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

  • and


    Alarming methane release from ice

    Conventional wisdom was that permafrost and ice had to thaw or melt for methane and C02 to escape. Scientists and others knew that this process would take hundreds of years and were not immediately concerned.

    This is not the case. Methane has found a way through the permafrost and ice. The permafrost and ice are not solid. The integrity of the permafrost and ice is deteriorating as the heat reaches it and it is leaking like a sieve. Before this, the main concern was the East Siberian Ice Shelf. I was shocked when I found out that the methane readings over Antarctica are as high as the Arctic. https://arctic-news.blogspot.ca/2013/05/is-the-permafrosts-integrity-breaking-down.html

    Apparently, the methane is coming through the ice. New areas are registering high methane numbers. The Himalayan Plateau now shows up with high numbers. How fast the methane seeps through is critical. The implications of this are staggering and we can’t rely on conventional wisdom.

    Remember, the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme from Oslo, Norway, said that if 1 percent of the methane available in the East Siberian Ice Shelf escaped, it would triple the methane in the atmosphere and more than likely lead to abrupt climate change.

  • Sadie, increasing numbers of people are finally waking up to the reality of the underlying global political economy, regardless of the specific label assigned, whether it be capitalism, communism, fascism, or some other “ism”.

    The real point is that it’s a state centered system, an unholy alliance of those that act as the face (politicians) and those that work as the technicians and operators (bankers). The institutional checks & balances many look to as some kind of savior are also corrupt, because it doesn’t take long to figure out what side ones bread is buttered.

    For example, the military, the same folks who pledge to uphold the constitution, know full well that if they don’t support the dollar by engaging in wars designed to protect & collar critical resources, will be rendered personally penniless. The bankers too know full well that without this supporting ‘muscle’ in which to enforce the petro-dollar, they will be laid bare on the street without any protection.

    It really is an easy system to understand – in fact, I think a lot of people can’t believe that’s all there is to it. Hence, many fallback to explanations of great complexity & mystery. But, at the end of the day, it’s simply a faith based system centered around a legally supported network association that manages units of account as part of a universal means of exchange & store of value.

    And for this magic act, they not only get to charge interest (think of it as a management fee), but are allowed to exploit the associated change in the price of assets & debt simply by manipulating the total credit money aggregates ie inflation & deflation.

    Seems crazy, huh? What’s funny is guys like Kunstler & Denninger, who up till now have steadfastly defended the “whocouldaknown” phenomenon, may, just may be finally putting all the pieces together.

  • @ Tom

    Old news, Tom.

    Methane spike, worst case, 10 to 12 deg C by 2030. That means we’re all out of here long before then. How many people even know this ? A few hundred ?

    Might not happen. We should know when we see how fast it is rising over the next few months.


  • What’s a regular guy gonna’ do?

    I can’t really deal with all the threats! Pole shifting, methane release, illuminati, banksters, fukushima, yellowstone super-volcano, HAARP, madrid fault line, asteroids, terrorists, solar flares, nuclear war, global warming, NTE, ecological collapse, economic collapse, etc.

    What’s a regular guy gonna’ do?


  • Of course, speculators and short-term traders make money from rising stock prices; the S&P 500 is up about 130% since 2009. Real median income, though, is still down 5% in the fourth year of what should be a “recovery.” If an economic calamity causes people to pull the plug on their own lives, this one should save a lot of electricity. So it seems to. More people died from suicide last year than from automobile injuries.
    – Bill Bonner

  • Anybody seen Orlov today?

    Gotta admit, there are times when I’m thankful that the nukes will wipe us out.

  • A few days ago, The New York Times, publisher of Krugman and Friedman (Tom), had a big article about “How Austerity Kills.” The idea was that austerity causes people to lose their jobs and then they blow their brains out. Without the soft, cuddly embrace of government employees, say the authors, people have no reason to live: “What we have found is that austerity – severe, immediate, indiscriminate cuts to social and health spending – is not only self-defeating, but fatal.”

    Ask yourself why so many corporate heads are building homes overseas? Why did George Bush build a 100,000 acre ranch in Paraguay? Why is NORTHCOM, a combat organization, engaging in urban riot control training in terms of suppressing civil unrest? And again, we know that DHS has purchased 2.2 billion rounds of ammunition to go with their acquisition of 2700 armored personnel carriers. Are we to believe that all of these factors are unrelated?

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

    Very carefully walk the line, between their world of hope, and my stark reality, hoping the two don’t collide in a massive fireball of despair and confusion and tears. Some days I stumble, some days I fall off that narrow tightrope, and many days, I crawl that line. Laughing all the way…

    The Man Comes Around https://youtu.be/k9IfHDi-2EA

  • @Pat says “What’s a regular guy gonna’ do?”

    Withdraw. It’s a game that cannot be won – there are simply too many resources aligned against freedom. So, you walk away from empire, but not in an overt fashion. That is, you live off what empire provides to the general population as part of the “protection racket”, but contribute as little as possible to the financing requirements.

    For every Rivero, for every Guy, how many others have put 2+2 together, and have then quietly gone about their business? For every Kevin, for every vocal protestor & activist, how many others have read the data, analyzed the information, and have privately concluded it’s an impossible task?

    The planet is way, way past any kind of population balance; indeed, we’re already staggering before any real noticeable declines begin to kick in. The inability of the global economic system to continue supporting the financial ponzi would have spelt trouble anyway, but throw in additional issues about overshoot, depletion, degradation (including climate change), and, well, what’s a PTB gonna do?

    Armed with nukes, chemical & bio weapons, once you finally figure out what the PTB are going to do, you want to shadow that behavior by living your life in acknowledgement of how this is going to play out.

  • Librarian,

    Here are a few examples of what often happens when people, whether by accident or design, are not in the way.


  • kevin moore

    I have nothing against Bill McKibben, but agree 350 is hopium.

    Very poetic text, and very nicely full of love.

    I agree with the sentiments, and also that love is there and free to all. The competition engendered by fiat currency and its instruments, such as compound interest, along with such a long time involved in the violence embedded in Empire, violence to the planet, to our children, and each other. No wonder many go for a ‘having and getting’ culture.
    The important thing is not only to feel deep and abiding love, for all others, for all beings but to communicate that love, share it, and in doing so offer an ancient , tacit alternative.

    I fully remember every moment I have experienced that love. I am guessing we all do. I am not only referring to romantic love, but grandma and toast love, when the jam or porridge just tasted wonderful.

    Many feel that adulthood is the time to let that go, and they never revisit it. I think that is a mistake. When the greatest abundant renewable human currency is love, and you live in a time when it is in extremely short supply, it is both sad, and also the time to dig deep, and give it our all.

    We are gong to have to rely on each other far more, share what we still have far more, and start really being human again.

    Indeed the waling away business is as you say not enough, we soon see we carry all the internalised Empire with us.

    How to purge that is not so simple, but it is not going to come if we settle for less than the real deal.

    Present social acceptance is one thing to need, but going it alone when the compromises are too much is the price of internal integrity, which when held long enough may carry the what is valuable, until a time when all can be shared and outgrown.

    So let it happen, and be more open with others in a clear and proportional way, and we might find more humans nearby than at first glance is evident.

    it only takes one to start….


    At first glance it appears that the link you put up is the same as the suspect one from some months ago.

    I say suspect because it is a very long treatise on an essentially demented eugenics program, which is predicated on a very flawed sense of human value.

    Who is to say any human characteristic may have survival value?

    This is one reason we have survived, because we can call on a huge variety of cultural memories, and ways to be.

    We are not going to ‘select’ our way out of our present problems, IMO.

    I like very much the wisdom inherent in this quotation from Jung:

    “Some problems cannot be solved, they can only be outgrown”

    IMO that is what we need to do en masse.

    Will it happen?

    The dice is rolling as we type…

  • The “Question Everything” link has been posted here many times. I think the point is to show those of us that already know the big fat face of reality how awfully painful the solution really is for us humans and everything alive on Earth.

    There is a solution. Now, here’s the rub, the solution is really ugly.

    90% of the population has to die, very soon, but wait!, they have to help us dismantle the toxic infrastructure of industrial civilization before they die. Also, on the way, they have to help bury the dead.

    So, this solution is real – and it is possible to do – but we need to get started right away.

    The “Question Everything” website is just putting out there one way of implementing the solution. I’m sure there are other ways to get it done but I have not seen any articulated.

    I can just imagine the “survivors guilt” that will be the burden of those remaining after “the solution” is complete.

  • The problem with “The Solution” is that the majority of the Earth’s population isn’t even aware of the situation! They cannot be enlisted to help with the work except by military force.

    It’s a nightmare. Like the officer on the Titanic that killed himself rather than make the decision of who lives and who dies.

    I think the better answer is an engineered pandemic – but that means the survivors will have to do ALL the work: bury the dead, dismantle the toxic infrastructure of industrial civilization, and render the new world. That will be difficult.

    Build no cities, Plant no crops.

    The bad news is this: If we don’t implement “The Solution,” then TPTB are going to ride this roller-coaster to the very end and we all die and every living thing dies.

    Dying ain’t so hard for men like you and me, it’s living that’s hard; when all you ever cared about has been butchered or raped.

  • Wow, just visited Orlov’s post for today. I can’t wait to hear Gail’s response!

  • Well, well, well. Dimitri Orlov jumps the shark. Interesting that two weeks ago I predicted to my husband on the basis of his earlier writing after his most recent trip to Russia, that he would take his boat and move back there.

  • Erin, can’t happen fast enough.

    SpeakstheTruth, how about YOU respond to boyscluborlov?

    He ain’t printing my comment. Or its stuck in moderation.

    Funny thing, I came to doom by way of Derrick Jensen. Never even heard of peak oil or collapse much before that. I tried to read Kunstler, started with World Made By Hand and was so shocked at the open misogyny that I couldn’t read anything else by him. Fellow doomers have mentioned Orlov as this great thinker……and I gotta say, really?

    Amazing. In this great big world, I’ve found 2 places (2!) run by men who don’t make me want to go screaming into the void.

  • It would actually be a smart move by Orlov to move to Russia as the world ends. Lots of oil and gas, small population compared to area, youthful energy on the upswing, agricultural land base moving north, plus he speaks the language. His children would be some of the last to suffer horribly, probably in a nuclear radiation hell. I wish him well, but I won’t read his work in the same way anymore.

  • @ wildwoman

    ..2 places (2!) run by men..

    Care to name them ? This one of them ?

    On another subject, re B9K9 and Gail and others conviction that we ( the species ) have always been the social darwinist Ayn Randian American cultural horror show, here’s an interesting comment from NC, from someone called Joe, re the Hadza :

    I wouldn’t put much stock in what Gat has to say about prehistoric warfare because he isn’t an anthropologist or an archeologist and he foolishly dismisses the importance of African hunter gatherers like the Hadza in his speculation upon how early Homo Sapiens Sapiens lived.

    The Hadza in particular are an excellent source of insight into how humans lived before the advent of agriculture because they have only been in contact with agropastoralists for two centuries at most. What’s more, they have inhabited the land surrounding Lake Eyasi for the last 10,000 years or so, just before the advent of agriculture, horticulture and pastoralism, which means that they weren’t pressured by peoples with radically different social structures to move to less hospitable lands as the proponents of encapsulation theory would have it. The ethnographic record dating back to the earliest sources is also consistent in its portrayal of their way of life, which indicates that their culture has changed very little in the intervening years.

    The reason all of this is important is because they have a very low rate of homocides even after adjusting for population size. The adult and juvenile mortality rate is also low, though the infant mortality rate is high. Hostilities between individuals aren’t resolved violently because they can simply move away from troublesome or unpleasant people when they are fed up with them. Conflict avoidance and a marked disdain for violence are more characteristic of their behavior than the bellicosity that Gat notes in Australian Aboriginal populations. These traits problematize Gat’s portrayal of the “state of nature” as one giving rise to endemic violence as a result of resource scarcity and competition for mates.

    The Hadza live in a harsh environment that is nevertheless rich in game animals and tubers, with a cornucopia of berries, eggs, and honey available on a seasonal basis. Food that is difficult to obtain like honey and meat from large game animals is shared communally, though young children, pregnant and nursing women, and the elderly get the choicest cuts. Individuals typically consume food that is more readily available shortly after they get it. Starvation is rare because anyone who needs food can request some from anyone who has any without any duty to reciprocate in kind. No one is indebted to anyone else because such obligations would limit the other person’s autonomy, which the Hadza prize above all else.

    Despite the slight preference that prospective parents have for males, the Hadza enjoy a higher degree of gender equality than just about any other society. Their kinship system is bilateral and cognatic, and Hadza women can divorce their husbands at any time without having to state their rationale. Males are expected to care for their stepchildren with the same level of commitment that they display for their own children, though this expectation isn’t quite fulfilled in practice. Women contribute just as enthusiasitically to the band level decision making process as men do, and their input is regarded with the same level of respect. Domestic violence amongst the Hadza still engaged in foraging is virtually nonexistent, though it occurs frequently amongst those who have taken agropastoralism.

    The contrasts with Gat’s model of “the state of nature” couldn’t be more stark. Resources are distributed equitably, women are free from male coersion to an extent unrivaled by almost any sedentary society (the Buhid and Semai also boast these qualities), and warfare is inconceivable. While the few cases of homocide found in the ethnographic record were motivated by sexual jealousy, even this is typically nipped in the bud by the eagerness of the band to try to talk the individual out of any violent act, or the ability of any individual, family, or even band to move away from any belligerent individual. The solutions employed by the Hadza to the problems identified by Gat are much out of keeping with those he predicts, which further delegitimizes his argument that behaviorally modern humans evolved in an environment that gave rise to sustained conflict over mates and resources. If the Hadza are representative of how human societies operated before the advent of agriculture, it would seem that just the opposite was the case.

    If you’d like to learn more, consult Frank Marlowe’s wonderful ethnography “The Hadza: Hunter-Gatherers of Tanzania”, published in 2010.

    Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/06/links-6313.html#tDVAVSCOE0hIOGmE.99

  • A couple of points: hopefully trusting that I can be read in a spirit of camaraderie– but I was raised in a family with the best of dads, I knew plenty of other good dads that very self-lessly took care of their families’ needs at great personal sacrifice, and I don’t see the term “patriarchy” as a swear word.

    Personally, I can’t stand Orlov, (or Greer, or Kunstler, or many other of these folk, as by and large they peddle ideas that they’ve little practical experience with to people who have less–but that’s another issue)– but having taught “sustainable living” to folks for a couple of decades now I’ve probably been involved in a couple hundred projects, to some level or other– and I haven’t seen a single long term success. . .and in all cases for the same reason–The women lose interest and quit.

    Now don’t immediately take observation of behavior for misogyny. That’s not fair. It’s women that ultimately end up being the victims of their own actions, and over the next couple of decades the results of choices made in the past will really come home to roost– but largely speaking, Orlov is dead on the money on this issue. Female entitlement is a gigantic obstacle–and this entitlement has real repercussions– 4/5 purchasing decisions and their resultant ecological impacts are controlled directly by women. If you really want to see what feeds the fuel of ecological destruction– it’s middle class American women with their kids, expectations, and endless demands. Where the notion has come from, I’m not sure, but it seems to be “if anybody in any way makes you feel uncomfortable about your own actions, or asks you to do something you might not immediately want to do, or makes the slightest suggestion you shouldn’t pursue any and all personal whims you might have– you’re being oppressed!” And surprisingly, the source of the oppression is very often other women–those that enjoy highly consumptive lifestyles lay on those women that attempt to live in harmony with what the planet can bear, those women that have children lay on women that have elected not too– and few women are capable of bearing up to that onslaught. The cultural insistence on the myth of women’s magical intuitive feeling states doesn’t help either– it manifests itself in a great deal of ethical plasticity– where if one “feels” one is doing the right thing– or the beneficial thing– regardless of the reality– the “feeling state” must be accepted as valid. In relationships these tendencies are complete poison, as it results in this random subversive element– hey, and trying to live as a ethical human being in harmony with the world is hard enough without perpetually trying to sabotage the whole thing. For a lot of progressive minded guys, like myself, having tried and tried again– though hope springs eternal, I guess– the choice largely becomes either abandoning one’s values and one’s ethical integrity, or being single. A lot of guys don’t have that courage, I suppose that’s their fault. . .personally I see no way out, and tremendous hell to pay for men and women alike. Unless we can get over our personal “isms” and our tendencies to see ourselves up as a “special class” rather than as a member of a team to seek the future greater good, our efforts will remain largely ineffectual.

  • The problem with the “how-will-we-react-when-collapse-comes” guessing game, which usually devolves into a discussion of “what are human beings REALLY like,” is that it ignores how enormously malleable we are. We can change our cultural structures, beliefs and behaviours radically as our environments change. It’s how we came to be the top planetary dominators, after all.

    Our behaviour and belief systems are largely driven by the requirements laid upon us by our available means of subsistence. We can live happily as warlike cannibals if the situation calls for it, or we can become street-sweeping Jains. We can live in ultra-urban settings, happily in wage-slave thrall to hierarchic oligarchs. We can live as South Sea Islanders, lazing about with barely a headman to be seen.

    I used to immerse myself in the “true human nature” bunfight, until I realized there ain’t no such animal. Now whenever the question of human nature comes up, I respond with, “Don’t ask about human nature, ask about Mother Nature.” Who we are depends entirely on where and how we have to live.

    Of all the traits I’ve seen bandied about as fundamental evolutionary characteristics of human beings, there is only one I think deserves the title. That’s the growth imperative. We can be anybody we want to be – so long as we don’t stop growing whenever the environment permits it.

    From the moral/spiritual perspective it sucks to be a thermodynamic being, but there you are. And so it goes.

    oblig h/t to Marvin Harris, of course.

  • No Thank You, I don’t want to get dragged into this one! Seriously, the whole thing is stupid. Who cares about any of that stuff. I mean, those of us that accept NTE have nothing left to argue about – NOTHING. There is no meaningful topic to discuss anymore.

    NTE people. Got it?

    I’m with Paul. Humans are crazy malleable. Just look at the prisoners in concentration camps – it’s easy to sit here and say “I would rather die.” Or ask “Why didn’t they just storm the gates?” But, today, none of that matters anymore. It doesn’t matter that children are starving all over the world. It doesn’t matter that women are being raped all over the world. It doesn’t matter that innocent civilians are being killed all over the world.

    There is nothing left to do. There is nothing left to Not Do. Find yourself a quiet place and try to forget the horrors you have known.

  • @SpeaksTheTruth


    Survival/doomer/prepper boards are consumed with questions of “how are we going to live post-whatever, how do I maximize my chances of being among the survivors, and what decisions do I make today to enhance my situation later?”

    All good questions if there are going to be survivors, otherwise not a good use of time.

    I think all we’ve learned from this little dust-up is that I don’t want to be in Captain Orlov’s lifeboat. Not that he would have invited me anyway.

    As I mentioned a few days ago, the only real question now seem to be the timeline, and observing significant events along the way.

  • A couple of points:

    1) NTE is a very high probability, not a certainty.
    2) NTE isn’t happening today.

    I don’t see how it follows that while any and all action is likely of no consequence in the future that it absolves us of the our responsibilities to the present. It only makes actions in the present more heroic. And it seems to me that in the short time we likely have left together there a lot to be done to make that present more humane. Whether that’s planting trees, whether that’s having more constructive relationships with friends, family, culture, partners.

    Raping, starving, killed– doesn’t matter? Matters every bit as much as it every did. Our interventions matter as much as they ever did. Or resistances matter as much as they ever did. It’s the right thing to do.

  • Right, the horrible truth about the prisoners of war is that they are usually worked to death helping the oppressors to oppress others. They are building railroads or building tanks or whatever.

    Better to lay down and die than to help the oppressors. Better to fight to your last breath than to help the oppressors. Better to kill your fellow prisoners to keep them from helping the oppressors.

    Forget it, there will be no solution implemented. And, there will be no difference between 1st class and 3rd class on this train wreck, everyone goes over the cliff. Meet me in the Bar Car for some cocktails.

  • When has the raping, starving and killing – of unfamiliar others – ever mattered all that much to people at large? Those of us with well-developed mirror neurons will work on, as you say, “having more constructive relationships with friends, family, culture, partners.” However, those unfortunates who live a county or a continent away? We’ve always let them take care of themselves.

    I think the era of compassionate globalism was never more than a mirage, despite my abiding adoration of Stephen Lewis. Our horizons are shrinking fast, and will shrink ever faster as the global village fragments back into, well, just villages.

    As a compassionate being this causes me great pain. As a realist, I see that it could be no other way.

  • @ J.W. Fitz:

    I believe that Guy has made the case that NTE is a certainty.

    NTE certainly IS happening today – people are starving to death all over the world. If any one here has had more than 1,000 calories to eat today, think about that for a minute.

    I don’t know that there is any “right thing to do.” Maybe you believe there is a right thing to do – but if the small gathering at “The Age of Limits” is any indication, there is no hope for any of us. One could argue that any “right thing” is actually a “bad thing” such that nothing makes sense anymore. That is why there is “no thing to do” and “no thing to not do.” It doesn’t matter.

  • @jaywfitz
    Female entitlement is a gigantic obstacle–and this entitlement has real repercussions– 4/5 purchasing decisions and their resultant ecological impacts are controlled directly by women. If you really want to see what feeds the fuel of ecological destruction– it’s middle class American women with their kids, expectations, and endless demands.

    Grinding axes?
    You mention all the good dads and their sacrifices, but what about the women who also care for their ‘families’ needs at great personal sacrifice’? It takes two to make those babies. What about the men? Do they hold none of the responsibility for the actions and decisions of the household unit? Or what about the moms who were abandoned by the baby daddies? Your non-misogynistic observation of entitled women perfectly describes many men I have known, namely my ex-husband. Don’t get me wrong, there certainly is a cult-like group of ‘career moms’ out there, and women can be vicious and judgmental, but saying, “It’s women that ultimately end up being the victims of their own actions”, does sound rather vague and misogynistic.
    Do you mean we must, as a group, suffer the consequences of the actions of all women? Or that the middle-class men who cater to ‘American women with their kids, expectations, and endless demands’ are the victims?
    Anyway, entitlement stems from many things, and I have had a front row seat, growing up in poverty with many siblings, watching as most of them have bought in to the material system. They have all the toys, must have all the toys, must have all brand-new toys. And are all saddled with mountains of things and debt. I thought I was doing pretty well when I could afford to buy a second set of sheets for my bed, because that meant I had a bed (!), which I didn’t always have in the past.
    I did read your post ‘in a spirit of camaraderie’, and you do seem pretty down on women, but I think you are lumping them into a pretty shallow group. I’m not picking on you, but ragging on women’s intuition starts to take on tones of witch hunts of the past, so just be prepared to smooth a few ruffled feathers.
    That’s all. Peace!

  • SpeaksTheTruth/GimmeMineorI’llTakeYours sticks his neck out for nobody!

  • @ JW:

    I’m sure none of us are prepared for the coming onslaught you have undoubtedly unleashed. I can hear the keyboards clacking from here!

    It’s going to be hell…

    Anyway, some really good posts today, can’t wait to get more videos from “The Age of Limits” conference.

  • “I wouldn’t put much stock in what Gat has to say about prehistoric warfare because he isn’t an anthropologist or an archeologist and he foolishly dismisses the importance of African hunter gatherers like the Hadza in his speculation upon how early Homo Sapiens Sapiens lived.”

    Very well then, if we don’t find a Professor of National Security in the Department of Political Science at Tel Aviv University a credible source because he is neither an anthropologist or a archeologist (and by the way, you could check the recommendations at the book’s Amazon page for some rather distinguished people who do) how about instead, Lawrence H. Keeley, who is an archeology professor, at the University of Illinois.


    “Keeley says peaceful societies are an exception. About 90-95% of known societies engage in war. Those that did not are almost universally either isolated nomadic groups (for whom flight is an option), groups of defeated refugees, or small enclaves under the protection of a larger modern state.”

    Okay, so we have to divide that 5 to 10 percent of societies that DON’T engage in war by the three categories mentioned. So that means an even smaller percentage is “isolated nomadic groups for whom flight is an option” which would be the Hadza and like groups.

    Based on those numbers, I would say that Gat therefore was RIGHT to dismiss the importance of hunter-gatherers who didn’t engage in warfare because in fact, they represent such an insignificant percentage of the entire human enterprise that indeed, they are NOT important.

    In fact even the author cited by “Joe” has a very nuanced view (the rest is written by Marlowe, in a Smithsonian Institution Press publication titled: Why the Hadza are Still Hunter-Gatherers):

    Pre-agricultural societies may have engaged in much more warfare than those more peaceful societies that were spared precisely because they adopted a policy of hiding from more powerful strangers. In addition, perhaps ethnographic foragers are more egalitarian in response to their more powerful neighbors. Australian societies, who by and large were not in contact with non-foragers, or any state societies until Europeans arrived, were described as gerontocracies, with intense polygyny, and frequent warfare (Hart and Pilling 1979; Spencer and Gillen 1927).

    It is possible that pre-agricultural populations were more hierarchical, more polygynous, and more often engaged in war than most of the egalitarian foragers in the ethnographic record, but this will not be easy to resolve. The Kalahari debate will have proved worthwhile if it results in a closer examination of the archeological record to identify pre and post-contact forager traits (e.g., Sadr this volume).

    The special place of foragers in anthropology has been challenged by the revisionists on the grounds that contemporary foragers are not primary foragers, or that they have been oppressed by outsiders, or that they are a creation of our need to view others as simple and primitive, as living fossils. But if we are interested in the past, surely foragers are the best models we have if we hope to actually observe and measure behavior.

    If the revisionists’ criticisms lead to more careful scrutiny of those factors that make some contemporary foragers poor models of the past, this would be a valuable contribution of the Kalahari debate. For example, we can look for correlations which could improve our models, a correlation between say habitat and camp size, between diet, post-marital residence and social organization, between variance in food returns, hierarchy, and the mating system.

    We might discover that warfare is associated more with foragers in rich, wet environments that lead to high population densities, or conversely with foragers who live in such dry environments that waterholes are defended. By using archeological estimates of population density, we might be able to infer what rates of warfare would have been for various Pleistocene populations. By this method we may eventually arrive at an answer to the question of how representative some contemporary foragers like the Ju/’hoansi or the Hadza are of the pre-agricultural past in southern and eastern Africa.

    And I also recommend The Most Dangerous Animal: Human Nature and the Origins of War by David Smith, professor of philosophy and the cofounder and director of the Institute for Cognitive Science and Evolutionary Psychology at the University of New England, which has the following description on Amazon:

    Smith has written a stark study of human nature, examining how we are biologically wired to fight. The human need for war is based on two powerful evolutionary factors: an innate aggressiveness born of a need to fight for food, shelter and the right to breed, and the human craving to belong to a group. Dispelling illusions of the peaceful, noble savage, Smith discusses anthropological and archeological evidence of war, raids, terrorism and genocide between hunter-gatherer societies: mass graves of people executed by blows to the head; human bones scarred by butchering or with arrow and spear points lodged in them. Human settlement brought wars of conquest and industry devoted to making weapons. Now we attempt to disguise the facts of war with euphemisms like “target” (instead of person), “friendly fire” and “collateral damage.” Smith’s writing, reinforced by one grim example after another, is crisp and sobering, never blunting the fact that we are “our own worst enemy.”

  • @ Gail

    Okay, so we have to divide that 5 to 10 percent of societies that DON’T engage in war by the three categories mentioned. So that means an even smaller percentage is “isolated nomadic groups for whom flight is an option” which would be the Hadza and like groups.

    Based on those numbers, I would say that Gat therefore was RIGHT to dismiss the importance of hunter-gatherers who didn’t engage in warfare because in fact, they represent such an insignificant percentage of the entire human enterprise that indeed, they are NOT important.

    Or, one could ask the question, what factor(s) made for war and conflict to arise ? Why have some cultures chosen to celebrate and promote military murder as a virtue ? What lies behind that ? If it was genetic determinism, it would apply in all cases equally.

    And I would say HIGHLY important. That value judgement of yours says something about your ideological position, doesn’t it ?

    But quite apart from that, Gail, I question your whole approach, which I have observed from the start, which, imho, gives a grossly misleading portrayal.

    It’s rather like searching through the last four hundred years of English newspapers, collecting all the stories of grisly murders, and declaring that as proof that the English are all murderers. What that methodology overlooks is all the days when nobody got murdered, all the acts of kindness and tender generosity, all the help to strangers, all the times that someone felt like killing someone and yet restrained themselves, that never got any mention, because nobody wanted to read about that in the effing newspapers.

    But, as has been mentioned, none of this matters much, it’s just something to haggle over to pass the time.

  • Cocksure,

    Been lurking at cluborlov today, read Dmitri’s essay and the comments, the bulk of which were quite hostile to feminism and American women generally.

    Over here, JW posted his piece on the problems he sees with American women’s attitudes wrt sustainability and resilience, and how those attitudes are poisonous to relationships with progressive American men.

    Certainly the issue of American women’s general perspective on the concepts of sustainability and resilience, and particularly any ambivalence they may have about that, are fair game for discussion. But, the exasperation, even anger (and over at cluborlov, outright cobra-spitting venom) expressed makes me wonder whether something much deeper, and more emotional, is going on here.

    See, I’ve often heard men express similar comments before against women, particularly American women, but in a different context. Interestingly, in all such conversations, there is always one particular group of women who are exempted from inclusion in these comments; in fact, they’re usually praised for being “different”, often effusively so. This writer nails it pretty well, IMO, but his words are not for the squeamish:


  • “one could ask the question, what factor(s) made for war and conflict to arise ?”

    OVERPOPULATION. Competition for insufficient resources.

    “If it was genetic determinism, it would apply in all cases equally.”

    No, it just wouldn’t. What a shallow assertion.

    “The alternative to thinking in evolutionary terms is not to think at all.” – Sir Peter Medawar


  • According to media reports, the flooding in central Europe is the ‘worst in 500 years’. An unknown, but obviously massive, amount of resources will be consumed simply attempting to restore infrastructure to its previous condition; all good for GDP and temporary employment, of course.

    Yesterday I had an ‘interesting’ meeting with the council’s climate change officer. I pointed out to him that the council’s policies were primarily concerned with ‘melting the planet’ as quickly as possible, thereby bringing forward NTE; that he, as climate change officer, was doing absolutely nothing to prevent increasing emissions (NPDC spends 2% of rates promoting economic growth =more people consuming more stuff, more concrete and asphalt etc.); that he, as climate change officer, was actively promoting destruction of his own children’s future; that he was therefore insane. I pointed out that all the senior council officers are, in fact, insane. It makes no difference what we say to them, they just carry on destroying their own children’s futures. He sat there like a beached whale.

    Eventually he asked me if I had noticed the council’s electric bikes, which he regarded as a solution. I pointed out that charging electric bikes required electricity generated by burning natural gas …. thereby adding to CO2 in the atmosphere. He then objected, saying that NZ generates a large amount of electricity from hydro. I pointed out that building dams requires massive amounts of concrete, which is manufactured by heating limestone to drive off the CO2. (We didn’t go into the CO2 emissions generated in keeping the grid going.)

    I first came across the idea of people living in the mainstream culture of industrial civilisation being insane about six years ago, via Derrick Jensen; it is now abundantly clear to me.

    The current mayor is a covert fascist and a long time promoter of corporate looting and polluting, and authoritarian control of society.

    Dealing with scientifically illiterate, financially illiterate, insane fascists is something of a challenge, but the degree of suffering the community will have to endure a few years from now is dependent on dealing with scientifically illiterate, financially illiterate, insane fascists right now.

  • @ Gail

    No, it just wouldn’t. What a shallow assertion.

    Honestly, I can’t be bothered with you, Gail. That’s not a serious reply. You don’t understand what genetic determinism is, you don’t understand what cultural determinism is, you don’t understand what capitalism is, you deny the very existence of anything spiritual, you have your own obsessive theory which has to prevail regardless of the evidence, it’s boring. Seems to me you just want to make controversy, to be the centre of attention, I’ll leave you to it.

  • Sir Peter Medawar was also a realist in pointing out in his book “Advice to a Young Scientist” that there is no quicker way for a scientist to bring discredit on himself and his profession particularly when no declaration is called for, than to declare that science knows or will know the answers to all questions worth asking. Sir Peter added that questions that do not admit a scientific answer should not be assumed to be non-questions. “We must turn to imaginative literature and religion for suitable answers!”
    Erwin Schrödinger, famous quantum physicist expressed a similar idea in saying: “Science puts everything in a consistent order but is ghastly silent about everything that really matters to us: beauty, colour, taste, pain or delight, origins, God and eternity.”

  • Really enjoyed your essay and style, Pauline – thanks for a feminine perspective into all the craziness.

    The gross injustice of a system that lets the imperial powers reap the benefits of fossil fuels, while the third world pays the price.


  • My thoughts about NTE fluctuate according to my moods — sometimes sad and depressed, then shifting to positive and happy. I take this to be a normal response. Stability and certainty would seem to be comforting, but the uncertain reality of our situation does not really support such a consistent attitude. Having accepted that my thoughts and feelings about our future will fluctuate, I am OK with that. I feel no need to argue with those who have drifted into or chosen a more consistent stance. We are all in a bad spot now, and I try to have compassion for others and myself, whatever postures we take towards this world situation which defies prediction or simple answers…

  • Kevin Moore:
    I pointed out to him that the council’s policies were primarily concerned with ‘melting the planet’ as quickly as possible

    Actually, that’s just an “externality” rather than a primary concern. The primary concern, across the board is “growth”, as it has always been. Growth in capital for corporate bosses; growth in fiefdoms for government underlings. Externalities be damned: they cannot be pinned to their source.

    Growth in populations can be limited by resources, predation, disease, and environment. We defeated predation with pointed and edged weapons and tools; defeated environmental limitations by clothing and shelter (and in the South and Southwest by air conditioning); defeated the resource limitation by agriculture and its spread to any accessible arable land; and disease through medical science. Every one of these was enormously enhanced by the increased energy flows from the extraction and release of fossilised sunshine.

    Growth can stress resource limits. When the geographic option to escape resource limits is available, there is less need to resort to coercive violence to secure one’s share. Likewise, if growth is sufficiently limited by any of the other constraints, the option of coercive violence is less needed.

    Antibiotics are the chemical warfare agents of the microbial world, quite to be expected, since it is a world mostly of biochemistry and molecular biology.

    In the macroscopic world, intentionally coordinated offensives are seen in some mammals (carnivora – wolf packs, lions, and primates – including H. sapiens). The attacks by insecta such as hornets and army ants are coordinated by instinct rather than by volition.

    Human societies cede the authority to wield the gun to the few selected by the hierarchy. This works adequately as long as the hierarchical system can successfully provide for the basic needs of a sufficiently large portion of the subject population. When adequate provisioning fails, resort to the gun is increasingly necessary to maintain the hierarchy.

    There are many loose pieces around the Homo sapiens puzzle, and some have made it their mission to make some of those pieces fit, whether it be violence, feminism, or whatever. More power to all of them.

  • A toast to you Mr. Kevin Moore.

    re: Fred’s Asian women post:
    Racism. Pure. And. Undiluted. Caucasian women do not have exclusive rights to the adjective American. I know many “Asian” women in California who were, amazingly enough, born in the continental United States and carry a blue passport and do not understand a word of Chinese or Thai or Korean. So, Mr. Fred can stuff it. But I would not expect anything less from a lumpy caucasoid pimping his prose for dollars. (Give til it hurts)


    Vine Deloria, Jr. on The Anthropologist:

    Indians are certain that all societies of the Near East had anthropologists at one time because all those societies are now defunct.

    Indians are equally certain that Columbus brought anthropologists
    on his ships when he came to the New World. How else could he have made so many wrong deductions about where he was?

    While their historical precedent is uncertain, anthropologists
    can readily be identified on the reservations. Go into any crowd
    of people. Pick out a tall gaunt white man wearing Bermuda
    shorts, a World War II Army Air Force flying jacket, an Australian
    bush hat, tennis shoes, and packing a large knapsack
    incorrectly strapped on his back. He will invariably have a thin
    sexy wife with stringy hair, an IQ of 191, and a vocabulary in
    which even the prepositions have eleven syllables.

    He usually has a camera, tape recorder, telescope, hoola hoop,
    and life jacket all hanging from his elongated frame. He rarely
    has a pen, pencil, chisel, stylus, stick, paint brush, or instrument
    to record his observations.

    This creature is an anthropologist.

    …You may be curious as to why the anthropologist never carries
    a writing instrument. He never makes a mark because he ALREADY
    KNOWS what he is going to find. He need not record anything except his daily expenses for the audit, for the anthro found his answer in the books he read the winter before. No, the anthropologist is only out on the reservations to VERIFY what he has suspected all along.

    …Anthropologists came to Indian country only after the tribes
    had agreed to live on reservations and had given up their warlike
    ways. Had the tribes been given a choice of fighting the cavalry
    or the anthropologists, there is little doubt as to who they would
    have chosen.”

    -Custer Died For Your Sins

  • The term you’re looking for, Wester, is not “racism”, but “yellow fever”. It’s a dead certainty that every single one of those men who posted hostile commentary to cluborlov regarding feminism and alleged “anti-male” behavior of white women are suffering from a severe case of it! Dmitri himself obliquely refers to it when he wrote that “a sizable chunk of my readership consists of American men who married foreign women, in no small part to escape from the ravages caused by the toxic state of gender relations within the US.” Want to place a bet on which race most of those “foreign women” are?

    Carolyn Baker left her own comment on cluborlov too. She got one thing right. The level of “gender wounding”, as she put it (great term!), especially between white men and white women in the U.S., is at an all-time high. All the inter-gender sniping and backbiting that apparently occurred at the AoL conference is par for the course, according to her.

    For next year’s conference, she wants the organizers to “deal directly with the gender wounding/healing issue”. But given the anger so many white men have towards white women (about everything, apparently) and the prevalence of “yellow fever” among them, bringing all that out in the open at once could end up being like throwing lit matches at a pool of gasoline. She better think this through VERY carefully.


  • Great!!??

    So now we have gender politics coming to the fore as many try and unify to clearly talk about the near future and what communities are in for.

    NTE or no, Orlov’s contributions to the age of limits conference-2013, and his latest blog offering, pose or frame the debate in childish terms, which IMO, many are getting sucked into along gender lines.

    I say childish because he attempted to analyse why some long term communities are still going and compare them, to sift for common elements. He chose to utter the words it seems to him that there are no lasting communities that are matriarchal.

    Schoolyard comparisons of better or worse are suspect to me. You could easily look at what forces made them fail, and I bet power sharing, along gender and other indices would be a factor, but the most noteworthy one is ‘gender’? I doubt it, but that is just a armchair view, I admit.

    It is just an opinion, and why did Orlov go there? Clearly it is counterproductive to separate the communal contribution of the genders.

    My view is that short of insemination, gestation, birth and lactation, all else can be given by both genders to the community.
    Historic gender assignation went through the wringer in the 1960’s and 70’s in the West, didn’t it ? Hello ? Or did it merely go through the advertising wringer ?
    One thing everyone notices pretty quickly in smallish communities, is who does the work. I don’t mean what people tell each other is a good thing to do, we should all share, etc. I mean who over time des the work. Who cherry picks, who wants to lead without getting dirty.

    But power needs to be shared, respected and in honourable community ways, sacrificed for the group. Gender, was the last thing I thought would be a ‘problem’ now, but there you go.

    I note that the two community founders interviewed in Mike Sosebee film, ‘Somewhere…” were women, but also women who’s eyes and speech radiated clear awareness, knowledge of and commitment to communal and environmental functioning. They did not just talk it, they lived it. And they knew about present real world power and violence as an historical enabler of human oppression.

    I am not underestimating the angst and offence this subject can engender(pun intended), and did at the conference, but can’t these people just get over it ?

    Time to put down the gender cards, Magician, and High Priestess, and just all see we are all Fools in the deck now.

    A whole deck, all of fools, imagine what that could accomplish?

    Fools, it is not widely known, always work together.

    All that written, what would an ‘Age of Limits’ conference be like with no controversy, and no one demonstrating ‘limits’ in themselves?

    Can’t wait to see the second talk by Guy.

  • Meanwhile, here’s a postcard from the Age of No Limits Conference.

    Here you’ll find no talk of limits to massive wealth accumulation, and hence, no limits to massive environmental destruction.

    They go together like a horse and carriage…

    you can’t have one without the other…

    try, try, try to separate them, it’s an illusion…


  • Robin

    ‘melting the planet as quickly as possible’ was not meant to be literal. The council’s plans do not state: We will attempt to melt the planet as quickly as possible.

    The term encompasses all the activities the council is engaged in, or promotes, that lead to inordinate (and frequently totally unnecessary) emissions. Melting the planet is a natural consequence of the policies NPDC promotes (as is the case with all other councils).

    In other words;

    population growth
    repairing roads and building new roads
    extending sewage systems
    encouraging construction of homes, commercial premises and factories
    encouraging tourism
    encouraging sport events
    ratifying the construction of a new art gallery (to be constructed from the most environmentally unfriendly materials imaginable)
    concreting walkways

    and so it goes on.

    In discussion with Colin Comber I did concede that it was not 100%; only 99.9 % of council activities were contributing to abrupt climate change.

    I didn’t this mention previously. He asked me what I wanted the council to do. I said: “Stop lying to the public. That would be a good start.”

    They can’t of course. Lying continuously to the general populace is an integral component of the game they are playing.

    Off to the public hearing shortly.

    I’m not holding my breath for anything other than more insanity.

  • Update.

    I answered questions at the council hearing, and pointed out that:

    the council has proven itself incapable of responding rationally to information relating to life-threatening circumstances

    the council is in continuous breach of the Local Government Act, but there are no mechanisms for bringing rogue councils to heel

    the western world is in terminal decline -especially Europe, the US and Japan- with collapse more or less certain within 3 years

    we are falling off the net energy Hubbert’s Peak, with a very steep decline likely commencing in 2014. That will bring western civilisation to a standstill within a decade, perhaps as little as 5 years.

    fracking and deep-sea drilling are clear signs of desperation to keep the system going at any cost

    economic growth in China is slowing and will soon stall and go into decline

    Australia’s mineral boom is coming to an end

    the Arctic Death Spiral indicates an ice-free Arctic Sea by 2014

    positive feedbacks indicate Near Term Extinction for the human species around 2040 as a direct consequence of burning fossil fuels

    the council were worse than the Nazis who ran the death camps because the Nazis did love their own children and did everything they could to protect them, whereas the council [as a whole] will not lift a finger to protect their own children.

    Needless the say, the mayor went into a fit of rage and attempted to shut me down by turning off the microphone, but I carried on anyway. Who needs a microphone in a small chamber?

    I don’t think there is much else to say on the matter, other than that the council will meet on Friday and will endorse further destruction of the district and further destruction of global systems.

  • ↑ Kevin Moore fan club.

  • kevin – and people wonder why suicide bombers resort to sacrificing themselves to rid the world of as many of those trying to kill them or making their lives unlivable as they can. I clearly see the futility of talking to this “council” of meat robots on dial-tone. You should “walk away” if you can’t get elected with a majority of like minded citizens to this same council and actually change things (which of course is near impossible at this point, the machinery of politics being what it is in all countries). It’s just like here in my state in the US. “Our” governor simply handed over the rights to the fracking and extraction industries once he was elected (due to those same industries largesse during his campaign) – and we’re supposed to be a COMMONwealth. I didn’t vote for that and neither did anyone else! Politics is so broken now due to campaign finance regulations gone off the rails and “homeland” security trumping our Bill of Rights (or as Carlin pointed out “they’re privileges” and they can be taken away easily) that “the people” are basically powerless, voting is an absurd waste of time and it’s only going to get worse until it all devolves into chaos and violence. Each year they make the middle and lower classes lives worse, tax them more and make our lives more miserable. Many can’t afford to eat now, or have to forego doctors, dentists and medicine for the same reasons – unemployment, low wages, no social safety net, being marginalized, homelessness, poverty, etc. How long can we keep an entire generation of youth unemployed in a land awash in firearms before “something happens?” Good luck man.

    The only comment I want to make regarding the dust up at the conference is that it just shows how hopeless the situation is. We don’t have time for this gender bickering (or any other topic that separates us) when faced with EXTINCTION! If we fail to come together as a community chaos and violence will result – and may even if we do come together!

    Think of the collapse that we’re well into (like being at the height of the roller-coaster ride, you can see the precipitous drop that’s coming and get that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach) as occurring like an earthquake, tornado, volcano or super-flood – when it happens, no one in their right mind is going to quibble over details, you’re either going to band together to help each other out or you’re on your own. We’re talking about the primal instinct of survival – ya just do what you can to stay alive and keep as many others (even perfect strangers) alive as possible, because we’ll all be needing those others (and their diverse talents) to help out once things settle down for a bit.

    Speaking of natural disasters, notice that they’re getting worse (in terms of stronger or more intense) every year (as predicted by climate change physics). Germany, the Czech Republic and others received 2 months of rain in 2 days (there’s also major flooding here in the US too) and the last tornado to touch down in OK was the widest on record. In fact, the authorities had to change the scale from it’s inception to the new ENHANCED Fujita scale due to the current severity of these events. They may have to do it again in another year or so since they keep getting stronger.


  • Ripley

    Great article there, but sadly on the same UK news site under environment I found this.

    ‘Australia has huge deposits of shale gas – but it won’t come cheap’


    “Australia could be sitting on more than 1,000tn cubic feet of untapped shale gas, but effective environmental regulations and a fall in costs are needed before this resource can be fully exploited, according to a new report.

    The Australian Council of Learned Academies study found that while Australia had huge deposits of gas, it would “not be cheap gas in most circumstances” and would have a slightly higher rate of carbon emissions than standard gas, albeit significantly less than coal-fired power.

    The report states that shale gas infrastructure costs in Australia will be double that of the US, where the industry is relatively mature, and will require a high price to make it profitable.

    Around $500m will be spent by businesses over the next two years on shale gas exploration, the report predicts, with resources company Santos already working on an initial well in Queensland.

    Shale gas extraction is similar to coal seam gas in that both processes gather methane for energy use. However, shale gas involves drilling at far greater depths than coal seam gas.

    The report is sanguine on the environmental impact of coal seam gas, with some caveats.

    “A large number of impacts are possible, but the likelihood of many of them occurring is low and where they do occur, other than in the case of some biodiversity impacts, there are generally remedial steps that can be taken,” it states.

    “Nonetheless it is important that the shale gas industry takes full account of possible adverse impacts on the landscape, soils, flora and fauna, groundwater and surface water, the atmosphere and on human health in order to address people’s concerns.”

    Prof Peter Cook, co-author of the report, told Guardian Australia that rigorous background work would need to be done on shale gas for it to avoid the controversy that has dogged the coal seam gas industry.

    “You need a regulatory regime that is transparent,” he said. “One problem with coal seam gas is that people didn’t do the work needed before they started. You need to know what the impact is going to be, rather than rely on a high degree of speculation. That has caused angst around coal seam gas.

    “Groundwater clearly needs to be safeguarded and used in careful way to ensure it doesn’t get contaminated. Fragmentation of landscapes through roads and drilling is another thing you need to be careful of.”

    He added: “We won’t see a shale gas boom here as we have in North America. It will be more modest growth, but what might really push it along is the oil associated with the gas.

    “Oil is what is driving the industry in North America. Gas is almost a byproduct. Things will move very quickly if they find oil amongst the shale gas here, because Australia doesn’t have much oil. But we just don’t know what’s down there yet.””

    That last paragraph needs to be reread.

    It is abundantly clear the environment is of no consequence here.
    As many have said here often, the juggernaut will not stop of its own doing.

    These things just keep coming, and everyone here (the Eastern states)is busy watching State of Origin footy, which looks more and more like Gridiron by the day.

    Increased US military numbers in Darwin now, Drones coming to a town near us, and sport USA style. We have been annexed already by stealth. And as Arduous Huxley points out in the Mike Sosebee DVD “Somewhere in New Mexico before the End of Time” the next incarnation of dictatorships in his future, which is our present, is one where the population are happy and complicit in their servitude.

    As Dr Zachary Smith oft moaned at a suitable juncture in the action in the 1960’s USA TV afternoon kids show ‘Lost in Space’:

    “The pain, oh the pain!”

    How long does the readership think Fiat currency has got, realistically? Do I have until September 2013 still ?

  • Tom says:

    “We’re talking about the primal instinct of survival – ya just do what you can to stay alive and keep as many others (even perfect strangers) alive as possible, because we’ll all be needing those others (and their diverse talents) to help out once things settle down for a bit.”

    My Thoughts:
    When collapse gets up a couple more notches, those perfect strangers will be coming to eat you for dinner. Any communities that form outside the mainstream will be primary targets for the marauding hordes. TPTB will entrench and defend the pipeline that provides their disproportionate share of resources as long as they can – many will die in the early stages as they will have the bigger guns and the most ammo.

    If “The Solution” is for 90% of the population to die (very soon) and somehow simultaneously achieve the dismantling of the toxic infrastructure of industrial civilization, then we must get started soon. TPTB are going to be in control and we will be their slaves – UNLESS there is some type of indiscriminate pandemic that wipes out most people regardless of status. Then, and only then, will the survivors have a chance to dismantle the toxic infrastructure of industrial civilization and swear an oath to live in balance with Nature.

    Build no cities, plant no crops.

  • June 5, 2013
    TOKYO (Reuters) – The operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant said it had found another leak of contaminated water on Wednesday, piling pressure on the utility to curb the problem as it seeks permission to release water to the sea.

  • @ WoodsDweller:

    My sentiments exactly.

    The arguing and fussing over this and that on this blog is just so much baloney. Who cares?

    I have said many times on this blog that there is no redemption for any of us human beings while children starve. I know, I know, feeding starving children just makes more starving children – that’s not the point – the point is that some of us humans have messed up so bad that now there is no hope for any of us. And, so the Sun will blow up, the Universe will collapse, and nothing really ever mattered at all anyway. Starving children are of no consequence and wealthy 16 year olds driving $65,000 SUVs to their high schools are of no consequence. So, why not just lean into it and let your instincts run wild? No obligations, no morality, no ideology. Run free and wild.

  • @Curtis thanks “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.”

    I needed that “heads up” so to speak. And good laugh. :)

  • DETROIT (Reuters) – Once teeming with 1.9 million people during its industrial peak in the 1950s, Detroit is now falling apart and attracting dozens of lawsuits that serve as a chronicle of urban decay: exposed manholes, malfunctioning traffic lights and broken sidewalks.

    The breakdown in infrastructure is a major reason why the self-insured city is sued more than 700 times a year and has to pay out roughly $26 million to plaintiffs.

  • Nice video with Dr. Jennifer Francis and everyone’s favorite weather nerd Jeff Masters regarding the jet stream and northern hemisphere weather:


    I think Detroit is a fascinating study and a metaphor for the general decline of industrial civilization. Previous civilizations had cities that fell into decay, but new cities would be built (literally) on their foundations and use their dressed stone to build new structures. In the blowout of the unprecedented wealth of industrial society, we not only lose cities but abandon them for other locations.

    I went to school in Ann Arbor, and the people I knew who were from Dearborn and Detroit and the burbs would warn me about neighborhoods to avoid – now those neighborhoods seems to be returning to nature – the houses burned and the forests growing back (Michigan being the sort of place that trees grow like weeds). Just paved streets with broken sidewalks and power lines, but no buildings. Wildlife colonizing the areas.

    Some photographers specialize in photographing ruins. I just pulled a book from my shelf “American Ruins” by Camilo Jose Vergara. Great stuff. I used to have a bunch of links to on-line photo galleries of ruins, but I can’t find them now.

    There is a current controversy regarding the art collection Detroit amassed during the decades of its prosperity – they want to sell it to fund operations. Makes sense to me, but it carries the unmistakeable message that the city is in a permanent decline.

  • Pauline:

    From wikipedia, In his book, The Little Book of Science (pub. 1999), Dr. Gribbin admitted about his “Jupiter Effect” theory “…I don’t like it, and I’m sorry I ever had anything to do with it.”

    Actually my interpretation has obviously proved correct.

  • This is a crisis for which a solution is difficult to imagine. Individuals, for the most part, are simply not equipped to deal with a culture that has been around for three generations and whose dream machine is ever more sophisticated. Combine that with an increasing disengagement of people as citizens -that is, as people who imagine their future as part of the commons -and you have a formula for social, economic and political disaster.

    Optimists may have imagined that the current combination of inconvenient truths would cause people to pause and re-examine their habits. We are at, or past, peak oil -its price will inevitably shoot higher in the next five years and could reach $200 a barrel. Our natural resources are becoming more and more expensive as they are inexorably depleted and the cost of mining them (using carbon based energy) increases. Add to this global climate change and the stupendous debts of governments -on top of individual debt -and you have the conditions for a kind of social Armageddon.

    But trying to imagine a social movement or a combined, unified movement confronting all of these crises, is a severe test even for those who have spent their lives organizing for, and analyzing, social change. No one in memory has faced this kind of need for change. Many have imagined and fought for change they wanted -a more equitable world, a more sustainable world, a peaceful world. But this is different. The potential for entering a new dark age is real. And it would not be confined to a few countries. The crisis is global.

    The consumer madness indicated by the astronomical personal debt levels suggests an almost wilful denial of reality -spending like mad because somewhere, deep down, we know it’s all going to be over soon and we might as well enjoy it while we can.

  • @ OzMan:

    As long as you can log onto your computer and access this blog, your money is still good.

    If we look at matters from a more purely chronological viewpoint, however, we can say that there is a clear division into two time periods, two phases. The first phase will be merely economic hardship, and the second will be entropy. In the first phase the major issues will be inflation, unemployment, and the stock market. The second phase will be characterized by the disappearance of money, law, and government. In more pragmatic terms, we can say that the second phase will begin when money is no longer accepted as a means of exchange.

    Two nightmare scenarios — a global scarcity of vital resources and the onset of extreme climate change — are already beginning to converge and, very soon, are likely to produce a tidal wave of unrest, rebellion, competition, and conflict. Just what this tsunami of disaster will look like may, as yet, be hard to discern, but experts warn of “water wars” over contested river systems, global food riots sparked by soaring prices for life’s basics, mass migrations of climate refugees (with resulting anti-migrant violence), and the breakdown of social order or the collapse of states. At first, such mayhem is likely to arise largely in Africa, Central Asia, and other areas of the underdeveloped South, but in time all regions of the planet will be affected.

    You have no idea of environmental destruction if you have never been to India. Many millions will die. India is the poster child for the green revolution. It is barely able to feed itself with massive amounts of fossil fuel inputs. It is running out of water for irrigation. The Punjab which is India’s breadbasket relies on an aquifer. The current usage is 145% of recharge.

    {Sam Rose and Joss Winn]: In fact, very soon, the structural problems of our society related to resource depletion, peak oil, the food and water crisis, and climate change, will lead to an acceleration of dysfunction and social crisis, and by then, it may already be too late to stop an accelerated unraveling of the current civilisational model.

    Multiple corporations are relentlessly pursuing total control of communications infrastructure, (and already have total control of) financial systems, energy and food distribution, etc So, very soon (not later), it is plausible that we will already be in a state where millions, if not billions will be marginalized by all existing basic sustenance systems (food, water, energy, access). Stuart Kauffman, and other complex systems theorists have shown that in all systems, change tends to happen in an “s curve” fashion. The total rate of collapse towards the end is exponentially faster than the beginning. I think we are seeing the same with global human systems now, and that we are *now* in the beginning time of collapse, with signals already present around the world.

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #9

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

  • @ROB The arguing and fussing over this and that on this blog is just so much baloney. Who cares?

    I don’t know if you have children, especially daughters, but I find the discourse, and the reality of what society has in store for them to be far more terrifying than what nature has in store for all of us. Though I do agree that focused action/resistance is worthwhile, I tend towards ‘nothing matters’ regarding the rest. Just get over it already, LET IT GO!
    But that is clearly not going to happen.
    Until the ‘rape’ of the earth ends, the rape of women will not end. Until we exit the binary/either/or/linear approach nothing is going to change. Which won’t matter in the long run, but will matter greatly to those trying to slog their way to the finish line. If there are grown men blaming middle-class moms buying baby strollers for the destruction of nature and over-consumption of resources, rather than the vast WAR machine, which not only gobbles up resources in the form of the earth, but human lives, minds, and creative energies, which could’ve been better used on kinder, gentler endeavors, then the end really can’t come soon enough. Which is a sad state of mind to be in.
    Myself, the best, most productive, easiest, yet most painful thing I have ever done is to BURY THE HATCHET. Man, what relief it has brought to my life, lonely as it may be, due to being surrounded by those still wielding their hatchets. In short, worthwhile. For now, “We got the sky to talk about and the world to lie upon”, until we don’t…

    To LIve Is To Fly

    Won’t say I love you babe
    Won’t say I need you babe
    But, I’m gonna get you babe
    And I will not do you wrong
    Livin’s mostly wastin’ time
    I waste my share of mine
    But it never feels too good
    So let’s don’t take too long
    You’re soft as glass
    And I’m a gentle man
    We got the sky to talk about
    And the world to lie upon.

    Days up and down they come
    Like rain on a conga drum
    Forget most, remember some
    But don’t turn none away
    Everything is not enough
    Nothin’ is too much to bear
    Where you been is good and gone
    All you keep is the gettin’ there
    To live is to fly
    Low and high
    So shake the dust off of your wings
    And the sleep out of your eyes

    It’s goodbye to all my friends
    It’s time to go again
    Think on all the poetry
    And the pickin’ down the line
    I’ll miss the system here
    The bottom’s low and the treble’s clear
    But it don’t pay to think too much
    On things you leave behind
    I may be gone
    But it won’t be long
    I will be a-bringin’ back the melody
    And the rhythm that I find

    We all got holes to fill
    Them holes are all that’s real
    Some fall on you like a storm
    Sometimes you dig your own
    But choice is yours to make
    And time is yours to take
    Some dive into the sea
    Some toil upon the stone
    To live is to fly
    Low and high,
    So shake the dust off of your wings
    And the sleep out of your eyes
    So shake the dust off of your wings
    And the tears out of your eyes

    -Townes Van Zandt

  • OzMan,

    Gender issues/conflict (political, economic, cultural, social) are a huge deal in the U.S., particularly between white men and white women. Noone should be surprised then, to find it in the collapse-aware groups as well, which are, after all, overwhelmingly composed of white men and white women. It’s been hanging in the air like gasoline fumes for at least the last couple of years, just waiting for someone to light a match. Which Dmitri Orlov was kind enough to do at this year’s AoL conference. :)

    Neither side is going to “just get over it”, and simply put those issues aside, OzMan. Not here in the states. While’s Dmitri’s assertion that gender relations between white men and white women are toxic is an exaggeration (it’s not THAT bad. Really.), the built-up and expressed anger and resentment between the two nevertheless IS quite high. And it doesn’t seem to be getting any better with time. As many of the relevants comments at cluborlov and here show, much of the conflict seems to boil down to this:

    (a) white men resent white women for allegedly not being willing to “stand at my side so we can work together in the same direction for a common purpose” in a marital or otherwise committed relationship.

    (b) white women resent white men for allegedly not being “up to the task of sustainably working for that common purpose over the long haul”. (The clear ambivalence that white women have regarding “resilience and sustainability”, which was revealed in jaywfitz’s comment up above, is no doubt partly due to their skepticism that their husband or boyfriend can “see it through” over the long haul).

    Because of this, both sides continue to pick and snipe at each other, month after month, year after year. What this now leading to are two things. A lot of white women are giving up on relationships altogether (“white men ain’t shit”), and choosing to go it alone. A lot of white men, OTOH, are still seeking relationships, just not with white women. Instead, they’re chasing Asian/Asian-American women, because they feel (rightly or wrongly) that they stand a much better chance of finding a woman who will “stand at their side” in a relationship if the woman in question is either Asian or Asian-American. This new cultural phenomenon (and believe me, OzMan, it now IS a cultural phenomenon in the U.S.) is what Dmitri was obliquely referring to with his remark about “foreign women”. The more pithy term for it is “yellow fever”. :)

    Gender issues ain’t going away, OzMan. Not in the general society, and not in the collapse-aware communities, either.

    (Note all the references to “by your side” in the lyrics)

  • @ Arthur Johnson: “A lot of white women are giving up on relationships altogether (“white men ain’t shit”), and choosing to go it alone.”

    You forgot to mention another alternative: women having relationships with each other, whether by nature or nurture. Sidestepping gender conflict (in one’s home-life, at least) AND the possibility of getting pregnant, can free up ALOT of a girl’s time/energy/money for other things.

  • Denise,

    Indeed. Absolutely. That is most definitely also happening. And, although I want to be a little careful here, I don’t this it’s only a matter of suddenly realizing their “true” sexual orientation. Being able to sidestep gender conflict is part of the appeal.

  • “Sexual orientation exists along a continuum that ranges from exclusive heterosexuality to exclusive homosexuality and includes various forms of bisexuality.”


    In other words, try it you might like it :)
    No need to tolerate male domination.

  • Gender issues aside in the larger society– I find it much more interesting in terms of the comments at had– gender issues in the community of people that had sufficient foresight and sense of personal responsibility over perhaps the last 30 years to adopt lifestyles that were based in reality and harmonious with what the planet can bear. I’m not personally very interested in professional “advocates” really, but rather people that have walked the walk, made real meaningful adaptations in their lifestyles, and shouldered the burden of setting good examples. They are, in fact, pretty rare, but there’s more of them than one might think– it’s just that these folks very often don’t have a lot of incentive to be making movies of themselves, and often don’t have the means. Here on the Big Island of Hawaii, where I live, there’s a large subculture of people doing just that– a large part of the reason that I’m here, of course– and I know a lot of those people. After reviewing to best of my ability, I know of one couple that seems to be making it work. I know 2 childless women who seem to be making ago of it themselves, in their late 40’s. If you want to hear misogyny– these are who you’re best to interview. . .I know of dozens and dozens of projects where couples have come here and tried to take on “the good life” ala Scott and Helen Nearing. Never mind the commitments–these projects very largely fail. What few realize is that “reality based” lifestyles are often very intolerant of capriciousness–failures begin to occur due to lack of diligence. . .and here’s where the gender issues start to manifest themselves. What happens follows a couple of trajectories. 1) The guy in the relationship picks up a larger and larger percentage of the tasks at hand– this leads to resentment, and fatigue, frankly– ultimately failure. 2) The woman just leaves, abandoning the relationship. 3)”Unintended Pregnancies” occur, as the presence of the child gives much more manipulative power in the relationship, and can be used as a tool of violence to coerce. The third track is the most tragic, but all too common.

    As I see it, men in our culture are still largely expected, in many scenarios, to put the needs of others, whether the job site, or families, or the planet– ahead of their own, and there’s strong social disapproval for those men that don’t. This used to be the case for women as well, and certainly women of my grandmothers generation very much embraced their roles cheerfully. I don’t see that as the case at all anymore. In fact, women are largely encouraged to follow every whim that comes along– as that’s being “independent” or “liberated.” Situations that may carry expectations of responsibility are “oppressing.” Of course these attitudes are incompatible with any kind of meaningful relationship– and are certainly incompatible with any kind of “planet friendly” lifestyle, and well, there you have it.

    This comment isn’t about bashing women at all, but is a very friendly warning to any who still understand that “just because they don’t matter, doesn’t mean that good actions don’t matter”– and that would attempt to shoulder a responsibility towards a better world, if only in the short or immediate terms. It’s worth considering whether one’s commitment to be a positive constructive force is based in reality, or whether it’s a capricious fashion based whim. For me, I sleep pretty well at night, and have few regrets or inner demons– as wrestling “outer ones” is a great way to defeat those. NTE really doesn’t change much in the existential experience of being human, we’ve always faced that reality at least personally. Hey, the purpose of life is to live a life of purpose. . .I suggest shouldering those responsibilities and embracing the real.

    Sorry, that’s all kinda disjointed. I enjoy the conversation and hope it’s constructive.

  • Okay, now this is really getting off topic. Can we please focus on NTE?

  • A review of Mark Nathan Cohen’s “The Food Crisis in Prehistory: Overpopulation and the Origins of Agriculture” at Amazon says:

    “…over-population caused a worldwide shortage of food. Every part of the habitable and accessible world had been colonised. There was no further room for mankind to expand into. There was an urgent need to devise some method by which a given area of land could support a greater number of people. And so, in Cohen’s words ‘populations throughout the world… were forced to adjust to further increases in population by artificially increasing, not those resources which they preferred to eat, but those which responded well to human attention and could be made to produce the greatest number of edible calories per unit of land.'”

    “Why did the human population expand so fast when it did? Why was there such a sudden shortage of food? This book refers to the answer, but at first reading I missed the reference and didn’t draw the significant conclusion. It was because human social organization and weapons technology had suddenly made man the master of nature. Within a comparatively short period of time, human hunters had caused the extinction of a large number of major mammal species throughout the world. Whilst the slaughter was going on, there had been plenty of food for everybody and populations had expanded. Once the process of extinction was more or less complete, food became very short indeed. Here Cohen relies on another scholar who also battled desperately to gain acceptance for a blindingly obvious general conclusion – Paul S. Martin. Martin’s chapter on his ‘Quaternary Extinctions’ tells the story.”

    This is very interesting to me. Rather than blaming agriculture for making human culture destructive, it is seen as the result, not the cause, of our unsustainable habits.

    The late Prof. Martin also wrote “Twilight of the Mammoths”. In an interview at American Scientist, he discussed the reluctance many people have to admit that humans regularly overpopulate and then extirpate other species. For decades other scholars resisted his theory although by now, the weight of evidence corroborates it.

    In “The Ethics of Anthropology and Amerindian Research” (link below, if it works) it says:

    “Not only are Amerindians thought by many to be unwaveringly wise stewards of natural resources, some have gone so far as to argue that native peoples hold the only hope remaining for the ultimate fate of humanity.”

    See? It all comes down to hope.


    I loved that cartoon, WoodsDweller. “Existence is not only temporary, it’s pointless! We’re doomed, and worse, nothing matters!” I think that people cling to that hope that some where, at some time, there was at least just one group or tribe that didn’t trash and overrun their environment because otherwise, they fear just that slippery slope that leads directly to – “nothing matters”.

    I find plenty of meaning in life without needing to think it will exist forever. But maybe I didn’t get the god gene.

  • Chris Hedges summed it up well when he pointed out that corporations commodify everything -the entire natural world and human beings- and consume everything, and will keep consuming everything until depletion causes collapse. The entire mode of operation of industrial society is dysfunctional and suicidal (and omnicidal), but cannot be changed because corporations and opportunists are in control, and bought-and-paid-for liars hold key positions.

    The slump in share markets of recent weeks needs to be countered by TPTB, otherwise confidence falls. ZIRP has failed, QE has failed, fabricating GDP numbers and employment numbers has failed, and now we hear that ‘the IMF misjudged the effect of austerity imposed on Greece. So TPTB will have to come up with some new scheme for scamming the masses and keeping the masses deluded. Presumably such schemes will continue until enough people have been pushed off the cliff for rioting to break out practically everywhere.

  • @Gail,

    I’m currently reading a paper on the co-evolution of farming and private property during the early Holocene (i.e. there wasn’t a simple cause-and-effect relationship, but a mutual feedback between them). The authors make the point that early agriculture was less productive than foraging, and dismiss the population-pressure idea. Apparently agriculture in the Levant emerged only after 8 centuries of population decline.

    What they propose instead is a co-evolution of farming with private property, in the presence of an improving climate. Improving hunting and gathering led to increased sedentism. That gave previously nomadic people the possibility of accumulating more stuff than could be carried, the ownership of which needed to be established and protected.

    At the same time, the improved climate led to farming, presumably as an extension of horticulture in the areas of the newly sedentary tribes. That led to surpluses that could be owned because ownership concepts were developing at the same time. Agricultural surpluses reinforced the development of property rights, rather than precipitating them.

    This makes a lot of sense to me, as I’ve heard previous objections to the overpopulation hypothesis for agriculture. The fact that agriculture sprang up within a few thousand years in different areas of the world suggests that climate had a lot to do with it, and this hypothesis ties it together quite neatly IMO.

  • jaywfitz,

    I’m curious about something. Are/were these failed projects mostly variations on the theme of setting up some kind of a small-scale organic agriculture/permaculture homestead?

  • Well Paul, we may never know – do you have a link for the paper your’re referring to?

    Paul Martin does have an answer for that climate theory, which is that the disappearance of megafauna closely follows migration of humans to their island/continent and is not corrolated in time with global climate change. Excerpt from the NS interview:

    Why is a short overlap between the arrival of humans and the extinctions so important to overkill? How much of an overlap would make it untenable?

    If mammoths, mastodons and humans coexisted in America for 10,000 years before the mammoths and mastodons vanished, the overkill model of a super predator entering a virgin land mass and triggering mass extinction of other large mammals clearly would not work.

    As Ross MacPhee said, the pattern indicates a deadly syncopation on different land masses. As humans first arrive (“ka!”) they rapidly increase in numbers and trigger megafaunal extinction (“tunk!”) in a few thousand years at most: 50,000 years ago in Australia (ka-tunk!), 11,000 years ago in America (ka-tunk!), 5,000 years ago in Cuba and Haiti (ka-tunk!), and less than 1,000 years ago in New Zealand (ka-tunk!).

    btw, part of Dmitri’s Q&A at Age of Limits is on youtube. I had forgotten about my question (first one) in which he answers that he doesn’t equate beating children with violence.

  • @Gail,

    Here’s the link: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/05/10/1212149110.abstract

    I’m not that worked up any more about the extinctions that happened as we spread out. Apparently every island ecosystem experiences them as new species move in, whether human or not, and other species die out or leave in response. It’s mentioned in Schneider and Sagan’s thermo book “Into the Cool” (p. 194). Apparently Robert MacArthur and E. O. Wilson recognized this dynamic in 1963. So in that sense, humans were just being another invasive species. The extinctions happening today are a different matter, of course, but they may not be linked by an unbroken continuum of human evil, as is so often assumed.

  • One more thought about Orlov. Here at NBL, we regularly discuss how the descent will happen, where it will be worst, what goes first, what people plan to do, etc.

    It’s clear that Orlov thinks the collapse is survivable, hence his crazy boat-thing-idea. The graph in his post shows that the birth rate and death rates will skyrocket as the collapse proceeds. He likes this graph.

    IMO Orlov believes that he will be one of the lucky few to repopulate the world when this “madness” is over. Hence he believes women are good for only giving birth and raising children. Soon I expect polygamy talk on his website plus proposals for keeping females out of school, lowering the age of consent, restricting the type of clothing that women and girls can wear so that they are completely covered from head to…..oh, wait.

    We’ve discussed before the concept that as the rules go by the wayside, humans descend into barbarism. We now see racism, sexism, ageism, violence, greed, war, and everything else we’ve tried to expunge from the the human psyche by creating cultures and religions with rules for human behaviour. This effort is now unwinding and the deadly sins for which human beings are hard wired are walking out into the sunlight and grinning for all they’re worth.

    Entropy here we come.

  • http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/david/christian-tv-prophet-native-americans-need-r

    Self-proclaimed television prophet Cindy Jacobs recently warned people with Native American heritage that they should “repent for their ancestors’ animism” because they are particularly vulnerable to evil spirits.

    In an episode of her web series 10 Minute Prayer School last week, Jacobs said that the Leviathan spirit described in Job 41 was often the cause of “divorce, tribal wars, church splits, family feuds, sibling rivalries, ministries breaking up.”

    “If you have in your bloodline any animus [sic], any Native American blood, for instance — not all Native Americans worshipped the serpent or crocodile, many did — but you might want to renounce that and repent for the generational iniquity,” she explained. “If you are — perhaps you’re Mexican and you might have indigenous blood in you or Mayan blood, those who have Aztec blood in any way, you need to repent for the sin of animism before you begin to deal with this spirit.”

    On an episode of her God Knows television show earlier this year Jacobs asserted that durable shoes were a “supernatural” miracle from God.

    “We believe we’re moving into a supernatural season, where if needed, God will multiply food,” she told her husband and fellow prophet, Mike. “But the point is we were promised supernatural provisions.”

    “I mean, I remember one time that I had a pair of shoes that I wore and wore and wore and wore and it just — for years, these shoes did not wear out. And I wore them years and years and years.”

  • but I can’t find them now.

    Try Agent Ransack: it’s free.

    We are at, or past, peak oil -its price will inevitably shoot higher in the next five years and could reach $200 a barrel.

    While the price in Bernanke bucks may reach and exceed that, the real value at which a commodity is bought and sold is constrained by its connexion to everything else in the market. If a barrel of oil when burned can add only $200 in value to resources that are converted into products with the energy from that burning, then the oil will produce no profit to the buyer at $200. They may still buy the barrel if other factors such as skilled labour continue to add value. But there is a limit beyond which oil becomes unaffordable to an economy. The industrial economies have little transformational gain from oil, as they already have their infrastructure. It is estimated that they can tolerate only 5% of the GDP going to petroleum, which translates into $100 in today’s dollars. In other countries there may be the benefit of infrastructure growth, which increases economic throughput, and for this reason many Asian and African countries can make do with higher prices.

    On a personal scale, if it costs a gallon of gas each way to work and back, but the work does not pay for both those gallons and then some, the gallons won’t be bought by that consumer.

    The more pithy term for it is “yellow fever”.

    The mosquito-borne illness? Or like the cars – less expensive and less spacious?

  • @Arthur Johnson

    Sure, a lot of people get captivated with the “permaculture” vision and Hawaii is an ideal place to try that out, as land prices are pretty reasonable, the seasons are easy to deal with and the culture is largely tolerant of alternative lifestyles in general. That’s more or less what I’ve done though I’ve a focus more on forestry than food-crops, though I grew taro semi-commercially for a couple of seasons, some poultry, could probably do bananas and coffee too. The permaculture vision is appealing as it provides a opportunity to at least attempt to “step away from empire”– or at least adopt a relatively subversive relationship towards it– cut one’s costs and expenditures vastly, probably the most important element in moving towards harmony, and have some home based agricultural income. This works out in Hawaii also as the vast quantity of food stuffs here are imported, and one can realize a better rate for ones produce than one could on the mainland. There’s also a certain tolerance of home-brewed value-add that people get away with under the radar. It’s pretty ideal here, really. Of course like most places the “movement” is largely BS, rich kids pretending to go “native” or what have you, or setting themselves up as permaculture design experts before they’ve harvested their first crop of green beans. . .but all in all it’s pretty good. There is a ancient history of relatively sustainable agricultural practice, and I’m lucky enough to have friends here that showed me true aloha spirit in getting me set up in some of that. The islands are extremely resource poor–not a big market for rock, ya know, and that’s about all there’s here– still, there’s bounty. It’s a trippy place here, reality is omnipresent– had a pretty good quake yesterday and I see the glow of flowing lava at night off my back porch. It gives one perspective.

    The island is feeling climate change hard now, though. Last year heat came through and killed a lot of my trees. Rainfall is about half of historic norms. My aquaponic system over the last 5 years has gone from a baseline temp of 58 degrees to 64– hard to believe really– To make a go you’ve got to plan twice as many trees as you’d normally do, both in zones above and below what you expect and by dumb luck a few make it. I try to get a dozen or so in the ground every weekend, yeah, I know, I know, NTE, all that, it doesn’t matter. It matters to me, perhaps solely by choice, but I find making that choice very empowering.

  • It amazes me how people can say they are not a feminist, or that they dislike them, but they can’t even express what defines a feminist. Furthermore, when the tenants of feminism are presented they agree with them! (as long as they are not told that these tenants describe the definition of a feminist). Seems feminism has been turned into a dirty word by the powers that be…by those who would like to dominate women. (It’s a common trick used by those who seek to dominate another – to steal the word their enemy uses to define themselves, turn it a bad word, and then manipulate society to believe how ‘bad’ the group is that they want to maintain power over.)

    So what is a feminist? They want to have the same priviliges men do. They want to be treated with respect as an equal, with the same rights as men have. True feminists do not want “special privileges” or “entitlements” or to “dominate men” or to “be men” – they want respect as an equal. Why is that so hard to understand?
    Especially prevalent is the notion that feminists want to be men. While some may want to be like men many do not….they simply want the CHOICE and not have men’s idea of how they should be forced on them.

    Up until recent times women could not vote, they couldn’t own property – they were in effect property of their fathers and husbands and could even be beaten or raped without legal recourse. In more modern times they couldn’t even open up a line of credit, and there is nothing worse you can call a man than ‘a woman’ – what does that say about how men think of women? I could go on and on – clearly a movement to help women was needed to help raise self-esteem (and still is needed).
    I just can’t believe Dimitry considers the rights of the poor in society and the upcoming collapse as valid, but not the rights of women.

    Now I’m not saying there are not feminazis or deeply disturbed women who use political movements to achieve their agenda, but to shove all women into that category is faulty thinking.
    And to try and prove that feminists are bad by mentioning that some women hate feminists is wrong (as Demitry did with his example of Russian women who don’t like feminism). Like I said earlier, many do not even know what a feminist really is. And there are many sick women who like the idea of being a child forever – being dominated by a man – dependent and taken care of like a child. For that safety they will do most of the work, be considered half a person, and even take a few blows to the head.

    Power corrupts, and that men by virtue of their greater physical strength have the advantage. It takes a real man not to use that strength to dominate and to instead offer love and respect by taking into consideration a woman’s viewpoint too. And it takes a lot of effort to be empathetic – it’s never easy to see another’s viewpoint (especially if you have not been a part of the group being taken advantage of).
    Those in power don’t give up that power willingly – hence a movement of women (and some supporting men) banding together and forcing the issue usually needs to occur, despite the horrible backlash it evokes in men who then feel they are surrounded by feminazis who now challenge their authority.

    Who are all these men surrounding Demitry who cannot marry American women because of the feminist agenda? No doubt they are men who could not cope with women refusing to treat them like little kings in their home – women who refuse to be dominated and want to be treated with respect as an equal. Obviously they are the men trashing women on his blog.

    I am appalled at the names he has called Gail and allowed his minions on his blog to trash her with.
    (Troublemaker, seeking attention, feminazi, troll, invalid because she didn’t bring the right clothes, invalid because she has land and her daughter has horses, apparently stupid for looking at trees at the event – there was more but I will get even more angry if I search again to track them down.)
    Good God all she did was want matriarchal communities to be included in his communities that abide lecture. Is Demitry so insecure as a man that he can’t take some gentle criticism from a woman? Wow Gail, you attention-seeking trouble-making feminazi! (translation — you whining b*tch). We can certainly see from all this how Demitry would respond to women expressing a need in the coming collapse – best not to be in his camp.

  • “…apparently Robert MacArthur and E. O. Wilson recognized this dynamic in 1963.

    So in that sense, humans were just being another invasive species.

    The extinctions happening today are a different matter, of course, but they may not be linked by an unbroken continuum of human evil, as is so often assumed.”

    The unforgivable aspect of h s sapian is not the ‘enough is never enough’ modus operandi that It has been practicing religiously down the years.

    It’s the disgusting hubris and arrogance that a species like h s sapian has in light of the fact of having been given SELF AWARENESS.

    Supposedly all the other creatures on this planet do not have Self-Awareness, they have Awareness, but that is a much different attribute.

    Defenders and apologists of the fatally flawed species h s sapian never seem to tire of puffing up their chests and proclaiming how ‘amazing’ human qualities are, first and foremost being Self Awareness, the master quality of qualities, the Crown of Creation.

    How is it that a species with Self Awareness has not used it on a wide scale to stop the ‘enough is never fucking enough’ Death March to Oblivion.

    How could such ‘an amazing species’ piss it all away, again and again and again and again and again and again and …….?

    Look around at the marvels of human ‘progress’.

    Seems like Self Awareness is about as valuable as a luke warm bucket of spit.

    H s sapian, as a species, are the biggest bunch of losers the Earth has ever coughed up, like a cat coughs up a giant Hair Ball.

    All the iterations of hominid in Earth history at least had a successor species waiting in the wings to replace them once they crashed and burned and bear the sacred torch of human ‘progress’, but not h s sapian version 6.66

    Pretty stupid species given all that precious Self Awareness, and by the way folks, pretty much killing an entire planet is Pure Evil.

    Earth has been a dangerous enough place over the eons without adding a particularly virulent strain of cancerous world destroying Being to it like h s sapian.

    Defenders of the Faith in H s sapian need to STFU.

    Self Awareness is on the verge of actually eliminating Itself from the planet.

    Phucking Brilliant.

    H s sapian like a clown lighting it’s own hair on fire and then trying to put it out with a hammer.

    It even wants applause afterwards for it’s intelligence.

    High quality Cozmic Slapstick

  • Erin says: …Orlov thinks the collapse is survivable….

    All of us share the same lot—
    Our planet is getting too hot;
    Two groups then derive:
    Those who think we’ll survive,
    And those who think we will not.

  • Jaywfitz:

    Tourism should fall off early and dramatically. With no resources to steal, you may, depending on which island you are on, be pretty much ignored by the rest of the world, particularly the assholes from the mainland U.S. Although it may get difficult, I think you may be better off than most and get closer to the end and see how it will all turn out.

  • LOL@Benjamin..what fun…

    As we move to the upcoming sauna,
    Best we wave a goodbye to the fauna.
    We’re toast as they say,
    In the coming melee.
    Though with luck might persist an iguana.

  • @Speak Softly

    How is it that a species with Self Awareness has not used it on a wide scale to stop the ‘enough is never fucking enough’ Death March to Oblivion.

    How could such ‘an amazing species’ piss it all away, again and again and again and again and again and again and …….?

    IMO self awareness has little to do with this aspect of human behavior. All water flows downhill until it reaches the lowest point. All life searches for energy. All ecosystems grow until they reach a limit. We are no different. We are living organisms, and our civilization is an ecosystem. It runs to the same rules of physics as every other ecosystem on the planet. If there is energy available to fuel our survival/growth, we will use it. It’s an iron law of nature – use energy to grow, or court annihilation.

    Our intelligence didn’t evolve to let us understand ourselves. It evolved as a limit-defeating mechanism, an adaptive tool in the pursuit of survival. The laws of physics mandate that we dissipate energy gradients to live. The laws of evolution mandate that our entire beings are oriented toward survival. Physics and biology have combined to give us an accelerator, but no brake.

    What we didn’t realize is that our vaunted self awareness gives us essentially no control over our collective behavior, except to choose the way we grow. IMO this is not hubris, but a cunning blind spot bequeathed to us by Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics. To paraphrase Cassius, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in ourselves, but in our stars, that we are underlings.”

    Like any other ecosystem, we will grow until we encounter a limit we cannot defeat. Which should appear right … about … NOW

  • Who is to blame now they ask,
    It feels good to in certainty bask.
    But perhaps no one knows,
    As the mystery grows.
    All that matters is offing the mask.

  • O.M.G. Luna!!!

    Here’s a new limerick recruit
    Who knows of the frog and the newt!
    Don’t think “Is she cute?”
    You sexist old coot;
    Trading limericks can be a hoot!

    Of the issues which humans dispute,
    Doom’s getting hard to refute;
    Now with NTE,
    We’re beginning to see
    That most of that other stuff’s moot.

  • “What we didn’t realize is that our vaunted self awareness gives us essentially no control over our collective behavior, except to choose the way we grow”

    All of the energy over the years devoted then to ‘enlightenment’ and spiritual ‘refinements’ of one dandy sort or another are merely exercises in Self Delusion generously provided by Self Awareness in it’s devious concubinage to the insatiable Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics which needs the faux guilt generated by Self Awareness itself to be pacified without It realizing that It is doing it to Itself.

    Is that Mobius enough for you?

  • Thank you so much for the welcome,
    This is fun and exciting and then some.
    It passes the time,
    And the truth is sublime.
    And my mind is no longer quite that numb.


    I live in the land of tornadoes,
    Might consider a move to Barbados.
    The last one that came by,
    Nearly taught me to fly
    And took all that I owned out the windows.

  • This page is some riotous, twisted entertainment.
    Let me add this:

    I am not impressed here with the acolytes and clergy of the all
    consuming NTE black hole. All these pronouncements that nothing
    matters, nothing is to be done, surrender Dorothy and so on, look
    pretty much like every other standard excuse and rationalization for
    Americans to sit on their generous, well entertained behinds and continue to do less than nothing about a crisis for which they are most responsible.

    As Mr. Kevin Moore is doing, so should you. Every person you meet, see, glance at, run into at the supermarket or on the subway needs to have the horrendous state of the world message shouted at their face, in their ears at full volume, in public, in the press, and on TV until every deaf and dumb patriotic crap spewing idiot begins, grudgingly, glacially to see the carnage in front of their face for which they are fully and completely responsible. Sitting on your ass anymore, (even cuz of doom, hopelessness, doom, doom and surrender Dorothy) is the rotten lemming path of the milquetoast, recreant, poltroon coward.

    Nor am I impressed with the pronouncements of the rich white guys,
    their imitators and their institutional sponsors to be found in the
    impossibly expensive tomes only found at union-busting, prole-hating

    Scary and outrageous as it may seem, I seek my information and
    perspective (as Mr. Deloria suggested) in the real world, from personal experience, among real and so often non-American people. No matter their melanin ratio or linguistic incomprehensibility.

    You want a matriarchal culture, go visit the Musuo on the border of
    Sichuan and Yunnan in China, or the people along the eastern coast of India in Kerela. I can even give you directions if you need them.

    I was kind of surprised to see all the (white) people at McPherson’s
    presentation lounging around like they are at a 4th of July BarBeQue. Sustainability might be a more deadly serious topic. But stateside I guess not. Not yet anyway.

    As you saw, that first dude asked his question from a fully prone
    position, waving his arms around like a fish on the beach, and it
    didn’t get much more impressive from there. Unbelievable. But I know, in (lily, unintegrated) america, everything is supposed to come easy, served on a silver platter, preferably by minorities. So it goes, but not for much longer.

    I have told the close members of my well-medicated family that they
    better cut the idiocy and get very serious, and very attentive, very
    quickly – As serious and grim as my old Presbyterian grandma used to

    But no. They, like almost every other of my associates in ‘merika,
    take this kind of talk like seditious treason and threaten me with
    tortures X,Y and Z – threaten to call the cops, the klan or the
    homeland security. Astonishing. As if one’s existence might be more
    crucial than their entertainment, comfort, iphones, and illusions.
    Guess not.

    After so long for me outside, only now is it possible to see that
    America was built as an inescapable, fully-privatized, slave’s-knife-
    cage-fight-to-the-death barbed wire pen set out on a seedy second rate hick plantation.

    I just finished Mr. misogynist Kunstler’s book Geography of Nowhere.
    In it he lays out pretty clearly how America has NO community, NO
    public commons, and NO consciousness as to why there should be any
    problem with that. And it was designed that way, with gusto. That was it’s very purpose, function and raison d’etre.

    Per Mr. Madison: “To protect the minority of the opulent from the
    majority.” Per Mssrs. Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Obama: “By any means

    It took me years outside the Fun House to see how awful, wretched and what a load of BS all my personal, professional and everyday relations were with almost every breathing human being I ever had the misfortune to meet or interact with in that country.

    And that includes most of my family and close “friends” and relations. Sick. Sick. In short, a never ending killer clown show, glossed over by great entertainment, prescription narcotics and total comprehensive denial.

    As Charles Eisenstein pointed out when he tried to engage in community building with his neighbors in Wisconsin : “We didn’t need each other.” The culture there is every man, woman and stray dog for themselves and damn the rest because they are just moochers, or feminazis, or misogynists, or the wrong ethnicity, or whatever rationalization makes you comfortable this week.

    That’s fine as long as you can afford it. But, as Kunstler also points out: We built the great suburban motoring utopia and now we can’t afford to live in it. Ha. Suckers.

    But it’s not so funny now, since we used to be able to dump it off on the poor, the minority, the indians, the mexicans, the dumb gooks the hajis in other countries, etc…

    Squeal like a pig, boy. Now they’re coming for you and now it ain’t so purty or funny, is it?

    Standard American Comfort, Hedonism and Exceptionalism or
    SACHE is over. It is done for. All my intimate relations in the states were utterly informed and defined by SACHE – the house, the mortgage, the car, the lease, the items, the stuff, the toys, the clothes, the entertainment, the shopping, the bills, the lawn, the wretch.

    The full spectrum of hyper-privileged BS was de riguer by law for any relationship at all in America. Absent apparent, obvious ability or will to deliver the material goods branded me, even by friends and lovers, as a “failure”, a “lazy lecherous bum”, a living joke, a contemptible dirty hippy, a sub-human unworthy to clean the dog piss off your shoes.

    Now that Disney World/’murkah is so obviously going to transform
    itself into an ultr-scary, horrific, sadistic, soilent-green style
    concentration camp (twas always thus for your slaves, coolies,
    and indians, no?), I can’t really have much sympathy for either gender of any race that continues to be fully invested in the lie. (Even the trans-totalitarians who want to burn Derrick Jensen’s DGR to the ground because they’re meanies who won’t share toilets.)

    My guess is that all these people propounding the coming freak show of death, destruction, endless pain, horror and predatory carnage are all ~Americans~. If that’s all you’ve ever known, then that’s all you can imagine. You get the reality you channel. And I will be happy to take my chances elsewhere in the world.

    Jimmy Willie, another expat, was asked by his friend in the charnel
    house what to do. Jim said: “Get out of the States as fast as you
    can.” The friend, like everybody else said “I can’t do that.” And Jim said “OK. Let’s never have this conversation again.” No sustainability conference or fun speech or righteous attitude is going to save you.

    If you haven’t figured out by now, change in America (i.e. an end to
    white privilege, SACHE and a power down to the lifestyle of a
    Cambodian, Peruvian, Gambian or Laotian peasant) is illegal and will
    be punished by fine, jail or extrajudicial execution. Got it slaves?

    So without the fossil fuels, the entire edifice: government, business, military, social, religious, political, national, all traditions, ad infinitum are now worse than useless…Pathetic…An inextricable loadstone. A bad, horrible, nasty, ugly, joke. A black humor laugh at everything you ever knew, thought or believed.

    Yah, Mein Bruder, Schadenfreude ist süß. [Schadenfreude is sweet.]

    Just look at the hilarity -> the biggest Hurricaine in history last
    year. The biggest Tornado in history last week. And what are they
    doing? What can they do? Less Than Nothing!

    The US can’t stop the cars. They can’t ground the planes. Can’t stop
    eating factory farmed meat because, you know, we don’t eat rabbit
    food. And on and on. I have to say that I think Obama will go on
    record as the biggest retrograde joke of a president in history. Even worse than Bush because, despite the biggest political mandate in history he couldn’t muster the nuts to change 1/2 an iota of anything bush did, much less hold any of the myriad transparent criminalities accountable.

    Bush may have been the butcher to lead america – and the world – to
    the scaffold, but Obama will be remembered (by the ants and
    cockroaches) as the one who dropped the guillotine, amazingly enough
    with the complicity and to great cheers of the people whose necks will be severed from their empty skulls.

    Sympathy? I have none.
    Thank you and have a nice day.

  • Supposedly all the other creatures on this planet do not have Self-Awareness, they have Awareness, but that is a much different attribute.

    Nothing “has” Awareness. Nothing “has” Self-Awareness. It is Awareness that “has” everything.

    The entire “world” is a construct in awareness from the raw inputs of the senses. Even those inputs exist in awareness. Because the construct is well-made, with enough anticipations turning out correct, that construct can be projected out as “reality”. The awareness is then of the projected construct, which serves as “reality”.

    And took all that I owned out the windows.

    Some were more fortunate. For the Windows manufacturer Microsoft, most of what it has came in through Windows.

  • Luna
    “And to try and prove that feminists are bad by mentioning that some women hate feminists is wrong (as Demitry did with his example of Russian women who don’t like feminism)….Now I’m not saying there are not feminazis or deeply disturbed women who use political movements to achieve their agenda, but to shove all women into that category is faulty thinking.”

    Similarly not all people who are jewish are to be equated with the Zionists

    Just watched the movie “Our Fathers” about the pedophile priests in Boston. So many of the Catholics stuck up for the priests even to refusing to believe their children about being abused. I have no doubt that many women in Russia hate feminists from similar kinds of long term brainwashing.

    Some women do give feminism a bad name, even attacking men who don’t have a sexist bone in their body because of their gender.

    I think you hit on the real problem, POWER. Cardinal Law when younger was a strong Civil Rights activist, lauded by the brother of Medgar Evans. What happened to that young activist – Power. I have seen mild men crushed by the power of domineering women, and seen scared men try to act strong by oppressing women. I have seen women wanting to make it in a man’s world become worse than the men they compete with.

    Communities that survive within civilizations usually have a strong charismatic leader and either a cause or religion that binds them. That is not because they are preferrable but because without that it is hard to keep them together. For hunter-gatherers the strong cause is their own survival. Since in civilization one can survive outside of an intentional community, other forces come to the fore. One of the more positive communities that have formed in recent times is Koinonia. Founded by Clarence Jordan on the best of what Christianity has to offer they had a vision to bind them and then as they came under persecution by the Klan a strong cause to bind them. After Clarence died and the persecution ended they slowly began to loose the ties that bind. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koinonia_Partners

    Not sure what they are doing now – I had friends who were there and left. Dmitry used to say that communities would form naturally when necessity requires it. I think that is right. I wonder then that he is now touting patriarchal communities held together with the fear of God as successes.

  • PS Luna, great limericks, Btd also as usual

    Re Hawaii
    read this this AM
    “HONOLULU — Part of what makes living in Hawaii so pleasant is the gentle breeze. Arriving from the northeast, it’s light enough that it is barely noticeable but strong enough to chase away the humidity.
    It’s a natural draw to the outdoors. It is not uncommon to show up at a house to find its residents relaxing out in the covered porch or in the car port, not their living room, and enjoying the cooling winds — and a cool drink.
    Nowadays, experts say, these breezes, called trade winds, are declining, a drop that’s slowly changing life across the islands.”

    Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/hawaii-s-gentle-breezes-disappearing-but-scientists-don-t-know-why-1.1310118#ixzz2VQcxySab

  • I must be ‘ill’. I seem to be addicted to trying to facilitate a Soft Landing, as opposed to the Hard Landing that most people favour. I can’t stop myself; talked to one councillor face to face this morning and rang two others this evening on the matter of the district plan.

    I think Guy and a few thousand others around the world suffer from the same ‘illness’.

    Despite all the bravado and brave faces, despite all the business-as-usual hogwash of the mainstream media, I suspect a lot of people are starting to get rather scared the ‘prophets of doom’ have been right all along, and that the financial-economic shit IS going to hit the fan in the next year or two, aided and abetted by climate chaos and energy depletion.

    Watched part 2. Good stuff. Smart move Guy: no personal prediction of timeframe for collapse, just ‘Soon’.

  • The decline in Hawaiian wind looks suspiciously like the decline in the stability of the jet stream that Dr Jennifer Frances described recently, linked to the reduced thermal incline that results from disproportionate warming in higher latitudes.

    I wonder what the next ‘trick’ brought to humanity and the biosphere by the fossil-fuel-extraction-and-burning sectors will be.

  • Last night I got through chapter two of Constant Battles, which was written by Stephen LeBlanc, an archaeologist at Harvard.

    One of the questions he asks is, as a microcosm of the entire earth, how have humans fared on isolated islands? Have people been able to recognize the limited resources available and maintain sustainable numbers? And the answer is invariable. Populations go up, and there is famine and/or portions of the society are shipped off in boats, likely to be drowned. The major control is infanticide, a widespread practice around the world from Japan to the Amazon to Australia. Eskimos simply put excess babies outside. Europeans became embarrassed and so in the 1700’s and 1800’s, hid their rate of infanticide with the invention of so-called foundling hospitals, ostensibly orphanages but actually that was a fiction, and in 90% of cases a death sentence (75k/yr in France alone).

    Wester observes quite rightly that America is a consumerist nightmare. But according to this book, it’s more human nature than anything unique to the US, it is simply a matter of scale.

    According to LeBlanc, who examines island societies from Madagascar to Hawaii to the Caribbean, the pattern of overexploitation remains:

    “Humans are not blessed with a conservation ethic to keep them in ecological balance. Though one might wish this to be the case, unfortunately, it appears otherwise….Examples of similar island colonizations by Europeans, Asians, and SAmerican Indians are available, and the pattern is worldwide – and always the same: A few people occupy the new land, they exterminate many species, they heavily modify the landscape, and their numbers grown. The never remain in anything approaching ecological balance.”

    “Mainland studies give a similar result. The Hadza, for example, are a small group of hunter-gatherers who live near Lake Eyasi in Tanzania. They exist by collecting a number of different roots and by hunting both large and small game in a rather sparse and unpromising environment…Living in such a harsh environment, the Hadza people would be expected to be carful conservationists. Yet, ethnographic studies reveal that

    ‘…the hadza give little attention to conservation of their food resources. When women dig up roots, they do not attempt to replace any portion of the plant to grow again. When they gather berries, heavily laden branches are often torn from the trees and carried back to camp When a woman is building the framework of her grass hut, she is as likely to use branches from berry trees as from any other type of tree…When a nest of wild bees is found and raided for its honey, no potion of the comb is left to encourage the bees to stay on…The Hadza are not alone in this behavior; researchers see it throughout the world in many time periods and places.”

    LeBlanc writes:

    “The ability to react and to alter their environmental constraints – to change the carrying capacity – is one of the important ways humans are different from most animals. With other animals, when the numbers of a particular species go up, their predators’ numbers increase also. As predators kill more of the overpopulated species, the animal population stops rising. Humans have not had significant predators for a million years of more. We do have another kind of predator: other humans. And this is where warfare enters the equation.”

    And, I might add, cannibalism. The physical evidence for both is ubiquitous for our entire history.

    One of my friends said to me recently that she would like to move to Iceland because there are no trees there, and so she wouldn’t have to watch them die. According to the book, Iceland WAS forested at one time, but “…it was quickly destroyed and the population rapidly outstripped the island’s resources, which is why Eric the Red went on to colonize Greenland and his sone tried to colonize North America. They needed the land and the trees”.

    You could say, they’re just Vikings – except that people do the same thing, everywhere.

  • Wester, you’ve done an excellent job describing Gail’s family. Three spoiled-rotten daughters and an ex-husband who made it all possible, including the Boolean Decision Trees that have aided in the precipitous death of the natural trees Gail so often laments. Don’t try to criticize that at her blog though. She won’t let such comments through. See, she would rather criticize the third-worlders for the sins of her white privileged and entitled family. She claims her blog is more than an activist blog, that it’s also an ode to her precious, if not recalcitrant daughters. But why do such a thing if you embrace NTE? Why bother leaving a blog as a memory of yourself to your children and grandchildren if we’re toast in a couple of decades anyway? Orlov has that part right about Gail. She’s an elitist who lives on the coattails and largesse of that world. Her settlement from her ex must have been substantial for her to live the lifestyle she does without earning it like the rest of us, or dealing with the economic implications of not earning it. Such temerity. Such hubris. Such arrogance. She’s not willing to walk in the shoes of those less fortunate, but she’s more than willing to tell them they’re as good as dead and that it’s their fault. The irony is that any future intentional community formed to survive a collapse would have to dispense with such rank hypocrisy in very short order. There could be no place for it and its transparency would be quickly recognized and isolated.

    And don’t anyone claim Gail’s personal life isn’t up for discussion. Bullshit!! Everyone’s personal life is up for discussion when you consider the topic of NTE. No one get’s a free pass, women included. I say “women included” because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve observed women having their cake and eating it too by gobbling up the alleged equal rights procured by a feminist special interest, yet soaking up all the old-world, Victorian chivalry that sets them on a pedestal out of harms way and any and all criticism.

  • Wester:

    Best rant of the year, and one of the best I ever read!
    I can understand why you are so popular with your friends and relatives.

  • http://www.ecoshock.info/2013/06/will-humans-go-extinct-soon.html

    Will Humans Go Extinct Soon?
    Investigating claims of near-term extinction for humans. Clips from Guy McPherson, John D. Cox, Dr. David Archer. Interview w. John Michael Greer. Analysis of predictions by Malcolm Light of the Arctic Methane Emergency Group (AMEG). Radio Ecoshock 130605 1 hour.

  • @ Everyone Gets a Pony, Not!

    Hey YOU, whoever you are, how about you have the guts to come out from hiding behind that ridiculous name, tell us all about yourself and who YOU are and what you’ve DONE, so we can level the playing field and discuss YOUR personal life.

    I’ve got plenty of bones to pick with Gail on any number of issues, but I respect her courage, at least she’s not afraid to come out and say what she thinks to the whole damn world and accept the flak, and to attack Gail as if she represents all the women of the world, or all feminists, rather than her own personal view, is just idiotic.

  • good morning everyone

    Wester – I feel you and am similarly filled with disgust at our vaunted, mislabeled species and am another of the ‘failures’ who can’t understand why everyone else around me blithely goes on as if this on-the-surface lovely cultural/environmental situation is not only permanent, but the way it’s supposed to be, refusing to look at the reality and or consequences. Yeah, we’re so fuckin’ special – made in the ‘image a gyad’ ya know – that we somehow deserve this “place in the sun.” It will turn into the darkest of “bad jokes” and probably in our lifetimes. While all my peers sold out to corporate professionalism, which I too began but tossed aside when I realized what was going on, I’ve barely held on in migrant labor status (with the label ‘adjunct professor’ and the pay of a coolie).
    Don’t think you’re alone.

    Here’s a good post for today: