When faced with Apocalypse, What’s a mother to do?

by Pauline Schneider

When I recently learned that Dr Guy McPherson had chosen not to have children due to ecological Apocalypse and human-population overshoot, I completely understood. Regardless that his offspring would have been exceptional human beings that the world might have benefited from, he spared his potential children the terrors that mine may face all too soon, and he did so deliberately with unselfish compassion and personal sacrifice. I really get it, and it’s where the majority of my grief lies. The Greek word Apocalypse means to reveal or revelation, and there have been numerous scientific climate revelations over the past three decades that few have paid much attention to, maybe only 10% of us have noticed. We are now on the brink of the newest revelation from last week, which was the Apocalyptic revelation that our Earth had reached 400 ppm CO2 levels. I shivered with terror when I heard that and wondered how many others shivered as well. Apparently, not enough because it was business as usual around the world.

I am the mother of three: two adult aged, 26 and 24 years old and a teenager of 16 years, which gives me special credentials and skills in the world of GenYers and Gen Xers. I know about Halo 3 and the fantastic world of World of Warcraft and can even quote the line from Southpark “This could mean the end of the world of The World of Warcraft” from a spoof episode mocking people who have no lives and play WoW 24/7. On rainy days, I’m guilty as charged.

Lest you be fooled by my MA in Education or BA in Anthropology and Sociology, these video game skills are skills to be admired and ones my kids appreciate even more than my abilities to grow food in the garden, plant a fruit tree without killing it, and wax poetic on the fraud of Paul Revere whose ride was no midnight ride, nor frantic, but a relaxed stroll that included a beer stop. Compare his ride to Sybil Ludington’s ride, a 16-year-old girl who rode through sheets of rain on narrow unpaved roads in the middle of the night, through the Putnam Valley of NY to muster a regiment to Fredricksburg and gets a mere footnote in the school books, but at least a fabulously crafted statue in the town of Carmel, New York. Now she was the real deal, and Revere would be jealous and maybe turned on a bit. But I digress, and my kids eyes would be rolling back in their heads by now, though I will come back to the theme of Sybil sounding the alarm …

Sybil Ludington from Wikipedia

Growing up I was not ever planning on being a mother, I’d already played mom to my three younger siblings and to every child I had babysat since I was 11 years old; yes we started working young back in the olden days. I was going to be a successful career woman, though at what I had no clue, and children had no place in that fantasy career world.

Fast forward to falling in love and getting knocked up at 22, then married to the handsome father and becoming the proud mama of a boy by 23. When he was 18 months we decided he needed a sibling and instantly produced his sister. And we were done. We had responsibly replicated ourselves and not added extra human carrying weight to the Earth and we were feeling mighty proud of ourselves. Being ecologically conscious of the resource depletion humans were conducting on our planet, and of the serious implications of climate change, economic collapse and environmental pollution, we tried to walk gently on the Earth and then eight years after our daughter we were faced with a third person to care for and worry about and to love until our last breaths.

Just a few years before our third child came into this world we had been talking to a close friend who was a filmmaker and whose brother was a climate scientist measuring temps over the arctic and taking core samples. At one dinner we sat around and discussed the current state of the planet and global warming and our friend revealed to us that his brother’s conclusion was that we had a mere 20 years left on this planet. We shook our heads in amazement, not daring to believe this, but certain that, since it came from so reliable a source, that it must be true. We weren’t properly terrified enough, but I was concerned enough to want to learn as much as possible about growing food, storing water, becoming resilient and reducing my carbon footprint. I was a mere drop in the bucket and my husband, smart and compassionate though he was, reassured me that none of my efforts would be enough to ward off the hordes of starving that would for sure ultimately come through and devour us and our children. I wasn’t buying his nihilistic complacency. I was a warrior, and a granddaughter of warriors and survivors of multiple wars, famines, diseases, etc. This story would end the way I wanted it to end, not the way hordes of zombies wanted. My children and I were not going to be the main course for anyone, at least not if I could help it.

So I wrestled with all that information, learned as much as I could, collected books on plants, Permaculture, mini farming, raising livestock, making clothing, wilderness medicine, the whole shebang. I have a fantastic survivalist library complete with numerous tomes on Anthropology and History. Because those who fail to know their history are doomed to repeat it. And if we make it through this Apocalypse, I’m making sure no great-great-great-grand kid of mine is melting the Earth down again ….

And then the marriage ended and I left my seven acres off the beaten path with a stream running through its woods and a sweet smelling swamp with an old oak growing out of it. “Sigh.”

I moved to a walking village nearby on a third of an acre filled with poison ivy and pachysandra. It took me nearly seven years to restore the soil, replace most of the lawn with fruit trees and berry bushes, perennial vegetables, edible and medicinal flowers, and install a very noble and practical wood burning stove that has already served us twice when the power went down. It goes down regularly now. When I moved to the neighborhood I was informed it had never gone down in 40 years but a couple times in recent times. … Ah, yes, that’s because the grid is aging and the storms are getting worse, but I decided not to alert my neighbor yet. She’d find out soon enough for herself.

I transformed my little bungalow into a cozy, beautiful and “sustainable” home, replacing oil heat with Natural Gas and on demand, tankless water heater. I stripped layers of paint from wood molding with SoyGel stripper, a safe, natural and REALLY effective paint stripper that doesn’t burn skin and isn’t made by an evil chemical company. I Venetian Plastered two rooms in the hope that it would insulate them better; it didn’t do much but it looks great! With the help of my new sweetheart and partner, I insulated the attic and installed a solar power attic fan to keep air circulating up there. We gutted and tore out the inefficient, power gulping kitchen appliances and replaced them with Energy Star rated appliances and granite countertop, FSC harvested cherry cabinets and Kona wood flooring. And when I was mostly done with this project I finally realized my life’s dream, which was to have chickens. So last summer I bought a chicken tractor and four young chickens from a local family that provides them and I felt complete. I was growing food, I was walking lightly on the land and I had invested in four birds that would provide me with one of the most nutrient dense foods around, sans all the pesticides, antibiotics and stress hormones. This was my organic paradise.

Then my world began to slowly collapse. I wasn’t too surprised, since I was preparing for global collapse anyway, but it was not what I’d expected. Is it ever? It started with a neighbor who complained about my chickens, blaming neighborhood rats on the four girls. The rats had arrived en masse due to an unusually warm and dry winter and spring (gratis climate change) and they found the neighborhood veggie gardens extremely nutritious. I was instantly visited by the town Code enforcer, who curtly told me that no chickens were allowed in my 1/4-acre zoning. I was shocked since I had believed chickens were allowed in my town. Well, they were allowed, just not if someone complains (under the radar is okay) and only officially in 1/2-acre zoning which was, ironically, just across the street from me. I was so close to victory, yet so far. I decided to buy some time and apply for a zoning variance. I figured if people can apply for a variance to build a garage, I could do so for four chickens. Apparently my surrounding neighbors disagreed and had not received the climate collapse memo being sent around the globe … I’m not sure how they missed it even after living through power destroying hurricanes or random storms each year since I moved there. After several months battling the neighbors, the law, reading vilifying letters sent to the board, being grateful for the handful of neighbors that were deeply supportive but did not live in my immediate neighborhood, the day of trial came. I’d crafted a document of such impressive proportions, and with citations that would impress the strictest of PhD professors (Prof McP?) that the board actually complimented my work and wished they could offer me the variance, but they assured me I would not win and gave me the opportunity to withdraw the variance so I would not have to be denied it. Ultimately, I lost my four hens who were laying the most wonderful and delicious eggs I’d eaten since being a child in Greece (a good friend in the next town is babysitting them). The American Culture of stupidity and injustice had bested a free & honest spirit and won again. Freedom isn’t free. Yay Rules!

Which leads me to this past week when I first met Dr. McPherson and first heard his Dr. Doom presentation, alerting us of a much sooner-than-anticipated climate collapse in the next decade, if not sooner. And then I remembered my filmmaker friend telling me what his climate scientist brother told him all those years ago; all those 20 years ago …. Time flies when you’re sort of not paying attention and busy raising kids, getting divorced, fighting for four chickens, etc. … I filmed Dr. McPherson at the Age of Limits and, with apologies for the unfocused result, video is embedded below.

I came to this realization: When your neighbors and town work together to deny you and your children a safe and mostly free source of highly nutritious food, compost and fertilizer, you know they are your enemy. When the leadership of the richest and most powerful nation works to deny you and your children the right to safe food and water, and non-toxic energy (nuclear and hydrofracked gas are toxic, for your information), you know they are your enemy. When the lamestream media refuse to tell the truth for decades and instead promulgate the same rubbish week after week, you know they are your enemy. When schools and colleges keep churning out students who have not learned the connected nature of all things or even taken a single course in Logic, you know these institutions are your enemy.

I could go on but time is running out and there is little left to stand and fight for. Certainly not for the neighbors.

People are now talking about the impending collapse, however, I have a news flash!

Here she comes, this brave news flash, on her horse named Star and riding furiously through a downpour of climate change and on a collapsing infrastructure that was once a road or a highway or a bridge, the wind of pestilence in her hair, and in her hand she carries a flickering torch of hope to guide her to you and give you and your families the message that fills her heart and mind with pain and grief and torment, and that she will never be able to run away from again, and this is it: Take your children and flee! The collapse is upon us!

Quite literally, what’s a mother to do? Grab the kids and run for the proverbial hills! And if you’re lucky, Dr Guy McPherson may end up as your kids’ teacher in those hills. But only if you’re really, damn lucky.


Pauline Panagiotou Schneider was born in Nigeria and grew up in Athens, Greece. She is a lifelong gardener and naturalist, as well as an artist, educator, song writer and lifelong student of anthropology. She has been an active core member the past three years with Transition Westchester, promoting the Transition Town movement in the hope of a softer landing for communities as systems collapse.

Pauline has two adult and one teenage human children and many four-legged children.


Gail, who writes at Wit’s End, attended the Age of Limits conference in southeastern Pennsylvania. The video embedded above was shot at the conference, and Gail’s witty, informative, photograph-filled assessment of the conference is posted here.


McPherson’s latest essay for the Good Men Project was published 1 June 2013. It’s here.

Comments 268

  • There’s nowhere to run to. Hold on tight and do the best you can where you are.

  • Pauline

    The corporations own most human asses now, it seems.

    I plan to walk, not run, for the hills….

    Sorry to hear about the chickens and the vegies, it seem there the local codes support a sedate suburban ideal, which they will get, perhaps.

    Once you stop swimming with the ‘school’, or to them you look like you are swimming backwards.

    I hope you find a better place to live, for the time being.

  • Most towns in the U.S. have ordinances against the keeping of farm animals of any kind within city limits. That’s slowly changing, but progress is slow. But, if NTE is a done deal, and all life in the Northern Hemisphere will be extinct by 2032, then spending what few remaining years you have wrestling with town councils over ordinances seems kind of pointless. As Kathy C has previously said numerous times, that time would be better spent openly expressing love to others. If there are any “pleasures of extinction”, surely that is one them. So indulge in it, while you still can.

    If there was more time, like in the Southern Hemisphere, where extinction is not projected to occur until 2048, battling with town councils might still be worthwhile, at least for another year or two…

  • What to do? Pull yourself away from it and live a little. While you can. It’s better than any damn pill, that’s for sure. Do what we were meant to do; fiesta, not labor or belabor.


  • I know one thing for sure. Thanks to Guy McPherson, NTE is most definitely now on the radar screen, and not only among collapsitabrians of all stripes. Even some of the TPTB have begun to take notice and use the phrase “human extinction” in their speeches and essays. The sudden, frenzied interest in the need to “immediately begin colonization of Mars” is no doubt related to this.

  • Now you’re talkin’ News/Noose!

    But if you insist, even in the face of imminent NTE, to continue to resist, then “try something different”, as Guy says. Rather than going mono e mono with town councils, become actively involved in a large-scale rewilding project, and put all your remaining chips on Nature’s Number. It may be “one final desperate spin of the wheel” in favor of the living planet, but hey, at least you’ll be out there, in the Great Outdoors, instead of sitting in a slightly musty, faux dark-wood paneled, garishly fluorescently-lit town council meeting room.


  • Nice essay. When I think of the collapse that’s underway and the suffering that will ensue, I’M SO THANKFUL I DON’T HAVE ANY CHILDREN. I’m also thankful that I was born in 1968, when Earth’s population was less than half what it is today, and there was more open spaces and species in existence. It’s important that we spread the message of NTE. Even if one person can be convinced not to bring a person into existence, that’s one less person who will have to suffer the coming apocalypse.

  • It sounds like Pauline and her children are now at last ready to climb that Dark Mountain.


  • Oz, I see that you’ve now moved the time frame for the emergence of dominant self-centered cultural influences back 10-15k years. Very convenient, since it appears sufficient to cover both natives in N American, who wiped out most megafauna after they arrived, and perhaps those too in Oz.

    @Arthur says “Even some of the TPTB have begun to take notice.”

    Please, for the love of doG, why is the illusion of superiority & the Downing effect so prominent on this blog? Let me take a stab at an explanation: while the right is infected with religion, the left has its own personal affinity with belief systems centered around institutions.

    Of course, both are complete and total fabrications that have been honed & perfected over millennia to control vast numbers of people on a highly leveraged basis ie the so-called 1%, which are really the .0001%.

    Like any game of war, whether it is chess, politics or actual armed conflict, there are critical tactics which encompass attack & deceit. Indeed, subterfuge is a time honored strategic imperative necessary for any chance of success.

    To assume that ‘even some’ PTB may get it is to merely reveal oneself as a consumer of lies. They not only get what is happening, but the entirety of ALL global events right now is being driven by these realities.

    The quick & dirty on the state of humanity in 2013 involves 5 remaining players: US, EU, Russia, China & India. All have nukes, all have the ability to field huge armed forces, and all are intent on getting the last oil, water & food.

    Forget, ignore or laugh at what is publicly expressed. Simply ‘follow the money’ or watch what they do, not what they say. If you want to watch the shit-storm come down, then you need to survive the initial culling.

    I find it somewhat fascinating that a potentially very receptive audience for Guy’s message are the kinds of people he left behind in ID. I’m pretty sure there wouldn’t be any side-shows associated with debates with respect to gender, shamans, placebos, etc. These are the greatly disdained ‘git er done’ folks who are already pre-sold on the trend lines.

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #6

    Near Term Extinction:
    Gaia and her monstrous son
    share one last embrace.

    @ Gail
    I loved your Gonzo account of the AoL event, and will continue to follow Wit’s End. I, too, engage in the heartwrenching practice of observing the trees. Humor (too dark for many) keeps me going.

    @ Henry
    I will be impressed if you manage to unearth that ancient Ukiah haiku. Do you think it’s the flat flatness of the central valley that inspires the concentrated little poems?

  • Pauline, I was so impressed by your story. Sorry about the chickens. One thing it brings to mind which will surprise no one, is that in order to bring no future children into this nightmare it would seem wise for all fertile people to get permanently fixed – yes I know sometimes they tie the wrong tube and you get regnant anyways, but sans modern contraceptives and the increased likelihood of rape in the coming future it just seems the wise thing to do. Already parents are feeling the sorrow of what their children must face – imagine conceiving in the chaos that comes…

    OK off my soap box. Pauline, I clicked on your name to see where it linked to and was rather stunned to find a site offering us the opportunity to sign up to sell cosmetics with only an investment of $79. I don’t care how people make money in these the end of days, but it raises the question of why this would be the link you choose to direct us to if we want to know more about you.

    Meanwhile a dump in St. Louis burns near a nuclear waste dump raising the possibility of a methane explosion Heat from any fire at the nuclear site could spark an explosion in methane pockets or buried gas cylinders, throwing radioactive particles into the air, said Bob Criss, professor of earth and planetary science at Washington University in St. Louis, who has studied environmental concerns at the landfill. http://enenews.com/professor-explosion-possible-near-st-louis-area-nuclear-site-official-steam-increasing-from-underground-fire-may-be-moving-closer-to-radioactive-waste

    I think it is time to put bets on which horse will lead out on the Apocalypse.

  • Concocted story to push our buttons to sell some crap?

  • Kathy C and Curtis A. Heretic, I conducted a bit of research on Pauline Schneider. The decision to include the link to her source of income was mine. As nearly as I can distinguish, there are no other publicly accessible links about Pauline. I recommend you focus on the essay rather than on poorly supported conjecture about the author.

  • I met Pauline at the conference and she’s a really sweet genuine person as was reflected in her essay where she shared the sorts of struggles many of us feel learning about collapse. Maybe a better link for her would be her landscape/edible forestscape permaculture consulting. I would love to have her give me some advice on my garden!


  • Gail:

    Agreed, much better, thanks.

  • What’s a human being to do? Ask the question, “Why we are in this predicament?”

    What is true, real and somehow right cannot do harm to anyone. Truth is never trivial. And yet ‘the brightest and best’ ignore, avoid and willfully refuse to examine, discuss and report on all as well as, perhaps, the best scientific research on the subject of human population dynamics. Knowledge of the population dynamics of the human species remains off limits, a taboo even among those in the newly established ‘Scientific Consensus on…Humanity…’, the relatively ‘ancient’ Royal Society, the modern American Academy for the Advancement of Science, other national academies of science, the Union of Concerned Scientists, demographers and economists everywhere. When and where are the self-proclaimed experts in population biology, other sciences and relevant disciplines going to openly acknowledge the uncontested scientific evidence of human population dynamics that appears to disclose simply and elegantly how human population dynamics is essentially common to, not different from, the population dynamics of other species; how human population numbers appear as a function of an available food supply? How more food equals more people; less food equals less people; and no food, no people.

    Are the overproduction, overconsumption and overpopulation activities of many too many people not the primary problem confronting humankind in our time? Scientists have been seeing what is happening during the past 70 years as human population numbers skyrocketed worldwide. Scientists have been regularly reporting this widely shared and consensually validated scientific knowledge. But that is not the end of the story. There is at least one other question to ask that calls out to us for an answer, a question that any reasonable and sensible person would ask, I suppose. And that question is, “Why is the human population on Earth exploding? Why?” The question is straightforward. Where are the scientists with knowledge concerning why the global human population is skyrocketing on our watch? They are electively mute.Their conscious and deliberate collusion makes it possible for silence to prevail over science. This cannot be construed as correct behavior, especially by top-rank scientists. In diametrical opposition to the evolution of science extant, uncontested research related to the question of ‘why’ has been ubiquitously avoided or denied by many too many of the very experts on human population matters who are in agreement about ‘what is happening’ regarding the unbridled colossal growth of the human population on Earth. If science of ‘why global human population numbers are exploding’ is willfully ignored, how is the human community ever to respond ably to emergent and convergent human-induced threats to future human well being and environmental health? How can we speak about the necessity for advances in science, for fidelity to scientific facts and truth, for the individual and collective will to go wheresoever the evidence leads while first class scientists with appropriate expertise deny scientific evidence of human population dynamics/overpopulation? For self-proclaimed experts to refuse to examine and share findings of scientific research regarding ‘why the human population is exploding’ has got to be overcome, fast. Such a breach of one’s duty to science & humanity is a personal and collective betrayal of both.

  • My wife and I have been together for over 20 years. We decided to live childfree and I had a Vasectomy many years ago. No regrets here.
    Humanity’s future keeps getting worse every day and we couldn’t bring a child into this world things being what they are.
    I am not preaching, this was our personal decision, that’s all. I pity younger people. The younger they are, the more I pity them. Babies make me sad.

  • @Grant, sadly, I know… We’re just buying time.

    @OzMan, I’ve always swum against the stream, usually referred to marching to a different drummer. Never quite fit into this world. Which right now is a comforting thing. I’ve found I’m walking slower and slower these days. I think I’m in shock..

    @Arthur and @News/Noose, yes! Love, live and hold those I/we cherish closer to me/us than ever before (and I was pretty sure even before that things were untenable). All this love hurts so sweetly. Every moment is precious. I thank the Dr for that gift. And I certainly have no interest entertaining or engaging in the current US pathological patriarchal system that passes for laws, codes regulations, etc. It’s the most preemptively punitive system I’ve ever experienced. And I’ve lived on a few continents…
    I think I’m going to take the family to Venice then my homeland, Greece where the flames look lovely…

    @Kathy C, and @Curtis, lol. Is it so wrong to tug at heartstrings?
    Yeah, I joined Arbonne International in September because I’ve not been able to find a teaching job in this Amazing (better than Great) Recession (aka Depression) for the past three years since I received my Masters in Education (my specialties r Social Studies, Special Education and Visual arts). We all need to eat or at least have something that serves as a distraction. This company I joined is Green, carbon neutral, safe from toxins (read the back of a store bought deodorant and tremble at the warnings and chemicals), and it dovetailed with my personal philosophy.
    I grant you, after meeting Dr McPherson last week it now seems rather pointless to eat Arbonne’s GMO free protein shakes and wear it’s toxic free makeup (I’ve lost three women friends and family to cancer in the past year and several more are on their way out). We’re all going to die long before any of the store bought poison has enough time to do its dirty work on our endocrine systems…

    Had I known how little time we actually had left, I might have just set myself on fire outside the Whitehouse instead of simply get arrested with Bill McKibben last year, while protesting the Tar Sands Pipeline. My first arrest ever. I’m sure that would have made many people happy to watch… “look, crazy enviro girl set herself on fire.. At least she’s living strictly to her ideals! woo hoo! You go girl!”

    @Guy, no good deed goes unpunished my friend.

  • @ Steven,
    “Where are the scientists with knowledge concerning why the global human population is skyrocketing on our watch? They are electively mute.”

    I honestly think it’s even worse than just being electively mute. There have been, in our recent human history (last thousand years) recorded events of mass hysteria, or mass psychosis that resulted in bizarre human behaviors like entire villages burning its women at stakes, or people dancing in red shoes until they die, or young girls believing they’d been possessed by the devil, or nations en masse being determined to wipe out anyone dissimilar in appearance, religion, physical ability, etc. http://hauntedpalaceblog.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/the-curse-of-the-red-shoes-dancing-manias-of-the-middle-ages/

    I believe that’s what has happened here; A global psychosis of indifference and apathy for anything of real meaning or consequence, and that has, at short last, led to our extinction… or rather Impending extinction.

    As the Dr. (sorry, I’m a huge Dr Who fan-yeah, I watch TV too, feel free to set me on fire) mentioned last week in a little restaurant gathering in apathy central of Chappaqua, NY; he told us that Plato said that only about 10% of humans actually use reason.
    Grim outlook for us. That leaves 90% of the rest of humanity to run roughshod over our poor defenseless Reason and spit babies out willy nilly in all directions with political and religious leadership in full support of such insanity.

    I’m just hoping I’m in that 10%, even though it’s going to drive me mad with frustration to be reasonable about my children’s impending extinction. I was in a sweat lodge at the Age of Limits last week and in the pitch blackness of the yurt I heart the sorrowful prayer of a young woman tearfully admitting she wants to bring a child into this madness and is planning on doing so… It made me weep for her and her future child. Life just wants to keep happening. In spite of all the danger signs.

    Wait, what I was I talking about?
    Oh right, so in the most recent episode of the Dr and his TARDIS…

  • @Gail, you’re a doll. It was so great to meet you! I’d love to give you some edible forest gardening and design advice! For free, my friend! ;)

    I only charge for the cosmetics and protein shakes. :P

  • @Juan,
    babies make me sad too. :( I always dreamed of seeing my kid’s babies.
    I’m also really angry about it….

  • Guy, thanks for the clarification. I suggest that you check with the author in the future before posting a link about them.

    Pauline, sorry if I promoted any misunderstanding. Had I known that Guy had posted the link without checking with you I would have sent him a personal e-mail asking him to check with you. The company is probably promoting a great product but I have a personal aversion to the type of marketing that gets people to “buy” in to become dealers.

    Juan Pueblo, congratulations on the vasectomy and on not reproducing. However when things start to fall apart your wife, if not past menopause, might be safer with a tubal as well. I wish it weren’t so, but when a country falls into chaos, rape is inevitable.

    Steven, what do you consider the population we should have on the planet, when do we need to get there, and how will we get there in time?

  • Pauline, Gail,

    Did somebody REALLY say at Guy’s second talk that one single solitary human is more valuable that all other life forms combined?

  • Arthur, I swear, he absolutely did.

  • Not criticizing the theme or content of the essay. The link that Gail supplied would not have raised a suspicion of self promotion.
    I appreciate the difficulty of finding work in your field. Many have to constantly reinvent themselves.
    I am a big fan of protein shakes, I take them regularly. The supplement products seem to be competitively priced. All deodorants, except for Tom’s, make me itch.
    As for the tar sands pipeline, IMHO, the short term damage to the environment and people by the construction will be worse than the long term increase of CO2, simply because there will be no long term for it or us. This may be the final nail in or own coffin.

  • Gail,

    Now I can’t wait to see the video of the second talk. That gem must be “priceless”. :)

    Sheesh. Any insurance agent will tell you that’s complete nonsense.

  • The company is probably promoting a great product but I have a personal aversion to the type of marketing that gets people to “buy” in to become dealers.

    Same here, and I also have an aversion to purchasing dvd’s. dvd’s are toxic to our environment, you know, the one we’re destroying and as a result of that destruction we have near term extinction which has become the hallmark of this space. So, with the little time we have left, at least according to those who are firm in their belief about NTE, is it wise and ethical/moral to pander dvd’s? Aren’t they an outmoded form of technology anyway? The younger generations are well past archaic dvd’s. They’ve gone full-on digital at this time, so apparently NTE isn’t focused on getting the message out to that market segment? Why? Do they not count because they’re still “children” or just out of disgusting “childhood”? I refuse to destroy the environment any further in these end times, so I will not purchase any dvd’s. Now excuse me please, I have to go put my face on. Goodbye. Oh, before I forget, be sure to check out the deal we’re running on lipstick. We will beat any other offer and I assure you, this lipstick will make the most vile of pigs looked like a beauty queen. Just look at me!

  • @Arthur, yes. Someone actually said that. And he was booed soundly and then ignored.
    I think he was FBI. He was the first to ask at breakfast one morning who we thought might be FBI. I looked at him and said “why you, of course.” He just smiled and changed the subject… ;) I can pick them out. He hugged me goodbye. I’m still looking for the bug…

    @Kathy, so if you “have a personal aversion to the type of marketing that gets people to “buy” in to become dealers”, you will posthaste refuse to patronize any supermarket, bookstore, gas station, auto dealership, grocery, gift shop, music shop, thrift store, etc. etc. ad infinitum, since every single one of these brick and mortar businesses have had to “buy in to become dealers” by taking out monstrous loans from banksters who care not a whit for the environment and certainly not for the individuals taking out the monstrous loans of hundreds of thousands of dollars, 80% of which will either fail in their business within three years or default on the loan, and thereby add to the ever growing population in debt, in poverty, in abject misery all to the great benefit and advantage of those who ended our world…

    But we digress…

    @Curtis, apparently, the Tar Sands Pipeline is a game over scenario. But I’m no scientist.
    I now hear from the Dr. who is a scientist, it’s already game over… (refreshing your memories, I’m new to this doomer stuff and Guy, I’ve been living a pipe dream of peak oil collapse, dumb me).

    All our efforts had the effect of, in the great and wise words of my fallen hero, Vonnegut, a banana cream pie.

    So, there’s not much more to be said, IMHO, except for “thanks for all the fish.”


    Hi ho.

    And you can set me on fire if it makes you happy.
    I’ve already been murdered..

  • Pauline,

    What you said to Kathy only further drives home Guy’s basic point in his first AoL 2013 talk regarding why the mud hut and permaculturing in the rural U.S. was a failed experiment: try as you might to “walk away from empire”, empire never walks away from you. So while you CAN walk away from one set of Imperial living conditions, you always end up walking INTO a new set of Imperial living conditions. No matter what we do, we always remain part of, and in service of, the Empire, in one way or another.

  • @Pauline: “Had I known how little time we actually had left, I might have just set myself on fire outside the Whitehouse instead of simply get arrested with Bill McKibben last year, while protesting the Tar Sands Pipeline. My first arrest ever. I’m sure that would have made many people happy to watch… “look, crazy enviro girl set herself on fire.. At least she’s living strictly to her ideals! woo hoo! You go girl!”

    Nah, some asshole like Rush Limbaugh would have had a field day ridiculing you for the CO2 released by your self-immolation!

  • Pauline – thanks for sharing your life, difficulties involving children, marriage, neighbors, living in the United States of Assholes. I applaud your efforts in permaculture/”sustainable living” and empathize with your dilemma (what’s a mother to do?).
    I have no answers, am completely disgusted with the human race as it is (all brains and no intelligence- in the sense of sapience or wisdom) and can’t believe we’re where we are either, time-wise.

    Visiting a friend of mine recently I noticed his Japanese maple had the tell-tale signs of stress I’ve learned about from Gail’s blog and told him about it. This tree is not only large but at least 50 years old, according to records regarding his home/grounds, and it struck me that trying to replace any of the larger trees that come down from here on out will be futile, as they won’t have time to grow large or even develop correctly due to all the pollution and NTE. So trees kind of mirror the oceanic problem of the disappearing predator and large fish (also due to pollution).

    Petitioning to influence our state senator to support a moratorium on fracking, i’m getting lots of signatures while meeting many at least environmentally aware (and voting) citizens. My young (college age) protégé/intern asked after about 2 hours in the hot sun whether I thought it would do any good. I said that it may, in fact sway the political decision and that we might even get fracking stopped in our state, but that in the “long run” (and I gave her the 2030 date) we were going down as a species. She didn’t think this could possibly be right and I told her that I sincerely hoped I was completely wrong, but that the evidence says otherwise (and that I could back it up with credible scientific information). I’m torn as to whether I should point it all out to her or not. I don’t want to crush her soul like that, but anything else is basically lying. We’ll be working together all summer, so maybe if I introduce it a little at a time . . .

    In response to Steven’s comment above, I’d just like to add that religion (mythical thinking) and governments (based on the eternal growth model – more mythical thinking) keep the truth from us all for the benefit of TPTB. None of what we do makes much sense – I mean, when even flush toilets and hot water showers (as it’s commonly done) are luxuries, there isn’t much else to say. Agriculture is another one, as is the debt-based economy, nuclear power, large militaries (that eat up most of the resources, scientific advances, research, etc), and on and on – most, if not all, of “civilization.”

    I can’t believe i’m seeing leaves dropping already!

    Most of us don’t even realize we’re doing anything wrong, having been “born into captivity” and “educated” to be a “productive member of society.”

  • linkie:

    Church and Government, the Main Terrocrats

  • Outstanding video, Tom!

  • In my April 2013 ‘submission’ to NPDC I wrote: ‘many councillors and most council officers do not read submissions and do not digest the points that are made. Council officer who DO read submissions DO NOT respond rationally to the information provided.’

    Sure enough, the May NPDC Officer’s Report totally ignored the points I had raised and dismissed 120 pages of documentation in two paragraphs of irrational nonsense. Thinking, if there is any, is at the level one might expect from a 12-year-old.

    I had a second 100 minute meeting with the general manager of the council, in which I pointed out the Officer’s Report was irrational drivel. He agreed, but will do nothing. He is paid a hige salary to not rock the boat or step out of line.

    I will address to the entire council this coming Wednesday, focusing on the following:

    NPDC’s inability to answer the simplest of questions (Who will read my submission and who will respond to it?)

    NPDC’s continuous breach of the Local Government Act.

    The mayor and CEO’s utter determination to destroy their own children’s futures (perhaps their own) by bringing forward NTE.

    NPDC policies centred on INCREASING to suffering that is to come.

    However, since I already know I will be addressing people who are insane, covert fascists (promoting the agendas of corporations and money-lenders ahead of the needs of people), I anticipate nothing other than more insane fascism.

    ‘Nobody’ cares (George Carlin). Indeed, the vast majority of people in the province are oblivious to everything. And there are no mechanisms for bringing rogues to heel because the entire system is run by rogues.

    I do it, not in anticipation that anything will change for the better (every day that passes everything that matters gets worse) but because it is the right thing to do…. and hoping the global financial system will very crash soon, now that criminality at all levels is there for everyone to see.

  • B9K9 and all

    Yes, you are pretty close there. I am not an Anthropologist, nor an Historian, nor a Palaeontologist.

    I am the proof that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

    However, I am also fully aware that a cultural system of occupational/educational specialisation to the point of not seeing life for what it is, is how we got here.

    So if no one gets hurt, and I die in a ditch, I am happy with trying to put 2 and 2 together, with help, like from here and other sources like Wiki, in my armchair.

    As for the mega fauna, I read somewhere that oxygen levels were higher at earlier stages and the mega fauna were the last that could survive perhaps. But I am guessing you know that these large marsupial’s decline coincided with human arrivals, (?)

    Perhaps the Aboriginals also learnt that lesson of ‘overtaking’ and rue it collectively? Perhaps they had ‘town meetings’ and argued over how they were depleting the megafauna?

    With over 3 hundred language groups Australia wide, it is not inconceivable there were differing views. Estimates of total population pre colonial arrival are from half to one million, and given the total area of this big country is just less than 7,400,000 square km, that is a population density in a range of 3.7 to 7.4 square km per person. Apparently h/g ranges vary with type of balance, larger ranges needed for predominant hunters, less for predominant gatherers, and less for waterway users(fishing and sea foraging).

    I am unfamiliar with North American Native history in the main.

    I think my broad point was that it is not IMO intrinsic and implicit that humans are by default nature-killers.

    My view is that as humans culturally move from child-mind to adult-mind, the adolescent is the most ‘cosmically’ lost and in transition, and susceptible to the most destructive tendencies, (atomic bomb, germ warfare, nuclear power, domestic violence, mental illness, conspicuous consumption…).

    Traditional societies that were not showing signs of expansionist tendencies, and which lived within geographic limits had their own rites of passage to move children quickly through adolescence, into adult responsibilities. Survival relied on it!

    The work of Australian Associate Professor, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Latrobe University is worthy of note here. He has looked at Aboriginal adolescence rituals and spirituality and come to some interesting conclusions.

    ‘2 David Tacey part two SPIRITUALITY’

    A great interview here:

    ‘Spiritual Sickness’



    “Rachael Kohn: How do you know that there are these sacred forces within the soul, within the experience? Is it an intuitive thing?

    David Tacey: It’s largely intuitive but it’s also through the study of cultures and histories and civilisations, that virtually every civilisation other than ours has come up with notions of spirits or demons, gods, goddesses. And we have decided, in our enlightenment or what the Greeks would call our hubris, that such things do not exist. But although we’ve decided they don’t exist, that doesn’t necessarily change anything, they are still present. So by ‘seeing’, and you have to put ‘seeing’ in inverted commas…one ‘sees’ them operating in our lives. They are particularly evident in our dreams, in our fantasies, and, as I argue in the book, in our symptoms. So, sacred forces are forces that, for instance, would ask us to change our lives, to reorientate ourselves away from the ego and its concerns towards some larger concept of who we are. I think the main god, as it were, for most of us today, is the god governing our transformation. And if that god isn’t serviced and acknowledged, there can be very dire consequences because that god can actually turn against us with great sense of wrath….

    There’s a pop song about how in order to be sane you have to be a little crazy, that kind of thing, and that’s definitely my attitude, that the rational, while very important of course, society wouldn’t function as well as it does without the rational, but the rational can be a prison and limitation, particularly if it cuts us off from the more spiritual impulses. We need to…not in any way to compromise our rationality, I’m not saying that we ought to become irrational, but we need to complement our rationality with something else, and that something else is clearly to do with spirituality….

    Rachael Kohn: Isn’t that spiritual transformation which you are looking for something that religions generally deliver, say, through the rites of passage, teenagers going through these difficult trials. They get an awareness that there is something greater than simply their ego, that they are not alone. Are we missing the benefits of these rites of passage?

    David Tacey: Yes, those rites of passage still exist technically and formerly in our institutions, but somehow or other they are not having an existential impact, there is no existential purchase on many modern young people’s minds. So sometimes they even go through these rituals from the churches or synagogues or mosques, temples and so on, but it doesn’t seem to bite. There is something missing really between the way we live our lives and the kinds of formalised rituals that are on offer. They need to become more personal, more existential.

    I’ve been very influenced, going back further in time, by Aboriginal rites of passage and initiations, where the rites themselves can be quite difficult and almost traumatic. And they are the ones that I think we could make a lot of use of, that knowledge coming out of, say, Aboriginal culture today because those rites of passage really did have an existential impact and really did turn young lives around….

    Coming back to your question about self-harm, which of course is on the rise in secular Australia and a lot of Australian schools are reporting a worrying trend towards self-harming, from my point of view, operating through the lens of what I call archetypal medicine, I would want to go back to where does this appear in the history of civilisation? Where does self-harming come in?

    So, for instance, if you look at Aboriginal cultures, just before the initiation process when boys and girls…actually I’m not allowed to talk about girls because that is women’s business and being a man…so let me confine myself to men’s business…that just before the initiation process, often there is a laceration of the body. It’s referred to in anthropology as scarification, often across the chest or the arm, things put on the body similar to our popular concern for tattooing. And apparently what it symbolises is that the old self must die before the new self can be reborn. This is the actual thinking behind it. So the cutting means to cut across the old self, to somehow destroy it, to mutilate it in some kind of ritualistic way.

    So what we are seeing in high schools are young people…some young people, I think more girls than boys are prone to cutting these days, from what I’ve read. What you might say from a point to view of spirituality is that these people are crying out for a sense of meaning. They want to be inducted into something beyond themselves, they are beginning to find themselves disgusting, they are beginning to find their bodies intolerable because the soul, the theory goes, requires nourishment. You know, man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God. So a lot of these young people are actually enacting in their pathology their desire to enter a meaningful world, and that kind of meaning isn’t available to them. So they just go on cutting, and some people go on self-harming right through their teenage years, right through their 20s and even beyond.

    One of the great things about Aboriginal cultures, when they function properly, is that they confine adolescence to about five or six days. You go in as a boy or a girl and you come out as a man or a woman after the initiation. In secular culture you don’t know when you’ve become a man or when you’ve become a woman…

    Rachael Kohn: In fact it may never arrive.

    David Tacey: It may never happen for you. And so you go on with these adolescent behaviours which couldn’t be tolerated in nomad cultures which were subsistent and had to be dependent on everybody being alert and participating in the needs of the tribe. Today with our society, yes, we’ve lost this framework for enabling people to graduate from being children to being adults. We’ve still got some remnants, haven’t we, the 21st party…
    David Tacey: Both actually. When the Christian missionaries came to Aboriginal Australia and saw what was going on, saw these rituals, they kind of threw up their hands in horror and said this is Devil worship, this is demonic. They were doing things like knocking out the eye-tooth of a boy and circumcising the penis at age 12 or 13 with just a sharp rock…you know, ouch! And scarification, as I mentioned, across the chest.

    Rachael Kohn: These are terrifying.

    David Tacey: Terrifying, and I’ve often talked to Aboriginal people about it and they say that some degree of terror is good for the soul because unless you are terrified out of identification with your ego into identification with the spirituality of the group, the actual transition won’t occur. And they quite rightly point out in their defence that five days of concentrated pain done in a ritual atmosphere…and of course not done maliciously, let’s get this right, the elders aren’t doing this maliciously or with aggression. It’s a bit like the high school teacher who used to punish the naughty boy and before he knocks the strap over the hands he says, ‘This is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you,’ and the schoolkid would go, ‘Oh yeah, I bet,’ you know.

    But in ancient cultures the elders aren’t wanting to inflict harm because they are wanting to inflict harm, they are wanting to do this to create a shock so that the old self can be put to ritual death. And often actually in the boys’ rituals in outback Australia they are actually put in shallow graves, and there is a smoking ceremony and there are sticks and leaves put…and the body painted white, which is the colour of death for Aboriginal cultures, which is why when the so-called white people arrived they thought they were spirits from another world because their skins were whiter than the native people of Australia. All these things contribute to this very powerful sense of having to terminate an existence based on the ego and to bring in a new existence is based on ancestral wisdom. And yes, it is shocking.

    And of course the early Christian missionaries who said it was Devil worship and so on, they were just really expressing their own cultural ignorance. The idea of sprinkling a little bit of water on the forehead of a baby and saying now you are inducted into the kingdom of the Lord…I mean, well, maybe, but I think that the rituals of Aboriginal culture which took place at age 12 and 13, not when you were a crying infant being held by the priest in front of the altar, that these are much more effective and they are existentially profound in their impact, even though there is a worrying degree of violence and pain during the process….”

    I like very much the paragraphs:

    “One of the great things about Aboriginal cultures, when they function properly, is that they confine adolescence to about five or six days. You go in as a boy or a girl and you come out as a man or a woman after the initiation. In secular culture you don’t know when you’ve become a man or when you’ve become a woman…

    Rachael Kohn: In fact it may never arrive.

    David Tacey: It may never happen for you. And so you go on with these adolescent behaviours which couldn’t be tolerated in nomad cultures which were subsistent and had to be dependent on everybody being alert and participating in the needs of the tribe. Today with our society, yes, we’ve lost this framework for enabling people to graduate from being children to being adults. We’ve still got some remnants, haven’t we, the 21st party…”

    And as Richard Heinberg so aptly points out…

    ‘The Party’s Over: Oil, War, and the Fate of Industrial Society. (2003’

    This interview is worth the time, as it points to instincts alive that the culture of rationality is not presently acknowledging. Though subjective, instincts are also what channels the forces of/in/as ‘Nature’ through us, and IMHO it is a two way street, unlike Scientism would have us believe.

    Just Sayin.

  • Arthur Johnson

    From this you wrote:

    “So while you CAN walk away from one set of Imperial living conditions, you always end up walking INTO a new set of Imperial living conditions. No matter what we do, we always remain part of, and in service of, the Empire, in one way or another.”

    This is one way of looking at it.

    What about seeing it as a situation where any survivable ‘way’ of existence is not set yet, as we are in rapid change mode Biosphere wise, and also on the change-cliff world-culture-wise.

    For me, I have come to the view that it is best to commit to adapting to the change-mode, and utilise and adapt with the decline, utilising the wreckage and debris of the oil age, as ‘we’ slide a shaky, rubble strewn slope to somewhere.

    Yes, leave Empire behind, but by degrees, day by day, be realistic in what ‘we’ need today from it, but jump from a sinking ship to a shaky raft to flotsam, but keep hopping(not hoping), and as we go letting go of what was once a dependency will be replaced by a capacity to adapt, and see the stuff of a post carbon world, as just that, stuff to use to survive.

    Committing to change is a key here, and letting go of the illusion of childish security settings.

    I also think ‘we’ are going to have to become accustomed to moving around far more frequently than we do now, perhaps seasonally returning to areas, and sharing far far more with ‘strangers’.

    Just a viewpoint.

    Many here know this already, I’m guessing.

  • you get regnant anyways

    The only real regnancy is that of One without a second: the Self that is no-self because there is no non-self. The Oneself of each self, paradoxically, once the self is finally discarded.

    “Why is the human population on Earth exploding? Why?”

    An answer that is irreverent and therefore perhaps irrelevant: The Second Law of Thermodynamics and the Law of Maximum Entropy Production.

    Steven, what do you consider the population we should have on the planet, when do we need to get there, and how will we get there in time?

    Such questions are irrelevant, and even irreverent. The sanctity of the creed per se sustains it.

    one single solitary human is more valuable that all other life forms combined?

    That’s the problem with studying the bible without proper guidance. The four aspects of Bible study are פשט (peshat – literal), רמז (remez – implication), דרש (drash – explication) and סוד (sod – experiential). Most folks who study and teach the bible are unaware of anything beyond the first phase. The more powerful, the more dangerous when not properly controlled.

    So, with the little time we have left, at least according to those who are firm in their belief about NTE, is it wise and ethical/moral to pander dvd’s? Aren’t they an outmoded form of technology anyway? The younger generations are well past archaic dvd’s. They’ve gone full-on digital at this time, so apparently NTE isn’t focused on getting the message out to that market segment?

    Yeah, a USB flash drive (“thumb drive”) today comes in a 128 Gb size. I once had an external 2 Mb (that’s megabytes!) SCSI drive the size of a cinder block in the days of command-line-interface of DOS (then an operating system, now an attack mode). At that time it felt like an ocean of storage capacity: absolutely delightful. A single USB flash drive can now hold 16 HDDVDs or 32 regular DVDs. But on the way down we may once again need “pen-knives” and geese to fashion quills, goats for parchment, and berries for ink.

    I now hear from the Dr. who is a scientist, it’s already game over

    ‘Tain’t over till it’s over? Or perhaps ‘Tain’t over till the fat lady sings? But with NTE there will be no one around to acknowledge when it’s over.

    try as you might to “walk away from empire”, empire never walks away from you

    One walks away from nothing. In both senses. The first lungfish to crawl ashore set its descendants (including us) on the path to the loss of gills and to fancier lungs. But it dragged the ocean along: we still have sodium to potassium ratios inverted from inside to outside our cells: so we carry a bit of the salty ocean with us for our cells to live in. Even though not all of us have swimming pools at our homes. Baggage from our past: very necessary baggage to us.

    “Freedom” is a myth. “A breath of fresh air” is a waft of death to obligate anaerobes – those organisms that have to stay away from oxygen to stay alive. Stuff we reject can be delicacy to earthworms. Each and every being is moulded to its history – individual and ancestral – both ancestral genetics and cultural ancestry (and in other ways).

    To the extent that the moulding is still adaptive, it is not even noticed. When and where maladaptive, alternate adaptations are sought. But “Your Mileage May Vary”: not everyone finds the prospect of the wholesale destruction (of the planetary ecosystems that support us) to be unsettling. To them (for now) that dissonance is not maladaptive enough.

    living in the United States of Assholes

    A whole lot better than an Islamic Republic, Dearbornistan and such notwithstanding (or for that matter, across the pond, Londonistan).

  • but we need to complement our rationality with something else, and that something else is clearly to do with spirituality….

    Homogeneity and isotropy are attributes of the Divine, rather than lumpiness: sameness everywhere. There are no local accretions of Divinity that are “sacred” or “spiritual”. The only spirits are found in bottles. Nothing is sacred. Nothing is spiritual. The Divine is not lumpy. Nothing is profane, either.

  • Guy, how far are you from this fire?


    The article cover two fires, one in CA and the other in NM. Hopefully it won’t affect where you are in any appreciable way (smoke pollution notwithstanding).

  • Here’s a quick look at just one of the typical clashes between the sides on climate change and how hopeless it is:


    Climate change scientists, deniers clash in W.Va.

    FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) — A Republican congressman sought common ground in the climate change debate Thursday.

    However, he found the same clash of science and ideology that paralyzes Washington had followed him to West Virginia, a state long built on fossil fuel production.

    For more than three hours, U.S. Rep. David McKinley quizzed a panel of national experts — only about half of them scientists — about the causes of global warming and what to do about it. McKinley has long questioned the science behind global warming. He now acknowledges climate change is occurring but is not convinced human activity is to blame.

    What is clear, he said, is that a state rich in coal, oil, natural gas and timber will be affected by any federal policies that attempt to curb greenhouse gases. Equally clear is that carbon dioxide limits in the U.S. won’t prevent growing air pollution from developing nations like China and India.

    “We tried to get an answer: What is the end game?” McKinley said. “And we couldn’t get an end game.”

    There were plenty of opinions and recommendations, though, from professors, attorneys, free-market activists and authors. They ranged from taxation strategies and carbon-capture technology investment to the blunt prescription from climate science denier Marc Morano: Do nothing.

    Morano, a former aide to climate skeptic and Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, calls global warming debates a “silly display of politics” built on “sub-prime science.” The suggestion that carbon dioxide in particular is fueling climate change “is absolutely not holding up,” he argued.

    “We must have the courage to do nothing when it comes to regulating CO2 emissions,” Morano declared, calling carbon-based energy like coal “one of the greatest liberators in the history of mankind.”

    But doing nothing isn’t the right answer, McKinley said later. Something will have to be done, perhaps tariffs or fees on countries that don’t meet U.S. standards. Whatever Congress considers, he said, “we have to move in a very cautious manner.”

    But Annie Petsonk, an attorney with the Environmental Defense Fund, said government must lead, and the time for change is long overdue. The late U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., first called for action in 1997.

    “To hear that global warming is happening — or if it is happening, we shouldn’t do anything about it — is not leadership,” Petsonk said, adding that forests, farms, watersheds and human health are at risk.

    “A rate of warming of roughly a tenth of a degree Celsius per decade … is the rate at which trees can’t run fast enough to get away from higher stress,” she said. “We’ve got to start reducing emissions globally. We’ve got to start in the United States, and we’ve got to start globally.”

    That drew an immediate retort from Dennis Avery of the Hudson Institute, who said things need not remain unchanged for trees, plants and animals to survive.

    “Every organism on the planet is proving they can withstand a 16-degree change,” he said, “because they’ve done it.”

    “Including the dinosaurs?” Petsonk shot back.

    Richard Thomas, biology professor at West Virginia University, has been studying the impact of carbon emissions on forests for years and said the damage is clear.

    When the scientific community found consensus that sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from power plants were creating acid rain, Thomas said, they helped get Congress to pass the 1970 Clean Air Act.

    “It shows that Congress can work together with the president,” he said, and it paid off big for the Eastern U.S.

    “And it’s time we recognize there is consensus on climate change as well,” Thomas said.

    But economist Myron Ebell, director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, says consensus is limited to this: Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, more is going into the atmosphere, and it will affect climate.

    “Everything else beyond that consensus is politics,” he said, including how much it will warm the planet and whether that warming is harmful or even significant.

    Limiting energy production and use are tactics for solving what he calls “a very speculative problem.”

    “The policies being promoted are insane,” Ebell said. “If you believe energy poverty is a good thing, you should support controls on carbon emissions. But most of the world disagrees with that.”

    Like-minded professor John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, called affordable energy “the basis of our standard of living today.”

    While reducing CO2 emissions may or may not affect climate change, Christy said he’s certain it would raise energy costs.

    “I’ve lived in Africa, and I can assure you that without energy, life is brutal and short,” Christy said. “…We are not bad people because we produce carbon dioxide.”

    But Scott Denning, a professor at Colorado State University’s department of atmospheric science, said the anti-regulation camp should stop telling “scary stories.” Our ancestors once used candles and horses but adopted new technologies like oil and electricity even when they were more expensive.

    “I think when people tell scary stories about how our society can’t adapt to a changing environment, they do a disservice to the power of the free market,” he said. “I have faith in our descendants being as ingenious, as creative, as hardworking, as industrious as our ancestors were.

    “I believe they can solve this problem,” Denning said, “and it won’t bankrupt our society.”

    So there you go kevin moore – clear evidence that it’s happening everywhere (and “stupid WINS!”)

  • Tom,

    This paragraph is a real gem:

    “When the scientific community found consensus that sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from power plants were creating acid rain, Thomas said, they helped get Congress to pass the 1970 Clean Air Act.”

    1970 was a completely different world than now. Not just materially or ideologically. The way most people thought about life was fundamentally different. Also, in 1970, at least in the U.S., there was a lot less bureaucracy (public AND private) to deal with. Finally, dramatically reducing SO2 emissions from power plants and autos did not require fundamental changes to industrial society requiring dramatic changes in people’s way of life. Put all three of those together, and it’s easy to see why passing and enforcing the Clean Air Act in 1970 was straightforward and relatively painless.

    It’s not that kind of world .

  • Er, it’s not that kind of world ANYMORE.

  • @Arthur, exactly. I’ve been trying to “walk away from Empire” for over 20 years.
    It’s impossible. But at least I TRIED. If there are Gods, I hope I get brownie points for that once I’m dead.

    @cuntagious, Ha! Yes, I think it might have been the image of Limburgher chortling at my charred remains that convinced me it was a useless attempt at awakening the masses.

    @Tom, that must be so hard to be working with a young adult that needs to know the truth, but if you’re feeling anything like I am, you also want to spare her the pervasive sinking feeling in the gut that has not gone away since I heard the Dr’s predictions.
    The trees *have* been slowly dying for a couple decades (as per my own observations), from a variety of diseases, insect infestations, and mysterious ailments, as well as Mother Nature’s rage. I was out at the CT shore for mother’s day with a close mom friend (we decided to spare our families the fraud of this capitalist, monetized holiday) and we were saddened by the large number white pine trees that had been killed by hurricane Sandy’s storm surge. The sea water killed Boxwood, Rhododendrons, Cedars and Taxus. What survived were Spruce, Privet, Fruit trees (!!), Lilacs, and Maples (!!). I took notes. That was back when I thought we could ride this out. “sigh”
    That was a great video you shared. Thank you.
    And yes, we are a repulsive species, selfish, shallow, indulgent and disingenuous. And our political “leaders” are all sociopaths and liars, so I regret ever supporting any of them. They have all failed us. Even our beloved Bernie Sanders who will, no doubt, go down swinging, has been largely impotent to inspire his colleagues to grow hearts or spines. Our own newest congressional rep in my NY district, Maloney, ran on being an environmentalist. I remember him waxing poetic on his fears for his children should Indian Point, our local aging nuclear power plant, have a meltdown, insisting it should be closed. I was touched and pulled the lever for him. He just helped speed up the path to permitting the Keystone Pipeline. http://congress.org/2013/05/22/keystone-pipeline-measure-approved-by-house-panel/

    @OzMan, interesting interviews. I feel that Religion failed the people by killing spirituality and then setting it on fire and dragging it by a chain behind a pickup truck.
    I like Tracey’s idea that somehow the Aboriginal Earth is connecting with the non-Aboriginal people and imparting spirituality. I wish that were the case. I hope it is. It doesn’t seem to be happening anywhere else. I always believed that to become spiritually or emotionally connected to a location, you must plant something there & that simple act makes you one with the land. I don’t equate big Ag plantings as spiritual acts.

    There is a lovely book, Anam Cara:A Book of Celtic Wisdom, by John O’Donohue where he beautifully describes humans (the word human coming from the Latin humus, earth) as parts of the earth sprouting legs, eyes, ears and tongues to walk the surface of the planet and observe and become self aware. This is the kind of awareness of spiritual connection of all living beings that is lacking in pretty much all religions today.
    Maybe had the large religions of the world been less violent, less exclusive, less male dominated (oh no she didn’t!), less punitive, we may have seen a deeper respect for nature as a sacred and divine part of us all. When I tell a deeply religious person that all nature is divine I hear “Oh no, only god is divine. That’s blasphemy!”

    I hear from them that nature is separate from god, it’s evil, beneath humans and here for humans to use and abuse at will. That diseased perspective is what religion did, not science. If religious leaders had genuinely loved the world their god had supposedly created, had felt deeply connected to it and honored its rhythms and patterns, they would not have fought the idea of a heliocentric solar system. They would not have allowed mountain topping. They would not have allowed the polar ice caps to melt into memory and the polar bears to die out. They would not have allowed the specter of nuclear annihilation to hang over every living human and creature. They would not have disrespected the fertile anatomy of humans and insist they breed themselves to extinction. And on and on.

    The so called “great” religions along with world’s politicians have murdered us all, and I find no reason to turn to them in this hour simply because they have some claim on spirituality that scientists presumably do not. We’ve been down that road before.
    Need I remind people that it was the rag tag scientists over the past three decades who were the Cassandras, warning of our impending doom, it was they who were swimming in the deep oceans with marine life seeing the die off, it was they taking ice core readings and interpreting the Earth’s ancient atmospheric memory, it was they walking away from Empire into the desert in disgust and despair at the blatant ignorance of those who could have made a difference but chose not to. It was the scientists who were deeply, even spiritually intimate with the Earth’s heart beats and breaths, convulsions and gasps. Not the religious leaders. And so I turn to the scientists who know and who weep quietly, not the braggarts in their robes and castles blaming us for our sins (sin=separate from god).
    We came from the stars, from the Earth and from the Moon, it is what our bodies are made up of, and these are our gods and we have forgotten that great mystery and we now will pay dearly for that.

    We are left now to dream of gods that will never come, because *we* are god, and have committed suicide.
    “It’s largely intuitive but it’s also through the study of cultures and histories and civilisations, that virtually every civilisation other than ours has come up with notions of spirits or demons, gods, goddesses. And we have decided, in our enlightenment or what the Greeks would call our hubris, that such things do not exist. But although we’ve decided they don’t exist, that doesn’t necessarily change anything, they are still present. So by ‘seeing’, and you have to put ‘seeing’ in inverted commas…one ‘sees’ them operating in our lives. They are particularly evident in our dreams, in our fantasies, and, as I argue in the book, in our symptoms”

  • Arthur said:

    “…dramatically reducing SO2 emissions from power plants and autos did not require fundamental changes to industrial society requiring dramatic changes in people’s way of life. Put all three of those together, and it’s easy to see why passing and enforcing the Clean Air Act in 1970 was straightforward and relatively painless.”

    Exactly so and I would add that when Nixon created the EPA, it caught industry by surprise because they didn’t realize how much it would cost to meet regulations (impossible really). They figured it out quickly and since then a truly massive industry has arisen – you could call it “waste management” – employing legions of lawyers and consultants and experts who, not surprisingly, are in a revolving door relationship with the very government agencies they are committed to hobbling.

    Climate activists are very fond of holding up the Montreal Protocol banning the halogenated hydrocarbons used in refrigeration that deplete the “good” ozone in the stratosphere as a model for international cooperation that is applicable to the CO2 emission problem…and the same caveat you raised about SO2 renders it moot. The offending chemicals were simply replaced with others that quite likely are equally destructive, and industrial growth chugged along unabated.

    I can’t resist adding that as far as the trees go, those earlier agreements to reduce SO2 helped with acid rain and the forests made slow recoveries in Appalachia, the Catskills, and in Europe. However, nothing was done about ozone because reducing the precursors – nitrous oxides – WOULD demand a drastic reduction of industrial emissions (and it’s also conveniently invisible, unlike SO2, the smoky visible comonent of smog).

    Now the background level of ozone, which is constantly rising and travels all around to even the most rural supposedly pristine locations, is killing vegetation instead, in a trend of truly alarming speed. It’s simply far too widespread to be attributable to localized influences like species specific pathogens. The insects, diseases and fungi are opportunistically taking advantage of weakened immunities due to air pollution, a phenomena well documented on annual agricultural crops in controlled ozone fumigation experiments.

    Being and Ozonista, I have to wonder even about the salt damage Pauline describes. I was on Cape Cod after Irene and ALL the leaves were prematurely brown, ostensibly from salt, in early September (it was shocking). But if plants and trees normally died from salty air borne by hurricanes, there wouldn’t be any vegetation along the seaside anywhere. The storms are bigger from climate change, for sure, but the plants have been drenched before. I suspect it’s quite likely that the leaves and needles are more susceptible because they should have a waxy coating of protection. Research has proven that ozone, being highly reactive and caustic, actually eats away at that layer, just as it eats away at stone statues, car tires, and your lungs.

  • Need I remind people that it was the rag tag scientists over the past three decades who were the Cassandras, warning of our impending doom, it was they who were swimming in the deep oceans with marine life seeing the die off, it was they taking ice core readings and interpreting the Earth’s ancient atmospheric memory, it was they walking away from Empire into the desert in disgust and despair at the blatant ignorance of those who could have made a difference but chose not to. It was the scientists who were deeply, even spiritually intimate with the Earth’s heart beats and breaths, convulsions and gasps. Not the religious leaders. And so I turn to the scientists who know and who weep quietly, not the braggarts in their robes and castles blaming us for our sins (sin=separate from god).

    Well, I’m 60, and I was there, and you would have to do something other than “remind” me, because in order to be “reminded” it would have had to have happened that way, and it didn’t. Scientists have been providing information, but few have put themselves on the line, (is Guy the only one?) while many, many ordinary people have been screaming for longer than 30 years. You haven’t heard of the Sierra Club, Sea Shepherd, NRDC, etc. The list is very long. There are thousands of such organizations and they have done more than all the scientists put together. But I guess it only counts that you do these things if your’re a scientist.

    Also, if you were my age and grew up here you would realize that 50 – 60 years ago there were many ordinary people whose parents had been farmers when they were children and we were still growing subsistence gardens in our backyards. We had chickens in the working-class suburbs when I was a child, as well as extensive subsistence gardens. My grandparents were holding values that you attribute to “scientists” and they were farmers from Oklahoma. We knew a lot about sustainability, and in fact, the entire “sustainability” movement did not come from scientists. What scientists makes money researching that? The money is in development of new products.

    Nor did the interest in “back to the land,” or organic farming, or natural remedies or holistic anything come from “science.” It came from ordinary people looking for answers outside of what was at the time mainstream resources and choices.

  • I don’t know what all of you are griping about. Things have never been better. I have a great deal going with Nordstrom to sell my designer flip flops and I’m already profitable. I’m only fifteen. I bet none of you can claim the same. Don’t knock us children. It’s our turn now. You’ve had your day, now the world belongs to us, so don’t try to rain on our parade. Go peacefully into the night rather than kicking and screaming.

  • oldgrowthforest –

    I reluctantly agree about scientists, which is really sad. Also, many of the big environmental organizations (aka GangGreen) have become absorbed into the corporatocracy as well. Cory Morningstar has done amazing work exposing their complicity with their donor foundations.

    Over a year ago I was reading about the corruption you talk about and posted:

    In the essay “Whatever Happened to Ecology”, written by Edward Goldsmith back in 2002 (based on an earlier, prescient treatise in 1985), the author says, “The science of Ecology has been taken over by the cult of scientific reductionism and has become a weapon in the war on the living world being waged by industrial man.”

    “The more credible epistemologists of the last decades… have generally come to agree that scientific knowledge has no special status – contrary to what logical positivists and many scientists still maintain – that distinguishes it from common or garden knowledge.”

    “At the same time, it has also become clear that, since scientists do not live in a closed scientific community, but are also members of a society with whose world-view, together with the values it reflects, they have, like everybody else, been imbued, and which the scientific paradigm which they entertain also tends to reflect….Consistency with the reigning social paradigm is thus, in effect, the ultimate criterion of scientific truth.”

    …It’s essential reading to understand how the fundamental concept of an ecosystem as a functioning “organism” has been undermined in academia to serve the destruction of habitat by multi-national corporations.

    If you want more about Goldsmith, google him (to avoid moderation) – or my post about it – witsendnj prosaic and amenable endochronometer

    Also there was also a report from the Union of Concerned Scientists about corruption in research that is damning and consequently generally ignored, here:


    It’s a great tragedy that academia and other centers of study crush any results that threaten the status quo. Guy is of course Exhibit A and so is the example he uses in his lecture regarding the suppression of Tim Garrett’s work.

  • Gail,

    The key piece of Federal legislation that fundamentally changed the relationship between academia, industry and government regarding science was something called the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980. This Act of Congress made it legal for academic institutions to exclusively license intellectual property discovered through Federally-funded research (for example, by the NSF or NIH) to a single company for commercialization. Before that, any licensing of such intellectual property by universities had to be non-exclusive–meaning they had to offer a license to any and all companies who had the wherewithal to commercialize it.

    After passage of the Bayh-Dole Act, the need for university faculty to produce revenue-generating intellectual property which could be exclusively licensed and commercialized steadily increased, to the point that it is now the reigning paradigm in the U.S. academic world (and also those of many other industrialized countries, who changed their laws to conform with those of the U.S.). So much so that it’s now fair to say, that the very purpose of science is now
    viewed within academia as a method for generating new knowledge which can be patented and commercialized.

  • Hey, Fish Flops, you crack me up. How about turning something of that entrepreneurial drive towards re-wilding the North American continent, hmmm?

    Still, you did get one thing right. It is an uncomfortable fact that the NTE, peak oil, and resilience movements are overwhelmingly populated by “graybeards”. Younger people are almost nowhere to be found. That IS interesting, seeing as that usually is not the case with social movements (the Occupy movement provides an excellent case in point).

  • Well, Arthur, I’m 28, although I don’t really consider myself “part of the NTE movement”, mostly because I’m not comfortable drawing too much attention to myself.

    So, do 28-year-olds count as “younger people”? ^_^

  • Hey Librarian,

    You’re the exception that proves the rule. (~_^)

    Even more interesting than the generational issue, though, is that these movements also seem to be overwhelmingly Anglo-American (or at least Northwestern Euro-American) in composition.

  • Kevin, you should take the time to watch the short video from the link Tom posted. After viewing, perhaps you’ll reflect on why you’re wasting time appealing to your so-called “representatives”.

    The video does a very good job demonstrating the techniques used to reduce complex issues down to core concepts. In yours, Erin’s & OzMan’s cases, one would simply dial back the time machine to ID the source of the Crown’s current authority. And that is? Some bastard from France sailed across the English channel approx 1000 years ago, deposed the then current king, and declared himself ruler.

    Ah, but from whence did the prior king’s (Harold) authority lie? Well, he was a descendent of German invaders from Angeln & Saxony aka Anglo-Saxons, who overthrew the weak Celts who inherited the remaining Roman system. And what where the Romans doing there? Why, they simply sailed over the channel and deposed the native Celts themselves, driving them in the nether regions of Scotland & Wales.

    Are you starting to see a pattern here? A group of men, at zero hour -1, are the outlaws, but at zero hour +1, are now the legitimate form of government. And who declares that? Why, the sovereign himself, who was just previously considered a criminal in the eyes of the prior authority.

    How about the USA? Well, it turns out that the two wealthiest men in the colonies were one G Washington & one T Jefferson. These guys not only owned vast estates, but also owned huge numbers of slaves. Anyone with half a clue could see the incredible growth potential in N America – so if the colonials wanted to pull off a hostile takeover, it was then or never.

    Once again, the same pattern repeats: one day, they are subjects to the existing controlling authority, the next, they are the new sovereign. What actually changed? Well, perhaps some fine words, but at the end of the day, simply a re-affirmation that a new boss was in town.

    To try & appeal to this system is foolish – it’s no different than trying to use reason when dealing with someone who holds religious beliefs. Secondly, to get depressed and/or frustrated that this is the “way the world works” is a sign of weakness. It is what it is – knowing what it is arms one for dealing with reality.

    The reality is, as others have noted, you cannot walk away from empire – you simply walk into another facet. That’s why scientists, generally the smartest ones in the room, simply go along to get along. They tend to think ‘deep thoughts’, and it doesn’t take much research & reading to figure out the game. Since you can’t win by leaving, you stay & keep your mouth shut.

  • Gail,

    I know those organizations have become more corporatized themselves, but that really was not the point. They did not start out that way and the point was not to make them some kind of model, but to plainly show that ordinary people have been the ones who have been fighting all along. While scientists have not been anywhere near as bad as the corporatists, they have hidden behind the supposed neutrality of the information they developed and providing technology without responsibility, which they claim they never had.


    All human endeavors appear to become corrupted. That was not the point. There was a time frame of “30 years” stated. I was communicating with and donating money to Sea Shepherd in 1987, almost 30 years ago. So, remind me again as to what was going on then in the environment? Because I was fighting for the Marine Mammal Protection Act and boycotting tuna (which I have never eaten again) on behalf of dolphins in 1970! I was there. It wasn’t the scientists who were doing anything except being enamored of the wealth (like everyone else) and the opportunities and the research and the knowledge and assuring us that we would eventually find answers and more research was needed.

    The scientists have not been “leading” the way. A few have. A handful from way back when. No. It has always been people like Tim DeChristopher, and there have been many of them.

    I live in Alaska. I know hundreds of ordinary people who homesteaded here in the 70s and 80s. I did in 1990. We didn’t write books about it, despite that many of us are quite adept at writing. We have college degrees too, many of us post-graduate.

    What we lack that I can tell, is the over-intellectualization, arrogance and ‘aren’t we special’ mentality. We just escaped and went back to much of the way that things were with our grandparents. We’re lucky, and we know it. We got to live in the wilderness with the animals and away from most of civilization, which makes people insane. Thank God!

    But I can pick up history and show examples of many American Indians making comments about ending up exactly where we are. One Indian is recorded as saying that at some point white people were going to suffocate in their own waste. Didn’t take a PhD to figure it out.

    Oh, and the megafauna disappeared all over the world at the same time. Did all those stone age people wipe them all out at the same time? We don’t know, and there is no proof. Maybe the early AmerIndians went around the world killing them for everyone?

    What we do know is that for the next 13 or so thousand years Indigenous people did pretty well with the environment. You can tell yourselves that they would have destroyed the world eventually, but I wonder why you need to believe that so badly.

    Religion has killed everyone? No, people have killed everyone. They used to use religion to do it, because we’ve been around for a long time and religion has been part of human culture for tens of thousands of years. Despite that every religion in the world has some “do not kill” and “treat your neighbor as yourself” basics, people do it anyway. Now education and “science” is a big part of our human culture and people use the technology developed from science to kill people.

    It sure is about being able to “see.” But who can? We all think we do. We’re such special monkeys.

  • B9K9,

    As Guy himself said during the Q&A period after his first AoL 2013 talk, he pays every penny of whatever taxes are assessed against him by the Imperial authorities. Cash flow to the Imperial Treasury is not interrupted, so the Imperial authorities can remain reasonably open-minded about individual lifestyle choices.

  • @oldgrowthforest says “13 or so thousand years Indigenous people did pretty well with the environment. You can tell yourselves that they would have destroyed the world eventually, but I wonder why you need to believe that so badly.”

    Hmmm, total global population 13k years ago is estimated to be 4-10m:


    With that kind of ratio of people to nature, you could burn, rape & kill from morning till night, and probably could no longer stand due to exhaustion, and you still wouldn’t have made a dent.

    Ah, but through the magic of exponential mathematics (unfortunately, not a “belief”, but cold, uncaring facts), your little population would begin to take off and eventually begin:

    1. depleting resources
    2. degrading the environment
    3. overshooting the carrying capacity
    4. dying off

    I don’t why this is so hard for people to accept. It’s not a mystery, and it’s not a faith based construct; it just “is”.

    What compounds the problem is thinking that one can appeal to some kind of authority that will magically “make all the bad (men) things go away mommy”. However, any careful and/or casual examination soon reveals that the “authority” to whom one is appealing has as much legitimacy as the guy covered in face paint and adorned in feathers saying he needs to cut out your heart for the harvest to come in.

    The lionesses play it right – some new stud comes in, lasts a 2-3 years, gets old, loses a fight, is banished & dies. Sure, your last litter of cubs gets slaughtered, and you have to put out for the new dude, but soon enough, he’s gone too. The only thing that continues is the family/tribe/clan.

    @Arthur – yes, Guy is smart to pay his respective tribute. No one wants to spend their days in a dungeon. What I question is his impulse to put ideals ahead of practicality. If he had just waited awhile, perhaps taken a sabbatical to consider the absurdity of trying to effect change, then he could be sitting pretty while watching the shit-storm come down.

  • Thanks for your concern, Tom. I live in southern New Mexico, at least 200 miles as the proverbial crow flies from the nearest large wildfire.

  • oldstormgrowth, excuse me, but in your rush to defend the little people as good, you tar all scientists as bad. You commit the same behavior you detest when it is applied to you.

    Scientists are arrogant! They think they’re special, but WE’RE different from them, because WE DON’T think we’re special!

    Do you see how ironic that is? The scientists and people like you could’ve been allies, but all of us are too busy fighting enemies over trivial things when we should be uniting against the irrational people.

    God, this is how we got into this mess. We reject anything we don’t personally understand as “elitist”, which is exactly why nobody listened to warnings like Guy’s in the first place.

    Kathy C. once told me I still had faith in humanity, while she had lost hers.

    That is no longer true. I’ve lost faith in humanity as well, ever since a year ago, when I had to leave a group of people from whom I was seeking help because they chose to marginalize me and pigeonhole me based on…well, based on the fact that I actually care about the world outside my personal life.

  • I had a vasectomy at the age of 23.

    It was a free procedure, took five minutes and was back in the saddle in ten days. Rather painless.

    If you know of overshoot and have children… well adios.

    It has always been a great freedom knowing that i don’t have to worry about forcing this absurd set of insanity on another.

    And my partners couldn’t be more relieved of that nagging burden and fear of unwanted pregnancy.

    Snip it fellas.

  • B9K9:

    To use another baseball reference, “Nice guys finish last.”

    I selfishly appreciate this blog and the effort Guy puts into it.

  • I disagree with you, Librarian

    I still have great faith in humanity…

    It’s just that, well, all those PEOPLE keep GETTING IN THE WAY!


  • Pauline,
    We met at Guy’s presentation at the Mt. Kisco Library and talked afterward at the Cafe’. I want to thank you for your post as I struggle most not with the realization of NTE (which has only recently come into full focus for me) but with the fact that my two sons are so ill prepared (as though there is such a thing). Furthermore, most everyone we/they know are in denial and shun anyone (myself included) who attempts to educate and warn them. After about half a century I’m pretty complete with my experience of life, but I am having the hardest time imagining the hell that we will be leaving for our youth soon. Our institutions have completely failed us all and in particular they have failed miserably to prepare our young people in such a fundamental way for what is sure to be a very challenging existence. Being scientifically inclined and driven to figure out how things work I spent the last few years trying to determine how to “prepare”. I am now finding myself in new territory that is very foreign to my analytical way of thinking, namely spirituality. Not in the religious sense, but in real terms such as how to go on living with the sorrow that accompanies knowing that I am responsible not only for contributing to the problem of course, but for bringing children into this! It would seem that we are unable to help ourselves (in any significantly impactful collective manner) and that individually we are unable to avoid what is coming. Therefore, we are (and probably have always been) ultimately destined to fail. This brings me to what Guy says: “The good news is we are going to die, that means we get to live”. I’m not a defeatist, but I think that there is really no way to change our destiny at this point. So I say let’s get busy living! In a responsible way of course (if only to stay true to who I/we are). I want to thank you Pauline for the post that really hit a chord for me and thank you Guy for sharing your life’s work with us and representing a true commitment to at least try to help those who will listen. I’m going to be with my family now and enjoy the moment. After all, that is all we really have control over. Unfortunately, I could not attend the gatherings in Pleasantville and Chappaqua as well as The Age of Limits. To both of you I sincerely hope that our paths cross again.

  • Arthur, that’s hilarious! (Well, in a black comedy sort of way).

    I should use that one…

  • alexander hawk,

    Good advice generally. Although I would add that if you want a biological child(ren), then be prepared to do what Dr. McPherson has done.

  • In the previous thread, Gavin Taylor says:
    `My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
    Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’


    In poesy’s hot desert spot,
    His story is still not forgot;
    But deep time will erase
    Human trace from this place,
    And we ain’t gonna leave squat.

  • @Rick, hey there!
    It was so good to meet you. Cameron and Susan and I are planning a debrief picnic soon for folks who heard Guy speak. We’ll let you know when (set aside Monday evening June 10th) and where. We’ve been fielding many calls from really sad people who need to share and get some guidance.
    We concurred that it was best NOT to tell our kids, teenaged and college aged, about NTE. They’ll find out soon enough. There’s something wonderful about hearing them dream and plan and be genuinely happy and contented. At least as contented as anyone can be in this bizarro world. We will shoulder the responsibility of this terrible truth (unless they read this blog-eeek).
    They all know about Peak Oil, we’ve harped on that topic for the past few years long enough that their eyes reflexively roll back into their heads upon hearing the word Peak, Pavlovian style. So, we figure they’ve had SOME prep. Though, realistically, nothing can prepare you for this reality… It takes a special kind of courage to be willing to look directly into the Abyss. I don’t know if I have developed it yet.

    So Rick, some ways I’ve been coping is through play, dance, music & humor. At a friend’s last night we played badminton until it was too dark to see the birdie. Fun was poked at my giraffe legs as I slid on the damp grass, hysterical jokes ensued, and the dread in my gut went away for a while.
    The other day I sat at the piano and vented my sorrow and anger while improvising on the spot. Crying releases stress hormones that can sicken a person.
    When I was in full battle with neighbors and town over my four chickens, I couldn’t sleep & my mind was in turmoil. Then one day my two daughters turned on some great dance music in the kitchen and I was 16 again dancing with them around the kitchen island to some Lady Gaga song. Instant healing.

    And focusing on my business and on helping my associates, keeps my head distracted a little from the abyss. Work can be a good distraction, as long as you’re not working for the devil in a sweatshop, and you’re not a workaholic. You need to love your work. If not, quit! (I take no responsibility for your business decisions!)

    Spend that time with your kids, friends, extended family. Go visit your long lost loves, make up with your old college bud, send your parents on an all expense paid trip to the Bahamas. Go on one yourself. (Guy has a great line for all this, ask him about it)
    I love Guy’s Gift economy (I know he didn’t invent it), and this is a great opportunity for us to really live that, like he said, and really *live*.
    That’s a precious gift I will forever be grateful to him for.

    And now for some more Ace Venture, Pet Detective with my girls. :)

  • Librarian – wow, first I had you pegged in my mind as older :) Second I am sorry you have come to agree with me about humanity even tho we are now both right :) :)

    Arthur yes “humanity” is wonderful, people are another thing.

    Btd as usual, you got it nailed

    Fish Flops now that you have mastered the art of selling unneeded shoe ware to people who don’t understand what is coming, perhaps you can master the art of making sandals out of tires http://www.hollowtop.com/sandals.htm as millions of poor people throughout the world do to provide something to protect their feet without a desire to make a fashion statement. I don’t mean to be hard on you but at 16 I had mastered the art of moving elderly people around in wheelchairs in a county nursing home for poor people. I never made any money but the experiences I had of giving love and receiving love were priceless. One man was 35 when a car accident made him a cripple from the neck down. Yet he was the most positive human I have ever met. He mastered the art of not having his tube for collecting urine to clog up but asking everyone who came by to hold a glass of water with a straw in it to drink. It kept the urine dilute and he didn’t get urinary infections. He also mastered the art of being so positive and welcoming that everyone visited him first. I don’t have the same positive spirit, instead I tend to cranky, but I have the memory of a fine human being. So if you find a bit of time away from your new income producing ventures I suggest you find some project that involves helping someone less fortunate. Much much to learn in so doing.

    Alexander thanks. And all you fertile women – I had the tubal – a bit more of a procedure than the vasectomy but really not bad at all. Do it while you can for the children that might be and suffer.

  • just saw this:

    red alert pole shift news it has moved

    Published on Jun 1, 2013

    magnetic north pole has moved 161 miles in only 6 months, this puts its arrival in siberia in less than 2 years, and it is when it arrives there that it will have migrated 40 degrees across the northern

  • (hit the submit button by accident)

    hemisphere at this point the poles will shift at high speed over the equator until it reaches 40 degrees south, i will tell you what i expect to happen when it goes past the 40 degrees point in the coming uploads

    If you can stand listening to this person for the full 12 minutes, he’s very informative.


  • @Tom,
    does this pole shift mean earthquakes?

  • B9K9

    As you are relatively new to NBL you probably are unaware that I have written extensively on the points you raised, including several books.

    I agree entirely; throughout history various gangs of thugs have taken over regions of the Earth and declared themselves to be legitimate rulers, ‘annihilating’ anyone who disagreed and writing the rules according their particular preferences.

    I have been tackling my present local council since 2006, and prior to that the council where I was living. What is interesting is that a decade ago I was warning about the coming falling off Hubbert’s Peak, the coming bursting of financial bubbles, the coming climate chaos etc. Now we are actually falling off the net energy Hubbert’s Peak, and climate chaos is underway, with financial arrangements held together, for the moment, by continuous fraud. Numerous economies are visibly falling apart.

    Yet still the ‘beached whale’ syndrome applies -councillors and council staff sit there like beached whales, unable to move themselves or in many cases even respond at all to prodding. Presumably they will sit there on the railway tracks until they are hit by the train which is hurtling towards them.

    You could accuse me of enjoying a perverse sport, which now consists of frequently demonstrating that council officers, the mayor, the CEO and most councillors haven’t got a clue what they are talking about, and are agents of their own destruction and everyone else’s destruction. I have demonstrated that the council’s systems are corrupt, inconsistent, destructive of the community, and particularly destructive of the next generation’s future (assuming it has any). I have demonstrated that hypocrisy and stupidity rule, that the council oscillates between dysfunction and non-function, and most of its members are effectively brain-dead. At some stage, when they are suffering a bit more, the populace will wake up to it all.

    in the meantime the Easter Island mentality prevails.

  • From the cartoon strip Peanuts, Lucy and Linus at there finest

    To celebrate the dogged determination of H s sapian in the face of NTE, I give you what people are made of.

    This is what Humanity really needs. This is what humans are capable of producing in a Clutch situation when the Chips are Down, yoa Peeps.

    A Truly Hands off Approach

    (and NO, this is not for design for the physically challenged, just the intellectually and mentally challenged)

  • In a previous thread https://guymcpherson.com/2013/05/on-the-acceptance-of-near-term-extinction/ Daniel says: We’re at a nascent stage where this is still clearly the domain of the radical/lunatic fringe, and where it probably has as much to do with individual character traits, as it does with the actual evidence.

    Cult of True Believers

    We’ve cried wolf, alarmed at our plight
    From dangers now more or less trite;
    People think we’re odd geeks
    And plumb crazy freaks,
    But this time we’re going to be right.

  • Sigh. GenX are all in their late 30s and early 40s now. The current usage of “Generation X” started in like 1990, when the book came out.

  • all nature is divine

    The universe, including nature is an apparition that borrows its appearance of reality from the divine, as a projected movie borrows its reality from the screen.

    We came from the stars, from the Earth and from the Moon, it is what our bodies are made up of

    That “we” is the body-mind complex, a part of the universe. It has no awareness: the awareness is a reflection of apparent content in consciousness.

    we have forgotten that great mystery

    Mysteries are best forgotten.

    *we* are god

    The apparition called “god” is part of the “not-I” and is only seen when the apparition of “I” is perceived as real. Once the “I” apparition is seen to be unreal, the “not-I”, and with it, the god disappears.

    And we have decided, in our enlightenment or what the Greeks would call our hubris, that such things do not exist.

    With the realisation that the “I” does not exist, the rest follows suit.

    I’m already profitable

    A commodification of oneself – a definition of oneself within an extant paradigm. Profitable implies superfluous symbols, either green pictures of dead presidents or magnetised particles on hard drives, that are exchangeable for resources and/or products. A paradigm that is as yet dominant.

    scientific knowledge has no special status

    Scientific knowledge is a higher-order method of organising a substantial section of the incoming inputs from the five senses. An excellent method, in spite of its limitations. It has no usefulness in the areas of awareness that have no correlates in the realm of the five senses.

    So, do 28-year-olds count as “younger people”?

    Tradition has it that the gent after whom this site was named, died at the age of thirty-three.

    And the central player in perhaps the most prominent Upanishad, the Katha Upanishad, was “enlightened” at the age of five.

    And per Wikipedia, about the Buddha: “After a reputed 49 days of meditation, at the age of 35, he is said to have attained Enlightenment.”

    why you’re wasting time appealing to your so-called “representatives”

    The hierarchy operates by gunpoint, threatened or literal. Politics is a system whereby an impression is conveyed that the pointees have some control over where the pointers point the gun.

    Since you can’t win by leaving, you stay & keep your mouth shut.

    Keeping one’s mouth shut may be highly adaptive in the short term, but changing course for the supertanker is slow and arduous: one does not escape those consequences.

    A little bird, late in starting the journey south for the winter, was caught in a snowstorm, chilled, and fell to the ground, covered by a layer of snow. A cow walking by drops a warm patty on the bird, which thaws out, finds and eats the seeds in the patty, feels happy, shakes out its wings, and begins to sing. A cat hears the singing, comes over, digs the bird out and eats it.

    Three morals to the story:
    1. The person who shits on you is not necessarily your enemy.
    2. The person who digs you out of the shit is not necessarily your friend.
    3. If you are warm and comfortable, and your stomach is full, even if you are in deep shit, it may be wise to keep your mouth shut.

    I am responsible not only for contributing to the problem of course

    Our lungfish ancestors were responsible for crawling ashore, our primate ancestors were responsible for climbing down from the trees and standing erect. They (unwittingly) set us up. When the police set up a sting, they do it knowingly. But once you discover that the supertanker/Titanic is on a collision course, no one listens to you, and there are no lifeboats – and no prospect of rescue, what do you do?

    planning a debrief picnic soon for folks who heard Guy speak.

    If you have an email, you can get a GMail. If you have a GMail you can use it to get Google+. If you can get Google+ you can have a Google Hangout – a virtual web party, with live video of those attendees that have webcams, audio for those with mics, and text for all attendees. Might as well use the Internet while we still have it? Willing to participate, if you will.

    send your parents on an all expense paid trip to the Bahamas

    Only one parent left, in an urn. Would like to send on a one-way trip for immersion in the Ganges.

    perhaps you can master the art of making sandals out of tires

    Tiresole shoes and boots, because of their durability, commanded a premium price in Pakistan when I was growing up.

    hit the submit button by accident

    It is easier (iPhone method) to compose it on Notes, then “Select All”, “Copy”, switch to the page in Safari, “Paste”, and then hit “Submit”.

  • Hi
    I like babies and they make me happy. I’m part of nature like all of you. I didn’t ask to be part
    of this world, I just am. I don’t know what will happen in 20 years or
    20 minutes and neither do any of you. You could fall in the bath and
    die tonight. I was freaked out when I found out about the methane
    problem but after thinking about it for months, I’ve decided to live my
    life to the fullest, as I should have been all of my life. I don’t share the
    knowledge I have about all these problems with other because it upsets
    most of them and it doesn’t really matter. Also as a friend of mine use
    to say ” If you don’t have something nice to say, shut the fuck up!”

  • Gail or anyone.

    How does Ozone stress show on conifers ? We have a lot around here, and it is the start of winter after 3 months of pretty dry weather. Temps are around 3-10 Celsius, Elevation is 1000 meters. I see some browning of nettles in sections, and I don’t really recall it, but having not been too aware of these factors in earlier life, not been looking either.

    Also, could the conifers be shutting down, branch-by-branch, say the oldest ones, due to stress, cutting back like humans do when the economy goes to shite?

    And…do trees respond to ozone by closing stomata, as they do with heat stress at the middle of the day. As Ozone is there all the time can this be their response, which will kill them faster, or do they have any/some ‘behavioural’ defences to the Ozone?

    Also with Eucalypts, I see a great many with small clusters of nodules, possibly a parasite, on the leaves of many, many trees here. Is this a stress signature too ? I have never seen so many of these affected leaves in all the 50 years I have lived and visited the bush here.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Save the trees, yo!

  • ‘Greece Mulls “Debt Camps” for Taxpayers’


    Work and debt camps perhaps being tried out on Greeks first, to see if it is something a population will take.

    Spain may be not far behind.

    ‘[KR452] Keiser Report: Debt Death Camps (featuring George Galloway)
    Read more at http://www.maxkeiser.com/#5DUSKRAHE9JEDcEg.99


    As Max Keiser points out, Iceland is not going down this route, as it defaulted in 2008 on 8 billion Euros, and has only 5% or so of unemployment. Iceland is getting out of banking and finance as a way to keep solvent.

    I love Max Keiser, just keeps telling it like he sees it. Very like the Joker in the old TV and movies Batman series.

  • Ozone molecules are extremely reactive and do not normally accumulate in the lower atmosphere unless there is something generating them at a very high rate, i.e. a continuous electrical discharge or a photochemical smog (normally associated with vehicle pollution these days).

  • Ozman,

    Classic ozone damage to pine trees shows up as yellowing inner needles that fall off prematurely. If you google Andrzej Bytnerowicz his Forest Service webpage will come up with a list of publications. He has been doing work for decades on ozone’s effects in Southern California where it was first diagnosed in the 1950’s.

    If you go to ozone injury dot org they have pages with photos of symptoms to different kinds of plants both agricultural and woodland. Personally, I don’t get hung up on whether the injury is directly attributable to exposure because the worst part of ozone’s effects is increased vulnerability to pathogens which have all sorts of symptoms on leaves, bark and branches (insects, disease, fungus, cankers, rot, etc) so that could be what is happening to your eucalyptus.

    As was discussed earlier on this thread, science has sliced and diced issues so that there is almost no reportage on artificially separated issues. That’s the only reason I can see for the apparent separation of ozone and what is known as the nitrogen cascade. Over-fertilization of nitrogen is toxic to plants as well and is one of the nine planetary boundaries which Rockstram et al declared we had exceeded some time ago. Why this is considered separately from tropospheric ozone remains a mystery to me. There are all sorts of task forces and reports that manage to refuse to make any connection.

    For a general overview with many links to primary research I suggest a summary I published as a guest post at Greg Laden’s blog earlier this year: http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2013/01/29/whispers-from-the-ghosting-trees/

    and if you (or anyone) has questions please feel free to email me directly at witsendnj at yahoo dot com

  • Robin – I always enjoy reading your comments but can’t say I always understand them. The I-phone suggestion would be great if I owned one, but my phone is an old model that still drops calls, and my “enlightenment” has yet to arrive (and I’ve stopped trying to attain anything of the sort, though I like reading zen stories).

    Pauline – I don’t know what it means! I read a book by Velikovski (sp?) a long time ago on this (When Worlds Collide?) and poof, here it is happening (as the book said it happened before to our planet). I imagine that if the poles suddenly shift that our magnetic field protection will be at a low point (allowing in all kinds of radiation Earth normally reflects, with who knows what consequences) and if it’s an actual physical spinning of the globe that civilization and our infrastructure would be demolished and the oceans would produce enormous tsunamis engulfing everything (I guess). Paul – lil help here?

    Dean – I don’t know about everyone else here, but I’ve gone down that same road, but have come to a different conclusion at times (though I completely agree that you should continue living your life). For example, there are clueless people out there who keep making pronouncements and decisions that are absolutely nuts once you see where the science is pointing (like kevin moore’s struggle with his community leaders) and affect those around them in a negative way (and without anyone else’s input). There isn’t always something nice to say, and at times one feels the need to speak up.

    OzMan – Gail’s done some remarkable research into this and i’d highly recommend her site (Wit’s End) for more information. This one is especially detailed: whispers-from-the-ghosting-trees. i’m sure Gail will answer your question.

    Cool site:

  • Pauline, anyone else interested – Listen to the first 1/2 hr of this (about 2 hr) old video to find out more about what happens when the poles shift, according to Brent Miller


    He says there is geologic evidence that this happened at least 3 times in the past and that the last time was about 9000 BC.

    (Let me know what you think – b/s or holy crap!)

  • Back in the early 70’s there was a book, “The Jupiter Effect.” The planets would align in such a manner that our heads would be shoved up our asses.

  • @Kevin says “You could accuse me of enjoying a perverse sport, which now consists of frequently demonstrating … haven’t got a clue what they are talking about, and are agents of their own destruction and everyone else’s destruction.”

    Sorry for implying that you may have been ignorant about the underlying reality of the current political system(s). There’s such a mix of people who hold varying beliefs in the efficacy & legitimacy of our governing institutions.

    However, your admission that you enjoy baiting local authorities implies the practice of certain risky behavior. Like impressionable teens who take up smoking, or a college age kids who develop a taste for alcohol, these kinds of follies tend to create long-term effects that aren’t typically noticeable at the start.

    If you really believe in NTE and understand the precarious nature of how this is gong to play out “on the street”, would you really be actively setting yourself as a potential target? After all, who willingly taunts a tiger?


    For every scientist like Guy, how many have quietly assessed the data, analyzed the information, made their various conclusions, and then have have gone on quietly about their lives?

    My dad, the agency analyst, let on through various hints about the truth of our various engagements. Of course, he could never speak openly due to the threat of welcoming prison cell, so he lived quietly never saying a word. As I’ve said before, however, watch what people do, not what they say. In his case, he retired very early – like Guy – and got out. Unlike Guy, he still doesn’t say squawk.

    Have fun pursuing your entertainments, but be aware of potential blow-back.

  • The annoying thing about the media coverage of global warming is that all the major news outlets insist on providing equal time to the naysayers, when only 2% of climate scientists feel any doubt about AGW. It should, therefore, only provide 2% of the time to them.

  • B9K9

    The key words in my statement are: ‘you could accuse me’.

    In practise I am sickened to the core that major decisions that affect 70,000 people in the district (and who knows how many elsewhere) are made by a bunch of uninformed idiots who engage in Constructed Ignorance, who are entirely unaccountable, and who are maintained in their positions of power by a Web of Deceit.

    Doing nothing is not an option for me because: ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men to do nothing.’ -Edmund Burke.

    Pushing every button there is and getting an idiotic response (or no response at all) has enlightened me to the totally corrupt and idiotic nature of NZ society, which is modelled on the totally corrupt and idiotic British and American models, of course.

    Whether that will give me an advantage when the Titanic slips below the waves is debatable, but I believe it will. A large portion of the general populace still think the government is there to help them, and will do so if times get tough. Obviously they are going to be sadly disappointed. I have a mental picture of them sitting in front of their televisions, waiting for someone from the government to announce a plan that will save them.

    The only ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ is that whereas 6 years ago we had only 1/14 councillors standing up to the nonsense churned out by the NPDC administration we now have 4/14. It would not be impossible for the balance of power to shift fairly soon. Too late, I know, but even a late shift away from pure lunacy would result in less suffering to come.

  • ‘Marnage Says:
    June 3rd, 2013 at 10:52 am
    The annoying thing about the media coverage of global warming is that all the major news outlets insist on providing equal time to the naysayers, when only 2% of climate scientists feel any doubt about AGW’

    According to the work of Powell, 99.87% versus 0.13%.

    But, as we all know, major ‘news’ outlets are merely propaganda machines for business as usual. They are dependent on the meltdown of the planet for their very existence, so cannot tell the truth.

  • Kathy, thanks. :)

    [Crosspost from Wit’s End:]

    Is This Displacement?

    In Freudian psychology, displacement…is an unconscious defense mechanism whereby the mind substitutes either a new aim or a new object for goals felt in their original form to be dangerous or unacceptable.

    With NTE starting to loom,
    Being rank-aware enters the room;
    Hierarchy’s unfair,
    But it’s always been there,
    And it’s nowhere as scary as doom.

  • [Crosspost:]

    A focus on who is commanding
    With macho and scapegoat branding
    Comes with NTE
    If you care to be
    Among the last ones standing.

  • Here’s a good article about magnetic pole shifts from NASA’s website. Excerpt:
    Scientists understand that Earth’s magnetic field has flipped its polarity many times over the millennia. In other words, if you were alive about 800,000 years ago, and facing what we call north with a magnetic compass in your hand, the needle would point to ‘south.’ This is because a magnetic compass is calibrated based on Earth’s poles. The N-S markings of a compass would be 180 degrees wrong if the polarity of today’s magnetic field were reversed. Many doomsday theorists have tried to take this natural geological occurrence and suggest it could lead to Earth’s destruction. But would there be any dramatic effects? The answer, from the geologic and fossil records we have from hundreds of past magnetic polarity reversals, seems to be ‘no.’

    Reversals are the rule, not the exception. Earth has settled in the last 20 million years into a pattern of a pole reversal about every 200,000 to 300,000 years, although it has been more than twice that long since the last reversal. A reversal happens over hundreds or thousands of years, and it is not exactly a clean back flip. Magnetic fields morph and push and pull at one another, with multiple poles emerging at odd latitudes throughout the process. Scientists estimate reversals have happened at least hundreds of times over the past three billion years. And while reversals have happened more frequently in “recent” years, when dinosaurs walked Earth a reversal was more likely to happen only about every one million years.

    More at the link.

    This shouldn’t be confused with earth crust displacement but frequently is. Earth crust displacement is wholesale shifting of the top layer of Earth’s crust and has been hypothesized by a variety of different scientists. THAT would be catastrophic whereas magnetic pole shifting does not appear to affect anything other than mechanisms and creatures that rely on the poles for direction (some animals use it for instance).

  • Two lol moments before bed last night, always a good thing. So thankyou Robbin for your cautionary tale,and to Dean for your blunt advice. Thanks Robbin for the link to the site which I visited and will again,familiar names amongst those listed, Krisnamurti and Ramana foremost. Was led to a video of K on his deathbed, a must see for those who have preconceptions about how an awakened one should act!
    I had spent the night trying to work out the chords to Jackie Deshannon’s “Walk in the room”, the first verse of which is,imo, as good an explanation of how we got “here”, (why men always want more than they need), as 2LTD or anything else you like to come up with!
    So I give you:

    I can feel a new expression on my face,
    I can feel a new sensation taking place,
    I hear guitars playing lovely tu..nes,
    Every time that you, walk in the room.
    In the face of beautiful young women with perfect bodys and radiant smiles, we never stood a chace!

  • Opps, the effect is lost when you don’t get the words right!

    I can feel a new expression on my face,
    I can feel a GROWING sensation taking place,
    I can hear the guitars playing lovely tunes’
    Every time that you, walk in the room.
    Not easy when your 62,a crap typist and rushing to complete occaisional posting at nearest library. Insert embarressed emoticon on both counts. Enjoy your day.

  • Thanks for the video Patricia. The out of focus is no where near as annoying as the guy who kept sneezing & blowing his nose on your camera. I’ve passed your super post on to two women I know who are also mothers and informed as to the “situation” and also ask themselves what’s a mother to do…

  • An apocalyptic video (with at least one major error in it):

  • Here is a longer, as-politically-correct-as-possible version:

  • We have Bill McKibben here at the moment and he was in a debate called ‘Q&A’ on the ABC t.v. channel.

    ‘ABC Q&A’


    The relevant Climate and CO2 debate starts from about 24:20.

    The usual monkeys are there to claim ‘crazy’ predictions ad ‘outrageous claims’.

    Not a bad delivery from Bill.

    I hear him saying ‘have a real debate’.

    Bravo Bill.

  • The only problem with Bill McKibben is that 350ppm is unachievable this millennium, and we now know that the upper limit for climate stability is around 320ppm.

    At least he is trying to do something, even if he’s got it wrong.

  • Bond market apocalypse?


    BIS chief Jaime Caruana said investors and governments need to be ready for rough times. Speaking in Seoul this morning, the general manager of the so-called “central bankers’ bank” warned:

    While central banks surely have all the tools necessary to technically engineer an exit and will doubtless do their utmost to communicate properly with market participants, it cannot be taken for granted that the process will be smooth.

    Many financial institutions, he warned, could suffer significant losses when central banks decide to return to normality and end their government bond purchase schemes. As Caruana put it:

    Authorities and market participants must recognise the challenges inherent in the inevitable and desirable interest rate normalisation and seek to make their financial firms and markets resilient in the face of potential strains.

    The speech comes at a time when the world markets are being heavily influenced by speculation over America’s stimulus package. Talk of the Federal Reserve ‘tapering’ its huge quantitative easing programme this summer have driven shares down, while bad economic news has often pushed shares up because further stimulus has looked more likely.

    Caruana is worried that those QE packages have driven bond prices up to unsustainable levels where investors don’t actualiy get a return for holding the debt. As he puts it:

    The term premium – the extra reward for bearing the price risk and inflation risk of holding a fixed rate bond – has flipped into a penalty that the investor must pay.

    This graph shows that holding US and German 10-year debt means a guaranteed loss, once inflation is factored in

  • OzMan’s
    Billy McKibben
    link, sans the iview stuff. (200 Mb, so better to stream instead of downloading, in case it is not on 64 Gb iPhone or other device with substantial storage.)

  • Wow, that was quite a presentation Guy, and it must take great courage to admit the failure with respects to the issue with the breakdown of relations with your co-habitants there at mud hut haven. Kudos to you on accepting gracefully that failure is part of the process. What I take from it all is that it is not just that Empire is all around us, but that it is lodged deep in our minds and it will out. Thus it is perhaps the answer to the big question of what is it all for and how sad to realize it might all be just for distraction. Distraction from what we became in the end and distraction from seeing exactly all we need to see and do if we really want to walk away. In the end going back, as bad as that is, is not as bad as staying away, losing the distraction and inching closer day by day to exactly what we are kept distracted from. What is on the other side of the bars we pretend to not see, because there is something and it seems as though it is worse even than our own extinction which we will gladly call to us rather than face it. Whatever it is, I dare not hint since I walked to it rather than away, and my calculations reveal that we would rather distract ourselves to death than face the yawning chasm which you Guy have had a glimpse of somewhere in the desert, at the end of time.

    The moral of the story IMHO, we are all innocent, all so full of a need for love when love is the rarest of all elements. We would rather die trying to distract ourselves from not having it than live with the knowledge we don’t have it and we don’t know how to grow it.

    Talk about gifting, and the one gift we avoid gifting that is free? We all but lost the skill to craft that, so we craft and we craft and we craft, thinking if we only make enough, stuff, bigger and better, then maybe we will have paid our dues and love will return, real love, the kind that is like magic. I think the only thing that will save us all and would yet offer hope, real love. But I do not expect love to return, from what I can tell, from human to human, the price like leaving Empire, is simply not one we are able to bear. Too much abuse to our psyches and like this great sensitive system of limits we live upon so we live within our own. Don’t get me wrong, it is not in my determination that love is gone, any more than the air, soil, water or life on this planet is gone, just in concord to the rest, diminished in degrees that in my calculation put us near tipping points beyond salvation for love and near extinction in love. That loss of the art and craft of love is what in my opinion is driving the rest, has always been driving the rest. But that is my lonely view from my spot on the great earth, lonely, smack dab in the machinery of empire, but abundant in love. Perhaps I like other species am the last of my kind.

    Because of this, I could not walk away, love it seems is it’s own happy death trap, but oh, what a death it is.

    My advice to you? To anyone? Run, don’t walk and fall into the chasm, your ‘chasm’, that shadow of dischord, of empire and at the bottom, find love, love for your neighbor and the world at large, perhaps then as we fall again one by one back into accord, we can change things after all.

    No matter though if we can’t change anything but ourselves by crafting a life through love, in the end it changes everything all the same.

  • Air quality in US:


    Nationwide Air Sampling Confirms ‘Methane Emissions Across Large Parts Of The U.S. Are Higher Than Currently Known’

    UC Santa Barbara news release

    After taking a rented camper outfitted with special equipment to measure methane on a cross-continent drive, a UC Santa Barbara scientist has found that methane emissions across large parts of the U.S. are higher than currently known, confirming what other more local studies have found. Their research is published in the journal Atmospheric Environment.

    Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, stronger than carbon dioxide on a 20-year timescale, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, though on a century timescale, carbon dioxide is far stronger. “This research suggests significant benefits to slowing climate change could result from reducing industrial methane emissions in parallel with efforts on carbon dioxide,” said Ira Leifer, a researcher with UCSB’s Marine Science Institute.

    Leifer was joined by two UCSB undergraduate students on the road trip from Los Angeles to Florida, taking a primarily southern route through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, and along the Gulf of Mexico. They used specialized instrumentation, a gas chromatograph, to measure methane. The device was mounted in the RV, with an air ram on the roof that collected air samples from in front of the vehicle.

    “We tried to pass through urban areas during nighttime hours, to avoid being stuck in traffic and sampling mostly exhaust fumes,” Leifer said. “Someone was always monitoring the chromatograph, and when we would see a strong signal, we would look to see what potential sources were in the area, and modify the survey to investigate and, if possible, circumnavigate potential sources.”

    The researchers meandered slowly through areas of fossil fuel activity, such as petroleum and natural gas production, refining, and distribution areas, and other areas of interest. The wide range of sources studied included a coal-loading terminal, a wildfire, and wetlands.

    The team analyzed the data in conjunction with researchers at the University of Bremen, Germany, who analyzed inventories and satellite data from the Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Chartography (SCIAMACHY) instrument onboard the European Space Agency’s (ESA) ENVISAT satellite to confirm the finding of strong methane sources in regions of fossil fuel activity. The surface measurements found methane levels increased as the researchers moved toward Houston, and then decreased as they continued westward –– the same trend observed in satellite data spanning the continent.

    Previous methane studies have focused primarily on large-scale airborne data, which were challenging to separate from local sources, according to Leifer. In fact, clear identification of individual sources often could not be conducted, requiring computer models and other surface measurements.

    The team compared maps of estimated methane emissions based on data from the International Energy Agency of the U.S. Department of Energy with satellite methane maps. They found that, in some cases, to explain observed higher methane concentrations required higher emissions than current emission maps present, particularly in large regions of fossil fuel industrial activity. In other cases, though, they could rule out that wetlands such as swamps may have been important. In such cases, separating wetland methane contributions from fossil fuel industrial contributions was not possible with their approach, Leifer said, “This is a topic we are investigating further through new research,” he added.

    “Methane is the strongest human greenhouse gas on a political or short timescale, and also has more bang for the buck in terms of addressing climate change,” said Leifer. “This research supports other recent findings suggesting that fugitive emissions from fossil fuel industrial activity actually are the largest methane source. This clearly indicates a need for efforts to focus on reducing these methane emissions.”

    The researchers found the highest methane concentrations in areas with significant refinery activity, and in California in a Central Valley region of oil and gas production. Methane levels near refineries were not uniform, varying greatly from spot to spot and at different times. Nighttime concentrations were dramatically enhanced when the winds died down, forming a calm, shallow atmospheric layer near the surface, according to Leifer.

    Perhaps the most surprising discovery was made in the Los Angeles area, where the study highlighted the importance of geologic methane emissions in the North Los Angeles Basin, centered on the La Brea Tar Pits. Rough estimation of emissions from the data suggests 10-20 percent of the methane emissions from Los Angeles could be natural geologic, influenced by the vast number of abandoned wells throughout the area.