Resistance is the Only Ethical Response to Near-Term Extinction

by Jeffrey Strahl

I begin with a short biography to give readers some understanding of why I see things the way I do. I grew up in New York, where I received a degree in mechanical engineering from the City University of New York. I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in early 1970 to take a job, and I still live there, with most of my time spent living in Berkeley. I was a very conservative and conformist person when I started working for Bechtel, the giant multinational construction firm, assigned to the division designing and supervising the construction of nuclear power plants. It took me just a few months to be totally disgusted by both the nature of corporate culture and nuclear power. Simultaneously I faced a close call regarding induction into the armed forces, which were still engaged in Vietnam. These experiences, plus my increased engagement with the counterculture still prevalent in Berkeley led to a rapid personal transformation, and to my being laid off from my job as a recession deepened and Bechtel supervisors grew disenchanted with an employee whose looks and views changed right before their eyes.

I subsequently applied to law school at Berkeley and was admitted, with the notion of using my technical background and legal education to pursue environmental law. At the time I started school in autumn of 1972, I also started going to Grateful Dead shows, further exploring the alternative route, and in addition came upon anarchist politics. By the middle of my second year, I came to realize that the environmental crisis which had been manifesting itself even to the mainstream for several years could not be dealt with by new laws and regulations, or new shopping habits, but required the elimination of capitalism. I also had become conscious of the still-continuing pacification program directed at the 1960s insurgency, be it by COINTELPRO and direct police repression, or by media efforts to convince the public that “the ’60s are over” and that conformity and a “New Age” of self-indulgence were now what’s in. I dropped out of law school, but kept the job I had began on campus to support myself, tutoring students in math and statistics. I ended up sticking with that job for almost 37 years (until my retirement in 2009), becoming for all practical purposes the instructor for many students in the second-year calculus classes that form the mathematical foundation for engineering and physical sciences. In the meantime, my politics developed further, incorporating Marx’s analysis of capital, the surrealist/situationist analysis of modern mass culture, a critique of the mechanistic materialist paradigm that has dominated science for centuries, a critique informed by process philosophy (see here and here), and other ideas that have come up.

The world today faces three deadly crises. They can be analyzed separately but are interconnected and feed back and forth in major ways. I won’t go into too much detail, as a lot more can be found in the readings I will reference.

The first is the global economic crisis. I’m tackling it first because it has manifested itself the longest. It has little to do with greedy banksters and speculators, inadequate regulations and corrupt regulators, monopolies, or the restricted ability of “the masses” to consume. It is a crisis rooted in the very structure of global capitalism. It first appeared in a global form on the world stage in the early 1910s, and led to WWI. That war did not provide a long respite, and so the crisis reappeared globally by 1930, leading to WWII. The massive destruction of much of the industrial world’s fixed capital in that war, and the need to reconstruct all that, formed the foundation of what appeared to be a postwar boom, aided by a reconfiguration of the world economy under US domination and with coordinating institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank, massive expansion of debt, unprecedented consumerism, vast military spending via the creation of the military-industrial complex, and the increased incorporation of the non-industrial world into the global empire, often facilitated by military force. But by 1970, the fundamental crisis had begun to reemerge. It has been staved off by even more massive exponential debt expansion, by globalization which has facilitated the driving of wages and working conditions downward all over the world, and by hi-tech innovations. However, all these countermeasures have by now turned into factors which exacerbate the crisis. The collapse of 2007-8 has not been overcome. In fact, signs of worsening arise daily, such as indications Europe is entering a new Great Depression. There is no reason whatsoever why the crisis now will not lead to another global war, and already we see the emergence of currency/trade wars, just as occurred before each of the Twentieth Century’s two global conflicts. We even see renewed discussions of “winnable” nuclear wars. For more extensive readings, I recommend this series of articles, all by Jack Straw: “The American Left Doesn’t Get Capitalism,”
“Michael Hudson and Webster Tarpley Disseminate Disinformation,”
and “Occupy Should Target and Destroy the Ruling Money Fetish.” I also recommend a very fundamental analysis of capitalism, Sander’s “A Crisis of Value.”

One short note: readers should not confuse Marx’s analysis of capitalism with the state capitalist monstrosities of the former USSR and allied states, with state ownership of capitalist enterprises, or even with workers’ ownership of such enterprises. His analysis isn’t another school of “economics,” like the Austrian or Keynesian schools. Nor is it based upon competition and other conditions specific to Nineteenth Century industrial capitalism. It uses a single global capital as its starting point. Hopefully the suggested readings will do away with such confusion.

The Ecological Crisis needs little introduction to readers of Nature Bats Last. While climate collapse is the most obvious facet, there are others, such as the destruction of habitats and ensuing, accelerating collapses of ecosystems and species extinctions, the acidification of the oceans, and the spreading of chemical poisons and pollutants of all sorts, including GMOs and nano-materials. I would like to refer readers to a couple of older articles, “The Sick Planet” by Guy Debord from 1970, and “In the Wake of the Exxon Valdez: World Capitalism and Global Ecocide” by Will Guest from 1989. These articles demonstrate how the problem has been festering and worsening while some people warned us.

Last, but far from least, the world faces an increasing shortage of resources which are vital for both human survival and, even more, the very functioning of the global advanced industrial system, in particular the energy supplied by fossil fuels. Peak Oil comes to mind readily, but we also face Peak Soil, Peak Water, and many other vital peaks. Regardless of industry/media propaganda, the shale shell games will make little if any difference. We have just started seeing the effects of what will be growing shortages. Readers who are still not sure should read sites such as Resilience and Culture Change. I recommend a couple of articles on the inability of “renewables” to power a growth-requiring capitalist global economy (or for that matter any system requiring the maintenance of modern industry), “Searching for a Miracle” by Richard Heinberg, and Ted Trainer’s “Can the World Run on Renewables, Nuclear Energy and Geo-Sequestration? The Negative Case,” which has a link to his full paper. Short pieces on this topic can be found at The Energy Skeptic site.

These three crises feed back and forth. Global warming increases pressures upon dwindling clean water sources, and requires more expenses on the part of states which are already facing severe budget constraints. The economic crisis makes investment in renewables increasingly problematic. Peak Oil means the costs of producing oil are such that gas prices have to climb to where they start choking off other spending. And so on. In addition, there are sub-crises being spun by the major ones which take on lives of their own, such as the accelerating disintegration of the fiber which holds society together due to the near-universal use of cell phones and other wireless devices, which drive people into self-absorption bubbles, detached from the physical reality around them. Clearly, there is no way out which preserves capitalism. Indeed, there is no way to preserve industrial society and the population levels it has enabled, levels which are far beyond the capacity of the planet to support. We would not be in this situation were it not for the emergence of and global conquest by capitalism and its growth imperative, but more needs to be shed than just the capitalist mode of production. Near-term extinction appears to be almost inevitable. To me, the main question right now is whether the extinction will come first from a new global war, or from runaway climate destabilization. The US government is consciously preparing for the future by reinforcing its military/police state apparatus. Part of these preparations have included the execution of false-flag terrorist attacks. This is the only way to understand 9/11 in context. See here and here.

Yet this conclusion does not mean that people should stop resisting the pressures to conform and to go along with futile steps intended to maintain what is totally unmaintainable, and increasingly so even in the short term. There are those who offer “New Age” psycho-babble to the effect that resistance is futile and that we should focus on ourselves and on coming to terms with death and go gently into the good night. In my book however, a failure to resist amounts to complicity with the accelerating destruction. It is as much an aspect of counterinsurgency as are the various repression efforts of the control apparatus. This is true even if the odds of failure are just about certain, indeed even more so.

When you see a rape and do nothing, you are guilty too. When you see genocide and do nothing, because you claim you feel powerless, you are a participant. This is what global society determined regarding how Germans behaved during WWII. A few brave ones, e.g., the White Rose Society, resisted the Nazi regime, odds be damned. The others turned their heads and pretended to not know. People within the concentration camps also counseled that “resistance is futile.” Most of those who listened to them died sooner than they otherwise would have.

It would not occur to a mouse in the mouth of a cat to stop resisting. There is after all a thing called the survival instinct. Just as they have to be taught to be killing soldiers in an organized armed force, a behavior which is far more akin to sheep being herded than to an animal fighting for its food or survival. People have to be taught to not resist. Resistance is what living things and living systems do in the face of attempts to do them in. Our resistance is not just about us as individuals, or even us as a species, but us as members of the global ecosystem, an entity which like the Tao is everything and nothing, a sum of its parts which is more than a sum. We owe it to all the other members to do what we can on behalf of the whole. See Peter Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid and Lynn Margulis’s The Symbiotic Planet for useful antidotes to the mainstream’s junk notions that the dominant motif of life is selfish competition.

Some folks counsel for us to give in, to reject making a stand, and to counter “bad vibes” with “joy.” Such notions given the present situation show to me people who are in a privileged position in global society, coasting on top of terrain anchored upon slave mines in Africa and South America, sweatshops in Bangladesh and China (and even in North America) as well as on massive ecocide. People in those situations do not engage in discussions whether resistance is appropriate. They have to resist just to survive day to day. Please spare us talk of how “we are all equally at fault,” “it’s just human nature,” and “we need to all come together and recognize our common humanity,” or false hopes that the ruling elites will somehow do the right thing. There is no one “we.” There is the vast majority of ordinary humans on one hand, and a tiny segment of ruling elites who are psychopaths and sociopaths, determined to keep their system going and their social power intact no matter what, who have made and continue to make the essential decisions which have led to the current situation of near-term extinction. The current holocaust, currently in its early stages, will affect all of humanity and the bulk of the ecosystem, putting the Nazi version to shame. Passivity is complicity. Silence is consent.

Prattling about how resistance is futile and how we’re better to retreat into passive contemplation and getting those around us to passively accept it all is exactly what the mass media do day in and day out. Let’s not pretend that it’s anything but another form of pacification. Our predicament is like that of someone who is tied up in a boat which is rapidly approaching a large waterfall. If this person could get untied and jump off, they are highly likely to be swept up by the current and go over anyway. But how many people would simply not even try? I intend to go on with my resistance, be it in public acts of defiance, conveying information through writing and talking, or helping out with my neighborhood collective native plant garden, pacification efforts be damned.

___________

There is a new ad at the top of the CLASSIFIEDS section, courtesy of a couple in the Pacific Northwest. View it here.

___________

McPherson was interviewed by Gary Null for the Progressive Commentary Hour on Tuesday, 13 May 2013. The result is embedded below, and I begin shortly after the 43-minute mark.


___________

Mike Sosebee’s film is available on DVD. For information about purchasing a copy, click here.

___________

McPherson is embarking on a speaking tour today, and will be in eastern New York and southeastern Pennsylvania for the next few days. Details are posted and will be updated often at the “Coming events” tab.

Comments 240

  • Excellent, Jeffery Strahl, I agree with all of that. Thankyou.

    Re Tony Weddle in the previous thread

    …the release of methane doesn’t seem to be accelerating…

    Are you paying attention ? There are now high emission levels from the ANTarctic.

    http://methane-hydrates.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/antarctic-methane-peaks-at-2249-ppb.html

  • Wow, I get to be the first comment? Bravo, Jeffrey!

    “Silence is consent.” Yep.

    Thanks for the essay. Resistance really isn’t all that hard when you just start with the easy stuff…..rejection of the MSM is a good first step (that whole thinking for yourself thing) and from there, it’s only a matter of imagination. I think we think of resistance as armed conflict or violence only. It’s not. It’s simply saying “no” to TPTB whenever and wherever you might.

    It’s actually fun.

    Nancy Reagan was right…..just say no to TPTB. Whenever and wherever a choice presents itself.

  • Sorry to steal your thunder, wildwoman, it wasn’t intentional 😉

    For those who have not yet reached THE FUCK IT POINT.

  • Loved his clarity about global capitalism and its development in early 20th century. Two world wars slowed it down. Post WWII boom was fixed capital being reconstructed. But people don’t see history that way, even if they lived it (maybe especially if they lived it).

    He also noted how the “me decades” of the ’70s and esp. ’80s were engineered to convince people that “the ’60s were over” and that self-indulgence was “In” (shit, when is it ever OUT?). Anyway, this is another way of looking at history that most people don’t see. I do remember that age quite well, being in my late teens and early 20s, and as I wasn’t well off enough to be particularly self-indulgent, I sort of missed it and thought we were still in the ’60s until sometime in the ’90s.

    In terms of the ecological crisis, I remember when “environmentalism” was called “ecology.” Those little green flag stickers were popular. In 3rd grade, I won some award from Woodlands magazine for writing a mini-essay on my feelings about the environment, as a science/social studies class project. I asked my mom not to throw a gum wrapper on the ground. PBS and animal show specials predicted the demise of animals in the natural world and I was worried. I watched the tv commercial with the tear-streaked Indian. And then it all disappeared from the social radar for 25 years and we got “morning in America” and Canterell and the North Sea and $10/bbl oil.

    I didn’t get to peak oil and other resource crises until about 2007, but it fit right in with my experiences.

    So yes, I do suspect we’re going over the falls. I’m with the crowd who also thinks it’s not extinction just yet, I’ll say openly here, but what worries me is that there is not going to be some kind of AHA moment, some epiphany whereby the remnant recognizes its folly and makes fundamental changes in rebuilding. (I figured that out after being right about the gulf wars and WMD; it doesn’t matter if you’re right or not anymore.) If we don’t see it now, we’re not going to see it then, and I doubt if much will change as far as how people go about surviving and rebuilding. They won’t be building anew, just rebuilding. I dunno. I hope I’m wrong.

  • I don’t think anyone here needs to DEFEND their position – and, I also don’t think anyone should ATTACK someone else’s position.

    The majority of us here are in agreement that NTE is reality. The rest is just sharing different reactions. It’s just sharing. Take what you can use, and leave the rest behind.

    Why would someone that believes in NTE care if someone else is “fighting” TPTB? Fight, don’t fight, it doesn’t matter. There is nothing that can be done, so there is no RIGHT thing to do and there is no wrong thing to do.

  • Jeffrey, thank you for that essay. You obviously have a long history of reading, thinking and writing about ecology, as well as resistance. I do agree it is the ethical thing for me to do. However I question whether it is for everyone – in other words, the rationale behind the position that it is ethical.

    Basically I question it because what seems to underlie the moral imperative is that there are some individuals and/or some system that is to blame, and the rest of us have the choice of being either sheep, guilty by complicity, or resisters, who defy the perpetrators.

    If NTE is taken as a certainty – or maybe even not NTE but SNTE (somewhat near term extinction) – then there is no reason to resist other than a belief in the distinction between people as described. But that has not been my experience and isn’t supported by what I have read. You refer to the “junk notions that the dominant motif of life is selfish competition” however, there seems to be a huge body of solid archeological evidence that warfare is part and parcel of human nature, since humans inevitably overshoot the confines of the ecological niche, and then fight with each other over the territory.

    This violence (including cannibalism) is supported by reams of first-person historical accounts and most importantly, in the remains of human skeletons from all over the world, from every time period not just since we left caves but when we were still in them, and even before.

    In light of that, although I personally remain committed to resistance, I can’t condemn people who are not. I’m still interested in thoughts about my comment which I think will be lost on the last thread, about Guy’s video following the movie – and it’s on the same topic as this post anyway – and so I’m going to copy it below. Thanks to all who take a little time to offer opinions:

    Yesterday I listened to Guy’s Q&A after the film premiere. In case anyone besides me missed the reference, it was the first I heard of Underminers dot org. Last night I downloaded the book by Keith Farnish from the site and started to read. Here is the author’s summary of Time’s Up, his first book:

    1) Because the ultimate purpose of all life forms, including human beings, is to continue their genetic line and all we can ever know or care about is from the point of
    view of a human being, What Matters is What Matters to Us.

    2) In order to appreciate the level of threat that global environmental changes are
    posing to the continuation of humanity, and that it is the acts of a certain type of
    human being – Civilized Humans – which have brought about that threat, we have to
    Connect with ourselves, the people we depend upon, and the natural ecosystems
    which support our existence.

    3) Myriad forces exist to protect Industrial Civilization – the ultimate killing machine –
    from human beings becoming Connected. These forces, which I have named the
    Tools of Disconnection have to be undermined in order to allow us to Connect and
    thus make possible the continuation of humanity.

    I’m continuing to read but I am curious if anyone else is familiar with the contents and especially how people think it relates to NTE. From what I’ve read so far Mr. Farnish does a nice job of eviscerating mainstream environmental groups for not challenging the underlying causes of climate change and other ecological issues.

    However, since my own perspective has been rapdily evolving as I read books like “Constant Battles: The Myth of the Peaceful, Noble Savage” I doubt whether laying the blame at the door of industrial civilization, the corporatocracy, capitalism or the .01% as is popular now goes nearly far enough (the fact the industrial civilization ratcheted up all the problems of overshoot notwithstanding).

    If dismantling modern culture doesn’t go far enough, and at the heart of our inharmonious war on nature is our evolutionarily determined genetic makeup, does it serve any purpose at all to Undermine since, according the the author, the reason is to preserve some corner of the earth suitable for human habitation and survival (see #1, above)? Wouldn’t any survivors, sooner or later, simply continue the same destructive behavior?

    Even more fundamentally I wonder if the endless searching for “connection” or “spirituality” – which is another formulation of human immortality – can possibly accomplish anything other than perpetuating our notion of superiority and dominence and ultimate ruination of natural systems, which, in order to maintain balance, really don’t need us at all and never did.

    So Lidia here is an interview with Tim DeChristopher who is following in Pastor McKibben’s steps to Harvard Divinity School, sigh: http://video.msnbc.msn.com/all-in-/51899090#51899090

    And Ripley, I get the impression you are willfully ignoring replies to your contention that the 1% (or some fraction thereof) will survive NTE. Far from a sudden lowering of IQ at NBL, I think you are lacking imagination for just how interconnected our existence is to the incredibly complex biosphere. We cannot replicate it, it took millions of years to develop. But I understand your bitterness to those who are the most egregious and greedy among a selfish species, so although I can’t exactly recommend it, I suggest you might get a little cathartic enjoyment if you rent the movie Django Unchained. Haha, I didn’t expect to like it but discovered it is at least vicarous revenge if you are in a bloodthirsty mood.

  • John Michael Greer (The Archdruid) has a different take on NTE. I’d appreciate some comments from Dr. McPherson on his post.

    http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-pleasures-of-extinction.html

  • I Post this article from “The Nation” which speak of a fast (possible) “NTE”.
    (Another, more slow, is the Ecological Colapse, to which we are and have been from day to day):

    WHO WILL DROP THE NEXT NUCLEAR BOMB ?

    https://www.thenation.com/article/174295/who-will-drop-next-nuclear-bomb?fb_action_ids=10151390470250846&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%2210151390470250846%22%3A520649871328628%7D&action_type_map=%7B%2210151390470250846%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D#

  • We humans are a strange thing indeed. There are so many many facets to our being that spin together in different ways at different moments to affect our thoughts and feelings and, therefore, shape our actions and reactions.

    Yes, I think the Native Americans should have fought to the death to every last man, woman, and child against the invading Europeans. They clearly knew at some point they would be overwhelmed and there was nothing they could do. Yes, resistance was futile, but would they be better off today being remembered as the race that died to the last soul fighting the Europeans OR as the shadow they are today of their former selves living on reservations? Should they have made some extreme point and all committed suicide? Or, should they have all “pretended” to surrender and then live the rest of their lives undermining America and making sabotage? Or, maybe slowly assimilate and take over small parts of local governments and make some attempt at winning some small fragment of self determination.

    What is the correct answer?

    Is there a correct answer?

    There must be a huge shame in surrender and we humans cannot learn from other’s mistakes. I see a shamed man living a shamed life yet I cannot be dissuaded from following his same path for I believe it will be different for me, for I am different.

    Those who fought in battle and died for a cause are heros to some and villains to others.

    Those who gave up much to help others in selfless acts of kindness are rarely given any credit for their great deeds – they are ignored and forgotten, in many cases even by those they have helped.

    I am no better than the worst of us. I am no worse than the best of us.

    As for Jeffrey Strahl and those here on NBL that wish to go down fighting just because it is the right thing to do even though we all know it cannot be successful as NTE is reality and there is NO CHANCE that we could possibly reduce the population enough quickly enough and controlled enough to dismantle the toxic infrastructure of industrial civilization such that the remaining surviving life forms might have some chance at a future, I say “HooRay for You!”

    The reality is we ARE going over the waterfall, some will jump out of the boat while still tied-up and drown before the boat goes over the falls, others will use their last moments to be angry at their captors, others will try to help free others so they might have a chance to swim, others will fall into quite reflection on the life they have had, and others will make the effort to comfort their frightened fellows on the boat. (some might even try to make the boat go faster as to more quickly end their misery!, is this a “good” thing or a “bad” thing?)

    Why would anyone want to shame any one of these people for making their own choice as to how to spend their last moments?

    Why would anyone claim to know the universal “right thing to do?”

  • I can only speak for myself, but frankly I stopped reading the Archdruid Report months ago. Greer seems completely incapable of addressing his opponents’ arguments “as they really are”; in the post you’re citing, for example, he compares NTE on a superficial level to some experiences he had growing up in the 70’s, and then rambles through all the associations he’s drawn from a surface impression without actually addressing the NTE argument (instead, he attacks the people making the argument for supposedly having evil motives and attempting to avoid doing anything).

    This isn’t the first time he’s done this; he misread a liberal study of authoritarians to conclude that the researchers were biased and thought anyone who disagreed with them was authoritarian. Actually, the researchers were talking about habits of mind that lead us to hurt others, not about blanket generalizations of conservatives. But Greer wasn’t willing to admit he misread the study, and when someone tried to call him on misusing it as an example of liberal intolerance, Greer responded by browbeating this person over perceived personal attacks until he apologized and blamed himself.

    The problem is that Greer shoehorns other people’s views into a story he’s trying to tell, and he gets furious if you point out that he’s misrepresenting others or attacking caricatures (in fact, he’s frequently expressed irritation when others misread and misrepresent him).

    And he constantly insinuates that anyone who disagrees with him has ulterior motives or at least has poor character; ironically enough, he constantly criticizes other people for being intolerant of the idea that others might legitimately disagree with them, when in fact he himself cannot possibly imagine that others might disagree with him. In other words, he’s intolerant others’ views, but if they call him on it he then accuses them of intolerance.

    In case you’re wondering why I’m not telling all this to Greer himself, it’s because it’s pointless: the last time people on here criticized Greer, he accused them of being unable to tolerate Greer’s disagreement and criticism.

    The man simply cannot be reasoned with; he doesn’t apply the same standards to himself as he applies to other people, so even you criticizing his constant tendency to attack other people’s characters will be “filtered” as “you’re trying to drown him out and demean his character”.

    Heck, he’s probably reading this very post after I’ve posted this, so he can write on his blog about what an intolerant person I am and how much more rational he is in comparison.

  • Small typographical correction, if I may, Librarian:

    “The problem is that Greer shoehorns other people’s views into a story he’s trying to tell”

    should read

    The problem is that Greer shoehorns other people’s views into a story he’s trying to sell.

  • My deepest apologies, Gail, and thank you, but I really did mean “tell”.

    I wasn’t accusing Greer of trying to “sell” a story, because I don’t believe he has evil motives. I was in fact attacking his behavior, and I was attacking his patterns of action, but I do not believe he’s a con man or snake oil salesman.

    I wasn’t accusing him of hypocrisy or pretense. He really does follow his own ideas and I respect that; the problem is that following your principles doesn’t make you ethical if your principles switch depending on whether you’re talking or whether your opponent is talking.

  • The first question to Guy McPherosn that came up in the Q&A after the film premiere in Tucson, AZ (I paraphrase): “Why didn’t you (Guy) work within the academic world?” Guy has talked about that issue repeatedly in Nature Bats Last so I won’t belabor the point here but instead let’s look at someone who is working within the system as an academic specifically: Michael E. Mann, author of the “The Hockey Stick, and “Climate Wars”. This guy gets it but refuses to cross the line and attack the system.

    “Enjoyed your broadcast this morning on DN but I have a question: You talk about ‘market based solutions’ to climate change such as ‘renewable energy’. If CO-2 is intransigent in the atmosphere for up to 1,000 years the climate change that we’ve already committed to is irreversible. Even 350.ORG is being disingenuous. Don’t real solutions involve radically down-scaling our economy on what is clearly a finite planet with 7+ billion of us? Why no talk of unwinding industrial systems that clearly spell NTE (near term-extinction)?

    Not to be too critical Michael Mann, but it would be nice to see a main stream writer such as yourself fully ensconced in the bosom of the industrial paradigm, admit that there are no politically viable decisions to be made.

    When does the danger of the predicament we’re currently facing over-ride personal considerations?”

    Mann didn’t respond to my question of course but what was interesting is he responded to an innocuous comment below mine: “Kelly: yes, as OSTP Director John Holdren has put it, the choice involves some combination of mitigation, adaptation, and suffering. Its up to us to choose the balance.”

    Here is the conundrum: If Mann fesses up that NTE is in the cards all of those fat delicious grants, awards and media access dry up and for the individual that’s what turns the wheel. So fuck em’.

  • I shouldn’t have put words in your mouth Librarian, sorry! But I didn’t mean for sell to equal evil, at all, or con-man, snake-oil salesman or hypocritical or pretentious. There are quite a few semi-doomers who write books and maintain websites who are profiting from them, and I don’t doubt they themselves believe every word they say and believe the are performing an educational service to their audience.

    I’ve just noticed that they don’t like to hear other points of view that might distract their followers from their message. I don’t think that makes them evil. It makes them human.

  • Okay, I am growing tired of the “do this, don’t do that” discussions!

    I dare say if we followers of this blog found ourselves all together somehow to face the coming nightmare, we would end up looking a lot like characters in the 2012 movie “The Divide.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Divide_(film)

    The human situation has been hopeless for a long long time. The only tragedy here is that we’re also killing everything else.

  • Joan: “I think the Native Americans should have fought to the death to every last man, woman, and child against the invading Europeans. They clearly knew at some point they would be overwhelmed and there was nothing they could do. Yes, resistance was futile…”

    Not true. “Empire of the Summer Moon” details in excruciating, morbid detail the forty year war with white settlers and the U.S. military carried out by the Comanche Tribe who stopped manifest destiny in it’s tracks. They drove the Mexicans out of Texas who abandoned their settlements. Here is another piece of news: The Comanches never signed a treaty with the U.S. and preferred to die rather than submit.

    It was a war of technology and terror. The Comanches carried out brutal atrocities on the white settlers and soldiers who had the foolish temerity to stake claims on their territory. The Comanche was the first tribe to master the horse and that mastery and the ability to fire off a dozen arrows from underneath the neck of a horse before ol’ Daniel Boone could load his musket. The development of the repeating rifle and the scorched earth policies of the U.S. govt. brought their empire to a halt.

    https://books.google.com/books/about/Empire_of_the_Summer_Moon.html?id=mpEBZLxaLJQC

    S. C. Gwynne’s “Empire of the Summer Moon” spans two astonishing stories. The first traces the rise and fall of the Comanches, the most powerful Indian tribe in American history. The second entails one of the most remarkable narratives ever to come out of the Old West: the epic saga of the pioneer woman Cynthia Ann Parker and her mixed-blood son Quanah, who became the last and greatest chief of the Comanches.

  • I was really upset by ArchDruid. I posted this on his blog though I wonder if it will be allowed:

    “Present day CO2 levels are consistent with a time period when temperatures were much higher, and the high temperatures we are moving toward are not compatible with human life. We aren’t there yet even though CO2 is – apparently there is a a lag time for the Earth to catch up to this reality.
    Do you believe that CO2 levels this high (and higher) will not eventually increase temperature, or do you believe that the increase in temperature won’t be a problem, or do you believe the lag time is so exceedingly long that we will have colonies developed in another solar system by then?
    I’m sorry but I find this article bizarre – how does focusing on religious fantatics who fantasized about the end of time throughout the millenia have anything to do with the situation we are in today?”

    Anyway, I would like to know how deniers of NTE explain away these problems with CO2 levels in a logical way, as I have never encountered anything but ‘hmmmm’ so far when I present the current dilemma.

    Thanks

  • Mike,

    I think you missed pat’s point… So the Comanche DID fight to the last man rather than surrender, okay, but the point was to ask the question as to whether or not that was the “right” answer? Do you think that it was better than surrendering and being forced onto a reservation where today the Native American tribes that made that choice are now but a shadow of their former selves?

    BEtter to die fighting the good fight than to live a shamed life?

    The French have surrendered so many times maybe we should ask them.

  • Of course resistance is the only ethical response! But, there are many ways to resist! I am trying to accelerate collapse so that it happens very quickly so it’s total pandemonium and TPTB have less chance to lock us up and kill us.

    These people in their “REsistance” movements are actually making the situation worse! Save the Whales – Ha! Nobody is going to save any whales, get real.

    The only chance there is for ANY living thing on Earth is crazy, out-of-control, collapse – and soon, like now!

    Holding up signs on street corners is not doing ANYTHING – if fact, you are helping TPTB.

    We should all be doing everything we can to accelerate the collapse – waste resources, encourage others to do so, acquire as much debt as you can, consume as much as you can, ask for extra plastic bags at the grocery store.

  • Two comments in one:

    Jeff makes some fairly broad, sweeping statements, but his perspective seems to have been formed by somewhat unique circumstances. For example, isolation, disconnect, personal 1:1 dominant relationship(s), etc.

    I think a little drive out I-580 over the Altamont pass could prove somewhat enlightening; or a visit to the SF zoo. Either way, I believe one would soon see a clear demonstration how societies actually operate as a whole, whether it be a troop of chimps, or hordes of commuters.

    Apparently, unlike many others, I live in the real world – in fact, an area known for a high concentration of wealth. Perhaps I’m blind, but the motivation(s) I see are not learned responses from some capitalistic controllers. On the contrary, they are simply manifestations of biological imperatives no different than the weeds attempting to take hold in my garden.

    That is, every life form struggles to survive in the environment in which they find themselves. Energy is the key – invasive (plant) species kill off others in order to gain more sunlight. Invasive animal species kill off others in order to gain more food & water. It’s not learned behavior, it’s inherited from our earliest cells – after all, given two competing cells, which one survived?

    As for Greer, he’s another person who doesn’t appear to have a lot of real world experience. There is practically nothing I can think of that behaves in a controlled stair-step ascent and/or descent. Think of a car accident: one second in control, the next, out of control. Were was the moment in time of transition? What about fire (or nuclear fission for that matter)? What about … war?

    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes the way things are are the way things are. Over time, many many players have discovered that some % of the population possess a belief/faith gene. As a result, on the right, religions have exploited the uncritical for eons. On the left, faith based belief structures have provided much comfort to those who profit from manipulation.

    My suggestion is to get out & mingle. Cut your hair, change your dress, but go ‘native’ in order to really study your fellow man. I think you’ll find that (quiet) chaos is really the order of the day.

  • To be fair, B9K9, war is in fact something that occurs after many steps.

    World War I didn’t occur just because some bozo shot Archduke Ferdinand, for example; it occurred as a result of a lot of gambits being planned out since the 1800’s that unexpectedly clashed with each other screwing all the plans up.

    World War II didn’t occur just because of Hitler, or just because of Japan’s invasion of China, or just because of the Pearl Harbor attack, or just because of Stalin’s shenanigans in Russia, etc. It was a combination of all of those, plus the ill-advised Treaty of Versailles that left Germany in ruins, plus German citizens’ own choices to blame what happened on the Jews, plus nativist sentiment from both Japan and America, plus Hitler and Stalin’s power struggle, plus this plus that and plus the other thing.

    So war is in fact ONE thing that can be thought of as a stair-step ascent/descent.

  • I’m by the way the author. And i do hope that people adhere to the 2 posts per day limit, as i requested Guy to enforce. I will enforce it for myself as well.

    B9K9: i was born in Israel, saw the consequences of massive ethnic cleansing first hand. Then i grew up in New York City. I didn’t live in Greenwich Village, or the upper East Side, but in a working class neighborhood in upper Manhattan. And i got to see all the extremes of “the real world” right within the five boroughs and the nearby suburbs. Your lecture is just the height of arrogance.
    ” the motivation(s) I see are not learned responses from some capitalistic controllers. On the contrary, they are simply manifestations of biological imperatives no different than the weeds attempting to take hold in my garden.”
    Seriously? You think that the world we inhabit just “is”? That it hasn’t been shaped via long efforts at design? “America By Design” by David Noble was written precisely for people with illusions like that. Most of this took place long before you started looking around. For that matter, the Enclosures which are so crucial to the shape of the society we inhabit started centuries ago, in another continent (medieval England), though they continue, on a bigger scale and affecting more people than ever before. A lot more about that in the trio of articles by “Jack Straw” on capitalism which i refer to in the article. Nothing about the structure of this society is left to chance. And this society represents a huge break from the entire past of human existence. See http://www.monthlyreview.org/798wood.htm for a good account as to how.

    Gail: all i can say re your account of human history/nature: it is not congruent with the results of research done by numerous anthropologists and evolutionary biologists, including the work i refer to by Peter Kropotkin and Lynn Margulis, but i would also add the incredible work done by Richard Lee, Marija Gimbutas, and James Mellaart. This includes the “society of the Goddess” which existed around the Mediterranean and in the Balkans, predating the societies in Egypt and Mesopotamia, quite an advanced society whose artifact record demonstrates no regular warfare, no established hierarchy. But illusions die hard. It’s much easier to believe that human nature is responsible for the shape we are in, as this makes it much easier to rationalize the present state and shrug it off.

  • my 2nd and last post of the day, in accordance with the 2 post a day rule:

    The cause of it all is no longer important. Is there a blog you folks could go to to discuss the “nature of man?”

    The premise is NTE, now whatcha’ gonna’ do?

    If Jeff S. wants to resist, that’s fine, go resist all you want, but come on, at least admit that any resistance success you may have will only slow the collapse that is already inevitable.

    I would really like to see us rally around the idea that the ONLY chance ANY living thing on Earth might have is the quick collapse of the whole thing, really soon, like NOW! So, to that end, the only thing worthwhile is to ACCELERATE the collapse! If we cannot rally around that idea, then we must not truly accept NTE.

  • @Librarian says “So war is in fact ONE thing that can be thought of as a stair-step ascent/descent.”

    Consider the moment water turns to ice (crystals). Even in carefully controlled studies, it’s practically impossible to capture the exact moment of molecular transition.

    War operates in much the same way. Over a period of time, linear events can be identified as primary factors, but when the transition state finally occurs, it’s on like donkey kong.

    In other words, once a war begins, preliminary battles don’t escalate in a stair-step manner, with each progressively becoming more vicious. Sure, the scale increases, but the intent is the same whether it 100s, 1000s or millions: kill every last person in order to destroy the enemy’s ability to resist.

    Greer, like Kunstler, seems to believe humanity will collectively tip-toe down the staircase of ever decreasing material comfort. History does not support that conclusion. Conditions degrade until a break, much like the series of cascading events described by Guy with respect to feedback mechanisms.

    In business, this is also the case of a failing enterprise – a long drawn out death agony finally precipitated by a break. One day, everybody is in denial, the next, everyone is shocked, the degree of which determined by how effective management was at hiding the truth.

  • Dear Jeff,

    An amazing article and links, thanks so much.

    I admired Marx from childhood on, and was devastated to be told he was in fact a patsy of the ruling elite / did not write from his own heart. What is your opinion of this claim?

    Secondly, I would like your take on why so few are referencing the ongoing Fukushima radiation, and thus not linking to enenews.com
    It is clearer every day that no life forms will survive–not just humans–given the half lives of the radioisotopes that are spreading like wildfire by air, sea and land across the globe because Fukushima (and Hanford in OR and Palisades in IL and on and on–including the SF area) is not under control and seems unlikely to become so.

    Talk about inconsolibity! There is much to be learned from those of us who quite awhile back concluded near term and permanent extinction of ALL life as we have followed enenews et al daily since March 2011. We are all the walking dead; a number of the former posters there are dead dead. And the mass die offs of non-humans already underway, especially the sea mammals, is shattering.

    I am finding some of the best of human nature to be found anywhere in the posters at that site.

    {P.S. Fascinating article and comments there today about the earliest bacterial life forms that may in fact thrive on radiation. Oh the pathos of human history on this planet.)

  • @Jeff S says “You think that the world we inhabit just “is”? That it hasn’t been shaped via long efforts at design? For that matter, the Enclosures which are so crucial to the shape of the society we inhabit … And this society represents a huge break from the entire past of human existence. See http://www.monthlyreview.org/798wood.htm for a good account as to how.”

    If all one has is a hammer, then everything begins to look like a nail. Of, in your case, viewed through a prism of class, everything appears to be caused by evil capitalists.

    Ultimately, we’re debating chicken vs egg. I’m one of the loudest advocates that the global economy is managed by a (relatively) small cadre of criminals & looters. Oddly enough, the vast majority of them are learned in the ancient craft of usury – the usurpation of capital (stored surplus) by (interest bearing) debt. IOW, a legally enforceable contract to produce in the future … or else.

    Be that as it may, I don’t think they created the actual underlying system. Rather, I just think they manipulate & exploit existing characteristics evident in all life forms to their specific advantage. Hence, the reason I throw out biblical admonitions: envy, greed, lust, sloth, etc are all labels to describe natural behavior.

    However, since these characteristics are viewed as being generally disruptive to society, significant penalties are imposed to ensure control. But for some willing to take a risk of imprisonment/censure, rewards can accrue to those who finance the ability for man to exercise free of imposed restraints.

    As for the link you provided, I don’t think you’ll many here who will debate the significance of the transition that occurred. I just think that attributing our current master-slave system to this singular period in time fails to consider how societies actually operated in the preceding 3-5m years.

    I don’t who provided the link, but there’s a good article floating out there that describes the conditions found on many/most archeological artifacts. Given the rarity of fossilized remains, statistically, the fact that almost every single item shows some kind of wound leads one to obvious conclusions.

    If your story is that hominids lived in peaceful coexistence until the advent of agriculture, at which time a nefarious few figured out how to game the system to their advantage, then I can see why you reach your conclusion(s).

    However, if you believe hominids behave/behaved identically as that of any other animal species that can be observed today, then you’ll tend to embrace the idea of a continuum starting when the first single celled organism ate/killed his neighbor in an effort to capture surplus energy.

    In that kind of environment, someone had to emerge as the “boss” in order to offer stability & safety, in return for … well, you know. Hubba hubba and all that.

  • “The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.”
    ― Bob Marley

  • pathman, I’ll not dignify Greer’s rampant dumbassery with a comment. I’ve tried that trick before, and he wouldn’t post it. He doesn’t care for evidence, as indicated by his latest rambling essay.

  • It’s nice to see Greer taken to task here. I’ve often wanted to write in & tell him he comes across as a complacent know-it-all. He styles himself the benevolent teacher, patiently filling in the blank slate of his audience’s mind. (“There once was a man named Socrates…”) He likes to mock the excitable doomers among us, while keeping his own hyperborean cool in the face of the sudden & drastic population reduction (so much nicer than extinction) that he himself sees coming! It’s easy to stay cool, apparently, when you’re the master magus. You don’t really need give a shit about human (and other animal) suffering. All moral concern is easily canceled out by Greer’s beloved “magic”, which he defines as the alteration of one’s consciousness through ritual means. And never mind empirical evidence, methane feedback loops, etc.

    OK, I’ve dignified the fellow with a comment, as Guy puts it. Enough energy wasted.

  • Jeff, good essay. All, great follow-up posts. Now my two cents:

    It’s no secret that I’m of the “do whatever you want to do because it doesn’t matter anyway” crowd. So if you feel morally and ethically inclined to “do” something, then go for it. If you think accelerating collapse is the way to go, then have at it. If you think watching Jane Austen movies until the power goes out is the best response, then let me know what time the show starts and I’ll come on over.

    The assertion is that this is the end of all we humans are now and have ever been – a claim with which I happen to agree and I believe ample evidence supports. So, I look at it as a matter of physics.

    If a group of people is tossed off the top of a 100 story building, which is the “right” response for those people? To go silently until the “plop” at the end, or to go screaming the whole way? Or perhaps to flap ones arms madly all the while railing against the one who threw them? Sadly, none of those things matters. Gravity wins. All go plop. The grease spots on the ground are indistinguishable between those who plopped regardless their response on the way down.

    Our situation is no different. The evidence indicates to me that the entire planet has already been pushed off the top of the building. The metaphorical gravity will win. Soon we will all plop. How we react now won’t change that reality nor will it change how we appear after the fact. The only thing it will affect is our own self-image and maybe what someone else thinks about us. Maybe. Most of us don’t really spend much time thinking about anyone other than ourselves, any way.

    Rob: I agree that fast collapse seems to be the only way to prevent widespread extinction, but when you consider nuclear reactors and the other chemical nasties we’ve created which require the industrial economy to keep them under wraps, then not so much. Sucks doesn’t it.

  • (First post here – hello, everyone!)

    I read JMG’s article. He simply condemns NTE as the doomsday cult du jour without any attempt to present or discuss any facts related to it.

    I can understand why, quite apart from the finality of the subject, NTE is difficult to discuss. It doesn’t fit the accepted pattern. When you write an essay about an issue you are supposed to describe the issue, make dire predictions of what will happen if action is not taken, then present possible solutions and end with a stirring call to action.

    A common reaction to an issue that does not fit into that pattern is to dismiss it. Real things fit the pattern, crazy doomsday cult things do not.

    I describe mainstream climate science as “gradualism”. It presents a timetable wherein bold, aggressive action (unlikely as that is to happen) could have a meaningful effect at averting the worst of the potential effects. If you can make yourself heard above the denialist rabble you can present a case which fits the pattern, and thus is allowed to be discussed.

    NTE doesn’t fit the pattern, and so can’t be discussed in polite society. This of course has nothing to do with whether or not it is true.

  • the near-universal use of cell phones and other wireless devices, which drive people into self-absorption bubbles, detached from the physical reality around them.

    There are several realities around. The physical reality is perhaps better interpreted in a perspective outside mainstream media, accessed through the Web. The social reality, with society a cloak for hierarchy, is falling short of credible. The community reality – horizontal voluntary interactions as distinct from the vertical coercive transactions of society – has been suppressed by the hierarchy to the extent that it is now nigh snuffed out.

    There are those who offer “New Age” psycho-babble to the effect that resistance is futile and that we should focus on ourselves and on coming to terms with death and go gently into the good night.

    The focus should not be on ourselves. There is no “our”selves. One cannot directly experience the awareness of another: the presumption that another has awareness is just that: a presumption. The other may also be a meat robot, following the programs in its wetware, an automaton without a trace of awareness: atheism in the microcosm.

    There is no need to come to terms with death. The “I” apparition if followed to its source will cease to delude. With no “I” there is no one born and no one to die, except the body & mind, sans awareness, the meat-robot.

    When actions are motivated by expectations rather than anticipations, the expected results are paramount. As long as expectations cling to results, exhortations to ignore expectations are futile.

    There is after all a thing called the survival instinct.<

    Indeed! Part of the programming of the meat robot.

    Please spare us talk of how “we are all equally at fault,” “it’s just human nature,” and “we need to all come together and recognize our common humanity,” or false hopes that the ruling elites will somehow do the right thing.

    You think that the world we inhabit just “is”?

    שהכל נהיה בדברו

    Spared. Suchness, Thusness: more elusive than greased lightning, but not less real for it.

    Passivity is complicity.

    BG 4.18: One who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, is intelligent among men, and is beyond both, although engaged in or refraining from all sorts of activities.

    Silence is consent.

    In the milieu of ignorance. It is also the medium for the profoundest teachings.

  • A simple yet accurate model for the world is this: All life seeks maximum power. Therefore any ideology which requires relinquishment of power is doomed to failure, whether it be Christian fundamentalism, environmentalism, primitivism or what have you. In my experience, the most extreme doomers like Guy McPherson who are promoting apocalyptic memes suffer from a pathological psychological inversion. Their natural will to power has been turned upon itself, resulting in a deranged hatred of all that is powerful, vital and creative, and which finds its most extreme manifestation in eco-apocalypse and antinatalism. What people like this need is a psychological and a spiritual awakening, to realize that they are in the grip of the most toxic kind of “slave moralism” memes. I know Guy likes Nietzsche, but what is Nietzschean about a longing for collapse or a hostility to human power? I suffered from this kind of memetic infection myself for awhile (see thedoomerreport.blogspot.com), but I have recovered and I now tell anyone who will listen that the antidote is simple: Get in harmony with the true Tao of all life, which is the desire for *unlimited power*. Try it, the results may surprise you!

  • Thank you for sharing Jeffrey and we concur with resisting until the end, guess it’s a choice we make individually as collective resistance seems to be under such scrutiny these days.

    I wish I could respond as others, “live and let live, until we all die”, but I know there are many in our country and around the world that are dieing a slow death because of the choices the rest of us are making as we live.

    Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco in their book, Days of Destruction and Days of Revolt interviewed people such as Pauline Canterbury and Mary Miller from Sylvester, West Virgina, both in their 80’s who have been fighting Massey Energy for years and never thought they would be fighting today to save their homes. How I choose to live whether it’s watching Jane Austen movies, or typing on this keyboard and reading off this screen impacts those who are less privileged to live doing whatever they want to do up until the end. Slow death is mean and cruel and some are not as fortunate to just go plop, plop.

    Here’s another analogy, (please excuse my lack of intellectual words).
    Many on here have said we’re nothing more than bacteria, or slime or call it what you will. Well when we get sick, usually those of us who take care of themselves by eating good, staying physically and mentally well usually have good cells that can fight off the bad ones. They fight until they can no longer survive at which time the bad ones take over and we don’t recover…plop.

    Guess some of us are stupid enough to want to live as long as we can, ta hell with the Jane Austen movies, we can watch much better things on the streets in live action. Okay, just felt a pulling on my heart strings and had to comment.

  • I just had an epiphany. After all my self-indulgent prattling and psycho-babble, I have discovered that my complicity has come to an end. There is indeed something I will resist with all my might. To the very End, as it were.

    That “something” would be self-appointed “Keepers of the Truth” whether on the right, the left, the top or the bottom. I am schooled in John Zerzan’s “Politics of Refusal”, and the one thing I refuse above all others is to relinquish my right to think and decide for myself. About everything

    It’s my death, and I’ll face it as I wish. Good luck with your own, Mr. Strahl.

  • Dear Jeff, AND GUY, and anybody!!!
    I would like your take on why so few are referencing the ongoing Fukushima radiation (and thus not linking to enenews.com or the other anti-nuclear sites).
    It is clearer every day that no life forms will survive–not just humans–given the half lives of the radioisotopes that are spreading like wildfire by air, sea and land across the globe because Fukushima (and Hanford in OR and Palisades in IL and on and on–including the SF area) is not under control and seems unlikely to become so.
    Since March 2011 many of us have already concluded relatively near term and de facto PERMANENT extinction of ALL life, as we have followed enenews et al daily. Guy, why are you leaving out any real focus on this???. Besides its utter centrality to your concerns, it negates your wish that we save the earth for other life forms after we are extinct. The mass die offs of non-humans from the radiation are already well underway, especially the sea mammals.
    It is so very very very puzzling that you would neglect this issue.
    PLEASE respond.

  • FYI – I personally know several Indigenous Turtle Islanders who never got it that “resistance is futile”. You might look for Gord Hill’s “500 Years of Indigenous Resistance,” Ward Churchill’s “Acts of Rebellion,” Dee Brown’s “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee,” Jack Forbes “Columbus and Other Cannibals”, as well as any of the writings of Waziyatawin or Winnona LaDuke, Seymour Lyphe’s podcast Rage Against Global Ecocide….and on and on….

    And I do not in any way shape or form support the idea that resistance doesn’t matter, that we’re all uber-fked and it’s all a giant black void (relax and enjoy it). If that’s your gig, then as they suggest in the movie Grey Zone, you may already be dead.

  • Off topic, but hey, I like (and it’s written by a good friend of mine). This is ‘U’ material. 🙂

    Don’t Slurp Your Cosmic Soup

    First Mystery: The Universe Eschews Observation
    http://dontslurpyourcosmicsoup.blogspot.com/

  • To Jeff and an open question to all,

    Re: It would not occur to a mouse in the mouth of a cat to stop resisting.

    The teeth tear at my sides so! I’m playing dead, waiting for that moment to bolt back to safety. That said, I have enjoyed your writing and seem to share many similarities with you.

    I’m not sure resistance suffices either, making it the only ethical stance. Obviously, all cats must die! Well, perhaps the metaphor is exhausted. But, to get to the meat, you revisit some important historical eras. And this is preamble to ask this question I have had throughout several recent posts and probably for several years.

    American freedom-cowboy folklore has it that we never lost a war, or you know, not an important war… Um, gulp, nevermind! -So, all the while, a Southerner has known that he and his family lost once. Bitterly. I think so much of interpretation has to do with American war-ism. We are at war with ourselves. Well, most suffice it to say it was a war against slavery and we won it, the right side was mighty. I dare say that is an over-simplification. It was about power. War is about resources. Washington was pro-slavery and we put him on the dollar bill.

    So, the Rebel Yell fought to the last deathly gasp. And I am talking about white privilege here, because that is what I know and it is also the dominant paradigm. I know nothing about Comanches and they were not the dominant paradigm fighting itself. (I think.) The saying is the war against Yankees was brother against brother.

    So, why did it fail? What happened? Surely that is open to interpretation. Surely the South resists to this day in some ways and, “Cuts its hair, changes its dress, but goes ‘native’ in order to really study your fellow man.”

    So, Deep Green Resistance is successful, but then what? Who are the players? Isn’t oligarchy going to rule again? Who would settle for anarchy and amidst force to anarchy, would chaos not prevail? Even if DGR can win Gettysburg and push on to Washington before Lincoln can even claim it a war against slavery, then what? I ask this to be provocative, but because I do want an answer and I don’t have one. I think the war changed the face and shape of slavery, but that the battle is every day and on both sides – within.

    The Yankees prevailed and my family is laid beneath crepe myrtle trees. We have stood down and resisted, but that is not enough. I think the clear vision of the alternative has to be stronger than the dominant status quo. Even if it is anarchy, the war has to be won in the hearts and minds of the soldiers as well as the civilians. Ethics is not such an easy logic puzzle as Calculus. The teeth tear at my sides so!

    I would fight the cat, if I thought I could win somehow and it would change the face of things. How can the mouse win? As a guerrilla?

    “We are approximately as smart as yeast.” -Prof. McPherson

  • Even if NTE wasn’t staring us in the face, this system is worth fighting in anyway you can. Greed, corruption and brutality should be confronted. How can the mouse in the mouth of a cat fight back? Piss on the cat’s tongue. Do whatever you can to prevent being swallowed.

  • I have no desire to persuade anyone not to resist, other than to say that for those who still believe resistance to be fertile, you should completely turn your mind from the evidence of NTE, for it will not aid your resolve in any way……and then fight to the bloody end.

    I admire your passion and steadfastness Jeff, if only a majority of us were having this discussion decades ago, that mouse you speak of, might still have a fighting chance instead of being long down the gut and wholly digested.

  • The architects of death: The Real Weapons of Mass Destruction are the melting permafrost, the destabilizing methane hydrates and the corporations such as Halliburton, ChevronTexaco, BP, Shell, Exxon Mobil and the banking and investment industry … hand in hand with the US Department of Energy and the US Department of Defense
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    In an exclusive interview with The Independent, Igor Semiletov of the International Arctic Research Centre at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, who led the 8th joint US-Russia cruise of the East Siberian Arctic seas, said that he has never before witnessed the scale and force of the methane being released from beneath the Arctic seabed.

    “Earlier we found torch-like structures like this but they were only tens of metres in diameter. This is the first time that we’ve found continuous, powerful and impressive seeping structures more than 1,000 metres in diameter. It’s amazing,” Dr Semiletov said….

    “In a very small area, less than 10,000 square miles, we have counted more than 100 fountains, or torch-like structures, bubbling through the water column and injected directly into the atmosphere from the seabed,” Dr Semiletov said.

    “We carried out checks at about 115 stationary points and discovered methane fields of a fantastic scale – I think on a scale not seen before. Some of the plumes were a kilometre or more wide and the emissions went directly into the atmosphere – the concentration was a hundred times higher than normal,” he said.

    Dr Semiletov released his findings for the first time last week at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

    http://wrongkindofgreen.org/2013/05/15/flashback-the-real-weapons-of-mass-destruction-methane-propaganda-the-architects-of-genocide-part-i/

  • ‘the one thing I refuse above all others is to relinquish my right to think and decide for myself. About everything

    It’s my death, and I’ll face it as I wish. Good luck with your own, Mr. Strahl.’

    amen to that, paul.

    what exactly is ‘resistance’ anyways? how far should it be taken? to it’s logical extreme, imo, it certainly entails personal nte as a martyr sacrificing one’s own life while trying to ‘change the world’, with or without engaging in violence, mayhem, murder. the odds of success in this endeavor must be taken into account, weighed against the sacrifice, not only of oneself, but potentially those who would stand in your way.

  • “Real things fit the pattern, crazy doomsday cult things do not.”

    Greer has his own patterns, one being: seeing as how all crazy doomsday cults have predicted the end of the world and have been WROnG, then all doomsday prophets must be wrong now and forever.

    In one post’s comments, JMG revealed that he is autistic/Asperger’s, so you are not going to get any more far-ranging comprehension from him than you are from Bill Gates. He’s certainly not going to fully entertain chaos or non-linear responses in the physical world because that swears with his tidy, orderly, old-fashioned-conservative notions. I have a family member with this condition, and anything that smacks of either change or challenge to his authority causes existential crisis.

    Even before finding Guy’s site, I had to laugh at JMG’s ideas that, following a complete financial implosion, Americans would somehow roll up their sleeves and engage together in quaint machine-style politics.

  • A short observation on Greer. He posts on Resilience.org (the old Energy Bulletin)

    If you go back through his old posts there and read the comment section after each of his missives, he gets the snot kicked out of him more often than not, he has no editorial control over the comment section there, unlike his own blog.

    The startling contrast in tone and content between the two comment sections gives a great glimpse of how heavy handed his censoring is on his on fiefdom blog.

    He is a Master of Sophistry:

    1. Plausible but fallacious argumentation.
    2. A plausible but misleading or fallacious argument.
    3. A method of argument that is seemingly plausible though actually invalid and misleading
    4. A subtle, tricky, superficially plausible, but generally fallacious method of reasoning

    And as for slow stair-step decline vs rapid cascading collapse I remember a chemistry class were we were asked to calculate the energy in a tea spoon of regular old white flour and produce a demonstration of said energy.

    Most of the class calculated the calories the flour would provide to someone as a pan cake.

    My lab partner and I put the teaspoon of flour in a length of rubber hose that went into a cardboard box with a small lit birthday candle in it. When he blew on the hose and filled the box with a fine dust mist of flour, it blew up with such a tremendous noise it almost broke the windows in the classroom. Those familiar with grain elevator explosions know the power of flour.

    Most everyone in class could not believe that was the same teaspoon of flour, with the same potential energy, as the amount in their crappy little pancake.

    How could this be?

    As a pancake the teaspoon of flour would be metabolized slowly in the body, providing a modest bump of power to the organism. Certainly not an explosion and noise like the box & candle.

    The difference was the time scale, one was instantaneously, one was gradual.

    NTE is the box & candle & teaspoon of flour.

    Greer is the crappy little pancake.

  • Resistance talk is soothing for those who want to deal with NTE by pretending that they have a higher morality than the average useless consumer … they’ll experience the end of the hominids’ 3 million year evolutionary run as principled existentialist apes by posting their outrage on marginal doomer sites and canceling their cable subscriptions.

    The world system is predicated on ecocide. It is the largest, most voracious bio-technological machine ever built (at least on this planet). Not even the pigs at the tippy top of the Animal Farm can stop it. To stop the machine means that billions die because food production will drastically decline; this will result in starvation, the collapse of industry, trade. No person or group has the power to condemn 6 billion or so eaters to death.

    The belated termination of the activities that are destroying the biosphere will not save us (as if we deserve even secular salvation). Economic collapse will lead to insane resource wars and other horrors which will end up killing us anyway. When the nukes fly, or the reactors melt down, it’s over.

    The clusterfuck that humanity has created is so vast on so many dimensions that the concept of resistance at this point is just an onanistic game among so called “progressives” to see who gets to wear the hat which says “most ideologically compassionate ape.” It is a cheap trick to avoid the Void at the heart of existence. One last swig of denial (of ontological meaninglessness) for the road.

    Shame on the man who goes to his grave escorted by the miserable hopes that have kept him alive.

    — Emil Cioran

  • Gail, interesting thoughts and comment. I agree with the connect/disconnect hypothesis completely. Disconnect, or the fear it causes, underlies all unfolding human activity and it’s consequences. Fear is generated and produced both as motivator and demotivator. Understanding this and not resisting fear or ‘disconnect’ per say but neutralizing it, would as a natural consequence, collapse the forms of industrial civilization and neutralize the entities that feed off of it. Sounds easy enough but the crux of that action is that all humans are stuck in a positive feed back loop of fear and fearing fear. In self mostly, but as denied in self, projected handily onto the ‘other’ denial and projection the other positive feedback loops escalating the fear cycle. It’s all vey complicated and take years to understand. I’d study of experts in the field etc. Getting people to wake up to this is on par and parallel to getting them to wake up to all of it’s consequences. NTE is nothing compared to what I would call ‘Past Term Supression’. PTS is how our consciousness evolved, that evolution leaves psychic blinders of unimaginable proportions until you imagine NTE. One is future and makes our chances bleak and is consequence the other is past and leaves us bleak as cause. It’s bleak but not hopeless. But hope will extinguish when we pass a certain threshold, that threshold is the period from day to day where the environment obliges us time to shed our fear and connect dots. Today may be the last time aware obliged or two years or ten. We are running out of time and the grace nature has yet given us to bat at our best. So far the count is two outs and three strikes. Final pitch, last inning. Nature zero humans zero. We need to make this last swing at doing it right count. Love and revolution of love, accord with self and one another are key. But as I read and live out amongst all the disconnect and it’s shadows and illusions that are chased here and everywhere, I become resigned to the third strike and the final out. And I assume that is mankinds destiny.

  • If nothing equals nothing and resistance is futile, why not follow the siren song, kill yourself, your dog, along with who or whatever you can take with you right now, since NTE makes life and death absolutely equal? I have rarely witnessed such wretched ontological Nihilism outside the Russians of the late 19th century. I am finding a ward for the massively, terminally, depressed in the throes of an absolute, total, unrelenting existential crisis.

    You’d better get back to your Camus and your Sartre with what iotas of time there is left, and I mean that in the spirit of friendship and sympathy…But wait — let me guess — none of that matters. Reading doesn’t matter. And typing these words, that doesn’t matter. And my next breath doesn’t matter. And the next sunrise, and my next bowel movement…yada…Here’s wishing you a lovely day, too.

  • Rob said: The cause of it all is no longer important. Is there a blog you folks could go go to discuss the “nature of man?” The premise is NTE, now whatcha’ gonna’ do?

    Gee Rob, it seems relevant to me (and besides, what else is being excluded that you want to discuss? Methane release? Nuclear meltdown?). If, as some people posit, we are committing ecocide because our capitalist culture has driven us astray either by brainwashing us or enslaving us or alienating us from harmony with nature, then there’s a pretty good case for resistance in even the most extreme form.

    On the other hand, if it is our genetically-determined behavior that can’t be controlled – on the level of society (individuals can choose another path, but they won’t be evolutionary winners) – then there is a stronger case for not losing whatever freedom remains by risking incarceration or even just losing your job blaming corporate CEO’s or generals or politicians or bankers or advertising executives or media pundits. If it does inspire resistance, it might take a different form – perhaps trying to educate people in the off chance their brains can overcome their impulses and instincts.

    It’s amazing to me how worked up people get at the suggestion that there is no meaning, no higher purpose or invisible spirituality that is special to humans, other than just being. Atheists get attacked from every direction and called all sorts of names, accused of saying life isn’t worth living, for instance, which really doesn’t follow, at least for me.

    Jeff for instance says: “But illusions die hard. It’s much easier to believe that human nature is responsible for the shape we are in, as this makes it much easier to rationalize the present state and shrug it off.”

    Odd because I should think accepting that humans are inherently flawed is far less illusory than thinking we predominantly cooperate, given our history of warfare. Particularly because, recognizing the inevitability of terminal overshoot hasn’t made it any easier for me to “shrug it off”.

    Well, I couldn’t find a place to rent “The Divide” on line, I guess it hasn’t been released yet, so I watched “Children of Men” instead. There was a great scene when the people fighting hear a baby cry and they all stop the battle, staring in wonder and reverence. Then another shot rings out, and they all get right back to the massacre in a heartbeat. Rotten Tomatos has just compiled a terrific list of post-apocalyptic movies, or perhaps I should say, previews of our future:

    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/oblivion_2013/news/1927274/1/total_recall_post-apocalyptic_movies/

  • @Wester says “If nothing equals nothing and resistance is futile, why not follow the siren song, kill yourself, your dog, along with who or whatever you can take with you right now, since NTE makes life and death absolutely equal?”

    Technically, you are correct. I particularly like Dr H’s analogy of the globe falling through space, rendering all effort/discussion moot. So, the issue comes down to a function of time between ejection and termination. Not “real” time, but time that is relevant to hominids with 60-80 year lifespans.

    For instance, if you had 10 minutes remaining on the Titanic, I’m pretty sure there wouldn’t be any discussions regarding whether the nature of man was competitive or cooperative. But because we’re dealing with projections ranging 15-20 years out, that represents 20-30% of one’s time “bank”, assuring that there’s plenty to draw in which to entertain oneself with such deep questions.

    So, the short answer is, of course it doesn’t make any difference. But, unless you’re significantly mentally ill, it sure as hell is a joy to wake up each morning. Especially so when you realize that but from some chemicals swimming around in your head (supported by all manner of energy processing cells), the “reality” one experiences wouldn’t even exist.

    In essence, this is all intellectual fun n’ games. Where else is one going to find this kind of simulation? By it’s very nature, the topic of NTE (and how we got here) is arcane enough that traditional geographic boundaries are quite insufficient.

    Sure, we get some weepy depressives, but on the whole, people present pretty compelling scenarios that make one question their own assumption. I, for one, would be willing to abandon my belief that war has existed since single cell organisms first appeared if someone can provide actual evidence of cooperation – both today & in the past. I’m fairly confident that it’s a pretty tall order, but the last thing anyone would ever accuse me of being is dogmatic.

    As we continue on our planetary amusement ride, it’s pretty fun to at least engage in a little give & take while we await our fate.

  • B9K9 Says:
    May 16th, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    “I don’t who provided the link, but there’s a good article floating out there that describes the conditions found on many/most archeological artifacts. Given the rarity of fossilized remains, statistically, the fact that almost every single item shows some kind of wound leads one to obvious conclusions.

    If your story is that hominids lived in peaceful coexistence until the advent of agriculture, at which time a nefarious few figured out how to game the system to their advantage, then I can see why you reach your conclusion(s).

    However, if you believe hominids behave/behaved identically as that of any other animal species that can be observed today, then you’ll tend to embrace the idea of a continuum starting when the first single celled organism ate/killed his neighbor in an effort to capture surplus energy.

    In that kind of environment, someone had to emerge as the “boss” in order to offer stability & safety, in return for … well, you know. Hubba hubba and all that.”

    Thanks for observing the two-post limit by posting a third time.:-)
    Every animal species is about killing its neighbor? What absolute rubbish. As i’ve stated, Lynn Margulis shredded such notions, and demonstrated in her book “The Symbiotic Planet” that in fact evolution itself was made possible through single cell organisms joining together to form more complex ones. Every single archeological artifact showed some kind of wound? What amazing fiction, i guess numerous artifacts i’ve seen were all fakes.:-) And i didn’t say everything was ideal before agriculture. In fact, i think agriculture by itself is not a total explanation. Pierre Clastres in Society Against the State demonstrated there were lots of societies he investigated in South America which practiced agriculture yet did not have a state, did not practice regular violence,… Your rant is quite far from being at all congruent with historical and scientific evidence, seems mostly drawn out of action comics.

    Wester Says:
    May 16th, 2013 at 8:55 pm
    “If nothing equals nothing and resistance is futile, why not follow the siren song, kill yourself, your dog, along with who or whatever you can take with you right now, since NTE makes life and death absolutely equal? I have rarely witnessed such wretched ontological Nihilism outside the Russians of the late 19th century. I am finding a ward for the massively, terminally, depressed in the throes of an absolute, total, unrelenting existential crisis.

    You’d better get back to your Camus and your Sartre with what iotas of time there is left, and I mean that in the spirit of friendship and sympathy…But wait — let me guess — none of that matters. Reading doesn’t matter. And typing these words, that doesn’t matter. And my next breath doesn’t matter. And the next sunrise, and my next bowel movement…yada…Here’s wishing you a lovely day, too.”

    Good one!! And also thanks for the post at 6:56PM re the methane research!

    Daniel Says:
    May 16th, 2013 at 6:51 pm
    “I have no desire to persuade anyone not to resist, other than to say that for those who still believe resistance to be fertile, you should completely turn your mind from the evidence of NTE, for it will not aid your resolve in any way……and then fight to the bloody end.

    I admire your passion and steadfastness Jeff, if only a majority of us were having this discussion decades ago, that mouse you speak of, might still have a fighting chance instead of being long down the gut and wholly digested.”

    Decades ago, i couldn’t get anyone’s attention.:-)

    Jason Says:
    May 16th, 2013 at 5:26 pm
    Dear Jeff, AND GUY, and anybody!!!
    “I would like your take on why so few are referencing the ongoing Fukushima radiation.”
    There isn’t much news, aside from the fact that the spent fuel pools are extremely unstable structurally, and radiation leaks continue, and that more and more radioactive water is piling up. It’s an on-going disaster. As i’ve mentioned in my intro, my one engineering job involved nuclear power, and i learned enough in 15 months to make me into a staunch enemy of the industry and everything about it.
    Jason Says:
    May 16th, 2013 at 11:28 am
    Dear Jeff,

    “An amazing article and links, thanks so much.
    I admired Marx from childhood on, and was devastated to be told he was in fact a patsy of the ruling elite / did not write from his own heart. What is your opinion of this claim?”

    Why, thank you.
    Marx a patsy? Well, he lived a miserable life, hardly the fate of someone who was a ruling class patsy. A good site to read is Marx Myths dot org.

    Regarding the analogy of falling off the top of a 100 story building: it’s possible that by waving your hands and legs, you might get a clothing item caught on a protrusion from the building. Odds are slight. But so what?

    Regarding John Michael Greer: i like Guy’s response. Why dignify it? He really does want the essentials of BAU to go on, he has a niche figured out in it, and feels like he has something to lose.

  • Whenever the construction project got to that tiresome stage where nothing was going as planned, my uncle would say something like – if he ever had occasion to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, he didn’t want a parachute – because if he had an extension cord, it would be bound to catch onto something.

  • @B9K9

    So what was the point of developing a neocortex capable of reason, cooperation, compassion, kindness, and empathy, at all? Doesn’t this seems like an incredibly absurd and unnecessary waste effort on the part of human biology, if life is only about struggling to kill off the other, just like a cell or a weed? There would be no need for a human brain any more sophisticated than a crocodile, would there?

  • Apropos of just about everything posted here today, I’d like to offer the following definition of dumbassery. 1) Mistaking a myth encompassing times of abundance and times of lack with the reality of, for example, a river which once teemed with salmon and is now a poisoned waterway, incapable of supporting almost any life at all.
    2) The act of sticking one’s fingers in one’s ears while yelling ‘neener neener neener I can’t hear you’.
    3) The assumption that human beings are either/or critters, instead of both/and beings.

  • https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/may/14/monsanto-gm-crops-worldwide

    Monsanto and other GM firms are winning in the US – and globally
    The US State Department has sadly joined the push to distribute GM crops around the world, whether people want them or not

    If you have a feeling that genetically modified (GM) foods are being forced upon the population by a handful of business interests and vociferously defended by the scientists that work in the agriculture industry or at the research institutions it funds, you might be onto something.

    The zeal with which GM proponents evangelize transgenic seeds (and now, transgenic food animals) is so extreme that they are even pouring vast sums of money to defeat popular efforts to simply label GE foods – like the nearly $50m spent to defeat the popular 2012 ballot measure to label GE foods in California, Proposition 37. What’s more, it’s not just happening in the United States. I am the head of Food & Water Watch, and we have spent months looking at the extent to which the US State Department is working on behalf of the GM seed industry to make sure that biotech crops are served up abroad whether the world wants them or not.

    Our report analyzes over 900 State Department diplomatic cables from 2005 to 2009 and reveals how far the US government will go to help serve the seed industry’s agenda abroad, knowing that resistance to GMOs worldwide is high.

    Here are some of the tidbits gleaned from our comprehensive look at the cables:

    • Between 2007 and 2009, annual cables were distributed to “encourage the use of agricultural biotechnology”, directing US embassies to “pursue an active biotech agenda”.

    • There was a comprehensive communications campaign aimed to “promote understanding and acceptance of the technology” and “develop support for US government trade and development policy positions on biotech” in light of the worldwide backlash against GM crops.

    • Where backlash was high, some embassies downplayed efforts. In Uruguay, the embassy has been “extremely cautious to keep [its] fingerprints off conferences” promoting biotechnology. In Peru and Romania, the US government helped create new pro-biotech nongovernmental organizations.

    • The State Department urged embassies to generate positive media coverage about GE crops. Diplomatic posts also bypassed the media and took the message directly to the public; for example, the Hong Kong consulate sent DVDs of a pro-biotech presentation to every high school.

    • The State Department worked to diminish trade barriers to the benefit of seed companies, and encouraged the embassies to “publicize the benefits of agbiotech as a development tool”.

    Jeff: Thanks for sharing your thoughts in the above essay. i appreciate the emphasis on the interconnectedness of the economic, ecologic and social ramifications of the on-going collapse.

  • Jeffrey, I disagree, give NTE I think there are two ethical things left to do.

    One if you are fertile get you tubes tied so that no more children are brought into a very harsh and shortened existence. If you are not advocate it to all who are.

    Two if you have dependents, make sure you are around to hold them as we head into the abyss. If this means skipping the protests so you don’t end up in jail or fema camps it is still the greater good.

    But really there are more. Even though this ends in extinction it doesn’t end today. One could use their remaining time to make the remaining time of others easier. Volunteer with Hospice and provide a bit of ease in the last months of someone’s life, and also learn how to die well. Rescue someone from poverty by sharing your wealth. Help a foreclosed homeowner regain their home, work for a group rescuing children sold into slavery. The list is endless and will actually make a difference however temporary.

    David Rovics protests and writes about what is wrong in the world via his songs. However traveling about, meeting others who are resisting, he also notes how human pride can infiltrate those who are into resistance.

    David Rovics – I’m a Better Anarchist Than You

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Grant Schreiber

    You Asked:

    “How can the mouse in the mouth of a cat fight back?”

    Well, how about jumping down the throat before the jaws come down and go the windpipe route and just get stuck, for a short time, and-well bye bye Cat ?

    All

    I want to repost a few links I put close to the end of the last essay.

    It is pretty important and may have got missed.

    The first is a Max Keiser Report which at the second half interviews two guys that have produced a report that outlines the dilemma of Carbon based fuels in the ground, and writing them off, how this would effect the capital already in play there.

    The second link is to the report, which I have still to thoroughly read.

    http://maxkeiser.com/2013/05/14/kr444-keiser-report-decapitated-consumers/

    http://www.carbontracker.org/wastedcapital

    A quote from the site:

    “This new research from Carbon Tracker and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE calls for regulators, governments and investors to re-evaluate energy business models against carbon budgets, to prevent $6trillion carbon bubble in the next decade. Unburnable carbon 2013: Wasted capital and stranded assets has revealed that fossil fuel reserves already far exceed the carbon budget to avoid global warming of 2°C, but in spite of this, spent $674billion last year to find and develop new potentially stranded assets….

    The carbon budget deficit

    Between 60-80% of coal, oil and gas reserves of publicly listed companies are ‘unburnable’ if the world is to have a chance of not exceeding global warming of 2°C
    ◦The total coal, oil and gas reserves listed on the world’s stock exchanges equals 762GtCO2 – approximately a quarter of the world’s total reserves;
    ◦If you apply the same proportion to the global carbon budgets to have an 80% chance of limiting global warming to 2°C, their allocation of the carbon budget is between 125GtCO2 and 225GtCO2, illustrating the scale of ‘unburnable carbon’;

    (Image missing)

    Listed reserves against pro-rata carbon budgets

    ◦This diagram shows that even a less ambitious target of 3°C would still apply significant constraints on our use of fossil fuel reserves;
    ◦However companies in the coal, oil and gas sectors are seeking to develop further resources which could double the level of potential CO2 on the world’s stock exchanges to 1,541 billion tonnes…”

    I would like to say that reports such as this that wake the bean counters to a problem, and it can e shoved in peoples faces, even pie harts.

    The logic is sound IMO.

  • Sorry… that should have been:

    “…it is reports such as this that wake the bean counters to a problem, and it can be shoved in peoples faces – it even has pie charts.

    I know a constant contributor may think this is naïve, it wont stop the changes in the pipe.

    Yes that is most probably so. But it might actually collapse the investment in those carbon based fuels, and that ay be the only way to leave them in the ground.”

    I enjoyed the essay and see I have some more reading homework before I go to bed. T

    hanks Jeff S for the commitment and personal story to boot. That makes it all the more human, IMO.

  • I disagree with the conclusion. The only ethical response to NTE is to celebrate. Put on some Lionel Richie and go happily into the night. The suffering will soon be over, if you really believe what you say.

    Doesn’t that song make you feel wonderful? Smoke a bowl, or have a brownie. Let go. You’ve carried this burden long enough. It’s time to move to the next phase. Accept and live your life to the fullest ’til you can’t any longer. There’s so much beauty left in the world still, sometimes I can’t stand it. Enjoy it while it’s still here and you still can. As you’ve said, WE’RE DONE. There’s nothing more that can be done. Do what should have been done all along. What Lionel sings about in All Night Long.

  • @ Jeff S.

    you say: There are those who offer “New Age” psycho-babble to the effect that resistance is futile and that we should focus on ourselves and on coming to terms with death and go gently into the good night. In my book however, a failure to resist amounts to complicity with the accelerating destruction. It is as much an aspect of counterinsurgency as are the various repression efforts of the control apparatus. This is true even if the odds of failure are just about certain, indeed even more so.

    I say: Think!, man! The situation is beyond anything that “Resistance” might be able to solve. We must accelerate the collapse to have ANY chance. Our “Resistance” should be focused on that, and that alone, as that IS the ONLY solution.

    Why spend any time flailing about without the SOLUTION in mind? The SOLUTION is the rather quick death of over 90% of Earth’s population along with the orderly dismantling of the toxic infrastructure of industrial civilization.

    If we cannot achieve that, and we KNOW we cannot achieve that, then nothing else matters…

    Can it be achieved?

  • Ummm, I agree with Carol. We’re done. And, I feel bad to have been a part of it. I’m not going to party or celebrate. I am not going to bitch and complain either. I will just quietly ride the train over the cliff.

    I agree with others here that there is way too much psycho-babble and navel-gazing going on – it’s just a distraction.

    Be glad you are not a child sewing shirts in India for $1 a day.

    Be glad you are not a child in Brazil eating garbage.

    Be glad you are not a child in Haiti eating mud.

    Be glad you are not a child in Somalia breathing your last breath.

  • be glad you are not a soldier in Syria getting your head chopped off!

  • @ Ozman

    So you broke the two post rule, because it was so urgent that we all get to read that rubbish ?

    The logic is sound IMO.

    Yeah. Your logic. Lalaland.

    There is ALREADY no chance we remain below 2 deg C. Did you not pay any attention to the many people who have explained that ? Why does that not surprise me ?
    Since Kevin Anderson gave his talk, it’s already clear that the methane situation is more serious than was thought.

    Why do you think those countries and companies have invested those hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars in those coal and oil reserves and all that infrastructure ? Do you think they are intending to throw it all away ? Do you believe Australia is going to leave all that coal in the ground while China wants to pay good money for it ? Do you think the Russians are investing billions in opening up Arctic oil and gas fields just so they can close them down and leave the oil there ? No countries have any plans to cut emissions or to reduce industrial growth.

    Emissions continue rising in line with the ‘worst case BAU scenario’ of the old IPPC report, which was itself deeply flawed.

  • be glad you are not a sourpuss pain in the butt.

  • The story of the Comanche is instructive. Their warrior spirit was not going to prevail against the greater technology. Resistance against the massive police state with their technological superiority both obvious and stealth, their surveillance tools to prevent us from organizing, and a never ending cast of willing minions to take orders will likely get you a nice 6×6 room at a private prison facility. But I completely understand the rage against the machine; im certain there isnt one person on this board today that hasnt considered some kind of concrete violent pushback, fantasized about it, or wished for it.

    The only resistance that would actually work at this point is a collective refusal to participate. No taxes, no commerce, no going to work. It will never happen, you cannot even convince people that our election process is theater or 9/11 was an inside job. People are afraid! Afraid of so much. If everyone believed that NTE was real and imminent, then you might get a damn the torpedoes attitude. But I dont see people coming off their comfort zones at all – in fact, I see more digging in, more escapism, more denial. As long as there are ads for a “lifestyle lift” then reality has not yet reached the trigger point.

    I chose a tiny revolution. I dont know that it helps at all. I do know that it helps ME. I want to spend my time with living things as long as I can; in the forest with the animals. Like Kathy C said; what is doable is helping to alleviate suffering where you are. That is enough.

  • So what would you prefer, Wester?

    Happy talk about how we’re going to stop paying our taxes? Stop going to work? Walk away from empire because empires are really, really bad? Does any of this amount to a hill of beans, or is it just internet posturing?

    It’s over. We spoiled our little ant heap. Deal with it any way you like. Suicide (I doubt it), dancing, joining chatter groups, holding up signs, making doomer t-shirts for the kids … the point is that it’s pointless at this point. Resistance rhetoric is just another form of mental masturbation; like a condemned prisoner rubbing one out in his cell right before they drag him to the execution chamber. Personally, I prefer nihilistic voyeurism … watching the wretched eaters overdose on stupidity while the planet morphs into a wasteland is quite pleasing to me.

  • Thanks for the excellent essay, Jeff.
    With permission from Dr. House, I would like to say, FUUUUUUUUCKITTTTALLLLL!!
    I am so tired of the whole eating/sleeping/defecating/check out what horrors are playing out around the world/catalogue the dead and dying trees around my area/rewind-and-do-it all-again-tomorrow thing. Alas, I have dependents, and so I force-feed myself so I have energy to care for them and squash the rising panic and the impotent rage that likes to come up from the depths every so often. Well, almost daily now.
    So, protesting is out, but I agree with Kathy C. that focusing on making things better for someone else (human, animal, tree) in the meantime has true merit, even if it only prolongs the inevitable. There are so many battles going on right now, it is easy enough to find the good guys and support them in some way.
    Wildwoman is writing checks, & that’s easy if you can manage it. At the moment I cannot, but if if someone is so inclined, I would point you to lori Mochizuki at Fukushima Diary. He needs only $120 USD more to start his Romanian LLC, which will give opportunity for Japanese people to get work visas to flee Japan, which they are otherwise not being allowed to do. I know I’d want out of there. Sure, in the long run, it won’t really matter, but for someone, right now, it will. http://fukushima-diary.com

    Anyway, news from South Dakota is not good, and in fact, some of it is so bad I don’t have the stomach to get into it right now, as it would sabotage my ability to put on a happy face for the little ones. In general, I am simply shell-shocked to see all of this playing out. There is much guilt because as I was clawing my way out of the shit-hole station in life I was born into and trying to survive, I blindly trusted that the ‘big guys’ were on it, that the hypotheticals I learned about in school would never come to fruition because mature adults would never allow it, yet here we are. How naive I have been, and I am the least naive person I know.
    Soon there will not be any ‘choice’, as the fight is coming to our doorsteps, and those who have the luxury to ride the wave of collapse are possibly a step removed from the nitty-gritty, but not for long.
    @Jason People here educate themselves on all matters and I can’t speak for them, but as far as I can tell, not many people are concerned about the Fukushima situation, likely because the information is buried. Sure, there is concern when babies born on the west coast are suffering increased thyroid problems, or when some random debris washes ashore, but I see/hear no concern otherwise, which is puzzling to say the least. Well, I guess the NIMBY mentality comes into play with most everything, as well as out of sight, out of mind, so until folks are directly and obviously affected, not many will see the light.

    Myself, I have given in. We are so surrounded by pollution/radiation/man-made chemicals, there is no safe harbor. Nature has no boundaries, no borders, no matter how we try to impose them. When newborn babies are born with 200-300 toxic chemical pollutants in their bloodstream, that tells me I am toxic, my kids are toxic, the breast milk from my body which they thrived on was toxic, and no matter how hard one tries to eat good food, drink clean water, breath clean air, I don’t think there is any such thing anymore, only degrees of pollution. So, I take it in, and try not to choke and wretch.

    Otherwise, I am really enjoying the volunteer crabapple tree in the flash-flood gully behind our house which has decided to blossom this year and announce itself. And the lithe young deer creeping through those trees this morning. And waking up to the singing birds and my toddler’s warm body snuggled up against mine, momentarily relieving me of worry.
    Peace, out.

  • Depressive, just to say, I appreciated your comment at 8:15:

    “…a cheap trick to avoid the Void at the heart of existence. One last swig of denial (of ontological meaninglessness) for the road.”

    and this cracked me up too!

    “Shame on the man who goes to his grave escorted by the miserable hopes that have kept him alive.”

    – Emil Cioran

    It also felt good to see various perspectives on JMG. Before I had any idea of the deep schisms among (for lack of a better description) doomers/preppers/Cassandras, I read many books and blogs -including his. I left some comments there and really was perplexed and dismayed to be ridiculed, shushed and finally banned on the spurious precept that I was (gasp) off-topic because I was too apocalyptic, when the stated topic of that particular post was something like “how fast will the collapse occur?”!

    For a while I was trying to learn about various issues – financial, environmental/climate, peak resources (as Jeff described in this post…what I call the trifucta) – without the benefit of realizing how many petty egos had staked out territory and, far from wishing to cooperate, were (and still are) in competition with each other for funding and attention. It was disconcerting and upsetting on numerous occasions until I realized the ideological tyranny that underlies even supposedly objective scientific territory (I’m talking about you, RealClimate).

    Now that I come to think about it, such turf war in places that you’d think would be above such squabbling is a rather good example of exactly why we are so screwed in general. Another is this image by Chris Jordan (if you haven’t seen his fantastic art, I really recommend checking out the other categories on his website from the artwork drop-down menu, especially Running the Numbers and Intolerable Beauty) which are mostly stunning photographs that enlarge many times to show they are contructed of tiny bits of garbage and industrial detritus, mostly) but anyway, this particular image is meant to be uplifting and depict the connections between “…one million organizations around the world that are devoted to peace, environmental stewardship, social justice, and the preservation of diverse and indigenous culture. The actual number of such organizations is unknown, but estimates range between one and two million, and growing.”

    Whereas to me, those organizations aren’t connected or coordinated at all, and THAT’S a big part of the problem why all the well-intentioned people trying to save the world are utterly ineffective. He has created a pleasingly symmetrical symbolic design but if it were me, it would look more like a hodgepodge heap of junk, I’m afraid.

    http://www.chrisjordan.com/gallery/epu/#e-pluribus-unum

  • Thanks for all the positive comments, folks!

    Regarding the negative comments: well, thanks too. The content of those comments reminds me of why i do what i do.:-)

    Rob Says:
    May 17th, 2013 at 6:26 am
    “@ Jeff S.

    you say: “There are those who offer “New Age” psycho-babble to the effect that resistance is futile and that we should focus on ourselves and on coming to terms with death and go gently into the good night. In my book however, a failure to resist amounts to complicity with the accelerating destruction. It is as much an aspect of counterinsurgency as are the various repression efforts of the control apparatus. This is true even if the odds of failure are just about certain, indeed even more so.”

    I say: Think!, man! The situation is beyond anything that “Resistance” might be able to solve. We must accelerate the collapse to have ANY chance. Our “Resistance” should be focused on that, and that alone, as that IS the ONLY solution.

    Why spend any time flailing about without the SOLUTION in mind? The SOLUTION is the rather quick death of over 90% of Earth’s population along with the orderly dismantling of the toxic infrastructure of industrial civilization.

    If we cannot achieve that, and we KNOW we cannot achieve that, then nothing else matters…

    Can it be achieved?”

    I pretty much agree that the purpose of resistance at this point would be to accelerate the collapse, since a rapid collapse is the only thing which would still prevent NTE, I refuse however to make a commitment to kill people outright. On the other hand, a quick destruction of the infrastructure is vital. I guess my priorities time-wise are the reverse of yours. It’s far more the infrastructure which is killing the planet than people themselves. Can it be achieved? Certainly worth trying.

  • BadlandsAK, I don’t know how you do it.

    I checked out the Fukushima Diary and have to do paypal instead of a good old fashioned check. I’m partial to checks.

    When I advocate resistance, I’m not “just” talking about carrying signs and marching…..although I have to admit I’m considering joining in on the March Against Monsanto on May 25….most of the activities condoned by TPTB are useless.

    And I’m not advocating resistance because I think it will “do any good”. It’s pretty clear that it won’t.

    How many of our actions today will make any difference tomorrow? Or a week from now? How many of your actions did you think mattered not at all only to find out years later that it did have an impact on someone else unknown to you?

    Just sayin’ that sometimes life surprises you. I advocate being true to yourself, being congruent with your values as much as possible, and fucking with anyone in any position of authority (BadlandsAk…you do this every time you undo whatever your kids have been told in corporate schooling) whenever you can.

    Resist: To remain firm against. Are any of you seriously saying we shouldn’t do this? Really? Dr.House…..you aren’t firmly against the whole medical establishment? KathyC…..you aren’t firmly against the whole right to life meme?

    I can smoke a bowl and listen to Lionel Ritchie and dance dance dance and still resist. It is not either/or….it’s about AND.

    I’m gonna put some plants into pots and write a “know your murderers” blog now.

    Love to all of you…resisters AND…

  • (I’m not sure what the etiquette is here, so I’m just posting some weather news tidbits in this, the top thread)

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2407

    Two weeks ago Iowa broke its all time snow fall record for May (13 inches accumulated), yesterday it hit 106 F.

    http://www.thecalifornian.com/viewart/20130503/NEWS01/305030018/Sierra-snowpack-only-17-percent-normal

    The man in charge of surveying California’s snowpack to measure the amount of water that will flow into storage reservoirs over the next few months had bad news Thursday.

    “I’m finding nothing,” said Frank Gehrke, chief surveyor for the Department of Water Resources. “Seriously, there is no snow on the course at all.”

    The survey showed the water content of what little snowpack does remain at 17 percent of normal…

  • @DL says “We spoiled our little ant heap.”

    Well, to be fair, any and all other life forms, given a similar opportunity, would have attempted the same hat trick. After all, it’s nothing more than e^x.

    Given two base units (eg yeast) & a finite, closed system (eg earth), they will exponentially grow until either (a) hard limits are reached; or (b) some external event intervenes.

    It’s to our credit that we’re the “winners”. Think about it – out of untold numbers of lifeforms (both today & eons past), hominids are the ones that actually pulled it off. Where’s our ‘attaboy’?

    As an aside, I’ve taken a particular liking to KathyC’s point with respect to nukes. Since I have a biz background & am in the PO/population overshoot camp, it fits very nicely as an NTE coup de grace, with or without regard to standard climate change considerations.

    That is, as we tip over towards the downward slope of industrial civilization, anyone who has ever been involved in business understands the nature of negative feedback channels. These nuke facilities are unimaginably complex – the sheer level of resources necessary to keep them from going off is something to behold.

    We don’t need runaway climate to finish us off – all we need is a couple of Fukes, and that’s it baby.

  • Oh, Gail, Kathy, B9K9, BadlandsAK, Wildwoman, Dr. House, and especially depressive lucidity, you folks help me get through the days. “nihilistic voyeurism” indeed! I’m there, I’m totally there. In fact, I feel better for it every day. I can’t post very often, but I can read some, in between planting and watering.

    I certainly wonder why people have such a compulsion to tell others how to live their lives. And then get angry when they don’t follow orders.

    “New Mexico Faces Disaster as Extreme Drought Intensifies West of the 100th Meridian”

    https://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/05/17/1209756/-New-Mexico-Faces-Disaster-as-Extreme-Drought-Intensifies-West-of-the-100th-Meridian

  • Hi everyone,

    This certainly is one of the more lively discussion posts on the web!…and why not? When confronted with mortality, not just plain jane personal mortality but mortality of all of us all at once, well, that is certainly worth talking about!

    Since I was a child, I have always seen my life as that of a lone passenger on the raft of life and heading into a distant waterfall, an abyss of certain death. That analogy has stuck with me and is there subconsciously if not consciously.

    As Guy says, birth ensures your death. Nobody gets out alive. It is only when we have to seriously consider our own mortality that we begin to glimpse what living really means. It may be morbid at first, but it’s actually life. It’s the reality of our dilemma as living beings…regardless of NTE or not.

    But Guy is not repeating anything new. For our mortality has been the subject of all the greatest writers, thinkers, philosophers and sages throughout time. If you think about it, our own personal death is also a NTE event (we surmise). For isn’t the picture lodged in our consciousness that when we die, all appearances that we have experienced til now will vanish and cease to be? Isn’t that an extinction event that is tantamount to the vanishing of all humanity? How would you tell the difference between 1) your own personal death and 2) your death along with everyone else’s?

    The only difference would be that in a “real” NTE event, you would probably consciously externally witness an abnormal amount of pain, suffering and death. In other words, your own life would cease to be pleasant.

    I believe the great sadness we will witness will not only be the obvious fear and panic accompany a NTE event but the more subtle coming to terms with a life not yet fully lived yet. For it is the norm that beings live as if they are immortal. Even though we eat other beings everyday and are therefore daily aware of death each meal, we still have a strong normalized habit of self-denial.

    That self-denial plays the important role of keeping those too afraid to deal with their own mortality anesthesized. When NTE approaches, however, this self-denial mechanism will fail and people will be forced to prematurely place their mind in the state they would be in on their death bed.

    Dealing with one’s mortality is, in a sense, the pyschological meaning to life. So to abstain from it all our lives acting from a position of fear is to deny ourselves the potential to discover what lies beyond our psychosis of fear of vanishing.

    As human beings, we are living, breathing contradictions. We are imbued with a consciousness that allows us to be aware, in particular of our own mortality. Yet, at the very same time, we are also inbued with a survival instinct. We instinctively fight for our lives and yet, we know it is futile. Sound familiar?

    So NTE, though it may appear quite extreme, is fundamentally no different than the predicament of futility we already find ourselves in as living beings. What we must focus on is the development of our compassion so that when the pain and suffering comes our way, we will be prepared to deal with it.

    Life is a wonder, but unfortunately, the conditioning from the blind who have lost sight of this leaves most blind to this wonder as well. In reality, nobody knows when their time is up and our psychosis likes to keep it that way. For when we are told of terminal cancer and the short time we have left, we are forced to confront that which we have hidden away from our whole life. Most people like to not be told when their time is up. It’s part of maintaining the illusion of mortality. That’s why NTE is simliar to being told you have terminal cancer. The difference is, we are telling everyone simultaneously.

    The mind likes to play tricks with itself to avoid confronting this. Ernest Becker, the famous cultural anthropologist spent many years educating us on this very deeply entrenched habit of self-denial through classics such as “The Denial of Death” and other philosophers such as David Loy have added richly to Becker’s work. We intellectually know that we will be all be gone in 100 years but the thought of knowing it will all happen at once, to everyone is just too predictive for our comfort.

    It’s all a wonder. It’s all a mystery. This is the point Guy is making as well. I’m sure many of the readers here have gone through their own unique journey of self discovery, trying to get back to the source of wonder which is intrinsic both within us and the appearances our senses bring to us.

    I will keep fighting and resisting because it is in human nature to do so. If you have truly come to terms with NTE, then you have also come to terms with your own life and death and that is wonderful too.

    By the way, I have been working on a project for the past 2 years which is maturing and which I feel is the best way to empower people such as everyone on this blog to do something meaningful and impactful. My strategy is this:

    We complain about being powerless against the corptocracy that is ruining the planet yet as many here have pointed out and as all of us know at a deep level, we are all complicit.

    We are the ones who make it possible for them to go drill for oil. Our work, if not directly related to any large corporation’s “evil” work, is indirectly related. There are 6 degrees of seperation between anyone two people on the planet. So the problem is really a network problem and it is kind of pointless to make a scapegoat out of the situation. What we CAN do is recognize the networked nature and only then can we create a meaningful solution that actually achieves something.

    Instead of fighting the corptocracy on their grounds, we create our own grounds and let them come to us. I am developing a second economy with a constitution that is authentic and which by definition will exclude all those organizations who are simply greenwashing and hanging onto their profits.

    My colleague John Boik wrote a book called Principled Societies and is rewriting large chapters as we speak. You can go to his website and download it for free.

    If we want to collapse what I call the “First Economy” the way to do it is simple – just take away their market shares. This strategy depends on recognizing and acknowedging our basic relationship with “them”. If they have no market shares, they cannot operate. Who will pay for their unsustainable products if there is nobody left to support their economy.

    All we need to do is start the movement. I am doing this in South Africa. I am defining the constitution and it will de facto rule out any form of greenwashing. My intuition tells me that there is more than enough people to start the movement. As soon as it begins, millions could already migrate. As more people migrate and find sustainable goods and services that are made only in small communities and only for members of the community, then the large corporations will notice market shares eroding. The migration of citizenry back to local, decentralized, circular economies will actually hasten the greenwashers to self-correct. Driven by capitalist motivations, they will be forced to deal with their market share loss by transforming their core ethos….or risk closing shop. We will employ open-source community level manufacturing and appropriate technology to create wealth in the community in a zero waste framework.

    There is great enthusiasm here in South AFrica for these ideas and I suspect everywhere because this is a people’s movement of the people regaining what is rightfully theirs.

    We can only try. We are all going to die anyways because that is the nature of life. We can only do our best and allow our deeply buried humanity to arise. For ironically, we each have limitless potential and wisdom but we have become conditioned to a meme that subjugates all living beings.

    Blessings to everyone.

  • A thoughtful post by Dmitry at Club Orlov:

    Look for loopholes to avoid extinction

  • Save The Hammer For The Man

    @wildwoman
    Well, I’m not really ‘doing it’. I wake up and find my heart is still beating, so I just get on with it. The pettiness of so much of the modern life we’ve been blessed with can be a drag, but I don’t like to complain too much, considering where I came from, and where others now stand. We are buried under information and choices to make, wasting precious energy trying to figure out which battles to fight and which toothpaste to buy, ultimately doing nothing, or nothing of much import. The kids aren’t in school yet, so their innocence is refreshing. We are honest with them, though, so they know the trees are sick and that all living things must die. How much of that they comprehend, I don’t know yet.
    If I didn’t have the responsibilities I now do, I would be in my studio, madly printing subversive art, flyers, posters, t-shirts, anything to give voice to the downtrodden. When it comes to making art, I know no shame, and so know no limits. But for now there is breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack-time, nap-time, bed-time, planting seeds that likely won’t grow or produce much if our pea-sized tomatoes of last summer are any indication, boxes of crayons that in accordance with Paul C’s theory transform themselves into tiny bits of color and paper peelings over the entire room, laundry, dishes, baths, bum toes, trying to find shoes that fit, hugs, kisses, endless bickering and tantrums, administering vast quantities of asthma and allergy medicines, giggles, potty humor, endless knock-knock jokes at dinner, more dishes, more laundry, etc…not lofty things, by any means, but it sure keeps a person busy, sometimes even busy enough to forget the futility of it all. And it is all quite beautiful…

  • Every time I hear Ward Churchill’s name on this blog I want to Puke. I live in Denver and I had a front row seat to his whole chain-smoking circus.

    Even if you believe he was railroaded, the truth that was revealed about his baloney Native American heritage, his tenure, and his scholarly works was overwhelming – he is a fraud.

    I guess some might say that he is a warrior for the resistance but I say he has done more harm than good. I would throw him in the scrap heap with the other fallen “heroes.”

  • @ pat

    …but I say…

    And what moral weight and credibility does your opinion carry, pat ? Even in your own eyes, you don’t seem to think much of yourself. You diss everyone else’s beliefs, but you’ve already capitulated and given up without even trying, haven’t you ? At least, from what little I know of him, Ward Churchill tried.

    You find fault with him for being a fraud ? Don’t you think that the politicians, the whole corporate power elite, the covert agencies, running the whole global financial system, including the academic world, institutionalised religions, the media, the whole lot, are ALL liars and frauds ?

    I mean, which side are YOU on ? What’s of more concern, the ethics of the nuclear industry, of the military-industrial war machine, or some guy challenging all that and smoking too much ? You want him to be a saint, by some of your own peculiar standards ? Why ?

  • @Glen says “If we want to collapse what I call the “First Economy” the way to do it is simple – just take away their market shares.”

    Glen, Glen, Glen, really, do you think the PTB will just let you leave? Do you think they don’t understand that each slave is worth X barrels of oil in terms of per capita energy output (aka “work”)?

    Did the slaves in Babylon, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and feudal serfs in Europe, Russia, China & Japan just walk away from each respective empire in order to form their own little utopian societies? On the contrary, there were all manner of inventive tortures to make sure no one tried to get wise.

    What is with you (former) lefties? How did you miss out on “Reality 101”? You can take this to the bank: we are quickly moving towards a technological dictatorship. Biometric IDs are one of the last pieces of the puzzle. With that, not only can all activity be monitored, but the ability to get a job, spend ‘money’ (ie electronic credit), acquire housing, food & water, access health care, gain travel permits, etc will be rigidly enforced.

    Only an idiot fails to understand the implications of PO and the need for industrial civilization to continue supporting all the “interesting” infrastructure projects that have been built over the years. We already cannot restart the ‘growth engine’ due to flow issues (that is, oil consumption must grow at an exponential rate). Just wait until we begin having difficulties in (steady state) maintenance mode.

    Right now, people still haven’t come to grips with what that actually means. The next shoe to drop is when they find out that not only will they not have a ‘great career’, but that they will be conscripted into vast armies being amassed to address certain infrastructure issues. No workie, no eatie.

    Like I’ve said before, in this coming reality, many folks will welcome the sweet embrace of their own personal NTE. From my perspective, there are a couple of obvious choices to make, not necessarily mutually exclusive:

    1. Make hay while the sun shines
    2. Figure out a way to become a PTB sub-lieutenant

    If I may, I would also suggest to those fond of certain analogies to stop using the ‘you’re also guilty of rape if you don’t help to stop it’ meme. Where we’re going, if you don’t actively join in, and then get rid of the victim to boot, well, you just outed yourself as a non-group member. You know what they do to suspected informers, traitors and/or outsiders, don’t you? Again, I suspect many will be pining for the cold comfort of their grave.

  • You have to laugh at the naturebatslast title. The guy’s (haha) a professor, or should I say former professor, and yet he doesn’t even know that humans are part of nature. Yes, I know, it’s hard to believe, but humans are natural. We’re as natural as that rock or leaf over there. We’re part of it, not separate from it. Yes, the Western world has attempted to convince all of humanity that we are distinct from nature, above it all, and that we have dominion over it, but we don’t. We are part of it, so it’s ironic for the alleged erudite over at nbl to continue the myth of human exceptionalism ’til the very end. Also, the sports analogies/metaphors are unimaginative and boring. Surely a former professor can do better than that, right?

  • ETHICS?

    I can’t get my well-educated environmentalist friends to stop flying for personal titillation.

    A retired city planner, who has published two books about how the car culture strangles the life of the city, flies to Switzerland with his lady to ski.

    CO2 production; Boulder CO to Switzerland = 20+ TONS of planet killing CO2.

    ETHICS?

  • Although the ultimate demise of all humanity will probably occur some day,
    with regard to NTE, I am reminded of Nietzsche’s dictum that there are no facts, but only interpretations. As knowledge has moved to ever deeper levels, uncertainty and ambiguity have increasingly replaced the naïve hubris that underlay our supposed certainties. It would be wise in my opinion to extend this caution into areas such as the fate of the world, which is a hugely complex and as yet poorly understood question. To make a sense of certainty about NTE an important basis for planning one’s life seems to me a very poor decision based on unclear foundations. Many are easily persuaded by a few graphs and measurements and projections that seem to have the cachet of “Science”. Perhaps such persons might look at the spotty record of scientists in foretelling complex future events. People under the spell of premature belief in various apocalyptic scenarios have been led to make very poor decisions throughout history. Throwing in the towel on possibly worthwhile projects has often been due to such delusions. I am amazed how people who seem in every other respect to show intelligence and discernment throw these to the winds when caught up in some current apocalyptic fantasy; abandoning a sane, hopeful, compassionate worldview for a depressing dead-end surrender to a question mark that they have mistakenly turned into a period.

  • @B9K9,

    The transition is already happening, we just need to provide a framework to unify the many fragmented movements all over the world. I see it everywhere, with so many of the people I meet. The empire is crumbling as we speak. You would be surprised and shocked to see just how many people here in Africa are already taking steps to live on terms that they know are far healthier than what the mainstream promotes. I work with hundreds of people around the globe and I can assure you there is something happening.

    You cast things in very preconceived terms of “utopian societies”. It’s far simpler than these political terms you banter about. People have been left behind for very basic reasons. People are broken the world over and the first step in healing is to recognize their humanity and to acknowledge it. Yes, you may cast it in these terms that we are fighting an enemy. But I submit to you that the enemy has been found and it is us. We are complicit in supporting a system that is destroying our life support system. The system is large and it entraps us and we feel dependent on it. Guy has to fly all over the give his talks. There are six degrees of separation that will connect you to everything else that you may rail against. Even as we fight the system we support it.

    In such a case you must think of a way to use the system to evolve itself into some other form. It’s doing that all the time anyways except now, you can become proactive and have a say in how it evolves.

    Of course if you are to undertake such an evolution, you must have some form of strategy to implement it concretely. I don’t know how much you know about the open-source movement or what kind of people support it. But I work within it and I know some extremely powerful people who support it …people that you would probably mistaken for the enemy generals.

    The scale of destruction we are reaping is becoming so immense and so apparent that even those who you would consider traditional enemies are fearful. After all, the men and women who are the leaders of the corptocracy are intelligent human beings as well. Not everyone is a god fearing christian so stuck on beliefs that they must throw out rational thought. There is a point where such narratives are overtaken by the shocking state of reality.

    The one thing your narrative misses is the same thing that has been missed and which has led to this ultimate progress trap to begin with…the preciousness of each and every single life, without exception. By missing that, you fall into dualism and categories of good and evil, right and wrong. Missing to live and experience the sacred is the beginning, middle and end of separation.

    As Charles Eisenstein writes, our journey of separation began a long time ago and we have been continuing to stroke this harmful narrative, building our tower of Babel to extraordinary heights…so much so that the edifice now risks crumbling. At the extreme of separation, the structure will crumble and fall. And only then is there truly an opportunity to restart.

    I have never seen the world in terms of left and right as you obviously do and it is presumptious for you to classify me as this or that when you only experience words and not the living being. This is the same danger that creates misunderstanding and progress traps in the world, acting upon incomplete knowledge and then finding out the harmful side effects it can trigger later.

    The endless growth model has been penetrated by many and the meme is becoming quite common that endless growth on a finite planet is impossible. Perhaps you underestimate the intelligence of people to grasp these truths and unite. You don’t need a lot of intellectual knowledge to do this…you need some but a lot of compassion and kindness.

    Your choice of words reveal latent hostility and that is itself a sign of an internalized state of duality. You must realize that you can never achieve harmony when holding such a view. Anger is good to focus your attention but if it creates the illusion of good and evil then you will play into that dualistic creation. If you cannot see your enemy as yourself, then you can never find the compassion that is the only thing that can truly dissolve barriers.

    We are all sacred and precious beings. When we began to fail to recognize that, that was the beginning of separation.

  • Egads, garden is coming on strong but I want to read everyone’s comments and don’t have the time. Well better to garden.

    Anyone ever hear of Anna Walentynowicz “The Volker Schlöndorff movie Strike is a fictionalized version of her story.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Walentynowicz It was her more than Lech Walesa who led the solidarity uprising in Poland He sort of tagged on and then grabbed the glory.

    Oh and by the way there is some evidence that Lech Walesa collaborated with the Communist regime all during the time he was working with Solidarity. We know of instances of people posing as part of this or that movement who are in fact working for the government. Some recent ones in the environmental movement if I remember correctly. So you who chose resistance, be careful who you resist with.

    Quote from Michael Flynn “one thing alone removes all chance of death, and that thing is death”. I suppose one could also say one thing alone removes all chance of extinction and that thing is extinction.

    U you wrote to Ozman “Yeah. Your logic. Lalaland.” You are slipping again U – that comes close to an insult and you know what that means. You are an intelligent human being. Surely you can disagree with Oz without recourse to saying his logic is in lalaland. You could write for instance, “you are writing from hope rather than reality” and not edge close to the line that you must not cross. Think about it.

    For others who are new, two rules in the anarchical world of Nature Bats Last. No insults or you get banned. Two posts a day. If Guy has changed those or I have misrepresented them he can say so.

    So my 2nd post over, no more profound statements from me for the day. PEAS, STRAWBERRIES, ASPARAGUS – I am going out to resist junk food.

  • I found this clip on Gail’s Wit’s End site, and it is worth a look:

    Mother: Caring for 7 Billion

    Do the humane thing: Don’t reproduce.

  • not possible to know if this is true. medias are so unreliable. we do not know the real agenda of the ones publishing videos and articles. we do not know who tells the truth. we do not know if the truths are even still important.http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57584506/syrian-refugees-sell-daughters-in-bid-to-survive/

    from the video: “Of course, she’s thin! She has been in the camp one month!”

  • Mike k, thank you for a breeze of sanity. I re-posted it here

    http://www.monsangelorum.net/?topic=intensive-beach-relief/#post-7380

  • So many different comments today that I want to reply to – but as Kathy C notes, there are too many things out here in the real world demanding my attention. So I’ll post a couple of thoughts and call it good.

    My ability to express myself seems so limited in this context and I find that frequently I don’t do a very good job. So, let me try to clarify something I posted earlier. I’m not opposed to resistance; in fact, I do a little bit myself, in my own way. I’m also not opposed to people staring at their navels all day if they feel it gives them pleasure. What I bristle at is the notion that someone else thinks they know what’s best for me to do in this (or any) situation. Opinion is okay, and sometimes welcomed, but to state emphatically that if I don’t resist in some form or other that I am somehow less of a human being is hubris. I respectfully ask all who think they know what is best for me (or anyone else), to ponder for a minute the implication of that attitude and then go back and read Kathy C’s post above containing the lyrics to “I’m a Better Anarchist Than You”.

    As to ending the industrial economy as a way of averting NTE, as I mentioned earlier, that is not an option. There are too many nuclear reactors in the world (400+) and they simply can’t be shut down safely in the context of collapse. Frankly, I’m not sure they all can be shut down safely in the context of our current economy, much less one that is collapsed.

    One more thought on resistance. The only guy that I know of who is “resisting” in a way that I think is genuine is the guy who is homeless and dumpster dives for his meals. Now THAT’s walking away from empire! When I hear about those protesting a pipeline or a nuclear plant or whatever, I think about that guy. Sure, those protests are doing something, but the guy who has unplugged and checked out, he’s the one who’s really saying something – he’s saying FUCK ALL YA’LL! I don’t need your silly internet addicted gas guzzling world! (But please keep throwing away lots of good food.)

    I wish I had the courage to genuinely walk away, to give all of it up completely and totally, become a hunter gather. But, I admit it. I’m addicted to the industrial economy. Sure, I’ll go to the edge of the pool on occasion and stick my toe in, but when I see how cold it is, I’ll go running back to the warmth and security afforded me by our modern world. I’m ashamed to say it. I hate it. I don’t want it to be this way. But the only way I’ll give up the modern world is for it to be pried from my cold dead hands.

  • My time is now heavily invested in wildlife rescue and an antifracking group, so I’m not on the computer much anymore. I mention this because a few here have intimated that nihilists/antinatalists mainly spend their days depressively complaining, withering on the vine, waiting to die. Uh, not the ones I know, including myself.

    I don’t believe in god, the sacredness of life, or any ultimate meaning; however, I do believe in preventing suffering. Animal neutering, easy access to birth control, abortion, and sterilization, child-free living, and legalized euthanasia help in this area. I’ve spent decades focused on the one guaranteed method to stop needless horror: Block sentient life from entering this abattoir.

    F. Scott Fitzgerald, who battled major demons, described the paradox: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” Some antinatalists do just this by trying to make a difference in the face of meaninglessness; others on this site with different belief systems do the same.

    depressive lucidity, I like your comments. Anyone who knows Cioran is awake.

    Wildwoman, I read your question today about Vonnegut’s background. He had 3 biological and 4 adopted children. Since he was born in 1922 and fought in WWII, he came home, made babies, and tried to forget what he saw, typical of his generation. His previous actions do not invalidate his subsequent conclusions. If that were the case, we’d all be in trouble.

  • rob,

    I agree with you when you say “We should all be doing everything we can to accelerate the collapse”, but I think your tactics – “waste resources, encourage others to do so, acquire as much debt as you can, consume as much as you can, ask for extra plastic bags at the grocery store.” don’t offer much leverage over the system. It leaves us in positions of consumers. Much more effective ways exist to resist and shut down the system. A campaign of direct action against fossil fuel and electrical infrastructure, including sabotage, would bring things to a halt much faster than any amount of “overconsuming” can accomplish.

    Even within the legal, aboveground realm of action, we can find much more effective ways to slow down or halt the destruction caused by civilization.

    I highly recommend that you (and anyone else interested in serious resistance) read the book _Deep Green Resistance_, which lays out a viable strategy for fighting industrial civilization – and winning.

    Norris

  • @ Kathy C.

    U you wrote to Ozman “Yeah. Your logic. Lalaland.” You are slipping again U – that comes close to an insult and you know what that means. You are an intelligent human being. Surely you can disagree with Oz without recourse to saying his logic is in lalaland. You could write for instance, “you are writing from hope rather than reality” and not edge close to the line that you must not cross. Think about it.

    Thanks for your concern, Kathy C., I needed winding up by your familiar patronising tone, to provoke me to bother with a comment.

    Close to an insult, eh ? The rule is ‘civility’. Nothing uncivil about ‘Lalaland’. It says, in effect, ‘you are writing from hope rather than reality’ but somewhat more elegantly and concisely, imho. Why don’t you reprimand Ozman for breaking the rule ?

    @ mike k

    …there are no facts, but only interpretations…

    That won’t do. If you flick a switch and the light comes on, that’s a fact, not an interpretation. If you boil a pan of water, insert a thermometer, and it says 100 deg C, that’s a fact, not an interpretation. If someone punches you in the face and breaks your nose, that’s a fact not an interpretation. If someone shoots you dead, you’re dead. No question about it, is there ?

    Perhaps such persons might look at the spotty record of scientists in foretelling complex future events.

    Unfortunately, you appear to have this exactly backwards. We’re mostly talking about climate science ( although other science is involved ) and over and over again, the picture over recent decades has been of grossly UNDER estimating the speed and impact of the changes. For example, the European Space Agency modeled the loss of Arctic sea ice and got it almost exactly correct on their computer graphics, except that the summer was supposed to be almost free of ice in about 2040, not last year and this year. This same pattern has been repeated for the last few years, as scientists are constantly ‘shocked’ and ‘surpised’ by what they find, blablabla…. Spotty. But in the way that the assurances that ‘nuclear power is totally safe’ were spotty.

    People under the spell of premature belief in various apocalyptic scenarios have been led to make very poor decisions throughout history.

    You’re not comparing like with like. Historical eschatological scenarios were never based upon science. Typically they came from visionary charismatic leaders who gathered a cult of followers with some religious mission. there is nothing religious involved with climate chaos and methane and melting permafrost and ocean acidification and increased frequency of severe weather events and so forth. It’s all physics, chemistry, biology, etc.

    I am amazed how people who seem in every other respect to show intelligence and discernment throw these to the winds when caught up in some current apocalyptic fantasy; abandoning a sane, hopeful, compassionate worldview for a depressing dead-end surrender to a question mark that they have mistakenly turned into a period.

    There we have the problem. You yourself have to examine YOUR OWN worldview more critically. This is what nobody wants to do, because it is so difficult and so scary. If what Dr McPherson is saying is correct, that we get to 4 deg C by 2030, what does that mean, for you and every one of us ?

    Are you truly confident that we will NOT get to 4 deg C by 2030 ?

    Hahahaha, I have to laugh to keep from weeping. I’m looking at this stuff EVERY DAY as much as I possibly can. Yes, there is uncertainty. But it looks to me as if the uncertainty is ALL ON THE BAD SIDE. If the methane really takes off, from the Arctic, from the Antarctic, from the Tibetan Plateau, from the Siberian and Canadian permafrost, and we get one big pulse, if the oceans stop taking up so much heat for a couple of years, we don’t ever get to 4 deg C by 2030, we get well and truly cooked before that….

    Another thing. Many people seem to think that 4 deg C. means they’ll be 4 deg C hotter. But that’s not what happens. The climate system is wrecked. That means it becomes chaotic. Rossby climate theory. It might mean you get six weeks of blizzards in the middle of summer. And it doesn’t STOP at 4 deg C, it keeps on going up for centuries. The climate doesn’t become stable ever again. Not for tens of thousands of years.

    Is anybody actually paying any attention to this ? You know, the fate of life on Earth ? A few hundreds watching the methane, a few thousands really paying attention. A lot are lost in wishful thinking. Most have no idea or couldn’t care less.

    The Archdruid is good on history, clueless on climate. Orlov is great on engineering, hopeless on ecology. Nicole Foss is brilliant on economics, hopeless on climate. Kunstler is good on doom, clueless on climate and ecology. So it goes, all the scientists are zoomed in on their piece of the jigsaw. Mike Sosbee has got it sussed perfectly re Michael Mann. Kevin Anderson writes that HE himself is part of the 1% that’s the cause of the problem. So he writes a moralizing essay about how he didn’t fly to Sicily for his holiday. He cut his carbon emissions trying not to be a hypocrite. He took the train instead. But surely, THAT’s the problem. He still feels entitled to his climbing holiday, and to take the train, because he is a PROFESSOR and that’s what they do…

    But this big Die Off that’s coming doesn’t care about anybody’s entitlements…

    ALL the media reports, for years now, conclude with a reassuring paragraph that ‘all is not lost, because we can still retrieve the situation if urgent action is taken blabla…’ But nobody ever says what this action should be, or could be, and nobody ever takes any action. There is NO international plan in place to cut emissions. Emissions are going UP, all the time. Governments and corporations show no intention of taking any effective action to reduce emissions, on the contrary, they all seek to get economic growth.

    As Guy keeps repeating, we have set a series of feedbacks in motion, 8, 9, 10, the number keeps growing and will continue growing as we discover more. These feedbacks are IRREVERSIBLE. That means, that WHATEVER action we take, they will keep on causing the planet to warm. This isn’t some vague apocalyptic End Times horror conjured from Revelations or Ragnarok. This can be calculated with exactitude. It’s not an interpretation. We know how many calories are needed to melt ice. We know what happens when the ice has melted and those calories warm the water instead. We know the albedo of ice and snow. We know how much sunshine gets reflected back into space from the ice, and how much will be absorbed by the water when the ice has gone.

    Ecological destruction continues as fast as ever, forests are cut as fast as ever, the oceans are trashed as fast as ever, and population rises. If the 4 deg C forecast is correct we’ll have social chaos long before we get there, as economies and agriculture collapse, and then, as Kathy C. keeps explaining, the nuclear and other infrastructure starts to fall apart. The ancient American nuclear power stations are possibly the scariest threat, because the present dysfunctional soceity seems unable to act responsibly, so what things will be like in ten years time, one shudders to think.

    We SHOULD have taken drastic action to cut CO2 30 years ago. Then it would have ben effective. We still can take action which will have SOME effect. Every day that passes without effective action, means the future looks worse, sooner. But to kid yourself, as you appear to be doing, that this is some imaginary apocalyptic illusion, and that the science is vague and uncertain, is, in my estimation, a fantasm of your own mind.

    @ B9K9

    I, for one, would be willing to abandon my belief that war has existed since single cell organisms first appeared if someone can provide actual evidence of cooperation – both today & in the past. I’m fairly confident that it’s a pretty tall order, but the last thing anyone would ever accuse me of being is dogmatic.

    Well, it’s rather nice to think that you’re not dogmatic, B9K9, shall I give you the benefit of the doubt ? Hahahaha….

    There’s MASSES of evidence. Have you never read or listened to Lynn Margulis and her vision of life on Earth ? Mutualism, Commensalism, Symbiosis. I mean, we are ourselves cooperative organisms, there’s essential bacteria living inside you equivalent I think to the weight of your head. There is no such thing on Earth as an ‘independent’ organism, everything is tied to everything else by food webs and chemistry. And yes, that doesn’t mean there isn’t war, and that everything isn’t eating everything else as well…

    I could argue this with you all night. But it doesn’t matter, does it. In the light of NTE.

    Anyway, although I bitterly oppose your selfishness, hedonism, right wing outlook, and how you seem to extrapolate the local Californian social darwinist/ayn randism you are familiar with, to the rest of the world, and think that chimpanzees in the zoo give any sort of indication of how wild chimps behave, etc, I do agree with you about the like future scenario you describe for USA.

    The manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects offered the nation a window into the stunning military-style capabilities of our local law enforcement agencies. For the past 30 years, police departments throughout the United States have benefitted from the government’s largesse in the form of military weaponry and training, incentives offered in the ongoing “War on Drugs.” For the average citizen watching events such as the intense pursuit of the Tsarnaev brothers on television, it would be difficult to discern between fully outfitted police SWAT teams and the military.
    The lines blurred even further Monday as a new dynamic was introduced to the militarization of domestic law enforcement. By making a few subtle changes to a regulation in the U.S. Code titled “Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies” the military has quietly granted itself the ability to police the streets without obtaining prior local or state consent, upending a precedent that has been in place for more than two centuries.

    http://www.longislandpress.com/2013/05/14/u-s-military-power-grab-goes-into-effect/

  • I see Ulvfugl beat me to it……but such nonsense is so hard to resist.

    @Mike K

    You absurdly state:

    “Although the ultimate demise of all humanity will probably occur some day,
    with regard to NTE, I am reminded of Nietzsche’s dictum that there are no facts, but only interpretations. As knowledge has moved to ever deeper levels, uncertainty and ambiguity have increasingly replaced the naïve hubris that underlay our supposed certainties. It would be wise in my opinion to extend this caution into areas such as the fate of the world, which is a hugely complex and as yet poorly understood question. To make a sense of certainty about NTE an important basis for planning one’s life seems to me a very poor decision based on unclear foundations. Many are easily persuaded by a few graphs and measurements and projections that seem to have the cachet of “Science”. Perhaps such persons might look at the spotty record of scientists in foretelling complex future events. People under the spell of premature belief in various apocalyptic scenarios have been led to make very poor decisions throughout history. Throwing in the towel on possibly worthwhile projects has often been due to such delusions. I am amazed how people who seem in every other respect to show intelligence and discernment throw these to the winds when caught up in some current apocalyptic fantasy; abandoning a sane, hopeful, compassionate worldview for a depressing dead-end surrender to a question mark that they have mistakenly turned into a period.”

    O.K. Mike, you’re obviously fresh off the JMG magical boat tour, where you felt compelled to pay homage to your online guru by reiterating his hopelessly anti-science “apocalyptic fantasy narrative”, to the point of embodying the very hubris you’re seeking to castigate others of.

    We’ll overlook that you’re inappropriately quoting Nietzsche’s response to positivism, as if it somehow applies to climate science, but good lord, you actually believe there is no such thing as facts? Well then of course the whole concept of NTE is beyond your intellectual grasp. There is absolutely no way you or anyone, can ever possibly hope to understand what we’re discussing here, if you think all of physical reality is nothing but “our” interpretation. So you think a falling tree makes no sound.

    So if there’s no such thing as facts, I suppose when it’s well below freezing, you can somehow magically interpret air temperature differently, and spend all day working outside in nothing but your bathing suit and never get cold? I suppose the earth no longer orbits the sun, and your dentist might as well be an auto mechanic? Oh yeah, and as to the premise of NBL, the arctic isn’t in a death spiral. The northern hemispheric jet stream doesn’t drive our weather. There is no such thing as drought, so all a farmer has to do, is just reinterpret his bone dry soil to otherwise have a bumper crop.

    Mike you’re speaking utter nonsense, and you’re so married to whatever vested interest you’re desperately holding onto, that you can’t even see you haven’t a single relevant point to stand on, other than just accusing others of the very articles of faith you yourself subscribe.

    We talk physics here, where facts matter. Please go back to whatever interpretive rock you dwell under, and just have yourself a magical ball, you’ll be much happier if you do. Leave rational observation of the physical world to those of us who understand it. This is clearly not a place for you.

  • Kathy C: “You are an intelligent human being. ……. edge close to the line.”

    That’s from the power of certain “spiritual” practices – askew. Pointless to harp about it, tradition has it that it may sometimes take many lifetimes to rectify. So best to let it be.

  • Apropos fighting back, and why one might decide not to, here’s a short new essay.

  • @ Glen

    Your choice of words reveal latent hostility and that is itself a sign of an internalized state of duality. You must realize that you can never achieve harmony when holding such a view. Anger is good to focus your attention but if it creates the illusion of good and evil then you will play into that dualistic creation. If you cannot see your enemy as yourself, then you can never find the compassion that is the only thing that can truly dissolve barriers.

    Meaningless psychobabble. If you are going to wait for everyone to see beyond ‘the illusion of good and evil’, then we truly are all fucked.

    If preaching enlightenment was going to work, don’t you think there’d be some sign of progress, now, after 2000 years or so ? It’s a complete waste of time. Even if the 7 – 9 billion of us all magically become bodhisattvas overnight, we’ve still overshot the carrying capacity of the planet by a long way, we still have nuclear, chemical, biological weapon, and political blocs striving for supremacy, we still have nuclear waste and nuclear plants all around the world, and we still have a climate that is wrecked and is going to keep on warming for many decades to come, whatever we do.

    Spirituality is fine, to give an individual resources, but it does nothing whatsoever to address those problems and it does nothing to stop the CO2 emissions.

    Charlie Eisenstein’s New Age utopianism is for children. Tell it to the Israelis, to stop building settlements, tell it to the Saudis, to stop beheading people, tell it to the Chinese, and the CIA and the Pentagon, see how much notice they take of your psychobabble.

    @ Robin Datta

    That’s from the power of certain “spiritual” practices – askew. Pointless to harp about it, tradition has it that it may sometimes take many lifetimes to rectify. So best to let it be.

    So you believe in that superstitious reincarnation claptrap ? I wonder where the 7 billion are going to go to be reincarnated ? I’m sure they’d appreciate some guidance from you.

    I do hope you were better at diagnosis in your job as a doctor, Robin, than you have shown yourself to be on this blog regarding spiritual matters, otherwise I pity your poor patients. Actually, I must pity them anyway, because for you, they were all merely meat robots. What an appalling and disgraceful way to view human beings that is.

  • Will not, can not, refuse under all circumstances to accept the proposition that on some or any level:

    “We are all to blame.”

    I am sitting here in SE Asia, talking with my friends in Cambodia who live in houses with worn dirt floors, who raise oxes and use them as a means of travel, who can afford only the barest of electricity or other luxuries that many people here just take for granted. I talk to Thai people who live in cider block rooms without A/C, who barely make $10 a day if they put in 14 or more hours of work and have to wash all their clothes in the sink. I see kids who will never get their hands on an ipad or an Mac PC. My friend’s girlfriend lives in Kiribati and all they do is take a boat out and go fishing or cut coconuts out of the trees.

    These people are in no way “responsible” or in any way complicit in NTE whatsoever. They may wish for all the nice goodies that roll out of the behinds of everyone who lives in California, Colorado and points east; but these particular humans will never actually touch the cars, airplanes and lovely gadgets that Westerners have been and are using to condemn the whole damn human project to the fires of hell.

    Yeah, I am chagrined and take no little offense that very poor, very innocent people in Preah Vaeng and Battambang are in any way complicit and are going to be roasted alive because a bunch of supposedly smart, so-called intelligent descendants of European culture couldn’t be bothered not to be cheap and lazy.

    Truth is, as I have said before, it is the American machine specifically which is most responsible. So when you say “We” are all responsible, I might believe you if you mean “All we privileged settlers in North America” who led the entire project. Yeah – it is y’all that are holding the bag. Not some sods in Kiribati whose entire country is going to go Atlantis because of nothing that they have ever done.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Second, this is why I think that people like Ward Churchill, and Indigenous people in general (by the fact of their very existence) make privileged European settlers wretch and vomit, because he puts the very basis of their self-perception, self-definition, socially constructed world view and entire culture into serious and radical question. [Now, go puke and come back.] Because so many of his claims and theses point out the fraud of people who try to stick him with the same label. His work is not small and spans well past the single instance of plagiarism of which he was accused. And some people who don’t like the implications of what he said might like all of that to be able to go away over one claim. But the fact is that it can’t and it doesn’t.

    There really isn’t any debate. The indigenous ran their culture in a sustainable way for 16,000-20,000 years or more. And the culture of those who characterize their defenders of Indigenous as circus freaks are utterly complicit in creating a giant black hole and demanding that all life on earth jump into it. You go figure for your well-educated self which one is ethically, morally and practically beneficial.

    And again, people need to deal with claims and evidence and stop using ad hominems and appeals to emotion to trash ideas, people and things that they don’t like. It doesn’t just apply to Mr. Churchill.

    You have to evaluate ideas and claims one at a time and try to ignore your feelings about who is saying it. Personally I can’t stand Kunstler’s reflexive defense of Israel or his constant genuflection to be opposed to ‘conspiracy theories’. It just wrankles my skin and annoys me to no end, makes me grimace, turn off the radio and drink mescal til I’m blind. Kunstler also lives on stolen Iroquois land as well. However, when he talks about the hideous unsustainable nature of the build-out of America’s infrastructure, or the delusional desire to run the cars and Wal-Mart and Disney World by any means necessary, or the con-man culture of something for nothing, I have to say, yes that makes sense.

    So if you are going to trash someone, please do it with specific whys, wherefores and logical, rational examples of why something works or doesn’t work. And if any claim or idea I propose is suspect, please let me know and tell me why – without the ad hominems. Thank you.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Lastly, I think that Hobbes’ Leviathan and later Social Darwinian war of all against all has been pretty well refuted. Although I think that people who benefit most from the current social structure (read:Americans) are loath to admit this deviation from their Neo-Libertarian economic theology.

    See: Edward O. Wilson’s “Social Conquest of Nature”
    and Peter Kropotkin’s “Mutual Aid” (this is a foundational Anarchist text which scares the bejeezus out of some, but again: less hysteria, more examples and evidence please.)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Thank for your consideration and Have a Nice Day.

  • Need we be reminded that Fred Nietzche went stark raving mad and was invalid and indigent for the last years of his life? Not saying that his psychological process led him there, but it is worth remembering.

  • Wester, Good choice re Mutual Aid, note that i included it in the article.:-)

    The only item i felt compelled to respond to was Mike K, but Daniel beat me to it. Greer is a royal ass. I think it’s interesting that the posting of his article at Resilience has drawn a LOT of fire (for the content, not because it was posted). That site has become far more conservative since it stopped being Energy Bulletin, it’s pushing all sorts of mealy reforms really hard.

  • Just to add a bit of levity to the conversation.
    A year ago today, Ron Shock died. Some words printed on a t-shirt he produced go something like this, and I quote,
    “Have a drink…
    Get stoned…
    F**K a stranger…
    Eat a twinkie…
    You’re going to die anyway.”

    Sometimes laughter helps when we are staring near term human extinction in the face

  • I have been working on my own to raise awareness of the interconnectedness of it all for nearly 15 years, at some stages devoting tens of hours a week.

    Robert Atack set up one of the first sites in the world ( http://www.oilcrash.com )to highlight Peak Oil around a decade ago, and I worked with him for several years to highlight both energy and environmental issues, especially runaway warming. Between Robert distributing thousands of DVDs and walking round Wellington wearing Grim Reaper outfit and all my books, articles, political campaigning, TV appearances, radio interviews, pamphlets (and including arranging a tour of NZ by Guy last year) we have made close to zero impact. The vast majority of people remain absolutely clueless about everything that matters.

    So yes, when people talk about transitioning, or sacredness I do tend to roll my eyes these days.

    In NZ we have a thing called the Local Government Act 2002; my local council was in continuous breach of the Act from 2002 to 2012. In 2012 the Act was amended; since the end of 2012 my local council has been in continuous breach of the amended Act. ‘Nobody’ cares, and there are no mechanisms for bringing the rogues who run the local council (New Plymouth) to heel.

    The really dismal aspect is that NPDC is one of the best performing councils in the entire country, with the best cycling and walking infrastructure anywhere. And when ocean levels rise 10 or 20 metres over coming decades most of the district will still be above sea level, unlike many NZ cities or entire countries which will be under water. (Perhaps I should keep quiet about that.)

    I have highlighted the generally dismal state of affairs in my latest ‘assault’ on the maniacs at NPDC, as:

    Mad axe-murderer ploy: Town A has a mad axe-murderer on the loose. He has killed 100 people so far this year and still has not been apprehended. Town B also has a mad axe-murderer on the loose, but he has only killed 50 people to date. Town C is another town with an axe-murderer on the loose; his tally is 80. Indeed, there are mad axe-murderers at loose all over the country, all with very high tallies. The mayor of town B declares that his town is doing extremely well because, although the mad axe-murderer is still at large and sure to kill again soon because nobody is doing anything to stop him, ‘only 50 people have been murdered this year’.

    Central government and local government have become surreal, sick jokes played upon the general populace in most Western faux democracies. I guess that was always the case to a degree, but now that most of the world is in economic meltdown and all of the world is in environmental meltdown the surrealness (surreality?) of it all is stands out ‘like dogs’ balls’ to anyone who is half awake.

    Thanks to Paul, I have included the Cherfuka scale of awareness in my latests council stuff and now recognise that I am of the one-in-ten-thousand. Which means there are perhaps 4 of 5 other people at a similar level in the district [of population 70,000].

    At this point of time my local authority actively promotes (taken directly from my latest effort):

    1. Aberrant behaviour associated with the madness of consumerism and the ‘I want it now’ mentality.

    2. Acidification of the oceans.

    3. Anthropocentrism which is the cause of most of our problems.

    4. Arctic meltdown.

    5. Antarctic meltdown.

    6. Bread and circuses (without the bread).

    7. Cadmium poisoning.

    8. Carbon dioxide emissions increasing.

    9. Chicago School economics and social policies.

    10. Corruption.

    11. Climate chaos.

    12. Constructed ignorance.

    13. Death by a thousand cuts.

    14. Death of the oceans.

    15. Death of the planet.

    16. Debt-slavery.

    17. Disaster capitalism.

    18. Dumbing-down.

    19. Easter Island mentality (statue building).

    20. Fascism.

    21. Fractional Reserve Banking.

    22. GDP (as a measure of wealth).

    23. Greenwash.

    24. High-frequency trading.

    25. Hopium.

    26. Inequity of distribution.

    27. Infinite-growth-on-a-finite-planet.

    28. Intergenerational criminality.

    29. Kicking the can down the road.

    30. Loot-and-pollute economy.

    31. Manufacturing consent.

    32. Methane emissions (increasing).
    33. Methane clathrates (destabilisation of).

    34. Military-industrial complex.

    35. Near Term Extinction,

    36. Neuro-linguistic programming.

    37. Nine-eleven (myths associated with).

    38. Non-linear feedbacks (climate).

    39. Omnicide.

    40. Opportunism.

    41. Orwellianism:

    42. Ozone depletion

    43. Particulate interference:

    44. Ponzi schemes

    45. Poverty

    46. Propaganda:.

    47. Race to the bottom:

    48. Revolving doors

    49. Sixth Great Extinction Event

    50. Skin cancer

    51. Silencing dissent:

    52. Slow crash (as opposed to fast crash)

    53; Systemic failure:

    54. Techno-fundamentalism:

    55. Tick-the-box culture:

    56. TINA, There is no alternative:

    57. Tipping points (passing of)

    58. Titanic mentality

    59. Tourism:

    60 Tragedy of the Commons:

    61. Unsustainablility

    61. Web of deceit:

    to name just a few.

    I am still waiting for answers to questions I asked the council on 22nd April.

    To repeat the message spoken by so many recently, anyone who thinks his Titanic can be turned around is grossly uninformed or deluded.

    The best we can do as a society is reduce the suffering to come. And at this stage we cannot even manage that at the community level because ‘the maniacs’ are utterly determined to make everything worse.

    A couple more snippets:

    ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men to do nothing.’ -Edmund Burke.

    And we must do our best to defend the weakest and most vulnerable members of our community, the children and the yet-to-be-born, who cannot defend themselves and whom the council incessantly attack: it is the children and the yet-to-be-born who will bear the brunt of the consequences of the dysfunctional policies that NPDC has promoted over many years, and continues to promote. As I pointed out to the mayor, the CEO and the elected council in November 2012, if the mayor and the CEO choose to destroy their own progeny’s futures that is their choice: if they want to sacrifice their progeny’s futures on the altar of their dysfunctional ideology, that is up to them. When the mayor and CEO choose to destroy my progeny’s futures it is an outrage.’

    ‘One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them.’ – Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

    “Reality control,” they called it; in Newspeak, “doublethink.” –George Orwell, 1984

    “The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking –not needing to think.” -George Orwell, 1984