The irreconcilable acceptance of near-term extinction

by Daniel A. Drumright, a lifelong radical environmentalist who has followed climate science for the last 24 years, and has been a feral “collapse theorist” for the last 12 years

Considering this very long essay attempts to address what is without a doubt, the greatest phenomenal event in the recorded history of our species, I will definitely fall quite short in the endeavor. And this would still be true even if this essay were a hundred times in length.

This essay is written in acceptance that humanity has now crossed numerous irreversible climatic thresholds. It is also written from the perspective that by so doing, we have ushered in intractable near term extinction (NTE) of most of life within the next several decades. (If nature fails to bat last, nuclear containment pool fallout from grid collapse surely will.)

I have absolutely no interest in attempting to persuade anyone of this conjecture being either true or false. No one should allow themselves to be persuaded by anyone regarding this subject matter. The decision to accept this, is ours and ours alone. Anyone who is putting the onus of NTE on Guy’s shoulders, or anyone else for that matter, is doing a great disservice to both Guy and themselves. The available evidence is easily accessible, the writing on the wall doesn’t need to be deciphered. The theory of runaway climate change has been around for decades, and now the whole world is able to watch this catastrophe unfold in real-time. But this by no means implies the world is watching.

This essay is SOLELY written for those who are already familiar with a majority of the available evidence, and who’ve subsequently come to a similar conclusion for themselves. As such, this essay is not intended to be informative, but rather entirely commiserative.

I am of the opinion that all dialog post-acceptance of NTE is manifestly commiserative. Post-acceptance of NTE, as opposed to our pre-vacillating acceptance, logically equates to defeatism, plain and simple. This is a critical distinction, and probably represents a primary schism within this new body of awareness. The post aspect of acceptance could be consider THE critical distinction, for it’s the difference between the sublimation of having come to terms with what we consider to be inevitable, compared to our wavering refutation of such inevitability, which still affords us a great many fantasies. It’s the acceptance of the inevitability of NTE which lays waste to all else, which is why this is a key factor in determining how we live our lives from here on out.

What is the meaning of NTE? Literally, we all know what those three words connote when strung together. But we don’t live in a literal reality, we live in a wholly subjective interpretive culture, where the red pill literalism of something like NTE rarely sees the light of day. This disparity obviously has a massive influence on our bias as to how we interpret everything, including the science contributing to our understanding of the significance of tipping points.

I suspect most criticism of this essay will come from those who have yet to fully accept NTE … and rightly so! But please be mindful, the following is written from a post-acceptance perspective. If this is a judgment you do not share, then the commiserative intent within this essay will simply elude you.

As of right now, the entire concept of NTE is still the most profound abstract concept the human race has ever been confronted with. Even though the signs are everywhere one decides to look, the totality of its cumulative impact is still enough off in the distance for entrenched self-preservation to render it an abstraction in our daily lives. So again, the following is written from the viewpoint as to when this is no longer true, when NTE breaks through abstraction, and detonates in full acceptance of the most profoundly devastating reality we’ve ever had to both live with and through.

(Disclaimer: I no more want to be writing this, than you probably want to be reading it, however, as curious disciples of ferocious truth, here we are … where none of us ever expected or wanted to be.)

*

I may be wrong about this, and as with almost everything concerning NTE, I very much wish I am, but as far as I’m able to discern, the comment threads on Nature Bats Last (NBL) might be the only place within the English language that are rationally and emphatically discussing the near term extinction of most of life on earth — at least in the public domain. What a dubious and overwhelming prospect that truly is, if it is in fact the case, or for that matter anywhere close to it.

It is not surprising that Guy’s blog, which has for years been dedicated to collapse preparedness, would eventually serve as the springboard into the deep end of the recognition of NTE, given we’ve already done our share of quantifying the minutia of contributing factors to the collapse of industrial civilization.

However, NTE is a classic example of emergence, where something becomes greater than the sum of its parts. It has now become an event unto itself, irrespective of its causation. I believe this is just one of the many aspects that makes this new reality difficult for us to fully comprehend, because our past precedence is, and has been, completely focused on the individual linear contributing factors, which have now compounded in creating this emergent nonlinear post threshold paradigm. The amalgam of discoveries leading up to this moment in time, are now effectively immaterial, which is the actual consequence of tipping points.

Hence, it’s not the potential of extinction that is foreign to us, but rather the “acceptance” of the near term timing of it. In my opinion, it is our highly subjective and indeterminate acceptance of NTE, which again, is the crucial distinction of how we frame our responsiveness to the ominous implications.

This dire acquiescence has now effectively catapulted “us” even further out unto the barren wastelands of the radical fringe. But for many, this has been our masochistic stomping grounds for quite some time, whereby we are most likely the first embattled assemblage of like minds in the history of our species to seriously attempt to elucidate the meaning of life amidst the ever-increasing probability of our pending disappearance.

If this is indeed so, it only stands to reason that we are as well, the first to propose what might be considered the greatest conundrum in history: How do we live out the rest of our lives in light of such acceptance? Especially, when it undermines every aspect of our future-oriented culture, as well as our private life.

While many of us here have written extensively in attempting to accurately describe the sheer scale of the dilemma we’re facing, the staggering severity of the circumstances before us has made this nearly impossible for us to accurately surmise. Its inference is so emotionally ruinous, with the precise timing being impossible to predict — thus making it highly suspect — our sense of uncertainty can’t help but override our better judgment, in demanding a degree of assurance that we rationally know doesn’t exist.

However, we’re all too aware that the evidence is quite explicit in detailing that the Holocene is exponentially drawing to a close. The geological epoch which has housed the entire history of civilization … is ending, if it hasn’t ended already. We are literally looking at losing the entire arctic ice cover — one of our planet’s primary thermal regulators — during the melting season, within only a few years … if not this year!

We could write similar words to those above a thousand times, and still be suspended in utter disbelief, for we are attempting to detail an event that is so remarkably outside any form of past human awareness, it’s either just a passing idea that flies through our minds like a frightened bird, or it levels everything like a daisy cutter. There is no in-between, it’s either a fleeting thought or it’s absolutely devastating.

Every single story we’ve ever been told, in effect, just careened into the underworld. Everyone’s Rube Goldberg collapse preparedness scheme, just theoretically failed right out of the gate. What part of our lives didn’t just suffer a massive body blow from which we will honestly never recover?

Nonetheless, our desire for doubt still rages against the evidence. Our past moral imperatives still rile against corporatism’s fait accompli in spite of ourselves. But it’s not as if we’re fabricating either the facts or the science. It’s not as if we’ve unknowingly cloistered ourselves in solipsistic groupthink. It’s not as if we’re not all desperate to have someone/something prove us wrong. I mean who in the hell wants to be right about near term extinction!?! It’s just that the degree of acceptance, which we are being forced to bear, completely undermines the very act of acceptance itself. If this isn’t the greatest cause of universal cognitive dissonance, then I don’t know what could be.

The less-than-subtle shift in our thinking on a subject we’ve all thought very long on, has had an enormous — albeit understated — side effect on our past “ecological moral imperatives.” Deliberating on the inevitability of collapse, has for many of us, strangely been the force that has given us meaning in life over the last decade(s). But now having to accept that the rates of climatic change have greatly superseded even the most dire predictions of only a few years ago has effectively dissolved the impetus of our past imperatives, mutated all sense of urgency and completely redefined the very concept of time itself.

*

It’s a self-determined path that leads one to the comprehension that our culture is addicted to hopium. It’s a path that also continues to lead us far from almost everything in our culture. But it’s quite a different course to attempt to live outside the garden of anticipation, where hopium has flowered for all of our lives.

As with most addictions, it’s seldom the drug itself that’s the cause of our dependence, but rather any number of undisclosed societal factors that drove us to it in the first place. This is what makes kicking the habit incredibly difficult, for once our system is “clean,” all the reasons for having been under the influence to begin with come rushing back with a vengeance.

Kicking the drug is the comparatively easy part, kicking the habit of dependence is far more challenging. And the same is to be said about hopium. Knowing our culture is addicted is one thing, living without it, just might prove to be impossible … even for a motley crew of cynics such as ourselves.

Curiosity could easily be considered one of our species’ greatest traits, but in many ways, acceptance of NTE with its relentless correlation to every aspect of our lives could be considered anathema to the very driving force behind our desire to be informed. And it is this unfolding psychological dilemma that I believe is quite new to many of us, for how could it not be?

Sometimes even the slightest hope can be enough to sustain us, but once even the dimmest light has been statistically snuffed out, we suddenly find ourselves in an exceptional kind of darkness, unlike anything even us denizens have ever experienced. NTE is the antithesis of Plato’s cave. It’s as if we stumbled out of the shadows, only to blindly stare directly into the sun. I wonder how long it will take for the long-term consequences of such overwhelming contrarian awareness to eventually take its pound of flesh?

Therein lies another unbelievable fact, that “we” here, at the dawn of the greatest transgressive discovery ever made, might represent the first generation in the history of our species who have ever attempted to reconcile such irreconcilable academic despair.

No, we aren’t being tortured, nor put to death. We aren’t imprisoned in some hellish hole. We aren’t starving in a refugee camp. We aren’t having to kill our children to end their suffering. We’re not being ganged raped or hounded in a genocidal “cleanse.” No, we are “currently” living out none of these brutal existences, which have always been a facet of civilization. We’re on the other end of the disparate spectrum; we’re the terribly privileged folk, still basking in the relative afterglow of global empires, who have had the opportunity to know more than most of the people who have ever inhabited this planet. We have had the wealth and time to build our own cerebral constructs/prisons.

The precipice before “us” today, is but the ledge of the idiosyncratic ivory towers we’ve constructed for ourselves. It has allowed us to see further than anyone has ever seen before. However, the universe has an inherent equilibrium to it, and as with most things, there is a price to be paid for such excessive and fruitless erudition. We are in the throes of a superlative first-world cultural dilemma, of what it truly means to know too much. The tsunami we can clearly see rushing toward us from our lofty perspectives might as well be a raindrop in a puddle as far as our dominant culture is concerned. Therein lies the root of most of our frustration and our ever-ascendant alienation.

*

I don’t believe anyone here, including myself, is honestly capable of accurately framing the very ethos we’ve created at NBL, given it is unconscionably unprecedented to the very letter of the word. This becomes painfully obvious, every time, anyone of us finds ourselves in any group of people. For there is only one thing that is more maddening than NTE, which is that for whatever reason, the vast majority of our fellow citizens just aren’t capable of caring beyond their immediate needs, which is probably why we find such solace at NBL — even if it’s a remorseful succor.

This is why I suspect that probably no one here would respond well to someone telling you/us to be careful, that maybe we’re wrestling with a deceptive awareness, which very well could prove to be beyond all of us. There must be any number of unidentified limits to what our tribal minds can endure, and we here, are surely in the process of testing those boundaries, without having much of a clue as to its intuitive repercussions.

I often now have the sense of receiving some subliminal transmission with my daily dose of disaster, as if “we” are now playing with an extraordinary internal bonfire, which could have within its conflagration, a latency that’s keeping us from realizing we’re being burned alive.

I suspect that for many of us, through all our past tribulations, activism, adversity and endless cultural negation, see ourselves as possessing some kind of hard-bitten warrior spirit. Call it the environmentalist’s thousand-yard stare. We are all too aware that the path of a self-anointed “truth seeker” — that trespassing inclination that has consequently led us here — isn’t a gentle winding path through a spring meadow. It isn’t the road less traveled. It’s not a revolutionary act. It’s not measured by greatness. It’s just a cruel bottomless hole that once ventured into, eventually leaves the light of modernity, but a pinprick in the night sky for anyone hoping to return to the complicity of our dominant cultural pretense.

Truth is a life sentence for anyone who values it, and this was self-evident, well before we happened upon nonlinear rates of climatic change. Now, we are being challenged in a way that no minority faction has ever been before.

Again, the shift in our thinking has been profoundly acute: Being aware of the potential of an unprecedented future reality is one story. Living in full acceptance that the unprecedented has come to pass is poles apart from anything that came before. It’s the difference between objectively analyzing lab rats as they run through a maze, and running either to or from what remains of our life in an inescapable labyrinth.

There are thousands of literary quotes, which either exalt or disparage our perception of TRUTH, yet not one infamous citation was ever written in context to the Gordian knot of existing empirical evidence of our species near term extinction. We are truly in a place, where literally no one has ever been before.

But the more we reflect on this demoralizing reality, the worse it gets. And yes, this has always been the case with political realism, but never to the degree it is now — not even close, not even remotely close. No, we’re initiating a diabolic consciousness to which no living human being has ever had to bear witness. It is an awareness which requires a degree of emotional maturity that’s almost indistinguishable from insanity within western culture.

It truly does seem like we’ve finally dug deep enough to crawl through the center of the world like inquisitive children, only to come out on the other side to discover everything is actually upside down. Where past concepts of truth play out like every other figment of our imagination. Where knowledge becomes but a fetish. Where denial comes to sublimely make sense. Where apathy and hedonism now vie for ethical stakes. Where somewhere along the way, our moral imperatives just became another hit of hopium.

Dig for the truth long enough, and one becomes a miner. And now, decades down the mine, here we all are, like virtual grave diggers at the bottom of a hole we’ve dug through the world, gathered around a cage of canary bones, guessing how long it’s been dead.

*

It’s as if decades ago we formed an old-fashioned bucket brigade to douse our burning house. However, all the buckets have always had holes in them, and they are empty by the time they reach the end of the line. But, since we’ve no other recourse other than continuing to reinvent our past theoretical civic daydreams, we just keep passing the buckets along, while patting ourselves on the back for having done our little part, pretending that it somehow matters because … we imagine we couldn’t live with ourselves if we didn’t act as moral agents in a game we fully know we’ve no agency. Truth no longer sets us free, and it’s highly debatable if it ever has, or what from.

The whole history of social activism has been along for the ride right into the abyss. While there have always been competing theories as to “our” underlying nature, there has never been a parallel terrestrial reality, which civilization has played out. We’ve never been anything other than violent, avarice primates. Game theory was probably a dilemma even for Neanderthals. The totality of humanities generosity, empathy and compassion has already been collectively factored into our ecological dilemma. Societal capacity to be sympathetic, curious, informed, proactive and sacrificial has played alongside all the ruling elites’ abuse, corruption, subterfuge, violence and death in collectively depositing us pass the thresholds we’re at today.

*

What else is NTE other than the final acceptance of the consequences of our species’ fundamental inability to live in balance with our environment? The answer to virtually every question we are ever going to ask, from here on out — post acceptance — can’t honestly be anything other than: “It no longer matters.”

We are currently attempting to live through the overlying of two completely opposing paradigms. The entirety of all our past lived experiences, identities and vested interests are hopelessly ensnared in a recalcitrant culture that very much exists, but wholly and erroneously on borrowed time. All our past wisdom now exists in a state of unending irrelevancy. Our sense of self, our perception of reality is entirely deceptive, and this was true long before any of us were ever born. And now even this fraudulence is flowing away from us. The observable physical universe is literally passing us by within our lifetime!

NTE is a complete intellectual dead end unless we are able to somehow attempt to creatively manifest this awareness in the time we have left. Such awareness will most likely come at a great cost to our existing means … but more about that later.

*

Think of all our countless past endeavors and harebrained dreams throughout our lives that we no longer support or believe in for whatever reason. Think about the source of what originally birthed whatever moral imperatives we have been compelled by over the years. Then ask yourself, how does the acceptance of NTE not completely undermine the basis of that imperative? What becomes of a moral necessity, if the essence, prospect or vitality that spurs its urgency has been lost completely? What exactly are we doing, in still attempting to fight “the good fight,” if we fully accept all has been lost?

And now, we’re ruminating on the essence of our ethical obligations, in full acceptance that the whole concept of anthropocentric morality will soon be completely erased?

All the lights behind our cultural projectors have burned out, all our stories will soon be lost. Time to put our sacred cows out to pasture, for how can our continued belief in the urgency of our past imperatives — post acceptance of NTE — be considered anything other than anachronistic?

We were too late in discovering our species had been unknowingly charged with the stewardship of maintaining a precious equilibrium, and due to the absence of our collective wisdom, our remaining time is now beyond this natural world, where we are but subjects to the wrath of thermodynamics.

I’m coming to suspect that the cognitive dilemma of NTE might merit an entirely new branch of ontology. What does it mean to be present with NTE? How does one reckon the end of everything? The science has delivered us, but unto what … other than our knees?

NTE is a cultural event horizon, that once we allow ourselves to fully accept it, nothing else in this life will be able to escape its ruthless draw. From a macro perspective, nonlinear rates of climatic change, as it applies to humanity, is a Singularity. It will in all probability be the first and last the human race will ever experience. We are both observers and participants in a game of incalculable factors against impossible odds with an inescapable blunt ending. And this is what we’re attempting to make sense of?

This is not a truth that comes to reveal any hidden sacred bond. It is the obliteration of all social bonds. It is not just more of the same, but worse. It is not the past made present, but unprecedented. It is an acceptance, which is a wholesale life-changing event on an unfathomable scale that will eventually lead us to ruin, starting with severe ostracization from everything and everyone within our culture … as many here can already attest.

The fumes from our vested interests and our past ethical bearing can sustain us for only so long, until the very fabric of our presumed consciousness starts to unravel in light of such disquieting imminence. The entire conversation on NBL in regard to NTE is an evolutionary process in reverse. We will not continue to evolve under its appalling shroud, but digress over time into incomprehensible states of being.

We can only contemplate such staggering amounts of present and future death up to a point, until we start to thoroughly emulate it in our private lives. But this isn’t necessarily something we should avoid. It might just be a step within a process that leads us to a degree of equanimity we can’t yet perceive. But then again, it could easily lead us in the opposite direction.

Either way, the time before us now will soon be considered the halcyon days of sweet objective conjecture, where we “the randomly statistical chosen few” deliberate on the greatest catastrophic event in human history while we still have the luxury and methodology to do so. Not unlike some virtual reenactment of Boccaccio’s The Decameron, where instead of waiting out a medieval plague, which is ravaging the masses, we are prognosticating our encroaching demise from a virtual safe distance.

This moment, right now, is but a very short window in time. There isn’t a soul here who hasn’t battled a legion of closed minds by now. All of our backs are against the same damn immovable wall, and no matter how informed we are, or imagine ourselves to be, that entrenched wall is tumbling us off the cliff along with everything and everyone else.

*

But even as the endless futility mounts, where some of us are still imagining “resistance to be fertile,” there is a growing concern in the back of my mind, that by way of our compulsive truth seeking, we are closing in on upending our ability to continue to function in this world for whatever amount of time we have left. And I suspect that it is the psychosomatic blowback — for lack of a better term — from having become aware of NTE, that is coming to primarily occupy our thoughts as we reluctantly settle into the surreal parameters of this new paradigm.

Without a doubt, there is no going back. The clichés are running rampant, a parade of metaphors is spilling out of our collective imagination in attempting to make sense of what is otherwise unfathomable. No, we can’t un-see what has been seen. We can’t undo what has been done. All we can do is attempt to live with knowing that we will not live through it. But I’m not convinced this is even possible, unless one is already well advanced in age.

Concerning NTE, what wisdom can an old rich white man possibly have for a young mother of three? While NTE is universal, how it personally manifests in each of our lives is anything but.

The understanding we are attempting to ascertain will make it absurd for having sought it out, the moment we find “it.” We might as well be nakedly roaming the quarantined grounds of Chernobyl with Geiger counters looking for the hottest spots.

We’re currently inhabiting a state of theoretical prospective famine, which will seem serene once civil chaos and genocide resulting from both starvation, and just the threat of it, starts to eventually decimate our world city by county, state by region, country by continent.

NTE is an cerebral journey into a vacuum. The surreality is replete with epic vistas and abysmal depths, but how can the final destination be anything other than an indescribable black hole of resignation that will eventually steal all meaning from our lips?

*

A part of me almost feels obligated to re-frame any conversation about NTE as an impossible warning for anyone to heed, but one I believe must be acknowledged nonetheless. The forewarning would read as an epitaph over the entrance to a tomb: “The analysis of NTE is the path to your eventual suicide.” For I would wager that anyone who bears the cognizance capable of accepting NTE, today, is seriously undermining their self-preservation in ways not yet known to us. As Montaigne figured out centuries ago, all philosophy does is prepared one for death … and we’re all reluctant philosophers now.

We have inoculated our hearts with an insidious realization, that will eventually devour everything we hold dear … even our children. How long will it be before the ethical dilemma of infanticide starts being seriously discussed, given it’s already on our minds?

We have inadvertently and figuratively stumbled into our own La Brea Tar Pit. Our prescience of the full scale of the dilemma we’re in will not serve us well if it has no passage. I wonder if it will serve us at all as the news only continues to confirm our greatest fears. Knowing both the short and longer term consequences, eventually will become an insufferable burden to carry. I suspect that for many, it already is.

We’re dealing with a discovery of such epic proportion that it simply reduces EVERYTHING in existence to nothing. It is literally impossible to overstate what we’re currently in the process of attempting to delineate.

*

Aside from perennial Malthusianism, our awareness that we have the potential of self-extinction has only been with us for about a half century, give or take. It’s hypothetically the default bases of the entire environmental movement. All that’s effectively changed over these last fifty years, is that we’ve watched in horror that potential become an ever increasing reality. And where starting around thirty years ago, we discovered the ultimate cause of our extinction would be climatic. Around twelve years ago, we realized the climate Leviathan would most likely rise out of the Arctic. Around 3-6 years ago, we discovered that it had already awakened. And only about 9 or 10 months ago did it become empirically probable that our extinction could transpire within our lifetimes. (And again, that’s not even talking about nuclear containment pools.)

We have witnessed over just the last three years, hypothetical Abrupt Climate Change become empirical, where the evidence is so overwhelming, it barely has anything to do with actual observable science anymore, and has everything to do with human psychology, or rather, our shared pathology in the hopium of indefinite growth and progress. And this is why the whole concept of climate change will be, very soon, completely refashioned in context to geo-engineering, if for no other reason, than it sadly now has both the logical and moral high ground compared to doing nothing. Amazing!

Though it seems as if 2,500 years of pessimism has finally come home to roost, nothing could have prepared us for this! While to some degree, the concept of NTE is nothing new for many of us — it now has its own wiki page — this however, is a false sense of familiarity. Our entire framing of this approaching cataclysm has always been couched in a degree of emotional immunity, simply because none of us ever thought we would actually live to see it, not alone, have to live through it. Of the parade of elephants in the climate change room, this one just spit in our face.

It’s as if some apparition has just passed through our soul, and has left us but a shell of our former selves. Though we are all still acting as if NTE is just another sad fact to be compartmentalized amidst the litany of dismal daily news, we are in fact dealing with a monstrous cultural disconnect, which is wholly impossible for any of us to either resist or rise above, although this is exactly what we are all desperately attempting to do.

*

What difference exists between a known end, and it’s ending, but time? But what is the value of such time? The momentary appreciation as to our fortune of being able to die, because we were fortuitous enough in beating the incomprehensible odds in having existed? That is a degree of philosophical reflection that eventually leads to economic destitution in this culture. Fully live with that realization for too long, and one will end up quoting Diogenes while sleeping with dogs under an overpass, or find ourselves on an unsolicited express elevator to Sannyasa.

The irony of honest living is it rarely pays the bills. A fairly high level of self-deception has always been required for Homo economicus to make ends meet. It is not by accident that the majority of contributors to NBL are the equivalent to retired landed gentry, which affords some of us the relative detachment from the daily mind numbing demands of capitalism. This seriously taints any presumed wisdom we might be projecting. In our culture, destitution is a fate almost worse than death, and often it is far more terrifying.

We obviously are all in different living arrangements with entirely different responsibilities. We all have different coping mechanism that unconsciously keep us persevering in this life, even while we seek to prove its utter meaninglessness. We are all trapped by any number of demands, limitations as well as illusions.

The financial stress of staying in the rat race is easy to rebuke, if we’ve now a large enough nest egg as a buffer. However, the crucible of NTE makes playing the game nearly impossible, and this is the reality for the vast majority of humanity.

Plant the seed of NTE in the mind of someone who is economically under the thumb of the system, and it could very easily grow to poison them. What “we” often fail to acknowledge is that over the years of our Mithridatic pre-TSD and depression, we’ve unknowingly developed a certain immunity to otherwise fatal truth.

As we continue to role-play our past imperatives in holding the notion of brutal truth above all else, I suspect that we will soon discover acceptance of NTE to be a proxy to mental illness, for it is without a doubt the epitome of inconsolable despair. It is barely a topic that can be shared among those who even accept it. At some point, something must succumb in such an incredible conflict of competing daily interests.

*

I’m not sure who or what we have a responsibility towards anymore. I can’t even argue if we have a responsibility to ourselves or the rest of life at this point. So I write this today as a cautionary tale for those who may still be circling the rim of the abyss that is NTE, and only occasionally looking down, while still entertaining the prospect of more hopeful alternative outcomes.

Acceptance of NTE is a massively limiting undertaking. It has zero compensation, unless the acceptance of our inevitable predation, starvation or suicide (and, my friends, that is all we’re actually enlightening) can be considered either an interim survivalist fantasy, or a means to peaceful quite resignation … for there are no other outcomes.

“All ye who enter this ethos, will most likely, eventually take their own life.” If this account can in some way be considered offensive, then in my opinion “you” most likely have no business being “here.” Especially those with youth still on their side. In fact, “you” should take what love you have, and run as far from here as you can … and learn from the error of Lot’s wife and never look back.

For this is a place, whether we’re conscious of it or not, that’s engaged in meticulously eroding the very essence of our Being, no matter how we choose to define it.

*

Again, I am of the opinion that all future discussion post-acceptance of NTE, is now an inherently commiserative experience for no other reason than it’s inevitability.

The moment we truly accept NTE is not the overwhelming sensation of excruciating sadness, but the eventual release that comes after. Acceptance of NTE is nothing but surrender. A surrendering of our life force. We are now speaking of two entirely different world views. Our pre-acceptance arguments are non-transferable, they do not translate. Everything post-acceptance becomes meta-physical. It’s all mysticism from here on out, and I say this as a staunch atheist.

But old habits are hard to break, our combative intellects probably make for much of our identities after years of needless acrimony and cultural resistance. But because “our acceptance” is totally subjective, in a collective forum such as this (NBL), our collective understanding of NTE will probably be kept in a permanent embryonic state, as a constant stream of new adherents reluctantly, haphazardly and gradually come to terms at whatever pace our individual acceptance takes to run its grieving course.

Whereby, as everyone’s mind implodes at different times and at varying degrees, it will effectively keep the conversation in a nascent stage of maturation. Our shared patterned behavior will repeat again and again, as we all jump back and forth between the oscillating highs and lows, where some days we achieve a peak of lucidity, only to lose ourselves in a trough of despair as we attempt to wrestle with the unfolding magnitude of the discovery we’ve unearthed.

But I suspect a time will eventually arrive, where the totality of NTE will have finally worn through all of our emotional defenses, washed away all anticipation, utterly crushed our egos, rendered our past intellects redundant and finally deposited us unto an alluvial plan of resignation of there being no way of escaping a brutal end, once global famine is set upon us. There truly is no preparing for what is coming.

But today, we are still recoiling, we need to catalog the destruction, we still bear enough incredulity that we need support, validation, confirmation and commiseration as our past paradigm continues to play scrimmage with all of this unprecedence. It’s still enough of a novelty for disbelief to keep a foothold. Even as we attempt to wrap our minds around this, I suspect we are still far from grasping “it.”

I like to imagine that when that time finally arrives, when all hope truly fades, when even the remote prospect of rural tranquility is lost, we will have come to terms with our personal ending and see the concept of suicide, not as a stigma of cowardice, or a failure of character, but as altruism in the last ethical act left us.

*

Carpe diem sounds exquisite — it always has — but it’s just another illusion, especially in a world of debt. We can pretend that we are living in the moment, all the while worrying how we will continue to afford the roofs over our heads, but honestly, we know deep down that carpe diem demands wild abandon and mindfulness that there may be no tomorrow. Carpe diem does not facilitate mortgage payments.

If we are to truthfully “seize” the time we have left, from the clutches of what now appears to be a hopelessly inane future, this will be, as it has always been, impossible to achieve while being overly concerned with the future of money. This is just a ubiquitous fact that most us try to ignore the best we can, because the only alternative, is the risk of destitution. This dilemma has always been present in a culture dominated by capitalism, it’s just more apparent now as we come to terms with the fact that every narrative has ended, and regardless of our means, they no longer justify any end.

Money is still the force that gives us shelter. It is what keeps us fed and warm at night, regardless of who we are, or where we live. Therefore, for us to embrace our inner Epicurean, truly, we must first come to terms with our inevitable destitution, or rather, we must overcome our fear of destitution, if we’re to grasp whatever “meaning” there is to be had in the face of NTE, beyond just writing about it today.

In our hyper-monetized culture, this is obviously easier said than done, but this is where the perception of suicide can, once again, eventually come to be seen as an elemental gift from the universe. NTE is unprecedented in every sense. It completely alters our opinion of everything, including the end of our life. It’s highly debatable whether there has ever been “meaning.” Many would argue, there is nothing but what IS, completely indifferent to any human moral valuation.

So, what becomes of the meaning of suicide in the face of NTE? As with everything else, it clearly isn’t what it was before. It too has been altered. I believe the concept of suicide — a chosen death — will over time, prove to be one of the only fertile grounds of self-discovery still open to us. As Vaclav Havel said, “Sometimes I wonder if suicides aren’t in fact sad guardians of the meaning of life.”

Of course, I’m not speaking of how we’ve come to frame this exceptionally taboo subject in the past, but how — in light of our incredibly recent acceptance of brutal extinction — there will be a considerable semantic shift in the very meaning of the word/act.

In light of NTE, think of suicide as a double negative.

I believe that this acceptance will not only become the gateway that we must all one day pass through to fully live with the recognition of NTE, but where ultimately it will be seen as our last chance at some semblance of salvation amidst the ensuing chaos. Or rather, NTE is what frees us completely from the concept of salvation. In the words of E.M. Cioran, “The certitude that there is no salvation, is a form of salvation, in fact, it is salvation ….”

There is an emergent ethical imperative surrounding suicide in context to NTE that can’t be denied, no matter how disreputable we still considered it be. Its importance will only continue to grow as society slowly comes to terms with the incredibly limited choices within the dilemma now before us. Again, NTE ends in only one of three ways for everyone: predation, starvation or suicide.

The Absolute-ism of humanity’s collective ecological destruction has always been a bur under the saddle of moral philosophy. Those who are inclined towards biophilia sadly understand that it is simply a value/desire that is not universally shared within western culture … by any stretch of the imagination. It just isn’t something you can teach someone. It’s a “value set” that might as well be considered a talent; something inherited by chance. One either possesses it, or they don’t. After decades of being in the ideological trenches of radical environmentalism, I have finally lost all faith that the essence of biophilia is something that can either be taught or learned, and the few exceptions that exist, are just that: exceptional.

So, now here we biophiliacs are, having to finally accept what we’ve probably long suspected to be true, that the human race has so run amok through the vertical ascension of exponential growth that we’ve irreversibly destroyed our planet’s habitable biosphere. Yes, it took us 200, 5,000, 12,000, or 300,000 years to finally achieve it, but whether or not this is something “we” could have avoided, is beside the point … at least at this point. Damage long done, the latest web of life has been broken yet again.

Lamenting as to the cause is irrelevant as well, other than attempting to personally alleviate our sense of culpability in choosing to believe it was inevitable one way or the other. Attempting to deduce exactly when Homo sapiens fell from earth’s grace has the familiar stench of original sin. And given that many, if not most, here are more driven by fiery belief in morality, rather than cool apathetic indifference, the emergent ethical imperative of suicide, is going to gain ever greater currency over the coming years for anyone who has been burdened with having once cared about wilderness. In fact, it’s impossible for it not to. In the words of Friedrich Nietzsche, “It is always consoling to think of suicide: in that way one gets through many a bad night.”

It might sound strange — how could it not — but I believe the question of what suicide becomes, is what circuitously guides us through the cacophony of dead and dying dreams and leads us to whatever “magic” is left to be found in this disintegrating world. The cultural emancipation that comes from overcoming our fear of death, in accepting that we will eventually choose our death, is what ultimately frees us from all attachment, particularly, the fear of destitution and the tyranny of what we consider NOW constitutes our immediate needs.

We must remember that every single vested interest we possess was formed prior to acceptance of NTE. The entirety of our physical existence exists in opposition of the acceptance we’ve now initiated … and it is far from its finality.

In knowing that whatever may come, that it simply doesn’t matter, is the freedom that will allow us to truly leave everything behind, which is what we all must eventually do. Frankly, I don’t believe it’s actually possible to “let go” without having done this.

There is a significant difference between knowing that tomorrow could be our last, and living in full acceptance that if tomorrow is indeed our end, that we know we are ready to go. That knowing is what will allow us to live without fear and truly be present in whatever amount of time we do have left, whether it be a few weeks or a few decades. Once the undulating emotional trauma of NTE runs its acidic course, we begin to glimpse that such forced perverse acceptance, remarkably has within it, the capacity to become the most profound numinous/existential experience the human race has ever “produced.”

*

What makes something tragic? Isn’t the whole notion of tragedy an anthropocentric cultural construct?

Could the past five extinction events be considered a tragedy? Is the cycle of life a tragedy?

What separates expected loss from unexpected loss, other than what we’ve been conditioned to expect?

How do we reconcile our sense of the tragic loss of life, resulting from human activity, with the fact that the vast majority of life on earth has already succumbed to extinction, and where if it hadn’t, we most likely wouldn’t exist?

Are other life forms blameworthy for having driven their competitors into extinction, or do we somehow morally hold our selves apart/above, in believing “we” had a choice, due to our higher cognitive faculty?

Is NTE only a tragedy, because we’re aware of our culpability?

And exactly, who is “we”? What evidence is there of our species possessing the necessary collective wisdom capable of overcoming our collective destruction of the natural world? Is there any evidence that our species possesses collective wisdom at all?

Or more importantly, when has the ruling elite ever acted altruistically, since the entire history of civilization has always been controlled by a ruling class? Whatever exceptions may have existed for a brief time, there’s an obvious reason they are statistically irrelevant.

Therefore, is NTE only a tragedy, because “we” presume it could have been prevented? This is a crucial question in regard to our acceptance of NTE, for if it couldn’t have been prevented, can it still be considered tragic? Because how much does our sense/belief that it could have somehow been averted, still affect our sense of culpability in dictating our moral imperatives? And if we do believe it could have been prevented, how is this anything other than just a fantastic article of faith in Utopianism? And how could such a utopian society been effective without becoming an oppressive totalitarian State?

I ask these questions having spent decades foolishly projecting my ecological values unto an utterly indifferent citizenry. It is all too easy for us to isolate ourselves in minority enclaves and overlook that the vast majority of our species has, nor will they ever, possess the macro ecological values capable of overriding our biological imperative.

In my opinion, the degree we continue to measure NTE in preventable-tragic terms, will mostly likely determine our sense of moral imperative vs. hedonic resignation.

As radicals, at what point does our sense of culpability as to the crimes of empire just become a shell game because our past identity/vested interests can’t let go of what we know is completely lost, or that regardless of our morality, it couldn’t have been prevented?

*

But hold on, what of our personal responsibility to the natural world, whose destruction we’ve all profited from? What right do any of us first-worlders have in being able to seek enjoyment, in light of an extinction event we’ve all done more than our share in creating? What of all the life under our collective industrial thumb, still struggling to exist? What right do we thieves have to go quietly into that good night? Can’t the remnants of our past imperatives still find more proactive forms of dissent, civil disobedience and rebellion even in acceptance of NTE? Wouldn’t the most ethical choice be to dedicate our lives in helping ease the suffering of the less fortunate? As moral agents, are we not obligated to swim upstream to the bitter end, regardless? Isn’t “secular morality” solely based on the righteousness of the act itself, despite its outcome?

Are the answers to these questions obvious to anyone who considers themselves to be driven by a moral imperative that is rooted in a sense of culpability? It has been the driving force in my life, for my entire adult life. I have by no means painlessly come to the acceptance I can no longer deny.

The driving wedge of course is NTE, which completely flips the script as to the “meaning” of everything, including what is and isn’t an ethical act. For how ethical is it, for us privileged few to actually continue to live, full well knowing that it is our relatively obese existences that are the ultimate causality of the degradation of the natural world? As ecologically minded moral agents, what right do we have to continue to consume … anything, in full acknowledgment that we’ve already consumed far too much? In a world of permanent scarcity, what isn’t stolen from someone who has been victimized by our empire? How much more energy will all of us consume from here on out, in spite of how we live? How much basic material goods will we continue to plunder while we breath, regardless of the morality of our behavior?

From a purely logical point of view, in a reality of gross ecological overshoot, isn’t altruistic suicide actually the most ethical act any of us first-worlders can now affect, or rather, impart? If living by example is our moral goal, couldn’t it be argued that whatever ends our continued consumption of the natural world, is actually the highest ethical objective?

Clearly, there is no one way of answering any of these questions. Again, even before the advent of NTE, resolution as to “meaning” itself was philosophically unquantifiable. What is or isn’t considered anthropocentric truth has been literally debated for thousands of years. Hume’s “is, ought” conundrum has never been resolved, nor will it ever be, and this was true even when humanity at least had the illusion of “progress.” What physical act, or belief system regardless of its morality, isn’t hopelessly anthropocentric?

As breeding, consuming, polluting animals on a planet choking to death from our affluence, wouldn’t it be considered the highest display of human consciousness, to willfully end our self-destructive lives as a testament to the highest level of anthropocentric conscientiousness?

*

At least for me, there is only one question we need to ask ourselves in attempting to reconcile our past-present-future perspectives: In a post-acceptance reality of NTE, what doesn’t become relative?

For me, nothing … anymore. NTE is an astonishing equalizer. Everything, all of life in existence, just became relative to everything else, including all the life that has already passed into extinction. Our presumed disconnect between life today, and the 98% of life that no longer exists, has ended.

Those who still continue to hold onto their past sense/construct/modality/illusion of morality, again, probably have no business contemplating NTE. All of our past ethical dilemmas were involuntarily reconciled the moment we accepted it, which is why “our acceptance” of such an utterly demoralizing event, is/was the unconscious fulcrum point which leads to the ethical downfall of every thought here, or thereafter.

*

Once we begin to frame the meaning of NTE in context to our personal life choices, it instantly stops being an abstract concept, which again, is all it’s been up to this point, and we’re forced to seriously confront the single greatest dilemma in the history of humanity, whereby face up to the reality that we simply haven’t much longer to live.
How do we draw the ultimate conclusion of our life, while we’re still filled with vitality? When we all still have so much life to live and share, how do we come to terms with the unprecedented reality that we will most likely soon be forced to take our life, for the sole reason of avoiding needless suffering?

Obviously, it is only natural that we avoid this dreadful conclusion for as long as we possibly can, which is what most of us are probably going to do, especially those who haven’t the freedom to act otherwise. We will all most likely play the waiting game, especially young parents, and continue on with our lives pretty much as we have up to this point, for as long as we can, and decide how we’ll roll with the punches as they come.

When in doubt, play it safe. Slow and steady wins the race. No point in making any brash decisions, while there’s still so much room for doubt. Right?

BUT, we can only continue to skirt around the issue of what NTE actually means to us personally for so long. I would suppose that for almost everyone here, our lives are basically still the same as they were prior to this dire sublimation. Little has probably physically changed as a result, yet, we all know that this will only be true for so long.

The remainder of this essay is a little more opinionated. It is written for those of us who have decided to be brash in our acceptance that we simply haven’t much time left to experience however much time remains. I have finally left my past moral imperatives to wither in the solar winds, and have now come down on the side of ethical hedonism as being the only way “I” can truly be present with NTE.

*

There is no right or wrong way of attempting to live through what simply can’t be. It is impossible for our individual sense of morality, to not be rife with false analogy in context to the incomparable unprecedence now upon us. We will all be victims of either deliberate or unintended consequence, some sooner, others slightly later, but there is no getting out of harm’s way. There’s no there, there.

Again, for those who consider there “might” still be a chance to turn this bloody ship around, then it logically makes no sense for those to even be considering NTE, for not only is it a false pretense, but its utterly self-defeating. Personally, I would rather the next cadre of activist know nothing of NTE, where they battled against themselves to the bitter end, completely blind of the insurmountable odds. What a far more preferable and enviable way to be alive.

But those of us who have spent far too much time down the rabbit hole, where are we in practical terms as to “now what?” If you’re either physically infirmed, too old to desire making any drastic changes, or you’ve either young children or elderly dependents in your care, or for that matter, you’re more than content wherever you’re at right now, then there really isn’t much left to be said, other than sit back or stand up, and watch the whole shithouse go up in flames in whatever manner you choose.

But I am none of the above, I have no dependents. I’ve seen collapse coming for a long time, and I have centered my life around it. I have almost no responsibilities I can’t walk away from. Some might consider me fortunate, but it’s been quite intentional and it’s definitely come at a high price. So how I or any of us come to frame Ragnarok, it’s going to be subjectively unique to our circumstances. But I suspect my circumstances are also shared by many here as well.

So, all things considered, I would suggest we start making plans to sell off everything we have while we still can, and roam this world and experience the natural wonder it still possesses, while our existing civility and privilege still affords us this last opportunity.

The most essential aspect behind this most unreal understanding, is for it to be done in full acceptance that when either time, money, or our Will simply runs out, we’ll have acceded we’ve reached the end of our personal journey, and it will be time to exercise the only free will we’ve probably ever had, in choosing whatever exit strategy we’re most comfortable with. A chosen death is a uniquely vague timeline for each of us, but one with a very common end.

In other words, start contemplating your eventual suicide today, so when the time finally does come, we’ll be able to fearlessly embrace the moment with open arms, and just maybe, before that day arrives, we will be able to live with a degree of ontological presence, literally never experienced across the entire arc of humanity.

For if we don’t, very soon, we will wish we had.

Here is why I think this is true.

My long definition of NTE is both descriptive yet hopelessly indistinct: It will eventually arise from a sequence of catastrophic global civic failure stemming from permanent food scarcity, as a consequence of ever-increasing extreme weather events, due to both the collapse and predictability of the Northern Hemispheric jet stream, as the temperature and pressure gradients continue to weaken in the Arctic. And lest we forget, NTE will be greatly aided and preceded by humanity’s murderous forte. It can also effectively be summed up in two words: Permanent drought! And again, I’m intentionally avoiding the subject of containment pools, which easily merits its own essay.

At least for me, the meaning of life is completely determined by the quality of life, which is why I’ve always considered life imprisonment to be far worse than a death sentence. I have always known that if the quality of my life was degraded to a point that it lost all meaning, then life would no longer be worth living.

Enter NTE. Ergo, enter the almost impenetrable awareness that it’s only a question of time, before each of us consider life to no longer be worth living. Aside from that being nearly an impossible acceptance to attempt to live with, it has become sine qua non from which every thought I now have must pass through. Therefore, all the remaining meaning in my life only has a limited amount of time between now, and some indeterminate point in the very near future for me to consider life worth living. This novel reality is the actual crux of this entire essay.

As cognitive filters go, NTE doesn’t let too much through. In fact, only one idea as how best to spend my remaining time has made it pass this mind-boggling juggernaut: Peacefully and quietly leave this world as a completely carefree drug-addled impoverished vagabond, who eventually takes a lovely one-way walk into the woods.

I have already accepted that today is as good as life on earth will ever be, it’s all downhill from here, the extinction event that is already terribly advanced can’t be stalled, so the clock as to my remaining time is already ticking along with all the rest of life.

And yes, that mortal coil started unraveling at my conception, and this is why age, will most likely be the greatest factor in determining the choices we make from here on out. If we feel we’ve plenty of life still in us, we’ll most likely feel inclined to stuff as many new experiences in the time we have left, compared to those who are well pass their prime, and naturally see ease and comfort as their best available option.

I am someone who would much rather die from a rattlesnake bite, after days of hallucinating on mushrooms in the desert, than sit behind my computer and continue to alphabetize the apocalypse until the power goes out, as I’ve done for far, far too long already.

All that is left is for me to discover the courage to truly live with this morbid conviction, but to be completely honestly, I haven’t mustered the nerve yet. My behavior is still one of passive deference, for reasons still unknown to me, but most likely it’s just a jumble of distraction, guilt, fear, melancholy and a little laziness thrown in for safe measure.

I’m still telling myself that I need two more years of trending data sets to feel confident NTE will transpire much sooner than any of us ever imagined. Logically, I have accepted it, but I have yet to emotionally resolve my manifold hypocrisy.

Finding the courage to willingly embrace our inevitable destitution unto death is the only purpose of accepting NTE in my opinion. If this is not our objective, then I can see very little reason for even taking it into consideration. Why initiate such a ruinous acceptance into our existing lives, if we’re not going to allow our past lives to actually be ruined?

I am not old enough to die of natural causes before global famine descends across the globe, given it is probably only a few years away at this point anyhow. Whether or not most of us die as a direct result of famine or genocide is a question that simply no longer interests me. At this stage of the game, it’s all equally horrific. So what’s the point in continuing to waste our precious time even thinking about the millennial pernicious power plays of hairless apes?

For not unlike our current gross inequality, as long as capitalism rues the day, and I fear it wretchedly will until the very end, food stuff will flow in only one direction, towards those who can afford it. Those who can’t, will either quietly starve, riot or be killed.

Governments will have only two options in addressing this, either disintegrate and schism into temporary competing factions, or become brutal oppressive genocidal police states of in-groups and out-groups, thus postponing complete civic collapse by a number of years, through vicious demand destruction.

Governments with large securities apparatuses will most likely become police states, while governments without advanced security forces will most likely collapse. Endless war between competing police states will be the only perceived surrogate for hope in a world of permanent famine. The global citizenry will willfully welcome tyranny, much in the same way we always have. And as many of us have already accredited, “what’s past is prologue” … it’s just going to be unbelievably atrocious for the world’s poor in the beginning, again, much as it is already.

We live in a hyper-interdependent global market place, completely irrespective of its sustainability. State currency valuation and exchange through central banking is the sum total of what our speculative civilization now reflexively strives to protect. Whatever means keeps liquidity in the markets and power in the State, will be kept in play for as long as humanly possible.

Entire nations will be sacrificed upon the altar of maintaining capital flow and investment, it’s just a question of trickling economies of scale on the way down. We inhabit an utterly amoral economic system that will sacrifice all of life to sustain itself. Capitalism will double down until it, or we, cease to be. As long as there is enough energy to allow capitalists to cannibalize all perceived assets in an indebted world, then even famine on a global scale will just be a game of attrition controlled by the world’s ruling elite, in a continuous charade of paying a well-armed Peter to murder an ever-starving Paul.

It dawned on me a few years back that after over a decade of intensely attempting to collectively network with others through a myriad of preparedness schemes that I had just lost the will to survive in the collapsing world I was proselytizing. This is quite different from no longer wanting to live, for I very much love life, and have no desire to needlessly cut it short. I have just always seen living and surviving as to two separate entities. I am also at an age where I feel I’ve already taken more than my share.

I have decided after decades of feral study, without any sense of certainty, and based only on my opinion as to what is and isn’t probable, that when the Arctic sea ice is completely gone during the summer, when the earth’s Holocene epoch completely loses one of its primary thermal regulators, we are probably only a few years at best, before the ruling classes of the world realize global agriculture is untenable, and at that point, the lack of alternatives will be rather self-evident. And I simply have no desire to live through that deleterious fallout, nor do I even feel I have a right to.

What an endless perverse decay of ideas we now embark, where NTE can be seen as a bizarre new lease on life for those who are in a position to access it.

I can’t yet claim I’ve achieved this, for I’m still terribly conflicted and immersed in a lifetime of despondent culpability, but I can see an entirely new transgressive identity rising out of the ashes of this phenomenal and ominous acceptance.

Only a few years ago, I would be the first to lead the charge in attacking the very perspective I now possess. But necessity dictates my moral imperative, and it requires at least some belief of a viable future for the remaining life on earth. But I am now without this belief, and it seems my long personal sense of insignificance, has finally caught up to my actions. I was weary long before there was no point.

So, I am not one for skulking through what remains of this life, only to carefully arrive at extinction. I am going out on my terms, no one else’s. But until that day comes, I’m going to embrace this endless redefining of life for as long as I desire, as I hysterically fall out of this world.

If NTE is a tsunami, I’m sure in the hell not going to wait for it to arrive, I’m going to swim out to it across the desert night sky.
________________

Whistle-blower extraordinare Sibel Edmonds connects the dots brilliantly with respect to Boston and Syria. This essay is well worth reading, especially if you don’t believe in government-inspired conspiracies.

Comments 370

  • Jeff,

    There is no prescription here – the ones who choose to “go down fighting” will be doing what they want to do with their last days. If you want to form an army of resistance, you best remember that the opposition has tanks, B-1 Bombers, and lots of armed personnel with lots of bullets. But, probably better to die in active resistance than in your neighbor’s stew pot.

    It has been said here before: THE IRONY is that exactly what is needed, a quick reduction of the population by 90% along with an orderly dismantling of the toxic infrastructure of industrial civilization, is probably what TPTB have in mind for us anyway – except they will be in control. They will create militarized islands for themselves and use as many of us as they need as slaves to shut down our cities – and slaughter those of us they don’t need.

    NTE will be prefaced by COLLAPSE – the collapse will be where many of us will be the targets of roaming cannibals. The urban areas will be the worst – more horrible than anything you can imagine… if you are reading this, get out of the USA as quickly as you can…

  • good evening everyone

    Looks like somebody’s advice or interpolation that suicide would become the norm has been going on for while and is increasing. Add these people to the many soldiers that can’t see it any more in Afghanistan (and think about societal causes of the problems):

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/story/2013/04/30/tby-thunder-bay-neskantaga-first-nation-suicides.html

    Ontario First Nation gets little help despite suicide crisis
    Neskantaga First Nation reports 10 suicide attempts per month

    Neskantaga First Nation declared a state of emergency nearly two weeks ago because of a spike in suicides, but the community 480 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, Ont., has received little government support to help it deal with the crisis.

    The few local leaders not crippled by grief are struggling to administer all the ordinary needs of the community of 300 — and deal with the crisis.

    “Since the end of last year … we average about 10 [suicide attempts] per month, and at one time we surpassed 30 attempts in one month,” said emergency response co-ordinator Chris Moonias.

    Moonias said he has been working round the clock since the suicide of a 35-year-old earlier this month. A teenager killed himself days later, prompting the state of emergency.

    (further down)

    A recent health report from Neskantaga found half the population is struggling with addictions.

    Gaps to be filled
    Chris Moonias said the community’s proposal for a drug treatment program was turned down last fall by Health Canada. So was its proposal for mental-health counselling pitched after a suicide in December.

    Then, after the two most recent suicides, that money started to flow.

    Representatives from the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority were to be in Neskantaga on Tuesday to develop a community plan for mental-health counselling.

    But the suicide crisis is also highlighting the limited capacity in Neskantaga. Since the state of emergency was declared, government officials have been holding daily conference calls with leaders in the community.

    Every day there is a new gap to be filled, for example:

    With no safe drinking water, it is expected to cost $100,000 to get enough bottled water to Neskantaga for the mental-health counsellors and other visitors to the community.
    Only one person in the First Nation knows how to administer the welfare cheques, and she is unable to work because of her grief. It’s not clear how the Ontario Works money will be distributed to those in need in Neskantaga.
    Every government department wants a funding proposal before releasing money to Neskantaga, but very few people in the community are capable of drafting budgets and crafting proposals.
    The First Nation is asking for $600,000 from government to deal with the immediate crisis. The money would go to areas such as as mental-health counselling, transportation for the professionals who come to the community as well as water and food for them, debriefing for the staff, and salary for an emergency response co-ordinator for one year.

    So far, the federal government has committed about half the money that the First Nation said it needs. Ontario plans to contribute about $100,000.

    But First Nations leaders say that money is sufficient for just the most pressing needs. More money will be needed in the medium and long term, if suicides are to be prevented.

    As financial resources dry up it “won’t pay” to save anyone, and so it goes.

  • Paul Chefurka says: Why do you feel resistance is a moral imperative?

    Intraspecies Inequality: A Separate Issue

    Pissed off at extinction’s plight
    But still want to fight for what’s “right”?
    Since what’s at the root
    Is overshoot,
    Whom does it make sense to fight?

  • just live for the moment …….. Perhaps it’s that possible reaction to acceptance which keeps me from accepting.

    The problem is not the reaction: it is the reactor. A reactor lacking faith in itself, (re)acting from a position of weakness.

    Would it not be preferable to be

    letting go of preconceptions and the personal reactivity that accompanies them, helping instead of fighting, acting from joy and compassion rather than anger, and simply going on with my life as mindfully as (I) can?

    Living for the moment is exactly what consumer society is all about

    Indeed. Mutually exclusive with living in the moment. Kinda like the difference between those who eat to live and those who live to eat.

    Yes indeed, between extremophiles and oligotrophs, it may well be impossible to extirpate biological / metabolic activity on this planet.

    Most known microbes are more unknown than known, because they have only been identified through their DNA sequences found in soil. Only a few in a thousand of such sequenced species can be grown in the lab. The rest ain’t dead, because they can keep out or keep in certain molecules, which dead critters can’t do. It is thought that they may have special / unusual (and unknown) requirements, either environmental (physical or chemical) or co-dependencies (one species needs to be around another – and the other may need to be around a third…..etc.). They have been called “Microbial Dark Matter”. The term “Dark” is quite reasonable: a gram of soil may contain up to several billion microbes in many thousands of species: bacteria, actinomycetes (not quite bacteria nor quite fungi), fungi, algae, cyanobacteria, protozoa, archaea, micronematodes and microarthopods …… now if we could figure out a way to eat them.

  • I just can’t see Left in the Dark as any more scientific that alchemy or homeopathy, sorry.

    I already have a tenuous connection with family and friends, so I don’t know who else to share this information with, which is why I’m posting it here. It made me laugh, because, I only just learned, that May 4 is World Naked Gardening Day!! Some poems from the site:

    SEASONAL INTERCHANGE

    by Michael Aitken

    In Winter, when the trees are bare,
    We mortals don our winter wear.
    In Spring, when trees begin to dress,
    We mortals then start wearing less,
    Until, for some, with Summer’s heat
    The role reversal is complete.

    “Sweet, sane, still Nakedness in Nature! –ah if poor, sick, prurient humanity in cities might really know you once more! Is not nakedness then indecent? No, not inherently. It is your thought, your sophistication, your fear, your respectability that is indecent. There come moods when these clothes of ours are not only too irksome to wear, but are themselves indecent. Perhaps indeed he or she to whom the free exhilarating ecstasy of nakedness in Nature has never been eligible (and how many thousands there are!) has not really known what purity is–nor what faith or art or health really is.”

    – Walt Whitman, Specimen Day

    http://www.wngd.org/index3.html

  • @ Gail

    I just can’t see Left in the Dark as any more scientific that alchemy or homeopathy, sorry.

    Perhaps you didn’t watch the 2 hour video, Gail. The foetus grows in the womb and brain develops in response to the hormones and other chemicals it receives from the mother, and ultimately from the mothers diet. Many chemicals vital to brain development cannot be made by the human body. They must come from elsewhere. They are absent from modern diets. During our earlier evolutionary stage, when we evolved these brains, we had a vast and abundant source of chemicals from tropical forest fruits. There is no other comparable source. I shan’t bore readers by giving further details, anyone interested can investigate it themselves, but this is a perfectly respectable and plausible scientific theory that fills in a gap which is otherwise unexplained.

  • what bothers me most isn’t knowledge, it’s impotence. same with everyone here, i bet. not being able to ‘change the world’. lack of ‘free will’ in the matter. living a nightmare. the only exit is death, the end of ‘this life’ (hopefully).

    what bothers me is loving life, knowing that it might yet be saved but that it won’t be thanks to human stupidity/ignorance/irrationality, things we have no power over. isn’t that what drives u nuts?

    this is why we embrace despair: ‘nothing matters anymore’. with one exception. u may have ‘free will’ over your personal fate. live your best, die your best.

  • Paul Chefurka Says:
    April 30th, 2013 at 1:01 pm
    “@Jeff S.

    When you say “resistance is a moral imperative,” how do you understand that phrase? Does the morality just apply to you, the person making the moral choice, or do you feel it’s a moral imperative for everyone else? What if I choose (as I do) to be “immoral” and not fight? Do I lose status in your eyes? Why do you feel resistance is a moral imperative?
    I know I’m not alone in rejecting resistance. I see a lot of grounds for doing so – resistance is futile because I always fight on terms chosen by my “enemy”; it robs energy from other activities that might be more personally beneficial; we may not understand the situation, so our resistance may be misplaced; the people or events that we are resisting may not in fact be “at fault”; resistance simply binds me tighter to that which I resist, and keeps me from “letting go of the shore”.
    For me the right path involves recognizing exactly what’s going on, working to deepen my understanding of the situation and my response to it, letting go of preconceptions and the personal reactivity that accompanies them, helping instead of fighting, acting from joy and compassion rather than anger, and simply going on with my life as mindfully as I can. It makes me a bit sad to think that such a position could be construed as immoral simply because I don’t resist.”

    Paul: your post is a perfect illustration of what’s called New Age psycho-babble. Terms like “actualization” and EST-talk in general would fit right in. Yes, i think it’s a moral imperative for human beings in general. When you see a rape and do nothing, you are guilty too. When you see genocide and do nothing, because you claim you feel powerless, you are a participant. This is what global society determined regarding how Germans behaved during WWII. A few brave ones, e.g. the White Rose Society, resisted the Nazi regime, odds be damned. The others turned their heads and pretended to not know. People within the concentration camps also counseled that “resistance is futile.” Most of those who listened to them died.

    Acting out of “joy” in the situation shows to me someone who is in a privileged position in global society, coasting on top of terrain anchored upon sweatshops in Bangladesh and China (and even in North America) as well as on massive ecocide. The current holocaust, currently in its early stages, will affect all of humanity and the bulk of the ecosystem, putting the Nazi version to shame. Passivity is complicity. Silence is consent.

    Prattling about how resistance is futile and how we’re better to retreat into passive contemplation and getting those around us to passively accept it all is what exactly what the mass media do day in and day out. Let’s not pretend that it’s anything except another form of pacification.

  • Nice set of opinions you got there, Jeff.

  • Jeff, I personally don’t think that you have understood the finer points of what Paul has said.

  • @ Jeff

    You stated:

    “Which certainly sounds like giving up. Living for the moment is exactly what consumer society is all about, regardless of messages about saving for future needs, planning for kids’ college, life insurance,… Is that the kind of effect you desire to come out of your words?”

    First off, I want you to know that I hear what you’re saying, and while we most likely fundamentally disagree at this point, I want you to know I’m not just being intransigent, I truly do get where you’re coming from. These are very pertinent questions for all of us. We’re all groping around in the dark at this point, struggling with how to reconcile our knowledge of the science behind NTE, and it’s staggering emotional unacceptability.

    But Rob nailed the root of our disparity in just five words: “There is no prescription here….”

    The issue you are taking, is a classic example of the millennial divide between descriptive ethics vs. prescriptive ethics, or rather, you’re conflating the two, or at least falsely making inference as to my intent.

    Here is another way of looking at it: Everything post-acceptance of NTE, is intrinsically “descriptive”, compared to everything that came before, which at least from an ethical perspective, in regards to our moral obligations to the natural world, is/was intrinsically “prescriptive”.

    In other words, if we don’t stop destroying the biosphere, we’re all going to die (descriptive). Therefore, if we want to live, we “should” stop destroying the biosphere (prescriptive). However, we didn’t stop destroying the biosphere, and because we didn’t, we are no longer even living in the Holocene, and now we’re all going to die (descriptive).

    But personally, I have absolutely zero interest in debating with anyone, as to whether the descriptive side of NTE is either true or not. Again, the reason behind my heavy use of commiseration.

    If Guy wants to attempt to convince people of NTE, then that is his choice. We are all far from being on the same page; there is plenty of discord to go around.

    I simply believe nonlinear rates of climate change are now in effect, and as a result, nothing we do at this point, can undo what has been done. And as a result, we’re all going to die much sooner than any of us ever imagined.

    You are coming from a pre-acceptance perspective, where you are still concerned with how people “ought” to behave. And frankly, I genuinely hope you can maintain this perspective for as long as you live.

    But for me, I simply no longer can, and where as with most everyone here, minus a few you of course, we are far more interested in what “is”, because what “is”, now, simply wasn’t not all that long ago………of course forgoing all debate as to whether it was or wasn’t predetermined that humanity would eventually destroy itself.

    As things stand today, there simply is no way you are ever going to understand my/our perspective, and again, I hope you never do. I would give almost anything to still see the world from your perspective, because from this side of acceptance, all we have left to decide, is how we’re going to exit the catastrophe we created.

    But to answer your question directly, I have no “desired effect”, other than being able to commiserate with those who share my perspective, which is why I only post at NBL.

    Thanks for the questions. If you are so inclined, please keep them coming, in the long run, it will only help us all come to better terms with where we stand.

  • @ TVT

    You state:

    “what bothers me is loving life, knowing that it might yet be saved but that it won’t be thanks to human stupidity/ignorance/irrationality, things we have no power over. isn’t that what drives u nuts?”

    Bingo!

  • TVT: but we never really *could* “change the world”. We just *thought* we could. Big difference. Hubris. PROTAGONISM.

    I don’t despair any longer (or yet). Maybe there is something wrong with me. A departed friend had a negative reaction a couple of years ago when, at a Chinese restaurant in Perugia, we saw a large group of Indians being seated. At a personal level this man was lovely to deal with, but his “ancestry” spoke when he voiced resentment at the fact that Europe and Italy in particular might eventually be majority Asian or Middle Eastern. This really bothered him, and as a mongrel American from a young nation-state full of immigrants it was hard for me to pinpoint why this was a problem. Once upon a time, there was population X and now there is population Y, or X+Y: it’s happened many times in human history. Yet, to him, it REALLY MATTERED. This in a country, like Britain, which has bizarrely embraced foreign monarchs within our lifetimes (French, German)!

    Since the disease we have been suffering from, in the main, is humans’ assumption of having almighty powers, the cure is certainly not to be found in “potency” but rather must be (or might have been) the renunciation of that ill-founded assumption.


    Jeff S., there is pacifism and pacifism. A majority of Guantanamo inmates wish to commit suicide in the face of a force against which they cannot combat otherwise. Is this cowardice, or a completely rational reaction to what they are up against (indefinite extra-legal detention for no demonstrable reason)? In any game, we must allow players the right to decide not to play any longer. Keep playing, though, by all means, if you desire!

  • @ Jeff S

    “This is what global society determined regarding how Germans behaved during WWII. A few brave ones, e.g. the White Rose Society, resisted the Nazi regime, odds be damned. The others turned their heads and pretended to not know. People within the concentration camps also counseled that “resistance is futile.” Most of those who listened to them died.”

    When it comes to moral conjecture, lord do we love them Nazis. Why? Is it because their crimes during WWII, were so vague and befuddling? Probably not. It’s because it was so egregiously black or white. Nazis bad, everyone else good, or at least not as bad. And boy do we love things to be either/or. Either/and? Not so much.

    But as with all comparative association to our ecological dilemma, there truly is no equivalent to the biosphere. It tends to be bigger than…..well, everything that ever was, combined.

    While drawing comparisons to “our” agency to effectively alter human behavior, to that of resisting a single standing army, might at first blush appear to be relative conjecture, we are in fact, describing two entirely different issues, that are separated by almost incalculable orders of magnitude.

    In regards to Nazis, there existed near endless agency, in regards to all of humanity being beyond the point of no return? From a distance, even apples and oranges look alike.

  • pat says: your neighbor’s stew pot

    If you think that the weather’s too hot,
    Anthropophagites bring a new plot:
    Imagine you got
    A deep doo-doo spot
    Inside your neighbor’s stew pot.

  • But the real philosophical question is this: If we are in such extreme danger, then what is our duty to inform others?

    My ethics says that I should not profit by inflicting misery to others, but what is my ethical duty when I see others harming my future and the future of everyone for their profit?

    How should I defend my species? What duty do we have to the future?

  • I truly fear that the “Cannibal Age” is on the horizon and speeding toward us ever faster. Seriously, every time I enter the grocery store theses days.. and look about me, I see people loading up their carts with no concern. Don’t they realize what’s going to happen within 5 to 15 years!? The moment there is no Petrol to deliver the “meat” and “goods” to the supermarket, the Sh-t WILL hit the fan! Like so many other NTE Family have said here before…”make sure you know your neighbors!” We will soon need to rely on each other. I constantly look out for my neighbors.. but there is no guarantee that they will do the same when it comes to “drawing straws.” All I can do for now is to live a good example as a neighbor. I’d like to think that my neighborly actions over the last decade (watching their homes during vacation, shoveling their sidewalks in the winter, caring for their pets, etc) will have sent a message that I’m on their side. But.. I fear that Humans are just out to survive. I wouldn’t be surprised if my own neighbors.. in a pinch to provide for their families… make me the menu of the day. So be it. We are all animals.. and BELIEVE me.. it doesn’t take much for us all to revert to Animalism. All I can say is.. stay in touch with your neighbors and let them know what’s going on. Buckle up.. because the ride is going to get EXTREMELY turbulent!!!!!!!

  • what bothers me most isn’t knowledge, it’s impotence. same with everyone here, i bet. not being able to ‘change the world’. lack of ‘free will’ in the matter.

    “Free Will” isn’t what it’s touted to be. It leaves a hunter-gatherer child born in such a H-G tribe free to learn the ways of its tribe. And allows those born into the hierarchies of industrial civilisation free to learn to cope by competing, submitting, resisting or dropping out. We are as free to live on land as the fish are free to live in water. The vast majority of the constraints are passed over unnoticed, because they have been operative for so long that we (and all other creatures, in their own ways) have adapted to those constraints. It is only with respect to new situations that the question of “free will” arises. If we were yeast in a vat, the discussion may have headed in a different direction.

    Yes, i think it’s a moral imperative for human beings in general.

    Quite a lot may hinge on what is implied by “moral”. There are some who would reject any agenda based on, or concealing, hate, anger, blame or for that matter, fear.

    We’re all groping around in the dark at this point, struggling with how to reconcile our knowledge of the science behind NTE, and it’s staggering emotional unacceptability.

    If one accepts a world-view of creation-sustenance-dissolution instead of creation, sustenance, and eternal heaven, the problem with imminent dissolution becomes an error in estimating the timing. Many if not most have had their emotional machinery attuned from an early age to the “eternal heaven” narrative: even though they may intellectually accept an end to the current arrangements in the physical universe, its temporal remoteness allows them to isolate it from their emotional apparatus. Not so with “Near Term”.

    divide between descriptive ethics vs. prescriptive ethics,

    Prescriptive ain’t ethics at all: “Yer a sonuvabitch if you don’t do what I say”.

  • Pilot 17, we evolved to be social creatures. Social creatures have to trust each other to work together. So canibalism is not easy for humans to do in most situations. People could not work together as a tribe if they didn’t trust each other not to make each other food. Even after death when it wouldn’t matter, humans are loath to eat other humans. It is true that some tribes have created memes to eat people from other tribes or their own at death but these are unusual. Most in fact have some form of respectful burial or treatment of the dead of their own tribe.

    When a group of people got stranded in the Andes, they eventually ate the frozen bodies of those who died in the plane crash. It took some time and even then I think one or two could not do it. They tried to make some ceremony of it. When they were finally rescued and the truth came out, there was a certain sense of horror in the general public about it. It of course made sense, but it I am sure created a fear among the group of what would happen if they weren’t rescued and the frozen dead ran out. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alive_(1993_film)

    However, of course, we no longer have deep tribal sentiments, and thus it may be easier for cannibalism to arrive. But when the crash first happens it is likely that you will be killed for some possession, or just because and your body left to rot. A lot of bodies will just rot before anyone takes up cannibalism.

    Dead is dead and whether fly larva eat your body or humans do will make little difference. The fact that we even talk about this is because we have embedded in us a program that keeps us from looking at each other as food.

    A more immediate question is what about the dog. Post crash if food is short do you feed the dog? If not do you eat the dog? The book, One Second After, deals with a US that has had the grid wiped out. Plot spoiler – in the end they eat the dog. I think the author gets much right, BUT forgets about all the nuclear plants going Chernobyl without cooling power. Not really Chernobyl, or Fukushima though. Imagine those events with NO attempt to stop them. We can’t because it hasn’t happened yet but it will. Imagine the forest fires, and city fires with no attempt to control them. Cannibalism seems the least of our worries. Unless someone tries to eat us alive, what they do with our bodies when we are dead is immaterial, and there will be plenty of other first reasons to kill other than for a meal. Once the grid goes down, the big question to ask is where is the nearest nuclear plant and which way is the wind blowing?

    All this seems horrifying, but right now people are kept alive to slowly die as cancer eats up their body, or their brain turns to mush. Many now suffer long lingering painful deaths. Death is the fate we gain when we are born, and dying is seldom easy. We just pretend that is is always off in the distance and seldom think about it. NTE forces us to think about it, but in fact no one will die who wouldn’t die anyway. We are mortals.

  • Hey Kathy:

    and they’re doing SUCH a good job keeping up with the repairs and maintainance of those nuclear power plants:

    http://www.10news.com/news/investigations/photograph-picture-given-to-team-10-shows-plastic-bags-tape-broomsticks-used-to-fix-leak-at-san-onofre-043013

    Plastic bags, tape, broomsticks fix San Onofre leak
    NRC contemplating restart of nuclear plant

    SAN DIEGO – An inside source gave Team 10 a picture snapped inside the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) showing plastic bags, masking tape and broom sticks used to stem a massive leaky pipe.

    San Onofre owner Southern California Edison (SCE), confirms the picture was taken inside Unit Three, but did not say when. The anonymous source said the picture was taken in December 2012.

    Unit Three is the same unit that leaked radiation in January 2012. SONGS has been shutdown since then as a precaution.

    “[Staff] identified a small leak in the water box and will perform maintenance per our scheduling process,” SCE spokeswoman Maureen Brown wrote in a statement. “In the meantime, plastic is in place to direct the water from the small leak to a drain.”

    “The condition represented in the photograph has been identified as a minor saltwater leak at Unit 3 and poses no danger to public health and safety,” NRC spokesman Victor Dricks wrote after three days of analysis. “The licensee is tracking the issue and will repair the condition in accordance with their work prioritization process. The unit is currently in an extended shutdown with no plans to operate at any time in the near future.”

    “If that’s nuclear technology at work and that’s how we’re going to control leaks I think the public should know,” the inside source said.

    More than one anonymous source talked about the picture with Team 10. They said the public has a right to know about the plant’s condition, as the NRC decides whether the plant will be allowed to restart.

    Unit Two is the generator under consideration for restart – not Unit Three – where the picture was taken. Currently there are no plans to restart Unit Three.

    Sources also pointed to what appears to be corrosion on the pipe as a sign of the power plant’s age.

    They claim rust is rampant throughout SONGS — including what sources call a fire suppression pipe, which protects both units.

    “There’s a pipe that runs along the security fence, from one side of the plant to the other side of the plant — it’s totally blistered,” one inside source told Team 10.

    “To take an isolated picture and leap to some kind of conclusion about maintenance is a pretty big leap,” SCE’s Brown said in a phone conversation.

    “We are dealing with unknown territory here which has never been explored before,” another inside source said. Two inside sources called restarting SONGS “risky.”

    SCE disputes those claims and told Team 10 the plant is safe to restart.

    (there’s a little more)

  • Jeff S., it looks like it’s just you and me and Guy when it comes to resistance.

    Perhaps that is us being true to our essential natures. The idea of meditating on Chipmunk medicine (as my new age nephew does) to become the change I want to see just doesn’t cut it for me. Like the protagonist in Cat’s Cradle, if I have a choice in the end, I hope to offer both middle fingers to TPTB before I die.

    Not because it will stop anything or change anything, but so that I can live with myself before I die. Jesus, it’s the fucking end of the world. It seems to me that that should merit a collective fuck you to the powers that be. That there is disagreement on this point, I believe, is telling.

  • @wildwoman,

    What of the awareness that TPTB are not out there, masquerading as “the other”, but are here, inside each of us? To whom to we raise our middle fingers then? What do we say when we look into the mirror each morning? “Fuck you?”

    If any of us use more than 5000 kcal/day including the food we eat, then we are the problem. Any other response is pure projection.

  • @ wildwoman

    Jeff S., it looks like it’s just you and me and Guy when it comes to resistance.

    Please, count me in ! Or, at least, don’t leave me out, hahaha.

  • Daniel

    You wrote:

    ” Well, in case you didn’t here is a part of it, that especially applies to you:

    “Again, for those who consider there “might” still be a chance to turn this bloody ship around, then it logically makes no sense for those to even be considering NTE, for not only is it a false pretense, but its utterly self-defeating.”

    And while you clearly take offense with either my position or just me, I mean you no offense.”

    While I did not intend any offence, I can see how you may take it like that. My apologies, I just lost interest after a few minutes. Is that a crime?

    Also on a more serious not, having taken some offence, you wast oxygen personalising some of the content you wrote, about NTE deniers, and some ‘dictatorial logic’ that one must be crystal clear on a future series of complex Biosphere events. I have a view, it is cogent and reasoned, and if you have included some of your essay content to ‘take care of’, or otherwise whitewash, those who like me who leave the door ajar on NTE, while admitting the plughole is well in sight, then you have a problem IMO. Not only are you arming your argument when there is no real threat by my view to yours – we will all soon see what actually happens, eh? – but this action smacks of some other motive than open debate, which even though there has been much debate even long before I became a comments poster here, it can still go there. new people are coming to NBL daily, because the word is getting out. I suspect the upcoming Movie , “Somewhere in the desert…” is partially responsible, as well as all the committed spade work Guy has put in – but I kinda digress.

    I think there is a problem with NTE policing , and if NBL trips into anything less than open debate on NTE and all the associated data and inputs, even greater social and ecological factors as causes and consequences of catastrophic climate change, it my fall victim to rigid ideology, just the ticket for roving trolls, and shrills to massage the discussion here to doomer/quasi terrorist leanings – Do you want that? – (the top line message is ‘bring down industrial economy’…?, but Guy quotes an academic paper, poorly peer reviewed at that, that nevertheless describes this as the only method to avert catastrophic irreversible climate change, however, if the line is bleated, without proper reasoning, it becomes a mantra easily spun into anti social political mantra…)

    Do you want that?

    I don’t.

    I am not suggesting you are in that camp – not at all – but you do seem to desperately want a widespread acceptance of the NTE brand, and it is not really clear to me why.

    Having said that, I will agree it is best if I do read your essay in it’s entirety, and I will. I was going to print it out and read it longhand, but my printer black was out).

    I am just not interested in flipping this site into a NTE sloganeering comments bureau, for so much intelligent and informed debate is usually what new commenters praise right off the bat(pun…).
    So for the record, I think you characterise my comments incorrectly.

    I do not deny the real possibility of NTE for humans, and other life-forms. I merely point out the possibility of pockets of human habitability may continue. That’s all. Reasonable don’t you think?

    Unless you feel you are over all the geomorphology and climatology going, and can say for sure…?

    It is a desperate and emotive issue -NTE – and I apologise if you took offence that I declared not reading all the essay. I could have been more diplomatic.

    BadlandsAK

    You quote:

    “Who are you really, wanderer?”
    “Maybe I’m a king.”

    This interests me.

    Older stories, and fairy tales, the unknown birth is used as a device to put the idea in every child’s mind that they may be of very important social standing, or even have that kingly divine spark. This is in part to excite the imagination, and also as a hopium pill because they are clearly not, in their own social setting. It gives the narrative a hope that it could just be true.

    Nice one!

    Lidia Says:
    April 30th, 2013 at 4:03 am

    A brilliant piece of writing, IMO!

    ulvfugl

    You wrote, in agreement with Lidia’s comments…

    “All the stories get broken”

    I’d like to say this is what is a major component of the Post Modern Moment of the 1980’s 1990’s. It is the smashing of the cultural chrysalis, or shell. Catastrophic consumption and celebrity obsession, and the expansion of the narrative form into moving pictures and song reproduction technology en masse forced the brief portal to close, and we as a thinking species lost those 30 years to prepare for the emergence of a wide awake way of living.
    The stories breaking is just the beginning of all the unloading of the dregs from our collective cumulative narrative investment in a ‘unsustainable’ way of life.

    Serous discussion on these ideas and events, of which you are very capable of, has been needed, and been drowned out by the investment choices of the petrochemical profits driven prestidigitators -(love that word)-or industry and advertising.

    What the Post-Modern theorists neglected to look at and discuss, was the emotion of that change, preferring instead to locate the transformation in the intellect.

    It was also something so challenging in the first place that it needed some powerful champions to keep the conversation on topic and alive. Instead we got drug fuelled sport contests, booty MTV, home renovation(now neck ‘n’ neck with home celebrity cooking shows!) and no civic engagement unmediated by currency exchange in public. Sadly for many that all passes for culture!!

    Tom

    You wrote in your last sentence:

    “As financial resources dry up it “won’t pay” to save anyone, and so it goes.”

    The previous words are a tragedy, a bloody tragedy. The addictions mean the spirit of the people is dying, or fading. Do other Indian elders have the ability to come and give guidance and build the spirit?

    This is a left field suggestion, but why not try amalgamating their way of life with a larger kinship nation, and trying to survive that way?

    Also, the quote I repeated, looks like becoming universal.

    Cypress…

    and the Australian Federal Government has finally admitted the worldwide economic depression is hitting the accounts into deficit, and the resources boom of the past 2 decades is over:

    ‘(Federal treasurer, Wayne)Swan Says Australia Will Remain in Deficit Longer Than Forecast’

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-30/swan-says-australia-will-remain-in-deficit-longer-than-forecast.html

    A quote:

    “Australia’s budget will remain in deficit for longer than forecast and the government faces tough decisions to make up for tax revenue shortfalls caused by the currency’s sustained strength, Treasurer Wayne Swan said.

    “The money simply isn’t coming in the door like it used to,” Swan said in the text of an address to be given in Melbourne today, before delivering the federal budget on May 14. “That means as a country we are facing some very difficult choices.” ”

    You can say that again. No mention of Peak Oil nor NTE ! Yet.

    Daniel

    Daniel Says:
    April 30th, 2013 at 8:03 pm
    @ Jeff S

    Re you talk of Nazi atrocities…

    I can’t say what they amount to, but the shock in post war Europe and beyond was not just the program of brutal genocide with great documentation. The shock was that it could happen to us moderns. We have all read a history that includes Attila the Hun, Alexander the Great, and the Roman Empire, and Napoleon. We knew that full scale warfare and killing was within human capacity, perhaps with an emphasis on ethnicity and tribe in earlier times. But the shock was that it happened to Moderns. The recent mass genocides in Asia, Cambodia, and Also in South America, in Chile, were just as brutal and repressive, or in kind , so, but it did not register on Europeans and their colonies, perhaps because the cultural hubris there has been the strongest…?

    Also you have tripped the blog extinction claymore – you mentioned the Nazis !!

    wildwoman

    I wonder what constitutes resistance in this case?

    Activism can come in many forms. Are we doing our greatest resistance work now, or will it be when all the neighbours start agitating for foolhardy local solutions, or aggregate around the big man systems that got us in this mess?

    I think we will be needed if we remain healthy and clear witted, no matter what social SHTF eventuates.

    Why define the best action only as resistance? I am prepping for bush life. Haven’t skinned a kangaroo yet, but the day will come when I am hungry enough. Can I catch it is a good question. Am I smart enough?

    Seriously, resist what? I can see me not living in a city, or such an urban setting has let me drift away from all the conspicuous consumption. But Paul’s point about some arbitrary daily calories is as good a litmus test as I have seen on how we could fare sans Industrial Civ.

  • Jeff S. says: Passivity is complicity. Silence is consent.

    wildwoman Says:
    May 1st, 2013 at 4:52 am
    Jeff S., it looks like it’s just you and me and Guy when it comes to resistance.

    I agree with Paul. Am I “in the resistance” if I live in America, have a job, drive a car, shop at Wal-Mart, and then spend my weekends in front of the state capitol with a “No Nukes” poster? Hardly.

    I think those of us living the priviledged life here in America are beyond redemption – and, the argument can be made I guess that even those who are not “Collapse Aware” are just as guilty. Just like the Germans in Germany that said “We are not Nazis, while watching the smoke rise from the gas chambers and covering their noses from the stench.”

    If by joining the resistance you are trying to “purge your soul,” then that’s fine by me. If by joining the resistance you are simply affirming your rejection of TPTB and their agenda, then that’s fine by me too. In fact, I salute you. However, unless you are PURE in your resistance, and I mean Totally Pure, then you have to admit there are degrees of resistance and those of us here that at least AGREE with you on principle mean you no harm and, in fact, may be the only friends you have left. Socrates said: “It is not so important that we practice virtue as we discuss it.” It IS more important to know what virtue IS rather than to what degree it is being practiced. So, I believe, most of us here agree with you “Jesus, it’s the fucking end of the world.” And, it is a virtue to resist it but, does the virtue exist without the knowledge of resistance? If so, then the fat mother of two at Wal-Mart with her reusable grocery bags buying the “buy one get one free” Cheetoes special is, in fact, practicing this virtue by way of the reusable grocery bag, even though she is destroying the planet every bit as much as the next clueless guy.

    If you pay taxes (any taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, income taxes, vehicle registration fees, etc) in America you are part of the Collapse. You are also paying for the machine that is wiretapping Jeff S., wildwoman, and Guy. And, the machine that will one day enslave you, kill you, and bury you in a mass grave.

    On Community:
    I once had a roommate who was also my best friend and he had a daughter that lived with us – and, sometimes he would ask me to pick her up from school, and I would, no problem. One time he asked me to pick her up and I said no, I couldn’t that particular day. He got mad about it and was all pissed off. I told him:

    “if you ask for a favor, I must have the option to say “NO,” otherwise, you are not ASKING!

    That kind of gave me a glimpse into “Community.” If you’ve ever been a member of a Homeowners’ Association, you know how ridiculous and petty the squabbles can be. I have no faith in community!

    As for eating the dog, well, we have three cats, and I assure you, we will not be eating them, the five of us will starve together if necessary and bury the ones that die first as best we can – noboby will be eating anybody. That is family. However, I would kill the neighbor’s cat and the five of us would share a nice meal! So, watch out for your pets, I’m a pretty good shot!

  • BP raking in the dough as their damage to the Gulf continues:

    https://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/04/30/1942151/bp-posted-42-billion-in-q1-profits-as-its-chemical-dispersants-continue-to-harm-the-gulf/

    By Jackie Weidman, Guest Blogger on Apr 30, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    BP Posts $4.2 Billion In Q1 Profits As Its Chemical Dispersants Continue To Harm The Gulf

    BP announced its 2013 first-quarter profits this morning, reporting earnings of $4.2 billion — down 10 percent from this time last year but higher than analysts’ forecasts.

    Here are some key facts about BP’s profits:

    •The company is sitting on nearly $28 billion in cash reserves.
    •In the first three months of 2013, BP spent $834 million buying back its own stock.
    •Meanwhile, worldwide oil production decreased to 2.3 million barrels per day, 5 percent lower than the first quarter of 2012.
    •BP’s CEO Bob Dudley raked in $2.7 million in 2012.
    •In 2012, BP gave over $400,000 in federal campaign contributions, with 59 percent going to Republicans. They also spent nearly $9 million on lobbying.
    •The company received an estimated $300 million annual tax break for 2011.
    April 20th marked the third anniversary of BP’s Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed 11 workers and spewed 210 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico over the course of 87 days.

    In November 2012, BP agreed to pay a $4.5 billion settlement in criminal charges related to the spill: the largest criminal penalty in history. But a separate, and much larger civil trial, is still underway for Clean Water Act violations and is expected to continue well into this year. Record-setting fines for this trial could reach up to $17 billion if BP is found guilty of gross negligence. On top of that, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi are seeking an additional $34 billion for economic and property damage under the Oil Pollution Act.

    The Daily Beast recently detailed the extreme health effects related to pouring 1.8 million gallons of toxic chemicals into the ocean in the wake of the spill. Corexit, a “dispersant,” was used to keep oil from reaching the Gulf Coast shorelines. In the process, it caused lasting neurological impairments, pulmonary problems, and many other serious ailments for hundreds of cleanup workers and coastal residents. The author, Mark Hertsgaard, explained that BP officials were told exactly how hazardous the chemical was, and lied about it. He told MSNBC in a recent interview that it will be an uphill battle for many people who have incurred huge hospital bills and are still suffering. “BP set aside roughly $8 billion for medical claims,” he said, “but most of the illnesses that these people are suffering from are not covered under that settlement.”

    The BP disaster had a deep and lasting health and economic impacts throughout the Gulf Coast region. However, a recent column in the Wall Street Journal editorialized that drilling activity there hasn’t changed much since 2010. The Obama administration’s “toughened” drilling regulations “have amounted to little more than a speed bump for the energy industry,” which is “booming in the Gulf of Mexico.”

    The next, and last, of the Big Five companies to announce its first quarter profit will be Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday May 2nd.

    A side note to the suicides i recently alluded to (from this article on Yahoo):

    Number of Boston University Student Deaths ‘Staggering’

    (about mid-way through)

    The most common cause of death for people ages 15 to 24 is unintentional injury, followed by homicide and then suicide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By the time people reach 45, the top cause of death is “malignant neoplasms,” or cancer, according to the CDC.

  • @wildwoman says “Jeff S., it looks like it’s just you and me and Guy when it comes to resistance.”

    Sounds like we need some type of organizational chart to plot how each stands across the great arc of NTE. I propose four headings:

    1. resist – fight the good fight
    2. accept – grieve and/or debate telling others
    3. accept – party aka live for the moment
    4. defend – shield & protect

    While I’m pretty confident that most here, if not all, will finally arrive at #4, my primary concern is the world @ large. (If you disagree that you’ll ever personally participate in #4, let me recommend two books: All Quiet on the Western Front & King Rat.)

    As I suggested earlier up thread, I believe a new tangent to the discussion will be ways in which to throw off the public at large from the scent. You can prance around all you want on your own moral high horse, but one day you will be forced to act in ways you can’t yet fathom. (Again, if you haven’t already done so, read the two books referenced above.)

    I, for one, am interested in making damn sure I get to enjoy my last days.

  • It looks as if quite a few keyboards bit the dust on this post!

    Just a few minutes after this was posted, I read through the first million pages or so, but just couldn’t get through it after 10 PM, and much to my surprise, quite a few people seem to have read the WHOLE thing, and then wrote quite a lot more about it… Wow.

    @ Daniel Drumright: I hope this can be edited down to about half its current length, and I agree completely with the early post from Gary (4/28 at 10:10 PM) that the essay is littered with wordy phrases that detract from the very important message. All this sesquipedalian pontification could be replaced by clear, cogent phrases of straightforward, approachable English (or written in any number of other languages).

    Many comments from folks whose opinions I value have praised this essay, so I have every reason to believe that there are excellent thoughts, questions, and positions embedded within, but I hope you will take the time to un-embed them! I did read enough to see some excellent content, but I have hugel-beds to build, and a chicken coop, and so much to do that reading something that long takes a snowy day and a whole pot of strong coffee.

    If we expect to reach a wider audience with the most important ideas of our age, we will have to deliver it in a digestible form. Not spoon-feed them tasty and mindless little sound bites or the ever-appalling “tweets” (why do I think of “twits” whenever I see this word?), but something well-written and carefully edited for clarity — and a bit of brevity.

    If you endeavor to edit this down and tighten it up a notch, it could be read — and understood — by a much wider audience. I think there would be real value in that!

  • pat

    You make some great points, especially on what is resistance in an embedded life in Industrial Civilisation.

    You also wrote:

    “If you pay taxes (any taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, income taxes, vehicle registration fees, etc.) in America you are part of the Collapse. You are also paying for the machine that is wiretapping Jeff S., wildwoman, and Guy. And, the machine that will one day enslave you, kill you, and bury you in a mass grave.”

    Firstly, the phrase ‘One Day’ seems to put it into the future…..Yes?

    Is it not now already slavery if one feels so much enmeshed in the gears that it is not practical to extract oneself from the machine?

    Joseph Campbell spoke on this by using Dearth Vader as an example to illustrate a creative individual losing their humanity by being caught in the machine.

    Is that not slavery already? I can’t think what it must be like in an urban setting, what a horror. At least where I live the bush is some way of devising some subsistence, even if it eventuates to be far more difficult than expected,( I’m expecting that ).

    It is simply madness either way. Guy just had to jump, and he has. No wonder so few do such things, because you have to have a combination of self belief, self doubt and forward looking ability and a reasonable assessment of human behaviours, and be a climate scientist(armchair of course) and very practical as to water, food, warmth and some decent human community. No wonder there is only three of you, (or four, if you count ulvfugl)

    Best wishes to all, however it goes.

  • to OzMan:

    You are prepping for bush life. That is good, in some small way you are practicing the virtue of resistance.

    But, really, is saving your own skin really RESISTANCE?

    Look, there is only ONE solution here! We need 90% of the Earth’s population to die pretty quickly, but, before they do, they need to help us dismantle the toxic infrastructure of industrial civilization so that the “chosen” people can survive along with the rest of the planet’s life.

    So, how exactly is the resistance going to get this solution implemented? I don’t think flipping the bird to the CEO of BP is going to make much of a difference! In fact, truth be told, TPTB have a better chance of getting the solution implemented – but on their terms. It is sad that this is reality.

    TPTB with their FEMA camps and vast military can effectively enslave us and have us dismantle the toxic infrastructure while killing large numbers of us and having us bury the bodies. Then, they can live as Kings over the few remaining of us. If you think about it, resistance can only muck up their plans to a certain extent and do more damage to the planet as their plans are delayed.

    As Frankl said, the ones that survived the Nazi camps were NOT “the best of us.”

    So, it may be that the only chance the planet’s life forms have is for TPTB to be successful in their horrible plan. And, if we believe that is the case, then resistance is actually resisting the solution.

    Maybe the best way to resist is to become a member of TPTB as a “sleeper cell” to survive the collapse and, once the smoke clears and there are only 5 million people on the planet, you can start lobbying for changes in whatever might be wrong with the New System!

  • 1. resist – fight the good fight
    2. accept – grieve and/or debate telling others
    3. accept – party aka live for the moment
    4. defend – shield & protect

    I am in # 3 and I have no plan to ever be in # 4. I’m not telling others, and I’m racking up as much debt as I can with no intention of ever paying it and I’ll file bankruptcy as many times as I can before I die. I will be a burden to the system is every way possible, food stamps, unemployment benefits, unpaid visits to the emergency room, and never vote.

    Just waiting for one of two things to happen:

    1) Rapid SHTF chaos. I’ll live like a dog and riot and loot as much as possible and probably die a violent death in the streets. or Pat will shoot me trying to eat one of his cats.

    2) Slow collapse within an ever increasing police state. I’ll live like a dog and riot and loot as much as possible and probably die a violent death in the streets. or Pat will shoot me trying to eat one of his cats.

    For now though, I guess I’m dancing on the future graves of the children in China who are making the shoes I wear. As I’ve said before, there is no redemption for the suffering we have caused and my penance is to not aspire. I am as good as dead.

  • I had the depressing thought first thing this morning (is it even possible to be more depressing than NTE?) that maybe the reason I have this struggle of not knowing how to live in the shadow of NTE is that I am infected with what is really just a typical human conceit – that we are anything better than feral beasts. We have always fought over territory, resources, and choosing a partner for the next generation, just like animals do. Maybe morality and ethics are just intellectual fictions we invent to excuse our violence. Maybe the financially successful CEO’s and bankers and politicians – who we like to call sociopaths – are simply more ruthless and better adapted to reality, while the rest of us (the 99%) are merely evolutionary losers, trying to excuse our lower status by cloaking it in moral superiority. If we are genetically programmed to compete and incapable of halting our rush to self-destruct, then the smart ones are the ones who live in the moment, enjoy peak prosperity while it lasts, and don’t worry about anything, certainly not perfecting human nature. Maybe resisting is nothing more than sour grapes. Is the lion evil when it kills the gazelle? Have humans invented or created anything as beautiful as a flower or a hummingbird?

    It would appear that adopting B9K9’s approach makes so much sense, but it FEELS so wrong. What if that wrongness feeling is based on vanity?

  • Gail,

    well said.

    My job now is to do everything in my power to accelerate the Collapse! That is my mission. TPTB can count on me to be a complete drain on society and foster chaos wherever I can so they can justify their police state so they can get busy with The Plan to save the planet on their terms.

    If I could wave a magic wand and have 90% of the population disappear along with every aspect of industrial civilization, I would. But, alas, said magic wand is not in my possession.

  • @Gail,

    It would appear that adopting B9K9′s approach makes so much sense, but it FEELS so wrong. What if that wrongness feeling is based on vanity?

    That’s why I split hairs over living for the moment as opposed to living in the moment. The former contains a necessary measure of self-interest, where the latter does not (at least, not necessarily).

    I feel that in order to be a true witness to the unraveling, then I need to be completely present to it, moment by moment. I can’t harbour self-interest or emotional reactivity, because those automatically colour my perceptions, and so block my ability to be completely present. This is why I’m such a proponent of self-discovery – I think it has helped make me a truer witness.

  • @Daniel, Thank you for the compliment, just trying to join the conversation when possible, usually feel like all I do is vomit all over the keyboard and hope it makes sense.

    @Tom re: reservation suicides. Here, in light of NTE, people discuss suicide as a rational option to being eaten by zombies. On reservations, with rampant poverty, drug/alcohol abuse with resulting diseases/behaviors i.e. diabetes, domestic violence, lack of opportunity, well, you can see where I’m going and it’s no secret anyway. The genocide is not yet complete. It is just tucked away into little corners in hope that people won’t notice. And they don’t. I’ve mentioned here before, but will do so again. ‘Mr.’Badlands was adopted into the Hunka tribe by his best friend, and not even two years later, his new brother hung himself. A person who had worked his entire adult life in suicide prevention and community building on the reservation. So many kids looked up to him. But he had lost his sister & cousin to suicide, and in the cloud of his own alcoholism, he hung himself, in the house where he lived with family, including his little 9 year old brother, who upon finding him, wanted to join him. We disparage ‘hope’ here on this site, and I will likely continue to do so, simple because it is so inadequate in the face of truly desperate situations. Some days I am ashamed to be human. I don’t know if it’s the same for everyone, but I look around and all I see is a world full of mind-fuckers, desperately trying to justify their actions and beliefs by doing stupid things like writing the bible. But hey, I still love Jesus. Now there is someone to emulate. (Notice I didn’t say worship.)

    @OzMan

    “A Story That Could Be True”

    If you were exchanged in the cradle and
    your real mother died
    without ever telling the story
    then no one knows your name,
    and somewhere in the world
    your father is lost and needs you
    but you are far away.

    He can never find
    how true you are, how ready.
    When the great wind comes
    and the robberies of the rain
    you stand on the corner shivering.
    The people who go by–
    you wonder at their calm.

    They miss the whisper that runs
    any day in your mind,
    “Who are you really, wanderer?”–
    and the answer you have to give
    no matter how dark and cold
    the world around you is:
    “Maybe I’m a king.”

    -William Stafford

  • So, Pat,Paul and others…. when the FEMA trucks/vans/trains show up at your door to take you to a nice ‘lil camp, you are going to walk meekly to it? Has the survival rates of the people who rose in the Warsaw Ghetto meant nothing?

    Resistance takes a whole lot of forms, I think. I’m less interested in purity tests than I am in ways to fuck the system up in any way I can.

    Rob, I hear that dogs are much tastier than cats. Native Americans ate them.

    The day we decide to take our lives, we go with all of the family around us…..any domesticated animals get the same death we do.

    Gail, I keep meaning to tell you, the Joshua tree post was your best yet! Devastating, of course. I gave you a shout out on another board for whatever that is worth.

    Going to get to 81 here in Michigan. We’ve had plenty of rain (and historic flooding) and are finally getting some sunshine, so time for me to get outside and breathe in some of that fantastic pollution we make so well.

    I tried to find a youtube video of Don Henley singing “I will not go quietly” but there isn’t one. Bummer.

  • Pat, what would I be surviving for? If extinction is guaranteed, so is my personal death, one way or the other. I have no interest in fucking up the system, because I don’t think it’s evil. I want to understand it, because it is me, I am it.

    If the FEMA vans (or whatever the Canadian equivalent might be) were to roll, I would do whatever the situation called for at the time. I can’t predict what that situation would be in advance. It could be run, fight, go along, suicide – or something else entirely. I waat to be aware and flexible enough to choose well, not just lock myself into reacting out of an inflexible belief.

  • wildwoman Says:
    May 1st, 2013 at 4:52 am
    “Jeff S., it looks like it’s just you and me and Guy when it comes to resistance.
    Perhaps that is us being true to our essential natures. The idea of meditating on Chipmunk medicine (as my new age nephew does) to become the change I want to see just doesn’t cut it for me. Like the protagonist in Cat’s Cradle, if I have a choice in the end, I hope to offer both middle fingers to TPTB before I die.
    Not because it will stop anything or change anything, but so that I can live with myself before I die. Jesus, it’s the fucking end of the world. It seems to me that that should merit a collective fuck you to the powers that be. That there is disagreement on this point, I believe, is telling.”

    Right on! Being true to our essential natures. Though it appears it’s not just us three who are for resistance.
    Then you say,
    May 1st, 2013 at 8:58 am
    “So, Pat,Paul and others…. when the FEMA trucks/vans/trains show up at your door to take you to a nice ‘lil camp, you are going to walk meekly to it? Has the survival rates of the people who rose in the Warsaw Ghetto meant nothing?
    Resistance takes a whole lot of forms, I think. I’m less interested in purity tests than I am in ways to fuck the system up in any way I can.
    Rob, I hear that dogs are much tastier than cats. Native Americans ate them.
    The day we decide to take our lives, we go with all of the family around us…..any domesticated animals get the same death we do…….
    I tried to find a youtube video of Don Henley singing “I will not go quietly” but there isn’t one. Bummer.”

    Warsaw Ghetto is exactly what i had in mind re concentration camps inmates who followed the advice to be passive.

    Paul Chefurka Says:
    May 1st, 2013 at 5:59 am
    “@wildwoman,
    What of the awareness that TPTB are not out there, masquerading as “the other”, but are here, inside each of us? To whom to we raise our middle fingers then? What do we say when we look into the mirror each morning? “Fuck you?”
    If any of us use more than 5000 kcal/day including the food we eat, then we are the problem. Any other response is pure projection.”

    More psycho-babble. TPTB are people with names. They are the ones who make the vital decisions. They run the critical institutions of this society, including education and media, have been doing so since the late 19th Century (again, see David Noble’s “America by Design”), and while the rest of us may be complicit, we are not them, we have few options if we wish to survive. This is what the powers have been striving towards ever since their ancestors (in terms of social power, not genetically) initiated the Enclosures in late medieval England. The pretense that it’s all of us at equal fault is nothing more than an attempt to divert attention from the fact that what is happening is largely the result of THEIR decisions. If there is a hierarchy, than there is clear responsibility. And the hierarchy is quite clear.

    It’s like with the Nazis, with the soldiers saying they were just following officers’ orders, the officers said they followed the orders of generals, the generals obeyed Hitler. And Hitler? He was just obeying the will of the German people. Follow that logic, and pretty soon nobody is responsible.

    And why does Paul get more than two responses a day? I’m OK with Daniel doing so, it’s his article, and of course Guy, but should the two posts a day apply to everyone else?

    pat Says:
    May 1st, 2013 at 6:50 am
    “Jeff S. says: Passivity is complicity. Silence is consent.
    wildwoman Says:
    May 1st, 2013 at 4:52 am
    Jeff S., it looks like it’s just you and me and Guy when it comes to resistance.
    I agree with Paul. Am I “in the resistance” if I live in America, have a job, drive a car, shop at Wal-Mart, and then spend my weekends in front of the state capitol with a “No Nukes” poster? Hardly.
    I think those of us living the priviledged life here in America are beyond redemption – and, the argument can be made I guess that even those who are not “Collapse Aware” are just as guilty. Just like the Germans in Germany that said “We are not Nazis, while watching the smoke rise from the gas chambers and covering their noses from the stench.”
    If by joining the resistance you are trying to “purge your soul,” then that’s fine by me. If by joining the resistance you are simply affirming your rejection of TPTB and their agenda, then that’s fine by me too. In fact, I salute you. However, unless you are PURE in your resistance, and I mean Totally Pure, then you have to admit there are degrees of resistance and those of us here that at least AGREE with you on principle mean you no harm and, in fact, may be the only friends you have left. Socrates said: “It is not so important that we practice virtue as we discuss it.” It IS more important to know what virtue IS rather than to what degree it is being practiced. So, I believe, most of us here agree with you “Jesus, it’s the fucking end of the world.” And, it is a virtue to resist it but, does the virtue exist without the knowledge of resistance? If so, then the fat mother of two at Wal-Mart with her reusable grocery bags buying the “buy one get one free” Cheetoes special is, in fact, practicing this virtue by way of the reusable grocery bag, even though she is destroying the planet every bit as much as the next clueless guy.
    If you pay taxes (any taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, income taxes, vehicle registration fees, etc) in America you are part of the Collapse. You are also paying for the machine that is wiretapping Jeff S., wildwoman, and Guy. And, the machine that will one day enslave you, kill you, and bury you in a mass grave.”

    Ha, the purity test. The means by which all practical resistance is deemed “hypocrisy” and thus damned. Try to live in America without a job or some sort of income. Try to live without a car in most of the country, except a few urban areas which have a semblance of rapid transit. Try getting anything except in mass stores in most areas (luckily i’m able to, it helps to live in Berkeley:-)). We’re all complicit in one degree or another. But this should not stop us from beginning to resist, and doing ever more. We are not gonna purify first and then mount a resistance.

  • Pat, you gave me a good laugh about the cats 🙂 In the book One Second After the “hero” puts off eating the dog for quite a while but (Plot spoiler again) his daughter gets pregnant and needs protein…. which again makes my point that the most important thing any fertile human reading this sight can do is make an appointment with the Dr. and get your tubes tied, cut whatever they do. Do not bring another single human into a world where they will die an untimely death. The older among us will die somewhat timely deaths but perhaps by different means than we thought – not necessarily worse means.

    Unless some aliens are watching and judging, no one will be around to judge how we live out our last days as a species. Time to stop trying other people what the “right” thing to do is and do what feels right to you. No one will be left to judge, so the only judgement will come as you live out these years and the moment before dying when you can decide whether YOU are proud or ashamed of yourself. Then nothing. Survival – NOPE no one survives, but some survive longer. It is beyond me why anyone wants to watch humanity die around them while they live a bit longer. Daniel understands this.

  • To the Resistance Fighters:

    Wildwoman, In the U.S., over 50% of the population depends on steady govt payments and subsidies (social security, welfare, food stamps, rent vouchers, unemployment benefits, etc). How much of a reach is it for these people to be “housed” in a “facility” to better “care” for them?

    TPTB will create the emergency, martial law will be imposed, and the FEMA bus will look like a RESCUE bus and the people will be happy to jump on! Then, they will be told they’re going to a “camp” where they will be taken care of until it is “safe to return,” only never to return.

    Just think if the people stranded in the SuperDome during Katrina had been offered a bus out of there – they all would have jumped on!

    Those of you who are part of the resistance can hide – and they will find you with their infrared technology – and you will be shot in public for all to see.

    I believe other posters here are correct. TPTB have a plan. They KNOW that we face runaway environmental collapse. They know that if the social collapse is allowed to happen in an environment of rapidly accelerating chaos, they will have less control. So, for a long time, they have been ramping up the police state and the “dependent classes” so that they will be able to more smoothly execute their plans. If the govt pays your bills, you have to do what they tell you. If the govt puts a gun in your face, you have to do what they tell you.

    I’m not sure if it’s better to just commit suicide or go down in a blaze of glory and try to take a few FEMA employees with me, who knows? The truth is, for me, that I have paid taxes all my life, never taken any govt assistance, and I have watched the US become the most f@#ked up place ever. I have no hope of ever getting anything back that I put in, other than I got to drive on the roads I paid for and send my children to the schools I paid for. And, I agree, I am now paying taxes to build the FEMA camp I will soon die in.

    My question to the Members of the Resistance is this:

    SCENARIO:
    Food riots begin erupting all over the world, along with resource wars among nations, the social fabric begins to break down, major cities engulfed in riots.

    WHICH IS MORE LIKELY:
    1) TPTB impose worldwide martial law, the populations are forced into labor camps to safely shut down the nuclear power plants and secure them for all time along with particularly dangerous other pieces of our civilization like nuclear arms, chemical factories, etc., and then, once all the dangerous aspects of our lives have been secured, 90% of the population is unceremoniously executed while the remaining 10% pledge to live in balance with nature and never build a city or plant a crop ever again.

    2) TPTB impose worldwide martial law – and simply shield and protect their interests while the rest of civilization spirals out of control into the zombie apocalypse. Let the chips fall where they may. No orderly shut down of the nuclear power plants, no effort to somehow safely secure a future for the living organisms on Earth. Just chaos and death. Bye-Bye everything.

    3) The Resistance somehow overthrows the govt and assumes power. Now, with that power comes the responsibility of implementing the solution. Just what do you think that is going to look like?

    My point is I don’t think it matters who is in control. There is no “bad guy” because the solution is so terrible, anyone who implements it will be the “bad guy” but if we want the biology of the Earth to survive (with or without humans), then the solution must be implemented. And, if you especially want humans to survive, then the solution must be implemented real quick like folks!

  • @B9K9
    I, for one, am damn glad the PTB are lying through their teeth. For those who have a clue, it provides ample time to live-in-the-moment for one last hurrah. You want to go see the last of the Arctic ice? What if, all of a sudden, 1m others wanted to do the same thing? Do you see what an advantage it is to have advance notice?

    Carpe diem, baby, carpe diem. But make sure everyone else is still trying to keep up with the Jones so that they don’t interfere with your own enjoyment.

    Now that is some stone-cold truth. I was going to ask if you are playing Devil’s advocate, but I can see that you are just stating one of the obvious, darker options. Last fall I took a walk along a trail that runs behind our neighborhood, and I swear, a guy out on his back deck pointed a pellet gun at me. He was likely aiming for a squirrel, but it jolted me out of my fog. So did your comment.

    Way O/T: annie, a few threads back you posted “The Wolf’s Eyelash” for me. Thank you, and wow! When we first moved to Alaska, my mom lived in a tent with my sister & I, then that winter we moved into a tiny cabin way out in the boonies. She rescued a wolf/mix from a bear trap in the woods while we lived there. We named him Yukon.

    Hey, this is a cute list, but I think they left a few variables out. I mean, some people really think we’re going back to Little House on the Prairie days, don’t they?:
    http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/7489/

  • I have a new name, plain old Erin, because I’m not a BC Nurse Prof anymore. So, Rob and Gail, now we’re getting somewhere! As Orlov says, the person who survives will not be the person you are now. It will be a person you can’t even imagine, and only for a short time.

    Ethics and morality were always artifacts of the thin veneer of civilization and the cracks in it are now widening. Yes, Gail, it doesn’t feel good, but the powerful count on us to demonstrate a morality that they created for us, but not for them, and like fools we internalized it. Because when that goes, they go, and they know that. We are their slaves, but they are slaves to the work we do for them. We all go down together.

    I no longer want to tell people what is happening. They’ll only be sad and frantic and then do stupid things. It’s over. Everyone will die their own death, and they will all be different deaths. Orlov says most will die of thirst while sitting in their homes waiting for the water to come back on, only because it always has in the past. Not a bad way to go, really. I might choose that.

    The feral will live a bit longer, but not pleasantly. Your choice. Not all dogs die in the same way. We’re simply one species among many, the ones that talk themselves to death while trying to decide what to do collectively, immune to the fact that there is no “collective” and therefore no collective action is possible. Civilization was created not by collective action, but by the individual actions of billions of people and can’t be reversed now. Not even by the individual actions of billions of people. Not even by billions of people committing suicide. Thermogodammics or bust!

    The deer who inhabit these mountains where I live don’t vote, have meetings, or elect governments. They sometimes cooperate on an instinctual level when it suits them, but they scatter and leave one of their number for the wolves sometimes, too. I’ve seen them fight over food. They die different deaths, and all of them will die in the forest fires and the death of the plants on these slopes soon enough. Even though all comparisons are odious, I think of these deer sometimes and wish I could save them. But I can’t.

    I had a First Nations woman come and speak to my class this last semester. During the question time, I asked her if the old ways were gone. She said almost – a bit more is gone each time an elder dies. Our little doomstead here isn’t going to help at all but I’m much too old to join a band of hunter-gatherers. Besides, I have nothing to offer, and without glucosamine I’d be so crippled up I couldn’t stoop to pick a mushroom. Oh, well.

    Contrary to popular belief, there were no pristine native cultures anywhere on the earth that lived in so-called balance with nature. There were only cultures at different points on the path to extinction. You couldn’t pick people using some bogus criteria for sustainable living. I laugh at those who say we’re evolving toward some Aquarian race of spiritual adepts who will inhabit the stars. We’re all genetic freaks of evolution destined to ruin our habitat, which just happens to be the planet, and then die off, taking most other species with us. I bow to the extremophiles. Go for it, kids! I worship the randomness and chance of gene selection. The mitochondria and golgi bodies in each of our cells used to be free-living organisms, and will be so again. That fact alone is pure.

    I like listening to everyone’s approaches to this. Even Daniel’s. Good work, Daniel, but my only advice to you would be, “Headings, boy! Headings!” I didn’t know what each section was about until halfway through it.

    Now we have seen Rob’s plan and I have to say I like it. Can you keep us updated as you implement it, Rob?

  • My second and last post for today. This is a must read, from a UK blogger with whom I usually agree, regarding TPTB:

    http://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/mayday-mayday-they-cant-save-the-economy-so-the-gargoyles-are-going-to-save-themselves/

    There are ten fundamental problems with the econo-financial structure of planet Earth at the minute:

    1. So much mass wealth in the West has been ripped out of the mass-middle demographics, it has become almost impossible to restart the growth cycle.

    2. The growth cycle itself raised market expectations to silly levels over many years because of its increased dependence on forward money – credit – not earned money, as in post-tax cash. Remove the credit liquidity, and nothing can restart the growth.

    3. Faced with this double-whammy problem, nobody in power is taking the obvious step of querying the one criterion for success: growth. Equally, nobody in Office is querying the neocon-Friedmanist religion that dictates we must have low tax, inequitable wealth spreads, and accessible credit.

    4. In the East, a mass middle class has not yet emerged, so the tiger economies are forced to export almost everything they make to keep up consumption levels. Their cheap goods undercut Western alternatives, and their cheap labour merely accelerates the movement of factory location from West to East. This results in a permanent pool of Western unemployed….and governments unable to afford the consequent welfare overheads. Add medicine’s success in prolonging life to that factor, and you have every Western government borrowing more and more. Add that building debt to recurrent trade deficits in the EU, UK and US, and you get debt mountains which are unrepayable…at least, by level playing-field means.

    5. Globalism has encouraged and helped create this impasse. Instead of focusing on self-sufficiency and a broad level of citizen wellbeing, the West took Theodore Levitt’s mercantile theories and built a greater and greater share of world commerce for bigger and bigger multinational companies, and a greater share of the wealth for fewer and fewer people.

    6. Capitalism has thus morphed from multi-sourced risk capital being lent to dynamic new business, into one where monopolies are sought – and then their ever-increasing competitive lockout is funded by globalist investment banks who underwrite megamergers. (By the time Lehman fell, its business was virtually dependent on such deals).

    7. Globalist investment banks act as marriage brokers between bourse investors (increasingly institutional and hedge-fund technology driven) and multinational Goliaths to ensure that more jobs move East and more sales are international. Today, after thirty years of plying this trade, banks have no national ties or loyalties any more; equally significant, they are tied into each other like a thousand unstable dominoes; and worst of all, they too have encouraged people to see the surreal valuation of derivative products as if they might be proper, tangible wealth.

    8. The consequence of this bloated derivatives sector is that we now have a global gambling den in which all bets are thought to have been hedged and insured (netted) but the sheer degree of off-piste, devious further betting used to pump up profits still further over the years makes this extremely unlikely. There is thus the ever-present danger of a bank being seen as wobbly, trading partners calling in debts on the basis of that perception, and that doubtful institution collapsing.

    9. Having collapsed, the devoured prey in turn leaves behind a trail of unfortunates who netted with it – and now no longer have that safety. One by one (the likelihood is) those netting partners in turn become the object of suspicion, they too collapse – and more banks still are left without cover. As there has always been an unhealthy relationship between megarich banks and overspending Sovereign governments, enormous pressure is now put onto those already indebted nations to bail out their exposed banks.

    10. This is effectively what happened from late 2008 until mid 2009. But reform has been resisted by most players in the banking system, Friedmanite economics have produced systemic obstacles to Sovereign recovery, Asian States selling to such strapped economies have seen their expansion slow down, and so the globalist mercantile leviathan of expansion has shuddered to a halt. Unfortunately, it needs permanent acceleration to make everything else work: the longer it remains idle, the higher the Sovereign debts become, the more fragile banking confidence becomes, the more politicians are under pressure to save money via austerity, and the less consumption occurs. It is the ultimate, closing, vicious noose with which we are hanging ourselves.

    In response, the following policies have been adopted by technocrats, central bankers, and governments around the world:

    as they say, Read The Whole Fucking Thing.

  • The day the consumerist utopia shuts down and the clowns morph into black booted domestic repression troops (Watertown being a tiny glimpse of the future) what will be left to resist?

    The biosphere is diseased and the still growing population will not be fed (and why should they be fed? so they can continue to reproduce?)

    The gangs and looters will be the only alternative to the police state. Would you rather die by being bludgeoned by a hoodlum, or enjoy some warm oatmeal in a FEMA eatery? Or, would you rather become an urban predator and call that resistance?

    “Freedom,” “resistance,” “equality” and all the other post-French Revolution buzz words become meaningless on a dying planet.

  • Nature (Magazine) Podcast
    Podcast Extra – Futures:
    5:35 (only)

    Podcast Extra – Futures:
    Listen nowDownload mp3
    Futures is Nature’s weekly science fiction slot. Adam Rutherford reads you his favourite from this month, Survivors and Saviours, by Philip T. Starks

  • I believe that intuition regarding NTE drove me north many years ago. I moved to Alaska from southern California in early 1990. I had been contemplating the move for several years. I figured out by the early 80s that we were very screwed when it came to the environment.

    I have two acres about 50 miles outside Anchorage. I have my own well and septic system, and a better grasp of how dependent I am on both oil and electricity. I could live without electricity for the most part if I had a way to pump water by hand. But the truth is, here in the sub-arctic, the land is increasingly inhospitable to the small window of a garden season that we had. It is true that fall seems to arrive about two weeks later than it used to, but the springs and summers have been wet and cold beyond the norm for the past four years in a row. I’ve seen flooding locally for the first time. It has been the coldest April on record.

    I also believe that I have seen a similar despair my entire life long, and recognition and acceptance of the inevitable might come a little easier for me even if I am more hysterical in response anyway. I have some American Indian heritage and grew up with traditional elders in my family when I was a child. These people had been born in the 1890s when Oklahoma was still Indian Territory. They carried a horrible grief at the loss of their way of life and people and the earth that they loved. And they did love it. When I was a teenager I went to visit my great-grandmother and her brother. They were in their late 80s. Their first language was Cherokee, and they were both fluent speakers. My great-great-uncle told me to “stay away from the white man,” because “the white man destroys everything he touches.” My uncle went on to specifically mention the loss of the animals, of the clean water and air and land and how the plants had been overrun, and the loss of the Indian people, how it has all been killed or made filthy and unfit for life.

    My point is not to debate culture, but to show that I am familiar with facing this kind unbearable loss, a loss that is never going to be put back right. You could see it on my elders, the weight of it all, the extraordinary pain that they lived through anyway. I was trained to understand this before I could ever speak. I guess we’re all Indians now.

    I admit that I am frightened and terribly alone in this awareness. It has changed how I look at all the hairless apes when I go out among people now, which, due to unemployment and living at the edge of the wilderness, is not very often.

    No one wants to hear this. No one. The pain is physical.

  • The largest problem I have faced is the hopium and when I do talk the facts it is so frustrating.People do not want to hear how bad it is no matter how hard i try. It seems like some of my conversations are superficial ones with some people. I know people are just trying to survive right now and they can’t face the truth or they say “not in my lifetime?” or they say it be or it will be something like that, okay we will see then. I also have decided unlike the last extinction period this one is 100% is man made and not driven by any other factors.

  • Thanks wildwoman. I didn’t expect to like the park, my heart is with the Eastern hardwood forests. But it was absolutely spectacular, in its own way. I feel so lucky to have seen it before I die. Maybe that is the way to reconcile with NTE. See as much as you can.

    For KathyC – just out today, amazing! I saw the movie, the Life of Pi, and thought it was one of the most interesting explorations of cannibalism, but this story is fascinating (the short video on the second page is worth watching too):

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/skeleton-of-teenage-girl-confirms-cannibalism-at-jamestown-colony/2013/05/01/5af5b474-b1dc-11e2-9a98-4be1688d7d84_story.html?hpid=z1

  • Erin, Roger, Pat, Rob, et al: Apparently those on the (traditional) left are just waking up to the us vs them meme. However, anyone who peruses sites that pass for “conservative thinking” knows that millions of Americans have been preparing for the coming confrontation for years.

    Part of the weakness of being wed to any political ideology is ignorance of many other important factors offered by the ‘opposition’. Those on the right never seem to think through what happens when everyone is free (eg corporations) to violate the commons, whereas many on the left never seem to think through what happens when power (eg regulations) is concentrated by law & edict.

    In this vein, many on the left might never visit a Walmart, and in so doing, miss out on what is perhaps the most astounding “real” fact on-the-ground: all ammunition is gone. Not just a little, and not just some types of rounds. No, ALL OF IT. And not just some days due to delivery schedules. No, EVERY DAY.

    Erin, that was a good article you linked. As I mentioned above, the whole discussion of NTE will most likely quickly accelerate to #4 as more & more people wake up and realize what the PTB have in store for everyone.

  • @ Richard Pauli

    Great questions Richard.

    You state:

    “But the real philosophical question is this: If we are in such extreme danger, then what is our duty to inform others?”

    Here’s just one dilemma as I see it: How you, me and everyone else, define “our”, “duty” and “others”, just so happens to be hopelessly indeterminate. One groups “our” is another’s “other”, and our sense of “duty”, is solely a transient moral judgment based on individual circumstances and shares no substantive commonality. In short, there is no “we”.

    I mean look at the massive cultural divide that exists just between rural and urban perspectives in a country, where everyone shares a common language, culture and religion. Then take those endless schisms and multiply it by a 190 countries.

    Our sense of “we”, is at best an insignificant account of whatever in-group we identify with, and at worst, it’s a complete figment of our imagination. Either way, “we”, don’t even exist.

    You state:

    “My ethics says that I should not profit by inflicting misery to others, but what is my ethical duty when I see others harming my future and the future of everyone for their profit?…..How should I defend my species? What duty do we have to the future?”

    Well, I suppose it depends on how we define “inflicting misery to others”. I can’t for the life of me, imagine how an old woman who has spent her life in poverty in the slums of Sao Paulo has ever inflicted misery upon me. But I’m sure in some infinitesimal way, my taxes, have supported my governments foreign policy, which has indirectly sought to keep her in poverty.

    But ultimately, the point is now moot, for of all the species on earth, the last one that needs to be defended, is the hairless primate.

    @ Robin Datta

    I don’t think I would assign struggling with the reality of NTE as resulting from a ” creation, sustenance, and eternal heaven worldview”. That just sounds either a little too simplistic, or dualist for me to accept.

  • I am 76 years old and am in pretty good health for my age, but – all that notwithstanding – I have been aware for some time that I am going to die and I have come to a full acceptance that it is going to occur much sooner than I would prefer. Am I in despair? No, I am not. Am I suicidal? No, I am not. Do I feel despair or concern for the future of my children; my grandchildren? Yes I do. Is there anything I can do about it? No, there is not. Will I tell them of my concerns for their future? Not on your life.

    There is nothing to be done save to enjoy the day.

  • B9K9, yes you are right, it’s almost impossible to get ammo at regular stores – you have to go to gun shows and then you can get as much as you can pay for.

    depressive lucidity: I agree, nothing matters anymore – if you are part of the resistance, then you are resisting what exactly? I’ve have yet to hear the resistance come out and say:

    NTE is real, we need 90% of the Earth’s population to commit suicide – oh, but wait, we first need your help dismantling the toxic infrastructure that you depend on.

    TPTB are the only ones that can actually SAVE life on Earth – they must implemnt THE SOLUTION which is to kill 90% of the population, but first, they have to militarize the planet and force the people to effect an orderly dismantling of the infrastructure of industrial civilization. Then, they have to exterminate them.

    That is the only answer, the question is, do TPTB really have that in mind or are they going to just “RIDE THE WAVE TO NTE IN LUXURY?”

  • @ Wildwoman

    You stated: ” Jeff S., it looks like it’s just you and me and Guy [Ulvfugl] when it comes to resistance.”

    Unless it’s not rather obvious, I suppose a confession is in order. My name is Daniel Drumright, and I am an apostate. I have practically spent my whole life “in resistance”. Aside from Ulvfugl, I’ve probably spent more time attempting to be on the “ethical side” of a losing battle than probably most everyone here, and I say this not to boast, but rather just describe the circumstances I’ve now come to abandon.

    Until just fairly recently, I have been surrounded by ecological activism and activist my entire adult life. Therefore, I like to presume I’ve a keen understanding of the generalities of the activist mind. It tends to be rather passionate, liberal, annoying, self-righteous, self-sacrificing, proactive, independent and usually highly informed. It’s definitely an archetype. The stereotypes apply because they are true.

    However, I have no doubt, that if the vast majority of humanity, or maybe even a sizable minority within humanity, possessed these very values and traits, we would not be having this conversation today. But even Chomsky understands, there is no point of speaking truth to power, for it’s absurd to believe we’re telling them anything they don’t already know.

    The point is, whoever “they” are, they’re inter-generational. The ever elusive PTB, tend to die-off just like the rest of us, but there’s always someone well groomed to take their place….year after decade after century after millennia. And every generation of activists pretends the system will somehow transform itself, once we cut off their heads. But deep down, we all know we’re just kidding ourselves.

    Activism has always been a lifestyle choice governed by a set of values. It is something that most abandon once they have children, but there’s always the diehards, and I’m one of them–usually those who are childless–who hold on long after the parade of topical issues has ended.

    Go down to any Occupy meeting, and you’ll see a microcosm of the last half century of activists haranguing each other to death ad infinitum.

    But aside from this, there is a discernible difference, and it’s substantial: We might all now be standing on the beach, “together”, waiting for the big one, but we’re probably only interested in holding hands with those who walked here in similar shoes. BK9K got here in polished dress shoes, I got here in Birkenstocks. We might all now agree in ways we never have before, but that’s not going to override a lifetime of affinity. It’s just NTE is a serious clusterfuck in regards to all of our past allegiances.

    But this is why I personally find the very question of resistance being either futile or fertile to be so relevant in the face of NTE: Everyone is now equally as right as they are wrong. I mean anyone of us, might have already precisely defined exactly how the future will actually play out, but it makes absolutely no difference either way, because we all know, we’re all equally fucked……which makes this a rather amazing time to be alive.

    It’s just a personal choice at this point, as it has always been. The difference however, is we can’t hide behind the hope that we are affecting any change. It is forcing us to live with our past conviction in a way we’ve never had to. It is taking a fifty year paradigm, and turning it on its head. It is forcing all of us, to seriously ask ourselves questions we’ve never had to before.

    We can no longer just blindly tote the memes like we have been, imagining that as long as we keep a candle in the widow, some future generation will figure out what we failed to discover. Time has run out. We now have to come to terms with the fact that “truth” has turned against us.

    Resistance is simply what it has always been, both futile and fertile. However, the fertility of resistance has seriously been sterilized in light of nonlinear rates of climate change, but this in no way, diminishes it’s ethical bearing for how we spend the rest of our lives.

    I believe Annie’s parting words brilliantly articulated the choice before us all: “However, imo, there’s something wonderful and good about these environmentalists; even if they languish at the bottom of the totem pole (just above the hippies and the homeless) in Paul Chefurka’s Thermodynamic World. I enjoy being around all three! Which, in the great scheme of things, is all that really counts.”

    I don’t think anyone here is going to argue against that!

  • @ Ozman

    You and I seem destined to misconstrue each others meaning…..and I’m o.k. with that.

    I think you’re absolutely right in asking: “If anyone can help, by speaking calmly, and to the depth of our humanity, now is the time to step forward folks”.

    Let’s us both hope others heed your request!

  • @ Gail

    You stated:

    “It would appear that adopting B9K9′s approach makes so much sense, but it FEELS so wrong. What if that wrongness feeling is based on vanity?”

    While I neither agree or disagree, I do agree with Rob, very well said.

  • psycho-babble:
    Existing deep set reptilian-brain attitudes stemming from emotion without ethical and moral foundations are outed when analysed in the context of ethics and morals. Conceptual reinstatement requires skedaddling out of that territory and over to the intellect, where the analysis can be derided as “psycho-babble”.

    A moral imperative:
    Resistance is indeed a moral imperative, but the “moral” in “moral imperative” falls into the category of “psycho-babble”. Without the “moral”, the imperative is an emotional imperative, based on emotions such as anger, hatred, grief/revenge or even fear. Now it is true that these emotions are absent from psychopaths (and some say, Buddhas and Christs). So the folks with such motivations are excluded from the psychopath’s club. Yet those motivations also exclude classification of the imperative as “moral”.

    Resistance:
    Then again, what is resistance? A single Jew named Mr. J. Christ complied meekly with the Roman overlords. Of course he had already infected others with disruptive ideas. A while later a whole bunch of Jews called the Masada Zealots put up a fierce armed resistance. In terms of bringing change to the world, which was more effective?

    Complicity:
    Helplessness in continuing on a course is the result of adapting to that course. Whales can’t come out on land – and the bigger ones cannot even breathe on land, because their chests are too heavy for their breathing muscles when unsupported by buoyancy in water. Irreversibility is a consequence of adaptation. The very existence of seven billion of us is an adaptation to (and dependence on, and complicity in) the fossil-fuel binge, something the population proselytisers overlook.

    We’ve created for ourselves a socio-cultural ecological system called the hierarchy. Agriculture fed it, and fossil-fuels were its steroids. Now a skyscraper-dwelling cubicle-serf is as adapted to this environment as any number of other creatures are adapted to their environments. The cubicle-serf is as complicit in fostering its dependence on its hierarchy as each whale in a pod is in fostering its (slavish, perhaps?) dependence on an aquatic lifestyle.

    worldwide martial law:

    Martial law is the law of the jungle: the folks who claimed a legitimacy to bare arms now declare “It is now a jungle” (no laws except their own) AND “We are the kings of this jungle”. In the grander scheme of things, it is just a peculiar change in the criteria of fitness for survival. But changes in the criteria occur all the time.

    Collective death:
    No such thing. Each awareness is individual and not shared with anyone else. The concept of another’s awareness is a concept within one’s own awareness, not another awareness.

  • ‘what of our personal responsibility to the natural world, whose destruction we’ve all profited from? What right do any of us first-worlders have in being able to seek enjoyment, in light of an extinction event we’ve all done more than our share in creating? What of all the life under our collective industrial thumb, still struggling to exist? What right do we thieves have to go quietly into that good night? Can’t the remnants of our past imperatives still find more proactive forms of dissent, civil disobedience and rebellion even in acceptance of NTE? …(edited sentences)

    Are the answers to these questions obvious to anyone who considers themselves to be driven by a moral imperative that is rooted in a sense of culpability?’ -daniel

    certain parts of this essay i found to mirror my own tendency (like right now!) to ‘wordiness’, ornate dressing up of ideas whose meaning tends to get lost amidst flowery language. daniel, i don’t recall your previous many comments on this blog being so flawed. don’t get me wrong: i’ve yet to even finish your essay but still feel comfortable in joining the mini-chorus of acclaim it’s inspired already. great, but modestly flawed is my pithiest critique of it. way great. however it could be better with a good deal of editing/revision imo. for example:

    ‘Can’t the remnants of our past imperatives still find more proactive forms?…(edited)’

    instead of that tortured phrasing, how about this instead: ‘in the face of utter despair can an activist spirit persevere?…’ i think that’s the essence of what u’re trying to say.?

    otoh, the essay had parts that were imo elegantly phrased:

    ‘I like to imagine that when that time finally arrives, when all hope truly fades, when even the remote prospect of rural tranquility is lost, we will have come to terms with our personal ending and see the concept of suicide, not as a stigma of cowardice, or a failure of character, but as altruism in the last ethical act left us.’

    and then the meaning comes through loud and clear with astounding effect. u go places others fear to tread (well at least this other)

    i’ve ‘believed’ for some time that ethical self sacrifice is what our predicament calls for (but not yet!) at some point, not only to finally if belatedly get right with mother nature, but also to escape a worse fate, more hideous end.

    it’s very easy/convenient to rationalize not doing the ‘right thing’ in this case right away. any one individual’s suicide or small group’s suicide isn’t going to ‘save the planet’, won’t cause industry to miss a beat. why sacrifice if the only reward is knowing we did the ‘right thing’ in a losing, quixotic gesture of ‘virtue’. why fight desire/instinct for self preservation? why sacrifice tonight’s meal, sunsets, knowledge, attachments, dependencies, ‘prematurely’?

    easy to rationalize that your particular life is relatively eco-harmless in light of conscious effort to have a smaller ‘footprint’ and ‘change the world’ activism. a lot easier than it is to bite the bullet and pull the trigger, figuratively or literally speaking, and commit suicide. for me, anyway. but yeah, absolutely, i agree with daniel’s brave/foolish? musings on ethical suicide. i guess it just scares the shit out of me to face mortality so directly and publically (well, in cyberspace on a blog read by quite a few).

    also daunting is the common dogmatic and legal opposition to suicide, making public commiseration/discussion of it stressed and muted. too damned many meddling ‘pro-lifers’ and ‘authorities’ to deal with. a culture of fear, shame, and repression prevails, for now.

    great essay, daniel. back to reading it. i’m finally getting towards the end.

  • Self immolation burns me up!

  • For the last 5 years or so, I frequented a sandwich shop in a summer vacation town and saw the same young man working there during the summer’s while studying marine biology. He talked about his love of the ocean with me when I would stop for a bite to eat.

    Last year he graduated, after going deeply into debt.

    I ran into him this spring and asked him what he was up to, assuming he was trying to score a job in his field of marine biology.

    He said he had gone back to graduate school (and more debt) to study psychology.

    He told me he wanted nothing to do anymore with marine biology because the whole field was simply a futile soul crushing exercise in chronicling the Death of the Ocean and he wanted no part of it.

    He said he picked psychology so that maybe he could possibly have a shot at understand why humans are so fucked up.

    .

  • There is something odd going on with the weather service in my area. Forecasts have been for highs in the 70s, but the real temps have been in the 80s the last couple of days. At my house today in Central VT it reached 91°F in the shade (over 100° in the sun), but the Weather Channel reports the high for my town as having been 73°F.

  • __________________

    The Boat

    Maybe the eyes of a dragon or goddess
    glare from its prow.

    More likely it leaks, loses an oar,
    and reeks of rainbows awash on a sheen
    of gutted salmon and gasoline.

    If it’s a liner, we lash ourselves
    to whatever will float or sell.

    No matter which. We choose. We’re aboard,
    icebergs or no, as we plow
    through the songs of the siren stars—

    one boat, black water, dark whispering below.

    ~ Paul Fisher ~

    (Rumors of Shore)

  • Gail says: Maybe morality and ethics are just intellectual fictions we invent to excuse our violence. Maybe the financially successful CEO’s and bankers and politicians – who we like to call sociopaths – are simply more ruthless and better adapted to reality, while the rest of us (the 99%) are merely evolutionary losers, trying to excuse our lower status by cloaking it in moral superiority.

    Bullies tend to be cheerier
    Due to strength and motives ulterior;
    Meanwhile the meek
    Turn the other cheek,
    Dreaming they’re morally superior.

  • @TVT

    Thanks for the very kind words and critique. I’m sure in writing this essay, I was overcompensating for something, though I don’t know what, but whatever it may or may not be, I’m sure it’s quite beyond me at this stage in life. Maybe it was just a sophomoric attempt to interject flowery language into a hopelessly dismal subject…….I honestly don’t know.

    I sat on this essay for weeks, questioning myself as to whether I have truly reached a stage, where I could openly and publicly articulate the rationale of suicide in light of NTE. It does tend to make one question what they’ve become, especially when attempting to communicate it with loved ones.

    I have no regrets as to it’s length though. Given the subject matter, I’m surprised others would find just 11,000 words to somehow be long winded. We are talking about the end of everything, are we not? I suspect that after years of reading online snippets, our concept of concision has been permanently warped.

    Thanks again, for taking the time to read an otherwise garrulous piece, I know I was asking a lot of others, so I very much appreciate yours and everyone’s time.

  • Jeff S,

    Which certainly sounds like giving up. Living for the moment is exactly what consumer society is all about, regardless of messages about saving for future needs, planning for kids’ college, life insurance,… Is that the kind of effect you desire to come out of your words?

    Yes, that would be giving up and, if I fully accepted NTE, then it would be difficult for me to argue against giving up. I don’t think there is any rational argument against giving up, in those circumstances, so it would come down to emotional (or some might say spiritual) arguments. I’m really not sure if I would revert to just living for the day, if I fully accepted NTE but I think it’s a distinct possibility so it’s just as well that I haven’t (yet?) accepted it.

    Regarding the possibility of avoiding NTE (even if E isn’t avoided beyond the NT), I’ve mentioned unknowable unknowns. An example is a TV program my father in law mentioned (I don’t watch TV myself) about two volcanoes in Iceland that could well erupt in the near future. One of them could potentially have a global effect – not a good effect for economies (yeah!) but potentially a delaying effect for global warming (that would be a kind of win-win). This is an example of how life might well go on beyond mid century (not to be confused with a comfortable modern lifestyle going on beyond mid century).

  • Roger Says:
    May 1st, 2013 at 10:01 am
    “To the Resistance Fighters:
    Wildwoman, In the U.S., over 50% of the population depends on steady govt payments and subsidies (social security, welfare, food stamps, rent vouchers, unemployment benefits, etc). How much of a reach is it for these people to be “housed” in a “facility” to better “care” for them?
    TPTB will create the emergency, martial law will be imposed, and the FEMA bus will look like a RESCUE bus and the people will be happy to jump on! Then, they will be told they’re going to a “camp” where they will be taken care of until it is “safe to return,” only never to return……
    I believe other posters here are correct. TPTB have a plan. They KNOW that we face runaway environmental collapse. They know that if the social collapse is allowed to happen in an environment of rapidly accelerating chaos, they will have less control. So, for a long time, they have been ramping up the police state and the “dependent classes” so that they will be able to more smoothly execute their plans. If the govt pays your bills, you have to do what they tell you. If the govt puts a gun in your face, you have to do what they tell you.
    I’m not sure if it’s better to just commit suicide or go down in a blaze of glory and try to take a few FEMA employees with me, who knows? The truth is, for me, that I have paid taxes all my life, never taken any govt assistance, and I have watched the US become the most f@#ked up place ever. I have no hope of ever getting anything back that I put in, other than I got to drive on the roads I paid for and send my children to the schools I paid for. And, I agree, I am now paying taxes to build the FEMA camp I will soon die in.
    My question to the Members of the Resistance is this:
    SCENARIO:
    Food riots begin erupting all over the world, along with resource wars among nations, the social fabric begins to break down, major cities engulfed in riots.
    WHICH IS MORE LIKELY:
    1) TPTB impose worldwide martial law, the populations are forced into labor camps to safely shut down the nuclear power plants and secure them for all time along with particularly dangerous other pieces of our civilization like nuclear arms, chemical factories, etc., and then, once all the dangerous aspects of our lives have been secured, 90% of the population is unceremoniously executed while the remaining 10% pledge to live in balance with nature and never build a city or plant a crop ever again.
    2) TPTB impose worldwide martial law – and simply shield and protect their interests while the rest of civilization spirals out of control into the zombie apocalypse. Let the chips fall where they may. No orderly shut down of the nuclear power plants, no effort to somehow safely secure a future for the living organisms on Earth. Just chaos and death. Bye-Bye everything.
    3) The Resistance somehow overthrows the govt and assumes power. Now, with that power comes the responsibility of implementing the solution. Just what do you think that is going to look like?
    My point is I don’t think it matters who is in control. There is no “bad guy” because the solution is so terrible, anyone who implements it will be the “bad guy” but if we want the biology of the Earth to survive (with or without humans), then the solution must be implemented. And, if you especially want humans to survive, then the solution must be implemented real quick like folks!”

    I reject all three scenarios.
    The first assumes TPTB will take extreme measures just to do “the right things” so as to facilitate the emergence of a social system which has no place for them in dominance. I’m more likely to buy the deed to Manhattan than this prospect.

    The second, just like the first, assumes there is in fact a globally united entity called TPTB, which is utter fiction. There are national factions of TPTB, with utterly irreconcilable interests as capitalists, and even splits within each national faction. These will work together when it suits them, but the reality of the triple global crisis (economic/ecological/resources) means their interests will increasingly clash, already driving them into currency/trade wars which evolve into global wars, as they did due to the other two global economic crises that have occurred in history. The German and US factions after all cooperated closely right before WWII. Global war is a far more likely outcome than what you describe, unless the collapse spirals out of control.

    3. Take what power? State power? That’s part of the problem.

    4. The one out we have going: the economic collapse spirals so fast, compounded by the ecological and resources collapses, that most humans are basically on their own, which means lots will die, but survivors will be those that manage to implement new ways of living cooperatively/collectively/democratically in balance with the rest of the ecosystem.

    Small chance, but imagine you got stuck in a boat (say forcibly kidnapped) that is apparently about to go over a large waterfall. There’s a small chance you can manage to jump off the boat and are far enough from the falls to still be able to swim ashore. I think most people, except those most conditioned, will jump.
    This responds to you as well, Tony Weddle.

    Daniel: regarding an earlier point, about using Nazis as a comparison. You are assuming that all humans are equally culpable. I totally disagree. We may all be culpable, but most certainly, the vast majority of the blame falls upon a microscopic portion of the human species. The rest of us most likely didn’t even know we’re in that ship of fools till it was later than we thought.

  • Lidia Says:
    May 1st, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    “There is something odd going on with the weather service in my area. Forecasts have been for highs in the 70s, but the real temps have been in the 80s the last couple of days. At my house today in Central VT it reached 91°F in the shade (over 100° in the sun), but the Weather Channel reports the high for my town as having been 73°F.”

    Hmmm. . . was it wildwoman who reported temps in the 80s in her location in MI? Forecast for Lansing is upper 60’s to mid-70s. (I keep track of weather in Chicago due to some family there, which is why I’m interested)

    Pretty cool temps in western CT where my brother is. I’m gonna ask him what the temps have been.

    All the very excellent discussion reminds me of the line that Depressive Lucidity wrote; “We are all cancer cells metaphorically waving our arms”. Or something to that effect.

  • Jeff S,

    You are assuming that all humans are equally culpable. I totally disagree.

    I don’t think it matters much but I think all those who bought into civilisation are equally culpable. This doesn’t mean that each of us have. or had, the same impact or the same rate of impact but even if there was not that “microscopic portion of the human species” who you think take the most blame, we would still have arrived at this point, even if it would have been a lot later. Consuming resources beyond their renewal rate and degrading our own habitat in that consumption is simply not sustainable and is bound to lead to bad outcomes. It’s great to vilify the 1%, and I’m happy to join in with that, but anyone who takes, or has taken, advantage of civilisation in any way is still contributing (or has contributed) to the earth’s downfall (and our downfall). I think this is often or always missed when there is a bad human caused disaster (like an oil spill) – it would not have happened if we didn’t want the things that civilisation tells us we want, regardless of if there is someone who we can blame for the immediate cause.

  • Tony Weddle Says:

    It’s great to vilify the 1%, and I’m happy to join in with that, but anyone who takes, or has taken, advantage of civilization in any way is still contributing (or has contributed) to the earth’s downfall (and our downfall).

    Tony, would you at least concede that someone with tens of billions of dollars, 400 foot yachts, fleets of limousines, and more mansions than he can count, and who believes that he still needs more, is at least setting a bad example? Worse, say than the person whose satisfied with a small cabin with one light bulb?

  • Btd
    Bullies tend to be cheerier
    Due to strength and motives ulterior;
    Meanwhile the meek
    Turn the other cheek,
    Dreaming they’re morally superior.

    Ah where were you when I had dreams of becoming a sacrificial lamb on the altar of being good.

    My time in Haiti not only made me question good (is saving a life in an overpopulated ecologically devastated country good?) but also made me face myself. I came back when the oil embargo (1993 I think) was about to take force. Did I leave for fear of violence, fear of food shortages, etc. No I left because I feared trying to sleep with no fan. Hot muggy weather has always made me feel like I was suffocating. Well there went my vision of spending my life doing good for others. Humbling. I am sure that each baby I held felt loved when I held it (and unloved when I put it down) but we do good for others as much for our own image of ourselves as “one who does good” as we do it for others. So much for purity of motive. But once you dispense with that you are free to figure out what you might do that will be helpful.

  • Daniel, thanks for your honest thoughts on suicide – this is for you

    Utah Phillips discusses his song, “Miner’s Lullaby,” followed by bluegrass duo Jody Stecher and Kate Brislin performing his song. Miners would take a tin of morphine with them down in the shaft, in case of a cave in, or other disaster to ease the pain as they died. The lyrics of “Miner’s Lullaby” are:

    MINER’S LULLABY
    (Bruce ‘Utah’ Phillips)

    Once, long ago, he was handsome and tall
    And fit to be called to the war
    We left our village, family and all
    To never return any more

    Now he takes his coat, his bucket and lamp
    And whistles away to the cage
    Where men young and old from all over the camp
    Gather in search of a wage

    Chorus:
    Husband, sleep, lay your head back and dream
    A slow fallen leaf borne down to the stream
    Then carried away on the wings of morphine
    Homeward far over the sea

    My husband and I are Roman in faith
    And we have a secret to keep
    If ever his life is taken away
    Then gentle and long will he sleep

    Now some men pass with family around
    And linens and blankets so clean
    But seldom a miner goes underground
    Without his tin of morphine

    Chorus

    And now here’s a word, an explosion is heard
    The miners are trapped far below
    If any survived down there alive
    I’m certain we never will know

    Although our families have vainly appealed
    No rescue attempt can be seen
    Our hope for loved ones in the dark earth sealed
    Now lies in a tin of morphine

    Chorus

    Words and music by Bruce ‘Utah’ Phillips. On Strike Music BMI.

    For others – from someone who has seen folks act like they have the moral high ground and finds the humor in it. I’m a better anarchist than you by David Rovics – google it if you want to listen – don’t want to exceed 1 link, and bye for today having done my 2 posts 🙂

    I don’t drive a car ’cause they run on gas
    But if I did it’d run on biomass
    I ride a bike or sometimes a skateboard
    So fuck off all you drivers and your yuppie whores
    Sitting all day in the traffic queues,
    I’m a better anarchist than you

    I don’t eat meat; I just live on moldy chives
    Or the donuts that I found in last week’s dumpster dives
    Look you people in that restaurant, I think you are so sad
    When you could’ve been eating bagels like the ones that I just had
    I think it is a shame all the bourgeois things you do,
    I’m a better anarchist than you

    I don’t wear leather and I like my clothes in black
    And I made a really cool hammock from a moldy coffee sack
    I like to hop on freight trains, I think that is so cool
    It’s so much funner doing this than being stuck in school
    I can’t believe you’re wearing those brand new shiny shoes,
    I’m a better anarchist than you

    I don’t have sex and there will be no sequel
    Because heterosexual relationships are inherently unequal
    I’ll just keep on moshing to Rancid and The Clash
    Until there are no differences in gender, race or class
    All you brainwashed breeders, you just haven’t got a clue,
    I’m a better anarchist than you

    I am not a pacifist, I like throwing bricks
    And when the cops have caught me and I’ve taken a few licks
    I always feel lucky if I get a bloody nose
    ‘Cause I feel so militant and everybody knows
    By the time the riot is all through,
    I’m a better anarchist than you

    I don’t believe in leaders; I think consensus is the key
    I don’t believe in stupid notions like representative democracy
    Whether or not it works, I know it is the case
    That only direct action can save the human race
    So when I see you in your voting booths then I know it’s true,
    I’m a better anarchist than you,
    I’m a better anarchist than you

  • @ Jeff S.

    It’s like with the Nazis, with the soldiers saying they were just following officers’ orders, the officers said they followed the orders of generals, the generals obeyed Hitler. And Hitler? He was just obeying the will of the German people. Follow that logic, and pretty soon nobody is responsible.

    Agree with that and everything else that you’ve said. Cowards and collaborators. I’m not interested in saving myself, or other people, I’m interested in helping other species survive as long as possible, paying some of the debt they are owed.

    @ oldgrowthforest

    I share your feelings.

    @ Martin

    Do I feel despair or concern for the future of my children; my grandchildren? Yes I do. Is there anything I can do about it? No, there is not. Will I tell them of my concerns for their future? Not on your life.

    I find that very shocking. If I was older than, say 12, or so, I’d want to be told the TRUTH.

  • It is interesting how the eco-fad from the 2000 – 2010 decade of calculating one’s carbon footprint has quickly faded. Once the sums for a small to moderate ‘consumer’ in an Anex-1 nation, say the USA, was comprehensively compared to say anon Anex-1 nation like Indonesia for 2010 it is: 10: 1, USA: Indonesia.(per capita).

    or

    for total world emissions of ‘un estimated’ CO2 emissions in 2008, USA put out: 18.27% while Indonesia: 1.7%.

    as per wiki..’

    ‘List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions#List_of_countries_by_2010_emissions_estimates

    No wonder it is not talked about much any more.

    Seems very complex, when one considers ‘we’ generally think of ourselves as having a lot of ‘choice’ on our total individual output, but some rural farmer in Indonesia lives where she was born, and uses what energy and services are available. Does that still involve burning lead in the petrol fuel..? I don’t know.

    The choice to turn over the democratic rights to the commons, the utilities and public property was with the elites of the Thatcher/ Regan/Frazer/Howard era. Somehow they got themselves elected and just gave it all away to their Corporate friends. So technically, the people voted the change, but not the idea, and not the real loss.

    So the responsibility is only small for the individual for what has been done. The responsibility is enormous for the corporations and the elite class that supports them.

    It may be moot the idea of responsibility, but I like to think of the true meaning of the word like this. Responsibility is only real when you can respond. Taking responsibility is in effect ‘when you can’.

    Ultimate carbon accounting is beyond mundane when the final nails are driven in the life capsules/coffin we call Earth habitat. So it is always going to be a retrospective judgment.

    Activists like Derrik Jensen point out so eloquently that it has been an effective spoiling weapon of TPTB to guilt trip environmentally concerned individuals in Anex-1 countries to look in detail at their own personal private consumptive habits, and see redemption there with every eco bag victory, or guilt-free coffee labelling system use. Exploiting and channelling well meaning life chocked time poor individuals(much is still one’s choice as to how to live), made good spoiling sense. But when the like of Jensen point it out we can choose to get up and move forward, and choose a different path, one that opts out of those patterns and try harder to be effective.

    The idea that resistance is an easy to define activity is one I support.

    I think speaking with conscience and conviction to someone, at the right time in their enquiry on these weighty issues is a form of resistance, but one may ask what good can anything, like one person’s light bulb moment, achieve to solve anything.
    Well, none in maro terms. That is done, and the freight train has left, all is going on is adding more speed and gross weight to the haul.

    When I am accused of just saving myself, and that is no real activism, I beg to differ. Would it be better I just go silently into the night, or become a fully integrated cog in the mental illness machine we call ordinary Anex-1 life cycles of work for the finance class to go on longer holidays, and consume heaps of unnecessary crap, get a few opulence diseases by eating non-food as if it were food, etc etc? Is that resistance?

    How do you stop a stampeding elephant with a pair of knuckle dusters as your only defensive weapon ?

    I would say first priority is to get out of the way, then begin the other forms of activism that, by staying alive, and wit-full(sane), you can manifest.

    No one has any easy solution to their local situation but I am finding mine. I can cope with the fact others may not see any merit in these activities, but with all the conjecture, I follow my instincts now a lot more clearly than before. We will see if that plays well for the near term.

    I don’t think it passes my test to reason a program of just become a glib consumer. I don’t want to shrink from the challenge, the ethical problems, by just relying on the activities and patterns that have been designed to kill the planet.

    I and I believe any compassionate human can do better than that.

    But it is up to each of us to live our lives as we see fit.

    Very simple really!

    On another topic…

    I just heard on the TV weather that Australian meteorology is not expecting any substantial precipitation in the South-Eastern Australian continent for the next 3 months.

    “Wetter season likely for much of the East and North; drier across parts of the southeast”

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/ahead/maps/rain.seaus.hrweb.gif?20130423

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/ahead/rain.seaus.shtml

    There is no normal from now on.

  • Sorry…

    That should have read:

    “The idea that resistance is not an easy to define activity is one I support.”

    Clumsy me!

  • Wow, I’ve had two or three people reference my posts! I’m honored. Sometimes this blog just seems like some use it as a podium to lecture from, but sometimes it’s more like a conversation between friends.

    I said: There is no prescription here. But, there are choices.

    1. resist – fight the good fight
    2. accept – grieve and/or debate telling others
    3. accept – party aka live for the moment
    4. defend – shield & protect

    I am in # 3 and I have no plan to ever be in # 4. I’m not telling others, and I’m racking up as much debt as I can with no intention of ever paying it and I’ll file bankruptcy as many times as I can before I die. I will be a burden to the system in every way possible, food stamps, unemployment benefits, unpaid visits to the emergency room, and never vote. I’ll use lots of plastic bags and never recycle. Everywhere I go I will turn lights on and anything else electrical. I will leave the water running in any bathroom I go into.

    My job now is to do everything in my power to accelerate the Collapse! That is my mission. You can count on me to be a complete drain on society and foster chaos wherever I can.

    I guess I’m dancing on the future graves of the children in China who are making the shoes I wear. As I’ve said before, there is no redemption for the suffering we have caused and my penance is to not aspire. I am as good as dead.

  • Geez, this is So Frustrating! I get the feeling that all the people that post on this blog are “on the same page” but then maybe not really!

    PREMISE ONE: NTE is the premise. It is happening, it is happening Now.

    PREMISE TWO: Industrial Civilization is the cause of NTE.

    PREMISE THREE: There IS a solution. 90% of the people on Earth need to die, soon. But first, we need their help to dismantle the toxic aspects of the infrastructure of industrial civilization.

    However crazy it may sound, I’d like to hear the crazy ways that the solution could be implemented. lIke Wildwoman says: “Jesus, it’s the fucking end of the world!”

    I think the most expeditious way to implement the solution would be a controlled pandemic – such that a whole lot of people die, but not so many as to make it impossible to carry on with the work ahead. The survivors of the pandemic would then organize to dismantle the toxic infrastructure and prepare for a new future in balance with nature – never build another city, never plant another crop. Strict population control – reducing the population to a number that can be sustained and NEVER going beyond that.

    Anybody else got any ideas?

  • @Daniel; thank you for your essay, it has inspired a very good comment thread. My favorite aspect of this blog is the insight into how others are living and plan to live with the knowledge of NTE.

    @B9K9: you always write what I am thinking.

    @Rob: 3rd gear feels right to me. Ive distilled it down to art, garden and love (for people, for creatures, for living things) as for #4 I am there too. I have a cardinal nesting outside of my kitchen window. Ive blocked off the area so my dogs dont disturb her and put blueberries out for her. Little things. Its what I can do. I cant stop the Cabal/plutocrats/wetikos/PTB’s but I can do what I can do. and that is enough.

    @oldgrowthforest: I understand. I am very lonely in my way of being now. I come here to heal.

    @Benjamin the Donkey. you are a national treasure. I wish the news could be delivered in your limericks.

    @kathy C: think of you often, especially examining the undersides of leaves in the garden. I had a praying mantis on the autumn clematis. he was new; fresh and green and still small. soon he will grow into a fine help mate.

    @all: sounds trite; love you all. thank you for all the thoughtful words.

  • It has taken me a couple of times reading your essay, Daniel. It is dense and broad. We are all going through something similar to what a person goes through who has been given a fatal diagnosis, we think we know better the manner and time of our demise and maybe its context. Only we have little to no hope that anything will survive.

    ” I have finally lost all faith that the essence of biophilia is something that can either be taught or learned, and the few exceptions that exist, are just that: exceptional.”

    I agree. I think many of the behaviors that are now overwhelming the whole place are neuro-biological, and they are based as much on feeling function – or lack of it – as knowledge or cultural values. Psychopaths lack something, and it is about feelings. You cannot fix something that isn’t there.

    “We have witnessed over just the last three years, hypothetical Abrupt Climate Change become empirical, where the evidence is so overwhelming . . .”

    In the sub-arctic I have seen a change within the last four years that is troubling in the extreme. It causes a lot of insecurity when the weather is unstable, whether people understand that is where their anxiety stems from, or no.

    What makes it tragic? Things we cannot let go of – our hearts. Dead is dead, but why does murder hurt so much more than losing someone to old age and peaceful death?

    It is beyond our mind’s ability to quantify. It is a separate reality, that feeling part of us. It doesn’t say “why,” it only tells us what to do. It only tells us what we know, without knowing how or why we know it.

    It is the part of us so rejected by this dominant culture. Even in attempting to put it to words, it is lost. We can know some things, whether science can catalog it or not.

    I love David Wadsell’s cheetah myth. I would add to it that an African bushman could probably tell them quite accurately how fast the cheetah ran from years of observation.

    We learn more of what we need to know about life from living with it, instead of killing it, like this culture does.

  • @Jeff S says “I reject all three scenarios.”

    The path to acceptance can be a very long road. Consider the logic behind coming to the conclusion that planned demolition is the final card to be played by the PTB: is it not merely an acceptance of Guy’s proposition?

    That is, that current industrial civilization must cease, and the world’s population be reduced by some 99%, so that only 60m individuals remain? If you agree with that core premise, then there are basically only three ways of achieving such an objective:

    1. group consensus – **first gain acceptance**, then draw straws
    2. imposed solution – the PTB secret sauce
    3. chaos – everyone out for themselves

    As has bee discussed here endlessly, #1 has proven to be impossible, therefore it only leaves the remaining two. It appears a leading school of thought leans towards #3, in that the grid goes down, nuke facilities run out of control, etc, and everyone dies a horrible death.

    But why not #2? The PTB certainly know the score, so why not go for the brass ring of survival and control the ride all the way down? Once you accept #2 as a very real possibility, then it opens up all sorts of avenues of inquiry. Such as:

    * What if Guy is merely a dupe, someone who is providing effective cover to create an atmosphere of denial amongst the rubes? What better way to throw someone off the scent than have the entire notion of NTE discredited by someone lacking authority?

    * What if Guy is a double, in that he knows he’s a dupe, and that his message is being rejected, but he pursues spreading warnings in the off chance that the meme of planned demolition gets planted amongst a few?

    * What if Guy is a triple, and the PTB have been waiting for a few to pick up on the planned demolition to test the reaction and plan accordingly?

    Anyway, I think everyone can see how this plays out. Once you accept the notion that the only possible solution is a combination of a 99% die-off + dismantling of industrial civilization, then the only remaining question is whether or not it’s controlled.

    As an aside, I think it’s sort of ironic that for some still struggling with the notion of NTE, the train is quickly leaving for the next stop down the rabbit hole. Cast aside doubt & depression, and jump on with purpose.

  • @Jeff S

    You’re right, I had forgotten about the 2-post rule since things calmed down around here. I wasn’t deliberately ignoring the rules – I’m not that good an anarchist… I promise to obey in the future.

    If my position seems like psycho-babble to you, that’s fine. I no longer have much interest in getting people to share my opinions. Nowadays I’m just putting them out there as an alternative point of view, and hinting at how they have helped me come to terms with the situation.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, I agree wholeheartedly with Robin’s excellent deconstructions above, on psycho-babble, “moral” imperatives, resistance and complicity. I think these are exceptionally profound insights. They have certainly expanded my understanding of what I’m seeing.

    @ Everyone

    At the risk of being accused of babbling some more, here are some thoughts on the word “suicide”. Everyone should feel free to disregard anything that rubs you the wrong way.

    The common meaning of “suicide” is “to kill oneself”, with the implication that the function of both the body and the consciousness cease in the act.

    The typical new-age claim we are all familiar with is that the consciousness is not emergent from the brain, but a separate, separable thing entirely. Although this new-age claim (which is actually a very, very old-age claim) leads to some interesting but unfamiliar places, that is not where I want to go here. Instead I would like to mention an alternative form of “suicide”, one that involves the death of the sense of self rather than the physical destruction of the body which is its vehicle.

    Something that has been noticed by contemplatives over the centuries is that if one accepts the idea that the “Self” is not a real thing, but is just a story that we have learned from birth. If one commits “suicide” by breaking the link with that story, by discarding the idea that the story says anything real about who one is, some very interesting things can happen. One can develop the awareness that there is no-one to whom life is happening, that one is simply “life happening”. From this perspective comes a deep natural acceptance of the flow of the life that is apparently happening, no matter what it seems to be. That leads directly to the atrophy of the “blame faculty” and the emotional reactivity that springs from believing that “All this stuff is happening to Me, and I hate it!”

    I agree that such a development, discarding blame and emotional reactions, is anathema to activists. Activists depend on those emotional reactions to fuel their actions in the world – they are the very lifeblood of activism and the core of the activist’s self-image. To most of us the idea of losing our sense of Self is frightening in much the same way as physical suicide, and even incomprehensible. Who would I be if I did such a thing? Why would I want my Self to vanish that way? Isn’t losing one’s sense of Self a pathological condition?

    If we lived in an Eastern region like India there would be at least some cultural support and even social status associated with giving up one’s Self. For those of us acculturated to Western traditions, the main reason that one might undertake such an odd endeavour is – as far as I can tell – to alleviate the unbearable pain of living. And what pain could be greater than the prospect of the collapse and extinction of all that is familiar – the extinction of the very repository of meaning?

    This is what drove me to this psycho-babble in the first place. I was looking for psychological morphine. I found it, and the pain stopped. In the process, the things I discovered have far greater value and meaning for me than anything in my old Story of Self.

    Now, it’s obvious to anyone that I still behave as though “I” am real, no matter how much I might claim I’m not. For me this is one of the delicious core paradoxes of this work. It’s the thing that gives life its juice, and makes “me” eager to see what happens around the next bend in the road. Oh, it’s extinction? How utterly fascinating and wonderful!

  • @ B9K9

    Yes! Exactly my thoughts – I think our posts were simultaneous!

    I hope this doesn’t count as my 2nd post of the day!

  • @old growth forest:

    “We learn more of what we need to know about life from living with it, instead of killing it, like this culture does.”

    indeed. Three years ago I started my garden. you cannot tend one without becoming a new person. I can tell time by light; i can predict weather; i know the voices of the birds and insects and I can also see the forest around me is dying. I have an intimacy with my place now. I could never exhaust her gifts and discoveries in a lifetime.

  • Pat, I for one don’t agree with all of your three premises:

    PREMISE ONE: NTE is the premise. It is happening, it is happening Now.

    PREMISE TWO: Industrial Civilization is the cause of NTE.

    PREMISE THREE: There IS a solution. 90% of the people on Earth need to die, soon. But first, we need their help to dismantle the toxic aspects of the infrastructure of industrial civilization.

    I agree with Premise One, but only partially with Premise Two. Industrial Civilization is the cause of the acceleration of NTE, but the real cause is US. Humans. Our innate, intrinisic, unalterable tendency to overshoot.

    So that Makes Premise Three moot. There is no solution, because we cannot change our genetic predisposition.

    Believing that doesn’t necessarily mean we, those of us who recognize NTE, should necessarily sit idly by while the most rapacious members of our species plunder and squander as fast as they can. Not if it doesn’t feel right.

    But for me it also leads to the idea that there is no meaning to find, as Paul described in his comment here: http://bluehagbooks.com/the-personal-exemption/.

    Meaning does not exist outside of the human mind. We don’t “find” it, we “make” it, as in, make it up, invent it…because it pleases us to do so. Meaning, or put another way, spirituality, didn’t exist for countless living species all those millions of years before humans evolved, and it won’t exist after we’re gone. All the other species just “are”.

    So there are many variations among readers and commenters at NBL, I think, which makes it interesting and instructive.

  • @ Gail

    There is no solution, because we cannot change our genetic predisposition.

    There is no consensus as to what our ‘genetic predisposition’ is. You have chosen your own preferred interpretation to suit your own ideological preferences and prejudices.

    The fact that All the other species just “are”. is itself profoundly and tremendously meaningful.

    To regard ‘meaning’ and ‘spirituality’ as synonyms, indicates considerable confusion. They have very distinct definitions.

  • To Red Eft,

    “I can also see the forest around me is dying.”

    I very much relate to that. I can see it when I go south. I remember the Sierra Nevadas of the 50s and early 60s. I could see the forests in California dying in the early 80s. They looked different than they had before.

    The dying is there to be seen if one is old enough to remember what a living planet really looked like. I can see it coming here in Alaska now, quickly. I had a long respite from both the cultural baggage and the horror here in Alaska, but it is over. Something is happening.

  • PREMISE ONE: NTE is the premise. It is happening, it is happening Now.

    PREMISE TWO: Industrial Civilization is the cause of NTE.

    PREMISE THREE: There IS a solution. 90% of the people on Earth need to die, soon. But first, we need their help to dismantle the toxic aspects of the infrastructure of industrial civilization.

    @ Gail:
    you said:
    I agree with Premise One, but only partially with Premise Two. Industrial Civilization is the cause of the acceleration of NTE, but the real cause is US. Humans. Our innate, intrinisic, unalterable tendency to overshoot.

    Okay, understood – but, OTH, do you have any crazy ideas about how The Solution might be implemented if for no other reason than to make the attempt to save some forms of life on planet Earth?

  • @Paul, your comments are very valuable to me. I do have an idea of what you are talking about: When young, I investigated, but rejected, Zen Buddhism precisely for its “anti-activism”, which felt to me at the time like a “cop-out”. I’m wiser now, (or should I say “I”?) and wonder where I would be if I had gone down a different path..

    “there is no-one to whom life is happening, that one is simply “life happening” One metaphor that stuck with me was of people being like waves: that you can make out individual waves at any given time, but their individual form and energy recedes back into the substance of the whole.


    Re. TPTB scenarios: I find it hard to believe that any forced dismantling shall occur. I just don’t think that most people are seriously concerned about nuclear radiation. And the closer to it, the more cavalier—look at the San Onofre reports. http://www.10news.com/news/investigations/photograph-picture-given-to-team-10-shows-plastic-bags-tape-broomsticks-used-to-fix-leak-at-san-onofre-043013

    I mean, people do work in these plants daily. At some point they probably don’t even notice the signs of entropy, the rust, the cracks…

    And think if the NRC actually were to want to shut these plants down, it would impossible to do with the current crop of gov. bureaucrats, people who emit these sorts of phrases: “The licensee is tracking the issue and will repair the condition in accordance with their work prioritization process.” The HUD-sponsored materials talking about future housing and transportation issues in a reduced-energy landscape was mind-numbing. First, they had to list “tasks”, among which the first “task” was to form a commission, and the white paper projected the formation of the commission as being completed in Q3FY2015 or some such. This was their idea of urgency.

  • Gail, I disagree, industrial civilization is what is encouraging the population growth, which started with civilization itself.

    Pat’s premises aren’t wrong, but to think that TPTB are going to try to save the planet (and themselves) is wrong, I think. If they were, 439 nukes would be going into safe shutdown mode right now. Instead, more are being built.

    Which tells me TPTB aren’t a cohesive group, and if there is a plan, it probably won’t work. Hell, the US grid is being held together with spit and duct tape (kinda like the nukes themselves) because no one can bring themselves to part with a single cent of profit. The Society of Civil Engineers say we’ve got to spend $107BILLION by 2020 to hold the grid together. That’s hilarious. Do you see the US government spending it? I don’t.

    To Guy….thanks for finding that recording! I can listen whilst reading comments!

    There are ways to reduce populations that don’t involve murder, but of course, we won’t do it.

    It was supposed to get to 81 yesterday in Michigan according to NOAA but we got to at least 88 as far as I know. Today, the high was projected to be 71 and we’re gonna blow past that easily.

    To everybody, some really good comments. oldgrowthforests….yeah, the pain is physical.

    I’m gonna go check the ammo levels at the local gun shop now.

  • Speak Softly, I had intended to say that your story breaks my heart. Youngest daughter is working on her PhD, studying sea otters. What can she do but chart their decline? She is rooming with several other grad students in environmental biology. I’ve talked to them and they have been absolutely brainwashed to not see the inevitability that your now-psychology student recognized.

    Ulv, I don’t regard meaning and spirituality as synonyms. I associate them together because, in my view, they are both fantasies of the human imagination.

    Pat, I haven’t got a clue, because I really think it just can’t be done. I saw a comment on another thread about finding a jury for the Trayvon Martin case. The commenter said he thought it would be impossible because it had been so publicized but the lawyer said, surprisingly, that it’s not difficult even in small towns to find jurors that have no knowledge even of cases that saturate the media, because – and this is the important part – most people have absolutely no idea what is going on beyond their own daily routine. It’s not even that they get misinformation from FOX. They just get NONE. They are unreachable.

  • @ Lidia

    I encountered both Zen and Osho in my 20’s, but they didn’t take. I had too much scientific materialism in my background, and my inner pain level was still low. By the time I hit my mid-50s and discovered Peak Oil and Fast Collapse, the pain level was just right. Faced with a choice between actual and metaphorical suicide, I chose the latter. So it is possible for an old dog to learn new tricks, so long as the reward/punishment setup is right.

    I started to climb out of the pit thanks to Deep Ecology and Daniel Quinn, but I found that I personally needed more. I felt I was missing a “sense of the sacred” in my life, despite not knowing what the phrase even meant (I’m a third-generation atheist).

    In my second run at “spirituality”, I ended up blowing past Zen and going on to neo-Advaita. Despite a strong scientific/skeptical background I became a spiritual seeker for about 5 years. I found what I was looking for, and stopped. Now I just live and let live.

    Signing off till tomorrow.

  • @Lidia says “Re. TPTB scenarios: I find it hard to believe that any forced dismantling shall occur.”

    Fine, then it’s chaos.

    Ultimately, you need to get back to first principles, which in this case is, do you believe Guy’s proposition (ie ending industrial civ)? If you don’t, that’s great, but what if you do? And how is it accomplished?

    Do you really think news that is fed through FCC licensed broadcast stations reflects how real-world decisions are made? Are these “news” items in reality simply re-directs to soften up response so that any sense of near-term emergency is rejected?

    There is a lot going on here that isn’t being seen. The intrigue is sussing out logical conclusions from the clear facts at hand. What I don’t get is the continued personal contemplation when it’s pretty obvious that events are now in control.

    The wild card is how the chain reaction is managed. If it isn’t, then it’s zombie time; if it is, then it’s FEMA time. Teasing out plausible scenarios & preparing for possible outcomes seems like a fun & challenging way to deal with what’s coming down the pike.

  • Paul, thank you for your comments on self. They have been helpful to me today.

    ulvfugl and Red Eft, thank you for your comments that let me know you hear me.

    Spirituality is about spiritual states, not material states, and they aren’t intellectual. Period. Some people feel or see spiritual beings, just like most of us see color, but color blind people do not. I have had very profound spiritual experiences that have convinced me that there is so much more to reality than this dimension that we don’t even have the words to capture it. I have lived my life fully convinced of these realities, and devoted a great deal of study to consciousness studies, psychology (my education), near-death experiences, studies that do exist concerning non-material reality as well as anecdotal accounts of people’s experiences, Kubler-Ross, religion, mysticism, the whole enchilada. I absolutely love that stuff! But most of those experiences occurred more than twenty-eight years ago, and recently as I’ve approached collapse more consciously, I have had the darkest doubts of my life.

    To be fully disclosing, I have posted a couple of times before as Jane Tao, but have had difficulty being here despite my need for some community with this issue at this time.

    For me, religion is a deeply complex subject that is big. It is history, and culture, and mysticism and accuracy regarding spiritual states. It is also politics, propaganda, myth, awkward translations, some of the most profound psychology I’ve ever found, and it also contains the collective wisdom of thousands and thousands of years of human beings. All great religions are all these things, and they are absolutely beautiful.

    I am deeply put off by comments that lump religion as being no more than the Crusades or the Inquisition. If we do that, then please, let us lump all the nuclear war and technology with all science. Some of the biases against the values of traditional people including spirituality, who by the way, are the only people who have ever been capable of leaving a decent environment, are very painful for me to read.

    So, I will see how this attempt at participating goes.

    Thank you.

  • I see so many different answers to the “What do we do now?” question today, prompted by Daniel’s essay. I don’t want to argue with any of them. In fact, the more answers, the better. I say that because we are rapidly shedding civilization now, getting back to basic biology. We are realizing that all the talk in the world won’t help us now, it’s action all the way down. We’ve spent thousands of years building up layers of abstract concepts because that’s what humans do. So we are all to blame because we are all genetically human dead end failures, every one of us.

    But if we are hurtling toward NTE, spiraling down through the reverse of the ontogeny-recapitulates-phylogeny cycle, let’s pause and reflect on the strength of evolutionary processes. Evolution requires genetic diversity from which an environment can select. The more diversity, the better.

    Now, we don’t know how the rest of our species’ time on earth will proceed. We don’t even know what tomorrow’s weather will be like. There is no “new normal.” Every year will be worse than the last. In fact, we argue about these things here every day. We argue about stages of acceptance, coping strategies, the timing of suicide, the plans of TPTB, possible reactions of populations in different parts of the world, who shoulders more blame that average, etc.

    Wouldn’t it be better if we could support everyone’s approach to “Jesus! It’s the end of the world!” as being as valid as anyone else’s? That way, there is a huge diversity of responses. Since we have no idea whose response will provide some short term advantage to the individual and whose response will result in immediate death or horrible suffering, we support all responses, sit back, and watch.

    As NTE approaches, we’ll see what works and what doesn’t. Change yourself and go with the ones that work, or not, whatever. Above all, be flexible and keep your eyes open. Don’t close any doors just yet.

    I’m not mocking anyone’s ideas anymore. They may just have it right and I might be wrong. Or, at least, I may be a bit less right than I usually am. <– leftover academic hubris. Sorry

    Just remember:

    1. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man will probably lie and say that he is blind, too. (read that somewhere today)

    2. The number one cause of problems is: solutions

    3. Death is not bad. Suffering is bad.

    4. It's all a game now, and we know how it ends. So do whatever it takes to earn weapons, skills, spells, attitudes, minions, charms and armour that might help you move through the chaos.

    So I'm going to take my "+9 bowl of gathering" and go out to the garden and pick some spring greens.

  • I found it, finally. So for my last post of today, I present for your enjoyment, a Gary Larson cartoon:

    http://uniboobmom.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/screw_the_limit.jpg

  • Choices:
    1. resist – fight the good fight
    2. accept – grieve and/or debate telling others
    3. accept – party aka live for the moment
    4. defend – shield & protect

    @B9K9:
    1. group consensus – **first gain acceptance**, then draw straws
    never gonna’ happen

    2. imposed solution – the PTB secret sauce
    best possible choice if they can control collapse and, most importantly, they lead us through to the other side to a better world, a sustainable balance with nature. (probably not likely either)

    3. chaos – everyone out for themselves
    worst choice – nothing survives if this is how it goes down. but, sadly, most likely scenario.

    I want everyone here to know that my actions may negatively impact your lives – for this I apologize. When you pay your taxes, know that you are paying for my food stamps and rent subsidies as I suckle off the teets of TPTB. The resources I intentionally waste may be resources that may be of use to you. When I come looting and rioting, it may be your house. Forgive me.

    As I’ve said before, there is no redemption for the suffering we have caused and my penance is to not aspire. I am as good as dead.

  • Genetically Modified Society (84 minutes, Michael Janitch, dir.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSGr2KBNN6s

  • Daniel Drumright,
    A question for you. Would you be interested in writing a guest post for me at Collapseofindustrialcivilization.com concerning nuclear containment pools?

  • Kathy C says: Ah where were you when I had dreams of becoming a sacrificial lamb on the altar of being good.

    Why, busy denying the obvious too.
    ==

    @ Red Eft: Thanks!

    Red Eft says: I wish the news could be delivered in your limericks.
    ==

    .
    NEWS OF THE DAY
    May 2, 2013
    ==

    May Day Protests

    There were protests the first day of May:
    Pics of violence coming your way;
    In related news
    (No one ever saw clues),
    Poor get poor, rich get rich—every day!
    ==

    Busted

    Golden, that’s how she was viewed:
    She would never do anything crude,
    But she failed to respond;
    She was legally blonde,
    But now her career is screwed.
    ==

    European Interest Rates Lowered

    Inflation’s what we should abhor:
    Weimar’s curious forgotten lore;
    Ironically funny—
    We’ve more and more money,
    But nothing’s worth shit anymore.

    Europe and the United States
    Soon will set negative rates:
    As things go downhill,
    All worth becomes nil,
    But keep inking those printing plates.
    ==

    OTOH

    My thoughts about her never cease,
    She looked good in satin or fleece;
    I DO know her name:
    She’s my secret flame—
    Can’t wait for her next “release.”
    ==

    Cannibals in Jamestown

    With supplies right down to the dregs,
    They revised their rules and their regs:
    Eating out didn’t mean
    A limited scene
    In between one another’s legs.
    ==

    That’s Life

    Her mask slipped, but still, here’s what’s key:
    Post-divorce, for a while, she was free;
    Though odds of us linked
    Match not getting extinct,
    She should have been marrying me.
    ==

    Late-Breaking

    So there’s all the news, now you’ve heard
    (Though some of it’s purposely blurred);
    Oh yeah: well fuck me!
    Right there on TV,
    Someone mentioned a dirty word.