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 In my voting lifetime, each neo-conservative U.S. president has been replaced by a worse version.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.

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

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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

  • Here is a paper “Modifying the 2C Target : Climate Policy Objectives in the Contested Terrain of Scientific Policy Advice, Political Preferences, and Rising Emissions” from the “German Institute for International and Security Affairs” who, according to that unimpeachable source Wikipedia are “an independent scientific establishment that conducts practically oriented research on the basis of which it then advises the Bundestag and the federal government on foreign and security policy issues”.

    Does anyone know if this group is of any influence?

    PDF available here : http://www.swp-berlin.org/fileadmin/contents/products/research_papers/2013_RP05_gdn.pdf

    Dated June 2013

    I haven’t read the whole thing yet. It looks like an extended examination of ways to move the goal posts since the goals are unachievable. From the Conclusion:


    The 2°C target has been of exceptional importance for international climate policy and scientific policy advice. In its present form, there will be strong pressure for this target to change, however, as a rapid and profound trend reversal in global greenhouse gas emissions over the current decade is no longer likely. … the EU derives its own emissions reduction targets directly from this 2°C target, so a change would also undermine the architecture of European climate and energy policy … By gradually extending the remaining global emissions budgets for the period up to 2050, this approach could postpone the impending failure of the 2°C target, at least for a few years. … Reacting to the failure of the 2°C target only by setting a new upper limit would be difficult to communicate in a credible way. This would also place climate scientists in an awkward position: either they would have to endorse the process by moving the threshold of dangerous climate change or they would suffer a severe loss of influence within the international climate regime, which in turn would affect their resource endowments. … It therefore seems likely that for the EU, the preferable medium-term option would be the overshoot approach, that is, the transformation of the 2°C target from a strict upper limit to a mere benchmark for international climate policy. … it [the EU] will also have to refrain from using stringent budgeting mechanisms to put emissions reductions at the top of the political agenda for the next four decades. Basing climate policy on carbon budgets is inconceivable for the very reason that major new findings in climate science, such as changes in estimates of the long-term temperature increase resulting from a doubling of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere (equilibrium climate sensitivity), would automatically result in emissions budget adjustments over which policy makers would have no influence. … In this process, climate policy will tend to “politicize” while climate science will tend to “scientize.”

  • I remember reading a comment from somebody regarding finding comfort that the anomalously high methane measurements were instrument error.

    The scientists in the field have long stated that the few scattered sites such as Barrow and Svalbard that take flask samples at, I think, 500 meters, are completely inadequate. The AIRS data compiled by Dr. Yurganov (http://jcet.umbc.edu/directory/yurganov-leonid/) is better. However atmospheric gas measurements via satellite is fraught with issues, and not as simple as might be supposed.

    Here is a link from a recent report from NASA entitled “Is A Sleeping Giant Stirring In The Arctic”:

    https://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/earth20130610.html

  • @Speak Softly 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…..

    Indeed, but I would be surprised if even 1% of the public is capable of understanding this; maybe 5% get exponentials.

    @Alex, brilliant! Thanks for the laugh after having read that very disturbing/ disturbed post. The bilious icing on the turd cake over there were the accompanying illustrations of headless naked ladies, bums in the air. Freud would have a field day!

    @Luna, count me amongst those DO has relegated to his personal gulag. Someone wondered, sarcastically I assumed, when the apologists for polygamy and pedophilia would appear in those threads, and only a matter of hours passed before one showed up right on cue. Oy.. I guess they think they’ll all be in the minority who get wives; can’t imagine being instead one of the greater number of lost boys…

  • @ U:

    David Wasdell is another straight shooter. He states that the IPCC is essentially committing crimes against humanity. So of course he is marginalized and jeered at by the lamestream scientists.
    His paper, which I’ve posted several times, is here:
    http://www.see.ed.ac.uk/~shs/Climate%20change/Climate%20model%20results/Wasdell%20Climate%20Sensitivity.pdf

    At the current CO2e of about 470 ppm his paper predicts a thermal equilibrium global temp above 6 C. Again, above 6 C at the current CO2e.

    To quote Dan Miller whose “A Really Inconvenient Truth” can be found on youtube. . . .at 6 C the Earth goes quiet.

    Thanks for reading, have a nice day.

  • Don’t know if this will be allowed, since it will be a third post. . but the next couple of weeks is busy for me.

    The folks who follow Orlov, JMB, Mckibben et all and think they got the picture are nothing more than environmental/climate science tourists. Feel free to use the term, it came to me just now.

    This aint’ a democracy that we are living in folks, it is a hypocrisy.

  • @the virgin terry:

    Ever get the feeling that you’re surrounded by idiots?

  • would there be some more proactive and powerful alternative other than through the vote?

    To vote is to sanction the initiation of coercive force by the hierarchy of state against peaceful non-compliers. Voting is NOTa peaceful act. By voting the voter is stating that it is acceptable for the state to point the gun at someone on the voter’s behalf.

    My point is that finger pointing is a fools game

    The traditions of Indian origin draw attention to the facf that pointing one finger at another person also points three of the other fingers of the hand at oneself.

    no more cement or hamburgers.

    How ’bout cementburgers? No burgers from the Wall Street Bull: it’s bronze, which means ~80% copper: an essential micronutrient, but toxic if absorbed in anything more than micro quantities.

    an extension of current trends. By 2050, energy use almost doubles (compared with 2009) and total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rise even more.

    And with the Feedback Loops choir of fat ladies singing, current trends may not be needed.

    All species, from yeast to hominids, are built around maximizing resource return

    Built around making more of their own DNA and supporting biomass. If they can make more of their own biomass for a given quantity of resources than another species, that is an advantage. That will be selected for.

    – managing consumption isn’t part of anyone’s DNA.

    Except in cases where resource constraints have repeatedly caused diebacks after overshoots. Those species had recurrent selection pressures in favour of hardy, frugal forms to tide over lean times: hence spores and cysts.

    it’s extremely wearisome having to spell out the same thing over and over!

    Yes indeed: reckless indulgence in powerful practices can very subtly addle while also focusing the intellect.

    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.

    That’s jerk also known as jolt, surge, or lurch. Breaks bones and kills in aircraft crashes. (And in any high mechanical impact event). Next one’s jounce or snap. And the next two derivatives are crackle and pop. Breakfast of the gods?

  • ‘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 !’

    fuck off, u. just about everyone here knows what an impossible ass u tend to be when something rubs u wrong. i’m not getting sucked in further. i’ve done my best and there’s no more i can do, except, for now, to ignore u, as i’ve already so often done in the past, to my greater peace of mind and better use of time.

    ‘Speaking of imprecision TVT, (including counting how many comments per day!)’

    ok, gail. i see now this is gonna be a pissin’ contest. i certainly am disappointed in u. but go on. i’ll play a little while.

    ‘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’

    as guy would say, precisely the point, a succinct summary of why guy was wrong to attach the date of 2030 to it, via ‘careless?’ interpretation of a scientific article with graphs.

    while i’m at this response, let me include lorraine who opined that i was being a bit unkind. communication can be a spiritual contact sport. i am of the apparently idiosyncratic (dogmatic?) conviction that sloppy, careless, and plain flawed reasoning by our species, on a mass and nearly if not totally universal scale, is at the crux of present surreality, this culture/society of mass ignorance and delusion.

    this blog provides a great refuge for me, and i think guy and practically all the regs here, a venue for sharing for a very isolated and marginalized point of view that i’ve come to call surreality, getting surreal with what science, social observation, and critical thought are telling us, and trying to come to terms with our losses, sharing joy while we still can, and grief while we still must. it may be totally unique in this way. i also get off on how much can be learned here from other (usually) very well informed and intelligent views, including links. it’s simply mind blowing at times, and i’m a dude who appreciates a good mind blow. perhaps from a maladaptive predilection to get off on heavy knowledge and comprehension. and last but not certainly least, increased empathy and sense of connection with one’s own tragicomically flawed and afflicted own kind.

    waxing poetic like this is rare for me (to do so this well, certainly). even as i write, i’m distracted by my own hubristic awareness that i have a strange ‘gift’ for language at times?!. blows my mind, but this is also a big distraction, another mental flaw on top of a mountain of others to be overcome, or victimized by. it’s so hard to stay on track when so many inherent distractions must be overcome.

    so anyhow, getting back to the point of guy’s apparent side of errant certainty of doom on an exaggeratedly imminent timescale, and misinterpreting for whatever reason facts from time to time in order to perhaps get through to more sleeping sheeple that we’re facing ecogeddon and our own extinction in rather short order if we don’t radically change our ways by yesterday and even then the situation looks virtually hopeless… it’s a scientific sin to express (near) certainty of something unsupported by scientific facts. it’s a spiritual sin to be unaware of one’s own inherent limits/flaws. imo, if it’s worth anything in this instance. it’s virtuous to readily acknowledge personal fallibility. one must question oneself as vigorously as one questions ‘authority’, and try not falling into the trap of hubris. i’m here to humble guy and anyone i deem needy/worthy in a spirit of love. we’re all in need of correction sometimes, and we need to be open to changing minds and hearts when confronted with new surrealities.

    guy has never claimed personal infallibility (although it may be implied in emphatic statements of conviction not backed by fact). i’m of the impression that he in fact is unusually open minded and tolerant and humble, is spite of occasional appearances to the contrary. i don’t question his integrity lightly, and in light of the apparent fact that logic and facts alone have been getting us no where for a long time now, i question whether questioning guy’s integrity is warranted, since an argument may be made that the emergency we face calls for shedding abstractions like integrity if they limit our ability to wake sheeple the fuck up with regards to what’s going down in doomerville, soon to likely encompass our whole planet. most of the poor motherfuckers out there will never know what hit them. guy has taken on the arduous thankless and frustrating task of trying to give them at least a clue that they’re engulfed in ignorance, misinformation, and delusion, living in what i call a fool’s paradise soon to become a fool’s nightmare (i know kathy/everyone, even now the world’s miseries overwhelm, it’s only a ‘paradise’ sometimes to those who are unaware or in denial and able to enjoy the ill gotten fruit of civilization in relative comfort, luxury, and security, like me sometimes)

    i best be movin’ on perhaps.

    ‘in my comment on this topic I wasn’t taking a position either way on his graph’

    here’s what u wrote: ‘good point, lorraine.’ in response to this (i presume) from lorraine, who a couple comments earlier wrote: ‘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”.’ in defense of guy’s misinterpretation. if i presume correctly (how tedious, contentious, and distracting it is to have to do this), that refutes your spurious claim of not taking a position.

    so much for that pissing contest. on to the next one, or preferably dealing with more accurate and constructive remarks. i repeat gail, i’m disappointed in u. u still have a great blog, but i detect some ‘u’ (ulvfugl) in u.

    this supports in my view the view that nbl has cultish tendencies. questioning broadly the integrity of some of guy’s claims brings out the attack dog in certain faithful followers, doesn’t it?

    ‘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.’

    kiwi kevin, don’t forget government’s deceitful, corrupt, power hungry pols and it’s massive armaments and internal security forces to maintain ‘law and order’ or is it’s incestuous relationship with corporate greed and collusion to rape gaia in order to keep the party going as long as possible. of course one could go on at great length regarding all the nefarious activities that governments engage in, but yes, it’s true that behind the glitter there’s precious little gold. looking to governments for salvation is a fool’s errand (did i just call u a fool, kevin? precious isn’t it, the pot calling the kettle black!)

    for what little it’s worth, i’m glad u’re fighting the good fight and sharing it with your nbl friends. very very glad. u’re a virtual rock of sanity in a tumultuous sea of insanity. i don’t know how u do it, how u’ve done it for so long now by your account. u and guy both.

    ‘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.’ -speak softly

    i’m tired of defending my views/assertions this evening. i think i possess a rather acute appreciation for exponentials. i’ve viewed albert’s bartlett’s excellent presentation on the matter at least a couple of times. enough on that for now.

    ‘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.’

    daniel, my clarity is manifested by the sharpness of your response, i think. i do question guy’s integrity when i detect or think i detect a systemic pattern of subtly subverting surreality that could very well be the result of an admirable desire to craft a message to the public with maximum impact at this moment of extreme crisis. if guy is intelligent as he most often appears to be, as sane as he appears to be, he knows at least at some level what he’s doing. or does he?

    perhaps it wasn’t the best way to get my point across, but i disagree that it’s nonsense. this isn’t the first scientific ‘mistake’ guy has made in my view, probably not the first he’s admitted, that if intentional or not intentional, has the effect of accelerating and heightening the alarm raised by agw and other deadly effects of industrial civ. i’m not aware of any mistakes he’s made in the other direction, the direction taken by deniers.

    ‘You can’t logically say someone unintentionally fudged the facts.’

    fudging facts to me doesn’t necessarily imply/suggest intention. a lot of sheeple are wrong about this or that simply because of ignorance, being misinformed/deluded. i see no logic in the above quote.

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

    i disagree, but that’s just my opinion. my intention is, i think like guy’s, virtuous. i don’t wish to denigrate or discredit guy’s essential message, and i don’t believe i am.

    ‘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.’

    i hope to keep this war, if that’s what it’s gonna be, to a minimum. not what i want, but neither will i be intimidated. guy can try (no doubt, to some effect) to silence me if he wishes, kick me out of the tribe so to speak, but until then, i will speak my mind. i’ve clarified about all i can clarify i think, and am not about to retract anything.

    ball’s in your court, guy. u’re the authority or ‘authority’ here. what’s it gonna be?

  • Sadie Says:
    June 11th, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    @the virgin terry:

    Ever get the feeling that you’re surrounded by idiots?

    lol! all the time, sadie. all the time. but not usually here on nbl. this is generally a most welcome refuge for savants, as i tried to say a moment ago. but in a surreality virtually saturated with idiocy, it’s unsurrealistic to hope to find any complete refuge from it.

    ‘reckless indulgence in powerful practices can very subtly addle while also focusing the intellect. ‘

    there’s a time to laugh, to cry, to love and sigh, to mourn and die. i guess there’s also a time to be recklessly indulgent, and see what flies!, subtly addled intellect be damned! lol! right, guy?

  • “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…..”

    It makes climate change exceedingly hard to address that it is the first global crisis. Global geographically, and global in epistemological range. It is beyond frustrating that science-fixated and limited have placed their imprimatur all over climate change, which is merely the most directly and inescapably lethal among a “global” range of issues whose positive feedback loops multiply with and exacerbate each other’s.

    There is no thinking that isn’t correlated to climate thinking. You can see how a person responds to one issue, say, Bradley Manning, then press enter, whence oozes from the printer a spreadsheet of all the complementary positions, say, on the NRA, on gender, on oil, on minorities, on political preference, etc., etc., etc. This methodology is imperfect, but it does tend to cut through a lot of crap to reach the main points.

    The science limited and fixated, when you press their enter button and read their spreadsheets will tend to be white, middle class, atheist, hardly travelled, culturally limited, wedded to their left brain and their calculators… This subset of humanity are the very last people with any proclivity for addressing climate change. For climate change is much, much more than climate change. It is civilization itself, which comprises the entire web of human endeavor.

    (The more I see Guy’s presentations the more I appreciate him, for he’s talking about a lot more than science, even if he doesn’t know o make a point of it.)

    So I’ve tried to broaden out the subject, only to narrow it in again, going in the opposite direction to a single issue. I have my single issue that I consider determinative and strategic. I’m very curious to know what other people’s single issues could be. Would they be like getting hold of a master thread within a piece of fabric? You pull on it and the whole tapestry unravels?

  • http://news.yahoo.com/world-getting-warmer-faster-expected-132734289.html
    The World Is Getting Warmer Faster Than Expected, Connor Simpson, 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.
    [2020 is only seven years away!]
    “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.”

    Meanwhile, street fighting in Istanbul is continuing after over 20 hours, as government forces moved in en masse to try to take back a park slated for destruction so that a shopping mall can be built. The park, Gezi Park, adjacent to Taksim Square in downtown Istanbul, is one of the few green spots left in the huge city, the world’s only large metropolis to straddle two continents.

  • These arguments –>GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITYPointing fingers is useless because we’re all to blame<— are more rationalization and schluffing off of blame and responsibility. It was the Americans -alone- who put 1/2 the crap in the air and ocean that's out there now. Their anglosphere buddies are not much less culpable for the rape and pillage of the earth in the name of holy Adam Smith, the prophet Milton Friedman, and latter day Saints Reagan and Thatcher.

    Try to convict the Lao for Pre-crime. Put thoughts and motivation into their heads of world straddling imperial empires. These are people you never met or only know about through texts. Pure externalization!

    Again, I'd guess this kind of analysis is psychological projection. Maybe there is difficulty in assessing one's reflections in the mirror. Missteps are so easily assuaged through these feel-good generalizations. Responsibility eluded, postponed, and schluffed again and again, condemning others for your own pitfalls and mistakes.

    I hate to sound like a dullard, but get off your behind, get your nose out of outrageously overpriced books, get in a plane, waste the carbon you and the airline were going to burn anyway, fly out to Pakse or Battambang, go and look those people in the face, in the homes where they live, observe their routine, their effect on the environment and their discussions, and tell me again how they are a pack of ruthless, mad, ravenous, unstoppable, killing-machine vampires, who, given half a chance to be corrupt (like who?), would ride herd across the planet in an orgy of Ghengis-Khan-like obliteration.

    That's Orientalist Bullocks. They wouldn't, and you have no right to carry on like they would.

    Some people know how to live on the land, or even just live. Some aren't driven by idiotic aspiration for BannanaGapublic jeans and sweat shirts soaked in Cambodian and Bangladeshi blood and bought on credit. Or collecting as much cash as possible garnered through an economic system that crushes the lives of people in poor societies and transfers their very blood and sweat to the imperial core through disgusting little things called dollars. Some Don't have their minds permanently colonized or calcified. Some people cannot be bothered with maximizing personal gain, looking the other way, or burning carbon to the last drop at any cost. Or freebasing Western culture until life on earth is gone.

    And I have met at least some of these folks. You have no business calling them mad unstoppable planet killers. They can make choices that others (1st worlders) obviously cannot.

    I know it must be difficult for some to accept the idea that a few humans have their sfit together and are not trapped in hell. You accuse them of your own problems, endlessly and unjustifiably.

    Mr. House: Word up, brother. Despite what you may imagine, people from Laos or upcountry Cambodia, Vietnam or Yunnan are not people from India. Check again. People from the Musuo village are not friggin' Han Chinese. The analogies do not carry, not even close.

    The idea is so preposterous as to be comical. To lump ~all~ the 3rd world peoples into one group and set them out to sea in order to sink them, the better to undergird the endless bloviations and rationalizations for not troubling one's lazy, indolent, generous, super-privileged be-hind to do anything. Orientalist horsecrackery is that.

    Sorry, I won't jump into the black hole because ~some~ people see no other way, and dogmatically demand that all humanity crucify itself on the cross of seemingly endless first world buffoonery and hard core myopia and denial.

    Yes – I was born, even better and more lucky than most Australians or Britons – as a wildly privileged, good looking, rich, hot shot, clueless white punk from the US apartheid, imperial, settler state.
    I had no choice in that, true, but given the information available to me and the horrid, hollow, mentally and emotionally crippling nature of the experience, I dropped it. Much to my physical and psychological betterment.

    As American philosopher LL Cool J once recommended: "Get the flies out' your eyes, You can't cause where you're born, but you effect where you die."

    Westerners are not trapped where they are. You wake up every morning and choose to recreate the madness you live in. As Libet said, you can VETO these arrangements at any time. Or you can, of course, use the same excuses everybody uses: my family, my job, my house, my responsibility (to kill the world?), ad infinitum.

    It is BS. Total BS. I have heard all the excuses. I used to make them myself all the time. But given circumstances, none of them fly anymore. I cannot continue to lie to myself like that and live with myself.

    As Utah Phillips said, The world is dying because some people are choosing t kill it. And like guttercrawling addicts, they cannot abate their pathology, much less allow anyone else to stop them. Knock. Knock.

    Given that the 1st world and their imitators are the origins and engines of the potential death of all life on earth, it is now not exactly like any other modern [sic], advanced [sic] industrial nation has any right to exist in their current form. At all.

    Why does anyone give them any credence or material support whatsoever?

    You may be surrounded by a$$-holes, but you can not make generalizations outward to all humanity that absolve you or the crazy people around you for poor choices.

    Humans are not robots. Free will is tenuous, but, As pointed out before, people do have VETO power over their actions. And I believe it can be cultivated. Some people are obviously better at that than others.

    So my advice is, if you made a mistake, own it. Own up to it.

    IN any rich country, it is easy as pie to just ignore, deny and reject the misery you created and create. But if you are going to make any personal progress, you have to acknowledge it and try to fix it. You may feel sick and horrible, devastated, lost and emotionally crushed relative to your previous perspective, as I was. You may feel that fixing your problem is impossible, a lost cause or fool's errand. Let me assure you that it is not.

    As Charles Bukowski said: "What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire."

    This is all very, very sad. I would be less verbose if I was not branded a fantasist and the good people I know crudely disparaged with a broad brush.

    I will not return the accusations, as I suspect it is quite clear from where they spring.

    You have my pity. But not sympathy for the fact that 1st world people and 1st world culture will foreclose the future of less civilized humans who are not nearly, in the big picture, as morally and ethically corrupt – or motivationally anemic.

    Further, reality is not fixed, calcified, or even yet decided. Reality is emergent. And at this point, that may be the only hope we have.

    I came to this website with some idea of finding practical solutions – like maybe how and where to make shelters for kids to protect from hypersonic methane fireballs – or of finding support, or at least something – anything else besides constant sniping, theological Condemnation, similar to what I found in Protestant church growing up, or of the prophecies of the irredeemable black souls of all of humanity, and the hopelessness and utter uselessness of direct action. Both cases of which I know to be false through my own personal experience. Listen or ignore. It is up to you.

    And If you are still having trouble, I would ask you to look deeper. Much deeper.

    Working on the symptoms is OK, maybe. But so few folks of privilege are anywhere near the root causes. So on behalf of those who really don't have any choices or hope of access to the powers that be, please stay vigilant and keep digging.

    I am wishing you, friends and annoyees, strength and determination to persevere – continued ability to resist – and as much veto power as you can humanly muster.

    Cheers and Good Day.

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

    There are people in the world all the time who know. . . . But they keep quiet. They just move about quietly, saving the people who know they are in the trap. And then, for the ones who have got out, it's like coming around from chloroform. They realise that all their lives they've been asleep and dreaming. And then it's their turn to learn the rules and the timing. And they become the ones to live quietly in the world, just as human beings might if there were only a few human beings on a planet that had monkeys on it for inhabitants, but the monkeys had the possibility of learning to think like human beings. But in the poor sad monkeys' damaged brains there's a knowledge half-buried. They sometimes think that if they only knew how, if only they could remember properly, then they could get out of the trap…

    Doris Lessing, Briefing for a Descent into Hell

  • The other guys that say we are going extinct because warming will release more methane and trigger more warming.
    https://arctic-news.blogspot.ca/p/global-extinction-within-one-human.html

  • Last post from Tom for a while.

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_judicial_lynching_of_bradley_manning_20130609//

    The Judicial Lynching of Bradley Manning

    (from article)

    The moral order is inverted. The criminal class is in power. We are the prey. Manning, in a just society, would be a prosecution witness against war criminals. Those who committed these crimes should be facing prison. But we do not live in a just society.

    (me)Expect the same for Snowden (if he’s even allowed to see the light of day again).

    On our current drift as to whether or not we’ll reach 2 C or 4 C by some date, i’m sure that will be the backdrop of the complete unraveling of civilization in the coming years and I don’t expect many (if any) to make it through the 2020’s. It’s just my opinion, but it comes from “connecting the dots” the way I see it (hey Tom, who fuckin’ cares what you think?) including the feedbacks.

  • Atmospheric CO2

    May 26 – June 1, 2013

    399.92 ppm

    May 26 – June 1, 2012

    396.43 ppm

    (1 year ago)

    May 26 – June 1, 2003

    378.57 ppm

    (10 years ago)

    All the recent evidence points to a much-faster-than-exponential rise in CO2……420ppm (or more) by 2020.

  • Is a world of peacefully coexisting human Forest Troops possible? Anyone who says, “No, it is beyond our nature,” knows too little about primates, including ourselves.

    http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/can-animals-save-us/warrior-baboons-give-peace-a-chance

  • Wester, you covered so much in your post that you seem to be attributing to me (since mine is the only name you mentioned) and which I didn’t state nor imply that I’m wondering if you were looking in a mirror as you typed.

    I readily agree that American empire has been and continues to be a horribly devastating blight on the planet. Admittedly, many of the American people are just as horrible. But to paint all who live in the developed world “with the same brush” is ridiculous and quite unfair. Contrary to what you seem to believe, the overwhelming majority of Americans do not have sufficient wealth to pick up and move to a third world country. Honestly, I suspect that most in the third world are really relieved at that.

    I believe what I was trying to say in my original post on the topic is that those who live in the less developed parts of the world will share in our collective fate, certainly, but that they also are contributing to our collective problems in their own way. I stand by that assertion despite your protestations. By the way, you aren’t the only one who have travelled to and lived in other countries.

    A quote from your post: Some people know how to live on the land, or even just live. Some aren’t driven by idiotic aspiration for BannanaGapublic jeans and sweat shirts soaked in Cambodian and Bangladeshi blood and bought on credit. Or collecting as much cash as possible garnered through an economic system that crushes the lives of people in poor societies and transfers their very blood and sweat to the imperial core through disgusting little things called dollars.

    That statement illustrates my point perfectly. How could I buy a shirt from Gap “soaked in Cambodian or Bangladeshi blood” if there weren’t Cambodians or Bangladeshi willing to work in those factories? If they are as noble as you seem to make them out to be, why are they supporting American Empire by continuing to make products the Empire thinks it needs?

    Could it be that like most Americans, they want to eat, they want to buy things, they want to have a better life? I can’t imagine why they would work in those death traps otherwise.

    Of course, like I mentioned previously, to buy their food, they have to rely on places like America to grow and produce it because their population is far greater than what they can support on the ground they have.

    Is that their fault? Of course not. None on them asked to be born any more than you or I did. But they certainly have a choice to have children themselves. How many of those people whom you live among have opted to have no children at all? My guess is that number is very small. So, you’re right that each of us wake up every day and make choices – not just Americans, but each and every human.

    I maintain that humans are humans regardless where we are born or where we live. With the exception of those controlling a few external characteristics, our DNA is virtually indistinguishable. We may have significant differences in our cultures, but in my world travels and my studies of world history, it’s pretty clear that given a similar set of circumstances, humans behave pretty much the same no matter what. That’s part of what makes us human.

    Wester, you seem to find it easy to criticize others because they haven’t followed your path – and that’s okay if that’s your thing. I just don’t think your path is really all that different than mine. You’re still using the internet, still using a computer. Both inventions of the “first world”. Computers are incredibly hard on the environment in so many ways and frequently are “soaked in the blood” of those in the third world. The power required by the internet is contributing to global warming, yet you still use it. Presumably, you’ve plugged your computer into an electrical socket – again, an industry that is helping to lay waste to our collective world and is also a sign of Empire. So, please don’t lecture me about how wonderful is your white-guilt way of life until you give up all those things and write me a letter on parchment you’ve fashioned yourself from a dead tree. You can find my snail mail address in the archives of this blog.

  • TVT, I’m afraid I didn’t make myself clear. I wasn’t trying to get into a “pissing contest” since I would surely lose! Seriously, I was just kidding about the number of comments and I grant you that the chart sets a path with no date certain for arrival at 4C. Surely there are so many other lines of evidence of amplifying feedbacks that threaten life on earth that one chart in a newspaper article is insignficant.

    TruthbeTold – There are only a handful of people who post on this blog using their real name and who can be easily located in the real world. One of them is me. Until one of them is you, your rude insinuations about my lifestyle or motives deserve no reply.

  • SportsCasters Update:

    Yes, folks, we have a dandy here!

    Wester and The Real Dr. House have exchanged blows, looks like another round to come and there’s no predicting the outcome at this point.

    U has decided to quit beating up on Gail, instead, he is now in a battle with The Virgin Terry – and, of course, Daniel has joined in and now we have a two on one battle.

    Also, the boys against the girls is slowly coming to an end, both sides bloodied to an apparent draw.

  • East vs West

    1st World vs Third World

    The privileged vs the poor

    China has 1.3 billion people and India 1.1 billion. Their citizens for the most part cook on open flame ovens. Their pollution controls are very lax.

    The US has about 337 million people and, in the recent decades, the US has begun adopting stricter standards and enforcement, all too little to late.

    Don’t forget the tremendous contribution of coal burning from China.

    Like I’ve said before, none of this matters – point the finger wherever you want, I’m guilty, I did more than my share of destruction, and I will be burned to ashes in a FEMA camp crematorium oven soon enough.

    The real battle is Humans vs Industrial Civilization (and that means humans vs humans).

  • @Terry says “a venue for sharing for a very isolated and marginalized point of view that i’ve come to call surreality, getting surreal with what science, social observation, and critical thought are telling us, and trying to come to terms with our losses, sharing joy while we still can, and grief while we still must.”

    @Tom says “The Judicial Lynching of Bradley Manning. The moral order is inverted. The criminal class is in power. We are the prey.”

    ***

    The problem I see with these two posts is that they are representative of an emotional state that simply has not come to grips with reality. This lack of ability to deal with the here & now is perhaps influenced by certain cultural expectations that where drilled into impressionable young minds during earlier periods of development.

    However, in an effort to attempt & help those seeking some kind of enlightenment, perhaps a brief thought experiment is in order: imagine yourself slave during the peak period of prosperity of imperial Rome. As a slave, you would not be unique and/or alone – no, a significant population of your fellow inhabitants would also be slaves, so you were essentially all in the same boat.

    Now, as a slave, would you hold any opinion and/or perspective that your situation was “surreal”? Why would it be surreal – it simply was reality. Oh, you mean that it might conflict with what the authorities “were telling you”. Likewise for “moral order” – what moral order”? Oh, again, what was implied within some kind of social contract (that you actually swallowed hook, line & sinker)?

    LOL – seriously. Let me try & explain. As a slaveholder, you essentially have two options for controlling your property: you either pen them in and/or chain them up, or you let them roam free as essentially range free livestock, but have them marked & conditioned to return to their owners at the end of the day.

    Faced with these two control mechanisms, the choice would simply be one of convenience & economics: which one was most effective for a particular set of circumstances? As property, you would have absolutely zero concern as to their “needs” – the decision to pen or roam would be based on your objectives. However, if you decided to allow free range, you would need to implement the correct training & conditioning to ensure compliance.

    Guess which method is used today? The cognitive dissonance or surreality one feels with respect to an ‘inverted moral order’ is a result of this conditioning. If one can break free and see the world as it really is, then all pretensions of rights, responsibilities and rules become suddenly clear. You have none, you are a slave, and the system of control right now happens to the be “soft” version.

    The problem with the soft version is that it’s founded on a consumption based economic model. Protesting against consumption is in reality advocating that hard chains be placed upon your legs. I posed a similar question above with respect to GMOs: would you rather have some sense of freedom, knowing it was all a lie, or the hard, in your face tyranny of actual physical control?

    It’s sort of rhetorical question, because as many suspect, we are heading straight to the latter. Oh, sure, Keystone and all other manner of last ditch efforts to keep the existing soft system in place will be implemented, but as well all know, it merely window dressing.

    Once you fully accept the reality of your slavery, then you will no longer be confused as to the surreality of confusing messages (recognizing them as tools of soft control), or consider morality as inverted, simply because there isn’t any.

  • @ Ogardener

    I am not too far away from eating out of trash cans.

    I can’t believe all the fussing and fighting. But, it’s better than the sterile moderated JMG blog that looks like everyone is brainwashed and worshiping JMG. (Also, it’s hilarious that JMG responds to every post.)

    I’m an odd resister. I simply do everything I can to be a burden on society in hopes that will help speed up the collapse. Toss in a bit of petty vandalism here and there. Anything I can get for free, I take.

    I hang out in the air conditioned library and use the computers. I also leave the entry door cracked so the AC escapes and I leave the hot water running in the bathroom. I order pizzas to vacant homes. I post phony “Estate Sale” ads on CraigsList so people will drive there only to find out there is no sale going on. Small acts, but every little bit helps. I often wonder how many minutes I have speeded up collapse!

  • Thanks, Webster. Pretty much my thoughts as well.

    Lot’s of people live fairly contentedly on the land, although our Western mythology considers such living to be low on the evolutionary scale, something to be overcome through buy-in to industrial civilization. In a nutshell, they must become urban consumers, and like in value systems to the West. Blaming them for acquiescing to Western-style value set is like blaming Jews in concentration camps for digging their own graves. What choice did they have? Some people appear to be clueless as to how power works.

  • @ B9K9

    you said: …would you rather have some sense of freedom, knowing it was all a lie, or the hard, in your face tyranny of actual physical control?

    Right On!

    Today, I’m basically free to roam around and that’s way better than living in a FEMA camp doing daily work detail. With my luck, and obvious downtrodden status, I would most likely be assigned to hauling concrete with a wheelbarrow up to a molten nuclear reactor core. They probably would get a dozen or so trips out of me and then just throw my body onto the red-hot core.

    It’s going to be ghastly folks, like nothing you can imagine.

  • @K-Dog said:

    would you rather have some sense of freedom, knowing it was all a lie, or the hard, in your face tyranny of actual physical control?

    Well, assuming we don’t all perish from NTE any time soon, I’ll take the latter for $1,000 K-Dog. Why, you ask? Because until it is so blatantly in your face, there is no incentive to act. The soft version makes everyone soft. The soft version disarms any potential revolt by rendering any potential resistance soft in the middle. The soft version has turned everyone into soft-serve icecream cones for the Plutocracy’s edification. In your face brutal and controlling tyranny will sharpen an opposition like the pressures deep in the earth’s crust forms, shapes and sharpens diamonds. Bring it on, I say. Then, maybe, we can put an end to this thing once and for all. Nah, it ain’t gonna happen. Prepare to walk into that burning desert, and considering how things may heat up, that desert may, shortly, be right outside your back and front door.

  • @ Spartacus:

    I think B9K9 is taking the position that there’s nothing anyone can do, so why not get while the getting is good?

    I see your point though, the Resistance has been such a failure that the only thing that might inspire the masses to “Rise Up” is for collapse to begin in earnest!

    So, getting collapse going as quick as possible would be the anti-B9K9 strategy.

    B9K9 will be one of the “Bulls” at the FEMA camp – he will be running around with a clipboard in charge of work detail assignments.

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse #14

    Big Brother revealed
    drinking beer in the cheap seats.
    Party on, sky box!

  • @Denise

    Big Brother’s been revealed for what seems forever now. These recent revelations are old news for anyone whose been in the know. It’s so much deeper and troubling than these highly contained and controlled leaks. How about telling us something we don’t already know? As for informing the majority. Well, you can’t inform them. They simply don’t care and/or will twist any of these already highly contained leaks into further support for their soft imprisonment. The best therapy for all of this is to laugh every day all day long. But hey, if shouting and/or crying is your thing, by all means, emote in your own way. Me, I like to laugh, especially when people bring their own suffering upon themselves. Yes, the collateral damage from that sucks eggs, but there’s nothing I or you or anyone else here can do about it, so outrage is a waste of time, and since everything we do from here on out is a waste of time considering NTE, I might as waste it laughing all the way. Oh what fun it is to ride in the NTE sleigh!!

  • TRDH

    I spent many months living in a village in northern Thailand and have also met many Thais in the cities who migrated from villages. From what I’ve witnessed, your observations of human nature are spot on. The overwhelming majority of villagers want to tear down their wooden houses and replace them with large air conditioned cement ones; they all want new cars, fridges, tvs and iphones. The teenage children in the villages can’t wait until they are old enough to leave home and move to the exciting city (partly because they want privacy from their families, it’s true). None of the children aspire to be farmers in their village.

    I don’t have experience of rural communities in other parts of the world, but I’d be surprised if the people were different from those I’ve described. It’s human nature to always want more, especially if it’s perceived that others have it. There are a few exceptions, but not many.

  • @ Spartacus
    Thanks for using one of your 2 posts to break it all down for this fool…

    @Tom – I’ll miss your contribution here and look forward to seeing you back soon. I hope you are ok – take care.

  • The REAL Dr. House Says:
    June 12th, 2013 at 6:09 am
    “Wester, you covered so much in your post that you seem to be attributing to me (since mine is the only name you mentioned) and which I didn’t state nor imply that I’m wondering if you were looking in a mirror as you typed.

    I readily agree that American empire has been and continues to be a horribly devastating blight on the planet. Admittedly, many of the American people are just as horrible. But to paint all who live in the developed world “with the same brush” is ridiculous and quite unfair. Contrary to what you seem to believe, the overwhelming majority of Americans do not have sufficient wealth to pick up and move to a third world country. Honestly, I suspect that most in the third world are really relieved at that.

    I believe what I was trying to say in my original post on the topic is that those who live in the less developed parts of the world will share in our collective fate, certainly, but that they also are contributing to our collective problems in their own way. I stand by that assertion despite your protestations. By the way, you aren’t the only one who have travelled to and lived in other countries.

    A quote from your post: Some people know how to live on the land, or even just live. Some aren’t driven by idiotic aspiration for BannanaGapublic jeans and sweat shirts soaked in Cambodian and Bangladeshi blood and bought on credit. Or collecting as much cash as possible garnered through an economic system that crushes the lives of people in poor societies and transfers their very blood and sweat to the imperial core through disgusting little things called dollars.

    That statement illustrates my point perfectly. How could I buy a shirt from Gap “soaked in Cambodian or Bangladeshi blood” if there weren’t Cambodians or Bangladeshi willing to work in those factories? If they are as noble as you seem to make them out to be, why are they supporting American Empire by continuing to make products the Empire thinks it needs?”

    As if the people who are “willing” to work in those factories have much of a choice. As if they aren’t being pushed off the land, on which they lived as subsistence farmers for millennia, and thus being separated from the means of producing their survival needs directly. Now they have to work to make money to buy their needs. This is what ENCLOSURES have been about for several centuries, this is precisely how capitalism has emerged, and how it has survived and expanded — more and more people have been ENCLOSED. Capitalism and the ENCLOSURES emerged in only one small area of the world, rural late-medieval England. They did not emerge anywhere else on their own! They are the norm only because of capitalism’s rapacious expansion. The self-absorbed ignorance of attributing to all humans the same behavior and the same aspirations which capitalist society embodies is just so emblematic of capitalist society.
    http://www.solidarity-us.org/node/993

  • Hi All,

    I’ve been lurking about NBL for quite a while now. I agree with the tenets of the site regarding resource limits and overshoot and the possibility of NTE.

    This post is in response to NSA data collection.

    I want to point out something that even Alex Jones (I don’t think) has thought of yet. Do you all realize that every smart phone like device in existence can be considered a processing node in a massively parallel computer?

    Suppose the intent of the NSA data collection isn’t merely for “spying” but is used instead to train a large neural network existing on a parallel computing system that is distributed across the thousands of smart phone like devices. The end result could be the same except a neural net could pick out revelant patterns faster.

    Think about it, currently the user/owner of the smart phone has to download an app and run it at their discretion. Who is to say that a distributed application can’t be pushed to a smart phone rather than being pulled? With the right back doors the owner of the device would never even know. Considering what can be done now and how deep into the telecoms the governments are now, I believe that if I thought of it they did too. Ok, maybe I’m totally off the wall, but truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.

    Just saying…

  • @ Food for Thought:
    is that “Flesh for Fantasy”

    TPTB are so far ahead of us – more so than you, me or Alex Jones can even imagine. I’m sure their inner circle worker bees are being promised all sorts of wonderful things to keep working and keep quiet.

    B9K9 probably has a govt contract supplying them with essential office supplies (copier toner, staples, pens, paper, etc).

    The only possibilities that MIGHT muck up their plans:

    Pandemic – rages wildly, indiscriminately, kills off 95% of Earth’s human population.

    Massive environmental collapse that rages wildly, indiscrimately, kills off 95% of Earth’s population

    Massive economic collapse that rages wildly, indiscrimately, kills off 95% of Earth’s population

    If the collapse is slow and deliberate (like DO believes, then we are all screwed and headed to the FEMA ovens).

  • “Empathize with stupidity and you’re halfway to thinking like an idiot” Iain Banks (RIP)

  • Colorado is burning up…again. I’ve been helping a Black Forest veterinarian who does free work for our wildlife patients move everybody from his building. Next I’ll work with the Humane Society in taking care of evacuees from throughout the area.

    Tom, I’m sure the frackers who want to drill here are upset because their water is being used for the fires, haha!

    Colorado Wildfires 2013

  • @Pym

    Good work helping animals and keep safe. Black Forest looks like a bad deal.

    My nephew is in Colorado Springs, but he is in town and not at risk.

    I’m out in the four corners, it’s been fairly cool until the last few days. No fires in the area ATM.

    Nice comment on one of the blogs this morning – “Colorado has two seasons, winter and fire.”

    ———

    Big derecho warning for the midwest today. Everybody keep your heads down and bring the garden gnomes inside.

  • I’m in Denver. There are 4 or 5 fires going now. The Black Forest neighborhood is all multi-million dollar McMansions. 40 or 50 of them have burned to the foundations, more expected.

    Last year, very near to the Black Forest neighborhood, the Waldo Canyon fire destroyed 350 homes.

  • Alex, thank you so much for that episode of jeopardy. It is just about the funniest thing I’ve ever read!!

    Annie, there’s a video of the author of that article here:

    http://thelastbehaviorist.blogspot.com/2012/12/robert-sapolsky-and-bf-skinner-discuss.html

    After reading all morning about the controversies swirling around evolutionary biology, I was astonished to see that Sapolsky bears an uncanny resemblance to a certain archdruid. Just sayin’.

    If anyone is interested, there is a panel discussion up on youtube from UCBerkeley

    “Science at the Theater – How Hot will it Get?” – possibly the Q&A is the most interesting, starting at around 1:07, although I’d like to get my hands on the chart showed in the first presentation, from Meehl et al 2012, but it’s behind a paywall.

    For the life of me I can’t understand how these scientists continue to applaud baby making (KathyC you won’t believe the slideshow!) and say ridiculous things like “hopefully the next generation of students will do a better job than we have” when clearly the science they themselves are reporting says unequivocally:

    We are on a path to 4C and there is nothing that will stop it; 4C is only the beginning and temperatures will continue up for 3000 years; famine in not just developing nations but everywhere is inevitable; famine will be swiftly followed by war; the ecosystems are migrating at only half the speed they need to to keep up with climate change; there is absolutely no evidence that people will do anything to reduce emissions.

  • Since this post is about domestic policy I thought it would be novel to actually comment on that topic.

    The ‘political space’ in Duhmerika is really just Perception Management at this late stage in the Pre-collapse runup romp.

    The U.S. did not defeat Nazi Germany in WWII, they absorbed them.

    They took their rocket scientists and their Gestapo security infrastructure and intelligence gathering prowess and the results of inhuman medical experiments and rolled them up into the U.S. A. brand. (Operation Paperclip)

    Truman officially consecrated the National Security Act of 1947

    Duhmerika officially became a fascist Empire.

    It was very well positioned, most the the developed world lay in smoldering ruins after WWII, the Duhmerikan Fatherland was unscathed and had it’s industrial based locked and loaded for Monopoly Conspicuous Consumption Hyperdrive Nirvana.

    Decades go by and Wall Street and the ‘intelligence community’, effectively merged into a single Malignant Tumor, growing uncontrollably, unchecked by Reason or Sanity or even basic human Decency (what ever that means anymore).

    The Invisible Hand Job of a Sclerotic Predatory Kleptocratic Wall Street Mafia married to the Egg Sucking Psychopathic Stasi Wanna-bees of the Voyeuristic Closet Community of Peeping Tom, Dick and Harrys.

    A match made in Hell.

    The economy collapsed in 2008.

    It was the Biggest Ponzi Ever Created by the Mind of Man.

    It hasn’t been on life support since then, you can only prop up a Corpse, you can’t make it Dance, it’s been embalmed with Faux Fiat ‘quantitative easing’ fluid.

    The Rulers have done a masterful job convincing The Public to keep pumping their life blood into the cadaver. Well Done!

    Many thought Orwell’s 1984 was a warning.

    The Secret Agents G-Men of Duhmerika thought it was an Instruction Manual, and a rather well thought out one at that. Thanks George, you’re the Best!

    The Lizard Kings running the Show can’t keep it going Forever, however.

    When the global ‘economy’ goes, it’s gonna be like Michael Jackson dropping the Baby on it’s head from the 10th floor balcony.

    Shock and Awe.

    The Global Ponzi will give out long before NTE.

    No more ‘money’ as you know it will be a flow-in’.

    No paychecks for all you nuclear power plant workers, I guess if you continue to work, it will be as Slaves.

  • Thanks for the Jeopardy parody, I actually laughed out loud – something I do only rarely these days.

    I was the one that predicted pedophilia and polygamy comments after Orlov’s post, but I haven’t been back there, so thanks for reporting about it here. So predictable.

    B9K9: You have made me think carefully about slavery and mindset. Very interesting points. Thank you.

    The Persistent Arctic Cyclone:

    https://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/06/10/1214936/-The-N-Hemisphere-s-Atmospheric-Circulation-Has-Collapsed-Creating-a-Persistent-Polar-Cyclone

  • @Spartacus says “I’ll take the latter (hard tyranny). Why, you ask? Because until it is so blatantly in your face, there is no incentive to act.”

    One word: RFID. Ok, two: DNA swab. Nah, three: retina eye scan. How about four: face recognition soft-ware. All are representative forms of bio-metric population tracking, recording and management systems.

    In a certain sense, DO is right, in that traditional prog-libs are attempting to bring all manner of perceived “rights” to the table for discussion. OTOH, DO is wrong about ‘communities that abide’, because there won’t be any that exist outside the system. Much less someone floating vulnerability upon the sea.

    If NTE doesn’t get us soon, then there will be a day where if you’re not in the system, then you will simply fail to exist in the eyes of the authorities. And like bounties on Indians, coyotes & wolves, your scalp/hide will be worthy of reward for those trying to clean up any remaining opposition.

    At some point, cattle lined up in the chute must become aware that their previous life of luxury in the feed lot was all a pretext for the real reason they were there, all lined up and ready to go, even if that moment of clarity only came as the bolt gun was lowered to their head.

  • Connor Simpson’s Atlantic blog post made the same error that Guy did with Saxifrage’s Vancouver Sun article. The IEA did not say that we would rise 5C by 2020. It said, “The path we are currently on is more likely to result in a temperature increase of between 3.6 and 5.3C (6.5-9.5F).” Note that this is the projected long-term equilibrium, not the temperature in 2020. The warning is that, if we don’t begin to make serious structural emissions reductions by 2020, we will locked into a path that results in 4-5C in the long-term (probably 2100ish). This is still very bad, but it’s not 5C-in-2020 bad.

  • Greenland melt way ahead of schedule:

    https://nsidc.org/greenland-today/

    Arctic cyclone effects:

    http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2013/06/asi-2013-update-2-shaken-and-stirred/comments/page/2/#comments

    Be sure to read all the comments and analysis below.

  • @ Alex: The correct question being the thread title–VERY clever! 😀

  • @ B9K9

    Great, I’m just a cow waiting in line to be slaughtered. But, in your scenario, there really is no difference in the end between those of us that resist and those of us that comply. We all get dead.

    But, isn’t that the same ultimate Truth? We all get dead.

    Everyone has their own personal choice to make. I think you have the best “take” on the reality outside our doorstep. The “Holier-Than-Thou” crowd suffers from terminal indignation that the resistance has failed and the “Hedonist pleasure-mongers” are just happy to have an excuse not to have to care anymore. You seem to be the only one here that is facing the reality that there is no escape from The System and any posturing otherwise is just feining “otherness.”

    There is no “Us against Them” because we are “Them.” So, like all good drones, I will aspire to be the best “Them” I can be.

    There is no escape.

    There is only one true act of resistance and that is to exercise the only choice you have, the only thing you can control, and that is when, and how, and where it is going to happen.

    We all get dead.

  • .

    Yes, BTD, What is “Obedience at Home” is the correct response.

    or, better said: What is “Obedient at Home?”

    .

  • Zero Hedge

    ‘On the unquestioning allegiance to the system.

    In other words, we’re inculcated to have an unquestioning allegiance to the system.

    The combination is so powerful that even in the face of overwhelming evidence, the sentiment is difficult to shake.

    It’s clear now that the system has turned on the very people who invest their faith and confidence in it.

    We can see the obvious effects of decades of morbidly destructive policy.

    We can see how the way of life we grew up with has become a distant memory, replaced by a cheap masquerade.

    We can see the debt, the money printing, the police state, the utter collapse of justice and rule of law… and the shiny facade of mindless entertainment and wanton consumerism as an attempt to cover it all up.’

    The truth is emerging all over the place, and ‘the system’ can only respond by telling bigger lies and by implementing more repression/oppression……until it can’t.

  • AUSTIN, Texas — A new company in Texas is selling a precision rifle with a unique technology that allows even an inexperienced shooter to hit a target 10 football fields away. The price tag is a staggering $27,500.

    Tracking Point describes the weapon as a smartgun, with a trigger wired to the scope so that the gun won’t fire until it’s locked on the target that’s been tagged.

    Not to mention the satellites with lasers!

  • Jeepers!, why so glum? I find NTE to be extremely liberating!

  • @speaksoftly,

    “The U.S. did not defeat Nazi Germany in WWII, they absorbed them.
    They took their rocket scientists and their Gestapo security infrastructure and intelligence gathering prowess and the results of inhuman medical experiments and rolled them up into the U.S. A. brand. (Operation Paperclip)”

    Oh so true.. Most people are clueless to this tragic fact.

    The few of us who are aware are relegated to crying in our drinks and shaking our heads, and commiserating at what might have been, wondering how we could have let this happen.

    “We”, however, may not be the appropriate term, as was discussed the other night at a gathering of lost souls in Westchester NY. A group of 15 of us, inspired by Guy’s talk in May, came together to discuss our feelings, our thoughts and strategies based on what we’d heard in his presentation. For most of us, unlike you dear readers here, this information is new. These are environmentalists who believe recycling, riding bikes and slapping solar panels on their homes (me) are going to save the planet. Hardly any are students of Peak Oil, Collapsitarians or Doomers. The five of us from Transition Westchester were the only ones who came close to being doomers or collapsitarians. The rest were novices, and had been shattered by the new information. What transpired was pretty fascinating, on an anthropological level and on a human level.

    The denialists, rather than sharing their feelings (which was the main purpose to gather), launched into intellectual blame bringing up everything short of aliens as being the cause of climate change and global warming. There was some hinting that aliens were either in cahoots with the bad humans (Bill Gates & George Soros who are apparently plotting the demise of billions of humans), or they were going to be our saviors…

    For the most part, the conversation was based in reality, rooted on planet Earth and common sense & reason, and so something that came out of it was the recommendation that we be careful when we say “We did this.”

    Yes, we as humans did consume all of the Earth’s resources (I know how Guy hates that term), we as humans did breed ourselves into a corner, we ignored science and reason at our peril (Creationists, AIDS is cured by having sex with a virgin, purgatory is real, etc.), and many other stupid things we did as a species (Jersey Shore, Bridezilla, etc.).

    However, WE did not use psyops on citizens to convince them fracking was a good thing, or wire tap each other in the name of security, or murder US citizens with unmanned drones, or launch a ten year war that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, or decide to use depleted uranium in military ordnance that resulted in birth defects and reduced fertility in Iraq and Bosnia and perhaps elsewhere. WE did not elect directly any of our presidents, ever.
    So, WE are not responsible for these atrocities, however, because WE know, and I mean those of us visiting here who have the sense to question authority or the false realities displayed by the lamestream media, WE have a responsibility to shout these outrages to the world. Just as Guy has done, and keeps doing.
    It’s up to us to alert our fellow citizens that they/we are being used; their/our votes, their/our dollars, their/our very lives are forfeit to these powerful, soulless people that Guy has so eloquently written about and warned us about.

    The time is now for us to link Arms.

  • @ pauline, I truly appreciate your fervor. I was there once myself.

    I’m pretty sure you have already seen Daniel’s essay:

    The irreconcilable acceptance of near-term extinction

    So I guess you have not yet come to terms with the utter futility of what your are proposing. Also, if you have fully absorbed the conventional wisdom here, you can only conclude that setting off alarm bells will only get you either ostracized or dead – all the while only making matters worse for those of us that are hoping to at least finish OUR lives before the true nightmare begins when SHTF and social order collapses all around us.

    I dare say if you are successful, then you will only bring the cannibals to my door sooner rather than later. We have lots of ammo, but the bad news is that the cannibals have bigger guns and more ammo. Our best hope is to keep quiet and pretend that all is well, until it isn’t, then we can shout and scream about the injustice of it all. Hopefully we will be dead before that.

  • @Pauline says “The time is now for us to link Arms.”

    Gonna break the rules, because this issue of denial really needs to be addressed. I don’t know how much more clearly I can say this, but you have NO representation. It doesn’t exit – it’s all a facade as part of an overall command and control structure.

    Speak Softly is demonstrating that he/she is really on the ball. Both the US & USSR held high esteem & admiration for what the Nazis where able to pull off. So, not only did we import the most important functionaries into our country, but we embraced a wholesale incorporation of their techniques.

    There is something like a 100:1 reader to poster relationship on the ‘net. That means, not only are the posters, including myself, now recorded in a master DB, but so too all the different readers who downloaded this page (and others) into their browsers.

    But that’s just a start. That IP address is geo-linked to your cell phone, which is in turn linked to your utility bills, including TV viewing habits. (Not having a TV is a separate trigger.) Your purchasing habits, whether physical or on-line, are linked to your vehicle ID, gasoline purchases, and other web browsing activities. Health care of course is cross-referenced to all the above.

    The point of all this is to develop a complete set of heuristics able to accurately model total behavior and anticipate future action. Think about the need & desire to accurately be able to predict “pre-crime”.

    The time for NOT linking arms is now. The thing to do now is attempt to get out.

  • Wow, some really great comments here. Not too many of them actually talking about the essay and Thoreau and obedience, but fascinating nonetheless.

    Alex, god, that was great!

    Ogardener, thanks for the hat tip. You are NE, correct? Maine? Here in Michigan, we’ve had lots of rain, everything is lush. Lots of birds….first time in the 13 years I’ve lived in develhell that I’m getting Baltimore Orioles regularly. I’ve seen bumble bees, honey bees and wasps. Also butterflies, but not too many. I think we’ve been a bit cooler than normal. Have not seen a single toad, and that IS unusual. Nor the green frogs I usually see.

    u, you’re inspiring me, mate.

    Ol’Bessie, I’m glad I wasn’t drinking when I read your comment because it would have spewed! Funny shit.

    I don’t know why I keep knocking my head against this particular wall, but again, I see no resistance movement in America today, so I certainly can’t be disappointed that it failed. People protesting stopped the Vietnam War and helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Protesting works some of the time. Civil disobedience can be effective. Jesus, just look at the effect of one man…Edward Snowden..at least for the moment. Do I say everyone has to resist? No. And jeez, there are lots of ways to do it, besides marches and treesitting. Simply not consuming relentlessly counts in my book. It can’t work if nobody tries.

    I do not think for one moment that participating in the March Against Monsanto will do one goddamn thing to stop GMOs. I went because it was a beautiful afternoon for a walk, because you meet nice people at marches, and because I wanted to be counted as standing for something even if it’s only important in my own mind.

    Gosh, I do go on!
    (Back to our regularly scheduled program)

  • Thank you Pauline. It is nice to hear of such a gathering. Kudos. Why not “shout at the darkness” even if it’s never going to “bleed daylight?” People who know have choices to make. Those choices may or may not effect the outcome. If I live my life, based on my knowledge, to the best of my abilities, at least I have that to comfort me. I do agree that resistance will likely bring increasingly severe repercussions which often fall on the “innocent.” That is life under empire. It behooves us to think about this as we plot our way forward. I do not, however, think those who resist deserve blaming and shaming. The shame belongs to the perpetrators. I do not think tearing at one another helps anyone but TPTB. My respect to everyone who has the courage to face this thing, and to share their thoughts and feelings . Extra respect to those who share respectfully, understanding we are all doing our best, no matter how lame it may seem to others. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I could use some support dealing with all this. As Carolyn Baker said, we could give that to one another, at least.

  • TVT

    As you’ve stated; “i am of the apparently idiosyncratic (dogmatic?) conviction that sloppy, careless, and plain flawed reasoning by our species, on a mass and nearly if not totally universal scale, is at the crux of present surreality, this culture/society of mass ignorance and delusion. ”

    I’m as well dogmatic, so I’m going to doggedly focus on your word “careless”, because my friend, IMO that is what you are being, because as we all know, words matter.

    You’re being careless in your choice of words in criticizing Guy. You’re being careless in your unsubstantiated claims that Guy is somehow intentionally misleading people. And you are being careless in how some of us here, who have put in some serious time at NBL, might take offense to someone so carelessly attacking Guys integrity, which many of us here obviously hold in high esteem, otherwise, we wouldn’t be wasting our time.

    If you wish to question some of Guy’s sources, there is a hell of a better way to go about it.

    I don’t know what’s values are important in your neck of the woods, but questioning someone’s integrity is an EXTREMETLY SERIOUS CLAIM, for it strikes at the very character and quality of a person. Guy’s entire reputation is based on his perceived integrity, therefore denigrating claims demands equally serious supportive evidence.

    Do you honestly feel you have enough evidence to support such an extreme claim?

    If so, let’s hear it, because unless you are carrying around a list of facts that supports your claim that Guy is somehow attempting to intentionally deceive us, I’m not going to let up until you either make your case, or accept you’ve been very careless in your criticism. And I certainly hope your list of perceived deception amounts to more than just a few errors Guy has made in the past, where he has corrected them once they were brought to his attention. Because if you don’t, then this little ruckus we find ourselves in, has far more to do with your integrity than his.

    You continue to double down with this:

    “….this supports in my view the view that nbl has cultish tendencies. questioning broadly the integrity of some of guy’s claims brings out the attack dog in certain faithful followers, doesn’t it?”

    So, is that what you’re doing, “questioning broadly the integrity of some of guy’s claims”? Now you are making a distinction between questioning Guy’s personal integrity, and “the integrity of some of Guy’s claims”, because if that’s true, then again, here is another example of careless wording on your part.

    Integrity is a human trait. Yes, it can also be used in “the integrity of the ship’s hull”, but that’s not how you are using the word. Saying that you question the accuracy of some of Guy’s claims is one thing, but saying you question his personal integrity is something entirely different.

    You then follow up with: “i do question guy’s integrity when i detect or think i detect a systemic pattern of subtly subverting surreality that could very well be the result of an admirable desire to craft a message to the public with maximum impact at this moment of extreme crisis. if guy is intelligent as he most often appears to be, as sane as he appears to be, he knows at least at some level what he’s doing. or does he?”

    “…..when I detect or think I detect……” ?

    Which is it? Again, show us the evidence.

    You continue: “fudging facts to me doesn’t necessarily imply/suggest intention”.

    Are you serious? TVT, nobody cares as to how you choose to define words that clearly have established meaning. To fudge facts, obviously implies intention, otherwise we would say someone unintentionally made a mistake. The only reason to use the words “fudge the facts” is to imply deliberate deceit.

    You continue:

    “……my intention is, i think like guy’s, virtuous. i don’t wish to denigrate or discredit guy’s essential message, and i don’t believe i am.”

    How you can imagine that you can question Guy’s personal integrity and think you’re not denigrating or discrediting him, only reinforces my point that you have chosen your words very carelessly.

    On a personal note, I suspect I’ve done damage to my own reputation here at NBL by showing a propensity to take offense, either intended or unintended, so I’m equally reluctant to prolong this disagreement, but you’ve made some very serious claims that just can’t be ignored. All this goes away, with either you making your case with something other than just innuendo, or owning up to the fact that maybe you misspoke………lord knows I have.

    In fact, all things considered, I suspect Guy would be greatly relieved if you could prove him either wrong or disingenuous about NTE, I know I surely would.

  • I’ve been noticing tree die-off for a couple of years now. I live in West St. Paul, MN. While driving to work this morning, I counted 83 dead trees (mostly Cottonwoods) in the seven mile stretch to work (on I-494). I’m sickened by this and can see that’s it’s getting worse. I’ve alerted my coworkers and friends, but they think I’m crazy and overly alarmed. Ever heard of the “Canary in the Coal Mine?” This is just the beginning, I’m afraid. The 6th Great Extinction event is well underway….

  • B9K9

    You wrote:

    “…At some point, cattle lined up in the chute must become aware that their previous life of luxury in the feed lot was all a pretext for the real reason they were there, all lined up and ready to go, even if that moment of clarity only came as the bolt gun was lowered to their head.”

    Nice metaphor. Mmmmmmooooooo….Bang.

    Yes, we all die.

    What are you or any of us going to do about it?

    I have an answer, but t s not yet ready to put out. It has been a long term project of humanity, especially n those esoteric aspects of the major religions, often heretical in their day, of how to cheat death.
    How to obliterate suffering and for many, to get off the wheel of continual reincarnation, with death upon death, life after life.

    So many posters here are very down on human nature, defining it as cunning and destructive. No doubt whatsoever this is on our plate, and we feed from that trough a lot.

    I know the very destructive side too, seen it in interpersonal and cumulative mass destruction processes too. But I also see great love and compassion, and even powerful transformative human characteristics working on people’s inner lives – inner lives…? isn’t there a NSA law forbidding them too now, well call it a pre-crime to have an inner life….

    All the great qualities in people are just not being developed, or are less developed in the pinch of pop overshoot and competitive fiat currency training, and all the rest of the social conditioning… I mean competitive cooking shows???I ask you…??? Is that culture, or gastronomic couture fetish slapped to the marketplace n desperate times?

    There s a way, to be human, but to be so, like it says in the Desiderata,

    Strive to be happy…
    You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars…

  • “To abolish conscious revolt is to elude the problem. The theme of permanent revolution is thus carried into individual experience. Living is keeping the absurd alive. Keeping it alive is, above all, contemplating it. Unlike Eurydice, the absurd dies only when we turn away from it. One of the only coherent philosophical positions is thus revolt. It is a constant confrontation between man and his own obscurity. It is an insistence upon an impossible transparency. It challenges the world anew every second. Just as danger provided man the unique opportunity of seizing awareness, so metaphysical revolt extends awareness to the whole of experience. It is that constant presence of man in his own eyes. It is not aspiration, for it is devoid of hope. That revolt is the certainly of a crushing fate, without the resignation that ought to accompany it….

    That revolt gives life its value. Spread out over the whole length of a life, it restores its majesty to that life. To a man devoid of blinders, there is no finer sight than that of the intelligence at grips with a reality that transcends it. The sight of human pride is unequaled. No disparagement is of any use. That discipline that the mind imposes on itself, that will conjured up out of nothing, that face-to-face struggle have something exceptional about them. To impoverish that reality whose inhumanity constitutes man’s majesty is tantamount to impoverishing him himself. I understand then why the doctrines that explain everything to me also debilitate me at the same time. They relieve me of the weight of my own life, and yet I must carry it alone. At this juncture, I cannot conceive that a skeptical metaphysics can be joined to an ethics of
    renunciation.

    Consciousness and revolt, these rejections are the contrary of renunciation. Everything that is indomitable and passionate in a human heart quickens them, on the contrary, with its own life. It is essential to die unreconciled and not of one’s own free will. Suicide is a repudiation. The absurd man can only drain everything to the bitter end, and deplete himself. The absurd is his extreme tension, which he maintains constantly by solitary effort, for he knows that in that consciousness and in that day-to-day revolt he gives proof of his only truth, which is defiance.”

    Albert Camus – The Myth of Sisyphus

  • Max Keiser has a show devoted in part to the theme of obedience at home’ meme

    He covers the moment that Obomber got into bed with the CEOs and corporations that run Prism (Nice photo, around the table CEOs of Google, Facebook, etc…The Last Supper)

    Max, “it’s essentially the moment that Barack Obama took the Constitution and wiped his butt with it…a supreme treasonous mome…America is Dead”

    Also Zero Hedge also covers:

    Germany Demands Obama Explain “American-Style Stasi Methods”

    Ah, the sweet irony of German indignity at American Police State Tactic, sweet.

    I love the smell of redwhite&blue hypocrisy simmering on the barbecue.

    “…even Zee Germans are staring open-mouthed at what they call “American-style Stasi methods” , you know things have got a little out of hand….”

    Feel the Burn Baby!

    “…potentially casting a cloud over a visit (by O’bomber) that was designed to celebrate U.S.-German ties on the 50th anniversary John F. Kennedy’s famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech…”

    Obummer,”Ich bin ein Verräter”

    Martin Luther King, “I have a Dream.”

    Barack Obama, “I have a Drone.”

  • Alex Smith of Radio Ecoshock rips you a new on, Guy. He says you’re full of it. Check it out: http://www.ecoshock.info/2013/06/will-humans-go-extinct-soon.html

    Your answer is …… ????

  • Oz man You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars

    Trees shade out other plants and trees, some even poison the ground around them (black walnuts) so they can get the resources in the area they are growing in and keep other life forms from getting those resources. Strangler figs do just that to other trees. All self replicating species end up in a struggle for resources for we live on a ball which is limited in sized and therefore resources.

    Stars die in various ways and ours is destined to die some billions of years in the future, but well before it dies this planet will become uninhabitable. If we go extinct and everything but the thermopiles go with us there will not be enough time for intelligent life to re-evolve.

    The universe is fine for life that doesn’t think and feel. It is a cruel place for life that does think and feel. Unsurprising then that the top thinking, feeling creature can be so cruel. Lots of cruelty in other species, the hawk that eats its prey while still living, the lion that grabs a baby antelope from its terrified mother, the wasp that lays its eggs on a caterpillar to hatch within a living body, the parasites and germs that plague other species.

    IMO the best result of extinction is that no feeling creature will likely ever be born on this planet to live and die in fear or pain. It will be a great blessing. If we are a child of the universe, who is the father that birthed us into a life full of horror from the lowest of lifeforms all the way up to us?

    As for cows http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IJBbtkBMMs Cows with guns

  • Watcher, Alex Smith’s take seems reasonable and echoes much of my own thoughts. Climate catastrophe is inevitable, it seems to me, and quite possibly within my lifetime. Near term (within a generation) human extinction hypothesis appears to be based on the time-lines suggested by the Malcolm Light paper which is based on a now defunct data point.

  • Watcher —

    Your carefully-reasoned argument prompted me to listen a 2nd time to Alex’s program. It’s always worth re-examining your own premises and conclusions, isn’t it? He did a fine job of pulling together an alternate scenario, which I found refreshing.

    Although I took renewed optimism from the “no methane release, so we have more time to halt carbon” theme, I just could not hear how Guy’s summation of the conclusions that a dozen conservative organizations will not draw from their own research is somehow debunked in that program.

    It really had the odor of “don’t frighten the children!” all through it. Wouldn’t want a “worst case scenario” spoiling anyone’s summer vaca now, would we?

    (Oh, and “Maybe there’s an energy company conspiracy behind you guys?” That one could cut both ways, as I listened to Archer downplaying methane.)

    There are actual methane statistics out there if you’d like to cite them in critique of Guy’s projections. There weren’t any given in the program.

    But Alex sounds like a researcher who likes to dive into a topic, and will present things objectively once he has parsed the logic of these data ranges, both known and unknown.

    Your thoughts?

  • @ Anthony

    Thanks. Worth watching that Dan Miller again, from 2009, just to realise how totally hopeless this mess is, in retrospect.
    Everything is worse since then, all the ‘solutions’ he proposed look absurd. What he calls at the start ‘Game Over’ is no different to what we are calling NTE. People didn’t get it then, they don’t get it now.

    Following Lidia’s mention above, I checked out JMG’s blog and comments. Almost seemed like those folk were burned by NTE and have fled into a fantasy land of historical fiction, completely disconnected from the reality of the real planet where ice melts and wind blows.

    @ Speak Softly

    Yeah. The lust for power. That sinister J D Salinger Paper Clip MKUltra stuff, all the way from the burning of the Reichstag up to today…

    @ wildwoman

    thanks 😉

    @ Wester, Jeff S.,

    Great posts

    @ Watcher

    Whoever you are, and whatever you are watching, who knows, but thanks for bringing that to my attention, I can see this is going to be an excellent day when the morning begins with me reading that Malcolm Light was refuted by the notorious Muriel Volestrangler.

    Personally, I never paid serious attention to Light and that one methane measurement which, as I remember it, was a peculiar short term anomaly. The HAARP proposals seemed crackpot to me. So much for Light.

    Then Prof. Archer, who is highly regarded on RealClimate. I don’t find his take on methane at all reassuring or convincing. Seems very complacent. I think we can easily get a methane spike hastening NTE. Not Light’s spike, an overall global spike.

    Then “The UK government responded to the Environment Audit Committee’s report by saying they do not envisage an ice-free Arctic in the next few years…

    But that’s what they’ve got. Which shows how clueless they and their advisers are.

    And then, Alex Smith is away with the fairies into flights of fantasy…

    Climate change does look bleak, but I can picture so many scenarios where at least some humans will carry on.

    In a recent interview I learned that even when it was almost 4 degrees C around 3 million years ago, for millennia at least – only half the Greenland Ice sheet was melted.

    At the very least, we can picture the new Vikings near that ice-land interface, like a natural air-conditioner. Or anyone downstream from the Himalayas, which will take hundreds of years to melt, no matter how hot it gets – using that cold melt water in some sort of air conditioning system?

    We haven’t even discussed possibilities like geo-engineering, or changes in our genetics which allow us to do things like sweat at higher temperatures…..I doubt many high-tech humans would survive a serious ecological collapse. But some humans, somewhere, living however primitively, will find their spot with enough food and shelter to keep going.

    Even if it’s back to the caves eating bugs, full-on total extinction seems highly unlikely to me.

    This again seems totally clueless to me. Thinking in one dimension. As if global warming is only about increasing temperature levels and melting ice. What brings NTE is the knock-on results.

    First, we can quibble whether 99% of humans dying is extinction. Technically, it’s not. You need 100% to meet the exact requirement of the term. But from the point of view of most people, as a practical experience, there’s not a lot of difference.

    No modern urban folk know how to get to the Himalayas or Greenland on foot to live in a cave on bugs.

    The planet is going to be irradiated from hundreds of melting down nuclear installations, dead anoxic oceans with algal blooms giving off clouds of toxic gas, chaotic climate with continuous extreme weather events, etc, etc. It’s ridiculous to imagine using cold melt water for an air conditioning system when it’s just as likely that the location will see you buried beneath ten feet of unexpected snow after six months of drought. Eating bugs ? If there are any bugs, they are likely to be eating you.

    It takes many generations to build a culture with the knowledge to survive in an environment. There’s no time to do that. There’s no stable environments any more. Three weeks without food, you die. That’s a tight limit. It has to be held to up to breeding age, sometime in the teens, survive child birth, then hand on skills to the next generation.

    Genetics is not going to change ( to let us sweat ? Do you understand anything about biology, Alex Smith ? ) on any short term, in any case, and what would we be adapting to ? Stable climate has gone. It’s not coming back. Ever.

  • Watcher, a real journalist would have checked with the source(s) before ripping a new one. Alex Smith checked with neither Malcolm Light nor me before running his hit piece. Smith was particularly harsh with Light, but he relied upon the internet for all his evidence about Light. Why not contact Light himself? Smith is cherry-picking information and ignoring a dozen self-reinforcing feedback loops to reach his Pollyanna conclusion.

  • So much nonsense. So now we will tolerate the temps and eat bugs. Sounds like will evolve into lizards. Who will lay the first egg?

  • Tony

    Looks like you’re ‘bargaining’ in the Denial Stage of grief.

    Mixed metaphors can be a bummer.

    Do you think that just because you found a mistake in one measly data report that you and yours are ‘off the hook’?

    I’ll bet you think that means you’ won’t have to do the homework assignment and stilll get a passing grade from the Teacher now after all.

    Wow, what kind of school did you go to? Must be the kind that ignores the mountain of math pointing to an overall crushing conclusion while highlight the molehill of exception.

    The vast majority of the weather data is trending towards a Snuff film ending for Humanity

    Was everyone Special in your class? Did they all get Gold Stars even if they were Thick as a Brick???

    Did Wishful thinking always supersede Critical thinking at your school?

    Tony, Tony, Tony, ‘discovering’ that the airline stewart was wrong about telling you how to use the seat cushion as a flotation device isn’t going to keep the Plane in the Air.

    No pony for you!

  • Speaking of integrity, if Light wants to drill for methane so we can burn it to keep industrial civ. going, I think we need to throw him out and everything he says. But does that change anything? Alex has some good points but he ignored too much. We are the jury.

  • Arctic sea ice thickness falls by 2m in 21 days in some areas
    For years, warnings have been raised about the dramatic decline of Arctic sea ice. Various posts at this blog have also analyzed the exponential nature of the decline in summer sea ice volume and the many feedbacks that fuel this decline. And for years, the conclusion has been that – without action – the sea ice looks set to disappear altogether within years.

    Yet, many are still ignoring this warning, often with remarks such as “some of the ice is 5 meters thick; it would take decades for all that ice to melt!” Thick ice does indeed pile up along the northern coast of Greenland and Ellesmere Island, due to the way the ice drifts. This has lead some to argue that an S-shaped curve (sigmoid or gompertz trendline) was more appropriate, with the decline in sea ice volume slowing down as it approaches zero.

    However, this arguments doesn’t seem make much sense, since such a S-shaped trendline would only apply to a relatively small area with very thick sea ice. Exponential curves would still remain the best fit to predict the decline of the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean at large.

    Moreover, is it really more appropriate to say that summer sea ice looks set to virtually disappear within years, with just a tiny sliver of ice remaining north of Greenland and Ellesmere Island, instead of saying that the sea ice looks set to disappear altogether within years? How persistent will such a sliver really be?

    One of the feedbacks of sea ice decline is that, as the decline progresses, cyclones can be expected to hit the remaining sea ice ever harder. How much damage can such cyclones and further feedbacks do? A previous post describes thin spots developing in the sea ice under the influence of a cyclone. The image below shows areas at the center of the Arctic Ocean (large circle) where thickness of the sea ice fell from 2 meters to 1 meters over a period of 21 days. Furthermore, the image below also shows that, over this period, 5m-thick ice was reduced to 3-meters thickness (top small circle), while 2m-thick ice was reduced to zero (bottom small circle).

    2m falls in thickness in 21 days – click on image to enlarge
    In conclusion, without action the Arctic sea ice looks set to continue to decline exponentially, while strong feedbacks such as cyclones developing when there is more open water, look set to add to the decline and cause the Arctic sea ice to disappear completely within years. For an overview of lines of action, see this post at the methane hydrates blog.
    https://arctic-news.blogspot.ca/2013/06/arctic-sea-ice-thickness-falls-by-2m-in-21-days-in-some-areas.html

  • @Pym

    I’m in Colo. Spgs. too and have taken a few days off to help where I can. Are you at one of the county fairgrounds where they’re holding animals?

    @WoodsDweller

    You got that right about the two seasons: winter and fire. Our beautiful area, like the rest of the planet, is really hurting.

  • Is there any significant difference between 100% Arctic sea ice gone versus 90% gone or even 80%? This isn’t a game we are playing.

  • @ Jesse and Pym

    I’m in Denver, but willing to help with animal rescue if there is anything you need. I volunteer for a local dog & cat shelter so I have some connections if needed…

    If you wish to contact me, let Guy know and I will send him a message to forward.

  • Some apparent misconceptions:

    Wester said: “…tell me again how they are a pack of ruthless, mad, ravenous, unstoppable, killing-machine vampires, who, given half a chance to be corrupt (like who?), would ride herd across the planet in an orgy of Ghengis-Khan-like obliteration.”

    OzMan said:

    “So many posters here are very down on human nature, defining it as cunning and destructive. No doubt whatsoever this is on our plate, and we feed from that trough a lot. I know the very destructive side too, seen it in interpersonal and cumulative mass destruction processes too. But I also see great love and compassion, and even powerful transformative human characteristics working on people’s inner lives – inner lives…?”

    I don’t see anyone ascribing such perjorative terms to human nature as you do – “ruthless, mad, ravenous, cunning” – although I’ll grant you destructive. From the standpoint of all other species other than those we have domesticated for consumption or as pets, humans are undeniably destructive.

    Personally, at least, I am not “down on human nature” just because I see the violent tendencies any more than I am “down on” bat or tiger nature. I also see the wonderful parts, described rather well by Robert Sapolsky in the last ten minutes or so of this lecture: http://www.ted.com/talks/robert_sapolsky_the_uniqueness_of_humans.html

    The extrapolation made by Wester and Ozman and perhaps others is making a moral judgement that isn’t implied in the simple observation that it is a trait of human nature – as every other species just described by KathyC – to grow as much as possible. That means that for any person or tribe or country who chooses to not grow out of altruism or empathy or intellectual conviction that it’s a bad idea, they will be over-run by another person or tribe or nation who does choose to grow. Over time, the result is overshoot, first regional and now global – which is where we are.

    I think it’s possible, even critical, to distinguish between making a moral judgment about individual acts of evil (and obviously refraining from it ourselves), and expecting our collective growth imperative to go away just because it’s ultimately self-defeating. The former we have SOME control over, the latter, we as individuals are powerless to stop. As Sapolsky says, much more eloquently than I’m paraphrasing, it is knowing that we cannot make a difference that makes it all the more important to try…and the conviction to adhere to those two conflicting, cognitively dissonating ideas is what makes up unique as humans.

    Jeff S said: “Capitalism and the ENCLOSURES emerged in only one small area of the world, rural late-medieval England. They did not emerge anywhere else on their own! They are the norm only because of capitalism’s rapacious expansion. The self-absorbed ignorance of attributing to all humans the same behavior and the same aspirations which capitalist society embodies is just so emblematic of capitalist society.”

    Seriously? Ask the people of Tibet or Japan what they think about Chinese expansion! Did you ever hear of the Roman Empire? It is you who are fixated on one place, one time, one culture and one economic system, ignoring all the others, large and small, around the world who have behaved the exact same way throughout human history starting with hunter-gatherers who lived in caves.

    As far as NTE, I was disappointed in Alex Smith’s post. I just can’t respect his reliance on a self-described mystic as any sort of credible source (for anything other than perhaps how to snooker gullible people desperate for hope into buying your products). The implications of what he quoted on his own blog contradict his over-optimistic assessment: “Changes to ecology say in 1910, before the First World War, determined exinction of a species up to one hundred years later.”

    From what little I know of evolutionary biology, a species is considered functionally extinct even before every single last individual is dead – when the numbers are so reduced and it is so out of sync with the environment (including climate) that it is no longer viable for various reasons.

    See wikipedia’s section: Inbreeding depression

    “Inbreeding depression is the reduced fitness in a given population as a result of breeding of related individuals. It is often the result of a population bottleneck…Although severe inbreeding depression in humans seems to be highly uncommon and not widely known, there have been several cases of apparent forms of inbreeding depression in human populations…As with animals, this phenomenon tends to occur in isolated, rural populations that are cut off to some degree from other areas of civilization.”

  • I personally don’t believe in “good and evil” so there are no “evil” acts and there are no “good” acts. I don’t believe in Heaven or Hell. But, I really just don’t know for a fact one way or the other, so I guess I’m truly agnostic on the subject. I don’t believe and I guess I also don’t disbelieve.

    However, I do believe in Harmony and the Beauty of Nature – although I’ve lived my life in complete opposition to both. I also recognize there is no evil in the fox eating the rabbit or the aligator eating the deer. Life is a circle.

    It may be semantics. Substitute “disharmony” for “evil” and we essentially have the same thing. I have lived a disharmonious life. I have not lived in balance with Nature. And, now that I know better, I find my situation most difficult – although I have “ramped down” my disharmonious behavior, it is still far from harmony. My choices are to drop everything and wander into the wilderness like Christopher McCandless as recounted in “Into the Wild” and die pretty quickly from exposure or starvation – or to come to terms with some “half-measure” like staying put and trying to do better in the face of knowingly insurmountable odds or joining the resistance or joining one of the intentional communities including ecovillages, communes, and cohousing or even a militia in Montana. The fact that I’m still here today, sitting at my desk, means I’m staying put today and I will probably stay put and lament my half-measures and wait for the FEMA bus to carry me away to be burned to ashes in a crematorium oven. And, I deserve it.

  • Thanks, Gail! Unfortunately my flash player is behaving decidedly weird (whoever he is!), so I can’t access the video right now. But yeah, I think it was inevitable that Skinner’s idea, which basically said we were nothing more than robotic machines with no sense of our own agency, would be updated and improved upon. And, of course, it was none other than Noam Chomsky who questioned it and opened up the door to cognitive psychology – which Big Pharma absolutely detests; god forbid that studies have found that social support and positive thinking cures depression, for example, much more quickly and effectively than lots of bottles of wee pills!

    Blaming either biology/genetics or environment for all our woes is a bit of a cop out and very much outdated. It’s a delicate interaction of both, as Prof Saplosky’s excellent work re stress and the environment reveals (lots of info on the net.) The research into epigenetics is also extremely revealing.

    It’s tragic that Richard Dawkins is more of a household name than Saplosky. But the PTB aren’t daft, they know exactly how to anesthetize the populace and keep the status quo. Which is why I admire people like Guy, Wester and ulvfugl – they got the hell outa Dodge and are at least trying to heighten peoples awareness by ‘pulling back the screen’ and exposing this psychopathic, aggressive baboon representation of capitalist reality – even if it is too late!

    So, what to do? Maybe join the revolution, prepare for the worst and hope for the… well, I’m still ‘hoping’ that if any of humanity happens to survive in the West, it will be people like Profs McPherson and Saplosky – eases my stress levels that way, so it does 😉

  • btw at first I thought the ‘archdruid’ was a neuroendocrinologist, professor of biology, neuroscience, and neurosurgery – like Sapolsky. Turns out all they have in common is that they both have beards!

  • @ Wester:

    you said: Westerners are not trapped where they are. You wake up every morning and choose to recreate the madness you live in. As Libet said, you can VETO these arrangements at any time. Or you can, of course, use the same excuses everybody uses: my family, my job, my house, my responsibility (to kill the world?), ad infinitum.

    As Frankl points out: “The survivors were not “The Best of Us.””

    Of course, everything you are shouting is true and I think many people here would be happy to join you!, if they only knew how. I am one of the many – like the OWS crowd of poor, disenfranchised and oppressed persons – where do I begin? My strategy: simply doing everything I can to be a burden on society in hopes that will help speed up the collapse. Toss in a bit of petty vandalism here and there for good measure. And, anything I can get for free, I take. I wander, aimlessly, just waiting for either “The Man” to lock me up or “The Grim Reaper” to end my struggle.

  • @dairymandave: The ice melting 100% will be a crucial moment in time. Here is why. So long as there is ice in the ocean, heat is absorbed by the ice, and the ocean temperature will not go above 1 or 2 degrees c. However, once that last block of ice disappears, there is nothing to absorb the heat, but the ocean itself. At that point the arctic ocean temperature will start to rise dramatically and quickly. The effect will most likely be that a lot more heat will reach the clathrates quickly melting that methane and sending it into the sky. This will then kick us into the runaway greenhouse mode that we hear so much about happening … but never seems to. The reason it is not noticeable yet is that we still have ice.

    Paul Beckwith says it will be gone this year. Get ready for massive change in the next year or two.

  • Guy,

    I was perplexed with Alex’s Extinction episode. EcoShock was how I found you. Back in 2011 he stated that you were particularly apocalyptic, and that at first he didn’t believe it. But, as he said, he reviewed everything you stated, and it all checked out.

    I have to wonder if he was feeling EcoShock was becoming a little too dismal, and that it needed a touch of “balance”. This was an oddball episode relative to his normal approach. Curious, and unfortunate.

  • dated 12 June 2013

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22866982

    Britain’s wheat crop ‘down by third after extreme weather’


    … a smaller area was planted last autumn because of the wet soil conditions … findings suggested wheat production would be below average for the second year in a row … continually wet weather during planting time, between September and December, had resulted in less wheat being planted. He also said subsequent bad weather, including flooding and snowfalls, had not been conducive to a high yield. … last year’s harvest had lower volumes and quality because of weather extremes, with months of drought followed by downpours and flooding …

  • “The extrapolation made by Wester and Ozman and perhaps others is making a moral judgement that isn’t implied in the simple observation that it is a trait of human nature – as every other species just described by KathyC – to grow as much as possible. That means that for any person or tribe or country who chooses to not grow out of altruism or empathy or intellectual conviction that it’s a bad idea, they will be over-run by another person or tribe or nation who does choose to grow. Over time, the result is overshoot, first regional and now global – which is where we are.”

    Just off the top of my head, I would question this assumption. A good book to check out on the nature of hunter-gatherer society is “Nature and Madness” by Paul Shepherd (sp). Hunter gatherer societies couldn’t grow large, because they had to be nimble and nomadic in the search for food. I heard elsewhere that infanticide might have been practiced, as in the advent of twin births.

    I’ve not done any great amount of research. Some courses in cultural anthropology, reading Claude Levi Straus’s “The Savage Ming,” that sort of thing, made me fairly content with my assumption as to the sustainability of tribal, pre-civilized peoples. As Guy reminds us, the hunter gatherer lifestyle, which did not produce large societies or wreck the biosphere, lasted for some two million years prior to the advent of civilization some 10,000 years ago.

    It is pretty clear, however–and Shepherd makes the point convincingly–that civilization’s amputation of the link between human and natural orders created an adolescent mindset, sexism, an insistence on control (of nature, women, children, habitat, masses, etc.) Civilization required a large, subject work force, as tribal society did not.

    To repeat, I’m not an expert on anything. But what is claimed in the quote above refutes everything I’ve ever heard about the nature of aboriginal society. What I know less about is how you define the many stages within cultural evolution. Some of what is referred to as tribal is somehow interconnected to early stages of civilization.

    Let’s bring in the folks that know more about the subject.

  • WoodsDweller, I appreciate your comment and am glad your nephew is safe. I live in town too but know a network of wildlife rehabbers in the fire zone. Black Forest is bad with 15,000 acres burned and more still burning. I hope your Four Corners area is luckier.

    Jesse, I’m at Elbert County Fairgrounds with the donkeys, burros, horses, cows, alpacas, yaks, etc. Please come out there if you can; we’d love seeing you.

    Melissa, thanks for the offer.

  • @Rob: where do I begin?

    Excellent question. And I suspect that question has powered much of Guy’s writings here on NBL. When I first encountered this blog, I asked Guy about what he had done to change his situation and he sent me links to multiple essays he’d written outlining all the various steps he’d taken. Others have asked the same question here on NBL and elsewhere.

    I don’t think there’s any one, right answer. How a person responds to the crisis unfolding before us is as individual as each person is. I started out trying to do lots of the things that Guy has done but have come to see that those actions probably won’t have any significant impact on the survival of myself and those I love. So, now, while I haven’t abandoned my durable living attempts completely, my focus has changed. Now, I’m striving to do as much as I can to help the creatures – both human and non-human – in my sphere of influence be as comfortable, happy, and pain free as possible.

    This may sound silly, but I’ll relate a recent situation to illustrate: One of my goats gave birth to two beautiful kids 8 weeks ago. This was the first time for us to go through this process so I read books and got advice from various people in realtime as well as on the internet. A few days ago, as advised, we took the kids from the mama goat and delivered one of them to the woman who was buying one and the other was placed into a separate pen. The poor mama goat cried for 48 hours for the baby who was taken away. She got some comfort from the one that was nearby but every time she saw me she would come to me and push her head gently into my body as if begging me to bring back her baby. Both the kids also cried for extended periods.

    I’m sure I’m anthropomorphizing some, but it’s clear to me that I created unnecessary pain and suffering for several creatures that could have been avoided fairly easily if I had waited just a little bit longer and gave them time to grow up more. I’ve vowed to handle it differently in our doe who is due to deliver next weekend.

    I’m sitting here now in a hospital in a town about 250 miles away from my home with my mother. It’s not much, but if I can help her feel comfortable and provide some company, then it’s worth it to me.

    The same for my patients. I know that I can’t change the outcome of their lives any more than I can change the outcome of the universe. But, if I can relieve their suffering somewhat, then I feel I’ve done something.

  • jeff s. posted a comment https://guymcpherson.com/2013/06/obedience-at-home/#comment-77323 with a link to a story referring to a recent IEA report. the story was misleading sloppy journalism, specifically this statement: ‘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’. jersey patriot https://guymcpherson.com/2013/06/obedience-at-home/#comment-77394 pointed this over 14 hours and over 30 comments later. no one else did. either no one else noticed the error (i hadn’t yet read this portion of blog comments) or no one thought it worth the time to note it and correct it.

    it’s said we now live in ‘the age of information’. however, it could also, and imo more accurately be called ‘the age of misinformation’. there are all sorts of reasons for this, ranging from intentional deception/distortion of facts, to sheer incompetence/ignorance on the part of information sources, including professional ‘journalists’. not all the misinformation re. agw is on the side of denial or downplaying the severity of it. if one wishes to be objective, one must acknowledge this, and try to correct misinformation from all sources. the question is, does one wish to be objective?

  • Kathy Cassandra

    I think you are making the point that ‘life’ in any form includes killing and competing, and some suffering to itself or others? Yes?

    I agree. But is that the defining central actual situation?

    Hard to say conclusively.

    If one asks what is it to be human, what defines a human, if one downplays morphology to begin with and concentrate on human qualities, which we can express or suppress(or repress), what qualities can be removed and still be human?

    The complex modern cult of the machine is what comes to mind, and the characteristics of machines are: lacking ‘feelings’- i.e. autonomous evaluation of referring to self; and programming.

    In the same way we can lose many limbs and still be human, we can have locked in syndrome or MS, but still be human. Body parts are only functional extensions of the human being.

    There are a lot of rational functions, some which are high order capacities that only a few of us master, like judicial assessment of complex moral customs, for example, and also the old chestnuts of rocket science and brain surgery etc. But to me, the elephant in the room here is the whole deep heart of the human.

    Like an ocean is the heart and its currents are not an illusion, they are what we use to ‘value’ everything.
    What pert of you morns for the loss in our natural world? Certainly not in the thinking center, but I suggest in the evaluative feeling center, the heart!
    A machine, even ‘Deep Blue’, has no consciousness because it cannot feel, and therefore suffer.

    The feeling side of our nature is something that cannot be removed and we still remain human.

    But this is what is happening, and much of it is because it serves a very few for us to see ourselves as machines, or mechanistic, and believe we are governed by ‘self’ interest.

    Some years ago I read an economic criticism of neo-con economics which centred on the idea that economics institutions teach any flavour of economics, and have done over many years, each school or brand assuring everyone that their way of defining ‘innate’ principles of economics was the real deal. The criticism pointed out that it didn’t matter which version was promulgated and taken up, the economies conformed to whatever they adopted.

    The point being that if ‘self interest’ is adopted as a defining human characteristic, it will come to the foreground, and when backed by the leveller of Fiat currency, which is a too of empire and nation state creation, of competitive value designed to create economic growth, it begins to act on culture as a machine.

    Indeed, the period of Reagan and Thatcher(Frazer in Australia), where the neo-cons grabbed the balls of Western culture and squashed the working classes and unions by enforcing the ‘economic rationalism’ brand onto their citizens, we saw a ridiculous situation of an unfeeling, uncompassionate state beurocracy penalise the poor economically, and all the while sell of public utilities to the oligarchs and their buddies. It must have happened before in earlier time, but not with the same comprehensive decree as ‘self interest’.

    We are living in a time when almost everyone bares the human scars of the wreckage of empire. My view is that it is a mistake to see that PTSD as human nature per se. It is like looking at the rats in the overpopulation experiments and saying, “see, they kill each other and have highly developed hierarchies, so they are competitive by nature.”

    I see the ideas, but don’t agree it is a fair experiment, when we do it to us.

    The whole issue is about not enough to go around. Yes we live on a finite planet, and many ‘resources’ are practically non renewable, but that is not so for energy.
    Energy, is what it is all about.

    Fiat currency and the presumption of scarcity is what brings competition to the fore. This is the clever trap of the powerful.

    We have limitless energy, but we don’t dare go there, for it is too radical an idea, too unscientific – or at least would force us to re-examine and re-envision what is going on in the universe.

    Yes, trees crowd out other species, and claim a territory, but it is never for ever, it all changes.

    If we have made a fundamental error in our situation here on planet A,(no planet B), then it is not understanding that our unique primate ability to reproduce any month of the year, brings with it the great need to keep our numbers at a level where we are able to move through this world and dance rather than devour, delight rather than degrade.

    To be human is to love so completely one loses the distinction of other, and beyond. The modern story of the machine/human struggle emerged as industrial civilisation began to dominate or life patterns and culture, but science also brought it out because the machine/robot/replicant /android concept is a drama where we explore what is it in ourselves that is the non machine entity. Science banished the animate from the world, so we created stories to explain the events and characteristics of AI and who we could be.

    John Connor: “Look, you can’t just go ’round killing people”

    Terminator: “Why?”

    John Connor: “What do you mean ‘why’, ’cause you can’t”

    Terminator: “Why?”

    John Connor: “Because you just can’t OK?”

    Terminator: “Why?”

    John Connor: ” Listen to me very carefully, OK? …..”

    ‘Terminator 2-Why?’

    Machine has no feeling, no way of evaluating, or assessing value, of human life in this case, or any life, or just life. John Connor tries to get it to ‘learn’.

    Community feeling, social feeling was chopped up and fed to the corporations, and what many witness is a type of human behaviour at the end state – now – of that ‘violence’.

    Shaking our collective heads and feeling great shame at being human is only a child’s response, and it is missing the greater human capacities.

    Not calling you or anyone a child, just pointing to the fact that children wait for others(adults, elders)to demonstrate more mature activities and functions in themselves and their culture.
    If we feel let down by what we experience and see, that is to be expected, but if you see no mature responders in your vicinity, or even at the apex of the power modules of your own culture, and there are none, then time to grow up, and be that future you want.

    Not sayin it is easy, and more might be gained in keeping one’s head down in the next decade, esp. in Ummerika, but then, if that is all we can muster, it is all a fate accomple’, just continue with the usual programming.

    Not to be personal on this, but so many people whinge about how bad others act, and no doubt those actions destroy our planet, and our cultures, but how about taking some ownership, and demonstrating the life we can live.

    Yes the Corporations all but own people as cattle, milking, then slaughtering – how so precise a description it is worth a world of tears – but we still have the ability to freely get together and create culture…..No? You don’t need a whole lot of Fiat currency to share a billy of tea and a good chat by a fire.

    All

    Just like to make a happy comment about surveillance state Ummerika….

    Many collapse aware folk have reckoned they will own their homes once fiat currency fails, and the machinery and beurocracy of the marketplace fails. Well that was once true but not now.

    David Graeber in his book: “Debt- The first 5,000 years” details the many moments of revolution in earlier empires where the people got to bring the powers that were down. He says almost without exception the first things that the people did was to break into the places where the ledgers were held, and burned them all, all the ledgers which contained the records of debts. This was to erase all the theft and this allowed indentured family to come back home, and farmland to revert to the original owners. Some sovereigns were wise enough to declare the ledgers null, and wiped the slate clean themselves, and paid off the mercantile classes on the quiet. So they kept their own heads, and kingdoms.

    I don’t think that Utah bunker is just storing twitter gossip. It may be the ledger that is so heavily guarded, and can be used to reassert the debts, even in the wake of FEMA camp USA ,when post-FEMA camp USA, regroups and the hidden gov’t rulers re-emerge, ledgers in hand.

    “Hey man, sorry to rain on you parade….”

    ‘Private William Hudson (Aliens)’ RIP

    Private William Hudson, the everyman joker Marine, tough when heavily armed, and winning, but cry-baby when wacked hard. Dies a hero taking the enemy full on, no holds barred, goes down fighting, taking 3 maybe 4 with him. Redeemed as hero.

    Aleins…?

    Characteristics:

    Shadowy, instinctive, reptilian even. Strong, resilient, lacking individuality, but colony based. Cooperative in hunt.

    Reason to live:

    Perpetuate the species, create hosts and gestate, then emerge, killing host.

    Evaluation:

    Pure self interest.

    The Ego is the Alien, erupting from the area where the heart should be, now the host, a tool of empire is discarded, transformation complete. The threat is always there in the earlier Alien movies that this will happen to Ripley. The heroine who represents modern women moving into the male defined corporate world – the danger is she will succumb to empire too, and be infected. But like Hera in the Greek pantheon Ripley represents the greater good of the whole culture she is fighting for. An implication is it is OK for men to lose any sense of ‘feeling’, historically associated in the West with rationality, but the whole drama in Alien(s) explores this happening to women! Traditionally the centre of cultural ‘feeling’ women nurture and love freely(in the ideal) children, but should this be similarly corrupted, and ‘lost’ by alien infestation, or should the Aliens make it to Earth(there it is getting very close to a deeper theme) it will be by by humans, by by species.

    ‘Sigourney Weaver On Ellen Ripley From The ALIEN Films’

    Women in the corporate world…?

    Did someone post this already?
    Sorry if you did, but it is very funny, IMO.

    ‘War on Nature’

    Just Brilliant! But looks like it is actually the case.

  • Yes, Paul Beckwith has predicted 100% loss of Arctic Ice this year. He did that last year, too. As a doctoral student at U. of Ottawa, he has just passed his qualifying exams. Congratulations, Paul! He sometimes posts at Neven’s blog:

    http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/

    and has recently been taken to task there by seasoned climate researchers for advocating Malcolm Light’s geoengineering solutions. He was basically told to keep his head down, do his dissertation work, publish and get his career going before shooting his mouth off. I agree with that assessment.

    I don’t want to be in a personality cult around one single person. I want to be in a science cult. I know how to read and evaluate this stuff and I’ll look everywhere to get it. Then I’ll draw my own conclusions. I come here to read links to new information, to read essays, and to read personal reactions and preparedness ideas. I thank all of you for these.

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #15

    Thoreau’s countrymen-
    drugged, prodded, poisoned, wounded,
    passive…delicious!

  • Artleads, you said “I would question this assumption”.

    I wasn’t stating an assumption. I was stating empirical facts. Recently discovered facts like, piles of stones for defensive throwing in different locations around the world, ancient cave drawings depicting armed conflict, skeletons with tell-tale signs of death from injury from arrows or spears, evidence of cannibalism, mass graves from battles, the careful construction of personal armor, etc.

    “Hunter gatherer societies couldn’t grow large, because they had to be nimble and nomadic in the search for food. I heard elsewhere that infanticide might have been practiced, as in the advent of twin births.”

    Hunter gatherer societies COULDN’T grow large, because when they did get too large (which they inevitably did) they began to lack food and fought with their neighbors. The problem was solved by death and absorbtion of one band into another and/or, by emigration. Shepard’s ideas, who you cite, have been supplanted as more and overwhelming evidence has emerged about the behavior of hunter-gatherers.

    From wiki:

    “Paul Howe Shepard, Jr. (June 12, 1925 – July 27, 1996) was an American environmentalist and author best known for introducing the “Pleistocene paradigm” to deep ecology. Shepard’s books have become landmark texts among ecologists and helped pave the way for the modern primitivist train of thought, the essential elements being that “civilization” itself runs counter to human nature – that human nature, as Shepard so eloquently stated, is a conciousness shaped by our evolution and our environment.”

    As Guy said, hunter gatherers lasted a long time without wrecking the entire planet – BUT, they did so going in and out of overshoot, famine, and warfare while wrecking their own little corner of the planet to the extent of their techological ability. Think extinction of all megafauna on every continent immediately following immigration of hunter-gatherers. Ancient mountains of shellfish in California that get smaller and smaller towards the top, indicating overharvesting. The examples are as myriad as are human cultures.

    I doubt we’re going to “bring in the experts” to settle this because I suspect they have other things to do than post on blogs on the internet such as arguing among themselves. However they tend to publish books. Here’s a list of books (not all of which I’ve finished reading) – the titles alone should give you an idea of what they say inside although I certainly encourage people to read them. If you don’t want to borrow them from the library or buy them (used is very cheap), you can often go to Amazon and read quite a bit using the “peak inside” feature:

    The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: THe New Science of Evolutionary Psychology – – Robert Wright; a journalist, scholar, and prize-winning author of best-selling books about science, evolutionary psychology, history, religion, and game theory. In early 2000, Wright began teaching at Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania, teaching a graduate seminar called “Religion and Human Nature” and an undergraduate course called “The Evolution of Religion.” At Princeton, Wright was a Laurence S. Rockefeller Visiting Fellow and began co-teaching a graduate seminar with Peter Singer on the biological basis of moral intuition.

    Too Smart for our Own Good: The Ecological Predicament of Humankind – Craig Dilworth; This 2009 book explains our ecological predicament by contextualising it against the first scientific theory of humankind’s development, drawing on evolution theory, biology, anthropology, archaeology, economics, environmental science and history. It takes over where Darwin left off, revealing that our ecologically disruptive behaviour is rooted in our nature as a species.

    The Food Crisis in Prehistory: Overpopulation and the Origins of Agriculture – Professor Mark Nathan Cohen; SUNY University Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Anthropology. A veteran of 30 years on the Plattsburgh campus, he obtained his A.B. degree from Harvard College in 1965 and his Ph.D. degree in anthropology from Columbia University in 1971.

    Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence – Dale Peterson;
    co-author, Richard W. Wrangham (born 1948) is a British primatologist. He is the Ruth Moore Professor of Biological Anthropology at Harvard University and his research group is now part of the newly established Department of Human Evolutionary Biology. He is co-director of the Kibale Chimpanzee Project, the long-term study of the Kanyawara chimpanzees in Kibale National Park, Uganda. His research culminates in the study of human evolution in which he draws conclusions based on the behavioural ecology of apes. As a graduate student, Wrangham studied under Robert Hinde and Jane Goodall. He is the co-author of the book Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence with Dale Peterson, and author of Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human.

    War in Human Civilization- Azar Gat; He has been a fellow at the University of Freiburg, Germany; at Yale University, at the University of Oxford, OSU, Georgetown, and Stanford.

    read online: THE HUMAN MOTIVATIONAL COMPLEX: EVOLUTIONARY THEORY AND THE CAUSES OF HUNTER-GATHERER FIGHTING

    http://web.archive.org/web/20100530133845/http://cniss.wustl.edu/workshoppapers/gatpres1.pdf

    The Most Dangerous Animal: Human Nature and the Origins of War – David Livingstone Smith; co-founder and director of the New England Institute for Cognitive Science and Evolutionary Studies, established in 2001 to explore the interface between evolutionary biology and human nature, Also wrote: Less Than Human Why We Demean, Enslave, and Exterminate Others
    review: This is a beautiful book on an ugly topic. David Livingstone Smith uses the newest research in cognitive science to address the problems of racism, genocide, and atrocity, presenting a provocative theory as to why we come to see others as less than human. There are deep and important ideas here, and this engaging book should be read by anyone interested in the worst aspects of human nature — and how we can come to transcend them.” — Paul Bloom, author of How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like and professor of psychology, Yale University

    my personal favorite, a real eye-opener to the myth of the nobel, peaceful savage: Cannibalism and Human Sacrifice- Garry Hogg; global overview throughout human evolution documenting with detailed analysis of many places including Congo, Easter Island, ancient Aztecs, Polynesia, Egypt, the Amazon basin and including cherished “nobles” such as the Pacific Northwest Coast Indians, Plains Indians, Southwest Indians in the US – and in Australia.

    Constant Battles: The Myth of the Peaceful, Noble Savage – Steven A. LeBlanc, an American archaeologist and director of collections at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University’s Peabody Museum.
    He is the author a number of books about Southwest archeology and prehistoric warfare. His books have run counter to the once widespread notion of peaceful preliterate cultures.

    Myth of peaceful sustainable Eskimos debunked:

    Alaskool “From Skeptic to Believer” by Ernest Burch, Jr. recounts his personal journey from believing in the Enlightenment myth of the nobel savage to believing the surviving Eskimos’ own oral history of territorial conflict and war. You can read one of his studies if you google: ALLIANCE AND CONFLICT: THE WORLD SYSTEM OF THE IÑUPIAQ ESKIMOS. By ERNEST S. BURCH, Jr. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, the Arctic Insti- tute of North America, and University of Nebraska Press, 2005.

    description:

    This work by Ernest S. Burch Jr. is a detailed examination of intersocietal relations among the Iñupiaq Eskimo (pl. Iñupiat) of northwest Alaska during the period 1800–48. In addition to interactions among the ten geographically discrete Iñupiaq societies or “nations,” it also details relations with other Eskimo groups to the north and south, Athapaskans of the Alaska Interior, and the Eskimo- and Chukchi-speaking peoples of northeastern Siberia. The time period covered was selected because both the records of early Western explorations and the oral traditions of Iñupiaq informants provided reliable documentation for this period, and it was also a time when traditional cultural patterns remained intact.

    …In Chapter 2, Hostile Relations, the author discusses in some depth the very hostile and aggressive nature of external relations toward strangers and enemy nations. Burch examines the possible causes of warfare and concludes that a cycle of reciprocal revenge was often a key factor. This section includes a comprehensive description of warfare tactics. Most settlements were relatively small and isolated and thus were vulnerable to well-planned attacks. Many attacks were surprise raids at night, but open battles between assembled ranks were also fairly common. Raids often involved traveling fairly long distances, on foot or by boat, and where an attack on a fairly large community such as on Tikigaq (Point Hope) was involved, often several nations would form alliances to increase their numbers.

    Outside of the Iñupiaq area, warfare was also frequent. In addition, inhabitants of the Chukchi Peninsula conducted raids along the Alaskan coast. While major raids and battles were relatively infrequent, the results were often devastating. The picture Burch paints of the Iñupiaq Eskimo region as well as the adjacent Athapaskan, Eskimo, and Chukchi populations is one of constant and widespread hostility and fear, reflected in raids, battles, gathering of intelligence, and preparation for warfare. Yet coexisting with this tense atmosphere was a complex network of friendly relations that was at least as important and widespread. This is the focus of the second major section of the book, Chapter 3, Friendly Relations.

  • @The REAL Dr. House Says:
    June 13th, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Congratulations on your compassionate direction. Whether you are Buddhist or not, you are enacting the Bodhisattva’s vow: To save all Beings from suffering. I am joining you in your endeavor as best I can. I still have so much to learn about love. Our civilization is dying from a lack of love. We have followed other paths, and are reaping the consequences…

  • Gail — Thank you for your helpful references about our distant ancestors. We need to face the truth of what we have really been in order to learn the lessons that holds for us. The development of our higher centers of intelligence and love has been a long and difficult process. Our future as a species depends on enough of us growing to a higher level of motivation and behavior before our lower centers destroy us all.

  • .
    What is the Nature of Man?
    .
    Who cares?
    .
    What is the Nature of Rabbits?
    .
    Who cares?
    .
    Unless you are trying to trap one so you can eat it, I guess.
    .
    .
    As the collapse becomes more chaotic, there will be fewer and fewer of us to log on and commiserate as to the effects of the growing chaos. I’m not sure any of us will be so inclined to debate “The Nature of Man” when the SHTF. I think we will find the nature of man is very much like that of the hyena.

    NTE or no NTE, two nightmare scenarios — a global scarcity of vital resources and the onset of extreme climate change — are already beginning to converge and, very soon, are likely to produce a tidal wave of unrest, rebellion, competition, and conflict. Just what this tsunami of disaster will look like may, as yet, be hard to discern, but experts warn of “water wars” over contested river systems, global food riots sparked by soaring prices for life’s basics, mass migrations of climate refugees (with resulting anti-migrant violence), and the breakdown of social order or the collapse of states. At first, such mayhem is likely to arise largely in Africa, Central Asia, and other areas of the underdeveloped South, but in time all regions of the planet will be affected.

  • NTE or not NTE, that is the question. But the question of whether it’s 2030 or 2100 or 2200 isn’t that important in the big scheme of things unless the human race changes its spots.

    I guess it does matter, though, in one sense. If it’s 2030, I am going to see a lot of horror. If it’s 2100, I’ll be at best a distant memory to a few people…maybe.

  • I more frequently hear NTE being ascribed to energy use rather than to a problem of thinking. Humans are not thinking coherently as one species and for the good of all. We exhibit far more commonality of ideas around the desirability of I-phones and cars than we do about surviving, somewhat harmoniously, within our species and with other species.

    I wouldn’t assume that our genetic wiring disposes us to go after I-phones and cars more than after harmony with the surrounding world–a commonsensical concern with survival. But it’s enlightening (if not reassuring) that we CAN unify around SOME-thing (whatever the drivers of that commonality might be)!

    If we could think differently as a species we might be moved to have common purpose around issues like the following (among others):

    – coherent land use based on watersheds-as-planning-nexus.

    – ensuring the basics of physical survival and a sense of dignity to all humans and species (or at least not acting to take those things away).

    – “anarchic” self-government based on existing local jurisdictions or/or combined with government within and through watershed districts.

    – considering the oceans as a single planning unit, along with all the water sources that flow into them.

    – considering soils, forests, grasslands, rivers, wetlands, etc. as common global treasure.

    – treating the moon and the polar regions as global commons.

    None of this is consistent with capitalism, and since the scope of capitalism, and its conditioning of thinking worldwide, is beyond the ability for timely remedy, people cannot think alike insofar as living in balance with each other and with nature is concerned.

    @ gail

    I wrote the above before reading your extraordinarily comprehensive and informed post. As far as to what I would consider an “expert” to be, you would be one of them, among others with a similar level of information who reach different conclusions.

    I got a lot just from the book descriptions, as you thought I might. I also like what OzMan said about the ability to repress traits. I would also want to consider the extent to which the brain can and does evolve. Someone–Webster or OzMan perhaps–spoke about the ability of nations (Swedes, Tibetans, etc) to do a 180 degree turn regarding behavioral styles.

    Thanks, Gail, for this unexpected treasure of scholarship. My hat’s off to you, even though we lean in different directions.

  • The study, published today (June 13) in the journal Science, found that on average, Antarctica’s ice shelves are thinning by about 1.6 feet (50 centimeters) per year. But some of them are thinning much more quickly, by as much as 328 feet (100 meters) annually, said Eric Rignot, a study co-author and researcher at the University of California, Irvine. [Album: Stunning Photos of Antarctic Ice]

    “These changes are faster and larger than anything people anticipated,” Rignot told LiveScience’s OurAmazingPlanet.

  • China controls 95 percent of the world’s rare-earth supply. The key to this monopoly isn’t an abundance of rare-earth deposits, but its expertise in processing ore into oxides and pure metal. The ore tends to carry uranium and thorium, the most radioactive element on the planet, and extracting the metal is typically a long, multistage process involving toxic chemicals.

    “We know where the deposits are. Having them end up in your iPhone is not a straight or simple process,” said Brad Van Gosen, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Denver.

    A few years ago, China showed its power, and cut the supply of rare earths to a trickle. The move sent the United States and other countries scrambling to end their reliance on China. Prices soared, drawing new investors and mining companies into the rare earth market. Now, the United States has one new mine nearly finished and two more in the permitting stages. But the crucial element in escaping China’s rare-earth rule isn’t new mines, it’s rebuilding the expertise and infrastructure to process the finicky metals, experts say.

    Because rare earths are often all mixed together in one rock, separating the heavy rare earths usually requires removing the lighter ones first. This is typically done with a series of chemical tanks and solvents. Plus, there’s the radioactive uranium to dispose of. But mine owner Ucore says it has a new solid-extraction technology that greatly simplifies this process. The technique relies on nanotechnology to remove impurities and concentrate the heavy rare earths into oxides, according to Ucore. The Department of Defense funded Ucore’s ore extraction research with a contract in October 2012.

    “They” are determined to kill us all.

    How many batteries, tv sets, ipads, and computers are in a landfill near you? Resting quietly atop your water supply?

  • Whoa, Gail….ancient cave drawings depicting combat? Cite the source on that, please.

    I’m not an expert on anything. I just like to read. I’ve read several books about Native Americans and the history of the Ohio River Valley.

    When whites arrive on the shores of Turtle Island, how do they describe it? As paradise. As bountiful. And they keep describing it that way as they move inland, cutting and clearing and killing. Within ONE year of whites arrival in Kentucky, game was already being depleted at high rates.

    Native Americans lived here for what, 12,000 years prior to the arrival of whites? The megafauna went extinct and probably humans were the cause of that. Still…..”paradise” is what was found. Native Americans weren’t noble savages at any time. They were human beings. They made some mistakes, no doubt. But after 12,000 years of their consumption, what was “left” was paradise.

    Let’s keep a little perspective.

  • Gail,

    I don’t see my response to you. Maybe I exceeded some sort of limit. Anyway, I was very impressed with you grasp of the scholarship, although I come away with a different conclusion.

    Artleads

  • New from NASA: “Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring in the Arctic?”

    https://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/earth20130610.html

    “Permafrost soils are warming even faster than Arctic air temperatures – as much as 2.7 to 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 to 2.5 degrees Celsius) in just the past 30 years,” Miller said. “As heat from Earth’s surface penetrates into permafrost, it threatens to mobilize these organic carbon reservoirs and release them into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and methane, upsetting the Arctic’s carbon balance and greatly exacerbating global warming.”

    Current climate models do not adequately account for the impact of climate change on permafrost and how its degradation may affect regional and global climate. Scientists want to know how much permafrost carbon may be vulnerable to release as Earth’s climate warms, and how fast it may be released.”

    Then, from later in the article:

    “Early Results

    The CARVE science team is busy analyzing data from its first full year of science flights. What they’re finding, Miller said, is both amazing and potentially troubling.

    “Some of the methane and carbon dioxide concentrations we’ve measured have been large, and we’re seeing very different patterns from what models suggest,” Miller said. “We saw large, regional-scale episodic bursts of higher-than-normal carbon dioxide and methane in interior Alaska and across the North Slope during the spring thaw, and they lasted until after the fall refreeze. To cite another example, in July 2012 we saw methane levels over swamps in the Innoko Wilderness that were 650 parts per billion higher than normal background levels. That’s similar to what you might find in a large city.”

    Ultimately, the scientists hope their observations will indicate whether an irreversible permafrost tipping point may be near at hand. While scientists don’t yet believe the Arctic has reached that tipping point, no one knows for sure. “We hope CARVE may be able to find that ‘smoking gun,’ if one exists,” Miller said.”

    They really struggle to give this context. “No one knows for sure” is a pretty lame evaluation of whether or not we have reached a “tipping point”.