Preparing For Near-Term Extinction

by Carolyn Baker, who writes at Speaking Truth to Power

When I began writing this article, a friend of mine had recently entered hospice. While I was finishing the article, my friend died. She was not in the same town as I, but during the past month, we had been able to speak by phone several times a week. Given my friend’s decline and death and its impact on me, I was not taken aback by Daniel Drumright’s essay “The Irreconcilable Acceptance Of Near-Term Extinction,” posted last week on Guy McPherson’s Nature Bats Last blog. The timing of its arrival in my awareness was completely synchronistic with my friend’s death, so rather than shuddering as I finished the essay, I silently said to myself, “Yes, of course.”

Drumright’s thesis is simply that we must accept that “humanity has now crossed numerous irreversible climatic thresholds,” and “that by so doing, we have ushered in intractable near term extinction (NTE) of most of life within the next several decades.” In other words, NTE is a veritable certainty, and our existences on this planet as a human species is about to end. As I write this article, I am going to assume that NTE is valid and certain.

Four years ago I made a conscious decision to spend the rest of my life preparing for the collapse of industrial civilization and assisting others in doing the same, but the conscious preparation in which I have been investing my time and energy was preparation for something dramatically less catastrophic and smaller in scale than the extinction of our species. Whatever images of collapse we hold in our minds, they tend to include a long, protracted demise alongside a number of “cliff events” followed by a significant die-off of humans with a dramatically reduced population of survivors who sooner or later will cooperate to create fledgling communities and a new way of life profoundly informed by the demise of industrial civilization. Meanwhile, as the images of collapse in our minds have danced, paraded, shriveled, expanded, and metamorphosed millions of times, an entirely divergent and more terrifying scenario was congealing in the external world which rendered our most valiant collapse-preparation efforts paltry by comparison.

If NTE is real and on-schedule, as it surely appears to be, does it really matter if we have an exquisitely equipped “doom-stead” in which to hunker down or if we wander homeless in the streets? What certainly matters to me is that whatever our fate may be, we face it in the company of trusted others and not in isolation, for in the face of our extinction, we are the only ones who can mutually appreciate and celebrate what it means/meant to be human. And while the reader may react by exclaiming, “Yeah, what it meant to be human was the hell we have created,” I would argue for the reality that we are both human and more than human, and that our catastrophic undoing issues from the tragedy that we never fully discovered what that actually means. Yet for anyone reading these words and still breathing air, no matter how foul, it is not too late to embark on the journey of discovery, knowing that often, as with my friend, the treasures of the journey are not discovered until its end. The day before she died, she told me that her passing was precious to her and filled with gifts she could never have imagined.

My friend often spoke of making her “transition” which I find particularly fascinating in the light of Drumright’s article. Since at least 2008 many of us have been using the word “transition” either as the name of a socio-environmental movement or as a synonym for collapse or “the Great Turning.” As we do so, we rarely use it as a synonym for death, but in fact, our “transition” may be precisely the transition which my friend made as I was writing this article. In fact, the wrenching reality of NTE demands, yes demands, that we confront our own death and the meaning of our life.

In his essay, Drumright emphasizes the quality of our final days and also encourages us candidly to arrange for a peaceful death in the face of potential extinction horrors. With this I cannot argue, but I ask you, dear reader, as you read these words, are they enough for your soul? Is some corner of your psyche left empty and wanting more? Some part of me cries out for more, and where I find nuggets of satisfaction is in the words of poetry, ancient stories, and the wisdom of indigenous traditions. My favorite is Mary Oliver’s “When Death Comes.”

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps his purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

In the Dagara Tribe of West Africa, the people say that when death comes, it should find you fully alive, fully engaged in what gives you passion and vitality. How many citizens of modernity have a clue what this actually means? Or as Mary Oliver asks in another poem, “are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?” For me, full aliveness is about being with the tragedy and horror of NTE—weeping, shrieking, raging and at the same time savoring every second of the joy I find in my work, delighting in both serious and silly conversations I have with friends, telling stories with my drum, cooking a delicious meal, playing fetch-ball with my dog, and the ecstasy of a Mozart piano concerto. Derrick Jensen, I always come back to your epiphanic maxim: “We’re fucked, and life is really, really good.”

Beyond Survival

In a recent You Tube video “Why Climate Change Is Not An Environmental Issue,” Ryan Cooper argues that it is instead an existential issue which cannot be conveniently labeled as environmental, economic, biological, or a matter of national security. It is all of these and much more. NTE compels us to ask monumental questions of meaning and purpose that we have been unwilling to ask or have only addressed peripherally.

Throughout my collapse preparation, I have never embraced a survivalist mentality. In fact, I have come to believe that making physical survival one’s top priority in collapse preparation is, in fact, part of the reason we are facing collapse. Charles Eisenstein says it best in his marvelous book The Ascent Of Humanity:

The human gifts that have empowered us to bring the planet to the brink of catastrophe are not intrinsically evil, demonic powers to be spurned, but are, in the end, sacred means to take the creation of beauty to a new level. The problem is that we have not respected them as sacred. We have prostituted our gifts. We have been stuck in the delusion that their purpose is to gain us comfort, security, and pleasure, which follows from the idea that there is no real purpose to life but to survive, which follows from our deeply held Newtonian ontology, which itself is just the culminating articulation of separation.

Frankly, a part of me feels some relief, some validation in Drumright’s essay, confirming for me that the work in front of us is no longer so much about logistical preparation as it is the honing of our emotional and spiritual awareness. NTE solidifies what Eisenstein argues: “Limiting our destructiveness is not a matter of reining in our natural selfish impulses; it is a matter of understanding who we really are.” But what does it mean to understand who we really are?

The project of self-awareness is nothing less than an epic saga–a hero’s or heroine’s journey into our essence. It encompasses the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between. It necessitates remorse as we look unflinchingly at the ways in which we have helped contribute to the annihilation of our planet, and it also includes intimate familiarity with the part of us that is inexorably whole and untouched by the madness of industrial civilization.

Living In The Head Keeps You Dead

But one caveat about the journey of which I speak: It cannot be made intellectually.

My work in life coaching and other capacities puts me in constant contact with individuals who confess that they spend most of their waking hours in their heads. Since I have spent most of my adult life in some form of academia and have written numerous books, I cherish the human intellect and its capacity for problem-solving, critical thinking, and personal empowerment. However, we are all descendants of the Newtonian paradigm of separation in which the intellect is deemed superior to the body and emotions and as such, has become a tool of disconnection as opposed to community. Thus, as we embark on the journey of preparation for the future, only certain parts of us are on board. For most of us, it’s all about “gathering information,” “mastering,” “figuring out,” “learning skills,” and “planning ahead.” Each of these tasks is enormously important, but in our pre-occupation with them, we become estranged from the body and emotions as industrial civilization has so rigorously trained us to do.

On the one hand, living in the head as we prepare often feels safer than actually feeling what we’re feeling about the future. I regularly hear from people preparing for collapse that they feel safest when they are sitting at their computers amassing still more information about collapse or when they are busily engaged in some form of logistical preparation such as building a fortress or re-stocking food or medical supplies. On the other hand, when asked to sit quietly, close their eyes, and breathe deeply, they may have a great deal of difficulty doing so and may begin wondering what this has to do with anything in the external world.

No person reading these words needs to be reminded of the libraries of documentation our species has acquired in the past four decades verifying the inextricable connection between the emotions and the body. Yet in those forty years, it seems as if humans have become even more dis-embodied than at any time in our history, save perhaps, during the so-called Age of Reason in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. And while it is true that we live on a shamefully toxic planet in which our food, water, and air are hideously polluted with carcinogens and other poisons, none of this is ameliorated by inattention to the body and emotions.

Not only does the mind-body disconnect increase our susceptibility to illness, but it robs us of the full aliveness that is required for the quality of life we owe ourselves in the face of NTE. Once again, “Are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?”

Conscious work with the mind-body connection through regularly attending to body sensations and emotions in designated times of quiet contemplation ground us in the midst of stressful and daunting decisions we must make regarding the future. I have provided much more on this in my book Navigating The Coming Chaos.

Admitting Ourselves To Hospice Care

So if Drumright is even close to accuracy in his forecasting of NTE, then the likelihood of our physical death within perhaps the next decade or two is not a preposterous notion. In fact, at the rate climate change is surging, this time frame may be generous. People willingly enter hospice care because they clearly, consciously know, as my friend did, that they are dying. Typically, in hospice care they receive a quality of nurturing rarely found elsewhere. Not only are they bathed in kindness but if they choose, they are actively supported in reflecting on their lives and intentionally and lovingly prepared for their death.

I invite the reader to consider the possibility that we are now entering a period of hospice for ourselves and with each other. Never before in human history or in our own personal history has our full embodiment, the healing of the mind-body split, been as urgent as it is in this moment. Never before have we so desperately needed to reflect upon our lives and find meaning in them as we do now.

Nurses and hospice volunteers seem to be a special breed of human beings who are attuned to the needs of the dying and have the capacity to tread where many others cannot go. Yet as we face NTE, we will surely become hospice nurses for others. Our most important training: the willingness to lie down on our own hospice ground and do the work I have just explained.

My friend has made her transition, and I stand in awe of her courage and clarity, praying that when my time comes, I can make mine with half as much consciousness. My work in this moment is to make sense of her presence in my life and find meaning in her passing.

I invite you to join me with the poet, Daniel Skach-Mills, in savoring a wisdom that tempers the pain and uncertainty of all transitions and all extinctions:

A primordial pool
Of inexhaustible stillness,
From which everything arises
And to which everything returns,
Rests beneath the surface of what
You call your real life
Of noise and busyness,
Desire and fear.
Beneath the continual need for noise
Lies the fear of silence.
Beneath compulsive busyness:
The desire to feel truly alive.
This pool isn’t muddied
By what happens on the surface.
When it wells up from the depths,
Moments that lave you in the Now’s
Quiet clarity naturally appear.
Your mind will dismiss these,
But pay no attention.
Follow these moments,
Back to their Source,
Back to that which is seeking
To know itself through you,
To itself as you.
Realize this stillness to be what you are,
And you’ll be at peace in the midst
Of sorrow and upset,
Level when surrounded
By chaos and imbalance,
Watering the withered lives of beings
You don’t know and will never,
In your lifetime, see.

~Daniel Skach-Mills, The Tao of Now~

Comments 157

  • Matthew Fox loves to quote Meister Eckhart: “If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”

    Daniel and Carolyn, Thank you.

  • I think it is too early to prepare for NTE.

    I have had a lot of difficulty persuading those around me that we are not destined for a better, brighter future based on Ponzi schemes, rorts and fracking, so few are even preparing for collapse of current economic arrangements, let alone thinking about NTE (though I have emphasised NTE in my latest NPDC stuff, just to get them acquainted with the idea.)

    And I have not yet got bees and chickens.

    As I see it, we have economic collapse to keep us occupied for several years. Then we can think about preparing for NTE. (It’s not a lot of fun being of the 1-in-10,000 who are fully awake, though I’m working in it.)

  • Carolyn’

    Some beautiful pros and heartfelt thoughts here. Poetry is always a great expression of the human heart.

    As someone who was with my mother when she ‘transitioned’, in hospice care, I can say death to me is ok. My mothers body was broken, and it was not going to sustain her journey here any more. That process was altogether calm and ‘normal’, if I can put it like that. So for someone who has lost the integrity in the body, or spirit to remain living, I can agree ‘hospice care'( is this a euphemism for suicide by institutional but nevertheless humane and dignified terminal care?) is appropriate if someone wants that.

    However, being fit and able at present, (at 50) I don’t share the idea of needing to suicide given NTE. I realise others will, and it is not my call with others so I don’t have an opinion there. It is utterly their choice IMO.
    This is what I find unsettling in the background of Daniel’s essay, you refer to, on NTE, that the ethical response to NTE and catastrophic climate change is suicide.
    That logic is suspicious to me.
    I have procreated, and I dare say that is affecting my conceptions of instinctive life, but I will be hanging on till the end, hell and high water – but not in a desperate desire to deny death, nor from fear of losing control.
    I just want to see the light every day I can have. The sunset here yesterday was worth being alive for. Not saying it wont get hairy, or very tough to exist.

    The very short time in human terms we have had it easy here, is also the time we chopped, and polluted and killed the other living things with such rapidity, and lack of reasoned responsibility too – just think on the killing of wildlife, how many specimens are in those museums around the world, and what would it do if they could all be revived in a single day? The scene in “Greystoke -the legend of Tarzan” where Tarzan,(Lord Greystoke) walks the halls of the natural history wing of a manor estate is chilling, also because in context he is seeing his cousins dead and stuffed. Naturally the climactic moment when he finds a fellow ape troop member vivisected on the table, he is devastated, as we all should be – I was.
    Then soon he is reunited with his jungle troop ape ‘father’ a former silverback, now caged and presumably awaiting the same fate as the dead and tabled one before. Immediately they release him, he is killed. In the throes of grief, Tarzan scrams “He was my Father”

    Some of it can be found briefly at about 4:47 on this link

    ‘Christopher Lambert in “Greystoke – The Legend of Tarzan”‘

    The reuniting and escape scene can be seen here:

    ‘GREYSTOKE – Tarzan – ESCAPE!’


    Would it be that all of us felt the loss so, we may live in a better different NT future, all the more reason to encourage people to feel their life rather than think it, which you allude to.

    As I said, living in difficult times does not mean implicit misery, it may rekindle that which is lost in the West, some social obligation and communal love, by necessity, but nevertheless, something to be greatly appreciated if it eventuates.
    I realise the idea of NTE is founded on the loss of ‘human’ habitat, due to the rapid changes upon us. I will be there, seeking to remain alive in whatever niche is available, but I wont eat people.

    Better that than death by the TV-home-delivery-couch-potato-leisure-corporatist-wage-slavery-have-debt-must-spend-to -feel-safe-in-the-social-hierarchy- most are in now. And that death is not just us, it is the living planet, as Guy points out, time and again.

  • are they enough for your soul?

    There is NO soul. Of the Three Features of Existence in the Buddhist tradition, the second is “Sabbe Dhamma Anatta”/”Sarve Dharma Anatman” (Pali/Sanskrit). A direct translation would be “all entities are soul-less”. A more explanatory translation would be “there is no abstractable independently addressable essence for any entity”.

    Is some corner of your psyche left empty and wanting more?

    And again, in the Buddhist tradition is the Sunyata, the Void, the Emptiness. And, “form is emptiness, and emptiness is form”. The equivalent in the Judaic tradition is Ein Sof.

    when death comes, it should find you fully alive, fully engaged in what gives you passion and vitality.

    Why wait for death?

    which follows from the idea that there is no real purpose to life but to survive,

    Actually in one tradition there is no purpose to life, not even to survive. It is all a Divine Sport or Divine Play, the Lila.

    understanding who we really are

    That would involve an understander, a process of understanding, and the understood: a subject, a relationship and an object. To approach the “really are”, the “we” (or “I”) has to be dropped. The understander, the process of understanding and the understood have all to be abandoned.

    sit quietly, close their eyes, and breathe deeply

    It has notable salutary effects, and greatly enhances some abilities and characteristics. Without adequate guidance through other modalities, these abilities and characteristics are side-tracked into a veritable wilderness.

    The traditions deriving from the Vedas are replete with narratives of the consequences of such misdirected effort.

    humans have become even more dis-embodied than at any time in our history

    To belittle even a dust-mote or a sand grain is to reject the universe. The tradition of the interconnectedness if all things is found in Vedic times in The Net of Indra, Indra being the chief Vedic God. Every node in the net is an entity in the universe, and they are all connected to each other, constituting the net, which is the universe. Later traditions describe it as (inter)dependent (co-)arising, Pratītyasamutpāda.

    MOURNING IS NOT the index of true love. It betrays love of the object, of its shape only. That is not love. True love is shown by the certainty that the object of love is in the Self and that it can never become non-existent. There will be no pain if the physical outlook is given up and if the person exists as the Self.

    There is no death nor birth. That which is born is only the body. The body is the creation of the ego. But the ego is not ordinarily perceived without the body. It is always identified with the body.

    If a man considers he is born he cannot avoid the fear of death. Let him find out if he has been born or if the Self has any birth. He will discover that the Self always exists, that the body which is born resolves itself into thought and that the emergence of thought is the root of all mischief.

    Find where from thoughts emerge. Then you will abide in the ever-present inmost Self and be free from the idea of birth or the fear of death.

    Recall the state of sleep. Were you aware of anything happening? If the son or the world be real, should they not be present with you in sleep?

    You cannot deny your existence in sleep. Nor can you deny you were happy then. You are now the same person speaking and raising doubts. You are not happy according to you. But you were happy in sleep. What has transpired in the meantime that happiness of sleep has broken down? It is the rise of the ego. That is the new arrival in the jagrat (waking) state. There was no ego in sleep.

    The birth of the ego is called the birth of the person. There is no other kind of birth. Whatever is born, is bound to die. Kill the ego: there is no fear of recurring death for what is once dead. The Self remains even after the death of the ego. That is Bliss – that is immortality.

    Training the mind helps one to bear sorrows and bereavements with courage. But the loss of one’s offspring is said to be the worst of all griefs. Still it is true, pain on such occasions can be assuaged by association with the wise.

    – Sri Ramana Maharshi

    Actually, the
    noise and busyness,
    Desire and fear

    Are the

    primordial pool
    Of inexhaustible stillness,
    From which everything arises
    And to which everything returns

    One and the same: The One Without a second.

  • @ Robin Datta

    Seems to me that you are hopelessly lost in the veritable wilderness.

  • Thank you Carolyn Baker and i empathize with you on the loss of your friend.

  • I find concern for ourselves and our feelings slightly nauseating. We’ve all had a life. We adults. We’re the ones who permitted this catastrophic mess. Now we hand it on to the innocent children, who have no idea what they are getting and have no responsibility for having caused it, and yet THEY are going to have to endure the horror of what is to come. Personally, I don’t think that self-pity and self-indulgence are appropriate at all.

    Human foolishness is denying the right to existence of countless other species that have been on this planet far longer than we have, and without them, we could never have enjoyed our brief human efflorescence. I liked Mary Nelson’s first comment, yes, thank you to Daniel and Carolyn, and humility and thanks to this living biosphere for letting me witness its magnificence, for more than six decades, and still today.

  • The video (though a sincere effort, we are many of us grasping at straws) perpetuates the false dichotomy between environmentalism and climate change. When I first became deeply concerned about both, the tension between the two camps puzzled me (not to mention with the peak oil contingent) but I have come to learn that it is exacerbated by competition between specialized scientific branches for funding, not to mention pet worldviews and visions of how collapse will proceed and whether anyone will survive, as Carolyn describes.

    There is also the desire of many climate activists to cling to the idea that industrialized society can continue if only we advance green energy technology, an idea demolished by Timothy Garrett (more energy = more consumption…there is a great interview with him on Radio Ecoshock about how that works, and the chilly reception his research received) and more recently by the epic fail of carbon trading and renewables in Europe as just reported at the Daily Impact:

    Dave Roberts published the video on Grist – this was my comment there:

    Of course, climate change is an existential threat that is being ignored at our peril. But the video betrays a very shallow understanding of the environmental movement. Climate change is only one symptom of humanity trashing the planet, and we are, in fact, outside of and destructive of nature.

    Too much of climate activism shuns environmentalism because it is infatuated with the fantasy that we can maintain industrial civilization by substituting fossil fuels with so-called clean energy. To really understand ecology it would become obvious that growth itself is unsustainable, pollution is overwhelming the ecosystem, and to even begin to stave off mass extinctions we – especially the affluent developed countries – would have to drastically reduce our consumption and population. No more flying, no more personal automobiles, no more imported manufactured goods, for example.

    The video mentioned Sandy. The flooding was horrific but in fact what put the lights out for 8 million people – FOR WEEKS! – was the millions of trees that fell on power lines. Sandy wasn’t even a hurricane when it made landfall, the winds weren’t extraordinary. What made the trees fall in such numbers is the fact that they are rotting inside from absorbing pollution. You can’t see tropospheric ozone, but the background level is increasing.

    Maybe if climate activitsts and scientists would turn a little attention to the fact that pollution is causing epidemics of heart disease, cancer and asthma, people would understand that we are destroying our planet as well as the climate.

  • Such a terrible burden our species has. The dark side of high intelligence and self awareness is the knowledge that we are mortals. How many words have been written to try to come to terms with that? How many religions have spun endless theologies to try to come to terms with that?

    Now to add to that burden some of us know not only that all species eventually go extinct, but that our species is going to go extinct, possibly in our lifetimes. Damn there goes another way of us denying death by believing our life has meaning. Where is meaning when there will be no future humans for us to provide benefit for.

    Here is what I do to deal with the idea of death. I think about having gone under anesthesia for a surgery. How welcome non-existence was – while I didn’t get to check up on the surgeon, I also didn’t get to suffer the pain of the knife. I like to sleep and upon waking I don’t really want to get up and rejoin the world of the living. After a while I do and find joys in the day, but at the moment of waking I would rather return to the world of being virtually dead.

    I write this not for those who have wonderful meaningful sleep experiences or who remain aware under general anesthesia. It would not be helpful to you, but most I think are like me and can use these thoughts to gain some imagination of being dead. I also give thought from time to time of all the ages I was not alive – I didn’t live through the inquisition for instance and am really glad I wasn’t alive then. I find these thoughts help me begin to get a handle on being dead and well it seems just fine.

    Dying of course is a different matter. We have to go through the process of dying before the nothingness of death. Obviously many do what they can now to keep that from being too drawn out and painful – from Hospice care to euthanasia to suicide. Its as valid IMO to consider an exit before the worst whether in “normal” times or at the end of our run as a species.

    I recognize that others don’t see death as nothingness and see some form of continuance. I am only writing my thoughts for those who might find them helpful, not as an argument to those who disagree. Obviously if death is nothingness I won’t know I am right and if it is not frankly I will wish I had been right :)

    But here we sit under the shadow of the knowledge of NTE, still living in a first world country with enough food and shelter for most. What words would we find, what life coaching would we give, for those who live under the whine of the drones?

    Perhaps this article is a must read for all of us to anticipate what we might end up facing before it is all over. I suspect it will be far worse than we who have lived relatively fear free can imagine.
    Interviewees also described the impacts on children.[238] One man said of his young niece and nephew that “[t]hey really hate the drones when they are flying. It makes the children very angry.”[239] Aftab Gul Ali, who looks after his grandson and three granddaughters, stated that children, even when far away from strikes, are “badly affected.”[240] Hisham Abrar, who had to collect his cousin’s body after he was killed in a drone strike, stated:

    When [children] hear the drones, they get really scared, and they can hear them all the time so they’re always fearful that the drone is going to attack them. . . [B]ecause of the noise, we’re psychologically disturbed—women, men, and children. . . Twenty-four hours, [a] person is in stress and there is pain in his head.[241]

    Noor Behram, a Waziri journalist who investigates and photographs drone strike sites, noted the fear in children: “if you bang a door, they’ll scream and drop like something bad is going to happen.”[242

    Sorry to sound so dismal this morning, but well there it is, extinction won’t be pretty.

    BTW for any who believe in reincarnation, if NTE takes out all humans and everything but a few heat loving bacteria, is that where all the souls will go regardless of how good or bad they have been in this life? Just wondering.

  • @Kathy C:

    I have no particular belief – I’m agnostic on all counts, however, I recognize “The Great Mystery” of the Universe – and all I can do is wonder. I cannot know the unknowable. BUT, if reincarnation is real, I’m cool coming back as a heat-loving bacteria. And, if the Bible is real, I’m screwed!

    I don’t KNOW much at all, some say even the universe is not forever, that it will expand into basically nothing eventually, or contract back into a tiny speck until the next big bang. Whatever, these things mean nothing to me.

    As for Carolyn Baker’s essay in response to Daniel’s essay, I’m sure there are many who will find comfort in her words.

    I keep thinking of Frankl who said: “The survivors were not the Best of Us.” And, the survivalists will be vindicated for a short while as collapse engulfs the planet – and then they will be struck down like the rest of us as the reality of NTE consumes them. The “Best of Us” will go down caring for others, caring for themselves. I am not one of the “Best of Us.” And, I am not a survivalist, or a prepper, I don’t have a garden. I’m a drone of Industrial Civilization that is now painfully aware of what part I have played in this horrible mess. I plan to simply ride the train over the cliff – quietly sitting in my seat, listening to my ipod – listening to The Smiths: “The Queen is Dead.”

  • I don’t understand all the metaphysical stuff – trying to follow all the twists and turns makes me dizzy. Descartes: “I think, therefore I am” – gives me a headache. I would have made a great caveman.

    My previous post bears repeating:

    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.

    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.

  • The existentialist hand wringing over NTE seems to be the latest version of the self aggrandizement that modern humans love to engage in. After 3.5 billion years of evolution on this planet, the sentient products of that process acted as if going to the mall and watching television was the pinnacle of Being. An absurd and pointless species that is about to kill most other life forms. The hairless apes’ stupidity is as deadly as it is immutable (so what if a few of them are decent? what did they accomplish?). Yet, we still talk as if informing others is somehow important. We can’t stop clucking — like chickens in one of Colonel Sanders’ industrial death camps.

  • Pat,BUT, if reincarnation is real, I’m cool coming back as a heat-loving bacteria. And, if the Bible is real, I’m screwed!
    Oh thanks for bringing me a smile. If Jesus is real and will judge as he outlined, most Christians are screwed too!

    Depressive The existentialist hand wringing over NTE seems to be the latest version of the self aggrandizement that modern humans love to engage in.
    I thought of writing something like that. We humans, having become self aware, think we matter. We don’t on any large scale. Mattering, meaning have to be found in the small scale. It matters whether I eat or don’t eat, as if I don’t eat I die sooner than expected. When I hug someone I love, they find meaning in that.

    Yes, we can’t stop clucking about sums it up.

    Us humans we have to talk
    We hem and we haw and we squawk
    I talk so I am
    And I yam what I yam
    Speak of death though, from this we balk

    Here is something to do while waiting for collapse from – link at spaceweather’s blog to watch the event.

    RING OF FIRE SOLAR ECLIPSE: On May 9-10, the Moon will pass directly in front of the sun over the South Pacific, producing a “ring of fire” solar eclipse. At greatest eclipse, 98% of the sun’s surface will be covered. The Coca-Cola Space Science Center is hosting a live webcast of the event from Australia! Tune in on May 9th beginning at 5 pm EDT

    I am still hoping a Carrington type flare will bring us down – let mom nature get the credit :) . So I keep checking the Spaceweather site to see if one is in the works.

    OK done my two, bye until tomorrow

  • It has been over 80F for the past 10 days (usually in the 60s in May). The trees (all) are in such a state that I do not understand how they still stand. You would see pictures, you would understand. But i do not do pictures. Impossible they will be standing for 5 more years. I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E.
    The air is so thick with chemicals that I am constantly nauseated, like in an unending chemotherapy bath.
    The sky is veiled, ALWAYS (because of the contrails), there is no rain, the fire alert is at its maximum for the whole extra dry province, the drought is setting in fast, the insects, birds and all forms of life that were thriving in the city 3 years ago are completely gone, leafing is completed and disastrous, and so on…

    Meanwhile, I string pearls, clean my body, clean my house, clean, clean, clean. If “I” is (or should I say “was”?), I am a cosmic cleaning lady. I love cleaning, against all entropy.

    I generally feel anxious AND releived.

    Around me, the mice are still dancing.

  • depressive lucidity, that was great! My reaction was the same. More blah, blah, blah. How could this long process be halted and turned around? It can’t be. We do what humans do, as ants do what ants do. Nothing will change. I watch and laugh. I don’t even want to walk around with my “The End is Near” sign anymore. That just feeds my desire to be seen as knowledgeable. Let them eat dust.

    Another 90 degree day in British Columbia and the fires have begun. This may be my summer for death by smoke inhalation.

  • DETROIT (AP) — Seventy-nine gallons of “very slightly radioactive water” from a leaky tank at Entergy Corp.’s troubled Palisades Nuclear Power Plant spilled into Lake Michigan, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokeswoman said Monday.

    There is no risk to human health because the radioactive material was further diluted when it entered a storage basin before flowing into the lake, NRC spokeswoman Viktoria Mitlyng told The Associated Press. She said there is “absolutely” no risk to human health.

    The plant is 80 miles east-northeast of Chicago in Van Buren County’s Covert Township. It’s been under heightened Nuclear Regulatory Commission attention because of a series of breakdown over two years.

  • One nice thing we could “do” is to not have babies, and not encourage others to do so (you don’t have to tell them why).

  • I’m sixty-eight, and my expected remaining life span is just about what I expect the whole human race has left to it. Either way, I’m 20 or 30 years away from making my own personal transition, so while I expect the human race will soon be extinct, I also understand that that there’s not a damn thing I can do personally to prevent that. So I’m going to work in my garden, like I always do, listen to music like I always do, and enjoy the beauty of the world around me, like I always do.

    I think back to a scene in the movie Deep Impact where Téa Leoni and Maximilian Schell stand on the beach watching a thousand foot high tidal wave coming straight toward them. Sure, it’s going to wipe them out, but until it does, what a fantastic view they have of it! My only consolation at this point is that watching the planet being destroyed is going to be a hell of a show! I hope I get to watch the whole show, right to the bitter end.

    (But since I also believe in reincarnation, I’m not sure where I’m going to be going after this round.)

  • My second and last for today. Kathy, Michele and Gail, I understand completely and intuitively what you three are saying. My daughter won’t talk to me anymore because I can’t hide my disgust that she works for the biggest military industrial behemoth corporation in the world. She won’t read my emails anymore because I include links to climate change articles. She takes anti-depressives by the handful, and Ambien to go to sleep every night. She has every auto-immune condition you can list. She bought a house by herself in the ‘burbs and owes more than it’s worth. Her boyfriend moved in with her but can’t sell his condo. When TSHTF she’s going to call me up and want to move back to the farm. Nothing doing, sweetheart, you’re on your own.

    So I garden and clean and bake sourdough bread, etc. Today I’ll spend the day walking around with the hose trying to keep plants from dying in the heat. Then someday our river will run dry.

    The Northern Orioles are back. A month too soon. Today I saw the biggest bumble bee I’ve ever seen. Big as a hummingbird. Which I guess isn’t that big, really, because we have Caliope hummingbirds here, North America’s smallest bird. But that bee was huge! I’ve seen a few of these only in the last couple of years. He or she was going from apple blossom to apple blossom and I walked up to the tree and looked that bee right in the eye, maybe six inches away, as it walked from one flower to the next. When it flew to another branch, the buzz was slow and low, like a Harley with straight pipes.

    Thanks for being here, everyone. I don’t know exactly why I keep reading this blog, but just to type in my own observations is comforting, somehow.

  • Sometimes you gotta rake your own leaves.

  • __________________


    Nothing’s a gift, it’s all on loan.
    I’m drowning in debts up to my ears.
    I’ll have to pay for myself
    with my self,
    give up my life for my life.

    Here’s how it’s arranged:
    The heart can be repossessed,
    the liver, too,
    and each single finger and toe.

    Too late to tear up the terms,
    my debts will be repaid,
    and I’ll be fleeced,
    or, more precisely, flayed.

    I move about the planet
    in a crush of other debtors.
    Some are saddled with the burden
    of paying off their wings.
    Others must, willy-nilly,
    account for every leaf.

    Every tissue in us lies
    on the debit side.
    Not a tentacle or tendril
    is for keeps.

    The inventory, infinitely detailed,
    implies we’ll be left
    not just empty-handed
    but handless too.

    I can’t remember
    where, when, and why
    I let someone open
    this account in my name.

    We call the protest against this
    the soul.
    And it’s the only item
    not included on the list.

    ~ Wislawa Szymborska ~

    (Poems New and Collected 1957-1997, trans. S. Baranczak and C. Cavanagh)

  • CHS posted a recent article where he describes the emergence of a neofeudal/rentier society via purposeful, intentional acts of the Fed and other central banks. Meanwhile, Denninger continues to squawk about the abrogation of the rule-of-law & destruction of capital wealth. What these two writers and many others fail to do, however, is ascertain why these trends & events are occurring today in the here & now.

    I’m of the belief, along with PCR, Hedges and a few others, that the PTB not only accept Guy’s predictions of environmental calamity, but have completely embraced the concept of NTE. As such, they need to move quickly to re-assert the traditional .001/.999 top-down pyramid in which to exert command & control.

    The reason for this re-ordering back to historical norms is no different than the purpose of boot-camp: to destroy individual will and impose allegiance to order & direction. When a commander says to “take a hill”, the unit moves as one regardless of personal safety. (Of course, if they don’t, there’s always the threat of summary execution, a very popular means of persuasion used extensively during WWI.)

    Once society is re-aligned along these lines, it will be possible to direct huge, personnel intensive operations like Chernobyl. The promise of food, clothing, shelter, medical care, etc will be offset by the obligation to perform tasks without question. Of course, this will also entail running FEMA installations & associated death camps, but with looming NTE, survivors will be more than happy to carry out ‘unpleasant’ tasks in the off chance that they might live another day.

    I too tire of the existential navel gazing that seems to infect refugees from the left. The future is crystal clear – if there was ever a time to act with confidence & assurance, this is it. If you can see how the future is being set up, then it’s not to difficult to position oneself to ride the wave.

  • The saga unfolds and gets worse every day.

    Honey Bees Are Dying Putting America At Risk Of A Food Disaster

    We have such a confluence of pressing disasters, how could anyone be positive about the future (and yet I am still accused by friends of being too negative)?

  • As we collectively assemble & meet from our respective journeys, we seem to discover what interesting bed mates we all make. How many traditional leftists abhor the 2A, yet have come to appreciate its counterbalance against state sponsored terrorism with respect to the 1A? How many traditional righties abhor the 1A, yet have come to appreciate its counterbalance against state sponsored with respect to the 2A?

    Here’s a great article on 3D printing, but the author (correctly, IMO) focuses on the real battleground: freedom of speech:

    We are living in an exciting time. This must be similar to what it felt like to those first peasants in Western Europe that figured out that firearms made them equal in power to the most well armored knight. The day we moved from the strangle hold of feudalism to just a hint of representative republic. It is not something to scorn. This is a technology that embraces freedom and puts power back into the hands of the people. How many police state Nazi bullies would have had second thoughts about dragging the Jews out of their homes had they known that the citizens of the Warsaw Ghetto had armed themselves and would resist? How different would the civil rights movement have been had blacks in the South had access to quick cheap 3D printed guns to defend themselves from corrupt local sheriffs? Would there have even been a need for a civil rights movement at all?

  • @ B9K9:

    Perfect analysis, “the refugees from the left”, but, please, don’t get Daniel all riled up, he’s very sensitive.

    Look, regardless of what camp you come from, be it right-wing Timothy McVeigh or left-wing Bill Ayers, the sad truth is the 99% has lost.

    The hurt is sorta’ like finding out your wife has been cheating on you with your best friend for years – that sick feeling. And, like NTE, there are a number of responses appropriate to the situation: kill the wife, kill the lover, kill them both, kill yourself, walk away, resent them, inflict upon them as much grief as you can without breaking any laws, or, forgive them.

    I don’t know. Is there really any sense in any of it? Doesn’t seem to be. I’m numb.

  • I’d estimate that Robin Datta is self-realized. Care to confirm/deny? I’d also estimate that the man is talking sense now and in previous posts for the most part.

  • Brava, Carolyn, Brava!

    Every. Single. Fucking. Word.

    Non illegitimati carborundum.

  • A couple of things can be safely assumed about all participants here: everyone still has internet access, and at least enough slack is still in our lives to accommodate visits to sites such as this one, where the minutiae of NTE and its ramifications can be endlessly declared and debated. But to what purpose, ultimately, other than keeping ourselves busy? Whom are we trying to persuade? We live in an age of disembodiment, as the author notes, and there is hardly any more disembodied domain than cyberspace. The real test of our various philosophies is yet to come, and we will likely not be able to share the results so freely.

  • While I have been an activist on climate change and environmental issues for a while, I somehow only managed to stumble on this blog a week ago. It is a little ironic that I recently had a conversation with a friend discussing how I felt that we, as a species, have crossed the point of no return with respect to a collapse of current civilization. I used to hope for a quick collapse thinking that we would be able to spare the environment some and allow for a re-birth of some kind. Now I fear that on the way down we will burn everything we can trying to maintain BAU and in doing so, ensure our own destruction. I am hopeful that some portion of humanity will make it through the coming bottleneck and perhaps learn to live within the limits of our eco system…..

  • She born me
    And then immediately promised me death.
    So, I promised her for this great gift of life that either I would break her promise
    Or I would die trying.


  • @Pat says “the refugees from the left”, but, please, don’t get Daniel all riled up, he’s very sensitive.

    Actually, I wasn’t thinking of Daniel at all. In my book, it’s perfectly ok to “have it out”, to expunge all that has been building in one final act of (mentally or physically) walking away. What I was actually referring to is the constant wallowing over lost love. As the Rooster, Sedaris’ brother so aptly said: “the past is gone, hoss”.

    If it isn’t clear by now what is coming down the pike, then it’s never gonna be. So, if you can’t make yourself move to deflect, absorb, fight or engage in any other manner of active response NOW, then you ain’t never gonna do it. It’s really that simple.

    I have no intention of fighting the tide, but I sure as hell don’t plan on getting my pant legs wet either. When the ocean goes way out to expose reef that has never had direct contact with air, you better start racing inland.

  • @izzy

    Why do I haunt this site? To experience the feather-touch of Kathy C’s wisdom, to be calmed by Pat’s well grounded words. Most of all to gaze at reality with Guy (with you all), and not go stark raving mad. Here there are others with whom to walk along the path laid out, holding virtual paws for comfort and for confirmation that what is, is. Carolyn is so astute; here we are simultaneously hospice patients and hospice workers.

  • B9K9,
    I’m generally in full agreement with your sentiments. Unfortunately I’m not sure what I can do to actively prepare for what is coming. What in the world can one possibly do short of building a fortress citadel or expensive hideout? The best I can think of is to have a reliable, mobile weapon, some surplus water, and something can be used to induce a painless suicide. Any suggestions on how else a young man with only a moderate income stream might move to deflect?

    My plan, as I’ve seen you advocate yourself, is to simply enjoy life as much as possible for the time being. I have very little money so I plan to work until I am free of student loan debt and then quit to pursue whatever interests I might fancy. I’ll probably strum away at the guitar, smoke some grass, and socialize with friends.

    Best of luck to everyone.

  • Tom, thanks (again)! :)

    pat Says:
    … the sad truth is the 99% has lost.
    The hurt is sorta’ like finding out your wife has been cheating on you with your best friend for years – that sick feeling….

    Social animals tend to pursue
    First rights to eat and to screw,
    Vie for status with which
    They’re fit to enrich
    Themselves from raised rank in the queue.

    But despite NTE’s debut,
    We won’t evolve anything new;
    During doom’s little glitch,
    We’ll make no last-ditch switch:
    The time left for changing is through.

    The rich life is but for the few,
    And it doesn’t include me or you;
    Now we’ll never get rich
    Or upgrade our niche,
    The way we once hoped to do.

    But when everything goes all askew,
    Some people won’t only feel blue,
    Or just simply bitch;
    They’ll add some twisted itch
    To the horror about to ensue.

  • Near Term Extinction May 7th, 2013

    Near term extinction is very near
    but since I’m old what’s there to fear?
    entering a selfless void? …
    no ego? … no memories of Lloyd? …
    perhaps though coming back as a heat seeking drone
    or a virus that’s never alone;
    then all those logicians will say it can happen again, … intelligent life
    will just take a new path ….. since the big bang has just barely begun
    and the sun’s time still has a long run.

    Near term extinction it’s very clear
    so why worry about the rent or a bigger better tent?
    we’re all hell bent on denial as we circle the edge
    as we spiral like the flow in our poop lockers
    or as we rock on in our bent wood rockers
    thinking about thinking and the days of yore when we didn’t know
    it’s more than about the show or the stage
    or the fright of acceptance of our plight
    or crack the atom for light or plunder
    Jimminy Cricket: “the wonder the wonder”

    Near term extinction is very near
    but what if your young and well hung?
    (with a golden boot and a silver spoon)
    Is there some other tune that doesn’t whine
    about the time that’s left
    to roister till the break of dawn?
    (as a bell tolls over chants at those cloistered)

    Tell me it ain’t so: ….
    that Near term extinction is very near
    the models are complex and not very clear
    climate, finance and the rise to the top of psychopaths
    frothing with bubbles of hope
    and don’t give up on the pope
    or disappear in the froth of your bear or bull
    to some embassy of hoods
    cause we write it all down with our digital scribes
    and know a thing or two about bribes

    so why not just digitize your brain
    and jump on the zion train
    it’s headed for extinction cliff

    which is to say we did it our way

  • All this talk of left V right, 99% V 1%, just makes me chuckle. Those are totally irrelevant distractions. When the 99% dies of starvation because food can no longer be grown then the 1% will also die of starvation, and for the same reason. When the lefties die of thirst in the desert, so will the righties. There is NO preparing for a world after extinction. What part of “AFTER extinction” do you not understand?

    Guns (printable or otherwise), labor camps, free speech, political parties, government, the 1%, the Bavarian Illuminati, (or even the Aluminum Bavariaty), none of that stuff matters any more. Collect a billion rounds of ammo in your fortress of solitude if you want to. Then stand there and shoot at the dust storms as your fortress is buried by sand dunes.

    Extinction is final, and extinction is forever. There is NO “prepping” for extinction. This is not neo-feudalism, this is not political revolution, this is not “the new paradise”, this is everybody lays down and holds their breath forever.



  • B9K9 wrote:

    The USA’s last great achievement – it gave the common man the ability to produce his own guns. This for some reason coincided with the onset of what would come to be known as “the great riots”…

  • When i was in high school english class not to long ago i was intrigued by swifts satire on eating children.

    We had to write our own satire.

    Mine was about the terminally ill army. The t.i.a.

    Because there was nothing but near term death they set out to rectify injustices that others were to scared to carry out otherwise.

    One scene portrayed a band of hiv positive individualstorming a board room slashes their wrists spraying blood over the trustees. Its satire folks.

  • I’m posting this on behalf of and with the permission of the author who has unlike me used up her 2 post limit today – and besides she is le tired and has withdrawn to her nightly temporary extinction of self with the expectation of reviving tomorrow morning to see another day dawn.

    by KathyC

    Our species won’t last forever
    Which impacts what we might endeavor
    No time to delay
    For another day
    If you don’t do it now you may never.

  • Thinking of ‘The Life of Brian’, we should always ‘look on the bright side’.

    The Independent UK shows us how with its reporting of burgeoning levels of CO2 in Arctic ice:

    Meanwhile, cold water absorbs more CO2 than warmer water, while ever-increasing carbon emissions mean there is even more to absorb, the report said.

    “Ocean acidification is likely to affect the abundance, productivity and distribution of marine species, but the magnitude and direction of change are uncertain …. Experiments show that a wide variety of animals grow more slowly under the acidification levels projected for coming centuries,” the report said.

    But carbon absorption is “not all doom and gloom”, it added.

    The more carbon dioxide the sea absorbs, the less is left in the atmosphere, thereby reducing the impact of global warming. Also, some life forms, such as sea grasses “appear to thrive under such conditions”.

  • Oops that should be CO2 in Arctic waters, not ice. (Been writing too much about Arctic ice melting lately.)

  • Any “I” that is “enlightened”/”self-realised” is either no longer an “I” or not yet “enlightened”/self-realised”. That is entirely a subjective matter; no one else can share in it.

    Every sentient being is both a window for others to the Divine Light and has the Divine eye of sentience to receive that light. To the extent of the clarity of a window, it will let the light through. If the window is grimy, the light let through will be correspondingly affected. Without the “I”, a window of perfect clarity obtains.

    Likewise, the “I” is a filter to the eye of sentience. With no filter, the keenest of eyes, the origin of the light will be evident through even the grimiest of windows. And the clarity of the clearest windows is best appreciated by the keenest of eyes. It is said that it takes a Buddha to recognise another Buddha.

  • I’m sorry everyone, but I just had to laugh…..I no longer find any use in becoming upset; please read this:

  • kevin moore

    Not sure if you put this up as a spoof, but do these Independent UK reporters know that as the sea temperature heats up it produces powerful Low pressure systems and messes with the Jetstream? We see these things already, so the next few summers, in the North and South will show the Climate Change Hand – 5 aces, all of Spades, ( there are no wild cards in our deck any longer) methinks.

  • Addendum.

    I forgot the add:

    The Guy McPherson rider deck titled-

    The NTE deck

    “52 cards consisting of 52 individually human hand crafted Ace of spades. No matter what cards you get dealt, they are always the winners, all aces.”

    Read the fine print:

    “All aces are Spades.”

    Deal em up, were all in.

  • Adaptation article:


    “People were beginning to leave and make plans for lunch, when a deep voice arose from the back of the room. It belonged to a mountain-shaped man named Clayton Honyumptewa, director of natural resources for the Hopi Nation.

    Our ancestors predicted all of this,” he said to no one in particular. “The weather changing in strange ways, the destruction of the land, the water, the fish, the animals. They said, ‘The white man will continue to come, and everything will die.’”

    It was a long couple of beats before anyone said a word.”


  • alexander hawk Says: Its satire folks.

    Ah, satire. When it comes to Americans and their Constitution and guns, it’s always been hard to tell if they’re joking or not.

  • Sadie Says:
    May 7th, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    alexander hawk Says: Its satire folks.

    Ah, satire. When it comes to Americans and their Constitution and guns, it’s always been hard to tell if they’re joking or not.

    Yep, sure wouldn’t want to exercise the natural right defend ourselves be it against a tyrannical government, gangs or simply garden variety violence.

    Even a mother mouse or geese will defend their babies against threats for chrissakes. I fully intend to do just as well as mice or geese when defending my family.

    Sadie, why don’t you volunteer to go tell the Native Americans or descendents of former slaves that the government wants to take away their guns for their own safety, or the Cambodians under Pol Pot, or the Afghan Resistance, or French Resistance, or Jews in Germany.

  • See, I’m sensing you’re being serious here, Anthony. Am I rite?

    In an alternate reality, one where we were going to thrive as a species for hundreds of thousands more years, rather than extinguish ourselves in the next hundred, we’d voluntarily outlaw all such weapons. Rather, we wouldn’t even think to own them in the first place.

    It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy – America is going to fall apart at the seams, and you’re all going to need every gun you can get hold of to protect yourselves. Doesn’t mean guns are the best idea. If you’d banned guns when they blew JFK’s brains out, we’d be living in a different world right now.

    Since you mention it, I’m sensing that the native Americans and the slaves would have preferred that the newcomers didn’t have guns in the first place, rather than wish they were given their own guns after they were dispossessed/enslaved so that they might right the wrong.

    And I’m not at all convinced that the Pol Pot regime wasn’t a mass PTSD response to the USA’s record-breakingly concentrated bombing of Cambodia. And it’s on the record that America tricked the USSR into it’s war in Afghanistan, which started the Mujahideen-cum-Taliban ball rolling. ( France and Germany for another day.

  • Sadie Says:
    May 8th, 2013 at 2:18 am

    In an alternate reality, one where we were going to thrive as a species for hundreds of thousands more years, rather than extinguish ourselves in the next hundred, we’d voluntarily outlaw all such weapons. Rather, we wouldn’t even think to own them in the first place.”

    You are welcome to go to your alternate reality. I’m going to deal with the current reality.

    Try your logical fallacies on someone else.

    If you do not know what those are see here:


    Here are some reasons you might want to order one of these pretty great posters:

    1:To hang up near your computer for when you are arguing with people on the internets.

    2:To put up in your kids’ bedroom so that they get all clever and whatnot, and are able to tell the difference between real news and faux news *cough*.

    3:To gift, in a slightly passive-aggressive yet still socially acceptable way, to someone who is forever making weak arguments peppered with fallacies.

    4:To hang up in a classroom, common room or other public space to make the world a more rational place.

  • beautiful

  • The reality is that climate change is going to extinct the human species in a relatively short time. It has always been true that saving yourself by preparations or defense doesn’t “save” you it just increases the time you have to live (in probably such horrible circumstances that you might wish you had died earlier). And just to top off Nature’s revenge, when the grid goes down all the nuclear plants in the world (439) go critical and there will be no ability to control that. Further the forest fires will go untended, those stranded by floods will not be rescued etc etc

    The reality is that today might well be the best day of the rest of your life. Make the best of it. Its all downhill now.

    Lucy thanks for your comment – the above hardly feels like feather-touch to me. I feel sometimes like I am wielding a (to use U’s phrase) sledgehammer. I only hope to convey two things anymore. Don’t bring another life to this messed up world, and make the best (as suits your own inclinations) of each day.

    Alexander Hawk Terminally Ill Army – love it. Someone suggested once that old folks could form a band to protect the nuclear power plants to protect others in the years of decline. Unfortunately without electricity such an effort would be futile. However your comment “One scene portrayed a band of hiv positive individuals storming a board room slashes their wrists spraying blood over the trustees. Its satire folks.” reminded me of this song by my favorite musician, David Rovics
    The Halliburton Board Room Massacre

  • Beside a drug resistant super-strain of gonorrhea found in Hawaii and spreading i found this about a toxic caterpillar currently killing oaks in England (from sky news):

    “Swathes of woodland will be sprayed in a bid to eradicate a toxic caterpillar which can cause eye problems and breathing difficulties.”

    Now do they mean the caterpillar causes eye problems and breathing difficulties or is it the spray they’ll use? The article makes it clear (they’ll be spraying B-t), but i just saw this sentence as “funny” the way it’s written.

    Here’s another that may cause belly-laughs:

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (CN) – After a diabetic high school student fell asleep in study hall, the school police officer slammed her face into a filing cabinet, arrested her and took her to jail, she claims in court.
    Tieshka Avery claims she was so violently abused that she vomited in the police car.
    And all because she fell asleep reading “Huckleberry Finn.”
    (Public school districts in the South have been accused of operating de facto “school to jail” programs, targeting minority students for arrest for minor infractions. The ACLU and the federal government have filed lawsuits alleging the practice. See below.)

  • @KathyC says “The reality is that climate change is going to extinct the human species in a relatively short time.”

    Maybe. Then again, maybe not. “Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?” KC, what you’re suggesting is to just lie down and be eaten soon by the lions. My personal bent is PO, so I think there’s still time to (a) resist a little longer & party in the taverns of Rome; and (b) maybe, just maybe, throw Caesar in the pit first.

    But at least we’re both already over the (mental) hump of accepting & dealing with NTE. And with that acceptance comes a clear(er) picture of how the various chess pieces are being positioned across the board.

    The ironic thing about NTE is that it challenges chronic whiners to actually do **something** other than complain. Yes, we know the trees are dying, yes, we know a, b & c. What’s the point? To try & convince someone that something is happening? OK, the PTB accept; in fact, they are the ultimate preppers.

    Where does that leave you/us? Back to the lions – either submit now, or go underground to enjoy another glorious day.

  • Just a reminder, this blog has a 2 post a day rule in effect.

    Not sure what Sadie and Anthony are going on about, I agree with Gary, Kathy C., B9K9, etc. that none of these “positions” matter anymore. The fact that we even have these deep seated divisions is probably the root cause of NTE which, if anybody cares, was probably borne of civilization which was borne of agriculture. If we only could have lived simpler lives – never plant a crop, never build a city. The reality is that I am no better than Timothy McVeigh and I am no worse than Marting Luther King. The spectrum is meaningless. We all share the same fate and nothing we did, do, or will do matters.

    I have NO IDEA what Robin is talking about. I wake up, I eat, I work, I sleep.

    I have no children, I have no legacy, my life could not have been more meaningless. I have given little, taken much, and just by virtue of having lived in America as a tax paying citizen, I have contributed to much suffering past, present and future – both here and abroad.

    I’ve made my apologies, I was wrong, I didn’t know any better, and, when I realized my error, it was too late, I’m sorry.

  • Today’s moron award goes to:

    Yet not everyone is convinced that climate change is as dire as forecast.

    Peter De Savary, a British entrepreneur and major property developer on Grenada’s famed Grande Anse Beach, said the availability of capital, energy costs and the health of the global economy are far more imminent concerns than rising sea levels. He notes that most existing beach resorts will have to be rebuilt anyway in coming decades due to normal wear and tear so projected climate change impacts won’t require much attention.

    “If the sea level rises a foot or two it really doesn’t make any difference here in Grenada because we have beaches that have a reasonably aggressive falloff,” De Savary said. “If the water gets a few degrees warmer, well, that’s what people come to the Caribbean for, warm water, so that’s not an issue.”


  • “Our ancestors predicted all of this,”

    No wonder, we’ve been this way before!

    If you’d banned guns when they blew JFK’s brains out, we’d be living in a different world right now.

    Indeed. Heil, mein Führer!

    Even the Geneva Conventions allows medical personnel to bear non-crew-served weapons (all weapons that can be carried, setup and operated by a single individual). That includes shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles and backpack nuclear bombs. The measure of a person’s strength of character lies not their snivelling but their restraint and magnanimity.
    The implements – including the weapons – appropriate to the time & place should be duly respected, deployed, and employed. Holster the weapon, don’t throw it away.

    And it’s on the record that America tricked the USSR into it’s war in Afghanistan, which started the Mujahideen-cum-Taliban ball rolling.

    Let’s not forget that the Al-Quaida originated as the Afghan Foreign Legion with uS taxpayer funding. Dwelling long enough on the mischief in others, one will internalise it into oneself.

    Not that any of it matters after NTE, only that “if anything is worth doing, it is worth doing well”: the same goes for living.

    The reality is that climate change is going to extinct the human species in a relatively short time.

    As said by J. Robert Oppenheimer regarding the atomic bomb:
    Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.
    (quoting the Bhagavad Gita 11:32):

    (G_d said): Time I am, the great destroyer of the worlds, and I have come here to destroy all people.

    They are already put to death by My arrangement, and you can be but an instrument in the fight.

  • Pat, I too feel guilty – mainly towards my children – but I’m trying to get over it. After all, they are living not perfectly but near perfectly charmed lives so far. I’ve been reading a bunch of links sent to me by Jay Hanson because I brought up this issue of “what is to blame” – capitalism? agriculture? our innate nature? – specifically whether humans are genetically programmed to overshoot as revealed by the deep past and global cultural traits.

    It would appear from people who study archaeology and anthropology (not opinions but empirical evidence) that humans (like our primate cousins) evolved for young males to band together and make war with neighboring populations whenever resources became scare (which they inevitably do). This has been true since before we emerged from caves and continues to this day.

    Yes, cooperation is a trait as well, but only within families and tribes – not between them. It explains a lot, a least to me.

    And it also brings a large measure of peace to know that we are merely fitting into our evolutionary fate, despite our near-universal preference to think we can escape it.

    Anyway, eventually I’m going to put this all together, maybe, in a post but meanwhile here are the links from Jay: and also replace /constantbattles with /TheDarkSideOfMan

    I’ll add the most comprehensive link in my next and last comment for the day.

  • Last link (I find this absolutely fascinating):

    An Unbroken Chain

    The physical evidence provided by fossils and archaeological excavations stands witness to a bloody slaughter of our own species stretching back to our hominid ancestors—and as we argue, beyond that to a common ancestor we share with chimpanzees. There are no broken links in the transition from small raiding parties in preliterate societies to the classical battles of antiquity, and on to the laser-guided missiles and roadside bomb attacks of our own time.

  • I have NO IDEA what Robin is talking about.

    Then who, prithee, is that “I”?

  • Okay, so science will let us “off the hook” for being war-like barbarians all the way to the end. I feel like fashioning a club out of a tree stump and making war on the old couple next door, or the metrosexual man and his daughter that live behind me, or maybe the cute young couple and their two kids across the street. And, if I’m victorious, I will gather all their belongings and use them as my own while I prepare for my next conquest: the 7-11 on the corner.

    Oh wait, there’s someone at the door, oops, it’s the FBI… I’ll have to explain to them that it’s my genetic disposition to make war on my neighbors, sorry, couldn’t be helped.

  • My personal struggle to make peace with all the potential Grand Collapses that line the road of life, from Peak Oil to NTE, has always been identical to the struggle to make peace with my own ineluctable death. This has required me to make peace with my life, and ultimately to heal my Self.

    It has required me to accept that I am a two-sided coin – not of heads and tails, but of head and heart, Light and Shadow. Something that surprised me in that “truth and reconciliation” process is that it has been just as hard to fully accept that I am good as it is to accept that I’m evil. And the step after that was a real doozie – accepting that neither quality can exist without the other, that I can not be good unless I am equally evil, and that my evil acts imply the inherent goodness of my being. Finally being able to step back, look at that inner coin, and realize that it didn’t even belong to me was an eye-bugging experience.

    In a similar way, I was acculturated to live in my head, to find all value and meaning in my intellect. In my family of origin the heart was just fluff, the body was just the domain of jocks and others who couldn’t think. Ideas about spirit were likewise for the weak-minded, those who couldn’t being themselves to “believe” in what was real.

    On the other hand was another hand. I couldn’t understand why I thought I was better at thinking than I sometimes seemed to be, or why I often felt as though “someone took a knife, baby, edgy and dull, and cut a six inch valley through the middle of my soul.” What was this strange pain, this yearning, gnawing sense of incompleteness that kept me up at night looking for ways to self-medicate with overdoses of adrenaline and ego?

    It’s a long road from there to here – marked by billowing flames on the tower-tops, lying, oily war-drums, Matt Simmons invoking the sacred name of Marion King Hubbert…

    “Wait, what was that word you just used? ‘Sacred?’ Sacred my ass! You don’t do sacred, you do calculus! Now shape up and get out that damn straight razor, mister.”

    “But I don’t want to leave before I even know who I am!”

    “Well OK, do some Zen first. Nothing really spiritual about koans, I guess. That should be safe.”

    “All right, Zen is nice, but it feels a little dry. I’ve been invited to kirtan this weekend. Would you object if I went?”

    “Of course I’ll object, but that’s your problem, isn’t it?”

    And so it went, until the pendulum had swung all the way to the other side. And because pendulums work that way, it then swung back again.

    But a funny thing happened. As it approached the bottom of its arc the Pendulum of Paul seemed to run out of steam. All the energies that had propelled it so high at first – the righteous outrage, ferocious acceptance, intellectual daredevilry, spiritual surrender and transcendent bliss – all seemed to dissipate of their own accord. All the work that energy could do had been accomplished, it seemed. The pendulum slowed and stopped of its own accord, and all that remained was equilibrium (to beat a thermodynamic metaphor half to death).

    In that still point there is … well, it contains pretty much everything, but for me the main feeling seems to be a luxurious amalgam of curiosity and love.

    The Pendulum of Paul still moves, especially if someone pokes it, but it comes back to rest more easily these days. And that old head/heart/body/spirit schism? Well, at least they’re all on speaking terms these days.

    So what’s the first derivative of Sacred? it’s (dS/dt) of course. It’s all thermodynamics, baby!

  • Kathy C says:
    Our species won’t last forever
    Which impacts what we might endeavor
    No time to delay
    For another day
    If you don’t do it now you may never.

    @ Kathy: VERY nice!

    Rob Says: “very slightly radioactive water”…spilled into Lake Michigan….

    “officials say there is no immediate risk.”

    No Immediate Risk

    At the time, as far as they knew,
    The statement was literally true,
    And thus not a mistake:
    It was still in the lake,
    And hadn’t yet gotten to you.


    Deniers who say doom will never
    Occur think their argument’s clever;
    I shrug and I smile:
    Their efforts to rile
    Me meet with a weary “Whatever.”

    Carolyn Baker says:


    If I get a disease they can’t cure,
    I’m gonna do hospice for sure;
    The same goes for doom:
    I’ve had enough gloom
    In my life—I won’t try to endure.

  • Gail

    I think you will find that young males forming groups to raid neighbouring [competing] tribes goes way, way, way back in our evolutionary line, maybe 10 million years. Modern chimpanzees have been seen to exhibit the same behaviour.

    It is said that the first thing a male lion does when he takes over a pride is to kill all the cubs [that do not carry his genes]. Then inseminate the females.

    Selfish gene theory explain much of our behaviour.

    For all of human existence possession of material wealth acquired by conquest or devious activity increased the opportunities for gene replication (which until very recently was the ultimate game).

    As I write, there is a battle going on 30 km or so away between a dairy-farming family and a corporation over fracking. Of course, dairy farming -as currently practised- is in itself unsustainable, and fracking is a sign of the desperation of energy companies to keep their unsustainable and environmentally destructive businesses going for just a little longer.

    There is no discussion anywhere in the public domain (other than seemingly obscure websites) about the terminal nature of dairy farming or the even more terminal nature of extracting fossil fuels and burning them.

    I have hit my local council with 121 pages of documentation, and will speak to what I have written early in June. However, I have written that it almost certainly too late and that ‘the Orcs have won’.

    I see our most important task as getting into position of power people who will reduce the amount of suffering to come, as opposed to the incumbents who are doing everything they can to INCREASE the suffering that is to come and bringing it forward.

  • @ Kevin:

    Good luck.

  • Landbeyond and Kathy C,

    Here is a short clip created by an extremely astute Nina Paley. She has been involved with the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEMT), and one of my antinatalist cohorts brought her to my attention. The unborn have certainly found a champion in her, and I applaud her wisdom and caring for the environment.

    The Stork

  • Kathy C, while teaching at the community-college level, I introduced this 1996 essay by Joy Williams, a writer who is concerned about environmental issues and is appalled by the selfishness and egocentricity of humanity. This topic was guaranteed to incite discussion and participation from even the most somnambulistic student.

    She wrote, “The argument that western countries with their wealth and relatively low birth rate do not fuel the population crisis is, of course, fallacious…The U.S. population is growing faster than that of eighteen other industrialized nations, and in terms of energy consumption, when an American couple stops spawning at two babies, it’s the same as an average East Indian couple stopping at sixty-six or an Ethiopian couple drawing the line at one thousand.”

    The Case Against Babies

    I also got lively feedback on this quote from Talleyrand, French statesman (1754-1838): “A married man with a family will do anything for money.” Yep, nothing much has changed since his time, just the way the powers that be like it.

  • i don’t understand:

  • pat Says:
    May 8th, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Okay, so science will let us “off the hook” for being war-like barbarians all the way to the end. I feel like fashioning a club out of a tree stump and making war on the old couple next door, or the metrosexual man and his daughter that live behind me, or maybe the cute young couple and their two kids across the street. And, if I’m victorious, I will gather all their belongings and use them as my own while I prepare for my next conquest: the 7-11 on the corner.

    Oh wait, there’s someone at the door, oops, it’s the FBI… I’ll have to explain to them that it’s my genetic disposition to make war on my neighbors, sorry, couldn’t be helped.

    Logical fallacies running wild.

    On another note:


    “The degradation of submarine permafrost and the destruction of hydrates on the shelf of east arctic seas as a potential cause of the “Methane Catastrophe”: some results of integrated studies in 2011”

    I get a kick out of how so many people come across as thinking the POV they have arrived at should be taken on by pretty much anybody with a brain.

    Such as. . . . “none of it matters”.

    I have children, one of my children is going to have a child. I live in a fantastic community in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

    I am pretty sure that who I choose to be will be important to the community of life I have chosen to be in.

  • g’night everyone, i’m turnin’ in:

  • Given that 99.99% of humanity are either blissfully unaware or are in denial about our coming demise, there is going to be a lot of expressions of anger in our collective future, as reality hits home. Most of the anger is ahead of us. For myself, I’ve come to a place of acceptance, but I don’t see any point in denying myself the option of being angry about the the whole thing, and angry about particular aspects of the whole thing, as demand dictates.

    One of the few hopes we have left is that we might learn a few new things before we go, and I don’t see why anger should be ruled out as a motivating force to lead us along a path to new truths and insights. It’s part of being “fully engaged” as Carolyn writes about in the OP.

  • @Pym

    Reading the website. Sooooooo relevant!

    David Gilmour – There’s No Way Out of Here

  • B9K9 Says:
    May 8th, 2013 at 7:01 am
    @KathyC says “The reality is that climate change is going to extinct the human species in a relatively short time.”

    Maybe. Then again, maybe not.

    Guy is open to people expressing differing positions, but he seems pretty well convinced that climate change will do us in as a species. Originally when he started this blog he thought there was a chance that if we collapsed the industrial economy we could save the planet from the worst of climate change. The increased melting in the Arctic is perhaps the strongest indicator that the feedbacks are increasing the rate of climate change. You might want to re-read his climate change update linked to at the top of the page.
    from a study by Purdue U
    Researchers for the first time have calculated the highest tolerable “wet-bulb” temperature and found that this temperature could be exceeded for the first time in human history in future climate scenarios if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated…The researchers calculated that humans and most mammals, which have internal body temperatures near 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, will experience a potentially lethal level of heat stress at wet-bulb temperature above 95 degrees sustained for six hours or more, said Matthew Huber, the Purdue professor of earth and atmospheric sciences who co-authored the paper that is currently available online and will be published in an upcoming issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    But of course climate change can make food scarce, and food scarcity can make wars. I think it is a toss up between climate change, wars, and disease. I think all of them are now running ahead of peak oil.

    If there were to be any survivors they would have to at the very least walk over the dead bodies and bones of all who won’t survive, but more likely they would have to kill others to insure their own survival. I don’t care to do that. What would you do to gain a few more days or months of life? The movie The Grey Zone looks at this question in a variety of different ways. I would consider it vital for anyone who has the ambition to be last man standing to watch this film and think about the issues raised It centers around the “Sonderkommandos were work units of Nazi death camp prisoners, composed almost entirely of Jews, who were forced, on threat of their own deaths, to aid with the disposal of gas chamber victims during The Holocaust.” Their work bought them about 4 months of extra living. Several situations are explored in their story, and each asks what will you do for a bit more time (among other questions)

    We watched another movie recently, I post the title later if I think of it. Based on true stories of the French Resistance it shows them sinking to the same level as the Nazi’s for the sake of the cause. But what value is a cause if you have to mimic your enemy to succeed?

  • Thank you so much Carolyn for your honesty and no holds barred acceptance of the dilemma we now find ourselves. I am not surprised at all, that not unlike Guy, you are one of the first to initiate our “coming to terms” with this new unfolding reality.

    I have always appreciated your direct and fearless approach to collapse. You have been one of the most sincere and comprehensive voices in the “Peak Oil scene” over the last several years. I have quoted your writing many times, and have passed along much of your wisdom to countless others since the release of your seminal book on the collapse of civilization.

    You were one of the first people to recognize that our understanding of collapse was mostly a psychological issue, which would naturally be fraught with an endless recurrence of emotional trauma, and where you have been incredibly courageous in your efforts to shed light into a subject that many of us have been more than willing to ignore. I’m personally honored that you would take the time to respond to my essay.

    I’m also deeply moved by the circumstance in which it was written. I’m sorry for your loss. For those who may not be familiar with Carolyn Baker’s book “Sacred Demise”, here is synopsis from Amazon:

    “The collapse of industrial civilization is rapidly unfolding and offers us an opportunity far beyond mere survival, even as it renders absurd any attempts to “fix” or prevent the end of the world as we have known it. Sacred Demise is about the transformation of human consciousness and the emergence of a new paradigm as a result discovering our purpose in the collapse process, thereby coming home to our ultimate place in the universe. Our willingness to consciously embark on the journey with openness and uncertainty may be advantageous for engendering a quantum evolutionary leap for our species and for the earth community………”Carolyn Baker is tireless in her quest to understand and speak about the collapse of civilization. Her message is simple: our journey through collapse will be as much a spiritual one as a physical one, a journey back from profound disconnection to the sacred. And so our emotional, psychological and spiritual preparations will be as important as the gardens we plant, the healing skills we acquire, and the actions we take in defense of the community of life. A book of tools and exercises to help with that preparation, then, is a welcome and much-needed addition to the literature of collapse.”–Tim Bennett and Sally Erickson, Writer and Producer of the documentary “What A Way To Go: Life At the End of Empire”

    “Carolyn speaks with a confidence that never flinches from entering into the hardest truths of our times, or from the most difficult truths about the culture we are immersed in, so that we might emerge from the chrysalis of global crisis with open hearts and a renewed way of living on Earth together.”

    Again, not unlike Guy, even this brief summary is enough of an indication as to the paradigm you have now left behind. And where you now write: “Four years ago I made a conscious decision to spend the rest of my life preparing for the collapse of industrial civilization and assisting others in doing the same, but the conscious preparation in which I have been investing my time and energy was preparation for something dramatically less catastrophic and smaller in scale than the extinction of our species.”

    I believe many here can very much identify with that assessment, I know I can.

    You then follow up with:

    “…Meanwhile, as the images of collapse in our minds have danced, paraded, shriveled, expanded, and metamorphosed millions of times, an entirely divergent and more terrifying scenario was congealing in the external world which rendered our most valiant collapse-preparation efforts paltry by comparison.”

    That is about as poetic a summation of the last few year as I’ve yet to read.

    You continue: “NTE compels us to ask monumental questions of meaning and purpose that we have been unwilling to ask or have only addressed peripherally”.

    In my opinion, this is where we are now; each of us, in whatever way we can, attempting to resolve a dilemma we can barely comprehend. Yes, the evidence is clear and at place like NBL, it’s becoming overstated, but this by no means implies we have an understanding as to how our personal acceptance will play out.

    You state: “The project of self-awareness is nothing less than an epic saga–a hero’s or heroine’s journey into our essence. It encompasses the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between. It necessitates remorse as we look unflinchingly at the ways in which we have helped contribute to the annihilation of our planet, and it also includes intimate familiarity with the part of us that is inexorably whole and untouched by the madness of industrial civilization”.

    It is with this passage of yours, that I feel inclined to offer you an apology for some of the more callous responses you have received here at NBL. There are many here, who are far less interested in looking at themselves, especially in context to any sense of personal culpability, and are now, far more interested in discovering how they will find enjoyment in life. And while it’s a definite truism, that this is what we are all doing to some degree, nonetheless, ever since NTE has effectively rendered gross indifference in vogue, many here now extol the righteousness of having never given a shit to begin with. Some even wear it like a badge of honor. It is a constant source of derision, especially on a site dedicated to DGR.

    Why many others here seem to be incapable of sympathizing with your perspective, is that the basis of your understanding, requires an individual to first possess a set of ecological values. In other words, you’re speaking a language many here can’t admit they don’t understand, and they surly haven’t much interest in exploring that part of themselves now.

    But with that said, there are still many here that very much welcome your unflinching humanity in spite of NTE. I sincerely hope you consider NBL to be a place where you can commiserate with like minds, and that you continue to drop in on us now and again, and share your journey with us. Thanks again, all the best, Daniel.

  • @ Depressive lucidity and Erin

    DL you blithely state:

    “The existentialist hand wringing over NTE seems to be the latest version of the self aggrandizement that modern humans love to engage in. After 3.5 billion years of evolution on this planet, the sentient products of that process acted as if going to the mall and watching television was the pinnacle of Being. An absurd and pointless species that is about to kill most other life forms. The hairless apes’ stupidity is as deadly as it is immutable (so what if a few of them are decent? what did they accomplish?). Yet, we still talk as if informing others is somehow important. We can’t stop clucking — like chickens in one of Colonel Sanders’ industrial death camps.”

    In responding to others comments, it’s difficult to separate the person from the idea they’re espousing. If one reads as being callous, it’s hard not to assume they are just a callous human being. And much of what I read here, comes across as being terribly unsympathetic.

    DL, if your comment were not in context to anything, and was just another endless round of thoughts as to how stupid you consider us hairless apes to be, then I would be very much inclined to agree with you. However, your comment is in direct context to the heartfelt thoughts that Carolyn Baker just shared with us, which IMO makes your comment rather offensive, if not incredibly insensitive.

    So, for all those who might agree with DL, please take this to heart, for you deserve the contempt you invite.

    So, you’re complaining about too much “existentialist hand wringing over NTE….”. First of all, how is that even possible, especially, given that probably less than .0001% of the population is even having this conversation, not alone, is even capable of having this conversation. That comment makes about as much sense as a lifeguard criticizing swimmers of getting too wet. Or an attendant at an amusement park berating people for screaming too loud on a roller-coaster.

    I’m sorry your contempt and misanthropy for the rest of us, has so completely eaten away your humanity, that you can’t even restrain yourself from reproaching someone for “clucking like a chicken” for attempting to share a deeply profound and disturbing reality, which so happens to be in direct context to a close friend who just passed away.

    This blog is dedicated to near term extinction of all of life on earth, and you somehow see it fit to disparage those here for “existentialist hand wringing “? You’ve got to be kidding me…..

    At least Ulvfugl has a leg to stand on, simply because he stands for something. He fought for something. He at least has the compassion to be remorseful. His criticism of our “self-aggrandizement” at least has the natural world as a counter point. You offer nothing but reheated contempt of everything, which of course begs the question, why do you even bother?

    Same goes for you Erin, if your response to Carolyn amounts to nothing but “Blah, Blah, Blah”, and then you hypocritically have the audacity to turn around and write about why your daughter doesn’t talk to you anymore, why should any of us care, if you can’t even commiserate with a fellow traveler who just lost a close friend, as she is coming to terms with NTE, after years of dedicating herself to collapse preparedness, much in the same way Guy has himself.

    So please, why don’t you share with us exactly what Carolyn wrote, that you found to be so tiresome?

  • On a lighter note…

    “researchers calculated that humans and most mammals, which have internal body temperatures near 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, will experience a potentially lethal level of heat stress at wet-bulb temperature above 95 degrees sustained for six hours or more”

    I remember a bad heat wave struck India about ten years ago. I made a point of checking the temps, New Delhi hit 114 and the LOW that day was 94. This means nearly 24 hours above 95 degrees. It would surprise me if a majority of the millions of residents had air conditioning, I have no doubt some died, but it wasn’t many, sounds like it should have been millions. Maybe Robin can help tell us what “researchers” missed.

    “if we collapsed the industrial economy”

    I’m glad to see some people here starting to look into WW2 and other real historical events. It might keep them from making dumb predictions about how easy it is to collapse industrial economies. Germany’s cities were bombed day and night for several years, many were leveled, yet industrial production INCREASED for most war materials. Oil production was the one area that allied bombing was successful in reducing, yet Germany was able to maintain its armies in the field and keep its industry going. They improvised and they used coal. So, my advice to peak-oilers is to look at some real economies under serious shortages like during war and you’ll see it takes more than a graph on a piece of paper to collapse an industrial economy.

    Also, cannibal/zombie/anarchist/libertarian/survivalist fan-boys might also want to look at WW2 and learn that central authority does not fall apart in emergencies it gets STRONGER. All the barbarian mayhem you hope to participate in will have to be accomplished by traveling over government owned roads. You’re going to need their permission, and flashing your Long Pork Diners Club Card probably isn’t going to work. You’ll be eating whatever is on Empire’s ration card menu just like everyone else.

    The thinking here against babies also shows signs of historical ignorance. Having a baby now may be far more sound than hoarding something useless like gold. In fifteen years when peak bad-times are here, you will have a comely teenage asset to sell into sex slavery to the military authorities, allowing you to possible go on living in your mud hut. What will childless geriatric hippies have to offer?

    As for guilt, if you are an American, you were born into a society that told you that your only concern was what was on sale at the mall. So the fact that you care at all about the environment is practically a miracle and makes you almost a saint. Pat yourself on the back, you came close to becoming a decent person in a society that makes that nearly impossible. Really, who were we kidding, the environmental ethic is barely 50 years old, capitalism’s idea of infinite wealth on a finite planet is at least 400 years old. It took Jesus 300 years to overthrow Rome, and he could walk on water, why should we feel bad about being unable to overthrow capitalism in a mere 50?

  • Maybe we will find the answer to this question before we become extinct (or self-annihilate).

    I read about this aquatic ape theory around 15 years ago (Scars of Evolution, Elaine Morgan), and it made a lot of sense.

  • Ripley.

    It’s not necessarily temperature that kills, but the combination of high temperature and high humidity is deadly.

  • Daniel, while we were living the good lives, not worrying about extinction, children were being sold by parents to be slaves or sex slaves. I heard precious little hand wringing about that.

    While we were using our computers supplied by copper, men in Chile were dying at about age 45 from the hazards of mining that copper.

    While we were living the good life, people and gorillas were dying in the Congo over the trade in coltan, needed to run our cell phones.

    Most of us here have always lived more simply than other Americans, had a smaller footprint on the earth. But the 1% of the world includes anyone making over about $30,000 per person. Some here may be in the 1% of the world, all are probably in the top 2% of the world.

    While people are starving and spending their days trying to get enough food for that day, while young women are working for a pittance in Bangladesh to make clothes for the first world in unsafe buildings, we in the US are wont to spend time navel gazing. The building that collapsed in Bengladesh and killed over 800 people was seen to be unsafe the day before. Other tenants didn’t go to work that day but the women who worked in the garment factories were told they wouldn’t be paid for the month if they didn’t go to work. Well personal extinction hit them because they couldn’t afford not to go to work in a building that had a very large crack in it.

    Years ago I joined Overeaters Anonymous to deal with my sugar addiction. And I did. I haven’t eaten refined sugar now for over 20 years. But the group was much more for me, a true support when going through difficult times. After I came back from Haiti, I moved and tried to find a new group. My first meeting someone told how God had helped them resist eating a twinkie – having spent months feeding starving babies, well I never went back.

    Yes there is time for personal mourning and expressing that personal mourning, but surely there is a place for some of us to say, OK now enough…we will face in coming years before extinction some of the horrors that billions in the rest of the world face every day of their lives from the moment they are born.

    I have come to see extinction as not only the end of humans, but also the end of the horrors humans put other humans through.

  • @Pat,
    I don’t KNOW much at all, some say even the universe is not forever, that it will expand into basically nothing eventually, or contract back into a tiny speck until the next big bang. Whatever, these things mean nothing to me.

    Careful there, for if the universe begins to contract, then that reverses the arrow of time, and you know what that means? Lol, we get to do it over again in reverse!

  • Pat said:

    “Okay, so science will let us ‘off the hook’ for being war-like barbarians all the way to the end.”

    I don’t think I made myself clear, otherwise you would not have interpreted the references I linked to as making an excuse for people to act out their most feral instincts.

    The point isn’t that evolutionary traits let us off the hook, but rather that capitalism isn’t sufficient to explain overshoot, and neither is agriculture or a lack of contact with nature or any of the other external influences people like to blame for our stupid behavior. It’s much deeper than that, and it’s an important distinction (to the extent anything is in light of NTE).

    If we don’t acknowledge the instincts – the biologically instilled imperatives – that lead us to compete ourselves into disaster then we can never begin to use our intellect to rise above it (as in, NOT living the remainder as barbarians). If we continue to blame social constructs and shun our role in creating exploitative cultures we’ll simply produce more of the same. We define the culture, not the other way around.

    Speaking of barbarism, I’m just sickened by this story in Ohio of captive women. Apparently the police were called numerous times by neighbors who witnessed incidents like naked women on leashes in the back yard, over a period of years during which three girls went missing less than mile away. Can you imagine how badly beaten they must have been to induce miscarriages?

    I hope some lawyer is ready to rip open the police department and find out what kind of depraved people are running the place.

  • B9K9: what do you think of this?

    Yeah, i don’t think the police/national guard/homeland security have our collective best interests at heart any more (for a while now – remember Kent State and the one before that?). Though there’s only anecdotal evidence (like huge movements of military gear and foreign troops around our country filmed on youtube by ordinary citizens wondering what’s going on) but surely SOMETHING is happening that isn’t being televised by the news media. i’m in a “discussion” on another blog where the premise is that “chemtrails” don’t exist and that the whole subject is nonsense. Despite evidence, it’s not “data” which the challenge demands as “proof.” i mentioned dairymandave’s soil samples but noted that they aren’t data (or not enough) and i mentioned your blog – though you don’t come out directly and cite aluminum or barium as the problem – but, of course, that’s not data either (or not pertinent to the discussion). People believe what they want and ignore all else that impedes their pursuit of happiness. That news piece you cited is just the latest in human craziness and bad behavior (how about the girlfried who shot her boyfriend in the head, slit his throat and stabbed him 27 times). The stuff that isn’t published is even worse (for example the economic devastation imposed on entire regions by corporate manipulation like closing down a factory or the Bhopal incident). In conclusion i’d say humans are barbaric idiots who didn’t deserve this paradise which we’ve trashed in every possible way. One almost has to be sick to live in the world now (as i cited above last night – we’re all biological guinea pigs now for unfettered, unregulated corporate experimentation, see article at TomDispatch above).

    Everyone is exclaiming how “green” everything looks now, with big smiles on their faces. They don’t see the thinness of it or how imperiled it is due to our rampant pollution. Just keep going until we can’t looks like the way forward by the masses.

  • coming to a country near you:

    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Panama on Tuesday ordered government offices and private businesses to slash their power consumption and temporarily closed schools in response to a drought that has sapped the country’s hydroelectric energy supply.

    Opening hours for government offices will be reduced, while supermarkets, bars, cinemas, restaurants, casinos and other night spots would have to close between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. from Monday to Thursday, according to a statement from the president’s office.

    Private businesses in the tropical Central American nation will also be forced to cut air-conditioning use by four hours a day, beginning Wednesday. It’s unclear how long the rationing will last, though government officials say they would reconsider on Sunday how soon they could re-open schools.

    Panama, one of Latin America’s fastest-growing economies, uses hydroelectric power to generate 60 percent of its electricity.

    But reservoirs are now low after months without rain.

    (there’s more)

  • Ripley

    You wrote:

    “…making dumb predictions about how easy it is to collapse industrial economies. Germany’s cities were bombed day and night for several years, many were leveled, yet industrial production INCREASED for most war materials. Oil production was the one area that allied bombing was successful in reducing, yet Germany was able to maintain its armies in the field and keep its industry going. They improvised and they used coal. So, my advice to peak-oilers is to look at some real economies under serious shortages like during war and you’ll see it takes more than a graph on a piece of paper to collapse an industrial economy.”

    I am not quibbling with your analysis, however, I seem to remember reading somewhere that the USA supplied Germany with a lot of oil, perhaps behind some dummy companies or such, so it may be a more complex situation that you portray in the above quote.

    It is a somewhat unique North American(USA) skill to supply both warring parties with a profitable commodity, or range of war commodities, and wait till the end phase to get involved directly, on the winning side of course, in order to be there to write up the history and cash in on the spoils, or divide the cake, so to speak.

    What will be left if we hit the World Oil War III ?

    But whatever the reasoning you put up here, I share some doubts as to how easy the beast is to kill.

    The word ‘Hydra’ comes to mind.


  • The comments posted in the past 24 hours are really interesting. I find myself torn between the many camps. Some messengers are so eloquent that I’m swayed even if I don’t necessarily agree with their positions!

    @ Anthony, I personally feel like nothing matters, that nothing I did in this life meant anything, that my human experience was anti-life, anti-living, anti-biology. I also believe that there is nothing I can do to make any difference now – so, I accept that and I’m just going to ride the train over the cliff. If you believe your life and your legacy has purpose and meaning, then great, I am not here to convince you otherwise. In fact, I personally believe that it’s going to make things worse quicker as more and more people figure out that we are all doomed. I’m kinda’ hoping I die before there are massive global food riots, nations at war, the collapse of society, FEMA camps, and widespread cannibalism.

    There are many positions expressed by the visitors here on NBL. In my opinion, Guy has already provided the information that has led him to his conclusion, NTE.


    I agree with many of the thoughts expressed here that the very fact that I’m blogging about it makes no sense! If I REALLY believed NTE, wouldn’t I be out doing something fun or crazy or meaningful? Wouldn’t I be running to see my loved ones and hug them and tell them how much I love them and appreciate them? Geez, would I really be showing up to my drone job every single day and paying my bills?

    @ Gail:

    I was being facetious, I understand the idea that we are what we are and that explains much as to our predicament. I’m really in awe of the people here that quest to rise above their inherent programming. I personally have no such lofty goals.

  • Daniel, what profundity? Just solipsistic, humanist blathering.

    We’re a dumb, destructive species that will soon disappear after having destroyed countless other life forms.

    Am I a misanthrope? Yes. Humanity is an abomination.

  • KathyC: “Relatively short time” is the operative phrase. With population overshoot & resource depletion, there is no doubt that humanity will engage in a scorched earth policy in an attempt to eek out the last of days of Pompeii.

    So what is a relatively short time? 5 years, 20 years? I think it’s more in the range of 50 years or so. The reason for my estimate is my background: I’m a numbers person, and I’m pretty familiar with exponential equations.

    Regardless of what attempts are made to engineer/ameliorate climate, the sheer increase in humanity will begin to become very obvious (if it isn’t already). If one were to stop and really take notice, they would realize how much town likes Tuscon have grown in the last 15 years. And yet, and yet, these regions will **double again** given sufficient resources.

    This kind of pressure will become unmanageable, especially in light of resource scarcity. This is when the end-game will ramp up, in terms that you describe with respect to nuke maintenance, etc.

    Since I figure we still have a few generations, my orientation is to party now while the sun shines.

  • Careful there, for if the universe begins to contract, then that reverses the arrow of time, and you know what that means? Lol, we get to do it over again in reverse!

    Actually there is no way for those entrained in the current direction of time to imagine what the perception of events would be like with the reversal of time. The projection from our perspective might be the scat rises off the ground and enters a fox’s rear; the chicken comes out of the fox’s mouth and all the loose feathers fly back into place; the chicken poop flies back into the chi men’s rear, and the chicken (walking backwards) spits out live bugs, grows smaller, walks backwards into an eggshell that becomes intact, and the egg moves up into another chicken. Ink on paper becomes wet, the writer’s pen moves backwards on the paper picking up the ink – the scenarios get weirder than weird from our perspective. But then the denizens of that world will have perceptions of things seen in their brains unravel, nerve impulses travel back to their eyes, photons emitted from their eyes bounce off objects and travel back to the sun.

    It is very true that the Third Reich survived a blockade and prosecuted a war in spite of progressive constraints on their petroleum supply. A major factor was the bombing of the oilfields of Ploesti in Romania by the uS Army Air Corps (which later became the uSAF) based out of Benghazi in Libya.

    However the Germans did not face a net energy cliff. If one wants to understand the implications of Peak Oil or Peak Fossil Fuels, one needs to understand The Net Energy Cliff. Google it. NBLers are aware of it, so there is no need of sermonising about it here.

    All living cells are metabolically active: they extract energy from one source or another and use it, and in the process of doing so, release some energy as heat. This happens even when they are at rest. Even in humans. It is known as the Basal Metabolic Rate. The body has to get rid of the heat produced. Not a problem when ambient temperatures are significantly lower than the body temperature. A problem when ambient temperatures are above body temperature. The workaround is to evaporate water. It takes one calorie to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one °C. It takes 600 calories to convert one gram of water into one gram of water vapour. (Dietary calories are actually kilocalories, 1000 calories). The heat thus used up results in cooling.

    Dogs vaporise water by panting. Humans do it by sweating: hopefully the sweat evaporates. The evaporation depends on how much room there is in the air for water vapour. The hotter the air, the more water it can hold before it becomes saturated. Once the air is saturated, no water will evaporate into it. Water forced into it by boiling will condense into clouds of water droplets, as happens when water is boiled: it saturates the air and the excess condenses, and when breath is cooled in winter, it becomes supersaturated and the water condenses.

    A regular temperature of the air is the dry-bulb temperature. If that air was 100% saturated with water vapour, the wet bulb temperature would be the same. A lower wet bulb temperature means that if water was allowed to evaporate into it till it was saturated, the temperature after that evaporation would be that wet bulb temperature. The less water vapour in the air to start with, the more water can evaporate into it, and the cooler it will get: so the lower the wet bulb temperature. If the wet bulb temperature is the same as (or close to) body temperature, it means the air will become saturated with water vapour by the time it reaches body temperature. Some heat is lost by evaporative cooling of hotter air, but there will also be heat transfer from the hotter air to the body, and in the absence of cooler air, the process becomes ineffective. Blowing hot dry air on the body allows the body to cool itself by evaporation of sweat; this does not work with hot moist air.

  • Carolyn,

    Thank you for the essay. The one takeaway for me is that we’re all in hospice now. I think that is true.

    Those of you who have worked in hospices could perhaps say more on the topic. My guess is that each person in hospice does their individual thing. Dying is something we do alone, yes? Even with others present, they aren’t dying at the same time and so the journey is one we take all by ourselves.

    Pat, I understand your guilt. Like you, I feel like I’ve taken more from the earth than I’ve given and have done so pretty much unconsciously.

    Daniel, you are too hard on people, I think. Each one of us here got here by their own path. We stay because there is something here for us, even if we can’t articulate what that something is….maybe it’s just the knowledge that we aren’t alone.

    I sense others swing between despair and rage….sometimes in the same second.

    We’re breaking new ground. I don’t know that we’re doing it particularly well or gracefully, but at least we’re facing the future with eyes open. I give us a lot of credit for that.

    This little spot of reality is a touchstone….I come by several times a day to see what people are thinking, feeling, doing, reading. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I laugh. Sometimes I get pissed off.

    Kinda like life.

    No point really. Just wanted to chime in, say hi and give some love to my fellow doomers.

  • @Tom says “B9K9: what do you think of this?”

    Nice clip, but it’s attempting to identify a nexus while failing to consider base concepts. Assume for a moment that China & Russia didn’t exist, or didn’t pose threats to the dollar standard or any other form of US hegemony.

    Would the US military-industrial complex then be dismantled? Yes, laugh, laugh out loud at such a completely ridiculous concept, no? The bottom line is that people who pursue military careers have ambitions just like everyone else. In order to grow & prosper, new markets must constantly be developed & exploited.

    So what would happen if all foreign territory was under some form of control? That’s right, N America would then become the new battleground, simply for the reason that it would provide fertile ground for exploitation. After all, at least 40% of the population is unhappy towards US policy at any given time (depending on whether Rs or Ds are “in charge”), so they make a ready “enemy”.

    And guess what, that’s exactly what is happening. What people need to consider is that the MIC is **always planning a war**. It doesn’t need to be overseas, that’s a mere convenience. It just so happens that a lot of it is overseas, which then leads to determining a casus belli, which is the dollar standard.

  • Carolyn,

    Sorry for the loss of your friend, I recently lost a loved one and it has caused me to reflect on many things including death. As a hospice volunteer, we’re trained to be in the moment and to discard any drama we have going on in our lives, before stepping into the room with them. Sometimes it more difficult to do than others as we all think about ourselves and our journey.

    I remember the days of you writing on Michael Ruppert’s site, From the Wilderness especially your essay written for him titled, The Last Samarai. I learned from your U.S History Uncensored book but have since been disappointed in your writing as it’s so much of the same thing.

    My husband and I contacted you over three years ago as we did others who were writing about collapse and asked, what now? We’ve tried for over 10 years to develop networks of people who were trying to prepare, whether it was community creation, bartering or just helping each other to stop feeding the system that was inevitably going to kill us all. We went from building lifeboats to being hospice patients.

    Many are just getting started thinking that this coming together will be so natural but we’re here to tell you it’s not. Guy was the only one we contacted who never had a financial interest and has tried to help us take it to the next level. He has hooked us up with others in our region that we’ve become friends with and know that we can count on each other to help. We’ve had others here to visit besides Guy, such as Andre Angelantoni and Jason Bradford (who now lives in our neck of the woods) but never felt the need to stay in touch. Those of us who have let go of the shore know the difficulties beyond what is written about.

    I also remember asking you several years ago if you had thought about bartering for eggs or other things in lieu of the costs of reading your site and you told us you still lived in the paradigm where you had bills to pay. Well we still all have bills to pay and we’re no further ahead of the game.

    Dr. House who comments on this site is a fine example of thinking outside of the box and trying to help those who don’t have the greenbacks to pay, and I love the fact that every video I see of Guy, he has his patched elbow jacket on. Maybe it’s just us who can see the “capitalism” that’s taken place since the hot potato of “collapse” was caught years ago. Many have capitalized on the subject and few have done the hard work to walk away from empire.

  • “Protect your spirit, because you are in the place where spirits get eaten.”
    -John Trudell

    So begins the long goodbye. I find the hospice metaphor interesting, maybe because I have no experience with slow, contemplative death. Sudden, tragic, life altering death, yes, so much so, in fact, I feel I have spent the majority of my life in mourning. I know that with advance notice of NTE, I should be getting my affairs in order, yet I don’t know what that entails in the tangible sense. So that leaves me with the intangible, the spirit.

    B9K9 says: “I too tire of the existential navel gazing that seems to infect refugees from the left. The future is crystal clear – if there was ever a time to act with confidence & assurance, this is it. If you can see how the future is being set up, then it’s not too difficult to position oneself to ride the wave.” (Nothing personal B9K9, just grabbing onto this in order to express myself better, as a counterpoint, if you will.)

    Even if the future is clear, it is NOT possible to act in a coherent manner unless one breaks away from emotional reaction, which Paul so eloquently describes. We live within a system that is so diseased, so full of greed, war, pollution, waste, a cancer so big, a war with so many fronts, it is difficult to know what battles to fight. In her essay, Carolyn is simply suggesting to heal yourself by dumping your garbage, cleaning the windows clouded by the subconscious. Bob Marley says, “emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds”, but there can be no redemption while we carry around the burdens of the machine. There is no clear course of action, no coherent action, when we come from a place of emotional reaction. We burn up all of our energy in our emotions, and our spirit is buried under a pile of garbage. Recognize the emotion, feel it, let it go. Without the spirit, there is no inspiration to act.

    So, what action shall I take? Shall I sell my children into the sex slave trade, in order to bring my/their suffering to a level comparable to those who do suffer this? Or shall I clean my own ‘house’, give up my ghosts, in order that the wrongs, the hurts, don’t live in perpetuity, through me, my children, down the line, however short/long that line may be? Shall I forever rue the day I was born? I mean, my own father beat my mother while pregnant with the intention of killing me. And that event foreshadowed the nature of the rest of my existence, until I decided to take responsibility, deal with my ‘issues’, and move on. As Daniel mentions, it is possible to separate the idea/behavior from the person. My parents suffered and died by the hands of their ghosts, and in so doing, passed the sickness on. It is alive and well in my siblings and it is painful to witness, but some battles cannot be fought by someone else.
    I take Carolyn’s call as a request to take off the mask, to leave the world of the walking dead where we do nothing but bide our time waiting to die, and to heal the spirit. Listen to this clip of Trudell talking about how the system ‘mines our minds’ in order to remove the spirit to run their machine, so that we never have the power to object, we too easily accept the unacceptable because we are so clouded with guilt and blame. And if you don’t like the word spirit, look around at the sky, the water, the land. That is you, nothing more than dust and water.

  • @ Wildwoman: I don’t see the point in the comments that are “critiques” of other people’s comments either. The comments are just comments. It’s not personal. Geez, this is an internet blog, it could hardly be more impersonal.

    Meanwhile, I keep punchin’ the clock like a good Drone for Industrial Civilization.

    Robert DeNiro in the movie “Heat:”

    “You see me doin’ thrill-seeker liquor store holdups with a “Born to Lose” tattoo on my chest?”

    What a great line.

  • wildwoman says: We’re breaking new ground….I give us a lot of credit for that….

    No point really. Just wanted to chime in, say hi and give some love to my fellow doomers.

    We’re ignorning irrelevant scorning
    And facing the future aborning;
    I’ve got nothing to say,
    But it’s O.K.,
    Good morning, good morning, good morning.

  • I am not into giving time lines, but I have to differ with B9K9 on that 50 years. Forget financial, economic, resources, water, etc. The northern polar jet is screwed up and therefore the weather over N. America and as a consequence, the growing season and conditions. It has been getting progressively worse since early 2010. Different problems each year but getting more severe.
    I am from the Chicago area. Lived here all my life. The last 3 winters I have hid out in Southern California. When I saw Mike Sidel from The Weather Channel standing on North Avenue Beach in March of 2012, talking about 89 degrees, with the lake front bikers and joggers as props, I immediately thought “drought!”.
    If this is what we face this year, next year, and on, it will not take much more to put us in a food crisis.
    Not only the Egypts, of the world, we here will be in trouble. I think we are on the edge each and every year from now on. USDA, and other gubbermint agencies have to know the score. We are not going to be told shit.

  • From Greer’s blog:

    At this point, industrial civilization is so far into overshoot that a controlled descent is no longer an option; the only path remaining is the familiar historical process of decline and fall.

    If you plan on nonviolent protest, I trust you realize that any tyrant worth the name can simply have you rounded up, shot in the back of the head, and dumped in a mass grave; there’s your protest. If you plan on violent revolution, please remember that this is a public forum and no doubt it’s watched by the people whose job it is to watch such things. (A piece of advice from an earlier era: only fools and agents provocateurs go around in public advocating violence.)

  • B9K9 relatively short time is 17 years

    Twenty estimates have been made of the times of the various extinction events in the northern and southern hemispheres and these are shown on Table 1 and summarised on Figure 7 with their ranges. The absolute mean extinction time for the northern hemisphere is 2031.8 and for the southern hemisphere 2047.6 with a final mean extinction time for 3/4 of the earth’s surface of 2039.6 which is similar to the extinction time suggested previously from correlations between planetary orbital mechanics and the frequency increase of Great and Normal earthquake activity on Earth (Light, 2011). Extinction in the southern hemisphere lags the northern hemisphere by 9 to 29 years.

    I think Guy holds to this timeline as well. He can correct me if I am wrong.

    However last summer the guys at Arctic News thought that the Arctic might be ice free by 2015, now some of them think it will be this year. If you don’t know what a game changer that will be you haven’t been paying attention.

  • @ Daniel: Sorry it took me so long to see your question. I’m stuck with dial-up now, no more office, no more title, no more students. I’ll not be able to frequent this place very often.

    depressive lucidity has it right. Carolyn’s essay is a cute little exercise in luxury. I’ve said it before – I laugh at those who think humans have reached some turning point and will suddenly see the error of their ways and band together in small sustainable groups to reach some higher plane of spiritual existence, live within the carrying capacity of the earth, love one another and live happily ever after. Not a fuckin’ chance. Collapsing civilizations do not rise to greater heights, if indeed there is any such thing, which I doubt. People descend into horrific madness when there is any whiff of a chance that they might not get caught doing what they really wanted to do anyway.

    I once saw a movie about this, and I don’t know the name of it or the actors in it. I don’t have a TV, but I was at some conference somewhere and I was skipping sessions by staying in my hotel room and watching Animal Planet. I flipped through the stations and saw a movie begin about a female motorcyle rider whose bike broke down in a very isolated small town and she had to wait for parts to be shipped there. She got sucked into the local issues when a mentally deficient girl got gang raped. The men of the town said, “Oh, it’s just boys being boys. She was asking for it anyway, etc. etc.” Things went downhill from there, as you saw how ordinary people lost the very thin veneer of civilization and became monsters. The movie was well done and I was mesmerized by how easily this could happen. If anyone knows the name of this movie, I would appreciate hearing about it.

    Remember the news story a few months ago when a city in Kansas, I think, announced publicly that the downsized police force would no longer respond to domestic violence calls?

    There is a bit of a thin veneer of civilization left here in North America, but not much. Carolyn has the luxury of thinking her lofty thoughts and that’s fine, but it won’t last long. She’ll be scrambling to feed herself like the rest of us soon enough; crawling through dumpsters and beating the elderly to take their pets. She can kill me for my vegetables, if she wants, but I’d like her to make it fast and relatively pain-free, if possible.

    Dimitri Orlov said it best, so far. He said that the person who survives will not be the person you can imagine in yourself now. Some people will not like that person and do themselves in. The suicide rate in the U.S. is now climbing. Mostly the middle aged. When TPTB crack down hard, who has the structure, the discipline, the networks, the power to get what they want? Gangs. Mafia, the Red and White, drug lords, rogue cops and military, that’s who. They will last longer than any of us pecking away on these toys of ours, lamenting the fate of our favourite brand of jeans that fit just right.

    Comfort yourselves with beautiful words if you like, but that time is rapidly coming to an end. In Chicago, they are closing schools, changing the curriculum to produce industrial drones who will work for credit at the company store, and testing the kids to death. Soon none of them will be able to even read the fine words in Carolyn’s essay.

    H. sapiens is the worst thing to ever happen to this planet and the sooner gone, the better.