Manichean false dilemma/forced choice/bifurcation fallacy.

    Crikey Moses. Yup, I fell into one of those once. Needed surgery.

  • I always thought that I would not have survived very long in a concentration camp, and I always wondered who survived???

    Michele, people who were in concentration camps and lived to tell about it, often report that the inmates were of two kinds: those who looked out for others, forming kinships, secret languages to thwart the authorities, and never forgetting their common humanity, assisted all they could, often at great cost to themselves.

    Then there was the other kind: those who took advantage of weakness, preying on vulnerabilities, snatching what they could.

    Both kinds survived the camps.

  • I think elfbuggerer has violated this blog long enough, it would be nice to have him blocked.

  • @ ulvfugl

    Agreed on both points.

    @ Martin Knight

    Sheep in wolves clothing at most. The real wolves are far more dangerous.

    Generally speaking nature is a mean and nasty place, not kind and gentle. Any hope of progress on our side of the equation requires the ability to confront our detractors, whomever they may be, with the same intensity and focus they have shown for the last 10,000 years.

    Obviously only my opinion, but I do not think the meek will inherit the Earth. Nature suggests otherwise.

    On the plus side it is a beautiful day in the Arizona highlands, so that makes me smile.

  • What would Bob Teague do? That’s what I ask myself whenever I’m confronted with a dilemma like this.

  • Hahaha, so, now everybody thinks it’s much more important to throw some rotten fruit at ME. Forget the topic. Forget the request for civility. Instead of discussion, Guy McPherson’s blog becomes spectacle. Mad monkeys throwing shit. Everybody whose ego has been slighted over the last months by my sharp tongue thinks that they might have their chance at revenge. I think it is truly pathetic.

  • Elfbuggerer said: Madman has been trying to pick a fight with me for a long time, probably mostly over his kundalini yoga thing. I don’t know, I don’t care. It’s embarrassing, when the guy can’t even click on my name for my blog and has to ask for help. and what do the last dozen or so words in this quote even MEAN? Is he using a secret language now? Here is an insult or attack I do not understand.

    The above is an interesting example of the false compassion and humility this pathology can mimic. Additionally his attachment to the kundalini yoga thing. When was the last time I mentioned that? Can you see how he invents things from whole cloth? Moreover though, after the violent and degrading insults and attacks I have endured from this p.o.s. in the past, notice now his illness genuinely allows him to think that I would ask him for help. The magnitude of this delusion is astounding.

    First there is the psychotic assumption this man has anything to offer.
    Second that after shitting on me, he thinks I would then turn to him for help.
    Thirdly he thinks I care about him (“trying to pick a fight”) any more than I care about exterminating the fox stealing my chickens. Psychopaths cannot be considered human but he considers himself a saviour if not universally then at least of me and/or this blog.

    In a nutshell his delusion and pathology is clearly indicated in the BULLSHIT attack on me that I am embarrassing because I won’t ask a known psychopath and egomaniac for help. (IS that even what he means? Does he even know what he means? I think we see him now loosing his cool – his mimicry cannot hold)

    Does anyone else here see just how fucking BIZARRE this thing-in-human-form is? Can you see the artificial reality he has created for himself into which he now sucks me as if I am a poor benighted sod he could save?

    My skin crawls.

  • now everybody thinks it’s much more important to throw some rotten fruit at ME. Forget the topic. Forget the request for civility.

    More mimicry and rationality showing two sets of rules: one for Elfbuggerer and one for the rest of us. Rule set one allows Elfbuggerer to say what he wants on any topic and go on endlessly with discussions about entropy and thermodynamics and other egomaniacal self-aggrandizement

    BUT

    rule set number two says we should stay on topic when it suits Elfbuggerer wanting to deflect us from what a p.o.s. he is.

    Clearly the topic of the dominant psychopath on this blog is much more important to the participants than the obvious notion that civilization CANNOT survive without ecology. There – discussed – now back to watching the psychopath squirm with the lights on him. Squirm, psychopath, squirm.

  • @ Randy

    I appreciate what you are saying. If I am reading you right, you are wanting to lend perspective about a quarrel on this blog. But I respectfully suggest that your entreaty is a classic example of looking through a telescope backwards.

    The people here have the perspective. Otherwise they wouldn’t be here. But they can’t speak their sentences freely and without fear. And it does matter. It matters to the people here, so it matters.

  • That didn’t work. My appeal for civility fell on deaf ears, so I’ll try another approach.

    Two posts each day. That’s the new limit. Your third post will be deleted. Do it a few times, and you’re blocked.

  • @ Madman

    Just embarrassing.

    I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

  • Guy, you are fantastic! Thank you. I’ll be reading your blog until the lights go out for good.

  • But they can’t speak their sentences freely and without fear

    Just get rid of Ulfvulgar and the problem is solved …

  • U will eliminate himself. He has a blog that no one reads and a special playpen forum here for his utilization.

  • I’m blocking myself. You’re pretty much all a band of puerile morons.

  • I’m going to address the people issues I have seen in the comments here because they seems to have dominated the thoughts of many and detracted from discussion of the article. It represents a derailment and an example of how difficult people can mess up a good thing down the road in difficult survival scenarios.

    Some long time “preppers” who are intelligent and have studied philosophy and theology have come to the conclusion that the most important preparation is prepping for people. By that, they mean one must be prepared to deal with the difficult, unstable, untrustworthy, domineering,… and other toxic types after civilisation takes a nosedive or reaches successively deeper declines which will trigger negative responses from those inclined to be negative. Dmitry Orlov recently wrote a fine blog on how to deal with trust, or lack thereof, between individuals or within groups. It is well worth the read. http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-untrustworthy-and-trustful.html

    I have a personal example to share on the topic of toxic people. I have an old friend who is quite domineering and likes to confront people on topics of politics and religion. He is educated, well read on issues that support his ideologies, and seems to argue as if he is auditioning for a spot on a Fox News talk show. His methods are often rude and abrasive. He claims free speech as he abuses and seeks to make opponents prove him wrong with numerous, rapid fire response posts. Then he practices his counterpoints on those unwilling to sacrifice half the day, every day, to respond to every allegation, insult, fallacy and wild assed, ideologically based assertion. He pays little attention to his own use of fallacies in “debate.” He is more interested in the sound of his rhetoric to his own ears, and he relishes “victory.” This is the sickness of a large ego commingled with just enough intelligence and determination to clog up the discussions of honest and respectful seekers of truth and solution. I consider it good troll work by a fearful person, who has aligned with a group of pontifical ideologues, so the he can face collapse with a strong team on his side…

    So I tolerated him posting like this on my Facebook page for some time. Sometimes I engaged. Then I usually ignored his auditions. Then, one day, he decided to interject in a long discussion I was having with a family member. He came into it angry and self righteous with the intent to defend the Church from some insult. He insulted my family member by insulting me. She was flabbergasted that this guy shows up from out of the blue like an enraged holy knight. She let him have it, seeing him clearly for what he was, and let him know it. I decided then that that was enough. I blocked him. Then I posted more opinions on my page that I knew he would object to, but they were ones I believe to be both important and valid. He must have had an aneurysm when he tried to respond. He unfriended me as a result. I consider that a good thing because I will not have to worry about mitigating the toxic effects of his relations with people important to me in the future. I also feel better not seeing his spew on my page. Let him dominate his own choir, sycophants and family. He is a toxic authoritarian personality who will seek to be in charge of any group he participates in. These people need to be shunned and removed from any functional group that believes in truth and fairness.

    So, back to prepping for people. Be wary of the untrustworthy, the vehement ideologues, the control freaks, and the big egos. Being a functional tribe requires mutual respect and good communication skills among the members. People must both listen and be listened to in an honest effort to do what is best for the tribe. It requires patience, love, trust, honesty and respect. As Orlov points out, one toxic individual can irreparably ruin a functioning group. It is a very tall order for people who have been busy being narcissistic, controlling consumers to take these new values to the next level in a survival challenging world. Will they be able to prevent themselves from being toxic to the group? Can a stubborn old dog learn new tricks? Some people will simply need to be avoided, ignored, contained, shunned, or sent packing. Failure to do so when it is needed will be calamitous for your group. I believe preparing for difficult people is an essential preparation in a survival situation. Do not let your wells be poisoned. Protect your assets and eliminate your toxic impediments early, and good people will have your back. Your best bet is to know the toxic ones first and keep distance from the start. We cannot afford to repair those who can destroy many by their very nature. Let them plants seeds elsewhere. The EROEI is not worth it.

  • thank you Guy! I totally think that works – now we can see two posts a day from MANY MANY people and that will be nice.

  • good, it’s finally done, I will be posting again after several years of just looking…

  • You know, here is my opinion as to what mostly derails the threads here; Folks who cannot stop getting their shorts in a bind over U and who will not stop the witch hunt. There I said it. Go ahead and accuse me of being one of his ‘demented supporters’ (or whatever such bullshit). This is not a judgement call as to ‘who’s right and who’s wrong’ but just that some won’t give it up.

  • What a shame.

    Well, thanks for everything everyone. i got a lot out of this blog, took nothing anyone said personally and couldn’t give a shit what anyone else thinks – just read and take what i like and ignore the rest.

    i’m really surprised this devolved just like it’s going to in the real world around us all soon. If you can’t get along, cooperate on solutions – what’s the alternative, killing each other – is that what it is to be human?

    I’m with Paul, without the name-calling (but thinking similarly).

    i’ll read and see how this turns out.

    If anyone would like to continue a conversation with me i’d be glad to have Guy forward my address to them. i appreciated everyone here (and ignored what i didn’t like about you).

  • From the pen of the Great Grand Daddy of Psychopathology, Robert Hare’s Checklist

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

    You be the Judge

  • Eric G., you wrote a wonderful, informative comment. Thanks for that. People who don’t confront the toxic among us are usually overly kind to their own detriment. Many who haven’t dealt with these types of toxic personalities on a one-to-one basis simply don’t understand.

    Guy, thanks for experimenting with some rules. I enjoy your blog because of all the rich information and have been lurking, reading the older posts pre-ulvfugl.

  • Whatever this bulletin board has devolved into it sure as hell ain’t agrarian anarchy and that is what I came here for in the first place. If you recall how Guy defined agrarian anarchy as being responsible for your neighbor. This seems more like Lord of the Flies.

    Can civilization survive ecological collapse?

    It can’t survive a bulletin board system never mind ecological collapse.

  • my 2nd and last post of the day (since new rules imposed):

    NTE means nobody and nothing survives.

    Alex Smith, radio ecoshock:

    AGRARIAN ANARCHY

    Total communes are very rare in America. Most of the rural communities I’ve visited seem to be composed of self-contained homesteaders who meet up to exchange skills and produce. In our interview, Guy advocates and explains “agrarian anarchy”. The agrarian part is pretty easy, but most Americans have been terribly propagandized against “anarchy”.

    Anarchy doesn’t have to mean masked people breaking windows in some urban protest. Agrarian anarchy has a long history in practice, and in literature, in Europe, South America, and North America. Some agrarian anarchist names you may know are Henry David Thoreau, Edward Abbey, and the alternative historian Howard Zinn. Read Guy McPherson’s defense of this way of life here:

    Defending agrarian anarchy

  • Eric Geiermann: excellent post. Thanks for sharing your insights.

  • Mike Thomas’s essay is excellent. The Barnosky paper he cites is a wake up call. I would like to mention another important paper relevant to the topic: “Tropic Downgrading of Planet Earth,” Science 333, 301 (2011). On the front page of this article there is a thought provoking quote from Daniel Jansen, who is one of the preeminent tropical biologists of our time:

    “What escapes the eye…is a much more insidious kind of extinction: the extinction of ecological interactions.”

    One of the ways that localized ecosystems could shift to another state is through the loss of a complex network of ecological interactions.

  • Here is a post to a blog I’ve been following daily. I can’t understand all of the science without multiple trips to Wikipedia, but you can get it without doing that if you wish.

    http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2013/03/looking-for-winter-weirdness-6.html#more

    Be sure to read the comments. The commenter that goes by “A-team” does some spectacular imaging using the National Snow and Ice Data Center and the NASA and U.S. Navy and Environment Canada public images.

    There are also many links there to other analyses worth your time.

  • Another blog with exceedingly dire observations about the whereabouts of the heat from the warming Arctic.

    http://eh2r.blogspot.ca/

  • Guy has made many compelling cases over the last few years – so much so that I fully intend this comment to be my last on this forum.

    Whether quiet, reasoned discussion or shouting from the rooftops is employed, it’s not going to change the course we’re on.

    Thinking and talking about it all the time isn’t going to change it. Weblinking to other realists tales of horror to come is merely feeding the fear within us and tainting whatever time we have left. I am sick of living in fear and exasperation.

    Imagine you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal disease and have five – maybe ten years to live. Would you sit around all day reading story upon story about other people’s terrible experiences of dying from that disease? Or would you get up out of your chair and LIVE?

    I intend to do the latter. There comes a time – past the point of no return – when ignorance IS bliss. I wish you well, Guy. You tried, you really bloody tried, but standard of living trumps ecology every damned time. And I’ve come to terms with that.

  • Love that Barnosky et al. and Latane & Darley make up 2 of the 3 references of this article. Yes, so far it seems we’re all “unresponsive bystanders” watching the destruction of Life on Earth.

  • ulvfugl Says:
    April 2nd, 2013 at 9:03 am
    @ Guy McPherson

    Personal insults will no longer be tolerated on this website. Those who cast insults at others will be warned publicly, and then blocked…..I’m asking for civility, again, because some here are losing the ability to maintain civility.

    You asked me to be civil, in a way that was very respectful and gracious, and the least I can do in return, is to respect your request, and try and be civil.
    I really don’t care if people are rude or hostile to me, it doesn’t bother me. Personally, I don’t want anybody blocked, or to leave, I’m not asking for that.
    We have an very important interesting new topic. I wish people would discuss that, would be more interesting than their obsessive gripes and grudges against me.”

    A really effective misdirect. Back in the day indigenous people would kill or ban psychopaths/sociopaths/uncooperative people from the tribe. Either was a death sentence.

    Tolerance is a virtue of a person without convictions; H. Chesterson

    There have now been several generations of people raised to be tolerant, “global-minded” and passive. It has gotten to the point where people who believe in their right to protect themselves are viewed as dangerous and labeled as “domestic extremists”.

    Good rant MMITA. People need to grow a pair pdq.

    On the topic of the article, the author is well-intentioned but still laboring under the idea that nature can be negotiated with. Pat put it well in an earlier post.

    There is no sustainable level of industrial civilization. There are already too many humans on the planet. There are no acceptable solutions that enables society to carry on. Life style changes inside the industrial/banker paradigm are nothing but hubris. There is no soft landing.

  • Never had a problem with ulvfugl, but it is easy to see how some here have had problems in the past. The song is chosen with an eye toward irony, evidently based on some truth, and not with any malice in mind.

    On the new post’s topicThus if civilization is a subsystem of the overarching system nature, which we are threatening to destabilize, then how can we expect a subsystem to survive the collapse of the overarching system?

    A subsystem is still a system…it may have resiliency and it might not. You can drive your car off a cliff…that sure does grossly disrupt the “overarching system”, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that your brakes (your braking system) won’t function perfectly at the bottom. Please don’t ask me how I know this, and for Pete’s sake, kids, please don’t try this at home.

    2-a-day…got it, chief…maybe more tomorrow.

  • Eric G. wrote the best post in a very long time. I would recommend everyone print it off and pin it on their foreheads. It will improve their future, however long it is.

    (second post today) 🙂

  • @ all the crusaders against the alleged mind crimes of Ulvfugl

    Anyone, who considers U to be a “psychopath”, clearly has no idea as to the actual meaning of the word. While occasionally displaying a penchant for aggressively attacking others ideas, which he vehemently disagrees, this doesn’t even qualify him as has having anger management issues.

    Should he limit his postings some days? Probably, at times I have cringed at his demeanor, and seemingly lack of self-deprecation, like accusing those who choose to fly, as being little Eichmanns, is a classic example of taking it too far, but then again, rarely do I cringe at his content.

    Looking back, I’m sure there are times when tempers flair in the heat of the moment, where we all say things we didn’t really mean……who here hasn’t repeatedly put their foot in their mouth?

    U is obviously a passionate human being, who has cared and probably done more to fight the system than anyone here. And frankly, I want his mind on this site, because in case a few of you have failed to recognize, U is one of the intellectual anchors on this blog, and his contributions to ALL things NTE–even things that I disagree with–has probably more than anyone, helped shed a light into the greatest catastrophic event in human history. And of all the daily contributors here, as with Kathy C, Bailey, Paul C, BC Nurse, Ripley, Ozman, DL, Lidia, TVT, Badlands, WW and TRDH, I have the greatest affinity with his perspective. And concerning NTE, that’s a precious thing.

    What U is doing, is forcing other commentator’s to make sure they have truly thought through their ideas, and often times, many of us haven’t. No one likes being challenged. Everyone’s hair stands up when being called out. But this is how we learn. This is how we grow, and it often times hurts our feelings.

    An otherwise civil conversation can turn acrimonious at the turn of a word, and anyone who thinks U has a monopoly of on this, hasn’t spent too much time either online, or in any group of passionate activists. When it really matters, all there is, is a war of words.

    Does this make me a psychopath?

    And one last thing, needlessly calling people names, doesn’t help your cause in accusing others of name calling.

  • @ Daniel

    you are an apologist. U is a psychopath. he dominates this site and repels real posters from posting.

    already I’ve seen an improvement since Guy’s new rules!

    Kathy C. is a valued member. he chased her off. that is enough.

  • I do not usually read the comments bec there is so much ego.. as in most of these comments. I read to learn.(like where did the 43% figure come ..if off topic why comment?

  • Jean,

    Guy has cleansed the site of U’s BS, that is the topic.

  • @ melissa

    Now I’m apologist? It’s hard not to label those we disagree with…..isn’t it? And I don’t think you’re giving Kathy C enough credit.

  • @Daniel,

    No, you are not an apologist; you are a realist, and that cannot be marginalized by someone calling you “an apologist.” But then, you don’t need me to tell you that 🙂

    There is the law of unintended consequences: when you want to silence one voice, others may be silenced. I think of the numerous postings by Tom, who daily provides many links to topics of interest to many of us. With a two-post limit, these voices are silenced, too.

    When I read the title of this essay, “Can civilization survive ecological collapse?” I cannot for the life of me see how this morphs into becoming the topic “Guy’s cleansing the site of U’s postings.”

  • so glad U has been eliminated. long time viewer…

  • @ Judy

    most of us already know the NTE reality. U was making the discourse unbearable…

  • @rob,

    As another long-time reader who knows the NTE reality, I found my scroll wheel invaluable when I felt someone’s discourse was unbearable. Like I said, there are unintended consequences. Other voices have been silenced, too, in this particular witch hunt.

  • I think Daniel should be blocked. I’m a long time lurker and he is a troublemaker.

    For those wanting to make a difference and possibly turn this environmental nightmare around, may I suggest the following organizations.

    http://www.numbersusa.com/content/

    http://www.ukip.org/

  • Enough with the “voting” already. We’re not voting who gets blocked. We’re being civil, and trying to learn.

    And one other thing: There’s no witch hunt. There are no witches.

  • Judy, what voices have been silenced? No one has been banned from this site. U is free to express an opinion as much as anyone else.

    The challenge for him is to accomplish this in a civil manner without the haranguing, which he clearly enjoys. I’m already seeing commenters coming out of the woodwork whom I have not seen before.

    And you know what? Rules can be changed if things improve. This isn’t a death knell for freedom of speech.

  • Thank you, Guy. The comments were getting too boring to slosh through anymore. Maybe now I will re-engage.

    As for how to handle the grief of NTE, I am on a permanent vacation in a tropical paradise, or that is how I choose to look at it. In reality, I am a refugee from the heat and drought in Arkansas that made gardening too stressful. I can afford this by living out of my car or in a tent. I sold all my possessions, which included everything I needed for homesteading. It was just too hard. Yes, life is full of contradictions, like how can I justify driving a car. I am trying to figure out how to lower my footprint while being a nomad. If I had my younger body back, I could ride a bike, but five car wrecks have resulted in too many injuries for that.

  • Have you all turned UV into an AntiHero ?! 🙁 🙂

  • It’s unbearable.

    I feel your pain, hahaha. So, WHY NOT DISCUSS THE TOPIC ?

    OK , or if one prefers, Oberkommando. The topic of unbearability.

    Without being directly insulting he can still be corrosive, undermining, harrassing and overall unpleasant and still leave most of us not wanting to be here.

    Many underestimate the power of certain practices and the abilities one can develop through such practices. Exercising one’s muscles builds them up, but how one uses those muscles is another matter. Likewise, exercising one’s “mental muscles” through some practices and building them up does nothing to clear the trash under the rug.

    Many who have not the necessary discernment would be susceptible to blandishments, but those with even a bare modicum of discernment will see through it all as a manifestation of mischief. It requires an even greater degree of discernment to see the mischief as weakness, and thus to not fulminate against it: as they say, lions don’t need to roar.

    One may develop such discernment through related but alternate practices, but it all hinges on one’s sincerity: “Blessed are the Pure of Heart, for They shall see God”. Not to be confused with McChri$tianity.

    More on topic, for “civilisation” to be “sustainable” one has to define both those terms. By “civilisation” is it meant the lifestyle of our elite >0.1% who flies private jets to vacations in nothing less than five-star hotels, or a central asian (or, for that matter, a New Mexican) goat herder who lives in a “mud hut” (literal or figurative)? The one-percenter needs a butcher, a baker, and a candlestick maker, amongst other things. And what is the time frame for “sustainability”?

    And as to the reason I do not mess with the NTE site, I have already stated it.

    I really don’t care if people are rude or hostile to me, it doesn’t bother me.

    Yet:

    Now some of you people here want to project all your animosity and vindictiveness onto me.

    Note and appreciate the superbly fine polish from an intensive honing of these qualities.
    “All your animosity and vindictiveness”, yes, but that “all” is the product of a completely different aspect of “I really don’t care” that consistently comes through, viz. the

    “I really don’t care how I act towards people, it doesn’t bother me”.

    Sadly, however, one can be so blinded to the difference, that one justifies the latter “I really don’t care” by a pretension to the former “I really don’t care”.

    I’ve paid my dues. I know my stuff.

    Indeed! “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” – not by their dues.

    I’m being civil.
    So, in fact, were Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin: paragons of civility.

    As for the rest, imo, respect has to be earned, can’t be demanded……Now some of you people here want to project all your animosity and vindictiveness onto me.

    Go figure.

    My recent Thermo Footprint analysis of humanity hints that “enough for all” involves a maximum of 50 million people living as hunter-gatherers.

    Bodhi-ji, you are perhaps a bit too generous, but looking at it enroute to NTE, it might not matter.

    much more important to throw some rotten fruit at ME.

    That would be pointless. More to the point is to point to the rot within.

    Mad monkeys throwing shit. Everybody whose ego has been slighted over the last months by my sharp tongue thinks that they might have their chance at revenge. I think it is truly pathetic.
    And
    I really don’t care if people are rude or hostile to me, it doesn’t bother me.

    Once again, go figure.

    an interesting example of the false compassion and humility this pathology can mimic.

    Remember, those skills were honed on the meditation seat.

    this thing-in-human-form Yes, the acquisition of a human form is considered rare and most precious in the Vedic tradition. All of us are wearing our human forms much as we are wearing our clothes.

    Eric Geiermann says:
    People must both listen and be listened to in an honest effort to do what is best for the tribe.

    Yes, indeedy! And it must be kept in mind that a dialogue at gunpoint is no dialogue at all.

    Can a stubborn old dog learn new tricks?

    But of course. In the stew pot.

    Thanks, Eric Geiermann.

    Pym Says:
    Eric G., you wrote a wonderful, informative comment. Thanks for that.

    Your’e so right, Pym. And so, thank you, Pym!

    standard of living trumps ecology every damned time

    No question about it. That’s why we started using pointed sticks before stone tools, two and a half million years ago – halfway from our split with the chimps to the present.

  • I’m not sure about this sentence:
    “This is bigger than climate change: a much bigger inconvenient truth.”

    Can you really separate climate change from the collapse of ecosystems? I think not, given all the ecosystems being damaged by climate change. And at the same time, all those collapses contribute to climate change.

  • Guy

    This two posts per 24 hours thing will kill discussion.

    But it will be an evolution.

    Anarchy gets some rules.
    Can people get along?

    It all depends on how much those people value each other, and their candour, viewpoints and experience.

    I try to understand all who I encounter, and some of that is done by empathy, and standing back and reflecting, and some of it is just engaging. All that is done with respect, and really, (in this respect contrary to what ulvfugl feels on respect), respect should be given first, and only in severe circumstances -m like insults, reneged agreements and dishonourable intentional behaviour – should contact be revoked.

    Everyone is able to be nice, it just takes more effort for some, but it is not really that hard.

    I am very sad the rules have arrived.

    Still, we press on.

    Evolve or perish.

  • “Is this a private fight, or can anyone join?”
    ― Laurell K. Hamilton, Bullet

    I can handle a personal attack.
    I’m so egotistical & shallow that anytime I read something I don’t agree with, I must immediately attack. I’m incapable of simply ignoring a comment.I’m so trivial that I’m constantly looking to assail & criticize anyone who doesn’t agree with my brilliant facts.
    What do you have to say to that,TR? LOL

  • @ Guy McPherson

    Enough with the “voting” already. We’re not voting who gets blocked. We’re being civil, and trying to learn. And one other thing: There’s no witch hunt. There are no witches.

    The pattern we see here has been played out a zillion times through history. I could offer dozens of links with stories illustrating the same motif which everybody would recognise. Some might even recognise their own role, in a drama recorded hundreds of years ago in some other time, place and culture. Why don’t people learn ?

    @ Fenton

    Guy has made many compelling cases over the last few years – so much so that I fully intend this comment to be my last on this forum.
    Whether quiet, reasoned discussion or shouting from the rooftops is employed, it’s not going to change the course we’re on.

    Many of the people here don’t seem the hear what he actually says. It’s as if it was entertainment. Pat talking about closing down the nuclear power stations and disposing of the waste in an orderly fashion, as if there was a magic wand, without ever having thought about how many years, decades, it takes to decommission and dismantle a nuclear plant, and where will the waste by stored ? And who will do all this ? Extending indefinitely into the future ? When, as I see it, we are looking a global social collapse on the horizon. Where’s the connection between the comments and the reality of the world we live in, the corporations, the politics ? Bizarre.

    It IS the Endocene. You’re all going to have to come to terms with it. Fighting over control of this blog space is utterly irrelevant to that.

    @ Daniel

    Thank you for supporting me.

    All the squeaky little voices coming out of their burrows claiming they were too afraid to speak because they might be eaten by the fierce psychopathic ulvfugl, hahahaha. Oh dear.

    Well, I suppose, I grew up in an earlier time, when, if I wasn’t strong enough to stand alone, nothing would have happened, because there were no supporters for me to call upon, and no blundering ‘heroic’ vulgar Madmans to claim to speak on behalf of the timid gentle ones. So I got used to having rocks thrown at me.

    Maybe some of you need to think about what courage is ? Just a little bit ? Speaking your own mind, even if everyone is against you ?

    U is obviously a passionate human being, who has cared and probably done more to fight the system than anyone here.

    That might well be true, Daniel, but I don’t know everyone on this site, or who lurks here, or what they have achieved, there’s some very impressive folk for sure, like Jesse Schultz.

    People calling me psychopath, sociopath, egomaniac, all sorts of other words they don’t even know the meaning of, hahahaha. Look, I can call you a psychopath back, in turn, and then what ? Your word against mine. Whose to judge ?

    These psychiatric phrases are cooked up by the psychiatric profession which is just an arm of Big Pharma and the whole oppressive machinery of the dominant culture which people here claim they are against.

    If you think I’m crazy, and I think you are crazy, then who is right ? Well, let’s have a look at YOUR actual curriculum vitae and compare it with mine. Who has done more for Mother Earth in this war over the last few decades ?

    I’d say, very modestly and humbly, because it was not enough, and the war was lost, it could never have been enough, that I have done as much as anybody I know about, given the opportunities and resources available to me, and I don’t think, afaik, there’s anybody here on this site that can pull rank on me when it comes to that.

    So, even though it isn’t going to make any difference, I have made a small difference. I just wish a hell of a lot more people would have helped me when there was still a chance. Maybe that explains why I have so little patience with some of you, and the shallow bullshit I hear.

    Thanks again, Daniel. You’re head and shoulders above most here.

    @ Robin Datta

    For the hundredth time, it is totally ludicrous to measure me against the yardsticks of Hindu or Christian teachings, when I do not subscribe to either religions, and make no attempt to follow the values or teachings of vedanta or christianity. It’s like finding fault with me for not being a goddam goldfish and so I don’t any have shiny scales and fins.

    Thanks to other voices and murmurings of support. 🙂

  • To use up my second post of the day, so all the cowards will be safe to sling shit at me and run away, at least until tomorrow…

    @ Martin Hayes

    I think Daniel should be blocked. I’m a long time lurker and he is a troublemaker.
    For those wanting to make a difference and possibly turn this environmental nightmare around, may I suggest the following organizations.

    And goes on to recommend joining UKIP etc.

    This is scary as hell. Not particularly getting at you, Martin. I feel the temptation myself. The mainstream parties in UK are controlled by USA, Israel and international finance and are completely useless. So what’s left for the people to do ? But UKIP is a move to the right, to nationalism, is not green, is already being subverted by very unpleasant ( imo ) forces. Others will move even further right. If they come to power anybody whose skin is the wrong colour or who belongs to any unpopular minority group is going to be in big trouble.

    The fact that you can identify Daniel as ‘a trouble maker’ really sums up the attitude, and the threat. People like Robin D., others here, anybody who does not conform to a certain stereotype, are going to be considered as ‘troublemakers’. We’ve seen all this roll out before in the 1920-30s. It’s a very natural and predictable response to extreme social stress. I don’t know what the answer is, but if anyone on this site thinks that a fascist dystopia is ‘the answer’, they need to read some history. Bye until tomorrow 🙂

  • “I really don’t care if people are rude or hostile to me, it doesn’t bother me.”

    For this to work, it should bother you, U, and everyone else, too. From Wikipedia: Civility –

    Take a Real-Life check; disengage by two steps to assess what you’re about to say (or have just said). Asking yourself “How would I feel if someone said that to me?” is often not enough, many people can just brush things off, and it’s water off a duck’s back. So, to get a better perspective, ask yourself: “How would I feel if someone said that to someone I love who can’t just “brush it off?” If you’d find that unacceptable, then don’t say it. And, if you’ve already said it, strike through it and apologise.

  • I agree with Pat, the only way “civilization can survive ecological collapse” is IF we can get TPTB to recognize that the ecological collapse is happening, we ARE in overshoot, and the nuclear power plants MUST be shut down and the nuclear material secured. This should be Priority One.

    I am a starfish on the beach…

    Thanks to Guy for the new rules, I can already see the benefits!

  • A new report from Australian scientists argues that in Australia, the climatic patterns have already shifted.

    ‘Australian climate has shifted for good: scientists’

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-03/australian-climate-has-shifted-for-good-scientists/4606500

    “Top climate scientists have endorsed a report that says the climate in Australia has already shifted. The peer reviewed assessment notes that in some cases the weather has ‘changed for good’. The report is also warning that emergency services will need to rethink their strategies to cope with more intense and severe weather events.”

    ‘The Critical Decade: Extreme Weather’

    http://climatecommission.gov.au/report/extreme-weather/

    A snippet:

    “1. Climate change is already increasing the intensity and frequency of many extreme weather events, adversely affecting Australians. Extreme events occur naturally and weather records are broken from time to time. However, climate change is influencing these events and record-breaking weather is becoming more common around the world.

    Some Australian examples include:
    •Heat: Extreme heat is increasing across Australia. There will still be record cold events, but hot records are now happening three times more often than cold records.
    •Bushfire weather: Extreme fire weather has increased in many parts of Australia, including southern NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and parts of South Australia, over the last 30 years.
    •Rainfall: Heavy rainfall has increased globally. Over the last three years Australia’s east coast has experienced several very heavy rainfall events, fuelled by record-high surface water temperatures in the adjacent seas.
    •Drought: A long-term drying trend is affecting the southwest corner of Western Australia, which has experienced a 15% drop in rainfall since the mid-1970s.
    •Sea-level rise: Sea level has already risen 20 cm. This means that storm surges ride on sea levels that are higher than they were a century ago, increasing the risk of flooding along Australia’s socially, economically and environmentally important coastlines.”

    A link to the report is at the bottom of the webpage.

    Wow, a bit of traction, but way too late for prevention.

  • 1st post 04/03

    Can civilization survive ecological collapse?
    by Michael Thomas

    We put a man on the moon.

    If the US govt can spend a trillion dollars on the Iraq debacle, then it can spend the money needed to shut down the nuclear power plants. I know it’s a pipe dream, I don’t have to be told it’s a pipe dream. There are obviously a million logistical issues with the endeavor.

    It seems most of the NBL community recognizes that TPTB are probably aware of the coming collapse and they probably have already formulated their plans for their own survival. If that is the case, then what are their plans for dealing with the nuclear power plants? They have to know that these things are going to go Fukushima when the grid goes down. Or, is it possible that they think they can keep the grid up while the world is descending into chaos?

  • as a long time lurker here i’m embarassed for all of you. i’ve seen everything ulvfugl has done and frankly none of it is as crazy or childish as the ridiculous venom i’ve seen posted recently. someone even indirectly suggests that folks like ulvfugl be killed. then people turn on Daniel because he calls for some restraint. i fully expect to be called a sociopath or narcissist now….i’d be insulted if i didn’t realize it’s coming from a group of petulant children.

  • Since Fukushima, it is undeniable that this kind of energy production is unprecedentedly dangerous and a threat to human existence, yet international finance capital out of sheer greed for profits has provocatively outlined plans at the G-8 summit in May 2011 to further build more than 500 nuclear power plants worldwide with an order volume of around USD 3 trillion.

    Confronted by a wave of mass protests worldwide, some governments have been forced to withdraw from or go slow on these plans. In Germany eight nuclear power plants were immediately shut down, and the government had to resolve to shut down the remaining nine nuclear power plants before 2022. In Italy, the proposal to resume the building of nuclear power plants was rejected in a referendum. In Venezuela, Chile and Switzerland, construction of new nuclear power plants have been cancelled. Meanwhile in Japan, 82 percent of the population object to the further use of nuclear power.

    The member organizations of ILPS and ICOR form part of this worldwide active resistance. Their common campaign for the shutdown of all nuclear power plants and for the ban and destruction of all nuclear weapons is undertaken as a major task of the international revolutionary and working class movements in the struggle against imperialism.

    The campaign aims to provide systematic education and information among the broad masses, the formation of broad alliances of active resistance. That includes the involvement of scientists and technologists, culturally rich informational events, common days of struggle, blockades and strikes. Imperialism or state monopoly capitalism must be thoroughly exposed and opposed as the real culprit – the mastermind and beneficiary – behind the proliferation of nuclear power plants worldwide.

    More and more people around the globe are struggling to prevent a worldwide man-made environmental catastrophe that could bring about the destruction of humankind. The struggle for the preservation of the natural environment is part of the struggle for national and social liberation and for the production and reproduction of human life in accordance with nature and the highest standards of civilization.

  • Right now, many or all of these 103 reactors have added National Guard units or army personnel to reduce the possibility of terrorist attack. Our nervous assertion about needing an armed garrison (with the addition of an anti-aircraft gun emplacement) and a corresponding police state in the rest of the country to guarantee their safety is now hard, cold reality. And not even these measures would really ensure security. A commandeered executive jet plane, a bomb thrust by a simple catapult, a single nuclear plant worker with a nervous breakdown – any of these could be the beginning of a reactor core meltdown.

    The nuclear industry PR motto of “cheap, safe nuclear power” – something that anti-nuclear activists used to laugh about – has become a cruel joke. The current situation is economically ludicrous – we are paying millions of dollars a day just to guard the plants that provide about 10% of our electrical power. That 10% could easily be saved by common sense energy conservation.

    Continuing to operate these plants is primarily a grave risk to life. It is time that we shut these wasteful, polluting, technological nightmares before one or more of them becomes a terrorist target.

    Jonathan Campbell

    November 6, 2001