Savanna Louise Rose O’Malley McPherson

My family had a dog when I was growing up. Shorty arrived when I was in elementary school, though I don’t remember exactly when. A short, homely terrier of dubious heritage, she was an excellent, adventurous traveler. She loved camping and was truly a part of the family until she died during my college years.

My wife and I held out for a long time before we felt sufficiently mature and financially stable to have a pet of our own. Shortly after we moved into our first non-rental home — and so far, only one of two we’ve owned — we adopted a recently weaned puppy from the Humane Society in Tucson. Ever the rationalist, I insisted upon several criteria before we viewed the available dogs: female, puppy, short hair, light color, about 50 pounds fully grown.

When my wife walked into the room with available dogs, she settled on the first animal that entered her view. I consider myself lucky she didn’t first see a hippopotamus, although we did adopt a black, Doberman-German Shepherd mix that achieved nearly 100 pounds in weight.

Mancha (Spanish for “Spot”) quickly became our constant companion. She walked us twice daily in the Sonoran Desert near our small, suburban home. She took us hiking and camping and, like my childhood dog, became very much a part of me.

Mancha was diagnosed with bone cancer at about a year of age, and she died shortly after her second birthday. We approved chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and we held on too long. When Mancha died, she nearly took me with her. If I’d have had a handgun at my disposal, I would’ve used it on myself. The grief was horrible, and thinking about Mancha still brought tears to my eyes many years later. As in, today, more than twenty years after her death.

We waited a long time before considering another pet. My wife was devastated, too, and didn’t want a second dog so soon. But I dragged her to the Humane Society five years after our initial visit.

This time, my wife stayed in the car. A friend went inside with me, and the criteria remained largely the same. We were willing to take an adult, but we desired a female, short-haired, light-colored companion that weighed about 50 pounds fully grown. After checking every dog at the Humane Society, we ventured to the county animal facility (the “pound”). And then we went back to the Humane Society. Fortunately, the dog I spied on the first trip was still there an hour later.

My friend and I took the female, short-haired, brindle-and-white dog outside to meet my wife, knowing she would approve. And, seeing four legs and fur, she did. We were informed the unnamed dog was between six months and two years of age, so we arbitrarily decided that day, 21 June 1997, was adoption day and her first birthday.

Savanna shortly after she adopted us, summer 1997
Savanna shortly after she adopted us, summer 1997

Whereas Mancha was named with local heritage in mind, Savanna received her name from my primary study system. I was a field ecologist working primarily on southwestern oak savannas, and Savanna spent her early years as my constant field companion. She took us on twice-daily walks in our Sonoran Desert home, and ventured into the field with me constantly. She was an ideal adventurer, accompanying us to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area for a leave of absence as I helped establish the world’s premiere postdoctoral program, and then to the campus of Grinnell College (Iowa) for a short teaching stint, and finally to The Nature Conservancy property where I took my final sabbatical leave from the University of Arizona. Myriad side-trips included familial visits, vacations, and field trips of every imaginable variety.

Savanna was a natural-born hunter. She accumulated 14 vertebrate species on her life kill list, including a skunk (pure persistence), two species of cottontail rabbit (pure speed), three species of lizard (pure quickness), and a quail — in flight, on a nature preserve (pure embarrassment, for me).

Savanna was a warrior, and she was also a witness. She saw my transition from earnest ecologist to cynical social critic. She was present for the end of the age of expansion and the beginning of the age of contraction. She traveled thousands of miles and enriched the lives of hundreds of humans and other animals (although admittedly not those many individuals whose lives she terminated).

Savanna, shown here in December 2001, loved to open presents
Savanna, shown here in December 2001, loved to open gifts

At the age of ten years, Savanna’s knees went south. She’d already had minor surgery on one wrist. And, thanks to a collision with a cactus spine while chasing prey, she came within a hundredth of an inch of losing the vitreous humor from one eye, according to the astonished eye specialist. But knee surgery is serious business. We opted for tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO), an incredibly invasive and disruptive process with an excellent record of full recovery. Savanna’s recovery was rapidly complete seven full years ago.

On Thanksgiving Day 2012, Savanna suffered numerous puncture wounds under her chin, though we did not see them that day. The following morning, 23 November 2012, her head and neck suddenly swelled. A lot. The emergency veterinarian barely glanced at her, concluded a venomous snake was the likely culprit, and sent us along our way. The serious bleeding from the puncture wounds beneath Savanna’s chin began three days later, by which time Savanna had been transported to a reliable veterinarian in Tucson. I knew these were her final days.

I was mistaken, fortunately, reminding me of one of my undesirable traits: frequently in error, but never in doubt. The puncture wounds did not result from a snake, though the source was never identified. Against all odds, Savanna recovered and carried on for another seven months. As my wife and I were caught between flights in an airport yesterday, we received the news: The friend that helped me select Savanna sixteen years ago came home to check on the dog we left in her care. The Best Dog Ever died in her sleep 19 June 2013, two days short of her seventeenth birthday.

When we received the news in the airport, we tried to arrange an immediate trip back home. Alas, we were too late for the last flight back to Tucson. We’ll spend time with the living and will return home to the body of our best friend early next week after celebrating a family wedding.

Savanna plays in the snow, February 2013
Savanna plays in the snow in Tucson, February 2013

All in all, Savanna experienced the Gonzo life described by Hunter S. Thompson: “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a Ride!'” We should all be so lucky. Although our lives have been forever enriched by Savanna Louise Rose O’Malley McPherson, good luck isn’t on my mind today.

Savanna, a few hours before her death
Savanna, a few hours before her death

Comments 253

  • ‘We know that every president since at least Jimmy Carter has known about peak oil.’

    tsdh (the (sur)real dr. house, for u newbies), they know about death too, but that doesn’t mean their perception is rational, that they accept their ego/’soul’ will terminate. just like they believe in life after death, they believe in a future without oil for industry. they believe in the power of human ingenuity and technology to overcome nature’s limits. for my 2 cents, they’re about as clueless as the masses they mislead, about the shit that matters. dogmas and dogma addicts dominate all social classes in my perception. it couldn’t be more obvious: power has become divorced from surreality. hubris and ignorance rule. anyone who thinks they have a survival plan for what’s coming is living in a fool’s paradise. those who have the most to lose will lose the most. put that in your pipe and smoke it along with some fine herb if u’ve got it.

    ‘Never underestimate the power of positive thinking, or the projection of cynics in assuming critical thinking is broadly distributed throughout the Halls of Power. History is rife with how little was known by those who should have known better.’

    well said, daniel. power is more about ruthlessness than wisdom or understanding. it’s about deceit, violence, greed. it rewards short term hustlers, not scientific seers. the blind (mis)lead the blind. imo.

  • @ Ozman

    Thanks for the compliment.

    It might be that some people here don’t know how to read these graphs of the kind that I just linked to in the comment to Kathy C. above, where it just looks like weird wiggly coloured lines unless you’ve been initiated into the secret.

    It’s very simple if someone has spent a few minutes of lifetime explaining it to you, but in case nobody ever did, here’s a youtube video that does the job for complete beginners.

    It seems like a really boring subject, I really always saw it that way, but if someone shows you properly what this stuff can actually tell you, it is truly amazing. Sort of magic, like being able to look around corners with a mirror.

    I don’t recall exactly, it was a long time ago, but I think it was invented by some guys who were studying plots of wheat, etc, so they’d got a lot of plants to count and compare, and they needed a mathematical system that would save time and get the info to be manageable, so they could see on a chart what it looked like if you gave one plot fertiliser and another plot none, etc.

    Thing is, it’s possible to reconstruct the time series graph for Earth’s climate pretty much from the start of the 4,500 million year history, with varying degrees of error, and then to see roughly what kind of impact our activity is having and speculate what the result might be. It’s not just wild guessing. But neither can it give an exact precise date for any particular event. But it can give a probability within error bars. Bit like the chance of picking out the Ace of Spades from a pack of cards. That can be calculated. That’s how casino owners get rich and betting shops stay in business.

    Anyway here’s the link. Obviously MOST people here are not dummies and don’t need to click ;-)

  • Daniel, actually, I got it wrong – I should have said every president since Richard Nixon. Admittedly, I’m getting my history from an unusual source, but John Stewart normally gets it right. Here’s a video of the last 8 presidents talking about energy dependence in their own words:

    I can’t begin to imagine all the stuff that U.S. Presidents have to hear and deal with, so it’s possible that Bill Clinton forgot about that speech, but I doubt it. The man has a mind like a steel trap.

  • I love all these helpless government theorists, I’m sure the NSA loves them too.

  • @ Speak Softly

    What’s your take on the geo-engineering buzz-buzz beginning to grip the edge of the mainstream Presstitute narrative.

    I think possibly what happens, terminal stage capitalism eats itself, so governments and states lose control, perhaps deliberately destabilised, so the countries can be looted, and the few remaining powerful states, or blocks of states, which are probably China, USA, EU, Russia, have to become fascistic dystopias to maintain social control, as everything around deteriorates. Do they go all out war or just do proxy war via other countries ?

    And they will try all kinds of idiotic schemes. Probably most will be scams, as they are now. Greenwashed nonsense that pulls in money.

    I think back to Donella Meadows famous paper on complex systems and the points where you can intervene. I think it makes sense to think of the biosphere and the climate as a complex system in those terms. She says if you don’t fully understand the system and you intervene at the wrong points you just make everything worse, triggering all kinds of unforeseen disasters.

    It’s obvious we don’t understand the system. We don’t even have the natural system that we inherited anymore. What we have is something that we have already geo-engineered, inadvertently. It’s now malfunctioning, so to speak, and we have no idea how to fix it.

    I just read that there is a layer of bacteria high in the atmosphere, at 33,000 ft, that nobody knew was there. For all we know, that’s a vital component of a healthy biosphere. Perhaps, like plankton in the ocean, or the micro-organisms in our guts, those bacteria play some vital role in the chemistry of the atmosphere. They must be doing something up there. I wonder whether they effect clouds or water vapour or gases or weather, or if they carry diseases, whatever, or whether they are effected by all the jet aircraft and pollution.

    But the idiots will not consider anything like that. If some government hack suggests a plan that makes a lot of money for a big corporation, with a suitable simplistic justification, it’ll be pushed through, just like fracking or tar sands or the invasion of Iraq, and a couple of years later, when it turns out to be a mega disaster, the people who profited will be long gone, and the ones in power will say ‘who could have knowed ?’

    I’ve wanted to know, for a long time, what’s going on with the chemtrails. There seems to be lots of circumstantial evidence that something is going on, but not clear to me exactly what and why. There’s this rather interesting document from 1997, with Teller among the authors.

  • With a little tweaking we can see what is afoot- after the 1980’s and beyond band Devo…

    Geo-Engineering is what you want…

    Ego-Engineering is what you get..


    Some may not have seen this:

    ‘Why I Am Leaving Vancouver British Columbia Canada – Thanks, Fukushima Japan’

    As always happens with Helen Caldicott’s work in this field, she gets heckled on social media and there is a pretty vigilant band of rats who monitor her public announcements, and act as spoilers for the general public.

    Even at a cursory level, if one studies Nuclear Power, Nuclear Radiation, and Nuclear Weapons and what they can do to life, it is not too difficult to agree with Corporal Hudson…..GAME OVER MAN!

    ‘Game Over Man, GAME OVER!’

    Seems pretty amazing how much can be conveyed in 30 seconds with this medium.

    Today is the close approach of the moon for this full moon, which usually has an effect somewhere on triggering Earthquakes, but not always major.

    Well, will the radiation, and climatic changes coming take in these ‘poor’ people?

    I am ashamed to admit I used to make models of this kind of ‘development’, and some of the rather less necessary public infrastructure development too. All I can say is everyone starts somewhere on their journey, or not, to understanding how the world functions, really functions.

    ‘Million Dollar Outdoor Spaces – 1 of 3’

    Disclaimer: I never worked on any of these actual projects, just that I get nauseous when I see how familiar all those shapes and colours and lines, oh, and the (promotional and now often ‘green washed’)crap coming out of the people’s mouth too.

    This is more my style, although this particular demonstration is a bit ‘nice’ for my taste.

    ‘Pallet House I Beam Design’

    In keeping with the idea I have been considering for some years now – that we will be all refugees soon – here is a few looks at what to get onto quick smart if you can’t afford 30 years of bankster rip offs for a home. I would myself put all these structures on short poles so any flooding will not effect them, but there are not too many people who know how to do this so your mini house/home can turn into a ‘boat’ if the need arises(and I think it will).

    Note: it is already too expensive because of fuel transport costs to ship the majority of pallets around and between countries. The wood is one ‘cost’ and issue, but the transport is the other. So, lots are just sitting behind the hardware and supermarket stores, many business owners are now saving on fire wood by using them: only burn domestically the heat treated ones, not the chemical treated ones!

    ‘How To work with pallet wood tiny free house’

    And for general knowledge on how to use pallet wood….

    ‘Introduction to re-claiming pallet wood’

    Or for garden structures…

    ‘Building Raised Beds From Re-claimed Pallet Wood’

    Oh and an indispensable tool you can make like I did for pallet deconstruction…

    ‘The Pallet Pryer’

    ‘Pallet breaker’

    And although I would not ordinarily promote any product, it may be something someone could ‘borrow’ the design from…

    ‘Quadbar Pry Tool and Multipurpose Wrecking Bar’

    I ‘borrow’ things from the interweb all the time, and give them back when requested too…he he!

  • Risking two post rule


    ‘Devo – Freedom Of Choice ‘

  • High-flying bacteria spark interest in possible climate effects

    “A total of 314 different types of bacteria were collected in air masses around 10 kilometres above the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the continental United States. Although the scientists trapped only a small amount of material, bacteria accounted for around 20% of all particles — biological and non-biological — a higher proportion than in the near-Earth atmosphere.

    Genetic analysis revealed that some microbes in the upper atmosphere are related to bacteria thought to catalyse ice-crystal formation and cloud condensation. The fundamental process, called nucleation, occurs when water molecules in the air coalesce around a seed particle, often dust or soot. Depending on temperature, these complexes can grow into large water droplets or frozen balls of ice, leading to cloud formation and rain or snow.

    The latest findings support emerging theories that bacterial communities, especially in the upper atmosphere where dust is relatively rare, could influence weather and climate…

    understanding more about the bacterial ecology of the sky represents an exciting new frontier for natural history.”

  • @ TRDH

    I hear you, but I believe you might be conflating our nation’s geopolitical dependence on foreign oil with the physics and dire implications of global energy scarcity.

    Heinberg’s book was fairly technical, and prior to that only Campbell and Laherrère, echoing the previous warning of Hubbert had tackled the subject in 98′. I believe most power structures and their attendant talking heads, have a massive blind spot to the physical impediments to growth i.e. the prominence and prestige of a false prophet like Daniel Yergin.

    I mean these are serious Yes Men, and I belief it is rather easy for cheerleading Presidents to read a teleprompter and have no basic understanding of what they are saying. Admitting that we are addicted to oil is one thing, saying that all of industrial civilization is dependent of a rapidly depleting resource with no viable alternative is something else entirely, which requires a degree of sober analysis that generally tends to be a political career killer.

    I wouldn’t at all be surprised if Clinton had never been briefed on Peak Oil. In fact, this is exactly what he admitted once he had the liberty to truly speak his mind.

    Peak Oil is one of the most contrarian concepts in our lifetime, and literally strikes at the essence of our industrial dilemma, as well as being antithetical to virtually every policy decision a President must consider.

    If Clinton’s handlers had no cause to raise alarm, it is easy to see how it would have never crossed his desk.

  • Though the major datasets have continued to show a slight warming trend, Foster & Rahmstorf (full article is available at the link) corrected for the temporary effects (both positive and negative) of El Niño/southern oscillation, volcanic aerosols and solar variability, showing that there has been no slowdown in the underlying warming and that the warmest years were 2009 and 2010 (up to 2010). The Daily Mail article, linked by Kathy C, cherry picked the start date and concentrated on one dataset that understates temperature because of lack of Arctic data points. Now we know that the oceans have taken up more heat than previously thought, that suggest warming of the whole planet (not just the surface) has accelerated, rather than stalled.

    Maybe a climate scientists might have picked up on this information more than David Wasdell did. This would make the status even worse, of course. One reason that it’s unfortunate Dave Wasdell isn’t a climate scientist is that I sometimes post climate info on a couple a sites where someone with religious links would pop up a mental block, but even a non-scientist would be treated with scepticism, as Al Gore was, even though he got most of the science right.

    Thanks for that link to records, ulvfugl. However, is seems as though there a conflict between these two:

    Atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations (CO2, CH4, N2O) highest in over 800,000 years by ice core data

    Atmospheric CO2 concentration highest in 15 million years

    I guess the second includes the first but it seems like one is saying the highest CO2 in about 800,000 years, while the second says highest CO2 in 15 million years.

  • U I understand how they have manipulated the charts to show that global warming stopped by picking what part they show and what lines they draw, and I am sorry I picked a bad source for my first defense of the statement Wasdell made. However while 15 years is a blip on the ever rising global surface temp some scientists have felt a need to explain that blip.

    Climate Progress regarding the deep ocean temps
    A new study of ocean warming has just been published in Geophysical Research Letters by Balmaseda, Trenberth, and Källén (2013). There are several important conclusions which can be drawn from this paper.
    Completely contrary to the popular contrarian myth, global warming has accelerated, with more overall global warming in the past 15 years than the prior 15 years. This is because about 90% of overall global warming goes into heating the oceans, and the oceans have been warming dramatically.
    As suspected, much of the ‘missing heat’ Kevin Trenberth previously talked about has been found in the deep oceans. Consistent with the results of Nuccitelli et al. (2012), this study finds that 30% of the ocean warming over the past decade has occurred in the deeper oceans below 700 meters, which they note is unprecedented over at least the past half century.
    Some recent studies have concluded based on the slowed global surface warming over the past decade that the sensitivity of the climate to the increased greenhouse effect is somewhat lower than the IPCC best estimate. Those studies are fundamentally flawed because they do not account for the warming of the deep oceans.
    The slowed surface air warming over the past decade has lulled many people into a false and unwarranted sense of security.

    From the PDF for the Wasdell speech that I linked to yesterday:
    Over the last two centuries the global average surface temperature has risen from the preindustrial benchmark. The change becomes observable from about 1910 and is sustained until the end of the Second World War. After 1945 it levelled out, in fact the temperature went down a bit until about 1975. That is a very important anomaly at a time when the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide was increasing.It was probably caused by the immense amount of sulphur dioxide particulates produced from the burning of dirty coal during the hugely accelerated programme of power-production that went on across the whole western industrial economy. Remember acid rain and smog and thick fogs and air pollution. The resulting “global dimming” blocked the greenhouse effect of increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide. Without increase in temperature the complex feedback system was brought to a halt and the expected acceleration of global warming was stopped in its tracks.Then we began to clean our act up, to fit sulphur scrubbers to power-stations and catalytic converters to car exhausts, to ban coal burning in domestic fires and to establish smoke-free
    zones. As we took particulates out of the atmosphere the temperature took off again, increasing even more rapidly (and accelerated by the fast feedback mechanisms) until about 1997. Since then global temperature change has levelled off and has in fact gone down a little.Climate-change deniers are of course crowing and saying “Although carbon dioxide concentrations have gone on increasing, and emissions are running at a higher rate than when temperature was still rising, temperature has not changed. So obviously it is independent of carbon dioxide. So we can forget all about climate change and continue to use fossil energy without any worry about contributing to global warming!” That is a complete and utter myth! Remember what happened after the Second World War? The same thing is happening today. Today the dirty emissions are coming from Chinese power stations and the burning of very poor quality coal in an accelerating number of electricity generating stations all across the developing industrial world. Remember the pollution in Bejing and the Asian brown cloud? There has also been an increase in the smoke from multitudes of wild-fires across the drying forests of the world, together with the proliferation of smoke from many millions of hearths where biomass is burned for domestic cooking. We now have massive amounts of airborne particulates that are reflecting some of the solar energy back into space That is stopping the temperature rising as a whole in the global scene. The effects of global dimming have been enhanced during this period by the mixing of more surface heat down to deeper ocean water, by the dominance of La Nina (cooler) conditions in the Pacific, and by a prolonged period of minimal solar radiation. The absence of temperature increase has also blocked all amplification from the temperature-dependent feedback mechanisms.

    So while the long view shows that warming has continued, and the short views so many deniers present are in error, some scientists still see a need to explain the surface temps in the last 15 year. The warming in the ocean is one answer and of course means we are in deep shit when the ocean cannot take up any more heat (or CO2) but Wasdell’s explanation about dimming, if correct means really really deep shit. For as we know if the economy collapses the factories in China will shut down, and the dimming will cease rapidly. So the point about the Surface temps in the last 15 years as made by Wasdell is that this is not indicative of any leveling off of temperature rises much less cooling but is rater indicative of masking that can’t go on.

    Hansen seems to be the source for Wasdell’s view on dimming

    google “Climate forcing growth rates: doubling down on our Faustian bargain” for his paper in Environmental Research Letters where he says

    Reduction of the net human-made climate forcing by aerosols has been described as a ‘Faustian bargain’ (Hansen and Lacis 1990, Hansen 2009), because the aerosols constitute deleterious particulate air pollution. Reduction of the net climate forcing by half will continue only if we allow air pollution to build up to greater and greater amounts. More likely, humanity will demand and achieve a reduction of particulate air pollution, whereupon, because the CO2 from fossil fuel burning remains in the surface climate system for millennia, the ‘devil’s payment’ will be extracted from humanity via increased global warming.

    So is the new data we present here good news or bad news, and how does it alter the ‘Faustian bargain’? At first glance there seems to be some good news. First, if our interpretation of the data is correct, the surge of fossil fuel emissions, especially from coal burning, along with the increasing atmospheric CO2 level is ‘fertilizing’ the biosphere, and thus limiting the growth of atmospheric CO2. Also, despite the absence of accurate global aerosol measurements, it seems that the aerosol cooling effect is probably increasing based on evidence of aerosol increases in the Far East and increasing ‘background’ stratospheric aerosols.

    Both effects work to limit global warming and thus help explain why the rate of global warming seems to be less this decade than it has been during the prior quarter century. This data interpretation also helps explain why multiple warnings that some carbon sinks are ‘drying up’ and could even become carbon sources, e.g., boreal forests infested by pine bark beetles (Kurz et al 2008) and the Amazon rain forest suffering from drought (Lewis et al 2011), have not produced an obvious impact on atmospheric CO2.

    Apologies for my first attempt at a link to the 15 years’ data – I was in a hurry, and as a result had to dig deeper to find out what Wasdell was talking about. But now I understand his statement better, so thanks for pointing out my spurious source for my first attempt. A better link to support Wasdell’s statement can be found by googling “giss surface temps analysis graphs and plots” which uses the 5 year running mean to show a slight drop in temps over the last 15 years – a dropt that Hansen and others felt a need to explain, which they do. There is more to it than the drawing of lines. And finding those explanations turns out to be very bad news.

  • We lab rats feel so good to be secure – Big Brother is watching! The rations of food & water will keep coming…

    Rubbing Alcoholic blog
    It’s not just metadata. The NSA is getting everything.

    H/t to Stuart Staniford of the Early Warning blog.

    “After a closed Senate briefing… Senate Intelligence Committee leader Dianne Feinstein:
    “if you want to collect content, then you get a court order”
    What does she mean, “collect content?”
    Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has a special definition
    To me, collection of U.S. persons’ data would mean taking the book off the shelf and opening it up and reading it.
    Let’s assume that Intelligence and Congress are on the same page with this unusual definition

    Take the bookshelf metaphor. In order to collect data (a book), we take the book off the shelf, open it up, and read it. But wouldn’t that imply that the book was on the shelf to begin with?

    She’s talking about looking into an existing database for “content,” a database that must store a whole hell of a lot more than just metadata.

    Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) said after the same hearing:

    “Only when there is probable cause, given from a court order by a federal judge, can they go into the content of phone calls and emails…”

    So they’re storing the actual content of phone calls and emails in some NSA database somewhere.”

  • Daniel, but I believe you might be conflating our nation’s geopolitical dependence on foreign oil with the physics and dire implications of global energy scarcity.

    I get the difference, but if the presidents and other world leaders have known about peak oil, declining net energy, etc., then, as you say to avoid political career suicide, energy independence is the only way to talk about it publicly that allows one to continue to spin it in a positive “Go America!” way.

    On the other hand, as the virgin terry notes, I’m probably giving them too much credit. :-)

  • By the way, somewhat related to the essay topic, I’m spending the weekend with remaining family; my mother’s days, while, like everyone else’s, have always been finite, now have a fairly short number assigned to them. So, of course, death, life, purpose, etc., are being discussed quite a bit. I just want everyone here to know how much I appreciate your contributions to NBL – even those with whom I don’t always see eye to eye. The varied insight I’ve received here with respect to life and death, as well as all the incredible science, has helped me more that you know. Thanks to all of you.

  • What a beautiful tribute! So sorry for your loss, Guy! I have been down this road too many times over my life and the pain of losing each of my animals still remains. But the joy of their unconditional love and the memories of so many great times keeps me deeply attached to them. Just got back from a camping trip in the Idaho mountains where our dog road point on the kayak and slept across me at night and kept me warm! Dogs are just big hearts with fur.

  • Thanks for sharing this, Guy. Animals are the best spirits of this world.

  • @Robin Datta

    Of course there’s a cross referenced, mega-database full of personal data on everyone the US gubmint can tap. Have you ever known the government not to use a nefarious tool of technology in some form against the governed? It keeps the politicians well greased and the technology companies like M$, Gargoyle, Faced Book, Ipud and other data corporations well lubricated and in a state of twisted symbiosis much to our collective demise.

    On another note:

    Glyphosate Found in City Dwellers’ Urine

    Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, which is sprayed in large quantities on genetically engineered, so-called “Roundup Ready,” crops. Such crops are genetically engineered to withstand otherwise lethal applications of the herbicide.

    According to the German journal Ithaka,1 every single urine sample collected from city dwellers around Berlin tested positive for glyphosate, with values ranging from 0.5 to 2 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) – that’s between five and 20 times the permissible upper limit for glyphosate in German drinking water, which is set at 0.1 ng/ml. According to the featured article:2″

    It’s one of the reasons why I grow my own food. The old adage ‘you are what you eat’ apparently still holds true.

  • I’m so sorry for your loss, Guy. I have a little 11 year old Yorkie – my best friend and most reliable comfort. I can’t imagine life without him. Solace to you, my friend, in these hard days.

  • See how important animals are to us?

    Yes, in the companionship, or part of family and raising children, or as a follow-up to that, as in ameliorating “empty nests”.

    But perhaps more importantly, in what they tell us about ourselves, as a reminder of our animal nature. It is clear from the feelings evoked above that it is a deep level in us that is touched by them.

    And, since we are talking about mass death of our human bodies, and the possible extinction of our physical species, part/much of us is going to react to this on the animal level, to the extent the animal can feel or comprehend future events.

    (And most of human evolution, the 400,000 or so years of homo sapiens, we lived 90+ % still as animals, and have only strayed from that in the last 10,000 or so. Not much time to evolve away from it physically, only culturally. We have adopted so many non-animal traits, we can spend hours-days-years trying to tease them out, in understanding just who we are.)

    I woke up this morning thinking of writing something about the subconscious, which is the heritage in our mental nature from the animal side, that which regulates our bodies, emotions, and possibly our intuitions.

    It seems we are doing a lot of intellectual/logical discussion of impending demise, without delving into what (little?) we know of ourselves at the subconscious level. Understandable, but perhaps a fertile realm to explore in future discussion? Perhaps too big for this venue? Dunno…

    I am a novice in this, feeling negligent in my studies — I don’t mean Freud, and European approaches, so much as the indigenous treatments of how we are structured as human animals. It seems there are long-term utilizations of the human subconscious in shamanic traditions, and studies such as have come out of Huna and other Pacific regions. Some considered valid, and others challenged as glosses put on by European transplants.

    I don’t know whether these knowledges are possibly available to offer “solutions”, as in inspiring human behavior changes, or only as better “commiserations”, and adaptation to what may come, but it seems to me a buried topic that pops into my mind a couple times a year, that I intend to explore, and then get busy with other stuff…

    Anyway, as we (anxiously) await news, like the Arctic summer melt, etc., remembering to take care of our animal “self” inside and not put it through the emotional wringer with all we are taking on seems important to consider.

    Yes, animals are important. Animals ‘R’ us.

  • @ Kathy C

    “Hansen seems to be the source for Wasdell’s view on dimming”

    As well to Hansen’s credit, while I don’t have the exact quote from his book, he also speculated that much of the heating would eventually be found at greater ocean depths, though at the time, there was yet sufficient data to prove it.

  • Found this, possibly old news for some vigilant observers.

    ‘We’re In The Midst of A Global Currency Reset’

    Get those pallets cracking.

  • @ Kathy C.

    Thanks for all that work. I wasn’t criticising what you said before at all, sorry if it came across that way. Those people ( David Rose, etc ) misinform the public, either through ignorance of how the statistics work or through deliberate malice, either way is inexcusable, plenty of people have pointed out to them that the short term 15 year cherry picking doesn’t give a true guide to the warming.

    I wonder if anybody knows anything re that young woman with breast cancer who asked if Guy wanted to talk at her funeral, a few months ago

    @ Henry

    Great comment.

    I think we are almost like blank hard drives. We can believe and behave in so many different ways. Animals are a precious resource, a reference point, to guide us and keep us sane.

    None of us are better or worse off than each other when it comes to our potential to understand the meaning of being. We’re all in the same boat. We each interpret being differently because we each have a different interpretation of the world. Being requires a world in which to be. 

    This is a different kind of insane geo-engineering, coming from the ecologists and ‘managers of nature’

    South African ecologists are trying to figure out how best to stop trees from taking over savannas, perhaps with “fire storms” — controlled fires set on hot, dry days to maximize the heat they generate — or careful tree-thinning. But super-hot fires might have their own negative effects on ecosystems, and manual thinning could be too expensive. Midgley said that by reaching today’s level of 400 ppm of atmospheric carbon dioxide, “we’ve turned the evolutionary clock back 5 million years in under a century. It’s a massive change in how our ecosystems work.” He noted that atmospheric CO2 could hit 600 ppm by 2100, a level last seen during the Eocene epoch of 34 to 55 million years ago, when forests covered nearly all of the planet and long before modern grasses and the large savanna mammals that we know today evolved.

    “We’re in a brave new world from a plant’s perspective,” said William Bond. “It’s a little frightening. Our plains animals have their backs against the wall.” The new invading trees won’t do anything meaningful to combat climate change, he said, because they’re a negligibly small carbon sink in global terms.

    Too right that super hot fire storms will have negative effects on ecosystems ! Has anybody done a study even ? It sounds just like Savory’s insane idea to kill tens of thousands of elephants only to discover afterwards that the brilliant plan didn’t work.

    We simply don’t know whether this growth of trees is the system trying to rebalance itself, as if it were a natural healing response, like in a human physiology fighting a disease, or maybe it’s going to make warming worse, by darkening the land surface and changing the albedo and heating up the land faster, or whatever. Nobody has got a fucking clue. Because we don’t understand what it is that we are dealing with.

    Fires are natural occurrences in some ecosystems, and some organisms have evolved to cope with fire, some even NEED fire. But unless that is the case in that part of Africa, a firestorm is going to kill all the living things that can’t avoid it, not just the trees. And then the trees are going to come back anyway after a few years. So what are they going to do then ? Keep on doing it forever ?

    These changes are going to be happening EVERYWHERE, all over the planet, because the whole global climate is wrecked. Are ecologists going to try and fight the changes EVERYWHERE, to try and force things to remain the same ? That’s impossible. There’s never going to be sufficient money and manpower.

  • @ Henry

    Interesting post. I hints that what we know is the tip of the iceberg, while we don’t know, and don’t wonder about, what we don’t know. That’s the submerged main body of the iceberg.

    Donella Meadows:

    Someone on here mentioned Donella Meadows, and I Googled her. I like her way of thinking about thinking. Were she still with us, and teaching a course nearby, I would want to enroll.


    OzMan has a link to “Money Reset.” Money is a big blank space for me, so I merely wonder in passing whether the article is suggesting that there is a way around economic collapse. However, economic growth on a finite planet, growth that has already borrowed more from Earth than it can repay, shouldn’t tempt anyone to think that our current economic order can be fixed.

    So this is just an exercise–like practicing the scales–trying (not through desperation, angst or pain)to be at one with reality.

    An ice free Arctic event will be an “interesting” event, something so epochal and sublime that I can’t conceive of it. I suspect that it “would” get to that soft underbelly of the human psyche, now completely unknown, that Henry might be alluding to. It would be more earth shaking (not a pun) than landing on the moon, representing a “ceremonial” moment shades of Joseph Campbell. Such a prospective reality is worth absorbing deeply in the realm of our unconscious. It is the stuff of myth more than the stuff of science. It changes everything, not just the climate.

    Another thing I can’t conceive of is either Obama’s approval or rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline. It is too consequential to imagine one way or another. War with Iran would be the same thing: You can’t see how there could be a war, or couldn’t be a war.

    So whatever people think of NTE, we live in interesting times for the human imagination, and it is fascinating to see how the very near-term future will play out within that context.

  • Pat,

    Thanks for your comments on the previous post. They seem very sensible.

    Artleads (from the last post),

    I wish I’d had your early awareness; I’d be living a very different life now, though in the northern hemisphere ;) But how, exactly, does one prepare for near term human extinction? I now think that if I ever did accept it as some people here seem to, I wouldn’t be posting here and would probably try to enjoy as much of my remaining days as possible. Unlike Guy, I’d probably think that resistance is futile (unless one enjoys doing that sort of thing).

  • @ Tony

    Based on what you’ve written so far, you seem wired enough for the philosophical dilemma that has just presented itself. I would suspect that all that separates you from what you have identified as “…some people here….” is nothing but time. Unless, you have young children, wherein BadlandsAK has blazed an incredible trail that will be hard to follow.

    Had you spent the last year–as many here have–in deep reflection wrought by the evidence of NTE, the traumatic and transgressive event horizon you’re experiencing right now might be further behind you. Where instead of still looking for the smoking gun of NTE among the mountain of smoldering ruins, you would be closer to understanding the essence of “our” surreal resignation, where you eventually come to realize the unprecedented consequence of “acceptance”, changes everything. Welcome to the twilight zone.

    Continue to dwell on the intellectually and emotionally overwhelming implications, and I would bet, in one year’s time, you will have either quietly spun off into the ether, humbled by the daunting quest now before you, or your name too will come to be included among “…some people here…”.

    Good luck in your journey, wherever it may lead you.

  • U, you pushed me to learn more and remind me to check my links out fully. Thanks for that.

    On dogs, in the book Don’t Sleep there are Snakes by Daniel Everett about the Pirahã, a somewhat untouched hunter gatherer tribe in Brazil he tells of the women crying for days when they lost their dogs.

    I love dogs and cats and domestic chickens but I have been thinking about our propensity as humans to have these strong feelings for dogs. Many dogs are actually quite neurotic – after all they like humans and often prefer their human to other dogs – I suppose it says something about our own domestication. In the first world many dogs have been bred to be totally useless except for providing humans something to love them. No conclusions here,just thought we might want to not talk just about how we love them, but why we love them.

    Open Water In Areas Around North Pole
    In some areas around the North Pole, thickness of the sea ice has declined to virtually zero, i.e. open water.
    This is not good. This would seem to support David Wasdell’s projection that this summer might be the one that all the ice melts in the arctic.

    And also meanwhile per Reuters
    When the Ben and Beijing party comes to an end
    (Reuters) – Through the dark days of the financial crisis, and the grey days of the halting recovery that have followed, investors have always been able to count on backing from two sources – Ben Bernanke and Beijing.
    They have provided stimulus, mainly by pumping funds into the U.S. and Chinese economies in various ways, when other pillars of support had become unreliable.
    That helps to explain why global financial markets took such a beating last week when both signaled that they are getting tired of being leant on so heavily.
    Bernanke, the chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, set a timetable at last week’s Fed meeting for the central bank to reduce the size of its bond buying program with a view to ending it by the middle of next year.
    Meanwhile, his counterparts at the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) engineered a cash crunch as a warning to overextended banks – and this from a central bank that has previously always provided liquidity when cash conditions tightened.

    Its getting interesting, and to top it all off we get to play “Where in the world is Edward Snowden” for a few days.

  • Since the comment section seems to be closed on the last thread, i’ll post this here:

    The Silence of Animals: On progress and other modern myths

    a quick (20 min.) talk by British philosopher John Gray promoting his new book (sequel to Straw Dogs)

  • @ Kathy C.

    You’re welcome.

    @ Artleads

    I mentioned Donella Meadows. Speak Softly asked about geo-engineering. I don’t think that conceiving of the world as a complex system is the only, or even the best, way to conceive of the world. But most scientists, and certainly most engineers, conceive of it as if it was some sort of machine, in which case one may as well speak to them in terms they might possibly comprehend, in which case systems theory is a way to explain to them why their stupid geo-engineering schemes will not work.

    Not only will they not work, they will make the catastrophe that we already have even worse.

    For example. We have already inadvertently and unintentionally geo-engineered this whole world. Once, it was entirely fashioned by natural forces, and had reached a sort of equilibrium. We began to alter that, from around 5000 years ago, approximately, with our invention of cities and agriculture and other technology and our increasing numbers.

    Initially, the impact was relatively minor, but became dramatic as we removed forests and began the industrial revolution, and has increased exponentially to produce the present terminal crisis. We have changed the whole surface of the planet from what it was into something new and different, without ever understanding what we were doing.

    So, now we have science, and we can understand a bit more about what we have done.
    We can realise that climate change and rising temperature is a very bad thing, from the point of view of civilisation. But it is industrial civilisation that is the root cause of the catastrophe.

    You can’t have both. You can’t have a viable biosphere, a future for humans, AND industrial civilisation. It’s an either/or OR it or it is a neither. Because when the biosphere collapses, we get a mass extinction event. ( Imo, it’s already too late to avert that mass extinction event, but I’m making an argument re geo-engineering here ).

    Essentially, geo-engineering is intervening in a complex system. We’ve already done that by accident. For example, with CFCs for refrigeration, we made ozone holes in the stratosphere at both N. and S. Poles, which let harmful UV light reach ground level.

    Well, funnily enough, this turns out to be a GOOD thing regarding global warming from CO2, N2O, and CH4, because, we’re very worried about the Antarctic ice melting, and the warming of the S. Hemisphere and the effects that will have on climate for the countries of the S. Hemisphere. Turns out, the bad thing that is the S. Pole Ozone Hole in the Stratosphere, tends to keep the S. Pole colder than it would otherwise be, and thus counter acts and slows the effects of global warming, to some extent.

    So, that’s an example of accidental geo-engineering. It’s also an example of the unpredictable, unforeseeable and essentially UNKNOWABLE effects of intervening in a complex system that we don’t understand.

    You see, it makes a lot of sense to fix the Ozone Holes, but by doing so, we’re making warming in the S. Hemisphere worse, we’d be weakening the jet stream, we’d be making severe weather events for countries in the S. Hemisphere worse….

    As far as I can see, there are only two approaches which make any sense, neither of which are politically possible, because nobody wants to do them.

    One is to cut fossil fuel use, or rather anything that puts warming gases into the atmosphere, to ZERO, immediately. Or rather, as soon as possible. Or rather, thirty years ago.

    The second is, to restore the surface of the planet to as close as possible to its natural condition, as we found it, pre civilisation. That is, natural rivers, that reach the sea, etc.

    There’s not a snowball’s chance in hellfire that either will happen. The traditional Four Horsemen will eliminate civilisation, and there will be the mass extinction event. Kathy C. and Guy and others don’t expect anything much to survive. I’m more optimistic. I expect that there’ll be all kinds of weird and wonderful thing running about again in about ten million years, plus or minus…

    Here’s something about D. Meadow’s take on complex systems.

  • I don’t understand why the comments are closed on the previous thread – is there a limit?

    It’s almost impossible to keep up with all the stuff going on in these comments!

    @ Ripley (previous thread)

    If you think TPTB will solve GW just enough for their own lifeboat, picture a well-provisioned lifeboat in a sea of poorly-provisioned lifeboats… There will be no way for TPTB to fend off the marauding hordes. But, part of me senses that B9K9 and his friends will figure that out and unleash a pandemic upon us – just to make sure there is no competition when SHTF.

    But, you probably are not seeing this comment since you only read the two posts a day by BtD.

    @ depressive lucidity (previous thread):

    I love your posts! “Our fate being to rot…” Man, that hurts!

    @ Rob, Roger and Tom (previous thread):

    Just like the difference between the rebels that win and the rebels that lose – if you lose, you are a traitor, if you win, you are a liberator! There is no greater eco-terrorist than the govt sanctioned corporate rape of the land… No, the Real Resistance is the eco-terrorists around the world. The tree-spikers and the arsonists. The FBI has credited to eco-terrorism 300 million dollars in property damage from 2003 and 2008.

    @ Artleads (previous post):

    The young kids resisting in Turkey and Brazil are not resisting unsustainable living – they are resisting not getting their fair share of the unsustainable living – big difference. I would throw out for discussion that the starving masses and working poor will not be allies of The Resistance for they will be dead even sooner if The Solution is implemented: 90% of population dies quickly, toxic infrastructure is dismantled, survivors live in sustainable harmony with Nature (plant no crops, build no cities). The starving masses can continue to eat dirt with TPTB in power… The working poor can continue to eat SPAM…

    So B9K9 is trumpeting the song of the Illuminati? Where do I go to join? Are there dues? What about initiation?

    So Ulf, you told my story when you said:

    If you’ve spent your whole life living in a cultural story that promises improved living standards, technological progress, growing prosperity, the virtues of a consumer lifestyle, the ‘backwardness’ and inferiority of ‘primitive’ people, the superiority of ‘civilisation’ over wilderness, the ‘savagery’ of nature, all that kind of stuff, and suddenly you are forced to do a U turn and you’re told there is not going to BE any future like that any more, and all that stuff you were told was lies, propaganda and illusions…. well, it takes a little while to get over the shock and to find some new way of seeing your place in the scheme of things.

    Yes, that is my story, and though I have stopped the larger aspects of consumerism, I’m still a working stiff riding the train over the cliff – just staring out the window.

    I’ve been wrong many times, but I’ve never lacked conviction.

  • U says: As far as I can see, there are only two approaches which make any sense, neither of which are politically possible, because nobody wants to do them.

    One is to cut fossil fuel use, or rather anything that puts warming gases into the atmosphere, to ZERO, immediately. Or rather, as soon as possible. Or rather, thirty years ago.

    The second is, to restore the surface of the planet to as close as possible to its natural condition, as we found it, pre civilisation. That is, natural rivers, that reach the sea, etc.

    There’s not a snowball’s chance in hellfire that either will happen.

    Right! Not gonna’ happen! So, the only chance we have is for some super-escalating string of disasters such that the ensuing chaos is so great that not even TPTB can stay in control – widespread pandemonium resulting in widespread death – that is our only chance.

    But, if that happens, who will shut down the Nukes? Maybe we should have a contingency plan for this possibility? Any volunteers?

    If it happens any other way, it’s going to be TPTB in control and the rest of us will be cannon fodder.

    I keep waiting for the pandemic to be unleashed – that seems to me the best way for TPTB to cull our numbers…

  • Forest clearing is nothing new in this region. 90 percent of all palm oil is made in Malaysia and Indonesia. While it can be sourced sustainably, it almost always is not, and manufacturing it usually includes the (illegal) burning of huge swaths of rainforests.

    It’s a process that directly contributes to climate change, and decimates the natural habitats of many endangered species, such as orangutans and elephants. And as fire-starters learned this season, when it gets out of control, rainforest clearing can also endanger millions with hazardous smoke.

    Because of the environmental detriment, Dunkin’ Donuts recently pledged to remove all nonsustainably-sourced palm oil from its products, but scores of others have yet to follow suit. Palm oil can still be found in well over 200 international brands that range from packaged snacks to makeup products.


  • Thank you for sharing a part of your life again. My kids have had a series of pets (no dogs though) that became a part of our lives. I became attached to every one of those furry or finny or scaly critters and mourned every passing.

  • There is a sort of crude justice in the world. I said we should not get any more pets and then a black and white kitten appears. Very scared. Very hungry – eating birdseed on the deck. I can’t stand that so I am tossing it some food. Maybe I can talk a neighbor into taking it if I can get my hands on it. Maybe I take it to the pound. Maybe we shoot it. Oh dog, maybe we keep it to fend of the rodents in the garden. Almost makes me think their is an omnipotent being like Q from Star Trek – search wiki if you don’t know what I mean.

    Pat “I’ve been wrong many times, but I’ve never lacked conviction.” You too huh? However I note that my early convictions were based on belief, while my later convictions come from research. Unfortunately they lead to the conclusion that it is all over for humanity, but luckily it leads to the conviction that the elite won’t make it either. However I don’t really care if they do or they don’t because the world we leave behind will not be a world anyone could want to live in. Pat if you want a great movie for the end times try Runaway Train, Jon Voight’s best performance. “Win Lose, what’s the difference” If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, or do but don’t mind spoilers, here is the last scene.

  • In the previous thread BenjaminTheDonkey says: @ Artleads, yeah, ya gotta pace yourself with this shit.

    I’d like to take that back. I think the pacing takes care of itself (unconsciously), so your head DOESN’T explode. It takes time for doom to become assimilated because you can only handle so much emotionally at a time. (Well, and because there’s so much to learn.) MHO

    Some Kind of Mental Mechanism or Something

    Even if physically prepped,
    And with skills at which one is adept,
    The outlook’s so bleak,
    It would make people freak,
    So doom takes awhile to accept.

  • I know all about Q.

    I volunteer for an animal shelter (a no-kill shelter) and the kittens are very easy to place. The hard ones are the older cats with issues (health issues, social issues, abused issues) – but, it always seems that there is someone willing to take a chance…

    Just watched the trailer for Runaway Train – looks interesting…

    Better to die on your feet than live on your knees…

  • When do you know you’re up shit creek……

    Military Report: America Has ‘Misguided’ Fixation With Domestic Drilling
    The report, released quietly this month, says climate change is a bigger national security threat than the country’s dependence on foreign oil

  • This is From 1991:

    In a 1991 interview with the UNESCO Courier, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the famous Emmy award winning film producer who went on to be a kingpin of the environmental movement said:

    “It’s terrible to have to say this. World population must be stabilized and to do that we must eliminate 350,000 people per day.”

    How exactly do we eliminate these people?

  • Roger: «How exactly do we eliminate these people?»

    To dispose of the remnants also seems a big problem to me. Every day!

    Been drawing a cartoon with my son today about a protest with signs saying: LESS! LESS! WE WANT LESS!

    It is very hot and very humid and there is a huge storm coming. It is hard to breathe.

    back to subject:
    My pets these days are ants. They are taking control of my 3rd floor apt. There is a lot to kill. A lot.

    au revoir

  • For those still coming to terms with the science of NTE, I often find it easier to grasp where we are at today, based more on where we thought we were not all that long ago. In other words, one often finds more truth in the safety of past future projections when we collectively imagined we still had enough time to mitigate a change of direction, compared to the real-time emotionality of having to parse together a clear perspective on where we are now based on the latest evidence.

    For this reason, I suspect this is why most adherents of NTE are statistically past their prime, for one needs some kind of past basis for our current position to provide a distinct perspective. The whole historical arc of climate science over the last thirty years has established its own pattern of optimism bias, but while a few lone voices in the wilderness were getting it right all along, we have always been in need of the passage of time for us to figure it out.

    With that said, I offer this 15min video from one of my past favorite climate journalist, Ross Gelbspan.

    It is from 2009, and back then–only four years ago–I considered this video to be the most sober video I had ever come across–other than maybe Lovelock–for he was one of the first to state so candidly that we had already committed ourselves to crossing numerous tipping points.

    It is only in retrospect that we are fully able to comprehend what opportunities have been lost, and sadly realize what wishful thinking those alleged opportunities actually were. (Read the basis of cynicism). Because one is able to take what was being said then, and add to it what has transpired since, and our endless folly practically leaps out of the pages of history regardless the subject matter.

    Where NTE comes into play, is now we get to add to the litany of existing past evidence, everything we’ve learned over just the last 3-4 years, i.e. the Arctic death spiral among other things. And IMO, it is from this juxtaposition of what we thought we knew, compared to what we now know that we truly begin to understand the meaning of the point of no return.

  • Daniel,

    As I’ve said many time, no-one knows what the future holds in detail. No-one knows how the various climate events we’ve set in motion will play out. I’m resigned to severe consequences of climate change, coupled with all the other environmental degradation. At the moment, I don’t think it’s possible to see exactly where that will lead. I’m not sure what you mean by a smoking gun but I have to admit that there will probably never be definitive evidence of near term human extinction. Perhaps that’s just as well, since, if there were, I’m pretty certain I’d take quite a different direction from the one I’m on now.

  • ulvfugl

    I agree what you point out to Artheads.

    An example is the very great difference in terms of heat and water dynamics with a relatively modern city. It acts as a heat sink and diverts water from ordinary precipitation. The regional weather and climate dynamics cannot be but radically changed.

    Cutting down the Earth’s great forests was the biggy for my money, but not that I got to see them in anything other than my dreams. But still it was awe inspiring just the same. Very humbling to drift among those giants, IMO.

  • “With that said, I offer this 15min video from one of my past favorite climate journalist, Ross Gelbspan.

    Thanks, Daniel. Gelbspan got it nearly all right. If he’s still with us, I wish we could get him on this blog. Things are unraveling so fast that not even Jesus could have foreseen the degree of their worsening since 2009.

    The weakness might have been some deficit in the coherence between “game over” for climate change and how his recommendations would affect that. The nuclear-meltdown card (not mentioned) would be highly uncertain even if we could hide from floods and grow food underground with solar lights.

    He’s totally prescient about totalitarianism.

  • 2009. So long ago. And this one from 2008:

  • Guy,
    My Bella looks a lot like Savanna and when her time comes I know that I will be devastated. I can only imagine how you are feeling. My deepest sympathies.


  • Daniel says: …most adherents of NTE are statistically past their prime….

    I can skim through the morning doom news,
    Then enjoy a nice afternoon snooze;
    Given what’s been foretold,
    I don’t mind being old,
    Unlike someone with something to lose.

  • @Artleads: “So whatever people think of NTE, we live in interesting times for the human imagination, and it is fascinating to see how the very near-term future will play out within that context.”

    I was just thinking how things are really starting to unravel. Collapse is accelerating. Where to start? There’s the dying bee colonies, disappearing amphibians, mass die off of manatees, the constant stream of extreme weather events — epic floods in one part of the country while massive wildfires wreak havoc in another, and don’t let’s forget the recent bout of massive tornados this year and last.

    Economically, things are barely being kept together through smoke and mirrors. How much longer before the duct tape gives and the bottom falls out?

    Terrorism is mainly being kept out of the US for now, but at what cost to our civil liberties? And it’s still raging in just about every other corner of the world. As are the massive street protests (and occasional violence) of the discontented who feel they’re being screwed out the future they grew up envisioning. Oh, and the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere just hit 400 ppm. Interesting times indeed!

  • Given the advanced stage of mounting irreversible positive feedbacks, and the earth’s established thermal inertia, when does the burden of proof shift from having to prove NTE, to having to disprove it?

    Because it seems that many critics of NTE, might as well be arguing that just because a car with no breaks or steerage, which is ever accelerating towards an inevitable brick wall, hasn’t actually hit the wall yet, then there is no reason to think it will until there is direct evidence it has.

    I believe that one of the major problems some are having with NTE, is that they come here expecting some kind of logical deduction of evidence to definitely prove it. However, NTE is almost entirely an inductive process. There are only probable outcomes to be found here, and from an inductive perspective, NTE begins to look very likely.

    As far I as can tell, the only people here who use words like “exact(y)”, “certain(ty)” and “definitive” have almost entirely been those who don’t accept NTE. That’s not a coincidence.

    Now, why those who claim to understand science, but fail to grasp that there is no such thing as “certainty” in science, is far more revealing than the evidence ever could be.

  • @ Tony

    As I’ve said many time, no-one knows what the future holds in detail.

    But you don’t need to know the fine detail. If you see a guy in a car driving towards a cliff at 100 mph, or an aircraft with failed engines plunging towards the ground, you can just use common sense to predict what will happen. You don’t need to be a scientist, you don’t need any special committees to investigate what’s going on. If we make this planet uninhabitable, like Mars, then we all get to die. It’s not about detail. That is what we are doing, destroying the biosphere, making this planet unsuitable for human existence.

    The detail that is debatable is the timeline. To get an accurate assessment as possible means looking at ALL the factors involved, not just the climate. It also means understanding how much we have been lied to, and who can be trusted to give honest information.

    I’m pretty certain I’d take quite a different direction from the one I’m on now.

    Maybe it’s not only about YOU.

    For 27 years, forests around Chernobyl have been absorbing radioactive elements. A fire would send them skyward again – a growing concern as summers grow longer, hotter and drier.

  • @ Rob

    But, if that happens, who will shut down the Nukes? Maybe we should have a contingency plan for this possibility? Any volunteers?

    Yup. Methinks they need to bolt on a degree in nuclear physics and engineering to the permaculture designers course. Still won’t work though will it, because nobody has figured out where to put the waste. Dump it in the nearest river or ocean ?

    @ Daniel

    Thanks for the links

    I just came across this story about an apparent citizen revolt which torched 40 TONS of GMO sugar beets. It appears it’s not big news when a LOT of people gather to commit a crime against big business agriculture! Maybe they are afraid we might rise up about other stuff and not continue to sit on our collective butts and just whine and complain:

  • Great one, Erin. The diversity, the absurdity! Absolutely sublime!

    “2009. So long ago. And this one from 2008:

    The poor English guy–Pierce? You just can’t think your way through this shit. You can’t “try”, you can’t “struggle”. It will all be for naught. The old French guy was lovely. Imagine scaling glaciers at 82! He was only doing what he loved and made him happy. Totally at one with the earth…

    I was thinking not to take planes anymore, even to see, or concerning, my dearest relatives to whom I owe much. Now I have more of a reason behind (and to support) my sentiment.

    The odd thing, though, is that I can’t shake my optimism about the future (where us fortunate and privileged ones are concerned). Crazy, I know. :-)

    Someone posted that the Brazilian kids only wanted more. But so what? They are fighting the power. You start out protesting for more, and then you discover that it’s about more than wanting more. If my consciousness can be expanding at an advanced age, how much more so will the kids’. To discourage any resistance against the power would be a mistake. Wherever it does or doesn’t lead, it makes life worthwhile. It must continue without cease. It’s resistance time, babe. Happening all over the globe. The youth are not “trying”; they are merely doing what comes naturally.

  • I had a long think, and recalled something I read a few years back, after the worm turned for me on loaded up Catastrophic Climate Change and the real likelihood of Near Term Extinction.

    The idea is very simple, but so profound as to how we got here.

    Sometime around the emergence from the Ice Age, we as a human group began to live in a material way. That is the change, the pendulum began to swing in this direction.

    Materialism is not the same as consumerism, it is essentially about how one sees the world, and what is real, or of significance so one would take note, and respect.

    If one reads older texts, even 15th and 16th Century texts, one can find references to this change. Writers pointing out the profound changes they see, and , yes it is often in a Christian context, Dog and Mammon and all that, through those kind of ‘glasses’ as it were, but it is still Materialism, none-the-less.

    Perhaps we hear the term Materialism a little less now, when we list the ‘isms’ of the time, because the project is nearly done, nothing much has ‘value’ until it is threatened, or ‘we ‘ cannot have it for personal use. Almost all the life forms are seen as edibles or commodities, for our use. Some see and hear the birds and still see them as living beings. I find them laying on the verge of the road as I do my walking, and I feel for them in such a different way than the disconnection I once had when I was younger. They are life that is no more from my vantage now. And I take their little broken bodies and place it in the grass, and promise to remember them.

    Contrary to some peoples popular view, Materialism was not invented in the 1950’s in the USA, although consumerism may have been perfected there – may have been fully realised as a world view. Perhaps it began when several people forgot to talk to the tree when they cut it down, or didn’t honour the animal by doing a smoking ceremony for the spirit of the animal they will later eat, or they no longer served the natural shrines at the water’s edge to make peaceful relations with the world spirits in the hills, the lakes and rivers, indeed the great oceans and the sky.

    If ‘we’ treat the Earth and its ways as a machine, as ‘we’ have done for such a long time now, don’t anyone be surprised if it acts or simply rolls on with the same disregard for us as a machine in full swing.

    ‘Terminator will not stop …. Ever (,until you are dead)’

    One version of that future when not much remains, but it wont have A-grade actors and a sound track…

    ‘The Colony’

    Can’t say much more now, I need to vomit up the indigestible detritus from this culture….again.


    Declines in birds across the globe are providing evidence of a rapid deterioration in the global environment that is affecting all life on earth – including people. However, birds also tell us that saving the planet comes at a relatively small price – an investment that’s vital to secure our own future.

    These are some of the messages in a new report State of the world’s birds: indicators for our changing world by the world’s largest Partnership of conservation organisations, BirdLife International, who have gathered in Ottawa, Canada to launch the report and unveil their vision for a world rich in biodiversity, where people and nature live in harmony.

    The status of the world’s birds continues to get worse with many species slipping towards extinction and others in steep decline. Birds are facing threats on many fronts but habitat destruction and degradation, owing to changes in agriculture, as well as direct impacts from invasive species are the major causes. However, birds also provide a lens through which we can view all nature.

    “Birds provide an accurate and easy to read environmental barometer that allows us to see clearly the pressures our current way of life are putting on the world’s biodiversity”, said Dr Leon Bennun, BirdLife’s Director of Science, Information and Policy.

    [I guess we just like watching all the “dials” head to zero without doing anything about any of it. Such is humanity – killing itself for not realizing it’s all one interconnected and dependent system until it is too late for life-supporting action of any kind.]

  • When I was young people talked about the birds and the bees.

    Now they talk about the no birds and the no bees.

    Lets go back to 1950 and do this part of history the right way.

  • Tom

    It’s never too late….

    Never give up, Never surrender….

    Galaxy Quest (The original show)

    Light relief ?……authorised !

    ‘Alan Rickman Galaxy Quest Documentary’

    ‘What a Savings’


    ‘Galaxy Quest (1/9) Movie CLIP – How Did I Come to This? (1999) HD’

    Yes, very indulgent, apologies.

    Resuming normal transmission…

  • There is a very cutting joke in here which refers to the imperialist way.

    ‘galaxy quest documentary pt 1’

    It is also contained in the other really cult hit

    ‘Dark Star’

    Could not resist, very silly…

  • This by rights should be on the Obedience at Home thread, but here we are:

    Is this what B9K9 was proposing? (listen to the 3.5 min video included – positions are still available and they’re hiring, apparently)

  • Artleads, yes the revolts, especially of the young, are because they want a bigger piece of the pie. They won’t get it but if that is what they want to do, why not let them.

    However sometimes such things get out of hand. Supposing the 99 percent did oust the 1 percent. The idea that they would do a better job is questionable. In fact in many revolutions the mobs have become blood crazed. The French Revolution was followed by the Reign of Terror (see wiki entry on that if you are not familiar) After the revolution in Russia and China oppressive regimes were installed.

    I think we go extinct pretty soon, so I think if humans want to rise up and revolt – why not – something to do before the end. But on the whole revolutions don’t go very well. Much is made of our American Revolution, but in the early years the success of the venture was from the perspective of the white male landowners. Do you think the slaves cared who ruled them? That we have had a brief period of more freedoms is attributable to oil and soil wealth. The middle class was bought off. Those freedoms didn’t do much for the people’s whose land we stole.

    The problem is NOT the 1 percent. The problem is that we humans are Too Smart for our Own Good, per the book by Craig Dilworth. The problem isn’t even in our human genes, it is in all genes. Self replicating critters need resources and the planet is a ball and thus has limited resources. Self replication puts us in a vicious circle. The short explanation by Dilworth of the Vicious Circle Principle can be found at The book is a tedious 500 pages or so, but documents his case quite well. We are above all the smartest in a line of self replicators, but our pretensions to be something more won’t save us from our fate. Regardless of the actions of a few well meaning humans, we as a species are what our genes make us – self replicators competing with other species and within our own species for limited resources.

  • A 1993 essay by an ecologist delineates 3 major threats, probably underestimating climate change since that is accelerating so fast:

    However, his point that land-use change (or you could say, land – and ocean, lake and river – destruction) is the most harmful impact of human activity is nicely illustrated in the 3rd and 4th paragraphs of the following release, which also exposes the false promise of “green” energy replacing fossil fuels (and by the way, the situation in India is getting worse, see the top story at DesdemonaDespair):

    A statement on Uttarakhand disaster from India Cimate Justice, a collective of Indian Social Movements and other groups…please circulate widely and endorse.



    We cannot ignore the climate crisis anymore!

    25 June 2013

    The India Climate Justice collective notes with deep anguish the devastating loss of life, livelihoods, and homes in Uttarakhand and beyond. The death toll is likely in the thousands, way beyond current official figures. We extend our deep condolences to the families and friends of those killed, and our support to those still fighting for survival, and to local populations whose livelihoods will take years to rebuild.

    This tragedy was triggered by extreme unseasonal rains in North India, 2-3 weeks in advance of what is normal for this region. The Director of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Dehradun, said that 340 mm fell in a single day at Dehradun, a record not seen for five decades. Such extreme and unseasonal rainfall seems to us to indicate a global warming induced climate change phenomenon. Warmer air due to global warming has the capacity to hold more moisture, leading to more intense bursts of rainfall. The natural monsoon cycle in India has already been badly disrupted, and a new cycle of extreme rainfall events and prolonged droughts have been reported from all over the country in the recent past. Thus, contrary to statements by senior politicians, the Uttarakhand disaster is not natural: it is no less man-made than the other contributors to the tragedy. And if it is indeed induced by global warming, similar catastrophes could recur with increasing frequency and intensity anywhere in the country in the coming years.

    In Uttarakhand, a chaotic process of ‘development’ that goes back many years exacerbated the effects of this extreme rain. Extensive deforestation of mountain tracts, by the state and more recently due to ‘development’ projects, led to soil erosion and water run-off, thus destabilizing mountain slopes and contributing to more intense and frequent landslides and floods. Unchecked hill tourism has resulted in the huge growth of vehicular traffic, spread of roads not suitable to this mountainous terrain, and the construction of poorly designed and unregulated hotels and structures, many near rivers. Sand mining along river banks has intensified water flows into rivers.

    Most of all, the construction and planning of hundreds of small, medium and large dams across the Himalayan states from Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand in the northern Himalayas to Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh in the east, have destabilized an already fragile ecosystem and threatened biodiversity. A staggering 680 dams are in various stages of planning, or construction in Uttarakhand alone! These dams have a direct connection with the extent of the damage that can be caused in such flooding events, in that the tunnelling and excavation in the so-called run-of-the-river projects cause huge and unregulated dumping of excavated debris into river basins, leading to increased siltation, and in turn aggravating the flood situation. The electrical power generated by these dams will be consumed by urban elites elsewhere. It is ironic that these dam projects, while adversely impacting people’s access to their river commons, claim to be climate change solutions in the guise of renewable and green energy, and have already made huge profits by fraudulently claiming CDM (clean development mechanism) status. In 2009, the CAG had warned the government of Uttarakhand that the “potential cumulative effect of multiple run-of-the-river projects can turn out to be environmentally damaging”. Like many other warnings by environmentalists and local community groups in the past, this was also ignored. And now we are facing one of the biggest disasters that the country has seen in decades.

    The central government of India and various state governments, including the govt of Uttarakhand, have prepared action plans for combating climate change. Any such plan ought to include the establishment of a disaster-prediction and warning mechanism. The Uttarakhand government has taken no measures to prepare for this kind of eventuality, though it has paid lip service to climate action plans over the last three years. In the present case, the IMD issued inadequate warning, which was disregarded by the state government. An urgent prior warning could have ensured that pilgrims don’t move forward and retreat to relative safety, that locals reduce their exposure to risk to the extent possible. Thousands of pilgrims from different states, locals, workers in hotels and dharamshalas, and transport animals have been killed. Cars with people inside them were washed away. Those who have survived had to go without food for several days. Thousands are still stranded at different points, or in forests, and we are still counting the dead.

    There has also been extensive devastation of local lives and the regional economy. Serious devastation has been reported from over 200 villages, so far. Innumerable locals, including agricultural workers, drowned in the raging waters or were submerged under mud and debris. Houses have collapsed or been washed away. Tourism and the local employment it generates have been hit indefinitely at the peak of the tourist season. Floods, landslides and debris have devastated agriculture along the rivers. Irrespective of whether these extreme rains are due to climate change or not, this is what a climate change world in the Himalayas looks like. This devastation is a glimpse into a climate uncertain future.

    We see this tragedy as a result of cumulative and widespread injustice and wrongdoing: not only against the Himalayan environment, but also against mountain communities whose survival depends on that environment. This tragedy is also a crime, because our policy makers and administrators are also part of the larger climate injustice at a global scale that threatens, displaces and kills the marginal and the poor everywhere. On another plane, they simply let it happen. We believe that adaptation to disasters does not just mean desperate rescue work during and after the event, but also reducing vulnerability and risk before. Effective adaptation involves a series of measures that need to be adopted on a war footing. The sustainable development of a hill economy, and equity – not profit for a few – should be at its core.

    India Climate Justice demands:

    · That the governments at the central and state level retreat to a low carbon pathway of development that has equity, decent employment, and sustainability at its core.

    · That the planning and construction of dams in the entire Indian Himalayas be reviewed, and all construction be halted until such a review is carried out.

    · That the use of explosives in all such infrastructure development works is completely stopped.

    · That, given the likelihood of extreme rainfall events and other climate extremes in the future, extensive and sub-regional warning systems are put in place urgently across all the Himalayan states, the coastal areas and beyond.

    · That a proper assessment of the carrying capacity of specific ecosystems is carried out.

    · That the stretch from Gaumukh to Uttarkashi be declared an eco-sensitive zone without further delay.

    · That a river regulation zone be enforced such that no permanent structures are allowed to be constructed within 100 metres of any river.

    · That the residents and their organizations are thoroughly consulted in a democratic plan on climate change, in the revival of the local hill economy, and the generation of decent employment.

    · That all working people be compensated for the loss of life and livelihood, and that urgent plans are put in place for the revival of local livelihoods and agriculture.

    · That the central government learn from the Uttarakhand catastrophe to put in place prior adaptation measures not just for the mountainous regions but beyond, for coastal and the drought-prone interiors as well.

  • I watched “The Age of Stupid” and I raise my hand: Guilty as Charged.

    Things I am certain of:

    1) The toxic infrastructure of industrial civilization gets bigger and more toxic everyday.

    2) A 90 count bottle of 32.5 mg capsules of potassium iodide costs $20.95.

    3) NTE or no NTE, we are in for resources wars, pestilence, martial law, economic collapse, and the horrors that come after that (cannibalism, nuke meltdowns, etc).
    The price of gold continues to fall…

  • Kathy C,

    “The problem isn’t even in our human genes, it is in all genes. Self replicating critters need resources and the planet is a ball and thus has limited resources. Self replication puts us in a vicious circle.”

    Your points are well taken.

    We did live somewhat sustainably for a couple million years, and maybe due to what you describe we developed a far less sustainable lifestyle–civilization–thereafter. This was probably inevitable, and it is likely to be the killer of planetary life.

    Looking on wryly as an observer from outer space, I’d suggest that we use our great mental capacity that enables us to “look from a distance at ourselves.” Knowing what you and a significant numbers of others conclude about the genetic drive toward self destruction, I’d ask whether we couldn’t just learn to chill. With a kindly but dispassionate regard, I’d suggest that human affairs seem like a huge tangled web, a paralyzing, gargantuan knot. Maybe the trick is to stay still and just try to untangle it? Who knows? But that would be my suggestion. We are ornery, cussed beings, but if we (a critical mass, at least) are aware of it, we could just learn to cool it and try to get along–among ourselves as well as other forms of life? I’m not emotionally attached to the idea. Just sayin’.

    Regarding protest: We should have learned something from past revolutions. The expectation that they’ll change everything, usher in in a glorious new order, is something we should have collectively bypassed by now. All they can do is open a door to move to a safer and more livable room than that in which smoke inhalation is killing us. It gives us a little time to try and deal with the demons within us. It is simply an adventure on a slower path toward extinction (or the unknown).

    But it’s not just up to the kids on the street. We’re all in this together. It is an international struggle. We influence each other by what we say right here on this blog. Even by what we think while lying in bed. So I’m relatively trustful that the dynamics of protest won’t be any worse than the dynamics of acquiescence. Again, who knows? The notion that, due to the possible dangers of the latter, acquiescence is preferable to protest, would be hard to justify.

  • Roger, thanks for that Cousteau quote. In 1991 we had a population of about 5 1/4 billion people. We now have 7 billion. To clarify his quote, I believe in context he is not saying that 350,000 people need to die every day, but that 350,000 more than the birth rate. Currently there are about 350,000 births a day and 150,000 deaths. So the death rate per day would have to increase to 700,000 per day, or 450,000 more than the current death rate. In a year that would be 127 million reduction to the population. In 10 years 1.27 billion. At that rate it would take 20 years just to get back to 1991 population number.

    Whenever you do the numbers it is overwhelming and clear that some major crisis is needed to save us from ourselves, war, pandemic etc. However since we have so thoroughly trashed the planet the ending population looks like it will be 0 and that we will be dying at a much higher daily rate than 700,000 per day.

    Once you know where you are at with population and you set a number we should be at by a certain date, you have to do the calculations and the calculations tell you we cannot do this by birth control.

  • @ Artleads:

    The outcome is the same – protest or acquiesce – makes no difference.

    If you don’t know what to do, then do nothing.

    If you are powered by your convictions to protest, then at least do so with The Solution as your goal:

    90% of humans need to die (quickly), the toxic infrastructure of industrial civilization needs to be dismantled, the surviving humans must live in harmony with Nature (plant no crops, build no cities).

    Seeing as The Solution seems only possible through

    1) cataclysmic runaway environmental collapse – which meand pretty much that everyone and everything dies – nukes all go fukushima, etc.


    2) full scale militarization of the planet, with TPTB in control of our enslavement and extermination.

    Which do you prefer?

    If The Resistance has an actual plan to implement The Solution, I will join right now. Otherwise, I’m going to ride the train over the cliff, staring out the window.

  • I have nothing to lose, I will gladly give my life to The Resistance. Just tell me where to go, what to do!

    Should I throw myself in front of a coal train? There’s plenty of them running through Denver every single day.


  • @ Rob

    Yes, that would work, but make sure you have a copy of Ted Kaczynski’s Manifesto in your coat pocket – and call the local news station and tell them what time you will be there (if you can coordinate the train schedule close enough, not sure if that is possible). Or at least have someone camera phone video and upload to youtube.

    PS: thank you for your sacrifice, now, if we could get 6 billion more…

  • Thousands of dead and dying bees were found in the parking lot of a shopping center in Wilsonville, Ore., southwest of Portland. Oregon officials say their preliminary investigation indicates blooming trees in the lot were recently sprayed with an insecticide known to be toxic to bees.

    Stupid Humans.

  • Bad Sign:

    The millennials (ages 18 – 34) have grown into adulthood with some personality problems that the boomers lacked, including high rates of narcissism, materialism, unrealistically inflated expectations and a startling lack of independence. American college students scored 30% higher on the 40-item Narcissistic Personality Index in 2006 than they did in 1979.

    And many experts lay the blame for some of these problems at the feet of the parents, specifically those who bought into the then-popular “everybody gets a trophy” school of child-raising—showering their kids with positive affirmations and telling them they could be anything they wanted to be, says Twenge, also the author of “Generation Me.”

    …Are these the troops of the Resistance? I don’t think so.

  • My condolences, Guy. I’ve lost a lot in this life, but nothing ever hit me as hard as my 20-year old cat moving on. You have my sympathies.

  • Lee Camp posted the following:

    Even if you don’t agree with the conclusion to fight, it’s a great little history lesson. Plus a nice sneak peek on what is coming.

  • “There’s going to be more vultures.”

    That was the opening paragraph to an article in the local paper today about the disappearance of familiar bird species and the arrival of others from the south.

    I read a double meaning into it …!

    Re. Savanna, I was never a ‘dog person’, but my husband really wanted a Bernese Mountain Dog so I relented. Oscar is brave, kind, and has an innate sense of fairness that should shame any human.

  • Mammal And Bird Extinctions Will Greatly Increase In Frequency During The Next 40 Years

    Human population growth over the next 40 or so years will cause the extinction of a great number of mammal and bird species, according to new research from Ohio State University.

    The new research states that a typical growing nation should expect at least 3.3% more threatened species in the next decade and an increase of 10.8% species threatened with extinction by 2050. (Author’s note: When taken together with the large body of previous research on this subject, these figures are very ‘optimistic’…)

    As per the research — the US is currently ranked sixth in the world with regards to the number of new species expected to be listed as ‘threatened’ by 2050.

    While there has been previous work done which has suggested “a strong relationship between human population density and the number of threatened mammal and bird species at a given point in time,” this is the first that definitively links expanding human populations to a decline for these other species, and to their possible extinction.

    The lead researcher of this new work had previously created “a model based on 2000 data to forecast future threatened species connected to human population growth projections, and published the predictions in 2004. In this new study, that model’s predictions were confirmed by 2010 actual figures.” The researchers then utilized the same model — which contains data on 114 countries — to extend the predictions to the year 2050.

    “The data speak loud and clear that not only human population density, but the growth of the human population, is still having an effect on extinction threats to other species,” said Jeffrey McKee, professor of anthropology at Ohio State and lead author of the study.

    “The findings suggest that any truly meaningful biodiversity conservation efforts must take the expanding human population footprint into consideration — a subject that many consider taboo.”

    “Our projection is based on human population density alone. It doesn’t take into account climate change, industrialization or wars. So the actual numbers that we predict for 2050 will be very different because everything we do will exacerbate the problem,” he said. “You can do all the conservation in the world that you want, but it’s going to be for naught if we don’t keep the human population in check.”

    Ohio State University explains the specifics of the research:

    McKee collected data on threatened species from the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, and obtained human census data for 2000 and 2010 from the world database of the U.S. Census Bureau. Overall species richness data came from the United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre’s Animals of the World Database. He created a model using equations to analyze relationships among these variables.

    After using 2010 data to confirm that the decade-old predictions came true, the researchers used the same equations to determine that between now and 2050, the nations that see the most population density growth will experience higher numbers of species facing new threats of extinction.

    Only five nations rank higher than the United States in predicted new species threats by 2050. The Democratic Republic of the Congo tops the list, with a predicted new threat to more than 20 species in that time frame. The analysis suggests about 11 species will be newly threatened with extinction in the United States.

    The model also suggests that the 21 countries with projected declining human populations by 2050 will see an average reduction in threatened species of 2.5%. The findings were bolstered by the fact that nine of the 12 nations with population declines between 2000 and 2010 showed a modest decrease in the number of threatened species of mammals and birds.

    “There are an estimated 12 million species of plants and animals on earth, and the human population exceeds 7 billion — with a gain of an estimated 214,000 people each day.”

    “When the population stood at 6 billion, McKee led a project with his students in which the group divided the planet’s land surface area among all the world’s people to determine how much space was available to each person. At that time, each of the world’s humans could claim space roughly equivalent to Ohio Stadium, which seats more than 102,000 football fans.”

    “If we get to 11 billion people, which is where we’re supposed to peak, then the amount of space you have per person is a lot smaller than that stadium. When you’re left with less space, there’s virtually no space left for most other species,” he said.

    The new research was published this week in the journal Human Ecology.


  • I’m sorry for your loss, Guy.
    I loved that last pic of her – you can tell how loved and connected she was to humans by how she looked at the camera/person in that pic – she was treated well.


    Since the theme of this post is animals, I must now vent about my brother, who thinks it’s just fine to kill ‘livestock’.

    My brother says they are just livestock,
    Someone should do slicies on his cock.
    It’s all in the name,
    Makes them all look the same,
    And who cares about killing a rock.

  • From the OSU release about Freidrich’s story (too little too late alert):

    Loss of species, and especially so-called keystone species that are important to the environment because they function as significant predators and prey, can disrupt ecosystems. Plants and animals also help the planet adjust to climate change, provide oxygen and are sources of food and medicines, McKee noted.

    An expanding human population footprint is “one of the biggest concerns of this century,” McKee said. “Part of the resistance to addressing the problem is that human population size and growth is difficult to talk about and difficult to do anything about. To keep the human population in check, you have two options: increase the death rate or decrease the birth rate. I think the latter is the better choice.”

  • Pat:

    “The outcome is the same – protest or acquiesce – makes no difference.

    If you don’t know what to do, then do nothing.”

    $20B proposed for public transport in Brazil. Not bad. Will the vultures descent upon the project and (m)uck it up in some way or another? More than likely. But, like throwing spaghetti at the wall, some element of proposals like this will stick. Which is not saying they will save the world. It’s just that they are not bad, given the alternatives. It’s like Guy trying to live sustainably without claims or expectation therefrom. It’s what a decent human does.

    It’s already the end time for millions of people in Africa and South Asia, etc. But that time has not yet arrived for the majority of us on the globe. That train is not going over the bridge for us today. So we continue to act like decent people…or should we go batshit crazy? Or should we do an Oblomov and just remain in bed?

    As you have implies or said, nobody is qualified to tell us what to do. The youth are standing against power. I’ll not join them on the street, but I’ll give them my encouragement. I think that what they are doing is better than the alternatives, even though I didn’t and wouldn’t advocate for them to do it.

    Being highly fortunate and not having so far (or hopefully ever, since starving might be preferred) to fight and kill for every morsel of food and drop of water, I’m not planning on eliminating myself toward that 6 billion reduction goal. (The B9K9 horrors, however at-the-ready in the wings, are not here yet in the West.) My ideal is to treat others the way I want them to treat me. So no proposal for the elimination of anyone. We stand and fall as we may.

    In Erin’s video:

    A Nigerian woman carries desperately-scarce water in an old plastic container. She pours the water into another container for cooking or something. She’s totally unconcerned as small (but to my mind, significant) amounts of water spill onto the ground. This might have been the same woman who thought America was paradise–she’d want to live forever if she were there. But she didn’t get it that even a drop of water can’t be wasted without concern. And she didn’t get it that America’s worldview is what’s behind the hell imposed by Shell Oil in her village. THAT lack of awareness worries me, and it’s what I want my personal practice to refute.

    But that’s just the way I am. I’m not trying to DO anything. I believe in doing nothing. The great Japanese ecological philosopher Fukuoka said: “This is the age of do-nothing convergence.” I believed that before I read him, and I believe that still.

    Things happen, and I align my natural processes with them. I’m not trying to DO anything. (But I still have a bad habit of engaging in low-productivity busywork. I hope to minimize it considerably.)

  • Hey OzMan: thanks!

  • I just listened to the entire 1 hour Chris Hedges audio.

    He is slamming Golman Sachs for speculating on commodities that results in inflated prices for basic food staples and therefore starves the poor worlwide. He calls this murder.

    But, isn’t that what we want? Don’t we want 90% of the Earth’s population to die? At least TPTB are doing what they can to kill us – what have YOU done today to kill off 90% of the Earth’s population?

    This is exactly what B9K9 is talking about – sit on your ass all day and speculate on commodities and you can kill hundreds of people all over the world and MAKE MONEY

  • Here I go again, following my habit of dropping a writing effort at the end of a thread where it will be promptly orphaned. (As if it mattered much, to be read or not.)

    On one screen I have David Wasdell (I get him mixed up with Wadhams) and on the DVD, I have “On The Beach” from the library. Somebody else must have it on reserve, too, because I can’t renew it. Switching back and forth, probably an emotional limit fuse burning somewhere inside me?

    I’m at the scene where the young Aussie lieutenant (Anthony Perkins) has brought home “sleeping pills” to his oh-so-cute young wife (and their suspiciously quiet newborn) and has just described the progression of radiation sickness which approaches them.

    “And this cures it?”
    “Darling, you know nothing cures it. This ends it.”
    “But, Peter… I couldn’t do that. Who’d look after Jennifer?”

    Moments of truth, brought home to our unbelieving ears and minds, in whatever way it finally hits us.

    I told you before of my Lineage of Doom: Articles on Strontium 90 when I was 7, propagandized “missile gaps” and Russian bombers supposedly flying overhead at age 9, Cuban Missile Crisis at 12 (walking home from school: “See you tomorrow!” “If we don’t get blown up tonight!”)

    This movie by Stanley Kramer must have been on TV, because I would not have seen it in the theater at age 10, and I do remember much of it. (We had no film recordings back then!!! Amazing factoid?!)

    This is what we grew up with. So NTE is just recycling us around to get bitten by a different snake. A twisted course, indeed, to Daniel’s acceptance.


    I’m following Dr House here in thanking others for all they’ve provided, and I DO open about half of the links to read/watch (and spend the rest of the day trying to clear my computer of all the open windows!!!)

    A couple weeks ago, it hit me that my awakening to methane, via Guy & AMEG last September, was a pretty amazing blind spot on my part. I mean, I’m Mr Hypervigilant to all sorts of threats, and the residues of Al Gore and 350 and such were swirling around in the back of my mind. But it had never really hit me before then. Guy put it together in the way that got to me.

    Now I’m able to go back in some of these links and see just how many were on to it over the past six years or so. I think we could make the case that Guy himself should not be attacked as being so controversial, in the Deniers’ own “logic”, in that what he has done is summarized, “packaged”, interpreted and presented in his own style (a la Carl Sagan) the science originating from others’ work.

    Meaning, it was all out there, if you wanted to see it. Guy is just “the guy” known for drawing the necessary conclusions (like obtaining the suicide pill while awaiting the radiation clouds) and publicizing the NTE label.

    Pure denialism, in not liking the conclusion. Attack the messenger. No, if you don’t like the interpretation, go back into the science and interpret it convincingly yourself. Differently, if you can.

    Anyway, some of these recent links to lectures — Dan Miller at Berkeley on (2009!), Kevin Anderson’s Cabot lecture, Cory Morningstar’s 2011 (on “biggestlieevertold” wordpress) articles so complete on the methane knowledge dating way back into the 90s — show just how long some of these people have lived with this knowledge, waiting for the rest of us to catch up with them. Now we get to share in their frustration.

    Guy is simply putting the “too little, too late” finis to the whole learning process.

    Indeed, one of my early responses, after seeing Guy’s presentation a few times, was that I should go out on the stump and do a similar “Road Trip of Doom” lecture circuit.

    Could be the ultimate Standup routine… George Carlin is probably “looking down on us from up there” wishing he could add the subject to his routine.


    Bits ‘n’ pieces

    Daniel, yes the Burden of Proof is shifting. Still confused in the minds of individuals, who recognize that, NTE or not, they are going to perish amongst the billions who do, and then trying mentally to shift to the atmospheric overview of surveying the last survivors: “Well? Does it get them, too? I mean, after I’m gone?” Difficult mental gymnastics, for anyone to accomplish. The ultimate abstraction, carried out on the thinnest of mental reeds…

    Artleads: Flying. I’m an addict, and I definitely burn way more airline fuel than auto fuel. I’m getting a yucky feeling now when I turn on my car, going even a few miles just to get out of the house, have lunch, pick up mail, return a movie. I’m starting to aim for alternating days leaving the car undriven. Good Prius candidate? But the flying — that’s going to be hard. I console myself with taking free or cheap trips that would have likely been empty seats anyway, but that’s a thin premise for an excuse. Fewer trips, stay longer, I guess.

    Ozman: The change in human consciousness toward materialism. One thing I heard only a few years back — that most humans in Medieval times had no sense of their own internal thought-voice, could not “think for themselves” in that, any voice they were hearing internally must have been divine or demonic, some other entity than themselves. So their priests, the only ones who could read, had taught them, anyway. Is it possible that the process of hearing oneself think, as you and I do today, was a culturally-learned change that came about only recently?

    And, my own perspective, coming from continual amazement at how SMALL human populations were in times past, when great events or changes or whatever occurred, as in examples like “Athens had 40,000 residents” (don’t quote me on that), London 20,000-50,000 in medieval times (again, not sure) but the point is that we have totally overwhelmed our natural surroundings today.

    The way this plays out, I suspect, is that for all but the last few hundred years, humans lived surrounded by nature. They could believe — HAD to believe — that a force greater than themselves, God or Nature, ruled the Earth and ruled their lives. And they had better adjust to it.

    Once they began to live in an urban environment, surrounded only by the creations of Man, they could begin to think that Man was God. Pathways to insanity and megalomania, IMO, originate in the crowding and nature-forgetfulness of urban environs.

    But then, I have always been a rural chauvinist.

    Gail — thanks for the link to and MacArthur essay from Pete Vitousek. (1994 warnings about CO2, etc.) I went to school with him and hadn’t thought to check what he’s up to. Damn, that Hawaii lifestyle keeps the dude looking fresh!

    Gotta get outside and see how “my” bees are doing on those blossoms — petals almost gone, and I’m not seeing as many bees as I remember from before.

  • I have measured my life in dogs. Ten in all and four are still with me. I miss all that are gone as much as I miss my old human friends. Dogs are the best. Seventeen years with a big girl like that is a serious blessing.

    Dogs are pack animals and there is always room for one more. It would not be disloyal. Another beautiful girl is waiting for you somewhere. Peace


    Dragon King beats Black Swan: Ted Talk with Didier Sornette

  • @Gail quoting McKee “Part of the resistance to addressing the problem is that human population size and growth is difficult to talk about and difficult to do anything about…”

    So true, I’ve caught hell from folks on the right (which I expect) but also from the left (which I didn’t) whenever I’ve tried to bring up overpopulation. It simply hits too many hot button issues – religion, ethnicity, personal autonomy/individuality, and so on. It’s exactly this sort of selfish stupidity that’s convinced me we’re doomed, even without climate change. Our collective lack of self-restraint, and our possession of technology, ensure that population will keep growing until we’ve utterly destroyed the natural environment that sustains life.

  • @ Pat: The Resistance does have The Solution as the goal:

    The Deep Green Resistance movement believes that civilization, particularly industrial civilization, is fundamentally unsustainable and must be actively (and very urgently) dismantled in order to secure a livable future for all species on the planet.

    DGR believes that lifestyle changes, such as using travel mugs and reusable bags and taking shorter showers, are too small for the large scale environmental problems the world faces.

    DGR maintains that humans must act decisively before the collapse to ensure the Earth that remains is inhabitable for all organisms and that humans build a more sustainably structured society following the collapse. Deep Green Resistance supports an active resistance movement with the objective of accelerating the collapse of industrial civilization.

    So, you can stop staring out the window and get to work.

  • Call to The Resistance:

    “We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons, but that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part!”

    And we’re just the guys to do it!

    @ Rob:

    If you are going to throw yourself in front of a coal train, make sure you take an innocent bystander with you – that way it will get a lot of publicity.

  • Obama’s Climate Speech: Hope and Change

    Waiting five years isn’t strange,
    Since there’s no plan to rearrange
    A damn thing; you’re no dope,
    So abandon all hope,
    And be confident nothing will change.

  • If you are going to throw yourself in front of a coal train, make sure you take an innocent bystander with you – that way it will get a lot of publicity.

    How about me, his pet dog? It fits with the spirit of the thread.

  • ‘Indeed, one of my early responses, after seeing Guy’s presentation a few times, was that I should go out on the stump and do a similar “Road Trip of Doom” lecture circuit.

    Could be the ultimate Standup routine… George Carlin is probably “looking down on us from up there” wishing he could add the subject to his routine.’ -henry

    carlin died 5 years and 3 days ago. he did incorporate a bit of doom into his act towards the end of his life, as many here are undoubtedly familiar with:

  • I hope you’re not ALL going to commit suicide. It’s quite lonely already. And anyway, maybe you’ll start disappearing against your will. Happened to a lot of brave ones before.

  • Paul Stamets – Solutions from the Underground

    An hour and a half

    Great intro presentation to all things Mycelium

  • Thanks ulvfugl for posting the video of the “disappeared” from Argentina. Granted, the same crimes are happening in Mexico as we speak! Humans are cruel animals. We will pay the price soon for our arrogant ways. Thank you again. Being married to an Argentinean, it was/is comforting to listen to the Argentinean narrator. Gracias!

  • Massive Wildfires Follow Record-Shattering Heat-Wave in Alaska
    A week after a record heatwave set off highest ever temperatures in Alaska, massive forest fires are blanketing vast areas of wilderness.

  • ulvfugl,

    If you see a guy in a car driving towards a cliff at 100 mph, or an aircraft with failed engines plunging towards the ground, you can just use common sense to predict what will happen. You don’t need to be a scientist, you don’t need any special committees to investigate what’s going on.”

    I agree, but what is happening is not quite like that, indeed, not at all like that. You can calculate when the car will hit the cliff if the driver does nothing to slow down or change direction; or maybe the car runs out of fuel or gets a puncture. With the plane analogy, again, you can calculate the time line, if the pilot does nothing or if the pilot doesn’t eject.

    Some of the detail may actually affect the final outcome. The collapse of the industrial global economy may happen before some tipping point. A supervolcano may cool the planet. Humans may change direction voluntarily. Oh, wait, scrub that last one, that’s just plain impossible. But unknowns can affect the outcome and the time line may be very long, giving more time for some unknown to have an impact on the outcome.

    Maybe it’s not only about YOU.

    Not sure what you mean. Certainly, I alone cannot affect the course of events (except insignificantly), so Chernobyl may make any actions I take moot. But my point was that “knowing” that near term human extinction is a certainty would very probably cause me to give up resistance, despite Guy’s urgings.


    I’m not sure who you’re referring to when you say that only those who deny NTE use words like “certainty”. I agree that in science nothing is certain. I have never ruled out near term human extinction but I don’t think it is even highy likely (in scientific terms). So far, I don’t think anyone has come up with a case for “highly likely”; if I’m wrong, I hope they get a guest post here to put that case. What has been used so far are projections from scientific research (or from simply listing all the ways that we are messing up our environment) but not all projections are the same, so there is a wide variance for the view of the future. Included in those scenarios are ones that are highly likely to terminate much life on this planet but there are plenty that don’t, though I don’t really see any that project a fairly comfortable existence for current and future generations so don’t take my so-called denial as an indication that I think everything’s going to be just fine.

  • “I Am Sorry That It Has Come to This”: A Soldier’s Last Words
    Daniel Somers was a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was part of Task Force Lightning, an intelligence unit. In 2004-2005, he was mainly assigned to a Tactical Human-Intelligence Team (THT) in Baghdad, Iraq, where he ran more than 400 combat missions as a machine gunner in the turret of a Humvee, interviewed countless Iraqis ranging from concerned citizens to community leaders and and government officials, and interrogated dozens of insurgents and terrorist suspects. In 2006-2007, Daniel worked with Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) through his former unit in Mosul where he ran the Northern Iraq Intelligence Center. His official role was as a senior analyst for the Levant (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, and part of Turkey). Daniel suffered greatly from PTSD and had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and several other war-related conditions. On June 10, 2013, Daniel wrote the following letter to his family before taking his life. Daniel was 30 years old. His wife and family have given permission to publish it.

    Letter at

    Please please read the letter.

    Those who fight to survive longer than those who don’t fight (whether to take or defend) may find themselves horrified at what they have become.

    From Zero Hedge On a long enough time line the survival rate of everyone drops to zero

    That is true for species, true for all life on this planet, and most certainly true for each of us.

    As for the dogs and cats, we do so love them don’t we? Yet I wonder when we begin to face starvation (if that is the way we go down), how many will feed the dog food they themselves need. Will you deprive loved humans food to eat to keep the dog alive. Will you refuse food to others who might stand at your doorway so that you can feed the dog. What if it is a woman with a baby, will you feed the dog and not the baby. Will you enjoy watching your dog starve with you because you can’t bear to give your dog an easier exit. I see people now let their pets suffer long and painful deaths because they can’t bear to lose them. I find that cruel. The choices we make now however are so much easier than the choices that face us when collapse hits.

    In the book One Second After, the grid comes down in a large part of the US due to an EMP attack. The main character keeps their loved dog alive in the same starvation mode as they are living in. But then his daughter becomes pregnant and they finally kill the dog to give her some protein. I’m all for having strong sentiments about loved domestic pets, but that is a luxury of good times and they are about to end. The good times of not having to see much death, not having to kill or be killed, etc have already passed for such people as the soldier who wrote the letter I linked to above. They never existed for the 3 billion people who live on $2 a day or less. The luxury of even keeping pets is about over.

    It is IMO time to think the hard thoughts. Who will I feed when we are on starvation rations? Is it ok to kill a pet so a child can eat? And of course like a broken record, is it OK to stay fertile with the chance of bringing a new child into the horrors? There will be precious little time for sentimentality once we leave the plateau and begin the long unending descent into extinction. Think the hard questions now.

  • @ Pilot 17

    Most welcome.

    @ Tony

    I agree, but what is happening is not quite like that, indeed, not at all like that….etc.

    Well, that seems to be because you are incapable of using your own common sense and are expecting someone else to tell you what you should think. Speak Softly had you sussed from the start, as has Daniel. You just don’t get it. You think being pedantic makes a difference to reality.

    Did you manage to understand why there is NO conflict between these two yet ?

    Thanks for that link to records, ulvfugl. However, is seems as though there a conflict between these two:

    Atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations (CO2, CH4, N2O) highest in over 800,000 years by ice core data

    Atmospheric CO2 concentration highest in 15 million years

    I guess the second includes the first but it seems like one is saying the highest CO2 in about 800,000 years, while the second says highest CO2 in 15 million years.


    Re this particular take on geo-engineering. I have an open mind. I really don’t know what is going on. I know there’s a lot of people who are fervent believers, and they could well be correct. Others scorn the idea. I don’t know.

  • Tony, thank you for being a sane voice of reason amongst this stark and poignant case study of confirmation bias. Your approach is the saner approach. Why? When the retort to what you’ve said is “you just don’t get it,” the person who proclaimed it has nothing but hollow conviction, and it’s been made clear in this space for quite some time now that the person who made that statement speaks for the group at large despite protests to the contrary.

  • this will make Wester happy:

    More than half of Americans don’t like their jobs, according to a recent poll. What’s more, up to one in five aren’t just uninspired at work but are actively damaging their companies by draining resources and lowering morale

  • We have a new/old prime minister. Kevin Rudd, the man who tried to levy the big miners and oil industry of some of their profits, who was then knifed by his own party, is now back as PM.

    ‘Kevin Rudd defeats Julia Gillard 57-45 in Labor leadership ballot, paving way for a return to PM’

    Julia Gillard’s speech was very fair and even affair, but I would like to just point out some of the first words of Wayne Swan, who also resigned and was the deputy leader and treasurer.

    ‘Swan proud of this Labor government’s legacy’

    He said,

    “…It is my belief that we live in a community, not in a corporation…”

    Speeches do not change things, but they can be honourable. and they can spell out the road ahead.

    Here in Australia it will be so important who wins the next election, because we have all that iron ore, coal, gas and some oil, but also, if the conservatives, what we call the Liberals, win, they will sell the place left right and center to the corporations.

    Austerity will emerge as the wedge to pay the corporations the public wealth, the tax office will be divided in two – an assessment arm, and a repo arm, which will no longer listen to the assessment arm.

    There is a chance now that that wont happen.

    I listened to the Chris Hedges podcast which talks to his recent book, ‘Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt’, put up by wildwoman, and also the ‘The Age of Stupid’ video.

    They are well worth the listening to.

    Listening to Chris Hedges lets one now that there is a great struggle going on, and it has been going on for such a long time, and it also makes one realise the poor quality of the public figures who inhabit places of power.

    It is still game over, but still a small chance to reset the pinball machine. At the moment it is stuck on ‘TILT’.

    Australia 2014….watch this space.

  • Whoever you are, stealing my name, and I can guess it’s the usual nasty little coward who doesn’t have the guts to use his own, kindly fuckoff.

    Apologies for being provoked into a third post by a troll.

  • I can assure you, Mr. Troll, that U is the least popular person on this blog and many of us would prefer he just go away.

    That said, he gets his 2 posts a day just like everyone else.

    @ Tony:

    The tone of the response is simply due to many painful years spent in utter futility. It really has NOTHING to do with you. What you are saying is no different that what Henry is saying, and nobody is attacking Henry.

    If you are not yet convinced of NTE, that’s fine, stay tuned and keep listening.

    The bottom line is this: overpopulation, scarcity of resources, political upheaval, religious tensions, changing climate, etc. all add up to AT LEAST a lot of trouble ahead VERY SOON.

    Over the last 10 years or so, the dilemma was “what to do?,” how to prepare, how to resist, how to make sense of it all and etc., etc., etc.

    TPTB are laughing at us no matter what we do, prepare, resist, resign, they don’t care.

  • @ U

    Thanks for the Chemtrails link – what I don’t get is “Why?,” what is their objective? Do you have an idea?

    Obviously they have the blessing of the US govt, otherwise our military could shoot them out of the sky!

    And, did you ever wonder exactly who assigns the label “Crackpot Conspiracy Theory” to these things?

    I think it is obvious that “The Government” is doing what they think will keep them in power, in control, and we (the everybody else) are just screwed. How sad that we willingly turn over our tax dollars so they can screw us with our own money. It sucks.

    I no longer pay ANY taxes at all (except some minor sales taxes when I’m able to buy anything). That is my paltry Resistance.

  • @ U

    Thanks for the Chemtrails link – what I don’t get is “Why?,” what is their objective? Do you have an idea?

    Obviously they have the blessing of the US govt, otherwise our military could shoot them out of the sky!

    And, did you ever wonder exactly who assigns the label “Crackpot Conspiracy Theory” to these things?

    see “crackpot conspiracy theories” at the website cracked dot com

    I think it is obvious that “The Government” is doing what they think will keep them in power, in control, and we (the everybody else) are just screwed. How sad that we willingly turn over our tax dollars so they can screw us with our own money. It sucks.

    I no longer pay ANY taxes at all (except some minor sales taxes when I’m able to buy anything). That is my paltry Resistance.