What can small countries do about climate change and peak oil?

by Godofredo Aravena

I live in Chile, a very nice country, with a reasonable standard of living (equivalent to about $15,000 per capita per year). The country is rich in natural resources and potential renewable energy and is characterized by abundance and a good climate (so far). Can I ask for more? I do not envy anybody in other parts of the world.

A few years ago I became worried about peak oil, climate change, and in general about the human footprint in the world. I was concerned about garbage (plastics mainly), and the results of consumption in general. I have tried to pay attention to my footprint in this world, thinking about my children, and their children, and so on.

But, what can we do as country, in my country, about these global problems? The scale of the problem is so enormous, in relation to our part in the problem (origin and current contribution), that despair fills me.

We can keep on living as today, and it will not make any difference. The same notion applies for many other countries around the world.

I have prepared a table (Table 1 embedded below), that includes about 60% of current population in the world, and about 80% of oil consumption, to provide some reference numbers about the situation. Most of the figures are taken from Wikipedia.

In Chile, we are less than 0.5% of the problem. Our whole country has no significance at all. The more we add countries to the table, the less significant we become.

We generate less carbon dioxide than the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area. We have fewer cars than that city.

If we consider per capita responsibility, we are still below average. As can be seen, even if we all die in Chile, there´s no significant impact in the world´s trends.

So my conclusion is that a large part of this world, including a big part of Latin
American countries (leaving out Mexico and Brazil), and most of the African countries, and some from Asia, have virtually nothing to do with the problem. We have contributed little to development of the problems in the past, and will contribute little to the problem in the future. Similarly, we have little potential to contribute to a solution.

Countries bigger or richer than Chile must change their way of living, or reduce population, or both. We have to sit and just watch. No matter what we do, it will have no measurable impact. But still we do something, and we will keep on doing something, even though I can clearly see that it will be absolutely useless.

My point is, whatever is to be done, has to be done by China, India, Russia, Japan, United States and Europe. Taking a generous view, we can add Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Canada and Saudi Arabia to the bunch.

Looking back, it is clear that atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions resulting from the consumption of fossil fuels stem from economically developed countries in pursuit of a high standard of living for their people. There is little or no concern for the rest of the world and the future.

Using the same logic, we can hardly blame China and India today for their part in the today’s situation. The industrial revolution began in 1850, and India and China became important in the world’s industrial economy no more than 20 years ago with respect to oil consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.

My final conclusion is that this problem has no solution beyond the collapse of the industrial economy in the United States and Europe. China and India will stop growing without consumers from the United States and Europe. The internal growth of these two countries will take a long time to reach a size problematic to the rest of the world in the absence of the United States and Europe.

Table embedded here

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Godofredo Aravena is a 52-year-old ship designer who spent 15 years working in the most important shipyard in Chile to become head of the Naval Architecture Section. He worked nine years as an independent naval architect, with a small office in Concepción, Chile. He and his wife have two daughters and a granddaughter.

___________

Somewhere in New Mexico Before the End of Time: a review by Kevin Moore

To quote Robert Newman, British social commentator and comedian: where do you begin? For Robert Newman, 1609 was a good place to begin because that was when the Sea Venture sailed westward across the Atlantic with a cargo of “troublemakers” to repopulate the failing colony at Jamestown. Four hundred years later Mike Sosebee made a film which documents some of the destruction that Industrial Civilisation has wreaked upon the Earth, to a large extent as a consequence of the “success” of Jamestown, and the subsequent colonisation and industrialisation of the land mass that eventually came to be known as the United States.

Somewhere in New Mexico Before the End of Time tells two narratives at once; one narrative portrays some of the insanity of Industrial Civilisation and the culture of empire and consumerism which are in the process of rendering the Earth largely, or perhaps completely, uninhabitable for humans and other large mammals in a matter of a few decades as a consequence of escalating pollution and conversion of the natural world into stuff; the other narrative depicts the efforts of emeritus professor Guy McPherson to challenge the culture of empire and consumerism, and lead by example towards more sustainable ways of living.

In this film, Mike focuses attention on a man who was so disgusted by what he saw Industrial Civilisation doing to the living planet, and could no longer be a part of it, he quit his secure and well-paid employment “at the pinnacle of empire” to attempt to live a more normal way of life. The decision to leave the pinnacle of empire is described as “walking away from empire” and “going back to the land.” (Guy admitted that prior to locating to the thermally efficient straw bale house, referred to as “the mud hut,” his practical skills were severely limited; why would a successful university professor need to know how to use a screwdriver or a hammer? Why would a professor need to know how to grow vegetables, to keep bees or to milk a goat?)

The response of the viewer will undoubtedly depend on the previous exposure to the concept of real sustainability and their knowledge of how the Earth works as a complex physical-chemical-biological system; those with little knowledge or understanding may well dismiss Guy’s efforts to bring the crucial issues of our times to the fore as misguided silliness; those who have known Guy for many years and have taken an interest in the progression of western society “towards, and eventually off the cliff” are treated to behind-the-scenes revelations that demonstrate the determination of those in power to drive us all “off the cliff,” and know that to take a stand against looting and polluting incurs high personal costs.

No intelligent, caring, connected person can view this film without being deeply moved, and probably deeply saddened that the real heroes in western societies are largely ignored.

And I am certain that very soon a large number of people who are presently caught in the web of deceit that Industrial Empire spins are going to discover that they too will need to know how to grow vegetables, or keep bees or milk a goat.

Somewhere in New Mexico Before the End of Time may be the eye-opener that points them in the right direction.

Thank you Mike and all those who supported you.

Comments 227

  • Godofredo: Your great question parallels that of “what can i do while living in this country (USA) to stop the madness, destruction and death that our so-called way of life, which we personally had nothing to do with, imposes on us by birth and geography?”

    It takes a long time for most people to figure out what’s going on in their life, since as children we rarely question why we do what we do and the process of “education” (or brainwashing as many see it) supports and rewards us for becoming a “productive member” of our society. Once we begin “thinking for ourselves” (which may or may not actually happen) we find, as some here have, that we’re basically prisoners – and have been all along – through the soft control of social, economic, religious, psychological and educational mind management. If that doesn’t work then police intervention, military service and mental institutionalization can begin to convince us of the “error of our ways” so that only a very small fraction of citizens actually come to the conclusion that anything is wrong or even question the actions of politicians or the changes taking place in their community, state or country.

    In the list of countries you list as prime culprits, especially the US and Europe, consumption is required, expected and encouraged 24/7. In fact, through the manipulation of media and advertising, problems are created or highlighted and solutions to them are proffered while distraction and bombardment with images of conformity are showered on us every moment of our lives. We aren’t even aware of the ones that happen through suggestion via embedded micro-messaging in the images on the various screens we watch.

    Rebellion of any kind brings with it the labeling of “disgruntled,” “trouble-maker,” “rebel” and the like and if the mental-health industry doesn’t work, there’s the law and police state waiting in the wings. At this point, questioning the policies or politics of our leaders brands us as terrorists and we find ourselves on FBI or NSA lists, our travel is restricted, our communications watched and employment may be jeopardized.

    If we protest, say regarding fracking or Occupywhatever, face-recognition software or FBI or CIA plants can identify us to “law enforcement” and we’re associated with everyone else in the group, despite the fact that we may not agree with each other on many other political issues. If we’re arrested we become part of the legal system and a record is kept of our actions which again can effect employment. So actions out of the mainstream are difficult, dangerous, potentially costly and can even be deadly.

    None of this is to be construed as an excuse not to act or think, but only to illustrate how hard it is even to try. Once a person decides, despite all of the above, that they must act out or try to stop the on-going environmental destruction they are faced with the daunting task ahead – speaking out to those in power (like some of the brave here), forming or joining groups to effect political change and raising social awareness to the problems when all of the above works to keep everyone in line.

    In all honesty there’s little one or even groups can do, especially now, here in the US, when it’s become obvious to anyone paying attention that the government and industry are one and the same. That is, the federal government has become the steering committee for multi-national corporations and is wholly owned and operated by them solely. People have been relegated to the status of “marks” or “pawns” to be manipulated and used from birth to death as human resources with little to no power unless towing the corporate line and producing new ideas for them to exploit.

    In conclusion, there isn’t anything any of us can actually do. Even armed insurrection is close to impossible (unless it comes from within the military or police state). Political change moves so slowly (it used to be termed “glacially” but now that’s even too fast a metaphor) as to be ineffective, while the pace of social decay and loss is accelerating.

    We’ve gone over the fact that it’s too late anyway here, that due to climate change, especially with looming Arctic sea ice loss, it will become increasingly harder to grow food, storms will cause more destruction, disease and environmental loss is growing while politically and socially our lives are becoming more restricted and controlled by the police state we live in.

    We’ve also discussed that these conditions force many of us into “last stand” mode – where we act despite knowing it will do little to change anything. This is where the real answer to your essay lies – in the personal response of each of us. Many blog about the issues, many protest and attempt political change, some decide it’s fruitless and reserve their energy for local or personal effect. There is no right answer, of course, and “ya just gotta do what ya gotta do.”

    So far as countries are concerned it would be great if the United Nations or some such body would take a stand against this corporate control and destruction, but they’re as bought and owned as the rest of the upper echelons of the political class. World War III would only benefit the powers that be and is probably part of their strategy.

    [Denise, thanks for the kind thought on the last thread.]

  • Tom, a tour de force.

  • I wouldn’t be so quick to abdicate all responsibility. While it is true that the nations you named are the worst offenders, cars and industrialization are not the only problem. Loss of rain forest is another. http://www.rainforestinfo.org.au/wrr39/chile.htm

  • You can start by not making a target of yourself. Keep your mouth shut, or risk being overrun by refugees from Oklahoma and Colorado.

  • I would also put mining on the list of things Chile is doing that isn’t too sustainable.

    Heard a rumor about massive unrest in Chile which is not being covered by our beloved MSM. Is it true?

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #18

    Cold, unrelenting
    torrent churns grit into mud.
    Stones knock together.

    @Benjamin TD: Your latest is great! TDGAFAY- a new (old) acronym?

  • I was in Chile a year ago. Beautiful country and lovely people.

  • Thank you Señor Aravena, for pointing out our trespasses. Humanity has trekked down the path to this point with the deep faith that “it’s all good”.

    Even the narratives we tell ourselves support the ideas of more and faster. The ancient (brown) Indian epics and mythologies refer to the tribal (hunter-gatherer) folks as primitive, “low/no caste” forest dwellers. Similar paradigms are foisted on us by most other “civilised” traditions. Cities were always associated with “civilised”, comfortable ways of life.

    The comforts of technology lead many to believe that technology is primal, and will save us. It would be true if technology were indeed primal with energy availability a result of technology, rather than the other way around. In fact, even the extractive technologies from fire making to fracking were driven by the prospect of available energy whether the sunshine of recent years in wood or buried sunshine of millions of years ago.

    Even quite sophisticated people fail to recognise that it is the desire to use sequestered sunshine (or sequestered supernovas, in the case of nuclear power) faster and more effectively, that drives technology. And advanced extractive techniques such as fracking and deep ocean drilling are moves of desperation by societies locked-in to a lifestyle of profligate energy use in a preceding period of abundance, the desperation of depletion. The technologies are driven by the prospect of retrieving the dregs.

    The consequences of the lock-in are literally life or death – for billions. There is no retracing the steps, and turning back will bury billions, but that turning back will be imposed by nature chaotically and uncontrolled through resource depletion and environmental degradation (greenhouse gas pollution) since, as is likely, humanity will not find a way accomplish it voluntarily in an orderly and controlled manner. (There are some who believe that the 0.01% have plans underway to do just this.)

  • What can you do?

    Two things.

    Reduce your small contribution to the problem, and plan to survive.

    The three “Contributions”, i.e., THREATS. Cars, cows, coal.

    1. Are there traffic jams in Santiago, and other cities? Are there long commutes to work? (Somehow, I suspect not; at least hoping that Chileans are more intelligent than US Americans.) Why live with this?

    You are an engineer/architect. Design a better system. Would we tolerate our “smart” phones functioning as poorly as our societal designs?

    Does Chile manufacture cars? Refine oil? If not, then every kilometer driven by a solo driver is an impoverishment of the nation and its economy. Just because he can afford it doesn’t mean that you can.

    Target a reduction of automobile ownership and use by half. And then half again. Target: Zero. (It’s going to happen anyway.) By whatever means, but beginning with free mass transit. (Does this exist ANYWHERE in our befuddled world?)

    What Chile may hope to do by this leading move as a social laboratory is to set an example for others to follow. NBL (Not Bloody Likely), but possible. Doing one’s best… hope the rest are inspired to follow.

    2. Beef production. I’ll bet you’ve got it, as does most of South America. Sorry, vaqueros or gauchos, or whoever. Killing cows is killing us. Methane, baby.

    3. Heating and electric production. Does the mining there include coal? Shut it down. Hydroelectric only. You’ve got the mountains for it, so it’s probably prominent already.

    So, regardless of the aggregate totals, nation by nation, what a “small” country can do is collapse its proportional contribution to the carbon/methane output, before the overall climate devastation kills us all.

    Survival. Chile is known for its expanses of high desert. There must be many other high terrains and types of soil all up and down the long cordillera of the Andes.

    Study those soils, study and develop the crop varieties which can grow in each of them, and the develop the deep water resources to nourish them, in advance of the coming rainfall pattern distortions.

    Plan for the comfortable winding down of current population — feed those millions of old folks, but no, they won’t be driving to restaurants for a good steak anymore — and plan the farm work and food distribution networks needed to keep a sustainable population alive for as long as possible.

    Who knows? You may be the last country with a million humans left alive on the Earth.

    Oh yeah, and see what you can do about species diversity, and keeping alive as many DNA sequences as possible.

    Your remoteness is a strength; use it to good advantage.

  • I think the best possibility for turning us back from extinction is one or more religions capable of attracting large followings in the developed world, and based on radical simplicity of living, holding sacred and worshiping the biosphere (Nature), and sharing economic and other fruits of living equally. Politics, science, rational persuasion do not have the power to promote deep changes in people’s life ways. The failure of most past religions to take an effectively sustainable direction does not mean that such a course is not still possible. We await charismatic leaders with a new message to catch the religious imagination of large numbers committed to a new healthier vision of what life on Earth can become for all of us…

  • My comments will mostly be familiar to regular posters. However the last paragraph contains new info for anyone who knows my rant on nuclear power plants.

    I can’t disagree with any of your points Señor Aravena but you write “My final conclusion is that this problem has no solution beyond the collapse of the industrial economy in the United States and Europe” Yes that is the solution IF the climate feedback loops aren’t already unstoppable. But even if they are there is one hitch, the one that Fukushima brought home. The collapse of industrial civilization also means the collapse of the grid. There is no way the grid can keep going without all the inputs and infrastructure provided by industrial civ. In fact there is no way industrial civ can keep going any longer without the grid. They are totally interconnected (Richard Duncan put the failure of the grid as the final nail in the coffin of industrial civ – google Olduvai Theory Richard Duncan if you are unfamiliar with the theory).

    Among all the bad and good things that comes with grid collapse is the little known fact that nuclear power plants use electricity to pump water to keep them and their fuel pools cool. They cannot use the power they generate to do that. I wondered about that, but found out that in fact they way they are built they can’t – I’ll try find it again if anyone wants. Had a computer failure and lost all my bookmarks. At any rate they have about 1 week of diesel backup in the US (none for the spent fuel pools as they overheat slower). So about 1 week from grid collapse 100+ nuclear plants in the US, 439 worldwide, go critical and the spent fuel pools start to burn. Due to the collapse of industrial civ and the grid, nothing will be done to stop this.

    But its not just the operating plants. Closed plants present problems too. I suspected as much but the latest Fairewinds podcast confirmed my suspicions. You can google nuclear decommissioning and find out that one option, probably the one that will be used for San Onofre, is called Safestor – it takes 60 years to finish. Maggie Gunderson on this clip cause it Lazy Store. It means that any plant already decommissioned this way will still be a risk for years to come. The podcast is at http://fairewinds.org/podcast/the-echo-chamber-effect Collapse of industrial civ opens this can of worms, whether some people help bring it on early, or it just falls on its own.

  • In almost every non-1st world country, there is a clear trend towards moving out of the country side into urban areas.

    The kids, worldwide, gravitate towards the ‘exciting’ city life, better perceived jobs, just an overall sexier setting than the dreary old sticks.

    Cities don’t and have not in the passt grown all their own food. The countryside around cities has.

    Without fossil fuels for industrial agriculture and transport systems for that food, and refrigeration systems for the perishable foodstuffs, cities Die, big time.

    Non-fossil fuel agriculture needs human muscles and energy to work, lots and lots of them as in probably 50%, at least, of the population working on farms, (small, medium and large scale)

    China and Cambodia already conducted their own little ‘experiments’ in forcing part of the population back to the countryside, it was a monstrous genocidal failure.

    So who is going to voluntarily move back to the sticks to ‘pick cotton’ in all these urban areas globally?

    No one, you will have to force them through starvation or the fear of violence in an urban collapse.

    This is a very big deal, the fatal attraction of humans to cities.

    With fossil fuel Big Ag, the U.S. has single percentage points of it’s populous feeding 90%+ of the urban/suburban population.

    About 35% of Roman Italy’s population were slaves working the land outside populated centers.

    Now there’s one old model to fall back on.

    It doesn’t matter what adults think about it, youth does NOT think that the rural lifestyle is Cool.

    Just the opposite, it’s a ‘loser lifestyle’ and they will continue to flee it ASAP.

    Great music for the deserted countryside

    A wonderful Kiss Off ballad to the Big Ag Fossil Fuel Clusterphuck Age

    James McMurtry – Levelland

  • And followers of a new spiritual religion would refuse to fly, use private cars, eat red meat, support war in any way, or give birth to children until the world is ready to receive them happily — in sustainable numbers. A few small changes like those might make quite a difference…

  • @ Denise, thanks! 🙂
    ==

    Hope Stops

    The humans, they had hope until
    Their terminal slide downhill;
    Living better somehow
    Had sustained them, but now
    They realize they never will.

  • Kathy Cassandra says: nuclear decommissioning….Collapse of industrial civ opens this can of worms, whether some people help bring it on early, or it just falls on its own.

    The upcoming nuke plant disaster
    Is something there’s no time to master:
    We won’t decommission
    That nuclear fission
    Whether doom’s slower or faster.

  • It’s really remarkable how we Americans are so full of advice on how others might learn to live more sustainably. . .I didn’t take that as the point of the essay actually.

    I think it’s mostly important to realize that your country is in fact in a state of war with the US in particular, and in fact any country that out consumes its footprint. . .and the response should be to close boarders to American citizens, and strict trade embargos with the US, if not denying trade entirely. It’s important to understand that our financial practices, our lifestyles, our expectations, our media, our entertainment products, are so destructive you could consider them weaponized with little hyperbole. . .and craft policy at home with that understanding.

  • I don’t know why it’s difficult for some people to realize that the human project was based on an explicit slave/serf relationship up until the advent of fossil fuels 150 years or so ago. As mankind collectively faces off with the reality of resource depletion, going back to that kind of hierarchy is as preordained as death & taxes. You can cry, complain or just be depressed, but it won’t have any bearing on the ultimate outcome.

    In answer to Kathy’s point, it’s quite clear that massive human armies will be directed towards containment activities. Ditto for farm production; the alternative is so sit around and wait to die. Since that’s not really in anyone’s DNA, even in the most lazy amongst us, there will be an energetic attempt to at least provide for those willing to do the work itself. As the copybook headings so forcefully declare, no workie, no eatie.

    OK, so this is all sort of boring and obvious. To spice things up, let’s speculate on how the game will be played from here on out in order to position key players for the next stage. As I previously mentioned, we can assess 5 main players: US, EU, Russia, China & India. For sake of simplicity, we can relegate India/Pak to regional status, and combine the EU with the US, so that we get down to the final 3: US, Russia & China.

    Now, where I believe this gets interesting is that each of the three has a different approach towards capturing the last resources for their own consumption & benefit:

    1. US – The US/EU have a clear strategy towards building out their core populations. Hispanics (Mexicans) in the US, and middle easterners in the EU. This drive towards a more firmly defined, very broad based pyramid appears to me as recognition that vast amounts of hard human labor are going to be required to keep the systems running for the elite. They will also need large populations for cannon fodder as the resource wars go hot.

    2. China – China already has plenty of people, so they’re looking towards colonization. This is clearly underway in Africa, were they could possibly offload 100-200m nationals, but I think the real play are the Americas. The recent announcement of a possible canal through Nicaragua would be the perfect beachhead to bring in at least 100m nationals to secure the isthmus & threaten our southern border.

    3. Russia – Russia presents an interesting case. I believe they are embracing a “castle doctrine”, where they are going to lock down the existing borders, cleanse any ethnic outsiders, and go for a unified approach. Think of it as a bigger Japan, but with lots of land and of course plentiful resources.

    Once we’ve ID’d the key players and their respective strategies, then it becomes much easier to ID how to play the angle(s) for personal benefit. I think if you’re part of the “remnant” ie the old white population base in the US/EU, then it will be imperative to act in some capacity towards the management of the new citizens. I haven’t fully fleshed out the exact mechanisms, but it’s pretty clear who’s going to be doing the dirty work.

  • Godofredo.

    Is it fair to assume that all of Chile’s political leaders and bureaucrats are as completely insane as those in the ‘small country’ I live in (NZ)?

    Is it fair to assume that Chilean urban society is Orwellian, as is the case here?

    I had a 45 minute session with my local MP last week; on a table in the reception was a government brochure with the title ‘Building Natural Resources’; it is a load of mumbo-jumbo about ‘sustainable’ consumption of rapidly depleting natural resources and sucking every bit of accessible oil and gas out the ground as quickly as possible. When I pointed out to Jonathan Young the insanity of using up gas reserves as quickly as possible he suggested that it was government policy to use gas as a ‘bridge’ to some yet-to-be-discovered energy source. They all bonkers! It was much the same with the meeting I had with yet another executive officers of NPDC on Friday; nothing I say to any of them sinks in. That is why I KNOW we are doomed. Well, our children and grandchildren. Since the council officer I spoke with on Friday appeared to be about 40 years old, I pointed out to him that he was an architect of his own destitution, perhaps starvation. Nothing, absolutely nothing sinks in.

    So, here the response to Peak Oil is to encourage looting of the commons by corporations, in particular deep-sea drilling and fracking, thereby increasing climate chaos.

    Here the response to climate chaos is to completely ignore the science and promote the covering of pasture with houses, shopping malls, commercial premises and car parks etc., and to build more suburbia, more sewage works, and more electricity-dependent systems. All that is done in the name of economic growth.

    I assume Chile is caught up in the same Rothschild Ponzi monetary system as most other nations, and that looting and polluting are ‘required’ in order to prop up the Chilean sector of the Ponzi scheme.

    A number of years ago I saw a video about a prominent Chilean whose name eludes me for the moment; he was described as the ‘barefoot economist’, having quit a well-paid executive position with Shell Oil and spent much time with the victims of neoliberalism; I recall the traditional fishermen were being driven to destitution by the corporate stripping of Chilean waters. Presumably, two decades later the situation is much worse.

    On the ‘positive side’, Chile has it pretty good compared to say Taiwan, which is grossly overpopulated and environmentally completely screwed, with 23 million people living on a ‘tiny rock’, and about 80% of the populace living in the flood zone of the coming 20 metre rise in sea level that corresponds with 400ppm CO2!

    I think we should note that the Industrial Revolution started around 1780 in England, quickly spread to Scotland and Wales, and very soon after reached France and the United States. Russia was engaged in industrial warfare by the mid-1800s, and Japan and Germany not long after. The cumulative emissions of those early developers and the lifestyles emissions facilitates are what has put us all on the path to mayhem, though one particular American, Bernays, stand out as an architect of consumeristic dysfunction.

  • British wheat production cut 30 percent by extreme weather
    Farmers fail to feed UK after extreme weather hits wheat crop

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/jun/12/farmers-fail-weather-wheat-crop

  • @ BK9K

    You state:

    “….I think if you’re part of the “remnant” ie the old white population base in the US/EU, then it will be imperative to act in some capacity towards the management of the new citizens. I haven’t fully fleshed out the exact mechanisms, but it’s pretty clear who’s going to be doing the dirty work.”

    “……..management of the new citizens” ?????????

    So as not to hastily jump to any conclusion as to what this statement seems to be implying, might you clarify yourself a little more before my freaking head explodes.

  • B9K9 will be working for FEMA carrying a clipboard and organizing work details.

    He will be the exact opposite of what Frankl called “The Best of Us.”

  • Thanks Godofredo Aravena for the fine essay and chart on the vast differences in energy/co2 use between various countries. I notice that the US has the highest ratio of cars to people, at nearly 8 cars for every 10 people. The world currently has about 1 billion cars, about 25% are driven by Americans. But if the world were to drive cars at the rate that Americans do, there would be about 5.7 billion cars rather than 1 billion. Since we just blew past 400 ppm CO2, imagine what that figure would look like in a world where everyone was as wasteful as Americans?

  • BK9K is sadly mistaken if he thinks white skin alone is enough to get a management job. There are plenty of white people working menial jobs in this country and in Europe, and always have been. Also, the powers-that-be really aren’t that racist. Racism is just a way to divide-and-conquer the masses. When push comes to shove, rich and powerful black, brown and yellow people will be admitted into the lifeboats and poor whites will be kicked back into the water to drown. Money and power is what is going to save you, not white skin.

    This isn’t to say BK9K doesn’t have a lot of sensible things to say. The grid is not going to fail. There is no shortage of power. There is not going to be nuclear meltdown. Steps will be taken to ensure that the 1% survives. Those who oppose those steps will be dealt with harshly. .

    To answer the OP, what can small countries do about climate change and peak oil? Peak oil is a non-issue, because we have plenty of other energy options that can be brought online very quickly once the problem elements opposing these options are eliminated. Amazing how much work can be accomplished when the slaves are driven 100+ hours/week with zero worker safety provisions… Climate change is a bigger issue. Lots of people will just have to die so the 1%, plus their attack dogs and useful slaves, can continue to be fed. To avoid being part of those who will have to die, small countries must make themselves useful to the 1%. Figure out what the 1% wants and provide it at a reasonable cost.

    If you make trouble, or insist on foolishness like Chilean sovereignty, you’ll be dealt with harshly. Remember, these kerfuffles in Afghanistan since 1979 do NOT prove that either the Soviet Union or the United States military was/is impotent in dealing with guerrillas. Neither the Soviet Union nor the United States dared to take the gloves off, because they were concerned about opinion in Europe, Japan and other developed countries. When the going gets tough, as it will in the future, there will be no more such compunctions. Harsh measures will mean such things as nuclear bombs. Chile, in particular, would be flattened in a matter of 1 day if it were deemed to be a source of trouble to the 1%.

  • “The grid is not going to fail.”

    Kind of a broad blanket statement. Large grids goes down quite regularly in many parts of the globe.

    India recently lost a huge part of their grid on May 13 when 370 million people lost power for hours when the northern grid collapsed. Next day May 14, 620 million had no electricity after the grid collapsed again, dragging down two neighboring grids.

    Incompetently run, aging mickey-moused electric grids are all over the world.

    “There is no shortage of power.”

    If you have money, you can buy power.

    If you are poised on economic collapse like Japan and your currency goes to the worthless end of the pool, no power for you.

    Plenty of countries are on the verge of economic collapse and will not be able to afford to pay their energy import bills.

    The global banking system essentially collapsed in 2008 and has been propped up with central bank printing presses, faux fiat funny money by the trillions, spewed out like Hurl at a Frat Party busily diluting the currencies until the day investors realize they are worthless, just like has happened in every other instance in history.

    “There is not going to be nuclear meltdown.”

    There already has been in the U.S and Russia and Japan. Those are the warm up acts, the proof of concept in Gross Incompetence.

    The Authorities globally said it will never ever happen again after Chernobyl it was so bad.

    Oops, I guess the Japanese forgot to read the memo.

    Fukishima has poisoned large swaths of Japan proper and even larger swaths of the Pacific along with it’s fish and marine stock. No more sushi for you.

    That’s just one nuclear complex and the mountains of stored up highly radioactive waste water currently stored at it will soon be released into the Pacific, it’s piling up so fast they have run out of places to hide it.

    Japan, a highly intelligent nation, with very tech savvy talent performed very very very poorly in dealing with Fukishima and gross incompetence was and is the order of the day there.

    The spent fuel rods are precariously still stored on site, they are more dangerous in the long run than the reactor cores.

    Check out Arnie at http://www.fairewinds.com/

  • For new people, if you include more than one link in a comment your comment goes to moderation and will not appear until Guy approves it. So I am including 1 link here and info for finding other info by search suggestions

    Thanks you Speak Softly, you saved me the time of replying to those uniformed statements. I will just add a bit more info.

    Bonzo, google “400 Chenonbyls” for the article by Matthew Stein for more information on why a grid collapse if over a wide area can cause meltdown. This article http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1206 will show you how solar flares can take out a essential component of a grid – the large transformers – one quote
    The strong electric currents that would flow through the the electrical grid during a repeat of the Carrington event are likely to cause melting and burn-through of large-amperage copper windings and leads in electrical transformers. These multi-ton, multi-million dollar devices generally cannot be repaired in the field, and if damaged in this manner, they need to be replaced with new units. There are only a handful of spares in reserve, so most of the region affected by the collapse would remain without power until new transformers could be custom built. During the March 13, 1989 Superstorm, geomagnetic-induced currents (GICs) melted the internal windings of a 500kV transformer in the Salem Nuclear plant in southern New Jersey (Figure 3). The entire nuclear plant was unable to operate until this damaged transformer was replaced. Fortunately, a spare from a canceled nuclear plant in Washington State was available, and the Salem plant was able to reopen 40 days later. Had the spare not been available, a new custom-built transformer would have been required, potentially idling the power plant for years. The typical manufacture lead times for these transformers are 12 months or more. According to a January 2009 press release from Metatech, Inc., 300 Extra High Voltage (EHV) transformers in the U.S. would be at risk of permanent damage and require replacement in the event of a geomagnetic storm as intense as the 1921 or 1859 events. Here’s where it gets really scary. According to the press release:

    * Manufacturing capability in the world for EHV-class transformers continues to be limited relative to present market demand for these devices. Further, manufacturers would be unable to rapidly supply the large number of replacement transformers needed should the U.S. or other power grids suffer a major catastrophic loss of EHV Transformers.
    .
    * Manufacturers presently have a backlog of nearly 3 years for all EHV transformers (230 kV and above). The earliest delivery time presently quoted for a new order is early 2011.
    .
    * Only one plant exists in the U.S. capable of manufacturing a transformer up to 345 kV. No manufacturing capability exists in the U.S. at present for 500 kV and 765 kV transformers, which represent the largest group of At-Risk transformers in the U.S.

    EMP attack would do similar damage – congress ordered a study. The study found that for a relatively small outlay our grid could be protected from solar storms (or EMP attacks) but congress has not acted on those recommendations. EMP stands for Electromagnetic Pulse – you can google that too. There is a book “One Second After” that describes the US suddenly plunged into darkness by an EMP attack. Does a pretty good job of pointing out all the things that will fail, but neglects the nuclear plants.

    Funny, I spent years studying Peak Oil and thinking about what the collapse of the grid would be like and how to prepare, yet was blind to the threat to nuclear plants. It took Fukushima to point that out to me….duh

    It took 500,000 humans to temporarily contain Chernobyl – 439 nuclear plants worldwide would then take over 200 million people. Sure we got those people, but they need equipment and the electrically powered equipment will not work in a grid collapse. Nor can you pump gasoline from storage takes without electricity. How many people working whatever hand pumps they can find will it take to pump the gasoline needed to contain a melted down nuclear plant. And then when that runs out, well you can’t refine oil into gasoline without electricity etc. The whole of industrial civ collapses when the grid goes down for whatever reason. And then the nukes blow….

    So I have my stockpile of candles which will be more than enough for the week before the nuclear plants start to melt down 🙂

  • Daniel and Melissa:

    Can’t you for a second consider that, while B9K9 may be harsh (and spot on correct) in his chracterization our our near-term-future between TSHTF and extinction, it is posible that he can see these things, and even talk about them WITHOUT SUPPORTING THEM?

    Talk about killing the messenger for his mesaage!

    Just because he’s pointing out “the Nazis are coming”, doesn’t make him one, and in that context, how (ahem) questionable is it to berate him for pointing the truth out while accusing him of supporting the things he simply describes.

    We are all prisoners of our own psychologies, our own pasts. This is why “Ed Bernays’ World” is dragging humanity to it’s bottleneck or extinction, because the understanding and exploitation of such things make it possible for those in authority to essentially command people to put guns to their own heads (or anyone else’s) and pull the triggers. Provided there’s enough legitimacy, plausible deniability and electronic propganda behind it telling the sheep it’s for their own good.

    All B9K9 is doing is pointing out this inconvenient truth as well as explaining the all too brief and all too slight deviation from human historical norms regarding the relationship between sociopathic rulers and the sheep who love them is now coming to an end…that it will soon be time for more of the same old same old that thousands of generations of human were yoked under as soon as the abundant energy and technology that was the ONLY REASON SLAVERY WAS EVER ALLOWED TO END (and people who are paying attention knows that slavery never ended, just got scaled down to provde those things that cheap abundant energy couldn’t – like the sex slave trades for privileged Global Socipathic Aristocrats) runs low.

    Now, does my pointing this out make me a supporter of slavery, or it’s opposite?

    I am a relative newcomer here. Perhaps there’s some past exchanges that I haven’t seen that makes your assertions that B9K9 is a ferverent supporter in deeds (past or future) of the sad truths he tells, but I don’t see that from where I am sitting.

    Again I ask, does being an individual trying to alert people to what the Nazis are going to do make one a Nazi supporter themselves?

  • Along side the observation that the larger Oil/ Gas and Coal using countries have ‘higher’ standards of wasting…er living, it is worth noting that these same countries are more highly urbanised, and rely less on human scale agriculture. Those corresponding less developed and less consumption guzzling nations have more human labour utilised to live.

    Going to the gym, though not to be deplored within the context it appears in developed countries, is hardly needed if the human body is worked as part of life.

    As with many of the human ability issues, those who have greater practical skills, and not just the ability to manipulate others, will ne most useful, most respected as they live alongside others who want to gather the new/old skills to try to survive/thrive after the cliff.
    Answering the question in the title:

    Decouple, and work on resilience, underground farms with movable roof, all you can, in short….go for it!

  • At a classical music concert, in a pause that was a part of the piece, one member of the audience started clapping. The conductor stared quietly for a brief while and then stated “For the benefit of the uninitiated, I shall start again”.

    Instead of having to start again over and over for the benefit of the uninitiated at NBL, could we have the best of the comment pieces selected by Dr. McPherson and collected in one place with appropriate headings for newcomers to acquaint themselves with the badspel prior to launching into their dissertations?

    Maybe various old-timers can suggest to Dr. McPherson items that they or others have contributed to facilitate such a collection?

  • Another great Max Keiser report, with guest comedian Lee Camp,
    ( a modern George Carlin in the making perhaps ? I think he has looked carefully at Carlin’s shtick)

    ‘[KR458] Keiser Report: Up the creek with no paddle’

    http://www.maxkeiser.com/2013/06/kr458-keiser-report-up-the-creek-with-no-paddle/

    When the reality of the financial fraud is so damning, and so corrupt, I am willing to concede the crazy humour should be right there by its side when reporting it.

    Addendum to my previous answer to the essay topic question:

    Get off fiat currency ASAP, by developing community currencies – you might like to see Bernard Lietaer(posted by me on a previous essay comment):

    ‘Bernard Lietaer “Why this crisis? And what to do about it?”- 11/30/09’

    ‘TEDxFlanders – Bernard Lietaer – design and implementation of currency systems’

    It is hard to see how we can have ‘prosperity’ with catastrophic climate change coming down the pipe, and peak oil causing collapse of fiat currency, perhaps as soon as tomorrow, however, can we consider these ideas of community currencies as a necessary attempt to keep a local sense of functioning that serves needs rather than junk consumption?

    Next best thing perhaps to closing the doors and windows and opening tho gas taps in the privacy of your own home. Just our luck on the night we chose to ‘do it’, the gas runs out. Ha Ha( not making fun of people who try it out of pain or desperation…)

  • Saw an article on Yahoo news this morning talking about how adaptation is becoming the new focus of climate change, citing Bloomberg and other mayors and Obama.

    What a crock. They refused to even acknowledge climate change, castigating Gore and others for being basically anti-Amurikkkan in trying to warn everyone about what was coming and why. So now they want to adapt – HA! This oughta be good for a couple years until they realize how hopeless that will be as the climate spins into ever more chaotic episodes and all the results lead to crop loss, famine, societal breakdown and massive death from disease, malnutrition and starvation, lack of potable water, and infrastructure breakdown, fire, grid failure and the rest. They’ll find that we can’t even keep up soon enough.

    Meanwhile life goes on: distraction via advertising, sports, and all the other non-sense.
    Enjoy the time you have.

  • @Daniel says “……..management of the new citizens” ?????????

    Why do you assume something so nefarious? Recall that I’m a lifelong Calif native. That means one thing: I’ve seen it all ie we’re at the tip of the spear, so to speak.

    If you want to witness peak resource depletion (CA was a leading oil producer 70 years ago), massive environmental degradation, and of course wholesale demographic change, this is where it’s already happened.

    Any interaction in Calif (and in the future US) is going to involve engaging with our new(est) citizens. If you know a little bit of the language, and are generally good with people, it’s pretty easy to get along.

    The key to the US/EU population shift is to discard those with any living memory of how things “used to be”. In other words, it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to satisfy those who have unrealistic expectations as to future comfort(s). So, out with the old and in with the new.

    However, for those happy to have actually upgraded their lifestyles, even if it means toiling in the sun all day, it makes for a malleable population base. But, because the pyramid will be very broad based & have very distinct class lines (essentially a replica of their former homelands), the key to survival for the remnant is to play a part as middle management.

    That’s what I mean by fleshing out the actual mechanics: how to leverage the old guard for one last fling before they themselves are flung unto the ash heap of history.

  • “But, what can we do as country, in my country, about these global problems? The scale of the problem is so enormous, in relation to our part in the problem (origin and current contribution), that despair fills me.

    “We can keep on living as today, and it will not make any difference. The same notion applies for many other countries around the world.”

    Nice knowing that a man in Chile can feel exactly the same as a person deep in the guts of the Empire. What can we do about these global problems? The point of no return has most likely been passed and we’re in a steady, rapid decline in everything. Thanks to the NSA and the governmental partnership with large oil companies, peaceful protesters can be branded as “eco-terrorists” and have the full weight of the law squash them.

    If you’re going to be branded a terrorist anyway, well why not go for it? But for concerned citizens to take those concerns over to direct criminal acts of sabotage and even kidnapping and murder is a huge leap from holding up a sign and chanting to no one in particular “Hey Obama, we don’t want your pipeline drama.”

    So those of us deep in the Empire will debate our options. We will weigh one action against another. We will come up with better chants, neater signs and a more deeply inclusive protest as Obama finally leaves office and is replaced by someone the liberal wing feels more comfortable confronting. And nothing will change — but we’ll be even further down the road to hell.

    Sorry Chile. Sorry world. If you’re looking for answers from the Empire, you will not get any. We’re too spoiled for any use as protesters. We’re paralyzed with our own fears. Principles are great to have, but who the hell wants to go to jail for them? Certainly not enough to matter.

  • Mike,

    A religious upheaval. Yes

    Radical simplicity. Yes

    Holding sacred and worshiping the biosphere. Yes

    (S)haring economic and other fruits of living equally. Ah, that could be tough. I’d settle for a two-tiered system, with relative riches for the few and basic survival needs for the many. In other words, I’d stop trying (futilely) to regulate the rich, and rather emphasize getting those basic requirements for the many written in stone. Radical simplicity for the many, but barring the possibility of the rich few to oppress the many. There would be a balance of power between the many poor and the few rich.

    Charismatic leaders? I think we’ve had it with charismatic leaders, usually men. I’d go for leading from behind, with women doing most of the leading. We’ll either get the religious message spontaneously, all at once, through a sudden leap of evolution, or we’re sunk. I would want to see religious leaders take more of a leading role in society, however, with the issues of power redefined.

    The failure of most past religions to take an effectively sustainable direction does not mean that such a course is not still possible. True. Sports teams don’t stop playing even if the odds are against winning.

  • @Bonzo “Money and power is what is going to save you, not white skin.”

    Absolutely – one must make themselves useful in order to survive. Not only do I live in Calif, but I live in the OC. This is absolutely ground zero for clueless, tatted out losers whose parents are still supporting them.

    My pet phrase is “Orange county townie” aka “OCT”. In any other part of the country, they’d be missing a few teeth & driving a rust bucket. Here, they have perfect capped teeth and drive the newest jacked up monster trucks. Now, why is that? Because their parents are from the last generation that could make good coin from traditional investment vehicles.

    Someone mentioned the LDS upstream or on a previous thread. I’ve always had high respect for how Smith was able to leverage built in male demand for multiple sex partners with church sanctioned religious practices – protected by the 1A no less. Pure, unadulterated genius.

    Well, in that same vein, we have some ‘mega-churches’ that cater to a large re-hab base. Now, these well financed organizations are a far cry from cheap methadone clinics, so what’s the trick? Again, it only exists here due to the wealth base of parents trying to save junior’s bacon. What steams me is not figuring out the church business angle soon enough – now it’s too late.

    So, to get back to your main point, I agree the key to survival will be an ability to contribute. But it doesn’t have to be pure labor – an important function is to also be able to participate in the ponzi. IOW, if you have leverageable assets, and are willing to pledge them as collateral for such things as college, medical, etc, then you could find yourself quite useful indeed.

    Still noodling the mechanics.

  • Robin, I agree, new readers should spend time reading before commenting. But they won’t no matter what Guy sets up for them to read. Already available at the top of the page is Climate-change summary and update under the popular columns section. That would be a good start page.

    Ah well, it all goes down, we all become not I regardless of the discussions on this page. Extinction only means we all go down together and our code is lost.

    Benjamin notes (in another one of his great limericks)
    The upcoming nuke plant disaster
    Is something there’s no time to master:
    We won’t decommission
    That nuclear fission
    Whether doom’s slower or faster.

    Seems to me our path to self destruction is inevitable as Craig Dilworth uses 500 pages to document in the book Too Smart for our Own Good.

    SURVIVAL – the word crops up again. Survival is conditional – you survive X number of years, longer than someone else, up to a certain event, but there is no absolute survival as we are mortals Not all surviving is worth it.

    If surviving means killing others for resources or withholding resources so I can survive a bit longer, I don’t want it.

    Supposing you decided to try to survive to 100. If you died at 99 and 364 days would that be failure. 99 and 360? At want specific age does it OK to die, whereas before that it is not OK.

    I can tell you that for most in fact age is not the factor but quality of life (the popularity of living wills proves this). I understand that soldiers in Iraq would specify do not resuscitate if their genitals were blown off. Clearly that is not the end of living, but for them it meant the end of what they found an acceptable life. Quadriplegics are often not all that pleased with extended survival

    The movie The Sea Inside covers the true story of of Spaniard Ramón Sampedro, who fought a 30-year campaign to win the right to end his own life with dignity. (per wiki) I recommend it for those who think that survival at all costs is worth it.

    I suggest that everyone who wants to talk about survival put some qualifier on it – For example instead of “key to survival will be an ability to contribute.” write “key to survival (to at least 70, until my grandchildren are grown, longer than other dumb f@#ks, etc.) will be an ability to contribute”. I suggest this as it will be a reminder that survival is always temporary and help one define just what is important to you about extending survival. Is it a number of years, seeing some event (your genes passed on to one, two, three generations) or a way to prove that you are superior to those who don’t survive as long as you, or whatever?

  • Artleads — In economics, I would put a top limit of twice the basic income; in that model the basic income would be quite adequate and substantial. In the society I envision downplaying the importance of wealth accumulation would be a major goal of the economic distribution system. The potential class gap between those with a bit more and those having less would be minimized. The new spirituality I propose would put ego reduction, giving, service, and love above material wealth. If there would be something like status in such a world, it would derive from having less and serving more.

    I am only hypothesizing a need for charismatic leader(s) to jump start a new “religion”. This is due to the present low level of consciousness of large numbers of our fellow humans. The world we are experiencing is evidence enough of this unfortunate situation. To grow beyond the perceived need for any kind of traditional leaders is of course the eventual goal. Even AA needed its Bill W. What was unique about it was that after its growth to maturity, Bill very effectively and publicly renounced any leadership role whatever. And the fellowship has done quite well without him in that role ever since.

    Thanks for your insightful remarks Artleads.

  • Godofredo Aravena says: …what can we do…?

    Curtis A. Heretic says: You can start by not making a target of yourself. Keep your mouth shut, or risk being overrun by refugees from Oklahoma and Colorado.

    What I’ve heard from those in the know:
    When machine guns are starting to mow,
    Don’t get blown up to Saturn—
    Run a zigzag pattern,
    While keeping your body low.
    ==

    Kathy Cassandra says: I suggest that everyone who wants to talk about survival put some qualifier on it….I suggest this as it will be a reminder that survival is always temporary and help one define just what is important to you about extending survival.

    That’s our Kathy, way up ahead in the lead, as usual.

  • The problem with the religious angle is that most of the current ecological issues we face require technical solutions and cooperative efforts, and the mumbo jumbo of religion is a serious impediment to both, as being based on “personal revelation/wishful fantasies” often precludes objectivity– and certainly makes inter-subjective communication near impossible.

    It’s kinda important at this late date to understand “religious thinking” is really at its core an act of violence– either towards one’s own integrity of mind, or towards the rest of mankind, as “I’m just going to pretend this and the rest of you need to just like it”– and usually both. It’s very unlikely that something so inherently destructive can be channeled towards a positive end. At least, well, we’ve never seen it done.

  • OK, here it is. The Gubbermint admits to planning for us to go apeshit when TSHTF.

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/06/16-4

    They know its coming, and they are ready for us. Can they say it any clearer?

  • Jaywfitz — I can appreciate your disdain for many manifestations that travel under the banner of ‘religion”. I only use that word because it gives some direction to what I am suggesting. Probably many would deny that the profound change in thought and behavior I have I mind even qualifies as religion. So be it. If I opt for “spirituality”, then a whole different set of frames, memories, reactions, prejudices, etc. will kick in, and there will still be no real meeting of minds. This basic problem in using words to communicate can be largely overcome if the parties to dialog have the time and patience to learn what each other mean in using various terms, and have time to query each other in depth about ideas that may be difficult to capsulate. About all we can share online is hints and shots in the dark, with the hope someone might against all odds “get” what we are trying to send. It does not mean our attempts to communicate through this imperfect medium are futile, however. We can share something of our thoughts and feelings, just not as perfectly as we might wish.

    When you say: “It’s very unlikely that something so inherently destructive can be channeled towards a positive end. At least, well, we’ve never seen it done.” I must disagree. Mainstream Hindu religion was a great help to Gandhi in throwing off the Raj. MLK used Christian energy to lift some aspects of American apartheid. Quakers have wielded religion to oppose war and other societal injustices. I am not blind to the really horrific things false religion can do to promote war, injustice, oppression, and even torture (the inquisition). But this does not prevent me from envisioning an ecological, social justice, peace, and compassionate caring potentiality that a movement to pursue higher human values represents, whether one calls that religious, spiritual or whatever matters very little.

  • Hey Mike,

    I think the case could be made that Hinduism is exactly the world view that perpetuated the Raj and the despicable caste system as long as it did– the Christianity is exactly the world view that allowed slavery and racial bias to continue as long as it had-has still–Christianity in particular and eco-spiritualism is a gigantic impediment to the rational discussion of ecology, largely because it/they persist in the assumption of a galactic teleological purpose–which makes concepts like NTE completely addressable, as the concept can’t even exist within that perceptual set.

    Actually, my Mom’s family is Mennonite, I’m pretty familiar with that tradition also. And they’re much more realistic and practical than most, but still have that basic problem of needing to consult the imaginary friend– who has a tendency to be pretty capricious– and this at its best is damned tedious.

  • Apparently, I am finding myself to be one of NBL’s self-anointed attack dogs, and here I thought I might be championing the art of navel gazing in the waning throes of our pathetic extinction. Oh well, one man’s commiseration, is another man’s contempt.

    However, I’m still waiting for my purple velvet cult robe to arrive in the mail with the gold embroidered NBL moniker festooned across the chest in swirly woopitdos, and my NTE club member number decaled on the back. Has anyone worked out our secret virtual handshake? All I know, is all this sticky sacrificial animal blood is making it hard to type, for if we’re going to be “cultish” might as well be “occultish”. All NTE needs to keep the party going, is some good ol’ devil worshippin…….All hail Beelzebub!

    @Robin Datta and Kathy C

    While I haven’t any suggestions as to how “we” would go about it, I agree with you both, Groundhog Day at NBL is getting a little old.

    Case in point: This is from Maecenas, ” Talk about killing the messenger for his message!………..I am a relative newcomer here. Perhaps there’s some past exchanges that I haven’t seen that makes your assertions that B9K9 is a ferverent supporter in deeds (past or future) of the sad truths he tells, but I don’t see that from where I am sitting.”

    This is an example of what I was talking about as to how NBL will most likely be kept in a permanent nascent state of maturation, as an endless staccato parade of newcomers across the whole ideological spectrum, work through this universal grieving process.

    But the only solution, would most likely require more moderation, or a different format, and neither seem very appealing. But thanks Robin for raising the question.

    @BK9K

    FYI, I am as well from OC.

    Why do I assume something nefarious from you?

    Well, aside from considering you to be NBL’s resident Brown Shirt, if for no other reason than your stunning lack of ethics, I wonder what your objective is here, for apparently you seem to be missing something crucial. AGAIN, you are posting on a blog who’s proprietor promotes ecological resistance, and who has repeatedly written in regards to “our” moral imperative to resisting the very system you seem all too eager to take advantage of, if not profit from.

    While many of us here, don’t necessarily agree with Guy on many things, you seem to be so far from the locus of this sites ethical bearing, you read like a drum major for the “Nazi’s are coming”.

    Of all the possible philosophical avenues our minds can travel down in contemplating NTE, this is the back alley your thoughts take you:

    “….I think if you’re part of the “remnant” ie the old white population base in the US/EU, then it will be imperative to act in some capacity towards the management of the new citizens. I haven’t fully fleshed out the exact mechanisms, but it’s pretty clear who’s going to be doing the dirty work.”

    You consider it a “……….imperative [for whites] to act in some capacity towards the management of the new [brown] citizens.”???

    What the fuck is wrong with you?

    I consider your comments here, to be a stain on the very morality I like to imagine NBL is at least attempting to redress in light of such catastrophic awareness, not looking for ways to opportunistically game the system and take advantage of others on the way down. Your writing actually sickens me.

    As I have now frequently stated, I find your prescription for life in general to be morally repugnant, and I consider it a testament to Guy’s sense of fairness that you have not been banned. Personally, although I have made a half assed attempt to be civil to you, I would not be so accommodating to such continued egregious displays of immorality…….but you are sadly not alone.

    While there is much truth in what you write–as with most everyone here–in which I can’t logically disagree with and have reluctantly come to accept, you seem to be completely missing the point. Or rather, you just seem to be completely without any of the moral principles that drives ecological awareness. I consider your petite bourgeoisie Machiavellianism to be an albatross around the neck of our collective culpability and compassionate grievance of the loss of the natural world. I am done reading what you have to say.

    @ TVT

    After three days, I’m still waiting for that list of evidence that supports your outrageous claims that Guy has been disingenuous enough for you to call into question his personal integrity. Until you do, might I suggest you follow up on your own terse advice to Ulvfugl. You crossed a very important line my friend, and I will continue to dog virtually every comment you make, until you either actually make your case a hell of a lot better than you have, or you concede you inappropriately misspoke. What’s it going to be?

  • http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/55939

    Saw this article in the news today. Where do the PTB find these people to write this crap?

  • Hola Godofredo Aravena,

    Thank you for your post.

    Chile Music and Images

    Beautiful country indeed!

    IMO you have arrived at the proper conclusion.

  • OzMan Says:

    June 16th, 2013 at 3:40 am

    Along side the observation that the larger Oil/ Gas and Coal using countries have ‘higher’ standards of wasting…er living, it is worth noting that these same countries are more highly urbanised, and rely less on human scale agriculture. Those corresponding less developed and less consumption guzzling nations have more human labour utilised to live.

    Yes, that’s what I thought. But then I found that Chile is 87% urban, compared to 82% for Australia, and 79% for the US. Yet people in Chile produce less than a quarter of the CO2 of Australians or Americans. I was astounded to find that Brazilians (84% urban) use less than one eighth of the energy of Americans or Australians, and one half of what Chileans use. So here we have countries that are as urban as any, yet they’re using 75-85% less energy and putting that must less CO2 into the atmosphere than Americans or Australians. I thought it might have something to do with the relatively low number of cars in those two countries. But then if you look at Italy which has almost as many cars per capita, still uses less than half the energy per capita of AUS or the US. So there are obvious things that don’t show up in these stats that make a big difference like smaller homes, more compact walkable towns and cities with extensive mass-transit-so these less wasteful and environmentally destructive places were built for people first, rather than built around the use of automobiles as the goal.

  • Kathy Cassandra says:
    The whole of industrial civ collapses when the grid goes down for whatever reason. And then the nukes blow….
    So I have my stockpile of candles which will be more than enough for the week before the nuclear plants start to melt down

    Good News For Preppers

    When the grid goes down, everyone freaks,
    Nuke plants blow, radiation leaks;
    But you won’t need much cash
    To build up your stash,
    When you’re dead in a matter of weeks.

  • @ Kathy C

    Just wanted to be sure there was no miss or loss of communication in regards to you possibly penning an essay for the website Collapse of Industrial Civilization http://collapseofindustrialcivilization.com/about/ about the threat of nuclear containment pools. I was asked to write something, but I think you could do a much better job.

  • Kathy mentioned Dilworth’s book Too Smart For Our Own Good. He describes the vicious circle principle, which applies only to humans, says: “Humankind’s development consists in an accelerating movement from situations of scarcity, to technological innovation, to increased resource availability, to increased consumption, to population growth, to resource depletion, to scarcity once again, and so on.”

    This is what worries me, if nte doesn’t happen now (20 years not 80), then the dreaded “technological innovation” could have time to kick in. Not that it will be able to save all of industrial civ, but enough to save a remnant for the wealthiest and their attendant technical staff. A kind of lifeboat for perhaps 5-10 million people (0.1% of current pop). I already mentioned that they already have mini-nuke plants in the pipeline, and 80 years would give them time to perfect fusion power. If you’re honest with yourself, you have to admit this scenario is just as likely, maybe even more likely than the frequently mentioned worldwide grid collapse and nuke meltdown.

  • Bullocks once again on the endless meme that NOTHING IS TO BE DONE. We’re trapped, we’re not responsible….yada yada. Standard de-motivating rationalizations. It really never ends here, does it? Kubler-Ross doesn’t apply, friends, because the patient is not yet dead. And when you stop getting posts like this from me, ~then~ you can shut down and “accept”. Until then you just look like a pack of anemic ineffectual super-addicted first world sociopaths. You know who you are.

    “which we personally had nothing to do with” – nice dodge, but you’re still complicit and utterly responsible for the mountains of bones and blood your sweet little piece of privilege stand on.

    At least Mr. Moore is out there getting his fingernails dirty and pissing off people who need to be pissed off, and putting that voice in the back of their head which will eventually grow to a Marshall Amp turned up to 11. Can anyone else here who just can’t be bothered, who is consumed with “Surrender Dorothy” and rank generalizations claim anything close to the same???

    Here’s the deal, Mr. and Ms. Privilege, there is a gun pointed at the head of life on earth. Your finger is on the trigger. There is a cop ready to beat you bloody if you don’t pull the trigger, and all your friends and family are cheering on ~the cop~. Not you. They don’t give a rat’s behind about ~you~. OK – now you had nothing to do with it, but you can’t run and you can’t hide. Now what are you going to do?

    ~~~~~~~~

    Potential list of to dos – from the book I recommended in the last post – in come back to it again and again when you feel like impersonating the Wicked Witch of the West. Related in general to workplace organization, but the mindset herein can just as easily apply to getting your personal business together to do something more than entertain and bore us all with endless reasons ~not~ to do anything.

    1. Help co-workers look beyond your employer’s public relations image. Help them see the organization for the institution of the status quo that it is.

    2. Encourage co-workers to connect themselves with radical organizations and to read radical publications.

    3. Encourage co-workers to take a critical view of the employer’s assigned ideology. Support them whenever they make progressive, critical challenges to that ideology. You win every crumb and token that can be won.

    4. Assign your own curiosity. On the job, develop and pursue your own goals while supposedly pursuing your employer’s goals. Steal as much time and as many resources as is possible to do this.

    5. Encourage the hiring of more employees to give everyone more time to pursue their own goals.

    6. Overcome your need for the boss’ compliments on your work. You judge your work yourself, with criteria based on the goals of the oppositional movement with which you are connected. Give time during working hours to help co-workers with their own self-assigned, politically progressive projects.

    7. Resist taking on extra work or special projects for the bosses unless you will have control over the ideological content of the work.

    8. Channel as much useful information (especially inside information) as possible to opposition groups, publications and individuals. Act anonymously to protect yourself from employer reprisals. Acting anonymously does not mean acting alone. Act alone only when there is no other way.

    9. Blow the whistle and sabotage projects that are against the public’s interest. Use the radical press, in the interest of building the radical press and avoiding a watered down treatment in mainstream media.

    10. Air your institution’s dirty laundry in public. When the public knows what is going on with a particular issue, they start to believe they have a chance of influencing that issue.

    11. Draw attention to the political nature of professional work by drawing attention to the specific places in the work where ideology plays a role and where management acts to set the tone. Help co-workers to reflect critically on the political nature of their work.

    12. Debunk the myth of the objectivity or neutrality of your profession and its working principles. Challenge the social role of your profession.

    13. Encourage co-workers to see it as their business to pass judgment on the ideological content of their work assignments. Don’t just accept the assigned ideology. Encourage informal workplace discussions – without managers – to critique the ideological content of the work at hand. You want these discussions to become the most lively, interesting, unrestrained, uncensored, honest, free-flowing and democratic debates about the content of the work. Such discussions will prepare people to work in concert for common goals. Make the discussions regular and informal. In most work places, this will be a very bold move.

    14. Conspire with radicals in your workplace and other workplaces to tilt your professional work and theirs so that it favors as much as possible those people with less money and less power. Recommend knowledgeable radicals for non-radicals to consult.

    15. Help co-workers understand that their work conflicts have more to do with the actual social function of the institution than with the personalities of the managers. There is always office gossip about management. Understand that those who have less power and information must monitor those who have more power and information. Deal with the systemic origins of workplace conflicts. Understand how the system works and why it must be changed.

    16. Help co-workers to acknowledge the forbidden and difficult to accept truth that all hierarchical organizations are fundamentally flawed, and these flaws lead directly to work conflicts and frustrations. Acknowledgement of this fact will stimulate them to develop their own vision of how the workplace can be organized, making them harder to manage and forcing management to make democratic concessions.

    A) Hierarchical organizations take the fun out of work. Most people are cut off from creative control on the job, alienating them from their own work and destroying productivity. Nobody says “Wow..you work in a hierarchy? That must be fun”

    B) Hierarchical power structures twist people’s personalities. The skills people develop for survival in a hierarchy are different than those they would develop in a democratic environment.

    C) Hierarchical power structures are necessarily secretive. Key decisions are made behind closed doors.

    Workers are kept in the dark, even about issues that affect them directly.

    D) Hierarchical power structures create repressive environments. They produce fear and insecurity, killing free expression and spontaneous activity. CYA (Cover Your Ass) governs work. Criticisms of the status quo and trial and error are necessary for progress. Hierarchical power structures slow progress.

    E) Hierarchical power structures stunt personal development. They cause conformist behavior by increasing the personal risk associated with creativity, independent thinking and dissent. The scope of work and thought is narrowed so that most people do not experience a wide variety of activity. Hierarchies deny people the environment of freedom and experimentation necessary for personal growth.

    F) Hierarchical power structures are inherently violent. The few cannot maintain their authority over the many through rhetoric alone. Hierarchies subordinate and humiliate, warp people’s personalities, perpetuate ignorance, repress spontaneity and make life in general a grind and stunt personal development. This is rarely acknowledged, regularly occurring violence against the individual. Alcohol, drug abuse and domestic brutality are methods often used to cope with this violence.

    They will eventually arise in every Hierarchical system. Such as an inherently hierarchical economic system – such as capitalism where authority originates in ownership (As Proudhoun said “property is theft!”)

    All social groupings such as Political organizations and parties, Workplaces, Personal relationships can be organized non-hierarchically. And any non-hierarchical grouping is always more resilient, stronger and more humane.

    17. Write and publish an expose of the organization that employs you. You can do this as a public service to demystify one of society’s institutions, and to give insight into the workings of such organizations in general. Publish anonymously or under a pseudonym.

    18. Sharpen and deepen your co-worker’s dissatisfaction with the restrictions on their work.

    19. Help bring to light management’s decisions regarding the content of the work. Workplace secrecy only increases the power of the bosses by insuring that they are the only ones with a comprehensive knowledge of what is going on. Spread around as much information as possible.

    20. Encourage openness in personnel matters. Secrecy allows management to ignore the pressure of precedents, so that it can give employees the cheapest deal it can get away with. Advocate making lists of salaries public. hahah

    21. Encourage openness in individual disputes with management. Bosses insist on closed door meetings not to protect your privacy but to deny you the support of your co-workers. Behind closed doors, you will stand alone against the institution. Recount details of your disputes with co-workers.

    22. Encourage co-workers to take their grievances to the boss collectively. One worker against the system will be slaughtered.
    Support co-workers when they go up against the institution alone.

    23. Fight to get professional organizations to handle grievances.

    24. Help organize a union. After all…management is organized…and sticks together to defend its interests.

    25. Undermine management’s ability to manipulate employees. Become an expert on management tactics and tricks. Become an expert on the principals of resistance. Spread this knowledge throughout the workplace (and the world).

    26. Hire co-workers on the basis of character. If you can talk to potential co-workers, ask only these questions:

    “What do you stand for?”

    “Do you stand for anything?”

    A team player is a person who usually stands for nothing of their own.

    27. Fight elitism, authoritarianism and hierarchy by resisting a professional self-identity. Don’t let your fancy credentials go to your head and shape your self-identity. Downplay your formal education and your position in “the system”. Academic credentials should raise suspicion, not respect. A person’s flashy diploma or job title alerts you to the degree to which this person has been processed by the system, is trusted by the system, or is concerned about preserving the system and keeping the system’s trust. In your own life, it is best to not give a rat’s ass about being respectable according to the system’s criteria. A person’s decent politics and humanity are usually developed not as the result of the system, but in spite of it.

    28. Work to democratize and break down hierarchy within your field.

    29. Use your position within the system to help other radicals. help radicals to get jobs. Supply them with references and recommendations. Offer professional services for free or at cost. Help them to get anything else they can from the system. Expect no return or special thanks.

    30. Work to eliminate the professional / non-professional division in the workplace. Not only because it stunts the intellectual growth of people on BOTH sides of the division, but because it works against democracy in society. Apprentice people to minimize their dependence on professionals for no cost. Give away your skills and knowledge.

    31. Encourage professional co-workers to see themselves as labor. Build solidarity between professional and non-professional workers. So-called professionals are workers who have been hired to carry on intellectual labor under an assigned ideology. Mental contortions that professionals perform to maintain the pretense that they are superior to labor, and ideologically self-directed are unhealthy and stifling. Acknowledgement that you are rank and file member of the ideologically directed intellectual workforce, opens the doors to many forms of resistance and is personally empowering. Avoid subtle put downs of non-professionals.

    32. Undermine managements information advantage. Arm your co-workers with as much information about the big picture as possible. Let new employees know and use to their advantage what top management already knows and uses to its advantage. Your own workplace is just one of many battle sites in a widespread contest between management and labor. Read publications that top management reads to get its broad perspective. These include: The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist and the appropriate trade publications.

    “Actions radicals can take in the workplace” From Disciplined Minds: A Critical Look at Salaried Professionals and the Soul-Battering System that Shapes their Lives by Jeff Schmidt.

  • To Kathy Cassandra,
    If interested, we’d like to get you to write a a concise essay on the dangers of having hundreds of nuclear plants in a time of economic and social collapse. We’d like to learn what you may know. If interested or if you need something from me, let me know.
    If you know of a definitive essay which addresses this topic, let me know.

    Collapsitarians@gmail.com

  • Wester: great post – but read my whole statement before yelling at me. i’m doing what i can and look to do more. What the fuck are you doing besides screaming at us?

    Probably 90% of humanity doesn’t even know what’s going on, another 1 to 5% know what’s happening (scientists, government officials, etc.) and don’t know what to do, and we here are just coming to terms with NTE while our ordinary lives roll along.

    Kevin’s speaking up to his local government WHILE HE STILL HAS A JOB and they’re ignoring him at every turn. What do you want him to do, start shooting the fuckers?

    All those actions you suggested above will get people summarily fired, arrested or shot. Lot of fuckin’ good that’s going to do. The system is designed to protect itself.

    Now here’s the funny part – i agree with you! i just think it isn’t going to do any good at this late stage of climate change. We’ve already triggered the irreversible feedback loops. Not that that is an excuse for inaction – quite the opposite – act as you outlined above!

    The thing you aren’t accepting is that it won’t make a difference. We’re done whether we go into complete rebellion and they begin martial law or we tend to our gardens in our local communities until climate change makes it impossible to grow food, or the water runs out, or all the pollinators die, or pandemics sweep the globe, or it gets so hot mammals like us can’t live, or all the vegetation dies from too much tropospheric ozone – or all of the above combined and interacting (AND MORE). It’s going to happen to the super wealthy (the privileged as you call them) and us working poor folk (formerly “middle class”) and the poor. The planet is reacting chemically to all the pollution we’ve been dumping into it for going on 200 years (if not millenia) and HUMANS CAN’T FIX IT! Nothing we do at this point is going to effect the Arctic ice melting, the methane and hydrogen sulfide pluming from the oceans, rivers, streams, ponds, lakes, etc. Don’t you see? It’s the end of the line! There’s no place to run, nothing to do, and unstoppable NO MATTER WHAT!

    So Guy’s “moral imperative” is the equivalent of living the way you want to fit into the world NOW THAT YOU KNOW. i’m on your side and looking to bring the goddamn system down, but there aren’t near enough of us, it’s going too slowly, and in the short time we have before it’s blindingly obvious to everyone that our entire way of life – civilization itself – is killing us and the planet, there’s absolutely no stopping what’s coming down on us. That’s what NTE is! Yes act as if the day is here until the bitter end, but don’t get all filled with hopium and think fucked up humanity has a snowball’s chance in hell of changing the outcome. The Hollywood movie version of how this turns out is complete bullshit. No one is going to “make it,” mini-nukes or not.

    Thanks for the book to refer to – i’ll add it to my arsenal. Keep raising awareness.

  • It’s worth considering that those who have the best chance of weathering the storm, small as it might be, are in fact the worst of what humanity has produced.

    Does that bother anyone?

  • Tom.

    Something I learned many years was this: never assume anything.

    Contrary to your assumption, I do not have a job. Although I have an Honours Degree in Chemistry, plus a post-graduate diploma in industrial technology, have been in senior management positions, and am probably one of the most informed people living in the district, if not the entire country, I am ‘unemployable’. I had the rug pulled from under me many years ago. Indeed, I am now DEPENDENT ON THE HAND I BITE for my continues survival in this mad society. I suppose NZ has not gone quite as far down the road to overt fascism as the ‘land of the free’.

    On Friday I had yet another round of battling with insane officialdom. That time it was the senior council officer of the council’s propaganda division, Simon Powell. First I pointed out the council has two modes: dysfunctional and non-functioning. Over a period of a month NPDC was unable to answer three simple questions: ‘Who is going to read my submission? Who is going to respond to my submission? Is the process the same as last year? Public submissions had not been copied and distributed more than 3 weeks after the cut-off date fro submissions. (How long does that take with modern technology? 3 days?)

    I asked him whether he had read my submission. He said: “No,” I suggested that it would have been a good idea to have done so since the purpose of the session was to discuss it. His admission validated the very things I had written in my submission, in particular that ‘I doubt senior council officer will read what I write’ and ‘the council does no research’.

    I pointed out NPDC was in breach of the Local Government Act on numerous counts (as is every other council in the country, of course): in particular, those sections relating to transparency, efficiency and effectiveness, and the requirement under law to plan for anticipated circumstances.

    I pointed out the likelihood of the district being in a position rather like Spain is now, around 3 years from now (bankrupt, 26% general unemployment, 60% youth unemployment etc.). My, how quickly it can turn! Remember Spain of 2005-7? A frenzy of construction, tourism, and Spanish banks buying up ‘assets’ around the world!

    I pointed out to him that he was actively destroying his own children’s futures, and since he is relatively young, his own future! And that I had ‘gone down the list, successively knocking over every council officer I met, including the General Manager. (The CEO is too scared to even meet me now.)

    There has been discussion about the ‘pointlessness of activism’, and that we are all doomed, so why bother to do anything.

    I have been at the coalface of this monster for over a decade, and have seen the consequences of abject failure to deal with anything at all levels of society over that time.

    All I can say is this: even at this late stage, taking appropriate action will REDUCE the suffering to come, as compared to the actions promoted by governments and councils which INCREASE the suffering to come.

    Incidentally, the session with my local MP (House of Representatives it says on his card) lasted around 45 minutes; the previous time I saw him (around 5 years ago) ha asked me to leave after 10 minutes because he did not want to talk about any of the things I wanted to talk about. Is that progress?

    There are elections in October. We currently have 4 out of 14 councillors who are battling for the future of the district and 10 ‘idiots and opportunists’. It is not inconceivable that the councillor who has read my most recent book and ‘has turned around and can see the tsunamis’ could become mayor, or that 4 more people with some brains and some morals could be elected as councillors. Or both.

    I’m not holding my breath, but such a scenario would lead to a change in culture that would lead to considerably less suffering further down the track.

    Of course, what applies where I live may not apply at all in other locations. In particular, Taranaki will probably be one of the last places in the western world to go under economically and environmentally, simply because of population and geographical factors. Clearly, places like Kansas could well be the first to go under environmentally.

    I’m ‘in retirement’ from activism for a couple of months to get garden and house projects completed. The on-going economic meltdown might just bring some decisive events before October. I’m watching Japan.

  • Ripley

    I think your brief analysis of what I wrote is on the right path. With urbanity in Australia, there is the issue of massive urban sprawl, like in Sydney and Melbourne, but it is set to get much worse. Where I live, many Sydney car addicts can now get to our ‘village’ coffeeeeee shops and trinket stores(shoes the prices in expensive Sydney shops) in under 70 mins on a good day(off).
    They all seem to want to get away from where they actually live. I can well understand this, and I suspect apart from commuting in progressive walking speed gridlock to work, the other than work use of cars is perhaps all ‘escape’ driven(pardon the pun). All the car adds on ecocide-ercial stations TV have ‘getaway SUVs’ with no one else on the road, in rural and ‘wild’ locations.

    This is mad, very mad, but worse, people feel trapped. Fossil fuels allow a kind of escape, be it car boat or plane, getting away from one’s ‘born into’- ‘sort of chosen’, rat cage habitat is weird and very costly for the planet.

    Even though Chile is a bit more urbanised than Australia, I suspect it has a higher standard of urban landscape then carpet bombed suburbia. Expect Australia stats to rise over the next few years in terms of urbanisation.

    All

    I would encourage all to view the links I put up earlier this thread from Bernard Lietaer, again below:

    ‘Bernard Lietaer “Why this crisis? And what to do about it?”- 11/30/09′

    ‘TEDxFlanders – Bernard Lietaer – design and implementation of currency systems’

    The reason I say this is because of an overwhelming number of comments which imply, either openly or through disgust or despair, that humans are essentially destructive and ecocidal, and such ideas.

    I do not deny these characteristics, but I have a different view. If I could briefly state a few of the ideas in these short lectures, it is a simple, but profound thing to understand humans are very adaptable, which is perhaps one of our hidden strengths, (for getting us here survival wise).

    Fiat currency has its origin in debt creation, usually home mortgage lenders.

    Fiat currency is not created in any other way, even though the printing and issuing is by government instrumentalities.

    Fiat currency is by definition always kept in short supply.

    Fiat currency is competitive.

    Fiat currency has its origins in early human groups and civilisations trading long distances with unfamiliar individuals and little trust.

    The lie is that this is the only currency open to people to serve their needs.
    Cooperative currencies, also called community and local currencies were traditionally used by local people and were created locally from need.
    Cooperative currencies can exchange basic needs within local communities, and competitive currencies between communities.

    The option of rapidly bringing cooperative currencies back into service of local communities is what many , many people need, and can very quickly compliment the scarcity of fiat currency, and provide a system or local exchange in place when fiat currency collapses.

    Cooperative local currencies, used by indigenous peoples the world over, were by and large outlawed, and driven out by empires of violence . war invasion and eventual colonisation.

    So one thing that a small country can do is get this stuff up and running, and bring into focus the types of human characteristics that having an honourable and workable local currency brings out in people.

    If the fiat currency dynamic is competitive, and behind it is the gun, then local currencies are cooperative and behind is support and resilience.

    Will the cynics cry once again we humans are too selfish?

    There may be many difficulties on the road to getting a local community to function in a healthy manner after the wreckage of empire has almost broken us to be slaves. However, it is surprising how an abundance of power comes to people when they can once again generate their own means to supply their needs-water food housing/shelter and good company.
    Isn’t this what all the having and getting is replacing – decent human community?
    Give it a whirl, it may help. especially when the taps and supermarkets and petrol stations are all collectively dry.

    Wester

    I like many of the things on your list, but to light heartedly throw a wrench in your well thought out ideas on action…
    I cant see a whole lot of political and environmental agitation going on in the chicken boning foodstuffs factory:

    ‘Inside a Poultry Processing Plant’

    You may be thinking everyone has a computer next to a modem on their desk in their workspace. Not so for most perhaps….

    I agree much can be done by those who want the system to change, which your list can promote.

    Just sayin.

  • jaywfitz “It’s worth considering that those who have the best chance of weathering the storm, small as it might be, are in fact the worst of what humanity has produced.

    Does that bother anyone?”

    Given that the peasants already survive conditions that most of us would die in and in fact reproduce in those conditions, I give them a better chance of survival than the rich elite. I also give the remaining untouched hunter-gatherers of the world a better chance, as they already know how to live without any of the trappings of civilization. Or at least that I was I thought before I knew about the methane time bomb and 439 nukes melting down

    But if the elite somehow manage to survive, hidden in their bunkers, while all other humans die, do I care. No.
    1. The world will not be a pleasant place to live after the disasters we have wrought. They can have it.
    2. They will still die as they are mortal.
    3. Genetics are tricky things too. We have been breeding chickens for years. It is very hard to predict the outcome of the offspring from the parents in behavior. If only a few survive they will have inbreeding problems as well.
    4. No telling what all that radiation will do to the offspring
    5. They have no useful skills for growing their own food
    6. If they take servants or slaves, once the power of the state is gone it will be easier for those servants or slaves to rise up. There is a great scene in Roots, where a small slaveholder hears of slave riots. So he takes all the knives axes etc from his slaves out of fear. Of course then they don’t have the tools to do the work he wants them to do.
    7. If they don’t take servants or slaves who will dress them in the morning.
    8. If ONLY the elite survive, they will lose what they crave most – power and superiority. Who will they look down on and order around.
    9. If ONLY the elite survive, they will begin to turn on each other
    10. Your question bears the hallmark of thinking that “winning” matters. Homo sapiens sapiens was the winner, whether actively or by default of the race of the homo species. Perhaps one could say that the worst of all human species has already won. Would other homo species have been better??? So if the worst of the worst wins, well that is how it goes. We came from hunter-gatherers – we are the same species. If the world wasn’t about to be destroyed and there was still oil in the ground, some hunter-gatherers would again become agriculturalists and it would all run over again.
    11. And by the way most Americans are part of the world’s 1 percent, or at least 2 percent. The figure for the top 1 percent of the world is $30,000 annual income per person or there about. I haven’t seen that for the top 2% but I am sure it includes most of the rest of the first world. Already the people of this world are bothered that the products they produce, the minerals that they mine, allow you and I to survive to an older age than them. I believe the average life expectancy of a copper miner south of the border is about 45. Does that bother you that we get to live longer and use that copper to communicate on our computers – we are the elite that are surviving longer than the distant slaves that make our cozy lives possible. But NOW we worry that those over us might survive longer than us, while we never worried that those under us were dying early for our lifestyle. We have no right to be bothered about their survival since we lived off of the early deaths of others ourselves.

    It is difficult to be sat on all day, every day, by some other creature, without forming an opinion about them.

    On the other hand, it is perfectly possible to sit all day, every day, on top of another creature and not have the slightest thought about them whatsoever.

    Douglas Adams
    Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

    And all plans for survival work out as one thinks. For a delightful (IMO) little novel on this subject see Khalki by Gore Vidal.

    Xray Mike, if I decide to write that article on the nukes I will let you know, probably I won’t.

  • Yes, there is a meme that keeps popping up in small countries (my own New Zealand included) that our emissions are far too small to matter. It’s often raised to justify inaction. Some other country must do it first. I’m not criticising you, Godofredo, there is nothing (that I can see) that an ordinary person can do to get their governments to take action, not only on climate change but environmental damage of all kinds. I don’t know what Chile’s aspirations are (or at least it’s government’s aspirations) but, as far as I can see, most countries are fixated on the economy and not being left behind (though the real objective is to make a few people as rich as possible, as quickly as possible). Governments and aspiring governments cannot depart from the central tenets of our global civilisation. If they did, they would be out of government (or never get elected into government). Even our Green Party consistently toes the party line on the overall shape of civilization and modern economies.

    So it’s down to individuals to do what they can to reduce their footprint and reduce their dependence on civilisation. Hopefully, you can make it through the bottleneck. Guy has set a great example that might be too extreme for some people but do as much as you can and be as sustainable as you can. Permaculture is a great way to get as close to nature as one can. Food forests (which are for more than just food and also benefit the ecology) are about as sustainable a way of meeting one’s needs as I’ve come across.

  • Kathy C

    A very minor point (and one I almost pointed out to Ulvfugl a while back), but Americans comprise more than 4% of the world’s population, so they can’t all (or evenly mostly) be in the top 1 or 2% can they?

  • Daniel, has Guy ever banned anyone? I don’t think so. I wouldn’t want B9K9 to be the first.

  • Yorchichan -good point – I stand corrected for exaggeration – per this virtually all Americans are in the top 13% – and it pegs the annual salary higher than the figure I got from another site.

    Let me let you in on another little secret. In order to reach that top 1 percent status, you need to earn around $47,500 per year. That’s about the average per capita income in the United States (depending on whose statistics you use). That means tens of millions of Americans are in the top 1 percent! You, reader, may even be in the top 1 percent too!

    And the rest of us are right up there. If you only earn $25,000 per year, you’re in the top 10 percent. Even if you earn the official poverty line in the United States — $11,344 (for 2010) — you’re in the top 13 percent of all income earners, give or take a percentage point.

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/11/09/the-top-1-percent-of-the-world/#ixzz2WTWVVvaQ

  • Kevin: point taken regarding employment. i’m practically in the same boat and have been for many years, just scratching out enough to get by on. i enjoy hearing of your slow progress in your posts and your dogged determination inspires me in my efforts against fracking (via influencing my local state senator via petitions to take a stand and co-sponsor legislation placing a moratorium or outright ban on fracking). i was only correct in my assumption that you’re a well-educated and informed person – brave too in my opinion. Surely you understand how frustratingly slow it is trying to get our elected officials to act responsibly, how ignorant and damaging their continuing ‘business as usual’ growth-based policies are (whether locally or globally), how few of us there are actually doing something about it all (as opposed to watching tv while gobbling empty calories), the life-saving need to ACT, whether it’s futile or not, and you may even secretly desire ‘to throw yourself on the gears of the machine’ to stop the destruction at times. i hear you loud and clear and applaud your efforts.

    The only point i’m arguing with Wester is the fact that we can’t do much, if anything, to effect the outcome of hundreds of years of pollution on the Earth’s climate. It was delicate and somewhat resilient for many decades, but now we see that we’ve gone past the point of no return. With Arctic ice loss (and Greenland, Chilean, Greenland and Himalayan glacier melt – to name a few), volcanic and earthquake activity (all up over recent years), trying to ‘fix’ what we’ve done is frankly impossible. Geo-engineering will likely only make things worse (in that it will probably produce more unintended consequences), while completely stopping industrial civilization today won’t stop or reverse the already damaged climate (since it would take many millenia to ‘wash out’ and re-sequester just the CO2 we’ve spewed, i don’t know what happens to all the methane, hydrogen sulfide, tropospheric ozone and other noxious gases). In the meantime, the protective radiation belt around our planet is measurably weakening which sets us up for the Venus effect no matter what we do, while all the other factors play themselves out (while interacting and influencing other knock-on effects that further make our position that much more precarious). Maybe we can add on a year to a decade by taking any and all human action now, but i don’t see that as being likely. Yes, i still act in spite of this (like the last stand at the Alamo) but it’s pretty clear by now that we’re only delaying the inevitable, realistically.

    Keep up the good fight!

  • There are plenty of posters here I don’t agree with, but I wouldn’t want anyone banned. As long as everyone honors the “2 posts a day” rule.

    There arer plenty of posters here I don’t understand or they are talking way over my head. So be it.

    There are plenty of posters here that follow a prescription for living that I cannot emulate (for whatever reason).

    I’m just a passenger on the train heading for the cliff – I’m not making any trouble and I’m not taking advantage of the situation. Just staring out the window.

  • I would willingly join Wester’s resistance if I knew where to go to join! I think we could enlist the legions of homeless people to join as well.

    I don’t pay any taxes any more – except sales taxes on the few things I’m able to buy these days.

    If you pay taxes in the US (income, state, property, vehicle registration fees, etc) then you are financing the drones that will one day come for you.

  • “I think the case could be made that Hinduism is exactly the world view that perpetuated the Raj and the despicable caste system as long as it did– the Christianity is exactly the world view that allowed slavery and racial bias to continue as long as it had-has still–Christianity in particular and eco-spiritualism is a gigantic impediment to the rational discussion of ecology, largely because it/they persist in the assumption of a galactic teleological purpose–which makes concepts like NTE completely addressable, as the concept can’t even exist within that perceptual set.”

    My take on this is that religion can be used progressively or oppressively–it is more a vehicle than what that vehicle contains. The vehicle is, however, indispensable for moving large numbers of human beings to effect large change, positive or negative. The vehicle is religion.

    Rational, secular, science-oriented thinking has moved virtually no one (commensurate with the number of people throughout the world who need to be moved). So, rational, secular, science-oriented thinking could be as much an impediment to action as religion. I don’t, however, think that religion can’t be short-time-span oriented. Religion is neutral and open. Since it is not rational (although it can only be beneficial if consistent with rationality, as in the case of MLK) it is free to include any content or mission it pleases.

  • SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The latest domestic energy boom is sweeping through some of the nation’s driest pockets, drawing millions of gallons of water to unlock oil and gas reserves from beneath the Earth’s surface.

    Hydraulic fracturing, or the drilling technique commonly known as fracking, has been used for decades to blast huge volumes of water, fine sand and chemicals into the ground to crack open valuable shale formations.

    But now, as energy companies vie to exploit vast reserves west of the Mississippi, fracking’s new frontier is expanding to the same lands where crops have shriveled and waterways have dried up due to severe drought.

    In Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, the vast majority of the counties where fracking is occurring are also suffering from drought, according to an Associated Press analysis of industry-compiled fracking data and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s official drought designations.

  • What I mean to say is I like B9K9 and I’m proud to carry his jock. I don’t want him banned because I want to continue to lick his ass.

  • Sigh, once again I must assume my self-appointed role as patient listener and wise seer. In contrast to the widely held notion that nothing can be done, there is actually a fool-proof channel. In fact, I’ve mentioned it repeatedly – both directly and inferred – as part of my overall series of discussions regarding “how the world actually works”.

    I guess a refresher is in order to get back to very first principles. Recall that debt can be, and is, substituted for capital. Whereas capital is stored wealth (eg grow 10 bushels, use 9, store 1), debt is of course a promise to pay tomorrow.

    The banking industry, like any good or service, is interested in increasing total market demand. What banks sell are loans, so their objective is to expand both horizontally across market sectors (eg geographic regions, demographics, etc) and vertically integrate to capture private & public institutions. They are key champions of state growth, actually corporate-state growth, because this drives the underlying need for additional debt financing.

    Once you understand the underlying driving motivations, then it’s quite easy to go back and analyze why certain legislation was promoted and passed. Bring up any major “reform” and/or socially significant turning point, be it women’s suffrage, prohibition, voting rights, EPA, all the way up to Obamacare, and what do you find?

    That’s right, you’ll find the primary backers where those who stood to benefit from the resulting growth in the corporate-state apparatus and demand for loans.

    So let’s dial this in for today: how do you get the banking elite to sign off supporting the end of industrial civ? How do they benefit? Do you really want to know? I think if I told you the answer, you wouldn’t be happy, which just goes to show that some can never be satisfied .

  • B9K9 please tell us! Tell us how the banking elite signs off on the end of industrial civilization?

    Please!

  • Global greenhouse-gas emissions rose to record levels in 2012, the International Energy Agency said in a report released last week. Especially disconcerting is the news from May that carbon-dioxide levels reached 400 parts per million “for the first time in several hundred millennia,” the report states.

    IEA predicts that the global temperature could rise between 6.84 and 9.54 degrees Fahrenheit, “with most of the increase occurring this century.” This is significantly more than the 3.6-degree Fahrenheit temperature (2-degree Celsius) rise scientists have said the Earth must not surpass. The report sounds a dismal tone: “Despite the insufficiency of global action to date, limiting the global temperature rise to 2 degrees C remains still technically feasible, though it is extremely challenging.”

  • @jawfitz “It’s worth considering that those who have the best chance of weathering the storm, small as it might be, are in fact the worst of what humanity has produced.

    Does that bother anyone?”

    No. As others have pointed out, even if “the elite” do survive a bit longer living in their bunkers, it’s not going to be much of a life. It’ll be more of a punishment.

  • @Roger says “B9K9 please tell us! Tell us how the banking elite signs off on the end of industrial civilization? Please!”

    Ripley has it dialed in – I suggest going back and reading his various posts. Upon review, it’s important to keep in mind the difference between ‘real’ and ‘nominal’. Real is owning 100% of 50 million remaining slaves, whereas nominal is 75-90% control of 7 billion.

    To make the proposition interesting to the masters, it has to be framed in such as way as to maximize real control. Eco warriors should be happy, because with only 50m people left, Gaia is saved.

    Of course, this is how it’s gonna go down anyway, so it’s not like anyone has to get all activist or something. However, seeing how it’s going to play out does provide an opportunity for some to perhaps continue experience living.

  • Martin

    Guy has previously banned Morocco Bama and Ivy Mike. B9K9 appeared soon after, but I’m sure it’s just coincidence ;).

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #13

    Back from vacation.
    Lamp on rock, shit, nothing wet,
    hermit crab remains.

  • Godofredo is correct in his claims. Chile is a pretty country and has a very low carbon footprint. Their smallest towns and largest cities are built for pedestrians and public transportation. Santiago has the largest subway system in Latin America.

    After learning about catastrophic climate change in 2007, I lived there for a year to decide if I would become a citizen. Another opportunity arose that made me leave. But, if others want to hear about moving to Chile. I can answer questions that will smooth the transition. winfield74 at gmail dot com.

  • Yeah, Chile’s great with a very low carbon footprint, so come on down and get a whiff of our fresh air. Here’s a sample. Can’t you just smell the exceptionalism?

    http://www.ilovechile.cl/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/santiago-smog-by-Amanda-Lobos.jpg

  • I did nine months in Santiago and 3 in La Serena. The ocean air is cleaner. Roughly 7 million people in one valley will never work. But the country is large and full of alternatives.

  • Chile Dog – BTW I think I know who took that picture – Amanda Lobos. Lobos is her last name, I think. An English Professor at Tronwell?

  • Kathy, others. . .

    I’m largely with B9K9– I think it’s a significant omission around here to refuse to acknowledge the capacity of the world’s military forces to step and and significantly alter our assumed progressions. . .as I see it, the US military easily has the capacity to solve– crudely– every one of these problems including the nuke plants. . .and in my mind it’s a bit of a foregone conclusion that at the very least the attempt is going to be made. . .and how this is going to play out is largely our near timeframe concern. I imagine they’ll let it all hang until we lose the artic ice, with it a significant chunk of the world’s grain harvests– and well, there we be. At that point there’s no incentive to hold off any longer.

    So, no, NTE isn’t a 100% certainty, and yes, something can be done about it, and it seems pretty likely it will. . .unless one wants to persist in believing TBTB are as apathetic and spineless as we’re demonstrating ourselves to be. . .and of course they’re really happy to have us believe all that.

  • I agree, TPTB have a plan.

    I think they will let the chaos reach a fever pitch and then “save the day” by instituting “reforms” that will keep things going (for them). Martial law, FEMA camps, etc.

    BUT, what you guys are missing is that there really isn’t anything that can be done about runaway environmental collapse – NTE is for real, and we are past the point of being able to do anything about it.

    If you don’t accept that, fine, but, this is Guy’s blog, and he has the credentials and he’s done the homework and he’s presented his case.

    Now, the REAL question is this: Will collapse happen so quickly and indiscriminately that even TPTB will be unable to control it – a pandemic perhaps? Or will it be slow and painful – such that the military will take full control and force us into labor camps to be exterminated or worked to death.

    This is my world view, my reality. I’m just waiting to see which it’s going to be. I’m kinda’ hoping for quick, out-of-control collapse – even though that’s going to be awful and scary! Cannibals running wild, religious sects running wild, anti-govt militias running wild, the grid goes down, the nukes go Fukushima, etc. – pure chaos.

  • The US military could exterminate 90 percent of humanity about 20 minutes, cram us 4 degrees centigrade cooler, take care of all the nuke plants– they’ve the capacity to remove the methane from the polar regions, it’s all there, it’s been broadly studied for 30 years. . .and this is from reports that are available to the public.

    Oh yeah, NTE can be averted. Not sure that it works out any different for most folks.

    Guy hasn’t addressed this fly in the ointment at all, and how could one?

  • So, is B9K9 selling barbed wire, cyanide, and coffins? Is that the niche he’s carved out for himself to live in comfort along side TPTB in the post collapse world?

    I don’t understand why we can’t all accept the plain picture of the coming events. It seems many here have it right: There will be shortages of food and water creating widespread civil unrest and this will in turn lead to both pestilence and militarization. Regional conflicts will turn to all out wars. Everyone dies.

    You see, none of us will be around for 4C because WAR is going to come way before that.

  • Wester, I like and respect you. I sincerely do. Unfortunately, the fact that you can count to at least 32 puts you in a distinct minority. I question the effectiveness of your approach. Here is the dominant group to talk to.

  • Yes, the general population of US is pretty damn stupid. The right-wing militia types like to point out that the education system is dominated by liberals with their teachers unions. They want more pay, more benefits, more administration, more everything, and yet the graduates are unable to point out Iran on a map. Yes, it’s the parent’s fault ultimately, but there is something very wrong with the education system in America.

    Anyway, Wester can try to reach out to the masses as best he can. I applaud his efforts. I can’t believe he hasn’t already had some kind of mysterious “accident” befall him courtesy of the FBI.

    So much wrong in the world today.

  • “Wester, I like and respect you. I sincerely do. Unfortunately, the fact that you can count to at least 32 puts you in a distinct minority. I question the effectiveness of your approach. Here is the dominant group to talk to.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJuNgBkloFE

    I’ve been wondering what’s the cure for hopium, and this is it.
    ———————————————————————-

    “Once you understand the underlying driving motivations, then it’s quite easy to go back and analyze why certain legislation was promoted and passed. Bring up any major “reform” and/or socially significant turning point, be it women’s suffrage, prohibition, voting rights, EPA, all the way up to Obamacare, and what do you find?”

    How far can we go back? To original sin? Perhaps it was in the acquisition of knowledge and the ability “to see that we were naked” that it all began…

    There was a TV show on art and architecture. The host might have been a man called James Burk. (It was decades ago on PBS) He talked about the discovery of the Renaissance grid, and the awesome, fatal control this gave to civilization. A tipping point.

    The industrial revolution wrought such wonders…some believed. And it roughly corresponded with the Civil War, that epical struggle against the injustice of slavery. And the north won, as did industrial civilization… A tipping point.

    There was the extravagant crimes of the Guilded Age, before Teddy made some correction, which may or may not have set us up for greater trouble down the road. And Wilson did something nefarious that I can’t recall. Then there was the cabal of Edison, Ford, Teddy, Miur… Electricity, the Model T, National Parks (and no one realized that you can’t lock wilderness up into a park without making it into a zoo). All tipping points.

    FDR and the New Deal. A way to keep the system going. We were in peril but didn’t know it.

    Civil Rights. Driving the black middle class into the (near) suburbs, leaving the inner cities ripe for the plucking of urban renewal, for the predation of the Intercontinental Highway System, etc. Oh, the automobile! And all new roads wide enough for army tanks to navigate. And all the new consumption of the “freed” minorities, all the loans…

  • Curtis A. Heretic says: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJuNgBkloFE

    To study doom more than a tad,
    You don’t need to be a postgrad;
    OTOH,
    You must understand
    More than “Four legs good, two legs bad.”

  • I was just trying to keep the perspective here, and remind everyone of the true nature of the U.S.

  • Curtis, an important point, IMHO. We’re a pretty learned bunch here, and it still took us awhile to grasp what’s happening. I see no way everybody without much formal education can possibly put all the moving parts together in the time remaining.

  • At the top of the Human Dung Heap Pyramid is just gangsters. Big Men

    Been there a long time, King of the Hill is the game we played as children.

    It’s a global criminal syndicate, a global collection of Alpha Mafias, lead by Naked Apes who want the Most-est

    Progress is just another perception management term for ‘enough is never enough’. Genetically, We want that.

    The Big Men understand this right down to the very dead center of their swollen throbbing Basal Ganglias.

    However Thievery is not an ideology.

    Thievery masquerades as dreadful religion-isms and tacky low rent political-isms, but it is not an ‘Ism’ itself.

    It might perhaps be a shallow philosophy or possibly a condition, like psychopathy or syphilis or rabies.

    As a shallow philosophy it’s straight forward, you take anything you want from anyone you want any time you want. Simple.

    The caveats are that if you choose the wrong time or place or entity, that they, the Marks, might kill you first, skin you and nail your hide to the nearest wall.

    This caveat over eons tends to produce thieves who are cowards at heart in addition to being parasites at their core.

    They tend to rob only those who can’t resist effectively. That’s what we have today in Spades with The Trans-national Big Men.

    There are actually apologists and enablers of The Big Men who figure that some crumbs from the table of thieves is better than a gossamer Nothing Burger from the Loser Peasants. I call these apologists and enablers of The Big Men ‘toadies’.

    When The Morgan quipped he could hire half the population to kill the other half, he had Toadies in mind for the killer half.

    The Stockholm Syndrome seems built into our genes.

    “Beat us, steal from us, take away the Fruits of Industrial Disease that We crave, Dominate Us, We Love It oh Big Men! Oh don’t, stop, don’t stop….”

    I think it’s right that anyone who manages to squeeze and claw their way through the Eye of the Bottleneck Needle to the next phase of the Human Dung Heap Pyramid we be the Worst of Us.

    They always seem to be the Fittest in Blood Sport competition.

    .

  • Hi everyone. I am not a regular poster, but I visit every month to keep up to date. I went to the Age of Limits conference and I am hip to what is going on and take NTE as a real possibility. But I am looking for those that are acting like it is a real possibility. I have made numerous sacrifices in my marriage and in time with my two daughters. I went to Chile in 2010 for a year to determine its suitability. I am interested in living in numerous areas: Tasmania, NZ, Chile, the Pacific North West…Is there anyone else doing worthwhile projects? I have skills in building science, construction, and organic gardening. I was once successful in the professional world. I am private school educated. And my grandfather Bill Tindall was one of the leading six engineers in NASA’s space race (see wikipedia). So I have some of his intelligence and other attributes.
    I enjoy everyone’s posts, but lets remind ourselves that we are documenting a train wreck in slow motion while more important things like survival are at stake. The ecovillage model generally does not interest me as it is focused on calculating footprints and creating consensus. I am looking for a tribe ruled by elders and democracy.
    Please keep respect in answering. I am not looking for snark or snips at my genuine inquiry save that for everyone else here please.
    Anyone able to point me to a winning organization?
    winfield74 at gmail dot com

  • Winfield

    After you short resume and job application all I can suggest is you start the organisation yourself.
    Just stand on the corner of the park where you plan to erect your survival shelter and don a sandwich board that reads:

    “NTE and Collapse is nigh?
    Apply within”

    Seriously Winfield, you can do it! But you need others, so act, and live in the manner you wish to happen, or you wish to come into being, and you will attract those who ‘see’ it.

    “Build it and they will come”

    Best wishes where ever you apply it.

    Cheers mate.

  • Winfield,

    You might check out the classifieds at the top of the page. Perhaps one of the ads might interest you.

  • Ozman,
    Thanks for the encouragement and advise. I can take the humor too.

    Judy,
    Thanks. I don’t visit this site enough. I did not realize that McPherson had this classifieds link. Now I have some classifieds to review.

  • Winfield,

    There was an ad for one in Oregon that is not there anymore. The couple found that no one who applied really knew and/or understood how much work would be involved, and apparently no one wanted to do the work.

    I’ve been to Salt Spring Island, and if I had the ability, financially and physically, that’s where I would go. It’s a lovely place and far from the zombie hordes.

  • Not certain how meaningful this really is, but fwiw.

    World Life Expectancy Index, from Monaco, 89, to Chad, 49.

    http://www.geoba.se/population.php?pc=world&type=015&year=2013&st=rank&asde&page=1

  • Winfield. Hawaii.

  • Kathy C: I suggest that everyone who wants to talk about survival put some qualifier on it – For example instead of “key to survival will be an ability to contribute.” write “key to survival (to at least 70, until my grandchildren are grown, longer than other dumb f@#ks, etc.) will be an ability to contribute”. I suggest this as it will be a reminder that survival is always temporary and help one define just what is important to you about extending survival.

    I think that we have been so influenced by Hollywood, that many still think that all of this is going to unfold like some summer blockbuster: some tragic event will happen, a small group survives the event, and then everyone left gets back to living life in the new norm but with the bad part behind them. Examples: 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, Deep Impact, etc.

    The reality is likely to be that even if some small group does survive a catastrophic event that ends the industrial economy, life will not get better after that but rather, they will be visited very soon by other catastrophic events in succession until there is nothing left. No survivors, no animals, no plants and no point to even try to keep on “surviving”.

    I tend to think of it like a war. Except this time instead of human on human, it will be nature AND humans against all humanity. Due to our actions, nature will continue to lob salvo after salvo at us until we’re wiped off the face of the planet.

  • That is a really good point. . .RDH.

    A lot of it is lingo: for myself when I talk about quality of life– having lived the “voluntary simplicity” thing here for a couple of decades now, it’s largely a matter of warm, fed, reasonable leisure time as escape from utterly menial wage earning, access to medical care of some kind of grade, reasonable security and/or insulation from violence.

    And without a doubt a lifestyle with those kinds of goals has significantly longer staying power than one of– keeping the job, house, xyz. And of course, moving towards that lower impact relationship with the planet isn’t only ethical, it’s good business sense.

  • @ Benjamin the Donkey

    I’m glad you’re still around, this place just wouldn’t be the same without you.

  • Wester, I have several objections to the list you posted. As a small business owner (my clinic employs 8 people), much of what you suggested would sink me if my employees followed those suggestions. I know that many people think that doctors are rich and make all sorts of money (some doctors do fit that description), but I can assure you that the cleaning lady in my clinic makes more money than I do (I know, I write the checks). So, if I go broke, shut down my clinic, lay off those workers, and go to work for a large hospital chain making gobs more money than I am now, how does that help the environment exactly?

    But aside from that, those suggestions sound great for someone trying to start a labor union or political movement to replace a capitalistic society with a socialist society, but what in the world does it have to do with the topic at hand? Do you really think a communist or socialist society would be any less destructive to the planet than a capitalist one? Does Chernobyl ring a bell? What about Tiananmen Square? Have the socialist countries in Europe done any better in protecting the environment or preventing the wholesale destruction of the planet? (See the chemical spill in a Hungarian river that covered entire towns with a toxic red slime.)

    This isn’t about political or monetary systems. Sure, if we had chosen a different path at some point in the past, we might not be where we are now. But, we would have ended up here eventually. Unless humans had found a way to control their numbers, our current situation was inevitable. We are in ecological overshoot and the fat lady is getting up to sing. There’s nothing to be done for it now – billions and billions of people are going to die very early deaths and likely our species and many, many others are going to disappear.

    Actually, groups of humans have been in overshoot many times in the past. This will be the first time we’ve done it on a global scale.

    You also seem to be operating under the assumption that no one here “does” anything. Many people who comment here have been working tirelessly for years trying to educate those around them about collapse, climate chaos, peak oil, etc. Some continue to do so (including myself). To no avail. So, please, before berating everyone here further, simply because we have chosen not to force our person and attitudes upon an unsuspecting “less developed” country, educate yourself properly as to whom you speak. I also suggest that you share a little more about what you’ve “done” to save the world and just how effective it’s been.

    Sorry to be so negative, but you’re unjustified holier than thou attitude really rubs me the wrong way.

    @Ripley,
    If you’re honest with yourself, you have to admit this scenario is just as likely, maybe even more likely than the frequently mentioned worldwide grid collapse and nuke meltdown.

    No, actually, when I’m honest with myself (I always try to be so), I see the scenario you outline as incredibly unlikely – almost to the point of impossibility. You’re assuming that a small group of people will actually advance technologically during a time of widespread collapse, reduction in net energy, and extreme climate chaos. I can think of no other situation in human history that would suggest – even remotely – that such a feat is possible.

    Technological advance requires enormous excess energy be available for use. Excess available energy is already declining rapidly (as well as many other items necessary for “advancing”).

    Magic and miracles are pretty similar, and you seem to ascribe one or the other to this mythical 0.1% of the population. Their cellular function is going to be disrupted by radioactive fallout the same way that yours and mine will be. There’s nothing special about them.