Obedience at Home

As if he could peer into the future, American author Henry David Thoreau is credited with the expression: “Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”

I’ve written and spoken often about the requirements for maintaining an empire, particularly an empire in decline: obedience at home, oppression abroad, and wholesale destruction of the living planet. I’ve written numerous essays about the latter two phenomena. Although I’ve spoken about a few examples concerning obedience at home, I’ve not focused on the topic with a single essay. Ergo, this essay.

Herein I present a few recent examples of obedience at home. This essay is hardly comprehensive, and the hits keep coming. But it’s a minor start to a major issue. I’m certain many more examples will appear — though not to the typical, purposely ignorant American — until American Empire finally sinks to the bottom of the cesspool in which it is mired.

I focus on the Obama administration because it is the most recent and also the most horrific example of imperialism. I refuse to play the game currently popular among Democrats in which Obama is compared to Mitt Romney or John McCain. Obama has a record as president, and Romney and McCain don’t. I cannot imagine a worse president than Obama, although that’s what I thought about his predecessor, too. I’m hardly the only person to refer to Obama as the worst president ever. Full disclosure: When I was registered to vote, I was a lifelong Democrat.

When he was in the Oval Office, I thought Ronald Reagan was the worst president ever. But I still recall thinking, when Reagan was shot, that it could be worse: We could have his vice president, ex-director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) George Herbert Walker Bush, as president. A few days shy of eight years later, we did. Then along comes Slick Willy, who slyly managed to outflank his predecessor and the opposing party on several significant issues. In every case, Bill Clinton outflanked the opposition by moving further to the political right. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, George W. Bush was selected. Twice. And then, he was replaced by somebody even worse. In my voting lifetime, each neo-conservative U.S. president has been replaced by a worse version. And lest you believe otherwise, our two-party, one-ideology system of governance is working brilliantly. It’s not working for us, but that’s never been the plan.

Within my lifetime, Democrats have shifted far to the right, thus coopting the ideas of the Grand Old Party. The latter party is effectively gone, serving only to make the Democrats seem sane by comparison. Obama and the Democrats can get away with every imaginable abuse — and many abuses I could not have imagined until they occurred — simply by using the Republicans as cover. The corporate media are fully engaged in the cover-up, as pointed out in the 21 March 2013 issue of Harper’s magazine: “Barack Obama … never stops serving the ruling class, yet the mainstream media, from right to left, continues to pretend that he’s some sort of reincarnation of Franklin D. Roosevelt, fully committed to the downtrodden and deeply hostile to the privileged and the rich.”

Obama’s corporate government is doing the bidding of the corporations. The corporate media aids and abets the enemies of the people. As Noam Chomsky points out, “any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media.” The American people, fully convinced they are consumers instead of citizens, capitulate to their masters. The unseen bars keep the people enslaved.

Obama seeks cradle-to-grave power to rule over Americans, with examples that are breathtaking in their number and scope. He is responsible for torture, according to two-year independent investigation by the Constitution Project released 16 April 2013 (see here). Obama’s Department of Justice has brought charges against six whistleblowers under the Espionage Act of 1917, a number that exceeds every previous administration combined. Indeed, he destroys whistle-blowers with a hateful vengeance, with a recent example focusing on a man who tried to reduce government waste. His vision of this country is termed Obama’s wiretap America in the 8 May 2013 issue of Salon, although it’s merely an extension of policies in place since at least 2001, according to an 11 May 2006 story in USA Today. Even before then, the National Security Agency (NSA) had a back door built into Windows software. Obama’s government gives AT&T and other telecommunications companies secret immunity from wiretap laws. In fact, officials in his administration have authorized a new government program involving the interception of communications on Internet service providers, as well as to record every single telephone conversation (as reported in the Guardian as recently at 6 June 2013). The same day, the Washington Post reports that one of George W. Bush’s legacies, continued by Obama, is a collaboration between U.S. spy agencies and Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple. Oh, and Obama’s Internal Revenue Service could be reading your email without a warrant. These invasions of privacy in the name of security — an overview of the “best” articles on this worst of horrors is offered by ProPublica — are merely warm-up acts for the massive National Security Agency data collection and analysis center under construction in Utah which, according to a former NSA official, puts us very near “a turnkey totalitarian state.”

All of this probably is fine with most Americans. It’s been a long, relatively gradual road to this point and we have been spied on by our own government since I was five years old. Most American citizens favor being spied upon, according to a poll conducted 6-9 June 2013 by the Pew Research Center and the Washington Post. Most Americans also favor imprisoning terrorist suspects even without evidence to convict, according to a Rasmussen poll conducted in April 2013. And we’re busily looking the other way as the NSA uses a bogus, secret interpretation of the Patriot Act to get away with recording millions of telephone calls and retaining every email message for an indeterminate length of time. Fortunately for them and all of us law-abiding citizens, Obama refuses to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay — yet another in an endless string of broken campaign promises — and instead has approved major upgrades.

And, lest we ever forget, I’m here to remind you what George W. Bush and his cabal of evil-doers proclaimed: Those terrorists hate us for our freedoms.

Many people more informed than I have argued that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is running the show, and has been doing so at least as far back as 22 November 1963. One needn’t get into the big picture to point out that the CIA’s mission, with respect to data, is “collect everything and hang onto it forever.” The CIA admits to using broadcast news to manipulate the American citizenry as far back as 1954. The good-guy/bad-guy story of Al Qaeda is a classic example of an organization founded by the CIA in 1998, and then demonized by the CIA and other government entities.

Rather than the CIA running the show, maybe the big banks have been in charge, at least since the 1990s. According to the 29 December 2012 issue of the Guardian, the brutal crackdown on Occupy was coordinated by the big banks. Indeed, a compelling case can be made that JP Morgan Chase runs the whole show, since the Federal Reserve Bank and JP Morgan Chase appear to be the same entity.

Rather than the CIA or the big banks running the show, maybe it’s the tyranny of oligarchy. Consider the revolving doors between the federal government and corporations. A recent example has former CIA head and four-star Army General David Petraeus joining buyout firm KKR & Co. L.P. (formerly known as Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.), one of the world’s largest private equity firms.

Not surprisingly, the corporate media is barely making a peep as Obama’s corporate government continues to practice socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor. Why do you think a homeless man gets a 15-year sentence for stealing a few dollars whereas a CEO receives a 3-year sentence for stealing $3 billion? Why do you think local police officers work for Exxon after a spill? Why do you think the Fifth Amendment no longer exists as a functioning law of the land?

Obama’s corporate government flaunts the illegal acquisition of information as he launches a war on journalism, according to recent reporting by the Guardian and Slate. Too little, too late, the corporate media express outrage long after they acquiesed to fascism. A recent example is the New York Times calling for the citizenry to trust the official government story on the Boston bombing or be proclaimed insane.

Contrary to popular belief in the neoconservative blogosphere, Obama is not coming for your guns. The federal government has way more artillery than the citizenry could possibly muster, and it is no longer able to cover up huge purchases of ammunition. Writing for the 11 April 2013 issue of Guardian, Glenn Greenwald exposes Obama’s lies about drones: (1) The Obama administration often has no idea who they are killing; (2) Whistleblowers are vital for transparency and accountability, which is precisely why the Obama administration is waging a war on them (e.g., White House exempts itself from FOIA requests); and (3) Secrecy ensures both government lies and abuses of power. A month after Glennwald’s piece appeared, Obama finally admits his drones killed four Americans. That’s why Obama and his government don’t care about your guns: They have more firepower than you.

The feds don’t need your guns, but they’re broke, so they need your money. Already, a confiscation scheme is planned for the United Kingdom and the U.S. Unfortunately for the government, it’s getting a little late to extract fiat currency from most Americans. In a closely related issue, the criminalization of political dissent is complete in America.

It’s difficult for me to imagine a more passive citizenry than the current state of American Empire. Surely Thoreau would be stunned.


This essay is permalinked at Achaques e Remoques and Plan B Economics.


News flash: the virgin terry, who comments occasionally in this space, contacted Barry Saxifrage about his January 2013 article in the Vancouver Observer. Regarding my interpretation of his article, Saxifrage responded thusly: “It is not expected that we hit 4C by 2030 on that path.” Fortunately, I was misinterpreting Saxifrage’s article and concluding a direr future than implied with his analysis. With thanks to the virgin terry, climate change summary and update has been revised accordingly. Note that I still think our species is headed for near-term extinction due to the self-reinforcing feedback loops we’ve triggered.

Comments 303

  • Stunned? Better to say “dismayed”, a continuous state, indeed, for decade upon decade.

    But he described it so well, oh, around 164 freakin’ years ago, in a voice so incredibly modern. The “American character” was a hollow barrel, which made a lot of noise when you pounded it, but contained nothing of its own but air. Definitely not the optimist on society, he. So he had already separated himself emotionally from the shallowness of his neighbors. That rings throughout the document.

    From “Resistance to Civil Government”, later published under some other name no one has ever heard of, at least in the past 30 years or so. Some guy named Jandy, or Gandhi — and another, I think it was Rodney King, were into it… Some others, Ellsberg, Berrigan, Mandela. But who listens to them? But you could look it up, as Casey Stengel said.

    In fact, the great shame, and embarrassment, each time I encounter this essay, it that it is equally — no, more — true today than it was when written. Human vapidity has triumphed and no one has learned anything to effect. And we are about to reap the fruits of that hollowness, which is the meta-topic of NBL, if not the peculiar scientific backstory.

    And, if this counsel had been followed, by enough people seeing the future, from the first Earth Day onward, we would not be discussing these end-time questions today.


    Resistance to Civil Government (1849)

    Can there not be a government in which majorities do not virtually decide right and wrong, but conscience? — in which majorities decide only those questions to which the rule of expediency is applicable? Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.

    Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice. A common and natural result of an undue respect for law is, that you may see a file of soldiers, colonel, captain, corporal, privates, powder-monkeys, and all, marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their wills, ay, against their common sense and consciences, which makes it very steep marching indeed, and produces a palpitation of the heart. They have no doubt that it is a damnable business in which they are concerned; they are all peaceably inclined. Now, what are they? Men at all? or small movable forts and magazines, at the service of some unscrupulous man in power?

    The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, jailers, constables, posse comitatus, etc. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones; and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purpose as well. Such command no more respect than men of straw or a lump of dirt. They have the same sort of worth only as horses and dogs. Yet such as these even are commonly esteemed good citizens. Others, as most legislators, politicians, lawyers, ministers, and office-holders, serve the state chiefly with their heads; and, as they rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the devil, without intending it, as God. A very few, as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men, serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it.

    How does it become a man to behave toward this American government to-day? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it. I cannot for an instant recognize that political organization as my government which is the slave’s government also.

    All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable. But almost all say that such is not the case now. But such was the case, they think, in the Revolution of ’75.

    All machines have their friction; and possibly this does enough good to counterbalance the evil. At any rate, it is a great evil to make a stir about it. But when the friction comes to have its machine, and oppression and robbery are organized, I say, let us not have such a machine any longer. In other words, when a sixth of the population of a nation which has undertaken to be the refuge of liberty are slaves, and a whole country is unjustly overrun and conquered by a foreign army, and subjected to military law, I think that it is not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize. What makes this duty the more urgent is the fact that the country so overrun is not our own, but ours is the invading army.

    Practically speaking, the opponents to a reform in Massachusetts are not a hundred thousand politicians at the South, but a hundred thousand merchants and farmers here, who are more interested in commerce and agriculture than they are in humanity, and are not prepared to do justice to the slave and to Mexico, cost what it may. I quarrel not with far-off foes, but with those who, near at home, co-operate with, and do the bidding of those far away, and without whom the latter would be harmless. We are accustomed to say, that the mass of men are unprepared; but improvement is slow, because the few are not materially wiser or better than the many. It is not so important that many should be as good as you, as that there be some absolute goodness somewhere; for that will leaven the whole lump.

    There are thousands who are in opinion opposed to slavery and to the war, who yet in effect do nothing to put an end to them; who, esteeming themselves children of Washington and Franklin, sit down with their hands in their pockets, and say that they know not what to do, and do nothing; who even postpone the question of freedom to the question of free-trade, and quietly read the prices-current along with the latest advices from Mexico, after dinner, and, it may be, fall asleep over them both. What is the price-current of an honest man and patriot to-day? They hesitate, and they regret, and sometimes they petition; but they do nothing in earnest and with effect. They will wait, well disposed, for others to remedy the evil, that they may no longer have it to regret. At most, they give only a cheap vote, and a feeble countenance and Godspeed, to the right, as it goes by them. There are nine hundred and ninety-nine patrons of virtue to one virtuous man; but it is easier to deal with the real possessor of a thing than with the temporary guardian of it.

    Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men. When the majority shall at length vote for the abolition of slavery, it will be because they are indifferent to slavery, or because there is but little slavery left to be abolished by their vote. They will then be the only slaves. Only his vote can hasten the abolition of slavery who asserts his own freedom by his vote.

    It is not a man’s duty, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradication of any, even the most enormous wrong; he may still properly have other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it, and, if he gives it no thought longer, not to give it practically his support. If I devote myself to other pursuits and contemplations, I must first see, at least, that I do not pursue them sitting upon another man’s shoulders. I must get off him first, that he may pursue his contemplations too. See what gross inconsistency is tolerated. I have heard some of my townsmen say, “I should like to have them order me out to help put down an insurrection of the slaves, or to march to Mexico; — see if I would go”; and yet these very men have each, directly by their allegiance, and so indirectly, at least, by their money, furnished a substitute. The soldier is applauded who refuses to serve in an unjust war by those who do not refuse to sustain the unjust government which makes the war; is applauded by those whose own act and authority he disregards and sets at naught; as if the state were penitent to that degree that it hired one to scourge it while it sinned, but not to that degree that it left off sinning for a moment. Thus, under the name of Order and Civil Government, we are all made at last to pay homage to and support our own meanness. After the first blush of sin comes its indifference; and from immoral it becomes, as it were, unmoral, and not quite unnecessary to that life which we have made.

    The broadest and most prevalent error requires the most disinterested virtue to sustain it. The slight reproach to which the virtue of patriotism is commonly liable, the noble are most likely to incur. Those who, while they disapprove of the character and measures of a government, yield to it their allegiance and support are undoubtedly its most conscientious supporters, and so frequently the most serious obstacles to reform. Some are petitioning the State to dissolve the Union, to disregard the requisitions of the President. Why do they not dissolve it themselves — the union between themselves and the State — and refuse to pay their quota into its treasury?

    Action from principle — the perception and the performance of right — changes things and relations; it is essentially revolutionary, and does not consist wholly with anything which was. It not only divides states and churches, it divides families; ay, it divides the individual, separating the diabolical in him from the divine.

    Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does it cry and resist before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage its citizens to be on the alert to point out its faults, and do better than it would have them? Why does it always crucify Christ and excommunicate Copernicus and Luther, and pronounce Washington and Franklin rebels?

    If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go; perchance it will wear smooth — certainly the machine will wear out. If the injustice has a spring, or a pulley, or a rope, or a crank, exclusively for itself, then perhaps you may consider whether the remedy will not be worse than the evil; but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.

    As for adopting the ways which the State has provided for remedying the evil, I know not of such ways. They take too much time, and a man’s life will be gone. I have other affairs to attend to. I came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad. A man has not everything to do, but something; and because he cannot do everything, it is not necessary that he should do something wrong. It is not my business to be petitioning the Governor or the Legislature any more than it is theirs to petition me; and if they should not hear my petition, what should I do then?

    I do not hesitate to say, that those who call themselves Abolitionists should at once effectually withdraw their support, both in person and property, from the government of Massachusetts, and not wait till they constitute a majority of one, before they suffer the right to prevail through them. I think that it is enough if they have God on their side, without waiting for that other one. Moreover, any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one already

    I meet this American government, or its representative, the State government, directly, and face to face, once a year — no more — in the person of its tax-gatherer.

    My civil neighbor, the tax-gatherer, is the very man I have to deal with — for it is, after all, with men and not with parchment that I quarrel — and he has voluntarily chosen to be an agent of the government. How shall he ever know well what he is and does as an officer of the government, or as a man, until he is obliged to consider whether he shall treat me, his neighbor, for whom he has respect, as a neighbor and well-disposed man, or as a maniac and disturber of the peace, and see if he can get over this obstruction to his neighborliness without a ruder and more impetuous thought or speech corresponding with his action? I know this well, that if one thousand, if one hundred, if ten men whom I could name — if ten honest men only — ay, if one HONEST man, in this State of Massachusetts, ceasing to hold slaves, were actually to withdraw from this copartnership, and be locked up in the county jail therefor, it would be the abolition of slavery in America. For it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever. But we love better to talk about it: that we say is our mission. Reform keeps many scores of newspapers in its service, but not one man.

    Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison. The proper place to-day, the only place which Massachusetts has provided for her freer and less desponding spirits, is in her prisons, to be put out and locked out of the State by her own act, as they have already put themselves out by their principles. It is there that the fugitive slave, and the Mexican prisoner on parole, and the Indian come to plead the wrongs of his race, should find them; on that separate, but more free and honorable ground, where the State places those who are not with her, but against her — the only house in a slave State in which a free man can abide with honor.

    Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence. A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority; it is not even a minority then; but it is irresistible when it clogs by its whole weight. If the alternative is to keep all just men in prison, or give up war and slavery, the State will not hesitate which to choose. If a thousand men were not to pay their tax-bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood. This is, in fact, the definition of a peaceable revolution, if any such is possible.

    When the subject has refused allegiance, and the officer has resigned his office, then the revolution is accomplished. But even suppose blood should flow. Is there not a sort of blood shed when the conscience is wounded? Through this wound a man’s real manhood and immortality flow out, and he bleeds to an everlasting death. I see this blood flowing now.

    I have paid no poll-tax for six years. I was put into a jail once on this account, for one night; and, as I stood considering the walls of solid stone, two or three feet thick, the door of wood and iron, a foot thick, and the iron grating which strained the light, I could not help being struck with the foolishness of that institution which treated me as if I were mere flesh and blood and bones, to be locked up. I wondered that it should have concluded at length that this was the best use it could put me to, and had never thought to avail itself of my services in some way. I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through, before they could get to be as free as I was.

    I saw that the State was half-witted, that it was timid as a lone woman with her silver spoons, and that it did not know its friends from its foes, and I lost all my remaining respect for it, and pitied it.

    Thus the State never intentionally confronts a man’s sense, intellectual or moral, but only his body, his senses. It is not armed with superior wit or honesty, but with superior physical strength. I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest.

    When I came out of prison — for some one interfered, and paid that tax — I did not perceive that great changes had taken place on the common, such as he observed who went in a youth and emerged a tottering and gray-headed man; and yet a change had to my eyes come over the scene — the town, and State, and country — greater than any that mere time could effect. I saw yet more distinctly the State in which I lived. I saw to what extent the people among whom I lived could be trusted as good neighbors and friends; that their friendship was for summer weather only; that they did not greatly propose to do right; that they were a distinct race from me by their prejudices and superstitions, as the Chinamen and Malays are; that in their sacrifices to humanity, they ran no risks, not even to their property; that after all they were not so noble but they treated the thief as he had treated them, and hoped, by a certain outward observance and a few prayers, and by walking in a particular straight though useless path from time to time, to save their souls. This may be to judge my neighbors harshly; for I believe that many of them are not aware that they have such an institution as the jail in their village.

    I have never declined paying the highway tax, because I am as desirous of being a good neighbor as I am of being a bad subject; and as for supporting schools, I am doing my part to educate my fellow-countrymen now. It is for no particular item in the tax-bill that I refuse to pay it. I simply wish to refuse allegiance to the State, to withdraw and stand aloof from it effectually. I do not care to trace the course of my dollar, if I could, till it buys a man or a musket to shoot one with — the dollar is innocent — but I am concerned to trace the effects of my allegiance.

    I think sometimes, Why, this people mean well; they are only ignorant; they would do better if they knew how: why give your neighbors this pain to treat you as they are not inclined to? But I think, again, This is no reason why I should do as they do, or permit others to suffer much greater pain of a different kind

    Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government? Is it not possible to take a step further towards recognizing and organizing the rights of man? There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly. I please myself with imagining a State at least which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor; which even would not think it inconsistent with its own repose if a few were to live aloof from it, not meddling with it, nor embraced by it, who fulfilled all the duties of neighbors and fellow-men. A State which bore this kind of fruit, and suffered it to drop off as fast as it ripened, would prepare the way for a still more perfect and glorious State, which also I have imagined, but not yet anywhere seen.

  • Off-topic but relevant to the NBL theme.

    TRDH (comment in preceding post): Unfortunately, we don’t have that data available to us (or if so, I’m not aware of it).

    Actually there is quite a bit of info, even on the Internet. There may be a lot more in old libraries and bookstores, antique shops, and such.

    A Practitioner’s Handbook Of Materia Medica And Therapeutics

    Whether any of it does any good by today’s standards is quite another matter. But then again whether today’s standards will be maintained into the future is yet another matter.

  • More truth than most Americans can handle, Guy.

    James Howard Kunstler spent several years as a cheerleader for President War-is-peace. I wonder whether he has taken the blinkers off yet.

    On the matter of the worst president ever, Truman might be in the running. He authorised the vaporisation of tens of thousands civilians, as an experiment and to show the USSR what would happen to them if they opposed US hegemony, overthrew the government of Korea and set up all the preconditions for the Korean War and the Vietnam War, destroyed the careers of several Hollywood personalities (some of whom fled the US) during the McCarthy witch-hunts, authorised nuclear experiments on civilians and servicemen, turned a blind eye the abuse of minorities and the mentally ill in the name of progress, and made sure that non-white returning servicemen went back to being one notch above outright slavery.

    Obama does have the advantage of sophisticated electronic systems to snoop on citizens and assassinate them if they ‘look suspicious’. An d he does have the advantage of having mass media controlled by his corporate friends to indoctrinate and mould the general populace in eh desired direction.

    O’Bomber suffers the disadvantage of presiding over an empire in terminal decline and seen to be a largely toothless tiger, whereas previous presidents we able to bluff the rest of the world and actually clobber those that were not bluffed.

    I see that China is well on the way to having a second aircraft carrier, purpose-built instead of converted from a hulk. ‘Interesting times’ ahead, as the infrastructure of the US empire falls to pieces and the energy needed to maintain complex systems goes into severe decline; along with much of the food supply.

    If it’s any consolation, the present government of NZ is arguably the most dysfunctional and most repressive of dissent in a long time; the same applies to Britain, Canada, Australia, France, Spain, Italy……

  • Well, on this topic there’s the breaking news of NSA scooping up all phone and internet data on EVERYONE in the USA and most likely many others in other countries with PRISM and other on-going operations.


    Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations

    The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA’s history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows

    The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.

    The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,” he said.

    Snowden will go down in history as one of America’s most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. He is responsible for handing over material from one of the world’s most secretive organisations – the NSA.

    In a note accompanying the first set of documents he provided, he wrote: “I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions,” but “I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.”

    Despite his determination to be publicly unveiled, he repeatedly insisted that he wants to avoid the media spotlight. “I don’t want public attention because I don’t want the story to be about me. I want it to be about what the US government is doing.”

    He does not fear the consequences of going public, he said, only that doing so will distract attention from the issues raised by his disclosures. “I know the media likes to personalise political debates, and I know the government will demonise me.”

    Despite these fears, he remained hopeful his outing will not divert attention from the substance of his disclosures. “I really want the focus to be on these documents and the debate which I hope this will trigger among citizens around the globe about what kind of world we want to live in.” He added: “My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.”

    He has had “a very comfortable life” that included a salary of roughly $200,000, a girlfriend with whom he shared a home in Hawaii, a stable career, and a family he loves. “I’m willing to sacrifice all of that because I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”

    ‘I am not afraid, because this is the choice I’ve made’

    (there’s more)

    Snowden is being hailed as a true hero all over the net. Let’s see if his selfless sacrifice pays off.

  • The same ‘positive feedback loops’ that apply to climate apply to crumbling Empire.

    Positive feedback loops are essentially a form of compound interest.

    In both Climate and Empire, positive feedback loops can augment and leverage and multiply on each other.

    This is like compound interest squared or cubed or ……

    Very dangerous stuff.

    Like a tornado made of fire winding across an earthquake zone that was just hit by a Tsunami, compound interest=positive feedback loops can occur in many types of systems, especially highly complex Command & Control systems.

    As the Russian army closed in on the Uberman Bunker in Berlin, the German commanders realized the Russians were advancing very rapidly through the subway system so Lizard in Chief Hitler ordered them flooded, knowing there were tens of thousands of wounded German and SS soldiers down in the subway in field hospitals.

    This is how Reptiles Masquerading as Mammals think, especially with their backs to the wall.

    Especially when they see the Grim Compound Interest Reaper coming for their heads.

    The entire political and financial ‘leadership’ (cough,gag,cough) of the globe are Reptiles Masquerading as Mammals.

    They have no alternatives. They have no Plan ‘B’ for climate change or Ponzi Finance.

    They will just ‘flood the subway’ to give themselves a little more time before the Laws of Nature hold them to account.

    Many are confident that they can actually ‘game’ the laws of nature with their polished acts of usury and cunning deceit. Their hubris knows no bounds, just like Compound Interest, it extends to Infinity and Beyond.

    They are like feathered, saucer eyed Aztec priests cutting the hearts out of billions and tossing them down the temple steps to maintain their positions of Power for a bit longer.

    They are Insane

    There is no Planet ‘B’

  • I hold the same views as Speak Softly. It really comes down to simple self interest. Some like to hike, some like to garden, some like to surf – as a whole, the vast majority just like to be left alone and “do their own thing”.

    But, but there are a small number of people whose activities are drawn towards the excited adrenalin rush of control. What makes them leap out of bed in the morning is another day of potential victory & conquest. It’s what “turns them on”.

    Well, as you might imagine, if you’re really into skiing, you might find yourself actually moving to a ski region and devoting yourself to that sport. Likewise, unless you’re physically incapacitated and/or incarcerated, if you’re into command & control, you will be driven to make yourself realize that dream.

    Laws and customs would just be temporary obstacles in your way. It would be like a stormy day ruining a perfect golf outing. If you’re really a zealot, you’d know that all storms pass, and that there would be many more such opportunities to go out and hit the links.

    Once you understand human nature, it all makes perfect sense. It’s all predatory, and we’re the prey. And like animal husbandry, the rulers have perfected the art of triage in managing herds:
    – 1/3 dependent on state bread
    – 1/3 on the payroll are kept entertained
    – 1/3 potential opposition are targeted

    From the last 1/3, some portion can be co-opted by buy ins to the system via the security apparatus: cops, military, tax collectors, etc. In essence, the guard dogs in Animal Farm. The rest are the opposition. Since they are greatly outnumbered, they never pose a real threat. Throw them some crumbs with respect to assembly, speech, etc, and make sure they are watched.

    These kinds of control systems have been in place since the first hominid groups exceeded 50 or so individuals. The total surveillance state we experience today is nothing more than a manifestation of principles set into motion across the long arc of history untold eons ago.

    The US is not intrinsically an ‘evil doer’. Rather, it’s just another example of a long line of regimes all going through the same motions ie the same old, same old. To get worked out and/or outraged/excited is a waste of energy. It will end when it ends, as do all systems based on perpetual motion (energy/growth).

    So the same old challenge to ‘normal’ people is: how do you survive the coming collapse? If you’ve studied the past, while there are no guarantees, there certainly are best practices. They’ve been discussed here & elsewhere repeatedly, so I think everyone knows the basic game plan.



    By Shadia Nasralla

    CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s foreign minister, vowing not to give up “a single drop of water from the Nile”, said on Sunday he would go to Addis Ababa to discuss a giant dam that Ethiopia has begun building in defiance of Cairo’s objections.

    Speaking to Egypt’s state news agency MENA two days after the Ethiopian government flatly rejected a request from Cairo to halt the project, Mohamed Kamel Amr said Egyptians view any obstacle to the river’s flow as a threat to national survival.

    “No Nile – no Egypt,” he said, highlighting the pressure on the Egyptian government, whose popularity is wilting in the face of economic troubles, to prevent the hydro power plant cutting already stretched water supplies for its 84 million people.

    Last week, Ethiopia summoned the Egyptian ambassador after politicians in Cairo were shown on television suggesting military action or supporting Ethiopian rebels – a mark of the threat felt in Cairo from the plan to dam the Blue Nile, the tributary that supplies the bulk of water downstream in Egypt.

    “Egypt won’t give up on a single drop of water from the Nile or any part of what arrives into Egypt from this water in terms of quantity and quality,” Amr told MENA, noting that Egypt has little rain and is effectively desert without its great river.

  • I didn’t realize that helium was in short supply – they have a bottle at every supermarket in town and they blow up birthday balloons on demand.

    The question is: Is one balloon enough? Or do I need a dozen?

    As for nitrogen, Can you use the kind that they put in your tires?

    Just curious.

  • Maybe a quick fix: Saxifrage is with with Vancouver Observer (presumably not also the Vancouver Sun) a local online paper I discovered through this website I believe.

  • 6/10/13

    The world is getting warmer faster than anticipated. A new report from the International Energy Agency says global temperatures will rise twice as fast as projected if countries don’t act to slash their admissions soon. Released this morning, the IEA report shows carbon diaoxide from energy emissions rose 1.4 percent globally last year, a new record, and puts the world on pace for a 5.3 degree Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) rise in global temperatures by 2020. In 2010, a UN summit agreed the goal would be to limit the rise in global temperatures to 2 degrees by 2020.

    “This puts us on a difficult and dangerous trajectory,” IEA chief economist Fatih Birol said in her statement. “If we don’t do anything between now and 2020, it will be very difficult because there will be a lot of carbon already in the atmosphere and the energy infrastructure will be locked in.”

  • We are so easy to lead, misleading is hardly necessary. My heart broke at a protest this spring when I saw a sign proclaiming Torture is Wrong. A society that needs to be reminded that torture is wrong is surely doomed. What passes for liberal opposition to Empire America is little more than some feeble cries. Quick to label Manning and Snowden as Heroes, but unmoving when it comes to actually doing anything. We’re paralyzed by the belief we’re too small to fight back. We are unwilling to risk anything, so we will suffer everything.
    We may not like it, but at least we’re “free.” What a cruel joke we play upon ourselves.

  • @Rob

    “If we don’t do anything between now and 2020, it will be very difficult because there will be a lot of carbon already in the atmosphere and the energy infrastructure will be locked in.”

    He seems to be confused as to the year – that should read “1980”.


    I spent some time lurking over at dKos regarding the NSA stuff. I was appalled at how many “progressives” are livid at Snowden and think he should be drawn and quartered, since a surveillance state “keeps us safe”. Even the ones who want to “free Bradley Manning” think Snowden is a traitor because the Patriot Act says it is OK. As long as they pass a law first it’s OK.

    The federal government has way more artillery than the citizenry could possibly muster
    I see this stated frequently, but if Iraq and Afghanistan have proven one thing, it is that a 21st century imperial army can’t defeat determined guerillas with small arms. The military can maintain a presence as long as the fuel and money holds out but they can’t win, and if you can’t win you eventually lose.

    Why are Americans so complacent? Because the water still comes out of the tap and there is still food in the grocery stores, and the TV still shows images of The Good Life that is Just Around the Corner. If you can scrape up a little money you still have a pretty easy life by historical standards.

    Once the water supply is exhausted and food rationing starts, the complacency will vanish overnight. They aren’t building a massive security state and militarising the police for nothing. That’s where the last of the resources and funding will go. In the end, it won’t be enough.

    The recent obsession with gun control has less to do with disarming the population (that ship has already sailed, and they know it) than about sowing distrust and fear of your neighbor. The political right already has its set of boogey men. Now the nominal “left” is trying to demonize the third of Americans that are gun owners. More fear, more distrust, makes it harder to unite in opposition.

    The transformation of the Democratic Party into the Republican Party is largely complete. If you aren’t a New Dealer, you aren’t a Democrat, but the party is now firmly controlled by modestly pro-choice moderate corporate Republicans, leaving the Republican Party with the neo-Confederates, theocrats, and John Birchers.

    No-one is more viscously savaged by today’s Democratic establishment than a traditional Democrat, let alone anyone to their left.

    On one hand there is no hope from the private sector, and on the other hand there is no hope from the public sector, and I’m out of hands.

  • About suicide methods.

    Do remember that there is an ethical dimension to procurement of means. The person who sells you the tank of helium or nitrogen would be horrified to learn that the goods they sold you were used as an instrument of death.

    I favour a more indirect method, one where the means are even easier to come by, but where the two necessary components can be bought separately, so sparing the seller from being held as an accessory to suicide.

    That method is the production of carbon monoxide by the decomposition of formic acid in sulfuric acid. Both 85% strength formic acid and 95% sulfuric acid can be bought on eBay. You should add two parts formic acid to one part sulfuric acid, so 2 litres or 2 quarts, say, are added slowly to a single litre or quart of sulfuric acid. Immediately upon contact, the formic acid vigorously decomposes into carbon monoxide. With these kinds of quantities, once you have sequestered yourself in a sealed room or similarly confined space, death is less than half an hour away, will be completely painless, and will steal up on you unawareness, especially if you take a mild sedative beforehand. Carbon monoxide is extremely effective. The concentration of CO needs to be only 4% or less to bring about rapid unconsciousness.

    Please do remember to leave a warning sign to whoever finds your body that CO is present and to call the emergency services. Ethically, therefore, the drawback of the CO method is that it endangers the person who discovers you. If that person is a loved one, you will be putting them in the agonising position of preventing them from doing what anyone who loves you would do, which is to try to revive you.

  • I checked out many of the supporting web based references from this essay, and they all add up to a freak out for you guys over there.

    But hang on, us over here in Australia, we are now only 5 years behind ‘yall’ over there. So will we get to see the dominos fall and have 5 years to wait?

    Is the Australian dollar redeemable for anything else other than the US dollar, (which since 1971 is redeemable for …..yup, US dollars…??) ?

    If so, the dominoes will take nanoseconds.

    There is a very funny Gary Larson cartoon:

    “Bummer of a birthmark Hal”


    Bummer of a essay-mark Guy!

    We are getting drones too!

    ‘Tony Abbott Wants Australia To Have A Billion-Dollar Drone Program, But Why?’


    ‘$190 million drone coming to Australia’


    Wow, that Cyberdyne Systems is sure got some great gear.

  • People who are dedicated to the mainstream political parties are a sad bunch. It takes a lot of cognitive dissonance to earnestly vote either democratic or republican these days but people still do it. Democrats and republicans are opposite sides of the same neurosis.


  • Guy,

    I appreciate your correction to the Vancouver Sun report. Even though I disagree with you, your honesty is why I keep reading. Thanks.

  • I know this is off-topic but it’s something I have to say.

    “This experiment has been a failure. It was the worst mistake of my life.”

    I’m having a problem coming to terms with Guy’s admission. I know I’m in no position to judge but I would like to offer a view from my own personal and, admittedly, limited perspective.

    My wife and I spent a few days with Guy, back in September of 2010. He was on a speaking tour in the Midwest, and agreed to my plea to speak in my small home town before major engagements in Rockford, IL and Louisville, KY. In my introduction I tried to reveal something about his nature and character. I told the audience about his August 2007 keynote address to a large group of Public Health students at a university conference. It was a large gathering of students, faculty, and administration. “The End of Civilization and the Extinction of Humanity,” the first essay that appears here at NBL, was what they heard. https://guymcpherson.com/2007/08/the-end-of-civilization-and-the-extinction-of-humanity/ .

    A minute into this amazing essay he spoke the following words:

    “Edward Abbey, the iconoclastic author from Tucson, was fond of saying society is like a stew: if you don’t stir it up every now and then, the scum rises to the top. Clearly, we’ve needed a lot more stirring since we lost Cactus Ed’s voice in 1989.
    Speaking of scum rising to the top, my dean keeps asking me to quit stirring the pot.”

    Guy has told us several times over the years that he could not, in good conscience, continue to live at the apex of civilization and so, after much thought and pain, left. Now I don’t know much, but it seems to me that the man capable of insulting his boss in this manner in front of a large audience has got some serious issues with said boss and others in the university administration. It appeared to me these issues contributed to Guy’s eventual departure from the university.

    My impression of him when we first met was of a thoughtful, sensitive, kind, witty and intelligent man. Probably the smartest man I’ve ever met. Those views have not changed. Given his nature I can’t help but question how he could possibly have remained at the University of Arizona under the circumstances he found himself in.

    Every one of us has faced some serious forks in the road, and every one of us has looked back upon some of them with regret. But given the chaotic nature of life, the road not taken will always remain a mystery, unseen and unknown.

    The people, like my wife and me, that he has touched and the example he has set; all this has meaning and worth. I find myself agreeing more and more with tvt. The future is not yet written. Chaos works in mysterious ways. The full impact of his words and actions have not yet been determined.

    Guy—you’ve learned the difference between a zucchini and a screw driver. You’ve worked hard, met many new people and learned new skill sets. You have got to have many options available. You would be an asset to any community you joined. Many of us have extended an invitation. There must be dozens of small liberal arts colleges that would welcome someone with your credentials. Find a way to get back to your joy of teaching. The main thing I hope you take from this is that we think your efforts these past several years have not been wasted. Your words and deeds, along with the words and examples of everyone who has participated at NBL, have helped us more clearly understand ourselves and our world. What we do with that knowledge will vary, and given the possibilities we face, may not change the outcome. But in my opinion that knowledge has been a priceless gift, and I for one am grateful.

  • Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous and you’re the outdoors type, you can always just take a one-way hike into the desert of your choice. Relatively quick on-set dehydration is a euphoric experience and a painless death. Read Paulo Coelho’s experience hiking into the Mojave in The Valkyries.

  • Related news from NY:

    Senate Passes Bill Creating Crime of Aggravated Harassment of a Police Officer

    Posted by Majority Press on Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
    RELATED ISSUES: Crime, Police

    The New York State Senate today passed a bill that creates the crime of aggravated harassment of a police or peace officer. The bill (S.2402), sponsored by Senator Joe Griffo (R-C-I, Rome) would make it a felony to physically attack a police officer while on duty.
    “At a time when shocking incidents of disrespect and outright confrontation are at an all-time high, the men and women who patrol the streets of our cities deserve every possible protection we can offer them,”Senator Griffo stated. “My bill would make it a crime to take any type of physical action to try to intimidate a police officer. This is a necessary action because we can see from the rise in incidents that too many people in our society have lost the respect they need to have for a police officer. We need to make it very clear that when a police officer is performing his duty, every citizen needs to comply and that refusal to comply carries a penalty.”
    The bill establishes this crime as a Class E Felony, punishable by up to four years in prison.
    “Professionally, I am grateful to see this bill pass through the Senate. Our police officers have a very dangerous job and need the support of our government leaders to help make them safe,”said Utica Police Department Chief Mark Williams. “All too often persons are physically challenging police officers in the line of duty. Currently in those instances where an officer is physically attack (short of sustaining a physical injury) the lawful charge is only a violation. The consequences are way too low for the offender and it sends the wrong message to the public. Police officers are the public’s first line of defense to restore order in dangerous/chaotic situations. Citizens do not have the legal right to physically challenge the authority of an officer lawfully performing their duties. Threats, intimidation and physical force used upon our police officers not only erode respect for our criminal justice system, but also endanger the public as well.
    The bill is being sent to the Assembly.

  • On more than one occasion, there has been speculation by commenters on this blog as to what “the powers that be” know about collapse. I think the U.S. government’s actions over the last several decades have made that pretty clear: they are preparing for it. In a big way.

    Back to the suicide/air embolism question. Didn’t I tell you Robin would know more about it than me? :-)

    Thanks for the good information Robin. As usual, you continue to teach me new things.

  • Barack Obama, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Al Qaeda

  • Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:57pm EDT

    * MERS coronavirus has potential to spread globally, WHO says

    * U.N. health agency issues new guidance on pandemic risks

    By Stephanie Nebehay

    GENEVA, June 10 (Reuters) – The World Health Organisation on Monday urged health workers around the world to be on the alert for symptoms of the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS), which has the potential to circle the globe and cause a pandemic.

    The United Nations agency, which issued new, long-awaited guidance to countries on influenza pandemics, said the world was also in the same “alert phase” for two human strains of bird flu – H5N1, which emerged a decade ago, and H7N9, first detected in China in March.

  • Been busy restoring my computer which crashed. Haven’t had time to read all the comments – however I want to respond to this that you wrote Guy Contrary to popular belief in the neoconservative blogosphere, Obama is not coming for your guns. The federal government has way more artillery than the citizenry could possibly muster, Yes, I agree 100%. Back when I went to college at Valparaiso Ind, there was an election in Gary Ind. A black man was running to become the first mayor of Gary. They stationed TANKS on our campus in case they had to move in to quell a riot. They didn’t but the image of those tanks never left me. If the government chooses, they have more than enough weapons to neutralize any threat from the citizenry.

    Pat, yes MERS is on the move and http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/35879/title/Bird-Flu-Mutation-Risk/ Two types of bird flu—H5N1 and H7N9—have sparked concerns about a potential pandemic. Both viruses can cause severe illness and death in people, but mercifully, neither can spread easily from person to person.

    That might soon change, however. According to a study today (June 6) in Cell, some strains of both viruses are just one mutation away from getting a better grip on the cells in our upper airways. If wild viruses accrue those mutations, they may find it far easier to spread from infected to uninfected people, increasing the risk of a pandemic.

    So it goes – we are mortal – something will get everyone of us regardless of whatever we do ….

    Since I had to put my name in again due to computer wipeout thought I would expand on the C :)

  • In the previous thread, infanttyrone says:
    At the Last Chance Saloon it’s our treat
    To serve you a drink, but not neat
    Here it’s all on the rocks
    Iced drinks smooth out the shocks
    Least ’til the Arctic melting’s complete

    All right, dude! :)

    Some sit in the Last Chance Saloon
    And try to get fucked up by noon;
    You might not think they should,
    But their way’s just as good
    As any, for what’s coming soon.

  • @ BTD:

    I wake up still drunk from the night before, but really, I “come to” about 4am and start all over again. Collapse can wait until my last dime is spent – then, bring it on, I’m ready…

  • “I hope you don’t mind. I told Mrs. Bates she could use your dressing room.”

    Watching “Hitchcock” now, with Anthony Hopkins masterfully portraying the making of “Psycho”, shirking work another day and taking occasional pauses to clean in the kitchen (Where have the last 9 months gone to, since I’ve been obsessed with this NTE prospect?), and so my mind runs toward a conspiratorial bent.


    I hope that my post was supplementary, and not distractive, because Guy has suggested above that we are in similar times. Probably worse. Indeed, in 1849, the “USA”, land of the free and whatever, had just conquered its neighbor, Mexico. (No wonder the Canadians maintain such low profile — we hardly know they’re there!)

    Escaping slaves hid out in basements and woodsheds on their way North to Canada, while town constables occasionally enforced the laws on returning them to their “owners”. I lived for many years in a house along that route used to hide slaves in the daytime, awaiting travel by night; I liked to think that my room was one of the refuges, but it was most likely under a trapdoor in the hallway.

    The level of sectional hatred over the addition of new states — slave or free — was something that we can hardly imagine happening here today, but certainly shows what our progenitors were capable of. Just how far from that tree do these apples fall?

    And Thoreau wrote all of this, by daylight and by candlelight, not even imagining that electricity and color TV and I-whatevers lay ahead in the future. He made pencils, and the family business prospered by the discovery a new process for use of graphite.

    I did excerpt, and edit for this time, and it was easy to grab the standout phrases, though larger paragraphs clung stubbornly to most of them.

    And yet, the thinking, the sociology, the politics, all of it was there. Plus ca change,… and we hardly know what to make of that overlay upon our prospects today. Are we them, from that time? Or something new and much different?


    Softly Speaking and B9K9 set my mood perfectly for the day’s Hitchcockian viewing, with their description of reptile-like predators running the world, though I suppose that someone should someday put in the good word for reptiles, as aren’t they are grandparents who brought us through the Permian Extinction? Perhaps not. Have to check that chronology again.

    Following the tags above, I land back at an essay Guy wrote almost 2 years back, on Agrarian Anarchy, and discusses a bit about “mitigation in place”. (Reading the entire NBL archive shines much brighter now as a summer project.) Since that was my first reaction to being struck by the NTE concept, I pursued that direction posthaste (and will probably end up where Guy’s thinking is at after my usual 2-year lag) and even began some of the explorations that I now see Guy was suggesting back then.

    I will just wrap up my day’s “contribution” by stating that I had one encounter soon afterward with that reptilian mindset and planning, in another country, with a very “spooky” guy who was actually contracting those preparations for “people with money” and he gave me enough specific construction detail to convince me it was not just something he read in the pages of Newsmax or heard on Alex J. He also described one other site, not under his contract, of a much bigger type, farther to the south, with residences for a family grouping, and a private regiment to protect them. (That one might have been just bar conversation bravado. But, what if?)

    I don’t think these were climate-related so much as chaos preparations, but they would serve, at least temporarily, in that case as well.

    So I added “neo-feudal warlords” to “remote indigenous” as my likely survival groups to choose from.

    Think about it; if you were a billionaire, and your vulnerability in Darien or Greenwich or Houston was your biggest uncertainty, and you could fly privately anywhere in the world on an hour’s notice, wouldn’t you detail out a few tens of millions, or even more, to secure a remote location you could live on in?

    And, as you already have financial and security advisors who handle multiple affairs for you, wouldn’t they be constantly approached by, or seek out, “contractors” who want to sell you “needed” services? “Make us a proposal,” a plan is initialed, a budget is set, and thus the work begins. The refuge then awaits events.

    I sat, mostly listening, asking only very low-key confirmatory questions while nursing a couple beers, as if this exact topic hadn’t been on my mind, and checking his story against every crazy or extreme thing I had heard and read over the years, and after I had leveled out back on my own, realized, “I am but the low-budget version of this guy, trying to glom off a few tips from a real player in the field.” (Who I hope forgets my face or that he ever met me.)


    If you wanted to set one “impossible” goal for a lifetime, wouldn’t it be to “Put The Brakes On Cars”?, the very monsters that are killing us and all? (Each driver being on course to KILL 10 other humans through climate chaos, as I surmised last thread.) To make the personal auto as unthinkable as the personal backyard anti-aircraft gun. The first sign of success in which would be to collapse new car sales, followed upon soon after by the more rapid retiring of used cars, the shuttering of gas stations, and the migration to FREE mass transit as the urban extension of sidewalks, upon which all may walk gratis.

    How do you set a necessary arrival point, and then “reverse engineer” society and its psychology, rituals, and culture, to fit into it? Tall order, for sure.

    What would it take? Celeb hunger strikes? (“We’re all Gitmo now!”) Wouldn’t you abandon your car to save Scarlet Johansson? (“I want all of you to get up out of your cars… I’m mad as hell…”)

    Watch the dominant paradigm, “worst” presidents among them, fight to maintain itself. Also watch for its weaknesses, and the cracks leading to its collapse. Mammals scurrying between the dinosaurs’ massive legs?


    Sir Thomas More, played for an Oscar by Paul Scofield, via Robert Bolt’s screenplay for “A Man For All Seasons”:

    “Listen, Meg, God made the angels to show Him splendor, as He made animals for innocence and plants for their simplicity. But Man He made to serve Him wittily, in the tangle of his mind. If He suffers us to come to such a case that there is no escaping, then we may stand to our tackle as best we can, and, yes, Meg, then we can clamor like champions, if we have the spittle for it. But it’s God’s part, not our own, to bring ourselves to such a pass. Our natural business lies in escaping. If I can take the oath, I will.”


    “This ain’t no disco; it ain’t no country club either. This is L.A. The good people of the world are washing their cars on their lunchbreak … All I want to do is have some fun; I got the feelin’ I’m not the only one. … All I want to do is have some fun, until the sun comes up over Santa Monica Boulevard.” Sheryl Crow


  • a) I had a meeting with my local MP to ask about the mechanism to bring to heel rogue councils that fail to comply with the Local Government Act. There isn’t any.

    b) Whilst at his office I picked up several government brochures. One has the title: Building Natural Resources.

    c) On the Independent today: Storm-proofing oil extraction infrastructure in the face of increasing climate chaos so that oil extraction can continue to increase climate chaos. Unfortunately the IAE does not define ‘long term’. However, there are words like ‘sudden and devastating’. Just what the US commitment to tackling climate change is is largely unexplained, and there is no mention of curbing CO2 emissions for some reason. And it seems the IEA has decided to ignore positive feedbacks:

    The North Sea oil and gas industry is set to lose hundreds of millions of pounds a year as global warming threatens to unleash increasingly frequent and intense storms, producing bigger waves that could damage platforms and make it harder for staff to do their jobs, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned today.

    Announcing that global greenhouse emissions jumped by 1.6 per cent to a new record last year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said the world is on course for a 4C temperature increase in the long-term. This is double the 2C global warming goal agreed by nearly 200 countries but yet to be translated into a legally-binding target.

    “A 2C difference doesn’t mean that you just need to take your jacket off, it would have devastating implications,” said IEA chief economist Fatih Birol.

    Unless the world takes dramatic action to curb greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, we can expect “sudden and devastating” consequences, such as a significant increase in the frequency and severity of storms, he warned.

    A temperature rise of anything approaching 4C would hit the North Sea oil and gas industry hard, fostering stronger and more frequent storms.

    The stormier weather would add “hundreds of millions” of pounds to the costs of the North Sea oil and gas industry, in the form of damage, lost production and, most of all, the construction costs to strengthen the platforms, Mr Birol said.

    And even if the temperature rise is less dramatic, the hydrocarbon producers should take pre-emptive action now and invest heavily to boost their infrastructure, he added.

    “Oil companies need to strengthen their platforms. This will lead to higher costs but will improve the resilience of the structures,” said Mr Birol.

    The IEA – which advises the governments of its 28 member countries, including the UK – urged politicians to take swift action to combat climate change yesterday.

    “Climate change has quite frankly slipped to the back burner of priority politics. But the problem is not going away – quite the opposite…We simply can’t afford to delay,” said IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven.

    The agency issued a broadly gloomy prognosis of magnitude global warming, warning that while a 4C rise was the “central scenario” the increase could be as high as 5.3C.

    However, Mr Birol said he was encouraged by the apparently growing commitment of China and the US to tackle climate change. The two countries, which are responsible for 45 per cent of global emissions, announced at the weekend that they would work together for the first time to tackle climate change.

    Although their joint effort will initially be confined to the relatively insignificant class of chemicals commonly used in fridges and air conditioners – known as hydrofluorocarbons – experts said it was a hugely symbolic move which could herald far greater co-operation between the US and China.

    “In itself, it’s a very big step but not a game-changer. But it is sending a policy signal that could well be game changing,” Mr Birol said.

    The IEA said that the world could go 80 per cent of the way towards putting itself back on track for a 2C rise by 2020 at no net cost to the global economy.

    It could do this through improving energy efficiency in buildings, industry and transport, reducing the amount of methane produced by oil and gas companies, limiting the construction and use of the “least efficient” coal-fired power plants and reducing fossil fuel subsidies.

    Back on the North Sea, Mr Birol said the cost of additional storm-proofing would add between 10 and 15 per cent to price of a platform. Meanwhile the industry association Oil & Gas UK said North Sea explorers are likely to spend £13bn on “installing new kit” this year, implying an extra infrastructure cost of up to £200m a year, based on the 15 per cent figure

  • That should be IEA.

  • I’m glad you mentioned the Boston Bombings; it’s a clue to what they have in store for us. For any of you who may not have caught Dave McGowan’s latest, he’s penned a series on the Boston Bombings and the use of actors in that endeavor. He’s done an excellent job supporting his case. You really should take a look-see with an open mind. It appears it was a staged event, or in the least a pseudo staged event, and for those who have followed these latest false flags closely, this has been going on for a while. Here’s a link to Dave’s site. The series related to the Boston Bombings is at the top of the page. Currently, there are nine parts and counting.


    At the end of Part 7 Dave said this:

    Is all of that just a very strange set of coincidences? It doesn’t really seem very likely that it is. What we appear to be seeing here is a campaign aimed at erasing the line between reality and fantasy – between what is objectively real and what is make-believe. For many years now we have seen a blurring of the line between news and entertainment, as well as, through ‘reality’ television, a blurring of the line between what is ‘real’ and what is scripted. We are now entering an age when there will be no dividing line at all between news, scripted entertainment and ‘reality’ TV. It will all be one and the same.

    In the new ‘reality’ we will be living in, nothing will be real and everything will be true.

    At this point, I truly believe they are capable of staging a massive, culture-altering staged event; one that will enable them to get us to do whatever they wish us to do to finalize this end game and their final solution. Perhaps alien contact, or an alien invasion. An Orson Welles production on steroids, but with the caveat that it will always and forever thereafter be considered real. In fact, I expect it at this point. It would make total sense. It’s where all this is going considering Dave’s analysis and the trends we’ve been witnessing. They know about how dire it is, and they are almost ready to roll out The Big One. It’s sure to knock your socks off.

  • Big Brother is watching you, knows more about you than you about yourself, can embarrass you silly and otherwise tie you up in knots when it doesn’t downright torture and drone you.

    I voted for Obama twice, and wrack my brain to figure out why he does the things he does.

    Ever since the 60s, I’ve thought that “the system” was top heavy with intrigue and secrecy. So I’ve never expected much from it. I thought it operated in a cloud of subterfuge, but was glad to see, decade after decade, that life went on, with free space somehow still extant.

    I don’t know. Maybe the world was changing. There could even be a black president. There was the obscurity of global warming, yet with the silver lining that it, like nothing before, potentially unified all living things in a common struggle to overcome its menace.

    Despite,I could also see freedom slipping away to totalitarian hegemony. Jacque Ellul wrote about, not only the “Technological Society”, but followed up with the more dire “Technological System”…

    I now believe that we’re the frog in the ever so gradually heating pot of water. Whatever restraints against naked fascism still remain, function to assure us that the pot isn’t really heating up.

    Naively, perhaps, I view climate change as the potential tunnel out of the concentration camp. One wouldn’t place bets on getting out alive. Still…

    Because there is a significant constituency that is alarmed by climate change, and thinks that we must avoid the most egregious contributors to it, like Keystone XL pipeline (KXL) would be, Obama is in a tight spot. Approving KXL would sully his “legacy” in the most drastic possible way.

    And if “progressives” would wake the fuck up, they might see that they have one last trump card to shake society up. IF Obama approves the pipeline, they could desert the Democratic party with Grover Norquist-model uniformity.

    Voting Greens might either do a little shaking of its own (unlikely) or put the GOP in an even more controlling position than now. It would then be entertaining to see how Democrats react. They would be pressured, faster than they are prepared for, to stake out unfamiliar (shaking up) territory. They might have to show their fangs. There could be an interesting war between the two factions of the duopoly.

    The GOP would also have to act faster than they’re prepared to do, (or that is consistent with the slowly-heating-water scenario) and almost certainly overreach.

    If Obama rejects the pipeline, one would expect all hell of a different sort to break loose. The point is that progressive support and initiative around KXL puts them more in the driver’s seat, less than before the pawns of the elite.

    So KXL can represent needed change, whatever the outcome. IMO, voting is the last legal recourse of the people, and destined also to vanish consistent with the status quo. Why wouldn’t people give that one last try?

  • Rob says: I’m ready

    As involuntary draftee
    To more heat, degree by degree:
    Of course, I’m unsteady;
    While it’s hard to be ready,
    I’m ready as I’ll ever be.

    Pre-doomer Cult

    Pre-doomers like to insult
    Doom, and the whole doomer cult:
    They think warming’s a joke,
    But they won’t when they croak,
    After they’ve seen the result.

  • It’s as heartbreaking as any great tragedy, the Iliad for example.
    The people can rise up with their little guns, or knives or words or prayers, but the powers that be will drag our heroes behind their chariots regardless, i.e. shoot them down with drones…

  • Jimmy Carter was the last semi-decent human being who’s served as president. He tried to warn us about our energy predicament and move the country toward renewable energy and look where it got him. We deserve what we get.

  • Monsignor, I thought that “The Hunger Games” was one of the best documentaries ever. Oddly, most people seem to think it was fiction.

  • Jimmy Carter was no saint. Far from it. A couple of solar panels on the roof of the White House doesn’t exonerate him from his abuses.


    While president, during which he “proclaimed human rights to be ‘the soul of our foreign policy,'” Carter substantially supported the genocidal murder of some 200,000 people in Timor, an island of southeastern Indonesia, about 250 miles north of Australia. West Timor, formerly a Dutch colony, is now Indonesian territory; East Timor was formerly Portuguese, The original inhabitants of Timor were Malay, Polynesian and Papuan. The island is oil-rich. Guilty of the atrocities were the Indonesians under their ruler General Suharto, whom Carter aided. The president, who by all appearances is extraordinarily naïve, vetoed United Nations resolutions to stop the Indonesian slaughter of their island neighbor. Indonesia subsequently allowed international oil companies to exploit the oil of East Timor. A commission of Australia’s parliament labeled the massacres following the 1975 Indonesian invasion as “indiscriminate killing on a scale unprecedented in post-Word War ll history.” Carter is thus complicit in genocide; he is, in fact, a mass murderer.

    Jimmy the Naïve was also no saint when it came to other aspects of his foreign policy. He was instrumental in the murderous terrorism of the Anastasio Somoza dictatorship, which he backed, of Nicaragua while in the White House. And Carter abetted the Pol Pot regime of Cambodia and thereby is an accomplice to that government’s genocidal atrocities and war crimes. Finally, the war criminal from Plains supported the brutal, torturing, murdering, death-squad employer the Shah of Iran; the CIA directed the Shah’s secret police and their horrid crimes against humanity. One might note the duplicitous character of Carter in that he revealed in a 1976 Playboy interview that he considered committing adultery; this fact is fully in line with his character as analyzed by Dr. Bellak. James Earl Carter is hereby shown to be a war criminal, by any standards-not just according to the ex post facto findings at Nuremberg-and a mass murderer guilty of high crimes against humanity.

    In his career as a roving diplomat and peace negotiator, Carter displayed heinous duplicity, saying one thing in his ballyhoo press relations and doing quite other things, such as aiding brutal dictators, making countries safe for corporate investment, supporting undemocratic, rightist regimes and countenancing voter fraud. In 1991, scholar James Petras, after examining Carter’s “human rights campaign,” found that the former president was “a hard-nosed defender of oppressive state apparatuses, a willing consort to electoral frauds, an accomplice to U.S. Embassy efforts to abort popular democratic outcomes and a one-sided mediator.”

    In the Dominican Republic in 1990, Carter helped President Joaquin Balaguer steal the election. In Haiti in 1990 the “impartial mediator” worked to defeat Jean-Bertrand Aristide and rejected the factual idea that Haiti’s army was brutally repressive. Marx said that history constantly repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce. In the case of Carter and Haiti, the farce occurred when the wife of a Haitian army officer-involved in getting the aged diplomat-at-large “on board” and return to Haiti-was, as he told a journalist about the woman, singled out by him as “impressive, powerful and forceful. And attractive. She was slim and very attractive.”

  • The new consciousness is creeping up on us.

    Intelligent, honest and thoughtful questions are being asked by an increasing number of people – people from all walks of life.

    These new questions/thoughts are highly infectious. Once thought, they cannot be unthought. Even for the vested-interest amongst us, who like things just the way are, it can be pushed to the back of the mind and glossed over by daily life – but’s it’s still there, nibbling away at the truths you know to be lies. They are often uncomfortable thoughts, at odds with the way we reassure ourselves that things are supposed to be.

    Western culture has not taken it’s foot off the gas, pedal to metal, for at least the last 400 years. We have created an abomination. For the moment, we are stuck in the bleak midst of it – some aware, some in denial and some blissfully unaware. However, (acknowledged or not), every facet of every single human beings daily life is being tainted by what we have increasingly unenthusiastically created.

    There is good news. A vanguard of people ARE thinking differently. Faced with an array of terrifying prospects awaiting us all at the end of this horrific experiment gone awry, they are compelled to do so. The right questions are beginning to be asked – everywhere, about everything. The very nature of our existence.

    Some presentations I found helpful:

    Graham Hancock – The war on consciousness –

    Geoffrey West – Complexity –

    Rupert Sheldrake – The Science Delusion

    I have no idea when this new consciousness will universally take hold, but it has started. I have no idea where it will take us, but it’s inexorable. We need it too much for it to fail to take hold.

  • I did say “semi” decent. I mean, they’re all assholes right?. By definition anyone who seeks power over others is an asshole. That said, Carter was the last politician holding a high office who actually tried to speak to us as adults concerning America’s energy predicament. It’s to our great shame we didn’t follow through on his renewable energy initiatives. Instead we voted for Reagan and his “morning in America” bullshit.

  • Oh for cryin’ out loud can we ever get over it? “THEY” are not the assholes…WE are! It’s been true throughout our entire evolution. Only dreamers of nostalgia believe in the myth of the peaceful hunter gatherer. We’ve been violently contesting scarce resources since we were indistinguishable from chimps and still do!

  • Excellent article, Guy. Just one factual point.
    You say “The CIA admits to using broadcast news to manipulate the American citizenry as far back as 1954.”
    Operation Mockingbird actually started in the late 1940s. Its flagships were the “liberal” media outlets The New York Times, Washington Post and CBS.

    And thanks for posting the clarification regarding the 4 deg C temp rise. Indeed, the web-of-feedbacks analysis is valid even without such a rise.

  • The missing slides inform about product backdoors. How US products can be turned into open cams / mics & geotracking devices – apparently.


  • “The Law, in all it’s majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor from sleeping under bridges, begging in the streets and stealing loaves of bread.” Anatole France

  • No wonder the Canadians maintain such low profile — we hardly know they’re there!

    The last time there was a war with the Canucks, they torched the White House.

    There could even be a black president.

    Actually mulatto.

    voting is the last legal recourse of the people

    Voting is the voter saying which way the voter wants the gun of the hierarchy of state to be pointed. I decline to give my sanction to the pointing of the gun. There can be no discussion until the gun of state is holstered. A discussion is not a discussion when one of the parties speaks out of the barrel of a gun. Nor should that party be allowed to cloak that mischief with a pretence of participation.

  • http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/10/us/after-drought-rains-plaguing-midwest-farms.html?_r=1&

    After Drought, Rains Plaguing Midwest Farms

    NORBORNE, Mo. — About this time last year, farmers were looking to the heavens, pleading for rain. Now, they are praying for the rain to stop.
    One of the worst droughts in this nation’s history, a dry spell that persisted through the early part of this year, has ended with torrential rains this spring that have overwhelmed vast stretches of the country, including much of the farm belt. One result has been flooded acres that have drowned corn and soybean plants, stunted their growth or prevented them from being planted at all.

    With fields, dusty and dry one moment, muddy and saturated the next, farmers face a familiar fear — that their crops will not make it.

    “This is the worst spring I can remember in my 30 years farming,” said Rob Korff, who plants 3,500 acres of corn and soybeans here in northwestern Missouri. “Just continuous rain, not having an opportunity to plant. It can still be a decent crop, but as far as a good crop or a great crop, that’s not going to happen.”

    As farmers go through the ritual of examining every weather map and every tick on the futures boards, trying to divine if and how their pocketbooks can survive another curveball from nature, they are also keeping an eye on Washington, where Congress is still bickering over the farm bill. Farmers are hoping that lawmakers will maintain taxpayer-subsidized crop insurance and other support programs that will help them get through disasters like floods and drought.

    Another year of mediocre crop yields could well trickle down to consumers, though agriculture experts insist that it is too early to rule out a robust harvest of corn and soybeans for this year.

    “If there’s a shortage of corn and soybeans, and feed costs are higher,” said Bill Northey, the Iowa agriculture secretary, “there’s certainly a possibility that well down the road — six months or a year after that harvest — that you end up seeing higher meat prices than you would have if you’d had a full supply.”

    Still, last year’s poor production had only a minor effect on food prices, analysts say, and even with the early planting problems, they expect better yields this year.

    Since the beginning of the year, parts of the Mississippi River basin, from eastern Minnesota down through Illinois and Missouri, have received up to three times their normal precipitation. Storm systems also brought flooding to parts of Montana and the Dakotas, and into Nebraska, Iowa and Oklahoma. Iowa, the nation’s top corn producer, had a record 17.66 inches of precipitation this spring.

    Just over 44 percent of the country remains in drought, down more than 9 percentage points from the beginning of March.

    Ideally, farmers need the top two to four inches of soil to be dry when they are planting so that when they drive their tractors in the field they do not pack down the mud, which prevents the roots from getting oxygen. Oversaturated earth also means that pockets where oxygen can filter through to help the roots breathe will instead be filled with water. Ideally, the moisture should be in the soil directly below the seed.

    With rain falling day after day, farmers have been hard pressed to find windows of time when they have dry topsoil to get into their fields to plant. The task has been made harder by lower temperatures and cloudy skies that prevent the land from drying even when it is not raining. Many farmers find themselves more than a month behind in their planting, and some have even given up on planting all their seeds. Late planting could stunt the growth of crops, decreasing production once harvest rolls around.

    On May 12, 28 percent of the nation’s corn crop had been planted, compared with 85 percent on the same day last year. As of the United States Department of Agriculture’s latest report, released last week, 91 percent of corn had been planted by June 2, compared with 100 percent a year earlier.

    This year, the Agriculture Department had estimated that 97.3 million acres of corn, the most since 1936, would be planted, and that a record 14.14 billion bushels would result from them.

    Now, there is concern that “not as much corn was planted as had been indicated,” Joseph W. Glauber, the department’s chief economist, wrote in an e-mail, and “that yields will be adversely affected because plantings were less.”

    Mr. Korff, 44, planted all his corn in the middle of May, about a month later than usual, and he has yet to plant any of his soybeans because there has not been a long enough break in the weather, he said. This area about an hour east of Kansas City has already gotten 23.6 inches of rain this year, four inches shy of the total for all of last year.
    (there’s more)

  • May not matter much longer
    Update conclusion

    Despite a slow decrease in extent and area in the past two weeks, caused by clouds and cold air temperatures over large parts of the Arctic, the ice is taking a beating from the shifting cyclone and it’s not sure yet what the damage from internal bruising will be.

    The cyclone itself has grabbed its 15 minutes of fame by refusing to go down. I initially called it the Small Arctic Cyclone of 2013, but fellow-blogger Robertscribbler has already given it a more appropriate name: Persistent Arctic Cyclone of 2013. Rocky Balboa would be a good name too.

    With the forecast of an atmospheric set-up that is more conducive to ice melt, compaction and transport, it looks like extent and area numbers are going to drop off the Cliff (as it’s called on the Forum). In fact, this seems to have started already.

    To repeat the conclusion of my previous ASI update: I feel the Arctic sea ice pack could soon go POP under the right conditions. That would be a good title for the next update.
    full post at

  • A couple of points:

    First: be careful of the links you’re following here. I do had a very severe virus generated crash in the last week on a new machine, pretty suspicious. . . I’ve had a lot of that problem on my blog over the years, you will if you’re talking climate science in any direct way.

    Second: It’s important, I think, not to get too carried away referring to whatever “power elites” you find as evil reptilian monsters. “Alas, I sought evil the world over and I found the merely bad. . .” The reason being– to think in those terms obscures anticipating how their interests may manifest themselves over the next few years. Personally, I’m sure these people are every bit as knowledgeable–likely more so– and in fact scared to death as anyone on this website– what separates them from us is they’ve tools at their disposal that we do not. They’ve the world’s militaries at their disposal– these have assets that have the power to modify the NTE time line pretty effectively. I assume as a matter of fact they’ll attempt to use those, as, why wouldn’t they? There’s really no other option and there’s plenty of justification. . .at any rate its simply a matter of a couple of years before someone somewhere starts considering unilateral geo-engineering to attempt to save a crop harvest. . .

    Third: The curious thing I’ve learned by my “failed” experiments in permaculture– “sustainability” in systems isn’t achieved by reduction in consumption, it’s achieved by resource return. It’s a mistake many make to think the answer is dropping out of society, doing the small farm bit with the chickens and all that. Sure, I bit that bait too. It reality, these kinds of lifestyles are still often on the consumptive side of the equation–lesser than others perhaps, but still a negative concern. The key concept we ought to have been thinking about is how we can use structure, knowledge, skills–to return “value” to site as the energy through-put occurs. While still strictly entropic, there’s peculiar characteristics to data contained in genomes, in knowledge, in skill sets that allow one to surf that entropic wave a bit– it can seem pretty magical. I’ve not found a lot of good thinking on this score many places. B. Fuller certainly had a lot to say about such phenomenon, and it’s interesting food for thought. . .and certainly interesting for anyone interested in hanging around for a while.

    I see an awful lot of well heeled folk sniffing around for estates on this rock I’m living on. . .for good reason. Word has got out. It’s just a matter of time till we lose a huge chunk of the US corn harvest, or big fires, or an epic hurricane season comes through. That’s all very near. I anticipate the big boys will let it slide until the rabble wakes up and starts crying for change. At that point, we mindless eaters have over lived our utility. . .this is the moment we would do well to look for.


  • jaywfitz:

    Agreed. The big boys don’t spook the herd.

  • Just a quick reminder – Snowden said: “The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting…The NSA specifically targets the communications of everyone… I sitting at my desk certainly had the authority to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president if I had a personal email… I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded…The NSA routinely lies in response to congressional inquiries about the scope of surveillance in America…We collect more digital communications from America than we do from the Russians…We hack everyone everywhere…You are not even aware of what is possible. The extent of their capabilities is horrifying. We can plant bugs in machines. Once you go on the network, I can identify your machine. You will never be safe whatever protections you put in place.”


    The only suggestion I might make is to write down all your passwords and login information, keep it handy and routinely format your harddrive to remove any bugs – like every 3 days or less, annoying as that might be. Routinely scrub your history and your cookies. Never let windows or your browser remember any of your passwords, install any cookies, or any 3rd party plugins. Store all your important data offline. You’re still vulnerable via IP addresses on the network, so you should only browse through a proxy, if you can trust it, figure out how to mask your IP address, or keep moving from internet cafe or wifi access point.
    Figure out how to mask your machine’s MAC address (serial number automatically available on the network). Encryption is a national security risk, so any encrypting you do with readily available software can probably be compromised. If you want to buy real encryption, you’ll probably need a government permit or license which will raise red flags. Or try to write your own software and burn up your processor. Even with all this I still wouldn’t trust that something was overlooked or compromised. It is just a list of starter recommendations.

    Of course, on the other hand, you can just relax and enjoy it.

    For anyone interested in not destroying all life on earth, these are the rules of engagement going forward. Is that perfectly clear and understood?


    Henceforth and forevermore I abstain from any “we” pronouncements and groupings regarding the human family which are issued and proclaimed without my consent.

    And, I’ll be sure to keep all the absolutist excoriations in mind next time I am talking to a bloodthirsty, insatiable, omnicidal, Lan Xang Lao villager who is still, even today, living well within his ecological footprint.


  • “Former NSA employees Thomas Drake and Bill Binney told SPIEGEL in March that the facility would soon store personal data on people from all over the world and keep it for decades. This includes emails, Skype conversations, Google searches, YouTube videos, Facebook posts, bank transfers — electronic data of every kind.

    “They have everything about you in Utah,” Drake says. “Who decides whether they look at that data? Who decides what they do with it?” Binney, a mathematician who was previously an influential analyst at the NSA, calculates that the servers are large enough to store the entirety of humanity’s electronic communications for the next 100 years.


  • “Voting is the voter saying which way the voter wants the gun of the hierarchy of state to be pointed.”

    I’m not at the point yet (or might never be) where I would wish to stop resisting. If there is a good reason not to resist Keystone XL, I don’t know what it is. I’ve been told that voting out Democrats would be meaningless, but wouldn’t doing that be resistance of a a sort–stirring the pot in some small way? The inertia is to remove our voting rights. At that point we wouldn’t even be able to point the gun one way or the other. Is that manifesting any ability to make change? While we might have the means to pull some strings and make the political players fight among themselves, would there be some more proactive and powerful alternative other than through the vote?

  • Regarding the interception of all communications with no prior discrimination…

    We could just meet and have a chat, that would be hard to surveil everyone wouldn’t it?

    I might try that.

  • for my money obummer’s predecessor was a worse president, but such arguments are somewhat akin to arguing over who was the worst serial killer of recent memory. opinions will vary and all may have some validity.

    i clicked on the link in guy’s essay re. the claim/opinion that obummer is the worst president, which goes to an article written by one ron ridenour. now that’s a familiar name! except the ron ridenhour i’m familiar with, of vietnam’s my lai massacre fame, his last name is spelled with an ‘h’ in it. i thought it was the same individual until i tried googling both and learned that they are, indeed, different individuals who just happen to both have become whistle blowing journalists. in the process, i learned a little more about the my lai ridenhour, and came across this excellent and very intimate account of his vietnam experience and how it played a part in the development of his class/race consciousness:


    ‘Rather than the CIA or the big banks running the show, maybe it’s the tyranny of oligarchy’

    in CROSSING THE RUBICON, mike ruppert asserted that the CIA and wall street were essentially identical. i suspect that’s true. i think u hit the nail on the head there, guy. it isn’t so much who is in charge as what is in charge in our society, and that is ruthless greed, deceit, violence… the sickness of a depraved culture come to full fruition, now in the process of self destruction… of which we are all to some extent observers, participants, and victims.

  • ‘The entire political and financial ‘leadership’ (cough,gag,cough) of the globe are Reptiles Masquerading as Mammals.’

    speak softly, i wonder if u are familiar with this short sci-fi tale that was born of this concept?:


  • Any talk of reptiles is thinly disguised jew-baiting. Gail is correct that we all are responsible for our potential extinction and the extinction of the living planet. It’s a matter of degree of culpability at the individual level, meaning some are more responsible than others. We all make up part of this beast. We all feed it to a certain degree. Exorcising what you believe to be a pathological part of that beast won’t kill the beast. Yes, you can stab it with your steely knives, but you won’t harm it unless you understand that the beast is a complex system that understands how to turn every act of resistance to its favor.

  • Ha! Wester, you can SAY you abstain from being a member of the human race, go ahead why not. I can SAY to an Iraqi who lost her home and her family that I’m not responsible because I didn’t support the US invasion – but since I live here and pay taxes and benefit from my citizenship, I doubt whether she would see a distinction.

    And I can SAY to the next generation that I’m not responsible for leaving them an Earth rendered uninhabitable, because I marched and petitioned and was arrested protesting for clean energy policies, but since I used coal-fired electricity and drove a car and flew in airplanes, they might not feel that I am to be absolved of complicity in the generation that knowingly ran the climate into catastrophe.

    The collective WE includes the third-world villager with a tiny carbon footprint because the fact is (and this is the important part) that, GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY, that same fellow would gladly drive a tractor to plow his fields, or shop at Walmart, or cruise around the Carribean in his very own yacht. If by some very very slim chance he happens to feel that he would rather abstain, he has several neighbors who would eagerly embrace the luxuries of “progress” instead.

    That’s why “we” (as in, the human race) are inexorably destroying the living planet, despite the well-intentioned efforts of a tiny, tiny minority that is so vanishingly minescule as to be irrelevant.

    Here’s the latest and perhaps most bizarrely clueless example evah of how “we” think we can buy our way out of disaster without giving up any of our toys (and just how utterly illegitimate the big so-called green organizations have become):


  • As each year goes by, we see that peak oil is a fraud to justify the price fixing that’s going on and to tacitly justify the control of extraction and distribution by militarily failing countries with access to plentiful reserves. Supply continues to meet demand at a growing pace. The peak oil advocates continue to tell us any day now and they’ve been telling us this since around the year 2000. I suspect the innocent advocates of peak oil theory, meaning the ones who wholeheartedly believe it and aren’t just peddling it for avaricious reasons, will never be able to reconcile their cognitive dissonance. It’s like religious fundamentalism. There’s no way to prove to people who believe in a deity of their making that there is no deity. In fact, to attempt to do so will only drive that person further into the embrace of their delusion. McGowan did an excellent job of exposing Ruppert for the fraud he was in his series about the abiotic origins of oil. He also exposed Strahl as a fraud. This rabbit hole goes very deep my friends. If you follow it long enough and deep enough, you just might find Alice.


  • Re: “Regarding my interpretation of his article, Saxifrage responded thusly: “It is not expected that we hit 4C by 2030 on that path.” Fortunately, I was misinterpreting Saxifrage’s article and concluding a direr future than implied with his analysis. ”

    I had checked your claims on this article previously. I went back and double checked. Although Mr. Saxifrage doesn’t make this claim in the text of this article, he includes a chart which very clearly shows 4 degrees reached at 2030 along a red-lined curve marked
    “BP most likely”.

    So…it appears to me that you correctly interpreted his chart. I’m not clear if he’s now disclaiming his math or has revised it or what.

  • Wester, several other commenters over the years have said that those in “third world” countries are blameless for the predicament we have found ourselves. Perhaps there’s some truth to that, but for me it just doesn’t hold water. I didn’t ask to be born here, no more than someone in Indonesia asked to be born there.

    You imply that collapse will be easier to bear/survive where you are. Perhaps. However, the root of all our problems (resource depletion, climate change, etc.) is based entirely in overpopulation. The developed world has far, far fewer people than China and India. As the U.S., Russia, and other much less populated countries are huge exporters of food, how do all those people eat? Fossil fuels are the only thing making that possible. When collapse is complete, tell me how more than 2 billion people crammed into one small part of the world, feed themselves, when they can’t do it now?

    I’m not trying to point fingers and say this person is more responsible than that person, etc. My point is that finger pointing is a fools game. None of us is blameless and none of us is solely at fault. Humanity shares the blame equally.

  • Good point Lorraine. Also worth perusing is the IEA scenario descriptions to which Saxifrage added the BP data to create his chart – and notice the 4C scenario assumes an “ambitious scenario that requires significant changes in policy and technologies” which is a laugh (macabre)…and the even more ludicrous 2C scenario requires not only reductions in emissions from the energy sector but also non-energy sectors which I guess must translate to, no more cement or hamburgers.



    The 6°C Scenario (6DS) is largely an extension of current trends. By 2050, energy use almost doubles (compared with 2009) and total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rise even more. In the absence of efforts to stabilise atmospheric concentrations of GHGs, average global temperature rise is projected to be at least 6°C in the long term.

    The 4°C Scenario (4DS) takes into account recent pledges made by countries to limit emissions and step up efforts to improve energy efficiency. It serves as the primary benchmark in ETP 2012 when comparisons are made between scenarios. Projecting a long-term temperature rise of 4°C, the 4DS is already an ambitious scenario that requires significant changes in policy and technologies. Moreover, capping the temperature increase at 4°C requires significant additional cuts in emissions in the period after 2050.

    The 2°C Scenario (2DS) is the focus of ETP 2012. The 2DS describes an energy system consistent with an emissions trajectory that recent climate science research indicates would give an 80% chance of limiting average global temperature increase to 2°C. It sets the target of cutting energy-related CO2 emissions by more than half in 2050 (compared with 2009) and ensuring that they continue to fall thereafter. Importantly, the 2DS acknowledges that transforming the energy sector is vital, but not the sole solution: the goal can only be achieved provided that CO2 and GHG emissions in non-energy sectors are also reduced.

  • @ Dr. House:

    Yes, those pesky third world out-of-control breeders are to blame. Yes, I sit here in my air-conditioned McDonald’s eating $1.00 burritos and ice-cream cones and wonder how there can be billions of people making less than $1.00 a day and STILL they have 8 or 9 children. How is this possible? Why can’t they see that they are ruining everything.

    I stare down at my new Nike shoes, made in China, that I got on sale for $49.99 at WalMart.

  • I think anyone here born into privilege and living PHAT has no credibility. Is it true that Gail and her daughters are living a life of privilege? Talk is Cheap.

    Guy is living in a mud hut.

    Some are living on the streets, eating out of trash cans.

    Did you see that Ed Kerr that interviewed Guy at Age of Limits? He’s not missing any meals. He’s not walking the walk.

    I guess there are no requirements for membership here – but, I think it would be helpful if everyone kinda’ knew a little bit about everyone so that we can better understand where they are coming from. I don’t know exactly how to accomplish this other than the honor system (also, I’m pretty sure there are people posting here under many names).

    Yes, I know the dilemma: how to separate the message from the messenger?

    I think most here would feel that the status of the messenger is an important aspect to understand.

    How would we feel if we found out that one of the regular posters here turned out to be Donald Trump just getting his giggles? More likely an FBI agent trying to provoke us…

    Just sayin’…

  • Another swell, another way point. Check out the storm/swell analysis on the second intro page – little things like ice caps & water temps are mentioned:


  • June 11, 2013

    NEW YORK (AP) — The projections paint an unsettling picture of New York’s future: a city where by the 2050s, 800,000 people could be living in a flood zone that would cover a quarter of the land, and there could be as many 90-degree days as is now normal for Birmingham, Ala.

    Facing those new projections of the effects of global warming on the nation’s biggest city, Mayor Michael Bloomberg was scheduled to talk Tuesday about what to do about risks that Superstorm Sandy brought into stark relief.

  • Jay says “sustainability isn’t achieved by reduction in consumption, it’s achieved by resource return. The key concept is how we can use structure, knowledge, skills–to return “value” to site as the energy through-put occurs.”

    Well Jay, I’m sure you already know this, but the West went to war over guano covered islands in S America once the magic potion of NPK was discovered. Guano’s importance dropped off after chemists discovered how to process petroleum feedstocks in order to deliver the same capabilities. Today, of course we have GMOs designed to deliver even greater production results.

    All species, from yeast to hominids, are built around maximizing resource return – managing consumption isn’t part of anyone’s DNA. That’s why, and you can take this to the bank, not only will Keystone be approved, but it’s only a foreshadow of the environmental destruction coming down the pike as we desperately seek every last economically recoverable fossil fuel.

    As for GMOs, we’ve only begun to see the freak show develop. Here’s a question: would you rather die hungry, or die full? 7 billion (and counting) will vote for dying full, which means if GMOs end up poisoning everybody, it’s better than starving to death.

  • TruthBeTold

    I don’t care either way if I am in contact with DT via a pseudonym/handle here and he keeps his true identity secret. That is not the point here from my POV. The point is to participate, and learn and put views and test them, genuinely, but just engage in debate with some strong advocates, with a great variety of life experience and takes on it all.

    Getting to know regulars is not unlike the face to face situation – it takes time – time you put in and time you enjoy learning about others. This is probably not unlike other website blogs, so just dive in.

    Just sayin.

  • I think most here would feel that the status of the messenger is an important aspect to understand.

    Not me. I don’t give one wit about the status of the messenger. In fact, it would be fine by me if all of us had no name whatsoever and it was only the words, meaning only the message. It would cut out all the idiotic political parrying and jockeying for position that goes on in the comments sections of various blogs. If it’s just the words/message, there can be no assassination of someone’s perceived character. Posters would be forced to confront the words/message rather than engaging in personal attacks and oneupsmanship. To use a word we’ve seen mentioned lately, I’m quite certain most, if not all, couldn’t ABIDE by that suggestion. Kill the messenger.

  • @Rob:

    Yes, those pesky third world out-of-control breeders are to blame.

    To repeat what I said since based on your comment it seems you didn’t see it:
    “I’m not trying to point fingers and say this person is more responsible than that person, etc. My point is that finger pointing is a fools game. None of us is blameless and none of us is solely at fault. Humanity shares the blame equally.”

    Collapse is going to be bad for everyone – rich or poor, fat or starving.

  • TruthBeTold – I think it would be helpful if everyone kinda’ knew a little bit about everyone so that we can better understand where they are coming from.
    Fine – set a good example by telling us your real name and status eh?

    Virtually everyone in the US is living a life of privilege and status compared to the third world. 3 billion people in the world live on $2 a day or less. I used to volunteer in a homeless shelter in NC, later one in GA. Everyone there ate better than many are now eating in 3rd world countries.

    My status – retired, living simply in a small house that was moved here to save it from the bulldozers, raise part of our food. Shop Goodwill. Drive about 25 miles a week. Use a computer, rent from Netflix. Some neighbors think we are poor. We think we are rich.

  • @ Kill:

    In support of TruthBeTold:

    Yes, I would be happy to take weight-loss advice from Govenor Chris Christie.

    Yes, I would be happy to take sobriety advice from John Belushi.

    I’m no scientist and I’m no academician – so I pretty much have to trust in Guy’s credentials as well as his “persona” that is shaped as largely by what he says as to how “what he says” is then analyzed by others.

    So, I guess what I’m saying is this: If, as TruthBeTold says, there are posters here that are lamenting the state of the planet while stuffing their faces with 3,000 calories a day and watching t.v. and shopping at the malls, driving big fat SUVs all over creation, etc. then, I’m not sure I’m interested in what they have to say – unless of course they admit that they are what they are (as opposed to pretending to be living in squalor in an effort to save the planet as best they can).

    I’ve said it all along – I’m a working stiff. I live the life of a middle-class debt-ridden mortgage-paying American. I don’t have a garden, I don’t recycle, I drive back and forth to work each day and on the weekends I drive all over seeking entertainment. I don’t aspire to anything more, and I know I’m guilty as charged and my sentence will be to roast in a FEMA camp crematorium oven. I deserve it.

  • Pat, some may end up in Fema camps, but otoh given the political situation we may all burn together when the nukes fly – or be fried by radiation when the grid goes down and 438 nuclear plants melt down.
    Tom Lehrer with his sardonic wit addressed this back in the 60’s

    As likely or more so today as when Lehrer wrote the song. As Gail points out we humans have never behaved well so burning may be what we all deserve, caged in by the progress we worshiped, done in by hubris, programmed to fail by our genes – whatever. Of course the word deserve demands a judge so a better way to say it is we will all get what is inevitable given the nature of self replication in a world of limited resources.

    When you attend a funeral,
    It is sad to think that sooner or
    Later those you love will do the same for you.
    And you may have thought it tragic,
    Not to mention other adjec-
    Tives, to think of all the weeping they will do.
    But don’t you worry.
    No more ashes, no more sackcloth.
    And an armband made of black cloth
    Will some day never more adorn a sleeve.
    For if the bomb that drops on you
    Gets your friends and neighbors too,
    There’ll be nobody left behind to grieve.

    And we will all go together when we go.
    What a comforting fact that is to know.
    Universal bereavement,
    An inspiring achievement,
    Yes, we all will go together when we go.

    We will all go together when we go.
    All suffuse with an incandescent glow.
    No one will have the endurance
    To collect on his insurance,
    Lloyd’s of London will be loaded when they go.

    Oh we will all fry together when we fry.
    We’ll be french fried potatoes by and by.
    There will be no more misery
    When the world is our rotisserie,
    Yes, we will all fry together when we fry.

    Down by the old maelstrom,
    There’ll be a storm before the calm.

    And we will all bake together when we bake.
    There’ll be nobody present at the wake.
    With complete participation
    In that grand incineration,
    Nearly three billion hunks of well-done steak.

    Oh we will all char together when we char.
    And let there be no moaning of the bar.
    Just sing out a Te Deum
    When you see that I.C.B.M.,
    And the party will be “come as you are.”

    Oh we will all burn together when we burn.
    There’ll be no need to stand and wait your turn.
    When it’s time for the fallout
    And Saint Peter calls us all out,
    We’ll just drop our agendas and adjourn.

    You will all go directly to your respective Valhallas.
    Go directly, do not pass Go, do not collect two hundred dolla’s.

    And we will all go together when we go.
    Ev’ry Hottenhot and ev’ry Eskimo.
    When the air becomes uranious,
    And we will all go simultaneous.
    Yes we all will go together
    When we all go together,
    Yes we all will go together when we go.

  • Hey, TruthBeTold,

    You first!

    Tell us everything about yourself, friend, so we can spread it all over the internet. Tell us your sins, confess all. We’re all ears.

    And since I’m spending one of two here, Guy, liked the essay a lot. Quite timely, too.

    Anybody taking any bets about Edward Snowden’s future?

    Fuck the NSA. Hang those traitors high.

  • @pat

    Your response is not surprising. What you’re saying is that if Guy’s name and all names were removed from this blog, and only the words/message remained, it wouldn’t mean anything to you? It’s as much the person who says it as what is said? Stunning! Not really. This is par for the course and to be expected. So much for the words of prophets written on the subway walls. Without a face and personality to those words, they’re meaningless. There is only the sound of silence.

  • @ Kathy C.

    Yes, we will all get what’s inevitable – I like that. The strange thing is this: we will ALL get it, regardless of whether you live in a mud hut or a McMansion, we all get to fry together when we fry.

    Best argument for hedonism I’ve seen yet!

    I am spending my 401k on hotels, booze and hookers.

  • @wildwoman

    (BTW, love your handle!)

    Anybody taking any bets about Edward Snowden’s future?

    A) defects to China (possibly Russia), who keeps him alive in return for whatever he knows
    B) simply disappears (captured/killed and we never hear what happened)
    C) is killed “resisting arrest” in a structure that spontaneously catches fire (no-one could have possibly anticipated), or commits suicide with four rounds to the back of his skull, or “falls from a plane” (which seems to be the fashion these days).

    In no case will he survive to stand public trial.


    Paranoia strikes deep
    Into your life it will creep
    It starts when you’re always afraid
    You step out of line, the man come and take you away

  • I have been winding down in every aspect – shedding the trappings of industrial civilization as best I can. I know it doesn’t matter, but I have lived a life of plunder – unkowingly, yes, but the consequences to the children in China is no less real. There is no redemption – I can only suffer so much and far less than I deserve.

    No matter if Peak Oil is real. No matter if 4C by 2030 is real. No matter if 200 species a day going extinct is accurate. No matter if GMO is or isn’t poisoning us all. No matter if overpopulation is or isn’t already at 90% overshoot.

    What matters is that the bad guys have won. There were far too few good guys throughout history and now we all go over the cliff. It would have been nice if somehow we could have lived in balance with Nature – all living things together in what was, until recently, bountiful plenty.

    Makes me sick. My pennance is to not aspire.

  • ‘chart which very clearly shows 4 degrees reached at 2030’

    lorraine, gail, and to whoever else may continue to argue in favor of guy’s original and now (finally!) retracted misinterpretation of the jan. 2013 saxifrage article printed in a vancouver paper and much referred to on this blog:

    science requires precise use and interpretation of language. sloppy use/interpretation can lead to gross misunderstandings. the above mentioned chart in the original article clearly indicates that if bau is followed to the year 2030, then we’re ON THE PATH irrevocably to (at least) a 4 C rise at some future point. it DOES NOT mean we’ve already arrived there! sheeeez! i swear to gaia, sometimes i think guy and many other readers of this blog suffer from the same inability to properly interpret facts and data as climate change deniers, with the exception that y’all err in the exact opposite direction, making the dire consequences of climate change appear more imminent than they surreally are. we all know there are websites devoted to debunking climate change denial. well, this blog is in need of debunkers of climate change exaggeration in terms of it’s timing.

  • .

    @ tvt:

    I don’t think it can be exaggerated that humans have fouled their playpen.

    Our way of life is a gigantic failure.


  • @ tvt

    science requires precise use and interpretation of language. sloppy use/interpretation can lead to gross misunderstandings. the above mentioned chart in the original article clearly indicates that if bau is followed to the year 2030, then we’re ON THE PATH irrevocably to (at least) a 4 C rise at some future point. it DOES NOT mean we’ve already arrived there!

    Hoist on your own petard, mate.

    It’s 2013 today . It’s obvious ‘it does not mean we have already arrived there’. So wtf are you talking about ?

    Let’s have some clear language please. What do you mean ? Precisely ?

    Afaik, we are actually on WORSE than the original IPPC business as usual trajectory, aren’t we ? And emissions are rising FASTER than projected. And that graph did not include the feedbacks.

  • @WoodsDweller

    You forgot to include option #4, in which Snowden is discovered dead lying next to a rifle, which the sheriff & coroner will claim that he used to commit suicide.

    Too outlandish ?
    Listen to my late friend Ron Shock’s comedic take on the history first…

    Unbelievable ?
    Now google “bryan texas bolt action suicide” and read about Henry Marshall’s “suicide”.

  • ‘I don’t think it can be exaggerated that humans have fouled their playpen.

    Our way of life is a gigantic failure.’ -roger

    roger, this response is quite similar to what guy’s is often when i or someone else attempts to correct one of his errors. it’s called not addressing the issue brought up, trying to subtly change the focus to a different matter so as not to have to address criticism/correction directly. nothing i’ve ever said or implied on this blog would indicate i disagree with your above quote, but that wasn’t the issue!

    ‘It’s 2013 today . It’s obvious ‘it does not mean we have already arrived there’. So wtf are you talking about ?’ -u

    it’s extremely wearisome having to spell out the same thing over and over! of course it’s 2013. that isn’t relevant to the facts brought out by saxifrage that, and i repeat, based on the best information available now and the best estimates of how future policies will play out according to the data referred to, by the year 2030, barring some unforeseen black swan that changes everything, civilization will have charted a course which must inevitably lead to a 4 C rise in average global atmospheric temperature at some unknowable future time. it does not mean that the 4 c rise will already have occurred by 2030, just that it’s in the cards for the future. if u can’t understand this fairly simple, clear as possible statement, then all i can say to u is WTF! i give up!

  • TVT

    I agree with you largely, and it’s worth trying to hammer that home to deny the “we’re all screwed, it’s a 100% certain, nothing I can do matters– therefore, business as usual!” mindset that seems all too prevalent around here. I think it’s worthy to deny people a couple of positions.

    1) There was no way to know what was coming: baloney, the evidence has been around for 50 years, broadly spoken up, broadly ignored.

    2) There’s nothing a given individual can do to change the world– baloney, the world is being changed by the sum collection of individual actions right now, it’s just that most of them are destructive.

    3) I’m trapping in a lifestyle, kids, family, all of that, there’s nothing I can do- Must be tough, eh? Baloney anyway. There’s plenty of people out there who haven’t done that, who have bent over backwards to work for a better future. One very constructive thing that one could do is use one’s relative affluence to shine some light on these very worthy projects, as the one’s we typically hear of are those designed by the shameless self-promoters setting themselves up with careers as eco-fabulous experts. It’s worth while to expose those for what they are and elevate integrity when one finds it. Guy’s approach is full of integrity, that’s his main forte, and that’s why it’s uncommonly effective.

    4) If nothing else, bear witness. This will become important in the next decade or so as the crisis hits and those left try to figure out who gets fed, who gets turned out to pasture, who gets to keep what assets, whatever– sure, it’ll be a mess, but bearing witness to the facts at hand right now– mostly that we knew full well what we were doing to the world and did it anyway– is important.


  • I haven’t commented here in a long while, but Rob said something I to which I will reply:

    What matters is that the bad guys have won. There were far too few good guys throughout history and now we all go over the cliff. It would have been nice if somehow we could have lived in balance with Nature – all living things together in what was, until recently, bountiful plenty.

    Makes me sick. My pennance is to not aspire.

    Having read through the series of comments above, I recognize that there are indeed many bad actors and some few good guys, and that we all bear some personal responsibility simply for being here breathing, and that finger-pointing points nowhere, really. These are difficult issues to sort for someone striving to be of good character and conscience, which have been answered with a variety of rationalizations and justifications. I don’t know that one true answer for all of us exists.

    I, too, am a bit sickened by my own tacit, uninvited, inevitable participation in the preexisting mechanisms and systems of our own destruction. But it should also be clear that we’ve arrived at this historical moment because it’s also Who We Are. As a species. Like most others. We leveraged our position so high that the lever broke and the fulcrum was crushed. But if not us, then some other species would have, could it have.

    The bountiful plenty you mention arrived sometime in the 20th century, I think, not before. Difficult lives and early death were commonplace before 1900 and still exist now in many places. Striving to escape that commonplace destiny accounts for a significant portion of our collective activity, resulting in the fix we’re now in. Those same motivations existed for millennia, but the mechanisms and innovations to launch history vertical (the direction all the graphs go) are quite recent.

  • ‘Guy’s approach is full of integrity’

    i question that. i think it’s obvious he isn’t trying to fudge facts in order to achieve any personal gain or to provide false assurances to quell fears, and of course only he can know whether intentional fudging of facts is occurring on his part. however, intentionally or not, it appears he does fudge facts on a rather consistent basis. if intention is involved, it seems to be on the side of elevating alarm, perhaps in a frantic attempt to wake sheeple up. as he has repeatedly stated, he cares dearly about the fate of life on this planet. in this, i do not doubt at all his sincerity. i simply question whether fudging facts in direct opposition to the way deniers fudge them is ultimately an effective tactic.

  • @ tvt

    if u can’t understand this fairly simple, clear as possible statement, then all i can say to u is WTF! i give up!

    You can’t make a statement of complaint, saying that clear and precise language is demanded, and then use hopelessly imprecise and ambiguous language yourself, and expect to avoid criticism !

    THIS !

    …then we’re ON THE PATH irrevocably to (at least) a 4 C rise at some future point. it DOES NOT mean we’ve already arrived there!

    We are HERE, 2013, won’t have arrived THERE until 2030. So what the heck are you trying to say ?

    What the science is about is the statistical probability that we may or may not have such and such a temperature increase by 2030.

    If you look at all the data, imo, there’s a good chance we DO get to 4 deg C by 2030.

    Why ?

    1 ) Because, there are the self-reinforcing feedbacks which have been left out of the models and calculations that have been used. The calculations are ridiculous, they are linear, when the changes are exponential. All the previous calculations have been WRONG, and have grossly underestimated the rate of change by DECADES.

    2 ) Because the calculations assume that people will take effective international action to reduce emissions. There’s NO evidence that they will. So far ALL the evidence is that will NOT, and there is no sign that they are planning or have any intention of cutting emissions.

    3 ) Because very likely emissions will INCREASE, because of pressure to increase economic growth, and for other reasons, population increase, etc.

  • Speaking of imprecision TVT, (including counting how many comments per day!), Saxifrage wrote:

    “It is not expected that we hit 4C by 2030 on that path.”

    So, that path might lead to 4C further down the road, but it doesn’t say how far. If you ask me, Saxifrage doesn’t want to attach it to a date, and nobody can – there are too many wild variables and unknown unknowns.

    Be that as it may, in my comment on this topic I wasn’t taking a position either way on his graph, so please don’t accuse me of being imprecise. I was simply adding information that I think supports a lethal temperature rise, soon.

    This link


    says that in 2012, total CO2 emissions were 35.6 billion tons. According to Saxifrage’s graph of the BP scenario, they don’t approach that level until 2017 or 2018. So things are already running ahead with no signs of slowing.

    That article then links to a report that says this: the World Bank reported that without significant emissions reductions, the world’s average temperature could climb by 4°C (7.2°F) by as early as 2060.

    Tack on some exponentially amplifying feedbacks and it nudges closer.

    Personally, I take my cues from the past. Joe Romm reported on May 12:

    “Climate Sensitivity Stunner: Last Time CO2 Levels Hit 400 Parts Per Million The Arctic Was 14°F Warmer!”

    some excerpts:

    “One of our major findings is that the Arctic was very warm in the Pliocene [~ 5.3 to 2.6 million years ago] when others have suggested atmospheric CO2 was very much like levels we see today. This could tell us where we are going in the near future. In other words, the Earth system response to small changes in carbon dioxide is bigger than suggested by earlier models,” the authors state.

    On our current emissions path, CO2 levels in 2100 will hit levels last seen when the Earth was 29°F (16°C) hotter: Paleoclimate data suggests CO2 “may have at least twice the effect on global temperatures than currently projected by computer models”

    …once you factor in carbon-cycle feedbacks, even the uber-cautious Fourth Assessment report (AR4) of the IPCC makes clear we are headed toward 1000 ppm (the A1FI scenario). That conclusion has been supported by just about every major independent analysis, including a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (see Study: We’re Headed To 11°F Warming And Even 7°F Requires “Nearly Quadrupling The Current Rate Of Decarbonisation“).

  • a) From the IEA link provided: ‘Working together to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy.’

    People living in industrial societies live in an ocean of lies. There is neuro-linguistic programming almost everywhere. In this case, the IEA describes some of the filthiest, most toxic substances known as ‘clean’. The bulk of the populace are oblivious, and belive the lies.

    b) Bill McKibben spoke in Auckland yesterday evening, and it was livestreamed.

    350ppm may have been achievable if the organisation had been set up around 1960 and governments had been fully committed to the concept. But, as some of us know, at that time ‘What was good for General Motors was good for America’. The system fractional reserve banking system and consumer society demanded ostentatious consumption and population overshoot, conversion of deserts into playgrounds; the system demanded a thermodynamic house of cards. And it still does.

    Recent press releases indicate that global emissions were up last year, the highest ever, and close to 32 billion tonnes.

    The Harper government is fully committed to rapid exploitation of Athabasca tar sands, which generate inordinately high CO2 emissions, and the Harper government will crush dissent by any means necessary, just has been occurring in Turkey and London recently.) The further down the curve of net energy we descend, the greater the incentive for corporations to exploit low density energy sources with poor EROEI and inordinately high emissions.

    This state of affairs results in CO2 emissions rising faster than exponentially (which is exactly what I pointed out to NPDC last week, and to my local MP on Monday).

    When we add the conjectured effects of positive feedbacks utter catastrophe within decades looks certain, even though nobody can provide a model that accounts for everything. Indeed, as has been noted on numerous occasions, models always underestimate the rate of warming.

    c) If anyone thinks governments are anything other than completely insane, please think again. In the foyer of my local MPs office was a brochure with the title: ‘Building Natural Resources’. Looting natural resources is described as building natural resources. It’s all about business-as-usual at a time when business-as-usual is a disaster zone.

    Perhaps, more to the point, local government is in continuous breach of the law and there are no mechanisms for dealing with those breaches. As Gorge Carlin noted: ‘Nobody cares.”

    I asked Jonathan Young why the government had removed all the community outcomes from the Local Government Act and replaced them with ‘construction of infrastructure’. He told me it was because councils were getting into activities that were not core to their purpose. I pointed out that NPDC still had an ‘events’ budget, and was therefore in breach of the amended law. He suggested I might like to write to the Minister of Local Government. I pointed out I had done that 6 years ago and had received a letter advising me to take up the matter with my local council.

    It’s all a merry-go-round of dysfunction and non-function. And 99.9% of the populace hasn’t got a clue. Words on pieces of paper and computer screens: ‘Effective, efficient, appropriate to current and anticipated requirements …’

    d) Last week I had a meeting with the ‘Climate Change Officer’ of my local council. I asked him what he was doing to prevent his own children’s futures being destroyed by abrupt climate change. His answer” electric bikes.

    I pointed out that electric bikes solved nothing, and could even be considered as pert of the problem, since they required electricity generated by burning natural gas [generating emissions] to charge them.

    The council discussed my submission. I was not there but it was reported to me that many councillors agreed there were serious matters I had raised which required follow-up. The CEO was asked how NPDC would respond; she called on Colin Comber to answer. His answer: electric bikes.

    Words on pieces of paper and computer screens. That’s all government is.

    I am increasingly reminded of the scene in film version of ‘The Wizard of Oz’, when the band of travellers arrive at the Emerald City and track down the wizard, in anticipation of him performing some magic, but all they discover is a rather pathetic man hiding behind a curtain.

  • Converting the future temperature projections (from the 7 studies cited by Guy in his tipping points slide) into a linear rate from the time of each study (taking current temp as .8C above pre-industrial), and plotting those temperature slopes vs date of study, indicates the estimated near-term temperature rise rates (in C / decade) from the various studies are increasing at an incredible rate:

    d (Temp-rise) / dt = (0.5 C / decade) per year

    The IEA-2010 and UNEP-2010 estimates already indicate temperature rising at more than 1C / decade over the near term, and rate of increase in also increasing, i.e., the temperature acceleration is increasing.

  • 2nd and last post for today

    I just read JMG’s latest post and the comments – note that the comments are moderated so it looks like everyone is in total agreement! I have no idea what they are talking about – very weird.

    I’ve been a follower of NBL for some time, and I have to say that even if Guy’s analysis is not “spot on,” it’s more the discussion of the basic fundamental ideas that keep me coming back for more.

    I especially enjoy listening to the ones who obviously have a history in the “resistance.”

    Rebellion against technology and civilization is real rebellion, a real attack on the values of the existing system. But the green anarchists, anarcho-primitivists, and so forth (The “GA Movement”) have fallen under such heavy influence from the left that their rebellion against civilization has to great extent been neutralized. Instead of rebelling against the values of civilization, they have adopted many civilized values themselves and have constructed an imaginary picture of primitive societies that embodies these civilized values.

    Today, those who are most sensitive about “politically incorrect” terminology are not the average impotent sign-wielding protesters of yesteryear, but a minority of activists, many of whom do not even belong to any mainstream group but come from privileged strata of society.

  • @ the virgin terry,
    Thank you for pointing out my error. I see how I misinterpreted the chart. I’d prefer if you weren’t so insulting, though, if you could manage it.

  • Virgin T

    Compound interest and exponential function are covered in 7th grade math.

    The RATE of change of the current atmospheric CO2 rise, in a geological context, is without precedent.

    It true that CO2 levels have been this high in the history of the planet.

    It’s false that they have EVER happened at the current rate.

    In past episodes it took Mama Earth tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of years to do what we humans have accomplish in about two hundred years.

    That in itself looks breathtakingly exponential.

    In two hundred years you did what prehistorically took a hundred thousand years.

    Now as if simple compound interest wasn’t bad enough, imagine accelerating compound interest where let’s say the 1% compound rate changes to 1.2% then 1.4% then 1.8%……etc.

    It’s just a surmise Terry, but to foul the atmosphere in an unprecedented two centuries vs say a hundred thousand years seems like a math function of an accelerating compound interest rate.

    “..barring some unforeseen black swan..”

    I regard that as simply another term for “multiple compounding positive feedback loops.”

    They have already landed.

    You don’t seem to demonstrate Terry that you know what exponential math functions are capable of or understand that multiplying one compounding function against another compounding function produces monstrous effects, very, very quickly.

    The positive feedback loops (that have NOT yet been included in the climate models/data are not going to be added to each other:

    A1 + B1 + C1 + D1…..

    they will be multiplied times each other

    A1 x B1 x C1 x D1…..

    Your mind might be better focused if you owed Vinnie the Loan Shark a thousand dollars, compounded 20% weekly.

    You get behind in your payments just a little and soon, just the interest (assuming Vinnie is OK with you just paying that and not the principle) is more than your entire weeks pay check.

    Uh-oh. Vinnie sends a couple of ‘colleagues’ out to visit you, maybe breaks a kneecap or chops off the end of a little finger, just to help you focus on what Compound Interest means in the Real World.

    Well, Global Climate Change is Vinnie the Law of Nature coming to collect his Accelerating Compound Interest

  • Now TVT, why did you have to take it there………

    Several points

    TVT is correct as Guy has admitted, the graph does not say we will be at 4 degrees by 2030, and nowhere else in the article does it say this will happen. It says by 2030, BAU will put us “on the path to 4 degrees”. This is the ONLY POINT TVT IS MAKING, he was correct, Guy and some others made a mistake and misinterpreted the graph.

    However, TVT you don’t leave it there, you then decide to use this minor victory–and it is very minor compared to the feedbacks the article doesn’t included–to drop the following bombshell in hopes of settling some other scores, which are totally uncalled for, if not outright insulting.

    You state:

    Re: ‘Guy’s approach is full of integrity’

    “i question that. i think it’s obvious he isn’t trying to fudge facts in order to achieve any personal gain or to provide false assurances to quell fears, and of course only he can know whether intentional fudging of facts is occurring on his part. however, intentionally or not, it appears he does fudge facts on a rather consistent basis. if intention is involved, it seems to be on the side of elevating alarm, perhaps in a frantic attempt to wake sheeple up. as he has repeatedly stated, he cares dearly about the fate of life on this planet. in this, i do not doubt at all his sincerity. i simply question whether fudging facts in direct opposition to the way deniers fudge them is ultimately an effective tactic.”

    Here is where Ulvfugl is correct, you can’t bemoan a lack of clarity in others, and then turn around and make such a nonsensical statement.

    You say “i question that” in response to Guy’s integrity, meaning you question Guy’s integrity. Not the best way to get your point across without triggering the ire of others.

    The term “fudge facts” inherently implies fraudulent intent. You can’t logically say someone unintentionally fudged the facts.

    You then say “he does fudges facts on a rather consistent basis”, after just stating “he obviously isn’t trying to fudge facts….”. Again, your intention as to Guy’s intention is as clear as mud.

    You continue:

    ” ….if intention is involved, it seems to be on the side of elevating alarm…”

    Everyone makes mistakes, but to imply that Guy might be intentionally making mistakes, is not only unfounded, but offensive.

    And then there is how you choose to end your comment, which is laden with egregious innuendo.

    “. i simply question whether fudging facts in direct opposition to the way deniers fudge them is ultimately an effective tactic.”

    My friend, “fudging the facts” was a tragic choice of words on your part given the deceit it implies, and attempting to equate Guy to climate deniers in any way, is just ridiculous.

    I’ll give you the benefit of doubt that you weren’t intending to be as offensive as this comment comes across, but you’re surely in for a war of words, if you don’t attempt to either clarify or retract some of what you just wrote.

  • The title of this post conjures a vision of Jeopardy-Collapse Edition with Dmitry Orlov as guest host.

    Dmitry: Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the inaugural edition of Jeopardy-Collapse Edition. The rules of the game are the same with the only difference being the subject matter is comprised entirely of collapse-related facts. Without further adieu and/or delay, let’s get started. Gail, you have first go. What will it be?

    Gail: Dmitry, I’ll take Communities that Abide for $1,000 please.

    Dmitry: Great choice, Gail. In fact, it’s my favorite. Here’s your answer, Gail. As a first rule of purposeful communities that abide in order to survive, women are this, Gail.

    Gail: What are strong, assertive collaborators, Dmitry?


    Dmitry: No, I’m afraid not, Gail. Security, please remove this ingrate from the studio. She’s managed to insult the entire collapse community with that statement. She’s a troublemaker, so please bind and gag her as you have her removed. The answer is, what is obedient at home. Something you are obviously incapable of grasping let alone practicing, Gail. For that, you will not survive. You are not a true kollapsnik. You are an imposter and you will never be invited on this show again. I refuse to thank you for playing because you are a provocateur and I’ve just wet my pants.

    Cue Jeopardy theme music as there is a slow, fading cut to a commercial break and Dmitry changes his pants in the background as Gail is dragged off stage bound and gagged.

  • LOL Alex I’m glad that others notice what a sexist Demitry Orlov is.
    There’s 6 people that I know of who can’t post at his blog now.
    He needs to put on a cute little apron and go scrub pots in the kitchen or something..

  • ulvfugl

    You wrote:

    “2 ) Because the calculations assume that people will take effective international action to reduce emissions. There’s NO evidence that they will. So far ALL the evidence is that will NOT, and there is no sign that they are planning or have any intention of cutting emissions.”

    Hi ulvfugl, look, I generally take this point as solid, however, embedded in a link to oil leases being sold by the Australian Gubmint I put up last thread I discovered the same lessor is also selling areas of carbon capture sequestration fields/zones:

    ‘Offshore Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Acreage Release 2013-14 ‘


    A quote:

    “The Australian Government is considering an offshore greenhouse gas (GHG) storage assessment acreage release in late 2013 or early 2014.

    As a first step in the acreage selection process, stakeholders are now invited to nominate areas to be considered for inclusion in the planned offshore GHG acreage release.

    An information sheet and an area nomination form can be downloaded below. See Related documents below.

    The nomination period for areas for the 2013-14 offshore GHG storage assessment acreage release will close on Friday 28 June 2013….

    The 2013-14 GHG acreage release will be the second release of offshore GHG storage assessment acreage in Australia. The first release was in 2009 and has been finalised. Those who are interested in the process involved in the first release may download the 2009 Guidance notes for applicants. See Related documents below.”

    Further back in that last previous link is this page:

    ‘Carbon capture and storage’


    There is also this link to a lot of technical work being undertaken:


    I have no way of knowing if this is all green-buzz-washing by the Oil/Gas/Coal industry, and therefore is a huge research diversion for a lot of scientists and engineers who could be working on ways to develop renewable energy techs, for example, however, there is a lot of activity and some already under way.(2009 release)

    Is it real, is it enough?

    I don’t know, but it is clear from these programs a lot of well meaning ‘in industry’ people want CCS to work. That is the catch, most are ‘in-industry’, and I assume no ownership or identification with their motives.

    So a lot of people want BAU – to keep the cars, trucks and home gas heaters going, and they are pursuing that path.
    I think it is probably not too far fetched to assume other industrial developed countries have similar programs, (why would Australia be the only one?), so why do you write the above assertion?

    To be fair, you use the word ‘calculations’, and that may suggest that on balance, the CCS and other efforts are just not enough, even if they do work, which is moot.

    I am not promoting these technologies in any way, I am on board for the whole catastrophe unfolding, and I also see the machine of Industrial Civilisation just steamrolling the planet, one system after another.
    But is it unfair to assert what you did, for it just seems to whitewash a sizable effort to mitigate carbon emissions? Not saying those programs will work, and am sayin that it is a flawed attempt to keep BAU, IMO.

    Sorry to hear about the migrating birds and the lack of insects in your woods due to FUBAR seasonal cycles. Those situations must cause you considerable heartache. How are the trees in general?

  • Well done, Alex. Pointed and hilarious. That being said, I’m wondering if all this brouhaha-ing (feminism at Age of Limits, and the Archdruid’s none-to-subtle Guy-baiting) are a sign of stress caused by the NT(human)E hypothesis escaping the bottle like a dangerous genie. Maybe it’s just a coincidence.

  • Apologies; posted already in wrong place; second post of the day (fucking senility):

    Matthew 6:24 says: Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

    We’ve a way to hold onto our wad
    While preserving a righteous facade:
    Every woman and man
    Answers back, “Yes, we can!”
    Because mammon IS our god.

  • I’ve eaten out of garbage cans and still alive to talk about it.

    Ringo Starr – It Don’t Come Easy

    Obedience at home? wildwoman has the right idea. Glad she still has fire in the belly!

    It’s been a glorious Spring in my neck of the woods for the angiosperms. The gymnosperms ain’t looking too shabby either. I have never seen such vibrant blooms on Forsythia x intermedia and its cultivars. This is the first year I can remember in some time that Magnolia soulangiana and Magnolia stellata did not get nipped by Spring frosts. The salad garden has been very productive this year with little effort as cool temperatures and adequate rainfall have been beneficial to assorted lettuce, spinach and peas plant growth and development. The plants are loving all this extra atmospheric CO2. Of course they would because CO2 is part of the photosynthesis equation. I found a new ACT – aerated compost tea recipe and the plants are responding well to increased rhizophere microbe activity.
    Whoa rhubarb! White clover is coming in thick and heavy this year as well. Grey tree frogs and Spring peepers emerged at the same time this year along with crickets. The evening sound was deafening and I mean that literally. Amazing. I planted ‘Red Norland’ potatoes this year. Someone bought out all Idaho/russet seed potatoes this year at the local seed store. I wanted to plant a row of those because they’re excellent keepers but ‘Red Norland’ are good keepers as well. I just hilled them up before this recent bout of heavy rain of around four plus inches in the last week. ‘Candy’ yellow onions are coming along nicely as well. Several cultivars of tomatoes and peppers are in the ground. I’m growing cayenne this year. My supply of 3 years ago is just about run out. Raised a crop of Eastern Blue Birds already. Two will get you five. Another pair are nesting now and dig this, the female is albino. I’ve never seen an albino bluebird before. Humming birds are friendly this year. A few days ago a nice whitetail was relaxing in a prone position chewing its cud near my surface well. Pastoral to say the least. I talk to all the animals that inhabit this place where I live. They have ears and can hear just fine. Protect life.

    Some downers: very few honeybees about although I’m hoping it’s cool temperatures and high humidity levels that are keeping them away. I have not seen any little brown bats and large brown bats this year. I’ve been at my place for 25 years and they have returned every year except this one. I am greatly saddened by their absence. They eat half their weight in insects per day or should I say per night? Has anyone seen any little brown bats or large brown bats in your neck of the woods?

    Lastly. Guy thanks for your post. I’m not sure half the people who post here get what you’re talking about.

    -America- A Horse with No Name

  • Re projected global temperature for 2030, etc.

    It’s difficult to find trustworthy sources, I’ll give tvt the benefit of the doubt on that.

    I used to trust McKibben once, until I discovered he’s a shill, funded by Rockefellers, taking the sting out of the environmental movement so that the 1% can carry on BAU.
    I could add quite a few names to that list, people and organisations I found attractive who turned out to have views or connections that I later found, personally, unacceptable. So, I moved on. Who can you trust ? Yourself ? Hahahaha. Well, I do trust me, funnily enough. I know where I stand.

    I’ve never met Guy, and so I can’t say for sure, but he seems pretty honest and straight talking to me. He points to the stuff nobody else wants to look at. ‘Hey, look at this shit !’

    Anyway, it’s very difficult to find data that can be trusted. If you really want to know what to expect by 2030, one of the best presentations is Kevin Anderson from last year, that will take an hour of your life. And then there’s the two recent ones by David Wasdell, that take about 40 minutes. I’ll put that link in a separate comment to avoid moderation

    Imo, they give a very alarming picture of the future. They are both respectable educated middle class men, who can speak with a degree of authority, and I imagine a lot of people will find them convincing. If you don’t know that stuff, you’re not really in a position to make informed commentary.

    Neither of them are nearly as scary as Guy. That’s because they are leaving out stuff that Guy insists we must not leave out, that we CANNOT leave out, if we want an accurate assessment.

    But we should all make our own independent evaluations. Just because Guy is smart doesn’t mean he gets everything correct every time. He’s human too. A lot of this stuff is hard and very complicated and changes all the time as new info arrives. It’s a moving target.

    As far as I can tell, the estimates and projections that people like the IEA are making and not very good. If I was a CEO and this NBL was my corporation, I’d want much better info to work with. I’d set up a working group to check everything, because if they are leaving out the NOx and the methane and the forests and the permafrost and the loss of the summer sea ice in the Arctic, and who knows what else, then their temperature expectations for later this century are going to be, well, not worth much.

    Thing is, CO2 and average global temperature is only a PART of the picture. To understand why we get to NTE means you have to understand all the knock on effects that result from climate change and ocean acidification, etc.

    It’s because people don’t get that, that the folk who follow JMG and Orlov and other similar and related forums miss the point and think this blog is something to do with a cult of doom or whatever.